Zimbabwe pastor arrested as protests sweep nation
THE Baptist pastor, Evan Mawarire, who is leading a protest movement against the Zimbabwean government has been arrested. Mr Mawarire has become a household name in the southern African nation since April, when he began calling on people to join demonstrations known as #ThisFlag online. Marches calling for an end to corruption in led to a shutdown of many towns last week, as protesters burned tyres and clashed with police. His lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, told Reuters that police had also raided Mr Mawarire’s home, office, and church when they detained him on Tuesday.
Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemous message on the run
A CHRISTIAN father-of-two is on the run in Pakistan after a neighbour accused him of sending an allegedly blasphemous poem on the mobile phone messaging service WhatsApp. Nadeem James, 35, from Sarai Alamgir in Pakistan’s Punjab province, is now the subject of a police manhunt and has been charged with blasphemy, which carries a death sentence. Some reports say that local mosques have been heard to urge Muslims to burn down the homes of Christians if Mr James is not handed over to the police. A number of Christians and other minorities have been killed by mobs after being the subject of blasphemy allegations in recent years.
Sailors detained in India reach 1000th day in captivity
FIVE British sailors are among 35 seamen who have been held in Indian prisons for 1000 days after their ship drifted into India’s waters in 2013. The men, who were employed by an American private security firm to guard international shipping from pirates, have always denied breaking any laws, but in January were sentenced to five years in prison (News, 15 January). Both the Mission to Seafarers and the Sailor’s Society have been supporting the men.
Canadian wildfire survivor speaks of “miracles” in city’s escape
AN Anglican survivor of the Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta, Canada, has told the Anglican Church in Canada’s General Synod that an “outpouring of the Holy Spirit” was behind a series of “miracles” which enabled thousands of residents to escape the raging fires (News, 6 May). Speaking at times through tears, Jeremy Munn said that he could not explain why so many people risked their lives trying to rouse sleeping neighbours, or how small oil company camps used as shelter were able to accommodate and feed 25,000 refugees made homeless by the fire.