Persecution Watch

Elderly Church Leader Beaten in Chinese Prison

An elderly house-church leader was recently beaten and crippled for leading 50 fellow inmates to Christ. According to China Aid Association (CAA), prison guards beat Chen Jingmao, 72, a South China Church (SCC) leader, on Feb. 6 for "bringing others to Christianity ... [and] ... shame upon the Communist Party." Now fellow believers must carry Jingmao, who suffered broken legs, to the bathroom and to eat. Jingmao, who is from Chongqing City, located in Yunyang County, was arrested on July 9, 2001, and sentenced to four years in prison for "using an 'evil cult' to obstruct the law," referring to his association with SCC. CAA President Bob Fu said the attack violated Chinese prison law, which guarantees a prisoner's protection from beatings and torture.

Eritrean Families Arrested While Praying

Authorities in Eritrea, located in eastern Africa, recently raided the homes of Christians, arresting entire families caught praying and reading the Bible together. In two separate incidents on March 17 and 18, the families, including children, from the Rema Charismatic Church in the capital of Asmara were jailed, Compass Direct reported. Meanwhile, 10 believers from the Full Gospel Church meeting in a home in the Aba Shwale district of Asmara were taken to jail on Feb. 23. All were detained in prison except for an elderly woman who hosted the group. She was ordered to pay the equivalent of $37--almost half a month's salary--for holding an illegal meeting for worship in her home.

Indonesian Christians Attacked by Muslims

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Muslim militants recently attacked Christians in Central Sulawesi, leaving one dead and five injured. According to Barnabas Fund, four men riding on two motorcycles sped through the village of Maranatha, located near the regional capital Palu, wielding machetes on March 11. A 40-year-old mother of two identified only as Nuci was killed after being struck in the head, neck and back, though she was able to protect her baby. The attackers also wounded five other believers. The situation in the village was said to be still "tense" last month, though no further incidents had been reported.

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