Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boko Haram attacks Christians in Nigeria, killing

Nigerian Christians witnessed two bloody days earlier this week as the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram attacked Christians in two different villages:
They killed 22 people by setting off bombs and firing into the congregation in the Catholic church in Waga Chakawa village in Adamawa state on Sunday, before burning houses and taking residents hostage during a four-hour siege, witnesses said.
On Monday, a separate assault by suspected members of the shady sect killed at least 40 people in Kawuri village, in remote northeastern Borno state, security officials said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for either attack [more].
Those attacked and killed in Waga Chakawa were attending the Holy Mass.

Will the world ever respond to the ongoing persecution of Christians in Northern Nigeria?

In Sri Lanka, Buddhists attack Christian, Muslim, and Hindu places of worship

Following recent attacks on both Christian churches, Muslim mosques, and Hindu temples, Christians in Sri Lanka have taken to the streets of Colombo in protest against their Buddhist attackers to call upon the government to protect their religious liberty.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christians increasingly kidnapped in Egypt

In the wake of the so-called Arab Spring, the persecution of Christians in Egypt continues to gain force, with an increased number of kidnappings in recent months.  The Christian Science Monitor reports:
More than 100 people have been kidnapped for ransom in this marginalized region in the last two and a half years, nearly all of them Christians, according to activists and church officials. And there has been a sharp increase in kidnappings in the months since Aug. 14, when hundreds were killed as police broke up two sit-ins supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Children killed in Damascus

As the civil war in Syria drags on innocent blood continues to be shed:
Mortar shells damaged the Primary Christian School St. John Damascene yesterday in the district of Al-Qassaa in Damascus, killing 5 children and wounding 27 others. Another rocket hit a school bus in Bab Touma, a suburb in Damascus predominantly Christian, injuring 5 students. In the same area, a mortar shell hit St. Cross Church, already hit in past days and another damaged the St. Cyril Church. Three other people were killed by a rocket, always in the center of the capital [more].

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Israeli government destroys church property

On the morning of October 28th the Israeli government destroyed a building in east Jerusalem belonging to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem:
Israeli security forces and bulldozers arrived at the house at 5:00 am (0300 GMT) on Monday with a previously unseen demolition order, claiming it had been built without a permit, according to its residents -- a family of 14.
But Tawwal said the property, on Jerusalem's southeastern edge close to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, had been standing since before 1967, when Israel seized Arab east Jerusalem in the Six-Day War.
"We didn't receive any orders for the demolition" beforehand, Tawwal added.
Describing the situation, the family who had been living in the building, said:
They turned up at 5 in the morning. They forced us to go out of our house. They took our cell phones away and forbid us from letting anyone know. We stood there and watched as the bulldozers demolished the house [more].
Though this is the first ecclesial property destroyed by the government, there may be more in the coming days:
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said on Tuesday that the city was starting proceedings for the mass demolition of Palestinian homes in other parts of east Jerusalem.
 His Excellency Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem called the destruction "an act of vandalism that infringes international law."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Protestant pastor murdered in Nepal by man over whom he was praying

In Phattepur, Nepal, a 36-year old year Protestant pastor named Debalal was murdered by a man named Kumar who called him at 3:00 a.m. on the morning of October 26th to pray with him.

Answering the call, Debalal made the 30-minute journey to pray with with Kumar:
He was in fact called in the middle of the night, by Kumar, a 29-year-old man, who had requested the presence of Debalal for a healing prayer. Kumar had been ill for several months and Debalal in the past had prayed for him. Debalal ran to visit the sick. As he was praying, the man suddenly attacked him and cut his throat with a "khukuri", a typical Nepalese knife with a curved blade. Debalal shouted and asked for help but was left to bleed to death. The police arrested the perpetrator of the homicide [more].
The murder is itself horrendous, but it is made worse by the fact that Debalal had prayed with and visited Kumar several times in the past.

Bodies of slaughtered Christians in Syria thrown down a well, Nunciature struck

Following the largest massacre of Christians in Syria since the beginning of the civil war, two mass graves have been found outside the city of Sadad in which thirty Christians were buried:
Discovered dead in a well in Sadad were the remains of six members of one family including Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, and grandsons Ranim, aged 18, a first-year university student, and his 16-year-old brother Fadi, in class XI at school.

Reports state they were thrown down a well on October 26th along with the boys’ paternal grandmother, 90-year-old Mariam.
Their funerals, which took place Monday, November 4th, came as a community, whose town dates back to 2000BC, begins to grieve the loss of those being described as “martyrs” by Church leaders.
The atrocities took place during a week-long occupation of Sadad by the Al-Nusra Front and Daash, rebel forces who, according to Church leaders, held 1,500 families as “human shields” in a bid to stop Government troops retaking the village [more].
In the midst of the ongoing war, the Nunciature of the Holy See to Syria in Damascus was struck by an explosive this morning at 6:30 a.m. local time:
The bomb was aimed at the third floor, where the sleeping quarters of the Nuncio Mgr Mario Zenari, his secretary Fr Giorgio, and the sisters working at the residence are located.
"Thank God no one was hit," Fr Giorgio told AsiaNews. The mortar round destroyed part of the roof, including the eaves of the building and part of the facade.
Archbishop Zenari is one of the few diplomats who never left his post in the past two years of civil war [more].
The Vatican Information Service, when announcing the attack on the nunciature, noted that this is not an isolated attack on ecclesial properties:
In an interview with Vatican Radio the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Mario Zenari, explained that the repercussions were limited to minor material damage, partly because the mortar attack occurred at 6.35 this morning, before the employees enter to work. He added that this type of incident occurs on a regular basis in Syria; for instance, last Saturday the convent of the Franciscan Fathers in Aleppo was struck by two or three rockets which caused minor damage to the roof but fortunately caused no casualties. The same occurred in other parts of old Damascus last week, and rockets have fallen near to the nunciature on other occasions, causing residents, especially children, to flee [more].