Review by World Watch Monitor
This is a book designed to show that “Christians are the single most widely persecuted religious group in the world today”
With that aim, three authors well known in the field of religious advocacy give the reader the ultimate global briefing on the causes, patterns and trends in the persecution of Christians.
By Mark Ellis
Aman Ullah (second from left) with friends
A 16-year-old Christian convert from Islam, Aman Ullah, was kidnapped by the Taliban on May 25th in Peshawar, the heart of Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province near the Khyber Pass.
“We don’t know which of the 32 different Taliban groups operating both in Afghanistan and Pakistan is responsible,” says John Taimoor, president of Messianic Muslims. “My team, workers and disciples from Muslim backgrounds are facing pressures from many sides and physical persecution,” he says.
by Aidan Clay
Saudi men have been imprisoned and suffered lashings for converting a woman to Christ
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that two men accused of helping a young woman flee Saudi Arabia after her conversion to Christianity were sentenced to prison terms and lashes with a whip by a Saudi court on Sunday. The case comes weeks after an independent U.S. government advisory body listed Saudi Arabia among the top violators of religious freedom.
A Lebanese Christian man was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes and a Saudi man was sentenced to two years and 200 lashes by a court in Khobar, a city in eastern Saudi Arabia, for their involvement in a Saudi woman’s conversion to Christianity and her escape abroad, Reuters reported. The men, who worked with the young woman known as Maryam at an insurance company, were arrested last July after a complaint was filed by her father. Maryam fled to Sweden several months ago and is reportedly applying for asylum.
By Corey Bailey
Trafficked children in Bangladesh
More than 140 children have been rescued from Islamic training centers (madrassas) in Bangladesh in the last nine months, with a majority of the children targeted because of their Christian faith. The females, accounting for nearly half of those rescued, report that they were used for forced labor and sex slavery.
By William Stark
Mass grave near Jos, filled with Christians killed in early March
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.
Because Nigeria’s federal government has proven unable to protect Christians in northern Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a militant group from southern Nigeria, has pledged to protect Christians by attacking Muslims and Islamic institutions. The possibility of religious war, coupled with these overwhelming statistics makes Nigeria the deadliest place on earth to be a Christian.
Kim Tae Jin, refugee from North Korea
Kim Tae Jin finds it difficult to talk. The contrast between his life in North Korea and his life now in Seoul are too great. “The most difficult thing for me,” he says quietly, “is making decisions. Freedom of choice is unknown in North Korea. The Party told us what to do. We were treated as a group, not as individuals,” recalls Kim. “As I got older my doubts grew about the propaganda the government fed us.”
With the hope of a better life, Kim fled to China. There he heard about Jesus for the first time when a Christian gave him a Bible. After four short months, Kim was arrested and repatriated back to North Korea where he was sent to camp number 15… the dreaded Yodok labor camp.
by Erin Roach
Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent imprisoned in Tehran, tells of the torture he has endured for his faith as well as the joy that comes with forgiving his perpetrators in a letter to his family released by the American Center for Law and Justice, dated March 22. The letter comes one day after a U.S. State Department official finally mentioned Abedini’s case before a global audience, and called for his release.
Abedini’s ordeal is happening during a period of numerous arrests of Iranian Christians, according to Morning Star News. The increase in arrests, the news service said, is likely related to the upcoming presidential elections. Christians in Iran, according to World Watch Monitor, are routinely arrested and interrogated because Iranian authorities view Christianity as a deviant anti-government movement, and Christians as pawns of the West. Continue reading
By Dan Wooding
Three men threw Molotov cocktails at two churches in Makassar, the provincial capital, in the early hours of Sunday, February 10, 2013. The front door and sign of the Toraja Mamassa Church of Jordan Congregation were damaged in the attack, but the Tiatira Malengkeri Church was unscathed.
A street scene in Makassar,
the capital of South Sulawesi
According to Barnabas Aid, two other churches, the South Sulawesi Indonesian Christian Church and the Toraja Klassis Makassar Church Panakkukang Congregation, were targeted in coordinated attacks at 4am on Thursday, February 14, 2013. Both buildings suffered fire damage.
China’s Christians felt a noticeable rise in persecution in 2012 as the
House church gathering
Communist government began the first of a three-phase plan to eradicate unregistered house churches, a new report says.
Incidents of persecution of Christians in China rose by about 42 percent last year compared with 2011, according to the report by human rights group China Aid. In total, the number of individual persecuted Christians rose by roughly 14 percent and total individual detentions increased by nearly 12 percent. China Aid said overall total persecution in six categories, including groups, was about 13 percent worse than in 2011—though China Aid termed its statistics just “the tip of the iceberg.”