Six unregistered Protestant churches have been shut down in Guiyang, a city in south west China this week.  All churches are from the same district but it is believed similar closures are occurring in other districts in the city, which is in Guizhou Province. The churches were accused of being 'illegal religious venues'. China has a two-church system; ones associated with the state-sanctioned body and ones that are not. Sometimes a church doesn't register with the state to maintain independence and teach what they want. However, these unregistered churches are then more vulnerable to potential closure or fines. 

Ashers Baking Company’s General Manager Daniel McArthur and his wife Amy have spoken out about some of the highs and lows of the last four and a half years, following the company’s landmark legal victory. They admitted that the lengthy and highly public nature of the case has taken its toll. But recognising the importance of the case for others and comforted by the knowledge that they hadn’t done anything wrong, the family kept going. Last week the UK Supreme Court ruled that the bakery had not discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation, religious belief or political opinion in declining to decorate a cake with the campaign slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’. Judges unanimously agreed the bakery had objected to the message and not the messenger. Shortly after the dramatic 5-0 ruling, Daniel and Amy spoke to The Christian Institute, eager to share how God and the prayers of many Christians around the world have sustained them.

Pope Francis has praised two of the towering figures of the 20th-century Catholic Church as prophets who shunned wealth and looked out for the poor as he canonised Pope Paul VI and martyred Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero. Francis declared the two men saints at a Mass in St Peter's Square before tens of thousands of pilgrims, a handful of presidents and some 5,000 Salvadoran pilgrims. Tens of thousands more Salvadorans stayed up all night at home to watch it on giant TV screens outside the San Salvador cathedral where Archbishop Romero's remains are entombed.

The transgender prisoner who sexually assaulted two women while in an all-female prison has been moved to a prison for men and sentenced to life. The man, known as Karen White, had been on remand for stabbing a woman in August last year. He was placed in a women’s jail because he had told prison authorities he ‘identified as a woman’. He was only moved to a men’s prison in March this year when charged with a 2016 rape. He was later charged with the sexual assaults he committed during his time in the all-female prison, and pleaded guilty to both in August.