Persecution of Christians – week 3

The World Watch List 2019 were released this week. It shows that 245 million Christians are persecuted in the world, which makes them the biggest group that are victims of persecution. Asia is the worst place to be Christian and one in three live under high persecution. You find links to articles that break down the statistics and summaries the report below.

Asia Bibi is still living in hiding and her situation is like a prison. She isn’t even allowed to open the window. At the same time the Supreme Court of Pakistan have ordered the federal and provincial governments to pay compensation to individuals damaged by the protests after the acquittal of Asia. That didn’t take long compared with the years Asia waited to get to the Supreme Court.

The Swabi district council in Pakistan wants the sweepers hired in the district’s hospitals to be Christian. It’s common to give the most unclean jobs to Christians, like sweeping the floor or streets, as they are regarded to be impure. The Muslim sweepers will get raised to a higher post.

The Bishop of Ahoada, Clement Ekpeye, in Nigeria have been released after spending five days in captivity after being kidnapped.

A house church in Sichuan, China, was raided on January 10 as it’s members had Bible study. They took some literature and the leader of the study group will be called for interrogation by the police. The church wasn’t disbanded, but it’s highly likely to happen in the near future.

Christians in China who are in need of the government’s welfare benefits have had to choose between their faith or the help. Several elders have been told to remove all religious objects in their homes and put up pictures of President Xi Jinping or Chairman Mao Zedong. If they didn’t they would loose their benefits.


When to resist, when to submit

Six Christians in India’s Tamil Nadu  were attacked by three persons who accused them of forced conversion. They applied the Pattai, a Hindu religious symbol, to the Christians foreheads  with force. If they would remove the symbol the Hindus would hurt them. The attackers filmed what they did and the video have been viewed by many online, but no arrests have been made.

After two attacks, in October and December, Christians in Eastern Uganda are afraid. Many Muslims have converted in the area and the church that they built was torn down by a group led by the local imam. In the other incident a woman was attacked in her home because she was praying. She was beaten so badly that she had to go to the hospital.

Turkey has violated the right of freedom of association by refusing to recognize a Christian group, according to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. The case have been going on since 2004 (!), but now Christians should be allowed to freely associate. But I highly doubt that Erdogan will care.

A furious mob have managed to get four churches closed down in Egypt by Muslims. The churches were all in the process of trying to get official recognition from the state. At one church around 1 000 protestors on January 7, which is the Ortodox christmas. The police told the protestors that they would do anything if they just calmed down. So they closed down the church and arrested the priests.

Christian teachers flee from the Somali border in Kenya in fear of being attacked by Al-Shabaab. Since 2017 more than 1 100 teachers have requested to be moved from the area to another school.

Further reading:

Lord Christ,

you came into the world as one of us,

and suffered as we do.

As I go through the trials of life,

help me to realize that you

are with me at all times and in all things;

that I have no secrets from you;

and that your loving grace

enfolds me for eternity.

In the security of your embrace I pray.

Amen

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