Persecution Roundup: Bombing in Sudan, Violence in India, Injustice in Saudi Arabia

Algeria - Armed men raided the Protestant Church of Ouargla in eastern Algeria on Wednesday, tearing down the church's gate and damaging the iron crucifix on the church's roof, according to International Christian Concern (ICC). The pastor told ICC that he has been repeatedly threatened and attacked since his ordination in 2007. In the summer of 2009, his wife was beaten and seriously injured by a group of unknown men, and in late 2011, heaps of trash were thrown over the compound walls while an angry mob shouted death threats at the pastor, the minister told the Christian advocacy group. Algerian Christans are often target of attacks from militant Muslims.

Iraq – Three Islamist extremists convicted in the attack on Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad that killed over 50 congregants and wounded more than 60 others in Oct. 2010 were sentenced to death by Iraq's highest court Thursday.

Saudi Arabia - The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a governmental body, called Thursday for the immediate release of 35 Ethiopian Christians who have been detained by Saudi Arabian police since Dec. 15, allegedly for participating in a private religious gathering.

Iran - A report has emerged this week about the Iranian Revolutionary Court sentencing a female Iranian Christian convert to two years in prison earlier this month. The official reasons given by the court were reportedly related to the woman betraying Islam, but media reports have clearly suggested that the conviction is an act of state persecution against a Christian.

India - Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), spoke out against violence against Christians Thursday after the number of attacks increased in late January. Acts of violence against Christians reportedly accelerated after Christmas and New Year's. Among recent incidents was an attack on a Pentecostal clergyman by a group of ultra-nationalist Hindu extremists and a desecration of a monumental Christian cemetery, as reported by Asia News.