World - Word&Way

World

MOSCOW (RNS) —  A Russian court has sentenced a Danish member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to six years on extremism charges in a case that has triggered widespread international criticism. A human rights organization warned that the imprisonment of Christensen could trigger a “wave” of arrests of members of other minority religious groups.

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) — The government of the Central African Republic and 14 rebel groups signed a peace agreement Wednesday (Feb. 6), raising hope for an end to one of Africa’s bloody and complex conflicts.

JERUSALEM (RNS) — When pieces of ancient pottery and never-before-seen scroll fragments began making their way to the antiquities black market a few years ago, archaeologists suspected that looters had found a new cache of Dead Sea Scrolls.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — One North Korean defector in Seoul describes her family back home quietly singing Christian hymns every Sunday while someone stood watch for informers. A second cowered under a blanket or in the toilet when praying in the North.

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has criticized Ukraine’s move to set up a new Orthodox church independent from Moscow and promised to defend religious freedom.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A polarizing Christian politician whose campaign comments ignited the largest protests in years in Muslim-majority Indonesia was freed Thursday after serving nearly two years in prison for blasphemy.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank were born in the same year, 1929. It was the start of the Great Depression, and in the world they came to know, people were out of work, hungry and looking for someone to blame. As happens all too often when people are frightened, the blame was fixed on vulnerable minorities.

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The number of Christians suffering high to extremely high persecution is 14 percent more in 2019, Open Doors reported, counting 245 million individuals globally.

Thousands of people were killed, millions were displaced and billions of dollars in damages occurred in 2018 due to extreme weather events related to human-caused climate change, according to a Christian Aid report published on Dec. 27.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (RNS) — In a small single-room house in the Banaadir district of Somalia, dozens of Christians worship in secret out of fear of persecution in a country where no official churches exist.