<< Previous | 1 of 19 | Next >>

World News

World in Brief

  • CAR: reconciling?

    World Watch Monitor

    A week-long attempt to reconcile warring elements in the Central African Republic began in early May, in Bangui, the capital.

    The 600 delegates have agreed to release between 6,000 and 10,000 child soldiers and to stop underage recruitment. The vice-president of the Evangelical Alliance in Central Africa said that the church had spared no effort to prevent the warring parties from creating a complete sectarian conflict.

  • China: Bible industry

    Bible Society’s Newswatch (The Daily Telegraph)

    Amity Printing press, based in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China, is the world’s largest printer of Bibles, it was reported in late April.

    Qiu Zhonghui, president of the company said: ‘In 2012 we celebrated production of the 100 millionth copy. It took 20 years to print the first 50 million copies, but the second 50 million took just five years.’

  • Cuba: crackdown

    Christian Solidarity Worldwide

    Registered and unregistered Protestant denominations in eastern Cuba have reported an intensification of government pressure on their organisations in April, including threats to confiscate or destroy church property and to deport non-Cuban residents because of their religious beliefs.

    Authorities have informed the leadership of a large church, which did have legal permission for its building, that the historic property will be confiscated and the church forced to pay rent to the government.

  • Hawaii: 166 abortions

    Religion Today

    Researchers in Hawaii are looking for girls to participate in second trimester abortions as part of research on whether oxytocin can reduce bleeding in mothers during and after abortion, it was reported in April.

    The girls can be as young as 14 for the study, where the unborn baby is 18 to 24 weeks gestation. Second trimester abortions are dangerous for women in many cases. The abortion procedure is two days and involves stopping the baby’s heart and then delivering or dismembering the baby.

  • India: schools attacked

    Barnabas Fund

    A mob of over 60 Hindu activists attacked two Christian schools in the city of Hazaribagh, on 21 April.

    Carrying flags and shouting slogans, they demanded to know why the schools did not have a statue of Saraswati, Hindu god of learning, or a picture of the Prime Minister. They kicked open doors and demanded that the school be emptied in 15 minutes. The school, and another close by, were closed for the rest of the day following the attack.

  • India: vicious attack

    Morning Star News

    Church members fled a village in northeast India after a vicious attack on 17 April that seriously injured at least three Christians, including a seven-year-old girl.

    A mob of about 100 Hindu extremists armed with swords, bamboo sticks and stones attacked Christians after a service. At least 15 were injured, many of them wounded on their heads and upper bodies. The Christian families who were the main target of the attack are now in a safe-house after they were released from the hospital.

  • Kazakhstan: curfew / jail

    F18 News (www.forum18.org)

    A Baptist in Kazakhstan, Nikolai Novikov, could face up to three years in jail for refusing to pay a 2013 fine for offering religious literature which has not been censored by the state on the streets, it was reported in mid-April.

    He has refused to pay that and other fines, as he states they are unjust. The prosecutor stated that he would have to live under restrictions – such as being subject to a curfew every night at his house – for up to three years. Novikov has pointed out that the prosecution is illegal under Kazakhstan’s law.

  • Laos: appeals

    Christian Solidarity Worldwide

    Five Laotian Christians convicted in the early spring of ‘performance of the medical profession without a licence’ after praying for a Christian convert, who subsequently died, have confirmed that they will appeal the decision.

    A false document was submitted to the Appeals Court without the knowledge or consent of the five which stated that they had decided to withdraw their appeal. The five Christians asserted that the signatures on the document were not theirs and the Prosecutors’ Office accepted that the document was false.

  • Mediterranean: murders

    Barnabas Fund

    Twelve Nigerian and Ghanaian Christian migrants are feared dead after they were thrown overboard by Muslim aggressors on an inflatable boat crossing the Mediterranean in mid-April.

    Italian police arrested 15 Muslims and charged them with ‘multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate’. According to witnesses, a dispute broke out when a Nigerian Christian man prayed for salvation as the boat moved out to sea. ‘The Muslims … threw the Christians into the water’, said a Christian who was on board. ‘We tried to stop them by forming a human chain.’

  • Middle East: 40th birthday

    Fellowship of European Broadcasters

    Middle East Media celebrated 40 years of ministry in the Middle East in April.

    The team has more than 40 full-time staff, a fully equipped TV production house, a charitable organisation and an outreach for women. They have enabled more than 11,000 young people to use media as a tool for reaching out to their communities. These young trainees now manage most of the Christian Arabic media ministries.

  • Pakistan: mental health

    Barnabas Fund

    In an attempt to protect mental health sufferers from the injustice of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, the country’s Sindh province passed in April an amendment to its 2013 Mental Health Act, which demands that anyone accused of blasphemy must undergo a psychological examination.

    The resolution is aimed at protecting those diagnosed with mental health illnesses from receiving harsh sentences for those accused of blasphemy. Sentences can be reduced, but the court is not compelled to be lenient.

  • Russia: jailed for meeting

    F18 News (www.forum18.org)

    Baptist pastor Pavel Pilipchuk was imprisoned for five days in Orel in mid-April for refusing to pay a fine for allegedly organising an open-air meeting for worship without informing the city administration beforehand.

    Religious communities whose beliefs require them to share their beliefs in public, beyond the confines of a place of worship, are particularly vulnerable to prosecution in Russia.

  • USA: angry parents

    Religion Today

    Parents in Maine were riled when a school read a book featuring a transgender character to students, it was reported in April.

    I Am Jazz, a book co-written by a trans-gender teen, was read to students without the consent of parents, in a lesson on ‘tolerance and respect’. The school apologised, noting that in retrospect, they understand that toleration is tolerating people of all opinions. The school has a policy to contact parents where an issue is considered ‘sensitive’.

  • USA: Clinton’s turnaround

    Christian Concern

    Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, called for the US Supreme Court to rule in support of same sex marriage this June.

    In an about-face from her previous stated conviction that individual states should be able to decide on whether or not to legalise it, Clinton now calls same sex marriage a ‘constitutional right’. Were the Supreme Court to decide in favour of same sex marriage, many states’ laws on biblical marriage would be overturned.

  • USA: talking nonsense?

    World News Service / Christian Today

    In mid-April President Barack Obama announced his support for a ban on what a White House statement referred to as ‘conversion therapy’ for children.

    Proponents of the ban claim therapies aimed at changing sexual orientation can be harmful, although no individual practitioner has ever been cited as causing harm having used a talking therapy. There is no evidence of any harm caused by sexual orientation change therapy, according to those who have used and practice talking therapies.

  • Uzbekistan: imprisonment

    F18 News (www.forum18.org)

    Baptist Doniyor Akhmedov was one of three in Uzbekistan known to have been imprisoned for between seven and 15 days in March and April for offering a religious leaflet to a passer-by on the street.

    Akhmedov was held in a small cell with more than ten people, where they were squeezed in and there was barely space to sleep on the floor. After he was freed he was summoned to court and fined more than three years’ official minimum wage.