<< Previous | 1 of 18 | Next >>

World News

World in Brief

  • Cuba: pastor’s wife warned

    Christian Solidarity Worldwide

    Yoaxis Marcheco Suarez, wife of Cuban Baptist pastor and religious freedom activist the Revd Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, was arrested in the town of Remedios in the province of Villa Clara on 16 October.

    During her arrest, Suarez was pressured to sign an Official Warning that can be used as justification for future arrests and criminal charges, but she refused to do so. She was also told to stop having contact with ‘counter-revolutionary’ elements or risk imprisonment. Pastor Barroso similarly resisted pressure to sign an Official Warning on 8 October.

  • India: discrimination

    World Watch Monitor

    India should not extend government job and education assistance to the country’s poorest Christians, India’s social justice minister, Thavar Chand Gehlot, said on 10 October.

    He said there are no Christians among India’s Dalits – a name given to the country’s most impoverished and marginalised citizens, sometimes called ‘untouchables’. He also [and confusingly] contended that extending government benefits to poor Christians would encourage poor Hindu Indians to convert in hopes of qualifying for the programmes.

  • Nepal: religious freedom?

    Barnabas Fund

    In a welcome move for Christians, the Prime Minister of Nepal made a public commitment on 6 October that religious freedom will be upheld in the country’s long-awaited constitution.

    Prime Minister Sushil Koirala made the assurance during an address to Muslims in the Hindu-majority country. The pledge may help to quell fears that religious repression in Nepal could intensify when the interim constitution becomes law as it contains an ‘anti-conversion’ clause.

  • Nigeria: can’t go home

    Barnabas Fund

    Christians who fled 11 towns violently seized by Boko Haram in the summer are still unable to return home, it was reported in October.

    A church leader said that more than 190,000 people have been displaced and 185 churches in the region torched since Boko Haram began seizing territory. Because of relentless attacks in some areas, villagers are increasingly sleeping outside, without mosquito nets, so that they can flee as soon as they hear the attackers coming.

  • North Korea: investigation

    Christian Solidarity Worldwide

    A UN report has called in late October for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    The report concluded that ‘a number of long-standing and ongoing patterns of systematic and widespread violations [meet] the high threshold required for crimes against humanity in international law’ and that these crimes ‘clearly merit a criminal investigation’. The report found that ‘grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity are ingrained in the institutional framework’ of North Korea.

  • Pakistan: prayer for Aasia

    Barnabas Fund

    After losing her appeal on 16 October, continued prayer is requested for Aasia Bibi, convicted under Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

    She has been in prison since 2007 after an argument with Muslims after she, as a Christian, offered water to them, by which they were offended.

  • Philippines: grenades

    Barnabas Fund

    A grenade attack on a church in the southern Philippines on 8 October has left two Christians dead and three injured.

    Felomina Ferolin, a 54-year-old nurse, and teacher Gina Cabilona, 39, were killed in the attack, which targeted a mid-week worship service. At least 40 churchgoers were inside the building at the time of the violence. The two male attackers arrived on a motorbike and fired a grenade launcher at the door of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines before escaping the scene. The three injured Christians were hospitalised, one in a critical condition.

  • Tanzania: machete murder

    World Watch Monitor

    Unknown attackers killed a Christian man by machete and injured another in Bukoba in northwest Tanzania on 9 October.

    The two men, Dioniz Ng’wandu, a secondary school teacher, and a man known only as Temistores, 25, were at an early morning church prayer-meeting with their pastor Faustine Joseph and a fourth unnamed man. Church members have been receiving threats from Muslim expatriates in Bukoba, who have vowed to decrease the number of Christians in the area.

  • Tanzania: conversions

    Fellowship of European Broadcasters

    Earlier in the year Habari Maalum launched broadcasts on its own FM station and during the first month 22 persons gave their lives to Christ after listening to the programmes, it was reported in mid-October.

    One of them, Sabrina (21) wrote: ‘I was born and raised in a Muslim family. One morning Radio Habari Maalum spoke about Islam. I met the producer Ezra at his office and we studied the Qur’an and the Bible together. I was convinced and decided to open my heart to Jesus.’

  • Thailand: wise proverbs

    Fellowship of European Broadcasters

    A new multi-media project has been launched in Thailand, it was reported in mid-October.

    The Proverbs Project from Voice of Peace is designed to introduce modern, educated Buddhists in Thailand to the gospel. It consists of a book with 52 chapters, 52 radio and television programmes, a correspondence course, social and mobile media. In Thailand proverbs are used for teaching children and youth so it is therefore ideal as an entry point for presenting the gospel to the Thai people.

  • Turkey: new transmitter

    Fellowship of European Broadcasters

    Radio Shema in Turkey reports that a donor has agreed to give $12,000 in matching funds (matching 50 cents for every dollar donated) to purchase a new transmitter, it was reported in mid-October.

    Total cost will be close to $35,000 for an RVR Transmitter 5KW or Siel 5KW. These meet Turkish broadcast standards.

  • USA: conscience allowed?

    The Christian Institute

    A Christian-owned printing company in the US was told in mid-October that its refusal to print t-shirts promoting a gay pride event in 2012 amounted to ‘unlawful discrimination’.

    The Gay and Lesbian Services Organization asked Hands On Originals (HOO)to print t-shirts for its Pride Festival. Bryan Beauman, part of HOO’s legal team, said: ‘In America, we don’t force people to express messages that are contrary to their convictions’.

  • USA: gender inclusive

    Religion Today

    A school system in Lincoln, Nebraska is asking teachers to make their classrooms more gender-inclusive by avoiding the words boys and girls, it was reported in mid-October.

    Instead, teachers have been told to creatively refer to their students. Examples include telling all the students that like milk to line up, followed by the students that prefer juice. The teachers were told to: ‘Always ask yourself, “Will this configuration create a gendered space?”’.

  • USA: ironic equality

    The Christian Institute

    It was reported in late October that Christian groups at California State University have been stripped of recognition because they refused to sign a policy which would require them to open their membership and leadership to all students, including non-Christians.

    Groups that do not sign the new policy lose free access to meeting rooms, are barred from student fairs and cannot receive funding from student associations. The move has been heavily criticised by members of a nationwide campus ministry.