Sofiane, a member of the Protestant church of Algeria (EPA), was arrested on Friday, August 23, by the National Gendarmerie at a check point near the city of Biskra, located about 300 miles south of Algiers. Following his arrest, "the police raided his family home and took his laptop and other personal items," shares a source that has chosen to remain anonymous.
Help us rescue seven Christians in India arrested and imprisoned for a crime they did not commit! In 2008, the murder of a Hindu religious leader in India set off a wave of violent attacks on Christian villages in the state of Orissa that left thousands upon thousands homeless.
Police at random arrested a number of Christian men and accused them of the murder. Not long after, a radical Communist group came forward and claimed responsibility for the killing, but by this point the government did not want to lose face for arresting the wrong men and radical Hindu groups wanted to keep the Christians locked up regardless. ...
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: May 2011
Pastor Behnam Irani remains in poor health. He has served a little over two years of his six-year sentence. VOM partners report that his faith remains strong and his attitude is positive.
His family misses him a great deal. He has a 12-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.
Pray for healing for Pastor Behnam and for protection for him while he's in prison. Pray especially that God would strengthen and encourage his faith during this season. More Info
This post was modified from its original form on 14 Sep, 5:17
Moroccan news sources report that on Wed, August 28, Moroccan Christian Mohammed El Baldi, 34, was arrested. He was handed over to the public prosecutor on Friday, and on Mon, Sept 2, he was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 dirhams ($600). According to local authorities, he was arrested on grounds of evangelizing and attracting people to the Christian religion.
Pastor “B” of Kazakhstan was arrested in May 2013, by the Kazakhstan government for his Christian activities. In true Soviet-era fashion, he was charged with ludicrous crimes. In August of this year, they put him in a psychiatric ward (more Soviet-era tactics) in an attempt to break him. Now, the government won’t reveal where they are holding him. Hundreds of you called the embassy yesterday and they lied to you: “We have not arrested a Pastor B.”
Unfortunately this behavior is typical of those governments who use Soviet-era security methods. Even the State Department has confirmed that Pastor B has been arrested and is in custody. We’re asking thousands of you to create a virtual army and join us in calling the embassy demanding his freedom. Let’s create a loud cry all around the world for the release of Pastor B! ...
Arrested: August 2010
Pentecostal pastor Ilmurad Nurliev was arrested at his home in Mary in southeastern Turkmenistan on Aug. 27, 2010. He was charged with extracting money from three people. His wife, Maya, and his church members strongly deny the allegations. "All this is being done because of his faith," said Maya. During his trial, several of the witnesses against the 45-year-old pastor were coerced into testifying. Pastor Nurliev was sentenced to four years in prison, and his wife was forced to pay "compensation" immediately, or risk being kicked out of their home. Pastor Nurliev was also ordered ...More Info
Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev, a Kazakh pastor charged with allegedly "harming the health" of a church member by administering a "red-colored hallucinogenic drink," received news that he will be detained for another month. Church members are enraged claiming that the drink was a non-alcoholic beverage used for Communion.
Pressure continues to build on the Iranian regime to release Pastor Saeed.
After you spoke out, President Obama called the Iranian President to ask for Pastor Saeed's release. Congress took action, and the Secretary of State spoke out.
And now other world leaders are joining the effort to defend religious liberty.
The European Parliament – representing 28 European countries – has just passed a resolution calling on Iran to release Pastor Saeed, a U.S. citizen.
You are making this happen.
By speaking out, you are elevating Pastor Saeed's case, and international pressure continues to mount.
Now is a critical time. Please continue to write letters to Iran's President urging him to release this wrongfully imprisoned American pastor. Keep the momentum going.
ACLJ Executive Director
P.S. Urge your friends to join this effort through the Facebook buttons in this email and forward this message.
Arrested: July 2012
Good news! Zafar Bhatti's accuser has recanted. However, Zafar is not free yet. He cannot appear before the court and the judge because it's too unsafe for him to travel from the jail to the courthouse. In Pakistan, those accused of blasphemy often face mob justice, even after they are exonerated by the court system.
Instead, Zafar must wait for the judge and attorneys involved can arrange to visit him at the prison. This may take some time. Pray that this will happen soon, and that he will be able to use his remaining time well. Pray also for his safety after he leaves prison.
Urgent prayer request: Please pray for Michael, a Kenyan grandfather. Three years ago he was wrongly convicted of a violent robbery. Tomorrow, his name could be cleared for good.
Michael is an 81-year-old Kenyan man who was charged and convicted of Robbery with Violence in 2010—a crime that carries a life sentence. There is no evidence whatsoever linking Michael to the crime. Through IJM Kenya’s persistent advocacy, Michael was released from prison on bail in 2011. We have been supporting an appeal trial to overturn the conviction and clear Michael’s name ever since.
Urgent prayers are needed for tomorrow’s hearing: After months of delays and setbacks in the appeal trial, the final hearing is scheduled for October 16. Our Field Office Director in Kenya is asking Prayer Partners to pray for:
- Michael: Pray for Christ’s peace to comfort Michael, who will be present for the hearing.
- The IJM lawyer: Pray for the IJM lawyer who will be representing Michael in court. Ask God to give him wisdom, clarity of speech and favor with the judges.
- The judges: Pray that the panel of judges will discern the truth, consider all of the evidence, and acquit Michael so that his name is cleared for good.
On Sept 3, Mohamed el Baldi, 34, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay 5000 dirhams ($600) for "shaking the faith of a Muslim." Then, in an unexpected move during a brief appearance in court on Sept 26, the authorities temporarily released El Baldi, pending appeal.
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: December 2010
Disturbed to learn of a false story on the Internet that he had complained about his suffering, Farshid wrote a letter to clear up the matter.
"How can I complain about my suffering when my brothers and sisters are paying a high price for their faith all over the world? I recently heard about many people killed in front of a church in Pakistan. I also heard a young sister in Christ sharing about how she lost her family for the sake of the Gospel and still she is willing to return to share the good news.
when I look at all these heroes of faith, how can I complain about my suffering? Thank you so much for your prayers and for your support and for your love."
This post was modified from its original form on 28 Oct, 14:32
In 2008, one of the most brutal attacks against Christians in recent years took place in Orissa, India. Five years later, seven Christians have been sentenced to life in prison despite the lack of evidence warranting their conviction for the murder of a prominent Hindu leader, which sparked the 2008 violence. The accused men and their lawyer are planning to appeal.
Wehazit Berhane Debesai, a Christian woman in her 30's, died approximately three weeks ago. Though the exact date of her death is unknown, sources relate that Debesai died of pneumonia after facing harsh prison conditions and being denied medical treatment because she refused to renounce her faith. Debesai is the 25th known believer to have died while interned in an Eritrean prison.
The prison Pastor Saeed was transferred to has been described as "deadly and inhuman."
22,000 of the most violent criminals in Iran are crammed into a prison built to hold 5,000. It's where prisoners of conscience are sent to disappear.
Pastor Saeed's life is at stake.
But you are making your voice heard. Your unprecedented response – the fastest-growing petition in ACLJ history – has led Senators, Representatives, and the U.S. State Department to speak out for Pastor Saeed once again.
Tomorrow, a new round of diplomatic talks between Iran and world leaders begins. Pastor Saeed must be a part of these talks.
We need to hear from you to make it happen. Pray and take action for the persecuted Church at BeHeardProject.com.
ACLJ Chief Counsel
Mostafa Bordbar, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison, has been released after eleven months behind bars. Two weeks earlier, however, four other believers lost similar appeals. The world is waiting for President Hassan Rouhani to make good on his promises to the United Nations by releasing the more than 40 Christians serving prison sentences in Iran and the similar number of believers awaiting trial.
When they received word that a brother had been arrested, persecution suddenly hit very close to home for a vicar working for the Dutch Open Doors office, who was conducting training for North African colleagues. Can there be any beauty in the persecution facing them?
Thirty months after tribal rulers ordered his imprisonment under false charges, Jaime Tenorio remains locked in a maximum-security prison. His initial anger over the harsh sentence was transformed as he recognized God's bigger plan for his situation. In prison, while living among murderers, thieves, guerrillas, and drug-traffickers, Jamie came to saving faith in Jesus Christ.
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: May 2013
After spending 220 days in prison in Ahvaz, Farhad Sabokrouh, the pastor of an Assemblies of God church, and another church member, Naser Zamen-Dezfuli, were released on Dec. 4, 2013. Iranian authorities raided the church on Dec. 23, 2011 and arrested everyone attending a Christmas celebration service. Several hours later, authorities released everyone but Farhad and his wife, Shahnaz Jayzan, and two others, Naser and Davoud Alijani. In October, 2012, the four were sentenced to a year in prison for ï¿½onverting to Christianity, inviting Muslims to convert and acting against state security through evangelistic activities.ï¿½It is unclear whether Davoud and Shahnaz will also be released. More Info
This post was modified from its original form on 11 Dec, 13:49
Secretary of State John Kerry gave his most detailed response yet into why the release of American citizens was not part of the negotiation process with Iran. It could make Pastor Saeed a pawn to the process, it could make it more “risky or dangerous,” Secretary Kerry said. Strange, considering Pastor Saeed is in a prison known for inmate on inmate violence and has already been robbed at knifepoint. The logic of not tying their fate to the Iranian nuclear program is acceptable, but the inability to negotiate their release raises serious questions about the diplomatic strength and will of the present administration.
Full Story: http://ow.ly/rFFqU
This post was modified from its original form on 12 Dec, 13:51
This post was modified from its original form on 12 Dec, 13:52