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All articles in category Persecution

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...

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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’....

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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...

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News

December 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Secular aggression shuts churches in Rwanda

Church attendance has declined in Rwanda this year and church leaders live in fear, as the government continues to close churches amid increasing aggressive secularisation by President Paul Kagame. More than 8,000 churches have now been closed in the Christian-majority country, and the number keeps growing, on the pretext of failing to meet requirements laid down at the beginning of the year, according to the pro-government KT Press. World Wide Monitor says new requirements set in place for congregations that want to continue ministry are also complicating efforts to comply. The closures began in the East African country in February. World Watch Monitor reported that...

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News

November 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Preacher receives police apology

Police have apologised to a Christian street preacher after threatening him with arrest and forcing him to leave Bath city centre. Avon and Somerset Police have contacted all police staff in Bath ‘to ensure that they understand the importance of freedom of expression’. The Christian Institute supported street preacher Dale McAlpine over the incident and welcomed the result, while warning about the use of dispersal powers. On 25 June this year Mr McAlpine and a group of street preachers gathered in Bath city centre to tell passers-by the good news of Jesus Christ. Police issued a dispersal notice and ordered the preachers to leave the...

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News

November 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Open Doors persecution survival training

With violent persecution occurring almost daily in India and numerous churches vandalised, attacked or burnt, Open Doors is providing Persecution Survival Training to victims. The training, run by its partners, helps Christians work through questions and equip them to face the persecution that may come in the future. The group says it is a vital lifeline as Christians can be incredibly isolated. Sujit, a 34-year-old pastor from North India, was violently attacked a few months ago and forced by Hindu extremists to leave his village where he has been ministering for 15 years. After the training he said, ‘In my distress, I was greatly comforted...

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November 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – Chinese police steal from church

More than 1,000 government agents, including police, forced their way into an unofficial church in Henan province on 14 September and removed items from the building. Church members had locked the church doors, but the officials broke into the church building, ignoring requests from church leaders to show identification. They then took away items from inside the church. ‘A large crowd of policemen, including SWAT officers, suddenly came to Zhongxing Church around 7.00am’, said one church member. Streets leading to the church were also blocked off during the raid. An increased crackdown on Christians has caused 279 pastors from unofficial Chinese congregations, known as ‘house...

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November 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution – US pastor Andrew Brunson released in Turkey

Andrew Brunson, the American evangelical pastor imprisoned for two years in Turkey and most recently held under house arrest, has been released and allowed to return to the US. He was accused of terrorist related offences, but he has always denied the allegations, and his supporters have said the evidence against him was spurious at best. He was one of several Americans detained in the aftermath of a failed military coup in 2016 and was charged with aiding terrorist groups and espionage. Mr Brunson’s lengthy imprisonment and trial raised serious tensions between the United States and Turkey. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence personally...

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November 2018
News > Persecution

Christian bakers win ‘gay cake’ free speech case

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that a Christian bakery in Northern Ireland did not break discrimination laws when it refused to bake a cake with a slogan supporting gay marriage. The result is a major boost for freedom of speech. However, it does not overturn previous cases against Christian hotel owners or marriage registrars. Handing down their ruling on 10 October, the five judges were unanimous in their judgment. The judges said that equality law does not compel people to say something with which they profoundly disagree. President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, said the Ashers bakery did not discriminate against the customer,...

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News

August 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: USA – Facebook ban for professor

An American professor and author was banned from posting or commenting on Facebook for 24 hours, after he responded to a post by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The post, which showed a group of primary-aged children being taught to celebrate Gay Pride, also explained how Hollywood A-lister Jodie Foster had helped the presenter, Jessi Cruickshank, question her sexuality as a child. However, in June, Robert A. J. Gagnon, author of The Bible and homosexual practice: texts and hermeneutics, gave a strongly worded opinion as to the underlying motives of the CBC, and expressed his dismay at young children being talked to about sexuality. This led...

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News

August 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: USA – US artists forced to make gay invites

Two Christian business owners have been told by a US court they must use their artistic talents to create invitations for a gay wedding. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against graphic designers Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, who run a stationery company that makes invitations for weddings and other events. The two owners of Brush & Nib Studio have been accused of violating city non-discrimination laws in Phoenix, because they refuse to create invitations for same-sex weddings. In 2017, the graphic designers launched a pre-enforcement challenge against the laws last year, after being threatened with a $2,500 (£1,890) fine and possible imprisonment. Their challenge...

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News

August 2018
Articles > News > Persecution

Growing threat to Christians across Africa

Christians in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali are suffering increased attacks from Fulani Islamists, amidst global concerns over Islamist consolidation in northern Africa. Violence has escalated across those parts of Africa where Christians have contact with Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani are Muslim and, though living alongside Christians for years, hardcore Islamist teachings have led to an escalation in terrorism and deadly attacks by their extremists against Christian-background farming communities. The religious differences have exacerbated long-standing tensions between the nomadic herdsmen and farmers. In June this year, a cycle of attacks and counter-attacks in the middle belt of Nigeria saw 215 lives claimed on both sides,...

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