News

Ten Year Old Girl Shares How Displacement from Qaraqosh Changed Her Childhood

ICC Note: A ten year old Christian girl from Qaraqosh named Helda shares the story of the night her family fled their home when ISIS suddenly overran her town, and how the experience radically changed her family’s lives. She has now returned home and is attending school, but like so many children who experienced displacement,…

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Danger Follows Search Operations Looking to Rescue Religious Minorities from ISIS Captivity

ICC Note: A man who has dedicated his life to rescuing religious minorities held captive by ISIS shares harrowing details of what it took to organize rescue missions during the height of ISIS’s so-called caliphate. While he himself mostly works with Yazidis, many are still looking for the thousands of Christian women who were kidnapped…

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Christian Persecution in India Likely to Increase in 2018

ICC Note: Christian persecution in India looks likely to increase in 2018. This bleak conclusion has been arrived at based on the increases in persecution that took place in 2017. According to Open Doors USA, India is the 11th worst persecutor of Christians on the planet. In the group’s most recent rankings, India has topped…

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Government Closes Unregistered House Churches in Pakistan for Security Reasons

ICC Note: The government in Pakistan’s Punjab province has decided to close down unregistered house churches for security reasons. The police towards unregistered house churches in Pakistan is still being decided at the national level, but several churches in Abbottabad were closed last week. Authorities claim they are unable to provide proper security to these…

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Atheist Activist Group Wants Santa Fe Ten Commandments Monument Moved to Private Property

ICC Note: Earlier this month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) issued a letter of complaint regarding a Ten Commandments monument located in a public park in Santa Fe. As the display is on public grounds, the FFRF asserted that it is unconstitutional because it suggests government preference for Christianity over other religions. Although noting…

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Prayer Shield 19th January 2018 – Malaysia

Pray that Islamic officials in Malaysia will stop seeing Christians as a threat to national security and start to see them as a force for good. Continue Reading

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19 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

BANGLADESH
Pray for the families of Christian leaders who have been imprisoned for their faith. #365prayer
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ICC Implements Project to Assist 200 Persecuted Families

By Linda Jones 01/18/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – On November 2016, 200 Christian families in the villages of Kigam, Angwan, Magaii, Kikpene and Kiziti suffered an attack from Fulani militants. The victims saw their churches demolished, their houses burned down, and several villagers were killed or injured. The majority of the villagers are…

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China Demands Persecuted Pastor to Hand Over Donated Money to Government

ICC Note: China’s crackdown on Christianity has no boundaries or respect for basic human rights. Last week the government demolished one of China’s largest evangelical churches with the excuse that the church was operating illegally. This is not the first time the government harasses Christians as part of their campaign to control Christianity. Unfortunately, Christians…

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Priest, Who Calls for Peace, Stabbed in Central African Republic

ICC Note Catholic leadership in the Central African Republic have been decrying the upsurge in violence between warring factions in the country. One such priest, Father Alain Blaise Bissialo of the Christ-King Parish of Tokoyo, was stabbed in an attack on January 4 by unknown assailants. It is believed by many that this attack was…

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Thousands in Burkina Faso Protest Two Year Captivity of Doctor by Terrorist Group

ICC Note Thousands of people in Burkina Faso marched in protest of the continued captivity of an Australian doctor, Ken Elliott. Mr. Elliot was captured along with his wife more than two years ago by the ‘Emirate of the Sahara’, a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). His wife was released one month…

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Government Authorities Demolish One of China’s Largest Evangelical Churches

Demolition Comes as Part of Wider Crackdown on Unregistered Churches 01/18/2018 Washington D.C. – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Golden Lampstand Church, one of China’s largest evangelical churches, was demolished by Chinese authorities last week as a part of a new government crackdown on unregistered churches. Authorities used heavy machinery and dynamite…

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ANALYSIS OF SITUATION IN SOUTH SUDAN, JANUARY 2018

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New law in Bolivia threatens preaching and ‘witnessing’

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Egyptian Christians to be officially allowed to meet in unlicensed buildings

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‘Absurd’ questions to prove they are Christian in Austria asylum cases

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Christian gunned down in Egypt by masked men

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Leaked Video Raises Questions About Inner Coherence of Iran’s Regime Structure

ICC Note: A video has been leaked which raises questions about Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s rise to power and the inner coherence of the regime structure, according to reports. The Ayatollah has been singled out by protesters across Iran, and the video contains comments given in a closed door session in 1989 where the Ayatollah admits…

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Syria Experiencing Worst Surge of Displacement Since Start of Conflict Seven Years Ago

ICC Note: According to Save the Children, the escalation of fighting in Syria’s Idlib province has led to the largest displacement movements of the country’s seven year conflict, with over 7,000 people being displaced every day. Idlib was considered a de-escalation zone, and many of the IDPs who are in this area had fled here…

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Police Deployed to Protect Christian Schools from Hindu Radicals in India

ICC Note: Police have been deployed to two Christian schools in India’s Madhya Pradesh state to protect them from the threats of Hindu radicals. Earlier in the week, Hindu radicals threatened to raid St. Mary’s College in Vidisha. Police were called in to foil these threats by Hindu radicals with the leader of their group being…

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New Study Highlights Workplace Discrimination Faced by Christians in Pakistan

ICC Note: A new study, led by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, has highlighted the workplace discrimination faced by Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. As part of the study, the testimony of individual Christians who faced discrimination in Pakistan were collected. It is hoped that by publishing this study, more victims of workplace…

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Proposed Projects

This year VOM Australia is planning on working in over 28 countries with a variety of projects which will impact the persecuted church because of your generosity in partnering with us in this vital ministry. To give you a small glimpse into some of the

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Prayer Shield 18th January 2018 – Malaysia

Pray for a pastor with a Muslim background and his wife who were reported missing last March and were last seen near Kuala Lumpur. Continue Reading

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IRAN: Christians Receive Eight Year Sentences

Two Iranian Christians were sentenced to a total of eight years in prison by a revolutionary court in December 2017, after being convicted of national security-related crimes. Suroush Saraie and Eskandar Rezaie, who are both members of the Church of Iran denomination, each received seven-year

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PAKISTAN: Pray for Aliza, Injured in Bombing

Aliza, a 1-year-old girl, lost her foot as a result of an injury suffered in the 17 December Quetta church bombing which killed 11 people and seriously injured 50 others. Four suicide bombers approached the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church during a children’s Christmas celebration, but

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EGYPT: Sinai Militants Pledge to “Kill More Copts”

Bassem Herz Attalhah, 27, also known as Haythem Shehata, was on his way home from work in El-Arish, capital of North Sinai governorate, on Saturday evening (13 January), with his brother Osama and neighbour and friend Mohamed, when they were stopped by three armed men,

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18 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

MOROCCO
Pray the church will produce more disciples willing to serve and spread the Gospel. #365prayer
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China Continues Investigation into Lawyers Helping Jailed Christians in Yunnan

ICC Note: A group of Christians in China has been accused of belonging to a cult and are now in jail. This is not the first time the government wrongfully accuses a group of Christians and punishes them without probable cause. Unfortunately, the communist government is also trying to punish the lawyers defending them as…

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Church Attendees in China Accused of Cult Activity Against Government

ICC Note: Christians in China have been strictly monitored by the government, who tries to regulate church attendance, worship services, and even when is the appropriate age to learn about Christ. Many Christians are often times wrongfully accused of violations they never committed and their places of gathering are not even respected. Last week the…

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New Penal Code in Bolivia Could Restrict Religious Freedom

ICC Note: Church leaders in Bolivia are again concerned with the new impositions from the government since these new measures, will likely intervene with their freedom of religion. It is not the first time that the Bolivian government, under Evo Morales, introduces new changes that affect Christians. However, this new law brings a new turn…

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100 Al-Shabaab Terrorists Enter Town on Sunday, Villagers Flee by Monday

ICC Note Nearly 100 al-shabaab terrorists entered a village in Lamu on Sunday. According to the locals, who have now fled the area, the terrorists gathered all of the villagers together and lectured them for over an hour. After this, the terror group left. The villagers are now living in Kiunga town, but they are…

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“Stop Playing Politics with the Lives of Innocent Nigerians”, CAN Tells President Buhari

ICC Note The Taraba State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria has called on President Buhari to end all support for the Fulani militants and ensure that their attacks on farming communities end. They have also call on all of the cattle magnates and emirs that own the Fulani cattle, to establish ranches and…

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Eight Christians Severely Beaten by Radicals in India’s Jharkhand State

ICC Note: On Christmas Eve, Pastor Karma Oraon and seven other Christians meditated on Scripture as they celebrated the Christmas holiday. Suddenly, a mob of radicals attacked their gathering and beat all those present severely. While beating Pastor Oraon, the radials demanded he and his followers renounce their Christian faith or face severe consequences. This brutal…

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Gaza Church Reports Precipitous Drop in Number of Christians

ICC Note: The Gaza Strip is a harsh and difficult place to live, a small area often described as an open air prison. While Gaza is a predominately Muslim area, Christians do live there. Within the confines of Gaza is only one Catholic Church, and a congregation of 130 parishioners where there used to be…

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Christian Killed and Robbed Outside Home in Egypt

ICC Note: Coptic Christian Adly Younan Riad was killed earlier this month in Beni Sweif by three masked men who waited for him outside of his home. He was killed then robbed of his gold jewelry, causing concern that the circumstances of this crime mirrors tactics used in the 1980s/90s by terrorists who targeted wealthy…

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BJP Lawmaker Claims India Will be Hindu-Only Nation by 2024

ICC Note: In a recent speech, a BJP lawmaker from Ballia claimed that India would become a Hindu nation by 2024. The lawmaker went on to say that religious minorities who do not assimilate to Hindu culture should take asylum in any other country. India’s current national government is led by the BJP party, which…

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Prayer Shield 17th January 2018 – Malaysia

Pray God’s protection of Susanna Liew, wife of Raymond Koh (16th Jan), who had also received threats and was persecuted like her husband before he was kidnapped. Continue Reading

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17 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

MYANMAR
Pray for front line workers receiving motorbikes. #365prayer
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White House Announces Religious Freedom Day

President Trump Proclaims January 16 as Annual Religious Freedom Day 1/16/2018 Washington D.C., (International Christian Concern) – On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump publically proclaimed January 16 as the national day of religious freedom. He called on Americans to celebrate the day, so as to “remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty.” The…

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Chinese lawyers accused of illegally defending arrested Christians

ICC Note: Christianity in China is strictly monitored by the government. Many are sent to prison for assembling without permission since it is prohibited for more than 2 people to gather for religious purposes. At least 80 percent of Christians in China are part of unregistered churches to prevent the government from controlling them. However,…

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Eritrean Christian Describes 13 years in Prison for Faith

ICC Note A man named Shiden* told his story of faith and imprisonment in Eritrea due to the high persecution there. He related how he was forced into military service for years. Then when they found out that he was a Christian, he was thrown into prison for 13 years. These prisons are either underground,…

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Reporter Recounts Tale of Trip to Fulani Conquered Area of Nigeria

ICC Note A reporter for Morning Star news described his trip to Nigeria, where he was trying to look into Fulani attacks and the areas affected by them. He specifically was interested in finding out about the abductions that have become common in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. They have shown that they are able…

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Challenges of Civil Documentation Makes Christians Further Invisible Within the Syrian Conflict

ICC Note: Civil documentation allows citizens to receive birth and marriage certificates, as well as national ID cards, ensuring that citizens are recognized before the law. Without these documents, citizens are invisible before the law. In Syria, the presence of multiple conflict actors over a period of seven years has made it difficult for citizens…

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Lebanese Christians Join Together to Help Syrian Refugees Living In Dire Conditions

ICC Note: Lebanon stands unique in the Middle East because it is the only country in the region to have a Christian President. Though a small nation, it has a large Christian population. Some of these Christians have joined together to help the Syrian refugees who have been flooding into Lebanon since the start of…

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Hindu Nationalists Protest Catholic School in India’s Madhya Pradesh State

ICC Note: Hindu nationalists have staged a protest against a Catholic school in India’s Madhya Pradesh state after the school reprimanded two students for singing the Vande Mataram. After the students were reprimanded, Hindu nationalists blew the incident out of proportion claiming the school was acting in an “anti-national” way. In recent months, Christian institutions, such…

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Religious Intolerance in Pakistan Forcing Minorities to Flee Country

ICC Note: Religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians, Hindus, and Ahmadiyyas, are continuing to flee the country due to increasing religious intolerance. Restrictive blasphemy laws, forced conversions to Islam, and terrorist attacks on places of worship mark only a few of the issues faced by religious minorities in Pakistan. For many Christians fleeing Pakistan, there…

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Prayer Shield 16th January 2018 – Malaysia

Pray for the safe return of Pastor Raymond Koh who was abducted by masked men in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, last February. His family are angry that police have been investigating whether he had been proselytising Muslims, which is forbidden in … Continue Reading

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Christian Megachurch demolished in China

ICC Note: Christians in China experience heavy persecution from Muslims and Tibetan Buddhist, who see them as a threat to their society. In the last few years, several Christian churches have been demolished by the government with the excuse of expired permits, illegal paperwork, and many other unjustified reasons. The government tries to monitor and…

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North Korea is on the top list of dangerous places for Christians

ICC Note: Christians in North Korea live under the brutal regime of the Kim family. Unfortunately, Christians are considered hostile elements to society that have to be eradicated. This hostile environment towards Christians on behalf of the government has made North Korea a dangerous place for them to live and practice their religion.  1/15/2018 North…

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16 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

TURKEY
Pray that Christian satellite TV and radio ministries will have a tremendous effect throughout Turkey. #365pray
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El-Arish Copt Gunned Down by Three Gunmen Looking for Christians

  01/15/18 International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on the evening of January 13, 2018, three armed men killed a Coptic Christian named Bassem Attala as he was returning home from work. Bassem and his family were among the hundreds of Christian families who originally fled el-Arish last…

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80 Girls Rescued From Forced Marriages in Tanzania

ICC Note Tanzania has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. UNICEF estimates that nearly one-third of all girls in Tanzania are married before they turn 18 and five percent are married before they even turn 15. This is despite the constitution in Tanzania being changed to make marriage before 18…

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al-Shabaab Has Increased Recruitment of Children over Past Months

ICC Note The Human Rights Watch has released a report that states al-Shabaab has increased its recruitment of children, even as young as the age of 8. Al-Shabaab ordered Islamic elders and teachers in communities, specifically in rural areas, to provide hundreds of children for the terrorist group. If these leaders did not do as…

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Thousands Flee As Syrian Conflict Intensifies In An Area Filled With People Already Internally Displaced

ICC Note: Many of those Syrians who were internally displaced fled to Idlib province as a sort of uneasy safe haven. Now, over 100,000 civilians have fled their homes and refugee camps as the fighting in this area intensifies. Most Christian background believers had already fled this area, as they were particularly at risk from…

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Egypt Has a New Cathedral, But It Is Almost Impossible to Build Churches Elsewhere

ICC Note: The higher authorities in Egypt’s government publicly say that Christians may worship in unregistered churches, but there is a large disconnect between what is publicly stated and what kind of actions are actually taken by local authorities. Furthermore, the large cathedral built last year in Egypt’s new administrative capital does not make up for the…

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Three Nepalese Christians Arrested in India for Blasphemy

ICC Note: Three Nepalese Christians were arrested in India last week after they were accused of defaming Hindu gods and idols by local Hindus in Uttar Pradesh state. The three Christians will likely face a lengthy legal process before their case is resolved. Hindu radicals often use false blasphemy and forced conversion charges to harass and intimidate Christians seeking to…

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Atheist Group Forces Louisiana Sheriff’s Office to Remove Christian Facebook Posts

ICC Note: Following a letter of complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a sheriff’s office in Louisiana has been forced to remove Christian posts from the office’s public Facebook page. The group asserted that the posts served as a violation of the US constitution’s Establishment Clause by favoring Christianity over other belief systems. The…

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Prayer Shield 15th January 2018 – Malaysia

Pray for the church in Malaysia, an Islamic country whose reputation for tolerance is fading fast. Kelantan state has been pushing for the adoption of a strict Islamic penal code, ‘Hudud’, and now allows public caning. Continue Reading

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15 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

CUBA
Pray for pastors, who are under constant government scrutiny. #365pray
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Census Data to Soon be Released in Pakistan

ICC Note: The Federal Minister for Statistics, Kamran Michael, has said that census data will soon be released to make preparations for the 2018 general elections. This comes as good news for Christians in Pakistan as census data relating to the size of their community has been so far withheld by the government. Many Christians claim…

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Mastermind Behind Kidnapping of Four British Missionaries in Nigeria Dead

ICC Note The leader of the gang that kidnapped four British missionaries, killing one, late last year, has been killed. Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo masterminded the kidnapping of the four missionaries for ransom. Less than a day after the initial abduction, however, one of them, Ian Squire, was killed for singing Amazing Grace to his fellow captives.…

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Muslims Students Riot and Destroy Town Over Arrest of Sheikh

ICC Note A group of Islamic students rioted, burning down churches and business in Marsabit Town, Kenya, because a local sheik was arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Police. Sheikh Guyo Gorsaikh has been arrested once before by the anti-terrorism officials because he is suspected of radicalizing youth in Kenya and recruiting for al-Shabaab, one of the…

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Bishop returns to his damaged Cathedral for the first time since Marawi siege

ICC Note: Bishop Edwin de la Peña returned to his cathedral in Marawi city for the first time since May 23, 2017, when IS-linked militants attacked and burned his church while taking several staff and worshippers hostage. More than 1,100 were killed in the five-month long armed conflict, and Christians who were taken hostage were…

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The Children of Garbage City Highlight Egypt’s Broader Problems with Child Poverty

ICC Note: The situation of the Zabaleen in Egypt’s Garbage City highlights the broader problem of an increase of child poverty while critical support languishes. These are Christians who live, work, eat, and sleep among the garbage collected from across Cairo and brought into their homes. The children join their parents in collecting and sorting…

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Prayer Shield 14th January 2018 – China

Pray for Pastor Li Wanhua of Fengle Church, Guangdong province, who was recently interrogated after officials raided his home and ordered him to stop holding church services. Continue Reading

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14 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

QATAR
Pray that the efforts of missionaries serving the Qatari people will be fruitful. #365pray
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Young North Koreans Ask Parents for Money to Defect

ICC Note: As winter causes rivers separating North Korea and South Korea to freeze, many young North Koreans are asking their parents for money they can use to cross the border to China. Frustrated by the conditions of life in their repressive, sanctions-hit country, the chance to live in freedom is the best gift that…

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Imprisoned Pastor Suffering from Physical Isolation and Psychological Dislocation

ICC Note: USCIRF officials who visited American Pastor Andrew Brunson in a Turkish prison this past October have penned an op-ed describing their experience. Overall, there was shock at seeing the way which prison has affected Pastor Brunson. He has lost a significant amount of weight, and “lives in a world of physical isolation and…

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Prayer Shield 13th January 2018 – China

Lift up in prayer Communist officials who see churches as a threat to their authority. Pray that they will come to recognise that the government is upon Jesus’ shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). Continue Reading

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13 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

IRAN
Pray that God will raise up church leaders to shepherd the growing number of believers. #365pray
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Catholic priests resist internet censorship in Communist Vietnam

ICC Note: Social media have become an effective way for people to share information and express opinions in a Communist Vietnam, where the government bans private newspapers and promotes state-run media. Vietnam has stepped up attempts to censor the internet, calling for a closer watch over social networks and for the removal of content deemed…

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Kachin Catholic leaders in Myanmar Hopeful for a Ceasefire

ICC Note: Kachin Catholic leaders in Myanmar are hopeful that Pope Francis’ recent visit to the country will help push for a ceasefire between the Myanmar army and ethnic minority rebels. The Myanmar army and the Kachin Independence Army have been in conflict since a series of incidents brought a sudden end to 17-year ceasefire…

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Pakistani Christians Fear Placing Country on ‘Special Watch List’ Will Create More Problems

ICC Note: Christians in Pakistan fear that the recent U.S. action to place Pakistan on a ‘Special Watch List’ for severe violations of religious freedom will actually create more problems for them than improvements. Christians in Pakistan are often seen as representations of Western society because they follow Christianity, perceived as the Western religion. As the…

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Positive Changes in Morocco for Country’s Christians Sends Message of Hope to Rest of the Region

ICC Note: Christianity has played a significant role in the Middle East and North Africa, but the persecution of Christians in this region has only intensified in recent years. Even so, there is a beacon of hope for the region’s Christians. One author points to how Morocco has made positive changes in its treatment of…

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Three Nepalese Christians Arrested in India For Preaching Christianity

ICC Note: Three Nepalese Christians have been arrested and sent to jail for preaching Christianity in India’s Uttar Pradesh state. According to reports, the Christians were preaching near the Town Hall section of Shahjahanpur city when they were accused of making disparaging remakes against Hindu gods. Local witnesses have reported not hearing any disparaging remarks and…

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Four Iranian Christians Prepare to Appeal Lengthy Prison Sentences

ICC Note: Four Iranian Christians are preparing to appeal recent prison sentences, according to Middle Eastern Concern. One of these four was recently sentenced at the beginning of the year, while the others were sentenced last year. Each face the serious charge of acting against national security; two of these Christians report that they have…

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Prayer Shield 12th January 2018 – China

Ask God to protect Li Baiguang, a prominent Christian human rights lawyer, who continues to receive death threats, despite officials’ promise to investigate his kidnapping and beating at the hands of state-hired thugs in Zhejiang in October. Continue Reading

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Open Doors Int. feature

The 50 Countries Most Dangerous to Follow Jesus

Approximately 215 million Christians now experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution; that means 1 in 12 Christians live where Christianity is “illegal, forbidden, or punished,” according to Open Doors researchers. Continue Reading

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12 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

TANZANIA
Pray for persecuted believers in Tanzania. #365pray
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ICC Provides Christmas Support for Persecuted Family

By Linda Jones 01/11/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) – Vietnam is one of the few remaining communist countries in the world. Minority groups usually face many challenges because of their ethnicity or Christian faith at the hands of the government. Many of the laws and regulations passed by the government are disadvantageous for Christians,…

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Inadequate aid for Marawi victims upsets UN agency

ICC Note: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is upset by the fact that tens of thousands of people affected by the Marawi siege in Philippines last May are going hungry in temporary shelters. Some victims complain that the distribution of food and other aid by the government’s social welfare office has…

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Christianity on the rise despite persecution in S.E. Asia

ICC Note: According to Evangelical Focus, evangelicalism in Muslim-majority countries in Southeast Asia including Malaysia and Indonesia is on the rise, with about 10 percent of the population being Christians. A report by The Economist also states that Asia has one of the fastest growing Evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity population growth in the world. Many…

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Fear and Tension in Garissa Remain After al-Shabaab Attack

By Nathan Johnson 01/11/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Churches in Ijara, Kenya, part of Garissa County, have remained closed for the past two Sundays due to the constant threat of Somalia-based terror group, al-Shabaab. Residents of Garissa have been living in increased fear for the past several weeks because insurgents raided and burned…

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Seven Ethiopian Christians Arrested for Prayer Meeting

ICC Note Seven Ethiopian Christians were arrested and have been denied bail for praying against the government in Ethiopia. The seven men, members of the Meserete Kiristos church, were travelling to hold a prayer meeting on a mountain, when they were overheard local militia. When the Christians prayed “against Satan’s power and kingdom”, they were…

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EGYPT – President attends Christmas service and tells Christians “you are our family”

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Indian Christians Seek to Influence State Elections Following Day of Protest

ICC Note: Last Sunday, Christians from India’s Meghalaya state held a “Day of Protest” against the growing number of attacks on the Christian community across India. One of the desired results of this demonstration would to to influence upcoming state elections. Many Christians feel the BJP-led government has not done enough to confront the activities…

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SOUTH SUDAN – Humanitarian situation “intolerable”

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Iraqi Family Recounts the Dangers of Making a Home in the Nineveh Plains

ICC Note: The Yousifs are an Iraqi family who were forced to flee to Lebanon in 2015 because of persecution. Life has been full of sorrows since their escape, overall creating a sense of them “living on borrowed time.” Like so many other Iraqi refugees, their lives have been turned upside down because of the…

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Egypt Facing Unprecedented Levels of Persecution, According to New Report

ICC Note: According to a new report by Open Doors, Christians in Egypt are facing “unprecedented levels of persecution.” Egypt is home to the largest Christian community in the Middle East. Discrimination and segregation are a normal part of an Egyptian Christian’s daily life, and the number of attacks against their communities and churches by…

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Holiday Insecurity Highlights Difficult Situation Faced by Pakistani Christians

ICC Note:  The widespread insecurity felt by Pakistani Christians over the Christmas holiday highlighted the difficult situation the religious minority community finds themselves in in Pakistan. A week before Christmas, terrorist connected to ISIS, attacked a church in Quetta, Pakistan, killing nine and wounding dozens more. This was not the first time Christians have been targeted by…

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CHINA – Officials demolish two churches in Shaanxi province

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NIGERIA – Christian young woman from Chibok abducted and “married” to Muslim

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Chinese priest in Zhejiang province goes missing after Christmas

ICC Note: Chinese priest Lu Danhua of Lishui Diocese in Zhejiang was taken away by local authorities after Christmas from his dormitory, claiming that he was going for a brief chat. However, he remains missing up until this day. The authorities had stated that Father Lu needed to go to Wenzhou for a “re-education” on…

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Chinese authorities demolished well-known Shanxi Christian Church

ICC Note: The Golden Lampstand Church in the Shanxi Province city of Linfen was demolished by local authorities on 1/10. Members of the church were pressured to stay silent about the demolition. There were large number of police preventing a crowd of onlookers and worshipers from approaching the site. Some worry that this might signify…

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INDONESIA: Pray for Pastor Abraham

An Indonesian pastor was charged with blasphemy recently after he shared his Christian faith in a taxi. In a widely circulated video, Pastor Abraham Ben Moses is heard speaking with a taxi driver about the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings on marriage. He can also be heard

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KYRGYZSTAN: “Amazing sign” Encourages Church

Muslim militants used Molotov cocktails to set fire to the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church in Kaji-Say in the early hours of 3 January. The building, which stands on the south shore of Lake Issyk Kul, was badly damaged in the blaze, with many pews destroyed.

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EGYPT: Copts Start to Rebuild

Twelve years after their previous church was closed, the Coptic community in the Egyptian village of Kom El-Loufy, 250km south of Cairo, is celebrating as a new church is built. Last month, with the agreement of local Muslims, the Copts started digging the foundations on

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Prayer Shield 11th January 2018 – China

Three Christians from Yunnan – Li Shudong, Li Meihua and Peng Zhenghua – received fouryear jail sentences on charges that included belonging to a ‘cult’. Pray for their early release. Continue Reading

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Iranian Christians Receive Eight Year Sentences

Two Iranian Christians were sentenced to a total of eight years in prison by a revolutionary court in December 2017, after being convicted of national security-related crimes. Continue Reading

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11 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

SRI LANKA
Pray for front line workers receiving discipleship training. #365prayer
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Boko Haram Triple Suicide Bombing Stopped By Nigerian Military

ICC Note The Nigerian Army stopped a triple suicide bombing from taking place in Borno State recently. Sadly, the suicide bombers involved were all young girls who were said to be targeting Gamboru Ngala area of Borno. Two of the girls were shot by the military in their attempt to attack the target. The third…

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Six Nigerian Nuns Regained Freedom in Nigeria After Two Months

ICC Note Six Nigerian nuns who had been kidnapped two months ago, were finally released on January 7. This news was joyful for the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ, to whom the six sisters belonged. Kidnappings for ransom have become increasingly prevalent in the southern half of Nigeria. It is believed that these…

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Gideons No Longer Allowed to Offer Bibles at Kansas Elementary School Following Complaint

ICC Note: Following a letter of complaint from the American Humanist Association (AHA), a Kansas school district has decided that Gideon International may no longer offer Bibles to students at one of the local elementary schools. Although students were not forced to take the Bibles, as they were placed on a table for interested students…

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Hindu Nationalist Leader in India Calls on Followers to Buy Guns to Protect Hinduism

ICC Note: A Hindu nationalist leader in western Uttar Pradesh has called on his followers to purchase guns and not mobile phones to protect Hinduism against “evil forces”. The leader went on to explain that it was right for Hindu nationalists to be armed in order to protect their religion. Radical Hindu nationalism is the…

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Christians in India Hold Day of Prayer and Protest Against Rising Intolerance

ICC Note: Thousands of Christians in Garo Hills in India participated in a day of prayer and protest against rising religious intolerance in India. The event took place on January 7 and was led by the area’s Catholic leadership. Attacks on Christians and their places of worship have continued to escalate as Hindu radical groups…

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By Dropping Arson Charges, Egyptian Christians Now Allowed to Build New Church

ICC Note: By dropping charges against radical Muslims who singled out Christians for attack, burning homes and inflicting injuries, the Christians in the Egyptian village of Kom El-Loufy have now been granted permission to build a church. Their previous church had been closed twelve years ago, and authorities were effectively holding the new church hostage…

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Iranians Sentenced To Prison For Attempting to Help Christian Students Get Exemption from Islamic Studies

ICC Note: Last year, Iranian authorities denied Christian children the opportunity to separate religious education and charged two Christian leaders with acting against national security for issuing letters on behalf of the students seeking an exemption from Islamic education. On December 28th, these two men were sentenced to eight years in prison. This includes an…

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Prayer Shield 10th January 2018 – China

Pray for 34 Christians in Yunnan province who face jail terms on false charges of being part of a ‘cult’. Hundreds have been arrested since October 2016: at least 34 remain in custody. Continue Reading

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10 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

MOROCCO
Pray for the passage of a law that would allow religious freedom. #365prayer
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Through a War, God Brings Revival to Syria

By Claire Evans 01/09/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – For years, Syrian Christians had been praying for a revival. “But never did we imagine it would come because of war,” said one church leader. Seven years of civil war has left Syria in ruins. Many of those who came from Christian families left early…

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Former leader of the Hong Kong Christian Council criticizes China for reviving “autocracy”

ICC Note: A former Christian leader in Hong Kong criticizes Beijing for reviving “autocracy”, as he urged local churches serving a Protestant congregation of half a million to be “united and courageous” amid the challenges. Rev. Po Kam-cheong, who stepped down as the secretary general of the council on Dec. 31 last year after his…

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Christmas Celebrations are not allowed in Cuba

ICC Note: Communist Cuba continues to impose restrictions on religious activities. Pastors and other religious leaders fear repercussions from the government if they express opposition to the severe regulations on Christians. Many Christians in Cuba even fear celebrating their Christmas holiday because of the threats from the communist government.    1/9/2018 Cuba (World Watch Monitor)…

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There might be a repeat of Marawi siege in Philippines, says Defense Secretary

ICC Note: In response to the Martial law in Mindanao declared and extended in 2017 because of clashes in Marawi City between the military and armed groups linked with the international terrorist network Islamic State, petitioners in Philippines have made two attempts asking the Supreme Court to stop the extension of martial law in Mindanao,…

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KYRGYZSTAN – ‘Amazing sign’ encourages church after bomb attack

A church in Kyrgyzstan was badly damaged in a firebomb attack but one thing survived and has now inspired the congregation. Muslim militants used Molotov cocktails to set fire to the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church in Kaji-Say in the early hours o… Continue Reading

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High Court in India’s Rajasthan State Allows Public Objection to Religious Conversion

ICC Note: The High Court of Rajasthan has made a decision to allow public objection to stand in the way of the individual’s right to free religious conversion. According to the court’s decision, those seeking to change their religious must publicly post that intention for a week in which time the public is allowed to…

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Sudan Extends Ceasefire with Kardofan

ICC Note Sudan has extended its ceasefire with the Christian Majority people of Kardofan until March of 2018. This area has been in conflict with the central government of Sudan since South Sudan gained it freedom in 2011. This conflict has caused many deaths directly, but has also caused the area many issues by destabilizing…

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Saudi Arabia Criticized by UN Experts About Abysmal Human Rights Record

ICC Note: UN experts have again recently expressed concern how Saudi Arabia, a member of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations, continues to persecute human rights defenders. Defending human rights in Saudi Arabia is a dangerous mission, but not as dangerous as it would be for Saudi Christians to speak out about their…

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Former Presidential Aide Speaks About Fulani Violence in Nigeria

ICC Note Doyin Okupe, the former aide to the past Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has given a look into the Fulani Violence that has plagued Middle Nigeria for decades. He reports that since 2016, there have been more than 1,000 documented deaths at the hands of the militants. He also explains how many of the…

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Church Registration Law Has Legitimized Closure of More Churches, Says Coptic Bishop

ICC Note: President Sisi’s attendance at the newly built Cathedral of Christ’s Nativity should not obscure the contention that exists in Egypt about Christians’ ability to gather in places of worship. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Bishop Anba Makarios, points to how the law enacted in 2016 did not simplify administrative procedures regarding church registration,…

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Kandhamal Christians Return to Prison After Temporary Parole

ICC Note: Two of the seven Indian Christians falsely imprisoned for the murder of a Hindu leader in 2008 were allowed temporary parole over the Christmas period to celebrate the holiday with their families. This temporary parole comes at a time where many in India are questioning the legitimacy of the convictions of these seven Christians.…

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Pakistan Designated “Country of Particular Concern” by U.S. State Department

ICC Note: The U.S. State Department has designated Pakistan a “country of particular concern” (CPC) because of severe violations of religious freedom. The designation was made after the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended Pakistan’s CPC designation back in its annual report in 2017. Christians, who make up a small minority of Pakistan’s…

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Prayer Shield 9th January 2018 – China

Continue to pray for imprisoned Christian lawyer Gao Zhisheng whose whereabouts are still unknown. Reports have circulated that two friends smuggled him out of house arrest briefly – only for him to be detained soon afterwards. Continue Reading

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Cuba: Afro-Cuban priest detained

Cuban Yoruba priest, Alexei Mora Montalvo, was detained with force by the Cuban political police on 5 January. Continue Reading

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9 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

KYRGYZSTAN
Pray for Christian families, who are not allowed to bury their dead. #365prayer
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China: Christian faced lengthy questioning for attending Christmas Eve celebrations

ICC Note: Lou Yuanqi, a Christian in China’s northwestern Xinjiang was questioned by police for 10 hours on Christmas day last year, after neighbors of the church reported them for holding Christmas celebrations. Chinese government has been tightening control on unregistered churches, threatening to close or destroy their churches if they don’t apply to be…

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Coptic Christmas Passes in Safety at New Cathedral in Egypt

ICC Note: This weekend, thousands of Egyptian Christians safely gathered for Christmas Mass in a new cathedral. There was much concern that the cathedral would be targeted by ISIS, as the militants in recent weeks have stepped up its violence towards Christians. Thankfully, these Christians were able to celebrate Christmas in peace. In large part,…

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Social Activist Publishes Book Stating Hindus Have Framed Christians in India

ICC Note: In 2008, a revered Hindu spiritual leader, Swami Laxamanananda, was killed. Enraged Hindus began parading the leader’s body throughout India, spreading rumors that Christians had killed him. In response to those rumors, Hindus in the Kandhamal district of Odisha launched a series of violent attacks that killed almost 100 Christians and destroyed hundreds…

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Iranian Christians Wonder, Will Protests Bring More Repression or Freedom?

ICC Note: While the desperate economic situation is what initially sparked the protests in Iran, it quickly evolved into a public demonstration against Iran’s harsh Islamic leadership. The regime has responded in a predictably harsh manner, and protesters are unsure whether the end result will be more repression or freedom. Meanwhile, Christians who have helped…

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Petrol Bombs were thrown at church and temple in Kota Baru, Malaysia

ICC Note: A Methodist church and Hindu temple in Kota Baru were damaged on 1/7 in what police believe was an act of vandalism. The suspect(s) allegedly threw the objects from the Sultan Yahya Petra Bridge near the places of worship at midnight. Luckily no one was injured. Police believe the same perpetrator(s) committed both…

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Government Official Rejects Hindu Attempts to Desecrate Religious College

ICC Note: On January 4, 2018, members of radical, right-wing Hindu groups attempted to force a Catholic college in India to host Hindu prayer rituals. Despite intense protests by priests and other college attendees, the right-wing groups ignored them and were only stopped after India’s Home Minister intervened, forcing them out of the college. While…

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Sudan Diplomat Claims U.S. CPC Designation is Wrong

ICC Note Sudan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir stated in a release that the U.S. decision to keep Sudan on the Countries of Particular Concern list is inconsistent with the praise received by Sudan. This list is a designation by the U.S. that says that a country has engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing,…

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Fulani Claim Responsibility for Attack in Benue, Nigeria

ICC Note Fulani attacked several villages in Benue state just before Christmas. The Fulani have taken responsibility for the attack. In a statement by Garus Gololo, a leader of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders in Benue State, he tries to say that this attack was conducted in retaliation for the theft of cattle from Fulani who…

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MILITANTS BURN BAPTIST CHURCH IN KYRGYZSTAN. ALTAR BIBLE SURVIVES BLAZE UNHARMED

Muslim militants have firebombed a Baptist church in Kyrgyzstan, causing extensive damage. The Bible on the altar survived the arson attack, encouraging Christians to stand firm in their faith. Radicals doused the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church w… Continue Reading

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Prayer Shield 8th January 2018 – China

Officials in Hubei took Pastor Xu Shizhen, her daughter and her three-year-old grandson into custody in September. Mother and son were separated. Praise God for these two women who continued to spread the gospel in their local community despite officia… Continue Reading

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8 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

VIETNAM
Pray that government officials will allow Christians the freedom to worship throughout every province. #365prayer
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Security heightened before the procession of the Black Nazarene in Philippines

ICC Note: Philippines heightens security ahead of the procession of the Black Nazarene, expected to be joined by millions of devotees next Tuesday. Although there has been no terrorist threat as of this time, the authorities want an accident free event. Drones and snipers stand ready to protect the crowd. Every Jan. 9, the annual…

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Imprisoned American Pastor Turns 50 In a Turkish Jail

ICC Note: An American pastor imprisoned in Turkey has just celebrated his 50th birthday in prison. He was 48 years old when he was arrested, an ordeal which has been deprived of due process. There is no true information to the charges levied against him, and court dates have been largely unreliable. Prison has been…

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Prayer Shield 7th January 2018 – China

Pray that God will continue to shine His light across China, spreading His love and building His church, despite intense persecution in some areas. Pray that His people will be encouraged today. Continue Reading

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7 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

MYANMAR
Pray for church planters who are being trained and sent to difficult areas. #365prayer
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Pakistan Rejects NGOs’ Registration Applications

ICC Note: Pakistan requires international non-government organizations (INGOs) to register in order to operate in the country. After the recent passage of new registration requirements, 149 NGOs submitted registration requests and 27 were rejected for “working in contradiction to their objectives.” Many NGOs that were rejected included organizations working for missing persons and women rights’.…

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Catholics in China Protest demolition of their church

ICC Note: Chinese authorities demolished the only Catholic church in the village of Zhifang, in Shaanxi province after Christmas last year, claiming the building “illegally occupied” the ground. Cross was destroyed and sacred items were removed. Members of the church were banned from going near the church. However, local officials had given the church permission…

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Ugandan Mother Poisoned in Murder Attempt of Family Reports Morning Star News

ICC Note A Christian Ugandan Family was gathering to celebrate Christmas, when a couple of their Muslim neighbors brought some gifts. These gifts consisted of food. The mother of the Christian family was astonished and thankful for the gifts. She then started to make their Christmas meal. After the meal was ready, she tasted the…

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Iranian Pastors Asking for Prayer and Wisdom as Unrest Continues

ICC Note: As unrest continues in Iran, underground church leaders are asking for prayer on how to approach the situation. First, they are seeking wisdom on whether they should openly do ministry among those who are protesting. Secondly, they attempting to discern how Iran as a nation can become free so that Christians have freedom…

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Prayer Shield 6th January 2018 – Laos

Pray for Christians like ‘Sonxi’ who face opposition from relatives angered by the fact they have turned to Christ. Sonxi’s parents threatened to sell her into the sex trade if she refused to stop going to church. She fled and became a full-time Christ… Continue Reading

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6 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

SAUDI ARABIA
Pray that persecutors will bend their knee to the King of the universe. #365prayer
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Catholics in Northern Vietnam Protest Officials’ Interference in their parish

ICC Note: Catholic leaders in Vietnam’s north-central province are protesting authorities’ interference in their parish, accusing local officials of wanting to remove their priest due to land ownership dispute at the Thien An monastery. Communist Vietnam has long repressed the Catholic Church in the one-party state and subjected it to forced evictions, land grabs, and…

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Pakistan Detains Activist Who Tried to Remember Religious Freedom

ICC Note: In 2011, a governor in Pakistan was killed by his bodyguard after standing up for Asia Bibi and religious freedom. Since his death, a Pakistani activist has scheduled memorials and prayer vigils in the governor’s honor in hopes of helping people remember the ideas of freedom that he espoused. Pakistani officials, however, are…

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US Places Pakistan on Special Watch List

ICC Note: After a long delay, the US finally released its Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) list in addition to a special watch list for countries whose violations of religious freedom need to be recognized but were not CPC designations. While the US did not identify Pakistan as a CPC, officials did place Pakistan on…

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Number of North Korean defectors drops as controls tighten

ICC Note: Due to tightened controls in China and North Korea, the number of North Korean defectors has dropped last year, with less than 100 North Koreans defecting monthly. Chinese government often repatriates defectors and put their lives in danger, as upon their return they often face harsh treatment or even death. More than 31,000…

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Chibok Girl Rescued from Sambisa Forest

After Nearly Four Years in Captivity, Young Girl is Safe 01/05/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that one of the Chibok schoolgirls who was kidnapped in 2014 has escaped and is in safe keeping with the Nigerian government. The Nigerian military announced the rescue of the girl in…

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Egypt’s Christians Prepare to Celebrate Christmas in New Church, Worried About Possible Attack

ICC Note: Egypt’s Christians are preparing to celebrate Christmas this Sunday in a new cathedral, the Nativity of Christ located near Cairo. The church is now the largest in the Middle East, and Christians are worried that it could be targeted by ISIS militants. Last year was a brutal year for Egypt’s Christians, as ISIS…

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Islamism on the Rise Within Turkey’s Government

ICC Note: Turkey’s government is increasingly becoming more Islamist, according to experts at a recent panel. It has created a regime that is increasingly hostile to western values and more dangerous than ever before. The regime is increasingly viewing Christians as western agents, and the overall atmosphere has become increasingly difficult for Christians to exist…

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Hundreds of Kachin and Shan displaced amid fresh clashes

ICC Note: Renewed fighting in conflict-torn Kachin and Shan states have displaced more than 1000 Christian-majority Kachin and Shan people. Myanmar’s military have launched assaults on several positions across Kachin State, including rounds of artillery directed near the Kachin army’s headquarters at Laiza on the Sino-Burmese border since early December. Villagers were forced out from…

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Bishop of Wenzhou Peter Shao Zhumin freed after 7 months

ICC Note: Bishop of Wenzhou Peter Shao Zhumin was abducted by Chinese government last May and has been under surveillance for his underground church activities. He has not been unable to perform his episcopal duties and had to go through “re-education.” The government wanted to coerce him into signing a paper listed with four conditions…

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Prayer Shield 5th January 2018 – Laos

Ask God to touch the hearts of village chiefs who often spearhead local opposition to Christians whose faith is perceived as a threat to traditional beliefs and customs. Continue Reading

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5 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

KAZAKHSTAN
Pray for the continued multiplication and growth of house churches. #365prayer
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Hindu Radicals Launch at Least 23 Attacks During 2017 Christmas Season in India

01/03/2018 Washington D.C. – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that at least 23 religiously-motivated attacks took place during the 2017 Christmas season, including attacks on carolers and open threats against Christian celebrations. The attacks have led to several Christians’ hospitalization and imprisonment. The persecution created such fear among the Christian community that many Christians…

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Education Denied: The Generational Consequences of Displacement

By Claire Evans 01/04/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The start of a new year traditionally marks new beginnings, new hopes, new dreams. For Iraq’s Christians, this year marks the first time since 2014 that their homeland is free from the terrors of ISIS. For the last four years, hundreds of thousands of Christians…

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Hindu Radicals Try Forcing Catholic College to Practice Hindu Rituals

ICC Note: In India, Hindu radicals told the leaders of a Catholic college that they had to participate in Hindu rituals otherwise the organization would face severe consequences. Such a demand is a blatant violation of religious freedom and a form of persecution. Unfortunately, such harassment is not uncommon in India where churches and religious…

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Losing Hope of Justice in Pakistan

ICC Note: In 2011, Salman Taseer, a governor in Pakistan, challenged Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and supported Asia Bibi, a Christian woman falsely accused of blasphemy. In response to Taseer’s declaration, one of his bodyguards assassinated him. Taseer’s assassination was shocking and some writers and activists hoped that his death would cause Pakistan to reexamine their…

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Nigerian Mother and Daughter Accused of Kidnapping to Make Them Convert

ICC Note A mother and daughter in Northern Nigeria have been accused of kidnapping in an attempt by the husband, who converted to Islam a few years ago, to force his family to convert as well. According to the wife, her husband converted in 2012 in order to get a job that he wanted. The…

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Several Lamu Schools Still Worried About Al-Shabaab Threat

ICC Note Three Lamu County schools have closed again. This is due to the numerous attacks that took place in the last quarter of 2017 in Lamu, Kenya, and the high security risk that schools and pupils feel there is in the area. Al-Shabaab continues to threaten the lives and wellbeing of all citizens, but…

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Egyptian Villages Segregated by Christian and Muslim Neighborhoods

ICC Note: Egypt’s Minya Governorate is home to most of the country’s Christians, yet villages in this area often segregate Christians and Muslims into different districts or neighborhoods. Usually, it is a simple landmark such a shop or tree that separates the two communities. It is an unspoken rule that the two sides should avoid…

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Christian Children Threatened by ISIS Suffering Trauma No One Should Ever Experience

ICC Note: The trauma experienced by Christian children in Iraq and Syria has left a deep impression of pain on an entire generation. Their personal faith is often amazingly deep, as their tender age did not prevent them from having to ask the question “am I willing to die for Christ?” Islamic extremists such as…

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NIGERIA – Gunmen murder at least 14 churchgoers returning from New Year midnight services

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Reclaiming religious freedom in the UK

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Prayer Shield 4th January 2018 – Laos

Pray for new Christians in Laos who are ostracised when they turn away from the predominant animistic religion. Pray that the Holy Spirit will work through these people powerfully to spread the gospel. Continue Reading

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4 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

CAMEROON
Pray for Christians affected by Boko Haram. #365prayer
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Andrew Boyd speaks about persecution trends of 2018

Release’s Andrew Boyd speaks on Premier Christian Radio, January 2, 2018 Andrew Boyd from Release speaks on Premier Christian Radio about the persecution trends expected in 2018.       Click here to listen .mp3 file 8m 28s 7.23MB 1… Continue Reading

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IRAQ – Christians fear another wave of persecution

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IRAN – Street protests only a symptom of wider problems in the Islamic Republic

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LAOS – Christians arrested for celebrating Christmas; district official claims “Christianity is the religion of the Europeans and Americans”

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Rebuilding Yet to Start in Marawi two months after the fighting ended

ICC Note: More than two months have passed after the Philippine government calls an end to the Marawi siege, yet hundreds of thousands are still waiting for rebuilding to begin. The reconstruction of the city will only start in the second quarter of 2018 and the entire region is still under martial law until the…

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EGYPT – Nine Christians killed in church attack

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Release International Reports Nigeria as One of Top Countries of Concern in 2018

ICC Note Release International has written a report detailing their top countries of concern for 2018. Among that list is Nigeria, due to the large numbers of attacks by Fulani militants on Christian Farming villages. They ranked Nigeria with other countries like China, Pakistan, and India, who have all passed laws against Christianity. This is…

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Al-Shabaab Kills Five Police Officers in Mandera, Kenya

ICC Note Al-Shabaab terrorists killed five police officers in the Northern County of Kenya, Mandera. This took place close to the Kenya-Somalia border. This came shortly after the New Year and continues al-Shabaab’s attacks on Kenyan security personnel in Northern Kenya. Mandera is one of the two most heavily attack areas in Kenya, almost all…

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Release International Lists China, India as top countries of concern for 2018

ICC Note: In the latest report published by the UK-based Release International serving persecuted Christians, China is listed as a “key country of concern” for 2018, warning that Christians in the Communist regime will be facing a harsh new year due to the new set of regulations on religious affairs that will come into effect…

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Police in India Injure 8 in Attack on Peaceful Protest Led by Women and Children

ICC Note: In August 2017, Christians found a cross demolished in a small village in the Indian state of Kerala.  The Christians went to the authorities asking for an investigation and for permission to rebuild the cross, which was granted. In November, unknown persons had demolished the cross again. Frustrated with the delays in the…

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Another Attack Rocks Quetta, Pakistan

ICC Note: Quetta, Pakistan endured another violent attack Tuesday, mere weeks after suicide bombers killed 9 people and injured 50 in a church bombing. This time, an unknown number of persons launched a gun and bomb attack on a security checkpoint which resulted in five people injured, including 3 civilians. In the ensuing firefight, two…

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Residents and Worshipers Prevented a Higher Death Toll During Church Attack

ICC Note: Those who witnessed ISIS’s attack on a church located just outside of Cairo claim that residents and worshipers may have prevented a higher death toll. This is not the first time that ISIS has targeted Egypt’s Christians, but it does indicate a growing trend of activity by ISIS in the area. The militants…

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Iran’s Religious Minorities Hopeful that Protests May Bring Positive Change

ICC Note: Shortly after Christmas, Iranians gathered to the street to protest economic and social grievances. The harsh Islamic regime has made life hard for every Iranian, especially Christians. Indigenous Christians are recognized as second-class citizens, provided they stay within the strictly defined boundaries established by the regime. Converting to Christianity is considered apostasy, and…

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Prayer Shield 3rd January 2018 – Laos

The ‘Khab’ family turned to Christ a few years ago and their witness was so powerful that five other families from their small village became Christians too: praise God! Village leaders expelled all six families, who are now camping in a rice field. Continue Reading

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3 January 2018 | 365 Days of Prayer

SOMALIA
Pray for widows whose husbands have been martyred for their faith. #365prayer
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Judge Sides with Humanists Challenging Prayer at Graduation, Ceremony at Chapel

ICC Note: In 2013, the American Humanist Association (AHA) issued a letter of complaint to South Carolina’s Greenville School District after an elementary school hosted its graduation ceremony at a local university’s chapel and held prayer during the ceremony. The AHA eventually filed a lawsuit, and a federal judge recently sided with the group, calling…

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ICC Continues to Help Iraqi Christians Rebuild Qaraqosh

By Amy Penn 12/29/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Like most Christians, Mahir and his family fled their home in Qaraqosh when ISIS invaded on August 6, 2014. They left behind everything, including Mahir’s small business, a car repair shop. For the past three years, Mahir and his family have searched for a place…

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Three bystanders injured by ‘water bomb’, firecrackers outside Malaysia church

ICC Note: As church-goers were finishing a New Year’s Eve service in Selangor, Malaysia, two groups of eight motorcyclists facing off in front of the church threw firecrackers and ‘water bomb,’ modified from fragments of fireworks at each other and instead injured three bystanders. Initial investigations by local authorities found that the church was not…

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Christian Communities Celebrate Christmas in Yangon after 50 years

ICC Note: For the first time in 50 years, the Christian communities in Myanmar, Catholic and Protestant, are able to publicly celebrate Christmas in the streets of Yangon. In the past the celebration was strictly confined within the walls of churches, several liturgies, feasts, processions, took place in the city with the specific authorization of…

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India Persecuted Christians at Unprecedented Levels in 2017

ICC Note: Religious minorities faced unprecedented persecution in 2017. Christians and Muslims suffered under radical Hindu authorities and laws that have targeted religious minorities in an effort to create an all-Hindu state. Christians are primarily targeted for forced conversions, the accusation that Christians force Hindus to convert to Christianity. Almost any conversion, even if the…

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Activists Demand Release of Imprisoned Christian in Pakistan

ICC Note: Human rights activists are demanding the release of a 44-year-old Christian, Nadeem, who was imprisoned in November on a false blasphemy charge. The grounds of release, according to the activists, is Nadeem’s poor mental condition which should absolve him from any charge. After his arrest, Nadeem was tortured by police and now police…

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Eight Catholics Killed During Protests Against President Kabila in DRC

ICC Note Eight people have been reportedly killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). Most of these were Catholics who were attending protests on Sunday after their Church services. The protests were being staged against the president, Joseph Kabila, who was supposed to allow elections to go in 2016. So far, these elections for his…

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Sixteen Christians Killed by Gang Violence in Southern Nigeria

ICC Note Sixteen Christians were killed in Southern Nigeria while they were leaving a New Year’s Eve Church service. The reason for the killing is yet unknown as are the gunmen. The police believe that these murders are linked to a larger war taking place between gangs in the southern part of the country. These…

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Iraqi Refugees in Lebanon Felt Their Loss Keenly During Christmas

ICC Note: Lebanon is home to millions of refugees, most of whom fled Syria. However, a number of refugees in Lebanon are also from Iraq. They are Christians who fled Iraq because of ISIS’s militancy, and lack the means or desire to return home. Unlike many Syrian refugees, many of those who fled Iraq are…

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Imprisoned Pastor Pens Message of Hope and Gratitude

ICC Note: Andrew Brunson is an American missionary serving in Turkey who was arrested by authorities in October 2016 on charges of espionage and being a member of a terrorist organization, among other charges. Evidence claiming to support these allegations has yet to be presented to his defense lawyer, as the documents remain sealed. Andrew…

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Release 101 – January 2018

Welcome to the latest  edition of release magazine! You can read the magazine as a free e-mag. You can download it as a free pdf.         Continue Reading

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Prayer Shield 2nd January 2018 – Laos

Ask God to protect His people in Laos, and reassure them that He ‘surrounds His people both now and for evermore’ (Psalm 125:2). Continue Reading

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Teen sisters beaten, tied up by family for following Jesus

ICC Note: According to OpenDoors, two teenage sisters in Laos who converted from animism to Christianity have experienced persecution after they decided to believe in Jesus— they were beaten and tied up by their own family members, threatened by the head of village, and eventually had to move to other village. Despite the hardship, their…

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Cathedral in Cambodia returned to Catholic Community

ICC Note: The Cathedral built by the French during colonial times in the southern province of Kampot, Cambodia has been returned to local Catholic community by the country’s Environment Ministry. The Christian community in Kampot is content about the decision because they had made several attempts to get it back, though the good news came…

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Helen’s Song

Helen speaks about her experience of imprisonment inside a shipping container in Eritrea and how she remained faithful to her God.

The post Helen’s Song appeared first on Voice of the Martyrs.
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JAPAN: Extreme Maturity

After they all had been tried, found guilty, and sentenced to die, twenty-six Christians were marched to the place where crudely made crosses stood. Almost three months earlier, they had been arrested in Kyoto, Japan, and charged with following Christ. One of the convicts was

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LAOS: Rejected for Christ Part 3 – PHILIP

Villagers in remote parts of Laos are paying a heavy price for following Christ. Some are just teenagers. Philip walked two hours to another village to hear the Gospel. Just three weeks after he returned home, as a new believer, the police paid him a

The post LAOS: Rejected for Christ Part 3 – PHILIP appeared first on Voice of the Martyrs.

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