‘Russian government introduces draconian Soviet era restrictions on religious freedom’

kremlinLast Friday two members of the Russian Duma (parliament) introduced a series of amendments to anti-terrorist legislation that would require individuals to gain prior state authorisation before even discussing their faith with someone else. …

It now goes to Russian President Vladimir Putin who has until July 20th to decide whether the bill will become law. The new law will require any sharing of the Christian faith – even a casual conversation – to have prior authorisation from the state. This includes something as basic as an emailed invitation for a friend to attend church…”

– Concerning news via Barnabas Fund.

‘In Pakistan, Taliban’s Easter bombing targets, kills scores of Christians’

pakistan“On Easter Sunday, a crisp spring day, some of the city’s Christian population mingled with their Muslim neighbors, celebrating in a neighborhood park — taking their kids on rides or pushing them on swings. Then, the sound of tragedy.

Without warning, a blast tore through the park, killing indiscriminately.

Because of the innocent setting, an unusually high number of those injured were women and children. But the attack, claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, intentionally targeted Christians, the perpetrators say…”

– This report from CNN.

See also:

Suicide blast kills at least 72 in Lahore parkThe Express Tribune, Karachi.

Lahore blast leaves behind playground buried with hopes and dreamsGeo TV Pakistan.

‘Freed Australian hostage Jocelyn Elliott vows to continue work’

ken-and-jocelyn-elliot“An Australian woman who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked jihadists in Burkina Faso has returned to the nation’s capital after being freed, and says she hopes to be reunited with her husband so they can continue their medical work in the African nation…”

– ABC News has this report. (Please continue to pray for the release of Jocelyn’s husband, Ken, and for their captors.)

Jocelyn Elliot released by kidnappers – husband still held

ken-and-jocelyn-elliotFrom ABC News, Sunday 7th February:

“An Australian woman has been freed after she and her husband were kidnapped by an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Burkina Faso, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirms.

President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou presented Jocelyn Elliott to journalists at a news conference in Dosso, south-western Niger, and said authorities were intensifying efforts to secure the release of her husband.…”

– Please give thanks for Jocelyn’s release, and continue in prayer for her husband Ken, and for their captors.


Family of kidnapped missionaries in Burkina Faso plead for Ken and Jocelyn Elliot’s release – Bible Society.

AP scores a hit with scoop on ISIS’ destruction of Iraqi monastery

monastery-destroyed-2“Certainly, journalists can’t do enough to explain what’s up with this orgy of monument desecration that ISIS and Al Qaeda enjoy doing. But there’s a deeper issue here…”

Julia Duin at Get Religion looks at coverage of the destruction of the 1400 year old St. Elijah’s Monastery of Mosul monastery. (Image: CCTV.)

‘ISIS destroys Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery’

iraq“Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble … St. Elijah’s Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years…”

– Report from Fox News.

An Aussie’s take on the abduction of two fellow countrymen in Burkina Faso

burkina-fasoDominic Steele writes –

“If you have been praying for the two Australian medical missionaries abducted in Burkina Faso I’d encourage you to listen to this interview with a fellow Aussie over there.”

Listen here.

More background at Bible Society Australia.

Two Australians kidnapped in Burkina Faso

two-australians-kidnapped“An Australian couple has been kidnapped by jihadists in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. The couple, believed to be surgeon Dr Ken Elliot and his wife Jocelyn, were kidnapped … near the Burkina Faso’s borders with Niger and Mali…”

– Report from Nine News.

Later report from ABC News.

(Please pray for them and their captors. Dr. and Mrs. Eliot have served in various parts of sub-Saharan Africa since 1967.)

‘Most dangerous’ places to be a Christian in 2016

open-doors-2016“There has never been a worse time to be a Christian, according to persecution charity Open Doors who will launch their annual report this afternoon.

‘Global persecution of Christians is more extreme than ever before,’ the charity said in a statement ahead of publishing its 2016 World Watch List. The list highlights the 50 countries with the worst persecution record and will be discussed at a launch event at the House of Commons later today…”

– Report from Christian Today.

Christian women in Baghdad face intimidation to veil

veil-poster“The few Christians still holding out in Baghdad have found themselves at the receiving end of another barrage of intimidation.

Posters appeared on the morning of 13 Dec. – a Sunday – near Christian places of worship with a message to Christian women to cover up…” – Report from World Watch Monitor.

Boko Haram ‘more deadly terror group’ in 2014 than IS

Nigeria“Boko Haram was the world’s deadliest terror group in 2014, ahead of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to a report released on 18 Nov. by the Institute of Economics & Peace…”

– This report from WorldWatch Monitor.

Rescuing Christians in danger

refugees“I recently returned from a trip to five countries of the Middle East. I have visited the region countless times over the last two decades and have seen first-hand the tragic deterioration of the situation for Christians, especially in countries like Syria and Iraq where they used to be treated with respect as equal citizens.

The Christians are now in deadly danger…”

– Barnabas Fund’s Dr Patrick Sookhdeo asks for prayer and support in coming to the aid of Christians fleeing persecution.

Stories you may have missed — 23 May 2015

Dr Stuart PigginHere are a few stories you may have missed:

Dr Stuart Piggin spoke on revival in rural Australia at a conference at Goulburn Cathedral. (Link to audio.)

Anglican Priests ‘beaten to stupor’ by agents of the state government in Enugu State, Nigeria, over a land dispute.

Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council remembers growing up at St. James’ Newport Beach in California and reflects on reports the site is to be sold for $15 million.

Christians flee Aleppo in their thousands after fresh fighting in Syria, and Iraq’s Christians wonder where to flee after Islamic State militants take Ramadi city – reports from Barnabas Fund.

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