Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ethnic Korean Pastor Expelled from Tianjin and Church Abolished

Pastor Han Changxu
The Office of Religious Affairs notice abolishing Immanuel Church and banning Pastor Han Changxu from serving in the church
TIANJIN – On May 16, 2009, the Office for Religious Affairs in Jinghai county, Tianjin issued a notice abolishing Immanuel Church and banning Pastor Han Changxu, an ethnic Korean, from serving in the church.
Pastor Han Changxu , a native of Heilongjiang province, was ordained as a pastor by the Presbyterian Church in 2008. He has been serving in Immanuel Church in Jinghai county, Tianjin since 2004. During the 2008 Olympics, authorities in Tianjin placed Pastor Han on surveillance when they discovered he had contacts with missionaries from South Korea.
Authorities in Jinghai County of Tianjin have tried to prevent Pastor Han Changxu from having contact with churches in South Korea. In March of this year a Christian brother from South Korea attended a Sunday service at Immanuel Church, was detained by the PSB officers and subsequently expelled from China. Afterwards, authorities began to persecute the church and the pastors from both China and South Korea.
ChinaAid strongly denounces the relevant authorities in Jinghai County of Tianjin for their illegal action of persecuting freedom of belief. ChinaAid urges authorities in Jinghai County of Tianjin to restore Immanuel Church and restore freedom to Pastor Han Changxu to serve the church and to the believers to worship God.
Contact the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. to on behalf of Pastor Han Changxu and Immanuel Church:
Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760
PS:Please keep Pastor Changxu and Immanuel Church members as well as all their contacts in and outside China in your prayers.Help Pastor Changxu....!!!
As in the days of Noah...

Historic Church Ransacked in Northwest Pakistan

WASHINGTON, D.C.-International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a historic church in a secure area of northwest Pakistan was ransacked and vandalized the night of May 11. Rev. Ijaz Masih, the pastor of St. George Grecian Church in Bannu Cantt, told ICC that he had presided over a beautiful Sunday service on May 10. On the morning of May 12, however, laborers who were working to renovate the church were shocked when they arrived and found the church's cross broken in pieces, the altar demolished and partially burned, Bibles and hymnbooks burned and torn apart, and the pews reduced to ashes. The attackers even ransacked the bathrooms and cemented over a plaque inscribed with the names of the donors responsible for the original construction of the building.Local Christians were astounded that the attackers could sneak into the church and vandalize it without being noticed by anyone in the neighborhood. They are especially concerned because the church is located within a military zone and thus is considered to be in a very secure location. Rev. Ijaz told ICC that he had started as the pastor of St. George Church two years ago, and that the Christians in Bannu Cantt had been living peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. Rev. Ijaz believes that the attack was carried out by radical Muslims linked to the Taliban or Al Qaeda with the goal of provoking a clash between local Christians and Muslims.A Christian advocacy group in Pakistan, the Center for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS), reported that even though police have registered the attack, they are not investigating it as they would if the attack had been on a mosque.
Jeremy Sewall, ICC's Advocacy Director, said, "Please pray for the members of St. George, that God would give them courage in the midst of this frightening situation. This attack clearly shows that Muslim radicals continue to operate with impunity in Pakistan."

Christian workers retrenching after aid worker slain:Funeral services held for Leggett as Mauritania danger pegged at high

Christian groups working in Mauritania are retrenching following the slaying of an aid worker by an organization reportedly linked to al-Qaida.According to a report from Compass Direct News, a man who had been working in the capital city of Nouakchott reported he and his team were being relocated to an undisclosed European city because of the turmoil."After the crime various believers were arrested, and the community of workers is going through very tense moments because of another threat by al-Qaida and the lack of security," the aid worker who had sought anonymity told the report. "Our leaders have asked us to leave the country for awhile, as the government had sent a security force of 10 policemen to guard our home 24 hours a day."...

Beaten by His Own Family for His Faith in Christ

WASHINGTON, D.C.-International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Pakistani man preparing to become a pastor was imprisoned for three months by his own family and continues to receive death threats on a regular basis for his decision to convert to Christianity. Malik Abbas Ali decided with his wife and children to become Christians on October 10, 2006, and Ali changed his name to Abad Masih (Masih is a Pakistani word referring to Jesus the Messiah). He had been living a comfortable life, known and respected by businessmen and politicians in Faisalabad, Pakistan. When his extended family heard about the conversion, however, everything changed.Abad's family and in-laws began to harass him repeatedly, accusing him of being a "crusader" and threatening him with "severe consequences" if he did not repent and return to Islam. In addition, they enlisted the support of Muslim religious leaders to put additional pressure on him. When words did not convince Abad to return to Islam, his family resorted to physical abuse. They forced him to sign away any rights to his inheritance or his current property.Abad had to flee his home, and has been playing a dangerous game of hide and seek with his family ever since. However, God has provided for him along the way. The director of a Christian ministry in Faisalabad gave them a place to live until Abad's family found out where he was staying. Abad fled again, this time to Karachi. In January 2008, however, Abad's in-laws discovered his location and revealed it to his parents. Abad's family then forcibly took him back to Faisalabad, beat him, and threatened to kill him if he did not return to Islam. With the help of religious leaders, they put him in prison for three months, where Abad was poorly treated and nearly died of starvation.After being released from prison in April 2008, Abad fled again. Three years of persecution has not diminished Abad's faith or the faith of his family. Though he continues to receive threatening phone calls, Abad told ICC that "those who believe in Christ are never afraid of hardships and sufferings." He puts his faith to practice by preaching in church and sharing his testimony whenever he gets the opportunity. Abad's wife, Sumera, told ICC, "We are true believers of Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ always guides us and gives us strength even though people stop supporting us. Without him, since we are human, it would not be possible to be strong in such hard circumstances." Abad is intending to enroll in a seminary on July 15 to become a pastor. God has paved the way for him to go as the head of the seminary has promised not to charge him tuition and agreed to take care of his children's schooling as well.
The head of Abad's church said, "Mr. Abad and his family are really an inspiration for all of us. We really feel strengthened by their strong faith. We request all of you to pray for them because they need it the most."
Please keep Abad and his family in your prayers.

Campus evangelists clash with police:Dispute over signs, 1st Amendment rights prompts 4 arrests, including felony charge

A campus evangelism group is stunned today, as a ministry event at a community college in Ohio resulted in four members being arrested, one on a felony assault charge that the ministry's leader claims is fabricated."I've done ministries like this at more than 200 universities," said Jason Storms, director of Faithful Soldier School of Evangelism, a ministry of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wis. "We train people to do evangelism, and I have never seen an incident like this."Storms and a team of students earlier this week traveled to Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, with signs, literature and a message of faith...
PICTURE LEFT:Arrest of evangelism student Daniel Pollion at Sinclair Community College

Family of Kidnapped Pastor Flee Home in Colombia

According to Compass Direct News, the wife and children of pastor William Reyes, who was kidnapped last September in Colombia and is still missing, have moved from their home to another city due to threatening strangers presumably linked to his kidnappers. The Pastor had been receiving extortion threats from illegal armed groups operating in the La Guajira peninsula. Family members have not heard from Pastor Reyes since, nor have his abductors contacted the family to demand ransom....

Washington Post columnist:Christians "pernicious";Uses review of gardening book to deliver missionary dig

A columnist at the Washington Post has used a column about a gardening book to deliver a dig at Christians, calling the missionaries who traveled to the Hawaiian Islands while the region still was a kingdom "pernicious."

Iran: Secret Believers Growing Despite Persecution

"When they unpacked the Bibles in a house church, the Christians there were overjoyed. Their leader said: 'Here are brothers and sisters who have converted through Christian radio programs and have been waiting for a Bible for years. So we decided to fast and pray for one week. Today it's the last day!'"
(Santa Ana, CA)—Many Iranian people feel frustrated by Islam 30 years after the Islamic Revolution—reflected by the current protests in Iran after the controversial re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.They are searching for spiritual truth and some are finding it in Jesus. More than 100,000 are secret Christian Believers from a Muslim background who often meet together in rapidly growing house churches.Such Believers are actively targeted by authorities. 2008 marked the toughest year regarding Christian persecution since the Islamic Revolution.At the same time, the number of official Christians has halved from 250,000 Armenian and Assyrian Christians before the Islamic revolution of 1979 to around 125,000 now. Many have left Iran as a result of discrimination and persecution. Since the election of President Ahmadinedjad in 2005, Christian persecution has increased with security forces rigidly enforcing anti-Christian legislation.
Churches monitored by secret police
Around half of the 125,000 belong to the officially recognized Armenian, Assyrian and Chaldean Churches. They are allowed to teach their own people in their own language but it is forbidden to use Farsi to preach the Gospel. Many churches have a lot of visitors during their services which are monitored by the secret police.The other half, mainly Farsi speaking Believers, meet in small house churches or are reliant on satellite television for their spiritual nourishment. Often first generation Christians, they are desperate for Bibles and spiritual teaching in their own language.
Seed bearing fruit
New Christians often tell their family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues or fellow students about Jesus. One Iranian became a Christian while living away in Scandinavia. Within a month of his return home, 50 members of his extended family converted. By the time of his next visit one year later, the house church had grown to 250 members.One burglar stumbled upon a sermon in the Farsi language while trying out his stolen satellite dish. He gave his life to Christ, told his friends who also worked in the world of crime and today they form a house church of 12.According to an employee of the Iranian Home Ministry even children of government ministers and mullahs convert to Christianity.
Growing spiritually in hiding
Most house church members meet in secret to avoid the gaze of authorities, militant Islamists, informers and religious vigilantes. They rely on Christian radio and television programs, Internet and books in Farsi to grow spiritually."Once we sent Bible couriers into a remote town," says Stefan van Dijk (not his real name), Open Doors' operations head for Iran. "When they unpacked the Bibles in a house church the Christians there were overjoyed. Their leader said: 'Here are brothers and sisters who have converted through Christian radio programs and have been waiting for a Bible for years. So we decided to fast and pray for one week. Today it's the last day!'"Muslim background Believers from Iran tell about visions and dreams as a reason for converting, more than any other country in the Middle East...
Source: Open Doors USA

North Korea threatens foreign Christians:Warns of 'something bad' for group that sent Gospel via fax

North Korea,busy in recent weeks launching test missiles, exploding test bombs and warning the world it will respond with a barrage of weapons should it be attacked, is not neglecting its assault on Christianity.
The nation has responded to a campaign to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world with a threatening fax sent to the Christian ministry Voice of the Martyrs.

Iranian Christians Refuse to Accept Election Results

Here’s the latest Open Doors USA press release on the Iran situation:
SANTA ANA, Calif., June 16 – In Tehran many Iranians haven’t accepted the results of the presidential elections held last Friday. News reports show protesters streaming through the streets of Iran’s capital. There are also reports that Ayatollah Khamenei has directed the Guardian Council to examine claims of election fraud after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the runaway winner.
Open Doors learned through its contacts that voters are frustrated and have lost trust in Iran’s government in cities outside of Tehran.
Iranian Christian Daryush (not his real name) from Shiraz reports: “In my neighborhood there is no evidence of any skirmishes or demonstrations and also no celebration from the elections anymore. The streets have been swept clean. But the evidence that we have trouble in Shiraz is the constant presence of the various security forces and the military helicopter I saw flying overhead. But I have only driven around my own neighborhood, so I can’t speak for the entire city.” In other districts of the southwestern city of Shiraz the situation is grimmer. Daryush shares: “Friends told me that young people in Shiraz are being arrested and that they’ve seen young men and women being beaten or worse. A friend who lives near the university and student dorms told me she heard screaming, shouting and gunfire in the early hours of the morning. The predominately young demonstrators are calling Ahmadinejad a dictator and yell chants like ‘Ma dolate zoor nemikhaim’ meaning ‘we don’t want a government of force.’ They also yell at the security forces and call them traitors and vote-stealers. A friend said that within the security forces are pro-Mousavi followers, saying ‘beechareh shodim!’ or ‘we are without hope.’”Daryush shares that the “majority of people I spoke with consider the elections a fraud and don’t accept the results at all. A friend of our family lives in Shahe Cheragh, which is a predominantly religious and conservative district of Shiraz. He said that even in that district a huge numbers of votes went to Mousavi.”Daryush continues: “There are those who have never voted, didn’t vote this time and will never vote under this regime. They look at the rest of us as naive ones and say, ‘See, we told you that the one who had been previously selected would win the election.’ Others I speak with say they will never participate in an election again because ‘it was a total fraud.’”While some Iranians never accepted this form of government, a certain percentage has considered the Islamic Republic of Iran to being a “limited democracy.” Daryush explains that “although the candidates were hand-picked and had the regime’s stamp of approval, at least we had a choice within those limits. This election, however, showed us that the Iranian people don’t have a ‘limited democracy,’ but as some are now saying ‘no democracy at all…we have an Islamic dictatorship.’
Open Doors spokesman John Fox observes that Christians in general voted for Mousavi and hope for new elections: “We cannot generalize our observations to all Christians, but we asked 29 Christians from Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan and all voted for Mousavi. One of them said, ‘for us bad is better than worse. Mousavi also promised more religious freedom, so I hope he does not lie.’”
Open Doors USA President/CEO Carl Moeller adds that “we need to continue to pray for the situation in Iran, especially for the Christians caught in the crossfire. This could be a pivotal point in the history of Iran and the future of believers who live there.”
(For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Jerry Dykstra at
PS:Please keep Iran in your prayers since this situation is far from over...
As in the days of Noah....

Muslims attack fleeing Christians with acid:9 women, 4 children injured by rampage

A door to a Christian's home in Pakistan demolished by a Muslim mob in this photograph from the Barnabas Aid
Wreckage of a Christian's home damaged by a Muslim mob in this photograph from the Barnabas Aid
Muslims apparently angered because a Christian man driving a tractor reportedly tried to pass a Muslim on a motorcycle have rampaged in one village in Pakistan, destroying Christians' homes and throwing acid on women and children as they fled, according to a new report from Barnabas Aid.
The ministry reported that the violence this week happened in the village of Bahmani Walla in Punjab state in Pakistan, which is dominated by Islamic influences.
The report said 600 Muslims used gasoline bombs to vandalize 117 homes belonging to Christians – including 48 damaged by fire, and sabotage water pumps and cut electricity...
To read more go to:
ICC reports the incident too:
Muslim Mob Burns Down 100 Christian Homes in Pakistan:Riot Incited via Mosque Loudspeakers; Mob Throws Acid on Women and Children....
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 1, 2009) - This morning 100 Christian houses and churches were set on fire by local Muslims in the city of Kasur South, east of Lahore, Pakistan.The riots were incited by broadcasts from local mosques.This incident is similar to a February 1997 attack when thousands of Christian houses and churches were burned and hundreds of Christians were injured.ICC partners received the news this morning and went immediately to the scene to help injured Christians transferred to Lahore, renting two mini vans for this purpose.So far 9 burned women and 4 children have been transferred to Lahore for further medical treatment.All of them have been injured by throwing acid on them. Local police have arrived on the scene but the situation is out of control as thousands of Muslims have gathered for this purpose.
More details to follow.
Please call the Pakistani embassy in your country to ask them to protect the Christians in Kasur South.
Pakistan Embassies:
USA:(202) 243-6500
Canada:(613) 238-7881