August 29, 2011
Seventy five percent of religious persecution in the world is against Christians, reports a British watchdog group, which says 100 million Christians are facing official oppression.
China, Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia are the worst places for Christians to practice their faith, reports Aid to the Church in Need. Also making the list are Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
September 5, 2011
Zanzibar (Hat tip to InfidelsAreCool)
On Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, Christians live in a climate of fear. It’s a place where a young man flees the island to escape death threats from his Muslim family, and a Christian who accidentally burned pages of the Quran opts for jail by entering a guilty plea rather than face certain death from a furious mob.
September 6, 2011
On Dec. 26, 2010, authorities had arrested Mehdi Forootan in a wave of persecution against Iran’s underground church movement. It is estimated that Iranian authorities arrested over 120 Christians in a two-month period. Most of them were released within days, but Forootan was among a small group who were not. Without explanation, authorities freed him on April 9.
Farshid Fathi was arrested on the same day as Forootan and is still in prison. There has been no news on Noorollah Ghabitizadeh, who was arrested Dec. 24, 2010 in Khuzestan. Abrahim Firouzi, arrested Jan. 8 in in Robat Karim, and Masoud Delijani, arrested March 17 in Kermanshah, were released in recent months. The condition and whereabouts of Mostafa Zangooyee, a university student who was arrested on June 30, are not known.
September 7, 2011
Plateau State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) yesterday joined issues with the Ulama and Elder Council over the recurring violence in the state which has claimed hundreds of lives even as it accused the leadership of the Special Task Force(STF) of complicity in the massacre of Christians.
The body described as blantant lies claims by the Ulamas that 200 vehicles belonging to Muslims were burnt during the Sallah day clash between Christians and Muslims . It insisted that Christians have suffered mores losses both in terms of death casualties and property destroyed since the crises started. It specifically said that over 122 churches have been burnt from 1999 to date, contending that the plot of Moslems in the state was islamise Jos North.
September 8, 2011
A Christian nurse here filed a police report on Saturday (Sept. 3) alleging she was raped by a Muslim colleague who filmed the act in an attempt to blackmail her into renouncing her faith and marrying him.
Shaista Samuel, a 27-year-old nurse at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS), filed a First Information Report (FIR) at Shadman police station accusing Ali Adnan, an assistant accounts officer at the hospital, and an armed accomplice of abducting her at gunpoint from the government hospital on Aug. 21 and taking her to a house in Lahore where Adnan’s accomplice filmed the rape.
September 9, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Christians in the Upper Egyptian village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan province, have been forbidden to leave their homes or buy food until they remove the dome of St. George’s Church, which was rebuilt in its previous location. Village Muslims, backed by Muslim Salafists from neighboring villages, have threatened to demolish the church on Friday September 9 after prayers and use it as a mosque. Despite the presence of security forces, Muslims have blocked the roads to the village, refusing passage of any Christians under any circumstance.
September 12, 2011
The toll from violent clashes yesterday between Christians and Muslims in Ambon, capital of the Moluccas, in the eastern Indonesian archipelago is three dead and about 60 wounded. The violence was triggered after the accidental death of a taxi driver who crashed his motorcycle. However, during the funeral a rumour was spread that Darkin Saimen – who lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a house – was attacked by a group of Christians.
Riot police were called in to quell the reaction of the Islamic community. The officers fired shots, some stray bullets hit Djefry Siahaan (teacher in Ambon) in the stomach and Cliford Belegur (school student) in his left side, causing death.
A kidnapped Christian convert from Islam was found decapitated on Sept. 2 on the outskirts of Hudur City in southwestern Somalia. Juma Nuradin Kamil was forced into a car by three suspected Islamic extremists from the al Shabaab terrorist group on Aug. 21, area sources said. After members of his community thoroughly combed the area looking for him, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 2 one of them found Kamil’s body dumped on a street.
The kidnapping and subsequent manner of murder suggests that al Shabaab militants had been monitoring him, Christian leaders said. Muslim extremists from al Shabaab, a militant group with ties to al Qaeda, have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity.
September 13, 2011
Muslim extremists have sent text messages to at least 10 church leaders in Khartoum saying they are planning to target Christian leaders, buildings and institutions, Christian sources in Khartoum said.
“We want this country to be purely an Islamic state, so we must kill the infidels and destroy their churches all over Sudan,” said one text message circulating in Khartoum last month.
September 15, 2011
Indonesia (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Only the intervention of police saved the lives of an American family that was attacked by an enraged mob spurred by a local religious leader. Muslim fundamentalists were incensed by charges that the head of the family was engaged in proselytising in the predominantly Muslim area.
September 16, 2011
A Syrian sheikh who has been exiled to Saudi Arabia and has become one of the voices of the uprising against Assad, urges his followers, in television sermons that have been broadcast in Syria as well, to ”tear apart, chop up and feed” the meat of all supporters of the current regime ”to the dogs,” including all Christians.
Many Syrian Christians are terrorised; in some cities, like Homs, they are even afraid to leave their houses. Some churches have already been burned down.
September 19, 2011
Egypt (Hat tip to JihadWatch )
Abu Shadi, a Salafi jihadi and one of Tahrir Square’s preachers during the revolution , says that Christians must choose between the jizya, conversion to Islam or war.
September 21, 2011
A Christian mother of five was allegedly raped by two Muslim men last week, and area Islamists are threatening to harm her family if charges against the suspects are not dropped, the woman and her husband told Compass.
On Thursday (Sept. 15), the 32-year-old woman said, she was returning home to Mustafabad, in Punjab Province’s Kasur district, from a garment factory where she works. Two Muslims, identified only as 23-year-old Bhallu and 27-year-old Shera, along with an unidentified accomplice, allegedly abducted her at gunpoint, took her to an abandoned house in the area and raped her, she said. More HERE.
September 22, 2011
A rash of attacks by armed Muslim extremists on villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state in the past month have left more than 100 Christians dead, including the elimination of entire families, sources said.
In a guerilla-type “hit and run” attack on the Christian community of Vwang Kogot, Muslim attackers at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 9 killed 14 Christians, including a pregnant woman. Survivors of the attack told Compass that the assailants raided the village with the aid of men in military uniforms of the Nigerian Army. More HERE.
September 25, 2011
Pakistan (Hat tip to InfidelsAreCool )
Faryal Bhatti, a [Christian] student at the Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony Havelian, erroneously misspelt a word in an Urdu exam while answering a question on a poem written in praise of Mohammed. The word in question was ‘laanat’ instead of ‘naat’ – an easy error for a child to make, as the written versions of the words are similar.
According to the school administration and religious leaders who took great exception to the hapless student’s mistake, the error is ‘serious’ enough to fall within the realm of blasphemy. The teacher reportedly summoned the Christian girl, scolded her and beat her.
September 27, 2011
Syria (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Syria plunges deeper into unrest by the day. On Tuesday, government troops attacked the rebellious town of Rastan with tanks and machine guns, wounding at least 20 people. With the chaos growing, Christians visiting Saydnaya on a recent Sunday said they feared that a change of power could usher in a tyranny of the Sunni Muslim majority, depriving them of the semblance of protection the Assad family has provided for four decades.
Syria’s Christian minority is sizable, about 10 percent of the population, though some here say the share is actually lower these days. Though their sentiments are by no means monolithic – Christians are represented in the opposition, and loyalty to the government is often driven more by fear than fervor – the group’s fear helps explain how President Bashar al-Assad has held on to segments of his constituency, in spite of a brutal crackdown aimed at crushing a popular uprising.
Indonesian police today identified the suicide bomber who detonated eight pipe bombs outside a church building in Solo, Central Java on Sunday (Sept. 25). The bomber, Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, killed himself and wounded at least 20 church members.
“The church never expected anything like this to happen; this [suicide bombing] is indeed the first in church history in Indonesia,” a local source, who preferred to go unnamed, told Compass.
Police had been searching for Pino Damayanto, who used the alias of Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, in connection with a previous suicide bombing at a Cirebon, West Java mosque inside a police station in April, local news agency Antara reported. In that incident, the bomber died and 30 were injured. Update HERE.
September 28, 2011
Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani refused to recant his Christian faith today at the fourth and final court hearing in Iran to appeal his death sentence for apostasy (leaving Islam).
The court house in Rasht, 243 kilometers (151 miles) northwest of Tehran, has swarmed with security forces for four consecutive days since Sunday (Sept. 25), the first day of his four appeal hearings. Applying sharia (Islamic law), the court on Monday, Tuesday and today gave Nadarkhani, 35, three chances to recant Christianity and return to Islam in order for his life to be spared. In all instances, Nadarkhani refused to recant.
UPDATE (Hat tip to JihadWatch ) Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani will be put to death for several charges of rape and extortion, charges that differ greatly from his original sentence of apostasy, Iran’s semi-official Fars News agency reported Friday.
Gholomali Rezvani, the deputy governor of Gilan province, where Nadarkhani was tried and convicted, accused Western media of twisting the real story, referring to him as a “rapist.” A previous report from the news agency claimed he had committed several violent crimes, including repeated rape and extortion.
“His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,” Rezvani told Fars. “He is guilty of security-related crimes.” See more HERE. In a translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010, however, the charge of apostasy is the only charge leveled against Nadarkhani. “Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32-years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19,” reads the brief. More HERE.
Egypt (Hat tip to InfidelsAreCool)
A Christian girl was prevented for over a week from entering her school in Beni Mazar, Minya province, because she refused to wear a veil. “The school management described her as ‘flaunt’ for not covering her hair,” said Coptic activist Nader Shoukry, who uncovered the story.
“Coptic students were forced to obey for fear of the school management’s threats,” said Mr. Wagdy Halfa, the attorney for the girl, “except for 14-year-old Ferial Sorial Habib, whose family refused this decision because it is inconsistent with religious freedom and a blatant Islamization of education.”
Ferial was prevented from entering her school by the social worker, Ms. Ola Abdel Fattah, for eight consecutive days. Her father went to school on September 17 to protest this decision, but the school filed a police complaint against him on charges of libel and defamation.
Mr. Wagdy Halfa, the student’s attorney, said the school administration of Shaikh Fadl Secondary School, a public school in Bani Mazar, had sent a warning to Christian students compelling them to wear a head dress, similar to the Hijab, and not to reveal their hair, otherwise they would be refused entry to school.
September 29, 2011
Failure by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and allied Islamic militia to distinguish between combatants and civilians in territorial battles in South Kordofan state is due in part to a desire to rid the area of Christianity, local Christians say.
A Christian in the Leri East area of Kadugli who escaped SAF Intelligence agents 18 days after his June 20 arrest from his home said he saw six other Christian detainees taken away, one by one, to be executed over the course of two weeks.
“They were insulting us, saying that this land is an Islamic land and that we were not allowed to be in this land,” he told Compass. “I saw them take my fellow Christians brothers and shoot them in the forest near the place where we were detained.”
October 1, 2011
After Friday prayers today, a mob of several thousand Muslims from the village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan province, demolished and torched St. George’s church, which was being renovated. The mob demolished the dome, walls and columns, then went to the church depot where the lumber to be used for construction was stored and torched it. The fire lasted 2 hours but the attack continued until 7 PM.
In an interview on Coptic TV channel, Father Salib of St. George’s Church said “the Imam of one of the village mosques called on the people to take matter in their own hands, he added. Other witnesses named the Imam as Sheikh Sabry.
According to eyewitnesses the Muslims also torched a large depot of electrical goods owned by a Copt, a supermarket and four Coptic homes. Muslims prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. Security forces, which were present, “stood there watching,” said Mr.Michael Ramzy, a social worker at the church.
October 2, 2011
Iran (Hat tip to JihadWatch)
Militants with suspected ties to Iranian security forces have threatened to kill nearly a dozen evangelical Christians who fled Iran unless they “repent” and return to Islam, well-informed sources told BosNewsLife early Sunday, October 2.
At least 11 Iranian Christians received electronic mail messages from ‘The Unknown Soldiers Of The Hidden Imam’ calling on them to either repent or face extra-judicial execution, said an Iranian church group and religious rights organization Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).
The email threats came as in Iran Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was awaiting a possible death sentence as early as Sunday, October 2, on charges of “apostasy”, or abandoning Islam, although an Iranian official and government-linked media included “offenses” ranging from “rape and extortion” to “security crimes” to the long list of alleged wrongdoings.
October 3, 2011
The suicide bombing of a church in Central Java on Sept. 25 pointed not only to a new level of attacks on religious minorities in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country but to a political bent that accommodates Islamist extremism.
“Radicalization of Islamic teachings and understanding is a problem in Indonesia,” admitted Dr. H. Nasaruddin Umar, director general of Islamic Community Guidance under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. “There’s a need to re-explain the concept of jihad.”
Pino Damayanto, aka Ahmad Yosepa Hayat, who blew himself up wounding over 20 members of the Sepenuh Injil Bethel Church (Bethel Full Gospel Church) in Solo on Sept. 25, apparently believed it was his religious duty to kill “the enemies of Islam,” according to his understanding of “jihad.”