|Sep. 28, 2017 | Pakistan
This man has been in prison longer than Aasia Bibi!
Three Muslim men badly beat a Christian convert in the village of Tamchi in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, on 17 October, leaving him fighting for his life.
The attackers cornered Eldos, a 25-year-old convert from Islam, alone in a courtyard and attempted to force him to say the shahada (the Islamic creed). Recitation of the shahada is considered conversion to Islam. He was viciously beaten and left bleeding with severe concussion, a jaw fracture, missing teeth, a bleeding eye, and suspected brain haemorrhage.
Allegedly, the police attempted to disguise the religious motivation for the attack by claiming Eldos was beaten for playing loud music. They forced him to sign a statement to this effect, which they said he had given them verbally. However, Eldos’ lawyer confirmed he had been unable to speak at the time because of the injury to his jaw.
Eldos has since had a complicated operation on his jaw and now needs treatment for his eye and dentures to replace his lost teeth.
Eldos was beaten unconscious – but will not be silenced
Eldos from Kyrgyzstan was beaten to within an inch of his life – for the ‘crime’ of turning to Christ.
The Christian was hospitalised with serious head injuries, including a broken jaw, and his attackers threatened to kill him if he went to the police.
But he ignored their threats and has spoken out, to try to protect other Christians.
Please ask God to protect Eldos and heal him fully.
His assailants ordered him to deny Christ and read a prayer converting back to Islam but he refused. Our partner reports that the police have not yet taken any action in Eldos’ defence.
- Please ask God to heal Eldos, in his body, mind and spirit. Pray that He will renew in Eldos a steadfast spirit (Psalm 51:10).
- Thank God for Eldos’ bravery in choosing to speak out about the attack. Pray that this decision will highlight persecution in Kyrgyzstan and cause officials to take action to protect minorities including Christians.
- Pray that Eldos’ attackers will be apprehended and charged and repent of their crimes and come to know the unconditional love of Christ for themselves. (See below for more on our #Pray50 campaign)
(Source: Release partner)
Click here to watch our recent film on persecution in Central Asia.
Many Christians in Kyrgyzstan live with constant persecution since the introduction of a very restrictive Religion Law in 2009. In October 2017, a pastor’s grandson was severely beaten at school for being a Christian and in May 2018 a Christian woman in Kyrgyzstan, recently converted from Islam, was held captive in her home and beaten by her Muslim family for refusing to renounce her faith in Christ.
- Pray that the Vietnamese government will honor its international and domestic obligations to release Mr. Nguyen immediately and unconditionally
- Pray that believers in Vietnam will persevere and be bold when they face hardship and rejection
- Pray that God would build bridges through relationships to present the gospel to the millions of Vietnamese people who have never heard how they can come to know God
Western hypocrisy, Saudi Arabia and the
persecution of Christians
Western oil interests and a quest for Middle Eastern “stability” mean Saudi Arabia is welcomed as an ally of the so-called Christian West – a profound contradiction that ignores the country’s treatment of Christians and involvement in jihadist violence around the globe. The largely unquestioning support of Western governments for Saudi Arabia is an insult to Christ’s followers there who live in the shadow of death.
It is a capital offence for a Muslim to convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia. Although none have been officially executed, as far as is known, some converts have been murdered by family members. The number of Saudi nationals who are Christians is unknown and even for foreigners it is not advisable or safe to be openly Christian in Saudi Arabia because it is illegal to manifest any religion publicly except Islam. There are hundreds of thousands of Christians among the estimated two million non-Muslim foreign workers in the kingdom. They are only able to worship in secret and even private gatherings are sometimes raided by religious police. Active believers, including Western expatriates, face potential deportation; non-Westerners can face imprisonment and torture.
In Saudi Arabia, no non-Muslim public buildings are permitted. In 2012, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, when asked about church buildlings in Kuwait, stated it was “necessary to destroy all churches in the region”, based on a hadith. The hadith (traditional record of Muhammad’s life and teachings) narrates that on his death bed Muhammad declared, “There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula.”
Following his death in 632, Muhammad’s successors followed his instruction to permit only Islam in the region. There is no mention of Christianity in Saudi Arabia in the historical records after 650.
In May 2018, a story claiming that the Saudi government had struck a deal with the Vatican to allow the construction of church buildings was widely reported in Western press, but later dismissed as fake news after the Vatican denied it and the Egyptian newspaper that broke the story retracted it.
Western support for Saudi Arabia
The modern nation of Saudi Arabia was formed by Ibn Saud in the 1920s, gaining recognition from the UK in 1927, although British politicians were well aware of the true nature of the regime. Earlier in the 1920s, Winston Churchill, then Colonial Secretary, had described daily life under the Saudis’ Wahhabi interpretation of Islam: “They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions … Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets … Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette.”
Today, Saudi Arabia is one of nine countries which formally include hudud punishments (meaning the penalty is specified in the Quran) within their legal system, but it is the country most frequently known for handing down sentences such as floggings and amputations. But for successive Western governments, the desire for a “friend” in the oil-rich region appears to have outweighed any scruples individual leaders might have about supporting Saudi Arabia. The ruling royal family has maintained a close relationship with Western governments, including agreeing lucrative arms deals and leasing military bases.
It is a tragedy that Western nations whose governments claim to be defenders of democracy and religious freedom ignore Saudi Arabia’s brutal repression of all religions other than Islam.
The Wahhabi movement founded in the 1700s by Abd al-Wahhab sought to purify Sunni Islam, returning to fundamentalist ideas emphasising the original interpretation of jihad (struggle) as a physical war against religious enemies. Wahhabism spawned ideology which has been adopted by Al Qaeda, which in turn shaped the birth of the Islamic State (IS) militant group. (It was IS that was responsible for ethnic cleansing and genocide of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria, and also enslaved women and girl children, many of whom were sold on to the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia.) The ideology is spreading in Africa and its impact can be seen in several strongly Christian countries, including Ethiopia, Chad and Kenya.
Saudi Arabia’s export of Wahhabi jihadi ideology has profoundly changed the modern world and especially the Middle East. The country’s oil wealth has been used to fund mosques, charities and Islamic institutions worldwide, as well as radical Islamist groups. Fifteen of the 19 terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks in the US were Saudi.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has provided funding for Sunni jihadists in Syria and Iraq and is widely thought to have directly aided Islamic State. In Yemen, it has helped Sunni government troops fighting Iranian-backed Shia Houthi forces in a civil war that has become the latest expression of Sunni Saudi Arabia’s proxy fight for dominance in the Middle East
Pursuing truth for persecuted Christians in the Middle East
In an era of fake news, when truth is often the first casualty of over-simplified Western media reporting, Christians should not unquestioningly accept the narrative of Western governments and media that excuses the near eradication of Christianity in Saudi Arabia. Neither should we ignore Saudi support for the spread of violent jihadism, which has brought terror to the West and aided Islamist groups who continue to target our brothers and sisters across the world.
She should be recompensed and sent with family on first plane to the west.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian woman condemned to death on blasphemy charges after accepting her 2015 appeal against her sentence.
“The judgement of the high court and that of the trial court is reversed,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar said, reading out the verdict. He added that Asia Bibi should be set free if she is not wanted in any other case.
“Her conviction is set aside and she is to be relieved forthwith if not required in other charges,” the judgement read. (Dawn)
All glory to GOD in the Highest!
We congratulate to Pakistan for their courage!
Eritrean oppression undiminished and still causing mass emigration and many deaths.
“The regime does not relieve pressure: it is a state-prison” Photo: Agenzia Fides
The official end of the war with Ethiopia has not stopped the exodus and people still flee from Eritrea. Boys and girls run away from an oppressive regime and from a very poor society that does not offer job opportunities. Abba Mussie Zerai, a priest of the eparchy of Asmara, wrote an open letter in which he criticizes the ruling class of his Country, asking to keep the attention alive: “The regime in Asmara – he says in the letter sent to Agenzia Fides is one of the world’s toughest political regime, a dictatorship that suppressed all forms of liberty, annulled the 1997 constitution, suppressed the magistracy, militarized the entire population. A dictatorship that, in a word, has created a State-prison. The numerous, detailed reports published by various international institutions and organizations and by the most prestigious…
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Aug. 03, 2017 | Eritrea
Pray for the Family of Imprisoned Pastor Haile Nayzgi
There are hundreds more like him. What are the Eritrean regime accomplishing by locking them up? Nothing? Creating misery? Actually furthering the gospel as with Paul in Rome and acting as refiners of their faith!
|Pastor Haile Nayzgi has spent the last 13 years in prison, one of the about 3,000 believers being held without charges or a trial in Eritrea. After he was arrested, his wife and three children fled the country, knowing they could easily be next on the list for arrest. Their journey included a 10-hour walk through the desert and refugee camps, enduring hunger and thirst along the way. Today, thankfully, they are resettled in another nation sharing fellowship with a body of believers. Haile’s 20-year-old daughter and his 19-year-old recently shared their experience of God’s provision and gracious protection with a VOM worker. Although they have not seen their father since his arrest, the two young adults discussed their father’s faith and courage under difficult circumstances. They hope to follow in his footsteps. Pray for Pastor Haile’ s release. Pray also that God will continue to care for and sustain his family while they are without him.