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China Cracks Down on Christians
By Nina Shea & Bob Fu
Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS
Zion Church in Beijing is the largest in China’s burgeoning Protestant underground. In September, the 11-year-old house church was sealed shut by the government. Its crime? Zion’s pastor, Dr. Ezra Mingri Jin, a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, had rejected an intolerable Chinese Communist Party (CCP) directive to mount face-recognition cameras on his pulpit, turned on the congregation. For his refusal, the pastor and virtually all of Zion’s 1,500 members have been detained, searched and questioned by public security – some more than once. Click here to read
Pakistan’s blasphemy ordeal
By Farahnaz Ispahani
Barely two weeks after Pakistani Christian Asia Naureen (usually referred to as Asia Bibi), whose ordeal over false blasphemy charges attracted international attention, was allowed to leave the country, Pakistan’s blasphemy laws claimed new victims.
A Hindu veterinary doctor, Ramesh Kumar, was arrested in Sindh province on May 27 after a local cleric filed a police complaint accusing him of committing blasphemy. Mr. Kumar’s village Phulhadiyon, in Mirpurkhas district, has a population of about 7,000 people, the majority of whom are Hindus. As is often the case when blasphemy allegations are made in Pakistan, riots broke out in the area and an angry mob burnt down Mr. Kumar’s establishment as well as other property belonging to him and his family. The mob also tried to attack the police station and caused some damage in the process. Although six suspects were soon taken into custody for rioting and damaging the vet’s property, it is Mr. Kumar’s family that will now be living in fear while his prosecution meanders through Pakistan’s judicial system. Click here to read
359 'People Were in Pieces!' Sri Lanka: Islamist Terror on Easter
By Raymond Ibrahim
Eight separate explosions took place, at least two of which were suicide bombings: three targeted churches celebrating Easter Sunday Mass; four targeted hotels frequented by Western tourists in connection with Easter holiday; and one blast in a house, which killed three police officers during a security operation.
At least 39 foreigners -- including citizens of the United States, Britain, Australia, Japan, Denmark and Portugal -- were among the slain.
Most fatalities occurred in the three church-bombings. The worst took place in St. Sebastian's, a Catholic church in Negombo; there at least 150 Christian worshippers were murdered. Click here to read
The Vatican’s Agreement With China Looks Even Worse Now
By Nina Shea
Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS
Two months out, the China-Holy See provisional agreement on episcopal appointments is proving to be yet another tool for Beijing to suppress the Chinese faithful. And its damage goes even deeper than the Chinese government’s selection of Catholic bishops, as critical as that is for the hierarchically structured Roman Catholic Church. In asserting state control over religion, Chinese President Xi Jinping continues the harshest crackdown since the Cultural Revolution against all religions, the Catholic Church included, as documented by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Meanwhile, the agreement gives the Chinese regime moral cover and provides it with new opportunities for influencing religious matters at home and in Rome. Click here to read
The Anglosphere Society
Philippines: Christians Slaughtered, Churches Bombed
By Raymond Ibrahim
On Sunday, January 27, extremist Muslims bombed a Catholic cathedral during Mass in the Philippines. At least 20 people were killed and 111 wounded. At 8:45 am, two explosives were detonated about a minute apart in or near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo. According to the Associated Press:
"The initial explosion scattered the wooden pews inside the main hall and blasted window glass panels, and the second bomb hurled human remains and debris across a town square fronting the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, witnesses said."
Photographs on social media showed human bodies and remains strewn on the street just outside the cathedral. Last heard, the officiating priest, Fr. Ricky Bacolcol, "was still in shock and could not speak about what happened," said a colleague. Click here to read
China's Han Superstate: The New Third Reich
By Gordon G. Chang
More than a million people, for no reason other than their ethnicity or religion, are held in concentration camps in what Beijing calls the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and what traditional inhabitants of the area, the Uighurs, say is East Turkestan. In addition to Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs are also held in these facilities.
Families in this troubled area, shown on maps as the northwestern portion of the People's Republic of China, are being torn apart. The children of imprisoned Uighur and Kazakh parents are "confined" to "schools" that are separated from the outside by barbed wire and heavy police patrols. They are denied instruction in their own language, forced to learn Mandarin Chinese. The controls are part of a so-called "Hanification" policy, a program of forced assimilation. "Han" is the name of China's dominant ethnic group. Click here to read
Asia is ‘new hotbed of Christian persecution’ with situation in China worst since Cultural Revolution, report claims
By Charles McDermid
Nearly 140 million Christians suffered high levels of persecution in Asia last year, according to a new report, which described the situation facing the faith in China as the worst since the Cultural Revolution. The annual Open Doors World Watch List, released on Wednesday, said Asia is “the new hotbed of persecution for Christians”. It noted a sharp increase in the persecution of Christians in Asia over the past five years – but with a dramatic spike in 2018, driven by the likes of a rise in Hindu ultra-nationalism in India, radical Islamism in Indonesia and tougher religious regulations in China. Click here to read