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Open Doors News

Iraq: Update on five-year-old Christine, abducted by Islamic State

Ayda and her family were forced to flee their home in Qaraqosh, and they now live in a porta-cabin in a camp for displaced people in Erbil, supported by our local partners with food and hygiene kits. "But," as Ayda told our Iraqi contact who visited her recently, "Christine is still there." 'There' means 'in IS territory'; so close you could drive there in a matter of hours, but so dangerous that Christine may as well be on the other side of the world.

Read more...

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

Sudan: UPDATE - Pastors' trial continues TODAY

26 September 2016 - The trial of Sudanese pastors Hassan Abduraheem Taour and Kuwa Shamal, along with Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla, a Darfuri student, and Petr Jasek, a Czech Christian aid worker, will continue today. It was postponed on 21 September due to the absence on a translator. If you would like to do more on behalf of Hassan and Kuwa, please email advocacy@opendoorsuk.org and we will provide you with more information. Read more...

 

Mali: Motorcycles for pastors in Mali

26 September 2016 - The church in Mali has seen a lot of turmoil since the uprising in 2012 but insecurity is not the only challenge it faces. Open Doors is working to support church leaders and, as part of that, has delivered five motorcycles to pastors. Church caught unawares by persecution Mali used to be considered exemplary among African countries for protecting civil liberties and political rights, but everything changed with the military coup of 2012. In the ensuing chaos, Islamists linked to al-Qaeda merged with separatists and declared an Islamic state in the north of Mali Read more...

 

Iraq: Urgent prayer needed as forces gather for 'Battle for Mosul'

21 September 2016 - Open Doors sources are urging Christians to pray for Mosul. Latest reports indicate that a coalition of military forces are gearing up for an assault on Mosul. Iraq's second-largest city was captured by so-called Islamic State (IS) forces over two years ago. From there, it proclaimed its intention to establish a caliphate. But in recent months IS have been steadily driven back. And now an assault on what is the last bastion of IS in Iraq could begin next month. But the assault could very well be extremely bloody and drawn out Read more...

 

Central African Republic: Pastor among scores killed by rebels

21 September 2016 - Some 26 people have been reported killed during an outbreak of violence in CAR. A local pastor was among the victims as predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels attacked communities around the town of Kaga Bandoro, 350 km north of the Central African Republic capital, Bangui. The pastor, whose name is not known at this stage, was one of some 26 people killed in the village of Ndomete, as the armed rebels went door-to-door in the early hours of 16 September. Locals told Open Doors the rebels also looted a Catholic church some 20km from Kaga Bandoro and several other properties, including NGO properties Read more...

 

Iran: Medical leave cancelled for prisoner Maryam Zargaran

20 September 2016 - Friends of Christian prisoner Maryam Naghash Zargaran report that her medical leave has been cancelled and she has returned to Evin Prison in Tehran. Maryam, who was previously granted medical furlough for a range of health issues in June 2016, started a hunger strike on 5 July to demand her immediate and unconditional release in view of the inadequate treatment for a variety of health issues. Read more...

 

North Korea: Devastating floods leave 133 dead, 395 missing, 107,000 displaced.

14 September 2016 - North Korea usually projects itself to the world as a worker's paradise. And recently it has engaged in public displays of strength through missile launches and nuclear tests. But a terrible flood in the country has forced the government to admit that tens of thousands of people need help. A report published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) - North Korea's official state media - said that the northeast region of the country has been hit by severe flooding. The government report stated that due to 'the heaviest rain since 1945' tens of thousands of buildings have been destroyed and that people have been left homeless, 'suffering from great hardship' Read more...

 

Nigeria: Update from Deborah Shettima

07 September 2016 - Deborah Shettima has lived in Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, throughout the insurgency that has gained momentum from 2009. It is a miracle that she has survived the constant battles, suicide bombings and targeted attacks. But an even bigger miracle is that this woman has survived spiritually after losing all of her family members. On the afternoon of 25 April 2012, a group of Boko Haram militants stormed Deborah Shettima's house. They shot her husband dead in front of her eyes and then abducted her two daughters, Tabitha (who was 7) and Sarah (who was 9). Read more...

 

Uzbekistan: Pray for Christians as country transitions

07 September 2016 - Uzbekistan After Karimov - 'Christians Still Seen as Religious Extremists'. Islam Karimov seized power in Uzbekistan in 1989, shortly before the USSR collapsed and the country gained its independence. Under his leadership, Uzbekistan grew to be one of the harshest dictatorships in Central Asia. The regime did everything to stay in power and persecuted Christians. How will that change now that Karimov is gone? On September 2, 2016, Uzbek authorities officially confirmed that President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, died at the age of 78. Read more...

 

Iraq: "Through the displacement I found the peace of the Lord"

07 September 2016 - Athraa's life was turned upside down when she had to flee the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) in the summer of 2014. Even though she hasn't been able to return to her home since then, she sees displacement as a blessing. Read more...

 

Tanzania: Students attacked at Christian university

06 September 2016 - Please pray for Christian students in Tanzania after an attack on their university over the weekend. A security guard was killed and two other people seriously injured at the Lutheran-run Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University in Lushoto, in north-eastern Tanzania. According to local media reports, an unknown number of people attacked the campus on 2 September. After killing one security guard and gravely injuring another, the attackers set fire to the hostels where the students were staying. Read more...

 

Uganda: 11-year-old Hadija finds a new family

06 September 2016 - Hadija has an extraordinary testimony of faith for an 11-year-old girl.She was born into a Muslim family in a small Ugandan fishing town on the north-eastern shores of Lake Victoria. Moved by the singing and teaching she heard from a church near her home, Hadija began secretly attending services as a five-year-old. When her father found out he warned her to stop, promising to beat her should she disobey. She wouldn't stop and so endured weekly beatings... Read more...

 

Muskathlon 2017 - Running the race for refugees

06 September 2016 - This summer a team of six Open Doors supporters from the UK along with 30 Dutch participants completed a Muskathlon in Egypt and Jordan. The challenge took them to meet persecuted Christians in Egypt and Iraqi refugees in Jordan. We asked Stephen from Northern Ireland how the experience changed his life. Read more...

 

Kenya: Garissa University reopens

05 September 2016 - Garissa University reopened today (5 September 2016), welcoming its first group of non-locals since the al-Shabaab attack in April 2015 which killed 147 mostly Christian students. "There is bound to be much anxiety in both students and parents about the safety of the students there," Open Doors worker Hadassah reported. "Garissa woke this morning to rare showers of rain. As the water falls on the dry Garissa soil, we pray that the Lord will drench the students with knowledge of His presence today." Read more...

 

Pakistan: Terrorists attack Christian colony: one Christian killed

05 September 2016 - A Christian security guard was killed after an attack on a Christian colony near the city of Peshawar on Friday 2 September. An Islamist group linked to the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a response to recent Army claims that it has pushed back terrorist violence. Unconfirmed reports said the group had intended to attack Army 'targets', but ended up moving to the Christian Colony instead. Meanwhile, residents have been advised to remain in their homes. 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