Saturday, October 8, 2011

Is Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Dead or Alive? - Christian Newswire

Is Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Dead or Alive? - Christian Newswire:

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Pakistani Muslims Fire on Christians in Land-Grab, Killing One

Heavily-armed assailants fire indiscriminately, injuring 21 others, six critically.
By Murad Khan
LAHORE, Pakistan, October 7 (Compass Direct News) – Muslims in Pakistan’s Mian Channu area in southern Punjab Province shot dead an unarmed Christian man and injured 21 others, six of them critically, in an attempted land-grab on Wednesday (Oct. 5).
Residents of the area told Compass by phone that 40 to 45 heavily-armed Muslims on 10 to 12 motorcycles, two tractor-trolleys and in a car reached Chak 134-16/L village, in Khanewal district, and forcibly entered the home of Adeel Kashif, a Christian carpenter who was living on a government-owned piece of land.
“The attackers forced their way into Kashif’s house and started throwing the family’s belongings onto the street,” Wazir Masih, a Christian elder in the area, told Compass. “They also tore the clothes off Kashif’s three female family members – Violet, 40, Parveen, 35, and Esther, 17, and tortured the family.”
Masih said the assailants wanted to take illegal possession of the 18-marla piece of land (in Pakistan, one marla equals 30.25 square yards).
“Since pre-partition days, a piece of government land is given to Kammis [laborers or craftsmen] for residence, and in return they help the villagers in whatever way they can,” Masih said. “This allotment is made with the complete consensus of the villagers.”
Before Kashif, a Muslim carpenter named Muhammad Iqbal was allowed to live on the property, he said.
“Iqbal lived there for over 10 years and moved out about two months ago,” Masih said. “However, before leaving he prepared fake papers of the land in connivance with the Patwari[local revenue officer] and a local Muslim group and ‘sold’ it to them for 130,000 rupees [US$1,480],” Masih said, adding that the entire process was fraudulent because no one can sell the government’s land in a personal capacity.
He said that on Wednesday (Oct. 5), armed Muslims led by men of the area’s powerful Jagrane family arrived at the house and tried to force the Christians out.
“Kashif’s neighbors and some other villagers came out of their homes on hearing the commotion,” Masih said. “The village comprises about 250 Christian families, and some 90 to 100 people gathered there and tried to persuade the Muslims not to dislodge the Christian carpenter illegally. None of the Christians present there was carrying any weapon, as no one was expecting such a harsh action by the Muslims.”
Masih said the Muslims suddenly opened indiscriminate fire on the Christians, instantly killing 25-year-old Sajid Bashir Masih and seriously injuring 21 others, including women and children. He added that six of the injured were in critical condition, one of them Sajid Bashir Masih’s younger brother, Haroon.
“The Christians had done nothing to provoke the Muslims into employing such brute force,” Wazir Masih said. “They just opened fire on the defenseless people with their automatic rifles and shotguns.”
Masih said that as soon as Sajid Bashir Masih succumbed to his injuries, some of the assailants fled the scene while others took refuge inside Kashif’s house and started shooting at the villagers. He said the villagers immediately informed police, who arrived soon from a nearby station.
Police besieged the house and eventually managed to arrest 16 armed assailants, but the primary suspects remain free.
A First Information Report was registered against the attackers in Mian Channu’s Saddar Police Station by the deceased’s father, Bashir Masih, early yesterday (FIR No. 432 under sections 302, 324, 448, 511, 452, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code).
Some of the injured Christians have been transferred to the District Headquarters Hospital, while those with serious bullet wounds have been admitted to the Nishtar Hospital in Multan.
A.D. Sahil, a Christian schoolteacher of the area, told Compass that the Christians suspected police complicity in the incident.
“The police station is just a couple of kilometers away, yet such a large group of heavily-armed Muslims managed to reach our village in broad daylight,” he said, adding that there was tension between the two communities since the killing, and police have been deployed in the village. “The district police chief and the district’s administrative head reached the village soon after the incident and held negotiations with us.”
He added that, in view of the history of bitter inter-religious relations in the area, government officials have given assurances of protection to local Christians. The village is near Shantinagar, a Christian village attacked by thousands of Islamist extremists on Feb. 6, 1997.
The Muslims burned down 785 houses and four churches, and more than 2,500 Christians had to flee following allegations that a Christian villager had blasphemed against the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. 
Christians make up only 2.45 percent of Pakistan’s population, which is more than 95 percent Muslim, according to Operation World.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Students at Orphanage in India Forced to Pay Idol Worship Fee

Hindu extremists force closure, then limited re-opening of Christian social programs.
By Mahruaii Sailo       
NEW DELHI, October 6 (Compass Direct News) – Hindu extremists in West Bengal, India who earlier this year refused to admit Christian orphans to a high school have forced them to contribute funds for idol worship in order to gain admission, sources said.
The conflict in Kharagpur, Paschim Medinipur, last month led the hard-line Hindus to throw stones at a Christian orphanage, shut it and other social programs down and threaten to arrest the head of the organization that operates them. The Rev. Dr. Subimal Dutta, director general of Ambassadors Service Society, which operates the Gilgal Children’s Home, told Compass he faced the threats and program shut-down after opposing the collection of money for idol worship at government schools or government-aided schools.
Dutta said that since 2007 he has tried to stop school officials from collecting money from the Gilgal Children’s Home and from non-Hindu students at public schools for the “Pujasubscription,” or idol worship fee.
Hindu extremists led by Achinty Hatui, headmaster of the Dudhebudhe Gram Sava Tribal Institute, forced the Christian students to pay the fee for idols and warned him that they would ransack the properties of the Society, which also runs child development, children and mother survival, pregnant women and infant care, health care and primary school programs.
“I went to various administrative officials to stop this unfair practice, but I got no positive responses,” Dutta said, adding that when he reported the matter to area Additional District Inspector Jasodananda Misra, he refused to take action.
No area schools would admit the five orphans from the Gilgal Children’s Home, so they attended Dudhebudhe Gram Sava Tribal Institute, a high school that is a three-minute walk from their home, hoping that they would eventually be granted admission. After attending classes for 21 days, however, Hatui expelled them on March 25 in a fit of coarse language and insults, said Chetan Larence Orasad, manager of Ambassadors Service Society.
“Achinty Hatui and his team have been collecting money for idol worship through unfair means and pressured orphans from the Gilgal Home to submit the money or they would be expelled,” Orasad told Compass.
The orphans also faced discrimination and harassment from the headmaster and staff for not contributing to the idol fund, he said. The orphans filed a police complaint against Hatui, which the local police initially refused to register.
Dutta said he pressured the additional district inspector, Misra, to take action, and he arranged a meeting for him with Hatui and his team on April 19, which was fruitless.
“In response to the public litigation case I submitted in Kolkata High Court at the beginning of the year, the honorable court on April 8 issued an order to Dudhebudhe Gram Sava Tribal Institute and other government-aided schools in the area to give admission to the children from Gilgal Children’s Home,” Dutta told Compass.
Even after the court order, however, Hatui initially refused to admit the students in his school, Dutta said.
“The orphans were given admission only after I went to the police station and reported the matter,” he said.
But the orphans faced constant discrimination and harassment from Hatui and his staff, and they continued to pressure them to submit the money for idol worship, he said.
After receiving a letter from the West Bengal Minorities Commission to appear on Sept. 7 for a hearing following a complaint filed by Dutta, Hatui and his staff tried to force the orphans to sign an agreement stating that the orphans had willingly paid the idol worship fee. The orphans refused to sign, and they have stopped going to the school because of the constant harassment they faced from the faculty, he said.
Hatui and his staff also insisted that the orphans change their legal guardian from Dutta to relatives in order to attain status as regular students, he said.
On Sept. 7, Hindu extremists led by Hatui gathered at the Society compound, stoned Gilgal Children’s Home, blocked the road and demanded that all Christian activities stop. As a result, Dutta was unable to appear at a hearing of the West Bengal Minorities Commission.
“A big mob of Hindu extremists blocked the passage and the compound of the mission, and the police also asked me not to venture out from my home as it could be harmful for my life,” he said. “I sent my representative along with my letter to the chairman of the commission stating the reason for my absence.”
Later that day, police summoned Dutta, Hatui and his secretary for talks, but Hatui insisted that they meet at his high school compound, where Hindu extremist groups could gather. Dutta declined to meet at Hatui’s school that day. 
On Sept. 8, Hatui and other Hindu extremists forced their way into the Gilgal Children’s Home and demanded the arrest of Dutta within 24 hours – on charges of forcibly converting orphans and trying to bring Christianity to the area – or else they would demolish the orphanage.
“I have also come to know through well-wishers that Hatui bribed some people to attack us,” Dutta reported.
On Sept. 9, the extremists again stormed into the Society compound and warned Dutta to stop all Christian activities within seven days or that they would forcibly shut down the mission. They also sternly warned Dutta that his life would be in danger if he involved police or any administrative officials.
“We dare not bring forward the matter to the police or to any officials for fear of the extremists, and we have closed down all our activities since Sept. 9,” he said.
At a meeting with the village head, the local political party and the Ambassadors Service Society on Sept. 23, an agreement was reached for re-opening the Society, but it required all students at the government high school to pay the idol worship fee without complaint. As a result, the five students from the orphanage have paid the fee but have not attended due to harassment from Hatui and his staff, sources said.
The agreement allows the Society to resume limited Christian social programs and also calls for teaching about Christ to be restricted to the Society compound. In addition, the Society must provide jobs to six local Hindus, and committee members of the Society’s primary school must be nominated by the local political party. Because the Society primary school has more students than the public school, it can operate only when the government school is not in session, according to the agreement. The Society’s primary school has some 300 students, including Muslim and Christians.
Dutta said he felt he had to consent to these demands in order to continue providing shelter to 72 orphans.
“The extremists will go to any extent to close down the orphanage and all the other mission works of Ambassadors Service Society,” he said.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Progress in Pakistani Rape Case, but Alleged Victim’s Father Dies

One suspect arrested, bail of another cancelled after intervention by rights group.
By Murad Khan

LAHORE, Pakistan, October 4 (Compass Direct News) – A Christian mother of five who was allegedly raped by two Muslims rejoiced after police in Pakistan’s Kasur district arrested a suspect and suspended an officer who had dismissed her complaints, but her solace was short-lived when her father collapsed and died Friday night (Sept. 30) after learning of her ordeal.

The 32-year-old woman and her husband, municipal worker Mushtaq Masih, told Compass by phone that they had lost hope of getting justice as they were facing threats from area Muslims to withdraw the case even as police were deliberately slow to investigate and arrest the accused.

Heartened after advocate pressure led to the arrest last week of one of the primary suspects in the case, the woman, whose name is withheld, went to visit her father late Friday night (Sept. 30). Up to that point she had not been able to bear informing her siblings and 70-year-old father, Gama Masih, about being raped on Sept. 15, but the family felt it was unwise to refrain further.

“As soon as my wife shared her ordeal with her family, her father collapsed and died on the spot,” Mushtaq Masih said. “He could not take the pain. My wife is in a state of shock. She lost her honor, and now she has lost her father. We have suffered a lot in the last 15 days.”

The woman said she was returning home to Mustafabad, in Punjab Province’s Kasur district, when two Muslims along with an unidentified accomplice abducted her at gunpoint, took her to an abandoned house in the area and raped her. Muslim criminals in Pakistan, where the population is more than 95 percent Muslim according to Operation World, tend to assume they will not be prosecuted if their victims are Christians.

The couple said that soon after their plight received media attention, representatives of the Community Development Initiative (CDI), a non-government Christian organization affiliated with the European Centre for Law and Justice, offered them legal aid.

“This was a great blessing for us,” Masih said. “We are poor people and were under great pressure to withdraw the charges. The families of the accused men and other Muslims were pressuring us to withdraw the case. Some offered us money in exchange, others threatened harm to our family if we did not concede to their demand.”

Police had initially arrested a suspect identified only as Shera, 27, but the woman declined to identify him as the assailant because she and her husband had been threatened with death by Muslims at the police station, who also threatened to rape their daughters. The couple said the Muslims told them they should not forget that they were chooras or “sweepers,” a derogatory word for Christians in Pakistan.

Masih said that CDI lawyer Niaz Aamer helped to jump-start an effort to arrest Shera and the other suspect, identified only as 23-year-old Pahlu (previously identified as Bhallu)CDI Executive Director Asif Aqeel told Compass his team accompanied the victim and her husband to the office of District Police Officer (DPO) Syed Khurram Ali Shah and complained about the prejudice of Investigating Officer Muhammad Sharif, who had dismissed the Christians’ accusations that police had sought money in exchange for dropping the case and refused to acknowledge that Muslims were threatening the woman’s family and needed police protection.

“The DPO took strong notice of the investigating officer’s behavior and suspended him immediately,” Aqeel said.

The woman told the DPO how the suspects and other Muslims had intimidated her into declining to identify Shera, and Shah ordered his subordinates to bring Shera to his office so she could identify him again, Aqeel said.

“Shera was produced before the DPO and was handcuffed soon after the woman pointed him out as one of her two rapists,” Aqeel said.

He added that Aamer also filed a court petition for the cancellation of bail for Pahlu, which was granted. Police have since begun making raids to arrest the other suspects.

The families of the accused had offered some US$2,500 to the woman’s family in exchange for dropping the charges, Aqeel said, and the suspects’ lawyers also approached Aamer in court and offered him US$500 to “misguide and abandon” the Christian family.

The two Muslim lawyers told Aamer he was pursuing the case of “low-born laborers,” Aqeel said. They told the CDI lawyer, “It’s not a big deal if our boys had some fun. Let’s just finish the case and you also get to keep your fee,” Aqeel said, adding that Aamer rejected their offer.

Shera’s arrest and the cancellation of Pahlu’s bail sent a wave of jubilation through the Christian community of the Laliani area of Mustafabad, as the Christians were not accustomed to such victories.

“Malik Faraz, the pastor of the United Presbyterian Church of the area, telephoned me to share the jubilation of his people,” Aqeel said, praising the DPO for providing justice to the Christian family.

Before the death of her father, the woman on Friday afternoon expressed satisfaction on developments to Compass and said “her faith in God had strengthened.”

“I used to weep in my heart all the time, ever since the incident took place,” she said. “I didn’t have any hope, but my Lord has not forsaken me.”


Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wild allegations heaped upon Iranian pastor

Mission Network News: "Iran (MNN) ― The life of an Iranian pastor continues to hang in the balance as the Iranian state media is now getting involved in the case. 34-year-old Pastor Yousef Nardarkani was arrested two years ago this month for protesting Muslim education for his children because he is a Christian. He was convicted of apostasy, but now new false charges are being leveled against him."


Oral Roberts University Launches Debate Squad

Oral Roberts University Launches Debate Squad: "There's plenty to debate these days, from presidential candidates to gay marriage to abortion and beyond. Oral Roberts University is preparing its students to engage in vigorous debates with the recent introduction of a competitive debate squad."


Violent Muslims Attack Coptic Church in Egypt

Violent Muslims Attack Coptic Church in Egypt: "A group of hard-line Muslims attacked a church building in Upper Egypt afternoon, torching the structure and then looting and burning nearby Christian-owned homes and businesses."


Why Is Islamic Extremism Growing in Indonesia?

Expediency is behind government’s reluctance to check the extremism that is fueling terrorism.
By Vishal Arora
JAKARTA, Indonesia, October 3 (Compass Direct News) – 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.”
National Police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam linked the 31-year-old bomber to the Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (Partisans of the Oneness of God or JAT), a terrorist group believed to be founded three years ago by Abu Bakar Bashir. Bashir is serving a jail term for terrorism.
Bashir is well-known among the security apparatus in the United States. He is seen as close to al Qaeda and alleges that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Israel’s Mossad have carried out “false flag” attacks in Indonesia and elsewhere.
The Indonesian government can be expected to crack down on groups such as the JAT, as the United States is among the largest investors in Indonesia, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono values his reputation in the West.
“He’s a darling of the West,” a senior journalist from The Jakarta Post told Compass.
Washington’s war against terror has stakes in Indonesia, which came to light after the 2002 Bali bombings by the al Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group, of which Bashir is seen as the spiritual head. Bashir is co-founder of an Islamic boarding school, Al-Mukmin, near Solo. People linked to Bashir’s school have been implicated in terrorist attacks.
Dealing with terrorists alone, however, may not help much. Extremism that breeds terrorism needs to be checked, hinted the Wahid Institute’s Rumadi, who uses a single name. The Wahid Institute works towards “a just and peaceful world by espousing a moderate and tolerant view of Islam and working towards welfare for all.”
There are extremist groups in Indonesia that are not known to have exploded bombs, but they practice violent moral policing and persecute minorities, sometimes beating members of minority communities to death. According to a human rights group in Jakarta, the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, there were at least 75 incidents, including violent attacks, violating religious freedom of the Christian community in 2010.
The most prominent name among these violent extremist groups is the Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front or FPI), according to the Setara Institute. The FPI was founded in 1998 by Saudi-educated Muhammad Rizieq Syihab. These groups oppose the doctrine of “Pancasila,” the Indonesian goal of “unity in diversity” in the Indonesian Constitution, which calls for religious freedom and democracy.
In March, an FPI member and eight others were convicted in the Sept. 12, 2010 clubbing of a pastor and the stabbing of a church elder of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in West Java. Christians and human rights activists, however, condemned the light sentences of only five to seven months. (See, “Light Sentences for Attack on Christians in Indonesia Condemned,” March 10.)
A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable dated May 9, 2006, published on the WikiLeaks website in May, revealed that a member of the National Intelligence Agency told the U.S. Embassy that a top official of the national police had “provided some funds” to the FPI, and that police were using the hard-line Muslim organization as an “attack dog.”
Extremist groups and officials close to them flout laws and violate the rights of minorities with almost complete impunity, sources said. For example, the Yasmin Church in Bogor, a suburb of Jakarta, remains sealed by the city mayor, Diani Budiarto, despite a Supreme Court order against his action and recommendation by the ombudsman to give the church back to the congregation. (See, “Mayor in Indonesia Again Balks at Granting Church Permit,” Aug. 15.)
Sept. 18 was the deadline set by the ombudsman for the mayor to unseal the church, but it remains sealed, a church member told Compass.
“Higher authorities have taken no action against the erring mayor,” he complained, saying Indonesia’s largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party, known as the PKS, supported the mayor in the 2008 election. The PKS, which calls for a central role for Islam in public life, is seen as tacitly supporting some extremist groups.
Bonar Tigor Naipospos, vice-chairman of the Setara Institute, said his research shows that extremist groups have infiltrated at all levels, including the Majelis Ulama Indonesia (Indonesian Ulema Council or MUI), a clerical body representing all Indonesian Muslim groups to the government.
Thanks to the growing clout of extremist groups in street politics as well as in some mainstream Muslim organizations, the government seems to be extremely cautious in taking action.
“The government has no will to control extremist groups,” said Rumadi of the Wahid Institute, adding that the government of Yudhoyono, who was re-elected for a second five-year term in 2009, doesn’t want to be seen as “anti-Islamic.”
He also noted, “The issue of extremism diverts attention away from the high level of corruption in the government.”
The government shrugs off the threat from extremists, claiming they are tiny in number.
“Extremism in Indonesia has low support but high impact,” said Dr. Abdul Muti, general secretary of Muhammadiyah, the country’s second largest Islamic organization with more than 29 million members, mostly moderate.
The majority of the people in Indonesia say corruption is the country’s most serious problem. In June, Muhammad Nazaruddin, former treasurer of President Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party, was accused of graft involving 32 government projects worth 6 trillion rupiah, orUS$700 million.
With a lack of will on the part of the government, extremism has constantly grown since the fall of the authoritarian President Suharto in 1999, who kept radical groups under control. A local Christian, a former member of the students’ movement that played a key role in the fall of Suharto’s government, said that while extremists used democracy to push their agenda, their goal was to eventually abolish democracy and establish an Islamic state.
Of Indonesia’s population of 232.5 million people, more than 80 percent are Muslims, mostly Sunnis, according to Operation World, which puts the Christian population at nearly 16 percent. The vast majority of Indonesian Muslims are moderates.
“However, if not checked, the radicals may turn the moderate Indonesia into another Pakistan or Afghanistan in the future,” the Christian warned.
*** A photo of a church near Jakarta, Gereja Kristin Immanuel church in Bekasi, is attached for subscribers, to be used with credit to Compass Direct News. A high resolution photo is also available; contact Compass for transmittal.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Teach Us about Persecution!

New Barna Report Indicates that Most Christians Are Interested In Hearing about Christian Persecution from their Pastors

Jerry Dykstra, Media Relations Director

SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- A new Barna Research Group report indicates that 74 percent of Christians are interested in hearing about the worldwide persecution of Christians, though only 48 percent of pastors want to introduce the topic in their churches.

“This gap in interest shows that many Christians in America have a desire to hear more about persecution around the world, but have not been introduced to the topic in their churches,” says Dr. Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “The Bible says so much about persecution. The early church faced widespread persecution. It is still prevalent today. Only 10 days ago a suicide bomber detonated eight pipe bombs outside a church building in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia which wounded 20 church members. We cannot ignore what is happening to our suffering fellow believers.

“One With Them is a perfect way to introduce Christians in America to the topic of persecution. Open Doors USA is offering some excellent tools to help us stand in the gap for our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

One With Them is a campaign designed for Christians to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians around the globe who share their faith but not their freedom. One With Them wristbands serve as a reminder to stand united with persecuted Christians. Wearing the black, flexible silicone wristband that looks like barbed wire is a great conversation starter. The wristbands provide an opportunity to explain to others about the plight of persecuted believers. More than 40,000 wristbands have been sent out to churches, church leaders, small groups and individuals.

To order the wristbands, visit Two of them will be free of charge – one extra to share with a friend. Additional wristbands can be ordered for a fee with 100 percent of the funds going to support persecuted Christians.

In addition to the wristbands, the One With Them website offers numerous free downloadable materials for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), which will be observed Sunday, Nov. 13, in the United States. During IDOP churches across the world will unite in prayer for those who are persecuted for their faith. The materials, available at the One With Them website, provide guidance and content for IDOP. Materials include bulletin inserts, a pastor’s guide, videos, prayer points, testimonies from persecuted Christians, Bible passages on persecution and lessons learned from suffering believers.

On Sept. 28 Open Doors USA hosted a webinar for pastors and church leaders to prepare for IDOP. The webinar was recorded and is available to view at

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email )

Monday, October 3, 2011

OM team sees fruit after 8 years on Ecuadorian island

Mission Network News: "Ecuador (MNN) ― For eight years, Operation Mobilization in Ecuador and a local church have ministered to the people living on Santay, an island across the Guayas River from the port city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Throughout that time, the believers ministering there have seen little fruit."


Christian Group Welcomes Justice in Punjab Governor’s Murder case

Christian Group Welcomes Justice in Punjab Governor’s Murder case: "RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN (ANS) -- A Pakistani human rights organization, which works amongst the Christians and other religious minorities of Pakistan, has welcomed the recent conviction and sentencing of Mumtaz Qadri, for killing the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer.

“This will hopefully be a lesson to learn for all others who want to take the law in their hands to promote and support violence and terrorism,” said Peter Bhatti, Chairman of International Christian Voice ( )."


Muslim Mob Torches Coptic Church in Egypt

Muslim Mob Torches Coptic Church in Egypt: "CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- 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.

According to Mary Abdelmassih, writing for AINA – Assyrian International News Agency ( ) , the mob demolished the dome, walls and columns, after Friday prayers 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."


Eleven Christians Receive Death Threats as False Charges Emerge Against Pastor Nadarkhani

Eleven Christians Receive Death Threats as False Charges Emerge Against Pastor Nadarkhani: "RASHT, IRAN (ANS) -- Eleven Iranian Christians who fled Iran in the wake of a government campaign against evangelical Christianity have received death threats via email from a group calling itself “the unknown soldiers of the Hidden Imam.”

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says the e-mail calls on the believers to either repent or face extra-judicial execution. The “unknown soldiers” are alleged to have links with Iranian security services."