Nigeria persecution: Eight Christians freed after abductions

Eight Christians who were abducted by gunmen in Nigeria’s Kaduna state last month have been freed and were taken to hospital for medical evaluation, International Christian Concern reports. Nigeria currently ranks 9th on the US Open Doors Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be Christian: believers in the northern region and in the Middle Belt are vulnerable to abduction, violence, and murder at the hands of Islamic extremist groups such as militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram/ISIS West Africa.

Pakistan persecution: Christian nurses jailed for violating blasphemy law

Two Christian nurses in Pakistan have been jailed for violating blasphemy laws by following a hospital supervisor’s instructions to clean up an area covered with old hangings and stickers, including a half-torn old sticker with a verse from the Koran on it, International Christian Concern reports. Rights groups have said Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws are frequently abused; Pakistan ranks 5th on the Open Doors Watch List of countries where Christians are persecuted.