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Persecution Update

For your Sunday reading, a roundup of recent stories on religious persecution and violence.  This is not a complete or necessarily a representative list, and since many of these events take place in remote locations or have not been covered by mainstream news organizations, it is not always possible to vouch for the accuracy of the reports.

Readers who wish to contact us with information about religious persecution, or to suggest good sources for news are invited to contact us at

The AP reports that an Indonesian mayor is trying to ban Christian churches on streets with Islamic names. Despite a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a proposed church in the city of Bogor, citizens and the municipal government continue to delay.

Amnesty International expresses concern over the extrajudicial executions the Bangladeshi special police force have been carrying out to curb “Islamist militancy.”

As highlighted earlier, Chinese priests have been detained in China over a growing diplomatic spat between Beijing and the Vatican regarding the naming of bishops.

Iranian authorities continue their crackdown on Christianity, this week seizing 6,500 Bibles. Such measures as these are enforced to stop the spread of apostasy from Islam, considered a criminal act in Iran.  A recently acquitted pastor in Iran has been re-arrested.

15 Christians were killed in a new outbreak of religious violence in central Nigeria.

Pakistani Christians watching the “Jesus Film” in a park in Abbotabad, Pakistan, were attacked by a mob.

A wave of arrests against members of the Bahai faith in Iran has been reported by Iranian state media.

The Pew Center on Religion and Public Life reports that 2.2 billion people live in countries where religious freedom is declining.  The full report can be found here.

To end on an upbeat note, some good news from Libya: despite worries of a sectarian bloodbath, the country’s small Christian population is reported to be safe and still observing religious ceremonies in Tripoli.

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  • WigWag

    There’s also the treatment of the Alevi by the Sunni Islamist Turkish regime; to put it simply, its horrendous.


    And then there’s the controversy in Malaysia about whether Christians should be allowed to refer to the deity as “Allah.” Roman Catholic Malaysians have referred to the deity as “Allah” since anyone can remember. The increasingly powerful hard line Islamists in Malaysia objected and a court ruled that it was illegal for Malaysian Christians to refer to the deity as “Allah.” When the Supreme Court of Malaysia reversed the lower court decision and announced that Christians could use the term “Allah,” there were numerous riots and attacks on Christians.


    In Indonesia, it’s not just the banning Christian churches, it’s the serious increase in violent attacks on Christians especially during holidays like Easter as well as attacks on non-traditional Islamic sects. When perpetrators are arrested and tried, they get very minimal sentences with little to no jail time even if people are killed.


    What’s so disturbing is that Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia are supposed to be moderate Islamic nations that can set an example for the rest of the Muslim world.

    It’s some example they are setting.

    The fact that the mainstream press in the United States is ignoring this issue tells you everything you need to know about the values of the modern American media.

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