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Open Doors News

Nigeria: 82 Chibok girls released

82 of the girls abducted by Boko Haram militants from a school in Chibok over three years ago have been released. The girls met with President Buhari in Abuja. "I cannot express in a few words how happy I am to welcome our dear girls back to freedom," Mr Buhari told the girls in Abuja, according to his office. The girls were released in exchange for Boko Haram suspects. However, over 100 of the abducted girls remain missing.

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

Indonesia: UPDATE: Blasphemy appeal withdrawn 'for the sake of the people'

26 May 2017 - Jakarta's Christian ex-governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as 'Ahok', has withdrawn his appeal against his two-year prison sentence for blasphemy in a controversial case that has challenged religious pluralism in Indonesia, with repeated clashes between Ahok's supporters and radical Islamic groups.It was for this reason, said Ahok, that he wished to drop his appeal 'for the sake of our people and nation'. Read more...

 

Iraq: The stone factory near Mosul rebuilding hope and dignity

26 May 2017 - Nashwan isn't the kind of man you might imagine when you think of the crisis facing Christians in the Middle East. Burley and bearded, seeing him doesn't inspire feelings of pity - his serious face commands respect. In many ways, he exemplifies the church in the Middle East today. Quietly dignified, he doesn't want to rely on handouts from others, and he doesn't want to leave his country - he wants to care for his family in Iraq, and quite literally help to rebuild the nation.Nashwan is a highly skilled stone-cutter who lives in a village about 25 miles from Mosul, Iraq. Read more...

 

Ramadan starts tomorrow, what can Christians expect?

26 May 2017 - From 27 May to 25 June, the Muslim prayer and fasting month of Ramadan will see hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide observing the religious festival and seeking God. But for many Christians across the Muslim World, though Ramadan presents believers with multiple challenges, it is also a special time of prayer and celebration. Read below what Christians can expect across Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. Read more...

 

Egypt: Over 20 Coptic Christians killed and 27 wounded

26 May 2017 - At least 23 people have been killed and 25 wounded after a bus carrying Coptic Christians were fired upon by gunmen. The believers were travelling to a church when the bus they were on was attacked in Minya province, central Egypt.Christians have been the target of multiple Islamist attacks this year. Read more...

 

Syria: Injured believers find work in furniture factory

25 May 2017 - Milad was studying and working in the hotel business when the war broke out in Syria, and he lost his job due to the fighting. He found another job, but was then injured in a car bomb. He says, "The doctors had to amputate my left leg; my brother lost a leg too. We were severely burned and had to stay in hospital for three months." Milad was unemployed for 18 months after losing his leg, but then finally found work in a furniture factory in Homs that has been opened by Open Doors partners, thanks to your support. Read more...

 

Persecuted believers pray for Manchester

25 May 2017 - The Open Doors Asia team have been in contact with persecuted believers who have been praying for Manchester. Though many of them live under the constant threat of terrorism and violence, it's something they never get used to. A Pakistani sister, who has been involved in helping victims of terror attacks in her country, shares: "I was a student in Manchester for three years. There, God called me to serve His church. There I met people who prayed for the persecuted church. I was moved by how believers really did pray for those who are suffering. Read more...

 

Sudan: Authorities continue campaign of church demolitions

23 May 2017 - Two churches in Sudan have been demolished in the space of ten days, as the authorities continue their programme of church demolitions. On 17 May, the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) building in Algadisia, Khartoum was demolished. The destruction of the church comes ten days after the demolition of another SCOC church in Soba Al Aradi. Read more...

 

Nigeria: Joy as Chibok girls reunited with their families

23 May 2017 - The 82 Chibok girls freed from Nigeria's Boko Haram militants have been reunited with their families.Their parents travelled by bus through the night to meet their daughters, who are being looked after by security services in the capital, Abuja. Film of the reunion shows the joyful scenes of celebration, with music and dance, and the girls racing towards their parents. Read more...

 

Iran: What will re-election of Rouhani mean for Christians?

22 May 2017 - Iranians have voted overwhelmingly to return Hassan Rouhani to power. But what does that mean for Christians in Iran? Iran is currently ranked number 8 on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christians face the greatest persecution. The election of President Hassan Rouhani four years ago was seen as a decisive message that Iranians wanted better relations with the wider world. Rouhani was much more of a moderate than his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Read more...

 

Yemen: Vulnerable Christians request your urgent prayers

18 May 2017 - Following an outbreak of cholera, Yemeni authorities have declared the capital, Sanaa, to be in a state of emergency. Christians in the country are asking for your urgent prayers. 'Patients are sleeping on the hospital floors, beds are full,' says a Christian in Yemen. 'We are planning a cholera awareness campaign in the coming week. We urgently need our brothers and sisters to pray for our protection and that the spread of cholera will stop.' Cholera, if left untreated, causes acute diarrhea and can be fatal within hours. Read more...

 

Nigeria: Boko Haram claims schoolgirls refused to leave; Girl (14) abducted for suicide mission

18 May 2017 - Following the fantastic news that 82 Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram had been freed, a video released by the militant group claims that some of the girls chose not to be selected for freedom. Instead, they preferred to remain with the militants.In the three-minute video, a girl dressed in a veil and holding a gun says she is Maida Yakubu, one of 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April 2014, reports Al Jazeera. Three other girls in veils sit behind her. Read more...

 

Sudan: Ex-prisoner, Hassan Kodi, praises God for release

17 May 2017 - When the day broke on 11 May, Hassan Kodi, prisoner for his faith in Sudan, had no idea that this was the day the Lord would radically change his circumstances. He had been spending time with two visitors when prison guards called him to a meeting, without stating the purpose. Hassan cut went straight to the meeting, where he learned that President Al Bashir's office ordered his and his co-prisoner, Abdulmonem Abdumawla's, release.The two prisoners quickly gathered their things and less than an hour later walked out of prison as free men, greeted by well-wishers. Read more...

 

Central Asia: Christians tortured and beaten 'brutally' by police

17 May 2017 - Four men arrested at a secret church meeting in Central Asia have been violently pressured by state police to recant their faith. The Christians - who had already been arrested four times in the last few months - spent 15 days in prison, during which they were interrogated and tortured.'For 15 days policemen beat us brutally with police batons,' one of the men, a pastor, tells Open Doors. 'They beat off heels, muscles, joints. They also didn't let us breathe, putting on gas masks and tying hands. The attitude towards us Christians was cruel, inhuman.' Read more...

 

Kazakhstan: 'New wave' of raids on churches

12 May 2017 - Police raided at least two Baptist worship meetings on 16 April, Easter Sunday, in the central city of Temirtau and the southern city of Taraz. Officers issued four summary fines totalling about nine months' wages with no court hearings. According to several Baptists who complained to Forum 18, such fines for worship meetings are increasing.In a separate case, a court in the southern city of Almaty has banned a Protestant church from meeting for three months. The court also fined them for holding a worship meeting in a place other than its registered address. 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