Skip down to the new law against non-registered churches in China
News: Persecution - 2005
See also Seeds of Persecution
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."
1st century AD
China. Christmas Services Stopped in Xinjiang: "...12 leaders were arrested. The private property was confiscated with no receipts issued. The items were one rented minivan, one Buick car, one piano, one video camera; 80 copies of bibles, 230 pieces of new towels. The police also confiscated all the Christmas food before they left. According to one female pastor who was at the meeting, the police officers presented a search warrant and stated the meeting was an 'illegal religious gathering.'”
Pakistan -- Over 450 Christian Families Flee After 2,000 Muslims Torch Village: "A militant mob of approximately 2,000 Muslims attacked the village of Sangla Hill, Pakistan on November 13th, forcing more than 450 Christian families to flee for their lives. Vandalized and set ablaze were three churches, a pastor’s home, a youth hostel, a convent, two schools and many Christian homes.... This was an act of vengeance in the name of Islamic jihad for a Christian’s alleged desecration of the Muslim Koran.... based on a false allegation made two days before the rampage."
Christians in some Muslim lands have faced deadly assaults during their Christmas celebrations. Please pray for their protection, peace, joy and victory during this season. See Prayer
Christians in Iraq: "An Anglican Pastor has been kidnapped in recent days and is presumed dead. The son of an evangelical pastor has also been kidnapped. There have been threats against many churches and against many pastors. The primary reason behind this is because many people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ in Iraq." Persecution
Christmas under Communism (Ronald Reagan's Radio Program): "In the good days of freedom, the people of the Ukraine sang these verses: 'The joyous news has come which never was before. Over a cave above a manger a bright star has lit the world, where Jesus was born from a virgin maiden.'... [T]his was neither fitting nor permitted under Communism. Still the commissars were a little leery about an outright ban. They chose to allow the song after some rewriting.... Here’s the first version: 'The joyous news has come which never was before, a red star with five tails has brightly lit the world.... The altars have crumbled and all the kings have fallen, glory to the working people, to shepherds and the plowmen.... May all their family, especially the children, grow up to be strong and happy so as to fight the rich men.'....
"The people of the Ukraine, both in and outside the Iron Curtain, were so carried away by these verses, they added one of their own. They sing it, but carefully refrain from putting it in the songbooks. It goes: 'We beg you our Lord, we pray to you today. Grant us freedom, return glory to our Mother Ukraine.'" See Brainwashing and "Education Reform"
China. Twenty Nine Chinese House Church Leaders Arrested: (Henan Province, 12-12-05) "Forty police officers with 8 police vehicles raided a house church leadership meeting.... 100 major church leaders from Henan and Anhui Province were gathered at a believer’s house discussing how the house churches can effectively help a large group of peasants who had contracted AIDS. That area is internationally known as 'the AIDS Disaster Area' because many peasants became infected when they sold their blood to local blood centers that were contaminated with the AIDS virus.... Their private property was confiscated without receipts... [T]he police officers... stated the meeting was an 'illegal religious gathering.'” See Prayer and Persecution
China. Luis Palau Remarks in Beijing Rebuked by House Church Leaders: "At a Nov. 19 press conference in Beijing, Luis Palau... urged Chinese House Church Christians to register their churches under the Chinese Communist government and to 'receive greater freedom and blessings from the government.'... Citing his Chinese-government-given 'total freedom' to express himself in his preaching within the four walls of the government sanctioned church buildings during his trip in China, Palau 'feels that (Chinese) people are able to worship openly in China.'....
“While we understand Rev. Palau’s passion and eagerness to get into China’s ‘charity market’, we can’t agree with his overall assessment and prescription....” said Rev. Bob Fu, President of CAA ....
"'It’s rather ironical that while Rev. Palau was propagating that Chinese pastors today won’t get arrested unless breaking the law, but barely two weeks ago a Beijing house church pastor Cai Zhuohua was sentenced to three years....' 'What Chinese Christians really need is not such kind of naive ideas....”
China. Six House Church Leaders Arrested in Henan: "...six of the church leaders were arrested and detained in the county detention center....
"The PSB officials told the two they won’t be released until they guarantee their house church stopping gathering or joining the official sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic organization.... The raided church is believed to be part of Fangcheng Mother Church... whose leader pastor Zhang Rongliang has been imprisoned without trial since December 2004.
"...approximately a dozen house church leaders were arrested in various cities in Hunan Province since July. ...some of these church leaders were given an unknown drug by the State Security agents in order to get internal information.... Some leaders were tortured...."
Cattleman severely tortured for receiving Christ: "'...a police patrol team parked beside me and ordered me into their vehicle,' Sashi said. 'They took me to their station and asked to know whether I was a Muslim. I told them I was once a Muslim but was now a Christian.'... They asked why he had converted from Islam to Christianity. 'Before I could respond to their question, they started beating me,' he said. 'I was beaten with police batons and clubbed to the point of death.'... Only the timely intervention of a Christian lawyer... and the Rev. Matthew Oladokun... saved Sashi from being killed.... Sashi said he will never recant." Prayer and Persecution
China. Thirty Small Singing Soldiers: "When Chinese police burst into a Sunday School recently where 30 children were learning about Jesus, they were in for a shock. Bristling with state authority, the police officers herded the children into police vans. They must have seen their job of intimidating babies as an easy one. They bargained wrongly. It started when one of the children began to sing. The rest of the children joined in...."
Christian girls beheaded in grisly Indonesian attack: "Three teenage Christian girls were beheaded and a fourth was seriously wounded in a savage attack on Saturday by unidentified assailants in the Indonesian province of Central Sulawesi. The girls were among a group of students from a private Christian high school who were ambushed while walking through a cocoa plantation in Poso Kota subdistrict on their way to class.... Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation." See comment
Cuban Police Confiscate Printing Press : On the morning of October 9, five plain-clothes secret police officers raided a home in Colon, Cuba, and confiscated a small printing press and printed gospels of John. ....The Cuban Minister of Religion, Caridad del Rosario Diego Bello, was called in to review the case. She referred to the confiscated printing press as "very dangerous." Pray for the work of Cuba's Church, despite on-going opposition from the government. Pray for the continual spreading of the 'dangerous' Word of God in Cuba." Persecution
Wrongly Accused Christian Sunday School Teachers Face Hard Life in Prison: "Dr. Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun... are currently serving a three year prison sentence in the Indramayu district of West Java, having been wrongly convicted of 'attempting to coerce children to change their religion' under the Indonesian 'Child Protection Act.'... Rebekka is a medical doctor who treated approximately 30 to 40 Muslim and Christian patients per day in her clinic....
"There are eight women to a 5m by 5m cell. They sleep all together on top a hard, wood platform. Blankets and sheets are not allowed. 'We have to pay money to the guards to turn the water on to the toilet in our cell,' said Rebekka. ... 'I wake up at 5:00 am everyday to pray and read my Bible till 7:30. ... This is ‘School of Trust Bible School.’ Not a jail.... Sometimes I am depressed, but not for long. God comforts me everyday with joy and peace. I pray for the other prisoners and guards. One prisoner converted and became a Christian.... I am not angry at the people who brought the charges against me. I forgive them. I bless them.'
"Ratna, with children eight and two said with tears in her eyes, 'I miss my children so much.'” Prayer
China. Chinese Leader Arrested and Beaten for Providing Aid: "On October 11, a prominent Christian activist, Hua Huiqi, was arrested in his home in Beijing. He was accused of aiding Sun Xiaodi who, earlier this year, had sought to appeal to government authorities in Beijing to stop the religious persecution that she and her house church were facing.... Hua...was beaten and kicked repeatedly. Whenever he was asked a question, he was slapped in the face before he had a chance to answer....
"'Though I was beaten by the interrogators repeatedly, I told them I love and pray for them instead of hating them. They told me I am a strange man.'" God's love in flowing through His people
China Two Arrested, One Tortured in China: "The Communist government in China is continuing its oppression of unregistered church activity.... On September 26, police in Henan Province, China arrested a house church pastor, Ma Yinzhou, in an attempt to force him to reveal the whereabouts of his son, Ma Shulei, a fulltime house church evangelist. Shulei turned himself in on October 2 in order to save his father. However, both are now being held in police custody....
"Tong Qimiao, a Christian businessman from Zhejiang Province, was questioned by security agents in Kashgar. ...the police seriously beat him and left him with a broken chest bone. Now in hospital, Tong has been threatened and forced to sign a statement that he was never beaten during interrogation."
Armed Men Hijack Car of African Evangelist: "On September 26th, in Nairobi, Kenya, minutes after American-born evangelist Loren Davis finished meeting with 300 Kenyan pastors to warn them about the dangers and pitfalls of Rick Warren's Purpose Driven programs, Davis' car was hijacked by two unidentified armed men. 'I left after dark,' said Davis. 'Later that night, we got a call from our men. They had been hijacked.' ...Davis has planted 132 churches throughout Africa over the last two decades and says he is deeply troubled about the widespread influence Rick Warren has already had in many African churches. According to Davis, Rick Warren's teachings are often unscriptural...." Equipping Leaders to 'Lead like Jesus'?
Ethiopian Evangelist Killed for Refusing to Deny Christ: "...a leader and evangelist with the Assemblies of God in the town of Jijiga, Ethiopia was shot and killed on July 19 for refusing to deny his faith in Christ. ... Estifanos Abate (34) was traveling from Degahabour to Jijiga in eastern Ethiopia, when the bus was stopped by Islamic militants. The militants boarded the bus, demanding to know the religion of each traveler.... The Christians were then ordered to repeat the Islamic creed and to bow three times toward Mecca. Everyone but Estifanos complied with the order and was allowed back on the bus. The gunmen threatened Estifanos, who calmly began to tell his attackers about Jesus, while his fellow travelers begged him to save his life by obeying their demands....
"...his body was left on the side of the road for most of the day, presumably as a warning to others."
Homes in Vietnam Burned for Refusing to Deny Christ: "...the local public security police chief, Dinh Van Hoanh, and his deputy, Thai Mai Quan, came to the home of Dinh Van Hoang and told him that his Christian faith would no longer be tolerated. He had to sign a paper declaring the recantation of his faith in Christ or face the destruction of his home."
China Voices in the Dark: Quotes from China’s Suffering Church: "China’s new Regulations on Religious Affairs, which came into effect on March 1, have tightened government control over religious activity. For example, Christians who attend unregistered churches, or are found in possession of unlicensed religious publications, now face much stiffer penalties.'...
" According to Xiao, all Internet traffic in China passes through six gateways that are tightly controlled by government agencies.... Illegal content... is vaguely defined; for example, in Article 15 of the 'Measures for the Administration of Internet Information Services,' all information that 'endangers national security, divulges state secrets ... or undermines the state’s policy for religions' is strictly prohibited."
Vietnamese law enforcement officials burn homes belonging to Christians: "...the homes of the Hre tribal Christians... were destroyed because they refused to deny their faith. The victims belonged to the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (ECVN), which ICC reported is recognized by the Vietnamese government. The local Communist authorities of Son Thuong village, Quang Ngai province have publicly stated... that 'the Christian religion is America’s religion, and is not allowed here.'
"...Mr. Dinh van Hoanh, police chief of Son Thuong village and his assistant, Mr. Thai Mai Quan, came to Mr. Dinh van Hoang's house and said: 'We do not allow any Christians to live here. If you want to stay you must sign this paper to declare that you and your family are renouncing your faith.’ “Mr. Hoang refused to do so.” Prayer and Persecution
Christian Homes in Palestine Burned: "The homes of at least fourteen Christian families in the village of Taybeh, northeast of Ramallah, Palestine, were torched by Muslims from the neighbouring village of Dir Jarir on Sept. 4.... They also vandalized cars and beat the villagers as they fled their homes....
"The violence was instigated by the death of a Muslim woman who was killed by relatives after they suspected that she had been involved in a romantic relationship with a Christian man. When the family found out, they forced her to drink poison and then buried her without notifying the authorities." Prayer
Persecution of Kosovo Christians Said to Reveal Larger Threat: "International intervention to halt the persecution of Christians in Kosovo is a 'complete failure,' according to a former diplomat and other political analysts who briefed Capitol Hill staff late last week, pointing to the destruction of 150 churches and the simultaneous construction of 200 mosques. Cybercast News Service obtained video of the burning and desecrating of the churches by ethnic Albanians, most of them Muslim. ...The new mosques are funded by 'Wahhabist nations,' the diplomats said, raising the specter of radical Islam incubating on the doorstep of Europe in a province rife with illegal arms and narcotics trafficking." See Lawlessness
China Five American Church Leaders Arrested in Henan: "...four American church leaders including one couple and 27 Chinese House Church pastors were arrested... while celebrating Christian fellowship together.... None of the names of the five Americans who are believed to belong to the same group of visitors are available. Their detention location is unknown....
"...ten more South China Church leaders were released after 43 were arrested along with two American seminary students on August 2, in Hubei. Terrible torture was used against some of them....
"August 7, during Sunday worship service, a House Church in Hejing County, Xinjiang was raided. About 30 Christians were arrested and more than ten Christian women were stripped and paraded in front of the others. The women who refused to take off their clothes were beaten severely. One woman attempted to commit suicide by beating her head against the wall because of this extreme humiliation. More than 20 police vehicles surrounded the church.
"...at least four towns ... in Henan Province... approximately 400 to 500 believers were arrested ...They were accused of 'anti-society, anti-TSPM' because they left their corrupt government sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement organization....
"Recently CAA received secret documents from... Hubei Province, detailing China’s systematic program of discrimination against religious 'cults.' These documents, prepared by The Offices of the Leadership Group to Prevent and Handle Cultic Activities... broadly define religious cults in such a way as to leave open further acts of religious violations by the Government." Persecution
China Chinese Christians pray for persecution and Revival in American Churches: "'Stop praying for persecution in China to end, for it is through persecution that the church has grown,' [the Chinese church leader] responded.... 'We, in fact, are praying that the American church might taste the same persecution, so revival would come to the American church like we have seen in China.'...
"I thought of the irony: We in America keep praying for God to bless us -- and Christians in other nations are praying God will allow us to experience persecution so that we'll act like the blessing we were made to be."Suffering
Two Health Workers Murdered in Bangladesh: "Two Christian men were hacked to death on July 29 after showing the 'Jesus Film'.... The two men, Tapan Kumar Roy, 27, and Liplal Marandi, 21, worked for Christian Life Bangladesh.... On the request of villagers, they would often show the "Jesus Film" also, which angered Muslim militants in the area. The men had been threatened twice by an official from the local madrassa (Islamic school). They were planning on leaving the area when they were brutally attacked in the early morning hours.... Pray that those who heard the Gospel message from these men will continue to seek and will come to faith in Christ. Pray peace and comfort for their families and friends." Persecution
China More Than 210 Christians Arrested in China: "On August 2, a house church in Lutou Town, Hubei Province, was raided by plainclothes police officers. Forty-one Chinese Christians... along with two American tourists, were taken into custody. The Americans were detained for seven hours without being allowed any contact with the US Embassy.... The Chinese believers were taken to the No. 2 Zauyang Prison. At last report, eleven remain in custody and many have been tortured. ... Ren was repeatedly beaten by the prison director who kicked her, punched her in the face and beat her head against the wall with a chair.... Pray that those instigating the violence will see the love and peace of God in the lives of the Christians." Prayer
Under persecution: "Almost 900 Christians are being held in prisons and military camps in Eritrea. A few were released after signing a pledge to stop attending religious services.
"The Eritrean government began forcibly closing evangelical Protestant churches in 2002. They have not allowed any of the independent Protestant churches to register and reopen since, even though 11 have applied for this official registration."
China Beijing church leader put on trial: "A leader of six Beijing-area house churches was put on trial Thursday morning in a Beijing courtroom for alleged 'illegal business practices.'... Once the hearing began, Zhuohua said his written testimony, which was compiled from the interrogation records of the police, wasn't true. He said he was unaware what the interrogator had written down on the interrogation document, and that he was forced to sign the record of the interview under threat of torture.... All three of the other accused Christians also revoked their testimony... saying they had also been forced to sign or face torture."
China Nationwide Crackdown on House Churches in China: "...in the early morning of June 24, more than 50 plain clothed security officers from local Public Security offices surrounded the entire village with three large trucks and many police cars and proceeded immediately to Pastor Chen's house.... Private property including cash, chairs, TVs, books, blankets and rice were confiscated and carried away by the police trucks. One pastor who was released said they were accused of 'engaging in an illegal religious gathering.' ...
"'This is actually just the tip of the iceberg. China has been proclaiming to the international community that Chinese people are enjoying a golden time of religious freedom, this series of nationwide assaults on unregistered house churches does not support this claim.” said Bob Fu...."
Christian Areas Attacked in Pakistan: "...June 28, Christian homes in three areas near Peshawar, Pakistan were attacked by a radical Muslim mob... after a Christian man was accused earlier that day of burning pages with Koranic verses.... VOM sources say that the man, Yousaf Masih, is more than 60 years old and has worked for almost two decades as a sweeper for the Pakistani military.... Yousaf is illiterate, and would have no way of knowing what was written on the papers he had been told to burn....
"Following the arrest, a group of angry Muslims came to the home and began to beat Yousaf’s three sons. Radical Muslims... burnt an estimated total of 200 houses...."
Cyberabad police nab Hindu activist for killing of two Christian pastors: "The victims were taken to isolated spots on the city outskirts and strangulated to death with ropes. The assailants then stuffed their half-burnt bodies in gunny bags and dumped them at different spots. The police said the three accused were activists of Hindu Vahini, an organisation opposed to religious conversions."
China Massive, coordinated crackdown on Chinese Christians: "On May 22, during Sunday worship time, police and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers simultaneously raided approximately 60 house churches in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin province in northeastern China. In the days following, an additional 40 churches in the area were also raided. More than 600 house church believers and leaders were taken into custody. Most were released after 24 to 48 hours of interrogation, but approximately 100 leaders are still being held in different detention centers....
"One church leader who was held for 15 days and then released... had been asked three times in recent months to join the government-sanctioned Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), but had refused. The TSPM is the state-approved Protestant organization. TSPM churches must meet in a government-approved location, have a government-approved church leader, and are prohibited from allowing children under 18 to attend church meetings." Prayer
China Church Meeting Broken Up with Arrests (China): "Before all of the Christians had even arrived for the meeting, approximately thirty police officers pushed their way into the house.... They stopped the meeting and ordered all who had gathered to go to the police station for interrogation. They were held for almost three hours and subjected to threats and verbal abuse before finally being released. One drunken police officer reportedly said that he had orders to harass the Christians until they stopped using Quang's house for worship....
"Continue to pray for spiritual, emotional and physical strength for these Christians in Vietnam who are suffering this continued harassment." Persecution
Students attacked in India (the link takes you to the site, not to the emailed report): "A group of extremists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh attacked and beat eight students from Beersheba Bible College... on May 12th. The students were making their way on foot to attend a funeral when about 15 motor-cycle-mounted RSS members assaulted them with sharp weapons. All eight Beersheba students were treated for injuries at a district hospital in nearby Kozhencherry; three of them required hospitalization. Despite continuing RSS threats against the college, Beersheba principal Shibu Nalweli said the campus community has chosen to forgive the attackers and does not wish to press charges."
Christian Persecution Linked with Worldwide Trends, Says Agency: "Christian minority groups continue to be targeted, and suffer discrimination and persecution because of this growing trend. Laws such as Pakistan’s 'blasphemy laws,' Sri Lanka’s, Saudi Arabia's and United Arab Emirates' 'anti-conversion' laws, and Saudi Arabia and Iran’s wide-reaching 'Shari’a law' criminalize the beliefs and activities of Christians and other religious minorities.... 'Many Christian groups... are simply denied governmental approval and therefore are forced to operate illegally at the mercy of the government officials.” Philippians 1:20-21
Benin map): "The whereabouts of two missionaries' children abducted in late April by voodooists in a rural area are still unknown. It is feared that the two children may be used as human sacrifices to a voodoo god. The children were taken when a local voodoo chief and his followers attacked the family during the night, beating the native missionary father and several other Christians, as well as destroying the village church building, the missionaries' house and several other converts' homes. The missionary, 'Jeremie,' and his wife... had been serving the Fon tribe for a year, winning 25 people, most from voodoo backgrounds, to the Lord.... Jeremie and three other Christians are in critical condition....
"Pray God will protect these children from the evil plans of their abductors and return them to their parents. Pray the Lord will heal 'Jeremie' and the others who were severely beaten. Pray the Holy Spirit will shed His powerful light on the spiritual darkness in that place." From Missions Insider. Persecution & Prayer
Vietnamese Christians flee for their lives: "The government of Vietnam is stepping up persecution of minority Christians, according to a Washington human rights monitor.... In the past, Hmong Christians, who have suffered persecution for more than two decades, have reported beatings, torture, arrests and other forms of brutality, including attacks against women and children." See Persecution
China China Aid Leader Asked to Leave During UN General Assembly on Religious Intolerance: "Bob Fu... appeared before the UN general assembly. During his speech, with previous agreement from both the Commission secretary office and the UN security guards, Fu displayed and demonstrated an electric-shock baton recently smuggled out of China. The baton was made in China and used by the Chinese police and interrogators to torture victims....
"However, the Chinese delegate immediately registered a complaint to UNCHR that the electric baton made them 'feel threatened'. Fu’s UN badge and the electric baton were taken away by the UN security officials without giving any explanation. Fu was then ordered to leave the UN complex immediately. ... China is now demanding an apology from AWVI and Bob Fu."
An apology for reporting the truth? Will this intimidate UN leaders into silencing those who expose abuses?See 2 Corinthians 4:7
Pastor and driver murdered (Pakistan): "Unknown killers kidnapped and brutally killed Protestant pastor Babar Samsoun and his driver and fellow evangelist, Daniel Emmanuel, on April 7. ...the slain pastor was 'accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.' The two men had been receiving telephoned threats demanding that they stop their Christian activities." Persecution & Prayer
Pastor and Wife Assaulted in Bangladesh: "...as a church leader and his wife were returning home on the evening of March 31, he was attacked. When his wife attempted to assist him, she was brutally raped.... Both of them were taken to the local hospital where the wife is reportedly in critical condition.
"...this couple has been one of the keys to a church planting movement in their district. The husband is reportedly, 'on fire to tell the world about Jesus.' They have two small children; a son and a daughter. Please pray for their healing and for the work that God is doing in this area of Bangladesh."
China Tortured Chinese Christian testifies at UN Commission on Human Rights: “They took us to Zhongxiang Police Training Centre. ... One of the men came to me and started touching my body. I was so horrified that I shouted out loudly. He slapped me across the face. Then the rest of the men started asking me questions.... I told them my name, but before I could say what I did the first man started to kick me on each of my calves. He said angrily, 'I’m going to beat you until you understand why we arrested you.' I said that I was free to believe in Jesus. He replied, 'You are still so proud to believe in Jesus and not believe in the Communist Party. Jesus is a foreigner’s god. Now is the time of the rule of the Communist Party.” Persecution & Safely Home
Continuing Violence Against Christians in Rajasthan,India: "As the state government of Rajasthan considers adopting anti-conversion laws, Christians continue to face a campaign of violence from militant Hindu groups in the state. On March 13, pastors gathered for prayer in the village of Koida were attacked and their Bibles were desecrated. The pastors required hospital treatment for the injuries they sustained.
"Pray that the proposed anti-conversion laws will be rejected and that the increasing violence against Christians in India will subside. Pray for the on-going ministry of Christ's Church in India."Prayer and the next link:
Anti-Conversion Legislation to be Introduced in Sri Lanka next month: "As the country of Sri Lanka rebuilds following the devastation of December's tsunami, members of diverse religions have been able to work together in harmony to reconstruct their country.... Despite this, the government of Sri Lanka is reportedly planning to proceed with plans to introduce anti-conversion legislation in April." See Disaster, Deliverance and Deceiving spirits
Indian Evangelist's arrests exposes police brutality: "On February 27, Kumar was on his way to visit a Hindu man in the Khurda district who had invited him for prayers when nine Hindu extremists assaulted the evangelist, tied him up and threatened to throw him into Chilika Lake. Police later arrived on the scene and arrested Kumar. Once inside the Balugaon police station, 'Patra Babu started beating me mercilessly with a bamboo stick and asked me to call Jesus to save me,' Kumar said." Persecution
Entrea Jails 16 Christians for Watching Home Video: "Eritrean security police arrested 16 Protestants for watching a Christian video together in the town of Adi-Kibe.... Eritrean officials categorically deny ever-increasing reports of the harsh government crackdown underway against Protestant churches."
Holocaust museum opens in Jerusalem: "...the U.N. secretary-general urged an unyielding fight against racism during Tuesday’s opening ceremony of a $56 million Holocaust museum that focuses on the personal tragedies of the Nazi genocide. ... German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said the opening of the museum was 'a moment of commemoration for the 6 million murdered by Nazi Germany
"'...it’s also a historical and moral responsibility to never forget what happened and the responsibility of my country for the Shoah,' he said, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust. ...
"The museum displays a three-tiered wooden barrack where concentration camp inmates slept, a cattle wagon that transported Jews to their deaths and a small fishing boat that ferried Danish Jews to safety in Sweden. Underground galleries on either side of a 600-foot central walkway topped by a skylight guide visitors through the history of Adolf Hitler’s Final Solution: prewar life, anti-Semitic laws, roundups, deportations, mass executions, death camps. ...
"Nobel Peace prize winner Elie Wiesel, himself an Auschwitz survivor, gave the ceremony’s closing remarks. '...It was man’s inhumanity to Jews. Jews were not killed because they were human beings. In the eyes of the killers, they were not human beings, they were Jews.'" See Preparing for Persecution and Day of No Return and Comment: Persecution
Israel: Druze teen admits spreading rumor that sparked riots: "A 16-year-old Druze boy admitted Monday to spreading a rumor that sparked violent weekend clashes between Druze and Christians in the mixed village of Maghar in the Galilee. Dozens of Christian businesses were burned to the ground and many Christian families fled the village during riots that began Thursday evening after a rumor spread that Christian youths had placed pornographic pictures of Druze girls on the internet."(Haaretz, 2-14-05) See Preparing for Persecution
Muslim Militants target expelled Christian student (Nigeria): "Muslim militants pronounced a death sentence on five Christian students expelled from public schools in November for conducting an evangelistic outreach.
China New religious law promises little change: "A new law governing the freedom of religion in China takes effect March 1.... The New China News Agency characterized the law as 'a significant step forward in the protection of Chinese citizens’ religious freedom.' ... 'However... very little has changed in China’s religious policy. In fact, it appears some of the new regulations tighten existing restrictions....
"Beijing’s overriding concern is clearly apparent in Article 3, which states, 'Religious bodies, religious venues and believers must uphold the constitution, laws and regulations to safeguard national unity, harmony between the national minorities, and social stability.'... According to Article 3, the State 'protects normal religious activities.' However, 'normal' and 'abnormal' religious activities are not defined. The CCP reserves the right to make such distinctions.
"Government registration for all religious organizations is re-affirmed in Articles 6, 12 and 15. For example, Article 12 states, 'The collective religious activities of religious citizens must generally take place in religious venues which have been registered.'...
"Article 43 reads, 'Those who arbitrarily set up religious meetings, and religious meetings which after having had their registration cancelled continue to meet, as well as those who arbitrarily set up religious schools, will all be prohibited by the Religious Affairs departments which will confiscate their illegal gains such as illegal property. Under these provisions, Christians who use their factories, shops or homes for unregistered worship meetings run the risk of losing their property."
Arabs and Holocaust denial sixty years later: "Discussing the 'myth' of the Holocaust in the September 6, 2000 edition of The Syria Times, Mohammad Daoud wrote: '[The] most famous myth is that of the so-called Holocaust… We strongly believe that gas chambers were not used for burning of Jews.' ...
"The Mufti of Jerusalem, Ikrima Sabri, is Imam of the Al-Asqa mosque and the highest religious authority in Palestinian Islam... stated: 'Six million Jews dead? No way… Let's stop with this fairytale.'" See Preparing for Persecution
Light in the darkness: "The Auschwitz-Birkenau complex has become the foremost symbol of the Nazi attempt to extinguish European Jewry. The camp's first victims were Poles. An estimated 75,000 Poles - mainly intellectuals, professionals, priests and members of the underground resistance - were killed as part of the Third Reich's plan to make Poland a slave nation by eliminating its intelligentsia." The same happened in the Soviet Union and Communist China. See Brainwashing and "Education Reform"
Survivors return to scene of horror: "A small, elderly woman dressed in black with tears running down her face hugged a strapping Israeli soldier in the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, as a soft snow covered the barbed wire, barracks and ruined crematoria on the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation. ... The ceremonies began with the deafening screech of a of an incoming train whistle followed by the creak of opening box-car doors, symbolising the hundreds of thousands who were brought to the entrance of Birkenau by cattle cars and then selected for immediate death in the gas chambers....
"'As much as the Poles and the Russians were subhumans for the Germans in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Jews were not treated as subhumans but as vermin,' said Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, former Polish foreign minister and one of the camp's earliest prisoners. He ended his speech with a cry from the Book of Job: 'Cover not my blood, O earth, afford my cry no place to rest.'" SeeI Was Doctor Mengele's Assistant
Christians Facing Increasing Violence as Elections Approach: "As the January 30 elections in Iraq approach, violence appears to be on the rise. Christians have increasingly been the focus of the attacks from various factions fighting for power in Iraq. A January 17 report by the Assyrian International News Agency detailed violence facing Assyrians in northern Iraq from Kurdish paramilitaries tied to Kurdish warlord Masoud Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party. This included attacks during church worship services, beatings of Assyrian Christians and threats of violence." See Urgent prayer request
China Finally The Police Pierced a Needle Through Her Upper Lip: "Sister Jiyan Cheng was dragged into a room and put onto a 'tiger' chair, with two legs tightened, left hand tied to the chair’s low back, and right hand tied to upper chair back. Then the police pressed her right arm down, making her screamed out of pain.... He lifted her clothes and put his hand under the clothes. Starting from her breast and then beneath, the policeman pressed his fingers into between her ribs. This caused extreme pain and she felt her heart would jump out. Then another policeman came with a needle. He stuck the needle into her knee between the bones for seven to eight times. At last, while the needle was stuck in her knee, the police zigzagged it violently. Then he started to poke her arms with the needle....
" Dan Zheng was interrogated.... His face was deformed from the torture.... They were all the believers of 'Life' house church." See Philippians 1:20-21
Sixty more evangelical Christians jailed (Map: Ethiopia/Eritrea): "Sixty members of the Rema Charismatic Church in the Eritrean capital of Asmara have been arrested for holding a New Year’s Eve celebration in the home of one of their church leaders.... They are reportedly being held in solitary confinement the Mai-Serwa military camp.
"Independent Protestant churches have experienced heavy police surveillance since the U.S. State Department named Eritrea as a 'country of particular concern' for its severe religious freedom violations. 'There are cars parked outside our homes and offices, following us to the post office or wherever we go,' one Christian commented. ...the government seems to be 'afraid that people who consider their highest allegiance to be [to] God, at some point may not be patriotic and follow the state’s instructions.'”
2004 - Tragedy & Triumph For Persecuted Christians: "In a review of events during 2004 in the Persecuted Church, Iraqi Christians took the world's spotlight; caught in the crossfire of the increased violence in that besieged country. ... In Nigeria, Muslim fundamentalists increased their attacks, resulting in the deaths of at least 1,500 Christians. ...
"The situation in China over the past six months has been troubling as there has been a concerted effort to clamp down on unregistered house churches, especially in rural areas. Hundreds of church leaders have been arrested, including Pastor Zhang Rongliang... one of China's best-known and most respected house church leaders....
"While there were tears and sorrows among members of the Persecuted Church around the world in 2004, there was also rejoicing in how believers stood firm in their faith and how millions of Christians in the West supported their brothers and sisters....
"'Will I continue to serve God, or will I deny him because of persecution?'" See Persecution & Perseverance
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS’ CASE GOES TO HIGH COURT: "During court proceedings, the prosecutor questioned the women about the activities and materials used in their 'Happy Sunday' classes for children from Babakan Jati elementary school. Bangun explained that the children prayed, read the Bible, sang and sometimes colored pictures. In response, Judge Hasby J. Tholib said the women should never have allowed Muslim children to attend the program. The three women are formally charged with breaching Indonesia’s Child Protection Act....
"When Muslim leaders lodged an official complaint, however, these parents refused to testify in support of the women. A source who prefers to remain anonymous told Compass, 'None of them dare to come forward to say that they personally allowed their children to attend the program out of fear from their own Muslim brethren, especially now that the trial has started.' ...Anyone found guilty of attempting to convert children under the Child Protection Act of 2002 may be imprisoned for up to five years, and/or fined up to 100 million rupiah ($10,226)."
German Home Schoolers Send Children Abroad : Faced with mounting state pressure in Germany seven Christian home schooling parents have decided to deregister their 15 children from state schools. They will be educated in Belgium and Austria, where home schooling is legal. ...Home schooling is illegal in Germany. Parents are obliged to send their children to a state registered school. They may not educate their children at home even for reasons of faith or conscience. Education authorities in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia pursued a hard line against the Christian home schoolers, who were dubbed “fundamentalists” in some secular media. Because they refused to pay fines of up to US-Dollars 650, two parents were temporarily sent to jail.....The parents said they had resisted anti-Christian ideologies under Communism in the Soviet Union. Now they were extremely disappointed to find themselves in an even more hostile environment in a free Western democracy.
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