#ShortNews: Protestants arrested for ‘forced conversions’ in India

The complaint started with the father of a young tribal ethnic Sarna who wanted to marry a Christian. The girl, the future husband and two Christians allegedly tried convert even the elderly father. The anti-conversion law provides for severe penalties for those who force the conversion of minors and tribals.

The leader of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reports that this rule “is a means of intimidating and harassing the vulnerable Christian community. Furthermore, a worrying trend has emerged in the Chotanagpur area: there are biased interests that want to divide the tribal population, pitting the Sarna tribes against other indigenous groups”.

According to Sumaru, his daughter’s future spouse – of Christian religion – would have convinced her to embrace her faith in Christ before marriage. In view of the wedding, the two young men would try to convince their father too, with the complicity of the pastor and the other woman. Sajan K George complains that “the diatribe broke out on the wedding day, when Sumaru thought that the wedding ceremony should be carried out according to the Sarna tradition”.

Read full story: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jharkhand,-four-Evangelicals-arrested-for-‘forced-conversions’-44173.html

#ShortNews: Number of refugees reaches record 68.5 million

“No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”

Wars, violence and persecution uprooted record numbers of men, women and children worldwide last year, making a new global deal on refugees more critical than ever, according to a UNHCR report published today.

The UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study found 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world at the end of 2017, more people than the population of Thailand.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution accounted for 25.4 million. This is 2.9 million more than in 2016, also the biggest increase UNHCR has ever seen in a single year.

New displacement is also growing, with 16.2 million people displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly. That is an average of one person displaced every two seconds. And overwhelmingly, it is developing countries that are most affected.

Read full story: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/stories/2018/6/5b222c494/forced-displacement-record-685-million.html

#ShortNews: ‘Forgive, Love Our Enemies,’ Pope Preaches At Weekday Mass

The challenge of Christian life, he said, is asking the Lord for the grace “to bless our enemies” and to love them.

“To pray for those who want to destroy me, my enemies, so that God may bless them: This is truly difficult to understand. We can recall events of the last century, like the poor Russian Christians who, simply for being Christians, were sent to Siberia to die of cold. And they should pray for the executing government that sent them there? How can that be? Yet many did so: they prayed. We think of Auschwitz and other concentration camps. Should they pray for the dictator who sought a ‘pure race’ and killed without scruple, even to pray that God should bless him? And yet many did so.”

Read full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2018-06/pope-mass-santa-marta-christians-enemies.html