The Persecuted ChurchFound 307 stories for this story collection.
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U.S. must have stake in Nigerian peace, speakers sayWASHINGTON (BP) -- The United States has a responsibility to act to curtail extremist violence in Nigeria, religious freedom and human rights advocates from both countries said in a Capitol Hill briefing.
The June 5 event, sponsored by International Christian Concern (ICC), focused on a West African country that is by far the largest population-wise on the continent and is plagued by religious- and ethnic-based violence especially from Islamic forces. Among the 25 most populous countries in the world, Nigeria has the highest level of social hostilities, according to a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center. Nigeria ranks behind only Iraq and Afghanistan on the 2017 Global Terrorism Index produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Read More
148 Boko Haram sex slaves, forced laborers rescuedBORNO, Nigeria (BP) -- Nearly 150 children and adults enslaved by Boko Haram terrorists for sex and labor have been rescued from a remote camp in Borno state, Nigeria's defense leaders said June 4.
"The rescued hostages, comprising 15 men, 58 women and 75 children revealed ... that the Boko Haram terrorists had sexually violated the females and used them as sex slaves," the military said in a press briefing after the June 3 rescue. "The men were not spared, as they were regularly engaged in forced labor while in the captivity of the terrorists." Read More
3 evangelicals among latest USCIRF appointeesWASHINGTON (BP) -- Three evangelicals are among the latest appointees to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins, FRC founder and American Values President Gary Bauer, and best-selling author and Kairos Company President Johnnie Moore were named to the commission charged with protecting religious freedoms globally.
Richard Land, who advocated for passage for the International Religious Freedom Act that established USCIRF in 1998, applauded the additions. Read More
Mother's Day suicide bombers hit Indonesia churchesEAST JAVA, Indonesia (BP) -- Islamic extremists in Indonesia, including a family of suicide bombers that targeted three churches, launched multiple attacks beginning Mother's Day that reportedly killed at least 25 people.
East Java police told reporters today (May 14) that 13 of the 25 dead were the assailants, according to the Jakarta Post. The newspaper reported that 12 worshippers died in the church attacks. The bombings, the deadliest in Indonesia in more than a decade, also wounded 40 people. Read More
1,000 Boko Haram captives freed in ongoing battleBORNO STATE, Nigeria (BP) -- More than 1,000 captives were freed and 50 Boko Haram terrorists killed this week in ongoing fighting in Borno State, Nigerian military officials said.
Women, children and a few young men forced to fight for Boko Haram comprised the freed captives, Nigerian Brig. Gen. Texas Chukwu said in a May 7 press release. He did not give an exact number of those freed, but said the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) retrieved the captives from Boko Haram enclaves in four villages in the Baba local government area of Borno State. Read More
North Korea prisoners' release spurs hope for revivalNorth Korea released Christians, from left, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak Song and Tony Kim. CNN screengrabWASHINGTON (BP) -- The release of three American Christians from North Korea is hopefully an early sign of Christian revival in the Asian nation, Southern Baptist consultant and native Korean Paul Kim told Baptist Press.
"It's bigger than just releasing the three individuals," said Kim, Asian American relations consultant to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. "It's much, much bigger, (which) history will tell later. I think there will be very exciting things happening."
He anticipates change from a more spiritual than political trajectory. Read More
Nigerian Christians protest Fulani, Islamic terrorismABUJA, Nigeria (BP) -- Nigerian Christians are peacefully protesting terrorist attacks as advocacy groups urge Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to protect the church.
Churches across the country responded to the Christian Association of Nigeria's (CAN) call to peacefully protest April 29, CAN said, with additional protests planned May 6.
Protest marches with Christian songs and prayers preceded Buhari's April 30 meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, where advocacy groups hoped Trump would pressure Buhari to enact counterterrorism measures. Read More
Syrian couple 'lost everything,' gained Christ
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (BP) -- Alvaro and Haya Altaras* know what it's like to be homeless and to lose everything they own.
The Syrian natives had to leave the country where they were born several years ago due to civil war. They went across the border and became refugees living in Jordan.
But that was really a new beginning.
"I lost everything, but I gained what I needed most -- Jesus Christ," Altaras shared during an April 5 chapel service for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board staff in Franklin, Tenn. Read More
Korea summit: historic, but human rights talk 'absent'PANMUNJOM, South Korea (BP) -- A historic meeting today (April 27) between the leaders of North and South Korea left religious liberty advocates optimistic about peace on the Korean Peninsula but pessimistic about the advance of human rights in the North.
Paul Kim, Asian American advisor to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, said the prospect of peace between the two Koreas is "like a dream" and what many South Koreans have prayed for daily through several decades -- though human rights violations in North Korea continue to be a ... Read More
USCIRF: Persecution grows despite elevated awarenessWASHINGTON (BP) -- While egregious acts of religious persecution are more likely to cause global protest 20 years after the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, many countries are increasingly denying such freedoms, a federal watchdog commission reported today (April 25).
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) noted the dichotomy in releasing its 2018 Annual Report on 2017 religious freedom violations in 28 countries.
"Sadly, religious freedom conditions deteriorated in many countries in 2017, often due to increasing authoritarianism or under the guise of countering terrorism," USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark said in releasing the report. Read More