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Stories tagged with: persecuted church

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  • USCIRF: Persecution grows despite elevated awareness

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, April 25, 2018 (19 hours ago)

    WASHINGTON (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

  • China banning online Bible sales 'absurd'

    by Aaron Earls, posted Monday, April 09, 2018 (16 days ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required.
    CHINA (BP) -- China is purportedly the largest publisher of Bibles in the world, but the communist nation has now apparently blocked online Bible purchases for its residents.

    Beginning last week, searches for Bibles at leading online retailers in China came up empty, according to reports from The New York Times and CNN.

    The reports indicate certain Bible studies or illustrated storybooks were available through searches. Two merchants told CNN the Bible could be purchased through ... Read More

  • Rwanda closes thousands of churches, arrests 6 pastors

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, April 06, 2018 (19 days ago)

    Screen capture from Foursquare Gospel Church YouTube video
    KIGALI, Rwanda (BP) -- An estimated 6,000 churches have been closed across Rwanda and six pastors arrested in a government crackdown that began March 1 with 700 closures in the nation's capital of Kigali, according to news reports.

    The six pastors, who reportedly tried to rally public support for the churches in Kigali, were accused of "masterminding" a plot to disobey the government, the BBC reported March 6.

    The closures come as the Rwanda Governance Board (RGO) is conducting a national review of proposed new regulations controlling faith-based institutions, including requirements that pastors have theological education and that buildings have two bathrooms each for men and women, according to World Watch Monitor. Read More

  • Solace amid persecution for India's Christian minority

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, April 02, 2018 (23 days ago)

    iStock
    MEGHALAYA, India (BP) -- Christians comprising just 2.3 percent of India's population noted two legal successes this Easter as religious persecution mounts under the Hindu nation's ruling Indian People's Party (BJP).

    In Meghalaya, one of three Indian states where Christians comprise a population majority, the BJP-ruled government responded to widespread public protests and withdrew an order March 27 to halt Good Friday observances, Christian persecution watchdog World Watch Monitor reported March 29. Read More

  • Kidnapped pastor's family 'solid and secure in Jesus'

    by Diana Chandler, posted Monday, March 26, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screengrab from KiniTV documentary.
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (BP) -- A Malaysian pastor threatened with death for trying to convert Muslims to Christianity remains missing more than a year after his February 2017 kidnapping in Kuala Lumpur, a family friend confirmed to Baptist Press today (March 26).

    The family of 63-year-old Raymond Koh has heard nothing of his whereabouts or health since his abduction by as many as a dozen masked men in broad daylight, family friend and Nashville-area pastor Greg Wilton told BP. Read More

  • 5 Nigerian schoolgirls died in raid, teen told parent

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, March 22, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from Channels Television
    DAPCHI, Nigeria (BP) -- Boko Haram on March 21 released most of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped from Dapchi, Nigeria, a month ago, but five girls still missing are feared dead, and a lone student remains captive because of her Christianity, the Associated Press reported today (March 22).

    Five of the girls who remain missing died of injuries suffered in a stampede when Boko Haram abducted them Feb. 19 from the Government Girls Secondary School, a parent of one of the five girls learned from another student, the AP reported. The reportedly deceased girls were buried in graves in the bush, the student said, but the deaths have not been confirmed. Read More

  • American pastor charged with 'terrorism' in Turkey

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, March 21, 2018 (one month ago)

    IZMIR, Turkey (BP) -- American pastor Andrew Brunson has been indicted in Turkey on charges of terrorism. The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) claims the charges amount to an admission "that Turkey considers sharing the Gospel an 'act of terrorism.'"

    "The 62-page indictment, wholly lacking merit, provides no evidence regarding criminal action by Pastor Andrew, which comes as no surprise," the ACLJ stated in a March 20 news release. "Pastor Andrew, who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, serving as Pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church, has maintained his innocence and has reiterated that he has been in Turkey for only one reason, to tell about Jesus Christ. Incredibly, the indictment now admits that Turkey considers sharing the Gospel an 'act of terrorism.'" Read More

  • Group seeks new U.S. religious freedom post for Nigeria

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, March 08, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from Biafra Television
    FALLS CHURCH, Va. (BP) -- A religious and secular coalition will urge Congress to create a U.S. coordinator for religious freedom in Nigeria as terrorism against Christians and other religious minorities intensifies in the African nation.

    Termed the special coordinator for religious minorities and terrorism, the post would serve as a direct link between U.S. and Nigerian governments to address religious persecution, terrorism and the resulting economic crisis in Nigeria, a coalition representative told Baptist Press today (March 8). Read More

  • ChinaAid: Govt. likely killed Christian human rights lawyer

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, March 02, 2018 (one month ago)

    ChinaAid photo
    JIANGSU, China (BP) -- Religious freedom advocates are calling for an investigation into the mysterious death of noted Christian human rights attorney Li Baiguang, who died Feb. 26 in a Chinese military hospital after recent good health.

    The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) likely killed 49-year-old Li, ChinaAid President Bob Fu said in a Feb. 26 news release, the same day physicians in China's eastern Jiangsu province said Li died of internal bleeding from liver problems while seeking medical treatment for stomach pain. Read More

  • U.S. pastor among ChinaAid top 10 persecution cases

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, February 14, 2018 (2 months ago)

    iStock
    MIDLAND, Texas (BP) -- A Virginia pastor interrogated and evicted from China during a discipleship seminar he led in the nation is among ChinaAid's top 10 cases of Christian persecution there in 2017.

    Wang Zhiyong, senior pastor of Grace Christian Church in Herndon, Va., was interrogated for four hours and ordered to immediately leave China after police interrupted his "Religious Reformation and Life Transition" seminar in Guangdong in April 2017, the religious freedom watchdog group ChinaAid said in its report. Read More