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Stories tagged with: the persecuted church

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  • Still jailed in Turkey, Brunson gave 'bold' witness

    by David Roach, posted Thursday, July 19, 2018 (yesterday)

    Submitted photo
    ALIAGA, 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 Christ

    by Caroline Anderson, posted Thursday, July 05, 2018 (15 days ago)

    IMB Photo
    NEPAL (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

  • UN-related religious liberty committee led by ADF rep

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, July 02, 2018 (18 days ago)

    NEW YORK (BP) -- Days after the U.S. withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council of 47 nations, a U.S. attorney has been named head of a multifaith nongovernmental group advising the U.N. on religious freedoms globally.

    Alliance Defending Freedom International's Kelsey Zorzi began serving June 28 as president of the NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, formed in 1991 to advocate for international agreements upholding such freedoms from within U.N. headquarters in New York. Read More

  • Pastor: 120 Nigerian Christians killed leaving funeral

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, June 27, 2018 (23 days ago)

    Screen capture from Empire One News in Nigeria
    PLATEAU, Nigeria (BP) -- Armed Fulani herdsmen killed 120 Christian mourners and injured others leaving a weekend funeral in Plateau State, a Nigerian pastor reported, although varying casualty counts exceed 200.

    "Fulani people attacked our members who attended the burial of the father (of) one of our clergy," Pam Chollom, a pastor who leads the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) Regional Church Council, told the Premium Times of Nigeria June 24. "The armed Fulani ambushed the sympathizers on their way back from the burial, attacked and killed 34 persons from Nekan village, 39 others from Kufang, and 47 people from Ruku village." Read More

  • Pew: Religious restrictions spreading globally

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, June 22, 2018 (28 days ago)

    iStock
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious restrictions continue to spread globally in Pew Research Center's ninth annual study of laws and social hostilities in 198 countries, although most countries still rank low to moderate on a study scale researchers devised.

    Less than half of the countries, 42 percent, ranked high or very high on Pew's scale of restrictions including both laws and social hostilities, up from 40 percent in 2015 and 29 percent in the baseline study period of 2007, Pew said. Read More

  • 3 evangelicals among latest USCIRF appointees

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, May 18, 2018 (2 months ago)

    WASHINGTON (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 churches

    by Morning Star News, posted Monday, May 14, 2018 (2 months ago)

    iStock
    EAST 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 battle

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, May 11, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo from Twitter
    BORNO 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 revival

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, May 10, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from the New York Times
    North 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 terrorism

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, May 01, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Christian Association of Nigeria photo
    ABUJA, 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