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Friday, December 23, 2011

How can we remain silent while Christians are being persecuted?

Father Immanuel Dabaghian, one of Baghdad’s last surviving priests, is expecting a quiet Christmas. To join him in the Church of the Virgin Mary means two hours of security checks and a body search at the door, and even then there’s no guarantee of survival. Islamist gunmen massacred 58 people in a nearby church last year, and fresh graffiti warns remaining worshippers that they could be next.
The Americans have gone now, and Iraq’s Christian communities – some of the world’s oldest – are undergoing an exodus on a biblical scale.

Of the country’s 1.4 million Christians, about two thirds have now fled. Although the British Government is reluctant to recognise it, a new evil is sweeping the Middle East: religious cleansing. The attacks, which peak at Christmas, have already spread to Egypt, where Coptic Christians have seen their churches firebombed by Islamic fundamentalists. In Tunisia, priests are being murdered. Maronite Christians in Lebanon have, for the first time, become targets of bombing campaigns. Christians in Syria, who have suffered as much as anyone from the Assad regime, now pray for its survival. If it falls, and the Islamists triumph, persecution may begin in earnest.

Salafists, who are emerging as victors of the Arab Spring. They belong to the same mutant strain of Sunni Islam which inspired al-Qaeda. Their agenda is sectarian warfare, and they loathe Shia Islam as much as they do Christians and Jews. Their enemy lies not over a border, but in a church, synagogue or Shia mosque. The Salafists may be detested by the Muslim mainstream. But as they are finding out, you don’t need to be popular to seize power in a post-dictatorship Arab world – you just need to be the best organised. The West is so obsessed with government structure that it doesn’t notice when power lies elsewhere, and Islamist death squads are executing barbers and unveiled women in places like Basra.

Two years ago, the idea of such bloody sectarianism would have sounded like a macabre fantasy in a country as civilised as Egypt. After al-Qaeda bombed a church on New Year’s Day, Muslim elders sat in the front pews forming a human shield and defying the terrorists. But moderate Egyptians are now losing this power struggle. The killing has started, with another 25 Copts murdered in October. Tens of thousands of Egypt’s Christians have already joined their Iraqi counterparts in exile: as Iraq proved, one death can lead to a thousand emigrations. The Salafists are finding it staggeringly easy to realise their fantasy of a “purer” Egypt.

The Arab Spring was always going to mean danger for religious minorities, unleashing the Islamic extremists who previously were kept at bay. For all their evil, the old secular tyrants abused their victims equally, whether they wore the cross, hijab or skullcap. This year’s revolutions are marked by the utter absence of any leaders-in-waiting. History has repeatedly shown how, under such circumstances, regime change can be followed by a descent into sectarian chaos. Extremists can easily start fights along religious or ethnic lines by assassinating a leader, or blowing up a shrine. The result can be civil war (as with Bosnia and Rwanda), even leading to partition (as with India and Cyprus).

Radical Muslims' Christmas gift to Christians: death and destruction


Christian leaders from around the world are asking for prayers and government protection following threats of attacks during Christmas. In the past, radical Muslims and Hindus have stepped up their anti-Christian attacks during the Christmas season. There have already been reports of possible attacks this Christmas.

"The rumor of possible attacks on Christians during this year's Christmas celebration is gaining more momentum. The Christians are calling on the government of Nigeria to ensure the protection of lives and properties, and we call on the church worldwide to bear up the church in Nigeria on the wings of prayer," said a Nigerian church leader in a statement to ICC.

Last year at Christmas time, 38 people were killed in bomb attacks in the Nigerian city of Jos. Members of the Islamic radical group, Boko Haram, took responsibility for the attacks. AFP reports that pamphlets are now circulating in Jos warning of attacks this Christmas. The Nigerian security is taking the threats seriously. 

Pakistan is also taking steps to protect churches during Christmas celebrations. Pakistan's police spokesman reportedly told AFP that 2,500 police will be sent to protect churches from attacks.

Christians living in Orissa, India are also on edge due to fears of attacks by Hindu radicals. Orissa was a scene of anti-Christian violence during Christmas of 2007. More than 100 Christians were killed and over 55,000 displaced in 2008 following Hindu radical violence. 

"Hindu radicals are rallying on December 24th and 25th to stop Christians from celebrating Christmas. The only churches that will get protection from the attacks are registered churches. Churches which are not registered will not have the protection. Christians from unregistered churches may not celebrate this year's Christmas at their churches," said an Indian church leader in an interview with ICC.

Jonathan Racho, ICC Regional Manager for Africa, said, "We are extremely concerned with the impending anti-Christian violence during this Christmas. We ask Christians around the world to pray for their brothers and sisters who face death simply because of their faith in Christ. We urge government officials in the Middle East, Asia and Africa to step up protection of Christians and their properties."

Darfur rebels march towards Khartoum, say ‘main fight with government has started’


Rebels from Sudan’s Darfur region have begun moving towards the capital Khartoum, their spokesman said Thursday, more than three years after they made an unprecedented attack on the capital.

Now our troops are moving from Darfur in an easterly direction towards the capital Khartoum,” Gibril Adam Bilal, of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), told AFP from London.

Our main fight with this government has already started.”

Sudan’s army spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bilal said JEM had reached En Nahud, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Darfur in North Kordofan state, on a mission to change the regime led by President Omar al-Bashir.

In 2008 more than 222 people were killed when JEM guerrillas drove about 1,000 kilometers across the desert to Omdurman, just over the River Nile from the presidential palace on the Khartoum side.

Government troops repulsed them after heavy clashes and later sentenced dozens of rebels to death for their role in the assault.

We are calling for all the political and military movements who are struggling against this government to work together to change this regime,” Bilal said.

In July the government signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur with the Liberation and Justice Movement, an alliance of rebel splinter factions.

Darfur’s main armed groups, JEM and factions of the Sudan Liberation Army headed by Minni Minnawi and Abdelwahid Nur, did not sign the deal.

Instead, last month they, along with the SPLM-North rebel group, ratified documents forming the new Sudanese Revolutionary Front dedicated to “popular uprising and armed rebellion” against the National Congress Party regime in Khartoum.

On Sunday the head of the joint African Union-United Nations Mission to Darfur, Ibrahim Gambari, told AFP the new rebel alliance means the door is closing for more groups to join Darfur’s peace process.

According to the U.N. at least 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since 2003 when fighting broke out between non-Arab rebels and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

'Saudi Arabia arrests Ethiopian Christians for “mMxing With Opposite Sex”

Shame on those who allow to construct Saudi Mosques in Ethiopia!

Shame on Amnesty International, on Human Rights Watch, who are quick to help Swedish terrorist journalists, convicted in Ethiopia, but who are silent on the 42 Ethiopian Christians jailed and tortured because they are Christians.


International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that the Ethiopian Christians who were arrested seven days ago in Saudi Arabia for holding a prayer meeting are now being charged by Saudi officials with mixing with the opposite sex. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal for men and women (non-family) to be in the same room together.

The six men and 29 women were holding a weekly prayer meeting on December 15 when the Saudi police arrested them. Christian leaders say that the accusation of “mixing with the opposite sex” is only an excuse, and believe that the Christians were arrested for practicing their faith. The Christians have not yet been brought before any court.

“The Saudi officials are accusing the Christians of committing the crime of mixing of sexes because if they charge them with meeting for practicing Christianity, they will come under pressure from the international human rights organizations as well as Western countries. In fact, when an employer of one of the detainees asked for the reason for their employee’s arrest, the Saudi official told him that it was for practicing Christianity,” said a church leader from Saudi Arabia in an interview with ICC.

Asked what Christians around the world could do, another Saudi church leader said, “I ask people who belong to the kingdom of God to show their solidarity with the detained Christians by speaking on their behalf and asking government officials for their release.”

ICC’s Jonathan Racho said, “The freedom of religion, including the freedom to assemble together to worship, is a basic right recognized under international human rights law. It is ironic that Saudi Arabia, the country which engages in construction of mosques around the world, clamps down on Christians who worship in their private homes. We urge the media, international human rights bodies and others to put pressure on Saudi Arabia and condemn its actions.” 


Muslim persecution of Christians at a crossroads


The following article was written for Christian Solidarity International,“an international, Christian human rights organization, campaigning for religious liberty and human dignity, and assisting victims of religious persecution, victimized children and victims of catastrophe.” 
When the major media reported a few months ago that Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was set to be executed for leaving Islam, many Western people were shocked, finding it hard to believe that in the 21st century people are still being persecuted—by their governments no less—simply for being Christian.

The fact is, Muslim persecution of Christians in the modern era has been consistently growing worse.  Yet, because only one out of every few hundred or so cases ever receives major attention, few in the West have any idea that it exists. 
For instance, around the same time that the case of Pastor Nadarkhani made headlines, 129 Christians in Sudan were imprisoned, and one in Somalia was beheaded—like the pastor, simply for converting to Christianity.

Dozens of other documented cases of persecution were occurring at the same time, none of which received much media attention.  These include Christians imprisoned, tortured, and killed for allegedly “blaspheming” Islam; Christian girls abducted and raped because they are “infidels”; churches burned, Bibles confiscated, and crucifixes destroyed—and in one instance, a Christian boy killed for refusing to conceal his crucifix.

To anyone familiar with Islam’s history and traditional teachings, none of this is surprising. Instead, all of these accounts demonstrate 14 centuries of continuity.  With Islam’s resurgence and the concomitant upsurge of anti-Christian violence, however, the very existence of Christian and other non-Muslim communities is under threat. The process of religious cleansing could lead to their eradication within a generation [see CSI’s Genocide Warning].

So why is there such a lack of awareness concerning this matter in the otherwise “humanitarian” West?

One reason has to do with recent history. During the colonial era and into the mid 20th century, when Western influence in the Muslim world was strong, Christian persecution was markedly subdued.  Because of the lull in persecution, generations of Westerners came to see events closer to their time as more representative of reality. They tended to overlook the historic and doctrinal roots of Christian persecution under Islam, and thus failed to comprehend what is otherwise so obvious.

This anachronistic perspective is enforced by the “guardians of knowledge”—the mainstream media, academia, and political activists and apologists —who have made the ugly truths of persecution unknowable, all in the name of “multiculturalism” and “political correctness.”

For example, aside from the fact that it is so rare for the major media actually to report on Christian persecution, when it is reported, it is almost always in the context of “sectarian strife” and other neutral phrases that conflate victim with persecutor.

Likewise, far from being content with relaying objective facts concerning the Muslim world, Western academia often puts the best spin on things—forcing facts to conform to the prevailing multicultural ideologies and not vice-versa.

The situation is fundamentally exacerbated by the fact that the majority of Western Christian leaders, whether fearful of “offending” Muslims or eager to appear “tolerant,” are reluctant to speak openly about persecution. If expected from secular journalists, the silence of so many church leaders is far more perplexing.

Today, in light of the so-called “Arab spring,” the West needs to acknowledge the crisis of survival facing Christians in the Middle East.  We have already seen the fruits of democracy in Muslim nations like Iraq, where, since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein​, Christians have been brutally persecuted to the point that more than half of them have fled their homeland, where they are nearing extinction; and in Afghanistan, a decade after the West overthrew the Taliban—committing billions of dollars and thousands of lives—the last public church was just destroyed, even as Christians suffer under blasphemy and apostasy laws enforced by the government installed by the West. 
Now, as Muslims in Arab countries begin to elect Islamist parties—which make no secret of their bigotry against Christians—the future of the latter looks especially grim.

The first step to ameliorate this situation is simple awareness—to get Western people to learn of it.  To do this, the establishment first needs to be jarred from complacency, needs to reassess its politically-correct narrative.

Accordingly, next month, when President Obama gives his State of the Union address, he has an opportunity to include some measured words—for instance, that aid to Muslim nations is contingent on the protection of religious minorities.  Along with holding these nations accountable,  such words might further cause some in the West to reassess the established narrative, creating a trickle-down effect of knowledge.

Through CSI’s Petition to the President, you have the chance to encourage him to do so. 


Attacks on African Christians surging

'It appears Islamists narrowed in on Kenyan community'

Attacks on Christians are surging in Kenya, and analysts say Islamic radicals are putting a bull's-eye on the community. 

International Christian Concern's Middle East specialist Aidan Clay says he recently visited a victim of a Somali mob attack in Kenya. 

"When I saw him a month after the incident, he was still badly bruised, could hardly see out of his right eye which was black, and was missing teeth," Clay said.

Clay said the attacks are getting more frequent and more intense.

"Recently, there has been a slight surge of violence targeting Christians inside Kenya, provoked mainly by Somali Muslims, some of whom are likely from the militant group al-Shabaab," Clay said.

"It appears that the Islamist militants are not only targeting crowded areas and tourists, but also narrowed in on a Kenyan Christian community," he said.


Monday, December 19, 2011

42 Ethiopian Christians arrested in Saudi Arabia



International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Saudi security forces arrested 42 Ethiopian Christians at a prayer gathering in Jeddah on Thursday. The location of the detained Christians is unknown.

On December 15, Saudi police and security officers raided an evening prayer meeting at the home of an Ethiopian Christian in the Al-Safa district of Jeddah. Those attending the service were reportedly beaten and threatened before being arrested.

"Security officials broke [into] the house and captured, beat and threatened them for death. They divided the men and the women and they are torturing them [in prison]," an Ethiopian and Eritrean Christian immigrant community living in Europe wrote in a desperate appeal for help to the ambassadors of European embassies in Riyadh on Friday.

"Saudi Arabian officials have arrested Christians in the past but it is unprecedented for them to arrest 42 Christians at one time," a church leader in Jeddah, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told ICC. "We are particularly concerned about the children of the detained Christians."

Two Ethiopian fellowships in Saudi Arabia informed ICC that they will temporarily postpone services until the situation calms. Christians in Saudi Arabia, most of who enter the country as foreign workers, are not allowed to practice their faith openly. Saudi police have been known to raid private worship gatherings in homes, arrest and deport congregants, and confiscate Christian materials, including Bibles.

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, "Though not permitting a single church building where Christians can worship in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi government goes even further to assault the religious freedoms of its citizens and foreign workers by hunting for and arresting Christians who attend services in the privacy of their own homes. As a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture, we urge Saudi Arabia to end the abuse that the Ethiopian Christians have reportedly suffered in prison and to ensure their immediate release."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Egypt Copts react to Islamist electoral win

It is an understatement to say that 2011 has been a difficult year for Egypt’s exhausted Christians.

It began with the bombing of the Two Saints Church, only minutes after the New Year started, and culminated in the victory of Islamists with more than half of the parliament in the first phase of the elections.

Indeed, according to the latest results, the Muslim Brotherhood’s newly licensed Freedom and Justice Party won no less than 40 per cent of the seats, while the Salafist El-Nour Party won 20 per cent of the seats. And this is only the first phase, which covered nine of the country’s governorates. There are two more phases before a final picture of the first post-Mubarak regime can be drawn.

If the first phase results are anything to go by, Islamists will be the overwhelming majority in the next parliament. This outcome, which was expected, has still left the Coptic community reeling.

It has been a year where Coptic churches were burned by Salafist groups, where residents of the southern city of Qena demonstrated and blocked the city’s highways to protest the appointed of a Coptic governor, where Copts repeatedly took to the street to protest increasing discrimination and where deadly clashes between Coptic protesters and the army left at least 28 dead in what became known as the “Maspero massacre,” taking place in front of the State TV building in Maspero.

It’s also been a year where various Islamists speaking on TV shows called Christians kafirs (heretics) and insisted that they should pay the jizya (Islamic fine for non-Muslims), pushing Egypt’s Christians to spiral into an even more intense wave of panic.

Now, however, speaking to Ahram Online, various faces of Egypt’s Christian population talk about their fears, aspirations and predictions of how life under an Islamic dominated parliament will be for them.

Father Filopater Gameel, a Coptic priest, and a leading member of the Maspero Youth Union and eyewitness to the Maspero massacre.

"I am not surprised that the Islamists won the parliament majority. There were many hints in recent months that they were going to easily win many seats. The fact that they were insisting that the elections take place while all the other political forces were pleading that the elections be postponed hints that both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists made a deal with the military council.

"The elections were filled with rigging and violations. The Supreme Electoral Committee (SEC) has already announced that many ballot boxes will be disregarded because concerns that they were rigged. We also saw violations in terms of niqabis (fully veiled women) entering the polling stations and refusing to identify themselves so that they can keep entering the station and vote more than once. We’ve also heard of cases were the Salafist El-Nour Party blocked the door to the polling stations, so that any voter going in would have to pass by them first, which is actually against the law that bans campaigning in front of polling stations.

Also, during the electoral process there was heavy usage of religious slogans and mosques were used for campaigns and to promote the Islamists.

"The Islamists were pushing for the elections even when the martyrs blood had not yet dried in Tahrir Square and Maspero. But we Copts now insist on continuing the electoral process until the end. The Copts are flexible and are able to adapt to any regime. We tasted bitter medicine during the Mubarak regime and we will probably face more of that under the rule of the Islamists.

We would allow a Coptic president only if Israel allows a Muslim one: Salafist leader


One of Egypt's most prominent Salafist leader has said he would only accept a Coptic Christian president of Egypt, if the US, Britain and Israel accepted a Muslim president of their countries.

According to Yasser Burhami, head of the influential El-Dawa El-Salafiya (Salafist Call) group, Copts do not have the right to run for political office in Egypt.

Egypt election results are a nightmare come true


Israel’s worst fears regarding its relationship with the Arab world – and with Egypt in particular – are coming true before its eyes, Middle East expert Dr. David Buk’i told Arutz 7 in an interview Saturday night. “The rise of the Islamists in Egypt means the end of the peace treaty with Egypt and the rise of a government committed to the ideological Islamist goal of the destruction of the State of Israel,” Buk’i said.

With results in from the first round ofvoting in Egypt, it’s clear that the Islamist coalition has emerged as the largest faction in the future Egyptiangovernment, by far. The Muslim Brotherhood captured more than 40% of the vote, but the hardline Islamist Salafist Nour Party garnered some 20% of the vote – placing the Islamist coalition firmly in control of Egypt’s parliament, at least until the second round of voting in several weeks.

Buk’i is not surprised at the results, and in fact, he says, he warned months ago that this was exactly what would happen. “It was already clear to me last February that the uprisings in the Arab world were not an ‘Arab spring,’ but rather a bitter ‘Arab winter’ and a return to chaos and violence.When you give a Muslim a free voice in electing his leaders, he will pick an Islamist leadership every time, because that’s what he knows and appreciates. That the Muslim Brotherhood will solve Egypt’s problems is clear to the average Egyptian,” Buk’i said.

And once Islamism is firmly planted, it spreads quickly, says Buk’i. “The foolish West helped Al-Qaeda win in Libya, and Al-Qaeda now controls Tunisia. And it is spreading to other nations. There are two powers in the Arab world – military dictatorships and Islamism, and it is in the interests of the West to side with the dictatorships. Tragedy and catastrophe ensue when Islamists win,” he added. “Israel is seeing the catastrophe unfold now.” 


Salafists surge in Egypt

The West has long feared the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood​ in Egypt, but the first round’s election results released Sunday night show an even worse group of Islamists surging: The Salafists. Nearly one-fourth of Egyptians voted for the group whose puritanism makes the Brotherhood look moderate.

On Sunday night, the Egyptian government released partial results for the first round of elections. Sixty-two percent of eligible Egyptians voted. The Muslim Brotherhood came in first place with 36.6%, followed by the Salafist bloc with 24.4%. The non-Islamists, the Egyptian Bloc and the Wafd Party​, came in 13.4 and 7.1 percent respectively. It was a landslide victory for the Islamists, who are now expected to control about two-thirds of the parliament once all rounds of voting are completed.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not a moderate group, but it appears reformist when compared to the Salafists. Whereas the Brotherhood embraces elections, the Salafists are hostile to the very concept of voting. The Brotherhood is pragmatic and aware of political constraints, whereas the Salafists have no qualms about expressing their desire to turn Egypt into another Saudi Arabia. The Brotherhood is “moderate” in comparison to the Salafists like Hamas is “moderate” compared to Al-Qaeda. 

The success of the Salafists is particularly terrifying because they are honest about their objectives. Some supporters of the Brotherhood are misled about the group’s ideology. All of the Salafists’ supporters know what they are asking for when voting. The Salafists regularly call for closing movie theaters, gender segregation, creating a morality police, stoning adulterers, severing the hands of thieves and banning alcohol and “fornication.”

I want to say: Citizenship restricted by Islamic Shariah, freedom restricted by Islamic Shariah, equality restricted by Islamic Shariah…Shariah is obligatory, not just the principles—freedom and justice and all that,” said one top Egyptian Salafist leader, Sheikh Abdel Moneim el-Shahat.

In the land of Islam, I can’t let people decide what is permissible or what is prohibited,” says another. 

One of the parties belonging to the Salafist bloc, al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya, has Aboud al-Zumour, the mastermind of the assassination of Anwar Sadat​, as one of its leaders. He still speaks affectionately about his old colleague, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling him a “very kind and nice man.” He says he disagrees with his killings of civilians and tourists, but supports “resistance” against “occupiers.” 

The Muslim Brotherhood, a group that supports terrorism and Shariah-based governance, criticized the Salafists for their inflammatory rhetoric. The Brotherhood favors a more incremental approach. The Deputy Supreme Guide, for example, says “the enforcement of Shariah punishments will need time, and will only come after Islam is planted in every heart and masters the life of people, and then Islamic punishments can be applied.” 

The White House has yet to express alarm over the election results. The Israeli Defense Minister, on the other hand, said the results are “very, very disturbing.” Hamas is elated, as expected. 


Egypt’s Christians deserve a democratic future too

The measure of a true democracy is not just how well it represents the will of the majority, but also by how effectively it safeguards the fundamental rights of minorities within the population. 
On the evidence of the past nine months, Egypt has been on course to fail this test with dangerous consequences. Some nine million of Egypt’s citizens, over 10 per cent of the population, are Christians. For them, the "Egyptian Spring" that began in February has not brought tangible benefits; if anything their situation, already severe before the revolution, has worsened.

Under President Hosni Mubarak, Christians suffered significant discrimination at both the state and the extra-judicial level. The right to build a church was dependent upon presidential decree; Muslim converts to Christianity found it impossible to obtain ID reflecting the fact; and discrimination against Christians in the public sphere was endemic. 
Unsurprisingly, Egypt’s Christians played a full and active role in the February revolution that forced President Mubarak from power. Amongst other notable acts, Christians established a field hospital to treat the wounded in Tahrir square and numerous images showed Muslims and Christians holding hands whilst chanting a common refrain of the revolution, “Muslims, Christians, we are all Egyptians”.

In spite of this, however, the solidarity of Egypt’s Christians with their fellow citizens has not been rewarded. Sources inside the country report that discrimination against Christian children, often by their own teachers, carries on unchecked. Getting a good job as a Christian in the workplace is still as hard as ever. It remains impossible to build a church legally, and converts to Christianity still cannot obtain legal recognition of that fact.

And this is not the end of the story. So high is anti-Christian feeling running in the new Egypt that twice in the past six months, clashes have taken place which have left scores of Christians dead. Worse is the fact that this violence is not merely sectarianism gone mad, still less the subversive influence of "foreign agents", as the authorities in Egypt so frequently claim. There is very good evidence to suggest that state security forces have not just been negligent in their handling of Christian protests, but have actually been engaged in bloodletting themselves. Unlike with the most recent round of Egyptian protests, however, this violence elicited no apology from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), still less any promises to reform.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

At Least 45 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Muslim herdsmen along with Muslim soldiers have killed at least 45 ethnic Berom Christians in Plateau state in the past week, Christians in this northern-central Nigerian town said.

Smaller attacks beginning on Nov. 20, reportedly over allegations by Fulani Muslims of cattle theft, preceded an attack on a Barkin Ladi church on Nov. 23 that killed four Christians, and an assault the next day left 35 Christians dead in Barkin Ladi and nearby Kwok village, according to area Christian leaders.

Church attendance was decimated yesterday as thousands of Christians have left the area.

“Christians are fleeing the town because we have no guns to fight back,” said one woman in a group of six Christians trying to leave Barkin Ladi. “Muslims have guns, and they have their soldiers fighting for them, so we have no choice but to leave town.”

Thousands of Muslims attack Christians in Egypt, 2 killed, homes and stores torched

Thousands of Muslims attacked and besieged Copts in elGhorayzat village, population 80,000, killing two Copts and severely wounding others, as well as looting and torching homes and businesses. A quarrel between a Copt, John Hosni, and Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer, who later died in hospital, turned into collective punishment of all Copts in the majority Christian village of elGhorayzat, in the Maragha district of Sohag province. Muslims vowed not to bury Abdel-Nazeer until John Hosni is punished. Mr. Hosni fled from the village with his family, "fearing a wholesale massacre of Copts," reported activist Mariam Ragy. 

The events started on Monday, November 28, when John Hosni, a building supplier, had a quarrel with his neighbor, Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer (48), over some steel rods and cement Mr. Hosni had left in the street to use for erecting a wall around his house. This was perceived by Mr. Abdel-Nazeer as extending the home into the street, which is public property. "Instead of reporting this building transgression to the police or local authorities, Abdel-Nazeer took the matter in his own hands and brought some Salafists and torched the store and the home of the Copt," said an eyewitness. 

In the altercation between the neighbors, Mr. Hosni hit Abdel-Nazeer in the head with a wooden branch, which lead to his death later in hospital. 

Angry Muslims murdered two Christian brothers, Kamel Tamer Ibrahim (55) and Kameel Tamer Ibrahim (50), in revenge. The brothers were not a party to the altercation. Kamel Tamer, who was defending his shop from looting, was murdered in front of his wife. His brother was also murdered in front of his wife for defending his home (video of the murdered Copts. WARNING: contains highly graphic content).

Sudan 'stealing oil' from South Sudan

South Sudan has accused Khartoum of stealing its oil amid a row about how to split revenues after southern independence.

At least one million barrels of oil are reportedly being held in Port Sudan.

US Congress warns of Nigeria's Boko Haram

A US Congressional report says Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram is an "emerging threat" to the US and its interests.

Boko Haram has carried out a spate of bombings, including in the capital, Abuja, as well as in the mainly Muslim north where the group originated.
The report said it may be forging ties with al-Qaeda-linked groups in Africa.

Banned aid agencies warn disaster in Somalia

Aid workers and Somali residents expressed outrage Tuesday, a day after the militant group al-Shabab banned 16 aid groups from its territory, a decision officials said puts tens of thousands of sick mothers and malnourished children at risk.

Tens of thousands of Somalis have already died from drought and famine-related causes this year, and the U.N. estimates that 250,000 people still face starvation in a country plagued by violence.

Somalis expressed sadness and anger at al-Shabab's decision, one that could further damage a group highly unpopular in many Somali circles because of its strict social rules and harsh punishments like amputations and stonings.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eritrean refugees face imminent repatriation from Egypt and high risk of persecution on return

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)  says that while all the refugees risk severe persecution if returned to Eritrea, ten of them occupied key positions within the Eritrean regime before they fled the country, and their lives would be in extreme danger should they be returned.

According to Agenzia Habeshia, some of the men in the group were badly beaten about a week ago, and have now received medical attention, CSW said.

In a media update, CSW says the continuing exodus of Eritrean citizens from their country, conservatively estimated at 1,000 people per month, is testament to the on-going human rights crisis in the country.

African Jihadists' grand ambitions

Boko Haram Wants to Put Nigeria Under Islamic Law
The armies of Islam arrived in the Nigerian kingdoms as early as the 9th century. The forcible conquest of North Africa—including present day Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco—imposed Islamic law (shariah) according to the Maliki school of Sunni jurisprudence over this vast swath of territory. Over subsequent centuries, relentless jihadist raids (razzias) as well as the penetration of Muslim merchants, scholars, and traders into areas of the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa eventually succeeded in subjugating Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and the entire northern half of the modern country of Nigeria to Islam.
Today, Nigeria is a large and populous West African country of some 160 million people, about half of whom are Muslim and half Christian and animist. Nigeria is comprised of 36 states, 12 of which have implemented shariah in the northern half of the country. As the renowned political scientist, Samuel Huntington wrote, “Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards.” Islam in Nigeria, as in every other place on earth where it establishes power, has shown itself aggressive and violent. Shariah commands Muslims to jihad to spread the faith and, especially throughout the second half of the 20th century, Nigeria’s Muslims have obeyed: wars of domination against non-shariah-adherent Muslims like the Hausa exploded into jihad against non-Muslim tribes like the Yoruba and the Ibo (Biafra) leaving as many as a million dead. Shariah Implementation Committees drew up detailed plans to establish Shariah Courts, train and hire shariah judges, create a Religious Affairs Ministry, set up a Zakat Board, codify the Islamic penal code (hudud punishments like amputation, lashing, and stoning), and make the educational curriculum shariah-compliant.

Three Christians killed in attacks in Nigeria’s Kaduna state

Armed Muslim gang raids church, neighboring village; 8-year-old among 13 injured.

It was a few minutes before 10 at night when the staccato sound of gunfire interrupted the serene worship of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church near Zonkwa, Kaduna state. When the chaos ended, two women lay dead and 12 people were wounded.

The attack by a Muslim extremist gang in Tabak 1 village on Thursday (Nov. 3) shattered the peace long known to Christians there, area sources said. The following night at about the same time, the gang raided another Christian community near Zonkwa, Kurmin-Bi, killing one Christian and injuring another.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Egyptian Sheikh issues fatwa prohibiting votes for Christian, secular candidates

Mohammad Amer, a Salafi Sheikh in Damanhur, Egypt, issued a fatwa prohibiting votes for any Christian, secular or liberal candidate, as well as any Muslim candidate who does not pray daily or call for the implementation of Shariah law. 
Bikyamasr ) - The fatwa also prohibited voting for any former member of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP), associated with the regime of deposed President Hosni Mubarak, with the exception of a few "honorable" candidates.

Amer claimed that voting for any such candidate would constitute a grave sin.

"I want the voters to vote in favor of the candidates of the Islamic movements and to oppose those who want to separate religion from the state. There is nothing called liberalism in Islam and there is no absolute freedom in our religion," he said to London's Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, defending the move.

Amer is the head of the Giza Governorate branch of al-Sunna al-Mohamadeya. He came under fire earlier this year when he released a fatwa claiming that Egyptian political figure Mohamed ElBaradei could be killed for calling for the boycott of Egyptian elections and civil disobedience.

"ElBaradei incites civil unrest," said the controversial fatwa. "For this, the rulers, represented by the Government and President Hosni Mubarak, have the right to kill him if he does not stop."

Human rights organizations quickly condemned the fatwa, noting that the same grounds were used in legitimizing the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat.

Sudanese Bishops warn of a return to Civil War

Sudan's Catholic bishops have issued a formal warning about the threat of a return to full-scale civil war and have appealed for urgent food and medicine, stating that thousands of people are being terrorised by aerial bombardment.

Referring to spreading violence in different regions in central and eastern Sudan, and newly created South Sudan, the bishops' statement urges the international community to intervene to stop the fighting.

The Paedophile Imam of Britain

A paedophile imam who abused young girls while teaching at a mosque has been jailed for two years. Ebrahim Yusuf Kazi, 67, was told by a judge he would have been jailed for longer – but the law prevented it as the offences took place 27 years ago. The cleric sexually assaulted three victims – all aged under 11 – during class as he taught groups of youngsters alone inside the mosque, Swindon Crown Court heard. He would invite the girls to read a passage from a book in front of the other children – before groping and touching their genitals under the desk. He also locked himself in a toilet cubicle with one of the girls, removed her clothes before he touched and licked her body. Ebrahim Yusuf Kazi, 67, looked quizzically at his interpreter – translating in his native Gujarati – as he was ordered down to the cells. Kazi’s campaign of abuse only surfaced 27 years later when the brave victims finally decided to speak out and confront him in court.  The women wept yesterday as they saw Kazi jailed after being convicted on five counts of sexual assault at the court in Wiltshire. Judge Euaun Ambrose said: ‘You were in a position of very considerable status, trust and authority.

Egypt Pope orders first post-revolution count of Christian population


Egypt’s Pope Shenouda III has ordered a census of the country’s entire Christian population to be conducted through committees accountable to the Church.

The Church’s census will for the first time include all the Christian denominations in Egypt, not just the Coptic Orthodox, which constitutes the largest Christian denomination in Egypt.

It will also be the first in post-revolution Egypt. Prior to the uprising, there were significant differences between government estimates of the Coptic population and those of the Church.

An unofficial census, conducted by a number of Christian organisations in cooperation with the Church, published figures on Sunday showing the entire Christian population of Egypt neared 17 million, around 20 per cent of the population.

The latest government estimates of the Egyptian Christian population stated they made up around 4 per cent (around 3.3 million) of the total population of around 83 million."

The Arab slave trade

The Arab Slave Trade is the longest yet least discussed of the two major trades. It begins in the 7th century AD as Arabs and other Asians poured into Northern and Eastern Africa under the banner of Islam, either converting or subjugating the African societies they came upon. In the beginning there was some level of mutual respect between the Blacks and the more Caucasian-Semitic Arabs. Mihdja, a Black man, is said to be the first Muslim killed in battle while another, Bilal, is regarded as a "third of the faith." Dhu'l-Nun al-Misri, born in Upper Egypt near Sudan, is regarded as the founder of Sufism. Today Sufism's greatest stronghold is in Southern Egypt and Sudan. Islamic prosperity was based upon Black as well as Arabic genius.

The Arab slavers raided at nightfall, during the dinner time. Africans who resisted or tried to run were shot and killed. Most adult men were killed as the Arabs favored women and children for sale. The captives then endured a long and torturous march through the African countryside as the slavers searched and gathered more captives. Young men, women, and children were bound by hand and by neck throughout this journey, enduring beatings and rapes along the way. Those who fell sick or dead were left behind. Others remained bound to living captives.

After surviving the torturous ride aboard the Arab slave ships, Africans were taken to the slave markets. Here Muslim men would inspect their intended purchases. Women and young girls were degradingly probed by these men in public or private stalls to test their sexual worth. Those that did not survive their time in these markets were left out to rot. It is said that that hyenas, very numerous in the region, "gorged themselves on human flesh.

The Eastern Slave Trade dealt primarily with African women: a ratio of two women for each man. These women and young girls were used by Arabs and other Asians as concubines. Filling the harems of wealthy Arabs, they often bore them a host of children. This sexual abuse of African women would continue for nearly 1200 years

The Eastern Slave Trade also dealt in the sale of castrated male slaves: Aghas or eunuchs. Used as guards and tutors, these slaves were central to familial peace, protection and order in many wealthy Muslim households. Eunuchs were created by completely amputating the scrotum and penis of 8-to-12-year-old African boys. Hundreds of thousands of young boys may have been subjected to this genital mutilation. Many bled to death during the gory procedure. The survival rate of this process ranged from 1 in 10 to 1 in 30.
Holocaust: The Numbers

Due to the enormous length of the Arab Slave Trade, from 700 to 1911AD, it is impossible to be certain of the numbers of Africans sold in this system. Estimates place the numbers somewhere around 14 million: at least 9.6 million African women and 4.4 African men.

It has been estimated that in all, at least 14 to 20 MILLION African men, women and children died throughout this trade.

What next for Nubians of Egypt?

In the wake of the January 25 revolution, the world’s media have given a great deal of attention to the plight of Egypt’s Christian minority, the Copts, and what place there might be for them in the country’s future. However, Egypt has another aggrieved minority who are starting to make their demands heard, and now Egypt’s 3 million Nubians are hoping to reclaim their rights and address their long-standing grievances with the government.

For thousands of years, the Nubians lived in villages along the banks of the Nile, stretching from Aswan in southern Egypt and into northern Sudan. In spite of the huge changes that swept across the region down the millennia, the Nubians retained their own distinct language, customs and culture until the present day. Yet the rush to industrialise Egypt in the 20th century finally put an end to their way of life, forcing them to abandon their lands and find new lives across southern Egypt and northern Sudan.


Muslim Brotherhood makes fools of naive West

Can you imagine this? The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood lied! And can you imagine this: the two civilians who are Egypt’s greatest hope for avoiding an Islamist dictatorship are very worried.

Let’s start with the Brotherhood. First, it promised to run candidates for only one-third of the parliamentary seats, saying this would proof of its moderation and willingness to share power.
But a little later, it raised that number to 50 percent but said that’s all and they wouldn’t run a candidate for president. Again, we were told: they’re moderate!

Next, it created a front party to run a candidate for president. For months the Western media generally told us that this party was independent of the Brotherhood, had split off from the Brotherhood to run a candidate for president. That made this party even more moderate than the moderate Brotherhood.

Finally, now that the media admits this is a Brotherhood-controlled party, it announces, too, that it will run candidates for all the parliamentary seats.

How do we know they are moderate? Well, because they say so. For example, the Brotherhood
has announced that it will not run on the slogan, “Islam is the solution!” Their new official slogan is:
“We bring good [things] for Egypt.” How moderate can you get?

Some details. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party dominates the 11-party Democratic Alliance (again, a nice “moderate” name). The Alliance will run candidates in the 76 multi-candidate proportional representation districts and in the 113 single-seat districts. Incidentally, two of its partners are leftist parties, including al-Ghad.

As in Tunisia (and Turkey and in the Palestinian elections won by Hamas some years ago), the opposition is divided, disorganized, and some of its members are ready to make a deal with the Islamists.

The opposition 21-party Egyptian Bloc has collapsed in only two months. Only three determined secular-oriented parties remain in it: the genuinely liberal Free Egyptians Party (drawing mostly Christian support), the tiny Egyptian Social Democratic Party, and the radical leftist Tagammu Party.

The “Facebook kid” left-liberal Justice Party has formed its own bloc called The Revolution Continues while the Salafis (openly radical Islamists) are trying to combine in the Nour Party.
The three main “liberal” parties–Wafd, Free Egyptians, Justice–are all running against each other. They’ll split the vote and in district after district the Islamists will win.

Moreover, the Brotherhood is following a brilliant strategy to
build a united front for Sharia, bringing in other clerics and gradually winning over more and more of the religious establishment to an Islamist position. The proportion of non-Islamist forces among observant Muslims thus steadily declines. Religious Islam as it has been actually practiced and political Islamism have not been the same thing but they are increasingly becoming the same thing as the Islamists win the battle of interpretation.

As a result of all of these factors, I’m changing my prediction. A poll misread by American “experts” supposedly claimed that the Brotherhood had only 13 percent support and was no threat. I analyzed the poll as putting them at 33 percent. A new poll by the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute puts the Brotherhood at 39 percent. I am now predicting that the Brotherhood and other radical Islamists may get to almost 50 percent.

Am I being too alarmist? Well let’s listen to the two most interesting non-Islamist political figures in Egypt.  Amr Moussa, who might well be Egypt’s next president though it seems he will have to await elections in 2013, is one of the smartest politicians in the Arabic-speaking world.

A former foreign minister and head of the Arab League, he is also an intemperate, radical Arab nationalist who knows how to use demagoguery and populism to rally support for himself. Of course, that’s also why he’s the great black-white-red (the Arab nationalist colors) hope to defeat the green of the Islamists.

So it’s worth listening to his reading of the current situation. Briefly, Egypt will elect a parliament on November 28—probably with the Muslim Brotherhood as the biggest party—that will choose a constitution-writing committee in April 2012. Only after a constitution is completed, no earlier than the summer of 2013, will a president be elected. Thus decrees the military junta. Since he’s already 75, Moussa is understandably in a hurry.

Amr Moussa says that in the interim he fears Egypt could be plunged into a terrible crisis by growing violence and economic disaster (the country has lost an estimated $10 billion due to the revolution and subsequent disruption). That makes sense. “My biggest fear is anarchy,”
says Moussa. “A long transitional period…will create an opportunity for all those who want to play havoc with the Egyptian society.”

Right. Islamists will continue to attack Christians, whom the government and army won’t protect. The Brotherhood will complain that if only it was in charge and could implement a policy of hope and change everything would be great. Islamists and liberals will join together to bash the junta as anti-democratic and intending to keep power for itself.

So while the junta’s decision to create dual power—a military executive and an elected legislature–is understandable since it is horrified at the rise of Islamism and violence it is also likely to be turbulent.

Then there’s Naguib Sawaris, a billionaire, Christian, and the founder of the Free Egyptians’ Party, the only group that’s likely to fight Islamism. He has just given a fascinating interview to Bloomberg Business News.

The problem is that while the party has many Muslims in the leadership and membership (two-thirds, it claims) most of its votes will probably come from Christians, the only large sector of the population willing to battle for secularism.

Sawaris is not a man who is easily intimidated, ignoring the many death threats. Yet on the national stage he is merely an uppity dhimmi, albeit one with 139,000 followers to his Twitter account. He also has a sense of humor, posting a picture of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Islamic garb. The Islamists, however, don’t have a sense of humor, launching a costly boycott of his businesses.

Last July, an Islamist preacher said on cable television, “We will kill him even if he repents.” You see, Sawaris lives in luxury and has massive business interests and power. But here’s how a revolutionary Islamist thinks: For all that, he’s just another infidel and one swing of the sword will cut through even the most expensive tailor-made collar.

Sawaris thinks Egypt may well end up like Iran. He watches as Christians are attacked, Islamist terrorists released from prison. and a rising demagoguery targets Israel as Egypt’s -main problem.

Prediction: By mid-2012 everyone will be writing about the failure of the Egyptian revolution and how it has made things worse for the country and terrible for the region. Added prediction: they will be saying the same thing about Tunisia and Libya. Will this combination be enough to wake up the West to the threat of revolutionary Islamism and the catastrophic consequences of current Western policy toward the Middle East? 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Eritrea raising money in Canada, financing terrorists to attack Canada

The government of Eritrea, which the United Nations accuses of supplying a long list of armed groups including the al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabab, has been raising money in Canada by taxing Eritrean-Canadians, interviews and documents show.

The 2% “diaspora tax” is collected by the Consulate General of Eritrea in Toronto and helps explain how one of the world’s least developed countries raises revenues as it trains, arms and finances rebels from Sudan to Somalia.In interviews, Eritrean-Canadians told of being pressured to give 2% of their earnings to Eritrean diplomats and agents in Canada. They showed receipts and forms that verify the tax collection scheme is taking place.

Two per cent tax form,” reads a document on the letterhead of the downtown Toronto consulate. There are spaces on the form for reporting monthly and annual income going back to 1992, the first full year of Eritrea’s independence. 

A separate column is labeled “payment of 2% tax” and another is for “donations to national defence against Ethiopian invasion.” The form was obtained from the consulate last week, indicating the collection is still going on. 

That is extortion,” said Aaron Berhane, a journalist who fled Eritrea and now lives in Toronto. He said Eritrea gets about a third of its revenues by milking the diaspora. “They are forced to pay that tax.” 

While several countries levy fees on their nationals abroad, Eritrea is unique because it has been widely accused of distributing weapons and money to Al-Shabab — which last weekend released an audiotape by a suicide bomber that called for terrorist attacks in Canada and “anywhere you find kuffar [infidels].”   

State Department training Islamic political parties in Egypt


U.S. assistance to Egypt is helping political parties of all ideologies prepare for the upcoming elections — even Islamic parties that may have anti-Western agendas.

We don’t do party support. What we do is party training…. And we do it to whoever comes,”William Taylor, the State Department’s director of its new office for Middle East Transitions, said in a briefing with reporters today. ”Sometimes, Islamist parties show up, sometimes they don’t. But it has been provided on a nonpartisan basis, not to individual parties.”

The programs, contracted through the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), include helping political parties in Egypt conduct polling, provide constituent services, and prepare for election season. NDI’s chairwoman is former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. IRI’s chairman is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

Taylor said that none of the U.S. funding that has gone to election preparation is coordinated or vetted through the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which assumed power after the overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak.

It absolutely does not go to the SCAF,” he said, noting that the Egyptian military still receives billions in military aid from the United States.

Taylor, who just got back from a trip to Egypt and Tunisia, said that he left Egypt unworried about the SCAF holding on to power after the coming elections.

They wanted to make it very clear to this American sitting on the other side of the table that they didn’t like the governing business,” he said. “I do believe that they are uncomfortable governing. Some would say they’re not doing a great job of it. ”

Taylor led a similar office in the 1990s that coordinated policy in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. He is pressing for $2 billion in new aid to Egypt, half in loans and half in debt forgiveness, but acknowledged that the U.S. fiscal situation is not nearly as good now as it was then.

This is a tight time on budgets here, as we all know. And when [State Department spokeswoman]Toria [Nuland] and I worked together earlier, we had a lot more money to put in to the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe,” he said. “Now, that having been said, we recognize that there are other countries that are eager to provide support, and we support that.”

But Taylor also said that promises of financial assistance to Egypt from other countries in the region have not materialized, leaving Egypt’s government with little choice but to accept billions of dollar in loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank — loans that come with strings attached.

The IMF was in Egypt, and they put an offer of about $3 billion on the table for the finance minister. The finance minister was interested. He went to the SCAF. The SCAF said, ‘No, thank you.’ The finance minister told the IMF, ‘No, thank you.’ But just last week when I was there, he told me that he’s likely to be able to accept an IMF offer this time,” Taylor said.

Egypt owes the United States about $1 billion over the next three years from previous loans, but if Congress agrees, the State Department wants to let Egypt keep that money and spend it on its political transition, with U.S. Consultation.

We, the United States government, will agree with you, the Egyptian government, on how to spend that billion dollars in Egypt,” Taylor said. ”But it won’t come here. It won’t come back to the Treasury. It’ll stay there and do projects that we are working on right now.”

Taylor said the money would be spent on an “identifiable” joint project that would show Egyptians that “yes, we do care if your transition works.”

Radical Muslim sect grows more dangerous in Nigeria

The imam's insistent, lecturing voice comes right to the point over the scratchy audio recording: Holy war is the only way to bring change for Muslims in Nigeria. Abubakar Shekau urges followers of his feared Boko Haram sect to carry out more assassinations and bombings. The group's violent campaign already has left more than 240 people dead this year. On Friday, a suicide bomber hit a military base while explosives detonated around Maiduguri — attacks that bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram. "Whomever we kill, we kill because Allah says we should kill and we kill for a reason," Shekau says in a recording of a sermon obtained by The Associated Press.  MORE

63 killed in attacks in northern Nigeria: Red Cross official

Bomb and gun attacks targeting police stations and churches in the northeastern Nigerian city of Damaturu left 63 people dead, a Red Cross official said Saturday.

One of the police buildings was hit by a suicide bomber, Suleimon Lawal, police chief for Yobe state, whose capital is Damaturu, told AFP.

A local government official said hundreds were also injured when the attackers bombed a city police headquarters, three other police stations and six churches in Damaturu late Friday, after similar raids in another city blamed on an Islamist sect.


Somali cabdriver pleads guilty to funneling money to terrorists back home

A Somali refugee who worked as an airport taxicab driver here was secretly plotting with leaders of an insurgent group back home to fund the terrorist organization, according to documents made public during his guilty plea Thursday. 

Mohamud Abdi Yusuf, 31, acknowledged through his plea that throughout 2008 and 2009, he raised nearly $6,000 for al-Shabaab, an organization trying to topple the provisional government in war-torn Somalia.

Somali Muslims cut, beat Christian unconscious in Kenya

Somali Muslims Cut, Beat Christian Unconscious in Kenya Assuming he is convert from Islam, victim’s countrymen leave him for dead. 11/04/2011 Somalia (CDN)-A Somali Christian in Kenya is nursing injuries after young Muslim men from his country beat him with iron rods and wooden clubs last week, leaving him unconscious at a church entryway

Friday, November 4, 2011

Three prisoners released in Ethiopia

On October 25, three Christian prisoners were released from prison in Ethiopia after an ICC staff member (who is a native of Ethiopia) called the Muslim police officials and reminded them that they were violating the law for arresting the Christians for preaching the gospel.
The three Christians (one of whom is a former Muslim leader) were arrested on October 15 for preaching the gospel to Muslims. Even while they were in prison, the Christians continued to share their faith. As a result of their testimony in prison, two people came to Christ and others were healed from sickness after the Christians prayed for them.
The government officials panicked and released them after receiving the call from ICC. A Muslim police official confronted the Christians and asked them, “How do you have people in the US who asked us to release you?”
Though the three are now free, Muslim authorities are threatening to bring criminal charges against the former Muslim leader.
ICC is closely monitoring the situation. Please keep the Christians in your prayers.
Click here to view their photo (faces blurred to protect them) on Flickr.

A letter to President Obama: Help Free Blind Boy's Mother and Eradicate Slavery in Sudan

Christian Solidarity International (CSI) urged President Obama to address the persistence of slavery in Northern Sudan. The appeal – conveyed in a letter from CSI-USA's CEO, Dr. John Eibner – follows testimony given to Congress by a former Southern Sudanese slave, Ker Aleu Deng, on October 4.