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Open Doors News

UK: 91 parliamentarians attend launch of 2017 World Watch List

At least 91 parliamentarians, including 80 MPs and 11 peers, attended the launch of the 2017 World Watch List in parliament yesterday, which was hosted by Theresa Villiers MP. Parliamentarians and other guests heard testimonies from Aminu Sule*, a church leader from northern Nigeria, Daniel, a church leader from Erbil, Iraq, and Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland, who called on parliamentarians to act on behalf of persecuted Christians.

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"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed"
- Psalm 103:6
 

North Korea: Risking it all

20 January 2017 - Pyongyang, North Korea's capital city, was known as 'the Jerusalem of the East' in 1907. There was a great revival, and hundreds of churches were started. Over a century later, that's hard to believe. North Korea is now the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. Anyone who is even suspected of following Jesus faces imprisonment, torture - even death. And yet, despite these terrible risks, the church in North Korea is enduring - and growing. Read more...

 

Pakistan: Infamous blasphemy law to be reviewed by Human Rights Committee

19 January 2017 - A debate over how to prevent the misuse of Pakistan's notorious blasphemy law is going to continue, the Pakistani Senate's Committee on Human Rights has decided. Pakistani senator, Farhatullah Babar, told Reuters that the committee would consider a proposal which would make it binding for investigations to take place before a blasphemy case can be registered - this would ensure that 'genuine blasphemy' had been committed. Read more...

 

Turkey: American pastor detained

18 January 2017 - A Turkish court denied an initial appeal at the beginning of January for the release of Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American Protestant pastor kept under arrest for the past three months over alleged links to a terrorist organisation. Initially detained under deportation orders in the port city of Izmir on 7 Oct., Brunson was held in detention facilities without formal charges until 9 Dec., when he was brought to court for the first time for questioning. He was then ordered to be imprisoned, accused in writing of 'membership in an armed terrorist organisation' Read more...

 

Nigeria: Christians murdered in attacks by Fulani herdsmen

13 January 2017 - Large numbers of heavily armed Islamic Fulani herdsmen have targeted two Christian communities in southern Kaduna, in Nigeria's Middle Belt, killing unknown numbers of Christians and destroying surrounding villages and farms. Countless bodies remain in the bush around Kagoro and Kafanchan - two towns which had been hosting displaced people fleeing Fulani violence from elsewhere - after people retrieving the bodies had been further attacked. Read more...

 

UK: 91 parliamentarians attend launch of 2017 World Watch List

12 January 2017 - At least 88 parliamentarians, including 79 MPs and 10 Peers, attended the launch of the 2017 World Watch List in parliament yesterday, which was hosted by Theresa Villiers MP. Parliamentarians and other guests heard testimonies from Aminu Sule*, a church leader from northern Nigeria, Daniel, a church leader from Erbil, Iraq, and Lisa Pearce, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, who called on parliamentarians to act on behalf of persecuted Christians. Read more...

 

Uzbekistan: Ten Christians arrested during raid on secret prayer meeting

11 January 2017 - On Monday, ten Uzbekistani Christians were arrested by authorities during secret prayer meeting. Accused of illegally meeting and rallying, the believers were taken to a police station and questioned for several hours before being released late that night. 'I know that God is with us in all these troubles, but I feel like sometimes I lose the hope, sometimes it is too much,' said one woman who was amongst those arrested. 'Please, pray for me to refresh my strength and faithfulness.' Read more...

 

Ethiopia: UPDATE - Prisoners' hearing due TOMORROW

09 January 2017 - Tibebu Mekuria, Dawit Jemberu, and Belete Tilahun, who are falsely accused of arson, are due to have a supreme court hearing in Addis Ababa tomorrow. The judges have postponed the case several times, citing a lack of time to review the files. Please join us in praying that the hearing will finally take place, and that justice will be done. Read more...

 

Pakistan: Christian man accused of blasphemy after torn Quran found

09 January 2017 - A Pakistani Christian could face ten years in jail or even the death sentence after torn pages from a copy of the Quran were found outside his home, with his name written on them. Babu Shahbaz Masih, 40, from the Kamahan district of Lahore, was arrested on 30 December after a Muslim resident reported him to the police. Babu's elder brother, George, a local councilor and grocer, told news agency World Watch Monitor that the police also initially arrested Shahbaz's wife and children, telling them they had been taken into custody for their safety. Read more...

 

Pray for churches celebrating Christmas this Saturday

06 January 2017 - Around the world, believers from Eastern and Eastern Orthodox churches will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow, on Saturday 7 January. But in areas where hostility and persecution against Christians is high, packed churches and large gatherings can leave Christians vulnerable to attack. Amongst the churches celebrating Christmas this Saturday will be St Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, and its adjoining chapel, which last month was rocked by a deadly suicide attack by so-called Islamic State militants. Read more...

 

North Korea: Trafficked to China - Hwa-Young's powerful ministry to women

05 January 2017 - Desperate and vulnerable, many trafficked North Korean women have no idea what awaits them when they arrive into north east China. Sold into marriage or servitude, most are abused and ill-treated by their new husbands and captors. But for some women, this new life provides an unforeseen hope as brave evangelists reach out to them: evangelists like Hwa-Young. Read more...

 

Sudan: Pastor Kuwa released!

03 January 2017 - Pastor Kuwa Shamal has been released!In a hearing on 2 January the judge ruled that there was not enough evidence against him. Thank you for your prayers for him and for speaking out on his behalf. However, in the same hearing charges against Pastor Hassan Kodi, Czech aid worker Petr Jasek and student Abdulmonen Abdulmawla were confirmed, and their trial will continue. Read more...

 

Christmas Eve church attack wounds 16 people in the Philippines

24 December 2016 - A grenade explosion outside of a church in the Philippines has wounded 16 people. Believers were attending a Christmas Eve service on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines, according to Reuters, when the grenade went off - predominantly injuring those who stood outside. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Read more...

 

Syria: Watch Pastor Edward on BBC Breakfast on Christmas Day

23 December 2016 - Technology permitting, Pastor Edward, an Open Doors local partner from Damascus, Syria, will be speaking on BBC Breakfast this Christmas Day at 6.20am about what this Christmas holds for him and his congregation in Syria. Pastor Edward and his wife Rana work tirelessly to help internally displaced Syrians who rely on the church for vital assistance. They have given winter items to more than 2,000 children from internally displaced families as well as distributing special winter clothing to street children. Read more...

 

Laos: Christmas time Persecution in Luang Prabang

22 December 2016 - Seven families were thrown out of their homes and two men were forced by the police to recant their faith in Jesus this Christmastime in one of Laos' Buddhist strongholds, Luang Prabang. One of the men, Tshaiv*, was also beaten by his father and relatives because of wanting to celebrate Christmas.Full story - Seven families expelled from their village On December 2, Lao National Day, authorities came to a village in Luang Prabang and called all Christians for a meeting. There were seven families there who are Christian. Read more...

 
"God has called me to stay here and be his witness. I cannot leave the other Christians behind."
- Eun Hee, Christian martyr from North Korea