Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chen Guangcheng’s nephew charged with ‘intentional homicide,’ could face death sentence

Blind activist Chen Guangcheng sitting in a wheelchair
 as he is accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to China
 Gary Locke at a hospital in Beijing 
(Photo: Reuters)
Chen Guangcheng’s nephew charged with ‘intentional homicide,’ could face death sentence: "YINAN, SHANDONG, CHINA (ANS) -- ChinaAid has just told the ASSIST News Service ( that it has just learned that the nephew of blind, self-taught lawyer Chen Guangcheng has been formally arrested and charged with “intentional homicide,” a crime that carries the death sentence.

The formal arrest of Chen’s nephew Chen Kegui took place on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, and the formal arrest notification with the charge of “intentional homicide” was given to Chen Kegui’s mother, Ren Zongju on Thursday May 10. They were executed by the Yinan County People’s Procuratorate and the Yinan Public Security Bureau."


Iranian Officials Heighten Control on Farsi-Speaking Church

Iranian Officials Heighten Control on Farsi-Speaking Church: "AOG church in Tehran faces pressure to identify members to authorities.

ISTANBUL, May 11 (CDN) — Leaders of the Assemblies of God’s (AOG) Central Church of Tehran told their congregation on Sunday (May 6) that authorities have demanded a list of names and identification numbers of church members, a major risk to converts from Islam.

Church leaders then asked members in attendance to volunteer their information. The AOG church holds two Sunday services, both conducted in Farsi. It is the only church remaining in Tehran that offers Farsi-language worship on Sundays. "


Friday, May 11, 2012

Christians Facing Nightmare in Homs; Thousands Forced to Flee

Burning buildings in Baba Amr, Homs,
 an area heavily shelled by the Syrian regime.
 Photograph: Local Co-ordination Committees/EPA
Christians Facing Nightmare in Homs; Thousands Forced to Flee: "SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- Christians living in the ravaged city of Homs, Syria, are facing a nightmare that never seems to end.

The target of a savage bombing campaign, Homs has made headlines around the world. But behind the headlines, another story is emerging. There is disturbing new evidence of intimidation and persecution of Christians in the city.

Before the Syrian uprising against the government – which has left 9,000 dead – began over a year ago, there were an estimated 40,000 Christians in Homs. Now less than 5,000 are left. Most fled because of the conflict. But many are now being driven out. Extremist Sunni Muslim groups have recently started to visit Christian families in Homs, telling them to leave, or else be killed."


Egypt’s Lost Daughters; the Abduction of Christian Girls

Egypt’s Lost Daughters; the Abduction of Christian Girls:

 By Aidan Clay of International Christian Concern (ICC)
Special to ASSIST News Service

EGYPT (ANS) -- “We don’t know if our daughter is still alive,” Magda told ICC during a recent visit to Egypt. “We haven’t seen or heard from her in five years… Her kidnapper called us and said she was dead and buried.”

Mary disappeared in June 2007, but to her mother, Magda, it feels like only yesterday that she was sleeping peacefully in her own bed under the loving care of her parents. For those who lose a child, as Magda had, the pain never goes away.


Hmong families evicted for turning to Christ in Vietnam

Mission Network News: "Vietnam (MNN) ― On May 9, 2011, a protest of Hmong Christians for more religious freedom and land reforms was quashed by security forces in Vietnam. The clashes resulted in the death of 28 people. Scores more went missing.

Later that month, unarmed Viet-Hmong protesters were the targets of helicopter attacks along the northern Vietnam border. By May 24, reports showed 63 peaceful protesters had been killed."


Thursday, May 10, 2012

India: Hindu nationalism fuels violence & injustice

India: Hindu nationalism fuels violence & injustice: "AUSTRALIA (ANS) -- Hindu nationalism -- the idea that India should be a Hindu State -- is the political construct of India's high caste Hindu powerbrokers who pursue political power for the purpose of perpetuating their own power and privilege.

Hindu nationalism works to dragnet the votes of India's Hindu majority (74 percent), primarily through promoting Hindu supremacy and to effect religious conversions for political gain through fear-mongering amongst India's indigenous tribal peoples who are traditionally non-Hindu. The Hindu nationalists tell the indigenous tribals that their nation is under threat from seditious elements (Muslims and Christians) who they say are in the pay of foreign enemies like Pakistan and the CIA. The only way to protect India from separatism and colonialism is for the tribals to join the Hindu mainstream and fight politically and physically. This Hindutva propaganda goes largely unchallenged and is responsible for the dramatic escalation in dangerous communal violence right across India, a situation that is further fuelled by the impunity with which attackers are rewarded."


Egyptian Judge Frees Attackers Who Knifed Christian

Egyptian Judge Frees Attackers Who Knifed Christian: "Hard-line Salafi Muslims cut off Copt’s ear, terrorize his family.

ISTANBUL, May 9 (CDN) — A judge in Upper Egypt has dismissed all charges against a group of Salafi Muslims who cut off the ear of a Christian in a knife attack and tried to force him to convert.

The Salafists, who say they base their religion on the practices of the first three generations of Muslims after Muhammad, had falsely accused 46-year-old Ayman Anwar Metry of having an affair with a Muslim woman, the Christian told Compass. On April 22 the judge exonerated the assailants only after Metry, under intense pressure in a “reconciliation meeting,” agreed to drop charges, said his attorney, Asphoure Wahieb Hekouky."


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lawyer of Iranian Pastor on Death Row Faces Prison

Lawyer of Iranian Pastor on Death Row Faces Prison: "Court upholds prison sentence, ban on law practice.
ISTANBUL, May 8 (CDN) — The main defense lawyer for Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is appealing a death sentence, may be facing imminent imprisonment for defending the rights of Iranians, according to Amnesty International.

Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, a prominent human rights activist, had been sentenced in July to a nine-year prison sentence and a 10-year ban on legal practice and teaching, and he learned on April 28 that an appeals court had upheld the sentence. Charges against him included “membership of an association seeking the soft overthrow of the government” and “spreading propaganda against the system through interviews with foreign media,” according to a press statement by Amnesty International. "


Burma reforms cause unexpected side effect for refugees

Mission Network News: "Burma (MNN) ― Global euphoria over changes in Burma isn't trickling down to the ones it should most affect: the Karen Christian refugees.

There's still a great deal of danger and  mistrust surrounding the camps, which prevents many of the Internally Displaced People from making their way back to home villages in the heart of Burma."


Monday, May 7, 2012

Man declared insane, sent to mental hospital for faith in Christ

Mission Network News: "Middle East/North Africa (MNN) ― The Pioneers and Arab World Ministries Web site,, was created to present the Good News of the Gospel to young Arab Muslims, answering seekers' questions about Jesus and faith in Him, discipling new believers in their own environment, and encouraging them to find fellowship with others.

It's a wonderful way for people in the Arab world to explore Christ and do it safely. But those who come to the Lord as a result are not guaranteed smooth sailing."


Pastor's attorney arrested in Iran

Mission Network News: "Iran (MNN/ACLJ) ― Another obstacle has been handed to imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nardarkhani. According to reports, the Iranian government has acted against his attorney in the case.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs explains. "His attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, has now been sentenced to nine years in an Iranian jail for apparently representing people like Pastor Youcef -- people whose human rights have been violated.""


Human rights at forefront for China; challenges religious rights

Mission Network News: "China (MNN) ― The United States and China will hold a new round of talks on human rights.

This comes against the backdrop of a diplomatic crisis generated when a Chinese dissident fled to the American embassy in Beijing and eventually asked to leave China for the U.S. Despite the circumstances, the next round of human rights talks is scheduled for this summer in Washington."