International

Islamic State group kills priest in Western church attack

July 28 2016 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Islamic State jihadists slit the throat of an elderly Catholic priest who was celebrating Mass in Normandy, France, marking the terrorist group’s first known attack on a church in the West. In the knife attack, two men forced Jacques Hamel to his knees, murdered him and filmed themselves making comments in Arabic while dancing.

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8 Nepalese Christians arrested for proselytizing

July 28 2016 by Julia A. Seymour, WORLD News Service

Eight Nepali Christians arrested in June could soon be tried for trying to proselytize children. The Christians were working in Dolahka District, a part of the nation hard hit by the 2015 earthquakes. Authorities arrested them for distributing religious literature to children in an attempt to convert, a violation of the anti-conversion statute.

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A light in mountains of darkness

July 27 2016 by Chris Turner, Tennessee Baptist Convention

In the isolated Andean Mountains of Peru there is a high level of alcoholism among men. Much of the bacchanalia centers around the veneration of Catholic saints, such as Saint Ursula, who is the patron saint of the town of Viraco, are located in the shadows of the dormant volcano, Coropuna.

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Egypt’s Copts weather new wave of attacks

July 22 2016 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press

Islamist assaults against Egypt’s largest minority, Coptic Christians, have claimed the lives of two priests in the Coptic Orthodox Church, a pharmacist who was beheaded and a baker. World Watch Monitor chronicled the murders and numerous other assaults on Copts in the past two months along with attacks on churches, homes and businesses.

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Failed coup leaves Turkey’s Christians on edge

July 22 2016 by Mark Kelly, Baptist Press

In the aftermath of a failed military coup, Christians in Turkey are likely to face increased scrutiny and more persecution, an international security expert said. An estimated 50,000-60,000 people – soldiers, police, judges, prosecutors, civil servants and teachers – have been fired or detained since the July 15 coup attempt, according to news reports.

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South Sudan’s crisis stirs call to prayer

July 22 2016 by David Roach, Baptist Press

With South Sudan on the brink of renewed civil war, a Southern Baptist-led relief organization and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary remain unrelenting in their ministries there, amid what one aid worker called “a bigger humanitarian crisis than Syria.” “There is no hope other than Jesus,” said Ann Rao, founder of Living Water Community Transformation.

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North Korea threatens U.S. over new missile defense system

July 22 2016 by Anna K. Poole, WORLD News Service

North Korea is threatening the United States – again. The hermetically sealed nation vowed to sever its only diplomatic communication line and stage “powerful counter-action” over new sanctions on its leader and a planned missile detection system meant to prevent the totalitarian regime’s abuse of nuclear weaponry.

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Turkey leader’s social media counters military coup

July 18 2016 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press

Turkey’s Islamist-leaning president, Tayyip Erdogan, survived a coup by narrowly escaping a band of soldiers and then launching “a counteroffensive that marshaled military might, technology and religion,” as described by Wall Street Journal reporters. The coup attempt failed, leaving more than 250 people dead and 2,800 military personnel detained for questioning, as estimated by The Journal.

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Russian religion law said to ‘undercut’ missions

July 14 2016 by Daniel Woodman, Baptist Press

A new Russian law that prohibits evangelism and preaching outside state-sanctioned sites reminds New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor Jake Roudkovski of his days as a youth in the Soviet Union. “Baptist churches in Russia will survive”, Roudkovski said. Such oppression “is nothing new to them. ... They will stay faithful to the gospel.”

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Church plant seizes opportunity in Catholic sanctuary

July 13 2016 by JC Davies, Southern Baptist TEXAN

In a place steeped in religious history, a Southern Baptist church plant in Canada’s Quebec City is redefining what church looks like and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ among North America’s most unreached people group. “One of the reasons they are so unreached is due to the negative impact the church had on their history,” said Chad Vandiver.

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