Category Archives: Persecuted Christians

Rev. Franklin Graham Joins Tony Perkins on the Radio to Discuss the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Yesterday, Rev. Franklin Graham appeared on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins, a national radio show which airs on more than 240 stations across the country. On the show, Graham discussed the persecution of Christians around the world and the need to stand for religious liberty both at home and overseas.

Rev. Graham has worked to respond to the genocide against Christians around the world by putting a spotlight on this issue, “It’s because of what is happening at an alarming rate around the world, where thousands of Christians have been killed, it’s around a 100,000 a year are being killed just for their faith. We’re seeing entire areas of the Middle East that are being eradicated.” Graham went on, “This is happening not just at the hands of Islam but, we see around the world where Christians, where they’re the minority, where they’re being persecuted. I want our politicians to see what’s happening and I want the voices of these people who have been persecuted, I want their voices to be heard. I want to give them a stage for them to be able to tell their stories and do it right there in Washington where hopefully we can see some policy changes.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, the host of Washington Watch, added, “I’m not sure people realize just how significant this problem is, Christians throughout the world were killed for no other reason than that they follow Jesus Christ. And that has been growing over the last few years.”

“I think in large part it’s driven by the indifference toward religious freedom here at home. It’s sending a message to the terrorists and tyrants abroad that they’re free to do as they please when it comes to Christians.” concluded Perkins.

Pastor and His Family Arrested in China After Meeting with U.S. Consulate Officials

WENZHOU, Zhejiang, China, April 29, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Authorities in China’s coastal Zhejiang province incarcerated a pastor, his wife and son on Tuesday for contacting U.S. Consulate officials in Shanghai and foreign journalists.

Wen Xiaowu, a pastor, and his wife, both of whom provided legal defense counsel for churches affected by an ongoing cross demolition campaign, were criminally detained on April 26 and charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.” His son, Wen “Eden” Yidian was taken into police custody on the same day for “obstructing public service.”

Family members, however, believe that the detentions are in response to the couple’s meetings with officials from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai and a number of foreign journalists, during which they released developments on the cross demolitions. Zhang Kai, a prominent human rights lawyer, experienced a similarly sudden detention in August 2015 just a few days before he was scheduled to meet with U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, David Saperstein.

Wen Xiaowu and his wife are currently being held in the Rui’an Detention Center in Zhejiang. They have not been allowed to meet with family members. Authorities also confiscated various personal items, including computers, from their home in Wenzhou.

“Arresting Pastor Wen and his family members for these meetings is a direct slap in the face to the U.S. government and the American people,” said China Aid president Bob Fu, who is a friend of the Wen family. “He is a man with integrity and passion who is always ready to help others. Despite the constant threats state security agents posed to him and his family in the past few years, he and his wife have been boldly providing legal counsel for churches and persecuted human rights defenders in Zhejiang. I urge the U.S. government to work with the Chinese authorities for the immediate release of the Wen family and other innocent church leaders who are under arrest.”

China Aid will update this story as more information becomes available.

China Aid exposes abuses such as those experienced by Wen Xiaowu and his family in order to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China.

Pastor Saeed Released After Being Held in an Iranian Prison for Over Three and One Half Years

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Faith leaders to hold news conference to discuss Pastor Saeed’s release and continued efforts to fight for religious freedom around the world.
The news conference will be at 2:00 P.M. today, January 16, at 109 2nd St. NE Washington, D.C. (Right behind the Supreme Court)
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, has been a strong advocate for Pastor Saeed, leading numerous prayer vigils and demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, traveling to Turkey to meet with Iranian officials to work for his release, speaking in churches, praying with Pastor Saeed’s wife and family and working with members of Congress.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney states;
“First of all, we thank God for this incredible victory. What an incredible and glorious day for Pastor Saeed, Naghmeh, their two precious children and his entire extended family. We rejoice that he will soon be home free to live his Christian faith without intimidation, persecution and harassment.
“We thank the millions around the world who prayed daily for his release and worked passionately for his release and stood as a loud voice for religious freedom and the persecuted church around the world. We also thank the Obama Administration for their continued efforts in bringing Pastor Saeed home and securing his release.
“In the midst of our celebration however, let us remember the millions of Christians who are still being persecuted, brutalized and tortured for their faith. Let Pastor Saeed’s release inspire the Christian community, President Obama and the free nations of the world to be even a louder and bolder voice for religious freedom and human rights around the world. We can never be silent on these issues.
“We encourage everyone to pray for the Abedini family as Saeed returns home and they move forward with their lives.”
Rev. Rob Schenck, President of Faith and Action, adds;
“The Bible says ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice.’ We are rejoicing with Pastor Saeed and his family. I am also grateful for all those who prayed and worked very hard behind the scenes–even taking great risks to bring about this wonderful day.
“I will also tell a story untold to date about a particular high-ranking public official that did more than others to move forward Pastor Saeed’s release.”

1,600 Christians Will Gather in Des Moines, Iowa for National Religious Liberties Conference, Nov. 6-7

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 29, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Over 1,600 Christians around the country are gathering for a National Religious Liberties Conference, Freedom 2015, November 6th-7th at the Iowa Events Center. The conference speakers and attendees will celebrate the freedoms God has bestowed on our country, encourage those who have been persecuted or those who may experience persecution in the future and develop strategies for defending religious liberties for Christian business owners, teachers, evangelists, chaplains, employees and churches. The conference is sponsored by over a dozen evangelical organizations including American Family Association, Liberty Institute, Samaritan Ministries and Generations.

This past year has seen increasing persecution for Christians standing on the principles of faith around the world in Iran, Pakistan, Syria, China, Ireland, Canada, and at home in states such as Kentucky, Colorado, Oregon, Iowa and Arkansas. Kevin Swanson, Director of Generations and Freedom 2015 organizer, said “Over the past few years, we’ve seen a marked erosion of the religious liberties that were the bedrock of the founding of our country. We’re inviting Christians to be equipped for the uncertain future while celebrating the liberties God has provided our nation over the centuries.”

Speakers will include:

  • Presidential Candidates Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Mike Huckabee and Governor Bobby Jindal
  • Persecuted Christians David and Jason Benham, Naghmeh Abedini, Richard & Betty Odgaard, SMSgt Phillip Monk, Aaron & Melissa Klein and Randy Pfaff
  • Religious freedom advocates Kelly Schackelford, Rafael Cruz, James Lansberry, Brigadier General Douglas Lee, USA (ret), Bob Vander Plaats, Bradley Pierce and Chuck Hurley

The conference will address religious liberty in the military, medical care, parenting, education and the workplace. Conference speakers will also highlight the history of religious liberties and religious persecution.

The clear ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Obergefell v. Hodges and other cases is that religious organizations and individuals have the right to hold to their own convictions in both private life and the public square. Despite these rulings, Christian business owners, employees and churches remain under attack while living according to their convictions and rights guaranteed by the Constitution. “We want to encourage Christians in their homes, churches and workplaces by helping them understand the freedoms that are theirs by the grace of God and by the law of the land,” explained Swanson.

Newman Detained in Australia Pending Deportation Due to Pro-Abortion Campaign of Falsehoods

Operation Rescue demands the immediate release of Newman and an apology from the Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton
MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 1, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Operation Rescue received word moments ago that Troy Newman (photo) has been detained in Melbourne Australia pending deportation due to his visa being cancelled at the request of pro-abortion bullies who were bent on silencing Newman’s message of peaceful, legal activism on behalf of pre-born babies.
Newman’s deportation could take up to 72 hours. Meanwhile, his wife, Mellissa, whose visa is still active, is left alone in a foreign country with no luggage.
“Troy’s unjust treatment by the Australian government is based on a pack of bold-faced lies about his character. This makes him a political prisoner,” said Cheryl Sullenger, Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue. “It’s shocking that the Australian government would take these lies at face value and deny Troy his right to his freedom and free speech. To say we are disappointed is an understatement.”
Newman is the president of Operation Rescue and serves as a Board Member for the Center for Medical Progress, the organization that recently released a series of undercover video showing prima facie evidence that Planned Parenthood was engaged in the illegal sale of aborted baby remains for profit.
He was invited to Australia for a 10 day speaking tour by Australia Right to Life. He planned to share news concerning the shock videos and their impact in American politics as well as his message of peaceful activism in order to save innocent lives from abortion.
A pro-abortion Member of Parliament, Terri Butler, sent a spurious letter to Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton falsely accusing Newman of advocating the execution of abortion providers, which Dutton never bothered to fact-check.
Newman has never advocated violence against abortion providers or facilities and has instead adamantly encouraged pro-life activists to work through the legal, legislative, and justice systems to bring abortionists who are breaking the law and harming women to justice.
“The pro-abortion bullies in Australia who have been slandering Troy Newman to the government have had to stoop to the lowest of lows to silence his message about Planned Parenthood’s criminality and his use of peaceful, law-abiding activism to expose abortion abuses,” said Sullenger. “Now that they have told so may lies about him, they must make sure he is deported lest their shame be exposed to the people of Australia.”
Newman was not notified that his visa had been cancelled until he was already enroute to Melbourne. Along the way, he was banned from boarding a United Airlines flight from Denver to Los Angeles and was told he was banned from flying on order of the Australian government. Newman continued on to Los Angeles on another airline then on to Melbourne thinking this misunderstanding would soon be corrected.
“Troy has been treated like a criminal even though he has never been convicted of a crime and is being detained and deported based solely on his religious and pro-life beliefs that are opposed by certain abortion lackeys in the Australian government,” said Sullenger. “This is unjust and as a representative of Operation Rescue, I demand his immediate release and an apology from Minister Dutton for the trouble he has caused by acquiescing to false accusations of those who oppose Newman’s pro-life stance.”
Please contact Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton and respectfully remind him that Newman is a man of peace that has been unjustly detained, and ask for his immediate release.
Peter Dutton
Minister of Immigration
Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Click here to support Operation Rescue.

Nepalese Police Protect Christian Pastor Following Secular Constitution Amendment Vote

Church Bomb Blasts Heighten Concerns

EAST NEPAL, Nepal, Sept. 18, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — A prominent Believer’s Church pastor is under police protection after anti-Christian violence erupted in far eastern Nepal. The conflict began following the landslide decision on Monday in Kathmandu not to amend Nepal’s new constitution and declare it a Hindu nation.

Local police have asked Pastor Champak*, who started a Gospel for Asia-associated Believer’s Church 13 years ago, to stay in his home for his own safety. The church, which is among the largest in its area, has an estimated 300 believers.

Low-intensity bombs exploded in two churches in the Jhapa District without inflicting personal injuries. A third bomb taken to a police station exploded there, injuring three police officers and leaving one in grave condition.

“I am grateful for the protection the local police are providing Champak,” said Gospel for Asia Founder and International Director, Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “Upon knowledge of threats toward this pastor, the local government took proactive steps to keep peace and protect its citizens.”

Anti-social elements are not happy with the national secularism vote that happened earlier in the week. Nepal’s Constituent Assembly (CA) plans to implement the new constitution starting Sunday evening. Already, the “agitating Sanghiyia Limbuwan Party of the East has warned of burning the constitution” at the same time, according to the Kathmandu Post.

Nepalese legislators have struggled for months over a new constitution, with many points of conflict related to state boundaries and religious freedom. Earlier this week the CA declared Nepal a secular nation after an amendment failed to return the country to a Hindu state. Now, reports from Nepal indicate that the new secularism has a strict anti-conversion law, which could inhibit religious freedom there.

Yohannan continues his call for prayer concerning peace and unity in the Himalayan nation. “Nepal has been navigating a difficult legislative process,” Yohannan said. “We remain hopeful that all constituents will live peacefully under the new constitution.”

* Pseudonym used for security purposes.

Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org/info/nepalfreedom) is a mission organization sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.

President Obama Betrays Religious Freedom by Leaving Pastor Saeed in an Iranian Prison After Securing Nuclear Deal

BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Activists to travel to Martha’s Vineyard and Boston to challenge President Obama and Secretary Kerry to work for the immediate release of Pastor Saeed.

The project is part of the #orangejumpsuit campaign which encourages people to stand in solidarity with the persecuted church worldwide.

The campaign calls for Congress not to support any Iranian nuclear deal while Pastor Saeed is imprisoned.

Here is a national news story and editorial about #orangejumpsuit:
www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/05/01/it-time-for-all-us-to-stand-in-solidarity-with-persecuted-christians.html

The group will have a news conference and public witness in front of the home Secretary of State Kerry on Wednesday, August 19, at 12:00 P.M.

That address is 19 Louisburg Square, Boston.

On Thursday, August 20, the #organgejumpsuit campaign will be traveling to Martha’s Vineyard in an attempt to speak to President Obama about securing the immediate release of Pastor Saeed.

Some of the members of the group will be wearing orange prison jumpsuits with Pastor Saeed’s name on it.

Pastor Saeed is Iranian born American citizen who was given an 8 year prison sentence in Iran for his Christian faith.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Washington, D.C. Based Christian Defense Coalition and founder of the #orangejumpsuit campaign, states;

“When the Obama Administration negotiated the Iranian nuclear deal, they tragically failed to secure the release of Pastor Saeed and three other American citizens imprisoned in that country. While Congress and the American public debate the merits of this agreement with Iran, there is no debate that President Obama failed to stand for religious freedom and human rights by leaving Pastor Saeed to be brutalized every day for his Christian faith.

“We encourage President Obama and Secretary Kerry to embrace the universal principles of freedom of religion and speech and secure the immediate release of Pastor Saeed. We would also encourage the members of Congress not to support any deal with Iran while an American pastor is being brutalized in that country for his Christian faith.

“Sadly, President Obama missed an historic teaching moment when his Administration sat face to face with Iranian officials for the first time in over 30 years and failed to negotiate the release of Pastor Saeed. What a powerful message would have been delivered to the Iranian government concerning religious freedom and human rights, if the President made it clear that no nuclear deal would move forward while an American pastor was being persecuted for his faith.”

#orangejumpsuit also wants to remind President Obama that while he enjoys a beautiful family vacation with the First Lady and their two children, Pastor Saeed is being brutalized in a harsh prison cell separated from his wife and two children.

Cisco Pamphlet Updated by Holy Land Principles

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Efforts have escalated to get Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles — an 8-point corporate code of conduct for the 545 American companies doing business in Israel-Palestine/Palestine-Israel.

The Capitol Hill-based Holy Land Principles Inc. has published an updated Pamphlet, “Why Cisco Should Sign the Holy Land Principles”– a moral appeal to all Cisco investors, shareholders and stakeholders to convince Cisco to sign the Holy Land Principles. (The first Cisco pamphlet by the same title was published November 2013).

The Holy Land Principles are pro-Jewish, pro-Palestinian and pro-company. The Principles do not call for quotas, reverse discrimination, divestment or disinvestment– only for fair employment by American companies. The Principles are modeled on the Mac Bride Principles, universally regarded as the most effective campaign ever against anti-Catholic discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The colored, 41-page 7.25″ x10″ pamphlet also importantly contains an independent report on Cisco. The report — commissioned by Holy Land Principles, Inc. — is by the Institute for Sustainable Investments (Si2), “Cisco Systems and Human Rights: Focus on Israel-Palestine.” The pamphlet will be sent to key Cisco investors, shareholders and stakeholders; to all of the 545 companies; to all Members of Congress, House and Senate; and to the faith and justice groups involved in working for justice and peace in Palestine-Israel. It is also available at HolyLandPrinciples.org

Fr. Sean Mc Manus, President of Holy Land Principles, Inc. — also president of the Irish National Caucus, which launched the Mac Bride Principles on November 5, 1984 — explained: “Our mission is to get all 545 companies to sign the Holy Land Principles. But in this instance, we are focusing on Cisco, which not only has made large investments in the area, but also presents itself as a positive force in the region. Furthermore, Cisco emphasizes its commitment to human rights.

We, of course, know that the 545 companies have certain fair employment guidelines already in place –just as we knew, before we launched the Mac Bride Principles, that those companies doing business in Northern Ireland had fair employment guidelines in place. However – as the historical record has abundantly established — it was not until those companies signed the Mac Bride Principles that real progress was made in fair employment. As with the Mac Bride Principles, the Holy Land Principles do not try to address political problems. That is not the proper business of American companies–or so companies might try to conveniently argue– but fair employment most assuredly is their business. Furthermore, the Holy Land Principles are the perfect way to particularize and implement the Ruggie Principles.”

Holy Land Principles, Inc. owns shares in Cisco, and has already filed a shareholder resolution with Cisco, whose Annual Meeting will be later this Fall.

Baptist World Alliance: Rwandan Accepts Global Human Rights Award

DURBAN, South Africa, July 24, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The fifth Congress Human Rights Award was presented by the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) to Rwandan Corneille Gato Munyamasoko, general secretary of the Association of Baptist Churches in Rwanda (AEBR), during the 21st Baptist World Congress in Durban, South Africa.
Photo: Corneille Gato Munyamasoko of Rwanda, accompanied by wife, Anne Marie, accepts the BWA Congress Human Rights Award from David Maddox, a longstanding BWA supporter
Munyamasoko was recognized for his work in peace and reconciliation after the 1994 genocide in his country.
The Rwandan Genocide was a mass slaughter of Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda by members of the Hutu majority. During the approximate 100-day period from April 7 to mid-July 1994, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting as much as 70 percent of the Tutsi and 20 percent of Rwanda’s total population.
A citation read at the presentation on July 23 described Munyamasoko as a strong advocate; a prophetic witness; a champion of the vulnerable; and as a reconciler, peacemaker, pacifist and mediator.
BWA General Secretary Neville Callam, who read the citation, declared Munyamasoko a committed Christian who has drawn “upon biblical theology, integral mission, training and community development to assist groups and persons to overcome national rivalries and ethnic differences.” The Rwandan Baptist leader, who was born to exiled parents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is “driven by the idea of the church as a home of peace.”
He was instrumental in leading groups in Rwanda “to consider the painful background of Rwanda’s ethnic divisions in the quest to overcome the destruction of social groups victimized by suspicion and lack of trust.”
Munyamasoko led Rwandans “to understand the causes of the genocide; to seek and to extend forgiveness; and to build relationships based on the principles of justice, mercy and faith, emphasizing the need for reconciliation with God, self and others.”
Initiatives led by Munyamasoko include the launching of peace and reconciliation clubs in each of the secondary schools of the AEBR, confronting suspicion and hate among teachers and students within these institutions.
He also helped found a peace camp movement, now recognized by the Rwandan government, which brings young women and men together from various provinces in Rwanda, advancing conversations between survivors of genocide and those whose parents were imprisoned for acts of genocide.
He has trained and mentored hundreds of youth and young adults to become peacemakers and reconcilers on the basis of an understanding of justice drawn from the Bible.
Munyamasoko has worked to mediate peace on both sides of the border between the DRC and Rwanda during times of tension between the two countries.
He extended his peacebuilding role to Kenya, visiting and working with Kenyan church leaders after the 2007 election violence and, in 2013, helping churches prepare to serve as agents of peace in preparation for the Kenyan national elections.
Under Munyamasoko’s leadership, the AEBR participates in the fight against stigma associated with HIV and AIDS, training pastors to become role models for caregivers of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
Munyamasoko paid tribute to all those who helped and worked with him, including friends, colleagues and acquaintances in the DRC and Canada, as well as to his wife, Anne Marie, “my very good friend for 22 years,” and their seven children.
“This award is recognition of the resilience of all Rwandans,” he said. “The award is a great encouragement to me to continue to strive for the wellbeing of my brothers and sisters. I feel reenergized in the calling to work for peace.”
The Congress Human Rights Award is presented at each Baptist World Congress, normally held every five years. The first Congress Human Rights Award was made in 1995 to former President of the United States Jimmy Carter.
Some 2,500 Baptist Christians from more than 80 countries are in South Africa attending the 21st Baptist World Congress from July 22-26.
The congress, which has as its theme, “Jesus Christ, the Door,” continues from July 22 to 26 at the International Convention Center in Durban.
The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 232 conventions and unions in 121 countries and territories comprising 40 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism, promoting worship, fellowship and unity, responding to people in need, defending human rights and justice and advancing relevant theological reflection.

Nepal Constitution Crisis Places Christian Ministries in Peril

Gospel for Asia Calls Christians Worldwide to Prayer for Religious Freedom

KATHMANDU, Nepal, July 22, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Political factions in this mountainous country are debating a new constitution that includes anti-conversion laws and underscores decades-old religious tension. If ratified, the result could be a likely crackdown and severe persecution for dozens of Christian ministries serving there.

Photo: This is a critical time for prayer on behalf of the people in Nepal as the government seeks to ratify a new constitution.

With the country facing its constitutional crisis, Gospel for Asia Founder Dr. K. P. Yohannan is issuing a call to prayer for Nepal.

“Right now, religious minorities in the country fear their freedom to practice and share their faith will be severely restricted if the current draft of the constitution goes unchanged,” said Yohannan. “Will you pray with me for this situation? Pray that the governing authorities will be guided by wisdom as they work to finalize Nepal’s constitution. Pray also that God’s people will be granted freedom to worship.”

The constitutional language in question states, “[…] any act which may be contrary to public health, public decency or morality or incitement to breach public peace or act to convert another person from one religion to another or any act or behavior to undermine or jeopardize the religion of each other is not allowed and such act shall be punishable by law.”

The Nepalese government continues to seek input from its citizens before the Civic Relations and Constitution Recommendation Committee of the Constituent Assembly receives the final constitution draft on July 23. The government plans to finalize the constitution by mid-August.
Violence erupted between police and protesters in southern Nepal when government officials held a public meeting to gain citizen input to the constitution, according to news reports from the region. The protesters threw chairs at the deputy prime minister.

This isolated country wedged between India and China historically has been a Hindu nation, and most protesters are demanding a return to that status. Nepalese monarchs advocated Hinduism, and the people believed their monarchs were the reincarnation of Vishnu, a Hindu god.

A secular republic led by Maoists abolished the traditional monarchies in 2008 and welcomed the humanitarian aid of Christian organizations. Only about 2 percent of Nepalese are Christians.

Gospel for Asia has a long-standing history of support in Nepal for Believers Church, a network of 450 churches and 20 Bridge of Hope Centers that serve downtrodden children. During the earthquakes in April and May, Gospel for Asia responded quickly with Believers Church workers already on the ground. Their response grew to include Compassion Services teams that delivered basic supplies and other goods and built shelters in remote mountain areas.

Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org) is a mission organization sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.