China-U.S. Pastor Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Missionary Work

May. 18, 2018 | China
U.S. Pastor Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Missionary Work

15/8/2018 Pastor faces 6 more years in China prison

Chinese-American Pastor John Cao has already spent more than a year behind bars – and has six more to go. He was arrested in China for ‘illegal border crossings’ in March 2017 – even though he’d had official approval of his regular charity missions into Myanmar for years.
Please pray for justice and John’s release. Pray too that his family, based in the US, will be allowed to see him.

Click the image to download the Prisoner Profile for John.

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UKRAINE: Faith groups face armed raids, worship bans and fines

A litany of persecution unleashed in Russian controlled east Ukraine. Pray for the saints.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine – vector map

(Forum 18) Armed men – often from the State Security Ministry or police of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic – often raid religious communities, halt worship meetings and seize religious literature. Courts hand down fines of several weeks’ average wages to punish “illegal” worship meetings. A further ban on unapproved worship is imminent.

Authorities of the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic, an unrecognised entity in eastern Ukraine, have regularly halted worship meetings by a range of religious communities, seized religious literature and fined religious leaders.

The most recent raid came on a Pentecostal Church in Alchevsk on 6 August, with two court cases due on 8 August. Earlier raids included those on Baptist and Jehovah’s Witness communities in Krasnodon, Gorodyshche, Molodogvardeisk, Stakhanov, Nagolno-Tarasovka, Chervonopartizansk, Alchevsk and Luhansk. Many individuals were fined several weeks’ average wages for holding “illegal” worship meetings…

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More from Sudan

  1. Pray for 8 Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) leaders west of Omdurman arrested after refusing to stop worship and hand over control of a church so were charged with a public order offence.

15/8/2018 THIS CASE WAS THROWN OUT-PTL!

  1. 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!

Iranian Christians’ appeal

Several Christians in Iran are appealing sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years. They include: Hadi Asgari, Amin Afshari, Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and his wife Shamiram Khabizeh, Eskander Rezaei,  Suroush Saraei, Mohammad-Reza and Yasser Saheb (latter two sentenced to lashes for consuming communion wine).

Ramil Bet Tamraz
Ramil has been given a four-month jail sentence for ‘acting against national security’ because of his involvement in house churches in Iran. His parents, Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz and Shamiram Isavi, are serving suspended sentences for their own church activities. Ramil was held for two months after his arrest in 2016. Pray that his appeal succeeds so he will not have to serve the rest of his sentence.

Nigerian genocide

 

Notes from a recent article in the English Churchman by Rev. Soja Bewararang of Christian Association in Nigeria: facts and a call to action-please pray.

  1. Over 6,000 people mainly women, children and the aged have been maimed or killed so far this year by Fulani herdsmen.
  2. The perpetrators are never arrested and go free.
  3. The perpetrators aim at ethnic cleansing, land grabbing and forceful ejection of Christian natives.
  4. Heads of security and the president himself (see pic of Buhari) appear complicit in all this because of their ethnicity and religion.
  5. Villages must be rebuilt and people protected.
  6. The leaders of the cattle herders ought to be arrested and tried.
  7. The abduction of under age Christian girls and their rape and forced marriages must be investigated, stopped and perpetrators arrested.
  8. More must be done to free the Chibok girls and Leah Sharibu.

Uttar Pradesh violence against Christians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Five Incidents of Anti-Christian Violence Hit Uttar Pradesh

Harassment and Physical Assaults Becoming the New Normal for India’s Christians

08/06/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented at least five anti-Christian incidents in India’s Uttar Pradesh state over the final weeks of July and early days of August. These incidents included the disruption of church services, a physical assault, a false criminal complaint, and the institution of a social boycott against 12 Christian families.

On July 20, a mob of Hindu radicals brutally beat Pastor Surem Samuel and his family. As a result, Pastor Samuel’s 23-year-old son, Abhinav Samuel, was hospitalized for several days.

According to Pastor Samuel, head of the Methodist Church of Bijauli village in the Meerut District of Uttar Pradesh, a mob of Hindu radicals broke into the church at 10:30 a.m. on July 20. “Without a word, they started to beat us with bricks,” Pastor Samuel said. “My wife, my younger son, and myself have sustained injuries, but my older son, Abhinav, collapsed on the ground after hard hits by bricks. Later, he was rushed to the hospital and was treated for three days in an intensive care unit.”  

“This is not the first attack in my 10 years of ministry in this place,” Pastor Samuel explained to ICC. “But, this time is the worst. The congregation of my church is worried as church meetings are now conducted with the police guarding us.”

On July 22, Hindu radicals disrupted worship services in two churches in Meerut. Pastor Narendra Jacob, head of Eternal Hope Church, reported, “The worship was disrupted in two separate incidents in Meerut. Worship at Beersheba Church of God and Eternal Hope Church, both in the city of Meerut, were disrupted by a group of Hindu radicals accompanied by police. The Christians attending the churches and the pastors were threatened by the angry mob.” 

On August 2, the Saini, a caste group within Hinduism, instituted a social boycott against 12 Christian families in Nagphani village, located in the Moradabad District of Uttar Pradesh. A local Hindu newspaper, Jagaran, featured the story of the Christians being socially ostracized after refusing to recant their Christian faith.

Also on August 2, a false criminal complaint was filed against a Christian in Bulandi village in the Jounpur District of Uttar Pradesh. The complaint was filed against Durga Prasad Yadav, a Christian who leads worship in Bulandi and is constantly harassed.

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are extremely concerned by the continued surge of attacks on Christians in India. Every day, new reports of persecution are documented. Many Christians fear that this may be the new normal for their community as Hindu radicals have been allowed to attack Christians and other minority communities with impunity. India must take steps to counter the growing wave of intolerance and violence. Until then, the attacks will likely continue to increase in both number and severity.”

For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org
About ICC
International Christian Concern is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on human rights, religious freedom and assisting the persecuted Christian Church around the world.

Media Contact
Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator
E-mail: press@persecution.org
Phone: (301)-859-3842

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941, Washington, D.C. 20006
http://www.persecution.org | E-mail: icc@persecution.org

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