News Updates on the Persecuted Church

The Voice of the Martyrs

Nigerian people standing; woman holding baby

Christians Kidnapped and
Murdered in Ongoing Attacks

  • On Jan. 21, Christie Peter Mwankon, 26, was kidnapped out of her sister’s house in the middle of the night by Fulani Islamic militants.
  • A 25-year-old Christian man was killed by Fulani Islamic militants on Jan. 20.
  • Pastor Lawan Andimi was kidnapped and murdered on Jan. 20 after the Islamist group Boko Haram released a video showing him declare his trust in God regardless of the consequences.
  • A group of Christian university students were kidnapped by Islamic State West Africa Province terrorists outside Maiduguri on Jan. 9. The terrorists took video of one student’s execution, while the others remain missing.
  • Fulani Islamic militants attacked a village in Plateau state on the night of Jan. 8, killing 12 villagers and burning homes and fields.

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World

 

Congolese Christians praying. Source: Steve Evans licensed under CC BY 2.0Eleven Congolese Christians killed in ADF Islamist militant attack 

Eleven Christians were killed in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Mutwanga district, north-east Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on February 18.

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Lawyer Tehmina Arora has called for the repeal of anti-conversion laws, which she says are used as a tool to harass and target Christians

Justice for eight Christians acquitted of forced conversion of children in India

Eight Indian church workers accused of the forced conversion and abduction of 60 Christian children were acquitted on February 18 by the criminal court in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh.

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Nigerian Christians praying

Christians in Nigeria call for urgent prayer as Boko Haram “ready to attack”

Christians in Nigeria have called for urgent prayer as a large-scale Boko Haram attack is thought to be imminent in Plateau State.

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The Iranian government's new rule on ID card applications is in line with its strategy of harassing Christian converts from Islam and pressurising them to emigrate

Iran forces Christian converts from Islam to declare their faith to obtain ID cards

Christian converts from Islam no longer have the choice of keeping their faith secret in Iran after the Islamic Republic removed the “other religions” option from the new application form for the national ID card.

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Prime Minister Imran Khan reassured business leaders on changes to social media rules for companies

Christian “blasphemy” cases could rise under Pakistan’s new social media law

Pakistan’s government approved a new law to monitor online platforms on January 28, which would require social media companies to remove any “unwanted and slanderous” online content within 24 hours, or six hours in “emergency cases”, prompting concerns over “blasphemy” accusations.

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Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli chairs the 11 February meeting of the licensing committee [Picture: en.wataninet.com]

Another 82 licenses granted to Egyptian churches in first batch of 2020

Licenses were granted to 82 church and church-affiliated buildings in Egypt on February 11 by the committee that has been overseeing the process since early 2017.

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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 Aid 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.

Praying for the Persecuted Church booklet

The newly revised and updated edition of the Barnabas Praying for the Persecuted Church booklet, to inform and guide your prayers for persecuted Christians around the world, is available here.

Today in Church (and U.S.) History

The Judsons

The Judsonsannhjudson

That kind of a honeymoon was that? Adoniram Judson and Anne Hasseltine were married one day. The next, they attended Adoniram’s ordination to mission work. This day, February 6, 1812 was one of the coldest days of the year. Heavy snow had fallen the night before as a cold front moved in. Despite the cold, fifteen hundred people converged from many miles around Salem to the barn-like Tabernacle Church where the ceremony would be held.

Some brought their children, thinking that someday they would want to say, “I saw America’s first foreign missionaries ordained.” Adoniram Judson is often called America’s first foreign missionary. This is only one-fifth true. He became the most famous of the men ordained that day, but four other Congregationalists (Samuel Nott, Samuel Newell, Gordon Hall, and Luther Rice) were set aside for missions with him and sailed for India that same year. And Judson’s wife Anne (Haseltine), “Nancy,” was beside him, too. Without her he would not have succeeded.

The service began at eleven. On a hard wooden settee, surrounded by dignitaries, sat the five young men who would soon say farewell to their homes and sail to the orient to tell others of Christ. In those days of slow travel, scant medical knowledge, and the dangers of sailing, the audience realized this might not only be an ordination but also a final farewell.

That the five were on the platform was largely a tribute to their own determination. While still students of Andover, they had agitated for the creation of the missionary society that was now sending them out. Now their mentors and supporters rose to speak.

After songs, Dr. Griffin gave a prayer during which the auditorium fell deathly still. Dr. Wood followed with the sermon, hoping to see the young men again at “the glorious appearing of the Son of God” when the fruits of their labors would be apparent.

Five ministers placed their hands on the heads of the five missionaries as Dr. Jedidiah Morse consecrated them. People wept during his prayer which was charged with a sense of farewell. When Dr. Spring charged the five to do their duty, he noted that it was a new and important enterprise that they undertook, before which every former effort of the American church retired “like stars before the rising sun.” Samuel Worcester inducted them into the brotherhood of the ministry and offered the right hand of fellowship. “Go carry to the poor heathen the good news of pardon, peace and eternal life. Tell them of the God whom we adore; of the Savior in whom we trust; of the glorious immortality for which we hope…” he said. The sun was well past its peak before Dr. Spring gave the closing prayer.

The sun had done little to warm the day, which was still bitterly cold. Students had to walk the sixteen miles back to Andover. One of them, Ephraim Newton, collapsed in the snow, and was found half-frozen by other students who hurried to carry him to a nearby house where he was revived in blankets near a fire.

Like the Judsons, Nott and Newell married shortly before sailing to Asia, and had little chance for a honeymoon. Days and evenings were lost in fundraising and meetings. Unfavorable winds delayed the sailing of the ship Caravan with the Judsons and Newells aboard. When they finally did sail, they almost foundered in a storm, the captain remarking that only Providence could save them. While at sea, Adoniram studied Bible teaching on baptism and became a Baptist.

News updates on the persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World


“Lord, forgive our persecutors” say Rohingya Christians brutally attacked in Muslim Rohingya backlash 

One Rohingya Christian is missing and twelve were seriously injured, including several children, in multiple attacks by Rohingya Muslim mobs on the isolated Rohingya Christian community in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp, Bangladesh.

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“Full scale jihad” unfolds in Nigeria as Fulani kill thirteen Christians amid ceaseless Boko Haram bloodshed

Thirteen young Christian men were killed and nine others injured as they tried to protect their community and stop their cattle from being stolen by raiding Fulani militants on January 11.

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Fifteen Christians killed after Fulani gunmen open fire in Plateau State, Nigeria

Fifteen Nigerian Christians were killed when Fulani extremist gunmen opened fire in a bar in Kwatas, Plateau State, on Sunday, January 26.

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Christians flee in terror as Hindu extremists hurl objects at church in India

Christians gathered for a church prayer meeting fled in terror after a mob of Hindu nationalist extremists pelted a church in West Bengal with objects.

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Indian church leaders raise alarm over Christian girls targeted in Islamist “love jihad”

An announcement from leaders of the largest Christian denomination in Kerala, India, raised serious concerns that young Christian women are being targeted in a “love jihad” campaign and lured into an Islamic State (IS) trap.

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Christians living near Wuhan in China contact Barnabas calling for worldwide prayer

A Barnabas contact, who has relatives living near Wuhan city, has affirmed the seriousness of the Coronavirus outbreak in China and called on Christians throughout China and worldwide to pray for the situation:

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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 Aid 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

No Rest for a Weary Clara Swain

No Rest for a Weary Clara Swain

Travel today can be fatiguing. When Clara Swain left the United States in 1869, to become the world’s first qualified woman medical missionary, it was far more arduous than now. She wrote:

“The latter part of our voyage was very rough and I was too sick to write, and I had five sick ones to look after besides myself…I cannot bear to think of the sea, it treated me so badly.”

Circumstances did not brighten when she landed at Bombay, India. Her luggage was a week late. When she attempted to leave Bombay in a horse-drawn conveyance known as a dak garis, the horses lay down and refused to go, despite all coaxing. She slept in the dak garis, well aware that the fires winking in the distance were to keep tigers away from villages. Thanks to delays, she arrived at her next stop, Jubalpore, too late to catch the train to Cawnpore. She had to wait another day. At Cawnpore, she was still one hundred and eighty miles from her destination, Bareilly.

With no knowledge of the local language, she was hard pressed to obtain food. In the end, she found it necessary to fast most of that day and night as she traveled in another dak garis. She arrived in Bareilly at five in the morning, on this date January 20, 1870.

After so exhausting a journey, she might have been forgiven if she sought a day of rest before beginning medical work, especially since her luggage, with its precious cargo of medicines, would not arrive for another month. However, rest was not to be her lot.

“My medical work really began the day of my arrival. When I came out of my room in the morning I found a company of native Christian women and girls eagerly awaiting the appearance of the “Doctor Miss Sahiba,” and with the aid of a good missionary sister I was able to understand their words of welcome and find out what I could do to help them. As I had no medicines with me, I procured a few simple remedies for their ailments from Mrs. Thomas…”

By the end of the year she had treated 1,300 patients and trained seventeen medical students. Single-handed, she lectured on anatomy, physiology, materia medica, and diseases of women and children. By 1874, she had built the Women’s Hospital and Medical School, the first in all of Asia.

Its forty two acres was acquired miraculously from the Nawab of Rampore. This zealous Muslim had sworn he would never allow a Christian missionary in his city. After deep prayer, Clara and another missionary approached him about the land. He greeted her royally, feasted her, and exclaimed, “Take it, take it; I give it to you with much pleasure for that purpose.”

Clara’s work was essential, because male doctors were not allowed to attend women. Religious customs secluded high-caste females to Zenanas. Medical care was usually provided by ignorant barber girls. Clara used her skills as a doctor to gain an entrance for the good news that Christ had come to free India’s women of sin and raise their status.

When Clara’s health began to falter in the hot climate, she accepted an offer to become palace doctor to the Rajah of Rajputana and his Rani. She attempted to teach the love of Christ to women so spiritually ignorant that they even worshiped her sewing machine! Clara recounted these experiences in colorful letters home, published in 1909 under the title, A Glimpse of India. Her missionary adventures included a brush with death in a flood and a close call while riding an elephant in another of her arduous journeys.

Today in Church History

The End for Evelyn “Granny” Brand

The End for Evelyn "Granny" Brand

Tears streaking her cheeks, Evie Brand pleaded with her mission board. Rules were rules, they answered. She was too old to go back to India. She must retire.

Evie had sacrificed her comforts, her tiny income, her family for the work. With her husband, Jesse, she had pioneered on the Mountains of Death until he died of fever. Year after year, she lived entirely on a small inheritance and set aside her official salary to buy parcels of land for the mission. But the board said it made no sense to appoint a sixty-eight year old woman to another five year term.

Evie did not see it that way. Years ago, she and her husband Jesse had vowed to reach five mountain ranges with the gospel. Four still had to be reached. Evie felt that God intended for her to fulfill that vow. She saw one last chance. “Please just send me back for one year,” she pleaded. “I promise not to make any more trouble. At the end of one year I will retire.”

Reluctantly the board agreed. Had they known Evie’s secret plan, they would surely have refused. When her year with the mission ended, fellow missionaries gathered to wish her goodbye. Then came the shocker. Evie gleefully informed them that she was retiring from the mission– retiring to take up independent work in the mountains. She would fulfill the promise that she and Jesse had undertaken years before. Protests and warnings fell on deaf ears.

Rejoicing, seventy-year-old Evie began to fulfill Jesse’s dream. Everyone called her “Granny,” now, but she felt young. She traveled from village to village, riding a hill pony, camping, teaching, and dispensing medicine. She rescued abandoned children. The work was hard because her body was thin now. Life became even more difficult when she was dropped by her carriers and whacked her head on a rock. She never completely recovered her balance after that. She took to walking with bamboo canes in her hands. Yet the face that she turned upon the world was full of joy and laughter. “Praise God!” she exclaimed continually.

Despite broken bones and fevers, she labored on. In fifteen years, she almost eradicated Guinea worm from the Kalryan range. (Guinea worms grow several feet long under a person’s skin.) Through her efforts, the five ranges were evangelized, and a mission work planted on each. She added two more ranges. “Extraordinary,” said people. Granny insisted it was all God’s doing.

Whether on her mountains or off, she proclaimed Christ. In a hospital with a broken hip, she scooted on a carpet from room to room and talked to the other patients. She painted landscapes for them. Her bones knit in record time and back she went to the mountains to fight marijuana growers. Her son Paul visited her and found her looking not older but younger. “This is how to grow old,” he wrote. “Allow everything else to fall away, until those around you see just love.”

Granny tore some ligaments and had to go to the plains for treatment. Before she could return to her beloved mountains, her speech became jumbled and her memory failed. Seven days later, on this day, December 18th, 1974, she died. The next day her body was taken back to the hills and laid beside Jesse’s while a multitude wept. The woman who was considered too old for missions had carried on for twenty-four more years.