August 6, 2001
If one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
(1 Corinthians 12:26-27).
Chinese Pastor Arrested - Again
Now that Beijing has been granted the 2008 Olympics, the expected crackdown on Christian leaders is intensifying, according to The Voice of the Martyrs. Pastor Li Dexian was arrested on July 26, after he had opened a house church meeting in Hua Du. After Li's arrest, Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers returned to the church, closed the meeting and dispersed attendees to their homes.
Arrested with Pastor Li was his co-worker, Ah Kong. PSB officers also asked the whereabouts of Ah Yung, another co-worker who did not attend the church service. Li was not beaten at the time of the arrest, and has been arrested at least 18 times within the past year and a half. "The fact that the police targeted the three leaders makes it clear they came with a plan," said Tom White, director of the Voice of the Martyrs.
The arrests of Li and Ah Kong came just one day after China released three Chinese scholars, with U.S. ties, who had been convicted of spying - and three days before the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. "We expect Secretary Powell will raise the issue of Christian persecution and the arrest of Pastor Li when he meets with the Chinese government officials," said White.
92 Egyptians Acquitted in Christian Massacre Face Retrial
An Egyptian court has ruled that 92 men acquitted of a massacre that left 20 Christians and a Muslim dead, and four who were jailed on lesser charges, must face a retrial. All 96, who were tried in February, were ordered tappear again before a court in the southern city of Sohag, just north of Kosheh, where the massacre occurred on Jan. 2, 2000.
The cassation court, which rules on the technical aspects of a case and, whose scope falls short of that of an appeals court, said it would set the date for the new trial in one week.
A Coptic Christian lawyer involved in the case, as well as the director of the Cairo-based Word Center for Human Rights, welcomed the ruling as restoring trust in the Egyptian justice system and law and an opportunity to submit new evidence against the accused.
Egypt's Coptic Christian clerics had denounced the verdict of the first trial as sending a signal for the country's Muslim majority to kill Christians.
Sri Lanka's Buddhist Clergy Want to Ban Conversion to Christianity
Sri Lanka's influential Buddhist clergy have called for laws to ban Christian conversions, which are spreading in poverty-stricken rural villages, and vowed collective action against the practice.
They have adopted an 11-point plan to fight proselytisers, active in several districts of the island, and called on the authorities to immediately pass laws to prevent conversions taking place under the cover of helping rural communities to improve their economic standards.
They say a shortage of Buddhist monks in several temples is also allowing Christian priests to make inroads into the Buddhist heartland by converting farming communities. The monks say about 23,000 Buddhists are being converted to Christianity each year and proselytisers have targeted 5,000 out of the 25,400 villages in the country for their activities.
PERSECUTION NEWS is a non-regular periodic service of Foot of the Cross Publications. Articles are copied from various sources, including Newsweek, Compass Direct, Religious News Today and FridayFax. The information is for the sole purpose of disseminating information about persecution of Christians around the world, and subscriptions are free.
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