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News & analysis

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

Inauguration of Joko Widodo as Indonesia’s president welcomed by Christians 

Country/Region: Indonesia, South and East Asia  
Incoming Indonesian president Joko Widodo could bring positive change for Christians

Indonesia’s new leader, political outsider Joko Widodo, was sworn in as president on 20 October in a development that has inspired hope for the future of the country’s Christian minority.

The election of Mr Widodo, who has shown a tolerant attitude to religious minorities, will be welcome news for many Christians following the failure of...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Egypt  
The interior of a church building in Egypt

Proposed law to remove restrictions on church buildings to be presented in Egypt

A proposed law that could remove crippling restrictions on the building of churches in Egypt will be presented to the country’s parliament early next year, according to a government minister.

 
Country/Region: India, South and East Asia  
Christian Dalits endure discrimination in education and employment

Indian government will continue to deny rights to Dalit Christians

In a blow to Dalit Christians in India, the country’s minister for social justice has said that the new government will not grant to them or to Dalit Muslims the rights afforded to their Hindu...

 
Country/Region: India, South and East Asia  
Indian Christians praying

Hindu extremists attack Christians gathered for “mediation meeting” in India

Twelve Christians were injured in an assault by a group of Hindu extremists in the Bastar district of India’s Chhattisgarh state on 25 October.

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Africa, Central Asia, South and East Asia, South America, North America, Europe  
Thousands of Nigerian Christians have been killed by Boko Haram

Editorial: Pray for Christians who are “living in Babylon” this Saturday on the Barnabas Day of Prayer

The fires of anti-Christian persecution rage on around the world. Through most of the Middle East, and in large parts of Africa and Asia, our brothers and sisters continue to suffer...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iran  
A mosque in Esfahan city

Three Christian converts arrested in Iran

On 27 September, three Iranian Christian converts were arrested by intelligence officers in Foolad-Shahr, Esfahan province.

 
Country/Region: Kazakhstan, Central Asia  
A map showing the location of Kazakhstan

Two believers sent to prison for distributing Christian books in Kazakhstan

Two Christian men in Kazakhstan have been given ten-day prison terms for distributing Christian literature after the authorities claimed the contents of one of the books incite religious hatred.

 
Country/Region: Cuba  
The interior of a church in Cuba

Cuban pastor and wife harassed by authorities

The wife of a Cuban pastor and religious freedom activist was arrested on 16 October and told to stop having contact with “counter-revolutionary elements”...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria  
Christians in the town of Saddad were also attacked by members of the al-Nusra Front

Five kidnapped Syrian Christians released by Islamists, others still held

A church leader and four Christian women who were among around 21 believers kidnapped in north-west Syria earlier this month have been released by Islamist militants.

 
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Lao, People's Democratic Republic  
Christians in rural villages in Laos may face harassment from local authorities

Christians detained after worship meeting released in Laos

Six Christians who were arrested after meeting for worship in Laos were released on 3 October, while a church leader detained with them remained in custody weeks later.

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

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    Daily prayer

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    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 3 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

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