Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani Jailed Again
- British Kids List 'Dad' as Tenth Most Requested Christmas Gift
- Gunmen Kill at Least 12 Christians at Separate Church Services in Northern Nigeria
Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani Jailed Again
It was a bad Christmas for Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who has been returned to jail on an earlier charge, ASSIST News Service reports. In September, a court acquitted Nadarkhani of apostasy, but sentenced him to three years for evangelizing Muslims. Since he had already spent close to three years in Lakan Prison in Rasht, Nadarkhani was released after posting bail. However, sources at Christian Solidarity Worldwide now report that Nadarkhani has been returned to jail on the orders of the directors of Lakan Prison, who claimed he had been released several days too early due to the insistence of his lawyer, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah. "We are disappointed to hear Pastor Nadarkhani has been returned to prison in such an irregular manner," said Mervyn Thomas of CSW. "The timing is insensitive and especially sad for his wife and sons, who must have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with him for the first time in three years. We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served. We are also asking for prayers for the pastor's safety, and for his family at this difficult time."
British Kids List 'Dad' as Tenth Most Requested Christmas Gift
A study of 2,000 British parents found that the 10th most popular Christmas list request this year for children aged 3 to 12 was "a dad," The Telegraph reports. A new baby brother or sister topped the list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer, a pet horse and a car. The top 50 requests also included snow, a dog, other pets and animals, chocolate, iPhones and iPads. A request for a mom also reached number 23 on the list.
Gunmen Kill at Least 12 Christians at Separate Church Services in Northern Nigeria
At least 12 Christians, including a pastor and a deacon, were killed by unknown gunmen in separate attacks in northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve, International Christian Concern reports. Witnesses said the gunmen also set a church on fire in connection with the attacks. Late on Christmas Eve, gunmen opened fire on the Evangelical Church of West Africa in Peri, killing the pastor and five worshippers. In a separate attack, gunmen attacked worshippers at the First Baptist Church in Maiduguri, killing a deacon and five church members. The Islamist group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attacks, even though the group has yet to claim responsibility. Boko Haram, which is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria's north, is known to target Christians, their places of worship, and government institutions. Leading up to the Christmas holiday, Christians and government officials had been preparing for potential attacks by Boko Haram, with many Christians considering not attending church services because of the potential of being attacked.
Publication date: December 27, 2012