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Evangelicals targeted in Cameroon bomb attacks?

At least four people were injured in attacks by two suicide bombers last night in Nguetchewe, northern Cameroon, according to sources. The attackers - a man and a woman - appear to have targeted members of Cameroon's Union of Evangelical Churches (UECC).

One attack was on the home of Pierre Baldina, treasurer at a local UECC assembly. Baldina saw the bomber approach his house and managed to stop her at the gate. The explosion blew off the roof of his house and injured his 16-year-old son and a passer-by.

The second explosion injured two people including Moise Massiko, a member of the UECC. Witnesses said they saw the bomber pursuing a group of young men before the blast.

Muslim and Christian leaders recently met in Mora - the base of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram - and pledged to work together against the threat of Islamic terrorism.

Northern Cameroon has been hit by as many as 19 militant attacks that killed at least 74 people since the beginning of the year, mostly bombings by teenagers with explosive devices strapped to their bodies.

Italy takes 1,000 refugees via humanitarian visas

Italian Protestant churches will help settle 1,000 refugees arriving there this month through a "humanitarian corridor" from camps in Lebanon, Morocco and Ethiopia.

The refugees, including both Christians and Muslims, will travel under the safety of humanitarian visas so they are not tempted to risk deadly sea crossings to Europe.

Last week, a Syrian family travelled to Italy from Lebanon through the first such “safe corridor” opened by a formal protocol signed by the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, the Community of Sant’Egidio and the Italian government.

Italian churches have committed to provide housing, cultural orientation and language lessons for the refugees during their first months in Italy.

“We hope other countries will replicate our efforts,” said Dr Paolo Naso, of Mediterranean Hope, an organisation set up by the Protestant Federation as a response to the thousands who died trying to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa.

Source: World Council of Churches

India: fines for saying 'Christian' prayers

Four people have received fines for practising Christianity from a village council in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

One of the men, Shankar Singh, told UCA News that they were fined 5,000 rupees (US$75) each.

The arrests followed accusations by a Hindu group that the people at the gathering were attempting to convert to Christianity.

The state, run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has an anti-conversion law that criminalises conversion if done without the permission of government authorities.

A Christian advocacy group recently said that attacks on Christians were reported on an almost daily basis in 2015.

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