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Open Doors News

NEPAL: CHRISTIANS IN DESPERATE NEED OF SHELTER

NEPAL: CHRISTIANS IN DESPERATE NEED OF SHELTER

"Our mud houses were destroyed completely. Had we not been in the church that day, we would have died too."Suman Thapa is pastor of the church in Madhevista village, Nepal. Around 200 believers were worshipping together on Saturday when the country was struck by a devastating earthquake. Thankfully, the church building suffered some cracks but remained standing. However, the houses of 35 Christian families were destroyed, including the pastor's house."We have since set up tents where groups of Christians are living together," he said.
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"We hope in the Lord, He will surely send us help"
- Saraswati, Nepalese Christian
 

Open Doors at the Houses of the Oireachtas

22 May 2015 - Open Doors UK and Ireland Head of Advocacy, Ms. Zoe Smith, joined Roman Catholic Bishop John McAreavey, Ms. Noreen Gumbo, Head of Humanitarian Programmes at Trocaire, Mr. David Turner, Director of Church in Chains, and Davood, an Iranian Christian, to address the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade on the ongoing persecution of Christians. Read more

 

Burma/Myanmar: Rohingya people offered help - for now

21 May 2015 - Over the last two weeks the media's attention has been drawn to the plight of the Rohingya people of Myanmar. Boatloads of Rohingya refugees have become some kind of political football, kicked from one country to another by governments who do not want to take responsibility for their plight. The good news - for now - is that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that Malaysia will organise search and rescue missions for Rohingya migrant boats; that the Rohingya people would not be towed back out to sea, and that they would provide humanitarian aid and shelter. Read more

 

Iran: Mayor wants to turn Tehran prison into a park

14 May 2015 - The Mayor of Tehran wants to transform the city's notorious Evin prison into a park. According to the BBC, Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf says that the municipal authorities are ready 'to start talks to turn the Evin prison complex into a green space.' 'Green space' is not something that is currently associated with Evin, or, indeed, any Iranian prison. They are dirty, overcrowded and unsafe: cases of violence and rape have been commonly reported perpetrated by guards or other inmates. A notorious prison Evin, which covers some 106 acres in the north of Tehran, is notorious for particularly harsh conditions Read more

 

North Korea: "God brought me here"

14 May 2015 - This autumn, Open Doors is hosting a series of events around the country to celebrate our 60th anniversary. One of our speakers will be Yong Sook, a Christian from North Korea. Yong Sook's life began in 1951 in a Chinese village, where she was born into a poor Korean family. It nearly ended 46 years later in a North Korean prison. Her extraordinary life story is both tragic and triumphant; today she can thank the God who answers prayer. Read more

 

India: Open Doors stands with Rohingya believers

14 May 2015 - The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority who face intense persecution and human rights abuses in Buddhist Burma. To be a Christian Rohingya is to be an outcasts among outcasts. Read more

 

Ethiopia: UPDATE - Prisoners released on bail

13 May 2015 - Seven Christians have been imprisoned on the false charges of holding illegal meetings in a secret location.Police arrested the three leaders and four church members on Saturday 25 April in Asela, about 170km south of the capital Addis Ababa. They were holding a service in which almost 40 new Christians were baptised. The church is denying the charges against the Christians and insists that they had all the necessary approvals for their gathering in place. Read more

 

Nigeria: Hundreds more Boko Haram captives freed

13 May 2015 - For months we have asked you to pray for the rescue of countless women and children abducted by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, in northeastern Nigeria. We are thankful to report that around 1,000 men, women and children have been freed from Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa forest - said to be the militants' last stronghold. On 28 April, the Nigerian military attacked Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa forest and rescued 200 girls and 93 women, who testified of experiencing great hardship in the camps. The group included many Christians, but there was no sign of the 232 school girls abducted from Chibok in April 2014 Read more

 

Nepal: Christians in desperate need of shelter

06 May 2015 - "Our mud houses were destroyed completely. Had we not been in the church that day, we would have died too."Suman Thapa is pastor of the church in Madhevista village, Nepal. Around 200 believers were worshipping together on Saturday when the country was struck by a devastating earthquake. Thankfully, the church building suffered some cracks but remained standing. However, the houses of 35 Christian families were destroyed, including the pastor's house."We have since set up tents where groups of Christians are living together," he said. Read more

 

Nepal: Christians killed as quake destroys churches

05 May 2015 - When Nepal was shattered by an earthquake just before midday on Saturday 25 April, most Christians were at church.Christians in Nepal hold their church services on Saturday, rather than Sunday. Inside the Canaan Church in Sukedhara, Kathmandu, worshippers were at prayer when the earthquake struck. The church building collapsed, killing 23 people and seriously injuring 37 others. Among the victims was Sushma Sherpa, the wife of church pastor Nima Sherpa. The pastor himself was injured, as was Pastor Lalbahadur Limbu, who was the guest speaker that morning. Read more

 

Ethiopia: 'I hated them ... Now I am choosing to forgive'

30 April 2015 - Birtukan was eight months pregnant when her husband, a pastor, was murdered in front of her. Afterwards, she experienced horrific flashbacks of his death. She couldn't understand why God had allowed this to happen. But Birtukan was able to begin to experience healing and forgiveness after she received trauma counselling, organised by Open Doors. She says, "I hated them for killing my husband. I have received healing and I am now choosing to forgive them. I thank God for this help from Open Doors. I now feel more hopeful for the future." Read more

 

Kenya: Security officers 'ignored' terrorist threat

30 April 2015 - Kenya's interior minister stated that security officers ignored intelligence reports prior to the attack on Garissa University College earlier this month. According to the BBC, Joseph Nkarissery, who is in charge of security, also admitted that the response was poorly co-ordinated. The attack on the University in Garissa, north-east Kenya, claimed 148 lives. Militants from the Somali-based Islamist al-Shabab group killed 148 people during the day-long siege at the campus in the north-eastern town. The militants separated the Christians from the Muslims, and killed all the Christians Read more

 

Vietnam: Victory parade masks a lack of freedom

30 April 2015 - As Vietnam celebrates 40 years since the end of the Vietnam War, its government faces accusations of failing to ensure the rights of its citizens to religious freedom.On April 30, 1975, Vietnam transitioned to a Communist State. It was also the day when many Christian missionaries and pastors either fled or were chased out of the country. The new social order viewed Christianity as a foreign ideology and many believers went underground and began to worship Jesus Christ in small numbers and in secret.Today, visitors to Saigon, barely realise that this still is a Communist-Socialist country. Read more

 

Kenya: Nairobi churches and university at risk

30 April 2015 - Police in Kenya have issued a warning that Nairobi's churches and university are at risk of a new attack by al-Shabaab. The warning, circulated via the president's office on 23 April, states that al-Shabaab has dispatched spies to launch 'high scale attacks' on 'unspecified dates'. Read more

 

Nigeria: 300 girls and women freed from Boko Haram

29 April 2015 - The Nigerian military claims to have rescued some 200 girls and 93 women abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, according to the BBC. However, the girls abducted a year ago from Chibok are not among them. According to the news reports, the girls and women were rescued when the Nigerian military captured four Boko Haram camps in the Sambisa Forest. It is a rare and welcome piece of good news from this troubled region. But the number of captives illustrates how widespread the abduction of women and children - especially those from Christian communities - has been 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