Bulletin of Christian Persecution May 26 - June 20, 2011

Bulletin of Christian Persecution

May 26, 2011 - June 20, 2011


May 26, 2011
Pakistan
Muslim landowners use tractors to plough over a Christian cemetery in order to seize the land illegally. A 29-year-old mother is drugged and raped by six men. In both cases, police covers up for the culprits. Government must act, Faisalabad priest says.

May 27, 2011
Egypt
A Military court in Egypt has sentenced three Christian Copts to 5-years imprisonment on charges of possession of firearms and pocket knives. The Court released all other Muslims and Copts arrested following clashes on May 19 over the re-opening of St. Mary and St. Abraham churches in Ain Shams West.

Defense lawyer Abraham Edward said "This is a very unjust, severe and cruel verdict." He said that as lawyers they are unable to fathom what is going on. "Today's case is very strange, a case where there is not one shred of evidence to indict them. If this case went in front of the International Court of Justice they would all be set free." He criticized the five-year prison sentence handed down to Ayad Emad Ayad for carrying a pocket knife.

Pakistan (Hat tip to Jihadwatch)
A powerful Muslim businessman, with the help of a group of accomplices, kidnapped two Christian sisters, forced them to convert to Islam and marry him. The girl's father reported the kidnapping to the police but the police blocked investigations by reversing the facts: the daughters fled because of their father's violence. A priest from Faisalabad points out that the kidnapping of young women has become "common practice", because the authorities and police are "puppets in the hands of extremists." Update HERE. More HERE.

Algeria
An Algerian Christian was sentenced to five years imprisonment for blasphemy on Wednesday after sharing his Christian faith with a neighbor. The verdict came days after authorities forced the permanent closure of seven Protestant churches in Algeria's Béjaia province. More HERE.

May 29, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
An Egyptian military court on Sunday sentenced two Coptic Christians to five years in jail for violence and trying to turn a factory into an unlicensed church, judicial sources said. The two men, also convicted of possessing weapons, were arrested on May 18 after clashes between Christians and Muslims in Cairo's Ain Shams district as the Copts planned to hold prayers in the building. A Coptic-led group that took part in a reconciliation meeting between the two sides says the two men are innocent and their lawyers will try to appeal the ruling.

May 30, 2011
Iraq
Iraq's Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. This morning, an Orthodox Christian was killed in Mosul, northern Iraq. The dead man had been the victim of two attempted ransom abductions in the past, but in both cases, he was able to escape from his attackers. This time, the murderers waited for him as he went to work, firing at him several times in cold blood.

May 31, 2011
Pakistan/Iraq/Egypt
Raped and Ransacked in the Muslim World by Raymond Ibrahim. "Plundering the possessions, lives, and dignity of Christians in the Islamic world: is this a random affair, a product of the West's favorite offenders-poverty, ignorance, grievance-or is it systematic, complete with ideological backing?"

June 1, 2011
Nazareth (Hat tipt to JihadWatch)
A senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land says the Christian community is in danger of dying out in Nazareth, an Israeli Arab city where Christians believe Jesus spent his youth. Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo says many of Nazareth's minority Christians began emigrating more than a decade ago largely because of tensions with local Islamists.

Pakistan
Armed Muslims disrupted the worship service of a church outside Lahore on Sunday (May 29), cursing the congregation, smashing a glass altar and desecrating Bibles and a cross, Christian leaders said.

June 6, 2011
Pakistan (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
The Islamic party of Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and launched a campaign asking to ban the circulation of the Bible, described as a "pornographic " and "blasphemous book". This is a new attack against the Christian community in Pakistan, frightened by the attacks and threats suffered after the death of Bin Laden, already under attack due to the damaging effects of the blasphemy law, with the consequence of death penalty to those who insult the Koran or the Prophet Muhammad.

June 7, 2011
Pakistan (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Several provincial legislators in Punjab belonging to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have objected to Punjab cabinet member Kamran Michael presenting the budget on grounds that he is Christian.

Pakistan (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
An Islamist politcal party in Pakistan has called on the country's Supreme Court to investigate "blasphemous" and "pornographic" passages of the Bible, appealing to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. In response, the Catholic bishop of Lahore has appealed to the faithful to resist this provocation and asked for prayer and patience.

June 8, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to Translating Jihad)
This video shows Shaykh Ashraf Yusuf Hassan in the middle of a mob of Muslims, calling on them to burn down churches in the Cairo district of Imbaba. The original Arabic-language video was posted on YouTube on 9 May, just two days after the church was burned down. Twelve were killed and 52 wounded in just the latest round of violence against Egypt's Coptic Christian minority. Apparently 48 Muslims and Christians have been arrested in connection with this incident, yet reportedly the man in this video continues to go free.

June 8, 2011
Indonesia
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has expressed "grave concerns" about increased violence against Christians and other religious minorities in Indonesia and urged the government to tackle Islamic extremism.

The Christian group visited survivors of clashes that killed several people, and spoke with officials of churches in cities Bekasi and Bandung, which "were forced to close". CSW stressed several pastors complained that they "faced increasing harassment, threats and attacks." Pastor Palti Panjetan of the HKBP Filadelfia church in Bekasi said despite winning a court ruling granting permission to use their building, the local mayor has forbidden the congregation to use the church.

June 9, 2011
Nigeria
Police in northern Nigeria said on Thursday they have arrested 14 suspected Islamists thought to be linked to bomb attacks on a church and police stations that killed 14 people this week. The arrests were made in the troubled city of Maiduguri, where attacks blamed on an extremist sect have killed dozens in recent months. More HERE. Update HERE.

June 10, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Eritrean Christians fleeing persecution in their homeland are facing imprisonment, torture, beatings and sexual assault in Egypt, reports Barnabas Fund. The charity, which supports the persecuted church worldwide, estimates that hundreds of Eritrean Christian refugees have been subjected to terrible abuse after arriving in Egypt.

Egypt is the most popular destination for Christians escaping from Eritrea, one of the most hostile countries in the world for followers of the faith.

June 11, 2011
Pakistan
Pakistani anti-terrorism court acquitted 70 people who, in various roles, were involved in the Gojra massacre of August 2009 (see Fareed Khan, "Eight Christians burned alive in Punjab," in AsiaNews, 2 August 2009). The anti-Christian violence broke out following blasphemy allegations. During a wedding, a group of Christians supposedly burnt pages of the Qur'an, a pretext used to strike at the religious minority.

During the attack by hundreds of extremists (brought in by bus and trucks), ten people died, eight burnt alive. Four churches and various homes were also set on fire.

Egypt (Hat tip to NewEnglishReview)
Five weeks after the fall of the Egyptian regime, Ayman Anwar Mitri's apartment was torched. When he showed up to investigate, he was bundled inside by bearded Islamists.
Mr. Mitri is a member of the Christian Coptic minority that accounts for one-tenth of the country's 83 million people. The Islamists accused him of having rented the apartment-by then unoccupied-to loose Muslim women.

Inside the burnt apartment, they beat him with the charred remains of his furniture. Then, one of them produced a box cutter and performed what he considered an appropriate punishment under Islam: He amputated Mr. Mitri's right ear. "When they were beating me, they kept saying: 'We won't leave any Christians in this country,'" Mr. Mitri recalled in a recent interview, two months after the March attack. "Here, there is a war against the Copts," he said. His attackers, who were never arrested or prosecuted, follow the ultrafundamentalist Salafi strain of Islam that promotes an austere, Saudi-inspired worldview.

June 12, 2011
Nigeria (Hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
An extremist Islamic group is being held responsible for a series of recent attacks in Nigeria, which have left 16 dead and destroyed the Catholic Cathedral of St. Patrick in the northern capital city of Maiduguri. St. Patrick's Cathedral was seriously damaged, windows and doors destroyed, the whole building was shaken to its foundations by the violence of the explosion.

Kosovo (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
The Kosmet Strategic Network NGO, which gathers 70 Serb organizations of that type, has communicated that few days ago the church was broken into and turned into a public toilet and waste dump. The attacks on this church have been going on constantly even after the arrival of international forces in 1999, when the sanctity was burned from inside.

Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
On the night of March 8, Yasser Makram was on his way home from work, his pickup truck full of garbage, as he turned up the winding dirt road on the edge of Egypt's capital to approach his home in the crowded Cairo slum known popularly as Garbage City. As he inched around a curve, he saw in his rearview mirror a swarm of people running toward the truck. "I didn't know what was happening," he says. Before he could consider the possibilities, the mob pulled him from the truck. "They demanded to know if I was Christian."

Makram's hospital report says the 27-year-old suffered "nerve damage" and "multiple deep wounds and fractures" that night. A long, sinister scar - a knife wound - now cuts across his face, ear to ear. And it will be at least a year before he can drive his garbage truck again. The mob stabbed him in the chest and beat him with pipes, breaking an arm and one of his ribs, before stripping him naked and dragging him, semiconscious, up a dark and dusty road to the foot of the Citadel, a medieval Islamic fort.

Three months later, no one has been charged with the crime, the police apparently having shown no interest in filing a report while Makram was hospitalized. And Makram has no idea who his attackers were. But he remembers their response to the strangers who finally intervened to help him: "This is a Christian son of a bitch," they said. "We're going to kill him."

Egypt
Five weeks after the fall of the Egyptian regime, Ayman Anwar Mitri's apartment was torched. When he showed up to investigate, he was bundled inside by bearded Islamists. Mr. Mitri is a member of the Christian Coptic minority that accounts for one-tenth of the country's 83 million people. The Islamists accused him of having rented the apartment--by then unoccupied--to loose Muslim women.

Inside the burnt apartment, they beat him with the charred remains of his furniture. Then, one of them produced a box cutter and performed what he considered an appropriate punishment under Islam: He amputated Mr. Mitri's right ear.

"When they were beating me, they kept saying: 'We won't leave any Christians in this country,'" Mr. Mitri recalled in a recent interview, two months after the March attack. Blood dripped through a plastic tube from his unhealed wound to a plastic container. "Here, there is a war against the Copts," he said.

June 13, 2011
Algeria
The High Commissioner of police in Bejaia ordered all Christian churches closed, including places of worship still under construction; if not, the commissioner threatened "severe consequences and punishments" would result.

Pakistan
Sheikhupura police this month tortured a young Christian woman into revealing the whereabouts of the legal team helping her family after an influential Muslim family kidnapped her and her sister, sources said.
Police also helped the Muslim family beat relatives of the Christian woman on court premises and attacked the offices of the organization trying to help her family, they said.

June 14, 2011
Pakistan
Pakistan's Islamist party, Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islami (JUI), has petitioned to have the Bible banned from Pakistan because it violates the nation's notorious blasphemy laws. The move by the JUI is just the latest episode in the ongoing and increasingly deadly persecution of Christians in that Islamic nation.

According to JUI leader Maulana Abdul Rauf Farooqi, the Bible contains passages that show biblical figures whom Muslims regard as prophets (such as Abraham and Solomon) to be engaging in "a variety of moral crimes." As such, the JUI has called on Pakistan's supreme court to have the entire Book banned from the country if the offending passages are not removed.

June 15, 2011
Pakistan
At least 10 Christian families in a village in Pakistan's Punjab Province have fled their homes after a throng of area Muslims accused a Christian of blaspheming Islam on Friday, June 10th.

Britain (Hat tip to GatesofVienna)
A debate on the treatment of Christians took place on May 24th in the oldest building on the Parliamentary estate, Westminster Hall. While much was said about the appalling way in which Christians are systematically persecuted throughout the world today, attention was also paid to the way in which citizens of the United Kingdom are maltreated due to their Christian faith.

June 17, 2011
USA - Dearborn, MI (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Pastor Terry Jones led a rally against radical Islam at city hall before trying to continue his protest at the nearby Arab International Festival, but he never made it there. Protesters got physical with Jones as he tried to head for the festival. He barely made it off the corner of Michigan and Schaefer. Dearborn police made several arrests after urging the pastor to take a car instead of trying to walk the two miles to the festival. More HERE.

Pakistan
The students of a madrassa tried to force a Christian child to convert to Islam. His uncle was attacked for defending him, and accused of blasphemy. A priest said, "This is a common practice in the region. Many cases of forced conversions are not made known". The authorities turn a blind eye to the problem.

Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan remained fearful Thursday, June 16, after a court in Pakistan acquitted 70 Muslims who were suspected of killing Christians in one of the country's worst sectarian clashes in recent memory. At least eight Christians burned to death in August 2009, in what became known as the "Gojra Massacre" named after the town where the killings took place, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) outside Punjab province's capital, Lahore. Two others also died in separate attacks on Gojra's Christian colony by Muslim extremists, and churches and homes were reportedly set on fire.

However a Pakistani anti-terrorism court acquitted the 70 suspects, citing an absence of Christian witnesses in the courtroom and a lack of evidence against the accused, trial observers said.

June 20, 2011
Uzbekistan
Recently a Christian in eastern Uzbekistan was beaten by police, another was threatened with death by an axe while a Baptist congregation was promised prison for failure to co-operate in a pre-trial investigation of their pastor.

Poland
Poland has granted asylum to 16 Christian refugees who accompanied Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski on a flight back from Tunisia.The Foreign Ministry said Friday, June 17, that the six adults and 10 children were "political refugees" from Eritrea and Nigeria, whose lives have been upturned by recent turmoil in North Africa.


Produced by Political Islam.com
Publisher: Bill Warner; Edited by Asma Marwan
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