May 30, 2019

INDIA: Election Results Raise Concerns for Christians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

As more than 600 million citizens cast their ballots in the Indian general election, Christians and members of other religious minorities had added concerns about the outcome. Those concerns were realized after the results came in, for the Hindu-nationalist BJP party captured 303 of the 543 eligible seats. No other party had secured the minimum ten percent of seats required to gain official party standing.

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IRAN: Historic Church Closed

Presbyterian church in Tabriz
Photo: Google

The Assyrian Christian community in the city of Tabriz were shocked to discover that the Presbyterian church was being forced to close. Intelligence agents stormed the 100-year-old national heritage site on May 9th. Locks were changed, the cross on the tower was torn down, and the church warden was ordered to leave.

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ALGERIA: Church and Bible School Closures

Closure notice in Boudjima
Official notice of closure posted on
church door in Boudjima.

A church in the town of Boudjima of northern Algeria was closed by authorities on May 22nd, along with its associated Bible school. According to Pastor Youcef Ourahmane, the church had applied for a permit but, as usual, there had been no response.

On the day of the closure, Pastor Youcef was summoned to the church where he was informed by the gendarmes that the governor had ordered for it to be sealed. The officers at the scene apologized for what they were doing, saying, "We are only the executors."

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