Japanese authorities have reportedly discovered the remains of a 17th century Italian Catholic priest, known as the "last missionary martyr" to Japan for his efforts to advance Christianity in one of the least Christian nations in the world.
"It is the first time we've found a near match of the bones of a foreign missionary," said Waseda University professor Akio Tanigawa. "This is an extremely important discovery for the history of Christianity in Japan."
Although the remains of Jesuit priest Giovanni Battista Sidotti were discovered back in April 2014 during excavation at the site of Krishitan Yashiki, they were not identified as belonging to the missionary until DNA matches were confirmed on Monday, the Japan Times reported. more >>
The Chinese government has reportedly released from prison the Rev. Gu Yuese, the former leader of Hangzhou's Chongyi Church, the largest government sanctioned church in the country, ahead of President Xi Jinping's scheduled meeting with President Barack Obama.
Herald Malaysia Online reported that Gu, who was formally arrested on embezzlement charges, was held in detention for close to three months for speaking out against the government's church crosses demolition campaign, which has been going on for almost two years now.
The megachurch leader has been placed under "residential surveillance" following his release, which persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern warned means he is not entirely safe yet. more >>
The skull and bones of a Christian saint believed to have been martyred in 284 AD for refusing to deny his faith have been uncovered in the Syrian town of Qaryatain, which was recently recaptured from the control of the Islamic State terror group.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that journalists were able to take photos of the ruins of the Mar Elian (St. Julian) monastery, which apparently show a destroyed sarcophagus containing a skull and bones.
Qaryatain, which once had a thriving Christian community, was captured by IS last summer as part of the terror group's ongoing campaign to establish its Caliphate on the territories of Iraq and Syria. more >>
Wycliffe Associates, a ministry focused on Bible-translation work that recently suffered a terror attack on one of its officers where four workers were killed, has announced that it is scheduling a training session for Bible translators working in the most dangerous places for Christians on Earth.
"There is no place on Earth where God's Word is more urgently needed," Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates, said in a statement shared with The Christian Post Tuesday. "This is a place of terror, oppression, violence, death, and heartache. To be a Christian is to be a target. Yet the few Christians living there are pleading for Bibles to share secretly with the many, many people around them who are hungry for the truth."
Wycliffe Associates said that four of its workers were killed at an office in the Middle East in March, but did not reveal the exact location due to the dangers associated with the work. more >>
Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog group, has warned that world governments simply condemning attacks against Christians, such as the one on Easter Sunday in Pakistan where 73 people were killed, is not enough to save lives.
"Right now few leaders are offering more than condolences after major attacks on Christians," David Curry, CEO of Open Doors, told the Daily Beast. "They need to go to the countries, meet with its leaders and people to find bipartisan ways to protect Christians and promote religious freedom to all."
The attack in Lahore was carried out at an Easter fun fair park for families, and most of the victims in the suicide blast where women and children. A splinter group from the Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, has claimed responsibility and vowed that even more "devastating" attacks on Christians are coming. more >>
The Islamic radical group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has threatened that even more "devastating" attacks against Christians are coming, following the Easter Sunday bombing at a fun fair in Lahore, Pakistan, which killed 73 people, mostly women and children.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban group, told NBC News during an interview published Monday that the extremists are planning "more devastating attacks that will target Christians and other religious minorities as well as government installations."
Ehsan identified the suicide bomber who blew himself up in the Lahore attack as Salahuddin Khorasani, describing him as a martyr who "carried out the attack on the eve of the Christian festival Easter." more >>