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All articles in category Persecution

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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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’....

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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...

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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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News

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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