We Persevere
Week of June 24, 2016

World: Each January, the World Watch List is released from Open Doors to identify the top 50 countries where persecution is the most extreme. There are many more countries where believers face oppression, however, and these countries remain on the cusp of the list each year; among them, Russia and Cuba. The US has had changing relationships with these two countries, which makes them of particular concern to American believers. Read more…

Egypt: Six Coptic Christians arrested in Egypt on Friday have been charged with holding illegal prayers and building without permission. The owner of the building in the village of Qarayat al Bayda, said the building under construction was actually going to be a house for his son. Nevertheless, the property, its building materials and nearby homes were attacked and looted by a large crowd chanting “we don’t want a church.” Read more…

Nigeria: This week saw the 800th day of the Chibok girls’ captivity. Read a statement on the situation from their parents and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, here…

Israel: The outlook for Jerusalem’s Christian minority, squeezed inside the ancient walls of the Old City and caught in the midst of a months-long wave of violence involving Muslims targeting Jews, has seldom looked tougher. While the Muslim population now makes up 75 percent of the 38,000 residents in the city’s alleys, and the Jews increasingly make their presence felt via the annual march and their settlements beyond the Jewish Quarter, the number of Christians has not risen in 50 years… it hovers around 7,000. “For now, the Muslims and Jews are fighting each other,” he said. “But when they stop, they’ll both look at us…” Read more…

Vietnam: International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported a series of government crackdowns on Protestants and Catholics in Vietnam just weeks after US President Barak Obama lifted weapon sanctions on the country. The charity has alleged a local church on the Vietnam-China border was stormed by 30 government officials who beat and arrested churchgoers on June 13th. Read more…

For Your Bookshelf this month:

They Say We Are Infidels, by Mindy Belz

“For the past decade, journalist Mindy Belz has returned again and again to the Middle East, following Iraqi Christians fleeing from rape, murder, kidnapping, and suicide bombing. Belz brings the stark reality of this escalating genocide to light, sharing the stories of real-life Christians who refuse to abandon their faith—together with the hope that still lives, even in the face of terror.” Learn more…

 

We Persevere is curated by K.A. Ellis, pioneer of the Persevering Church campaign. She is Ambassador for International Christian Response, a Swiss organization providing support for church planters in hostile regions where Western missionaries cannot go.