Persecution News in Brief

July 11, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

IRAN: PASTOR ARRESTED IN RAID ON CHURCH TEMPORARILY FREED

Iran pastor arrestedA pastor who was arrested during a service at his church has been temporarily released.

The Rev. Robert Aserian was detained in a raid on the Central Assemblies of God (AoG) Church in Tehran on 21 May.

The church, which has been under mounting pressure from the authorities over its refusal to stop holding services in the Iranian national language, Farsi, was subsequently closed.

Robert was released on bail on 2 July and told not to talk to the media regarding his case.

SRI LANKA: PASTOR AND FAMILY ASSAULTED; CHURCH SERVICE RAIDED

Sri Lankan ChristiansA pastor and his family were assaulted in an attack sparked by a Buddhist monk.

The church leader was followed in Neluwaththuduwa, Colombo district, by a monk on the morning of 23 June. The monk assaulted him with a fallen coconut branch, prompting the pastor to run to the church, where a service was taking place.

A mob of around 20 men were waiting outside and falsely accused him of assaulting the monk. They then forced their way into the building and began to attack the worshippers.

They assaulted the pastor’s 19-year-old son and three-year-old son; the latter sustained minor head injuries. One of the perpetrators tried to hit the pastor’s wife with a wooden club, but she was protected by members of the congregation.

BURMA: MILITARY CONTINUES TO KILL PREDOMINANTLY CHRISTIAN KACHIN PEOPLE DESPITE PEACE PLAN

Burmese ChristiansTwo people have been killed by the Burmese army in the predominantly Christian Kachin state, despite an agreement to end hostilities.

The deaths occurred in separate incidents on 14 June as Burmese troops continue to clash with the Kachin Independence Army. One of the victims, Zahkung Lum Hkwang (45), was tortured, beaten and shot dead.

The two sides signed a seven-point peace plan on 30 May, offering hope to the beleaguered Kachin people, who have suffered grave abuses at the hands of the Burmese military since the conflict broke out in June 2011.

– CSW / barnabas tea

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