In Mubi in northeastern Nigeria, Christians do not dare step out of their homes after 8 p.m., church leaders say. And many Christians are too afraid of Islamic extremist attacks to attend church services.
This month suspected members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram killed eight members of a Church of the Brethren (Ekklesiyar Yan'uwa a Nigeria, or EYN) congregation outside Mubi, among others – the latest in a series of attacks in or near the town in Adamawa state bordering Cameroon.
"The crisis has created a lot of hardship for Christians, as even movement to eke out a living is restricted," said the Rev. Daniel Yumuna, a district secretary of the EYN. "Businesses of our church members have all collapsed because they face attacks regularly, and living generally has been made very difficult here not only for our church members but for all other Christians in this part of the country." more >>
A rape victim has been sentenced to 100 lashes and put on eight months house arrest in the Maldives, sparking international outrage.
The 15 year old rape victim was sentenced to the brutal punishment by an Islamic court for having premarital sex, after admitting to having consensual sex with a man in an incident unrelated to the rape.
She has been told that she can have the sentence carried out immediately or when she turns 18. more >>
Tanzania is the latest in a growing number of African countries to be struggling with escalating Islamist terror. In this country of 45 million people, over 60 percent of whom are Christian, church leaders are the canaries in the coalmine. On Sunday, 55-year-old Catholic priest Father Evarist Mushi was shot dead by assailants on a motorcycle in front of Zanzibar's St. Joseph's Cathedral just before Sunday morning Mass. According to the Pontifical news agency Fides, local bishops and priests received a message claiming responsibility from a group calling itself "Muslim Renewal."
The Islamist group, boasting of ties to the al-Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabaab, issued a chilling threat:
We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster. more >>
Two pastors in Kenya were shot Thursday morning by unknown gunmen who killed one of the men and wounded the other, according to a report from Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog.
Open Doors, who has ministry workers in the east Africa country, received information that Pastor Ibrahim Makunyi of the East Africa Pentecostal Church and Pastor Abdi Welli were attacked by the gunmen in the city of Garissa, Kenya. Welli was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital while Pastor Makunyi was immediately rushed to a hospital. Makunyi's condition was described as stable and out of danger.
Welli, who was evangelized, discipled and mentored by Makunyi, is survived by his wife Hellen and three young sons. more >>
Political instability in Kenya, triggered by influences from the Muslim minority group al-Shabaab, is causing great concern over the future religious atmosphere in the Eastern Africa country, says Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog group. The organization is asking for prayer with less than one month to go before the country's general election.
"We are at a defining moment because these are the first elections under the new constitution with its many new structures and elective and nominative posts," explains the Open Doors coordinator for the region, who – as the case with most of the ministry's international field workers – remains anonymous for security reasons.
Al-Shabaab's success in pressuring the government to allow greater official influence for Islam is troubling, say Open Doors officials. Islamic family courts based on Sharia Law have been implemented in all counties – even in those with a low Muslim presence. It is feared that at least 10 of the counties with higher Muslim representation may push for the implementation of Sharia Law and may even be harboring ambitions to break away from the rest of the country, which is Christian dominated (83 percent). more >>
A window into the remarkable leadership and ministry of the Al-Dubara Evangelical Church in downtown Cairo, Egypt, was opened when the Arab Spring blew across Tahrir Square right into the palace of President Mubarak. Over the coming months, the media trained their cameras on a city church surprising the world. The Al-Dubara Evangelical Church was turned into a field hospital for the injured, welcomed young revolutionaries and offered counsel and encouragement amid chaos.
To radical Islamists, the church's pastor Dr. Sameh Maurice spoke wise words, and to the bereaved, he spoke words of comfort. Maurice, an evangelical pastor in Cairo, sat down with Brian Stiller, the global ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance and a senior editorial advisor to The Christian Post, in late January in a conference center outside of Cairo, for a conversation about his church's active role in the recent revolution in Egypt, the improved relationship between the Coptic Church and evangelicals since the revolution, and the respect Muslims now have for the Church.
The following is an edited transcript of the conversation. more >>