Share their stories—KNOWLEDGE is POWER

TESTIMONIES INSPIRED BY FAITH OF ABEDINI FAMILY

Share your testimony inspired by their faith

July 2015
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Armenian Turks Convert back to Christianity

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News)– Twelve Armenians who were baptized last month in Istanbul were among the many former Muslims who are now openly embracing Christ after their ancestors were forced to follow Islam during the Armenian and Assyrian genocides that killed millions of Christians one century ago.

According to Barnabas Aid, many people who were compelled by Turkish soldiers to become Muslims are now returning to the faith of their grandparents after discovering their Christian roots.

Many Armenians, Assyrians and Ottoman Greeks who converted to Islam to save their own lives were given new Islamic names. Although women were forced to marry Muslim men and children were adopted by Muslim families, many of them still managed to hold on to a remnant of their former faith by secretly passing their Christian traditions on to the next generation.

Although conversions to Christianity have been happening in Turkey for years, renouncing Islam is risky as any apostasy by male adults still carries a death sentence under shari’a.

VOP note: Praising God and rejoicing as our family in Christ grows. Praying for more Muslims to hear the call from our Lord, “You are mine!”

Islamic Cleric in Pakistan Arrested in Mob Attack on Christians Accused of Blasphemy

Rukhsana and Awais Qamar. (The Voice Society)

Rukhsana and Awais Qamar. (The Voice Society)

(Morning Star News) – In a rare move by Pakistani police, an Islamist cleric was taken into custody on Friday (July 3) for inciting a Muslim mob to try to kill a Christian couple for alleged desecration of the Koran, a police official said.

Area residents and rights activists told Morning Star News that hundreds of Muslims in Makki village, near Farooqabad in Sheikhupura District, on Tuesday (June 30) attacked Owais Qamar, 35, and his wife Rukhsana after a neighbor complained that they were sleeping on a salvaged advertising sign inscribed with a koranic verse.

The frenzied mob beat Qamar, a father of four, shaved his head and dragged him through village streets. Rukhsana and two other women of the family were also tortured and their faces blackened with dirt before police rescued them. Such police intervention is relatively unusual in Pakistan, where mobs furious over alleged blasphemy are often left to wreak havoc.

The area sources said Islamic leaders made announcements from the local village mosque that Qamar had desecrated the Koran by using as an in-home mat an advertising sign that contained emblems of various colleges and a short koranic verse related to education. They said that as soon as Qamar, his wife, their daughter Farzana and Qamar’s sister-in-law were brought to the village center, the mob pounced on them, blackened their faces and shaved Qamar’s head.

“Qamar was thrashed by men while his female family members were beaten up by the Muslim women,” said a Christian villager. “The mob later put a garland made up of shoes around Qamar’s neck and dragged him in the village streets.”

The neighbor added that they immediately called police, fearing the violence could get worse and put the lives of the family in jeopardy.

Sheikhupura Senior Superintendent of Police Sohail Zafar Chattha played a pivotal role in rescuing the impoverished Christian family from the mob, which the police chief said was bent on killing them without first learning the facts of the case. Chattha told Morning Star News that he had ordered officers to save the couple even if it meant opening fire at the Muslim mob.

“The clerics leading the mob demanded that police arrest the couple and charge them with blasphemy,” he said. “I told them that I would not register a case because no blasphemy has been committed.”

Instead, he ordered registration of a case against the clerics and 400 others for inciting violence and endangering the lives of the Christian couple, he said.

“The mob wanted to kill them right there, all because they are poor, illiterate people who didn’t realize that a line from the Koran was written” on the sign, he said.

He said that one of the clerics who led the mob and fled the village after the police action was arrested on Friday (July 3). The cleric’s name has not been released.

“We are looking for a barber who ignited the whole issue,” he added.

The police chief said that the couple had been handed over to Christian elders, and that he had advised them not to return to the village as it could endanger their lives.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan. The charge is hard to fight because the law does not define clearly what is considered blasphemous. Even presenting the evidence in court can sometimes itself be considered a fresh infringement.

Last year, a British man with a history of mental health illness was sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. The same year, a court upheld a death sentence for blasphemy for a Christian woman, Aasiya Noreen (commonly known as Asia Bibi), in a case that drew global headlines after the assassination of two prominent politicians who took up her cause.

Minorities in Pakistan complain that the state fails to protect them from violence. Last year, a policeman hacked a man to death for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the companions of the Muhammad, the prophet if Islam. Days earlier, a mob beat a Christian couple to death and burned their bodies in a brick kiln in Kot Radha Kishan.

VOP note:

The Senior Superintendent of Police Sohail Zafar Chattha took a brave new stance against mob violence and false accusations. Praying the protection of minorities falsely accused will be the new norm in Pakistan. Praying for the nation of Pakistan.

Father, we come to you to pray for our nation

4th-july

Voice of the Persecuted

NIGERIA – “Precarious security and non-existent infrastructure in the areas liberated by Boko Haram”

nigeria-boko haram

The Global Terror Index rates Nigeria fourth-worst in the world, ahead of Syria. The global terrorism index systematically ranks countries of the world according to their terrorist activity. Nigeria ranked fourth on the global terrorism index making it one of the most affected by terrorism, on earth.

Since 2009, Nigeria has been coping with the Boko Haram Islamist militancy in the country’s northeast, which is trying to mark out an Islamic state in the country.

Today, shortly after the arrival of the new V.P. Yemi Osinbajo’s surprise visit to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, 2 suicide bombers blew themselves at a hospital at Molai, a village located in the outskirt of Maiduguri. Disguised as patients, one had tried to gain access through the front door and the other through the back door but were denied access by a security guard. Only a few were injured when they detonated and killed themselves near the entrance.

Global terrorism index 2014, top 5 countries

Global terrorism index 2014, top 5 countries

“Many refugees would like to return to their villages and return to work in the fields, but different areas formally liberated by Boko Haram are still dangerous”, says His Exc. Mgr. Stephen Dami Mamza, Bishop of Yola in the northeast of Nigeria, in an interview with Kna Agency. From September to December 2014, Boko Haram had conquered seven major towns in Adamawa State. Tens of thousands of people fled the capital, Yola.

Nigeria_child_IDP_coverThanks to the offensive of the Nigerian army and those of neighboring Countries (Chad, Niger and Cameroon) in recent weeks several territories have been freed from the presence of the militia of Boko Haram. However, the situation is not yet stabilized.
According to the Bishop, one of the most dangerous areas is near the Sambisa forest. Mgr. Mamza complains, in addition to the continuous attacks by terrorists, about the failure regarding the reconstruction of public infrastructure by government agencies. In particular, the health sector: “The majority of hospitals and pharmacies are still closed, and relatively easy to cure diseases can cause serious problems”. (Agenzia Fides 01/07/2015)

Voice of the Persecuted

Serving those most affected by the crisis, we ask for your help. Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

give-love-with-open-hands

Pastor Saeed Urgently Needs Our Help Now!

UPDATE! A deadline to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program has been extended until July 7th. For as long as they continue with the talks, we too will be extending the campaign to call on our government to procure Saeed’s release before signing any deal.

A supporter of the Abedini family, Joann Mizutani came up with an idea to duplicate the actions taken for Meriam Ibrahim for American Pastor Saeed Abedini. Next week is the final full week prior to the June 30th (now extended to July 7th) deadline for the current nuclear negotiations with Iran. The U.S. may never again have an opportunity to negotiate the release of Pastor Saeed and other Americans wrongfully detained, as we do now.

via Pastor Saeed Urgently Needs Our Help Now!.

Egypt: Christian Testimony against Muslims Rejected in Courts

Capture-court

Popular Egyptian columnist Karima Kamal recently wrote that although the Egyptian constitution stipulates equality before the law, the judiciary does not apply this provision and refuses the testimony of Christians against Muslims in courts.   Anecdotal evidence supports her claim.   Some weeks earlier, the following letter was published on Arabic media:

Yesterday I suffered an extremely harsh and psychological shock.   I went to court with one of my neighbors, a widow, to serve as witness in an inheritance case.  Another neighbor and witness accompanying us was a young Christian.  We had all been living as one family.  Imagine my shock, then, at the judge who very rudely and with incomprehensible disapproval rejected the testimony of the [Christian] youth [saying]: “It is unacceptable for a Christian to testify against a Muslim.”

In fact, Islamic law maintains that the testimony of an “infidel” cannot be accepted against a Muslim.

Raymond Ibrahim

Boko Haram uses Young Girls as Suicide Bombers in Terror Campaign

 

Photo: Voice of the Persecuted™

Photo: Voice of the Persecuted™

(Voice of the Persecuted)  Northeast Nigeria is suffering from a series of suspected Boko Haram attacks. The increase of female suicide bombers has brought fears that Boko Haram is forcibly using captives in its terror campaign. The group has abducted many girls and women, including the well known kidnapping of over 200 school girls from Chibok. Most of the girls are still missing.

In the center of the region scarred by the Boko Haram insurgency, Nigeria’s military is now moving it’s headquarters to Borno state’s capital, Maiduguri. During his presidential campaign, newly elected President Buhari swore to eliminate the Boko Haram, but the Boko Haram have stepped up their brutal attacks. Since becoming president in the late May, over 200 people have lost their lives to the jihadist militants. Many feel recaptured areas are still under great threat, with the displaced considering return to their own villages dangerous.

On June 22Maiduguri was devastated when a teenage girl strapped with explosives detonated herself at a bus station killing 30 and injured many. Shortly after the blast, another young female was seen running away from the crowd and detonated at a far distance from others. Concerns have been raised that these girls may have been Boko Haram captives used as suicide bombers.

In separate attacks on Monday and Tuesday, Boko Haram militants sped into Biu and Hawul villages in a convoy of pick ups and motorbikes with guns blazing. At least 42 villagers were shot as they tried to run from the gunmen, others had their throats slit. The militants took property of value, then set homes and businesses ablaze. Both villages were completely burned to the ground.

Yobe state has also come under repeated attacks. On Tuesday, in a village of Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, a girl between the age of 10-12 yrs. blew herself up in a market, which killed 10 and injured at least 30.

The Islamic group also hit southern Niger on Tuesday, riding in on horses and motorbikes. Five residents of Yebi village were killed in the surprise attack. The village was then burned by the militants.

The U.S. government said those responsible for the deaths must be held accountable.

“We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and friends of the victims of recent attacks in Borno State, attacks that resulted in more than 40 deaths. We condemn in the strongest terms the continued and widespread violence inflicted by Boko Haram on innocent men, women, and children in Nigeria. Those responsible must be held accountable.”

“These latest attacks serve as a reminder that despite progress on the battlefield, Boko Haram remains capable of deadly and destabilizing acts of terrorism. We commend the efforts by the Nigerian military, as well as the militaries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon for the gains they have made fighting Boko Haram. We encourage the government of Nigeria to take steps to secure and govern liberated areas by filling in behind military successes with police and civilian administration.”

“The United States stands with Nigeria in the face of this threat. We will continue to take steps to increase our support for their efforts,” said Department of State Spokesperson, John Kirby.

The Bishop of Maiduguri is hopeful the jihadists can be stopped.

“We have concrete hope that Boko Haram will be defeated soon. We are praying that Boko Haram will soon become a thing that belongs to the past”, says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, capital of the Nigerian State of Borno, where on June 22 two girls had carried out two attacks, killing 32 people. New attacks were committed in other areas of Borno State, always by suicide bombers.

According to Mgr. Doeme these attacks, although painful for the high number of victims, “are intended to show that the group is still alive and able to strike after the latest military offensives. We know, however, that Boko Haram has suffered significant losses and lost control of different territories. The defeat of Boko Haram fighters will not happen in one day. It will be necessary to dislodge them from their strongholds, especially in the forest, then proceed towards their complete disarmament”. “We hope that this will happen in the near future. We continue to pray for this to happen”, concludes the Bishop. (Fides)

Please pray for peace in Nigeria.

Voice of the Persecuted

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

give-love-with-open-hands

Message From Prison – Saeed Abedini

prison-bars-11254

June 24, 2015—Pastor Saeed Abedini was able to get a message to all those concerned and praying for him. He wants us to know that for 1000 days he has experienced utter darkness and has died, yet for 1001, he has been resurrected with Christ. That for 1001 days he has learned to forgive over and over and over again. That for 1001 days he has chosen Christ over what they have tried to force on him and he has stood on His faith in Jesus Christ despite the pressures, tortures and threats. He wants you all to know that through the Grace of God and your prayers, he has been able to stand strong and see lives redeemed inside of the prison. He has felt your prayers in prison as no prison walls can hinder them.

Please continue to press in with your prayers for his endurance and release.

And please continue in the campaign to cry out for Saeed, calling on our government officials until June 30th—the end of negotiations with Iran. Just a few minutes of your time to stand with and take action for our brother. Details Here

Barnabas & Amy T Bring Awareness to Imprisoned Pastor’s Case #FreeSaeed

Recently, Amy and Daniel Lofotu made a video to bring more awareness for Saeed’s cause. Saeed’s wife Naghmeh and his young children appear in the video.

For the next 6 days, we will be flooding the White House and State Department with messages to procure Saeed’s release prior to any deals with Iran. We have been updated that there is movement within our government in regards to Saeed and the other Americans being held in Iran. The White House phone lines were tied up from all of the calls coming in and the State Department voicemail was full. We’ve been given the green light to keep this going until the end of the month, which is the deadline for negotiations with Iran. Standing behind the Abedini’s, we will continue each day until June 30th. SEE DETAILS

At this critical time, please join us and encourage others to do so. Be their VOICE and keep the Abedini’s in yours prayers!

Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Iran Imprisonment Reaches Day 1,000 – A Call to the President and the U.S. Government

217dba297a9a74eb73668be2ae2c26bc
(Voice of the Persecuted)

Today marks the 1,000th day that Pastor Saeed Abedini has spent in an Iranian prison for his Christian faith. While the U.S. sits in negotiations with Iran, for too long Saeed has been separated from his wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children. Pastor Saeed, an American citizen was in Iran wrapping up the final details for a government approved orphanage when prior to returning home in 2012, he was suddenly apprehended by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. This Christian minister is now serving out a “virtual death sentence” of eight years in one of Iran’s most notorious prisons. Charged with “undermining the national security of Iran” because of his Christian faith, he has suffered brutal physical/psychological torture in an attempt to pressure Saeed to deny his faith. His life is also at risk by fellow inmates, as the prison is one of the most dangerous in the country.

Saeed has not denied Christ and has pressed into God who has helped him endure; in turn strengthening his faith. In the West, Saeed has been the face of Christian persecution. His case has literally open the eyes of thousands in the U.S. and the world to the fact that Christian persecution is a modern day reality and rising at unprecedented levels.  Pastor Abedini has been a wonderful example of what it truly means to give our all for Christ Jesus, even when faced with extreme persecution and possible death.
 .
It’s been a living nightmare for Saeed and his entire family. For these past 1000 days, his wife, children, along with other family members have experienced loneliness, depression, feelings of abandonment by the government and constant fear for their loved one. His young children cry for their daddy and pray for his soon return.  But they have reached out to God in this dire situation. Through this horrific ordeal which is affecting them immensely, they have learned what is means to completely trust in God and to rest in Christ. Their faith has also grown and the Lord has rewarded them with a supernatural peace. He is active and visibly present in their lives. Naghmeh has tirelessly traveled practically nonstop to advocate for her husband’s release and share her amazing testimony, faith and the love of Christ. She has also been a blessing and an inspiration to many.
This family, our family in Christ, needs our continued prayers, love and help.
 .
Letter to the Obama Administration

IT’S TIME TO BRING HIM HOME!

We call on President Obama and his administration to secure Saeed’s immediate release. It is inexcusable to continue with any type of negotiations, particularly a nuclear deal, when this American citizen wrongfully sits in a dark prison cell for his Christian faith. It is absurd that his belief in Jesus makes him a threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran. His incarceration is a tactic being used by the Iranian regime to strike fear in the hearts of Christians and those considering to convert to Christianity. Oppressing their own people.

As you sit across the table with the Iranian regime, everyday Iran continues to hold and brutally abuse innocent Americans, it is a metaphorical slap to the face of America. While in dialogue with them, American pastor Saeed Abedini prays to survive for one more day as he longs to be reunited with his family. His family prays for his health and well-being, while his children cry out for their father.

So many around the world dream of coming to this nation to live out their life protected with the freedom to worship without fears of extreme abuse. How can we ignore the fact and deal with a government who abuses this human right in the most extreme way? What message does this send to Iran and the rest of the world? How can we claim to stand up for the human rights of all people, yet abandon and leave behind our own brother, an innocent American?

Speaking on behalf of many who stand behind the Abedini family, we respectfully ask for our voices to be heard. NO DEALS with Iran without procuring freedom for Saeed Abedini. NO AGREEMENTS to be signed before he is back on U.S. soil. Freedom of religion is a cornerstone right for all other fundamental human rights. Let us prove to the world, we still care deeply for the religious rights of all humanity.  At this critical time in history, we must say NO to nations who abuse human rights. And certainly not continue to sit at bargaining tables with those detaining and abusing one of our own. Abused for his Christian faith, as they refuse to release him. Bring our brother home!

Lois Kanalos and the VOP Team

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

UPDATE- 7/1/2015: 

A deadline to reach an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program has been extended until July 7th. For as long as they continue with the talks, we too will be extending the campaign to call on our government to procure Saeed’s release before signing any deal.

Please take action and speak out!

While the U.S. is in negotiations with Iran for a nuclear deal, Joann Mizutani came up with an idea to duplicate the actions taken for Meriam Ibrahim (who is now free and living in the U.S.) for American Pastor Saeed Abedini. For the past 2 days, we’ve joined this campaign calling on the government to procure Saeed’s immediate release.  We have been updated that there is movement within our government in regards to Saeed and the other Americans being held in Iran. The White House phone lines were tied up from all of the calls. The State Department voicemail is already FULL. We’ve been given the green light to keep this going until the end of the month, which is the deadline for negotiations with Iran.  Standing behind the Abedini’s, we will continue each day until July 7, 2015. See details below.

Pastor Saeed’s wife truly appreciates all your efforts and support.

Contact the White House: (202) 456-1111 and leave a message with one of the nice volunteers and let them know that you will also say a prayer for them (remember WHY Saeed is incarcerated and make this about Jesus!)

Twitter users can Tweet to @POTUS, @BarackObama, and @WhiteHouse using #savesaeed #freesaeed

UPDATED Email the White House through https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments . You can select “Foreign Policy” or “Civil Rights” or both!

Contact the State Department: The general number is (202) 647-6575. The number for Secretary Kerry is (202) 647-9572 (per http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/112065.pdf )

Tweet to @JohnKerry and @StateDept using #savesaeed #freesaeed

Email the State Department through https://register.state.gov/contactus/contactusform . The subject heading should say something about Saeed or the Americans in general in Iran.

PLEASE BE CONCISE AND RESPECTFUL IN YOUR REQUESTS. We all feel very passionate about this and want our brother home with his family. Being disrespectful and/or spiteful will not garner any respect for our position and request.

Call multiple times throughout the day if you feel led. You can even go to their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts and leave comments. You can also email the White House and State Department. Flood every avenue you can.

Lastly, please share this on your social media accounts and anywhere else in order get the word out. Encourage others to help get our brother home. Thank you in advance. We can make a difference!

BE A VOICE FOR THE PERSECUTED!

Voice of the Persecuted

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Follow us on Facebook!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Our Voices Cry Out For The Persecuted Church

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,452 other followers

%d bloggers like this: