Violence against Christians is pervasive — It started at the beginning and it is unlikely to end in the near future. But recent in recent weeks, the sectarian hostility seems to have reached a fever pitch. From suicide bombings to hate-words scrawled on church walls, to the mass murder in Charleston, the news is abysmal. Here is some trenchant coverage from the religious press:
From World Council of Churches:
On Sunday morning, a bomb exploded in St Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, Egypt, killing 25 people and injuring 31 others, according to reports from local media and the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Read Full story: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/wcc-general-secretary-mourns-lost-lives-calls-for-end-to-violence
From Christianity Today (Gleanings):
At least 25 people were killed and 49 injured when a bomb exploded around 10 a.m. this morning during a worship service at the spiritual center of Christianity in Egypt.
Read Full story: http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2016/december/cairo-church-attack-kills-25-egypt-copts-bomb-cathedral.html
From Episcopal News Service:
[Episcopal News Service] Episcopalians in Indiana and Maryland awoke Sunday morning to hate messages scrawled on their churches’ properties. But rather than despair, they responded with a message of love and welcome.
Read Full story: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2016/11/14/episcopal-churches-in-maryland-indiana-vandalized-with-hate-speech/
From Open Doors:
As a former Muslim in Bahrain who is now trusting in Christ, Hamad is persecuted by his own family for his faith. He cannot attend Christian worship services or Bible studies without hiding his activities, and is also harassed by community leaders since his conversion.
Read Full story: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/tag-prayer-updates-post/former-muslim-persecuted-in-bahrain/
From Morningstar News:
A court in Nepal yesterday acquitted eight Christians accused of attempting to convert children by means of a comic book, according to advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
Read Full story: http://morningstarnews.org/2016/12/crack-down-on-christians-in-nepal-hits-snag-as-eight-are-acquitted/
From The Voice of the Martyrs:
On November 25th, a court in Lahore handed the death sentence to five people who were responsible for the torturing and killing of an impoverished young Christian couple in 2014 over allegations of burning the Quran. Eight others involved in the attack were sentenced to two years in prison.
Read Full story: https://www.vomcanada.com/pk-2016-12-08.htm
From Catholic Culture:
The Christian refugees who have fled from violence in Syria and Iraq are not likely to return under current conditions, according to the apostolic administrator of the Jerusalem patriarchate.
Read Full story: http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=30155
From Pray for the Nations:
High-level European officials and experts attending an international conference in Vienna last week, stated that European governments and the international community were failing to address religious discrimination and the persecution of Christians in Europe and worldwide.
Read Full story: https://pray.interserve.org/widespread-discrimination-against-christians-being-ignored-by-media/
MEXICO CITY – A priest in the diocese of Texcoco north-east of Mexico City has become the first clergyman in Mexico’s history to be charged under the country’s secularist constitution with seeking to influence the outcome of an election.
Read Full story: https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2016/12/09/prosecution-mexican-priest-shows-religious-liberty-still-absent/
From Religion News Service:
(USA Today) At least 25 people were killed and 35 were injured after a blast near Cairo’s main Coptic Christian Cathedral, according to reports from the Egyptian state-sponsored Middle East News Agency.
Read Full story: http://religionnews.com/2016/12/11/at-least-25-killed-by-blast-near-cairo-cathedral-reports/
From Christian Today:
A Christian teacher from Uganda was threatened with death and beaten until he lost consciousness by Muslim residents from his village who were angry about how he turned his back on Islam to embrace Christianity.
Read Full story: http://bit.ly/2hankZM
From Christian Headlines:
One Assyrian Christian bishop is being praised as a hero for his role in saving over 200 Assyrian Christians from the Islamic State.
Read Full story: http://www.christianheadlines.com/blog/christian-bishop-spearheads-movement-that-saves-over-200-assyrian-christians-from-isis.html
Christians during the first three centuries after Jesus were almost exclusively pacifist. The teachers whose writings survive repeatedly opposed the use of aggression. Firstly, violence was seen as contrary to the teaching of Jesus, who laid down his life without fighting.
Read Full story: http://christianity.org.uk/index.php/a/christians-who-renounce-violence.php
From Christian Daily:
Iraqi Christians are striving hard to keep the Christmas spirit alive, even if they have been separated from their family members after they fled the atrocities of the Islamic State (ISIS) in their hometowns.
Read Full story: http://www.christiandaily.com/article/iraqi-christians-maintain-christmas-spirit-despite-distance-from-family-members/59586.htm
From Global Christian News:
There has been a substantial rise in hate crimes following the election of Donald Trump as President-elect of the US, according to civil rights organisations.
Read Full story: https://www.globalchristiannews.org/article/fbi-report-post-election-boost-to-hate-crimes-churches-wake-up-to-graffiti-and-vandalism/
From Persecution blog:
Months ago, I had a conflict with a friend at church. There were several conversations and many tears as we tried to work it out. Finally, it boiled down to different values and parenting philosophies. For my friend, one of her foundational values is safety. She sees her main role as a parent to protect her children from harm.
Read Full story: http://www.persecutionblog.com/2016/12/we-died-before-we-came.html
From Religious Freedom Coalition:
On August 6, 2014, the Islamic State overran Iraq’s largest Christian city, the city of Qaraqosh. The advance forced thousands of Christians to leave the city after it had been the target of jihadist attacks for weeks.
Read Full story: http://www.religiousfreedomcoalition.org/2016/12/06/relief-for-christian-town-liberated-from-isis/
From Voice of the Persecuted:
Thai immigration authorities raided and arrested 45 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, including (approx. 22) children, who hold United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) asylum seeker cards. They will be brought to court tomorrow, likely put into the horrific conditions at the Immigration Detention Centre IDC. With only 15 days until Christmas, the entire community is devastated.
Read Full story: https://voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com/2016/12/10/45-christian-refugees-arrested-in-thailand/
From Faith Today:
The first time I told another Evangelical I was taking a course called “The Lives of the Saints: Then and Now,” the response to my enthusiasm for my subject was less than enthusiastic. An arched eyebrow. A slight tilt of the head. A look of mild distaste. And then, a one-word reply that communicated restrained surprise. “Really?”
Read Full story: http://blog.faithtoday.ca/the-saints-of-old-and-persecuted-christians-today/
From Christian Metro:
Compassion International is “weeks away from permanently withdrawing” from India, according to its testimony this week to a Congressional committee. “What we’re experiencing is an unprecedented, highly coordinated, deliberate and systematic attack intended to drive us out,” the Christian charity’s lead attorney Stephen Oakley told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Read Full story: http://www.christianmetro.com/news-details.php?id=1858
From Christian Metro:
Chhattisgarh : A grandmother was stripped naked, beaten to death and her body burned, apparently because her Christian faith was “disturbing the peace” in her village.
Read Full story: http://www.christianmetro.com/news-details.php?id=1854
From Persecution – International Christian Concern:
On December 6th, as hundreds of Christians in Bandung, West Java, were lighting their candles and singing “Silent Night,” a group of radical Muslims stormed inside the building shouting “Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar” (Allah is great Allah is great) and demanded the celebration to be stopped. The Christmas service, which was mostly comprised of students, was gathering to hear visiting Chinese-Indonesian Pastor and singer Stephen Tong from Jakarta.
Read Full story: http://www.persecution.org/2016/12/11/christmas-service-shut-down-by-radicals-in-indonesia/
From Persecution – International Christian Concern:
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, more than 60 churches have been destroyed in Kachin State since 2011. The most recent church to be destroyed, St Frances Xavier Catholic Church, was destroyed by air strikes on December 3rd, the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.
Read Full story: http://www.persecution.org/2016/12/07/news-more-than-60-churches-have-been-destroyed-by-the-government-in-myanmar-since-2011/