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News & analysis

This is a collection of recent articles and research written by the Barnabas team.

Editorial: The Two Faces of Islam 

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria  
Dr Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria

Last month I was in Damascus. I had the great privilege of meeting Dr Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria. He is a man of peace who pleads repeatedly for equal and harmonious relations between Muslims, Christians and followers of all religions as members of one human family. Because of this stance, he has endured great abuse and criticism from some of his fellow Muslims and was targeted for assassination by the Saudis. Knowing that he would have good security and protection, the group of Islamist hit-men were instructed that, if they could not kill the Grand Mufti himself, they should kill one of his sons instead. In due course they murdered his teenage son. After some months, two of the perpetrators were caught and imprisoned.

 
Country/Region: Sri Lanka, South and East Asia  
Christians in Pakistan are vulnerable to violence and false accusations of blasphemy; some have fled to Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan court suspends deportation of persecuted Pakistanis

The Sri Lankan Court of Appeal has suspended the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers, who are mainly Christians and members of other persecuted religious minorities...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq  
More than 1.2 million Iraqis have reportedly been driven from their homes

Displaced Iraqi Christians die in miserable conditions

Reports have emerged that Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamist militants are beginning to die in crowded camps and other temporary places of refuge.

 
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Africa, North Korea, Nigeria, Iran  
News in Brief

News in Brief: 21 August 2014

Iran: Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini threatened by ISIS;
Nigeria: Repeated attacks target Christians in Taraba state;
North Korea: American missionary transferred back to labour camp.

 
Country/Region: India, South and East Asia  
Indian Christians praying. In parts of India, Christians are under threat from militant Hindu nationalists

Indian Christian women arrested following false accusations of forced conversions

Four Christian women were arrested in the Indian state of Karnataka after visiting the home of a non-Christian family.

 
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Lao, People's Democratic Republic  
Village-in-Laos-4X3.jpg

Five Christians accused of murder in Laos found not guilty

A group of Christians in Laos who were falsely accused of murder have been found not guilty. The believers, who remain in custody, were arrested after a sick woman sought prayer...

 
Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria  
Map showing the location of Borno state, Northern Nigeria

Brutal Boko Haram attack on predominantly Christian area claims 100 lives in northeast Nigeria

The predominantly Christian area of Gwoza in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, is under siege by suspected Boko Haram militants, who have rampaged through villages over the last two weeks...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq  
Thousands of Iraqis flee from the town of Sinjar to Erbil and Dohuk

Editorial: Is the international response too little, too late for Iraq’s beleaguered Christians?

In the year 363 AD, a very holy man by the name of Mattai, fleeing persecution under the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate, founded the monastery of St Matthew’s. Lying 20 miles from Mosul in northern Iraq...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iran  
bars-4x3.jpg

Iranian pastor charged with “waging war against God”

Iranian pastor Matthias Haghnejad has been charged with enmity against God, a crime that can be punishable by death, while the fate of two other Christians arrested with him remains unknown.

 
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Middle East and North Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh  
News in Brief

News in Brief: 15 August 2014

India: Christians at prayer meeting beaten with iron bars by Hindu extremists;
Egypt: Muslims attack Christians over plans for new church;
Pakistan: Home of prominent Christian lawyer attacked;
Bangladesh: Targeted church warned to withdraw case against assailants.

 
christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    Daily prayer

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    • Almighty God, we call to You for relief for Christians in the Gwoza area of Borno state in Northern Nigeria, as they face repeated violent attacks by Boko Haram militants. We pray for comfort for the relatives and friends of the hundreds who have been killed, and for the thousands who have been forced from their homes and seen them torched. We ask for Your special protection on Christians as they gather to worship You. We pray for the Nigerian authorities to re-establish control of the area, so that the displaced Christians may be safe from further attacks and free to rebuild their shattered communities. We pray too for their persecutors to come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 18 hours ago

    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Aug 2014 00:00

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