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Religious Freedom

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Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence

Sharing resettlement centers with Muslims can be dangerous for Christian asylum-seekers, Open Doors reports.
Christian Refugees in Germany Report High Levels of Religious Violence
Jens Meyer / AP

As the million-plus refugees who fled to Germany last year settle into packed group homes and culture-clashed neighborhoods, Christian migrants face ongoing harassment from the Muslims they live alongside.

Open Doors Germany reported Monday that three-quarters of resettled Christian ...

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Persecuted Church Advocate Complains It Is 'Hard Pressed' by Fellow Christian Groups

EAUK refutes allegations by Barnabas Fund, which also criticizes Open Doors, CSW, and Release.
Persecuted Church Advocate Complains It Is 'Hard Pressed' by Fellow Christian Groups

One of the world’s largest advocates for the persecuted church has accused fellow Christian ministries of working against it.

In January, trustees of Barnabas Aid International issued a 36-page document defending beleaguered Barnabas Fund founder and director Patrick Sookhdeo. ...

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After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle

Officials decide that bulldozed property does belong to Protestant house church after all.
After Pastor's Wife Buried Alive, Chinese Church Wins Land Battle
China Aid

Nearly two weeks after a Chinese pastor and his wife were buried alive defending their church from destruction, local authorities have ruled in favor of the Protestant house church’s claim to its land.

After a local business wanted to take over the property that Beitou ...

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Turkey Releases US Street Evangelist Facing Deportation

Missionary David Byle works with successful Bible correspondence course in Muslim-majority nation.
Turkey Releases US Street Evangelist Facing Deportation
David Byle / Facebook

An American missionary facing deportation from Turkey for being a “danger to public order” has been released.

“Praise God, I was released from the deportation center this afternoon, and just arrived home,” David Byle wrote on Facebook. “Thanks to ...

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Sweden Can't Deport Christian Convert Back to Iran (Yet)

Canada also stalled over Iranian Christian 'war criminal', while Czech Republic will deport 25 Iraqi Christians.
Sweden Can't Deport Christian Convert Back to Iran (Yet)
Council of Europe

After more than 1 million migrants entered Europe last year, Sweden has been tightening its asylum process—including a plan to deport up to 80,000 migrants that didn’t pass muster.

Yet the Scandinavian country can no longer deport one migrant—an Iranian Christian ...

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Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom

New government shuts down Office of Religious Freedom modeled after US version.
Canada Thinks It Has a Better Way to Defend Religious Freedom
Canada's Office of Religious Freedom / Facebook

The first attempt to replicate the United States’s diplomatic advocacy for beleaguered believers worldwide has come to an end.

Five years ago, Canada’s Conservative party campaigned for a new office to champion the cause of international religious freedom (IRF). The ...

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Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity

Judge's landmark decision offers hope to Malay Christians amid Bible seizures and 'Allah' bans.
Malaysia Rules Muslim Man Can Convert to Christianity
John Ragai / Flickr

In a landmark ruling last week, a Malaysian court upheld the rights of a Christian to convert from Islam.

The judgment establishes a precedent in a country where religious conversions, particularly from Islam to Christianity, have been steeped in controversy. The verdict reaffirms ...

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Despite ISIS Attacks, Muslim Country Declines to Drop Islam as Official Religion

(UPDATED) Bangladesh’s Supreme Court spends mere minutes dismissing 28-year-old challenge to constitution.
Despite ISIS Attacks, Muslim Country Declines to Drop Islam as Official Religion
Shaeekh Shuvro / Flickr

Update (Mar. 28): Bangladesh’s highest court won’t be resolving the current tension in the country’s constitution that makes it both a secular state and an Islamic one.

In less than two minutes, judges dismissed a 28-year-old challenge to Islam’s designation ...

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Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 70 as Taliban Targets Christians Celebrating Easter at Pakistan Park

(UPDATED) Blasphemy execution goes from good news to bad news for beleaguered believers.
Suicide Bomber Kills More Than 70 as Taliban Targets Christians Celebrating Easter at Pakistan Park
K. M. Chuadary / AP

Update (Mar. 28): While a Pakistani Taliban faction claims it targeted Christians in Sunday’s attack on the children’s area of a major park in Lahore, a large number of non-Christians also died.

The final tally remains unclear, but approximately 14 of the victims ...

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China Frees Lawyer Who Defended 100 Church Crosses

Zhang Kai gave what advocates deem a forced confession on state TV last month.
China Frees Lawyer Who Defended 100 Church Crosses
China Aid

One of the leading legal defenders of China’s churches, Zhang Kai, was released from jail on Wednesday after being arrested in August 2015. China Aid confirmed his release with relatives.

Zhang wrote on social media that he has returned to his home in Inner Mongolia, an ...

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John Kerry: ISIS Is Responsible for Genocide Against Christians

(UPDATED) Days after unanimous House vote, Secretary of State finally agrees with international religious freedom advocates.
John Kerry: ISIS Is Responsible for Genocide Against Christians
Valery Melnikov / Sputnik

Update (Mar. 17): Secretary of State John Kerry has declared that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East.

Speaking from the State Department on Thursday morning, the day of the deadline for his decision, Kerry ...

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A Ransom for Many: ISIS Releases Last of 230 Assyrian Christian Hostages

Good news comes near first anniversary of 21 Coptic martyrs beheaded on Libyan beach.
A Ransom for Many: ISIS Releases Last of 230 Assyrian Christian Hostages
Assyrian Church of the East Relief Organization

Around the first anniversary of the infamous beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians on a Libyan beach, believers worldwide celebrated the release of the kidnapped Assyrian Christians that were feared to become ISIS’s next propaganda massacre. (Instead, it was Ethiopians.)

Shortly ...

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Keith and Kristyn Getty's Global Sunday Singalong for Evangelism

This Sunday, more than 4,100 churches in 81 countries will sing new version of OMF hymn that first drew missionaries to China.
Keith and Kristyn Getty's Global Sunday Singalong for Evangelism
Courtesy of the Gettys

Nearly 90 years ago, a missionary wrote a song meant to galvanize the Western church and draw hundreds of missionaries to China. This Sunday, more than 4,100 churches around the world will sing “Facing a Task Unfinished” with a modern twist.

In 1920, Frank Houghton ...

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Africa Has a New Islamic State. Or Does It?

The Gambia’s president has declared it so. Not everyone is convinced.
Africa Has a New Islamic State. Or Does It?
Aussicht vom Hotelzimmer / Flickr

Today, the river nation of The Gambia is celebrating its 51st year of independence. Is it doing so as Africa's second official Islamic state?

"Accepting Allah's religion as your religion and as your way of life is not negotiable," said President Yahya Jammeh ...

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Pope Francis Quiet on Catholic Persecution of Protestants in Mexico

(UPDATED) Two dozen Protestant families get utilities turned back on after two years of punishment.
Pope Francis Quiet on Catholic Persecution of Protestants in Mexico
Gregorio Borgia / AP

Update (Feb. 23): Four days after Pope Francis visited Chiapas, local officials agreed to restore water and electricity to 27 Protestant families. Two years ago, the utilities were turned off when the families refused to participate in or donate money to Catholic celebrations. ...

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