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WASHINGTON (BP) -- The use of technology is advancing and strengthening Christian persecution, Open Doors CEO David Curry said Wednesday (Jan. 15) in releasing the ministry's 2020 World Watch List of the 50 countries where such persecution is most severe.

ORLANDO, Fla. (RNS) — Reinhard Bonnke, the German evangelist known as “The Billy Graham of Africa,” was lauded at a Saturday (Jan. 4) memorial service as “a giant and a general in the army of God.”

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi appeared at Coptic Christmas Eve Mass on Monday and praised the links between the country’s Christian and Muslim faithful, saying they have prevented the country from descending into sectarian strife like its neighbors.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers plunged into the icy waters of rivers and lakes across Bulgaria on Monday to retrieve crucifixes tossed by priests in Epiphany ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ.

SICHUAN, China (BP) -- The United States and the European Union are urging China to free pastor Wang Yi, sentenced to nine years in prison in what religious liberty advocates call Christian persecution.

(RNS) —  The past year on the religion beat began with a prayer meeting and retreat, and ended with a pair of attacks on faith groups. In between were moments of grief and scandal, hope and resilience. Here's what Religion News Service reporters will be following in 2020.

(RNS) — “God surprises us,” Pope Benedict XVI said in 2010, in a Christmas broadcast for the BBC. Assuring the English-speaking world that God always fulfills his promises, the pontiff cautioned that the divine doesn’t always do so in ways we expect.

The slaughter at a Protestant church in Burkina Faso earlier this month gained brief reports by international news outlets, then quickly faded from the spotlight — not surprising in a year where attacks on places of worship occurred with relentless frequency.

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — For decades, the people of Bethlehem have watched tour buses drive up to the Church of the Nativity, disgorge their passengers for a few hours at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, and then return to Israel.

Word&Way has started a partnership with Luminar Bautista, the media arm of Venezuelan Baptists. Luminar Bautista, which started in 1951, means “Baptist Light.”