Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the July issue of EN. May these encourage us as well as spur us on to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world facing severe persecution.
Pakistan: call to protect
Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to take steps to protect the worship places of the country’s religious minorities, it was reported in May.
The motion urges the deployment of special security personnel at sites located in ‘areas at risk of terrorist attacks’. Though non-binding, the resolution has symbolic significance as a statement of intent to protect Christians and other minorities, who are regularly targeted by Islamic extremists in Pakistan
A Christian man was stabbed and around eight others injured in an attack on a church near Bethlehem in May.
Muslims interrupted a church service in the village of El-Khader in the West Bank, turning violent when they were asked to leave. They started throwing stones at the building, causing damage including broken windows. The incident comes amid increased attacks on churches in Israel; 14 have been reported in the past year, several of them in late Spring. Threats have also been made against senior church leaders.
USA: prayer permitted
In early May, the US Supreme Court backed a town council’s freedom to pray at the beginning of its meetings after two local residents complained.
Judge Anthony Kennedy said the prayers do not exclude those with no religious faith and that judges should not rule on the content of prayer because it could lead to lawmakers censoring chaplains’ messages in order to make them ‘acceptable for the public square’.