Saudi Arabia has once again taken the dubious distinction of being the country where Christians are more severely persecuted than any other in the world. This was revealed in the January 2001 release of the Open Doors "World Watch List" (WWL), which ranks countries according to their level of Christian persecution.
To observers of China's Christian church scene the event was as sudden as it was unexpected. Just the day before the Chinese New Year celebrations of February 5, one of China's most prominent house church leaders, Zhang Rongliang, was released quietly from prison in Fangcheng City, Henan Province, on grounds of poor health. The news was relayed quickly to journalists and China specialists outside of China by friends who had remained in close contact with Zhang for several weeks.
Baptist pastor Rahim Tashov and a colleague were hauled into police headquarters in their hometown of Turkmenabad (formerly Chardjou) last Thursday, February 3.
Four of the 16 Filipino Christians arrested three weeks ago by Saudi religious police remain jailed and under interrogation in the capital Riyadh, a Filipino diplomat confirmed Wednesday. The three wives and five children arrested with them for conducting Christian worship in a private home have been released during the past week. Four adults were released the previous week.