Convert from Islam flees Darfur after trying to exercise right to free speech.
(Morning Star News) – A Sudanese father of two who once worked as a human rights defender now lives in a refugee camp after surviving an attempt on his life by Islamic extremists.
Before Ibrahim Ismaeil Ibrahim, 34, left Islam and dared to criticize the religion, he worked as a writer and human rights defender in Darfur Region’s state of West Darfur for the Sudan Contemporary Center for Studies and Development. As he chronicled human rights violations by Islamic extremists, he became disillusioned with the religion and put his faith in Jesus Christ, he said.
“I defected from Islam and started writing articles through my [pseudonymous] page on Facebook, in which I described Islam as a religion of terror and killing,” he said. “Then some people discovered my identity and sent me messages of intimidation on my phone that they were looking for my head. Suddenly, I was attacked.”
At his home in the West Darfur capital of Geneina in January 2013, Ibrahim, his wife and two young children were unhurt in the late-night attack by what he believes was one of the Islamic extremists threatening him.
“An unknown Islamic extremist broke into my house at midnight and opened fire on my room,” Ibrahim told Morning Star News. “I managed to flee Geneina.”
His employer contacted Front Line Defenders, an organization dedicated to assisting human rights defenders, especially those in danger; the group provided him funds for an airline ticket to Cairo, Egypt from Khartoum and accommodation for three months, he said.
From Cairo he moved to Kampala, Uganda, and eventually he went to South Sudan. There he learned from his family in Geneina that the threat to their lives was growing stronger, and he made arrangements for them to flee to Chad.
Ibrahim also learned that, with help from the government of Sudan, he was being monitored by Muslim extremists connected to those who had planned to assassinate him. He had left his ID card when he fled Geneina, and the assailants had provided it to a Sudanese government security agent, he said.
He rejoined his wife, 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter in Chad. Eventually the reunited family traveled to another country in Africa, undisclosed for security reasons, where they live as refugees at a U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees camp.
“Ibrahim, a brave young father, and his family have been through a hard time and suffering as they become refugees away from home because of persecution by the Muslim government of Khartoum through Muslim extremists,” a Christian source told Morning Star News.
The source, who requested anonymity for security reasons, added that the Christian family is an inspiration to other refugees from Darfur, where thousands of civilians have been killed amid conflict between Arab militias battling non-Arab rebels.
“I believe the Lord will work through Ibrahim and his family, and that they will be a blessing to many of their communities and families who live with them from Darfur,” the Christian source said. “Many of our Sudanese brothers and sisters who have been victims of war and religious persecution are desperately in need of the mercy of the Father through Jesus Christ, because all that they have seen is complete agony and devastation in the Muslim world.”
Following South Sudan’s split from Sudan in a 2011 referendum, the government in late 2012 began ridding the country of Christianity. It has bulldozed several church buildings, closed othersand deported South Sudanese who have live most if not all of their lives in Sudan, as well as many foreigners. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said post-secession Sudan will adhere more exclusively to Islam and Arabic culture.
On June 30 bulldozers demolished the Sudanese Church of Christ in the Thiba Al Hamyida area of North Khartoum as church members watched, with security personnel threatening to arrest them if they tried to block their efforts, church members said. On Feb. 17, bulldozers accompanied by local police and security personnel destroyed the Sudanese Church of Christ building in the Ombada area of Omdurman, across the River Nile from Khartoum, without any advance notice.
Officials gave no reason for the demolition except that, as it was located in a “Muslim area,” the 300-member church was not wanted there, a church member said. Another source, a church leader, confirmed to Morning Star News that authorities destroyed the building and confiscated the land without warning. The orders came from the Ombada locality, or city council, sources said.
Besides raiding Christian bookstores and arresting Christians, authorities threatened to kill South Sudanese Christians who do not leave or cooperate with them in their effort to find other Christians (see Morning Star News).
Due to its treatment of Christians and other human rights violations, Sudan has been designated a Country of Particular Concern by the U.S. State Department since 1999, and in April 2013, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recommended the country remain on the list.
Ibrahim, the source said, deeply loves Sudan and has supported those oppressed under the regime of Bashir, especially Christians who have been tortured.
“He has dedicated himself to bringing awareness to the free world to get engaged in their plight,” he said. “Let us all keep praying for Ibrahim’s family, that their situation will get better.”
DON’T STAND IN SILENCE! Unite in prayer with us on Sunday Nov. 2 any time during the 12 hour period 8am-8pm EDT on the IDOP Prayer Conference Call hosted by Persecution Watch. VOP along with other organizations will collaborate with them for this event. Encourage your church and others to join with us! SEE DETAILS HERE. And Please remember the persecuted in your daily prayers.
Dear Friends and Family in Jesus,
The two young daughters of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy, have spoken about their own violent treatment at the hands of their mother’s accusers.
Esham was just 9 years old when she was warned by friends that her mother was being attacked in the field where she worked as a berry picker.
“I rushed to the spot and found that she was being abused and tortured by men. They had even torn her clothes,” Esham, now 14, told the MailOnline.
After running home and returning with a new dress for her mother, Esham says the men began torturing her, too. They used offensive slurs and dragged the two women into the village. “We were both crying but there was nobody to listen to us,” she recalls. READ MORE
Could you pray 2 minutes?
At a critical moment in Jesus’ life, he famously asked his closest friends, who had fallen asleep, “Could you not pray with Me one hour?” (Matthew chapter 26, verse 40.) With approximately 30 days remaining to the Iran nuclear talks deadline, we are asking supporters of these 4 men: Robert ‘Bob’ Levinson, Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini and Jason Rezaian (a Washington Post reporter who was recently jailed), to #Pray2Minutes per day for their release. That will be one hour over 30 days! If you can do more, please do.
But can you imagine the power of prayer if 1000’s or even a million persons would be united in prayer over this one thing? Freedom for these men is not an impossibility, since nothing is impossible with God. The challenge though is moving our own selves to compel our flesh to pray for 2 minutes (see v. 41).
What to pray for?
Re-enactment of Asia Bibi’s tragic incident to be held at Pakistan High Commission Lowndes Square, London, this Saturday, 25 Oct.
Demonstration and re-enactment of Asia Bibi’s tragic incident that led to her arrest to be held at Pakistan High Commission this Saturday – 25th October 2014
A re-enactment of the savage attack on Asia Bibi a Christian mother of five children, who was later arrested and accused of blasphemy, after simply drinking water from a well and offering water to Muslim co-workers, is to be staged outside the Pakistan High Commission, Lowndes Square, London, on Saturday 25th October 2014.
Actors will attempt to illustrate the generosity of a caring woman who thought to share water with other thirsty labourers, whilst picking berries in a field. The scene will depict the scorn that the kind gesture was met with, after Muslims who deem Christians untouchable in Asia Bibi’s village felt the clean water well had been somehow defiled. The brutal and savage attack on Asia who was beaten and much worse will be played out. The portrayal will then try to encapsulate the fortitude and resolve of Asia during her captivity, her survival through failed assassination attempts, her daily prayers and supplications and total belief that she will be set free through God.
Asia Bibi has struggled through one of the most torturous miscarriages of justice in the modern age. Her story is widely known and two leading Pakistani politicians have been killed as a consequence of supporting her release. We hope those of you know her story and have been touched in some way, will put aside your differences and join us in calling for her freedom on this important day. let’s together raise a voice for her and other innocent victims in Pakistan.
A petition calling for her freedom will be submitted to the Pakistan Embassy after a 2 hour demonstration. A copy will also be submitted to the UK Parliament via 10 Downing Street later the same day, calling for engagement with the Pakistan Government over her release. An electronic copy of our petition can be signed (here)
Catholic Band Ooberfuse will be performing their Free Asia Bibi track live and we will be joined by famous acro-dancer Latasha Sinclair who will depict asia Bibi’s treatment in a dance performance.
Hear Ooberfuse’s Free Asia Bibi song (here)
Date: Saturday 25th October 2014
Time: 11:00 – 13:00
Venue: Pakistan High Commission
Address: Lowndes Square. London SW1X 9JN
Schools are at risk of “infringing the rights of children, parents and teachers” to practise their religious beliefs, the Christian Institute has warned.
The warning comes following an independent Christian school being told it may be rated just “adequate”, rather than its current “good” status, by Ofsted inspectors.
The school is accused of “not promoting other faiths,” deputy director of the Christian Institute, Simon Calvert, said.
“Astonishingly it was told it should invite representatives of other faith groups to lead assemblies and lessons, such as an Imam,” he added.
Calvert said this is evidence of new regulations, established in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, “requiring Ofsted inspection teams to behave in ways which do not respect the religious ethos of faith schools”.
“The wording of the regulations inevitably results in these kind of outcomes. While we obviously support attempts to address the problem of radicalisation, the current regulations fail to do this,” he said.
(Voice of the Persecuted) One day after so-called representatives of the Boko Haram sect signed a ceasefire accord with the government, the sect went on a rampage killing people in Christian areas with an undisclosed number of people having been killed. Many are feared dead.
The attacks are seen as reneging from the ceasefire agreement with government. One source from Maiduguri said celebrations had barely began when they received the news of the fresh attacks by Boko Harm. They are now left with a sense that there was no such agreement or, “perhaps, they are more than a terror group.”
A few days ago the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mike Omeri said in a news briefing, “The discussions are essentially in relation to the general insecurity in the North-east and also the need to rescue all captives of the terrorists, including the students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. “Already, the terrorists have announced a ceasefire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in a similar vein, declared a ceasefire.”
Following the announcement of ceasefire between the government and the Boko Haram, which has brutally killed thousands of people on their quest of establishing an Islamic State ruled by Sharia Law, many Nigerians, VOP advocates, including our team members in the region who are very aware of the antics of the sect—called for caution.
The terror sect renewed attacks on Shaffa, Hawul Local Government in South of Borno, which reportedly killed 8 locals with several injured. Hundreds of others were claimed to have fled their homes.
All Africa reported a survivor as saying, “There was pandemonium in Shaffa as Boko Haram invaded the nearby village, shooting at everybody at sight. We had to flee into the bush and as I am talking to you many of us are taking refuge in the bush.”
The gunmen returned back to the town to gather corpses of slain members for burial. A gunfight with members of the Civilian-JTF ensued and many may have been killed including Boko Haram militants.
An attack on Abadam village in the northern part of Borno state where they reportedly beheaded several villagers including the father of a former Speaker of the Borno state House of Assembly, Goni Ali Modu.
According to Leadership news outlet, a resident of Abadam said, “dozens of gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram have taken over Abadam. They have been in Abadam since Thursday but finally [hoisted] their flags on Friday after killing many prominent people and forcing others to cross over to Niger.” He relayed that 30 people have been killed in Abadam alone, but was unsure of the actual number and that many people, especially the old are still in Abadam because they could not flee.
Trapped but fortunate to escape, residents of Bama local government area of Borno state where the Boko Haram had seized for about two months now have reported cases of serial killings of helpless residents by the Boko Haram terrorists.
One woman, Fatima Bulama, who managed to escape to Maiduguri on foot last Monday said “things are getting worst in Bama; they are killing people selectively everyday. Days before I managed to escape, they gathered all the younger women and divided them into three groups according to their age grade and then they took them away; we never knew what would become of them, but I know it would be something terrible.”
A member of the local vigilante in the area, Kashim Abba, said in Maiduguri that the sect had shown that there was no ceasefire with the latest attack. In Michia, Filli said the insurgents had overrun the villages in the earlier hours of Saturday and burnt down houses in the village, forcing residents to flee.
Earlier, a group of insurgents attacked the Borno town of Sabon Gida, said one military officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. “The fight was tough and it seems the insurgents wanted to destroy everything in Sabon Gida.”
Another said, “The ceasefire is good but we are wary of these people, besides they know us, we don’t know them. Whatever turns up, we are ready. The only regret is that so many people have been killed already but that is our pledge, to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria against all odds,” he said.
On Sunday, Nigerian Army troops fought members of Boko Haram in the town of Damboa in Borno state.
With the latest attacks hopes are waning for the release of the 200+ Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped six months ago by the terror group. A parent of one of the missing girls, Lawan Abana said, “We were in jubilation. We had every reason to be happy … but since then the ceasefire has been broken in quite a number of places already.” Other parents have expressed their concerns and disappointment, but are trying to remain optimistic for the sake of their children.
Some question if Christians are being targeted, if the attacks are only tribal battles, or reprisals against the government or civilized activity. The Church in north Nigeria is strong. Boko Haram wants to eliminate the churches because they are unacceptable to Muslims. They don’t want Christians in the Muslim areas, so they bomb those places of worship, or refuse to give them a license to worship.
In September, Nigeria’s Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) President, Samuel Dali said the headquarters of the church is under grave threat from the Islamic extremist insurgents who seek to impose sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.
“Boko Haram violence has been getting worse every day, and our members are fleeing the area by the thousands,” he said. “Recent attacks in Borno and Adamawa states where are our churches are located have seen Boko Haram take over the Army base. As a result, about 350 Christians have been killed.”
Boko Haram has warned Christians in North Nigeria to leave or convert to Islam.
In June you may have seen the World Watch Top 10 Violence List. Nigeria ranks No. 1 in the Top 10. Levels of violence in Nigeria remained extremely high. Nigeria consists of two parts: the predominantly Christian South and the Muslim North. Most incidents are recorded in the northern part of the country where Islamic Sharia Law has been implemented in many states, but fanatical movements, such as Boko Haram, fight to further Islamize society. Boko Haram continues to attack Christians on a large scale by burning down and bombing churches and Christian property, assaulting and kidnapping Christian women and girls. Another main driver for violence against Christians are the Muslim Fulani herdsmen. They come down from northern states to areas where Christian live and try to take over land that belongs to Christians. It has been proven the Boko Haram supplies heavy weapons and encourages the Fulani Muslims to attack Chrisitans, with many joining to become members of the brutal sect. See our Apr. 23, 2014 report: Fulani herdsmen confess to membership of Boko Haram
VOP Note: Remember Nigeria and the faithful in your prayers. Pray for peace and the release of all who have been abducted. Pray all enemy plans will be foiled.
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Thank you for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
Nigeria Reaches Ceasefire Agreement With Boko Haram Sect with Possible Release of Kidnapped School Girls
The Nigerian news outlet, Vanguard is reporting that VoA, quoted President Goodluck Jonathan’s Private Secretary, Alh. Hassan Tukur, as disclosing. – Voice of Nigeria VoA in Saudi where the talks which are being brokered by officials of Chad and Cameroon are taking place.
The cease-fire is expected to result in the release of the remaining 219 Chibok female students(who are majority Christian) abducted from their school more than five months ago and indeed girls and women abducted from other communities in the course of the five-year deadly insurgency, said to have killed over 12, 000 people.
According to the international radio, a man calling himself the Secretary-General of Boko Haram, Danladi Ahmadu, told VOA on Thursday that the Chibok girls were in good condition and unharmed.
The report said that Boko Haram did not elaborate on the conditions under which the girls would be freed and that authorities in Saudi Arabia were not involved in the negotiations.