News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Matthew 5:10


Open Doors International

More than 340 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.

That’s 1 in 8 worldwide, 1 in 6 in Africa, 2 out of 5 in Asia, and 1 in 12 in Latin America.

NOT ALONE, NOT FORGOTTEN NOT EVER

[Urgent Prayer] Suicide bombers attack church in Indonesia, at least 19 wounded

’God is alive!’—in Nigeria, this pastor finds hope in the rubble

Eritrea is rounding up and arresting Christians—37 in two days

Terminally ill and 62—Christian convert faces prison in Iran

The Chinese church is exploding … but will it survive?

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

Main website: OPEN DOORS INTERNATIONAL


An Educational Antidote to a Rising Tide of Tribal, Religious, and Political Violence in Africa

Giving Meaning to ‘Never Again’ in Africa

Myanmar Massacre: GFA World Calls for Prayer Amid Military Coup


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

APRIL PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE

DAILY PRAYER LINK

Barnabas Aid Calls on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Recognize the Armenian, Assyrian, Syriac and Greek Genocide

Churches Draw Up Religious Studies Syllabus for Christian Students as Part of Pakistan’s New National Curriculum

Five Out of 39 Nigerian Students Kidnapped From Kaduna College Released

Islamist Attacks Illustrate the Growth of Jihadism in Mali and Niger

Church Minister and Three Worshipers Killed by Gunmen in Benue, Nigeria

U.S. State Department Confirms Turkish Participation in Nagorno-Karabakh War, Highlights Azerbaijani War Crimes

Christian Families Lose Everything as Fire Engulfs Rohingya Refugee Camp in Bangladesh

Dozens Killed and Thousands Flee as Jihadists Attack Town in Northern Mozambique

Eight Christians Abducted by Bandits in Kaduna, Nigeria

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for


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Pakistan:

When 13-year-old Shakaina Masih’s mother arrived to take her home from the job at which she helped with housework, she was informed that her daughter had already left. When Shakaina never showed up, concern soon became alarm as her parents urgently filed a missing person report. After initially delaying to respond, police informed Shakaina’s parents that she had converted to Islam and married a Muslim man last month.

Devastated to learn that their teenage daughter was supposedly married to a man whose name they had never even heard, Shakaina’s parents believe she was abducted. “Shakaina is just a kid,” Shakaina’s father, Johnson Masih told Morning Star News. “She was kidnapped and taken to Okara, where they forcibly converted her and conducted the fake marriage to give it a religious cover.” Many Christian parents in Pakistan fear exactly this occurrence — and it is all too common.

Hundreds of girls from Christian and Hindu backgrounds are kidnapped each year and forcibly converted before being raped and often forced to live as their abductor’s wives. Widespread discrimination and the government’s failure to protect religious freedom creates an environment that enables horrific incidences of forced marriage to thrive. Islamic clerics who solemnize underage marriages, magistrates who make the marriages legal, and corrupt authorities who refuse to investigate all contribute to the problem.

For more on this issue and what the United States can do about it, check out Family Research Council’s new publication titled, “Combatting Forced Marriage of Young Women in Pakistan.

Africa:

Hardly a day passes without accounts of mass kidnappings of Nigerian schoolchildren, Christian clergy and aid workers gunned down, villages torched, or churchgoers massacred. Africa is in trouble, and the United States and other global leaders must wake up to the horrifying levels of violence suffocating Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Read more in Lela’s op-ed in Newsweek.

China:

In coordination with the United States, new sanctions were placed on several Chinese officials responsible for atrocities in Xinjiang by the United Kingdom, European Union, and Canada. In retaliation, China decided to sanction two U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCRIF) Commissioners, including FRC President Tony Perkins.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s sanctions are nothing but tactics of intimidation, designed to help them save face in an international community that’s denounced their brutal and repressive policies,” Perkins said. It is telling that while Western countries sanction Chinese officials over human rights abuses, China sanctions individuals who merely speak out in defense of the oppressed.

See FRC’s resources:

What we’re working on:

We recently started an “International Religious Freedom 101” series on the FRC Blog. Check out our second installment, “Pakistan Is Captive to Islamist Mob Rule.” Stay tuned for more!


The Voice of the Martyrs

GLOBAL PRAYER GUIDE

Christian Mother Recently Widowed

Christian Women Released from Island Prison

Christians Endure Persecution as God’s Kingdom Advances

Tough Times for Ethiopian Believers

Believer Facing Prison and Family Harm

Two Christians Sentenced to Prison for “Shaking Faith”

Family Barred from Two Villages for Christian Faith

Christians Rejoice After Church Destroyed

Many Audio Bibles Already Distributed This Year

Family Fined for Hosting Worship Gatherings

Newly Baptized Followers of Christ Face Persecution

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:10


Ministry Spotlight: Open Doors - Faith Radio Faith Radio

Kidnap ‘two girls a day’: The shocking agenda of Islamic extremists

13 days of darkness with Islamic terrorists

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

You can also download the 2021 World Watch List report free

 


Court of Appeal Rules against Christian Public Servant

Melbourne, Australia Pastor Arrested for Incitement

Trinity Bible Chapel of Woolwich Township, Ontario Elders Fined $38K for Contempt of Court Ruling, Must Pay $45K in Court Fees


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

New Armenian Genocide Campaign Video

Boko Haram Death-Threat Ultimatum to Kidnapped Nigerian Pastor

Dutch Parliament Passes Motion Calling on Government to Recognize Armenian Genocide

Iranian Convert Released From Prison But Charges Against Him Remain

Pakistani Christian Couple’s Appeal Hearing Against “Blasphemy” Death Sentences Postponed Again

DAILY PRAYER LINK

MARCH PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE 

MARCH/APRIL PRAYER DIARY

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for


The Voice of the Martyrs

Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event

There is still time to take part in The Voice of the Martyrs’ FREE virtual event on March 5, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. CST. More than 75,000 Christians around the world have already registered to hear these inspiring testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

Register Now

The Book with All the Answers

Man Accused of Blasphemy Faces Death

Rejected Son Now Leading Others

Imran Released After Decade-Long Imprisonment

Christians Arrested in Somalia

Syrian Refugee Growing in Faith

CHRISTIANS FACING PERSECUTION, their first request is for prayer. ADOPT A WORKER FOR PRAYER

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide

The (UN) Equality Act; Message from Colson Center for Christian Worldview

See the related article from earlier this morning. Once again we can not stress enough the importance of contacting your Senators urging them to fight to defeat this dangerous legislation. 

BreakPoint Daily

AdobeStock_177553564

The Equality Act

Late last week, Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced the Equality Act, a grave threat to religious liberty and conscience rights that would, in effect, erase all legal distinctions between male and female in public life. The Equality Act would make gender identity and sexual orientation protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forcing compliance in areas such as public accommodation and education.

Until the GOP lost majority in the Senate, there wasn’t much of a chance of the Equality Act becoming law. The outcome of the Senate runoff races in Georgia made it much more practical for President Biden to keep his promise of signing the Equality Act into law. Of course, its fate in the Democrat-controlled House was never really in doubt.

To be clear, you should only care about the Equality Act if you are a Christian, or a person of faith, or a woman, or own a business, or run a non-profit, or go to school, or teach at a school, or are a medical or mental health professional, or (especially) are a female athlete, or under the age of 18, or ever use a public restroom. That’s not an exaggeration. In fact, here is the exact wording from the Equality Act:

READ MORE > > 

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News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:10

 

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated at barnabusfund.org/news

New Interreligious Aide to Imran Khan Says Minorities in Pakistan “Not Second-Class Citizens”

Two Pakistani Christian Men Accused of “Blasphemy”

Iranian Christian Convert Ends Prison Hunger Strike on Promise of Release * See article on his re-arrest below

Chinese Government’s Tight New Regulations for Ministry Include Database of Church Leaders

Pastor in Turkey Defends Himself Against Deportation as “Threat to National Security”

DAILY PRAYER LINK

Barnabas Prayer January/February 2021

MARCH/APRIL PRAYER DIARY

Praying for the Persecuted Church review of 40 countries and 7 other areas to pray for

 


The Voice of the Martyrs

Pregnant Mother Beaten, Loses Baby

Firouzi Re-Arrested

Local Officials Oppose Church Being Rebuilt

Christ on the Throne

From Smuggling Drugs to Smuggling Bibles

CHRISTIANS FACING PERSECUTION, their first request is for prayer. ADOPT A WORKER FOR PRAYER

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide


Ministry Spotlight: Open Doors - Faith Radio Faith Radio

CLICK HERE for a list or an interactive MAP of countries where persecution is taking place today. 

You can also download the 2021 World Watch List report free

The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

American Minute with Bill Federer

The Origin of St. Valentine’s Day

The origin of Saint Valentine’s Day goes back to the 3rd century. At that time, the Roman Empire was being invaded by Goths. At the same time, the Plague of Cyprian, probably smallpox, broke out killing at its height 5,000 people a day…

READ MORE > > 

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Nigerian Christians Murdered as a “Christmas Present” in Terror Attacks on Christmas Eve

Exiles Witness Collusion Between North Korea and China Over Persecution of Christians

Egypt Approves Registration of 62 Churches and Church Buildings

Egyptian Prosecutor Looks to Challenge Acquittal of Muslim Men Charged With Stripping Elderly Christian Woman

PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE DECEMBER 2020


The Voice of the Martyrs

People praying

5 Ways to Pray for Your Persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ

With the arrival of the new year, resolve now to pray regularly for persecuted Christians in 2021. Here are five specific ways you can pray:

      • Pray that persecuted believers will be filled with joy and peace that results in overflowing hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
      • Thank God for their faithful testimony as it inspires Christians around the world to boldness and faithfulness. (Romans 1:8–10)
      • Pray that God will comfort believers who are experiencing troubles so the comfort of Christ will overflow into the lives of others. (2 Corinthians 1:3–7)
      • Pray that God will strengthen their hearts, causing their love for one another and for their persecutors to increase and overflow. (1 Thessalonians 3:9–13)
      • Pray that those who are enemies of the gospel and persecutors of God’s people will experience Christ’s love and be reconciled to God. (Romans 5:10)

Get a Free 2021 Prayer Guide

More Prayer Tools

Have you resolved to pray more in 2021? The Voice of the Martyrs offers a variety of resources to help you pray daily for persecuted Christians. Consider these tools that will help you pray specifically for your persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the year:

      • 2021 Global Prayer Guide — Provides background information on hostile areas and restricted nations where VOM is working, along with the current situation for Christians in each country.
      • VOM Global Prayer Journal — Features country information from the 2021 Global Prayer Guide, along with ruled pages on which you can write out prayers or note others’ prayer needs.
      • iCommitToPray.com — Sign up to receive weekly emails with new, updated prayer requests. Also includes a feature that enables you to share your prayers online with other Christians, including your brothers and sisters living in hostile areas and restricted nations!

Be Equipped to Pray

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church


The Voice of the Martyrs

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : iCommitToPary.com on the VOM website:

Twelve Arrested in Coordinated Raids

More than 600 Christians Now Imprisoned in Eritrea

Officials Target Xingguang Church in Fujian

The Lord Jesus Has Chosen You

Displaced Families Temporarily Hosted by Local Christians


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : barnabusfund.org/news

Out of the mountain of despair: Christian lives matter in northern Nigeria 

At least 121 Christians dead in spate of savage Fulani militant attacks in Nigeria

Nigerian Christians ask for prayers after 38 killed in five attacks in a week

Six hostage children among 32 killed after gunmen storm cathedral in South Sudan

At least 18 murdered as they slept in Boko Haram stealth raid on Christian community in Cameroon

Indian Hindu extremists murder Christian mother protecting daughter from sexual assault


 

Suffer for His Sake

No one wants to suffer in any manner. But better to suffer for Christ and HIS Glory than man and fleeting fame. 

29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. Philippians 1:29

On July 22, 1680, faithful Richard Cameron was martyred in Airsmoss. His head and hands cut off and taken to Edinburgh, just as Robert M’Ward had spoken. Before his murderers committed the barbarous act of publicly displaying his head and hands upon the Netherbow Port, they first had one further act of antichristian cruelty to enact.

“His father being in prison for the same cause, they carried them [Cameron’s head and hands-ed.] to him, to add grief unto his former sorrow, and inquired at him if he knew them. Taking his son’s head and hands which were very fair – being a man of fair complexion like himself – he kissed them, and said, ‘I know – I know them; they are my son’s – my own dear son’s. It is the Lord – good is the will of the Lord, who cannot wrong me nor mine, but hath made goodness and mercy to follow us all our days.’ After which, by order of the Council, his head was fixed upon the Netherbow Port, and his hands beside it with the fingers upward.”  (John Howie, The Scots Worthies, 1781, SWRB reprint, 1997, pp. 428-429).

The Persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World


Islamist gunmen murder 24 including worshippers and pastor in north-east Burkina Faso

Islamist extremist gunmen stormed a Sunday morning worship service in a church in Burkina Faso, killing ten Christians and abducting the pastor, on Sunday February 16. Read full article

 


Pastor, three family members and deacon killed by jihadists in Burkina Faso

Pastor Tindano Omar and three members of his family, who were kidnapped by Islamic extremists, were murdered by their captors on February 13 in Burkina Faso. Read full article


 

Bodies of two Nigerian Christians murdered by militants dumped together on roadside

The bodies of two kidnapped Christians, seminary student Nnadi Michael and Bola Ataga, wife of a local doctor, were found dumped at the same location in Kaduna State, Nigeria, on January 31. Read full article


 

Locust swarms confirmed in South Sudan as devastating plague spreads across East Africa and south-west Asia

The UN confirmed on February 18 that the desert locust plague, which can migrate up to 100 miles a day, has now invaded south-east Sudan, entering from northern Uganda. Read full article


More news and information


Pray for the persecuted Church

We encourage you to pray as you feel led for the people and situations you read about in Christian Newsline. There are many resources available from Barnabas Fund to assist you in your prayers.

If you are receiving Christian Newsline you will also receive Barnabas Prayer Focus, a monthly resource containing news from the persecuted Church together with associated praise and prayer points. You can sign up to receive this by email here.

Our bi-monthly prayer diary, Barnabas Prayer, helps you lift up in prayer the needs of our suffering brothers and sisters each day. A printed copy of the Barnabas Prayer diary is included as an insert in our free bi-monthly Barnabas Aid magazine, which you can sign up to receive here.

The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer can be viewed on your smart phone or tablet device by visiting our Twitter and/or Facebook pages. The Barnabas Fund Daily Prayer is also available on the PrayerMate app.

Today in Church History

Cause for Waldensian Rejoicing

Cause for Waldensian Rejoicing

In the evening of February 16th each year, jubilant Italians light bonfires on mountainsides in northern Italy. These are a harbinger of joyous worship services and festivities which fill the following day. The Waldenses have reason to be glad. This day, February 17th, marks the anniversary of the day in 1858 when they finally received a guarantee of civil and religious rights.

Relief had been long in coming. The Waldensian saga began in 1176. A rich merchant, Peter Waldo, heard the words of Christ to the rich young ruler, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you posses and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” Waldo determined to do just that. He provided for his wife, placed his daughters in a nunnery, sold his property and distributed it among the poor.

His first effort was to hire two priests to translate parts of the scriptures into French. Memorizing large portions of this, he began to preach among the people, urging them to imitate Christ’s voluntary poverty. As quickly as he made followers he sent them out by twos with the scriptures and his message of poverty. Disgusted with voluptuous Rome, the Waldensians denounced virtually all Catholic feasts as man made. They rejected the Catholic sacraments except absolution, confession and Eucharist. Like the Quakers of later years they refused to take oaths.

Altars, church buildings, holy water, indulgences and all the paraphanelia and trappings of the established church they renounced. They denied purgatory. The local archbishop, stung by the implied rebuke, excommunicated Waldo. Waldo appealed to Pope Alexander III. Alexander was sympathetic and said Waldensians could preach with the permission of local bishops. To Waldo’s regret, such permission was not forthcoming.

With or without permission Waldo and his followers continued to preach, converting souls over a wide area. Waldensianism became one of the most widespread non-conformist group of the Middle Ages. Its adherents were excommunicated and butchered. For 682 years they fled across Europe or hid in caves, persecuted, hunted, and exterminated like vermin. With the coming of the Reformation, many joined the Protestants. Survivors gathered in 1561 and pledged themselves to adhere to the scriptures. Eventually they were reduced by persecution to only a few thousand individuals. Allowed refuge in Switzerland, they pined for their homeland and in 1689 made a “glorious return.”

Not until the Italian revolutions of the mid-nineteenth century was the remnant, now dwelling in alpine valleys of the north of Italy, guaranteed common rights. After centuries of savage persecution, it is little wonder that the Waldensians celebrate their relief with bonfires, services and festivities.