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Christmas 2015 Deadly for Believers Around the World


Christmas a was a very deadly time for Christians in the Philippines. Father Sebastiano D'Ambra told Aid to the Church in Need that 14 people were murdered on Christmas day and a grenade was thrown at a chapel.

Nine Christians were also killed on Christmas Eve. The murders were committed by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

The Christmas holiday itself was banned in a number of Muslim nations.

Morning Star News reports the Somali government banned Christmas and New Year's celebrations since they "could damage the faith of the Muslim community."

The Southeast Asian nation of Brunei also forbid Christmas, theatening fines and prison time for wearing a cross, lighting candles, putting up decorations, or sending Christmas cards, AsiaNews reported.

Tajikistan banned Christmas trees and gift-giving in schools after already having banned Russia's version of Santa Claus—Father Frost.

In Crimea, which was taken from Ukraine by Russia, "Russian occupation authorities" are threatening all religions outside the Russian Orthodox Church, according to the U.S. State Department.

The report said, "In the areas they control, the (Russian-backed) separatists have kidnapped, beaten, and threatened Protestants, Catholics, and members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate.

More than 1,100 religious communities that were recognized under Ukrainian law are no longer allowed under Russian law.

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