Fulani continue to murder with impunity.

Benue State Prepares for Second Mass Burial of Victims Killed by Fulani Militants


Second Mass Burial in State over Past Two Months

03/12/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that an attack by Fulani militants took place on Monday, March 5, in Olosu village of Benue State, Nigeria. This attack took place just a few weeks after Benue, a predominantly Christian state, held a mass burial of 75 Christians who were murdered by Fulani militants.  The state is again preparing to bury another 25 Christians, mainly women and children, who were killed by Fulani militants.   
Confirming the attack, a government official from the area disclosed that Fulani herdsmen had accused youth in the area of killing their cows. While the chairman of the local council called for a meeting of representatives of the parties to discuss and facilitate reconciliation, the militants attacked the villages, “going from house to house and killing mainly women and children.” Twenty-five Christians were killed, while several others were injured and are now receiving treatment in local hospitals.  The militants are believed to have come from Kogi State, which shares a boundary with Benue.

Lamenting the continued killings in Benue by Fulani militants, a prominent Christian leader in the area, Dr. Sam Abah, said, “It’s another massacre! It’s unbelievable! It’s mayhem!  The herdsmen claimed two of their cows were wounded. Do you then kill 24 people because of two wounded cows!?”  Dr. Sam said the herdsmen do not really need a provocation to kill. “Usually, they just bring up anything to find reason to kill innocent people. The law says go to the police and report any such infractions.  They didn’t do that. They burnt houses, they looted the farms, they raped women.  All they want is for the people to move so they can occupy.  They use their militia to clear the areas then bring in more herdsmen to occupy.  The pattern is the same.” The 25 killed in Olosu will be given a mass burial on Thursday, March 15, 2018, according to the government official.

The most recent devastating attacks by the militants in Guma and Logo Local Council Areas of Benue State displaced approximately 170,000 people who are currently dispersed among various internally displaced persons (IDP) camps throughout the state. Even more disturbing is the fact that this latest attack on Olosu village comes when the Nigerian military is conducting an ongoing operation in the state to stop these types of attacks. This casts further doubts on the sincerity and genuine commitment of the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, and his military advisors to protect the lives and property of Nigeria’s citizens.

ICC’s Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, “The government in Nigeria has long shown its inability or lack of desire to truly stop these attacks. In order to prove their dedication to their people, they must do three things. They must reclaim lands taken by these militants and return them to their rightful owners. Then, they must rebuild the communities that have been destroyed. Finally, they must protect their villages and people by stopping the attacks and prosecuting those who commit them. Only then will this country be freed from this violence.”


More murderous lawlessness in IRAQ

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Christian Family Stabbed at Home by Armed Group in Baghdad


Christians Raise Concern that this Foreshadows a New Effort to Force Christians from Their Homes

03/12/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on March 9, 2018, a Christian family of three living in Baghdad was found dead in their home. An investigation showed that they had been stabbed to death the previous day by an armed group and their valuables were stolen. The victims are Dr. Hisham Shafiq al-Maskuni, his wife Shaza Malik, and his elderly mother Khairiya Dawood.

This is not an isolated tragedy. Attacks on Iraq’s Christian community have forced thousands from their homes. In particular, attacks on Christians in Baghdad have led so many to flee over the years that last summer eight churches closed their doors.

A doctor who worked in the same hospital as Dr. Hisham Shafiq told ICC in tears, “I cannot believe that he passed away in such a terrible way… I once heard Hisham say how people in his neighborhood are giving him hard times because they are trying to take his house and buy it. (I think) probably the killer was trying to threaten him and when Hisham recognized who he is, the killer decided to kill him and the rest of the family.” 

This is the second attack against Christians in three weeks; both occurred within the same neighborhood of Baghdad. A spokesperson for Iraq’s Interior Ministry says that the individuals responsible for the deaths of Dr. Hisham Shafiq and his family were arrested on the evening of March 10.

Father Biyos Qasha of Baghdad Maryos Church told Rudaw“This (attack) means that there is no place for Christians. We are seen as a lamb to be killed at any time.” He also shared his concern that “these are the signs of a start of a (new) plan to force the Christian population from their homes and out of the country.” 

Other Christians in Baghdad have echoed this concern. “As a Christian, life is good so long as you don’t have enemies,” said one resident. “(Also you shouldn’t) bring attention to yourself… I feel depressed because of what happened for Hisham and his family, even (though) it is something that has happened so often since 2003, but it still makes me sad.” 

A former resident of Baghdad told ICC following last year’s church closures, “Christian immigration passed through three main stages. The first was from 2005-2007, (the) second was in 2010 when some extremists attacked (a) church during Sunday mass and the third stage was in 2014 when ISIS attacked (the) Nineveh Plain.” 

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The murder of Dr. Hisham Shafiq and his family is a tragedy that sends a deadly message to other Christians in Baghdad that they are not safe, even in their own homes. Extremists view Christians as defenseless, and thus easy targets for a wide variety of crimes. As a result, the persecution which Iraqi Christians have faced over the last decade has been monumentally heartbreaking. Our prayers are with the surviving family members during this difficult time.”

Rwanda’s severe crackdown.

Not sure what is going on here but government seem bent on controlling or closing churches.


(World Watch Monitor) Six pastors have been arrested and accused of “masterminding” a ploy to disobey the Rwandan government’s order to shut down over 700 churches in one province.

The pastors were alleged to have held “illegal meetings with bad intentions”, the BBC reported.

The churches in the central province of Kigali were ordered to halt operations until they meet building regulations, safety and hygiene standards, and pollution laws, according to South Africa-based News24.

Rwanda National Police spokesperson Theos Badage told journalists on Monday, 5 March, that the six “ring leaders” were aiming to mobilise other clergy against the authorities. It is not clear when the arrested clergymen will appear in court.

Other church representatives have criticised the government’s order. Bishop Innocent Nzeyimana, president of the Churches Forum in Kigali’s Nyarugenge district, said: “Those that failed to implement a few requirements should be reopened and allowed to work while fixing the problems raised.”

Rwandan president Paul Kagame said last week that he was surprised at how many churches there were in Kigali.

“Seven hundred churches in Kigali? Are these boreholes that give people water? I don’t think we have as many boreholes. Do we even have as many factories? But 700 churches, which you even had to close? This has been a mess!” he was quoted as saying by Kenya-based Nairobi News.

Churches in other provinces are also expected to be affected by the crackdown in the coming months, according to News24.

Rwanda is deeply Christian – 44 per cent Catholic and 38 per cent Protestant – but the government strictly regulates all public events, including church services. In 2014, several Pentecostal church leaders were arrested for forming an unauthorised branch of the Church.

The country is now preparing a new law on faith-based organisations, which will require preachers to undertake theological courses. The law is expected to allow the authorities to control preachers more closely.

Pray for a Mother and Daughter Staying in a VOM Safe House

Mar. 02, 2018 | Nepal
Pray for a Mother and Daughter Staying in a VOM Safe House

Death and destruction as Boko Haram launches fresh attacks in Cameroon

via Death and destruction as Boko Haram launches fresh attacks in Cameroon


A Christian family in northern Cameroon look through what is left of their home after it was burned down on 23 February by Boko Haram militants (World Watch Monitor)

(World Watch Monitor) Boko Haram insurgents continue to carry out attacks outside the borders of Nigeria, where the group began.

The Islamists recently attacked two villages in northern Cameroon, close to the north-eastern border with Nigeria, leaving one person dead and many homes destroyed by fire.

The 23 February attack on Virkaza and nearby Tchebechebe was the fourth time Boko Haram has raided villages in Cameroon this year.

During the latest attack, militias set fire to more than 100 huts, a Catholic church and school. The fires claimed the life of one person, who has not yet been named.

A survivor of the attack told World Watch Monitor what happened.

“They attacked Virkaza and Tchebechebe at about 8pm. We…

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Trump Administration betrays Iranian Christian refugees

1 March 2018

The United States’ rejection of the asylum applications of around 100 Iranian Christian refugees is an insult to the country’s Christian and humanitarian heritage.

The Christian refugees, many of whom can recount stories of the discrimination and persecution they have experienced at the hands of Iranian authorities, now have less than a week to leave Austria, where they have been stranded for more than a year. They had expected to be given entry to the US under the Lautenberg humanitarian programme, but now face potential deportation back to Iran.

CC BY-SA 4.0 by Michael Vadon

The decision by the Trump administration to reject the applicants – and to seemingly shut down the entire programme – is a betrayal of Iranian Christian refugees, which has been slammed by US law makers. A group of Democrat and Republican Congressmen have written to Vice President Mike Pence “on behalf of a small group of suffering Middle Eastern religious minorities seeking refuge from Iran’s repressive regime”.

Their letter states:

“This sudden change in policy – from almost a hundred percent acceptance rate [under the Lautenberg programme] to nearly complete rejection – makes no sense, even on security grounds. Some applicants are reported to be elderly and/or disabled, making it hard to imagine they represent a security threat … there is no evidence that others admitted through this program have ever been a threat to the U.S. … The law is clear: these applicants should be presumed eligible for refugee status.”

The decision has also been denounced by representatives of humanitarian organisations, who have accused the US Government of “hypocrisy” for criticising the Iranian regime and encouraging protests in the country, but refusing “to provide safety to those who flee and are not safe from the Iranian government.”

The Lautenberg programme under which the refugees were to have been given asylum in the US was established in 1990 by US Senator Frank Lautenberg. He served five terms in the Senate and campaigned for legislation to create a programme to resettle persecuted religious minorities, initially from the Former Soviet Union. In 2003, Congress voted to expand the Lautenberg Amendment to establish a legal presumption of eligibility for refugee status for Iranian religious minorities. Since then, about 30,000 Iranians have been resettled in the US under the Lautenberg programme. These include members of Jewish, Mandaean, Zoroastrian and Bahai religious minorities, as well as Christians.

All of the 100 Iranian refugees in Austria were financially supported by a sponsor in the US and had been granted prospective refugee transit visas by the Austrian embassy. They had already been interviewed by the Department for Homeland Security and, in one case, family members had been informed their relative would receive a US visa in early 2017. But while President Trump has previously stated that Christian refugees who have faced persecution would get priority, under his administration, the Lautenberg programme has effectively been shut down.

The rejection of these 100, mainly Christian, Iranian refugees is an insult to American’s Christian and humanitarian heritage, which the Lautenberg programme was set up to defend, and a betrayal by the Trump administration.

In the UK, the British government has also been guilty of hypocrisy in its approach to Christian refugees, while claiming to uphold religious liberty. The British government has discriminated against Christian refugees from Syria. Western governments seem to be making political capital by condemning persecution of Christians, while deliberately rejecting those who are persecuted – be it Iranian Christians rejected by the US, Syrian Christians rejected by the UK, Eritrean Christians rejected by the Israeli government, or Christian converts rejected in Sweden and Austria.

Mussie Yemane-Eritrea



In our Prisoner of Faith Alert November 2017 we asked if you would pray specifically for Eritrean Christian Mussie Yemane. Mussie was arrested and detained in 2006 and had remained in detention since that time.

Praise God for a wonderful answer to your prayers. Mussie Yemane has been released and reunited with his children after more than 11 years in prison. Pray that God would make a way for the whole family to be reunited. Mussie’s wife Senait had to flee Eritrea because of her church activities.

Prisoners of Faith Alert
Christian separated from his family for 11 years!

Like many others who have been imprisoned in Eritrea, Mussie Yemane has never been charged with any crime. He is not a criminal – if anything his ‘crime’ is simply loving and seeking to serve Jesus Christ. For this, Mussie was arrested and detained in 2006 and has remained in detention ever since.

Will you pray for Mussie, for his wife, his children, his President, his nation and his fellow prisoners?

Pray that in his prison cell, Mussie may be able to recall clearly the faces of his loved ones and friends. Pray that he will be gracious, forgiving, full of hope and that his life will be a constant testimony to the enduring and unchanging love of God for men and women from every nation.

Click th link below to download/read the Prisoner Profile of Mussie Yemane


Click on the link below to find out more about others like Mussie who right now are imprisoned in Eritrea, and help bring freedom to Eritrean prisoners of faith by supporting our Pray 173 campaign.

Jakarta governor Ahok sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy

Shock sentence comes after hardline Islamist groups called for Christian official to be jailed for referencing Qur’an verse

Ahok supporters protest outside the court in Jakarta.
Ahok supporters protest outside the court in Jakarta. Photograph: Mast Irham/EPATuesday 9 May 2017 First published on Tuesday 9 May 2017

An Indonesian court has found Jakarta’s Christian governor guilty of blasphemy and sentenced him to two years in prison, in a trial that was widely seen as a test of religious tolerance and pluralism in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.

Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known by his nickname Ahok, was “found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy, and because of that we have imposed two years of imprisonment”, the head judge, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, told the court.

“As part of a religious society, the defendant should be careful to not use words with negative connotations regarding the symbols of religions, including the religion of the defendant himself.”

Another judge, Abdul Rosyad, said reasons for the stiff sentence included that “the defendant didn’t feel guilt, the defendant’s act has caused anxiety and hurt Muslims”.

After the verdict, the five-judge panel ordered Ahok’s immediate arrest. Ahok has said he will appeal.

The blasphemy charge related to Ahok’s use of a passage of the Qur’an during campaigning for his re-election in September, which hardline Islamist groups said amounted to insulting the holy book.

He insinuated that his opponents had used a Qur’anic verse to trick people into voting against him. An edited version of his speech went viral online, sparking outrage.

Ahok, a Christian with ethnic Chinese roots, is a double minority. His trial came after large protests against him in the capital that drew hundreds of thousands on to the streets.

On Tuesday, hundreds of members of hardline Islamist groups gathered outside the south Jakarta courtroom amid a heavy security presence, calling for Ahok to be given the maximum penalty.

As news of the sentence emerged members of the crowd shouted “God is greatest”.

The government has been criticised for not doing enough to protect religious minorities, but President Joko Widodo, an ally of Ahok’s, has urged restraint over the trial and called for all sides to respect the legal process.

Thousands of police have been deployed in the capital to prevent clashes between Ahok supporters and opponents. “Both groups will have the opportunity to demonstrate, but we are taking steps to prevent clashes,” said the national police spokesman, Setyo Wasisto.

Ahok lost his bid for re-election in an April run-off to a Muslim rival, Anies Baswedan.
He will hand over to Baswedan in October. The vote was the most divisive and religiously charged in recent years.

Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence for Ahok on charges of hate speech. His opponents believe that is too light. The maximum sentence is five years in prison.

Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the verdict was “a sad day for Indonesia”.

“Ahok’s is the biggest blasphemy case in the history of Indonesia. He is the governor of Indonesia’s largest city, an ally of the president. If he can be sent to jail, what could happen to others?” he said.

Harsono said more than 100 Indonesians have been convicted of blasphemy in the past decade, and acquittals in such cases were extremely rare.

Todung Mulya Lubis, a human rights lawyer who also defended the Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, said it was worrying that one judge cited the leader of a hardline Islamic group known as the Islamic Defender’s Front as an expert in the judgment.

“Rizieq Shihab cannot be considered as an expert because he openly, publicly accused Ahok of blasphemy, so he is not an independent, neutral expert anymore. But the judges mentioned his name in their judgment and I thought this is not correct.”

“The judges also talked about experts from [the Islamic organisation] Majelis Ulama Indonesia. With all respect, I don’t think they can be considered as experts because they had taken sides already, long before the trial.

Lubis said the verdict set a “bad precedent”, adding: “Religion is a private matter … so when you put it in the criminal code it can be used by people to discredit and suppress others. This is the problem with the blasphemy law. This is a very sad moment for us.”

Pakistan-and so it goes on..

Six Pakistani Christians Charged with Blasphemy for Allegedly Insulting Islamic Poetry
Pakistan’s Notorious Blasphemy Laws Continue to Be Abused
02/26/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) learned that six Christians from Elahiabad, a town located near Faisalabad, were charged with committing blasphemy on Friday, February 23. Following the blasphemy accusations, a majority of the Christians from the neighborhood fled, fearing mob violence.

According to First Information Report (FIR) #238/18, Fayaz Masih, Riaz Masih, Imtiaz Masih, Sarfraz Masih, Saqib Masih and Mrs. Riaz were accused of insulting a “Na’at,” a form of Islamic poetry praising the Prophet Muhammad. Munawar Shehzad, the local Muslim who registered the accusation, further accused the six Christians of preventing him from painting a wall with the “Kalma Tayabba,” the Islamic proclamation of Muhammad as the final prophet.
According to Pervaiz Hayat, a local human rights defender, the accusations against the Christians are false and highlight the widespread abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
It was actually an issue over kite flying which was purposely turned into a religious dispute,” Hayat told ICC. “Earlier, Christian and Muslim children got into a fight over catching a kite in the street which later involved the elders of the two communities.
To teach the Christians a lesson, the Muslims of the area damaged Bible verses which were painted on the outside wall of the Khushkhabri Church,” Hayat continued. “Muslims wanted to paint a name of an Islamic political party over the verses, but the Christians reacted to it and the issue turned into a religious dispute.
Police have booked the six Christians under 295-A of the Pakistan Penal Code, which punishes acts that hurt or insult religious beliefs. If found guilty, the six Christians could face up to 10 years in prison. Currently, only two out of the six accused are in police custody.
Since the blasphemy accusation was made, members of the Christian community of Elahiabad have fled their homes, fearing potential mob violence. In response, police have been deployed to the neighborhood to keep matters under control.
William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws continue to be used as a weapon in the hands of extremists seeking to incite religious hatred. As is evident in this case, the laws continue to be abused to settle personal scores, often to the detriment of minority communities. Over the past 30 years, more than 1,500 individuals have been accused of blasphemy in Pakistan. Religious minorities, including Christians, make up the majority of these accusations despite the fact that minorities only make up 3.6% of Pakistan’s total population. Reforms are needed to ensure that this pattern of abuse ends. Until then, false blasphemy accusations will continue to be a deadly weapon for extremists.

Kidnapping of Christian Girls in Kaduna, Nigeria Leads to Casualties, Area Christians Say

More Muslim wickedness following normal patterns.


Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim residents of Kasuwan Magani in northern Nigeria yesterday killed 12 Christians after an attempt to rescue two Christian teenage girls from Muslims who had kidnapped them and coerced them to convert, area residents told Morning Star News.

James Madaki, a 50-year-old member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), said another 20 Christians were injured, and that Muslims set homes and shops on fire in the predominantly Christian area of the town in Kaduna state, 31 kilometers (20 miles) southeast of the city of Kaduna.

“The names of those killed are not readily available to me at the moment, but I can confirm to you that they are Christians killed in the Christian area of the town,” Madaki told Morning Star News.

In comments corroborated by another area Christian, Madaki said two Christian teenage girls were abducted and forcefully converted to Islam…

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Iranian Christian convert detained since before Christmas

An Iranian convert to Christianity arrested more than two months ago remains in prison in the conservative north-western city of Tabriz, according to rights group Article 18.

Ali Amini (Article 18)
Ali Amini, also known as Philip (Article 18)

Ali Amini, known by his friends as Philip, was arrested by revolutionary guards at his workshop in the city on 10 December. His mobile phone and laptop were also confiscated.

His elderly father was present during the raid, and watched as his son was taken away. Amini is married and has two young children, aged one and three.

“Every year, pressure on Christians increases ahead of Christmas,” Article 18 reported, adding that four other Christians were arrested over the Christmas period in 2017 – in Karaj , a city just to the west of the capital Tehran.

Four UN officials recently expressed concern over three other Christians sentenced to between 10 and 15 years in prison last year. Their appeals were due to take place on 4 February, but were postponed. A fourth Christian, Kaviyan Fallah-Mohammadi, was also sentenced alongside them.

“We are deeply concerned by the long jail sentences imposed at a previous hearing on Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Asgari for allegedly ‘conducting evangelism’ and ‘illegal house church activities’, and similar charges that, according to the authorities, amount to acting against national security, completely contrary to Iran’s international obligations,” said a statement by the four officials, including Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, and Asma Jahangir, who was Special Rapporteur on Iran until her death on Sunday (11 February).

“We are additionally concerned about the lack of healthcare made available to them while in detention and, in particular, about the current health condition of Mr. Asgari, who remains in prison,” they added.

Asma Jahangir previously expressed her concern about the treatment of Iranian prisoners, referencing a prison in Karaj, where at least one Christian – Ebrahim Firouzi – is currently being held and last year went on hunger strike to protest against Iran’s treatment of Christians.

Amnesty International has also spoken out about the mistreatment of Iranian Christians in prison, referencing the case of Maryam Naghash Zargaran when it accused Iran of “cruel” denial of medical care in its prisons.

In their recent statement, the UN experts added: “We are aware of several other reported cases in which members of the Christian minority have received heavy sentences after being charged with ‘threatening national security’, either for converting people or for attending house churches.

“This shows a disturbing pattern of individuals being targeted because of their religion or beliefs, in this case a religious minority in the country.

“Members of the Christian minority in Iran, particularly those who have converted to the faith, are facing severe discrimination and religious persecution.

“The authorities must ensure fair trials for all, including the religious minorities in the country. We also urge the Government to immediately and unconditionally release all those who have been arrested and detained for exercising their right to freedom of religion or belief.”

Christian Concern Weekly News

Christian Concern

Christian Weekly News

23 February 2018

Voices of the Silenced Belfast premiere

Voices of the Silenced will receive its Belfast premiere on Tuesday 13th March in Ballynahinch Baptist Church. The film tells the stories of 15 people who have undergone therapy for unwanted same-sex attraction. The film’s London premiere was cancelled after a campaign from a pro-LGBT website – although the film was shown at an alternative venue. Please visit the booking page if you would like to come. Entrance is by donation (suggested £10), and all are welcome.

Government must protect marriage

Back in September, we asked you to support the Manifesto for Strengthening Families – a manifesto aimed at preventing relationship breakdown. In light of the manifesto being debated in Parliament, Coalition for Marriage’s Thomas Pascoe has urged the government to tackle the ‘greatest social problem of our age’. Roughly half a million people a year now enter the Family Courts in England and Wales. Cohabitation proves to be too unstable and the only solution is to strengthen marriage.


Should we abort to save a mother’s life?

Christian Concern’s Regan King has examined the arguments put forward for allowing abortion in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. He finds that abortion is medically and morally indefensible. There are no cases where abortion is required to save the life of a mother. Allowing abortion in potentially dangerous scenarios only gives away unnecessary ground, taking the focus away from the fact that 99% of abortions have nothing to do with threat to mother’s life.

Isle of Man Catholic Dean blesses abortion

Dr Jules Gomes has criticised the Dean of the Roman Catholic Church in the Isle of Man for giving his blessing for abortion. With the debate over the Abortion Reform Bill raging, Monsignor John Devine refused to comment. Devine has now labelled pro-life protesters displaying graphic abortion images as part of the ‘lunatic fringe’. He claims that ‘these protesters cannot presume to speak on the Church’s behalf’. Gomes states the Dean must be either ‘blissfully ignorant or wilfully lying’.

Abort67 Awakening Tour 2018

Abort67 are visiting several influential cities over the next four months as part of their Awakening Tour. The campaign aims to educate about abortion, equip pro-life apologetics and expose abortion injustice with public education displays. They are currently in Oxford and will be heading to Manchester (21st-22nd March) and Liverpool (22nd-23rd March). If you would like to find out more information on Abort67’s activities you can watch their campaign advert.

More Al-shabaab murders

Al-Shabaab slaughter Kenyan Christian teachers in night attack

21 February 2018

Al-Shabaab militants murdered three Christians in an attack on a primary school compound in the village of Qarsa, north-east Kenya on 16 February.

Armed men forced their way into a house within the compound of Qarsa Primary School before dawn. Two Christian teachers, Kevin Shari and Seth Oluoch Odada, were shot dead. Seth’s wife Caroline was also brutally murdered – local sources reported, “her head was nearly cut off from the body”. The couple had only recently married.

Al-Shabaab have repeatedly targeted Christian teachers. According to local sources, such attacks are part of a deliberate effort to reduce school attendance, which makes children vulnerable to recruitment by the Somali-based Islamist group. Al-Shabaab are known to make extensive use of child soldiers and the group is reported to have recruited children as young as nine.

Somali-based Islamist group Al-Shabaab have repeatedly targeted Christian teachers

On 20 February, the headless body of a man was brought to a hospital in Wajir, the nearest main town, 70km (43 miles) from Qarsa. The man’s identity has not been confirmed, but he is thought to be a Christian.

A source told Barnabas Fund, “Again Lent has begun for us with high drama, pain, and agony from the cruel hands of Al-Shabaab … people, especially Christians, are living in terror”.

Global Christian News http://www.globalchristiannews.org/article/al-shabaab-slaughter-kenyan-christian-teachers-in-night-attack/

Three Christian Teachers Killed in Wajir, Kenya
Al-Shabaab Ambushed School to Target Christians
02/23/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 16, 2018, three Christian teachers were killed by al-Shabaab militants in Wajir, Kenya. According to witnesses, the suspected perpetrators ambushed the victims’ residence around 1:00 a.m. and killed Seth Oluoch Odada, his wife Caroline Oluoch, and Kevin Shari. The three victims were non-local teachers working in Qarsa Primary School and living in the northeastern town of Wajir.

Pastor Justus Njuki, a resident of Wajir, spoke with ICC to confirm the incident. He said,“We have lost three dedicated professional teachers of Qarsa Primary School and we are sending our condolences to their families. They were among the few resilient teachers who have remained, defying the fear of being attacked that has made many teachers leave Wajir to safer parts of the country.”
A local resident of Wajir, who chose to remain anonymous, regretted the attack on Christians, calling it “a barbaric act that is uncalled for. We do not subscribe to the same spiritual beliefs and practices but they are our friends and they teach our children with commitment and love, and without discrimination.”
ICC also spoke with Mr. Mohamed Abdi, Wajir’s governor, who condemned the attack and sympathized with the families by extending his “condolences to the bereaved families and wish[ed] a speedy recovery to the injured. There is simply no justification for this kind of attack, eliminating those who are modeling the future of our children.”
The Somali-based terror group, al-Shabaab, is one of Al-Qaeda’s allies. This terrorist group constantly crosses the Kenyan border in order to persecute and kill Christians. Residents in Wajir have already witnessed several attacks on Christians. Therefore, the governor is requesting the government to fortify its borders and security in the area. “I urge the security agents to act swiftly and bring the perpetrators to book and reinforce security measures in Wajir.”
ICC’s Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, “We pray for the families of the deceased and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians who are just trying to survive. We hope that the government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic radicals like al-Shabaab. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

“Britain First” under sustained attack.

I am sharing this because I believe their cause is right!

Britain First

Dear Julian,

You are not going to believe this!

The ‘Halal Food Authority’ is suing Britain First for hundreds of thousands of pounds in the High Court!

Please, allow me to explain:

Halal slaughter is unnecessarily brutal and savage.

Animals have their throats cut like a Jack the Ripper victim, then they bleed out inagony whilst a Muslim recites a prayer to Allah.

The animals are not stunned before they are brutally slaughtered.

It is savage, medieval and not welcome in our Western, Christian country.

The authority that ‘certifies’ all halal products in the UK is called the Halal Food Authority (HFA) and they have objected to the anti-Halal campaigns and videos that Britain First are known for!

The HFA are trying to financially bully any criticism of this sick medieval practise by dragging our movement into the High Court.

They are demanding over £43,000 ‘loss of income’ and hundreds of thousands of pounds in ‘aggravated damages’ for ‘suffering considerable distress, hurt and embarrassment’, all because we have opposed and exposed the evils of Halal slaughter!

Specifically, the paperwork states that the HFA ‘expect to recover more than £100,000’.

Underneath this section, where they were asked to state the ‘Amount claimed’, the HFA stated ‘up to £500,000’.

Yes, you read that right, half a million pounds!

In brief, the HFA is claiming general damages for defamation, aggravated damages for defamation, an injunction to restrain further publication along with special damages for defamation and interest on the above!

In the High Court application, the HFA describe Britain First as a ‘violent and racist’ organisation, clearly demonstrating this is nothing but a politically-motivated witch-hunt!

The ‘injunction to restrain further publication’ is clearly designed to strangle any further exposure of the brutality of Halal slaughter, something I know millions of Britons are against.

The application to sue Britain First in the High Court in London has already been submitted, along with a £10,000 issue fee.

By hook or by crook, we are going to the High Court to fight this, very soon!

Our civil litigation solicitors have examined the HFA application and have advised us of the following facts:

If we lose this case, we will have to pay our own legal fees, plus the £43,000 in ‘loss of income’ and anywhere up to half a million pounds in ‘damages’.

If we win this case, the HFA won’t get a penny, but will also have to pay our legal costs.

There are other factors to consider too, like the fact that deputy leader Jayda Fransen owns her own house which, if we lose, will be seized and sold at auction and the proceeds given to the HFA, leaving Jayda homeless.

This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Britain First.

Our activities have been reduced to a minimum because Jayda and I have been forced to ‘sign on’ every Saturday as part of our ongoing bail conditions.

We have just endured a show trial in Kent which cost us a fortune, for the ‘Ramsgate Rapists’ campaign we ran last Summer (sentencing is passed on 7th March).

We have two separate show trials coming up in Belfast which is going to cost around £30,000 to defend ourselves against.

Now on top, and almost certainly deliberately timed, we have a High Court battle against the Halal Food Authority to deal with.

If you combine these factors with recent events whereby several of our trust-worthy activists have been approached by ‘S015 Counter Terrorism Command’ to ask them to ‘provide information about future activities’, then it seems the State and the Muslim authorities are waging a joint Satanic war to destroy Britain’s last remaining hope of survival.

Yes, that’s how serious this situation is.

Our movement stands at the cross roads: Either we stand and fight or we sink and Britain’s last hope is destroyed.

Sadly, UKIP is finished, the Tories are traitors, every other group or organisation or political party has collapsed or vanished – only Britain First remains standing.

For this reason, if Britain First is destroyed, our country is lost.

That’s why our enemies have declared ‘Total War’ on us – they recognise it’s either now or never to stop Britain First before we get too big and strong to bully or punish.

This battle will shape the future of Britain and our children.

It is a battle between good and evil, between Britannia and her enemies.

I am reminded of Churchill’s famous quote during Britain’s darkest hour:

‘We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.’

For Britain First, this bulldog fighting spirit is the core foundation of everything we endeavour to achieve.

The words ‘No surrender’ run through our movement like a stick of rock.

Even if just one of us is left standing, with air in our lungs, we will not give up or stop fighting for the British nation, not now, not ever.

I know there is some unease out there at the amount of fundraising Britain First is organising, but ask yourself: What choice do we have?

Do we stop, and lose everything?

Or do we keep going and win?

As leader of this honourable movement – that was built from nothing – I will not stand by and watch as everything is destroyed by the PC fascist fanatics and their animal-throat-slitting friends in the Halal Food Authority!

Over my dead body will I see them dismantle everything we have built and on top, leave our deputy leader homeless!

If we are going to continue the struggle to save our country, please ‘close ranks’ and get behind our urgent ‘Patriots Against Halal’ fighting fund, before it’s too late!

Every penny counts, please chip in here:


Yours sincerely,

Britain First

Paul Golding
Leader, Britain First

HOTLINE 0203 409 6216

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Britain First, PO Box 119, Swanley, BR8 9DY

I thought the Kurds were sympathetic to Christians!

Kurdish militia mark Christian properties in Syria for confiscation

15 February 2018

In scenes chillingly reminiscent of the 2014 targeting of Christians in Iraq by Islamic State, Kurdish militia in north-east Syria are spraying graffiti on to Christian properties to mark them for confiscation.

A recently released video shows Arabic writing spray-painted on the wall of the house of an Armenian Christian family in Qamishli. The inscription reads: “Seized by the Executive Committee of Qamishli” – the Committee is the self-proclaimed administration of the Kurdish YPG militia, who control the region.

The house of an Armenian Christian family in Qamishli. The inscription reads: “Seized by the Executive Committee of Qamishli”
Credit WCA NGO Courtesy of Eddie Gaboro Hanna

Christian men from Qamishli have already been abducted for use as conscripts in the Kurds fight against Turkish forces, part of what Christian community representatives have stated is a programme of intimidation.

The homes and businesses of believers in Mosul in northern Iraq were similarly graffitied with slogans and signs, before the Islamic State militants ordered the Christian population to leave or face execution when they seized the city in 2014.

The Australian who filmed and publicised the video, which has been corroborated by the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), stated, “What the YPG does is reminiscent of what ISIS did to the Christians in northern Iraq.

“It has confiscated many more buildings like this … They are confiscating rather than protecting our homes in the Qamishli and Hassake areas and they are even occupying entire villages … They are treating us like second-class citizens … employing various tactics to frighten and subject our people with the aim of taking possession of our final remaining properties and lands, thereby transforming our ancestral homeland into an autonomous Kurdish region.”

Global Christian News https://www.globalchristiannews.org/article/kurdish-militia-mark-christian-properties-in-syria-for-confiscation/

More from Sudan

  1. Pray for 5 Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) leaders west of Omdurman arrested after refusing to stop worship and charged with a public order offence.
  2. Rafat Obid and Rev. Daniel William of Sudanese Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SPEC) unjustly convicted in October on charges after their denomination resisted government attempts to take over its leadership and sell off church property.

A determined government offensive by the Islamic government under  president Al-Bashir is set on wiping out the church in  Sudan (north.

Pray God’s people may rejoice in the gift of suffering for their Saviour. “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (Philippians 1:29). WHAT AN ATTITUDE TO HAVE!

Sudanese repression and wanton destruction continues.

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #241, Washington, D.C. 20006
Media Contact:
Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator
Church in Khartoum Destroyed Despite Pending Court Case
Sudanese Government Continues Long History of Religious Persecution
02/13/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the government of Sudan demolished a church belonging to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Churches (SPEC) in Elhaj Yousif, North Khartoum on Sunday, February 11. The government also confiscated all Bibles and other church belongings. The pastor in charge of the church, Rev. Abdul Harim, confirmed the incident.

He said, “Today the government ordered the forcible demolition and takeover of our church, despite a pending court case where we are contending against attempted re-possession of the church compound to a private Muslim developer. The bulldozers and a contingent of police officers stormed our church immediately after our morning service and started taking furniture, chairs, and Bibles outside and then broke down the church building.”
Rev. Kuwa Shamal, the head of outreach for the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), lamented that the existence of Christian churches in Sudan is at risk. “This is a rogue policy by the government and we stand with our brothers to condemn the demolition. Church work in Khartoum is facing a serious setback because the Islamic government doesn’t want us to preach the Gospel and worship freely. This church has been on the disputed plot for over 30 years. Where was the owner all that time?”
Pastor Yahia Abdelrahim, who was evicted from his church-owned home in Omdurman on August 15, 2017, disclosed his frustration to ICC. “Evictions and demolitions of church properties must be stopped. If there is a court case pending judgment, why did the government move in to bring down the place of worship and make away with church belongings? We as the Sudan Christian leaders are very upset by this heinous act and we pray that that this will end someday.  We are not cowed at all and we shall continue to lift the name of the Lord in Sudan.”
The demolition comes just a week after seven church leaders of the SPEC were fined for protesting against the state confiscation of their churches. The government of Sudan has been arresting Christians and handing over church compounds to individual Muslim businessmen who claim ownership of the plots.  Rev. Kuwa Shamal and five other leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) have also been engaged in a court case with the government after they were demanded to hand over church leadership to the government.
There are many cases in court and many Christians in jail because of the struggle for freedom of worship and rightful ownership of church land. We have been appearing in court for four times now to refuse transference of our church ownership and leadership to a state body and the next hearing will be on March 6. We hope the Lord will favor us and our plea granted,” Rev. Shamal said.
ICC’s Regional Manager, Nathan Johnson, stated, “The government of Sudan has long desired an end to Christianity within its borders. It has worked tirelessly to destroy all traces of the Christian faith and worship. They continue to harass and persecute Christian leaders and followers on a daily basis. These human rights violations must be stopped and the leaders of this government must be held accountable for their tyrannical reign.”
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org


Please pray for Christian ex-magistrate Richard Page

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Prayer Alert

Richard Page’s case is being heard at Croydon Employment Tribunal today
This morning, Tuesday 13th February, Croydon Employment Tribunal will hear the case of Richard Page – a Christian who was removed from being a magistrate after he expressed his belief that children do best with a mother and a father.

The case is scheduled to last for five days.

Please pray for a fair, just outcome for Richard.

Richard Page was first challenged by his seniors in late 2014 when, after hearing an adoption case, he could not agree with his fellow magistrates that placing a child into the care of a same-sex couple was ‘in the child’s best interest’. Richard came to his decision having weighed the evidence presented to the Court and therefore, in good conscience, could not vote to make the order. He was subsequently reported for his actions, reprimanded, and forced to attend ‘re-education training’, which he duly did.

In March 2015, Richard took part in a national television programme in which he clearly stated that at present, there was not sufficient evidence to convince him, as a magistrate, that placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple was in the child’s best interests, and therefore he could not make such an order. Richard believes the political move by the government to place children with same-sex couples lacks any solid, reliable psychological or educational research concerning the effects on children.

Richard’s media comments were again brought to the attention of his seniors and an investigation was carried out by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office’s disciplinary panel. They recommended to the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor that Richard should be removed from office.

“I have to act on the evidence before me”

Commenting on his sacking, Richard Page, who has worked in the field of mental health for 15 years, said: “As a highly experienced magistrate, I have made judgments on thousands of cases and in each case, have come to my decision based on the evidence, and the evidence alone, placed before me and my colleagues. That is the oath which I took when I became a Justice of the Peace.

“When you sit in a Family Court, you have a huge responsibility to ensure the overall well-being of the children who are being recommended to be placed into new families. You weigh the reports and references before you and the evidence you hear. In the case of same-sex couples adopting children, it has only been a relatively short time that same-sex couples have been able to adopt and foster and therefore, there has not been time for a proper analysis to be carried out into the effects such placements have on the children’s educational, emotional and developmental well-being.

“As a magistrate, I have to act on the evidence before me and quite simply, I believe that there is not sufficient evidence to convince me that placing a child in the care of a same-sex couple can be as holistically beneficial to a child as placing them with a mum and dad as God and nature intended.

“I am surprised that this Lord Chancellor should seemingly pander to the new political orthodoxy when what it amounts to is social experimentation on the lives of the most vulnerable children in our communities.

“To punish me and to seek to silence me for expressing a dissenting view is deeply worrying. I shall challenge this decision as it is deeply illiberal and intolerant. It is vital the family law courts always have in mind the best interests of the children.

“I cannot believe that the establishment is trying to silence someone like me who has served it wholeheartedly all of my working life.”

“The new political orthodoxy”

Richard is supported by the Christian Legal Centre and represented by its Standing Counsel, human rights barrister Paul Diamond.

The Christian Legal Centre’s chief executive, Andrea Minichiello Williams, commented: “The Lord Chancellor has removed Richard from the magistracy for allegedly being ‘prejudiced’ and for speaking out in the media about what has happened to him.

“This unmasks the face of the new political orthodoxy; it is unkind. It tries to silence opposing views and if it fails it crushes and punishes the person who holds those views.

“To remove someone like Richard from the bench is modern-day madness. He has a lifetime of public service and expertise in mental health. He is motivated by his Christian faith and a deep compassion for people.”

The case is scheduled for five days – please continue to pray for Richard and for Paul Diamond as he represents him.

Pray for the Family of a Murdered Burmese Christian

Feb. 08, 2018 | Myanmar

Pray for Christians Suffering from Recent Attacks in Nigeria.

These mass killings NEVER reach world news!

Muslim Fulani herdsmen have long sought to remove Christians from grazing lands, but in recent years their close ties with Boko Haram have worsened attacks.

Muslim Fulani herdsmen have long sought to remove Christians from grazing lands, but in recent years their close ties with Boko Haram have worsened attacks.

Feb. 08, 2018 | Nigeria

Pray for Christians Sentenced to Prison on False Charges

Feb. 08, 2018 | China

Move in Pakistan to outlaw spurious blasphemy allegations.

Pakistan government unveils historic fatwa against Islamic extremism and vigilante “blasphemy” attacks

8 February 2018

The Pakistan government has unveiled an historic fatwa (religious ruling) condemning Islamic extremism and vigilante “blasphemy” attacks, in a potentially positive development for the country’s minority Christian community.

By issuing the fatwa with the support of 1,829 religious leaders – who are signatories to the document officially released on 16 January – the Pakistani government is addressing extremism from a religious perspective.

The fatwa declares that terrorist activity against the state, and in particular suicide bombings, are  haram (forbidden under Islamic law). It also states: “We believe that spreading sectarian hatred, armed sectarian conflict and imposition of one’s religious ideologies by force are contrary to the Shariah/teachings of Islam”, adding that there is a “religious obligation” to confront “evil” extremist ideology. It should be noted however that “extremism” in the context of the ruling is defined as views deemed to be outside the body of mainstream Islam – this differs from typical Western definitions, which define “extremism” in relation to issues such as democracy, human rights and freedom of religion.

The document also says it is “unacceptable in Islam” that any group “takes [the] law into its own hands, [and] declares people infidels” – a statement which is understood to refer to the country’s controversial “blasphemy” laws. Instead, the fatwa asserts that “only the State has right to implement punishments on citizens.”

Some of the most vocal opponents of politicians who have proposed changes to the “blasphemy” laws are among the signatories to the fatwa. But it remains to be seen whether their support of the religious ruling will result in real and lasting change to the treatment of Christians and others accused of “blasphemy”, or reduce the number of spurious allegations.

Global Christian News http://www.globalchristiannews.org/article/pakistan-unveils-historic-fatwa-against-blasphemy-vigilantes/

Brixton Prison chaplain fired by Muslim boss.

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Volunteer Chaplain excluded from prison in move to wipe out “Christian domination”

Pastor Paul Song, volunteer Chaplain for nearly 20 years, excluded from HMP Brixton by a Muslim Senior Chaplain

A highly-respected Christian volunteer Chaplain at HMP Brixton has been removed from chaplaincy work, and an internationally-respected Christian coursebanned by a Muslim Senior Chaplain, in an attempt to wipe out “Christian domination” at Brixton prison.

Pastor Paul Song moved to the UK from South Korea in 1992 and began working as a full-time minister at London Shepherd Church in 1996. In 1998, he started using his one day off each week to volunteer alongside 15 other Christians at HMP Brixton, and he was taken on as a Chaplain at the prison on 1st March 1998.

Sign and share the petition to reinstate Pastor Song
Paul and others started running the internationally-respected Alpha course at HMP Brixton in 1998, and have been doing so for nearly 20 years. In recent times they also ran the ‘Just10’ course created by Canon J. John – all with the blessing of the former Senior Chaplain, Reverend Phillip Chadder. The demand for the courses was considerable, with around 70 prisoners signing up for each course, and waiting lists having to be created.

Over the 19 years, the volunteer Chaplain developed strong relationships with the prisoners, the Senior Chaplain and other staff, and many prisoners became Christians and had their lives transformed. Paul had full security clearance for all his activities in HMP Brixton, and had even been given keys to the prison as a sign of the high esteem in which he was held.

“Discriminatory agenda”

Imam Mohamed Yusef Ahmed took over as Senior Chaplain in 2015, and with the Imam’s arrival, things changed drastically. Paul Song explains: “Imam Mohamed’s discriminatory agenda was clear from the outset. He began scrutinising the material for each of our courses, commenting that the material was ‘too radical’, and that the Christian views expressed were ‘extreme’. He paid scant regard to the fact that the courses are mainstream Christian courses, used by churches throughout the world. He also said he wanted to ‘change the Christian domination within HMP Brixton’.”

Imam Mohamed asked Paul to stop running the courses, which he reluctantly agreed to, though Paul carried on going into the prison to meet with prisoners. At no point were complaints made by prisoners either about the content of the courses or Paul’s attitude towards any of the prisoners.

Pastor Song excluded

In August 2017, Paul received an email from Imam Mohamed saying: “You do not have permission to enter the wings and nor do you have the permission to speak to any prisoners here at HMP Brixton. If you do turn up to here without my prior permission from me, your keys will be confiscated and you will be walked to the gate.” Pastor Song was not informed of any substantive grounds which may justify his removal.

Bemused by the email, and having no awareness that anything was wrong, Paul met with the Imam, during which he was again told that he was no longer welcome at the prison and he had ‘no right to appeal against’ the decision. Again, no reasons were given.

Paul received a letter from Graham Horlock (Head of Reducing Re-Offending at HMP Brixton) on 4th September 2017, informing him for the first time that an accusation had been made that Paul called a prisoner a “terrorist”, and stating that the decision to remove him from his role applied “permanently with immediate effect”. This was the first occasion on which Paul heard about the allegation – which Paul denies. Paul was initially promised that the Equalities Department would investigate the accusations, though the decision to exclude him was made without the Equalities Department first delivering their findings.

Since the decision, the prison has ignored requests to provide information on the name of the alleged complainant and a copy of his statement. Paul has submitted written representations to HMP Brixton, and after being kept waiting for 5 months without explanation, he received an email from the Prison Group Director at the London and Thames Valley Prisoners on 11th January noting that “the exclusion [from HMP Brixton] is permanent“.

“I worked alongside the prisoners in harmony”

Commenting on the outcome, Paul says: “When speaking with prisoners, staff members or anyone else, I would never make offensive comments. The Bible exhorts believers to ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’, and to ‘let thy light shine before men’; and so being intentionally offensive would violate these commandments.”

The whole reason I served at the prison was because of my desire to bring the good news of the gospel to people, regardless of their religion or background. I believe that it has the power to transform the lives of all who believe, and so I would never do anything which may cause an individual to not want to hear the Christian message.”

“The prisoners who attended the Christian courses were of different religions, sexual orientations and ethnic backgrounds. Some of them were violent and held views which strongly opposed mine, yet I never made any judgemental or stereotypical comments to any of them. For 19 years, I served with an exemplary record. I worked alongside the prisoners and other staff members in harmony, recognising our differences and praying that they would come to faith, but equally respecting their decisions and background. I would have had plenty of opportunities to make offensive comments should I have wanted to, and yet during this time, no complaints were ever made about me.”

“Christian ministry is essential for rehabilitation and transformation”

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting Pastor Song. Andrea Williams, chief executive, comments: “To call this Christian who has served without a blemish for almost 20 years an extremist defies belief.

“Pastor Song’s work with prisoners has been shut down for no good reason, denying prisoners of life-giving ministry.

“We are considering legal action against Brixton Prison which has acted unlawfully by removing Christian services from prisoners without fair process. We are seeking justice not just for Pastor Song but for the prisoners who want to see him.

“Christian ministry in prisons has a long history, and its presence is essential for the rehabilitation and transformation of lives. Paul’s work has led to many prisoners in Brixton turning their lives around, and so it is shocking that prisoners who are desperate for a new way of life should now be prevented from seeing Paul.”

“I would have had nowhere to turn”

Former prisoner Jeremy Conlon has spoken out in support of Paul’s work in the prison: “Prison is a tough place to be, though Paul was a light in the darkness for me and many others. Paul’s humility, wisdom and gentleness amazed all the prisoners, and he gave us a much-needed opportunity to receive prayer, to discuss issues we were struggling with and to ask questions. I cannot speak highly enough of him, and am deeply saddened by the way in which he has been treated“.

Another former prisoner at Brixton, Peter Levy, says: “Paul’s continued support for me and other prisoners, even after the course had finished, brought us all hope of a new way of life. He even met me at the prison gates on the date of my release and took me for food, and helped me work through the family and work issues I was having at the time. Without him, I would have had nowhere to turn, and to think he was doing all this voluntarily is amazing”.

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Help us reinstate Pastor Song

Please sign our petition to show your support for Pastor Paul, so that prisoners can continue to benefit from his life-changing ministry.

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CHINA: Over one hundred Christians sent to “re-education” camps in Xinjiang

In recent months, more than one hundred Christians have been sent to “re-education” camps in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. In these camps, also known as “study centres” or “mind-transformation centres”, they are taught how to be loyal to the communist ideology. Bob Fu of China Aid describes the camps as “black jails (intensive brainwash camp)”.

Most of the detained Christians are ethnic Uighur converts from Islam who, in recent years, have been caught up in the government’s anti-terrorism crackdown on violent Uighur separatism and militant Islam. Security in the region has become even more important to the government in the context of President Xi’s aim of reopening trade routes through Xinjiang.

On 22 January, Radio Free Asia reported that approximately 120,000 Uighurs were being held in “political re-education camps” in Xinjiang’s Kashgar prefecture. They were detained for offences including using Western social media apps, travelling abroad in Muslim countries, having a relative who had travelled abroad, having a relative convicted of a crime, having the wrong content on a mobile phone and appearing too religious.

A source told World Watch Monitor that members of his church were sent to a “re-education” camp without knowing when they would come back. Some were detained for a month but some for six months or even longer. One or both parents were taken from some Christian families.

A woman married to a leader of a community with many Christian converts from Islam told World Watch Monitor, “I don’t know where my husband is right now, but I believe that God still uses him in prisons or camps. Sometimes I am worried that he doesn’t have enough clothes to keep warm in the prison.”

Another woman whose husband was taken for “re-education” and who now supports other women in her situation said, “I am afraid it will affect my children too. The teacher in the school is paying special attention to my children after the authorities told the school about my husband. 

Intense surveillance

The Wall Street Journal says that Xinjiang’s capital, Urumqi (pictured), “may be one of the most closely surveilled places on earth. Security checkpoints with identification scanners guard the train station and roads in and out of town. Facial scanners track comings and goings at hotels, shopping malls and banks. Police use hand-held devices to search smartphones for encrypted chat apps, politically charged videos and other suspect content. To fill up with gas, drivers must first swipe their ID cards and stare into a camera There are armoured cars on the street, police stations on every corner and tons of surveillance cameras.”

Anyone entering a large building encounters airport-style security, those entering shops must pass security guards armed with batons, and security cameras and microphones are everywhere. People who live in Xinjiang are checked many times a day as they go about their business, and Uighurs have become reluctant to go out because of the risk of being picked up by the police. The authorities collect personal information from Uighurs and rate them as “persons of interest”, designating each one “safe,” “average” or “unsafe”. (The photo shows police on patrol in Kashgar.)

Government-registered churches are required to scan everyone entering Sunday services. As they enter, they must show their ID cards and an alarm sounds if they work for the government or a public institution. For this reason, many Christians have stopped going to registered churches and now meet in smaller groups.

World Watch Monitor source said, “I feel like I live in a big prison.”

Alimujiang Yimiti

Alimujiang YimityAlimujiang Yimiti (43) is a Uighur Christian from Xinjiang province who has been in prison since January 2008 and is serving a 15-year sentence for “illegally providing state secrets to foreigners”. The charge relates to his meeting Christians visiting from the US. A former Muslim, Alimujiang became a Christian in 1995, and prior to his arrest he worked as an orchard manager and led a house church in Kashgar.


When Xinjiang became part of China in 1949, Uighurs made up the majority of the region’s population; only six percent were Han Chinese. As Xinjiang developed, the Chinese government encouraged Han emigration into the region, and now approximately forty percent of Xinjiang’s population of 23 million are Han Chinese (almost nine million) and about 44 percent are Uighur (about ten million, mostly Muslims). The third biggest population group is ethnic Kazakh.

In September 2017, Radio Free Asia reported that almost no Han Chinese are being held in the Xinjiang “re-education” camps, and that the number of detainees in theSecurity forces in Kashgar region’s south – where the Uighurs are concentrated – far surpasses that in the north.

In 2017, President Xi installed a new Xinjiang party leader, Chen Quanguo, who previously managed a five-year crackdown on ethnic dissent in Tibet. Mr Chen pioneered the use of “convenience police stations” in Tibet and, under him, Xinjiang’s police force has grown enormously.

Arrests in 2017 

In late January 2017, over eighty Christians were arrested in Xinjiang province for attending house church meetings. They were Han Chinese, not Uighur. Public security bureaus raided a network of house churches and accused at least eighty Christians of “engaging in religious activities at non-religious sites”. The house churches had refused to join the Three-Self Patriotic Movement, the organisation through which the Chinese Communist Party controls Protestant churches. After interrogation, the Christians were released.

Earlier in January 2017, police officers in Wusu in Xinjiang province raided a house church prayer meeting, said the gathering was illegal and took away ten Han Chinese Christians. The authorities released those who were elderly or sick, but six women were detained for 15 days and fined 1,000 Yuan each (€137) for “gathering and praying under the name of Christianity”.

(BBC/China Aid/Christian Solidarity Worldwide/Guardian/Radio Free Asia/Reuters/Wall Street Journal/World Watch Monitor)

Prayer for North Korea

What we should really pray for in North Korea  
We should see the North Korean missile crisis as a prompt for prayer for our persecuted family inside the ‘hermit kingdom’ – and for Pyongyang’s leaders.
That’s the cry of Release partners as Pyongyang prepares to stage a provocative show of its military strength today – and the Winter Olympics get under way in South Korea tomorrow.
Please pray for Pyongyang’s leaders, that God will meet them in His grace and His glory, every time you hear North Korea mentioned in the news.
North Korea has brought forward its annual display of thousands of troops, tanks and missiles on the capital’s streets – staging it today, on the eve of the Olympics.Dr Eric Foley, Release’s partner who works with North Korea defectors, says it is not enough to pray for regime change or an easing of tensions – because this would not break the cycle of persecution. Rather, he says, we should pray for a radical change of heart among North Korean leaders.‘When those missiles are pointed at us, should we simply pray that things are returned to the way they were before?’ asks Dr Foley. ‘No! The status quo means Christians experience torture and imprisonment for the sake of their faith.
‘We should pray that it becomes possible for the first time in their lives for Christians in North Korea to practise their faith without recrimination.’ 

  • Pray with North Korea’s underground church that the country’s leader Kim Jong-Un will come to know Christ and that his nation will find true peace in God. 
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will move among the Supreme Leader’s inner circle and lead many of them to meet with Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
  • Ask Jesus to sustain and strengthen our brothers and sisters in North Korea and restore their hope in Him and in a future where His name is glorified across the Korean peninsula (by freedom of worship). 

(Source: Release partners)

Petition Indian Government

Free Odisha Prisoners

In 2008, the murder of a Hindu religious leader in India set off a spate of violent attacks on Christian villages in the state of Odisha. These attacks left thousands upon thousands homeless. Looking for a culprit, police arrested a number of Christian men at random and accused them of the murder. Not long after, a radical communist group came forward and claimed responsibility for the killing. By that point, however, the government could not lose face for arresting the wrong men, and radical Hindu groups wanted to keep the Christians locked up.

Almost 10 years later, seven of those men are still behind bars after receiving a life sentence for their “crimes” in 2013. The hearing of their appeal continues to be postponed by the Odisha High Court, despite strong evidence circulating regarding their innocence. All seven men have wives and children who continue to wait for their falsely accused husbands and fathers to come home.

Today, ICC needs your help as we call on the government of India to release these seven innocent men and allow them to return to their families once and for all. Will you join us?

International Christian Concern 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #241, Washington, D.C. 20006 www.persecution.org | E-mail: icc@persecution.org
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
Hebrews 13:3
International Christian Concern, 2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW,#941, Washington, DC 20006

Murder and mayhem increase in Nigeria’s central belt.

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #241, Washington, D.C. 20006
Media Contact:
Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator
Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Fulani Militants and Boko Haram Wreak Havoc in January 2018

02/06/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Due to the ever escalating violence in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, International Christian Concern (ICC) will be publishing a monthly report throughout 2018, detailing this violence. The report will focus on the actions of Fulani militants and Boko Haram terrorists against Christian villages in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria.

The month of January was a particularly devastating month for Christians in the Middle Belt. The region consists of the states straddled by the predominately Muslim north and predominately Christian south, including Adamawa, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), as well as the southern parts of Kaduna, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, and Borno States. This region has historically been one of the most violent and war-torn areas of Nigeria.
In January, ICC documented at least 44 attacks by Fulani militants on Christian farming villages that killed over 170 people and destroyed thousands of homes and other properties. ICC also documented eight Boko Haram attacks on communities which resulted in the deaths of 65 people.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian military also contributed to the number of individuals killed in the Middle Belt in January. According to sources in Adamawa state, military aircraft inadvertently killed nearly 35 Christians. The military says that the aircraft, including three jets and one helicopter, were meant to deter fighting between the two communities, but whether this is true or not, it did not help and only contributed to the total number of Christians killed in the Middle Belt region.
In January 2018, the total number of Christians killed in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria is over 250.
This number represents nearly a 40 percent increase on the number of Christians killed by Fulani and Boko Haram militants in January 2017. In January 2017, the Fulani perpetrated roughly 23 attacks on Christian communities, killing more than 75 people. Over that same time period, Boko Haram attacked 20 times and claimed over 105 lives. Comparing these numbers paints a bleak future for Christians trying to survive in the Middle Belt. If these statistics hold true, there could be a significant increase in the total number of Christians killed in the Middle Belt region in 2018, from around 1,900 total deaths in 2017 to more than 2,600 total deaths in 2018.
Below is a list of the biggest attacks and groupings of attacks ICC documented in January 2018.
  1. January 1-3: Fulani militants killed more than 50 Christians in six villages located in Benue (Tom-Atar and Umenge, Akor villages in Guma and Ayilamo, Turan, Ngambe-Tiev in Logo local government area).
  2. January 5-6: Fulani militants killed 15 Christian villagers in two villages in Benue (Tse Akombo, Tse Vii and Tse Agule).
  3. January 16-17: Fulani militants attacked and killed 29 people in five villages in Taraba (Gishiri, Dooshima, Danwaza, Wukari, and Donnada).
This dramatic increase in violence is a troubling sign for the year to come. This continued devastation will lead to many more deaths and the destabilizing of the most fertile land in all of Nigeria. The government must step in and take control of this situation. They must end the violence that is tearing apart families, communities, and religious organizations.
For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org


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Rise of persecution in India

Church in Chains has published a new report titled “OFFICIAL INDIA: ON THE SIDE OF THE MILITANTS” in response to the dramatic upsurge in attacks on Christians in India by Hindu militants in the past two years – attacks that have the tacit approval of local police and government officials.

The report documents a representative sample of 57 serious incidents of persecution of Christians during the period July – December 2017. This is almost certainly a gross understatement of the actual number of incidents during the period. In 2016, Indian Christian organisations reported 441 incidents, while 410 were reported in just the first six months of 2017.

No effective government action has been taken to combat the attackers, protect the victims or promote religious freedom. This government inaction (at local, state and national level) has led to a climate of impunity. Local police and government officials often “turn a blind eye” – not only do they refuse to prosecute the perpetrators in many cases, but they often arrest the victims on spurious charges of “forced conversion”.

The upsurge in persecution was predicted by Dr Joseph D’Souza (All India Christian Council) when he spoke at the Church in Chains national conference in 2014. He foresaw that the next five to ten years would be difficult for Indian Christians as Hindu extremists had been emboldened by the landslide election victory of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and new Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and were confident of pursuing their Hindutva(Hindus only) agenda.

The report, which contains recommendations for action, has been sent to the Indian Ambassador to Ireland, to Simon Coveney (Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs) and to the members of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence.


The report concludes with recommendations to the Indian government, to the Irish government and to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence.

It recommends to the Indian government that Prime Minister Modi speak clearly and consistently in support of full religious freedom; that the BJP abandon its call for a national anti-conversion law; that state governors make clear that religiously motivated violence will not be tolerated; and that police stop arresting victims and ensure perpetrators are brought to justice.

The report recommends to the Irish government that the Minister for Foreign Affairs publicly express concern at the upsurge of violence against Christians in India; that he raise the matter with the Indian ambassador to Ireland; and that he raise the issue as a priority for the next session of the EU-India Human Rights dialogue.

It recommends that the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence arrange a meeting to discuss the upsurge of violence; and that it invite the Indian ambassador to Ireland to attend a meeting to respond to the serious situation outlined in the report.

Cases documented in the report

Among the cases documented is that of Pastor Khel Prasad Kurre (pictured on the report cover) who was attacked by Hindu extremists in Chhattisgarh state in October 2017 while on his way home from visiting a member of his church. He was hospitalised and needed twelve stitches to his head. Police threatened Pastor Kurre with arrest on charges of luring people into Christianity.

Pastor Harjot Singh SethiAnother pastor, Harjot Singh Sethi (pictured), suffered head and leg injuries after a beating from Hindu extremists in Rajasthan in August 2017. About fifty extremists attacked a group of 150 Christians holding a prayer meeting in one of their homes and injured several of them, including the pastor’s wife, whom they beat with sticks. Though Pastor Sethi was badly injured, he was taken to a police station where the attackers filed a complaint against him for “forceful conversion”.

Another of the cases documented occurred in Madhya Pradesh in October, whenIndian mother with children seven children were detained for a week and two adults for ten days – police charged the adults with kidnapping and forcible conversion. The Christians had been on their way to a youth Bible conference, with parental permission for the children, when a mob of Hindu extremists forced them off the train at Indore station. The extremists beat parents who tried to regain custody of their children. Parents were not told where their children had been taken and were not allowed to see or speak with them in the week that followed.

Pastor Sultan Masih's coffinIn July, a Punjab pastor was shot dead in front of his church premises in Ludhiana city. Two attackers on a motorbike shot Pastor Sultan Masih – whose coffin is pictured – while he talked on his phone. In the previous couple of months, Hindu extremists had accused him of paying people to convert to Christianity, and had threatened to kill him. After the murder, hundreds of Christians held a protest blocking a major national highway for three hours, only leaving when they received police assurance that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. In the days that followed, police questioned at least 17 suspects.

Read the full report

Pakistani Christians seeking refuge from persecution in crisis

The conditions for Pakistani refugees in Bangkok are awful.


Christian child arrested with mother who holds a UNHCR asylum certificate in Bangkok. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

(Voice of the Persecuted) 2018 is here and many have started the year with resolutions to do well. We live in a society where we have the freedom to think, speak, pursue our dreams of what we’d like to be and most importantly, believe in our God without fear of persecution. On the other side of the world, there are many who don’t have these freedoms.

Thailand, a country famous for it’s glitzy tourist destination has been at the forefront of persecuting Christians. Thousands of Christians from Pakistan escaped severe persecution to Thailand and have ended up in a whirlpool of crisis. According to World Watch List 2018, Pakistan Is The 6th most difficult country to live as a Christian.

Many Pakistani Christians are living in Bangkok are in a…

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Vietnamese persecution

VIETNAM Christian lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton are both still in custody in Hanoi since their arrests in December 2015 and July 2017 respectively – because they have called for greater religious freedom. They have been barred from meeting their lawyers.

Last month, Christian activist Maria Tran Thị Nga, a mother of two young children from Ha Nam province, was found guilty of ‘propaganda against the state’ and sentenced to nine years in prison and five years under house arrest. Her harsh sentence and irregularities relating to her trial have prompted an international outcry.

Christian bloggers have also been targeted: last week, a court in Nghe An province upheld a five-year prison sentence against Nguyen Van Oai for his pro-democracy campaigns.

  • Thank God for the way that relations between the Government in Hanoi and religious groups have improved slightly in recent years. Pray that the new law will not threaten this progress.
  • Pray that God will use His people who have spoken out about religious rights and about Him to draw many in Vietnam into a close personal relationship with Him.

– Nationalist gangs terrorise Christian community

Gangs of nationalist youths have terrorised a Christian community in Song Ngoc, north-east Vietnam, attacking a church and homes and targeting Christian business owners. Local Christian leaders have appealed to the authorities to act, noting that “we see that the attacks have been carried out in an orchestrated manner, and the police know well what is occurring, but are ignoring what is going on”. The acts of intimidation and violence have taken place throughout June. Some of the perpetrators have called for the expulsion of two church leaders who are helping impoverished local fisherman in a legal case against the government following a marine pollution disaster in April last year (2016).

Vietnam’s communist government ruthlessly cracks down on dissent and Christians are viewed as enemies of the one-party state. All churches are required to be officially registered with the authorities. In November 2016, the government passed a new religion law which was hailed by state media as guaranteeing religious freedom, although the vague legislation banning any religious activity that could “harm social order and/or national unity” seems likely to give authorities leeway to crack down on religious freedom, where it is deemed against the interests of the state.

From UCA news here

Christian Response to Transgenderism

Andrea Minichello of Christian Concern had this good response at the Synod of the Church of England:


Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern and Member of General Synod responds to the House of Bishops’ statement on ‘Welcoming Transgender People’.
Earlier this week, the House of Bishops announced that they would not prepare liturgy to mark a person’s ‘gender transition’ for the Church of England. The bishops claimed that an existing service could be adapted to serve this purpose and announced that they would prepare guidance on how to do so.

The bishops have since released an update on ‘Welcoming Transgender People’. Far from kicking the issue into the long grass, the statement makes it clearer than ever that the Church of England has fully capitulated to the transgender ideology sweeping through our society.

The bishops emphasise point 3 of their statement by putting the following statement in bold:

“The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people, equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ, and rejoices in the diversity of that one body, into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit.”

Previous statements on sexuality and transgenderism have been notable for their lack of clarity – able, at a push, to be interpreted and hidden behind by all sides of the Church. But in this case, the bishops have made their position abundantly clear – that trans people, in their view, should be treated as belonging to their self-declared gender and not according to their biological sex at birth.

It is frankly staggering to read that pro-LGBT activists in the Church are disappointed by the bishops’ position.

I cannot imagine how much more clearly the bishops could have communicated that the Church is entirely at ease with uncritically accepting someone’s self-declared gender. Let me address the wording in more detail:

“The House of Bishops welcomes and encourages the unconditional affirmation of trans people”

Affirmation of what about trans people? The bishops aren’t explicit on the point. Are they encouraging the affirmation of trans people as human beings, with inherent dignity? No one is denying that, and if that were the only point under debate, there would be no need for controversy and division. But that is not all they are saying.

“equally with all people, within the Church, the body of Christ…into which all Christians have been baptized by one Spirit.”

The meaning becomes clearer here, as the bishops clearly have in mind the affirmation of trans people as full members of the church who are in good standing. The statement means that someone who is presenting themselves as the opposite gender to their sex at birth is in no way hindered by that in their fellowship with Christ and his body, the Church. They are to be affirmed as whatever they claim to be – their gender expression accepted and their preferred pronouns used.

“rejoices in the diversity…”

Not only is the person’s new gender identity to be accepted – it is to be rejoiced in. The bishops picture the presence of a trans person (in their assumed gender identity) within the Church as if Galatians 3:28 is a list to which we can add any categories we choose. Not just ‘Jew or Greek’, ‘slave or free’, ‘male or female’ – none of which are self-chosen identities – but ‘trans or cis’. I can only imagine what extra categories could be added to the Apostle Paul’s list in the near future.

This is not a matter of welcoming people from any and every possible background into our church services. That is essential to our mission. It is the question of how the Church relates to them once they have identified themselves as followers of Christ.

Will members of the congregation be expected to fall in line, even if they cannot do so in good conscience? What are the implications for when those people are called to exchange the peace? The position expressed by the bishops opens up a can of worms while providing no pastoral guidance or theological reflection to equip the Church to deal with them.

If the experience of trans people is a result of fallen nature (like any psychological condition may be) there are two possible responses: fight it or embrace it. The latter response is to deny reality, to compel others to join in the fiction and to rob transgender people of the opportunity to see the transforming power of Christ in their lives – as many ex-transgender Christians have testified to. If, on the other hand, the experience of trans people is a positive good, we have to ask why this information is completely missing from the Bible, and all the closest comparisons forbidden.

Point 4 in the bishops’ update also contains an emphasised passage, which refers to gender transition as a “moment of personal renewal”. Gender transition is actually a moment of personal rebellion against the way the person has been made by God. It is therefore a moment of personal rebellion against God. This should not be celebrated or marked by the church at all, let alone described as a “moment of personal renewal.”

This all springs from the assumption made at the beginning of point 4 – that someone who has undergone a gender transition actually has a new identity. Although the background note from the Secretary General on the original synod motion noted the differences within the Church on this point, the Bishops’ update uncritically accepts the reality of the trans person’s new identity.

In short, it is no longer possible to invent readings of the bishops’ position that support the orthodox position. At the very least it would take mental gymnastics to come up with a convoluted interpretation of these words that would make them compatible with any kind of scepticism about transgender ideology.

This isn’t via media between liberals and conservatives. It isn’t a fudge. It’s capitulation.

Biblically-faithful Christians should not try to read the bishops’ update as an orthodox statement. That would be to miss what these words actually communicate to those who read it – particularly those outside the Church.

But even if you could explain away the passages I’ve quoted, in practice, the House of Bishops is encouraging clergy to affirm not only the inherent dignity of transgender people as humans made in God’s image – this is unquestionable – but to affirm their self-asserted gender identity through Church of England worship services.

This alone would be neglecting the role of bishops to teach and uphold sound doctrine. Orthopraxy and orthodoxy are interconnected – what we do affects the way we think, believe and worship.

As an example, the Reverend Dr Christina Beardsley, a ‘transgender woman’, is reported as being in support of prayers referring to God as both Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. Not only is this completely ignoring God’s self-revelation of Himself in scripture – and most importantly in the person of Jesus Christ – but it is also ‘misgendering’ God. It seems that according to transgender advocates, ‘misgendering’ is only an offence to a person’s dignity when they are made in the image of God, and not when they actually are God. In reality, it is blasphemy.

I call upon the bishops to reconsider and revise their statement to uphold the truth of the gospel and properly to fulfil their role as guardians of the faith in our nation.

Further response

Iranian Christian Converts, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Askari charged.


Iranian Christians strong in their faith
Praise God that despite being under pressure to convert back to Islam, Iranian believers Amin Nader Afshar and Hadi Askary, who both have long prison sentences, are reported to be firm in their faith! Pray that their appeals will succeed.

Pastor Victor Bet Tamarz (10 year sentence), Amin (15 years), Hadi (10 years) bail £46,000 each. Lawyer will appeal.

IRAN – Two Christian converts have finally been charged by the authorities, seven months after being abducted by armed men as they picnicked with their families. Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Askari, both converts from Islam, have been incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison since September. Both men have been convicted for ” acting against national security” and “organizing house churches”. They have filed appeals.  Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz is on bail.

May the two men recover from hunger strike and their sentences be repealed.

The Iranian government brutally represses Farsi-speaking (i.e. Muslim background) churches, often called house churches. The persecution of Iranian Christians worsened in 2016.

From Mohabat news here


Imprisoned Christians end hunger strike in Iran

Earlier this week, two Christian converts who have been in prison since August 2016 ended their hunger strike after being promised medical care and progress in their case.
On 5 February, Amin Afshar Naderi (on left of image) and Hadi Askari (on right) went on hunger strike to demand medical care and to protest about delays in their case. No charges have been brought against either man.
On Tuesday (14 February), the Head of the Attorney General’s office Ali Akbar Bakhtiari and his deputy visited Naderi and Askari in Evin Prison in Tehran. They promised to investigate their case and that of others imprisoned for their religious beliefs, so Naderi and Askari ended their hunger strike.+

Prisoners of Faith Alert

Imprisoned twice in two years
Iranian Christian Amin Nader Afshar (pictured) is currently in prison in Iran for the second time in two years simply because he became a follower of Christ and seeks to live out his faith in his community.
Amin, together with several Christian friends, was arrested in August 2016 and remains in custody with no immediate prospect of release. Please pray for this dear brother, his family, his two Christian friends also incarcerated in Evin prison in Tehran, and for many other Iranian prisoners of faith.

Further updates reveal that Christian convert prisoner, Amin Afshar Naderi is still being held in Evin prison, despite earlier reports about his release.

Mohabat News – On October 19, 2016, a report came out of Iran that three of the five Christians arrested earlier in Firouz-kouh county, had been released. However, follow-up efforts have revealed that one of the three Christians previously thought to have been released, Amin Afshar Naderi, is still being held in prison.

Knowledgeable sources told Mohabat News that the other two Christians, Mohammad Dehnavi and Ramil Bet-Tamraz, son of Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz were in fact released on bail, while their fellow believer, Amin Afshar Naderi still remains in prison.

As previously reported, the two Christians who were in fact released, had to post very heavy bails. They will be released until the day of their trial. As of now, three of the five believers still in prison are Amin Afshar Naderi, Amir Saman Dashti and Hadi Asgari, none of whom are officially charged yet. There are no further updates on their case and how long they will be held in prison in uncertainty.

Keeping political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in prison without any official charge is a known tactic of the Iranian government in order to pressure such prisoners.

These five Christian prisoners had been arrested on August 26, 2016 in a raid on a family gathering in Firouz-kouh county.

Reports from that incident state the plain-clothed security authorities beat a number of those attending the family gathering and after arresting five of them, they left their families with no news on the whereabouts of their loved ones. Their families said they checked with many prisons across the country but they were told such names are not registered as official prisoners in their system.

As many Iranians have shown incredible interest in Christianity in recent years, the Iranian Islamic regime has ramped up its campaign to crack down on Iranian Christian converts and prevent the spread of house church gatherings. Iran falsely sees its citizens’ conversion to Christianity as a threat to its existence and national security.


More Chinese government repression

200 Chinese Christians arrested in ‘cult’ crackdown

A crackdown on ‘cults’ in Yunnan province has led to mass arrests of Christians – with many now facing long jail sentences.

Six members of a church in the Lincang area have just been handed sentences of up to 13 years – after a court convicted them of being part of a ‘dangerous sect’.

Please pray for our family in Yunnan, under pressure from officials who accuse them of cult activity.

The sentencing of Lincang Christians last week is the latest fallout of a co-ordinated campaign against the so-called Three Grades of Servants organisation which began in 2016. Officials used the campaign as a pretext to round up about 200 Christians across Yunnan: some Christians have already been convicted, while others are awaiting trial.

The authorities have recently told some of the lawyers defending church members that they are suspected of defending their clients ‘illegally’ and that their qualifications will be ‘reviewed’.

Meanwhile, the Chinese judiciary in neighbouring Guizhou province is putting severe pressure on house church Christians. A court has just upheld a decision to fine Pastor Yang Hua and Pastor Su Tianfu of Huoshi Church almost £800,000 after decreeing that church offerings were ‘illegal income’.

  • Please pray for justice for the six Christians from Yunnan who have just been given hefty sentences: Ju Dianhong (13 years), Liang Qin (ten years) and Zhang Hongyan, Zi Huimei, Yang Shunxiang and Zhang Shaocai, whose sentences range from four to eight years.
  • Please pray that Yunnan officials will realise the fundamental importance of religious freedom and see that Christians pose no danger to the state.
  • Ask God to flood Pastor Yang Hua’s prison cell and Su Tianfu’s home with His presence and peace. Pray that the church offerings will not have to be paid to the state.

(Source: China Aid)

Jailed US pastor still refused ‘due process’ in Turkey

Turkey and their president are exposed as intransigent liars thwarting due process and justice!


A photo of the Rev. Andrew Brunson during his time in prison. Photo courtesy of World Witness

(World Watch Monitor) As a high-level US delegation arrived in the Turkish capital [on 23 January], in an effort to resolve high-level tensions between the two NATO allies, discussions were slated to include what officials in Washington have termed the “wrongful detention” of US pastor Andrew Brunson for the past 15 months.

Led by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Asian Affairs Jonathan Cohen, the bilateral meetings in Ankara are the first sessions of a Joint Coordination Committee recently established between Turkish and US diplomatic and justice officials.

With the visit coming right on the heels of the Turkish military’s “Operation Olive Branch”, launched over the past weekend in Syria’s Afrin province, the Turkish media stressed that the delegation included officials from the US Defense Ministry.

But according to a report in Hurriyet…

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Pastor Found Dead in Tamil Nadu, India

Another apparent bold martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ. May his death prove fruitful and bring life to others and may the killers be convicted.


The body of Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in Tamil Nadu, India. (Morning Star News)

India (Morning Star News) – The body of a pastor in southern India was found hung from the thatched roof of his house early Saturday morning (Jan. 20), a week after he complained to police about opposition from Hindu extremists, sources said.

Congregation members said they found the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church hanging from a rope in his one-room house beside the church building in Adayachery village, Kanchipuram District, but that his knees were bent stiff, as if others had placed him in the noose after his death. He was 43.

A convert from Hinduism 25 years ago, Pastor Periyaswamy was single and served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, his close friend, pastor Azariah Reuben, told Morning Star News.

“The local Hindus were not…

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Pray for a Christian Boy Being Persecuted at School

Jan. 19, 2018 | Tanzania

Christian Concern (latest)

Prayers for the U.K.

 Full article
Please join us in praying:

  • For the freedom to continue protesting against abortion.
  • For freedom to hold Christian beliefs in public life.
  • For our country’s broadcasters to acknowledge the importance of Christianity.
  • For freedom to preach Christian beliefs in the street.
  • For the NHS to place the needs of patients above transgender activism.
  • That the law courts will continue to reject assisted suicide.
  • That the government will protect Christian education.

Thank you for praying. For more information about the issues above, please
visit our website or contact us.

IRAN-Pastor’s wife gets five-year jail sentence

Pray also for a successful appeal against a five-year jail term for our Iranian sisterShamiram Isavi Khabizeh who has just been sentenced for acting against ‘national security’. Shamiram’s conviction followed that of her husband, Pastor Victor Tamraz, on the same charge in July. (Source: Middle East Concern)

The wife of an Iranian pastor sentenced to ten years in jail has been given a five-year prison term of her own. Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh, the wife of Victor Bet-Tamraz, was convicted of ‘acting against national security and against the regime by organising small groups, attending a seminary abroad and training church leaders and pastors to act as spies’, according to our partner, Middle East Concern.


Please remember this couple in your prayers and also all our imprisoned Iranian brothers and sisters in Christ.

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Two Christians in Iran given eight-year prison sentences

Two Christians in Iran
given eight-year prison sentences

Iranian Christians Eskandar Rezaei and Soroush Saraei (pictured, Eskandar on left) have each been sentenced to eight years in prison. Arrested in July 2017, they were both charged with “acting against national security”, while Soroush was also charged with “forgery” for issuing letters as pastor of the Church of Shiraz for students seeking exemption from Islamic studies classes.

On 28 December 2017, they were each sentenced to seven years in prison for “acting against national security” plus one year for proselytising and forming house meetings. They are appealing the sentences.

Andrew Brunson-Turkey.

Andrew Brunson (World Watch Monitor)

Latest update

Apparently Andrew is confined to his cell 24 hours a day-this is inhumane!
In the midst of persecution and intense stress, Andrew has been inspired to write a worship song. During a visit last week by a delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Andrew expressed his thanks to those praying and lobbying for his release. ‘Knowing that I am not forgotten is important to me,’ he said.

  • Please use the words of Andrew’s song to inspire your prayers for Andrew and his wife, Norine: pray that God will fill them both with His peace and joy. Stress has caused Andrew to lose three-and-a-half stone in weight.
  • Pray that Andrew’s legal team will have wisdom and courage in negotiating his release.
  • Thank God that the Turkish Government is coming under increasing scrutiny over Pastor Andrew’s case, due to international prayer and advocacy. Pray they will release him soon.

(Sources: Middle East Concern, USCIRF)


Please continue to pray for the release of our American brother Andrew Brunson who’s imprisoned in Turkey. President Erdogan has raised the possibility of an exchange, releasing Pastor Andrew in return for the extradition from the US of Islamic cleric Fetullah Gulen. Andrew is accused of links with the Fetullah Gulen organisation which Turkey blames for last year’s failed coup. The state prosecutor has asked for four life sentences, one of which relates to ‘spying’. (Source: Middle East Concern)

Pray for our American brother, Pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces new, more serious charges which carry a potential life sentence. A judge accused Andrew of crimes including spying and plotting to overthrow the Turkish Government, via a video link between court and the maximum-security jail in Izmir where he’s being held. Pray that Andrew will be considered for a possible prisoner exchange between the US and Turkish governments and will be released soon. (Source: Middle East Concern)


Sep. 07, 2017 | Turkey
Pray for Pastor Andrew Brunson, Charged with Spying

TURKEY: Pray for end to pastor’s prison ordeal
Pastor Andrew Brunson (left) has been behind bars in western Turkey since October – because officials suspect he’s a ‘terrorist’. In fact, he and his wife, Norine, love Turkey and have served its people for the past 23 years.
Pray that Andrew will be released immediately so that he and Norine can continue their ministry at Izmir Resurrection Church.
Their nightmare began on October 7 when they were summoned to Turkey’s Interior Ministry. They thought they were being called to a meeting to discuss their application for permanent residency. Instead, they were arrested and detained.
Norine was released after two weeks but Andrew was charged with having links to the Gulen movement which the Government blames for last year’s attempted coup. More than 40,000 people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the failed plot.                            In the past four years, at least 100 pastors serving in Turkey have reportedly been denied visas or permits, and forced to leave. Several pastors have been accused of being ‘a threat to national security’. Many fear the Turkish authorities are taking advantage of current insecurity to clamp down on Christianity.

  • Ask God to protect, encourage and strengthen Andrew. As a foreigner, the American pastor has to apply to the Ministry of Justice for each family visit, while Turkish prisoners are allowed such visits once a week. Pray that Andrew will be freed soon.
  • Pray that Andrew’s fellow inmates will be touched by his witness.
  • Pray that Christians in Turkey will stand firm in their faith and not be discouraged by the recent crackdown.

Please write to Turkey’s Minister of Interior, H E Süleyman Soylu, asking for Andrew’s release, using the sample letter and contact address given on this webpage. Find out more about our ministry to Prisoners of faith here.   (Sources: The Association of Protestant Churches in Turkey, Middle East Concern)

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Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Launch More Large-Scale Attacks in Benue State, Nigeria

More mass murder with seeming impunity in Central Nigeria.


Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A mass burial on Sunday (Jan. 7) was announced for 49 of at least 65 Christians killed in Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacks in Benue state, Nigeria that began on New Year’s Day, sources said.

Benue Gov. Samuel Ortom announced on Saturday (Jan. 6) that coffins would be provided for the state-sponsored funeral as he visited Benue State University Teaching Hospital-Makurdi’s hospital morgue. Brandishing heavy weaponry as well as cutlasses, Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked several predominantly Christian villages in the Guma and Logo Local Government Areas (LGAs) on Jan. 1-2 and on Friday and Saturday (Jan. 5-6).

The governor of the Middle Belt, majority-Christian state told journalists that 49 corpses recovered from the Christian communities in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas had been kept in morgues across the state. He said a mass burial was necessary because the bodies were decomposing. The governor…

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