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World news in brief

05 June 2015


Eritreans hold protest outside embassy

ERITREAN Christians and advocates for the persecuted Church marked the 13th anniversary of widespread repression of churches in Eritrea outside the country's embassy in London on Friday of last week. Eritrea imposed severe restrictions on Christians in 2002, and has since imprisoned church leaders, and placed the deposed Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Abune Antonios, under house arrest. Many of the refugees who attempt to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean have fled Eritrea, which produces more refugees per capita than any other nation.


Christians denied bail in Pakistan

EIGHTEEN Pakistani Christians who have been arrested in connection with the revenge lynching of two Muslims in a suburb of Lahore have been denied bail. Violence broke out in March after two suicide bombings outside churches killed 16 people; the two men were killed by an angry mob who suspected them of involvement (News, 20 March). The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement, which assists persecuted Christians in Pakistan, said that it managed to secure bail for ten other Christians accused of being part of the mob, and that it would appeal on behalf of the others.


Christian becomes captain of Iran football team

A FORMER Premier League footballer, Andranik Teymourian, has become the first Christian to be the permanent captain of the national football team of Iran. Mr Teymourian, who is of Armenian descent and has previously played for Bolton Wanderers and Fulham, was appointed in April. Since Hassan Rouhani became President of Iran in 2013, the state has relaxed restrictions on religious minorities - for instance, Jews can now stay at home on the sabbath. Muslims who convert are still harshly treated: many are imprisoned, including the Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini.

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