An Egyptian Christian couple were found dead on Coptic Christmas Day with their throats cut, according to World Watch Monitor.
CHR Comment: Other Coptic Christians were killed in Egypt on January 6. Police attributed the killings to a robbery but a brother of the victim found nothing missing from the home.
Source: Coptic Christian Couple Stabbed To Death In Their Beds | Christian News on Christian Today
Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List.
CHR Comment: Islamic extremism and ethnic nationalism pose the greatest threats to Christians according to this report.
Source: ‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian | News & Reporting | Christianity Today
For two years, Ismail and his mother, Jandar Nasi, were captives of the Islamic State
CHR Comment: These Christians are Chaldean, from the ancient Syriac speaking church. They showed remarkable bravery during persecution.
Source: How an Iraqi Christian teen survived two years in ISIL ‘caliphate’
The Islamic State published the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States and called on its adherents to attack them during the holiday season, according to a message posted late-night Wednesday in the group’s “Secrets of Jiha
CHR Comment: The article does not include a list of the churches that were suggested as targets but they were found across country. These attacks did not take place. ISIS was perhaps hoping that their publication of a list would inspire action by resident disciples of their movement.
Source: ISIL issues hit list of U.S. churches for holiday attacks
As ISIS flees, some of the first frontline Christians already know how to follow Jesus in a war zone.
CHR Comment: Having experienced persecution in Burma, Burmese Christians are now bringing aid to people being persecuted by ISIS in Iraq. A former U.S. Army Ranger leads them.
Source: Who’s Ministering in Mosul? Persecuted Christians from Burma | Christianity Today
The blast took place as a Sunday Mass being held in the chapel was about to end.
CHR Comment: St. Mark’s is the religious center for Coptic Christians in Egypt and the seat of governance for Pope Tawadros II, the leading bishop. In other words, for the Copts, this would be like a bomb blast at the Vatican.
I have added below a follow-up article from the New York Times, which provides further background on persecution in Egypt.
Source: At least 25 killed in blast near Cairo cathedral
New York Times Article
In February 2015, ISIS abducted 226 victims were all Christians. Against impossible odds, a determined bishop helped secure their release.
Source: The Incredible Story Of How One Bishop Saved The Lives Of Over 200 Assyrian Christians | Christian News on Christian Today
Islamic State fighters are the “grandsons of Satan” according to survivors of the torture and slaughter in Mosul in Iraq.
CHR Comment: A report on the efforts of ISIS in the Mosel region where many Christians have lived. According to the report, Christians remain hostage to ISIS.
Source: ISIS Are The ‘Grandsons Of Satan’: Iraqi Christians Return To Find Church Desecrated By Jihadis | Christian News on Christian Today
When the Vikings landed at the holy island of Lindisfarne in 793AD, it marked the beginning of hundreds of years of terrifying raids, which would earn the Norsemen a fearsome reputation as murderers and pillagers throughout Europe.
CHR Comment: Some historians argue that the Vikings pillaged churches to gain the wealth needed for marriage in their culture. Although Christians experienced the attacks as persecution, the Vikings likely acted with non-religious motives.
Source: Viking raiders were only trying to win their future wives’ hearts
Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville was set on fire on Tuesday evening and suffered extensive damage.
CHR Comment: Sad stupidity connected to the election. This story dates from Nov. 3. I am still in the process of updating my list of events after teaching in South Africa and accepting a call to parish ministry.
Source: Black Majority Church Burned And Vandalised With ‘Vote Trump’ | Christian News on Christian Today