VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Category Archives: China

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ROME’S COLOSSEUM TO BE LIT RED FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

The Roman Colosseum Photo: Wikipedia

By Dan Wooding (Assist News)  The Roman Colosseum will be illuminated by red lights later this month to draw attention to the persecution of Christians around the world, and especially in Syria and Iraq.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. the Colosseum will be spotlighted in red, to represent the blood of Christians who have been wounded or lost their lives due to religious persecution, according to Crux.

Simultaneously, in Syria and Iraq, prominent churches will be illuminated with red lights. In Aleppo, the St. Elijah Maronite Cathedral will be lit, and in Mosul, the Church of St. Paul, where this past Dec. 24, the first Mass was celebrated after the city’s liberation from ISIS.

The event, sponsored by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) — follows a similar initiative last year, which lit-up London’s Parliament building in red, as well as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris and the cathedral in Manila, Philippines. In 2016, the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome was lit. 

Alessandro Monteduro, director of ACN, told journalists on Feb. 7 that the “illumination [of the Colosseum] will have two symbolic figures: Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian condemned to death for blasphemy and whose umpteenth judgment is expected to revoke the sentence; and Rebecca, a girl kidnapped by Boko Haram along with her two children when she was pregnant with a third.”

“One of the children was killed,” he said, “she lost the baby she was carrying, and then became pregnant after one of the many brutalities she was subjected to by her captors.”

Once she was freed and reunited with her husband, she decided she “could not hate those who caused her so much pain,” Monteduro said. [Read Voice of the Persecuted’s (VOP) report: Held Captive For 2 Years By Boko Haram: Rebecca’s Story and the relief sent to them through VOP’s aid mission, Project 133 Nigeria here.]

Rebecca and family united. Photo: Voice of the Persecuted

Aid to the Church in Need released a biennial report on anti-Christian persecution Oct. 12, 2017, detailing how Christianity is “the world’s most oppressed faith community,” and how anti-Christian persecution in the worst regions has reached “a new peak.”

The report reviewed 13 countries, and concluded that in all but one, the situation for Christians was worse in overall terms for the period 2015-2017 than during the prior two years.

“The one exception is Saudi Arabia, where the situation was already so bad it could scarcely get any worse,” the report said.

China, Eritrea, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Syria were ranked “extreme” in the scale of anti-Christian persecution. Egypt, India, and Iran were rated “high to extreme,” while Turkey was rated “moderate to high.”

The Middle East was a major focus for the report.

British Parliament lit up in red.

“Governments in the West and the U.N. failed to offer Christians in countries such as Iraq and Syria the emergency help they needed as genocide got underway,” the report said. “If Christian organizations and other institutions had not filled the gap, the Christian presence could already have disappeared in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.”

The exodus of Christians from Iraq has been “very severe.” Christians in the country now may number as few as 150,000, a decline from 275,000 in mid-2015. By spring 2017 there were some signs of hope, with the defeat of the Islamic State group and the return of some Christians to their homes on the Nineveh Plains.

The departure of Christians from Syria has also threatened the survival of their communities in the country, including historic Christian centers like Aleppo, ACN said. Syrian Christians there suffer threats of forced conversion and extortion. One Chaldean bishop in the country estimates the Christian population to be at 500,000, down from 1.2 million before the war.

Many Christians in the region fear going to official refugee camps, due to concerns about rape and other violence, according to the report.

A man prays in a bombed out church in Aleppo.

ACN also discussed the genocide committed in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State and other militants. While ISIS and other groups have lost their major strongholds, ACN said that many Christian groups are threatened with extinction and would likely not survive another attack.

A spokesperson for Aid to the Church in Need, said, “We invite everyone to attend, either in person or in spirit, on February 24, 2018 at around 6 p.m. in Largo Gaetana Agnesi, Rome.”

About the writer: Dan Wooding, 77, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 55 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan has written numerous books, and his most recent reporting trip for ANS was to Kurdistan in Northern Iraq.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

VOP is on the ground helping persecuted Christian refugees from Nigeria and Pakistan. Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope. Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTEDHis Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

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Chinese Authorities Demolish Evangelical Church in Crack Down

CBN reports that a church in northern China’s coal country that once served as the worship center for more than 50,000 congregants is no longer standing.  All that is left of the Golden Lampstand Church in the city of Linfen in Shanxi province is the church’s steeple and cross which now lays on top of a large pile of rubble. Chinese authorities detonated explosives in an underground worship hall earlier this week, ChinaAid, a U.S.-based Christian advocacy group, reports.

This is not the first time Golden Lampstand Church has come face to face with Chinese government officials. During the church’s construction in 2009, 400 police and other officials attacked church members, defaced the building, and seized Bibles. Several of the church’s leaders, including the pastors and their relatives, were arrested. They were charged with illegally occupying farmland and disturbing traffic order by gathering together. Evangelist Yang Xuan, the founder of the church, spent 3.5 years in prison and Yang Caizhen, his wife, was sentenced to two years in a re-education labor camp and beaten while incarcerated. Read More

Underground Churches in China…A Rare Video Clip

Chinese Communist Party readies crackdown on Christianity

china-church

A house church in Shunyi, Beijing. Photo: Huang Jinhui, Wikipedia

The new laws will put the state firmly in charge, giving the Communist Party the ability to hire and fire church leaders and change religious doctrine to make it more Chinese.

That means churchgoers will have to pledge loyalty to the Communist Party first, which Pastor Wang says cannot be done.

China’s governing Communist Party is set to launch a nationwide crackdown on Christianity. Correspondent Matthew Carney travels through the country and speaks to churchgoers who are worried they could soon be arrested.

The Communist Party has just enacted much tougher laws that criminalise Christians if they do not pledge loyalty to the state.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that all religions now have to become “Chinese” and the new laws will attempt to bring churchgoers and their leaders under party control. READ MORE

In China, Lives and Education Is Being Transformed by Biblical Truths

What’s the future look like for Christianity? The State of Religion – April 30, 2016 (CBN)

A look at the state of the religion in the U.S., Europe, and the world.

Chinese Christians Buried Alive in Church Demolition

China

Two members of a church demolition team in China’s central Henan province buried alive Li Jiangong, a house church leader and his wife Ding Cuimei. On Thursday, April 14th a government-backed company dispatched personnel to bulldoze Beitou Church in Zhumadian, Henan province, after a local developer wished to take control of the church’s valuable property.  The couple and stepped in front of the machinery trying to prevent the destruction of their church.

Referring to the couple, a demolition team member was reported by China Aid as saying,  “Bury them alive for me,“I will be responsible for their lives”  Subsequently, a bulldozer pushed the couple into a pit and covered their bodies with soil. The Li was able to dig his way free, but sadly his wife suffocated by the time she was freed.

Li himself reported that police took an uncommonly long time to arrive at the scene after a report of the murder was filed.

On April 17, a China Aid reporter conducted a phone interview with an officer from the local police station, who stated that two of the demolition team are currently being detained while a criminal investigation team reviews their case. The officer did not reveal the criminal charges against the workers.

Please pray the our brothers and sisters in China.

 

Christians in China Under Scrutiny as Government Seeks to Control

Accurate figures are hard to come by, but this past Easter as many as 100 million Christians will celebrate across China.
But with congregation numbers still on the rise, the authorities it seems are keen to tighten their control.

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