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Overseas news in brief

by
26 April 2012

Pastor’s mother shot in Colorado

THE mother of a Christian pastor in Colorado was shot dead after going to investigate an altercation in the car park of Destiny Christian Center, Aurora, on Sunday afternoon. Josephine Echols, the mother of Pastor De Lono Straham, was killed by a gunman who was subsequently disabled by a shot from an off-duty police officer. The gunman, identified later as Kiarron Parker, died in hospital.

Iranian court sentences Christian leader

A CHRISTIAN prisoner in Iran has been given a six-year sentence by the Iranian Revolutionary Court, the Iranian Christian news agency Mohabat News reports. Farshid Fathi-Malayeri, an Evangelical church leader, who is married with two children, is accused of “actions against the regime’s security, being in contact with foreign organisations and religious propa­ganda”. He was one of a number of Christians arrested on 26 December 2010, and has been held in Evin prison, much of the time in solitary confine­ment. Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that his trial took place on 5 February. The case is to be sent to an appeal court.

Methodist Church helps Fiji

A GRANT of £10,000 has been sent to the Methodist Church in Fiji, which has been helping those affected by flooding after a tropical storm hit the islands on 2 April. Methodist News reports that at least seven people died, and the homes of thousands of people have been destroyed. The World Mission Fund of the British Methodist Church, which provided the grant, is accepting donations at www.justgiving.com/mcfworldmission/donate/ .

Kenyan youth-group members killed in floods

SEVEN members of a Kenyan church youth-group have died after being swept away by flash floods in Hell’s Gate National Park in Naivasha, north-west of Nairobi, on Sunday. The Kenya Wildlife Service reported that park guides rescued eight other people from the group, who were members of the Mukara Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Nairobi.

Human-rights spotlight turns on Pakistan

VIOLATIONS of the human rights of Christians in Pakistan have been catalogued by campaigning groups in submissions to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which is preparing its universal periodic review (UPR) of the situation in the country. The British Pakistani Christian Association describes accusations of blasphemy resulting in imprisonment, “widespread” discrimination, police brutality, forced marriage, forced con­version, kidnap, and rape. The UPR involves a review of the human-rights’ records of all 192 UN member states once every four years.

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