As North Korea prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary this weekend with a military parade and “Mass Games”, its population lives in perpetual war (the 1953 Korean war has never officially ended), under government surveillance and with a propaganda machine controlled by the national leader’s personality cult. It actually is not unlike George Orwell’s classic book 1984, John Choi* comments, a Christian human rights advocate who escaped from North Korea and now lives in the UK.
A Coptic community in Egypt’s Minya governorate, whose church was closed in July following protests by local Muslims, continues to be a target of mob attacks and hostility. The only Coptic Church in Ezbet Sultan Pasha village, 250 km south of Cairo, where about 20 per cent of the population is Christian, was first attacked on 13 July.
Before the father of 17-year-old Marqos was killed, Marqos didn’t think too much about God. His mother described him as a “difficult teenager.” But when he heard about how his father, Baghat, had refused to deny Christ and as Marqos thought about how his father has lived his faith, his heart began to change. Recently, our team in Egypt visited Marqos and his mother, Fawziya. Together, they share how God is moving in the midst of their tragedy to draw them closer to Him.
Two Catholic priests belonging to an underground church in China’s Gansu province have been dismissed after local authorities accused them of holding an illegal Christian summer camp for youngsters. According to a Catholic news agency, some 80 children, ages 10 to 14, were meeting for a week-long youth retreat when police raided the campsite in the northern city of Tianjin and shut it down. The organizers of the camp, Father Wang Yiqin, and Father Li Shidong, were immediately removed and sent back to their hometowns.
“My name is Armin and my Christian name is Paul. I am an Iranian person and I need your help!”
This was the first line of a shocking message S4C received from an Iranian man who suffers greatly because of his Christian faith. He wrote to us through social media and after we exchanged several messages with him and the people who helped him to convert to Christianity we decided to publish his story. We have edited his messages, changed his name and altered some elements of the story so that he cannot be identified as he is in danger of being arrested, imprisoned and tortured for his Christian faith. Here is Armin Paul’s message to S4C, and the world.
The Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó participated at the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, held last week in Washington DC. In his remarks on Thursday, he said it was very “important to represent Hungary at this conference” mentioning that he was “representing a country that has been actively involved in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.” He went on to say that “Hungary has two hundred troops on the ground and is currently tasked with advising and assisting in a training mission, and in giving aid to the local Christian communities.”
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Canada intends to make the plight of Nigerian Christians a priority in the coming year, says the pontifical charity’s Canadian director. “We are very worried about it,” said Marie-Claude Lalonde, Canada’s national director. “We know it’s going to be a priority for the coming year, without forgetting the needs of the Iraqis, and Syrians and Christians in the Middle East.”
This photo was taken from a short video sent by the Hungarian Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria to S4C. The following text was included with the clip: “Fulanis drove their motorbikes down the road not far from Abuja (where the Hungarian Embassy is located- editor’s note) and slaughtered Yoruba and Igbo Christians. This video was taken by one of the assassins.”