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Open Doors News

Iraq: Christians wish to return to Mosul as city is liberated

After three years of occupation by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared victory over IS in Mosul. However, IS have left devastation behind them. William, who fled Mosul to escape IS, was recently able to return to his house in Mosul, but found it completely ransacked. He says, "When we saw the house for the first time, I was taking pictures and was crying at the same time."

Read more...

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

Indonesia: Mother forgives child's petrol bomb attackers in court

19 July 2017 - As the trial continues for five people suspected to be linked to the petrol bombing of a church in east Borneo, in which a child died and three were seriously injured, one mother has used her testimony in court as an opportunity to tell the attackers that she forgives them. After describing the severity of her four-year-old daughter, Trinity's, injuries, Sarinah Gultom walked towards the five defendants saying, 'I forgive you. Please repent; no more innocent children killed and wounded. Mine is enough.' Read more...

 

India: Pastor shot dead in 'safe' Punjab

18 July 2017 - The Christian community in Ludhiana, the largest city in India's north-western state of Punjab, is in shock after a pastor was shot dead outside his Pentecostal church on Saturday evening (15 July). Sultan Masih, 47, who also ran a school for the poor, was gunned down by two people on a motorbike, who shot him at close range outside the Temple of God Church, where he was senior pastor. He suffered multiple wounds to his body and head. Read more...

 

India: Pray for Presidential elections TODAY

17 July 2017 - Open Doors contacts have asked for prayer for the Indian Presidential elections being held today.The candidates are Ram Nath Kovind (the ruling party BJP's candidate) and Meira Kumar (the opposition's candidate). Ram Nath Kovind has connections with RSS, the militant Hindu nationalist group associated with the BJP. Meira is a member of Indian National Congress. Read more...

 

Kenya: New CEO joins Open Doors International

17 July 2017 - Open Doors International has appointed Dan Ole Shani to be its Chief Executive Officer. Born and raised in Kenya, a country ranked 18 on the 2017 World Watch List, Dan and his wife Nellie have lived in five different countries with their children where Dan served in international missions work for over 30 years. He spent a decade working in East Africa, a decade as Regional Director over field programmes across West Africa, and then a decade of international roles led from the US and UK with World Vision International. Read more...

 

Iraq: Families repair their homes in Qaraqosh with your support

12 July 2017 - Your prayers and support have enabled 74 families to repair their homes in Qaraqosh and prepare to return. One of those who has received support is Najib Ina. His home was used by the self-proclaimed Islamic State to store all the sand and stones when they were digging a tunnel, and there is a large hole in the floor of the one of the bedrooms of Najib's house where the tunnel was started. Every wall of the house is covered in writing: in one place is the signature of 'Abu Asman', one of the militants, and in another place it says 'He who refuses Islamic State will surely be killed'. Your support and prayers are enabling Najib to repair his home. Read more...

 

Iraq: Christians wish to return to Mosul as city is liberated

11 July 2017 - After three years of occupation by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has declared victory over IS in Mosul. However, IS have left devastation behind them. William, who fled Mosul to escape IS, was recently able to return to his house in Mosul, but found it completely ransacked. He says, "When we saw the house for the first time, I was taking pictures and was crying at the same time." Read more...

 

India: Subhash finds joy despite false imprisonment

07 July 2017 - "The Lord gives me joy in my heart despite my struggles," says Subhash*. He doesn't say that lightly - Subhash has been imprisoned and is facing several false court cases because of his preaching about Jesus. But despite the challenges he faces, he says, "I have only one concern - that I will not be able to carry on the ministry like before. It's painful to even think about this possibility." Read more...

 

Hope for the Middle East comes to the National Assembly for Wales

06 July 2017 - Welsh Assembly Members and faith leaders were encouraged to act on behalf of Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq yesterday (5 July), as Open Doors and the Evangelical Alliance Wales presented the Hope for the Middle East campaign in the National Assembly for Wales. The event was hosted by Darren Millar AM, and 13 Assembly members attended, with 4 others sending representatives - over a quarter of all Assembly Members were represented! This included Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Social Services and Public Health. Read more...

 

Iran: Christians given harsh prison sentences

05 July 2017 - Three Iranian Christians have received long prison sentences for crimes such as 'organising and creating house churches', 'conducting evangelism', and 'Bible printing and distribution'. Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Asgari were also accused of 'acting against national security' and 'insulting the sacred' (i.e. blasphemy). Following a hearing in June, Judge Ahmadpour sentenced Pastor Victor to 10 years' imprisonment, Amin to 15 years (possibly including time already served) and Hadi to 10 years and a two-year travel ban. The judge also raised the amount of bail for Amin and Hadi to 200 million Tomans (approximately GBP46,000) each Read more...

 

Kidnapped Philippines priest 'alive'

05 July 2017 - A Catholic priest abducted by terrorists in the Philippines is believed to be still alive. Father Teresito Suganob was among a group of Christians captured by the Maute terrorist group last month. Now, reportedly, his release has been offered in exchange for the parents of the Abdullah Maute, the group's leader. The offer was conveyed to a group of Muslim religious leaders who spoke with Maute just before an eight-hour ceasefire started to mark the end of Ramadan on Saturday (24 June). However, the Philippines Armed Forces said there were unaware of any such offer Read more...

 

Mali: Christian hostages appear in Jihadist video, including Ken Elliot

05 July 2017 - Six hostages, including three missionaries, have appeared in a jihadist video, just hours before France's president Emmanuel Macron's visit to Mali - during which he agreed to help support anti-terrorist efforts in the Sahel. The hostages, who were all abducted by jihadist groups affiliated to al-Qaeda, called on various governments to negotiate their release. Among those on the video is 82-year-old Christian surgeon, Ken Elliott, from Australia. Read more...

 

Eritrea: Scores of women arrested in church raids

04 July 2017 - Thirty-three Eritrean women, detained during a series of raids on churches by the military, are being held in a 'notoriously harsh prison', according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.The 33 women - among the first to be arrested on raids on non-sanctioned churches in the capital, Asmara, and seven other towns - are being held on a prison island created by Italian colonialists in the 19th century to crush political dissent. According to CSW, there are many young mothers among the prisoners. Read more...

 

Indonesia: The long journey to healing for children attacked in church

04 July 2017 - Three children in Indonesia who were badly burned when a petrol bomb was thrown at them during a church service are receiving financial support, toys and care, thanks to supporters who give and pray regularly for children. On 13 November 2016, in Samarinda, east Borneo, Sunday school had finished and the children had some free time before the main church service ended. Suddenly, an explosion ripped through the playgroup - a terrorist had thrown a bomb at the youngsters. All of them suffered devastating burns. Read more...

 

India: Indian Archbishop speaks out about persecution

04 July 2017 - Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, SDB, Archbishop emeritus of Guwahati, spoke to Nirmala Carvalho for Crux about the situation of Christians in India. Since 2014, India has been ruled by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has strong links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militant Hindu nationalist organization.Incidents of harassment have increased over the past few months, with various Christians being detained or arrested for 'attempted conversion',' and places of worship being vandalised. 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