The Persecuted ChurchFound 320 stories for this story collection.
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China shutters churches, demands recant of faithBEIJING (BP) -- China is raiding and shuttering churches, assaulting worshipers, destroying crosses and burning Bibles in escalating persecution of Christians under a Communist constitution that claims to grant religious freedom.
Police shut down the largest house church in Beijing Sunday (Sept. 9), the multisite Zion Church, Reuters reported. The Chaoyang District Civil Affairs Bureau told the church it was illegal because it wasn't registered with the government-controlled Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM).
A week earlier in Henan Province, federal and local government officials of various ranks stormed several churches and assaulted worshipers, it was widely reported. Read More
Hindu nationalists host world conference in U.S.CHICAGO (BP) -- An international Hindu confab in the U.S. that organizers describe as a unity initiative will include radical and violent Hindu nationalists, International Christian Concern charged today (Sept. 5).
The second World Hindu Congress convening Sept. 7-9 in Chicago will encourage the use of Hindu philosophy, according to event organizers, to address issues of politics, education and commerce affecting the Hindu diaspora. About 2,500 Hindu leaders and others are expected to attend.
Organizers include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of America, a CIA-classified "militant religious outfit" that, according to ICC, has defended and promoted attacks on religious minorities in India including Christians, Muslims and socially disparaged Dalits. Read More
U.S. advocates for persecuted pastors in Turkey & IranWASHINGTON (BP) -- In longstanding cases of Christian persecution, American pastor Andrew Brunson remains under house arrest in Turkey as the U.S. government ramps up efforts for his release, while pastor Youcef Nadarkhani begins a 10-year prison term in Iran's notorious Evin prison.
In the latest bilateral move, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration rejected an offer from Turkish President Recep Erdogan that could have secured Brunson's release. Erdogan offered to release Brunson if Trump dropped an investigation of one of Turkey's largest state-owned banks, Halkbank, regarding alleged violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 19. Read More
Christian 'genocide': naming Nigeria's mass slaughterMIDDLE BELT, Nigeria (BP) -- The mass slaughter of Christians in Nigeria is calculated genocide abetted by the government in the nation that is Africa's most Christian, cries a growing number of leaders calling on the United States to intervene.
Evangelical John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, is among the latest to describe as genocide the killing of some 6,000 Christians this year alone in Nigeria by jihadist Fulani herdsmen aided by resurging Boko Haram terrorists. Read More
ChinaAid to launch petition for imprisoned pastorWASHINGTON (BP) -- The human rights organization ChinaAid is initiating a petition drive to free John Cao, a Chinese pastor who has been imprisoned since March 2017.
According to ChinaAid, Cao was "unjustly framed" -- sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $3,000 -- for "organizing illegal border crossing" in a ministry that has helped build 16 schools serving 2,000 students among the impoverished Wa people group in neighboring Myanmar (Burma).
Because Cao had often taken the same route into Myanmar, ChinaAid said it believes Chinese authorities targeted him "because of his religious beliefs." Read More
7,000 churches, mosques still closed in Rwanda shutdownKIGALI, Rwanda (BP) -- Nearly 7,000 churches and mosques remain closed in Rwanda months after the government began shutting down houses of worship, the Rwandan government has reported.
The government continues to close houses of worship, citing various building code violations and requirements that pastors complete theological education at accredited schools, World Watch Monitor reported July 27.
Requirements continue to mount since new laws in the country were first enacted in February, World Watch reported. These requirements reportedly include such measures as the mandatory installment of a certain canvas ceiling considered a fire hazard. Read More
Imprisoned U.S. pastor in Turkey moves to house arrestIZMIR, Turkey (BP) -- American pastor Andrew Brunson has been granted transfer from a Turkish prison to house arrest awaiting an Oct. 12 hearing, his attorneys said today (July 25).
The move comes a week after a Turkish court denied Brunson's plea for release after nearly two years' imprisonment on allegations of terrorism and spying. The longtime pastor and native of Black Mountain, N.C., has instead been charged with "the crime of 'Christianization,'" his defenders at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said.
"We have confirmed that the Turkish government has issued an order releasing Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison and allowing him to be returned to his home in Turkey," ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a press release. "This is a critical first step that we believe will result in the freedom of Pastor Brunson so he can return to the United States and be reunited with his family." Read More
Uzbekistan's religious liberty violations mountTASHKENT, Uzbekistan (BP) -- Two new requirements for religious organizations seeking government recognition in Uzbekistan are said to evidence the Central Asian nation's continued restriction of religious liberty.
Comprising five former Soviet republics, Central Asia includes Uzbekistan and two other countries on the U.S. State Department's list of countries of particular concern (CPCs) for religious liberty violations: Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Another Central Asian nation, Kazakhstan, has been recommended for inclusion on the State Department's religious liberty watch list by the U.S. Commission on ... Read More
Still jailed in Turkey, Brunson gave 'bold' witnessALIAGA, Turkey (BP) -- American pastor Andrew Brunson's continued imprisonment in Turkey following a July 18 court hearing is probably an act of political maneuvering rather than Islamic persecution, two Islamic studies professors say.
Resurgent conservative Islam in Turkey is, however, part of the background, the professors say, that led to Brunson's October 2016 arrest and subsequent imprisonment over what religious liberty watchdogs have called unfounded charges of terrorism and espionage.
"I am not in a position to speculate on why Brunson (as opposed to other Americans, who are permitted to practice their Christianity freely in Turkey) was arrested," said Ant Greenham, associate professor of missions and Islamic studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. "False accusations seem to have played a role. However, [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is now in a position of greater strength, following the lifting of [a] state of emergency" July 18. Read More
How worship songs brought a Buddhist to ChristNEPAL (BP) -- Pavan* grew up feeling unsettled in his destiny. As the firstborn son in his family, he thought he would have to follow in his father's footsteps and become a Buddhist monk.
But music intervened into this cultural tradition that should have dictated his future.
Pavan, now a Christian pastor, recounted his past and the persistent fear that once plagued him: He had been afraid of dying. Read More