News and Views presented by Rev. E. Anderson

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Rev. E. Anderson

Did you know? 

MPs Motion on Religious Persecution in
Burma

Members of the British Parliament have tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the United Nations to investigate violations of religious freedom in Burma.The Early Day Motion was tabled by Stephen Crabb MP (Con), co-sponsored by John Bercow MP (Con), Alistar Carmichael (Lib Dem), Steve Webb (Lib Dem), David Drew (Lab) and Jim Dobbin (Lab). The Motion calls for the UN Security Council ‘to pass a binding resolution requiring the SPDC to cease its widespread violation of human rights, including violations of religious freedom, release all political prisoners, open all parts of the country to unhindered access for international humanitarian organisations, and engage in meaningful tripartite  dialogue with the National League of Democracy and the ethnic nationalities.’

Meanwhile, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has launched major new report, Carrying the Cross: The Military’s Regime’s Campaign of Restriction, Discrimination and Persecution against Christians in Burma.

Carrying the Cross is the most comprehensive analysis of its kind , and the first to examine the military’s regime’s policies towards Christians of all denominations and ethnicities in Burma. It follows reports in recent years on the persecution of Muslims and the imprisonment of Buddhist monks

Report from Response

EL SALVADOR: Attacks on Christians Increasing 

The message of the Gospel has always had a central place in the history of El Salvador (Spanish for ‘the Saviour’ in honour of Jesus Christ). However, it has not always been easy for those who have preached it.

El Salvador’s Christians suffered greatly during the protracted guerrilla warfare during the 1970’s and the 1980’s. speaking out is favour of peace and social reform during that period was considered hazardous and those who dared to faced intimidation, violence and even assassination.

The signing of the peace accords in 1992 not only ended the war which had cost some 70,000 lives, but also brought a dramatic change in religious freedom with attacks on Christians  being reduced dramatically. On a visit in 2005, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated that El Salvador had ‘come through so much to have a democratic present and a democratic future. This is a country that knows the value of freedom.

However, the alarming rise in the number of attacks on Christians over the last few months greatly threatens religious freedom and is reminiscent of that bleak time in El Salvador’s history. In September2006, a Catholic priest, Antonio Romero, was brutally beaten to death – in response, many believe, to his work on human rights and with the poor.

In November, two Lutheran pastors – Francisco Carrillo and his wife Jesus de Carrillo were assassinated as they left a church service they had just conducted at the Montes de Pensbert Lutheran church in Libertad.

Also that month Pastor Alfonso Costo was shot dead as he travelled to work on a bus in the centre of the capital, San Salvador.

Such incidents have left Christians in El Salvador saddened and deeply concerned about the state of their country. Many of them are committed to the positive transformation of their country, and are working on issues involving justice, political reform and human rights. This can put them directly in the line of fire.

Please pray for the Christians in El Salvador and consider writing to your local MP or MEP to raise your concern for the plight of Christians there.

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