Photo Credit: Bibles for China(China Aid/Morning Star News) – China Aid’s 2016 Annual Persecution Report details a seismic shift in the Chinese government’s approach to religious policy that is expected to lead to further persecution.

The report’s core subject tracks a deviation in the Chinese government’s ideological approach to religious management. During the National Conference of Religious Work held in April 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of religions “persist..

BABILE, Ethiopia (Open Doors USA) — Four teenage believers, three of them minors, served a one-month jail sentence after being convicted on charges of distributing Christian literature and “inciting religious violence.” The girls were reported to be “in good health” following their release from prison on Dec. 22. Gifti, 14; Mihiret, 14; Eden, 15; and Deborah, 18, served their sentences in a large prison in Gelemiso among adult criminals.

The Christian girls ordeal began when they were arrested ..

(Open Doors USA) — In parts of Mexico, going to church is risky and dangerous. Drug cartels are treading on the heels of churches in Mexico, extending their gripping power beyond the northern states where, for many years, they have been harassing entire communities ruthlessly.

A very common practice drug traffickers have implemented to control whole communities in the territories where they operate is a “tax” collection system used to charge churches and businesses for the right to exist.

“It ..

LIAOYANG, Liaoning (China Aid) — A court in China’s northeastern Liaoning province sentenced five Christian leaders to three to seven years behind bars on Wednesday for purchasing and selling prohibited Christian material.

On Feb. 22, the defendants, comprised of four women and one man, learned they would be imprisoned for allegedly buying and selling “officially forbidden Christian devotional books.” Of them, pastor Li Dongzhe and Piao Shunnan received seven years, Zhao Chunxia and Li Yuan wer..

JUBA, South Sudan (Morning Star News) – Sudan released Czech aid worker Petr Jasek on Saturday (Feb. 25), nearly one month after a court in Khartoum sentenced him to life in prison for espionage and other charges, according to reports.

Jasek returned to the Czech Republic on Sunday with Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralekj, who had arrived earlier to secure his release. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir reportedly ordered the court to release the aid worker based on Sudan’s Article 208, which ..

BEIJING (China Aid) — Fractured into small groups by persecution, a house church in Beijing recently informed China Aid that authorities were restricting their pastor. Meanwhile, their church is being refurbished without their approval.

Six years after authorities banned Shouwang Church members from holding meetings outdoors, they revealed that their pastor, Jin Tianming, is still under house arrest and is only allowed two hours of personal time each day, and his wife is not allowed to leave th..

LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – A 16-year-old Christian in Pakistan is languishing in jail under a baseless blasphemy charge after a judge declined to grant him bail this month, his attorney said.

The judge in Punjab Province’s Kasur District on Feb. 7 denied bail to Nabeel Masih, who has been jailed since Sept. 18, 2016 after a Muslim friend accused him of “sharing” and “liking” on Facebook an allegedly blasphemous photo of the Kaaba, the holiest Islamic site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Pol..

Photo Credit: Burak Su(World Watch Monitor) — The man charged with killing 39 people on New Year’s Eve at Istanbul’s exclusive Reina nightclub attack, Abdulkadir Masharipov, has testified before a Turkish court, saying, “My purpose was to kill Christians.”

The Uzbek national was arraigned in court 11 Feb., nearly a month after he was captured by Istanbul police 16 Jan. He told the judge interrogating him at the hearing that he was a member of the so-called Islamic State, which had claimed respo..

NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – A Christian in Jharkhand state, India last month succumbed to illnesses incurred when villagers immersed him and his wife in frigid water because they refused to deny Christ, relatives said.

Upset that his family had left their indigenous religion, tribal residents of Kubuaa village, Palamu District immersed Bartu Urawn and his wife up to their necks in a cold pond one night this winter, when temperatures can dip below freezing, from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m. the next mo..

(Open Doors USA) — The long drawn-out Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria has created an ongoing humanitarian disaster. In the northern state of Yobe, one of the three worst affected states, Christians who have finally returned to their destroyed and severely damaged communities are facing added pressure for their faith.

Reports reached Open Doors that while the government has spent millions on rebuilding other communities and restoring amenities, Kukar Gadu, Yobe’s only Christian communi..