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The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a number of existing problems: political divides, inequities, conspiracy theories. It also has exposed religious persecution in a number of countries, according to Open Doors.

A disused, rubble-filled piece of land has caused friction between the ancient Christian community and the local Palestinian community, which is in administrative control of East Jerusalem despite Israel’s longtime military occupation and effective annexation of the area.

In March, as the coronavirus pandemic shut down countries around the world, a massive earthquake struck Croatia. Now, as this tumultuous year closes, the Balkan nation again finds itself hit by earthquakes. And Baptists there are among those hurt by the quakes and ministering to their neighbors.

A new poll of Britain’s Generation Z finds older adolescents and younger adults are more likely to believe in God than are millennials, the demographic ahead of them. No parallel trend has been identified in the United States.

Wearing hard hats and protective suits, members of the choir of Notre Dame Cathedral sang inside the medieval Paris landmark for the first time since last year’s devastating fire for a special Christmas Eve concert.

After focusing on COVID-19 for nearly a year, international aid groups are bracing for what happens as the world comes out of lockdown. With declining numbers of volunteers and donors, global faith-based aid organizations are looking beyond their traditional sources of support.

Like most Holy Land Christians, Hagop Karakashian’s ceramic shop in the Old City here has always relied heavily on the presence of Christian pilgrims, especially in December. But the narrow alleyways of his shop’s ancient neighborhood are painfully empty this year.

A six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus, ended on Nov. 9. But the rich architectural heritage of the region is still at risk as historic Armenian churches, monasteries, and tombstones may face damage or destruction now that they are out of Armenian hands.

The Palestinian prime minister on Thursday (Dec. 17) announced a two-week lockdown in the West Bank that appears certain to curtail Christmas celebrations in the town of Jesus’s birth. 

The U.S. State Department has added Nigeria to its list of countries deemed to have the most egregious violations of religious freedom. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom hailed the State Department’s decisions.