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8 years ago
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8 years ago

Tragically, the bodies of three foreign Christian relief workers were found last week, August 25th, after being kidnapped and murdered by members of the Pakistani Taliban. The president of advocacy organization Life for All, Rizwan Paul, said, “We strongly condemn the killing of the [three workers].These aid workers came to support us, and we are thankful to the humanitarian organizations that came to help us in a time of need.”

According to Compass News an army Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) source said rangers have been deployed in the Swat Valley and other potential target areas in Pakistan to help provide security for relief workers. A Swat District Coordination Officer Atif-ur-Rehman reported that the Taliban has been trying to bring relief to flood victims in order to sympathize with the affected and gain their support. But, according to Paul, “There are reports that the Christians are not given tents, clean water and food. In most of the camps, the Christians have totally been ignored.” He goes on to say that Life for All complained to U.N. agencies and the government of Pakistan regarding the discrimination, but no one has responded yet.
8 years ago

In a continuing campaign to eliminate converts from Islam, Muslim insurgents have murdered another member of an underground Christian movement in Somalia. According to Compass News area sources said al Shabaab militants entered the house of Osm an Abdullah Fataho, a long- time Christian deeply involved in the activities of the small secret Christian community, and shot him dead in front of his wife and children. The assailants then abducted them but later releasing his wife on the condition that she surrender the little ones to be trained as soldiers. “We know they have taken the children to brain-wash them, to change their way of life from Christian to Muslim and to teach them the Quran,” said one source. The incident has spread fear among the faithful in the lawless country.

8 years ago

On his way to church elder Sihombing was attacked and stabbed in the heart and stomach by a passing motorcyclist. Another church leader, Rev. Luspida Simanjuntak, was struck by a wooden block on her back, head and face.
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8 years ago


8 years ago
The world is ruled by the enemy of God, Satan; which means that the world is full of hate and Satan especially wants to attack those who follow the Lord. It's hard to bear at times. At times I find myself in tears and discouraged. I often wish there was more that I could do; however, we do know that however much a Christian suffers on this earth that when they go to live with Jesus and our heavenly Father that their rewards will be great. We know that all of this is not for nothing but that if we keep our faith strong and believe that Jesus is God's Son and remain faithful to Him until the end that we all will be greatly rewarded.
I do know that many people are working to help and to change things. It is a spiritual battle between good and evil and we know that Jesus will be the victor in the end and that is what we must hang on to. I also know that prayer is real and that we must never give up praying for those who suffer so greatly! Miracles also happen, especially when we pray. God Bless, Donna
8 years ago

An underground group in Nepal is threatening Christian clergy with violence if they do not give in to extortion demands. Since these threats have begun nearly 1,500 officials have already resigned from their posts.

8 years ago
Afghanistan - Taliban Executes Pregnant Woman

The recent execution of pregnant woman in Western Afghanistan was a harsh, deadly reminder of the power still exerted by the Taliban in remote parts of Afghanistan.

35 year old Bibi Sanubar was sentenced to death after being publicly tried for having an "illicit affair" that left her pregnant. The sentence handed down by three Taliban mullahs also called for Sanubar to be lashed 200 times and then shot three times in the head. After the sentence was carried out, Sanubar's body was unceremoniously dumped in a government controlled area. The man that Sanubar allegedly engaged in the affair with has reportedly not been punished.

The killing has been condemned by the religious council for Western Afghanistan, as well as the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission head, Abdul Qadir Rahimi.

"Any such trial is unacceptable and is a violation of human rights. All trials must take place in an authorized court observing every single measure of justice," Rahimi said.

This post was modified from its original form on 30 Sep, 3:18
8 years ago

Dearly Beloved,
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 NIV).
I have to change the message to be sent out this week again because of an ugly incident that happened last Friday as Nigeria was celebrating the golden jubilee of her independence as a sovereign nation. As many as fifteen people died in twin car-bomb blasts a few metres away from the Eagle Square, Abuja, the main centre of the celebration. Interestingly, a group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), had warned the Nigerian federal government that it would disrupt the celebration by planting bombs around the Eagle Square, and warned people not to be in the area at a specific time that they had set for the explosions of the bombs. The group based its warning on the fact that there was nothing to celebrate in Nigeria’s fifty years of independence, and the fact that the Niger Delta has been unfairly treated in spite of the crude oil that is being produced in the oil-rich area.
That incident and the claims of the group are thought provoking. The people of Nigeria in general have suffered enough in the hands of their political leaders since 1960 that the country gained her independence. There are no good social amenities like road, electricity, drinkable water, and the likes. Private schools and hospitals are thriving because government-owned schools and hospitals are not well catered for or accessible. Most of the youth are unemployed, even those that are employed are not well remunerated. The best brains of the country have gone abroad for greener pastures. An average Nigerian cannot boast of three square meals a day. In fact, Nigeria is a rich nation, but most of her citizens are living in abject poverty. Corruption has been institutionalized. Religious and ethnic disturbances are rampant in the north while hostage taking and kidnapping have made people insecure in the south. The political leaders and their cronies are freely looting the resources of the nation. They pretend as if they do not know the plight of the common man. They are recycling themselves in the corridor of power. There is no guarantee for free and fair election to put right people in position of leadership in the country. All these and many other reasons made some people to argue that there is nothing to celebrate after fifty years of Nigeria’s independence.
However, violence does not resolve a problem. In fact, it worsens the problem! Those that were behind the bomb blasts may have good intention, but killing innocent people and destruction of properties are not the right ways to make known one’s grievances. Two wrongs can never make a right. We have to be more cautious in agitating for a better Nigeria. Those that are in positions of authority should know that God allows them to be there for a purpose (see Romans 13:1; Daniel 2:21; 4:32; John 19:11). They should know that they are there to serve the people they are leading. Both the government and the citizenry should make righteousness their watchword. Righteousness, indeed, exalts a nation!
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
I dedicate this message to all that were affected in the Friday October 1, 2010 bomb blasts in Abuja, Nigeria.

8 years ago
Afghan Christians in Hiding After ArrestsClick here to view the entire article.
Prayers for those who are persecuted.
8 years ago

I am sorrowed by the persecution that all of these people who have been mentioned.  Recently an eye doctor was killed by the Taliban insurgents while in service as a medical practitioner.   They executed him because they presumed as a Christian he was there to thwart Islam.  This doctor was from my region and was mourned greatly.  In Romans, Paul instructs us to live in peace with as many people as possible.  May the Holy Spirit help all of us live with the grace and peace that Jesus imparted to all who received the free gift of salvation, so that we remain strong and that those who are in darkness may better see the light.  Peace to all of you, Jessica

8 years ago

A teacher in a local school was accused of preaching Christianity. In a country that does not allow preaching or practicing any faith out-side of Islam, this is a serious offense.
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8 years ago

A Christian pastor was beaten and left for dead in the Pakistani village of Sanda Chistana.

Pastor Patras Sani was riding his motorcycle when he was hit in the face with a wooden rod by a group of three Muslims. Pastor Sana was thrown from his bike and the Muslims continued to beat him until he lost consciousness. They then stole 3700 Pakistani Rupees (approx. $43) and left him for dead.

By the Grace of God, passersby found Sani and rushed him to the hospital.

"Even though we are beaten by radicals and we are persecuted by Muslims, we shouldn't stop preaching the Word of God," Sani says.

"I am not afraid of persecution and I will continue to preach the Word of God. Many Muslims come to our meetings and receive healing and God is setting many hearts free."

8 years ago

10 Christian Worshippers Killed in Baghdad Church Raid

GMT 10-31-2010 22:25:45
Assyrian International News Agency
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Baghdad -- At least 10 Christian worshippers were killed and about thirty wounded tonight, when Iraqi security forces stormed a Baghdad church in which terrorists wearing explosive vests were holding them hostage.

The raid also killed seven Iraqi soldiers and police officers. The violence erupted just after 9pm, almost four hours after a group of between six and eight gunmen wearing military uniforms stormed Our Lady of Salvation Chaldean Catholic church in the inner-city suburb of Karrada.

Worshippers caught up in the carnage described their ordeal to the Guardian as they fled the church. They said the terrorist attack was heralded by a car bomb outside the fortified church gate at 5:30pm. The two priests, who were about to begin mass ushered at least half of their 120-strong congregation to a small room in the back of the ornate building, in a bid to protect them.

"After a while one of the terrorists opened the door and threw in a bomb," said a man who identified himself as Bassam. "There were injuries. They killed people, they injured people," he said, before collapsing on the road outside the church. "Where is our father?" he screamed," referring to his priest. "Where is our father?"

For the next four hours, the terrified congregation cowered inside the room. The streets of central Karrada were shut down and darkened, with only flares from circling helicopters illuminating a pitch black sky. As the Iraqi forces closed in, militants inside the church threw sound grenades and detonated several larger bombs.

Local television station, Al-Baghdadia reported that one of the gunmen had called the network in the early stages of the seige, identifying himself as a member of an al-Qaida-aligned group, the Islamic State of Iraq. He demanded the release of prisoners in Iraq and Egypt.

The station said the caller spoke in classical Arabic, in what was seen as an attempt to disguise an accent that was identifiably non-Iraqi.

A three-vehicle American patrol arrived at the scene around 8:30pm. About eight US soldiers -- now a rarity on the streets of Baghdad -- joined Iraqi counter-terrorism units outside the church walls.

"This won't take long," said an Iraqi army captain at the scene. "It will be over in half an hour."

Ferocious gunfire heralded the raid -- almost on the captain's cue -- followed by three loud booms, which security officials at the scene said were caused by terrorists detonating explosives strapped to their body as troops advanced.

A second burst of shooting followed the crack of sniper rounds from nearby rooftops. Eerie silence lasting around 5 minutes then followed, before a soldier called frantically for an ambulance -- a fleet of which had been kept waiting about 500 metres away.

For the next forty minutes, a cacophony of screeching ambulances carried away the dead and injured. Walking wounded and survivors without injuries stumbled past them through the mayhem.

Among them were two elderly ladies in their blood-stained Sunday best, several children trembling too much to walk and a traumatised elderly couple searching in vain for their priest.

The priest they call Father Rafael is believed to have survived, but his colleague, Father Wissam, is believed to have been killed.

Bewildered and frantic, the survivors collapsed onto a median strip crying for telephones to call their families.

"I am going to leave Iraq with my family tomorrow," said Bassam, an employee of an internet company. "Why am I here?" he wailed. "Look at this -- this is Iraq."

By Martin Chulov

8 years ago

25 Catholic Assyrians Killed As Baghdad Church Hostage Drama Ends in Bloodbath

GMT 11-1-2010 5:55:32
Assyrian International News Agency
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(BBC) -- At least 37 people have been killed after Iraqi security forces stormed a Catholic church in central Baghdad to free dozens of hostages being held by gunmen there, security sources say.

Twenty-five hostages were among the dead, along with seven members of the Iraqi security forces and at least five of the attackers, they told the BBC.

About 100 people had been inside Our Lady of Salvation for an evening Mass.

The gunmen had reportedly demanded the release of jailed al-Qaeda militants.

The local TV station, al-Baghdadiya, said it had received a phone call from someone claiming to be one of the attackers, who said they were from the Islamic State of Iraq, a Sunni militant umbrella group to which al-Qaeda in Iraq belongs.

Reports said the attackers were not Iraqis, but foreign Arabs.

The raid came two days after a suicide attack on a cafe in Diyala province left 21 people dead.

'Priest killed'

Residents of Baghdad's Karada district, where the attack took place, first heard a loud explosion at about 1700 (1400 GMT), followed by gunfire.

Police said a group of armed men began by attacking the Iraq Stock Exchange building, and then took over the Catholic church just across the road, clashing with guards and killing some of them.

Security forces later surrounded the church and sealed off the area, with helicopters hovering overhead. Then they stormed the building.

Witnesses nearby said they then heard two explosions from inside the church and more shooting.

One eyewitness, who was inside the church, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that the gunmen "came into the prayer hall and immediately killed the priest".

The witness, who declined to give his name, said the people in the church had huddled into the main prayer hall when the gunbattles began with the security forces.

The gunmen reportedly threw grenades and blew their suicide vests.

There were no negotiations with the gunmen before the security forces stormed the church, reports suggest.

Witnesses also say they saw US troops on the ground and US military helicopters hovering above the scene, but the extent of their involvement is not yet clear.

"The operation has finished and we released all the hostages," said the commander of police in south-eastern Baghdad, Brig-Gen Ali Ibrahim.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says there are different figures from different sources for the number of hostages and attackers involved, and how many of each were killed or captured.

Earlier reports said that two security guards at the stock exchange had been killed before the attackers occupied the church.

Many churches have been bombed in recent years - including Our Lady of Salvation in August 2004 - and priests kidnapped and killed, but there has never been a prolonged hostage situation like this before, our correspondent says.

There are about 1.5 million Christians from ancient denominations in Iraq.

Iraqi Christians have been leaving the country in droves since the US-led invasion in 2003.

By Jim Muir


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