While we Christians in the United States our religious liberty…..
Here’s a partial rundown of what was happening elsewhere while Americans were obsessing over which way the Supreme Court would go.
1. In Iraq, there was no Mass in Mosul on Sunday, June 15, the first time in almost 1,600 years the city was completely devoid of any Catholic worship on what Christians regard as the Lord’s Day. Observers say the 3,000 Christians who had remained in the city in mid-June, already down from an estimated 35,000 at the time of the US-led invasion in 2003, fled after Mosul fell to the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
2. In North Korea, a US citizen named Jeffrey Fowle was arrested for “perpetrating hostile acts,” after an inspection of his hotel room turned up a Bible. Officials say they’ll put him on trial, and it’s no idle threat. Since the armistice in 1953 that ratified division of the Korean peninsula, some 300,000 Christians in North Korea have disappeared and are presumed dead, while 50,000 to 70,000 are believed to be languishing in detention camps.
3. In Nigeria, scores of church-goers were killed in the latest wave of violence by the radical Boko Haram movement, with militants firing on four churches in Borno state, including the Protestant Church of Christ in Nigeria and the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church, and then setting them ablaze. The death toll reportedly was at least 30.
4. In China, more than 360 churches have been targeted for either demolition or defacement, such as the removal of crosses on the exterior. The official logic is clearing space for urban development projects. But it seems clear the crackdown is directed at churches that resist the control of government agencies whose mission is what authorities call “theological reconstruction,” meaning purging Christianity of elements which the state regards as incompatible with its methods and priorities.
5. In India, 35 villages in Chhattisgarh state announced a ban on non-Hindus entering the area, following an incident in which Christian families were beaten by Hindu radicals. Such violence is stunningly common. The Evangelical Fellowship of India recorded 131 such acts in 2012, an average of one every 2.7 days. Perpetrators are rarely arrested or charged, in part because India’s Christian population is disproportionately composed of tribal minorities and the underclass of the old caste system.