Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this. – Revelation 1:19
Clockwise from upper left: Church burning in Peshawar, Pakistan; feminists attack a cathedral in San Juan, Argentina; cross burning in Pakistan – courtesy Abiz Nawaz; massacre of Christian students at Garissa University College in Kenya; army tank sale to Nicaragua; young Christians pray in a burned-out church in Egypt; RSS Hindu paramilitary rally in India.
Weekly Commentary July 9-15, 2017
The human rights world, especially in China, was shaken this week by the death of 61 year old dissident Liu Xiabob on July 13th. Liu Xiabob is the first Nobel Peace Prize laurate to die in captivity since Carl von Ossietzky died in 1938 Nazi Germany. Liu was not a Christian, but his humanist writings have had a noticeable effect on the Christians of China, especially his book No Enemies, No Hatred. As he lay dying from the liver cancer that the Chinese government had failed to treat, prayers for him and his wife Liu Xia were offered together at St. Vincent’s Chapel in Hong Kong by a congregation led by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and the Reverend Wu Chi-wai, and certainly by millions of Christians and people of other faiths throughout the country.
The death of Liu Xiabob has frightened many Christians who have loved ones in prison. They already have seen the death of U.S. resident and humanitarian Peng Ming in prison on November 29, 2016. So it should be no surprise that we have seen in recent weeks stories of the failing health of captive Christians. In our report this week (click here to read) we have synopses and links to stories on Tang Jingling, who has had chest pains since he was deprived of sleep for 10 days, and Zhang Shaojie, who has been starved, beaten, and deprived of sleep – to read our biography of Zhang Shaojie click here.
St. Vincent Chapel, Hong Kong
As our archives show, the human rights world should be shaken by a great many things.
Elsewhere in the world, we have the murder of an Egyptian Christian woman in her home, the murder of a rural preacher in Pakistan, and the death of three Christian sanitation workers who were disposable in the eyes of Pakistani society. Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, India, Iran, and the United Kingdom all were reported as having false prosecutions. The United Kingdom also was the scene of a typically Western style persecution, where a terminally ill 11 month old child was denied access to clergy by his hospital.
We ask that you again pray for these and all the nations, and for all their peoples.
Weekly Commentary July 2-8, 2017
Sadly, while this week’s report (click here to read) is short, it does record the deaths of five Christians in Egypt and Mexico. One of the deaths in Egypt was the beheading of a ‘canonical painter’, an icon artist. Each case appears to be one of blind mindless violence.
Three identified Christians have been confirmed to be together in captivity in Mali, along with other persons.
After months of silence the Iranian government has handed out 10 year sentences of imprisonment to several Christians, although three have escaped the country for their native Azerbaijan – pray that they will remain safe at home from extradition! It appears that the government is stepping up its prosecutions, more are about to happen (also see last week’s report)
Christians in Nigeria continue to protest changes to public school curricula that they fear are hidden attempts to convert students to Islam.
This week’s report also contains more details on the police attack on the monastery at Thien An, in Vietnam.
Please continue your prayers in response to these events and in anticipation of the others that are about to happen.
Thien An Monastery, Thua Thien Hue province, Vietnam – courtesy AsiaNews.it
Weekly Commentary June 25 – July 1, 2017
Young people around the world share many concerns, which are easily remembered by those who are older. One compelling story in this week’s report (click here to read in full) concerns young Christians in Iran. Imagine that you are a teen or young adult, you have secretly been introduced to the Gospel – secretly because a public introduction would have resulted in the arrest of both you and your evangelist. After reflection and prayer you decided to follow Jesus Christ, and you now call yourself a Christian. You live with the knowledge that every meeting with your fellow believers, every admission of your faith to a longtime friend, could result in your arrest and imprisonment, and possibly your death. Your current circle of real friends is small.
So one story this week concerned a wonderful attempt to expand that circle. A conference was organized in “the local region” so that young Iranian Christians could meet and share their experiences. It sounded like fun. It also sounded very risky. Please read at least that part of this week’s report and pray for their fellowship and safety.
Other stories this week include:
- The death of two missionary nuns in an automobile accident in Brazil
- A lawsuit against church leaders in Cyprus for having allowed two adult men to join a monastery
- Another ‘Jesus should have been aborted’ story, this time from Italy
- A follow up to the story of the Pakistani Christian sanitation worker who died because doctors did not want to risk ruining their Ramadan fast by touching his sewage covered body: after his friends and family filed a criminally negligent homicide police report against the doctors, the doctors responded with criminal interference charges against the Christians and have attempted to coerce the police to arrest them. Fortunately the police have resisted this pressure to perpetrate another injustice.
- Many, many other stories from across the globe
Please read this week’s report and please pray.