February 6, 2020

CHINA: New Religious Regulations

Believers kneel in the rubble of their former place of worship. - Photo: ChinaAid www.chinaaid.org
Believers kneel in the rubble of
their former place of worship.
Photo: ChinaAid

As of February 1st, a new series of regulations on religion were released by the Chinese government. Consisting of six chapters and 41 articles, the restrictions require all religious leaders and organizations to demonstrate complete devotion to the Chinese Communist Party. For years, the Chinese government has controlled and monitored religious organizations. Under President Xi Jinping, this has become much more overt. The Party has been set as the official head of all religious organizations. Religious symbols are being removed, replaced by flags and pictures of President Xi.

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IRAQ: Four Foreign Aid Workers Missing

Devastation in Iraq
Some of the devastation from the conflict in Iraq.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

On January 20th, four workers affiliated with the French organization, SOS Chretiens d'Orient, went missing while in Baghdad. Despite repeated attempts to contact them, no response has been received to date. At last report, there have been no ransom demands made nor any further information on their whereabouts.

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BANGLADESH: Rohingya Christians Deal with Aftermath of Attack

One of the victims of the attack recovering in the hospital. - Photo: VOMC source
One of the victims of the attack recovering in the hospital.
Photo: VOMC source

In last week's "Persecution & Prayer Alert," an urgent prayer request was issued for Christians who were recently attacked in a Rohingya refugee camp and the imminent forced marriage of a pastor's daughter to a Muslim man (read more). Since the previous report, more details have continued to come to light.

The attack occurred in Kutapalong, the world's largest refugee camp. More than 20 Christian families were attacked with at least 12 people injured. A similar attack happened in May 2019 by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army who claim to be fighting for the liberation of the Rohingya. Local police insist that the ARSA is not involved and have downplayed the number of injured.

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CHINA: Government-Recognized Church Faces Demolition

Cross being removed from a Three-Self church in 2014
Chinese authorities have been targeting places of worship, including the Three-Self Churches.
Photo: ChinaAid

The Donghu Church in Xining received official approval from authorities in 2003, and has been operating as a government-approved Three-Self Church by meeting the legal requirements. With more than 300 members, it is the oldest and largest church in the district. Yet, despite its official status, the church has still faced opposition from authorities.

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