September 12, 2019

PAKISTAN: Tortured to Death by Police

Amir Masih's family - Photo: Morning Star News
Brother Amir's wife and children.
Photo: Morning Star News

While investigating an alleged theft, police detained 28-year-old Amir Masih. Four days later, he died in hospital from wounds inflicted by police officers.

On August 28th, Amir Masih was taken into custody after accusations of theft were made against him by his employer. Two days later, after not returning home, his family discovered that he was being detained. Finally, on September 2nd, they were informed that Amir was going to be transferred to hospital because he was not well.

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CHINA: Christian Orphanage Shut Down

Orphanage in China - Photo: Flickr / David Woo
Orphanages based on Biblical principles offer a safe place and hope to abandoned and bereaved children.
Photo: Flickr / David Woo (c)

Authorities in China's Shanxi province forcibly removed all the children from a Christian-founded orphanage on August 26th and placed them in state care instead. The Bethany Home for Children with Disabilities was founded in 1997 and, over the years, has taken in and provided for more than 100 special needs children. Most of them were abandoned by their parents because of their disabilities.

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RUSSIA: Place of Worship Shut Down

Verkhnebakansky Baptist Church - Photo: Google via Forum 18
Verkhnebakansky Baptist Church
Photo: Google via Forum 18

Legislation governing religious communities in Russia is complex, contradictory, and often inconsistently applied. In one recent case, a church community was barred from using its place of worship, even though it has done so for two decades.

The Verkhnebakansky Baptist Church in Novorossiysk has been worshipping in a two-story building in a residential area for years. There were no problems until the spring of 2018 when a change of government administration brought new attitudes toward religious communities. One church in the city has been demolished and another banned from using its building. The door of the Verkhnebakansky church building was sealed in early July.

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IRAN: Appeal Hearing Postponed

Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh and her husband. - Photo: Farsi Christian News Network
Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh
with her husband, Pastor Victor.
Photo: Farsi Christian
News Network

On August 29th, it was reported that an appeal hearing was scheduled to take place on September 3rd for Shamiram Isavi Khabizeh and Kevian Fallah Mohammadi. (More information on this case is available here.) When it was time for the hearing, the appointed judge failed to appear. Consequently, the hearing was postponed and, as of this report, no new date has been set.

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