- (Photo: AP Images / Khalid Mohammed)
Several reports of persecution against Christians from around the globe have emerged this week, including an update on violence against Christians in Nigeria, the deadly 2010 bombing of an Iraqi church, attacks against Christians in India and a bombing of a missionary Bible college in Sudan.
Kashmir - Muslim leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani spoke out Saturday in support of four Christian missionaries after a Sharia court last week issued a decree seeking their expulsion from the state, Christian Today reported. Despite the support, the missionaries were expelled Friday.
Nigeria – Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, who is the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Nigeria, posted a statement on his Facebook page Saturday in which he presumably warns Islamist sect Boko Haram to stop attacking Christians, their homes and churches, or expect to face the consequences. "We are not allowed to burn mosques or kill people of other religious beliefs but [the] Bible says we are allowed [to defend] ourselves/churches/homes," the statement reads.
Nigerian Christians, who have been long targeted by Muslim extremists, especially in the northeast of the country, have reportedly begun to retaliate by occasionally attacking Muslim establishments.
Indonesia – Indonesian Christians held a prayer vigil in Jakarta on Sunday, urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to help stop the intimidation practiced by Muslim extremists, Agence France-Presse reported. About 200 people, mostly members of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church, prayed and sang hymns outside the state palace.
China – Five priests from an "underground" church were arrested by Chinese authorities without any explanation Monday during a private meeting in a private house, reported UCA news.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, ChinaAid, a human rights organization, released its annual report on acts of persecution reportedly performed by the Chinese communist government on Christians and churches in mainland China in 2011. Among other disquieting statistics indicating an increase in crackdowns on house churches, the report shows a 131.8 percent increase in the number of Christians detained for their religious beliefs in the country.
Also in China, the trial of a longtime political dissident and baptized Christian, Zhu Yufu, took place Tuesday in China, amid allegations that witnesses were restrained form participating in it. Zhu, 59, has previously served seven years in prison (from 1999 to 2006) for his role in founding the China Democratic Party, according to Human Rights in China (HRIC). The Hangzhou Municipal Intermediate People's Court tried him Tuesday for "inciting subversion of state power," according to HRIC, but failed to hand down a verdict, leaving the disident's future still in question.
Pakistan - A judge Monday denied bail to a young Christian man charged with desecrating a Quran under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws, despite the lack of evidence, Compass Direct News reported. The 23-year-old was reportedly arrested on Dec. 5 over a shaky allegation from his neighbor that the young man had burned pages of the Quran in order to prepare tea.
Indonesia – An Indonesian church said Monday that one of its members has been unjustly named a suspect by police for allegedly assaulting the local police chief during a melee between authorities and church members in October near Jakarta, reported The Jakarta Globe. The church, which claims numerous acts of persecution from the government, has reportedly had accused the same police chief of using violence to obstruct a religious ceremony.
Sudan - A Bible college in Sudan functioning under Franklin Graham's missionary ministry, Samaritan's Purse, was bombed Wednesday and the ministry alleges the attack was launched by the Sudanese air force, as part of violent clashed between the mostly Islamic government in Khartoum and the mostly Christian, and newly seceded, south.