Despite winning one of the most heated elections in Malaysian history, the ruling coalition faces a challenging time governing the country. Two think tanks have concluded that the elections have been "partially free but not fair," pointing out the struggles the government has with ongoing allegations of fraud and growing opposition.
Maaloula, an ancient Christian village known for historical sites and Christian residents who still speak Aramaic, has become a hotly contested battleground between rebel groups and the government army. Since the fighting reached Maaloula on Sept 4, casualties have mounted among both combatants and civilians, including Christians.
Egyptian authorities have finally recaptured a town in central Egypt that had been under the control of hardline supporters of ex-president Mohamed Morsi for more than two months, locals have told the Guardian. Violence against Christians has been at unprecedented levels in Egypt over the past month. One of the worst places for the violence was the city of Delga. Since the removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi his supporters had held de facto control of the city of 120,000 people. The situation was becoming increasingly worse as there was a complete absence of security for the Christians in the city.
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"The Lord has been preparing the church for this day… it's our time now to really do the work of the church." -Pastor Edward, Damascus
The Middle East has been flooding the headlines in recent weeks- with news of violence, protests and people being displaced. But one group seems to be neglected in all of this… Christians.
Jihadists among the Syrian rebels have declared "war" on Christians by burning churches, destroying their homes, kidnapping and even killing Christians. Because of this specific targeted violence, Christians have been forced to flee their homes, and have been displaced within Syria and neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan.
In Egypt, more than 200 Christian properties have been destroyed, and Christians have experienced a dramatic increase in hostility from some of their neighbors.
Despite the violence and persecution, some Christians have chosen to stay in these countries! These Christians in the Middle East have felt God's calling to stay to minister to their neighbors. One church in Syria had an amazing testimony:
"We saw a man who looked like an extremist come into our church, as we were passing out relief aid," shared one Christian. "We were worried that he might be dangerous, as he was shouting fanatical religious statements, which made many feel uneasy, so we had the church leaders keep an eye on him. We felt led to let him in, provide him with what he needed and invited him to listen to the sermon. After he heard the sermon, he gave his life to Christ!"
Please give to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who live in areas like Syria and the critical parts of the Middle East, where extremists are targeting Christians. Your gifts will save lives- providing not only needed supplies, such as food and water, but also counseling, Biblical training and scriptures to Christians in the Middle East, who face violent persecution for being followers of Jesus. Without your help, thousands may go without and be forced to flee. Help the church stand strong in this region!
Zamboanga Siege in Southern Philippines Takes Its Toll
Rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) opened fire on government troops on Sept 9, killing at least six people and injuring numerous bystanders, before taking hundreds of civilian's hostage, including a pastor and a local church. Seven communities were reportedly besieged and about 800 people were forced to evacuate. Open Doors is currently ministering to the displaced reportedly camping at an undisclosed location as well as to those who have been traumatized by the conflict.
Books Bring Light in Syrian Darkness
As the civil war in Syria intensifies, Open Doors has become increasingly active, focusing mainly on relief work. In spite of the violence, established projects such as book distribution and training have continued. When Open Doors recently distributed thousands of Action Bibles to Syrian teenagers, the demand was so great a thousand more were requested!
- Zamboanga Siege in Southern Philippines Takes Its Toll
- Christians Flee Pakistani Village after Pastor Accused of Blasphemy
- Gospel Bears Fruit in War-torn Guaviare
- Moroccan Christian Arrested and Judged in Less Than a Week
- Eritrean Authorities Arrest 30 More Christians
- Books Bring Light in Syrian Darkness
- Christian Minority Targeted After Muslim Girl Elopes With Christian Man in Pakistan
- Female Koran Teacher Finds Christ
Amazing signs of hope shine brightly against a backdrop of destruction in war torn Syria. Quotes from God's people there reveal a joy and optimism incredible to find in a country gripped by the horrors of war. "This crisis has brought revival no one could dream of," remarked one Syrian believer. Another added, "It's like the book of Acts all over again!"