One of the holiest sites in Christianity has been shut down indefinitely in protest at new Israeli laws likened by religious leaders to Nazi persecution.
Tourists and worshippers were locked out of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem “until further notice” from Sunday, over proposals to tax property and seize land sold to private buyers.
The Greek Orthodox patriarch joined forces with the Armenian patriarch and the Catholic custodian of the Holy Land to issue a statement attacking what they called “a systematic attack” and “an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in occupied Jerusalem.”
Source: Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes in protest at Israeli ‘Nazi-like persecution’ | The Independent
U.S. President Donald Trump and his counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, have been told that at least 16,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since June 2015, many of them victims of radical Islamic violence.
The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law submitted a petition to Buhari last week, where the civil society organization urged the president to “wake up from [his] slumber” and protect the millions of endangered Christians in Nigeria.
The “Christians at Crossroads in Nigeria” letter, shared online by Elombah.com, said that 16,000 people, mostly Christians, have been killed since Buhari took office in 2015, including the 5,800 victims of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, based on Intersociety’s investigation.
Source: 16,000 Christians Dead in Less Than 3 Years: Report Reveals Extent of Violence in Nigeria
Suspected Fulani herdsmen have burned down nine churches and have killed at least 30 people in two separate attacks against Christian communities in Nigeria’s Adamawa state.
According to World Watch Monitor, a group of armed men attacked and burnt down Shima and Shiure villages on Feb. 2 and carried out another assault on Tinde and Dumne villages on Feb. 4.
One local source said that the second attack occurred in broad daylight, as people were about to go to church. Many innocent people were chased and killed by the assailants, who also burned down lots of properties, including nine churches, according to the source.
“Despite several calls to the governor and his deputy, and other security apparatus, the government remained silent as the atrocities continued,” he said.
“The Fulani were able to carry out their deadly attack. They stayed for hours in the vicinity, moving at will, unchallenged,” he added.
Source: Fulani herdsmen burn down 9 churches in Nigeria as Christians decry ongoing violence
Hate crime figures leaked by police in Germany have caused alarm, as they revealed murder, assault, and arson numbering among almost 100 attacks which targeted Christians in 2017.
Published by the Funke media group several months before annual crime statistics are due to be officially released, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) data showed attacks on churches and Christian symbols accounted for a quarter of the 97 cases.
At least 14 of the cases in the report involved asylum seekers and refugees, including the murder of an Afghan Christian convert by a fellow Afghan in May last year which prompted politicians to urge the BKA to record “anti-Christian crimes” separately for the first time.
Source: German Politicians ‘Alarmed’ at Scale of Anti-Christian Hate Attacks
The Catholic news outlet UCA News estimates that 2,000 Christians organized to protest the treatment of Periyaswamy’s death on Monday, blocking a major local road and “demanding the arrest of four people they suspect were behind the death of a Christian pastor who was found hanging inside his home.” The suspects, the report claims, are “high-caste Hindus.”
The protesters are also reportedly seeking for the government to place a private, independent doctor on their autopsy team to determine the cause of death, arguing that government officials have a stake in the death being ruled a suicide.
Source: India: Thousands of Christians Protest Torture, Hanging of Pastor Ruled a ‘Suicide’