browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

GLOBAL VIEW

DATE: 22nd June, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

VIETNAM

In a province in Northern Vietnam, Khanh endured a beating from his own brother on the  evening of March 29 that left him bloodied and injured, with wounds on his leg and head.

Khanh, 28, and his wife and his daughter, became followers of Jesus just five months ago. They have been meeting with other believers from another village regularly for their own spiritual growth. On March 28, the village leaders held a meeting and warned Khanh that if he did not leave his Christian faith the government would cut the social services his family is receiving, including important services such as access to health care and education for his daughter. The village leader, Mr. Duy, also warned that they will be expelled from the community if they continue to believe in Jesus.
The following evening, Khanh’s brother Thanh came to his house to persuade him to forsake his faith, but Khanh refused. Enraged, his brother began to beat Khanh and destroyed some of the property in Khanh’s house. Khanh’s daughter was also hurt in this incident.

DATE: 22nd May, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
SOUTH KOREA

South Korea is awash with evangelical Christianity. This once resolutely shamanistic and Confucian country now seems to have more churches than corner stores. From miniscule, storefront chapels to the biggest church in the world, the skyline of every major city is ablaze with neon crosses. Evangelical Christians proselyte house to house, distribute pamphlets and church-emblazoned tissue packets on street corners, and cycle through town blaring sermons and homilies through bullhorns, urging you to either accept Jesus, or be prepared for the Devil’s wrath below. It is very rare to spend more than a few days in Korea without being preached to.

“We think of Korea as the Second Jerusalem,” says Hong Su Myeon, an older volunteer at Somang Presbyterian, a megachurch in Gangnam. He says Korea is working to leading a wave of evangelization around the world.

DATE: 22nd April, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
NORTH KOREA

Persecution runs deep even for those who don’t practice Christianity but associate with Christians. They often find themselves in trouble.

“A policy of guilt by association applies, meaning that the relatives of Christians are also detained regardless of whether they share the Christian belief,” a report said. “Even North Koreans who have escaped to China, and who are or become Christians, are often repatriated and subsequently imprisoned in a political prison camp.”

Documented incidents against Christians include “being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot.”


DATE: 22nd March, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
LAOS
Open churches are watched carefully by the government. This year several Christian families have been forced to leave their homes and livelihoods because their village neighbours have demanded that they either deny Christ, or leave. Some Christian pastors have been imprisoned for their evangelism ministry and their families struggle to make ends meet.
Officially, the government permits the practice of four religions, including Christianity. In reality, however, Christians are tortured, harassed, evicted from homes and villages, denied education opportunities, arrested and forced to deny their faith.
Christian converts from Buddhism or ethnic-animism face persecution from local authorities, since every conversion brings shame to the community. Laotian believers may also be physically attacked or expelled from their communities.

DATE: 22nd February, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
TURKMENISTAN
Providing the country’s ‘spiritual guidance’, President Berdymukhamedov and his government wield control over religious institutions. Registering churches is nearly impossible, but not doing so results in raids, threats, arrests and fines. Even historical Orthodox churches are monitored. Importing or printing Christian materials is very restricted – literature is often confiscated. But believers from Muslim backgrounds experience the greatest persecution, from both their communities and families.

DATE: 22nd February, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

TURKMENISTAN
In Karina’s case, she came to faith a number of years ago after her sister shared the gospel with her. She started to read the Bible and even translated some materials into Turkmen. Recently, the Turkmen police must have started to monitor Karina, shares an Open Doors field worker.

“She was ordered to come to a work meeting, but it was the police who showed up. They questioned and intimidated her. She was asked to renounce her faith, but Karina refused. She was pretty shaken up after the ‘meeting’.”

Only a couple of days later, Karina found herself in another similar situation. “This time her boss ‘interrogated’ her about her faith and church activities,” the field worker shares. “Most likely, he was pressured by the police. When she kept following Jesus, she was forced to write a letter of resignation. Losing your job might not seem the worst example of persecution, but it is serious when you are a single mom with two grown-up children in a country with no unemployment benefits.”


DATE: 22nd February, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

TURKMENISTAN

Christian houses are searched and the family are falsely accused of holding a religious meeting. Police summoned each of the people who had been in the house and pressured them to write statements, saying that they would renounce their faith and no longer attend religious meetings. Most of them refused to do so and were eventually permitted to leave after authorities threatened them not to attend Christian meetings.

A former church member who signed the statement was later forced to go to the mosque to publicly declare his repentance for having left Islam, and to say that he had been deceived when he converted to Christianity.


DATE: 20th January, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
KYRGYZSTAN
*Janysh and *Laura (real names protected for security reasons) are the only Christian couple in the village who always share the Gospel with their neighbors. That is why the doors of their small home are open for believers from other areas of Kyrgyzstan.
The couple has an outreach ministry which includes showing the JESUS film. Recently, they showed the film and presented the Gospel to four families from their own village.
Three days after the Gospel presentation, two intoxicated men started screaming in the middle of the night near the home of Janysh and Laura. They shouted that Janysh and Laura were infidels who had disgraced Islam. They threw stones into the house. No one was injured.
The next day a group of 10 people came and asked Janysh to come out of the house. They told him that he had to confess he was following an “alien” religion. Otherwise, he would be forced to leave the village with his family.
The next day an imam of the local mosque came to talk with Janysh and Laura. He also tried to make them renounce their faith in Jesus Christ.

DATE: 20th January, 2017 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
KYRGYZSTAN
Gathering people in your house in Kyrgyzstan is illegal although the laws promise to uphold religious freedom, but in practice these laws are not always followed. Believers face property destruction, intimidation, and physical harm on a regular basis. The 2009 Religion Law includes a ban on proselytism and the distribution of religious literature. Religious groups are required to re-register for legal status, and churches must now include more than 200 adult Kyrgyz citizens. Previously, only 10 were required. Officials in Kyrgyzstan have said they will close churches in an effort to pacify the Muslim majority.

DATE: 21st December, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
KAZAKHSTAN
Church staff at the Light of the Gospel Protestant Church in Uralsk, west Kazakhstan, have a heart for the young people of their nation to know the love of Jesus. According to a Khabar news agency, church staff distributed leaflets inviting teens to read the Bible with them, drink tea, and play games. As a result, this church is to be inspected by the State Department to see if they have violated religious laws. The church was described by Kazakhstan Media Agency Khabar (khabar.kz) as an organization that spreads non-traditional Christianity. Officials of the Uralsk Akimat (State Authority Agency) stated that, “distribution of leaflets is not prohibited by the law of Kazakhstan.” Additionally, leaders of the church could face punishment because children attended a religious event without parental permission. According to Kazakhstan’s restrictive religious law adopted in 2012, children (minors) are not allowed to engage in religious activity without official permission from their parents. The pastor of this church has already been fined in the past year in an unrelated incident involving religious violations.Jesus said “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Pray for the situation in Uralsk, in particular, and for the situation in Kazakhstan, in general, so that the Light of the Gospel Church would be permitted to welcome children in their area to freely hear the gospel of Jesus.


DATE: 21st December, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

KAZAKHSTAN
On the afternoon of 14 October, the three women brought tea and sweets for the residents, talking to and praying with some of them and offering copies of the New Testament.

“Our ladies only visited and met with those who invited them to come,” the church member added. “They did not impose themselves or their care on anyone, nor did they create any disturbance. The staff (particularly the head manager) were always open and happy to see them and others from Rodnik there and had no objections.”

However, on the afternoon of 14 October, about ten officials “in dark clothes” suddenly arrived, Kerbele noted. “They split us up, wouldn’t listen to us and wouldn’t answer our questions as to what it was about and what had happened,” she later told the news website Ratel.kz. “We couldn’t take one step left or one step right.” She recalled that she had been questioned “as if I had done something terrible”.

Police acquired written statements from at least six elderly female residents of the hospice who allegedly objected to Kerbele, Krasilnikova and Kosatova’s conduct. “The police had some of the residents sign a complaint and pressured our women to sign testimonies against themselves,” the church member. “Older people in our country are fearful of the authorities and usually give in to whatever they are asked to do.”


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

UZBEKISTAN
Uzbekistan is one of the harshest dictatorships in Central Asia.
While the Russian Orthodox Church is tolerated, other denominations are viewed as sects that aim to destroy the political system. The government monitors religious groups with phone tapping and spies, house churches are raided and its members arrested, and Christians can be fined for anything from owning a Bible to having a Christian song on their phone. Those who convert from Islam endure the greatest persecution, facing attack from both the government and their communities; they often keep their faith secret.


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

UZBEKISTAN
Increasing numbers of Christians in Uzbekistan are being punished simply for the ‘crime’ of having religious literature at home. One Christian, Stanislav Kim, was sentenced to two years corrective labour in Urgench for having religious books at home. He is now under house arrest, living at home with restrictions placed on his movements and a fifth of his wages seized by the State.
The authorities claimed that one book was banned because it could be used to spread a faith. They also stated that Baptists are banned in the region because they do not have state registration


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

UZBEKISTAN
Authorities in Uzbekistan fined 10 Christians for holding meetings unsanctioned by the state and even seized their personal Bibles.

The Karshi Criminal Court in Kashkadarya, Uzbekistan imposed a fine on three of the Christians, which costs 50 times the minimum monthly salary. The other seven Christians accused of illegal possession of religious literature were fined more than 30 times the minimum wage, according to a Barnabas Aid report cited by Worthy News.

Aside from that, the Uzbek court also ordered the destruction of the Christians’ personal Bibles and church songbooks, the report adds.

The Christian group was first raided by authorities in April. At that time, they had been meeting together without permission from the state of Uzbekistan.

The incident, which happened in late September, is a common practice in Uzbekistan.


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

AFGHANISTAN
There is no visible church in Afghanistan; all Afghan believers are secret converts from Islam.
Leaving Islam is seen as apostasy, which brings shame on the family and community. If someone is suspected of converting to Christianity they will be arrested. Buildings that are suspected of being used by the underground church are closed down or damaged. Even the few remaining expatriate Christians are at risk; are at risk; three South African Christians who were working for a relief organization were killed when their guest house in Kabul was attacked.


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

AFGHANISTAN
The Republic of Afghanistan does not recognize any Afghan citizens as being Christians, nor are Afghan citizens legally permitted to convert to Christianity. Although there are no explicit laws that forbid proselytizing, many authorities and most of society view the practice as contrary to the beliefs of Islam. There is only one legally recognized church in Afghanistan, the Catholic chapel at the Italian Embassy, which is not open to local nationals. Muslims who change their faith to Christianity, are subject to societal and official pressure, which may lead to death penalty. However, there are cases in which a Muslim will adopt the Christian faith, secretly declaring his/her apostasy. In effect, they are practicing Christians, but legally Muslims; thus, the statistics of Afghan Christians does not include Muslim apostates to Christianity. There are also Christian religious facilities at the foreign military bases, such as an Eastern Orthodox Church at the Romanian base in Kandahar. Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam, like Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols, and others, are prohibited, like Saudi Arabia.

Many sources, however, claim that there is a secret underground church of Afghan Christians living in Afghanistan. The US state department has stated that estimates of the size of this group range from 500–8000 individuals. The complete Bible is available online in Dari, and the New Testament is available in Pashto. Printed versions can also be purchased outside of the country. There are a number of Afghan Christians outside the country, including Christian communities in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Austria.


DATE: 21st October, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

AFGHANISTAN
Over 80 Muslim refugees from Iran and Afghanistan have converted to Christianity and been baptized in Hamburg, Germany.

Albert Babajan, the pastor who conducted the mass baptism, said that the converts were dissatisfied with Islam and were looking for something more. “The motive for the change of faith is the same for many: they are disappointed with Islam.”

Shima, one Christian convert who was recently baptized, shared about her conversion:

“I’ve been looking all my life for peace and happiness, but in Islam, I have not found it,” she said. “To be a Christian means happiness to me.”

Another convert, Somaz, said: “In Islam, we always lived in fear. Fear God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. However, Christ is a God of love.” Babajan conducted the baptism ceremony in Hamburg city park.

Many refugees have converted to Christianity since coming to Germany. Babajan says he is aware that some refugees will convert not out of true conviction, but because Christian converts are generally given added protection since they would face death should they return to their home countries.

In order to determine who the true converts are, Babajan says he asks them how Christ has changed their lives.

“Because the Christian faith changed the way of thinking, the world view. If someone told me that at night he can sleep again or an old enemy could forgive, then I know that in his heart he is a Christian.”

“There are maybe 20 or 30 percent who really want to hear the gospel. For those who want to have a license, I must face the door… It is very easy, whoever does not believe will not be baptised,” he added.


DATE: 20th July, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
AFRICA

A Muslim man in Egypt killed his wife and then buried her with their infant baby and 8-year old daughter. The girls? were buried alive! He then reported to the police that an uncle killed the kids. 15 days later, another family member died. When they went to bury him, they found the 2 little girls under the sand – ALIVE!

The country is outraged over the incident, and the man will be executed. The older girl was asked how she had survived. “A man wearing shiny white clothes, with bleeding wounds in his hands, came every day to feed us. He woke up my mom so she could nurse my sister,” she said.

She was interviewed on Egyptian national TV, by a veiled Muslim woman news anchor. She said on public TV, “This was none other than Jesus, because nobody else does things like this!”

Muslims believe Isa (Jesus) would do this, but the wounds mean He really was crucified, and it’s clear also that He is alive! But, it’s also clear that the child could not make up a story like this, and there is no way these children could have survived without a true miracle. Muslim leaders are going to have a hard time to figure out what? to do with this, and the popularity of the movie Passion doesn’t help!

With Egypt at the centre of the media and education in the Middle East, you can be sure this story will spread. Christ is still turning the world upside down!


DATE: 18th July, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO
INDIA
An 8-member fact-finding team of All India People’s Forum visited four districts of Bastar, Chhattisgarh between 8-11 June 2016. The fact-finding team found several incidents of communal violence against Christians; as well as fake encounters; rapes; fake cases and arbitrary arrests; and fake surrenders.
The AIPF team comprised former Madhya Pradesh MLA Dr Sunilam of Samajwadi Samagam, former Jharkhand MLA and CPIML Central Committee member Vinod Singh, Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of All India Progressive Women’s Association, Brijendra Tiwari of AICCTU, Amlan Bhatacharya, State Secretary of PUCL West Bengal, Advocate Aradhana Bhargava of Chhindwara, Advocate Ajoy Dutta of Kolkata and Amlendu Choudhury. Bela Bhatia and Soni Sori also accompanied the team. 

The fact-finding team of All India People’s Forum visited four districts of Bastar, Chhattisgarh between 8-11 June 2016. The fact-finding team found several incidents of communal violence against Christians; as well as fake encounters; rapes; fake cases and arbitrary arrests; and fake surrenders.


DATE: 18th July, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

INDIA

More than 350 Christians were physically attacked, at least nine Christians were killed for their faith and at least three women were raped in the reporting year. Attacks mainly come from Hindu extremists, although extremist Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Maoists have all targeted Christians. The Indian government, now led by Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is turning a blind eye to attacks against religious minorities, allowing Christians to be attacked with impunity.


DATE: 18th July, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

INDIA

A month after a crowd of village Hindus in Jharkhand state, India summoned 25 Christians, tied up six of them and beat them with sticks, some of the assailants ran into one of the Christians and asked if he was still worshipping Christ. The Hindu extremists in Hunter village, Palamu District came across Gunni Bhuiya on June 14 on an area road. Bhuiya told them he still believed in and worshipped Christ, and the Hindu extremists manhandled him and threatened to kill him, Christian leaders said.  When the Christians refused to denounce Christ, the furious Hindu extremists threatened to kill and bury them.
“They shouted to each other to bring kerosene oil so that they could burn us all,” Pastor Ravi said.
Nandi said the Christians told them, “Do whatever you like, we are not going to leave Christ at any cost.”


 

DATE: 4th May, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

CHINA

Two members of a church demolition team in China’s central Henan province buried alive Li Jiangong, a house church leader and his wife Ding Cuimei. On Thursday, April 14th a government-backed company dispatched personnel to bulldoze Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan province, after a local developer wished to take control of the church’s valuable property.  The couple and stepped in front of the machinery trying to prevent the destruction of their church.

Referring to the couple, a demolition team member was reported by China Aid as saying,  “Bury them alive for me,“I will be responsible for their lives”  Subsequently, a bulldozer pushed the couple into a pit and covered their bodies with soil. The Li was able to dig his way free, but sadly his wife suffocated by the time she was freed.

Li himself reported that police took an uncommonly long time to arrive at the scene after a report of the murder was filed.


DATE: 20th April, 2016 | REGION: AMERICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

AMERICA

Mississippi’s governor on Tuesday signed into law a bill that allows businesses to refuse services to gay couples based on religious objections, ignoring opposition from businesses who had worried the legislation could cost the state economic opportunities in the future.

The new law states that it protects “sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions,” including the belief that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sexual relations should only occur in such a marriage. It also says that a person’s gender is “determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth” and goes on to say that businesses can determine who is allowed to access bathrooms, dressing rooms and locker rooms.


DATE: 20th April, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

PARKISTAN

Pastor Anwar Fazal touching millions in Pakistan by sharing the Gospel in the Islam dominated country. Senior Pastor Anwar Fazal from Eternal Life Ministries (ELM) in Pakistan arranges a big Healing Crusade every Wednesday in Lahore, and thousands of People attend every week in Lahore. It is reported as the biggest Healing Meetings in Pakistan by far. Gospel will not stop, but it will go to the ends of the world.

At one rally in Pakistan 10,000 Muslims accepted Christ in one night, and over the course of the week-long rally there were many miraculous healings and more than 150,000 Muslims were saved out of 200,000 that attended. The personage of Christ himself has been appearing to Muslims across the Middle East in the form of visions, proclaiming that He is indeed the King of King and Lord of Lords, and that He will soon be returning to claim His throne.

The Work that ELM church does, and the incredible feeling of hearing 10,000 Muslims shouting, “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” as they defy the certain death sentence imposed for those who leave Islam and accept Christ as their Lord and personal Saviour.


DATE: 2nd April, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

KUWAIT
In an audio file posted on a Christian satellite TV channel, prince Abdullah al-Sabah declared his faith in Jesus Christ. Muslims have attacked him saying “he isn’t a member of the royal family”

According to reports, a Kuwaiti royal prince has become a follower of Jesus Christ. In an audio file posted with his name, he affirms that if he is killed because of a recording he made where he talks about his conversion, he firmly believes that he will meet Jesus Christ face-to-face. The news comes from Middle Eastern sources which state that al-Haqiqa – a Christian satellite TV channel in Arabic that transmits Christian religious programmes – broadcast an audio file attributed to the Kuwaiti prince, identified as Abdullah al-Sabah. The al-Sabahs are the royal family of Kuwait, a country rich in oil. The name Abdullah (servant of God) frequently appears in the Emir’s family tree.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SCOTLAND:
Tony Miano, a US preacher and a former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff, was arrested and remanded in custody to appear before Dundee Sheriff Court. He was part of a street preaching team holding a week-long mission in Scotland.

He was the second of the street pastors to address lunchtime shoppers in Dundee High Street. He talked about the nature of sin; about the different sins that Jesus had come to save people from when a woman began to shout at him.  He was preaching about sin in general and when he mentioned sexual sin including adultery, promiscuity and homosexual practice, the woman shouted that her son was gay. Tony Miano was immediately arrested by the police in what appears to be an overzealous reaction by the police.

The incident, adds to the number of arrests of Christian street evangelists for preaching from the Bible. It is indicative of the suppression of the freedom to speak  and live out the words of Jesus Christ in public and present the teachings of the Bible,” says Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

NORWAY:
Mohabat News are a group of Bible believing Christians who believe in propagating the word of God. They have made the spreading of the good news of God’s love and forgiveness among Iranians and the Farsi speaking peoples of Afghanistan and Tajikistan their primary goal.

The Lord has placed on their hearts to bring awareness of what is happening in the world to Farsi-speaking readers. Helping Christian and non-Christian Iranians raise their awareness of what goes in our world and in their own country.

Mohabat News acts as a cultural and social bridge between the world community and the peoples of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan and to better inform the worldwide Church of Jesus Christ and Christian ministries around the world about the life and the welfare of Christian minorities in these Farsi-speaking countries.


 DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

IRELAND:
Marriage has not been redefined in Northern Ireland – the Assembly has voted three times in less than two years against same-sex marriage.

Widdecombe said: “In a free country the baker should be able to refuse to take part in what is effectively for gay marriage in the knowledge that any customers who do not like that decision are free to buy their morning loaf elsewhere.

“But then it is a long time since Britain and freedom were synonymous”, she concluded. Ashers Baking Company in Northern Ireland hit the headlines this week after its Christian owners, the McArthur family, declined to produce a cake in support of gay marriage.

The manager of the business, Daniel McArthur, said they are happy to bake cakes for anyone, but could not fulfil that particular order as it clashed with the ethos of the business. He said: “We are Christians and our Christianity reaches to every point of our lives, whether that’s at home or in the day-to-day running of the business.”


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

IRELAND:
A Northern Ireland pastor has today been found not guilty of using “grossly offensive” words during a sermon made available online. Pastor James McConnell was on trial for comments he made about Islam. Speaking today, he made clear that he was standing against Islam as a belief, rather than individual Muslims.

Giving his decision, District Judge Liam McNally said the courts should be cautious of clamping down on speech – even if some found it “contemptible”.

The National Secular Society said that while it ‘strongly disagreed’ with McConnell’s words, the ruling was a “welcome reassertion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression”. McConnell was being prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act for saying in a sermon: “Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell”. Speaking after the result, McConnell said that he loved Muslims, but he was against “their theology and their beliefs”.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

FRANCE:
Chrisitianophobia, the growing concern of the Catholic and Protestant authorities about the persecution that Christians migrants suffer from Muslim migrants in Germany. Cardinal Rainer Woelki said at an ecumenical meeting in Düsseldorf Saturday 13 February, “The fear increases that politicians and the authorities do not take seriously enough such threats [against Christians in refugee centers]. The persecution of Christians is not a thing of past ages.”  He demanded that Germany defend greater religious freedom. For his part, Pastor Gottfried Martens said the “harassment” against the Christian migrants in refugee centers in Germany has increased. He affirmed that Christians were forced to watch beheading videos, were banned from the common kitchen because  they were”unclean”, beaten and Christian necklaces torn from their necks. World Watch Monitor reports that Christian migrants have been subjected to discrimination, harassment and violence from Muslim migrants with extremist views. One Iranian convert to Christianity was murdered.

The phenomenon has been observed in various locations across Europe, including in the camp of Grande-Synthe in northern France, where Iranian converts have been targeted by migrants from Iraq.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

PAKISTAN:
Both in the Islamic world and the Western world, Muslims continued to attack and slaughter Christians.

In Pakistan, “A mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily, according to family members who witnessed the attack,” reported NBC News:

Sajjad Maseeh, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24, were set upon by at least 1,200 people after rumors circulated that they had burned verses from the Quran, family spokesman Javed Maseeh told NBC News via telephone late Thursday. Their legs were also broken so they couldn’t run away. “They picked them up by their arms and legs and held them over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire,” he said. “And then they threw them inside the furnace.”


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

RUSSIA:
Russia is currently considering the possibility of initiating a draft decision of the UN Human Rights Council on the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa. Russian experts are now working on this document.

The scale of the problems demands the coordination of international efforts to protect Christians in the Middle East.
Further initiatives, new measures and relevant discussions aimed at finding durable solutions in this regard are strongly needed. Of course, we believe that Europe, including the UK, should make its contribution to these efforts, taking into account the Christian roots of the European civilization, which are now often forgotten for the sake of political correctness.  The fate of the region’s religious minorities is of the greatest concern. The mass exodus of Christians, who have been an integral part of the Middle Eastern mosaic for centuries, is particularly troubling.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

GERMANY:
Nine men who had earlier broken into, vandalized, and robbed several Christian churches in the Cologne area—including by stealing money from the collection boxes and liturgical vessels—were caught during a massive raid. Apparently, all of the arrested are German by nationality, but Muslim by background and heritage. Some were also identified as “Salafis”—especially fundamentalist Muslims—connected to international terrorist organizations. Some had even raised hundreds of thousands of Euros from native (and naive) Germans to support overseas “charities,” the proceeds of which actually went to terrorist groups such as ISIS.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

DENMARK:
In an apparent replication of the Islamic world’s modus operandi, Muslim refugees in the European nation are persecuting Christian refugees. According to 10news.dk, “Christian asylum seekers are repeatedly exposed to everything from harassment to threats and physical abuse by other refugees in the asylum centers, simply because they have converted from Islam to Christianity.” According to Niels Eriksen Nyman, who led the study, “There are certainly many more cases around the country than the ones we hear about in the church.


DATE: 23rd March, 2016 | REGION: EUROPE | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

CYPRUS:
With  the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the 200,000 Greek Christian Cypriots in the north escaped or were deported to the south. The village of Rizokarpaso, where the Christian Mass was prevented, once had a population of 3,000; now it has few Christians. The Turkish Republic has epitomized qualities of ethnic cleansing, disproportionate use of force, vandalism, religious intolerance, repression, and persecution. The  Christian community in the north has dwindled to about 450.

Restrictions have been put on Christian practices, as has access to religious sites and places of worship. In spite of international calls for the Turks to stop  desecrating and destroying Christian properties, demolitions of churches have occurred, including in May 2011 the 200-year-old one in the village of Vokolida. In all, at least 530 churches have been damaged, vandalized, or destroyed. Some have been converted to military storage facilities, stables, casinos, or nightclubs; 78 have been transformed into mosques.

The  Orthodox Church has been refused permission to restore Christian monuments.


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

NIGERIA:
In Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, a sitting governor is seeking two years jail terms for unregistered clerics, crusaders, preachers and leaders of religious groups who fails to duly register their religious organization, groups and even getting State’s approval for sermons before it is preached to the followers or general public. The state government is currently calling on all religious leaders in the state to be registered and get approved by the designated ministry or face the law.


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

MALI:
Christians, a minority in Mali, have paid a heavy price. For most of the year, armed Islamist groups ruled the region, banning the practice of other religions and desecrating and looting churches and other places of worship.

Thousands, including many Christians, fled and found refuge in the south, or in neighbouring countries such as Niger and Burkina Faso. Others fled to Bamako, the capital, and other safer towns in the south.


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

CAMEROON, CHAD, NIGERIA.

Hundreds of people were killed by female suicide bombers across Nigeria and Cameroon. It is believed that Islamic militants, Boko Haram carried out the attacks. The group has used women and young girls as suicide bombers in their latest series of attacks that have rocked the region. Many fear these females may have been those abducted by the militants and forced to strap on bombs in the militant group’s murderous onslaught.

In the fifth suicide attack to blast Cameroon in two weeks, a child bomber blew herself up on Saturday night(July 25) in a bar located in the town of Maroua, killing 20 and injuring at least 79. Only a week ago, Maroua had suffered an attack when two girls blew themselves up at a busy market—13 people were killed and at least 30 injured. The Cameroon army is part of the coalition battling the ravenous group. The town is the army’s headquarters for operations against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Cameroon has taken extensive security measures by banning motorbikes after dark and prohibited the full Islamic veil in Maroua.

During its six-year insurrection, Boko Haram has frequently used women and young girls as suicide bombers. Often the explosives are concealed under traditional religious garments

 


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

EGYPT:
As radical Islam is fervently trying to take over the country’s culture, there is a growing sentiment to reject Christians. Ten-year-old Marina is the youngest of six children – and the only girl – in a poor Christian family, living in a small village in Upper Egypt. In these remote, predominantly Muslim communities, Christians often find themselves excluded or experiencing discrimination.

Building or even repairing a church is difficult, if not impossible, and Christians find themselves placed at the end of the queue when it comes to things like education and welfare. Even more so, if you are a Christian girl. Socially and culturally, girls and women are viewed as far inferior to men. Although Marina’s parents are illiterate, they sent their children to the public school in the nearby village. However, in such places, many Christian children face discrimination. Placed at the back of the class, they can be ignored and marginalised.


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

GAMBIA:
Gambia’s president has declared the West African country an Islamic republic saying the decision was made because Islam is the religion of most citizens and the nation must break away from its colonial past. President Yahya Jammeh made the declaration at the end of a political rally held on Friday at the coastal village of Brufut, about 15km west of the capital Banjul.

“In line with the country’s religious identity and values, I proclaim Gambia as an Islamic state,” the Gambian leader said. About 90 percent of Gambia’s 1.8 million people are Muslim. The country gained independence from Britain in 1965. “Gambia cannot afford to continue the colonial legacy,” Jammeh said.

In an attempt to allay the fears of religious minorities, Jammeh said the rights of Gambia’s Christian community – who make up about eight percent of the country’s population – will be protected. Jammeh said there will be no mandates on dress. “We will be an Islamic state that would respect the rights of all citizens and non-citizens.”


DATE: 3rd March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

TANZANIA:
A series of bomb blasts in Tanzania’s island of Zanzibar is stoking fears that an Islamist breakaway movement is increasingly targeting Christians. Since 2010, the cases have been on the increase and Christians and their leaders—many of them originally from mainland Tanzania—say they are anxious.

In the latest attack on Feb. 24, assailants exploded a homemade bomb near the gate of St. Monica Anglican Cathedral, slightly damaging the church wall and a car park. Anglican bishop Michael Hafidh of Zanzibar told World Watch Monitor at the time he did not know who had planned and executed the attack.

Also Feb. 24, a similar explosive went off at the Mercury restaurant, a popular hangout for western tourists. A day earlier, four people were injured when a bomb was thrown into the Assemblies of God Church in the Founi area of the island. On Feb. 15, in the Tomondo area of the Island, a home-made bomb was thrown at the door of the Adventist Church during a worship service.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AMERICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

UNITED STATES:
Pastor Shot Dead In Church by His Younger brother. A community congregants and family members are now struggling with the shock and grief after  William Schooler, 70, a long time pastor and community advocate in Dayton, Ohio, was fatally gunned down in his office, allegedly by his younger brother in church on Sunday as the choir sang.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

UGANDA:
Children ‘sacrificed to bring good luck’ in Ugandan elections. Some cases of mutilation and murder of children as ‘good luck’ sacrifices have been reported during Ugandan elections. Mutilated bodies had been found –  some with hearts or livers ripped out and in some cases, the victims’ heads were missing. Corrupt “witch-doctors” have also allegedly been exploiting traditional beliefs to sell body parts. Children are vulnerable because they are believed  to be “spiritually clean”.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

KENYA:
Historically, Christians and Muslims have co-existed peacefully, but in recent years the northeast and coastal regions have become hotspots of Islamic extremism. Some of this has spilt over from neighbouring Somalia, the home of militant Islamist group al-Shabaab. Over 200 Christians were killed in Kenya in 2015; 147 of those were Christian students at the university in Garissa that was attacked in April. Fred was one of the students at the university in Garissa, attacked by al-Shabaab militants on 2 April 2015. “As I hid under the bed, I could hear the gunshots and screams of fellow students. After some time things went quiet, but I did not move.”

Two attackers entered the room where Fred was hiding. “They sat on the beds, changed their rifle magazines, and then shot at the walls to test them before going out to resume the killings. I stayed there for long – I do not know how long – but was eventually rescued by a Kenya Defense Force officer.”

Fred escaped death because he missed his Christian Union prayer meeting that morning. There were usually around 70 people at their prayer meetings. “Yet on that day, for reasons that can only be regarded as God’s intervention, about 50 members gave it a miss. Sadly, all 22 who went to pray died there.” Until recently, there was no history of religious conflict, and Christians and Muslims appeared to co-exist in relative peace.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

ETHIOPIA:
MOYALE, Ethiopia, May 17 (CDN) — His wife died shortly before he was falsely accused of desecrating the Quran, and by the time he was released from prison in southern Ethiopia, his two children, ages 6 and 15, were missing.

Tamirat Woldegorgis walked out of prison in Jijiga on April 25, limping, after spending nearly two years in custody, including months in a small cell with 50 other inmates that left one leg paralyzed.

Muslims in his native Hagarmariam village may have taken his children to further discourage him from having any influence in the area, said Woldegorgis, now staying with a friend in an undisclosed town. A member of the Full Gospel Church, Woldegorgis was arrested in August 2010 after a Muslim co-worker in the clothes-making business the two operated out of a rented home discovered he had inscribed “Jesus is Lord” on some cloth, area Christians said


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

ETHIOPIA:
Ethiopian youths persecuted for evangelism. When a group of 15 Christian Ethiopian youths decided to join an evangelistic outreach to another town, they never anticipated that the journey could result in physical assault, arrest, incarceration, and restrictive penalties imposed on the local Christian community. Trouble started on the first day of their visit when a group of local people opposed their evangelistic efforts and physically assaulted two of the female members of the group. Police quickly intervened, but instead of taking action against the aggressors, they arrested and jailed all 15 of the visiting youths.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

ERITREA:
‘the North Korea of Africa’.

Eritrea has also been called a ‘black hole’ and is compared next to North Korea for it’s media black outs.  There is virtually no media presence there.  Information comes at great difficulty through the UN and different aid agencies.  Very little aid is allowed into the country.

The nation is under the control of an absolute dictator who sees Christians as ‘agents of the West’. Believers have been imprisoned in horrific conditions in their thousands – some are kept in metal shipping containers in scorching temperatures, others are forced to work long hours doing manual labour. The government also sympathises with Islamic extremist groups such as al-Shabaab. Thirty Christians were killed in this reporting year, and others have had their homes raided, attacked and damaged.

When Senet* was arrested for refusing to put the state before her faith in Jesus, she was put in a small cell with 55 other women.

“We were so tightly crammed in that we could not sit properly, let alone lie down to sleep. We were forced to work long hours without rest. My immediate commander was especially cruel. “But in a dream one night I saw myself fighting with and defeating a very strong man. In the dream I was surprised by my strength and wondered how I had managed to defeat him.” The government enlists community members to spy on Christians.


DATE: 1st , 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SOMALIA:
Somalia has issued a ban on Christmas celebrations in the Muslim-majority country after the Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei announced a similar prohibition earlier this month with the threat of five years in jail.

Sheikh Mohamed Khayrow, director general of Somalia’s religious affairs ministry, said on Tuesday that Christmas and New Year celebrations threatened the country’s Muslim faith.
“There should be no activity at all,” he told reporters, adding security forces had been ordered to break up any such festivities.
“All events related to Christmas and New Year celebrations are contrary to Islamic culture, which could damage the faith of the Muslim community.”


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SOMALIA:
If a Christian is discovered in Somalia, they are unlikely to live to see another day.

Just the suspicion that someone is a Christian can lead to a rushed beheading. A Christian man was shot dead in Bosaso in February 2015 because sheikhs (Islamic leaders) suspected him of ‘propagating Christianity’. At least ten Christians were forced to flee the country and ten others went into hiding to avoid the same fate. The militant Islamist group al-Shabaab has declared it ‘wants Somalia free of all Christians’.


DATE: 1st March, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

INDIA:
Muslim doctor converts to Christianity and plants 50 churches. Growing up as a devout Muslim, Sanjay* gave his life to Jesus and now, despite persecution, shares the gospel with everyone he meets. Since his conversion, Sanjay has led hundreds to faith in Jesus and planted 50 small house churches for believers with Muslim backgrounds.

Sanjay’s journey to faith started when he was in hospital in Kolkata, India, having chemotherapy.

“I was crying, and the one name that I did not want to believe in came back to me again and again – the name of Jesus,” he says. “I was so weak and so sick. So I prayed to the Lord Jesus and said, ‘will you heal me?'” Slowly, Sanjay began to feel better. Knowing that something had changed, he returned to the hospital for tests and discovered the cancer was gone. He was healed. “I saw that only Jesus can save my life,” he says, “nobody else can.” Realising that it was Jesus who restored his health, Sanjay gave his life to Christ and got baptised.


DATE: 26th February, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SOUTH SUDAN:
‘The brutality and violence is indescribable’. After years of political unrest and violence, the people of South Sudan are still forced to live in horrendous conditions, and are being driven to starvation. A report compiled by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) describes citizens being forced to eat grass and berries to avoid starving to death. One South Sudanese trying to flee the crisis told ACN that though they had lived through war in the past, “the brutality and violence of the struggles this time is indescribable”.


DATE: 26th February, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SUDAN:
“The latest cases are representative of a much larger campaign by Sudan’s government to eradicate Christianity,” Sudanese religious freedom activist Kamal Fahmi told World Watch Monitor.

“Foreign Christian workers have been deported. Sudan has stopped the import of Christian literature and scriptures, while confiscating most of the Christian literature in the country and closing the only Christian bookshop in the capital Khartoum,” Fahmi said.

 “Torture and arrest of converts from Islam is also commonplace” he added.


DATE: 26th February, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SUDAN:
Christian Leaders Kept in Sudan Since December Un-charged, But Incommunicado. Sudanese authorities are keeping two Christian pastors in an unknown location since mid-December, with no official charges yet filed against them, sources have told World Watch Monitor. Both Rata and Taour remain in custody in an unknown location, with no access by either family or lawyers.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: AFRICA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SUDAN:
Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian accused of being an apostate from Islam, was released in June 2014 after a world outcry. Earlier in 2014, Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy and flogging for ‘adultery’ (marriage to a South Sudanese Christian). During her six-month incarceration, she gave birth to her baby girl while shackled to the floor, while her 20-month-old son Martin was kept with her in prison.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

CHINA:
Chinese officials are banned from religious activities even after they retire, state media said on Friday.

Reuters reports that Communist Party officials must oppose what the government calls “cults” and not become religious, even after they have left state service, according to new rules issued from the party’s powerful Organisation Department. Although the Chinese constitution allows for freedom of belief, in reality the officially-atheist ruling Communist Party keeps a tight rein on religious activities. Officials who are party members are not supposed to practise religion.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

PAKISTAN:
Pakistan split over pope’s appeal against the death penalty. Since December 2014, Pakistan has been ranked third in terms of executions worldwide. For Catholic priest, the pope’s statement “was widely covered in the newspapers; at least everybody got to read it.” Muslims react negatively. “The pope’s appeal is part of the international pressure. They should avoid telling us what to do,” said one. “We are Muslims and will follow our own law”.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

Asia and Middle East lead in arms imports. In its 2015 annual report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) indicates an amazing jump in imports by Vietnam (699 weapons per cent), Saudi Arabia (275 per cent) and Qatar (279 per cent). China takes third spot as exporter after the United States and Russia, increasing its sales by 88, including to Africa. Five Western European countries (France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Italy) represent 21 per cent of weapons exports in the world.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

MALAYSIA:
Kota Kinabalu, Islamic proselytizing of children in Catholic schools. Sister Rita Chew, president of the Educational Commission of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, denounces episodes of forced conversions in elementary schools: “Some parents have found that their children are being taught Islamic prayers.” The government denies this, but “we know that they want to decrease the number of Christians where there are so many.”


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

ITALY:
The Pope seeks moratorium on executions, based on the rules set forth in the Ten Commandments. Pope Francis asked for the global abolition of death penalty. He said that the commandment of “You shall not kill” continues to be equally and absolutely valid for both the innocent and the guilty. He used a few of his strongest words to make his case against capital punishment. The pontiff also asked Catholic politicians all over the world to make a courageous and also an exemplary gesture through seeking moratoriums on the executions during the present Holy Year of the Church. This Holy Year runs its course in November.’


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

PAKISTAN:
Christians and Muslims divided on “State sermons” The Provincial Assembly of Sindh wants to introduce a law to control the preaching. The sermons will be released only if previously approved by the government. All Islamic parties oppose the draft. The Catholic Church points out the pros and cons. “The new law will curb sectarianism,” but “in the future we may also be asked to register our homilies”.


DATE: 25th February, 2016 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

SYRIA:
A Muslim imprisoned by the Islamic State for drawing the Virgin Mary Khalifa el-Khoder spent seven months in a jihadi prison for drawing Our Lady on a wall in Aleppo as a sign of peace. In his story, he tells of mosques turned into prisons, of overcrowded cells, and of every day torture.


DATE: 22nd October, 2015 | REGION: ASIA | CONTRIBUTOR: adebesin ‘DAPO

CHINA:
Anger has risen over a Communist party campaign that has seen crosses stripped from the roofs of at least 1,200 Chinese churches after authorities removed another cross despite a month-long sit-in by churchgoers.

Nearly two dozen members of the Ya village church in Huzhou have been camping out on the building’s roof since early July in a desperate ,Mattempt to prevent the toppling of their cross.

The church is in Zhejiang, an eastern province that has witnessed hundreds of cross removals and church demolitions since late 2013 as part of what activists and academics see as a deliberate campaign to slow Christianity’s spread.



To The Glory of God And To Humanity. No Copyrights. November, 2014.