April 23, 2020

CHINA: Demolition & Detention on Easter Sunday

Donghu Church
Photo: ChinaAid

The Donghu Church in Xining has stood firm in the face of opposition for years. Even though it was officially approved by the Chinese authorities in 2003, this church of more than 300 members has faced problems for years.

In December 2017, the fire department closed the building, citing an unspecified "hidden danger." Following this, the congregation purchased a new building but it was not approved. So the members began meeting in the Donghu Hotel instead. This was also opposed and, in December 2019, the fire department sealed the door. This did not stop the members, who climbed through a window of the church building to resume meeting together. On Christmas Day, however, the electrical power was cut off in the middle of the service and authorities told them the building would be demolished. For more details, see this report.

Continue Reading

LAOS: Arrested for Leading Worship

A rice field in Laos - Photo: Unsplash / Pascal Muller

Early this year, Sithong Theppavong started a small church in Savannakhet Province by meeting for worship in a farming area. However, he has since encountered opposition and received warnings several times to cease his ministry. Each time he has refused.

On March 15th, authorities approached him, mandating he sign an agreement to desist. When he refused, Sithong was arrested. At last report, he remains in detention and is not allowed any visitation. No further information about Sithong's case, nor any news of his well-being, has been released. There are concerns that he could become a victim of "enforced disappearance." For more about persecution in Laos, visit our country report.

Continue Reading

IRAN: Sentence for Mary Mohammadi

Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi - Photo: Middle East Concern www.meconcern.org
Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi
Photo: Middle East Concern

Fatemeh (Mary) Mohammadi is a Christian convert and blogger who has spoken out about the oppression facing Iran's people. As a result, she has been arrested and imprisoned because of her faith and work as a social media advocate (read more).

A hearing was held on April 14th, at which time a judge raised questions about her faith, even though it had no bearing on the charges she faced. On April 21st, she was notified of the outcome: one day in prison, a three-month suspension of her prison sentence, plus ten lashes for "disturbing public order."

Continue Reading