Archive for the 'christian persecution' Category

16
Nov
08

Video: “A Persecuted World”

From: crusaderkafir

Pray for imprisoned Christians to be comforted in their loneliness and despair. Pray that they would have opportunities to fellowship and worship with other believers. Pray for christians who are beaten and tortured. Pray that this physical violence would end. Pray that these brothers and sisters would forgive their tormentors. Pray for Christians who are made slaves. Pray that their conduct as slaves will glorify God. Pray that they may escape or gain their freedom and return to their families. Pray for Christians who have lost all their possessions and cannot provide sustenance for their families. Pray that God would give boldness and faithfulness to Christians as they endure persecution. Pray that they would be encouraged to stand strong in their faith. Pray for the provision of bibles and other forms of help to Christians in restricted nations. Pray for the oppressors of Christians, that they may come to repentance and salvation. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” Hebrews 13:3

Link @YouTube


07
Jul
08

Iran: Christian Convert Couple Arrested, Tortured, Threatened

LOS ANGELES, June 25 (Compass Direct News) – Security police officials in Tehran this month tortured a newly converted couple and threatened to put their 4-year-old daughter in an institution after arresting them for holding Bible studies and attending a house church.

A Christian source in Iran said that 28-year-old Tina Rad was charged with “activities against the holy religion of Islam” for reading the Bible with Muslims in her home in east Tehran and trying to convert them. Officials charged her husband, 31-year-old Makan Arya, with “activities against national security” after seizing the couple from their home on June 3, forcing them to leave their 4-year-old daughter ill and unattended.

Authorities kept them in an unknown jail for four days, which left them badly bruised from beatings, with Rad “very ill” and unable to walk, said the source. Rad was released on bail of US$30,000 bail, and her husband was freed on payment of US$20,000.

“The next time there may also be an apostasy charge, if you don’t stop with your Jesus,” a female security police officer told Rad during interrogation, according to the source. Under Iran’s strict Islamic laws, Muslims who convert from Islam to another religion can be executed.

A draft law before the Iranian parliament would make the death penalty mandatory for “apostates” who leave Islam.

“They went to a court hearing just for show,” the source said, “as secret police had already taken their signatures by force with a statement that they had not changed their religion.”

The charges, however, are still open, said the source, a close friend of the couple.

The female security police official warned Rad that if she and her husband continued attending a house church and holding Bible studies, they could be imprisoned “for a very long time” and would lose their daughter, Odzhan Arya. An officer also told Rad that authorities could concoct a drug case against them, “and you will be punished as drug smugglers.”

A male security police official also threatened Rad, who along with her husband received Christ as savior about three months ago, the source said.

“He told Tina during the interrogation that if she doesn’t cooperate and tell some names and addresses, she won’t see her daughter for a long time,” the source said. “They said, ‘Next time if we catch you, you are going to miss your whole family forever.’”

An officer also told Arya that authorities could place his daughter “in a protected religious institution.”

The charge against Arya of “activities against national security” was based on his allowing Bible sessions with Muslims in his apartment and trying to go to the house church, the source said.

Confirmation from the couple’s denomination of their arrest and mistreatment was not immediately available.

Forced Statements

The couple was forced to sign a statement, the source said, that they wouldn’t go back to their house church and that they would have no contact with other Christians – and that if they did, “they will be punished by the law of Islam.”

The charges and forced statements seem to contravene the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, giving it the force of law. Article 18 of the covenant stipulates that everyone shall have the right to adopt a religion or belief, as well as freedom individually or in community in public or private to manifest one’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

The couple would forfeit their bail and their freedom if secret religious police catch them engaged in Christian activities, they were told in the court before their release.

“They were tortured psychologically and physically,” the source said. “There are a lot of blue places on their bodies. Tina can’t walk well and is very ill, and her husband Makan is still very shocked.”

The couple was arrested after a relative of Arya informed security police of the couple’s Christian activities. According to the friend of the couple, officers confiscated their personal computer, satellite dish and television set, as well as all books, videos, CDs, DVDs and even a photo album.

“Tina is very sick, and because of the pain on the right side of her head from the torture, and the shock of the whole situation, she can’t leave the house and their daughter,” the source said. “She knows for sure that they are monitored in all their communications.”

Societal Hostilities

Following their arrest, the husband and wife also suffered at the hands of family and area Muslims.

In order to make the bail payments, Arya obtained financial help from his father – on the condition that he promise to divorce his wife.

“So he did [promise], and now of course he refuses to divorce,” the source said. “So his father gave him an ultimatum. There is discrimination even in the family against them.”

After their release, the couple found the window of their clothing shop had been smashed.

“Almost the whole street knows about them, so imagine how difficult their business is,” said the source. “They want to change the shop and go somewhere else. Every day and night they get some calls from unknown people, and their life at this moment is under invisible and visible surveillance.”

On Monday (June 23) Arya received letters at both the clothing shop and his home stating that he must place evidence on his new window pane indicating his Islamic faith by displaying a statement and photos, or else he would have to buy a new window every day.

The source said Arya displayed a photo of Islamic leaders on the window, “but they want to go somewhere else.”

Arya went to area police asking for protection, the source said, “but they told him not to lie and to ‘go do something about it if you are a real believer of Islam.’”

25
May
08

BANGLADESH: PASTOR’S 13-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER GANG-RAPED

BANGLADESH: PASTOR’S 13-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER GANG-RAPED

Thursday May 08, 2008

Area Muslims bent on driving Christian expansion from northern part of country.

DHAKA, Bangladesh, May 8 (Compass Direct News) – Muslim villagers in Mymensingh district eager to rid the area of the Christian work of a local pastor have gang-raped his 13-year-old daughter, the girl’s father said.

Pastor Motilal Das of United Bethany Church said that at around 3 a.m. on Friday (May 2) the villagers sexually assaulted his daughter, Elina Das, and left her unconscious in front of his house in an attempt to drive him and his Christian ministry out of Laksmipur village in Fulbaria sub-district, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital.

Local residents have long been angry with him for his ministry and evangelism, he said, and he has received death threats.

“I did not pay attention to any of the threats or hindrances – I continued evangelical and pastoral activities with prayer,” Das told Compass. “They targeted me to evict from this area to stop the Christian activities. When nothing stopped me, then they wanted to leave me scarred for life, so that I would be upset and not be able to show my face to the society for shame, and therefore I would leave the village.”

Das, who became the first Christian in the area in 1986 and has been key in an increase to more than 250 Christians and the emergence of 12 churches, said the brutal attack was pre-planned and calculated to stop further expansion of Christianity in northern Bangladesh.

“Otherwise, why would they rape such a minor girl?” he said.

Elina Das is the only Christian student at her school, he said. “Always local boys used to tease her on her way to school,” he said, “and used to tell her filthy words against Christianity and western culture.”

Five villagers attacked her when she went from her thatched house to an outdoor latrine, said investigating officer Sanwar Hossen of Fulbaria police station.

“Five people lying in ambush in the pitch-dark near the toilet snatched her by gagging her mouth with her body scarf [and taking her] to a nearby tea stall, 400 meters from the house, where they gang-raped her,” Hossen said.

Besides the religious opposition of some residents, the officer said villagers had no personal or commercial conflicts with the Das family that could serve as a motive for the assault.

“There was no family vendetta or personal clash or enmity of Motilal with the local people for which his daughter would be raped,” Hossen said. “There was even no land dispute between him and the neighbors, because he does not have any land.”

Family members found Elina Das lying unconscious in front of the house that morning.

“When I woke up in the early morning, I saw my daughter lying unconscious in front of my house,” Das said. “ A few hours after the gang rape, they had left her in front of my house.”

Das said he suspected friends of the rapists and perhaps some of the rapists themselves observed them as they went to the police station to file charges, as they later threatened to harm them if they did not withdraw the case, he said.

“I have received death threats against my entire family if I do not withdraw the case,” Das told Compass. “We, all the family members, were afraid and took shelter in the same police station, where my wife, daughter, son and I stayed for two days and one night.”

Elina Das has identified two of the rapists and could identify the others if she saw them or their pictures, said Das. Police have arrested Shebul Miah, 22. The girl identified another suspect, 32-year-old Dulal Miah, alias Dulu, who remains at large.

Fearful of his life if he returned to his home, Das relocated to the home of a friend in Dhaka on Saturday (May 3).

Derelict Police

When Das initially went to police to file charges, he said, police were reluctant to register the case.

“Police told me that it was a false case,” Das said. “They also said that it was a fabricated drama. Police spoke with my daughter in filthy language and showed prurient interest in the details of the incident in front of us rather than filing the case quickly.”

Area Assembly of God (AG) pastor Sento Mir requested that the local denominational chairman encourage police to file charges. Following a phone call from him on Friday (May 2), police immediately agreed to investigate the incident and filed a rape case in the afternoon.

Area Muslims expressed their outrage at the brutal incident, and they are afraid that the assailants are backed by powerful people, Das said.

“We know Motilal Das as a good man in the locality, though he is a Christian,” said a Muslim neighbor, 42-year-old Ruhul Amin, who owns a tea stall in the nearby area. “He had not any personal clash or enmity with others in the village.”

Mir, the AG pastor, said Das will not be able to return to the area unless justice is served.

“If the arrested rapist is not judged properly and is released from jail without any judgment, Motilal Das cannot live in this area,” Mir said. “He along with his family members should leave the village, otherwise they will be in serious trouble.”

Likewise, he added, if the identified absconding rapist is not caught and convicted, the family will no longer be able to live in the area.

Bangladesh on ‘Watch List’

The day of the rape, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced annual recommendations for countries to be designated “Countries of Particular Concern,” but it did not include Bangladesh.

Rather, the commission put Bangladesh on its “Watch List” due to the nature and extent of violations of religious freedom engaged in or tolerated by the government. Other countries on the Watch List are Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

According to USCIRF, Islamist radicalism and violence, the threat of serious violence and continued discrimination against members of religious minority communities remain significant concerns in Bangladesh.

05
May
08

Muslim rebels have forced hundreds of mainly Christian families off their farms in the southern Philippines

Muslim rebels expel Christians
May 2, 2008 8:41 PM
Muslim rebels have forced hundreds of mainly Christian families off their farms in the southern Philippines, escalating tensions in the region ahead of the withdrawal of Malaysian peace monitors next week.

Rolando Garcia, mayor of Kalamansig town on the troubled southern island of Mindanao, said that heavily-armed members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) claimed the farmers’ land belonged to the Muslim minority.

“We have about 1,200 people in our temporary shelter areas…afraid to return to their farms,” Garcia told reporters, adding rice was about to be harvested when the rebels came late on Wednesday.

The 11,000-strong MILF is meant to be observing a ceasefire and a spokesman for the rebel group said he was unaware of any land seizures.

“We have not received any report on that,” Eid Kabalu told reporters, adding the MILF leadership has ordered units to abide by a 2003 truce even after the Malaysian peace monitors withdraw.

Some MILF members are frustrated that long-running peace talks with Manila for the creation of a homeland for Muslims in the south of the largely Catholic country have been stalled since December 2007.

Last week, Malaysia said around 20 of 41 peacekeepers would leave on May 10 and the rest will be withdrawn by the end of August because the peace process, which Kuala Lumpur was chairing, was not moving fast enough.

Garcia said many Christian communities in the south feared of similar MILF attacks on their farms and villages as frustration boils over.

But analysts have said they do not expect the ceasefire to break down because most MILF members are war weary after a near 40-year conflict that has killed 120,000 people and displaced two million.

The MILF has questioned the sincerity of the government in wanting to create a Muslim homeland in the south.

Although President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has repeatedly said she wants peace, hawks in her cabinet are opposed to giving large swathes of land to Muslims and politically powerful Christian clans in the south would oppose a deal.

Source: Reuters
01
May
08

Indoneshia: Islamic Sharia Law Enforced On Non-Muslims!

04/24/2008 13:27
INDONESIA
In Padang, Islamic law is now imposed on all
by Mathias Hariyadi
The controversial local laws inspired by sharia are now being applied to non-Muslim citizens. Female students who do not wear the headscarf are suspended, and few have the courage to rebel, because of fear of reprisals.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – In Padang, capital of the province of West Sumatra, the atmosphere is increasingly that of an Islamic state. Female students who do not wear the headscarf (hijab) are frequently suspended from school. The requirement to observe Islamic customs, sanctioned by the controversial regional law of 2005, is also imposed on non-Muslim girls, and has generated an atmosphere of strong pressure on religious minorities. The proliferation of local laws inspired by sharia (perda syariat) is a growing phenomenon in Indonesia, but the central government has chosen not to intervene for now, in spite of protests from religious minorities and human rights NGO’s.

The situation is not limited to Padang alone, where the most active promoter of Islamic laws is the mayor himself, Fauzi Bahar. In this province, which has an overwhelming Muslim majority, since 2002 more than 19 districts have ratified the so-called “perda syariat”, norms that are, however, supposed to be applied only to Muslim citizens: some of them criminalise behaviours prohibited by Islamic law, like adultery, prostitution, games of chance, and consumption of alcohol, while others restrict the freedom of women. Men as well are required to wear Islamic dress: the traditional white robe called the “koko”.

The application of the headscarf law in Padang is going beyond all imaginable limits, the inhabitants of the area say. An anonymous Catholic young woman admits: “Wearing the headscarf is not pleasant for me at all, and it bothers me while I am studying in school”. Other female students in various schools complain about the same thing. If they are interviewed by journalists, the young women ask not be named, because they are afraid of “being persecuted by fundamentalists”. “We have to adapt”, they say, “we have no choice, otherwise they will send us home”. Sudarto, one of the members of a local NGO that works for interreligious dialogue, reports that the headscarf law is applied strictly in at least four schools in Padang.

Other residents report with concern that since 2003 in Padang, mayor Fauzi has moved forward “enthusiastically” the project of “creating a more Islamic atmosphere” in the city. Among the other norms inspired by sharia, they recall the obligation for students in the elementary schools to learn the Qur’an by heart.

Exactly what happens when Islamic fundamentalists gain the majority and step into the political area, gaining political control.

Think about it people!

04
Apr
08

Sudan: The Ignored Terrorized Christians

Christian “Difficulty” in Sudan?

carsalesman.jpg

By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, April 03, 2008

Was it really an April Fools trick or did the World Council of Churches (WCC) actually admit that Christians in Islamist Sudan endure some unpleasantness?

According to an April 1 report from the WCC news service, a WCC delegation recently visited Khartoum and was “shocked” to learn that a Christian cemetery in the nation’s capital is also being used as a used car lot.

Once the visiting ecumenists recover from their shock, maybe they’ll get around to realizing that Sudan is governed by theocratic Islamists who killed 2 million southern, mostly Christian Sudanese during the war that concluded in 2005.

The Religious Left has adopted the suffering in Darfur, a Sudanese province, as one of its pet issues. Their concern for Darfur is admirable. Hundreds of thousands of African Muslims have perished there, usually at the hands of Arab militias backed by the Islamist regime in Khartoum. Since Darfur is about Muslims killing other Muslims, it evidently is permissible for the Religious Left to take an active interest in it.

But the even more horrible and genocidal sufferings of the southern Sudan rarely provoked a peep from the Religious Left in the United States or elsewhere in the West, including the Geneva-based WCC. The war in southern Sudan was negotiated to a tenuous peace in 2005 with help from the Bush Administration, urged on by a coalition in the U.S. of evangelicals, Jews, black church leaders and other human rights activists who began organizing in the 1990’s. The world’s worst case of Islamist terror somehow never aroused enormous interest from the WCC, the National Council of Churches in the U.S. or other Religious Left groups supposedly so concerned about global justice.

But miracles do occur, and the WCC finally found its way to Khartoum, evidently having heard rumors of difficulties for Christians there. The WCC official report sagely observes: “It is hard for Christians to have their own place – even after they have died. The city’s Christian cemetery, which has been turned into a sales park for second hand cars, illustrates well the challenges faced by the minority Christian community in the northern, predominantly Muslim part of the country.”

The only official cemetery for Christians in the city of 8 million is a 4 acre plot land given to Khartoum’s churches in 1975. But in 2007 a livestock market was set up on half of the acreage. “Can you imagine?” the Sudan Council of Churches chief Peter Tibi is quoted asking in the WCC report. “Animals were being sold at a venue which by nature is a holy ground.”

After complaints from church leaders, the livestock were eventually cleared away, only to be replaced by exhibitions and testing of used cars. Thoughtfully, the visiting WCC delegation, led by outgoing WCC chief Samuel Kobia, raised the cemetery issue with Sudan’s Minister of Guidance and Endowment Hassan El Tighani. “I was shocked when I learnt that a livestock market was profaning a place that should be sacred”, Kobia is quoted as telling the Sudanese official. Tighani assured the visiting prelates that he shared their pain and would appeal for a solution from the Islamist regime’s council of national ministers. A solution is on its way, no doubt.

The WCC news release briefly noted that the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement had concluded a “devastating 21-year civil war between north and south that left 2 million dead and 4 million displaced persons.” Despite its own ostensibly Christian affiliation, the WCC report declined to elaborate that the “civil war” was really about the Islamist Khartoum regime attempting to kill and suppress non-Muslims who did not care to live under Sharia. The WCC report did acknowledge that Sudan’s churches face “tremendous tasks and challenges”

Helpfully, the WCC report mentioned that 90 percent of Sudan’s Christians live in the south, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals. Since the peace agreement, the southern Sudanese now have some autonomy, however precariously. But Christians in the north still must live directly under Khartoum’s Islamist rule. As the WCC noted, as “part of their condition of religious minority, Sudanese churches face sometimes insurmountable difficulties to obtain a piece of terrain in which to build facilities.” Sometimes the regime has seized their worship places, the WCC reported.

The kindly minister of the Islamist regime who met with the WCC delegation assured them that Christians were not singled out for problems. Indeed, it had taken even the minister about 10 years to get his own personal plot of land, he claimed, which is “just normal when it comes to land property in Sudan.” He even told the WCC that some mosques had been, in the words of the WCC report, “equally expropriated” by the government. But the minister is working vigorously to overcome these “cumbersome procedures.”

Sudan’s “ Special Commission for the Rights of Non-Muslims in the National Capital” also courteously met with the WCC delegation. As the WCC report sagely noted, non-Muslims” is a “euphemism” for Christians. The commission is half staffed by Christians and half by Muslims; dealing with the “issues derived of the implementation of the Sharia, the Islamic religious law, in regard to Christians,” as the WCC described it. The commission’s Islamic head admitted that the livestock sales in the Christian cemetery were “very insulting.” And the commission’s Christian president assured the WCC that Muslims had “seriously protested” with the Christians. But why the used car lot still remains in the cemetery is still a “mystery,” the Christian president admitted.

Despite the WCC’s “shock,” will anyone else be surprised if the Christians of Khartoum just have to get used to the used car sales in their only cemetery? The WCC describes its delegation to Sudan as an “opportunity for the international ecumenical representatives to express solidarity with the Sudanese people and listen to the churches in the country.” The WCC team will “will learn about their concerns, hopes and needs.” Good for the WCC for finally getting around to Sudan, about 25 years too late, and 2 million dead later. Maybe the WCC team can inform the rest of the Religious Left that Khartoum’s theocratic savagery did not begin in Darfur but in southern Sudan, against primarily Christians, more than a quarter century ago.

Emphasis mine

17
Mar
08

Muslim Thugs Assault Anglican Priest

The vicious animals beat him so hard he was admitted to the hospital.

Asian youths in ‘faith hate’ attack on priest

Excerpts

michael-ainsworth-vicar-victim-of-muslim-violence.jpgAn Anglican priest is in hospital after he was beaten up and insulted in what appears to be a “faith hate” assault by Asian youths.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, was kicked and punched in the head and left with deep cuts, bruising and two black eyes in the grounds of his historic church in east London after he asked three Asian (Psst…P.C. code word for ‘muslim’) youths there to be quiet.

st-george-in-the-east.jpgThe attack at the 18th-century St George in the East Church in Stepney follows a number of apparently anti-Christian attacks in recent months in the same area.

“He was kicked and punched in the head as he lay on the ground, I believe that what was shouted was ‘you f****** priest’ before they attacked him.”

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “The suspects are Asian . . . and the incident is being investigated as an alleged faith hate crime.”

The church had previously been targeted when a brick smashed a window during a service. Allan Ramanoop, a member of the parochial church council, said: “On one occasion, youths shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque, you should not be here’.

“Christianophobia”




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