Persecution Watch

Christian Teachers Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Three Christian women in Indonesia were sentenced Sept. 1 to three years in prison for allowing Muslim children to attend a Christian Sunday school program, Compass Direct reported. Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun were found guilty of attempting to convert children under the Child Protection Act of 2002. Jeff Hammond of Bless Indonesia Today said the women asked the children to get permission from their parents before attending the program, and those without permission were asked to go home. The Sunday school teachers were not given the maximum sentence of five years in prison but said they were devastated by the prospect of being separated from their students, who range in age from 6 to 19, Compass said.

International Church in Vietnam Shut Down

Local authorities shut down a 500-member international church in Vietnam Aug. 27, Compass Direct reported. Eric Dooley, pastor of New Life Fellowship, had sought a permit to meet since it was founded in 1997. Dooley said District 5 police ordered the church to close because it had no permit-though the government has repeatedly ignored the church's efforts to get permission to worship. On Aug. 28, the Sunday after the church was closed, Dooley stood outside the hotel where the church has been worshiping to inform those showing up that they would not be able to meet. Church leaders hope the action does not represent an effort by the national government to harass the church, Compass said.

Chinese Christian Denied Asylum in U.S.

In August, Xiaodong Li was denied asylum in the U.S. because he was a member of an "illegal" house church, Assist News Service ANS) reported. Li, who is receiving assistance from Virginia-based Christian Freedom International (CFI), fled to the U.S. after police raided his apartment in Ningbo, China. CFI said Li was punched, kicked and shocked with electric batons until he "confessed" to organizing "unauthorized" Christian house-church meetings. The 11-member Board of Immigration Appeals determined that Li fled China because he feared legal action, not persecution, ANS reported. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the board's decision and denied Li asylum. CFI said the ruling will make it hard for others who face religious persecution to find refuge in the U.S. "America was founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution," CFI said in a statement. "It is unfortunate that a group of unelected officials ... have lost sight of this." The Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian law firm that specializes in religious liberty issues, has taken over as Li's lead counsel.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • There are some ways the Holy Spirit will never lead you.

    4 Ways the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead You—and 1 Big Danger

    Wrong teaching, ignorance, laziness and a failure of the five-fold to equip the saints for the work ...

  • Chuck Pierce

    Prophetic Word: 'The Winds of Heaven Are Now Entering the Earth'

    Chuck Pierce says we need to brace ourselves.

  • What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    What if You Could Save $500 This Week?

    Start saving for emergencies today with the $500 Savings Challenge by brightpeak financial. It's chock-full of inspiration, great savings tips and the motivation to make a dent in your savings—for real! Go to to sign up!

  • Lee's ministry photo

    10 Ways to Pray for a Troubled America

    God is always willing to rescue His people if they pray.

  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Low-Rate Church Loans Available!

    Whether it's purchasing a property, remodeling or refinancing, Christian Community Credit Union has a loan package that's customized for your budget and situation.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • God doesn't usually shout, so you should listen carefully.

    What Happens When You Actually Listen to God

    It will surprise—and most likely shock—you.

  • Is there any unconfessed sin in your life?

    Scripture Says Pain, Health and Sin Share This Unexpected Connection

    If you're experiencing chronic pain, this may offer you the answer you need.

  • Guarding the gates of your heart will keep the demonic and evil out of your life.

    Keep the Demonic Out of Your Life With This Oft-Overlooked Spiritual Warfare Strategy

    The enemy knows his limitations. Limit him.

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit