PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Our aim is to restore tranquility to the residents of the south, which will be fully achieved • Hamas deputy returns to Cairo to continue talks on emerging agreement with Israel • Gaza hospitals run out of chemotherapy medication.
Ariel Kahana, Lilach Shoval, Gadi Golan, Erez Linn and Israel Hayom Staff
“The next round of fighting with Hamas is just a matter of time,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday, during a tour of the IDF’s Gaza Division base near the Gaza Strip-Israel border.
Less than a week after the latest spike in cross-border violence, Lieberman was joined by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot in voicing his gratitude and respect for the IDF soldiers on the front lines.
“I want to express my appreciation to the determined and motivated commanders and soldiers who are doing sacred work to ensure the safety of the citizens of Israel,” he said.
Referring to the violent weekly Gaza border demonstrations that began in late March, Lieberman said that “since the start of the ‘March of Return’ events, Hamas’ death toll has reached 168, with 4,348 wounded. Dozens of terrorist infrastructure targets have been destroyed. The question of the next round of fighting is not ‘if’ but ‘when.’ I am convinced that we will do whatever needs to be done, the way it needs to be done.”
Responding to critics who claim that Israel’s policy of restraint is too lenient with Hamas and other Gaza terrorist groups, Lieberman said, “Our policy is a powerful, responsible security policy. Responsible defense tactics are not shaped by internet commenters, newspaper headlines or public opinion. We are prepared and we know what to do and how to do it.”
Meanwhile, amid relative calm over the last 24 hours in the border area, the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet convened on Sunday to discuss the recent tensions.
Earlier Sunday, speaking ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the current round of hostilities has not ended.
“We are in the midst of a campaign against Gaza terrorists. Blows are being exchanged; it won’t stop with one punch,” Netanyahu said.
“Our demand is clear: We want a full cease-fire. We will not accept anything less. To this point, we have destroyed hundreds of Hamas military targets, and in every round of attacks the IDF exacts another heavy price from Hamas.
“I won’t reveal our operational plans here, but they are ready. Our objective is to restore tranquility to the residents of the south and the Gaza border – which will be fully achieved.”
Meanwhile, after four months of fires being caused daily in Israeli forests, fields, groves and orchards by incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza, Sunday marked the first day in which the Israel Fire and Rescue Services said no blazes had been caused by Palestinian arson.
Meanwhile, Hamas deputy leader Saleh Arouri visited Cairo on Saturday night to continue talks on an emerging agreement with Israel that is being mediated by the Egyptian government. They also discussed inter-Palestinian reconciliation.
Arouri was joined by other senior Hamas officials after it was reported on Friday that U.N. special Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov had visited the Gaza Strip.
The Health Ministry in Gaza said Sunday it had been forced to stop providing chemotherapy treatment to children with cancer because of a lack of medicine.
A ministry spokesman said, “80% of cancer medication has run out in Gaza, and therefore it’s not practically possible to implement the relevant procedures for chemotherapy treatment. Chemotherapy treatments will cease early this week, and the situation endangers the lives of hundreds of sick people.”
WikipediaThe Escorial monastery and palace in Spain is laid out in a gridiron pattern in memory of St Lawrence.
Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of Rome who were martyred in the persecution ordered by the Emperor Valerian. At the beginning of August 258, the emperor ordered all the Christians bishops, priests and deacons to be put to death. However, the prefect of Rome demanded that before he was executed he should hand over all the riches of the church. Lawrence asked for three days to collect them all, but spent the time distributing the money to the poor and needy.
On this day in 258, he was martyred. Legend has it that the prefect had a huge gridiron prepared over hot coals, that Lawrence’s arms were dislocated and that he was roasted alive. After being tormented for a while, he said: ‘I’m well done on this side. Turn me over!’According to St Ambrose, Lawrence then presented himself to the prefect with a collection of poor, blind and needy people. ‘Behold in these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you; to which I will add pearls and precious stones, those widows and consecrated virgins, which are the Church’s crown,’ he said.
Scholars question whether this account is correct, pointing out that the emperor actually commanded clerics to be decapitated, and the truth may never be known. But Lawrence’s is an inspiring story and, like many Christians in those dangerous days, he kept the faith and died for it.
St Lawrence, for obvious reasons, is the patron saint of cooks – and comedians.
Born with a severe disability, no one thought she would be able to sit up, much less graduate from college, marry, and bear children.
But Melissa Davert’s strong faith in God and his plans for her life proved all the doubters wrong.
“If I ever started to feel down or sad or sorry for myself my parents would say, ‘Look, there’s a reason and a purpose for your disability,” Melissa says on a Facebook video. “’You might not know what it is now, but you will someday. You just have to have faith and trust in God and His plan.’”
Melissa grew up in a Christian home in Bay City, Michigan, one of seven children. She was born with a disability known as osteogenesis imperfecta or brittle bone disease. It results in bones that break easily, short height, loose joints, hearing loss, heart and breathing problems.
Doctors prepared Melissa’s parents for the possibility that she would never sit up on her own. But to their surprise, Melissa not only sat up, she found a skateboard and used her arms to move throughout the house before she got a wheelchair.
“My parents didn’t set any limits on me and I didn’t set any limits either,” she notes on the video. “My entire family made sure I grew up self-determined, not to feel sorry for myself, with a good sense of humor and strong faith.
As a child she heard about God, but one evening she experienced Him in a personal way.
“One night I had a broken bone and I was laying in bed and prayed to God please help it be better. In the morning it was (better). It was a lot better. From then I realized He is here with me. Times will be tough but He will be here with me.”
Melissa graduated from Bay City Central High School and then attended Northwood University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Later, as an advocate for the disabled, she hosted a weekly TV program, Access Mid-Michigan, which aired on community television. She hosted the program while serving as the director of the Center for Independent Living in Midland, a position she held for more than 10 years.
She met and married her husband, Ken Davert, in 1992. Ken was born with cerebral palsy.
They never planned to have children because Melissa thought she could not conceive. Then they were surprised and excited to discover she was pregnant, but lost the baby at 12 weeks for unknown reasons.
They decided to try again. “The second time we found out we were going to have twins,” she says.
Melissa’s doctors, however, were less than enthusiastic. Medical books had no cases where a woman Melissa’s size – two-feet eleven inches – had ever delivered twins. One significant concern was that the twins might grow up into Melissa’s heart and lungs, causing her to suffocate.
Several doctors proposed that Melissa abort one of the babies. They suggested a test to determine if either baby had Melissa’s disability. They advised her to abort (kill) the baby with the disability.
“Not only was it horrifying to even think that we would make a decision like that…it was insulting to me that we would make a decision based on whether one or the other had a disability because I’ve had a disability all my life and I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone,” she said.
“We needed something beyond science to help,” she added. That extra-special “something” was her profound faith in God.
Melissa and Ken visited a pro-life maternal fetal medical specialist at Covenant Health Care in Saginaw, Michigan, Dr. Daniel Wechter.
Dr. Wechter performed tests on Melissa and determined that both babies carried the same disability as Melissa.
But as they prayerfully considered their options, Melissa concluded: “Who else would take better care of them than I could?” After all, she was an expert on the condition.
Melissa decided she would walk around as much as she could during the pregnancy in the hope that the babies would grow down instead of up into her lungs.
“That’s what happened — we let gravity do its thing.”
After 32-weeks, Melissa gave birth to the twins: Michaela and Austin.
“It was the greatest joy I’ve ever felt, knowing that they were in my womb and then they were here, to begin their life,” she said.
Ken watched the birth. “It was so awesome to be in the delivery room and hear them cry when they came out and it just happened so fast. It was the greatest day of my life,” he exclaimed.
Currently, Austin and Michaela, 17, are enrolled at Davenport University. Michaela is studying marketing and also hosts her own YouTube channel where she discusses makeup and fashion. She is followed by nearly 30,000 people.
Austin has an interest in medicine and is studying health information management and volunteering at a hospital.
“We are so blessed,” Ken said. “Don’t have pity on us. We
A British religious-rights organization that has focused on relief of persecuted Christians in Muslim lands has a new fight on its hands – fighting for the right to read the Bible in public in England.
Last month, the Barnabas Fund highlighted a video showing London police arresting Allan Coote for reading the Bible in public outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. Police officers claimed that cathedral staff had asked them to do so. Later, an older video emerged from several months ago of a similar event showing police stopping Coote from reading the Bible in public outside St. Paul’s, with what appears to be member of the cathedral management standing close behind the police officers.
Ironically, Coote was reading from the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew chapter 5 which includes the verses: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” (Matthew 5:10-12, KJV)
In each of the videos the police justify their actions by stating that the cathedral staff have asked them to move on those reading from the Bible because the public precinct in front of St Paul’s cathedral is owned by the church. However, in this second video the police officer tells the cathedral staff: “I am of the opinion that this chap isn’t causing any breach of the peace. This chap isn’t impeding anyone. I am happy for him to stay here.”
However, a member of the cathedral staff then tells the police: “The registrar and the dean and the chaplain have given instructions to the head of security that at any time he shows up he should be asked to leave and we are just following those orders.”
The police officer, however. stands his ground and replies: “This chap is reading from the Bible. I feel it would be remiss of me to move him on in a place of worship.”
The Barnabas Fund points out that freedom to read the Bible in public was one of the very first aspects of freedom of religion to be legally established in England. In 1537, just a year after Tyndale had been burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English, King Henry VIII issued a royal decree making it legal to read the Bible publicly. Then on Sept. 5, 1538, his chief minister Thomas Cromwell issued in the king’s name specific injunctions to clergy to place an English Bible in every parish church in the country, ordering them: “That ye shall discourage no man privily or apertly from the reading or hearing of the said Bible, but shall expressly provoke, stir, and exhort every person to read the same, as that which is the very lively word of God, that every Christian man is bound to embrace, believe and follow if he look to be saved.”
Egyptian security forces have thwarted a suicide bomb attack on a church just outside of Cairo, state television said on Saturday.
A militant wearing a suicide vest was prevented from approaching a church in Qalyubiyah, a governorate north of Cairo, and detonated the vest about 250 metres from the church, killing himself but no one else, state news agency MENA reported.
A spokesman for the health ministry said that a foreign object had exploded leading to the death of one person but no injuries, without elaborating on whether it was an attempted attack on the church.
Islamist militants have claimed several attacks on Egypt’s large Christian minority in recent years, including two deadly bombings on Palm Sunday in April 2017 and a blast at Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral in December 2016 that killed 28 people.
The most recent attack came last December, when a gunman fired on worshippers at a Coptic Orthodox church in a Cairo suburb, killing 11 in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
The country has fought an insurgency led by Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula that has killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen since the Egyptian military overthrew President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in mid-2013 – although no official death toll has been released to date.
Christian villagers in a rural district of India’s Maharashtra state have been told that one church will be closed down every week because they have been “destroying” local tradition and culture by “luring” others to convert to Christianity.
Since June, over a dozen houses belonging to Christians have been attacked by local extremist groups across five villages within Gadchiroli district.
Christians in the villages of Halwar, Tekla, Bharagad, Kospundi and Alenga have also been told that if they pursue with Christianity, they will be cut off from local water supplies and will no longer have access to government-subsidised groceries.
The latest incident took place on Sunday, 5 August, in Kospundi, when a local Christian, Gallu Kowasi, was badly beaten by locals demanding he renounce his faith.
According to a trusted local source, the extremists are being “propelled” by the government in the name of a law on self-governing in tribal areas: the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act of 1998.
Several Christians have received death threats or have been threatened with expulsion from their village, while new converts to Christianity face being ostracised from both their family and local community.
“If one person in the family is converted to Christianity, the rest of the family unites with the village and all of them immediately socially boycott that person,” World Watch Monitor’s source explained.
“The new Christian convert will be given no job in the village and no-one will come to help him with his work. The social boycott is just the start. Thereafter the new convert is threatened constantly to leave his faith; he can be easily attacked and his house attacked.”
Most of the attacks on Christian homes took place at the end of June in protest at the construction of a new church in Halwar village.
On 27 June, the church construction was forcibly brought to a halt by a mob and a public meeting was called, during which the Christians were told to renounce their faith or leave the village.
Following the meeting, 15 houses belonging to Christian families were attacked.
The Christians of Bharagad village filed a complaint with police, but the authorities took no action. Instead, the Christians later received letters warning them against making any further complaints.
After three Christian families in Koskundi village went to the police, a mob of around 100 people gathered round the police station, demanding the Christians be thrown out of the village.
50 TO 75 Years ago Newspaper Editors and Newsmen fought to be able to present good honest reliable news no matter who it affected. Today we are living in a day where the news has become so corrupted that one does not know what to beleive and who to trust.
Recentley on my trip to the United Kingdom after my arrival I travelled to High Wycombe where I needed to get a sim card for my cell phone in order to be able to make local calls. On my way back to my car a Muslim man noted my accent and he asked me if he could ask me a question? My reply was yes and he then asked me, Why is President Trump against Muslims coming to the USA. I looked at him and told him, President Trump is not against Muslim Immigration as long as they can be vetted. He has stated this very clearly that if they can not be vetted they should not be allowed into the USA. I then told him what you have heard is, (FAKE NEWS).
Fake news has always been around and is not limited to the News Media. There is fake news that circulates every day and so many times we are either the guina pig or the victim. it occurs on the job, in relationships, among friends, especially among enemies, and YES also in the CHURCH. If you watch any good wholesome western movies you will notice that in the church there is always someone that is spreading gossip or fake news.
In my book (Guns to the Gospel) I relate how that Stan keeps the church in a constant warfare. Sometimes it’s Pastor against Pastor, Saint against Pastor or vice versa, Saint against Saint. Many times a new convert is not aware of this satanic warfare and leaves the church and sometimes even serving Christ over problems of this sort.
Many times Pastors hurt one another or their flock by either beleiving, spreading, or propagating false news. I have seen this occur many times and have been the recipiant and have endured a lot of hurt because of false reports regarding me or my wife. ONE thing we must understand, it is not a organization itself that is the problem but is is men or women that belong to the organization. Also we must not cause hurt to the organization because it happens to us. I belong to a Christian Organization that holds the true Apostolic Message and I would never desire to damage it. I am so thankful that one day I was allowed to be born again because of the truth. Since that time I have seen many men that served themselves by being a part of this organization. I remember when I worked a secular job I saw what men who do to get ahead. It is also true in the Church arena. Some Pastors will do anything to gain a position sometimes cutting down on those that are in their way. They will beleive reports coming to them and readily accept them if it comes from a friend or relative.
I am so glad that I had a Pastor that warned me of this warfare that I was entering into when I got into the church. Here is some news that is not fake!
Remember what Jesus said: Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida member of The Satanic Temple who is known for his objections to the promotion of Christianity by the government has been convicted of trespassing after disrupting a government meeting by standing in front of the dais and reciting the Lord’s Prayer, refusing to sit down or stop talking until the meeting was called to order.
David Suhor, a member of the West Florida Chapter of The Satanic Temple, was sentenced on Monday to three months probation, 25 hours of community service, and a fine after being found guilty of trespassing and resisting arrest. He was was arrested in February during the incident at an Emerald Coast Utilities Authority meeting in Pensacola.
According to video footage recorded by Suhor and others, Suhor stood at the dais and repeated the Lord’s Prayer aloud, which disturbed Chairwoman Lois Benson, who was attempting to “gather the people.” She warned Suhor that he was interrupting the meeting, along with other members of the board.
The chairwoman is trying to conduct business, sir,” attorney Bradley Odom called out.
Suhor, who noted that the meeting had not yet been called to order, then said that he would pray silently.
“You may pray silently. Thank you,” Benson said.
However, Suhor continued to recite the Lord’s Prayer out loud, and Benson called for him to be removed.
“You’re creating a disturbance in a public space,” she said.
“If she’s called the meeting to order, I’ll be happy to sit down,” Suhor told the security guard and police officer who approached him.
Authorities asked Suhor to leave the building, but said that he was engaging in “passive resistance” as he had dropped to the floor, repeatedly inquiring if the meeting had been called to order. Suhor was arrested moments later and dragged out of the building, as he stated that he wanted to “make clear” that he was being “dragged out of the meeting for praying before it’s called to order.”
“If you’re not silent during our prayer before the meeting is called to order, before any of it’s official or recorded or anything, we can have you arrested,” Suhor told the Pensacola News Journal. “To me, that’s a blatant violation of my free speech.”
Benson says that the Authority had changed its prayer practice to present the invocation before the meeting is called to order specifically because Suhor had expressed objection.
“That way anyone who does not want to hear a Christian prayer or any other prayer offered by the board does not miss any of our meeting,” Benson outlined. “I started that simply out of sensitivity to him.”
However, the adjustment was not sufficient for Suhor.
Suhor acknowledged that he had a reason for the spectacle: his objection to what he called “Christian privilege” in the government.
“Adopt some [expletive] rules. Stop pandering for votes. Quit pushing Christian privilege as we’ve seen with the Bayview cross and so many other issues and instead go to a moment of silence, that lets everybody pray or not according to their own conscience,” he said, angrily smacking his notebook on the podium.
Suhor was also a plaintiff in the legal challenge against the aforementioned 25-foot cross erected in Bayview Park, which was ordered in June 2017 by a Reagan-appointed judge to be removed—albeit with reluctance.
“Mr. Suhor objects to the government’s display of the Christian cross because he believes it is an endorsement of Christianity, placed primarily for religious purposes, including aggrandizing Easter Sunday services,” the filing read. “As a non-Christian, Mr. Suhor is personally offended and feels excluded by this governmental message. He opposes this appearance of governmental favoritism for religion and for a particular religion, Christianity.”
U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson outlined in his ruling that he believes there is a difference between the original intent of the Founding Fathers regarding the Establishment Clause and the various case law that he felt bound to follow. He said that the cross would be deemed legal if viewed through the lens of what the nation’s founders intended.
A Jewish scholar is touting a first-of-its-kind Bible that is designed to help give Christians a unique perspective on the people and land of Israel.
American Rabbi Tuly Weisz and a team of biblical scholars published The Israel Bible, a new commentary and study on the Hebrew Bible – the Old Testament Scriptures.
Weisz explained that the Hebrew text is found on the left side of the page – along with a parallel English translation on the right side.
“We provide all kinds of ways for readers to learn the Hebrew language by reading through the Bible,” Weisz informed. “Then, of course, on the bottom of the page, we have hundreds and hundreds of study notes that really bring to life the land of Israel through the ancient text.”
Weisz – who has lived in Israel for the last seven years – told OneNewsNow that The Israel Bible is a “No. 1 New Release” in both Jewish and Christian Bible categories on Amazon.
“If you love Israel – if you love the Bible – then The Israel Bible is really for you,” the Bible scholar insisted. “The commentary was prepared by a team of Jewish scholars that was prepared for a Christian readership – the first Bible of its kind.”
Weisz – the founder of Israel 365 – pointed out that with regards to the history of Jews and Christians, the focus has always been on what separates the two. He says that this new publication sets out to do the exact opposite.
“[Our] focus is on that which unites us, and that’s the Old Testament – the Hebrew Bible,” Weitz stressed. “And that’s a holy text to both Jews and to Christians.”
YANGON, Burma (Morning Star News) – Burmese army-backed militia beat two youth pastors in northern Burma (Myanmar) last week, detaining one of them overnight at the force’s base, sources said.
At the home of one of the Christians in Kachin state, members of the army-based Border Guard Force (BGF) on Tuesday (July 31) kicked and beat with rifle butts the two members of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) after the Christians asked them to stop destroying villagers’ homes.
The BGF members were damaging and destroying homes of predominantly Christian Kachin people, including the fence of the home of one of the youth pastors, while clearing drains in Sadon village, Waingmaw Township, sources said.
The BGF troops hit the two ethnic Kachin youth pastors, Mading Zaidan Bawm Ying and Lagyi Naw Awn, with rifle butts and also beat Bawm Ying’s wife, the sources said. Bawm Ying’s injuries were evident.
“His mouth was injured, and blood came out from his mouth as he was punched and hit,” the Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, secretary of the KBC, told Morning Star News. “His face was bruised. His wife was also dragged and beaten by the soldiers.”
Militia members regularly abuse civilians, but this assault drew attention because it involved the church leaders, he said.
Bawm Ying’s wife told Kachin News Group that the BGF destroyed villagers’ fences while they were working on the drains. She said that the soldiers punched and hit Bawm Ying when he tried to stop them from demolishing fences at their home.
“I told them not to beat him,” she reportedly said. “I was dragged and punched twice in my jaw. They also punched Pastor Lagyi Naw Awn, who came to handle the case. Two soldiers held my husband against the wall, and their leader punched him wholeheartedly. I saw him vomiting blood.”
The militia members took Bawm Ying to the militia base and held him until the next day (Aug. 1) after KBC officials intervened with the BGF for his release.
“We negotiated, and the pastor was released the next day,” Samson told Morning Star News. “We asked the militia’s leaders to make sure that the soldiers don’t use guns to attack civilians in the future. So, their leaders promised that they won’t do this again.”
Samson said that the BGF soldiers are ethnic Kachin loyal to the Burma army and have been known to beat residents with guns.
Christian ethnic minorities have long suffered in Burma, where the government has recognized the special status of Buddhism and promoted it as a means to consolidate support. The Burma military routinely occupies churches and summons entire congregations for interrogation, according to a report the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released in December 2016.
The Burma army and the Kachin Independence Organization’s military wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), have been fighting since 2011 following the breakdown of a bilateral ceasefire. An escalation of fighting in Kachin state that began late last year targeted civilian sites.
In December 2016 two ethnic Kachin pastors, also members of the KBC, were arrested by Burmese government troops and sentenced in October 2017 to more than four years in prison on false charges of unlawful association and spying. They spent several months in prison before they were released in April under a government amnesty.
Burma is about 80 percent Buddhist and 9 percent Christian.