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Orissa: Six more sentenced for attacks on Christians

Orissa: Six more sentenced for attacks on Christians

:: christiantoday :: Additional Sessions Judge Sobhan Kumar Das of a fast-track court at Phulbani in Kandhamal district passed the sentences to Kiringa Kanhar, Lasia Kanhar, Gananath Kanhar, Lankeswar Kanhar, Naresh Kanhar and Gorekh Pradhan. They were found guilty of setting houses on fire and engaging in unlawful assembly by defying the curfew, according to the Press Trust of India.

So far, 12 people have been convicted in the Kandhamal riots case, which spread to several other states as well last year after the murder of a Hindu leader. Although Maoists claimed responsibility for the killing, Hindu radicals took revenge by going on the rampage in Christian communities.

Hindu mobs burned thousands of homes, as well as shops, churches and orphanages. More than 30,000 Christians from Orissa were forced to take shelter in refugee camps, where the living conditions were poor, or in the jungle where they were in danger of being attacked by wild animals.

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Christians Arrested, Tried for Helping Sichuan Earthquake Victims

In a bizarre turn of the situation, two Chinese Christians and relief helpers of the Sichuan earthquake were arrested and tried for what officials called ‘disturbing the peace and endangering the health of others.”

U.S.-based ChinaAid Association (CAA) reported Friday that it received the official statement on the administrative proceddings for the trial of Ms Wei Sanhong and Mr Wu Han on 26 August. They were arrested by Nanbu County Public Security Bureau in Sichuan on 28 June. Officially detained for “acting under the guise of religion” and “disturbing the society and impairing others’ health,” it stated.

The report said that Ms Wei and Mr. Wu were visiting the Huaguan Town house church from their home in Zheijiang, as members of the extended congregation. That evening, local police broke into the building without a warrant, illegally searched and confiscated church property, and seized Ms. Wei and Mr. Wu. They were then interrogated at the police station, without legal notification to their families in Zheijiang.

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Pakistani Christians

Pakistani Christians Give Gov’t Ultimatum on Blasphemy Laws

Christians have given an ultimatum to the Pakistani government to repeal the country's blasphemy laws which they say are responsible for the attacks against Christians.

“We urge President Asif Zardari to repeal blasphemy law by an executive order immediately. If government fails to repeal blasphemy law up till September 15, 2009 ... Christians shall be forced to launch a movement against government of Pakistan: Pakistan Christian Congress PCC,” said Pakistan Christian Post, which has been at the forefront of calling for the repeal of blasphemy laws in the country.

According to amendments added in the 1980s, “Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet; whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), a political party launched by Pakistani Christians, has blamed the 1986 blasphemy law for the violence against the Christian community.

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Church for WCC

Church unity remains top priority for WCC

The Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit told reporters at the meeting of the WCC’s Central Committee that fulfilling Jesus’ prayer “that they may be one” remained the global ecumenical body’s primary task and could not be separated from its concern for justice, peace or creation.

He added that inter-church solidarity was all the more important for Christians living in difficult circumstances and that the WCC had a vital role to play in raising and strengthening the voice of other Christians.

“We are living in a time when there is a strong need for inter-Christian solidarity in this world,” said Dr Tveit.

“There are many Christians living in minority situations but also in situations where they are part of the suffering world, which calls for solidarity, for accompanying, and for advocacy between Christians and with one another.”

He said the call to unity was for all Christians, not only members of the WCC, and affirmed his commitment to working with Christian traditions still outside the WCC fold, including the Roman Catholic Church and Pentecostals, Evangelicals and Charismatics.Readmore

pastor killing

Prosecutor warns Okla. clergy after pastor killing

ANADARKO, Okla. – An Oklahoma district attorney has warned pastors to take security precautions in a town where a preacher was brutally killed inside her own church.

Prosecutor Bret Burns held a closed-door session with the pastors on Wednesday to talk about the case.

The body of 61-year-old Carol Daniels was found Sunday in the Christ Holy Sanctified Church in Anadarko (AN-uh-DAR-koh). A preliminary autopsy found she died of "multiple sharp force injuries."

Burns says the crime scene was the most horrific he's seen in nearly 20 years as a prosecutor. He and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have declined to discuss details of the case, including a possible motive or what evidence was found at the church.Readmore

indian church

New Church Burnt Down by Miscreants in Southeast India

:: The Christian Post :: Unidentified persons had burnt and completely destroyed last Friday a thatched church soon to be inaugurated in a village in India’s Southeastern coastal state of Andhra Pradesh.

Bangalore city-based Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that the ‘Best Friends Church’ in Mahasamudram village in Bangarupalem Mandal of Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh is a congregation consisting of five families and 20 Children. It was founded by Pastor John when he received Christ into his life 12 years ago. They have been conducting worship services at his home for the past seven years, it reported.

GCIC said Pastor John recently built a thatched church having taken all the necessary permissions. The church was due to be dedicated on 30 August but unidentified persons burnt down at 10:30 p.m. on 21 August.

GCIC reported that an FIR was filed against the unknown culprits at the Bangarupalem Police Station on 21 August 2009. The police are still investigating the case. The report also said, this incident was carried in local newspapers on the next day, 22 August 2009.Readmore

Christians persecuted

Christians urged to unite with persecuted believers

:: The Christian Today :: The head of the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission, Godfrey Yogarajah, is urging Christians around the world to unite in prayer for persecuted believers.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians are expected to take part in the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 8, an initiative of the World Evangelical Alliance.

“Can we today pause our busy lives and think of those who are enduring persecution for the sake of the Gospel?” said Mr Yogarajah in an appeal to churches.

“Let us remember those who have not eaten for days because they are given nothing to eat, those languishing in prison … those who are facing death, even right at this moment, for refusing to denounce Christ.”

He pointed specifically to recent violence against Christians in the Indian state of Orissa, where dozens were killed by Islamic extremists, and the plight of believers in communist North Korea.Readmore

 Upcoming Movie 'Legion' Pits 'Angels' vs. Mankind

Upcoming Movie 'Legion' Pits 'Angels' vs. Mankind

:: The Christian Post :: The trailer for an upcoming fantasy-thriller film on the Apocalypse hit the web this past week, presenting movie fans with the question “What if God lost faith in mankind?”

“The last time God lost faith in man, He sent the flood. This time, He sent angels,” states the archangel Michael, played Paul Bettany (“The Da Vinci Code”).

Directed by visual effects guru Scott Stewart (“Iron Man,” “Night at the Museum,” “Superman Returns”), “Legion” pits mankind against a horde of the devil’s minions – fallen angels, whom God allows to have their way with humanity after having lost faith in it.

Also thrown in the mix is Bettany’s character, who apparently decides to break the chains that bind him to God and take a stand with mankind while protecting one woman’s unborn child – “the only hope humanity has of surviving.”

“It’s part action movie, it’s part supernatural thriller, it’s part horror movie. There’s some good character drama in it. It’s about some big ideas, about some scary stuff, but I hope that it’s just a fun roller coaster ride,” said Stewart at the Comic-Con last month in San Diego.Readmore

Hindu Pastor

Hindu Group Warns Pastor from Praying for Sick With Attack in India

:: The Christian Post By Joseph Keenan :: An Indian pastor was stopped from praying and warned that he will be attacked if he prays again for the sick in South Indian state of Karnataka; he is also accused of forcefully converting the people.

According to Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) report on Monday, Rev. John Quadros was invited by Suraj, 23, a believer to pray for his ailing father at their home in Padmanabhanagar, Karwar District, Northern Karnataka he was attacked and warned not to pray.

The Christian advocacy group based in Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru said at around 7 p.m. 2-5 men from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) barged into the home and argued with the Pastor and accused him of forcefully converting people though the Pastor was only pray for the family who have been following Christ for the past five years.

GCIC reported that Rev. John Quadros, pastor of the New Life Fellowship in Sadashivgarh has been ministering for the past ten years in the area close to Padmanabhanagar. His church, consisting of 100 families, meets at 10 a.m. every Sunday.Readmore

New Testament

Voice of the Martyrs sends one millionth New Testament

In the last few years, BU has sent copies of the New Testament to several restricted countries, including Colombia, North Korea and Egypt. The one millionth Bible was sent on August 5 to a persecuted believer in China.

Bibles Unbound was launched in 2006 to enable Christians to send New Testaments into countries where Christians are not able to go to a bookshop and buy their own Bible.

The inspiration for the ministry is 2 Timothy 2.9 in which Paul writes that the word of God is not bound.

Christians submit the names and addresses of persecuted believers in need of Scriptures to Bibles Unbound, which then sends a New Testament in the appropriate language directly to the believer.

Contact details are submitted by people living in democratic as well as persecuted countries.

“We are thankful to the faithful Christians living inside these restricted and hostile nations who take great risks to supply names and addresses of those needing God’s Word,” said VOM Executive Director Tom White.Readmore