North Korea has - for the 19th year in a row - topped a list of countries where persecution against Christians is worst. Christian charity Open Doors' annual World Watch List has found 245 million Christians globally experience high levels of persecution - up 14 per cent from last year. Spokesperson for the charity, Tamsin Taylor told Premier Asia is becoming a new "hotbed" for persecution against Christians as one-in-three Asian Christians now suffer high levels of persecution. "India (10th) and China (27th) have both seen a dramatic worsening in the situation for Christians and both of those have millions and millions of Christians in their population," she explained. "So it's a really significant deterioration."

 

 
 

Nursery staff in Scotland have been told not to call children ‘boys’ and ‘girls’. The guidance from the Care Inspectorate also cautions against using words such as ‘manmade’ and ‘mankind’ and urges staff to change story characters such as Mr Squirrel to “Squirrel”. Critics have called the guidance “patronising” and “out of control”. The Inspectorate urges nursery staff to “retell nursery rhymes or fairy tales in a more gender-equal manner” and not to greet children with the phrase “hello boys and girls”. The taxpayer-funded public body, which inspects registered childcare providers in Scotland, said: “The role that early learning and childcare can have in positively promoting gender equality can’t be overstated”. Conservative MSP Alison Harris said: “These recommendations appear to be patronising in the extreme. “Many parents will be concerned that this political correctness is replacing common sense.”

 
 
 

Jean Darnall, the American pastor known for her prophetic prayer ministry has died. Announcing her death on Twitter, Glenn Burris - president of Foursquare Church described her as "an extraordinary person". She found faith as a teenager after a miraculous healing and began her ministry at just 16. As well as her home country, she served in Panama, Canada, Australia and the UK. While serving in England she says she was given a picture by God which showed revival was coming to the country. She described the image as like "fires breaking out all over the nation". Along with husband Elmer, she launched Foursquare Church in the UK along with a bible college.