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Persecution News

HIS CHURCH IN INDIA WAS DESTROYED THREE TIMES - BUT SUJIT WON'T GIVE UP

Sujit began to experience persecution almost from the moment he decided to follow Christ. He says, “When I first accepted Jesus, my family was forced by the local villagers to expel me from the house because of my faith.” But that didn’t put him off. Soon he was leading others to Christ as well. He says, “Though my family members are still Hindus, I have seen miracles happen in Jesus’ name, and have clearly witnessed God transform the lives of many people.”


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"Prayer and giving money often feels like it is too easy, but it's not! It is making a huge difference in places like this"
- Lydia, Open Doors representative visiting Erbil, Iraq
 
  • Nigeria: Boko Haram kills another aid worker and threatens to keep Leah Sharibu and others as slaves

    16 October 2018 -

    Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP, a faction of Boko Haram) has executed another Red Cross worker, Hauwa Leman. They have also threatened to keep Leah Sharibu as a slave for life along with Alice Ngaddah, a Christian who works for Unicef. “From today,” ISWAP said, “Sharibu, 15, and Ngaddah are now our slaves. Based on our doctrines, it is now lawful for us to do whatever we want to do with them.” 

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  • After ten years in prison on false charges, seven Indian Christians still await appeal

    15 October 2018 -

    In August 2008, a prominent Hindu leader was killed by a mob. Even though Maoist terrorists claimed responsibility for the murder, a rumour circulated that Christians were responsible. Seven Christians were arrested and eventually found guilty of murder. Despite significant evidence that they had nothing to do with the attack, Gornath Chalanseth, Bijay Kumar Sanseth, Durjo Sunamajhi, Bhaskar Sunamajhi, Budhadeb Nayak, Munda Badamajhi and Sanatan Badamajhi were sentenced to life imprisonment.

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  • Answer to prayer as Pastor Andrew Brunson is released from prison in Turkey

    12 October 2018 -

    The court sentenced Andrew to three years and one month in prison, but chose to release him based on his time already served. He could have faced up to 35 years in prison.

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  • Despite discrimination in aid distribution, Christians in Indonesia sing praises

    11 October 2018 -

    As the Open Doors workers walked through a village in Indonesia, surrounded by the rubble and destruction left behind by the recent earthquake, they could hear voices singing ‘Hallelujah’. Coming round the corner they found a group believers, stood under a tent given by Open Doors, singing their praises to God. On top of the recent disaster, Christians are facing added discrimination because of their faith as aid is distributed. And yet, our brothers and sisters still choose to sing ‘Hallelujah’. And your support and prayers are helping them to keep going.

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  • Pastor could face 35 years in prison in Turkey - pray for his trial

    10 October 2018 -

    Andrew Brunson, the US pastor who has been imprisoned in Turkey since 2016, will attend yet another hearing on Friday 12 October - and could face 35 years in prison if convicted.

    Andrew has been accused of terrorism and espionage charges which he has denied flatly, declaring in court: "I am an innocent man on all these charges. I reject them. I know why I am here. I am here to suffer in Jesus’s name."

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  • Nobel prize winners shine a light on sexual violence as a weapon

    10 October 2018 -

    The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who have both campaigned against rape in warfare. The horror of sexual violence being used as a weapon of religious persecution is something that our persecuted sisters around the world are facing on a regular basis – but their abuse often goes unseen and unchallenged. Your support and prayers are helping to provide trauma care for our sisters who have faced sexual violence.

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  • ‘I will die but I will not bow to this idol’ – The courageous faith of Khushal from India

    09 October 2018 -

    “Around 250 people surrounded my house, they caught hold of me and dragged me for about half a kilometer to the nearby temple. When we arrived at the temple they pushed me towards the idol and ordered me to bow down; I mustered all the strength that was left within me and said, ‘I will die but I will not bow to this idol.’” Khushal, a 50-year-old Pastor from central India, describes the attack he suffered last year because of his faith in Jesus, and his work as a pastor in his village. Your support and prayers enabled him to attend persecution survival training run by Open Doors local partners shortly after this terrifying incident. He says, “During the training I felt the warmth of God’s love and his protection. It felt as if God intended to bring me here to learn. I shared my testimony and my concerns. Many people prayed for me and I was a new person. Much more mature and much bolder!”

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  • Asia Bibi update: Still no ruling for mother on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan

    08 October 2018 -

    Asia Bibi’s long wait for justice continues, as Pakistan's Supreme Court has postponed its ruling on her final appeal, and has not said when it will announce its ruling.

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  • Asia Bibi, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, due in court today

    08 October 2018 -

    Asia Bibi, the Christian mother-of-five who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan, is due to have her case heard by the Supreme Court today.

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  • Your support provides aid to earthquake victims in Indonesia as many struggle to access government support

    05 October 2018 -

    When Open Doors workers arrived in Palu, a city still reeling from the recent earthquake and tsunami, they found that many were struggling to access government aid. Thanks to your prayers and support, Open Doors workers were able to provide tents, blankets and mats for distribution by nine churches, and around 250 food packages will arrive tomorrow (Saturday). The team decided to take the packages by car rather than open trucks to avoid looting, an increasing problem as people struggle to access aid and become more desperate.

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  • Tune into TWR this autumn for a deeper look at the World Watch List

    04 October 2018 -

    Starting on Saturday 6 October, TWR speak to the CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland, Henrietta Blyth, on what the World Watch List is and why it matters, before focusing on some of the countries in the world where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus.

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  • More good news from Sudan as a shipment of Bibles, held for years, is cleared

    04 October 2018 -

    Since 2011 government customs officials have delayed the clearing of Arabic Bibles through Port Sudan, without explanation. This left Bibles decaying in shipping containers at the port for years. Church leaders appealed to different authorities to get Bibles cleared through customs, but to no avail. Then, two weeks ago, the government suddenly cleared a shipment that has been stuck at the port for many years. The newly cleared Bibles have since been transported to Khartoum, to the great excitement of Christians there!

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  • Indonesia: Help is on its way to Palu

    02 October 2018 -

    Two Open Doors workers are making their way towards Palu city, Indonesia, where they intend to asses the needs of believers there and distribute aid following the recent earthquake and tsunami.

    Palu airport has been reopened, but commercial flights have been limited to one single flight per day. Since it is very difficult to get flight tickets, the two Open Doors workers flew to Gorontalo, about 544 kilometres away from Palu city, and are continuing their journey by land for another 15 hours to reach Palu.

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  • Planting a church in the toilet of a North Korean prison camp - Hea Woo's story of faith and courage

    01 October 2018 -

    Open Doors estimates that there are between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians being held in horrific labour camps, simply for daring to believe in a higher authority than the rulers of North Korea – Jesus. Hea Woo is a Christian who was imprisoned in North Korea. When she arrived at the prison camp where she was held, there was a sign saying ‘Do not try to escape, you shall be killed’. And yet, even in these labour camps that are like hell on earth, God is at work. Hea Woo says, “God helped me to survive. Even more: He gave me a desire to evangelise among the other prisoners!

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  • Back from the dead: Tilak's story of faith and miracles in India

    01 October 2018 -

    It seemed as though all hope was lost. Tilak, a church leader from rural India, was dead. Some of his Hindu neighbours had complained to a local group of violent extremists that Tilak was brainwashing the villagers and polluting their minds with the Christian faith – he had led 40 families to Jesus. The extremist group kidnapped Tilak, and when he refused to deny his faith in Christ, they beat him and tortured him. Finally, he collapsed. He had no pulse. Tilak was gone. But that wasn’t the end of the story.

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  • Hands of hope in Syria: 'We want deaf people to know Christ and become leaders'

    01 October 2018 -

    Nidal and Fadi, from the Alliance Church in Damascus, Syria, had a vision from God to start a ministry reaching out to deaf people, inspired by Isaiah 29:18: “In that day, the deaf will hear the words of the scroll.” Nidal says, “Our vision was to treat and help deaf people in a different way. For many in Syria, the deaf were seen as having a learning disability... Rather, we wanted to treat them as any other people, and wanted them to know Christ and become leaders in their deaf community.” There was just one problem: Nidal and Fadi aren't deaf, and they couldn't speak sign language.

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  • Twelve-year-old Sari from India: 'I can't leave Jesus'

    27 September 2018 -

    Despite being rejected by her family, 12-year-old Sari* from India won't leave Jesus.

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  • Answer to prayer as 19 church properties are returned to the Sudanese Church of Christ

    27 September 2018 -

    The Sudanese government has returned ownership of 19 properties to the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), two years after it confiscated them – praise God! The land-ownership documents were handed back on Monday 24 September. In August a Sudanese court ruled against the government and ordered that administration of properties be returned to the church body and that the case against five SCOC church leaders be dropped. Thank you for your prayers for our church family in Sudan and for this case – we have seen some of our prayers answered this week.

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  • 30 years as an evangelist in India, 30 years of persecution, and a lifetime of God's faithfulness: Ravi's story

    25 September 2018 -

    When we meet 65-year-old Ravi, one of Open Doors’ local partners in India, he is dressed in a white cotton kurta, his white hair parted on the left. He says, “It has been over three decades since I started working as an evangelist. I have faced countless oppositions since then.  I have been falsely accused of trying to lure people to Christianity in the local newspapers; two times I was beaten brutally and once a group of extremists even came to burn my house. I was terrified that time, but thankfully their plans didn’t succeed. They continued threatening me not to preach. But I never backed off my faith or my ministry because God strengthened me.”

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  • Seven-year-old tells attacker 'Let God avenge me' as violence continues in Nigeria

    19 September 2018 -

    Our church family in Nigeria are have faced a spate of violent attacks as Fulani herdsmen continue to attack and kill Christians in the central state of Plateau.

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  • New threat against Leah Sharibu, abducted in Nigeria, as Boko Haram kill an aid worker

    19 September 2018 -

    Boko Haram has killed an aid worker and threatened to kill three other hostages, including the Christian schoolgirl Leah Sharibu.

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  • Heartaches, healings and high hopes: An interview with a Christian mother in India

    18 September 2018 -

    Jaanvi* doesn’t know exactly how old she is - she thinks maybe 37 or 38. She’s married and has four children. She lives in a village with about 500 houses – but no church building. There are just four other Christian families in her village. She’s seen God work in amazing ways, but she has also faced rejection and anger from her neighbours because of her faith. She tells us her story.

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  • They've faced Islamic State, war and displacement - but these women aren't giving up hope for Syria

    14 September 2018 -

    Meet Shiveen, Mahera, Ibtihaj, Hala and Fatan. Before the war in Syria, these women were business owners. Hala had a sewing factory for 25 years. Ibtihaj had a tiling factory. Shiveen had a computer outlet. With the outbreak of war, they all had to flee their homes to escape the violence, leaving behind everything they had worked so hard for. But these are highly skilled and capable women - and they haven’t given up hope, for themselves, their families or their country. Fatan says, “With the help of God, Syria will be all right again.”

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  • Christians in Central African Republic request urgent prayers as 14 believers are killed

    11 September 2018 -

    Our church family in the Central African Republic (CAR) are urgently asking for our prayers following the brutal killing of 14 Christians from an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in the city of Bria. Ex-Seleka militia, a group of Islamic extremists, were behind the attack.

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  • A miracle reminds Salma of her calling in Iran

    11 September 2018 -

    "While doing ministry in Iran comes with many difficulties, I know for sure that God has called me to serve him here,” says Salma*, a leader of a secret house church in Iran, after she experienced healing from the Lord.

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"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