40 Christians Violently Kicked Out of Village in India

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Police Inaction Leaves Seven Christian Families Homeless
04/23/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Sunday, April 14, 40 Christians were violently kicked out of their homes by Hindu extremists in Patamanda village, located in India’s eastern state of Odisha. According to local reports, the extremists accused the Christians of following a foreign religion and told the Christians that they were not allowed to stay in the village if they continued to practice their faith.

The attack began at 9:30 p.m. when a mob of villagers influenced by Hindu radicals stormed into the homes of seven Christian families in Patamanda village. The mob verbally abused the Christians and beat them with bamboo sticks. Two Christians, Mohan Vadeka and Mistu Vadeka, were targeted by the mob because of their leadership positions within the local Christian community. To escape the violent mob, the 40 Christians fled into the nearby forest. The mob then ransacked the seven Christian homes.

“Forty of us, including women and infants, walked more than two kilometers through the thickest forests in the dark,” Jilla Vadeka told ICC. “We traveled to the police station for help, but no help was rendered. We were just told to come back tomorrow.” 

When the Christians returned to the police station on April 15, police officers arranged a compromise between the Christian and Hindu villagers. “They told both of us not to interfere in each other’s faith and sent us away,” Mohan Vadeka said. “However, when we returned to Patamanda, there was a huge crowd waiting for us. They ruthlessly chased us back to the forest.”

“For more than a week now, we cannot stay freely in our homes,” Jilla Vadeka explained to ICC. “We are worried for our lives.”

On Friday, April 19, the Christians of Patamanda were told that they were not allowed to stay in the village if they continued to practice their faith. “Two border security force [officials] came to the village and threatened us,” Mohan Vadeka said. “They said that we cannot stay in the village if we follow the Christian faith. They said we would lose our government subsidized food and lose our ID cards.” 

“This is not the first time Christians in this region have faced violent attacks,” a local pastor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told ICC. “The consequences of practicing the Christian faith can mean losing your house, facing social boycotts, and even physical torture. Christians cannot depend on police for help.”

ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, said, “Local authorities in India must do more to help the Christians of Patamanda village. Too often, attacks on Christians and their places of worship are ignored by India’s authorities. This climate of impunity has only emboldened Hindu radicals who now feel that they have a free hand to attack religious minorities across the country. Article 25 of India’s constitution guarantees religious freedom to all citizens. Until this right is enforced, Article 25 will remain only words on paper for the Christians of Patamanda village.”

Unprecedented Suicide Bombing Attacks Shock Christians in Sri Lanka

Human failure allowed this carnage in Sri Lanka-the authorities were alerted days before about an imminent attack so security at Christian sites should have been stepped up.

Two Britons killed-brother and sister.

Website

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48027050

  • Please pray that Christians in Sri Lanka will know God as their ‘refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1-3).
  • Ask God to heal the injured and comfort those who mourn. Pray that, as they experience the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, they will know the power of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10).
  • Pray that Christians will not face the usual obstacles in burying their loved ones. Our partners say Christians are often refused access to family plots in Buddhist cemeteries and denied the financial help with funerals that Buddhists are freely given.
  • Pray that the people of Sri Lanka will detest both Islamic and also Buddhist extremism and allow peace and freedom for Christian believers..
  • Please pray that God will have mercy on those responsible for the attacks – and that they too, who are not already killed and in hell, may come to know the Saviour.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Morning Star News) – Christians in Sri Lanka have never seen such a large-scale attack on them as the one that hit three churches and three hotels on Easter Sunday (April 21), killing at least 290 people, they said.

“I don’t have words to express my pain,” a teary-eyed Eranda Weththasinghe told Morning Star News from Negombo, a predominantly Christian area north of Colombo where 104 worshippers died in a suicide bomb blast at St. Sebastian’s Church. “Tomorrow is going to be the mass funeral service, we only want prayers. We lost so many people.”

Weththasinghe said he lost several friends in the explosion that he witnessed, which the Sri Lankan government blamed on a local Islamic extremist group, the National Thowheed Jamaath. Officials said the small, obscure group could not have carried out the coordinated attacks without international accomplices.

“The smell of flesh is all around me,”…

View original post 1,109 more words

Suicide Bombers kill almost 300 at Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka, hundreds injured

I cannot see how this could be ISIS, much more likely fanatical Buddhist extremists in this country.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

290 Killed in Easter Attacks on Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka

Perpetrators of the Deadly Bombings Remain Unknown
04/21/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) –  International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that at least 189 people have been killed in a series of bombings targeting churches and hotels across Sri Lanka. According to reports, as many as 400 others have been hospitalized with injuries as a result of the bombings that mark the first major terrorist attack since the country’s civil war came to a close in 2009.
Six bombings took place around the same time at 8:45 a.m. in the morning as Easter services began across the country. The deadliest attack took place at St. Sebastian’s Church, a Catholic church in Negombo, about 20 miles north of the country’s capital city of Colombo. In that attack more than 60 worshipers were killed.
In other attacks on churches, St. Anthony’s Shire, a Catholic shrine in Colombo, and Zion Church, an evangelical church in Batticoloa, were also bombed. In those attacks, at least 52 were killed at St. Anthony’s and another 38 killed at Zion Church.
One of the churches targeted was Zion Evangelical Church in Batticaloa. Barnabas Fund has a close relationship with this congregation of over 400 people and has been helping war widows at the church for several years. Around 35 people were killed at Zion Church, mainly children. Church leaders had spotted a suspicious person in the building before the service and sent someone to question him and get him out of the building. The suicide bomber exited as requested and detonated himself outside, in the grounds of the church, where the children were playing while they waited for the service to begin. Zion Church, whose congregation is mainly poor and needy, has asked Barnabas Fund to assist the bereaved families with funeral costs, and we will be sending these funds tomorrow. Help will also be needed with medical care for the injured at Zion Church and in other parts of Sri Lanka. Please pray for the suffering and grieving Christians in particular those mothers who lost their husbands and now have lost children too.
Three hotels popular with foreign tourists in Colombo were also bombed, including Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. According to various media reports, it remained unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.
So far, no one has taken responsibility for the attacks on the churches and hotels. However, Sri Lankan police say the attacks were highly coordinated and early investigations suggest that they were carried out by suicide bombers.
Out of Sri Lanka’s total population of 22 million, Christians only account for 7.6% according to the 2012 census.
Christians in Sri Lanka have claimed to be facing increasing intimidation from Buddhist extremists in recent years. According to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), which represents more than 200 churches and other Christians groups in Sri Lanka, there were 86 verified incidents of persecution in 2018. This included incidents of discrimination, threats, and violence against Christians.
In 2019, NCEASL has already recorded 26 verified incidents of persecution. This includes incidents as recent as a mob attack on a Methodist Prayer Center on Palm Sunday. In that incident, ICC reported that 25 young people pelted Christian worshipers with stones and firecrackers before locking the Christians within the prayer center and refusing to release them. 
ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, said, The thoughts and prayers of ICC first and foremost go out to the families of those killed and injured in this deadly wave of attacks. No one should fear being the target of such extreme violence simply because of their identity as a religious minority. Too often Sri Lanka’s authorities have tolerated instances of discrimination and intolerance against Christians and other religious minorities. This must come to an end. Authorities must investigate who was behind these deadly attacks and bring them to justice.”

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Voice of the Persecuted) It is with a heavy heart to report on Resurrection Sunday that a massacre has taken place targeting Christians who were attending worship services at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo and Zion Church, in Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. At the time of this report, the latest update from police claim that at least 207 were killed and at least 450-500 injured in 8 explosions by suicide bombers at the churches, Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury hotels. Viewer Warning: below video content graphic

The majority of casualties are Christians and the death toll and numbers injured are expected to rise. Earlier, the government said they suspected the suicide bombings were carried out by one group. Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera said,

The bombings are not the doings of a fanatical individual. It’s obviously a highly coordinated attempt to create murder, mayhem…

View original post 85 more words

School worker dismissed wrongfully.

Breaking news

Christian sacked for sharing concerns about sex education

Kristie Higgs is challenging her employer’s decision to sack her for sharing two posts with her Facebook friends
A Christian school worker is to challenge a Gloucestershire school academy’s decision to dismiss her for gross misconduct. She was dismissed after she shared two Facebook posts that raised concerns about Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at another school in the same village – her own child’s Church of England Primary School. Kristie, a mother of two who had been working at the Gloucestershire academy for six years as a pastoral assistant, was told following an investigation and a six hour hearing that she would be dismissed without notice.
Read the the Daily Mail’s coverage of the story
What had Kristie done? Earlier last year, her child’s Church of England primary school sent out a letter informing parents it was adopting the ‘No Outsiders’ programme, which challenges the Christian understanding of family and openly promotes LGBT lifestyles to children as young as four.

After attending a meeting at the primary school to find out more about the programme, Kristie decided to express her concerns on Facebook. She shared two posts, the first beginning, “Please read this they are brainwashing our children! Please sign this petition, they have already started to brainwash our innocent wonderfully created children and it’s happening in our local primary school now.” Kristie urged her friends to sign a nationwide petition opposing the government’s proposals to make Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory for children as young as four. The issue was subsequently debated in parliament.

In her second post, Kristie re-shared an article on the rise of transgender ideology in children’s books in American schools, adding that: This is happening in our primary schools now.” 

Both posts were visible only to her friends. Nevertheless, they were reported to the school where she worked – Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, and following an investigation, Kristie was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Post from JudyBeth.Com on transgender ideology. Click for full size.
Post on Relationships and Sex Education in primary schools. Click for full size.
Reasons given by the academy for her dismissal were: illegal discrimination‘, serious inappropriate use of social media, and online comments that could bring the school into disrepute and damage the reputation of the school.’  

However, the conclusions by the school were unfounded and the Christian Legal Centre is now supporting Kristie as she challenges the academy for wrongful dismissal and discrimination. 

In the conclusion to Kristie’s hearing, the academy admitted that: “Regarding bringing the school into disrepute…we agree that there is no direct evidence that as a matter of fact that the reputation of the school has been damaged to date.”

When Kristie asked who she had discriminated against, she was told by the school: “you had not directly discriminated against one person, rather it was about the words you had used that could be perceived as discrimination.” 

“It has everything to do with my religion”

Kristie has said: “I have been punished for sharing concerns about Relationships and Sex Education. I hold these views because of my Christian beliefs, beliefs and views which are shared by hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK. My number one concern has always been the effect that learning about sex and gender in school will have on children at such a young age. 

“As soon as the investigation into the posts began, I was repeatedly told: ‘this is nothing to do with your religion.’ That was clearly a legal tactic and of course it has everything to do with my religion. I am determined to fight this case and to stand for Christians and all parents across the country who are being silenced for sharing and holding these views.”

“This is all about the freedom of a Christian to hold Biblical views on sexuality”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, added: “This case is about the freedom to hold Christian views about what it means to be human. Many Christians have faced pressure for expressing these views in the workplace before, but in this case, Kristie has been dismissed for sharing her views among friends on Facebook.

“What Kristie shared on Facebook simply reflects the genuine and justified concerns of a parent about the sexual ideology currently being imposed on her own children and thousands of children across the UK.

“Kristie has not only lost her job, but her whole career is now tarnished with the accusation that for holding these views she is now a danger to vulnerable children. This is despite an exemplary record at the school and in her work with youth in the wider community. If Kristie does not win this case, due to one complaint, she will never be able to work with children again.

“Kristie is a kind, loving and courageous woman, and we will stand side by side with her as she fights for justice.”

Please pray for Kristie, her family and our legal team. We will keep you updated on developments.

International rugby player in trouble over Biblical remarks about homosexuality.

from Voice for Justice UK

A row has erupted in sport after Australian rugby player and committed Christian, Israel Folau, posted on social media that those who are living in sin will end up in Hell, unless they repent.  Quoting from Galatians 5:19-21, he said, “Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you.”

For expression of that conviction, ‘hell’ appears to have broken out round the rugby star, but, despite sacking from his team and widespread condemnation, Folau has refused to remove the post, saying simply that his faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first in his life, and he was encouraging people to repent.  His cause has now been taken up by England International Billy Vunipola, also a Christian, who has bravely waded into the fray in Folau’s support.  Saying the Rugby star was simply expressing his belief, Vunipola said we all need to live closer to God, and that man was made for woman.

He too is now facing disciplinary action (https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-union/billy-vunipola-israel-folau-sacked-england-australia-homophobic-social-media-post-channel-4-a8868126.html).

It is interesting, however, that apart from generalised rage and the righteous denunciation of this attack on the LGBT community, there has been little or no reference to other categories of sin in the list.   Why, VfJUK asks, has there been no corresponding fury from atheists, fornicators, or adulterers – who, one may suppose, form a far greater proportion of the population?  Why is the press not standing up for thieves and drunkards, protesting that this is an abuse of their human rights?

And while we’re on the subject of human rights – which always comes in at some point – what about the Sultan of Brunei, with his recent announcement of the strict enforcement of Islamic law?  From coverage in the Western press, you’d be excused for thinking the man was a rabid bigot who had specifically announced violent war against homosexuals (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-47769964).   But this is misleading.  The reality is that, for a Muslim, Sharia law governs every aspect of life and imposes harsh penalties for transgression of any and all the rules, including amputation, flogging, beheading, and stoning to death.  The same law applies equally to apostates, rapists, thieves, homosexuals, adulterers…  in fact to any perceived offence – and it is this system that – rightly or wrongly, as we see it – the Sultan of Brunei has ruled be enforced.

So by all means condemn him for barbarity.  And on any scale Sharia law is frightening.  But only for vicious homophobia…? The truth is that in Islam homosexuality is merely one ‘sin’ among many – almost on a par with insulting Mohammed, but not quite – sitting alongside such things as rape, incest, and adultery.  All carry horrific punishment, including stoning and death – and it is this cruel and vicious punishment system that should be condemned wholesale.  As it is, focussing on one aspect to the exclusion of all else risks legitimizing a belief system that has at its heart the merciless enforcement of rules that appear on occasion both bizarre and unreasonable – as, for example, with some of the laws relating to women.

But in the Western mindset all this gets lost, because beside so-called LGBT rights, everything else pales into insignificance.  Let’s be blunt, what we are seeing in Europe today is in effect the birth of new religion, whose counterfeit and blinkered god demands total and exclusive worship, and who will brook no rival.  Besides the idol of LGBT rights, all other considerations melt like snowflakes in the sun.

In such a climate, Christian belief looks like it doesn’t stand a chance.  The demand is either that we conform and kneel before the altar of sexual libertarianism – that we deny our faith – or that we be sacrificed.

It is this new religion that Folau and Vunipola have dared challenge.  And, however dressed up, it is a straight attack on Christianity.  Yet perhaps saddest of all is the fact that, for many, this vicious attack on freedom of belief has passed almost unremarked.   In today’s world it is apparently justified to silence Christians!

As Easter approaches, the question for believers is whether we too will dare stand for our faith?  Or will we take the easy way and join with the crowd, bowing down before the counterfeit and decadent god who smiles upon sin, and affirms indulgence?

“I warn you again, as I warned you before, those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom…”  Galatians 5:21

As we prepare once more to celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died that we might live, let us nail our colours to the mast and follow Him in obedience.  In these challenging times, let us not be found wanting.
We wish you a happy and blessed Easter,

Notre Dame fire: spire and roof destroyed but main structure saved

It might have been the result of criminal damage but it is no tragedy when a home of the blasphemous Roman mass that disparages the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ is destroyed.

Read this verse and ask yourself why this happened and why God brought it about:

“And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

What a tragedy. Praying for the firemen on the scene.

Below links from The Guardian Live news feed on the Cathedral

See more updates here

VOP NOTE: France has had several weeks of escalating vandalism and arson attacks on churches. Compared to the 1st quarter of 2018, France has seen a 53% rise in anti-Christian acts during the 1st quarter of 2019. Please keep France in your prayers.

View original post

Imam in Eastern Uganda Faces Wrath of Muslims after Putting Faith in Christ

God bless this young convert and his family.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Hassan Podo, former sheikh beaten after his family learned he had become a Christian (Photo: Morning Star News/Google Map)

(Morning Star News) – Sheikh Hassan Podo, a 28-year-old imam in Kerekerene village in eastern Uganda, missed mosque prayers for three consecutive weeks and was seen entering a church building around noon on March 16.

He had kept his faith in Christ a secret for three weeks. The young Muslim who saw Podo enter the church building in Katira Sub-County, Budaka District, went straight to Podo’s parents and brothers to report him.

When Podo arrived at the house that evening, his family interrogated him about where he had spent the better part of the day.

“Without my completing answering them, my brothers immediately began surrounding me, with sticks,” Podo told Morning Star News. “It was difficult to escape. They began shouting, beating and insulting me as an ‘infidel’ and…

View original post 399 more words

Totalitarian transgenderism

The chilling evidence that Jordan Peterson was right: transgender ideology is ‘totalitarian’

Jordan Peterson faces off against protesters in 2016, shortly after he publicly declared his opposition to Canadian legislation that would force people to use various recently-fabricated pronouns, such as xe and xir.

Article

Lord thwart their evil plans

Terrorist threat to Pakistan churches

Authorities in Pakistan fear that a terrorist linked to Islamic State is planning an attack that could target Christians in Punjab province at Easter.

The bomber is likely to try to carry out a suicide attack in Lahore, our contact says.

Please pray for safety for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, especially in Lahore, over the Easter period.

Easter has been a particularly dangerous time for believers in Pakistan. Last year four members of one family were shot dead in Quetta by terrorists deliberately targeting Christians.

During Easter 2016, a suicide bomber targeted church-goers at a park in Lahore, killing more than 70. Most of the victims were women and children.

  • Thank God for the witness of His church in Pakistan and ask Him to protect His people. Pray especially for safety at Easter church services and celebrations.
  • Pray that the authorities will put in place effective measures that would prevent any attack from happening.
  • Ask God to convict all those whose hearts are filled with hatred towards Christians to repent of their actions and turn to Christ.

(Source: Release contact)

Indonesian student faces jail for blasphemy

Pretty insulting I would say, but Islam, if it really had a god that requited blasphemy as our God does, would let him act as Gideon’s father said to the mob baying to pay back his son from tearing down their idolatrous statues to Baal.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED


Agung Kurnia Ritonga, 22, a student at the University of North Sumatra in Medan, was found guilty of insulting Islam and is facing 18 months in jail. (photo supplied-ICAN)

Prosecutors demand 18-month term for Christian youth accused of mocking the burning of an Islamic flag.

Prosecutors in Indonesia have demanded an 18-month jail term and a $715 fine for a Christian student accused of insulting Islam. 

Agung Kurnia Ritonga, 22, a student at the University of North Sumatra in Medan, is currently on trial for insulting Islam in an Instagram post by mocking the burning of an Islamic flag in October last year. 

Three Muslim youths in Garut, West Java burned a tawhid flag presumed to belong to Hizb ut-Tahrir, a banned militant group on Oct. 21, 2018. 

Ritonga’s Instagram post on Oct. 24, was said to have insulted the tawhid flag that has script describing the monotheistic God in Islam and God himself. 

“What’s the matter if the tawhid…

View original post 253 more words

Christian Woman Raped, Killed as Herdsmen Attack Two Villages in Nigeria

More violence with apparent impunity! BUT vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the LORD.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked two predominantly Christian villages in north-central Nigeria after beating, raping and killing a 19-year-old Christian woman in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday (March 23), her father said.

Danlami Mante told Morning Star News that armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed Joy Danlami and her two younger siblings as they were returning to Mante village, Nasarawa state, at about 2 a.m. after the Christians attended a community feast in Katanza village, Akwanga County. His younger daughter, 16-year-old Patience Danlami, and 14-year-old son, Aboy Danlami, escaped with gunshot and machete wounds, he said.

“The armed herdsmen chased them with dangerous weapons,” Mante told Morning Star News. “Joy’s nose and face was battered, and then she was sexually assaulted by the herdsmen before being killed. She was shot.”

After the ambush, the herdsmen proceeded to the family’s native Mante village, where they burned down…

View original post 232 more words

Couple Beaten, Congregation Member Missing in Persecution of Church in China

Chengdu church members continue to suffer for Christ.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Morning Star News) – Following the arrest of 44 worshipers from house church meetings in southwestern China in February, police in Chengdu this month arrested a married couple from the church and beat them during interrogation, the church reported.

The couple, identified as Liu and his wife Xing, of Early Rain Covenant Church, were visiting Christian friends when police from Chengdu Shuyuan Police Station on March 2 detained them and took them to Taisheng Road Police Station for interrogation, according to the church, whose pastor along with more than 100 others was arrested in a Dec. 9 raid.

“At 2 p.m., while being interrogated, they were personally humiliated, abused, and violently beaten by seven to eight police officers from the Chengdu Taisheng Road Police Station,” the church’s March 2 statement on Facebook reads. “They were detained for nearly eight hours. After being beaten by police officers from…

View original post 1,128 more words

More Pakistani wickedness.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mentally Disabled Christian Accused of Blasphemy in Pakistan

Islamic Cleric Leads Mob to Attack Mentally Disabled Believer and Family

03/13/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Stephen Masih, a 42-year-old mentally disabled Christian, was accused of committing blasphemy against the prophet of Islam. He was accused on March 11, 2019, in Badiana, a neighborhood in the district of Sialakot in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Faraz Masih, the victim’s nephew and an eyewitness, informed ICC that Masih has been mentally disabled since birth. According to Faraz, the entire neighborhood knows Stephen’s mental status and local children often tease and beat him.

Stephen Masih was accused of derogatory remarks against the prophet Muhammad by Hafiz Muhammad Mudasir, a local Muslim. During the incident in question, Stephen was debating with his brother-in-law over fasting and praying during Lent. However, because of his mental state, he became exacerbated and began shouting loudly, attracting attention from the neighbors.

When Mudasir reached Stephen’s house, he began beating Stephen, unprovoked. The family members protested against Mudasir’s illogical interference into the family’s matter. Mudasir, who identifies as a cleric, left Stephen’s house in anger, warning that he would teach Stephen a lesson for insulting him. Shortly after, Mudasir returned, leading a mob of angry Muslims.

With direction from Mudasir, the mob began beating Stephen and other family members for the alleged crime of blasphemy. Police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Stephen under the country’s blasphemy laws, section 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. Stephen is currently in police custody.

While speaking with ICC, Ayub Qaiser, Director of FGA Pakistan, said, “It is sad and shocking that blasphemy laws are being misused, even against special persons. The authorities must look into the situation and introduce amendments and special care of the mentally immature people.” Qaiser urged for protection for Stephen’s family members and a fair trial of the case.

URGENT: PRAY FOR BIBLE TRANSLATORS UNDER ATTACK

Pray for these folk. I am guessing this is Somalia.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Special Report: Translators persecuted for translating the gospel

By Nena Podbury for American Bible Society—This week, we received heartbreaking news about an attack against Bible translators and we’re urging everyone to pray.

American Bible Society has been supporting a network of churches that are working on 25 Bible translation projects for unreached people groups in Central Asia and the Arabic Gulf region. Working in an undisclosed location in Northeast Africa, where the Christian church faces strong opposition, Christians risk their lives to translate God’s Word.

Last month, a terrorist group became aware of these translation efforts. Two weeks ago, this militant group burned the translation facility and killed five members of the lead translator’s family. The lead translator was also seriously injured. Another 49 translators were abducted and are still missing.

Despite this horrifying tragedy and the constant threat of extreme danger, this network of pastors plans to carry…

View original post 102 more words

Another precious Indian martyr.

LOGO

 

Face of Anant/ India MapThree attackers dragged father-of-five Anant Ram Gand (40) out of his house, shot him in the head, beheaded him and dumped his body in the road in the village of Raigarh Tehsil, Nabarangapur district, Odisha state on 11 February.

Anant was an agricultural worker who converted to Christianity nine months ago, followed by his whole family, and was baptised two months ago in an evangelical church. His conversion angered Hindu extremist villagers, who taunted him and his wife Sukbati (38) about their faith, banned them from collecting water from the public well and forced them to leave the village. They had to move a kilometre away and dig their own bore well, and Anant was harassed and beaten twice in 2018.

The organisation Persecution Relief also reported that tensions were brewing locally over traditional tribal customs in which Anant refused to take part following his conversion.

Locals reported that the Hindu extremists used Naxals (Indian Maoist guerrillas) to carry out the murder. Anant was a former Naxal sympathiser and Persecution Relief reported, “It is alleged that the extremists spread false stories to the Naxals about Brother Anant Ram being a police informer, in order to eliminate him.”

Shibu Thomas, founder of Persecution Relief, said that in the past Anant had expressed sympathy for the Maoist guerrillas and stated, “He was never a part of the fighters, but the Hindus made the Naxals believe that the Christian would reveal their secrets to the police.

Local pastor Chanan Jani said that Anant had been more than a sympathiser, stating, “In the past, before he became a Christian, he was a Naxal and was caught by the police. That was the turning point where he surrendered to the police and renounced his life as a Naxal. The Naxals thought he might share their secrets with the police. But Anant did not want enmity with anyone and assured them that he was a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Commenting on Anant’s strong faith, the pastor said, “His passion and dedication were unbelievable. Most days, he fasted and prayed. The entire family embraced their faith wholeheartedly.”

Attack

Gand familyOn the day of the murder, Sukbati went to the nearby village with their four daughters, Dhanomati (13), Purnima (11), Hemobai (3) and Kemiti (2), while Anant and their son Purno (6) remained at home. Sukbati and the children are pictured, left, in a video still.

Purno said he woke up to the sound of three men knocking at the door. His father opened the door and the men caught hold of him, tied his hands to a pole behind his back and dragged him away. Before they drove off, they pushed Purno away and threatened to harm him if he followed them. Purno ran to his uncle’s house nearby and raised the alarm.

The attackers shot Anant in the head, crushed his skull with a large stone, decapitated him and threw his body onto the road.

Sukbati told Pastor Chanan Jani, “He has been killed for his faith in Jesus Christ. But I am sure I will not forsake Jesus Christ my Saviour and Lord. Please remember us in your prayers so that we stand strong in faith and all our daily needs are met.”

Following the murder, Shibu Thomas stated: “As president of the group, I ask the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of the State to please order a probe. The government should provide compensation to the family and five small children. They should speak clearly against persecution of Christians and to protect freedom of worship. Enough is enough!

The case highlights the vulnerability of Christians in remote areas of India to attack by those who consider them enemies.

Naxalism

Naxals or Naxalites are far-left radical Indian communist revolutionaries who follow Mao Tse Tung’s political ideology. The name derives from the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the Naxalite peasant revolt took place in 1967. From West Bengal, the movement has spread through rural areas of southern and eastern India.

(Asia News/Persecution Relief)

Pakistani Christian student brutally attacked by classmates.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Christian Student in Pakistan Nearly Killed in Stabbing by Muslim Classmates

Activist Claims Incident Was Fueled by Unchecked Religious Intolerance

02/21/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Christian student from Karachi, Pakistan was nearly killed after being stabbed in an attack by Muslim classmates. As is common with attacks by Muslims on Christians, the student’s parents were pressured by the police to not press charges. Yet, the family has declared that they want justice. According to a local human rights defender, this violent incident resulted from unchecked religious intolerance in Pakistan’s educational system.

The incident began on Friday, February 15, when Haroon Irfan, a Christian student at Government Mohammadi School in Karachi, reported that his Muslim classmate, Muhammad Majid, stole and damaged his school notebook. According to the school’s headmaster, Muhammad Aftab, Haroon is known by the nickname “small Einstein” because of his intelligence.

“Haroon made a complaint to the teacher and, when the notebook was recovered from Majid’s backpack, he got angry and felt insulted,” Irfan Masih, Haroon’s father, told ICC.

Two days later, on Sunday, February 17, Haroon was attacked by Majid and several other Muslim boys as he was on his way to buy food from a local hotel. “When Haroon was alone on the road, Majid and five others beat Haroon for alleging [Majid] of stealing his notebook and complaining to the teacher,” Irfan explained.

In the course of the attack, the assailants stabbed Haroon in the stomach, damaging his kidney. “The attack was so terrible that Haroon’s kidney was cut into two pieces,” a local Christian activist told ICC.

The assailants fled the scene, leaving Haroon wounded on the ground. When Haroon was discovered, he was rushed to Jinnah Hospital in Karachi where doctors were forced to remove his kidney.

Haroon’s father reported that local police were initially unwilling to register a First Information Report (FIR) regarding the attack on Haroon. According to Irfan, the police pressured him to settle the matter outside of Pakistan’s judicial system.

“We are not going into any process of negotiations or forgiveness,” Khursheed Bibi, Haroon’s grandmother, told ICC. “We want justice.”

“This incident is a continuation of previous incidents of intolerance which we have experienced in schools and colleges,” Ghazala Shafeeq, a local human rights defender, stated on social media. “Christians feel insecure, therefore authorities must come up with practical steps to ensure their safety and security.”

“The authorities must also introduce amendments to the educational system to promote religious tolerance,” Shafeeq continued. “If we don’t purify educational institutions and delete the hate material from the textbooks, we are going to damage the next generation.”

ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, said, “We here at ICC are deeply distressed by the violent attack on Haroon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Religious intolerance and discrimination based on religious identity are widespread in Pakistan. Unfortunately, this is not only present in Pakistan’s educational institutions, it is widely modeled by many teachers and taught by school curriculums. We hope that this attack will lead to justice for Haroon as well as real change to Pakistan’s educational institutions. These institutions should be safe places where students are allowed to receive a proper education regardless of their religious identity.” 

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

Pastor in Myanmar Abducted by Arakan Army

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Christians in Rakhine State Face Increasing Danger

02/20/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 13, Pastor U Thar Tun was taken from his home in Buthidaung township, Rakhine State, by members of the Arakan Army (AA), a Buddhist rebel group. According to his wife, Daw Hla Sein, the insurgent group initially demanded that they leave their home to talk, so the family complied with the orders. However, the insurgents then tied up the pastor and dragged him away. She soon informed the local authorities and the police are now investigating the abduction.

U Thar Tun, the 50-year-old pastor of Mara Evangelical Church, is from the Myo ethnic group, one of the most common minority groups from Rakhine State, Myanmar. The father of five received his theological education from Mizoram State in India.  He has been serving as a pastor in his church for many years and, although his church could not financially support him, he still takes a leadership role in church activities. He is also involved in local community development.

A colleague from the area told ICC, “He is innocent and actively involved in social and ethnic Myo people activities. He acts with truth and love for the oppressed people and he also protects them. Even though there is only [a] slim chance, I would like to request his immediate release from the people who had taken him. He is a valued member of our community.”

His congregation and fellow Myo people are very concerned about his disappearance. Some locals believe that he will not be coming back.

The fighting between the Burmese Army and the AA resumed last December. AA is a Buddhist rebel group known for its intolerance of other religious groups, particularly Muslims and Christians. A month ago, Pastor Tun Nu from Rakhine State’s Sittwe District was also abducted by the AA and his death was confirmed earlier this month.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “While a lot of attention has been paid to the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State, it is alarming to see Christian persecution on the rise in the area. We urge the Burmese government to negotiate the release of Pastor U Thar Tun, given that his life is at risk in the hands of the Arakan Army. This evil act cannot be tolerated or ignored.”

Christians injured when prayer meeting attacked.


14 February 2019

Three Christians suffered serious injuries when a mob of 25 extremists attacked a prayer meeting in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh on 7 February.

The mob broke into the pastor’s home in Chapar village, Sultanpur district, and began insulting worshippers before slapping them and hitting them with sticks. Bibles were also set on fire.

“They did not even spare women,” said Sajan K George, the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), who spoke out condemning the violence. He added, “Intolerance towards Christians in Uttar Pradesh is spiralling upward and religious freedom is pulverised by fanatical elements.”

An Indian Christian praying in a wrecked church building. Densely populated India is home to around 64 million Christians

The Christian leader said, “[the attack] is a shame on secular India” and added that the police, “did not allow Christians to file a complaint against the attackers nor let the injured get medical certificates for their injuries”. Highlighting that the situation is likely to deteriorate in the run-up to the general elections expected in May he added, “Fanatics are whipping up hostility against Christians for political gain.”

Persecution of Christians and other minorities has been on the rise in India since Narendra Modi, whose home constituency is in Uttar Pradesh, became prime minister in 2014. There was a sharp escalation of persecution incidents against Christians in 2017, when around 736 were recorded by the Evangelical Fellowship of India (of which 351 were violent), compared to 348 persecution incidents recorded in 2016.

Uzbek mother killed by husband.


19 February 2019

An Uzbek mother was killed by her husband on 9 February because she had recently become a Christian.

“Umida”, a Muslim-background Christian, was attempting to flee the country to seek refuge in Istanbul with Christian friends, when her husband confronted her at Tashkent Airport and slit her throat.

Previously, the man had locked Umida in their home to prevent her from going to church and banned her from seeing their two-year-old son after discovering she had asked a friend to get her an Uzbek Bible.

Caption

Umida’s parents had taken their daughter to live at their home and allowed her to go to church but she continued to receive threats from her husband.

Friends of Umida have asked for prayers for her parents and her son.

Uzbekistan, a former Soviet Union republic, is officially secular but more than 90% of the population is Muslim. Churches are required by law to register, but stringent requirements make it nearly impossible for most churches to do so. Uzbek Christians (who are converts from Islam and their children) face frequent persecution including violent raids on meetings and homes.

From Barnabas Fund contacts

Nigerian pastor killed and family kidnapped


18 February 2019

A pastor was murdered and his family kidnapped after gunmen opened fire on their car on 7 February in Zamfara state, northern Nigeria.

Pastor Anthony Idris Jatau’s car skidded off the road in the attack, and he and his family were dragged out. The pastor’s body was found two days later, on 9 February, but the whereabouts of his wife, three children and two sisters-in-law are unknown at the time of writing.

According to a local source, the kidnappers are holding the children in separate locations and have demanded a ransom for the family’s release.

Caption
Pastor Jatau, his wife and family were travelling to take up a new ministry when they were attacked

The source said, “Everybody is sad at the moment and afraid for the lives of his family members. Security agencies are aware of the case but there is nothing yet.”

Pastor Jatau, who survived an earlier kidnapping in September 2006, was travelling from his ministry in Sokoto to a new posting in Katsina, about 250 miles away, when the attack happened.

Zamfara is notorious for kidnappings and attacks by Fulani herdsmen militia groups, who have terrorised Christian farming communities. Barnabas Fund patron Baroness Cox, who raised the issue of Fulani attacks in the House of Lords on 17 July 2018, says the militants are now so well armed that some believe they may be fighting a proxy war for Boko Haram, the Islamist militia that wants to drive out Christians from northern Nigeria.

Pray for the Fulani

More news from Iran

 

News

Crackdown on Iranian believers continues

Becoming a Christian in Iran is fraught with danger – as the recent arrest of many believers with a Muslim background makes clear.

Two more were detained in Shiraz and Esfahan in January. These are just the latest in a wave of arrests targeting the Christian community which began late last year. Most of those detained have a Muslim background.

Please pray for our brothers and sisters behind bars in Iran.

On January 25, 64-year-old Ismaeil Maghrebinejad was arrested in Shiraz and security agents confiscated his laptop, phone and Christian books. He was later released on bail.

Two days earlier Sina Moloudian, who is just 26, was detained in Esfahan at the family home. Intelligence agents broke down the door and arrested Sina in front of his parents. Eye witnesses reported seeing Sina with bruising on his face as he was dragged out of the house. He rang his parents later to say he was being held in Dastgerd prison.

  • Pray that prisoners of faith in Iran will be released soon and restored to their families. Pray that God will sustain and strengthen them.
  • Please pray that the wave of arrests will stop.
  • Lift up in prayer the officials involved in arresting Christians: pray that they will be touched by the powerful witness of God’s people in Iran and by their overcoming faith.

The Iranian church will be like the Israelites in Egypt-the more they were oppressed-the more they multiplied and grew strong.

Blasphemy: Christian death sentence appeal successful.

Thank God that Pakistani Christian Pervaiz Masih has been acquitted, more than three years after a business rival accused him of blasphemy. A lower-court judge ruled to acquit Pervaiz but made legal provision for the case to be reopened in the future. Pray that God will restore to Pervaiz and his family all that has been taken from them. Pervaiz’s wife, Zareena, was so badly beaten during a police interrogation that she was unable to walk; as a result she was not fully able to watch the couple’s three-year-old child who wandered away and was later found drowned. The exact cause of the tragic drowning remains a mystery. (Source: VOM Canada)

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Sawan Masih sentenced to death for blasphemy

PAKISTAN:Prayers are needed for Sawan Masih who has been on death row for blasphemy since 2014.Masih was accused by his Muslim friend, Shahid Imran, of making derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad in 2013. A case was registered against him under section 295-C of the Blasphemy Law which has a mandatory death penalty. Masih says the charge is false.

His case became internationally known when a large Muslim mob violently attacked Masih’s residential area, Joseph Colony, in Badami Bagh Lahore. The localmosque broadcasted the accusation via loudspeakers and a mob of more than 3,000 Muslims attacked Sawan’s home, looted and torched 180 Christian homes, 75 shops and at least two churches. Witnesses say the police stood and watched instead of stopping the attackers and protecting local Christians and their property.

Hundreds of families were displaced as the mob threatened to burn Christians…

View original post 361 more words

Militants ransack two Christian villages in Cameroon, damaging churches and razing 190 homes


29 January 2019

Large numbers of suspected Boko Haram militants attacked the predominantly Christian villages of Gochi and Toufou in north Cameroon, on 24 January.

The raids came in the middle of the night, overwhelming the soldiers on guard, forcing them to flee and causing appalling damage.

Barnabas Fund contacts report that 190 houses were destroyed in the villages. Four churches were ransacked, with valuables stolen and livestock killed. A Christian hospital was set on fire, dozens of motorbikes destroyed and essential household items such as mattresses vandalised or looted.

One of 190 houses razed in Tourou district, Cameroon, by suspected Boko Haram militants
One of 190 houses razed in Tourou district, Cameroon, by suspected Boko Haram militants

Witnesses at the scene of the attack said, “Is it really human beings who are doing this?”

Contacts said that although the attackers came in force, they were not intent on killing people this time, as they fired into the air. Their aim seemed to be the looting of clothing and food to panic the local population and economically ruin them – forcing families to flee the area.

The prefect for the area has promised additional security, but no emergency relief for the victims has been offered at this time.

The attack on Gochi and Toufou is the fourth by militants in two weeks. In the previous attacks three people were killed and churches and homes were damaged or destroyed.

According to Barnabas Fund contacts, Christian villages in the far north of Cameroon are subject to attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militias they attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate from north-eastern Nigeria all the way to northern Cameroon, which is where most Cameroonian Muslims live in what is a predominantly Christian country.

From Barnabas Fund contacts

Ahok released in Jakarta

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jakarta’s Former Christian Governor Released from Prison

Ethnic Chinese Politician Basuki Tjahaja Purnama Finished Jail Term for Blasphemy

01/24/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 24, 2019, the former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian politician, was released from prison after serving nearly two years on blasphemy charges. The former governor, commonly known as “Ahok,” walked free from Mako Brimob detention facility and was welcomed by his son Nicholas Sean.

The former governor was found guilty of blasphemy for a comment he made, quoting the Quran while campaigning for re-election. The verdict raised the question of Indonesia’s claimed freedom of religion and remains a controversial issue ahead of this April’s presidential election.

In a letter to supporters that was shared on Twitter last week, he thanked God for allowing him to lose the gubernatorial election and serve his prison term. If he had won, he believes that he would have only become “more arrogant, ruder” and hurt the feelings of many others.

“I also want to apologize to Ahokers [my supporters], all of Jakarta’s civil servants, even my haters, of all the things that I’ve said and done that have hurt you and your family,” he said.

Urging his supporters to call him by his Indonesian initials “BTP” and not his Hakka nickname “Ahok,” he added, “I am sorry and I hope that you will call me BTP now, not Ahok.” 

Jacob F. Lesmana, an ethnic Chinese Christian in Jakarta told ICC, “Ahok really fulfills the criteria of being a leader who can inspire many people both in terms of people of faith and on the secular side. The main reason is that he has a set purpose in life so his vision is clear. He understands his calling and what he lives for. All the principles of his life are guided by the biblical principle of Truth. It takes a lot to build a life like his.”

BTP’s lawyer Teguh Samudera said the former governor plans to venture into the oil business next, while also hosting a talk show. He will also fulfill previously arranged speaking engagements in New Zealand, Japan, and Europe.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “While we rejoice at the early release of BTP given a granted remission last December, he should never have been imprisoned in the first place. He was not the only victim of Indonesia’s blasphemy law. He will likely not be the last one either if the Indonesian government continues to yield to radical Islamists’ requests instead of honoring religious freedom for all citizens.” 

Pakistani Christian aquitted of Blasphemy charges

PTL another acquittal of spurious charges. Pray for his safety and possible need to flee the country.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Attorney Aneeqa Maria, chief of The Voice Society, who pled the case of Pervaiz Masih released facts about his freedom from blasphemy charges in a statement shared with Pakistan Christian Post.

Pakistani Christian Pervaiz Masih, of Garhewala District Kasur, was accused of blasphemy on September 1st 2015. After 20 days of the submitting an appeal of innocence, he was granted bail. This case was different as rarely is bail ever granted to the accused. From start to finish, his trial took three years to be concluded.

Pervaiz Masih and his family suffered much even the loss od their three year old daughter. The statement claimed that Masih’s accusers murdered his little girl by drowning her in a well and later declared to have committed the murder to punish Pervaiz and his family for uttering derogatory remarks about their Prophet.

The report claims Pervaiz’s wife was tortured and received severe…

View original post 283 more words

Christian Family, Church Devastated by Killing of Church Elder in Nigeria

More murder in Nigeria

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Morning Star News) – Ladi Yakubu does not know how her family will eat after Muslim Fulani herdsmen destroyed crops on their farm in Kaduna state, Nigeria on Nov. 26 and shot and killed her husband.

“My husband is no more alive, and so the burden to feed our children is on me,” she said. “How do I feed them without having a job? And I cannot go to the farm because of the murderous activities of these herdsmen.”

The 49-year-old Yakubu, a member of the Dogo Awo village congregation of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in north-central Nigeria, said she knew the gunmen were Fulani herdsmen because they have lived near the village for several years. Herdsmen also destroyed crops on their farm in late 2016 and late 2017, she said.

Her husband, ECWA elder Yakubu Musa, was 50.

Her 20-year-old son, Believe Yakubu, received a bullet wound…

View original post 918 more words

Mob protests against Indonesian church

Residents Rally to Demand Church Closure in Indonesia
Mob Denounces Bethel Indonesia Church’s Gathering as “Illegal”

01/17/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 13, 2019, masses from the Griya Martubung Complex, Medan Labuhan Subdistrict in Indonesia’s North Sumatra held a protest against a house that was allegedly converted into a place of worship for Bethel Indonesia Church. In a video obtained by ICC, local residents surrounded Pastor Jans Fransman Saragih’s residence as Sunday service was about to commence. They pushed and shouted at church members, before demanding them to shut down.

A member of the church shared the video on Instagram and said, “We didn’t do things that were prohibited. Where is justice in this country? Where is our religious tolerance? God is with us.”

The head of the Medan Ministry of Religion Office, Al Ahyu, confirmed the incident and explained that the residents protested because the house did not have permission to operate as a place of worship, as stipulated by government regulations. Local residents had already filed a complaint last August, but Pastor Jans Fransman did not agree to stop worship at his house until November. He was supposed to halt services once the new year came, but he did not, leading to the January 13 protest.

However, at present, it is extremely difficult for non-Muslims to obtain the proper permits to build places of worship in the predominantly Muslim nation of Indonesia. Christian leaders have called for changes to legislation and complained about the obstacles facing churches that are attempting to obtain a permit.

Nitha Fenita, a Christian broadcaster at Cristy Radio, shared her thoughts with ICC,“This would be a big problem in a country known for its tolerance. I would describe it as a household with two religions and the members often have disputes about their beliefs. If there is no tolerance allowed, the relationship between the two parties would be inversely related [where one increases, another one decreases].  Perhaps the authorities can help manage the issues once or twice, but we have to be aware that this rift will be exploited by other [groups with political] interests which ultimately could divide the Indonesian people. Educating this family on tolerance is a very urgent matter and it needs to be taught now.”

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “As the Indonesian presidential election is only three months away, many radicals are seeking the opportunity to incite hatred and religious persecution against Christians during this campaign period. Jakarta must protect the rights of its citizens to freely worship, not only because it is enshrined in its constitution, but also to honor the country’s founding principles of Pancasila, which is to maintain a harmonious Indonesia based on religious tolerance, humanity, unity, democracy, and social justice.

Mob rule in Egypt

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Egyptian Authorities Close Four Churches

President al-Sisi Opens Cathedral in the Desert, but Closes Churches in Populous Upper Egypt

01/15/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that four churches in different Upper Egypt villages have been targeted by hardline Islamic extremists. In each of these villages, the extremists formed a mob and attacked the churches, which were seeking official recognition. In each of these incidents, the police denied the rights of Christians to publicly worship and closed the churches, according to the demands of the mob.

On January 7, which is Orthodox Christmas, extremists gathered to demonstrate against the Mar Girgis Church in the village of Manshiyet Zafarana. According to astatement issued by the Archbishopric of al-Minya and Abu Qirqas, “More than 1,000 militants demonstrated against the church, chanting offensive and inflammatory statements in the presence of security forces. [They] asked them to calm down and promised them that they would do whatever they wanted to remove the people (Christians) from the place and close it.”

A mob also formed against a church in the village of Abo Karkas on January 11. The situation echoed earlier incidents in the village of Kafr el-Mansoura on December 27 and the village of Kom Al-Raheb on December 9.

In total, Egyptian authorities have closed four churches within the last four and a half weeks. No formal procedures against the attackers of these churches have begun. Instead, in the village of Manshiyet, the police arrested the church’s priests and transported them to the station in a car used for carrying animals and garbage.

This wave of incidents, coupled with the police response, has greatly alarmed Egypt’s Christian community. Andro, a Christian lawyer, told ICC, “The police behaved by an offensive way. They behaved with the priests as [they would with]… killers. How dare the police cuff the priests! It is a shame on the Copts there.” 

Father Sami, a local priest, also shared with ICC, “What happened frightened us. I am a priest and it is possible for the police to cuff me if the extremist neighboring Muslims protest or gathered in front of my church. Things are getting worse, but let us pray to make God keep us in peace.” 

“The police behaved as usual,” lamented one local Christian. “The difference is that the situation was shot by a cell phone. The good thing is that the unfairness of the police is recorded now. Maybe we can get our rights.” 

The wave of church closures comes just one week after President Fatah al-Sisi presented a new cathedral as a “gift” to Christians. While the new cathedral was welcomed by many, President al-Sisi was also criticized for building a new church in a location where Christians do not live, while other churches languish and close because of heavy restrictions enforced by his government.

“We could build the biggest cathedral in the desert!” Mina, a Christian photographer, told ICC. “Now let us close the churches which are in poor places, where the poor and weak people can pray. The hate has become more direct and clear towards Christians.” 

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “It is no coincidence that Egypt’s Christians have been so heavily targeted by extremists within the past four weeks. They are often singled out during the celebration of Christian holidays, such as Christmas. These incidents also demonstrate how the police often contribute to the problem by adhering to the mob’s demands, even allowing the mob to rage on with no consequences for their violent actions. President al-Sisi has taken the symbolic step of opening a new cathedral during this time. He must now take action to protect the rights of Christians to worship in other churches.” 

Many more Iranian believers arrested

Please pray for our family in Iran amid a wave of arrests

The church in Iran is on high alert after more than 150 Christians were detained in just a few weeks.

In late-November, about 70 Christians were arrested near Karaj, Alborz province, while a further 30 arrests were made in Damavand and other parts of Tehran province. Most of those detained were released shortly afterwards. Further detentions were reported in December in the north, northeast and southwest of Iran.

Please pray that Iranian Christians will stand firm in their faith.

A couple in Mashhad in northeast Iran – Amir Taleipour and his wife, Mahnaz Harati – were arrested in front of their seven-year-old daughter on December 6.

Four days earlier, two sisters, Shima and Shokoofeh Zanganeh, were arrested in their homes in Ahvaz. They were reportedly beaten by security officials who interrogated them then transferred them to Sepidar Prison. Each time their family have tried to pay the sisters’ bail, they have been turned away.

Radio Farda quotes the Iranian state-run news agency Tasnim as saying that nine more Christians have been arrested in Alborz province, north of Tehran, since Christmas.

  • Pray for peace for those Christians who were arrested, and for the swift release of those who are still in detention. Ask God to fill them and their families with His peace, and remind them of His promise to protect them (2 Thessalonians 3:3).
  • Thank God that the church in Iran is reportedly growing. Some analysts interpret the recent crackdown as an attempt to intimidate people interested in Christianity.
  • Pray that many more in Iran will start to explore the Christian faith and come to know Jesus.

Benham Ersali and Davood Rasooli were taken into custody in N Iran and their family have not heard from them since. The best guess is that they are in solitary in Rajai Shahr prison. Let’s remember them. It appears to be an awful place…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gohardasht_Prison

Pray for their protection and release, their witness and for strength and courage for all Christians imprisoned in Iran.

More

Kurds converting.

Kurdish people turning to Christ.


Previous post where Kurdish militia were discriminating against Christians.

15 February 2018

In scenes chillingly reminiscent of the 2014 targeting of Christians in Iraq by Islamic State, Kurdish militia in north-east Syria are spraying graffiti on to Christian properties to mark them for confiscation.

A recently released video shows Arabic writing spray-painted on the wall of the house of an Armenian Christian family in Qamishli. The inscription reads: “Seized by the Executive Committee of Qamishli” – the Committee is the self-proclaimed administration of the Kurdish YPG militia, who control the region.

The house of an Armenian Christian family in Qamishli. The inscription reads: “Seized by the Executive Committee of Qamishli”
Credit WCA NGO Courtesy of Eddie Gaboro Hanna

Christian men from Qamishli have already been abducted for use as conscripts in the Kurds fight against Turkish forces, part of what Christian community representatives have stated is a programme of intimidation.

The homes and businesses of believers in Mosul in northern Iraq were similarly graffitied with slogans and signs, before the Islamic State militants ordered the Christian population to leave or face execution when they seized the city in 2014.

The Australian who filmed and publicised the video, which has been corroborated by the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), stated, “What the YPG does is reminiscent of what ISIS did to the Christians in northern Iraq.

“It has confiscated many more buildings like this … They are confiscating rather than protecting our homes in the Qamishli and Hassake areas and they are even occupying entire villages … They are treating us like second-class citizens … employing various tactics to frighten and subject our people with the aim of taking possession of our final remaining properties and lands, thereby transforming our ancestral homeland into an autonomous Kurdish region.”

Global Christian News https://www.globalchristiannews.org/article/kurdish-militia-mark-christian-properties-in-syria-for-confiscation/

Egyptian Blasphemy Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Egypt Delivers Blow to Religious Freedom with Blasphemy Conviction

Three-Year Prison Sentence Upheld Against Coptic Christian

12/26/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on December 22, 2018, an appeals court in Upper Egypt upheld a three-year prison sentence against Coptic Christian Abd Adel Bebawy. This disappointing verdict comes six months after Bebawy was arrested in his home village of Minbal. Bebawy was arrested on July 6 after posting an image of God, the angel Gabriel, and a verse from the Quran on Facebook. 
One day after his arrest, a mob of Islamic hardliners gathered in Minbal and attacked the homes of several Christians. It is common for Islamic extremists to collectively punish Christians for the perceived wrongs of an individual. Youssef, a witness to the incident, told ICC at the time, “The Muslims came from all of the surrounding villages around Minbal… They all came with anger and stoned the Christian houses.” 
Although six months have passed since the incident, the village has made it clear that Bebawy and his family are no longer welcome. When the court originally passed a prison sentence on Bebawy on November 27, his legal defense team believed that they would succeed in the appeal. His defense lawyers argued that no material evidence was presented against Abd. They further argued that Abd had reported his Facebook account as hacked in July and the Facebook post in question was immediately deleted.
One lawyer who advised on the case said, “This is not a sentence based on the law, but it is meant to please the public!”
“We were thinking that the appeal will end up setting Abd free, and we were thinking who will compensate Abd for the months detained in prison until we reached the appeal time. Who will compensate his family, who have left the village and his kids moved to another school?” Mona, a family friend, told ICC. “Now after the [three-year] prison sentence, there is no justice expected.” 
“What [else] is expected by a blasphemy law?” asked Moheb, another family friend. “It is a law meant to be tailored for Christians so anyone can accuse a Christian and no matter what the proof of innocence is, he will be imprisoned.” 
According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report, the number of blasphemy cases in Egypt has increased since 2016. Many of these cases involve expressions made on social media. Blasphemy cases are prosecuted under Article 98(f) and carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “The verdict of the appeal court is extremely disappointing and worrying, as it further ingrains violations of religious freedom into the strata of Egypt’s legal system. This unjust sentence affects not only Bebawy, but also his family who is now left without a breadwinner. The Christians in his village now live with the knowledge that any of their Muslim neighbors can accuse them of blasphemy, which can lead to their imprisonment with no evidence presented. If Egypt is truly serious about religious freedom, then the authorities must take active steps to protect the rights of Christians.” 

Egypt now follows Pakistan in these gross mob-rule led injustices-JK

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

About ICC
International Christian Concern is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on human rights, religious freedom and assisting the persecuted Christian Church around the world.

Media Contact
Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator
E-mail: press@persecution.org
Phone: (301)-859-3842

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #941, Washington, D.C. 20006
http://www.persecution.org | E-mail: icc@persecution.org

# # #

You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org.

www.persecution.org

Christian Mother, Pastor Face Death Threats in Uganda

Muslim intolerance and violence yet again-they are such losers!

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

“Please, we need prayer from God to give us direction on how to handle this delicate situation and the support for the young family of Kawanguzi, especially the young innocent children.”

Kenya (Morning Star News) – Shakira Wanyenze, a 31-year-old Muslim woman, had no idea that missing a ride back to her town in eastern Uganda from Kampala would change her life.

That day, June 17, Wanyenze decided to stay the night at the home of a relative in Kampala. She thought the relative, whose name is undisclosed for security reasons, was a Muslim. The relative told her she had put her trust in Christ for her salvation, and after a discussion that lasted late into the night, Wanyenze decided to do the same.

“After many hours of resisting the Christian faith, something convicted me that my life was heading for destruction, and therefore I need to put…

View original post 445 more words

Nigeria’s herder-farmer conflict escalates due to government inaction – Amnesty International

This what we have known all along.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(World Watch Monitor) Almost 4,000 people have been killed and thousands displaced in fighting between herders and farmers in Nigeria’s middle belt in the past three years, Amnesty International says in a new report.

Amnesty, who started documenting clashes in January 2016, said yesterday (17 December) violence was increasing with more than half (57%) of the 3,641 recorded deaths in the past three years occurring in 2018, and that the government’s failure to curb the violence and prosecute the perpetrators, was exacerbating the situation.

“The Nigerian government has displayed what can only be described as gross incompetence and has failed in its duty to protect the lives of its population and end the intensifying conflict between herders and farmers. The authorities’ lethargy has allowed impunity to flourish and the killings to spread to many parts of the country, inflicting greater suffering on communities who already live in constant…

View original post 266 more words

The Tide of Government Persecution in Iran.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Over 100 Iranian Christians Arrested by Intelligence Officials

Iranian Authorities Attempt to Intimidate Christians into Silence Ahead of Christmas Celebrations

They forget that Christ said he will build his church…
12/06/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that during the month of November, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry launched an arrest wave of Christians which cumulated on December 1, 2018. It is estimated that 114 Christians were arrested last week and approximately 28 others were arrested in the three preceding weeks.

The wave of arrests was announced on December 1 by Iranian Mehr News Agency, which operates as the semi-official mouthpiece of the government. It is common for the Iranian regime to increase the number of arrests ahead of Christmas. However, the latest wave is truly “staggering” according to Article 18“They had arrested so many of them and didn’t know what to do with them all.”

Early information indicates that because of a lack of space, most Christians spent only a few hours imprisoned and only the leaders were detained for a longer period of time. Sources, who remain anonymous for security reasons, say that several of those arrested were told that they would be charged with propaganda against the Islamic regime. These types of charges often fall under the purview of Iran’s Revolutionary Courts, which maintain close ties with Iran’s clergy and the Intelligence Ministry.

Dr. Mike Ansari from Heart4Iran, an Iranian Christian partnership platform, told ICC, “Most of the arrested individuals are coerced to divulge information about their house church activities and those of their friends, under threat of criminal prosecution or arrest of family members… Therefore, the case of every arrested Iranian believer is of utmost importance.”

“As Christianity grows rapidly in Iran, the Islamic government and the clergy in power are alarmed. Their only strategy to slow down this growth is through a campaign of fear, violence, and intimidation… We expect the persecution in Iran will increase as the Islamic government feels threatened by the spread of Christianity among Muslims in Iran,” explained Dr. Hormoz Shariat, president and founder of Iran Alive Ministries.

During this past year, ICC has tracked a total of 248 ongoing cases where the Iranian authorities violated the religious freedom of Christians. These individuals face continued harassment, interrogation, detainment, imprisonment, or some other type of legal action intended to repress the Church.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Iranian authorities initiated this arrest wave to strike fear in the hearts of Christians just weeks ahead of Christmas celebrations. It is part of the regime’s strategy to further isolate the Church and keep it underground. The persecution that Iran’s Christians experience is incredibly intense, and historically it usually worsens ahead of Christmas. We must keep the Iranian Church in our prayers.”

Chinese religious oppression.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bibles and Furniture Confiscated from Chinese House Church

House Church in Jiangxi Province Raided by Local Authorities

12/06/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that local authorities raided a house church in Jiangxi province on December 2. The officials confiscated Bibles and stools from the house of Liao Hongcon, where the Sunday service was held.

According to a tweet by Father Francis Liu, officials forcibly removed the Bibles and stools from the house church in rural Pingxiang city during the service. The government has also targeted other house churches in the surrounding area in an effort to prevent them from congregating.

In a video shared by the Chinese Christian Fellowship of Righteousness, Liao Hongcon, a People’s Liberation Army veteran who leads the church, held up multiple signs to show his silent accusation of the government, reading, “I am a Chinese old warrior,” and, “I served my homeland by dedicating my youth to it, yet I can’t even safeguard my own freedom of religion?” 

He also reveals his ID card and veteran ID in the video to prove his identity.

“There were only a little more than a dozen senior citizens gathering at my home. They came and confiscated our Bibles and took our stools. [But] what crime did we commit? We only sang hymns and read Bibles!” Liao called the police to report the incident immediately, yet the police refused to send anyone to investigate.

“We need religious freedom!” Liao calls out in addition to demanding that the government return the Bibles and stools. The video ended with a short clip documenting the authorities’ raid on the church.

A house church leader in Pingxiang city, Liu Zongjie, told Radio Free Asia in January that he foresaw that the increased religious regulations that came into force in February would lead to a greater crackdown on house churches. His prediction rang true.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The disturbance of church services has become more widespread across China. From Henan, Sichuan, Guangdong, Jiangsu, to Jiangxi province, the repression of Christians, especially those who refuse to join state-sanctioned churches, has intensified. With Christmas coming, it is expected that more churches will be impacted by the ongoing crackdown. The international community must continue to raise concerns with China on its disregard for religious liberty and violations of human rights.”

Xi Jinping Authoritarian Chinese Leader for years to come (DV)

Christian Magistrate fights for his job back

Christian Concern

Historic case of ex-magistrate challenging top judges moves forward

Richard Page was removed as a magistrate for expressing the view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father

In a hearing last week, ex-magistrate Richard Page was granted permission to take his case against the most senior judges in England and Wales to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Richard, 72, was removed as a magistrate by the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice in 2016 for expressing his view that it was in a child’s best interests to be raised by a mother and a father.

The Christian Legal Centre is supporting Mr Page, who was represented in court by the highly-experienced religious freedoms barrister, Paul Diamond. In court, he argued that the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice victimised him for his deeply-held Christian and philosophical view that children do best when raised by a mum and dad in a committed, stable relationship.

Exemplary record

Richard Page served as a magistrate for 20 years with an exemplary record until, in July 2014, he dissented in a judgment relating to an adoption by a same-sex couple. He expressed the view that it was in a child’s best interests to have both a mother and a father. He was subsequently reported for his actions, reprimanded, and forced to attend ‘re-education training’, which he duly did.

Then in March 2015, Mr Page spoke on a BBC television programme where he further explained his opinion, saying “My responsibility as a magistrate as I saw it was to do what I considered best for the child, and my feeling was therefore that it would be better if it was a man and a woman who were adoptive parents.”

This common-sense statement led to an investigation by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office’s disciplinary panel. They recommended to the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor that Richard should be removed from office for serious misconduct, saying that “any reasonable person” would “conclude that [Richard] would be biased and prejudiced against single sex adopters”. Richard was removed from the Magistracy on 29 February 2016 for bringing the judiciary into disrepute.

On the 16 February 2018, the Employment Tribunal upheld this decision.

Within the bounds of judicial functions

Representing Richard in court last week, barrister Paul Diamond argued that although judges are expected to show restraint while commenting in public, Richard’s remarks were well within the bounds of his judicial functions – and that he had therefore been victimised.

In legal argument before the judge, Mr Diamond compared Richard Page’s comments to those of Judge Pickles, who described the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, as a “dinosaur living in the wrong age” and the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, as a “brooding Quixotic dictator” born with a golden spoon in his mouth and as “an arrogant, pompous, toffee-nosed Old Etonian”.

He also noted other members of the judiciary who publicly stated their political views, such as Lord Phillips who, in 2009, provoked concern when he voiced ‘sympathy’ for assisted suicide, shortly after having decided the Purdy v DPP case on the very same point.

Similarly, in a speech in May 2018, Lord Justice Munby, the President of the Family Division, said that he welcomed and applauded single parent, unmarried, three parent, and polygamous households; and the demise of the typical nuclear family was, by implication, not a matter of concern.

Judges are permitted to hold even ‘intolerant’ views

Her Honour Judge Katherine Tucker allowed Richard’s appeal to proceed, saying that judges have a fundamental role in democratic society. She said that judges are permitted to hold even ‘intolerant’ views that should be respected – but that there may be limits as to how they can be expressed so as not to impugn the impartiality of the courts.

Responding to the decision, Richard commented:

“I am amazed that it has taken so long to get this far. It is vital that we maintain the true independence and impartiality of the judiciary and that ordinary people like me are not excluded from it.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr Page, said:

“This is an important moment, shining a light on how justice is done in our country. Even the top judges in the land should not be beyond proper scrutiny and we are glad to see Richard’s claim go forward.

“It was always disproportionate to remove a kind-hearted and long-serving public servant like Richard from his position simply because of the way that he expressed his beliefs.

“At the Christian Legal Centre, we see many people removed from public life for expressing views. We will continue standing by Richard, and others like him, as long as it takes for the legal system, and society in general, to recognise the positive impact of Christians in our nation’s life.”

Please pray for Richard and his case

The next stage of Richard’s case should be heard in 2019.

The Christian Legal Centre is also helping him with a separate claim against an NHS trust that blocked his return as a non-executive director because of the same pro-family statements. This case is expected to be heard in January 2019.

Please pray: •That in both cases, the judge will give a fair hearing to Richard and his legal arguments
•That the judgments would protect the freedom of Christians to hold and express common-sense Christian views
•For Paul Diamond and the Christian Legal Centre as they support Richard’s cases.

Pastors in Nigeria Say Military Complicit in Attacks on Christians

An impartial police force and army that protected all its citizens would go a long way to stopping these atrocities.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Christian leaders meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria this month delivered a sharp rebuke, saying the military is complicit in attacks on Christians.

With the governor of Plateau state in attendance, the Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), delivered a report to Buhari at the presidential villa on Nov. 6 stating that 646 Christians in Plateau state alone were killed from March through October.

“The narrative has been that these people are killed by unknown gunmen, or suspected herdsmen, or that there have been farmer-herders clashes,” Datiri said in the report, obtained by Morning Star News. “All these are deceptive narratives deliberately framed to conceal the truth and continue to perpetrate the evil.”

The truth, he said, is that Muslim Fulani militias heavily armed with sophisticated guns, including AK47s, machine guns, and rocket-propelled grenades have…

View original post 1,226 more words

Blasphemy death sentences

And so it goes on! Several men are on death row in Pakistan including Imran Ghafur (2009), Zafar Bhatti and Farhan Aziz (appeal postponed). May God bring justice and guard and keep these folk enabling them to leave the country if necessary.

Farhan

 Imran

Zafar

Please pray that our brother in Pakistan, Zafar Bhatti, will be cleared at the hearing on Thursday April 25th 2019 when he appeals against a life sentence for ‘blasphemy’. (Source: Release partner)

Pray for Imran Khan, prime Minister of Pakistan, ignorant concerning Christ but apparently committed to equality of religion in his country as was Jinnah the founder in 1948.

Imran Khan

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

(Voice of the Persecuted) The November 27, 2018 appeal hearing of Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian accused and sentenced to death for blasphemy, was postponed. Nasir Saeed, a spokesperson from CLAAS, Sawans’s defense counsel, told Voice of the Persecuted that they have yet to receive a rescheduled hearing date. It’s possible that the court avoided conducting the hearing deliberately because of the present situation in the country after Asia Bibi’s acquittal, he added. 

Sawan is at the center of a case that caused a mob of 3000 Muslim men to attack the Joseph Colony of Lahore, Pakistan in March of 2013. (View report and photos) After a local mosque announced the blasphemy charge over loudspeakers, the vigilantes stormed the Christian community where Masih lived. They burned or ransacked 180 Christian homes, 75 shops and at least two churches during the attack. Mob members threatened to burn…

View original post 118 more words

Islamic Cleric who led protest against Asia Bibi acquittal arrested

Latest on Aasia Bibi-good that authorities are at last cracking down on Islamist extremists.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Police detained radical Islamic cleric and (TLP) chief, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who led protests that brought daily life to a halt following the Supreme Court acquittal of Asia Bibi. On Friday, authorities began a nationwide crackdown and arrested over 1000 leaders and supporters of the Islamist party. The cleric’s arrest ignited violent clashes with police and several people were injured. A majority of the arrests took place in the province of Punjab, headquarters of the extremist Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party. They alleged the crackdown against the party and its leadership was to prevent them from protesting the acquittal.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry dismissed those claims. He explained that Rizvi had been placed under “protective custody” because he refused to withdraw a fresh call for street protests on Sunday and turned down offers to organize the rally at a place proposed by the government. “It’s to safeguard public life, property and order and has…

View original post 136 more words

Andaman Islands murder

This made international news:

American Missionary Reportedly

Murdered by Hostile Tribe in India

Murder Case Registered Against Unidentified Members of Tribe’s Community

11/20/2018 International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that an American missionary named John Allen Chau, age 27, was reportedly killed by unidentified individuals from the Sentinelese community on North Sentinel Island, located in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This murder comes at a time when Indian Christians report ever escalating levels of persecution across the country.

According to local sources, Chau had traveled to North Sentinel Island with the help of local fishermen in an attempt to interact with members of the Sentinelese tribe. Chau reportedly hired a fishing dinghy from the Chidiyatapu area and traveled to North Sentinel Island on November 16. Chau had reportedly visited the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on five previous occasions and had expressed a strong desire to meet with the Sentinelese tribes to preach Christianity.

Sources claim that Chau was killed by hostile members of the Sentinelese tribe after arriving on North Sentinel Island. The Andaman Sheekha reported that his body was spotted by local fishermen.

Police officials have confirmed today that a case of murder has been registered against unknown members of the Sentinelese tribe. “After getting relevant information a murder case has been registered,” a senior officer told Andaman Sheekha.

India has a history of attacks on foreign Christian missionaries. In January 1999, Graham Staines, an Australian missionary, was burned alive along with his two sons Philip, age 10, and Timothy, age 6. A mob of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists attacked the missionary and his children while they sleeping in their station wagon in Manoharpur village, located in the Kendujhar District of India’s Odisha State.

Across India, reports of persecution continue to escalate in both number and severity. Much of this escalation in persecution followed the rise of the current BJP-led government in May 2014. Using religiously divisive rhetoric for political gain, BJP officials incite Hindu radicals to take action against religious minorities. In 2014, the year the BJP-led government took power, the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) documented 147 incidents of Christian persecution. In 2017, after three years of the current government, EFI documented 351 incidents of Christian persecution.

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are extremely concerned by the reports of an American missionary being murdered in India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both John’s family and friends. A full investigation must be launched in this this murder and those responsible must be brought to justice. Every day, new reports of persecution are being documented in India. Many Christians fear this may be the new normal for their community as Hindu radicals and others have been allowed to attack Christians and other minority communities with impunity. India must take steps to counter the growing wave of intolerance and violence.

Two Iranian Christian converts arrested in Mashhad and Karaj

Jesus said we would be persecuted and brought before religious and civil authorities to give witness.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Informed sources reported to Mohabat News that “Behnam Ersali, a Christian convert living in Karaj, traveled to Mashhad and was arrested by security guards at a friend’s home on Friday, November 16, 2018 and taken unknown location.

Six plain-clothed security officers entered the house without a legal decree and arrested him along with the another person. The second was released a few hours later.

Behnam Ersali, was a former member of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran. Mohabat New also reported that several years ago Ersali had been fired from his job because of his Christian faith.

Davood Rasooli, known among the believers as “David”, was also arrested on Friday by two plain-clothes officers on in front of his home in Karaj. He too was transferred to an unknown location. Informed sources, quoted by the Christian convert’s family, say that the officers returned to the house two hours later with…

View original post 357 more words

More Laotian persecution

Laos district governor orders Christian

families to leave village or face jail


20 November 2018

A regional governor gave 20 Christian families one month to leave their village in northern Laos or face jail, after claiming Christianity is a “foreign religion”.

Despite local church leaders pointing out that Christianity is not illegal in Laos, the local governor insisted he would “not allow” believers in the area. The deadline for them to leave will expire in mid-December. In the face of the threat of imprisonment, five families have given up their faith, but Barnabas contacts reported that the rest are “holding strong”, adding, “The main thing we need now is prayer.”

A Christian home in Laos. Christians in rural areas are particularly subject to persecution by local authorities

Laos’ Communist government imposes tight restrictions on religious organisations, although Buddhists, who make up the majority of the population, enjoy comparative religious freedom in parts of the country. Local officials are typically highly suspicious of Christians, partly because of a perceived connection with the West.

From Barnabas Fund Contacts

Twen, Eritrea.

Prisoners of Faith Alert
Prisoner’s one request: pray for Eritrea!

Our dear sister Twen (pictured) has spent 13 years behind bars in Eritrea. Despite having suffered brutal treatment this young woman, who is described as a ‘precious, lovely Christian’ by those who know her, is more concerned about others than for her own wellbeing.

We recently managed through contacts to find out how she is doing in prison and how we could pray for her. Her reply was simple yet deeply humbling: she said she had only one prayer request – that God would be glorified in Eritrea!

Praise God for this remarkable woman, whose love and witness are in fact glorifying God in a harsh Eritrean prison and inspiring fellow believers.

Twen, who is in her thirties, and the other Eritrean prisoners of faith need our prayers. Pray for their release but also that they would remain united. Sometimes there is conflict among the prisoners simply because they are locked up together for 24 hours, day after day.

You can find out more about Twen by clicking here or on the image. Twen features in former prisoner Helen Berhane’s book Song of the Nightingale under the name of ‘Esther’.  As well as being tortured herself, Twen on occasions took the punishment for Helen, and looked after her when she was unwell.

Insights on church in Iran

Persecution and Grace Fill Iran’s Streets

By Claire Evans

11/14/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The massive waves of unrest which have plagued Iran this past year point toward the people’s frustration with the moral and economic bankruptcy of a governing Islamic elite. “This is a very enlightened generation of younger people in Iran,” said Dr. Mike Ansari from Heart4Iran, an Iranian Christian partnership platform. “People are smarter and wiser and they can see through the fog of confusion created by the Iranian government.”

The Islamic Republic of Iran was created in 1979 with the intention of safeguarding Islamic principles by enshrining them into piety politics that define every aspect of life. One generation later, and Iranians have had enough with the harshness imposed by the Islamic regime. “They are taking a sense of pride in their past and heritage. They want to know what their ancestors were before they were forced to be Muslims,” continued Dr. Ansari.

Iran has a rich Christian history, and Iranians are not ignorant of the persecution which the Church has faced under the modern regime. In their quest for discovering the meaning of life, many Iranians have encountered the Gospel message. “When the Church is ready for persecution, we also see grace,” added Dr. Ansari.

“As Christianity is growing fast in Iran, the top religious leaders are alarmed. They then put pressure on the Revolutionary Guard’s security police as, ‘What are you doing to stop Christians?’ …The strategy of the government is not a widespread arrest and execution. Their strategy is to arrest a few, but publicize their arrest to put fear in the hearts of 1-3 million Christians and make them isolated, fearful, and prisoners in their homes,” explained Dr. Hormoz Shariat of Iran Alive Ministries.

This past year, International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented at least 100 cases where Christians have faced continued harassment, interrogation, detainment, imprisonment, or another type of judicial action intended to repress the Church. Many other cases continue to be investigated. Often, these believers have experienced persecution for decades, but the pressure on them has increased within the past year.

One such example is the family of Pastor Victor Bet-Tamerez. He was arrested four years ago, the day after Christmas, on charges of acting against national security and espionage. If his appeal against these charges fails, then he will be sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“God is very much alive in Iran. He is moving and he is building his Church in Iran and it is growing and there is a lot of good news that is happening inside the country.”

This year, the judiciary under the guidance of Judge Ahmadzadeh turned their attention toward the rest of the pastor’s family. In January, Pastor Bet-Tamerez’s wife was sentenced to five years in prison on the same charges as her husband. In July, their son Ramil was sentenced to four months in prison on the charge of holding house churches. Sadly, this family is not the only one to have experienced such persecution by the government because of their faith.

The perpetrators of Christian persecution are well-known to many: Judge Ahmadzadeh, Judge Ahmad Zargar, and Judge Mohammad Moghiseh, among others. They often send Christians to jails, such as Evin Prison, notorious for their human rights abuses. Meanwhile, the judiciary’s close relationship with the Revolutionary Guard ensures that even those believers who freely walk the streets do so under surveillance and harassment.

Miraculously, God works even among the perpetrators of these human rights abuses. Ali was a Revolutionary Guard member who would convert to Christianity and eventually have to flee the country after spending time in prison. He currently works with the underground church inside Iran to help prepare them for the inevitable persecution.

“In my opinion, Christians need to know their position,” Ali said. “We need to recognize this situation. When you decide to be Jesus’ disciple, don’t run away from these matters and don’t be surprised by them. You need to be prepared.”

This preparation is all the more important as Iran ramps up the persecution facing the Church. According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide“Local observers note that as the Iranian regime has grown more unpopular and citizens have become more vocal in their criticism of corruption in official circles, the government has become increasingly reliant on the support of hard-line ayatollahs, who favour increased pressure on religious minorities.”

Despite the challenges facing the Church, many Christians are hopeful. Ali shared, “The hunger of the persecuted is the biggest potential. That person says, ‘I want to use everything for the glory of the name of the Lord. I want to become everything for everyone for glory of the name of the Lord’ … The persecuted Church is thirsty to use all the potentials for the glory of the name of the Lord.”

Dr. Ansari added, “What we are dealing with, unfortunately nowadays, is that there is no choice but to hear the negative news about Iran. However, God is very much alive in Iran. He is moving and he is building his Church in Iran and it is growing and there is a lot of good news that is happening inside the country.”

For the past year, Iranians have protested against a regime that seeks to control their souls. The days have been filled with ever increasing persecution against the Church. But they have also been filled with ever abundant grace as the Church continues to grow.

For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

At last Christian residents defend themselves and kill a terrorist!

Fulani Militants Attack Another Christian Village in Nigeria

Four Killed, Six Injured

04/24/2019 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, Fulani militants launched an attack on Bolon village, a predominantly Christian village in Demsa Local Council Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. The attackers struck at approximately 10:30 p.m., firing gunshots sporadically. When the dust settled, four people were killed and another six were injured by gunfire.

A local resident recalled, “An older man went to his backyard… and saw the attackers coming. The old man quickly went back and alerted the villagers of imminent danger while the attackers advanced very fast. Some of the villagers were able to flee, while some of the brave men tried to resist and repel the attackers.” More than 100 houses were burned down, as well as many food storage barns. An 89-year-old man and his wife were killed in their home when it burned down around them. Among the four victims were Nathan Maduwuri (89), Mirdiya Nathan (70), Demto Lord (13), and Emiko David (10).

Kalla Lord Dennis, a 48-year-old father, was shot in the hand and leg. The bullet that was lodged in his leg was finally removed several days after the attack. Kalla’s 13-year-old daughter Demto was killed, while his 10-year-old was shot in the leg. A total of six injured people are currently receiving treatment at Numan General Hospital. Other injured persons include Pwayakadi Zaro (35), Veronica Pwabideino (26), Hussieni Ishaku (22), and Kwahana Lord (10).

Confirming the identity of the attackers, one of the young men in the village, who wished to remain anonymous, was among the brave individuals who tried to repel the armed attackers. He said, “They were definitely Fulani militia, because we chased them away and were able to kill one of them, from whose identity we can tell.” The vigilante added that the government security forces were called to come and see the destruction unleashed in Bolon village.

Pastor Barkati, a native of the village, showed ICC the graves of the victims who were killed. They were all buried on Wednesday morning.

Prior to the federal and state elections in Nigeria, the security situation in southern Adamawa was relatively calm. This attack seems to have signaled the resumption of hostility by the Fulani militants, adding to the tension in the region.

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Massacre Christians after Baby Dedication in Nigeria 

More despicable murders seemingly with impunity.

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Coffins-at-the-funeral-of-Christians-slain-in-Konshu-Numa-village-Nasarawa-state-Nigeria-on-Sunday-April-14-2019.-Morning-Star-News Coffins at the funeral of Christians slain in Konshu-Numa village, Nasarawa state, Nigeria on Sunday, April 14,

Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 17 Christians who had gathered after a baby dedication at a church in central Nigeria, including the mother of the child, sources said.

Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, the mother of the baby, was slain in the attack on Sunday (April 14) in Konshu-Numa village, in Nasarawa state’s Akwanga County, which also took the lives of people ranging in age from 10 to 80. The baby’s father, John Kabiru Ali, was shot and is in critical condition, sources said. He is receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, in Nasarawa state.

The attack took place at about 7 p.m. as Christians in the predominantly Christian community gathered to eat after the child was dedicated that morning at the Ruhaniya Baptist…

View original post 427 more words