50 countries the worst criminal. most criminal country

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1. North Korea
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea tops the World Watch List yet again as
the worst country in the world in which to live as a Christian. Defiantly Communist in the
Stalinist style, a bizarre quasi-religion was built around the founder of the country, Kim Il
Sung. Anyone with “another god” is automatically persecuted, which is why the 200-
400,000 Christians in this country must remain deeply underground. If one takes the lower
number as the total, then a staggering 25% at least are believed to languish in labor camps
for their refusal to worship Kim Il Sung’s cult. So thorough is the anti-Christian campaign
that even North Koreans born today whose grandparents were Christian are earmarked for
low level jobs, which is highly ironic as Kim Il Sung’s mother was a Presbyterian deaconess.
The cult of Kim Il Sung has become unsustainable. Visitors to the capital Pyongyang this year
saw banners declaring, “The Eternal Father is always with us.” In April 2012 the government
is promising a celebration of “epic proportions” for the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s
birth – a celebration this impoverished nation cannot afford. The UN estimates that roughly
half of its 20 plus million inhabitants are malnourished, and famine is stalking the country
again, with credible reports of thousands existing on diets of grass and tree bark.
Kim Il Sung died in 1994, and his son and successor Kim Jong Il died suddenly on the 17th of
December 2011 of a heart attack at the age of 69. However he had taken steps to ensure his
succession, when in the Fall of 2010 his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, in his late twenties, was
unveiled and then was made a four star general at the conclave of the Korean Worker’s Party
in the Spring of 2011. Credible reports suggest this young man is effectively leading the
country, and that this is likely to be even worse news for Christians. He has been quoted as
saying that he only needs about 30% of the population to survive, and he is believed to have
been behind the sending of a hundred extra spies to China to infiltrate Christian networks
that seek to help refugees. A South Korean Christian missionary in Dangdong, China, was
reportedly assassinated by these spies in August.
North Korea has severe economic woes. Everyone needs some kind of black
market trade to survive. For this reason, the regime seeks to court foreign
aid and will often indulge in window dressing measures to secure it. As part
of this strategy, four churches have been opened in Pyongyang, two are
Protestant, one Catholic and one Russian Orthodox., but there is no
compelling evidence that they are anything more than sightseeing spots for
foreigners. Nevertheless, the North Korean regime is so desperate for aid
that various Christian NGO’s are allowed to operate in the country. Half the
population lives in the northern two-fifths of the country, adjacent to China,
where the nation’s natural resources, such as coal, oil, tungsten, are
concentrated. It is here that family based networks of house churches exist
in significant numbers, and many families are allowed to visit China to get
food from relatives. This results in a pipeline of support, which is constantly harassed by
officials. There were reports of many arrests in the period surveyed, but due to the secrecy
that Christians must preserve to protect their activities, it is impossible or unwise to report
the true extent of the statistics.
As if it needed saying, conditions did not improve in the reporting period for Christians and
North Korea remains the most hostile state in which to practice the Christian faith. Neither
are they likely to in 2012 as Kim Jong Un attempts to consolidates power. It is not a
foregone conclusion that he will however, though most North Korea watchers believe that
the most important regional power—China—will prevent regime collapse. In the ensuing
uncertainty, Christianity will remain a deeply underground yet vibrant faith for the
foreseeable future.
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2. Afghanistan
The total number of points for Afghanistan increased slightly and thus the
country overtook Iran this year, taking it from third position to second on
the World Watch List 2012. The reason for this shift is a further deterioration
of the situation.
Ten years after the Taliban regime was dispelled from the country by
international forces, the situation remains desolate, especially for minority
groups, including the small Christian community. Despite having signed all
international agreements designed to protect the freedom of religion, the
government in the current setting is not even able to guarantee the most
basic tenants of this right. On the contrary: being recognized as a Christian
immediately places any believer in a very difficult position.
All Afghan Christians come from a Muslim background. If it becomes known
that someone has converted to Christianity, he or she will face heavy societal
and familial pressure. If believers are discovered, they face discrimination by
their family and community, as well as local authorities and Muslim clergy.
They will be put under pressure to recant their faith. Under such
circumstances the tiny Christian minority cannot meet in public. Meetings in
private homes are possible, yet require great caution. Consequently, not a
single official church building remains, not even for the expatriate believers.
The Afghan government treats converts in a hostile manner and will use
every means to bring them back to the Islamic faith. This has been proven
again in the reporting period by the examples of two Muslim-background
believers (MBBs) who were freed only due to enormous international efforts.
Once a Christian is discovered, it is very difficult for him to stay in his
homeland.
Open hostility, however, is not confined to the authorities. Although the
Taliban was weakened and forced into hiding for a time, the terrorist group
is regaining strength. In October they issued a statement via one of their
websites vowing to purge all Christians from the country—whether foreign
or local. They emphasized targeting foreign relief organizations and non-
governmental organizations, accusing them of evangelizing Afghans. The
Taliban named about 200 organizations, further stating that they have a
plan to target the groups one by one. Christian relief workers continue to be
a prime target for all kinds of insurgents. In August 2011, two German
development aid workers were kidnapped in the province of Parwan, north
of Kabul. Both were shot and their bodies were found on September 5.
There were additional reports of kidnappings and other difficulties, which
show the tenuous situation of all Christians, expatriates as well as locals.
International forces will continue their withdrawal in the coming years. This
could mean an increased Taliban influence in the country, which will
negatively impact the rights of minority groups, including Christians.
Pressure on believers in Pashtu areas is even more alarming than in other
areas of the country.
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3. Saudi Arabia
PEW Research Forum labels Saudi Arabia as one of the countries with “very high”
government restrictions on religion, based on the fact it does not include any provisions for
religious freedom in its constitution and basic laws. Saudi Arabia also ranks as “high” in
PEW Forum’s Social Hostilities Index, which means the country is part of the 15% of the
countries of the world where anti-religious sentiments are very strong in all parts of society.
Religious freedom does not exist in this heartland of Islam where citizens are only allowed
to adhere to one religion. No legal protection is provided for freedom of religion, nor does
this protection exist in practice. The legal system is based on Islamic law (sharia).
Apostasy—conversion to another religion—is punishable by death if the accused does not
recant. Although the government recognizes the right of non-Muslims to worship in
private, the religious police “the Muttawa” often does not respect this right. The public
practice of non-Muslim worship is prohibited as well in Saudi Arabia. Worshippers who
engage in such activities risk arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation, and sometimes
torture. Believers from a Muslim background also run the great risk of honor killing if their
family or community discovers their faith.
Most Christians in Saudi Arabia are expatriates who live and work temporarily in the
country. The majority of them are from the Philippines. These foreign workers, besides
being exploited and poorly paid, are regularly exposed to verbal and physical violence
because of their Christian faith. Migrant domestic workers are even threatened with rape
unless they convert to Islam. There are a number of converts from Islam who live their faith
in deepest secret. However, their number is increasing recently and they are also becoming
bolder about their faith. We received reports of several Christians being physically harmed
for their faith. The total number of Christians facing this kind of persecution is probably a
lot higher, but it is hard to receive sufficient information on this from a closed country like
the Wahhabist Kingdom. A number of Christians fled the country because of oppression for
faith-related reasons. In some cases their lives are at risk.
Yohan Nese, 31 and Vasantha Sekhar Vara, 28, were arrested on Jan. 21, 2011, for
attending a prayer meeting with other Indian nationals and accused of converting Muslims
to Christianity. Religious police interrogated and beat them and they were kept in horrible
conditions in prison. On May 30, Vasantha was released and on July 12, Yohan was
released. Both returned to India. On February 12, a foreign worker was arrested in Jeddah
after discussing faith issues with Muslims close to a mosque. At first he faced the death
penalty, but it was ultimately decided to deport him to his home country. Because of these
arrests, the points for Saudi Arabia increased somewhat compared to the previous WWL
reporting period (64.5 last year versus 67.5 this year) when we did not receive any reports
of arrests of Christians. This brings Saudi Arabia from position four to position three in the
current WWL.
“The rule of the Al Saud family will face a number of challenges in 2012-16, including a
potentially fractious succession process and wider demands for political reform. Despite the
holding of the country's second municipal elections on September 29, the Economist
Intelligence Unit (EUI) does not expect any democratic reform or any move to an elected
parliament before 2016,” states an EIU brief. If the political situation does not change, the
situation for Christians is not expected to improve, as the country seems to be heading for
some more years of regime continuity. As the number of Christian converts from Islam is
increasing, along with their boldness in sharing their new faith, Christians face the risk of
more persecution and oppression in Saudi Arabia in the near future.
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4. Somalia
Somalia went from position 5 to 4 in the WWL 2012. The overall
persecution situation in Somalia tightened a bit more in the country. The
main persecution engine is Islamic extremism.
Talking about restrictions on the Church does not make much sense in
Somalia. Somalia does not have a traditional church. No one is expected
to be a Christian in Somalia, so Muslim-background believers (MBBs) do
not have organized church groups. They exist as individual secret
believers, and can only know a few others to make a small secret group.
The largest known group in Somalia is composed of five believers. It is
extremely difficult to live as secret believers in a country like Somalia
because of the atmosphere of terror and fear around being a Christian.
For parents, living as secret believers is even more difficult: it is
dangerous to raise their children as Christians for fear of being
discovered and executed.
Somalia is a difficult "country" to assess. Somalia comprises several
distinct areas (though some of the borders are disputed). In
Somaliland, which does not host the Islamic extremist group al-
Shabaab, one can speak about a stern Islamic regime where social
groups (including family) and government encourage each other to
minimize space for Christians, especially MBBs. Puntland compares to
Somaliland. The difference with Somaliland, however, is that due to
the lawlessness in Puntland, this area is the safe haven of pirates and
also al-Shabaab. In those parts of the south controlled by al-Shabaab,
the situation appears even worse - MBBs who are discovered are at
serious risk of “honor killings.” Al-Shabaab is enforcing a harsh
interpretation of sharia in the territories it controls. This militia was
strongly radicalized through external influence of al-Qaeda in recent
years. Because of that its support among the local population is waning.
One may suspect that the image of al-Shaabab has not improved during
the recent drought crisis in the country, when the militia obstructed
humanitarian aid from the West. At the same time however al-Shabaab
is effectively trying to wipe out Christianity from the parts of the country
it controls.
Numerous people have fled within the country and outside the country
for food, ethnic and political reasons as well as for their faith. In such
situations the vulnerability of Christians (and adherents of other
minority religions) to armed groups, local leaders and individuals is
enormous. The impact of this “horrific scenario” on Christians can only
be imagined but is not sufficiently covered in this WWL summary.
The Constitution, approved by the President in 1979, provided for
religious freedom. However, after the subsequent wars, Somalia now
has a Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The TFG is the “Islamic
Courts Union” (ICU) reincarnated, with an extremist interpretation of
Islamic law. The stronger the policies of the TFG against Christians, the
more acceptable it has been to the Muslim extremists. On the other
hand, the very strict application of Islamic law is tempered because TFG
needs the international community in order to stay in power.
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The TFG has not allowed Christians to openly practice their beliefs in Somalia,
and if anyone is a Christian, his (or her) rights of religion will not be
guaranteed. Still the impression is that TFG, the official government itself, is not
very active against believers - it has other issues to deal with. This is but little
consolation because the TFG is locked up in the capital, and armed groups and
local leaders have a free hand. Until August 2011 the TFG controlled only 10%
of Mogadishu, the capital, but the international forces have managed to
capture over 95% of the city. The Kenyan Defence Forces’ incursion in Somalia
has seen the territory under al-Shabaab significantly reduced.
Al-Shabaab has been weakened by a series of events, compounded by the
deaths of its leaders Osama bin Laden and Faizul Muhammad, the withdrawal
of support from Eritrea, the apathy of Somalia, and the shift of political
aspirations of Somali people. However al-Shabaab still remains a regional
threat because of the many foreigners it is recruiting from Kenya, Uganda,
Pakistan and other countries.
Open Doors does not expect a significant change for good in the persecution
situation in Somalia, neither in the short nor in the medium term. Chaos
normally creates more chaos; Christians as adherents of a minority religion are
normally extra vulnerable in those circumstances. However we expect that if the
Transitional Federal Government forces backed by the international forces
continue to take control and keep al-Shabaab at bay, the persecution may
decrease a little.
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5. Iran
Religious persecution of certain minorities has intensified in Iran since 2005.
This is particularly aimed at the Baha'i, at Sufi Muslims and at Christians,
especially MBBs. According to the state, only Armenians and Assyrians can be
Christian - ethnic Persians are by definition Muslim, and therefore ethnic
Persian Christians are by definition apostates. This makes almost all Christian
activity illegal, especially when it occurs in Persian languages - from
evangelism to Bible training to publishing Scripture and Christian books. Yet
the regime's harsh treatment of Christians only further fuels the flames of
church growth.
Islam is the official religion in Iran, and all laws and regulations must be
consistent with the official interpretation of sharia law. Although ethnic
(Armenian and Assyrian) Christians are a recognized religious minority who
officially are guaranteed religious freedom, they have reported imprisonment,
physical abuse, harassment and discrimination because of their faith.
Armenian and Assyrian churches are allowed to teach fellow countrymen in
their own language, but it is forbidden to minister to people with a Muslim
background (speaking Farsi). Under the judicial interpretations of sharia law,
any Muslim who leaves Islam to embrace another religion faces the death
penalty. Many church services are being monitored by the secret police.
Believers, especially converts from Islam, who are active in churches or the
cell group movement are being pressured: they are questioned, arrested and
put in jail and beaten. Individual believers are being oppressed by society,
under pressure of the authorities, and family.
During the last few months of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, mass arrests
of Christians took place; more than 200 Christians were arrested during the
reporting period. This number is comparable to the number of Christians
arrested during the previous World Watch List reporting period. The
remarkable difference this time is the statements against Christianity in Iran
which religious and political leaders made in the media preceding the arrests.
For the first time ever, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned of the ever
expanding influence and numbers of home-based churches during a speech
on October 19th. Iran's supreme religious leader blamed “the enemies of
Islam for establishing and encouraging the expansion of Christianity in Iran.’’
Also in October, Iran’s intelligence minister said that his agents had
discovered hundreds of underground church groups, including 200 in the
Muslim holy city of Mashhad. In January the provincial governor of Tehran,
Moreza Tamadon, said in a reaction to the arrests of Christians that more will
follow in the near future. He especially criticized Christian evangelicalism,
calling it a “corrupt and deviant movement’’, “a cultural invasion of the
enemy” and likened the Protestant movement to the Taliban and the Wahabis
in Islam. More recently, the Minister of Intelligence, Heydar Moslehi, has
reportedly warned of the threat of house churches and other Christian
interests during October and November 2011. He also indicated that new
efforts are being made to battle against the growth of the house church
movement in Iran. Since the start of the anti-Christian rhetoric, the number
arrests of Christians have increased. Although most Christians were later
released, pressure on the church remains high.
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The regime lost credibility following the turmoil after the 2009 elections, and in
an effort to distract attention from internal problems, it is increasingly lashing
out against Christians. Several Christians were sentenced to jail or death for
Christian activities. However there were no reports of the implementation of
death penalties. Also, Open Doors did not receive any reports of Christians
being killed for their faith whereas this was the case during the last reporting
period. Therefore there is a slight decrease in total of points for Iran (from 67.5
last year to 66 points this year). At the same time the points for other countries
in the top ten increased and as a result Iran went down a few positions from
number two to five. Nevertheless, the situation of religious freedom for
Christians has not improved; it is as serious as last year and no improvement is
expected on the short run.
The Iranian authorities’ fear of the increase of Christianity in the country is
based on facts and not just paranoia. Curiosity and interest in Christianity (and
in other non-Islamic religions) is growing strongly among Iranian Muslims who
are disillusioned with Iran’s state-sponsored Shi’ism, as a result of what the
Iranian government has done in the name of Islam. In total, there are now
460,000 Christians (from an Islamic and Assyrian/Armenian background) in
Iran.
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6. Maldives
The Maldives are well-known as a dream destination for holidays. The islands
are located in the midst of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by blue water and
white beaches stretched out under the blazing sun. This is the picture
authorities want to give to the outside world. The harsh attitude the
government takes towards all Christian believers is less known, darkening the
lovely picture of the country considerably. Nothing substantial has changed
during the last reporting period, resulting in no changes in ranking or points
for the Maldives on the 2012 World Watch List.
As every Maldivian citizen has to be Muslim, all deviant religious convictions
are strictly forbidden. The government does not distinguish between national
and expat believers. The tiny number of indigenous believers is not able to
meet publicly, let alone worship together. On the contrary, they have to
practice their faith in utmost secrecy, always in fear of being discovered.
While the authorities closely monitor all religious activities that they perceive
to be suspicious, social control also remains extremely high. Maldivian
citizens agree with the heavy handed authorities because they see freedom of
religion as freedom to discuss religious issues related to Islam. This freedom
was non-existent under the former regime governing the country. Maldivian
society demonstrates this attitude towards all kinds of beliefs or convictions,
be it Christianity or Atheism. Additionally, the government has increased
control of all media.
According to an amendment made to the “Protection of Religious Unity Act”
in September 2011, every person must avoid creating hatred towards people
of other religions. While this may initially sound good, it effectively reinforces
the existing government policy that Islam is an inseparable part of a
Maldivian’s cultural identity. The legislation, forbidding the practice of any
religion except Islam, is thus confirmed once again. Commentators therefore
stated that the official direction religion is taking in the country will be
toward Deoband Islam, the same ideology which informs the Taliban’s
convictions.
The Maldivian government views itself as the protector and defender of
Islam. This was recently demonstrated by the imprisonment of a foreign
Christian teacher, who was detained and deported from the country after
allegations that he had stored Christian material on a school computer.
Although no converts were killed for their faith in the past year, pressure on
them remains very high.
Given the sternness of the government and the support it enjoys by Maldivian
citizens, it cannot be expected that there will be substantial changes in the
years to come. Maldivian authorities capitalize on the remoteness of the
Islands to keep a powerful grip on all perceived religious deviations.
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7. Uzbekistan
For the seventh consecutive year Uzbekistan remains the highest ranked country on
the WWL of all Central Asian states. The total number of points has risen considerably
compared to last year. The regime is fighting several Islamic movements, but seems
foremost to be pre-occupied by the thought of staying in power.
For Christians in the region’s most populous country, practicing their faith has become
difficult, though the Russian Orthodox Church seem to be less affected. All activities of
unregistered churches are strictly forbidden both inside and outside the churches.
Youth activities are forbidden, outreaches are forbidden, seminars and training are
forbidden. Private Bible studies are being tolerated, but those meetings are always in
danger of being closed down. The strict monitoring of all Christian activities continues
and has even been intensified. Though it is fair to say that registered churches have a
somewhat better standing, they nonetheless also have suffered an increasing number
of raids, church members were fined and underwent harassment by the authorities.
Youth activities are especially targeted with officials intimidating young believers,
often instilling in them a fear of taking part in church meetings. Additionally, when
brought to court, a fair treatment is no more than a far dream for anyone, including
Christians.
One of the main reasons for raiding churches is the confiscation of literature. The
authorities will take any kind of Christian literature such as Bibles, hymn books or
commentaries along with DVDs and computers with them. Because of this,
entire libraries of churches, collected under extremely difficult circumstances,
are taken away, leaving the churches and their leaders with almost nothing.
Neither importing Christian books and literature nor printing them within the
country is legally possible. As the state also controls the media and blocks
websites with religious content, it is difficult for believers to obtain Bibles and
other materials in any form. During the last ten years, only a single church
was granted registration.
The government policy of not just fining Christians, but also giving them
short term prison sentences of 3 to 15 days, continues. The number of
Christians undergoing such treatment has increased considerably. The raids
and threats are not limited to a certain area of the country, but are reported
from the capital Tashkent as well as rural areas, from Western Karakalpakstan
to the Eastern Ferghana Valley. And it is not only the government which is hostile
towards the Christian minority.
Societal pressure on believers (especially MBBs) is extreme. Other religious groups and
so-called Mahalla committees are constantly observing the believers and reporting on
them. Neighborhood, family and Islamic clergy are the main sources of harassment. In
several cases, MBBs have lost their jobs, once their faith became known to the public.
In TV programs and talk shows, but also in newspapers and radio programs, believers
are frequently portrayed in a very negative way. In some cases, as Christians were
exposed on TV, the audience was warned of them, thus causing employers to fire their
Christian employees. This way several families have lost their source of income.
The outlook for the Uzbek Christians is not bright. Authorities have started to tighten
their grip on all churches. Societal hostility against them is growing, fanned by
negative TV reports. At the same time, teaching their believers is an increased
challenge for local pastors.
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8. Yemen
In Yemen, Islam is the state religion and sharia is the source of all legislation.
There is some religious freedom for foreigners, but evangelism is prohibited;
several expatriate workers were deported in the past for Christian activities.
Yemenis who leave Islam may face the death penalty as a result. Christians from
a Muslim background do not only face persecution from the authorities but
also from family and extremist Islamic groups who threaten “apostates” with
death if they do not revert to Islam. Insecurity caused by terrorist movements
makes Yemen very unstable; a situation which has even further deteriorated
during the “Arab Spring” riots of 2011. Kidnappings of foreigners in Yemen
have occurred regularly, usually ending by meeting kidnapper’s demands for
some community assistance, funds, or release of clan members from custody.
Four of the nine foreign Christians kidnapped in June 2009 remain missing.
In Aden there are four official churches (three Catholic and one Anglican) for
the several thousands of expat Christians (most are Westerners, South and East
Asians and Arabs) or refugees (mainly Ethiopian) living in the country. However,
in the north, no church buildings are allowed. Large numbers of expats have
left as a result of the “Arab Spring” riots. The number of Muslim background
believers is estimated at just a few hundred. When a Muslim becomes a
Christian, he or she faces persecution from family and government. They are
not allowed to have their own gatherings, so they meet in secret locations. Due
to the chaotic and violent situation in the country, there was limited access to
the country and less information was available (also expressed in the Variation
Degree which increased from 3 last year to 5 this year. The number of points for
Yemen decreased slightly, from 60 to 58.5 points.) Because of this, the country
is ranked in 8th place this year (instead of 7 last year).
The government has used excessive force to crack down on the protestors after
10 months of mass protest, caused by high levels of unemployment in the
country and government corruption. President Saleh finally signed a political
transition agreement on November 23, transferring power to his deputy Abd-
Rabbu Mansour Hadi. In February 2012, presidential elections will be organized.
However, as the International Crisis Group notes, “Ten months of popular
protest spiked by periodic outbursts of violence have done little to clarify
Yemen’s political future.” Yemeni politics are indeed extremely complex. The
country is deeply divided between pro- and anti-Saleh forces and the south of
the country is claiming its independence. In spite of President Saleh’s
resignation, the conflict risks getting bloodier, opposing Shiite Huthi rebels and
Sunni Islamists. To make it even more complex, the country has a strong tribal
system which is difficult to understand for outsiders. Besides that, small groups
of al-Qaeda-linked groups struggle for more power in the country. Christians
who are on either side of the political spectrum, in spite of their differences, are
reported to have maintained unity in Christ.
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9. Iraq
A true exodus of Christians is going on in Iraq. Christians are fleeing the
country massively and it can only be guessed how many are still present.
Since the United States army has started to withdraw from the country,
Iraq has suffered from structural uncertainty, conflict and instability, under
a government incapable of enforcing the rule of law and providing a
minimum of security. Corruption levels are soaring and sectarian violence
does not seem to stop.
Iraq’s Federal Constitution says each individual has freedom of thought,
conscience and belief, but there is no article on changing one’s religion.
However sharia is the primary source of law, which forbids conversion of
Muslims to other religions. This makes it legally impossible to apply
freedom of belief in the cases of converts. There is no safe haven for Arab
families who convert from Islam.
Iraqi Christians feel that the current government fails to give them
security. There was a marked increase of killings of Christians and attacks
on churches during the previous reporting period. Violence still is part of
the Iraqi society in 2011, although there were fewer reports of casualties
than last year. During the current reporting period, we reported 38
Christians killed and between 48-99 injured, numbers which are likely to
be higher in reality. Although these figures are dramatic, those of the
previous reporting period were even higher: at least 90 murdered and
230 injured (which is mostly explained by the deadly bomb attack on the
church in Baghdad in October 2010 and the attack on the busses full of
Christian students in May 2010). Also the number of reported abductions
decreased whereas they still take place regularly. (These decreased
numbers resulted in just 1.5 points less for Iraq: from 58.5 last year to 57
this year, leading to position 9 on this year’s WWL versus 8 last year). It
goes without saying that the situation of Christians in Iraq is still
deplorable and is by no means improving.
A new development is the deterioration of the situation of Christians in
the northern part of the country, Kurdistan. Whereas Kurdistan has long
been considered a safe haven for Christians, violence against Christians is
on the increase there as well. The main cause of persecution there is
Islamic extremism. Analysts think that one of the reasons for the growing
Islamic extremism is Iraq’s drift into Iran’s orbit while the United State’s
influence is diminishing in the country.
Christian individuals are still being threatened, robbed, raped, or
kidnapped and churches attacked. In April, a roadside bomb exploded
near the rear entrance of a Catholic church in Baghdad after Sunday Easter
Mass, injuring at least seven people (not necessarily all Christians) and
shattering its windows. Two churches in Kirkuk were bombed in August
2011 and damaged badly. Several people were injured. Bombs were found
in two other churches in this city. One month before, a new church was
opened in Kirkuk. The attacks could have been a reaction to that, which
may have been incited by the fact that it was Ramadan.
The sectarian violence is causing Christians to flee the country in large
numbers; tens of thousands of Christians have left the country since the
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attack on the Sacred Heart church in Baghdad at the end of October 2010.
Many sources reported that in 1991 Christians in Iraq numbered around
850,000 – 1,000,000, including those living in the Kurdish region. In 2003 the
number dropped to 550,000 and in early 2010 there were 345,000. The
estimated number of Christians continues to decrease, leaving an estimated
300,000 Christians in Iraq at present. The figures show a dramatic decrease of
Christians in 10 years. As a result of the rise of Al Qaeda and the advance of
Islamist movements, the largest non-Muslim religious group in the country is
at risk of disappearing after a presence of two millennia. Also, the exodus of
Christians in Iraq may well have important political and social consequences
for the region.
The Economist Intelligence Unit expects that “the government of national
unity, which brings together the four largest political groups, will continue to
be weak and divided, and some blocs are likely to pull out to join the
parliamentary opposition.” The weakness of the state is expected to benefit
insurgent groups who are expanding their power base, which will make the
situation of Christians even more difficult. This also affects the Kurdish region
which was once safe for Christians. The attacks on Christian-owned
businesses and some mainly Christian villages in Northern Iraq from
December 2 to 5, 2011 by Islamic rioters show the future is bleak for
Christians in the entire country of Iraq.
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  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 secondo fa
    COPYRIGHT ©2012 OPEN DOORS INTERNATIONAL, the 50 countries the worst criminal. most criminal country. 45 Serving persecuted Christians worldwide: OpenDoorsUSA . org 2012: January Table of Contents World Watch List 2012 Countries North Korea Afghanistan Saudi Arabia Somalia Iran Maldives Uzbekistan Yemen Iraq Pakistan Eritrea Laos Northern Nigeria Mauritania Egypt Sudan Bhutan Turkmenistan Vietnam Chechnya China Qatar Algeria Comoros Azerbaijan Libya Oman Brunei Morocco Kuwait Turkey India Burma/Myanmar Tajikistan Tunisia Syria United Arab Emirates Ethiopia Djibouti Jordan Cuba Belarus Indonesia Palestinian Territories Kazakhstan Bahrain Colombia Kyrgyzstan Bangladesh Malaysia The Main Persecutor of Christians
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    3 minuti fa
    [most criminal country] Serving persecuted Christians worldwide OpenDoorsUSA 18 TURKMENISTAN 15 19 VIETNAM 18 20 CHECHNYA 20 21 CHINA 16 22 QATAR 17 23 ALGERIA 22 24 COMOROS 21 25 AZERBAIJAN 24 26 LIBYA 25 27 OMAN 26 28 BRUNEI 29 29 MOROCCO 31 30 KUWAIT 28 31 TURKEY 30 32 INDIA 32 33 BURMA / MYANMAR 27 34 TAJIKISTAN 33 SEVERE PERSECUTION: OPPRESSION SEVERE LIMITATIONS: SOME LIMITATIONS SOME PROBLEMS: 35 TUNISIA 37 36 SYRIA 38 The World Watch List represents: 37 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 34 38 ETHIOPIA 43 39 DJIBOUTI 39 40 JORDAN 40 where persecution 41 CUBA 41 of Christians is 42 BELARUS 42 43 INDONESIA 48 44 PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES 44 45 KAZAKHSTAN 46 BAHRAIN 47 COLOMBIA 48 KYRGYZSTAN 46 49 BANGLADESH 47 50 MALAYSIA 50
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    4 minuti fa
    [most criminal country] Serving persecuted Christians worldwide OpenDoorsUSA . org 2012, January WWL Report, January 2012 R: RANK COUNTRY RANKING 2011 1 NORTH KOREA 1 2 AFGHANISTAN 3 3 SAUDI ARABIA 4 4 SOMALIA 5 5 IRAN 2 6 MALDIVES 6 7 UZBEKISTAN 9 8 YEMEN 7 9 IRAQ 8 10 PAKISTAN 11 11 ERITREA 12 12 LAOS 10 13 NORTHERN NIGERIA 23 14 MAURITANIA 13 15 EGYPT 19 16 SUDAN 35 17 BHUTAN 14
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    5 minuti fa
    [most criminal country] When these Christians are strengthened in the Lord, they begin to demonstrate God's forgiveness and reach out in love, even to their oppressors. About the List. The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. The witness of persecuted, Christians has a unique power to reach a new generation of lives and communities that would otherwise never be open to the gospel but they cannot do it alone. COPYRIGHT ©2012 OPEN DOORS INTERNATIONAL
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    6 minuti fa
    [most criminal country] 2012: January: Open Doors works with the world's most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these dark places. The greatest challenge to Christians living under tyranny and oppression is isolation -- from God's Word and from the body of Christ. Where other Christian organizations cannot enter or have been forced to flee by oppressive governments or cultures, Open Doors can often be found -- supplying Bibles, training Christian leaders, developing Christian communities and ensuring prayer, presence and advocacy for these suffering believers.

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  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 secondo fa
    @ YHWH my holy God, etc. .. -> Jesus is Lord! Jesus is the King of Glory ! Jesus is the King of Kings! This is a very beautiful song . This is love for Jesus. All Glory to Jesus Christ . UniusRei3 posted a comment 1 hour ago [You can not afford , That, this may one day become a trauma for you] Yes Jesus is God, the son of the living God, worthy to be Praised: " I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end who is ... and who was and who is to come, the Almighty "(Rev 1.8). "Surely I am coming quickly" Amen. Even I know Jesus as Lord ! (Rev 22, 20) . Jesus Christ is God, He is the Son of God. He is part of the holy trinity. God the Father , God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! Jesus was not just man, He was God in human form. (Ie ONLY ONE GOD)
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    40 secondi fa
    @ YHWH my holy God, etc. .. -> Jesus is Lord! Jesus is the King of Glory! Jesus is the King of Kings! This is a very beautiful song. This is love for Jesus. All Glory to Jesus Christ. UniusRei3 posted a comment 1 hour ago [ you can not afford, That, this may one day become a trauma for you ] John from 1.29 to 34. If you believe in God, not trying to debate this issue but very curious as to what God are you referring to? Also I do not Understand how Christianity is a religion of occupation. The term " christian" means-Christ-like. Christians strive to be Christ-like. Romans 9,5 say Jesus is God's, Hebrews1 says the angels praise him! and us "humans" are not going to? Even if you do not wan't : to the word of God: says you will have: to one day bow to your knees before Jesus
  • NoahTheNephilim 
    NoahTheNephilim ha pubblicato un commento 
    2 minuti fa
    WOWfunning --- sorry no! bad video: never more! @CIA IMF synnek1 kkk 666 -- everyone knows that I am not paid by anyone! Today, you have already given: the sad spectacle of being mentally unbalanced, and yet I have not done anything against you, yet!


  • UniusRei3 
    UniusRei3 ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 ora fa
    so, not having: my mentally structured categories! I am forced to process the data, all the moral motives of virtue, that is, all the motives of the moral: always: in a rational way: through my personal relationship with God! But, God is a person and he wants a personal relationship with everyone here because it is essential, to build the Jewish temple! because its structure is a mirror to human nature (spirit, soul and body)
  • UniusRei3 
    UniusRei3 ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 ora fa
    Synnek1 --- space, time, culture, fashions, trends, ideologies: Faiths: Identity: Nationality: races? all these things, do not make me a prisoner! because: I am a man without categories structured mental! here's why: I'm invincible! spazio; tempo; culture; mode; tendenze; ideologie: religioni: identità: nazionalità: razze? tutte queste cose, non fanno di me un prigioniero! perché: io sono un uomo senza categorie mentali strutturate! ecco perché: io sono invincibile!
  • UniusRei3 
    UniusRei3 ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 ora fa
    Synnek1 [(Satanism institutional THE CANNIBAL: THE MASONIC SYSTEM OF BANKing seigniorage: ie; ) Masonic dictatorial regime: for the violation of all the most important amendments of the Constitution: is why, since losing monetary sovereignty: mean turning: all the political prostitutes)] has posted a comment: 6 hours ago: THE BIGGEST THREAT = The goddamned ------------> UNIUSREI WAKE-UP! Sheeple! - ANSWER -> LOL. @ jews -> sorry, lol. ABOUT, YOU HELD ME: HOW THE king of the Jews: for Have Been Able to buy: my silence about the announcement of the Gospel? lol. honestly, I Have not Decided, yet: if, you do or not: the experience of 3 ° to War World, and nuclear, and revolutions and civil wars: all his related: that: the poor will be forced to do: Against: the richest, in all States!
  • UniusRei3 
    UniusRei3 ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 ora fa
    MarlaMarleen -- synnek1 knows very well that I do not hate anybody! and that I would not want to hurt anyone! He has the assurance of my love: because we are on this page from two years! however, is quite pathetic their obstinacy: to do the criminals Satanists, and criminal Freemasons, but, so I will see: that, extent to which: may be reached: their resistance to pain! synnek1 sa molto bene: che io non odio nessuno! e che io non vorrei fare del male a nessuno! lui ha la certezza del mio amore: perché noi siamo su questa pagina da due anni! tuttavia, è alquanto patetica la loro ostinazione: di rimanere i criminali massoni e i criminali satanisti: ma io vedrò : fino a che punto: potrà giungere: la loro resistenza al dolore!
  • UniusRei3 
    UniusRei3 ha pubblicato un commento 
    1 ora fa
    UniusRei3 has published a comment 1 week. ago [the stench of sulfur ] youtube IMF 666 CIA 322: Synnek1 ( : CIA is youtube master IMF) has published a comment: 1 hour ago : " WE WILL NEVER FORGET motherfucker! " - Answer -> Yes, I KNOW , " YOU ARE AN LEGION of demons " of failed! Because if you: (Satanists freemasonry) Were something of true value ? you would have Conquered the plane , Already too long ago! but, that's the truth: "You are the eternal losers ! " what I feel ? is just a terrible stench of dead bodies and burnt human flesh : because only for your: big ass broken : They may think : that the favor of Satan can be durable ! and now ? You have this whole page to show once again on: when you're an asshole ! YOUTUBE SHIT , DIRTY imf 666 - YOU ARE VULGAR ? It is BECAUSE YOU ARE LOSING ! you're a loser Because You're gross ! hallelujah





FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

Indonesian Sunday School teacher passes away

The following story was released recently about the passing of Ratna Bangun, an Indonesian woman who was arrested along with two other Christians in 2005 (click here to learn more).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A few days ago, Ibu Ratna Bangun died of lupus while confined at a hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her husband and her two sons paid their last respects to Ibu Ratna on Wednesday in Hargeulis, her hometown.
Ratna Bangun was arrested in May 2005, with Dr. Rebekka Zakaria and Eti Pangesti, under false accusation of converting Muslim children to Christianity through a Sunday School program. All three women were given a three-year sentence on September 1, 2005 and were released from Indramayu prison on June 8, 2007…. While in prison, Ibu Ratna shared her reflections with Open Doors about being in prison:
“Before, I had always been surrounded by fellow believers. But now, I live among non-believers. I realize how hard it is to share God’s love and my life to them. It is also hard to live away from my children and  husband. But I am thankful – please note this carefully – that God’s faithful love has never left me. God has helped me through everything.
“Secondly, when Jesus broke the five loafs of bread and two fishes to feed 5,000 people, He turned nothingness into something. As for me, I feel like the insignificant breads and fishes. The suffering I face is nothing compared to what other believers around the world are going through. Just like the bread, I was crushed and distributed to become blessings for many people. I am being processed in this place.
“Thirdly, prison is a school of faith. This is where I fight for my faith, so that I could be a part of God’s plan; it is no coincidence that I am here, in this prison.”
What stood out to me in her reflections was her second point. It is amazing that she would view a situation in this way. What stood out to you?
Please pray for this dear family who has been through so much.
(Source: Open Doors)
Please take some time today to pray for those mourning her loss. Pray that they will rest in the knowledge that the Good Shepherd walks with them through this difficult time (Psalm 23). Pray that her Christ-like example will continue to inspire and challenge many. You can post a prayer of solidarity with those mourning on ourPersecuted Church Prayer Wall.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2010

Letter to the editor: Islam a religion of peace?

"All the religions in the world teach only two things – love and peace."
Do you agree? George Vanner didn't, and so he wrote a letter to the editor of The Cambridge Times in response to an article that opened with the above claim. In his letter, George voices his disagreement and encourages the article's author to find out what is really happening to Christians and other minorities in Islamic countries today.
A friend of VOM recently mailed us the newspaper clipping and so I thought I would share it with you as well! Both the article and George's response can be read below. (By the way, if you are interested in writing to your local paper, click here for more information on how to get started.)
If you saw a similar article written in your local paper, would you write a letter to the editor? What would you write? How do you tell others about what is happening to Christians in Islamic countries today?
Veil not mandatory in Islam
Guest column-Yasmeen Sultana - Jun 09, 2010
All the religions in the world teach only two things – love and peace.
However, human beings, for their selfish motives, mould the religion, and create discrimination and hatred. This is about the Niqab or veil issue in Quebec.
Islam represents a religion of humanity, love and peace. Unfortunately, due to the wrong deeds of some misguided Muslims, the entire Islam community has been blamed in recent times. Islamic political values have always been misunderstood.
Is the Islamic political system a rival to democracy?
The word Islam refers to peace. Like all other religions, Islam teaches its followers to live harmoniously with fellow human beings. Islam does not practice any form of compulsion. This religion does not tolerate oppression.
The purpose of Muslim communities is to promote the principles of Islam and help Muslims get their due respect. Religion always teaches peace, but they are people who use religion incorrectly for their own purpose.
The veil is not a mandatory injunction of the Qur’an. Women must cover their body and head properly, but not the face.
If veiling a face was an Islamic ideology or an order of the Qur’an, then why do Muslim women not cover their faces on occasion of holy Hajj (third part of Islam) and Umra? Muslim women are not ordered in the Qur’an to veil their faces at Hajj and Umra – the ultimate forms of Islamic rituals. In Hajj and Umra, men and women are in close proximity in a very crowded space.
Islam has fallen into the same category where it can be identified by its dress, just like a Catholic priest or a rabbi. On the contrary, Islam stresses morality of intentions, behaviours and actions.
Instead of following principles of a dress code, a specific dress has itself become the principle. It is a classical example of maintaining the shell of the religion.
Globalization and the freedom of thought that it provides give us individual freedom to choose a dress of our liking. But I see it as a problem when a given dress is worn and enforced in the name of Islam.
Clearly the Qur’an defines basic standards of a dress: raiment that covers your nakedness.
And the purpose of dress: a source of (your) elegance and protection.
Goal of a dress: so that they may attain eminence. Body can be covered with a big fabric sheet. There are no such words of Burqa in Qur’an.
Niqab defines the above requirements of a dress, i.e. it neither covers nakedness nor is a source of elegance; yet in present times is a source of scrutiny thus denying the protection except that of a sun blocker.
It is someone’s own choice, like some Sikhs do not wear a pug ad on their head or, in 1996 in Canada, women are given choices to jog topless. Finally the veil is not the basis of Islam or Qur’an.
It is against Canadian values of hiding your own identity in common day life and being Canadians, we have to respect Canadians laws.

Islamic religion not so peaceful
In response to the guest column of Yasmeen Sultana, Veil not Mandatory in Islam, June 11.
In her letter she says, “The word Islam refers to peace”.
The main meaning of the word Islam is Submission to their God, not peace. She also says, “Islam does not practice any form of compulsion.
This religion does not tolerate oppression.”
If this is true as she claims, then organizations like The Voice of the Martyrs would not have to report that Islamic authorities are doing what she says they don’t do.
Not only are minority Christians under compulsion and oppression in these countries, many are suffering with beatings, rape, kidnapping, forced marriages, forced conversions.
I suggest Ms Sultana check out the website www.persecution.net to see what is happening in many of these Islamic countries.
George Vanner
Cambridge

TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010

Iran: An addict becomes a Christian, so do others

Zara was a drug addict living half a life in a very religious city. Zara met some Christians and desperate for anything to deal with her drug problem, she asked Christ into her life. The addiction demons went. And Zara could not stop talking. First some family members came to Christ, and then friends heard about her. Now there are at least ten who have come to faith because of her salvation, and they meet together. No law of man can stop the living Christ reaching into the lives of those oppressed by Satan. And no law of man can stop people like Zara talking about their Saviour.
The case of Ali Golchin, jailed solely because of his allegiance to the historic faith of the church, is one of many that tell us that the church suffers in Iran. The case of Zara is one of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, that tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is building his church, as usual among the poor and distressed.
Pray for:
  • Zara’s group to grow
  • Other addicts to come to faith
  • Ali Gochin to be released
(Source: Elam)

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

This week in Church history: 12 Carthage Christians martyred

Vigellius Saturninus, the proconsul (Roman administrator) of North Africa in 180 A.D., spoke generously. "You can have the forgiveness of our Lord the Emperor if only you return to your senses," he said.
Speratus, one of twelve Christians who faced him, replied for the rest. "We have never done evil; we have not lent ourselves to wrong; we have never spoken ill, but when ill-treated we have given thanks, for we pay heed to our Emperor."
Evidently Saturninus was stung by that reply. "We too are religious, and our religion is simple," he said defensively. "We swear by the genius of our Lord the Emperor, and pray for his welfare, as you also ought to do."
Speratus offered to instruct Saturninus in true simplicity of worship, but the proconsul brushed him off and turned to the other offenders. "Abandon this way of thinking," he commanded.20717
Speratus reminded Saturninus that to murder and to lie were the real evils, not the Christian faith. Saturninus ignored him and addressed the other Christians. "Don't share his folly!" he urged them. But the others (five were women) responded as firmly as Speratus.
Cittinus said, "We have no other to fear, save only our Lord God, who is in heaven." Donata added, "Honor Caesar as Caesar; but it is God we fear." Vestia declared, "I am a Christian." Secunda assured the proconsul, "What I am, that I wish to be."
Saturninus turned back to Speratus. "Do you persist in being a Christian?" he asked.
Speratus never wavered. "I am a Christian," he replied, and all the others agreed with him.
Saturninus offered them time to reconsider. To that dangerous bait Speratus answered, "In a matter so plain, we don't need to consider."
Saturninus changed the direction of his inquiry. What were the documents he had found in Speratus lock box? he asked curiously.
"Books and letters of Paul," answered Speratus.
The proconsul made one last effort to change the minds of the Christians. When he saw that they would not bend, he read his decision from a tablet. Heralds then announced his decree: "Speratus, Nartzalus, Cittinus, Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda, I have ordered to be executed."
The Christians responded with joy. "Thanks be to God," they exclaimed. This was their chance to show their love for Jesus! On July 17, 180, they were beheaded for the sake of Christ, at Scilli, near Carthage, North Africa.
(Source: www.Christianity.com)

WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010

Nepal: Pastor beaten by Maoists

Our friends at VOM-USA recently posted the following story about an attack on a prayer meeting in Nepal. Please remember these believers in your prayers today!
On June 13, Maoist rebels in Nepal attacked Christians at an evening prayer meeting, according to VOM contacts. The rebels ordered them to stop the meeting and then assaulted the pastor and believers when they refused.
Before the attack, the pastor had asked the Maoists to leave and return the next day to talk with him, but the rebels instead began to beat him with sticks. When church members, including the pastor’s father and women in the church, tried to defend the pastor, the Maoists attacked them, too. The rebels also burned Bibles and hymnals during the attack.
The following day, local villagers accused the Christians of not paying the “temple tax” and of “converting the local people to Christianity.” Each family was ordered to pay the exorbitant tax, and Christians have been warned that they will be expelled from the village if they do not pay. Some believers have voluntarily left the village, and those remaining risk losing their homes.
Pray that God will heal the pastor and others who were beaten during this attack. Pray that they will look to Christ for strength and direction and that their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ.

TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010

Colombia: "Christians are dangerous!"

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as the FARC guerrillas, have inflicted violence upon Colombians for the last 40 years. Guerrilla leaders are constantly recruiting children to join their Marxist movement to replace the children and young adults who are killed. Those who speak against the violence or encourage others not to join the guerrillas are targeted, especially Christian leaders, like Dora and Ferley.
Dora and FerleyDora Lilia Saavedra and her husband, Ferley, spoke freely about Christ to the children they taught in Santana Ramos, a farming village deep in the Colombian jungle and a hotspot for guerrilla violence. Each day children ages six to 12 piled into Dora's one-room, wooden schoolhouse and listened to her talk about Jesus, but this was risky. She was luring more away from the guerrillas’ cause. Guerrillas also didn’t like Dora’s commitment to truth. “Christians are dangerous,” they repeatedly said. “Christians cannot lie. If the army asks them about us, they will tell the truth.”
One day, while Dora was in the schoolhouse, a neighbour told her some shocking news: guerrillas were going to kill her and her husband the next day. Even though the neighbour was a guerrilla sympathizer he felt bad for the couple. “You can take your family and run,” he said. “You can leave this village right now.” Calmly, Dora told the messenger not to worry, reassuring him that she and her husband were ready to meet their Lord.
Marcella, Lydia, and JeffreyAfter the neighbour’s warning, Dora and her husband had a final devotion with their three children. The couple spent all night praying and fasting.
The following school day was like any other until around 10 a.m., when two armed guerrillas entered the school. “There will be no more school today!” one shouted. “Go home and return tomorrow.” The children quickly filed out the door as the guerrillas ushered Dora and her family to the back of the schoolhouse. They told Dora and her husband to say goodbye to their children. Suddenly more guerrillas burst into the room. One of them pointed to 12-yearold Marcella, saying, “We will kill her first.”
“No, please,” Dora pleaded as she stepped in between the guerrilla and her daughter. “It is me you want. Take me. Leave her here and take me now.”
Marcella cried as the armed men walked her parents across a field to a river just 300 yards away from the school. They ordered Dora and Ferley to lie face down on the ground. Marcella could not see her parents, but she remembers hearing the two shots as her parents were executed.
Just months after Marcella's parents were murdered, she said, "If I met the men who did this I would forgive them. I know this would be hard, but I know God forgives them. So I have to as well.” When asked what she would say to others who have to live with bad things happening to them, Marcella said: “In the name of Jesus nothing just happens.”
Young Marcella demonstrates the assurance that even in times of great suffering and loss, God is at work in the lives of His children. She is among many of the Christians taking a stand for Jesus in nations hostile to Christ.
1You can read the full article and other testimonies of courageous believers from around the world in our Special Edition newsletter. Click here to sign up for your free copy today!

FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010

This week in Church history: Procopius, first of the Palestine martyrs

30708When the Roman Emperor Diocletian launched the last and most ruthless of the ten Roman persecutions against Christians, his first victim in Palestine was a young man named Procopius. Eusebius was alive at the time. The Christian author, who became bishop of Caesarea and wrote the most famous history of the early church, left an account of the martyr:
"The first of all the martyrs who appeared in Palestine was named Procopius. In truth he was a godly man, for even before his confession he had given up his life to great endurance: and from the time that he was a little boy had been of pure habits, and of strict morals: and by the vigor of his mind he had so brought his body into subjection, that, even before his death, his soul seemed to dwell in a body completely mortified, and he had so strengthened his soul by the word of God that his body also was sustained by the power of God. His food was bread only, and his drink water; and he took nothing else besides these two. Occasionally he took food every second day only, and sometimes every third day; oftentimes too he passed a whole week without food.
"But he never ceased day nor night from the study of the word of God: and at the same time he was careful as to his manners and modesty of conduct, so that he edified by his meekness and piety all those of his own standing. And while his chief application was devoted to divine subjects, he was acquainted also in no slight degree with natural science. His family was from Baishan; and he ministered in the orders of the Church in three things: First, he had been a Reader; and in the second order he translated from Greek into Aramaic; and in the last, which is even more excellent than the preceding, he opposed the powers of the evil one, and the devils trembled before him.
"Now it happened that he was sent from Baishan to our city Caesarea, together with his brother confessors. And at the very moment that he passed the gates of the city they brought him before the Governor: and immediately upon his first entrance the judge, whose name was Flavianus, said to him: 'It is necessary that thou shouldest sacrifice to the gods': but he replied with a loud voice, 'There is no God but one only, the Maker and Creator of all things.'
"And when the judge felt himself smitten by the blow of the martyr's words, he furnished himself with arms of another kind against the doctrine of truth, and, abandoning his former order, commanded him to sacrifice to the emperors, who were four in number; but the holy martyr of God laughed still more at this saying, and repeated the words of the greatest of poets of the Greeks [Homer], which he said that 'the rule of many is not good: let there be one ruler and one sovereign.'
"And on account of his answer, which was insulting to the emperors, he, though alive in his conduct, was delivered over to death, and forthwith the head of this blessed man was struck off, and an easy transit afforded him along the way to heaven. And this took place on the seventh day of the month Heziran, in the first year of the persecution in our days. This confessor was the first who was consummated in our city Caesarea."
Over time, Eusebius' simple account became greatly exaggerated. So many conflicting details were added that the makers of church calendars became confused and honored three different men named Procopius! His feast is on July 8.
(Source: Christianity.com)

THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2010

Write to Pakistani Christian imprisoned for blasphemy

prisoner_204_imageOn July 1, 2009, Pakistani police arrested Imran Ghafur in Punjab province after Muslims accused him of burning pages of the Qur’an. While cleaning his brother’s retail shop, Imran removed the trash he had collected, intending to burn some of it. While burning the trash, pages of an Islamic book flew into the fire and burned. Imran’s neighbour, Haji Liaqat, saw the burned pages of the Islamic book and alerted other Muslims in the area.
“Haji Liaqat saw the burned pages, and he aggressively told all resident people and travelers that Imran burnt the pages of a Qur’an also,” a VOM contact said. “He was telling everybody that Imran Ghafur is burning the Qur’an … he should be killed.”
Imran and his father were severely beaten before police arrested Imran. Following the arrest, news of the incident spread throughout the city, and angry Muslims threw stones at the police station where Imran was being held. “Give the death sentence to him who disgraces the Holy Qur’an, and hang him who disgraces the Holy Qur’an,” the Muslims said. “Christians are dogs; Imran is a dog,” they shouted.
On July 2, 2009, Imran was moved to a jail. “The situation is very tense in Hajwari town, where the Christian families live,” the VOM contact said. “Haji Liaqat and his friends are saying that they will not allow Imran’s family to live in the colony or run their business.”
Imran and his family have been managing businesses in the area and are actively involved with other Christians in the area.
Write a letter of encouragement to Imran today, reminding him that Christians in Canada and around the world are aware of his plight and are praying for him. Please do not mention The Voice of the Martyrs in your letter or write anything negative about Pakistan’s government.
You can compile a letter to Imran in his own language online atwww.PrisonerAlert.com or write to him directly at:
Imran Ghafur
Central Jail of Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Pakistan

For more information on writing letters to prisoners, please click here. To write to other Christians who are imprisoned for their faith, click here.

FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010

Orissa riot sentence 'falls short of justice'

India (Sep 2009) 368[4]It has been nearly two years since anti-Christian violence erupted in India's Orissa state. The attacks claimed the lives of approximately 100 Christians while dozens of church buildings and homes were destroyed (click here to read more about these attacks).
Justice and peace remains elusive for Christians in Orissa. Many believers remain in relief camps, unable to return to their villages due to threats from militant Hindus. Others no longer have homes to return to. Churches that were destroyed in the violence remain in ruins.  
According to Union of Catholic Asian News, two men were recently convicted of culpable homicide and sentenced to six years' imprisonment for burning alive a paralytic man on August 24, 2008. The lenient punishment has disappointed local Christians, who fear such light sentences could encourage more crimes.
You can read the full report below:
India (Sep 2009) 357A verdict of culpable homicide for two Indian men accused of killing a paralyzed Christian during anti-Christian riots in Orissa has disappointed Church people.
The lenient punishment of six years’ jail for the two would encourage more crimes, said Father Dibakar Parichha, a lawyer assisting the 2008 riot victims. “It was the gruesome killing of a man, who could not move out of his bed.”
A court on June 30 convicted Sushanta Sahu and Tukuna Sahu of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced them to six years’ jail for killing Rasananda Pradhan. It also fined them 5,000 rupees (US$111).
Pradhan, a paralytic, was burnt alive when his house was set on fire by Hindu extremists on Aug. 24, 2008, according to the prosecution.
“I am disappointed at the prosecution and investigation that has led to the judgment,” said Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak of Berhampur.
“If there is no justice, people would lose confidence” in the legal system, the prelate said.
India (Sep 2009) 372Pradhan’s brother Ravinder also expressed dissatisfaction over the outcome of the case as the men were not convicted for murder. “There are other accused still to be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
A total of 831 riot cases have been registered and two fast-track courts are processing 189 cases. The courts have tried 87 cases as of June 28, acquitting 621 people and convicting only 154 people, Father Parichha said.
The seven week-long riots in the state killed 93 people, destroyed some 5,000 houses and displaced 50,000, according to Church records.
Please continue to pray for Christians in Orissa as they rebuild their lives. Pray that, in the midst of such injustice, they will have the patience to entrust true justice into the hands of God (Romans 12:17-21). 




VENERDÌ 30 LUGLIO 2010

Domenica indonesiana insegnante della Scuola passa

La storia che segue è stato pubblicato di recente sul passaggio di Ratna Bangun, una donna indonesiana che è stato arrestato insieme a due altri cristiani nel 2005 (clicca qui per saperne di più).
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         Pochi giorni fa, Ibu Ratna Bangun morto di lupus durante la degenza in un ospedale di Jakarta, Indonesia. Suo marito ei suoi due figli pagato per l'ultima volta Ibu Ratna il Mercoledì in Hargeulis, sua città natale.
Ratna Bangun è stato arrestato nel maggio 2005, con il Dr. Rebekka Zakaria e Eti Pangesti, sotto falsa accusa di convertire bambini musulmani al cristianesimo attraverso un programma Scuola Domenica. Tutte e tre le donne è stata data una condanna a tre anni il 1 ° settembre 2005 e sono stati liberati dalla prigione Indramayu 8 giugno 2007 .... Mentre era in prigione, Ibu Ratna condiviso le sue riflessioni con le porte aperte di essere in prigione:
"Prima, ero sempre stato circondato da compagni di fede. Ma ora, io vivo tra i non credenti. Mi rendo conto di quanto sia difficile condividere l'amore di Dio e la mia vita per loro. E 'anche difficile vivere lontano dai miei figli e marito. Ma sono grato - si prega di notare che questa attenzione - che l'amore fedele di Dio non mi ha mai lasciato. Dio mi ha aiutato in tutto.
"In secondo luogo, quando Gesù spezzato i cinque pagnotte di pane e due pesci per sfamare 5.000 persone, si rivolse nulla in qualcosa. Per quanto mi riguarda, mi sento come i pani ei pesci insignificanti. La sofferenza mi trovo di fronte è niente in confronto a quello che gli altri credenti in tutto il mondo stanno attraversando. Proprio come il pane, mi è stato schiacciato e distribuito a diventare benedizione per molte persone. Sono in fase di elaborazione in questo luogo.
"In terzo luogo, il carcere è una scuola di fede. Questo è dove combatto per la mia fede, in modo che potessi essere una parte del piano di Dio, non è un caso che io sia qui, in questa prigione ".
Ciò che si è distinto a me le sue riflessioni era il suo secondo punto. E 'sorprendente che si sarebbe vista una situazione in questo modo. Ciò che si è distinto per te?
Si prega di pregare per questa cara famiglia che ha vissuto tanto.
(Fonte: Porte Aperte )
Si prega di richiedere un certo tempo oggi a pregare per coloro lutto per la sua perdita. Pregate che riposeranno nella consapevolezza che il Buon Pastore cammina con loro attraverso questo momento difficile (Salmo 23). Pregate che il suo Cristo, come ad esempio continuerà ad ispirare e sfidare molti. È possibile inviare una preghiera di solidarietà con coloro lutto sul nostro muro della chiesa perseguitata preghiera .

MERCOLEDÌ 21 LUGLIO 2010

Lettera al direttore: l'Islam una religione di pace?

"Tutte le religioni del mondo insegnano solo due cose - l'amore e la pace".
Sei d'accordo? George Vanner no, e così scrisse una lettera al direttore del Times Cambridge in risposta a un articolo che ha aperto con la richiesta di cui sopra. Nella sua lettera, George esprime il suo disaccordo e incoraggia l'autore dell'articolo per scoprire cosa sta realmente accadendo ai cristiani e altre minoranze nei paesi islamici oggi.
Un amico di VOM ci ha recentemente inviato il ritaglio di giornale e così ho pensato di condividerlo con voi, come pure! Sia l'articolo e la risposta di George è possibile leggere qui di seguito. (A proposito, se siete interessati per iscritto al giornale locale, fare clic qui per maggiori informazioni su come iniziare.)
Se avete visto un articolo simile scritto nel vostro giornale locale, può scrivere una lettera al direttore? Cosa vorresti scrivere? Come si fa a dire agli altri ciò che sta accadendo ai cristiani nei paesi islamici oggi?
Velo non è obbligatoria in Islam
Guest colonna Yasmeen Sultana - 9 giugno 2010
Tutte le religioni del mondo insegnano solo due cose - amore e di pace.
Tuttavia, gli esseri umani, per la loro motivi egoistici, stampo la religione, e di creare discriminazione e odio. Questo è circa il niqab o il rilascio velo in Quebec.
L'Islam rappresenta una religione dell'umanità, amore e pace.Purtroppo, a causa delle cattive azioni di alcuni musulmani sbagliata, tutta la comunità l'Islam è stato accusato negli ultimi tempi. Islamici valori politici sono sempre stato frainteso.
Il sistema politico islamico un rivale per la democrazia?
La parola Islam si riferisce alla pace. Come tutte le altre religioni, l'Islam insegna ai suoi seguaci a vivere in armonia con gli altri esseri umani. L'Islam non pratica alcuna forma di costrizione. Questa religione non tollera l'oppressione.
Lo scopo delle comunità musulmane è quello di promuovere i principi dell'Islam e aiutare i musulmani a ottenere il loro rispetto. La religione insegna sempre la pace, ma sono persone che usano la religione in modo non corretto per il loro scopo.
Il velo non è un provvedimento obbligatorio del Corano. Le donne devono coprire le loro corpo e la testa correttamente, ma non il volto.
Se velando una faccia era un'ideologia islamica o un ordine del Corano, allora perché non le donne musulmane coprono la faccia in occasione del santo Hajj (terza parte dell'Islam) e Umra? Le donne musulmane non sono ordinati nel Corano di velare le loro facce al Hajj e Umra - ultime forme di riti islamici. In Hajj e Umra, uomini e donne sono in stretta vicinanza in uno spazio molto affollato.
L'Islam è caduto nella stessa categoria in cui può essere identificato dal suo vestito, proprio come un prete cattolico o un rabbino. Al contrario, l'Islam sottolinea la moralità di intenzioni, comportamenti e azioni.
Invece di seguire principi di un codice di abbigliamento, un vestito specifico è divenuta essa stessa il principio. Si tratta di un classico esempio di mantenere il guscio della religione.
La globalizzazione e la libertà di pensiero che fornisce darci la libertà individuale di scegliere un vestito di nostro gradimento. Ma io lo vedo come un problema quando un abito si indossa dato ed eseguita in nome dell'Islam.
È chiaro che il Corano definisce le norme fondamentali di un abito: vestito che copre la nudità.
E lo scopo del vestito: una fonte di (il) eleganza e protezione.
Obiettivo di un abito: in modo che essi possano conseguire eminenza.Il corpo può essere coperto con un foglio di tessuto grande. Non ci sono parole tali Burqa nel Corano.
Niqab definisce i requisiti di cui sopra di un abito, cioè che non riguarda né la nudità è una fonte di eleganza, ma nei tempi odierni è una fonte di controllo negando in tal modo la protezione, tranne quella di un bloccante Dom
E 'scelta di qualcuno, come un Sikh non indossare un annuncio pug sulla loro testa o, nel 1996 in Canada, le donne sono date scelte per correre in topless. Infine, il velo non è la base dell'Islam o Corano.
E 'contro i valori canadesi di nascondere la propria identità nella vita quotidiana comune e di essere canadesi, dobbiamo rispettare le leggi canadesi.

Religione islamica non è così pacifica
In risposta alla colonna ospite di Yasmeen Sultana, velo non è obbligatorio in Islam, 11 giugno.
Nella sua lettera lei dice: "L'Islam parola si riferisce alla pace".
Il significato principale della parola Islam è la sottomissione al loro Dio, non la pace. Dice anche, "l'Islam non pratica alcuna forma di costrizione.
Questa religione non tollera l'oppressione ".
Se questo è vero come lei sostiene, quindi organizzazioni come The Voice of the Martyrs non avrebbe dovuto riferire che le autorità islamiche stanno facendo quello che lei dice che non lo fanno.
Non solo i cristiani sono minoranza sotto costrizione e oppressione in questi paesi, molti stanno soffrendo con percosse, stupri, rapimenti, matrimoni forzati, conversioni forzate.
Suggerisco la signora Sultana www.persecution.net controllare il sito per vedere ciò che sta accadendo in molti di questi paesi islamici.
George Vanner
Cambridge

MARTEDÌ 20 LUGLIO 2010

Iran: Un tossicodipendente diventa cristiano, così fanno gli altri

Zara era un tossicodipendente vivere una mezza vita in una città molto religiosa.Zara incontrato alcuni cristiani e alla disperata ricerca di qualche cosa a che fare con il suo problema di droga, lei chiese a Cristo nella sua vita. I demoni dipendenza andato. E Zara non poteva smettere di parlare. In primo luogo alcuni membri della famiglia è venuto a Cristo, e poi gli amici sentito parlare di lei. Ora ci sono almeno dieci che sono venuti alla fede a causa della sua salvezza, e si incontrano. Nessuna legge umana può fermare il Cristo vivente raggiungere nella vita di coloro che sono oppressi da Satana. E nessuna legge umana può fermare gente come Zara che parlano il loro Salvatore.
Il caso di Ali Golchin , incarcerato per il solo fatto della sua fedeltà alla fede storica della Chiesa, è uno dei tanti che ci dicono che la Chiesa soffre in Iran. Il caso di Zara è una delle migliaia, se non centinaia di migliaia, che ci dice che Gesù Cristo stesso sta costruendo la sua chiesa, come al solito tra i poveri e in difficoltà.
Pregate per:
  • Gruppo di Zara a crescere
  • Altri tossicodipendenti a venire alla fede
  • Ali Gochin per essere rilasciato
(Fonte: Elam )

VENERDÌ, 16 LUGLIO 2010

Questa settimana nella storia della Chiesa: 12 cristiani martirizzati Cartagine

Vigellius Saturnino, il proconsole (Roman amministratore) del Nord Africa nel 180 dC, ha parlato con generosità. "Puoi avere il perdono di nostro Signore l'imperatore se solo si torna ai vostri sensi," ha detto.
Sperato, uno dei dodici cristiani che gli stava di fronte, ha risposto per il resto. "Non abbiamo mai fatto del male, non ci siamo prestati a torto, non abbiamo mai parlato male, ma quando maltrattati abbiamo reso grazie, per noi prestare attenzione al nostro Imperatore".
Evidentemente Saturnino è stato colpito da tale risposta. "Anche noi siamo religiosi, e la nostra religione è semplice", ha detto sulla difensiva. "Giuriamo per il genio del nostro Signore, l'Imperatore, e pregare per il suo benessere, come anche voi dovete fare".
Sperato offerto per istruire Saturnino in vera semplicità di culto, ma il proconsole lo spazzato via e si voltò verso gli altri criminali. "Abbandonate questo modo di pensare", ha comandato.20717
Sperato Saturnino ha ricordato che per omicidio e mentire sono stati i mali reali, non la fede cristiana.Saturnino lo ignorò e si rivolse gli altri cristiani. "Non condividere la sua follia!" li esortò. Ma gli altri (cinque erano donne) hanno risposto con la fermezza Sperato.
Cittino ha detto: "Non abbiamo altro da temere, salvo solo il nostro Signore Dio, che è nei cieli."Donata ha aggiunto: "Onore Cesare come Cesare, ma è Dio che temiamo". Vestia dichiarato: "Io sono cristiano". Secunda assicurato il proconsole, "Che cosa sono io, che vorrei essere."
Saturnino si voltò verso Sperato. "Non ti ostini a essere cristiani?" ha chiesto.
Sperato non vacillò mai. "Io sono cristiano", egli rispose, e tutti gli altri d'accordo con lui.
Saturnino ha offerto loro il tempo di ripensarci. A tal Sperato esca pericolosa rispose: "In una materia così semplice, non abbiamo bisogno di prendere in considerazione."
Saturnino ha cambiato la direzione della sua indagine. Quali sono stati i documenti che aveva trovato nella casella di blocco Sperato? chiese incuriosito.
"I libri e le lettere di Paolo," rispose Sperato.
Il proconsole fece un ultimo sforzo per cambiare le menti dei cristiani. Quando vide che non si sarebbe piegato, ha letto la sua decisione da un tablet. Araldi ha poi annunciato il suo decreto: ". Sperato, Nartzalus, Cittino, Veturio, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria, Generosa, Vestia, Donata e Secunda, ho ordinato da eseguire"
I cristiani hanno risposto con gioia. "Grazie a Dio", hanno esclamato. Questa era la loro occasione per mostrare il loro amore per Gesù! Il 17 luglio 180, sono stati decapitati per amore di Cristo, a Scilli, nei pressi di Cartagine, Africa del Nord.
(Fonte: www.Christianity.com )

MERCOLEDÌ 14 LUGLIO, 2010

Nepal: Pastore picchiato dai maoisti

I nostri amici a VOM-USA ha recentemente pubblicato la seguente storia di un attacco su un incontro di preghiera in Nepal. Ricordate questi credenti nelle vostre preghiere di oggi!
Il 13 giugno, i ribelli maoisti del Nepal hanno attaccato i cristiani a un incontro di preghiera serale, in base ai contatti VOM. I ribelli hanno ordinato loro di fermare la riunione e quindi aggredito il pastore e credenti, quando si sono rifiutati.
Prima l'attacco, il pastore aveva chiesto ai maoisti di lasciare e tornare il giorno dopo per parlare con lui, ma i ribelli, invece ha cominciato a picchiarlo con bastoni. Quando i membri della chiesa, tra cui il padre del pastore e le donne nella chiesa, ha cercato di difendere il parroco, i maoisti li ha attaccati, anche. I ribelli hanno anche bruciato Bibbie e inni durante l'attacco.
Il giorno seguente, gli abitanti locali accusato i cristiani di non pagare la "tassa del tempio" e di "convertire la popolazione locale al cristianesimo." Ogni famiglia è stata condannata a pagare la tassa esorbitante, ei cristiani sono stati avvertiti che saranno espulsi dal villaggio se non pagano. Alcuni credenti hanno volontariamente lasciato il villaggio, e coloro i rischi residui di perdere le loro case.
Pregate che Dio guarirà il parroco e gli altri che sono stati picchiati durante questo attacco. Pregate che essi guardano a Cristo per la forza e direzione e che le loro testimonianze si baserà non credenti in comunione con Cristo.

MARTEDÌ, 13 LUGLIO 2010

Colombia: "I cristiani sono pericolosi!"

Le Forze armate rivoluzionarie della Colombia, noti anche come i guerriglieri delle FARC, hanno inflitto violenza su colombiani negli ultimi 40 anni. Leader della guerriglia sono costantemente reclutando bambini a unirsi a loro movimento marxista di sostituire i bambini e giovani adulti che vengono uccisi. Coloro che parlano contro la violenza o incoraggiare altri a non unirsi ai guerriglieri sono mirati, in particolare i leader cristiani, come la Dora e Ferley.
Dora e FerleyDora Lilia Saavedra e suo marito, Ferley, ha parlato liberamente di Cristo ai bambini hanno insegnato a Santana Ramos, un villaggio agricolo nel profondo della giungla colombiana e un hotspot per la violenza della guerriglia. Ogni giorno i bambini dai sei ai 12 ammassati in Dora di una sola stanza, scuola di legno e ascoltato il suo discorso di Gesù, ma questo era rischioso. Lei era attirare più lontano dalla causa dei guerriglieri. I guerriglieri, inoltre, non piaceva l'impegno di Dora per la verità. "I cristiani sono pericolosi", hanno detto più volte. "I cristiani non può mentire. Se l'esercito chiede loro di noi, diranno la verità ".
Un giorno, mentre Dora era nella scuola, un vicino di casa le ha detto una notizia scioccante: guerriglieri stavano per uccidere lei e suo marito il giorno dopo. Anche se il vicino era un simpatizzante della guerriglia si sentiva male per la coppia."Potete prendere la vostra famiglia e correre," ha detto. "Si può lasciare questo paese in questo momento." Con calma, Dora ha detto il messaggero di non preoccuparsi, rassicurandolo che lei e suo marito erano pronti a incontrare il loro Signore.
Marcella, Lydia, e JeffreyDopo la segnalazione dei vicini, Dora e suo marito aveva una devozione finale con i loro tre figli. La coppia ha trascorso tutta la notte pregando e digiunando.
Il giorno successivo è stato la scuola come tutti gli altri fino alle 10 del mattino, quando due guerriglieri armati sono entrati nella scuola."Non ci sarà più la scuola oggi!" Gridò uno. "Vai a casa e domani ritorno." I bambini rapidamente depositato fuori dalla porta, come i guerriglieri inaugurò Dora e la sua famiglia verso la parte posteriore della scuola. Hanno detto Dora e suo marito per dire addio ai loro figli. Guerriglieri improvvisamente più irruppe nella stanza. Uno di loro ha indicato 12 yearold Marcella, dicendo: "Noi uccideremo il suo primo".
"No, per favore," Dora fatta valere come ha fatto un passo tra la guerriglia e sua figlia. "Sono io che si desidera. Prendete me. Lasciatela qui e prendere me. "
Marcella piangeva mentre gli uomini armati camminavano i suoi genitori in un campo a un fiume a soli 300 metri dalla scuola. Hanno ordinato Dora e Ferley a giacere a faccia in giù sulla terra. Marcella non riusciva a vedere i suoi genitori, ma lei ricorda sentito i due colpi, come i suoi genitori furono giustiziati.
Pochi mesi dopo Marcella genitori sono stati assassinati, ha detto: "Se ho incontrato gli uomini che hanno fatto questo io li perdono. So che questo sarebbe stato difficile, ma so che Dio li perdona. Quindi devo pure." Alla domanda su cosa diceva agli altri che devono convivere con le cose cattive accadendo loro, Marcella ha detto: "Nel nome di Gesù, proprio come accade nulla".
Giovane Marcella dimostra la certezza che anche nei momenti di grande sofferenza e di perdita, Dio è all'opera nella vita dei Suoi figli. Lei è tra molti dei cristiani che prendono uno stand per Gesù in nazioni ostili a Cristo.
1Potete leggere l'intero articolo e altre testimonianze di credenti coraggiosi provenienti da tutto il mondo nella nostra newsletter Special Edition. Clicca qui per firmare per la vostra copia gratuita oggi!

VENERDÌ 9 LUGLIO 2010

Questa settimana nella storia della Chiesa: Procopio, primo dei martiri della Palestina

30708Quando l'imperatore romano Diocleziano ha lanciato l'ultimo e il più spietato dei dieci persecuzioni romane contro i cristiani, la sua prima vittima in Palestina era un giovane di nome Procopio. Eusebio era vivo al momento. L'autore Christian, che divenne vescovo di Cesarea e ha scritto la storia più famosa della chiesa primitiva, ha lasciato un contodel martire:
"Il primo di tutti i martiri che è apparso in Palestina è stato chiamato Procopio In verità egli era un uomo pio, perché anche prima della sua confessione aveva dato la sua vita a grande resistenza. E dal tempo che era un bambino era stato delle abitudini puri, e dei costumi rigorosi: e dal vigore della sua mente aveva così portato il suo corpo in soggezione, che, anche prima della sua morte, la sua anima sembra di abitare in un corpo completamente mortificato, e aveva così rafforzata la sua anima . dalla parola di Dio che il suo corpo è stato anche sostenuto dalla potenza di Dio. Il suo cibo era solo pane, e il suo bere acqua, e ha preso niente altro oltre a queste due volte ha preso cibo ogni giorno secondo solo, a volte ogni tre. giorno, troppo spesso passava una settimana senza cibo.
"Ma non ha mai cessato di giorno né di notte dallo studio della parola di Dio: e al tempo stesso è stato attento per i suoi modi e la modestia di comportamento, in modo che edificava con la sua mitezza e la pietà tutti quelli della sua posizione personale. E mentre la sua applicazione principale è stata dedicata a soggetti divini, era a conoscenza anche in misura non lieve scienza naturale La sua famiglia era di Baishan, ed egli ministero negli ordini della Chiesa in tre cose:. primo luogo, egli era stato un Reader; e in secondo ordine ha tradotto dal greco in aramaico, e nel l'ultimo, che è ancora più eccellente rispetto al precedente, si oppose le potenze del maligno, ei diavoli tremavano davanti a lui.
"Ora avvenne che fu inviato da Baishan alla nostra città di Cesarea, insieme ai suoi confessori fratello E nel momento stesso in cui ha superato le porte della città che lo ha portato davanti al governatore. E immediatamente dopo il suo ingresso il primo giudice, il cui nome era Flaviano, gli disse: 'E' necessario che tu sacrificio agli dèi ':'. Non c'è Dio, ma uno solo, il Creatore e il Creatore di tutte le cose ', ma ha risposto a gran voce,
"E quando il giudice si sentì colpito dal colpo delle parole del martire, si arredate con braccia di un altro genere contro la dottrina della verità, e, abbandonando il suo precedente ordine, gli ordinò di sacrificare agli imperatori, che erano in numero di quattro , ma il santo martire di Dio, si mise a ridere ancora di più a queste parole, e ripetuto le parole del più grande dei poeti dei Greci [Omero], che ha detto che 'la regola di molti non è buono: non vi sia un righello e una sovrano. '
"E a causa della sua risposta, che era un insulto agli imperatori, egli, anche se vivo nella sua condotta, è stato consegnato alla morte, e subito la testa di quest'uomo benedetto è stato radiato, e un facile transito gli offriva lungo la strada al cielo. E questo ha avuto luogo il settimo giorno del Heziran mese, nel primo anno della persecuzione ai nostri giorni. Questo confessore fu il primo che è stato consumato nella nostra città di Cesarea ".
Nel corso del tempo, semplice conto Eusebio 'diventato molto esagerato. Tanti dettagli contrastanti che sono stati aggiunti i produttori di calendari della chiesa si confuse e onorato tre uomini diversi nome Procopio! La sua festa è l'8 luglio.
(Fonte: Christianity.com )

GIOVEDI, JULY 8, 2010

Scrivi a cristiano pakistano carcere per blasfemia

prisoner_204_imageIl 1 ° luglio 2009, la polizia pakistana ha arrestato Imran Ghafur nella provincia del Punjab dopo aver accusato i musulmani di bruciare pagine del Corano. Durante la pulizia negozio al dettaglio di suo fratello, Imran rimosso l'immondizia che aveva raccolto, con l'intenzione di bruciare un po '. Mentre brucia la spazzatura, le pagine di un libro islamico volò nel fuoco e bruciati. Vicino Imran, Haji Liaqat, visto le pagine bruciate del libro islamico e allertato altri musulmani della zona.
"Haji Liaqat visto le pagine bruciate, e lui ha detto in modo aggressivo tutte le persone residenti e viaggiatori che Imran bruciato le pagine di un Corano anche," un contatto VOM ha detto. "Stava dicendo a tutti che Imran Ghafur sta bruciando il Corano ... avrebbe dovuto essere ucciso."
Imran e suo padre sono stati duramente picchiati prima che la polizia ha arrestato Imran. Dopo l'arresto, la notizia dell'incidente si diffuse in tutta la città, e musulmani inferociti hanno lanciato pietre alla stazione di polizia dove Imran era detenuto. "Dare la condanna a morte a colui che disonora il Santo Corano, e lo appendono che discredita il Santo Corano," i musulmani ha detto. "I cristiani sono i cani, Imran è un cane", hanno gridato.
Il 2 luglio 2009, Imran è stato spostato in una prigione. "La situazione è molto tesa in Hajwari città, dove vivono le famiglie cristiane", il contatto VOM ha detto. "Haji Liaqat ei suoi amici dicono che non permetteranno famiglia di Imran a vivere in colonia o eseguire il proprio business."
Imran e la sua famiglia sono stati la gestione delle imprese nella zona e sono attivamente coinvolti con gli altri cristiani della zona.
Scrivi una lettera di incoraggiamento a Imran oggi, ricordandogli che i cristiani in Canada e in tutto il mondo sono a conoscenza della sua condizione e stanno pregando per lui. Si prega di non parlare di The Voice of the Martyrs nella tua lettera o scrivere qualcosa di negativo sul governo del Pakistan.
È possibile compilare una lettera al Imran on-line nella sua lingua alwww.PrisonerAlert.com o scrivere a lui direttamente a:
Imran Ghafur
Carcere centrale di Faisalabad
Faisalabad
Pakistan

Per ulteriori informazioni su come scrivere lettere ai detenuti, per favore clicca qui. Per scrivere agli altri cristiani che sono in carcere per la loro fede, clicca qui .

VENERDÌ, 2 LUGLIO 2010

Frase rivolta Orissa 'cade a corto di giustizia'

India (Set 2009) 368 [4]Sono passati quasi due anni da quando violenze anti-cristiane scoppiate nello stato di Orissa in India. Gli attacchi causato la morte di circa 100 cristiani, mentre decine di chiese e case sono stati distrutti ( clicca qui per saperne di più su questi attacchi).
Giustizia e pace resta inafferrabile per i cristiani in Orissa. Molti credenti restano nei campi profughi, incapace di tornare ai loro villaggi a causa di minacce da militanti indù. Altri non hanno più case a cui tornare. Chiese che sono stati distrutti nelle violenze rimangono in rovina.  
Secondo l' Unione cattolica asiatica Notizie , due uomini sono stati recentemente condannati per omicidio colposo e condannato a sei anni di reclusione per la masterizzazione di vita di un uomo paralitico il 24 agosto 2008. La pena mite ha deluso i cristiani locali, che temono queste frasi di luce potrebbe incoraggiare altri crimini.
È possibile leggere il report completo qui sotto:
India (Set 2009) 357Un verdetto di omicidio colposo per due uomini indiani accusati di aver ucciso uno paralizzato cristiana durante sommosse anti-cristiane in Orissa ha deluso la gente della Chiesa.
La pena mite di sei anni di carcere per i due incoraggerebbe altri crimini, ha detto padre Dibakar Parichha, un avvocato di assistere le 2008 vittime antisommossa. "E 'stata la raccapricciante uccisione di un uomo, che non poteva muoversi dal letto."
Un tribunale il 30 giugno condannato Sushanta Sahu e Tukuna Sahu di omicidio colposo, non per un importo di omicidio e condannato a sei anni di carcere per aver ucciso Rasananda Pradhan. E 'loro anche una multa di 5.000 rupie (US $ 111).
Pradhan, un paralitico, è stato bruciato vivo quando la sua casa è stata data alle fiamme da estremisti indù il 24 agosto 2008, secondo l'accusa.
"Sono deluso per l'accusa e di indagine che ha portato alla sentenza," dice Mons. Sarat Chandra Nayak di Berhampur.
"Se non c'è giustizia, la gente avrebbe perso fiducia" nel sistema giuridico, il presule.
India (Set 2009) 372Ravinder fratello Pradhan ha espresso il proprio disappunto per l'esito del caso, come gli uomini non sono stati condannati per omicidio. "Ci sono altri imputati ancora essere arrestato e processato", ha detto.
Un totale di 831 casi in tenuta anti-sommossa sono stati registrati, e due fast-track tribunali stanno elaborando 189 casi. I giudici hanno provato 87 casi a partire dal 28 giugno, assolvendo 621 persone e di condannare solo 154 persone, padre Parichha ha detto.
I sette settimana di scontri nello stato ucciso 93 persone, ha distrutto circa 5.000 case e 50.000 sfollati, secondo i documenti della Chiesa.
Vi preghiamo di continuare a pregare per i cristiani dell'Orissa come ricostruire le loro vite. Pregate che, in mezzo a tale ingiustizia, avranno la pazienza di affidare la vera giustizia nelle mani di Dio (Romani 12:17-21).