Jan – Mar (BH)



March 30, 2018:  Easter Commemorations in 5 Challenging Countries

This article is quite informative, although it does not include countries I would have expected — North Korea, China or Pakistan.  It does describe Easter recognition in Syria, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and — to my surprise — Israel.

March 24, 2018:  “God is on the Move” Among Gangs in El Salvadore Despite Government Indifference

This is a very interesting look at God’s move among a socially isolated group of people.  “There are no government programs to rehabilitate gang members.  The security minister himself told me that, by law, there’s no difference between a guy who’s in the gang and a guy who’s left the gang,” stated Sarah Esther Maslin of The Economist as she was interviewed by Lulu Garcia Navarro of NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.  According to Maslin, “The Pentecostal churches tell you you don’t need to know the Bible in and out.  All you have to do is show up and sincerely believe that you can change…that belief of a come-to-Jesus moment has, I think, impacted a lot of them.”  The reporter also asserts that gang members “feel like they’ve really bee marginalized from mainstream society.  And you know, for whatever reason, the Catholic church has symbolized that for them as well.”

February 28, 2018:  Bible Burning Caps “One of the Most Traumatic” Years of Christian Persecution in India

According to christianheadlines.com, Hindu extremists threatened, harassed, and physically bullied senior citizen Gideon International members after they had received the permission to distribute Bibles in an area they had distributed Bibles in “for 30 years without any opposition.”  The extremists, acting in the Singotam Village, Nagar Kurnool District in Telangana stole the remaining Bibles from the car, began ripping out pages and tearing them apart, setting them on fire while videotaping began.  Naveet Chhabra, executive director of Gideons International in India, is quoted as saying, “Whoever has done this act of burning the Bibles, we will pray for them that the Lord wipe away the hatred from their hearts…we don’t retaliate, we don’t hold any animosity, and we forgive them.  We love them.” 


February 23, 2018:  CPAC States “It’s Time to Save the Persecuted Christians”

According to breitbart.com, the Conservative Political Action Conference held this week offered a segment entitled “Save the Persecuted Christians,” stating, “This (the Middle East) is the cradle, the birthplace of Christianity, and now we are down to four percent…it’s time to save the persecuted Christians.”   Founder of Mission of Hope and Mercy for Christians in the Middle East, Father Andre Mahanna stated “It is important to show the connection between the Christian persecution going on in the world and why we, in America, must care about it here at home.”

February 2, 2018:  New Death Highlights Increased Persecution of Christians in India

Pastor Gideon Periyaswamy in southern India was found hanging from a rope in his house; the death has currently been ruled as a suicide.  However, Periyaswamy had endured increasing verbal and physical abuse from a group characterized as “Hindu extremists.”  According to the Fox News report, many Christians in the area feel his death is an example of “systematic persecution” from this Hindu fragment.

January 16, 2018:  Bolivia Enacts New Law Penalizing Evangelism

Online Christian Post reports that new Penal Code Article 88.1 combines “armed conflict” with “religious or worship organizations.”  According to the Post, 88.1 threatens a prison term between five and twelve years to anyone who “recruits, transports, deprives of freedom or hosts people with the aim of recruiting them to take part in armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations.”  President Morales, who is expected to sign the legislation, has expressed anti-Israeli statements and actions over the last year.  The National Association of Evangelicals in Bolivia has established a National Emergency Commission and has issued an emergency alert for the “evangelical people in Bolivia.”  January 23 Update:  “Bolivia’s President Revokes Evangelism Restrictions” — as reported online at Christianity Today, “Evo Morales announced on national TV that controversial criminal code will be scrapped.