Africa was the deadliest continent for Catholic clergy in 2018. 40 were killed worldwide and 21 of them died in Africa (19 priests, one seminarian and one lay worker). In 2017 there were 23 Deaths so the number has risen. South Africa have been the deadlies for seven years in a row. Three of the World Watch List’s top ten countries of persecution is Somalia (3 from the clergy), Sudan (4) and Eritrea (6).

A policeman, Mustafa Abid, was killed and three others were wounded as they were defusing a bomb outside a Coptic Church in Kairo, Egypt. An imam in a mosque across the street saw the terrorists placing three bombs at the church and called the police. The Orthodox Christians celebrate christmas on January 7 so the bomb was prepared for when the church was filled during mass. It’s a real tragedy that the brave man lost his life!

Two sisters in Iran, who were arrested in early December and assaulted during interrogation, have been released on bail of $44 000 each.

Authorities in Henan Province’s Luoning county in China have ordered a church, which got it’s cross removed last August and is approved by the government, to remove one commandment from the Ten Commandments. At an inspection an official ordered that “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”, which appeared on a mural, should be erased. The official said:

Xi Jinping opposes this statement. Who dares not to cooperate? If anyone doesn’t agree, they are fighting against the country. This is a national policy. You should have a clear understanding of the situation. Don’t go against the government.

Graves in Indonesia have been desecrated again. 11 Christian tombs in a public cemetery in Giriloyo had their crosses, both made of wood and stone, destroyed with a hammer. At two other public cemetaries in South Magelang sub-district Christian graves were also desecrated.

The Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah in Ghana is a prophet and among several predictions he has done recently was that the National Chief Imam will pass away this year. He also did the mistake of saying so publicly which made some Muslims vandalize his Church. And if he doesn’t apologize they have threathened to “drink his blood”.

At least 18 incidents of persecutions against Christians took place in India by radical Hindus during Christmas. Ten were reported from Uttar Pradesh state, three from Uttarakhand state, three from Tamil Nadu state and two from Maharashtra state. On December 25 Hindu radicals attacked four buses with 200 Hindu children in them. They were from the slums and on their way to a Christmas market, a yearly treat for them. But the radicals claimed they would be forced to convert. The pastors were abused and a teacher accompaning the children was arrested. The police soon realized that the accusations were false.

Seven Christians in Laos were arrested on December 29 for conducting an “illegal” church service at christmas. They have later been released.

Two men from Syria parked their motorcycles illegally at the courtyard of the sanctuary of St. Nicholas in Patisia, Greece, and when a priest complained they beat him up. The police have arrested one of the men.

Pastor Rabah Messaoudi in Algeria recieved a note on December 30 that his church will be closed by the authorities. The reason is that in 2016 local officials decided to close the church saying that the building permit was intended only for residential and commercial activities. The pastor faught this in court and won, but the local authorities refuse to acknowledge that. But the church will appeal the closing.

In Bagdad, Iraq, Christians and Muslims joined together in protesting the demolition of Chaldean Catholic Church of Divine Wisdom as the church is seen as a symbol of interfaith relationships in the country. Another complain is that the demolition have commercial reasons.

Further reading:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,

Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To thee do we cry, Poor banished children of Eve;

To thee do we send up our sighs,

Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate,

Thine eyes of mercy toward us;

And after this our exile,

Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God,

who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit

didst prepare the body and soul

of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary

to become a dwelling-place meet for thy Son:

grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration;

so by her fervent intercession

we may be delivered from present evils

and from everlasting death.

Through the same Christ our Lord.

Amen

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