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Lahore, Pakistan: Two female nursing students were accused of blasphemy. The students are said to have desecrating verses of the Koran. It is believed that this is a trumped-up charge resulting from the students’ roommates having been offended by a picture of Jesus hanging on the wall, which the roommates desecrated. A demonstration was staged against the students. 2/17
Sangla Hill, Pakistan: A 13-year-old Christian girl was gang-raped by five Muslims when she went outside to take out the trash. She was kidnapped at gunpoint and taken to their neighborhood. Sangla Hill is the same city where 3 churches, 3 clerical residences, a high school, and the houses of 3 Christian families were destroyed in a riot in 2005. 2/17
Shajwal, Pakistan: Three men murdered a Christian milkman after he demanded his paycheck. He was denied his wages for a month, and when he demanded to be paid his employers, two Muslim brothers and their nephew, taunted him with slurs and then killed him. 2/17
Cairo, Egypt: The ongoing case of Maher al-Gohary, who is engaged in a legal battle to have his official documents changed to reflect his conversion from Islam to Christianity, is expected to wrap up soon. His is the second case of its kind in Egypt. He and his daughter live in fear for their lives, which are continually threatened. 2/13
Cairo, Egypt: Egypt’s leading Christians are accusing Cairo’s governor of trying Islamize the city by changing the names of some of the country’s oldest areas from Christian to Islamic ones, thereby erasing their cultural heritage. The Coptic Pope’s advisor has filed a lawsuit against the governor. 2/16
Cairo, Egypt: A Salafi cleric has called for the Islamization of millions of Coptic women in order to eliminate the “Nazarenes of Egypt.” Coptic activists have discussed the planned, organized Islamization of Coptic women, but this provides the first concrete evidence of this scheme, which involves “assault.” 2/18
Tenth of Ramadan, Egypt: A Christian secondary schoolgirl attempted suicide after being required to take an Islamic religion test. Her father converted to Islam from Christianity, which makes her a Muslim according to Egyptian law. Per a 2007 ministerial decree children of converts are to be exempted from studying Islam until the issue of their official religion is resolved in court. 2/8
Hizankeh, Iraq: An Assyrian was girl abducted, raped, and killed by a Kurdish crime family. She was found in the Khazar River ten days after her disappearance. Forensic evidence demonstrates that she did not die from drowning. Officials seem to be complicit in hiding evidence. 2/10
Nineveh Plain, Iraq: A report released by the Assyria Council of Europe highlights widespread election violations against Assyrians in North Iraq. Violence, threats and other means of pressure prevented thousands of Assyrians in the Nineveh plain from experiencing a free and fair election. The winning group, which is Kurdish-backed, is accused of having pressured voters using a variety of means. 2/12
Mataya, Turkey: Two more arrests have been made in the murder cases of three Christians and charges have been filed. One suspect is a former worker at a Christian publishing house where the murders took place and the other is an ex-journalist with suspected ties to a group which tried to stage a political coup. It is believed that the murders were part of a large plan to create chaos in the country. 2/12
Midyat, Turkey: The Turkish state has rescheduled the hearing for the different cases concerning the land dispute over St. Gabriel Monastery. This is the third time the hearing has been rescheduled. The monastery is one of the world’s oldest. 2/17
Adana, Turkey: The Turkish Bible Society bookshop was vandalized for the second time in a week after having received threats from Muslim nationalists. The Turkish state perpetrates a “milieu” of mistrust” toward Christians through portraying them negatively in the media and making “missionary activities” a crime, according to a report from the Alliance of Protestant Churches of Turkey. 2/17
Tehran, Iran: A couple who converted to Christianity from Islam were arrested on 1/21/09 and released on bail. The charges against them are unknown, but they fear being charged with apostacy, which is punishable by execution in Iran. Another has been incarcerated since August. 73 arrests of Christians in Iran were recorded in 2008 and more are expected to take place since it is an election year. 2/9
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A prominent Eritrean pastor of a church of over 300 foreign-born Christians has fled Riyadh after having been threatened with death 3 times in one week, once by the religious police. He fled without his wife and 8 children, who relocated to Egypt in 2007. 1/30
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Authorities have arrested a 28-year-old man for discussing his conversion from Islam to Christianity and on his website, which is blocked in the kingdom. He was arrested twice before for similar “offenses.” The last time he was released was in November, just in time for Saudi-initiated interfaith dialogue at the UN. 1/31
U.K.: A Muslim girl who converted to Christianity from Islam has been removed from the home of her carer after she chose to be baptised. She was placed in a foster home because her father beat her and threatened to send her to Pakistan for a forced marriage. Her carer, who has fostered more than 80 children, did nothing to encourage her to convert and has a perfect 10-year record. 2/14
Sheffield, England: The “marvelous” head teacher of a primary school has resigned after being accused of racism by parents of Muslim students. The accusation comes after she proposed that the school stop holding separate assemblies for Muslim children at the school in favor of assemblies which would include all pupils. 2/10
U.K.: Three Coptic children have been placed with a Muslim foster family. They were taken by social services after their parents divorced and were originally placed in the custody of the city mosque. The authority has refused to return the children to the custody of the Coptic Church without a petition bearing 10,000 signatures. 2/5
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