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Nigeria: calm returns to Jos after eruption of violence that threatened the nation

Jos is seen almost as a miniature Nigeria, comprising almost all ethnic groups, but actually dominated by three predominantly Christian tribes, with the headquarters of many Nigerian Churches in Jos. (World Watch Monitor)

(World Watch Monitor) A sense of normality has returned to the city of Jos, in Nigeria’s central Plateau State, after an eruption of inter-religious violence claimed at least three lives on 14 September.

One of them was Jerry Binkur, a final-year student at the University of Jos, who was a member of COCIN Church.

Several others were injured in attacks by a mob. One of them died from his wounds in the hospital, but his name is yet to be confirmed.

Professor Timothy O. Oyetunde, Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, was another of those attacked, at about 6.30pm.

According to his statement, the Christian professor was about to leave the university, when suddenly some Muslim youths armed with machetes, daggers, and other weapons surrounded his car. They first shattered the windscreen using large stones. Someone in the passenger seat, not yet identified, was stabbed in the chest, while Professor Ema Ema, sitting directly behind Professor Oyetunde, was stabbed in the head. Professor Oyetunde escaped with minor injuries, narrowly avoiding a machete which instead shattered the window glass. His car was later set ablaze.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been killed in ethnic and religious clashes in Plateau in recent years.

This week a dusk-to-dawn curfew, imposed by the governor last Thursday (14 September), has been relaxed to 10pm to 6am. Still, heavily armed soldiers and police remain on patrol at flashpoints such as Terminus Roundabout (in the city centre), ‎Kataka Market (which acts as a boundary between Muslim and Christian communities), Chobe Junction (a settlement dominated by Christians from the ethnic Igbo people) and Bauchi Road (dominated by Hausa Muslims).

On Sunday (17 September) security was beefed up in churches for fear of attacks. At Living Faith Church, on Recard Road, heavily armed soldiers, police and members of the Nigeria Civil Defence were deployed to prevent violence.

At Faithway Bible Church in the neighbouring city of Bukuru, the congregation prayed for total restoration of peace in Plateau State and across Nigeria. Pastor Theophilus Akaniro‎, who led the prayers, also prayed for Nigeria’s upcoming Independence Day on 1 October.

But in general there was low turnout in local churches last Sunday, perhaps for fear of attacks.

This week, across the city, shops have re-opened, life has resumed, and traffic has returned to the busy Ahmadu Bello Way. ‎Shop owners have expressed relief that normality has been restored.

What triggered the violence?

Thursday’s violence in Jos was triggered by the activism of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a predominantly Igbo group in southeast Nigeria, responsible for killing members of the Muslim Hausa community in the south in pursuit of its agenda.

The ‘Biafran War’ (1967-70) was fought to stop the south-east of Nigeria breaking away, soon after Nigeria’s independence from the British. Now it seems that this cause has re-ignited in the past few years.

IPOB militants and their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, think the Igbos have been marginalised by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. They have repeatedly requested to break away from Nigeria, which the federal government has vehemently resisted.

Last week, the federal government deployed the Nigerian Army (Operation Python Dance) to counter IPOB protests, which had turned violent.

This deployment snowballed into violent confrontation between IPOB militants and the Army, leading to the death of many IPOB members.

This further led to IPOB members attacking the Hausa/Fulani Muslims living in the south-east of Nigeria (Port Harcourt and Umuahia States, in particular) because the IPOB consider Hausa Muslims to be President Buhari’s kinsmen.

Some Hausa Muslims were killed in this violence. This has then led to reprisal attacks across northern states, and in Plateau. (One youth movement, Arewa Youth, in northern Nigeria had in June reiterated its wish for Igbos to be expelled from northern states, giving a three-month deadline, 1 October.)

Why Plateau State matters

Nigeria, the most populous African country, is divided along ethnic and religious lines. The central state of Plateau is located on the fault line between the mainly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south. Some analysts think the Jos attack has the potential to upset the relative calm that has recently prevailed in Plateau, with potential consequences reaching far beyond.

Jos is seen almost as a miniature Nigeria, comprising almost all ethnic groups, but actually dominated by three predominantly Christian tribes (with the headquarters of many Nigerian Churches in Jos); a disruption to the peace in Jos could in turn affect the entire nation, and especially the Christian community in Nigeria.

Before the latest Jos violence, northern youths had previously issued other notices, demanding that all Igbos be kicked out of the northern states. They said that since the Igbos want their own country, they would force them to leave the north.

Some even suspect that that the reprisal attack in Jos against the Igbos was actually orchestrated from the far north because Nigerians would normally expect such attacks to take place in the predominantly Muslim northern cities like Kano, Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara, but not in Jos.

It also shows that the recent peace in Plateau is still a very fragile one, and one that could collapse with a little provocation. The massacre of about 20 Christians by Fulani herdsmen, on 7 September, is an illustration.

Widespread condemnation

The violence was unanimously condemned by Christian and Muslim leaders.

“The peace of the State is the peace of the Church and society,” wrote Rev Soja Bewarang, chairman of the Plateau chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in a statement. “Let us all wise up and work collectively to frustrate the designs of criminals in our midst. Information on social media must be verified with security agencies and nobody should take the law into their hands; enough of this madness.”

CAN also called on Igbos in Plateau to remain calm, assuring them that nobody had the right to ask them to leave the state – as some Muslim youths had suggested.

Meanwhile, the Plateau State chapter of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) appealed to members of the Muslim community and the general public to shun acts capable of disrupting the hard-earned peace in the state.

“JNI finds it necessary and of utmost importance to remind us that we in Plateau State had just in the last few years emerged from a decade-long ethno-religious conflict, which left us with unbearable socio-economic and political consequences,” read a statement signed by Sani Mudi, Director of Publicity of the JNI in Plateau.

It continued: “The sad saga of disruption of peace and lawlessness in some parts of the country is not worth our response, except in the exhibition of [a] mature and civil way, trusting that appropriate authorities are capable of responding as the situation warrants. We should therefore cherish our peaceful co-existence and do all within our power to sustain it, regardless of the provocation, as peace is priceless.”

The governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, last Thursday met with community and religious leaders, and reaffirmed his determination to ensure security for all.

“I want to tell all citizens that their security and welfare as the primary concern of government is assured by the Rescue Administration. I am therefore enjoining all citizens to go about their business with the assurance that their safety is guaranteed,” he said.

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PAKISTAN – Case of the Christian student killed in school taken to Parliament

Photo: Youtube

(Agenzia Fides) – “The case of Sharon Masih is tragic and a shame for the country. It is necessary to act urgently. That is why I have asked all members of the National Assembly to reconsider the issue of the school curricula reform in Pakistan as a priority and I have asked to introduce the theme ‘inter-religious harmony’ as a subject in all public schools of every order and degree of study”: says to Agenzia Fides Christian parliamentarian Khalil George, who on 12 September spoke to the Pakistani Parliament concerning the case of the lynching of Christian student Sharon Masih, who was killed in school on August 30 by his Muslim peers (see Fides 2/9/2017 and 13/9/2017). As Fides learns, the serious question was listened and discussed by legislators. The episode, notes the Christian parliamentarian, “is an opportunity to reiterate the curriculum reform in schools”.

“Intolerance and religious hatred towards minorities are instilled in the minds of students through study programs. Instead, they should be based on inter-religious harmony, the basis for social cohabitation”, he explains to Fides. In the case of Masih, George adds, “serious action must be taken against the perpetrators, and the assassin must be punished according to the law”.

Khalil George also announces that he will present an official request to name the school, where he was lynched, after Sharon Masih. “And the victim’s parents, who live poorly, must be supported by the government”, he notes.

Other details of Sharon Masih’s story emerge. According to the reconstruction of some family members, one of the pretexts used by Muslim students to hit him (Masih was the only Christian in a class of 70 students) is “having used a glass used by all other students to drink water”. “Sharon was beaten up and the teachers did nothing to stop the violence”, they say. One of the teachers who attended school this morning told the police that he had not seen anything, as he was “busy reading a newspaper”.

The Pakistan Minorities Teachers Association, founded and led by Catholic Professor Anjum James Paul, said: “As confirmed by our studies, many textbooks adopted in schools contain sentences that give a distorted vision and fuels hatred and discrimination against non-Muslims. We are trying to convince the government to change this situation. We want to help make Pakistan a state in which people belonging to religious minorities feel and live as an integral part of the nation”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 14/9/2017)


 

Nigerian government ‘complicit’ in ‘stealth jihad’, warn Christian leaders

(World Watch Monitor) A group representing senior Christians in Nigeria has accused the government of trying to Islamise the country.

In a statement on 6 September, ‘Jihad in Nigeria: burying the head in sand’, the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) said jihad threatened the unity of the country.

NCEF is composed of a number of retired, high-ranking leaders from civil and military occupations, including former Defence Minister Theophilus Danjuma.

The group said its warning about the threat of jihad, in a previous release in July, had been ignored, and that Nigeria is moving “dangerously close to a national ‘red line’, where Truth is criminalised as ‘hate speech’”

“Under the present administration, every key and sensitive position in National Security is held by Muslims from the north, in outright violation of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution,” it said.

“There is a deliberate attempt to emasculate Christians, southerners and other non-Muslim population[s] of Nigeria verifiably by intimidation and force,” it added, calling it a “stealth jihad”.

The group also denounced the government’s failure to curb the violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

“Fulani herdsmen operate with impunity in mostly Christian areas, killing, maiming, raping, and destroying without any arrest, without any prosecution,” NCEF said.

“If this is not complicity of the Muslim-dominated security services, are we then to conclude that the Nigerian security units are so incompetent that they cannot successfully engage insurgents after the Nigerian Army successfully prosecuted a Civil War?”

Many experts on Nigeria now believe that violence across the Middle Belt, which World Watch Monitor has reported on at length, has been responsible for more deaths than Boko Haram.

According to Professor Yusufu Turaki, Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion, Church and Society at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary, there is a “vibrant and active revivalist Islamism” in northern Nigeria, which he blamed for the radicalisation of Boko Haram members and many Fulani herdsmen.


Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our persecuted Christians including those who’ve fled government camps to escape the ongoing threats and pressure to convert. If you would like to show your love and support for those who’ve faced unimaginable persecution please support our Nigerian relief mission, today.We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

In great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They have been so encouraged and thankful for each one of you who have joined this mission through your prayers and support. Your gifts have brought so many smiles. THANK YOU!

Together with your generous help, 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

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed

Persecuted Christians pressured to return to homeland under threat of persecution

Christian asylum seeker worries for 1 yr. old son born in Thailand

 

Bangkok Thailand (Voice of the Persecuted)  – Pakistani Christians fleeing persecution face much discrimination receive little help while seeking asylum through the UNHCR. Instead of a reprieve, most are living in horrid conditions with little to no support. They are unable to legally work and therefore unable to shelter or feed themselves or their children. Cries of hunger from the little ones is a heartbreaking reality for many parents. Their poor children are not even allowed to attend school.

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers at risk of arrest

Thailand is not a signatory to the 1951 refugee convention and considers these asylum seekers, who hold UNHCR asylum seeker cards, as being illegals in the country. The are live in constant fear of being arrested and sent to the IDC, or worse, the Central Jail. Imagine years of going through this process waiting to be approved and sent to a host country. High blood pressure and depression is common even for young adults.

Many Pakistani Christians in Thailand are now being denied asylum status. When the UNHCR denies asylum, the applicant is given 30 days to appeal against the decision or their case file is automatically closed. If they decide to appeal, then their cards are extended for another year.  If the applicant decides not to appeal, then they must file an application in writing to be repatriated which they can do through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) who are accepting applications for those with active and closed files that want to repatriate.

Jackson, his wife and their 1 yr. old son, who was born in Thailand, is a family who had received support through Voice of the Persecuted’s relief program. Sadly are going back to Pakistan. After a series of devastating events, the couple made the very hard choice to leave Thailand and return to Pakistan. The UNHCR had recently denied their application for refugee status and told them it was safe for them to return despite the heavy impetus of ongoing persecution against Christians in Pakistan.

The family was extremely disappointed with the decision and did not want to go back as they feared for their lives in their homeland. Despite the UNHCR’s rejection, they were determined to stay in Thailand and appeal the denial. However, they were forced to review their decision when Jackson was called back to the Thai Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) on 31st August 2017.

Along with other asylum seekers, Jackson was arrested when Bangkok police and Thai immigration authorities carried out raids in March 2015. He went through a harrowing experience of staying in Central Jail with hardened criminals then subsequently moved to the IDC. He had been on a bail bond of 50,000 THB ($1500) since August 2015. He was required to report every 2 weeks to the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) and he had been punctual in doing so. In March 2017, his bail was in jeopardy as the IDC was in conflict with UNHCR. The IDC issued a notification that the bails of those who had not received refugee status from the UNHCR would be cancelled. At that time, approximately 200 asylum seekers were on bail. Like them, Jackson was still waiting for the status result and told to return to the IDC.

Miraculously, some charities and the UNHCR negotiated with the IDC to extend the deadline so the UNHCR would have more time to assess the cases. Unanimously it was decided that the IDC would extend its deadline till August 2017 and in return the UNHCR would give results of all those on bail. It is disturbing to note since then, all except one have been denied refugee status by UNHCR. Upon appeal, most have had their files closed and their UN identity cards confiscated. The closure of their UNHCR asylum file automatically gives the IDC the right to cancel the bail. However, Jackson’s case remained active because, in fear for his family’s situation, he never appealed against the UNHCR’s decision. He feared that the UNHCR would close their case if they appealed, so they requested for return tickets from the IOM instead.

The return process was also not easy for them. They needed travel documents to return. Jackson’s passport had been confiscated by the IDC and his son didn’t have a passport as he was born in Thailand. Jackson had to go to the Pakistan Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand where embassy officials treated him with disgust and humiliated him by calling him a traitor.

Jackson cried and told them that he had 1-year old son and asked them to have pity on him. The officials asked him to give a copy of his UN cards and told him to write in the application that he felt safe returning to Pakistan. Under pressure, he felt he had to write as they asked. We believe the Government of Pakistan will use such applications at an international level to prove its innocence despite its World Watch List status of the

VOP representative includes a message for our suffering brothers and sisters in the IDC

4th worst country to live as a Christian.

The young father pleaded to the Immigration to extend his bail by 4 more days as he had return tickets for this month, but they didn’t listen to him. He was put in the IDC while his wife remained outside with their son. They too have confirmed tickets. Jackson would be taken to the airport from the IDC and his wife travel alone with her son. She was also expected to pay 20,000 THB ($614) or else she would not be allowed to embark the flight. Because she evaded arrest during her stay in Thailand, the penalty of staying illegally in Thailand must be paid before she could leave. If the fine couldn’t be paid, she would have to stay, with her son, in the IDC for over 1 week before being allowed to leave the country. She feared her 1-year old son might contract a skin infection or other contagious diseases. Graciously, a Thai citizen paid her fine and airfare for the family. We are grateful for their compassion.

By Christian, VOP Asian Correspondent

“Blessed are those that are persecuted.” Matthew 5:11 

This appalling situation has forced ‘our brother and sister’ to make this high-risk decision. Our hearts are hurting for them and our prayers go with them.

Once in Thailand, the family will move to another province in effort to be safe from their persecutors, but there is no guarantee that they would ever be safe.

Please keep them in your prayers as they wanted to stay but were stuck in whirlpool of problems in Thailand’s harsh system which instigated their extremely hard choice to return.

VOP is on the ground in Thailand. Together with your generous help, 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

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

Donations always desperately needed

 

‘Prostitution is rife’ – sexual exploitation of Boko Haram survivors in IDP camps

Christian women living in IDP camps are vulnerable to sexual exploitation by government officials.

Thousands of Christians in north-east Nigeria displaced by Boko Haram’s insurgency now face discrimination and harsh treatment – including sexual exploitation – by government officials, reports Global Christian News (GCN).

While many thousands have been killed, others sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon or in the relatively safe states in the Middle Belt and southern Nigeria. Still thousands of others, trapped in camps run by the government, are often forced to convert to Islam even to get food, GCN points out.

“Whenever supplies come, the sharing is chaotic. The officials would make us queue and usually fights break out as people struggle to jump queues, and if you are a Christian you are harassed and insulted. ‘Get out infidel!’ is usually what you hear all the time,” said Margaret, who was forced to leave the government-controlled NYSC camp in Maiduguri.

Christian women are particularly vulnerable, she noted, saying: “Muslim men come in their cars every evening and women are ‘arranged’ for them by some camp officials and middlemen who have access to the camps.”

She said prostitution is rife in the camps. “Our young vulnerable Christian teenage girls are being destroyed by men,” she said. “They deceive the girls, get them pregnant and divorce them. Many times the Muslims come to meet us [women] and say they want to marry us and take us away from the suffering. They say we should simply convert to Islam and all will be okay.”

The report also highlighted other forms of discrimination against Christians, notably in the reconstruction efforts. The governor of Borno state claimed that 20 churches have been rebuilt, but according to some Christian leaders, the picture the government is trying to paint to show its magnanimity is false.

“As you drive into Maiduguri from Damaturu, please do observe for yourself how many villages have been rebuilt by the Borno government. In each of the villages, the government will build a large mosque, whether that mosque existed before or not,” one pastor said.

GCN’s report echoes previous allegations of discriminations faced by Christians IDPs.

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our persecuted Christians including those who’ve fled government camps to escape the ongoing threats and pressure to convert. If you would like to show your love and support for those who’ve faced unimaginable persecution please support our Nigerian relief mission, today.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They have been so encouraged and thankful for each one of you who have joined this mission through your prayers and support. Your gifts have brought so many smiles. THANK YOU!

Together with your generous help, 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

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed

Nigeria: father and son killed, three women and a baby kidnapped

At least nine Christians were killed and a number of churches and properties burnt down in 2007, in Tudun Wada. (WWM.)

(World Watch Monitor) A father and son were killed, and three women and a baby abducted, in an attack in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano, in the largely Muslim area of Tudun Wada.

At around 8pm on 15 August, armed men, believed to be local Muslims, attacked the house of Baba Kale Dankali (62), a local Christian, and killed him.
His son, Micah Kale (20) heard the gunshot, went out to see what had happened and found his father dead. At his agonised cries, the attackers returned and shot him dead too.

Both victims’ widows fled with their children.

The armed men also targeted other Christian families, kidnapping three women and a baby.

Fear caused many Christians to flee; it brought back memories of previous attacks, including the September 2007 violence, which claimed nine lives among Christians, according to official figures. (However, other sources put the toll far higher than that – one policeman was overheard complaining he was “fed up of packing corpses.”)

Locals say the latest attack is part of ongoing persecution aimed at uprooting Christians from the region.

In April 2015, in Gidan Maso village, Rogo, local youths set fire to the home and Baptist church of Rev. Habila Garba, after they failed to find a Christian man who’d briefly converted to Islam before returning to Christianity.

Reverend Garba’s daughter died of suffocation in the fire.

This prompted a reaction from the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi II, one of the most prominent Muslim leaders in Nigeria. In a landmark decision, he expressed his dismay, and ordered the rebuilding of the destroyed church and house. He also warned that such an incident should never be repeated in Rogo or anywhere else in Kano State Emirate.

In 2007, several churches had been burnt and businesses and homes of non- Muslims looted and destroyed during the violence, forcing owners to flee. Policemen were reported to have lost their homes and property.

That violence appears to have begun when a group of Muslim students invaded a room shared by two Christians at the Government Secondary School in Tudun Wada, and began to severely attack them. When the Christians asked what they had done wrong, their assailants told them to “mind their own business”. However, once the school Principal arrived, the Christians were accused of drawing a picture of Mohammed on a mosque wall and of planning an assault on Muslim students.

Despite the Emir’s stance in 2015, violence still goes on, a local Christian leader – who prefers to remain anonymous – told World Watch Monitor. He said years of impunity make Christians an easy target, as Muslim armed men can attack or kidnap Christians for ransom, with the complicity of some local authorities.

All attempts to bring cases to justice have failed, as no investigation is carried out. Even when the perpetrators were identified, they were not prosecuted. Moreover, the victims face lots of intimidation, with some often arrested or charged themselves by local authorities when they report the crime.

An aid worker from Open Doors (a charity which supports Christians under pressure for their faith), who visited recently, confirmed that Christians in Tudun Wada are in great difficulty.

Each time they tried to rebuild churches destroyed during the 2007 violence, local Muslims destroyed everything overnight. The government is not doing anything to prevent the locals from this vandalism, he said. This has become so discouraging that some churches decided to sell their land to the government and rebuild their churches elsewhere. Others are forced to gather for worship in the ruins of their church.

He says Christians are also denied basic rights, and are not allowed to buy land or build churches. All mission schools and hospitals have been repossessed by the government, while Christian children are denied scholarships for study.

Christian girls are frequently abducted and forced to marry Muslim men.
Christian youths have to be home-schooled, or assume Muslim names in order to be allowed entry to government schools – or have to relocate to schools in the predominantly Christian south or in the Middle Belt region.

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christians experiencing brutal persecution. If you would like to show your love and support for those who’ve faced unimaginable persecution, please support our Nigerian mission project, today.

We are committed to being a VOICE for persecuted Nigerian Christians and bring them comfort, relief, and encouragement. We have committed to a long-term mission in Nigeria. When they are able to return home, we will be there to encourage and help rebuild villages and their lives. They will not be forgotten!

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on orphan-306x4601them. They have been so encouraged and thankful for each one of you who have joined this mission through your prayers and support. Your gifts have brought so many smiles. THANK YOU!

Together with your generous help, 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

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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

If the Lord is placing it on your heart and you are able, please help us to continue the mission in Nigeria. It will be a long term project. Donations always desperately needed

EGYPT – Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II: Let us pray also for the evil who attack churches

Following the attacks on churches and the massacres of Christians that have bloodied Egypt in recent months, “the Coptic Church has prayed for all”, even for “the evil people” who have attacked churches and Christians . With these words, the Coptic Patriarch has again given witness of the transparent faith with which many Coptic Christians have experienced the many experiences of martyrdom that have marked the recent journey of their Church. He did this during an interview with the Japanese television network Asahi, reiterating his confidence in the power of prayer, “which can change hearts”.

The interview was released by Patriarch Tawadros during the Japanese visit that the Coptic Primate of the Coptic Church is carrying out in several communities of the Coptic diaspora and starting from August 30, will continue in Australia. During his stay in Japan, Tawadros also inaugurated the Cathedral of Our Lady of St. Mark in Kyoto, the first Japanese Coptic church.

In the interview with Asahi TV, the Coptic Patriarch also stated that (more…)

“It’s a War on Christians”: Muslim Persecution of Christians, April 2017

 

As in former years, Easter was under attack in various Muslim nations, most spectacularly in Egypt. On April 9, two Coptic Christian Orthodox churches packed with worshippers for Palm Sunday Mass, which initiates Easter holy week, were attacked by Islamic suicide bombers. Twenty-seven people—mostly children—were killed in St. George’s in Tanta, northern Egypt. “Where is the government?” an angry Christian there asked AP reporters. “There is no government! There was a clear lapse in security, which must be tightened from now on to save lives.” Less than two hours later, 17 people were killed in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Since the original building, founded by the Evangelist Mark in the first century, was burned to the ground during the seventh century Muslim invasions of Egypt, the church has been the historic seat of Coptic Christianity. Pope Tawadros, who was present—and apparently targeted—emerged unharmed. About 50 Christians were killed in the two bombings, 126 wounded and many mutilated. (Graphic images/video of aftermath here.)

A few days earlier, on April 1, 3,000 fatwas [opinions by Islamic authorities] inciting the destruction of churches in Egypt had been circulated throughout Egypt. A number of Egyptian Christians interviewed after the twin bombings said that government-funded mosques regularly incite hatred and violence for Christians over their loudspeakers. In other mosques, according to Michael, a middle-aged Christian, “there are prayers to harm Christians. They incite to violence, youths are being filled with hatred against us and acting on it. It concerns us all. It leads to terrorism and to Christians being targeted.” Separately a Christian woman said, “The problem starts at school where children are treated differently. In school some refused to speak to me because I was a Christian.”

In Nigeria, Muslim Fulani herdsmen randomly opened fire on a Christian village. According to Bishop Bagobiri, “The attack came when the people were in the church for the Easter Vigil celebration.” The Muslim gunmen killed “at least 12 persons on the spot, with many injured,” including women and children. Instead of celebrating Easter Sunday, the bishop and a local priest presided over the burial of “at least ten Catholics.” The bishop publicly accused the local governor, a Muslim, of complicity with the perpetrators and bias against their victims.

In Pakistan, a “major terrorist attack” targeting Christians during Easter celebrations was foiled, according to the nation’s military. An Islamic militant was killed and four soldiers injured during the raid. Among the Muslim terrorists arrested was a female second-year medical student who said she was preparing to “martyr” herself as part of a suicide attack on a church during Easter Sunday. Last year in Lahore, an Easter Day Islamic attack left more than 70 people dead.

In Indonesia, 300 Christians from two churches that remain sealed by authorities in West Java, celebrated their fifth Easter by protesting outside the presidential palace in hopes that the president lifts a banning order preventing them from holding services in their own houses of worship. Both churches are legally registered but “are being persecuted by local authorities who refuse to allow them to worship in (more…)

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