By BosNewsLife News Center
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– Devoted Christians in Hungary and the Middle East stood up against Nazism or Islamic extremism this week, while others worshiped Christ behind bars, between bomb explosions and in bitter cold conditions.
In Hungary evangelicals were seen among those taking to the streets Sunday, December 2, in an unprecedented rally against antisemitism here, uniting opposition and government supporters.
At least 10,000 Hungarians braved winter temperatures to attend an anti-Nazi rally in Budapest against a far right leader’s proposal to draw up lists of Hungarian Jews who may “represent a security risk” for Hungary.
Marton Gyöngyösi of the far-right ‘Movement For a Better Hungary’ (Jobbik), made the comments last week in parliament following several other antisemitic incidents linked to his party. The comments came as a shock elderly Jews still traumatized of a Hungary-supported Holocaust that killed 600,000 Hungarian Jews.
Christians were also targeted this week, when on Monday, Demember 3, confirmation came that suspected Islamic militants killed at least ten Christians, including a pastor, and torched several churches in the latest anti-Christian violence to hit Nigeria.
The Christians, who were killed in the country’s northeastern state of Borno, had their throats slit by the attackers, rights activists confirmed. “They came armed with guns but decided to butcher their victims,” a witness reportedly said about the overnight attack.
Boko Haram, or ‘Western Education is a Sin’ has waged a campaign for a strict Islamic state in what is Africa’s largest economy.
BosNewsLife’s newsweek was also marked by political news from the former Soviet Union. In Ukraine
political uncertainty was reported Tuesday, December 4 after the sudden resignation of Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet.
The president asked the prime minister to stay on as interim leader as the country prepares for talks with international lenders on multi-billion-dollar financial assistance to help overcome its economic crisis.
On Sunday, December 9, President Viktor Yanukovych re-appointed Azarov as prime minister but it was unclear whether he would be able to revive the International Monetary Fund negotiations amid Western concerns over stalled reforms.
Elsewhere in the region, in Belarus, there was celebration among Christians as one of the largest evangelical congregations confirmed Wednesday, December 5, that authorities at the last moment decided not to evict them from their building, following years of judicial wrangling.
Hundreds of Christians of the New Life Church and pastors from other churches gathered Wednesday, December 5, in the congregation’s cow barn-turned-church building in the capital Minsk to “thank Jesus Christ” for the court victory.
There was more good news for a Protestant pastor who faced deportation from Kazakhstan to his native Uzbekistan and up to 15 years imprisonment for leading an unregistered house church.
His supporters confirmed Wednesday, December 5, that Makset Djabbarbergenov, 32, and his family flew to Frankfurt, Germany after the pastor was reportedly freed from jail in Kazakhstan’s commercial capital Almaty the previous day.
Facilitating his release and asylum in Europe was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said Forum 18, an advocacy group supporting the pastor.
But in Asia, a devoted Christian family in Bangladesh faced years of imprisonment on “false” charges of human trafficking, their church said Thursday, December 6.
Islamists reportedly sued the six-member family in the capital Dhaka for allegedly abducting and selling their 14-year-old Muslim house maid, though the Christians denied wrongdoing.
“The mother of maid Mitu, who cooperates with the Islamic criminal group, has blackmailed the family. She says she will withdraw the court case only if they pay 1 million taka ($12,330),” added Mark Huda Junayed, a member of the family’s ‘Mirpur Assemblies of God Church’.
Yet between the difficulties, they continued to worship Christ, just as their fellow believers in Syria where on Friday, December 7, news emerged that Christians face starvation after dozens of believers already died in targeted attacks rocking Christian areas of the war-torn country.
“Bread isn’t found since last week, there is no wheat in the city and of course fuel is not available so…bakeries are not working,” said Majd Ajji, whose father runs a Baptist church in the city of Aleppo, where airstrikes and gun battles transformed buildings into heaps of rubble.
Most of the city, 310 kilometers (193 miles) northwest from capital Damascus, is now reportedly under rebel control but the situation remains tense, Ajji said in an email obtained by BosNewsLife.
DEADLY CAR BOMBS
On November 28, twin deadly car bombs rocked the Christian and Druze areas in Jaramana, a suburb of capital Damascus, killing at least 38 people and injuring over 80, Christians said in comments monitored by BosNewsLife, following similar deadly attacks in previous weeks.
There has been concern about the growing number of Islamic militants involved in armed opposition groups opposing Syrian Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The growing influence of Islamists was also clear further away in Pakistan this week where on Saturday, December 8, an elderly Swedish missionary was believed to still fight for her life after she was shot in eastern part of the country by suspected Islamic militants.
Officials from her Full Gospel Assembly charity said Bargeeta Almby was still unconscious after surgery on December 3 for gunshot wounds to the chest.
The 72-year-old was reportedly attacked by unknown assailants on December 3 as she drove back to her home in the capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Lahore.
She had served there for nearly four decades, running an orphanage and adult-literacy programs among other activities.
Yet, between the suffering, Christians made clear they remain faithful to Christ saying in the end He will call the home at the table of the Lord.
In Belarus, New Life Pastor Vyacheslav Goncharenko told worshipers: “There is nothing impossible for our King!”
(Budapest-based BosNewsLife is Central and Eastern Europe’s first international Christian online news agency. With additional reporting by BosNewsLife’s Dr. John M. Lindner and Joe Joseph DeCaro in the United States, Paul Jongas in Nigeria and Stefan J. Bos at BosNewsLife News Center).