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Stories tagged with: persecuted church

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  • NEW - 37 minutes ago

    'Trying to be Jesus': 4 testimonies of persecution

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (37 minutes ago)

    Screen capture from Facebook
    SOUTHWEST ASIA (BP) -- Hana describes her most distressing experience as a persecuted Christian in Southwest Asia as perhaps her greatest joy.

    She was in the hospital trying to console her closest friend, who lost her unborn baby and suffered severe injuries during a church bombing.

    "Sitting in a dingy room with somebody who needed sunlight and fresh air, and trying to be that sunlight and fresh air for them, trying to console them, trying to be Jesus to them," Hana described the moment to Baptist Press Jan. 15. "Then perhaps I will change my statement and say that that wasn't the worst experience, but perhaps it's been the most rewarding and beautiful experience." Read More

  • NEW - 2 hours ago

    Open Doors: Christian persecution up 14% worldwide

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 (2 hours ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The number of Christians suffering high to extremely high persecution is 14 percent higher in 2019, Open Doors reported, counting 245 million individuals globally.

    Persecution driven by Islamic extremism and Communist authoritarianism in the world's two most populous countries, India and China, marked the increase, Open Doors said today (Jan. 16) in releasing its 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries with the most extreme Christian persecution.

    "Islamic radicalism continues to dominate and influence all spheres of life for Christians, and we are watching China and India very closely," Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry said in releasing the latest findings. "The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unraveling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked, imprisoned or killed." Read More

  • 'In Jesus' name': Evangelicals meet Mideast leaders

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, January 07, 2019 (9 days ago)

    Twitter photo
    MIDDLE EAST (BP) -- Southern Baptists are praying in Jesus' name in the offices of Muslim princes and presidents hosting evangelicals on tours promoting religious freedom in the Middle East.

    In the office of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Jerry Johnson of the National Religious Broadcasters led a prayer for bin Salman just days after the killing of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, in a visit officially unrelated to Khashoggi's disappearance. Read More

  • Chinese police disrupt weekend worship

    by June Cheng/WORLD , posted Tuesday, December 18, 2018 (29 days ago)

    CHINA (BP) -- Members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, tried to meet together for Sunday worship (Dec. 16) only to reportedly have police detain about 60 people and shut down outdoor services. Several small groups found spaces to meet and worship without incident.

    One week after Chinese authorities cracked down on the prominent unregistered church and arrested more than 100 of its leaders and members, congregants arrived at their building to find the metal gate locked and plainclothes officers and riot police blocking all the entrances, according to a church prayer update. Police arrested some of the congregants who showed up for Sunday worship. See related Baptist Press story. Read More

  • Pakistan added to worst religious liberty violators

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, December 12, 2018 (one month ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The United States added a single country to its list of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom but designated for the first time nine non-state organizations for their violence against people of faith.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Tuesday (Dec. 11) he had added Pakistan to the list of "countries of particular concern" (CPCs), a category reserved under federal law for governments that have committed or tolerated "systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom."

    The CPC designations -- actually made Nov. 28 by Pompeo -- also included nine of the countries named in December 2017 by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson: Burma (Myanmar), China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Read More

  • Chinese Christians: We will 'stand strong'

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, December 11, 2018 (one month ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    SICHAUN PROVINCE, China (BP) -- As China continues to hunt down and arrest members of a house church in Sichuan Province, many of the 100 or more Christians arrested reportedly pledged in advance to persevere even until death.

    Gina Goh, Southeast Asia regional manager for International Christian Concern, said many leaders of Autumn Rain Covenant Church counted the cost and pledged faithfulness in advance of arrests at homes, workplaces and on the streets that have continued since Dec. 9.

    "I think a lesson we can learn from them is they continue to say that, 'No matter what may come, we will continue to serve the Lord. We will continue to stand strong in our faith,'" Goh told Baptist Press today (Dec. 11). "As was demonstrated in this church, ... their pastor, a lot of elders, actually wrote letters to their congregation saying that, 'We will not bend, even if it means jail, even if it means death. We will continue to preserve our faith.'" Read More

  • Pakistan may review Bibi acquittal, forbids travel

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, November 06, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from Twitter
    LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi's freedom is once again in jeopardy, just days after Pakistan's Supreme Court acquitted her of blasphemy and freed her from death row.

    The government is allowing her detractors to request a review of the Oct. 31 acquittal and are forbidding Bibi to flee the country, the Guardian reported Nov. 2. Angry mobs of thousands in several cities are demanding her death.

    While Bibi's exact location remains undisclosed, the government essentially signed Bibi's death warrant by forbidding her international travel, her supporters said. The nation was said to be paralyzed by street mobs for three days after the verdict, inciting fears of civil war. Read More

  • Asia Bibi freed, conviction overturned

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 31, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from AFP TV
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi was released from Pakistan's death row today (Oct. 31) after the nation's Supreme Court reversed her 2010 conviction of blasphemy.

    Religious liberty advocates globally expressed jubilation and pleas that Pakistan's military protect Bibi. Meanwhile, Muslim extremists reportedly began burning tires in the streets. Pakistan issued a heightened security alert hours in advance of the announcement, said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.

    "There are security precautions I'm sure being taken in Pakistan," Sekulow said in a Facebook video before daybreak. "It's a complete victory. She's been in jail for almost nine years. But she now will be returned to her family." Read More

  • 'Security' only reason for Asia Bibi verdict delay

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 23, 2018 (2 months ago)

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Security is the only reason Pakistan's Supreme Court is delaying its ruling in an Oct. 8 appeal of Christian mother Asia Bibi's blasphemy conviction, a religious liberty expert told Baptist Press.

    "There's only one reason, security," said Shaheryar Gill, senior litigation counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). "Generally the Supreme Court announces decisions the same day. In politically high-profile cases, or in these type security cases, these are the only times when the court doesn't announce.

    "And they don't even take that long actually, but this time it seems like they're taking a little bit longer," said Gill, who checks the court's website daily for updates and is in touch with the ACLJ's office in Pakistan. Read More

  • Chibok girls’ struggles subject of HBO film

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 16, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Screen capture from HBO preview video
    ABUJA, Nigeria (BP) – "And by God's grace, we'll make it," one of 276 Christian schoolgirls Boko Haram kidnapped from Chibok proclaims in the preview of an upcoming HBO documentary on the captives who've been released.

    "Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram" showcases 103 Chibok schoolgirls struggling to regain normalcy nearly five years after their ordeal began. More than 100 Chibok girls remain captive or missing since the April 2014 raid on the Government Girls Secondary School in the predominantly Christian town of Chibok. Read More