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Stories tagged with: persecuted church

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  • Pakistan may review Bibi acquittal, forbids travel

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, November 06, 2018 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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 (one month 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

  • 'Pour out Your Holy Spirit on … Trump,' Brunson prays

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, October 15, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from Global News
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Just a day after his release from incarceration in Turkey, freed American pastor Andrew Brunson prayed for President Donald Trump in an Oct. 13 meeting in the White House Oval Office.

    "Lord God, I ask that you pour out your Holy Spirit on President Trump, that You give him supernatural wisdom to accomplish all the plans you have for this country and for him," Brunson prayed, according to a video CBS news tweeted. Brunson's family, Congressional members and media attended the 2:30 p.m. meeting. Read More

  • Imprisoned pastor Andrew Brunson free at last

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, October 12, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from Reuters
    ALIAGA, Turkey (BP) -- Pastor Andrew Brunson reportedly will fly to the United States Oct. 13, released after two years' incarceration on disputed charges that could have led to life imprisonment.

    Although Turkey did not proclaim Brunson innocent, a court in Aliaga today (Oct. 12) released him on time served after sentencing him to three years, one month and 15 days, The New York Times reported. The court found him guilty of "terror," the Times said, following charges of espionage and undermining the constitutional order of the state. Read More

  • Christian, ethnic persecution 'nightmare' in China

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 10, 2018 (2 months ago)

    YouTube video screengrab
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- Christians and ethnic minorities are living a "nightmare" in China under President Xi Jinping, a congressional commission report released today (Oct. 10) documents.

    Jinping's unmerciful program to "Sinicize" religion into a government-controlled framework, marginalize ethnic minorities including Uyghur Muslims, and redefine human rights intensified in 2018, making life a nightmare for civilians, U.S. Representative and commission co-chair Chris Smith said in releasing the 2018 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC). Read More

  • Christian mother's life in hands of Pakistani court

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, October 09, 2018 (2 months ago)

    BP file photo.
    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (BP) -- Christian mother Asia Bibi only offered a Muslim coworker a drink of water. Subsequently convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 2010, Bibi awaits the result of her final court appeal heard Oct. 8.

    The coworker said Bibi's Christianity made the water ceremonially unclean, setting off a chain of false accusations related to Bibi's beliefs and backed by Muslim clerics. The Supreme Court of Pakistan heard hours of testimony before deferring a ruling in the case, with no official timeline set for a decision, according to news reports. Read More

  • A return to Mao era persecution in China?

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, October 03, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from ABC News
    CHINA (BP) -- Police raided church services Sept. 30 in various Chinese provinces in escalating persecutions said to be "returning to those evident in Mao's era."

    Government officials disrupted services at five or more churches in at least four provinces in central, southern and southwestern China, removing crosses, blocking entrances, disbanding worship and harassing members, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported today (Oct. 3).

    "Christians in China are bracing themselves for the worst clampdown since the Cultural Revolution," ICC Regional Manager Gina Goh said in the ICC press release. "The scale and tactics employed by the authorities are unprecedented and disturbing. Every day there are churches across China that become fresh victims of persecution." Read More

  • Rebel force attacks Bapt. churches in Burma

    by Burma correspondent/Morning Star News, posted Tuesday, September 25, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Morning Star News via Facebook
    YANGON, Burma (BP) -- Ethnic Wa rebels this month shut down churches or destroyed their buildings and temporarily detained several clergymen in eastern Burma (Myanmar), sources said.

    On the border with China, soldiers of Myanmar's largest ethnic rebel group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), attacked the churches in the rebel's autonomous region in Shan state, according to Christian leaders.

    "We confirmed that at least 12 churches have been destroyed or closed as of Sept. 20," a Christian leader who has lived in the Wa region for several decades told Morning Star News. The Wa people worship ancestral spirits, and the move by the UWSA was meant to hamper Christian missionary activity, said the leader on condition of anonymity.

    Most of the targets were Baptist churches in Panghsang, where Wa soldiers destroyed crosses, the source said. The headquarters of the UWSA is located in Panhsang, on Burma's border with China. Read More