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An open-air gospel meeting in rural Uganda.
Photo provided by Willy Bitson

Around the World: Riots in Pakistan destroy church buildings, water wells needed in Niger and more quick takes

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Around the World is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ all over the globe. Got an idea for this column? Email Erik Tryggestad at [email protected].

Featured image (above): In the rural village of Kyanya, Uganda, people listen and follow along in their Bibles as church members read Scripture and discuss topics including the Sabbath and Jesus’ ministry. The open-air gospel meeting lasted three days, said Willy Bitson, a minister for the Kalhumanga Church of Christ.

“Continue praying for our gospel mission work,” Bitson said. “The work here is big and needs more prayers, more laborers in order to save the lost sheep.” 


PUNE — Evangelist Prabhu Kumar journeyed more than 500 miles from his home in southeastern India to Pune, an information technology hub in western India with more than 6 million souls in its metropolitan area.

Prabhu Kumar

Prabhu Kumar

Kumar, who preaches for the Punadipadu Church of Christ, inaugurated a new branch of World English Institute, a ministry that uses the Bible to help non-native speakers improve their English. He also visited church members in Pune and worked with Charles Ekka, a member who lives in the town of Baramati.


SOURA — In this landlocked West African nation, dominated by the massive Sahara desert, a faith-based nonprofit supported by Churches of Christ raised funds to dig 40 wells in rural villages.

And not a moment too soon.

A trifecta of calamities — a political coup, rampant inflation and disastrous flooding — befell Niger, said Lee Hodges, director of Gallatin, Tenn.-based Hope Springs International. The rains washed away crops. Now the nonprofit seeks to drill 40 additional wells — only 16 of which needed funding at press time, Hodges said.

“Without these wells, there will not be any opportunities to raise another crop until next year’s rainy season,” he said. “The result will be devastating to these families.”


SAHIWAL — Hundreds of Pakistani Muslims formed mobs to burn and vandalize church buildings and the homes of Christians in Pakistan’s Faisalabad district. The attacks followed accusations that two members of a Christian community had committed blasphemy.

Ministers in Pakistan survey damage done during recent mob violence against Christians.

Ministers in Pakistan survey damage done during recent mob violence against Christians.

Police arrested 130 people in connection with the attacks, but Pakistani Christians said that the police did little to prevent the attacks, Human Rights Watch reports.

“We face backlash, discrimination in each and every field of life, every day, 24/7.”

“We face backlash, discrimination in each and every field of life, every day, 24/7,” said Naeem Sabir, a minister and ministry trainer who works with Churches of Christ and a Bible college about 60 miles south of the attacks. Sabir is raising funds to rebuild the meeting place of a Church of Christ that burned during the riots.


SEVILLE — Christians gathered in this historic city for the 54th meeting of Churches of Christ in Spain.

In addition to Bible lessons, fellowship and times of worship coordinated by Víctor Rubí, this year’s meeting included an emotional moment when Yolanda Monroy presented two mosaic portraits, with allusions to the history of Churches of Christ, to church leaders Miguel Perdomo of Seville and Manuel de León of Asturias in northern Spain.

De León, minister for the Church of Christ in Sama de Langreo, spent nine years in a Catholic seminary studying to become a priest before he was baptized and became part of the Church of Christ. Attendees applauded his testimony.

Song leader Moisés Buzón concluded the meeting with the traditional singing of “El Espiritu Santo (“The Holy Spirit”). 

Filed under: Around the World Churches of Christ in India Churches of Christ in Niger Churches of Christ in Pakistan Churches of Christ in Spain International News Partners Top Stories World English Institute

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