September 1, 2014
The Persecuted Church
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American imprisoned in North Korea rooted in Christian faith
PYONGYANG, North Korea (BP) -- The American citizen held in North Korea whose profile was raised by a televised outburst from Dennis Rodman is a devout Christian, according to a family-run website advocating for his release. Kenneth Bae, 44, of Lynnwood, Wash., has been sentenced to 15 years in a North Korean labor camp for a "crime against the state." He has been imprisoned for more than 14 months, longer than any American has been detained in North Korea. "Several years ago, Kenneth saw an opportunity that combined his entrepreneurial spirit with his personal convictions as a Christian," the website,, states. "He believed in showing compassion to the North Korean people by contributing to their economy in the form of tourism."
South Sudan Christians see glimmer of hope
SOUTH SUDAN (BP) -- A breakthrough between warring factions in South Sudan has provided a glimmer of hope that the mostly Christian nation may escape civil war.
Pakistan court heightens Christians' wariness
LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- A Pakistani court's order for only the death sentence to be levied for insulting Islam's prophet will further endanger Christians and heighten the powers of the Islamic court that issued it, Morning Star News reported from sources inside the country.
Nigeria & Islamic terrorism: U.S. seeks to stem the bloodshed; more than 650 killed since 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. (BP) -- The U.S. State Department's designation of Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru as terrorists will heighten awareness worldwide of the groups' atrocities but will require the cooperation of the government in Nigeria to save Christians from terrorism there, a Southern Baptist Nigerian relations expert said.
Saudis win U.N. rights council seat
The Saudi regime continues to "bear the hallmarks" of its "religious and racial bigotry."
-- Nina Shea & Darara Gubo
WASHINGTON (BP) -- Saudi Arabia won a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council this fall although the iron-fisted kingdom has shown little appetite for actual human rights.
Egypt: Militants, criminals extort Christians
"If you hurt a Christian, no one is going to do anything to you."
-- Mina Thabet, Egyptian Christian
CAIRO (BP) -- Islamic extremists and criminals are extorting Christians in Egyptian towns, while trouble brews over the country's new protest law and constitution.
Boko Haram labeled 'foreign terrorist' group
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. State Department has designated the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram an official foreign terrorist organization, giving the U.S. added power to weaken the group.
Christians in Syria face mounting horrors
"As a mother and as a wife I want to leave, but as a Christian I want to stay."
-- Syrian mother in Damascas
DAMASCUS, Syria (BP) -- For Hanna, a Syrian Christian mother living in Damascus, the country's civil war is more than just statistics and news articles.
Kazakh Baptists face raids, fines, deportation
OSLO, Norway (BP) -- Authorities in Kazakhstan have fined a Baptist pastor for leading a congregation without state registration and deported another as part of an onging campaign to stamp out religious communities not under the government's thumb.
N. Korean Christians persevere & pray
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- One of the first things Eric Foley learned about the North Korean underground church is that it is not to be pitied.
Prison transfer puts Saeed Abedini 'directly at risk' in Iran
TEHRAN, Iran (BP) -- The life of American pastor Saeed Abedini is "directly at risk" after he was transferred Nov. 3 to an "even more dangerous" Iranian prison, according to Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.
CALL TO PRAYER: The persecuted church
Information about the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Nov. 3 is relayed by Rob Phillips of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today, Phillips writes, noting that an estimated 75 percent of acts of religious intolerance are directed against Christians.
Eritrean Christian dies in prison
ERITREA (BP) -- A Christian woman perished from pneumonia in an Eritrean prison after facing harsh conditions and denial of medical treatment -- all because she would not renounce her faith.
Persecution, poverty small price for 20-something Asian believer
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Sweating under the hot Southeast Asian sun, a young man watches fire ants swarm across the branches of a tree. He stretches out a gaunt arm and scoops up a handful of the red insects.
CALL TO PRAYER: For the generations ahead
It is very likely our children and our children's children will bear the brunt of the full wrath of a society that has forgotten God, unless we see a massive spiritual awakening that stirs our nation once again. Roger ("Sing") Oldham tells us how to pray for these vulnerable descendants.

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