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These articles were first published in our December edition of the newspaper, click here for more.

Spain: Protestant Reformation celebrated

The regional government of Madrid held an institutional event to commemorate the Protestant Reformation on 31 October for the second year in a row. It was attended by several parliamentarians and evangelical representatives from different denominations.

Miguel Ángel García Martín, Madrid’s regional Minister Justice and Local Administration presided over the event, which exists to highlight the importance of the evangelical community of Madrid and its surrounding areas. A public worship service for Reformation Day took place at Shalom Church following the event in the afternoon.

Switzerland: Evangelical parties win seats

The Evangelical People’s Party (EVP) and the Federal Democratic Union (EDU) both won two seats in the 200-seat House of Representatives in the recent Swiss elections on 22nd October. Both parties are conservative when it comes to family issues, such as marriage and abortion.

The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) won 62 seats, making it the largest party in the House of Representatives, followed by the Social Democratic Party (SP) in second place, with 41. EVP had previously held three seats, while EDU gained on its previous total of one seat.

Nigeria: three Christians killed by terrorists

Terrorists invaded a village in Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria and killed three Christians, reports Global Christian Relief. Among those killed was Mr Sunday Akor, the only Christian teacher in the region.

The terrorists attacked during the early hours of the morning, taking villagers by surprise, of which the majority are Christian. Many villagers fled or hid in bushes surrounding the village. This incident follows other attacks which have taken place recently in the region.

Europe: BGEA event

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is preparing for a major gathering of Christian leaders in May 2025. They expect 1,000 Christian leaders from every European country to attend the event in Berlin, and hope that they will leave with an increased focus on ‘bold and Biblical proclamation evangelism’.

Speakers have not yet been announced for the invitation-only European Congress on Evangelism, but it will be focused on Romans 1:16, providing the likely theme of not being ashamed of the gospel. The event follows several similar gatherings run by the BGEA over several decades.

Belarus: Minsk church shut down

One of the largest churches in Minsk has been shut down by the City Court for failing to re-register since 2004, and for ‘spreading propaganda of war or extremist activities.’ Any activity now conducted by the Pentecostal church would result in a fine or imprisonment. The church’s place of worship had recently already been destroyed.

New Life Church had been active for 21 years and were critical of the Belarusian regime. The pastor, Vyacheslav Goncharenko, said the reasons for its closure were ‘weak’, and that when they had tried to re-register back in 2004, the authorities had rejected their documents.

Sudan: Christians face more attacks

Christians face the prospect of future attacks, following the Sudanese Armed Forces’ (SAF) destruction of the country’s largest church, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The church, used by Episcopalians and Evangelical denominations, was the second oldest church in Omdurman.

This was the latest in a series of attacks on Evangelical buildings, following recent attacks on Omdurman’s commercial and secondary schools. CSW say they believe the attacks on churches are intentional, and are calling for an immediate ceasefire between the warring SAF and Rapid Support Forces.

Spain: nuns accused of stealing

Ten nuns in Spain have allegedly fled their convent, having been accused of stealing over 20 pieces of art. They are accused of taking paintings and sculptures from the Convent of Amor Misericordioso y de la Madre de Dios, Avila, after it closed in October.

Local residents protested following the theft, and an action group has since applied to protect the site and its historical items. The most valuable missing item is a 17th-century painting depicting Christ after the resurrection.

Nepal: appeal denied

A pastor’s appeal against a one-year prison sentence and fine was rejected by the Nepalese Supreme Court. He had been sentenced for ‘proselytising’, and was accused of claiming that if you become a Christian, you cannot become infected by Covid.

Keshab Raj Acharya, pastor of Abundant Harvest Church in Pokhara, denies these allegations, and claims that the court upheld their judgement without speaking to any witnesses to establish the facts. He had initially been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of 10,000 Nepalese rupees, (about £61) but his sentence was reduced to one year.

Cuba: pastor seized

A pastor has been detained in Cuba for speaking in favour of religious freedom, which is not allowed under Cuba’s Communist regime. Alejandro Hernández Cepero, who founded Protestant Christian group, the Alia Movement, was seized from his Havana home, following a summons the day before.

Cuba’s government does not tolerate opposition to its policies. Religious groups are not consulted on legislation and are then forced to comply with it once it is enacted. According to Christian charity Open Doors, Cuban Christians are persecuted for speaking in favour of religious freedom.

Azerbaijan makes the worst persecutors list

Azerbaijan has been placed as one of the top ten worst countries for persecution towards Christians by International Christian Concern (ICC), in its 2023 Persecutors of the Year report. The majority Muslim country ranks highly because of its aggressive policies towards Armenia, which has a large Christian population.

ICC’s report claims that Azerbaijan seeks to ‘rid its borders of Christianity’, and that Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev consistently uses ‘derogatory rhetoric’ to ‘dehumanise the Armenian people’. Azerbaijan are joined on the worst persecutors list by the likes of North Korea, Iran and China.