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A Timeline of Christian Persecution 2008...

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A Timeline of Christian Persecution 2008/2009

A Timeline of Christian Persecution 2008/2009 a selection of examples from July 2008 to January 2009.

Remind your fellow Christians this November, hold your own Suffering Church Sunday service.

Sign our online petition to end apostasy law today Why should they be secret?



Aug 08


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This Angolan Christian needed 20 stitches after a Muslim mob attacked her village

Andulo, Angola

On 20 July Muslim extremists attacked the Christian community in the town of Andulo, Angola. The Muslim mob burned three church buildings and assaulted 4 Christians. Leti Raimundo, the school-age daughter of a deacon at one of the churches, was beheaded. Another Christian required 20 stitches in her head.
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Barnabas Fund aid being distributed in, Kandhamal, Orissa, India

Orissa, India

At least 50 Christians were murdered, some burnt alive and others cut to pieces in a rampage of anti-Christian violence in Orissa, India, beginning in August. 300 villages were cleansed of Christians, with homes, churches, relief camps and even orphanages razed to the ground by Hindu extremists. With over 50,000 displaced, Christians wanting to return to their homes have been told, “Come back as Hindu or don’t come back at all.” Some who dared to return to their villages were forcibly converted to Hinduism. Sometimes the Hindu extremists poured petrol over the Christians and then told them to convert; if they refused they were set alight. Thankfully, 2009 saw a new government, but the threat of Hindu extremism remains.




Sept 08

Saudi Arabia

Fatima al-Mutairi, a young Saudi woman, learned about Jesus on the internet and decided to follow Him. When in August her family noticed the cross on her computer screensaver and discovered that she had converted from Islam to Christianity, they cut out her tongue and burned her to death. In the last blog that Fatima wrote before her death, she found comfort and strength in the opening verse of Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?” Another Saudi blogger, Hamoud Bin Saleh, has been repeatedly harassed and detained by the Saudi police for writing about his conversion from Islam to Christianity on his website.

Somalia

A 22-year-old Somali Christian convert from Islam, Ahmadey Osman Nur, was murdered while attending a Muslim wedding on 14 September. Since the wedding service was held in Arabic, Nur asked for it to be translated into the Somali vernacular. The sheik who performed the ceremony took offence at Nur’s request. Knowing of Nur’s conversion to Christianity, he declared him to be guilty of apostasy and as Nur left, he was shot dead by an armed guard.

Oct 08 ►

Mosul, Iraq

Thousands of Christians fled the city of Mosul in terror in October as Sunni Muslim extremists launched a fresh wave of threats and violence to purge the city of Christians. “We left everything behind us. We took only our souls,” said Ni’ma Noail (50), a civil servant who had to abandon his home. At least 14 Christians, including a 15-year-old boy, were murdered; many of them killed execution-style by gunmen. Approximately 12,000 Christians were forced out, after leaflets were distributed threatening Christians with death unless they converted to Islam.


Nov 08 ►

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Home destroyed by rioting Muslims, Jos, Nigeria

Jos, Nigeria

Hundreds of Christians were killed and an estimated 7,000-10,000 fled their homes after rioting, started by Muslims on 28 November, engulfed the city of Jos, Nigeria. In well co-ordinated attacks, Christian homes were burnt and churches vandalised, and clergy were attacked and killed. The violence started after the results of a local election seemed to favour the Christian Berom people over the Muslim Hausa people. Jos lies in Nigeria’s troubled “Middle Belt”, where Christians and Muslims are in roughly equal numbers and there is a history of large-scale sectarian rioting. These riots often appear to be pre-planned attacks, with young people being paid to participate in the violence and promised heavenly rewards for killing Christians.

Dec 08 ►

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Martha Samuel

Egypt

Martha Samuel, an Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity, was detained, stripped and beaten at Cairo airport on 17 December as she tried to emigrate with her family. Her two children witnessed her assault and were deprived of food to pressure their mother to return to Islam. The judge, who tried her case, imprisoning her for a month, told her that if he had a knife he would kill her for leaving Islam.


Feb 09 ►


Sangla Hill, Pakistan

Despite eyewitness accounts and medical evidence indicating guilt, police have declared three Pakistani men innocent of raping a 13-year-old Christian girl in the Sangla Hill area of Pakistan. In February, Ambreen was abducted and gang-raped at gun-point and was found by her family in a critical condition several hours later. When she was kidnapped, she was told by her captors, “We will kill your parents if you tell them this.” Christians in Pakistan are often extremely poor and are employed by the local Muslims. The teenage girl comes from a poor background, while the Muslim men accused of her rape are part of a wealthy family of local landowners. In such circumstances it is exceptionally hard for Christians to get a fair investigation or trial.

Mar 09 ►

 

 

 

 


North Western Province, Sri Lanka

In March a pastor and a church worker sustained serious injuries when they were attacked by a man armed with a machete in North Western Province, Sri Lanka. Many church members have been too frightened to meet together for worship as a result. On Wednesday 8 April, a group of Buddhist militants gathered outside the home of Pastor Kumara in Weeraketiya, Hambanthota district, threatening to kill him if he did not leave the village by the morning. These incidents are the latest in a series of attacks against churches and Christians, who have been subjected to violence, murder of clergy, harassment and intimidation, often initiated by locals who condemn the growth of Christianity in the country.

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The Rev. Noble Samuel, who was brutally beaten for his Christian faith

London, UK

The Rev. Noble Samuel, a Christian minister at a United Reformed Church in London, UK, was attacked by three men in March on his way to the TV studio where he films a Gospel programme. Mr Samuel was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain 15 years ago. He does not set out to be confrontational, but shortly before the attack his views had been aggressively challenged by Muslim callers in a broadcast phone-in. The incident, which has been described as a “faith-hate” crime by police, happened when a car pulled in front of Mr Samuel and a man came over to ask for directions. The attacker opened the car door and started punching Mr Samuel and trying to hit his head on the steering wheel; he then grabbed Mr Samuel’s cross and pulled it off, throwing it to the floor. Two other men stole his laptop and Bible. The assailants warned Mr Samuel, “If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.” Following the attack, Mr Samuel went ahead with his show at studios that are owned by local Muslim businessman Tahir Ali, who went on air later that day to condemn the attacks.


Apr 09 ►


Xinjiang, China

Authorities in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang region of China have been detaining a local Christian church leader for over a year. His family have not been allowed to see him since his arrest and only limited, restricted access has been given to his lawyer. Alimujiang Yimiti is an ex-Muslim who has been a believer in Jesus Christ for 14 years. According to his wife, “Faith in Jesus has made great changes in Alimujiang’s life and has made him really a good citizen who loves his country and his people.” His family have received no news about him and no communication from him since soon after his arrest.



May 09 ►

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Braving persecution, Christians in Pakistan distribute Gospels and other Christian literature.

Machharkay, Punjab, Pakistan

On 9 May, Ishtiaq Masih had disembarked from a bus that had stopped in Machharkay village to give the passengers an opportunity for rest and refreshment. A sign hung on the roadside tea stall, which read, “All non- Muslims should introduce their faith prior to ordering tea. This stall serves Muslims only.” When Ishtiaq went to pay for his tea the owner noticed his necklace with a cross on it. The owner called on his employees to punish the Christian for not abiding by the sign. A group of men then beat Ishtiaq to death with whatever they could lay their hands on, including stones from the ground on which he lay.
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A view of Uzbekistan from space, Karakalpakstan is in the top left corner

Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan

Owning a Bible became illegal and a reason to be raided by the state police in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan this May. The already tight restrictions have come close to suffocating the local church when the senior religious official for the region announced they were banning the Bible, the film “The Passion of the Christ” and other religious literature, including a hymn book, a Bible encyclopaedia, a Bible dictionary and a children’s Bible, for “import, distribution or use in teaching”. For example, a Bible was confiscated when police ransacked the home of Polat Smetullaev without a warrant. Government officials insisted the raid had been justified as Smetullaev’s mother is known to host a Bible study for Christian women twice a week. Officials warned that if she carried on her Christian teaching without the approval of a registered, centralised religious organisation, she could face administrative punishment or even criminal prosecution.

Jun 09 ►

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A displaced Burmese family

Burma (Myanmar)

Since 2 June some 4,000 of the mainly Christian Karen tribe again had to flee to the mountains owing to renewed attacks by the Burmese military. If captured they can be forced to endure heavy labour and even undertake mine clearing duties. The army often sets fire to the villages or plants landmines to kill anyone who returns. As a result many stay in the jungle out of fear, and succumb to starvation, disease or snake bite. As a result of this conflict there are 140,000 refugees in camps over the nearby Thai border.
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The uplands of Yemen

Yemen

On 12 June a group of nine expatriate Christians living in Yemen, comprising a German doctor, his wife and their three young children, a British man, two German nurses and a South Korean teacher was kidnapped by armed men. Three days later the bodies of the two nurses and the teacher were found in a riverbed, with gunshot and stab wounds. Following the discovery, Yemeni troops began searching for the other six hostages, but their fate remains unclear at the time of writing.

They all worked for a Christian organisation, and there is concern that they were targeted as an act of revenge for their alleged attempts to convert local Muslims to Christianity.

Jul 09 ►

Laos

Dozens of Christian in Katin village, Saravan province were threatened on 16 July with losing their livestock and their homes unless they abandoned their faith in favour of the ‘local spirits’ of Lao tradition. This incident follows the killing of nine pigs by the authorities on 5 July, each belonging to a Christian family and worth six weeks’ salary for the average labourer in the area. The village leader said, “If any villager is found following the Christian faith without renouncing that religion, he or she will no longer be under the official provision and protection of the village.”
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    • Heavenly Father, we pray for Kim Jung-Wook, a South Korean Christian who has been sentenced to hard labour for life in North Korea for “spying” and attempting to establish house churches in the country. We thank You that although prosecutors demanded the death penalty, this was commuted, but we pray that Jung-Wook will be sustained by You in his imprisonment and cruel treatment and will soon be released. We pray too for the dozens of North Koreans who were detained after Jung-Wook’s arrest in October on suspicion of helping him, and for the families of any who have already been executed. We pray for political change and religious freedom in North Korea, that it may be made legal to be a Christian and to take part in Christian activity. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 23 hours ago

    • Two Christian families in Uzbekistan who meet in a private home to read the Bible and pray together have been repeatedly fined and had property confiscated. Alisher Abdullayev and Veniamin Nemirov were originally fined in 2012 for unregistered religious activity and teaching religion “illegally”. They refused on principle to pay, claiming that they had not violated any laws. But earlier this year bailiffs went to their homes and confiscated a car, a mobile phone and household items. The men and their wives were then fined again, ten times the minimum monthly wage. Officers have also raided one of their meetings, filming and harassing those present and seizing religious literature. Pray that the authorities will stop targeting the families and that they will be left alone to study and pray in peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Leaders imprisoned for up to 60 days and members for up to 45 days; fines, corrective labour or community service: these are the penalties for taking part in religious gatherings in Kazakhstan held without state permission, according to a new criminal code. Those who finance unregistered religious activity will be liable to the same punishments as leaders. In addition, a new Code of Administrative Offences lays down a wide range of penalties for exercising the right to religious freedom. Both codes have been condemned by 119 Kazakh and international human rights groups and individuals. They further tighten controls on religious practice in a context where it is already much restricted. Pray for wisdom and courage for Christians in Kazakhstan as they seek to maintain their worship and witness. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that 55 Christians, almost all church leaders and converts from Islam, received Bible training at a three-day seminar in Kyrgyzstan that was supported by Barnabas Fund. The participants have virtually no access to Biblical training, and so the studies were a great boost to their faith and ministry. Meeting fellow church leaders, who are all dealing with similar issues, such as isolation and persecution from Muslim relatives and local Muslim communities, was also very encouraging to them and gave them the opportunity to build up a Christian support network. Pray that the Lord will continue to speak to them through the Bible passages they studied at the seminar, and that He will bless their ministries. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Christians and other minorities in Burma (Myanmar) are extremely concerned about a proposed religious conversion bill that will require people to seek permission from the authorities before changing religion. It is part of a package of four bills designed to “protect race and religion” in the Buddhist-majority country. The government says it is intended to prevent forced conversions. The draft says that forcing someone to convert would be punishable by a year in prison, while insulting another religion would be punishable by between one and two years in prison. Similar laws in force in several Indian states are used to threaten legitimate evangelism by Christians and as a pretext by Hindu militants to attack Christians, whom they falsely accuse of forcibly converting people. Pray this bill will not become law in Burma. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

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