Editorial: At the outset, let me start by apologizing for a couple of things. Firstly, for publishing a news item last month, which was actually a hoax. The news, which had been published in some news portals, was about supposed conversion of an ISIS terrorist. As exciting as the news was, turns out that it wasn’t true and had initially appeared on a portal dedicated for sarcasms, which was then picked up by other portals and reported as ‘news’. We thank our readers for pointing this out to us, and after checking again, found that many portals had this news item removed thereafter. We assure you that we will be cross-checking our source websites henceforth before publishing them to our News Digest.

Secondly, for the delay in publishing this month’s digest. I have been laid low by a mild case of jaundice and hence, the delay.

We also have an exciting bit of update to announce. Very soon, we will be increasing the frequency of publishing News Digest. So, you can soon expect News Digest to go fortnightly, in place of the monthly updates that happen now. Thank you so much for your continuous support towards ND. Please feel free to write to me at [email protected] if you come across any Christian news report that you think is fit enough for News Digest. We will be happy to take an editorial call before publishing.

Thanks and God bless.
Blessen Varghese

Canadian Christian Pastor Goes Missing in North Korea

A Christian pastor has gone missing in North Korea, shortly after he was invited to the capital Pyongyang. Rev Hyeon Soo Lim, 60, of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Canada arrived in North Korea at the end of January and went missing shortly afterwards. Excerpts from this link!

Mark Hall, Lead Singer of Casting Crowns, Recovering From Cancer

Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, announced on the band’s Facebook page that “Doctors found a solid mass” in his right kidney in early March, which they believe was cancer. Pathology reports post his surgery did confirm that it was “indeed kidney cancer” but was found out in the earliest stage possible and had not spread anywhere else. Mark is back home and is recovering slowly but surely. Click this link and this FB link for more.

Chinese Pastor Sentenced to One Year in Prison

prison_chinaWenzhou Pastor Huang Yizi, detained since last August for his opposition to the cross demolitions across Zhejiang province in eastern China, was pronounced guilty of “gathering crowds to disturb social order” and sentenced to one year in prison. Huang’s lawyer, Zhang Kai, decried the entire trial process as “unlawful” and promised to appeal the decision. Click here for more on this story.

ISIS-Released Christians Thought They Won’t Come Out Alive

ISIS-released-ChristiansNineteen Christian captives who reached Hassaka city in Syria after being released by ISIS said that they did not believe that they will come out of the abduction alive. All in their 50s or older, the 19 former captives included 17 men and two women. All were civilians from Tel Goran village, except for one hostage believed to have been captured by IS a month earlier. Local Sunni Arab leaders reportedly helped negotiate for the release of the Tel Goran hostages. Click here for more.

Assyrian Pastor and Two Converts Released From Iranian Prison

Iranian PresidentAn Assyrian pastor and two converts to Christianity who were detained in Iran’s Evin prison have been released pending the date of their trial. The local Christian news website reported on Wednesday that Pastor Victor Bet-Tamarz, Amin Afshar Naderi and Kavian Fallah Mohammadi were temporarily freed by the government on bail. All three have been barred from engaging in any Christian activities while they wait to be summoned by the Revolutionary Court as a condition of their release. Excerpts from this link.

Follow-Up: Obama Calls for Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini

saeed-abediniPastor Saeed Abedini must be released from his imprisonment in Iran, said US president Barack Obama. Obama used the Iranian Nowruz holiday to make a plea for the release of US citizens detained or missing in Iran. Of Abedini he said: “Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho has spent two and a half years detained in Iran on charges related to his religious beliefs. He must be returned to his wife and two young children, who needlessly continue to grow up without their father.” Excerpts from this link!