Dangerous time of year for believers in some countries.

Pakistani girl dancers at Seasonal service.

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Christian Mother, Pastor Face Death Threats in Uganda

Muslim intolerance and violence yet again-they are such losers!

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

“Please, we need prayer from God to give us direction on how to handle this delicate situation and the support for the young family of Kawanguzi, especially the young innocent children.”

Kenya (Morning Star News) – Shakira Wanyenze, a 31-year-old Muslim woman, had no idea that missing a ride back to her town in eastern Uganda from Kampala would change her life.

That day, June 17, Wanyenze decided to stay the night at the home of a relative in Kampala. She thought the relative, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons, was a Muslim. The relative told her she had put her trust in Christ for her salvation, and after a discussion that lasted late into the night, Wanyenze decided to do the same.

“After many hours of resisting the Christian faith, something convicted me that my life was heading for destruction, and therefore I need to put…

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Nigeria’s herder-farmer conflict escalates due to government inaction – Amnesty International

This what we have known all along.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(World Watch Monitor) Almost 4,000 people have been killed and thousands displaced in fighting between herders and farmers in Nigeria’s middle belt in the past three years, Amnesty International says in a new report.

Amnesty, who started documenting clashes in January 2016, said yesterday (17 December) violence was increasing with more than half (57%) of the 3,641 recorded deaths in the past three years occurring in 2018, and that the government’s failure to curb the violence and prosecute the perpetrators, was exacerbating the situation.

“The Nigerian government has displayed what can only be described as gross incompetence and has failed in its duty to protect the lives of its population and end the intensifying conflict between herders and farmers. The authorities’ lethargy has allowed impunity to flourish and the killings to spread to many parts of the country, inflicting greater suffering on communities who already live in constant…

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The Tide of Government Persecution in Iran.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Over 100 Iranian Christians Arrested by Intelligence Officials

Iranian Authorities Attempt to Intimidate Christians into Silence Ahead of Christmas Celebrations

They forget that Christ said he will build his church…
12/06/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that during the month of November, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry launched an arrest wave of Christians which cumulated on December 1, 2018. It is estimated that 114 Christians were arrested last week and approximately 28 others were arrested in the three preceding weeks.

The wave of arrests was announced on December 1 by Iranian Mehr News Agency, which operates as the semi-official mouthpiece of the government. It is common for the Iranian regime to increase the number of arrests ahead of Christmas. However, the latest wave is truly “staggering” according to Article 18“They had arrested so many of them and didn’t know what to do with them all.”

Early information indicates that because of a lack of space, most Christians spent only a few hours imprisoned and only the leaders were detained for a longer period of time. Sources, who remain anonymous for security reasons, say that several of those arrested were told that they would be charged with propaganda against the Islamic regime. These types of charges often fall under the purview of Iran’s Revolutionary Courts, which maintain close ties with Iran’s clergy and the Intelligence Ministry.

Dr. Mike Ansari from Heart4Iran, an Iranian Christian partnership platform, told ICC, “Most of the arrested individuals are coerced to divulge information about their house church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members… Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance.”

“As Christianity grows rapidly in Iran, the Islamic government and the clergy in power are alarmed. Their only strategy to slow down this growth is through a campaign of fear, violence, and intimidation… We expect the persecution in Iran will increase as the Islamic government feels threatened by the spread of Christianity among Muslims in Iran,” explained Dr. Hormoz Shariat, president and founder of Iran Alive Ministries.

During this past year, ICC has tracked a total of 248 ongoing cases where the Iranian authorities violated the religious freedom of Christians. These individuals face continued harassment, interrogation, detainment, imprisonment, or some other type of legal action intended to repress the Church.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Iranian authorities initiated this arrest wave to strike fear in the hearts of Christians just weeks ahead of Christmas celebrations. It is part of the regime’s strategy to further isolate the Church and keep it underground. The persecution that Iran’s Christians experience is incredibly intense, and historically it usually worsens ahead of Christmas. We must keep the Iranian Church in our prayers.”

Chinese religious oppression.

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Bibles and Furniture Confiscated from Chinese House Church

House Church in Jiangxi Province Raided by Local Authorities

12/06/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that local authorities raided a house church in Jiangxi province on December 2. The officials confiscated Bibles and stools from the house of Liao Hongcon, where the Sunday service was held.

According to a tweet by Father Francis Liu, officials forcibly removed the Bibles and stools from the house church in rural Pingxiang city during the service. The government has also targeted other house churches in the surrounding area in an effort to prevent them from congregating.

In a video shared by the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, Liao Hongcon, a People’s Liberation Army veteran who leads the church, held up multiple signs to show his silent accusation of the government, reading, “I am a Chinese old warrior,” and, “I served my homeland by dedicating my youth to it, yet I can’t even safeguard my own freedom of religion?” 

He also reveals his ID card and veteran ID in the video to prove his identity.

“There were only a little more than a dozen senior citizens gathering at my home. They came and confiscated our Bibles and took our stools. [But] what crime did we commit? We only sang hymns and read Bibles!” Liao called the police to report the incident immediately, yet the police refused to send anyone to investigate.

“We need religious freedom!” Liao calls out in addition to demanding that the government return the Bibles and stools. The video ended with a short clip documenting the authorities’ raid on the church.

A house church leader in Pingxiang city, Liu Zongjie, told Radio Free Asia in January that he foresaw that the increased religious regulations that came into force in February would lead to a greater crackdown on house churches. His prediction rang true.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The disturbance of church services has become more widespread across China. From Henan, Sichuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, to Jiangxi province, the repression of Christians, especially those who refuse to join state-sanctioned churches, has intensified. With Christmas coming, it is expected that more churches will be impacted by the ongoing crackdown. The international community must continue to raise concerns with China on its disregard for religious liberty and violations of human rights.”

Xi Jinping Authoritarian Chinese Leader for years to come (DV)

Christian Magistrate fights for his job back

Christian Concern

Historic case of ex-magistrate challenging top judges moves forward

Richard Page was removed as a magistrate for expressing the view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father

In a hearing last week, ex-magistrate Richard Page was granted permission to take his case against the most senior judges in England and Wales to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Richard, 72, was removed as a magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice in 2016 for expressing his view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father.

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting Mr Page, who was represented in court by the highly-experienced religious freedoms barrister, Paul Diamond. In court, he argued that the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice victimised him for his deeply-held Christian and philosophical view that children do best when raised by a mum and dad in a committed, stable relationship.

Exemplary record

Richard Page served as a magistrate for 20 years with an exemplary record until, in July 2014, he dissented in a judgment relating to an adoption by a same-sex couple. He expressed the view that it was in a child’s best interests to have both a mother and a father. He was subsequently reported for his actions, reprimanded, and forced to attend ‘re-education training’, which he duly did.

Then in March 2015, Mr Page spoke on a BBC television programme where he further explained his opinion, saying “My responsibility as a magistrate as I saw it was to do what I considered best for the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and a woman who were adoptive parents.”

This common-sense statement led to an investigation 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 for serious misconduct, saying that “any reasonable person” would “conclude that [Richard] would be biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters”. Richard was removed from the Magistracy on 29 February 2016 for bringing the judiciary into disrepute.

On the 16 February 2018, the Employment Tribunal upheld this decision.

Within the bounds of judicial functions

Representing Richard in court last week, barrister Paul Diamond argued that although judges are expected to show restraint while commenting in public, Richard’s remarks were well within the bounds of his judicial functions – and that he had therefore been victimised.

In legal argument before the judge, Mr Diamond compared Richard Page’s comments to those of Judge Pickles, who described the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, as a “dinosaur living in the wrong age” and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, as a “brooding Quixotic dictator” born with a golden spoon in his mouth and as “an arrogant, pompous, toffee-nosed Old Etonian”.

He also noted other members of the judiciary who publicly stated their political views, such as Lord Phillips who, in 2009, provoked concern when he voiced ‘sympathy’ for assisted suicide, shortly after having decided the Purdy v DPP case on the very same point.

Similarly, in a speech in May 2018, Lord Justice Munby, the President of the Family Division, said that he welcomed and applauded single parent, unmarried, three parent, and polygamous households; and the demise of the typical nuclear family was, by implication, not a matter of concern.

Judges are permitted to hold even ‘intolerant’ views

Her Honour Judge Katherine Tucker allowed Richard’s appeal to proceed, saying that judges have a fundamental role in democratic society. She said that judges are permitted to hold even ‘intolerant’ views that should be respected – but that there may be limits as to how they can be expressed so as not to impugn the impartiality of the courts.

Responding to the decision, Richard commented:

“I am amazed that it has taken so long to get this far. It is vital that we maintain the true independence and impartiality of the judiciary and that ordinary people like me are not excluded from it.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr Page, said:

“This is an important moment, shining a light on how justice is done in our country. Even the top judges in the land should not be beyond proper scrutiny and we are glad to see Richard’s claim go forward.

“It was always disproportionate to remove a kind-hearted and long-serving public servant like Richard from his position simply because of the way that he expressed his beliefs.

“At the Christian Legal Centre, we see many people removed from public life for expressing views. We will continue standing by Richard, and others like him, as long as it takes for the legal system, and society in general, to recognise the positive impact of Christians in our nation’s life.”

Please pray for Richard and his case

The next stage of Richard’s case should be heard in 2019.

The Christian Legal Centre is also helping him with a separate claim against an NHS trust that blocked his return as a non-executive director because of the same pro-family statements. This case is expected to be heard in January 2019.

Please pray: •That in both cases, the judge will give a fair hearing to Richard and his legal arguments
•That the judgments would protect the freedom of Christians to hold and express common-sense Christian views
•For Paul Diamond and the Christian Legal Centre as they support Richard’s cases.