Updates on the persecuted Church (excerpts)
Barnabas Fund, 12 April 2023
- A church in Ondo State, Nigeria reopened on Easter Sunday, 9 April, 10 months after 40 worshippers were killed in an attack in June 2022. Mark the reopening, Bishop Jude Arogundade said, “Many people have even forgotten what happened in this church ten months ago … without the world paying attention.”
- Iranian Christians Homayoun Zhaveh, 64, and his wife Sara Ahmadi, 44, were informed on Easter Sunday, 9 April, that their third application for a retrial has been accepted by the country’s Supreme Court. Homayoun and Sara will have their case reviewed 9 May. Homayoun, with Parkinson’s disease, and Sara, his main carer, have been in prison since August 2022.
- At least nine were killed in Christian-majority Chin State when Myanmar military jets bombed a school on 10 April. The head teacher and his wife were among the dead. A week earlier, artillery shelling killed a 50-year-old man and injured five other people in a mainly Christian village in Shan State.
- Ten million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in need of humanitarian assistance, a crisis exacerbated by renewed violence. Hundreds of thousands of farmers – driven from their lands in provinces targeted by armed gangs including a jihadi group affiliated to Islamic State – have been unable to plant for the next harvest. More than 600,000 have been internally displaced since June 2022.