Bulletin of Christian Persecution May 2 - May 25, 2011

Bulletin of Christian Persecution

May 2 - May 25, 2011


May 2, 2011
Pakistan
Hundreds of Muslims in Gujranwala attacked Christians' homes, a school and a Presbyterian church building after learning that police had released two Christians accused of "blasphemy" - amid reports of another alleged desecration of the Quran.

May 3, 2011
Pakistan
In the aftermath of the April 30th Muslim attacks on a Presbyterian seminary after a false accusation that Christians desecrated the Koran, at least 3,000 Christians have fled for their lives.

May 6, 2011
Nigeria

Muslim attackers killed seventeen Christians and burned down several Christian homes in the village of Karum. Since the introduction of Sharia law in northern Nigeria in 1999, thousands of Christians have been killed by Muslims, and local officials have failed to bring the perpetrators to justice. Update HERE on the killing of Christian Nigerians.

May 7, 2011
Pakistan
Police have charged a mentally ill Christian with "injuring religious feelings" under Pakistan's widely condemned blasphemy laws.

Syria
Christian communities across Syria have been attacked by anti-government protesters in recent weeks who are being led by hard-line Islamists. Also Christians have come under pressure to either join in protests demanding the resignation of President Bashir Assad, or else leave the country. Eye witnesses report seeing around 20 masked men on motorcycles open fire on a home in a Christian village outside Dara'a, in southern Syria. Another source said that churches had received threatening letters over Easter, telling them either to join the protests or leave. In Karak, Muslim Salafists forced villagers to join the protests and remove pictures of the president from their home. One man who refused was reportedly found hanged on his front porch the next morning.

Egypt
Update of this story: Thousands of Christians flocked to Saint Mark's Cathedral in Cairo Friday in response to a protest organized by Salafi Muslims last week in front of the church. The conservative Islamist group had gathered its members to protest for the release of the wives of two Coptic priests, who some believe have been detained by the church after allegedly converting to Islam. There was a strong military presence at the cathedral Friday ahead of the protest. Mina Salib, one of the protesters, said that "Christians all over Egypt were deeply disturbed by last Friday's protest and came to express their anger and assert their defense of the Cathedral against any attacks." Mina added that people immediately responded to the call to protect the church as result of the attack directed against Pope Shenouda.

May 8, 2011
Egypt
Christians Copts in the area of Embaba were attacked Saturday evening by Muslim Salafis. The attacks lasted for 14 hours. The Muslims fired guns and rifles and hurled Molotov cocktails at Coptic churches, houses and businesses. 12 Copts were killed and 232 injured.

The church of Saint Mina was the first to be attacked. According to its pastor Fr. Abanoub the attack started at 5.30 PM on Saturday May 7, when church parishioners noticed a large number of Salafis, estimated at 3000 men, congregating near the church. Anticipating trouble, the army was called. The Salafis went to the church and asked to search it because they believed a Christian girl named who had converted to Islam, married a Salafi and wanted to revert back to Christianity, was hiding inside the church.

The second church attacked by Salafis was St. Mary and St Abanob, also in Embaba. Muslims prevented the fire brigade from reaching it. The third church attacked was St. Mary Church in Wehda Street in Embaba, the ground floor of which was completely torched. More HERE.

May 9, 2011
Malaysia (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Islam is under siege in Malaysia because aggressive Christians are determined to convert Muslims who are nonchalant about their faith, several Islamist groups alleged. The Muslim Organisations in Defence of Islam accused Christians of strategising an elaborate plan to ensure that more and more Muslims leave the faith, which is illegal in Malaysia. The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, together with partners Global Day of Prayer, Marketplace Penang and Penang Pastors Fellowship, said the claims against their community were lies.

May 12, 2011
Pakistan (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Once more, Pakistan's 'black law' strikes again. A Muslim businessman has used the infamous blasphemy law against a rival and former associate, who happens to be Christian. More and more, the law is being used to persecute the country's Christian minority or settle personal scores. The victim is Gulzar Masih, from Sialkot, who owns a bookstore. Yesterday, he and his son had to flee town, fearing reprisals by local Muslims who tried to set fire to his shop. Only the intervention of police stopped the attackers.

May 15, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Violence erupted in a Cairo neighborhood when pro-Coptic protesters clashed with unidentified men, leaving at least two people dead and 60 injured. The demonstrators initially staged a sit-in in front of the state TV building to demand greater rights for the religious minority. Problems between Egypt's Muslim majority and its Coptic Christian minority have been on the rise in recent months, with a number of violent clashes reported between the two groups. More HERE.

May 16, 2011
Iraq (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
An Iraqi Chaldean Christian man was abducted, tortured and then beheaded by Al Qaeda jihadis. The victim was from Kirkuk, northern Iraq. He had been kidnapped three days ago and the family had received a ransom request. However, negotiations for his release did not work out and so he was brutally murdered. A pastor in Kirkuk said that kidnappers had pressured his employer to fire him because he was a Christian. More HERE.

Nigeria
Christians from a local Evangelical Church congregation in this Plateau state town have been displaced after Muslim extremists set their church building and some homes on fire last month. The Rev. Ishaku Danyok of the church said that the April 29 incident occurred after Muslims approached Christian music shop owner Gabriel Kiwase and told him that his music was disturbing them as they said their prayers.

The young Christian man "quietly switched off the music set, and then the Muslims left, only to return about 20 minutes later to burn down the music shop and then go on rampage, burning down houses belonging to some Christians in the town," Danyok said. Update HERE.

May 17, 2011
EU (Hat tip to Persecutin.org)
A religious liberty campaigner has been heckled at an EU meeting for saying Christians should not be sent to prison for peacefully expressing their opinions. A room full of feminist and homosexual activists jeered at Dr Gudrun Kugler when she spoke about the intolerance faced by Christians in Europe. Some of the crowd said that Christians ought to be thrown in jail if they make a "negative comment" against a "minority group".

May 18, 2011
Pakistan
Two more shocking cases have surfaced in Pakistan where Christians were badly treated by Muslims. The first concerned two Christian women working at a Lahore, Pakistan, hospital, who were allegedly "manhandled" by a leader at the Fatima Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. A source close to the situation said that Nusrat Bibi and Muneeran Bibi, who are both married female sanitary workers at the hospital were "brutally thrashed" and "unlawfully detained for several hours," after being assaulted by a Muslim officer at the medical facility.

In another disturbing case, this one in a town located in the Punjab, the Christian Communication Network Pakistan (CCNP) told ANS that "a gang of Muslim men, on the behest of a former member of the Punjab Provincial Assembly, "invaded two Christian houses" in the city. Adnan Sher, an activist of CCNP, said that a Christian man, Sharif Gull, was abducted at gunpoint by the Muslim "hoodlums."

Adnan Sher then alleged that the Muslim mob also attacked at the house of another Christian man, Idrees Asif. He added that the alleged culprits, armed with clubs, thrashed the men and women of Asif's family and ripped off the cloths of the Christian women and made publicly nude.

Azerbaijan (Hat tip to Persecution.org)
Within the space of three days in mid-May, three Protestant communities in the town of Sumgait (Sumqayit) north of the Azerbaijani capital Baku were raided by police and officials of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations.

Syria
Syria's minority Christians are watching the protests sweeping their country with trepidation, fearing their religious freedom could be threatened if President Bashar Assad's autocratic but secular rule is overthrown. For many Syrian Christians, the flight of their brethren from sectarian conflict in neighboring Iraq and recent attacks on Christians in Egypt have highlighted the dangers they fear they will face if Assad succumbs to the wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

Iraq
The body of Chaldean Christian Ashur Issa Yaqub was found on Monday (May 16) with marks of severe torture and mutilation. He had worked as a construction worker from the northeastern city of Kirkuk, and al Qaeda members had demanded $100,000 for his release, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Sources close to a Christian reportedly kidnapped, tortured and murdered by al Qaeda over the weekend said the kidnappers had pressured his employer to fire him because he was a Christian.

May 19, 2011
Pakistan
An influential Muslim family in a village near Sheikhupura is holding a 17-year-old Christian girl hostage because one of her brothers allegedly eloped with a woman from the Muslim family. The Muslim parents have threatened further retaliation against the Christian family if they do not produce their daughter, whom they have also threatened to publicly shoot dead as an "honor killing."

An area clergyman identified only as Father Emmanuel called the situation "critical," saying it has pitted the area's 1,800 Muslim families against its 70-to-100 Christian families and could lead to violence. More HERE.

Indonesia
Islamic extremist groups disrupted two post-Easter services in Cirebon as police failed to stop the violence, this according to Hendardi, chairman of the Setara Institute, an NGO fighting for human rights and religious freedom in Indonesia. The activist slammed police for its "powerlessness" vis-à-vis "hostile" acts perpetrated by radical movements, which interrupted religious services.

Pakistan
The situation in Abbotabad is "critical" for religious minorities, who are "fasting and praying for peace in the region", Fr Javed Akram Gill, a parish priest in the town where Osama Bin Laden was killed tells AsiaNews. The priest confirms that the death of the Al Qaeda "has raised fears within the Christian community" because "every time the Americans say or do something, Christians [in Pakistan] become the number one target." Together with the Catholics, the faithful of other Christian denominations "prefer to stay inside" and their leaders refrain from making pastoral visits.

Egypt
On the morning of May 19 two Coptic priests went to St. Mary and St. Abraham Church and opened it together with some of the Coptic residents, but later in the day thousands of Muslims surrounded the church to protest its opening, hurled stones at the church building and the Copts, who responded by throwing stones. The army and the police stood there watching and did not intervene.

Unable to secure the church, the army and police closed it and arranged for a "reconciliation" meeting between the Coptic priest and the Salafi sheikhs. "The atmosphere of the meeting was belligerent," said attorney Ashraf Edward, "and one of the sheikhs threatened us by saying that should the church be opened without their permission it would end up like the church in Soul which was demolished by Muslims."

May 20, 2011
Pakistan
Two nurses at the Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore, were attacked and abducted for several hours by a fellow Muslim. The man also charged them with theft after stealing their mobile phone and a sum of money. In a second incident, a group of Muslims - at the behest of a former MP of the area - attacked the houses of two Christians, to force the owners to abandon them and transfer the land ownership over to him.

Turkey
Turkey's Christians are under siege.

May 23, 2011
Germany
A Coptic Christian bishop warns the native Germans about the threat of Islamic dhimmitude and where it leads.

Pakistan (Hat tip to Persecution.org)
Pakistani Christians have expressed concerns about renewed kidnappings and abuse of women and girls by Muslims in a country still reeling from the recent assassination of a Christian government minister.

Among those targeted was Sehar Naz, a 24-year-old employee with Pakistan's State Life Insurance Corporation in Punjab province, who was recovering of her injuries Monday, May 23, after she was allegedly kidnapped and raped by a Pakistan Army officer.

May 24, 2011
Sudan
Sudanese National Security Intelligence and Security Service agents have arrested a Christian woman in a Darfur camp for displaced people, accusing her of converting Muslims to Christianity, said sources who fear she is being tortured.

At the same time, in Khartoum a Christian mother of a 2-month-old baby is wounded and destitute because she and her husband left Islam for Christianity. More HERE.

Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan remained concerned Monday, May 23, over the situation of Pastor Paul Ashraf and his family after they reportedly narrowly survived a drive by shooting by suspected Islamic militants in Punjab province, seriously injuring their eldest son. "Pastor Ashraf was in a van with his wife, Rubina Ashraf, and eldest son Sarfraz Ashraf, on April 27 when two unidentified men on a motorbike opened fire" on their car, said the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement. . . . Pastor Ashraf and Rubina were unharmed but Sarfraz" who drove the vechicle, "was shot in the side and face. The masked gunmen fled from the scene when they saw that Sarfraz had been seriously injured," CLAAS explained.

May 25, 2011
Algeria
Algerian authorities have ordered the immediate closure of seven Protestant churches and demanded that the Algerian Protestant Church Association close all churches under their authority.

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