Behnam Irani's family is very concerned over reports of his ill health. He is experiencing some sort of intestinal disorder. This is of extra concern to them because his brother died from intestinal cancer. Please pray for his health, as well as for his family.
On Feb. 19, 2007, Father Nguyen Van Ly was arrested in Hue, Vietnam for distributing material "harmful to the state." In March, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.
On March 15, 2010, Father Nguyen was released on medical parole after he suffered three debilitating strokes. He spent 16 months convalescing before the government demanded he return to complete his sentence.
Seriously ill and weak, Father Nguyen was rearrested on July 25, 2011. He remains in prison.
Nguyen Van Ly
Unconfirmed rumors of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani's execution were leaked this week after a source close to one of his lawyers contacted international media, informing them that a lower court had signed Nadarkhani's execution papers and that his death sentence would be carried out soon.
Arrested: November 2009
On Nov. 25, 2009, Zhang Huamei and four other Linfen-Fushan church leaders from Shanxi Province were sentenced to criminal detention for two to seven years, according to China Aid Association. The five church leaders were accused of "gathering people to disturb the public order," because they organized a prayer rally on Sept. 14, the day after 400 military police raided the church's grounds. During the raid, more than 30 believers were seriously wounded and 17 buildings were destroyed.More Info...
Iranian extremists with alleged links to Iranian security forces are using email to threaten nearly a dozen Christians who have fled persecution in Iran.
The emails, sent to at least 11 Christians, called on them to repent and return to Islam or meet the extra-judicial judgment of 'The Unknown Soldiers of the Hidden Imam' and face execution. It goes on to further warn that though they have managed to escape persecution in Iran, "they are not hidden from the acute eyes of the Unknown Soldiers".
The Unkown Soldiers wrote they were "advancing to the heart of the 'Zionist regime' over a number of years."
The email concludes by offering the eleven Christians "the opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness from the presence of the Hidden Imam", also known as the 12th Imam, a Messiah-figure in Shia Twelver theology and viewed as the Great Allah.
"Otherwise, according to the Fatwa given by Mehdi the Hidden Imam, they must be killed," the email reportedly says.
The Unknown Soldiers are suspected to have close ties with Iranian security services.
CEO of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, an Iranian church group and religious rights organization, Mervyn Thomas stated that "The threat against the eleven Iranian citizens in the Diaspora is an appalling and vicious move by a group suspected of close association with the Iranian security forces."
"It is vital that countries hosting Iranian refugees and asylum seekers ensure these vulnerable people receive adequate protection, and make it clear to the Iranian authorities that cross-border assassinations are wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated," stressed Thomas.
Reverend Samuel Yeghnazar of Iranian church group Elam Ministries, said he and his network of churches "are taking the threats very seriously."
The threats are to reportedly put additional pressure on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, a Christian
facing a possible death sentence on charges of "apostasy." Although an Iranian official and government-linked media have added offenses that range from "extortion" to "security crimes" to the long list of alleged wrongdoings.
"CSW is in possession of original court documents which clearly state that the charge against him is apostasy, and that the death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court," Thomas said.
"Iran's efforts to fabricate fresh charges against Pastor Nadarkhani this late in the day reflect badly on the ruling regime and will only serve to bring the Iranian legal system into disrepute and occasion further questions regarding the independence of the judiciary."
Pastor Yang Xuan remains in prison. He was one of five leaders of the Linfen house church network in Linfen, China arrested in November 2009. His wife, Yang Caizhen, was released early from her two year sentence one year ago. Pray for Pastor Xuan and his family.
In February, Ilmurad Nurliev was released early from his four year prison sentence, but he still has to report to the local police station in his hometown of Mary each Saturday. On the first two Saturdays after his release, police leaders warned him not to resume gathering the members of his church for worship.
Nurliev has also asked the Mary Town Court to return his theology diploma and ordination certificate, both of which were confiscated when he was arrested in Aug. 2010. Officials told him to submit his request in writing.
Nurliev is out of prison and back with his family, but you can write to Tohar Haydarov in Uzbekistan, also imprisoned in 2010, by clicking here.
ChinaAid confirmed that relatives of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng were finally allowed to visit him in prison two weeks ago, putting to rest fears that Gao had died during the two-plus years of his forced disappearance.
Gao's older brother and his father-in-law were permitted a half-hour meeting with Gao on March 24 at the Shaya prison, in a remote part of far western China. They saw each other through a glass window and conversed using a prison phone.
Gao's wife, Geng He, said her husband looked fine during the visit, which was monitored by prison officials and Public Security Bureau officials. The PSB instructed Gao's family not to speak about the visit to the outside world.
Court in Egypt Sentences Young Christian for "Insulting Islam"
In a show of partiality to Muslims who go unprosecuted for similar offenses against Christians, on April 4 a juvenile court sentenced Massoud, a Coptic Christian teenager, to three years in prison for allegedly insulting Islam.
VOM staff meet monthly with the families of prisoners in Pakistan. In March, Imran Ghafur's family told us how Imran spends his time in prison. At midnight, Imran prays and sings spiritual songs. Sometimes Muslim prisoners join him and ask him to pray for them. Imran also spends a lot of time in prayer and Bible reading. He is anxious to be released so he can "do missionary work for Jesus."
Please pray for his family, who seemed to be feeling particularly low last month.
Christian Acquitted of Blasphemy Charge in Pakistan:
A Pakistani Christian, falsely charged with blasphemy after rescuing
his 8-year-old nephew from a beating at the hands of Muslim boys, has
been cleared of the charge. Dildar Masih, a 27-year-old father of two
young children, was acquitted on March 26 after prosecutors failed to
produce any evidence against him. Masih said that during his
imprisonment, he stood by his faith that Jesus would free him from the
false charge and that he would be able to return to his family. About
13 people are currently imprisoned in Multan Central Jail under
blasphemy charges, he said. I was the only Christian, and probably the
only one to have been able to return home in less than a year. Read more>>
The Escape and Courage of Chen
The whole world was transfixed by Chen Guangcheng's dramatic escape and the high- level fight to protect him.
"I believe God was helping me," he told the South China Morning Post about his escape.
Jailed for more than four years in 2006 on trumped-up charges following a show trial because of his legal work representing women who were forced into abortions through China One Child policy, upon his release from jail Mr. Chen was placed under extralegal house arrest with his family in his rural village in eastern coastal China.
His treatment was widely reported in the international media and raised on numerous occasions by foreign governments, but Beijing had refused to do anything about the situation until his escape last week.
The battle over Mr. Chen's fate was thrown into the global spotlight when I reached Mr. Chen by cellphone
while at a Capitol Hill hearing and let Mr. Chen make his appeal for passage to the U.S. directly to U.S. lawmakers.
ChinaAid is at the forefront of fighting for Chen.
Bob Fu in the Hearing with the Chairman talking to Chen by phone
Just as I worked with the
international media, the US Congress, the White House and State
Department to make
sure Chen was protected, well continue to fight for those who seek to
stand for and defend human rights around the world, and especially in
Click here to support the work to defend those who seek freedom
Just as ChinaAid was at the forefront of fighting for Chen well keep fighting for those persecuted by the Chinese government.
Well continue working with the international media, the U.S. Congress, the White House and State Department to make sure there are protections for the persecuted.
Help us keep up the fight for the persecuted, click here
ChinaAid has already dispatched lawyers to assist them. We will commit whatever funds are necessary to help Chen's family with basic necessities.
Your generous tax-deductible gift will bring us closer to the goal $100,000 for the Chen Guangcheng support fund.
Lawyer of Iranian Pastor on Death Row Faces Prison
Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, the main defense lawyer in Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhanis death sentence appeal case, faces imminent imprisonment for defending the rights of Iranians.
Life Sentences for Blasphemy in Pakistan Overturned
Great News from Pakistan! A court acquitted a Christian couple of blasphemy charges overturning their life sentences because prosecutors failed to prove allegations that 32-year-old Munir Masih and his wife Ruqayya defiled the Quran or insulted Muhammad.
My soul was poisoned with a desire for revenge, said Acteal prisoner Pedro Mendez. After spending more than six years in Mexicos Cerro Hueco Prison, Mendez was a bitter, angry man. Then in 2004, Mendez was transferred to the Amate Prison, where he met some inmates who were unlike everyone else. These men who trusted Christ in the bleakest of circumstances were different. Slowly Mendezs heart began to change.