As organizers prepared for the opening of the Third Lausanne International Congress on World Evangelization tomorrow in Cape Town, South Africa, Chinese police threatened or detained some 200 delegates who had hoped to attend.
After receiving an invitation to attend the event, house church groups in China formed a selection committee and raised significant funds to pay the expenses of their chosen delegates, a source told Compass. Many delegates, however, were "interviewed" by authorities after they applied to attend the Congress, the source said.
Around 300 Muslim protestors and 300 police officers surrounded members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan or HKBP) on Sunday as they worshiped in an open field in Ciketing, Bekasi, local sources said.
"There were many police on guard, but the attackers were able to get very close to the congregation," Theophilus Bela, president of the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum, said in a statement to international government and advocacy groups. "We are afraid that they will attack the church again next Sunday."
Muslim organizations in Bekasi, West Java, last week declared their intention to establish paramilitary units in local mosques and a "mission center" to oppose "ongoing attempts to convert people to Christianity," according to the national Antara news agency.
At a gathering at the large Al Azhar mosque June 27, the leaders of nine organizations announced the results of a Bekasi Islamic Congress meeting on June 20, where they agreed to establish a mission center to halt "Christianization," form a Laskar Pemuda youth army and push for implementation of sharia (Islamic law) in the region, The Jakarta Post reported.
Refugees from North Korea and activists are gathering in Seoul, South Korea, this week to highlight human rights violations in the closed communist nation. But their attention is also turning to China, which they say is often complicit in North Koreans' suffering.
Non-governmental organziations (NGOs) estimate anywhere from 30,000 to 250,000 refugees from North Korea are living in China, either in border areas or deeper inland. But China remains impervious to the refugees' plight.
‘Pinpricks' of Truth Making Way into North Korea
As refugees from North Korea and activists from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) gather in Seoul, South Korea, this week to highlight human rights violations in the hermit kingdom, there are signs that North Korean citizens are accessing more truth than was previously thought.
A recent survey by the Peterson Institute found that a startling 60 percent of North Koreans now have access to information outside of government propaganda.
Chinese Christian Rights Activist Gao Zhisheng Released
Christian human rights activist Gao Zhisheng, kidnapped by state security agents on Feb. 4, 2009, has been released, though he appears unable to move or speak freely.
On April 6, Gao told Bob Fu, president of the U.S.-based China Aid Association (CAA), by telephone that he had just returned to his Beijing apartment from his guarded location in Shanxi Province.
"Gao Zhisheng and his family have suffered deeply from the long separation," Fu stated on CAA's website. "Despite the persecution, he continues to trust the Lord."
Sri Lankan Christians face mounting opposition from the Buddhist majority, but their peaceful response to adversity is drawing others to the faith.