Radicals in Northern India Threaten to Kill Christian Family

According to Morning Star News, a 12-year-old Christian boy and his brother in Uttar Pradesh received a death threat at late hours of the night on June 18 from a group of radical Hindu nationalists led by his uncle. The threats started after the boys’ family refused to renounce their Christian faith.


According to Morning Star News, a 12-year-old Christian boy and his brother in Uttar Pradesh received a death threat at late hours of the night on June 18 from a group of radical Hindu nationalists led by his uncle. The threats started after the boys’ family refused to renounce their Christian faith.

It was past 11’o clock at night when we heard them banging on the door and shouting,” the Christian boy told Morning Star News. “Five men, along with my uncle, were standing at the door, issuing threats that they would murder my brother and me.

The boys’ father, Anil James, works 116 miles away in Delhi. The COVID-19 lock-down has kept him from returning home, leaving the family vulnerable to attack. The boys’ terrified mother, Molly James, told her two sons to run to the police station while she locked the doors and would catch up with them later.

My brother and sister have portrayed me as a bad woman in this Hindu neighborhood for accepting Christianity,” Molly James told Morning Star News. “They have been trying to expel my family from the area for the past three years.”

After Molly and her sons arrived at the police station, officers made sure they returned to their home safely.

The next day, police went to investigate the issue. Molly’s brother and sister told the police that the death threats were actually a property dispute in an attempt to avoid police involvement. Later that day, Molly’s brother threatened her again, saying he would kill her and her two children.

Prior to the June 18 incident, Molly’s siblings demanded she resume Hindu rituals and stop worshiping Christ to continue living in her home. They also have objected to her oldest son rehearsing Christian worship music on his guitar.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started spreading, he is doing it all the more to scare us,” Molly told Morning Star News of her brother. “He also tells the neighbors and his friends that we belong to the lower class and that Christianity is the religion of lower castes and classes. The neighbors also look down on my children, calling them lower class, so that it affects them mentally. They had been very outspoken about their faith at school and among their friends. I’m afraid that witnessing this amount of violence and aggression, and their fear, would affect them.

Blogs to Follow:

Persecution.org (June 2020) Radicals in Northern India Threaten to Kill Christian Family

Turkish Pastor’s American Wife Denied Visa

Turkish pastor’s American wife, Joy Subaşıgüller, received notice from Turkey’s Ministry of Interior that her family visa was denied. No specific reason was given. Joy has lived in Turkey for nearly 10 years and has been married to her Turkish husband, Lütfü, for seven years.


Authorities Continue Discrimination of Protestant Christians

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on June 5, 2020, a Turkish pastor’s American wife, Joy Subaşıgüller, received notice from Turkey’s Ministry of Interior that her family visa was denied.

No specific reason was given. Joy has lived in Turkey for nearly 10 years and has been married to her Turkish husband, Lütfü, for seven years.

Their three children (ages 4, 2, and 4 months) are Turkish citizens. The family has opened a court case (#2020/988 – Ankara First Administrative Court) contesting the government’s decision.

Over the past few years, Turkey has forced many foreign Christians to leave the country through the systematic denial or cancellation of residence permits and the application of entry bans.

Last year, at least 35 foreign Protestants received such notices. In many cases, vague security reasons are cited, but not explained.

It is believed that Turkey has denied extending Joy’s family visa for no other reason than that the family is Christian, and that it is an attempt to force the whole family to leave the country.

“Turkey is my home. I love Turkey and the Turkish people very much. My family has very strong ties with Turkish friends here and especially with Lütfü’s family who would be devastated if we had to permanently relocate to another country,” Joy shared with ICC.

“Many foreign Protestant Christians (including many Americans) have been forced to leave Turkey and issued an entry ban on the grounds that their Christian activities are a ‘threat to national security and public order’ even though their activities are legal. In fact, some Protestants have been denied residency just because they attended meetings such as the annual Turkish Protestant Association family conference and a seminar concerning how to legally and effectively serve Christian children in the church,” she continued.

“Freedom of religion is a right granted in Turkey’s constitution and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which Turkey has signed,” Joy added. “We ask and pray that this right would be upheld in the Turkish courts and enforced in all areas of government.”

Istanbul’s Protestant Church Association also issued a statement regarding the country’s treatment of Christian leaders, including the Subaşıgüllers. The statement said, “It is with great sadness that we have to report that since 2019 it has been made more difficult for foreign clergy who serve the Protestant Church community in Turkey to be resident in our country, and that our requests for information concerning this matter have not received a satisfactory reply. While we hope that this is just a mistake and it will be rectified, we felt it necessary to issue a press statement to share with you how this situation has saddened us so deeply.”

In its annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended Turkey for a special watch list because of increasing religious freedom violations.

A recent International Religious Freedom Report released by the US State Department also cited Turkey for religious freedom violations that include the targeting of foreign Christians living within the country.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “We join with the Subaşıgüllers in seeking prayers for the ongoing court case that appeals the decision made by Turkey’s Interior Ministry. That Turkey would threaten to separate a family for no other reason than that they are Christians is alarming. We ask that Turkey speedily review their appeal with full transparency and in accordance with the country’s own international commitments to protecting human rights.”

Blogs to Follow:

Persecution.org (June 2020) Turkish Pastor’s American Wife Denied Visa

Fulani Militants Kill Nine in Christian Village in Nigeria

The International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants once again have attacked the Adara natives in Kajuru LGA, Kaduna State, Nigeria.


Militants Continue Recent Spate of Violent Attacks

The International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Fulani militants once again have attacked the Adara natives in Kajuru LGA, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

The attack on the Christian village took place while many were still mourning the loss of loved ones, property, and their means of livelihood following a series of coordinated attacks on at least five villages and 12 settlements over the past month.

The militants launched this most recent attack on Tudu-Doka Avong along Kaduna-Kachia road, killing nine people and injuring several others. Confirming the incident, a community representative, Usman Stingo, said, “It happened at about 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The gunmen arrived [at] the village and started shooting sporadically.  They entered into some homes and burnt household stuff. The situation is very, very pathetic.”

Those killed in the latest attack include Kefas Yusuf (30), Richard Yusuf (25), Fidelis Wada (40), Kachia Simon (30); Rose Soja (39), Genesis Soja (11), Rahap Soja (9), Victoria Gyata (50), and Lovette Akayi (10).

Further confirming the attack, the Kaduna State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Joseph Hayab, said, “Nine persons were killed, including women and children. The photos are not good to look at.  The mood in the entire Kajuru area is gloomy. People are living in fear.

The CAN chairman further disclosed that some pastors were also affected in the recent attacks and are suffering in silence. 

He, however, acknowledged good-spirited individuals who are assisting with food distributions to help the displaced, but lamented that the need is very large.  He expressed concern with the attitude of the government, saying, “The government seems to be living in pretense and looking away from the colossal impact of the attacks on the population.

The recent attacks on the Adara communities spreading across Kajuru and Kachia local council areas in southern Kaduna impacted approximately 537 households with approximately 20,000 people displaced.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, stated, “Kajuru Local Government Area has now been attacked nearly a dozen times in the past month. Despite this, the government has not taken any clear or decisive steps to stop the violence. They have not caught any of the perpetrators, saved any lives, or assisted any of those who have suffered. This continued inaction is costing many people their lives, homes, and loved ones. It is time that the government in Nigeria is held accountable for the many lives that they have failed to defend. They are either completely incompetent and must be removed, or they are complicit and need to be thrown in jail.”

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

Persecution.org (June 2020) Fulani Militants Kill Nine in Christian Village in Nigeria

Iranian Christian Sentenced to Flogging and Prison


International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 21, 2020, Christian human rights activist Mary Fatima Mohammadi received a suspended prison sentence of three months by the Iranian government.

The sentence included a directive ordering Mary to receive a flogging of 10 lashes.

Mary has come under significant pressure from the Iranian authorities over the years because of her Christian human rights activism. In the latest incident, she was arrested because she was present in the area of a protest where Iranians had rallied regarding the government’s downing of Ukrainian Airline Flight 752. The issue of the government’s complicity in targeting the passenger flight remains highly sensitive in Iran. Mary further explained this connection on Instagram, saying that her sentence is a consequence of “protesting against the slaughter of human beings; because of showing sympathy for the families of those who perished on the Ukraine airline crash; because of defending the rights of all humans.”

After her arrest, Mary disappeared for nearly a month before she was discovered in Qarchak Women’s Prison, a jail with a reputation for various types of gender abuse. While there, Mary reported that she was beaten and suffered other kinds of mistreatment at the hands of the officials, including being strip-searched twice. She was eventually released on a bail of 30 million tomans ($2,250 USD) and charged with “disrupting public order by participating in an illegal rally.”

Her court hearing was initially delayed because of COVID-19, but took place on April 17. Iran’s Human Rights Activist News Agency (HANA) reports that during the hearing, the judge repeatedly questioned Mary about her conversion to Christianity. Her case was heard in Branch 6 of the 33rd District Court of Evin before being transferred to Branch 1167 of the Tehran Provincial Criminal Court (Quds Judicial Complex).

Following her sentencing, Mary tweeted: “There is no evidence against me, so I ought to have been acquitted. But instead I was sentenced not only to imprisonment, but also flogging. It should be mentioned that even before the verdict was handed down, I was forced to endure all kinds of torture, none of which was sanctioned by law, and which ought to be considered crimes in themselves. We have refrained from appealing against the verdict because the appeal courts have turned into confirmation courts! I am proud of sympathizing with human beings in the real harsh environment of the streets. This is my conviction and the cost.”

Iran has not publicly sentenced a Christian to a flogging for nearly two years, although persecution has increased during that interim. Because of COVID-19, Iran has evaluated the situation of its thousands of political prisoners. Many Christians were not included in this evaluation, although some were temporarily furloughed and three had their prison sentences canceled. Many political prisoners have complained that during this time of COVID-19, judges are absent, the authorities fail to provide health updates of prisoners to families, and officials have not clarified how furloughed prisoners will be reincorporated into the prison system following COVID-19.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “We must not let the number of political prisoners furloughed in Iran because of COVID-19 confuse the issue that Iran has always been one of the top human rights violators in the world. The authorities have made it clear, time and time again, that they do not value their citizens and that they will not tolerate freedom of conscience. The sentencing of Mary Mohammadi is alarming, but unfortunately, not surprising Iran’s government does not want human rights activism, and they do not want Christians exercising their voice publicly. Mary Mohammadi is an example of courage and bravery to us all. We must continue calling on Iran to respect human rights and allow its citizens to voice their convictions of conscience.”

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

Persecution.org (April 2020) Iranian Christian Sentenced to Flogging and Prison

Christian Village Suffers Eighth Attack in Three Years

Fulani Militants Kill 10 Christians in Two Villages


Fulani Militants Kill 10 Christians in Two Villages

The International Christian Concern (ICC) has announced on Friday that they have learned that on Tuesday evening, March 31, despite serious concerns and restrictive measures to stall the COVID-19 pandemic, Fulani militants continued to move freely and attacked two Christian villages in Miango District, Nigeria. This is the eighth time in the last three years that Ancha village has suffered at the hands of these militants.

Narrating the heartbreaking incident, Ishaya, a member of the village’s Baptist church, said, “They came at about 11:00 p.m. (on March 31), firing gunshots and burning houses! It was so dreadful! They killed three persons and also burnt four cars (in Ancha).”

Ishaya further disclosed that the militants proceeded to launch an attack on Hukke, the neighboring village, on Wednesday, April 1. During this attack, seven people were killed and approximately 30 homes were burned down over a span of two days.

“We are in great distress here,” Ishaya lamented. Those killed in Ancha village were a pregnant member of the Baptist church named Tina Musa (33), another member of the Baptist church, Gado Bhata (57), and a member of the Methodist church, William Rivi (65).

An injured victim of the Ancha village attack, Danlami Gado, who was admitted to Bingham University Teaching Hospital in Jos, recalled, “I was in the house. When we heard gunshots, we came out, not knowing that the attackers were already in the village. They fired shots at me and three bullets hit me on my left leg, shattering the bones.  After they disappeared, I kept yelling out for help. Some persons eventually heard and came. They picked me up on a motorbike, riding through the bush until we got to a hospital in Miango.” Danlami’s injury was complicated, so he was referred to a hospital with the appropriate specialists.

He has been scheduled for immediate surgery.

A local pastor, Yakubu Kpasa of ECWA Church, grieved over the murder of three of his church members, “They came on Wednesday, April 1, at about 8:00 p.m., and returned the next day, April 2, at about 5:00 p.m. They killed three by gunshots and destroyed our church building. They also burnt several houses.” Pastor Yakubu said the gunmen came in large numbers. The entire village has been deserted and he and his family are taking refuge in another village.

In a 2017 attack on Ancha village, the militants killed 20 people, all but one of whom were members of the Baptist church. During an attack on nearby Nkiedonwro village, 28 people ran to hide in a primary school classroom while military personnel engaged the attackers. The villagers were then killed by the militants when the military was overpowered.

Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa said, “I have personally prayed with this village over the mass grave of the 20 killed in 2017. To see attacks continuing almost three years later in the same village is infuriating. The government’s complete incompetency is causing many Christians to lose their lives needlessly. It is time that this administration begins to take the deaths of thousands seriously and stop claiming that there are no issues. They are now responsible for every death that takes place in Ancha village.”

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

Persecution.org (April 2020) Christian Village Suffers Eighth Attack in Three Years