Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Barnabas Fund: Pakistan - Evicted Christians Living in Squalor

2,000 Pakistani Christians evicted to the roadside and living in fear of typhoid

Local doctors and experienced news correspondents are shocked by the appalling conditions being endured by some 2,000 Christians in downtown Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. Despite being only ten minutes from health centers, two people have died in the 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) heat, with many more in danger of dying from dehydration, infection or the cumulative effects of poverty.

How did they end up here? Approximately a year ago, around 214 Christian families were promised land in the Chak Shahzad district of Islamabad. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad arranged their move and told the families to set up tents there until possession had been finalized. Then three months ago the CDA changed their minds forcing the Christian families to live in the road amidst squalid conditions, where their only water supply runs all too close to an open pit latrine and a waste dump. There are up to 20 people sharing one tent, which only adds to the discomfort.

Our partners in Pakistan commented, “Since Christians are discriminated against by the majority population, nothing has been done to help them.”

Whilst the Pakistan authorities are still to act, Barnabas has been able to secure a way to provide practical aid to the families now. This aid will take the form of food items including rice, lentils, onions and cooking oil for each affected family, as well as buckets and water containers to reduce the risk of typhoid affecting the tightly packed camp.

For only $56.94 (£34.75 or €40.33) you can feed a whole family for a month. Five water containers each capable of carrying 20 liters, costs only $12.15 (£7.40 or €8.60). Any one of these items could be a lifesaver.
Donate here.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund says, “Here is a real opportunity to save lives. Our brothers and sisters in Islamabad are in dire need of material assistance to prevent disease ravaging their already stricken camp. Please be praying that we can raise the necessary funds quickly to meet this life-threatening need.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ICC: (From the Seoul Times) - Pakistan: Christians Burned Alive in Retribution

Pakistani Christians in Gojira, as many as six, and possibly more, have reportedly been burnt alive by Islamic extremists following a rumor of desecration of the Koran (with no evidence).

Read more here:

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/headlinenewsd.php?hnewsid=1313

Compass Direct: Somalia - Christian Convert Murdered

8/22/09
Somalia (CompassDirect)

A Somali man who converted from Islam to Christianity was shot dead Tuesday morning near the Kenya border by members of Al Shabaab, the Muslim extremist group. The group is currently hunting converts to Christianity as they seek to establish Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.

Read more at:

http://persecution.org/suffering/newssummpopup.php?newscode=10719

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Florida School Administrators Face Prison Time (OneNewsNow)

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU's demands rather than fight them in court.

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.

Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay's and Freeman's constitutional rights.

"In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal," he explains. "Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt."

Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

Florida School Administrators Face (OneNewsNow)

A principal and an athletic director are facing criminal charges for a lunch-time prayer.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Pace High School in Santa Rosa County, Florida. The ACLU claimed some teachers and administrators were endorsing religion, but the school chose to give in to the ACLU's demands rather than fight them in court.

According to the settlement, all school employees are banned from engaging in prayer or religious activities before, during, or after school hours. Now two school officials are facing criminal charges for offering meal-time prayers at an appreciation dinner for adults who had helped with a school field house project. Principal Frank Lay and athletic director Robert Freeman are scheduled to go on trial next month on criminal contempt charges. If convicted, both are subject to fines and imprisonment.

Matt Staver is founder of Liberty Counsel, which will argue the court order prohibiting prayer at school-related events violated Lay's and Freeman's constitutional rights.

"In this particular case, Principal Frank Lay asked the athletic director to have a prayer for the meal at an honorary luncheon in celebration for some of the athletic achievements. And then in [another] situation, the clerical worker at an event where some employees of the school were present asked her husband, who is not an employee of the school, to have a blessing over a meal," he explains. "Because of those two events, these individuals now face criminal contempt."

Staver believes that the accusers in this case are students who recently graduated. If that is the case, he says the case is moot. However, Staver adds it is outrageous to punish a school official with potential jail time for simply praying.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

VOM: Pakistan - Third Instance of Houses Burned, Christians Killed

According to VOM contacts, Muslims have burned 45 Christian homes, as well as a church in Toba Tek, Punjab. Nine people, including women and children, may have died during the violence according to Window International Network. Some victims are assumed to have been burned alive. The rampage began after Muslims announced on loudspeakers they were going to “to teach a lesson to infidel Christians,” whom they accused of burning pages of the Quran. Muslims also blocked the road to keep assistance from reaching Toba Tek.

This mass destruction of homes is the second wave of violence in Punjab province. The first came on July 1, 2009, when Muslims made a similar false accusation of blasphemy against Christians in the village of Bahamin Wala.

Please Pray!
Pray for God's comfort and peace to reign in the hearts of the victims and families affected by this latest attack against Christians in Pakistan. Pray for the salvation of the Muslims in Pakistan, and that the perpetrators of these crimes will to be brought to justice.

Open Doors: Pakistan - Christians burned out of homes, killed

Following an accusation of “blasphemy” of the Quran, Islamic extremists set ablaze more than 50 houses and a church in the town of Gojra in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, August 1. At least 14 Christians died in the attacks. The dead include women and children, with several other burn victims unable to reach hospitals for medical care, according to the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS).

Clerics at local mosques broadcasted messages that those “who love Muhammad and Islam should gather with them to defend the Islam because it is in danger,” according to CLAAS and reported by Compass. As the crowd size grew, the attacks intensified. The Islamists managed to block main roads and railways to keep fire brigades from fighting the house fires. Authorities, in an effort to keep more Muslims extremists from entering from neighboring villages, blocked the roads into Gojra. Another six people died when Islamists shot at police and the police responded in return with tear gas and gunfire.


The same rumor of desecration of the Quran prompted an arson assault by Islamic extremists on the village of Korian last Thursday. At least 60 houses were gutted in that attack. Punjab Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah reportedly said an initial investigation of allegations of the Quran being blasphemed indicated “there has not been any incident of desecration.” Pakistan is ranked No. 13 on the 2009 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Father we pray for the victims of these heinous and violent crimes, asking for Your peace that passes all understanding to dwell in their hearts and homes. We bring before You the families enduring the loss of a loved one. Father, please replace their pain with love and forgiveness. We trust to You their comfort and ask that You empower believers in Pakistan to stand strong in their faith in You. Amen.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Forum 18: Uzbekistan

28 July 2009
UZBEKISTAN: "JOY" CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY CAMP ATTACKED
http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1332

Uzbekistan Baptist Union is facing criminal charges for allegedly unlawfully teaching children religion, and for supposedly misusing their property as a summer camp, Forum 18 News Service has learnt. As a result, Baptist Union Chair Pavel Peichev faces huge fines, the confiscation of the property, imprisonment, or some combination of these penalties. Baptists have vehemently denied the allegations. The authorities have also instituted checks on the tax and other obligatory payments by the Baptist Union. The first sign of trouble for the Baptists were two articles published by a government-sponsored news agency. Independent human rights defender sources think that the agency is sponsored by the NSS secret police, and that the author may be an NSS officer. The authorities have refused to discuss the details of the case, although the main prosecutor claimed to Forum 18 that "we have nothing against the [Baptist]denomination.". Repeated attempts to contact the author of the articles and the news agency have been unsuccessful.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Open Doors USA: Email - Weekly Prayer Alert - Third Christian this Year Dies in Eritrean Military Prison

Open Doors USA: Email - Weekly Prayer Alert - Third Christian this Year Dies in Eritrean Military Prison:

"Yemane Kahasay Andom, 43, died last week on July 23 at Mitire Military Confinement Center in Eritrea. According to sources, he was kept in solitary confinement in an underground cell two weeks prior to his death for his refusal to sign a recantation form. It is not clear what the contents of the recantation form were, but most Christians interpret the signing of such a form as the denouncement of their faith in Christ. Weakened by continuous torture, Andom was also suffering from a severe case of malaria.

Andom becomes the third recorded Christian to die while being incarcerated at the Mitire Confinement Center. In early January this year Mogos Hagos Kiflom, 37, died allegedly as a result of torture, and Mehari Gebreneguse Asgedom, 42, died as a result of ongoing physical torture and complications from his diabetes.

With the death of Andom last week, the number of Christians who have died while imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea now total nine. More than 2,800 Christians still remain imprisoned for their faith in Eritrea, which is ranked No. 9 on Open Doors’ World Watch List of the 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Father, please visit the imprisoned with your gentle company and comfort. Send strength to the families of those who have died while incarcerated. Give them grace to grieve, forgive their oppressors and reach out with Christ's love to a dying world. We pray you would turn the hearts of men in power; that the government would end the persecution of Christians and grant religious freedom to all.

“Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” (2 Cor 2:14)"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

VOM: Two Boys Beheaded by Islamic Extremists

Islamic extremists have beheaded two boys in Somalia because their Christian father, 55 year-old Musa Mohammed Yusuf, refused to give them information about an underground church leader.

The extremists from the group al shabaab killed 11 year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf and 12 year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf, after abducting them in front of their mother. The terrorists are currently looking for Yusuf in Kenyan refugee camps.