Neineh Plo was born in a black zone. In the small Karenni village in eastern Burma where he was raised, Burma’s ruling regime could shoot and kill villagers at will. And they did. The State Peace & Development Council (SPDC), the brutal military regime, is known for their crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers in their war against ethnic tribes in Burma. In his earliest years, Neineh (pronounced Ne’-ne’) can remember running with his family far from his village, deep into the camouflage of the jungle. Read full article > http://www.crosswalk.com/news/religiontoday/11627426/
It is stories like Anaika’s that capture the grim agony, the desolation, the faith, the hope, the suffering and the anguish of Haiti after the earthquake. First sorrow, then a surge of hope accompanied by tremendous faith, then, bewilderingly – death. It’s all here in Haiti, mixed together in a baffling conglomeration. We’ve all seen the coverage. Bodies being pulled from the rubble, families mourning their loss, tears unending – and yet, open air worship services, women singing for joy at a saved life. Read full article >
Mi-Sun Bang cries as she tells of the day that she and her son and daughter attempted an escape from North Korea. The Tumen River ends the lives of many refugees – numerous bodies have been found along the shore. But for Mi-Sun Bang, there was no choice. Her husband had starved to death in 2002, and making the river escape to China was her only hope for survival. “We entered holding hands,” she recalls, “but we were all separated.” Read full article >
by Kristin Butler
Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Pakistani vocalist Ayman Udas had just had her first major television appearance. The beautiful and talented singer had risen to fame over songs sung in her native Pashto language, songs that speak of love, courage, and death. But it seemed that the disapproval of her conservative Islamic family was growing at the rate of her popularity in Peshawar’s artistic society. The young mother of two had divorced and recently remarried, creating a stir in her family. But it was her television appearance that led to Udas’s death at the hands of her own brothers, men who killed their sister in the name of “honor.” Read the full article on Crosswalk.com –http://www.crosswalk.com/root/news/religiontoday/11603889/page0/
At the National Press Club in DC I listened to the tragic stories of North Korean women who have been trafficked – sold in China as brides to Chinese men. Their stories are punctuated with heartache and survival, and a determination to protect other women from this same plight. I highly recommend the recently-released report produced by the US Commission on North Korean Human Rights, titled Lives for Sale.
During the conference, the issue of refugee repatriation was also covered. One victim pulled up her skirt to reveal gaping wounds from a beating she received while in captivity at a detention/conceptration camp in North Korea, after she was repatriated from China. While cameras were flashing, I just stared at this savage cruelty that had been enacted on a fellow human being. For a second, I couldn’t breathe. How could someone do this to someone else? Her leg had nearly been ripped to pieces. This, for the “crime” of being a refugee, and seeking a better place to live.
There are so many thousands of refugees like this woman, who are simply looking for a safe home and a place to live and love. The UNHCR must be allowed access to the China/North Korea border to grant these innocent people a chance to live in freedom.
Kristin Butler covers human rights and religious freedom issues for BreakPoint and Crosswalk.com. Below is a brief selection of her articles.
Bethlehem’s Forgotten Christians
The little town of Bethlehem famously characterized in the renowned Christmas carol captured millions of hearts with its tranquil imagery of Christ’s birthplace. But the Bethlehem that I visited last Christmastime evoked a somewhat different sentiment. Read full article.
India: A Timeline of Persecution
A once-beautiful church building burned to the ground. Children crying for parents who will never return. Blood-stained machetes lying on the ground near a perpetrator’s home. According to Compass Direct News, these are snapshots of a war zone that has gone largely unnoticed in recent months. More.
Dark Nights in the Middle East
Christians on the Gaza Strip
With an estimated 2,000-3,000 Christians along the Gaza Strip and less than 2 percent of the entire Middle East claiming faith in Christ, the Church appears to be a besieged minority trapped in a combat zone. Economic decline, constant conflict, and the rise of radical Islam in the region have all played a role in the declining numbers of Christians across the homeland of Christ. But in spite of the ongoing attacks, faith is on the rise. Full article.
The Wilberforce Legacy
Confronting Slavery in Today’s World
Wilberforce’s response echoed through the halls of Parliament, his eloquence rivaled only by his indignation. “The question suspended?” The room quieted around him. “Is the desolation of wretched Africa suspended? Are all the complicated miseries of this atrocious trade—is the work of death suspended?” Read full article.
Forgotten No More
A Week to Remember the People of North Korea
As I listened to Sean recount, through his interpreter, his experiences in North Korea, my mind drifted back to five years earlier when I read a BreakPoint interview with Dr. Norbert Vollertsen and, for the first time, learned of the plight of North Korean refugees. Full article.
Additional articles can be found by visiting Crosswalk.com and BreakPoint.org, and searching for “Kristin Wright” and “Kristin Butler.” Kristin can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Kristin Butler, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
Buddhist members of Parliament who introduced the “Bill for the Prohibition of Forcible Conversions” claim that the measure will simply ensure the prevention of forcible conversions. But its broad language leaves reason to doubt that. Read the full article here.