Stories

Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church

September 24, 2014 by Open Doors in

China China: Prayers Needed for Christianity to Spread to Muslim Minority Regions China’s Christian revival has significantly impacted the country for over three decades. Tens of millions of people have accepted Christ as their Lord. It is possibly the most significant and longest lasting revival in the history of the church. But there are some regions in China that are still waiting for that revival. Recently, a team from Open Doors visited the provinces of Gansu, Ningxia and Qinghai, which are inhabited primarily by China’s Muslim minority. Ten of the 55 minority groups in China are Muslim, numbering more than 20 million people. The Hui are one of the largest people groups in the region and have been very resistant to the gospel. The form of Islam they practice is often a folk variation, incorporating ancestor worship for example. The social and cultural pressures to remain in their traditions have made church growth a slow and struggling endeavor in the area. Open Doors has shifted its ministry focus in China. There is now an emphasis on mobilizing Chinese Christians to serve persecuted Christians within China and worldwide. Chinese Han churches are being encouraged to engage with the most persecuted group ‘ Muslim-Background Believers ‘ in China. Prayer is needed so the Chinese Christian revival will spread to impact the Muslim minorities. China is ranked No. 37 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List (www.worldwatchlist.us) of 50 of the worst persecutors of Christians. Nigeria: Violence Continues, Spills into Cameroon Violence in Nigeria continued into last weekend and spilled over into Cameroon. A Boko Haraman extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria attack on the northeastern town of Mainok on Friday continued into Saturday and at least 36 people were killed. The town is less than 40 miles west of the Borno State capital of Maiduguri. It appears that the attackers stormed the market, shooting at traders. Those not shot dead at the market were killed by stray bullets or by vehicles as they tried to flee across the highway. The military says they killed at least 48 insurgents fleeing the town. Last Thursday, Boko Haram attacked the Federal College of Education in Kano. At least 15 people died in the attack. Witnesses said the attackers stormed the college while exchanging fire with police officers posted outside the grounds. Boko Haram attacks also occurred across the border in Cameroon. The militants launched their first assault in the early evening on Thursday in Assighassia. The army responded, and two of the militants were killed and a Cameroonian soldier was injured. More than 40,000 people have fled to Cameroon to escape Boko Haram attacks in northern Nigeria. Meanwhile, on Sunday the bishops of Nigeria called on the government of Nigeria to do more to protect lives and properties: “As Nigeria tragically bleeds and burns, we bishops are really alarmed at the scale of human and material destruction, and the disruption of village and community life with increased levels of hatred and potential for more conflicts in the nation. While Muslims are sometimes targets of these destructive attacks, Christian churches and non- Muslims in general are the principal targets for extermination, expropriation and expulsion by the Boko Haram insurgents, the perpetrators of all these destructions’.” Open Doors has been active in the troubled region of northern Nigeria for almost two decades, working in partnership with local churches. Nigeria is ranked No. 14 on the World Watch List. Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.    

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