KIGALI, Rwanda (RNS) – Grace Umutesi has secretly been conducting services in her house in the Bannyahe slum on the outskirts of the capital since officials shut down her church in July for failing to comply with building safety standards and other regulations.
“I’m very disappointed by the decision of the government to close our church,” said Umutesi, 35, a mother of four. “But we cannot stop to pray and praise God because our church has been closed. God is everywhere and he listens to our prayers.”
Authorities of the self-declared Luhansk People's Republic, an unrecognized entity in eastern Ukraine, have regularly halted worship meetings by a range of religious communities, seized religious literature and fined religious leaders.
WASHINGTON (RNS) — U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback opened a summit at the State Department this week by urging leaders from a range of faiths to work together to help the persecuted across the globe.
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) – Eritrean Christians and human rights advocates are cheering the release of 35 Christian prisoners as a new peace pact between Eritrea and Ethiopia takes hold this month. But hundreds remain imprisoned in Eritrea under harsh conditions stemming from a war in which members of Christian sects were targeted for mass incarceration.
As about 100 Baptists from around the world prepared for worship Sunday morning at the start of the Baptist World Alliance’s 2018 annual gathering, they left behind the bustling city of Zurich, Switzerland, and hiked up a quiet hillside near the community of Bäretswil about a half-hour drive away. Once up in the cave hidden back in the woods off a dirt path, their words echoed through the chamber — the same words that have bounced off those dark walls for hundreds of years.
After spending more than 15 months in prison, two Baptist pastors in Myanmar were suddenly released on April 17. Langjaw Gam Seng, 36, and Dumdaw Nawng Latt, 67, were among about 8,500 prisoners released by a decree of Myanmar President U Win Myint in a move timed to mark the start of the new year in Myanmar.
On Christmas Eve of 2016, the military of Myanmar detained two Baptist pastors. We’ve reported updates about their story in various issues of Word&Way. I’ll briefly review the story, but please stay with this column because I have a special request on how we can encourage our brothers who remain in prison.
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — A move by Rwanda to shut down more than 700 churches in its capital city, allegedly for building safety, hygiene and noise violations, is prompting accusations that the government of President Paul Kagame is trampling on religious freedom.
(RNS) For the 16th year in a row, North Korea tops the list of 50 countries ranked for the worst persecution of Christians in the world, according to the Christian watchdog organization Open Doors USA.