Travellers from the coronavirus-hit region of China will be separated from other passengers when arriving in the UK as part of new measures in response to the outbreak.
Chinese officials have confirmed the first instance of human-to-human transimission of the virus. Authorities have also warned that it “could mutate and spread further”. It comes as the CDC has confirmed the first case of 2019 coronavirus in the US, adding another to the more than 300 cases identified by authorities since the virus began circulating earlier this year. The virus originated in Wuhan, and has since spread around Asia, in the neighbouring cities of Shenzen and Beijing, and into Thailand.
Passengers on flights from Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, will be screened at Heathrow. They will also be observed for signs of illness, be handed medical advice leaflets and will have their temperature checked if necessary.
According to the Evening Standard a flight from Wuhan is due to land at Heathrow on Wednesday evening at around 6pm.
The Coronavirus is in the same viral family as SARS and MERS, which killed a combined total of almost 1,600 people when they originated in 2002 and 2015 respectively. This has sparked fears of a similar deadly pandemic in 2020.
January is a time of looking forward to the new year – but it’s also a time of ponderance and reflection. Taking stock of what went so well, and what did not pan out alright – and how to make things better next time around; by CRIMSON TAZVINZWA///
Every January, the latest World Watch List is published. It ranks the 50 countries where it is most difficult to follow Christ – where our brothers and sisters face persecution from the state, from their families and from outside attack. 260 million Christians live in these 50 dangerous countries – 15 million more than in the previous year.
As you read the 2020 World Watch List, please keep praying for families who are courageously following Jesus no matter the cost. Let’s make 2020 a year of change for our brothers and sisters.
Since 2002, North Korea has been the most dangerous place to be a Christian. It’s still at the top of the World Watch List in 2020.
The publication of the World Watch List is a great opportunity for you, your family and your church to pray for our family choosing to follow Jesus no matter the cost.
The church is alive. The church is active. The church is growing. And that’s why the church is persecuted.
The persecution of Christians is getting more severe than ever, affecting increasing numbers of believers around the world. This overview of persecution trends will help give you a better understanding of the situation, and equip you to pray for your brothers and sisters following Jesus no matter the cost.
More Christians are being persecuted
A staggering 260 million Christians in the top 50 countries on the World Watch List face high or extreme levels of persecution for their faith: in the previous year, it was 245 million. And Open Doors estimates that there are another 50 million Christians facing high levels of persecution in a further 23 countries outside the top 50. This includes Mexico, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Persecution is getting worse
Of the top 50, 45 countries have been designated ‘extreme’ or ‘very high’, in terms of the levels of persecution Christians face. That’s five more than last year.
More churches are being attacked
Attacks against churches have risen an astonishing 500 per cent – 9,488 compared to 1,847 the previous year. These attacks include church closures, and the significant increase is largely due to the actions of authorities in China (23).
But fewer Christians are being killed for their faith
In 2019, 2,983 Christians were killed for their faith. That figure is shocking and upsetting, but it is fewer than the number of believers reported killed in 2018 (4,305) or 2017 (3,066). This is largely due to fewer murders in Nigeria (12), which remains far and away the country where Christians are most likely to be killed for their faith.
Persecution is going digital
Persecution keeps apace of modern developments, and governments are increasingly using surveillance. The explosion in digital technologies has been used to target Christians – particularly in China (23)and India (10), where facial-recognition technology and artificial intelligence have been used to identify and discriminate against believers.
Radical Islam continues to spread
In Syria (11)and Iraq (15), some Christians are beginning to return home and rebuild their communities …following the defeat of Islamic State militants. But the continued presence of Islamic extremist groups and ongoing political instability continue to threaten the church – as was recently demonstrated by the Turkish military incursion into north east Syria. In sub-Saharan Africa, radical Islamic groups are also taking advantage of instability in countries like Mali (29), Niger (50) and Burkina Faso (28).
Germany and the UK have urged China to allow UN observers “immediate and unfettered access” to detention centers in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region where up to a million Muslim Uyghurs are believed to be under detention in over 1000 so-called “education centers”. BY Jan van der Made
The request comes after a second major leak of documents regarding a Chinese program that is officially aimed at “integrating” Muslims by forcing them to follow study courses focused on Han-Chinese culture and language, while discouraging them from studying or practicing Islam.
Germany and the UK have urged China to allow UN observers “immediate and unfettered access” to detention centers in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region
The Chinese government has described the leaked documents as “pure fabrication and fake news.” In a statement this weekend, the press office of Beijing’s UK embassy said: “First, there are no so-called ‘detention camps’ in Xinjiang. Vocational Education and Training centres have been established for the prevention of terrorism.”
The China Cables includes a manual detailing the setup and management of “vocational training camps,” explaining how to “prevent escape,” “prevent trouble” by implementing strict rules; establish “full video surveillance coverage” in the dormitories and classrooms.
Study sessions (all in Mandarin) focus on “de-extremification” and are intended to “resolve ideological contradictions” and promote “repentance and confession by the students for them to understand deeply the illegal, criminal and dangerous nature of their past behaviour.”
The China Cables also contain four “bulletins,” providing details and reasons for the daily use of the “Integrated Joint Operation Platform,” a mass-surveillance and predictive-policing program which analyzes data from Xinjiang and was revealed to the world by Human Rights Watch last year.
China initially denied the existence of the camps, but later said they were used for “vocational training”. Beijing admits that the need for the “education” of Uyghurs is born out of concern for terrorist attacks.
More and more eyewitness reports have emerged, describing the grueling routine within the camps.
Eight of the 39 people found dead in a lorry trailer in Grays, Essex on Wednesday, are women, 31 are men and all are believed to be Chinese nationals Essex Police said.
The 39 people found dead in a refrigerated trailer in Essex were Chinese nationals, it is understood. Police are continuing to question lorry driver Mo Robinson, 25, who was arrested on suspicion of murder. Officers in Northern Ireland have raided two houses and the National Crime Agency said it was working to identify “organised crime […]