Saturday, May 26, 2012

Egypt’s Christians Outraged By Court Ruling

Egypt’s Christians Outraged By Court Ruling: "By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- The verdict passed by the Minya Criminal Court on May 21 convicting 12 Copts to life imprisonment while acquitting eight accused Muslims in the same case, known as Abu Qurqas sedition, has caused widespread anger among the Copts.

Egyptian journalist Mary Abdelmassih, writing for AINA – the Assyrian International News Agency ( ) reports that Georges Wahib of United Copts, who attended the court session, said that when judge Abdel Fattah Ahmed al-Sughayar pronounced the verdict at the court yesterday "there was complete silence, as it came as a shock to everyone, then cries of grief and wailing could be heard from the Coptic families with shouts of we are innocent, while the Muslim side broke out into jubilation and shouts of Allahu Akbar.""


Bhatti Murder Case in Pakistan Increasingly Murky

Bhatti Murder Case in Pakistan Increasingly Murky: "Lax investigation, possible cover-up mar attempt at justice."

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 25 (Compass Direct News) – The investigation into the murder of Pakistan’s only cabinet-level Christian, Shahbaz Bhatti, has become mired amid suspicions of a possible cover-up, sources said. Lax investigations, a series of freed suspects and lack of coordination across law enforcement organizations have stalled the case following the March 2, 2011 slaying of the federal minister for Minority Affairs, they said. A trial court in Rawalpindi this month exonerated yet another suspect arrested for his alleged role in the murder, Ziaur Rehman, after an investigating officer told the court that he was no longer wanted in the case due to lack of evidence. Bhatti’s family cited business disputes between Rehman and Bhatti as their reason for suspecting Rehman. In February police had dropped investigations into another suspect, Abid Malik for lack of evidence. Bhatti’s brother, Paul Bhatti, said the family is not satisfied with the police investigation and authorities’ low level of interest in bringing the perpetrators to justice. “We thought Ziaur Rehman’s arrest would lead us to the killers of my brother, because the police had obtained an international arrest warrant based on evidence,” he said. “I don’t understand why they issued the request [for an Interpol warrant] if they did not have sufficient evidence.” At the scene of Bhatti’s murder, police recovered a leaflet asserting that Bhatti had been killed for raising his voice against Pakistan’s notorious “blasphemy” laws. Officially, police claim that the Taliban were behind the murder, while Interior Minister Rehman Malik has put the blame on militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan. Napolean Qayyum, who belongs to the Pakistan People’s Party, as Bhatti did, said there was some indication that officials were hesitating to publicize their assessments of the case.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Egyptian Christians prepared to persevere whatever the election outcome

Mission Network News: "Egypt (MNN) ― Votes have been cast, and polls have closed in Egypt's first-ever truly democratic presidential elections.

The elections themselves have been met with both excitement and apprehension as Egyptians vote for the first time and await the news of who will lead their tumultuous nation. Christians are feeling both excitement and apprehension, too, but perhaps for different reasons."


Chen Guangcheng's Brother Escapes; ChinaAid Calls for Prayer - Christian Newswire

Chen Guangcheng's Brother Escapes; ChinaAid Calls for Prayer - Christian Newswire: "YINAN, Shandong, China, May 24, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- ChinaAid has learned that blind lawyer and activist Chen Guangcheng's older brother, Chen Guangfu, escaped from his home in Shandong province, where he was under strict surveillance, and has made it to Beijing where he is seeking legal help for his son, who has been charged with intent to murder."


Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Gives First interview Since Gaining Freedom in the US

Blind Activist Chen Guangcheng Gives First interview Since Gaining Freedom in the US: "By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

NEW YORK (ANS) -- Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng told CNN in his first in-depth TV interview since his dramatic escape from house arrest, about his departure from China and his continuing concern for family and friends he left behind."


Chen Guangcheng’s nephew could face death penalty

Chen Guangcheng’s nephew could face death penalty: "By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

LONDON, UK (ANS) -- Britain’s Channel 4 TV network is reporting that it's correspondents tried to visit the mother and four brothers of Chen Guangcheng, the blind, self-educated lawyer who was flown to safety in the United States last Saturday as part of a deal reached between China and the US.

In an online report on its website, the network says Chen’s relatives still live in a small rural community of 200 called Dongshigu in Shandong Province in north-east China. The village is currently patrolled by a large number of non-uniformed men who act as guards and enforcers on behalf of the local government."


Thursday, May 24, 2012

UK Christian Rights Group Calls for Release of South Korean Activists Detained In China

UK Christian Rights Group Calls for Release of South Korean Activists Detained In China:
"By Dan Wooding, one of the few Christian journalists to report from North Korea
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LONDON, UK (ANS) -- Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights group, is concerned about the welfare of Kim Young Hwan, a South Korean activist working for democracy and human rights in North Korea, and three of his colleagues, after they were arrested in China on March, 29, 2012, and has called upon the Chinese authorities to release them.

“Kim Young Hwan entered China on 23 March 23, 2012,” said a CSW spokesperson. “A week later, after losing contact with him, his family reported him missing to the South Korean Foreign Ministry. South Korean officials discovered that on March 29, 2012, he had been arrested by the Chinese authorities along with three of his colleagues whilst visiting Liaoning Province, on the border with North Korea.”"


Islamist Mob Throws Urine on Church in Indonesia

Islamist Mob Throws Urine on Church in Indonesia: "Pastor receives death threat; no arrests so far."

NEW DELHI, May 23 (Compass Direct News) – No arrests have been made since 600 Islamists hurled bags filled with urine and ditchwater at about 100 members of a church last week and threatened to kill its pastor. Police looked on as the mob attacked the Philadelphia Batak Christian Protestant Church worshipping on the street in Bekasi, near Jakarta in West Java Province, on Thursday (May 17), church attorney Saor Siagian told Compass by phone. The mob, which included the chairman of the Bekasi chapter of the extremist Islamic Defenders Front, began to throw urine, ditchwater, rotten eggs, stones and dirt when Pastor Palti Panjaitan came to address the congregation. The church had to disperse, Siagian said. Pastor Panjaitan told local media he received a death threat and has filed a police complaint. Authorities had asked the church, part of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan denomination and located in Jejalen Raya village, to worship at a site about six miles from church land, Siagian said. The church applied for a permit to construct its house of worship five years ago as mandated by law. The local administration asked it to shut down in December 2009. The Supreme Court overruled the administration’s decision in July last year, saying the church was eligible for a permit, but due to pressure from Islamist groups, Bekasi officials insist the congregation meet elsewhere.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Egypt's elections to result in Sharia Law?

Mission Network News: "Egypt (MNN) ― For what many say is the first time in history, Egyptians are heading to the polls today and tomorrow for a truly democratic presidential election.

It's been over a year since the nation ousted Hosni Mubarak from presidency. In the time the nation has gone without a definite ruler, poverty has increased from 42% to 47%, and Egyptians are growing increasingly restless. Now all presidential candidates promise a better Egypt."


Pakistani Christian Accused of ‘Blasphemy’ after Billiards Dispute

Pakistani Christian Accused of ‘Blasphemy’ after Billiards Dispute:

LAHORE, Pakistan, May 22 (Compass Direct News) – Police in Pakistan have charged a young Christian man with “blasphemy” after he had an argument with Muslims over a billiards game in Punjab Province’s Sheikhupura district, his cousin said. Farooqabad Police arrested Sajid Inayat, 20, on Friday (May 18) and charged him with desecrating the Quran under the country’s controversial blasphemy laws after area young men accused him of setting on fire “holy pages” placed in a box on an electricity pole, Irfan Manzoor said. Inayat was charged under Section 295-B, which makes willful desecration of the Quran or use of an extract in a derogatory manner punishable with life imprisonment. Manzoor told Compass by telephone that his cousin had been falsely accused because he had had an argument with some local Muslim boys over a billiards game just two days before the alleged incident. Sheikhupura District Police Officer Haider Ashraf said that authorities had sent Inayat to jail on judicial remand. Ashraf said the matter was serious and that police were investigating from all angles.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alleged Qur'an burning; minority Christians accused

Mission Network News: "Mauritania (MNN) ― The Muslim population of Mauritania is in an uproar over an alleged burning of Qur'ans on April 27 after Islamic prayers.

According to the Voice of the Martyrs, Canada (VCM), Muslim protestors claim other Islamic books were also burned and copies of the Gospel were distributed at the event, implicating Christians in their accusations."


Islamic Terrorist Bases Raided in Nigerian Cities of Jos, Kano

Islamic Terrorist Bases Raided in Nigerian Cities of Jos, Kano:

"Military responds to attacks by Boko Haram extremists on churches, other sites."

JOS, Nigeria, May 21 (Compass Direct News) – The Nigerian military’s discovery here of a Muslim terrorist base full of ammunition and explosives on Saturday (May 19) refutes Islamist claims that Christians have been bombing their own churches, a local pastor said. An intensive three-day search by Nigeria’s Special Military Task Force found four Improvised Explosive Devices, along with 19 other explosive devices. In northern Nigeria’s Kano state, Nigerian forces killed a suspected Islamist militant in a raid on May 1 following Boko Haram’s April 29 attack on worship at Bayero University, where 19 people reportedly died from bomb blast and gunfire. Two of those killed in the attacks were professors. A Catholic church held a memorial service on May 11 for the 10 Catholics slain at the university. The Rev. Emefiena Ezeani, who had just finished conducting mass at his parish when he heard about the attack, said too many people are refusing to acknowledge that churches are as much primary targets of Boko Haram as police, government and media facilities. “Has Boko Haram, thanks to their being truthful, not made it unequivocally clear that their ultimate intention is to Islamize the whole of Nigeria? I am worried by the disturbing and deafening silence,” he said. In an attack in Maiduguri, in the northeastern state of Borno, that authorities said was related to the Kano assault as it took place on the same day, April 29, suspected Boko Haram militants reportedly charged into a Church of Christ in Nigeria service and began firing as the congregation was about to take communion. Witnesses reportedly said that when congregation members who escaped later returned, they found the pastor dead along with four other slain worshippers.