Barnabas briefs: Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh & Burundi

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Iraq: Kidnapped nuns and orphans freed; Christians denied food rations

Iraq NunsTwo nuns and three orphans who were kidnapped in Mosul last month have been released.

Miskintah and Utoor Joseph, along with Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba and Aram Sabah, were freed on Monday (14 July), having been captured on 28 June.

It is thought their kidnappers were linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS (who now wish to be called the Islamic State); the militants seized control of Mosul on 10 June. The five were held at a house in the city and were said to have been treated well. They are in good health and are now in Dohuk in the Kurdish north. No ransom was paid for their release.

Miskintah and Utoor ran an orphanage in Mosul. When the city was taken over by ISIS, the nuns took the orphans to Dohuk for their safety but returned with Hala, Sarah and Aram on 28 June to check on the centre.

Christians in Mosul and the surrounding area under ISIS control remain extremely vulnerable. The Sunni militants have ordered government workers to stop giving food rations to Christians and Shias in Mosul. Officials in charge of distribution have said that they were warned that if they did, they would be prosecuted according to sharia law.

Sudan: Ten Christians killed, three churches flattened in government bombings

At least ten Christians have been killed and three churches destroyed over the last two months as Sudanese government forces continue their relentless bombing of the Nuba Mountains.

Three teenagers, Abdo al Nour, Abdel Rahman Hassan, Yasin Salah, and another minor Ado al Sawaq, and an 80-year-old woman, Amira Ballula, were among the victims, along with Kimmia Calals (30), whose nursing child has been left motherless.

Two Sudanese Church of Christ buildings in Um Dorain and one in Um Serdiba were flattened in aerial bombardments.

President Omar al-Bashir’s forces have been targeting the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in Sudan, since June 2011. The Islamic regime is trying to “cleanse” the region of non-Arabs and non-Muslims.

Source: Morning Star News

Bangladesh: Female church workers attacked in violent robbery

bangladeshA church in Boldipukur was raided by around 50 robbers, who rounded up and attacked workers inside and seized valuable items.

The Muslim assailants bound and gagged two watchmen before plundering the building. They beat and attempted to rape female church workers, who were left greatly distressed by the incident.

The robbers were apparently trying to find and steal land deeds for the site. A previous attempt had been made, in 2010, to seize the land by force; 50 people were injured in an attack.

Police have arrested 12 Muslims in connection with the robbery, which took place on 6 July.

Burundi: Draft law requires churches to have 500 members and a building

BurundiDraft legislation intended to curb Burundi’s “proliferation of churches” has been passed by the lower house of parliament.

The bill requires churches to have at least 500 members and a proper building; a foreign church would need 1,000 adherents in order to register.

Burundi is predominantly Christian, and it is common for worshippers to gather in makeshift tents for Sunday services. A government survey last year found that there were 557 denominations practising in the country.

The bill will next go to the Senate and is not expected to face much opposition. If it is signed into law, churches would have a year to comply with the new rules.

– barnabas team

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