One of the holiest sites in Christianity has been shut down indefinitely in protest at new Israeli laws likened by religious leaders to Nazi persecution.
Tourists and worshippers were locked out of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem “until further notice” from Sunday, over proposals to tax property and seize land sold to private buyers.
The Greek Orthodox patriarch joined forces with the Armenian patriarch and the Catholic custodian of the Holy Land to issue a statement attacking what they called “a systematic attack” and “an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in occupied Jerusalem.”
Source: Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes in protest at Israeli ‘Nazi-like persecution’ | The Independent
U.S. President Donald Trump and his counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, have been told that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since June 2015, many of them victims of radical Islamic violence.
The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law submitted a petition to Buhari last week, where the civil society organization urged the president to “wake up from [his] slumber” and protect the millions of endangered Christians in Nigeria.
The “Christians at Crossroads in Nigeria” letter, shared online by Elombah.com, said that 16,000 people, mostly Christians, have been killed since Buhari took office in 2015, including the 5,800 victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, based on Intersociety’s investigation.
Source: 16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years: Report Reveals Extent of Violence in Nigeria
Suspected Fulani herdsmen have burned down nine churches and have killed at least 30 people in two separate attacks against Christian communities in Nigeria’s Adamawa state.
According to World Watch Monitor, a group of armed men attacked and burnt down Shima and Shiure villages on Feb. 2 and carried out another assault on Tinde and Dumne villages on Feb. 4.
One local source said that the second attack occurred in broad daylight, as people were about to go to church. Many innocent people were chased and killed by the assailants, who also burned down lots of properties, including nine churches, according to the source.
“Despite several calls to the governor and his deputy, and other security apparatus, the government remained silent as the atrocities continued,” he said.
“The Fulani were able to carry out their deadly attack. They stayed for hours in the vicinity, moving at will, unchallenged,” he added.
Source: Fulani herdsmen burn down 9 churches in Nigeria as Christians decry ongoing violence
Hate crime figures leaked by police in Germany have caused alarm, as they revealed murder, assault, and arson numbering among almost 100 attacks which targeted Christians in 2017.
Published by the Funke media group several months before annual crime statistics are due to be officially released, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) data showed attacks on churches and Christian symbols accounted for a quarter of the 97 cases.
At least 14 of the cases in the report involved asylum seekers and refugees, including the murder of an Afghan Christian convert by a fellow Afghan in May last year which prompted politicians to urge the BKA to record “anti-Christian crimes” separately for the first time.
Source: German Politicians ‘Alarmed’ at Scale of Anti-Christian Hate Attacks
The Catholic news outlet UCA News estimates that 2,000 Christians organized to protest the treatment of Periyaswamy’s death on Monday, blocking a major local road and “demanding the arrest of four people they suspect were behind the death of a Christian pastor who was found hanging inside his home.” The suspects, the report claims, are “high-caste Hindus.”
The protesters are also reportedly seeking for the government to place a private, independent doctor on their autopsy team to determine the cause of death, arguing that government officials have a stake in the death being ruled a suicide.
Source: India: Thousands of Christians Protest Torture, Hanging of Pastor Ruled a ‘Suicide’
Christian women could be considered the most vulnerable people in the world right now.
Earlier this month Open Doors USA released its World Watch List for 2018 identifying the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe.
This year, in addition to the persecution trends that extend across the board there is increasingly troubling data that applies only to women.
“During the reporting period, for instance, Open Doors documented 2,260 women who were raped or otherwise sexually harassed, or forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death,” wrote Open Doors USA president and CEO, David Curry in an op-ed piece for Fox News.
Source: ‘Double Persecuted’: Christian Women Raped, Forced to Marry Muslim Men in 50 Countries | CBN News
When Hindu extremists in India told pastor Karma Oraon they would not stop beating him until he worshipped the monkey god, he felt Christ close to him, he said.
Source: Indian Pastor is Severely Beaten for Refusing to Deny Christ – Christian News Headlines
A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”
Source: “Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”
Nearly one in 12 Christians across the globe is the victim of high-level persecution, according to an annual report by a top religious advocacy group.
Source: Christian persecution continues to rise, more incidents against women in 2017, new report says | Fox News
Gunmen killed at least nine people including three police in an attack on a Coptic Christian church south of Cairo on Friday, medical and security sources said.
Source: Gunmen attack church near Cairo, killing nine – ministry