April 19, 2014
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The Persecuted Church
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John Kerry calls for Iran to release pastor
WASHINGTON (BP) -- With a new president in Iran vowing to improve international relations, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry Wednesday (Aug. 28) called on Iran to release an Iranian-American pastor held captive for his faith.
Uzbek authorities trying to seize Baptist land
OSLO, Norway (BP) -- Authorities in Uzbekistan -- a country criticized for persecuting religious communities -- are attempting to seize land the state-registered Baptist Union is using for summer camps for children and families.
Kazakh Baptists fined for worship meetings
OSLO, Norway (BP) -- Authorities in Kazakhstan have fined 18 Baptists for participating in religious activity not authorized by the state, continuing the government's drive to bring religion under its control.
Uzbek authorities trying to seize Baptist land
OSLO, Norway (BP) -- Authorities in Uzbekistan -- a country criticized for persecuting religious communities -- are attempting to seize land the state-registered Baptist Union is using for summer camps for children and families.
U.S. pastor in Iran loses court appeal
TEHRAN (BP) -- An appeals court in Tehran has rejected an appeal by Iranian American pastor Saeed Abedini, whose eight-year prison sentence has garnered widespread international attention.
Pakistani girl's accuser gets reprieve
LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- A court in Islamabad has dismissed charges against a Muslim cleric arrested on suspicion of framing a Christian girl for blasphemy.
Egypt, U.S. pastors urge prayer for faith to rise from mayhem
CAIRO (BP) -- "Anger. Killing. Blood." These are words that currently describe Egypt, said Mounir Sobhy Yacoub Malaty, pastor of First Baptist Church, Cairo.
"Attacks have not stopped. Innocent people are being killed. Big numbers of protesters themselves are dying," he lamented. But a fragile calm seems to be settling across Cairo as life slowly returns to normal. In spite of the presence of armored personnel carriers, traffic once again moves along the city's major thoroughfares, and people are returning to work. Just days before, Egyptians experienced violent clashes that left nearly 900 people dead and more than 4,000 injured.
CALL TO PRAYER: For persecuted believers
Oklahoma Baptist prayer leader Gregory Frizzell calls for prayer for Christians in Egypt and other lands of persecution.
CALL TO PRAYER: For persecuted believers
Oklahoma Baptist prayer leader Gregory Frizzell calls for prayer for Christians in Egypt and other lands of persecution.
Sri Lankan churches attacked, closed
SRI LANKA (BP) -- It was just a normal Sunday. Around 75 people gathered in the house rented as their church building for worship. Praise music wafted out the door. Prayers lifted to heaven. Pastor Saman Perera* stood behind the pulpit and asked the congregation to open their Bibles.
Q&A: Sri Lankan believers discuss persecution
SRI LANKA (BP) -- We sat there drinking tea; just a small group of people gathered for house church in Sri Lanka. I casually mentioned that some friends in America sent questions for me to ask persecuted Christians and wondered if they'd mind answering.
Eritrean students tortured for following Christ
ASMARA, Eritrea (BP) -- Eritrean authorities are punishing 39 high school students for their Christian faith, excluding them from a graduation ceremony and subjecting them to beatings and hard labor, according to Christian support organization Open Doors.
Vietnam human rights bill approved by House
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. House of Representatives has approved nearly unanimously a bill designed to advance religious freedom and other human rights in Vietnam.
Vietnam's human rights abuses receive congressional attention
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Human rights abuses in Vietnam are receiving attention from the U.S. House of Representatives, with a particular focus on the religious oppression of ethnic minority Christians and other groups.
Beyond churches, Sudan regime targeting foreign aid workers
LONDON (BP) -- Security forces in Sudan reportedly are focusing on the removal of foreigners who work for hundreds of foreign aid organizations within its borders.
The concern, raised by two workers in statements to Baptist Press, follows a report on religious freedom in predominantly Muslim Sudan released July 9 by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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