Thursday, May 31, 2012

200 Police Storm Chinese House Church, Arrest 50 Christians

I pray that my 50 arrested Chinese brethren in Christ will stay strong in this trial that they are facing for the sake of their King.

05/30/2012 China
(ChinaAid) - More than 200 police officers and government officials in Henan province raided a house church, taking more than 50 Christians into custody and criminally detaining eight of them, ChinaAid has learned.

The April 14 raid on the house church in Dianying village, Ye county, city of Pingdingshan, began at about 12:30 p.m. as 54 young people were attending a Bible study class. Suddenly, more than 200 police and government officials surrounded the meeting place and took all the students away, including a mother and her one-year-old infant.

The entire police force of Ye county, officials from the township government, armed police and the fire brigade, and anti-terrorism police were all out in force to execute the police action. Police were also equipped with two water cannons. In addition, the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau and officers from the police stations of two neighboring townships also assisted in the raid. On the same day, the Ye county China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee, the two government organs that oversee China’s official Protestant church, ended a joint session.

The detained Christians were first held for a half-day in the yard of the Rendian township government office complex, then moved to the townships animal quarantine station where they were held for a week. Among those held was a 16-year-old who was visiting his uncle and was inadvertently detained along with the other Christians. After an investigation, 46 of the detainees were released. Among those still in detention, four are elderly while the four others are younger.

The home in which the Daying village house church was meeting in belonged to Zhang Fangshun, also a Christian. He was away on the day of the raid, seeking medical treatment in a hospital in south China’s Guangzhou province, and returned home three days after the raid. When he returned, the director of the Pingdingshan Office of Politics and Law and three police officers went to Zhang’s home and told him to report the same day to the Ye county Domestic Security Protection Department for a talk. Zhang went there that afternoon and found department head Gao Fuzhong. During their talk, the two got into an altercation because Gao refused to return Zhang’s government ID card after asking to see it and Zhang reached to grab his ID card back.

Of the eight believers who remain in custody, two were transferred first to the Ye county detention center, and the six others followed later. Among them is a woman who has hepatitis. Currently, five believers are in custody in the Ye county detention center and the three others are in the Pingdingshan municipal detention center.

The Ye county Public Security Bureau has repeatedly refused to produce the legally required paperwork to the family of the detainees. The relatives have been able to learn through private connections that the Public Security Bureau has already formally arrested the eight Christians and is criminally detaining them on the charge of “suspicion of organizing a cult to undermine national law enforcement.” The arrest and detention notices for the believers held in the Pingdingshan detention center—Wang En, Zhang Mian, Hu Linpo and Cao Xia—have already been processed, but the paperwork for the four others have not yet been provided to their family members(Source).

Police in India Don’t Seem to Take Assaults Seriously

5/29/2012 India ( Jagarana Vedike Dakshina Pranthya Convenor Sathyajith Suresh urged the government to ban both PFI and KFD Muslim organisations have been engaging into anti-national activities and engineering Love jihad

Speaking at a protest rally organised by the Hindu Jagarana Vedike here on Tuesday, he flayed the assault on Bajrang Dal convener Ganesh and alleged that the PFI and KFD were responsible for the assault. He said “when terrorist Nazeer was arrested, we had complaint to the police that Nazeer was engaged in Taliban model training in the district. However, the police have failed to initiate action.”

Four accused who had assaulted Ganesh were arrested. The police should arrest all the culprits, he said. Bajrang Dal Dakshina Pranthya Convenor Mandya Manju said as per the intelligence report, PFI and KFD have been identified as terrorist organisations.

He alleged “the Muslim organisations want to convert the entire country into a Muslim country by 2045. The Hindu girls are forcibly converted to Islam through Love Jihad(Source).”

China: Female Christian Petitioner Raped By Government-Hired Security Personnel

This horrifies me. I pray that Zhu stays strong and that whoever raped her is caught brought to justice.

05/30/2012 China (ChinaAid) - Zhu Guiqin, a Christian woman living at 26#, 13th Block, Anju Community, Changchun Street, Fushun City, Liaoning Province, was unfortunately kidnapped and raped by security personnel hired by the local government when she travelled to Beijing to petition on April 11, 2012. She reported to the police immediately, but the police in the two cities of Liaoning Fushun and Beijing shifted responsibility to each other. The case has not been formally filed up to the present and the criminal suspect Xiaohai is still walking around as a free man.

Below is the recount of Zhu Guiqi:
It was about 5pm of April 11, when I walked out of Beijing Gangwasi Church. I was going to take a bus right across the street from the church entrance when three men ran up to me by the bus stop, grabbed me and pushed me into a minivan parked by the street. The vehicle took off right away, and they immediately took away my Identification Card, my two cell phones, one USB drive, bank cards and over 200 yuan in cash that I had on me.

These items have not been returned to me to this day. I spotted police on the street from inside the car, so I started yelling for help. The four or five people who kidnapped me grabbed me, put a mask over my head, and bound up my mouth, arms and legs with wide plastic tapes in five or six layers. They also pushed down a row of back seats and placed me underneath them, so that I couldn’t move, not to mention utter any sound. Then these kidnappers started making a phone call. I could tell the person on the other side of the phone was Bi Shengguo, the Associate Secretary of Changchun Street Office, Fushun City. (His phone number: 13941311009) They also said to me when they pushed me into their vehicle, “Don’t hate us. Hate your local government.

We don’t understand either why your local government hates you so much. They asked us to kill you in five days. We’ll let you go right away if you could give us 3000 yuan.” From their conversations in the vehicle, I could tell one of them is a retired veteran from the army in some city of Liaoning.

Zhu Guiqin is a Christian. Early in 2004, she was unlawfully sentenced to three years’ education in labor camp because she went to Beijing to petition for her rights and interests. She was sent to MasanjiaLabor Camp which is notorious for torturing and persecuting Falungong practitioners. She endured indescribable torture and persecutions during her time there.

After she was released, she constantly went to Beijing to petition to relevant government agencies, which offended the local government. So the local government hired illegal security guards to take revenge on her. Ms. Zhu is almost 50 years old and yet the man who raped her is only in his early twenties. This is an appalling crime! It also proves the absence of rule of law in China, moral deterioration, and the fact that public authorities have become mafias. We call on Chinese Christians to pay close attention to this case and pray for Ms. Zhu(Source).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sudan Talks to Resume, Tensions Remain High

On July 9, 2011, Southern Sudan seced from Northern Sudan. It would be thought that things would get better there now that Muslims wouldn't be able to kill, rape or enslave my brethren in Christ Jesus. If anyone is still holding that cozy little illusion, this article destroys it all:

05/28/2012 Sudan (MNN)-African Union-brokered talks are set to resume tomorrow between Sudan and South Sudan. Leaders hope to end the tensions that have teetered Sudan and fledging South Sudan on the brink of war. Issues include the oil-rich border areas and ethnic conflicts. The talks will be held in Ethiopia.
Words of Hope broadcasts Christian programming into the region.

The ministry's Vice President Lee DeYoung tells us top Sudanese leaders have been outright hostile in their rhetoric. "There are literally hundreds of thousands of Christians of South Sudanese origin who have lived their entire lives in North Sudan, particularly around Khartoum. For many years, there was at least some kind of tolerance of those people, but intolerance is mounting."

The intolerance, says DeYoung, has gone even further. "There's talk about cleansing the North of the stain of Christianity. Some official statements refer to Southern Sudanese as insects, a plague that needs to be eradicated from Sudan."

Many have attempted to leave the North, says DeYoung, but they can't. "On one hand, the government of Sudan says you must leave. And yet, when they try to leave, they say, 'You need to have papers from South Sudan in order to leave,' which seems to be a real catch 22 because many of these people have never lived in South Sudan."

This political tug-o-war is causing major problems. DeYoung continues, "There are literally thousands of refugees trying to leave the North but are unable to cross the border into the South because of the fact that there is armed conflict that's been escalating there, but also just seemingly bureaucratic opposition to their leaving at the same time they're being treated so badly."

While the political conflict has been heavy, so have the internal issues. "The cost of living has increased since the separation of South Sudan from Sudan. Once the independence became official, the supply lines to the North were cut off."

Despite this, Words of Hope will continue broadcasting into the region. DeYoung is asking you to pray for "[the] cessation of tension and hostility and violence between South Sudan and Sudan. Pray that the church would be successful -- and other Christian groups -- in providing the hope of the Gospel to help to ease tensions between the ethnic groups in South Sudan(Source)."

1500 Member House Church In China Asked To Halt Activities

We should obey God rather than man. Acts 5:29

05/22/2012 China (Radio Free Asia) - Authorities in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan have requested a large family-based Christian church to halt its activities, the church’s pastor told RFA on Tuesday. The move came as Chinese authorities intensified their harassment of Christians and cracked down on unofficial churches, called “house churches,” across several Chinese provinces.

“The authorities have asked us to end our family church congregations, calling our gatherings ‘illegal,” said Pastor Li, leader of the 1,500-member house church based in the Qili township of Sichuan’s Langzhong city.

“They…still haven’t taken direct action against us, but this has worried churchgoers,” Li added.
Li said the government warning arrived on May 18 in a notice delivered to the home of a church member, and was not sent to their meeting place.

“Our prayer meeting of that day had about 20 believers,” Li said, adding that because of the large size of his congregation, church meetings are held in small groups in area villages.

Chinese authorities have recently moved to increase restrictions on the activities of China’s house churches, whose members are estimated to number about 40 million according to government figures. On May 5, a family church gathering in Shijiazhuang in China’s northeastern Hebei province was broken up by police who declared the gathering illegal. Officers took worshippers’ names and told them to pray instead at government-approved churches.

And on Tuesday, a family church staff member in Nanyang in the central province of Henan said that authorities had ordered local house church members to join official churches.

“But we categorically refused to do so,” the man, surnamed Xi, said. “They want to control us(Source).”

UK Christian Health Worker Sues Over Dismissal for Pro-life Views

05/29/2012 UK (The Christian Post)-A Christian woman suspended from the U.K. National Health Service for voicing her opposition to abortion has filed a lawsuit against the government body, claiming it violated her rights to free speech and religion.

Margaret Forrester, working as a "psychological wellbeing practitioner" for the National Health Service, was suspended in Nov. 2010 after she privately told colleagues she was concerned women receiving abortions were not adequately educated on the negative effects of the procedure.

Forrester then gave a pro-life, charity-sponsored booklet entitled "Forsaken" to one of her colleagues, which featured stories of women who had dealt with post-abortion syndrome, in the hopes of better educating women facing unplanned pregnancies. It was shortly after that encounter that the mental health practitioner was suspended for "gross professional misconduct."

Forrester, 40, has chosen to take up her grievances regarding her suspension with England's High Court, where she filed a lawsuit Monday. She is being represented by the Thomas Moore Legal Center, a conservative religious freedom charity, and is arguing that the handling of her religious expression by the Central and North West London NHS Trust was a human rights violation.

During disciplinary proceedings, Forrester, a Roman Catholic, was told that the "Forsaken" abortion-awareness pamphlet was "religious in tone" and therefore may be offensive to some nonreligious colleagues, the Telegraph reported.

"If employees of the NHS cannot even discuss the subject of abortion with their colleagues then this means that the NHS has become a dangerously totalitarian organization with no regard for freedom or diversity," a representative for the Thomas Moore Legal Society told the publication.

A spokesperson for the NHS told the Telegraph: "The Trust thoroughly disputes these allegations and will continue to defend its position vigorously. We are confident that we will be able to successfully defend these claims(Source)."

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1500 Member House Church In China Asked To Halt Activities

05/22/2012 China (Radio Free Asia) - Authorities in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan have requested a large family-based Christian church to halt its activities, the church’s pastor told RFA on Tuesday. The move came as Chinese authorities intensified their harassment of Christians and cracked down on unofficial churches, called “house churches,” across several Chinese provinces.

“The authorities have asked us to end our family church congregations, calling our gatherings ‘illegal,” said Pastor Li, leader of the 1,500-member house church based in the Qili township of Sichuan’s Langzhong city.

“They…still haven’t taken direct action against us, but this has worried churchgoers,” Li added.
Li said the government warning arrived on May 18 in a notice delivered to the home of a church member, and was not sent to their meeting place.

“Our prayer meeting of that day had about 20 believers,” area villagesLi said, adding that because of the large size of his congregation, church meetings are held in small groups in .

Chinese authorities have recently moved to increase restrictions on the activities of China’s house churches, whose members are estimated to number about 40 million according to government figures. On May 5, a family church gathering in Shijiazhuang in China’s northeastern Hebei province was broken up by police who declared the gathering illegal. Officers took worshippers’ names and told them to pray instead at government-approved churches.

And on Tuesday, a family church staff member in Nanyang in the central province of Henan said that authorities had ordered local house church members to join official churches.

“But we categorically refused to do so,” the man, surnamed Xi, said. “They want to control us(Source).”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Secret Police Raid Church in Uzbekistan

5/15/2012 Uzbekistan (Worthy News)-- Secret police officers and other officials raided the Sunday worship service of an unregistered ethnic Korean Baptist Church in the town of Chirchik in Tashkent Region on Feb. 5.

Police Inspector Otabek Alimov, Urtachirchik District and Nurmina Askarova, Chair of the local Mahalla Committee, were among the 10 officials who raided the 9 a.m. worship service; they confiscated a sound amplifier, microphone, keyboard, projector, hymnals, audio cassettes and DVDs.

The officials said that the confiscated items would be sent to the state Religious Affairs Committee for "expert analysis"; they then charged Pastor Vyacheslav Kim under Administrative Code Article 184-2: Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan with a purpose to distribute religious materials.

"We warned them many times that they should register with the state," Askarova told Forum 18. When asked why the Korean Baptists can't meet in private homes for worship, she said they should instead attend a registered church(Source).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

First-Grader Allowed To Perform Christian Song After Idaho School Reverses Ban

05/19/2012 United States (Christian Post) - An Idaho first-grader's plan to perform a song by worship singer Chris Tomlin using sign language for a talent show is back on track after the school's principal originally banned the entry, deeming the song "too religious."

Lena Whitmore Elementary School reversed its decision after the Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter to the school and district officials pointing out that banning the performance would be unconstitutional.
The Christian-based lawyers group released a statement on Friday that said ADF remains concerned about a district policy that will allow free speech violations to continue if it is left unchanged.

"Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas. Removing the voice of faith from schools sends a message to all students that religion is something to be ashamed of," said ADF Litigation Staff Counsel Matt Sharp. "The school district is off to a good start in allowing this performance to occur, but it needs to revise its unconstitutional policy so that this doesn't happen again."

The first-grade student decided to participate in her school's annual talent show by performing sign language to the song "We Fall Down" by Tomlin, according to ADF. Although an audition panel responded positively to her audition performance of the song, the school's principal later contacted the student's mother to let her know the song was "too religious" to be performed in the talent show.

The principal cited a district policy on "Private Religious Expressions" that ADF lawyers say inaccurately states that "the right of private religious expression in school buildings, on school grounds or at school sponsored events does not include the right to have a 'captive audience' to listen(Source)."

Iranian Government Tightens the Noose on Christians

It never ceases to excite about the growth of Christians in Iran. I pray that the Lord will continue to grow the number of brethren over there.

5/17/2012 Iran (MohabatNews)-In addition to the increased restrictions against Iranian Christian converts, the Ministry of Intelligence has now ordered the leaders of the central AOG church in Tehran to compile a list of the names and National ID numbers of its members and submit it to the security authorities.

According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports from Tehran indicate that leaders of the central AOG church of Tehran asked their congregation in Sunday May 6 service to voluntarily present them with a list of their names and National ID numbers so that they submit the list to the officials. This reveals the identity of Christian converts and enables security authorities to record detailed information about the Christians.

It is clear that such a decision by the leaders of the AOG church, is a result of pressures the security authorities have been imposing on them. This seems to be a precautionary move by the security organizations to identify Christians and possibly use the information later to arrest Christian converts and watch the activities of the church even more closely, especially to prevent them from receiving new people. Such orders by security authorities make Christians' relationship with their church riskier than ever.

This security move by Iranian authorities reveals that even after cancelling the Farsi services in some churches, they have not been successful in reducing the number of Christian converts and the trend by other people to attend the church. In recent months, organizers and operational groups of the Ministry of Intelligence ordered the last two churches in Tehran still holding Farsi services, to cancel these services. However, this has not stopped Christians from attending church services and illustrates the failure of all these repressive plans and threats which were designed to deal with spread of Christianity in Iran.

In February, 2012, the Farsi services in two churches in Tehran were cancelled following an order issued by the Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic. The two churches were the Protestant Church of Emmanuel and the Evangelical Church of St. Peter. These two were the only churches in Tehran offering Farsi services on Fridays. Prior to this, in 2009 the same thing happened to the central AOG church in Tehran and its Farsi services on Friday were discontinued.

Many members of the central AOG church in Tehran have been martyred by terrorists of the Islamic regime of Iran and the church itself has been under close watch for a long time. Some 20 years ago, also, the security authorities of the Ministry of Intelligence demanded such a list of names and personal details of the members of the church, but the church leaders at that time refused to submit to this demand.

Although the threats, arrests, imprisonments and tortures of Christians converts have backfired, and instead of preventing it the growth of Christianity in Iran has increased.The Ministry of Intelligence believes that the implementation of newer tactics and restrictions such as demanding Christians personal details would put them in quandary and confuse them whether give their information to the church or not. They assume that these would cause people to stop attending church services.

On the other hand, as part of their anti-Christian strategies, the officials in the think tank of the Ministry of Intelligence, design these orders to terrorize Christians and somehow show that the Islamic republic has sufficient power to identify Christian converts and summon or arrest them whenever it chooses to do so.

It is also obvious that the Ministry of Intelligence is giving a signal to dissuade Christians from attending church services by requesting their personal details, and thereby cause a drop in the number of attendees at church services. Some of those converted to Christianity are students at universities or are employed by government-run organizations, and thus it would certainly impact both their record and their future.
- The other side of the coin
However, the positive point in such actions is the spread of "House-churches". Christians who are forced out of official churches would attend house churches which help spread Christianity among families. This has created an opportunity for Christians to have a house church in every corner of the city.
- Why the Islamic Republic cannot shut down churches
Considering the prevailing situation in Iran, one wonders why the Islamic republic has not been successful in closing churches despite all the measures it has taken to achieve this goal? The Islamic republic pressures and restricts churches and uses different tactics to empty churches. At tines, security authorities attend Sunday church service to spy on Christians. It is also said that they have installed hidden CCTVs in some church hallways and yet they have not been successful in their anti-Christian plans.

One of the answers could be that it seems the official churches are only exist in the Islamic Republic for display purposes to be able to say that churches are operating in Iran and to create a positive image from the regime in the international community and also to show them off to the few tourists who travel to Iran and make them believe Christians enjoying freedom in Iran and announce that the doors of churches are open to Christian minorities and have played a fundamental role in religious coexistence(Source)!

Muslims Rape Girl, Brutally Beat Relatives For Prosecuting. Police Do Nothing.

The Quran prescribes implied rape:
Forbidden to you are married women, except those whom your right hand possess.
Sura 4:24

Therefore we should be unsurprised when things like this happen to our sisters in Christ as seen in this article:

5/21/2012 Pakistan (CDN)- Aunt of 13-year-old victim loses twins to miscarriage after beating. A band of Muslims this month severely beat a pregnant Christian woman in Punjab’s Narowal district – causing her to lose female twins to miscarriage – in an effort pressure her family into dropping charges of raping her 13-year-old niece, the woman’s husband said.

Asher Masih of Dhamala village told Compass by phone that the men attacked his home on May 8.
“All three male members of our family, including my father, brother and myself, were out for work when Irfan Safdar and his accomplices trespassed into our house and started beating up my mother, sister-in-law and my wife, who was in her fifth month of pregnancy, mercilessly,” he said.

Masih’s elderly mother said she pleaded for the attackers to spare his wife, but they did not listen.
“They murdered our children, they raped our daughter,” she said. “We have nothing left with us.”

In a country where Muslim criminals believe police and courts will give little credence to the complaints of Christians, the family accuses three Muslims of gang-raping the girl at an outhouse on March 29.

“She had gone to a nearby field to use the toilet when she was forcibly taken away by three men later identified as Irfan Safdar and Shahid. Their third accomplice remains unidentified as yet,” Masih said. “At first we thought that she might have stopped at some neighbor’s house, but when she did not return after a long time, we set out to look for her.”

He said a villager informed the family that he had seen Safdar and two others taking the girl to an outhouse. The family rushed to the site, but Safdar and his accomplices fled, Masih said.

“We found [name withheld] inside the outhouse, raped and badly injured,” he said.

Masih said the family tried to register a First Information Report (FIR) with local police, but officers turned a deaf ear, as Safdar is the son of former police inspector Safdar Bajwa.
“They also refused to register [the victim’s] statement under Section 164, which is mandatory in such cases,” he said.
Police refused to file their complaint for more than a week, during which time the suspects repeatedly threatened the family, he said.
“They told us we were poor and weak and could not face them no matter how much we tried,” Masih said. “There are about four or five Christian families in the overwhelmingly Muslim village, but almost everyone is fed up with the Bajwa family because of their criminal activities.”
Safdar Bajwa first denied that his son was involved in the case, but when several Muslim villagers started visiting the police station with the victim’s family, the accused surrendered a servant identified as Shahid to police, saying he had raped the girl, Masih said.

“The police tried to give a clean sheet to Irfan in the initial investigation, because of his father’s influence, but then registered FIR No. 145/12 under Section 376 against three men, including Irfan, when the villagers insisted,” he said, adding that police still did not arrest Safdar. “In April, Irfan and his accomplices illegally grabbed a piece of land owned by us. They did this to pressure us into giving up the case, but we stood our ground. We are poor, but we chose not to compromise on our honor.”

Masih said the Muslim family used various tactics to compel the victim’s family to drop the charges, and when all efforts failed, they attacked their house.
After neighbors informed the men at work of the attack, they took the injured women to a hospital.

“The doctors tried to save the babies, but Nosheen had a miscarriage because of the severe injuries inflicted by the attackers,” he said, adding that his wife was still in a state of shock and grief.
Masih said that the family has registered case No. 184/12 against Irfan Safdar and nine others, but the suspects managed to get pre-arrest bails with the help of police.

“Their interim bails end on May 22, and we know they will be able to influence their way out of this case as well,” he said. ‘There is no justice for the poor and helpless in Pakistan, especially if you belong to a minority community(Source).”

Monday, May 21, 2012

Convert in Pakistan Brutally Beaten, Tries to Rebuild Life. Islam Hunts Him

5/16/2012 Pakistan (Compass)-Muhammad Kamran isn’t sure who sent the men to beat him after his Muslim wife told both her family and his that he had become a Christian. The 34-year-old native of Karachi said his wife’s brothers had begun coming to his office to threaten him before unidentified assailants attacked him as he was returning home two years ago. “I don’t know who sent those men,” Kamran said. “It could have been my family or hers. They beat me up mercilessly, the effects of which I’m suffering even today. My pelvic area and groin were badly injured by their kicks and punches, and still today I’m suffering from pain.”

Two years later, he still has a pelvis injury from the beating that requires treatment. But even help from a local politician has not been able to procure medical treatment funding for a convert from Islam in Pakistan’s current religious climate.

“The biggest hurdle I’m facing is his name,” said the politician, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Being a minorities leader, I can only recommend government funds for people belonging to minority communities, but seeking money for a man with Muhammad in his name and ‘Christian’ in the religion column of an official form is a recipe for disaster, and frankly the situation in Pakistan is not such where anyone will be willing to take such a big risk.”

Raised in an ultra-conservative Muslim family, Kamran was baptized in September 2009 and began his life as a covert Christian, though he continued to openly question Islam.

“In 2010, my family started trying to force me to marry, hoping that marriage would keep me from questioning ‘the faith of my forefathers,’” he said. “I gave in to their constant prodding and was married to a girl from a Sunni Syed family.” At first he had hoped that he would be able to bring his wife to Christianity, he said.

“After some days of our wedding, I shared my faith with her and was delighted when she told me that she would stand by me,” he said. “But my hope was dashed the very next day, when she told both of our families that I had turned away from Islam and had become a ‘murtad’ [apostate deserving death].”
Kamran said his wife’s revelation angered both families.

“Every other day, I was threatened either by my family or hers that if I ever renounce Islam I would be killed, and that I should mend my ways,” he said.

Quarrels with his wife over religion became commonplace, he added. “After a couple of months of continuous fights, I asked my wife to leave me if she could not live with someone who was having a conflict with faith,” he said. “She refused, and instead told both families that I wanted a divorce.”
Kamran said the dilemma quickly reached a crisis point. “No one was willing to let me live the life I wanted – they say Islam is not a religion of compulsion, but no one has been able to tell me why Muslims who don’t find satisfaction in the religion become liable to be killed.”

After the torturous beating, Kamran said, he decided he would no longer remain in Karachi. He told the pastor who baptized him, whose name is withheld for security reasons, that his predicament had become unbearable. The pastor arranged a visitor’s visa to Dubai for him. Upon reaching Dubai, he contacted his family and told them that he would not be returning to Pakistan.

“In the next few days, my wife’s family sent me divorce papers, to which I readily agreed, and hence my marriage ended after nearly four months,” Kamran said. After the expiration of his one-month visa, however, Kamran returned to Karachi.

“The kind pastor sent me to another pastor in Faisalabad, in Punjab Province,” he said. “He said that it would be safer for me to stay out of Karachi for some time because news of my conversion might put the community at risk.” Kamran returned to Karachi in 2011.

“After some months, the pastor married me to a Christian woman,” he said. “For a few months everything went fine, and we were living a very peaceful life, but one day a cousin of mine saw us in a market and followed us to our home. He then informed my family that I was in Karachi and had a Christian wife. My father came to my house and demanded that I leave my wife and return home, but I refused. He made a lot of hue and cry and cursed me for ‘bringing disgrace to the family.’”

As soon as Kamran’s father left, the couple gathered their belongings and moved, Kamran said.
His family members found out where his wife worked, however, and have been threatening them ever since, he said. Kamran and his wife Asha, now eight months pregnant, have changed residences four times to avoid his family. His wife told Compass they are living in constant fear.

“Every other day, we receive threatening phone calls,” she said. “They just won’t leave us alone. A few days ago Kamran’s family came to know that I was expecting our first child. They are now asking him to abandon us and renounce Christianity, threatening that they will kill me and our child(Source).”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jesus Loves China, Too

05/14/2012 China (Foreign Policy) - Like most Chinese, I was educated as an atheist. All textbooks, philosophy classes, and conferences taught us that the Christian faith is an "opiate of the people's spirit" that Westerners use to numb and neutralize the creativity of the Chinese mind.

But as a student of English literature at Liaocheng University in Shandong province in 1987, my American teachers after class would sometimes pull out what we Chinese students called a "Little Red Book." It was a pocket Bible. And from it they shared what they called "the Good News."

They were a peculiar group of people -- laughing loudly with big smiles, always looking us in the eye when speaking to us. One day I went to the apartment of a teacher who had been in China for more than three years, and I saw him playing the guitar, crying as he sang. He told me he was homesick for his family in California, and I was touched by his openness -- such a contrast to the stern, cold teachers I had had before. The kindness and love he and his fellow Christian teachers showed was not to change China, but to offer life-giving truth in an authentic manner. Today's would-be missionaries to China could learn a lot from them.

Americans like to see things get done instantly: fast food, Twitter, and even "shock and awe" military campaigns. In the 1990s, one ministry organization put an ad in a major Christian magazine calling for donations with the slogan "one dollar, one soul," the idea being one dollar will purchase one Bible in China, which will help convert one Chinese soul. This instant-noodle approach to the life-and-death decision to accept Christ as one's only Savior and Lord is counterproductive. Chinese souls cannot be harvested like stalks of corn in a field, or iPads on an assembly line.

Missionaries should study China and it's people, culture, and history, which is almost 20 times longer than U.S. history. Especially after 60 years of communism and wave after wave of class struggle, Chinese are desperate for trust. Many of my classmates were more willing to share their personal secrets with our American teachers than with fellow Chinese students because they found the teachers trustworthy and caring. The American teachers I know said it took years living and interacting with the Chinese before their mission bore spiritual fruit.

In the Bible, the book of Romans says, "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good and always serve each other in love." With this kind of message, Christianity will blossom. This is the only way freedom -- both individually and nationally -- will spread in China(Source).

Friday, May 18, 2012

Muslim Persecution of Christians: April 2012

As Easter, one of the highest Christian holidays, comes in April, Christian persecution in Muslim nations—from sheer violence to oppressive laws—was rampant: In Nigeria, where jihadis have expressed their desire to expunge all traces of Christianity, a church was bombed during Easter Sunday, killing some 50 worshippers; in Turkey, a pastor was beaten by Muslims immediately following Easter service and threatened with death unless he converted to Islam; and in Iran, Easter Sunday saw 12 Christians stand trial as "apostates."

The persecution of Christians has come to regions not normally associated with it. As in Nigeria, Muslim militants are now also running amok in Timbuktu, Mali—beheading a Christian leader and threatening other Christians with similar treatment. Sharia law has been imposed, churches are being destroyed, and Christians are fleeing Timbuktu in mass.

Categorized by theme, April's assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity (Keep on reading to learn of these atrocities against our brethren in Christ).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

FedEx Employee Vindicated In Religious Discrimination Suit

And the Western Persecution of my American brethren in Christ continues to happen:

05/16/2012 United States (Charisma) - Eric Weathers was just trying to answer a few of his coworker’s questions about the Bible. But the Chicago FedEx employee’s boss told him that discussions about religion and politics were “forbidden in the workplace.”

When the boss refused to tell Weathers why, the Christian employee asked a human resources representative for an explanation. The response: His speech was an “act detrimental to the company”—a designation given to sexual harassment, possession of illegal drugs or weapons in the workplace, theft, workplace violence and other egregious acts.

Then, in a reported act of hypocrisy, Weathers’ boss engaged in religious speech two weeks after she banned him from discussing the Bible. The supervisor first ordered him to define the term atheism and later sent him an email stating, “The man upstairs is watching...” The e-mail included a picture of a Baptist church marquee that stated, “God has seen your [business report] numbers. You’re going to hell!”

In response to the workplace persecution, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a case against FedEx on Weathers’ behalf. Weathers won the case. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang denied FedEx’s motion for summary judgment in January after finding “enough evidence … for a reasonable jury to find that Weathers suffered the requisite significant negative alteration in the workplace” to constitute an “adverse employment action” as a result of FedEx’s failure to accommodate his religion.

“Weathers’ superiors told him that he could not discuss religion, even if asked, and he was told that he must affirmatively misrepresent his college degree,” wrote Judge Chang. Weathers holds a bachelor’s degree in Bible and youth ministry from The Master’s College, and is pursuing his Master’s of Divinity from The Master’s Seminary(Source).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Teens Use Satanic Symbols to Defile Churches in India

05/05/2012 India ( underage boys were found to be behind a series of church defilement in Kolasib in northern Mizoram during the last few months.The accused were handed over to Kolasib police by their parents on Thursday, Kolasib police said.  Their suspicious parents interrogated them and the trio confessed to committing the crime. Then their parents brought them to the police station, sources said.

GCIC Sources said the kids, aged 14, 15 and 18, are inmates of a hostel of a prominent English medium school in Kolasib. They sneaked out of the hostel in the death of the night and committed the sinister activities.They collected Bibles and hymn books from different churches and burnt them on the dance floor on top of a Satanic sign scrawled, the sources said.The youths have defiled at least three churches of different denominations since recently.  Satanism is emerging as a disturbing trend among youths in the Christian-dominated state of Mizoram, according to reports.At least three incidents where miscreants draw a star surrounded by a circle - a well-known Satanic symbol - in front of the altar and set Bibles on fire inside it, have come to light in the last 10 days.On Tuesday(10th May), suspected Satan worshipers attacked a Presbyterian church at Kolasib in northern Mizoram in the wee hours.  “A church member Englawma, who lives nearby, saw smoke coming out from inside the church around 4 am. On inspection, he found a heap of burnt Bibles on the dance floor,” Kolasib police said.A good number of Bibles was stacked on top of a large sign of Anarchy scrawled across the floor and torched.  The burnt Bibles were not from the church alone. There were reports of missing Bibles from other churches, the police sources said.However, they said other books like commentaries and Oxford Bible dictionaries were lying untouched.

The vandalism came close on the heels of an attack on a United Pentecostal Church in Kolasib in broad daylight on May 2 where Bibles and hymn books were burnt similarly. Incidentally, burnt copies of Bibles and a disposable cup filled with blood was found in a remote cemetery at Kawnpui in Kolasib district on December 24 last year. Another incident of Satanism occurred inside the church of United Pentecostal Church (North East India) at Hunthar locality in Aizawl on the night of January 19.

Burnt pages of Bibles were scattered across the floor where an Anarchy sign was written and sacramental cup filled with blood was discovered by people who went to the church. During the past few years, such incidents have been on the rise. An increasing number of teenagers embrace cults and indulge in devil worship to receive supernatural powers and perform miracles.

“There are Satan worshipers in Mizoram where about 90 percent of the population is Christians,” said Lalrammawia Ngente, a church elder and college lecturer.

Ngente, who has done research on Satanism in Mizoram and has written a book on occult, said a number of youths had confessed to him that they worshipped Satan.

“They did it to attain supernatural powers and perform miracles. Most of them offered their own blood by cutting their wrist. Some also offered chicken’s blood,” Ngente said.

Rev L H Rawsea, a faculty member of the Aizawl Theological College which had investigated Satanism in Mizoram a few years back, said the cultic practice began as early as 2000 by youths influenced by television shows and films about occult(Source).

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Saudi man declared insane for faith in Christ

 (Mission Network News) – The Pioneers and Arab World Ministries Web site,, was created to present the Good News of the Gospel to young Arab Muslims, answering seekers' questions about Jesus and faith in Him, discipling new believers in their own environment, and encouraging them to find fellowship with others.

It's a wonderful way for people in the Arab world to explore Christ and do it safely. But those who come to the Lord as a result are not guaranteed smooth sailing. Mohammed, a North African, called some Pioneers missionaries while he was in Saudi Arabia. He connected with them after visiting the Maarifa Web site. He had been possessed by demons for a long time, despite the many attempts of Muslim scholars to cast the demons out.

One of Mohammed's Muslim friends advised him to see the Coptic priest and ask him to pray. God used that priest to cast out all his demons, and he was healed. Another friend suggested he go on the pilgrimage to Mecca to prevent the demons from coming back in the future. While in Mecca, Mohammed dreamed every day about that Coptic priest, and he saw the cross everywhere he looked.

After a few months, he returned to Saudi Arabia for business. While there, his father phoned him and Mohammed told him he had become a Christian. In response, his father told all Mohammed's relatives in Saudi Arabia not to allow his son to leave Islam, Pioneers reports.

When Mohammed's relatives found out about his faith, they took his computer from him and tried to bring him back to Islam. His Saudi employer threatened to fire him and send him to prison. Miraculously, he left in peace and returned to North Africa.

When Mohammed arrived, a relative took him to see a sheikh, who determined that Mohammed was mentally ill and needed to see a psychiatrist. His family committed him to a mental hospital where he received electric shock therapy. It failed to cure him of his new faith(Source).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

North Korean Prison Camps House Everyone From The Desperate To Christians

05/03/2012 North Korea (AFP) - A new report on North Korea's notorious political prison camps shows that many of those jailed in recent decades were desperate people seeking food or work overseas rather than dissidents.

Other offences were even more trivial, it says: one female former student was serving a term for having a western-style dance with a foreigner, another student was incarcerated for singing a South Korean song.
An entire family was thrown into a camp after the father forgot to refer to the state's late founder Kim Il-Sung as "Great Leader" during an ideological session.

The report by the South's National Human Rights Commission, a state-appointed body, is its most detailed investigation of human rights abuses in the communist state. Officials provided extracts to AFP this week before its upcoming release.

"It details the horrific situation of inmates," a commission official said.
The report is based on interviews with 834 refugees, including those once held in the six camps, which rights groups say house a total of around 200,000 "political" prisoners.
It lists the names of 278 people in the camps between the mid-1990s and 2005 and information on their offences.

"We hope this report will have the effect of checking and preventing human rights abuses in North Korea," Lee Yong-Ken, head of the commission's North Korea human rights team, told AFP. Among the 278, about 60 prisoners -- the largest single category -- were being punished for fleeing the impoverished country in search of food and work abroad or for trying to escape to South Korea.

Twenty-seven of the inmates were ethnic Koreans who had settled in the North after moving from Japan.
Five people were imprisoned for Christian worship while 29 were "guilty by association" -- serving time because of alleged offences committed by family members(Source).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Iranian Christian converts arrested in Tehran

4/30/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – A number of plain clothes security officers raided the homes of two Christian converts in Tehran simultaneously and arrested them. The mother of one of the detained Christians asked, "Where are you taking my daughter?" But the authorities ironically replied, "Ask Jesus Christ to come and release her"!

According to reporters of Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports from Tehran state that on the morning of April 14, 2012 some security authorities raided the homes of two Christian converts by the names of Ladan N. and Hooman H. simultaneously and arrested them there.

The security authorities, among whom were plain clothes agents, entered the homes without showing any warrant and arrested the two Christians without providing any explanation. Both Christians were then transferred to an unknown location immediately following their arrest.

A source aware of the situation, confirmed the news and told Mohabat News, "The agents were wearing plain clothes and did not introduce themselves. They forced their way into the house and took Ladan with them. They didn't even allow her to put on appropriate clothes. In reply to her mother's question, "Where are you taking my daughter?" they just said, "Ask Jesus Christ to come and release her"!

According to this knowledgeable source, the authorities thoroughly searched the house and confiscated a number of her personal belongings including her laptop, camera and books as well as pictures of her friends being baptized in a foreign country.

The report says that the families of these detained Christians are unaware of their situation and are very worried about their health. Their efforts to visit their children and obtain information on their situation have been to no avail.

Ladan is 26 and Hooman is 27. It is said that they have been transferred to Evin prison and are being held there under custody. Some days ago, the court based in Evin prison sent letters of summons to the parents of these Christians and asked them to attend this court to answer questions regarding their children's activities.

After the arrest of these young Christians, their friends told Mohabat News, "it seems that their arrest could be because of the formation of a house church and evangelism as well as attending a party held to celebrate the baptism of one of their friends(Source)."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Five Iranian Christian converts interrogated in Shiraz

I praise the Lord Jesus Christ that these 5 Iranians have sworn their allegiance to the Risen Lord. I pray that the Lord Jeus Christ will keep them as they are in prison and pray that they will continue to be brave and bold for Him.

4/28/2012 Iran
(Mohabat News) – Following the attack by security authorities on a house church in Shiraz and the arrest of a number of Christian converts, the first interrogation session for five of those arrested was held after 80 days of uncertainty in custody.

According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, More than 80 days have passed since these five Christian converts were jailed in Adel-Abad prison of Shiraz. The names of these Christian converts are as follows: Fariba Nazemian, Mojtaba Hosseini, Homayoun Shokoohi, Mohamad-Reza Partoei (Koroush) and Vahid Hakkani. The fate of these Christians has been unknown since their arrest.

They also spent Norouz celebration (Persian New Year) behind bars, because the authorities didn't grant them a leave permit. Knowledgeable sources told Mohabat News that these Christians were transferred to the Revolutionary Court building in Shiraz and interrogated by Mr. Rezaei, the assistant prosecutor, in branch seven of the court. After the interrogation, all five were transferred back to Adel-Abad prison.

The reports still indicate that although pertinent authorities have not given any reason for their arrest, the families of these Christian detainees have repeatedly referred to judicial and prison authorities to receive information on their loved ones' health as well as the process of their case.

However, the judicial authorities either give no clear answer or they just refer the families to other organizations which has been useless. Although the condition and the charges against these Christians are still unclear, their arrest, uncertainty and their continued custody as well as the unclear condition of their cases have caused a wave of anxiety among the families and relatives of these detained Christians(Source).