Displaying items by tag: pastors arrested
Ukraine: occupying forces close churches, arrest pastors
Russians are closing evangelical Protestant churches claiming ‘only one faith would be tolerated - Orthodoxy’. They raided Grace Baptist Church while a worship service was being broadcast live. Viewers watched online while they halted the service, registered the names of all present, detained several ministers, and gave the pastor 48 hours to leave the city. They closed Melitopol’s largest Protestant charismatic church with a 1,000-seat auditorium. They tore down its cross and turned the building into a ‘cultural sports entertainment complex’. They are doing the same as they did when they seized and annexed Crimea: they raided places of worship, closed churches, banned missionary activity, fined people for leading worship meetings, seized religious literature, and forced religious communities to re-register with the state, refusing re-registration to the majority. Christians were also driven to the underground churches in the Soviet era, surviving seventy years of Soviet totalitarian rule - demonstrating that persecution can often strengthen the Church.
Sudan: church leaders arrested
Police officers walked into a church Bible class and took into custody Pastor Kabashi Idris of the African Inland Church and evangelist Yacoub Ishakh of the Independent Baptist Church. They were charged with violating public order under Article 77 of Sudan’s penal code, and then released. A radical Muslim neighbour had filed a case against them, prompting the police to arrest them. He had told police his children were singing the songs of the Christians and feared they might convert to Christianity. His house is near the church and last month he filed a complaint that the church was disturbing the peace by worshipping in song. A guilty verdict could result in a three-month prison sentence, a fine, or both, and the court could issue an order to cease worship services.