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


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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!


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News from the Persecuted Church

Collage of Nigerian people; graves

IDP camps are overflowing, and aid is difficult due to the pandemic.

Like most of the world, Nigeria has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Although Nigerians have been told to shelter in place, that hasn’t slowed a wave of attacks against Christians in northern Nigeria. VOM workers reported these recent attacks that occurred within just one week this month:

  • May 16: Fulani Islamic militants attacked Ungwa Anjo, in southern Kaduna state. Two people were killed and many others displaced as attackers burned Christians’ houses and property.
  • May 18: Boko Haram extremists attacked Dapchi village, in Yobe state. The Islamists burned down the General Hospital, forcing many patients to run for their lives. Since the attack, many have been reported missing.
  • May 21: Fulani Islamic militants launched another attack in southern Kaduna state, one of many recent attacks in the region. VOM workers are still trying to determine how many were injured or killed. IDP (internally displaced people) camps are overflowing, and aid is difficult due to the pandemic.

Despite ongoing danger from both militants and the virus, VOM workers are delivering aid to Christians affected by these attacks. We invite you to make a special gift to help our persecuted Christian family members in Nigeria. Simply click on this link.

 


 

Barnabas Fund

Prayer Focus Update is a monthly information bulletin with up-to-date news on the persecuted Church to help Christians pray for their suffering brothers and sisters. You can use this for prayer groups, your own information and for inclusion in church magazines.

It is available in various formats on the Barnabas Aid website or can be sent through the post free of charge. Please contact your national Barnabas Aid office if you would like to receive this in the mail.

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“Whoever loses their life for me and for the Gospel will save it.” Mark 8:35

News updates on the persecuted Church

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

Our Faith in Today’s World

 

Islamic State circulates video of militants beheading, shooting eleven Christian captives in Nigeria

Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) posted unverified video footage on December 26 of its militants beheading ten Christian men and shooting an eleventh dead in north-east Nigeria.

Read full article


Christians and aid workers among ten murdered as militants attack convoy in Nigeria

At least ten people were killed and two women taken captive when Islamist militants targeted Christians and those working for international aid organizations, travelling in a convoy in north-east Nigeria on December 22.

Read full article


Extremists shoot dead two pastors after Christmas Day service in Central African Republic

Two pastors were shot dead by Muslim militants as they travelled together by car after a Christmas service on December 25 in the Central African Republic.

Read full article


China’s draconian new rules for religious groups insist they “spread Communist Party principles”

Christians, banned by authorities in some regions of China from celebrating Christmas last month, are bracing themselves for the introduction in February of stringent new regulations that will put almost every aspect of religious life under the control of the Communist Party.

Read full article


Prayers answered as more than 50 churches allowed to reopen in Myanmar’s Shan State

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) in control of the Wa Special Region in Myanmar (Burma), bordering China’s Yunnan province, has allowed at least 50 churches to reopen.

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 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.