Recovery of the Cambodian Church After the Killing Years
Mark Woods, CHRISTIAN TODAY
The Church in Cambodia is recovering after decades of struggle following the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, according to one of the country’s Catholic bishops. Cambodia is a mainly (95 per cent) Buddhist country with Christian, Muslim and indigenous religion minorities. The Khmer Rouge Communists under Pol Pot massacred a quarter of the population during its four-year rule from 1975-1979, around 1.7 million people. Christians were among other groups specifically targeted and many were killed or fled the country. Before the war there were around 170,000 Catholics, by far the largest Christian community in the country. There are now around 20,000.
Unswayed by Extraordinary Public Outcry, China Executes Nail Gun Killer
Simon Denyer, THE WASHINGTON POST
The execution of a Chinese villager on Tuesday was meant as a message to the country: ordinary people can’t take the law into their own hands, and the Communist Party is simply not going be swayed by a public outcry. Jia Jinglong had his family home demolished by a wrecking crew and beaten senseless by thugs. Jinglong retaliated by killing the local party chief. Having confessed his crimes, many people believed he should be spared the death penalty, and even state-run media had rallied to his defense to urge leniency.
Cuban Gamers’ Surrealist Internet
Flavio Cabrera, HAVANA TIMES
In a country where the internet connection has to go through government filters, where not everybody has a computer, there is a group of young people who have found a way to communicate, create forums, and even play—without the internet. It’s a group of local networks which has been created and structured by ordinary Cubans, without any help from a government institution. SNET has been developed by individuals and groups that feel the need to have the internet.
Hong Kong Court Bars Separatists from Office
Michael Forsythe, THE NEW YORK TIMES
A court here ruled Tuesday that two young pro-independence politicians who inserted an anti-China snub into their oaths of office cannot take their seats in the city’s legislature, effectively ending a case in which Beijing has taken extraordinary steps to influence politics in Hong Kong. China’s central government handed down an edict last week that effectively barred them from the council.
North Korea: The World’s Worst Religious Persecutor
The communist regime ostentatiously treats anyone of faith, but especially Christians, as hostile. Believers place loyalty to God before that of the North Korean state. Churches allow people to act and organize outside of state entities. Christianity also has ties to a world seen as almost uniformly threatening by Pyongyang. Last year the British group Aid to the Church in Need published a persecution report which figured that some 50,000 Christians may currently be in the DPRK’s penal camps.
Russia “Tightening the Screws” on Dissenting Crimeans
Alyona Zhuk, KYIV POST
Two and a half years after Russia annexed Ukrainian Crimea, it gets only scarier and harder for the peninsula’s citizens to voice an opinion if it differs from Russian authorities, according to Krasimir Yankov, human rights researcher in Ukraine for Amnesty International. Since the Russian military invasion, human rights organizations have documented at least 269 cases of human rights violations, including kidnappings, searches of offices and apartments, arrests, and criminal cases being brought on bogus charges.
Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro Rules Out Early Election
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has ruled out holding early elections amid calls from opposition groups for him to step down. Speaking on his television programme, Mr. Maduro said “nobody should get obsessed with electoral processes that are not in the constitution”. His comment comes a day after the government and opposition groups agreed on a road map to resolve Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.