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Theology => Prophecy - Current Events => Topic started by: Shammu on July 12, 2004, 01:15:22 AM

Title: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on July 12, 2004, 01:15:22 AM
More Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than at any other time in history, says Christian Solidarity International. Global reports indicate that over 150,000 Christians were martyred last year, chiefly outside of the United States. However, statistics are changing: persecution of Christians is on the increase in the United States. What's happening to bring about this change?

According to some experts a pattern is emerging reminiscent of Jewish persecution in post war Germany. "Isolation of, and discrimination against Christians is growing almost geometrically" says Don McAlvany in The Midnight Herald. "This is the way it started in Germany against the Jews. As they became more isolated and marginalized by the Nazi propaganda machine, as popular hatred and prejudice against the Jews increased among the German people, wholesale persecution followed.  Could this be where the growing anti-Christian consensus in America is taking us?"

Tolerance of anti-Christian attitudes in the United States is escalating. Recently, a woman in Houston, Texas was ordered by local police to stop handing out gospel tracts to children who knocked on her door during Halloween. Officers informed her that such activity is illegal (not true), and that she would be arrested if she continued. In Madison, Wisconsin, the Freedom from Religion Foundation distributes anti-Christian pamphlets to public school children entitled, "We Can Be Good Without God." The entertainment industry and syndicated media increasingly vilify Christians as sewer rats, vultures, and simple-minded social ingrates.  The FBI and the Clinton White House brand fundamentalist Christian groups as hate mongers and potential terrorists. The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago warns that plans by Southern Baptists to hold a convention in the Windy City next year might foment "hate crimes" against minorities, causing some Christians to fear that speaking openly about their religious beliefs will soon be considered a crime. All this, while Christianity itself is often a target of hate-crime violence. We remember the students at Columbine, and the United Methodist minister who was fatally beaten and burned in a remote part of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to name a few of the recent examples of interpersonal violence aimed at believers.


Manly P. Hall once wrote, "They are the invisible powers behind the thrones of earth, and men are but marionettes, dancing while the invisible ones pull the strings." Satan's string pullers have patiently manipulated unregenerate architects of American society for over five decades, networking both visible and invisible principalities to discredit Christian causes. Indicators reveal the propaganda blame-game against western believers is working.

Even a casual observance of the facts reveals growing isolation of Christians as a people group, especially school age believers. Faculty and peer efforts to convince public school children that America was not founded on Christian ideals, and that our forefathers actually wanted a secular society, permeates public school interaction. History revisionists labor to eliminate any and all contradictory historical evidence from public school curriculum, and mockingly stereotype Christians as unenlightened fringe.

A few years ago, Dr. Paul Vitz, then professor of psychology at New York University, worked with a committee that examined sixty social studies and history textbooks used in public schools across the United States. The committee was amazed to find that almost every reference to the Christian influence of early America was systematically removed. Their conclusion: the writers of the commonly used textbooks exhibited paranoia of the Christian religion and intentionally censored Christianity's positive role in American history.

Intolerant, Christ-hating censors of religious expression target the media and public school curriculum because this is the best place, outside of the churches and families, to indoctrinate children and thus manipulate the future political and cultural landscape. If one succeeds in separating Godly principles from public education and the media, they deny citizens the knowledge of good and keep them from embracing the laws of God. To that extent, they are pawns of evil and subvert and destroy both the message and the messengers of righteousness.


In an article entitled "Our Violent Kids," Time Magazine reported "an upsurge in the most violent types of crimes by teens." Through television, "by the age of 16, the typical child has witnessed an estimated 200,000 acts of violence, including 33,000 murders," the article went on to say.

A major study by Dr. Brandon Centerwell of the University of Washington's Department of Epidemiology concludes that "exposure to television" is related to approximately one-half of the homicides committed in the United States, or approximately 10,000 homicides annually. Exposure to television and other forms of propaganda is also related to a majority of rapes, assaults, and acts of violence according to the study.

Censoring the Christian model and denigrating biblical values has resulted in a generation where every day in the United States:

437 children are arrested for drinking or drunk driving
211 children are arrested for drug abuse
1,629 children are in adult jails
30 children are wounded by guns
10 children are killed by guns
135,000 children bring a gun to school

Social scientists claim this generation's inability to define absolutes, and a growing pattern of anti-Christian behavior, may ultimately result in the collapse of the American superstructure, as situation ethics, AIDS and other forms of sexually transmitted diseases, the redefining of the family unit, and other abandonments of biblical standards of morality come to their dangerous and natural conclusion.


History students compare the French Revolution and the horror of persecution and torture under Robespierre, with the Revolutionary War in America that resulted in unprecedented cultural and monetary success. While citizens in America rejoiced in newfound religious liberty and freedom, more than twenty thousand people died in Paris's guillotines. The years to follow in France brought a reign of terror leading up to totalitarianism and Napoleon.

Why were the American and French Revolutions followed by such contrasting societal conclusions? The difference was that the American Revolution was fought on Christian principles, while the French Revolution was anti-God. The forces behind the French Revolution were out to eliminate Christianity as the enemy of France. A statue of a nude woman was placed on the altar of the church in Notre Dame, and the God of the Bible was proclaimed dead. Soon afterward, the French government collapsed.

Is the Fabian process of gradualism taking modern America down a similar path?   Perhaps. For the past five decades Americans have allowed the liberal Left to defend the use of public funds for pornography, explicit sex education, and anti-Christian curricula. The Hollywood elite have denigrated Christian values and mocked the virtues of purity. The highest courts in the land have ruled with contemptuous decree against God, against prayer, and against the free expression of religion.  Is it any wonder we have become the most profane and violent society in the industrialized

Title: Re:Persecution of Christians
Post by: Shammu on July 12, 2004, 01:16:07 AM

America's Founding Fathers understood that all government is based on either a theistic or anti-theistic foundation. Adepts of history like George Washington understood that countries whose systems of government embrace national anti-theistic views ultimately come to ruin. Strong religious convictions therefore played a role in the development of the United States, which was established on Christian principles and open to all people of good will. In 1892 this was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. After exhaustive deliberation, the Court said, "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. [It is] impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Imagine that. A nation whose laws and institutions are based on the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. Why, such a place would surely become the leader in education, invention, and the arts. Such a place would probably become a haven of religious liberty for more types and religions of people than has ever existed anywhere or at any time on earth. Instead of religious persecution and intolerance, such a place would offer hope and opportunity to the huddled masses of the earth.

Title: Re:Persecution of Christians
Post by: Shammu on July 12, 2004, 01:19:29 AM
C&P post from;

Persecution of Christians Worldwide
A brief overview of some of the worst offenders
and what you can do about it
by Reader Daniel Lieuwen

More Christians have been killed for their faith in the past century than in all the centuries of Christianity combined. As millions of were Orthodox Christians in East Bloc countries, the faithful of the Orthodox Church have a special responsibility to fight against such evils.

While persecution is now much less frequent in Russia and Eastern Europe than it was in the Soviet era, it has become increasingly common place in many other countries.

A.M. Rosenthal recently wrote in The New York Times: "Eleven countries where Christians are currently enduring great religious persecution are China, Sudan, Pakistan, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Egypt, Nigeria, Cuba, Laos, and Uzbekistan. They evidence a worldwide trend of anti-Christian persecution based on two political ideologies -- Communism and militant Islam."

It must be understood that this is by no means an exhaustive list -- for example Indonesia was left out. Nearly every Muslim country persecutes its Christian minority. In Iran, people who convert to Christianity are frequently killed by the government. In other countries (e.g., Iraq, Syria), family members who kill a Christian convert are not punished. Many atrocities occur in other countries as well.

The worst horrors are in the Sudan. A civil war has been on-and-off since independence in 1956 between the Arab, Muslim north and the black (Christian and animist) south. The north has been working toward the Arabization and Islamization of the country -- they imposed Islamic law in the south in 1983, which caused a big flare-up in the smoldering civil war. Matters were made worse when an Islamic military government overthrew a democratic government in 1989. One-and-a-half million people have died over the past ten years -- most the result of government imposed "famines, warfare, and the displacement of millions of people from their homes." Food and medicine are denied to those who refuse to convert to Islam. Men and even children are crucified. Many women are raped. Many women and children are enslaved. They can be bought for as little as $15.

In China, Christians have been beaten to death. They are frequently tortured and imprisoned for many years. Heavy fines and confiscation of property are also frequently employed.

Title: Persecution of Christians
Post by: Brother Love on July 12, 2004, 04:38:02 AM
Thanks DreamWeaver

Brother Love :)


Title: Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: Shammu on April 17, 2005, 05:54:04 PM
Christians were martyred last year, chiefly outside of the United States. However, statistics are changing: persecution of Christians is on the increase in the United States. Anti-Christian attitudes in the United States is escalating. A woman in Houston, Texas was ordered by local police to stop handing out gospel tracts to children who knocked on her door during Halloween. Officers informed her that such activity is illegal, and that she would be arrested if she continued. In Madison, Wisconsin, the Freedom from Religion Foundation distributes anti-Christian pamphlets to public school children entitled, "We Can Be Good Without God." The entertainment industry and syndicated media increasingly show Christians as sewer rats, vultures, and simple-minded social ingrates.  The FBI brand fundamentalist Christian groups as hate mongers and potential terrorists. All this, while Christianity itself is often a target of hate-crime violence. We remember the students at Columbine, and the United Methodist minister who was fatally beaten and burned in a remote part of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to name a few of the recent examples of interpersonal violence aimed at believers.

1 Thessalonians 3:7 Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.

A casual observance of the facts reveals growing isolation of Christians as a people group, especially school age believers. Faculty and peer efforts to convince public school children that America was not founded on Christian ideals, and that our forefathers actually wanted a secular society, permeates public school interaction. History revisionists labor to eliminate any and all contradictory historical evidence from public school curriculum, and mockingly stereotype Christians as unenlightened fringe.

Christ-hating censors of religious expression target the media and public school curriculum because this is the best place, outside of the churches and families, to indoctrinate children and thus manipulate the future political and cultural landscape. If one succeeds in separating Godly principles from public education and the media, they deny citizens the knowledge of good and keep them from embracing the laws of God. To that extent, they are pawns of evil and subvert and destroy both the message and the messengers of righteousness.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

America's Founding Fathers understood that all government is based on either a theistic or anti-theistic foundation. Adepts of history like George Washington understood that countries whose systems of government embrace national anti-theistic views ultimately come to ruin. Strong religious convictions therefore played a role in the development of the United States, which was established on Christian principles and open to all people of good will. In 1892 this was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. After exhaustive deliberation, the Court said, "Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

A nation whose laws and institutions are based on the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. Why, such a place would surely become the leader in education, invention, and the arts. Such a place would probably become a haven of religious liberty for more types and religions of people than has ever existed anywhere or at any time on earth. Instead of religious persecution and intolerance, such a place would offer hope and opportunity to the huddled masses of the earth.

Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.


Title: Re:Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: JudgeNot on April 18, 2005, 10:26:26 AM
I couldn't have said it better...
I would bet that less than 10% of parents really know of the indoctrination taking place in 'public' schools, and the pure hate this indoctrination entails.  There is nothing more hateful than a socialist speaking against intolerance.

Title: Re:Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: Saved_4ever on April 19, 2005, 02:05:05 AM
And so as good Christians we continue to pray for our country, it's leaders and the guidance of the Lord.  We continue spread the good news of Jesus Christ and His saving Grace regardless of all these things.

No one can or will subvert the Lord and His goals and unless we truly believe this in the deepest parts of our hearts we will give no real glory to the Lord.  If we follow the word and act accordingly we can do no more.  

If this country turns completely over to the world then that is how it must be.  We must remember that BROAD is the way that leads to distruction.  It is quite obvious that we are truly a minority in the world.

Title: Re:Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: AveCaesar on April 27, 2005, 11:28:06 AM
Everyone should read the book called "Persecution" by David Limbaugh.  It has numerous accounts of the ridiculous things that they tell children in public school, and how the media and people mislead Americans into thinking that some basic excercises of our religious freedom is somehow "against the law."

Also visit and, if the Lord leads you support, the Ministry at "" The Voice of the Martyrs, they aid Christians being persecuted around the world.
Most of this Persecution comes from either Muslims, the "Religion of Peace" as our Liberal Socialist media would have us believe, or the Communists themselves i.e. China, Vietnam and parts of Eastern Europe i.e Belarus.

Title: Re:Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: Tibby on April 27, 2005, 12:46:49 PM
Rush's little brother David is great, but I would stay away from the Voice of the Martyrs. A propaganda machine that pulls on the heartstrings of Christians to make more money, thats all they are. Just another evangelical money machine. ::)

Title: Re:Persecution in the U.S.
Post by: Shammu on September 13, 2005, 12:03:55 AM
U.S. Court Calls for Deportation of Chinese Christian
Court believes Christian's story, says China has the right to maintain social order.
by Boaz Herzog | posted 09/06/2005 09:30 a.m.

For more than five years, Xiaodong Li and about half a dozen friends gathered weekly in their hometown of Ningbo, China, to study the Bible and sing hymns. Then one Sunday morning in April 1995, in the middle of one of the services inside Li's apartment, three cops stormed in, handcuffed Li, and escorted him to the local police station.

The officers grabbed his hair and kicked his legs, forcing him to kneel. They hit and shocked him with an electronic black baton until he confessed two hours later to organizing an underground church. Later, they locked him inside a windowless, humid cell with six other inmates until his friend and uncle bailed him out five days later. After his release, police forced him to clean public toilets 40 hours a week without pay. He lost his job as a hotel spokesman.

Li, 22 at the time, likely faced two years in prison. A court hearing was set for later that year. Li began plotting an escape. He applied for a visa. Unaware of Li's looming trial, a government agency issued him a passport. And on November 4, 1995, Li left the country.

Two months later, a Carnival Cruise Lines ship docked in Miami. Li, a food server on board, walked off and never returned. He moved to Houston, hoping to go back to his homeland when China's government eased religious restrictions. Instead, conditions worsened. His friend was imprisoned for participating in their underground church. And police interrogated Li's family, who still live in China, after receiving Bibles, religious magazines, and newspapers that Li had sent them.

In 1999, Li applied for asylum on the grounds that the Chinese government had persecuted him for his religious beliefs. He missed the application deadline, but an immigration judge agreed with his arguments, granting him a status that allowed him to remain in the United States until conditions in China improved.

But in 2003, the Board of Immigration Appeals reversed the judge's decision. It ruled that Li was punished for violating laws on unregistered churches that it said China has a legitimate right to enforce. Li, the board concluded, feared legal action or prosecution, not persecution.

In August, a three-judge panel of the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the board's ruling. The decision has alarmed refugee and religious-freedom advocates. They say the ruling, unless overturned, will make it much more difficult for future asylum-seekers to prove religious persecution.

The appeals court decision "sends a chilling message that the United States is beginning to turn its back on people fleeing religious persecution," said Dori Dinsmore, the former advocacy director for World Relief, an international organization that assists refugees.

Last year, U.S. immigration courts completed about 65,000 applications for asylum. Of those cases, about 20 percent of the applicants were granted asylum, the plurality of which came from China. Asylum allows refugees to work in the United States and later apply for permanent residence. To gain asylum, applicants must prove they are refugees escaping persecution because of their nationality, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, race, or religion.

"Ultimately," Dinsmore told CT, the Fifth Circuit's ruling means that many more asylum applicants "will be deported back into the hands of the people persecuting them."

The ruling has broad implications for worshipers across the globe. Ann Buwalda, founder and executive director of human-rights group Jubilee Campaign USA, told CT that adherents of other faiths could soon be denied U.S. asylum because some of their religious practices are considered illegal in their homelands. For example, she pointed to persecuted practitioners of Falun Gong exercises in China, and Muslims who convert to Christianity in Iran.

"Essentially," Buwalda said of the Fifth Circuit ruling, "you've removed religion as a basis of gaining asylum."

Chris Bentley, a spokesman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services bureau, declined to comment on the impact Li's case could have on other asylum applicants. The agency is "reviewing the judges' decision, and then we'll take appropriate actions," Bentley said.

Li's Houston-based attorney, Garrett White, said his client, now 32, plans to appeal, both to the full ring of Fifth Circuit judges and to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Alliance Defense Fund has joined Garrett as co-counsel.

Persecution a 'Moral Judgment, Not a Legal One'
That an immigration judge on up to the Fifth Circuit found Li's story of prosecution credible makes it all the more perplexing to his backers how the court failed to recognize his persecution.

Li was among 30 million to 60 million Chinese citizens who worship in illegal independent house churches. China officially recognizes five religions: Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Islam, and Taoism. So-called patriotic religious organizations sanctioned by the government supervise religious groups. Protestants such as Li must register with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement committee. About 10 million to 15 million citizens have registered as Protestants, according to Chinese government reports.

Registered religious groups have faced numerous restrictions for decades, said Caleb Weatherl, a researcher with the China Aid Association, a Texas-based advocacy group for persecuted Chinese Christians. For example, he said all church instructors must be approved by the Chinese government.

The Chinese law against unregistered religious activities is "simply an institutional form of persecution," according to the immigration judge who tried Li's case.

Not so, the U.S. Attorney General's Office argued. In prosecuting Li for engaging in illicit religious activities, China was simply motivated by a desire to maintain social order, not persecute based on his religious beliefs, the office contended.

The line between religious belief and religious activity in Li's case is a fine one, according to the Fifth Circuit judge writing the opinion in the case.

"While we may abhor China's practice of restricting its citizens from gathering in a private home to read the gospel and sing hymns, and abusing offenders, like Li, who commit such acts, that is a moral judgment, not a legal one," he wrote.

Because the Chinese government tolerates Christianity, so long as it's practiced in a registered group, the Fifth Circuit concluded that reasonable and substantial evidence supports the Board of Immigration Appeals decision that Li was punished for illegal activities and not for his religion.

Andrew Painter, senior protection officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said he plans to soon meet with officials from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to discuss Li's case and the harm the court ruling could cause to future asylum seekers.

Painter said the Fifth Circuit decision "seems to miss the point" and sets an "artificial distinction between religion and religious activities that would not appear to be justified."

Because of asking for donations, ad I can not, link this story to the web.

Title: North Korea ranks tops persecution list
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 16, 2006, 10:42:17 AM
Communist, Islamic regimes dominate annual ranking

The hard-line Stalinist regime in North Korea remains atop a leading monitor's list of the 50 countries that most severely persecute Christians.

Open Doors, in its 2006 "World Watch List," says there are reports of tens of thousands of Christians suffering in North Korean prison camps. While no precise figures are available, Open Doors estimates hundreds of Christians were killed by the Pyongyang regime last year.

Many North Koreans have become Christians after crossing the border into China – in many cases to escape famine – and living among local believers. When the North Koreans return home, some are exposed as Christians and face torture and death, Open Doors said.

"North Korea is the most repressive nation in the world," said Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller. "… It breaks my heart to hear some of the atrocities against our brothers and sisters there."

The annual list ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution, based on evaluations and testimonies obtained by Open Doors' indigenous contacts, field workers and church members.

Open Doors has launched a Prayer Campaign for North Korea that coincides with the North Korea Freedom Coalition's North Korea Freedom Week, April 24-30.

Second on the World Watch List is Saudi Arabia, followed by Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Vietnam, Laos and China.

In addition to North Korea, countries with communist governments in the top 10 include Vietnam, Laos and China. Islamic-dominated countries are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives and Yemen. Buddhism is the state religion of Bhutan.

Open Doors said more than 70 expatriate Christians were arrested last year during worship at private homes in what has been called the kingdom's largest crackdown on Christians in a decade. The U.S. State Department, in its annual reports on religious persecution, has determined religious freedom does "not exist" in Saudi Arabia, where the strict Wahabbi interpretation of Islam is the only religion allowed. Any conversion from Islam to another religion is punishable, in accord with Islamic law, by death.

In Iran, religious freedom for Christians deteriorated further with the victory of mullah-backed parties at the beginning of 2004. Then, with the election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, a new wave of persecution of Christians began. Ahmadinejad hailed his election triumph as a new Islamic revolution that will spread throughout the world and pledged to restore an "Islamic government." Since then, many Christians have been rounded up for harassment, arrested and beaten, Open Doors said. One house church pastor was killed last November.

Yemen was the only country to join the top ten this year, at No. 8. Last year, several Christian converts were beaten and arrested for their faith, Open Doors said.

Afghanistan dropped out of the top 10, moving from No. 10 to No. 11.

In addition, conditions for Christians deteriorated last year in Uzbekistan – from No. 15 to No. 12 – as the government enacted measures restricting religious freedom after suppression of the popular uprising in Andijan.

In India, an apparent rise in violence against Christians by radical Hindus reacting to evangelism moved the country's ranking from No. 34 to No 26.

Bangladesh went from No. 46 to No. 39 after seeing a rise in intolerance and atrocities against minorities, Open Doors said.

Improvements were witnessed in Vietnam (No. 3 to No. 7), Laos (No. 4 to No. 9), Afghanistan, Sudan (No. 19 to No. 27), northern Nigeria (No. 25 to No. 28), Colombia (No. 36 to No. 44) and southern Mexico (No. 31 to No. 48).

Church leaders in Vietnam and Laos said they saw improvement as their governments allowed construction and renovation of church buildings and conducting of training. In Laos, Christian leaders in the south engaged in many church activities with little or no government interference.

Title: The Criminalization of Christianity,, around the world......................
Post by: Shammu on April 17, 2006, 01:47:42 AM
The Criminalization of Christianity, around the world.................... :'( :'(

Abdul Rahman, the Afghani man who dominated headlines two weeks ago, has been safely spirited away to Italy. Rahman had been imprisoned and threatened with a death sentence for apostasy (i.e. converting from Islam to Christianity).

His case created an international uproar, as the U.S., the United Nations and even Pope Benedict put pressure on Afghanistan to release Rahman and drop the charges against him. The outcry against this religious persecution in Afghanistan was so deafening that the authorities ultimately relented and released Rahman, suggesting that he was mentally deficient and unable to stand trial. After his release, Rahman told Italian journalists that his exodus to Italy was necessary because “In Kabul they would have killed me, I'm sure of it.”

The unity of the international community against this horrid case of religious persecution was impressive and played no small role in securing Rahman’s release and saving his life. Unfortunately, the widespread persecution of Christians around the world continues unabated and receives almost no attention from the international media. For instance, over the last several months, nearly 2,000 Christians in one African nation have been rounded up and imprisoned. Yet these victims of religious persecution have received nowhere near the attention Rahman received.

At this very moment, the government of Eritrea, a small country on the northeastern coast of Africa, which is bordered by Ethiopia, the Sudan and the Red Sea, is perpetrating vicious human rights abuses against its Christian population.  Although Eritrea’s draft constitution reportedly allows freedom of religion, the ruling party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), has severely restricted religious rights in the country.

As the U.S. State Department reported March 9, 2006, only four religious groups -- Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Catholics and members of the Evangelical Church of Eritrea -- were approved by the PFDJ and allowed to meet legally. “Members of the non-registered churches continued to be arbitrarily arrested throughout the year (2005),” the report said.

Religious persecution has steadily worsened in the country since May, 2002, when the PFDJ shut down all religious institutions except the four mentioned. A recent report from Human Rights Watch observed:

Members of Pentecostal Christian churches are arrested for possession of Bibles or for attending communal worship. In 2005, the government intensified its persecution of adherents of unregistered religions by raiding wedding parties at private homes. Some clergy of a modernizing wing of the Eritrean Orthodox church were also arrested in 2005. Many of those arrested are beaten or tortured during their arrest or while in captivity. 
J. W's. have been mistreated. Some have been detained for a decade for refusing to participate in national military service even though the official penalty is incarceration for no more than three years. The Eritrean government defends its practices on the ground that the unrecognized churches have failed to register, but some religious groups applied for registration in 2002 and have not been registered. The government announced in April 2005 that it soon would register the Seventh Day Adventist denomination, but as of November 2005, it had not done so.

Over the last year, hundreds of Christians have been imprisoned and forced to endure deplorable conditions for the “crime” of being part of an “unregistered” religious organization. Compass Direct reported that at least 250 guests, including the bride and groom, were arrested at a wedding on May 28, 2005. While some were released the next day, 129 individuals remained imprisoned. Reports say their Bibles were confiscated and burned, and they were subjected to insults, mockery, and physical abuse.

The Christian Post reported that in October 2005 “two hundred Christians were arrested and their churches and affiliate humanitarian aid programs were forced to shut down in the latest report of legal actions against Christians in a series of crackdowns on Christian weddings and church officials.”

It isn’t just members of the unregistered churches who are being persecuted. Compass Direct reported in August, 2005, that 78-year-old Abuna Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church was stripped of his patriarchal authority by the government controlled Holy Synod for, among other things, “his high-level request that the government release some imprisoned Christian ‘traitors’ from jail” and his objection to government interference in the church. Although the Eritrean government initially denied having stripped Antonios of his responsibilities, a formal declaration of his dismissal was released in January 2006.

Others also have trouble. The U.S. State Department noted, “There were some complaints that the government discriminated against the Muslim community and Catholics because the government offered tax relief to Orthodox churches but not to some mosques and Catholic churches.”

On November 2005, Compass reported 1,778 Eritrean Christians were confirmed to be imprisoned for their religious beliefs, including at least 26 full-time Protestant pastors and Orthodox clergy.

That number has continued to increase in 2006. In January, at least 40 pastors, elders, and laymen from five Protestant churches, including the Church of the Living God, the Full Gospel, Rema, Hallelujah, and Philadelphia churches.

Human Rights Watch described the conditions in which these prisoners are held:

Prisoners are often held in secret prisons, including underground cells. Because of the large number of arrests, less prominent prisoners are packed into cargo containers or in other overcrowded prisons. In addition to psychological abuse, solitary confinement and abysmal conditions, escapees report the use of physical torture. Prisoners are suspended from trees with their arms tied behind their backs, a technique known as almaz (diamond). Prisoners are also placed face down, hands tied to feet, a method of torture known as the “helicopter.”

There are dozens of other reports available on Eritrea’s religious persecution. Yet none of the stories regarding the arrests of dozens, even hundreds of Christians in Eritrea have merited an iota of the attention that one sole Apostate in Afghanistan received. Still, Rahman’s story has stirred up an unprecedented international outcry for religious freedom around the world. Now it is time to turn the spotlight on Eritrea, and make the PFDJ feel the pressure to set their religious prisoners free.

I can't post the link because of advertisment.

My note; Now do you feel persecuted, because you are in a country with out those restrictions.

Title: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:20:23 PM
Benin Islamic Militants Destroy Church And Training Center

Islamic militants in Benin destroyed a church established by Christ Power Ministries (CPM) in the latest attack against the indigenous evangelical mission group in the African nation, missionaries told BosNewsLife Friday, March 2.

Christian Aid Mission, which supports CPM, confirmed the church was destroyed just three days after it was opened. There were no reports of injuries. About four months earlier militants also destroyed a CPM training center where over 2,000 Christian workers, including 1500 'disciples' and 650 children's ministry workers were educated, missionaries said.

It came as a major setback for the organization as the center apparently gained recognition for its effectiveness and members of neighboring Christian communities interested in starting similar projects visited the center to observe training methods and activities.

In addition two CPM mission schools were reportedly ransacked and destroyed by Islamic militants. It was not immediately clear which group was behind the several attacks in recent months.


Missionaries said however they fear that radical Muslims, who "subjugated North African countries under Islamic law," are rapidly moving southward "in their quest to convert the entire African continent."

In a statement obtained by BosNewsLife, CPM leader Claude Sossa suggested he had experienced "the devastating effect" of the apparent Islamic infiltration of his country, "as 30 percent of Benin's population is now Muslim," at least 10 percent higher than previous estimates by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

However Sossa, who oversees 130 church congregations, five mission schools and one 'School of Discipleship' made clear he wants to continue his work. "We have lost our [training] center after many years of work. But we continue to love those who destroyed it, because Jesus died for them and I believe that many of them will come to the Lord," he said. "The struggle continues," the mission leader added.


The son of a voodoo priest, Claude Sossa claims he had "a life-changing encounter with the Lord" in 1985. He then established CPM in an effort to reach unreached tribes and led a program to train future native missionaries. Claude also rescues orphaned and abandoned children and over 300 children are said to live in one of CPM's three orphanages.

In addition Claude's CPM has provided financial assistance to more than 200 families who adopted an abandoned child, while nearly 300 children reportedly receive free education at one of CPM's five Christian schools.

Hundreds of other Christian missionaries are also working in 45 mission fields, "targeting 32 of the 62 tribes living in Benin with the Gospel of Christ," Christian Aid Mission told BosNewsLife. The US-based organization began supporting CPM in 1996 when its Africa Director Rae Burnett witnessed what he called "the incredible work accomplished by Claude Sossa and the missionaries he had trained."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:21:57 PM
Jailed Mexican Evangelicals Fear New Massacre Trial

There was concern Wednesday, February 21, about the plight of dozens of evangelical prisoners in Mexico's southeastern state of Chiapas who rights watchers say have been wrongly convicted of involvement in the massacre of 45 Tzotzil Indians nearly a decade ago.

Netherlands-based Open Doors, a group supporting Christians persecuted for their faith, said 76 men, half of them evangelical believers, were victims of "random arrests" following the mass killings of Indians on December 22, 1997, in the village of Acteal by paramilitary forces.

"Most of these men have been spending eight years behind bars...Open Doors is convinced that most of these prisoners are innocent," the group told BosNewsLife.

Open Doors, which has been paying the legal costs of the defendants, said lawyers are fighting for a "presidential pardon" for their clients after a federal court lowered an initial ruling from 36 to 25 years imprisonment.


"Lawyers have rested their defense case as they were threatened by prosecutors, but are are working on a procedure to obtain a presidential pardon."

Open Doors said the case "could turn nasty again" as the state of Chiapas reportedly wants to reopen the trial. The defense team believes that the authorities of Chiapas are trying to prevent a search for the real killers of the Tzotzil Indians, the group explained. In addition a further 27 men may be detained for their alleged involvement in what became known as the 'Acteal Massacre,' Open Doors said

The "tragic massacre" of Acteal was the result of what Open Doors investigators described as an "ideological and political conflict" between rebels of the anti-government Zapatista Army of National Liberation and farmers supporting the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP).

Following the murder of yet another IRP member, an armed conflict broke out between the two groups near a Catholic monastery where 300 people were gathering to receive Red Cross clothing. In the violence 45 Trotzil Indians were killed, including 37 women and children.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:22:55 PM
Vietnam Secret Police "Lies" About Fate Jailed Dissidents

Vietnam's secret police has apparently "lied" about the release of key dissidents who were still detained late Wednesday, February 21, dissidents and BosNewsLife established.

"We are sorry that the Vietnam Communist secret police have messed us with their fake news," said Viet Si, the spokesman of the dissidents group International Movement for Democracy and Human Rights in Vietnam. BosNewsLife and its affiliates were among the first to report on the arrests Monday, February 19 of officials from the anti-Communist Vietnam Progression Party (VPP).

"As of now Feb 21, [VPP President] Nguyen Phong and [VPP Technical Director] Nguyen Binh Thanh, still have been detained at police headquarter of Thua Thien, 1st Tran Quang Khai St., City of Hue, Vietnam. VPP Secretary General Hoang thi Anh Dao is also still in police custody at 42 Hung Vuong Street, City of Hue," Viet Si said.

He said that international pressure of world political leaders and media, including BosNewsLife and its affiliates have played "a major role in helping release" political and religious dissidents in the past. "That's why we have to voice out our pleas immediately when our defenseless dissidents are arrested and or detained," he added.

Vietnamese officials were not immediately available to explain the apparent confusion over the release of the dissidents. There has also been concern over the arrest and detention of Christians, including priests and hundreds of Degar Montagnard Christians, human rights groups said.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:23:46 PM
Eritrea: Christian Dies in Military Jail

An Eritrean Christian died in prison last week, four and a half years after the Eritrean regime jailed him for worshipping in a banned Protestant church.

From the southern port city of Assab, local Christians confirmed the death of Magos Solomon Semere on Thursday (February 15) at the Adi-Nefase Military Confinement facility just outside Assab.

According to one source, Semere, 30, died “due to physical torture and persistent pneumonia, for which he was forbidden proper medical treatment.” He had reportedly endured a long period of severe illness in the months prior to his death.

A member of the Rema Church, Semere had first been jailed in the fall of 2001, when he was arrested for evangelizing and starting meetings for worship with six other Christians.

“The government gave hard-labor work punishment to believers for preaching the gospel and starting fellowships,” a Christian once jailed in Assab with Semere told Compass. “If they persisted, they would be kept imprisoned for ‘violating’ the government law.”

Semere had been released after 18 months in prison, only to be re-arrested three months later with a large group of Protestants caught worshipping together in July 2002.

When Semere became seriously ill, the source said, he was told to sign a statement renouncing his faith in order to get medical treatment. “He refused to do so,” his former jailmate said, “but three other people signed, and they got released.”

Semere had been engaged to marry shortly before his July 2002 arrest, but he was refused permission to see his fiancée again during his years in prison.

Despite all the government warnings delivered to Semere, his former fellow prisoner said, “Magos was determined to obey the Lord rather than men.”

Semere’s death is the third known killing of a Christian for his faith since last October. On October 17, 2006, Eritrean security police tortured two Christians to death, two days after arresting them for holding a religious service in a private home south of Asmara. Immanuel Andegergesh, 23, and Kibrom Firemichel, 30, died from torture wounds and severe dehydration in a military camp outside the town of Adi-Quala,

Crackdown in Assab

Assab, near the facility where Semere died, was targeted for one of the first major crackdowns against Protestant Christians by Eritrean security forces five years ago.

Three months later, in May 2002, the government categorically outlawed all churches not under the umbrella of the Orthodox, Catholic or Evangelical Lutheran denominations.

In the initial police raids in Assab on February 17, 2002, 133 congregants attending Sunday morning worship services at the city’s Full Gospel, Rema and Word of Life churches were arrested. Although all were released the next day, the 74 soldiers among them were rearrested two weeks later.

Refused contact with their families, the soldiers were punished with severe floggings and other forms of extreme torture for months, often kept in tiny dark cells. Most still remain jailed without charges, subjected to hard labor without any hope of release.

Since then, dozens more soldiers and other Christians from Pentecostal and charismatic churches caught worshipping in homes or small groups in and around Assab have been jailed. At least 130 Christians are believed to be imprisoned now in Assab’s military and civil prisons for refusing to sign documents recanting their faith.

Ten More Arrested

On Sunday (February 18) afternoon security police in Asmara arrested 10 Eritrean Christians who were visiting a private home in the Teravelo district of Asmara to congratulate a new bride and groom after their wedding.

Seven members of the Medhan Alem renewal movement, a Sunday School ministry within the Eritrea Orthodox Church, and three members of the Full Gospel Church were taken into custody. The newly married couple, who were just concluding their honeymoon, were not jailed.

The occasion was described by Christians in the capital as “a normal social visit of friends, not for the purpose of having worship or other church activities.” Six of the 10 new prisoners are women.

More than 2,000 Eritrean citizens are known to be jailed under severe mistreatment in police stations, military camps and prisons in at least 14 cities and towns solely for their religious beliefs.

Although most of those jailed are Christians, a number of Jehovah’s Witnesses and leaders of the Muslim community have also been imprisoned incommunicado for a year or more without judicial charges.

For the past 18 months, the regime of President Isaias Afwerki has extended its religious repression to interfere openly in the internal affairs of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, deposing its patriarch and taking over the church’s administrative and financial controls.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:24:51 PM
India Militants Massively Attack Bible College; Christians Injured

"Many Christians" were injured when hundreds of suspected Hindu militants on Wednesday, February 28, raided a Christian college in the Indian state of Orissa and beat staff members and students, investigators told BosNewsLife.

"Around 500 radicals forcefully entered the campus of Believers Church Bible College and their office" located in the city of Brajarajnagar in Orissa's Jharsuguda district, said Sajan George, the national president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), which represents churches and mission groups.

"They injured many of the" staff and students during the beatings and attacked everyone in the complex "one by one" he and other GCIC representatives said. Only about five police officers reportedly arrived at the scene, but they "became the silent spectators of the continued atrocities" as militants continued their beatings and ransacked the complex, GCIC investigators claimed.

It was not immediately clear how many people were victims of the attack, but the complex is large and reports suggested that at least several dozens were injured. "The situation prevailing there is totally beyond control and tense at present," George told BosNewsLife in a statement. He said GCIC representatives managed to reach police officials who "assured us to give absolute and sufficient protection."


He said the campus was currently without electricity as the militants "disrupted the electric supply by disconnecting and cutting all the electric wires." He said the GCIC was informed that law enforcement officials and other authorities were to take "statements of the injured persons and carry out medical examinations" in the campus.

GCIC also "comforted the victims [who are] believers" and said it had urged Christians in the state and around the world to pray for the injured.

The attack came on the heels of violence on February 18 against five young men studying at a Bible college run by mission group Gospel for Asia (GFA) in the Indian state of Maharashtra. They were reportedly recovering from "severe injuries" after they were beaten by an angry anti-Christian crowd. Two of the students were listed in "critical condition."

The attack in Orissa has underscored concerns of more violence against evangelical Christians in the troubled state. Orissa made world headlines in 1999 when Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two sons Timothy, 9, and Philip, 7, were burnt alive in a station wagon at Manoharpur village in Orissa's Keonjhar district. He had been working in Orissa among the poor and especially for people suffering from leprosy since 1965, and later with his wife, who survived. (With BosNewsLife reporting and BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos).

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:25:52 PM
Fire Damages Christian Training Center in Southern Sudan

A significant section of a Christian training center in volatile southern Sudan has been destroyed by fire, the group that runs the center confirmed Wednesday, February 28.

Open Doors, an advocacy group supporting Christians persecuted for their faith, told BosNewsLife that although nobody was killed or injured in last week's blaze, the "damage was significant." The group said flames reached the sleeping and wash facilities of students as well as the kitchen of the center. The 160 students, who managed to safe most of their personal belongings, are now spending the night in the center's class rooms, Open Doors said.

"We are thankful that nobody was killed or injured and that not all buildings of the complex was destroyed," said Open Doors Spokesman Jeno Sebok in a statement to BosNewsLife. "Although the fire came as a shock for the teachers and students, they have been trusting God who controls the situation. They saw no reason to panic," he added.

It was not immediately clear why the fire broke out, but it came at a sensitive time in southern Sudan where Christians are still recovering after more than two decades of civil war.


Human rights groups say that the policy of forced Islamization launched by the government based in northern Sudan resulted in "virtual genocide" of non-Muslim Sudanese peoples in the southern part of the troubled nation. The second civil war broke out in 1983, almost ten years after a previous civil conflict ended. Famine-related effects resulted in over four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades.

A shaky 2005 peace treaty granted southern rebels opposing Islamization autonomy for six years, after which a referendum for independence is scheduled to be held. The separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, resulted in at least 200,000 deaths and nearly two million displaced, according to estimates. Since 2005, peacekeeping troops have been struggling to stabilize the situation in Sudan, which faces large refugee influxes from volatile neighboring countries, primarily Ethiopia and Chad.

Open Doors and other groups are supporting Christians who have reportedly been in the crossfire of religious strife in the region. Christians comprise roughly five percent and those following indigenous beliefs 25 percent of Sudan's predominantly Sunni Muslim population of 41.2 million people, according to estimates. Most Sunni Muslims live in the north of the country, while Christians are mostly living in the south and the capital Khartoum.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:27:02 PM
India: 'Anti-Conversion' Laws Linked to Higher Persecution

Himachal Pradesh state approves the latest so-called ‘Freedom of Religion’ law.

With the governor of Himachal Pradesh approving an “anti-conversion” bill last week, India now has seven states with legislation banning unregistered or unethical religious conversions -- to the glee of Hindu extremists who arbitrarily invoke them to quash Christian growth.

On February 20, Governor Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje gave his assent to the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2006, which was passed in the state assembly by the Congress Party last December 30.

The seven Indian states with anti-conversion legislations, known as Freedom of Religion Acts, are Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.

Hindu extremists commonly use anti-conversion legislation to falsely accuse Christians of converting people through force or allurement; thus they justify attacks on Christians or deflect prosecution away from themselves by pressing charges of “forcible conversion” without any evidence.

While anti-conversion laws were enforced in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh (before they were divided into two separate states) in 1967 and in Orissa in 1968, the legislation in Rajasthan state, which passed in the state assembly in April 2006, is still awaiting governor’s assent.

Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat also have passed such laws in 1978 and 2003 respectively, with their governors’ approval, but they have not been implemented as rules have yet to be framed.

According to procedures laid down in the India Constitution, a bill cannot become a law until the state governor signs it. After governor’s assent, a state government can frame rules and implement the law.

Tool of Hindu Nationalism

Christians and political analysts in India link the enactment of anti-conversion laws to the Hindu nationalistic agenda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of numerous Hindu extremist groups.

The BJP uses anti-conversion law as a tool to institutionalize the ideology of Hindu nationalism, known as Hindutva, which envisions a “Hindu nation” where the religious minorities are allowed to live but in subordination to the majority community.

Christianity, according to Hindutva, is a “Western religion” brought to India mainly under the British colonial rule. The BJP also claims that missionaries are part of an international conspiracy, mainly stemming from the United States, to convert and overtake India.

The Hindu extremist party accuses Western missionaries of using material bribes or force to convert poor and illiterate people in India.

In less than one year, the BJP, which was ruling at the federal level till April 2004 and is still in power in some states, has enacted an anti-conversion law in Rajasthan and made the existing laws more stringent in Madhya Pradesh (July 25), Chhattisgarh (August 3) and Gujarat (September 19). Governors in those states, however, have not given their assent to any of these bills.

Recently the BJP said it would bring an anti-conversion law to the northern state of Uttarakhand, formerly known as Uttaranchal, if it is voted to power in the assembly elections that took place on February 21; results from the polls are still awaited.

Himachal Pradesh is the first Congress Party-ruled state in recent years to enact an anti-conversion law. The Congress Party, which rules the federal government through the United Progressive Alliance, maintains that it is “secular” – a term that, in common usage in India, means equal treatment of all religious communities.

Dr. Joseph D’Souza, president of the All India Christian Council, said the Himachal Pradesh law betrays the promises of the Congress Party to address the needs of minority faiths across India.

“This law severely undercuts the fundamental right to freedom of religion, particularly for exploited Dalits and tribals,” D’Souza said. “The assent of the governor amounts to an endorsement of the discrimination and persecution against religious minorities in Himachal Pradesh state.”

Creating Persecution

Christians assert that the incidence of persecution is higher in states where anti-conversion laws are in force.

Most recently, on February 8 extremists allegedly belonging to the RSS beat an evangelist of the Friends Missionary Prayer Band, accused him of conversions and forced him to the police station in Devasari village in Chhattisgarh’s Sarguja district. The Kusmi police station filed a complaint against him under the state anti-conversion law, and the court remanded him to custody – while no complaint was filed against the extremists for attacking him.

In Himachal Pradesh state, where the law is yet to be implemented, two anti-Christian incidents were reported soon after the passing of the bill.

A large number of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) extremists on January 21 gathered outside the house of Pastor Timuhias Behal in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, demanded that he close down his Peniel Prarthana Bhawan orphanage and move out of the area. On January 18, extremists from the same group pressured two residents of the Last Resort drug-rehabilitation center in Khokhan village to file false complaints against a pastor and three Christian workers.

Last year, two members of the National Commission for Minorities, Harcharan Singh Josh and Lama Chosphel Zotpa, acknowledged that Hindu extremists frequently invoke the anti-conversion law in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh as a means of inciting mobs against Christians or of having them arrested without evidence. They reported this finding after a visit to the state June 13-18.

Dubious Intentions

According to Dr. John Dayal, secretary general of the All India Christian Council, “Freedom of Religion” laws are misnamed.

“Their intention is just the reverse,” he said. “They deny the people the freedom of faith.”

These laws encourage extremist groups such as the RSS and VHP to target Christians and their educational institutions, he said, adding that in Madhya Pradesh it has become “impossible” for Christian workers to even visit rural areas.

Christians complain that the anti-conversion laws define “force,” “fraud” and “inducement” vaguely, which can paralyze Christian social and evangelistic service by exposing Christian workers to false charges.

For instance, Section 2(b) of the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act terms “divine displeasure” – a key component of the gospel message – as “force.” Section 2(d) labels an “inducement” the offer of “any gift or benefit” – thus criminalizing Christ’s command to feed, clothe and give drink to the needy. Section 2(b) vaguely defines as fraud “misrepresentation or any other fraudulent contrivance.”

Section 4(1) of the Act requires any person wishing to convert to another religion to give a prior notice of at least 30 days to district authorities; failure to do so can result in a fine of 1,000 rupees (US$23). Yet, “no notice shall be required if a person reverts back to his own religion” – in a society that largely assumes that to be born in India is to be born Hindu.

Section 3 states that a person who is converted by any unfair means shall not be considered converted. According to Section 5, an offense under Section 3 – which includes conversion “by the use of force or by inducement or by any other fraudulent means” – is punishable with imprisonment up to two years and/or a fine up to 25,000 rupees (US$570).

In case of conversion of a minor, woman, Dalit or tribal (aboriginal) person, the imprisonment can extend to three years and the fine up to 50,000 rupees (US$1,140).

Election Issue

Before elections, the BJP has raised the issue of Christian growth and consequent need to ban “forced” conversions in order to divide voters along religious lines.

On February 10, The Indian Express daily quoted Himachal Pradesh state BJP chief Jairam Thakur as saying that, had the Congress Party government not enacted the anti-conversion law, the issue could have become his party’s “major poll plank” in assembly elections in 2008.

Another such example can be seen in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagamin government in Tamil Nadu state, which enacted an anti-conversion law in October 2002 to woo the BJP as an ally.

The law was repealed in May 2004, a month after the BJP was defeated in national elections.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:28:03 PM
Iraq: Kurdish Christian Child Convicted of Murder

Convert girl to appeal five-year sentence for killing uncle.

A Christian child has been sentenced to five years in juvenile detention in Northern Iraq for fatally stabbing her Muslim uncle while he beat her for converting to Christianity, her lawyer said.

Judge Satar Sofe convicted 14-year-old Asya Ahmad Muhammad of murder at the trial’s first hearing on February 7 in Dohuk’s juvenile court. Muhammad’s defense lawyer appealed the ruling on February 17, questioning Sofe’s conclusion that the killing had been intentional.

“The court should consider Maria’s [Muhammad’s Christian name] case unintentional killing because she didn’t intend to kill her uncle,” Akram Mikhael Al-Najar told Compass.

The lawyer said Muhammad’s five-year sentence was light, considering that Iraq’s penal code invokes the death penalty for committing murder.

“Since her uncle provoked her and kicked and abused her, the court appreciated these situations and decreased her punishment,” Al-Najar said.

The lawyer expects the Kurdish regional Court of Cassation, northern Iraq’s highest court, to rule on the appeal within three months. Even if the appeal is turned down, Al-Najar told Compass that Muhammad could be released after serving only three quarters of her five-year sentence.

Muhammad stabbed her paternal uncle with a kitchen knife last July when he came to her family’s kitchen utensil store on the outskirts of Dohuk and began beating her, her mother and younger brother.

Sayeed Muhammad’s Muslim family claimed that he attacked his relatives in order to restore “honor” supposedly lost because his female in-laws were working in public. But Asya Muhammad’s father and lawyer said that the real motive for the attack was religious.

Asya Muhammad’s father, Ahmad, told Compass that his brother had previously tried to murder him five times, angered by his conversion to Christianity.

In the wake of Sayeed Muhammad’s death, Asya Muhammad’s grandparents called for her father to be killed. External mediators later convinced the grandparents that Asya Muhammad’s father had nothing to do with his brother’s death, leading the elderly couple to demand their granddaughter’s death and a large sum instead.

Upon hearing these threats, Asya Muhammad’s parents and siblings went into hiding. Her mother and three younger brother’s have now returned home, though her father continues to reside at an undisclosed location.

Lawyer Al-Najar said that the family is no longer afraid of being attacked. “But if Maria was released from jail, she would be in danger, of course, and she would have to live far from those terrorists [her grandparents],” Al-Najar told Compass.

A Muslim cleric in Mosul, Asya Muhammad’s grandfather attended the February 7 hearing with his wife to testify against his granddaughter. The elderly cleric was present last year when his granddaughter grabbed a store knife and plunged it into her uncle’s chest while he was tearing at her hair.

Asya Muhammad’s lawyer said that if her appeal is rejected, she will finish out her sentence in Dohuk’s juvenile prison. Al-Najar described her situation in jail as “good,” saying that she has the opportunity to study and take computer courses.

But one Christian in Dohuk told Compass that Asya Muhammad’s situation is far from ideal. As the only female minor in the prison, the source said it was uncertain whether jail officials would allow her to attend classes at the all-male school.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:29:00 PM
Uzbekistan: Police Seek Missing Pastors of 'Unregistered' Churches

Leaders who refused to sign statements face imprisonment for absence at court hearing.

Salavat Serikbayev, 32, and Makset Djabbarbergenov, 26, did not make their court date on Monday (February 26) in the regional capital of Nukus to face charges of leading an unregistered religious meeting. The pastors declined to make public the reason for their absence from court.

“Police have come to my house twice to take me by force this week,” said Serikbayev, who was not at home on either occasion. Djabbarbergenov was also absent when police came to his home to arrest him on Wednesday (February 28), Protestant sources told Compass.

Both pastors face certain imprisonment for the duration of the trial if they attend the next hearing on Monday (March 5), Serikbayev said. The pastor said that Uzbek law gives police the right to jail criminal suspects who fail to attend their court hearing.

Serikbayev, pastor of Bethel Church in the village of Muinak, and Djabbarbergenov were among 18 pastors detained during a January raid in the village of Kaskol-2 near Nukus.

Uniformed police led by two officials from the city prosecutor’s office burst into an informal gathering of church leaders from Nukus area’s various Protestant denominations at 7:30 p.m. on January 15. Abbat Utemuratov and Umirbai Kudaibergenov, assistants to the Nukus prosecutor, had the group video-taped before hauling the Christians to the police station.

The pastors were subjected to racial slurs and verbal abuse in police custody and told to write out and sign statements that the meeting had been a Christian gathering.

Uzbek law forbids unregistered religious meetings. Protestant denominations along with all other non-Muslim and non-Orthodox religious groups have been denied registration in Karakalpakstan, essentially outlawing their existence.

Serikbayev said that pastors who signed the statements were quickly released, while he, Djabbarbergenov and several others who refused were held past midnight.

Previous Imprisonment

During the following two weeks Serikbayev was twice called into the prosecutor’s office. The second time, he said he was notified that a case had been opened against him for “holding illegal meetings” and “inciting religious separatism.”

Articles 216 and 244 of the Uzbekistan Criminal Code prescribe five and three years imprisonment for each crime respectively. According Serikbayev, Djabbarbergenov is only charged under article 216.

“The police investigation report says that I was leading the meeting and that Makset was helping me,” Serikbayev said. “But we were just eating plov [an Uzbek national dish], and we didn’t have any religious literature with us.”

Nukus prosecutor’s assistant Utemuratov was unwilling to comment on the case when contacted by religious freedom watchdog Forum 18. Utemuratov said that his colleague Kudaibergenov was handling the investigation, but Kudaibergenov hung up each time he was contacted, Forum 18 wrote in a February 22 article.

The first convert from Christianity to Islam in his home town of Muinak when he became a Christian in 1994, Serikbayev is no stranger to persecution. In 1999 he spent four months in jail for his religious activities, as well as trumped up charges of taking another man’s wife.

He said his jailors discriminated against him as a Christian during his imprisonment, refusing to allow him to receive food from his family. At the same time, his wife was fired from her job because of the notoriety of his situation.

The pastor said that if he were arrested again, it would be especially hard on his wife and five children, between the ages of 11 months and 10 years.

But despite his previous experiences, Serikbayev said that he was not worried. “Worrying is when you lose your appetite and can’t sleep,” the pastor said. “I’m just praying and asking God what his will is.”

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:29:58 PM
Cuba Christian Activist Biscet "Trusts God" Amid Prison Abuses

One of Cuba’s most prominent Christian prisoners, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, has said he has been forced to watch abuses "that threaten the decorous behavior of a civilized society" but stressed he trusts God to one day end his "unjust sentence," in a letter published by BosNewsLife Saturday, March 3.

Dr. Biscet, a Christian pro-life activist and medical doctor who opposes abortion and the death penalty as well as the Communist regime, was sentenced to 25 years on April 7, 2003, in a massive crackdown on human rights activists across the island.

He earlier received a three-year jail term on charges of "disrespecting patriotic symbols" including hanging a Cuban flag upside down during a news conference.

Human rights group Amnesty International and other organizations consider Dr. Biscet, who also heads the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, a prisoner of conscience. Cuban leader Fidel Castro has reportedly called him a "crazy little man.''


In a letter to his wife obtained by BosNewsLife, Biscet, 46, said it has been "very difficult for common prisoners to serve a prison sentence, all the more so for a man of peace confined for exercising his right to freedom of thought."

He explained that during "all these years in prison: he witnessed "ignominious things" he was unable to describe "due to their perversity; acts that threaten the decorous behavior of a civilized society." However despite the apparent difficult situation in the in the maximum security Prison Combinado del Este in Havana, Dr. Biscet stressed he was not giving up his Christian faith.

"I am not frightened nor will I go back a step in regards to my ideas. I am here by my own free will to condemn and not to retract myself and will serve this unjust sentence until God in the Highest puts an end to it," said Dr Biscet who has apparently been pressured by authorities to give up his Christian faith and human rights views.

"Everything has been so excessive and arbitrary that, the tribunal that condemned me, did not pronounce the sentence until three days after the trial had concluded," he also wrote his wife. "At that moment I felt their disloyalty to justice. I am convinced today of the fear they felt when they convicted an innocent man and put him to live with the scum of society," Dr. Biscet added.


His wife, Elsa Morejon Hernandez, told BosNewsLife in a statement that as a registered nurse she was concerned about the prison conditions.

"The prison cell where he is forced to live is unfit for long term confinements, " she said. "No human being [can] escape illness. [The prison] is full of humidity, whitewashed walls [and] lacking a mattress. [There is also] no light nor ventilation or a chair to sit on."

In addition she noticed during rare family visits "excessive noise, little privacy, restricted family contact, a hostile environment, as well as other factors that place at high risk his health and life."

Morejon Hernandez, said the apparent poor prison conditions have impacted the health of her husband. He suffers of a "total deterioration of his dental health, recurring infections treated with antibiotics and painkillers, and symptoms of high blood pressure, a condition [he] endured for many years that is treated with…tablets," she said, adding that his family provides him with all medication.


"He is progressively loosing his eyesight and has pain in his joints. More than 100 prisoners found in his prison subdivision consume the same food rations that are taken to his cell," his wife noticed. "Like my husband, the prisoners subsist thanks to the foodstuff brought to the penitentiary by their families since prison food is unsuitable for human consumption."

Dr. Biscet, she said, is only "sporadically taken outside in the sunlight and, once a month, he is allowed to go out to walk in the open air."

In the past she has also expressed concerns about her own physical health because she is Dr. Biscet’s wife and the daughter of an ex-political prisoner. She has reportedly been attacked various times by government controlled mass media, who called her "wife of a counter-revolutionary chieftain…"

Cuban authorities have consistently denied reports of human rights abuses. Castro has also refused to recognize the word "dissidents" saying the at least dozens of political and Christian prisoners in the Communist island are "mercenaries of the United States" and against his revolution. (With reports from Cuba).

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:30:49 PM
China Gives Activist's Mother Two Years Imprisonment

The elderly mother of a well known Chinese church activists remained behind bars Thursday, March 1, after a Chinese court sentenced her to two years imprisonment, representatives confirmed.

US-based advocacy group China Aid Association (CAA), which has close contacts with reportedly persecuted believers in China said Beijing house church activist Hua Huiqi's 77-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, was sentenced by Beijing Chongwen District People's Court on February 26 on charges "of willfully damaging public and private property."

CAA told BosNewsLife in a statement that the court "only spent an hour hearing this case" before making the ruling. Efforts by the defense team were allegedly hampered by the timing of the court hearing. "Since the trial date was set on the first working day after the Chinese New Year period, her lawyer was not able to collect any evidence to defend her," CAA said.

Shuang was arrested last month when she walked to Beijng's Chongwen district office to seek information about the whereabouts of her son, pastor Hua Huiqi, who was detained January 26. Hua is an active house church Christian in Beijing, CAA said.


"He has been passionately serving the ministry and assisting lots of persecuted Christians and oppressed peasants," the group claimed. The Chinese Communist government had been "seeking opportunities to take revenge against this family for their active support of the oppressed," CAA said.

"We are shocked by the injustice done to this elder Christian lady," said CAA President Bob Fu, a former coworker of Hua. "it definitely represents a new China and especially in Beijing itself, which is the host city of 2008 Summer Olympics."

Chinese officials were not immediately available for comments, but China's Communist government has denied human rights abuses. It says Christians are free to worship in the official state-run churches. However human rights groups claim that most Christians prefer to worship outside government interference. They often gather in what are known as 'house churches' as they are often held in homes of believers.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:31:55 PM
Iranian Imam Receives Christ Via Satellite TV, Escapes Country

Four More Imams Are Underground Believers

 One of the top Islamic leaders in Iran accepted Christ and left the country after facing death threats and imprisonment, according to an Iranian pastor living in the U.S.

“This man has been watching Christian TV programs for the past two years,” said Pastor Elnathan Baghestani, founder of Iran for Christ Ministries. ( Pastor Baghestani and his wife provide Christian programming to the Mohabat Network satellite, which broadcasts 24/7 into Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

The imam called one of the phone counselors connected to Iran for Christ Ministries and prayed to receive Christ in early February. “The man has been watching Christian TV programs for the past two years,” Baghestani said. “He said he has believed since he began watching the programs but his salvation was sealed through his confession.”

“This man knows all the verses of the Qur’an by heart,” he added. “After he began watching, doubt began in his heart about the Islamic faith.” The man spent nine months in prison after he questioned the violence of radical Islam. Following his release from prison, he faced numerous death threats and escaped the country.

Several other religious leaders may follow suit. “He knows four other high-ranking imams that are in the same condition and want to leave Iran,” Baghestani said.

While it is illegal to own satellite dishes in Iran, many hide them on their roofs or other locations on their property. “They arrest people for having satellite dishes because they know the Christian programming is effective,” Baghestani noted.

The imam who fled left everything behind. “His salary was 700,000 of their monetary units every month,” Baghestani said. “He was honored and respected, but when the gospel came to him he lost everything,” he noted. “Now he is a poor refugee in a foreign country.”

“God is shaking the foundation of Islam in Iran,” Baghestani said. “We have been praying for some of the main government officials to come to Christ and God is answering us,” he reports. “I pray God will open more doors for us to send the gospel to the Middle East.”

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:33:01 PM
Vietnam Detains House Church Leader

There was mounting concern Monday, March 5, about the whereabouts of a key leader of an indigenous house church in Vietnam's Central Highlands after Vietnamese security forces reportedly raided a village and detained several Christians.

In a statement to BosNewsLife, the Montagnard Foundation Incorporated (MFI), which represents the predominantly Christian Degar-Montagnard community in the region, said about 100 Vietnamese government soldiers and police "entered and sealed off" the village of Buon Moak in Dak Lak province on February 17.

"The soldiers and police then arrested two of our Christian brothers Y-Ja Nie, 55 and Y-Tuc Buonya, 44, because they are Christians who refused to join the government recognized church," MFI said.

The group claimed that both "were taken to the prison facility in the district of Mdrak," in Dak Lak province. While Y-Tuc Buonya was released February 23, "Y-Ja Nie was sent to the prison facility in Buonmathuot because he is the preacher of [the] house church at his village of Buon Moak," MFI said.


"Given the Vietnamese government’s track record of using torture against such prisoners it is thus feared this preacher will be maltreated and their families are extremely distressed," the group claimed.

Several Degar-Montagnard Christians have reportedly been tortured in seperate incidents, several human rights groups say. "These prisoners continue to suffer abuses and are subjected to torture, including electric shock treatment, beatings as well as being withheld food and medical care," MFI explained.

"The authorities continue to persecute members of the Christian House Church movement who refuse to join the government recognized church. In many cases authorities have beaten prisoners causing deliberate internal organ damage and a number of prisoners have already died in custody or soon after their release from prison."


At least hundreds of Christians, including about 350 predominantly Christian Degar-Montagnards, are believed to be behind bars across the Communist-run country. Vietnamese officials have denied wrongdoing saying Christians are free to worship in government backed churches.

However many Christians apparently refuse to worship there, saying the churches are not Christ-centered, but focused on the state's Communist doctrine. The United States removed Vietnam from its list of 'countries of particular concern' regarding religious rights violations, a move that was condemned by human rights groups.

The reported crackdown on Degar-Montagnards have been linked in part to anger among authorities about their Christian activities and support for American forces during the Vietnam War. Many are also said to have been persecuted for trying to flee to nearby Cambodia. (With reports from Vietnam).

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 07, 2007, 03:33:52 PM
China Detains Dozens Of Christian Leaders, Group Says

Dozens of Christian leaders, including three church officials from South Korea, were detained by Chinese security forces Tuesday, March 6, as part of an apparent government crackdown on independent Christian groups, representatives said.

China Aid Association (CAA) said in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife that the arrests happened when "local police raided a house church Bible study in Wancheng District, Nanyang city [of] Henan province."

CAA said 34 "Chinese Christian leaders and three church leaders from South Korea were taken to the police station for interrogation."

In published remarks, eyewitnesses said the raid happened in the afternoon when Christian leaders of the Chinese House Church Alliance "were having their Bible study with three pastors from South Korea."


Police officers from China's Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Nanyang city "broke into the house of worship which is the home of pastor Dong Quanyu who is the vice-President of Chinese House Church Alliance," CAA said.

"We urge the Chinese government to immediately release these innocent Chinese and Korean church leaders," said Pastor Bob Fu, the president of CAA.

China has consistently denied human rights abuses, saying it is only cracking down on "dangerous sects" or "unauthorized meetings." Church representatives and human rights groups have linked the apparent crackdown to concerns within the Communist Party of China about the spread of Christianity in the country.


Recently Chinese officials admitted there were at least 130 million Christians in China, even more than previous international estimates of roughly 80 million believers.

There were some hope that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, who was appointed in 2003, would allow more democratic reforms, including more religious rights and freedom of expression.

However during China's annual parliamentary session which started Monday, March 5, he focused on "promoting social harmony, protecting the environment and reduce energy consumption," as part of attempts to strengthen the party base. (With BosNewsLife Research and reports from China).

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 15, 2007, 01:04:51 PM
Court orders preacher into 'exile' 
Evangelical punished despite government's claim of 'religious tolerance'

A Christian leader under persecution for his faith has been ordered exiled by the Uzbekistan government, after prosecutors alleged he was preaching without government authorization, a new report from Voice of the Martyrs has revealed.

The organization, which advocates on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, said Pastor Dmitry Shestakov was sentenced at a court hearing just days ago to four years in exile.

"This is an example of what our Uzbek brothers and sisters face in their country," said Todd Nettleton, director of media development for VOM. "This is a government that says they give their citizens religious freedom, but that is clearly not the case."

The report follows by just a week a report of another instance of persecution in Uzbekistan, also documented by VOM. In that case, police officers were dispatched to break into the meeting of a church in Qarshi and confiscate literature. They also demanded to know who was providing funds for the meetings and why people chose to be Christian.

The Uzbek government has a formal policy that "religious toleration and forbearance have always been and remain to be the most important component of the state policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan."

But the latest incidents, including the Shestakov decision, appear to disprove that.

"According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Uzbekistan, the location to which he will be exiled has not been determined. It is not clear if his family will be able to go with him," said the organization founded by a man who endured prison and punishment for his belief in Christ.

Pastor Shestakov had been arrested in a raid of his congregation in Andijan in January, officials said.

"Uzbekistan's Religious Affairs Committee claims Shestakov, an evangelical pastor, is not an authorized leader of any officially recognized religious organization in Uzbekistan. They describe him as an 'imposter' leading an underground group identified as 'charismatic Pentecostals' engaged in proselytizing under Shestakov's leadership," VOM officials confirmed.

That conclusion was delivered by the government even though the church he works with is affiliated with the Full Gospel Church, which is documented as a registered church.

"Our prayers will continue to be with our brother as he faces this sentence, and we pray that the gospel work in Andijan will continue and grow," Nettleton said.

At least one earlier persecution incident was documented by a VOM source in Uzbekistan with a camera.

The organization said in the Qarshi case, police officers arrived with video cameras to record the service, but Pastor Sergei Shandyyayey didn't panic and just continued the worship.

"After the service finished, the officers shut the doors and began to question the believers gathered there, especially asking why they had become Christians," VOM said.

According to the U.S. State Department, Uzbekistan is a "country of particular concern" because of its persecution of Christians, including multiple raids that have been conducted in recent months.

In one case, officers raided a church in Tashkent, confiscating video and audio recordings as well as books and Bibles, and taking several young people to police headquarters. One member, Risto Dyachkov, was convicted of violating Uzbekistan's "religion law" and fined, Voice of the Martyrs said.

In another case Christians who happened to be in a café and were discussing their faith were ordered to admit that they were not authorized to hold such a meeting.

Judges have concluded in their decisions that national law does not allow unregistered religious groups to operate, so any musical equipment, books, literature or other items that are confiscated are not returned. That, authorities concluded, was "material evidence."

Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 22, 2007, 12:30:18 PM
Minister beaten for praying for the sick
Authorities ignore complaint, so doctors refuse to treat victim

A pastor from Good Shepherd Community Church who traveled to a nearby region to pray for the sick was beaten by an anti-Christian mob, and since police then refused to accept his complaint, the area's doctors would not treat him, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs about persecuted Christians.

The attack happened to Pastor Reginald Howell, who had traveled from his home region in India to the nearby city of Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. Voice of the Martyrs sources there reported that he was visiting Christians in the area as well as praying for the sick.

Then the attackers found him.

"He was beaten with an iron rod and suffered severe injuries on his back," the persecution report said. "The police refused to register his complaint and as a result, doctors denied him treatment."

More and more such incidents are being reported in Indian states even as they adopt various pieces of "freedom" legislation concerning religion.

"Rajasthan State has a so-called 'Freedom of Religion Bill' that is used as a tool in the hands of fundamentalists to harass Christians," said the VOM contacts, who report on the various attacks, discriminations and persecutions of Christians because of their beliefs.

"The cases of anti-Christian attacks in this area keep increasing, and the State Administration turns a blind eye to the persecution," they said, according to The Voice of the Martyrs.

VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton said the problem is getting worse.

"The situation for our brothers and sisters in India is deteriorating," he said. "But God is faithful, and even in these difficult times with so much persecution, the church there is growing. We are thankful for the courageous example of Indian Christians."

Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 22, 2007, 12:33:44 PM
 Nigeria teacher dies 'over Koran'

Secondary school pupils in north-eastern Nigeria have killed a teacher after apparently accusing her of desecrating the Koran, police say.

The teacher, a Christian, was attacked after supervising an exam in Gombe city. It is not clear what she had done to anger the students.

The authorities, concerned that communal unrest could break out, have ordered all the city's schools to shut.

Similar accusations sparked riots in neighbouring Bauchi State last year.

At least 15,000 people have been killed in religious, communal or political violence since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999.

'Restored calm'

Nigerian police say students beat the teacher to death outside the school compound after she had been invigilating an exam.

The students had apparently accused her of desecrating the Koran, though it is not clear exactly what she had done.

The police arrived at the scene to restore calm and say their intervention stopped a riot.

The BBC's Alex Last in Lagos says violence based on such accusations is not new.

Last year, in Bauchi State, a rumour swept the city that a Christian teacher had also desecrated the Koran, which prompted riots in which at least five people were killed.

In fact, the teacher had confiscated the Koran from a pupil who was reading it in class.

Religious differences have long been used to justify all kinds of violence in Nigeria, our reporter says.

In reality it is often fuelled by ethnic or political conflicts and competition for resources, which can be fierce, given that so many people live in poverty, he says.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 22, 2007, 03:06:11 PM
Pakistani Christians assaulted at Muslim festival

Christians in Pakistan continue to face harassment by Muslims, who are upset over the boldness of many believers. A spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs says a team of Pakistani Christians was beaten recently as they handed out gospel tracts at a Muslim festival.

The four-member team of evangelists distributed more than 13,000 tracts before a mob of more than 100 Muslims attacked and beat them. VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton explains that the evangelists were in hostile territory. "The best way to describe it," says Nettleton, "is sort of a revival meeting for radical Muslims."

According to the VOM spokesman, speakers at the Muslim festival were "trying to incite people to be better Muslims, trying to incite people to jihad." But Christians at the festival who were "telling people about Jesus and encouraging them to follow Christ" was "obviously was seen as a threat," says Nettleton.

After being beaten, the evangelists were taken to a police station, where they were detained and questioned before being released. VOM provided medical care for the evangelists afterwards.

Despite the harassment and beating often faced by believers in many Muslim nations, Nettleton says Christianity continues to flourish. "It's very difficult to be a Christian in some of these places, but the exciting thing is to see Christians who are being such a bold witness for Christ," he shares.

The VOM spokesman cites the incident involving the evangelists at the festival as an example of that dedication. "Even knowing that they were taking a great risk, knowing even that their lives were in danger, still they chose to be at this Muslim festival -- and they chose to be actively witnessing for Christ there," he says.

Nettleton is hopeful the Pakistani Christians' efforts at the festival were not in vain. "We don't know what's going to happen with those tracts," he says. "We pray that the Lord will use those to reach some of these hearts and to change their hearts for Him."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 22, 2007, 05:13:06 PM
Continuing Persecution in India

by Staff
March 22, 2007

The Voice of the Martyrs received several reports of continuing persecution of Christians in India this week.

On March 10, members of the Hindu militant groups VHP and Bajrang Dal attempted to stop a women's prayer meeting in the home of Pastor Amit Sidhu in Bathinda, Punjab. The incident came to the attention of other area Christians who sought to intervene. In the ensuing clash, one of the VHP members was injured. Three pastors, Kulwan Raj, Chootta Singh and Harfool Singh were subsequently charged with making an attempt on the lives of the activists. The three appeared in court on March 12 and are being held in custody. Area Christians maintain that all allegations against the pastors are false. The following day, Vijay Bhardwaj, general secretary of VHP, and Sumit Kumar, co-coordinator of Bajrang Dal, led a group of fifty Hindutva activists and tried to attack the occupants of Pastor Amit Sidhu's house. (Source: All India Christian Council)

On March 11, Pastor Matthew was returning to his home in Bangalore, Karnataka after serving as a translator at a meeting when he was ambushed by three men. He was repeatedly beaten with a cricket stump and has sustained injuries to his back and arms. It is believed the incident is in protest to a church Matthew has begun in the village of Cholanayakanahalli. (Source: Global Council of Indian Christians)

On the evening of March 13, an independent church in the village of Tadiparti in East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh was burned by Hindu militants after Christians would not yield to warnings to stop proclaiming Christ. This is the second church in the village burned to the ground in the past month. Pastor G. Premanadam has appealed to the authorities to provide protection to the Christians in the community. (Source: Global Council of Indian Christians, All India Christian Council)

On March 16, Pastor John Selvan (29) and his assistant Vijay (24) were about to leave a prayer meeting in Bangalore when approximately thirty young men surrounded them. The Christians in the home managed to hide Pastor John, but Vijay was taken to a eucalyptus grove and beaten. (Source: Global Council of Indian Christians)

On March 16, two pastors, Pastor Juan Singh Sesobia (24) and Thogabai (25), were arrested in the Khargon district of Madhya Pradesh and charged under Section 295A for a deliberate and malicious act to offend religious feelings. If convicted, the two could face up to three years in prison. (Source: Global Council of Indian Christians)

Hindu militants in the village of Nuagad in Ganjam District, Orissa are threatening to burn the homes of twenty Christian villagers. The threats follow the defeat on March 17 of the BJP candidate in local elections. Furious, the candidate attacked one of the Christians in the village, Abraham Burdhan, chopping off a finger and inflicting serious cuts to his hands. Police have arrested seven Christians and nine BJP supporters. (Source: Global Council of Indian Christians)

Pray for those church leaders who are presently in jail on false charges. Pray that Christians will st and firm, knowing that their comfort is in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:5). Pray that the persecutors will come to know Christ's love, forgiveness and blessing through the faithfulness of these Christians (Romans 12:14, 21).

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 28, 2007, 09:46:10 AM
Christian fired for sharing God
University, agency that sacked woman on trial in federal court

A Christian woman is battling a California university and state social agency for terminating her internship because she shared her faith with co-workers during off-hours.

Jacqueline Escobar was completing a master's degree in social work at California State University Long Beach when she interned with the Department of Children and Family Services, or DCFS.

A straight-A student, Escobar was complimented regularly by the DCFS for her work. But she came under scrutiny for sharing her faith with co-workers during lunch breaks and after-hours, and for changing into a shirt with a religious message – "Found" – after signing out for the day, according to the Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing her.

A trial is scheduled to begin April 3.

"Through this case, we hope to send a powerful message to government employers: you cannot trounce upon the First Amendment rights of people of faith and expect to get away with it," said Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute.

Escobar was directed to stop speaking about her faith, even during breaks and after work hours.

Also, the university ordered her to sign a document admitting she had "an inability to separate her religious beliefs from her role" as an intern.

She refused to sign the document, arguing she couldn't agree to such a sweeping prohibition that included her religious practice during non-working hours.

Consequently, Escobar was terminated from her internship and threatened with expulsion from the graduate program.

She then contacted Pacific Justice Institute and filed the federal suit.

Attorney Daniel R. Watkins argued freedom of religion is "the first and most fundamental constitutional right."

"Unfortunately, as this case illustrates, religious beliefs are under assault from every sector of government," he said. "It is our intent to ensure that people of faith working in government are afforded the protections our founding fathers intended."

As WND reported, a Christian former employee of Allstate settled a lawsuit claiming he was fired because of an anti-homosexual, anti-same-sex marriage column he wrote on his own time.

J. Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division, its investigative arm, at the Fortune 100 company's headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. After being called into a meeting with two human resources officials who confronted Barber about the column, he was fired.

Though the original column's bio line did not indicate Barber worked for Allstate, editors at one of the sites where it was posted added that information, and a complaint about the piece made its way to Allstate management.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 29, 2007, 01:33:48 PM
India State "Closes" Church For Singing Loud Amid Violence Against Believers

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife) -- There was concern Wednesday, March 28, about the plight of evangelical Christians in the Indian state of Kerala after reports that the local government for the first time shut down a church amid violent attacks against believers.

The US-based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) with website said the closure was one of "three attacks" within a month in Kerala, which so far was considered relative safe for Christians because of the large Christian community there.

In addition, Hindu militants vandalized a Christian prayer center and invaded a Pentecostal church, "physically assaulting several of the attendees," said the ICC in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife.

The ICC said the troubles began with the New Testament Pentecost Church, which was established 35 years ago and grew into 11 branches and various ministries since it managed to officially register with the government in 1996.


"Four weeks ago the church received a notice from the municipality showing that the church hall would be sealed if they sang songs or did any preaching. The next day the building was sealed without an order from the high court. For the last four weeks they have been worshipping in
another house," the ICC said.

The municipality accused the church of "causing a disturbance to the neighborhood," the ICC added. The group said it learned that Muslims living in the area sued the church after a Muslim family unsuccessfully tried for 12 years to "get rid of the church" by offering money to the pastor "disturbing" worship services "by shouting loudly over their singing."

Earlier the Pastor, Sam George, was reportedly already four times summoned to the local police station. "Twice the police were favorable to him, but the last two times the police became hostile," the ICC said in its findings.

Before the closure, police already halted Sunday services 22 times, verbally abusing the church members and attempting to arrest Pastor George, Christian investigators said. Police also gained a court order against the church, prohibiting their use of a sound system "because the sound was more than 55 decibels, the volume of a normal conversation," the ICC explained.


This was not an isolated incident. In two separate cases Hindu militants reportedly came on motorcycles and started throwing stones through the windows of Carmel Gospel Center on March 6 in Kooroppada village in the Pampady area near Kerala's Kottayam town.

"After a prayer meeting…we heard the sound of stoning coming from the room where our five-year-old son Barose and two-year-old daughter Basia were sleeping. We cried aloud and rushed to the room to protect them. When the attackers heard our voice, they stopped stoning and fled," the ICC quoted a Christian, identified only as Paul, as saying.

The attackers reportedly painted Hindu symbols, including the Nazi 'Swastika' on the walls opposite the compound of the Center. In a third reported attack, a radical Hindu mob allegedly vandalized a Pentecostal church on March 4 in Thiruvanandapuram district of Kerala.

"Extremists interrupted the Sunday worship service and started physically assaulting the congregation. The attack prevented the church from conducting the worship service," the ICC explained. The group suggested that the latest developments seem part of a trend in the state.


"That this sort of violence would occur in normally peaceful Kerala reveals the extent to which the xenophobic 'Hindutva' ideology has infiltrated India, as well as a growing radicalization of India’s Muslims. Rather than welcoming differences, those who follow [the] 'Hindutva' [ideology] seek to make India a country with only one religion: Hinduism."

Christians comprise 19 percent of the 31.8-million population of Kerala, according to estimates. Nationwide, only 2.3 percent of India’s population is Christian. "The fact that attacks are now occurring in Kerala will only embolden anti-Christian extremists elsewhere to attack the even more vulnerable Christians in their states," the ICC warned.

In one such development, 22 Christians were reportedly detained after being accused of "fraudulent conversion last week in Dharwad district" in the state of Karnataka. Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency, estimated that the number of incidents of persecution of Christians in has not state reached 16 in the first three months of this year.

The March 20 arrests were reportedly made in Baad village after local residents claimed the distribution of Christian literature was accompanied by insults to Hinduism and by money offered for conversion. All of the accused were later released on bail. In published remarks, the Global Council of Indian Christians , a major advocacy group, said the complaints were "false" and "baseless."

Compass Direct News quoted Christian leaders as saying that with 16 attacks thus far this year, "the number of attacks in the state could cross 60 by the end of 2007 without intervention of government and other agencies."

Title: Patrol confronts students over Christian literature
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 30, 2007, 07:45:37 AM
Patrol confronts students over Christian literature 
Officer tells college team missions work 'shameful'

An officer with a state police force has confronted a team of college students on a spring break missions trip, telling them that handing out Christian literature is "shameful."

In Pakistan? India? Perhaps Syria? Nope. In Utah. Not only that, but a second officer, this one with a local police force, confronted the same students just a day later, telling them that handing out such information was "looked down on here."

Nelson Koon, of Hudsonville, Mich., and a junior at Frontier School of the Bible in LaGrange, Wyo., led the team of college students on their missions trip, and described for WND how these two incidents happened this week, starting in Payson, Utah.

"We got stopped by a police officer, the group of eight of us in a school vehicle," he said. "He said it was shameful, what we were doing."

The team had volunteered to raise their own funds and spend their spring breaks helping various Christian organizations, including TriGrace Ministries, and others in Utah hand out Christian brochures, and in one case, a DVD called "Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith".

"He said he got one on his door," Koon said of the officer. "He said, 'what were we doing, putting all these lies on the DVD?'"

"He asked us what group or church were we with, … then he chewed us out a little. He kind of warned us, then he took off," Koon reported.

"This is something absolutely unacceptable," Patrol Public Information Officer Preston Raban of the Utah State Patrol told WND when first contacted.

He later responded that the officer in question had been identified, and admitted letting his "personal feelings" take over. "That's where he became unprofessional," Raban told WND.

Koon said he's long had a heart for the American West, especially the Utah region, and when he graduates in a year from the Wyoming school that focuses on training students for Christian service, he hopes to obtain an internship in Utah to begin his work.

So when a minister from Utah visited the school and described how students could help Utah's churches, he organized the trip. "I thought it would be a good way to get a foot in the door," he said.

Team members had been canvassing towns across the state, not ringing doorbells, but simply hanging handouts on door handles and moving on, he said.

The officer, in uniform and in a state squad car, clearly was upset.

"It was like he felt bad for us, bad for our souls. He thought we were lost," Koon said.

Koon said he didn't want to make any particular organization look bad, and the overall trip was "a great experience."

"We were just going house to house hanging them [handouts and DVDs) on doors with door hangers," he said.

Koon said during the team's preparations, they had reviewed state laws they would need to follow, so felt they were on solid ground, but after the patrolman left, they saw a police station a few blocks up, and decided to stop and make sure.

"[The officer] was hiding on a side street, and he followed us when we drove by," Koon said. "He pulled up and ran into the [police station] before we could get there."

A local police officer then came out to talk with the students, and told them they were following the appropriate laws.

Koon said the second incident happened to two team members in Springville the next day.

The local municipal officer approached the team members, who were on foot this time, checked their licenses and identifications, and "basically said handing things out was looked down on in Utah," Koon said.

City spokesman Lt. Dave Caron said an officer would have been dispatched if someone complained about door-to-door sales teams.

"We have problems," he said. "Some of them [peddlers] that come out have warrants. They have warrants for a reason. They end up going into houses. It's that we have people doing door-to-door and they rip people off."

But once assured of the student's plans, there should be no further interaction, he said.

But Koon said the officers took the team members' drivers' licenses, checked them against the record and called for backup so that a second squad car was on the scene, before eventually letting the students continue.

So how soon will Koon and his team members be returning to Utah?

"As soon as possible," he told WND.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: ibTina on March 30, 2007, 10:14:50 AM
If these kids were wearing suits and ties and riding on bicycles ( Mormon missionaries ) they wouldn't have been quesioned or stopped for ANY reason!!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 31, 2007, 05:15:57 PM
Easter exclusion from government building for NY church

A church in Watertown, New York, is fighting for what it says is its constitutional right to use the same meeting facility as other community groups -- a facility located in a government office building.

Relevant Church filed an emergency injunction this week after government officials denied them use of the Dulles State Office Building, which attorney Jordan Lawrence of plaintiff counsel Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) says is across the street from where the congregation usually meets. The church requested use of the government building because it expects attendance on Easter to exceed the capacity of its usual meeting place.

"But the state officials turned them down based on this policy that said, basically, anybody in the community can meet there except for religious services and religious activities -- and, also invoked the vague 'separation of church and state' [argument], " Jordan explained.

Despite a state policy prohibiting religious expression, Lawrence says under the U.S. Constitution fair and equal access is required for civic and religious groups to community buildings, facilities, and public locations.

ADF has filed suit for Relevant Church and Pastor Robert Miskowski in U.S. District Court.

Title: Gideons facing charges
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 01, 2007, 12:21:24 PM
Gideons facing charges
for being on public land 
Florida says men cannot be
within 500 feet of schools

Two Florida men who wanted to give Bibles to children in their community are being charged under a state law that bans anyone from being within 500 feet of the land on which schools are built unless they have "legitimate business" or "prior authorization."

As WND reported earlier, Anthony Mirto and Ernest Simpson of Monroe County were arrested, booked into jail and charged with trespassing because they were handing out Bibles while standing on a public sidewalk adjacent to a school.

Those trespassing charges were dismissed on a motion from lawyers for the Alliance Defense Fund, who challenged them on factual and constitutional grounds.

But Senior Legal Counsel David Cortman told WND he'd been notified that the two men now are being re-charged under a different statute, this one banning anyone from being on public property within 500 feet of a school property without "prior authorization" or "legitimate business."

He said the law also includes an exemption for someone who lives within that distance from a school property.

"This obviously is unconstitutional for several reasons," Cortman said. "The First Amendment gives you a right to be out there and engage in speech. Is anyone who uses the sidewalk or [the adjacent] highway now in violation?"

He said another issue is the definition of "legitimate business." It's not for the government to apply those words using one definition to one group of people, and then apply those words using another definition to another group of people, he said.

"The government is not allowed to have unbridled discretion to define words in whatever manner they choose," he said.

On the face of the statute cited by the prosecutor, people driving by the school on the highway technically are in violation of the law, unless they have an exemption, and if the same exemption doesn't apply to the two members of Gideons International, then that creates a content-based speech restriction, which also isn't proper, Cortman said.

"The question I have is why is the state so intent on punishing these gentlemen for passing out Bibles on public property?" he asked. "This is just beyond comprehension."

The arrest happened Jan. 19, when Mirto and Simpson were on the sidewalk outside of Key Largo School in Key Largo, Fla., and were distributing copies of the Bible to those interested.

A written report from the ADF on the case confirmed that neither man entered school grounds. Despite that, the school's principal called police, and an officer from the Monroe County sheriff's officer asked the men to leave immediately or face trespassing charges. As the men prepared to leave, the officer decided to arrest both individuals, the report said.

"Officials cannot use fear of arrest as a means of bullying law-abiding Christians into silence," Cortman said. "These men broke no laws when they decided to communicate their message on a public sidewalk."

In a statement at the outset of the case to WND, Becky Herrin, of the public information office in the Monroe County sheriff's office, stated as a fact that the defendants in the case did trespass.

"A copy of our police report (see attached) … clearly states that the people in question were arrested for trespassing on school property – not on a public sidewalk… In fact, they were given the opportunity to step off school property and onto public property, and they could have continued with their activities if they had done so. They chose instead to remain, against repeated warnings, on school property so deputies were forced to arrest them," Herrin said in a statement to WND.

But the report forwarded to WND revealed the two were arrested while in their truck in a "no parking" zone. The report said that on the complaint from school principal Annette Martinson, when the two defendants were ordered by the deputy to leave an area that included a bike path, "both defendants slowly walked away towards a teal in color pick up truck that was parked in a no parking zone in front of the school."

One suspect then wanted the officer's ID, and, "I then handed Simpson … my business card and he continued to walk toward the parked truck," said the police allegation from officer John Perez.

The officer then confirms, "I observed both defendants enter the pick up truck and remain seated inside." He watched for several minutes, then approached the pickup truck, parked in a "no parking" zone, "I asked both defendants why they where (sic) refusing to leave," and "Defendant Simpson III stated, we where (sic) just leaving."

Perez then confirmed that after he got a call from the sheriff's office notifying him that Simpson was complaining "about a deputy at the Key Largo School asking him to leave, I advised Sgt. Mixon I was out with Simpson and he was going to be placed under arrest for trespassing."

Reached after hours, Herrin told WND that she couldn't comment immediately on the update. "Given that it's after hours, I can't say one way or another on that," she said.

The Gideons, a group founded in the late 1800s, has as its "sole purpose" the goal "to win men, women, boys and girls to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through association for service, personal testimony, and distributing the Bible in the human traffic lanes and streams of everyday life."

Members of the Gideons, who pay their own expenses so 100 percent of the donations to the group go toward Bible purchases and distributions, have placed the Bible in 181 nations in 82 different languages over the years.

The organization focuses on hotels and motels, hospitals and nursing homes, schools, colleges and universities, the military and law enforcement and prisons and jails.

"The demand for Scriptures in these areas far exceeds our supplies that we are able to purchase through our donations. Much more could be done – if funds were available. However, we are placing and distributing more than 1 million copies of the Word of God, at no cost, every seven days in these areas…" the group said.

The organization only gives away the Bibles with the Gideon logo on the covers, but plain Bibles are available for consumers to purchase at its distribution center at P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, Tenn., 37214-0800. Information about the products is available on the group's website.

The Gideons serve as an extended missionary arm of the Christian church and are the oldest Christian business and professional men's association in the United States.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 01, 2007, 01:46:05 PM
WOW! - This case involving the Gideons is ridiculous.

Gay, lesbian, and transgender folks are allowed inside the school to distribute their filthy garbage. In fact, this filthy garbage is being pushed as a part of the school curriculum.

Gideons don't force anyone to take a Bible. There is a push to force parents and children to accept the filthy garbage of perverts inside the school, but Gideons can't pass out Bibles on a public sidewalk.   ???

Things used to be the exact opposite. Gideons were welcome inside any school. It hasn't been that long ago that it was a felony to expose minors to the type of material that is being forced on school children by gay, lesbian, and transgender organizations. SO, perverts are welcome in the classrooms inside the schools, and Gideons aren't allowed anywhere near the school grounds.

This is all very simple. Parents should say NO! to the perverts and YES! to the Gideons. If this isn't possible, we need to abandon the public schools. If there is a place that Gideons aren't permitted to go, that place should not be proper for any decent people to go, especially our children. It really boils down to the devil being invited and GOD being banished. Decent people should have no desire to go to a place like that.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 01, 2007, 03:54:51 PM
Amen to that.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 02, 2007, 11:27:56 AM
Ethiopian Christian evangelist beaten to death in Muslim mosque

Christians in southeast Ethiopia face increased violence and tension as Muslims recently beat an evangelist to death.

Last week, an Ethiopian evangelist named Tedase was beaten and killed by Muslims as he and two young women were taking part in street witnessing. While the women escaped, witnesses say Muslims chased the man, caught up with him, pulled him into a mosque, and attacked him.

Sara Jennings with International Christian Concern (ICC) says such attacks are not new throughout southeast Ethiopia, which many people believe is a Christian nation. "[But] Muslim extremism has really become a stronghold there," she explains.

"Six months ago, in September, there were people attacked in Jima," she shares, adding that "a number of Christian homes, churches, and orthodox parishes were burned down -- at least 2,000 people were displaced during that incident."

According to Jennings, Saudi Arabia is responsible for much of the violence in the east African nation. That oil-rich nation, she says, is "funneling a large amount of money" into Ethiopia to build mosques. "And not just to build mosques," she adds, "but to finance training centers where very extremist ideologies are taught to young people, which really breeds hate."

Evangelical church leaders say if police ignore Tadase's death, it will empower radical Muslims and encourage them to attack Christians without fear of retribution. The ICC recently included Ethiopia in its "Hall of Shame" list, which highlights countries where Christians are enduring harsh persecution.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: airIam2worship on April 02, 2007, 12:39:27 PM
WOW! - This case involving the Gideons is ridiculous.

Gay, lesbian, and transgender folks are allowed inside the school to distribute their filthy garbage. In fact, this filthy garbage is being pushed as a part of the school curriculum.

Gideons don't force anyone to take a Bible. There is a push to force parents and children to accept the filthy garbage of perverts inside the school, but Gideons can't pass out Bibles on a public sidewalk.   ???

Things used to be the exact opposite. Gideons were welcome inside any school. It hasn't been that long ago that it was a felony to expose minors to the type of material that is being forced on school children by gay, lesbian, and transgender organizations. SO, perverts are welcome in the classrooms inside the schools, and Gideons aren't allowed anywhere near the school grounds.

This is all very simple. Parents should say NO! to the perverts and YES! to the Gideons. If this isn't possible, we need to abandon the public schools. If there is a place that Gideons aren't permitted to go, that place should not be proper for any decent people to go, especially our children. It really boils down to the devil being invited and GOD being banished. Decent people should have no desire to go to a place like that.

AMEN, I think that if at all possible every parent should make the utmost effort to home school their children. If that was to happen I believe that many public schools would be closing and many teachers would be out of work, but at least the spread of that garbage would not be distributed to as many children.
Folks it is plain to see that we are definitely nearing the end times. I don't honestly believe that it will be getting any better before the Rapture, this is the prophetic Word of God and we are living to see it come to pass. There is no doubt in my mind that for those who do not believe, they should look into the Word and see for themselves.

Thank GOD, that we look forward to living in a Kingdom where only righteousness will prevail.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 03:08:44 AM
Hello Sister Maria,

I can tell you that many school teachers have had almost all they can stand of public schools. So far, my wife has been forced to stop anything remotely associated with GOD, but she hasn't been forced to teach or distribute ungodly materials. We haven't been hit with the ungodly materials here yet, but GOD has been completely removed from all grades. When the ungodly material mandates hit, most teachers here will refuse, and that means they will be fired.

Many good teachers have already left the profession, and many others have left to teach in Christian schools. Christian schools here are getting stronger by the day, and the same needs to happen everywhere. There are also record numbers of parents who are homeschooling their children, and the numbers are getting higher by the day.

I agree that we probably won't see much improvement in our public schools, but we can at least slow the devil down and start developing other alternatives. Money will be a major issue in what most people can afford, so homeschooling appears to be the best alternative for most families. In thinking about homeschooling, I think it would greatly strengthen every Christian home and make the forces of darkness furious. So, homeschooling is sounding better by the day.

Love In Christ,

2 Peter 3:3-13 NASB  Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 03:53:30 AM
While it is still possible to home school our children today even that option is being attacked by the devil. There are those that are pushing to have laws passed that would prevent home schooling. In fact if some get their way even the Christian schools will either be closed or forced to teach the same garbage that is being implemented in the public schools.

It is becoming more and more important for Christians to become involved in the fight against the evil indoctrination of our children.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 08:14:29 AM
Pastor Roger,

Brother, this country wouldn't be worth living in if we were forced to indoctrinate our children in the ways of the devil. I'll simply pray and remain optimistic. If I have anything to say about this, my grandchildren WILL NOT be taught this garbage. I must add that my children feel the same way. If the alternatives are removed after all of the legal battles, I honestly think that many Christians would leave this country. I also think that many other lawful things would be tried before it ever got to this point. There has even been some talk of forming some Christian states. When it gets right down to it, the Federal government has no right under the Constitution to dictate anything about education to the states. What's being done right now is NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. The argument is extremely simple and logical, almost impossible to interpret any other way. However, there are many things done these days that are Unconstitutional! Some massive class action suits by Christians just might be the right medicine for government grossly overstepping their legal authority. The government is the servant of the people - not the other way around. The people dictate - not the government, and it might be past time for some lessons.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 08:39:39 AM
Amen, it is past time for some lessons in government for those that think that government knows better than the people. Yes, it is going to be a fight. I am reminded of Jesus' words in Mark:

Mar 13:12  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
Mar 13:13  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

It is easy to see that our government is heading in a direction to make these very words come true. It is past time for Christians to join together, to be strong and to stand up in the name of the Lord.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 09:57:16 AM
Pastor Roger,

Much of the world will never understand Christians - not even the basics. The examples are scattered throughout human history, including our own. The whole world thought that the colonists were insane in standing up to one of the most powerful and professional armies in the world. Those religious nuts didn't have a chance, but they won and founded America. Religious freedom was the driving force they were most willing to go to their deaths for. Those so-called religious nuts were our Founding Fathers. They were NOT a bunch of pansies or a force to be trifled with, regardless of having poor equipment and little or no training.

One of the secrets is that Christians don't fear physical death in the same way that the lost do. One fact that is NOT a secret is WE WILL WORSHIP GOD - Period! - End of Story! Nobody will be able to stop us, and they will be wasting their time in the attempt. If they physically kill us, we will simply go HOME to be with our LORD and SAVIOUR for ETERNITY. There should also be a just concern that we will again be willing to fight and die for our religious freedom. This is NOT a freedom to trifle with, especially considering that the majority of our country is still Christian. Majority or not, religious freedom is NOT something to trifle with. Changing the Constitution is the only way to take this freedom away, and that can't be legally done.

At least for now, I would say our government would have to be insane to attempt to remove religious freedom. The people won't allow this, and many serious consequences should be considered. This case would qualify for a Biblical NO! Things might change in the near future, and nobody knows how fast those changes could take place. However, the facts for Christians would not change. The answer would still be "NO", even if we were only 1% of the population.

All things for Christians during the Tribulation Period will be horrible. We also know that hosts of people will be Saved during the Tribulation Period, horrible times or not. Hosts of Christians will be beheaded, simply because of their faith in JESUS CHRIST as LORD and SAVIOUR. Many early Christians also died because of their Love for JESUS CHRIST, and I would think that to be a worthy way to die. Absent from the body - PRESENT WITH THE LORD!

Love In Christ,

Galatians 4:4-6 NASB  But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 10:07:32 AM
Christian Group Ordered to Stop Praying on a Washington, D.C. Public Sidewalk by Federal Law Enforcement Officials

by Staff

WASHINGTON, ( -- The Christian Defense Coalition was sponsoring a public celebration of The Stations of the Cross when they were ordered to leave a public sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress while they were kneeling in prayer.

The group had been granted a permit by the United States Capitol Police and they were not blocking pedestrian traffic on the public sidewalk.

The Coalition calls the incident a trampling of the First Amendment and a gross violation of protecting religious expression in the public square.

Coalition Director, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, wonders why anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint the United States Capitol Building with no consequences, while peaceful Christians were ordered to leave a public sidewalk for praying.

The Christian Defense Coalition is now in discussion with lawyers at the American Center for Law and Justice to consider all their legal options and ensure religious freedom is protected in the nation's capital.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, comments, "One of the cornerstones of our democracy is the right of every America to peacefully express their views in the public square free from government interference and harassment. All citizens, regardless of their faith traditions, should be able to publicly express them with the full assurance that their beliefs will not be trampled or crushed by public officials or law enforcement. Sadly, that was not the case yesterday in Washington, D.C.

"It is extremely troubling when American citizens are told by federal law enforcement officials that they are not allowed to pray on a public sidewalk and they must 'move along' or face the consequences. The Christian Defense Coalition is in the process of considering all our legal options and will continue to work diligently to ensure that the First Amendment and free speech rights are protected in the public square."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 11:41:07 AM
Rightfully so, law enforcement officers can face imprisonment and high fines for violation of civil and constitutional rights under the color of law.

I honestly think this would be the perfect case to take it as far as it will go. Big cases become known as what's called Landmark Cases, and they set precedence for many future actions. I have no idea how the praying Christians could lose this one unless there is some series of facts that we don't know about. They even had a permit.

Permits are usually associated with events that pose some possible danger to the public. An example might be a parade that blocks traffic and requires proper warning lights to avoid accidents. Other examples might involve inconvenience or delays in using public facilities. However, this case does NOT even suggest that a sidewalk was blocked. So, there is no hazard, inconvenience, delay, or any other circumstances that are generally associated with getting a permit. BUT, this is moot because they DID have a permit. The point is that a permit is not required to pray on a public sidewalk unless special circumstances are involved. The use of sound equipment would be a special circumstance, but this isn't mentioned either. So, I would conclude that they had every right to pray WITHOUT a permit under these circumstances. Their rights were violated in a most outrageous way.

The only thing that would make this case better as a Landmark Case is had they refused to comply and were arrested for exercising their civil and constitutional rights. The location and other circumstances are perfect. I think that the board of education needs to be applied to the seat of learning in this case.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 11:57:54 AM
The law in Washington DC does not allow people to loiter or congregate in public without a special permit to do so. Protesters do not need a permit as long as they do not sit down, stand in one place or otherwise block traffic.  (exception: waiting to cross traffic, sitting on city provided benches) A city near me passed a law just like the one in DC. A person could not even stop to tie their shoestrings without getting a ticket for loitering. The situation in the city near here ended up in court and the city had to rescind the law because they didn't have the funds to fight it.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on April 03, 2007, 12:28:22 PM
I learn something every day. We used to have loitering ordinances in my city, but they were long ago thrown out as unconstitutional. Our loitering ordinances were specifically written for certain kinds of criminal activity (i.e. prostitution). It didn't matter if the person had convictions for that specific criminal conduct or not. So, we had to find other ways of dealing with certain criminal elements.

In this case, there isn't even a hint of criminal conduct, and I really don't know how they get by in using loitering type statutes that have been deemed to be unconstitutional. Regardless, they had a permit. Maybe D.C. has a track record of so many protests that resulted in violence or other problems that some Federal judge granted them an exception to use loitering statutes. I know that prostitution wasn't good enough for an exception here, so I'm curious and I'll check into it. I'm not even sure how one could call simple prayer a demonstration or protest. Don't tell anyone - this is a secret. I've prayed many times in Washington, D.C. anywhere I wanted to, and I'll pray there again if I go for a visit. If they arrest me solely because of prayer, I'll use the proceeds to build a church and youth center.   ;)

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 12:31:44 PM
Don't tell anyone - this is a secret. I've prayed many times in Washington, D.C. anywhere I wanted to, and I'll pray there again if I go for a visit. If they arrest me solely because of prayer, I'll use the proceeds to build a church and youth center.   ;)

Amen, go for it brother.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 12:37:54 PM
I haven't see the written law but from what I gather through different news articles and announcements for different gatherings the loitering law is only for certain areas, mostly around the White House. It is probably one of those "for national security" things. This same law pertains to specified areas around a Military base.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 07:41:33 PM
Iraqi Christians seek relative haven in Lebanon 
Refugees arrive with suitcases, horror stories from Muslim attacks

Its procession of frond-waving believers, the singing and chanting, and the proud parents snapping photos of their princess-garbed daughters made the Palm Sunday celebration in the Beirut suburb of al-Fanar look like any of the hundreds occurring all over Lebanon. But after the service, the conversations among parishioners revealed the special nature of this community. Many of them spoke Arabic with heavy Iraqi accents — al-Fanar has become a magnet for Christian refugees from Iraq.

It's hardly surprising that Iraq's Assyrian and Chaldean Christians would seek refuge from the chaos of post-Saddam Iraq in one of the most Christian countries in the Middle East — almost one third of Lebanon's population is Christian, and the country's presidency is reserved for them. "Iraqi Christians feel comfortable in a country where Christians have power," says Mark Samuel, the president of a Lebanese Assyrian political party. At the town's Assyrian Church of St. George, Iraqi refugees now make up almost one-third of the congregation. "It was bad in Iraq under the old regime," says James Isho, whose family fled Baghdad two years ago after the church next door to their house in the Dora district was bombed. "Now it's even worse."

Lebanon has a growing Iraqi refugee population, currently numbering between 20,000 and 40,000, according to the U.N. — a small fraction of the estimated 2 million Iraqis who have fled the spiraling violence in their country. But what makes Lebanon's Iraqi refugee intake unusual is that about 30% of them are Christian, although Christians constitute just about 3% of Iraq's population.

Many Christian refugees arrive from Syria on mountain paths used by smugglers, bringing with them little more than a suitcase or two and harrowing stories of rape, kidnapping and murder. Upon arriving, the first place many of them go is the Assyrian and Chaldean churches. "Every day five or six more families come here," says Bishop Michael Kisargi from the headquarters of the Chaldean Church in Lebanon. "Everyone can tell me a story about persecution by Muslims." One of the worst, he said, was from a family whose daughter had been raped 15 times by militia members.

As a small minority without a militia of their own, Iraqi Christians have been persecuted by both Shi'a and Sunni Muslim militias, and also by criminal gangs. "They think because we have liquor stores or live in nice neighborhoods we have more money," says Ghassan Mansou Chamoun, an Iraqi Christian from Mosul who arrived in Lebanon in December. The 36-year-old taxi driver left after receiving death threats from the Muslim family of one his passengers who died in an accident. "They wanted $50,000 or my head," he said.

Despite its own political troubles and last summer's war with Israel, Lebanon is peaceful in comparison to Iraq. But the Lebanese remain wary of accepting refugees, lest they upset the country's ever-fragile sectarian balance. Lebanon already houses 400,000 permanent Palestinian refugees, some of whom have lived here for almost 60 years without gaining citizenship. Tension over their presence helped trigger the civil war that ran from 1975 to 1990. "In general, every time you have new refugees, no matter what the number, it raises the Palestinian question," says Stephane Jaquemet, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees representative in Lebanon. Still, the U.N. has worked out an agreement with the Lebanese government whereby any Iraqi given official refugee status by the UNHCR can stay in the country for a renewable one-year period. (UNHCR now automatically grants refugee status to anyone from central and southern Iraq.) But most Iraqi refugees aren't legally allowed to work in Lebanon, and those who do usually take menial under-the-table jobs such as washing cars for $14 a day. A number of Iraqi women have ended up working as prostitutes.

The community relies largely on support from NGOs such as the Catholic charity Caritas, that has helped refugees of all religious backgrounds. But the churches say they are swamped. "I can't go on like this," said Bishop Kisargi, whose congregation has been supplying refugees with food and medicine and help finding homes. "We are a poor church and the situation is getting worse."

Kisargi is dismayed by his failure, during a trip to the U.S. last summer, to win support for Christian refugees from politicians and business leaders. The country he had once thought of as the apex of the civilized world is now ignoring its responsibilities, he said. "If you want to make a war, you have to protect the people."

Ironically, though, while Christians from Iraq are seeking refuge in Lebanon, many native Lebanese Christians are themselves trying to escape Lebanon's political and economic crisis. A recent poll of Lebanese Maronites, members of the country's largest Christian sect, found that half of them are considering leaving for a better life overseas. For Christians across the Middle East then, the onset of the Jewish Passover season is marked by a new exodus.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 03, 2007, 07:43:34 PM
Christians seek visas to flee Lebanon 
60,000 already have left, thousands more making plans

Christians are fleeing from Lebanon to escape the rise of radical Islam and growing fears that the trend will result in a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war, with minority Christians trapped in the middle.
    In a poll to be published next month, nearly half of all Maronites, the largest Christian denomination in the country, said they were considering emigrating.
    Of these, more than 100,000 have submitted visa applications to foreign embassies, according to the poll. Their exodus could rob the country of an influential minority, which has acted as an important counterbalance to the forces of Islamic extremism.
    About 60,000 Christians have left since the summer's war between Israel and Hezbollah. Many who remain fear that a violent showdown between rival Sunni and Shi'ite factions is looming.
    "If we love our children, we have to tell them to get out," said Maria, a Christian mother from the northern city of Tripoli who refused to give her surname for fear of reprisal. "When my daughter finished her high school, I sent her to Europe, and I will follow her if I can."
    Christine, another Christian woman, said all of her family's younger generation had left the country, adding that Tripoli had become increasingly Islamized in recent years. There is a rising number of veiled women and religiously bearded men on the streets -- although she blamed economic and political instability for much of the emigration.
    Christians, who make up 22 percent of the population, have historically played a major role in the development of Lebanon's political, social and cultural institutions.
    Currently, the president, the army commander and the head of the central bank all are Maronites, and under the agreement that ended the civil war in 1989, half the 128 seats in Lebanon's parliament are reserved for Christians.
    "Lebanon has always been a bastion of religious tolerance, but now it is moving toward the model of Islamization seen in Iraq and Egypt," said the Rev. Samir K. Samir, a Jesuit teacher of Islamic studies at Beirut's Universite Saint-Joseph.
    Lebanon's Christian community is concerned that its influence is waning as a result of a continuing internal power struggle, which for the past five months has pitted a Sunni-led government against a predominantly Shi'ite opposition, spearheaded by the Shi'ite militant group Hezbollah.
    The collapse in influence has been exacerbated by a roughly equal split in support among Christians for rival Shi'ite and Sunni leaders. The battle between Muslim factions has paralyzed the Lebanese administration and hurt the economy.
    The exodus of young workers crosses the religious spectrum. About 22 percent of Shi'ites and 26 percent of Sunnis say they are considering going abroad, according to the study by Information International, an independent Beirut-based research body.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 06, 2007, 05:39:41 AM
Playground dispute could bring death penalty
Family prays for escape from made-up blasphemy charges

A childhood dispute over playing together could result in the death penalty for five Christians, after their Muslim neighbors made up accusations of blasphemy against them, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs.

The ministry organization that monitors persecution of Christians worldwide, and works on their behalf, said the newest case was just reported by organization sources in Pakistan.

In the city of Toba Tek Singh, five Christians – Rashid Masih, Salamat Masih, Sahba Masih Motta, Bao Masih and Sheela Masih – right now are living under the threat of physical attack from Muslim extremists, and in fact the stability of the relationship between Muslims and Christian in the entire region is endangered, the report said.

All because of a disagreement among children over playtime.

"Daniel, an 11-year-old Christian boy, refused to play with his Muslim friends, resulting in them beating him," the Pakistani source told Voice of the Martyrs.

"Daniel's family confronted the Muslims who called the police and made a false report saying Daniel's family had blasphemed the name of the Holy Prophet," the source reported.

Now the five are charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws 295-A and 295-C and are in fear for their lives.

"The Muslim family told other Muslims at a religious gathering that Christians had disgraced the Holy Prophet, tore a holy sticker and beat it with a shoe. This has led to tension in the city," the Pakistani source, who was not identified by name, told VOM.

"Christians in the area fear Muslim extremists will attack the family. There is fear there will be (other) attacks this week during celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday," the source reported.

According to Pakistani laws, a conviction under blasphemy laws 295-A and 295-C can result in imprisonment of up to three years, a fine and the death penalty, or life imprisonment and a fine.

"Pray God protects these believers and provides a way of escape for them," VOM said in its alert about the life-threatening situation.

Claims of blasphemy are easy to submit to authorities in Pakistan, and extremely difficult to defend against. They also are becoming more and more common, according to VOM reports.

It was just a few weeks ago Martha Bibi, who lives in the village of Kot Nanka Singh, was taken into custody after a false allegation of blasphemy against her.

She had gone to some local builders, asking about materials they had borrowed from her family's construction supply business. An argument resulted and the report was made that Martha had blasphemed Muhammad.

"Pakistanis ought to be ashamed that such a mockery is being made of their legal system," Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern, said at the time. "Accusing a Christian of blasphemy to get them arrested is no way to resolve an argument. It is high time for Pakistan to repeal its infamous blasphemy laws."

Voice of the Martyrs had announced just a few days earlier that yet another Pakistani man, Shahbaz Kaka, was being treated at a medical facility after being released from a life prison term for blasphemy, of which he served six years.

In that case, VOM said, Qari Rafique, the head of a mosque, asked the man why he was using the toilet that was adjacent to the mosque. After he noticed a cross around his neck, he made a series of false accusations against Shahbaz, including statements to authorities that he "disgraced" the Quran by tearing pages out, cutting them into pieces and trampling them under his feet, a VOM source reported.

His arrest followed immediately, and he later was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his "crime," according to VOM.

"We wonder about the injustice of his arrest and the six years he spent in prison," said Todd Nettleton, the director of media development for VOM. "We are concerned for other Christians who still face persecution in Pakistan, and encourage the Pakistani government to provide true religious freedom in their country."

According to records, Christians have faced severe opposition from militant Islamic groups since Pakistan was formed in 1947 as the Muslim section in the partition of British India.

Christians routinely are barred from jobs and Christian merchants are harassed, and since the war in Afghanistan started, problems have intensified since Pakistani Christians are seen as being a part of an attack on Islam, VOM reported.

Sharia law, Islamic religious law, was adopted in 1998, and that further limited the rights of Pakistani Christians.

While Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan assures every citizen the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion, Christian organizations working within Pakistan report reality is quite different.

"Unfortunately very little evidence is needed to make a charge under the blasphemy laws and it is very difficult for non-Muslims to successfully contest the accusations," said one analyst.

That law reads: "Whoever by words, either spoken, or written, or by visual representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly, or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death."

Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 10, 2007, 01:32:17 PM
Teacher made girl remove Jesus magnet 
Mother of 5th grader confronts board, claims discrimination

Wrightsville Elementary has since ordered that all magnets be removed from desks.

A mother alleges Wrightsville Elementary School officials discriminated against her daughter when she was told to remove a magnet from her desk because it said, "Smile, Jesus Loves You."

Tawny Lehman said her daughter, fifth-grader Laurie Lehman, was asked to remove the magnet March 30, after a teacher noticed it.

"What possible harm could this magnet do?" her mother asked the Eastern York School Board during its April 5 meeting. "I mean, what if a white supremacist demanded that a magnet featuring a black boy be removed because they found it offensive, would students have to comply?"

After Lehman called the district to complain about her daughter being forced to remove her Jesus magnet, school Principal Donald Gillett ordered that all magnets be removed from student desks.

Reached Monday, Gillett would not say if the ban extended to stickers or other message-type items. Instead, he referred all questions to Supt. Darla Pianowski.

Pianowski could not be reached for comment. But during the board meeting, Pianowski said each principal is responsible for making the decision for their buildings on what type of items students can display.

Pianowski said Gillett was advised, after consulting with district solicitor Philip Spare, to make his decision based on an all-or-nothing philosophy, meaning every magnet stays or every magnet goes.

Issue extends to yearbook photos

In addition to the magnet issue, Lehman said she was also disturbed that a photo of Laurie meant for the yearbook would not be included because she was wearing a shirt that promoted Jesus.

After Lehman complained to the district, the PTO, which sponsors the book, decided to preclude all photos from being used.

"It is within (the PTO's) rights to withhold all photos from the yearbook since it is their project," Pianowski said.

School board Vice President Richard Zepp said he understood the legal reasons behind the decision to remove the magnets and photos en masse. But he also said that, if Jesus is the biggest threat facing his district, he could be happy with that.

"I think the world has become more super-sensitive than it has to be," Zepp said.

Expression vs. distraction

Lehman, having attended the meeting with an armful of laws supporting her daughter's right to express herself in religious terms, agreed with Zepp.

Still, Pianowski said, the district has the right to create a learning environment free of any and all distractions.

The board currently does not have a specific policy addressing student desk adornment. But the board said it would examine the issue at its April 19 meeting, when the solicitor is present.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 13, 2007, 08:04:25 AM
Professor says religious, political bias blocked his promotion

A professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) who alleges he was denied promotion and harassed by superiors at the school because of his religious and political beliefs has filed suit in federal court over the matter.

According to Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorneys who filed suit for Professor Mike Adams, he applied for merit promotion from associate to full professor in 2004 -- but the interim chair of UNCW's Sociology and Criminal Justice Department criticized Adams' political preference and nationally syndicated column, and nothing on the application was furthered. According to ADF, the temporary department head's criticism included a request that Adams modify his writing style to be less "caustic" and more "cerebral."

In 2006, Adams applied again for promotion, but was turned down by the new department head and a committee of senior faculty members. In a press statement, ADF describes that new department head, Dr. Kimberly J. Cook, as "an outspoken atheist who openly criticized Christianity."

Adams' lawsuit alleges he was often the victim of attempts to silence his religiously-based viewpoints; subjected to multiple intrusive investigations based on false charges; and denied promotion because of his beliefs, which he says was evident in statements from various colleagues.

ADF senior legal counsel David French calls it "indefensible" for a university to refuse promotion to a "gifted and accomplished professor" simply because its representatives -- whom he describes as "narrow-minded officials" -- disagree with his religious and political views.

"In an institution of higher learning," says French, "professors should be promoted based on the quality of their work -- not discriminated against on the basis of their beliefs." But by their actions, adds the ADF attorney, UNCW officials have in fact discriminated against Adams and violated his constitutional rights.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 13, 2007, 08:06:19 AM
Although it has not reached the extent that it is in many overseas nations it is still evident that persecution of Christians in the U.S. is on the rise and is moving toward that direction.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 18, 2007, 01:37:56 AM
Iraqi Christians forced to pay 'protection tax'
Muslims enforcing Islamic law requiring tribute or conversion

Christians in a Baghdad neighborhood are being required to pay a "protection tax" because Muslims have begun enforcing an Islamic law demanding either the tribute – or conversion to Islam, according to Christians in Iraq.

The report from the Assyrian International News Agency follows on complaints from Iraqi Christians that they have been caught in a no-man's land between the Coalition forces and Muslim militants in Iraq, watching as their churches have been bombed, and men and women assaulted and killed.

The newest report said Muslims in the Dora neighborhood are forcing Assyrians, who also are known as Chaldeans and Syriacs, but who largely are Christian, to pay the jizya, the poll tax demanded by the Quran.

Christians – and Jews – must pay the tax "in exchange for being allowed to live and practice their faith as well as being entitled to 'Muslim protection' from outside aggression," the agency reported.

The news agency said elements of Al-Qaida have moved into the region, and there is no evidence of any security forces, either from the Iraqi national armed services or Coalition forces being led by the United States.

In one section of the region, "people have been warned by these insurgents to uninstall the satellite dishes since this is 'haram' [forbidden] is Islam," the report said. "Where Christians live in Hay Al-Mualimeen [teachers quarter] and Hay Al-Athorieen [Assyrian quarter] is where they are telling people to convert, leave, pay 'jizya' taxation," AINA reported.

According to an e-mail uncovered by the agency, one person reported that it has been going on for some time.

"We talked to many people within the American Embassy and Iraqi Government, but it seems nobody really cares, because they have done nothing, or sometimes I wonder if they care at all," said the e-mail, from an unidentified resident in the region.

"Neither the Iraqi nor the U.S. Army have any activity there, and they have delivered Dora to insurgents; and above all the U.S. Army went and put a camp in the Chaldean church [Babylon Theology College] to raise the hate among those Muslims toward Christians, as they are seeing them [as] allies for Americans, and that worsened things more."

Another Syriac, now a refugee in Syria, confirmed the actions. "Today a family [name withheld] arrived from Dora/Mualimeen street, and they said some terrorists knocked on their door and when they opened the door they were told to either pay money [jizya] or support the insurgents or convert to Islam, or leave the house within 24 hours or else be killed," the individual said.

AINA had reported several weeks earlier that the practice was beginning. The organization said then that "at least" two cases had been reported to the government in which Christian Assyrian wives had been ordered to go to a certain mosque and make payments, which "they did out of fear."

"The stated reason for the payment was 'we do the fighting and you pay to support,'" AINA said.

Such tributes have been collected since the arrival of Islam in 630 A.D., but the last systematic collection by the Turks came to an end in 1918 when the Ottoman empire was defeated and partitioned at the conclusion of World War I.

A report from Assist News said that the names of the individuals who have spoken up were being withheld to protect them from retaliatory actions.

Christians in Iraq repeatedly have sought help from American political leaders, demonstrating in front of the White House just a few months ago to highlight the persecution under which they suffer. Although they represent just 5 percent of the Iraqi population, 40 percent of the refugees fleeing Iraq are Christian.

One of the speakers at the rally, Nina Shea of Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom in D.C., told WND that because of the "ethnic cleansing," the Christians want an autonomous district in Iraq they can administrate.

Among the atrocities documented just in recent months:

    * Father Paulos Eskandar, of Mor Afrem Syriac Orthodox Church, was kidnapped Oct. 9 by Muslims and decapitated two days later. He was murdered despite Christians fulfilling a demand to post a text on the church doors condemning the pope's statement about Islam.

    * On Oct. 4, a car bomb detonated in a Christian area and killed nine people, including Georges Zara, member of the Assyrian Chaldean Syriac National Council.

    * A 14-year-old boy was crucified and stabbed in the stomach, mimicking what was done to Jesus, in Albasra.

    * On Oct. 21, in Baquba, a group of veiled Muslims attacked a workplace where a 14-year-old boy named Ayad Tariq worked. The men asked the boy for his identity card. After seeing he was Christian the men asked whether he was a "dirty Christian sinner." Ayad answered: "Yes, I am Christian, but I am not a sinner." The rebels yelled he was a dirty Christian sinner and continued to grab him and to scream, "Allahu, Akbar! Allahu, Akbar!" The boy then was decapitated.

    * In August, 13 Assyrian Christian women in Baghdad were kidnapped and murdered.

    * In January, churches were bombed in Basra and Baghdad.

Shea said she has been raising the plight of the Iraqi Christians with the U.S. government for several years, including in a face-to-face meeting with President Bush in her role as a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: ibTina on April 23, 2007, 10:18:06 AM
12 to Be Charged in Turkey Bible Murders
By Associated Press
Sun Apr 22, 8:54 PM

ANKARA, Turkey - A court jailed five suspects Sunday on murder charges linked to the killings of three Christians who were tied up and had their throats slit at a publishing house which had drawn protests by nationalists for distributing Bibles.

Six others were released pending trial, the court said. It was unclear what charges the six faced and a trial date has not yet been set. A 12th suspect, who tried to escape from police by jumping from a fourth-floor balcony at the scene of the killings, remains hospitalized in stable condition and was expected to be charged later.

The three victims _ a German man and two Turks who converted to Christianity _ were killed Wednesday at a Christian publishing house in Malatya.

The attack added to concerns in Europe about whether the predominantly Muslim country _ which is bidding for European Union membership _ can protect its religious minorities.

Christians make up just a fraction of 1 percent of Turkey's population of 71 million.

Christian leaders said they are worried that nationalists were stoking hostilities against non-Turks and non-Muslims by exploiting growing uncertainty over Turkey's place in the world.

The uncertainty _ and growing suspicion against foreigners _ has been driven by the faltering EU bid, a resilient Kurdish separatist movement and by increasingly vocal Islamists who see themselves _ and Turkey _ as locked in battle with a hostile Christian West.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2007, 05:54:24 AM
Mexico: Pact Sets New Course for Threatened Christians

But ‘traditionalist Catholics’ may not to sign it; evangelicals vow they won’t be expelled.

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (Compass Direct News) -- On Monday (April 23), small town political bosses near this city in Chiapas state are set to meet with representatives of 65 Christians they have threatened to expel in a showdown that could influence religious rights throughout the region.

The town rulers decided to drive 13 Christian families from their homes last December for refusing to help pay for “traditionalist Catholic” festivals in Los Pozos, 29 kilometers (18 miles) from San Cristobal. State and federal officials intervened, and on February 28 the town bosses verbally agreed to a pact pledging they wouldn’t expel the evangelicals, whose water lines and electricity they have cut since January.

But Christian leaders told Compass the rulers have signaled that either they will not sign the accord, or will exact fines before signing, or will sign it with plans to renege on it.

Leaders of both the evangelicals and the traditionalist Catholics, who practice a blend of Roman Catholicism and Tzotzil Maya customs, view the showdown as their Waterloo. For evangelicals, the outcome of the political maneuvering is expected to influence whether other Protestants in the region continue to be bullied into paying for alcohol-drenched Catholic festivals or gain a toe-hold on religious rights.

“This will be an historic precedent, because in all the communities this news is going to run that the local officials signed the accord,” said Esdras Alonso Gutierrez, an attorney representing the 65 evangelicals that make up almost the entire Alas de Aguila (Eagle’s Wings) church in Los Pozos. “Other caciques [local autocratic rulers] in other communities are saying, ‘If we lose this one in Los Pozos, we’re not going to be able to impose on them in other communities.’”

Alas de Aguila Pastor Reynaldo Gomez Ton told Compass that the caciques originally threatened the church members with expulsion at a town council meeting last December 23. The town bosses gave the evangelicals two weeks to pay their share of the costs for the December 12 Virgin of Guadalupe festival or face expulsion, he said.

The evangelicals vow not to budge from their homes. They hope, Alonso told Compass, that the state and federal government intervention that led to the verbal agreement between the caciques and the Christians in February will carry over to government action regardless of whether the Los Pozos officials sign the accord: protection of the evangelicals if the political bosses fail to sign, enforcement of the accord if they do.

“If on the 23rd they don’t sign the accord, or if they condition it by making the evangelicals pay a fine, we’re simply not going to accept it, and we’re going to demand that the government do its job of protecting them and their rights,” Alonso said. “If something happens on the 23rd, it’s the responsibility of the government – the brothers are not going to leave, and whatever aggression the caciques mete out, the government is responsible.”

The agreement calls for local authorities to restore the evangelicals’ water lines, electrical service and firewood rights and resume distributing federal food aid and fertilizers they have diverted from the Christians. The Tzotzil Christians told Compass they have been walking more than a kilometer to wash clothes in muddy well water or puddles since the caciques cut their services on January 30.

The church members are skeptical of the caciques’ decision to wait two months to sign an agreement reached verbally on February 28. At that time, the Los Pozos officials told them that they could only draw up the documents for signing at their next regular meeting on April 23.

“Up till now, because they’ve cut this children’s food aid program from us, we’ve been suffering trying to buy food as at times the money comes up short,” said Carmela Santis Lopez, 38, who has four children ages 18 months, 4, 6 and 8. “When we went to get the food assistance from the authorities, they threatened us saying, ‘Your children are not at fault, you are at fault for accepting Christ and not wanting to contribute to the Catholic festivals, so you’re not going to get your grocery food anymore.’”


As local officials prohibit outsiders from visiting evangelicals in the hamlet – caciques surround arriving pastors and threaten them with jail time and fines – several church families walked more than two kilometers (1.2 miles) out of Los Pozos to talk with Compass in a pine tree-strewn ravine.

“We are asking the authorities that they reconnect the water, because the children are suffering,” the Tzotzil-speaking Santis said through an interpreter. “They’ve gotten sick from lack of bathing because there’s not much water, and they’ve also gotten sick because the water’s dirty – when you drop the bucket down, it stirs up the mud and dirties the water.”

Santis said she was raped by two traditionalist Catholics – Aldelfino Ton Peche and Alejandro Morales Mendez – on May 3, 2005 because she was a Christian. While her husband was out working, she said, they entered her home when she opened the door thinking winds were striking it.

“I was alone and began screaming, but nobody heard me or defended me, and these two men raped me on the floor of my house,” she said. “When this was over, I went to talk to the rural security agent here in the community to ask for help, but I didn’t find him because he was drunk.”

The local security agent’s wife told her to return in two days, Santis said. “So day after tomorrow came, and he didn’t pay me any attention, because he was – how shall I say, in agreement with the rapists. Because I am an evangelical, he defended the rapists.”

She filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office, where it has sat unattended in an archive for nearly two years, she said.

Maria Elena Gomez Ton, a 27-year-old mother of four also allegedly raped by traditionalist Catholics, told Compass she walks a kilometer and a half three times a day for water.

“To wash my clothes I have to go far to bring water from an arroyo, or if there’s puddles of water I go there to wash our clothes,” she said.

Evangelical leaders said Los Pozos rulers are diverting federal food aid of a program called SEDESOL from 21 children (up from 16 previously reported), including Gomez Ton’s four little ones ages 10 months, 4, 6 and 8.

“The authorities’ wives say we didn’t show up to collect the food assistance, but this is a lie,” Gomez Ton said. “When we went to pick it up, when the Los Pozos authorities were distributing this food, they told us that they didn’t want to give it to us, and that if we returned we would again not be given our turn. We went home with our children.”

Cacique Collusion

Los Pozos belongs to the municipality of Huistan, which has its own set of caciques who traditionally have supported the local town bosses. Compass did not question Los Pozos authorities given the jail terms and/or fines they slap on visiting Christians, but Huistan Municipal President Manuel Alvarez Martinez did permit a brief interview.

Alvarez Martinez declined to explain to Compass why the pact to restore water and other services couldn’t be signed soon after the February 28 verbal agreement. Oddly, he said that “at no time” did any authorities threaten the evangelicals with expulsion, even as he noted that this issue was at the heart of the agreement.

“We had a talk with the state government at city hall, with the authorities of Los Pozos and the evangelicals, in which we arrived at an agreement that, for starters, there would be no expulsion,” Alvarez Martinez said. “The only thing lacking is the document. Both parties have to sign, and we the authorities will be present to witness this matter.”


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2007, 05:54:44 AM
Alvarez Martinez’s assistant, Alejandro Bautista Jimenez, at first declined to grant Compass an audience with the Huistan municipal president, claiming that the matter of the threatened expulsion of the Los Pozos evangelicals “was already resolved.”

“It was in all the newspapers and on the radio,” Bautista Jimenez said, and indeed the Chiapas press – which evangelical leaders believe is more than 90 percent controlled by pay-outs from the governor elected last year, Juan Sabines – has widely promoted the impression that the state government has already obtained a solution, Christian leaders said.

Alonso, a pastor who earned a criminal law degree in the course of defending indigenous religious rights for nearly two decades, said wearily that he has seen it all before: State and federal government officials announce they have brokered an accord, the press hails the achievement, and just before the agreement is signed, an unforeseen event arises to stall it indefinitely. The matter fades from public memory.

“Just as we’re about to definitively seal an agreement, something happens,” Alonso told Compass. “They kill someone or create some kind of problem, because there are people who don’t want the problem to be resolved.”

Until state authorities threatened to withdraw resources from Huistan, Alonso said, Huistan authorities supported the Los Pozos bosses’ intentions to ignore the February 28 agreement and expel the evangelicals. Now Huistan authorities like Alvarez Martinez support the agreement, but Alonso said the Los Pozos caciques’ stance remains to be seen.

“We have information that there have been private meetings of the caciques, that they want to make the evangelicals pay 20,000 pesos [US$1,818] in fines to get their services restored,” Alonso said. “But if they can’t even pay the 100 pesos [US$8] per family for each Catholic festival, how are they going to pay that fine?”

Gov. Sabines, a deeply committed Roman Catholic, has insisted that he will guarantee religious freedom and not allow the Catholic/evangelical conflicts of the past four decades to continue to besmirch Chiapas’ image. Evangelicals supported his election, Alonso said, adding that the Los Pozos case will be the first indicator of the new governor’s commitment to protect evangelicals and their constitutional right to religious freedom.

Holding Ground

The Los Pozos caciques tore down the Alas de Aguila church building in 2003 and jailed 19 of their members for 24 hours to keep them from reporting the incident.

The pastor of the church, Gomez Ton, told Compass that the evangelicals plan to continue bearing up under the traditionalist Catholics’ abuses even if they fail to sign the agreement.

“The Lord says, ‘Vengeance is mine,’ so we don’t respond by paying back their abuses,” Gomez Ton said. “Rather, we respond with patience, faith and love – because we hope that some day they’ll change their ideas about us. They act against us out of ignorance, and if Jesus Christ had not entered into us, we would be doing the same things. Our only weapon is prayer.”

If the caciques attempt to expel them by force, however, Gomez Ton hinted that the Christians would defend themselves.

“We’re not leaving,” he said. “And there arrives a point where one is forced to defend oneself. If that’s the case, the Old Testament examples of David’s victories in battle inspire us.”

Miguel Ton Cruz, a 63-year-old resident of Los Pozos with six of his eight adult children living at home, said the evangelicals will not allow the caciques to intimidate them.

“How is it that we’re going to let them drive us out?” he told Compass. “If they’re going to drive us out, we’re going to defend ourselves and our rights, because there’s nowhere else to go. We’re organizing ourselves to defend our rights.”

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 24, 2007, 05:56:58 AM
Nigeria Christians On Edge As Muslim Wins Presidential Ballot

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife) -- Christians in Nigeria were on high alert Monday, April 23, as election officials confirmed that the outgoing Christian president of Nigeria will be succeeded by a controversial Muslim candidate following Saturday's election.

Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman Maurice Iwu said Umaru Yar'Adua had won the vote, which observers said was marred by fraud and violence.

"Candidate Atiku Abubakar, party AC, 2,637,848 votes; Major General Muhammadu Buhari, ANPP, 6,605,299 votes; Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, PDP, 24,638,063. I will like to further affirm that Umar Musa Yar'Adua of PDP, having satisfied the requirement of the law, and scored the highest number of votes, is declared winner," he announced in comments aired by the Voice Of America (VOA).

Shortly before the announcement Christians in Nigeria and abroad have raised concern about the impact a new Muslim president would have on religious freedom in Africa's most populous nation.


"If there's a Muslim-elected president – and the two leading candidates are both Muslim - Christian rights in that country will continue to suffer,” Open Doors USA president Car Moeller told Mission Network News. “We know that Nigeria is the home to some of the largest and fastest growing churches in Africa. However, there's also a great deal of persecution going on in the northern states."

A Christian teacher was recently brutally beaten and burned alive by her students in a Muslim dominated northern town. Two days later in the same town, an evangelical church was burned, Christian officials and human rights watchers said.

Nigeria's outgoing President Olusegun Obasanjo urged those opposing the outcome to take advantage of constitutional and legal mechanisms to seek redress.

"Elections are a process which allow for dissent and have in-built mechanism for redress," he said. "Our constitutional and legal system anticipates that participants in elections may feel aggrieved and therefore provide remedies. Our elections could not have been said to have been perfect. My advice to all those who feel aggrieved by the outcome of the elections, is that they should avail themselves of the laid-down procedure for seeking redress in electoral matters."


Some opposition candidates have reportedly vowed to challenge the elections at election tribunals. Obasanjo was scheduled to step down next month, when his second four-year term ends. The process is meant to set up Nigeria's first-ever handover of power between elected heads of state.

However dozens of Nigerians have died in violence related to the elections. The new president is expected to deal with corruption and grinding poverty and religious and ethnic violence which has killed thousands since military rule ended in 1999.

Yar'Adua reportedly assured Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola in a special meeting last month that he would respect "all religions" should he be sworn in as president on May 29.

"I would like to see that I have a government that is trusted and credible and that can be so, if we have proper respect for law and order - in other words the rule of law is placed in an exulted position," he said in an interview. However Christians in especially Muslim dominated regions have heard this rhetoric before and Nigerian churches on Monday, April 23, were anxiously watching whether the political intentions would become reality. (With reports from Nigeria).

Title: China Closes Christian-Linked Businesses
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:41:55 PM

It's time this thread was updated!!

China Closes Christian-Linked Businesses

5 days ago

BEIJING (AP) — China has closed two businesses whose owners allegedly sought Christian converts in a traditionally Muslim region and also revoked the visa of an American citizen for illegal proselytizing, a rights group said Wednesday.

The companies' business licenses were pulled last month by authorities in the Xinjiang region of western China after they were accused of distributing religious material, converting Muslims and conducting "infiltration activities," the U.S.-based China Aid Association said in a news release.

The group did not identify the American citizen whose visa was revoked, citing ongoing legal issues within China. It was not immediately clear whether the individual had been deported.

Efforts to contact the companies cited by the association were unsuccessful. At one, a branch of Xinjiang Pacific Agricultural Resources Development Company, Ltd., no one answered the phone. The other company, Xinjiang Jiaerhao Foodstuff Company Limited reportedly owned by a Muslim convert, had no listed number.

A woman who answered the phone at the regional government's religious affairs bureau said she had no information about the companies or the accused American.

The report follows word this summer that China had kicked out more than 100 suspected foreign missionaries, including many in Xinjiang, in a campaign to prevent proselytizing ahead of next year's Beijing Summer Olympics.

Christian mission groups from around the world say they plan to quietly defy the Chinese ban on foreign missionaries and send thousands of volunteer evangelists to Beijing next year.

Evangelicals worked the crowds at the Olympics in Athens, Sydney and Atlanta but the groups say the Beijing Games offer an opening like no other in the communist country.

China bans open proselytizing and worship outside the Communist Party-controlled official church. However, foreign faithful who live in China are often able to evangelize privately while working as English teachers, humanitarian workers or in business.

China Closes Christian-Linked Businesses (

Title: Persecution of Degar Montagnards Continues
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:44:49 PM
Persecution of Degar Montagnards Continues
One Man Beaten Up; Another Has Hand Chopped Off

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (ANS) -- The indigenous Degar Montagnards continue to suffer persecution by the Vietnamese communist government.

A major advocacy group says that hundreds of Degar prisoners remain in prison for standing up for human rights, for spreading Christianity or for fleeing to Cambodia. Many have died from internal injuries caused by beatings. Indigenous rights are routinely violated, and racism and discrimination are serious problems in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

According to a news release from the Montagnard Foundation, on Sept. 27 2007, a Degar Christian named Y-Mau Eban and four of his friends took a walk outside their village of Buon Dung. While walking, a group of Vietnamese civilians were waiting to attack Degars for no other reason than racism.

The Vietnamese civilians grabbed Y-Mau Eban and severely beat him up, damaging his right eye. The others fled back to their village as a crowd of Vietnamese villagers armed with sticks and knives ran at them.

Y-Mau Eban was left there seriously injured, but the villagers soon returned and took him to the hospital in the city of Buonmathuot.

The Montagnard Foundation is dedicated to helping the Degar peoples.

In another story of violence story a few days later, about 20 Vietnamese civilians carrying machetes, knives, iron bars and rocks from the same group that attacked Y-Mau Eban got ready to attack and kill Degars leaving the village of Buon Dung.

According to the Montagnard Foundation this is what happened.

On Oct. 5, three Christian left their village to buy ice cubes at the Vietnamese market close by. They all lived in Buon Dung village.

While they were talking to the ice seller, the Vietnamese civilians surrounded and attacked them. A Christian man called Y-Hat Mlo had a machete swung at his head, but his right hand was cut off as he tried to block it. He was hospitalized at Buonmathuot city. Another Christian man called Y-Cuen Eban was also cut by a knife, and his friend Y-Be Nie was knocked unconscious by a rock thrown at his head.

Then at about 8 p.m. on Oct. 5, the Montagnard Foundation reported, about 50 Vietnamese civilians carrying machetes, axes, knives and sticks entered the village of Buon Dung planning to kill some Degar people. However, villagers confronted them and the Vietnamese civilians left. Then at about 10 p.m. more Vietnamese civilians returned and broke in three Degar’s brick houses. They destroyed the houses and stole everything inside. This time, the Montagnard Foundation reported, the Degar villagers did not come out because the Vietnamese civilians carried rifles.

The Montagnard Foundation wrote, “These actions suggest the Vietnamese government and people are racist against the Degar people, and the government views our people as unequal citizens. It appears these actions are nothing less than racist hatred.”

The Montagnard Foundation pointed out that the Vietnamese government has voted in favor of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The Foundation is calling on the 143 countries who voted for this declaration to put pressure on Vietnam government and its people to respect the rights of the Degars.

In addition, the Foundation said it is calling on the American government, the European Union, and other members of the international community to consider a permanent humanitarian presence in the Central Highlands. It would also like the international community to address the land rights issue and religious persecution facing the Degar Montagnards.

Persecution of Degar Montagnards Continues  (

Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:46:13 PM
Former Muslim sues Egypt for right to become Christian.


ISTANBUL, October 10 (Compass Direct News) – Conservative Islamic lawyers came out in support of the Egyptian government last week at the opening court hearing of a Muslim convert to Christianity.

In a move that has caused national uproar, former Muslim Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy is suing Egypt to change the religion listed on his identification papers to Christianity.

Islamist lawyers associated with radical cleric Youssef al-Badry attended the October 2 hearing in Cairo and legally joined the case on the government’s side, Hegazy told Compass.

Hegazy’s lawyers confirmed that Magdy al-Anany and at least three other fundamentalist Muslim attorneys filed to support the government.

Al-Badry was one of several clerics who called for Hegazy’s death in Egypt’s national media, following the announcement of the case in early August. The radical Islamist also filed charges of inciting sectarian strife against Hegazy’s original lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhla.

Under public criticism and death threats, Nakhla withdrew from Hegazy’s case days after it became public. Fanatics began harassing Hegazy and his pregnant wife, also a former Muslim, with angry telephone calls, forcing the couple into hiding.

“It’s quite sensitive,” Hegazy’s new lawyer, Rawda Ahmad, told Compass through a translator. “It would be the first time that someone who converted to Christianity would be able to change his ID card.”

Though Egyptian law does not forbid conversion from Islam to Christianity, it provides no legal means to make the change. Converts to Christianity usually hide their identity to avoid torture and forced recantation at the hands of family members and security police.

“I’m full of heartache that in my own country, society has been radicalized to such an extent that I can’t have the right to convert,” Hegazy told Compass this week.

Hegazy and his wife Zeinab hope that their first child, due in January, will be born with Christian papers. Forced to hold an Islamic wedding ceremony because of their legal status as Muslims, Hegazy and his wife know that a Christian ID card would allow their child to take Christian religion classes in school, marry in a church and openly attend services without fear of harassment.

For the moment, threats from Muslim fanatics have forced the couple to stay in hiding, with Hegazy not even able to attend his own hearing last week.

The convert told Compass that he and his wife were healthy but frustrated with having to stay indoors.

“It’s like we are in prison and have no way out,” the Christian said.

Hegazy said that he did not believe police were aware of his location. He told Compass that officials had detained a number of converts in the past two months, interrogating them about his whereabouts.

Egyptian media have criticized Hegazy in recent months, claiming that his conversion was motivated by money, blackmail, and foreign forces hoping to destabilize Egypt.

“The pro-government media is ferociously standing against Hegazy,” a representative for the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today. “This has definitely had a negative affect on his case, causing it to take a more politicized turn.”

By contrast, last week’s hearing received no coverage in the Egyptian press.

The administrative court hearing in Cairo’s al-Doqi district was brief. Judge Muhammad Husseini adjourned the case until November 13, giving Hegazy’s new lawyers time to legally take over from their predecessor.

Ahmad and Gamal Eid of ANHRI must either obtain official permission from Hegazy to represent his case or file a new complaint, an ANHRI spokesperson said.

In April, judge Husseini rejected the case of 45 Christian converts to Islam who wished to return to Christianity. Their appeal is pending.

Since 2004 several dozen Coptic converts to Islam have won the right to return to Christianity, but Hegazy is the first Muslim-born Egyptian to attempt the legal change.

Taught to Hate Christians

Now 24, Hegazy said he first made the decision to become a Christian when he was 16.

“My father was not a practicing Muslim, but he hated Christians and Jews as he believed Islam taught us to do so,” Hegazy said in a website statement. “As a child I was taught not to love or respect Christians, but rather treat them harshly because God hates them.”

As a teenager Hegazy enrolled in an institute to train as an Islamic preacher but said he did not like what he learned about Islam’s teaching on women and various subjects.

It was only at the age of 16, when he transferred to a class that had seven Christian students, that he began to think seriously about Christianity.

“It was the first time that I lived close to Christians, and their lives were like lights for me,” Hegazy said. One day he borrowed a Christian book from one of his classmates and read about the conversion of Saul. The story created a desire in him to know more about Christianity.

Hegazy said that he quickly became convinced of the truth of Christianity and wanted to convert.

“Christ appeared to me several times as I kept on reading the Bible,” the convert said. “My father was very angry [when] he found out that I was going to church and reading Christian material.”

State security police soon arrested the young man and tortured him for three days. Despite using a Coptic Orthodox priest to convince Hegazy to recant, the young convert said that police were unable to persuade him to revert to Islam. He eventually returned home, his father under the illusion that he was once again Muslim.

Hegazy said he continued to be active in his faith, writing and publishing some of his own poetry. Police again arrested the convert in 2002 and held him for 10 weeks at a “concentration camp,” where he said he met other converts.

Potential Repercussions

The convert is aware that much is riding on his case.

“I put my trust in God, and I feel I need to persevere,” Hegazy said. “This is my duty to myself, my family, all Muslims who converted to Christianity, and all Christians.”

But while his case may win rights for converts in Egypt, it also has the potential to backfire on Christians.

In order to make his conversion legitimate in the eyes of the state, the Christian may have to produce church documents in court. The repercussions could be dangerous for those involved in his conversion.

“I can only say that I have documents to show that my wife and I were baptized, and I can produce them if necessary in court,” the convert said. He refrained from naming the church that baptized him and provided the documents.

Though no official statistics are available, Copts are estimated to make up between 8 and 15 percent of Egypt’s population. The number of converts to Christianity is unknown.


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:49:00 PM
Militants drop letters on premises of 3,000-member congregation in Borno state.

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, October 10 (Compass Direct News) – Militant Islamists in this city in the northern state of Borno have sent three letters to a church warning that members would be attacked in the next few days, raising tensions where 50 Christians were killed and 57 churches destroyed last year.

Leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria told Compass that the letters were dropped onto the premises of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), in the Polo Area of Maiduguri, on separate days last week.

Mosque calls to prayer were sounded at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. last night, hours when Muslims do not usually observe prayers, putting police and security agencies on alert. By 6 this morning, police armored tanks were patrolling the streets to thwart any plans to attack Christians.

The Rev. Daniel Mbaya of the Polo Area Church of the Brethren, which has about 3,000 members, had reported the threat to police and Christian leaders. Nigeria’s security agencies and Christian leaders held an emergency meeting yesterday on ways to protect Christians in the event of an Islamic strike on the church.

Rev. Mbaya is no stranger to Nigerian security agents, as Muslims in the city have long opposed the existence of his church.

The church was planted when members of the Church at Wulari EYN Church in Maiduguri encountered difficulties in getting to their sanctuary whenever there was energy crisis, as getting fuel for cars was nearly impossible. To solve the problem, a member of the church, Andrew Balami, then a public officer in the Borno state government, offered his home for worship services.

Balami’s residence became a home church where Bible studies and prayers were being held regularly. The emergence of this house church in the GRA Area of Maiduguri attracted other Christians in the vicinity, and area Muslims soon took their objections to the presence of the church to Borno officials. The Muslim-dominated state government ordered Balami to close the house church or face sanctions it.

Balami did not budge, and harassment of the house church continued. The Borno government ordered a halt to payment of Balami’s salary. He was threatened with dismissal. Eventually Balami was suspended from office for one year.

Balami had received 10 letters from the government warning him against using his house as a church. He was also threatened with legal prosecution, and Balami asked members of the church to relocate. The church members decided to raise funds to build a sanctuary.

They managed to raise 3.5 million naira (US$28,500), which they used to buy a night club property. Construction of the new sanctuary began soon after.

The Borno state government, however, ordered construction to stop. While church leaders pressed for building to continue, Muslims moved into the area in order to claim that a church would be too close to where they worship and hence not allowed. The Christians’ new neighbors told them to leave the property.

Church members resolved to die in the defence of the new sanctuary, Mbaya said. They continued construction while worshiping under makeshift shade on the property. Since its completion, various authorities have ordered Mbaya to report to security agencies almost monthly.

“I have been arrested, harassed and detained by the police, security services, and even soldiers were used to harass me,” Mbaya told Compass. “This year alone, I have been invited by the police more than three times.”

Sanctuary Set Ablaze

The sanctuary was set ablaze on February 18 last year, alongside other churches in the city, by Muslim militants protesting cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad by a Danish newspaper.

On that day, Mbaya returned from a pastors’ conference outside the city. He entered Maiduguri and was able to get to his house before the violence erupted, but there he received a phone call that Muslims were heading toward his church to set it ablaze. He quickly phoned police.

“I drove to the church premises and discovered that already there were hundreds of Muslim militants who had congregated around the church and were setting the church building on fire,” he told Compass.

Mybaya was able to get six policemen to accompany him back to the church as it burned, he said, but the officers did not arrest any of the extremists.

“I and some members of my church who braved the crisis to defend our church building arrested eight of the Muslim militants and then handed them over to the police,” he said. “But they were released soon without trial.”

Besides the church fire, he said, five members of his church were attacked in their homes and critically injured.

“Our church building at the Church’s Farm Centre was also completely burned,” he said. “Mr. Misari, one of our church members at the Farm Centre Church, was stabbed with a knife and left to bleed to death. He was eventually rescued by other church members who took him to the hospital.”

On the whole, Mbaya says Muslim militants attacked Christians for a period of four hours. “They rioted from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. without restraint.”

Convert Dangers

Most of Muslim converts to Christianity in the city, Mbaya said, have been threatened with death from family members and other Muslims.

“Recently, we had one Muslim convert, Hussaini Mohammed. But, because of the threat to his life, we were forced to take him to another state in order to protect him,” he said. “We also have another convert by the name Musa Mohammed Tukur, who has been disciple and has to be taken into hiding because of the threat on his life.”

Whenever Muslims convert, the church takes them into hiding because it is not possible for them to return to their families, he said.

“Becoming Christians means permanent separation from their families if they must remain alive,” he said. “If they return to their families they would certainly be killed.”

The Church of the Brethren in Nigeria has about 10 converts from Islam hidden in different parts of the country.

The Rev. Yuguda Zibagai Ndurvwa, minister in charge of the EYN Church, Wulari area of Maiduguri, corroborated the threat to the local Polo Area church.

“It is not only that church that is facing tough times, but all Christian churches in the city of Maiduguri,” he said.

Ndurvwa said Christians also suffer discrimination in public service and in schools. Kidnapping of children was another problem common to EYN members as well as other Christians in Borno state.

“A member of our church here, Mama Asabe Ladagu, had her appointment terminated at the Ramat Polytechnic because she was seen speaking against discrimination of Christian staff and students of the institution,” Ndurvwa said.

He also cited the abduction of a Christian girl, Maryamu Bulus, a member of his EYN Church, who was forcefully married to a Muslim man.

For Mbaya, doing ministry among Muslims is a challenging task.

“Doing ministry among Muslims is very challenging and very difficult,” he said. “It takes the grace of God to save you, the pastor, as well as the convert.”

The imposition of sharia (Islamic) law, forceful relocation of churches, and lack of land for the building of new church buildings are other problems confronting Christians in this state, he said.

“Government resources are being used to propagate and promote Islam to the detriment of Christianity,” Mbaya said. “A ministry of religious affairs has been created to cater for the religious needs of Muslims, and yet, Christians do not have such privileges.”


Title: Christians persecuted under Blasphemy laws in Pakistan
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:51:42 PM
Christians persecuted under Blasphemy laws in Pakistan

A Pakistan Christian who was previously acquitted of blasphemy is still in hiding almost a year after charges were dropped because Muslim militants are trying to kill him.

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2007, 12:48 (BST)

A Pakistan Christian who was previously acquitted of blasphemy is still in hiding almost a year after charges were dropped because Muslim militants are trying to kill him, a report from Release International has said.

In addition, a 16-year-old boy is now a fugitive in fear of his life after a squabble with another schoolboy led to accusations of blasphemy, Christian Today has been told.

Both cases highlight the reason Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws must be repealed, RI has urged.
"They can shoot me or burn me, they can kill me if they know that I am hiding here," Schoolboy Rashid Masih told Release International.
Hospital worker Ranjah Masih was jailed for life under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws simply for knocking over a sign – an offence which would be considered too trivial to bring to court in most countries. But the sign, which it turned out had a verse of Koran on it, belonged to a Muslim shopkeeper, and so the blasphemy charge was used.

‘I cannot go out of this room because my life is in danger. The Muslims know about my case. They want to kill me,’ said Ranjah Masih.
Despite his protested innocence, Ranjah was jailed for life, blindfolded and beaten daily with clubs and sticks until his health was all but broken. He had to bribe the police to give him medicine, and says they beat him to try force him to reveal the names of other Christians.

Many times the police told him that if he converted to Islam they would set him free, however, Ranjah refused.
One day a prison officer brought him a Koran and said that if he just recited an Islamic prayer he could go. Ranjah replied: "If release from prison means forsaking Jesus Christ, then I don't want to be released."
Meanwhile his wife had to bring up their six children on her meagre earnings as a domestic servant. She was supported by Release International's partners, CLAAS – the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement - which helps many persecuted Christians in Pakistan.
After eight-and-a-half years behind bars the authorities finally acknowledged that Ranjah had been innocent all along and set him free.

Almost a year later, he remains separated from his family and in hiding from militants who have sworn to kill him.
Ranjah Masih told Release International's CEO Andy Dipper,"It is difficult to kill the time here, to live in a small room. It is my desire that I go back to my family and that I will live with them. I am praying to the Lord to let me live again with my family and my five sons."
For 16-year-old Rashid Masih it all started with a schoolboy squabble. Rashid’s was one of the few Christian families living in a predominantly Muslim town.

He explained some Muslims boys were beating up his younger brother so he stepped in to stop them. Other Muslim youths celebrating their prophet’s birthday nearby piled in.
During the quarrel they accused Rashid of snatching a religious sticker about the prophet Mohammed from another boy and ripping it up.
The schoolboy spat ended with Christians fleeing for their lives and Rashid, his father and three others being accused of blasphemy.  Rashid's father and cousin are still in jail.

Rashid is now a fugitive hiding in a safe house. He told Release International that he was afraid if the police came for him, they might kill him. "They can shoot me or burn me, they can kill me if they know that I am hiding here."
Muslims who change their faith in Pakistan are also at risk. The government is currently reviewing a proposal to impose the death penalty on Muslim men who become Christians and jail for life women who change their religion.
‘James’ – not his real name – was shot 11 times for changing his faith from Islam to Christianity. He was so badly wounded his left arm had to be amputated.
He told The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada: "The doctor was surprised I had survived. Because I only had one and a half pints of blood left. I told him, God’s power within me gives me life. God is providing me with a new arm. I am very thankful. I will work for the kingdom of God."
"Stories like these are all too common in Pakistan," says Andy Dipper. "With support from Release International, Christians in Pakistan have been campaigning to repeal the notorious blasphemy laws which can destroy the lives of even the innocent. Please pray for Ranjah, Rashid and James."

Christians persecuted under Blasphemy laws in Pakistan (

Title: South African missionary viciously beaten during robbery in Mozambique
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:54:47 PM
South African missionary viciously beaten during robbery in Mozambique

By Bill Dolack
Special to ASSIST News Service

GONDOLA, MOZAMBIQUE (ANS) -- A South African missionary working in Mozambique was attacked in his home on October 10 by a gang of machete-wielding robbers. Jimmy Meyer, 35, was admitted to a local hospital following the dreadful beating.

“Jimmy jumped out of bed to protect (his wife) Marlise when he was hit across the head and arm with the machete,” reports the Rev. Dewald van den Berg, leader of Evangelical Rural Mission, the ministry with whom the Meyers are working. “He was also beaten badly in the face.” There was reportedly so much blood on the floor from his wounds that the robbers slipped on it during the 2 A.M. attack.

Both husband and wife were tied up and left on their bed while the house was ransacked by the mob which numbered five.

Nearby South African farmers received the distress call and rushed to the aid of the Meyers. By late afternoon the day after the attack, three suspects had been arrested but none of the stolen goods have been recovered.

Among the items stolen were Rand 20,000 ($3,000) which had been withdrawn from the bank the day before to pay for building materials due to be delivered on October 11. Also taken were cellular phones, appliances, a camera, and more. When van de Berg heard about the robbery, he immediately called Marlise’s cell phone.

“Would you believe it was answered by one of the thieves,” said van de Berg. “The only reply he had after I laid into him, telling him what they had done to people who were helping their nation was simply, ‘I understand.’ ”
Jimmy and Marlise Meyer have been working at the mission station near Gondola, Mozambique, for more than a year. He will be flown back to South Africa for medical treatment as soon as he can be moved.

The Meyers have dedicated themselves to uplifting the lives of Christian widows from the churches served by the ministry and orphans in central Mozambique. The Children Harvest program provides a house for a widow, who then takes up to six orphans into her care. This “substitute family” takes children off the streets and allows the ministry to break the downward spiral of poverty-induced violence and crime that street children commit simply to survive.

The program trains the widows to disciple the children in their care.

The program is bearing much fruit for the kingdom… widows and orphans who previously had no hope for the future, now have hope for eternity as new believers.

South African missionary viciously beaten during robbery in Mozambique (

Title: Christian couple flogged for attending “secret sermon” in Iran
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 08:59:42 PM
Christian couple flogged for attending “secret sermon” in Iran
Sun. 14 Oct 2007

Iran Focus

London, Oct. 14 - A Christian couple were flogged in Iran for participating in an “underground Church”, an Iranian Christian group said in a report on its website earlier this week.

The unnamed couple were arrested on September 21, 2005, the report said, adding that a Revolutionary Court reviewed their case in July 2007.

Even though the couple had decided to marry seven years ago, the country’s marriage laws - which prohibit the union of ex-Muslims and members of other religious minorities – prevented them from obtaining a certificate of marriage.

The report said that the woman was born a Christian in an Assyrian-Iranian family and the man was a convert to Christianity prior to getting married.

The court ruled that both the man and the woman were Mortad, a description of someone who has committed apostasy by leaving Islam.

Christian couple flogged for attending “secret sermon” in Iran (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 15, 2007, 09:01:02 PM
Please remember to pray for our persecuted brothers and sister!!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on October 17, 2007, 03:33:47 AM
Hello Dreamweaver,

Brother, the times are getting harder by the day for Christians all over the world. The same will be true for our part of the world. We will keep standing with GOD'S help, and we all should pray for each other every day.

Love In Christ,


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 17, 2007, 09:24:49 AM
Anti-Christian Rumor Helps Fuel Attacks
Added: Oct 17th, 2007 4:16 AM

Convinced that villagers are being paid to convert, Buddhists and Muslims lash out.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (Compass Direct News) -- As Christianity spreads in this Muslim-majority country, an increasingly frequent refrain is heard in various quarters: “People become Christians after getting huge amounts of money as a reward for conversion.”

The rumor is something more than mean; it has served as the rationale for violence against Christians not just from Muslims, but from Buddhists who make up less than 1 percent of the population.

Subash Mondol, a supervisor of the Christian Life Bangladesh (CLB) “Jesus Film” team in Khagrachori district, told Compass that in early September tribal villagers decided to kidnap a CLB worker after hearing a rumor that he had received money for converting. Not finding any money on 23-year-old Cinku Marma, who converted from Buddhism 14 months ago, they instead assaulted him on September 6 as he was en route to a village to show the film.

Marma and team leader Milton Boiragi were trudging up a hill laden with equipment for showing the film that evening when Boiragi pulled further ahead to relieve himself. As Marma was moving alone, two tribal people ambushed him and held him at gunpoint. Perceiving danger from a distance, Boiragi fled.

The attackers threatened Marma, saying, “Your skull will be riddled with fusillades of bullets if you shout,” Mondol said. Four other tribal people joined them as they took Marma deeper into the jungle.

“If we kidnap you, shall we get in touch with your boss?” asked the attackers. When Marma replied that he didn’t know, they told him, “You became Christian and you got a huge amount of money for the conversion. Where is that money?”

“I became Christian willingly, and I did not get any money,” said Marma.

One of them replied, “We will kill you like Jesus if you do not give us money.”

Mondol said Marma reiterated that he received nothing for becoming a Christian, and that it was impossible to give them money he did not have. The tribal Buddhists began slashing at him.

An attempt to slice his throat with a large knife used for cutting through jungle foliage instead cut off part of one ear lobe, as Marma jumped back, Mondol said. They stabbed Marma just above an eyebrow, wounding his forehead. He tried to fend off another slash with his hand, which was severely lacerated.

Another attacker, Mondol said, hit him on the head with log, knocking him unconscious. Thinking he was dead, the attackers threw him in a brook that ran through the hills. He spent the night in the water, unconscious.

Regaining consciousness the next morning, he hiked up to a nearby house, where one of the residents informed Boiragi, who took Marma to a nearby hospital. Because of the severity of Marma’s wounds, Mondol said, he was later transferred to the district’s main hospital.

As Marma’s parents walked long distances through the hills to visit their son in the hospital, Mondol said, tribal Buddhists frequently asked them, “Where is your son, and where is the money that your son got after becoming Christian?”

Convinced that he had received a huge amount of money from Christian leaders to convert, Mondol said, villagers angry with him for leaving Buddhism had schemed with an unidentified criminal to target him for extortion. Unable to persuade him to pay them, Mondol said, they had decided to ambush him.

Marma had baptized 22 tribal people in the area. Community anger over his evangelistic activities has spilled over to his parents, who have been told that their son became a Christian for money. Their repeated denials of that charge, Mondol said, have fallen on deaf ears.

“He would not have been attacked if he had not been Christian,” said Mondol. “They attacked him to get money, as there is a common rumor that people become Christian for money.”

Muslim Misinformation

In Nilphamari district, where 42 former Muslims from 26 families were baptized as Christians in June, educated Muslim Tabligh Jamat missionaries from outside the country are helping to spread the conversion-for-pay rumor, said Abul Hossain, a recent convert in Nilphamari district.

The missionaries are going door-to-door in Nilphamari on a misinformation campaign, Hossain said.

“They tell people, ‘Christians will use you and afterward they will throw you in the dustbin – they dangle many temptations before Muslims to become Christian, and later they will destroy the country,’” Hossain said.

Other comments typical of the Muslim missionaries, according to Hossain: “They will destroy this country as they destroyed Afghanistan. They also destroyed Iraq and hanged Saddam extra-judicially.”

Following the baptisms on June 12, Muslim villagers armed with bricks and wooden clubs savagely beat 10 Christian converts in Nilphamari district on June 26 and threatened to burn down their homes. Within days, authorities at the mosque in Durbachari banned Christians from using the village tube-well, the area’s only source of potable water.

The village Muslims have issued death threats against Hossain and Barek Ali, who were appointed as leaders of the new converts.

Rich and Poor

Area Muslims automatically assume evangelists offer money to lure villagers away from Islam. This was the charge against Nilphamari district evangelist Sanjoy Roy, whom a local government official recently summoned.

“Sanjoy Roy is proselytizing local Muslims by offering money and other financial incentives, and in doing so he is attacking the sentiments of Muslims,” the district official told Compass.

Roy, who denied offering any financial incentives, told Compass that the district official asked him “whether I bring dollars from a foreign country to convert Muslims to Christianity.”

The official, whose name is being withheld to forestall adverse consequences, imposed restriction on Roy’s activities – allowing him to work as a pastor but ordering him not to evangelize. He also forced Roy to sign a statement that he would not go outside the locality and the district without permission, the evangelist said.

Roy asked the official why he had taken a written statement from him. “The commissioner answered that, ‘Everyday I have to listen to many things from the high-ups.’” The official did not elaborate.

The official denied to Compass that he had imposed any restrictions on Roy’s evangelical activities. The pastor, however, told Compass that the official told him, “Whatever you have done, jail is open for you as reward. We will file a sedition case against you for your activities. You will be left in the jail to rot.”

The bitter irony of being accused of receiving money for converting is not lost on the Christians in Nilphamari district, who are lacking in income and basic necessities since the villagers ostracized them in June.

Most of the Christians are farmers who sell fruits and vegetables on the street, but the local people no longer buy them.

“If we got money from the evangelists or missionaries, we would not live in such miserable conditions,” said Hossain, the new convert in Nilphamari.

In Bangladesh, where half of the population of 144 million earns less than a dollar a day, villagers have no economic incentive to leave Islam.

“We do not have money to make a small room to worship God,” Roy said. “Paradoxically, people spread rumors that we convert people by giving money.”

Anti-Christian Rumor Helps Fuel Attacks (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 24, 2007, 04:54:51 PM
Pakistani Talibans attack Christian schools

Taliban extremists are calling for the firing of all Christians at a public high school in Sangota and demanded their replacement with Muslims. Suicide bombings are threatened.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By Asia News

The process of talebanisation of Pakistan continues despite formal pledges by the central government and local authorities. Islamic extremism has in fact reached the Swat Valley, once known as the Switzerland of the Orient, this according to a report by Minorities Concern of Pakistan, a local organisation which monitors the situation of minorities and violations of the human rights of the population.

One of the cases cited in the report involves a Catholic-run public high school in Sangota, in the Swat Valley. In a recent letter, a group calling itself Janisaran-i-Islam (Sacrifices of Islam) attacked the school administration for allegedly “forcibly converting students” and “encouraging un-Islamic behaviour.”

The fundamentalist group calls for the firing of all Christians employed by the school and their replacement with fervent Muslims. It also threatens suicide bombers “if its orders are not followed.”

Instead of finding out what the school had to say, the local government agreed with the letter, and issued an order that all female students cover their heads in the school to preserve local Islamic morality from conversion and atheism.

Extremists enthusiastically welcomed the order, citing the case of the three young Christian women in Indonesia who were decapitated for not wearing the veil.

Worried by the turn of events, many parents pulled their daughters from the school, which was forced to shut down till next week when local authorities will send security agents to enforce security. However, only half of all non Muslim students are planning to come back. Many are actually thinking about leaving the country to avoid further violence.

What is happening does not worry the Christian minority alone. In the Swat Valley, a region much loved by Pakistanis and one of the country’s richest areas, greater Islamist pressures show that the government has failed to stem the flow of Talibans from neighbouring Afghanistan.

In an editorial article, the Daily Time says that the “government seems unable to control the militant groups, who have been controlling the different areas in the province and making people’s lives miserable,” opposed to everything that makes Pakistan a modern country.

On September 26 various Christian and Muslim non-governmental organisations operating in the country demonstrated in Islamabad against the rising tide of violence. They warned the government that if Islamic extremism is not stopped, humanitarian aid of any kind will dry up.

Pakistani Talibans attack Christian schools (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 27, 2007, 03:13:06 PM
Authorities Continue Hunt for "Wanted" Christian in Uzbekistan

by Staff
October 26, 2007

( - A Christian man named Makset Djabbarbergenov (27) is the subject of a nationwide manhunt by authorities because of his religious activity in Uzbekistan, according to an October 12 report from Forum 18.

According to a local police officer, Djabbarbergenov is being hunted because he held Christian meetings in his home without having an official religious community. Authorities issued a wanted poster for Djabbarbergenov more than seven weeks ago, after police raided his home in Nukus, confiscating Christian books, videos, CDs and his passport.

The poster accuses Djabbarbergenov of an offence under Article 229-2 of the Criminal Code, which punishes "violation of the procedure for teaching religion" and carries a maximum term of three years' imprisonment. There have been no reports of his whereabouts since he went into hiding on October 4 in order to evade arrest.

Djabbarbergenov has long faced harassment for his Christian work and he was among a group of Christians who faced administrative charges after a raid on a private home in Nukus in January.

Pray that Makset will find refuge beneath the wings of God during this time (Psalm 57:1). Pray that Christians in Uzbekistan will be free to worship without government control.

Authorities Continue Hunt for "Wanted" Christian in Uzbekistan (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 27, 2007, 03:14:07 PM
Pastors Beaten and Detained in India

by Staff
October 25, 2007

( - The Voice of the Martyrs has received several reports of attacks on Christian pastors in India in recent weeks.

On the morning of October 11, Pastor Ganesh Murthy (42) was attacked by two Hindu militants along with fifteen men while he was distributing literature and praying for local people in the village of Rampura, Karnataka. The militants verbally abused him, beat him and dragged him to the local police station where he was detained on charges of forcible conversion.

The militants also tried to forcibly convert Pastor Murthy to Hinduism by promising to meet the financial needs of his wife and three children if he complied. However, the pastor refused the offer and stood firm in his faith.

At approximately 2:30 a.m. on October 14, Pastor Joseph Thadikal (58) and his wife, Ammini, were attacked in their home by two Hindu militants in the Vayandu district of Kerala. Both sustained serious head injuries. Pastor Thadikal, who pastors the local New Indian Bible Church, has been living and working in the area for ten years. He has twice received threats from militants who oppose his Christian work.

Thank the Lord for the boldness of faith of these believers amidst intense persecution and pressure. Pray that their passion for Christ will be a light that draws others to Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16). Pray for healing for Pastor Joseph and his wife. Pray that Pastor Ganesh will be released.

Pastors Beaten and Detained in India (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 27, 2007, 03:15:08 PM
Hua Huiqi Beaten By Police in China

by Staff
October 25, 2007

( - Church leader and human rights activist Hua Huiqi was beaten unconscious by police officers and priva te security guards who were trying to stop him from returning to his home in the district of Chongwen, Beijing, on October 11.

According to an October 12 report from AsiaNews, Huiqi was taken from his home to the district of Fengtai on October 8. However, the Fengtai police refused to have him in their jurisdiction and sent him back to Chongwen under police escort.

Huiqi has been taken to the Tiantian Hospital for treatment. His room is reportedly surrounded by more than two dozen police officers seeking to prevent him from being visited or photographed.

Ask God to give healing to Hua. Pray that, as his sufferings overflow, his comfort in Christ will be more than enough for him (2 Corinthians 1:5). Pray that God will strengthen believers to follow in Hua's example of steadfast faithfulness to Him.

Hua Huiqi Beaten By Police in China (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on October 27, 2007, 07:39:15 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

These are reminders about how easy we have it in this part of the world, and these are mild reports. Things like this should encourage us to use our freedoms while we still have them. All we need to do is pray and ask GOD to use us however HE Will. The only excuse that any of us have is being too lazy because we all know that GOD has work for us to do.

Love In Christ,


Title: Teen challenges moment-of-silence law
Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2007, 05:38:48 PM
Teen challenges moment-of-silence law

By CARLA K. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 26, 8:58 PM ET

CHICAGO - A 14-year-old girl and her outspoken atheist father filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging a new Illinois law requiring a brief period of prayer or reflective silence at the start of every school day.

The lawsuit asks the court to declare the law unconstitutional, said attorney Gregory Kulis, who represents Dawn Sherman, a freshman at Buffalo Grove High School, and her father Robert Sherman, a radio talk show host.

Kulis said the law is an attempt to inject religion into public schools in violation of the First Amendment. The suit also seeks a temporary restraining order to halt schools' obeying the law until the case is decided. A judge will consider that request at a hearing Monday.

The lawsuit names Gov. Rod Blagojevich and officials of Township High School District 214 as defendants. School district spokeswoman Venetia Miles said schools will continue to comply with the law.

Blagojevich spokesman Abby Ottenhoff said the law was passed over the governor's veto.

"We don't believe requiring time for reflection is the role of government," Ottenhoff said.

Sherman said he went to court after he asked the school board to ignore the law and was rebuffed. The school district informed him it would carry out the moment of silence during third period, beginning Tuesday, the lawsuit said.

"What we object to is Christians passing a law that requires the public school teacher to stop teaching during instructional time, paid for by the taxpayers, so that Christians can pray," Sherman told The Associated Press.

An Illinois law called the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act already allowed schools to observe a moment of silence if they wanted. A new measure changed just a single word: "may" observe became "shall" observe.

The Illinois law originally passed during the spring legislative session, but Blagojevich vetoed it, saying he had doubts about its constitutionality. Lawmakers overrode the veto this month.

It's not Sherman's first church-and-state lawsuit and not the first to involve his children. He has sought removal of religious symbols from city seals and a ban on Boy Scout meetings at public schools.

Some school administrators have complained the law is too ill-defined and puts many teachers and some students in an awkward position.

The Shermans may have legitimate concerns, but they are suing the wrong party when they target the school district, said Brian McCarthy, an attorney for the district.

"The General Assembly — for better, worse, foolish or wise — passed this law and it's not up to school districts to pick and choose which laws they follow," McCarthy said. "He needs to go after the entity that enforces that law."

Teen challenges moment-of-silence law (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 31, 2007, 04:22:21 PM
SF Chronicle calls evangelical Christians 'mindless lemmings'

The head of a media watchdog group is appalled that editors at the San Francisco Chronicle permitted publication of a column that claims evangelical Christians "have been bad for the soul of this country."

Mark Morford argues in a recent San Francisco Chronicle column that the urban public education system has hit "rock bottom" and is "churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults, and society will pay dearly, very soon." The liberal columnist went on to write, "and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait."

Bob Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute, says Morford's rhetoric is "over the top" and "designed to ridicule, demonize and reduce one group to a subhuman status."

"The editors know that there won't be a mob of Christians screaming jihad and threatening to cut their heads off because of bad portrayals," he says. "They know that Christians say they come in love, and they're not for seeking revenge. So they're an easy target. And also, Christians represent the last group that is standing up against the liberal tide of sexual liberalism [and] abortion."

Knight says although one must be careful when making parallels to Nazi Germany, he was struck by a study he did of how Jews were portrayed in the 1930s.

"They started with ridicule, and they ended up with columns and cartoons portraying the Jews as a menace to the rest of society. First they softened the German people up to regard Jews as buffoons, then they moved into regarding them as a menace," explains Knight. "We can't afford to let that happen in the United States with Christians, so we can't be silent about hateful portrayals like this."

He says while the San Francisco Chronicle may be liberal like other major newspapers, it takes itself seriously and rarely allows such "bigotry and outright hatred."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on October 31, 2007, 07:40:45 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

It should be obvious that the devil wants Christians to be good little boys and girls, sit down, and be quiet. The only danger we pose is standing up, proclaiming CHRIST, calling good GOOD, and calling evil EVIL. It's just not convenient that Christians are slowing down the devil's progress. We also have RIGHTS and VOTE - now that is horribly dangerous.

San Francisco is the perfect place for this mindless demonizing of Christians to start. After all, they prefer naked gay folks performing obscene acts on their public streets. Christians saying "NO!" are dangerous.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on October 31, 2007, 07:51:08 PM
Thank you Tom.  I was so tongue tied on this one I did't know where to start!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 31, 2007, 09:19:06 PM
The San Francisco Chronicle also supports gay rights.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on October 31, 2007, 10:20:27 PM
The San Francisco Chronicle also supports gay rights.

I'm sure it does!  I'm also surprise their latest earthquake was only a 5.6!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on October 31, 2007, 10:23:19 PM
A much bigger one is coming though in the Lord's time. When it does San Francisco won't be the only ones feeling it.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on October 31, 2007, 11:47:50 PM
A much bigger one is coming though in the Lord's time. When it does San Francisco won't be the only ones feeling it.

You got that right Pastor!  Amen.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 02, 2007, 04:06:00 PM
Judge rules beating victim guilty of 'evangelism' 
Says persecutors had right to attack because woman shared Christian testimony

An Iranian judge has concluded a woman who was attacked and beaten and had her sewing shop equipment destroyed by vandals has no legal recourse because she was guilty of "evangelism," according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs, a worldwide ministry to the Persecuted Church.

WND earlier reported that persecution of Christians inside Iran is on the increase, and the new report appears to confirm that.

VOM said the newest testimony is from its contacts inside Iran, and actually depicts "the resilience of believers who are sharing the gospel despite persecution."

The woman, whose name was not revealed, was running a tailoring business, and had volunteered to teach three young ladies how to sew. As part of the conversations that arose, her testimony about Christianity came up, and in response to a number of questions, she started teaching them about Christianity, Voice of the Martyrs said.

The VOM contacts reported, however, one of the students was from "a fanatic Muslim family," and when they discovered the teaching, they first opposed it.

"But this young lady was seriously following her Christian beliefs. Things got worse, to the extent that her parents started beating her up and threatening her if she didn't leave her faith," the VOM report said.

"They told her, 'If you don't return to Islam, we will keep beating you until you die,'" VOM said.

She eventually fled to another city, and in their subsequent search for her, the parents and other family members sought the sewing instructor.

"They thought she might have taken refuge in the home of the lady who was teaching her how to sew. They had heard about her and the fact that she had evangelized their daughter. In any case, they contacted that lady and threatened her by telling her that if she did not send their daughter back to them, they would close down her shop and would even arrange to kill her," the report said.

"Within fundamentalist Islam, the penalty of someone who turns from Islam is death. That is why they had the right to kill her if they wanted to. Obviously, their daughter was not staying with that seamstress, but the parents did not believe this," VOM said.

"On one of the days when the seamstress was working in the dress shop, the young woman's family, including the father, went to the shop and broke all her equipment. A couple of ladies from the family started beating up the woman. They kept telling her that she forced their daughter to turn from Islam and become a Christian. They eventually informed the police about it. This lady was taken to the court because of all that had happened to her," the report continued.

"The judge considered her to be the guilty one. He told her that there was no way of refunding all the broken items in her shop. The judge said the persecutors had the right to attack her. The judge told the lady that if he heard about her doing evangelism again, he would punish her more severely," VOM said.

She then moved to another city, where churchgoers helped her with her medical costs, and Voice of the Martyrs made a commitment to help her with her efforts to replace equipment and supplies in order to open another shop.

Earlier WND reported on plans by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi" by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West. Shiites believe the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941, but when he returns he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

Voice of the Martyrs, which makes available a newsletter providing updates on the persecution of Christians around the world, then confirmed Christians in Iran are being detained, interrogated and imprisoned.

"This … wave of persecution is coming against Christians that meet to worship God in the privacy of their homes," VOM said its Iranian sources revealed then. "We have confirmed reports that several believers have been interrogated and one house was stormed by an elite police team that confiscated a computer, several CDs and Christian materials. A Christian was arrested in this attack, and remains in prison."

"Clearly, Iran's government is alarmed at the growth of the Christian faith there," said Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the ministry that serves persecuted Christians worldwide.

Experts monitoring such persecution say that Christians make up a tiny percentage of the people of Iran, where the government "officially" allows Christians to practice their faith but in reality intervenes and harasses Christians regularly.

For example, Christians are not allowed to print literature, including Sunday bulletins, and converts from Islam to Christianity are labeled apostate and subject to the death penalty. Christian pastors are under constant surveillance, and many are forced to sign documents saying they will not allow Muslims to be in their worship services.

Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who began smuggling Bibles into eastern Europe and Asia in the 1940s. Shortly later Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

Title: Pastor on trial for refusal to work with female minister
Post by: Shammu on November 07, 2007, 09:17:55 PM
Pastor on trial for refusal to work with female minister
Court charges him and 2 other church leaders with criminal discrimination
Posted: November 3, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

A pastor who refused to work with a female minister because of his biblical convictions has been charged with criminal discrimination by a Finnish court.

Ari Norro will be on trial Nov. 16 for allegedly violating Finland's laws barring discrimination in the workplace or in public based on gender and other grounds, including sexual orientation, Christianity Today magazine reported.

Norro is a member of the Lutheran Evangelical Association in Finland, a group within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland that believes the Bible does not allow women to serve as pastors.

In March, Christianity Today reported, he was scheduled to preach at a communion service in the southern town of Hyvinkää as a visiting pastor. When Petra Pohjanraito showed up for her shift to help distribute communion, Norro said he must leave, because he could not take part in a service with a female pastor.

"We were totally embarrassed by her arrival, for we understood very well that she was coming (to serve) at the altar," Norro told Christianity Today.

Norro said he offered to leave the church, but Pohjanraito decided to leave instead.

The incident was turned over to police when the chair of the Hyvinkää Church Council filed a request for an investigation, according to the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Christianity Today said two other church leaders also have been charged for not interfering to prevent the alleged violation of law.

The case could impact the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Finland's controversy over whether homosexuals can be ordained and whether pastors can bless same-sex couples.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, former president of IsoKirja College in Finland, insisted the government has nothing to do with religion and wants to stay out of the discussion.

"This case has nothing to do with religion; it has everything to do with a perceived lack of equality," he told Christianity Today.

Norro contends he did not commit a crime, because his country's constitution – which says no one should be treated differently because of his religious convictions – overrules the state penal code.

"Naturally, to be accused is far from being pleasant," Norro told CT. "It's sad that the church can't resolve problems like this one (by itself). In this case, the church itself winds a rope round its neck, and then gives the end of the rope to the … state (court)."

Norro, who probably would be fined if found guilty, argues other denominations, such as the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholic church, do not ordain women, but they are not accused of committing a crime.

He fears pastors in Finland soon will be put on trial for refusing to work with a homosexual pastor or even for teaching God does not approve of homosexual relationships.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on November 07, 2007, 09:22:22 PM
This is a good example of why Jefferson said there should be separation of Church and state. Not to keep religion out of the state but to keep the state, out of the religion.

And no they are not worlds apart. "Criminal Discrimination"? You're talking about dragging someone into court over their convictions. Our culture has an ongoing battle with the church for as long as I can remember. We had the rise in sex outside of marriage, divorce and abortion, women's lib and gay rights. All that changes are the activists slogans and the protest signs,the target seems to always be the same, the church.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 10, 2007, 01:47:20 PM
'Spies' identified as Christian photographers 
'They had started studio to support themselves'

A team of "foreign spies" arrested by North Korean authorities – and possibility executed – actually are Christians who had started a portrait photography studio to support themselves, according to The Voice of the Martyrs, which ministers to the Persecuted Church worldwide.

The organization based in Bartlesville, Okla., is reporting that authorities from the National Security Service of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea held a news conference in Pyongyang recently to announce the arrest of "foreign spies" and "native citizens working for a foreign intelligence service."

However, the people arrested were, in fact, "Christian believers and not spies," VOM confirmed.

Li Su Gil, a spokesman for the security service, did not identify those arrested but confirmed they "carried out the missions by means of diverse espionage equipment," according to VOM.

VOM then identified the following North Korean Christians "who have disappeared and are believed to have been arrested by government authorities:"

    Onseong, North Hamgyong Province: Chul Huh, male; Chun-Il Jang, male, 39; Young-Si Jin, male, 32; Myung-Chul Kim, male, 36; Nam-Suk Kang, male, 48; and Young-Yae Lee, female, 37. Yoeryong, North Hamgyong Province: San-Ho Kang, male, 36. Cheongjin, North Hamgyong Province: Mi-Hae Park, female, 30; Suk-Chin Suh, male, 29.

"These North Korean Christians had started a portrait photography studio to help support themselves, and had registered their businesses with appropriate government authorities," VOM said. "According to VOM sources working in North Korea, they were not involved in espionage activities. It is believed that equipment taken by the government was in fact photography equipment used in their portrait work."

"Following Jesus Christ is considered treason in North Korea, where the government mandates that worship is reserved for deceased dictator Kim Il Sung and his son, the current dictator, Kim Jong-il," said Todd Nettleton, spokesman for VOM. "The Voice of the Martyrs is proud to stand with Christ's followers in North Korea, and deeply concerned for the well-being of our brothers and sisters there.

"We call on the North Korean government to release these Christian believers, who were involved in legitimate business activities to support themselves and their families," he said.

The Voice of the Martyrs has been involved in helping North Korean Christians for decades, including a ministry project that launched thousands of "Scripture balloons," mylar balloons filled with helium and printed on either side with biblical passages.

"VOM has conducted other projects to help North Korean Christians but cannot discuss details publicly to protect the safety of VOM workers and contacts inside North Korea," the ministry said.

The location of those recently arrested also is not known, VOM said.

"We pray that they are alive," Nettleton said. "But we know it is possible that they have finished their race on earth and gone on to their eternal reward in heaven. We encourage Christians everywhere to pray for our brothers and sisters in North Korea, who must constantly face the threat of arrest, torture and execution simply for living out their faith in Jesus Christ."

The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who began smuggling Bibles into eastern Europe and Asia in the 1940s. Shortly later Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 12, 2007, 12:30:23 PM
Bible-store owner riddled with bullets
Now Islamic terrorist pegged for allegedly torturing, killing Christian

A senior Hamas militant is suspected of torturing and killing the manager of a Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip who was found dead last month, according to Palestinian security officials.

The body of Rami Ayyad, who managed the only Christian bookstore in Gaza, was discovered last month riddled with gunshot and stab wounds. Ayyad, a Baptist, was accused by Gaza-based Islamic groups of engaging in missionary activities. His bookstore, owned by the Palestinian Bible Society, was firebombed in April after which he told relatives he received numerous death threats from Islamists.

The day of his abduction, Ayyad reportedly said he was being followed by a car that had no license plates.

Security officials associated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization told WND yesterday there is information Ashraf Abu Layla, the central Gaza chief of Hamas' so-called military wing, the Izz al-Din Al Qassam Brigades, was behind the murder which is widely viewed as an anti-Christian attack.

The security officials said Hamas forces closed the investigation into the death of Ayyad in spite of what they said was evidence of Layla's involvement.

(Story continues below)

A Hamas spokesman denied the accusation while a top member of Hamas' "military wing," contacted by WND and speaking on condition of anonymity, would neither confirm nor deny his group was behind the Ayyad killing.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since last June, when Hamas took complete control of the Gaza Strip, seizing all U.S.-backed Fatah security compounds.

Last month, WND quoted witnesses stating Ayyad was publicly tortured a few blocks from his store before he was shot to death.

The witnesses said they saw three armed men, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Ayyad repeatedly with clubs and the butts of their guns while they accused him of attempting to spread Christianity in Gaza. The witnesses said that after sustaining the beating, Ayyad was shot by all three men.

Ayyad left behind a pregnant wife and two young children. No group has taken responsibility for the attack.

Christians warned: Accept Islamic law

Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza, told WND in a recent interview all Christians in Gaza engaged in missionary activity will be "dealt with harshly."

Jihadia Salafiya, allied with Hamas, is suspected of a slew of Islamist attacks, including firebombing Internet cafes and one in May against a United Nations school in Gaza after it allowed boys and girls to participate in the same sporting event. One person was killed in that attack.

When Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, there were widespread fears it would impose hardline Islamic rule in the territory, and that life for Christians might deteriorate.

About 3,000 Christians live in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of over 1 million.

Immediately after Hamas' Gaza coup, Abu Saqer told WND in an exclusive interview Christians could continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accepted Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings.

"[Now that Hamas is in power,] the situation has changed 180 degrees in Gaza," said Abu Saqer, speaking from Gaza.

"Jihadia Salafiya and other Islamic movements will ensure Christian schools and institutions show publicly what they are teaching to be sure they are not carrying out missionary activity," he said.

Abu Saqer accused the leadership of the Gaza Christian community of "proselytizing and trying to convert Muslims with funding from American evangelicals."

"This missionary activity is endangering the entire Christian community in Gaza," he said.

Abu Saqer claimed there was "no need" for the thousands of Christians in Gaza to maintain a large number of institutions in the territory.

He said Hamas "must work to impose an Islamic rule or it will lose the authority it has and the will of the people."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on November 12, 2007, 01:05:08 PM
This is the sick, barbaric, and cowardly killing of innocents that is Islam. It really is just this simple.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 12, 2007, 01:15:21 PM
Amen. The more I read on islam the more that I see the resemblances to communism and to the mafiosi.

It is just pure evil. With all of their desires to instill protection taxes and oppressive laws on non-muslims as well as muslims I cannot fathom why people that proclaim to want freedoms are still supporting them. The only answer can be that they are truly blind and deaf as well.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 05:28:49 PM
Man Who Attended Prayer Vigil Killed by Officials in Trinidad

by Jeremy Reynalds
November 16, 2007

SAN FERNANDO, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (ANS) -- A man who had just attended a prayer vigil was shot and killed by police in Trinidad.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 6.

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago comprises two islands between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean in the West Indies, off the coast of northeast Venezuela.

According to Salem Voice News (SVM News), Joel Ramsingh, 21, an employee of the San Fernando City Corporation, had attended a prayer vigil for the nation on Mon. night at a Baptist church.

SVM reported that Ramsingh was killed by police officers at a house in Rousillac owned by Magistrate Rae Roopchand.

SVM News reported that police said Ramsingh and an accomplice got shot during an altercation with police, who had responded to a call that two men were seen removing household items from Roopchand's house.

Police said they received information of "unusual activity" near Roopchand's home. They investigated and gunshots followed, SVM reported.

Ramsingh died, and SVM reported the other man sustained gunshot wounds. He is in stable condition at the San Fernando General Hospital where he is under police guard.

SVM News reported that Ramsingh's relatives said he went to his house after the prayer meting, but later received a phone call, after which he left in a car. Police subsequently reported that the other suspect shot at officers when they he was apprehended at the magistrate's house in Rousillac. Police returned fire.

The entire congregation of the St. Peter's Spiritual Baptist Church was shocked at his death.

One of the prayer meeting leaders told SVM News that Ramsingh was baptized at the church three months ago and had turned his life around. "He never committed any major crime, but he had changed his lifestyle and was going to church regularly. He didn't deserve to die that way," she said.

Ramsingh and family were former Hindus and Indians. He leaves a wife and two children. They said he did not own a gun and was not a thief, but a born-again man of God.

Mother Smith, Ramsingh's spiritual mother, told SVM News, "Since his baptism, he has become very spiritual. He has been participating in the (prayer meeting) every night since it started."

She added, " ... He was here and left around 11.30 pm saying he was going home, as he wanted no part of (the election) victory celebrations of the People's National Movement's victory at the polls in the San Fernando East constituency."

Salem Voice Ministries ministers the gospel and provides relief services in India and third world countries.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 05:30:13 PM
Sharing Life Amid Hopelessness

by Staff
November 16, 2007

( - When Dristi, age 5, failed to show up at the Bridge of Hope center for several days, the center's staff went to check on her. They were shocked at what they found. There was no sign at all of the family's home. The whole area where the little girl's house had once stood looked like a river.

Dristi's family was just one of 90 Bridge of Hope families who lost their homes due to monsoon flooding in India's West Bengal state this summer. Because the staff members at two Bridge of Hope centers had established relationships with the families, they were able to provide for their immediate needs resulting from the disaster. And, thanks to the generosity of Gospel for Asia supporters, these 90 families in West Bengal-and hundreds of others-received emergency food rations and household supplies.

The monsoon rains are an annual event in India. The weather pattern that creates the monsoon brings rain almost daily from June through September. Since the country relies heavily on agriculture, the annual rainy season is an integral part of the country's economy. However, this year's rains were much heavier and lasted longer than normal. Dristi's family was shocked at the severity of this year's flooding.

When floodwaters began to overtake their home, Dristi's father, Durgesh, gathered up his wife, children and what little they could carry and took refuge on higher ground. They crouched under the veranda of a shop for three days. After two days with no food, Durgesh took his daughter back to the Bridge of Hope Center because he knew she would receive something to eat. The staff was glad to find out the family was safe. They provided them with emergency supplies and prayed for them.

Amulya, whose son, Tanay, is also a student at this Bridge of Hope center, barely held back tears as he described his family's situation.

"Our last grain of rice was gone, and I was in a great dilemma. I didn't know what to do," Amulya explained. "I had no strength left in me to face the next day, and it was then that I saw two women from the Bridge of Hope center approaching our home through the water, which was slowly receding. My heart bubbled with joy to hear that they were going to help us!"

In another village in West Bengal, Bridge of Hope staffers also assisted families in need. Kanaka, whose daughter, Ela, is a student at the center, was one of those who received help. She was at the end of her rope when the Bridge of Hope staff brought her the supplies.

"We had nothing to eat. We lost everything in the flood. My husband was sick for a week. My children were hungry and asking for food. I didn't know how I would feed them. Thank you very much for supplying these things for me," she said.

Janaki's son, Panchali, is also a student at this Bridge of Hope center. She told the Bridge of Hope staff her own harrowing tale of escape.

"Water was everywhere. There were no roads, no drinking water and no food. My husband tried to go out, but he fell into a deep pit and broke his leg. I knew my family would starve because he could not run his rickshaw until his leg got better," Janaki said.

When the Bridge of Hope staff learned about the family's dilemma, they immediately arranged for them to receive emergency supplies.

"I was troubled, but you brought peace into my heart. You are doing a holy work," Janaki told them.

Distribution of emergency flood relief supplies is simply the first step toward helping those affected by this summer's monsoon flooding. As the water recedes, there are plans to help families rebuild homes lost in the natural disaster.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 05:30:44 PM
Christian pastor flees Palestinian town amid threats

by Dan Wooding
November 16, 2007

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL (ANS) -- A Palestinian-American Evangelical Christian pastor has fled the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah for the safety of nearby Jerusalem following increasingly hostile threats by officials within Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

This news was revealed in a story carried on

Born in the US, Isa Bajalia returned to his parents' hometown of Ramallah more than 16 years ago to bring humanitarian aid and comfort to the Palestinian Arabs, as well as spread the Gospel.

"But his increasingly bold missionary activity and his refusal to allow Muslim elements to encroach on his family's property - a common abuse suffered by Palestinian Christians - resulted in a Ramallah municipal official who moonlights as a member of the Tanzim terrorist wing of Abbas' Fatah movement threatening to cripple and murder Bajalia," said the story.

"Bajalia told Cybercast News Service that following last month's brutal murder of a fellow Christian in the Gaza Strip for his sharing of the Gospel, he is taking the threats very seriously."

The story continued, "The worried pastor first turned to the Palestinian Authority for protection, but was told by Palestinian security officials that they would only help him if he first paid $30,000.

"Bajalia then relocated to Jerusalem, where he filed a complaint with the American consulate in an effort to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to do its job and provide security to all its citizens. After a week of waiting, Bajalia had received no response from the Americans."

Title: Christian Family Attacked in India for Not Celebrating Hindu Festival
Post by: Shammu on November 17, 2007, 05:31:44 PM
Christian Family Attacked in India for Not Celebrating Hindu Festival

by James Varghese
November 16, 2007

CHHATTISGARH, INDIA (ANS) -- A Christian family was attacked by Hindu radicals during its family devotional time.

The incident occurred in Chhattisgarh, India, on Nov. 10 at about 9 p.m.

According to a report on, the victims were Pritam Arse, 53, his wife Priyadarshini, 45, his son Ravi Arse, 24, another son Prakash 22, who is blind, and daughter Mamta, 18.

The report said that while the family was praying, they heard the sound of loud firecrackers in their yard. When they went to investigate, they were confronted by more than 20 young men, some of whom were obviously drunk.

The young men cursed the family, the web site reported, for praying instead of celebrating a Hindu festival. Then the young men reportedly slapped Ravi on his face and pushed him down on the ground outside the house. They also, the report continued, threatened to murder the family and kidnap Mamta.

The incident continued until about 11 p.m.

The next morning, one of the family's neighbors who was also one of the attackers, said the group had been instructed by a radical Hindu group to attack the family. The young neighbor even told the family that the alleged instigators of the attack had provided alcohol for the group.

According to, when the family attempted to file a police report about the incident, police refused to accept the complaint. The family's pastor was attacked earlier this year on July 1.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on November 19, 2007, 05:26:07 AM
Brothers and Sisters,

It's almost impossible for us to imagine how horrible Christians are treated in many parts of the world. These are things that we should know and pray about frequently. Knowledge of these horrors will also cause us to give thanks for the freedoms we still enjoy in this part of the world. Some of those freedoms are being taken away as we speak, and the times might become hard for Christians in this part of the world also.

The main point I want to make is we should never take our freedom to worship for granted. This is something to give thanks for every day. Christians are being persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, and killed in other parts of the world for what we might not even be giving thanks for. The numbers of the persecuted and the severity of the persecution is rapidly rising. If these are the last days of this Age of Grace, we can expect things around the world to get much worse, including our part of the world.

In the meantime, we should give thanks, pray for the persecuted, and yield ourselves to GOD'S Use. That is our reasonable service to GOD.

Love In Christ,

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on November 26, 2007, 07:28:44 PM
Homeschoolers say Nazism revived by court ruling
'Custody shall be terminated for fanatical Bible students who endanger children'

A new court ruling categorizing homeschooling as "child welfare endangerment" contains "chilling" parallels to earlier decisions that in their time allowed German authorities to simply confiscate children from their parents if they were part of "fanatical Bible" groups, according to a homeschooling advocacy group.

Those earlier decisions, according to information being publicized by Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit, an organization that advocates for homeschoolers in Germany, were from the Nazi era.

As WND has reported, the newest court ruling not only found the basis for child endangerment in homeschooling, but also determined a local government was remiss in allowing a mother to take her two children to another country where homeschooling is legal.

The decision from the Federal High Court in Karlsruhe, Germany's highest court, was reported by the German edition of Agence France-Presse as well as Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit.

Now the organization is noting the similarities with earlier court rulings, when Adolf Hitler was in power.

A ruling from the State Court in Hamburg dated 1936 pointed to "endangerment of the mental wellbeing of children, who would have been denied participation in the national community…," a premise that corresponds to the recent Federal Supreme Court decision, the group said.

"Only the words have been chosen somewhat differently by the Supreme Court in order to conceal the fascist spirit of the decision," the analysis said.

"It is quite chilling that the reasons stated by the authorities and courts in child custody terminations in Hitler's regime … correspond in their spirit exactly to the decision recently rendered by the Federal Supreme Court," the analysis said.

It said what courts used to call the "national community" now is the "public" and what was "participation in the national community" now has been called a justified interest in "counteracting the formation of religiously or ideologically characterized parallel societies and integrating minorities in this area."

The analysis found that the "National Socialist (Nazi) regime" specifically targeted members of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, including the State Court in Hamburg decision from 1936 in which judges found: "Custody rights shall be terminated for parents who, as fanatical Bible students, cannot rear their children in accordance with today's State and because this endangers the mental wellbeing of the children, who are thereby prevented from participating in the national community."

Hundreds of children were taken from their families for reasons no more important than they failed to sing Nazi songs with others, the analysis noted.

"Authorities, who interpreted the civil code according to their national socialist legal notions, considered it beyond question that the childrearing practices of Jehovah's Witnesses was 'endangerment of child welfare' and 'mental and moral neglect,'" the analysis said.

It was simply that their lives conflicted with the Hitler Youth Law: "All of German youth, except in the parental home and at school, shall be reared to serve the people and the national community physically, mentally and morally in the sense of national socialism in the Hitler youth."

A 1937 decree followed, requiring "all state police bureaus to 'pressure the competent civil courts to terminate the personal custody rights of members of the International Bible Students Association who endanger the mental wellbeing of their children through their illegal activities and through their adherence to the teachings…"

The new court decision did not directly identify the family involved but described the case of two children from a homeschooling family in Paderborn.

The court found the city and its social services agencies were "obviously unsuited" to the task of enforcing mandatory public school attendance, and rather than protecting against "child welfare endangerment," the city allowed the family to move to Austria where the two children now are being educated by an "uncertified" mother.

An internet blogger's site, Principle Discovery, which monitors some such situations, also translated the report and said the Paderborn case specifically involved issues of religious belief, but the decision also could impact another homeschooling case, from Bremen, which WND has reported.

In that case, the parents have been battling the government over their children's education for educational, competency and cultural reasons, not necessarily religious reasons. For a time, however, they were relegated to begging a public court system for their own money to use for groceries after authorities froze both personal and business bank accounts to pay a $6,300 fine for homeschooling.

Dagmar Neubronner, who with her husband, Tillman, runs a home-based publishing business and homeschools sons Moritz, 10, and Thomas, 8, has been keeping the Home School Legal Defense Association updated on their troubles, including a recent freeze on their bank accounts.

However, a posting on Laigle's Forum, which also has been monitoring the situation in Germany, said the family's lawyer had contacted them to say their bank accounts had been made accessible again, and an application had been filed that would prevent the government from changing the custody status of their children without a court hearing first.

The Neubronners had sent their children to stay with unidentified friends over the weekend, because of their concern over the application of such laws to child custody situations, the posting said.

"The German authorities are obsessed with the idea that dissidents there – read: Christians – might start a 'parallel society.' Ironically, as one of the activists pointed out … bureaucratic Germany easily qualifies as a 'parallel society' on its own right because the authorities there have broken with European precedent and with all other European nations in completely banning homeschooling," the editor at Netwerk Bildungsfreiheit noted.

The new court ruling involves, court records show, "two children of a Baptist couple from Paderborn."

The court ruling from Karlsruhe, the public "has a justified interest in counteracting the formation of religiously or ideologically determined parallel societies and to integrate minorities in this area."

Paderborn officials had proven to be "obviously derelict" in the case, because they "facilitated" the family's move to Austria, the court ruling said.

The ruling said the family remains obligated to send the children to a German school.

WND has reported previously how German officials targeted an American family of Baptist missionaries for deportation because they belong to a group that refuses "to give their children over to the state school system."

A teenager, Melissa Busekros, also returned to her family months after German authorities took her from her home and forcibly detained her in a psychiatric facility for being homeschooled.

And WND has reported on other families facing fines, frozen bank accounts and court-ordered state custody of their children for resisting Germany's mandatory public school requirements, which by government admission are assigned to counter "the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views."

In the case involving Melissa, a German appeals court ultimately ordered legal custody of the teenager, who was taken from her home by a police squad and detained in a psychiatric hospital for being homeschooled be returned to her family because she no longer is in danger.

The lower court's ruling had ordered police officers to take Melissa – then 15 – from her home, if necessary by force, and place her in a mental institution for a variety of evaluations. She was kept in custody from early February until April, when she turned 16 and under German law was subject to different laws.

At that point she simply walked away from the foster home where she had been required to stay and returned home.

Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has commented on the issue on a blog, noting the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole."

Drautz said homeschool students' test results may be as good as for those in school, but "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible citizens."

The German government's defense of its "social" teachings and mandatory public school attendance was clarified during an earlier dispute on which WND reported, when a German family wrote to officials objecting to police officers picking their child up at home and delivering him to a public school.

"The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling," said a government letter in response. "... You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. ... In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on November 27, 2007, 02:58:36 AM
Hello Pastor Roger,

Bluntly, any country so insecure that they demand forced indoctrination and brainwashing of children is a country not worth living in. There is no freedom there at all. They basically want to eliminate independent thought, including religious thoughts and beliefs. When it gets to that point, everyone is living in a giant concentration camp, and it's time to either leave or take your country back. It's no longer a free country, and they even want to eliminate leaving to escape their tyranny, so it's closer to a giant concentration camp than they think.

Things like the elimination of homeschooling should also be watched closely in this part of the world. This must never be tolerated. Forced government brainwashing of children in any area IS NOT tolerated in a free country. The attempt means that the country is no longer FREE unless the people fight for it. There comes a time when all free people must fight to keep and preserve their freedom or become slaves. Most people I know would die fighting before becoming slaves, and that includes me.

Title: Payments Demanded from Imprisoned Pastor in Azerbaijan
Post by: Shammu on November 27, 2007, 04:27:25 PM
Payments Demanded from Imprisoned Pastor in Azerbaijan

by Staff
November 27, 2007

( - Family and friends of Pastor Zaur Balaev are said to be "shocked" by the financial demands he is facing in prison. According to VOMC sources, hot water to wash or do laundry and cook food all require payment.

Family is allowed to visit only after paying "a considerable amount." Zaur's wife was allowed to stay with him for three days for his birthday, but as she was leaving the prison, she said, "I am shocked by the conditions and the sum spent, because I was forced to pay for everything."

Speaking to Forum 18, officials deny that payment has been demanded. "The state pays for everything, including food," said Mehman Sadykov, spokesperson for the Justice Ministry. "Such reports don't correspond with reality."

Pray for strength for Balaev and his family during this time. Pray that their appeal will be successful. Pray that Balaev will be a testimony to other prisoners, demonstrating the love and power of Christ.

Payments Demanded from Imprisoned Pastor in Azerbaijan (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 02, 2007, 10:39:09 PM
Muslim Militants Loot Christian Farmer's Rice Crops

A Christian rice farmer in Pakistan was without income Sunday, December 2, after armed Muslim militants robbed him of his 7.5 acre of rice crops, the victim and investigators said.

Robby Simon said he had been robbed off "ripened rice crops worth" nearly $7,000, a huge amount in the impoverished region around his village of Tara Tibbi in District Mandi Bhaudin of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

He said the attack happened November 14 "in broad daylight", but police has so far refused to arrest any of the suspects. Police officials were not immediately available for comments, however security forces have been criticized by several advocacy groups of not doing enough to prevent attacks against Pakistan’s Christian minority.

Pakistani advocacy group Rays of Development (ROD) and relatives of Simon told BosNewsLife that militants carrying AK-47 rifles and other weapons forcibly entered in to the farm house of Simon and tied up his workers, identified as Nazir Masih and Muhammad Saleem, with ropes.


A witness, Yousaf Masih, said the assailants reaped up the crop within 3.5 hours during the day light. "They finished harvesting and took away the looted rice crop with them, waving fire arms and saying: 'Christians are born to clean manure, therefore go and clean the cesspits and you (Christian) are not supposed to do cultivation'," he said, his voice trembling.

He added that the Muslim robbers "also blatantly challenged us to do whatever we (Christians) can do against them."

Masih said that the culprits are the residents of the same village and "very influential and powerful," and use bribery to avoid justice. Other Christian farmers have reportedly complained about similar incidents.

ROD Chairman Ferhan Mazher told BosNewsLife that his group "condemned this atrocity", adding that Pakistan is the home of people of diverse religions and cultures. "Therefore no one should think that this is their land and all other people are their slaves or no one should usurp or exploit the rights of other human beings," he added.

Title: British imam's daughter under police protection after converting to Christianity
Post by: Shammu on December 06, 2007, 04:26:51 PM
British imam's daughter under police protection after converting to Christianity
December 5, 2007

Ruth Gledhill

A British imam's daughter is living in fear of her life under police protection after she received death threats from her family for converting to Christianity.

The young woman, aged 32, whose father is a Muslim imam in the north of England, has moved house 45 times to escape detection by her family since she became a Christian 15 years ago.

Hannah, who uses a pseudonym to hide her identity, told The Times how she became a Christian after she ran away from home at 16 to escape an arranged marriage.

The threats against her became more serious a month ago, prompting police to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.

She was speaking on the eve of the launch of a new charity in London today to promote greater religious awareness. Muslims in Britain who wish to convert to Christianity are living in fear of their lives because of Islamic apostasy laws, a senior Church of England bishop will warn at the invitaton-only launch in west London.

The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, will claim "freedom to believe" is under threat in Britain because of Islamic hostility to conversion.

Hannah, now employed in multi-faith youth work and who gives talks to churches on Islam, is the daughter of a Lancashire imam whose seven other children are demanding she return to Islam. She has been in hiding,

since her home was attacked by a group of men armed with knives, axes and hammers, in 1994. She will describe today how she is in fear of her life after the death threats against her were recently renewed.

She said: "I left home and I had nowhere to go. My religious education teacher gave me somewhere to live. Even though she tried to make me stay at home on Sundays, I am quite rebellious by nature and I started to go to church with her out of curiosity."

She said she had been in hiding, on and off, ever since, and has now been given a telephone number she can call for an instant response by police should she need help. The latest threat was a text message from one of her brothers, warning he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam.

Hannah said she was looking forward to getting married so she could change her name and escape detection by her family. Not all Muslims in Britain are this extreme, she believes.

"It is representative of some Muslims. I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word. But I do not think every Muslim would actually act on that."

Earlier this year, a Policy Exchange study found that 36 per cent of British Muslims aged between 16 and 24 believed those who converted to another religion should be punished by death.

Dr Nazir-Ali will speak out on behalf of Hannah and others suffering persecution for their beliefs in the UK at today's launch of Lapido Media, a new charity which is seeking to promote "religious literacy" in world affairs.

The Bishop is expected to describe how sharia law in many countries, including parts of Britain, punishes apostasy with death and is viewed as treason by theocratic governments. Dr Nazir-Ali will call on society to offer greater protection, by increasing understanding of what makes people vulnerable.

Pakistan-born Dr Nazir-Ali, who has a Christian and Muslim background, is patron of Lapido Media, funded by donations and trusts including the Jerusalem Trust. The word ‘lapido’ means ‘to speak up for’ in the Acholi language of Northern Uganda. The charity has been named in honour of the courage of Acholi church leaders who campaigned for an end to a little-reported 20-year war there, involving the abduction of 25,000 children.

British imam's daughter under police protection after converting to Christianity (

Title: Re: British imam's daughter under police protection after converting to Christianity
Post by: Shammu on December 06, 2007, 04:31:51 PM
I know the Koran says that anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word. But I do not think every Muslim would actually act on that."

This is what any convert has to face. When is the world going to wake up and realize that Islam is not as peaceful as they claim to be? Think about it people......... Today UK, tomorrow the world!!

The latest threat was a text message from one of her brothers, warning he could not be responsible for his actions if she did not return to Islam.

Of course he is responsible for his actions!!!!!!!!

She should have him arrested for assault. That's probably the best thing for him, too. Let him cry out to Allah to deliver him from the infidels, only to be disappointed.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2007, 03:22:48 PM
Educator says school's anti-Christian actions reflect society's attitudes

A teacher in North Dakota has been suspended without pay for showing a video to an eighth-grade class that talked about salvation through Jesus Christ.

Michael Nider is facing a three-week suspension after parents complained about a video he showed during a health class. School officials in Bismarck say Nider showed a video that asked, "What if you had a friend who died without knowing Jesus as their personal savior?"

Dr. Ed Gamble, president of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools, says in a politically correct culture where teachers are allowed to promote homosexuality or Islam to young pupils, no one should be surprised at the anti-Christian bias in the government-run school system.

"There's a growing hostility toward Christianity in the culture at large, and you're naturally going to see that reflected in the culture's number-one engine -- the public school. It's inevitable," he says. "Why would we be surprised? It's been coming for 50 years. And now that the fruit's on the tree, we're all deeply concerned about it; but we've been watching the tree grow for 50 years."

In addition to the unpaid leave, Nider will be forced to take a sensitivity training class and write letters of apology to parents and students.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2007, 03:24:21 PM
UW-Madison sued over allocation of student fees to religious club

Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are being accused of breaking an agreement and treating members of a religious club as second-class citizens.

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Center for Academic Freedom have filed a motion for preliminary injunction against the university on behalf of Roman Catholic Foundation (RCF). University officials are accused of violating the terms of a seven-month-old settlement that was designed to give the student religious club the same rights as other campus groups.

Earlier this year, a federal court ordered the university to stop enforcing its non-discrimination policy against the student organization. The school agreed to stop discriminating against RCF when allocating student activity fees. However, as ADF litigation staff counsel David Hacker says, the university has not honored that agreement.

"We've asked the court to order the university to reimburse the Roman Catholic Foundation for its student fee budget," says the attorney. "This was a budget that was approved a year ago and went through all the proper channels -- and all student organizations at Wisconsin-Madison are able to request student fees to fund their expression." According to Hacker, RCF followed that procedure -- but the university has decided it does not want to pay the fees.

Hacker says the university cannot pull student activity fees from the RCF just because it does not like its message. "The university needs to treat Christian students and their student organizations the same as all other students on campus," he argues. "We're not asking for special treatment, just the same treatment."

The court is being asked to make the university distribute the student fees on an equal basis.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2007, 08:42:02 PM
Teacher rants against South, church and Rush Limbaugh
'When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth'

The classroom rantings of a teacher in a California school district who targeted the South, church, Republicans, Christians, conservatives and Rush Limbaugh have triggered a First Amendment lawsuit, according to Advocates for Faith and Freedom, an advocacy law firm.

The teacher, James Corbett of the Capistrano Unified School District, "spends an extended period of time at the beginning of each class discussing topics that are not only irrelevant to history but also inflammatory and often altogether inappropriate for high school students," the firm's announcement said.

"Corbett causes students who hold religious beliefs to feel like second-class citizens because of their protected religious expression, beliefs and conduct.

"He has gone as far as stating, 'When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth,'" the law firm said.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Chad Farnan, a 16-year-old sophomore honors student at the school who is taking Corbett's Advanced Placement European History class.

"Corbett has made derogatory remarks about Christian viewpoints regarding homosexuality, Viagra, birth control and sexual activities of teenagers. As a result of Dr. Corbett's hostility toward Christianity, Mr. Farnan has filed this federal lawsuit for a violation of his First Amendment rights," the law firm said.

Among the statements made by the teacher:

    What part of the country has the highest murder rate? The South. What part of the country has the highest rape rate? The South. What part of the country has the highest … church attendance? The South. Oh, wait a minute. You mean there is not a correlation between these things …

    You know, you go down to Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, all these states that are as red as they could possibly be, as right-wing Republican as you could possibly be. When you first present these people with the economic policies of the Democratic party, they are all Democrats. Virtually all the social programs, they like. They lead the Democratic party on social issues. That's it. Social issues, can you imagine what they're saying on Rush Limbaugh now? About, 'Middle school people in New England giving people birth control pills. My God. What next?' I love Rush Limbaugh. A fat, pain in the a—liar. And, boy, is he a liar. Unbelievable."

Corbett could not be reached for comment, and Principal Tom Ressler declined to comment, according to the Orange County Register. A spokeswoman at the district, Beverly de Nicola, told the newspaper the district would "need a little bit of time to look into it and determine our course of action."

But Robert Tyler, the general counsel for the Advocates, said the teacher's "blatant disregard for relevant topics of what can and should be discussed in a high school history class goes beyond moral reasoning."

"Students come to class to learn, not to be forced to listen to the personal, demoralizing rantings of their teacher," he said.

Jennifer Monk, legal counsel for the Advocates, said students' constitutional rights are "compromised" each day they attend such a class.

"Corbett's statements in the classroom – and the district's continued employment of Dr. Corbett – convey a governmental message that students holding religious beliefs are outsiders and not full members of the community. This hostility towards religion is a violation of the Establishment Clause," she said.

Monk told WND school district officials had conceded the teacher's instruction was "provocative."

"It's not just provocative. It's hostile to Christians," she said. And since the same teacher had been cited in an earlier lawsuit, in the 1990s over issues dealing with religion, the school district already should have dealt with the situation, she said.

The lawsuit in federal court in Santa Ana cites statements by the teacher including: "Conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies – that's interfering with God's work."

Farnan said he was shocked by the statements. "I've lost respect for him. I'm offended," he said.

The filing seeks unspecified damages and attorneys' fees for the rantings taped by Farnan in his effort to supplement his class notes.

The issue has merit, a constitutional scholar told the newspaper. John Eastman, dean of the school of law at Chapman University, suggested, "Lawsuits like this are important to remind public teachers that the classroom is not their personal soapbox."

The newspaper also reported another parent, Lynley Rosa, pulled her son out of Corbett's class this year because of the anti-Christian tone.

"The mockery of religion was a main focus in the classroom, and felt like he wasn't learning what he should be curriculum-wise, so I pulled him out," she told the paper.

The newspaper said Corbett has a history of anti-Christian behavior. It cited the 1993 legal action in which he was named as a defendant in a case that focused on the mandatory teaching of evolutionary theory.

"I am an atheist. I agree that such comments have no place in the classroom," wrote "canyongal" on the paper's forum. "The government, and those working in a government capacity, are supposed to be completely neutral on the topic of religion (AND on the topic of non-religion)."

Added "midion1," "I think it's hilarious that people think preaching in school is completely unacceptable but preaching hatred towrds (sic) another group is accepted. I am not surprised at all, for some reason people think that a religion that focuses on loving everyone is the reason for all the hate in the world. This teacher doesnt (sic) have faith, yet for some reason hate [c]onsumes him."

And "curlygurl100" wrote that her son also is in the class.

"What i have heard is extremely offensive to anyone including the athiests (sic) who have heard it as well. There have been multiple complaints about the teacher and nothing was done. One of the parents e-mailed the teacher asking him to stop and he put the e-mail up on the projector and answered the e-mail in front of the class and her son while mocking her."

Among other statements by the teacher cited by the lawsuit:

    The Boy Scouts can't have it both ways. If they want to be an exclusive, Christian organization or an exclusive, God-fearing organization, then they can't receive any more support from the state, and shouldn't."

    In the industrialized world the people least likely to go to church are the Swedes. The people in the industrialized world most likely to go to church are the Americans. America has the highest crime rate of all industrialized nations, and Sweden has the lowest. The next time somebody tells you religion is connected with morality, you might want to ask them about that.

    Well, we know abstinence doesn't work. And we know one other thing, and that is, once people become sexually active, they often don't stop for, like, 40 or 50 years. I mean, generally, when you start you don't, like, have a conversion and try to become re-virginized, you know. It's not going to happen.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 13, 2007, 08:56:06 PM
The anti-Christian laws that are being passed and the anti-Christian rhetoric in the media is emboldening individuals like this to come out more and more stronger with their garbage all of the time. This person can't even get his facts straight nor the reasons for the crime rates being so high in certain areas. His main agenda is to bash Christians, to attempt to indoctrinate not to teach what he was hired to teach.

The school is just as much to blame when they already knew this persons prior actions in this area. But then what else can you expect when this sort of thing is sanctioned by the government.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 14, 2007, 11:32:39 AM
Christian businessman on trial for 'Jesus' sign
Accused of putting non-permitted religious messages on side of semi-trailer

Act 2 of the ACTS II drama will be a trial.

On Thursday ACTS II Construction owner Dan Burritt pleaded not guilty to violating town of Gouverneur sign laws. The case will now go to trial, although no date has been set.

The company is named after a Bible passage.  Burritt is accused of putting non-permitted religious messages on the side of a semi-trailer along State Route 11.

He's being defended by the Alliance Defense Fund which takes special interest in cases involving religious freedom.

The town claims that Burritt's signs amount to billboards. Burritt and the ADF say there are numerous commercial signs that haven't drawn similar enforcement action from the town.

Also, the ADF says, the Supreme Court has ruled that religious messages posted on private property get even more constitutional protection than commercial messages do.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 14, 2007, 11:37:42 AM
Church fined for using own building for Bible study
Pastor: 'There's already so much hate in this world and we need to keep loving'

A home beside Bethany Lutheran Church once welcoming camaraderie, the sharing of religious faith and discussion of scriptures is now silent.

The city of Salisbury issued a $1,000 zoning fine to Bethany Lutheran Church last week for using their $135,000 house for Bible study and other organized gatherings.
The Rev. Kevin Wackett received a letter from the city on Dec. 3 with two citations issued Nov. 17 and 24 for unauthorized use of a facility. After purchasing the home in 2002, Wackett said the church applied for a special exemption to use the home for religious purposes and was granted approval by the city, Wicomico County and the state of Maryland.

However, Bill Holland, director of the Department of Building, Permits and Inspections claims the church didn't complete the approval process, which would have included public meetings to discuss the congregation's use of the property.

"The church never received approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals to use the home for anything more than a single-family dwelling," Holland said.

About eight months prior to the fine, the church also received two complaints from Holland's department while the Beacon of Light congregation was using Bethany Lutheran's church facilities.

"They needed space and we told them to use our sanctuary and the house for Bible study," Wackett said.

The complaints issued were regarding "parking on Monticello Avenue and people carrying food into the house," he said.

"We solved that problem by having them park in the church parking lot," Wackett said.

Holland said the department has received numerous complaints from residents in the last couple of months.

"I assume they're coming from the surrounding area, but a lot of the complaints are anonymous," he said.

Holland said he placed calls to the church warning them of upcoming citations and gave them 30 days to cease activities.

"They have to pay the fine, go to court or get the special exemption," he said.

The church has stopped using the facility and has contacted an attorney. An appeal is possible under a federal law protecting churches from zoning ordinances.

"All of the sudden, we get this -- we feel kind of stabbed in the back," Wackett said. "But there's already so much hate in this world and we need to keep loving. It really won't do anyone any good to fight."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 15, 2007, 01:23:08 AM
Activist 'banned for life' from criticizing homosexuality
Offending pamphlets quoted ad: 'Man seeking boys … age not so relevant'

A lifetime ban on public criticism of homosexuality was upheld against a Catholic activist in Canada by his province's superior court.

Bill Whatcott was fined 17,500 Canadian dollars by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission in a complaint by four homosexuals who charged he "injured" their "feelings" and "self respect" in pamphlets denouncing the "gay lifestyle" as immoral and dangerous, Lifesite News reported.

Saskatchewan's Court of Queens Bench, which hears criminal and civil cases, upheld a 2006 decision Tuesday by the provincial Human Rights Commission.

"This fine is for telling the truth [that] homosexual sodomites can change their behavior and be set free from their sin and depravity through the forgiveness of sins and shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," Whatcott said.

A licensed practical nurse, Whatcott regularly campaigns against the political movement that is rapidly advancing homosexual rights in the Canadian legal system, LifeSiteNews said.

"Shame on the Saskatchewan Court of Queens Bench for pandering to homosexual activism and ignoring the truth," he said.

The provincial Human Rights Commission noted Whatcott was "ordered to discontinue distributing any materials that promote hatred against people because of their sexual orientation."

The tribunal held that "preventing the distribution of such materials was a reasonable limit on Whatcott's right to freedom of religion and expression as guaranteed by Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."

Whatcott says his pamphlets used "verbatim" a text from a classified personal advertisement in a local homosexual publication that said, "Man seeking boys … age not so relevant."

LifeSiteNews noted Ottawa Citizen columnist David Warren criticized the tribunals as "kangaroo courts" and "star chambers" with "quasi-legal powers that should be offensive to the citizens of any free country ... in which the defendant's right to due process is withdrawn."

A petition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being circulated calling for abolishment, or at least curtailment, of the powers of the commissions.

Last month, a Canadian political party leader's posting of a WND article on homosexuality brought him before the country's Human Rights Commission to face accusations he was motivated by "hate and defamation."

Ron Gray of the Christian Heritage Party said he was told directly by an employee of the Human Rights Commission that the Canadian Human Rights Act, under which he is being accused, is "about censorship." Two of the three complaints filed by Edmonton man Rob Wells relate to the posting of an April 2002 WND story titled "Report: Pedophilia more common among 'gays.'"

The third complaint against Gray is for several commentaries he wrote and distributed to party members. One, titled "Sitcom prophet," compared the current climate of debate about homosexuality in Canada to the "Cone of Silence" in the 1960s-era television comedy "Get Smart."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 15, 2007, 01:25:43 AM
Church shootings
on rise in U.S. 
'Leaders must be prepared
to defend congregations'

Church shootings, in the headlines because of the attacks by Matthew Murray, 24, of Englewood, Colo., on two Christian groups last weekend, are on the rise across the United States, even though they're not yet at epidemic proportions.

Murray killed two people at a Youth With A Mission missionary training center in Arvada, Colo., early last Sunday morning, then apparently posted some rantings on the Internet, and drove to the New Life Church in Colorado Springs where he killed two teen girls. He also wounded half a dozen others before he was confronted by a church member volunteering as a security guard, and was shot.

A tabulation of church shootings, or those closely related to a church setting, was done by Gary Cass, chairman of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, and include 10 such attacks over the last four years, including Murray's two attacks.

"The tragic events in Colorado this past weekend underscore the fact that anti-Christian hostility is reaching a new, more violent level," Cass told WND. "Churches used to be sanctuaries that were regarded as sacred, now all church leaders must be prepared to effectively defend themselves and use deadly force if necessary to protect their congregations from violent acts."

He said a brief search found the following shootings, before last weekend's attacks:

    * August 12, 2007: A lone gunman, Eiken Elam Saimon, opened fire in a Missouri Micronesian church, killing a pastor and two other churchgoers.

    * May 20, 2007: A standoff between police and a suspect in the shootings of three people in a Moscow, Idaho, Presbyterian Church ended with three dead, including one police officer.

    * Although not at a church building, the Oct. 2, 2006, attack in Lancaster County, Pa., by a gunman who killed five girls and then himself at an Amish school targeted a religious site.

    * May 21, 2006: Louisiana. Four were killed by a man at Jesus Christ Church.

    * Feb. 26, 2006: Michigan. Two people were killed at Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church by a man who reportedly went to the church looking for his girlfriend. He later killed himself.

    * April 9, 2005: A 27-year-old airman died after being shot at a church in College Park, Ga., where he had once worked as a security guard.

    * March 12, 2005: A man walked into the services of the Living Church of God in Milwaukee and open fired immediately, killing seven people.

    * Oct. 5, 2003: A woman opened fire in Turner Monumental AME church in Kirkwood, east of Atlanta, killing the pastor and two others.

    * Sept. 16, 1999: Seven young people were killed when a man opened fire during a prayer service for teen-agers at the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.

"Self-defense is not just a right, but a Christian duty. Jesus told his followers, 'if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one,'" said Cass. "Christians are not to be a soft target for the hateful and deranged. Church leaders have a duty not to allow a crazed gunman to come and shoot up their congregation. Thank God for security officer Jeanne Assam and for New Life Church's security preparations."

As WND reported earlier, weeks before Murray armed himself with enough weaponry and ammunition to kill hundreds and staged the two attacks, he apparently boasted in an e-mail that he had discovered and practiced the teachings of controversial British occultist Aleister Crowley, called during his lifetime "the wickedest man in the world."

Murray is believed to have been the gunman who shot and killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, at the Youth With A Mission campus in Arvada, Colo., early last Sunday morning. Then, about 12 hours later, Murray died when confronted by armed security officer Jeanne Assam at New Life Church after he shot and killed sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, in the church parking lot. Half a dozen others were wounded in his attacks.

WND reported at the time on the disturbing rantings Murray apparently left on several websites before – and even between – the attacks, including those reported by National Terror Alert, which documented a series of postings by "nghtmrchld26," which said, "You Christians brought this on yourselves … All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."

"It is a sad reality of our times, but Christians must take up arms to protect themselves at church," said Cass. He cited the postings by Murray, including the following:

"I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. …," a statement also attributed to Murray's Internet postings.

"Mathew Murray was obviously a very troubled young man, but unfortunately he is not the only one," Cass said.

The pastor behind the Good Fight website, which documents reports from rock stars themselves of their encounters with the occult and satanic influences through their experiences with rock music, says he believes an e-mail he got weeks ago was from Murray, and indicated trouble.

Pastor Joe Schimmel told WND he recalled the October e-mail when he read the postings, included in WND stories, attributed to Murray. He said he thinks it's important for people to know what the attacker himself was feeling and thinking prior to his homicidal attack, especially since he's been described in the media as a homeschooled student from a religious family.

The e-mail, although it came from a man who identified himself as "Brian," most probably was from Murray, Schimmel says, because of long list of similarities. The e-mail notes the writer has "studied and practiced the teachings of Aleister Crowley/Thelema/The Golden Dawn, Qabbalah, H.P. Blavatsky/Theosophy, Manly P. Hall, Alice Bailey, and others."

Crowley, who lived during the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s, was a bisexual, drug-addicted occultist practitioner and author who almost reveled in the media description of him as "the wickedest man in the world."

During a court case in the 1930s, Crowley was described by a judge as dreadful. "I thought that everything which was vicious and bad had been produced at one time or another before me," the judge concluded. "I have learned in this case that we can always learn something more … I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff as that which has been produced by [Crowley.]"

Crowley also founded Thelema, a religious belief that was drawn from his book, "Liber Al Vel Legis," or Book of the Law, which gives only two commands: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" and "Love is the law, love under will."

Crowley espoused a wide range of occultist activities and practices, and one of his compatriots reportedly died from drinking the blood of a cat during one ceremonial episode, according to documents on Crowley's life. Many believe Crowley was a forerunner to Anton LeVay, who formalized his beliefs in "The Satanic Bible" and established the Church of Satan.

While Crowley dabbled in the occult, magic, trances, drugs, sex and blood rituals, Schimmel told WND the writer apparently had sold his soul to another devil: rock music.

The e-mail noted that "music is a very powerful thing," and then continued with writings that appeared to have been assembled in the form of an article titled, "My Secret Drug Addiction":

    I have a powerful addiction to a powerful drug that most people in my life don't know about. … I have found this drug to truly be a force to be reckoned with. This drug can completely alter blood pressure, heart rate, brainwave patterns and other bodily functions. … This drug will completely control a person's mind, what thought's (sic) they think and their emotions and how they feel. I found that this drug has the power to completely alter a person's religious beliefs, their morality, and their values and their entire lifestyle. … I found this drug to be a powerful driving force and easy gateway into a world of sex, other drugs, rebellion, homosexuality, alcoholism and many other dark things. … The drug … is commonly known in our culture as … Rock Music.

Schimmel said his organization specifically documents and warns about the occult influences in rock music and modern society, and this rang an alarm when he first received it.

Schimmel said the writings line up with what he knows about Crowley, and his influence, which sparked multiple references during the rock era of the 1960s, when some songs even included a tribute to "Mr. Crowley," he said.

He said his ministry has worked to show how Satanism can influence youth through music, and this was a factor not included in many media reports about the Colorado shootings.

But he said if the author had "practiced" Crowley's teachings, "he's opened himself up to a spiritual drug addiction."

"What he really is, is a Satanist, subscribing to the teachings of Aleister Crowley," said Schimmel, who told WND other leaders in the Crowley image have included Timothy O'Leary and Alfred Kinsey.

Title: Religious Hatred Fuels Escalating Attacks on Christians in India
Post by: Shammu on December 15, 2007, 10:58:10 PM
Religious Hatred Fuels Escalating Attacks on Christians in India
Peter B. Beita
Christian Post Correspondent
Fri, Dec. 14 2007 09:35 AM ET

BANGALORE, India – There have been 500 reported incidents of anti-Christian violence in India in the past 23 months, claimed a Bangalore-based Christian advocacy group this week.

As the world this week prepared to mark International Human Rights Day, the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) accused influential Hindu organizations such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers' Organization) and the Bharatiya Janata (Indian People’s) Party of promoting attacks against Christian workers.

"The attacks on Christians have been largely the sinister religious hatred of the Hindutva forces, under the umbrella organization of the Sangh Parivar (Family of Associations) like the RSS and the BJP, and their affiliate bodies like Bajrang Dal (Army of Hanuman), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and others," GCIC stated.

The group said it has urged Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to invoke the constitutional provisions to control the BJP and its affiliates in order to restrain staff members from polluting the atmosphere with what appears to be its communal agenda.

Quoting one of the constitutional rights that grants every Indian citizen the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, GCIC questioned why "seven states in India have introduced the anti-conversion laws which ban 'forced' religious conversions."

“In the name of ‘forced’ religious conversions, many Christian workers and converts are being persecuted,” it alleged.

GCIC said this is in violation of Article 25 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees everyone the right and the freedom to preach, practice and propagate his or her religion.

The advocacy group expressed grave concern over the renewed activities of communal forces – the latest manifestation of which was the attack on two groups of individuals belonging to the order of the Missionaries of Charity.

It also made note of the series of escalating brutalities inflicted on hapless individuals, and attacks on worshippers in India.

“While the missionaries are quite willing to pardon the evil doers – from the point of view of peace in society – such disruptive forces cannot be allowed to play free," GCIC asserted.

"They have already done enough to sow seeds of discord in the name of religion and caste. This type of threat to internal freedom is worse than terrorist attacks."

According to Dr. John Dayal, president of the All India Catholic Union, statistics gathered from Jan. 1 to Nov. 16 showed that the number of atrocities against Christians this year surpassed the marks of recent years.

The victims include members of almost every church denomination in the country - Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals. They include priests, nuns, pastors, wives of pastors, believers, seminarians and Bible school students, and lay persons.

Violence includes attempted murder, armed assault, sexual molestation, illegal confinement and grievous injury.

Dayal noted, however, that the figures “do not include cases that have not come to the notice of the All India Christian Council, the All India Catholic Union, the GCIC, the Evangelical Fellowship of India and the Christian Legal Association.”

The list also does not include widespread incidents that were simply categorized as “violence” but which Dayal said certainly bore signs of religious intolerance, bigotry, social discrimination and ostracization.

Nor does it include violence in which Christians are victims together with others, such as the displacement of Tribals due to government action, Dayal added in a statement.

Religious Hatred Fuels Escalating Attacks on Christians in India (

Post by: Shammu on December 15, 2007, 11:01:55 PM
December 13, 2007
Upset by damage to mosque under construction, Muslim students spark unrest.

Ten persons have been killed and three churches set on fire after Muslim high school students in this northern Nigerian city began a rampage on Tuesday (December 11) that spilled into the city. Today tensions were still high in the area.

An eyewitness at the high school said the Muslim students attacked their Christian peers after unidentified people pulled out two foundation blocks of a high school mosque under construction.

Area Muslims joined the attacking students, resulting in the deaths and damages in the city, including the burning of dozens of homes belonging to Christians.

The identity of nine of the 10 people killed has been kept secret as the Bauchi state government has ordered security agents to remove the corpses and bury them in a common grave. Eyewitnesses told Compass they were buried this morning.

The 10th person killed was a Christian security agent with the State Security Service, identified by eyewitnesses only by his surname, Bogoro, a member of the Church of Christ in Nigeria in Yelwa.

The three churches set aflame in Bauchi after Muslim students began attacking Christian students at the Government Day Secondary School (also known as Baba Tanko Secondary School) in the Yelwa Tudu area of Bauchi are Pentecostal: Elim Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God, and the Assemblies of God Church.

In addition, area Muslims set fire to dozens of houses belonging to Christians. Among the houses burned was that of the Rev. Umaru Sule, associate pastor of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA ) of Yelwa Makaranta, and that of the Rev. Maina Joshua of Kagadama.

A teacher at the Government Day Secondary School-Yelwa, who pleaded that his identity remain undisclosed out of fear of Muslim attack and government penalty, said he witnessed the sparking of the rampage when Muslim students claimed that the foundation of the school mosque had been pulled down.

The teacher told Compass that the Muslim students had won approval to build a mosque at the 3,655-student school on December 2 and began building its foundation the same day.

“On December 3, which was a Monday, I was in the school and I heard the Muslim students complaining that unknown persons had pulled out two blocks from the foundation,” the teacher said. “They threatened to attack Christians in the area for this. The principal and other staff in the tried to solve the problem that day, and I thought all was over.”

The teacher said that on Tuesday (December 11) he was administering a geography test to senior students when Muslim students “trooped out from the classes and said they would not write the examination. They converged at the site of the school mosque and began chanting Allahu Akbar [God is Great].”

Muslim students began attacking Christians in their classes, he said. They reportedly had agreed not to take exams until the school administration resolved the problem of the damaged foundation of the planned mosque.

“They broke chairs and desks,” he said. “They also attacked their Christian colleagues with knives and daggers. I had to run for my dear life because the situation became uncontrollable.”

The teacher explained that this situation snowballed into a town riot, resulting in the deaths of 10 people and the three fire-damaged churches. Nigerian press reports of unidentified mosques set aflame have not been verified.

“A neighbor of mine, one Mrs. Kadiri, was shot on the leg by Muslims on Wednesday morning, the second day of the Muslim rioting,” the teacher told Compass.

Today tensions remained high in the city. Many people were still fleeing to army and police barracks or leaving Bauchi altogether.

Shattered Appeal for Calm

The Rev. Ishaya Danyaya, 57, pastor in charge of ECWA-3 in Yelwa, said when the rioting began, Islamic and Christian leaders, along with security agents, met at the house of the Muslim village head of Yelwa, Sarkin Yelwa, to discuss how to prevent riots from spreading to them.

“We met and resolved that we should not allow this incident spread to us,” he said. “We were told to nominate six members to serve in a security committee, and Muslims too were asked to do so. Four policemen were also appointed into this committee, and they were all mandated to keep watch over our area.”

Immediately thereafter, he said, Muslims in the Yelwa area began attacking Christians.

Rev. Danyaya said he saw Muslims setting fire to the house of his associate and the houses of other area Christians.

“Our church building and that of the Church of Christ in Nigeria were not burned, because we had to risk our lives to defend the two sanctuaries,” he said. “The Muslims attacked us in an effort to burn down these churches.”

According to him, policemen came to the area in four trucks to help them repel Muslims from burning down the two churches. “We have been sleeping in the church just to keep watch over it,” he added.

In front of the house of the Yelwa, the Muslim village head, Muslims cut the head of a female Christian student with a machete and injured the leg of a pastor, Rev. Danyaya said.

“It was in the presence of Sarkin Yelwa that the Assemblies of God Church here had fire set on it,” he added.

Umaru Sule, 46, associate pastor of ECWA 3 in Yelwa, said he was he was sitting in front of his house when his son raced up to tell him that Muslims were heading for their home.

“He urged me to leave, but I told him I was not leaving,” Sule said. “After a few moments of persuasion, I left with him, heading for the church. And just a few meters away from the house, I saw the Muslims setting fire on my house.”

Sule said he lost all of his possession in the fire. “Not even a Bible now do I have,” he told Compass on the church premises at Yelwa.

The Rev. Timothy Dogari, pastor of ECWA Church Kagadama, told Compass that Muslims also targeted his church since the disturbance broke out.

“We have had to mobilize ourselves to keep guard over this church building, as Muslims have tried in the past three days to burn it down,” he said. Rev. Dogari, who said he was nearly killed in the rampage, said many homes of Christians have been destroyed and many people injured.

“Even as I talk to you now,” he said today, “Christians are still being attacked and many are fleeing out of Bauchi.”

In addition, he said, his motorbike was burned. Other Christians whose properties Muslims have destroyed, he said, include the Rev. Joshua Maina, one Elder Luka, and a widow from another church close to his church.

While Christian leaders in Bauchi said the mahem had a clear religious motive, Bauchi Gov. Isa Yuguda portrayed the disturbance as an attempt by political adversaries to discredit his All Nigeria Peoples Party administration.

Taking pains to deny any religiously based violence while appealing for peaceful religious co-existence, Yuguda told the press on Tuesday (December 11) that his political enemies hired hoodlums to instigate the crisis. The governor had put off his planned pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to attend to the crisis.

He set up a 13-member committee to investigate the immediate and contextual causes of the outbreak of violence, to be completed within 10 days.


Title: China Arrests 270 Underground Protestant Pastors
Post by: Shammu on December 15, 2007, 11:04:21 PM
China Arrests 270 Underground Protestant Pastors
Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Dec. 13 2007 02:01 PM ET

Chinese police forces recently arrested 270 Protestant house church pastors in an eastern province, reported a Chinese Christian human rights organization.

The pastors were gathering in the district of Hedeng in Shandong province when about 50 policemen from 12 different towns raided the meeting place, blindfolded and handcuffed attendees and took them to the local police station for questioning, according to U.S.-based China Aid Association (CAA.).

CAA’s president, the Rev. Bob Fu, told The Christian Post that 70 Christian leaders remain in prison as of Thursday morning.

The massive arrest took place last Friday at around 1:30 p.m. local time when the clergymen were gathering for a Bible study, according to AsiaNews. A police squad arrived in armored trucks and arrested participants for engaging in an “illegal religious gathering,” recalled an eyewitness, who noted the raid was “violent and swift.”

Some 120 pastors had been released early on after paying 300 yuan (US $40) as an “interrogation tax,” according to AsiaNews.

“Obviously, the detention of these pastors illustrates China’s insincerity in moving toward a culture of religious tolerance,” commented Washington-based Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins in a statement Tuesday.

“While the regime tries to project itself as progressive, the reality is that China has no intention of abiding by international law or abandoning its hostility to Western religious ideals,” noted Perkins, an influential conservative Christian leader.

FRC issued a letter on Tuesday to the U.S. State Department urging Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to broker the remaining pastors’ quick release.

China allows protestant Christian groups to exist but requires them to register with the government-sanctioned Three Self-Patriotic Movement. There are about 10 million members within the state-approved Protestant church group.

According to CAA, there is a campaign to “normalize” underground Protestant churches by giving them two options: either join the Three Self-Patriotic Movement or be oppressed by government forces.

House church worshippers refuse to join the TSPM because they argue God should be the head of the church and not the government. They also believe that requiring government-approval to hold religious gatherings is a violation of their religious freedom.

China has been under greater scrutiny by the international community for its human rights conduct as it prepares to host the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Although it claims to be a country of religious tolerance, human rights groups have reported a secret campaign to crackdown on unregistered church activities before the Olympics.

Many house church pastors in Beijing have been visited and “requested” to leave the city before the Games, according to Open Doors’ contacts in China.

“These crackdowns on Chinese house church believers and others is not unexpected as the communist government of China tries to put its best foot forward to the world in preparing for the Olympics,” commented Dr. Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors USA – a Christian persecution watchdog.

In a widely publicized event, over 100 foreign missionaries were expelled from China and some even blacklisted earlier this summer. The massive expulsion was the largest of its kind since 1954 after the communist government took power in 1949.

Some U.S. human rights groups have urged a boycott of the Beijing Olympics if China does not improve its human rights record before the Games.

China has an underground Christian population estimated to be as high as 100 million, although experts are quick to point out the difficulty in obtaining the real count.

China Arrests 270 Underground Protestant Pastors (

Title: Christian symbols on bricks cause controversy
Post by: Shammu on December 16, 2007, 05:58:52 PM
Christian symbols on bricks cause controversy
Star-Telegram staff writer

When Melissa and Jamie Hawley bought three bricks in a fundraiser to support a Plano booster club, they specified that they wanted Christian crosses to decorate them.

They were stunned when they discovered recently that the city of Plano had ordered workers to turn over their bricks -- along with all others bearing the Christian symbol -- to make sure they were displayed cross-side down.

"Nothing says Merry Christmas like digging up a donated brick with a cross, turning it over and pushing it into the dirt," said their attorney, Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute.

Sasser questioned the right of the city to turn the bricks, saying it amounts to religious discrimination.

City officials say the issue came to their attention when some passers-by complained about the crosses engraved in some of the bricks that now make up part of the sidewalk at the city's Muehlenbeck Recreation Center.

The complaints questioned whether the bricks violate federally mandated separation of church and state, said John Gilliam, first assistant city attorney for Plano.

"We had some complaints from citizens who thought it wasn't right," Gilliam said. "We want to be doing the right thing."

So he said the city began reviewing the issue about a week ago and decided to flip the bricks until officials decide what to do.

"Some people complained? Because they're vampires and it made their skin fall off?" said Sasser, whose organization offers free legal help to people who believe that their religious freedoms are threatened. "How can you get offended by a cross?"

The Hawleys sent a letter Thursday to the city of Plano demanding that the bricks be put back correctly.

City officials said they had already decided to turn the bricks back over as soon as possible.

"Our conclusion is it would be appropriate to allow all bricks that have been sold -- with whatever symbol is on them -- be turned face up," Gilliam said.

"But on a going-forward basis, we will ensure that any bricks sold will have only the name of the donor and date of graduation."

That's not enough, Sasser said.

"It's great they're going to flip the bricks back," he said. "But if someone else comes along and buys a brick, they'll have to let them have the same kind of symbols as well.

"You can't engage in religious discrimination."

Christian symbols on bricks cause controversy (

Title: Re: Christian symbols on bricks cause controversy
Post by: Shammu on December 16, 2007, 06:00:30 PM
Just more proof that Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life.

Title: Lawsuit argues expert biologist fired for refusing to believe in evolution
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 18, 2007, 02:41:49 PM
Lawsuit argues expert biologist fired for refusing to believe in evolution

The Christian Law Association will be defending a biologist who it claims was fired from a prestigious institution because he believed in creation.

Nathaniel Abraham is a well-known biologist who was hired by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution because of his expertise on Zebra fish. However, in 2004 Abraham lost his job shortly after he mentioned in a casual conversation with his supervisor that he did not believe in evolution.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, Abraham stated that his supervisor appeared "angry" after the conversation. He claims he was then given the ultimatum to believe evolution or lose his job. Abraham is now suing Woods Hole for half a million dollars for violating his civil rights.

David C. Gibbs III is general counsel for the Christian Law Association and will be defending Abraham under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "nder the law in the United States of America -- and it's generally referred to as Title VII -- [you] are protected from discrimination based on a number of factors, religion being one of them," the attorney explains.

Gibbs says that when Abraham's case is argued in front of the judge, they will have to establish that he was indeed fired for his religious beliefs.

"And what the scientific community seems to be saying to creationists or [those who hold to] intelligent design is if you're going to hold that belief, keep it in the closet -- hide it," says Gibbs. "[They are saying] if you let someone know that you hold that belief, we will indeed, in this case, shun you, terminate you, punish you for having that religious belief."

The Christian lawyer says he is very optimistic that his client will win the lawsuit, and that a win will send a message to the scientific community that creationists cannot be pushed to the "back of the bus."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 18, 2007, 02:45:40 PM
Philly restaurant's 'English only' policy defended

An "English as the official language" advocate says the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations must not have much to do right now -- and that, says Jim Boulet, may explain why the Commission is harassing a restaurateur who requires his customers to order in English.

Joe Vento is the owner of Geno's Steaks, purportedly one of the most famous cheese steak restaurants in South Philadelphia. In October 2005, Vento posted two small signs alerting customers that "This is America: When Ordering Please Speak English." He claims his busy establishment has seen an increasing number of non-English-speaking customers, and that he posted the signs in order to keep the line moving. But recently Vento found himself defending that policy before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which filed a discrimination complaint against his establishment.

Jim Boulet, executive director of English First, says the Commission's actions are nothing less than "government-funded harassment" of a business owner who just wants his restaurant to function efficiently. He adds that he was totally shocked -- and disagrees vehemently -- with comments from a sociology professor who testified at the hearing that Vento's sign harks back to "Whites only" postings of the Jim Crow era.

Diane Gramley, president of American Family Association of Pennsylvania, also supports Vento's decision to post the "English only" sign. She accuses the city of Philadelphia of using the Fair Practices Ordinance to discriminate against the business owner, and impugns city officials of going overboard in their drive for political correctness. Gramley argues that Vento is just trying to what is best for his business, and there is "no way that that sign is hurting his business," she adds.

Recently, the city used the same ordinance to raise the yearly lease on a building used by the Boy Scouts. The yearly lease was raised by $199,999 because officials were upset over the organization's ban on homosexuals as members and leaders.

No ruling is expected on the Geno's Steaks complaint for at least two months.

Title: Pastor Beaten in India
Post by: Shammu on December 19, 2007, 07:47:10 PM
Pastor Beaten in India

by Staff
December 19, 2007

( - On the evening of December 5, Pastor Nandu Rathod (38) was returning from a Bible study in the Gadag district of Karnataka, India when he was stopped by 10-15 men. The men asked him if he was a Christian preacher and accused him of forcibly converting people.

They severely beat him, fracturing his ribs and legs and left him with serious internal injuries.

Believing he was dead, they left him on the side of the road. Others passing by found him and took him to a hospital where he received treatment.

Pray for a full and quick recovery for Pastor Nandu. Pray that those responsible for this attack will come to understand and accept the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul did (Acts 9:1-19).

Pastor Beaten in India (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 20, 2007, 10:10:27 AM
Missionaries' deportation postponed, for now
Christians refuse to turn children over to state-run school system

A deportation order scheduled to take effect today has been postponed, providing a brief extension for a family of Christian missionaries trying to set up a Bible-teaching church to share Jesus in Germany.

The deadline of Dec. 20 had been looming for Clint Robinson and his family, until late yesterday, when officials with two ministries working on the family's situation reported the order had been postponed.

The order's deadline had been set several months ago, when Robinson, in the process of requesting permission to live and minister in Germany, told officials his children would be homeschooled.

However, that remains illegal in Germany, and authorities, upset that he refused to turn his kids over to the state-run school system for their education, then denied him permission to remain in Germany.

The Home School Legal Defense Association, a worldwide advocate for homeschoolers, as well as the International Human Rights Group, both have been involved in defending the Robinson family.

In an alert issued by the IHRG, Joel Thornton, the organization's president, said several efforts were going on in the family's effort to remain in Uehlfeld, Germany, where they are ministering.

"We are working with the Robinson family on a number of fronts. First, Ronald Reichert, an IHRG attorney in Germany, is working to have the deportation date moved," Thornton confirmed.

"Then Dr. Reichert will be working to resolve the legal issues surrounding the Robinsons' visa," Thornton said. "Dr. Reichert is also working within the Bavarian legislature, the German province where the family lives, to bring political pressure on the government to intervene on behalf of the Robinsons.

"Over and above these efforts, our American team is working with U.S. government officials in Germany, requesting that they apply diplomatic pressure on the German government to permit this wonderful family to fulfill their calling to Germany," he said.

The HSLDA earlier had documented the story of Clint Robinson, his wife Susan and their three children, who arrived in Germany in March 2007 after they sold their possessions in the U.S. and took on the assignment as missionaries.

When they arrived, they applied for a residency permit, required by the government. But local authorities immediately reacted to the family's plans, "as they were already aware that these missionaries refuse to give their children over to the state school system."

"German officials appear to be more determined than ever to rid their country of influences that may contribute to the rise of what they call 'Parallelgesellschaften,' parallel societies," the HSLDA said in a statement. "Never mind that Germany has hundreds of thousands of genuinely truant youth hanging around street corners; school officials have determined that parents diligently educating their children at home are a greater danger to German society."

"The German education system is very hostile to devout Christian faith," Thornton said. "Their health education in public middle schools is very explicit regarding human reproduction. It is often nothing short of pornographic, even in the lower grades. Their science curriculum is very heavily weighted in its discussions of evolution. Also, there is a lot of teaching on occult practices."

Homeschooling has been in illegal in Germany since the days of Hitler, but the crackdowns seem to be tightening. In recent months homeschoolers have been fined the equivalent of thousands of dollars, had custody of their children taken away, had their homes threatened with seizure and in one case, that of Melissa Busekros, had a team of SWAT officers arrive on a doorstep with orders to seize her, "if necessary by force."

In the case involving Melissa Busekros, a German appeals court ordered legal custody of the teenager, who was taken from her home by a police squad and detained in a psychiatric hospital for being homeschooled, be returned to her family because she no longer is in danger.

The lower court's ruling had ordered police officers to take Melissa – then 15 – from her home, if necessary by force, and place her in a mental institution for a variety of evaluations. She was kept in custody from early February until April, when she turned 16 and under German law was subject to different laws.

At that point she simply walked away from the foster home where she had been required to stay and returned home, but she and her family had been living under the possibility that police would intervene again.

Wolfgang Drautz, consul general for the Federal Republic of Germany, has commented on the issue on a blog, noting the government "has a legitimate interest in countering the rise of parallel societies that are based on religion or motivated by different world views and in integrating minorities into the population as a whole."

Drautz said homeschool students' test results may be as good as for those in school, but "school teaches not only knowledge but also social conduct, encourages dialogue among people of different beliefs and cultures, and helps students to become responsible citizens."

The German government's defense of its "social" teachings and mandatory public school attendance was clarified during an earlier dispute on which WND reported, when a German family wrote to officials objecting to police officers picking their child up at home and delivering him to a public school.

"The minister of education does not share your attitudes toward so-called homeschooling," said a government letter in response. "... You complain about the forced school escort of primary school children by the responsible local police officers. ... In order to avoid this in future, the education authority is in conversation with the affected family in order to look for possibilities to bring the religious convictions of the family into line with the unalterable school attendance requirement."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 20, 2007, 03:14:11 PM
Top 7 acts of Christian-bashing cited ( In the U.S. )
'From murder to the blasphemous, 2007 was horrendous year'

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has assembled a list of what it considers the seven worst incidents of Christian-bashing that happened in 2007, and it's headed by the attacker who shot and killed Christians at two ministry sites in Colorado just days ago.

The church shootings were carried out by Matthew Murray, 24, of Englewood, Colo., and left two people dead at a Youth With A Mission missionary training center in Arvada, Colo., and two more people dead at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

It was revealed after the attacks Murray, who was described in the mainstream media as a homeschooled student from a religious home, had been studying for some time already the teachings of Aleister Crowley, who lived in the 1800s and early 1900s, and is considered a mentor to Anton LaVey, who formed the Church of Satan.

"From murder and intimidation, to the crass and the blasphemous, 2007 was a horrendous year of Christian bashing," said Gary L. Cass, chairman of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.

"Anti-Christian sentiments are being fomented in the culture and are becoming more deadly and cynical," said Cass. "Impressionable young people are being swept up in anti-Christian hysteria, aided and abetted by a greedy, amoral entertainment industry. Mocking Christians, blaspheming their faith and ridiculing their values has become the easy way for 'entertainers' to shock their way to the top."

He said his organization is calling on "anti-Christian politicians, Hollywood and New York media elites to stop the Christian bashing and take responsibility for the culture of hate towards Christians they have helped to create."

The CADC will work aggressively "to stop this dangerous and irresponsible Christian bashing in 2008," he said.

The Top 7 attacks, according to the CADC, and Cass's comments, are:

1. Colorado Church Murders:

    "You Christians brought this on yourselves I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can't wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don't care if I live or die. …" Posted by a troubled young man, Matthew Murray, 10 hours after killing two at the Arvada missionary base and two hours before killing two at a Colorado Springs church. Churches used to be considered sanctuaries, but now they are targets for the hateful and the deranged. The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.

2. Federal Hate Crimes Bill:

    The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for “thought crime,” which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful. It is totalitarian regimes which punish thoughts, not free societies. Thomas Jefferson declares that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions.”

3. Violence on San Francisco Church:

    In September, Christians in San Francisco spoke out against a blasphemous anti-Christian advertisement for the perverted, sadomasochistic Folsom Street Fair. In the ad, Christ and the 12 Disciples are portrayed as sexual deviants at the Last Supper, provocatively posed before a table of sex toys. For criticizing them, radical homosexuals crashed a worship service dressed as nuns and desecrated it and mockingly took Holy Communion. The church refuses to press charges. Within days Matthew Hinz was arrested after trying to set fire to a San Francisco convent while six nuns were sleeping inside. A few days later, Paul Addis is charged for allegedly planning to set fire to the city's historic Grace Cathedral.

4. Attack on Jerry Falwell:

    CNN reached a new low when Anderson Cooper invited Christopher Hitchens, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, on his show the day of Jerry Falwell's death to make critical remarks about Falwell. Hitchens made the most reprehensible and offensive remarks one can imagine against a Christian minister, Jerry Falwell, even on the day of his death. Christopher Hitchens called Falwell "a little toad … a horrible little person…an evil old man…a conscious charlatan and bully and fraud…an actual danger to democracy, to culture, to civilization."

5. CNN's "God's Warriors" and "Friends of God":

    Two biased, anti-Christian documentaries were produced and aired. One by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, “Friends of God” on HBO and the other by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors.” At least they tried to act as if they wanted to be fair. Of course, they failed. Evangelicals are almost 100 million strong and very diverse but are reduced to clichéd caricatures or are portrayed as the moral equivalents of Islamic terrorists.

6. John Edwards' Campaign Bloggers:

    They called Christian supporters of President Bush his "wing nut Christofascist base." One asked, "What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit," to which she replied, "You'd have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology." They posed the thoughtful question of religious conservatives, "What don't you lousy %#*@!+# understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?"

7. Golden Compass, the movie:

    Phillip Pullman's atheistic answer to C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series because destroying the church and killing God in the mind of every child is the best revenge. Why be damned alone when you can take a few million souls with you and get rich on the proceeds?

Title: Martyrdom awaits North Koreans on Christmas
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2007, 11:01:25 PM
Martyrdom awaits North Koreans on Christmas
'Nowhere in the world is such a high price paid for being a Christian'
Posted: December 19, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

In a nation where being a Christian can bring the death penalty for the "offender" and his entire family, where tens of thousands of Christians are held in terminal prison camps, and the populace is taught to revere its dictator as a god, there will be martyrdom for Christians on Christmas Day, according to an international ministry.

"Just like on other days of the year, at Christmas time there will be Christians who perish in the death camps of North Korea, ranked No. 1 on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the greatest persecution," said a spokesman for the group.

Reports of the execution of Christians in North Korea circulate routinely, sometimes for an offense no worse than having a Bible.

"The state is working hard to wipe out Christianity," said Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra.

"Nowhere in the world is such a high price paid as in this country with its tyrannical regime," he said.

Dykstra released a statement on the "celebration" in North Korea of Christmas, as an observance of the birth of Christ one of Christianity's most significant dates.

(Story continues below)

"No bright lights, no Christmas dinner and not even a Christmas Eve service for the followers of Jesus Christ," will be on tap for the holiday.

"This Christmas – just like any other day in the year – there are no festive lights in the streets of Pyongyang. The city is largely shrouded in darkness. North Korea is the only country in the world where the Cold War is not yet over, and one of the few countries in which it is not permitted to celebrate Christmas at all," he said.

But even under such repression, "Christians find ways to celebrate Christmas," he said.

Confirmation comes from "Brother Simon," who coordinates the work of Open Doors from a secret location.

"But, of course, Christians do reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ," he said. "Only they can't just go along to church to sing or listen to a sermon. They can't even visit one another to read the Bible together. Being a Christian in North Korea is very lonely."

He said most often Christians gather in groups of only two, trying to keep underneath the social radar that alerts authorities to groups that meet. Only sporadically, and in secret locations, do numbers higher than that assemble.

"For example (on an ordinary Sunday), a Christian goes and sits on a bench in the park. Another Christian comes and sits next to him. Sometimes it is dangerous even to speak to one another, but they know they are both Christians, and at such a time, this is enough. If there is no one around, they may be able to share a Bible verse which they have learned by heart and briefly say something about it. They also share prayer topics with each other. Then they leave one another and go and look for Christians in some other part of their town. This continues throughout Sunday. A cell group usually consists of fewer than 20 Christians who encourage and strengthen one another in this way. Besides this, there are one-to-one meetings in people's homes," Simon said.

It's similar with Christmas.

"Christmas is mainly celebrated in the heart of the Christian," said Simon. "Only if the whole family has turned to Christ is it possible to have something like a real gathering. For fear of retribution it is necessary to keep your faith hidden from the neighbors. It is sometimes possible to hold a meeting in remote areas with a group of 10 to 20 people. Very occasionally, it is possible for Christians to go unobtrusively into the mountains and to hold a 'service' at a secret location. Then there might be as many as 60 or 70 North Koreans gathered together."

But he noted that like any other day of the year, there will be those martyred for their faith on Christmas Day.

This repression, however, is proving unsuccessful at halting the church's growth, he confirmed. "The church is growing," he said, based on information from his networks of sources, and largely is due to refugees who have fled North Korea, but come to Christ in the relatively free society of China, and return to their homeland as missionaries.

WND previously reported on the escape of a North Korean man from the bondage of that nation's dictatorship, who reported many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-il actually is a god.

The Christian, now living in South Korea, was identified only as Mr. Kim. He told Voice of the Martyrs that Kim Jong-il, and his late father Kim Il Sung, both are portrayed as gods.

"All North Koreans really believe that Kim Il Sung is a god. He [hid] the bad things he had done, to preserve his godlike status to the people. I think 70 to 80 percent of what is said about Kim Il Sung is similar to the Bible," he told the ministry, for which he also recorded himself singing .

While comprehensive information about Kim Jong-il's present rule in North Korea is hard to obtain because of the absolute dictatorship that exists, anecdotal evidence abounds about his cruelty and excesses.

For example, Camp 22, the nation's largest concentration camp can hold up to 50,000 men, women and children accused of political "crimes," while reports of atrocities such as the rampant murder of babies born to inmates are supported by witnesses.

Meanwhile, his expensive tastes have become known internationally. Reuters reported, "No one enjoys luxury goods more than paramount leader Kim Jong-il, who boasts the country's finest wine cellar with space for 10,000 bottles. … His annual purchases of Hennessy cognac reportedly total to $700,000, while the average North Korean earns the rough estimate equivalent of $900 per year."

Mr. Kim said while growing up he had no real knowledge of religion, and had not even heard about Christianity. He had seen filmed representations of Christmas parties but had no idea they were related to Jesus.

"We were taught that religion is the opium of the people, and that pastors were spies of South Korea, trying to bring imperialism to North Korea. I was taught that religion was bad and school text books reinforced this idea, explaining that people from other countries built the hospitals, schools and did all kinds of good deeds for North Korea in order to spy," he said.

Then, like others, he went to visit relatives in China as a college student during 1998, and was shocked.

"The conditions overall were better in China, but one thing I really noticed was that people were energetic and had dreams. In North Korea, even college students were depressed and under a lot of pressure. When I returned to North Korea, I couldn't forget the faces of those in China," he said.

He went back to China, "escaped" is how he described it, just a few months later.

"I had heard if you go to churches the members would help. That's why I went to a church," he said. There he first got financial and other help. "I also went to a church in Shanghai, where I met a man who was president of a company who offered me a job… I found out later that this man was also an elder in a church," he said.

At that company, he was exposed to worship services morning and night.

"I spent one and a half years studying the Bible, underlining passages and taking notes," he said. "I really focused on studying the Bible, and this was the time that I became a Christian."

Son Jong Hoon told a news conference in Washington, D.C., that his life's goal now is to save his brother, Son Jong Nam, a former North Korean Army officer turned underground evangelist.

"I pray to God for my brother's safety," he said, describing the horrors of the basement jail cell where Son Jong Nam has been held, beaten and tortured since his most recent arrest.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 21, 2007, 01:17:54 AM
Police target Christmas services to arrest believers 
'International community should be concerned about increased persecution' in China

Dozens of Christians have been questioned, arrested, jailed or beaten in a series of attacks on house church Christmas programs as China tries to wipe out "subversive" or "reactionary" forces before the 2008 Olympics, according to China Aid Association.

The organization has released a list of the most recent assaults on Christians, including the detention in Henan province of Pastor Liang Qi Zhen, vice president of the Chinese House Church Alliance.

"After disbursing Liang's congregation, police officials took him by force and transported him to an undisclosed location where he was tortured for several hours. Liang's ears and right hand were injured during the lengthy assault," said the organization, which seeks to be a window into China so the world can "witness the oppression, imprisonment and torture of Christians…"

The organization also said of the 270 protestant pastors arrested in Shandong province recently for participating in the Bible study, only 200 have been released and 70 remain in custody.

In Jiangsu province, a house church was attacked by police officials during members' Christmas celebration, and four women were "detained," including one who was hospitalized, the group said.

In Yunan province, members of the Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs raided a house church meeting and arrested several people, including the woman who rented the property. They burned hundreds of Christian books and ordered the landlord to stop renting to the woman, CAA said.

House church members are labeled by authorities as "cultists" because they do not belong to the state-sanctioned official church organizations, and frequently face a year in labor camps when arrested, the group said.

"To arbitrarily arrest peaceful Christians for celebrating Christmas shows how much religious freedom Chinese people have," said Bob Fu, president of China Aid. "The international community should be concerned for the increasing religious persecution in China in recent months, especially in light of the Beijing Olympics just a few months away."

There have been multiple reports from human rights advocates and Christian ministries that repression of Christianity by the Chinese government is intensifying in the lead-up to the Games.

Those reports include the recent arrest of Shi Weihan, 37, who runs a Christian bookshop near the Olympic Village. Compass Direct has reported his bookshop has sold no other books but those given government permission, but he, his wife and several employees recently were arrested.

Writer Graeme Philipson, in Melbourne, Australia, noted that, "China will use the 2008 Olympic Games to market itself to the world. All countries do this, but the Chinese example will look more like Berlin 1936 than Sydney 2000."

"Visitors to China next year will see the new stadiums and the expressways and skyscrapers and apartment complexes. They will probably even be able to access their hometown newspapers on the web," Philipson continued. "They will probably not stop to think that the 1936 Olympics were followed by the most vicious repression the world has ever seen."

Radio Australia reported earlier that China's Vice Prime Minister, Li Langing, said winning the 2008 Games proved the international community appreciated the social stability in China and that justifies China's fight against "cults."

The crackdowns have prompted Pastor Zhang Mingxuan, president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, to write Chinese Communist Party leader President Hu Jintao pleading that he would listen to the victims of persecution.

The pastor asks the Communist leader "to seriously consider the misery of the common people and urge the officials subordinate to you to stop persecuting Christians and implement their promises in the Constitution on religious freedom … just as you said, we can have a harmonious society when we build it on the foundations of love, friendship, fairness and justice."

"We sincerely pray to the Lord to punish the evil and promote the good so that the common people can receive blessings and that China will have real religious freedom. I believe this is also the wish of President Hu," the letter said.

However, CAA also has revealed a confidential document issued in July by a local Communist Party branch that reveals "that the central government has directed a national campaign specifically against unregistered Christian house churches."

The document apparently was formulated by the nation's Department of United Front of District Committee, District Bureau for Religious Affairs of Ethnic Minorities and Duodao Branch of Public Security Bureau.

The purpose, the document said, is to "fight against infiltration activities by hostile overseas forces under the guise of Christianity and safeguard the stability in our society and in the religious arena."

The plan seeks a socialized mechanism "of management of religious affairs" by having government-sanctioned churches cooperate with police in their plans.

"As for the self-appointed missionaries (house church leaders), the document urges authorities to 'tackle the problem in three ways: education and stop, order them to stop their activities and crack down on their activities according to law,'" China Aid said.

Leaders "should be investigated and due penalties rendered," the document said. "All their illegally acquired income shall be confiscated."

Finally, the document advocated secrecy.

"We should only perform the special administration, but not talk about it. Without approval from the district's leading team for the special administration, no agencies in all the areas shall disclose the information in this document to any media. All the documents for the special administration are classified as 'confidential' and must be printed in serial numbers. After the documents are used, they shall be stored at a confidential room and their content must not be disclosed," China Aid reported the document said.

"This campaign is another clear example of absolute violation of the relevant international human rights covenants and China's own Constitution on protection of citizen's religious freedom," said Fu, "We urge the Chinese government to stop this kind of illegal secret practice if China intends to be a true respected responsible stakeholder in the international community."

Fu, who escaped from China after being imprisoned for teaching Bible classes and now runs China Aid to help persecuted Christians, also has confirmed China will target 43 types of people with investigations – and possibly bans – when the 2008 Olympics are held in Beijing.

And those targeted will include "religious infiltrators," employees of media organizations, those tied to "illegal" religious organizations and others, the report said.


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 21, 2007, 01:18:28 AM
That comes from a "secretly issued" notice from China's Ministry of Public Security that went to security officials and departments throughout the nation.

"CAA learned from reliable internal Chinese government sources that in April of 2007, the Ministry of Public Security of the Chinese government issued a general nation-wide order, requiring strict examinations on all people both in China and overseas who will participate in the Olympic Games," the organization said. "These include members of the Olympic Committee, athletes, media and sponsors. With this, they also provide a list of 43 types of people in 11 categories to be barred from attending the Olympic Games."

The document, a "Notice on Strict Background Check on Applicants for the Olympic Games and the Test Events," targets those who are considered "antagonistic elements," followers of Falun Gong and other "cults," as well as "religious extremists and religious infiltrators."

The report, China Aid Association said, breaks down the categories to identify and target "frequent traffic violators in running red lights and j-walking," anyone who has had "close contact" with anyone considered suspect in "counter-revolutionary activities or other crimes of endangering the security of the state," anyone who belongs to an independent house church in China, which are identified as "illegal religious organizations" and those who have given "illegal sermons."

Also targeted and banned will be "people who illegally distribute religious publications and video-audio materials" and "people who have illegally established both in China and abroad religious organizations, institutions, schools, sermon sites and other religious entities."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 01:26:26 AM
Pakistan Couple And Children Threatened With Death For Embracing Christ
Added: Dec 20th, 2007 4:13 AM

By Jawad Mazhar, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN  -- A Pakistani Christian couple said Tuesday, December 18, they have gone into hiding in Pakistan's northeastern city of Sargodha because Muslim relatives threaten to kill them and their children for embracing Christianity.

Salhey Luca, a former Muslim, and his wife Tasneem John told BosNewsLife they have been "receiving death threats by Luca’s Muslim siblings" in this predominantly Muslim country "after accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior."

The couple said they also fear for the lives of their four daughters Sabahat Iqra, 14, Sanobar Maria, 11, Sarcilla Iffat, 10, and Sabeqa Ulffat, 7, and their only son, five-year-old Zephaniah Anjum.

Speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location, Tasneem John, who was raised in a Christian family, said the troubles began when her husband embraced Christianity five years into their marriage "in March 1997," after abandoning Islam. John said her his conversion was a dangerous step as her husband belonged to "a very conservative Islamic religious family."


Luca said soon after his conversion to Christianity family members, including his two sisters and only brother, now deceased, "turned against" him and his family. “My sisters even tried to force me to divorce my Christian wife and recant Christianity, otherwise they threaten to kill us” he added, his voice trembling. They are also trying to illegally occupy the couple’s inherited part of cultivated land, Luca said.

This year the situation worsened when Muslim in-laws allegedly stepped up the pressure and twice tried to kidnap the couple’s daughters from the girls’ hostel in the city of Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad where they live and study.

John said that on September 11 this year Muslim in-laws and a Muslim security guard of the girls hostel "kidnapped" her eldest daughter Sabahat Iqra from the hostel. “Luckily Sabahat Iqra managed to escape from the vehicle of the kidnappers, as they stopped at a traffic signal and reached home," she said. Soon after in-laws allegedly tried to kidnap her second daughter as well, but this time they failed by “the grace of Lord Jesus Christ," she claimed.


The couple said that now they have left their undisclosed home town and shifted to Sargodha "in search of refuge" and are now looking for work. Advocacy group Rays Of Development with website www.*******.org is involved in a campaign to support of the Christian family.

"We hope eventually to find asylum outside Pakistan or perhaps a very safe place in the country," the couple said.

The apparent pressure on the Christian couple has underscored concerns within the Christian community about rising Muslim extremism in Pakistan. Christians comprise less than three percent of Pakistan’s roughly 165 million people, according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Pakistan Couple And Children Threatened With Death For Embracing Christ (

Title: Japan's "Hidden Christians" face extinction
Post by: Shammu on December 22, 2007, 10:23:15 PM
Japan's "Hidden Christians" face extinction

By Linda Sieg Wed Dec 19, 11:59 AM ET

IKITSUKI ISLAND, Japan (Reuters) - One by one, the sacred relics -- a medal of the Virgin Mary, a crucifix and other revered objects -- are taken from a cupboard and placed on an altar for a Christmas Eve rite passed down through centuries from Japan's earliest Christians.

Then, kneeling in the simple hall built where martyrs are said to have been burned on this tiny, remote island 400 years ago, five elders murmur chants as they bow and make the sign of the cross.

The kimono-clad deacons are descendants of "Kakure Kirigotcha2an," or Hidden Christians, who kept their religion alive on Ikitsuki and in other isolated pockets of Japan during 250 years of suppression, adapting their rites to the demands of secrecy and blending them with local beliefs.

These days, the religion faces a modern threat of extinction as young people, like those elsewhere in rural Japan, leave their homes in search of jobs, drifting away from their gods and the rituals that honor them.

"It's sad. The tradition of our ancestors is disappearing," said Ayuzo Matsuyama, one of those gathered to observe "Osanmachi" and "Gotanjo" -- Christmas Eve and Christmas -- last weekend, the last Saturday and Sunday before the winter solstice.

"We inherited this 'old Christianity' from our ancestors and we wanted to continue it forever, but young people don't feel that way," added the 79-year-old former maker of sake, or rice wine.


First brought to Japan by Portuguese missionaries in 1549, Christianity was banned a few decades later in 1614, initiating a period of bloody persecution that forced the faithful to choose between martyrdom or hiding their beliefs.

Rites such as confession and communion that could be conducted only by priests were lost. Others took on elements of Buddhist ancestor worship, indigenous Shinto with its focus on purification, and folk practices such as prayers for good crops.

Medals or hanging scrolls depicting saints and martyrs, often with Japanese features, were hidden in cupboards as "nando-gami" ("gods in the closet") and only taken out on special days.

In an apparent echo of the bread and wine of the Eucharist, elders still share sashimi and sake as part of the Christmas Eve and other ceremonies. Huge "mochi" rice cakes adorn the alter.

Transmitted orally and in secret, Latin "oratio" chants, "orasho" in Japanese, lost all but symbolic meaning.

"They preserved the style and form of the Christianity ... that they inherited, but the teachings were no longer from the Bible and changed into respect for local martyrs, so in that sense it can be seen as a Japanese ethnic religion," said Shigeo Nakazono, curator of an island museum who has studied the "Kakure Kirigotcha2an" for years.

When Roman Catholic missionaries returned with the lifting of the ban in 1873, some Japanese Christians accepted their teachings, but others clung to what they saw as the true faith of their fathers.

Matsuyama, who like many of his generation learned "orasho" when he turned 20, admits he doesn't understand the repetitive phrases, some evocative of original Latin or Greek, such as "San Maria" and "anmezusu" (amen), others echoing Buddhist prayers.

"I thought I had to learn it because it had been handed down and it was a kind of memorial for those who died," he said.

The significance of festivals such as Christmas was also transformed into something uniquely Japanese.

"'Gotanjo' is the day of Christ's birth. That's no different from Christianity," said Yasutaka Toriyama, 68, who holds the hereditary position of "gobanyaku," or head of a household that traditionally held a group's relics, such as scrolls or medals.

"But while ours is a religion that believes in Mary and Christ, we also believe that our ancestors who suffered persecution are gods."


Most modern Japanese take a relaxed attitude toward religion, opting for Christian or Shinto weddings, Buddhist funerals and occasional visits to a shrine in between.

Less than one percent of the population are Christian.

How many "Kakure Kirigotcha2an" remain is uncertain, but clearly their numbers on Ikitsuki are shrinking as the overall population of the island, now about 7,000, dwindles and ages.

Nakazono estimates about 500 people in six groups are active practitioners on Ikitsuki, down from about some 2,000 in 20 groups two decades ago.

"About 10 years ago, the fishing catches started to shrink drastically, many businesses failed and there were no jobs for the young people so they left for the cities," Nakazono said.

"The elderly try to preserve their religion but ... they worry that they cannot protect their gods."

Toriyama's group sees a glimmer of hope in the fact that nine men in their 40s and 50s have recently begun studying "orasho."

Still, for Toriyama himself, the fear that his religion will vanish is real and personal. His son left the island after high school and lives with his wife and child in Fukuoka, three hours away by car. Now 33, he works for a computer-related firm.

"I'd like him to learn the 'orasho' and to come back for the festivals," said Toriyama, sipping sake after completing the prayers for "Osanmachi." "But I haven't asked him yet."

What if the religion dies out? "I will have to apologize to my ancestors who preserved this through hundreds of years of suppression," he said. "I will feel I have failed the gods."

Japan's "Hidden Christians" face extinction (;_ylt=Aix7_ItWcsj9A8t7fXvnd8.s0NUE)

Title: Hindus attack churches on Christmas
Post by: Shammu on December 26, 2007, 10:40:47 PM
Hindus attack churches on Christmas

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, Associated Press Writer Wed Dec 26, 11:52 AM ET

NEW DELHI - Hindu extremists ransacked and burned eight rural churches in eastern India, marring Christmas celebrations in a corner of the country with a history of violence against Christians, officials said Wednesday. One person was killed in the violence.

Authorities deployed 450 police and imposed a curfew to quell the violence in the remote district of Orissa state where the churches — most nothing more than mud-and-thatch houses — were attacked, said Bahugrahi Mahapatra, a government official.

Six of the village churches were torched on Christmas day, and two more were attacked Wednesday along with 10 houses belonging to Christians, Mahapatra said.

India is overwhelmingly Hindu but officially secular, a fact India's leaders often point out. They note that religious minorities, such as Christians, who account for 2.5 percent of the country's 1.1. billion people, and Muslims, who make up 14 percent, often coexist peacefully. Some have risen to the highest levels of government and business.

But throughout India's history, both communities have faced repeated attacks from hardline Hindus, with violence against Christians often directed at foreign missionaries and converts from Hinduism.

Orissa has one of the worst histories of anti-Christian violence. In one of the most brutal incidents, an Australian missionary and his two sons, 8 and 10, where burned to death in their car following a Bible study class in 1999.

Orissa is also the only Indian state that has a law requiring people to obtain police permission before they change their religion. The law was intended to counter missionary work.

There were conflicting reports of what sparked the Christmas violence, with each side blaming the other. Mahapatra called the violence a "sensitive matter" and refused to discuss how it began.

The Hindu hard-liners said Christians had attempted to attack one of their leaders, 80-year-old Laxmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad group, who leads an anti-conversion movement.

"When they were prevented from attacking him by his followers the Christians hit someone with an ax and one Hindu died," Giriraj Kishore told reporters in New Delhi.

But the New Delhi-based Catholic Bishops Conference of India said the fighting began Monday when Hindu extremists objected to a show marking Christmas Eve, believing it was designed to encourage Hindus at the bottom of the religion's rigid caste hierarchy to convert to Christianity. Low-caste Hindus are often a target of missionaries.

An argument over the Christmas show got out of hand and some of the Hindus opened fire on the Christians, wounding three of them, said John Dayal, a spokesman for the Bishops Conference.

The Hindus then went on a rampage Tuesday, Christmas Day, chasing people out of six churches and setting the mud-and-thatch buildings ablaze, he said.

Later, dozens of people from each community clashed, Dayal said. One person was killed, he added, but could not say if the dead man was a Hindu or Christian. Another 25 people were wounded, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Much of the ill-will in the area, about 840 miles southeast of the national capital, New Delhi, stems from anti-missionary sentiment. Some hardline Hindus are pushing for all missionaries to be expelled while Christians have challenged the conversion law in court, saying it violates India's constitution.

Hindus attack churches on Christmas (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on December 26, 2007, 10:44:12 PM
On 5 October 2002, the state government of Tamil Nadu, India, issued an ordinance that effectively (when interpreted according to Hindutva ideology) outlawed religious conversion. To read the WEA

The law was designed to keep the low caste Dalits, who are counted as Hindus, enslaved in the caste system for the benefit of the high castes. The law also threatens Christian witness and ministry as both the person being baptised and the person doing the baptism can be charged.

However, in recent years a wave of discontent has been gathering momentum. The Dalits (low castes) are rising up in what has been described as a "Dalit Awakening" (Gospel for Asia) or "Dalit Revolt" (All India Christian Council). The Dalits are shaking off the shackles of Hindu caste and looking for a new and living way. In their search, multitudes are embracing the way of Jesus Christ in defiance of the anti-conversion ordinance and the threat of reprisals.

Their caste system is a bit like slavery in the early US. This lower caste is kept poor deliberately, and they are used to do the "dirty work" of society. They are considered "untouchables".

Obviously Christ will be appealing to this caste especially. Let's face it folks, Jesus sets them free psychologically and spiritually from their bondage, if not physically.

But the Hindus won't believe that, so they fight the missionaries violently because they are afraid their "slaves" will insist on being free!

Title: Christians demand help against Hindu violence
Post by: Shammu on December 28, 2007, 03:21:37 PM
Christians demand help against Hindu violence
'It is clear local, state officials are unable to protect minority'
Posted: December 28, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Christians have staged a rally in India to demand government intervention to halt violence against members of the minority religion in Orissa state, after reports of Christians being killed, church buildings destroyed and meetings broken up over the Christmas holiday.

The rally yesterday in Delhi drew an estimated 1,000 Christians and was organized by the All India Christian Council to unite protesters from a wide range of denominations whose members have been victimized by the violence in Orissa.

A message was delivered to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after officials met with Union Home Minister Shivraj V. Patil, as well as the head of the National Commission for Minorities.

During the meeting with Patil, Christians were told that roadblocks and communication breakdowns are making it difficult to restore security in the villages of Orissa, and Patil confirmed he likely will visit the state in order to stop the attacks, prosecute the criminals and provide compensation to the victims.

"Sadly, the delegation was not satisfied with the promises of the Union Home Minister since most violence continues in rural villages and the government didn't give specific plans to halt the violence in villages nor a planned amount for compensation of victims," Rev. Abraham Sahu, the president of the Delhi chapter of AICC, said.

"It is clear that the local police and Orissa state government have not been able to protect the Christian minority. While Orissa's leader claims they were prepared and are fully committed to stopping communal violence, we have doubts. For example, why does Orissa not have a state minorities commission? The Central Government must act now." said John Dayal, the secretary-general of the AICC.

During the meeting with Mohamed Shafi Qureshi, the head of the National Commission for Minorities, the Christians were told that a visit to Orissa was planned in order to set up procedures that would protect Christians from attack.

Also represented at the rally were the Evangelical Fellowship of India, All India Catholic Union, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Indian and others.

"[Authorities] clearly don't believe in freedom of religion or freedom of speech. They use accusations of forced and fraudulent conversions as an excuse for violence. Has there been a proven case in the courts of a missionary forcing someone to become a Christian recently? No! We are requesting immediate action to protect peaceful Christians and the arrest of miscreants from radical Hindutva groups," said Sam Paul, the secretary of public affairs for the AICC.

According to reports, the violence broke out last weekend. At least 30 churches, Christian schools and convents were damaged or destroyed in a series of attacks that began on Christmas Eve, and four Christians were killed, the reports said.

Radical Hindutva activists also have been blockading roads, preventing both police and other aid from reaching victims, the reports said.

According to the AICC, "the violence allegedly began when Christians in a village 150 kilometers from the district headquarters of Phulbani began to celebrate Christmas Eve. Local Hindu fundamentalists opposed the event and a fight ensued."

According to Gospel for Asia, a Christian ministry working in India, the violence amounted to a virtual terror campaign against Christians.

"This violence against believers in Orissa breaks my heart," said K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of GFA. "This is the same state where missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were martyred. The believers know they will face opposition, but this outburst of persecution at Christmas time is especially disturbing."

GFA said a project on which its missionaries had worked in Orissa was destroyed, and its missionary leader Matish Junni attacked.

"The mob beat Matish and shaved his head. Then they mockingly paraded him around the village, shouting slurs against him and other Christians," the report said. "They also forced Matish to go to their religious temples. When the mob finally released him, they warned him not to continue the construction."

Another GFA structure "stood for only one month before the militants attacked," and the "anti-Christian hate groups have also taken over another GFA-related church building in Orissa."

World Vision facilities also were involved, officials said.

"The extremist organizers saw an opportunity to bring more sadness and grief to the Christians by attacking them on their most joyous holiday," GFA said.

"I hope that the government in Orissa will do everything in its power to protect the believers and bring peace to the state," said Yohannan.

Gospel for Asia is a mission organization involved in evangelism and church planting in Asia's unreached regions. It currently supports more than 16,500 native missionaries in 10 nations.

The AICC, which was launched in 1998, was set up to serve the Christian community, minorities and oppressed castes in India. It is made up from thousands of Indian denominations, organizations and lay leaders.

WND also reported earlier when religious radicals threatened to burn a Christian church's pastor and his family, and the church building was vandalized with a Hindu "Om" symbol.

Just weeks earlier, another church leader in India was attacked, beaten and kicked for being Christian.

Even within the United States, there have been attacks, although verbal instead of physical. As WND reported, the Hindu American Foundation has attacked Christian organizations ranging from the Southern Baptists' missions board and Gospel for Asia to Olive Tree Ministries, which aims to teach Christians about their beliefs.

"The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet," said Vinay Vallabh, the lead author of a report that attacked the Christian groups for their expression of their beliefs.

"We must vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance," Vallabh said.

Vallabh's report, called "Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus," expresses his hope that Internet Service Providers will start censoring Christian postings of their beliefs, "a necessary step as we continue our balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that leads to violence in the electronic age."

Title: Tenth Judicial District Court of Tennessee Participates in Religious Persecution
Post by: Shammu on December 28, 2007, 03:37:17 PM
Tenth Judicial District Court of Tennessee Participates in Religious Persecution

by Staff
December 21, 2007

TELLICO PLAINS, Tenn., ( -- A Tellico Plains man serving over a Christian mission property is charged criminally by anti Christian neighbors for trespassing on his own property.

"Corruption in the Tennessee 10th Judicial Circuit seems to becoming a way of life after The Ten Commandments were removed from our court house." says Appalachian Youth Missions Counsel Member Scott Morgan. "It's sad when frivolous criminal complaints are filed to obstruct Christian Mission Work, but it's even worse when the district attorneys office supports these frivolous complaints.

A criminal summons for trespassing was served on Mr. Morgan and National Missions Coordinator George Raudenbush, signed by Monroe County Clerk Martha Cook on May 4, 2007. According to court records, the complainant Marlene Duncan an anti Christian activist, swore out the same complaint during April of 2006 against Mr. Raudenbush a Christian Missionary. All complaints were dismissed including the most recent by a grand jury finding no wrong doing on the part of Mr. Morgan or Mr. Raudenbush.

Mr. Morgan filed a police report after being pursued, harassed and attacked by Mrs. Duncan at a local restaurant for his Christian involvement with Appalachian Youth Missions. No action was taken by law enforcement or the district attorneys office.

During a prior court proceeding, Mr. Morgan was instructed by Monroe County Circuit Court Judge John B. Haggler that his Christian Bible had no place in his courtroom. This week Judge John B. Haggler stepped down from the bench under criminal investigation. "What surprised me most was that both the district attorney Steve Bebb, Monroe County Clerk Martha Cook and local Bar President Peter Alliman zealously supported Judge Haggler after his suspicious activities were uncovered by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation" "It says a lot about our district attorney, county clerk and local bar association when they openly support an anti Christian judge who is under criminal investigation".

Last year, Mr. Raudenbush the National Missions Coordinator for Appalachian Youth Missions was abducted and tortured and a mission vehicle was fire bombed destroying it completely. No action was taken by the district or state attorneys office.

Every American Citizen is endowed with an inherent right and responsibility to hold public officials accountable.

Tenth Judicial District Court of Tennessee Participates in Religious Persecution (

Title: North Korea Sets Up Fake Underground Churches to Expose Christians
Post by: Shammu on December 29, 2007, 07:01:17 PM
North Korea Sets Up Fake Underground Churches to Expose Christians
By - Ruby Hwang
Christian Post Correspondent
Tue, Dec. 25 2007 10:55 AM ET

The North Korean government is reportedly setting up fake underground churches and disguising national security agents as defectors to expose Christians, reported a North Korea-focused online news agency.

The Daily NK, established by long-time activists who have been working to change North Korea, claims that a portion of underground churches existing in North Korea are disguised churches controlled by North Korea’s National Security Agency.

“The fact that North Korea government formed a fake underground church with National Security Agency agents was revealed as the truth,” an inside source told the Daily NK.

According to the source, NSA agents disguise themselves as defectors and approach Korean church organizations based in China to receive Bibles and money. After they receive funds by claiming to church organizations that they are engaging in mission activities, they start up secret churches beginning with NSA agents and then concentrate their efforts to arrest real secret churches connected with China.

The Daily NK’s inside source said they verified this fact with an NSA-related member. Among NSA agents, the operation is an open secret.

The fake underground church is receiving funds from Korean churches that do not know the reality of the situation, the inside source claimed.

If the Korean church is not stricter about the security regarding the underground church support project and underground church member circumstances then they will fill up the stomachs of NSA agents and cause damage to the underground church, the source added.

North Korea, one of the most repressive regimes in the world, has been criticized for the systemic, widespread and serious violations of human rights that reportedly take place in the country as well as the government's refusal to cooperate with the U.N. human rights commissioner or special investigator.

The communist state has also been criticized for its all pervasive and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, religion, assembly and movement, its imposition of the death penalty for political reasons, the detention of thousands in prison camps, the punishment and torture of border-crossers, and the maltreatment of people with disabilities.

North Korea is ranked by the international ministry Open Doors as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians.

North Korea Sets Up Fake Underground Churches to Expose Christians (

Title: Christians fear attacks by Indian Hindus
Post by: Shammu on December 29, 2007, 08:12:32 PM
Christians fear attacks by Indian Hindus

Sat Dec 29, 9:52 AM ET

BHUBANESHWAR, India - Hundreds of Christians, fearing more clashes with Hindu nationalists, fled to government-run relief camps where authorities on Saturday were providing them with food, medicine and security.

The clashes left at least four people dead last week, including three killed when police fired on a group of hard-line Hindus that had torched a police station in Kandhamal district's Brahmangaon village. Another person also died in the communal fighting.

The Hindus had complained that the police were failing to protect them from Christians.

The killings and subsequent flight of nearly 700 Christians to four relief camps are the latest in a series of religious and political power struggles in the secular but Hindu-dominated India's eastern state of Orissa, which has one of the worst histories of anti-Christian violence.

In 1999, an Australian missionary and his two sons, aged 8 and 10, were burned to death in their car in Orissa following a Bible study class.

But relations between religious minorities — such as Christians, who account for 2.5 percent of the country's 1.1 billion people, and Muslims, who make up 14 percent — are usually peaceful.

There were conflicting reports of what sparked the violence in rural Kandhamal, about 840 miles southeast of New Delhi. Each side blamed the other.

The Hindu hard-liners said Christians tried to attack an 80-year-old leader, Laxmanananda Saraswati, of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad group, who leads an anti-conversion movement.

The New Delhi-based Catholic Bishops Conference of India said the fighting began when Hindu extremists took offense at a show marking Christmas Eve, believing it was an attempt to convert poor and lower-caste Hindus to Christianity.

That has long embittered Hindu groups who say Christian missionaries try to lure the poor and those on the lowest rungs of Hinduism's complex caste-system away with promises of money and jobs.

Since Monday, Hindu nationalists have ransacked and burned about 19 churches, according to officials who say Christians burned down several Hindu homes in apparent retaliation.

Authorities were providing food, medicine and security to Christians moving into the four relief camps, said Pradeep Kapoor, the inspector-general of police.

Two police officers were suspended and a top district administrator was transferred for failing to prevent the violence, Kapoor told The Associated Press. Nearly 800 police and paramilitary forces were trying to restore calm.

At least 25 people have been arrested, Superintendent of Police Narsingh Bhol said.

Christians fear attacks by Indian Hindus (;_ylt=AjDHeiFhwUj5.VL9vgsj5mwBxg8F)

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 31, 2007, 02:56:24 PM
Ministry founder: U.S. Christians 'absolutely not prepared' for persecution

The founder of Gospel for Asia says while persecution is increasing worldwide for Christians, he believes it will soon impact believers in America -- and K.P. Yohannan says they need to get ready for it.

Persecution against Christians is increasing worldwide, especially in countries such as India, where attacks on churches and Christians by Hindu extremists have increased dramatically. In fact, when missionaries graduate from Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bible colleges, they are told to expect persecution -- and perhaps even death -- for spreading the gospel.

According to GFA founder K.P. Yohannan, Christians in those countries expect such treatment and are prepared when the tough times come. But he believes Christians in America will soon be faced with persecution as well -- and he is fearful that many are not ready.

"The great falling-away from faith could be worst here in [America] because people are absolutely not prepared to face suffering or persecution -- because we cannot imagine a gospel with the cross and the suffering in it," says Yohannan. "Yet the Bible teaches very strong about it. So as the Word of God says: He who has ears, let him hear."

The ministry leader is convinced that prosperity has caused many Christians in America to focus on material possessions instead of surrendering all to Christ. The result, he says, is that American Christians have become "very naïve" in thinking that real persecution will never come their way.

"These are warning signs," he exclaims. "God is telling us [that] we need to prepare our lives. And preachers going around saying that revival is coming, and everything is okay, and all these things? I think that people are [being] set up for huge disaster and denying their faith when they face problems."

It is estimated that more than 16,000 Christians are martyred worldwide each year for their faith.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 03:54:02 PM
The founder of Gospel for Asia says while persecution is increasing worldwide for Christians, he believes it will soon impact believers in America

We are already starting to see it here, from other "Christian churches."

It is estimated that more than 16,000 Christians are martyred worldwide each year for their faith.

I myself think that number is higher. I'm almost sure there are Christians martyred that are not known about.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 31, 2007, 04:26:03 PM

Statistics are just estimates. It is difficult to obtain exact numbers as not all incidents are reported with religion being the basis of the situation and then there are many that may claim Christianity as their religion that do not even have any semblance whatsoever to Christianity. Such as some place Roman Catholics and Protestants together and others do not then some go to the outer extreme of placing some Buddhists as Christians.

A German Religious Liberty Commission reports that as least 55,000 Christians are killed every year for their faith.

An average of 171,000 Christians worldwide are martyred for their faith per year as of mid-year 2007 estimates made by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Per a WND article of June 23, 2005:

While solid numbers are difficult to ascertain, it has been estimated that as many as 160,000 Christians are martyred each year worldwide.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on December 31, 2007, 04:44:36 PM
We are already starting to see it here, from other "Christian churches."

I myself think that number is higher. I'm almost sure there are Christians martyred that are not known about.

Hello DreamWeaver,

Brother, I agree completely. There are probably mass graves around the world full of slaughtered Christians that we've heard nothing about at all. I suspect that mass killing of Christians has been going on for many years in Islamic countries and places like North Korea. The reported 16,000 Christians killed each year are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

I would also agree that Christians in this part of the world are soft and not prepared for serious trials. In fact, I think that many self-proclaimed Christians aren't Christians at all. In terms of preparation, we wouldn't be talking about stockpiling food and things like that, rather of becoming Strong in CHRIST. GOD has already supplied the food we need to grow stronger - HIS WORD. The real POWER is of GOD and from GOD. We can't be strong in and of ourselves, but we belong to ALMIGHTY GOD, the KING OF KINGS. Our Salvation is in HIM and so is our STRENGTH! We simply need to yield to HIM and let HIM work in and through us. So, the STRENGTH we need is GOD in us and GOD working through us.

Love In Christ,

2 Timothy 4:16-18 NASB
At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Colossians 1:9-12 NASB
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 3:14-19 NASB
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 6:10-17 NASB
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Philippians 4:12-13 NASB
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Title: Woman Escorted Off Bus For Reading Bible Aloud
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 04:54:28 PM
Woman Escorted Off Bus For Reading Bible Aloud
Reporting Carol Cavazos
Dec 30, 2007

FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) ― A passenger on a Fort Worth bus says the T. Bus Service discriminated against her religion.

Christine Lutz says she was reading her Bible to her children when the bus driver asked her to stop or get off the bus.

Lutz, a Seventh Day Adventist, and her children were on their way to church.

"She then said, 'Well I don't think this is the place or the time to do so.' And I said, 'Oh, but it's the perfect time and the perfect place since it is our Sabbath and it is the time with the Lord and therefore I'm going to continue.' And I continued," she explained.

Then, a TRE supervisor came on board. Lutz also told him that she would not stop reading. She and her family were escorted off the bus.

"This was definitely a clear cut case of persecution," she said.

Or was it a clear cut case of policy?

"Anyone who is loud will be asked to be quiet," said representative Joan Hunter. "That is a standard policy across country in the transit industry."

It doesn't matter what is said, the T has a policy of no loud or abusive behavior.

"It's only if the other passengers will complain, or it's obviously so loud it's distracting the operator, that we will ask them to stop," Hunter explained.

Woman Escorted Off Bus For Reading Bible Aloud (

Title: India Christians Hiding In Jungles As Violence Continues
Post by: Shammu on December 31, 2007, 04:57:09 PM
India Christians Hiding In Jungles As Violence Continues
Sunday, 30 December 2007 (23 hours ago)
By Santosh Digal

Anti-Christian violence continues in Orissa.    

BHUBANESWAR, INDIA -- Over one thousand Christians, including priests, nuns, women and children, have fled to the jungles of India’s Orissa State where deadly anti-Christian violence entered its seventh day, a church official told BosNewsLife Sunday, December 30.

"The situation is still under tension," in Orissa’s communal clash-stricken district of Kandhama, said Leena Joseph a missionary nun of the Catholic St. Joseph order in Orissa, after Hindu extremists’ attacks killed at least nine Christians this week and injured many more.   

"Church leaders and minority Christians have lost faith in the government and police for having failed to protect the minority community," she added, referring to the Christians hiding in jungles. “The government has always passive, inactive and apathetic when it comes to Christians and their welfare," the nun added.

It came as police on Sunday, December 30, apparently expelled a national fact-finding mission of Christian officials from the tense Kandhamal district, some 336 kilometers (210 miles) southwest of Orissa’s capital Bhubaneswar, BosNewsLife established.


In a statement obtained by BosNewsLife, team-leader John Dayal, a member of the National Integration Council advising the government, said he and five other officials were prevented from entering violence affected areas.

Police Chief Pradeep Kapoor, who supervises security forces in the area, reportedly denied the reported death toll of at least nine Christians, and expressed doubts that  dozens of churches and other buildings were burned down. It was not immediately possible to verify those reported comments immediately, but several church sources have spoken of widespread destruction in Orissa.

The All India Christian Council (AICC), a major advocacy group of thousands of Indian denominations, organizations and lay leaders, said so far six dead bodies had been recovered while about 400 Christian homes and 60 churches were torched by angry Hindu mobs.

"Young and healthy Christians have left their villages to flee for their lives, children, women, old and sick who could not flee for their lives are in great danger of their lives,” said Dayal. Christians, he said, "are starving for the last four days, sick are suffering without medical attention."


Meanwhile in statements obtained by BosNewsLife, victims said they "are forced to convert to Hinduism" if they are to get food, medical attention and shelter and their "heads are shelved off."

There has been international concern about the situation.

On Sunday, December 30, a US-based human rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) joined in the debate, saying clashes in Kandhamal district, some 336 kilometers (210 miles) southwest of Orissa’s capital Bhubaneswar, was carried out by  Hindu groups who were conducting an "anti Christian" campaign for several years.

HRW alleged that authorities looked the other way and urged India’s government to “act immediately" to end the violence between Hindus and Christians in Orissa.

It said it was important that an independent inquiry was launched to identify those instigating the riots. "The Orissa government should have addressed this problem before it became violent," added HRW Asia Division’s Senior Researcher Meenakshi Ganguly, in comments monitored by BosNewsLife


"The authorities are still failing to react quickly enough, and now ordinary people are being attacked," the researcher added. "Unless there is a vigorous attempt by the national government to investigate such activities promoting religious hate, India's secular identity will be seriously jeopardized," Ganguly said.

Earlier Sunday, December 30, a delegation claiming to represent millions of Indian Christians met Indian Vice President Mohanmad Hamid Ansari, urging him to  protect the Christians in Orissa and help villagers to return to their homes.

The violence began Monday, December 24, when Hindu mobs interrupted Christmas celebrations and vandalized Christmas decorations in several areas of Kandhamal district. The violence soon spread, with reports of nine deaths and hundreds injured.

Local Hindus claim the violence began after Christians attacked a Hindu leader. Christians say the attacks — the latest in several bouts of religious violence that have plagued the state over the past few years — were sparked by church plans for a performance to celebrate Christmas.


Orissa is predominantly Hindu, with a small Christian minority of less than one million people. Over the past few years, though, thousands of Hindus have converted to Christianity, adding to anger among nationalist organizations who church officials say are behind the latest violence.

"They want to convert people to Christianity and convert the country into a Christian land," said Swami Laxmananand Saraswati, head of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) or 'World Hindu Council', one of India's biggest Hindu nationalist groups.» We are opposed to that and that is the source of all disputes and fights," the official told reporters.

In addition, as with most communal violence in India, the latest explosion of hatred is also the result of a tangled intersection of political power, communal prejudice and the “injustices” of Hinduism's archaic caste system, analysts and church officials say.

Orissa has a history of religious tensions. In one of the most publicized cases, in 1999, right-wing Hindu activists burned alive Australian Protestant missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons in their car in Orissa following a Bible study class. The killing of a Catholic priest, Father Arul Doss of Balasore diocese, occurred the same year by same Hindu activists.

There have been hundreds of attacks against Christians across India in the last two years alone, according to human rights watchers, who fear an increase in anti-Christian violence. Christians comprise less than three percent of the country’s mainly Hindu population of 1.1 billion people.

India Christians Hiding In Jungles As Violence Continues (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 01, 2008, 10:21:26 AM
Sidewalk counselor's bones broken while on clinic duty
Man escorting women into abortion business knocks 69-year-old unconscious

Pro-life activists are calling for an investigation into – and possibly prosecution of – police officers who responded to a severely injured abortion clinic sidewalk counselor, but then allowed his suspected attacker to leave the scene.

"It is unbelievable that an officer would allow an attacker to go free after inflicting life-threatening injuries on an elderly gentleman, then threaten to arrest the witness to the crime," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue.

"That was not only unprofessional conduct, but it showed a fundamental lack of respect for Mr. Snell's life and beliefs. She should face serious discipline."

The attack happened just before Christmas, as Ed Snell, 69, was trying to counsel women entering the Hillcrest Abortion Center in Harrisburg, Pa., according to witnesses at the scene.

According to a report by the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, the work of counselors such as Snell had been so effective at Hillcrest that the abortion business had built a 7-foot-tall privacy fence to prevent counselors from speaking to women entering the business.

So counselors started bringing ladders to see over the fence. Snell, however, built a platform on top of his vehicle in order to have a more stable location to stand.

John McTernan, a witness to the incident, said Snell tried to counsel a woman who got out of a vehicle and was going towards the abortion business with a man.

However, the man suddenly jumped the fence, "leaped on the vehicle with Ed and catapulted him off of the vehicle and onto the ground," he said. Snell landed on his back and head and was knocked unconscious, he said.

He was hospitalized with multiple trauma, bleeding in his head, compression fractures of four vertebrae, two broken ribs and a broken shoulder, the report said.

The problem escalated when three police officers who arrived on the scene to investigate allowed the attacker to leave, the report said. Even though the assailant still was in the business when officers arrived, and they were able to talk with him, they allowed the assailant and his companion to drive away, the report said.

The report said the following exchange then developed:

    McTernan to police: "What are you doing? That's him! That's the assailant!"

    Officer: "It is none of your business."

    McTernan: "I am making it my business. Ed Snell is my good friend."

The officer then threatened to arrest McTernan, and he responded. "I want to know why the assailant walked away from this scene where an elderly man was left unconscious."

That was followed by another threat to arrest McTernan by the officer, who then drove away.

It wasn't until after the extent of Snell's injuries were documented by the hospital that the assailant was arrested, the report said. A WND call to the Harrisburg police department was referred to the mayor's office, and officials there did not return messages seeking a comment.

"I cannot imagine me [as a pro-lifer], striking someone connected with Hillcrest [Abortion Center], knocking them unconscious, the police coming, the injured person being taken away in an ambulance and the police letting me go," McTernan said. "There is something wrong with that."

The report also said pro-lifers asked the abortion business receptionist about the incident, and were told, "He got what he deserved."

Operation Rescue said the incident was another in a "growing list" of attacks on pro-life advocates in recent months.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 03, 2008, 01:51:54 PM
9 dead in attacks by Hindu gangs 
90 churches, 600 homes torched during violence

Nine people are dead and dozens of churches and hundreds of Christians' homes have been torched during a surge of Hindu violence in India, according to reports from organizations working there.

Compass Direct News reports that the deaths and damage have been reported since Christmas Eve, when members of the extremist World Hindu Council launched their assaults on the faithful belonging to Christianity.

"Orissa state's Kandhamal district remains tense 10 days after the series of anti-Christian attacks began, and thousands of Christians whose houses have been burned down are facing hunger and fear," the Compass Direct report said.

Pastor Victor John, who was in the region during the attacks, said federal Indian troops have been deployed, but there still remain tensions and worries.

The nation's Human Rights Commission this week reported nine deaths from the attacks, close to 90 churches burned, about 600 homes either torched or vandalized, and about 5,000 people forced to flee.

Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, a leader of the World Hindu Council (VHP), told local reporters that the violence was triggered by Hindus who converted to Christianity.

While John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council, told Compass the death toll remained unconfirmed, there appeared to be a number of such cases.

"Many people, including young women, are still reported missing," Dayal told Compaass Direct. "We have no accounting, and neither do we know if the police have tried to search for them. Christians have been arrested, we learn, but there is no official word on it.

"Troublemakers seem to have a free hand in the entire district," he said.

One of difficulties, he said, is that the government forces have prevented church groups from sending teams into the area of the attacks to assess damage and offer assistance.

The violence apparently erupted first in Kandhamal as members of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in one small village were preparing for their Christmas celebration.

A Hindu mob, upset with Christianity's beliefs and the apparent choice by some Hindus to follow Christianity, attacked the Christians and their shops, the Compass Direct agency reported.

The blame, the report said, rests with Saraswati, who has opposed Christians and their work in India for more than a decade.

"It was Saraswati who instigated the mob to attack us," one Christian villager told Compass Direct on condition of anonymity. "Later, Christians learned that Saraswati was coming to launch more attacks. Sections of Christians tried to stop him on the way, which resulted in a clash between the two groups, following which the VHP claimed that their leader was hurt and announced that now Christians would be attacked as revenge."

The series of attacks earlier prompted Christians to stage a rally to demand government intervention to halt violence against members of the minority religion.

The recent rally in Delhi drew an estimated 1,000 Christians and was organized by the All India Christian Council.

A message was delivered to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after officials met with Union Home Minister Shivraj V. Patil, as well as the head of the National Commission for Minorities.

However, Compass Direct also reported that the very officials who are supposed to be keeping order sometimes apparently have contributed to the problems. Local police officers in Bangalore recently arrested and harassed five workers from the Indian Church of Christ, the report said.

"One man holding a video camera slapped me on the face while focusing the camera on us, while others held us by our collars," Shaijus Philip told Compass. "A huge guy kept hitting and punching us, using abusive language against Christianity, the church and us. They caught hold of three more brothers who were there and called the police, falsely accusing us of various crimes."

The Christians were jailed five days, while their attackers went free, the report said.

"The Christians were arrested for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus," an officer in a police station said.

"The police, who are supposed to protect all citizens from criminal assaults, are often found to be conniving with the ruling government to organize religion-related violence or harass the victims hoping to get bribes," a spokesman for the Christian Legal Association told Compass.

In just one incident alone, a mob estimated at 25 Hindu extremists attacked a troupe of Christians who had been putting on a play, cutting off one man's finger and seriously injuring several others.

Earlier, Hindu extremists were accused of disrupting a prayer meeting, attacking a pastor and filing false charges of forcible conversion against the church leader in Virajpet town, Kodagu district, in Karnataka.

Another gang of Hindu extremists attacked a prayer meeting, pelting the building being used with stones and beating up Christians.

And the violence continues. According to Assist News Service, seven Christian church members were beaten on New Year's Day, with two members admitted to a government hospital for treatment.

"More than 200 believers … were praying … when about 25 radicals entered the church with metal rods, knives and started to mercilessly attack on the peaceful worshippers," the report said.

"Our leaders in Orissa and media reports both indicate that attacks on Christians were not spontaneous but preplanned by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Hindutva groups. Also, the state government misled the people of India by making repeated statements that the situation was under control. It is tragic. Orissa burned while politicians talked," said Dr. Joseph D'souza, president of the All India Christian Council and international president of the Dalit Freedom Network.

"Hindutva leaders say the violence is a response to conversions by Christian missionaries," said Udit Raj, national chairman of the All India Confederation. "But this is a lie. Christian missionaries are targeted by Hindutva and upper cast forces because Christians truly provide education and social upliftment…"

Singh has responded with an announcement of a plan for compensation for Christian victims of the riots and attacks. According to the Global Council of Indian Christians, he's proposed a payment of about $2,400 U.S. for the next of kin for the victims, and about $240 U.S. for those whose homes were damaged.

According to Gospel for Asia, another Christian ministry working in India, the violence has amounted to a virtual terror campaign against Christians.

"This violence against believers in Orissa breaks my heart," said K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of GFA. "This is the same state where missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were martyred. The believers know they will face opposition, but this outburst of persecution at Christmas time is especially disturbing."

GFA said a project on which its missionaries had worked in Orissa was destroyed, and its missionary leader Matish Junni attacked.

"The mob beat Matish and shaved his head. Then they mockingly paraded him around the village, shouting slurs against him and other Christians," the report said. "They also forced Matish to go to their religious temples. When the mob finally released him, they warned him not to continue the construction."

WND recently reported when religious radicals threatened to burn a Christian church's pastor and his family, and the church building was vandalized with a Hindu "Om" symbol.


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 03, 2008, 01:52:25 PM
Just weeks earlier, another church leader in India was attacked, beaten and kicked for being Christian.

Even within the United States, there have been attacks, although verbal instead of physical. As WND reported, the Hindu American Foundation has attacked Christian organizations ranging from the Southern Baptists' missions board and Gospel for Asia to Olive Tree Ministries, which aims to teach Christians about their beliefs.

"The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the Internet," said Vinay Vallabh, the lead author of a report that attacked the Christian groups for their expression of their beliefs.

"We must vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance," Vallabh said.

Vallabh's report, called "Hyperlink to Hinduphobia: Online Hatred, Extremism and Bigotry Against Hindus," expresses his hope that Internet Service Providers will start censoring Christian postings of their beliefs, "a necessary step as we continue our balancing act between free speech and licentious speech that leads to violence in the electronic age."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on January 03, 2008, 03:51:29 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

We should all be getting the picture soon if we don't already have it. Everyone is allowed to have beliefs and practice those beliefs except Christians. It appears that there are well established freedoms to be anything except a Christian, and this is progressing rapidly in this part of the world ALSO!

"HINDUPHOBIA" - WOW! - give us all a break! There is NO fear or hatred of Hindus - just disagreement. They disagree with everyone who isn't a Hindu, and everyone who isn't a Hindu disagrees with them. ALL of the violence and hatred appears to be the exact opposite of what they are claiming. JUST where is any information about Christians committing violence against non-Christians?

It looks like things are getting pretty wild and growing worse now by almost the minute. BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELT!

The worst I've heard about is Christians finally defending themselves, and that isn't unique to ANY religion at all. Hindus say that other religions are false, and the same is said about their religion. The difference is that they are the ones committing the violence and performing acts of extreme hatred - NOT CHRISTIANS!

Title: Megachurches Targeted for Pro-Gay Campaign
Post by: Shammu on January 04, 2008, 08:08:31 PM
Megachurches Targeted for Pro-Gay Campaign
Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Dec. 03 2007 04:49 PM ET

Two homosexual groups plan to launch a national campaign targeting the most influential megachurches and its leaders in an attempt to change their views on gays and lesbians.

Soulforce, which promotes "pro-gay" interpretations of Scripture, and COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere) are currently recruiting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) parents and their children along with other supporters for "The American Family Outing" in 2008. Selected families will visit six major megachurches to "educate" the public on the issue of homosexuality.

"Through our visibility we hope to peacefully challenge the false stereotypes about LGBT people and same-gender families, and educate the public through authentic and personal conversations - real parents sharing their stories and describing the hurtful effects of prejudice and religious condemnation," said a statement describing the national campaign, which will run from Mother's Day weekend in May through Father's Day weekend in June.

Churches being targeted are those led by Joel Osteen, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dr. Rick Warren, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., Bill Hybels and Bishop Eddie Long. Along with most Christian leaders, all have expressed to some degree an opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.

Soulforce contends that these younger generation evangelical leaders "are striving to change the tone of the national political debate with messaging that is less punitive, therefore making religion-based discrimination seem more palatable to the mainstream American public."

The upcoming campaign comes at a time when more evangelical churches are showing compassion toward the homosexual community. While still rejecting homosexual behavior as sin, Christians are increasingly welcoming and loving homosexuals, departing from the hateful and homophobic labels often attached to churches.

Still, churches continue to struggle with the issue of homosexuality in a culture that is more open to gay and lesbian lifestyles.

Participants of The American Family Outing plan to attend a worship service at each of the megachurches and also request time for panel discussions and a chance to engage in informal conversations with congregants of the churches.

Before the visits, 40 recruited families are required to attend a weekend of training in Austin, Texas, in February to prepare for theological dialogue and nonviolent direct action.

Megachurches Targeted for Pro-Gay Campaign (

Title: Malaysia Embroiled in Another Conversion Court Battle
Post by: Shammu on January 04, 2008, 08:10:44 PM
Malaysia Embroiled in Another Conversion Court Battle
Sze Leng Chan
Christian Post Correspondent
Fri, Jan. 04 2008 10:01 AM ET

Malaysia is engaged in yet another conversion court battle, with the country’s high court deciding whether the Christian widower of a Malaysian woman has the legal right to stop Islamic authorities from burying her in accordance with Muslim rites.

The judges in the court have to decide whether Wong Sau Lan, 53, converted to Islam before she died. The conversion claim made by the Islamic Council is being contested by her husband, Ngiam Tee Kong, who had received a notice from the council that she converted to Islam on Christmas Eve.

The case is the latest in the string of cases brought before the court that tests the strength of the Malaysian Constitution in defending religious freedom for minority groups.

Last year, Lina Joy, one of Malaysia’s best known Christians, lost a six-year battle with the government over its refusal to remove Islam from her national identity card even though she converted to Christianity.

In his judgment against Joy, Federal Court Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim had stated that individuals “cannot simply convert from one religion to another (at the whim and fancy of the individual)” even though religious freedom is protected by the constitution.

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship of Malaysia had condemned the court decision and claimed that it was retreating in the face of ”relentless onslaught” on their position

Malaysia Embroiled in Another Conversion Court Battle (

Title: Rioters burn two more churches in Kenya
Post by: Shammu on January 04, 2008, 08:23:12 PM
Rioters burn two more churches in Kenya
Steve Coleman
January 4, 2008

NAIROBI, Kenya- Two more churches have been burned down in Kenya by rioters protesting what they maintain was the president's rigged re-election.

Blackened flakes of Bible pages fluttered through the air and stained glass windows shattered as flames devoured a Lutheran church in Nairobi. Across the street, a second church was blazing.

Isaac Oronga watched fire consume the Evangelical Lutheran Church where he was baptized and where his parents were married. The 22-year-old Oronga said, "Politics has nothing to do with

Kenya is predominantly Christian, but churches have become targets in a violent ethnic rivalry exposed by the election dispute.

On Tuesday, a mob torched a church in the Kenyan city of Eldoret where members of the president's tribe had sought refuge. Witnesses said dozens, including children, were burned alive or hacked to death.

Rioters burn two more churches in Kenya (

Title: Police looked other way in attack on pro-lifer
Post by: Shammu on January 04, 2008, 08:26:08 PM
Sidewalk counselor's bones broken while on clinic duty
Man escorting women into abortion business knocks 69-year-old unconscious

Pro-life activists are calling for an investigation into – and possibly prosecution of – police officers who responded to a severely injured abortion clinic sidewalk counselor, but then allowed his suspected attacker to leave the scene.

More is coming out on this story.............

Police looked other way in attack on pro-lifer
Rusty Pugh
January 4, 2008

The leader of a Kansas-based pro-life group says as pro-lifers continue to come under attack, police departments are increasingly turning a blind eye to the attackers -- and in some cases, threatening the pro-lifers with arrest.
Hear this Report

Ed Snell, 69, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was hospitalized with injuries so severe that doctors feared he would die. The multiple trauma -- including a fractured skull, fractured vertebrae, and brain injury -- reportedly came at the hands of a man who was escorting a woman to have an abortion. Snell was attempting to counsel the woman from a distance when the attack occurred.

According to Operation Rescue president Troy Newman, witnesses to the attack summoned the police, who were across the street when the attack happened. Newman says not only did the police allow the perpetrator to leave the scene, but a female officer threatened one of the witnesses with arrest for interfering with a police investigation.

"I think it's really unconscionable when police officers, who are sworn to uphold the public trust and the law and order of the country, look aside from the perpetrator when a man is lying unconscious in the middle of the street," says the pro-life leader.

But Newman believes this is just part of an ongoing process. "[P]olice departments around the country [are trying] to hide what the abortion industry is doing, as pro-lifers are fervently exposing the unfruitful works of darkness," he shares. "Unfortunately, it could very well be part of a larger oppression of the Christian values that [believers] are expressing around the country."

Newman says it was only later, after learning of the seriousness of Snell's injuries, that the attacker was arrested and charged with felony assault.

Police looked other way in attack on pro-lifer (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 07, 2008, 11:04:21 AM
Arson blamed in three Alabama church fires

CRAWFORD, Ala.- The Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office says arson is to blame for three church fires last week, but investigators are unsure if the fires are related.

Greater Bethelpore Baptist Church in Smiths Station burned to the ground Thursday. Woodland Baptist Church in Ladonia received minor damage in a fire Friday.

At the Greater Peace and Goodwill AME Church in Crawford, Alabama, which was heavily damaged on New Year's Day, the Reverend James Parker said he would like to meet and pray with whoever is

Parker says, "You pray that the Lord can use this evil for something good. You pray that God will touch their heart." Another member of Greater Goodwill adds, "You can't burn God. You can't
defeat Him."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 08, 2008, 08:51:03 AM
"Satanists" charges in Alabama church fires

Two men who authorities say dabbled in devil worship have been arrested in a rash of church arsons and vandalism in rural eastern Alabama.

Three church fires were set last week and a fourth was vandalized. The vandalism included scrawling on the wall of one church's Sunday school classroom: "Teach children to worship Satan!!"

Geoffrey Parquette and James Clark, both 21, have entered not guilty pleas. Neither had an attorney at their court appearance yesterday and both remain in custody.

The two were arrested after a stolen cross was found in Parquette's home and his grandmother alerted authorities, according to church members briefed by investigators.

Russell County Sheriff Tommy Boswell says the suspects called themselves "spiritual satanists."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on January 08, 2008, 08:15:43 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

Some people might laugh when reading something like this because of the mention of satan. Satan, evil, and hell are just as real as GOD, good, and Heaven. Christians must know this. Many of the powers that we wrestle with are evil and quite REAL! Our GOD has the ultimate power, and HE uses it at HIS Times and in HIS Will.

Ephesians 6:10-17 NASB
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Brothers and Sisters, we must KNOW that these things are TRUE!

Love In Christ,


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on January 09, 2008, 10:13:52 AM
Moeller anticipates increased Christian persecution in '08

Carl Moeller, the president of Open Doors USA, says 2008 could see an increase in persecution against Christians worldwide.

While persecution against Christians increased dramatically last year in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Indonesia, Dr. Moeller expects the new year to see more instances of Christian persecution. The Open Doors leader says recent events show that hostility against Christians is on the rise worldwide.

"[The year] 2007 was probably the worst year on record for the growth of persecution worldwide," he shares. "But now as 2008 has started, it's very evident that as bad as 2007 was, 2008 is proving to be even more unstable in many, many parts of the world." He cites the current situation in Kenya, as well as the recent assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister of Pakistan -- which Moeller says has resulted not only in political instability there, but also the possibility of even greater persecution of the Christian community in Pakistan.

For now, Moeller says North Korea is the worst country when it comes to persecution against Christians. However, he says persecution has increased dramatically against believers in India and Indonesia. It is time, he says, for Christians in free nations to take action.

"We need to pray that 2008 will be a year that Christians around the world wake up and take action on behalf of those Christians in those places where this violence is taking place -- to stand with them and to help alleviate their suffering and [to] encourage them," the ministry leader urges.

Moeller says Christians in free nations can write embassies and government officials of countries where persecution is commonplace.

Title: Worst Christian Persecution Expected in Saudi Arabia, N. Korea
Post by: Shammu on January 12, 2008, 04:50:29 PM
Worst Christian Persecution Expected in Saudi Arabia, N. Korea
Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jan. 08 2008 08:23 AM ET

Islamic Saudi Arabia and communist North Korea are expected to be the world’s worst persecutors of Christians in 2008, a church persecution advocacy group predicted.

In both countries, Christianity is illegal and practice of the religion is strictly forbidden and results in severe punishments.

“In 2008 millions of Christians will face persecution,” said Andy Dipper, CEO of U.K.-based Release International, which released the survey of Christian persecution in the new year.

“They’re our family. If it was your husband, wife, daughter or son behind bars you’d move heaven and earth to help them,” he said. “So what better new year’s resolution than to take your stand with your brothers and sisters imprisoned for their faith?”

According to Release, most of the persecution of Christians in 2008 will take place in four “zones” – Islam, Communism, Hinduism and Buddhism. Harassment can originate from the government or its agents – such as the secret police, military, and judiciary – or from non-governmental movements, such as militant Islamic groups.

In the Islam zone, Saudi Arabia stands out not only for its extremely harsh laws against all religion other than the Wahhabi branch of Islam, but also because it spends millions each year disseminating Islamic teachings around the world.

These religious literatures have been accused by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) of spreading intolerance among young Muslims by teaching them to hate “infidels,” or non-believers.

Besides Saudi Arabia, moderate Muslim countries are also guilty of not providing enough protection for their Christian minorities.

In moderate countries such as Egypt and Turkey, Christians still suffer from kidnapping, forced conversion to Islam, imprisonment, destruction of churches, execution, rape of Christian girls, torture, and discrimination in education, employment, housing and legal system.

“Islamist militants often view Christians and non-Muslims as infidels, who must be converted, by force if necessary, or be killed or driven out of Islamic lands,” according to Release. “They believe it is their religious duty to impose Islamic Sharia law throughout their nation.”

Meanwhile, in communist regimes such as China, Cuba, and North Korea, believers face a more systemic form of persecution that involves house arrest, interrogation, fines, and imprisonment.

But in North Korea, which remains arguably the world’s worst persecutor of Christians, believers are imprisoned in special labor camps, brutally tortured and even publicly executed.

“Pressures include an absolute ban on owning a Bible, assembling to pray or to read the Scriptures, and evangelism – even of one’s own children,” said Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea. Helping Hands, a partner of Release International, helps refugees escape North Korea.

Peters added, “Being discovered as a member of the underground church inside North Korea can result in one’s entire family being sent to a prison camp, and even torture and summary execution in extreme cases.”

In the Hindu zone, Christians face extremists who have lately increased attacks against not only believers in Jesus but also Muslims. This Hindu nationalism is linked to one of the country’s largest political parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is associated with a number of militant Hindu groups.

Believers are also persecuted in Buddhist Burma and Sri Lanka where religious militants regard Christianity as a threat to national identity and unity.

“Persecution is part of the normal Christian life – just as Jesus warned. But Jesus also told us to love one another, sacrificially,” said Release International’s Dipper. “And the Bible encourages us to bear one another’s burdens.

“At Release we’ve found it an immense privilege to stand with these faithful, overcoming Christians in prayer and in providing practical support,” he said, “And we have so much to learn from them.”

Release International works to support persecuted Christians in some 30 countries through its global network. The organization supports Christians imprisoned for their faith and the family they left behind. It also helps church workers, pastors and evangelists by providing training, Bibles, Christian literature and broadcasts.

Other efforts include reconstructing Christian homes destroyed in riots and providing legal aid, shelter, medicine and welfare.

Release International is a member of UK organizations Global Connections, the Evangelical Alliance and the Micah Network.

Worst Christian Persecution Expected in Saudi Arabia, N. Korea (

Title: Orissa Christians Told to 'Convert or Die'
Post by: Shammu on January 26, 2008, 01:39:58 PM
Orissa Christians Told to 'Convert or Die'
Peter B. Beita
Christian Post Correspondent
Wed, Jan. 23 2008 09:24 AM ET

Christians in India’s Orissa state who were victims of the recent wave of communal violence are now being told to “covert or die” by Hindu fanatics.

The ultimatum issued by the Hindu extremists has forced some Christians to abandon their religion altogether, reported the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), a Bangalore-based Christian advocacy group.

"I am forced to convert to Hinduism whether I like or dislike; I cannot say further and my life is in danger," Promond Digal, 32, from the violence-hit Kandhamal district, told GCIC.

A clash over a decorative arch for the Christmas celebrations on Dec. 24 led to large-scale communal violence and attacks against churches throughout the district. Four people were confirmed death while 95 Churches and 730 houses were burnt down or destroyed after several days of violence, according to the All India Christian Council (AICC).

Earlier this month, a fact-finding team from the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) of India accused Hindu fundamentalists of perpetrating “organized and pre-planned attacks” against the Christian community. The commission pointed to possible involvement of organizations including Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Coucil), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteers’ Organization) and their affiliates.

AICC and GCIC, on the other hand, have openly accused the Hindu organizations of being responsible for the attacks on Christians.

Furthermore, although the anti-Christian violence has apparently subsided, ”fundamentalists are going to individual families with guns and threatening them to become Hindus," according to GCIC.

Christians who have converted to Hinduism expressed their helplessness about changing their religion.

"Fundamentalists came and threatened me and my family and said if you do not change your religion prepare to leave the village or die, there was no other way than to accept Hinduism," said B. Digal, 60, from Gochhapada village.

Catholic Christian Samonary Digal in the Kandhamal district similarly reported how the members of the RSS “warned me to prepare to die or to leave the place if you do not become Hindu.”

“Finally I had to accept what they say," he admitted

According to social worker R. Nayak, "25 Dalit families of Mahasingh village under K. Nuagam Block have been converted to Hinduism on Dec. 25.”

“They were forced to drink mixed water of cow dung, ghee and perform the Hindu ritual," he reported

"They live under threat and convert then. They live under danger and panic."

Another forced convert, who did not want to disclose his name, said he was told, "If you cannot be a Hindu, we will finish you off and set fire your entire house.”

However, he added, “I and my family have left the faith but God will remain with us."

Relief organizations, including Christian NGOs, are not yet allowed to go into the violence-struck districts. Food distribution from the state government, meanwhile, seems to be improving, GCIC reported.

Orissa state is often noted as the site of the 1999 slaying of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons – Philip, 10, and Timothy, 8 – who were burned to death as they slept inside their vehicle after a Bible study class. It is the only Indian state that has a law requiring people to obtain police permission before they change their religion – a move designed to counter missionary work.

Orissa Christians Told to 'Convert or Die' (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on January 26, 2008, 10:35:15 PM
Brothers and Sisters,

I would hope that every Christian reads the article above, prays for Christians in other parts of the world, and gives thanks for the FREEDOMS we still have in this part of the world. Generations have defended and preserved these FREEDOMS, and I have no intention of giving them up. I will continue to defend and preserve these FREEDOMS until the day I die, and I will NOT reject CHRIST. I will NOT worship a false god (little "g"). LORD WILLING, I will never have any shame to Boldly proclaim the Gospel of the Grace of GOD. May GOD give us all the strength, courage, and guidance to do HIS Will to our last breath on this earth. If death is the price for doing this, I pray that GOD will give me the courage to die in HIS NAME!

Love In Christ,


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on February 29, 2008, 10:35:47 AM
Woman freed from sentence for being 'Christian'
Government argued her father adopted Islam, making her Muslim

An Egyptian woman sentenced to three years in prison for putting her religion as "Christian" on her marriage certificate more than two decades ago has been released, according to her lawyer.

The release of Shadia Nagui Ibrahim, 47, came only a few weeks after WND reported on plans for a rally in Egypt on behalf of the woman who was unaware that when she was two years old, her father briefly left Christianity to pursue Islam, before returning to Christianity.

Under Egyptian law, that made her a Muslim for life, so she was charged with, and convicted of, fraud for putting "Christian" as her religion on her marriage certificate in 1982.

However, according to published reports in Egypt, the nation's attorney general ordered her released, citing a "mix-up" over her religion designation.

The case stems from the woman's marriage as a Christian, a restricted practice in Egypt. There Christians are not allowed to marry Muslims, only other Christians.

According to reports from the South African Press Association, the situation developed because of her father's actions when she was a toddler, and the fact that 20 years later, she didn't know about what had happened.

Sam Grace, of Coptic News told WND that the Christian community on Egypt was saying, "Enough is enough."

Egypt has in recent years moved its federal government closer and closer to Islamic sharia law, including an amendment to the constitution that Islamic law now is considered the source of jurisprudence in Egypt.

Such actions have dealt harshly with Christians, who with the rally "have decided to be more active in taking a stand," Grace told WND. "It seems they've kind of reached a point where they can't take it any more."

The woman's father eventually had someone forge personal identity documents that said he was a Christian. Reports say the forger was detained in 1996 and confessed to changing the documentation.

But when Shadia Ibrahim was married in 1982, she believed she was a Christian, and said so on her marriage documentation. Authorities later prosecuted her for "providing false information on official documents."

Her lawyer, Ramses El Naggar, told Egyptian reporters the attorney general felt the judgment in her case was made on the basis of erroneous information.

Egyptian authorities have not shown themselves tolerant of Christianity.

"In September, an Egyptian court extended the jail term of two Christian human rights activists, Adel Fawzy Faltas and Peter Ezzat, who were arrested in August. The men, members of the Middle East Christian Association, were arrested a day after they took part in documenting the alleged murder of a Copt by two members of the police force. They later were released.

Authorities also have threatened two young boys who were ordered to take training to be Muslims, but refused, stating they are Christian.

And there have been several attempts to deport from America Egyptian Christians who would be subject to penalties if returned because of their choices to live as Christians.

The Middle East Review of International Affairs said the rise of Islam in Egypt arrived with Anwar Sadat's tenure.

"He then initiated what one could, in hindsight, term 'the Great Islamic Transformation' of Egypt. The first step was to stipulate in the Second Article of his new Constitution, promulgated in 1971 (long before Khomeini embarked on his Islamic revolutionary campaign), that the Principles of Islamic Shari'a were 'a main source' of legislation. In May 1981, the 'a' was replaced with 'the,' making Shari'a the term of reference for the entire constitution, meaning all other articles were to be interpreted in that light," the organization said.

"The curricula of public schools, established by the Ministry of Education, ignore the Coptic era in Egypt's history. Courses glorifying Islam (the 'Only True Religion') and its history, while vilifying the crusaders (i.e. Christians) and the Jews, are imposed on all students," the group said.

"In the case of a father of a Christian family converting to Islam, his minor children are forced to follow suit: The mother's custody rights – a well established legal principle – are ignored in this case, as children, according to typical court rulings, are supposed to follow the 'better (or 'more noble') of the two religions,'" the group said.

An Egyptian Christian who had fled his home nation, "most assuredly has a right not to be tortured," a federal court ruled in allowing him to remain in the United States.

The court pointedly concluded that "diplomatic assurances" of his religious rights "by a country known to have engaged in torture" weren't reassuring.

A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by Muslims for 1,400 years.

"They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and children and the destruction of their places of worship," the report concluded.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an agency created by Congress, lists Egypt on its watch list of countries, noting it had "a poor overall human rights record."

Title: Laos Arrests 58 Christians, Sentences Church Leaders
Post by: nChrist on March 13, 2008, 09:28:18 AM
Laos Arrests 58 Christians, Sentences Church Leaders
Jeff M. Sellers

March 13, 2008

Prison terms given for doing ministry; Hmong families could be sent back to Vietnam.

LOS ANGELES -- Laotian officials arrested 15 Hmong Christian families in Bokeo district on February 22, a day before a court sentenced nine area Hmong church leaders to 15 years in prison for conducting Christian ministry and meetings that had grown beyond acceptable levels for communist officials.

Sources said that the day before the sentencing, Laotian authorities arrived in Ban Sai Jarern village in Bokeo (also called Bo Kew) district with six trucks, in which they hauled away eight Christian families. Authorities also arrested at least seven Christian families from Fai village three miles away, they said.

"It seems they are rounding up all Hmong Christians from Vietnam to send them back to Vietnam," said one Christian source who requested anonymity for security reasons. "What will happen to them is greatly feared and unknown."

The arrested families make up a total of 58 Hmong Christians.

In addition, officials have told the Hmong Christians that they will be returning to round up those who have moved there from other districts in Laos.

"They have been told that the officials will be sending them back to their home districts," the Christian source said. "Many Hmong in Bokeo district have married Hmong from other districts, so this will create tremendous hardship for many families."

The nine church leaders sentenced for conducting Christian ministry and meetings that had grown too large were rounded up during a police and military sweep of suspected rebels last July that left at least 13 innocent Christians dead. Although the Ban Sai Jarern Church is part of the government-registered and recognized Lao Evangelical Church, its meetings and ministries had become too prominent for the communist officials, sources said.

"There has always been a restriction in Laos for church growth, and for any people's movement for that matter, but it is not written in their laws -- they are supposed to have freedom of religion," the Christian source said. "The problem was that the church grew in number far beyond their imagination -- a growth that the church could not stop."

Further complicating problems for the Ban Sai Jarern congregation was the presence of the Vietnamese Hmong who had taken refuge in Bokeo district. As former church leaders in Vietnam, they are sought by Vietnamese authorities as well as Lao officials who mistakenly associate them with a rebel separatist movement.

"The Vietnamese Hmong Christians who took refuge in Bokeo district are being dragged into the issue of the separatist movement, an involvement that they have consistently denied," the source said.

Last July's government crackdown was unprecedented in the area, which had been free of both separatist activity and government interference in churches. But in 2006, sources said, authorities pursued Hmong who had fled religious or political persecution in Vietnam and had taken refuge in Ban Sai Jarern (or Ban Sai Jaroen).

The village Christians were largely Hmong, including about 20 refugee families from Vietnam, sources said. Vietnamese and Lao communist authorities have long been hostile to the Hmong for having fought alongside U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam War, often viewing them as supporters of separatist leader Gen. Vang Pao.

This hostility is doubled for Christian Hmong, area sources said, as the government considers Protestant Christianity an imperialist foreign religion backed by political interests in the West, particularly the United States. As a result, government forces have indiscriminately detained or killed Hmong Christians whom they mistakenly associated with separatists since previous generations aided U.S. forces in the Vietnam War.

Ban Sai Jarern church members have reported that no one from their congregation has had any contact or communication whatsoever with separatist rebels.

One of the Ban Sai Jarern church leaders rounded up last July, Dzong Tho Siong, was sent back to Vietnam in September. Siong had fled to Laos to avoid Vietnamese persecution in 2002. When his relatives went to visit him in jail in November 2007, sources said, guards told them he was no longer there and that they did not know where he had been taken.

"No one has heard of him again, and it is assumed that he has passed on," a Christian source said. "The relatives keep going back with food for him, but the jail officials all keep saying he is gone and they do not know where."

Most of the adults arrested on February 22 had been church leaders in villages in Vietnam who fled rather than face imprisonment, the source said, adding that many of them likewise will face a fate similar to Siong's without advocacy and intervention.

"Those who have been arrested and are in prison are feeling like no one is interested in their problem," the Christian source said. "They still do not know where they are being taken to. There are 58 innocent people involved here including women and children, and it is of grave concern what will happen to them."

It is feared that Laotian officials will require the Vietnamese parents of those arrested to come for their sons and daughters, the source said, and that Vietnamese authorities in turn will arrest the parents for failing to adequately care of them -- as supposedly evidenced by their children running away to Laos.

"The parents will endure great hardship as well," the source said.

Copyright 2008 Compass Direct News

Title: Jihad in an English churchyard
Post by: Shammu on March 17, 2008, 12:41:14 PM
Jihad in an English churchyard

15th March 2008

Blink and you could have missed it. Today's Daily Telegraph carried this tiny item (so insignificant is it considered to be that it doesn't even seem to be on the Telegraph's website):

A vicar was left seriously injured after he was attacked in his own churchyard by three Asian youths who taunted him about his Christianity. Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, needed hospital treatment after he was repeatedly hit in the face and body by the gang at St George-in-the-East church in Whitechapel, east London, on March 5. Police are treating the incident as a 'faith-hate' crime.

We know the faith that was the target of the hate. But which was the faith whose adherents were doing the hating? We all know, even though no-one is saying. Just as under Stalinism, we are now taking it for granted that we must read between the lines.

Doubtless this is yet further proof that the 'no-go areas' about which the Bishop of Rochester recently warned, but which everyone else from Westminster to Lambeth Palace assured us were a figment of the Bishop's imagination, don't exist.

It so happens that Canon Ainsworth has in the past spoken up in public in defence of maintaining the integrity of Christian churches as places unique to Christian worship. In March 2006, giving evidence to the Commons Select Committee on Media, Culture and Sport, he replied to the suggestion that other religions might use churches as places for their own religious worship:

There are some issues about using Christian churches of all denominations for worship by other faiths but there is very extensive community use by other faith groups in many areas. That is something to be encouraged. If there is very clear evidence that other faith groups are actively looking to use church buildings for worship, and on the whole my experience is that they would prefer to have their own buildings, then that is something that will always be carefully and sympathetically considered but at the end of the day there must be an issue about other faith worship in a Christian church.

Jihad in an English churchyard (

Title: Rector beaten up 'over his faith'
Post by: Shammu on March 17, 2008, 12:42:41 PM
Rector beaten up 'over his faith'
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones and Bnn Leach


A clergyman is in hospital after he was beaten up in his churchyard by three Asian youths, in an incident which police are treating as a "faith-hate" attack.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, asked the gang to keep their noise down but they turned on him, taunting him about his faith and hitting him in the face and body.

He was found slumped in the churchyard of St George-in-the-East in Stepney, east London. Police said the gang made "remarks insulting his occupation" before fleeing. advertisement

A parishioner said: "There was blood everywhere. All the church members are in shock. Our canon is such a nice man who has done so much for the parish."

Police are appealing for witnesses to the attack on March 5. No arrests have been made. Mr Ainsworth was initially treated in hospital and given the all-clear, but has since returned for further treatment after feeling unwell.

The canon, a former member of the Church of England's General Synod, moved to the area from Manchester last year. Colleagues said that his appointment was designed to improve the parish, which has a large Bangladeshi Muslim population and high levels of unemployment.

The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hulme, who used to work with Mr Ainsworth, said: "I would want to see a condemnation of this cowardly behaviour by senior Muslims in the community and really hope there isn't an over-reaction from the white community."

A survey of London clergy by National Churchwatch, which provides personal safety advice, found that nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous 12 months. The organisation suggested that vicars should consider taking off their dog collars when they are on their own.

Rector beaten up 'over his faith' (

Title: Re: Jihad in an English churchyard/Rector beaten up 'over his faith'
Post by: Shammu on March 17, 2008, 12:49:44 PM
We all need to wake up and smell the coffee or read the writing on the wall... It is the intention of some of these non-Christian denominations to either incorporate us or eliminate us.

England has fallen into the trap whereby the muslims are moving into an area and take it over by violence.

This will not stop, the muslims do what it takes to accomplish their agenda. To the Church of England and other Churches, Stand up and defend your Christian Faith!! Don't leave it to the clergy, Preist, Pastor to do it for you!! Pitch in and FIGHT, because if you don't, muslims will see you as weak-kneed cowards, and attacks such as these will increase!!

Title: Algeria Closes 2 Churches for 'Missionizing'
Post by: Shammu on March 17, 2008, 04:09:12 PM
Algeria Closes 2 Churches for 'Missionizing'
Written by Yaniv Berman
Published Monday, March 17, 2008
The Algerian authorities have ordered the closure of two Protestant churches in the northern district of Tizi Wazou, in order to investigate alleged "illegal activities," the Algerian daily Akhbar Al-Yawm reports.
"They are trying to establish a minority, which might give foreign powers a pretext to intervene with Algeria's domestic affairs," Minister of Religious Affairs Bu 'Abdallah Ghoulamullah told reporters.
The authorities in Tizi Wazou have also summoned Protestant clergymen for investigation. The decision was taken in full cooperation with the security authorities, in order to find out if these churches have broken the law, Ghoulamullah said.
Recently, the Algerian media began investigating the alleged growth of Christianity in the country. A recent report by the local daily Al-Khabar indicated that Christians in Algeria were engaged in missionizing Muslims. According to its report, more than 3,000 Algerians from Tizi Wazou have recently been converted.
Ghoulamullah also stated that Evangelists were offering €5,000 (about $7,700) to any Muslim who converted, according to Mission Network News.
An anti-conversion law was passed in 2006. Violators face a five-year jail sentence and a one million-dinar fine (about $15,000) for anyone who tries to convert Muslims to other religions.
The International Religious Freedom Report 2007 issued by the United States State Department indicates that there are 3,000 members of Evangelical churches and 300 Catholics living in Algeria, mostly in the northern districts.
In addition, the report states that a significant proportion of the country's Christian foreign residents are students and illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa seeking to reach Europe. Their numbers are difficult to estimate, the report says.
The recent campaign against Christian churches in the country has also led to an Algerian court order against U.S.-born Reverend Hugh Johnson, president of the Protestant Church in Algeria. The court ordered Johnson to leave the country by March 11.
According to Ghoulamullah, the order had nothing to do with Johnson's involvement in missionizing activities.
"His visa expired," Ghoulamullah explained.
Johnson has lived in Algeria for 45 years and has headed the Protestant Church there since 2006.

Algeria Closes 2 Churches for 'Missionizing' (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on March 22, 2008, 01:28:15 AM
Canada orders ministry
by Christians shut down
'Nothing we could do
would please them'

The Canadian government has ordered a Christian ministry that teaches doctrine and the differences between Christians and cults shut down because its reference materials were "critical" of the beliefs of those who are not Christian, WND has learned.

So what used to be called MacGregor Ministries with offerings in how to recognize and eliminate "faulty fads" in Christian churches has been re-created in the United States, and now operates under the name MM Outreach Media Ministries.

Lorri MacGregor, who has dedicated her life to explaining the straight and narrow of Christian beliefs since she found her way out of the Jehovah's Witness system years ago, told WND Canada's version of a "hate crimes" law prevented their work from continuing as it had for nearly 30 years.

"Canada is no longer a Christian nation," she said. "And watch out America!"

The issue of the ministry's charities license in Canada, allowing it to operate as a ministry, came up during a routine audit of the ministry's finances, which was uneventful.

"The auditor that originally looked at our books told us her supervisor had said she wanted us shut down," Mrs. MacGregor told WND. "Canada has very strong hate laws."

She said the ministry points out the differences between Christianity and various cult beliefs, but also with respect, and never as a proponent. She said the work always is in response to a question or issue.

"When a group such as Jehovah's Witnesses said of our doctrine we're worshipping a freakish three-headed God (the Trinity), we should be able to respond," she said. "We say, 'Here's the doctrine of the Trinity and here is where it is in the Scripture.'"

That, however, violates Canada's hate crimes laws, and the ministry was ordered to either make wholesale changes in its presentations, or shut down.

"There was nothing we could do that would please them," she said. "They wanted us every time we criticized something to say, 'So Christianity is equal to Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses… Just decide for yourself.'"

"We cannot do that," she said of the work she and her husband, Keith, have spent their lives assembling.

"She gave us an ultimatum that we needed to say that all religions are equal, Lorri MacGregor was to stop writing our magazine on the cults, we were to remove our websites and stop selling any products to help [teach about] the cults, and any future DVDs that we do on the Bible must not be persuasive," the couple alerted friends in an e-mail. "We could not live under those restrictions."

"We chose to shut down the ministry and we are in Washington to sign papers to start up a U.S. corporation and also start the long process of applyign for 501(c)3 status in the U.S. We have been told that within five to 10 years, the U.S. government will be in the same position as the Canadian government and t hey will also go after Christian apologetics groups," the alert continued.

"It was a no-win situation. We didn't want to see our charity money eaten up by lawyers," Mrs. MacGregor told WND. "It was heart-wrenching."

"We wrote on Feb. 7 and voluntarily revoked our [license] ourselves," she said. "We said this auditor requires us to compromise our Christian faith, which we cannot do."

The ministry entered into the expense of relocating its corporate structure into the United States, and is in the process of applying for that nation's tax-exempt status offered mission organizations.

"You're not allowed in Canada to speak in a persuasive way about your own faith," she said.

The effort cost considerable funds, although Mrs. MacGregor didn't want to provide dollar figures on their loss through the changeover. "We had been saving up to build a studio, because we don't believe in debt," she said. "At the moment we are ready to start construction, the government moved in to shut us down."

"They said if we were just preaching our own Gospel, and weren't criticizing anybody else, we could continue," she said. "If you're going to defend the Gospel, you've got to criticize sometimes."

For example, the ministry addresses the issue of "fads," including a "creeping Eastern mysticism" appearing in some churches, "turning meaningful prayer meetings into mind-emptying rituals called contemplative prayer promising experiences of a spiritual nature."

"Feelings have often replaced the solid word of God," the website warns.

"Numerous churches have become 'seeker' churches, disposing of the parts of the Gospel message that might offend anyone's lifestyle. Crowds come to hear contemporary music, followed by a feel-good message, and perhaps even a 'conversion' experience, to an all-accepting Jesus. No change required! They now consider themselves Christians, but are they?"

Regarding Mormons, they have a list of cautions:

    * "Mormons won't tell you that all their so-called scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and even their official 'Mormon Doctrine' statements contradict each other…"

    * "Mormons won't tell you that the reason the Book of Mormon has no maps is because there is not one scrap of archaeological evidence to support it!"

    * "Mormons won't tell you that their prophet Joseph Smith was heavily involved in the occult when he founded Mormonism."

    * "Mormons won't tell you that that they encourage visitations from dead relatives from the 'spirit world,' a practice forbidden in the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10- 12.)"

They also note the misguided teachings of others.

"Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the bestseller Conversations with God says, 'Hitler went to heaven' (Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; p. 35) And the reason according to Walsh 'There is no hell, so there is no place else for him to go.'"

"The Bible states that the ONLY WAY to heaven is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Universalism teaches that there is not just one way of salvation but many different ways. The Christian inclusivists state salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone, but they change the meaning to be that His grace extends out to those who do not believe (not needing faith) because he died for them too," the website teaches.

WND previously has reported how proposals are being made in Canada to raise taxes and fees on churches dramatically, as well as ban them from meeting in some locations.

WND also has reported on how many Biblical standards of behavior are under attack by the "bastardized courts" of Canada, where activists who claim they have "hurt feelings" are demanding – and getting – penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle.

It also has reported on the times that "hate crimes" legislation for the United States has been considered in Congress.

Title: Intolerant Hindus Attack Easter Services in India
Post by: nChrist on March 26, 2008, 11:54:03 AM
Intolerant Hindus Attack Easter Services in India
Vishal Arora

March 26, 2008

Assaults on two churches mar celebrations in Karnataka state.

NEW DELHI -- Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) extremists stormed two Easter Sunday services and beat at least 16 Christians, including two pastors, in the Karnataka state capital of Bangalore and in Shimoga district.

A mob of more than 150 intolerant Hindus on Sunday (March 23) launched an attack on a Pentecostal church in Karnataka's Shimoga district at 9 a.m., and a group of more than a dozen assailants struck Christians of an independent church in Byapanahalli on the suburbs of Bangalore at 11:45 a.m., reported the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

"About 150 Hindutva radicals armed with sticks stormed the Indian Pentecostal Church in Gundlikoppa village, around 20 kilometers from Shimoga district headquarters, while the believers were attending the Easter service," Dr. Sajan K. George, GCIC's national president, told Compass.

Accusing the church of "forced" conversions without any evidence for the charge, the attackers beat 35-year-old pastor Mandya Nagraj and five others, besides vandalizing church property, George added. The assailants damaged the roof and musical instruments.

Pastor Nagraj had received a threat a week earlier, added George.

Police arrested six of the attackers and provided protection to the pastor after GCIC's intervention. The Pentecostal church, attended by around 60 Christians, has been functioning for six years with no evidence of attempting to convert people by force or fraud.

Girl Beaten

In the second attack, George said at least 12 extremists led by the Hindu priest of a local temple and his associate, identified only as Puttappa, attacked the Grace Almighty Full Gospel Church in Byapanahalli in Bangalore.

The assailants beat 30-year-old pastor P. Isaac and nine believers, including a 17-year-old girl identified only as Jency. The girl was rushed to a hospital for first-aid.

Following the attack, the assailants went to the homes of a few believers and warned them against attending the church. They also took Pastor Isaac to the police station and sought to register a complaint against him for "forced" conversions. Police interrogated the pastor and subsequently released him.

But police brokered a "compromise" between the attackers and the pastor requiring him to leave the area.

The independent church was established around seven years ago, and has more than 60 members.

Karnataka came under the President's rule on November 20 last year, when the ruling coalition comprising the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) party and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) broke up. Legislative elections are expected to be announced soon.

Christian persecution rose to new heights in the state after the BJP and JD-S came to power in February 2006.

There are a little more than 1 million Christians in Karnataka, which is home to over 52.8 million people.

Holiday Attacks

Attacks on Christian holidays are becoming increasingly common in India.

Hindutva extremists beat two pastors of Believers' Church on Easter last year (April 8) in Salwa village in Madhya Pradesh state's Mandla district. They arrived at the house of the pastors, Dinesh Toppo and Chandan Chhinchani, to launch the assault.

Similarly, on Christmas Eve of 2007, Hindutva extremists led a series of violent attacks on Christians and their property in Orissa state's Kandhamal district.

The attacks, lasting more than a week, killed six Christians and razed at least 730 houses and 95 churches, according to a fact-finding team of the All India Christian Council's Orissa chapter. Hundreds of displaced Christians remained in relief camps set up by the Orissa government at press time. (See Compass Direct News, "Two More Victims of Violence Succumb to Injuries in Orissa," February 20.)

Title: Algeria Shuts Down 13 Protestant Churches
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 01:45:10 PM
Algeria Shuts Down 13 Protestant Churches
Ethan Cole
Tue, Mar. 25 2008 02:47 PM ET

Algeria, a close to fully Sunni Muslim country in northern Africa, has ordered 13 Protestant churches to shut down since November, the head of Algeria’s Protestant church group said Monday.

Churches were told to close their doors until they are issued a permit that allows non-Muslim groups to hold organized worship.

Algeria passed a law in February 2006 that required non-Muslim congregations to obtain a permit from their regional prefecture to hold worship gatherings. It also banned the production of media intended to “shake the faith of a Muslim,” according to Compass Direct News.

After the law’s passage, however, there had not been any enforcement and no Christian churches have been closed until recently.

"Thirteen chapels, including 11 in Tizi Ouzou, one in Bejaia and one in Bouira have been closed on the orders of local officials," said Pastor Mustapha Krim, who is president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA), according to South Africa’s News24.

No official reason has been given for the government order, but the decision might be linked to recent tension over allegations that Christians were trying to convert Muslims.

“It would be better that authorities give us the possibility to be in conformity with the law and not order us to close the churches,” Krim wrote in a March 9 appeal, according to Compass.

Krim said he has made a formal request to the Algerian state’s representative in the Tizi Ouzou region for explanation on the decision.

Tension recently flared when Muslim leaders accused Protestant evangelists of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity.

Earlier this month, the former chairman of the Protestant group, American pastor Hugh Johnson, was expelled from the country over links to evangelization campaigns, according to some religious freedom groups.

Johnson is said to have imported and distributed religious books without the Algerian government’s permission. Sources also say Johnson is active in non-accredited local Protestant associations in the country, according to Kenya Today.

The Algerian government, however, has denied that reason for his expulsion was religious. They claim it was simply due to administrative reasons – his resident visa had expired – according to Kenya Today.

In addition to Johnson’s expulsion, three Algerian Christians were convicted of “insulting Islam” on Feb. 5 and unofficially told they would be sentenced to three years in prison and fined.

Among the churches ordered to close is the 1,200-member Full Gospel Church, according to Compass.

Algeria’s Protestant Church claims to have 50,000 followers, with 10,000 of them active churchgoers, according to News24. But the ministry of religious affairs, says there are only 11,000 Christians in Algeria, most of them Catholic, compared to the Muslim population of 33 million.

About 99 percent of the country ascribe to Sunni Islam – the official state religion. Christians and Jews make up only one percent of the country, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Title: Re: Algeria Shuts Down 13 Protestant Churches
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 01:54:54 PM
Churches were told to close their doors until they are issued a permit that allows non-Muslim groups to hold organized worship.

Algeria passed a law in February 2006 that required non-Muslim congregations to obtain a permit from their regional prefecture to hold worship gatherings. It also banned the production of media intended to “shake the faith of a Muslim,” according to Compass Direct News.

Once you need a permit you are not really free to worship the Lord as you see fit.

Once again we see that islam cannot survive the challenge of Christianity. The insecure and intolerant faith of islam can only maintain its evil and dark hold over a population by trying to shut out the Gospel because muslims know they cannot compete on an even playing field, and they know that the only way they can keep people in islam is through domination and intimidation with threats of violence!!

Any faith this insecure and fearful of competition cannot have any truth in it, and I'm convinced that every muslim knows this deep in their hearts.

The Word will triumph over the koran. The Cross will triumph over the crescent. Good will triumph over evil. The light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.

Title: Police Call Church Music 'Disorderly'
Post by: Shammu on March 29, 2008, 02:43:42 PM
Police Call Church Music 'Disorderly'
By Fred Lucas Staff Writer
March 26, 2008

( - A Michigan church filed a federal lawsuit after police officers, led by a local prosecutor, entered the sanctuary at least twice without a warrant, alleging the church's music was too loud. In one instance, they threatened to arrest church musicians for disorderly conduct.

Faith Baptist Church, with a congregation of about 10,000 members, is suing local officials in the Township of Waterford, Mich., in a First Amendment case a church attorney said could have national ramifications in establishing what local governments can do in regulating churches.

The suit -- alleging the township violated the church's freedom of religious expression, freedom of speech and freedom of association -- was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Detroit after the church had been subject to what it describes as raids by the Waterford Police Department, led by township prosecutor Walter Bedell.

At least one of those raids occurred during a Sunday service, according to the suit.

The church played contemporary Christian music that included guitars, drums, and other instruments. Township officials contend they were simply trying to enforce local noise laws and that the church is being a bad neighbor.

But "praise and worship" music is a form of religious expression, said Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest Christian law firm representing the church.

"This is subterfuge to try to interfere with religious exercise that Faith Baptist Church has," Thompson told Cybercast News Service. "The prosecutor and uniformed police officers violated their Fourth Amendment rights. They were not invited. They burst into the church. Unless they had an arrest warrant or a search warrant, they had no right to go there except for worship."

Bedell said the matter has nothing to do with religious expression. He said he has received more than 10 written complaints about the noise from the church.

"The whole issue is not with the type of music - it's the music and the volume, and people who are in their own homes trying to sleep, eat, and spend time with their children," Bedell told Cybercast News Service.

"I have no problem with music. I play the guitar myself. This is about the volume of music and people who were not able to live normal lives in their own home," he added.

The matter with police began during a Wednesday night youth service in October 2007 when uniformed police officers led by Bedell entered the church's sanctuary where the church's band was practicing, according to the lawsuit.

Bedell then ordered police to take down the names and addresses of all the people on the stage so they could be charged with disorderly conduct.

The following Sunday, Waterford Township Police returned, during an evening church service, the Thomas More Law Center said.

Officers were about to forcibly remove band members and order them to surrender their driver's licenses and personal information before an assistant pastor at the church volunteered to bring the musical band members to the police station to avoid an uproar in the congregation.

Faith Senior Pastor Jim Combs told the attorneys he was approached by other uniformed police officers who apologized but also said they had to follow orders from the local officials. Combs is deferring comment on the case to the law center, a church receptionist said Tuesday.

Attorneys for the township of Waterford are still working on a response to the lawsuit. But certain facts will likely be in dispute.

According to the plaintiff, Bedell told Combs on tape that the church was playing rock music and Bedell didn't consider that appropriate church music.

Bedell denies saying that.

Further, Township Supervisor Carl Solden said that police never entered the church during a service, only when the band was having a practice session.

"A neighbor complained, and the police department responded, as they do in all cases - it's a service organization," Solden told Cybercast News Service. "I can't imagine a church that didn't want to get along with its neighbors. I would think 'love thy neighbor' would enter into this somewhere."

Solden said the township only wanted the church to tone down their music. While he admitted there was consideration about charging church members with disorderly conduct, he stressed that action was never taken and that no church member was arrested or detained.

"It's uncanny that it would go this far," Solden said. "It's unfortunate because it could have been resolved."

"For them to say this was surprising is disingenuous," said Thompson. He further noted that the township's noise ordinance of no more than 70 decibels is rarely enforced and, if it were, would essentially outlaw lawnmowers and snow blowers.

Police Call Church Music 'Disorderly' (

Title: Stop the Martyrdoms - Page 1
Post by: nChrist on March 31, 2008, 08:44:11 AM
Stop the Martyrdoms
By Doug Bandow
Published 3/31/2008 12:06:06 AM

* Last year in Turkey five Islamic extremists bound, tortured, and killed three Christian religious workers.

* In Malaysia the nation's highest court ruled that a Christian convert could not change her official religious affiliation without a ruling of apostasy in Sharia court -- punishable by death or prison.

* Earlier this year Christian converts in Bangladesh were beaten and expelled by Muslim villagers.

* Last year in Sudan demonstrators demanded death for a British teacher -- convicted and then deported -- for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."

* In 2006 the Afghan government, which survives only because of allied military forces, sentenced a Christian convert to death, before allowing him to emigrate for reason of "mental illness."

* In Nigeria last year a Muslim mob murdered ten Christians, injured scores more, and destroyed nine churches in response to a claim that a Christian student drew a cartoon of Mohammed on the mosque wall at school.

* In Iraq in early March the body of kidnapped Chaldean Archbishop Paulus Faraj Rahho was discovered. Up to half of the prewar community of 1.2 or so million Iraqi Christians have fled abroad.

So it goes throughout the Islamic world. Not every Muslim hates Christians, Jews, and members of other faiths. And no, not every Muslim country persecutes religious minorities.

But pick any persecuting nation at random. There is a good chance that it will be Muslim, even if it is formally allied with the U.S. government.

YOU WOULDN'T KNOW that from the Western reaction. Right now, talk of interfaith dialogue and Muslim persecution is in the air.

Last November more than 300 Protestant leaders publicly asked for forgiveness for Christian sins against "our Muslim neighbors." Vatican officials and Islamic leaders have been meeting to plan an interfaith summit. President George W. Bush recently named a special envoy to the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is dedicated to combating "Islamophobia."

Fine. But the first item on every agenda should be the fact that most Islamic nations persecute their religious minorities.

This matters because persecution is an affront to any faith which claims to speak on behalf of a loving God. The hypocrisy of Muslim regimes that complain about the treatment of their co-religionists in the West while brutalizing members of minority faiths at home is more rank than usual. Consider the predictable protests in these very same Islamic nations against the online release of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders's film criticizing Islam.

Pervasive hostility and violence towards Christians and Jews provides a flourishing environment for Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists. The fact that most Muslims may not share these attitudes is irrelevant if they remain silent in the fact of violent attacks on members of other faiths.

Westerners need to speak truth to Muslim power. "Islamic aggression, hatred, and intolerance must be confronted, named and shamed," argues Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern (ICC).

CHRISTIANITY HAS HAD its own ugly historical persecutions, of course. But these days governments in "Christian" nations increasingly refuse to acknowledge their religious heritage, let alone persecute minority faiths.

That is almost never the case in Islamic countries -- except, ironically, under ugly secular dictatorships in Syria and, formerly, Iraq. Even in Turkey Islamists are growing increasingly active.

In some majority-Muslim nations, like Kuwait, the government supports Islam but does not disturb other faiths. Christians generally don't proselytize, but are otherwise free. "We've never had any serious interference at all," Rev. Jerry Zandstra, a pastor at the National Evangelical Church, told me.

More often, however, Islamic governments enforce Islam. Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International speaks of "decades of violence, hatred, discrimination, and disenfranchisement."

Persecution is intense in many Islamic societies. Both the State Department and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) single out Muslim nations as among the most serious persecutors.

International Christian Concern has created "The Hall of Shame," half of whose members are Muslim states. Even the less brutal Islamic nations usually offer inhospitable terrain for Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities.

Where to start? Saudi Arabia is essentially totalitarian. As ICC explains, Riyadh "has a zero tolerance policy towards other religions."

The State Department is more diplomatic, but no less clear: "There is no legal recognition of, or protection under the law for, freedom of religion, and it is severely restricted in practice."

In theory, private worship in Saudi Arabia is okay, but "this right was not always respected in practice and is not defined in law." Even if the monarchy is committed to modernizing Saudi society, freedom of conscience is on no one's agenda.

Title: Stop the Martyrdoms - Page 2
Post by: nChrist on March 31, 2008, 08:45:55 AM
Stop the Martyrdoms
By Doug Bandow
Published 3/31/2008 12:06:06 AM

BRUTAL STATE REPRESSION also is evident in Iran, which targets Jews, Baha'is, Sufi Muslims, and Zoroastrians as well as Christians.

The ICC reports: "The 1990s [in Iran] were a time of severe persecution. Spies infiltrated congregations, and church buildings were seized or closed. Seven Christian leaders were martyred and others have had to flee for their lives."

Sudan's decades of civil strife and war have killed well in excess of a million people, many of them Christians, who are most populous in the South. Christians suffer discrimination and occasional persecution elsewhere in the country as well. Sharia is enforced in the North. Islam must be studied, even in private Christian schools, and conversion from Islam is punishable by death.

Pakistan makes ICC's Hall of Shame. Islamabad's blasphemy law criminalizes criticism of Islam and often penalizes Christians. Christian women are vulnerable under the Hudood Ordinances, which treat rape victims as adulteresses unless they can produce four male Muslim witnesses stating the contrary.

Pakistani mob attacks on Christians and Christian churches are rarely punished. Converts risk death, making foreign flight the only escape for some families. A Methodist pastor, Rev. Emanuel S. Khokha, told me that Muslims "blame us because Christians are linked to America. They blame us for Israel and the problem with the Palestinians. And they blame us because we are Christians."

Indonesia traditionally leavened Islam with tolerance, but recent government rules make it virtually impossible for Christians to build churches in majority-Muslim areas, i.e., most of the country. Three Sunday school teachers were convicted of the "Christianization" of Muslim children in a trial highlighted by mobs demanding the women's death.

Churches and Bible schools have been bombed and torched. In October 2005 a crowd beheaded three Christian school girls. The wife of the pastor of an evangelical church on Java lost a leg in a bombing in 2001, and a year later their home was burned down. As one Indonesian minister told me, being a Christian "is difficult" there.

Christians suffer in other Muslim lands -- Brunei, for instance, as well as Gaza and the West Bank, Turkmenistan, Egypt, and Bangladesh. The amount of violence varies, but Islamic persecution of Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities is widespread.

Particularly shocking is persecution in both Afghanistan and Iraq, which were supposed to have been liberated by allied forces. Kabul's threatened execution of Christian convert Abdul Rahman in 2006 gained worldwide attention. Discrimination and persecution are increasingly evident. Acknowledges the State Department: "Condemnations of conversions from Islam and censorship increased concerns about citizens' ability to freely practice minority religions."

In Iraq, the government does not actively persecute, though Baha'is and Wahabbi Sunnis face some legal disabilities. But the collapse of Iraqi civil society has left Christians particularly vulnerable to criminal violence.

Even worse, Islamic extremists are consciously destroying the historic Christian community. Carl Moeller of Open Doors USA observes, "Christians are targeted specifically for being Christians."

There is occasional good news. A few years ago Indonesia's Moluccan Islands were aflame in a conflict that killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands. The Crisis Centre Dioceses of Ambonia celebrated the conflict's end "based on mutual understanding and readiness to forgive."

BUT THE MOLUCCAN ISLANDS' reconciliation was the outlier in the otherwise tragic and intractable problem of peaceful religious co-existence in Muslim lands.

There is no good foreign policy answer to religious persecution. As bad as it is, persecution isn't the same as terrorism when it comes to justifying military intervention. And enthusiasm for humanitarian warfare died in the rubble left by Iraqi IEDs and car bombs.

Increased private dialogue might help. Before Pope Benedict XVI visited Turkey, Ali Bardakoglu, head of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, warned would-be jihadis: "We Muslims condemn all types of violence and terror, regardless of whoever commits it against whosoever."

His remarks should be repeated in mosques around the world. Today a shocking number of Muslims choose violence and terror, and even more choose acquiescence to violence and terror. Although Christian persecution of Muslims belongs to history, "Muslim persecution of Christians and other religious minorities remains a present evil," notes Jim Jacobson of Christian Freedom International.

Only after suffering through significant sectarian injustices did Christians of all stripes learn to tolerate those who believed and thought differently. Millions of Muslims living in the West have benefited from that transformation. Islamic lands should similarly transform themselves.


Title: An American team’s encounter with the Radical Hindu Protection Agency (RSS)…
Post by: nChrist on April 06, 2008, 04:23:35 PM
Friday, April 4, 2008

An American team’s encounter with the Radical Hindu Protection Agency (RSS)…

REDLANDS, CA (ANS) -- On Thursday, March 6, 2008, a group of 7 Americans, 6 of which were women, one man 9myself), and an Indian pastor from the state of Tamil Nadu, traveled to a small village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. As the bulk of their work was in Bangalore, this was to be considered a short side trip. Pastor JR had started work in this tiny village 2 years prior. He started by introducing free tutoring for the local children by employing a local teacher. He also began planting a church there.

The American team spent about 3 hours at the village the first afternoon, playing cricket, volleyball, and Frisbee with the kids. The team returned next night to show a movie called “The Hopegiver,” a presentation set on an Indian train, and a very realistic animated depiction of Jesus’ life, crucifixion, and resurrection shown throughout. When the team returned on Friday, March 7th, they arrived late to the village and started playing and singing again with the children.

Once the movie started, strange things started happening. A local man came up to me twice with a cell phone, saying his friend wanted to talk to me. A little while later, this “friend” showed up to the village with some other men and said he wanted me to pray over him for his business. These other men (not from the village) were standing around intently watching this.

The men that showed up started taking out digital cameras and tried to take pictures of our group. The women covered their faces with their scarves. They were also using the video function on their cameras to record the movie we were showing. At one point 2 women in our group went with the local teacher to find a bathroom, and several of the men broke off from the group and started following them into the darkness. The women said they heard hissing. Our Indian friend, JR, went over and got the men to come back to the main group.

As the movie was ending, JR was noticing all this tension rising in the village and told us that as soon as the movie ended, we were to gather up all the video/sound equipment, pack up and leave – no praying with the children or talking to anyone. So as the movie ended, we started packing up the stuff, and this is when the chaos started.

Men came up and started grabbing the equipment out of our hands and shouting at us that they were taking everything. We later learned that this was the radical, often violent Hindu Protection Agency (known as the RSS). At this point the whole village was getting hyped up; people were shouting and running all over the place. We decided the equipment wasn’t worth it, so we ran for our van. Men were coming at us telling us to give them our cell phones and one even felt my pockets for a phone. We all made it safely to the van except for JR, who we saw being hustled off somewhere by a couple of the men.

We later learned that they had tried to kill him. Two men held him while another tried to smash a brick over his head. They missed and hit his stomach, and then as he fell they punched and kicked him all over. Some villagers were able to get him out and hide him in one of their homes. We also found out later that they had beaten him because he wouldn’t take our team to another village so they could kill us.

Meanwhile, we were effectively held hostage in our van. People were opening the back door and trying to steal stuff, while a couple men came in the front door and screamed at us for our cell phones, asked us what we’re doing there, and told us we’re doing illegal things there by converting people. Someone had stolen the keys from the ignition and thrown them off somewhere. Our driver himself left after a few minutes. We weren’t able to see outside the van because it was so dark, but we could hear a crowd of people and could tell there were around 50 people outside our van. A policeman finally showed up after 30 minutes or so in the van, but he didn’t speak English and the only one to interpret was one of these men who attacked us. So it was more of him yelling at us while asking us questions. JR was accused of coming to the village and forcing people to convert, raping women in the village, and some other horrible things. But finally JR came over to the van and told us that he was okay and that he thought we all might be going to the police station.

We could see a mob of people now about 100 feet away listening to someone talking on a balcony of sorts at a house. Finally, after an hour and a half locked up in the van, some police came from a larger city nearby and took us all into their police truck to go off to a police station. Eight of us were crammed into a space designed for four, so we’re all sitting on top of each other. But at least we were out of the van and out of the village. There were moments we all thought we might not survive the night, but we were all praying and looking back, we all know God was with us.

As we drove from the village, JR could hear the police saying someone was following us. And sure enough, a car was right behind us. It was just us and them, out in the middle of nowhere. We came to learn that this group was a Hindu fanatic group whose purpose is to protect their religion and in turn their culture against other religions. They have murdered in the past and use violence regularly to intimidate pastors and missionaries. We learned someone in the village had called some leaders of this group who live locally and informed them of what we were doing.

The police had to set up a mini-blockade with another cop car to stop the other car from following us, and then we left the city we were heading to and went a different direction to lose them. All the while the policemen were telling us in English that we’re safe and that they are there to protect us. We weren’t convinced of that. But finally after an hour and a half or so in the back of the police truck, we made it to a police headquarters of sorts and are led into an interrogation room. The policemen made copies of our passports and videotaped us signing a form saying that we received our passports back, and then we had to say our names into the camera. They asked us what we were doing there and why we had picked that village, etc. The police were pretty nice to us but we were still all very uneasy about being there. So after an hour at that station, our van showed up! Our driver was able to hotwire it and the police brought him to the station where we were being held. So after JR was scolded by the police no to bring “innocent” Americans into danger and to let them know next time he came so they could protect him, we were on our way back to Bangalore. The police sent a vehicle escort with us along with 4 policemen in our van too. During the 6 hour trip back to Bangalore, the number of cops slowly decreased until for the last hour of the trip we were alone. We were very happy to make it back to our hotel in Bangalore safely and had quite a story to tell the rest of our group.

The hardest part for me was seeing so much hate in someone’s eyes who I had never met before or ever wronged. They wanted to kill us all – I’m convinced of that. We really experienced the power of Satan there in that village, and we got to see that the One in us really is greater than he that is in the world. A little girl came to the saving knowledge of Christ that night. It made everything worth it.

The author is currently working as a high school Math teacher in Riverside, CA. He attends Oasis Christian Fellowship in Redlands, CA, and has been involved in full-time outreach. He has co-led Oasis International teams for the past three years and is married to Debbie and they are currently expecting their first child.


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on April 19, 2008, 12:35:31 PM
China escalates Bible crackdown
Bookstore owner re-arrested after being cleared of original counts

The Chinese owner of a bookstore near the 2008 Olympics complex in Beijing has been re-arrested and detained, only about a dozen weeks after he was cleared of allegations of illegally publishing Bibles and Christian literature due to "insufficient evidence," according to a new report from Compass Direct.

As WND reported earlier, Shi Weihan was released in January after being taken into custody shortly after Thanksgiving 2007 during police raids on his home and office.

China Aid Association then reported the fact he was released, along with several others, although the government offered no explanation for his case.

An American friend, businessman Ray Sharpe, had told WND at the time of the earlier arrest that Shi is a businessman who also works as a travel agent, and had gotten governmental permission to publish some Christian book titles.

Compass Direct now is reporting that the 37-year-old father of two was re-arrested on March 19 and is being held without any communication with his family, according to reports from his wife, Zhang Jing.

Compass said she had gotten no word on her husband's condition and is prohibited from bringing him food or clothing. Since he has diabetes, she is "very concerned" about his health, Compass reported.

Compass cited an Asia Times Online report that said Shi and his Holy Spirit Trading Co. were accused, again, of printing Bibles and Christian literature without government permission.

"Believers across China report a shortage of Bibles and other Christian resources. The China Christian Council (CCC) claims that Amity Press, the only legal publisher of Bibles in China, is producing enough Bibles to meet the demand. The Council, however, puts the total number of Protestant believers in China at only 16 million – including only the members of government-approved churches – whereas a survey carried out by the East China Normal University in 2005 and 2006, published in February 2007, stated that China had 40 million Protestants," the Compass report said.

Some estimates on the total number of Christians in China rise as high as 130 million. The fact is, Compass said, "In some areas, house church members still take turns reading the only available copy of Scripture."

The report said Shi's arrest "appears to be part of a crackdown on religious groups that the government fears could raise dissident voices during" the coming Olympics.

WND reported earlier on a "blacklist" of people and groups of people China has been targeting specifically because of the coming publicity that will accompany the Olympic Games in August. Those targeted include religious leaders.

WND also documented a report that China would ban Bibles from its Olympic village for athletes. Chinese officials denounced that report, but have maintained on the Olympics website a demand that visitors to the Games bring no more than a single Bible with them.

The case involving Shi has gotten considerable attention at least partly because he is the father of a U.S. citizen.

Sharpe told WND questions were directed to both the Chinese government and the U.S. embassy because the man's daughter, Grace Shi, 7, is a U.S. citizen, and was forced last fall into hiding with her Chinese mother and 11-year-old sister.

Sharpe, who said he was able to confirm information about the family because he lived for a number of years in China, told WND Shi is a life-long resident of Beijing, but was arrested then "in his Christian literature bookstore in a high-class business tower near the Olympics Village."

He said Shi's younger brother and Shi's wife, Jing Zhang, also were taken into custody but were released after questioning.

The daughter, Grace, is an American citizen because she was born during the family's visit to the U.S. in 2000. She and her older sister, "Lily," were distraught because they witnessed the raid on their home, Sharpe said.

WND previously has reported on China's apparent crackdown on Christians and Christianity in advance of the 2008 Games, including the expulsion of more than 100 foreign Christians in China in just a 90-day period, the biggest assault on the presence of Christianity in China since 1954.

Title: Protestants in Russia face Moscow's antipathy
Post by: Shammu on April 30, 2008, 02:28:35 AM
 Protestants in Russia face Moscow's antipathy
By Clifford J. Levy
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

STARY OSKOL, Russia: It was not long after a Methodist church put down roots here that the troubles began.

First came visits from agents of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, who evidently saw a threat in a few dozen searching souls who liked to huddle in cramped apartments to read the Bible and, perhaps, drink a little tea. Local officials then labeled the church a "sect." Finally, last month, they shut it down.

There was a time after the fall of Communism when small Protestant congregations blossomed here in southwestern Russia, when a church was almost as easy to set up as a general store. Today, this industrial region has become emblematic of the suppression of religious freedom under President Vladimir Putin.

Just as the government has tightened control over political life, so, too, has it intruded in matters of faith. The Kremlin's surrogates in many areas have turned the Russian Orthodox Church into a de facto official religion, warding off other Christian denominations that seem to offer the most significant competition for worshipers. They have all but banned proselytizing by Protestants and discouraged Protestant worship through a variety of harassing measures, according to dozens of interviews with government officials and religious leaders across Russia.

This close alliance between the government and the Russian Orthodox Church has become a defining characteristic of Putin's tenure, a mutually reinforcing choreography that is usually described here as working "in symphony." Putin makes frequent appearances with the church's leader, Patriarch Aleksei II, on the Kremlin-controlled national television networks. Last week, Putin was shown prominently accepting an invitation from Aleksei II to attend services for Russian Orthodox Easter, which is this Sunday.

The relationship is grounded in part in a common nationalistic ideology dedicated to restoring Russia's might after the disarray that followed the end of the Soviet Union. The church's hostility toward Protestant groups, many of which are based in the United States, or have large followings there, is tinged with the same anti-Western sentiment often voiced by Putin and other senior officials.

The government's antipathy also seems to stem in part from the Kremlin's wariness toward independent organizations that are not allied with the government.

Here in Stary Oskol, 480 kilometers, or 300 miles, south of Moscow, the police evicted a Seventh-day Adventist congregation from its meeting hall, forcing it to hold services in a ramshackle home next to a construction site. Evangelical Baptists were barred from renting a theater for a Christian music festival, and were not even allowed to hand out toys at an orphanage. A Lutheran minister said he had moved away for a few years because he feared for his life. He has returned, but keeps a low profile.

On local television last month, the city's chief Russian Orthodox priest, who is a confidant of the region's most powerful politicians, gave a sermon that was repeated every few hours. His theme: Protestant heretics.

"We deplore those who are led astray - those Jehovah's Witnesses, Baptists, evangelicals, Pentecostals and many others who cut Christ's robes like bandits, who are like the soldiers who crucified Christ, who ripped apart Christ's holy coat," declared the priest, the Reverend Aleksei Zorin.

Such language is familiar to Protestants in Stary Oskol, who number about 2,000 in a city of 225,000.

The Reverend Vladimir Pakhomov, a Methodist minister, recalled a warning from an FSB officer to one of his parishioners: "Protestantism is facing difficult times - or maybe its end."

Most Protestant churches are required under the law to register with the government to do anything more than conduct prayers in an apartment. Officials rejected Pakhomov's registration this year, first saying his paperwork was deficient, then contending that the church was a front for an unspecified business.

Pakhomov appealed in court, but lost. He said he could now face arrest for so much as chatting with children about attending a Methodist camp.

"They have made us into lepers to scare people away," Pakhomov said. "There is this climate that you can feel with your every cell: 'It's not ours, it's American, it's alien; since it's alien we cannot expect anything good from it.' It's ignorance, all around."

Yuri Romashin, a senior city official, said the denial of the Methodist church's registration was appropriate, explaining that the government had to guard against suspicious organizations that used religion as a cover.

"Their goal was not a holy and noble one," he said of Pakhomov's church.

Romashin said the government did not discriminate against Protestants. "We have to create conditions so that we do not infringe upon their right in any way to their religion and their freedom of conscience," he said.

Yet, like many Russian officials, he referred to Protestant churches with the derogatory term "sects."

The limits on Russia's Protestants - about 2 million in a total population of 142 million - have by no means reached those that existed under the officially atheistic Soviet Union, which brutally suppressed religion. And churches in some regions say they have not experienced major difficulties.

The Russian Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, and Putin has often spoken against discrimination.

"In modern Russia, tolerance and tolerance for other beliefs are the foundation for civil peace, and an important factor for social progress," he said at a meeting of religious leaders in 2006.

Putin has also denounced anti-Semitism. While many Jews have emigrated over the past two decades, the Jewish community - now a few hundred thousand people - is experiencing something of a rebirth here.

Anti-Semitism has not disappeared. But in some regions it seems to have been supplanted by anti-Protestantism and, to a lesser extent, anti-Catholicism.

Mikhail Odintsov, a senior aide in the office of Russia's human rights commissioner, who was nominated by Putin, said most of the complaints his office received about religion involved Protestants.

Odintsov listed the issues: "Registration, re-registration, problems with property illegally taken away, problems with construction of church buildings, problems with renovations, problems with ministers coming from abroad, problems with law enforcement, usually with the police. Problems, problems, problems and more problems."

"In Russia," he said, "there isn't any significant, influential political force, party or any form of organization that upholds and protects the principle of freedom of religion."

This absence looms especially large at the regional level. At the request of a Russian Orthodox bishop, prosecutors in the western region of Smolensk shut down a Methodist church last month, supposedly for running a tiny Sunday school without an educational license. The church's defenders noted that many churches and other religious groups in Russia ran religious schools without licenses and had never been prosecuted.

The FSB has been waging a battle across Russia against Jehovah's Witnesses. In Nizhny Novgorod, in central Russia, the local Jehovah's Witnesses have had to cancel religious events at least a dozen times in the past few months after the FSB threatened owners of meetings halls, the church's members said.

In February, some officials in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, the third largest in Russia, proposed creating a commission to combat what it called "totalitarian sects." The governor of the Tula region, near Moscow, charged that U.S. military intelligence was using Protestant "sects" to infiltrate Russia.

Officials do not say precisely which groups they are referring to, but Protestant ministers say the epithet is so widespread that most Russians assume the speakers mean all Protestants.

The term has clearly seeped into the public's consciousness.

cont'd next post

Title: Re: Protestants in Russia face Moscow's antipathy
Post by: Shammu on April 30, 2008, 02:29:41 AM

"As a Russian Orthodox believer, I am against the sects," said Valeriya Gubareva, a retired teacher, who was asked about Protestants as she was leaving a Russian Orthodox church here. "Our Russian Orthodox religion is inviolable, and it should not be shaken."

Like other parishioners interviewed, Gubareva said she supported freedom of religion.

While church attendance in Russia is very low, polls show that Russians are embracing Russian Orthodoxy as part of their identity. In one recent poll, 71 percent of respondents described themselves as Russian Orthodox, up from 59 percent in 2003.

There are a few hundred thousand Roman Catholics in Russia, and the Russian Orthodox Church has had tense relations with the Vatican, accusing Catholic missionaries of trying to convert Russians. The Vatican says it seeks only to reach out to existing Catholics.

The Russian government has often refused visas for foreign Catholic priests, whom the Vatican has sent because there are few Russian ones.

There have been considerable numbers of Protestants in Russia since the second half of the 18th century. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Protestant faiths in the West saw Russia as fertile territory and spent heavily to send missionaries to help the existing worshipers and to convert others.

But the Russian Orthodox Church, which was widely persecuted under Communism, was rebuilding and worried about losing adherents.

A backlash ensued. In 1997, under President Boris Yeltsin, the first major federal law was enacted restricting Protestant churches and missionaries, requiring many of them to register with the government. But Yeltsin had a far more ambivalent relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church than does Putin, and in the chaos of the times the laws were not always enforced.

Under Putin, who has worn a cross and talked publicly about his faith, the government has added regulations, and laws have often been enforced more stringently or, some Protestants say, capriciously.

For its part, the church, with its links to the czars, has conferred legitimacy on Putin by championing his rule as he has consolidated power and battered the opposition. In December, after Putin selected his close aide, Dmitri Medvedev, as his successor as president, Aleksei II extolled the decision on national television.

Aleksandr Fedichkin, a leader of the Russian Evangelical Alliance, which represents many Protestant churches, said governors, who are appointed by Putin, regularly deferred to Russian Orthodox bishops.

"Many times, officials say to us, 'Please, you must ask the Orthodox bishop about your activity, and if he agrees, then you can work here,' " Fedichkin said.

Asked about such complaints, Dmitri Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Protestants had made impressive strides in Russia, with the number of officially registered religious organizations in the country having increased nearly fivefold, to more than 23,000, in recent years. Many of those, he said, were Protestant.

"First of all, all religions are treated on an equal basis," Peskov said. "But at the same time, we have to keep in mind that the Russian Orthodox Church is the leading church in Russia, it's the most popular church in Russia."

He added, "Speaking about violations in terms of Protestants or others, about possible complaints, it's very hard to draw any trends." He recommended seeking the views of Bishop Sergei Ryakhovsky, head of the Pentecostal Union, whom Putin appointed to the Public Chamber, a Kremlin advisory council.

Ryakhovsky said in an interview that while the Kremlin voiced support for tolerance, the situation at the regional level was troubling. Little if anything was being done, he said, to help Protestant churches that are routinely barred by officials from obtaining space for services. Nor, he said, did the Kremlin seem interested in discouraging Russian Orthodox clergy members from attacking Protestants.

"These questions, like construction and obtaining plots of land, are deeply problematic all over Russia," he said. "The issue is not some particular regions or provinces. I am like a firefighter, and I have to rush to different areas of the country, to find ways to establish a dialogue with the authorities."

Here in southwestern Russia, the Belgorod region, traditionally a stronghold of Russian Orthodoxy, has been at the forefront of the anti-Protestant campaign.

In 2001, during Putin's first term, the region enacted a law to drastically restrict Protestant proselytizing. More recently, it mandated that all public-school children take what is essentially a Russian Orthodox religion course. A guide for teachers of young children recommends that schools have religious rooms with portraits of Jesus Christ, Russian Orthodox icons and other sacred items.

The regional governor, Yevgeny Savchenko, who calls himself a Russian Orthodox governor, would not be interviewed for this article.

Archbishop Ioann, the chief Russian Orthodox priest in the Belgorod region, said Russians had a deep connection to Orthodoxy that the government should nurture.

"In essence, we have begun to live through a period that is like the second Baptism of Russia, just as there was before the Baptism of ancient Russia," he said, referring to Russia's adoption of Christianity in the year 988.

He said the church wanted warm ties with other faiths, though it was hard to overlook the foreign connections of Protestants.

"You know, what else alarms me, the majority of them are born - I must apologize, but I will tell the truth - from the West's money," he said. "Naturally, they need to play the role of the offended ones who need protection."

The archbishop denied that the church disparaged Protestants.

"In our sermons, you will never hear us trying to condemn them or say that they do anything wrong," he said.

In fact, on the day the archbishop was being interviewed, the local television was repeatedly showing the sermon of his deputy, Zorin, likening Protestants to those who killed Jesus Christ.

The Protestant churches say they are left alone by the authorities only if they keep their activities behind closed doors. And so it was that on a recent weekend, clusters of Protestants made their way to whatever gathering spots they could find.

The Reverend Sergei Matyukh, a Lutheran pastor, held a service in a small apartment with his Methodist colleague, Pakhomov, as a show of support. Many of the parishioners said that what most bothered them was that the officials who harassed them once professed loyalty to Communism, and had switched to Russian Orthodoxy.

"The power holders, they are, as a rule, atheists," said Gennadi Safonov, who works in marketing. "They have adopted a fashion or a trend."

One of the few Protestant groups with a permanent base is the Evangelical Baptists, who in the relative freedom of the early 1990s were able to obtain a sturdy building that seats several hundred people. They have been allowed to stay, though they say they would not be permitted to find other space.

Protestants here must receive official permission before doing anything remotely like proselytizing. The Reverend Vladimir Kotenyov, a Baptist minister, said his church had given up asking.

"Naturally, it will be perceived as propaganda directed at our population," Kotenyov said. " 'What kind of propaganda are you preaching?' they would ask. 'An American faith?' "

"This is how they think: If you are a Russian person, it means that you have to be Russian Orthodox."

Protestants in Russia face Moscow's antipathy (

This from the church with a patron saint of atomic bombers. I'm not sure how much in bed the ROC is with Putin, but when he says he wants only Russian Orthodoxism in Russia, it can't be good. Can you imagine what they're going to be like after the Rapture?

The Orthodox Church is the driving force behind the massive persecution of Protestants in Belarus. It seems that the Orthodox Church in Belarus is "in bed" with the leaders there.

Title: Muslim Rebels Expel Over 1,000 Christians from Village
Post by: nChrist on May 05, 2008, 01:28:58 PM
Muslim Rebels Expel Over 1,000 Christians from Village

Muslim rebels drove off more than 1,000 Christians from a southern Philippine farming village and took over their land, the guerillas and a mayor said Friday.
by Ethan Cole, Christian Today Correspondent
Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2008, 7:44 (BST)

Muslim rebels drove off more than 1,000 Christians from a southern Philippine farming village and took over their land, the guerillas and a mayor said Friday.

Armed members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) entered the coastal village of Sangay in the town of Kalamansig on the troubled island of Mindanao Wednesday to demand food and rice recently harvested by the farmers, Kalamansig Mayor Rolando Garcia said, according to The Associated Press.

In the past, the armed rebels have demanded food and stayed only briefly in the village, but this time they told villagers to leave and occupied the land. Faced with about 300 armed MILF guerillas, the scared residents fled to Kalamansig town about three hours away by boat while the rebels remained in the village.

"I sent a peacekeeping force there to settle the problem amicably but they were forced to withdraw to avoid bloodshed," Garcia said of the 14-man police team sent to the area, according to AP.

There were no immediate reports of violence or casualties.

Garcia said his town has about 1,200 people in their temporary shelter area who are too afraid to return to their farms, according to Reuters.

MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said the group took over the land because it belongs to them.

For more than three decades, MILF has fought to establish a Muslim homeland in the southern area of the largely Catholic country. Decades of war have killed 120,000 people and displaced two million.

In 2003, the group agreed to a ceasefire with the Filipino government as the two sides held peace talks brokered by Malaysia. But some rebels are frustrated with the long peace talks with Manila, which has stalled since December 2007.

Last week, Malaysia said around 20 of 41 of its peacekeepers would leave on May 10 and the rest would be withdrawn by the end of August because the peace process was not moving forward.

Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has repeatedly said she wants peace, but her cabinet members are opposed to granting large pieces of land to Muslims, according to Reuters. Moreover, politically powerful Christian groups in the south would oppose the deal.

MILF’s Kabula said the group’s leaders did not approve of the land takeover, and that the MILF was in talks with officials to resolve the situation in Sangay. He also noted that the situation was local and the government and rebel negotiators were not involved.

Title: Pastors Attacked in Andhra Pradesh, India
Post by: nChrist on May 20, 2008, 01:06:51 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pastors Attacked in Andhra Pradesh, India

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service

ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA (ANS) -- About 60 Hindu radicals attacked two pastors in Andhra Pradesh, India.

According to a story on the All India Christian Council website, the May 5 attack occurred in Mahanandi village in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.

Pastors Shankaraiah and Dasanna were attacked outside the village. The alleged attackers were led by Gihwananda Swami, described in the website story as “a leader of Hindu fanatics.” The pastors were beaten up, the story reported, and then handed over to the police with an allegation against them of “large scale conversion activities.”

The All India Christian Council has condemned the attack, and called for legal action to be taken against the attackers.

Title: Hindu Radicals Ransack Convent and Attack Two Nuns
Post by: nChrist on May 20, 2008, 01:09:35 AM
Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hindu Radicals Ransack Convent and Attack Two Nuns

By James Varghese
Special to ASSIST News Service

MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA (ANS) -- A group of Hindu radicals recently ransacked a convent and attacked two nuns.

The attack occurred on May 15 in the early evening in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh.

According to a story reported by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) on the organization’s web site, it was the Presentation Sisters Convent that was attacked.

The incident occurred at Gondarmug village under the Gandhinagar Police Station area in the outskirts of Bhopal, the state's capital.

GCIC reported that the Presentation Sisters have been working in the city’s underprivileged section for six years.

Convent Superior Sister Sister Silvya Francis told GCIC, “The (approximately 30 criminals) first forced their way into the convent campus. Then 12 of them barged into the convent through the main door, and began to destroy the window panes, television set, lantern and other furniture.”

The GCIC story reported the loss to be about $2500.

“They were armed with hockey sticks, cricket bats and stones,” the web site reported she added Francis also said, “they also climbed up the first floor of the two storied building, and dragged two of the novices down and manhandled them. Besides this, they tried to lock one of them into a room. However, both managed to escape from them. They had also disconnected the telephone line before entering into the campus.”

According to a story carried by, Francis said by phone that the attackers identified themselves as Hindus, and said they did not need the nuns there.

“We are not going to move out from here,” Francis told UCA News.

UCA News reported the sisters immediately filed a police complaint against the unidentified attackers. The next day, nine people were arrested.

Commenting on the incident, the spokesperson of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, Father Muttungal, told UCA News, “it is really sad to see the deteriorating religious harmony along with law and order. The state government have failed to follow the High Court interim direction to provide security to (the) Christian community. We will approach the court again ...”

UCA News reported that Christians in Madhya Pradesh have faced a series of violent attacks since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP, the Indian People’s Party) came to power in the state five years ago. Church leaders and others also say intolerance of Christians has increased. The BJP is regarded as the political arm of Hindu groups that want to make India a Hindu nation.

Christian leaders told UCA News that such attacks continue, despite several petitions seeking protection for Christians from radical Hindu groups. They complain that nobody was punished for the attacks. In many instances, police register complaints against the Christian victims, accusing them of trying to forcibly convert Hindus to Christianity.

UCA News reported that of Madhya Pradesh’s 60 million people, 91 percent are Hindus. Catholics and other Christians together comprise less than one percent, but Catholic educational and health institutions are valued nonetheless. Since the BJP came to power, however, radical Hindu groups have been saying these organizations are just fronts for luring poor people to Christianity.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on May 31, 2008, 07:34:43 PM
Muslims equate Christians Missionaries with terrorists (


Christian missionaries are "as dangerous as terrorist activities or the illegal drug trade," Islamic theologians in Uzbekistan declared.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports a new documentary called "In the Clutches of Ignorance," featuring Uzbek experts, state officials and representatives of Orthodox and Catholic churches in Uzbekistan, claims missionaries pose a serious threat to the Islamic republic.

The Uzbek state film criticized the Christian Gospel Church and Blagodat (an evangelical charity), saying they cause a "global problem, along with religious dogmatism, fundamentalism, terrorism, and drug addiction."

Jasur Najmiddinov, one of many religious experts interviewed, accused Protestants of being a "political tool" and a "part of geopolitical games," RFE/RL reported.

"Their center or place of origin traces back to the United States," Najmiddinov said. "They have even gone so far as meddling in politics. We all know representatives of the Protestant movement played a significant role in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine."

The Uzbek theologian said missionary activities disrupt society because Uzbek families do not tolerate relatives who convert from Islam.

The May 16 documentary featured clips of people praying and claimed Uzbek Christians, who have turned their backs on Islam, could effortlessly betray their country.

Uzbekistan bans missionary activity, religions that are not registered with the government and printing of faith-based literature without state consent.

Norway's Forum 18, an organization defending religious freedom, reports intolerance of religion is steadily growing in Uzbekistan as police invade private homes, seize Christian literature, arrest converts and deport missionaries.

The new state documentary warns, Christian missionaries seek out "those with low political awareness and weak-willed young people, as well as minors," and it said they "get funds abroad" to destabilize Islam.

Although the government says its official stance of "religious toleration" is part of its policy, persecution of a wide variety of religious groups is common in Uzbekistan

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on June 01, 2008, 12:23:34 AM
Muslims equate Christians Missionaries with terrorists (


Christian missionaries are "as dangerous as terrorist activities or the illegal drug trade," Islamic theologians in Uzbekistan declared.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports a new documentary called "In the Clutches of Ignorance," featuring Uzbek experts, state officials and representatives of Orthodox and Catholic churches in Uzbekistan, claims missionaries pose a serious threat to the Islamic republic.

The Uzbek state film criticized the Christian Gospel Church and Blagodat (an evangelical charity), saying they cause a "global problem, along with religious dogmatism, fundamentalism, terrorism, and drug addiction."

Jasur Najmiddinov, one of many religious experts interviewed, accused Protestants of being a "political tool" and a "part of geopolitical games," RFE/RL reported.

"Their center or place of origin traces back to the United States," Najmiddinov said. "They have even gone so far as meddling in politics. We all know representatives of the Protestant movement played a significant role in the Orange Revolution in Ukraine."

The Uzbek theologian said missionary activities disrupt society because Uzbek families do not tolerate relatives who convert from Islam.

The May 16 documentary featured clips of people praying and claimed Uzbek Christians, who have turned their backs on Islam, could effortlessly betray their country.

Uzbekistan bans missionary activity, religions that are not registered with the government and printing of faith-based literature without state consent.

Norway's Forum 18, an organization defending religious freedom, reports intolerance of religion is steadily growing in Uzbekistan as police invade private homes, seize Christian literature, arrest converts and deport missionaries.

The new state documentary warns, Christian missionaries seek out "those with low political awareness and weak-willed young people, as well as minors," and it said they "get funds abroad" to destabilize Islam.

Although the government says its official stance of "religious toleration" is part of its policy, persecution of a wide variety of religious groups is common in Uzbekistan


This is a fascinating article that is a perfect example of how the devil twists things. Missionaries risk their lives in love and dedication to others. There are many stories on the other side of the coin about the negative impact of Christian missionaries being killed and what the people suffered they were ministering to. Much of it related to basic necessities of life and just plain Christian love. Their networks of support had nothing to do with hate and war, rather of food, clothing, safe water, shelter, and a source of human kindness. These are the things that CHRIST told us to do, and they died loving others. However, we should know that love is a dangerous thing in a REGIME OF HATE. So, the Perfect Love of JESUS CHRIST is a MOST dangerous thing.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on June 02, 2008, 12:17:38 AM
China crackdown hits house churches hard
by Daniel Blake
Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 10:42 (BST)Font Scale:A A A

House churches across China have been hit by a wave of arrests and detentions, says China Aid Association (CAA), the leading support group for China’s persecuted Christians.

CAA said that the sudden increase in incidents throughout May involving the Religious Affairs Bureau and the Public Security Bureau is “indicative of a crackdown”.

House church meetings have been disbanded and a number of Christians have been arrested, including two Christians in Xinjiang province who were charged with being “separatists”. Throughout the province, officials have posted signs asking citizens to report any “evil cult activity”, a label which encompasses house churches.

In Hebei province, officials closed down a Bible school on May 13, while on May 15 Public Security Bureau officials broke up a prayer meeting held by more than 20 Christians for victims of the earthquake and for the Olympics.

CAA said that Chinese government officials had turned away and also arrested some house church members who had volunteered to help victims of the devastating May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province.

It compared the behaviour of the Chinese Government to that of the Burma military junta in initially refusing international aid.

“Such biased behaviour is a reminder of the irrational prejudice the CPC [Communist Party of China] holds against house church members who want nothing more than to have true religious freedom and help their fellow countrymen in this hour of need,” the group said.

CAA asked for prayers and aid from churches around the world in the wake of the earthquake, and said it was actively working with the Chinese house churches to bring relief items to survivors.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 02, 2008, 11:38:13 AM
Christians face arrest for preaching gospel
Pastors told it's 'hate crime' to hand out gospel in Muslim area

Two American-born pastors handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham, England, were threatened with arrest and warned of being beaten for committing what an officer called a "hate crime."

Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, were handing out the leaflets and talking with local youths when they were approached and questioned by a police community support officer, or PCSO.

When the officer discovered the two Birmingham pastors were born in the U.S., he began a heated criticism of President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cunningham explained that the gospel message was not linked to American foreign policy, but the officer reportedly became belligerent.

"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message," Cunningham told the London Telegraph. "He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."

In England a PCSO is a full-time employee of the police charged with community peacekeeping, but the officers do not have the power of arrest without a constable. In this case, the pastors refused to accompany the PCSO into the presence of a constable or to divulge their home addresses as, they said, the officer grew "threatening and intimidating."

The ministers also claim the PCSO bullied them, saying, "You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well, you have been warned."

The local police station has since announced that the matter was fully investigated and that the PCSO would be given corrective training, but the incident fuels concerns that there are areas in Britain where the Christian message is increasingly unwelcome.

In April, Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, bishop of Rochester and the Church of England's only Pakistan-born bishop, wrote in the Telegraph that certain pockets of England were becoming "no-go" zones, places too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter.

Joseph Abraham, one of the threatened pastors agrees. He told the paper, "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The bishop of Rochester was criticized by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain, but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on June 02, 2008, 11:40:41 AM
This situation is not just happening in England. It is increasingly taking place the world over including in America. Instead of bowing down to muslim hate in this manner there should have been support given to these people for there freedoms and protection against any possible beatings.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on June 02, 2008, 05:47:33 PM
This situation is not just happening in England. It is increasingly taking place the world over including in America. Instead of bowing down to muslim hate in this manner there should have been support given to these people for there freedoms and protection against any possible beatings.

For England, there is a danger of losing an entire country. For America, there is already almost lost cities and counties. England and America share many legal principles, and that would include laws that apply to streets, public buildings, and other public property owned by the public. There shouldn't be any "no-go zones" controlled by Muslims or any other faction. If Muslims want this kind of control, they should be firmly told "NO!" and that they're more than welcome to go home for that kind of control. Those who can't or refuse to assimilate in a peaceful and legal manner should be deported. Laws that preserve the public peace are already on the books, and they should be enforced. I feel certain there are also laws on the books controlling immigration and recent immigrants - AND those laws should be enforced. It's time for some common sense, law enforcement, and DEPORTATION!

Title: Israel's Messianic Jews Draw Ire of Orthodox Jews
Post by: Shammu on June 12, 2008, 01:21:39 AM
Israel's Messianic Jews Draw Ire of Orthodox Jews

Wed, Jun. 11, 2008

Tension over religious faith has been boiling between two communities in Israel and recently spilled over into a shocking attack on one group of Jews by another.

In the past few months, Orthodox Jews have been responsible for a malicious bomb attack that severely injured and disfigured a 15-year-old pastor’s son, and the burning of hundreds of copies of the New Testament.

The attacks, separated by only two months, were clear signs that something had gone wrong between Messianic Jews – Jews who believe in Jesus as their savior but still observe Jewish holidays and customs – and Orthodox Jews in Israel.

From their side, Orthodox Jews have long disliked Messianic Jewish – whom many view as traitors for joining the Christian faith. But Orthodox Jews in Israel tolerated the small Christian community there as long as they worshipped quietly and kept their faith to themselves.

But tension flared when Messianic Jews began to more actively evangelize and pass out New Testaments to Jews.

Deputy Mayor Uzi Aharon, who had organized the yeshiva students responsible for the burning of New Testaments in the central Israeli town of Or Yehuda in May, had initially defended the act as a way of “purging the evil among us” and fighting those that break the law by trying to convert Jews, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Aharon, a strong anti-missionary activist, said Israel cannot allow Messianic Jews to “come into our homes and incite against our religion, and turn our children away from Judaism. That is against the law.”

He later publicly apologized for the burning of Scriptures and said it was unplanned.

Not long after the incident, in the Jewish settlement of Ariel, flyers were seen everywhere – car windshields, telephone poles, and in bus shelters – with the warnings to the local community. “Beware, these are the members of the Jewish Missionary Cult. They are baptizing Jews into Christianity,” they stated, according to Time magazine. The photo and address of Pastor David Ortiz, whose son was injured after receiving a bomb package, was included on the flyers.

As Messianic Jews and foreign Christians increasingly follow their commission and share about Jesus Christ, Orthodox Jews have increasingly pushed back in response.

Pastor David Ortiz says his family is afraid that what happened to them will happen to other Messianic Jews in Israel.

“With us, they crossed the line, and we’re afraid of it happening to someone else,” Ortiz told Time.

On March 20, Ortiz’s son, Ami, removed a chocolate from an anonymous gift box left at his door and detonated a bomb that blew out all the apartment’s windows and was heard a mile away. Doctors found over 100 pieces of metal – nails, screws, and needles – implanted throughout the boy’s body. Although Ami survived, he will need to undergo six more operations involving skin grafting and the removal of shrapnel from his eyes.

But Ami’s mother, Leah Ortiz, assures concerned Christians around the world that Christians are not being persecuted in Israel. She called what happened to her son “insanity,” not religion.

The Ortiz family, who are originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., plans to stay in Israel despite escalated violence against Messianic Jews in Israel and Ami’s injuries.

"Jesus wasn't born in Brooklyn. He was born here,” Ortiz told Time. “We're staying."

There are between 6,000 and 15,000 Messianic Jews in Israel.

Israel's Messianic Jews Draw Ire of Orthodox Jews (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on June 13, 2008, 10:29:57 PM
As the End Days of This Age of Grace draw near, we should expect relationships between Jews and Christians to grow much worse - not better. I must add that it won't be the fault of Christians, and Christians should continue prayer and support for Israel. They have an appointment with CHRIST HIMSELF at HIS SECOND COMING, and Israel will finally know that HE is their PROMISED KING AND MESSIAH. Leading up to this appointment will be 7 years of horror and blood, but the ancient Promises of GOD to Israel are about to be fulfilled. ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED!

Now more than ever, Christians should be praying for Israel.

Love In Christ,

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 05, 2008, 12:40:55 PM
Saudis to Christians: Get out!
Those accused of worshipping in homes ordered deported

More than a dozen Christians in Saudi Arabia who were accused by government officials of worshipping in their homes have been ordered deported.

According to a report from International Christian Concern, the Christians will be expelled tomorrow for their part in a home worship service in Taif in April.

The deportation conflicts with the message stated just weeks earlier by Saudi King Abdullah, who called for interfaith dialogue and held a summit in Spain with a representatives from several major religions.

"Deporting Christians for worshipping in their private homes shows that King Abdullah's speech is mere rhetoric and his country is deceiving the international community about their desire for change and reconciliation," said Jeff King, the president of ICC.

The report from the Washington-based human rights group said 15 Christians will be deported. Sixteen had been arrested April 25 when a dozen Saudi Arabian police officers raided a home during a prayer meeting.

"The first officer to enter the house after breaking down the main gate pointed a pistol at the Christians and ordered them to hand over their resident permits and mobile phones," the report said. "The other 11 police followed quickly and started searching the entire house. The confiscated an electronic drum set, an offering box with 500 Saudi Riyal in it ($130), 20 Bibles, and a few Christian books."

The worshippers initially faced accusations of preaching and singing. "They later changed the charge to holding a 'dance party' and collecting money to support terrorism," the ICC said.

"During the raid, the police mocked, questioned and harassed the Christians for four hours," ICC said.. "Then they took them to a police station where the head of the station interrogated them. The head of the police then wrote down their 'statements' in Arabic and forced the Christians, who are immigrants and not able to read or write Arabic, to sign the statements."

They were released three days later, and one Christian immediately left the country. The others returned to their work but soon got letters ordered their departures tomorrow, ICC said.

"Three weeks ago, Saudi Arabia hosted an interfaith conference in Madrid, Spain. During the conference that took place from July 16-19, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called for reconciliation among various religions," ICC said.

According to an International Herald Tribune report, King Abdullah's meeting drew about 200 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and other religions.

The reporter noted that the meetings had to be held outside of Saudi Arabia, because "the mere fact that rabbis would be openly invited to the kingdom, a country where in principle Jews are not permitted to visit, would have constituted a turning point."

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on August 05, 2008, 12:42:27 PM
Could you imagine the stink that would be raised by them and the UN if the U.S. did that to muslims?

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on August 05, 2008, 03:15:54 PM
Could you imagine the stink that would be raised by them and the UN if the U.S. did that to muslims?

Exactly.  We don't want you here.  We don't want to feed you, clothe you, educate you, or work with you.  Go home.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on August 06, 2008, 01:08:47 AM
I want to know why, the UN isn't saying anything to Saudi Arabia about discrimination. The UN sticks it's nose into everyone else's business, but muslims. Well the Bible tells us, this is coming.

We need to keep in prayer our brothers and sisters, in these countries.

Title: Vietnam Killing Christians
Post by: Shammu on August 06, 2008, 01:19:24 AM
Vietnam Killing Christians
Added: Aug 5th, 2008 1:15 AM

HANOI, VIETNAM -- Vietnamese security forces reportedly murdered two Degar Montagnard Christian men in the Central Highlands after they returned from a protest against the detention of fellow believers.

The Montagnard Foundation Incorporated (MFI), which represents Degar Montagnards, told BosNewsLife that the killings of Y-Song Nie, 24, and Y-Huang Nie, 23, took place April 14 in District Krong Pac in Daklak Province, but details just emerged, apparently because their family received death threats.

The incident happened after, “they were returning to their village after having participated in a peaceful protest for the release of their two Christian sisters and one Christian brother, who were arrested earlier on April 9 in 2008, at the commune of Ia Ken,” said MFI President Kok Ksor.

"The security police broke both of their legs, both their hands and cracked their skulls. After murdering them, they returned the bodies to (the men's) family village and admitted murdering Y-Song Nie and Y-Huang Nie," Ksor added. There was no response from Vietnamese officials, however the government has in the past described MFI reports as "propaganda."


Ksor made clear his group has reliable information that Vietnamese security police "ordered families to bury the corpses in one grave and provided them with one well as 100 kilograms of rice and one million 1,000,000 dong (about $66) in compensation for each family. "

He said security police also families not to reports this incident to the international community or to Kok Ksor, or they would “come and kill” everyone. Both men leave behind a wife and children, according to MFI investigators. MFI and other rights groups have said that persecution of Christians in the Central Highlands not associated to the 'official' churches have continued, despite government statements pledging more religious rights.

Hundreds of predominantly Christian Degar Montagnards are believed to be in several prisons, detentions rights investigators have linked to their Christian faith and their past support for the United States during the Vietnam War.

MFI has criticized the United Nations, United States, European Union, and Japan, for the "deafening silence about our peoples suffering" allegedly not to endanger business and political dealings with the Communist-run nation. "It seems the Vietnamese government is actually granted permission to murder our people," MFI claimed.

Vietnam Killing Christians (

Title: Eritrea Shuts Christian Students into Shipping Containers
Post by: Shammu on August 12, 2008, 12:08:52 AM
Eritrea Shuts Christian Students into Shipping Containers
Aug 11th, 2008 12:39 PM

Eight believers punished for objecting to officials’ burning of 1,500 Bibles.
By Jeff M. Sellers

LOS ANGELES, August 11 (Compass Direct News) -- Authorities on Tuesday (August 5) locked up eight high school students at a military training school in metal shipping containers for objecting to the burning of hundreds of Bibles, sources told Compass.

The eight male students from the Sawa Defense Training Centre in Sawa, near Eritrea’s border with Sudan, were incarcerated after military authorities confiscated more than 1,500 personal Bibles from new students arriving for the 2008-2009 academic year.

The eight students objected when military officials began burning the Bibles.

“During the time that the Bibles were set on fire, the chief commander of Sawa, Col. Debesai Ghide, gave a warning to all the students by telling them that Sawa is a place of patriotism, not a place for ‘Pentes’ [Pentecostals],’” said one source. “Eight male students to whom God gave boldness to speak against the burning of the Bibles have been taken into custody in one of the metal shipping containers that the military at Sawa uses as prison cells for Christians who have been found practicing their faith in the center.”

Reading the Bible privately, discussing Christian faith with other students, praying before or after meals alone or in groups and possessing the Bible or any other Christian literature is forbidden at the center, the source said. Students involved in such activities are liable to imprisonment and severe military punishment.

Military service is mandatory in Eritrea, and Eritrean students are required to attend training at military centers such as the one at Sawa in order to graduate from high school. They receive vocational training as well as instruction in academic subjects at the Sawa defense center, and then either go on to higher education or are conscripted into the military.

On January 4, 2007, military commanders at the Sawa center conducted what they termed a “random check-up on the activities of Christian extremists” among student conscripts. While searching the conscripts’ personal effects, military personnel found 250 Bibles that the Christian students were using in their personal devotional time.

After burning all the Bibles before the entire military camp, the commanders arrested 35 of the teenage students and ordered them subjected to severe military punishment, including physical torture.

Eritrean officials have routinely denied religious oppression exists in the country, saying the government is only enforcing laws against unregistered churches. In May 2002, Eritrea closed down all independent religious groups not operating under the umbrella of the government-sanctioned Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran or Muslim faiths.

The government has denied all efforts by independent Protestant churches to register, and subsequently the Orthodox Church and its flourishing renewal movement has also been subject to government raids. People caught worshipping outside the four recognized religious institutions, even in private homes, suffer arrest, torture and severe pressure to deny their faith.

Eritrea has continued to dismiss accusations of religious repression, with presidential aide Yemane Ghebremeskel reportedly saying the country has a secular constitution and long tradition of religious history.

The U.S. Department of State notes in its 2007 International Religious Freedom Report that Eritrea has not implemented its 1997 constitution providing for religious freedom. The state department last year designated Eritrea as a Country of Particular Concern, a place on the list of the worst violators of religious freedom it has held since 2004.

More than 2,000 Christians, including pastors and priests from both Protestant and Orthodox churches, are now under arrest in police stations, military camps and jails all across Eritrea because of their religious beliefs. Although many have been incarcerated for months or even years, none have been charged officially or given access to judicial process.

In December 2006 the government of Eritrea wrested control of finances and personnel from the Eritrean Orthodox Church. The church has been under de facto government control since Patriarch Abune Antonios was placed under house arrest and then divested of his ecclesiastical authority in August 2005.

Eritrea Shuts Christian Students into Shipping Containers (

Title: California school nixes Bible club
Post by: Shammu on August 12, 2008, 12:12:30 AM
California school nixes Bible club
Jeff Johnson - OneNewsNow - 8/8/2008 9:55:00 AM

An Anaheim, California, public high school is facing a day in federal court after refusing to allow a Christian Bible club to meet after school.

The Esperanza High School official responsible for after-school groups told the students that their group was being denied permission to meet because their topic was not related to the school curriculum. Attorney Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) in Sacramento, is not buying that excuse.
"The school district refused to allow a Christian Bible club from being able to meet on campus [in] the same [way] as other non-curriculum related clubs," he contends. "No student and no club should be treated like second-class citizens simply because they aspire to study the Bible and believe in Christianity."
According to a PJI press release, the Bible Study Club simply wanted to improve themselves and their community by discussing "issues facing students, including those related to faith, human rights, and the value of human life." The club's would-be members also wish to help feed the community's poor and protect society's weak and defenseless members.
Dacus explains that the school yearbook lists many students clubs that have no relationship to the curriculum. "The only difference between this club that we're representing and the other clubs is the fact that this Bible club is referencing and studying the Bible," he adds. "Such overt hostility to the Christian faith has no place in public schools."
The students claim that the advisor told them the club could meet if they discussed all major religions, not just Christianity. Dacus says that is a violation of both the First Amendment and the federal Equal Access Act. "Requiring the Bible [Study] Club to study either all religions or none is like forcing the Chess Club to also play checkers," he adds.
Another PJI attorney, Karen Milam, reminds the school that "hostility toward religious beliefs is still illegal." PJI has filed a federal lawsuit against the school district on behalf of the students in the Bible Study Club.

California school nixes Bible club (

I pray they win. This is an "after" school club. And as the article says there are many clubs that have nothing to do with school curriculum. Why wont administrators act like responsible adults? They need to have integrity and FOLLOW the Law. NOT follow their OWN feelings.

A better question, where is the ACLU?? Never mind, you know if it was a muslim club the ACLU would be there with a lawsuit!!

Title: Muslim father burns Christian daughter alive
Post by: Shammu on August 14, 2008, 11:48:52 PM
Muslim father burns Christian daughter alive
Man slices out girl's tongue, ignites her after 'heated debate on religion'
Posted: August 13, 2008
9:54 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A Saudi Arabian Muslim father cut out his daughter's tongue and lit her on fire upon learning that she had become a Christian.

The child became curious about Jesus Christ after she read Christian material online, the Gulf News reported.

Her father read of her Internet conversation, detached her tongue and burned her to death "following a heated debate on religion," according to an International Christian Concern report.

The father is employed by the muwateen, or Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The muwateen are police tasked by the government with enforcing religious purity. The man has been taken into custody, and his identity has not been released.

The ICC pointed out the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has reported textbooks at the Saudi Arabian government school in Northern Virginia teach, "It is permissible for a Muslim to kill an apostate (a convert from Islam)."

Saudi Arabian oil money is used to export Wahabbism – a version of Islam said to be least tolerant toward non-Muslims – to other nations, including the U.S., ICC notes.

ICC president Jeff King said, "Saudi Arabia has to treat Christians with the same respect that it wants Muslims to be treated in other countries. It has to stop exporting hate and persecution against Christians in other countries."

At least the girl is with Jesus now. This wasn't even radical Islam, that is just the average Islamic family. There is no love in islam........ NONE. The big bad dad must have really be scared of that little Christian girl to react like that. :'(

The ICC pointed out the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has reported textbooks at the Saudi Arabian government school in Northern Virginia teach, "It is permissible for a Muslim to kill an apostate (a convert from Islam)." 

I figured, this guy probably's going to get away with murder. >:( >:(

Title: Human rights tribunal forces Christian organization to ditch morality code
Post by: Shammu on August 15, 2008, 12:22:36 AM
Human rights tribunal forces Christian organization to ditch morality code

By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News

OTTAWA (CCN) -- The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) has ordered an evangelical Christian charity to rescind its morality code and require employees undergo anti-discrimination training.

It also ordered Christian Horizons to pay $23,000 to a former employee who engaged in a lesbian relationship after signing the code. That award includes $10,000 for general damages and $5,000 for mental anguish due to a poisoned work environment.

Christian Horizons is an evangelical Christian charity that serves about 1,400 developmentally disabled people. It helps them live in the community in Christian homes or apartments under the supervision of staff.

The organization required its employees to sign a 'Lifestyle and Morality Statement' that prohibited homosexual activity, viewing pornography and other activities deemed contrary to the living out of the Christian faith.

"The decision is inconsistent with a proper understanding of freedom of religion under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," said constitutional lawyer Peter Lauwers in an interview from Toronto. "It really challenges social welfare organizations that are run by Christian and other faith groups on the basis of whether they will continue provide the services they do."

Lauwers pointed out most Christian organizations serve out of a sense of vocation and fidelity to moral standards. He wondered how many people who contribute time and money to these organizations will continue to do so if they no longer reflect their authentic religious convictions.

"Christian service of others is an integral extension of the Evangelical Christian faith," wrote the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada's general legal counsel Don Hutchinson in an April 29 National Post op-ed. "The attempt to sever that link is to misunderstand the nature of religion and undermine the very ethos that undergirds Christian Horizons' expression of care and compassion for others."

The Catholic Civil Rights League has raised concerns about the OHRT throwing out Christian Horizon's morality statement. The complainant, Connie Heintz, 39, had signed the statement when she first started working for the charity because, as a Mennonite, she agreed with its principles.

Then she underwent a crisis of faith and revealed she had become involved in a lesbian relationship.

"The decision challenges the value of employment and organizational contracts, if a clearly-worded agreement signed voluntarily can so summarily be made non-binding," said Catholic Civil Rights League executive director Joanne McGarry in an April 28 statement. "The employee in this instance signed the undertaking as a member of the denomination, understood its contents, yet wanted it disregarded later."

McGarry pointed out that not only employers, but independent schools, residences, clubs and cooperative housing also require people to sign pledges agreeing to refrain from certain legal activities.

"In the League's view, this decision could make all such contracts open to re-interpretation upon request," she said.

Christian Horizons also faced sanctions for asking Heintz to consider Christian counselling to restore her to her previous faith.

The OHRT ruled "the attempt of 'restoration' for persons who are gay or lesbian is profoundly disrespectful and oppressive.'

Though witnesses testified the beliefs concerning human sexuality were fundamental evangelical Christian beliefs, the Tribunal said, "But employers in Ontario are not allowed to permit, let alone foster work environments in which these attitudes are acted out."

Though the OHRT recognized that religious organizations could restrict hiring for ministries that served members of their own faith group, Christian Horizons serves disabled people of all faith backgrounds. It depends on $75 million in government funding, so it must obey the Ontario Human Rights Code.

"Christian Horizon's policy is discriminatory," the ruling said. "While some elements of Canadian society may continue to debate whether gays and lesbians should be treated equally and entitled to equal rights and opportunity, from a legal perspective that debate has ended."

"Its policy, based on the belief that homosexuality was unnatural and immoral, engendered fear, ignorance, hatred and suspicion," the ruling said.

The OHRT gave Christian Horizons four months to comply with its ruling.

Human rights tribunal forces Christian organization to ditch morality code (

They think there is mental anguish now............................ Wait till God judges those who are lost, it will be the most awful thing.

I am praying that "Christian Horizons" doesn't give into the pressures of this so-called "human-rights tribunal."

Post by: Shammu on August 22, 2008, 11:53:25 PM
Attack mainly by outsiders carried out during Independence Day celebrations.

JAKARTA, August 19 – On Sunday a Muslim mob stormed a church service in Cipayung, East Jakarta, forcing Christians to flee and then erecting banners in the street declaring a ban on “churches and religious services.”

As about 20 church members were celebrating the nation’s Independence Day at the service, the angry assailants arrived at the Pentecostal Church of Indonesia in Pondok Rangon village, Cipayung, at 9:30 a.m. shouting “Allahu Akbar!” or “God is greater!” Some in the mob were neighbors, but the majority were not local residents, according to pastor Chris Ambessa.

Church members tried to close the gate leading into the church compound, but the mob forced its way in, storming into the welcoming room of the church and overturning furniture.

Ambessa managed to close a roller door protecting the room where services were held. But the attackers then chased church members out into the street, warning them not to return for future services.

The intruders then erected large banners in the street declaring a ban on “churches and religious services” in the village. Technically prior approval from district officials is required to erect such banners, but Public Order official Hadi Sumantri and plainclothes policemen present made no attempt to intervene or remove them.

Two days prior to this incident, Ambessa sought permission from district officials to hold a special thanksgiving service on Independence Day. Officials gave verbal approval, despite contention over the existence of the church.

Demolition Order
Ambessa has been in the middle of a dispute over his house church. On July 3 the Cipayung civil engineering department had ordered Ambessa to dismantle the second floor of his home, and on July 13 it ordered him to cease religious activity for an indefinite period following neighborhood protests against the house church. Neighbors had demanded that Ambessa completely demolish the building.

Ambessa, whose home has functioned as a legally recognized house church for the past 12 years, built the second floor extension to accommodate his growing congregation. Realizing the prohibitive cost and difficulty of obtaining a Religious Building Permit (IMB), and on grounds that the building was a residential home, Ambessa had proceeded with the extension without applying for the IMB.

Ambessa’s lawyer, August Pasaribu, told Compass he planned to challenge the demolition order, since the demand was in breach of local regulations.

Construction of the extension was completed on May 17. On May 21, a neighborhood group threatened Ambessa and forced him to sign a document stating that he would cease holding church services in his home. Ambessa told Compass that he had signed the document under duress, fearing attacks on his wife and daughters.

Ambessa had planned to rent a separate building for church services in another location, at a cost of 8 million rupiah per year (US$862). After Sunday’s attack, however, Ambessa said he felt disheartened and saw little point in reporting the incident to the local police station since he did not expect positive intervention.


Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on August 22, 2008, 11:56:16 PM
House churches asked not to meet during Games; new crackdown planned for October.

DUBLIN, August 20 – As the Olympics draw to a close, new evidence of religious freedom abuses offers a stark contrast to China’s efforts to provide religious services for athletes and visitors during the Games.

China hired religious clerics to provide these services and published a special bilingual edition of the Bible for distribution to athletes and official churches during the event. Simultaneously, officials asked house church leaders in Beijing to sign documents agreeing not to hold services during the Games, the China Aid Association (CAA) reported on August 13.

More ominously, China has planned a new crackdown on four “troublesome elements,” including house church leaders, for October, when most Olympic athletes, tourists and journalists will have left the country, CAA reported on Monday (August 18).

Positive Steps

A British-based Christian charity, the Bible Society, provided funding for a special bilingual Olympic edition of 30,000 full Bibles and 10,000 New Testaments for distribution in the Olympic Village and to registered churches in the Olympic cities, the Catholic News Agency reported in June. The Amity Printing Press, China’s only government-approved Bible publisher, printed the books in a new multimillion dollar facility that opened in Nanjing in May.

The Chinese government claims that Amity produces more than enough Bibles to meet the needs of the Chinese church, a claim many religious freedom organizations dispute. Amity also prints Bibles for export internationally.

A report circulating before the Games declared that China had banned Bibles from the Olympic Village, but this report proved false.

Officials also hired religious clerics from the five government-approved faiths to provide services for athletes and tourists during the Games. The five groups are Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, Protestants and Catholics; each one answers to a specific religious institution appointed to oversee their activities.

Restrictions in Place

In the lead-up to the Games, officials asked a number of house church pastors to sign a document agreeing to forego any activities at “Christian gathering sites” or meeting points while the Games took place, according to CAA.

Under this agreement, house churches were banned from gathering from July 15 to October 15, a total of 17 weeks. Those who broke the agreement would face “disciplinary action.”

The agreement asked that house churches “refrain from organizing and joining illegal gatherings and refrain from receiving donations, sermons and preaching from overseas religious organizations and groups that have a purpose.”

The Union of Catholic Asian News confirmed in a report on August 7 that officials had forbidden bishops and priests in unregistered Catholic churches to administer sacraments or do pastoral work during the Games.

Officials placed several underground bishops under house arrest and forbade them to contact their priests, the report added.

In Wuqiu village of Jinxian county, Hebei, police erected a small “house” in front of the cathedral presided over by underground Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo in order to provide a facility for 24-hour monitoring of the bishop.

Additionally, Bishop Joseph Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar in northeast China received phone calls from government officials asking if he planned to hold any religious gatherings during the Olympics. Wei said he would stay at home and pray for the success of the Games.

Prior to the Games, police banned several Christians from meeting with visiting U.S. government officials and asked others to leave Beijing for the duration of the event.

Police in July repeatedly asked house church pastor Zhang Mingxuan and his wife Xie Fenlang to leave Beijing. When they refused, police on July 18 entered a guesthouse where they were staying and drove them to Yanjiao in neighboring Hebei province.

When Zhang granted an interview to BBC journalist John Simpson, police detained Zhang and Xie before the interview could take place. (See Compass Direct News, “Chinese House Church Pastor Detained,” August 7.)

On August 10, police seized house church pastor and activist Hua Huiqi when he attempted to participate in a service at the government-approved Juanjie Protestant church in Beijing, where U.S. President George Bush was scheduled to appear.

Hua, still in hiding, wrote a letter to Bush later that day, pleading for prayer for his personal safety and for freedom of belief for all Chinese people. (See Compass Direct News, “Chinese Christians Plead for Relief as Olympics Continue,” August 13.)

October Crackdown

More prayer may be requested in coming months. China’s Communist Party (CPC) will launch a nationwide crackdown on four “unstable social elements” in October, CAA reported on Monday (August 18).

These elements were listed as illegal Christian house church leaders, petitioners, human rights defenders and political dissidents.

Outlined in a secret government directive passed to CAA, the crackdown is designed to coincide with a new campaign for “20 more years of political and social stability” in China.

In a speech on June 16, Zhou Yongkang, head of the Political and Legal Committee of the Central Committee of the CPC, called for “extraordinary measures” to be taken against these elements in order to protect the CPC’s continuous rule and reform programs.

The Beijing Municipal State Security Bureau has also begun a new citizen informant initiative, requiring ordinary citizens to report individuals and organizations posing a threat to national security, including those who “engage in activities that endanger state security by utilizing religions,” according to CAA.


Title: Christian Theology Students Forced off Campus by Mob of Islamic Hard-liners
Post by: Shammu on August 22, 2008, 11:57:25 PM
Christian Theology Students Forced off Campus by Mob of Islamic Hard-liners

Friday , August 22, 2008

JAKARTA, Indonesia —
Hundreds of Christian theology students have been living in tents since a mob of angry Muslim neighbors stormed their campus last month wielding bamboo spears and hurling Molotov cocktails.

The incident comes amid growing concern that Indonesia's tradition of religious tolerance is under threat from Islamic hard-liners.

In talks since the attack, the Arastamar Evangelical School of Theology has reluctantly agreed to shut its 20-year-old campus in east Jakarta, accepting an offer this week to move to a small office building on the other side of the Indonesian capital.

"Why should we be forced from our house while our attackers can walk freely?" asked the Rev. Matheus Mangentang, chairman of the 1,400-student school.

The government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which relies on the support of Islamic parties in Parliament, is struggling to balance deep Islamic traditions and a secular constitution. With elections coming next April, the government seems unwilling to defend religious minorities, lest it be portrayed as anti-Islamic in what is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country.

The July 25 attack, which injured 18 students, was the culmination of years of simmering tensions between the school and residents of the Kampung Pulo neighborhood.

Senny Manave, a spokesman for the Christian school, said complaints were received from neighbors about prayers and the singing of hymns, which they considered disturbing evangelical activity.

Several neighbors refused to comment, saying they feared that could further strain relations. A prominent banner, signed by scores of people, has been hung over an entrance to the neighborhood.

"We the community of Kampung Pulo demand the campus be closed and dissolved," it says.

The assault began around midnight, when students woke to the crash of stones falling on their dormitory roof as a voice over a loudspeaker at a nearby mosque cried "Allah Akbar," or "God is great" in Arabic.

The unidentified speaker urged residents to rise up against their "unwanted neighbors," said Sairin, the head of campus security, who goes by a single name.

The attack followed a claim that a student had broken into a resident's house, but police dismissed the charge.

Uneasy relations date to 2003, when neighbors began to protest the school's presence. Last year, residents set fire to shelters for construction workers to try to stop the campus from expanding deeper into the neighborhood. Some also questioned the legality of the school's permit.

Christian lawmaker Karol Daniel Kadang accused property speculators of provoking last month's incident to clear the land for more profitable use, after the school refused to sell out.

He also blamed the government for failing to build interfaith relations, which he and others believe are beginning to fray.

"People are still tolerant, but there is a growing suspicion among Muslims of others," said Prof. Franz Magnis-Suseno, a Jesuit priest who has lived in Indonesia for half a century.

He added that the police have failed to prevent both attacks on minorities and the forced closure of Christian churches and nontraditional mosques by mobs incited by radical Muslims.

"The state has some responsibility for this growing intolerance, namely by not upholding the law," he said.

A mob stormed a church service last Sunday in another east Jakarta neighborhood, forcing dozens of Christian worshippers to flee, said Jakarta Police Chief Col. Carlo Tewu. No arrests have been made.

Since being driven from campus, nearly 600 female students have been sleeping under suspended tarps at a nearby scout camp, where they had to dig trenches to keep water out during downpours. Classes are held with megaphones in the sweltering summer heat, under trees or the tarps. A similar number of male students live in a guesthouse. The remainder have returned to their families.

Food, water and school supplies are donated by church groups and community charities.

"We feel like refugees in our own country," said Dessy Nope, 19, a second-year student majoring in education. "How can you study here? I only followed 20 percent of my last lesson. It's difficult to concentrate."

Christians have not been the only targets for Muslim hard-liners, who this year set fire to mosques of a Muslim sect, Ahmadiyah, that they consider heretical.

In June, the government ordered members of the sect to return to mainstream Islam, sparking concern among activists who fear the state is interfering in matters of faith and caving in to the demands of radicals.

"We're living in a country where there are many religions, but the government cannot prevent the actions of fundamentalist groups," said Manave, the school spokesman. "The government cannot protect minorities."

Christian Theology Students Forced off Campus by Mob of Islamic Hard-liners (,3566,408644,00.html)

Title: Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire to orphanage
Post by: Shammu on August 25, 2008, 11:04:26 PM
Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire to orphanage

Mon Aug 25, 1:24 PM ET

BHUBANESHWAR, India - Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire Monday to an orphanage run by Christian missionaries in eastern India, killing one woman and seriously injuring a priest, police said.

A senior police officer said the woman who died was most likely a lay employee giving computer training to children at the orphanage. Initial police reports identified her as a nun.

"Police are investigating. ... The woman most probably was not a nun," said Gopal Chandra Nanda, director general of state police, the most senior officer in the state.

The conflicting reports could not immediately be reconciled.

The attack occurred in Khuntapali, a village in Orissa state, during a strike called by the World Hindu Council to protest the killing Saturday of a Hindu religious leader and four others by suspected communist rebels in another district of the state, Ashok Biswal, superintendent of police, told The Associated Press.

Biswal said a group of Hindu hard-liners converged on the orphanage in Khuntapali, nearly 250 miles west of the state capital of Bhubaneshwar, and asked nearly 20 residents to leave the complex.

They then set the orphanage on fire with the woman and priest locked inside, he said.

The woman died and the priest was hospitalized with serious burns, Biswal said.

In 1999, an Australian missionary, Graham Staines, and his two sons were killed by a Hindu mob that set their car on fire.

The region is marked by religious tensions between Christian missionaries who work with mostly poor tribes in the region and hard-line Hindu groups that claim the Christians are forcing or bribing people to convert.

Churches deny that residents have been pressured or bribed to change their religious beliefs.

Indian law accepts missionaries but bars forced conversions. Nevertheless, any missionary activity generally provokes controversy.

Hindus account for 84 percent of India's more than 1.1 billion population and Christians about 2.4 percent.

Suspected Hindu hard-liners set fire to orphanage (

So its okay to kill people, but not animals nor bugs??

Seriously, these hindu NEED to find Jesus Christ!!

Title: New Wave of Violence Against Christians in Orissa State
Post by: Shammu on August 27, 2008, 11:59:21 PM
New Wave of Violence Against Christians in Orissa State
Aug 27th, 2008 3:13 AM

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

ORISSA STATE, EASTERN INDIA (ANS) -- More than 600 churches have been demolished, 4,000 Christians forced to flee from their villages, and at least 25 killed as a result of violent persecution in the state of Orissa in eastern India.

Reports from the area say Vishwa Hindu Parishad religious leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates were murdered in the Kandhamal District of Orissa on Saturday, August 23.

Although a Maoist group claimed responsibility for the murders, supporters of the slain leader claim that Christians were behind the killings. Hindu fundamentalists have launched a series of attacks against Christians in retaliation.

Since Sunday, August 24, churches, schools and other institutions, prayer rooms, and homes of Christians have been ransacked, burnt and destroyed. Christians have been assaulted and reportedly at least twenty-five have been killed, some of them burnt alive or cut into pieces.

In an August 26 email to the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), Swarupananda Patra, General Secretary of the All Orissa Baptist Churches Federation, said “All Christian villages [are] empty in Kandhamal as Christians, old and young, sick and pregnant mothers [are] hiding in forests exposed to the non-stop monsoon rains without food.”

He reported that Kandhamal is the hardest hit, with at least eight Christians killed and almost all Christian homes demolished, but Christians in the districts of Balasore, Bargarh, and Kalahandi are also experiencing severe persecution.

Patra also appealed for prayer. “Now we have no request except prayer from our Baptist world as we do not know how to face tomorrow.”

P. Ramesh Kumar, Principal of the Balasore Technical School, reported to the BWA on August 25, “We are all under immense danger and threat from these groups.…Please continue to uphold us in your prayer particularly for the safety of Christian brothers and sisters who are now hiding themselves in jungles.”

In response to the attacks, BWA General Secretary Neville Callam said, “Unfortunate events have taken place in Orissa in recent days. These began with the senseless killing of Hindu Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on August 23. I am disappointed by the false claim that Christians have responsibility for this murder and I am saddened by the atrocities being visited on Christians in Orissa.

“I appeal to the governing authorities in India to intervene to save the lives of the many who are being victimized in the current crisis,” said Callam.

He added: “Respect for the principle of religious liberty and the sacredness of human life requires nothing less. I also appeal to all Baptists worldwide to pray God’s protection for our brothers and sisters in Orissa.”

This is not the first time Christians in Orissa have experienced violent attacks. In December 2007, Hindu militants burned approximately 90 churches and 600 homes, killing an estimated 10 persons.

There are several Baptist conventions and unions in Orissa state that are member bodies of the BWA, with total membership in Orissa of nearly 500,000 baptized believers and approximately 3,500 churches.

New Wave of Violence Against Christians in Orissa State (

Title: India Woman Burned To Death In Anti Christian Violence; Churches Destroyed
Post by: Shammu on August 28, 2008, 12:01:22 AM
India Woman Burned To Death In Anti Christian Violence; Churches Destroyed
Added: Aug 27th, 2008 3:10 AM

BHUBANESWAR, INDIA (BosNewsLife) -- Two persons, including a woman, were burned to death, a pastor critically injured and at least a dozen churches torched as anti Christian violence rocked the Indian state of Orissa, officials confirmed Tuesday, August 26.

Orissa's Home Secretary Tarunkanti Mishra told reporters he had received information about the two casualties, as an investigation continued. Earlier on Monday, August 25, news emerged that a nun was raped, a priest beaten and several other Christians missing or injured in the violence.

Monday's violence erupted after a protest against the killing over the weekend of Laxmanananda Saraswati, a leader of the hard-line Hindu organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and at least four of his associates. It was not clear who was responsible for the murders, but militants blamed Christians for the attacks.

A woman, who was not immediately identified, was reportedly burned to death when suspected Hindu militants torched an orphanage run by a Christian organisation at the town of Phutpali in Bargarh District. Twenty children, who were at the orphanage, managed to escape but a pastor suffered serious burn injuries in the attack, BosNewsLife learned.


Another person, identified as Rasananda Pradhan, was burned to death when his house was set ablaze at Rupa village in Kandhamal district where the VHP leader was gunned down along with four others on Saturday night, August 24, officials and church sources said.

Churches were reportedly also attacked in the areas of Khurda, Bargarh, Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Koraput, Boudh, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Kandhamal districts and in Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar. Some 40, apparently Christian homes, were said to have been set ablaze in Phulbani town.

And, as the body of Saraswati reached the town of Chakapada in Kandhamal district for the last rites, nine shops and two vehicles were torched while two jeeps were burned, witnesses said. In a statement to BosNewsLife, Orissa's Catholic Archbishop Raphael Cheenath said his church is "concerned at the immediate outbreak of communal violence against innocent Christians in nearby districts."


In addition, Cheenath confirmed reports that at least one prayer hall in Sundergarh District was burned and a vehicle belonging to a Catholic oriented organization.

The bishop said that at "this critical juncture" he has appealed "to all for peace and communal harmony" as "we want good relationship with all the communities with whom we live."

He said he has asked Orissa's government to help prevent further attacks against Christians and to bring those responsible for the death of Lakshmanananda Saraswati and his associates to justice.

India Woman Burned To Death In Anti Christian Violence; Churches Destroyed (

Title: Christians Flee to Forests as Mob Violence Escalates in Indian State
Post by: Shammu on August 30, 2008, 01:24:57 AM
Christians Flee to Forests as Mob Violence Escalates in Indian State

Mob violence in India's Orissa state continues to escalate, and reports coming from Gospel for Asia leaders in Orissa say that as many as 20 GFA-related churches were destroyed and hundreds of Christian families have been burned out of their homes. At least a dozen members of GFA-related churches have been murdered, but no one knows the overall death toll.

"The Christians in Orissa have fled for their lives into the forests," GFA President K.P. Yohannan said, "and some have been in hiding for three days without food or water.

"Several of our pastors are in the forest along with their church people, and one said that he could have escaped, but would rather die with his people than leave them."

Dr. Yohannan called the situation "unprecedented in his 30 years of ministry in South Asia."

"I have never seen persecution so bad in my life," Dr. Yohannan said, "and I have seen a lot of opposition to the Gospel over the years."

Orissa, the state where Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were burned to death by anti-Christian militants in 1999, has a long history of opposition to the Gospel.

"Yet this past year, we have seen more people place their faith in Jesus Christ in Orissa than in any other Indian state," Dr. Yohannan noted. "So it is no surprise that opposition is increasing."

The latest reports coming in include a long list of specific attacks against pastors, missionaries and their followers—including Christians being hacked to death. One believer's body was cut into seven pieces.

"They are raping Christian girls—and some gang rapes are taking place," Dr. Yohannan said. "We are praying that the young women on our Bible college campus will remain safe. There are 250 students there, and 90 of them are girls. A handful of police officers are trying to protect them, and that is a blessing. But we have had people come on campus and attack students in the past, so I am asking for all Christians to pray for their protection."

The violence began after the Saturday night murder of Swami Laxmananand Saraswati, a top leader of the VHP (World Hindu Council) and an outspoken opponent of Christianity. He was killed in an attack by 20 men armed with guns and hand grenades. While the murderers are suspected of being Maoist rebels, the Hindu radicals seized on the killing as an excuse to incite violence against the area's Christian community.

"What is most disturbing," Dr. Yohannan said, "is that the radicals have not only incited this violence, but they are also orchestrating it. And the latest reports are that they are bringing in militants from Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and other states to carry out their evil plans."

Because the swami's goal was to stop the spread of Christianity, especially among tribal and lower-caste Indians, an attack on him last December incited a similar wave of violence—again targeting Christians.

"Between December 24 and January 15, some 730 Christian homes and more than 100 churches were destroyed," Dr. Yohannan recalled. "Several dozen Christian women were sexually assaulted, and more than 40 shops owned by Christians were looted."

"Most of the victims were Dalits, formerly known as Untouchables," he noted.

"Basically, what we are facing is genocide—ethnic cleansing—against Christians, and so far, no government has spoken out against it."

Dr. Yohannan asks that concerned people in the West call on their government officials—as well as those in India—to intervene in this disaster.*

"But most important is prayer," Dr. Yohannan emphasized. "Please pray that God will intervene in this situation, that His peace will descend on the people of Orissa, and that His message of love will fill the hearts of all of India's people.

Christians Flee to Forests as Mob Violence Escalates in Indian State (

Title: Laos Persecution of Christians
Post by: Shammu on August 30, 2008, 01:35:03 AM
Laos Persecution of Christians
Added: Aug 29th, 2008 2:38 AM

Asia Service

VIENTIANE, LAOS  -- Authorities in Laos have ordered families of three detained Christians in Savannakhet province to sign documents renouncing their faith in Jesus Christ, rights investigators said Thursday, August 28.

Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom said the chief of Boukham village in Savannakhet province gave the order, but added that the family members refused.

A crackdown in other parts of Laos continued, with new incidents reported this week in Attapue and Borikhamxay provinces, reported Compass Direct News, a Christian news agency.

On Monday, August 25, Christians in Donphai village in Attapue province were reportedly fined for holding a church service during local animistic ceremonies.


In Borikhamxay province, officials continued to pressure 22 Christian families comprising 150 people in Toongpankham village who have refused to give up their faith, Christians said. Village officials had torn down their church building in January, then in mid-August harassed church members for not meeting in a proper worship facility, according to rights investigators.

At least 90 Christians in Laos, including church leaders, have been detained in recent weeks as part of an apparent government backed crackdown on Christian worship services in several provinces of the Asian nation.

Although the Lao constitution "guarantees" freedom of religion and worship, church fellowships must be registered with government-approved institutions. Such registration comes with strict limitations on the activity of the church, however, and many Christians prefer not to register in the Communist-run country.

Laos Persecution of Christians (

Title: 558 houses, 17 places of worship torched during riot: Orissa govt
Post by: Shammu on September 04, 2008, 11:10:42 AM
558 houses, 17 places of worship torched during riot: Orissa govt
1 Sep 2008

BHUBANESWAR: Claiming that the situation in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa was well under control, the state government on Monday said at least 558 houses and 17 places of worship were burnt in communal riots after VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati's killing on August 23.

While 543 houses were burnt in the worst hit Kandhamal district, 15 houses had been set ablaze in Gajapati district, said Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy after a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

All the torching of places of worship were reported from Kandhamal district where over 185 people were arrested on charge of rioting, arson and other offences. A total of 35 people were injured in the riot in Kandhamal, he said.

Though Tripathy did not mention how may were killed during the riot, official sources on Monday put the figure at 16, with the recovery of two bodies in Kandhamal district.

Besides Kandhamal, Tripathy said, people were provided with food in free kitchen in Rayagada and Gajapati districts. While 12,539 people were fed in 10 relief camps, 783 people got the facilities in two relief camps in Rayagada district.

He said relief camps were located at Chakapada, Raikia, Baliguda, K Nuagaon, Tikabali, Phiringia, Phlbani, Tumudibandha and Daringbadi blocks in Kandhamal district.

Director General of Police Gopal Nanda said besides 12 companies of para-military forces, 24 platoons of Orissa State Armed Police, two sections of Armed Police Reserve forces and two teams of Special Operation Group (SOG) were deployed in Kandhamal.

558 houses, 17 places of worship torched during riot: Orissa govt (

Though it doesn't say Christians.......... With all going on in I'm pretty sure Christian houses of worship were torched.

Title: Thousands of Christians flee killings in Mosul
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 12:04:12 AM
Thousands of Christians flee killings in Mosul

By Leila Fadel, McClatchy Newspapers Sat Oct 11, 6:43 PM ET

BAGHDAD — Christians in Mosul are fleeing their homes after a spate of killings this week that left 12 Christians dead in one of the largest Christian communities in Iraq .

The killings follow large protests by the community last month against the passage of the provincial elections law. An article that would give representation to Christians and other minorities was removed from the law before its passage.

Now the last safe haven for Christians is gone, said Canon Andrew White the vicar of St. George's church in Baghdad .

After a spree of killings and forced evictions of Iraqi Christians in Baghdad last year, many fled to Mosul . But even there they could not escape the danger. In February of this year the Archbishop Paulos Faraj Raho of Mosul was kidnapped and killed.

"Christians are being killed in the only place they felt safe, in Ninevah," White said, referring to the province of which Mosul is the capital. "This is where they fled to and now there's no safe place for them."

Over a thousand Christian families have fled Mosul for outlying villages and villages in the Kurdistan region in search of safety, a spokesman for the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs said. Posters are being put up with guidelines on how to leave.

"The Christian families left in Mosul are very few indeed," said Mariwan Nakshabandee, spokesman for the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs , which oversees Christian communities in Mosul .

Iraqi Assyrian and Chaldean Catholics trace their roots to ancient Mesopotamia and Christian communities were prominent in many major Iraqi cities, including Mosul in the north and Basra in the south and Baghdad . The capital had enclaves in the central neighborhood of Karada, the eastern neighborhood of New Baghdad and nearby al-Ghadir as well as Dora in the capital's south.

Christians once were estimated to be about 3 percent of the Iraqi population or about 800,000 people.

But as Iraq grew bloody and violent the Christian community dwindled. Now some estimate that more than half of Iraq's Christians have fled. White believes that the Christian community is about a quarter of the estimated 800,000.

"It isn't easy for these people to leave," he said. "They have no representation... we need the Christian world to do something about it."

On Saturday, three more Christian men were found dead in Mosul . Among the 12 killed just this week were doctors, engineers, pharmacists and at least one disabled man. Three empty homes of Christian families in eastern Mosul who had fled were reduced to rubble as a warning, police in Mosul said.

Some of the assassins told those they killed "you want an autonomous region," said Auxiliary Bishop of the Chaldean Patriarch in Baghdad Shlemon Wirduni, who was getting updates every few hours from churches in Mosul . The assassins were referring, he said, to aspirations of some Assyrian and Chaldean Christians to create an autonomous Christian region in the northern plains of Ninevah Province .

Wirduni lamented that despite outcries to the international press, United Nations officials and Iraqi government officials nothing was being done.

In Ninevah province, governor Duraid Kashmoula said the increase in attacks on Christians was due to the failure of a recent security operation in Mosul . He blamed Al Qaida in Iraq , an extremist Sunni group, for the recent string of killings.

Mosul remains a volatile province despite a recent security operation and both Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police officials said they'd seen and uptick in Al Qaida in Iraq activity in the area.


"Killing the peaceful Christians is a crime and it doesn't pass without punishment," he said. According to Kashmoula, the killings were because of "the failure of the security plan and the fleeing of the elements of Al Qaida from Anbar to Mosul unchecked."

The Hammurabi Association for Human Rights released a statement demanding international attention to the assassinations of Christians likening it to "genocide."

"We call on the authorities, central and local and international to stop this Christian bloodshed and to contain the violations and violence and terrorism that Christians in Mosul are facing," the statement said.

"We also are victims of the civil war between Iraqis and the objective of the threats of Al Qaida is to displace Christians because they are a minority in Iraq ," said Salwan Khoshaba from Al Tahira Church in Mosul .

Thousands of Christians flee killings in Mosul (

Title: Hanged for being a Christian in Iran
Post by: Shammu on October 12, 2008, 12:36:50 AM
Hanged for being a Christian in Iran
Eighteen years ago, Rashin Soodmand's father was hanged in Iran for converting to Christianity. Now her brother is in a Mashad jail, and expects to be executed under new religious laws brought in this summer. Alasdair Palmer reports.

11 Oct 2008

A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in favour of a draft bill, entitled "Islamic Penal Code", which would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The majority in favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes for, with just seven against.

Imposing the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one of the most fundamental of all human rights. The right to freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran's own constitution, which states that no one may be molested simply for his beliefs.

And yet few politicians or clerics in Iran see any contradiction between a law mandating the death penalty for changing religion and Iran's constitution. There has been no public protest in Iran against it.

David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary, stands out as one of the few politicians from any Western country who has put on record his opposition to making apostasy a crime punishable by death. The protest from the EU has been distinctly muted; meanwhile, Germany, Iran's largest foreign trading partner, has just increased its business deals with Iran by more than half. Characteristically, the United Nations has said nothing.

It is a sign of how little interest there is in Iran's intention to launch a campaign of religious persecution that its parliamentary vote has still not been reported in the mainstream media.

For one woman living in London, however, the Iranian parliamentary vote cannot be brushed aside. Rashin Soodmand is a 29-year-old Iranian Christian. Her father, Hossein Soodmand, was the last man to be executed in Iran for apostasy, the "crime" of abandoning one's religion. He had converted from Islam to Christianity in 1960, when he was 13 years old. Thirty years later, he was hanged by the Iranian authorities for that decision.

Today, Rashin's brother, Ramtin, is also held in a prison cell in Mashad, Iran's holiest city. He was arrested on August 21. He has not been charged but he is a Christian. And Rashin fears that, just as her father was the last man to be executed for apostasy in Iran, her brother may become one of the first to be killed under Iran's new law.

Not surprisingly, Rashin is desperately worried. "I am terribly anxious about him," she explains. "Even though my brother is not an apostate, because he has never been a Muslim – my father raised us all as Christians – I don't think he is safe. They assume that if you are Iranian, you must be Muslim."

Her brother's situation has ominous echoes of her father's fate. Rashin was 14 when her father was arrested. "He was held in prison for one month," she remembers. "Then the religious police released him without explanation and without apology. We were overjoyed. We thought his ordeal was over."

But six months later, the police came back and took her father away again. This time, they offered him a choice: he could denounce his Christian faith, and the church in which he was a pastor – or he would be killed. "Of course, my father refused to give up his faith," Rashid recalls proudly. "He could not renounce his God. His belief in Christ was his life – it was his deepest conviction." So two weeks later, Hossein Soodmand was taken by guards to the prison gallows and hanged.

Life for Rashin, her siblings and her mother became extremely difficult. Some Muslims are extremely hostile to people of any other religion, never mind to those who they consider apostates: Ayatollah Khomeini declared that "non-Muslims are impure", insisting that for Muslims to wash the clothes of non-Muslims, or to eat food with non-Muslims, or even to use utensils touched by non-Muslims, would spoil their purity.

The family was supported with financial and other help from a Christian church based in Iran. That support became even more critical as Rashin's mother began to lose her sight. Rashin herself was eventually able to leave Iran. She now lives in London, married to a fellow Christian from Iran who successfully applied for asylum in Germany.

It took years for Rashin to understand how her father could have been legally executed simply for becoming a Christian. In 1990, there was no parliamentary law mandating the death for apostates. What, then, was the legal basis for Hossein Soodmand's execution?

"After the revolution of 1979, Iran's rulers wanted to turn Iran into an Islamic state, and to abolish the secular laws of the Shah," explains Alexa Papadouris of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a human rights organisation that specialises in freedom of religion. "So the clerics instituted a mandate for judges presiding over criminal cases: if the existing penal code did not include legislation on whether a certain kind of behaviour is an offence, then the judges should refer to traditional Islamic jurisprudence." In other words: sharia law.

"That automatically created problems" says Mr Papadouris, "because Islamic jurisprudence is not codified law: it is a series of formulations developed across generations by scholars and clerics. Depending on the Islamic school or historical era, these formulations can differ and even contradict each other."

On one subject, however, sharia law is unequivocal: men who change their religion from Islam must be punished with death. So when the judge heard the case of Rashid's father, he could refer to sharia and reach a straightforward decision: the death penalty. There was no procedure for appeal.

Nevertheless, in the 18 years since Hossein Soodmand's execution, there have been no judicially sanctioned killings of apostates in Iran, although there have been many reports of disappearances and even murders. "As the number of converts from Islam grows," notes Ms Papadouris, "apostasy has again become a serious concern for the Iranian government." In addition to 10,000 Christian converts living in Iran, there are several hundred thousand Baha'is who are deemed apostates.

There is another factor: President Ahmadinejad. "The President didn't initiate the law mandating the death penalty for apostates," says Papadouris, "but he has been lobbying for it. It is an effective form of playing populist politics. The Iranian economy is doing very badly, and the country is in a mess: Ahmadinejad may be calculating that he can gain support, and deflect attention from Iran's problems, by persecuting apostates."

The new law is not yet in force in Iran: it requires another vote in parliament, and then the signature of the Ayatollah. But that could happen within a matter of weeks. "Or," says Papadouris, "it could conceivably be allowed to drop, were there a powerful enough international outcry".

Time may be running out for Rashin's brother. She believes that the new law will be applied in an arbitrary fashion, with individuals selected for death being chosen to frighten others into submission. That is why she fears for her brother. "We just don't know what will happen to him. We only know that if they want to kill him, they will."

Hanged for being a Christian in Iran (

Title: Convert or we will kill you, Hindu lynch mobs tell fleeing Christians
Post by: Shammu on October 19, 2008, 10:36:07 PM
Convert or we will kill you, Hindu lynch mobs tell fleeing Christians

As a fresh wave of sectarian violence is unleashed across the Indian state of Orissa, Gethin Chamberlain talks to homeless survivors in Kandhamal district who were forced to abandon their religion

Gethin Chamberlain
The Observer,
Sunday October 19 2008

Hundreds of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa have been forced to renounce their religion and become Hindus after lynch mobs issued them with a stark ultimatum: convert or die.

The wave of forced conversions marks a dramatic escalation in a two-month orgy of sectarian violence which has left at least 59 people dead, 50,000 homeless and thousands of houses and churches burnt to the ground. As neighbour has turned on neighbour, thousands more Christians have sought sanctuary in refugee camps, unable to return to the wreckage of their homes unless they, too, agree to abandon their faith.

Last week, in the worst-affected Kandhamal district, The Observer encountered compelling evidence of the scale of the violence employed in a conversion programme apparently sanctioned by members of one of the most powerful Hindu groups in India, the 6.8-million member Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) - the World Hindu Council.

Standing in the ashes of her neighbour's house in the village of Sarangagada, Jaspina Naik, 32, spoke nervously, glancing towards a group of Hindu men watching her suspiciously. 'My neighbours said, "If you go on being Christians, we will burn your houses and your children in front of you, so make up your minds quickly",' she said. 'I was scared. Christians have no place in this area now.'

On her forehead, she wore a gash of vermilion denoting a married Hindu woman, placed there by the priest at the conversion ceremony she had been obliged to attend a day earlier, along with her husband and three young children. 'I'm totally broken,' she said. 'I have always been a Christian. Inside I am still praying for Jesus to give me peace and to take me out of this situation.'

She and her neighbour, Kumari Naik, 35, gazed forlornly at the charred remains of the house. The mob that arrived one evening in the first week of the violence, armed with swords and axes, had looted what they wanted before dousing the building with petrol and setting it alight. Kumari had fled into the nearby forest with her husband, Umesh, and 14-year-old son Santosh. A smoke-damaged child's drawing of Mickey Mouse pinned to one wall was all that remained of their former lives. Shattered roof tiles crunched underfoot as the women moved through the blackened rooms.

The priest had given them cow dung to eat during the ceremony, they said, telling them it would purify them. 'We were doing that, but we were crying,' Jaspina said.

The roads between the villages are rough and potholed, adding to the difficulties in accessing what is already a remote region, a six-hour drive from the state capital, Bhubaneshwar. The remoteness has undoubtedly played a part in the continuation of the violence, making it harder for police to move about quickly, even if they were minded to do so. Christian leaders, though, have accused the authorities of dragging their feet, claiming they are reluctant to antagonise the majority Hindu community in the run-up to parliamentary elections next year.

Relations between the Hindu and Christian communities were already at a low ebb when the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on 23 August provided the trigger for the current wave of violence. The VHP blamed Christians and the mobs descended on the homes of neighbours and friends. Those who were too slow to get away were killed. Amid the savagery, two incidents stood out: a young Hindu woman working in a Christian orphanage was burnt alive and a nun was gang-raped.

Yet the VHP is unrepentant and appears to be involved, at least at grassroots level, with the campaign of forced conversions. One priest who converted 18 Christians in the village of Sankarakhole last week told The Observer that he had been approached by local VHP representatives to carry out the ceremony.

'The VHP people came with letters that said they wanted to be converted, so I converted them,' said Preti Singh Patra, who is the brother of a senior VHP official. Crouching on the ground in front of his temple, set in a small walled garden beneath a huge banyan tree, he ran through the details of the ceremony: first some fruit to eat, followed by a mixture of cow dung and urine mixed with milk and curd, a dip in water from the Ganges, an hour of prayers and then the painting of a bindi on the forehead.

Some local men stepped forward to speak to him. 'Don't say too much,' they warned. The priest seemed unconcerned. The 18 had been the only Christians in the village, he said. They were happy to convert.

Around the village, the countryside is a sea of green, a beautiful lush vista that offers, at a distance, no clues to the turmoil. Yet up close it is a landscape scarred by the ugly remains of homes and churches which lie shattered between other houses still inhabited and unscathed, those belonging to Kandhamal's Hindus.

A few miles down the road from Sankarakhole, in the village of Minia, Sujata Digal, 38, stood outside her own burnt-out home. The mob had arrived at 3am, she said. She and her husband Hari hid in the forest and watched the house burn. When they came out of the forest, the mob returned and told them to convert, and it was not a hard decision.

'They said, 'If you don't become Hindu, we'll burn your houses too and start killing you',' said Ashish Digal, the former Christian pastor. 'I've been forced to convert. Everyone is being converted. They beat us in the fields. I went to the temple. We had to say that we belonged to the Hindu state of Orissa, and that from this day we are Hindus.'

Before the violence started, Christians outnumbered Hindus in Minia: now 115 have converted, roughly half of their original number. The rest have fled.

Burn your Bibles, the men told Ashish Digal. He told them he had, but hid them instead. Every couple of days people come to his house to search, hoping to catch him out. Those people are not strangers; they are his neighbours.

They had been sitting idly in the main road when The Observer's car pulled up. Now the young driver, Sudhir, was rushing down the path that led to what remained of Sujata Digal's house, holding his head, visibly shaken. 'We must leave now,' he said.

He had been standing by the car when the men closed in around him. They left the talking to Prashant Digal, a teacher and organiser for the local VHP youth wing. 'Why did you bring these people here?', he demanded, punching Sudhir in the head. 'Take the vehicle and go. Leave them here for us.' They surrounded him, a young Hindu, and slapped him around again. No one came to his aid. 'If you stay, we will burn you with them in the car. You will all be killed. Just leave them,' they told him. But he did not, which was a decent thing for a frightened boy to do. He drove a little way down the road and parked around a corner, out of sight, and came back to raise the alarm.

Back on the main road, the men were waiting. 'Put your notebook and your cameras away. You will take no pictures and record nothing,' the VHP man said. 'You want to know what is happening? Now I will tell you why this is happening.' He blamed the Christians for taking the jobs of Hindus, for the murder of the Swami. The only solution was for Christians to convert, he said. 'This is a Hindu community. Everyone can stay here, as long as they are part of that community. And now you should go.'

Convert or we will kill you, Hindu lynch mobs tell fleeing Christians (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on October 20, 2008, 12:43:43 PM
Convert or we will kill you

Coming Soon to America.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on October 20, 2008, 09:32:57 PM
Coming Soon to America.

I hope not, but I think your right. I only pray we aren't here when it happens.

Title: British aid worker shot dead in Afghanistan for 'preaching Christianity'
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 11:08:27 PM
British aid worker shot dead in Afghanistan for 'preaching Christianity'
The Taliban have shot dead a British aid worker in Afghanistan because she was "preaching Christianity."
21 Oct 2008

Gayle Williams, who had been in the troubled country for three years, was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle as she walked to work in the capital of Kabul.

She recently moved from Kandahar back to Kabul because it was seen as safer.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, which took place at 8am local time.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said Miss Williams had been shot in the body and leg with a pistol.

"Two armed men sitting on a motorbike shot her dead," he said. "Some bullets hit her body and some hit her leg and when police got there she was dead."

Her body was taken to a nearby hospital.

A tribute website was set up online in memory of Miss Williams, who learnt the languages Pashtun and Farsi while in Afghanistan.

One friend, Peter Danco, wrote: “Gayle, you are a true hero. You have a place in our hearts forever.”

Another, Martina Babinova, added: “I am so sorry to hear that you are not with us anymore, will miss you terribly. I have feared for this for so long.”

The shooting is not the first time a Christian has been targeted in Afghanistan.

Last year, 23 South Korean aid workers from a church group were taken hostage in southern Afghanistan. Two were killed and the rest released.

In 2001, eight international aid workers, including two Americans, were imprisoned and charged with preaching Christianity.

They were finally freed by Afghan mujahedeen fighters who attacked the Taliban after the American-led invasion.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that a British national was shot dead in Kabul. Next of kin have been informed."

Mr Bashary said it was not known who was responsible, but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, insisted his militia had carried out the killing.

"We killed her because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity," he said.

Serve Afghanistan is a UK registered charity which focuses on education and training for people with disabilities. All its overseas staff are volunteers.

The mission statement on its website says its purpose "is to express God's love and bring hope by serving the people of Afghanistan, especially the needy, as they seek to address personal, social and environmental needs."

Taliban insurgents have increasingly targeted aid workers this year in their campaign to spread an atmosphere of fear and undermine support for the Western-backed Afghan government.

Taliban insurgents killed three female aid workers and their Afghan driver in an ambush just outside Kabul in August, the bloodiest single attack on foreign humanitarian workers in Afghanistan in recent years.

Rising violence has already forced aid agencies to restrict humanitarian work at a time when drought and high prices are putting more people under pressure.

British aid worker shot dead in Afghanistan for 'preaching Christianity'  (

Title: Re: British aid worker shot dead in Afghanistan for 'preaching Christianity'
Post by: Shammu on October 21, 2008, 11:14:33 PM

I'm praying her death leads many to question, and to want to know more about Jesus. You'd think Satan would have realized by now that killing Christians only makes the Church grow faster. This may be the environment we find ourselves in, with the way things are going.

The one thing that gets me is their bragging of killing a Christian. It makes me shake my head at how these murderers are so PROUD of what they do! One day these people are going to have to answer God, why they killed innocents.

Title: Killed or hounded out – just for being Christian
Post by: Shammu on October 23, 2008, 11:57:36 PM
Killed or hounded out – just for being Christian
21 October 2008
in Kandhamal district, Orissa

IT WAS about 5:30pm last Monday when Sushil Kumar Naik heard knocking at what remained of his front door.

He peered through the holes left by the axes that the mob had used to batter their way in two weeks earlier. Outside stood a group of his Hindu neighbours, holding guns. The 43-year-old Indian air force officer was not surprised: he had been expecting them.

Like thousands of other Christians, Mr Naik has been living in fear since a wave of violence swept through the Kandhamal district of India's eastern state of Orissa two months ago. At least 59 people have died and thousands of homes and churches have been burned down.

Simmering tensions between the area's Hindu majority and their Christian neighbours were ignited by the murder of a hardline Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, on 23 August.

The initial Hindu backlash drove as many as 50,000 Christians from their homes. Now a new threat has emerged, and hundreds have been forced to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism on threat of death.

The men who called on Mr Naik at his home in the village of Gadaguda last week were not in the mood for small talk.

"You'd better convert," they told him. "If you don't convert to Hinduism, you must leave this place."

They did not say what would happen if he stayed, but Mr Naik did not really need to be told.

The men outside were the same ones who had turned up in the middle of the night two weeks earlier, smashed their way in and set his home on fire. At the time, Mr Naik had been on duty at his air force base more than 1,000 miles away in Nicobar. The only people who were at home were his wife, Binita, 36, and his 70-year-old mother, Brundavati.

"We were sleeping at the time," his mother said, "And then people came from everywhere. We heard them shouting slogans and we ran to the school."

She started to cry, wiping her eyes on her yellow sari. "They were firing guns in the air. They burned most of our possessions. We only got out with the clothes we are standing in."

The slogans the mob had been shouting were those of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – or World Hindu Council – the hardline Hindu organisation that has been blamed for encouraging Hindus to seek revenge for the killing of the swami. The VHP blames Christians for the murder, though Maoist guerrillas have claimed responsibility.

Those slogans were enough to alert Binita and Brundavati to the danger in time. But for their neighbours, Lalia and Mandikini Naik, there was to be no escape. The couple were in their 70s; they were simply too slow to get away.

"The men barged into their house. He couldn't move fast and they cut his throat with an axe," Binita said. "His wife was also cut."

The couple were taken to hospital, where Mr Naik died two days later. His wife remains seriously ill.

Sushil Naik's family were lucky; the police arrived within a few minutes, before the fire could consume the whole house. Even so, most of their possessions have been destroyed.

But they know it is only a matter of time before the men come back, and next time they might not be so lucky.

What makes it harder to bear is that they knew the people who attacked their home. Their family has been in Gadaguda for more than 100 years; the faces of the mob were those of their neighbours, people they had lived alongside and chatted to every day.

"If it was outsiders, they would not have known which house to attack," Mr Naik said.

When police officers eventually started to look for the culprits, some of the Hindu men took to the forests. From there, they appear to be able to venture forth at will to threaten those Christians who have remained in the area.

The Christians do not believe the police really want to help find the men responsible. They point out that smoke from the Hindus' cooking fires rises above the trees every night, but no-one goes after them.

"They were able to come to my house and threaten that we have to convert to Hinduism or stay away," Mr Naik said. "I don't understand what is happening. Even if we become Hindu, what guarantee is there that they will leave us in peace?"

It is a question many of Orissa's Christians are asking: many have concluded that their only option is to convert.

Last week, in the village of Sankarakhole, a little way down the road from Gadaguda, a total of 18 people converted. They were the only four Christian families in the village. Preti Singh Patra, the priest who carried out the ceremony, said the VHP had brought him letters from the families asking to convert. They had been happy to embrace Hinduism, he claimed.

Christians who have converted say nothing could be further from the truth.

In the village of Sarangagada, 32-year-old Jaspina Naik said she and her husband had been forced to take their three children to the temple to convert. "My neighbours said, 'If you go on being Christians, we will burn your houses and your children in front of you, so make up your minds quickly'," she said.

The VHP counters that many of those who are switching to Hinduism are recent converts from Christianity who had been attracted by the economic benefits that went with abandoning their low-caste status as Hindus. The VHP's leaders claim that many of those converts were so repulsed by the killing of the swami that they have been eager to rejoin the fold.

"They saw what happened to the swami – of course they want to come back, what's wrong with that?" said Gouri Prasad Rath, the VHP general secretary in Orissa.

He told The Scotsman the Christians had only themselves to blame for trying to entice Hindus to convert.

"If there is a problem today, I feel it is because the Hindus have lost patience," he said.

"Christians are giving Bibles to uneducated people who have nothing to eat and nothing to wear. They don't even know how to read it," he said. "If you go to their houses, they have a Bible and a photo of Jesus and, by keeping all these things, they think they have turned western.

"But you look at them and they still look like everyone else, and so what's the use of having such a religion when you have the same society as Hindus?"

Few of the 800 people crammed into tents in the Rudangia refugee camp a few hundred yards back along the road from Sushil Naik's home would see it that way.

For them, the idea that they can return to live alongside the people who turned on them so brutally seems little more than fantasy.

Rajma Naik, 45, fled to the camp after a mob chased her out of her home in Gonjugra village. The Hindus had been mocking them for their religion, she said. People were running everywhere, desperate to escape. In front of her, a woman stumbled as she tried to shepherd her eight-year-old son to safety.

"She was killed in front of me," she said. "She was running with her child. She was hit and she fell and they slashed her throat and then they got the child."

There was no way she could live alongside those people again, she said, not as a Christian, not as a Hindu.

"The Hindus say they will kill us," she said.

"In my village, we've been told that if we don't become Hindus, we will be killed. But I will never become a Hindu, even if I have to die."

Killed or hounded out – just for being Christian (

Title: 'We are killed because we are Christians'
Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2008, 02:35:56 PM
'We are killed because we are Christians'
October 27, 2008
Deborah Haynes in Nineveh Plains, Iraq

One grey-haired woman understands more than most the fear that has gripped Iraq's beleaguered Christian community over the past month.

Her brother, Bashar al-Hazim, was among the first to be murdered in a wave of targeted killings that has forced more than 2,000 Christian families to flee the northern city of Mosul.

Masked gunmen walked up to Mr Hashim as he stood with his two children outside their house in the east-side of Mosul in late September.

They demanded to see his identity card, confirmed he was Christian and executed the 41-year-old on the spot.

"I could have died when I found out. He was a dear brother and was killed in a very despicable way," said the woman, 60, who was too afraid to give her name.

She, like thousands of other Christians who have left the city since the start of October, claims to have no idea who carried out the attack. Fear of potential repercussions appears to prevent many in the region from speaking their mind.

"We're peaceful people. When my brother was executed he had no enemies. Why was he killed? He was not a member of a party. There was no reason except for being Christian," the woman, dressed in a black gown, said.

Worried that they would be next, she and her family evacuated to Bartella, a Christian town 20 miles north of Mosul in the Nineveh Plains, which border the largely-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.

They took shelter in a stone building attached to a churchyard, where some 19 other families were also gathered.

Of the estimated 13,000 Christians to flee Mosul this month, some have since returned but the majority remain refugees in monasteries and convents to the north and east of the city as well as in spare rooms in the towns and villages that dot the Nineveh Plains.

In the churchyard dwelling, the only furniture is a smattering of beds, mattresses and plastic chairs. There is also a battered, old stove.

"We left Mosul with just the clothes on our back. Our nerves are shredded," the woman said, sitting on a bed with her husband who suffers from angina. "It is not very comfortable here, but at least we have security."

Six of the families have dared to return to Mosul and others are planning to creep back in the coming days, but the dead man's sister is staying put.

"We cannot live in Mosul," she said, wiping a tear from her eye.

Iraq's rich blend of minority communities became a popular target for the insurgency that flared following the 2003 invasion. Tens of thousands of Christians as well as members of other sects such as Shabaks and Yazidis were forced out of major cities across the country under threat of death,

Many returned to the Nineveh Plains, a rural strip of land that has been home to minorities for centuries. But life is hard, with a lot of areas suffering from a lack of electricity and running water. There is no university so students must travel further afield to Mosul, often an impossible feat because of the dangers.

Hashim Mohsen is a Shabak from Mosul. He and his family left the city more than two years ago after his older brother was murdered. Mr Mohsen, a micro-biologist, has since lost a second brother and his house has been destroyed.

The nightmare began on July 27, 2006, when a car pulled up outside his front gate where his older brother, Amar, was sitting with four friends.

Two masked gunmen stepped out, while a small boy sitting in the car, his face also shrouded, pointed at Amar, 29, and said: "That one".

The driver of the vehicle ordered his men to shoot. Amar tried to lunge at them but was restrained. The assailants pumped six bullets into his head and heart, shouting: "Allah Akubar (God is great)".

That night the family received a note warning that their punishment for being Shia was death. Shabaks follow a form of Shia Islam. As a result, they have been repeatedly targeted by Sunni Islamist militants such as al-Qaeda.

"We left the next day to hold a funeral for my brother in the nearby village of Ali-Rash, where we stayed," Mr Mohsen, in his late 20s, said. Four other related families, petrified that they too would be killed, also moved.

They spent the next four months living in a mosque in the village before being able to build a two-roomed shack for the five families to inhabit.

Adding to the tragedy, a second brother ventured back to the Mosul house in December 2006 to pick up supplies for winter, such as blankets. He never returned. A neighbour later called up to say he too had been killed.

"We did not know who, what or why," Mr Mohsen said, grim-faced.

Last February, Iraqi forces raided his uncle's house next door, which militants had turned into a base. After a 30-minute firefight, three men were killed and four men and three women taken away.

In the afternoon a supposed associate of the gang visited the neighbourhood and blew up the house. Months later, Mr Mohsen's house was also levelled.

Asked whether he would ever return to Mosul to re-start his life, the man said: "I cannot go home. They will kill us all in a day."

'We are killed because we are Christians' (

Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2008, 03:44:04 PM
Anti-Christian violence spills into Kenya as Somali Muslims attack in Nairobi.
October 27, 2008

Mansuur Mohammed
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 27 (Compass Direct News) – Among at least 24 aid workers killed in Somalia this year was one who was beheaded last month specifically for converting from Islam to Christianity, among other charges, according to an eyewitness.

Muslim extremists from the al Shabab group fighting the transitional government on Sept. 23 sliced the head off of Mansuur Mohammed, 25, a World Food Program (WFP) worker, before horrified onlookers of Manyafulka village, 10 kilometers (six miles) from Baidoa.

The militants had intercepted Mohammed and a WFP driver, who managed to escape, earlier in the morning. Sources close to Mohammed’s family said he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005.

The eyewitness, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said the militants that afternoon gathered the villagers of Manyafulka, telling them that they would prepare a feast for them. The people gathered anticipating the slaughter of a sheep, goat or camel according to local custom.

Five masked men emerged carrying guns, wielding Somali swords and dragging the handcuffed Mohammed. One pulled back Mohammed’s head, exposing his face as he scraped his sword against his short hair as if to sharpen it. Another recited the Quran as he proclaimed that Mohammed was a “murtid,” an Arabic term for one who converts from Islam to Christianity.

The Muslim militant announced that Mohammed was an infidel and a spy for occupying Ethiopian soldiers.

Mohammed remained calm with an expressionless face, never uttering a word, said the eyewitness. As the chanting of “Allah Akubar [God is greater]” rose to a crescendo, one of the militiamen twisted his head, allowing the other to slit his neck. When the head was finally severed from the torso, the killers cheered as they displayed it to the petrified crowd.

The militants allowed one of their accomplices to take a video of the slaughter using a mobile phone. The video was later circulated secretly and sold in Somalia and in neighboring countries in what many see as a strategy to instill fear among those contemplating conversion from Islam to Christianity.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that a similar incident took place in Lower Juba province of Somalia in July, when Christians found with Bibles were publicly executed. Their families fled to Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and such killings are forcing other Christians to flee to neighboring Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Somalis Attacking Somalis

Somali refugees to Kenya include Nur Mohammed Hassan, in Nairobi under U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees asylum. In spite of the protection, two weeks ago five Somali Muslims broke into Mohammed Hassan’s house and beat him and his family, he told Compass.

“On Oct. 14 five Muslims entered my house around 10 o’clock in the night and forced us out after beating us indiscriminately,” Mohammed Hassan said, adding that the youngest of his eight children suffers from a liver disease. “Thank God the police arrived immediately and saved our lives. For two days now we have been sleeping outside in the cold. We have been receiving police security, but for how long will this continue?”

Mohammed Hassan now lives in Eastliegh, Nairobi with his wife and children. He had fled Mogadishu after Muslims murdered his sister, Mariam Mohammed Hassan, in April 2005, allegedly for distributing Bibles in the capital.

“We are nowadays no better than our fellow Somali Christians inside Somalia who are killed like dogs when discovered to be Christians,” Mohammed Hassan said. “We are not safe living here in Eastleigh. The Muslims killed my sister in Mogadishu, and now they are planning to kill me and my family.”

The last three years in Nairobi, he said, he has suffered many setbacks at the hands of other Somali immigrants.

“Indeed the situation for the Muslim Christians in Kenya and Somalia is disastrous and horrifying – we are risking our lives for choosing to follow Christ,” he said. “My family is in danger. No peace, no security. We are lacking the basic necessities of life.”

One of the most dangerous countries in the world, Somalia is subject to suicide bombings, sea piracy and routine human rights violations. Islamic militants object to foreign troop intervention, especially those from neighboring Ethiopia. Christians and anyone sympathetic to Western ideals are targeted, with foreign aid workers especially vulnerable in the past year.

Aid groups have counted 24 aid workers, 20 of them Somalis, who have been killed this year in Somalia, with more than 100 attacks on aid agencies reported. In their strategy to destabilize the government, the Islamic militants target relief groups as the U.N. estimates 3.2 million Somalis (nearly a third of the population) depend on such aid.

Somali Islamic clerics such as Ahlsunna Waljamea have condemned the killing of aid workers in Somalia.


Post by: Shammu on October 28, 2008, 03:49:00 PM
Islam is such a sweet peaceful religion...............NOT!!

Matthew 16:24-26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Those who watched this beheading, I pray it strikes them how islam is so "religion of peace"  isn't peaceable. The beheaded of a man who's only crime was making Jesus his Lord and savior, is a mark against islam.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on November 02, 2008, 11:44:04 AM
Islam is such a sweet peaceful religion...............NOT!!

I just used this same sentence in another thread!  Great minds think alike!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on November 02, 2008, 11:44:58 AM
Disturbing Stories Expose Dark Realities of Christian Persecution       

A solemn atmosphere descended upon a room full of culturally diverse evangelical leaders on Wednesday as disturbing accounts of religious persecution poured forth from those living in anti-Christian hotspots.

One by one, panelists shared stories of attacks against Christians in their country that included atrocious acts such as beheadings, gang rape, and genocide.

Stories were especially poignant because of the speakers’ closeness to the actual persecution, of which some were personally experienced.

The Rev. Godfrey Yogarajah of Sri Lanka, the new director of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission, shared that just a few days prior to his arrival in Thailand for the WEA General Assembly, one of the WEA pastors in his country of Sri Lanka was murdered and the pastor’s body thrown in a river.

A Vietnamese pastor named “Daniel” (full name cannot be disclosed for security reason) on the panel spoke about his father, a pastor, who was imprisoned for six years for his faith following the communist takeover in 1975.

The Vietnamese government now continues its persecution of his family for a second generation by denying Daniel citizenship because of his leadership in a major house church organization. His wife has to carry the burden of representing his family in every legal procedure.

But perhaps the most emotionally-charged testimony came from the Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, the general secretary of Evangelical Fellowship of India and Asia Evangelical Alliance.

Howell went beyond informing the evangelical leaders in the audience about the recent anti-Christian rampage in India to explain the reason behind Hindus’ hatred of Christians.

Hindu nationalist political parties believe and promote an ideology that promotes Hindu nation, Hindu culture, and Hindu people – “nationalism linked to Hindu religion,” said Howell.

“If you are not a Hindu, by definition, you are an anti-national,” he states. “So the hatred of Christian is hatred of Christian identity. They don’t like us not because of what we do – they definitely hate what we do – but also who we are.”

“They want to turn India into a Hindu nation, that is why Christians are hated,” the evangelical leader said.

But more importantly, Christians are hated because they empower the poor, which is the “root cause of any hatred that they incur,” he said.

Empowering the poor Dalit disturbs the caste system, which defines the group formerly known as untouchables as impure.

“A Dalit can never become a Brahmin (the highest position among the four social classifications of Brahminical Hinduism). It is his fate that he is condemned to be an impure Dalit. He should die a Dalit,” Howell explained.

However, the Gospel empowers and liberates Dalits when they become a follower of Jesus Christ, which angers the Brahmins.

“In 1857, every single Christian in Delhi was slaughtered – every single Christian. There was a time in Delhi where every single Muslim was put to death,” recalled a visibly emotional Howell in a loud but trembling voice.

“In 1984, when Mrs. [Indira] Ghandi (India's first and to date only female Prime Minister) was killed, 3,000 Sikhs were butchered – 3,000 of them on the streets of Delhi,” he recalled. “They have killed the Christians, they have killed the Muslims, they have killed the Sikhs, and now it is the time of Christians to be killed.”

He cited reports claiming that 50,000 Indian Christians have been displaced because of the violence, 30,000 of them live in relief camps – some, as reported by news agencies, sleeping without blankets – and over 4,000 Christian homes, churches and businesses have also been destroyed.

Some Christian groups say nearly 100 Christians have been killed in the attacks, although the media reports significantly lower figures – around 40 to 50 deaths.

“Persecution continued for two months unabated, uncontrolled,” Howell said angrily. “Government is a participator to the persecution that is taking place. Police stand as silent spectators. Nuns have been gang raped in the present of police.”

The current anti-Christian campaign is said to be the worst in the 60 years of India’s independence. India is the largest democratic country to experience such a large scale persecution of religious minority.

Though Hindu radicals accuse Christians of only serving the poor to convert them, Howell vehemently denied the allegations.

“Christians care for the poor for the sake of the love of Jesus Christ, not because we go out to convert,” he asserts. “Propagation machine say Christians serve to convert. If that was the case, our percentage should be 40, 60 or 80 percent – that’s not the case.”

India’s population is currently comprised of 80.5 percent Hindus, 13.4 percent Muslims, 2.3 percent Christians, and 1.9 percent Sikhs, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Other panelists, meanwhile, discussed the dire situation in Iraq, including Christian women who were being kidnapped, raped and beheaded.

Title: Persecution in Eritrea rages on
Post by: Shammu on November 11, 2008, 10:30:51 PM
Persecution in Eritrea rages on
Posted: 11 November, 2008

Eritrea (MNN) ―  Persecution of Christians in Eritrea continues to be overlooked by many western nations despite the arrests of over 2000 believers.

The Eritrean government claims no persons have been arrested based on their religious practices and in fact denies that any amount of religious disunity exists in the country. However, there has recently been reason to believe otherwise.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, persecution has been reported from several churches throughout the country. Although the government claims to support the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea, even these churches have experienced conflict.

On October 12, Eritrean officials arrested 20 members of the Faith Missions Church, a congregation forced to worship in secret since they do not belong to any of the three recognized churches in the country. Later, another Christian died in prison after being refused treatment for his malaria. Since then, there have been reports of 65 more believers being arrested simply because of their faith.

With such copious numbers of various reports, it may be surprising that little has been said by other nations. "Because Eritrea is such a small country and because of other things going on in the world, it tends to fly below the radar," says Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

If anyone has taken notice of the injustice in the country, there is little financial incentive to put pressure on the government due to the very small amount of trade between Eritrea and western nations. This apathetic approach to the situation only deepens the frustration of the victims and organizations involved.

"There hasn't been the public outcry. There haven't been other countries calling on the Eritrean leader to let the Christians go," says Nettleton. "That's a frustrating thing for those of us who do know about what's going on and do understand that 2000 of our brothers and sisters are in prison. We would like more people to speak out on their behalf."

To do so, Nettleton suggests that people first and foremost begin to pray. He also implores people to write letters reminding the government that "Christians are not a threat. They simply want the freedom to worship God as they see fit."

Pray that this freedom would come soon and that the Lord would strengthen the many that are hated because of Him.

Persecution in Eritrea rages on (

Title: Violence against Christians expanding in India
Post by: Shammu on November 11, 2008, 10:32:31 PM
Violence against Christians expanding in India
Posted: 11 November, 2008

India (MNN) ― The murder of a senior Hindu activist by suspected Maoists has sparked fresh violence on Christians in the state of Orissa, India, further making daily life difficult for Christians. The wave of violence, which began in August, has seen hundreds of Christians killed, thousands injured, and homes and churches destroyed.

Founder and President of Serve India Ministries Ebenezer Samuel says the violence has been widespread. "At least 50,000 Christians have been rendered homeless. Close to 30,000 of them are in refugee camps. 10,000 to 12,000 are hiding in forests. They're not at the refugee camps because they're not able to find safe passage."

According to Religious Intelligence, more than 500 Christians have been killed in what's being called religious genocide in Orissa.

Now, Samuel says, the violence is spreading. "In the neighboring state Jharkhand, there was a procession. They were shouting slogans against Christians there. The persecution is spreading to the neighboring states as well. Jharkhand in the north, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the west, and Andhra Pradesh in the south. And some other states are also responding to the persecution."

Samuel says there doesn't appear to be an end to the violence, and overt ministry has all but come to an end. "They are not able to go to villages that they visit regularly. And believers that are with them in the churches have all been displaced. No one is sure what is going to happen."

Pastors are now staying with believers and helping their church members the best they can -- sharing resources and trying to help one another.

That's why Serve India Ministries is launching a plan to help 50 Christian families who have faced incredible amounts of persecution. "Some have lost loved ones. All of them have lost their houses, their property, belongings, everything, and they can't go back to where they were living for the past 10, 15 or 20 years."

Samuel says you can help these families. "We would like to help each of these families with $50 per month. It will provide them with food, water, clothes, a safe place to stay and finding jobs for them because they can't go back to their own villages."

Violence against Christians expanding in India (

Title: Re: Violence against Christians expanding in India
Post by: nChrist on November 12, 2008, 12:01:18 AM
Violence against Christians expanding in India
Posted: 11 November, 2008

India (MNN) ― The murder of a senior Hindu activist by suspected Maoists has sparked fresh violence on Christians in the state of Orissa, India, further making daily life difficult for Christians. The wave of violence, which began in August, has seen hundreds of Christians killed, thousands injured, and homes and churches destroyed.

Founder and President of Serve India Ministries Ebenezer Samuel says the violence has been widespread. "At least 50,000 Christians have been rendered homeless. Close to 30,000 of them are in refugee camps. 10,000 to 12,000 are hiding in forests. They're not at the refugee camps because they're not able to find safe passage."

According to Religious Intelligence, more than 500 Christians have been killed in what's being called religious genocide in Orissa.

Now, Samuel says, the violence is spreading. "In the neighboring state Jharkhand, there was a procession. They were shouting slogans against Christians there. The persecution is spreading to the neighboring states as well. Jharkhand in the north, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in the west, and Andhra Pradesh in the south. And some other states are also responding to the persecution."

Samuel says there doesn't appear to be an end to the violence, and overt ministry has all but come to an end. "They are not able to go to villages that they visit regularly. And believers that are with them in the churches have all been displaced. No one is sure what is going to happen."

Pastors are now staying with believers and helping their church members the best they can -- sharing resources and trying to help one another.

That's why Serve India Ministries is launching a plan to help 50 Christian families who have faced incredible amounts of persecution. "Some have lost loved ones. All of them have lost their houses, their property, belongings, everything, and they can't go back to where they were living for the past 10, 15 or 20 years."

Samuel says you can help these families. "We would like to help each of these families with $50 per month. It will provide them with food, water, clothes, a safe place to stay and finding jobs for them because they can't go back to their own villages."

Violence against Christians expanding in India (

Brother Bob,

This is very sad and is a sign of things to come around the world. I already know that these Christians are guilty of trying to help people. Christians have many missions in India other than just sharing the GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD. Voice of the Martyrs and other Christian publications report that many of the locals miss the Christians and depended on them for assistance of various kinds. It appears increasingly that Christian Networks to provide food, clothing, clean water, medical care, and all kinds of other necessities are being torn apart and rendered inoperable. HOW SAD IS THIS? Religious zealots from other religions would rather their countrymen suffer and die than get aid from Christians. WHO ELSE IS BRAVE ENOUGH TO COME THERE AND TRY TO HELP THEM? We are seeing all kinds of suffering and misery around the world, and Christian missionaries are still willing to go and try to help. In this part of the world, we don't know very much about people starving to death or people dying from minor injuries and illness because it goes untreated. It's extremely sad that one almost needs an army to go and try to help.

There is much for us to pray about, and the poorest among us has many reasons to Thank GOD every day.

Love In Christ,

1 John 2:1-2  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Shammu on November 13, 2008, 09:31:19 PM
Gift bag bomb explodes at Christian missionary's home
Neighbors fear pink-wrapped package may have targeted daughters
Posted: November 11, 2008
10:04 pm Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Christian missionary Gary Stevenson thought the pink, gift-wrapped bag he found on his doorstep was a present left for one of his toddler daughters, but when he brought it inside his home, the bomb within the bag exploded.

Stevenson suffered multiple lacerations and burns, deep cuts on his head and chest, and underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his liver. But he is expected to make a full recovery.

His daughters, age 1 and 3, were away with their grandmother at the time, the Vancouver Province reports about the attack in Langley, British Columbia, but his wife and three others who were helping the family in the process of moving to a new home were in the house. Only Gary was injured in the blast, which scattered pink tissue paper throughout the residence and punched shrapnel holes in the walls.

"What's really terrifying is who would put a bomb in a gift bag that was in pink?" Miles Forrest, a friend of the Stevensons told the Province.

"Was somebody trying to kill his daughters? He was going to give it to them but … luckily, in a way, he opened it ahead of time," said Forrest.

Stevenson is a missionary with Power to Change, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Canada, serving on the campus of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Twenty neighboring units in the Stevenson's townhome complex were evacuated and searched following the explosion, but police bomb squads and dog teams were unable to find any other explosives.

"At this point in the investigation," Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Holly Marks said in a statement, "police have not yet determined whether this incident was targeted or random."

Guy Saffold, executive director of ministries at Power for Change told CTV British Columbia that Stevenson is recovering well, asking for chocolate and his Bible to be by his side.

The ordeal, however, has left the Stevenson family shaken, reports Saffold.

"You understandably feel very unsafe when you don't know why you were targeted or if you were targeted and what may have happened," Saffold told The Toronto Globe and Mail.

Saffold said Stevenson "was asking people to pray that he gets better soon, [and he is] also asking people to pray that police would find some leads, to know why this was done and have some closure."

Title: Christians brace for gang-rape, slaughter
Post by: Shammu on November 13, 2008, 09:34:24 PM
Christians brace for gang-rape, slaughter
India's believers may face bloodbath after another Hindu activist is shot
Posted: November 06, 2008
11:05 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Christians who have been persecuted by Hindu militants in 12 Indian states could face more bloodshed after another Hindu activist, Rashtriya Swayamsevak, was reportedly shot dead by Maoists this week.

India's Communist Party estimates that more than 500 Christians have been killed by Hindu mobs in Orissa, 12 times more than official government claims of only 40 homicides. One official said he personally authorized "cremation of more than 200 bodies" found in jungles after Christians were blamed for the death of Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on Aug. 24. They continue to be persecuted even though Maoists openly admitted to murdering Saraswati.

According to the Communist Party report, Hindu extremists may have used government machinery to "minimize the evidence and possibly destroy dead bodies."

Thousands of homes and churches have been destroyed, and tens of thousands of Christians have been forced to flee the violence. Mission Network News estimates 5,000 Christian homes have been burned, 200 churches ruined, 10,000 people remain in government-operated refugee camps, and tens of thousands are living in forests – many seriously wounded.

Religious rights group Barnabus Fund told the group Hindu militants "forced" Christians in Orissa to "convert" to Hinduism by threatening them with rape if they refused.

Neighbors reportedly gang-raped a Hindu woman after her Christian uncle refused to renounce his faith, according to reports.

Another Christian woman named Jaspina was told by neighbors, "If you go on being Christian, we will burn your house and your children in front of you." She and her family were forced to eat cow excrement to "purify" themselves of Christianity.

Other Christians were doused with gasoline and told to participate in conversion ceremonies or be lit on fire.

One Catholic nun has finally agreed to identify her attackers after she was gang-raped in Orissa in August. When she reported the crime, police warned her she could face consequences for her complaint. Authorities initially refused to make an arrest until the incident was publicized in a national newspaper. The nun claims policemen watched the attack without saying a word, and one officer appeared to be friends with one of her rapists.

Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has called on government and religious leaders to come together and stop "cruel violence" against Christians. Other church leaders are denouncing government inaction following waves of bloodshed.

Yup, all these pretenders claim they are peaceful but they can't prove it behaving as they do. Seems the closer we come to going home.......... The more violent the world is becoming towards Christians. :'(

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on November 19, 2008, 11:45:29 AM
North Korea enraged by launch of Gospel gas balloons
Communists see Christian messages by thousands blanketing countryside
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Christians launching a balloon to carry thousands of Gospel tracts over North Korea, where they are then dropped to residents

North Korean officials are infuriated by leaflets that have been floated over the communist nation's secured borders and dropped from plastic bags attached to gas-filled balloons, and one organization behind the effort says there's good reason the atheists in power are upset – the pamphlets are carrying a Gospel message directly to the people.

Hundreds of thousands of leaflets have reportedly been distributed in just the past few months, and may have been the reason the North recently announced it would shut its border with the South. The North also has threatened to cut other communications, such as telephone lines, over the issue.

The leaflets have been attributed to "political" groups, but a spokesman for one organization sponsoring the effort said there's nothing political about it, and the tracts carry a message of hope directly to the North Korean people.

The spokesman and his organization, which spreads the Gospel around the world, couldn't be identified because of the potential for danger to affiliated activists who are dispatching the balloons.

But he told WND those who have fled government crackdowns on their faith inside North Korea are desperate to get the message of hope to their family, friends and communities behind the wall of communist information censorship.


"Each balloon carried 10,000 Gospel tracts, in three separate bags at the bottom that have a time release mechanism so that they drop at different times to spread the leaflets over a wider area," he described.

On one side, the leaflet cites a "great revival" that launched in Pyongyang in 1907.

"It began with a Bible study that took place in Changdaehyun church … Many Koreans came together to study the Bible, the written record of God's love for Korean people and the world," it says.

"Unfortunately, this study of the truth was stopped by Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. They are not the first people to build big statues of themselves for people to bow down and worship. Throughout history, many leaders have claimed to be a god only to die later. The following is a true story from the Bible that took place thousands of years ago. It is about a man like Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il who thought he was even better than God Himself. But this story is also about 3 courageous men who knew who the real God was, and how they refused to bow down to someone who was only a man."

The pamphlet then describes Nebuchadnezzar's reign, his construction of a golden statue to himself and the refusal on the part of three Israelite captives to bow down before it.

The Bible records Nebuchadnezzer then had the captives thrown into a fire, but he saw four men, not three, walking around inside the flames, which did not hurt the men.

"There is only one who is the true Savior. Just as King Nebuchadnezzar died, so did Kim Il-Sung and one day so will Kim Jong-Il. But unlike these 3 men, the true God, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and lives," it continues.

"King Nebuchadnezzar had his people bow down and worship him, but God showed him that he was not a god. King Nebuchadnezzar had to bow down to the One True God. Everyone, including all the leaders in the world that have thought themselves to be God, will one day have to bow down to the One True God also. The Bible says that the name of Jesus, God's son, is above every name. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord."

The Al-Jazeera network reported even the South Korean government was looking for ways to ban "activists" from sending "anti-North Korean propaganda" across the border between the two nations, apparently in an attempt to win favor with the North Korean powers.

Kim Ho-Nyoun of South Korea's unification ministry said he was reviewing whether there were "legal grounds" to halt the spread of the messages, which Al-Jazeera described as an "irritant" to North-South relations because of their "critical" message about North Korean leadership.

The Islamic network noted North Korean officials had been complaining about "debris," while the Korea Times said the government's previous attempts to discourage the spread of such messages have not been successful.

The pamphlet says, "The Bible tells us that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life" (John 3:16). We love God because He first loved us. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die to save you-and He rose from the dead and is watching over you today. That is why you have found this paper."

Although there may be "political" items also being dropped over North Korea, many of the items are evangelism-oriented, the ministry spokesman told WND.

"The good news of this story is that obviously it works," said the ministry spokesman. "If the leaflets weren't getting into North Korea, or weren't getting read by anyone, the North Korean government wouldn't be making a big deal about it."

North Korea long has had a record of banning Christianity and torturing and killing Christians. WND reported a Christian ministry launched a campaign seeking to have North Korean students who were caught reading the Bible freed from jail.

According to Free North Korea Broadcasting, a former vice-president of GumRung Co. of the Rodong Dang Labor Organization Department, reported the situation.

He escaped to the relative freedom of China to avoid arrest by the National Security Agency of North Korea and carried information about the situation with him.

"In March 2006, 200 Life Bibles and several hundred CDs were purchased in China and secretly placed in flour bags before being smuggled into North Korea," he reported. "This huge Bible smuggling case was headed by GumRung Co. employees who were influenced by Christianity in China and underground Christians in Nasun City."

He continued, "All the leaders have been arrested and are being severely tortured. If I am caught, I will be sent to a prison camp for political criminals. I didn't want to die in prison camp, so I escaped."

But detailed information from inside North Korea often is hard to obtain, many times coming only from those who have survived and escaped. WND previously reported on a North Korean who fled and said many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-Il actually is a god.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on November 19, 2008, 12:06:39 PM
But detailed information from inside North Korea often is hard to obtain, many times coming only from those who have survived and escaped. WND previously reported on a North Korean who fled and said many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-Il actually is a god.

Sadly, many evil leaders around the world want their people to believe they are god. The people are grown like mushrooms in the dark. Here, we see the evil genius of NO FREEDOM because FREEDOM of any kind is dangerous. This is just one reason why FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE PRESS must be defended. Just the attempt to remove these FREEDOMS is a sign of tyranny. The same is true for the attempt to DISARM A FREE PEOPLE. These are definite signs that someone wants to put the people into SLAVERY and REMOVE THEIR FREEDOMS! This is also the reason why a FREE PEOPLE must have Laws, Constitutions, and the RULE OF LAW! Obviously, the best situation is "THE RULE OF LAW UNDER GOD!

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on November 19, 2008, 12:29:53 PM
Sadly, many evil leaders around the world want their people to believe they are god. The people are grown like mushrooms in the dark. Here, we see the evil genius of NO FREEDOM because FREEDOM of any kind is dangerous. This is just one reason why FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE PRESS must be defended. Just the attempt to remove these FREEDOMS is a sign of tyranny. The same is true for the attempt to DISARM A FREE PEOPLE. These are definite signs that someone wants to put the people into SLAVERY and REMOVE THEIR FREEDOMS! This is also the reason why a FREE PEOPLE must have Laws, Constitutions, and the RULE OF LAW! Obviously, the best situation is "THE RULE OF LAW UNDER GOD!

This is exactly where the "Left" wants to take us.  He who has eyes to see and ears to hear......

Title: Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians
Post by: Shammu on November 20, 2008, 12:18:14 AM
Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians
November 20, 2008
Rhys Blakely in Bombay

Extremist Hindu groups offered money, food and alcohol to mobs to kill Christians and destroy their homes, according to Christian aid workers in the eastern state of Orissa.

The allegations follow the British Government’s refusal to prevent members of two radical groups linked to the worst antiChristian violence in India since Partition entering Britain.

The US-based head of a Christian organisation that runs several orphanages in Orissa – one of India’s poorest regions – claims that Christian leaders are being targeted by Hindu militants and carry a price on their heads. “The going price to kill a pastor is $250 (£170),” Faiz Rahman, the chairman of Good News India, said.

A spokesman for the All-India Christian Council said: “People are being offered rewards to kill, and to destroy churches and Christian properties. They are being offered foreign liquor, chicken, mutton and weapons. They are given petrol and kerosene.”

Ram Madhav, a spokesman for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the largest hardline Hindu group, denied the claims. “The accusation is absolutely false,” he said.

Orissa has suffered a series of murders and arson attacks in recent months, with at least 67 Christians killed, according to the Roman Catholic Church. Several thousand homes have been razed and hundreds of places of worship destroyed, and crops are now wasting in the fields.

In recent weeks the violence has subsided but at least 11,000 Christian refugees remain in camps in Kandhamal, the district worst affected. “They are too scared to go home. They know that if they return to their villages they will be forced to convert to Hinduism,” Father Manoj, who is based at the Archbishop’s office in Bhubaneshwar, the state capital, said.

The violence was triggered in August by the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, a senior figure in the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a hardline Hindu group, who had campaigned against the alleged forced conversions of poor Hindus by foreign-backed Christian missionaries.

Maoist militants claimed responsibility for the killing, but the VHP blamed Christians and called for revenge. This week extremists said that if Mr Lakshmanananda’s killers were not caught by December 15 they would begin a day of violence on December 25.

A group of Catholic bishops from Orissa believe that the attacks have a sinister objective.

In a letter to the state’s chief minister they wrote: “This conflict is a calculated and preplanned masterplan to wipe out Christianity from Kandhamal in order to realise the hidden agenda . . . of establishing a Hindu nation.”

This month Lord Malloch-Brown, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, turned down a plea for members of the RSS and the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the VHP, to be barred from entering Britain.

“Neither organisation is proscribed in the United Kingdom or in India, nor do the Indian Government classify either as a terrorist organisation,” Lord Malloch-Brown said, in reply to a question from Lord Patten of Barnes. There have been calls from members of India’s ruling government coalition for the RSS and Bajrang Dal to be banned but analysts say the Government is unlikely to act for fear of alienating Hindu voters in the run-up to general elections in the spring.

The RSS has been outlawed temporarily three times; the first in 1948, after a former member assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.

Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians (

Title: Re: Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians
Post by: Shammu on November 20, 2008, 12:39:03 AM
Hindu extremists' reward to kill Christians

The evil in the world hates for any light at all to shine upon it and reveal it for what it is. Satan and his pals would violently persecute churches that preach the full gospel here, if they could. Satan knows that right now he can't.

Anyone who advocates burning down churches, killing pastors in America would be arrested for inciting a riot. Besides that, if they tried to kill Christians wantonly, they know that Christians will shoot them, because many of us do own guns. The whole lot of them are cowards, so though they hate us and want us dead, they won't try to kill us until they think they can get away with it.

Though I wouldn't be surprised when that kind of persecution starts happening here in the next few years. I believe it will, to the Churches and Christians who DO preach the full gospel.

We need to keep our brothers and sisters in prayers in these countries that persecute Christians.

Title: House Church Leader Zhu Baoguo Sentenced to 'Re-education Through Labor'
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:23:48 PM
House Church Leader Zhu Baoguo Sentenced to 'Re-education Through Labor'
Nov 18th, 2008 5:21 AM

HENAN, Nov. 18 (Christian Newswire) -- ChinaAid learned a house church leader in Henan province, Pastor Zhu Baoguo, was sentenced to one year of "re-education through labor," accused of being an "evil cult" leader.

On October 12, 2008 five church leaders were detained during a church gathering of about 20 people at Dushu village, Yuguang town, Neixiang county, Nanyang city, Henan province. Pastor Zhu received 15 days of administrative detention, while the other four leaders were sentenced to five days. However, on October 30, two days after Pastor Zhu was released from his 15-day administrative detention at the Detention Center of Neixiang County, Pastor Zhu was sentenced to one year of re-education through labor. He was charged with being a member of "an evil cult." He was immediately sent to a labor camp. His family and church members have not been able to determine where he is being held. According to his family members, Pastor Zhu suffers from heart disease.

"To arbitrarily detain and sentence an innocent house church pastor is a direct violation of the Chinese Constitution and related international human rights covenants guaranteeing Chinese citizens' religious freedom. It also contradicts the Chinese government's repeated claim for protecting religious freedom in the spirit of rule of law," said Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid. "We call upon the Chinese government to release Pastor Zhu immediately."

House Church Leader Zhu Baoguo Sentenced to 'Re-education Through Labor' (

Title: Iraq: Court Releases Christian Girl Sentenced for Murder
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:24:46 PM
Iraq: Court Releases Christian Girl Sentenced for Murder
Added: Nov 18th, 2008 6:04 AM

Prison term reduced for abused niece who defended herself; family fears retaliation.

ISTANBUL (Compass Direct News) -- In prison at the age of 14 for having fatally stabbed her uncle in northern Iraq, Asya Ahmad Muhammad’s early release on Nov. 10 thanks to a juvenile court decision was overshadowed by fear of retaliation from her extended Muslim family.

Also known as Maria, the now 16-year-old Muhammad was sentenced to five years in prison for killing her paternal uncle in self-defense on July 9, 2006 when he attacked her, her mother and little brother at their family kitchen utensil store in the outskirts of Dohuk. The uncle had cut her mother with a knife and was fiercely beating them for converting to Christianity and for “shaming” the family by working in public when Muhammad stabbed him.

Clearing her of an original conviction for premeditated murder, the Erbil high court last year had reduced Muhammad’s sentence from five to three-and-a-half years, upholding an earlier decision that she was guilty of killing her uncle though she acted in defense of herself and others.

Muhammad’s lawyer, Akram Al-Najar, told Compass that following his appeal to the Dohuk juvenile court, the court earlier this month agreed to reduce her sentence to two years and four months on the basis of her good conduct and having served nearly three-quarters of her three-and-a-half year sentence.

“She deserved to be released since her behavior and attitude was excellent,” said Al-Najar. “That is why the court accepted my request and decided to reduce her punishment to two years and four months.”

Local Christians have commented that Muhammad’s sentence was light, considering that it was culturally acceptable for an uncle to beat his niece. Her jail time also meant that she didn’t have to fear reprisal attacks from her relatives.

But Muhammad’s release from prison now means a possible retaliation from extended family members for her uncle’s death, said Al-Najar.

“I am not sure she is safe right now, especially after her release, since there are still people intent on gaining revenge,” said the lawyer.

Father Threatened

Muhammad’s father, Ahmad Muhammad Abdurahman, who converted in 1998 while working in Beirut, said that in the last week family members have called him twice telling him his days of joy are numbered.

“My sisters called me, and my brother’s wife called me also [and said], ‘You are a shame. Don’t be happy in your family; we will never let you be happy in your family,’” Abdurahman told Compass.

He explained that his change in faith was grounds for an “honor” crime in his Kurdish family, and even more so now that blood had been shed. His father, a Muslim cleric, was enraged by Abdurahman’s conversion. Abdurahman’s deceased brother, Sayeed, on five occasions had tried to kill him and had also burned down his house. Abdurahman has seven brothers.

Abdurahman said that since the release of his only daughter, he has left his old home but remains in the town of Dohuk, unsure of what the next step is for his family. He said his only hope now is to come up with the “blood money” necessary to buy peace with his family for his brother’s death. The court has set this amount at 10 million Iraqi dinars (US$8,670).

Unable to keep a stable job, Abdurahman is not sure he will be able to come up with the amount, nor whether it will suffice to keep his family safe within the borders of Iraq.

“I just pray that God gives me provision to take my daughter and family to a different country,” he said. “We have now moved to a different house, but I am afraid they will come and contact me again. I want to keep my daughter and wife safe, but I don’t know how I will manage to do so.”

In a phone interview with Christian support organization Open Doors, Muhammad said her time in prison had been difficult and she was thankful to be back with her family.

“I am very glad because God gave me a miracle, and I am very happy to meet my mother and my father,” she told a representative of the organization. “My hope [is] in Jesus; I always prayed for God to comfort my mother [until] I see my mother, I see my family again.”

Relative ‘Safe Haven’

Despite the recent waves of violence in Mosul, south of Dohuk in northern Iraq, Abdurahman said that the Kurdish part of the country is still considered a safe haven for Christians, where many Christian families from Mosul have also fled in recent weeks

“Many Christians come here from Mosul and Baghdad, and the Kurdish government does a good job to protect Christians,” he said. “That’s what I see.”

He noted, however, that according to Iraqi law it is still not possible for Iraqis to change their religion on their national identification cards.

“It is my dream that one day I will be free to change my ID card,” he said. “My card now writes ‘Muslim.’ But my faith is Christian.”

Abdurahman asked for prayer as he looks for a job or a way to get out of Iraq.

“I don’t know what will come from God,” he said. “I’m not worried about that, but my family needs help, they need food and things … I’m just thanking God that he brought my sheep, my daughter, into the family again.”

Iraq: Court Releases Christian Girl Sentenced for Murder (

Title: Ami Ortiz: Where's the Justice?
Post by: Shammu on November 22, 2008, 06:26:16 PM
Ami Ortiz: Where's the Justice?
Added: Nov 18th, 2008 12:50 PM

by George Whitten

Ariel, Israel (Worthy News) -- It has been nearly eight months since 15-year-old Ami Ortiz was almost killed by an explosion while opening an innocent looking Purim basket on March 20th, however no arrests have been made despite the fact that the Ariel police have months of surveillance tapes and a considerable amount of evidence in their possession. (Photo to right: Area in the Ortiz family home where bomb filled with metal shards exploded forward into the dining room table and backward, ripping into the full length of Ami's body. He was found on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood.)

The Ortiz family continues to seek justice in view of the massive injuries they've sustained, but also in the hope of preventing tragedies like this in the future. Pursuing every avenue, the Ortiz family, along with believers from around the world have written numerous letters and contacted some of the highest ranking officials in the Israeli government seeking help, yet while having received acknowledgment of their letters, no action has been taken.

The Ortiz' criminal lawyer, Yossi Graiver, when asked by Worthy News to update the case, responded saying, "There's nothing happening yet." Questioned about the strategy the legal team is pursuing, he said, "We will continue to cooperate with the police, and different ministries involved, trying to create more pressure" in order to see a breakthrough in the case.

Last June, the family's story was broadcast on Israeli Channel 1 during Prime Time on a show called Yoman Shishi. Prior to the program date, Channel 1 battled two separate police injunctions in Israeli courts aimed at preventing the broadcast from being aired.

In addition, a television program called "Uvda" ("Fact" in Hebrew), similar to America's "60 Minutes", is preparing to run an episode covering the case within the next few months. As investigators continue to gather evidence, it is apparent to those involved that this was no ordinary bomb -- but rather a device created by an explosives expert. This carefully designed explosive package has been designated a "stable bomb", meaning that it had to be detonated in a precise manner, and it's construction required components which are not available on the open market.

As investigators continue to pursue leads in the case, there is some evidence that may connect the Ortiz bombing to another bombing that targeted left wing activist, Prof. Ze'ev Sternhell, which took place in October. In both of these acts of terror, no arrests have been made, and many in Israel are wondering why, especially in light of Israeli expertise in discovering and ferreting out Arab terror cells.

Meanwhile, Ami has been recovering steadily. Worthy News, having reviewed the photos and the physical evidence of destruction, concluded that Ami's recovery is not simply amazing -- it is unquestionably miraculous! Shortly after the horrendous event took place, Ami described his pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, as, consistently between 8 and 9. Now eight months later, having undergone multiple operations, the level of consistent pain has considerably lowered to around 3 or 4.

Ami continues to struggle daily, as his mother Leah commented, "Everything for him is a procedure, from taking a shower, to getting out and having to put special creams on his scars, to the pressure suit, and just getting dressed is painful for him. He has longer and longer periods of being able to joke his way through all the procedures, but sometimes it gets him down, which is understandable." Although recently, Ami has begun to practice and play basketball again! He's even played in a few games. There's still a long road ahead of him, including several operations and some skin grafts, yet each and every day those closest to him notice the real progress this brave young man is making. (Photo to left: Ortiz Family)

As you may imagine, for any young man whose life has been radically changed by circumstances beyond his control, Ami struggles from time to time. But when asked by Worthy News, whether or not he feels resentment or anger toward those who tried to kill him, he showed no trace of bitterness or anger -- an amazing testimony of the faith and grace in this young believer. His father David commented further, stating that Ami's response of complete forgiveness toward those who succeeded to drastically harm him has, and continues to be an amazing testimony to the television crews, and the program staffers reporting on his case.

Since this tragedy, the Ortiz family has received thousands of letters of encouragement from people from all over the world as they continue their work in the city of Ariel. And while many expected the family to abandon the city, they have not only stayed, but continue to press forward, despite the many obstacles which continually besiege them. The family's faith and perseverance has been a powerful example to the Body. (Photo to right: Posters warning Ariel's citizens to beware of the Messianic Jewish cult which is intent on converting all Jews to Christianity. The posters incite ultra-Orthodox Jews to violence.)

A few weeks after the bombing, New York Times best selling author Joel Rosenberg hosted his Epicenter 08 conference in Jerusalem, and he invited David Ortiz to share about his family's ordeal. To this day, it is the most frequently viewed video on the Epicenter 08 website.

One blessing clearly emerging from this tragedy is how the body of Messiah has unified in support, embracing Ami and the entire Ortiz family. Many believers have commented that this single event has worked to unify the body in Israel like none other. And again, the invincible faith and commitment of the Ortiz family are a shining example of how we must all face persecution whenever it may come.

Ami Ortiz: Where's the Justice? (

Title: Egypt: Christians Arrested, Shops Looted in Village
Post by: Shammu on November 27, 2008, 11:42:48 PM
Egypt: Christians Arrested, Shops Looted in Village
Nov 24th, 2008 5:44 AM

Funeral incident leads to disproportionate response from Muslim mobs, police.

ISTANBUL, November 21 (Compass Direct News) -- Authorities in an Egyptian village arrested 50 Coptic Christians, whose shops were then looted, to pacify Muslims following violence that erupted on Nov. 4 over a Christian boy’s unwitting break with custom.

Muslim villagers attacked the homes and shops of Coptic Christians in violence-prone Tayyiba, a town with 35,000 Christians and 10,000 Muslims, after 14-year-old Copt Mina William failed to dismount his donkey as a funeral procession passed.

William was watching the procession in Tayibba, 220 kilometers (137 miles) south of Cairo, with Nathan Yaccoub, also 14. William’s failure to dismount violated a local custom of showing respect, Copts United reported, and members of the procession reportedly beat him before completing the procession. William suffered minor injuries.

After the funeral procession, the processional members began throwing stones at the homes of local Copts and attacking their shops before police broke up the crowd with tear gas.

A priest said members of the procession did not attack the youths for showing disrespect but as an excuse to lash out against the community’s Christians for a previous episode of sectarian violence.

“These two children with the donkey didn’t know about the traditions,” said Father Metias Nasr, a Cairo-based priest with connections in areas south of the capital. “The Muslims there were angry about the last case of violence and wanted to create a new problem with these two children there.”

When the violence began, police presence increased significantly in the city. But rather than quell the unrest, police reportedly made matters worse for the Christians. After breaking up the crowd, officers detained 50 Copts and 10 Muslims.

A source told Compass that police arrested a disproportionate amount of Christians to create a false sense of equanimity and to pressure the Christians into “reconciliation” with the attackers so the Copts would not prosecute them. The arrested Christians have since been released.

In the two weeks since the attacks and looting, the increased police force in the village has harassed Copts through intimidation, “fines” and racketeering. Police have taken an estimated $50,000 from village Copts, the source said.

Once police lifted the curfew, Coptic shopkeepers returned to their stores to discover that they had been looted. Sources said the perpetrators were “supply inspectors,” local government inspectors who do quality control checks on goods. They gained access by smashing locks and doors of the shops.

The sources said supply inspectors plundered grocery stores, a poultry shop, an electronics store and a pharmacy.

According to Coptic weekly Watani, looters stole nearly $2,000 worth of goods from grocer Bishara Gayed. Another victim of the looting, an owner of a poultry shop who declined to give his name, blamed supply inspectors for running off with his stock.

A local clergyman condemned the violence.

“It is unreasonable that a mistake by some 14-year-old should lead to all that rampage,” a village Coptic priest known as Father Augustinus told Watani. “Something ought to be done to halt all this.”

Orphanage Bulldozed

Numerous instances of sectarian violence have struck Tayyiba in the last few months.

Last month a Coptic Christian was killed over a dispute with a Muslim who wanted to buy his house. Violence escalated, resulting in damaged storefronts, 48 arrests and injuries sustained by three Christians and a Muslim.

Such quarrels typically arise from land ownership issues. A Coptic source told Compass that Christians in Tayyiba are generally wealthier than their Muslim counterparts, often leading to resentment.

Tayyiba was stable at press time, though the town is considered to be continually in danger of religious violence flaring. This situation is common throughout Egypt, Fr. Nasr told Compass.

“The village is like anywhere in Egypt,” he said. “In every place in Egypt we can say that in one minute everyone can be destroyed by fanatics, sometimes through the encouragement of security [forces].”

The Coptic Church has faced recent difficulties in other Egyptian cities, with government officials attempting to obstruct their religious activities. On Wednesday (Nov. 19), city officials in Lumbroso, Alexandria destroyed an unfinished but recently furnished Coptic orphanage owned by Abu-Seifein Church and worth 6 million Egyptian pounds (US$1 million).

Officials claimed the building did not have a license, although church leaders said the demolition came on orders from the religiously zealous Islamic mayor. Ali Labib, former head of police and state security in Alexandria, in his two-year tenure as mayor has refused license applications for new church construction or rebuilding, said a Cairo-based Coptic priest who requested anonymity.

The priest said the orphanage was only able to obtain a license because it was issued before Labib’s tenure.

Islam is a growing presence in Egypt’s public sphere. While the government has attempted to crack down on extremists, Islamic civil groups that have drawn widespread support by offering cheap medical assistance and private lessons to school children include the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization with jihad in its credo that has been accused of violence.

The Muslim Brotherhood is well regarded by the average Egyptian, who equates the government with autocracy, corruption and repression, author and intellectual Tarek Heggy reportedly said. Over the last four decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has introduced its brand of fundamentalist Islam into Egyptian schools, mosques and media, he added.

Egypt’s ethnic Christians, known as Copts, belong to the Orthodox Church and number 12 million among the country’s 79 million inhabitants. There are smaller groups of Catholics and Protestants.

Egypt: Christians Arrested, Shops Looted in Village (

Title: Mexico: Oppression of Christians Persists in Various Parts of Country
Post by: Shammu on November 27, 2008, 11:44:42 PM
Mexico: Oppression of Christians Persists in Various Parts of Country
Nov 27th, 2008 5:29 AM

MEXICO CITY, November 25 (Compass Direct News) -- As the number of evangelical Christians in southern Mexico has grown, hostilities from "traditionalist Catholics" have kept pace, according to published reports.

Especially in indigenous communities in southern Mexico, the prevailing attitude is that only traditionalist Catholics, who blend native rituals with Roman Catholicism, have rights to religious practice, according to news reports. Moreover, the reports indicate the traditionalist Catholic villagers believe they have the right to force others to conform to their religion.

In Oaxaca state, four Christians in Santiago Teotlaxco, Ixtlan de Juarez district, were jailed on Nov. 16 for refusing to participate in a traditionalist Catholic festival and for not paying the high quotas they were assigned to help cover its costs, according to La Voz news agency. Their neighbors, now fewer than the town’s 180 Christian evangelicals, have been trying to force them to practice what the evangelicals regard as idolatrous adoration of saints and other rituals contrary to their faith.

As a result of such pressure, according to the news agency, non-Catholics in the area, including children, live in fear of being expelled from their properties.

In the community of Nachit, municipality of Zinacantan, Chiapas, five indigenous Christians were jailed for 24 hours on Nov. 4 for refusing to accept work assignments related to traditionalist Catholic festivals, according to the National Confraternity of Evangelical Christian Churches. Local officials ordered them to give up their Christian faith or they would “invent some crimes with which to accuse them and get them imprisoned,” according to Chiapas newspaper Expreso.

Also in Chiapas, Mexico’s southern-most state, local political bosses (caciques) deprived 24 evangelical families of a Seventh-Day Adventist church in Muctavits, municipality of San Andres Larrainzar, of their rights to government social programs, according to news reports. Local officials made the decision on Nov. 3 and a week later said they would fine the Christians 3,000 pesos (US$220) if they refused to contribute funds toward traditionalist Catholic festivals, according to Expreso.

Officials have also threatened to cut off the Christians’ electricity and water, church representative Hortencio Vasquez told La Jornada, and have eliminated all their community rights, thus depriving some evangelicals of their service on local government committees.

Last month local caciques forced evangelical families in the community of Nicolás Ruiz, Chiapas, to sign documents promising to hold religious services only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday or pay fines of up to 1,000 pesos (US$74) pesos per family. Seven evangelical families had already been expelled from the town for their faith, leaving behind all their possessions and property and taking refuge in the nearby municipality of Acala, reported Cuarto Poder newspaper in Chiapas.

In Guerrero state, two Christian families in Olinala had their drinking water and electricity cut off recently because they refused to participate in local religious customs, La Jornada reported. The families have been under threats to give up their faith since 2006.

“They were threatened with hanging due to their religious beliefs if they did not obey the orders of the municipal authorities,” the National Bar of Christian Lawyers’ Jorge Garcia Jimenez told the newspaper’s Guerrero edition.

As do traditionalist Catholics elsewhere in Mexico, officials in Olinala cited a constitutional provision protecting local “uses and customs” of communities in order to justify forcing evangelicals to contribute to and participate in the festivals, in violation of Mexico’s constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Christian lawyers say the “uses and customs” section was meant to prevent the government from prohibiting native practices – not force villagers to participate in them.

The threats and deprivation of basic services in Guerrero came on the heels of the kidnapping of the teenaged son of a prominent evangelical pastor in the same state. The kidnappers apparently rejected the ransom paid by the family as inadequate and have held the boy for two months.

Even in a state as far north as Hidalgo, a longstanding conflict erupted anew this month. After years of hostilities rooted in traditionalist Catholics’ intolerance of evangelical Christians, La Jornada reported, officials in San Nicolás, municipality of Ixmiquilpan, had finally granted a construction permit for Protestants to build a chapel.

But villagers claiming that construction without a town assembly vote violated a previous agreement stopped workers at the building site on Nov. 7. Local officials had to call in state police to forestall a violent confrontation, and no construction has been permitted since then.

Chiapas pastor and attorney Esdras Alonso González said at a press conference this week that cases of intolerance of evangelical Christians – all allowed and encouraged by local officials –also remain in the Zinacantan, Chiapas communities of Nachig, Pasté, Chiquinivalvó, Pestó and Buonchén.

In Pasté, he said, four families remain without water since October 14 for having refused to contribute funds for the traditionalist Catholic festivals, which often also involve drunken revelry.

“The municipal authorities of Zinacantan are not doing anything to resolve the problem,” he told reporters.

Mexico: Oppression of Christians Persists in Various Parts of Country (

Title: Egypt: Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church
Post by: Shammu on November 27, 2008, 11:46:28 PM
Egypt: Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church
Added: Nov 27th, 2008 5:30 AM

At least five hurt as rioters stone, burn structure after inauguration of extension.

ISTANBUL, November 26 (Compass Direct News) -- Thousands of Muslim protesters on Sunday (Nov. 23) attacked a Coptic church in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt, burning part of it, a nearby shop and two cars and leaving five people injured.

Objecting to a newly constructed extension to the Coptic church of St. Mary and Anba Abraam in Ain Shams, the huge crowd of angry protestors gathered outside the church at around 5 p.m. following a consecration service for the addition earlier that day.

Chanting, “We will demolish the church,” “Islam is the solution” and “No God but Allah,” according to Helmy Guirguis, president of the U.K. Coptic Association, rioters pelted the church with stones and burned part of the structure; priests and worshipers were trapped inside, and five people were injured.

“It was a terrifying moment,” said lawyer Nabil Gobrayel, who was inside the church at the time. “They were shouting ‘holy slogans’ like, ‘We will bring the church down,’, ‘The priest is dead’ and ‘The army of Muhammad is coming.’”

Police slow to arrive were not prepared for the scale of the protest. Angry Muslims swarmed to the area from a two-kilometer radius, and although estimates varied, some suggested as many as 8,000 people gathered.

Rioters’ stones broke the structure’s windows, and a nearby shop and two cars belonging to Christians were set on fire.

Reinforcements for the overwhelmed security forces did not arrive until two hours later and were then engaged in clashes with the mob until the early hours of Monday (Nov. 24) morning.

Armored vehicles brought in riot police, who used tear gas to disperse the crowd while fire services aided their efforts with water cannons.

A United Copts of Great Britain statement suggested that police were slow to arrest perpetrators in the early stages of the demonstration but did eventually detain 41 people around midnight.

Of the 38 Muslims arrested, 30 were quickly released “under the pretext of being minors,” according to the United Copts statement. Three arrested Christians, however, remained in prison without charges.

United Copts also reported that Wael Tahoon, a police officer, was said to be involved in instigating the attacks.

A source told Compass that Pope Shenouda, head of The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, ordered that prayers at the church site be stopped.

According to Gobrayel, the church will be closed for two months while officials consider its future.

Opposition from Outset

The newly constructed extension stands on the site of an old factory that was demolished 18 months ago, when the land was purchased using funds raised by donations from the congregation.

When building began, church members were surprised to find that construction of a mosque also started just across the street.

During construction of the church addition, Muslim radicals insulted and harassed workers, issuing death threats and urinating on the structure’s walls.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 23), the morning of the consecration service, the adjacent mosque began broadcasting verses from the Quran at high volume.

According to witnesses, the imam of the mosque justified the unusual broadcasts by saying that they were in celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid. Christians said this would be highly irregular, however, with area parishioners maintaining it was done to provoke them.

Government Role

Church leaders had obtained the necessary permits for building the extension, Coptic leaders said, but protestors said the addition was not licensed for prayer and worship.

Christians have found obtaining church building permits from Egyptian authorities rife with obstacles, with many applications never granted.

“The National Assembly cannot make a decision for 15 years about building projects for churches,” said lawyer Naguib Gobrail. “Every time they say, ‘This session we can discuss this project,’ but the session ends and we see nothing. Everything is only a promise.”

In a recent editorial, Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of Egyptian weekly Watani, addressed the inequality of regulations that govern the building of places of worship.

“It now appears obvious that the government has no intention whatsoever of placing the long-awaited bill for a unified law for building places of worship on its agenda,” he wrote. “For four consecutive rounds [of Parliament], the bill has remained shelved despite the need for it to ward off so called sectarian problems that erupt every so often.”

Wedding Violence

Advocacy group Voice of the Copts issued a report on Monday (Nov. 24) that, a day before the attack on St. Mary and Anba Abraam, Muslim radicals ambushed a wedding party at a church just 10 minutes away.

A man and woman interrupted the ceremony shouting obscene remarks, according to Voice of the Copts, and when angered wedding guests ushered them outside, the Copts were set upon by a gang of people waiting in a shop across the road. Two were severely injured.

While Christians account for varying estimates of 10 to 15 percent of Egypt’s population and date back to the first century of the faith, churches are still seen as foreign bodies and, in the words of the Ain Shams rioters, an “infidel’s worship house in an Islamic Land.”

Egypt: Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church (

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 11, 2008, 09:46:21 AM
Russia plans 'liquidation' of ministries
Dozens of Christian organizations on the list

Dozens of Christian organizations that have been providing social services, ministry and other help inside Russia are being targeted for "liquidation" by the nation's Ministry of Justice, according to a new report.

The information comes in a newsletter from a leader with an American Christian organization, Youth With A Mission, who reported he found a declaration recently on the webpage of the Russian Ministry of Justice listing the pending "liquidation" of 56 religious organizations.

The American ministry leader was out of the country and unavailable today, but his wife, contacted by WND, explained the pressure on evangelical groups is coming from a combination of resurging Russian hatred for the West, and pressure from Orthodox churches to ban outside organizations.

However, the ministry leader's wife asked that her husband's name not be used, because he continues to work in Russia, and could be targeted for retaliation.

She told WND all of central Asia is seeing an increasing level of persecution of Christians, since there are Muslim majorities in many locations.

"[Russian authorities] definitely want [Christians] out. They are targeting them," she said. "They are allowing only three-month visas, and then you have to leave. Obviously you can't do long-term ministry there."

The American ministry leader's original newsletter said other groups also were targeted in Russia, including Buddhist, Jewish and Islamic organizations.

"Yet at least 35 of the 56 listed qualify as Protestant organizations," the newsletter said. "These include the humanitarian 'World Vision' and 'Youth with a Mission." At least six Baptist organizations are listed. These include one established by the Russian branch of the 'Billy Graham Evangelistic Association' and three regional districts of the 'Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists,'" he said.

"Apparently; several entire churches are up for liquidation, including the 'Union of Churches of Presbyterian Christians' and the 'Assemblies of God.' Even the 26-congregation-strong 'Union of Churches of Evangelical Christians' is scheduled for elimination," the newsletter said.

The leader continued, "The situation in Russia has continued to worsen this past year as the new visa law went into effect. This limits missionaries to three-month stays after which they need to leave for three months then reapply for a new expensive three-month visa. This has made it especially difficult on families and many have been forced to leave. This has affected every mission.

"We have been spared this in some of the rural areas where some of our workers have received residency permits, but in the cities this has been impossible and has reduced our numbers to the nationals themselves," he said.

“Our Russian YWAMers have continued the work in a number of places but further restrictions could be coming," he continued.

“Things seem to be heating up for the surrounding countries as well. Georgia remains in somewhat of a delicate state as well as Ukraine. Meanwhile the Central Asian countries where we have seen so many breakthroughs in the last decade are also beginning to follow Moscow’s example.”

Title: Mutilated Christian girl, 10, forgives attackers
Post by: Shammu on December 17, 2008, 07:41:16 AM
Mutilated Christian girl, 10, forgives attackers
'They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus'
Posted: December 16, 2008
9:42 pm Eastern

By Chelsea Schilling
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Hindu extremists may have burned a 10-year-old Christian girl's face, inflicted shrapnel wounds on 40 percent of her body and forced her family to hide in a forest and flee to a refugee camp in Orissa, India, but her plight hasn't shaken her faith and thankfulness to God this season.

"Christmas is a time to thank the baby Jesus who saved me from the fire and saved my face which was disfigured and wounded," Namrata Nayak told Asia News.

Nayak's face was severely mutilated after Hindu extremists bombed the home where she was staying on Aug. 26. They broke into the house and burned it while Nayak and her siblings hid in a small bathroom. Before exiting the home, they left a bomb in a dresser, according to the report.

While the little girl surveyed the destruction, the bomb detonated and burned her face.

The explosion also lodged shrapnel into her face, hands and back.

Nayak's mother, Sudhamani, came running out of the forest where she was hiding.

"We saw everything burned, and feared that everyone had died in the flames," Sudhamani said. "Instead, thanks to God, everyone was safe. Only that my daughter had been wounded. But Jesus took care of her. We took her to the hospital in Berhampur, still unconscious and badly hurt."

Nayak spent 45 days recovering in the hospital. Despite all her troubles, she is cheerful and giving thanks to God for healing her.

"There is so much pain and suffering, and I don't know how long the special forces will protect us," she told Asia News. "But Christmas is a time of gratitude. I am afraid that my people will still be attacked, but this is our life. If God has saved me, he can save other Christians too." (AMEN!!  DW)

The Hindu attackers have vowed to launch another widespread assault on Christians during Christmas. The violence began after Christians were blamed for the death of Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on Aug. 24. They continue to be persecuted even though Maoists openly admitted to murdering Saraswati.

Hindus have offered money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes – especially pastors. Thousands of homes and churches have been destroyed, and Christians have been forced to flee the violence. Many have been doused with kerosene and torched after refusing to renounce their Christian faith.

Nonetheless, Nayak urges India's Christians to forgive their Hindu attackers.

"[W]e forgive the Hindu radicals who attacked us, who burned our homes," she told Asia News. "They were out of their minds, they do not know the love of Jesus. For this reason, I now want to study so that when I am older I can tell everyone how much Jesus loves us. This is my future."

Nayak said her life plan is to share the message of God's love.

"The world has seen my face destroyed by the fire, now it must come to know my smile full of love and peace," she said. "I want to dedicate my life to spreading the Gospel."

I'm praying that God blesses her, and protects her while she is spreading the Gospel.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: nChrist on December 17, 2008, 04:14:57 PM

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: Soldier4Christ on December 20, 2008, 11:26:54 AM
7 students suspended for refusing anti-Christian class
Officials are 'veering into creepy Orwellian political territory here'

Seven Christian students in Quebec have been handed suspensions in the last few days – and could face expulsions – for refusing to participate in a new mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture course that, according to a critic, is a "superficial mishmash of trendy theoretical platitudes" with the goal of convincing children that "all religions – including pagan animism and cults – are equally 'true.'"

Canada's National Post has reported on the developing confrontation between educators who have ordered students to take the course and students and their parents who object to what they see as a virtual indoctrination into a social and moral relativism.

While seven students already have been targeted for punishment, hundreds more are demanding to be relieved of the obligation to attend the classes, and several parents have begun legal actions over the course.

Diane Gagne's 16-year-old son, Jonathan, is one of those hit with a suspension. He has refused to take part in the two-hour-per-week course because it teaches values that run counter to his religious beliefs.

"He told me, 'Mom, I am still standing, and I'm going to keep standing and fight this to the end,'" said Diane Gagne. "We're prepared to go right to expulsion."

Lawyer Jean-Yves Cote is representing the family against the suspension imposed by the public high school in Granby, Quebec, as well as another family with a court challenge to the state demand.

Under the course requirements, "it is the state deciding what religious content will be learned, at what age, and that is totally overriding the parents' authority and role," Jean Morse-Chevrier, of the Quebec Association of Catholic Parents, told the newspaper.

In 2005, a change in the law eliminated a family's right to choose among "Catholic," "Protestant" or "moral" instruction in classrooms, a change that took effect last summer.

Quebec Education Department spokeswoman Stephanie Tremblay told the newspaper school boards have gotten more than 1,400 requests from parents for their children to be exempted from the instruction, which emphasizes feminism over Christianity, and suggests Raelians are centuries ahead of other beliefs.

She also confirmed school boards have rejected every request for an exemption.

She explained it is not "religious instruction."

"It is religious culture," she stated. "We introduce young people to religious culture like we introduce them to musical culture."

Officials at Voice of the Martyrs, who work daily against persecution of Christians worldwide, noted on a blog posting the students are to be applauded for their opposition to state religious teaching.

"We believe that the state has no right to mandate religious education, force students to learn the content of other religious and to deliberately seek to undermine the religious convictions of those who refuse to accept a relativistic view of truth. It is the right and responsibility of parents to train their own children according to their own religious beliefs, not those of the state," said the posting.

"Religious courses, if offered, should be optional or alternatives provided. But the state must not mandate what religious content will or will not be taught to children, especially against the wishes of their parents."

In the National Post, columnist Barbara Kay took school officials to task for teaching what she described as "a chilling intrusion into what all democratically inspired charters of rights designate as a parental realm of authority."

She continued, "ERC was adopted by virtual fiat, its mission to instill 'normative pluralism' in students. 'Normative pluralism' is gussied-up moral relativism, the ideology asserting there is no absolute right or wrong and that there are as many 'truths' as there are whims."

"The program is predicated on the worst worst possible educational model for young children: the philosopher Hegel's 'pedagogy of conflict.' As one of the founders of the ECR course put it, students 'must learn to shake up a too-solid identity' and experience 'divergence and dissonance'…

"The curriculum is strewn with politically correct material that openly subverts Judeo-Christian values. In many of the manuals, ideology and religion are conflated. Social engineering is revealed as the heart of the ECR program; in the most recently published activity book, for example, Christianity is given 12 pages, feminism gets 27 pages...."

She continued, "Paganism and cults are offered equal status with Christianity. Witches 'are women like any other in daily life;' 'Technologically [the Raelians] are 25,000 years in advance of us.' And considering that of the 80,000 ethnic aboriginals in Quebec only 700 self-identify with aboriginal spirituality (the vast majority of ethnic aboriginals are Christian), aboriginal spirituality (falsely equated with environmentalism) is accorded hugely disproportionate space and reverence."

Cote said the issue could end up before the Supreme Court of Canada soon. He said his second case, in Drummondville, is to be heard before Superior Court in May, and will test if the course infringes guaranteed rights in Canada.

Since the course is required for all students, not just public school students, 600 of the students at Montreal's Jesuit Loyola High asked for exemptions and all were rejected.

Now the school has started its own court challenge. Principal Paul Donovan told the Post the mandates require relativism.

"What it essentially says is that religion is just, 'You like tomato soup and I like pea soup, so don't be all offended because someone likes tomato soup. It's really just a matter of preference,'" he told the Post. "Religion could be Wiccan or Raelian or any of the new movements or atheism or agnosticism."

Sylvain Lamontagne told the Globe Campus education publication the course is religious fast food.

"We can't do this to children. It will only confuse them," he said. "Religion isn't a Chinese buffet. You can't just pick one and then another however you want."

Kay cited the course's "gloss" of the Golden Rule:

"Christianity's 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,' Judaism's 'Love thy neighbour as thyself ' and Islam's 'None of you is really a believer if he does not wish for his brother what he wishes for himself.' All are posited in the ERC text as the same acknowledgement of the common humanity of all God's children," she wrote.

"But in fact, there is a deep interpretive chasm between Christianity's 'others' and Judaism's 'neighbour' – both of which refer to all people – and Islam's 'brother,' which refers only to fellow Muslims. Here is 'divergence and dissonance' truly worthy of 'le questionnement.' But encouraging real critical thinking is precisely what the ERC course employs duplicity to avoid," she wrote.

"Quebec is veering into creepy Orwellian political territory here," she said.

The government requirement for teaching a potpourri of religious concepts as equal is just the latest effort on the part of the Canadian government to put new restrictions on Christians.

WND previously has reported on a number of Human Rights Commission cases in the nation that have targeted Christian pastors and others for "hate" crimes for stating their biblically-based opposition to the homosexual lifestyle.

Last spring, Pastor Stephen Boisson was ordered by the Alberta Human Rights Tribunal to stop expressing his biblical perspective of homosexuality and pay $5,000 for "damages for pain and suffering" as well as apologize to the activist who complained of being hurt.

Title: Re: Christian Persecution Around the World
Post by: HisDaughter on December 20, 2008, 11:38:02 AM
Messianic Jews still face persecution in Israel

A director of the US Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations and his wife were detained Sunday at Ben-Gurion Airport by Interior Ministry officials amid allegations he is involved in illegal Christian missionary activity.

It is illegal in Israel to proselytize among minors. It is also prohibited to engage in missionary activities among adults when economic incentives are offered.

After over eight hours of detention, Jamie Cowen, a former president of the union, and his wife, Stacy, were permitted to enter Israel only after they agreed to sign a document that they would not engage in missionary activities during their stay.

The Cowens are in Israel to visit their two daughters, one of whom is an Israeli citizen. The other is in the process of obtaining citizenship after she and a group of other Messianic Jews won a Supreme Court case against the state.

The Cowens and their daughters all identify as Jews but believe that Jesus is the messiah.

"This type of religious discrimination would be expected of Iran, not Israel," said Jamie Cowen, a US immigration lawyer, a few hours after he was released by immigration police.

"In the US we imprison individuals suspected of terrorism. Here apparently one can be jailed for his religious convictions. This is a case of blatant discrimination against basic rights. It is a story of a bureaucracy run amok. Someone has to crack down and bring in people of integrity."

Cowen said he had visited Israel about 10 times, and had been active in social causes via the Knesset Social Lobby.

"I've brought $100,000 in humanitarian aid to Israel. We've provided lone IDF soldiers with about $50,000 in aid. This is unbelievable," he said.

The Interior Ministry, which directed the police to arrest the Cowens, said they had classified information regarding missionary activity.

"The Immigration and Population Authority has reliable information that the Cowens were involved in missionary activity prohibited by Israeli criminal law during their last visit to Israel," a ministry spokesman said.

"This is the reason they were detained. As soon as they agreed to refrain from any missionary activity they were allowed in."

The Cowens arrived in Israel on a flight from Frankfurt at 3 a.m. They were arrested at passport inspection and placed in detention at the airport.

"As an immigration lawyer I have visited many detention facilities for illegal immigrants. This one was particularly dirty, smelly and overcrowded," Cowen said.

According to Cowen, the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations has 90 member congregations with membership ranging between 50 and 400 per congregation.

Calev Myers, founder and chief counsel of The Jerusalem Institute, which provides legal advice and representation to messianic Jews, said the Interior Ministry was filled will clerks who identified with a strictly Orthodox definition of who is a Jew.

"During the years that Shas controlled the ministry they made sure to appoint clerks who were willing to carry out their policies," Myers said.

"As a result, Israel is the only Western country where basic freedom of religion is denied. Today those who being discriminated against are messianic Jews. Tomorrow it will be Conservative and Reform Jews."

Myers said anti-missionary organizations such as Yad Le'achim often tipped off Interior Ministry officials regarding messianic Jews attempting to enter the country.

However, Meir Cohen, a Yad Le'Achim activist, said that while it was true that his organization did provide the ministry with information, they were not involved in the Cowens' case.

Cohen said the ministry had its own intelligence unit that gathered information on missionaries and on messianic Jews who were ineligible for Israeli citizenship due to their religious convictions.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Jews who embraced Christianity are not eligible for Israeli citizenship. However, the court has also ruled that people who are not Jews according to Orthodox standards, but who are eligible for Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return do not forfeit this right if they adopt Christian beliefs.

Title: Islamic threats in church: bible burned, appeal to conversion
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2008, 11:43:35 PM
Islamic threats in church: bible burned, appeal to conversion
by Qaiser Felix

The sacrilege took place two days ago, in a small village of the diocese of Faisalabad. Many families of Muslims, who are in the majority, are supporting the Christians. The priest asks the faithful to remain "calm and peaceful," in imitation of Jesus.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - Desecration at the church of St. Paul in the village ‘Chak 77-RB’, ‘Lohekay’, about 30 kilometers from Faisalabad: on December 17, suspects burned a bible and other sacred texts, leaving a letter threatening Christians that they will "burn in the fire of hell" if they do not convert to Islam.

Pervez Masih tells AsiaNews that on that day, he and others were whitewashing and decorating the little church for Christmas. They stopped at noon for lunch, leaving the church open. When they returned, they found the bible and other sacred texts reduced to ashes, and a handwritten letter telling them to convert to Islam if they wanted to "live in peace" and avoid hell. In Pakistan, there is significant controversy over the law on blasphemy, condemning even to death those who offend the sacred book of Islam, the Qur'an. But nothing is done against blasphemous acts toward the books of other religions.

Fr. Yagoob Yousaf arrived in the village that same evening, having been told about the sacrilege. He celebrated Mass in the church (in the photo), and in the homily, he condemned the sacrilege and the threats, and told the faithful to remain calm and peaceful and not to be afraid, because the police have promised the highest vigilance. He said that Christ preached love and peace, and the government would see to guaranteeing security for the Christians for the Holy Nativity. In recent years, at Christmas, there have been attacks against Catholic and Protestant churches. Often the Christmas celebrations have taken place under police protection.

He observes that "this is a high holy season for all Christians and they are preparing themselves for Christmas but such type of incidents are creating fear and is a move to disturb Christians in the season of Advent."

Most of the people in the village are Muslim, and there are between 50 and 70 Christian families. The church is used by Catholics and Protestants, without conflict. When they became aware of the sacrilege, many Muslims went to the church together with the Christians. Now the police are investigating the "suspects" for the crime of blasphemy.

Islamic threats in church: bible burned, appeal to conversion (

Title: Indonesia Muslims Burn Churches, Homes Over Blasphemy
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2008, 11:46:21 PM
Indonesia Muslims Burn Churches, Homes Over Blasphemy
Dec 18th, 2008

JAKARTA, INDONESIA -- A tense calm returned to a village in Indonesia's Central Maluku province, where angry Muslims torched churches, dozens of homes and other properties after a Christian teacher allegedly made comments insulting Islam, rights investigators said Wednesday, December 17.

Welhelmina Holle, a Christian elementary school teacher in the village of Letwaru village in the province's Masohi district, apparently made the remarks while tutoring a Muslim student last month, and has since been detained by local police on blasphemy charges, said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which investigates reported persecution of Christians.

News of the blasphemy incident "spread throughout the Muslim community, sparking the Indonesian Ulema Council" representing Muslims, "to file a complaint against Holle to the police," VOMC added in a statement to BosNewsLife.

The group said some 500 Muslims protested in recent days outside the Central Maluku Education Agency, accusing Holle of blasphemy and calling for his dismissal. "The mob then gathered outside Central Maluku Police headquarters and demanded to meet with the police chief, but [was] informed that he was not on the premises..."


Protests soon turned violent, with several Muslims reportedly burning at least two churches, 65 homes, a health clinic and several vehicles on December 9. Police and soldiers eventually intervened, preventing more damage, Christians said.

However on Wednesday, December 17, Holle "remained in detention" for blasphemy, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, according to VOMC. Government officials have promised to rebuild churches and homes, but it was not clear when the reconstruction would begin.

There have been mounting tensions between Christian communities and Muslims in Indonesia's, the world's most populous Islamic nation, with reports of attacks against churches in several areas, Christians said.

In one of the more serious incidents, the mainly Christian village Horale, in a remote area of Maluku province, was nearly completely razed to the ground this year by an angry mob, injuring 56 Christians and "brutally killing four, including an 84-year-old man and a six-year-old girl," explained rights group Barnabas Fund.


The local school, three churches and 120 houses "were burnt down and crops, fishing boats and motor-cycles destroyed," said Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians in especially Muslim nations. "The villagers fled to the jungle to hide from the attackers," following the May 2 violence, explained the group, which is involved in reconstructing Horale.

Christians comprise roughly nine percent of the country's mainly Muslim population of over 237 million people, according to estimates by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Indonesia Muslims Burn Churches, Homes Over Blasphemy (

Title: Vietnam: Authorities Destroy New Church Building
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2008, 11:47:54 PM
Vietnam: Authorities Destroy New Church Building
Dec 18th, 2008 6:12 AM

Five Christians injured as officials raze 'illegally constructed' worship place.

HO CHI MINH CITY (Compass Direct News) -- Local government officials in Dak Lak Province this morning made good on their threat to destroy a new wooden church building erected in September by Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village.

At 7 a.m. in Cu Dram Commune, Krong Bong district, a large contingent of government officials, police and demolition workers arrived at the site of a Vietnam Good News Mission and Church, razing it by 8:30 a.m. Police wielding electric cattle prods beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building.

Five injured people were taken away in an emergency vehicle authorities had brought to the scene. The injured included a child who suffered a broken arm and a pregnant woman who fainted after being poked in the stomach with an electric cattle prod. Villagers said they fear she may miscarry.

By day's end one badly injured woman had not yet been returned to the village, and authorities would not divulge where she was.

One sad Vietnamese church leader said that the demolition of the church ahead of Christmas showed the heartlessness of officials toward Christian believers.

'They think no one will notice or do anything about what they do in a remote area,' he said.

Nearly eight years ago a congregation numbering more than 500 Hmong Christians had joined thousands of others fleeing persecution in Vietnam's northwest provinces, migrating to the Central Highlands. They aspired to construct a church building so they could worship protected from the rain and sun.

In September they were finally able to assemble materials needed to erect a 12-meter by 20-meter church building, large enough for them to meet. Eventually they were able to put a durable tile roof on the building, and with great joy they began worshipping together in a single location.

Although virtually all buildings in this area of Vietnam are erected without building permits, local authorities accused the Christians of 'illegal construction' and ordered the congregation to 'voluntarily' tear it down. On Dec. 2, Krong Bong district officials made a formal decision to demolish the church within two weeks if the Christians would not do so themselves.

The Vietnam Good News Mission and Church is an organization that for more than a year has tried to register more than a hundred of its congregations without any success. Contrary to Vietnam's new religion legislation, these requests for registration have either been denied or ignored.

Vietnam: Authorities Destroy New Church Building (

Title: Massive Arrests Of Christians In China
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2008, 11:49:38 PM
Massive Arrests Of Christians In China
Dec 19th, 2008 3:31 AM

BEIJING, CHINA -- Over a dozen Christians will spend Christmas behind bars in China after police raided a Christian leaders gathering in Henan province, while in the capital Beijing two officials of the banned Chinese House Church Alliance were detained, an advocacy group and Chinese Christians confirmed Thursday, December 18.

More than 40 Christians were arrested Tuesday, December 16, in an area of Henan's Nanyang city, where authorities interrupted a meeting of Christian leaders, said the US-based China Aid Association (CAA).

After paying fines of up to $300 in local currency, most were freed, but 16 Christian leaders, including a man hosting the gathering, Yan Linshan, received 10 to 15 days "administrative detention" on charges of involvement in an "illegal religious gathering," the group added.

Elsewhere in Beijing news emerged Thursday, December 18, that Pastor "Bike" Zhang Mingxuan was being forcibly escorted from the Chinese capital Beijing to Hubei province by three officers of the Public Security Bureau (PSB), China's main law enforcement agency.


The PSB officers dropped off Pastor Bike at a hotel in Hubei, without enough money to pay for a room, in an apparent effort to force him to end his activities as president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, which authorities banned in recent weeks.

The Alliance represents many of China's expanding 'house churches', named this way as they are held in homes of believers, outside the government backed denominations. "This is the second time in two weeks Pastor Bike has been forcibly escorted out of Beijing," said CAA, who added it reached the preacher by mobile phone Thursday, December 18, while he traveled in a police van.

"During the call, PSB officers raised the volume of the car radio to try and drown out the conversation, but Pastor Bike was able to communicate to CAA that he was taken while staying with Pastor Hua Huiqi at his home..."

The pastor was quoted as saying that he has been "secretly followed and watched" since a similar incident on December 9, when he was reportedly also forced to leave Beijing.

"Pastor Bike was staying with Pastor Hua Huiqi when police broke into the home around 11: 30 p.m. This incident happened on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the signing of "International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights" by the Chinese government," CAA recalled.


Speaking to US-funded Radio Free Asia Pastor Hua reportedly said that [ "Bike"] Zhang Mingxuan "let me read the document of abolishing the Chinese House Church Alliance." Soon after their dinner, security forces and officials allegedly broke into his house and "dragged and pushed" him to another room. "I told them I had a guest in my home and they shouldn't tell me that my guest couldn't stay here."

He said Pastor Bike was eventually escorted by force to a police vehicle. "Since he came to Beijing, we have been very good friends. We are also very good brothers in Christ and there is nothing wrong in receiving him as a guest."

Police allegedly harassed Pastor Hua, as well, trying to convince him to cooperate. Pastor Hua's mother, Shuang Shuying, 78, is currently in prison. She is serving a two-year sentence for "intentional damage of properties" in February 2007. Pastor Hua said, "The Municipal Public Security Bureau has been telling me that as long as I cooperate with them, I can, first of all, make a fortune and then I can also get my mother out," CAA reported.

Pastor Hua reportedly said the requirements for "cooperation" include spying on other Christians and not helping those who are persecuted.

The pastor regularly hosts allegedly persecuted Christians in his home and helps them pursue legal cases.

Church groups say there there has been growing pressure on Christians worshiping outside official churches. Officials have denied wrongdoing, saying Christians are enjoy religious freedom within the official Protestant and Catholic churches.

Massive Arrests Of Christians In China (

Title: Pakistan Police Raid Christian Slum; Women Injured
Post by: Shammu on December 20, 2008, 11:51:40 PM
Pakistan Police Raid Christian Slum; Women Injured
Dec 19th, 2008 3:32 AM

By Jawad Mazhar BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN -- Pakistani police ransacked run-down homes of Christians living in a slum of Pakistan's 10th largest city and "severely tortured Christian women" leaving several of them "critically injured", local residents told BosNewsLife.

The situation in the ‘Maryam Town’ area of the city of Sargodha in Punjab province remained tense Friday, December 19, after police, dressed in plain clothes, stormed several homes last week, witnesses said.

Police, arriving in two vehicles, allegedly made their way into at least two Christian homes on December 11, wrecking house hold appliances and other valuables.

During the raids, "policemen also inflicted severe torture on Christian women leaving them critically injured...[They] left with their bags containing cash, jewelry and pricey cosmetics," said residents protesting against the violence in front of the nearby police station.


Christian families also lost their mobile phones, a licensed gun and other household valuables, Christians said.

Christian youngsters attempting to end the attacks against women, were allegdly beaten with truncheons.“Those ruthless policemen arrested and took with them an innocent Christian youth Imran Masih with out any allegations”, Christian protesters told BosNewsLife on condition of anonymity.

They said the young man was released after he was forced to pay a bribe of about 1000 Pakistani Rupees (some $13), a major amount in a country where average monthly wages hover around $90 or lower.

In a reaction, Sargodha Police chief Usman Anwer told BosNewsLife that he "condemns this sort of police terrorism" and that he wants those responsible to be prosecuted. Anwer said he had "issued directives to the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Sargodha to probe into the matter in detail and report back as soon as possible."


The attacks by police comes amid rising tensions between Christians and Muslims in the country.

Authorities have been under pressure to end extremism, but rights activists say police have often not done enough to protect the Christian minority in the country.

US-based Christian rights group International Christian Concern has expressed concern about the situation. "This group of police officers completely violated their charge to protect the innocent and uphold law and order," said ICC Regional Manager for South Asia, Samuel Wallace. "To their shame they have behaved instead like the very criminals they should be putting in jail," Wallace added.

Pakistan Police Raid Christian Slum; Women Injured (

Title: Eritrea Christians Apparently Killed In Massive Detentions
Post by: Shammu on December 25, 2008, 10:57:46 PM
Eritrea Christians Apparently Killed In Massive Detentions
Dec 22nd, 2008 7:47 AM

ASMARA, ERITREA -- Several churches in Eritrea were without their leaders or other believers Sunday, December 21, as a government-backed campaign of mass arrests reached the capital Asmara amid fears several detainees died of mistreatment, Christians said.

Over 100 men, women and children from a variety of Christian denominations were jailed in recent weeks, confirmed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) a major rights group investigating the situation.

The wave of house to house arrests reportedly began late November in the areas of Keren, Eilabered, Hagaz, Adi Tekelezan, and Deki Zeru, followed by further raids in Dekemhare, Adi Quala, Areza and Mendefera before the campaign reached Asmara, December 12.

Christians were reportedly transferred to a military facility and fellow believers said they were severely mistreated. "Local sources indicate that an unspecified number may have died after being denied medical attention subsequent to this mistreatment," CSW noted. Eritrean officials have denied religious persecution, but say they want to protect the country against sects and dangerous outside influences.


The latest apparent crackdown comes amid reports of food shortages and growing dissent within Eritrea's army as Major General Philipos Woldeyohannes, a close ally of President Isaias Afewerki, reportedly escaped an assassination attempt on December 4.

"Elsewhere, a visit to Europe by a delegation headed by the Orthodox Church's government-imposed administrator Yoftahe Dimetros and the largely unrecognized substitute patriarch Bishop Dioscoros, is reportedly proving less successful than anticipated," CSW added.

In Italy, they apparently failed to gain an audience with the Catholic hierarchy, allegedly on grounds that there had been "no prior communications with Patriarch Antonios concerning the visit." The delegation was later denied entry into Milan's Kidist Mariam Eritrean Orthodox Church by church leaders, who said they did not represent the official church, CSW said.


CSW's Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert, said in a statement obtained by BosNewsLife that the tensions and the "resumption of mass arrests" are "deeply troubling." She said CSW is especially concerned about "reports indicating that some detainees may even have died from injures" sustained during mistreatment. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those who may now be grieving for friends and family members," Lambert explained.

Eritrean authorities began persecuting Christians in May 2002 after controversial legislation only recognized the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and Lutheran Church as "official denominations", although church leaders there have also reported tensions, rights groups said.

At least 2,000 Eritrean Christians are held without charges in local prisons of military camps, including in shipping containers, to pressure them to abandon their faith in Christ, according to churches and independent investigators.

CSW said it has urged the international community "to remind the Eritrean government of its international and constitutional obligations with regard to freedom of religion and the humane treatment of prisoners, and to urge the regime to permit all detainees to have unhindered access to immediate family members, medical treatment, and legal representation."

Eritrea Christians Apparently Killed In Massive Detentions (

Title: Buddhist Clerics Take Christians Captive
Post by: Shammu on December 25, 2008, 10:59:23 PM
Buddhist Clerics Take Christians Captive
Added: Dec 22nd, 2008 7:46 AM

Monks hold converts in pagoda to forcibly turn them back to Buddhism.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (Compass Direct News) -- Buddhist clerics and local council officials are holding 13 newly converted Christians captive in a pagoda in a southeastern mountainous district of Bangladesh in an attempt to forcibly return them to Buddhism.

A spokesman for the Parbatta Adivasi (Hill Tract) Christian Church told Compass on condition of anonymity that "the plight of the Christians is horrifying."

Local government council officials in Jorachuri sub-district in Rangamati district, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Dhaka, are helping the Buddhist monks to hold the Christians against their will, he said.

"The 13 tribal Christians were taken forcefully to a pagoda on Dec. 10 to accept Buddhism against their will," he said. "They will be kept in a pagoda for 10 days to perform the rituals to be Buddhists – their heads were shaved, and they were given yellow saffron robes to dress in."

All the captive Christians are men between 28 and 52 years old, he said. They became Christians around four months ago at various times in the country, which has a Buddhist population of 0.7 percent. Muslims make up nearly 90 percent of the Bangladeshi population, with Hindus accounting for about 9 percent, according to government figures.

According to the source, two Buddhist clerics, Pronoyon Chakma and Jianoprio Vikku, and two local council members, Vira Chakma and Rubichandra Chakma, were behind the anti-Christian activities along with nine other Buddhist leaders.

"It’s the first time they have taken 13 Christians to the pagoda to make them Buddhist – this is how they plan to make Buddhists of all the converted Christians in that area," he said. "The pagoda has little capacity to accommodate them; otherwise they would hold captive more than 13 people."

The Christian leader said Buddhist leaders and local council officials have warned Christians to return to Buddhism or be evicted, saying, "You cannot live here – you have to leave this place with your family members because you became Christians. Those who became Christians cannot live in this predominantly Buddhist area."

Fearing for their lives, the source said, some area Christians have gone into hiding.

Mogdhan Union Council Chairman Arun Kanti Chakma, the source said, warned that Christian converts would be ostracized, beaten, and – assuming they returned to Buddhism only to return to Christianity – killed.

"The chairman threatened to beat the Christians unless they change their faith to Buddhism," he said. "The chairman also threatened, ‘If you become Christian again, we will not keep you alive.’"

In another mountainous neighborhood in the Khaokhali area near Jorachuri, about 50 recently converted Christians have been cut off from all communications. They are barred from going to Rangamati town and are living in isolation.

"Those captors and other influential Buddhists leaders are threatening other converted Christians that they will face the same consequences as the 13 captives are facing," the source said. "They are warning us, ‘All of you should be reconverted to Buddhism in the same way.’"

About 400 people in the district have become Christians over the past year. Like Buddhists, Christians make up less than 1 percent of the Bangladeshi population of 153.5 million.

Christians in the district have not informed police, fearing that any police action would infuriate terrorist groups among the tribal people of the area. The source said terrorist groups have been known to put the lives of Christians in jeopardy at the slightest provocation.

"We did not inform police because underground terrorist groups of those tribal people would get riled up by any kind of police action, and our life would come to a sticky end," he said. "If we tell police, it will create more problems."

In addition, he added, the threatened area lies in hills surrounded by nearly impassable mountain terrain, making access unlikely for police action against the captors.

Buddhist Clerics Take Christians Captive (

Title: Tajikistan Churches Facing Closure In New Year
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2008, 01:50:09 PM
Tajikistan Churches Facing Closure In New Year
Added: Dec 26th, 2008 1:31 AM

DUSHANBE/BUDAPEST -- A major Christian rights group warned Tuesday, December 23, that many churches in the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan in 2009, if a new draft law requiring them to re-register under restrictive conditions is adopted by parliament.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) told BosNewsLife that the legislation will also impact the Muslim community in the country, as many mosques may be forced to close down.

Proposed legislation outlining the plans was reportedly send to parliamentarians for approval last month by autocratic President Emomali Rahmon, a former cotton farm boss, not known for tolerating dissent. His People's Democratic Party holds virtually all seats in parliament.

The draft text reportedly enforces state controls over the activity of religious organizations, limits religious education and imposes government censorship over religious literature. “If passed, all of Tajikistan’s religious organizations will be obliged to re-register either as 'religious organizations' or as 'religious communities', the latter having no legal status,” CSW said. “Many may lose their legal status and some could face closure due to harsher criteria for registration,” the group added.


Tajik human rights have expressed concerns over President Emomali Rahmon’s unusual decision to send this draft religion law to parliament himself, CSW added. “Normally draft laws are sent to parliament by the government, and the previous draft religion law was sent only by the government’s Religious Affairs Committee.”

Forum 18, another rights group, said some analysts interpret this as an indication of the political importance of this new law. The Tajikistan Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has reportedly expressed concern at “the vagueness of many of the articles” and details in the draft law, pointing out that interpretation will therefore fall on local authorities.

It added that OSCE commitments "are quite clear" when it comes to the issue of religion and freedom of conscience. CSW Advocacy Director, Tina Lambert said she fears “this draft law falls short of internationally accepted standards regarding freedom of religion and belief." She said that CSW has urged legislators to reconsider the text of "this restrictive draft law". In addition, she said, the international community should "speak out against a trend in Tajikistan" and the region as there have been "many similar laws being proposed across Central Asia in recent months."


Christianity and other religious groups have often been seen as a threat to the power base of autocratic leaders in Tajikistan and other areas, BosNewsLife monitored.

The current president has been was elected chairman of the Supreme Council of Tajikistan in 1992 after the country's first post-Soviet leader, Rahmon Nabiyev, was forced to resign.

Emomali Rakhmon - now in third term as president - was elected president in 1994 and re-elected in 1999 when his term was extended to seven years.

In 2006 he won a third term in office in an election which international observers said was neither free nor fair. Opposition parties boycotted the vote, reportedly dismissing it as a "Soviet-style staged attempt at democracy."

Tajikistan Churches Facing Closure In New Year (

Title: Pakistan: Policeman Tortures, Paralyzes Christian
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2008, 01:51:26 PM
Pakistan: Policeman Tortures, Paralyzes Christian
Added: Dec 26th, 2008 1:53 AM

Disabled Christian waits in 9-year legal limbo, sent to prison for 'kidnapping.'

ISTANBUL (Compass Direct News) -- A Pakistani Christian boy's quarrel with a Muslim policeman's son has led to his father's imprisonment, torture, paralysis, and five-year prison sentence.

The father's health condition has become so fragile that he was temporarily released from prison and sent to a Faisalabad hospital on Sunday (Dec. 21). Emanuel Masih, 43, is now in stable condition, his attorney told Compass.

Masih, of Faisalabad, a father of six and a former street sweeper, is trying to commute his prison sentence after police officer Omer Draz tortured him and had him imprisoned on trumped-up charges originating from a quarrel between their sons nine years ago.

The situation began in 1999 when his son Saleem, 9 at the time, was involved in a dispute with Draz's son at the childrens' Muslim-majority elementary school. The next day to protect Saleem, Emanuel Masih and his brother-in-law Amin Masih accompanied Saleem to a bus station, along with Saleem's brothers, to subdue the police officer. Draz, however, attacked Saleem and Emanuel Masih's other sons.

Following the incident Draz conspired with his housecleaner Zaniran Bibi, a Christian, to have Emanuel Masih arrested. She claimed that Emanuel Masih was responsible for the kidnapping of her son, who had gone missing some time earlier.

There was no evidence to link Emanuel Masih to the kidnapping, his attorney said.

Police arrested Emanuel Masih along with Amin Masih, who was also falsely implicated in the kidnapping, without possibility of bail. The two men were tortured for a month, according to a report from the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) advocacy group.

Draz had a regular routine of torture for Emanuel Masih and his brother-in-law: He gathered them together, dragged them outside the police station and beat them with iron rods. A month of these beatings paralyzed Emanuel Masih's arms and legs.

"They took (them) to a private house and beat them there," said CLAAS lawyer Akbar Durrani to Compass. "They used a separate house because they are afraid of the courts."

Emanuel Masih was then sent to judicial lock-up since he was too weak to attend a court hearing. The prison superintendent was so surprised at his condition he called on Emanuel Masih's younger brother, Jabar Masih, to provide him physical care.

Emanuel Masih is also illiterate. Due to his injuries he could not work and had to rely on donations from charity groups. He has regained partial use of his legs but still cannot use his arms. He has been unemployed since 1999.

The two men were eventually released on bail. In the intervening nine years, Emanuel Masih and Amin Masih continued to attend court hearings. But on May 24 they were arrested and given a five-year prison sentence along with a fine of 25,000 rupees (US$320). Lawyers appealed the decision in September at a Faisalabad court.

Trying to get out

Emanuel Masih could be released from prison due to an article in Pakistan criminal law that requires proper facilities for an incapacitated person. If they are not available the prisoner can be released without a court order.

In September Durrani filed a petition of release to Pakistani Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, who is in charge of the country's internal security. Without the use of his arms, Emanuel Masih could not survive in prison unless Amin assisted him.

"His brother-in-law feeds and washes him," Durrani said. "That's why he has been able to survive until now."

Gupta requested a medical examination of Emanuel Masih, which declared him incapacitated. The final decision to let him go rests with the jail superintendent, who received the report from the home secretary in early December.

Faisalabad is located in Punjab, near the Indian border. Radical religious elements in Punjab have become active in carrying out Islamic terrorist acts outside Pakistani borders. Two of the nine identified gunmen in the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai that killed 188 and injured 293 were from this city of 2.6 million.

On Wednesday, Dec. 17, Muslims set fire to a church in a nearby village as its parishioners were decorating for Christmas. The attackers left behind a letter telling the Christians they would be damned to hell if they did not become Muslims, according to International Christian Concern.

Parish priest Yaqoob Yousaf has called for security forces to arrest the culprits quickly, for fear of similar attacks on the congregation during its Christmas Day services.

Pakistan: Policeman Tortures, Paralyzes Christian (

Title: China Launches Christmas Crackdown On Christian Worship
Post by: Shammu on December 27, 2008, 01:52:56 PM
China Launches Christmas Crackdown On Christian Worship
Added: Dec 26th, 2008 4:01 AM

BEIJING, CHINA -- Christians in several parts of China were behind bars on Christmas Day after a police crackdown on worship services and Bible study, a Christian advocacy group said Thursday, December 25.

In one of the latest incidents, officials of the country's main law enforcement agency, the Public Security Bureau (PSB), raided a house church Christmas party in Yucheng county of Henan province on Christmas Eve, detaining nine Christian women, said US-based China Aid Association (CAA), which has close contacts with the believers.

They, "were reenacting the nativity [scene] on the street, and police charged the women with “organizing illegal religious activities. " The women, including Yue Zengyun who led the group, are currently being held at Detention Center of Yucheng County,” CAA told BosNewsLife. "The PSB officers demanded the family members pay a fine for the women to be released," the group said.


The raid came after authorities in Anhui province reportedly seized a house church building and a related school in Dianlong village providing Bible studies the previous day.

Tensions in began December 22 when security forces of several agencies and Religious Affairs officials interrupted a Bible training gathering affiliated with the house church in Dianlong village , arresting 19 students and two pastors, CAA said. They were released several hours later after they were interrogated, "forcibly photographed and videotaped" the group said, adding that several books were confiscated.

The next day, December 23, authorities forced church leaders Zhu Jianguo and Cheng Donglai to send the students home and "read a statement of the government in which they claimed they were notified that Cheng Donglai illegally ran a school, then pronounced the school abolished," CAA said in a statement. "Government officials also announced that they would demolish or sell the building used for the Bible training."


Officials allegedly photographed and videotaped all materials at the site and threatened church members that anyone touching the materials would be in punished. "The County Bureau of Religion posted sealing tape to shut off the house church building," CAA explained. Both church leaders reportedly expect to be summoned by local police soon.

Earlier in on December 21, a house church in Yili city in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, was reportedly banned. "Pastor Xie Xianhua, who leads the church, was warned he could face arrest if he continued his house church service," CAA said, adding that it is still investigating the case.

The latest raids are viewed as a setback for rights activists who had urged China to improve religious rights after the recent Beijing Olympic Games. China's government has denied human rights abuses, saying it only targets "illegal groups" and what it considers as "dangerous sects". It says China's up to 130 million Christians are free to worship with the state-backed churches.

China Launches Christmas Crackdown On Christian Worship (

Title: Concerns Over Detained Egypt Priest Amid Attacks
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:26:04 PM
Concerns Over Detained Egypt Priest Amid Attacks
Posted on: 2009-05-20 06:11:01
By Worthy News Middle East Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- Representatives of Egypt's Christian minority, already rocked by several attacks in recent weeks, continued their attempts Wednesday, May 20 to obtain the release of a priest they say was sentenced to five years hard labor for crimes he did not commit.

Mattaos Wahba, a priest of Archangel Michael Church in the area of Kerdasa in Egypt's Geza region, was sentenced in October on charges of conducting a marriage between an ex-Muslim and a Christian with false documents, said The Free Copts, an advocacy group and website for Egyptian Christians, known as Copts

However the convert, Mariam Nabil, told a popular television show, A Daring Question last month that "Father Mattaos" was innocent as he did "not have any role" in getting her forged Christian identification papers. I did not know him then, as this took place in 2004 and I got married in 2006, according to a translation provided by The Free Copts.

Nabil she saw no other option than providing forged Christian documents. I have the right to have an ID card that reflects my true religious affiliation. [But] The Egyptian government does not give Muslims who convert to Christianity a legal alternative to get these papers. Had I been a Christian who wanted to convert to Islam, I would have had all the help I needed. But, because I am leaving Islam they put hurdles in my way, she added.


Church representatives said it was difficult to see for priests to control papers during a marriage ceremony. The Free Copts and lawyers hope the television interview will boost Wahba's changes of being released. However it comes at a time of mounting tensions in this predominantly Muslim nation, which saw two attacks earlier this month,

On May 10 a small homemade bomb exploded in Cairo near Saint Mary Church, the Coptic community considers a holy site, police said, reportedly interrupting a wedding and a Bible study held in the historic building.

While nobody was injured, the device damaged a car and a second one was found and detonated by police in the same area near a Coptic church in the northeast of Cairo, investigators said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility reported. Earlier on May 2 three Muslims repeatedly stabbed Coptic Christian Girgis Yousry, 21, as the army conscript was leaving the gates of the church of Saint Mary in the area of Minya in Upper Egypt, Christians said.

The violence reportedly left him with serious injuries to internal organs, and he was taken to the district hospital, where he was still receiving treatment Wednesday May 18. There has been growing concern about Islamic extremism and against Copts, who comprise roughly 10 percent of Egypt's 80 million strong population.

Coptic Christians are also suffering under a recent decision by the government to slaughter the country's estimated pigs because of Swine flu, although no single case of the disease has been reported so far, rights groups and United Nations officials said. While consuming pig meat is despised by Muslims, many Copts are involved in the industry.

Concerns Over Detained Egypt Priest Amid Attacks (

Title: Burma Military Involved In Massive Rape And Discrimination, investigators claim
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:30:28 PM
Burma Military Involved In Massive Rape And Discrimination, investigators claim
Posted on: 2009-05-23 08:02:30
Worthy News Staff

RANGOON, BURMA (Worthy News)-- United Nations officials on Saturday, May 23, remained concerned over the situation of Burma's political prisoners, including detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as Christian rights investigators reported fresh evidence of "human rights violations" by the ruling military in the country.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) told BosNewsLife it just returned from a three-week trip to the region with the 'Free Burma Rangers' group to investigate widespread the Burma's military involvement in widespread "rape, religious discrimination and land confiscation in Kachin State", an area of the Kachin ethnic group, including many Christian believers.

In a detailed report of the visit to the Kachin, CSW quotes the testimony of a 21 year-old Bible school student who was "raped and strangled by two Burma Army soldiers."

After describing her ordeal, the student told CSW she had heard that one of the soldiers had raped many girls, but had never been brought to justice. Every woman should be careful. My experience is an example for other girls I want justice to be done.


CSW said it also met representatives of the rebel Kachin Independence Organisation a day after the military government of Burma, also known as Myanmar, ordered it to surrender its arms and soldiers "to Burma Army control."

In addition, CSw said met a Chin pastor, now in Malaysia, who "had been forced" by Burmas military government to deliver a speech at a public rally "denouncing human rights campaigners and claiming to enjoy complete religious freedom."

It comes at a time when observers said the military government is concerned about world opinion as the U.N. Security Council in a unanimous statement expressed concern about the "political impact" of the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi charging her with violating the terms of her house arrest.

Christians among the Karen, another ethnic group fighting for more autonomy and human rights, say they would accept Aung San Suu Kyi as Burma's leader as she is seen as a voice of reconciliation, BosNewsLife learned.


Burma's foreign minister, Nyan Win, has denied allegations that the government had framed its case against Aung San Suu Kyi.

In an interview published Friday, May 22, in the state-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar he suggested the incident could have been created by the opposition to attract international attention, the Voice of America (VOA) network reported.

Burmese authorities have accused Aung San Suu Kyi of violating the terms of her six-year house arrest for allowing American John Yettaw to stay at her house for two days after swimming to her lakeside residence on May 3.

Burma Military Involved In Massive Rape And Discrimination, investigators claim (

Title: Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:31:34 PM
Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces
Posted on: 2009-06-02 05:35:04

Stefan J. Bos, Worthy News Europe Bureau Chief

MINSK/BUDAPEST (Worthy News-- There was uncertainty about the future of one of the largest evangelical churches in Belarus Tuesday, June 2, after authorities ordered it to abandon its building in the capital Minsk.

New Life Church confirmed that it received a letter from the Property Maintenance and Repair Department (PMRD) of the Moscow District of Minsk demanding that the church leaves its current complex not later than Monday, June ,1 or face forcible eviction.

The church needs to undertake necessary measures not later than June 1, 2009 to transfer the legal documents for its building and sign the deal of the buildings transfer and also vacate it, the letter said. In case the church does not, the Department will have to undertake necessary measures to settle the case in accordance to the current legislation.

In an interview, the head of PMRDs legal department, Ludmila Bulyga, suggested that the eviction could be carried out by security forces. They (the church) need to vacate the building and the land since it was never zoned for religious usage. The courts ruling will be carried out by the courts officers, who have the full right to use law-enforcing agencies, she said.


Human rights groups have expressed concerns about the situation, saying it could mark another stage in alleged wide spread persecution of devoted Christians in the former Soviet republic.

The events... are likely to have a major impact on religious freedom throughout Belarus, said Stuart Windsor , National Director of Britain-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide. If New Life Church is forced to shut its doors, the hundreds of other churches across the country who have been denied the right to register will have real reason to fear the same fate, Windsor warned.

The CSW official urged the European Union to intervene at a time when it just launched its Eastern Partnership initiative which is meant to promote respect for human rights in countries including Belarus. The EU, he said, should make it absolutely clear that the religious liberty of the members of New Life Church must be defended and upheld.

New Life Church, which comprises over a thousand active members, has been the target of repeated government fines and attempts to shut it down since it was established in the early 1990s, according to local Christians.


The latest ruling comes as part of a legal battle with the Minsk City Executive Committee which has been ongoing since 2005 after the church purchases a former cowshed to accommodate its growing congregation.

In addition, recent aid from the Netherlands was halted by authorities, the church said. In 2006, thousands of Belarusian Christians of different denominations across the country joined members of New Life Church in a hunger strike which lasted 23 days and resulted in hospitalization of several people involved in the hunger strike.

It comes amid international concerns over the policies of President Aleksandr Lukashenko who critics say has steadily consolidated his power through authoritarian means.

Critics link the reported crackdown on New Life and other evangelical groups to government restrictions on freedom of religion as well as limitations on freedom of speech and the press and demonstrations. Lukashenko has denied wrongdoing.

Belarus Evangelical Church Faces Imminent Eviction By Security Forces (

Title: Gambia Prosecution Delays Appeal Detained British Missionary
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:33:01 PM
Gambia Prosecution Delays Appeal Detained British Missionary
Posted on: 2009-06-10 07:14:28
By Worthy News Africa Service with Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos

BANJUL, THE GAMBIA (Worthy News)-- The appeal of a frail British missionary detained in The Gambia on what Christians describe as "trumped up" charges of "sedition" has been delayed after prosecutors failed to attend a scheduled hearing and prison authorities did not produce him in court, Worthy News learned Wednesday, June 10.

David Fulton, 60, wanted to appeal against an additional conviction for forgery on May 25 but the proceedings were adjourned until Tuesday, June 16, his church said.

"We have news that the appearance on the 25th May did not take place. The new lady magistrate ruled that both the prosecution and Dave must be present at court on the 16th June," said the Westhoughton Pentecostal Church in the town of Bolton, United Kingdom.

Fulton and his wife Fiona, 46, had initially received sentences of one year's imprisonment with hard labor in December 2008, after pleading guilty to "sedition" on the advice of a lawyer, who claimed this would ensure more lenient sentences.

Shortly after that hearing, David Fulton was given an additional three years for pleading guilty to forgery, apparently in the hope of receiving the usual sentence of a fine.


The Fultons, who are held separately, are now appealing against their sedition convictions, and Mr. Fulton will also be contesting a new charge of impersonating an army official, confirmed Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a Christian rights group that has been closely monitoring the case.

Their supporters have linked the sedition charges to the missionaries' alleged involvement in criticizing the government of President Yahya Jammeh, who rights groups say believes in witchcraft and has led the tiny African nation with an iron fist.

Among the court's arguments was an apparent e-mail exchange in which David Fulton allegedly wrote: "This country is sinking fast into a morass of Islam, many people are safe and standing for Christ, but they are the minority".

Officials defended the punishments. "I found the offenses of the accused party to be very shocking and they have shown no respect for the country, the government and the president of the republic," said Judge Edrissa Mbai at the time. "I will send a clear message to the offenders."


The trial comes amid international concern about David and Fiona Fulton's health.

CSW said it has learned that David Fulton has recently recovered from an illness brought on by 102 days of solitary confinement in a cell with no lighting, and no access to exercise, at a high-security prison outside the capital Banjul . "His prescribed hard labour duties now include climbing coconut trees, stripping their bark and physically carrying fifty kilogram bundles."

The group said that Fiona Fulton has been put on "lavatory cleaning duties" and is "reported to be unwell emotionally and physically, and to have clearly lost weight."

CSW Advocacy Director Alexa Papadouris told Worthy News in a statement that his group was concerned about the missionaries' health. "It is vital that Mr. Fulton receives a fair hearing on June 16, that the Fultons' previous convictions for sedition are urgently reviewed, and that Mrs Fulton receives the medical attention she so clearly needs.


Dave Fulton and his wife Fiona from the town of Torquay in Devon, England, have been in The Gambia since 1996 carrying out missionary activities that included working among soldiers and terminally ill people, their church said.

"Dave is a chaplain to the Gambian service men and women and is in charge of the chaplaincy of the airport. In the last few years he has led many service personnel to the Lord. For the army he has trained seven chaplains, one for each barracks."

He recently also began preaching in outposts and villages only accessible by boat, a ten-day trip, every month. "But by Gods grace he sees many people receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour," said Westhoughton Pentecostal Church. "Fiona trained with others in the church to look after terminally ill people and spends time visiting women in their homes and in hospital."

David Fulton, 60, became a missionary after a controversial past that included leaving the British Army and becoming an armed robber. However Fulton said that while he was jailed,he "found God", and his wife, a prison visitor. Following his release, the Christian couple moved to The Gambia, where they eventually adopted a girl, Elizabeth, now two, who is currently staying with friends. Their other children, Iona, 20 and Luke, 17, are in the United Kingdom.


Working as Christian missionaries is a challenge in the predominantly Muslim nation where just three percent of the over one million people consider themselves Christians, with just over half of those being Roman Catholic, according to church estimates. Evangelicals are a tiny minority reportedly gathering in mainly small church congregations.

Believe in witchcraft has apparently also made it difficult for Christians and other minorities. Earlier this year, some 1,000 people accused of being witches in The Gambia were locked up in secret detention centers and forced to drink a dangerous hallucinogenic potion, according to human rights organization Amnesty International. At least two people died, Amnesty said.

The group reported that Gambian President Yahya Jammeh invited "witch doctors" from mainly neighboring Guinea -- to the West African nation following the death of his aunt.

Jammeh, a former soldier who has ruled The Gambia since leading a military coup in 1994, is reported to believe that witchcraft was involved in her death, according to Amnesty.

Gambia Prosecution Delays Appeal Detained British Missionary (

Title: Egypt Again Detains Christian Brothers; Believer Kidnapped
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:33:54 PM
Egypt Again Detains Christian Brothers; Believer Kidnapped
Posted on: 2009-05-31 15:08:00

By Worthy News Middle East Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- Two Christian brothers were behind bars again Sunday,May 31, just weeks after being released from an Egyptian prison where they wereheld for a year on false charges of murdering a Muslim in Mallawi, Upper Egypt.

Refaat and Ibrahim Fawzy Abdo were re-arrested May 20, as part of an "intimidationcampaign" against Egyptian Christians, known as Copts, their lawyer and observers said.

The two were initially detained for allegedly killing a Muslim duringan attack on Abu Fana monastery in Egypt in May 2008, despite a lack of evidence,Christians said.

Advocacy groups reportedly fear the Interior Ministry will working with law enforcement officialsto keep them detained, force a confession and make the Copts look guilty in the Abu Fana attack.


Egyptian security forces can incarcerate people without reason according to provisions in criminallaw and Christians have expressed concerns the two brothers will be prosecuted outside the mainjudicial system.

News of the detention came after reports that 21-year-old Mina Basily was abducted from his home inthe town of Alexandria by four Muslim men on May 6. Middle East Christian Association said Muslims armed with swords, sticks and knives broke into the Basily family's home, assaulted Mina and forced him into a car parked outside.

Neighbours who witnessed the kidnapping were reportedly too fearful to intervene. Police allegedlyinitially refused to file an official report of kidnapping.

Local Muslims reportedly told police that Mina was kidnapped because of his relationship with a Muslim girl but the claims could not be independently confirmed. Rights investigators said the girl's family is hiding her from officials. Mina was reportedly handed over to the police but has been pressured to convert to Islam, Christians said.

Christian groups have expressed concerns over what they view as growing pressure on the country'sChristian minority.

Egypt Again Detains Christian Brothers; Believer Kidnapped (

Title: Pakistan Taliban Threatens To Kill, Rape, Non Muslims
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:35:29 PM
Pakistan Taliban Threatens To Kill, Rape, Non Muslims
Posted on: 2009-06-15 15:09:46
By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

LAHORE, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A loose Pakistan-based umbrella group of factions linked to the militant Taliban organization has threatened to kill or rape all non-Muslims to enslave their children and take away their properties, unless they meet tough conditions.

In a letter, seen by Worthy News Monday, June 15, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said non-Muslims should embrace Islam, or pay an Islamic tax known as 'Jaziva Tax' to Muslim rulers, or leave Pakistan forever, if they don't want to be harmed.

If the infidels rejected this suggestion they, would be killed and they would be responsible for it, wrote TTP leader Muslim Khan.

And, "The women of these disobedient infidels would be enslaved and raped according to [an Islamic ritual] Muta," he said.

Under Muta a Muslim man can, in theory, marry a woman for several hours and after having gotcha146 can divorce again by saying three times "I divorce you". The children conceived would be converted to Islam, enslaved and forced to work for TTP, the group added in the letter.

The letter was received May 27, by residents in the Jafferia Colony neighborhood of Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab.


While TTP mentioned specifically Muslim Shiites for allegedly not observing Islam, the letter was also seen as a direct threat to Christians and other religious minorities in Lahore and elsewhere in the country, where militants have attempted to establish strict Islamic rule.

A 15-member committee representing the complex where the letter was received, including Shiites and Christians, approached local police to intervene, but there was apparently no increased security Monday, June 15.

Police said in a statement they had taken measures according to resources available and that special security was provided at houses of worship of religious minorities.

The latest letter came amid a government-led military crackdown on Islamic militants.

Just days earlier the TTP threatened Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) leaders, saying they would face dire consequences if a military offensive is not discontinued immediately.

In a letter to the PPP Information Secretary Fouzia Wahab, the TTP warned that the country's leadership would be targeted if the operation against them is not stopped, Pakistani media reported.

Pakistan Taliban Threatens To Kill, Rape, Non Muslims (

Title: Yemen Christian Expatriates Review Security Following Killings
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:36:38 PM
Yemen Christian Expatriates Review Security Following Killings
Posted on: 2009-06-16 03:26:56

By Worthy News Middle East Service

SANA'A, YEMEN (Worthy News)-- Christian expatriates in Yemen, including missionaries, were reviewing their security arrangements Tuesday, June 16, following confirmation of the murders of at least three kidnapped foreigners by suspected Islamic militants, a Christian group with close knowledge about the situation said.

Middle East Concern (MEC) also told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife that South Koreans were worried they may be forced to leave the country which would have an impact on several Christian ministries.

They fear the murder of the South Korean might lead the Korean government to change the status of their current warning against travel to Yemen from 'advisory' to 'binding', MEC added.

This would effectively make [Yemen] a closed country for South Korean nationals. This currently [already] applies to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

There had been confusion about the fate of the nine foreigners kidnapped last week during a picnic in the northern Saada province. Bodies of three women were found Monday, June 15, in the Safra district, to the east of where the group was seized Friday, June 12, by suspected Islamic militants.


The women were identified as Rita Stewjab, 25, Amita Julie, 25, both of whom were German nurses, and 22-year-old Youvet Singhum, a South Korean teacher, according to Saba news agency. She was named in South Korea as Eom Young-Sun, 34.

However there were conflicting reports about the other missing hostages, including a German doctor and his wife, their three children, and a British engineer. One report said all nine hostages were dead, while another report quoted officials saying two children had been found alive.

Worldwide Services Foundation, a Dutch aid group helping with medical care in the province, said in a news release on its Web site that the missing hostages belonged to its team.

It said they had been working at a hospital in the north of Yemen, largely devoted to prenatal and maternity care. "The news of the killing of the three women will be a shock also for the local people, with whom a warm relationship exists that has been strengthened by the humanitarian efforts of so many years," Worldwide Services said.

In Seoul, Foreign Ministry spokesman Choe Jong-hyun said the government "cannot contain its anger and shock" at the slayings, The Associated Press news agency reported.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping and killings, but Yemen officials blamed Houthi militants. The rebel group denied any involvement and accused Yemen authorities of trying to tarnish its image. Rebels loyal to a Zaidi Shi'ite cleric, Hussein al-Houthi, have been fighting government loyalists in Saada province since 2004.

In addition, there have been increasing protests in southern provinces of Yemen, some of which have become violent, MEC said. These are generally motivated by a feeling that the federal government in Sana'a is not giving some of them a fair share of national resources. In view of these developments many expatriate Christians working in Yemen have been reviewing their security arrangements.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group, Osama bin Laden, had long been a haven for Islamic militants and was the scene of the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole that killed 17 American sailors.

The country is also the Arab world's poorest nation and one of its most unstable making it fertile territory for al-Qaida and other Islamic militants to set up camp, analysts say. The latest reported kidnappings of foreigners came as the government announced a crackdown on militants.


Yemeni authorities broke up an al-Qaida ring operating in two provinces, a security source told the Saba news agency this week.

The ring was operating in Sana'a and Mareb provinces, and was plotting fresh terrorist attacks, Saba news agency quoted the source -- who sought anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media -- as saying. The ring was responsible for previous attacks in Yemen, Saba said.

The operation came only days after the arrest of Hassan Hussein bin al-Wan, a Saudi national who arranged financing for al-Qaida in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen. He was caught in Mareb not far from Sana'a, the country's capital.


As the crackdown reportedly continued, MEC said Christians in Yemen urged prayers from fellow believers for the families and colleagues of [killed hostages] Anita, Rita and Young-Sun that they will know the comfort of Jesus.

In addition Yemeni Christians pray that the perpetrators will be convicted by the Spirit and drawn to the forgiveness, love and true life offered by Jesus and that All expatriate Christians in Yemen will know the Lord's guiding and protecting at this time," MEC explained.

They also hope South Korea will not force its nationals to leave that country, the group added.

Yemen Christian Expatriates Review Security Following Killings (

Title: Pakistan Christian Student "Too Ugly" To Study Science
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:37:42 PM
 Pakistan Christian Student "Too Ugly" To Study Science
Posted on: 2009-06-17 12:38:47

By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

MIANWALI, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A talented Christian student has been denied admission to Science studies at a girls high school in Pakistan because the Muslim school principal regards her as "too ugly" to participate, her father said Wednesday, June 17.

Abdullah Masih said the female principal of the Government Girls Mian Shahbaz Sharif High School in the Pakistani city of Mianwali told his 14-year-old daughter Uzma Noreen: "Your ugly face is not fit for Science studies."

The principal, who is also a science teacher and known only as Sofia, declined to discuss the situation in details, but made clear she had not changed her opinion about the Christian sudent.


Masih, 42, told Worthy News and its news partner BosNewsLife that his daughter was devastated. "Besides humiliating my daughter" the principal "also wrecked her educational career, he added in a telephone interview.

He said his daughter was punished for her Christian faith as she apparently scored most points of students participating in "the final examination of class eight" a key condition for Science studies in class nine.

"Her name was at the top of the list of students to whom admission in Science subjects was granted...Now she is rejected merely for being Christian," Masih claimed. "She was also told she is an ugly Christian girl and therefore her face does not appear to be fitting for Science studies
in higher classes."

This is no isolated incident, rights groups suggest. In recent months and years, several Christian students have reportedly been forced to leave educational institutions in Pakistan because of their faith.

 Pakistan Christian Student "Too Ugly" To Study Science (

Title: Egypt Court Bans 'Christian' On Ex-Muslim's ID Card
Post by: Shammu on June 19, 2009, 11:38:44 PM
Egypt Court Bans 'Christian' On Ex-Muslim's ID Card
Posted on: 2009-06-17 08:48:58
By Worthy News Middle East Service with Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos

CAIRO, EGYPT (Worthy News)-- For the second time, an Egyptian court has rejected a Christian convert's request to change his religious affiliation on his identity card in a ruling described by criticsas "a severe blow" to freedom of religion of ex-Muslims.

Judge Hamdi Yaseen reportedly rejected the application of Maher Ahmed Al-Motasem BellahAl-Gohari to change his religious affiliation from Muslim to Christian, citing Islamicand public order concerns. Egyptian identity cards must report the faith of the holder.

Al-Gohari, whose last name has also been spelled as El-Gohary, and his daughter Dina 12, livein hiding and "in continuous fear" since "radical Islamists" incited mobs to kill Al-Goharifor his apostasy, Coptic Christians said.

"The disappointing verdict [Saturday, June 13] by the High Administrative Court in Cairo...dealt asevere blow to freedom of religion to Muslims who would like to come out of Islam and convertto Christianity," said United Copts of Great Britain in a statement seen by Worthy News WednesdayJune 17.


The group, which has close ties to Egyptian Christians, most of them known as Copts, said the rulingwas a setback "in a country that persistently and relentlessly claims to be secular and to apply 'civil Laws'."

I am disappointed with what happened and shocked with the decision, because I went to great lengths and through a great deal of hardship, Al-Gohari said in published remarks.

Judge Yaseen's verdict was based on the Islamic law, Shari'a, which prohibits conversion of Muslimsto any other religion and disruption to public order," according to trial observers.

Complicating the legal procedure was that Egypt's constitution has two "paradoxical statements", United Copts of Great Britain said. "Article two stipulates that Islamic Sharia, which prohibits conversions to any other religion is the main source of legislation..." But Article 46 of the constitution says "the state guarantees 'freedom of religion'," the group explained.


"In todays court case, again, the converts to Christianity in Egypt have fallen victims to the Egyptian government appeasement to Islamist radicals to say the least," it added.

Al-Gohari's defense team said they would appeal the ruling. His case follows Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy the only other Muslim-born convert in Egypt known to have requested such the religious affiliation change on his identity card.

The Court of Administrative Justice in Cairo rejected Hegazy,'s request last year saying hehad not followed "proper legal" procedures and that he could not convert "to an older religion."

Hegazy had said he wanted to raise his future child as a Christian.

Christians comprise at least 10 percent of Egypt's mainly Muslim population of over 83 million, according to United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates, although Coptic groups suggest that number may be higher.

Egypt Court Bans 'Christian' On Ex-Muslim's ID Card (