Persecution of Christians – week 8

A church from the 1100s in Falköping, Sweden, was scrawled on. It was swastikas, the cross of St. Peter and the words Die Jew and Hitler. If the culprits are Nazis: why not go down to the mosque then? Do they expect to insult Jews in a Church?

On February 11 a man by the name Anant Ram Gand, 40, was found beheaded in India’s Odisha state. The motive was his conversion to Christianity which had angered the Hindu fanatics of his village. They armed the Naxal, which is an Indian Maoist guerilla, to perform the murder. Three men abducted him from his home and later that day his body were found in the road.

On February 3 a Christian house church Karkeli, India, was attacked by a mob of Hindu radicals. They had been instigated by politicians into attacking the church. The Hindus had demanded that the Christians took part in the Hindu religious practices and when they refused they were cut off from the villages water, banned from work and prohibited to bury their dead. When that didn’t work the attack was planned. The Christians were beaten with sticks regardless of gender and age. Fifteen of them were hospitalized and one needed surgery.

A Christian man from Iraq was approached by two Muslim men on February 15 in Berlin, Germany, on account of a visible Christian tattoo. One of them held him while the other hit the Christian several times in his face. One of them pulled a knife, but then the man managed to get away and seek shelter in a shop. One of the attackers were arrested.

There have been at least ten cases of vandalism and desecration in Catholic churches across France in February. These actions have included the scattering of Eucharistic hosts, using feces to draw a crucifix on a wall, the smashing of statues, knocking down tabernacles, burnt altar cloths and torn down crosses.

A 72-year old Spanish missionary named Antonio Cesar Fernandez was killed by jihadists when they stopped the car he and two collegues were in in Burkina Faso.

On February 15 the wives of four Christians, who were incarcerated in the raid against the Autumn Rain Covenant Church which was raided on December 9 2018, were taken by the local police office for hours of interrogation. The reason was that the women had met with the diplomat at the German consulate in Sichuan, China, to ask for help. During the interrogation they were threatened with death. The women were released the next day.

The cross of Chengdong Christian Church, which is a state-sanctioned church in the Jiangsu province, China, was forcibly removed on February 19. This is a method used to intimidate Christians letting them know they are monitored and have no control.

The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China announced together on February 12 that personnel of all religions should apply for legal person status from April 1.

It contains 14 articles stating that mosques, churches and other religious sites should apply for registration of legal person status; their financial management should be in line with the state’s regulations on finance, assets and accounting; and they should fulfil the criteria of organized institutions with sound rules and regulations.

Before registration, the consent of a local recognized religious group should be obtained, with information and documents reviewed by the county religious affairs department. Applicants also need to support the Communist Party’s leadership and the socialist system and compliance with the constitution, laws, rules, ordinances and state policies.

The requirements set forth by Beijing are intended to submit underground church under the control of patriotic Christian organizations, the government agencies that monitor these churches to make sure they are aligned with the Communist Party’s ideologies.

On February 15 Haroon Irfan, a Christian student at Government Mohammadi School in Karachi, Pakistan, got his notebook stolen and damaged by his Muslim classmate, Muhammad Majid. It was found in Majids backpack and as he got scolded by his teacher he felt insulted. Two days later Majid and five other Muslim boys beat and stabbed Haroon so one of his kidneys was cut in two. When Haroons father tried to report the attack the police pressured him to resolve it outside of the judicial system, but he were finally allowed to file the report.

Pastor U Thar Tun, 50, was kidnapped in his home in Buthidaung, Myanmar, on February 13 by members of the Arakan Army (AA), a Buddhist rebel group known for their intolerance towards other religions who fight the Burmese army. The police is investigation the abduction, but some locals fear that he won’t return.

In Nattandiya, Sri Lanka, six Buddhists threatened a Christian on January 26 that they would attack him if he didn’t stop inviting a pastor to have Bible studies at his house. The man reported this to the police and on the 29th the group of six formed a mob with others and went to the Christian mans house. The Christian was warned by a friend who also tried to stop the group which led to a fight where one of the Buddhists were injured (karma?). Even though the Christian wasn’t present he was arrested. The radicalised Buddhists believe that Sri Lanka should be Buddhist only.

On February 13 Fulani Militia attacked the Technical Secondary School of  Amofia Affa in Nigeria. One woman was killed, several was injured and the priest Patrick Okeh was taken captive. The gunmen have demanded ransom of about $14 000 from his family.

Further reading:

Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God.

For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.

Instead, If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.

Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Romans 12:17-21

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