Category Archives: Christian Persecution

#PressRelease: Remember North Korea’s Persecuted Christians

North Korea

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
June 12, 2018
Contact: Chelsen Vicari, Cell: 540-239-2170, E-mail:

Washington, DC—Tuesday’s historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un resulted in promises of nuclear disarmament and security. However, it is uncertain if protecting and advancing human rights was among the leaders’ commitments. There are deep concerns, and reports, that the summit between the presidents of the United States and North Korea would not touch on North Korea’s egregious human rights abuses.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2018 report ranks North Korea as a “Tier One” country. The situation remains especially alarming for Christians living under North Korea’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Examples of North Korea’s atrocious persecution of Christians cited by IRD International Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J.H. McDonnell include:

  • A former DPRK prison guard testifying before Congress confirmed the regime’s intense hatred for Christians. In one incident he recounted a woman, in prison because she was a Christian, was kicked repeatedly and left for days because a prison guard overheard her praying for a child (Yes, children are in prison camps because the regime imprisons three generations of a family for the transgression of one member.)
  • In prison factories, guards poured molten steel on Christians to kill them because believing in God instead of Kim Il-sung was the biggest crime in the eyes of the officials.
  • 2004 BBC documentary Access to Evil interviewed several defectors, former prison officials, who revealed that North Korea conducts deadly experiments on prisoners with gas chambers and chemicals. They indicated that those prisoners the regime considered “enemies of the state,” particularly Christians, were selected for the experiments. The former prison camp official watched a Christian family die in the gas chamber, with parents trying to shield their children from the fumes to the very end.

McDonnell commented:

“Try as it might, North Korea’s government has never wiped out Christianity. Some experts say that there are as many as 400,000 secret believers, most of whom became Christians in China or through contact with Chinese or South Korean Christians. They live in constant threat of imprisonment or execution.

“Few American Christians lose sleep over their fellow Christians in North Korea – if they even know they exist.

“Perhaps American Christians don’t know that the same regime that threatened to turn the United States into a pile of ash turns its own wretched citizens who die in political prison camps into piles of ash? It then uses them as fertilizer. In that appalling action, North Korea demonstrates one way in which it wipes out the very existence of Christians, as well as other political prisoners.

“While U.S. Christian organizations like the National Council of Churches and the National Association of Evangelicals have ignored the plight of Christians in North Korea and focused on a pacifistic approach to the summit, those who track North Korea’s human rights abuses approached the summit as an opportunity to help the country’s Christians, and indeed, all of the beleaguered citizens of the DPRK.

“We urge the Trump Administration to follow the example of President Ronald Reagan who rightly linked the advancement of human rights, including religious freedom, with nuclear disarmament.

“Barring divine intervention, only a drastic, verifiable change in the way that Kim Jong-un treats his own people, including the so-called ‘hostiles,’ the Christians, may indicate the possibility of North Korea ending its own hostility towards the free world.”

Source: #PressRelease: Remember North Korea’s Persecuted Christians

Persecution of Chinese Christians Worse Now Than Under Bloody Mao

Bibles are being confiscated, decorative crosses destroyed, churches closed and attendance monitored by government authorities
— Read on

Global Christian Persecution Summit: Why Don’t Christians Care about Christians? — Juicy Ecumenism

Institute on Religion and Democracy Media Advisory April 17, 2018 Contact: Chelsen Vicari, cell: 540-239-2170, e-mail: Who: Institute on Religion and Democracy What: A summit examining why American Christians have failed persecuted Christians overseas and aiming to inject concern for the Persecuted Church into the very DNA of American churches. Where: Dirksen Senate Office…

via Global Christian Persecution Summit: Why Don’t Christians Care about Christians? — Juicy Ecumenism

Pray for North Korea’s Persecuted Christians

North Korea flag

On March 27, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) released a statement urging Christians everywhere to pray for peace on the Korean Peninsula.  Evangelicals can surely unite on the issue of peace. But unfortunately, it seems the NAE’s call to prayer glosses over North Korea’s egregious human rights violations, including the persecution of Christians.

The statement reads:

We pray for wisdom for our political, diplomatic and military leaders as they work across differences toward a goal of peace, security and freedom. We pray that God will bless the efforts of citizens who seek to bridge the vast differences between our countries.


Decades of people-to-people contact between North Korea and the United States- through business, educational and other humanitarian exchanges – have put a human face on those who are sometimes characterized by one another as enemies. So, we pray with empathy and in a spirit of friendship, noting the image of God in every human being. However profound the differences between our governments, we do not view the North Korean people as our enemies. On the contrary, we desire only the best for the people of North Korea.

(You can read the full statement here.)

Signatories include the left-leaning Jim Wallis, founder and CEO of Sojourners, Robert Zachritz, Vice President of World Vision, Pastor Lee Younghoon, senior pastor of a megachurch in South Korea, as well as several Korean-American church leaders. Others include Kyle Healy, pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and more.

While Evangelicals differ in their approaches to justice and security, surely all agree the threats posed by North Korea exceeds the definition of “differences.” The NAE is correct in noting there are profound differences between the United States government and North Korea’s oppressive regime. North Korea’s government views the spread of Christianity as a pernicious, criminalizes evangelism, and tosses Christians into cruel labor camps where they are starved, beaten, and worse.

Writing at Providence magazine, Robert S. Kim noted, “North Korea’s efforts to eradicate Christianity in Pyongyang and elsewhere in its territory have been so ruthless and systematic that today few outside of Korea know that it was ever there.” American Evangelicals can’t imagine the horrors our fellow Christians face in North Korea, but we should work to understand their reality and highlight their plight.

I am thankful for the NAE’s well-intentioned call to pray for peace but am disappointed the statement is silent on Christians suffering under the oppressive regime.

As a Korean-American, I have witnessed the emotional pain of a divided Korean Peninsula. I’ve listened to my grandparents tell of their families separated by the Korean War. My grandparents routinely remind me to pray that one day Korea will unite as a peaceful nation state. I have met North Korean defectors and heard their stories of fear and torture experienced in labor camps. I have listened to fellow Christians testify of the pain and misery they faced because of their faith. Although it is emotionally distressing to hear of their suffering, it encourages me to know that they held even tighter to their faith in Jesus Christ.

I join the NAE in prayer for peace on the Korean Peninsula. But I also pray that North Korea’s government leaders are convicted of their sinful human rights abuses and that they find salvation in the Prince of Peace. I earnestly pray that God is with our fellow Christians persecuted by an oppressive regime. May the Lord watch over them, protect them, and reward them for their undaunted faith in the midst of persecution. May the Lord bless them and keep them as they spread the Gospel in North Korea.

Source: Pray for North Korea’s Persecuted Christians

‘Save The Persecuted Christians’ Campaign Launches

Save The Persecuted Christians

Institute on Religion & Democracy Press Release
February 14, 2018
Contact: Jeff Walton Office: 202-682-4131, Cell: 202-413-5639, E-mail:

“Caring for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, and knowing that we are one body of Christ with them, should be in the DNA of every church and every individual follower of Jesus Christ.”
– IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell 

Washington, DC—The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is joining with the Save The Persecuted Christians (STPC) campaign, an informal alliance of individuals and non-profit organizations dedicated to using their expertise, skills, and energy to protect Christians worldwide suffering discrimination, torture, rape, slavery, banishment and murder simply because they believe in Jesus Christ.

The campaign is modeled after the extraordinary work of the campaign to Save Soviet Jewry, which began in 1970 with banners and signage in front of synagogues and churches. Save The Persecuted Christians hopes to spawn a similarly powerful movement that will be a catalyst for change in the minds and hearts of American Christians – to wake the sleeping, transform the apathetic, ignite the passive, and empower all those who care but don’t know how to take action.

Dozens of churches will hang the official “Save The Persecuted Christians” banner in front of their place of worship beginning today. Churches can continue to join the effort at any time, by ordering a free banner and information/resources kit from the website,

IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith McDonnell, with 24 years of experience in advocacy work for persecuted Christians, coordinates IRD’s partnership in STPC.

IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

“IRD is proud to be part of the Save The Persecuted Christians coalition, and to re-energize a movement that 20 years ago led to the International Religious Freedom Act and other policy efforts to help the persecuted.

“A day that is both St. Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday is especially appropriate to launch a campaign that we hope will become a gift from the heart of American Christians to their brothers and sisters who are suffering for their faith, and a time to remember that although the Lenten road experienced by persecuted Christians is so long and hard, it leads to resurrected life.

“It is my hope and prayer that churches that look to IRD for counsel on having a truly Biblical social witness in the world will immediately reach out to the STPC website and join the campaign. Caring for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted, and knowing that we are one body of Christ with them, should be in the DNA of every church and every individual follower of Jesus Christ.

“This initiative is truly on the heart of God. IRD has planned a conference for May 10 of this year on Western Christian apathy to the plight of persecuted. With the work of the STPC campaign, we envision more Western Christians empowered to daily intercede for and to take action on behalf of their persecuted fellow Christians.”

Source: ‘Save The Persecuted Christians’ Campaign Launches

CultureWatch: The Budapest Declaration

One of the most pressing issues of our day is the wholesale persecution of Christians. As has often been pointed out, more Christians have died for their faith over the past century than throughout two millennia of church history. And much of this persecution and death comes from political Islam.

Yet few governments are talking about this or taking it seriously. Thankfully there was a recent exception to this, when participants from 32 countries attended a two-day conference in Budapest. It was held on October 11-13 this year and called, “International Conference on the Persecution of Christians – Seeking Answers to a Long-neglected Crisis”.

It was hosted by Hungary’s Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians within the Ministry of Human Capacities. The result of this meeting was the Budapest Declaration. This important document raises attention to this Christian persecution and calls on governments to act on it.

The 13 points of the Budapest Declaration are well worth sharing here:

The participants of the conference

(1) Express their deepest solidarity towards those Christian and other religious minorities around the world that are being persecuted.

(2) Welcome and support all efforts by governments, church and non-governmental organisations whose aim is to raise their voices in the name of the persecuted religious minorities of the world, with particular emphasis on Christians.

(3) Recognise the Hungarian government’s actions in support of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, as well as the similar actions of other governments.

(4) Condemn any action aimed at denying or curtailing the free exercising of basic human rights, with particular emphasis on violations of religious freedom.

(5) Call upon the international community to speak for persecuted religious minorities, stand up for them, and use all possible legal means against groups that commit atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities.

(6) Emphasise that the barbarian acts committed by the terrorist organisation calling itself the Islamic State, or any other similar terrorist organisations or militias, amount to crimes against humanity and war crimes, and accordingly all countries of the world must act in order to stop these criminal activities and bring to justice the persons responsible for them.

(7) Support the role of the special envoy in reinforcing freedom of religion and belief outside the European Union.

(8) Call upon the European Union to revise the effectiveness of restrictive measures and amend them taking into account the interests of the civilian populations of the countries involved.

(9) Call upon the world’s political decision-makers and influencers of public opinion to promote the free exercise of religion in the crisis areas where Christians and other religious minorities are being persecuted, in order to ensure international freedom and security, with particular emphasis on certain regions of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

(10) Call upon the world’s governments and international organisations to seek long-term solutions in order to end the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, and to ensure the exercising of all human rights, included that of the free exercising of religion in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(11) Call for the urgent reconstruction of schools and other infrastructures, in order to allow Christians and other persecuted religious minorities to remain or return to their ancestral lands.

(12) Call for the support of political, economic and security solutions that will allow Christians or refugees belonging to other religious minorities to return to their home countries.

(13) Urge common action on behalf of the world’s governments and international organisations to end atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities, and to implement immediate and concrete measures in accordance with that goal.

This is a much-needed declaration and it is hoped that governments around the world will take it seriously. Indeed, I notice at least two recent initiatives since this conference was held, and they offer an encouraging way ahead. In the UK a symbolic gesture is taking place today:

On 22 November, churches and public buildings around the world, including the houses of the British Parliament, will be lit up in red as a sign of solidarity with persecuted Christians across the globe.
Numerous studies have shown that Christians are by far the most persecuted religious group in the world, with some 90,000 Christians killed for their faith in 2016 alone, while as many as 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith.
The event known as #RedWednesday calls attention to the plight of Christians in hostile situations around the globe by using the color red to evoke the notion of Christian martyrdom. Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), a Catholic organization that assists persecuted Christians, has organized the event in conjunction with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
According to ACN, the rights of people of faith are “largely ignored in a society whose secular focus knows little about religion and cares even less.” A 2015 report found that Christians suffer widespread discrimination and ridicule even in the United Kingdom.
For this second annual #REDWEDNESDAY, organizers are inviting people to show their solidarity by wearing red, lighting buildings or landmarks red and holding peaceful prayer events.

And in the US, the Vice-President spoke out on this hugely pressing issue:

Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address Wednesday night at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) annual summit, and brought a message of solidarity and hope for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East. “The Bible tells us that all who desire to live a godly life through Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” Pence said. “Sadly, today, Christianity is under unprecedented assault in the ancient land where it first grew.”
“Tonight, I came to tell you help is on the way. President Trump and I and our entire administration are working tirelessly to protect these ancient communities,” he added. Christians and religious minorities have endured ongoing torture in the Middle East, actions the Trump administration calls by name: genocide.
“They are genocide. They are crimes against humanity and we will call them what they are,” Pence said. The vice president also didn’t shy away calling the force behind the violence by name.
“President Trump and I see these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred for Christians and the gospel of Christ. And so too does this president know who and what has perpetrated these crimes and he calls them by name: radical Islamic terrorism,” Pence said.

All this is a good start on a long-term and widespread problem. Much more of course needs to be done. But Christians worldwide will applaud what took place in Hungary recently, and I look forward to seeing the principles enunciated in the Budapest Declaration seriously acted upon.

Please share this document far and wide. And, at the very least, keep the persecuted church in your prayers.

Source: The Budapest Declaration

CultureWatch: The Global Persecution of Christians

There is no other group on the planet subject to so much persecution, suffering and death as Christians. Primarily at the hands of Islam, Christianity is the most abused and persecuted group today, and it seems to be getting worse as we speak.

Daily we see graphic reminders of the war on Christianity, with believers being killed around the world at alarming rates. One organisation working on behalf of the persecuted church, Open Doors, lays out the facts and figures this way:

Each month:
-322 Christians are killed for their faith
-214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed
-772 forms of violence are committed against Christians (such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests, and forced marriages)

persecution 24One write-up on this topic also makes for scary reading:

In many parts of the world, Christians gathering to celebrate Christ’s resurrection do so with the knowledge that any day their faith could cost them their lives as it has for thousands of their brothers and sisters….
During the last calendar year, some 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith across the globe, making Christians by far the most persecuted group in the world, according to a study from the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).
The director of CESNUR, Dr. Massimo Introvigne, told Breitbart News that whereas atheistic communist regimes were the greatest persecutors of Christians in the last century, “Islamic ultra-fundamentalism” has taken its place as the number-one agent of persecution.
The Center’s findings corroborate those of other scholars and human rights groups. According to the 2016 “World Watch List,” for example, published by the Open Doors organization, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer “extreme persecution” had populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim.
Their 2016 report revealed that “Islamic extremism is by far the most significant persecution engine” of Christians in the world today and that “40 of the 50 countries on the World Watch List are affected by this kind of persecution.”
During the year, nearly one-third of the Christians killed for their faith were executed at the hands of Islamic extremists such as the Islamic State or Boko Haram.
While tens of thousands of Christians are killed for their faith, Introvigne said, they are just the tip of the iceberg and much persecution takes place on a daily basis that never makes news. Along with the enormous number of deaths, a great many more Christians—as many as 600 million—were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016.

As you know Coptic Christians in Egypt have especially been targeted of late. Coptic believers in the UK are certainly worried about all this. As one news report states:

Amir Michaeel is a Coptic Christian and like many others he struggles to understand why his faith is such a target overseas. ‘In a way it can be like, because we are not retaliating, we are a weaker target and we are easy prey,’ he said. ‘But at the same time I feel like there is something profoundly difficult about attacking someone who is not retaliating. For someone to turn the other cheek and for you to feel okay to hit them, I feel like it would take something quite inhumane to do something like that.’
There is a general perception that the media, and the West, has in recent years largely ignored attacks on Christians in some parts of the world. Tim Stanley, journalist for the Daily Telegraph, has written on the subject and told Sky News that people are too afraid to call it ‘a war’.
He said: ‘Some Western governments are legitimately worried about appearing to validate the narrative of the Islamists that this is about Islam versus Christianity, so they don’t want to talk about the persecution of Christians and I get that. The problem is that’s exactly what is actually happening. Moreover, I fear that some of that is political correctness.’

Yes, Western nations should be at the forefront of standing up for these persecuted believers. Yet in the West our leaders too often seem far more worried about Muslims having their feelings hurt. We have managed to side against the persecuted while siding with the persecutors.

Thankfully there are some notable exceptions here. Let me single out just one: Coalition frontbencher Michael Sukkar, the Federal member for Deakin. Late last year he released a ‘Grievance Motion on the Global Persecution of Christians’. He said in part:

I rise this evening to speak about a matter of great importance to me and many people in the Australian community and, I hope and believe, to many people throughout our world: that is, the persecution of Christians around the world. We hear much in the media commentariat and elsewhere about the persecution of various groups globally. Often this is warranted, and it is important to recognise that our efforts as Australians and as part of the Western world to fight against these injustices are often informed by the Judaeo-Christian values that underpin the values of our country and our civilisation more broadly.
Yet in our world today, the undeniable reality is that it is those of a Christian faith who are the most persecuted people in the world. This persecution can often be at the hands intolerant majorities of other faiths or militant groups, but it is more often than not state sponsored persecution against Christians that is becoming increasingly widespread. Of even greater concern is that this state sponsored persecution often comes at the hands of governments who receive foreign aid from Australia as well as other Western nominally Christian countries.
One shocking recent example is that of Asia Bibi, a mother of five in Pakistan who has essentially been sentenced to death for the crime of being Christian in a Muslim majority country after a recent sentence hearing on a charge of blasphemy. You may ask: What was her crime? She was alleged to have told colleagues that Jesus would have taken a different viewpoint to Mohammed when she was asked not to drink from the same water supply as the Muslim residents in her village. They believed that she would foul the water supply with her unclean Christian hands. After Asia Bibi allegedly said that Jesus would take a different view, a Muslim replied: ‘How dare you question the prophet, you dirty animal.’ Three other women joined in shouting, ‘It’s true, you’re nothing but a dirty Christian.’
This is sadly just another example of the ongoing persecution and terror that Christians face in Pakistan. Christian women and girls are regularly abducted in Pakistan; some are killed, others are forced to convert and marry; and many never heard from again. This is all occurring at a time when Pakistan is a huge beneficiary of foreign aid funding from a number of Western nations. From Australia alone, Pakistan will receive more than $55 million in aid this year. Other places such as the United States and the United Kingdom give at even higher levels. Clearly, it is a grave concern that Australian taxpayer dollars would go to a country and government that carries out such egregious human rights abuses directed at a particular minority—in this case, Pakistani Christians.
If Pakistani does carry out the execution or refuses to release Bibi, Australia should cut all aid and consider further sanctions, including sporting bans which would necessarily affect the Pakistan cricket team. This would send a strong message to the world that Australia will always stand up for persecuted minorities, not least the Christian communities that the world seems to have turned its back on.

And just a few weeks ago he called on Australia to officially recognise as genocide the Islamic State massacre of Christians in Iraq and Syria. As one news report states:

Mr Sukkar will call for a Coalition-sponsored motion to be put before parliament when it returns in May. The bid to build consensus on the issue comes after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was approached last year by an ISIS survivor for the government to adopt a genocide declaration against the terrorist group.
Labor’s Treasury spokesman, Chris Bowen, last year put a motion to parliament to recognise the ethnic and religious “cleansing” of Christians by ISIS but it was never put to debate. Mr Sukkar, a Lebanese Christian and MP for Deakin, has now called for the government to put its own motion to the house, following the Scottish parliament’s recognition last week of the mass killings as “genocide”.
“The persecution and attempted genocide of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East has been occurring for centuries,” Mr Sukkar told The Australian. “It has now reached its zenith with the bloodthirsty and barbaric Daesh (ISIS) attempting to wipe all Christians and Yazidis from the Middle East. Sadly, the silence has been deafening from large parts of the Western media and political class to these atrocities.”

Please get involved

There are many things concerned citizens can do about this. If you are a Christian, prayer is vital of course. Letting our leaders know about this and urging them to action is also crucial, and supporting MPs like Sukkar is certainly very important. Another course of action is a new petition being circulated by CitizenGo. Their initiative reads as follows:

Last Sunday two deadly attacks rocked Egypt in two different cities, killing at least 45 Christians. Daesh (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks in what has become an everyday occurrence for thousands of Christians worldwide.
Since December, the attacks by ISIS in Egypt have increased and Christians have been killed in their homes, businesses and places of worship. According to experts, the destabilisation of Egypt has become a new target for ISIS.
Speaking in Australia following the attacks, Federal Liberal MP Michael Sukkar told Sky news: “There needs to be a political awakening and movement for people who want to practice their faith in peace.”
He called for the Australian parliament to declare the atrocities committed against Christians around the world as ‘genocide’ and accused the Islamic State radicals of waging a war on Christianity.
Please sign this petition now to support this call to the Australian government:

Signing and sharing this petition is the least we can do for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Please do so now.–says-charity.html

[1710 words]

The post The Global Persecution of Christians appeared first on CultureWatch.

July 28, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Considering Christ

By Rev. Colin Mercer – Posted at

When John Huss was being put to death he was led to the suburbs of Constance to be burned at the stake. When he reached the place, wearing the paper “cap of blaspheme” he fell on his knees and began to chant Psalm 31. He looked steadfastly towards heaven and chanted verse 5: “Into thy hands O Lord! Do I commit my spirit, Thou hast redeemed me, O most good and faithful God.” When he finished quoting those words his persecutors put a chain around his waist and tied him to the stake. Huss responded to the chain with these words: “My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake; why then should I be ashamed of this old rusty one?”

It is good to understand what John Huss was saying. In the midst of fierce and fatal persecution he lifted his thoughts heavenward and contemplated the greater suffering Christ had endured for him. …

Read more here…

North Korean Representative on Persecution of Christians: “Absolutely False”

ICC Note: It appears that this spokesperson for North Korea knows where his paycheck comes from.  Fortunately, added to the original report are some of the tweets and reports on the Internet on the well-documented abuses carried out by the North Korean regime against Christians.  And let’s not discount the personal testimonies of those who have risked their lives to escape from North Korea. 

By staff reporter, Barcelona

07/27/2015 North Korea (Evangelical Focus)

The representative of Cultural Relations of North Korea with Foreign Countries, the Spaniard Alejandro Cao, has denied the fact that Christian believers are being persecuted under the regime of Kim Jong Un. Joel Forster (@joelfwal), editor of Evangelical Focus, asked Cao on Twitter about Christians being persecuted in North Korea. The regime’s delegate responded: “It is absolutely false. The problem in the world is that there are enlighted people like you who believe themselves to be representatives of God or even God”. In several other tweets, the representative of the Asian regime threw more personal attacks (“you are not a religious person but an activist of the USA”) and pointed at evangelical Christians: “You take advantage of drug addicts and homeless people to force them to become evangelists in exchange of a plate of soup.”

When asked about the possibility of the existance of a God who would make justice to those people suffering under the North Korean regime, Cao mockingly responded: “He [God] seems to be arriving late. We have been here for 70 years, and many more to come”. Cao is an official “special delegate” of the North Korean regime and has been the contact which has allowed some journalists to enter the hermetic country, always under strict vigilance. He has appeared on several tv and radio broadcasts defending the atrocities of his “beloved leader” Kim Jong Un and his predecessors, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung. Therefore it is not a surprise that the special delegate defined the regime as “the closest to an ideal human society. Without drugs and prostitution. Where values are above money”.

[Full Story]

Christians Being Forced to Convert in Mexico

Forced conversions are occurring not only in Africa or the Middle East, but to Christians in multiple states across Mexico. Tragically, for many Christian families in Mexico, the violation of their religious rights has not only cost them their personal security, but also the right to educate their children, and the right to maintain their own property. Speak up for our persecuted brothers and sisters today. Learn how:

‘There is No Solution Except Jihad in the Path of Allah’: Leader of Somali Terror Group Al-Shabaab Sends out Chilling Call for Fresh Wave of Terror Attacks Across East Africa

ICC Note:  The leader of al-Shabaab has encouraged Muslims in East Africa to help the cause of Jihad and “kill evil Christians”, according to reports.  According to emails, Ahmed Omar Abu-Ubeyda, the new leader of al-Shabaab, encouraged Muslims from Uganda, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the Central African Republic to join the terror group.  Al-Shabaab is notorious for committing countless atrocities against civilians in Somalia and Kenya, often specifically targeting Christians.  In the attack on Garissa University in Kenya on April 2, al-Shabaab led an assault on the college campus, sparing Muslims while specifically murdering Christians.  The Somali-based terror organization was also responsible for the deadly attack on Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013.  

By Jay Akbar

7/27/15, Kenya (Daily Mail) – The leader of Somali terror-group Al-Shabaab has urged Muslims in east-Africa to rise up against the ‘evil Christians’.

In an online statement obtained by MailOnline, Ahmed Omar Abu-Ubeyda told them to ‘migrate to the lands of Jihad’ and seek out battlefields all over the world.

He also welcomed the people of Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda and the dangerously unstable Central African Republic to come to Al-Shabaab’s terror training camps.

Ubeyda was appointed the group’s leader in September 2014 after Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in a U.S. airstrike.

The extremist has made his first public statement since becoming the terror group’s chief in the new report called ‘Eid greetings to the Muslim ummah [community]’.

He justified Al-Shabaab’s cross-border attacks on Kenya in the hate-filled document by saying they were revenge for the ‘oppression and humiliation’ Muslims are facing in his own nation.

[Full Story]

Hundreds of Pakistani Christian Women Raped and Forcibly Married and Converted to Islam

ICC Note:

A recent report details the extent to which Pakistani Christian and Hindu girls are forced into marriages with Muslims and then pressured to convert. According to the report, over 1,000 women from religious minority groups are abducted, raped, and forcibly married to their rapist as they are forcibly converted to Islam. This issue remains widespread in Pakistan and begets international attention.

7/28/2015 Pakistan (Christianity Today) – Every year, at least 1,000 Pakistani girls are forced into Muslim marriages and made to convert to Islam, according to a new report.

The ‘Forced Marriages and Inheritance Deprivation‘ report from the Karachi-based Aurat Foundation claims that between 100 and 700 Christian girls, and around 300 Hindu girls, are married forcibly each year and forced to convert to Islam.

It quotes statistics from the Movement for Solidarity and Peace Pakistan (MSP), which says that an additional 1,791 forced conversions took place between 2000 and 2012. More than 600 of those converted were originally Christians.

Director of the Aurat Foundation, Mahnaz Rehman, explained to Fides news agency that forced conversion and marriage is common in Pakistan, but is largely ignored by police and civil authorities.

Women face significant discrimination, particularly on a religious basis, she added. Those who are forced to marry are often threatened and pressurised by their husband and his family to declare that their conversion was voluntary, even if the case is taken to court.

When MSP first released its statistics last year, its investigation found that forced marriages usually follow a similar pattern: girls, often between the ages of 12 and 25, are abducted, made to convert to Islam, and then married to the abductor or an associate. If a complaint is filed, then “girls are held in custody by the abductors [until the hearing] and suffer all kinds of abuse and violence,” the Aurat Foundation states.

“These cases are never investigated seriously to shed light on the phenomenon and mechanism of the crime.”

However, many forced marriages go unreported because “women are considered and treated as repositories of family honour, whose defiance or disobedience is tantamount to public shame and humiliation,” and it is also often used as a cover for human trafficking.

(Full Story)

Dying For Christianity: Millions At Risk Amid Rise In Persecution Across The Globe

ICC Note: The rate of persecution worldwide has risen dramatically according to organizations that monitor religious freedom around the globe. It is estimated that one in every ten Christians of the 2.2 billion Christians suffers some form of restriction or persecution. The crimes range from death and torture to general social exclusion and political restrictions.

07-27-2015 (The Guardian): Christians are facing growing persecution around the world, fuelled mainly by Islamic extremism and repressive governments, leading the pope to warn of “a form of genocide” and for campaigners to speak of “religio-ethnic cleansing”.

The scale of attacks on Christians in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America has alarmed organisations that monitor religious persecution, with most reporting a significant deterioration in recent years.

On his recent trip to Latin America, Pope Francis said he was dismayed “to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus”. He went on: “In this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”

At Easter, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the leader of the Anglican church, spoke of Christian “martyrs”. Christians were living under persecution in almost half of the 38 Anglican provinces worldwide, he said this month. “They fear for their lives every day.”

The Prince of Wales has described threats to Christians in the Middle East as “an indescribable tragedy”.

According to David Alton, a crossbench peer who campaigns on religious freedom, “some assessments claim that as many as 200 million Christians in over 60 countries around the world face some degree of restriction, discrimination or outright persecution”. That is about one in 10 of the 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Christianity remains the faith with the most adherents.

“Whatever the real figures the scale is enormous. From Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt to North Korea, China, Vietnam and Laos, from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, from Cuba, Colombia and Mexico to Eritrea, Nigeria and Sudan, Christians face serious violations of religious freedom,” Alton said. Persecution ranged from murder, rape and torture to repressive laws, discrimination and social exclusion.

[Full Story]

Christians Under Pressure: From Bigotry At School To Imprisonment And Murder

ICC Note: The article focuses on the specific persecution in four different countries around the world. Each nation has its own forms of religious restrictions. In Egypt, Copts are often excluded from society and socially targeted for their beliefs. In Pakistan, blasphemy laws target Christians and end many believers in jail or on death row. In China the surveillance and communist atheist repression is very real but is also a driving force for the growth of the church. In Israel, there have been aimed and specific acts of terrorism and vandalism against churches in the historic land.

07-27-2015 Egypt/Pakistan/China/Israel (The Guardian):

 Egypt: ‘It pushes you to feel disengaged’

As a boy growing up in a country where football is a national passion, Mina Fayek joined a youth programme at a local sports club in the wealthy Cairo neighbourhood of Heliopolis. He started training, but one day he overheard his coach make an offhand remark: no Christians would join the first team, or make it to the championships

“My parents and I knew this is not going anywhere, and I had to choose another game,” Fayek, 26, a software engineer and blogger, recalled. He tried handball and basketball, two sports seen as more acceptable for Egyptian Christians to play.

Fayek, an affable young man, believes his social status shielded him from the worst forms of persecution inflicted on poorer Egyptian Christians. Instead, he was subject to a more subtle form of discrimination: the sense that the highest echelons of power and status in his country were off limits because of his religion.

During his 13 months of compulsory military service, he trained soldiers and officers in computer skills. As a Coptic Christian, he knew he could never serve in the intelligence branch. No Christians sit on the supreme council of armed forces.

“It pushes you to feel disengaged from your country,” Fayek said. “How could someone maintain his love for his country – and be passionate about building it – while at the same time he can’t be whatever he wants to be, whether a military commander or a police commander.”

Egypt is home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East, with the Copts widely estimated to be about 10% of the population. The exact figure is a matter of dispute, with the government and Coptic church offering varying estimates. In spite of a history of cooperation between the church and the Egyptian state, Copts today say they face both official discrimination and the threat of violent attacks by militants.

[Full Story]

‘Chanting Monks’ Deployed in Standoff over Cross Demolition in China’s Zhejiang

ICC Note:  This report demonstrates the length to which Zhejiang provincial authorities are going in order to carry out their campaign of cross removals and church demolitions.  The monks taking part in this confrontation should think twice about their involvement on the side of the government, particularly when Chinese authorities elsewhere in China are persecuting Buddhists. 

By Yang Fan

07/27/2015 China (Radio Free Asia)

Officials in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang sent in monks to burn incense and chant Buddhist scriptures as a “provocation” as Christian believers faced off with a government-backed demolition gang intent on removing a large cross from the roof of their church, church members told RFA on Monday.

The monks came in and chanted prayers, burning incense at the door of the Jinjia’er church in Zhejiang’s Huzhou city, where believers had been staging a sit-in in the hope of blocking access by the demolition gang for several days, a church follower who asked not to be named told RFA.

“We are Protestant Christians, so by sending monks to chant sutras they were trying to get us riled up,” the Jinjia’er congregant said. “They blocked the main door, and they were detaining anyone who got physical with them on public order charges.”

“They were trying to make us angry so that we would retaliate against them. They think that anyone who opposes the government is a traitor, or someone trying to overturn the Communist Party,” he said.

President Xi Jinping warned Communist Party ideologues earlier this year that the development of religion in China, which is already closely controlled by an army of religious affairs officials, should be “independent of foreign influence.”

Citing the rapid expansion in Christian believers after churches began to re-open in the wake of the political turmoil of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), Xi has described religion is a tool that can easily be used “by hostile foreign forces.”

[Full Story]

Will There Be a Future for Iraq’s Christians?

By Todd Daniels and Sandra Eliott

07/27/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “There is horrible and uncontrolled violence and chaos [that is] leaving non-Muslim minorities like the Christians [in] fear for their lives…”

Joseph Kassab, President of Iraqi Christians Advocacy And Empowerment Institute (ICAE), explains that only two options remain for Christian in the region: either submit to the violence or flee to Kurdistan and neighboring countries.

The current generation has grown up in a world where Iraqi land is bloodstained and war-torn. Nevertheless, Iraq was once the home to some of the most tolerant and ethno-religiously diverse cultures in the world. The fabric of coexistence stitched together both monotheists and polytheists in an ancient land held dear by all living upon it. Yazidi shrines neighbored Christian sites and Mosques shared a land marked with tombs of Jewish prophets.

Sadly, we now face a new reality of sectarian hatred and radical jihadists that are intent on erasing all cultures other than their own.

Dim-Lit Future

Many forget that the Middle East was the birthplace of Christianity and, until recently, a large number still lived there. In 1947 Iraq was home to approximately 4.5 million Christians; in 2003 the figure stood close to 1.5 million. Today, however, the number of Christians in Iraq has tragically fallen to less than 200,000, with perhaps another 150,000 in the Kurdistan region.

Still more tragic are the conditions in which these 200,000 live. The majority of remaining Christians live in Baghdad, where recently, four Christian men were kidnapped by Islamic extremists.

Dr. Bashar Ghanem Al Akrawi, Saad Galyana Shaba, Qais Abd Shaya and Saher Hanna Sony were all kidnapped within two weeks of each other in early July. The former two were rescued and are well, while the latter two were both killed by their captors, despite their families having paid ransoms for their lives.

These types of abductions among other forms of criminality are sectarian based and carried out by powerful and armed militias. Christians have likewise had their homes and household goods stolen from them by means of falsified documents and government corruption.


These people face a dim lit future.


A Chaldean Patriarch in Iraq recently told Asia News that Christians are “fully fledged citizens of the state, and for hundreds and hundreds of years they have contributed to its civilization and its culture.” He appealed to the government authorities to protect the lives and property of these citizens in Baghdad.


Joseph Kassab contrastingly explained to ICC that this is not a problem that the Iraqi government will be able to easily resolve as the government itself is fragile and corrupt. 

“There is no hope in this country”

Iraqi Christians, among other minorities, are suffering under dire circumstances with little to no help. Soon enough, their ancient presence in Iraq will no longer be. Bernan Petros, a Christian originally from Bartella, Iraq, told Rudaw News, “There is no hope in this country. We have no hope here. We are so tired of this situation, and now we are thinking of leaving–all Christians together–to seek another place in Europe.”

This is exactly what will happen unless the Western church acknowledges the reality of what is happening in the Middle East and acts to change it. There is an urgent need for security and aid, but even more important are the tools to restart life. If families are to choose to stay in Iraq they will require sources of income and opportunities for their children. These will be the building blocks for a new future.

We must realize that this is a war being waged against religious freedom, not just Iraqis. It is a war to drive out those who don’t adhere to the radical beliefs of ISIS or other extremists.

How many more fathers, sons, husbands and brothers need to be kidnapped and murdered before we stop turning a fearful blind eye to atrocity?

The Garissa Massacre: Stories from the Survivors

ICC Note:  Almost four months after the April 2 attacks on Garissa University, where al-Shabaab terrorists spared Muslim students and specifically targeted and killed Christian students, survivors of the attack recall in horror the events that unfolded that day.  In the aftermath of the attack, the students explained how several Christians now fear living on campus, and that tensions have been heightened between Muslim and Christian students.  Simon Kande, the chairman of FOCUS, has asked for prayers of healing and protection, while also praying to remain a powerful witnessing community for Christ at Garissa University.

By Krish Kandiah

7/25/15, Kenya (Christian Today) – “I heard gun shots at 5.50am and I managed to hide in the wardrobe for one and a half days. When I was rescued I found out my roommates did not survive. Because of my tiny wardrobe space, I was unable to walk for two weeks after that but I thank God for sparing my life” – Elsie Karemi.

The world was shocked when news of a massacre on a Kenyan university campus broke over the Easter weekend this year. What wasn’t widely reported was that many of the victims, like Elsie, were members of an evangelical student ministry called FOCUS.

The ministry began in the late 1950s, started by Christian faculty at the University of Nairobi. It is now working in 144 universities and higher education colleges. There are 68 staff, including 32 interns, and in total there are 42,000 students in the movement.

Garissa is in Northern Kenya and is the only university campus in that region. The FOCUS group there had 250 students involved, meeting for Bible study, prayer and praise. Like all the student Christian Unions in Kenya they hold their own Sunday services. In a Muslim dominated area both Muslims and Christians wake up early to pray. It was normal custom for CU members to meet at 5am for daily morning devotions.

[Full Story]

Garissa’s Christians Told ‘Worship Here and You’ll Die’

ICC Note:  Nearly four months after al-Shabaab’s deadly assault on Kenyan Christians in Garissa, Kenya on April 2, local Christians remain fearful of further attacks.  The Garissa University attack claimed 148 lives while injuring dozens more.  During the attack, the insurgents spared Muslim students and specifically targeted and murdered Christians.  Due to continued threats, many Christians no longer find it safe to live and worship in Garissa.  In the face of fear and uncertainty though, some Christians refuse to leave their churches and homes in Garissa, risking their lives and safety in the face of potential future attacks.

By Nima Elbagir and Antonia Mortensen

7/26/15, Kenya (CNN) – Christians have come under repeated attacks in North Eastern Province in Kenya at the hands of Al-Shabaab militants who have killed hundreds.

It’s sunrise over the Tana River. Traffic starts to flow over the bridge and morning rush hour begins. What looks like the beginning of a normal workday here has a much darker undertone. Most of the commuters are day laborers, people going into their offices, but also many Christians who are too scared to sleep inside Garissa town. They have decided to move themselves and their families across to the other side of the river to safety.

We met Esther as she was crossing the bridge on foot on her way to work. She is a mother of three and a Christian. When we ask her why she decided to move her and her family out of town she tells us: “It is because of Al-Shabaab that I moved out of Garissa. You can be shot anytime while you are walking. Even when we’re at home they can just come from the bush.”

In April this year, hundreds of students at Garissa University in northern Kenya came under attack when Al-Shabaab militants from across the border in Somalia raided dormitories at the college. Separating Christian students from their Muslim classmates, the raiders killed 147 and wounded dozens more. Today, the university stands empty.

Christians in North Eastern Kenya have come under repeated attacks by Al-Shabaab militants.


[Full Story]

Indian Christians Forced to Choose Between Christ and Government Stipends

ICC Note:

Recently, Hindu nationalist organizations have escalated their efforts to convert Christians and other religious minorities to Hinduism. These efforts at proselytization are part of an ongoing campaign by Hindu nationalists against Christians. In violation of India’s constitution, Hindu nationalists have steered government welfare benefits away from Christians, pressuring them to convert to Hinduism in order to receive benefits. As Christians are disproportionately found in the poor Dalit class, the decision to stand firm in their faith exacerbates their economic misery.

7/27/2015 India (Christian Post) – A Hindu nationalist organization has converted 39 people from Dalit Christian families to Hinduism in a controversial ceremony aimed at making them eligible for a government benefits program.

“We are moving ahead with our initiative and more families from other religions will be reconverted to Hinduism soon. We are being approached by many people who want to come back to their original faith,” said Viswha Hindu Parishad Alappuzha District Chief Prathap G Padickal, according to the Times of India.
The “ghar wapsi” programme in Kerala’s Alappuzha district previously oversaw another 30 Dalit Christians convert to Hinduism in December 2014.

The Dalits, known as the “untouchables,” make up India’s lowest caste, and are eligible for certain government benefits if they identify as Hindus

International Christian Concern, which reports on persecution taking place in India, noted that Christians from such low caste backgrounds are often soft targets for Hindu nationalists, who are seeking to take advantage of the stipulation in the government benefits program and lure people of other faiths into Hinduism.

“In most cases, people from low caste backgrounds are afforded government stipends and advantages, but these stipends and advantages are denied to low caste people who are registered as Christians or Muslims in India,” ICC noted. “In many cases the allurement o these government stipends and advantages are enough to convince people to convert to Hinduism.”

(Full Story)

Asia Bibi’s Fate Remains Uncertain Despite Upcoming Appeal

ICC Note:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has agreed to hear an appeal filed by Asia Bibi regarding her blasphemy charge, which is punishable by death. Until the Court has heard the appeal, Bibi cannot be executed. Bibi’s case is one of the most high profile stories of religious freedom abuses emanating out of Pakistan. Despite both international and internal calls for reform, the prevalence of intolerance and extremism in Pakistan has stifled any meaningful efforts to reform the country’s infamous blasphemy laws.

7/27/2015 Pakistan (Gatestone Institute) – Pakistan’s authorities appear to have found a solution to at least one of their problems in the international arena: Aasiya Noreen — or “Asia Bibi” — a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, who has been on death row for six years for allegedly insulting Muhammad.

Instead of executing Asia Bibi and further advertising to the international community that theirs is a savage and backwards nation — and instead of releasing her and provoking millions of angry Muslims to turn on the government and accuse it of supporting “apostasy” — Pakistan’s authorities appear to be letting time, wretched conditions, severe maltreatment, and beatings slowly kill her.

Recent reports state that she is deathly ill and “so weak she could hardly walk.” Mission Network News says that Asia Bibi has “internal bleeding, abdominal pain, and is vomiting blood. If she does not receive immediate medical care, she could die.”

(Full Story)

China Aid President Testifies at Congressional-Executive Commission on China Hearing on Religious Persecution In China

ICC Note:  ICC cooperates with China Aid, specifically in support of the persecuted church in China.  This article details the testimony of China Aid president Bob Fu before Congress. 

By Rachel Ritchie

07/24/2015 China (China Aid)

China Aid president and founder, Bob Fu, gave his testimony concerning religious freedom in China yesterday to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Washington, D.C.

Fu gave several recommendations during the hearing, titled “Religious with ‘Chinese Characteristics’: Persecution and Control in Xi Jinping’s China,” including the following for the United States Department of State:

• “The U.S. State Department should strongly consider posting an officer at the U.S. Embassy in China with the sole responsibility of reporting religious freedom and related human rights abuses in China, including the areas of Tibet and Xinjiang.”

• “The State Department should make an official public statement condemning this forced demolition of crosses and churches in Zhejiang and other areas of China. So far neither Secretary Kerry nor the spokesperson have issued even a public statement condemning this large, brutal, shameful campaign.”

• “The State Department should raise, publicly and at all levels of exchange with the Chinese government, the cases of prisoners of conscience, especially the China 18 and others. And I know you had led the campaign to urge President Obama to meet with the daughters of the China 18 multiple times. I think the excuse [of] not meeting with these family members in China is that it could pose a danger or [is] a potential threat. But how about here in the United States; there is no threat.”

Others that spoke at the hearing, led by Congressmen Chris Smith, (R-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), included Anastasia Lin, actress, human rights advocate and Miss World Canada 2015; Rebiya Kadeer, president of the World Uyghur Congress; and Losang Gyatso, service chief of Voice of America’s Tibetan service.

Fu’s full testimony, below, and the testimony of the other witnesses, along with a video of the hearing can be found here.

[Full Story]

U.S. State Dept. Bars Christians from Testifying about Persecution: Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2015

ICC Note:  The U.S. State Department has reportedly barred some Christians from testifying on Christian persecution occurring in predominantly Muslim countries, including Nigerian Governor Jonah David Jang.  Last year, after the U.S. Institute for Peace invited different Nigerian governors from northern majority-Muslim states for a conference, Governor Jang, the only Christian, had his visa denied by the State Department.  According to Nigerian human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe, this is due to the anti-Christian bias that exists within the State Department and U.S. government as a whole. This ignorance and refusal to acknowledge Christian persecution in Nigeria may have serious implications for U.S. aid designed to assist Nigeria in combating Boko Haram. 

By Raymond Ibrahim

7/24/15, Washington, D.C. (Gatestone Institute) – During the height of one of the most brutal months of Muslim persecution of Christians, the U.S. State Department exposed its double standards against persecuted Christian minorities.

Sister Diana, an influential Iraqi Christian leader, who was scheduled to visit the U.S. to advocate for persecuted Christians in the Mideast, was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department even though she had visited the U.S. before, most recently in 2012.

She was to be one of a delegation of religious leaders from Iraq — including Sunni, Shia and Yazidi, among others — to visit Washington, D.C., to describe the situation of their people. Every religious leader from this delegation to Washington D.C. was granted a visa — except for the only Christian representative, Sister Diana.

After this refusal became public, many Americans protested, some writing to their congressmen. Discussing the nun’s visa denial, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:

[Full Story]

June 15, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

As China Knocks Down Christian Crosses, the Faithful Restore Them

ICC Note: Courageous Christians in Zhejiang Province, China, are making bold moves in protest of a provincial government campaign which aims to remove the cross as a symbol of the Christian faith from the Chinese skyline.

Kenya Army Foils Mpeketoni Anniversary Al-Shabaab Terror Attack In Lamu Kenya, 11 Terrorists & 2 Soldiers Killed

ICC Note: Kenyan defense forces raided an al-Shabaab camp on Sunday, killing 11 Islamic terrorists and reportedly foiling assaults planned for the anniversary of the Mpeketoni attacks, which killed 60 people, including many Christians in June 2014.

Wanted Sudan Leader Bashir Flies out of South Africa

ICC Note: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has reportedly left South Africa against a High Court ruled that he remain in the country until his arrest application was completed.

Christianity Doomed in Iraq, Say Experts

ICC Note: The unfortunate but real message conveyed by experts on Iraq is that unless something drastic is done, Christianity has no future in the ancient homeland.

No Compensation for Christians in Wake of Violence in Egypt

ICC Note: Despite reconciliation sessions and promises of compensation, the Coptic families from Kafr Darwish village have yet to receive any material repayment. Some of the losses suffered by the Copts in the violence that erupted last month and forced the families to leave the village for a number of days include: 11 burned houses, a destroyed car and an uprooted field.

Rakhine, Monks and Buddhist Extremists March against Rohingya Muslims

ICC Note: This article describes the political background for the ongoing persecution of the Rohyinga religious/cultural minority in Myanmar. It also provides a glimpse of how radical Buddhist nationalists seek to intimidate the government into imposing discriminatory policies against all religious or cultural minorities, who are not viewed by the nationalists as ‘truly Burmese’.

Jihad on Churches

“Destroying churches is permissible — as long as the destruction does not bring harm to Muslims, such as false claims that Muslims are persecuting Christians….” — Dr.

Kenya: Shabaab Threatens to Attack Kenya During Ramadaan

ICC Note: Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab has announced plans to attack Christians and other “non-believers” in Kenya at the start of Ramadan next week. A member of al-Shabaab has explicitly stated that the group’s intentions are to bring Jihad to the “non-believers” in Kenya.

Christians Suspect Islamic State Influencing Muslims in Palestinian Territories, Israel

ICC Note: With the rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East, Christians in Israel and Palestinian territories worry about radicalism. Anti-Christian hostility in the nation has always existed to some extent, but in recent months it has escalated to uncomfortable levels.

South Africa Court Bid to Arrest Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir

ICC Note: International pressure is mounting on South Africa to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide related to the war he waged on Darfur.

May 27, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Warning over Religious Believers in Chinese Communist Party Ranks

ICC Note: The Chinese Communist Party has long been concerned about its maintaining control of the general population in China, including control of religious beliefs. A newsletter article from the CCP makes it clear that its members do not have religious freedom.

Radical Buddhist Monk Responsible for Attacks on Religious Minorities Arrested in Sri Lanka

ICC Note:

Radical Buddhist monk and leader of the Buddhist extremist group Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS), Galgoda Aththa Gnanasara, was arrested yesterday by authorities of the new government in Sri Lanka.

Christian Homes in Lahore Damaged Following Blasphemy Accusation

ICC Note:

Following an accusation of blasphemy being leveled against a Christian in Lahore, Pakistan, a mob reportedly attacked a Christian neighborhood, damaging both homes and a local church.

Daily Prayer – Wednesday 27 May 2015

Praise God for the safe arrival in Iraqi Kurdistan of the 30 containers of high quality insulated tents and associated equipment that will comprise Sawra (Hope) Village for displaced Iraqi Christians.

Coptic Coalition Demands Maspero Killings Case Reopened

ICC Note: Egyptian Christians are still seeking justice from 2011 when 27 Christians were killed when army vehicles drove through a protest. Despite investigations into the matter the case has not been resolved and it continues to mark the sense of vulnerability that Egypt’s Christians face.

Two Pastors in Sudan Face Death Over Christian Faith, Trial to Begin Next Week

ICC Note: The possible death penalty case of 2 South Sudanese pastors in Sudan has grabbed international attention as religious freedom advocates fear the real possibility that the Sudanese government will truly execute the two men.

Arizona Restrictions on Church Signs Reach Supreme Court

After filing a lawsuit in 2008 against a municipal law, Good News Community Church of Gilbert, Arizona, is taking their case to the Supreme Court. Due to the city’s sign ordinance, the church was forbidden from displaying directional signs on public roadways more than twelve hours prior to their services and no more than one hour after services ended.

Boko Haram Could Be Using Kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls As Suicide Bombers

ICC Note: Islamist terror group Boko Haram is increasingly using abducted girls for suicide bombings, carrying out multiple attacks this month in northern Nigeria . Officials from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) fear that some of the young girls are those who Boko Haram kidnapped from Chibok just over a year ago that sparked the international Bring Back Our Girls Campaign.

Boko Haram Suspected in Killing of at Least 29 People, Mostly Christians, in Nigeria

ICC Note: Boko Haram has murdered nearly 30 people in attacks across Adamawa state in the past 10 days, mostly Christians. The latest assault occurred Monday, May 25, when militants raided a town in the Madagali local government area, hacking to death 10 members of a Brethren church with machetes.

Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill At Least 23 Christians in Central Nigeria

ICC Note: Muslim Fulani herdsmen have reportedly murdered another 23 Christian farmers in central Nigeria. The assault occurred Sunday when unknown gunman attacked a Christian community in the Logo local government area of Benue state.

Heilongjiang Authorities Shutdown House Church Gathering

ICC Note: Although the officials of the District Public Security Bureau claim to have only enforced the regulations and to have followed the ‘normal procedures’, it is difficult to see how these regulations and procedures are compatible with the central Chinese government’s claim that China’s citizens have freedom of religion.

May 23, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

“Remember My Chains” – One Eritrean Woman’s Suffering and Ministry in Prison for Christ

Although she no longer lives in a cell, “Alice” is still not free. She spent more than six years locked in a cage in an Eritrean prison for her faith in Christ under one of the most repressive regimes against Christians on the globe.

Street clashes in Burundi over upcoming elections cause thousands to flee

“We are facing a terrible security situation,” a Burundian church leader told Barnabas as demonstrations against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid to serve a third term continue.

Tanzanian pastor attacked at home as tensions rise over Islamic courts bill

Breaking into his home during the night of 14-15 May, armed men attacked a Tanzanian church pastor, slashing his head with a sword.

Iraq’s Christians wonder where to flee after Islamic State militants take Ramadi city

Christians in Baghdad are filled with fear now that Islamic State (IS) militants have captured the geographically strategic city of Ramadi.

Religious Intolerance Continues to Grow at a Critical and Alarming Rate in Pakistan

ICC Note:

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has labeled Pakistan as one of the worst violators of religious freedom in the world in its most recent Annual Report.

Kenyan Mosque in Garissa Briefly Taken by al-Shabab

ICC Note: The same Muslim terror group that perpetrated the devastating attack April 2 in Garissa Kenya that killed nearly 150 mostly Christian students took over a mosque in the same county for two hours, preaching against the Kenyan government.

India’s Christians Concerned by Government’s Attempt to Deny USCIRF Annual Report

By ICC’s India Correspondent,

5/21/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “We are the sufferers,” said Pastor Christopher, a victim of religiously motivated violence that took place last month in India’s Telangana state.

Court Indicts 106 Suspected of Burning Alive Christian Couple in Pakistan

ICC Note:

In November last year, a Christian couple in Kot Radha Kishan, Pakistan was accused of blasphemy, brutally beaten by a mob of enraged Muslims, and burned alive at the brick kiln where they worked.

Egypt’s Religious Freedom Farce

ICC Note: Egypt’s President Sisi has been promoting calls for reform on Egypt’s religious freedom laws, but so far the record under his leadership has not been good.

Christians flee Aleppo in their thousands after fresh fighting in Syria

After violent attacks on Christian neighbourhoods in the Syrian city of Aleppo last month, the number of Christians remaining in the city has plummeted as thousands flee in search of safety.

Iran’s Persecuted Converts

ICC Note: American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains in prison in Iran, serving an eight year sentence for his faith. He is just one victim of the Iranian regimes intense war to crack down on Christian converts from Islam.

Mob of Muslims Defy Courts to Forcibly Build Mosque on Christian’s Land

Government and police officials are complicit to land grab, intimidation, and infringement upon family’s religious freedom

By Troy Augustine

5/21/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Muslim mob in Deder, Ethiopia, has attacked a Christian man and forced him out of his home on the threat of death.

Daily Prayer – Friday 22 May 2015

Twen is a 32-year-old Eritrean Christian, who has been in prison since she was arrested at a prayer meeting in January 2005.

Pakistani Court Charges 106 with Slaying of Christian Couple

ICC Note:

An Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan has charged 106 individuals in connection with the murder of two Christians killed for allegedly committing blasphemy last year.

Christian in Pakistan Builds Asia’s Largest Cross as Symbol of Hope

ICC Note:

In the heart of Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, a Christian businessman has built the largest cross in Asia. When asked why he built this cross, the Christian businessman said he hoped it would be a symbol of hope for Christians in Pakistan.

Al Shabaab Attacks Village in Kenya’s Garissa

ICC Note: The same terror group that killed 148 people, mostly Christians, in the April 2 attack on Garissa University College, has recently made similar incursions into Garissa County, thankfully without piling up such devastating casualties.

Crosses Removed in Zhejiang, 3 Churches Re-install Crosses After Authorities Leave

ICC Note: Chinese churches in Zhejiang, China remain unashamed of the gospel. Despite authorities forcing many churches to take down their crosses, three churches re-installed them the same day and one church did it three times before the last time the cross was removed.

Assyrian Villages Taken By Islamic State Have Been Liberated

ICC Note: A series of Assyrian villages that were captured by ISIS militants during raids in February have been recaptured by Kurdish and Assyrian forces. Church leaders have returned, but demining operations are still under before they will encourage residents to return.

Egypt Police Rescue Kidnapped Copts Leaving Marian Pilgrimage Site

ICC Note: Police forces in Minya Egypt were able to rescue four Christians who had been abducted by armed men while returning home from a Christian pilgrimage site.

Priest Abducted from Monastery in Homs, Syria


Father Jacob (Jacques) Murad, Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery Abducted by Militants

05/22/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Father Jacob Murad, a Syriac Catholic monk and Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery, was abducted by Islamic militants.

BREAKING NEWS | Priest Abducted from Monastery in Homs, Syria

ICC has learned that Father Jacob Murad, a Syriac Catholic monk and Superior of the Mar Elian Monastery, was abducted by Islamic militants. At least three armed militants arrived at the monastery by motorcycle and at gunpoint abducted Murad and another Christian, believed to be Boutros Hanna, a deacon in the church, La Croix reported.

Nigeria Boko Haram Conflict: People Have Lost Everything

ICC Note: The cost Boko Haram has inflicted upon northern Nigeria is uncountable. Christians, in particular have paid the dearest price as the Muslim militants have targeted them specifically for murder, sexual violence, kidnapping, and forced conversion.

Daily Prayer – Saturday 23 May 2015

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a Christian audience on 17 February saying, “My government will not allow any religious group belonging to the majority or the minority to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly.” This was a welcome message, especially given that Mr Modi is a Hindu nationalist and leader of the BJP party, which has strongly anti-Christian elements within it .

Despite Support From Their President, Egypt’s Christians Are Attacked By Their Neighbors

ICC Note: While Egypt’s President has showed greater support for the Christian minority, the reality of daily persecution for Egyptian Christians remain. From church bombings, abductions, to discrimination and exclusion from high level civil service jobs, persecution takes a variety of forms in Egypt and is driven by deeply ingrained prejudices that continue to divide the country.

“Kill Them, Or Else…” Ethiopian Christian Jailed, Then Told to Murder Pastors

By Troy Augustine

5/22/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Aman Kuni was crammed into a tight jail cell with barely enough room to sleep on the floor, but that was only the beginning of the terror that he would face for his faith in Christ.

May 19, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Nervous Wait for Ethiopians After Baptism Arrests

ICC Note: Anyone who thinks Christians don’t face persecution in majority-Christian Ethiopia should look again. Seven Christian men have been released on $250 bail after being baptized and holding “illegal meetings in secret locations.” The Christians say they complied with the law, so they deny the charges.

Daily Prayer – Monday 18 May 2015

A senior Kenyan Christian leader explains, the aim of the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab for Kenya (a nation which is 80% Christian) is to make it ungovernable, to make the Church fearful, and to prevent Christians from doing outreach in Muslim areas of the country.

Five Attacks on Christians in India in Just Five Days

ICC Note:

Christians in India, specifically in the state of Madhya Pradesh, have been attacked on five separate occasions in just as many days. This most recent series of attacks on Christians comes at a time when the government of India is denying Christians are facing persecution.

Pakistani Christians Suffer Whilst Seeking Asylum in Thailand

ICC Note: Admittedly, the granting of asylum to someone who is being persecuted for their religious beliefs is a complex issue. The fact remains that Christians around the globe have no real choice but to flee their homes out of fear for their lives.

The Plight of the Middle East’s Christians

ICC Note: The latest series of conflicts in the Middle East are driving Christians from their homes by the tens of thousands, but this is just the latest in a long history of attacks on the Christian minorities of the Middle East.

State Department Says No To Iraqi Christians

ICC Note: As Christians in Iraq and across the Middle East are facing specific targeting from ISIS and other terrorist groups as a result of their faith, they continue to face international challenges in receiving aid or asylum.

Hereditary Martyrs: The Christian Victims Of ISIS’s Massacres

ICC Note: The martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East today has shocked the world as we’ve witnessed people brutally executed for their faith. The reality is that this is not a new atrocity, but one that has a legacy stretching back hundreds and even thousands of years.

Authorities in 2 Zhejiang Cities Order All Churches to Remove Crosses

ICC Note: This is the latest of several Zhejiang provincial government actions which appear aimed to intimidate and control the growth of the Christian church in eastern China.

Boko Haram: 10 Hideouts Destroyed, Suicide Bomber Kills 7, Militants Retake Town

ICC Note: Militant Islamist terror group Boko Haram is proving they still pose a major threat to Christians in northern Nigeria. While the Nigerian military has successfully reclaimed most of the territory Boko Haram originally captured in their quest to create an Islamic State in Africa, the militants have re-surged with recent suicide attacks.

Two South Sudan Pastors Could Face Death Penalty in Khartoum, Trial Begins Tomorrow

ICC Note: Two South Sudanese pastors who have been imprisoned in Khartoum, Sudan since December and January, respectively, could face the death penalty for charges related to their Christian faith.Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith have been charged with undermining the constitutional code, waging war against the state, and spying.

Atheist Seeks to Use Religious Freedom Law to Remove “In God We Trust” from US Currency

ICC Note: The widely recognized atheist Michael Newdow is once again on a mission to remove the phrase, “In God We Trust,” from U.S. currency. Newdow initially tried to claim in 2013 that the phrase was a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause; however, the court ruled against him.

Your Support and God’s Faithfulness Have Set a Man Free!

Alemayehu was a Bible school student when he was arrested and imprisoned in Ethiopia for trying to photocopy an article that explored Islam from a Christian perspective.

Christian Businessman Builds 14-Story Cross in Pakistan’s Largest City

ICC Note:

Pakistan continues to rank among the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. Religious minorities, including Christians, are often targeted by terrorist groups and are widely discriminated against by Pakistan’s majority Muslim population.

Christians in India’s Madhya Pradesh State Call on Federal Government for Protection

ICC Note:

The Christian community in India’s Madhya Pradesh state have appealed to the federal government for protection following a series of anti-Christian attacks. Reports claim that Christians in Madhya Pradesh were attacked five times in as many days.

Xinjiang Christians Sue Authorities after Detention for Singing Hymns

ICC Note: As has been noted in previous reports, China’s Christians are learning about their rights under Chinese law and are challenging some of the illegal actions taken by local authorities.

Bomb Explodes Near Church In Fayoum, Egypt

ICC Note: A church in Fayoum was the site of a bomb attack on Saturday, May 16. While no one was injured, the church was severely damaged from a bomb placed outside its walls.

Armenian Church Leader Speaks on Suit to Reclaim Seized Property

ICC Note: Christians who make up just a tiny fraction of modern day Turkey just a century ago were nearly 20 percent of the country. Much of their property has been confiscated, but now they are trying to get some of it back.

Nigeria: Group Rejects Abortion Option for Pregnant Chibok Girls

ICC Note: The debate in Nigeria is beginning to rage about whether or not girls rescued from Chibok should be allowed to abort the babies that were conceived by rape from Boko Haram fighters.

In Myanmar, Christian Rebels Are in Double Trouble

ICC Note: The political situation in Burma is complex, but it is nonetheless very clear that ethnic minorities, including a large number of Christians (particularly among the Kachin, Chin and Karen) are suffering in the current internal conflict with the government of Myanmar.

Horrific Details Emerge: Boko Haram Militants Raped Hundreds of Female Captives in Nigeria

ICC Note: As the hundreds of women and girls who were once captives of Boko Haram begin to tell their story, appalling details are emerging about the heinous treatment that they received.

Remembering the 21 Martyrs

On February 15, social media accounts linked with the Islamic jihadists known as ISIS (also ISIL, or Islamic State) released a highly produced video showing the brutal execution of 21 Christians, 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians and one believed to be from Ghana, along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in northern Libya.

Christian migrants and refugees in Libya at serious risk, says Amnesty International

In a report published on 11 May, Amnesty International highlights the extreme dangers facing Christian migrants and refugees in Libya in light of the rising threat of violence from armed Islamist groups, in particular Islamic State (IS) militants.

A night of violence sees three churches and a Christian centre attacked in one Indian state

Shattering windows and destroying the interiors of the buildings, Hindu radicals attacked three churches in Indore, in India’s Madhya Pradesh state, during the night of 12 May.

Pakistani Christians Speak Out Against Religiously Motivated Killings

ICC Note:

Pakistani Christians have spoken out against religiously motivated killings in their country saying the killing of innocents on the basis of their faith is unacceptable.

Ten Christians Released on Bail by Anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan

ICC Note:

Ten Christians accused of being involved in the lynching of two Muslim men following two church bombings have been released by a court in Pakistan.

May 15, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Iranian court sentences two Christians to five years each in prison

The Iranian Revolutionary Court has sentenced two Christians, Ebrahim Firouzi and Sevada Aghasar, to five years each in prison for “action against national security through collusion and gathering”.

Operation Nehemiah: News Update #184

UK – UK Army rejects recruits fearing links to terrorist groups
A report revealed that in the past two years, the British Army has rejected 188 recruits after they failed the security checks put in place for recruits with links to countries in the Middle East, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.

Nigeria: At Least 5,000 Catholics Killed by Boko Haram

ICC Note: A new report says that militant Islamic terror group Boko Haram has displaced up to 85 percent of the Maiduguri diocese in northern Nigeria and more than 5,000 Catholics have been killed there.

NEWS | Boko Haram Survivors Now Face Severe Food Shortages

As Christians displaced by Boko Haram return to their homes in places such as Yola, Nigeria, their trials are only beginning. Where they once faced threat to life and limb, they are now looking down the barrel of starvation.

Daily Prayer – Thursday 14 May 2015

Indian Christians gathered in Delhi in February to protest against church attacks.

South Sudanese pastors face death sentences for encouraging Sudan church

In a hearing at the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith were formally charged on 4 May of several offences after they encouraged believers at a church in Sudan who have been enduring government pressure.

Christians in Sri Lanka Mark Day of Prayer and Fasting for the Persecuted

ICC Note:

Christians in Sri Lanka have will mark a day of fasting and prayer for the persecuted worldwide on June 7, the feast day of Corpus Christi.

U.S. Senate Urges Obama to Do More to Free American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

ICC Note: In a unanimous decision, the United States Senate has passed a resolution to urge President Obama and his administration to take greater action on behalf of Saeed Abedini.

Al Shabaab Leaflets Warn of More Garissa-Like Attacks on Kenya’s Christian Schools

ICC Note: Somali Islamic terror group al-Shabaab is dropping leaflets in Kenya warning of future attacks on Christian schools inside the country, similar to the massacre at Garissa University College that killed 148 people April 2.

Radicals in India Attack Three Churches in Single Night

ICC Note:

Three churches located in Indore, Madya Pradesh, India came under attack by Hindu radicals several nights ago. Extremists threw stones at the churches, destroyed crosses, vandalized, and attempted to set fire to one of the churches.

Sister Diana Testifies About Suffering of Christians and Other Religious Minorities in Iraq

ICC Note: In a powerful testimony before Congress, Sister Diana a Dominican nun from Mosul, Iraq shared the realities facing her and other Christians in Iraq.

Shandong Court Holds Trial for Christians Accused of ‘Using a Cult Organization to Undermine Law Enforcement’

ICC Note: As noted in the New York Times on May 12, there is often a rush to judgment in the Chinese court system, often leading to collusion between prosecutors and police in order to produce high conviction rates.

Imprisoned Journalist Beaten In Prison For Conversion To Christianity

ICC Note: An Egyptian convert to Christianity continues to be held in prison on investigation of charges of blasphemy related to converting to Christianity. He has already been held past the legal 6 month investigation period and while in prison has been subject to physical and verbal abuse.

Women Working in Iraq Testify About Horrifying Genocide of Christians and Their Heritage By ISIS

ICC Note: As more than 3 million people are displaced inside of Iraq, four women working to preserve both people and history in Iraq testified before congress on the attacks they are facing, “the most brutal in our history,” Sister Diana told a hearing.

Nepal update: Barnabas delivers emergency relief to Nepalese Christians

In response to a massive 7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April, devastating entire villages, schools, businesses and thousands of homes, Barnabas Fund is distributing emergency food aid, water purification tablets, cooking utensils, hygiene kits, tarpaulins, clothing, blankets, and medicines to affected Christians across the country.

Pakistani Sunni extremists who shot dead 44 Ismaili Muslims threaten Christians

When Sunni extremists boarded a bus carrying Ismaili Muslims on their way to work in Karachi, in Pakistan, on 12 May, they gunned down 44 of the minority Muslim sect and injured a dozen more.

“Remember My Chains” – One Eritrean Woman’s Suffering and Ministry in Prison for Christ

The story of a modern-day Paul, redeeming her imprisonment for the glory of God, preaching the gospel for the salvation of Muslim inmates.

By Troy Augustine…

Muslims, Christians Clash Over ‘Martyrs’ Church’ Construction

ICC Note: In a village where 13 families had their loved ones brutally executed for their faith, the hostility is not just confined to the ISIS terrorist group, but their neighbors are also opposing them simply because they are Christians.

Growing Pains, Great Gains

ICC Note: Despite the well-documented persecution faced by the Christian church in China, its growth continues at a great pace. This article points out some of the growing pains faced by the church in China, and the need for solid teaching and discipleship for many of its new believers.

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Have Murdered More Than 70 Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria in Past Month

By Troy Augustine

5/15/15 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – More than 70 Christians have been murdered in the past month in Plateau State, Nigeria, including one pastor.

Daily Prayer – Saturday 16 May 2015

Praise God that Pastor Tandin Wangyal has been released early from prison in Bhutan on 19 January after paying a fine.

Libya: ‘A Country Where Christians Shouldn’t Come’

ICC Note: Libya is a destination where migrants from all over Africa seek employment, many hoping to escape the economic hardships on the continent for greener pastures in Europe.

May 12, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Standing as One

I’m often asked why I prioritize the global persecuted church when there’s so much suffering in our own backyard. I understand the question. I serve a local community with pressing needs and issues. How should we regard the global persecution of Christians alongside our local pressing social, cultural, doctrinal, and personal matters?

Let’s crunch some numbers.

The story of global Christian suffering is often reported numerically. In just the last few weeks, grisly statistics have filtered into our homes and social media feeds:

30 — the number of Ethiopian Christians in Libya publicly executed on video by ISIS.

371 — the number of days (as of this writing) since more than 250 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria, were kidnapped by the insurgent group Boko Haram from their mostly Christian families.

148 — the number massacred by Al Shabaab in a 15-hour siege on Garissa University, a predominately Christian college in Kenya; an additional 104 were injured.

21 — the number of Copts publicly beheaded by ISIS earlier this year, many of whom cried out to Jesus with their final breath.

Numbers tend to draw media attention. Mainstream media, however, rarely discuss the numerous Christian populations who suffer systemic discrimination, economic pressure, cultural oppression, forced exile, reputational ruin, international human rights violations, and the like due to their Christian faith. We have seen rampant church bombings. By some estimates, the number of Christian refugees forcibly removed from their homes in Southeast Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries is now inching toward seven digits.

Each number we hear about represents a life with a story. Each number also represents rising degrees in the thermometer of global hostility toward people of the Christian faith.

Read more

In Ethiopia, Mothers are Victims of ISIS Too

By Troy Augustine

5/10/15 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Our mothers are truly gifts from God. Today, on Mother’s Day, we pause to honor their selfless sacrifice in dedicating their lives to raise us.

‘They Turned Me Into a Sex Machine;’ 214 Women and Children Rescued From Boko Haram Are Pregnant

ICC Note: The testimonies coming from the hundreds of women rescued from Boko Haram captivity in the Sambisa Forest are horrific. More than 200 of the almost 700 women and children rescued in the past weeks are pregnant.

Government of Pakistan To Take Measures to Protect Religious Minorities

ICC Note:

Minister of the State for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony in Pakistan has said that the government is to undertake new measures to protect the country’s religious minorities.

Hindu Radical Claims Reports on Church Attacks in India Are Sensationalized

ICC Note:

A leader of the Hindu nationalist organization RSS claimed that reports on attacks on churches in India have been sensationalized and have affected India’s image abroad.

Government Crackdown on Religious Freedom in Cuba

ICC Note: According to reports, the government in Cuba has increased pressure on Protestant Christian groups in the eastern region, including both registered and unregistered denominations.

Egypt Arrests Five Christian Children For Blasphemy

ICC Note: Five Egyptian Christians are on trial for alleged blasphemy after a video made mocking the jihadist group ISIS was found by some local Muslims.

Nigeria: Military Recovers Boko Haram Video of ‘Heinous Crimes’

By Adulkareem Haruma

ICC Note: As the Nigerian military continues to pursue Boko Haram militants and defeat the militant Islamist group’s strongholds, Nigeria has discovered videos Boko Haram recorded showing stonings, floggings, and other disturbing cries committed against captives.

The Lives Of Assyrian Christians-Can We Imagine?

ICC Note: What is it like to be a Christian from the Middle East today? To be an Assyrian, Syriac, or Chaldean? Can you imagine the realities that they are facing on a daily basis?

Church Attacks Continue as India’s BJP-Led Government Attempts Cover Up

By ICC’s India Correspondent

5/11/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – As the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) slammed India for its record of growing religious intolerance, Christian communities in India have been disturbed by the BJP-led government’s deliberate attempts to cover up the truth about the religious and communal nature of the attacks on Christians and their places of worship.

Kenyan Clergy Call for Religious Tolerance Despite Garissa Attack

ICC Note: Religious leaders from different denominations in Kenya urge citizens to respect religious differences in commemorating the victims of the April 2 al-Shabaab attack in Garissa, Kenya that killed 148 people, mostly Christians.


A member of ICC’s staff stands with an Egyptian brother who narrowly escaped death in Libya. He was working in Libya when Islamic militants came to the door asking whether he and his family were Christians.

Daily Prayer – Tuesday 12 May 2015

Around 300 Muslim students, armed with iron bars and sticks, ransacked Panel High School in Bannu, north-west Pakistan, on 23 January, having jumped over the perimeter walls and forced open the gates.

Pakistani Christian Refugees Continue to Suffer Abuse in Thailand

ICC Note:

Many Pakistani Christians are fleeing intense persecution from Pakistan to Thailand. Unfortunately, these asylum seekers are finding more hostility upon arrival in Thailand. Thai authorities has arrested many Pakistani Christian refugees and held them in terrible prison conditions.

Nepali Christians Being Overlooked in Distribution of Aid Following Earthquake

ICC Note:

Christians in Nepal have claimed they are being overlooked in the distribution of aid following an earthquake that has devastated the entire country. Nepali Christians have long been discriminated against due to their religious identity.

Zhejiang: Hangzhou Church Forcibly Demolished

ICC Note: The campaign against the Christian church in Zhejiang continues unabated. Please pray for the strength and resolve of the Christians there, that they may be able to persevere, and even prosper, in the face of this blatant persecution.

Religious Freedom in China: ‘alarming increase in systematic, ongoing abuses’

ICC Note: Several credible sources have documented the recent increase in the persecution of Christians in China. We find encouragement, however, from the news of continued church growth there.

Muslim Members of Kenyan Parliament Join Kenyans in Churches to Remember Garissa

ICC Note: Kenyans are trying to move forward more than a month after the deadly Garissa attack April 2, united along religious and ethnic lines. Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho joined Muslim members of the Kenyan Parliament with Christians to remember the victims and multiple churches.

Christian leaders in India protest recent spate of attacks after yet another incident

Over 400 Christian leaders and social activists gathered together in Hyderabad, in India’s Telangana state, on 2 May, to hold a peaceful protest against a recent spate of attacks against Christians.

Christians and other religious minorities mentioned in Pakistan school textbooks for first time

In a landmark triumph for the country’s religious minorities, Pakistan’s history school textbooks will include the role of Christians, Hindus and Sikhs in the formation of the country in the years following independence.

Boko Haram Survivors Now Face Severe Food Shortages

ICC Note: As Christians displaced by Boko Haram return to their homes in places such as Yola, Nigeria, their trials are only beginning. Where they once faced threat to life and limb, they are now looking down the barrel of starvation.

Mark of the Cross

We met this young boy (left) in Cairo’s “Garbage City” just after he received a tattoo of the cross on his wrist. Despite persecution and ostracism for their faith, nearly all of Egypt’s Christians take this as an outward sign of their faith.

May 8, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Georgia City Council Reverses Course, Votes to Remove Christian Flag from City Hall

ICC Note: The city council in Cochran, Georgia has reversed their initial decision, now voting to remove a Christian flag flying outside of the town’s city hall.

Human Rights Activists in India Agree with U.S. Report on Persecution

ICC Note:

Members of India’s human rights community have agreed with the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) report on persecution in India. In that report, USCIRF labeled India a “Tier 2” violator of religious freedom, mainly for its recent abuses of the Christian and Muslim communities.

Copts Of Al-Our, Egypt Harassed

ICC Note: The Christian community of al-Our in Minya has faced repeated attacks from the local Muslim population. Home to 13 of the 20 Egyptian Christians killed by ISIS jihadists in Libya, al-Our was to be the site of a church honoring the martyrs.

Radical Buddhists Announce Plans to Form Political Party in Sri Lanka

ICC Note:

Members of the Buddhist Power Force, known as BBS, in Sri Lanka have announced that they will register their own political party to protect the interests of Sinhalese Buddhists.

Nigeria: Freed Boko Haram Captives Receive Aid

ICC Note: Hundreds of Nigerian women who were rescued from the area of Boko Haram’s last strongholds in the Sambisa Forest are in desperate need of help.

CAR Warring Factions Devote a Week to Peace

ICC Note: After two and a half years of conflict, delegates from both sides of warring factions in the Central African Republic have begun talks towards peace, working on an initial agreement to free child soldiers.

Assyrian Christian Refugees Look for ‘Quickest Way’ Out of Syria

ICC Note: For the thousands of Christians who’ve fled Syria, many are searching desperately for a place of refuge. Many are now attempting to move out of the region and on to Europe or North America (joining the flood of refugees making the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean).

Xinjiang Church Members Succeed in Getting Administrative Punishment Revoked

ICC Note: This incident shows that some of China’s believers are learning to boldly stand up for their legitimate rights under Chinese law. It must be remembered, however, that this is only a first step in what can be a long and difficult process, and that the authorities will be allowed by the court to impose a new punishment within 60 days, as long as “it follows all legal stipulations”.

A New Shop in Libya’s Market

Gamal was working in Libya to help take care of his family. He was on his way home to Egypt in August 2014 when his bus was stopped by Islamic extremists.

Humanities Professor Gives Christian Student Zeroes for Rejecting Anti-Christian Teachings

ICC Note: A student of Florida’s Polk State College has sought assistance from the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel after allegedly facing academic discrimination on account of her faith.

Daily Prayer – Friday 08 May 2015

Pray for the mainly Christian Kachin people of Burma (Myanmar) who have been facing a fresh onslaught from the Burmese army in its struggle with the Kachin Independence Army.

Pakistan Remains One of the Worst Religious Freedom Violators Says U.S. Report

ICC Note:

Pakistan remains one of the worst religious freedom violators according the the 2015 Annual Report published by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Nigeria Students Targeted in Suicide attack in Northern, Nigeria

ICC Note: Details are emerging from Potiskum, Nigeria where an unidentified gunman sprayed bullets at a business college and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the parking lot, injuring dozens.

South Sudanese Church Leaders Jailed in Sudan Charged, Could Face Death Penalty

ICC Note: Two South Sudanese pastors are being charged with spying and crimes against the constitution in Sudan and could face the death penalty or life in prison.

Catholics in Vietnam Fear New Laws on Religion

ICC Note: The Vietnamese government is anxious to look like it supports religious freedom by instituting these new laws. Catholic leaders in Vietnam have boldly raised alarm bells, however, noting that the communist government is actually seeking to exert even greater control over churches.

Saeed’s Wish on His Birthday: Pray for the U.S.

ICC Note: American pastor Saeed Abedini spent yet another birthday in an Iranian prison. When a relative came to visit him, he expressed in a letter his desire to see Christians initiate a revival through prayer for the United States.

Providing for Pastors in Aftermath

In January, Christian pastors across Niger came under attack when mobs of Muslims targeted churches and Christian institutions for destruction in response to a depiction of the Prophet Mohammad in the Charlie Hebdo publication.

Federal Judge Rules that North Carolina Commissioners Can’t Present Prayers Only in Jesus’ Name

ICC Note: It has just been decided by a federal judge that commissioners in a local North Carolina county cannot present prayers in only the name of Jesus.

Egypt’s Coptic Christians Say Persecution Is on the Rise

ICC Note: While there has been hope that Egypt’s new government would curb the persecution of Christians coming from extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, persecution continues to affect Christians at an alarming rate.

Syrian Archbishop: “We expect Christians in the West to help us. They do not”

ICC Note: The Archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clement Jeanbart, has spent the last four plus years trying to help his congregation, along with all the residents of Aleppo, survive.

Egyptian Youths Face Trial For ‘Insulting Islam’ By Making Fun Of ISIS

ICC Note: A teacher and four students are being held in Egypt and face blasphemy charges for a video in which the students mocked the jihadist group ISIS.

May 6, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

2015-5 May Prayer Calendar

Pakistan Represents One of the Worst Situations for Religious Freedom Says U.S. Report

ICC Note:

Pakistan was singled out as representing one of the worst situations for religious freedom in the world in a recent report released by the U.S.

Mother of Newborn Narrates Ordeal In The Hands Of Militants

ICC Note: Boko Haram captive Lami Musa reveals terrifying details about the treatment women have received while held hostage by the militant Islamic terror group. Musa escaped marriage to one of the Boko Haram fighters because of she was one of the number of women the Nigerian military rescued last week from the Sambisa Forest.

India Infuriated by U.S. Religious Freedom Report

ICC Note:

Last Thursday, The U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report on international religious freedom. India was included in that report as a “Tier 2” country because USCIRF found that religious freedom violations in India were “engaged in or tolerated by the government” and were “characterized by at least one of the elements of the ‘systematic, ongoing, and egregious’ standard.” The Indian government has expressed outrage over the report claiming that the USCIRF is engaged in “a conspiracy to tarnish the image of the country.” A dramatic increase in Christian persecution has been well documented over the past year as well as the government’s inaction to protect its own religious minorities.

Nigeria: Sambisa Forest – 214 ‘Rescued’ Girls, Women Pregnant – UNFPA

ICC Note: The United Nations Population Fund reports that more than 200 women are pregnant out of the nearly 700 women and girls rescued last week from the Sambisa Forest where Muslim terrorists Boko Haram have strongholds.

Church Regains Right to Serve Housing Project after Being Denied for Being ‘Religious’

ICC Note: In September of 2014, Living Water Church of Pennsylvania received a message from the government housing agency stating that they were no longer able to serve at a local government-owned housing project.

U.S. Religious Freedom Commission Calls For Criminal Prosecution Of Islamic State

ICC Note: In its latest report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called for pressure to bring the Islamic State (ISIS) to charges in the International Criminal Court.

13 Million Flee Religion-Linked Conflicts Worldwide

ICC Note: The more than 13 million people who have fled religion-linked conflicts is one of the major concerns in an annual report highlighting violations of religious freedom around the world.

Korean Christians Want ‘Unification Through Gospel’

ICC Note: ICC reps attended the event and were impressed by the zeal and courage of the North Korean defectors who made up most of the speakers at the North Korea Freedom Coalition luncheon on Friday, but this pastor’s determination and commitment was particularly admirable.

Hundreds of Christians in India Protest as Government Claims International Conspiracy

U.S. Report Labels India a “Tier 2” Violator of Religious Freedom

5/4/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that over 400 Christian leaders, social activists, and legislators in India’s Telangana state took to the streets in Hyderabad to peacefully protest a recent spike in attacks on Christians by Hindu radicals.

Event map

Hindu Radicals Demand Closing of Christian Schools in India

ICC Note:

Last month, Hindu radicals in India’s Jharkhand state demanded to closing of two Christians schools because the schools did not have statues of Hindu gods and did not hang a photo of the current prime minister.

Nepal’s Christians Return To Worship After Deadly Earthquake

ICC Note:

Many of Nepal’s Christians are returning to worship following a deadly earthquake that struck the country over a week ago. Initial reports estimate the death toll above 6,000, but many feel it will continue to climb as the country continues to recovers.

A Rescued Family

ICC provided a shoe store for Mariam, so that she can earn an income making shoes and slippers. This new project has been up and running 5 months.

More Boko Haram Freed Nigerian Women Tell of Captivity Horror

ICC Note: Stonings, forced marriage, sexual abuse, forced conversion to Islam… These are just a few of the extreme horrors some of the women experienced who were rescued last week from the clutches of militant Islamists Boko Haram.

‘I Escaped But My Family Was Killed’: Stories of Christian Migrants to Europe Because of Faith

ICC Note: Migrants are leaving Africa in droves headed through Libya across the Mediterranean Sea for Europe. Among the number are Christians who have fled their homes because of religious persecution, particularly, violence and threats they have experienced because they have converted from Islam to Christianity.

Zhejiang Authorities Remove Cross and Continue Persecution Campaign

ICC Note: In their continued campaign against Christian churches, authorities from China’s Zhejiang province have removed yet another church’s cross. On April 23, 2015, over 100 individuals, both law enforcement officers and demolition crews, were sent to the church to carry out the cross removal.

Daily Prayer – Tuesday 05 May 2015

After the riots in Niger in January (see yesterday) Christian leaders held a press conference in which they said that they had forgiven those who did them harm and that persecution was part of their life as Christians.

Hindu extremists force Indian church pastor to Hindu temple on Easter Sunday

Pastor Meesaul and his church members discovered the saffron flags used by Hindu extremists after they returned to the church building from a sunrise service.

Delhi High Court demands government report on attacks against places of worship

Last Wednesday (29 April), India’s Delhi High Court demanded a status report from both the federal and Delhi governments, as well as the Delhi police commissioner, indicating attacks on Delhi places of worship and measures taken to protect them.

Coptic Bishop Claims Egyptian Authorities Are Behind Christian Persecution

ICC Note: In a recent interview, a Coptic bishop has pointed out that the Egyptian government and state security are often complicit in the attacks on Christians and fail to act to prevent or bring justice for those who are persecuted.

Ancient Christian Communities In Middle East Could Be Eradicated, Says Author

ICC Note: If nothing is done to stop these Christian communities could be entirely erased from their homelands. Christians are facing attacks from ISIS and other jihadists across the Middle East, but stretching all the way to West Africa and across the region.

Daily Prayer – Wednesday 06 May 2015

The deadline for gathering signatures for Barnabas Fund’s petition “Save the Christians of the Middle East” was 30 April.

Mission Centre in South Sudan

This ministry reaches out to hospitals, prisons, street children and other needy people, offering practical help, sharing the Good News and discipling new believers.

Local Government in India Cancels Christian Convention Citing Law and Order Issues

ICC Note:

A local government in India has cancelled its permission for Christians to hold a three day prayer convention citing law and order issues. The event was scheduled to start on Monday, but officially revoked their permission last on Sunday.

Britain Revokes Visas Issued to Two Hindu Radical Speakers

ICC Note:

The British government revoked the visas issues to two Hindu radical speakers who were planning to attend a Hindu convention in Britain. The visas were revoked after evidence was brought to the government’s attention regarding the radical ideology propagated by the two speakers.

Legal Group Sues North Carolina Library after Denied Lecture Use for ‘Religious Instruction’

ICC Note: The Christian group, Liberty Counsel, has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina public library after being denied access to their lecture space because they would be taking part in “religious instruction.” The group often presents lectures across the United States about the “role of Christianity in the founding of America.” The Liberty Counsel has since taken the issue to court through a federal lawsuit, claiming that the library violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

Tanzanian government initiates harassment of church leadership at local level

Three church pastors on Tanzania’s Mafia island were summoned to appear at the district level registration office last week, confirming Tanzanian Christians’ fears that government threats to close churches would be initiated at the unsung local rather than the national level.

The “Kings” of Deder: Persecution and the Cost of Following Christ in Muslim-Dominated Pocket in Ethiopia

The story of Fikere Mengistu – threatened, extorted, and jailed for Jesus

By Troy Augustine

05/05/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Fikere Mengistu trudged up and down dusty hills through deep darkness, step by step, mile by mile, forsaking a night’s sleep as he made his way home to Deder, Ethiopia.

Young Sudanese Refugee Cast Out of Home for Leaving Islam

ICC Note: Eighteen-year-old “Kuku” from Kordofan state, South Sudan knows the cost of following Christ. Trusting in Jesus meant that he was exiled from his Muslim family and threatened to be killed by his own father for forsaking Islam.

UN Agency Concerned Over More Montagnard Asylum Seekers

ICC Note: The longstanding persecution of the Montagnards in Vietnam, for political and/or religious reasons, has been well documented. We call on the Cambodian government to be responsive to the plight of the Montagnard asylum seekers and to live up to their international obligations.

‘You Are A Target’: Muslim Extremists Terrorize Egypt’s Coptic Christians

ICC Note: Christians across Egypt remain the target of intense persecution from extremists who regularly assault the minority that comprises about 10 percent of the population.

Middle East: Taking Liberties In Egypt

ICC Note: In Egypt, even as the Sisi-led government aims to crackdown on Islamic extremism the place for religious minorities or non-believers continues to shrink as well.

In the aftermath: Muslims in Niger Burn 69 Christian Churches, Kill 10 Christians and Injure Hundreds

The headline is horrific, but there is an amazing thing happening in Niger: God is supernaturally transforming hearts, and giving victims and an entire community a heart of forgiveness: “My prayer is that they would come to know Jesus and that the Lord would touch them even in a dream.

Islamic State fighters destroy two churches in Syria

In twin bomb attacks, an Armenian church in Aleppo and an Assyrian church in Tel Tal village in the north-eastern Khabur region were destroyed by Islamic State (IS) militants on 28 April.

The Story of Fikere Mengistu: Threatened, Extorted, and Jailed for Jesus

Fikere Mengistu’s mind was filled with fear as he trudged up and down dusty hills through deep darkness, uncertain of what persecution might be waiting for him in the village he had previously fled because of threats due to his Christian faith.

Operation Nehemiah: News Update #183

UK – Muhammad acknowledged in succession of prophets in a Muslim prayer read at Westminster Abbey’s Gallipoli commemoration service
In a service to commemorate the centenary of the First World War’s Gallipoli battle, the congregation at Westminster Abbey heard a Muslim prayer in Turkish that listed Muhammad in the succession of prophets, after Jesus.

Prayer Focus 05/15

Kenya – Christian students massacred by Al-Shabaab
Libya – Islamic State video shows militants killing 30 Ethiopian Christians
Syria – 29 Christians killed in Aleppo during violent onslaught…


Safe havens for Christians rapidly diminish in north-eastern Syria

“We are going through a terrible time,” says Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, who is based in Syria’s north-eastern city of Hassake.

May 2, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Atheists Seek Investigation into Christian’s ‘Presence’ in Debate Class to Speak on ‘Critical Thinking’

ICC Note: The atheist group, Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), recently requested an investigation regarding the fact that a well-known biblical creation speaker and debater, Eric Hovind, spoke at a local Georgia high school.

“Indifference And Inaction” On Middle East “A Scandal”

ICC Note: It is like Pilate washing his hands before Jesus was taken to be crucified, a church leader from the Middle East said. As the war in Syria is now in its fifth year and Christians in the region have been decimated, the world is still unsure of what to do and so little has been done to bring about an end to the conflict.

EU Condemns Garissa Attack, Supports Persecuted Christians in Resolution

ICC Note: The European Parliament is bringing Christian persecution in Africa and around the world to the forefront. The governing body passed a resolution with overwhelming support offering condolences to the families of the 148 victims of the al-Shabaab attack on Garissa, Kenya, April 2.

71 Get Life Sentences For Torching Christian Church In Egypt

ICC Note: In August 2013, Egypt witnessed the most intense attack on Christians in recent history. Earlier this week a court sentenced 71 people to life in prison for their role in an attack on one of dozens of churches that were torched in the attacks.

2014: A Year of Particular Concern According to USCIRF

ICC Note: According to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) annual report for 2014, there is a lot of progress left to be made in the field of religious freedom.

Boko Haram and the Children’s Crusade

ICC Note: Lost in the news about Islamic terror group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria is the scale of devastation the group is inflicting upon a generation of children.

Overt Religious Persecution in 8 of 10 ASEAN States

ICC Note: Recognition that there is a problem is the first step toward its solution. A study by a faculty member of the law school of the National University of Singapore points out that a serious problem of religious persecution exists in a majority of ASEAN nations.

Pastor Jailed for Exercising Freedom of Religion in Public in Russia

ICC Note: Christian pastor Pavel Pilipchuk was recently released from his five-day prison sentence in the city of Orel, Russia. In August of 2014, Pilipchuk was fined approximately two weeks’ pay for reportedly conducting a public worship session without notifying city officials first.

A Family Reunited Again

On a trip to Pakistan in 2013, ICC was able to meet with Shahbaz, a Christian that had been accused of blasphemy. At that time, Shahbaz was living in hiding due to the accusation made against him.

U.S. Commission: 17 Countries “Engage in or Tolerate Severe Violations of Religious Freedom”

New Annual Report Documents Extensive Persecution in 33 Nations

05/01/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On Thursday, the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) …

Daily Prayer – Saturday 02 May 2015

“This is just the beginning of the killings.

April 30, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Human Rights Watch slams Cambodian “collusion” with Vietnam in Christian Montagnard persecution

With Cambodian authorities failing to process the ever-growing number of Vietnamese Christian Montagnards seeking refuge in its jungle, Human Rights Watch appealed to the country’s authorities “to recognize its obligations under the Refugee Convention to protect asylum seekers regardless of their origin, and cease colluding in Hanoi’s dirty work of repressing the Montagnards”.

Islamic State fighters smash Christian graves in Iraq

Images posted on social media networks on 16 April show Islamic State (IS) militants taking sledgehammers to Christian graves in Mosul, Iraq, and gouging out the crosses that are engraved on Christian headstones.

Ethiopia: They Died Because of Their Love for Jesus and Family

The story of three Ethiopian martyrs who claimed Christ and sought better lives for their struggling families to the end

By Troy Augustine and Abebe Kibret…

Boy in Pakistan Burned Alive Because He Admitted He Was A Christian

On April 09, 2015, Noman Masih, 14, was burned alive by a group of unidentified Muslim youth in Lahore because of his religious identity as a Christian.

Daily Prayer – Thursday 30 April 2015

In Pakistan, the government has issued a new law concerning the punishment of terrorists.

Operation Nehemiah: News Update #182

Spain – Police break up jihadist cell plotting beheading in Catalonia
Spanish police broke up a cell known as the Islamic Brotherhood for the Preaching of Jihad, on 8 April in Catalonia.

Hindu activists storm two Christian schools in India, demanding closure

A mob of over 60 Hindu activists attacked two Christian schools in the city of Hazaribagh, in India’s north-eastern Jharkhand state, on 21 April.

Uzbek Christian jailed and fined for distributing a Christian leaflet

Doniyor Akhmedov was stopped by police in Uzbekistan’s Ahangaran District on 16 March after he gave a Christian leaflet to a passer-by on the street.

Nigeria: 160 More Women, Children Rescued from Boko Haram Camp

ICC Note: Just days after liberating 293 women and young girls from the clutches of Islamic terror group Boko Haram, the Nigerian military has rescued another 160 women and children from the Sambisa Forest area in northern Nigeria.

Hindu Radicals “Mercilessly” Beat 15 Christians in Northeast India

ICC Note:

An entire Christian community was attacked and “mercilessly” beaten by a mob led by Hindu radicals in India’s northeastern Assam state. On April 17, a mob of around 100 wielding swords, sticks, and stones attacked Christians attending a prayer service.

Vietnam’s Two Faces: Religion-Law Reforms Awaited Amidst Violence against Christians

ICC Note: The topic of religious freedom in Vietnam is one that is affected by many varying intricacies. Though, according to reports, Vietnam is on the verge of reform which would allow for greater religious freedom, persecution against Christians continues to take place in the form of “surveillance, intimidation, harassment.” The potential for reform of Vietnam’s religious laws hopes to allow for a more open approach to religious issues as well as a reduction of restrictions nationwide.

Pakistani Anti-Terrorism Court Remands 47 Christians

ICC Note:

Forty seven Christians in police custody have been remanded by an Anti-Terrorism Court in Lahore for allegedly lynching two Muslims following the bombings of two churches last month.

U.S. Report Documents Significant Escalation of Persecution in India

ICC Note:

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has slammed India in its recently released annual report on international religious freedom. The reports notes that attacks on religious minorities and the general state of religious freedom has significantly deteriorated over the past year.

Two Christians in Xinjiang Sentenced to 11-Day Administrative Detention

ICC Note: Two Christians in western China’s Xinjiang region were detained for 11 days under the charges of “utilizing religion to disturb public order.” The charges came about when it was found that the two individuals were teaching babysitting lessons based on Bible passages.

Kenya ‘Ignored Garissa University Raid Intelligence’

ICC Note: The officer in charge of security in Kenya admitted that officers ignored intelligence leading up to the Garissa University College attack on April 2 that resulted in 148 deaths of mostly Christian students.

Nepal update – Christians report from the earthquake zone: Help us to help them

“I was about to conclude my sermon,” said Bal Krishna Sharma, Principal of the Nepal Theological College, who was preaching in a church in Kathmandu when Saturday’s 7.8-strong earthquake hit.

Three Attacks in 30 Days: Anti-Christian Violence Continues in India’s Mahabubnagar District

By ICC’s India Correspondent

4/30/2015 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Mahabubnagar District is known to be one of the toughest districts for Christians to live in.

April 28, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Daily Prayer – Sunday 26 April 2015

Father God, we cry to you for Christians in Somalia who live constantly under the threat of death either from the jihadist group, al-Shabaab, or from other Muslims outraged by their decision to leave Islam and follow Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Islamic State Warns Those Who Refuse Islam Will Die like Ethiopians in Libya Video

ICC Note: Islamic terror group ISIS promises continued targeting and execution of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa if they do not convert to Islam.

Christians Thrown Overboard by Muslims

The Jihad to come in Europe

Op-ed: Some of the refugees who fled to Europe have become far more radical after finding sanctuary there, and the new Jihad recruits will come from among them; meanwhile, a political genocide of Israel is underway in educated circles.

Christians In India Suspect Police Cover Up Following Church Attack

ICC Note:

Police in India have arrested a suspect in collection with a recent attack on a Catholic Church in Agra and have claimed the attacks was personally motivated, not religiously motivated.

Christian Aid Groups Mobilize Following Deadly Earthquake in Nepal

ICC Note:

Dozens of Christian aid groups have mobilized following a deadly earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing at least 2,000 people and injuring thousands more.

‘There Are Not Two Sides’: Atheist Group Seeks to Stop Teacher from Presenting Alternative to Evolution

ICC Note: After presenting a summary of creation beliefs as an alternative to evolution, California high school teacher Brandon Pettenger has become the receiving end of great backlash.

Islamic State Warns Those Who Refuse Islam Will Die like Ethiopians in Libya Video

Islamic terror group ISIS promises continued targeting and execution of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa if they do not convert to Islam. The group says persecution of Christians is basic to following the Islamic faith.

Nigeria: Speculations Mount Over Whereabouts of Boko Haram Leader Shekau

ICC Note: Outspoken Boko Haram lead Abubakar Shekau has remained silent since his video threats ahead of the March 28 Nigerian presidential election that the poll would not proceed, “even if we are dead.” The notorious head of the Islamist terror group based in northern Nigeria has commanded a years-long campaign targeting Christians in the region and subjecting them to murder, kidnapping, forced conversion to Islam, and has coerced young girls into marrying Boko Haram fighters.

Omar Al-Bashir Wins Sudan Elections by a Landslide

ICC Note: Sudan re-elected Omar al-Bashir to the presidency, the man accused of ordering the Darfur genocide, which involved the massacre of tens of thousands of Christians with an estimated total death toll of 300,000 victims.

Zhejiang Religious Persecution Campaign Continues; 3 Crosses Removed

ICC Note: Three churches in China have recently faced the repercussions of China’s “Three Rectifications and One Demolition” campaign by having their crosses removed. Though there have been reports of the campaign ending, Christian churches in China continue to face restrictions and persecution for openly practicing their faith.

Five Lao Christians Appeal Conviction

ICC Note: Five Lao Christians will proceed with their appeal of the conviction for the death of a fellow Christian. They asserted they had not withdrawn an earlier appeal, but a false withdrawal had been signed with forged signatures.

Help Barnabas bring emergency relief as hundreds of Nepali Christians reported killed in massive earthquake

Over 3,700 people have been killed in a massive earthquake registering 7.8 on the Richter scale that hit Nepal on Saturday (25 April).

Daily Prayer – Tuesday 28 April 2015

Lift up in prayer the new president of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, who was elected on 9 January.

Christians in Nepal Fear Delay in Drafting of New Constitution Following Deadly Earthquake

ICC Note:

Christians in Nepal fear that the drafting of a new constitution may be delayed following the deadly earthquake that struck the country last Saturday.

Nigeria: ‘Hundreds’ Found Dead, Buried in Damasak in Borno

ICC Note: The scale of horror that militant Islamists Boko Haram perpetrates is often more than meets the eye. When military forces liberated the northern Nigerian town of Damasak, they discovered gruesome piles of corpses under a bridge totaling nearly 100 victims

Two Years Ago, Two Christian Bishops Were Kidnapped. Has a ‘Silent’ World Forgotten Them?

ICC Note: It has been over two years since two leading church figures were abducted in Syria. While many church leaders have had a ransom demand and others have been killed, for these two Bishops there has been no demand.

Imprisoned Christian Journalist To Face Blasphemy Charges in Egypt

ICC Note: Bishoy Armia is facing charges of blasphemy and insulting religion for converting to Christianity some seven years ago. The Egyptian Christian has been held since 2013, first on charges of reporting false news, and now on suspicion of blasphemy.

Eritrean Priest: ISIS Video Could Easily Happen Again

ICC Note: Eritrean priest Don Zerai opens up about the intense persecution Christians are facing in his home country. He says there are so many Christians trying to flee areas where they are being mistreated in Ethiopia and Eritrea, along with labor migrants, that something like the ISIS video could happen again.

Christians In The Middle East At Risk Of Extinction, Party Leaders Warned

ICC Note: A petition signed by thousands of Christians in the UK is warning of the risk that Christians are facing and the need for more action to be taken to protect them.

Daily Prayer – Wednesday 29 April 2015

Pray for Munir and Ruqqiya, a Pakistani Christian couple who were falsely accused of blasphemy by their Muslim neighbours.

April 24, 2015 Christian Persecution Update

Operation Nehemiah: News Update #181

France – Islamic extremist planned to attack churches in Paris
An Islamic extremist was arrested for attempting to attack churches in Paris last Sunday (19 April) but shot himself in the leg and called an ambulance.

Uzbek believer in hiding after police attempt arrest

Enduring months of police harassment, Uzbek authorities attempted to arrest believer Guljahon Kuzebayeva on 24 February in her home in Karshi, in Uzbekistan’s Kashkadarya province, but were unable find her.

As centenary commemoration approaches, Europe urges Turkey to recognise Armenian genocide

A European Parliament (EP) motion passed in Brussels on 15 April calls on Turkey “to come to terms with its past, to recognise the Armenian genocide and thus pave the way for a genuine reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples”.

New Islamic State video shows militants killing 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya

“To the nation of the cross, we’re back again,” says a masked Islamic State (IS) fighter on a video posted on social media sites on Sunday (19 April), just before 30 Ethiopian Christians are brutally executed on screen.

Medical fund for pastors and their families

?Christian organisations, activities and
literature/materials are under tight regulation by governments in Central Asia
and church leaders are often harassed by authorities, which can cause…

Christians in Pakistan Fear More Persecution Following Wave of Attacks on Christian Children

ICC Note:

Over the past month, a series of attacks on Christians has many in Pakistan afraid of greater persecution to come in the near future.

Suspect Accused of Involvement in Lahore Church Bombings Arrested in Pakistan

ICC Note:

Pakistani security agencies have arrested a suspect accused of involvement in the twin suicide bombings of two churches in Lahore’s Christian dominated neighborhood of Youhanabad.

Christians in India Shutdown Christian Hospitals and Schools to Protest

ICC Note:

Christians in India have decided to shutdown Christian hospitals and other institutions such as schools in protest today. Emergency services to hospitals will remain in service, but Christians are hoping to draw attention the the drastic increase in persecution under the new BJP-led government.

Eritrean Teen Migrant Forced to Witness Libya ISIS Massacre – ‘I Watched IS Beheading Christians’

ICC Note: In the wake of the release of the grisly ISIS video depicting the execution of nearly 30 Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians on April 19, one Eritrean ISIS escapee says the militants forced him to watch the killings.

Christians in Niger Still Recovering From Attacks on Churches After Charlie Hebdo Massacre

ICC Note: Persecution of Christians in Niger is one of the forgotten tragedies around the world. Much of the Western media ignores persecution of Christians in Africa, in general, while the Church in the developed world largely remains ignorant.

Special Delivery for A Family in Need!

ICC and our partners in Iraq were able to make a special delivery for one young family who was forced to leave her home because of ISIS and flee to Iraqi Kurdistan.

100 Years: Remembrance, Rejection, and Steps of Reconciliation for Genocide of Christians

By Todd Daniels

04/24/2015 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Today marks 100 years since what is generally recognized as the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.

Daily Prayer – Saturday 25 April 2015

Praise God for answering prayer for “Benjamin”, a Cameroonian convert from Islam to Christianity.

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