Tag Archives: international

Rising Restrictions on Religion – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

In 23 countries, restrictions on religious practice increased between 2006 and 2009. Read Rising Restrictions on Religion – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Australian school children won’t learn about the birth of Jesus

See “Too PC? New Australian Curriculum Bans References to Birth of Jesus in Textbooks” at The Blaze.

Nkoyoyo, former Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, speaks in Myrtle Beach

Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, Sixth Archibishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda
Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, the former Anglican Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda, was speaking Monday evening at Trinity Episcopal Church in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Nkoyoyo is in the United States to raise money for Chain Foundation Uganda, which helps visually-impaired children and other vulnerable kids.

Ugandans often believe blind children to be under a curse, but the largest cause of blindness in Uganda is measels, Nkoyoyo said.

Blind children need to learn skills that can help them earn money, Nkoyoyo said. They can learn skills like playing musical instruments or massage therapy, he said. A Chain Foundation Uganda brochure says that many blind children become beggars “due to lack of relevant training.”

Nkoyoyo also talked about sharing the Christian faith with Muslims and other groups within Uganda. He said the Anglican ministers often work with Pentecostal ministers. “The [Ugandan] church is growing because the Christians are involved in the work of evangelism,” Nkoyoyo said.

He later added, “We need to learn to speak one language as Christians.” He said some Christians have become confused by thinking that there are many ways to God, a statement that hinted at theological and doctrinal differences between the more-traditional African Anglicanism and the progressive Anglicanism within Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

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Freedom begins within oppression: building a church in North Sumatra

The hardest thing in the world is to practice freedom where there are few (if any) freedoms allowed by the ruling class.

Compass Direct New reports:

Jakarta — Muslim extremists and local government authorities last week threatened to tear down a church building under construction in North Sumatra even though church leaders met requirements of Indonesia’s draconian law on worship places, the church’s pastor said. Emboldened by local authorities’ unwillingness to grant a church building permit to Protestant Bataks Christian Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan, or HKBP), some 100 Muslim extremists accompanied by government officials on April 29 tried to destroy the building under construction in Jati Makmur village, North Binjai, 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the provincial capital of Medan. The Rev. Monang Silaban, HKBP pastor, said about 100 members of the Islamic extremist Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defender Front), some armed with “sharp weapons,” arrived at 4:30 p.m. accompanied by Binjai municipal officials, who brought a bulldozer. Police met with church and Muslim extremist group leaders following the confrontation and reached an agreement that construction on the building would cease until the permit is approved – something that hasn’t happened in the two years since HKBP applied.

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Former North Korean agents infiltrated prayer meetings

Former police and security officers in North Korea told a U.S. government body that their superiors had instructed them to play the role of Christians and infiltrate “underground” prayer meetings in order to incriminate, arrest, imprison and sometimes execute believers in North Korea. Interviewed for a report issued on April 15 by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the six officers were tasked – before they fled North Korea – with finding and eliminating small groups of Christians. “There are no preliminary hearings when religious people get caught,” one agent said. “[We] regard them as anti-revolutionary elements. When such an offender is caught in North Korea, the NSA officers surround the person and kick and beat the person severely before interrogating.” Another agent said, “The most important question asked to the repatriated is whether they have met South Korean missionaries or evangelists or encountered or experienced religion. If they confess that they have met missionaries or deacons…then without any further questions, they will be sent to the NSA and they are as good as dead.”

-Sarah Page of our affiliate, Compass Direct News

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Vietnam’s insane approach to human rights and religious liberty

An unprecedented prayer appeal by the Evangelical Church of Vietnam (South) indicates that the government has stonewalled quiet, persistent attempts to obtain redress on confiscated church properties, interference in church affairs, and discrimination against Christians. Addressed to “The Church of God Everywhere,” the March 28 letter from the Executive Committee of the ECVN(S) followed several ultimatums in which the church threatened “collective action” and still did not obtain serious dialogue with authorities. It is uncommon for the ECVN(S) — which received full legal recognition in April 2001 and is Vietnam’s largest Protestant Church — to go public on such matters. The church leaders’ letter said some of 265 properties confiscated had been turned to other uses, some simply left to fall into disrepair and others demolished. The demolition of two church buildings, one in Ben Cat and the other in Go Vap, Ho Chi Minh City, occurred last year, and authorities also destroyed two Bible schools in the Central Highlands after legal recognition of the church in 2001.

-Compass Direct News, our affiliate news service

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Funeral mass for Iraqi Archbishop

As we reported yesterday with the help of our affiliate Compass Direct News, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Paulus Faraj Rahho, was found dead Thursday, two weeks after he was kidnapped.

Mourners attended a two-hour funeral mass today.

During the mass, “The patriarch of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic church, Emmanuel III Delly, tearfully urged Christians on Friday not to seek revenge for the death of the archbishop of Mosul, whose body was found in a shallow grave two weeks after being kidnapped,” reported AFP in this article.

The BBC has a brief story here.

Reuters UK has more details here.

Chaldean Christians belong to a branch of the Roman Catholic Church. An estimated 800,000 Chaldean Christians live in Iraq.