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News & analysis

This is a collection of recent articles and research written by the Barnabas team.

Christian villages in northern Iraq freed from ISIS 

Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq  
Christians fleeing the violence of ISIS, northern Iraq

At least seven Christian villages in northern Iraq have been liberated following a push by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim captured territories captured by ISIS (the Islamist militant group now calling itself Islamic State).

The villages, located west of Erbil in the Nineveh plain, were liberated earlier this month after clashes between Kurdish Pe shmerga troops and ISIS fighters.

 
Country/Region: Sri Lanka, South and East Asia  
Christians living in Pakistan are often subject to violence; many flee to escape persecution

Sri Lankan Supreme Court dismisses case for Pakistani Christians

A new case brought by human rights advocates to halt the deportation from Sri Lanka of Pakistani asylum-seekers has been dismissed by the country’s Supreme Court.

 
Country/Region: South and East Asia, Bhutan  
Thimpu is the capital city of Bhutan

Bhutanese court sentences two Christian pastors to imprisonment

Two pastors in Bhutan have been given prison sentences: one for accepting unauthorised funds from Christian organisations abroad, and the other for organising a worship meeting...

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Syria  
Holy Martyrs Church in Deir al-Zour was targeted by ISIS

ISIS destroys Armenian Genocide memorial church in Syria

Militants from the Islamist group ISIS have destroyed a church in the Syrian city of Deir al-Zour that memorialised the Armenian Genocide...

 
Country/Region: India, South and East Asia  
Christians in some Indian villages are suffering increasing attacks from Hindu extremists

Indian High Court moves to overturn ban on non-Hindu evangelists

In a positive move for Christians, the Bilaspur High Court in India has been persuaded by Christian organisations to oppose a ban preventing non-Hindu religious missionaries from entering villages in Bastar district.

 
Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria  
Map showing Borno state in north-east Nigeria

Boko Haram’s latest atrocity kills 20 in Christian area of Nigeria

On Wednesday (24 September), members of the Islamist group Boko Haram attacked the Christian-majority communities of Shaffa and Shindiffu in Nigeria’s Borno state, killing at least 20 people.

 
Country/Region: Mali, Africa, Middle East and North Africa  
A rural church in southern Mali, where Barnabas Fund has supported displaced Christians

Displaced Christians return to their homes in Mali

Many Christians who were driven from northern Mali by Islamist rebels have begun to return to their homes in the region, which was liberated by French troops in early 2013.

 
Country/Region: Central Asia, Armenia  
Armenian Christians being marched by Turkish soldiers during the Armenian Genocide

Textbooks in Turkish schools negative to Armenian Christians

Some textbooks being used for the current school year in Turkey contain negatively biased remarks about Christians in relation to the Armenian Genocide.

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Saudi Arabia  
Mecca is Islam’s holiest city and is located in Saudi Arabia

Christians detained by Saudi religious police in raid on private home

The Saudi religious police arrested and detained overnight at least 27 people accused of practising Christianity in a house church.

 
Country/Region: Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Syria  
ISIS militants

Editorial: The War of the Cross

When ISIS changed its name in June from “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL, or the Arabic acronym ISIS) to simply “the Islamic State” this was a shift of enormous theological and eschatological significance.

 
christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • Pray for the residents of Gorsi Tourou, a village in northern Cameroon that was ravaged in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants on 6 June. They ran for their lives as more than 300 heavily armed men torched churches and houses and looted property. Cameroonian soldiers arrived around two hours later and were able to drive back the militants. Boko Haram has been wreaking havoc in neighbouring Nigeria, targeting Christian communities in particular in its bloody battle to establish an Islamic state in the North. Pray that the group’s evil activities will be restrained and that they will not be able to gain a foothold in Cameroon. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 17 hours ago

    • Heavenly Father, we pray for Kim Jung-Wook, a South Korean Christian who has been sentenced to hard labour for life in North Korea for “spying” and attempting to establish house churches in the country. We thank You that although prosecutors demanded the death penalty, this was commuted, but we pray that Jung-Wook will be sustained by You in his imprisonment and cruel treatment and will soon be released. We pray too for the dozens of North Koreans who were detained after Jung-Wook’s arrest in October on suspicion of helping him, and for the families of any who have already been executed. We pray for political change and religious freedom in North Korea, that it may be made legal to be a Christian and to take part in Christian activity. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Two Christian families in Uzbekistan who meet in a private home to read the Bible and pray together have been repeatedly fined and had property confiscated. Alisher Abdullayev and Veniamin Nemirov were originally fined in 2012 for unregistered religious activity and teaching religion “illegally”. They refused on principle to pay, claiming that they had not violated any laws. But earlier this year bailiffs went to their homes and confiscated a car, a mobile phone and household items. The men and their wives were then fined again, ten times the minimum monthly wage. Officers have also raided one of their meetings, filming and harassing those present and seizing religious literature. Pray that the authorities will stop targeting the families and that they will be left alone to study and pray in peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Leaders imprisoned for up to 60 days and members for up to 45 days; fines, corrective labour or community service: these are the penalties for taking part in religious gatherings in Kazakhstan held without state permission, according to a new criminal code. Those who finance unregistered religious activity will be liable to the same punishments as leaders. In addition, a new Code of Administrative Offences lays down a wide range of penalties for exercising the right to religious freedom. Both codes have been condemned by 119 Kazakh and international human rights groups and individuals. They further tighten controls on religious practice in a context where it is already much restricted. Pray for wisdom and courage for Christians in Kazakhstan as they seek to maintain their worship and witness. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that 55 Christians, almost all church leaders and converts from Islam, received Bible training at a three-day seminar in Kyrgyzstan that was supported by Barnabas Fund. The participants have virtually no access to Biblical training, and so the studies were a great boost to their faith and ministry. Meeting fellow church leaders, who are all dealing with similar issues, such as isolation and persecution from Muslim relatives and local Muslim communities, was also very encouraging to them and gave them the opportunity to build up a Christian support network. Pray that the Lord will continue to speak to them through the Bible passages they studied at the seminar, and that He will bless their ministries. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

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