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World News

Call of prayer throughout 2018 for persecuted Christians

by Eno Adeogun

Release International's latest Persecution Trends Report 2018 warned that the Christmas season will see a clampdown on anything resembling festive celebrations in some places

It stated that China has been cracking down on Christmas celebrations in some districts, banning Santa Claus and Christmas hats to further tighten its squeeze on Christianity.

Tougher regulations on religious affairs come into force in February, giving the state greater control over churches and other places of worship.

China's president Xi Jinping urged the Communist Party earlier in the year to safeguard China's sovereignty and promote religion that is "Chinese in orientation".

 

The charity which serves persecuted Christians, also said it was concerned about Nigeria, where Christian villages have been coming under sustained attack by armed Fulani herdsman.

Human rights organisation International Christian Concern reported that four Christmas carollers were killed by suspected Fulani militants as they worshiped in Southern Kaduna, Nigeria.

Attacks against Christians are also increasing in India, according to the charity, which said is being carried out by militants who believe that every Indian should be a Hindu.

 

In the Middle East, countries of particular concern include Iran, where Release claim authorities are targeting Christian leaders and Egypt where militants have been grooming Christian girls to "seduce them and force them into marriage to change their religion".

Release has called on Christians to pledge to pray for the persecuted throughout 2018.

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