ICC Press Releases
Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
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Friday, December 6th, 2013
On Saturday, Nov. 16th, approximately a dozen Chinese police officers walked into the Nanle County Christian Church in Henan Province, a government sanctioned “Three-Self” church, and “tied up” the church’s pastor, Zhang Shaojie. Authorities then spirited him away to a secret location. Today, almost three weeks later, no one is quite sure where exactly Pastor Shaojie is, or if he’s even still alive.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
“We had been extremely hopeful that this kind of flagrant disregard for the rights of religious minorities was on the decline in Indonesia in 2013, at least as far as the Christian community was concerned. This demolition, however, coming alongside reports that two other churches have recently been sealed, is quickly dashing those hopes. We call on President Yudhoyono to speak out immediately and strongly against what is clearly a discriminatory abuse of the 2006 Revised Joint Ministerial Decree on construction of houses of worship.”
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
The ancient Christian village of Maaloula has again become the site of fierce fighting in Syria. A coalition of rebel groups, including the extremist al-Nusra Front, which has ties to al-Qaeda, attacked forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. After intense fighting over the weekend, they have taken control of the village. Twelve nuns and three other women from the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla were taken by rebel forces from Maaloula towards the border town of Yabroud, an International Christian Concern (ICC) contact in the region reported on Tuesday. The monastery, which had previously housed 40 nuns and orphans, and at least one other church, were severely damaged in the fighting. After the rebels drove out the forces of the Assad regime, they attacked a number of Christian buildings and three young Catholic men were also killed by the rebel fighters, Asia News reported.
Friday, November 29th, 2013
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 26th, a nightmare for two Christians from the village of Delga came to an end. Just a few hours after the two Christians had been safely returned to their families, International Christian Concern’s (ICC) representative in Egypt spoke with Father Abram Abou El-Yameen, the priest of the St. Mary and Anba Abram Monastery in Delga, and with two relatives of the men to learn the details of their ordeal.
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
The Egyptian Christian community has become increasingly concerned by the growing number of Christians who have been kidnapped for ransom across the country. More than thirty Christians were reportedly kidnapped in the southern province of Minya in the month of October alone. “Minya, a provincial capital with a high Christian population, could also be called Egypt’s capital of kidnappings. More people have been snatched in this city and province than in any other place in southern Egypt,” Kristen Chick wrote for CS Monitor. While some of the victims were released after their families paid the captors’ ransom demands, others remain in captivity. Christians are becoming increasingly angry with what they see as indifference by the police, who have yet to either arrest the kidnappers or free many of those being held.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) welcomes the arrival of Moroccan King Mohammed VI on an official visit to meet with President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. ICC is urging the White House and State Department to make the protection of religious freedom a core component of these discussions. In light of the rising tide of religious extremism across the region, Morocco has the opportunity to play a key role in countering this trend which is a primary cause of persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. The protection of religious freedom and the danger of violent religious extremism should be core components of these discussions.
Friday, November 1st, 2013
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Sunday, October 27th, 2013
The terrorist attack on a wedding service at a church in the Al-Warrak suburb of Cairo on Sunday, Oct. 20, is the latest evidence of the seriousness of the situation in Egypt. Violence against Egypt's minority Christian community has shown no sign of abating following the dramatic increase in tensions since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi. In the aftermath of the Al-Warrak attack there has been a distinct shift in tone, however, as many in the country are coming to see these attacks, and the Islamist agenda, as dangerous for Egyptian society as a whole.
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
The Syrian crisis is now two-and-a-half years old. and the damage of the conflict seems only to be worsening. Fueled by an increasing stream of jihadists with a stated goal of establishing an Islamic state, these groups have increasingly targeted the Christian community, forcing them to convert, flee, or be killed. The impact of extremist ideology is tearing apart the richly diverse social fabric of Syria, impacting all Syrians, but particularly targeting the Christians.
Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Two years have passed since “Bloody Sunday” at the Maspero Building in Cairo, Egypt. Again, the country is under the control of the military. Again, there have been churches burned to the ground. Again, attacks are taking place on Christians with almost total impunity.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has confirmed that two Indonesian Christians were sentenced to three years in prison on August 2nd for conducting evangelistic activities among Muslims. The Christians, known as Kashfi Rosyid and Jalaudin, are brothers and were arrested by police on March 20th in Sukabumi, West Java,after an angry mob of approximately 200 Muslims attacked their home.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has recently learned Mohamed El Baladi has been released from the Moroccan prison where he was held after being sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for the crimes of evangelism and shaking the faith of a Muslim. Mohamed had been held in prison since his arrest in late August, a troubling development as Christians have not served jail time on purely religious charges in some time. The release is only until his official appeal hearing, scheduled for October 10th. The release is a surprising turn of events, since Mohamed has already been convicted of the crimes it is highly unusual for a convicted “criminal” to be released while waiting for an appeal.
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned of the arrest and conviction of Mohamed El Baladi in the town of Ain Aicha, Morocco. On Monday, September 2nd, Mohamed was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and a fine of 5000 dirham ($600 USD) for the crimes of evangelism and shaking the faith of a Muslim. Also, as a part of the judge’s ruling, arrest warrants were issued for individuals connected with Mohamed. An appeal of the conviction has been filed in this case calling for it to be overturned and the complete ruling of the judge to be thrown out.
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Christians across Egypt are fearfully waiting to see if the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) will follow through on its threats that Friday, August 30, will be a “day of burning” in Egypt. “They have vowed—again—to ‘burn Egypt’, a vow they took several times before and which they implemented with a vengeance,” writes Adel Mounir at Watani.
Friday, August 30th, 2013
Just a little over a hundred years ago, more than 80% of all of the world’s Christians lived in either Europe or North America. Today, that number has dropped below 40% and the steepest decline has been in Europe. It’s now believed that more Christians attend church on Sunday morning in China than on the entire European continent. The number of evangelical Christians, a movement that is relatively outspoken in espousing Christian doctrine, is estimated to comprise less than five percent of Western Europe’s population (in the U.S., evangelicals still make up about 40% of all Americans). According to the Center for Study on Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, the only major religion in Western Europe that is currently growing is Islam.
Thursday, August 29th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) is alarmed by the latest series of events that continue a pattern of egregious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms in Iran. Three Christians, Ebrahim Firouzi, Sevada Aghasar, and Masoud Mirzaei were arrested on Wednesday, August 21, and detained without charges. On Sunday, August 25, an appeals court in Tehran rejected an appeal in the case of American Saeed Abedini who has been sentenced to eight years in prison because of his religious beliefs.
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
“I believe the government of India sincerely desires to promote religious freedom for all of its citizens. As an acceder to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, India has pledged to protect the right to freedom of ‘thought, conscience, and religion.’ Unfortunately, the five-year detention of these seven Christians for a crime they did not commit is intricately tied to their religious identity. Any further delay in their release would only prolong the tragedy their families have undergone these last five years. I sincerely hope this petition raises awareness of their plight and compels the government of India to act quickly.”
Friday, August 23rd, 2013
“The reports of Christians being attacked across Egypt continue to stream in day after day after day. We are appalled, though not surprised, by the deadly violence members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical groups are inflicting on a largely defenseless Christian minority. The United States should immediately call on the interim government in Egypt to protect Christian communities, especially those in outlying areas of Upper Egypt, from further attack. No one else should have to die simply because they are a member of a religious minority.”
Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that more than 20 churches have been attacked in the midst of the deadly violence that has swept across Egypt in the past few hours. The clashes, which have already claimed more than 100 lives and left nearly 1000 more wounded, prompted interim president Adly Mansour, to declare a nation-wide state of emergency, Ahram reported.
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Samuel Lamb (also known as Samuel Lam), a long-time leader of China’s persecuted house church movement, died on Saturday at the age of 88. Known for saying “more persecution, more growth,” Pastor Lamb spent twenty years in Chinese labor camps for refusing to allow his church to merge with the government-controlled “Three-Self” church.
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
July 28th marks one year since Saeed was detained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. 365 days later Pastor Saeed remains in Tehran’s Evin prison serving a sentence of eight years for no reason other than his faith in Christ.
Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Last Tuesday, fans of Western fast food chains among Vietnam’s 88 million citizens had cause to rejoice as McDonald’s announced they would be opening their very first restaurant in the country. Unfortunately for the highly controlled and sometimes violently repressed religious minorities of Vietnam, the announcement brings little comfort.
Friday, June 28th, 2013
“The beating by police of this couple earlier this week for refusing to give up their religious beliefs is simply horrific. It is a tragic example that despite positive improvements in the government of Vietnam’s overall treatment of religious minorities in the past decade there remains a tremendous amount of progress to be made. No citizen of Vietnam, including those from ethnic tribal communities, should be detained or physically attacked for their choice of religious belief. We call on the federal government of Vietnam to immediately redress this violation of religious freedom by punishing those responsible for the attack and ensuring that these families are protected from further harassment.”
Monday, June 24th, 2013
Two weeks ago, the New York Times published details of a fascinating interview with Mr. Zhang, the claimed author of a note written in English and allegedly smuggled out of the Masanjia labor camp while he was imprisoned there. The letter was discovered by a woman in Oregon who found it stashed in a box of Halloween decorations that were packaged at the labor camp. The letter revealed that conditions in the camp were “a living hell” and that about half the camp’s occupants were either Falun Gong practitioners or members of underground house churches.