Thursday, January 29, 2009

Open Doors: Iran, Pakistan (Direct Post)

Three Iranian Christians Arrested from Homes in Tehran

Jamal Ghalishorani, his wife Nadereh Jamali, and Hamik Khachikian were arrested on January 21st and are being held without charges by Iranian authorities. These Christians were taken from their homes in the early morning. Their families have not been notified as to where they have been taken or how they will be charged, according to a Compass Direct News report. Arrests and pressure on Christians from authorities have ramped up even further in the past few months, the source said.

“We are quite sure that these arrests are part of a bigger operation from the government. Maybe up to 50 people were arrested. In Tehran alone already some 10 people were arrested all on the same day.”

The arrests are particularly disturbing in light of the Iranian parliament’s approval last September of a new penal code calling for a mandatory death sentence for “apostates,” or anyone who leaves Islam for another faith (i.e. followers of Jesus Christ). Under the new penal code, male “apostates” would be executed, while females would receive life sentences.

Read the full story>>

Pakistani Christians Acquitted in ‘Blasphemy’ Case

This is a historic victory for Christians in Pakistan … the first victory of its kind, according to Compass Direct News.

“This case can set a precedent for future blasphemy cases against Christians,” stated Shahzad Kamran, a case worker for SLMP (Sharing Life Ministries Pakistan). SLMP advocated for the men through reconciliation meetings with local Islamic leaders.

Nearly two years ago in March of 2007, during a religious holiday celebrating Muhammad’s birthday, Salamat Masih, his son Rashid, Ishfaq, Saba and Dao Masih were arrested and charged with “blasphemy” against Islam. Join us today in thanksgiving for the news of their release.

“This is a wonderful sign that has made history,” said Shahzad Kamran. The Islamic clergymen agreed to issue a fatwa (religious edict) declaring the accused men innocent of blasphemy. The Muslim witnesses in the case withdrew their testimony and the five Christian men were acquitted. “The cleric said he would do it because he did not want to bring harm and injustice to the community.”

Read the full story>>

Please Pray for:

  • Pray for persecuted Christians in Iran, Pakistan and all over the globe to be encouraged and strengthened as they give their all in service for Christ.
  • Pray for the families of the three Christians arrested in Iran.
  • Pray for their comfort and for the intercession of the Holy Spirit for all of their needs.
  • Thank our heavenly Father for the example that Islamic clerics recently set in Pakistan.
  • Pray that their heart for peace and justice will serve as an example to the entire Muslim community.
  • Pray that all Christians wrongfully accused of "blasphemy" will be the beneficiaries of this new precedent of reconciliation at the local level between Islamic leaders and Christian organizations.
  • Pray for open hearts, open minds, and a new beginning of revelation in Christ through reconciliation.

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