As protesters demanding more freedom and fair elections prepared to demonstrate in freezing temperatures in Moscow last Saturday, a major Russian mission group warned of more difficulties for evangelical Christians and other religious minorities in Russia and other former Soviet Union nations.
Early morning attacks in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state on Sunday left at least seven Christians dead and a church building destroyed.
The attack on the Evangelical Church Winning All Church 2 was carried out by area Islamic extremists alongside members of the Boko Haram sect, with the church building and surrounding houses bombed.
Christians in Sudan and newly created South Sudan face possible detention, beatings and even death amid a “deteriorating humanitarian situation” with thousands of people being killed this year alone, aid workers and Christians say.
In Sudan’s capital Kharthoum, minority Christians have also been pressured to leave the country towards South Sudan, with reports of detentions and beatings, church leaders said.
Sudan’s Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments has threatened to arrest church leaders if they carry out evangelistic activities and do not comply with an order for churches to provide their names and contact information.
The warning arrived a few days after Sudan President Omar al-Bashir told cheering crowds that the country’s constitution will be more deeply entrenched in sharia (Islamic law).
A 15-year-old Christian girl in western Uganda who lost the use of her legs after her father locked her in a room for six months for leaving Islam has begun to take tentative steps.
Susan Ithungu had been hospitalized since September 2010 after neighbors along with police rescued her.
A Somali convert from Islam was paraded before a cheering crowd last month and publicly flogged as a punishment for embracing a “foreign religion,” sources said.
Sofia Osman, a 28-year-old Christian from Janale city in Somali’as Lower Shabelle region, had been taken into custody by Islamic extremist al Shabaab
militants in November; the public whipping was meant to mark her release.
Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia almost doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches symbolizing the plight of the religious minority.
The worst is perhaps yet to come if authorities continue to overlook the threat of extremism, said a representative from the Jakarta-based Wahid Institute, a Muslim organization that promotes tolerance.
A young man has been charged with desecrating the Quran under Pakistan’s controversial “blasphemy” laws after the Christian had an argument over rent with his Muslim landlord, his attorneys said.
Police charged the man after his landlord accused him of burning pages of the Quran in order to prepare tea.
Dozens of Christians in southern Laos have been told to leave their village within 24 hours if they continue to believe in Christ and hold worship services.
With Christmas approaching, Lao authorities already plan to expel at least 47 Christians, “including men, women and children,” from Natoo village in the Palansai District of Savannakhet province.
A judge’s decision this month to indefinitely postpone the appeal of a Christian sentenced under Algeria’s defamation and anti-proselytizing laws shows how the judicial system keeps Christians in limbo without officially punishing or acquitting them, according to sources.
Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has to serve at least one more year in prison before he may be executed for refusing to abandon his faith in Christ and return to Islam, an official assisting him has said.
Iran’s judiciary wants to use that time to “use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam”, explained Jason DeMars, director of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries.
A fact-finding mission to India’s Kashmir Valley found that Muslim leaders’ increasingly shrill opposition to conversions has instilled fear among the Christian minority, which has been threatened as Christmas nears.
Christians in Srinagar, the summer capital of India’s northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir, are “really scared,” said Dr. John Dayal, a member of the National Integration Council and part of the fact-finding team.
As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Burma’s capital, Naypyidaw, last week in a show of support for authorities’ ostensible reforms to discuss minority rights, government troops killed civilians and burned houses in a Christian-majority state about 450 miles away.
On Wednesday (Nov. 30), the day Clinton arrived, Burmese soldiers killed a woman and injured six other villagers as they fired four rounds of mortar shells at civilians.
A jailed pastor of one of Iran’s largest evangelical house church movements remains “strong in his faith” in Christ, despite facing execution before Christmas for refusing to return to Islam.
He isn’t the only family member facing criminal charges for converting to Christianity.
Five Algerian Christians remained jailed in north-eastern Algeria Tuesday after they were reportedly detained this weekend for “worshiping in an unregistered location.”
Another Christian, a minor, was released and placed on probation following Saturday’s raid in a village near the town of Bougous in north-eastern El Tarf province bordering Tunisia.
In an Iraq torn by national and religious divides, there is no safe haven for Nuria’s family or other Arab families who convert from Islam.
Muslim family members, neighbors or employers who discover they are converts can make their lives unbearable.
Funeral services were held today in Cairo for some of the victims of a military attack against a group of Christian protestors that left 26 dead and hundreds wounded.
In the wake of what could be the worst act of violence against Egyptian Christians in modern history, leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church have called for three days of fasting and prayer for divine intervention, along with three days of mourning.
Militants with suspected ties to Iranian security forces have threatened to kill nearly a dozen evangelical Christians who fled Iran unless they “repent” and return to Islam.
At least 11 Iranian Christians received electronic mail messages from ‘The Unknown Soldiers Of The Hidden Imam’ calling on them to either repent or face extra-judicial execution.
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani refused to recant his Christian faith today at the fourth and final court hearing in Iran to appeal his death sentence for apostasy (leaving Islam).
A court declared that although Nadarkhani was not a practicing Muslim before his conversion, he was still guilty of apostasy due to his Muslim ancestry.