We Persevere is a roundup of items of interest concerning religious freedom at home and abroad. It is curated for RAANetwork by K.A. Ellis, Ambassador for International Christian Response.

WORLD: November brings us the International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church, with events happening month-long. Now’s the best time to think about incorporating ideas and media from these sites into your services: http://christianresponse.org and http://idop.org/web/ 

NIGERIA: Boko Haram militants handed over 21 Chibok schoolgirls to authorities Thursday after a series of negotiations, Nigeria’s government said, in the first mass release of any of the more than 200 girls and women kidnapped from their school two years ago. CNN featured extensive reporting on the last two years in the lives of the kidnapping, the girls who’ve escaped, those released, those who remain, and their parents’ actvism…

YEMEN: Yemen is in the grip of its most severe crisis in years, as competing forces fight for control of the country. This week, the US entered into the conflict in Yemen with an air assault on innocents on the ground, already struggling and starving in this battered region. This quick video will tell you more. Impoverished but strategically important, the tussle for power in Yemen has serious implications for the region and the security of the West. There is a Christian presence there caught in the crossfire, but their stories, and those of other Yemenis, have been grossly underrepresented in the media. Many are now on the brink of starvation.

PAKISTAN: Disappointment in Pakistan this week as the Supreme Court yesterday delayed an appeal into the country’s most notorious blasphemy case, after one of the judges stepped down. The case is being watched with great international scrutiny with observers warning of “tremendous” repercussions for minorities in Muslim-majority Pakistan. Christians in particular often live under Jim Crow-like conditions, with second class status and no opportunity for economic advancement. Bibi, a young Christian mother of two, has been on death row for six years for “drinking from the wrong water bowl.”

SYRIA: Syria’s military, backed by Russian warplanes, have killed more than 150 people in eastern Aleppo this week, rescue workers said. The attack was part of a renewed bombardment supporting an offensive to seize the city’s shattered rebel-held sector. Rising casualties in Aleppo, where buildings have been reduced to rubble or are lacking roofs or walls, have prompted an international outcry and a renewed diplomatic push, with talks between the United States and Russia planned for Saturday (10/15). Now in its sixth year, Syria’s civil war has killed 300,000 people and made millions homeless, while dragging in regional and global powers as well as inspiring jihadist attacks abroad. The indigenous church is on the ground delivering humanitarian aid, counseling, and comfort to people of all religions.  Read more…

Many read #WePersevere and ask what they can do to help the global church under hostility. International Christian Response is on the ground in these regions. Thanks in advance to those who give, and be sure to mention RAANetwork on the online form.