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News & analysis


News & analysis


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News & analysis

This is a collection of recent articles and research written by the Barnabas team.

Boko Haram seizes Christian town, declares Islamic caliphate as anti-Christian attacks in Nigeria increase 

Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria  
Nigerian Christians in Northern and Middle Belt states suffer violent attacks by Islamists

Boko Haram has seized a predominantly Christian town in Adamawa state in an attempt to expand the territory it holds in Northern Nigeria. The Islamist group has declared a caliphate – a united Islamic state under one ruler or caliph – in areas it has taken, further threatening vulnerable Christians.

Project(s): 48-991     Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South Sudan  
It is expected that around 250,000 children in South Sudan will be severely undernourished by the end of this month

Four million people in Christian-majority South Sudan face extreme hunger – will you help?

Nearly four million people in Christian-majority South Sudan are facing “dangerous levels” of hunger as violence, crop failure and disease rack their nation.

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia  
A street scene in India, which has a large Hindu majority

Christian church in India converted to Hindu temple

A church in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was turned into a temple on 27 August after Hindu extremists converted members of the congregation to Hinduism.

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq  
Iraqi Christian women are at great risk from ISIS

Christian and other minority women raped in Iraq prison by ISIS militants

Reports have emerged that Christian woman who are being held captive in Mosul’s Badush prison by ISIS have been given the option either to convert to their brand of Islam or to suffer daily rape.

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria  
Displaced Iraqi Christians attending a worship service in northern Kurdistan

ISIS expands territory in the Middle East, aims to eliminate Christian presence

The Islamist militant group ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which now prefers to be known simply as the Islamic State) is widening its control of territory in the Middle East.

Country/Region: Sri Lanka, South and East Asia  
Pakistani believers at risk of anti-Christian violence may be forced to flee the country

Sri Lankan court reinstates deportation of persecuted Pakistanis

On Monday (1 September), a Sri Lankan court gave permission for the authorities to proceed with the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers, including Christians, from Sri Lanka.

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Africa, South America, Egypt, Sudan, Bolivia, India  
News in Brief

News in Brief: 21 August 2014

Egypt – Some damaged churches reopen;
Sudan – Church forcibly closed by authorities;
Bolivia – Christians campaign against restrictive law;
India – Hindu nationalist school textbooks criticised.

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Nepal  
Recent growth of Christianity in Nepal has created tension with other religious communities

Nepali pastor released after two years in prison

On 17 July, the Nepali authorities released a Christian pastor who had been incarcerated for almost two years after being arrested for eating beef.

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria  
Dr Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria

Editorial: The Two Faces of Islam

Last month I was in Damascus. I had the great privilege of meeting Dr Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria. He is a man of peace who pleads repeatedly for equal and harmonious relations between Muslims, Christians and followers of all religions as members of one human family.

Country/Region: Sri Lanka, South and East Asia  
Christians in Pakistan are vulnerable to violence and false accusations of blasphemy; some have fled to Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan court suspends deportation of persecuted Pakistanis

The Sri Lankan Court of Appeal has suspended the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers, who are mainly Christians and members of other persecuted religious minorities...

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka facing attacks from Buddhist extremists, who have forced the closure of numerous churches. In an apparently positive move, the government has created a Religious Disputes Unit to address conflicts between different groups and combat attempts to create religious discord. But many Christians and Muslims believe that Buddhist extremists are allowed to operate with impunity and that the new unit will not solve the problems faced by non-Buddhists. A cap on the building of places of worship has also been announced, and this seems to serve the Buddhist lobby, which is opposed to expanding Christian activity. Pray for protection for Christian congregations and that their ministry and mission will not be further impeded. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 5 hours ago

    • Cry out to the Lord for Alexis Prem Kumar, a 47-year-old Christian minister from India who was abducted in Afghanistan on 2 June. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but three Taliban militants have been arrested in connection with it. Alexis had worked for an NGO in Afghanistan since 2011, helping returning refugees. He was leaving a school near Herat for Afghan children who have recently returned from Iran or Pakistan when he was seized. Give thanks for Alexis’ willingness to serve the Lord in what remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and pray for his safe return. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Sep 2014 00:00

    • The case of an Egyptian Christian man arrested following complaints by Muslim neighbours that he had been using his home as a church without a permit highlights the need of the Christian community for more places of worship. The 55-year-old man from Minya in Upper Egypt, where Christians are particularly vulnerable to persecution, was arrested once before, in 2011, for the same offence. Every church building in Egypt requires a permit, but these are notoriously difficult to obtain. Pray that the authorities will show leniency to the Christian man and that a provision in the new constitution addressing the issue of church buildings will be enacted. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Kidnapping for ransom has been a persistent problem for the Christian community in Egypt amid the political upheaval and instability following the “Arab Spring” revolution of 2011. On 14 June, Wadie Ramses, a well-known surgeon, was seized in El-Arish. The assailants opened fire on his vehicle and took him away wounded. They later demanded a ransom of ten million Egyptian Pounds (£800,000; US$1.4 million) for his release. Two days later, Christian merchant Gemal Shenouda was captured near his home in the same city. It is thought that Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda, who have been behind escalating violence in the Sinai region, are responsible for the kidnappings. Pray for the safe return of our two Christian brothers and that they and their families will know the Lord’s peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • On 18 June, Bishoy Armia Boulous (31) was sentenced to five years in prison and given a fi ne of 500 Egyptian Pounds (US£70; £40) for “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information” in connection with reports he produced relating to anti-Christian violence in Minya for a Christian TV channel. His lawyer believes that Bishoy has been targeted because of his conversion from Islam. The Christian gained notoriety in Egypt in 2007 as the first person to try to change his religion on his ID card, a case that is still unresolved owing to the political tumult in the country over the last three years. Pray that the Lord will be Bishoy’s strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), and that he will soon be released. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

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