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The Persecuted Church

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Christian sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy against Islam

LAHORE, Pakistan (BP) – As a result of strict Islamic blasphemy laws, Asif Pervaiz, a 37-year-old Christian man, was sentenced to further jail time, a large fine, and death because of allegations that he insulted the Islamic prophet Muhammad via text messages to coworker Muhammad Saeed Khokher, The Associated Press reported.

Nearly 150 Christians killed in sustained violence in Nigeria

MIDDLE BELT, Nigeria (BP) -- Nearly 150 Christians have died in a campaign of violence by militant Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria's Middle Belt since April, including 33 Christians believed to have been killed Aug. 5-6 in Kaduna State.

Report: In China ‘there is no longer a safe place to be a Christian’

SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP) -- China persecutes Christians to gain leverage in future diplomatic relations with the U.S., a Christian seeking U.S. asylum claimed in a video released Wednesday (July 22) alongside a new report by International Christian Concern (ICC).

Apostasy decriminalized in Sudan under new fundamental freedoms act

KHARTOUM, Sudan (BP) -- Persecuted Christians in Sudan are safer after the nation decriminalized apostasy, ended flogging and made other reforms through the new Fundamental Rights and Freedoms Act. Renouncing Islam had been punishable by flogging, imprisonment and death in the country where Christians comprise only 3 percent of the population.

U.S. urged to open doors to Christian refugees, asylum seekers

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Christians fleeing religious persecution abroad are increasingly denied access to safety in the U.S., according to a new report urging the Trump administration to reverse the trend. The U.S. is on track to accept 90 percent fewer Christian refugees in 2020 than five years earlier from countries where Christians are most persecuted, and is considering changes to eligibility requirements for asylum seekers that would drastically reduce their entry here, Open Doors USA and World Relief said in its joint report released today (July 10).

Christian mother of four in India persecuted before her death

NEW DELHI (BP) -- Tribal Hindus persecuted a widowed, Christian mother of four before her body was found severely mutilated in the wilderness near her village in Chhattisgarh, India, sources said. The body of 40-year-old Bajjo Bai Mandavi was initially unrecognizable and appeared to have been eaten by wild animals when it was found two miles into the wilderness near her native Kumud village, Kuye Mari, May 29. She was last seen going into the wilderness to collect firewood May 25.

Amid rising Christian persecution, Turkey denies visa to pastor’s American wife

ANKARA, Turkey (BP) -- Amid rising Christian persecution, Turkey has denied a visa to a U.S. citizen and wife of a Protestant pastor there, reportedly in an attempt to force the entire family out of the country. Florida native Joy Anna Crow Subasiguller, a U.S. citizen and wife of Turkish pastor Lütfü Subasiguller, is legally contesting the government's decision. Turkey's Ministry of Interior gave the family no reason for the denial, but such tactics are indicative of growing persecution against Protestants there, International Christian Concern (ICC) said.

With ‘hundreds’ of Christians killed in Nigeria in June, USCIRF urges Nigerian government to intervene

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Citing the murder of "hundreds" of Christians in Nigeria in June by a Boko Haram faction, U.S. religious freedom advocates urged the Nigerian government to intervene to protect religious freedom there. The Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram faction, is blamed for three June attacks in Northeast Nigeria that killed at least 121 and injured hundreds of residents of Christian villages, according to news reports. At least 20 Nigerian soldiers were also killed.

June 7 designated Southern Baptist Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- On average, eight Christians died for their faith every day in 2019. That equals more than 2,920 people killed for the cause of Christ last year, according to the 2020 annual report from Open Doors' World Watch List. In addition, 9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked, and 3,711 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. Open Doors reported that 260 million Christians experienced high levels of persecution in the top 50 countries on the World Watch List in 2019. The top five were North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan.

25 Christians killed in Nigeria’s Middle Belt in April

NIGERIA (BP) -- Militant Fulani herdsmen killed at least 25 Christians in several attacks in Nigeria's Middle Belt in April as the local government did little to intervene, Morning Star News reported. The unfettered attacks could lead to a regional civil war in Nigeria's Middle Belt, religious liberty advocate International Christian Concern said Tuesday (May 5).