December 2008 Headlines

Meet the 'Praying' Santa Claus

He's not your regular Kris Kringle.  He's one of Santa's helpers who's dedicated to telling children about the real meaning of Christmas.

China's Christians Reach Out to Devastated

 EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a look back at some of the top stories of 2008. This is one of them. For updates on these stories, search the Christian World News archives on the web. 

Iraqi Christians Search for New Homeland

EDITOR'S NOTE: We're taking a look back at some of the top stories of 2008. This is one of them. For updates on these stories, search the Christian World News archives on the web.

Hindu State: Purging Christians from Orissa

BHUBANESHWAR, Orissa - In this remote eastern region of India, Hindu radicals are accused of a deliberate and systematic campaign to eradicate Christians from the land.

The Nativity Story Told by Children

In the New Testament in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, you can read the Christmas story from two different perspectives.

Quake Pushes China's Churches to Action

China's churches responded to a monster earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in May.

U.S. Makes History in 2008 Election

This year, the U.S. made history in its presidential election.

Christians Help Georgians After Attacks - In August, Russian troops and planes attacked the Republic of Georgia.

Israeli Teen Still Recovering After Attack

Earlier this year in Ariel, Israel, a bomb disguised as a holiday gift ripped through the apartment of a Messianic Jewish pastor and his family.

India's Christians Face Historical Attacks

This year, Christians in Orissa state experienced some of the worst persecution ever in India.

A Look Back at Burma's Cyclone Tragedy

This May, a vicious cyclone tore through Burma killing more than 146,000 people.

Officials Nix Prayer Box at City Hall

RENSSELAER, Ind. - Pastors in Rensselaer, Indiana, say they'll keep praying even though their request for a prayer box in City Hall has been turned down.

NC Church Gives Hope to Soldiers

Some U.S. troops in Iraq are preparing to spend their second Christmas in a row away from home. But one North Carolina church is making sure some soldiers don't feel forgotten.

Singers Putting Christ in Christmas in Nepal

A singer from India is organizing concerts to introduce un-churched youth to the meaning of Christmas.

Documentary Series Looks at Jesus' Nazareth

Many tourists are going to Israel during this Christmas season to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Protecting Christians in Iraq

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom says Iraq should be among those countries the U.S. State Department targets for abuses of religious freedom.

Christians Taken Captive in Bangladesh - Buddhist clerics and local council officials are holding 13 newly converted Christians captive in a pagoda in a southeastern mountainous district of Bangladesh in an attempt to forcibly return them to Buddhism.

TV Show Converts People to Christianity -- This past summer, a reality TV show highlighted the Christian faith by challenging participants to live a biblical lifestyle.

Israelis Detain Two Messianic Jews

JERUSALEM -- Israeli authorities detained two American Messianic Jews trying to enter the country this week.

Land grab threatens YWAM Ukraine -- The future of Youth With A Mission's work in Ukraine is under threat as the missionary group has fallen victim to a land grab move that's become a common practice in Eastern Europe.

Turkey: Heavy Regulations for Churches - In the city of Samsun on the north coast of Turkey, the beleaguered congregation of the Agape Church Association struggles against local Islamic hostility toward its presence.

Somali Christian Shot - DADAAB, Kenya - A Somali Christian put in a refugee camp police cell here for defending his family against Islamic zealots has been released after Christians helped raise the 20,000 Kenya shilling fine that a camp "court" demanded for his conversion dishonoring Islam and its prophet, Muhammad.

Christians on Wall Street Praying, Hoping

Wall Street is in one of the most volatile economic downturns in U.S. history. The temptation to panic is high. So, how are Christians who work on Wall Street reacting to the crisis? As CBN News discovered, they are clinging to the rock that can not be moved.

China's Churches Facing Leader Shortages -BEIJING, China -- The dramatic rise of Christianity in the People's Republic of China is severely straining the resources of Chinese churches in order to meet the spiritual needs of the people.

India Silent on Attacks on Orissa Christians

Indians are demanding accountability for those who failed to stop the Mumbai attacks.

Church Leaders: Do More to Help the Poor

Most American clergy say their congregations need to do more to help ease poverty around the world, according to a new Barna survey for the ONE campaign.

Persecution Still Evident on Human Rights Day - The United Nations observed Human Rights Day this week, marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Chinese Protest in Honor of Human Rights - In honor of the 60th anniversary of the UN Human Rights declaration this week, two dozen Chinese took the occasion to protest outside the Foreign Ministry in Beijing.

China Increases Church Regulation - Chinese officials are stepping up their campaign against unregistered house Christians.

Muslim-Christian Tension High in Indonesia - Tensions remain high in the Maluku Islands in indonesia, where hundreds of Muslims rioted there earlier this week.

Prayers Mount Over Zimbabwe Problems - Cholera is spreading rapidly in the southern African nation of Zimbabwe.

World's Hungry Nears 1 Billion - Higher food prices and the global financial crisis have pushed 40 million more people into "chronic hunger" this year.

Philippines Ministry Offers Hope for Homless - CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES - In the Philippines, a Christian organization is going out to dumpsites and streets to feed hungry people, but they're doing more than filling hungry stomachs.

China Reaches Out to House Churches -- In recent months Chinese officials have attempted to build bridges with the Protestant house church movement even as police raided more unregistered congregations, arrested Christian leaders and forced at least 400 college students to swear they would stop attending such worship services.

Terror in Nigeria -- Nigerian born social worker Helen Bako didn't expect to be right in the middle of post-election violence in the central Nigerian city of Jos, where she was just visiting.

Christians Oppressed on Indian Ocean Islands - Christians on the predominantly Muslim islands of Pemba and the Comoros archipelago are beaten, detained and banished for their faith, according to church leaders who travel regularly to the Indian Ocean isles off the east coast of Africa.

India: Christians Fear Violent Christmas - Christians in Orissa state are anticipating Christmas with fear as Hindu extremists have called for a state-wide bandh, or forced shut-down on all sectors of society, on Dec. 25 - a move that could provide Hindu extremists the pretext for attacking anyone publicly celebrating the birth of Christ.

Religious Violence in Nigeria Subsides

The worst violence in years to break out in the Nigerian city of Jos has subsided for now, according to reports.

WorldWatch: Updates on the Global Church

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

Hindu Nation: India's Religious Cleansing

NEW DELHI, India - It was perhaps one of the worst attacks on Christians ever in India's history.

NC Church Wages War on Alzheimer's

The elderly congregants at The First Baptist Church in Jacksonville have a number of methods for keeping their minds and hearts active for as long as possible.

Egyptian Christian Wins Right to Appeal -- A Supreme Court judge in Egypt on Nov. 22 granted Christian Bahia El-Sisi the right to appeal her conviction for falsification of documents - a charge stemming from her official papers not identifying her as a Muslim.

Chinese Government Bans House Church Alliance -- China Aid Association says that it has learned that at 7 a.m. on November 28, 2008, Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, head of the Chinese House Church Alliance, was forcibly taken by four plain-clothed officers from the Henan Public Security Department and the City of Nanyang to the building where Nanyang Municipal Union Hotel is located.

Violence in Nigeria

JOS, Nigeria -- Communal violence broke out in the central Nigerian city of Jos on Friday, November 28, after Muslims began attacking Christians on claims of vote-tampering, leaving hundreds dead and thousands fleeing their homes.