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AsiaMap reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Burmese President Thein Sein was warmly welcomed by President Barack Obama to the White House on Monday even as reports of ‘severe’ human rights abuses, including persecution of Christian ethnic groups, continue to emerge. The historic visit was the first in almost fifty years by a national Burmese leader and came as a result of major political reforms made by President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian administration to a government dominated for more than five decades by a military junta.
The recent inspection of Russian non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) has many concerned. It seems that even though religious organizations are exempt from many of the reasons that the NGO’s needed to be inspected it didn’t matter, which lead to the claim that "there's a political subtext." The true intention remains to be seen, however suspicions have been raised.
“Fines have been imposed on people in the capital [of Uzbekistan] for meeting in a private home and having Christian literature, and for carrying a personal Bible and New Testament. Baptists have noted that the latter conviction is illegal in Uzbek law.”
One of the few remaining communist countries in the world, Vietnam is aggressively trying to stifle the cry of its people for increased human rights and freedoms, consequently furthering the persecution of Christians.
The south Indian state of Karnataka handed an absolute majority to the Left-of-Center Congress Party, giving Christians the hope of reprieve from the persecution suffered under the former rule of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Sharofat Allamova, a Protestant from Urgench in north-western Uzbekistan, has been given one and half years of corrective labour, after being convicted under criminal charges brought for the ‘illegal production, storage, import or distribution of religious literature’. It has been stated that the NSS secret police compelled witnesses to make false statements against her.”
U.S. Christian Sentenced to 15 Years Forced Labor For Attempting to “Collapse” the North Korean Regime With PrayerWednesday, May 22nd, 2013
When Aleksei gathered with his friends for worship he didn’t feel that he was doing anything punishable by law. However, the authorities beg to differ, as they fined him a steep fine as punishment. Aleksei refused to pay it, again stating that he did nothing wrong. Once he refused to pay the fine, he was jailed for three days for “failure to carry out court decisions.”
U.S. Commission Finds Indonesia On The “Threshold” of “Systematic, Ongoing, and Egregious” Violations of Religious FreedomTuesday, May 21st, 2013
Members of the Islamist extremist group Hefazat-e-Islam are accusing Christians and missionaries of forcibly converting people to Christianity. “Most Christian missionaries are converting people by offering money among the poor people to give them a leg-up,” said a spokesperson. “Once the poor people take money, the missionaries put pressure on them to be converted. That is why we are protesting – to stop missionaries converting [people].” Hefazat-e-Islam has been violently protesting in the streets of Dhaka, demanding a strict blasphemy law, resulting in death and injury to many. Their accusations, say Christians are mere propaganda. “Conversion is not an event in which missionaries give money and people are converted,” said a Reverend in Bangladesh.
The accusations keep changing! First Pastor Kashkumbayev was told he was arrested for putting “hallucinogens” in the communion “wine” (it’s actually tea). Now the accusation is that he was “praying in tongues and singing” which caused a lady to “lose her mind.” The courts recently upheld an order that this pastor must remain in prison for two months pre-trial. “Prosecutors have long been seeking to punish the leaders of Grace Church, but the reason or reasons for this remain unclear.” Now, it seems, a pastor must languish in prison with unclear charges.
U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Cancels Trip to Discuss 15-year Sentence for U.S. ChristianMonday, May 20th, 2013
After being falsely imprisoned for four and a half years in the murder case of a Hindu nationalist leader in eastern Orissa state, the hearing of seven Christian men has been delayed again, raising doubts over the authorities’ apathetic and indifferent attitude towards the minority in the region.
With a new “anti-extremism” program pending in Kazakhstan, many are concerned that persecution of Christians, and other religious minorities, will increase. For example, “If adopted in its current form, all places of worship would require security systems and require the teaching of what the government calls ‘traditional religions.’”
Persecution in Turkmenistan continues with restriction on Religious literature. In this case, a woman reading Christian literature at work. After her boss complained to officials they showed up at her house, confiscated all religious material, and then proceeded to the house of the man who gave her the literature and confiscated his religious material as well.
“Religious literature is under tight state control. No religious literature may be published in Turkmenistan or imported into the country without permission from the Gengesh. Each title and the number of copies must be specifically approved. State postal authorities hold all religious literature received from abroad, releasing it only when the Gengesh has given written approval. The few books that are approved are stamped as approved by the Gengesh.”
After an absurd sentencing of an American Christian to 15 years’ hard labor, North Korea shows no signs of releasing the U.S. tour operator, solidifying its reputation as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians.
Indonesian President Yudhoyono intends to accept an award for promoting religious freedom at the end of May despite several protests from Christians and other religious minorities. Christians say the president does not deserve an award for religious freedom when incidents of persecution against Christians have risen considerably under his administration. In 2012, ICC estimates that at least 50 churches were forcibly shut down by local authorities across Indonesia at the behest of radical Islamic organizations. In addition threats against Christians on the island of Sulawesi continue on a regular basis.
With the persecution of Christians increasing in Bangladesh the World Council of Churches has reached out to believers in the country to express solidarity.
A car bombing following Pakistan’s elections significantly damaged a church and wounded several Christians, Agenzia Fides reports. Eight people were killed in the attack, which was politically motivated and unlikely meant to target the church.
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ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.