Persecution 2013 WatchList

Open Doors has released its annual list of the top countries were pesecutions occur. Topping the list, for the 11th year in a row is North Korea,. Five new countries, Mali, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Niger entered the list for the first time. The report says there are an estimated 100 million Christians that are being persecuted.  Egypt was 25th on the list, just below Tanzanzia. Vietnam was 21st on the list. The countries that took part in the “Arab Spring” have seen an rise in persecution as a result of the rise in Islamism. For full list details click here.

Action: Opendoors asks that people pray for those countries in the 2013 World Watch list. Pray for the Christians living in these places. Pray for the leadership of these nations, pray that God will continue to strengthen His church in these countries.

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POSTED 19 Jan 2013
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Church is losing Influence in the Philippines

A report by Associated Press journalist Hrvoje Hranjski (Jan 3, 2013, New Law Points to Philippines Church’s Waning Sway) says that the recent passing of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act 2012 in the Philippines shows that the Catholic Church no longer has sway over the masses as it did during President Marcos’ time.

The law, which now faces a legal challenge in the Supreme Court, gives Govt funding for contraceptives.  According to the Associated Press article, “Catholic leaders consider the law an attack on the church’s core values — the sanctity of life — saying that contraceptives promote promiscuity and destroy life.”

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POSTED 19 Jan 2013
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US Abortion figures down but still high

Abortions in the US fell 5% in 2009 according to the Abortion Surveillance Report released Nov 21 by US Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 784,507 abortions in the US although not all states report abortion statistics. For example, California has an estimated 200,000 abortions a year but does not report. The abortion rate was 15.1 abortions per 1000 woman aged 15-44 and the abortion ratio was 227 abortions to 1000 live births. In 1990 there were 1.6m abortions in the US. By comparison, the Netherlands, with one of the lowest abortion rates in the Western World had 8.7 abortions per 1000 woman (30,984  abortions in 2010) and the abortion rate was 167.6 abortions to 1000 live births (2010 figures). In Australia, it is estimated by Family Planning Queensland, that there are more abortions than live births.

For US report click here.

For analysis by CitizenLink, a Focus on the Family Affiliate on the US report click here.

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POSTED 6 Dec 2012
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Kenya and Tanzania Church attacks

The Barnabas Fund reports that the church in Kenya and Tanzania is under mounting threat from radical Islamist groups that are carrying out attacks with growing frequency and ferocity in a bid to wipe out Christianity from Africa’s east coast. For full story click here.

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POSTED 6 Dec 2012
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New Church of England Head

The next Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Church of England, Justin Welby has urged the Church’s general synod to vote in favour of allowing women to become bishops, according to the Guardian. He said he also would listen carefully to the point of view of homosexual believers. “I also know I need to listen very attentively to the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] communities and examine my own thinking carefully and prayerfully,” he said. “I am always averse to the language of exclusion, where what we are called to is to love in the same way that Jesus Christ loves us. Above all, in the church we need to create safe spaces for these issues to be discussed in honesty and in love.”

For story in the Guardian click here

To watch a video message from the Bishop click here

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POSTED 13 Nov 2012
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What to Expect from Obama in second term?

According to the Population Research Institute, it will mean more of the same. Institute director Steve Mosher writes that Obama has supported sex-selection aboriton, supported abortion funding, promoted abortion overseas, appointed abortionistas to the Supreme court and funded Planned Parenthood. For article by Steven Mosher from the PRI click here. 

Action: Saltshakers asks that people pray that the USA will remember its Christian foundations, pray that the USA will repent of its turning away from God and Pray for wisdom among the Christians.

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POSTED 13 Nov 2012
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Christian Persecutions

The Middle East Forum reports that St Paul’s church in Mardan, Pakistan was attacked in October by hundreds of Muslims. They set the church on fire. They then burnt down a nearby church-run school including a library containing more than 3000 christian books. Also in Pakistan, gunmen openned fire on the St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Hyderabad, killing at least 28 people. For story click here. 

In Egypt, the Kasr El-Dobora, the largest evangelical church in the Middle East was besieged on Sept 13 by people hurling stones and gas bombs. The first gas bomb was described as an error by police but more bombs followed. Worshipers locked themselves inside the church and put on masks to avoid gas poisoning. For story click here. 

In the Maldives airport officials seized 11 books about Christianity. 

In Bangladesh, a new report indicated that some 300 Christian children were recently abducted and forcibly converted to Islam. The children are sold to Islamic schools where they are converted to Islam. For story click here. 

Source: the Middle East Forum

To subscribe to the Middle East Forum click here.

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POSTED 13 Nov 2012
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Netherlands new Lesbian Parenthood Law

The Dutch House of Representatives has accepted  (2 Nov) a bill from State Secretary Teeven which provides for a situation where the partner of the mother of the child (duo mother) can become a legal parent without having to go to court. The duo mother can become the legal parent automatically by means of marriage if the sperm donor is unknown. The Govt says the central focus of the bill is the interest of the child. The Govt says that each year 200-400 mothers will makes use of this new law. For Govt press release click here. 

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POSTED 13 Nov 2012
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China leadership change

The once in a decade change in power in China is taking place with the President and Premier to be replaced. It is expected that Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang will take over the presidency and premiership in March 2013. Open Doors China director Xiao Yun expects that churches all over China, but especially around 3000 churches in Beijing will have to lay low during the conference. It is expected that the leadership change will not make any difference for Christians. Opendoors asks that you pray:

-giving thanks for the amazing growth of the church in China.

-for the new political leaders that they will govern with wisdom.

-for wisdom for Open Doors staff as they determine how to support churches in minority areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority…” 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (TNIV)

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POSTED 13 Nov 2012
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Philippines substitute Reproductive Health Bill

The Philippines House of Reps has developed a new Reproductive Health Bill which it hopes will be approved by the end of 2012.

House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr said the new bill would have a provision ensuring that the process of fertilisation and conception would not be impeded. For story by Jess Diaz from the Philippines Star (Oct 19) click here.

The US-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute reports on the Global Abortion Lobby and the impact it is having on the Philippines. For story click here.

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POSTED 19 Oct 2012
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