China bans teachers from mentioning God or prayer, intensifies crackdown

CP Current Page: World | Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | China bans teachers from mentioning God or prayer, intensifies crackdown Chinese Catholic worshippers kneel and pray during Palm Sunday Mass during the Easter Holy Week at an “underground” or “unofficial” church on April 9, 2017, near Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China. | Teachers in China who mention God or religion risk employment termination as communist authorities increasingly control education materials and expand their list of banned topics teachers are not allowed to discuss in classrooms.
According to Bitter Winter, a publication produced by the Center for Studies on New Religion which reports on human rights issues in China, the Chinese Communist Party is strictly monitoring what teachers say in schools and universities.
Teachers are observed in their classrooms by authorities who watch for “reactionary thoughts” or “improper remarks,” ensuring students are not taught about democracy, religion, or exposed to any criticis..

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Bible translator killed in clashes between Indonesia’s military, separatists

CP Current Page: World | Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | Bible translator killed in clashes between Indonesia's military, separatists Pastor Yeremia Zanambani | A Christian pastor and Bible translator in Indonesia's easternmost region of Papua was shot and killed in clashes between separatists and the military.
Yeremia Zanambani, the pastor of the Gospel Tabernacle Church of Indonesia (GKII) known for translating the Bible into Papua's Moni dialect, was found dead outside his home in the village of Hitadipa in Intan Jaya district on Sept. 19, UCA News reports.
The death of the 67-year-old pastor, who also ran a local high school, was confirmed by GKII church officials in Jakarta.
“Reverend Zanambani was shot dead on Saturday afternoon on his way to his pigpen. This is a deep sadness. We are deeply saddened by the loss of a religious leader who served the Moni community so well,” GKII said in a statement on Sept. 20.
The local military commander also confirmed Zanambani’s ..

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Report suggests Iran has over a million converts to Christianity

CP Current Page: World | Tuesday, September 22, 2020 | Report suggests Iran has over a million converts to Christianity Jameh Mosque and Snowcapped Mountains in Yazd, Iran | In a recent survey of about 50,000 Iranians over the age of 20, a Netherlands-based secular research group found that 1.5% of respondents identify as Christian.
Applied across Iran’s population of more than 80 million, the number of Christians in Iran is “without doubt in the order of magnitude of several hundreds of thousands and growing beyond a million,” the research group GAMAAN said after the study.
Open Doors USA, a global persecution watchdog organization, says until now, there was no in-depth research to substantiate the claims about the number of Christians in Iran. “Given the high-stakes consequences of leaving Islam in Iran, estimates by Christian organizations in the past decade have been based only on extrapolations of the small known number of conversions—largely based on contact with Christian satell..

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Christian teaching assistant fired for opposing LGBT sex-ed curriculum sues school

CP Current Page: World | Monday, September 21, 2020 | Christian teaching assistant fired for opposing LGBT sex-ed curriculum sues school A Christian teaching assistant, who was fired last year for speaking out against pro-LGBT influences in her son’s education, is suing her former employer for the equivalent of about $70,000.
Forty-four-year-old Kristie Higgs was let go for alleged “gross misconduct” from her job at Farmor’s School in Fairford, a Church of England school in Gloucestershire, last April.
The former pastoral assistant was let go after an anonymous complaint was submitted about her posting on Facebook her objection to the use of two LGBT books in her son’s primary school. She had also urged friends on Facebook to sign a petition opposing a new policy of compulsory sex education in primary schools.
She was dismissed after a disciplinary hearing in which she was allegedly told to “keep your religion out of it.” According to her legal team, Higgs was formally accused by the..

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Vietnamese pastor released after 4 years imprisonment over religious freedom advocacy

CP Current Page: World | Monday, September 21, 2020 | Vietnamese pastor released after 4 years imprisonment over religious freedom advocacy Catholics hold the holy cross while attending a mass as part of a three-day conclusion to the Holy Year celebrations at the La Vang Basilica, in Vietnam's central Quang Tri province January 5, 2011. | A Vietnamese pastor imprisoned for advocating for religious freedom has finally been released after spending over four years in prison, drawing praise from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
On Sept. 18, USCIRF announced that A Dao, a pastor of the Montagnard Evangelical Church of Christ, had been released from prison. Dao was arrested in 2016 while on his way to visit some members of his church after attending a conference on religious freedom in East Timor.
In April 2017, a Vietnamese court tried and sentenced the pastor to five years imprisonment for allegedly “helping individuals to escape abroad illegally” under..

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Eritrean evangelical, Pentecostal Christians jailed for their faith temporarily freed on bail

CP Current Page: World | Saturday, September 19, 2020 | Eritrean evangelical, Pentecostal Christians jailed for their faith temporarily freed on bail If they’re not Lutheran, Evangelical Christian women in Eritrea have to pray together in secret. | The Eritrean government has released on bail more than 20 prisoners who’d been in detention for years because of their faith, the BBC reports.
It says sources have said that the prisoners are from Christian evangelical and Pentecostal denominations, some held in a prison outside the capital Asmara.
In 2002 Eritrea introduced a new law that forbids all Churches except for the Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran ones. Sunni Islam is also officially recognized.
According to a religious freedom campaigner from Asmara, but now based in North America, Hannibal Daniel, people who’d been in prison for about 16 years have been freed on bail.
A regional spokesperson for charity Open Doors International said that, for some time, it had heard di..

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Church sparks outrage for depicting Jesus as trans with beard and breasts in a dress

CP Current Page: World | Saturday, September 19, 2020 | Church sparks outrage for depicting Jesus as trans with beard and breasts in a dress Welcome to Sunday school at your church, the text reads. | In an ad purportedly meant to encourage children to attend Sunday school, the National Church of Iceland featured a bearded Jesus with breasts, makeup and a dress dancing under a rainbow.
After receiving backlash, the church removed the ad from social media — but not busses — and released an apology. However, the church also argued that it believes “it’s okay” to depict Jesus as a woman, transgender or anything else.
The animated ad, which depicts Jesus as having breasts and jumping around as he points to a church, was posted on the church’s website and Facebook page on Sept. 11, according to the Daily Mail, which reported that the post was deleted after it sparked outrage.
However, Iceland Monitor reports that the ad continues to appear on some buses.
The ad campaign cost the church abou..

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Man arrested for causing car accident that killed United Methodist bishop

CP Current Page: World | Thursday, September 17, 2020 | Man arrested for causing car accident that killed United Methodist bishop United Methodist Church Bishop John Yambasu of Sierra Leone gives the sermon during morning worship on UMC General Conference in Portland, Oregon, on May 19, 2016. | A man suspected of having killed an African United Methodist Church bishop in a car accident has been arrested by Sierra Leone police and charged with multiple counts.
Last month, Sierra Leone Area Bishop John K. Yambasu was on his way to preach at a funeral for a former district superintendent when the driver of an SUV struck him.
Mohamed Allie Saw was arrested after fleeing the scene and was charged with seven counts earlier this month, including speeding and driving without due care and attention.
Saw was driving a vehicle owned by another individual to a garage when he lost control of the vehicle and fatally injured Yambasu, according to UM News.
“By the time we cleared the traffic and saf..

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Cuba releases journalist imprisoned at labor camp for covering arrest of Christian homeschool parents

CP Current Page: World | Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | Cuba releases journalist imprisoned at labor camp for covering arrest of Christian homeschool parents The Cuban national flag is seen raised over their new embassy in Washington, July 20, 2015. | A Cuban journalist who was imprisoned for nearly a year for reporting on the arrest, jailing and trial of Christian pastors and homeschool parents has been released and reunited with his family.
Roberto Quiñones Haces, a journalist for CubaNet, confirmed his Sept. 4 release in Guantánamo by phone to the news outlet. The 63 year old had been imprisoned since Sept. 11, 2019.
He was convicted of crimes related to disobedience and resistance as he covered the trial of Ramon Rigal and his wife, Adya Expósito, members of the Church of God. They were arrested in April 2019 for homeschooling their children due to concerns about the Cuban public school system’s promotion of socialism and atheism.
Quiñones was sentenced to one year in a labor camp..

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7 notable Latin American Christians: saints, a pope, an evangelist

CP Current Page: World | Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | 7 notable Latin American Christians: saints, a pope, an evangelist Pope Francis talks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican. | Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration in the United States that honors the contributions of Americans who trace their origins back to Latin America and other Spanish-speaking regions.
The observance begins on Sept. 15, the anniversary of when Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua gained independence from the Spanish Empire, and ends on Oct. 15.
Throughout the centuries, Latin America has been the birthplace of large numbers of Christians, some of whom have received international renown and exerted broad influence on churches.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, here are seven notable Latin American Christians. They include a few Catholic saints, a prominent theologian, an accomplished evangelist, and the current pope.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Says..

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