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All articles in category Persecution

July 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: Myanmar – Kachin Christians escape

Two thousand Kachin Christians, who were trapped in the jungle in northern Myanmar following attacks by the Myanmar (Burmese) army in April, have now reached safety, travelling on foot and by elephant. Barnabas Fund reports that although they are now free and safe, many are still in desperate need and thousands have taken shelter in churches. There is also the threat of further attacks by the military. Contacts say: ‘Please continue to pray for the Kachin. The Burmese army have sent more troops to other Kachin areas, and we are expecting a new flood of attacks and refugees soon when the rainy season starts.’ The...

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June 2018
News > Persecution

US evangelical pastor stays in Turkish prison

American pastor Andrew Brunson continues to be held behind bars in Turkey following yet another postponement in the controversial trial against him. The Turkish authorities have accused Brunson of terrorism and espionage related offences, and prosecutors are seeking a 35-year prison sentence. However, his legal team says he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Brunson, aged 50, was arrested during the purges which occurred after the failed 2016 military coup. In the purges, thousands of people have been rounded up and detained with little or no evidence against them. He is the pastor of a small evangelical church in the Turkish city of Izmir. The case has...

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May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: Sudan – Sudanese pastor murdered

Masked attackers in Western Sudan murdered a church pastor in Darfur, along with his wife and two daughters in March. According to reports from Barnabas Fund, the attackers broke into his house early in the morning, gathered the family in the living room and asked Pastor Stephen to explain why he had not responded to their warnings to stop preaching. In response, Pastor Stephen started telling them about Jesus. Barnabas Fund’s contact writes, ‘They became furious and started to kick him and beat him up seriously’. According to the reports, the attackers then tried to force the pastor to violate his daughters, Rachel and Priscilla....

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May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: China – Chinese church crackdown

China has increased its pressure on Christians in China, especially in the central Henan province, where public security bureaus and religious affairs commissions have been targeting house churches. According to reports from US organisation China Aid, a new initiative in Nanyang, Henan, explicitly forbids any kind of religious gatherings in people’s homes. Anyone caught attending or hosting meetings outside of a registered religious venue will be subject to a fine of 30,000 yuan (£3,378). All Christians in the area are ordered to join an officially registered church. Under China’s current religious policy, only Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, state-recognised Protestant Christianity and Catholicism are legal for citizens...

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May 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Another wrongful arrest

Canadian preacher Pastor David Lynn has been released by the police without charge after being falsely accused of hate speech. Mr Lynn, a leader of a church in Toronto, had been arrested and held for more than 20 hours at Fresh Wharf Custody Base in Barking, London, after preaching the gospel outside Barking tube station. He had been questioned under caution after being falsely accused of calling a homosexual lady in the crowd ‘perverse’ and ‘sinful’. He denied this, and video footage captured of the preaching does not substantiate her complaint. Instead, it shows groups of supporters cheering, chanting ‘Jesus’ and supporting David throughout his...

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May 2018
Articles > World Mission > Europe > Western Europe > France > News > Events > Persecution

Carcassonne terrorist attack: a Christian response

Terrorism has hit again! Since Friday 23rd March, France has been in shock. The attack in Carcassonne and Trèbes left four people dead and many injured physically and psychologically. The French are sad, angry and indignant. As Christians, how should we react? What thoughts should guide us?  Today we want to weep with those who weep (Rom 12.15). We want to pray for those who suffer the loss of a loved one. We want to pray for them to find their consolation in God.  “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all”(Romans 12:17). While...

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April 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Religious freedom in Britain

Christian advocacy organisation Barnabas Fund has called on Christians to sign a petition to encourage the government to implement a new law to protect religious freedom. Following on from its stated plan to promote freedom of religion and belief, as reported in previous editions of Evangelical Times, Barnabas Fund has warned that ‘intolerance, complacency and uniformity are slowly eroding’ the freedoms Britain has cherished for so long. In a statement, Barnabas Fund commented: ‘It’s easy to sit back and ignore the damage because, like erosion, it’s not always immediately visible on the surface. But look a little closer and you can begin to see the...

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April 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Brixton Prison row deepens

The controversy surrounding the sacking of Pastor Paul Song as a chaplain has deepened after it has been revealed many Christian groups have been banned from the prison since the arrival of the new Imam. Earlier this year, Evangelical Times reported how Christian Concern (CC) was supporting Paul Song, who was told he was not allowed on the prison wings after allegedly accusing a Muslim inmate of being a terrorist. Pastor Song, who has been helping at Brixton for 19 years, has categorically denied he ever used those words or made any such comment to a prisoner. He is being supported by Christian Concern, led...

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April 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: China – Chinese lawyer dies

Chinese lawyer Dr Li Baiguang, a campaigner for Christian freedom, has died in suspicious circumstances in China. His death has prompted a strong response from advocacy organisation Release International, which has stated the Chinese authorities must account for his death. Dr Li Baiguang, an internationally renowned human rights defence lawyer, was pronounced dead suddenly in February. He is said to have died at 3.00am in the Chinese government military hospital in Nanjing, hours after checking in for a stomach complaint. The hospital said he had bled to death due to a liver condition. But Dr Li, who was only 49 and neither drank nor smoked, had been...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: China – Chinese churches demolished

Officials have demolished two church buildings in Shaanxi province and Christians are concerned about increasing pressure since Xi Jinping became president in 2013. On 27 December 2017, local authorities in Zhifang village in Lauyu district, demolished a church, after claiming that it was built on illegally occupied land. According to media reports, almost 100 local Christians protested, some chanting, ‘Freedom of belief’. Also, official documents proving the church, built in 1999, had approval to use the land were posted on social media. Authorities subsequently sent officials to apologise and discuss compensation. But, less than two weeks afterwards, on Tuesday 9 January, authorities used dynamite to...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Christian teacher branded ‘radicalisation threat’

Bristol Employment Tribunal has heard the case of Christian teacher Bristol Employment Tribunal has heard the case of Christian teacher Svetlana Powell, who was dismissed from the T2 Apprenticeship Academy after she answered questions from students. Mrs Powell, who has taught for 17 years, was branded a ‘radicalisation threat’ and dismissed in July 2016, after a student asked for Mrs Powell’s personal view on homosexuality. Two days later, the government-funded Academy’s HR Officer, Stacy Preston, told Mrs Powell that she was fired for ‘gross misconduct’ with immediate effect. The full details reveal that the student who asked the question professes to be a Christian and...

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March 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Ofsted calls out Christian Institute

Ofsted’s chief inspector of schools, Amanda Spielman, has berated traditional branches of the church and the Christian Institute, intimating these were ‘extremists’ who ‘pervert’ education. As reported in The Times, Ms Spielman gave a speech to Anglican school leaders, in which she said, ‘Rather than adopting a passive liberalism that says “Anything goes”, for fear of causing offence, school leaders should be promoting a muscular liberalism’. By this, she meant the most conservative voices in a particular faith should not be assumed to ‘speak for everyone’. Ms Spielman commented: ‘Imagine if people thought the Christian Institute was the sole voice of Anglicanism’. Responding to her...

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