Saturday, October 22, 2011

Maldives Arrests, Deports Indian Teacher for Owning Bible

Island nation cracks down on preaching unofficial Islam, non-Islamic faiths.
By Vishal Arora
NEW DELHI, October 21 (Compass Direct News) – Police in the island nation of Maldives held a teacher from India for about 15 days before deporting him on Oct. 14 for having a Bible in his house, a source said.
Shijo Kokkattu, a 30-year-old Catholic and teacher at the Raafainu School in Raa Atoll, had been arrested in late September after police found a Bible and a rosary in his house during a raid, a foreign source in the capital city of Male told Compass by phone.
Charging that Kokkattu was preaching his Christian faith in the Muslim nation, which recently tightened restrictions on preaching and practice of non-Islamic faiths, police took him to another island for interrogation and kept him in custody for more than two weeks, said the source, who requested anonymity.
Police raided his home after Kokkattu’s colleagues found Christian materials on a school computer he had used and reported it to authorities. While downloading material from his pen drive, Kokkattu had mistakenly downloaded some Catholic songs in the Malayalam language (used in a south Indian state) and a picture of the Virgin Mary.
“The videos were in Indian, so I don’t know what they were saying, but the images were Christian,” school principal Mohamed Shiraj told Minivan News, an independent news portal based in the Maldives.
Kokkattu, a parishioner from Tellicherry Archdiocese in the south Indian state of Kerala, had been teaching at the school for two years.
“He was a very good teacher, we’ve not had any complaints of him in the past,” the principal reportedly said.
Last year, Maldivian authorities rescued another Christian teacher from India when Muslim parents of her students threatened to throw her into the sea for “preaching Christianity” after she drew a compass in class, which they alleged was a cross. (See, “Muslims Force Expat Christian Teacher to Flee Maldives,” Oct. 5, 2010.)
The Maldives, a string of 1,190 islands boasting numerous white beaches in the Indian Ocean, is regarded as a tourist paradise visited by tens of thousands of Westerners each year. But it’s also a country that claims, like Saudi Arabia, that all of its more than 300,000 citizens are Sunni Muslims.
The country’s 2008 Constitution states that a “non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives.” Expatriates following other religions can practice their faith only individually and within their respective homes.
New Restrictions
Last month, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs published new regulations under the Protection of Religious Unity Act of 1994 in the government gazette, signaling a renewed commitment to control unlicensed preaching of Islam and propagation of non-Islamic religions in the country.
The Act outlaws promotion of anything that represents a religion other than Islam or any opinion that disagrees with Islamic scholars. It also prohibits use of any website, blog, newspaper, or magazine that contradicts Islam. Any violation under the Act is punishable by an imprisonment of between two and five years, banishment or house arrest. Foreigners who are found proselytizing are to be deported, it says.
The new set of regulations maintains a longtime ban on propagation, display and expression of any religion other than Islam. It also prohibits translation of books with such content into the local language, Dhivehi.
The regulations state that only preachers licensed by the government are allowed to speak in public, and they must not create hatred towards people of any other religion – the latter stipulation has been criticized by members of Islamic organizations such as the Islamic Foundation of Maldives, who say that because the Quran speaks against Judaism and Christianity, they too should have the right to do so.
The regulations require foreign scholars to abstain from criticizing Maldives’ social norms, domestic policies or laws. And media must not disseminate any information that “humiliates Allah or his prophets or the holy Quran or the Sunnah of the Prophet [Muhammad] or the Islamic faith.”
The nation’s tight control over religion is seen as a legacy of former authoritarian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled for 30 years until 2008, keeping religion and its institutions under his grip. He was particularly known for insulating the country against Wahhabi influence from Saudi Arabia and for checking alleged missionary activities by Christians.
President Mohamed Nasheed seeks to deviate from Gayoom’s policies but has not been able to introduce any major reforms or ensure religious freedom. Any advocacy for individual rights is seen as a Western conspiracy to attack Islam in the country. Maldivian conservatives do not allow citizens to become atheists, and leaving Islam can attract violence and harassment by authorities.
Nasheed’s moderate Maldivian Democratic Party does not have a majority in the parliament. In 2009, the main opposition party, the Maldivian People’s Party led by Gayoom, won a majority in the parliamentary election.
Decades of carefully exercised political control over religious narrative in the Maldives has left in its wake a culture of intolerance among the general public unsympathetic to wider views on non-Islamic religions and hostile to Islamic academics and Muslim religious scholars who espouse a more humane form of Islam.
A Minivan author wrote last month that many Maldivian lawmakers and senior government officials privately admit “their hands are tied when it comes to the issue of freedom of religion.” The author asserted that advocating universal human rights “is the easiest way of committing political suicide in the Maldives.”
*** A photo of the Maldives parliament building 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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Persecuted couple safely flees Iran

Mission Network News: "Iran (MNN) ― Iranian pastor Vahik Abrahamian and his wife, Sonia, left Iran for the Netherlands recently with the help of the Netherlands Embassy and with approval from the Iranian government.

Vahik and Sonia continually expressed their desire to remain in Iran for the sake of their ministry; however, fears for their safety caused them to flee the country."


Pakistani Mother Condemned for ‘Blasphemy’ Allegedly Beaten

Christian woman, husband apparently pressured into denying incident.
By Murad Khan
SHEIKHUPURA, Pakistan, October 20 (Compass Direct News) – A female prison officer assigned to provide security for a Christian mother of five who was sentenced to death on “blasphemy” charges beat her earlier this month, sources said.

Sources in Pakistan’s Sheikhupura District Jail said Asia Noreen, also known as Asia Bibi, was beaten on Oct. 5 by a prison officer identified only as Khadeeja, allegedly because of the Muslim officer’s anti-Christian bias, while other staff members deployed for her security looked on in silence.

Noreen, mother of two children and stepmother to three others, was sentenced to death last November after her conviction for blaspheming Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, after a verbal disagreement with some women in the village of Ittanwali, near Lahore.
The prison sources said Deputy Superintendent of Sheikhupura Jail Ghafoor Anjum did not initially take any action against Khadeeja for attacking Noreen – who is being kept in a special high-security cell due to serious threats on her life – despite learning about the incident immediately after it took place.

Khadeeja was later suspended for three months, and jail Superintendent Sheikh Khalid began an inquiry of her actions after an intelligence agency reported the matter to the Punjab Province government. The Home Department also sent a senior police official to Sheikhupura to investigate, and he recommended Khadeeja’s immediate removal from service, sources said.

Based on communications with jail staff members, a source told Compass on condition of anonymity that Noreen had not received any life-threatening injuries, but that jail personnel had apparently pressured the Christian woman and her husband to refrain from telling anyone about the incident. He said that although it was confirmed that Noreen had been beaten, prison officials have apparently pressured her and her husband, Ashiq Masih, to say only that the female prison officer got angry with Noreen over a trivial matter and that jail staff intervened in time before she could attack her; otherwise, Masih could lose his visitation rights.

“It seems that Ashiq has been pressured by the jail authorities to say that Khadeeja did not attack Asia,” the source said. “Why would the jail superintendent suspend Khadeeja for three months, and why would the inquiry officer recommend her removal from service, if she just ‘got angry with Asia’ over a minor issue?”

The source said that two false versions of the incident were circulating in the jail. Some staff members claimed that Khadeeja had asked Noreen to let her use the cell washroom and beat her when she refused, while others said that the guard had objected to the presence of some “prohibited articles” in Noreen’s possession and thrashed her when she refused to give them up.

“Both versions of the incident are absurd,” the source said. “Why did Khadeeja want to use the prisoner’s washroom when she could have gone to the staff restrooms? Asia’s the prisoner, not Khadeeja. Could anyone also explain how Asia managed to sneak in ‘prohibited items’ in her cell, and only Khadeeja objected to it?”

He added that the beating clearly showed the anti-Christian motive of the prison officer.

“The jail authorities are trying their best to hush up the matter as soon as possible, as it is a big embarrassment to the government,” he said.

The source said the attack reminded him that former Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer, who along with Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti was rallying for Noreen’s release, was killed by his own security guard. Bhatti also was later slain for defending Noreen and opposing the blasphemy laws.

“There should be a more thorough vetting of people being assigned security duties,” he said, adding that the staff members who witnessed the beating yet kept silent should also be suspended.

While reluctant to admit that the Muslim prison officer had beaten Noreen, a jail official acknowledged that Noreen had struck back in self-defense. Though adamant that Noreen was safe in custody, he said the incident had negatively affected her security and authorities were considering transferring her to another prison.
“It was an unfortunate incident, as we had been keeping Asia’s location secret for the last many months, but this episode has blown our cover,” a senior jail officer requesting anonymity told Compass. “We made the best possible arrangements for her security. She is kept in a separate cell with a closed circuit camera to monitor her security round-the-clock. More than 10 wardens have been especially deployed around her barrack. She has been strictly forbidden from eating anything offered by any unauthorized personnel. Asia is safe in our custody, and all possible efforts will be made to ensure her security.”
Conviction under Section 295-C of the blasphemy law for derogatory comments about Muhammad is punishable by death, though life imprisonment is also possible. Section 295-B makes willful desecration of the Quran or use of an extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment. Section 295-A prohibits injuring or defiling places of worship and “acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” It is punishable by life imprisonment, which in Pakistan is 25 years.
Mumtaz Qadri, the security guard who murdered Taseer for his defense of Noreen and efforts to revise the blasphemy laws, was sentenced to death this month. After protests by Muslims in the street as well as by high-level Islamists, however, the judge who sentenced Qadri, Pervez Ali Shah, was removed from his post by the Lahore High Court.
The Rawalpindi Bar Association had threatened a nationwide strike if Shah was not suspended or transferred within five days.
The Islamabad High Court has agreed to consider Qadri’s appeal of his verdict, thus suspending his death sentence until a ruling is made.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Iranian Religious Authorities Acknowledge the Spread of Gospels in Iran

Iranian Religious Authorities Acknowledge the Spread of Gospels in Iran: "TEHRAN, IRAN (ANS) -- Despite pressures and threats on one hand and the ban of printing and selling gospels on the other hand, Christianity is increasingly spreading among the youth and families in Iran. The word of God is making its way into many Iranian homes.

Mohabatnews, The Iranian Christian News Agency ( ) reports that according to Article 13 of the Islamic Republic of Iran's constitution, "Iranian Christians, Jews and Zoroastrian minorities are the only recognized religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of personal affairs and religious education.""


Religious Liberty Monitoring: EGYPT: "more radicalised than we realised"; Islam, Dhimmitude and the Maspero Massacre

Religious Liberty Monitoring: EGYPT: "more radicalised than we realised"; Islam, Dhimmitude and the Maspero Massacre: "Islam is a materialistic, imperialistic and political religion. Its aim is to achieve dominance -- demographically or through military or political conquest -- so that Muslims might rule and Sharia (Islamic Law / the law of Allah) might be applied.


Verdict in Iranian Pastor’s Death Sentence Expected Soon

Verdict in Iranian Pastor’s Death Sentence Expected Soon: "In the next 20 days a ruling is expected in the case against an Iranian Full Gospel pastor facing the death penalty for not denying his faith in Christ.

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s case has gone before Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and Nadarkhani’s lawyer believes a decision could come in the next few weeks."


Ongoing Violence Causes Christians to Flee Iraq

Ongoing Violence Causes Christians to Flee Iraq: "While the world’s attention has shifted to such countries as Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the mass movement of Christians in Iraq continues unabated. Many of them are on the move because they are the targets of ongoing violence.

Hundreds of thousands of Christians have left their cities to find residence elsewhere, both within or outside of Iraq."


Islamic Extremists in Somalia Behead 17-year-old Christian

Al Shabaab militants monitored home Bible studies of boy’s family.
By Simba Tian
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 19 (Compass Direct News) – Militants from the Islamic extremist al Shabaab beheaded a 17-year-old Somali Christian near Mogadishu last month, a journalist in the Somali capital told Compass.
The militants, who have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity, killed Guled Jama Muktar on Sept. 25 in his home near Deynile, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mogadishu. The Islamic extremist group had been monitoring his family since the Christians arrived in Somalia from Kenya in 2008, said the source in Mogadishu, who requested anonymity.
The Islamic militants, who are fighting the transitional government for control of the country, knew from their observations of the family that they were Christians, the source said.
“I personally know this family as Christians who used to have secret Bible meetings in their house,” he said.
Based on talks with the boy’s parents and their neighbors, the source said al Shabaab members arrived at Muktar’s home at 6 a.m., when his parents, whose names are withheld for security reasons, were already at work at their retail space at the Hamarweyne market on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
The extremists found Muktar as he was preparing to go to school, he said.
“The neighbors heard screaming coming from the house, and then it immediately stopped,” the source said. “After awhile, they saw a white car leaving the homestead.”
The neighbors informed the parents, who hurriedly returned home from their market stall. They buried their son’s body quickly, fearing the militants would kill them as well, returned to their market space and then fled to an unknown destination, the source said.
“When the incident happened, the parents called to tell me that their son had been killed and that they feared for their lives,” the source said. “Since then, I have not heard from them.”
On the outskirts of Hudur City in Bakool region in southwestern Somalia, a kidnapped Christian convert from Islam was found decapitated on Sept. 2. 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.
Muslim extremists from al Shabaab, which has ties to al Qaeda, control the area some 400 kilometers (249 miles) from Mogadishu.
A Christian who saw Kamil’s body said it bore the marks of an al Shabaab killing, according to a leader in Somalia’s underground church who lives in another city.
“It is usual for the al Shabaab to decapitate those they suspect to have embraced the Christian faith, or sympathizers of western ideals,” the leader said.
With estimates of al Shabaab’s size ranging from 3,000 to 7,000, the insurgents seek to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law), but the government in Mogadishu fighting to retain control of the country treats Christians little better than the al Shabaab extremists do. While proclaiming himself a moderate, President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed has embraced a version of sharia that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.
Al Shabaab was among several splinter groups that emerged after Ethiopian forces removed the Islamic Courts Union, a group of sharia courts, from power in Somalia in 2006. Al Shabaab has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments.
In the Lower Shabele region of Somalia earlier this year, two Muslim extremists murdered a member of a secret Christian community, sources said. An area source told Compass two al Shabaab militants shot 21-year-old Hassan Adawe Adan in Shalambod town after entering his house on April 18.
In Warbhigly village on the outskirts of Mogadishu, a mother of four was killed for her Christian faith on Jan. 7 by Islamic extremists from al Shabaab, a relative said. The relative, who requested anonymity, said Asha Mberwa, 36, was killed when the Islamic extremists cut her throat in front of villagers who came out of their homes as witnesses.
Following the Oct. 13 kidnapping of two Spanish aid workers from a refugee camp in Dadaab, on the Kenyan border with Somalia, and the kidnapping and murder of foreigners at tourist sites, Kenya on Sunday (Oct. 16) began air strikes on al Shabaab territory in southern Somalia. Kenya Television reported yesterday that Kenyan armed forces had killed more than 100 al Shabaab militants in Kismayo in southern Somalia.
Copyright 2011 Compass Direct News

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New nuncio is no stranger to politics | National Catholic Reporter

New nuncio is no stranger to politics | National Catholic Reporter: "Pope Benedict XVI’s choice as his new ambassador to the United States will find a badly polarized society in America, with contentious national elections in 2012 already heating up and no sign that the nasty divisions in Catholic opinion that erupted last time around have been smoothed over.
As strange as it sounds, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, assuming he gets the job, may just be glad for the break from politics."


The U.S. joins the hunt for Uganda rebel leader

Mission Network News: "Uganda (MNN) ― The United States sent 100 military personnel--mostly special operations forces--to Uganda to ferret out Joseph Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army."


Christians cringe as Kazakhstan passes restrictive religion laws

Mission Network News: "Kazakhstan (MNN) ― Two new restrictive religion laws were signed into effect by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev last week, raising the concern of human rights groups, Muslims, and Christians."


Churches still gone in parts of Orissa, India

Mission Network News: "India (MNN) ― While it's been nearly four years since Christians were attacked by non-Christian extremists in Orissa, India, rebuilding what was lost has been slow. BCM International has been working in India for years, helping establish the church through Children's Ministries, Church Development, and Leader and Teacher Training."


Islamists Murder Christian Evangelist in Nigeria

Islamists Murder Christian Evangelist in Nigeria: "Violence-weary Christians in Borno state have been further upset to learn of the murder of a Nigerian evangelist by Boko Haram less than three months after the Islamic extremist group killed a Maiduguri pastor."


World Congress of Families VI (2012) Takes Shape at Madrid Planning Committee Meeting - Christian Newswire

World Congress of Families VI (2012) Takes Shape at Madrid Planning Committee Meeting - Christian Newswire: "MADRID, Spain, Oct. 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- An International Planning Committee Meeting for World Congress of Families VI (Madrid, May 25-27, 2012) took place at the NH Eurobuilding Hotel in Madrid, October 14-15.

The Committee agreed to a theme for Madrid 2012 ("Family: Marriage, Children and The Future of Society"), topics to be discussed and logistics. The Committee also toured the Palacio De Congresos De Madrid, site of WCFV VI."


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Protest Against the Egyptian Military Forces Massacre Against Its Own Citizens - Christian Newswire

A Protest Against the Egyptian Military Forces Massacre Against Its Own Citizens - Christian Newswire: "WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Coptic Solidarity condemns the attack by the Egyptian Armed Forces against the peaceful demonstration by the Coptic community in front of the State TV headquarters at Maspero, Cairo on Sunday, October 9, 2011. The demonstration was a peaceful protest of the recent burning of a church in Aswan, southern Egypt. The military forces' unprovoked aggression left 27 dead and over 300 persons wounded. Military Security officers and soldiers initiated this barbaric and inhuman attack on the peaceful demonstration to silence the Copts. The military forces used not only live ammunition to kill the demonstrators but, they also used their armored vehicles to literally crush Christians under their treads."


Islamic Extremist Group Kills Another Christian in Nigeria

Evangelist sent to northern Nigeria’s Borno state is slain after staff was evacuated.
By Obed Minchakpu
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, October 17 (Compass Direct News) – Violence-weary Christians in Borno state have been further upset to learn of the murder of a Nigerian evangelist by Boko Haram less than three months after the Islamic extremist group killed a Maiduguri pastor.
Already shell-shocked from attacks by Boko Haram, which was originally based in Borno state, Christians again took cover after the Aug. 27 shooting of Mark Ojunta, a 36-year-old evangelist from southern Nigeria who was ministering amid the Kotoko people of Nigeria’s northeastern state with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO). He was killed in Maiduguri.
CAPRO International Director Amos Aderonmu said Ojunta died “as a martyr on his field among the Kotokos.” CAPRO had learned that all its staff members working among the Shuwa Arab, Kotoko and Kanuri peoples were on a Boko Haram list of people to be killed and had evacuated them, Aderonmu said.
Ojunta had returned to teach a class after the evacuation of his family.
“Brother Mark took his family out on Friday (Aug. 26), but he went back to the field because he had a class with some believers on Saturday,” Aderonmu reported. “It was in the night that the sect came to where they were staying and knocked at the door, and he tried to escape but could not get away.”
In his statement, Aderonmu said that four days before his death, Ojunta had received an invitation to leave work among the Kotoko people to take a position at CAPRO’s International office in London.
“On Wednesday of that week, brother Kola Kehinde, our national coordinator in the U.K., spoke with him about the possibility of him coming to join the U.K. team,” Aderonmu reported. “His response was that he wanted to invest more years into the work among the Kotokos and hand it over to believers before he can consider leaving. What a passion and commitment! Four days later, he was translated into the presence of his Master.”
Aderonmu said that Ojunta was the “first martyr in CAPRO in our 36 years of existence as a ministry.” Ojunta is survived by his wife, Ema, and two children, 3-year-old Kambe and 9-month-old Akira, besides his parents and sisters.
He was buried in his home state of Abia, in southern Nigeria, on Sept. 30.
The killing came less than three months after the June 7 murder of a Church of Christ in Nigeria pastor and his church secretary in Maiduguri. The Rev. David Usman, 45, and church secretary Hamman Andrew were shot by members of Boko Haram in an area of Maiduguri called the Railway Quarters. The area was the base of Boko Haram until 2009, when Nigerian security agencies and the military demolished its headquarters and captured and killed the sect’s leader, Mohammed Yusuf, and some of his followers.
Boko Haram leaders have openly declared that they want to establish an Islamic theocratic state in Nigeria, and they reject democratic institutions, which they associate with Christianity. The Jama’atu ahlus Sunnah lid da’awati wal Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for several church bombings and other attacks. Many Christians have left Maiduguri, and some churches have shut down as many of their members have lost their lives.
Compass has witnessed many church buildings shuttered and guarded by soldiers and police in Maiduguri.
Calvary Ministries began in April 1975 in the city of Zaria, in the heartland of Nigeria’s Muslim north, through the evangelistic efforts of young Nigerian graduates from various Nigerian universities doing their one-year mandatory national youth service. The ministry now has more than 550 workers in 27 countries of Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Nigeria’s population of more than 158.2 million is divided between Christians, who make up 51.3 percent of the population and live mainly in the south, and Muslims, who account for 45 percent of the population and live mainly in the north. The percentages may be less, however, as those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World.
Northern Nigeria climbed to 23rd place in 2010 from 27th in 2009 on Christian support organization Open Doors’ World Watch List of nations with the worst persecution.
*** A photo of Mark Ojunta 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

China: Woman Dies During Forced Abortion, Six Months Pregnant - Christian Newswire

China: Woman Dies During Forced Abortion, Six Months Pregnant - Christian Newswire: "LIJING COUNTY, SHANDONG PROVINCE, China, Oct. 17, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Women's Rights Without Frontiers and China Aid have obtained information that on October 12, 2011, a woman died during a forced abortion. She was six months pregnant."


IRD: Lord's Resistance Army Not Christian - Christian Newswire

IRD: Lord's Resistance Army Not Christian - Christian Newswire: "WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Guerilla fighters accused of atrocities in northern Uganda and South Sudan are not a legitimate Christian group, according to an official with the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD).

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) operates in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic. Raids by the group on remote locations forcibly take food, money, or people who are subsequently enslaved."


Author Throws Book at Pro-Life Flick - Christian Newswire

Author Throws Book at Pro-Life Flick - Christian Newswire: "ELKTON, Md., Oct. 17, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- Six weeks after releasing his new book, "When We Pipe, God Shall Dance," Christian author Brad Fenichel has made a 30% pledge of royalties to the "180" pro-life movie project.

Effective immediately, all sales originating at the book's web site -- although the actual purchase is transacted through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Google Books -- will trigger a contribution of $1 per paperback and $2 per e-book (30% of the author's royalties) toward saving the unborn. Fenichel's pledge expires December 31, 2011, although he hinted at a possible encore next year."


The Constitution or Islamic Sharia? - Christian Newswire

The Constitution or Islamic Sharia? - Christian Newswire: "NASHVILLE, Oct. 17, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- William J. Murray, chairman of the Sharia Awareness Action Network announced the first major, national conference on Sharia and the Islamization of America -- The Constitution or Shariah: Preserving Freedom Conference -- at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee on November 11, 2011, sponsored by the Sharia Awareness action Network."


Monday, October 17, 2011

Egypt: not a safe place for Christians

Mission Network News: "It's ugly for Christians in Cairo right now, deeply unsettling even to those who have weathered the ups and downs of the Arab Spring, says Hal Greaves.*

Another church was burned by a mob. Coptic Christians, fed up with being targeted, announced a peaceful protest for religious freedom Oct. 9. According to international news outlets, the Egyptian military intervened, things escalated quickly, and more than 20 were left dead, with hundreds more injured."


Obama orders U.S. troops to help chase down African 'army' leader -

Obama orders U.S. troops to help chase down African 'army' leader - "Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to Africa to help hunt down the leaders of the notoriously violent Lord's Resistance Army in and around Uganda."


Sudan Constitution Islamic South Christian Juba Law | FaithWorld

Sudan Constitution Islamic South Christian Juba Law | FaithWorld: "Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution and strengthen Islamic law, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Wednesday, three months after its former civil war enemy South Sudan became independent. Juba seceded on July 9 after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the South where most follow Christian and traditional beliefs."


No Christian Churches Left in Afghanistan

No Christian Churches Left in Afghanistan: "WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) -- According to the U.S. State Department, there are no public churches left standing in Afghanistan. The last public Christian church in Afghanistan was razed back in March 2010. , the Iranian Christian News Agency, citing Worthy News, says this situation exists in spite of a decade of war against the Taliban, costing U.S. taxpayers $440 billion and incurring more than 1,700 U.S. military deaths to date."


Two young girls rescued from a brothel in India

Two young girls rescued from a brothel in India: "PUNE, INDIA (ANS) -- Two young girls who were trapped in a prostitution ring in a red light area in Pune, India, were rescued by a Christian organization, the Indian Rescue Mission, along with the social security cell of Pune police on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

Acting on a tip by from Indian Rescue Mission about the presence two minor girls in a brothel, the local police, along with the activists of the Indian Rescue Mission, raided the brothel and rescued girls named Roopa (16) and Gowri (17)."


A Writer’s Response to Evil

A Writer’s Response to Evil: "C. Hope Flinchbaugh is an author of books and articles on international religious persecution, but unlike the majority of Americans on September 11, 2001, she was already familiar with the name Osama Bin Laden. It was a name closely associated with the specter of evil lurking behind the suffering of Christians and religious minorities in Pakistan, Iran, and Indonesia."