More Hindu thuggery with apparent impunity
More Hindu thuggery with apparent impunity
The Nigerian military are at best incompetent and at worse absolute cowards!
Christians pray in India
(Agenzia Fides) – The victims of anti-Christian violence perpetrated in the Indian state of Orissa in 2007 and 2008 “are testimonies of authentic faith, that overcame difficulties and persecution, and today inspire many people in India and abroad”: says Archbishop John Barwa, at the head of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, in the Indian state of Orissa (or Odisha), to Agenzia Fides. The district of Kandhamal, theater of that violence, has become a “place of pilgrimage where one listens to the testimony of survivors and therefore share solidarity with the victims, where economically poor people, but strong and rich spiritually”, explains the Bishop.
Fides learned, a delegation of 45 women, representatives of 14 Indian regions, convened by the Bishops’ Conference of India for the National Meeting on “The Role of Women in creating the Family” gathered in Kandhamal. The delegation was led by Mgr. Jacob Mar Barnabas…
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ALGERIA: Christian sentenced to five years in prison for blasphemy
UPDATE Please pray for our Algerian brother, Slimane Bouhafs, whose family has appealed on his behalf for a presidential pardon – which they see as their last resort to have him set free. Slimane is serving a three-year sentence for ‘insulting Islam’ in posts he made on social media. His appeal to the High Court in September was unsuccessful. Ask God to sustain Slimane, whose family say he is suffering ill health linked to inflammatory rheumatism. (Source: World Watch Monitor)
An Algerian Christian has been sentenced to five years in prison – the maximum term – and heavily fined for blasphemy against Islam and its prophet.
Slimane Bouhafs (49) was arrested on 31 July 2016 for posting a Facebook message about the light of Jesus overcoming the “lie” of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. He also published photos showing the execution of a civilian by an Islamist terrorist. Slimane was arrested near his house in Bousselam, Sétif province, in the Kabylie region of northeast Algeria. He was brought before the prosecution without access to a lawyer and was jailed in Sétif prison, where he began a hunger strike in protest at his arbitrary detention.
On 7 August, Slimane appeared before a judge in Sétif town (300km from Algiers, the capital) and was convicted of insulting Islam (the state religion, according to the constitution) and the Prophet Mohammad, a charge punishable by three to five years in prison and a fine of 50 000 – 100 000 Algerian Dinar (the equivalent of approximately €410 – €820). He was given the maximum sentence and the maximum fine.
The Vice-President of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, Said Salhi, denounced what he called “this attack” on the guarantees of freedom of conscience and worship enshrined in the constitution.
Slimane became a Christian in 1997 and was baptised in 2006. His daughter Afaf said he has always defended the interests of his country and is known for his commitment to democracy and religious freedom in all his writings published on his Facebook page. He belongs to a separatist group called the Movement for Self-Determination of Kabylie (MAK), and is chairman of the St Augustine Coordination of Christians in Algeria, which defends minority rights and freedom of religion. The heavy sentence is thought to be a way of silencing him because of his political activism.
The organisation Front Line Defenders has stated that it “strongly condemns the heavy sentencing of Slimane Bouhafs as it is believed to be solely related to his peaceful and legitimate work for the promotion and protection of freedom of conscience in Algeria“.
Slimane’s family members have denounced what they called a “sham” trial and say they are deeply concerned as he suffers from a chronic illness and his health has already deteriorated in prison. His daughter says he suffers from inflammatory rheumatism, which worsens under stress. “He needs to follow a special diet,” she said.
A source who wished to remain anonymous told World Watch Monitor that the maximum sentence was “severe in view of a rather minor offence“, adding that such comments on social media are common in Algeria and do not usually trigger the wrath of the authorities.
The President of the Protestant Church of Algeria says its lawyer will appeal the verdict.
The vast Kabylie region, which is about the size of Denmark, has a strong sense of regional identity and resists the control of the central government in Algiers. It is mainly Berber, while the rest of Algeria is mainly Arab, and is home to most of Algeria’s tiny but fast-growing Christian minority. The authorities regularly harass and even arrest MAK activists.
Kabylie has a history of harbouring armed groups, and the Algerian army regularly carries out searches in an effort to eradicate terrorism. The region’s forests and cave-riddled mountains provide cover for guerrillas: it was a refuge for fighters during the Algerian War of Independence against the French colonialists, and in the 1990s, during the Algerian Civil War, became a hideout for the Armed Islamic Group, which later became Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Read more about Algeria in Church in Chains’ Algeria Country Profile
(Front Line Defenders, World Watch Monitor)
Pray for our brother who was convicted of ‘blasphemy’ for a post on Facebook in which he described the ‘light of Jesus overcoming the lie of Islam’. He also shared a photo of someone being executed by an Islamist terrorist.
The 49-year-old was arrested on July 31 in the Kabylie area of Steif province and interrogated in the absence of a lawyer. He appeared before a judge on August 7 and was given the maximum jail sentence for blasphemy under Algeria’s penal code – and a large fine.
His family and an Algerian human rights group appointed lawyers for him: the court claimed that he had decided to defend himself. The Protestant Church of Algeria says it intends to appeal against the verdict.
(Sources: Middle East Concern; Premier Radio)
The purpose of this article is twofold; first to encourage knowledge of the diversity of peoples inhabiting the earth, the size of any church among them, and the need to pray for and support church planting among the least reached. Second to postulate that the great commission of Christ to witness to all peoples and disciple them has some way to go to be fulfilled.
Who are the throng around the throne in Revelation 7:9?
“After these things I saw and behold a great crowd which no one was able to number out of every NATION, even TRIBES and PEOPLES and TONGUES standing in front of the throne.” Revelation 7:9 also 5:9 and 14:6.
Perhaps THE key sign our Lord Jesus Christ gave to his church that the end of the world was near was that recorded in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” This sign taken alongside his clear command to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18) and the fulfilment (Revelation 7:9) show that every people group MUST have a group of disciples before the judgment day. “ After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; “The fact that kindreds are mentioned suggests an even smaller group than that of a ”nation” which is a people group (TA ETHNE) NOT a political country.
Nation (Gr. ETHNOS) means a race or tribe, a body of people living according to one custom and rule (from ETHOS custom) especially Jews (Luke 7:5, Acts 10:22) also foreign nations (Matt.4:15, Mark 7:26 ‘the Syrophenician’, Rom.3:29) even Gentile Christians (Rom.11:13, 16:4, Acts 15:17, 10:28, 23:6, Luke 12:30, 23:2, I Peter 2:9, Matt.21:43, Acts 10:35.) Vine defines the word as a multitude of people of the same nature. The most illuminating verses on the precise meaning of nations in the Old Testament are Genesis 10 especially vv. 5, 31-32 where a list of peoples descended from Noah’s three sons is recorded. They consisted of families with their own language living in a particular area of the world (“countries” v20) often called after their forefather. This list is repeated in I Chron.1:32. These nations are of the same race or physical type, language (as part of culture) and geographical area. Included among them are Medes, Ionians, Scythians, Cushites, Philistines, Cretans, Zidonians, Elamites, Assyrians, and people from Sheba. Note that many of these were mentioned again in the list of the peoples who heard the wonderful works of God, in their own languages at Pentecost. Similarly in Acts 13:19 where Paul explains that in conquering the promised land of Canaan seven nations were destroyed, we know these were the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Canaanites, and Hivites (Deut.7:1). None of these are geopolitical nations as we have them today (e.g. those comprising the United Nations) with their national boundaries although some groupings did form into such e.g. the Medes and Persians became modern Iran but conversely a large nearby people the Kurds have no national homeland of their own and are part of several political nations. Romans 4:17 is also helpful if we remember that Abraham was the father of all the Arab nations descended from Ishmael, of all the Jewish tribes from Isaac and Jacob, the Edomites through Esau, and the tribes from the sons of Keturah. The Old Testament Hebrew word for nation is GOY, usually meaning Gentile heathen nation, although also used of Jews (Mal.3:9). Here is the Joshua Project definition,
“For evangelization purposes, a people group is the largest group within which the Gospel can spread as a church planting movement without encountering barriers of understanding or acceptance” (Source: 1982 Lausanne Committee Chicago meeting.)
Thus the key point here is that “nations” in Scripture is not the same meaning as nation states today.
PEOPLE (Heb.AM 5971) is the most frequently used O.T. word for a grouping of humans but it can mean all the people of the world (Gen. 11:6), most frequently by far (x1600) it refers to the Jews (Gen.17:14), but also God’s elect (Ps.29:11, Hos.2:23), the reprobate (Zech.14:12, the nations (Gen.25:23), language groups (Est.3:12), an extended family (Gen.32:7), or just a group in a city (I Kings 21:9), thus any size of group basically! PEOPLE (Gr. LAOS) are of the same stock and language, almost always used of the elect people of Israel (Matt.13:15) but also Philistines, Egyptians etc. (Rev.5:9, 10:11, 17:15, Rom.11:1, Heb.11:25, Acts 15:14), the elect (Acts 18:10, I Peter 2:10). Almost identical to nation but also used interchangeably in the New Testament with OCHLOS which is the word more often used for a gathered public throng. Thus in both testaments this word is quite ambiguous.
KINDREDS, TRIBES (Heb. MATTAH (‘branch’ 4294 or SHEBET branch/clan. Jon.1:8), clans (Gr. PHULE) can mean race, clan, kindred or tribe (Rev.7:5-7,9, Heb.7:13, Acts 13:21, Matt.24:30). From the tribes of Israel we can gather that this grouping were all descended from one of the sons of Jacob, spoke the same language and at the time of Moses numbered anything from twenty to a hundred thousand. Thus a tribe or kindred, is a smaller unit than a nation (Ps.22:27), which would comprise all the Israelites.
CLAN would be even smaller and families even smaller again. FAMILY (Heb. MISHPACHAH 4940) is of interest as another collective noun used in the Old Testament particularly in the covenant promise to Abraham, reiterated to Jacob that through them all the families of the earth would be blessed (Gen.12:3, 28:14). It appears that families can mean anything from the nuclear family group of a couple (and their children if they have any), to a larger group that made up a tribe (Ex.6:14-19, Numbers 1, Joshua 18-19) and in Amos 3:2 it means all the Jews. When Achan was singled out (Joshua 7:16-18) he was from the tribe of Judah, of the family or clan of Zarhites, and of the household of Zabdi. The word family is used of each of these groupings. So this particular noun does not help us to distinguish group size but it usually denotes a grouping smaller than a nation or tribe.
It seems to me the use of these three terms (NATION, TRIBE and PEOPLE) are almost interchangeable, with considerable overlap, except that tribe describes a smaller group than nation or people and family a smaller group again but the writers of Scripture use them so as to cover every possible grouping of men who share common ethnic characteristics normally ancestry, language and custom, down even to the size of clans or extended families. They may NOT necessarily share the same location because so many are dispersed. The usage seems akin to, ”Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs” in the epistles which we believe comprehensively covers all the 150 Psalms. To include all peoples on the earth these slightly different terms are used together. The point I want to emphasise is that each of these ethnolinguistic groups must be represented as part of the bride of Christ on the last day, and ONLY THUS the great commission of discipling the nations will have been accomplished.
Tongues is clearly different languages (GLOSSAE) and these have been well documented (Wycliffe Bible Translators)*
Click on pic to enlarge.
How are we to know where the church stands in this great commission? There appears to be a general misconception among many Reformed people that the job is nearly, if not, done! Here is a recent quote from a Reformed pastor, “But, at the same time, most of humanity has heard the gospel. Only about four percent of the world’s population do not have the gospel or any Scriptures in their language today. But Wycliffe Translators give a different statistic that 1.5 billion people don’t have the full Bible in their heart language.
Jesus has this in mind when He speaks of the gospel going to the ends of the earth—that after His departure and before His return the gospel would go to all nations.”
Just because 96% of the world’s people have written Scriptures surely does NOT mean the gospel has gone to the ends of the earth. What if a large percentage of these folk cannot read and there are no true churches in their vicinity as is the case in many of the unreached peoples e.g. in India? The resource is not being accessed! Hence they are not reached!
Now the vexed question is, have not some of these tribes become extinct before they were ever exposed to the gospel? A point difficult to prove but Acts 14:16 suggests that was the case. Have not some of these tribes been reached in the past and then died out? Possible but unlikely. If a people group has not been reached in 2016 it is highly unlikely, considering all the modern methods of dissemination e.g. personal witness, modern travel methods, preaching, printed page, radio/TV, internet and mobile phone, that they were reached before. The only clues would be found in a detailed history of mission in a particular country or getting info from a targetting mission organisation. But these parachurch mission agencies which support churches who do the sending, form the basic source of information for the Joshua Project which is the website I am advocating we ought to support, at least in prayer. Thus there is no harm, indeed it seems safest to me, that those groups known to be totally unreached today (no known believers), are targeted for prayer and the sending of labourers as soon as practically possible. I do not expect any single denomination to be able to achieve what is a massive operation that only God with his resources can accomplish.
According to the best sources, Joshua Project website and the book Operation World there are 9813 distinct people groups who are socially cohesive, of the same race, language and culture, but who may reside in adjoining political countries. Out of a total world population of 7.3 billion, 4051 of these groups, numbering 3 billion and comprising 42% of the total, are ‘unreached’. They may have written scriptures but many cannot read them and because their total Christian (evangelical) population is less than 2% (which could be construed as reached!) the church is incapable of reaching all their people who historically have never been exposed to the gospel. Most unreached peoples today were NEVER reached in the past either but getting evidence to prove or disprove this is difficult. Fact is, some peoples have no known believers, today and never have! I guarantee that even a brief look at the Joshua Project website will enlighten you!
The Joshua Project are also aware that many formerly reached peoples are now nominal e.g. many in the West and many who were reached by false Christianity where syncretism reigns e.g. Mexico and Central America; these would also count as unreached. The vast majority (65%) of the Unreached Peoples live in the 10/40 window which is the rectangle on the globe between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator and east of the Greenwich Meridian. This is more or less the Muslim World and the Subcontinent of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The largest of these peoples include the Shaikh of Bangladesh (136 million), the Shaikh of India (83m), the Yadav of India (60m) and the Brahmin of India (60m). India has the most unreached peoples of any country.
Our aim as part of a Reformed denomination should be to continue pressing on in places with obvious open doors and receptivity e.g. the Philippines but also be like Paul in Romans 15:20-21 who desired to reach the unreached, “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” To achieve this latter task takes a lot more preparation, training and providential logistics! We can rest assured Christ the head of his church will gather every last one of his elect! But we must do all in our power to pray, send missionaries and support those who will go.
Dr Julian Kennedy
Oct. 05, 2017 | Uganda
|“Isaac” recently opened a shop to sell Christian videos and music, including some of his own recordings. But Muslims broke into the shop and took Isaac’s speakers so that he can’t play the music. Although he reported the burglary to authorities, they did not investigate. The Muslims later returned and destroyed everything in the shop. Isaac again notified authorities, but they have not responded. Please pray for Isaac as he considers the next steps for his business, and pray for all Christians in Uganda who are harassed and intimidated by Muslim extremists. Also pray that the Muslims involved in the attacks will feel guilty about their actions and seek forgiveness.
Oct. 05, 2017 | China
|In July, authorities closed a Christian school in Henan province, claiming it was brainwashing children. National security officers confiscated materials used at the school, which operated out of a woman’s home, and also removed items belonging to a house church that met there. Pray that the children who attended the school will be able to continue learning about Jesus and the Bible. Pray that their parents will find new ways to educate their children and that area Christians will be emboldened by this recent persecution.
|Sep. 28, 2017 | Iraq
Pray for “Mustafa,” Who Found Christ While Fighting ISIS
|Sep. 28, 2017 | Pakistan
Su (L) and Yang.
Pray for Chinese pastors Su Tianfu and Yang Hua who have just been refused a hearing to contest a stiff fine against their church, in breach of normal legal protocol. Huoshi Church in Guizhou province was fined 7 million yuan (about £800,000) for receiving the same amount in ‘illegal income’ through members’ giving. Yang is currently serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for ‘divulging state secrets’ and the same charge has now been made against Su. (Source: China Aid)
|Young Christian in Pakistan suffers brutal attack – then ‘police cover-up’
Eighteen-year-old ‘Alian’* suffered a brutal sexual assault – but local police in Pakistan seem reluctant to investigate. The Christian teenager was beaten, stripped, gang-raped and forcibly converted to Islam – and left unconscious.
Please ask God to comfort and heal our young brother in Attock district in Punjab.
Release contacts who are supporting Alian and his family say it was a Muslim friend of Alian who lured him to an isolated place on false pretences.
When Alian was found after the attack, he was taken to hospital, where he was threatened and told to remain silent, according to his family. Police initially dismissed his rape allegations. Police have since arrested several suspects but appear to be pressuring the family to drop the case.
*Name has been changed
(Source: Release contacts)
In July he was sentenced to three years in prison for “singing extremist songs in church and so inciting religious hatred”, and on 18 August his appeal was rejected.
Very informative video of a refugee spokesman from Eritrea:
First short version:
Long version with prayer points at end:
UPDATE Sept 2017
Four Nepali Christians Released After Nine Months of Wrongful Imprisonment
Nepali Christians Wrongfully Imprisoned for Praying for Mentally Ill Woman Finally Released
09/27/2017 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) is elated to report that four Nepali Christians, Lali Pun, Bimkali Budha, Ruplal Pariyar and his wife Ganga, were finally released from prison when their sentences for “violence and witchcraft” after praying for a mentally ill woman were reversed. This news comes after ICC’s advocacy team led a petition to the Nepali government demanding their release earlier this year.
These Christians were originally convicted in December of last year in the District Court in Salyan after the father-in-law of a mentally ill woman accused them of abuse and witchcraft against her. The father-in-law had brought the woman to a local church for prayer in the hopes that their efforts might heal her. The mentally ill woman, Seti Pariyar, left the prayer service and was later found in a forest harming herself and yelling before being taken home.
After reading a media report of the incident, a complaint was made by Bhisma Pariyar. This led to the hearing and following conviction in District Court, despite the mentally ill woman and her husband testifying that the four did not act in a forceful or abusive manner. The woman also testified that she was healed because of their prayers.
This wrongful imprisonment was further indication of Nepal’s continued backslide on issues of religious freedom. Earlier this year, the Nepali parliament passed a new law criminalizing conversions to non-Hindu religions. The parliament passed the law despite Article 26 (3) of Nepal’s 2015 constitution already restricting religious conversion and expression.
Nate Lance, ICC’s Advocacy Manager, said of these Christians’ release, “International Christian Concern is so pleased that this situation has reached its rightful resolution. However, the imprisonment of these Christians should have never taken place as the facts of their innocence were clear. This is a step in the right direction for religious freedom in Nepal, but there is still much work to be done. No one should fear imprisonment for the free expression and practice of their religion.”
|Four Nepali Christians were sentenced to five years in prison on Dec. 22 after being convicted of “violence” and “witchcraft” for praying for a sick woman. On July 21, 2016, authorities arrested Nepali Christians Ruplal Pariyar and his wife, Ganga, along with Lali Pun and Bimkali Budha. In June, the four had prayed at their church for Seti Pariyar, a local woman who had been ill. Although Seti and her husband defended the Christians, stating that she had been healed, the judge convicted the four believers anyway. Please pray for their release.
Jan. 20, 2017 | Nepal
Another sad story from Egypt!
Turf war thrusts Pakistani teenager into blasphemy row
Simon* is a very poor Christian who scrapes together a living by collecting items for recycling and who now finds himself caught up in a blasphemy row – and he’s only 16.
The teenager from Punjab, Pakistan, has been attacked, tortured and arrested in a row that has sparked uproar in his village in Gujranwala district.
Please ask God to keep Simon and his family safe.
Release contacts in Pakistan say the row followed a dispute with another recycler who was not happy that Simon was gathering paper and bottles near the same religious monument as him. When burnt scraps of a Koran were allegedly found at the site last month, Simon got the blame.
Soon after Simon was arrested, a large mob broke into the police station and abducted him. They threatened to kill him and tortured him until local police called for back-up to bring the situation under control. Due to local unrest, Simon was twice transferred to other police stations. He is now being held in jail.
*We’ve changed Simon’s name for security reasons.
NIGERIA – Released Chibok girls finally reunited with families, but 113 still held by Boko Haram
Nigerian authorities have finally allowed more than 100 “Chibok girls” kidnapped and subsequently released by Boko Haram to be reunited with their families. Boko Haram released 82 girls, 75 of whom are Christians, in exchange for captured Boko Haram terrorists in May. However, the girls were kept in Abuja to undergo psychological therapy, along with 21 others who were released in 2016. According to a government spokesperson, they are now “fully rehabilitated” after their years of captivity (during which many of the girls were forced to convert to Islam and marry Islamist militants) and have been given scholarships so they can go back to school. The girls were among 276 kidnapped in 2014 from a school in Chibok where they were sitting their end of year exams – around 113 girls are still being held by Boko Haram.
From BBC here
Sep. 21, 2017 | Gaza Strip
Pray for Musa, a New Christian in Hiding from His Family
|Pray for a young man in Gaza who came to faith in Christ through Internet ministries. Since becoming a Christian, “Musa” has been threatened and attacked many times by his family. He eventually was forced to flee after they tried to kill him. Currently in hiding from his family, Musa continues to participate in online Bible study and fellowship with other Christians, who encourage him in his faith. Pray that Musa will grow in faith and one day be able to share the gospel with his family.||
Several months ago, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom commissioned a report on the persecution of Christians in Myanmar. Entitled Hidden Plight: Christian Minorities in Burma, It makes shocking reading. There is large-scale violence and intimidation of Christians by the army. To quote just one short section of that report:
“The military routinely occupies churches and summons entire congregations for interrogation. Tatmadaw (Burmese Army) troops have desecrated, damaged, and destroyed churches. The military continues to perpetrate grave human rights violations with near-total impunity, including sexual violence in church compounds and the torture of pastors, church workers, and ordinary civilians. To date, approximately 120,000 people have been forced to flee.”
The military use Buddhism as a means of legitimising their oppressive rule, claiming to be defending Buddhism and the Barmar (Burmese) majority against Muslims and Christians, who are predominantly from ethnic minority groups. As well as direct attacks by the Burmese military, they have empowered a group called The Committee for the Protection of Race and Religion (better known as Ma Ba Tha), and other ultra-nationalistic monks, to incite violence and attacks on Christian pastors.
The predominantly Christian people-groups are the Karen people who mainly live in the east near the border with Thailand, the Kachin and Naga who mainly live in the north, and the Chin, who mainly live in the south-west, particularly Chin State.
However, now a new threat to Christians is emerging as a direct result of the Rohingya crisis. Last October, Islamic militants from a newly formed insurgency group called Harakah al Yaqin launched a series of attacks on police posts in Rakhine state. Harakah al Yaqin was created by a group of Rohingya emigres based in Saudi Arabia and therefore represents a dangerous new development. The army responded in its characteristic heavy-handed fashion causing tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. Then on 25 August, Harakah al Yaqin coordinated attacks on an army base and 30 police posts in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state. In response the Myanmar army launched what they termed “clearance operations” against Rohingya, a euphemism for the terrible atrocities now being perpetrated against Rohingya civilians.
Now Al Qaeda is urging jihadists to flock to the region to fight for the Rohingya Muslims. This is not an idle suggestion. It is, in fact, almost exactly what happened a few months ago in the southern Philippines when Islamic State (IS)-linked jihadists from across South-East Asia quietly infiltrated Marawi city and then seized control of it, killing a number of Christians; despite an ongoing battle with the Philippines military, the jihadists remain in control of Marawi. In January, Malaysian authorities claimed to have arrested an IS-linked jihadist heading for Myanmar to fight in the Rohingya area. As IS loses military control in Syria and Iraq, Al Qaeda sees itself as having an opportunity to regain its claim to lead the global jihadi movement. That is why a few days ago Al Qaeda issued a statement telling jihadists in neighbouring Bangladesh and India, as well as Pakistan and the Philippines, that they have a “sharia obligation” to go to Myanmar and fight for the Rohingya.
How does this affect Christians in Myanmar, who are already suffering appalling persecution and violence from the state? The attacks which the Islamic militants from Harakah al Yaqin carried out three weeks ago were in the North of Rakine state. This is right next to Chin state, which is the only state in Myanmar that is majority Christian. In fact, one of those attacks, at the town of Maungdaw, was only about 30 miles away. If, as now seems likely, foreign jihadists arrive and turn a local Muslim insurgency into an Al Qaeda-linked jihadi struggle, as IS have just done in the Philippines, there is a very real danger that jihadists will attack Chin state.
If they do, that will put the Christians there in an impossible situation, suffering terrible violence at the hands of the Myanmar army AND being attacked by jihadists. In other words, there is the very real prospect of Christians in this part of Myanmar facing a humanitarian catastrophe that is even worse than the horrific levels of violence currently being suffered by Rohingya Muslims.
Sep. 14, 2017 | Laos
Pray for Vu, Rejected by Her Family
|“Vu” placed her faith in Christ earlier this year while working in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. Several months later, she shared her faith with her parents and brother in hope that they, too, would become Christians. Instead, they cursed her. They insisted that she abandon her Christian faith immediately or they would disown her as their daughter. Vu told them that she respected them but would not leave Jesus. Her parents later sent her brother and sister to persuade her to leave Christianity, but instead her sister became a Christian. “The younger sister is a new person now,” a VOM contact said.
Please pray for these two young women as they minister to their family and encounter further hardships because of their faith.
Sep. 14, 2017 | Pakistan
Pray for Esmail, Unemployed After an Attack by Colleagues
Esmail and his wife.
|A Pakistani Christian man lost his taxi business recently after two Muslim colleagues destroyed his car. “Esmail” was never shy about sharing his Christian faith, and when he began driving a taxi several years ago he continued sharing it with other taxi drivers, even giving a Bible to one especially interested colleague. But two other drivers disapproved of Esmail’s boldness, accusing him of trying to persuade Muslims to give up their faith. A village leader warned Esmail to stop sharing his faith with Muslims, but the two angry drivers decided a more severe punishment was in order. They smashed into Esmail’s car with a truck, destroying his taxi and sole means of financial support. Esmail was badly injured in the incident and had to borrow money to pay for medical treatment.
Sep. 14, 2017 | India
|Police in India arrested nine adults traveling with a group of 60 children to a Vacation Bible School (VBS) program this summer. The children and their chaperones sang Christian songs and read the Bible as they traveled by train, attracting the attention of a group of Hindu extremists. As soon as the train reached its destination, the militants called the police. When the police arrived, they arrested the adults and called the children’s parents to come pick them up. The adults were charged with kidnapping and converting people to another religion by force. After more than 40 days in jail, three of the adults were released on bail. The other six, however, are still being held. Pray that the jailed Christians will be released and that this experience will strengthen the faith of the children involved.||
(World Watch Monitor) A group representing senior Christians in Nigeria has accused the government of trying to Islamise the country.
In a statement on 6 September, ‘Jihad in Nigeria: burying the head in sand’, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) said jihad threatened the unity of the country.
NCEF is composed of a number of retired, high-ranking leaders from civil and military occupations, including former Defence Minister Theophilus Danjuma.
The group said its warning about the threat of jihad, in a previous release in July, had been ignored, and that Nigeria is moving “dangerously close to a national ‘red line’, where Truth is criminalised as ‘hate speech’”
“Under the present administration, every key and sensitive position in National Security is held by Muslims from the north, in outright violation of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution,” it said.
“There is a deliberate attempt to emasculate Christians, southerners and other non-Muslim population[s] of Nigeria verifiably by intimidation and force,” it added, calling it a “stealth jihad”.
The group also denounced the government’s failure to curb the violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.
“Fulani herdsmen operate with impunity in mostly Christian areas, killing, maiming, raping, and destroying without any arrest, without any prosecution,” NCEF said.
“If this is not complicity of the Muslim-dominated security services, are we then to conclude that the Nigerian security units are so incompetent that they cannot successfully engage insurgents after the Nigerian Army successfully prosecuted a Civil War?”
Many experts on Nigeria now believe that violence across the Middle Belt, which World Watch Monitor has reported on at length, has been responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram.
According to Professor Yusufu Turaki, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion, Church and Society at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary, there is a “vibrant and active revivalist Islamism” in northern Nigeria, which he blamed for the radicalisation of Boko Haram members and many Fulani herdsmen.
In great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and thankful for each one of you who have joined this mission through your prayers and support. Your gifts have brought so many smiles. THANK YOU!
Apart from the fact this protest is from presumed Roman Catholics we have to agree with its sentiments!
Fox TV Series Plants A Seed For Lucifer
Tell Fox: Be Gone LUCIFER!
Dear Life Site News Reader,
The malice of Lucifer is such that he has always wanted to be not only known, but worshipped as God is worshipped, by angels and men. He even tempted Our Lord to worship him!
Our words and efforts should echo the response of Christ Himself: “Be gone, Satan: the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him alone shalt thou serve!” (Matt. 4:10)
Now, see how Fox TV seems to plan to help Lucifer appeal to weak modern humanity in their “Lucifer” TV series.
Like St. Michael, make no compromises with evil. PROTEST To FOX NOW
We must not allow Fox TV or anyone to get our children used to Lucifer.
Our Divine Redeemer Himself spoke of the devil like this: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8, 44).
The devil is a murderer and the father of lies, the liar par excellence, who hates truth, because truth leads to God.
Do NOT Let Fox TV Bring Lucifer To America
I asked one of my associates here at America Needs Fatima to investigate this diabolical maneuver to make Lucifer seem harmless.
Here’s what he found how Fox’s “Lucifer” series portrays Satan:
Do NOT Let Fox TV Try To Make Lucifer Charming & Harmless
HERE’s More TRUTH About The Fallen Angel Lucifer
A Perverted Will
This report by International Christian Concern is very disturbing especially the fact that authorities in these countries collude with the criminals. Vengeance is God’s He will repay!
KENYA – Police killed protecting church from attack by gunmen
Two policemen were killed on Sunday 3 September, when four gunmen attacked St Paul’s Anglican Church in Ukunda, south-east Kenya, while a service was taking place. Just as the pastor was about to begin his sermon, gunshots were heard outside. The attackers escaped on motorbikes, leaving both policemen fatally wounded. Police are still investigating, but it has been suggested that militants from the Somali-based terror group Al Shabaab were behind the attack. Nine Christians were murdered in an attack by Al Shabaab in south-east Kenya in July – gunmen went from house to house, singling out Christians for execution.
From Global Christian News here
PAKISTAN – Pakistan Christian boy accused of desecrating Quran by rival garbage collector
A 16-year-old Christian rubbish collector has been accused of burning the Quran and beaten up by a mob in Gujranwala. The boy ‘A.S.’ has now been charged under section 295-B of Pakistan’s Penal Code and, if convicted, will face life imprisonment. However, the boy’s father has suggested his son has been framed by a Muslim rival rubbish collector who wanted to stop him collecting papers outside an Islamic shrine. Last month (August) this Muslim boy alleged that “someone” had burnt a copy of the Quran at the shrine. Then on Sunday 20 August, he found A.S. in the bazaar, began beating him up and then accused him burning the Quran which resulted in a mob joinng in the attack on A.S.
Many Christians in Pakistan earn their living as sweepers or by collecting paper and rubbish on the streets which they then sell for recycling. Because most of them are illiterate they would not necessarily recognise that a piece of paper was from the Quran and so it would be particularly difficult for such individuals to defend themselves against an accusation of this nature which they are alleged to have done several weeks earlier.
Perry and family
|Hindu extremists attacked a church in Karnataka state recently, beating the pastor and burning everything in the church. Shortly after Pastor “Perry” and about 40 church members gathered for a special midday prayer meeting, more than 100 Hindu extremists rushed in and began beating the Christians with rods. They dragged Pastor Perry and his wife, “Glory,” to a nearby temple, smeared vermillion on their foreheads and tried to force them to worship a Hindu idol. Meanwhile, militants at the church set fire to Bibles, song books and musical instruments. When police arrived, the extremists accused the pastor of insulting Hindu gods and forcing Hindus to convert to Christianity. Pastor Perry was arrested and held for several weeks before being released on bail, and the extremists have threatened to kill him if he doesn’t leave the village. Pray that the charges against the pastor will be dropped and that church members will remain strong and courageous in the face of persecution.|
|A pastor and several church members in a southeastern Tanzanian village had all of their belongings and cash confiscated after they refused to contribute to a ceremony involving witchcraft. Village leaders had called witch doctors to remove “curses” on their village, and everyone in the community was required to make a donation for the ceremony. Because the ceremony involved witchcraft, the Christians refused to contribute. Angered by the Christians’ refusal, village leaders forced their way into the pastor’s house and took his possessions. They later did the same to other church members, even taking a large amount of cash from a young man who had saved the money to pay for his wedding. When the Christians turned to police for help, the police called them “idiots and ignorant fools.” Village leaders then threatened the pas tor and told him they intended to destroy the church and get rid of all Christians in the village. Pray that these believers will not be intimidated and that their possessions will be returned.|
ICC is advocating for persecuted Christians at the highest levels. On August 7th, prominent human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng was released from prison but is not yet free. His lawyer told BBC News that Gao has been “utterly destroyed” after three years in jail. Since his release, public security officers “visit” him daily in shifts, each lasting two or three hours. As a result, he and family members are unable to live normal lives. In September, ICC joined 20 other organizations in calling on President Obama to address the case of Gao Zhisheng and other Christians in China enduring imprisonment and torture because of their faith. Please pray that the U. S. government and the international community will help bring Gao Zhisheng to the U.S. to receive medical treatment and reunite with his family.
Great answer to prayer. BUT Gao is a broken man, broken by the cruel totalitarian state machine.
Please pray for Gao Zhisheng, a prominent defender of persecuted Christians in China, who has just been released after a three year prison sentence. Reports suggest he has been held in solitary confinement for the whole three years, where he was fed a single slice of bread and piece of cabbage once a day. Ask God to give him strength as he recovers, and for wisdom for those attempting to help him get asylum in the USA, where his wife and two children live.
When Chinese authorities released Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng from prison on Aug.7, we didn’t hear anything from him, presumably because of the communist state’s one-year prohibition against him saying anything publicly that might “damage the reputation or interests of the state.”
His family had telephone conversations with him, but they didn’t hear much from him either. After some phone talks in which he said very little, the Los Angeles Times reported, his wife wasn’t sure whether he was still in too much pain to talk or had forgotten how.
It has become clear that isolation and torture left Gao, once a prominent attorney who defended Christians and the Falun Gong, unable to speak coherently. China Aid reports, “Gao has been utterly destroyed. He can barely talk – and only in very short sentences – most of the time he mutters and is unintelligible. It is believed that he is now suffering from a broad range of physical and mental health problems; he has not been allowed to see a doctor since his release.”
As his wife, Geng He, pointed out to the Times, if he cannot even obtain adequate dental care, what hope does he have for obtaining help to recover his mental health? While she and their two children escaped to the United States in 2009 and are living in northern California, Gao is under virtual house arrest at Geng’s sister’s place in Urumqi, capital of China’s Xinjiang Province in the country’s far west. Dentists there don’t have the means to repair the damage malnutrition did to his remaining teeth, and the government has forbidden him to travel to Beijing, much less to the United States to be reunited with his family.
Gao’ s advocacy for religious minorities led to his conviction in 2006 for “inciting subversion,” and in 2007 he began serving a previously suspended sentence of three years in Shaya County Prison in Xinjiang region. After he wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress about human rights abuses in China, authorities “disappeared” him on Sept. 21, 2007, torturing him for more than 50 days. Gao later revealed that his captors shocked his genitals with an electric baton and pierced them with toothpicks.
“As with the torture experienced during his pretrial detention, the purpose of this mistreatment was to extract a false confession,” noted a petition by Freedom Now, which works to free prisoners of conscience.
Thugs suspected of being agents of the state again abducted Gao on Feb. 4, 2009. He reportedly reappeared from March 28, 2010, to April 20 of that year, during which he described how police beat him for two days and nights, according to Freedom Now.
China announced on Dec. 16, 2011 that it would take him to prison to serve the three-year sentence imposed on Dec. 22, 2006, thus withdrawing the five-year probation then about to expire. In Shaya Prison since December 2011, Gao remained in isolation in a small cell with little light 24 hours a day, according to China Aid.
“Guards were strictly instructed not to speak with him,” the advocacy group reported. “He was not allowed any reading materials, television, or access to anyone or anything. He was fed a single slice of bread and piece of cabbage, once a day; as a result, he has lost roughly 22.5 kilograms (50 pounds) and now weighs about 59 kilograms (130 pounds). He has lost many teeth from malnutrition. It is believed he was also repeatedly physically tortured.”
His wife commented to China Aid that she was devastated by his condition.
“The only thing I feared more than him being killed was his suffering relentless and horrific torture and being kept alive,” she said. “We desperately need help from our adopted country and from President Obama and Secretary Kerry personally to demand the Chinese government to allow my husband to come to the United States for medical treatment. If President Xi Jinping has any sense of decency or humanity, after crushing my husband both physically and psychologically, the least he could do is allow me as a devoted wife to care for him.”
Jared Genser, head of Freedom Now, told China Aid he was heartbroken for Gao and his family.
“We knew that if Gao wasn’t killed, he would have suffered immensely,” Genser said. “But the situation is far worse than my limited imagination enabled me to contemplate. While China is a great power in the 21st century, the inhumanity and brutality that it has demonstrated by the torture of Gao Zhisheng shows its profound insecurity and fear of anyone in its population who stands up to its repression.”
Photo source: “Geng He” by medilldc (https://www.flickr.com/photos/medilldc/), used under CC BY 2.0 / Colour adjusted from original
BBC reported that Gao Zhisheng, a prominent Chinese Christian human rights lawyer, has been released after 3 years in prison. Gao is best known for his work defending persecuted religious groups and other social groups. In 2005, the Chinese government shut down his law firm and revoked his lawyer’s license. He was charged of inciting subversion and disappeared in 2009.
08/07/2014 China (BBC)– One of China’s most prominent dissidents, Gao Zhisheng, has been released after three years in jail.
His brother said he left the Xinjiang prison on Thursday morning and was now at his father-in-law’s home in Urumqi.
Fellow activist and close friend Hu Jia told BBC Chinese that Mr Gao was seeking dental treatment in Urumqi, the region’s capital.
Mr Gao, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested in early 2009. He was accused of inciting subversion.
He was released briefly in 2010, and claimed he was tortured while in detention. Shortly after that he disappeared again.
State media subsequently said in 2011 he would be jailed for three years for violating probation rules.
Mr Hu told the BBC that Mr Gao is “having problems with his teeth” but is expected to head to his hometown in north Shaanxi province after having treatment.
Gao Zhisheng timeline
• 2005: Authorities close down Gao Zhisheng’s law practice
• Dec 2006: Convicted of subversion and sentenced to house arrest
• Sept 2007: Says he was tortured during a period of detention
• Jan 2009: Disappears; last seen accompanied by security officials
• Mar 2010: Reappeared for a month before disappearing again
• Dec 2011: State media says he has been jailed for three years
• Jan 2012: Gao revealed to be in Xinjiang prison
• August 2014: Gao freed from jail
The Associated Press reported that Mr Gao’s wife, Geng He, spoke to her husband later on Thursday.
Ms Geng and the couple’s two children are in the United States where they sought asylum in early 2009.
She told AP that it was clear there were security minders present as she could hear unfamiliar voices in the background.
Beijing lawyer Gao Zhisheng has reportedly been released into ‘controlled freedom’, according to Release partner China Aid. Gao was freed from prison on Thursday and is currently with his brother in Xinjiang province. Gao has not been allowed to talk to anyone, not even his wife in the US. Some reports say he is accompanied by Chinese security agents. He was jailed for ‘inciting subversion’ after ‘violating probation rules’. Please pray that Gao will be granted full freedom and reunited with his family. (Source: China Aid)
|Do the words in red bold give you a heartfelt concern? They should!|
|Luoluopo, Southern in China
Luoluopo is the name of the three groups that stem from the Yi linguistic group. These three Luoluopo groups have distinctly different languages. Polytheistic animism is the main religion of the Western Luoluopo. Ancestor worship is also prevalent. Two or three ancestral rites are performed every year in honor of the Luoluopo forefathers. Most Western Luoluopo have never heard of Christ.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the entire people group
Sargara in India
The Sargara are a landless community. Their traditional and present-day occupation is splitting and selling wood. Those who breach community norms are fined and ostracized. They profess Hinduism, and Chammunda and Ambajee are their family deities. Their regional deities are Hanumanjee, Shankar, Mahakali and Ramdevjee. The Sargara traditionally do not take food and water from the lower scheduled castes, and food and water from the Sargara are not accepted by the upper castes.
To follow Jesus is to breach community norms, bringing significant ostracism.
Christians need to help the Sargara people with physical and material needs, as well as telling them of Jesus.
Pray for the followers of Christ
There likely isn’t a single follower of Jesus among the Sargara community today, but pray for those the Lord will soon lead to himself. Pray they will fully grasp the significance of Jesus’ sacrificial death, and will trust him fully for both forgiveness of sin and power to live life. Pray they will have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray the Sargara community will not find satisfaction in the worship of created things, but will be given a hunger to worship the Creator.
“The time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and see My glory.” Isaiah 66:18
|Audio NT (FCBH):||No|
|Christ Followers:||Few, less than 2%|
|Mobile App||Social Networking||On your Website||Print version|
Presented by Joshua Project
|Laowu in China
The Laowu believe a complex hierarchy of spirits guide and control their lives. They also consider it important to worship their ancestors. Laowu marriages are traditionally arranged through a matchmaker. A shaman is consulted. If the horoscopes of both parties are agreeable and if the parents on both sides give their consent, the two may become engaged.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the entire people group
Four Christians were injured – two so badly they required hospital treatment – when a local Buddhist mob attacked and destroyed their homes in the Sanaing region on 7 July. The day before, the four believers, all new converts, had been summoned to the Teetaw village monastery by the abbot, where they were given the option of returning to Buddhism or being banished from the village. All four refused to deny Christ. Earlier in July, the house of a church pastor from a different region was destroyed by a Buddhist mob, leaving him and his family living on the roadside.
Myanmar is 87% Buddhist and as a result of a law introduced in 2015, anyone wishing to change religion is required to obtain official approval. Conversion to Buddhism is actively promoted, particularly among children, who are offered free food and education at Na Ta La Buddhist schools. Christian literature is strictly controlled, meaning many believers do not have access to a Bible. Although Christians have secured political positions in Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government, ethnic minorities, still face repression, particularly from the military, which retains considerable autonomy. Most of Myanmar’s Christians come from ethnic minorities.
What is happening to the Rohingya muslims in Rakhine state is an example of the military being out of control and guilty of genocide.
Pray for the four new believers whose homes have been torched and who have been beaten. Give thanks for their courage and pray that they will be encouraged by Hebrews 10 – that they have better and lasting possessions and a rich reward for not forsaking His Name. Pray that Christians in Aung San Suu Kyi’s government will, like the prophet Daniel, have the wisdom to know when to stand up for their fellow believers and that the oppression of Christians will be reduced in Myanmar.
NEPAL – Parliament passes new anti-conversion bill and potential “blasphemy” law
Earlier this month (8 August), Nepal’s parliament passed a bill restricting religious conversion and criminalising “hurting religious sentiment.” The new legislation, which the country’s president is expected to sign into law imminently, will mean anyone convicted of encouraging someone to convert could be sentenced to up to five years imprisonment.
Under a clause introduced into Nepal’s constitution in 2015, actions to “convert another person from one religion to another” are already illegal and have resulted in Christians facing prosecution. However, the new laws could in effect be used to make all evangelism illegal.
The second part of the legislation, which criminalises “hurting religious sentiment,” has been likened to “blasphemy” laws in Pakistan. The vaguely-worded clause states “Nobody should hurt the religious sentiment of any caste, ethnic community or class by writing, through voice/talk or by a shape or symbol or in any other such manner.” Those found guilty will face a fine and two years in prison.
Nepal is officially a secular republic, but was until 2008 a Hindu kingdom, and extremist groups are campaigning for the country to become a Hindu nation again. The population of Nepal is around 80% Hindu, with a tiny Christian minority.
From ADF International here
Nigerian authorities complicit in more outrages.
At least nine Christians were killed and a number of churches and properties burnt down in 2007, in Tudun Wada. (WWM.)
(World Watch Monitor) A father and son were killed, and three women and a baby abducted, in an attack in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano, in the largely Muslim area of Tudun Wada.
At around 8pm on 15 August, armed men, believed to be local Muslims, attacked the house of Baba Kale Dankali (62), a local Christian, and killed him.
His son, Micah Kale (20) heard the gunshot, went out to see what had happened and found his father dead. At his agonised cries, the attackers returned and shot him dead too.
Both victims’ widows fled with their children.
The armed men also targeted other Christian families, kidnapping three women and a baby.
Fear caused many Christians to flee; it brought back memories of previous attacks, including
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|Jew, Israeli Sabra in Israel
Sabra Jews are those born in the land of Israel. The word is derived from the Hebrew word tzabar, the name of the “prickly pear” cactus. The allusion is to a tenacious, thorny desert plant with a thick hide that conceals a sweet, softer interior. It is a very special name full of meaning to Israelis.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the entire people group
Pastor Victor Bet Tamarz (10 year sentence), Amin (15 years), Hadi (10 years) bail £46,000 each. Lawyer will appeal.
IRAN – Two Christian converts have finally been charged by the authorities, seven months after being abducted by armed men as they picnicked with their families. Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Askari, both converts from Islam, have been incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison since September. Both men have been convicted for ” acting against national security” and “organizing house churches”. They have filed appeals. Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz is on bail.
May the two men recover from hunger strike and their sentences be repealed.
The Iranian government brutally represses Farsi-speaking (i.e. Muslim background) churches, often called house churches. The persecution of Iranian Christians worsened in 2016.
From Mohabat news here
Earlier this week, two Christian converts who have been in prison since August 2016 ended their hunger strike after being promised medical care and progress in their case.
On 5 February, Amin Afshar Naderi (on left of image) and Hadi Askari (on right) went on hunger strike to demand medical care and to protest about delays in their case. No charges have been brought against either man.
On Tuesday (14 February), the Head of the Attorney General’s office Ali Akbar Bakhtiari and his deputy visited Naderi and Askari in Evin Prison in Tehran. They promised to investigate their case and that of others imprisoned for their religious beliefs, so Naderi and Askari ended their hunger strike.+
Prisoners of Faith Alert
Further updates reveal that Christian convert prisoner, Amin Afshar Naderi is still being held in Evin prison, despite earlier reports about his release.
Mohabat News – On October 19, 2016, a report came out of Iran that three of the five Christians arrested earlier in Firouz-kouh county, had been released. However, follow-up efforts have revealed that one of the three Christians previously thought to have been released, Amin Afshar Naderi, is still being held in prison.
Knowledgeable sources told Mohabat News that the other two Christians, Mohammad Dehnavi and Ramil Bet-Tamraz, son of Pastor Victor Bet-Tamraz were in fact released on bail, while their fellow believer, Amin Afshar Naderi still remains in prison.
As previously reported, the two Christians who were in fact released, had to post very heavy bails. They will be released until the day of their trial. As of now, three of the five believers still in prison are Amin Afshar Naderi, Amir Saman Dashti and Hadi Asgari, none of whom are officially charged yet. There are no further updates on their case and how long they will be held in prison in uncertainty.
Keeping political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in prison without any official charge is a known tactic of the Iranian government in order to pressure such prisoners.
These five Christian prisoners had been arrested on August 26, 2016 in a raid on a family gathering in Firouz-kouh county.
Reports from that incident state the plain-clothed security authorities beat a number of those attending the family gathering and after arresting five of them, they left their families with no news on the whereabouts of their loved ones. Their families said they checked with many prisons across the country but they were told such names are not registered as official prisoners in their system.
As many Iranians have shown incredible interest in Christianity in recent years, the Iranian Islamic regime has ramped up its campaign to crack down on Iranian Christian converts and prevent the spread of house church gatherings. Iran falsely sees its citizens’ conversion to Christianity as a threat to its existence and national security.
This Christian father of three (14, 12 and 9) and husband to Rakhil, could not keep up payments for some electric goods so some thugs from the shop in Sialkot came and beat him badly, later returning to lock him in a room to which they set fire killing him while his family looked on. This happened in April this year. The children were badly traumatised. Pray for the family and that Romans 8:29 will be found true for them.
Yet ANOTHER wicked blasphemy charge when a Muslim Sadhu refused to pay for a repair to his bike and an argument ensued. Ashfaq, who lives in Green town, Lahore was arrested and will have to stand trial.
Pray he will be totally exonerated and the government will take steps to outlaw this evil practice.
Aug. 31, 2017 | Laos
Pray for “Noum” and Her Sons, Who Are Now Homeless
|After 54-year-old “Noum” and her two sons became Christians, her husband angrily refused to let them practice their faith. Then, when village authorities and witchdoctors accused Noum of angering the spirit presiding over the village, Noum’s husband threatened to kick her out of the house if she didn’t renounce her faith. Noum and her sons stood firm, refusing to turn their back on the God who had freed them from superstition. They were forced to leave their home, but authorities awarded Noum a small plot of land that she and her husband had owned. Pray that Noum will be able to get the materials needed to build a home for herself and her sons. Pray that they also will receive enough rice to last through the rest of the year. Pray that they will continue to grow in faith and be a light in the spiritual darkness around them.
Pray these murderers will not escape justice!
|Five Turks finally convicted of “Malatya massacre”
On Wednesday (28 September), five suspects charged with killing three Christians (pictured above, left to right, Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske) in Malatya in 2007 were finally convicted and sentenced to life in prison. There are conflicting reports as to whether these convicted killers are at large or re-arrested.
UPDATE Thank God that a court in Turkey has awarded substantial damages (between £200,000 and £250,000) to the families of three Christians murdered in Malatya in 2007 – ruling that the Government was negligent in its duty to protect the men. Ugur Yüksel, Necati Aydin and Tilmann Geske were brutally killed at the publishing business where they worked. A court in Malatya ruled last week that officials ignored intelligence that Turkish nationalists were targeting the three Christians before they were killed. The trial of the five suspects continues, with the next hearing scheduled for March 1 (Prayer Alert, January 12). Pray for justice for the victims’ families. (Source: Morning Star News)
May the family and friends of the murdered men know peace.
May the Christians in Malatya continue faithful.
That all guilty will be convicted and some (DV) come to Christ.
That judges and officials will hear the gospel and be drawn to Christ.
Four of the five suspects on trial for murdering three Christians in Turkey’s southeastern city of Malatya in 2007 have named the fifth suspect as the sole killer. The four men, now in their late 20s and each facing three consecutive life sentences, made their final defence appeals in court on 9 September (which was the 107th hearing in the eight-year long case).
The trial of the murderers of Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and German national Tilman Geske drags on 7 years after their brutal deaths. The trial is into it’s 70th hearing. Pray for conclusion and justice.The three men were discovered bound to chairs by their hands and feet; each of them had been brutally stabbed and had their throats cut. Ugur was still alive when they were found but died later in hospital from his many wounds.
The three martyrs-Necati, Ugur and Tilman.
Five men, aged 19 and 20 at the time, were arrested at the scene and charged with murder. They each carried a note that read, “The five of us are brothers, we are going to death, we may not return. Give up any legitimate claim against us.”
Their trial opened in November 2007, and there have been 38 hearings since then but no verdict in the case. It has been complicated by attempts to identify those who instigated the murders.
In its 2012 annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) named Turkey as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom. Among the concerns raised about the country were “the delay of trials through lengthy procedures and the lack of convictions on some high profile cases”; the Malatya case was named as oneof them.
The shocking crime attracted high media coverage, and Tilman’s widow, Suzanne Geske, was interviewed on Turkish television shortly afterwards, where she expressed her forgiveness of her husband’s murderers. The couple had three children.
Necati was also married and had two children. Ugar was engaged; his fiancée has since married another Christian man.
Please pray for the conclusion of this trial and justice to be done .
Church leaders cannot train in Turkey.
It is almost impossible for churches to register officially-so people meet in unregistered house groups.
09/26/13 Turkey (World Watch Monitor) – Nearly six years into the court trial over the murder of three Christians in southeastern Turkey, documents have emerged confirming that secret military units were involved in those assassinations and others.
Malatya’s 3rd Criminal Court is forcing prosecutors and the military to turn over previously secret documents, throwing light on a shadowy network believed to be behind several decades of assassination and coup plots in Turkey.
The court is conducting the trial of five men accused of stabbing, torturing and then slashing the throats of Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske in the Malatya office of Zirve Christian Publishing on April 18, 2007.
Earlier this month, the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office handed over to the Malatya court confidential intelligence files seized from the General Staff’s Tactical Mobilization Group archives, known as the “Cosmic Room” in the Turkish media.
According to the most recent indictment in the Zirve case, the documents confirm the existence and illegal activities of secret military units involved in extrajudicial surveillance and assassinations of members of Turkey’s Christian minority communities.
“These documents have made it easier for us to see the big picture of what kind of an organization this is,” Zirve plaintiff lawyer Erdal Dogan told Taraf newspaper on Sept. 16.
In effect, the attorney said, prosecuting Malatya’s Zirve case is revealing the structures that previously orchestrated the murders of two other Christians – Italian Catholic priest Andrea Santoro at his parish in Trabzon in February 2006, and Turkish Armenian editor Hrant Dink in front of his Agos newspaper office in Istanbul in January 2007.
“The structure that committed the Zirve murders is the same structure that committed the Dink and Santoro murders,” Dogan told Hurriyet Daily News last week.
In the Zirve case, the young suspects were arrested and put on trial, but the instigators behind them obscured their own identities by destroying evidence and mounting clever disinformation campaigns, according to the newly revealed documents.
The assassinations have all been linked to the Ergenekon conspiracy, a ‘deep state’ organization embedded in various branches of the secular Turkish military. According to the Ergenekon verdicts handed down in August, the group’s express purpose was to discredit and bring down the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) government by targeting Christian minorities and causing civil chaos.
When will justice be done?
As a result of changes to the Turkish judicial system, five murder suspects from the brutal killing of three Christians in central Turkey in 2007 may be set free. The new law reduces the number of years that a suspect can be held without conviction from ten years to five years. Now, nearly seven years since the murder, these men may be freed while the court case continues to drag on. The proceedings in the case have been far from smooth with the case being connected to larger conspiracy plots in the country. While the current judge in the case hopes to conclude the case by summer, it may once again be extended. (Photo: A 2008 snapshot of the five Malayta murder suspects. Photo Credit: World Watch Monitor)
Good Friday, April 18, marked the seventh anniversary of the murders of Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske, who were viciously killed in 2007 in the offices of a Christian publishing house in Malatya. During graveside services held in remembrance of the victims, the Muslim family members of Ugur Yuksel, a Christian convert from Islam, cordially accepted a gift of a New Testament. A new law passed in February allowed the release of the five men accused of the murders, but the men have to wear electronic monitors until their trial resumes in June with a new judge and jury. Believers have noted a positive change in the way Christians are treated, saying they are more readily accepted as part of Turkish society.
An Indonesian court has found Jakarta’s Christian governor guilty of blasphemy and sentenced him to two years in prison, in a trial that was widely seen as a test of religious tolerance and pluralism in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known by his nickname Ahok, was “found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy, and because of that we have imposed two years of imprisonment”, the head judge, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, told the court.
“As part of a religious society, the defendant should be careful to not use words with negative connotations regarding the symbols of religions, including the religion of the defendant himself.”
Another judge, Abdul Rosyad, said reasons for the stiff sentence included that “the defendant didn’t feel guilt, the defendant’s act has caused anxiety and hurt Muslims”.
After the verdict, the five-judge panel ordered Ahok’s immediate arrest. Ahok has said he will appeal.
The blasphemy charge related to Ahok’s use of a passage of the Qur’an during campaigning for his re-election in September, which hardline Islamist groups said amounted to insulting the holy book.
He insinuated that his opponents had used a Qur’anic verse to trick people into voting against him. An edited version of his speech went viral online, sparking outrage.
Ahok, a Christian with ethnic Chinese roots, is a double minority. His trial came after large protests against him in the capital that drew hundreds of thousands on to the streets.
On Tuesday, hundreds of members of hardline Islamist groups gathered outside the south Jakarta courtroom amid a heavy security presence, calling for Ahok to be given the maximum penalty.
As news of the sentence emerged members of the crowd shouted “God is greatest”.
The government has been criticised for not doing enough to protect religious minorities, but President Joko Widodo, an ally of Ahok’s, has urged restraint over the trial and called for all sides to respect the legal process.
Thousands of police have been deployed in the capital to prevent clashes between Ahok supporters and opponents. “Both groups will have the opportunity to demonstrate, but we are taking steps to prevent clashes,” said the national police spokesman, Setyo Wasisto.
Ahok lost his bid for re-election in an April run-off to a Muslim rival, Anies Baswedan.
He will hand over to Baswedan in October. The vote was the most divisive and religiously charged in recent years.
Prosecutors had called for a suspended one-year jail sentence for Ahok on charges of hate speech. His opponents believe that is too light. The maximum sentence is five years in prison.
Andreas Harsono, an Indonesia researcher at Human Rights Watch, said the verdict was “a sad day for Indonesia”.
“Ahok’s is the biggest blasphemy case in the history of Indonesia. He is the governor of Indonesia’s largest city, an ally of the president. If he can be sent to jail, what could happen to others?” he said.
Harsono said more than 100 Indonesians have been convicted of blasphemy in the past decade, and acquittals in such cases were extremely rare.
Todung Mulya Lubis, a human rights lawyer who also defended the Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, said it was worrying that one judge cited the leader of a hardline Islamic group known as the Islamic Defender’s Front as an expert in the judgment.
“Rizieq Shihab cannot be considered as an expert because he openly, publicly accused Ahok of blasphemy, so he is not an independent, neutral expert anymore. But the judges mentioned his name in their judgment and I thought this is not correct.”
“The judges also talked about experts from [the Islamic organisation] Majelis Ulama Indonesia. With all respect, I don’t think they can be considered as experts because they had taken sides already, long before the trial.
Lubis said the verdict set a “bad precedent”, adding: “Religion is a private matter … so when you put it in the criminal code it can be used by people to discredit and suppress others. This is the problem with the blasphemy law. This is a very sad moment for us.”
God is using war to save his elect among the refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Oct. 19, 2017 | Lebanon
Pray for Nahala, a Syrian Christian Sharing Jesus in Refugee Camps
An audio Bible app allows Syrian refugees to study the Bible themselves
|A Syrian woman who came to faith in Christ after fleeing the civil war in her country is now leading other Syrian refugees to Christ, using a Bible app that VOM helped develop. Nahala left Syria several years ago when the violence intensified in the area where she lived. After settling in a refugee camp in Lebanon, she met a Christian worker who introduced her to Jesus and regularly read the Bible with her. She then began meeting with a group of Syrian widows, reading the Bible and discussing the passages with them. The women could not read, so Nahala introduced them to a Bible app developed by VOM partners that enabled the women to listen to the Bible and use study prompts to learn about Jesus. “There isn’t one Syrian [we’ve met] who we haven’t talked to about God,” Nahala said. “My hope is that all of my people would kno w Jesus.”|