Newsdesk - 20 Apr 2017

India, United States, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka


PAKISTAN -  Security forces stop Easter service suicide bombing

Security services foiled a planned attack in Lahore last week, arresting a woman who later admitted she was intending to blow herself up at a church during Easter. A second would-be attacker was killed in the same raid by security forces on 14 April, during which two suicide vests and several hand grenades were recovered.

On Easter day 2016, 74 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted Christians celebrating in a park. Many children, including the two Christian girls whose funeral is pictured, were murdered.
On Easter day 2016, 74 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted Christians celebrating in a park. Many children, including the two Christian girls whose funeral is pictured, were murdered

Last year, 74 people were slaughtered in a suicide attack on Easter day 2016, when a bomber targeted Christians celebrating in Gulshan Iqbal Park, Lahore. The latest attempted attack was to have taken place a week after at least 46 people were killed in suicide bombings at churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday.

From Gulf Times here



SRI LANKA – Pastor and wife forced from their home by Buddhist mob; police threaten to charge pastor with breaching the peace

A pastor and his wife in Ingiriya, south-west Sri Lanka, have been forced to leave their home after being targeted by a Buddhist mob. Police are supporting Buddhist extremists’ false claims that the church the pastor leads must be registered to meet and have threatened to charge him with breaching the peace. A 50-strong mob led by Buddhist monks disrupted a church meeting in March, demanding that all worship activities be discontinued. Police later supported the mob and ordered the pastor to suspend services, or be charged with breaching the peace. When he refused, the pastor’s vehicle was vandalised by Buddhists who then surrounded his house and threatened to attack him. At the request of police, the pastor and his wife have left their home for their own safety. The pastor has ministered in the area for the past 17 years, during which time one church building has been completely destroyed by a Buddhist mob.

From National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka, March - April 2017 report



UNITED STATES – Islamic State’s “war against Christians” not getting attention in Western media

Islamic State’s (IS) war against Christians is not getting the attention it deserves in Western media, according to journalist Piers Morgan. In an interview with US television following the Palm Sunday suicide attacks on churches in Egypt, Morgan stated: “what happened in Egypt was unbelievably significant … what ISIS really stands for, what they are carrying out in the Middle East, and in Egypt in particular, is a kind of genocidal attack on Christians and Christianity. They want Christianity eradicated, and they want to convert all Muslims to their crusade, they want it to be a Holy War, and they want Christians gone. And I don’t think that narrative is getting the attention it should get in the American media, and that’s the same in other media around the world.”

Islamic State has vowed to “break the cross” and destroy Christianity
Islamic State has vowed to “break the cross” and destroy Christianity

Following the murders of at least six believers in less than four weeks in the Sinai town of Al-Arish earlier this year, IS released a propaganda video stating that they would eliminate Egypt’s “apostate” Christians. “Their [Islamic State’s] real war is now against Christians and the cross,” added Morgan, although IS has in fact always openly acknowledged that its goal is to destroy Christianity.

From Fox News here



IRAN – Christian converts finally face trial after being incarcerated for seven months without charge

Two Christian converts have finally been charged by the authorities, seven months after being abducted by armed men as they picnicked with their families. Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Askari, both converts from Islam, have been incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison since September. Both men are now to be tried for organising house churches, although the prosecution’s case against them has not been presented to their lawyers. 

The Iranian government brutally represses Farsi-speaking (i.e. Muslim background) churches, often called house churches. The persecution of Iranian Christians worsened in 2016.

From Mohabat news here



INDIA – Church pastor hospitalised after Hindu gang sword attack

A 40-year-old church pastor in the north-eastern state of Bihar was hospitalised in a “critical condition”, after he was attacked by a gang of 15 Hindus armed with weapons, including a sword. Sikandar Kumar, a father of three, was attacked on 5 April near his home and “sustained two deep cuts by the sword on his head and one on his shoulder besides several internal and external injuries”.

Pastor Sikandar Kumar after the attack
Pastor Sikandar Kumar after the attack

The sword, and other supposedly ceremonial weapons, were being carried in a procession for a Hindu festival. Local police have assured the Christian community that there will be an investigation into the attack, although at the time of writing no arrests have been made.

From Global Christian News here