Persecution Round Up: Convert Beheaded in Somalia and US Tweets for Nadarkhani
Several reports of persecution against Christians from around the globe have emerged this week, including the Church of England pressuring the U.K. government to aid religious minorities in Nigeria, Iranian authorities reportedly invading another house church, and 35 Ethiopian Christians imprisoned in Saudi Arabia reportedly being pressured to convert to Islam.
Russia - A Russian missionary group issued a warning Saturday, Feb. 4 against a potential forthcoming crackdown on evangelical Christians and other religious minorities in Russia, pointing to an increase in Islamic insurgency in the Caucasus and the increased crackdown on civil liberties exercised by the Russian government, according to BosNewsLife.
Saudi Arabia - A group of 35 Christians from Ethiopia said to be unlawfully imprisoned in Saudi Arabia has been facing increased pressure to convert to Islam, a Christian human rights advocacy group said this week. The Ethiopians who came to the Saudi kingdom to work were arrested during a private prayer meeting before Christmas and are reportedly being held captive without charges, while experiencing severe treatment from authorities.
Indonesia – Two Indonesian political parties lobbied Wednesday for the legislature to ignore a Supreme Court ruling to unseal the embattled GKI Yasmin church in Bogor, in a long battle between the state of this largest Muslim nation and the Christian congregation that has been holding services on the street or in parishioners' homes since 2008, after authorities closed down their church in western Java, reported The Jakarta Globe.
Iran - Iranian security authorities invaded a residential building used as a house church Wednesday and arrested 10 Christian converts gathered there to worship, transferring them to an unknown location, according to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News. The location of the detainees or any infomration regarding their arrest were reportedly still not available.
Nigeria / UK - In an address to the General Synod, the Bishop of Durham the Right Rev. Justin Welby, the fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England, called upon the British governemnt to come to the aid of religious minorities in Nigeria, emphasizing that violence there had become "pervasive," reported Christian Today.
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Somalia - Islamic extremists from the rebel al Shabaab militia in Somalia beheaded a Christian on the outskirts of Mogadishu last month, it emerged this week.
Iran - The "Tweet for Youcef" campaign started by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has successfully drawn international attention toward the plight of imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, with his story said to reach 297,292 Twitter accounts daily.