Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison.
Posts Tagged ‘Christian Persecution’
Well, t’is that time of year to wish you dear readers a merry Christmas.
I always get a little nervy for our brothers and sisters in Islamic lands around Christmas, as historically this is a vulnerable time for them.
Sorry, I don’t want to put a downer on things, but it’s good to remember them, to pray for their security and safety and be thankful for our freedoms.
I wonder what plans you may have, or even what Christmas means to you. Is this traditionally a good period for you, or are there reasons you may find it tough going?
I was reminded earlier on Twitter that in my pre-Christian days a Jehovah’s Witness knocked on my door with his two young kids in tow on Christmas day. I was outraged, how dare someone try to pump their religious crap at me, and on Christmas day of all days!
God has a sense of humour though, if it wasn’t for the JW’s banging on my door, I wouldn’t have faith today.
Anyway, enjoy and feel free to touch base whether you find this season hard going or not.
Barnabas Aid are holding an International Day of Prayer for the persecuted Church today – 1st November.
Barnabas have detailed every country needing prayer.
Now I’m going to take an age linking to every country mentioned; so you’d better take the time to pray
Don’t forget them:
The gunmen who killed at least 46 people in Nigeria’s northwestern town of Mubi on Oct. 1 first asked them if they were Christians before shooting or knifing them, according to students who escaped the carnage.
Two students from the off-campus housing site in the Mubi suburb of Wuro Fatuje, Adamawa state, where the massacre took place, told Morning Star News that the assailants were ethnic Hausa Muslims who shouted “Allahu Akbar (God is greater)” as they shot or stabbed hostel residents.
According to a story by Morning Star News, one of the students said the assailants also torched a church building in nearby Tudun Wada the same night.
Morning Star News said the students speculated that non-Christian victims among the dead were killed by mistake or suspected of collaborating with security agency raids in Mubi last month. The raids resulted in the round-up of 156 members of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and the death of one of its leaders.
The gunmen invaded the off-campus housing site serving three Mubi schools – Federal Polytechnic, School of Health Technology and Adamawa State University – at about 10 p.m., “forcing into students’ rooms and asking those they identified as Christians to recant their Christian faith,” said one of the students living at the site.
The student added, “Those who refused to do so were either shot or had their throats cut with knives.”
Hat-tip: Chris Hall on Twitter
For years the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) – comprising 57 Islamic nations – had campaigned for a ‘Defemation of Religion” UN resolution.
In other words a global blasphemy law.
Many observers noted how ‘blasphemy’ laws were used in Islamic nations to terrify, subjugate, and in some cases, murder religious minority groups and non-believers, and so they fought tooth and nail against this UN resolution for many years.
On the 25th March 2011, after 12-long years, the Islamic countries admitted defeat and set aside their campaign.
However, diplomats from Islamic countries warned at the time that the council could well return to campaigning for an international law against religious defamation in the future.
Hezbollah and the Arab League are demanding the same, and we will no doubt witness other Islamic groups use this momentum to make the same call.
And why are these calls being made now?
Because of the reaction to the Innocence of Muslims film.
It’s the height of foolishness to support this call for a global blasphemy law, which will only strengthen the arm of Islam against our cherished freedoms.
Make no mistake, this is a dangerous and perilous moment for Christians and all minority groups within predominately Islamic nations.
Anyone should be free to defame a religion if they so choose, and religious sensibilities should be mature and secure enough in their identity and beliefs to rise above it.
If some religious extremists are not mature enough, then condemn their reactions and behaviour to perceived offense.
But for goodness sake don’t usher in a law to legitimise them.
European Court of Justice rules people persecuted for their faith have right to apply for asylum in Europe.Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
In what could prove a landmark ruling for oppressed Christians, the European Court of Justice has ruled that people who are persecuted in their native countries due to their religion have the right to apply for asylum in Europe.
Confirming the ruling of a German court, the European Court of Justice – the highest court within the EU – decided that if a person’s right to public worship was ‘gravely infringed’ – they should be granted asylum.
Furthermore, the Court ruled that being limited to private prayer was not a legitimate alternative to the inherent right of public worship – rejecting the notion that religious minorities should limit their profile in the public sphere.
Following the court ruling, Lord Alton told the Institute of the potential consequences: For too long European nations have continued with a policy of apathy towards the persecution of Christian minorities in distant lands. However, with the possibility of religious communities now fleeing to Europe for asylum, Western governments may finally be spurred into tackling the root cause.
UPDATE: God and Politics has blogged on this and has further details.
For background on Nigerian Islamic terror group Boko Haram see recent posts here.
The Charity Commission is trying to establish the identity of a charity linked to allegations of funding the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram.
A commission statement said it was aware of claims made in The Observer that a charity called the Al-Muntada Trust has given financial support to Boko Haram, which has links to the terrorist group Al Qaeda and is connected with attacks against churches and Christians in Nigeria.
A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said it was trying to establish which particular charity the allegations concerned.
“The commission is aware there may be some concerns with regards to an organisation entitled ‘Al-Muntada Trust Fund’ and specifically allegations that this organisation has provided financial support to the Nigerian group, Boko Haram,” she said.
“There are a number of registered charities with a similar name to this organisation. The commission is not able to confirm at this stage whether or not this relates directly to a UK-registered charity.”
….continue (Third Sector)
…At least that’s what I’m effectively being told on Twitter.
The Christian world rejoiced yesterday at the news that Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani had been freed from jail.
Nadarkhani had been in prison since his arrest in 2009 and was subsequently sentenced to death for apostasy in 2010. Although the apostacy (renouncing his Islamic faith) charge was overturned, the court still found Nadarkhani guilty of proselytising Muslims, sentencing him to three years imprisonment, but released him as he’d already served the time.
It’s worth noting that the Iranian government had offered leniency if he were to recant his Christianity and reconvert to Islam, which he refused to do, and as a result the appeals court upheld his death sentence in 2011.
An extraordinarily brave chap I’m sure you’ll agree.
In view of this, I was surprised and taken aback to hear of his Christian status being called into question.
This is based on the fact that he adheres to Oneness Pentecostalism. This is a non-Trinitarian doctrine and I was advised that we should pray for his conversion to Nicene Catholic Orthodoxy.
The Catholic chap that gave me this advise is something of a ‘voice’ for Catholicism and did emphasise that he wasn’t saying Nadarkhani was going to Hell.
A few other Catholics joined in the discussion and broadly agreed that due to Nadarkhani’s doctrinal stance he wasn’t a true Christian.
This has not sat easily with me; in fact, it has disturbed me to an extent.
I thought I’d do some cursory investigation to see if this type of thinking relating to Nadarkhani was more widespread, and found that it was. And it wasn’t just Catholics either.
Youcef ain’t no Christian. He can’t be sentenced on charges of not denying Jesus, because the Jesus he believes in is the Oneness Jesus. In other words, Youcef actually denies Jesus. Remember the modalism stuff with Jakes? Yup, Oneness teaches that God is one being and one person who manifests himself in three different ways – father, son, and spirit. He is part of a growing cult in Iran. And now he is sentenced to death. Persecution has a way of affirming one’s beliefs to oneself, no matter how wack those beliefs are. With the international uproar and support of thousands of ignorant professing Christians, Youcef may only become more and more hardened in his false doctrine. When you pray for him, don’t necessarily pray for his escape from the hands of those who can destroy the body. Instead pray that he would be saved from the wrath of God, Who can destroy both the body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).
Do not stop praying for Nadarkhani. Indeed pray earnestly and ceaselessly that the grace of God may shine and intervene in this case and that Youcef may be reunited with his wife and little children but also (more importantly) that he may come to knowledge of salvation that comes by repentance and faith in Christ alone through the power of the Holy Spirit alone to the glory of God the Father alone. Pray!
Now, I’m no expert in Oneness Pentecostalism having only encountered it on US-based forums some years ago. I agree, it is of course a heresy.
But this is what bothers me.
Nadarkhani would rather opt to be brutally executed for his faith in Christ than recant. He was prepared for that and also languished in an Iranian jail which I suspect doesn’t come with the same home comforts afforded to Western inmates.
The question in my mind is if folk believe he is not in fact a Christian, then presumably Nadarkhani went through this hell for nowt. Or perhaps for a delusion.
If Nadarkhani had been executed, would he reach the pearly gates and be duly told to move on downstairs, as his doctrine was iffy?
Is that what would happen?
If so, then I am myself worried, as I bet, somewhere within my rather mixed-up and fragmented brain, is a doctrinal error. Perhaps one that could even be considered by others as heresy.
All in all, I would opt to be in doctrinal error and as brave and heroic in my faith as Nadarkhani, than doctrinally perfect and pontificating judgement on another’s faith, who has made sacrifices we can only imagine, from the vantage of my secure and safe comfort.
That’s just how I feel.
What about you?
Important blog post by my friend Gordon looking at the veracity of the Christian crucifiction claims in Egypt, that have spread like wildfire online and created widespread anger amongst Christians.