Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’

Iranian Christians sentenced, verdict says ‘claiming Jesus is Lord is attack against Islam’
Two Iranian Christians have been given prison sentences for “spreading propaganda against the regime”, reports Middle East Concern. Saheb Fadaei and Fatimeh Bakhteri, who belong to the non-Trinitarian “Church of Iran”, were sentenced to 18 and 12 months, respectively. Middle East Concern noted that in the verdict it was written . . . Read More

China: More church closures and Internet censorship in further religious clampdown

Senior lady looking at Dongguang Church in Shenyang, northeastern China.  (Photo: Open Doors International)
One of China’s largest unofficial “house churches” was closed on Sunday, while new measures have been introduced to curb religious activities online. Beijing’s Zion Church had received warnings following its refusal to place CCTV cameras in its auditorium at the government’s request. On Sunday afternoon, 9 September, around 60 government . . . Read More

China ‘uses legal tactics to suppress religious freedom’, says rights agency

People leaving the church after a service in Shenyang, north-eastern Dongguang province. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
China’s churches are experiencing the worst persecution in 40 years, with a government which uses “non-religious reasons” and civil law to close houses of worship, according to the US-based St Charles Institute. Pressure is applied “through opaque queries of fire-protection measures, by questioning the legality of printed materials used by the . . . Read More

China: More church closures as Party tightens rules for its religious members

St Joseph's Church in Beijing.
One of China’s largest “house churches” in Beijing has been threatened with closure by the government following its refusal of a request to install cameras in the church building, reports Reuters. Zion Church received a letter from the city authorities in April, asking it to install 24 closed-circuit video cameras . . . Read More

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison

‘How can reading the Bible be acting against national security?’ asks Iranian Christian from prison
An Iranian convert to Christianity serving ten years in prison for “missionary activities” has written an open letter to the Iranian authorities, asking how his Christian activities could be perceived as anti-state. “Would it even be possible for a committed Christian – who was born and raised in Iran and . . . Read More

Hindu extremist violence on the rise in southern Indian states

Good Fruit Ministries church in Sangameshwar village of Siddhipet District, Telangana state was demolished by a bull dozer on the directions of uppercaste Hindus who follow Vaastu shastra.
Religious freedom advocate ADF India has noted a rise in incidents of religiously motivated violence in India’s two Telugu language-speaking southern states, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, including the brutal murder of an elderly Christian woman. So far this year, ADF India says it has verified 17 incidents of anti-Christian persecution . . . Read More

US commission calls for Iranian Christians’ release after ‘new miscarriage of justice’

From left: Saheb Fadaie, Youcef Nadarkhani, Yasser Mossayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of an Iranian pastor and three of his church members, after they were taken to prison last week to serve ten-year sentences for “acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running “house . . . Read More

China: Beijing churches call for government to respect religious rights

Cross on Dongguang Church against factory name. Shenyang, northeastern China. Shenyang is the capital and largest city of China’s northeast Liaoning Province. It was the site of the 17th-century Manchu capital Mukden, and the imposing Mukden Palace (Shenyang Imperial Palace) is a blend of Manchurian and Tibetan architectural styles. Mausoleums of Qing dynasty emperors can be found at Zhaoling Tomb, amid the pine forests and lakes of Beiling Park, and at Fuling Tomb in the city’s east. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
In a joint declaration, 34 churches in the Chinese capital, Beijing, have called on the government to respect the freedom and rights of religious citizens, advocacy group CSW reports. The churches, which are independent from the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement, committed to “stand together” in the “new environment” that had . . . Read More

Chinese churches ‘more careful who they allow in’, as raids increase

People leaving the church after a service in Shenyang, north-eastern Dongguang province. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Churches in China are becoming more careful over who they let in to their buildings, as government pressure increases following the implementation of new religious regulations earlier this year. Local authorities have been pressured to take action. In Guangzhou, for example, the capital of the southern province Guangdong, a local . . . Read More