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anonymous NEWS!!! August 27, 2008 5:59 AM

NEWS!!!
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anonymous  August 27, 2008 6:00 AM

Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian The son of one of the most revered leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has renounced his religion to move to America and become an evangelical Christian.
 
Mosab Hassan Yousef
Photo: FOX NEWS

Mosab Hassan Yousef, 30, said that his decision to abandon his Muslim faith and denounce his father's organisation had exposed his family to persecution in his home town of Ramallah and endangered his own life.

But despite the cost, Mr Yousef told The Daily Telegraph that he is convinced that speaking out about the problems of Islam and the "evil" he witnessed back home would help to address the "messed-up situation" in the Middle East and one day bring about peace and enable him to return.

"I'm not afraid of them, especially as I know that I'm doing the right thing, and I don't see them as my enemies," he said. "I do think about this a lot. But what are they going to do? Are they going to kill me?

"If they want to kill me, let them do it. I'm not going to stop anyone. It's going to be my freedom.

"My soul's going to be free of my body, not flesh any more."

Mr Yousef, who is known as Joseph by friends at the Barabbas Road church in San Diego, California, arrived in America 18 months ago but only recently made "the biggest decision of my life" to go public with his conversion to draw attention to how the Palestinian leadership is "misleading" and exploiting its people.

"Palestinians look really ugly in front of everybody in the world and they are very, very good people ... they are misled, and their picture is very dark because of this leadership.

"They need some help, they need people to stop lying to them, and lying to the world."

Mr Yousef was raised as a Muslim by his politically powerful family. His father, Hassan Yousef, a highly respected sheikh born in the West Bank town of al-Ghaniya near Ramallah, is a founding member of Hamas, whose military wing has instigated dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel since it was formed in 1987.

Hamas now governs the Gaza strip after ousting the more moderate Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, whose administration now only controls the West Bank.

Mr Yousef said that the decision to leave the home he loves and his family including five brothers and two sisters had made life hard for them.

"They are definitely suffering because of what I've done," he said. "They are not a regular family, they are a very famous family, and Muslims around the world praise my family, praise my father. So when I came with a step like this, it was impossible to think about, it was crazy.

"I knew from the beginning my family would face an impossible situation. It wasn't their choice but they have had to carry it with me. It's difficult for my mother, she's crying all day long. Every time I talk to her, she's crying."

His mother, Salsabin, told The Daily Telegraph that she and her children were "in daily contact with Mosab" but she declined to comment further on his new life.

Mr Yousef said that his father, who has spent more than a decade in Israeli jails for his involvement with Hamas, was in prison when he "got the worst news in his life" - that his son had become a Christian and left Ramallah. "But at the same time he sent me a message of love.

"Everybody is asking him to disown me. You understand if he disowns me he will give terrorists a chance to kill me. "He loves me as a son and he believes that what I've done was something I believed in, but at the same time it's very difficult for him to understand and he won't be able to understand."

Many saw him as heir apparent to his father, who retains great influence both within Hamas and in Palestinian society, winning election to the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006 from his prison cell.

But Mr Yousef said that his questioning of Islam and Hamas began early. His father, a pragmatist who has even suggested Hamas would be willing to talk to Israel under certain conditions, would often accept his concerns, such as the targeting of civilians.

Mr Yousef said that his doubts about Islam and Hamas crystallised when he realised not all Hamas leaders were like his father, a moderate who he describes as "open-minded, very humble and honest".

Mr Yousef said that he was appalled by the brutality of the movement, including the suicide bombers seeking glory through jihad.

"Hamas, they are using civilians' lives, they are using children, they are using the suffering of people every day to achieve their goals. And this is what I hate," he said.

It was after a chance encounter nine years ago with a British missionary that Mr Yousef began exploring Christianity.

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anonymous  August 27, 2008 6:04 AM

Mr Yousef said that the decision to leave the home he loves and his family including five brothers and two sisters had made life hard for them.

"They are definitely suffering because of what I've done," he said. "They are not a regular family, they are a very famous family, and Muslims around the world praise my family, praise my father. So when I came with a step like this, it was impossible to think about, it was crazy.

"I knew from the beginning my family would face an impossible situation. It wasn't their choice but they have had to carry it with me. It's difficult for my mother, she's crying all day long. Every time I talk to her, she's crying."

His mother, Salsabin, told The Daily Telegraph that she and her children were "in daily contact with Mosab" but she declined to comment further on his new life.

Mr Yousef said that his father, who has spent more than a decade in Israeli jails for his involvement with Hamas, was in prison when he "got the worst news in his life" - that his son had become a Christian and left Ramallah. "But at the same time he sent me a message of love.

"Everybody is asking him to disown me. You understand if he disowns me he will give terrorists a chance to kill me. "He loves me as a son and he believes that what I've done was something I believed in, but at the same time it's very difficult for him to understand and he won't be able to understand."

Many saw him as heir apparent to his father, who retains great influence both within Hamas and in Palestinian society, winning election to the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006 from his prison cell.

But Mr Yousef said that his questioning of Islam and Hamas began early. His father, a pragmatist who has even suggested Hamas would be willing to talk to Israel under certain conditions, would often accept his concerns, such as the targeting of civilians.

Mr Yousef said that his doubts about Islam and Hamas crystallised when he realised not all Hamas leaders were like his father, a moderate who he describes as "open-minded, very humble and honest".

Mr Yousef said that he was appalled by the brutality of the movement, including the suicide bombers seeking glory through jihad.

"Hamas, they are using civilians' lives, they are using children, they are using the suffering of people every day to achieve their goals. And this is what I hate," he said.

It was after a chance encounter nine years ago with a British missionary that Mr Yousef began exploring Christianity.

He found it "exciting", he said, and began secretly studying the Bible, struck by the central tenet "love your enemies".

Nevertheless he does not advocate the "collapse of Islam", but rather for people to acknowledge that after 1,400 years "it's not working any more".

He said: "It's not taking them anywhere. It's making them look ugly."

He hopes that Muslims will begin to question their religion and "fix it" by rejecting the parts that call for "killing others, cutting hands, cutting legs, torturing people and asking for destruction of entire civilisations".

He said that after he converted to Christianity, he decided he had to escape and "live my life away from violence because I couldn't coexist with that situation as a Christian."

"I was thinking, what is my responsibility now? To see people dying every day or to stand up and say, this is wrong, this is right and be strong about this? So I had to make this move."

He plans to write a memoir about his "transformation" that he hopes will inspire others and to found an international organisation to educate young people about Islam and preach a message of "forgiveness", the only way he thinks "the endless circle of violence" between Israelis and Palestinians can be broken.

"I know this take a longer time, but this is the right way to do it, to build a new generation, a new generation who understand how to forgive, how to love."

It is a vision his new church shares. In a posting on the Barabbas Road website entitled "Joseph's story", the most unlikely member of the congregation is described as "a miracle" who left a society steeped in "brutal and bloody warfare" and instead "turned to Jesus".

"He is most certainly the face of things to come; an Ambassador to those oppressed by Islam. He is passionate about liberating his brothers and sisters from the darkness of a false religion, and living the truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light."

Back in the West Bank, however, many are distressed about his move.

"It is upsetting not only to his community and to his family but to all Muslims," said Abdel-Jaber Fuqaha, an Islamist parliamentarian and friend of the family who described Mr Yousef as "a straightforward, observant Muslim".

"But the worst impact is on his family, and his father. This is a thing that is more unique to our Middle Eastern culture. It is the most difficult thing, to convert from one religion to another."

He suggested that Mr Yousef may have been pressured into conversion in exchange for financial help or permission to stay in the US, given his background - allegations Mr Yousef rejects.

"I didn't come to Christianity for money, I came

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anonymous  August 27, 2008 6:06 AM

"I didn't come to Christianity for money, I came to Christianity because this is the way we can live a better life," he said.

"I love my people. They have the right to live like any other nation on Earth. But at the same time, I want to help them [get] on the right track."

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anonymous  January 11, 2009 7:04 AM

Download this month's Persecution Update

* Information from Compass Direct

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anonymous  January 14, 2009 8:04 PM

For more information on persecution worldwide, download the Persecution Update. JANUARY 14, 2009

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anonymous  January 21, 2009 11:21 PM

Atheists' Outreach
Debating God on public transit draws Christian response.



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Commuters in Washington, D.C., and London encountered a public debate of sorts between atheists and Christians during a December ad battle on city buses.

"Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake," read D.C. ads sponsored by the American Humanist Association (AHA). "Why Believe? Because I created you and I love you, for goodness' sake. —God," responded ads from the local Center for Family Development.

In London, the British Humanist Association's ad campaign — "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" — was countered by "Crunched?" ads citing Luke 2's Bethlehem pronouncement. They were produced by MEMO, a Christian organization displaying Scriptures on British public transport since 1883.

The advertisements, which are spreading to Barcelona and Toronto but were barred in an Italian city, are just one of several recent marketing efforts from atheist groups often critical of Christian evangelistic efforts.

"Atheistic attacks on Christianity have occurred throughout the ages," said Jerry Root, assistant professor of evangelism at Wheaton College. "These buses are the places where the modern debate seems to be occurring with a 'bumper sticker' flare."

Observers question whether marketing techniques traditionally used to sell consumer goods and services will be as successful at selling belief systems. And they point to the ironies inherent in atheist proselytizing.

Atheists say evangelism is not their goal. "We are not preaching to those who don't think like us," said Fred Edwords, AHA communications director. "All we are trying to say is, 'Hey! We're over here.' "

Many Christian leaders are also wary of calling the bus ads evangelistic. "The atheists understand that the minds of people are captured by persuasion," said Ron Forseth, vice president of Outreach, Inc. "In that sense, it is evangelism. But it's not evangelism in the sense of 'Good News,' though many of the platforms of persuasion are the same ones churches use."

Semantics aside, is public advertising really effective in wooing others to faith or non-faith? According to many Christian leaders, the answer is no.

"These kinds of ads are not effective — for Christians or for non-Christians," said Krish Kandiah, executive director of Churches in Mission for the Evangelical Alliance U.K. "The best these ads can do is signpost people to have a conversation."

Forseth agrees: "I highly doubt a single person has come to Christ because he or she saw a Christian fish swallowing a Darwinian dog."

Edwords said the ads are doing what the AHA hoped they would do: increase the group's visibility. "We can't imagine people changing religions after two seconds of reading

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 January 22, 2009 1:40 AM

Donna this is wonderful news about Mosab Hassan Yousef.
I pray God will guide in in all the right directions. Getting away from the Evil that was taught to him is great. I Pray seeds will be planted in otter hearts in the Islamic world in Jesus name amen.

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anonymous  April 21, 2009 9:30 PM

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's northern war zone face a "catastrophic" situation, the Red Cross said Tuesday, amid fears a final assault against the Tamil Tiger rebels would lead to a dramatic rise in casualties.

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anonymous  April 22, 2009 8:37 PM

ISLAMABAD – Taliban militants have extended their grip in northwestern Pakistan, pushing out from a valley where the government has agreed to impose Islamic law and patrolling villages as close as 60 miles from the capital. Police and officials appear to have fled as armed militants also broadcast radio sermons and spread fear in Buner district, just 60 miles from Islamabad, officials and witnesses said Wednesday.

Pakistan's president signed off on the peace pact last week in hopes of calming Swat, where some two years of clashes between the Taliban and security forces have killed hundreds and displaced up to a third of the one-time tourist haven's 1.5 million residents.

Critics, including in Washington, have warned that the valley could become an officially sanctioned base for allies of al-Qaida — and that it may be just the first domino in nuclear-armed Pakistan to fall to the Taliban.

"The activities in the Swat do concern us. We're keeping an eye on it, and are working daily with the Pakistan military," Maj. Gen. Michael S. Tucker told Pentagon reporters in a 35-minute videoconference call from Afghanistan.

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 May 12, 2010 3:19 PM

May Updates

>God at work in Saudi Arabian Believers

>;Open Doors Trains Iranian Christians

>Justice for Murdered Christians in Nigeria
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 May 13, 2010 10:02 AM

May 13, 2010

Dear Donna

 “The Lord sustains the humble but cast the wicked to the ground.”
Psalm 147:6

Al Shabaab Militants Execute Christian Leader in Somalia

Islamic militants have recently killed another leader of the underground church movement in Somalia. Sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Compass News that before he was fatally shot, 57-year-old Yusuf Ali Nur had been on a list of people the Islamic extremist al Shabaab suspected of being Christian. Al Shabaab, said to have links with al Qaeda, has vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity.

Eyewitnesses said that after a two-hour battle, al Shabaab took control of the Xarardheere area where Nur lived. The militants then went from house to house looking for enemy fighters when they arrived at Nur’s home. Sources said that upon finding Nur, one of the militants remarked, “Oh! This is Yusuf, whom we have been looking for,” before they executed him with bullets at close range. Nur is survived by his wife, Muna Sheikh Farah, and three children, ages 11, 9 and 7.

Father, our hearts ache for the death of Yusuf Ali Nur, and for his family and friends who now mourn his death. We thank You that we do not mourn as those who have no hope, but instead we have the hope of glory, Jesus Christ. We ask that You would be near the brokenhearted in Somalia right now, and let Your Holy Spirit comfort and encourage the Christians who are living there.

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 May 13, 2010 10:09 AM

Ethiopian Appeal Court Upholds Selamu’s Two Year Sentence

Selamu Bebeje’s* trouble began three years ago when he offered a section of his land to build a Protestant church. As is common in these regions, the Protestant church has been denied access to land for constructing a place of worship. Selamu’s generous offer angered his neighbors and they began looking for ways to get back at him.

Their opportunity came in December 2008 when the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) auctioned some Eucalyptus trees in their compound. Selamu paid for several trees to build a house. As he began cutting them down the EOC leader reported Selamu to the police, accusing him of trespassing and cutting down trees without formal agreement. The police arrested Selamu. After almost one year of court proceedings, the judge, on November 26, 2009 sentenced Selamu to one year imprisonment. When Selamu indicated that he would appeal the sentence, his adversaries successfully added an additional year to his prison sentence. 

Sadly, on April 23, the acquittal that Selamu was hoping for was denied. Local church leaders told Open Doors that one of Selamu’s accusers visited him in prison to negotiate Selamu’s freedom in exchange for a confession as well as the ownership of his land. Selamu however stood strong in the Lord and refused to jeopardize his innocence by striking a deal with his persecutors.

While Selamu is starting to accept the fact that he is bound to serve the full 24 months in prison, for what church leaders insist are false charges, the news was devastating to his wife, Tutu Haile* and their eight children. Open Doors is asking supporters to write Tutu and Selamu
letters of encouragement.

Father, we pray for Selamu as he serves his prison sentence. We thank You for his courage and perseverance, and we pray that Your Holy Spirit would grant him grace to love his persecutors. We ask that You would also strengthen his wife and children, as well as the church community, so that their trust in You grows stronger even in the face of stiff opposition. Above all, we pray that You would glorify Yourself, Lord, and extend Your Kingdom through the lives of these suffering saints.  

* Pseudonyms have been used to protect the victims’ identities. 
 
Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team

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 May 14, 2010 3:48 PM

Dear Donna Matthews,
 
Burma is a country that has lived under a brutal regime which uses torture, rape and extrajudicial killings to enforce its rule. Its Christians have long been persecuted through these means. This year the military regime will be holding a highly corrupt election to justify its rule. The main opposition party, which won a landslide victory in 1990 and was immediately outlawed, has announced it will not participate. This party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), has Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi as its leader. She is currently imprisoned in Rangoon, Burma.
 
Burma is at a crucial junction where the world is watching to see how this election will play out. Recently when the NLD was outlawed from running in the election, another opposition party was formed, the National Democratic Force. However, even this new party acknowledges that unless something unexpected happens the military regime will not release power.
  
Please pray:
 
-          That the military rulers would not be able to continue repressing the Burmese people and waging a war against the ethnic and religious minorities. That international pressure would be felt by them and their hearts would soften toward their people.
 
-         That the continued scorched-earth policy toward the ethnic and religious minorities will stop. Christians throughout Burma have been subject to the harshest persecution. 
 
-         That international attention would force transparency in this situation. A special investigation into Burma is being considered by the UN, which could lead to intervention.
  
Learn more:
  
-          Watch the Oscar-nominated documentary Burma VJ,(currently available in the US only on YouTube).
 
-          Vote to assist underground reporting in Burma by clicking this link, and then clicking "Vote" next to Democratic Voice of Burma.
 
-          See information of ICC's recent trip to visit the persecuted in Burma at http://iccfieldnotes.blogspot.com
 
 
 
 
Sincerely in Christ,
 
Logan Maurer
 
Regional Manager, SE Asia
International Christian Concern
P.O. Box 8056
Silver Spring, MD 20907
Phone: (800) ICC-5441
Fax: (301) 585-5918
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 May 17, 2010 6:49 AM

GOOD MORNING! I pray that everyone will have a wonderful day! Here is an event notice for those who live in Nigeria! I am asking that everyone pray for this event, that all will be safe and the Holy Spirit will really flow and it will be a great service! God Bless, Donna
PRAISE & WORSHIP SERVICE - NOTICE


I RECEIVED THIS NOTICE FROM A PASTOR IN NIGERIA. IF ANYONE HERE IS FROM THE AREA I ENCOURAGE YOU TO ATTEND OR TO INFORM OTHERS.

HELLO FRIENDS, REVELATION 4:10 - "THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS FALL DOWN BEFORE HIM WHO IS SEATED ON THE THRONE AND WORSHIP HIM WHO LIVES FOR EVER AND EVER; THEY CAST THEIR CROWNS BEFORE THE THRONE, SINGING" (RSV)

BRETHREN WE ARE CALLED TO BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP HIM, SO JOIN US IN THE SPIRIT AND IN PRAYERS FOR THE RELEASE OF THE SPIRIT OF WORSHIP TO DESCEND ON OUR FORTH COMING "PRAISE AND WORSHIP SERVICE TITLED: AFRICAN WORSHIP ON THE 30TH MAY 2010 AT 7PM AT HE'S ALIVE CHAPEL, BONNY ISLAND, NIGERIA.

I LOVE YOU AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU. PASTOR GODWIN OLORI.

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 May 18, 2010 10:09 AM

Praise Report: Two Young Christian Hostages Freed in Yemen
 
Dear Donna Matthews,
 
ICC welcomes the news that two German Christian girls held hostage in Yemen’s northern mountains have been rescued by Saudi security forces. 
 
Lydia and Anna Hentschel, 5 and 3 respectively, are two daughters of a German Christian family that was abducted along with four others in Saada, Yemen nearly a year ago.  On June 12, 2009, the bodies of three of those abducted, German Bible students Rita Stumpp, 26, Anita Gruenwald, 24, and South Korean teacher, Eom Young Sun, 33, were found murdered.  Yemen attributed the kidnappings and murders to forces linked to Al-Qaida, with the help of Shiite rebels.  The nine Christians were working at the Protestant-run Al Jumhuri hospital in Saada, Yemen.
 
On May 17, Lydia and Anna were found by a Saudi interior ministry special forces operation in the disputed border region between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.  The girls are reported to be in good health and will return to Germany on Wednesday. 
 
"We are relieved that the Saudi security forces have succeeded in freeing two of our five compatriots kidnapped in Yemen," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle
 
However, the fate of the parents, their infant boy and a British engineer is still unknown.  “We have to assume that the boy is no longer alive," said family spokesman Reinhard Poetschke.
 
In the past 15 years, there have been more than 200 reported abduction cases of foreigners in Yemen.  Most were released unharmed after a ransom was negotiated.  Yemen is among the strictest Islamic countries in the world and is notorious for government corruption, tribal conflict, and as a breeding ground for terrorism. 
 
ICC thanks you for your prayers for this family throughout the past year.   
 
Please continue to pray:
 
-          For the health and quick rescue of Johannes and Sabine Hentschel, their son Simon, and of the British engineer.
 
-          For the perseverance of the four remaining hostages, and that they will be a living testimony of Jesus Christ to their abductors, and in the face of evil.
 
-          For Lydia and Anna as they recover in a Saudi hospital and return to Germany on Wednesday.  Praise the Lord that they were rescued and found in good health!
 
 
Sincerely in Christ,
 
Aidan Clay
 
Regional Manager, Middle East
International Christian Concern
P.O. Box 8056
Silver Spring, MD 20907
Phone: (800) ICC-5441
Fax: (301) 585-5918
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 May 20, 2010 12:16 PM

May 20, 2010

Dear Donna

“Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live…Be at rest once more, O my soul…” Psalm 116:2, 7

Pakistani Christian Forced to Sell Kidney to Pay Debt

John Gill, a low-wage machine operator, said his Muslim employer, Ghulam Mustafa, forced him to sell his kidney in an effort to pay off a loan. In 2007 Gill took a loan of 150,000 rupees (US$1,766) from his employer at an interest rate of 400 percent. This exorbitant rate Mustafa charges only to non-Muslims.

Mustafa confirmed to Compass News that last month, after he took over Gill’s home to pay off part of the loan, he then gave Gill two weeks to pay the outstanding balance. On May 6, Mustafa came to Gill’s home with “about five armed men” and transported him to Ganga Ram hospital, where they forced him to sell his kidney. The value of the kidney was estimated at around $2,355, leaving Gill with outstanding debt of about $2,945.

Gill, who used this loan to send his 17-year-old daughter to college, says that he does not know how he will repay the rest. The balance is due next month.

Father, our heart breaks for our brother Gill. We ask that You provide the resources to pay off the balance of his debt and heal his body due to the surgery. “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long.” Deut. 33:12

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 May 20, 2010 12:43 PM

Update - Lao Christians Expelled from Village Suffer Critical Illnesses

In a February Weekly Prayer Alert we prayed for 48 Christians that were forced at gunpoint to renounce their faith.  When they refused, they were marched four miles outside Katin village, and left on the side of the road. Compass News reports that since the attack the Christians have been unable to return to their homes and have been sleeping in the jungle. Due to lack of adequate food and clean water, the Christians are now suffering from illness including diarrhea, dehydration, eye and skin infections, fainting and general weakness, which has lead to one person’s death.

Official reactions to the plight of the Christians have been mixed. In March, a delegation of provincial and district officials visited the Christians at their jungle site and assured them of their legal right to embrace the faith of their choice and to live anywhere in the district. However, Katin’s village chief recently warned other residents that their personal possessions would be confiscated and their homes torn down if they had any contact with the expelled Christians.

Father, we continue to ask You to protect and sustain our brothers and sisters in Laos. We honor these saints who courageously refused to renounce their faith. May their steadfast commitment to You bear fruit, and through their witness, may many turn to Christ as their savior.

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 May 27, 2010 7:44 PM

MUSLIM TEACHERS IN PAKISTAN ALLEGEDLY ABUSE CHRISTIAN STUDENTS
Open Doors USA has learned through Compass Direct News that Muslim teachers at a girls school here have derided Christian students for their faith, beat them, pressured them to convert to Islam and forced them to clean school bathrooms and classrooms after class hours, according to area Christians. Muslim teachers at Government Higher Secondary School in village No. 79-NB (Northern Branch), Sargodha, have so abused Christian students that two have dropped out, said a 16-year-old student identified only as Sana. Read Full Story >>

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 June 05, 2010 4:19 AM

June 3, 2010

Dear Donna

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose…What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:28,31

Christian Woman Kidnapped in Pakistan as Blackmail

Sania James, 33, was kidnapped, forced to marry, and told to convert to Islam over a loan dispute. Armed gun men who stormed her parents’ home, told her father that he would see his daughter again only if he paid off the loan to his employer. James said the armed men took her to her father’s employer, Mohammad Shahbaz Ali, and forced her to marry him. After weeks of captivity and torture, James escaped and has returned home. Praise God!

In March James’ father was told that his family would be attacked unless he paid off the loan within two months. According to Compass News the loan, originally taken out five years ago at an agreed 15 percent interest rate was recently later doubled. This is yet another outrageous example of the exorbitant fees and blackmail imposed on Pakistani Christians; two weeks ago, a man was forced to sell his kidney in order to pay off a portion of an inflated loan to his employer.

Father, we are saddened by the awful treatment that Pakistani Christians are receiving because of their debt. We humbly ask that You would put a stop to the blackmailing and torture that is taking place. We pray that You would provide the funds for their debts, and that You would be glorified in their lives as they continue to seek You.

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 June 05, 2010 6:24 AM

Egyptian Convert Endures Life at a Standstill – On the Run

For nearly two years, El-Gohary and his teenage daughter have been living in hiding because he abandoned Islam and embraced Christianity. During this time he has been beaten, forcibly detained, endured death threats, poverty, and crushing boredom.

Today El-Gohary and his daughter live in a tiny apartment on the outskirts of an undisclosed city in Egypt. Across the street is a mosque that regularly broadcasts anti-Christian messages. “Do not shake their hands. Do not go into their homes,” an imam shouts through the minaret loudspeakers. Unable to obtain work, because of his quest to change the religious designation on his national ID card from Muslim to Christian, El-Gohary has to rely on the kindness of other Christians to bring him food, water and occasional donations.

Possibly the worst part for him is watching the suffering of his daughter, Dina Maher Ahmad Mo’otahssem. She cannot go to school or attend church, for fear of being beaten, kidnapped and forcibly converted, or simply killed. When asked what gets him through the constant pressure of living on the run, El-Gohary said, “My main driving force is I want to prove to people the amount of persecution that Muslim converts and Christians face here.” When asked the same question, his 16-year-old daughter, Dina pushed back tears and said one word, “God.”

Thank You, Father, for the courage and faith that El-Gohary and his daughter have. We know that You love them and ask that You protect them from any harm as they continue to follow You in the midst of their daily struggles. May Your Holy Spirit encourage them through Your Word and through fellow Christians around them.

Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team

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 June 10, 2010 4:27 AM

Dear Donna Matthews,
 map
Christian women in some Islamic countries are being abducted and coerced into marrying Muslim men. This is especially prevalent in Egypt where ICC has learned of over 300 documented cases where Coptic women have been kidnapped, forced into marriage, and the police take no action to return them to their families. If she is located, the police insist she voluntarily converted and married, irregardless of the fact that many of these girls are minors and it is illegal for them to marry without family consent.
 
Once abducted, these girls are literally captives, bound to a life of servitude. Please join ICC in bringing attention to the tragic and ongoing abduction of Coptic Christian women in Egypt by signing the petition.
 
Please follow the instructions below and have your signatures back to us by July 30.
 
Here's How You Can Help
 
#1 Pray: The first thing you can do to help is stop right now and ask the Lord to intervene in both these cases and others that are developing.
 
#2 Next, review our petition. You will find a more detailed account of the incident.
 
#3 Electronically sign the petition by clicking here.
 
#4 Print out the petition and take it to your friends and church and have everyone you know sign it. Send it back to us so we can send it to the Egyptian Ambassador.
 
Feel free to print out extra signature pages for large numbers of sign ups. When you have collected all your signatures, please mail the signature pages to:
 
ICC
PO Box 8056
Silver Spring, MD 20907
 
or fax them to us at (301) 585-5918.
 
Please get them back to us by July 30.
 
#5 Forward this email to all your email contacts and ask them to do the same.
 
Sincerely in Christ,
 
Jeff King
President, ICC
 
International Christian Concern
P.O. Box 8056
Silver Spring, MD 20907
Phone: (800) ICC-5441
Fax: (301) 585-5918
 
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 June 15, 2010 6:43 PM

Stories from the Field

Iraqi Christians
Eriched by Training

 

Iraqis Strengthened

    Despite opposition, converts find strength through training.

Read Update>>



This post was modified from its original form on 15 Jun, 18:45  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 20, 2010 9:22 PM

Persecution Watch...

Iraq - A number of Christians have been shot in their homes, causing many to flee  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 20, 2010 9:28 PM

Indonesia - Demonstrators from Islamic organizations demand closure of 600-member church.
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 June 20, 2010 9:35 PM

Pakistan - Police file a false report on Christians, arresting five of them after a Muslim extremist attack  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 June 24, 2010 5:12 PM

June 24, 2010

Dear Donna

Teach me Your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:11-12,14

Moroccan Christians Targeted on Facebook

Muslim extremists in Morocco are now using the social networking site Facebook to expose and vilify Christians. Sadly, they are using images and derogatory tags such as “hyena evangelists” or “wolves in lamb’s skins” that are trying to “shake the faith of Muslims.” Dozens of Christians have been called to police stations for interrogation, many of them verbally abused and threatened with jail or death. Most Moroccan Christians that spoke to Compass News said their Muslim relatives’ attitudes had shifted, and many were kicked out of their homes or chose to leave “to not create problems” for their families.

Efforts against national Christians have been gaining momentum in Morocco. Abdel Adghirni, a Moroccan lawyer, said that “The government is trying to dominate.” Since March, the government has expelled more than 100 foreign Christians for alleged “proselytizing.” Adghirni added that he believes Morocco cannot survive and develop economically without national diversity saying that, “We can’t be free without Christians. The existence of Christians among us is the proof of liberty.” But, amid a media campaign to condemn Christians in Morocco, more than 7,000 Muslim clerics signed a statement denouncing all Christian activities and calling foreign Christians’ aid work “religious terrorism.”

Father, we are saddened by the hardship that Moroccan Christians are facing, and we ask that Your grace and mercy would be upon them now. Please open the eyes of the governmental authorities and Muslim families, and take away their view of Christians as criminals or traitors. We pray also that the Christians would respond to their persecutors with compassion, love and forgiveness.

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 June 24, 2010 7:56 PM

Pakistani Christian Child Abducted, Forced into Bonded Labor

Eleven-year-old Danish Masih was kidnapped and forced into bonded labor to pay off his family’s debt to a powerful Muslim landowner. Since his abduction 18 months ago Masih has been working without a break from 4am to 11pm, often in iron chains.

Growing weak and ill from malnutrition he survives on only half a loaf of bread per day. To the family’s dismay, Ashraf Cheema the landowner, when contacted by Compass News said that no such boy works at his farm or fields, and that “someone must have misled you.” The denying of his existence means that although Masih is working in slave-like conditions, he is doing nothing to pay off the family debt.

Previously the boy’s father and older brother had also been working for the same rich and influential landowner to pay off the debt of 142,000 rupees (US$1,640), but their employer was neither paying their monthly wages nor deducting the amounts from their debt. The family then fled the area to escape the situation, only to have the young boy abducted.

Father, we lift up young Danish Masih to You, and ask that You would take him out of his slave-like condition, and reunite him with his family. We continue to pray for the corruption in Pakistan, and the injustice against Christians there that You would put a stop to it. Lord, we humbly ask for Your divine intervention for those in debt, and we thank You in advance for Your provision.

Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team

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 June 24, 2010 8:07 PM

IRAN - TWO CHRISTIAN WOMEN AQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES: Nearly five months after releasing them from prison, an Iranian court has acquitted Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh of all charges related to being Christians and engaging in Christian activities.  Open Door's supporters worldwide joined in prayer and advocacy campaigns to petition for the release of the women last year.  The two women who refused to recant their faith are now safe in another country according to ELAM Ministries.  Read More >>

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 September 20, 2010 3:19 PM

International Christian Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, #941 • Washington, DC 20006-1846
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Logan Maurer, Advocacy Officer
1-800-422-5441, logan@persecution.org
 
ICC Launches First Campus Chapter
 
Washington, D.C. (September 20, 2010)–International Christian Concern (ICC) is launching the first persecution-based campus chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park.
 
Many students were not aware of the issue of religious persecution,” said club President Jessica Ford. “They thought that worldwide religious freedom was like here in America. When they realized the terrible circumstances some Christians live under, they wanted to assist and learn more.”
 
The campus chapter will have its kick-off meeting on September 23, from 1-2 pm in the Stamp Student Union. All students are welcome regardless of religious background. After the initial meeting the chapter will focus on educating members about the issue, and then increasing campus awareness of persecution. The chapter also plans on partnering with the ICC special blessing campaign by gathering gifts for orphans.
 
Even though there are around 27 Christian clubs on campus, they are all focused on Bible study or a specific denomination. To date there isn’t one with the mission of helping persecuted Christians overseas. We are changing that,” said Jessica.
 
ICC’s President, Jeff King, stated, “We are so excited to celebrate the launch of the first ICC campus chapter at UMCP. College students around the country have been trying to do this for years and seeing this finally happen is a huge boost to religious freedom. I think college students are a large untapped resource in helping their vulnerable brothers and sisters around the world.”
 
For more details, or to register to attend the event, please contact ICC at (301)585-5915.
 
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 September 22, 2010 12:42 PM

Samaritan Purse's worker Flavia Wagner has been released after being held hostage for 105 days in the Darfur Region of Sudan. She was kidnapped at gunpoint May 18 while trying to provide schooling for thousands of children displaced by the conflict in Darfur. She is on her way to California to be reunited with her family.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 September 23, 2010 5:41 PM



Dear Donna,

He will guard the feet of His faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9

Bangladesh -Local Believer Writes Her First Letter
Parul Sultana shares in a simple but heartfelt letter how her life has changed since she learned how to read.
Read More

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