Signs of the Time

The Bible gives many examples of signs that should warn us of the coming end of the age.  Six such signs are given by Jesus, two characteristics are given by Paul, and eleven other occurrences are given by the prophets to occur prior to or soon after the end of the age.  While we are also told we will not know the time of the End, God obviously wanted us to know when that time was getting closer.  As the Christian church is increasingly drawn into the interfaith movement, and as more and more churches go into isolation, preparing to sleep through the growing attacks on their faith. Unfortunately, many Christians take the verses that tell us we won't know the time of His coming to mean they should ignore any and all scripture that might warn us of this time of tribulation.
Unfolding tragedy in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia

Dear Friend,

Today we are launching Project Joseph to our supporters, stepping up our food aid to two countries facing a grave humanitarian crisis, and saving Christian lives:

In Ethiopiaup to ten million people are in danger of starvation.Two failed rainy seasons followed by catastrophic flooding have destroyed crops across large parts of a country in which the persecution of Christians is growing. The present famine is the worst it has been in the past fifty years.

In Zimbabwe, over four million people are in critical danger of starvation 

In Zimbabweover four million people are in critical danger of starvation. Approximately 11.5 million of the population live off the food they grow themselves, but drought has caused between 95% and 100% crop failure. Many families are reduced to one meal a day, sometimes less; children are too weak from hunger to go to school; unable to get jobs, hardly anyone has money to buy what scarce food there is.

Barnabas Aid has been helping in the region since the food crisis of 2008-9, working through local churches to reach the most needy and vulnerable Christians in both Zimbabwe and Ethiopia, providing over 1400 tons of food and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.

 Food aid

Will you help us to save yet more lives in the current crisis?

Just $13.50 will help feed a family of five for a month with mealie meal, an African staple made from ground maize.

$20 can help provide a family with sorghum and oil for a month.

Donate now
Starving South Sudanese Christians need your help
At least 5,015 people, of whom 90% are women and children, have fled to the West Nile region of north-west Uganda since July to escape recent violence. They are overwhelming border crossings with their high numbers; on July 17 alone, 1,633 refugees escaped to Uganda. Most walked or hitched rides on lorries, as the public transport system in South Sudan is no longer functioning. The need is enormous, both in Uganda and South Sudan. Read more
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Editorial: Government must not allow counter extremism to undermine freedom of religion

For more than two decades Barnabas Aid has spoken out and supported persecuted Christians, particularly in Muslim-majority contexts. We have recognized that to support our brothers and sisters facing persecution overseas we must speak out both on the persecution itself and on the ideology driving that persecution. In doing so we have always sought to strike a careful balance, distinguishing between ideology and people. On the one hand are the root causes of persecution in terms of Islamic concepts such as jihad, dhimmi, and shari'a and on the other hand are Muslim people – who must be accepted and loved – the majority of whom in the West at least, practice a peaceful, primarily devotional form of Islam. Read more

Christian Action
for Persecuted Christians
90% of those displaced are women and children
South Sudan crisis leading to dramatic surge in refugee numbers Read more
A young Christian boy in Syria
"Some believe that it would almost be better to die" Read more
CC BY-SA 2.0 by European Commission DG ECHO
A boy in Jos, Plateau State, surveys the damage after an attack by Fulani Muslims
Wave of violence against Nigerian Christians continues with Fulani attacks Read more
French President, François Hollande, and other politicians attended a service on Wednesday at Notre-Dame catherdral in Paris following the attack on the church in Normandy on Tuesday
Leading Muslim figures condemn Islamic State (IS) murder of French priest as UK police urge churches to be vigilant against potential attacks Read more
More news
 
Christian Action
for the Church in the West
Pray and Protect
French priest murdered while conducting worshipRead more
UK New hate crime action plan makes only token reference to anti-Christian violence
UK new hate crime action plan makes only token reference to anti-Christian violence Read more
Germany in crisis and denial after week of terror attacks
Germany in crisis and denial after week of terror attacksRead more
The White House
USA White House invites Islamists to Eid celebrationRead more
The little boy's hopes started to become reality, until...
News and Feature Articles from the Field

Bijay finally had some hope—his dream of food to eat and schoolbooks was finally coming true! But angry shouts filled the boy's home. His dad smelled of alcohol and was yelling at his family. The little boy hunkered down amidst the familiar scene. How could Bijay study while his father was enraged?

Read what happened next.
Dreaming of Food and Schoolbooks


Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
— Philippians 4:6

Field Story: Landlord Encourages Ministry Among Slum Children
Ministry Among Slum Children
Pravita, Esther and Sandi held their breath as they waited for their landlord to speak. If he still wanted them to leave their rented home, the three women would likely have to move to another part of the slum, far away from the slum children they ministered to and loved so dearly.
Read what God did.

Join Us in Prayer This Month
Join Us In Prayer
During this month, we will be praying for various needs, such as Gospel for Asia-supported street children's homes, film ministry in Asia and the persecuted Church worldwide. We are on a brief hiatus from streaming our monthly Friday night prayer meetings, but please join us in praying for these requests.
See the prayer requests.

Why Do Jesus Wells Make Such an Impact?
What a Jesus Well Does
Though World Water Day was months ago, having clean, sanitary drinking water is crucial for people in Asia all year long. So, what makes a Jesus Well unique? And how can just one of these wells rescue dying children and demonstrate Christ's love to an entire village?
Learn about the impact.

Free E-book: "Journey with Jesus" by K.P. Yohannan
Free E-book: Journey with Jesus
Need some quick, encouraging reading over the summer? Download this free e-book by K.P. Yohannan, and start a new, fresh journey of intimacy with our Lord Jesus.
Christian Action
for Persecuted Christians
It is hoped the protest will lead to better protection of Christians and their places of worship
Christians in India planning nationwide protest in October against growing persecution Read more
Pastor Evan Mawarire faces press and jubilant supporters after his acquittal
Zimbabwean social media campaign pastor acquitted of treason charge Read more
More news
 
Christian Action
for the Church in the West
Mosque
Muslim reaction to murder of French priest – mosque leader refuses to bury jihadist who murdered his friend, the Catholic priestRead more
UK government to tackle slavery - Barnabas Fund calls on it not to ignore shari'a based slavery
UK government to tackle slavery - Barnabas Aid calls on it not to ignore shari'a based slavery Read more
UK government plan psychological treatment for all returning jihadis
UK government plan psychological treatment for all returning jihadis Read more
The White House
Pakistan plan to teach children jihad as part of Islamic Studies could affect UK Read more

'Pray and Protect' resource available as police advises UK churches to review security arrangements Read more

Christian schools in Pakistan are life-changing for needy young believers; Barnabas Aid needs your help to keep sustaining these schools

Schools and colleges all over Pakistan have to strengthen their security measures, following the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar in 2014, which killed over 140 school students, and the attack on Bacha Khan University earlier this year. Educational institutions which cannot meet the new regulations are not allowed to function.

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Neha with her two brothers and two sisters
Neha with her two brothers and two sisters

Latest international news

German government votes to recognize Armenian Genocide; Turkey recalls ambassador

Yesterday (June 2) the German Bundestag (lower house of the federal Parliament) voted to recognize the genocide of Armenian Christians which took place in the Ottoman Empire over a period of years, peaking in 1915. The vote was almost unanimous, with one vote against and a single abstention.

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The Reichstagsgebäude in Berlin, seat of the Bundestag
The Reichstagsgebäude in Berlin, seat of the Bundestag

Pakistani Christian boy, 14, killed and body hanged to cover murder

Police are investigating the death of 14-year-old Suleman Hadayat at the hands of three Muslim brothers who own the stables where he lived and worked in Chehl Kalan, Gujranwala, northern Pakistan. Suleman's body was found hanged in the stables by his father Hadayat Masih, but an investigation of the crime scene established that the ceiling was too high for the hanging to have been a suicide, as the stable owners claimed. Upon investigation it appeared that someone must have hanged Suleman's body there to cover up the boy's death, which had in reality been caused by a fatal head wound.

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Representatives from Christian legal assistance charity CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid, Advice and Settlement) meet with Suleman's family to discuss the case
Representatives from Christian legal assistance charity CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid, Advice and Settlement) meet with Suleman's family to discuss the case

Elderly Christian's tongue, back and feet burnt with fire-heated coin for refusing to deny Christ, in Chhattisgarh, India

Two Christians were humiliated and tortured for their faith in a village in Chhattisgarh state, India, on Wednesday, April 20. The older of the two, Jai Singh, was burnt with a fire-heated coin on his tongue, and several other parts of his body, as punishment for refusing to deny Christ. Initially they were questioned as to why they had not renounced their Christian faith but slowly the conversation turned into abuse and death threats. They were told that if they are found worshipping Christ, they will be cut into small pieces.

Read more...
Jai Singh (left), who was brutally burned in the attack, and his son-in-law, Somaru Ram Baghel (right)
Jai Singh (left), who was brutally burned in the attack, and his son-in-law, Somaru Ram Baghel (right)

Muslims burn houses and strip Christian woman naked in Egypt; President al-Sisi condemns attacks and orders repair of buildings at state expense

A crowd of around 300 Egyptian Muslims attacked, ransacked and set on fire the homes of seven Christian families near Abu Qurqas, Minya province, on May 20. A Christian grandmother was dragged from her home, stripped of her clothes by the mob and made to walk naked in the streets while they chanted "Allahu Akbar [God is great]."

Read more...
Since coming to power, Egypt's President Al-Sisi has been vocal and pro-active in his support of the country's Christian community
Since coming to power, Egypt's President Al-Sisi has been vocal and pro-active in his support of the country's Christian community 
CC BY 3.0 by Russian Presidential Press and Information Office

Hindu extremists in India beat young Christian woman unconscious

On Sunday, May 15, Kamli Kawasi, a 22-year-old woman, was severely beaten and left unconscious by four young Hindu men who came hunting for her younger brother at their home in a village 40 kilometers from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh state. Kamli's crime was being a Christian.

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Kamli (center) with her brother and mother
Kamli (center) with her brother and mother
Help Syrian Christian widows and orphans: be a link in the Chain of Hope

Barnabas Aid is providing practical aid for 81 Christian widows in the Syrian city of Aleppo, who lost their husbands in the conflict. Your gift to them through Barnabas Aid will bring them hope as well as help.

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Donate
Barnabas is providing for the Christian war widows and their children in Aleppo who have lost so much
Barnabas is providing for the Christian war widows and their children in Aleppo who have lost so much

Editorial

Editorial: Allowing sharia courts is the thin end of the wedge of persecution. We need your help!

On Friday, April 22 the UK House of Commons should debate the second reading of a bill by Barnabas Aid's patron, Baroness Cox, that will go a long way, in theory, towards stopping sharia courts developing into a parallel legal system in the UK.

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Baroness Caroline Cox, a Patron of Barnabas Aid. Her Bill seeks to prevent sharia courts claiming that their decisions should have legally binding force.
Baroness Caroline Cox, a Patron of Barnabas Aid. Her Bill seeks to prevent sharia courts claiming that their decisions should have legally binding force.
CC BY-NC 2.0 by RAFFI YOUREDJIAN

Latest international news

Christian man in Pakistan killed in brutal knife attack trying to defend Muslim friend

A Christian man in Pakistan was knifed to death following a dispute over a piece of land. Nazir Masih was cutting grass on April 5 with Muhammad Nawaz, a Muslim friend of his, when three Muslim men approached the pair. Following an argument, two of the men attacked Nawaz. Nazir tried to intervene to help his friend, but he was stabbed to death on the spot. Nawaz survived the attack.

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Rasheedan Bibi (centre), Nazir's widow, with her daughter and one of her two sons
Rasheedan Bibi (centre), Nazir's widow, with her daughter and one of her two sons

Christian woman in Indonesia whipped 30 times for selling alcohol

A 60-year-old Christian woman in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, was whipped 30 times with a rattan cane for breaking sharia law. The punishment – which occurred on Tuesday, April 12, and was carried out before a crowd of hundreds – was imposed because the woman had been convicted by the Indonesian authorities of selling alcohol.

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Indonesia holds the largest population of Muslims in the world, with an estimated 207 million adherents
Indonesia holds the largest population of Muslims in the world, with an estimated 207 million adherents
CC BY 2.0 by Nathan Hughes Hamilton

Hindu extremists target Christians in two separate attacks in state of Bihar, East India

In the past month, Hindu extremists in the state of Bihar, East India, have attacked Christians in two separate incidents. The first attack occurred on April 5, when a Christian man was intercepted on his way to a local village to tell people about Jesus. He was taken to a Hindu center and beaten brutally for five hours. Five days later, on April 10, a prayer meeting was raided by 35 men, leading to the beating of many believers.

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Image of a Cross in the village of Hariahera, Haryana, India
Image of a Cross in the village of Hariahera, Haryana, India
CC BY 2.0 by Robin Abraham

Christians in Lahore, Pakistan, protest against proposed sewerage pumping station on cathedral property

Christians in Lahore are dismayed that as part of the Orange Line Metro Train project, there are plans to construct a sewerage pumping station on land owned by the church. The developers want to acquire and then build on part of the school grounds adjacent to the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in the city. Though the Cathedral itself is not directly affected, every Sunday believers assemble there to protest against the plans, in an effort to protect what they regard as the sanctity of their place of worship.

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This young protester's banner reads, 'The sanctity of the church should not be sacrificed on the altar of the Orange Train'.
This young protester's banner reads, "The sanctity of the church should not be sacrificed on the altar of the Orange Train".

Conflict continues throughout Central African Republic (CAR) despite formation of new government

In the Central African Republic (CAR), despite the formation of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra's new government and the end to the country's transitional period, conflict continues to occur throughout the country, involving not just the Muslim Seleka group, but also armed ethnic Fulani Muslims and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

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Barnabas Aid has been sending aid to Christians forced to flee their homes because of the conflict in Central African Republic (CAR)
Barnabas Aid has been sending aid to Christians forced to flee their homes because of the conflict in Central African Republic (CAR)

School textbooks teach hostility towards Christians and Hindus

A major report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom has concluded that the textbooks all state-schools in Pakistan are required to use portray non-Muslim Pakistanis as inferior, untrustworthy, and sympathetic towards the country's enemies. Christians are portrayed as being the equivalent of colonial oppressors, while Hindus are treated as being loyal to India, who the country has fought three wars against.

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Barnabas is funding schools on brick kiln sites for vulnerable Christian children
Barnabas is funding schools on brick kiln sites for vulnerable Christian children
Help provide schools for Pakistani Christian refugee children in Thailand

Thousands of Pakistani Christian families have fled to Thailand because of the persistent threat of Islamist violence towards Christians in Pakistan. But in Thailand, the authorities often treat these frightened refugees not as asylum seekers but as criminals, Barnabas Aid discovered in a joint fact-finding visit with the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC) to the country in December.

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Pakistani Christian asylum seekers unlawfully detained in Thailand
Pakistani Christian asylum seekers unlawfully detained in Thailand

Barnabas Editorial

Editorial: Europe's export crop – converts to Islam who travel abroad to murder Christians

The past week has seen the trial of four members of a group of nine Muslims from Walsall in the UK's West Midlands who either travelled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS) or attempted to do so. Significantly, four of the group, including two women, were converts to Islam.

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Islamic State militants
Islamic State militants

Latest international news

Christian couple falsely accused of black magic and burnt to death in India

Mr. Pandayya and his wife Seethamma were burnt to death on January 13. It recently emerged, after elders in the village of K. Kamuduvalasa, Makkuva Mandal in the Vizianagaram district of India's Andhra Pradesh state accused the Christian couple of having practiced black magic when a young boy in the village died.

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The three daughters of a Christian couple who were burnt to death on January 13, in India
The three daughters of a Christian couple who were burnt to death on January 13

Nigeria's President demands an investigation into deadly Muslim Fulani attacks on Christians

President Muhammadu Buhari made a statement on Monday, (February 29) ordering an enquiry into the brutal killings of hundreds of Christians by Muslim Fulani herders last week in Nigeria's Benue state.

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Fulani herding cattle, Nigeria
Fulani herding cattle, Nigeria
CC BY-SA 2.0 by Mike Blyth

New report reveals catalogue of abuse against Christians in India during 2015

The Evangelical Fellowship of India has published a report of persecution against Christians in India during 2015. The Executive Summary below reveals the scale of the violence and injustice against India's believers.

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Christian communities face ostracisation, injustice and abuse
Christian communities face ostracization, injustice and abuse

Christian anti-drug activists in Burma (Myanmar) hospitalized in apparent reprisal attacks

Over 30 members of the Christian anti-drug group known as Pat Jasan were injured, and 29 hospitalized for their wounds, after they were ambushed and attacked by assailants carrying guns, machetes, grenades and slingshots as they worked to destroy poppy fields near the Htan Mo Kham and Sinjiang villages of the Waingmaw constituency in the Kachin state of Burma (Myanmar), on February 25.

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Poppy field
Poppy field
CC BY-SA 2.0 by Alastair Rae

Christian confirmed as new President of Central African Republic (CAR)

The Central African Republic's constitutional court has confirmed that Christian and former rector of the University of Bangui, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, has been elected as the country's new President. The news – reported by national radio on Tuesday, (March 1) and greeted with shouts of joy on the streets of Bangui, capital city of the Christian-majority country – follows Mr. Touadéra's victory in the run-off election against Anicet-Georges Dologuélé on February 14.

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The election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra is seen as an important step in restoring peace and economic stability to the Central African Republic (CAR)
The election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra is seen as an important step in restoring peace and economic stability to the Central African Republic (CAR)
Help Barnabas to keep helping the families of Egyptian martyrs

It was one year ago yesterday that Islamic State (IS) militants released a video showing the horrifying beheadings of 21 Christians on a beach in Libya, leaving their families grieving and destitute. Barnabas Aid has been helping the families affected by this tragic loss, meeting their basic needs and showing them in a practical way that we have not forgotten them – will you help us continue to help them?

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(Left) Guirgis Milad Sinout, aged 22, the youngest of the Egyptian martyrs that day; (Right) Sameh Salah Farouk was martyred, leaving behind his wife and a 14-month-old baby
(Left) Guirgis Milad Sinout, aged 22, the youngest of the Egyptian martyrs that day; (Right) Sameh Salah Farouk was martyred, leaving behind his wife and a 14-month-old baby

Barnabas Editorial

The survival of Western countries depends on embracing their Judaeo-Christian heritage

One of the buzz-words of the last 30 years among academics and writers was the phrase "cultural imperialism." It was argued that after the end of the Second World War, although Western countries no longer had political empires, they nonetheless, imposed their cultural values on the rest of the world. There was of course some truth in this; there had too often been an unfounded assumption that Western ways of thinking and doing were best.

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Western countries need to embrace Judaeo-Christian heritage
Western countries need to embrace Judaeo-Christian heritage

Latest international news

Christian man falsely accused, shaved and publicly humiliated in India

A Christian man in India was shaved and paraded around town on a donkey in an act of extreme humiliation after he was falsely accused of converting three Hindus to Christianity.

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Bajrang Dal members gather to protest after Christians protested anti-Christian brutality in Orissa (Odisha) state in 2008
Bajrang Dal members gather to protest after Christians protested anti-Christian brutality in Orissa (Odisha) state in 2008
Mangalorean.com / CC BY-SA 3.0

Christian towns targeted in suicide bomb attacks

Suicide bombers thought to have been commissioned by Boko Haram blew themselves up at a marketplace at around noon on January 27, in the mainly Christian town of Chibok, where over 230 girls were kidnapped by jihadists in April 2014, and again two days later in the predominantly Christian town of Gombi, in Nigeria's Adamawa state.

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Christians targeted in Boko Haram attacks in Chibok and Gombi
Christians targeted in Boko Haram attacks in Chibok and Gombi

Police raid Christian gathering in Uzbekistan and arrest believers

A group of seven or eight Christians, some of them children, in the Samarqand region of Uzbekistan were arrested on Sunday, (February 7) afternoon when police stormed a Christian gathering.

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Street scene in Samarqand, Uzbekistan
Street scene in Samarqand, Uzbekistan
Kyselak / CC BY-SA 3.0

Authorities demolish church building in Cuba

Police, state security, and military officials in Santiago de Cuba, in south-eastern Cuba, surrounded the private property of Pastor Alain Toledano at 5 AM on February 5 and demolished a church building as well as his house, which was built on the same piece of land, reported Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

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Street scene in Santiago de Cuba, where a church was demolished on February 5
Street scene in Santiago de Cuba, where a church was demolished on February 5
jack wickes / CC BY-ND 2.0

In concerning extension of sharia, Tanzanian local government bans keeping pigs

The local government of Shinyanga, a city in northern Tanzania, has banned the keeping of pigs in the city on the basis that it may cause a breach of the peace, according to a Barnabas Fund contact, bowing to the demands of the minority Muslim population to implement a part of sharia law.

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A church in Bukoba that was torched on September 22, 2015, along with another two the same day
A church in Bukoba that was torched on September 22, 2015, along with another two the same day
Help feed Christians in Zimbabwe as worst drought in living memory takes hold

The Church in Zimbabwe has faced great difficulties under the present regime of Robert Mugabe, but this has been compounded by the worst drought to have occurred in living memory. Today, 1.5 million people are facing hunger as crops across the country wilt under scorching temperatures and low rainfall. Maize supplies are diminishing rapidly and importing from neighbors is impossible because the drought caused by the El Niño weather pattern has affected the entire region. Will you help Barnabas step into this crisis situation?

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Zimbabwe Farming Project
Zimbabwe Feeding Programme
Barnabas-funded course participants learn how to make compost
Barnabas-funded course participants learn how to make compost

Latest international news

Editorial: The battle for religious freedom – the challenge for 2016

In his book The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis described a world where truth and values had been usurped by another ideology. It was an ideology which in certain respects could appear plausible, but which at best created a joyless world where it was "always winter and never Christmas", while any who opposed it faced suffering and persecution. As we enter the new year, it is worth taking a few moments to reflect on some of the threats to freedom of religion which similarly face our own world.

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Religious freedom
Religious freedom

Barnabas Aid and the Weidenfeld Fund team up with Foundation Generation 21 in the Czech Republic to save 153 Iraqi refugees!

Vulnerable Christians will travel in four separate groups to the Czech Republic between January and April. Most of the families have fled from Mosul and other cities and villages in Nineveh plain and have been waiting for months in a camp in Erbil. The group has increased in size with the recent birth of a baby as they waited for a final decision of the Czech Republic.

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Operation Safe Havens
Operation Safe Havens

Islamic State releases 25 Christian hostages in Syria but kills 13 believers in targeted blasts

Islamic State (IS) militants freed a group of 25 Christians from Syria's north-eastern Khabur river area on the morning of December 25, a Christmas miracle. However, just five days later 13 Christians were killed when jihadists bombed three Christian-run restaurants in northern Syria.

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Seven women, two men and 16 children were released from IS' cruel hands on 25 December 2015
Seven women, two men and 16 children were released on December 25, 2015

Muslim militants gun down nine Christian villagers in Philippine Christmas Eve attack

Nine Christians in the Philippines were cruelly killed as around 200 Islamic militants conducted at least eight raids in Christian villages in the Muslim-dominated southern island of Mindanao, on December 24.

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Church in the Philippines, which is around 85% Christian
The Philippines is a nation that is 85% Christian
moyerphotos / CC BY 2.0

Sudan dismisses charges against two Christians but arrests two pastors and a Christian activist

A Sudanese court has dismissed charges against Pastor Hafez Mengisto and church lawyer Mohaned Mustafa, accused of preventing a public official from carrying out his duties. The official arrived at the church with a government order to demolish part of its property in the country's capital city and attempted to demolish another part not included within the court order. However, the authorities arrested two more pastors and a Christian activist in Khartoum and Omdurman in December.

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Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings as part of a campaign to rid the country of its Christian presence
Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings as part of a campaign to rid the country of its Christian presence

Iran frees imprisoned pastor two years early, but arrests a Christian convert

In welcome and unexpected news, Pastor Farshid Fathi was released from Iran's Rajaei-Shahr prison on December 21, two years before his scheduled release date. But another convert to Christianity, Maysam Hojati, was arrested on December 23 when plain-clothed security officials raided his parents' home and granted temporary release on January 6 after enduring twelve days of solitary confinement, beatings, and long interrogations.

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Armenian cathedral in Tehran. Only Armenian and Assyrian Christian minorities are allowed to worship in church buildings in Iran; converts from Islam are violently persecuted.
Armenian cathedral in Tehran. Only Armenian and Assyrian Christian minorities are allowed to worship in church buildings in Iran; converts from Islam are violently persecuted.
Farzaaaad2000 / CC BY-SA 3.0
Bring hope to children in Syria this winter

On the brink of yet another bitter winter in a country ravaged by nearly five years of war, thousands of Syrian Christian children prepare to spend the coldest months of the year without appropriate clothing, many of them displaced and without heating. Many of these youngsters have witnessed scenes of unimaginable brutality and live every day in a state of fear and trauma. Yet these fragile lives are precious to the Father, who is mobilizing His people around the world to provide for their basic needs.

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Barnabas has provided Syrian children with hats and scarves to protect against the cold winter
Barnabas has provided Syrian children with hats and scarves to protect against the cold winter

Latest international news

Breaking News: More Syrian hostages released

We rejoice that another 25 Christian hostages held by Islamic State (IS) in Syria were released on December 9. The group appears to comprise of 23 men of various ages and two young boys. All 25 have now safely arrived in Tel Tamar village, in north-eastern Syria.

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A group of 25 freed hostages have safely arrived in Tel Tamar in north-eastern Syria
A group of 25 freed hostages have safely arrived in Tel Tamar in north-eastern Syria

Islamist Seleka fighters kill eight Christians in Central African Republic

Armed Muslim Seleka militants attacked a camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Central African Republic (CAR) on December 3, killing eight Christians and wounding one UN peacekeeper.

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Many Christians are living in IDP camps across CAR
Many Christians are living in IDP camps across CAR

Pakistani Christian TV station reduced to rubble and ashes after suspected arson attack

Fire gutted a Christian TV station in Karachi, Pakistan on November 24, leaving the three-room offices a smoldering wreck following a suspected arson attack.

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Pakistani Christians gathered in prayer
Pakistani Christians gathered in prayer

Vietnamese police beat Christian lawyer, take his jacket and shoes, and push him into the sea

Christian lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and three of his friends were beaten with sticks by Vietnamese police after they took part in a conference on Sunday (December 6) to inform people living in the country’s Nghe An Province about their human rights, including their right to religious freedom. Police seized their personal possessions and Mr. Nguyen was pushed into the sea after the authorities had stripped him of his jacket and shoes.

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Street scene in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam
Street scene in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam
de:Benutzer:Degreen / CC BY-SA 2.0 DE

Iranian Christian granted temporary release and told to leave the country

Two Christian men and a Christian woman, who were arrested during a police raid of the house church where they had gathered on August 7, have been temporarily released on bail. One of those released, 35-year-old Esmaeil Falahati, was warned by Revolutionary Guard interrogators to leave the country, “otherwise they would harm me and my family,” he said.

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Armenian Monastery of St Thaddeus, Iran. Only Armenian and Assyrian Christian minorities are allowed to meet together to worship in Iran; converts from Islam are violently persecuted.
Armenian Monastery of St Thaddeus, Iran. Only Armenian and Assyrian Christian minorities are allowed to meet together to worship in Iran; converts from Islam are violently persecuted.
Nicola e Pina / CC BY-SA 3.0
Christians held as human shield in Raqqa: Help our Brothers and Sisters in the Middle East

Twenty-two Syrian Christian families (over 60 people) are being held captive by Islamic State (IS) in Raqqa, the capital city of their territory. They tried to escape about two weeks ago, but were detained and returned to the city, where they are now trapped. Sources informed Barnabas Fund that they were apparently being used by IS as a human shield. At least 387 other Syrian Christians are known to be held currently as formal hostages by IS.

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An elderly Christian among the many thousands of Syrian Christians who have fled their homes in villages along the Khabur river
An elderly Christian among the many thousands of Syrian Christians who have fled their homes in villages along the Khabur river

Latest international news

Islamist groups send death threats to Bangladeshi Christian workers

"You, the Christian leaders, will have to bid goodbye to this world very soon," Pastor Barnabas Hemrom was told in a letter sent to him last Wednesday (November 25) that listed the names of a further nine church pastors. Over 20 church leaders and Christian workers have received death threats in the past two months.

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Barnabas provides food parcels for needy Christians in Bangladesh
Barnabas provides food parcels for needy Christians in Bangladesh

Uzbek Christians beaten by police and detained

A group of twelve Christians who had met together to worship the Lord in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, on Sunday, November 8, were detained, and some of them beaten, when eight plain-clothed anti-terrorism police officers stormed their meeting at 11 a.m. and seized a large quantity of Christian literature.

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Street scene in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan
Street scene in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan
Francisco Anzola / CC BY 2.0

Ethnic Christians excluded from landmark elections in Burma (Myanmar)

Voting in Burma's historic national election on November 8, 2016 was cancelled in 400 villages in the Kachin and Karen states, where many of the country's Christians live, due to ongoing security problems. Despite the injustice, "there is hope [that the landslide win for the National League for Democracy (NLD)] will lead to more steps towards freedom, justice and reconciliation in Burma", wrote a Barnabas Aid partner.

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Aung San Suu Kyi's party, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) secured a landslide victory in Burma's 2015 November election
Aung San Suu Kyi's party, leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) secured a landslide victory in Burma's 2015 November election
Claude TRUONG-NGOC / CC BY-SA 3.0

Boko Haram jihadists reduce Christian homes to ashes in Cameroon village attack

Up to 1,000 Christians – men, women and children – have been affected by an attack on Tayere village in northern Cameroon after Boko Haram militants torched homes, food supplies and the local church.

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The charred remains of a Christian home
The charred remains of a Christian home
Urgent appeal for 2,385 Syrian Christian families forced from their homes after intense bombing and shelling on Saddad and Haffar

Our brothers and sisters in the largely Christian towns of Saddad and Haffar in western Syria have been the victims of intense bombing and shelling since Sunday (November 1), forcing around 2,385 families from their homes. Barnabas Aid is responding immediately by sending relief through our partner organizations on the ground. There is an urgent need for food and blankets for displaced Christian families in the towns and surrounding villages. Please help us as we seek to meet these basic needs for helpless Syrian believers.

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Barnabas is providing emergency food aid for displaced Syrian Christians
Barnabas is providing emergency food aid for displaced Syrian Christians

Latest international news

Tension spikes amid fatal reprisal attacks in Christian areas of Central African Republic capital

Houses have been ransacked and set alight in Christian-majority parts of Central African Republic (CAR) capital Bangui. The bodies of over 30 men and women were left outside a church in the city’s Boulata area in retaliation for the deaths of three Muslims who were ambushed on October 27 in Bangui’s Combatant district.

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Barnabas is helping to feed displaced Christian families in CAR
Barnabas is helping to feed displaced Christian families in CAR

Christians in Indonesia mourn as authorities tear down more churches

Although Indonesian authorities last week said they would tear down ten churches in Singkil, in Indonesia's Aceh province, they have now destroyed a total of twelve, after bowing to pressure from Islamists. Church leaders are being forced to sign documents saying that they agree to the closures, and local believers are wondering where they will worship now that all of the churches in their town are being torn down, a local Christian leader told Barnabas.

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Authorities tear down churches in Aceh province
Authorities tear down churches in Aceh province

Islamic State fighters behead South Sudanese Christian in Libya

Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya released a video on October 18 showing a masked militant dressed in black beheading a Christian man from South Sudan.

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Three more Christians kidnapped by IS militants in Libya
Three more Christians kidnapped by IS militants in Libya

Indian pastor shot dead in his home

Christians in India's Jharkhand state are fearful after a church pastor was shot dead by armed gunmen who stormed his home in Sandhi village.

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Panchet Lake in India's Jharkhand state
Panchet Lake in India's Jharkhand state

Boko Haram militants attack Cameroonian church

Jihadists from the Boko Haram insurgency group which is attempting to create an Islamic caliphate in West Africa, attacked a church on Thursday night (October 22) in northern Cameroon, causing many to flee.

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Boko Haram hostages released in 2014 after months of captivity in Nigeria
Boko Haram hostages released in 2014 after months of captivity in Nigeria

Three Muslim men gang-rape deaf Christian woman in Pakistan

In an appalling display of the abuse suffered by vulnerable Pakistani Christians, a deaf Christian woman was gang-raped after three Muslim men broke into her home in the village of Ganda Singh Wala, in Pakistan's Punjab province, according to a report published on October 26.

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Family of Fouzia Sadiq, kidnapped and forcibly married to her Muslim employer
Family of Fouzia Sadiq, kidnapped and forcibly married to her Muslim employer

Sudanese police demolish church after reneging on promise to protect

Police in Omdurman, Sudan's largest city, bulldozed a church building on October 21, claiming the land on which it was built had been allocated for a proposed marketplace. The State Governor, however, had assured church leaders on October 20 that the building would not be destroyed.

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Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings
Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings as part of a campaign to rid the country of its Christian presence

Islamic State advances toward Christian-majority town in central Syria

The Christian-majority town of Saddad has come under fighting as Islamic State (IS) militants advanced across the central Homs province last weekend. Jihadists launched an offensive with two suicide bombs against the nearby town of Maheen on Saturday (October 31) and the town fell into their hands on Sunday morning.

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Destruction in Homs, Syria
Destruction in Homs, Syria
Bo yaser / CC BY-SA 3.0

Ugandan evangelist murdered following debate with Muslims

A Christian evangelist was found dead in eastern Uganda after an interfaith debate with Islamic scholars last month.

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A Ugandan Christian is baptised
A Ugandan Christian is baptised

Muslim refugees persecute Christian refugees in German camps

A Christian family who fled Iraq only to suffer again at the hands of Syrian Islamists in a refugee camp in the German town of Freising eventually returned to Iraq when they could take no more. "They yelled at my wife and beat my child," said the Iraqi father. "They say … 'We will kill you and drink your blood'." Cases like this one are being reported from various parts of Germany.

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Christian flee the killing fields of the Middle East
Christian flee the killing fields of the Middle East

The Age of the Martyrs

Christianity has a long history of followers who have refused to renounce their Lord and master, even to death. But the age of the martyrs is not over. Many Christians continue to pay the ultimate price for their faith in Jesus, all over the world. Be inspired by this video to stand alongside our brothers and sisters who suffer.

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The Age of the Martyrs
The Age of the Martyrs

"If nothing is done, it is not impossible that all the Christians in Syria may be wiped out," says Syrian Archbishop

Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart is returning to Syria's besieged city of Aleppo after spending some time in London urging the West to help stop Islamic State's brutal campaign to eradicate the ancient Christian presence in his country. "I am responsible for the Christians," he said. "I have to stay beside them and I will never leave them alone. A good shepherd never leaves his sheep."

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Barnabas is helping to feed needy Christians in Jordan
Barnabas is helping to feed needy Christians in Jordan

Ugandan evangelist survives poison attempt

A Christian evangelist known as "Joseph" (not his real name) is recovering after what appears to have been an attempt to poison him, apparently because of his ministry among Muslims turning to Christ, according to a Barnabas contact in Uganda.

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Church leaders receive training in Uganda
Church leaders receive training in Uganda

Bangladeshi police watch as Muslim mob seizes Christian home

A mob of around 100 Muslims forced a Christian family from their home in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, on October 14, while the police stood by and watched.

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Dhaka street scene
Dhaka street scene

Three bombs explode on Zanzibar after Tanzanian authorities annul archipelago election

A series of bombs exploded, one of them close to a church building, on Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago last weekend, after the local election commission annulled the archipelago’s vote for national elections held on October 25.

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Bombs explode on Zanzibar after vote is cancelled
Bombs explode on Zanzibar after vote is cancelled

The UK government's new counter extremism strategy

Barnabas Fund is concerned at the impact that labelling Islamophobia as 'extremism' will have on reporting and combatting anti-Christian hatred both in the UK and overseas. Please pray the government will also take action to combat attempts at forced re-conversion, whereby many from Muslim families who have embraced the Christian faith sometimes face horrific levels of violence and intimidation.

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The UK government's new counter extremism strategy
The UK government's new counter extremism strategy
Help feed displaced Christians in the Central African Republic

Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) are once again being targeted by armed Muslim groups going from house to house, shooting and beheading innocent believers in an appalling display of violence. Some reports indicate as many as 200 people were killed in the clashes, their bodies thrown into wells. Around 20,000 Christians have fled their homes in terror. They have lost everything in their flight, and with the country now well into the rainy season, nutrition and health concerns are paramount. Barnabas has sent emergency relief aid to provide for their basic needs. Can you help?

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Barnabas is providing food for displaced Christians in CAR
Barnabas is providing food for displaced Christians in CAR

Barnabas Editorial

Editorial: Turkey exposed

Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Aid

Viscount Bryce, in an official report of the massacres against Turkish Armenians in 1915, described the horrors of the events while they were still going on. "Massacre was the order of the day," he wrote as he exposed the Turkish Government as the instigator behind the genocide. The Armenians lived peacefully under the authorities of their time, said Viscount Bryce. Yet, "this is the people," he said, "whom the gang of ruffians which calls itself the Government of Turkey has set out to exterminate. It has been done of set purpose."

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IS must set up a consulate in Instanbul, says Hakan Fidan
IS must set up a consulate in Instanbul, says Hakan Fidan

Latest international news

Indonesian authorities tear down churches at the demand of Muslim hardliners

Bowing to the demands of Muslim hardliners, authorities in Indonesia's Aceh province tore down three simply made churches of wood, concrete and tin, on Monday (October 19). A further seven churches are set to be demolished in the coming days.

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Radical Muslims set fire to three churches in Aceh last week
Radical Muslims set fire to three churches in Aceh last week

Aasia Bibi placed in solitary confinement over fears for her life

Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who has been languishing on death row since 2010 after she was unjustly convicted of blasphemy, has been transferred to solitary confinement amid fears she could be attacked by vigilantes.

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Aasia Bibi, falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009
Aasia Bibi, falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009

Mob prevents Christian family from burying their deceased in Sri Lankan town

The family of a deceased Christian in Sri Lanka is devastated after being forced to bury their loved one in a cemetery 23km(14miles) away after an angry mob of around 200-300 villagers violently prevented them from holding the funeral in the village cemetery and also in the church grounds.

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Sri Lankan believers are frequently subjected to mob violence
Sri Lankan believers are frequently subjected to mob violence

Islamic State frees 50 Christian hostages in Syria

Almost ten weeks after around 250 Christians were hunted out and captured in the Syrian town of Qaryatain, Islamic State (IS) jihadists have released 50 of the hostages. The freed captives safely arrived in Assyrian villages on October 12.

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Barnabas is helping displaced Syrian Christians who have lost everything
Barnabas is helping displaced Syrian Christians who have lost everything

One conviction overturned for Sudanese woman sentenced to 20 lashes

An appeal judge has overturned the decision of the Sudan Criminal Court to fine a Sudanese Christian woman for public indecency by wearing indecent dress in court where she was appearing on a different charge of indecent dress. She was originally arrested as she left a church service in June. She is continuing to wait for the decision of an appeal court after she was unfairly sentenced to 20 lashes and a fine of 500 Sudanese Pounds (£54; €76; US$84) for the alleged offence.

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Sudanese women
Sudanese women
David Stanley / CC BY 2.0

Blockade at India-Nepal border after Nepal approves secular status, not Hindu

India's Hindu nationalist government has reacted "immaturely" to Nepal's decision to call itself a "secular" state as opposed to a "Hindu" nation in the long-awaited constitution that was finally approved on September 16, said a Nepalese Christian leader. A blockade on the Nepal-India border has led to extreme shortages of basic essentials, but Indian officials deny their involvement.

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Street scene in Nepal
Street scene in Nepal
Send a gift of support to persecuted Christians around the world

Canon Andrew White, who is well known for his remarkable work in Baghdad and as the founder of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation for the Middle East (FRRME), is a member of Barnabas Aid's Council of Reference. He writes, "I [speak] as one who not only knows about the work of the Barnabas Aid(BA). I have lived and worked in the reality and presence of its ministry. I have directed the clinic established by the BA in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq and have seen people's lives literally saved and transformed by its ministry. The BA is about enabling the suffering Church in its most dangerous situations. Therefore partnering with the BA is about giving the persecuted church hope when there is no hope."

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Donate
Burmese Christian children receiving loving care at a children's home
Burmese Christian children receiving loving care at a children's home

Latest international news

Bangladeshi pastor survives knife attack in his home

Three men pretending they wanted to learn about Christianity attacked a Bangladeshi pastor in his home with a knife on Monday (October 5). Pastor Luke Sarker, aged 52, survived the attack with minor injuries, but in separate attacks, two foreigners were killed last week by suspected Islamist jihadists.

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Barnabas provides food parcels for needy Christians in Bangladesh
Barnabas provides food parcels for needy Christians in Bangladesh

US gunman targeted Christians in college shooting

"Are you a Christian?" gunman 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer asked students at Umpqua community college in Oregon state, USA, before he shot them one by one, on Thursday (October 1) morning.

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President Obama calls for tighter gun control
President Obama calls for tighter gun control

Muslim teachers beat Pakistani Christian head teacher in violent attack

Pakistani head teacher Saddique Azam was violently beaten by three Muslim teachers who objected to a Christian being given the post of head teacher.

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Saddique Azam was beaten by three fellow Muslim teachers
Saddique Azam was beaten by three fellow Muslim teachers

Indian evangelists arrested and accused under anti-conversion law

Three Indian evangelists were arrested on Saturday (October 3) in Satna district, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, accused of violating the state's anti-conversion law after Hindu nationalists stirred up trouble when the evangelists were invited to Motawa village by a local Christian to show a film.

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Barnabas is rebuilding homes for displaced Indian Christians
Barnabas is rebuilding homes for displaced Indian Christians

Pakistani Supreme Court says criticism of blasphemy does not amount to blasphemy

In a landmark statement for freedom of religion in Pakistan, the Pakistan Supreme Court said on Monday (October 5) that critizising the country's notoriously harsh blasphemy laws is not blasphemy. Political figures in Pakistan's recent history who opposed or attempted to amend the blasphemy laws have been violently pressured into backtracking, and several have been killed.

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Aasia Bibi, falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009
Aasia Bibi, falsely accused of blasphemy in 2009

Pastor Saeed Abedini shocked with Taser gun and threatened with new charges

Iranian intelligence officers subjected Pastor Saeed Abedini to an intense round of interrogation on September 22, in which they shocked him repeatedly with a Taser gun and threatened him with new criminal charges that could extend his eight-year sentence.

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Pastor Saeed Abedeni
Pastor Saeed Abedeni
Source: Church in Chains (David Turner)

Lebanon's refugee crisis places strain on minority Christian community

The rights of minority Lebanese Christians are being threatened as the country absorbs over 1.2 million Syrian refugees spilling over the border, fleeing the conflict at home, said Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil on a visit to the US on September 26-27.

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Lebanese mountains
Lebanese mountains

PRAYER FOCUS UPDATE is a monthly information bulletin with up-to-date news on the persecuted Church to help Christians pray for their suffering brothers and sisters. You can use this for prayer groups, your own information and for inclusion in church magazines.

It is available as a printable version on the Barnabas Aid website or can be sent through the post free of charge. Please contact your national Barnabas Aid office if you would like to receive this in the post.

You can select a PDF printable version by clicking here

“Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry.”
Psalm 17:1

PAKISTAN – PAKISTAN'S TOP MILITARY OFFICIALS WARN CHRISTIANS OF ISLAMIST TERROR PLANS

Lift up in prayer Christians across Pakistan as the threat of targeted anti-Christian terrorist attacks surges to a new level.

Senior officials in Pakistan’s military and government have told Christian leaders to take extra precautions after jihadi groups, some with links to Islamic State (IS), threatened to attack believers in churches, schools and hospitals.

One pastor was told that he should no longer take his routine morning and evening walks, and others were cautioned not to meet with unknown parties.

Pakistani Taliban splinter groups which claim to have made alliances with the leader of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, are making targeted plots aimed at Pakistan’s tiny Christian minority, say authorities. The threat of attack is particularly high in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region, which borders Afghanistan.

In June, Jundallah (the group that claimed it was behind the devastating twin suicide Peshawar church bombing in 2013) announced that its militants “will attack kafir Shiites, Ismailis and Christians”.

Police officials rarely stand up for Christians; instead, they are often complicit in anti-Christian attacks. Pakistan’s beleaguered Christian community is hoping that the military will step in to protect them in the face of the heightened threat.

Pray that God will shield His people in Pakistan from every attempt to attack their communities, church buildings, schools and hospitals. Pray that the government, military and police will understand the extreme vulnerability of the Christians in their country, and do everything in their power to protect them and to change the mind-sets of those who would do them harm.

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SYRIA – ISLAMIC STATE MILITANTS ISSUE DHIMMA CONTRACT FOR KIDNAPPED SYRIAN CHRISTIANS

Pray for Christians in Syria’s Qaryatain town who were kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) fighters and now live with second-class status under a humiliating dhimma contract.

In classical Islam, Christians and Jews as well as some other non-Muslim groups, are labelled dhimmi, which means “protected”. As such, they are allowed to live in the Muslim community and practice their religion. However, the protection extended todhimmi goes only so far as to say that they will not be forced to convert to Islam, leave their homes, or be killed. Moreover, dhimmi are forced to live with second-class status, subjected to humiliating restrictions on their freedoms and forced to pay a poll tax known as jizya.

On September 3, IS militants posted photographs online of captured Christians in Qaryatain signing a dhimma contract that listed eleven articles that dramatically curtail their freedoms. Around 260 Christians were kidnapped on August 6; many were taken to Raqqa, so-called capital of IS territory. On September 2, those who remained were given a 48-hour ultimatum in which to decide whether they would convert to Islam, pay the jizya tribute, or leave.

Pray for wisdom for Christians in Qaryatain to know how to act and respond to the situation in which they now live. Pray that even under such humiliating subservience, they will remain steadfast in righteousness so that they will flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon (Psalm 92:12). Ask, too, that the hearts of jihadists who look on will be softened and they will be prevented from ruling harshly.

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NEPAL – NEPALESE CHURCHES ATTACKED AFTER ASSEMBLY REJECTED HINDU NATION PROPOSAL

Lift up in prayer Nepalese believers who are living in a state of anxiety after bombs were planted in four churches.

Just hours after the Nepalese constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly against proposals to make Nepal a Hindu state, bombs exploded in two churches in the country’s easternmost Jhapa district, on September 14. No one was injured in the attacks, but the buildings were damaged.

More bombs were planted in two other churches; one failed to detonate and the other exploded at a police station after police removed it from the church building. Leaflets from Hindu nationalist group Hindu Morcha Nepal were discovered at the churches where the bombs had been planted.

The assembly had been voting on the proposed constitution article by article, and it has now been approved in full. According to Article 4 of the constitution, Nepal is to remain a secular state. Religious freedoms for Christians, however, have been seriously curtailed in Article 26 which does not allow Nepalese citizens to change religion and punishes anyone who “[attempts] to change or convert someone from one religion to another”.

The country has experienced violent protests in some parts since August after politicians agreed to divide the country into seven provinces in a federal structure. Some ethnic groups have disputed the new territorial lines and there has been political unrest with neighboring India, leading to severe shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

Pray for peace in Nepal as the country adjusts to a constitution that has been years in the making. Ask for God’s righteousness and justice to prevail as authorities at various levels begin to interpret the practicalities of this new legislation. Pray also that territorial disputes will be amicably resolved and that commercial trade will recommence.

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PAKISTAN – PAKISTAN HONOR ATTACK LEAVES CHRISTIAN HUSBAND DEAD AFTER WIFE RENOUNCES ISLAM

Pray for 23-year old Nadia Din, a Pakistani woman whose husband was shot by members of her Muslim family after she came to faith in Christ and married a Christian man.

After Nadia renounced Islam and became a Christian, she married Aleem Masih on April 8, 2014. Her decision to convert had enraged her Muslim family members, so the newly-married couple fled their home city of Lahore, in Pakistan, to a town around 
50 km (31 miles) away, in fear of attacks.

In late July this year, the couple returned to Lahore and as they waited in a rickshaw, Nadia’s father and brother and one other person got into the rickshaw with them and, at gun point, forced the driver to take them to a farm.

“They took us to a big field in Khaliq Nagar where they beat us and then fired the gun at Aleem,” said Nadia. “I jumped in front of Aleem to save him and they fired at me too.”

Returning to their village, the attackers declared how they had avenged the shame of Nadia’s conversion, and Nadia’s brother handed himself in to police, confessing to having murdered his sister and her husband. When police arrived at the scene of the attack, they discovered Aleem’s body but found that Nadia, though shot, was still alive.

“I have lost by beautiful brother,” mourned Aleem’s brother, Naaem Masih. “Now the same family threatens us all daily but we will not give up and will seek justice.”

Pray for Nadia and for Aleem’s family; pray that they will not come under renewed attack from local Muslims. Pray that Nadia will be completely restored after suffering a gunshot wound to her abdomen. Pray also that violent attitudes towards Pakistan’s Christians, and especially Christian converts, will be publically challenged at every level of society, so that violence is brought to an end and the righteous are made secure (Psalm 7:9).

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LAOS – POLICE IN LAOS ARREST TWO BELIEVERS FOR SPREADING CHRISTIANITY

Lift up in prayer two Lao believers who were arrested, accused of “spreading the [Christian] faith”, after they encouraged a family of Christians to pray.

Five police officers stormed into the home of a Christian family-of-five on 
September 2, just as they were sitting down to eat lunch with Bountheung Phetsomphone and Neuy, two visiting Christians. Both visitors were arrested and taken to Khounkham district jail in Khammouane province, where they continue to be held.

Both men have suffered years of harassment and persecution from Lao authorities. Bountheung Phetsomphone was previously arrested in 2012 after 300 local people came to faith in Christ through the witness of his life. Neuy has been targeted by police since 2008, when authorities initiated a crackdown on Christianity in the area.

Lao Christians, a tiny minority, are, in theory, granted religious freedom through the country’s constitution. In reality, however, their activities have been under strict control ever since Communist forces overthrew the monarchy in 1975 and seized power.

Pray that both of the men arrested will be released from prison. Pray that the Lao political and judicial authorities will act according to the freedom of religion provided in the country’s constitution. Ask the Lord for greater freedom for believers to meet together without fear of attack or discrimination.

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CAMBODIA – CAMBODIA ORDERS VIETNAMESE CHRISTIAN MONTAGNARDS TO RETURN HOME DESPITE PERSECUTION

Pray for Vietnamese Christian Montagnards who have been told they must return to Vietnam after they fled the country because they were persecuted for their faith.

Cambodian authorities ordered the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on September 11 to repatriate Vietnamese Montagnards, within three months.

An estimated 200 Montagnards (a mainly Christian people group who live in the Central Highlands of Vietnam) have fled into Cambodia since last October. “Some of them have suffered imprisonment and beatings,” said the head of a refugee charity. “Many have been asked with force to sign that they will not practice their religion.”

Almost 50 have already been repatriated and the rest must also be expelled, say Cambodian authorities. “After three months, if those illegal immigrants have not gone back to their hometowns in Vietnam, the authorities of Cambodia will be implementing the immigration law of Cambodia,” said Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak. “We will force them to go back by law.”

In Vietnam, however, Christian Montagnards are persecuted for both their faith and their ethnicity. Montagnards formed an alliance with US forces during the Vietnam War, for which they have paid a high price. Some estimate that up to 200,000 Montagnards were killed in the war and 85% of their villages were destroyed.

In 2009, Cambodia repatriated 20 Chinese ethnic Uyghurs (a Muslim minority group in north-west China) who had fled persecution. The adults in the group were arrested and imprisoned on their return, but just three days later it was announced that China would grant US$900 million to Cambodia.

Vietnamese authorities view Christianity as a Western religion and, therefore, a threat. Unjustly imprisoned, Christians face abuse, torture and beatings.

Pray that the international community will not forget the plight of these Montagnard Christians, their situation briefly in mainstream news. Pray, instead, that their situation will be closely monitored by international organizations and human rights groups who would care for them and seek their protection. Pray for an end to the targeted persecution of Montagnard Christians, so that they may be allowed to remain in their land and live free from fear.
Emergency appeal for Christians devastated by Burma flash floods

Christians in Burma (Myanmar) are in desperate need of food, water and shelter as torrential rain lashes the country, causing the worst flooding and landslides seen for decades. Early estimates indicate that over 300,000 people, many of them Christians, have lost their homes, crops and livelihoods as persistent downpours sweep away roads, bridges, buildings and paddy fields. More rain is forecast for the coming days. In this terrible situation, the fear is that there is worse to come.

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Most of the cities in twelve out of 14 states are already under water
Most of the cities in twelve out of 14 states are already under water

Latest international news

Christian Pakistani mother kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam

A young, married, Christian mother of three, was kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and married to her kidnapper on July 23 in the town of Burj Mahalam, Chak No. 35, Pattoki, in Pakistan's Punjab province.

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Fouzia's family work as bonded labourers for Muhammad Nazir
Fouzia's family work as bonded labourers for Muhammad Nazir

Boko Haram targets Christians in fresh attacks in north-eastern Nigeria

Boko Haram fighters raided two Christian villages on July 27 in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state, killing at least 29 people. On the same day, 16 Christian fishermen were slaughtered in merciless Boko Haram attacks, also in Borno state.

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Boko Haram raids force Nigerians to flee their homes
Boko Haram raids force Nigerians to flee their homes
European Commission DG ECHO / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Orissa Christian couple suspected shot dead by Indian paramilitary forces

A Christian couple who have not been seen since July 26 are thought to have been killed by members of India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the Kandhamal district of India's Orissa state.

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Barnabas is rebuilding homes for Christian families in Orissa who lost everything
Barnabas is rebuilding homes for Christian families in Orissa who lost everything

Sudan court frees South Sudanese pastors

A court in Khartoum, capital of Sudan, has released two South Sudanese pastors who were facing eight charges and a possible death sentence. Friends and relatives sang for joy outside the court as they heard the news; others cried with relief.

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Christian held in prison in Sudan
Christian held in prison in Sudan

"This is a Buddhist village", police tell Sri Lankan pastor

A pastor at a church in Sri Lanka was ordered to cease all worship activity at a police inquiry meeting on July 6 when a senior Buddhist monk, the police Officer in Charge and the Grama Sevaka (area village officer) told the pastor that the village was Buddhist.

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Barnabas Aid supports theological training for Christians in Sri Lanka
Barnabas Aid supports theological training for Christians in Sri Lanka

Commemorating the 1933 Simele massacre against Iraqi Christians

On August 7, the Assyrian community commemorates the beginning of a massacre of an estimated 3,000 Christian Assyrians in 1933 in Iraq's northern town of Simele and nearby villages in the Dohuk and Mosul districts.

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Assyrian Christians leaving northern Iraq to settle in north-eastern Syria
Assyrian Christians leaving northern Iraq to settle in north-eastern Syria

One year since Islamic State overnight conquest of Iraqi Nineveh Plain Christian villages

On August 6 last year, Islamic State militants launched an overnight offensive on Christian towns and villages in the Nineveh Plains of Iraq. By the morning of August 7, around 200,000 Iraqi Christians had been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan. One year later, the situation of these displaced Iraqi Christians is one of hardship and endurance, yet they are thankful for the Lord's provision through their Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

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Islamic State militants forced Iraqi Christians to flee
Islamic State militants forced Iraqi Christians to flee


British convert from Islam endures decades of persecution by local Muslim community

Nissar Hussain, a British man who converted from Islam to Christianity in 1996, has written a letter to his local MP recounting some of the long catalogue of violence, abuse and other attacks that he has suffered at the hands of some Muslims in the area of Bradford where he lives. Recently Nissar and his wife, Kubra, who have six children, have each had false allegations against them brought to the police for separate "offenses" resulting in each of them being held at the police station for hours. Their car has been maliciously damaged four times, making it almost impossible for the family to meet the repair and insurance costs. Yet despite appealing to local authorities and organizations for support, Mr Hussain has struggled to find support and help.

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Nissar Hussain's vehicle has been maliciously damaged four times by Muslims in Bradford
Nissar Hussain's vehicle has been maliciously damaged four times by Muslims in Bradford

South Sudanese pastors facing death sentence in Sudan moved to high security prison

Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith have been transferred to Kober Prison, a high security prison in North Khartoum. Breaching the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the pastors have not been allowed to see their lawyers or any other visitors. Facing six charges, two of which carry a death sentence, the pastors are set to have their next hearing on June 15.

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Barnabas helped to rescue Christians in Sudan and transport them to South Sudan in 2012
Barnabas helped to rescue Christians in Sudan and transport them to South Sudan in 2012

"The night is very dark": Farewell letter by a Pakistani Christian hanged on June 10 for a crime he did not commit

Breaching international and Pakistani law, and despite appeals from Christian leaders and human rights groups, a Christian man convicted of murder 22 years ago at the age of 15, was hanged at 4.30 AM on June 10 in Pakistan's Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. In a last letter (below), Aftab Bahadur Masih describes the anguish of 22 years on death row and the added difficulties of being a Christian prisoner in Pakistan.

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Aftab Bahadur Masih in 1992 and recently
Aftab Bahadur Masih in 1992 and recently

Islamic State announce seized Mosul cathedral to be named the "mosque of the mujahedeen"

One year after the fall of Mosul to Islamic State (IS), militants posted notices around the captured city announcing that the Syriac Orthodox Cathedral Church of St Ephrem, seized a year ago, is to be turned into the "mosque of the mujahedeen" (jihad fighters).

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Archbishop Nicodemus Daoud of Mosul
Archbishop Nicodemus Daoud of Mosul

Islamic State militants abduct 100 Eritrean Christian refugees in Libya and Sudan

Christians fleeing from political oppression in Eritrea were singled out by Islamic State (IS) militants and kidnapped in western Libya. The 86 Christians were travelling towards the capital city, Tripoli, in the early hours of June 3. And in Sudan, on June 4, a convoy of Eritrean refugees was stopped by suspected Muslim Rashaida gunmen and 14 Christians abducted.

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Migrants arrive on Lampedusa island after leaving Libya
Migrants arrive on Lampedusa island after leaving Libya
Noborder Network / CC BY 2.0

Bid to reduce false accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan

In a move to prevent the abuse of Pakistan's notoriously harsh blasphemy laws, the country's government has drafted a bill to try to reduce the frequency of false accusations. Given that there is a mandatory death sentence for the crime of "defiling the name" of Muhammad, false accusations pose serious risks to individuals, especially non-Muslims, and are often used to settle personal grudges. The mob violence that sometimes follows an accusation poses a risk to whole Christian communities if one of their members is accused. If passed, the bill would impose penalties for false accusation and also make it necessary to prove that a person accused of defiling the name of Muhammad had done so intentionally.

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Christians in Lahore flee their homes after mob attacks on 25 May when Humyun Masih was accused of burning verses from the Quran
Christians in Lahore flee their homes after mob attacks on May 25 when Humyun Masih was accused of burning verses from the Quran

One year since Mosul fell to Islamic State militants and forced Christians to flee

On June 10, 2014, the city of Mosul, Iraq's second city, fell to Islamic State (IS) militants in a brutal display of control. Ousting Christians from their homes and seizing them for themselves, IS forced Christians to flee with nothing except the clothes they were wearing. One year on, the city is empty of its Christians and the city's population is ruled according to the Islamists' strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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Barnabas Aid helps feed hungry Christians in Iraq
Barnabas Aid helps feed hungry Christians in Iraq

Latest international news

Indian village leader says four Christian families "outcasts" for following Christ

According to a report published by the Evangelical Fellowship of India on May 19, four Christian families in the Indian village of Charama, Kanker, in Chhattisgarh state, were summoned to appear before a public meeting on April 7 where the village leader declared that these Christians are outcasts. Announcing a social boycott, he warned that anyone who spoke to, gave water to, or sold any goods to them would be punished.

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Christians in India meet to study God's word together
Christians in India meet to study God's word together

Iranian Appeals Court upholds Pastor Fathi's additional sentence

In a demonstration of the consequences awaiting those who would share the Gospel among Muslim Iranians, an Appeals Court in Iran has upheld the additional one-year prison sentence given to Pastor Farshid Fathi, according to a report published by Mohabat News on May 30. Already sentenced to six years in prison following his arrest in 2010 when officials organized a widespread campaign to clamp down on house churches (comprised of Muslim-background Christians), his sentence was lengthened in December last year after prison guards accused him of possessing alcohol, a charge which he denied.

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Since President Rouhani came to power in 2013, the number of Iranians from religious minorities in prison for their religious beliefs has increased. As of February, around 90 Christians were being held or awaiting trial for their faith.
Since President Rouhani came to power in 2013, the number of Iranians from religious minorities in prison for their religious beliefs has increased. As of February, around 90 Christians were being held or awaiting trial for their faith.
Photo from the website of the Russian president / CC BY 3.0

Boko Haram wage violence in north-eastern Nigeria after Presidential inauguration

Horrific violence has followed the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday May 29, as Boko Haram militants attacked the city of Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state and birthplace of the Islamist insurgency group Boko Haram. Gunfire and explosions reverberate through the city and scores have been left dead. "We don't know what happens next," a church leader told Barnabas. "Pray for the believers in the city of Maiduguri. Pray for God's special intervention."

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Barnabas Aid supports Nigerian Christians forced to flee their homes
Barnabas Aid supports Nigerian Christians forced to flee their homes

"The shepherd cannot leave his sheep," says Iraqi Christian leader determined to stay despite Islamic State proximity

Only four miles (six km) from the frontlines of Islamic State (IS) fighters, three monks and six students have determined to remain in St Matthew's ancient monastery in Iraq's Nineveh province until there are no Christians left in the country. "We can see the battles and the airstrikes from here in front of us," says Yousif Ibrahim, one of three remaining monks living in the monastery. "The sky lights up at night, but we of course are not scared. God protects us."

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St Matthew's monastery is under constant threat from IS
St Matthew's monastery is under constant threat from IS
Kyselak / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dozens of schools close in northern Kenya with Christian teachers fearful of al-Shabaab attacks

Almost 100 schools have closed in northern Kenya with teachers, many of them Christians, too afraid to work in the light of recent al-Shabaab attacks against education institutions. Their fears are far from unfounded. For the second time, Islamist militants have taken over a village in northern Kenya, this time in Mandera county which borders Somalia.

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Barnabas Aid supports a Christian rescue home for girls in Kenya's East Pokot District
Barnabas Aid supports a Christian rescue home for girls in Kenya's East Pokot District

At least 16 dead and 70 injured in Taliban suicide bomb attacks on two churches in Pakistan

At least 16 people have been killed and over 70 injured when Taliban suicide bombers attacked two Lahore churches in one of the largest Christian communities in Pakistan yesterday (Sunday March 15). Barnabas Aid has already sent emergency aid to our partners on the ground who are working to bring relief in the midst of tragedy.

There is an urgent need for finance to cover medical care and funeral costs, as well as basic needs for impoverished families who have lost their principal earner. Will you help us support our brothers and sisters in their suffering and grief?

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Hospitals in Lahore care for the dozens of Christians injured in Sunday’s bombings
Hospitals in Lahore care for the dozens of Christians injured in Sunday’s bombings

Latest international news

Young Christian man tortured and beaten to death by Pakistani police

Police in Pakistan brutally murdered a young Christian man, 20-year-old Zubair, after torturing him at the Harbans Pura police station in Lahore's Shera Kot District.

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Ayesha Bibi was beaten and her son tortured to death by police
Ayesha Bibi was beaten and her son tortured to death by police

Two pastors in Sudan to be tried for evangelizing Muslims

Pastors Yat Michael and Peter Yein Reith have been transferred to prison from the security section in Khartoum after they were detained by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). From prison they will be taken to court to face charges of evangelizing Muslims.

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Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings as part of a campaign to rid the country of its Christian presence
Sudanese authorities demolish church buildings as part of a campaign to rid the country of its Christian presence

Boko Haram declares allegiance to Islamic State

Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, has announced the group's allegiance to the caliph of the Islamic State (IS), promising to "hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity", in an audio statement posted online on March 7. In response, Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in an audio message released on March 12, "we announce to you to the good news of the expansion of the caliphate to west Africa because the caliph ... has accepted the allegiance of our brothers of the Sunni group for preaching and the jihad."

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Boko Haram videos often include black jihadist flags mimicking IS media
Boko Haram videos often include black jihadist flags mimicking IS media

Faith and hope in Aleppo: A Syrian Christian reflects on four years of conflict, deprivation and suffering

A letter from a Barnabas partner living in Aleppo, Syria, describes the plight of Syrians and especially Syrian Christians during the current conflict which began with the "Arab Spring" in March 2011.

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A church in Aleppo is destroyed in the fighting
A church in Aleppo is destroyed in the fighting

Two new classes added to Barnabas-funded school in Bethlehem

With demand increasing for spaces at a Christian school in Bethlehem, two new classes have been added: one for the third grade and another for the ninth grade. The school is now able to offer places for 450 children in 15 primary classes and seven kindergarten classes.

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Children read passages from the Bible at a special school event
Children read passages from the Bible at a special school event
Help Syrian Christians who fled their homes after Islamic State raids in Khabur villages

Barnabas has sent an emergency grant to provide urgent basic essentials for 1,050 Syrian Christian families who fled their homes in the Khabur region after Islamic State (IS) militants raided their villages last week, but the scale of the humanitarian need is enormous. Our partners on the ground are pleading for more aid; will you help?

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An elderly Christian among the many thousands of Syrian Christians who have fled their homes in villages along the Khabur river
An elderly Christian among the many thousands of Syrian Christians who have fled their homes in villages along the Khabur river

Latest international news

Boko Haram killings spread terror across West Africa

Last month saw a spate of Boko Haram attacks across north-eastern Nigeria, the massacre of around 90 people in Cameroon, and first-time attacks in Niger and Chad. Apparently outraged by Chadian and African Union decisions to provide military units to combat the scourge of radical Islamism in West Africa, the group is taking its revenge on Christians and on Muslims who do not share their ideology.

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Boko Haram violence in February spreads to Niger and Chad for the first time
Boko Haram violence in February spreads to Niger and Chad for the first time

Christian presence in Middle East threated with extinction

"We are no longer welcome in our own home," says one Iraqi Christian in a report presented in Brussels on February 27 which records the systematic killing of Christian and other religious minority groups in Iraq by Islamic State (IS) militants. The document highlights the threat under which religious minorities in the Middle East continue to live, as well as the so far unmet humanitarian needs of the tens of thousands of displaced Christians, Kaka'i, Shabak, Turkmen and Yazidis.

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Human rights activists in Toronto, Canada, condemn religious cleansing of Christians in the Middle East.  Christians, as ethnic Assyrians, are the indigenous people of Iraq, but Muslim Arabs migrated there in the Middle Ages
Human rights activists in Toronto, Canada, condemn religious cleansing of Christians in the Middle East. 
michael_swan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Police detain and beat 20 Indian Christian missionaries

Police in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, in northern India, detained a group of 20 Christians distributing leaflets to local residents on February 26 and took them to the police station, where they were kicked and beaten before being released.

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Christians in India meet together to worship
Christians in India meet together to worship

Tents arrive in Iraqi Kurdistan, ground works due to commence!

The high-quality insulated tents that Barnabas is providing for displaced Iraqi Christians have arrived in Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shipped from the British army's Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, after it was closed down last year, the tents have safely arrived at their destination having travelled by land and sea. Preparation of the ground and assembly of the tents will commence shortly.

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Displaced Iraqi Christian families are in desperate need of proper shelter
Displaced Iraqi Christian families are in desperate need of proper shelter

Christian prisoner given conditional release in Iran

Christian convert and house-church leader Rasoul Abdollahi has been released from prison after serving 15 months of his three-year sentence. His release, however, was granted on the condition that he sign an agreement not to participate in any Christian activities or attend Christian worship services.

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Evin prison in Tehran, where Rasoul Abdollahi was held until October 2014
Evin prison in Tehran, where Rasoul Abdollahi was held until October 2014
 
Urgent help needed for Christians in Syria held by Islamic State militants

Almost 300 Christians are being held by Islamic State (IS) fighters in the north-eastern Hassake region of Syria. The jihadists raided numerous Christian villages along the Khabur river in the early hours of February 23, abducting those who did not manage to flee. More than 900 families have already fled to the cities of Hassake and Qamishli and are in desperate need of basic necessities for survival.

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>Barnabas has sent emergency food aid for displaced Syrian Christians
Barnabas has sent emergency food aid for displaced Syrian Christians

Barnabas editorial

Christ Crucified: A Stumbling Block

April this year will be marked as the centenary of the Armenian and Assyrian genocide. Enormous evidences indicate that the genocide was centrally planned and administered by the Turkish government, and was essentially an effort to exterminate the Christian population living in the predominantly Muslim Ottoman Empire. That trend of anti-Christian violence continued throughout the 20th century and now in the 21st century we are faced with Islamic State, the murderous movement seizing territory in Iraq and Syria, and destroying all crosses and Christian symbols. Why? And why the severe hardship and death meted out to Christians under Islamic authorities elsewhere in the world? The reason lies not only in how Islam sees itself but in the Cross of Christ.

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Common scenes of the Armenian genocide in spring and summer 1915
Common scenes of the Armenian genocide in spring and summer 1915.
Source: Wikipedia, Henry Morgenthau

Latest international news

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks out for religious minorities after Christians protest attacks

"We consider the freedom to have, to retain, and to adopt, a religion or belief, is a personal choice of a citizen." Breaking his silence on the sensitive issues of forced conversions and the freedom of religion, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned religious violence in a speech on February 17.

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Narendra Modi breaks his silence on religious violence
Narendra Modi breaks his silence on religious violence 
Source: Global Panorama / CC BY-SA 2.0

Islamic State orders Christians in Syrian village to take down crosses from churches and pay jizya

Arriving in two pickup trucks, around 20 armed IS fighters entered the mostly Christian Syrian village of Tel Hormizd on February 1. They ordered residents to remove the cross from the church and to pay the traditional Islamic jizya tax.

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Barnabas has helped build two schools in the Hassake region of north-eastern Syria
Barnabas has helped build two schools in the Hassake region of north-eastern Syria

Homes and churches destroyed in attacks in the Central African Republic

More than 14 homes and churches have been torched and missionary centers vandalized in the area around Kaga-Bandoro, in the north-central part of the Central African Republic (CAR). Local Christians told Barnabas Fund on February 17 that many pastors fled to the town of Kaga-Bandoro, where another church was burned.

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In early 2014, at the peak of the conflict, over 930,000 people were displaced
In early 2014, at the peak of the conflict, over 930,000 people were displaced

Slaves and wives of Islamic State fighters are being abused and beaten

Women living in the Islamic State (IS) "capital" city of Raqqa are being coerced into marrying IS fighters, according to the Syrian activist group known as 'Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently' (RBSS). Recent interviews also reveal strict new dress codes and movement restrictions for women living in IS-controlled territory. Applying to all women living in Islamic State territory, any Christian women who may still be living there must also abide by these restrictive orders.

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Women living in Islamic State territory are forced to comply with strict dress codes.
Women living in Islamic State territory are forced to comply with strict dress codes. Source: Ahmad Mousa / CC BY 2.0

Western procrastination could put Iraqi Christian lives at risk: comparable with 1939 Jewish refugee refusal

The U.S. and Canada are willing to accept refugees from Iraq but through an application process that takes years and requires the would-be refugees to make dangerous journeys across the Middle East. Islamic State (IS) militants are set on eliminating a Christian presence in the area of Iraq and Syria which they control. If this area continues to grow as rapidly as it did last year, many Iraqi Christians seeking to emigrate to the safety of North America could have been killed before their applications have been processed. The situation has echoes of the U.S. decision in 1939 to turn away a ship laden with German Jews seeking safety, over a quarter of whom died in the Holocaust after they were forced to return to Europe.

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Jewish families board SS St Louis in May 1939
Jewish families board SS St Louis in May 1939

Tanzania's coastal areas see rise in anti-Christian attacks

In the early hours of January 20, a church building in Mashewa, in the Muheza district of Tanga Region, was set on fire at around 2am. Recent years have witnessed growing tension in this Muslim-majority coastal area of Tanzania and the pastor of the church had been threatened repeatedly for some time.

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The church in Kisota Gamboni, in Mafia, has been closed since November
The church in Kisota Gamboni, in Mafia, has been closed since November

Vietnamese Christian Montagnards flee persecution and take refuge in Cambodia's jungle

A family of five Vietnamese Montagnards, including two children and an infant, who had fled their homes and crossed the border into Cambodia, were discovered in the Cambodian Ratanakiri jungle and arrested on Feb 1. Handcuffed, they were detained by police and taken to a secret location. No further news as to their whereabouts has yet been given.

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Ethnic Montagnards are concentrated in the Vietnamese Central Highlands
Ethnic Montagnards are concentrated in the Vietnamese Central Highlands
tommy japan / CC BY 2.0

Burmese Chin Christian elder appears in court for building a cross on a hill

Faced with a possible two year prison sentence for building a cross on a hill in Hakha, in Chin State, Burma (Myanmar), Chin elder Tial Cem said, "If the authorities say I have to go to jail, I am not afraid; I am ready to go to jail for this case."

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Chin State in western Burma (Myanmar)
Chin State in western Burma (Myanmar)
CortoMaltese_1999 / CC BY 2.0

Food and shelter for Nigerian victims of violence: help us meet the urgent needs of destitute, displaced Christians

Incessant attacks from Boko Haram militants in north-eastern Nigeria have caused over a million people to flee their homes in terror. Often targeting predominantly Christian villages, residents are killed and houses are razed. Christians in northern Nigeria are also victims of repeated violence from ethnic Fulani Muslims who are responsible for killings, burning houses, and forcing Christians to flee.

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Displaced Nigerian Christians in Cameroon are grateful to Barnabas supporters for food and medical assistance
Displaced Nigerian Christians in Cameroon are grateful to Barnabas supporters for food and medical assistance

Latest international news

Burmese soldiers rape and kill two Christian Kachin teachers

Two young Christian Kachin women who were working as volunteer teachers for rural village children in Shabuk-Kaunghka in Shan state, Burma (Myanmar) were raped and killed by Burmese soldiers on January 19. The attack is thought to come in revenge for renewed fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burmese Army.

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Hundreds of Christian-majority Kachin are fleeing renewed violence
Hundreds of Christian-majority Kachin are fleeing renewed violence

Iranian Christian remains in prison despite completing sentence term

Despite the fact that Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi should have been released from prison on January 13 after completing the term of his sentence, he continues to be held in Rajaei-Shahr prison in Karaj. According to Mohabat News, another case has been opened against him in branch 28 of the Revolutionary Courts, but no further action has been taken to date.

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The Azadi (Freedom) Tower in Tehran, Iran. There is little freedom for Christians in Iran and many are in prison for their faith.
The Azadi (Freedom) Tower in Tehran, Iran.

Pastor released from prison in Buddhist Bhutan

Arrested in Dorokha village in the Samtse district of Bhutan in March 2014, Pastor Tandin Wangyal was released from prison on January 19 after paying a fine of 100,000 Ngultrum (around £1,100; US$1,600) and freed to return to his wife, Nengboi, and three children in Thimphu, the capital of the small and mountainous South Asian country. He was originally detained along with Pastor Mon Thapa (also known as David Lobzang) after a neighbor complained that the two had held a house church meeting in the village.

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Streets of Thimphu, capital of Bhutan
Streets of Thimphu, capital of Bhutan

Church burned in Pakistan between Christmas and New Year

A church in Mazharabad, Rawalpindi, in Pakistan, was completely destroyed in a fire on December 29, during a busy week of Christmas and New Year celebrations.

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Church members assess the damage after a fire destroyed the building
Church members assess the damage after a fire destroyed the building
Christians targeted for destruction in West Africa: will you help?

Recent weeks saw the world's attention focused on France. Rightly, there was almost universal condemnation of the brutal killing of 17 innocent people. A number of the world's leaders flew to Paris to join arms and walk through the streets as an affirmation of unity and liberty. And yet in West Africa a new tragedy on a far greater scale is unfolding, to which little or no attention has been paid.

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Church bus burned in two-day Islamist riots in Niger
Church bus burned in two-day Islamist riots in Niger

Latest international news

Over 70 churches destroyed in Charlie Hebdo riots in Niger

In two days of targeted riots that began on January 16, violence across Niger has left ten people dead and over 70 churches are reported to have been destroyed. The rioters were protesting against the publication of a cartoon of Muhammad on the front cover of the French Charlie Hebdo magazine. More riots and protests occurred across many Muslim-majority countries, including many former French colonies.

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The home of a Niamey church pastor was burned by Islamist rioters
The home of a Niamey church pastor was burned by Islamist rioters

A letter from a Syrian Christian in Aleppo

A Christian doctor in Aleppo emailed Barnabas Aid on January 17 to update us on the desperate conditions there, as Syria approaches the fourth anniversary of its ongoing civil war. Babies and elderly are dying in the sub-zero temperatures, which people must try to survive without any form of heating. More and more Christians are leaving the city, but this doctor stays in order to try to help those who remain.

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A church destroyed in Aleppo
A church destroyed in Aleppo

Two Christian communities attacked by Hindu activists, accused of forced conversions

Suspected Bajrang Dal activists interrupted a Sunday prayer meeting on January 11 in Jehanabad, Bihar state, beating up the Christians present and damaging church furniture. In a separate incident on the same day, enraged Hindu activists demonstrated against Christians who were meeting at a worship service in Kushulanagar, Karnataka state.

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Christians in India are often the victims of brutality because of their faith
Christians in India are often the victims of brutality because of their faith

Threatening letter sent to Iraqi Christian exposes vulnerability of Christian minority in Kurdistan

In strongly abusive anonymous email sent on January 14, 2015 to an Iraqi Christian based in the UK, the rapidly diminishing Christian population in Iraq is threatened with permanent loss of their property and told they must convert to Islam. Referring to the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, which peaked in 1915, the apparently Kurdish Muslim sender promises similar, large-scale destruction of the Iraqi Assyrians, a Christian people-group.

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Displaced Iraqi Christians seeking shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan
Displaced Iraqi Christians seeking shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan

Kenyan church leader shot dead in Mombasa city

Church members who met to worship together on Sunday January 11 are in shock after church official George Karidhimba Muriki was gunned down by unidentified assailants on a motorbike, just inside the church entrance gate, in the Majengo neighborhood of Mombasa city.

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Kenya's coastal Mombasa city has seen several anti-Christian attacks in recent weeks
Kenya's Mombasa city has seen several anti-Christian attacks in recent weeks

Two Christians receive fines from Kazakh courts

In separate incidents, two Kazakh Christians have been issued with heavy fines for exercising their right to freedom of religion without state permission. Both men are refusing to pay the fines and have been subjected to further punishments.

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There are many restrictions on Christians in Kazakhstan
There are many restrictions on Christians in Kazakhstan