Churches Worldwide Under Attack
- By The Christian Messenger
- Published 03/17/2009
The Christian Messenger
The Christian Messenger - Evangelism Through Journalism. The Christian Messenger is an evangelical monthly newspaper published from Chennai, India. Started in 2002 as a privately circulated periodical, its initial print run was 2,500 copies. A year later, it became a registered newspaper. Currently, the print order is 15,000 copies. It is perhaps the only Christian newspaper that spans the length and breadth of the country. The founders of the newspaper have a vision to make it India’s leading Christian daily.What we do: Good news, first! That's our burden. Good news is not just the Gospel but also the positive side of Christian living. But that doesn't mean we don't report bad news. Persecution, end-times watch, falling idols and Biblical prophecies that come true are part of our reportage. We are dependent on God and independent of any denomination, groups or organizations. Neither do we let advertisers influence news coverage nor do we print puffed up handouts. We are fair, neutral and non-judgmental. Because we believe in a God who tells the truth and expects us to be like Him. Why a Christian newspaper? At the heart of our media mission is this motto: Evangelism through journalism. The purpose of this newspaper is to report newsworthy religious events and activities within the local community, nationwide and around the world, to increase the awareness and activism of believers regarding the moral issues of today, to provide thought-provoking commentary, and to provide an effective advertising vehicle for Christian ministries and organizations, events and businesses that want to reach the Christian community in India and abroad. If you think you can support us or partner with us in this mission, do send us a mail today: firstname.lastname@example.org
Churches worldwide under attack, says Open Doors
WHILE people across America were horrified by the recent shooting death of a pastor in the US, many Christians in the West don’t realize that deadly violence against believers in many countries around the world occurs on a daily basis, according to Open Doors USA.
For instance, on the same day Rev. Fred Winters, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Maryville, was killed, a man exploded a crude bomb in a church and shot the pastor in a village in Bihar, India. Inspector of police Hari Krishna Mandal told Compass Direct News that the attacker, Rajesh Singh, had come fully prepared to kill the pastor, Vinod Kumar, and then take his own life. Church members caught Singh before he could kill himself or others. The 35-year-old pastor is recovering. The attacker wanted to kill the pastor to stop the conversions of Hindus to Christianity.
A week ago Compass Direct News reported a gun and club attack on a Presbyterian church and neighboring homes in the predominantly Christian area of a village in Pakistan. One woman was killed and 16 people wounded.
“Most Christians in the United States don’t know this kind of violence happens every day in some restrictive countries around the world…places like Iraq, Iran, India and Pakistan. And the attacks are directed against Christians. They are caught in the crossfire,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “People don’t think that kind of persecution could happen in the U.S., but it is starting to happen. That’s why we must unite in prayer with our brothers and sisters around the world.”
On a larger scale, rioting sparked by Muslim attacks on Christians and their property in Jos, Nigeria on Nov. 28-29, 2009 left six pastors dead, at least 500 other people killed and 40 churches destroyed, according to church leaders. More than 25,000 persons were displaced in the two days of violence. What began as outrage over suspected vote fraud in local elections quickly hit the religious fault line as angry Muslims took aim at Christian sites rather than at political targets. Police and troops reportedly killed about 400 rampaging Muslims in an effort to quell the unrest, and Islamists shot, slashed or stabbed to death more than 100 Christians.
Torture, imprisonment, harassment and murder are all directed towards Christians. Open Doors estimates 100 million Christians are being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ.
“Last month Open Doors released its annual World Watch List of 50 countries where Christians suffer the most severe persecution,” says Moeller. “It was headed by North Korea again, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Those countries are always among the top persecutors.
“Could the United States be listed there some day? Perhaps. A study revealed the number of people calling themselves Christians in the US has significantly dropped over the last two decades. We need to be on our guard to protect our precious freedom of religion in the US and advocate for those who don’t share our freedom. We also need to be ready to share our faith, no matter what the cost.”
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers.