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Open Doors News

India: 'We will continue to serve God' say martyred Pastor's family

"Our family will continue to serve God." That's the defiant message from the family of Pastor Sultan Masih, who was recently shot dead in northwest India. Pastor Sultan was killed outside his Temple of God Church in Ludhiana - the largest city in India's Punjab state. He had been pastor there for 20 years. Open Doors volunteers recently visited the grieving family to offer prayer and support.

Read more...

 
"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed"
- Psalm 103:6
 

Bangladesh: Christians face discrimination in aid distribution after flooding

22 August 2017 - Open Doors partners in Bangladesh have reported that Christians who have been victims of the recent flooding have faced discrimination in the government's distribution of aid. "Many believers (from Muslim backgrounds and Hindu backgrounds) are among these victims. Most of them have been neglected to receive relief from the government because of their faith in Christ. Therefore, we are on our way to distribute aid to them, covering more than 200 families," the team member told us. Read more...

 

Laos: Healings lead many to faith in Christ

18 August 2017 - "Many people in Laos have become believers because they were healed or because they have seen other people get healed. I barely need to go out and evangelise because people come to me for healing or to hear more about Jesus," says Beun*, a believer in Laos with an incredible healing ministry. Not everyone in his community has been happy about Beun's work sharing the gospel, but your support has enabled Open Doors local partners to provide him with practical aid and encouragement. Read more...

 

North Korea: Released Canadian Christian describes 'harsh' conditions

16 August 2017 - Korean-Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim has spoken about his time in a North Korean labour camp, where he was detained for the last two and half years after being given a life sentence for charges including trying to overthrow the government. He said he faced 'overwhelming loneliness' in the labour camp, where he 'ate 2,757 meals in isolation' from the day he was detained to his release on 9 August. Read more...

 

Ethiopia: Church attacked, then closed down and member arrested

16 August 2017 - A Pentecostal church in Ethiopia has been ordered to stop meeting in a residential area, in the wake of a mob attack on the church, after which a church member was arrested for 'illegal activities' that 'incited religious clashes'. Read more...

 

India: Concerns mount as sixth state passes 'anti-conversion bill'

16 August 2017 - The Indian state of Jharkhand has passed an 'anti-conversion bill' at its Assembly meeting, despite demands that the bill should be sent to a select committee for further scrutiny. The Chief of the ruling Hindu nationalist party, Radha Krishna Kishore, defended the new bill stating that 'there has been a 30 per cent increase in the population of Christians in Jharkhand' and 'the people converted were the poor who were often lured to take up the new religion'. Read more...

 

Eritrea: Christian mother of four dies in desert prison

15 August 2017 - An Eritrean Christian locked up in prison has died for her faith. Fekadu Debessai Negassi died in prison in the semi-desert town of Metkel-Abet after being denied treatment for an unspecified illness. She was buried on August 10 in Mendefera. She leaves behind a husband and four children. Read more...

 

Algeria: Man imprisoned for Facebook blasphemy given partial pardon

14 August 2017 - Slimane Bouhafs, serving a three year prison sentence for 'insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed' on Facebook, has received a partial presidential pardon. His sentence has been reduced by 16 months, which means he could be released eight months from now. This was announced by Slimane's daughter Tilleli, after the family of the detained Christian was informed of the pardon by the public prosecutor. Read more...

 

India: Fashion and fellowship at tailoring centre

11 August 2017 - "I can stitch clothes now; I have stitched outfits for myself and I have also started stitching for customers," says Deepa, a Christian from a Hindu background and a student of the tailoring centre. Neeta, another believer from a Hindu background, says, "This is more than a tailoring centre. We also share our prayer concerns and then pray for each other. The time spent here refreshes us and gives us strength to move ahead in our spiritual lives despite the difficulties we face." Read more...

 

India: Update on Jitendra and his family

10 August 2017 - Last year we shared the story of Jitendra* and his family. They became Christians after God healed Jitendra of an illness, but their Hindu neighbours were angry about their decision to follow Jesus. The family were beaten so severely that Jitendra was hospitalised, and they were forced to leave their village. Open Doors partners were able to pay for their medical bills and provide food aid, thanks to your prayers and support. Our local partners recently sent us an update on the family. Read more...

 

North Korea: Korean Peninsula a 'powder keg that needs true peace' warns Korean Archbishop

10 August 2017 - As the tension between the US and North Korea increases, the Korean Peninsula itself 'is a powder keg ready to explode and cause another war', warned Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jong, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea, at an interfaith meeting in Seongju, South Korea, to commemorate the end of the Korean war 64 years ago. He told AsiaNews that 'if peace does not come to the Korean Peninsula, it will collapse in the whole of North-East Asia'. Read more...

 

India: Update on family of murdered Samari

10 August 2017 - Last year, Samari Kasabi (55), a Christian from the village of Dokawaya, District Sukma, Chhattisgarh, was stripped naked, beaten to death, and her body was burnt by people from her village on the night of 16 October. Open Doors local partners recently gave us an update on Samari's son, Sukura, and his family. Our partner told us, "Sukura continues to live in the same house in the same village with his family. Though the villagers still oppose the Christian faith, they are not as aggressive because Sukura isn't involved in evangelism." Read more...

 

Somalia: Somaliland closes church a week after it reopened for the first time in 30 years

09 August 2017 - The only Catholic church in Somaliland, East Africa, which was officially re-opened after 30 years, has been closed again within a week.The church of St Anthony of Padua is one of a number of churches built 70 years ago during British rule. After being closed for three decades it was officially reopened on 29 July with a ceremony attended by ministers of the autonomous region of Somalia, and expatriates.But within a week it has been closed due, according to the government, to public pressure. Read more...

 

Central Asia: Christians face abuse, injustice, violence

09 August 2017 - Every week, Open Doors receives news from Christians in Central Asia, who face discrimination, suspicion and injustice on a daily basis.In Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan local Muslim radicals broke into a church, stole items, destroyed furniture and left graffiti on the walls and windows saying "We will kill you", "Don't teach our children" and, simply, "Allah". The Pastor reported the incident to the police, but they received little support. 'The police and authorities are staying away from this case,' reports an Open Doors expert. 'They don't want to help Christians. Read more...

 

Sudan: Another church demolished

09 August 2017 - Another church has been destroyed in Sudan. According to information given to Open Doors, a Baptist church in Omdurman, across the Nile from the capital Khartoum, was demolished on 2 August. The church is the third of some 27 churches designated for destruction last year by the Sudanese government. The authorities claim that these buildings are in violation of the designated purposes of the land on which they were built.The issue of church demolitions was raised by Jan Figel, the EU Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, during a recent visit to the country. Read more...

 
"God has called me to stay here and be his witness. I cannot leave the other Christians behind."
- Eun Hee, Christian martyr from North Korea