One hundred and sixty Christians were recently forced to flee their village after it was attacked by Muslim extremists, according to a VOM worker. [more...]
A Christian woman in Somalia has been imprisoned for participating in underground Christian work, VOM workers report. [more...]
A 16-year-old Christian convert from Islam by the name of Aman Ullah was kidnapped by the Taliban on 25 May in Peshawar, the heart of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province. [more...]
Seven Christians charged with 'cult activity' have all received prison sentences ranging from three to seven-and-a-half years. [more...]
In July 2012, Maryam (28), a Saudi convert to Christianity, fled the country. Subsequently, her employer, Henna Sarkees (51), a Christian Lebanese national, was charged with abusing his position by coercing her to convert. Also, an un-named Saudi national was charged with facilitating Maryam's flight from the country. [more...]
Rescuers of Christian children taken captive by Islamic traffickers in Bangladesh are being accused of forcefully converting the children to Christianity. [more...]
We recently caught up with John Wilson, Executive Director of Voice of the Martyrs Australia, to give you an exclusive insight into our safe house ministry. [more...]
Jono Fox recently travelled to Nigeria with Voice of the Martyrs to meet persecuted Christians. He will be sharing his experiences at this year's Thirteen Three Fearless youth events to help raise awareness and funds for Nigerian Christians.
Fourteen years after Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burnt to death by a mob, two more suspects have been arrested from Odisha's (formerly known as Orissa) Keonjhar district. [more...]
Christians in the Central African Republic are being targeted by Islamist militants who violently seized control of the country on 24 March. Although many have been killed or seriously wounded in the violence, others are being tied up, beaten and forced to hand over money to save their lives. [more...]
A VOM worker reports that 150 new believers were baptised recently in the village of Kaboreh, and 80 of them are converts from Islam. [more...]
The Central Assemblies of God church in Tehran was closed last Thursday, 23 May, due to pressure from Iranian security authorities. [more...]
Gunmen believed to be members of the deadly Islamic extremist Boko Haram group killed Rev Faye Pama Musa, secretary of the Borno state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). [more...]
Sharofat Allamova, a Protestant from Urgench in north-western Uzbekistan, has been given one and a half years of corrective labour, after being convicted under criminal charges brought for the "illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature". [more...]
In recent months, Christian persecution in Sri Lanka has intensified owing to the rise in Buddhist nationalism in the country. [more...]
A Pastor in Uttar Pradesh state was recently attacked and beaten during his church service, a VOM worker reports. Near the end of the service, a group of Hindu men attacked Pastor “Caleb,” tied him to a tree and beat him. The attackers, who apparently were directed by Hindu leaders in the village, broke Pastor Caleb’s arm during the beating. [more...]
Four Christians from the Ahwaz Assemblies of God Church have been ordered to begin serving their one-year prison sentences, after the High Court rejected their appeal on 1 May. [more...]
Sudanese officials are reported to be deporting increasing numbers of Christians, amid worrying reports of interrogations and threats against them.
St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha was bombed on Sunday, 5 May. At least two people are confirmed dead as a result of the blast. [more...]
In December 2012, an employee of a Christian bookstore in central China was asked to come to a police station to retrieve $6,000 worth of books that had been seized from the store in a raid several months earlier. However, when Mr Li arrived at the police station, he was immediately arrested and sent to prison. [more...]
Libyan authorities have released an Egyptian national and three other foreigners who were arrested on 10 February in Benghazi for allegedly illegally importing Christian materials. The Egyptian national is recuperating at home with his wife and two children. [more...]
On 13 April, members of the Al-Shabaab militant group ended the life of 42-year-old Fartun Omar, a Christian mother of five in Beledweyne, Somalia. Fartun's husband Siad, who was also a believer, had been previously killed by gunmen on 8 December 2012, for converting from Islam. [more...]
Persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists continues to increase in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Pastor Mathayo Kachili was killed in Buseresere, Tanzania, recently by radical Muslims who attacked him with machetes. Pastor Mathayo was a husband and father of 12 children. [more...]
Brother “Keon” and his wife have suffered intense persecution since opening their home to other Christians last Christmas, a VOM worker reports. The family accepted Jesus Christ after their son was miraculously healed from an illness. But after converting to Christianity, Brother Keon was forbidden to associate with anyone in the village. [more...]
With countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Somalia topping the list as some of the world's worst persecutors of Christians, it's hard to imagine that none of these countries hold the highest Christian death toll. In 2012, that shameful distinction went to Nigeria, where almost 70% of Christians killed globally were murdered. [more...]
Mohammed is a former drug addict who came to know Christ four years ago. Now he is a bold evangelist in Iran, sharing the Gospel with everyone he meets. God is using evangelists like Mohammed to grow the church in Iran despite persecution. [more...]
Younis Masih has been released!! Younis was in prison from 2005 sentenced to death for blasphemy. Find out how your prayers led to his release and reunion with his family. [more...]
Two prominent Syrian bishops, who had warned of the threat to religious tolerance and diversity from the two-year conflict in their country, were kidnapped on Monday 22 April by armed rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, state media said. [more...]
According to Stefanos Foundation, gunmen pulled over a bus near Maiduguri on Saturday 20 April, demanded passengers declare their faith and then killed the six people who said they were Christian. Meanwhile, in Gwoza, also in Borno state, Islamists are reported to have embarked upon an 'Islamisation campaign'. Stefanos reports that gunmen are going from door to door demanding people profess allegiance to Islam at gunpoint. [more...]
Persecution is increasing in Myanmar as more people turn to Jesus Christ. Buddhists who convert to Christianity have difficulty keeping jobs and are often driven from their homes, according to a VOM worker. Two families currently working with VOM’s Burma fish farm project lost their jobs and homes after coming to faith in Christ last July. [more...]
American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving an eight-year prison term in Iran because of his Christian faith, has been suffering from internal bleeding for months – injuries received from beatings in prison. [more...]
Though Mali is ravaged by civil war, life and work continue in the southern part of the country, a VOM worker reports. Several safe houses in the region continue to shelter groups of former Muslims who were threatened by their Muslim families. [more...]
A Muslim mob attacked Christian-owned shops and a church in the Francis Colony of Gujranwala, Pakistan on Wednesday 3 April following a dispute between Christian youth and a Muslim cleric a day earlier. [more...]
Bounchan was imprisoned for his Christian ministry in Laos for over 10 years. Despite the risks, he went to extraordinary lengths to smuggle Bibles into prison. [more...]
Thanks to the generous response of our supporters, over 4440 persecuted Christian families were helped through Bibles Plus in 2012. [more...]
One Christian was killed and at least 21 were injured by Muslim rioters during a violent assault on mourners attending a funeral at St Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on Sunday. The attack was the third day of anti-Christian violence in Egypt which has claimed five Christian lives. [more...]
Two Brazilian missionaries detained on false accusations in November 2012, were granted bail on 5 April after spending 5 months in prison in Senegal. [more...]
During the last week of March, thieves entered the compound of a VOM partner in Sierra Leone, attacking him in the process. "They were well armed and could have harmed me if I made an attempt to stop them," he testifies. [more...]
Pakistan Christian Younis Masih, who had been sentenced to death for blasphemy, has been released on appeal Wednesday 3 April. The father-of-four had been in jail since November 2005. He was set free after a successful appeal to the High Court in Lahore.
For only $25, you can give a Bibles Plus pack to a persecuted Christian family struggling with spiritual and physical hunger. [more...]
Thirteen Three recently finished a series of youth events raising awareness and funds for persecuted Christians in Colombia. We have so much to thank God for from this event series! [more...]
According to a local church leader, police beat Vam Ngaij Vaj around his neck and shoulders and probably electrically shocked him, resulting in his death on 17 March.
Islamic leaders from Nigeria have urged their country’s 19 northern governors to completely pardon Boko Haram militants for the violence that has consumed Nigeria for the past three years, despite pleas by President Goodluck Jonathan. [more...]
About 40 local government officials watched as a bulldozer destroyed the unfinished church building of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) in the Bekasi region on 21 March. [more...]
Last year, 76-year-old Aring and his wife Mah were facing the possibility of starvation in southern Myanmar. "When my wife and I did not have any food to eat, we just prayed and trusted the Lord." Find out how God answered their prayers. [more...]
On 15 March, Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American-Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini, tearfully presented the case of her imprisoned husband's torture to a US congressional committee on human rights. [more...]
At least twenty people have been killed by a series of bombings targeting buses in a predominantly Christian neighbourhood of Nigeria's northern city of Kano. [more...]
A small house church in western China was raided by five policemen and 15 locals in late February. The pastor was thrown to the floor and restrained while police scuffled with a 50-year-old male church member. When the pastor told police the other man had a heart condition, they set the sick man upright and began to beat the pastor. [more...]
Two Brazilian Christians remain in prison in Senegal on charges of kidnapping and child trafficking. The Christians operated a home for street children, many of whom were members of Quranic schools that force their pupils to sleep on the streets. The home provided food, shelter and education to about 17 children. After one of the youths told his father he had become a Christian at the home, the boy’s father made accusations against Pastor Jose Dilson Alves Da Silva. Legal efforts and intervention by Brazilian diplomats have so far had no effect. “This is a prayer subject for all of us,” said VOM’s field worker in Senegal. “The only person who can solve this problem is the Lord.”
Source: VOM Contacts [more...]
After eight years of imprisonment under false accusations, Pastor Samuel was released on Wednesday 13 March. Gospel for Asia leaders rushed to welcome him as he walked out of jail, greeting him with flowers and praise to the Lord.
Originally accused of Naxalite (Maoist) activities, Pastor Samuel was cleared of all charges in the summer of 2010, but strikes and delayed court hearings prevented him from returning to his wife and 8-year-old daughter. [more...]
Repeated electrical shock torture of an Egyptian Christian accused of “proselytising” in Libya likely exacerbated his heart ailment, leading to his death in custody, according to sources close to the deceased. Ezzat Hakim Atallah, 45, died on 10 March in a Tripoli jail while in the custody of an Islamic militia group known as the Preventative Security Unit.
Atallah, who had run a mobile phone sales business in Benghazi, was arrested as part of a round-up of foreign Christians on 13 February. Seven Christians were arrested that week, four of them Egyptians. [more...]
More than one year after the country's 2012 revolution, violence against Christians in Egypt has escalated. One of the recent attacks occurred on 15 February, when a mob of a few hundred Islamic militants threw stones and set fire to St Georgas Coptic Church, located in the poor village of Sarsena (about 100 km southwest of Cairo). [more...]
A mob of some 3,000 Muslims set fire to approximately 178 Christian homes and two churches in the Joseph Colony of Lahore on 9 March following accusations that Sawan Masih, a Christian sanitation worker, had made derogatory remarks about the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Masih had allegedly made the blasphemous comments on Wednesday during a dispute on religious issues with Shahid Imran, a Muslim, while the men "were drunk," said local resident Altaf Masih. [more...]
Syrian Christians continue to request prayers for their country. In recent months, there have been increasing numbers of attacks on Christians that seem to be religiously motivated. There has been a spate of reported incidents involving the kidnapping of Christians. On 9 February two priests, Michel Kayyal (Armenian Catholic) and Maher Mahfouz (Greek Orthodox), were kidnapped when travelling by public bus between Damascus and Aleppo. The bus was stopped by armed men belonging to one of the groups fighting the government. The gunmen checked the identity documents of all passengers and only the two priests were taken. Negotiations for their release are on-going. [more...]
More vicious attacks have been made against the peaceful inhabitants of two neighbouring Christian villages. During the early hours of 22 February, ten family members were tragically hacked to death and two others sustained gunshot wounds after an unexpected attack took place in Kogwom Village (Vom District in Jos South, Plateau State). The grieving family had gathered together that morning to conduct the funeral of a grandmother when the unfortunate tragedy took place. [more...]
Maoists in Nepal recently accused an evangelist of defiling the harmony of society and ordered him to leave his village within seven days. Before telling him to leave, the communist Maoists asked the family to give up their Christian faith. They threatened to kill the evangelist and stayed with him for seven days before finally ordering him and hisfamily, including two children, to leave the village. [more...]
John Wilson, Executive Director of Voice of the Martyrs, recently travelled to Indonesia to meet with persecuted Christians. We caught up with him recently to find out more about his trip and give you an exclusive insight into what life is like as a Christian in Indonesia.
According to a recent report, 66 Churches have been burnt down in Kachin state, Myanmar since conflict reignited in June 2011. The report, released by the Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) stated that the churches were burnt down by Myanmar government forces. [more...]
Egyptian Christians have requested prayer concerning a legal case involving two young boys who were accused of defacing pages of a Koran in 2012. Mina Nady Farag and Nabil Nagy Rizk, ages nine and ten, were detained on 30 September when Ibrahim Mohamed Ali, a local imam from their home village of Ezbet Marco in the Beni Suef province of Egypt, accused the children of tearing pages of a Koran. The boys, both illiterate, claimed that they found pages of the Koran amongst rubbish and were unaware what they had found and were playing with. [more...]
At least 55 Christians are being held by the Sudanese government despite no charges having been laid. The group includes church leaders and they have been falsely accused of receiving money from foreign countries, including Israel. [more...]
Alimujiang Yimiti is a house church leader in China who has been in prison for over five years. Writing letters is a tremendous encouragement to imprisoned Christians and in some cases has led to their release.
Ribur and Roy are Christian evangelists in a strict Muslim area in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. For the past few years they have been witnessing to Muslims through a mission providing locals with assistance for farming and cattle breeding. This practical service has enabled them to develop friendships and they have seen five Muslims become followers of Christ. [more...]
According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Pastor Saeed Abedini – a US citizen facing a lengthy prison sentence in Iran because of his Christian faith – has spoken out in a letter from prison. The 32-year-old Pastor Saeed stated that the conditions inside Evin Prison are “so very difficult that my eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky.” [more...]
Prayers have been requested following the arrest of an Egyptian Christian businessman in Benghazi, capital of Cyrenaica province, eastern Libya. Sherif Ramses is a businessman who runs a bookshop in Benghazi. The stock includes Christian books, intended for sale to the many expatriate Arabic speaking Christians living and working in Benghazi and the surrounding areas. Sherif was arrested on 10 February. He remains detained and to date has not been charged before a court. He has been physically mistreated repeatedly. [more...]
Six people were killed and many more were injured in an attack on a village in a Christian area in the northern state of Kaduna on Saturday. Stefanos Foundation, adds that a substantial amount of property was also destroyed in the raid by ‘terrorists’ on Aduwan Gida village in Zangon Kataf local government area. [more...]
Pastor Mathayo Kachili of an Assemblies of God Church in Tanzania was killed last Monday in a brawl between Christians and Islamic extremists. According to Denis Stephano, the local police commander, tensions between Muslims and Christians in Buseresere, a town located in Tanzania's Geita Region, had been boiling over for quite some time before the attack. The source of these tensions was whether Christians were allowed to open and operate butcheries in Buseresere. According to All Africa News, Muslim leaders demanded the immediate closure of butcheries owned by Christians. [more...]
An Algerian judge under pressure from Islamists to uphold a Christian's conviction for alleged proselytising rescinded his one-year prison term today but doubled his fine, a lawyer said.
Ibaouene Mohamed was sentenced in July 2012 to one year in prison and a fine of 50,000 Algerian dinars after he was accused by a co-worker of attempting to convert him to Christianity, a charge that Mohamed denied. The co-worker, a 27-year-old machine operator, known to be an Islamic extremist, levelled the accusation only after Ibaouene, a convert from Islam, refused to renounce Christ, Ibaouene said. [more...]
The number of Christians arrested in the Eritrean capital Asmara in the last month is now thought to have risen to 50. Thirty arrests were made on 20 January, at a worship meeting of the Philadelphia Church in a private home in the district of Mai Temenai. Among the detainees was an 85-year-old woman, who was also accused of hosting Bible study groups in her home. Release Eritrea says the raid was 'well planned and targeted Bible study leaders'. All detainees are being held in the notorious Karchele security prison in Asmara. Sources: Release Eritrea, Release International [more...]
In the midst of terrible war and chaos, Syria’s Christian minority is facing insurmountable challenges due to distinct persecution. Vicious attacks have been made by militant Islamists and criminals, resulting in a massive exodus of believers who are being forced to flee the country. [more...]
Three Christian pastors in Laos have been arrested and detained for “spreading the Christian religion” by reproducing a DVD of a Christian film. Pastor Bounma of Alowmai Village Church, Pastor Somkaew of Kengsainoi Village Church and Pastor Bounmee of Savet Village Church, were arrested on 5 February 2013 by the Phin District police in Savannakhet province. [more...]
A new report released last week tracking Christian persecution in China reported a marked rise in arrests, harassment, and imprisonment of Christians in China for the seventh year in a row. Despite this, or perhaps partially as a result of it, Christianity has been growing at an explosive rate throughout China. Unofficial estimates indicate there may be as many as 130 million Christians living in China today.
On 14 January, three Christian women were attacked by Hindu extremists in Tamsai village (located near Navi, Mumbai). The incident took place while they were washing clothes at a public well. It all began because the 12-year-old daughter of one of the Christian women listened to Gospel songs on a mobile phone, causing the other villagers nearby to become enraged. These irritated people protested that Christian music should not be played within their hearing range. [more...]
While attending a worship service in the private rented home of a fellow believer, 53 Ethiopian Christians were arrested by Saudi authorities in Dammam, the capital of the country’s Eastern Province. The incident, which took place at about 10 am on 8 February 2013, included the arrests of three church leaders. During a hearing in an Islamic court, authorities alleged that the leaders were converting Muslims to Christianity. [more...]
After two raids on her home in Urgench in north-west Uzbekistan in January and being detained for 11 hours, Protestant Christian Sharofat Allamova is facing criminal prosecution for "illegally" storing religious literature, the police officer who led the raids told Forum 18 News Service. The criminal charges carry a fine up to 200 times the minimum monthly wage, or a prison term of up to three years. [more...]
The criminal court of Beni Suef (115km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali, who was born into a Christian family, converted to Islam when she married Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Wahab 23 years ago. When Mustufa died in 1991 Nadia decided to return to Christianity, bringing her seven children with her. [more...]
Hindu extremists recently attacked a satellite church that is working among the extremely poor of Bangalore. The perpetrators entered the church while the service was taking place. Thankfully, most of those who participated in the service had safely escaped, with the exception of two church workers who were badly beaten. [more...]
It has been reported by Release International ministry partners that more than 20 Christians have been arrested in the Eritrean capital of Asmara within the past few weeks. The arrests took place at the homes of the accused, indicating that they were planned in advance by the city's authorities. These government officials have been targeting church leaders of various denominations, including the Full Gospel Church and the Mesret Kristos (Mennonite) Church. [more...]
Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran on charges of evangelising, was sentenced on Sunday 27 January to eight years in prison. He will serve the time in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, known as one of the most brutal.
Pastor Abedini's trial was held without public access to the courtroom, in branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran and judged by Mr Pir-Abbasi. As a Fox News report says, Mr Pir-Abbasi has been sanctioned many times by the European Union for his court actions and sentences. [more...]
As a result of two recent attacks by Hindu extremists, more than 100 Christian villagers have been forced to flee from Tamsai (in Thane District of Maharashtra State) for “rejecting their tribal identity.” Apparently, the Hindu nationalists involved in the attacks were angered that these converts to Christianity no longer practised their traditional tribal religions. Equally alarming is the fact that about 20 police officers failed to intervene, but rather passively stood by, prompting concern of anti-Christian bias being represented by the police force. [more...]
On 9 January, Greater Grace Protestant Church in Azerbaijan's capital of Baku lost its final appeal against closure. This means that any further religious activity carried out by the church is now considered illegal according to the recent Supreme Court ruling. Unfortunately, those representing the congregation no longer have any more options available to further challenge this ruling through the court system. [more...]
While Chechnya (Chechen Republic) presently consists of about 1.4 million people, less than two percent of the population reflects its former predominant Russian leadership and citizenship. Since President Ramzan Kadyrov came into power in 2007, Sunni Islam has become the main religion. This includes the practice of Sharia law, women wearing traditional Muslim clothing, polygamy and honour killings. [more...]