Editorial: Let me start by wishing all the readers of News Digest a blessed and Christ-filled 2015! May this year be a year where you move on to the next level of your relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Yes, times are not the easiest, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, it is often during the persecutions that the children of God have grown in their spiritual stature, complimented with a growth in the church of God! As my friend Ligin Abraham quoted recently, Exodus 1:8-12 tells us that more the oppression on God’s chosen ones, the more their multiplication! I believe these are nervous, yet exciting times. Let us continue to back our suffering brethren from across the globe in prayers, while also continue working towards the great harvest that God has promised for us in 2015. Be blessed!

Christian Children Beheaded for Refusing to Convert to Islam

Four Christian teenagers chose death rather than forced conversion by Islamic State, according to Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad. “Islamic State turned up and said to the children, you say the words that you will follow Mohammed. The children, all under 15, four of them, said no, we love Yesua, we have always loved Yesua, we have always followed Yesua, Yesua has always been with us. They said, ‘Say the words.’ They said, ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off,” revealed the Vicar. Excerpts from this link.

US Christian Couple Acquitted of Murdering Their Adopted Daughter

AmericanCoupleAn American Christian couple accused of starving their adopted daughter to death was acquitted. Although they were initially denied to return to US after they were stopped at the airport, latest reports suggest that they had left Qatar on December 3. Matthew and Grace Huang’s eight-year-old daughter Gloria died in January 2013. The parents were arrested the day after her death and subsequently charged with murder. The Huangs were convicted in March 2014 of exposing Gloria to danger, but not deliberately starving her. They were sentenced to three years in prison. The ruling was overturned last month at an appeal court, where it was found that the lower courts had made numerous mistakes. From this link. And this one.

Thousands Pay Their Last Respects to Myles and Ruth Munroe

myles-and-ruth-munroe5In a state-recognized funeral in the Bahamas, thousands turned up to celebrate the lives of Dr. Myles Munroe and his wife, Ruth during their funeral service in early December. The funeral came nearly a month after the couple died in a plane crash along with eight others from their church Bahamas Faith Ministries. Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie called Dr. Myles Munroe “indisputably one of the most globally recognizable religious figures our nation has ever produced.” Click here to read more.

Sudanese Police Attack Worshipping Congregation, Arrest 38 Christians

SudaneseChristiansPolice in North Khartoum, Sudan beat, arrested and fined 38 Christians worshipping at Khartoum Bahri Evangelical Church.

After nearly two weeks of raiding and demolishing church property, officers armed with guns and batons arrived at the church compound at 6:30 a.m. on two trucks accompanied by seven smaller vehicles and broke through the main gate, beating whoever they found in church complex, sources said.

Security personnel surrounded the complex, preventing people from entering or leaving, they said. For more on this story, click here.

Kenyan Christians Urged to Leave Northern Region Following Spate of Terrorist Attacks

KenyaKenyan trade unions have urged non-Muslim public sector workers including teachers and doctors to leave the country’s lawless northern region, site of two deadly attacks by militants in November, because of the security risks. Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab killed 36 non-Muslim workers on Tuesday at a quarry in northeast Kenya. They also shot dead 28 non-Muslim bus passengers on November 22 while sparing Muslim travellers. Many of the public sector workers in less prosperous northern Kenya are Christians who moved from the Rift Valley in the west, lured by promises of more work. Excerpts are taken from this link.

Meanwhile, 200 Muslims Protect Kenyan Christians From Attack

nigeria-churchMore than 200 Muslim youths were among those who protected Christians from attacks in the Nigerian city of Kaduna over Christmas, a local church official has confirmed. According to Pastor Yohanna Buru of the Christ Evangelical Church in Kaduna, the interfaith initiative was the first of its kind in the city. He said that Muslims volunteered to protect his church in response to a series of suicide bombings and attacks on Christian places of worship by Islamist militant group Boko Haram, reports Christian Today.

Pakistan SC Orders Arrest of Clerics Who Incited Mob to Kill Christian Couple in Pakistan

pakistanicouplePakistan’s Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a violent mob of hundreds of Muslims to brutally beat, torture, burn and murder a married Christian couple in the Punjab Province in early November. The court also ordered disciplinary action to be levied against five police officials, who were present during the time of the beatings but took no action to protect the two individuals. Additionally, the court ordered a complete investigation into the incident and also ordered compensation payments to be made to the family of the victimized couple.