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News & analysis

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

Editorial: The War of the Cross 

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria  
ISIS militants

When ISIS changed its name in June from “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL, or the Arabic acronym ISIS) to simply “the Islamic State” this was a shift of enormous theological and eschatological significance.

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

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

Boko Haram has seized a predominantly Christian town in Adamawa state in an attempt to expand the territory it holds in Northern Nigeria.

 
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 women who are being held captive in Mosul’s Badush prison by ISIS (the Sunni militant group that now wishes to be known as the Islamic State) have been given the option either to convert to the group's 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.

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

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    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Pray for a Christian family in Kandhamal in Orissa state, India, who have been left devastated after their home was destroyed for the third time by Hindu extremists. The Digals of Budruka village were among hundreds of Christian families to lose their home in the horrendous anti-Christian violence of December 2007. They returned two months later and rebuilt their house, but in August 2008 the attacks resumed, and their second home was also destroyed. After receiving financial aid from the government they were able to rebuild it again this year, but in April it was wrecked once more, shattering their hopes of returning to their village to cultivate their land. Pray that the Lord will comfort them in their distress and provide them with a peaceful dwelling-place and secure home (Isaiah 32:18). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • The landslide victory of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India’s general election in May sparked alarm for Christians and other minorities in the country. The BJP is the political wing of a Hindu nationalist movement, Hindutva, which is striving to make India a religiously pure nation. It has given support to Hindu extremist groups that attack Christians, and states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. The BJP has introduced “anti-conversion” laws in a number of states, which are used to prevent legitimate Christian evangelism. Prior to the general election, the BJP pledged to introduce national legislation to curb “missionary” activity and end proselytising if elected. Pray that the BJP will rule justly and that the rights and freedoms of all Indian citizens will be upheld. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

    • 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 Fri, Sep 2014 00:00

    • 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

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