Pakistan: National Assembly votes to make controversial blasphemy laws even harsher

Bypassing public debate on the matter, Pakistan’s National Assembly on January 17 voted to make the country’s highly controversial blasphemy laws even harsher than they already are, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports. Pakistan ranks seven on the US Open Doors World Watch List 2023 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.

Uganda: Muslim extremists attack their own brothers for converting to Christ

Muslim extremists in eastern Uganda last month severely beat up two of their own brothers for leaving Islam and putting their faith in Christ, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. Although Muslims are a minority in Uganda, where Christianity is legal, Islamic extremists are carrying out attacks against preachers and new believers in Christ at an increasing rate.

Open Doors Founder Brother Andrew Dead At 94

Dutchman Anne van der Bijl, known as the “Brother Andrew” who founded Christian charity Open Doors and became a voice of voiceless persecuted Christians, has died, his group confirmed Wednesday. He passed away in the Dutch town of Harderwijk at age 94.

Nigeria: Secular High Court upholds death penalty for blasphemy

In a move that has caused severe consternation among rights groups, the secular High Court in Nigeria’s Kano state has upheld a recent death sentence given by a Sharia court to a man accused of blasphemy, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports. Controversially, Kano is one of 12 northern Nigerian states whose legal system operates under both the secular Nigerian penal code and the Islamic Sharia law.

US State Department publishes annual report on worldwide religious freedom

he US Department of State has now published its 2021 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, setting out the status of religious freedom in each country in the world, International Christian Concern (ICC reports). The USIRF report to Congress found that a number of countries with poor records on religious freedom had made significant improvements: these countries include Morocco, Taiwan and Iraq, ICC said. However, the situation is extremely severe and/or deteriorating in numerous other countries, including Pakistan and Yemen.

Muslim nations slam India over insulting remarks about Islam, Prophet Muhammad

India is facing major diplomatic outrage from Muslim-majority countries after top officials in the governing Hindu nationalist party made derogatory references to Islam and the Prophet Muhammad, drawing accusations of blasphemy across some Arab nations that have left New Delhi struggling to contain the damaging fallout.

Nigeria: Islamic extremists set fire to Christians homes and businesses in Bauchi

Young Islamic men in Nigeria’s Bauchi state set Christian homes and businesses state on fire Friday as they searched for a Christian woman rumored to have made a blasphemous comment insulting Muhammad, Morning Star News reports. The incident happened days after a mob of Islamic extremists in Soroko state murdered Christian student Deborah Emmanuel, after accusing her of insulting Muhammad in a WattsApp comment.

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