Christians in India marked the seventh anniversary of the Orissa attacks on Monday, praying for close to 100 Christians who were massacred by Hindu extremists who were pressuring them to convert. An Archbishop has said the faith of Orissa's Christians has grown stronger in the face of persecution.
The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, His Exc. Mgr. John Barwa SVD, told Fides News Agency that Christians "gather in prayer for the victims, reiterating, all together, our common commitment to promoting peace, justice and hope. The faith of Christians in Orissa has become stronger in the face of persecution."
The major attacks on August 31, 2008, in Orissa also left close to 56,000 Christians homeless after 300 churches and 6,000 homes were raided and looted. The Hindu mob reportedly organized against Christians who they accused of converting Indians to Christianity. more >>
An Iraqi Archbishop says he argues with God "every day" and is failing to understand "what He is doing" in the face of the extreme suffering of persecuted Christians in the region.
"I don't understand what he is doing when I look at what has happened in the region," Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil told The Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. "I quarrel with him every day."
Warda said that over 100,000 Christians and other minorities have sought refuge in Erbil over the past year, fleeing the Islamic State terror group. more >>
With the rise of Christian persecution at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party over the past year, Chinese Christians are starting to speak out after many have been arrested for defending church crosses from forceful government removal.
"At least nine people I know have been taken away by the police and that figure is still rising," an unnamed church leader in the eastern province of Zhejiang told The Guardian on Thursday.
"We think it is a campaign targeting church leaders across the province. It can only be a co-ordinated action initiated by the provincial government." more >>
A court in Pakistan has directed jail authorities and government officials not to restrict the father and other close relatives of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, from meeting her in jail, her lawyer said.
The Lahore High Court in Pakistan's Punjab province gave the order after the blasphemy victim's father, Soran Masih, filed a petition seeking access to his daughter and complaining that police and prison authorities blocked his entry several times since 2012, according to ucanews.com.
"Judge Muhammad Anwar ul Haq issued directives to the jail superintendent of Multan and the Home Department to let Soran Masih and his family members see Asia Bibi," Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Masih's family lawyer, was quoted as saying. more >>
Christians in Hong Kong are now feeling pressure from authorities in China after the city has enjoyed freedom from the mainland for quite some time.
Reverend Philip Woo and other pastors in Hong Kong have been reprimanded by officials from the mainland over their alleged violation of China's policy against unpermitted religious training. Christians in China have been prohibited from participating in Christian events in Hong Kong for fear that they would be "making trouble," according to the Free Beacon.
Woo fears that China has become stricter when it comes to religion. In March, 100 Chinese citizens were barred from attending a Christian gathering in Hong Kong in which over 2,000 ministers participated. The event was hosted by California-based organization China Ministries International. more >>
Iraqi security forces have been commissioned by Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi to collect data on the persecution of Christians in the nation.
Sources told news outlet Agenzia Fides that a committee has been set up by the prime minister that will collect this data in an attempt to curb the recent violence against Christians in the region.
These officials plan to work alongside the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq to collect the information and have already met with its Patriarch Louis Raphael I. They will also take a census of the homes and properties illegally seized from believers. more >>