By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife MOSCOW/STOCKHOLM (BosNewsLife)-- Ukraine is celebrating after it won the Eurovision Song Contest with an emotionally charged song about Soviet Union leader Josef Stalin's deportation in 1944 of nearly a quarter of a million Crimean Tatars. Yet the song by Susana Jamaladinova, a 32-year-old trained opera singer who uses the stage name Jamala, has angered critics in Russia, which came in third after Australia.
By BosNewsLife News Center BAKU/TBILISI (BosNewsLife)-- Christian activists have urged prayers for a frail Christian evangelist from Azerbaijan who has been spending a year behind bars in neighboring Georgia on what his supporters say are "trumped up charges" of drugs possession. If convicted the man could face 14 years imprisonment, Christians said.
By Martin Roth, BosNewsLife Senior Columnist MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BosNewsLife Columns)-- The 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union sparked hopes among Christians for a new era of religious freedom. Sadly, these dreams have been only partially realized. This has been confirmed in the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries where Christians are most severely persecuted for their faith.
By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest with reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos ASTANA/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- A court in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan has begun hearing the case against a Kazakh Christian convert who could face a long prison term on charges of "inciting religious hatred". Yqylas Qabduaqasov, 54, an active member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, was brought to the courtroom in the capital Astana Friday, October 9, in handcuffs, reporters said.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Budapest and border areas BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Pope Francis call for solidarity with migrants fleeing war and poverty amid Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War Two comes while Hungary's government says it has completed a razor-wire barrier near the border with Serbia. It is among several measures Hungary is taking to halt back refugees after some 150,000 migrants reportedly entered the country illegally this year alone. In Budapest refugees have demanded safe passage to the West during spontaneous demonstrations over the weekend.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Budapest and border areas BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Four people remain detained after the decomposing bodies of 71 migrants fleeing war and poverty, including eight women and four children, were found in a truck on Austria's main highway after apparently arriving from neighboring Hungary. Hungarian police said they detained the suspects as part of a wider investigation into human smuggling.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Hungarian-Serbian border area ÁSOTTHALOM, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- Macedonia has seen fighting among migrants at a train station as they rush to reach Serbia and from there Hungary, a European Union member state. Refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations are racing to reach Hungary before it finishes building a fence to keep them out.
By BosNewsLife News Center with reporting by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos MINSK/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)-- Christians say a pastor in southeast Belarus may face criminal charges after police raided his church venue during a Sunday worship service as part of a wider government crackdown on devoted believers in the autocratically-ruled former Soviet nation.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife reporting from Ásotthalom ÁSOTTHALOM, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)-- More than 60,000 refugees arrived in Hungary this year, mostly through the unprotected border with Serbia. Overwhelmed by the mass influx of migrants, Hungarian authorities said they want to install a four-meter fence along this stretch of border to keep the migrants out. A recent poll indicates most Hungarians support the fence.
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (BosNewsLife)-- Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev was set to renew his 26-year grip on power in elections on a pledge to offer the multi-ethnic Central Asian state economic and social stability in return for what rights groups call "systematic suppression" of opposition and devoted Christians.