Iranian Christian Converts, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Askari charged.

LATEST:

IRAN – Christian converts finally face trial after being incarcerated for seven months without charge

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 are now to be tried for organising house churches, although the prosecution’s case against them has not been presented to their lawyers.

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

afshar_hadi

Imprisoned Christians end hunger strike in Iran

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

Imprisoned twice in two years
Iranian Christian Amin Nader Afshar (pictured) is currently in prison in Iran for the second time in two years simply because he became a follower of Christ and seeks to live out his faith in his community.
Amin, together with several Christian friends, was arrested in August 2016 and remains in custody with no immediate prospect of release. Please pray for this dear brother, his family, his two Christian friends also incarcerated in Evin prison in Tehran, and for many other Iranian prisoners of faith.

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.

 

More Fulani Atrocities in Nigeria

In a ridiculously long letter ….https://voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/bishop-blames-government-for-fulani-massacre-in-nigeria/ the bishop of Kaduna accuses the local governor and the military of complicity in a recent massacre of 12 people in a village in this state.On the evening of April 15, 2017, while Christians had gathered for an Easter vigil, heavily armed gunmen entered Asso village in Kaduna state and began shooting sporadically at their victims. 12 people were killed and many were injured in the attack.

  • Pray for justice and even-handedness in the state and military, the salvation of these killers, comfort for the grieving believers, healing for the injured and maimed and God’s people to be purified through this wickedness.

 

 

 

 

Harsh sentences and attempted church extermination in Sudan.

 Pastor Kuwa Shamal, imprisoned for a year has been released but  Rev Hassan and Mr Abdumawla, a Sudanese activist, have  been sentenced to lengthy prison terms just for helping a young man in need. Throughout the country churches and Christian schools are being targeted for demolition,

 Previous headlines.

Two men in Sudan are in a maximum security prison. They didn’t do anything wrong.

 

 

LATEST.UPDATE  This is an absolute travesty by a government guilty of genocide…

SUDAN: Life sentence for act of compassion  View this email in your browser
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Christian Missionaries Given Harsh Prison Sentences in Sudan
 
Strong Crackdown on Christian Ministries Continues in Sudan
02/02/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on Sunday, January 29, three Christians were sentenced by the Sudanese court in North Khartoum for charges including spying, entering Sudan without a visa, inciting hatred, photographing military installations, and publishing fake news. Reverend Hassan Abduraheem was sentenced to 12 years, Mr Abdumonem Abdumawla was sentenced to 12 years, and Petr Jasek was sentenced to 20 years.
Petr Jasek is a Czech national, and Abdumawla and Abduraheem are citizens of South Sudan. They were detained for eight months without being formally charged in December of 2015. Their detainment centered on a receipt that linked them to helping a burn victim who was wounded in demonstrations in 2013. The list of charges against them quickly grew exponentially.
The Czech government has rejected the ruling as groundless and insists that there is no evidence for this harsh sentence.
The sentencing sent out shockwaves through the Christian community of Sudan and South Sudan. A pastor in the region told ICC, “The community of Christians in Sudan and South Sudan is very disappointed by the verdict given on Sunday. The three brothers in the Lord deserve better. They have families and churches to take care of and we are joining hands together as Christians to fast and pray and we shall not stop knocking until they are released.”
According to some, persecution against Christians is increasing in Sudan. As one Christian who lived in Sudan told ICC, “The pain that Christians go through in Sudan is nothing close to what we hear or read in websites. Christian persecution has been increasing rapidly in Khartoum and we ask the international community to come in full swing and help.”
A strong majority of Sudanese citizens are Muslim and the Sudanese government has taken an aggressive approach against Christian ministries within its borders. The sentencing of these three Christian foreigners sends a signal on Khartoum’s stance on religious freedom: it is unwanted. Still, many are joining in prayer for the release of their brothers in Khartoum and for opportunities to share the Gospel in Sudan.
One of the pastors who was imprisoned with them but has since been released told ICC, “Our brothers in South Sudan have been praying and we shall continue praying until justice is done. These sentences are hostile to the Church and a stumbling block to the spreading of the Gospel in Sudan and also at the border of Sudan and South Sudan.”
Daniel Harris, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “International Christian Concern strongly condemns this harsh sentence based on fabricated charges. These three men have done nothing to deserve punishment. Instead, they have worked tirelessly to provide humanitarian aid in Sudan. This sentencing is the ‘death knell’ for human rights and religious freedom in Sudan. We strongly encourage Sudan to release these foreigners and allow religious freedom for its citizens.” 
 
Christian gets life sentence – for act of compassion
Czech Christian Petr Jašek has been sentenced to life in prison in Sudan – after a court convicted him yesterday of spying.
His real crime? Helping a student from Darfur who had been badly injured at a rally.
His co-defendants – Sudanese nationals Rev Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and Abdulmonem Abdumawla – were each sentenced to a total of 12 years in prison, mainly for helping Petr.
Please pray that God’s peace and presence will be with these three men and their families, and that their appeal will be successful.
The three men were also convicted of ‘spreading rumours that undermine the authority of the state’ and inciting hatred. Petr was found guilty of taking pictures of military installations and entering Sudan without a visa; he was also fined 100,000 Sudanese pounds (more than £12,000) for doing aid work without a permit. Yesterday’s court ruling has shocked many. The legal maximum penalty for ‘spreading rumours to undermine the authority of the state’ is six months – but the judge in Khartoum doubled this sentence. All three men plan to appeal immediately. They were first detained in December 2015.

  • Pray that God will comfort and strengthen Petr, Hassan and Abdulmonem so they will not lose heart (2 Corinthians 4:16).
  • Ask God for wisdom for the legal team supporting the three men. Pray that their appeal will be heard swiftly and will be successful.
  • Pray that the light and love of Jesus Christ will continue to shine in Sudan, despite intense persecution of His people there.

(Source: Middle East Concern)

Thank God that our Sudanese brother Pastor Kowa Shamaal was released from prison recently, after a judge dismissed the charges against him for lack of evidence. However, the judge decided to proceed with the trial against Pastor Kowa’s fellow Sudanese detainees, Pastor Hassan Abduraheem and Mr Adbulmonem Abdumawla, and Czech Christian Petr Jašek: their next hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 9. The three are accused of serious crimes, including spying. (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

 

 
 

Sudan case update

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Sudan-Kwa-Hassan

Rev. Kwa Shamaal and Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor photo: Middle East Concern

During a trial on August 22, 2016, prosecutors in Sudan accused two church leaders and two others of tarnishing the image of the country and crimes calling for the death penalty, sources said.

The trial had been postponed on Aug. 14 when authorities failed to transfer the pastors to court, a defense attorney told Morning Star News. The prosecutors presented investigators from Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in calling on the court in Khartoum to execute the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor and the Rev. Kwa Shamaal, both of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), for at least seven alleged crimes against the state, the defense attorney said.

He said the defense team is bracing for the charges concocted, which include the capital crimes of espionage and waging war against the state. In court, Abdelrahim denied all charges that NISS, said to be staffed by hard-line Islamists with broad powers to arrest people the government deems undesirable, brought against him, the attorney said.

“We are 100 percent ready to defend our clients,” the attorney said.

The pastors have also been charged with: complicity to execute a criminal agreement; calling for opposition of the public authority by violence or criminal force; exciting hatred between classes; propagation of false news article; and entry and photograph of military areas and equipment.

“There is no evidence against the two pastors,” a relative of one of the church leaders told Morning Star News.

Since the pastors’ transfer from a holding cell to Al-Huda Prison on Aug. 11, prison officials have denied them visitors, telling one family member, “Visits are not allowed.” Abdelrahim’s family has been concerned for his health as they have been unable to provide him with the medication he needs for stomach ulcers, according to advocacy group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Also charged is Abdulmonem Abdumawla of Darfur, a Muslim who was arrested in December after he began collecting money to help a friend, Ali Omer, who had needed treatment for burns suffered in a student demonstration. Abdumawla contacted Abdelrahim, who donated money for Omer’s treatment, which apparently raised the ire of Sudanese authorities, according to CSW.

Omer had been injured during a demonstration at Quran Karim University in Omdurman last year that left him with severe burns that require regular medical care, according to CSW. A senior member of the student wing of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) died when 150 NCP students attacked Darfuri students at a meeting at Sharg El Nil College in Khartoum in April 2015, CSW reported.

“Since that incident, Darfuri students have been increasingly targeted by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS),” CSW reported. “By May 2015, over 100 Darfuri students were detained by NISS in Khartoum and during 2016, NISS has violently suppressed peaceful student demonstrations against government repression.”

Shamaal, head of missions for the SCOC, was arrested on Dec.18, as was Abdelrahim. Shamaal was released on Dec. 21 but was required to report to NISS offices daily, a requirement that was removed on Jan. 16. Shamaal was re-arrested on May 25.

Many church members, mostly from the SCOC, gathered outside of the courtroom to show their solidarity with the two pastors, singing songs calling for their release.

The court appears to be trying to package the case of Omer and the two pastors together with that of a fourth defendant, 52-year-old Petr Jasek, a Christian from the Czech Republic whom NISS accuses of entering the country illegally in October of last year, espionage and tarnishing the country’s image with reports saying Christians in Sudan are being persecuted.

Most SCOC members have roots among the ethnic Nuba in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan’s South Kordofan state, where the government is fighting an insurgency. The Nuba along with other Christians in Sudan face discrimination, as President Omar al-Bashir has vowed to introduce a stricter version of sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and Arabic language.

Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999, and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended the country remain on the list in its 2016 report.

Sudan ranked eighth on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2016 World Watch List of countries where Christians face most persecution.

VOP Note: Please pray for these pastors and their families. The next hearing is expected to take place on tomorrow, August 29th.  Father, take their fear and give then hope through Your presence. May Your light shine from them as a witness for all to see. Give them joy unexpected in these dark days. Hold them up as they stand on the firm foundation of faith. In Jesus Holy name, Amen.

Please pray for all our brothers and sisters under constant threat in Sudan.

 

 

Seek justice for two pastors in Sudan

Dear Julian,

Since December 2015, Pastor Telal Rata, Rev. Hassan Taour and three other Christians have been unlawfully detained without charge, incommunicado, in an unknown location in Sudan.

Pastor Telal Rata, leader of the Fellowship of University Christian Students, was allowed only one visit from family members. They have since been denied access to him. Rev. Hassan Taour, vice-moderator of the Sudan Church of Christ, has been denied all access to either his family or his lawyer. Three other Christian workers, whose names have not been made public, have also been detained.

These Christians are being detained unlawfully, denied access to a fair legal process, and may be at risk of ill-treatment or torture. Their plight forms part of a widening campaign by the Sudanese government to suppress Christianity through imprisoning Christians and demolishing churches.

Pray for the disclosure of their whereabouts so they can see family and lawyers.

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Please pray

• For Pastor Telal, Rev. Hassan, the three other Christians, and their families; that God will give them strength and courage in the face of this persecution
• For God to soften the hearts of the Sudanese authorities, leading them to release His people.

Thank you for your compassion, faithfulness and God-given passion for justice.

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” (Isaiah 42: 6-7)

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MORE…

Prisoners of Faith Alert – May 2016
Imagine for a moment that the police have turned up at your home, taken your husband or wife, son or daughter into custody, and then refused to tell you where they are being held, why they have been arrested and whether or not they are all right. Even after almost five months, you still do not know where they are being held or how they are being treated. That is the awful reality for the family of Pastor Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour in Sudan.
Taour and another pastor, Telahoon Nogosi Kassa Rata, who were arrested in December 2015, remain in detention. As you read their Prisoner Profile please pray for their physical and spiritual wellbeing and for their families.
As part of our support for prisoners of faith and their families, Release is monitoring the situation and will update you on any developments in the case of our two Sudanese brothers.
Thank you for praying for and caring for prisoners of faith.
Hebrews 13:3 (NIV) – ‘Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.’
Thank you for supporting and engaging with Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith.
You can download this Profile as a pdf document by clicking here.
You can download this Profile as a pdf document by clicking here.
Thank you for all your support for Christians who have been imprisoned for their faith.

Find out more about writing to, and on behalf of, prisoners of faith by downloading our Speak Out! and Reach Out! booklets.

By praying for, supporting and writing to, and on behalf of, prisoners of faith you are fulfilling the biblical exhortation to ‘REMEMBER THOSE IN PRISON’ (Hebrews 13:

Every blessing,

Lisa

Zoe
Open Doors Advocacy

Twen—Eritrea

  Pray for Twen (Eritrea)
 

Our focus for the last week of Lent is on Twen from Eritrea. Twen has been in prison for twelve years because of her Christian faith and has suffered beatings and torture. She and other long-term Christian women prisoners have been offered release if they renounce their faith, but refused.
Read the full Prayer Profile, which includes details about Twen’s arrest and sentence, her family, and daily prayer points (dated to begin this coming Sunday, 9 April, which is Palm Sunday).

 
TWO ERITREAN PRISONERS DIE AFTER HUNGER STRIKE

Two Pentecostal women died on 17 March, five days after being transferred to hospital from detention, where they had been on hunger strike  in protest at the violent sexual abuse they were receiving.                        Read more

ERITREA: “THERE IS NO FUTURE”

Dr Berhane Asmelash (Director of Release Eritrea) has spoken about his recent visit to Eritrean Christian refugees living in refugee camps in Ethiopia. He described the sense of desperation leading so many to flee their country.           Read more

JOIN VIGIL AT ERITREAN EMBASSY IN LONDON

On Thursday 18 May, Church in Chains will join in the annual vigil at the Eritrean Embassy in London, marking the 15th anniversary of the Eritrean government’s decision to close down churches

Two Burmese pastors detained for more then three months

Pastors Dom Dawng Nawng Latt (L) and La Jaw Gam Hseng. (Courtesy of Burma military

Burma (Morning Star News) – Two assistant pastors arrested by the Burma army have been jailed without trial for more than three months, sources said.

Pastors Dom Dawng Nawng Latt, 65, and 35-year-old La Jaw Gam Hseng were arrested on Dec. 24 after helping local journalists cover military conflict in northern Shan state, eastern Burma (Myanmar), where a Catholic Church building was bombed by Burma army jets in November. They are charged with unlawful association with an armed ethnic group, an accusation the Kachin Baptist Convention church leaders deny.

Aisling Hubert’s battle against gender abortion–costs paid!

 

Breaking News

Court rules Aisling Hubert must pay huge costs

These have been paid!!

 
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Personal message

By God’s grace, you’ve done it!

Thanks to your generosity, I can pay the costs awarded against me

Dear friends,

I’m writing with some exciting news about our battle to bring ‘gender–abortion’ doctors to justice. 
You may remember that after my attempt to prosecute two doctors was derailed by the Crown Prosecution Service, I was ordered to pay a huge sum in costs. 
In January, we reached a settlement with the two doctors. But that still left me with a vast amount to pay. 
Well, today, I am pleased to tell you that, thanks to your generosity, we have received enough money to pay those costs in full, and to make a contribution to the overall cost of running the case and the ongoing battle to protect life.
I am overwhelmed by your generosity, and give great thanks to God. Thank you so much.
Watch Aisling’s ‘thank you’ message

‘Stood alongside me, every step of the way’

Without the Christian Legal Centre, and your support, we could never have got as far as we have. In fact, I could never even have started.
And throughout, I have been humbled by your encouragement, your prayers, your partnership in contacting MPs, and your generous donations.
You have stood alongside me every step of the way because, like me, you care about God’s precious gift of life, and want to speak up for those who don’t have a voice.
This was never just ‘my’ case. It was all of ours – all of us who believe that life needs to be protected and the evil of abortion exposed.
It’s been a long journey but together we have walked it. We’ve kept the issue of abortion in the public spotlight and through the media, we’ve spoken to millions of people about the reality of abortion.   And I believe that by refusing to ‘keep quiet and go away’, we’ve made it harder for the authorities to ignore these evils in the future.
Thank you for making all this possible.
Watch Aisling’s ‘thank you’ message

‘Thank you for your amazing support’

I am so grateful to Andrea and her team at the Christian Legal Centre. They have given hours of expertise, working tirelessly and sacrificially, never counting the cost or allowing me to carry the burden alone.
The Christian Legal Centre has never charged me a penny, despite the huge resources it has poured into this case over the last three years.
I am so thankful to you for making all this possible.  
This chapter is coming to a close, but the battle for life continues. Later this year, we mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Act. Since then, well over 8 million babies have lost their lives in the UK through abortion.   Now is not the time to shrink back. More than ever we need to fight to protect God’s precious gift of life. Let’s seek the Lord’s guidance for the next stage.   But thank you for the sacrifices that you have already made to stand up for unborn children. Thank you for your amazing support for me, Andrea and the Christian Legal Centre – it really is making a difference.
Yours,

Aisling Hubert

Watch Aisling’s ‘thank you’ message
Donate to continue the fight to protect unborn children
Read more about Aisling’s fight for life

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Stand for life by helping us raise the funds with Aisling
Thank you for praying for Aisling ahead of her costs hearing.
On Tuesday (17 January) Aisling went to court to challenge £36,000 of the costs that were awarded against her after she tried to bring two ‘gender-abortion’ doctors to justice.
The judge said he could not amend or reduce the costs. Instead a settlement was reached for the amount Aisling has to pay. She now has until 18 August to pay the agreed amount.
The terms of the settlement are confidential due to the wishes of the parties other than Aisling.
Aisling says that she will continue to fight for justice for the most vulnerable in society, despite having to pay huge legal costs.
Donate to help Aisling

‘The fight is not over’

We must raise the funds to pay these costs for Aisling, and continue the fight against ‘gender-abortion’.
She says:
“These little girls’ lives are infinitely valuable, so in a sense the costs mean nothing.
“This case has shown that doctors are willing to kill innocent girls not just abroad, but right here in the UK, and do it for money. Yet nobody is prosecuting them.
“The costs awarded against me are unjust, but I hope to raise the funds and continue to stand up for preborn girls.
“I’m glad that this case has now reached its end but the fight is not over. I will continue to seek justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.”
Learn more about Aisling’s story

We’ve come a long way

Tuesday’s settlement means that a two year legal battle has now finished. In this time:

But we’ve got a long way to go

Despite these victories, there is a long way to go:

  • No one has yet been prosecuted for ‘gender-abortion’, even though the Crown Prosecution Service had enough evidence to prosecute Dr Sivaraman and Dr Rajmohan
  • MPs rejected an explicit ban on ‘gender-abortion’ after strong opposition from the pro-abortion lobby
  • We must help Aisling raise funds to pay the huge and unjust legal costs awarded against her
  • 200,000 babies are still killed every year by abortion doctors in the United Kingdom

We need to work together to end this horrific practice and help mothers and fathers who feel it is their only option.

This is our battle

Thank you for standing with Aisling. We long to see an end to ‘gender-abortion’. But we all need to work together in order to make an impact.
Will you help us raise the funds to pay Aisling’s costs?
Yes, I want to help Aisling