Subscribe now

All articles in category Persecution

News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Global rugby stars under siege

Polynesian Christian rugby players have spoken out against the draconian manner in which Australian rugby star Israel Folau has been treated over an Instagram post. Mr Folau – an international player with 73 caps – looks set to be kicked out of the sport by Australia’s rugby authorities after posting an Instagram image which was claimed to be homophobic. His code of conduct hearing was held in May in Sydney. Following this, other rugby players have come under pressure. Ireland and Connacht centre Bundee Aki was forced to apologise for mistakenly ‘liking’ the post and for any ‘confusion or offence’. Similarly, Fiji-born Wallabies player Samu...

Read more

News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Canada: Asia Bibi reunited with family

Pakistani woman Asia Bibi who was imprisoned for nine years on baseless charges of insulting the prophet Mohammed, has finally been freed to join her family in Canada. Asia Bibi had first been arrested on the false charges of blasphemy in 2009 after sharing a cup of water with Muslim farmworkers, who called her unclean. In 2010 the Pakistani court sentenced her to death, prompting global outrage and calls for a change to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. She was not executed but was kept in prison in appalling conditions as international pressure mounted for her release. Although she had been acquitted by the Pakistan Supreme Court...

Read more

News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Prince Charles speaks up for persecuted Christians

Prince Charles has spoken out on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, claiming he has been ‘moved and humbled’ after meeting some victims. Writing in The Telegraph, the Prince of Wales stated he had been overwhelmed by the knowledge that approximately 245 million Christians worldwide have faced persecution. He wrote, ‘The most vulnerable are the women and children. Many have been attacked and made homeless. I have been immensely moved and humbled by the courage and dignity of those I have met’. Prince Charles commented that, this Easter, persecuted Christians were ‘especially in my prayers as they follow in the footsteps of our Lord who died...

Read more

News

March 2019
News > Persecution

Pakistan: Asia Bibi’s acquittal upheld

Asia Bibi, the Roman Catholic woman who has been on death row in Pakistan for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam, has had her acquittal upheld. The Supreme Court of Pakistan maintained its decision to overturn her conviction and death sentence. She was originally convicted in 2010 after being accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad in a row with her neighbours and spent eight years on death row. But the Supreme Court quashed her conviction last October, sparking protests by Islamic hardliners who petitioned the court to overturn their ruling. Asia Bibi, also known as Asia Noreen, was unable to leave Pakistan while an appeal request...

Read more

News

February 2019
News > Ethics > Persecution > Religious liberty > Society

Christian magistrate can challenge his dismissal over gay adoption comments

A Christian former magistrate has won the right to legally challenge his dismissal over remarks he made about same-sex couples adopting children. Richard Page, from Kent, lost his role after saying in a BBC interview that a child would be better looked after by a man and a woman rather than a gay couple. His comments came after Mr Page, along with two other Magistrates, considered an application by a same-sex couple to adopt a child in Kent in July 2014. He was later sacked for ‘serious misconduct’ by the then Justice Secretary Michael Gove and Lord Thomas, who said his comments suggested he was...

Read more

News

February 2019
News > Persecution

Jeremy Hunt calls for review into global persecution of Christians

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has acknowledged the ‘dramatic rise in violence’ against Christians globally, and launched an independent review to investigate. An estimated 215 million Christians faced discrimination and violence last year, and an average of 250 were killed for their faith each month. Mr Hunt says Britain ‘can and must do more’ to help persecuted Christians and has commissioned the review to determine how it can do that, with the report expected by Easter. Led by the Bishop of Truro Rt Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the review will focus entirely on Christian persecution. Its aims are to map the persecution of Christians in the Middle...

Read more

News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

China: Police given quotas for arrests of Christians

The religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter is reporting that police stations in the major port city of Dalian (a population of 6.6 million) in northeast China are being evaluated based on the number of Christians they arrest. A police officer from Dalian, the second-largest city in Liaoning Province, near the North Korean border, told the magazine that his station had received a notice from the National Security Bureau which, as part of a performance-assessment plan, set out how many Christians they would have to arrest. The officer said that all stations in the city had received a similar plan, assessing the station’s performance with a...

Read more

News

February 2019
News > International > Persecution

Iran: More than 100 Christians arrested amidst Govt crackdown

More than 100 Christians have been arrested in Iran in just one week and ordered to cut all contact with religious groups and house churches. They were detained by Iranian authorities, questioned on their involvement in Christian activities, and told to expect a call from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. Christian charity Open Doors UK, which speaks out against persecution of believers, has described the news as ‘highly concerning’. Many of the 114 believers were converts to Christianity from Islam who were accused of proselytising. Conversion to Christianity is an offence punishable by more than ten years’ imprisonment. The recent events are part of a growing...

Read more

News

January 2019
News > Persecution

Europe: Christians marginalised across the continent

Christians across Europe, including clergy, have experienced hostility, marginalisation and violence, with 500 documented cases of intolerance and discrimination recorded in 2016-17. The finds come in a report from the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. Its 2018 report states that since 2005, it has documented more than 2,100 cases of Christians killed or attacked for their faith, fired, sued or arrested for exercising their freedom of expression or conscience. Christian-run business have been ruined financially. Christian student groups have been silenced, and Christian symbols and celebrations have been removed from the public square. Churches across Europe were vandalised, robbed and...

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Pakistani Christian pupil expelled

A 13-year-old Pakistani Christian boy was sent out of his classroom for turning off a tap that had been left running. Fourth grader student Sharjeel was expelled from his class on 16 October 2018 because it was believed that by touching the tap he had tainted the water and therefore he should be punished. Head teacher Nusrat Shaheen, of Government Boys Primary School, Dhok Fatah, District Attock, beat and abused him, before chasing him out of the school saying Christians are supposed to clean drains and not be educated. She further asked the child to bring his mother to fall at her feet. When Sharjeel’s...

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Asia Bibi ‘freed’

Britain and other nations should offer asylum to Asia Bibi and her family, Christian campaigners said after the Catholic mother-of-five was acquitted of blasphemy charges in Pakistan on 31 October. A three-judge bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court saved the illiterate farm labourer from execution, with its decision to acquit and release her. In a 56-page ruling the court stated that ‘the prosecution has categorically failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt’. The judges also asserted that ‘it is not for the individuals, or a gathering (mob), to decide as to whether any act falling within the purview of Section 295-C has been committed or not’....

Read more

News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Eastern Ukraine bans church meetings

An evangelical church group in eastern Ukraine has been outlawed by authorities, and Christians face a fine or arrest if they meet together, even in their own homes. Now called the Luhansk People’s Republic and controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014, the area’s officials imposed a re-registration process for churches in February 2018. But Ukraine’s Institute for Religious Freedom said evangelical Christian communities have been barred from re-registration, meaning they are breaking the law if they do not cease to operate. Barnabas Fund reports congregations emptying church buildings of books and furniture, and church leaders have asked for prayer ‘that God gives wisdom and strength...

Read more