by Adrian Chen
American Kenneth Bae, sentenced to prison in North Korea for 15 years
When North Korea announced it had sentenced imprisoned American tour operator Kenneth Bae to 15 years hard labor earlier this month, it gave no details about his crime other than he had attempted to “overthrow” the North Korean government. But now North Korea has presented more details about Bae’s crime. They say he smuggled anti-government propaganda into the country, and preached the overthrow of the regime as part of a Christian missionary-backed plan called “Operation Jericho.”
The report from the Korean Central News Agency paints Bae, a devout Christian, as the leader of a plot to undermine the government, according to a translation by NK News. “Operation Jericho” was launched in 2006 by Youth With a Mission (YWAM), an international evangelical Christian organization Bae belonged to, according to KCNA. It consisted of mobilizing 250 of Bae’s “followers” to infiltrate an area of North Korea near the border and create what the government calls an “anti-government coalition.” KCNA claims they based their operation in a hotel.
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.”
Now acquitted and freed, but in hiding and in fear of her life
By Dan Wooding
It was around midnight on a fateful August night when a young Christian girl was brought into the Ramna Police Station and accused of blasphemy and then sent to jail.
She is Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old illiterate and mentally-challenged girl, was foraging around her area in search of paper that could be used for heating and cooking in her poverty-stricken home in a Christian enclave of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital city.
By Peter Wooding
Britain’s Charity Commission put the charitable status of the nation’s churches in question after it ruled that a congregation in the South West of England did not exist for public benefit, according to a report by Christian Concern.
Under charity law, churches and other organisations must show that their existence has some form of “public benefit.”
But in a letter to the Plymouth Brethren, the Charity Commission explained its refusal to grant charitable status to one of the denomination’s churches in Devon.
Head of legal services for the commission, Kenneth Dibble, stated: “This decision makes it clear that there was no presumption that religion generally, or at any more specific level, is for the public benefit, even in the case of Christianity or the Church of England.”
By Jeremy Reynalds
Priest Fadi Haddad
A Greek Orthodox priest was found slain after being kidnapped near the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Syrian government and the Vatican news service reported.
The body of the Rev. Fadi Jamil Haddad, pastor of St. Elias Church outside Damascus, was discovered in the a district of the capital. The site was not far from the area where he was kidnapped by an “unidentified armed group” last Friday, the agency said.
The priest was “horribly tortured.”
Arrested for his faith
By Jeremy Reynalds
A Christian artist with an Islamic background was temporarily released October 9th after four months in prison, according to Mohabat Christian News Agency.
The Christian convert spent 136 days in the notorious Vakil-Abad prison, where he was interrogated. According to the latest reports, he has been temporarily released and is now awaiting his trial.
By Mark Ellis
Despite his offerings at the Hindu temple, Gajjal Paul could find no peace. After his boss introduced him to the Good News about Jesus, he renounced his idols and began to follow Christ. But his evangelical zeal met a terrible test when assailants ambushed him.
“I was an active idol worshiper ” says Gajjal Nilandhri Paul, 38. “I would regularly go to Hanuman temple and Shiva temple and offer my hair as an offering and pay homage.”
Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group, invaded the off campus hostel of Federal Polytechnic College in northern Nigeria late Monday,
Christian students separated, killed, at Nigerian college
allegedly separated Muslim students from Christians and massacred up to 30 Christian students, according to Open Doors.
The attack took place in the city of Mubi in northeastern Nigeria.
By Jeremy Reynalds
Pastor Henry Rodriguez
A Christian human rights agency is calling for a full investigation into the murder of Pastor Henry Rodriguez, 44, who was shot dead as he left his church in Bogota, Colombia.
According to a news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Rodriguez was a leader at the United Pentecostal Church in the Marsella neighborhood of Bogota.