Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Christian Jailed in Afghanistan to Face Judge
- Bhutanese Christian Serving Three Years for Showing Jesus Film
- Muslims Burn Christian Homes in Egypt over Romance Rumor
- House Church in Anhui, China, Raided, Members Detained
Christian Jailed in Afghanistan to Face Judge
An Afghani Christian in prison since May will finally face a judge this Sunday, but he will do so without legal representation or knowledge of the charges against him, according to Compass Direct News. Authorities arrested Said Musa, 45, on May 31, days after the local TV station broadcast images of Afghan Christians being baptized and worshiping. Though other Christians were arrested, Musa is the only one believed to be facing a court case. Turning from Islam is a capital offence under strict Islamic laws still in place in Afghanistan. In an open letter, Musa said he was physically and verbally abused in prison. He also alluded to the lack of justice he faces, saying that the prosecutor had given the judge a false report about him and demanded a bribe from the Christian. Local Christians and religious freedom monitors have expressed concern that Musa may be made an example for other Christians in Afghanistan.
Bhutanese Christian Serving Three Years for Showing Jesus Film
ASSIST News Service reports that a Bhutanese Christian is serving three years in prison after showing a film about Jesus. Police in Bhutan will likely arrest two more Christians for their involvement in the showing. Prem Singh Gurung has already been sentenced, and officials have defended the harsh sentence by saying that "no person shall be compelled to belong to another faith by means of coercion or inducement." They have not, however, demonstrated any evidence that Gurung was trying to force conversions. Human rights group International Christian Concern has submitted a letter to the United Nations protesting Gurung's sentence as a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Muslims Burn Christian Homes in Egypt over Romance Rumor
Religious violence flared up in Southern Egypt late Sunday after rumors circulated of a young Coptic Christian man in a romantic relationship with a young Muslim woman. The Christian Post reports that Muslims burned at least 10 Christian homes in protest after locals spotted the two together in the village at night. Officials have arrested several suspects in the destruction. The two young people at the center of the controversy have also been detained for investigation. Egypt's Muslim and Christian communities have increasingly been at odds in recent years as extremist activity has increased. Christians in the town of Nag Hammadi faced a deadly attack in January when drive-by shooters killed six people leaving an Orthodox Christmas Eve service.
House Church in Anhui, China, Raided, Members Detained
Public Security Bureau officials raided a house church in China's Anhui province on Friday, taking away more than 10 Christians and detaining some of them for hours. According to ChinaAid, the officials also confiscated church items without filing any paperwork on the reason. "In this process of persecution and growth, the Chinese church is encouraged to play well the role of Samaritans, abandon excuses of cowardice and their fears, and bravely face dark and violent forces of the government by adhering to the principles of Christian ethics and morality," said a ChinaAid spokesperson. "They should unite and help each other, firmly refuse to make compromises and produce greater light and salt."