WorldWatch: Updates on the Global Church

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Christian Faces Charges in China

While the world watches protests surrounding the Olympic torch and the crackdown in Tibet, the Chinese government is threatening to execute an ethnic Christian.

The Muslim convert to Christianity has been imprisoned for 'leaking state secrets.'

Alimujang Yimiti could receive the death sentence if convicted later this month.

Bob Fu of the China Aid Association says the charges are false and that Yimiti is being targeted for his Christian faith.

Fu says the Chinese government persecutes Christian converts from Islam even more harshly than house church Christians.

Priest Shot Down in Iraq

An Iraqi priest has been murdered in Baghdad. Hundreds of mourners filled the streets for the funeral procession of Yousef Adel.

A gunmen shot the Assyrian Orthodox priest several times in the chest as he stood in his driveway.

Funeral services were held at the Saint Peter and Paul Church, where Adel served as a priest.

Mourners said he was a compassionate man who ministered to orphans and widows.

No suspects have been arrested for his murder. Christians say the attackers are trying to put fear in their community.

READ MORE:  Baghdad Priest Murdered Outside His Home

Churches Claim Victory in Land Dispute

Eleven conservative congregations that broke away from the U.S. Episcopal Church claimed victory in court this week.

A Virginia judge says a state statute allows them to keep their property.

Two of the churches, Falls Church and Truro, sit on land near the nation's capitol worth $25 million.

The Episcopal Church contends that all church property belongs to it and that when a congregation breaks away, the property is considered "abandoned."

But the judge disagreed.

READ MORE:  Episcopal Church Lawsuit Dropped

Franklin Graham Gathers Thousands in Ireland

In Belfast, Northern Ireland, Franklin graham held the the largest evangelistic event the city has seen in nearly 50 years.

More than 32,000 people filled the Odyssey Arena during the three-day gospel festival, that included dance ministry and contemporary music.

The Christian Post reports that the city's churches haven't seen crowds that big since Franklin's father, Billy Graham, preached there in 1961.

The festival was hosted by 386 Belfast churches and Graham's message of repentance.

"There are many of you here are guilty of sexual sins.," he said. "But I'm here tonight to tell you that God will forgive you, and he'll cleanse you, and he can set you free tonight if you're willing to come to him by faith, trusting in his son Jesus Christ."

About 2,500 people came to the altar to dedicate their lives to Christ during the festival.

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