15 January 2020
For the full reports please follow the links.
Please note the items below are only a selection from four pages of extracts and links to recent reports concerning the persecution of Christians around the world.
Chengdu authorities sentenced Pastor Wang Yi to nine years in prison this morning, days after his secret trial.
Wang, who is the pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, was found guilty of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations.” Both charges were given to him because of his position within the church.
Wang was taken into custody on Dec. 9, 2018, along with 100 other members of his church. On Dec. 26, 2019, he was tried suddenly and secretly. Today, officials handed him a nine-year sentence along with three years of denied political rights and a 50,000 yuan [£5,400] fine.
“This is a pure case of unjust religious persecution against a peaceful preacher of a Chinese reformed church,” ChinaAid Founder and President Dr. Bob Fu said. “This grave sentence demonstrates Xi’s regime is determined to be the enemy of universal values and religious freedom. We call upon the international community to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party and hold this evil regime accountable.”
Recently, many of the church’s members have been mandated to meet with public security officials five times a day.
In Christ, we issue the following exhortation and protest against Pastor Wang Yi’s severe sentence. Do you government officials not know that this is a sin against God? Do you not know that this is an abuse of your authority (Rom. 13:3)? Even so, we do not hate you. On the contrary, our merciful and righteous God wants us to love you and to pray for you. We desire that those public officials and law enforcement officers who are involved in this case would quickly repent and believe in the Lord, that you would know the atonement and forgiveness of sins which the Lord Jesus extends to all through his suffering on the cross, and that you would obtain eternal life and hope.
We invite all sojourners throughout the world who belong to the universal church to pray fervently for Pastor Wang Yi and Elder Qin Defu, who are being imprisoned for the sake of Christ and of the gospel, as well as for their families. Pray for all of us. We will also pray for you. In this eschaton, which Jesus Christ brought about through his incarnation, through his perfect life, through his betrayal and trial, through his substitutionary death, through his resurrection and ascension, through his gift of the Holy Spirit—in this eschaton, may we testify, through our suffering, that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn. 14:6) and that he is the light of the world.
Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi has decided not to appeal his nine-year sentence.
Wang was taken into custody on Dec. 9, 2018, along with around 100 other members of his church. He received the charges of “illegal business operations” and “inciting subversion of state power.”
Officials tried him in secret on Dec. 26, 2019, and sentenced him to nine years behind bars on Dec. 30.
According to Chinese attorney Zhang Peihong, Wang does not plan to appeal his sentence.
This page features a statement by Andrew Boyd of Release International broadcast on Premier Radio about Wang Yi’s sentence.
It also provides the text of an essay Pastor Wang asked to be released 48 hours after his detention. It is entitled “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” and is a must read if you have not already seen it.
Hubei authorities have imprisoned three Christian women for “collecting offering.”
One of the women, Pastor Hao Zhiwei, could face more than 10 years in prison.
The other two are Hong Ying and Wan Yuanxiang. All three have been charged with fraud because their church took offerings. Officials accused the church of being illegal and its clergy of receiving illegal ordination.
The Weifang City Anti-Evil Religious Association Office has granted 10 subdistricts and 12 villages within the city the honorary titles of “Role Model Towns/ Communities of Science, Care, and Harmony” for their efforts in cracking down on religions.
In a notice obtained by ChinaAid, the Weifang municipal government applauds the work of the subdistricts and villages in preventing and resisting evil religions. It encourages the areas to continue “the fight against evil religious organizations, and make a critical contribution to building a modern, high-quality, ecological, open, vibrant, and delicate city.”
The Weifang government equates the persecution of religions as a means to promoting justice and eliminating evil. It alleges that these areas serve as role models for the entire city on how to restrict religions.
The announcement aligns with the growing rates of religious persecution in China since the revised Regulations on Religious Affairs went into effect on Feb. 1, 2018. The Chinese Communist Party has been targeting people of conscience under the process of “Sinicizing” religion, or forcing faiths to align with the ideals of the Communist Party. Since the Chinese government wrongly believes religions are an attempt by foreign powers to infiltrate China, they often restrict religious practice and expression.
Armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 13 Christians in Plateau state, Nigeria on Wednesday (Jan. 8), the same day four students were kidnapped from a Catholic seminary in Kaduna state.
About 20 herdsmen attacked the predominantly Christian village of Kulben, in Plateau state’s Mangu County, at about 8 p.m., area residents told Morning Star News. The 13 dead were all members of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), as were three people wounded in the assault, they said.
“They were shooting with guns in all directions, forcing the villagers to scamper into surrounding bushes,” area resident Michael Mutding, 40, told Morning Star News in a text message. “Corpses of those killed have been evacuated by soldiers and police to the mortuary of Mangu Cottage Hospital; and all the victims are members of COCIN.”
A senior member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Lawan Andimi, has been kidnapped by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
The pastor was taken during a January 3 raid on Michika, a key town on the Cameroon border. Soon after, Boko Haram released a video of Pastor Lawan calling authorities to secure his release. In the six-minute video, the pastor told his family not to “sorrow for him, since God’s will must be respected.”
“By the grace of God, I will be together with my wife and children and colleagues… don’t cry, don’t worry, but thank God for everything.”
Suspected Boko Haram terrorists killed a woman and her bridal party in northeast Nigeria days before her planned New Year’s Eve wedding, and eight other Christians were killed in separate attacks, sources said.
Martha Bulus and her two bridesmaids were stopped on Dec. 26 as they made their way from Gwoza, Borno state to Martha Bulus’ hometown in Adamawa state for her wedding, were ordered from their vehicle, identified as Christians and then beheaded, church leaders said. Eight other Christians were killed in the same area on the same day, one church leader said.
Bulus and her two Christian friends were traveling on the Maiduguri-Yola highway when they were stopped near Gwoza and killed. Bulus was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Maiduguri, according to the Rev. Francis Arinse, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri.
“They were beheaded by Boko Haram insurgents at Gwoza on their way to her hometown,” Arinse told Morning Star News in a text message.
Our notes also include information on events in Iran, Iraq, India, Burkino Faso, Uganda & Egypt – click here to download them.