WorldWatch: Updates on the Global Church

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Read below or click play for this week's stories affecting the global church.


Asian Nation Cracks Down on Churches

In the central Asia nation of Uzbekistan, the government is cracking down on most religions, from Nursi Muslims to Protestant Christians.

Under the law, Christians must meet in registered churches, but many are forced to worship in secret.

Recently, police raided a house where some Christians were sharing a meal. They detained six men and three of them were sentenced to serve 15 days in prison.

In another part of the country, officials arrested a Baptist pastor simply because his congregation was meeting on a day other than Sunday.


Groups Rally for Kidnapped Christian in China

The China Aid Association is urging immediate action on behalf of a detained Christian human rights activist.

Gao Zhisheng was last seen in February when police took him from his home.

He endured months of beatings and electric shocks at the hands of police in 2007.

China Aid fears he's being tortured again by authorities.

Gao has spoken out for years against China's persecution.

His family escaped to the u-s earlier this month.


CA Street Preach Wins Case Against City

A California street preacher has won the right to continue sharing his faith with others.

Kevin Borden of Modesto had been witnessing to people at the Tenth Street Plaza for about three years when one business complained to the city.

Modesto leaders then rented out the plaza in an effort to make it private property, essentially blocking Borden from preaching there.

Police threatened to arrest him if preached on the premises.

Borden sued the city for violating his constitutional right to free speech.

The city has now agreed to uphold his free-speech rights and will also cover Borden's 35,000 in legal fees.


Graham Draws Thousands in Struggling Uruguay

Just north of Argentina, the small country of Uruguay is the most secularized and atheist country in Latin America.

One of every four residents there suffer depression and many take refuge in drugs.

But in the capital, Montevideo, Uruguayans recently welcomed an opportunity to change.

Evangelist Franklin Graham drew 71,000 people to this stadium in month.

The three-day Festival of Hope broke attendance records for Christian events in Uruguay.

Some 700 churches helped organize the festival and the Graham Association reports more than 8,000 people made commitments to follow Christ.

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