On February 16 the election will be held in Nigeria and current president Buhari hope to be re-elected. He has made promises to free Leah Sharibu and to stop the Fulani Militia, but nothing has happened. The last news came in October. There is no updated status report on Leah and on February 19 she will have been captured for a year. People have planned solidarity actions:

We call on all those who value freedom of religion or belief to join us on Tuesday, February 19, to send a message to the incoming Nigerian government that Leah’s courage has not been forgotten, and that we continue to stand with Leah, her family and all the other women and girls held by Boko Haram and call for every effort to be made to secure their freedom and reunification with their families.

On February 2 a Pentecostal Church in India’s Telangana state, was set on fire by unknown assailants. The doors were open and much of the inside of the church were burned to ashes. Members had been threatened before the fire by radicals. The police tried to find a natural explanation to the fire as they were reluctant to investigate the religious angle.

The Legislative Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, India, have passed a resolution that allow low caste Christians to benefit from the country’s Scheduled Caste Reservation. It’s there to help people from low caste communities by promoting development and giving them access to higher education, government jobs and food subsidies.

Pastor Dharmendra Singh from Nepal was arrested on January 28 in Rupaidiha, India, on charges of forced conversion, outraging religious feelings and promoting enmity. The man who accused him has testified in court that he lied because Hindu extremists pressured him to reporting the false accusation. Pastor Sindh was released in bail on January 31.

A statue of Virgin Mary was vandalized by unknown individuals on February 3 in the village Ishgar, India. They put it on fire inside the grotto where it was placed. This have made the Christians very worried.

The policeman Rabie Mustafa Khalifa who in December approached two Coptic Christians, father and son, and shot them at close range have been given the death sentence. Khalifa was a guard at the church and there had been a disagreement between them some days earlier. In Egypt the death sentence must be confirmed by the Grand Mufti of al-Azhar.

Pastor Tun Nu, was kidnapped by a rebel army in Myanmar’s Rakhine state which is an area affected by the Rohingya conflict on January 19, has died.

Underground bishop Cui Tai, Father Su Guipeng and Father Zhao He from Hebei province, China, were detained in April 2018 to “learn the government’s new religious policy”. They were allowed to go home for the Lunar New Year. They were banned from taking part in religious activities and it’s likely that they will be placed under house arrest.

The China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) has issued new regulations that all programs that are to be posted online must be reviewed and get authorization. This is a part of the Chinese Communist Partys (CPC) censorship of religious content. Videos are banned from depicting any activities labeled as religious extremism, showing the “cults” primary members, “doctrines” and ideology. Content that compare religious beliefs or make fun of them will be banned as they can cause conflict.

An Ethiopian police officer, born Muslim in a Somali tribe, became Christian two years ago. But some of his colleagues in the Liyou police force, which is a local paramilitary group, filed a complaint against him with the Somali State Human Rights Office. The police was adviced by the Human Rights deputy to return to Islam and when he refused he got arrested. He lost his job and because people knew about his conversion he had to move to another part of the country.

As Iran is celebrating the countrys 40th anniversary they have announced that 50 000 prisoners will be granted an “Islamic clemency”, but it’s unclear if they will be freed or get their sentences reduced. When questions were asked if this include political prisoners the aswer was that Iran doesn’t have such prisoners. It’s not likely that Christians will be released as they are labeled as a threat to national security. An interesting observation when it comes to the Islamic revolution is that the Left made it possible by siding with the Muslims.

Pastor Ramin Parsa, an ex-Muslim from Iran, were sharing his testimony with asome Somali-Muslim Woman in Mall of America in August 2018. They approached him, interested in his story, but another woman complained to mall security. The mall removed him saying he was trespassing, but the guards said that he “couldn’t talk religion there”. The State of Minnesota, USA, are prosecuting him and it’s likely there will be a trial in April. Parsa says:

When I became a Christian, I was stabbed, I ran away from Iran. I went to Turkey for two years as a refugee. We had a church and we were passing out bibles. I was arrested. (…)

I’ve gone through this before — in Muslim countries I was arrested for passing out bibles. I didn’t expect that would happen in America. As a citizen in America, I have rights. They denied my basic rights.

Further reading:

Dear Lord, help me

– every single morning –

to find faith in the midst of the chaos.

Give me the desire and ability to see You,

hear You, talk to You,

and give thanks to You.

And as I do, I pray that

I will draw nearer and nearer to You,

and that my faith will multiply exponentially

as I understand in new, deeper ways

that You are everything

I ever hoped You would be.

And so much more.

Amen

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