VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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India’s Christians forced to pray in secret

india-church

Many Christians in India have to pray in secret. Churches are being set on fire, believers attacked and property vandalised. This rising tide of violence shows no sign of stopping. Some blame the hugely influential Hindu nationalist RSS organisation, which is close to the ruling party, the BJP. The RSS paramilitaries advocate a purely Hindu India. Watch the video of this excellent report here

Three Christians in Egypt Arrested for Allegedly Showing Contempt for Islam

egypt map

(Morning Star News) – Three Christians in Egypt have been accused of showing disdain or contempt for Islam after an evangelism outreach to Muslims over the weekend in the port city of Alexandria, sources said.

The three Christians were arrested on Saturday (July 11) after at least one was stopped for handing out small bags of dried dates and copies of the Sermon on the Mount, according to human rights activists. In addition to the dates, a snack Muslims commonly eat when breaking the Ramadan day-time fast, the bags contained a statement about God’s love and His omniscient nature.

“The Lord knows all that occurs, for He is the mighty knower,” the message read. “He can carry on His shoulders all that is oppressive and exhausting and bring comfort and joy, for He loves you very much.”

The bags also carried the name of an Arabic-language website about Jesus and the Christian faith.

Scripture-passage-and-dates-taken-as-evidence-in-blasphemy-charge.-Morning-Star-News

The outreach offended a Muslim who forcibly detained one of the three Christians and took him to a police station, according to a church leader in Alexandria who knows those who were arrested. The Muslim man told the Christian that if police didn’t punish him severely enough, he would seek his own “justice” against him, the church leader said.

The arrests were illegal, said the church leader, who requested anonymity.

“They were just giving out dates during the iftar [fast-breaking evening meal] hour and little booklets with the Sermon on the Mount on them,” he said. “In Egypt there is no such crime as evangelism, and if we look at this as a blasphemy case, there was no blasphemy either. The boys did nothing insulting whatsoever.”

All three were released on a 10,000 Egyptian pound (US$1,280) bond on Monday (July 13), awaiting further investigation by the attorney general’s office or a judge’s decision to either pursue or drop the case. The church leader said the consensus in the Christian community was that the case would be dropped.

Contrary to several media reports, the leader said the three were not beaten in jail. Still, the ordeal was difficult, one of those arrested said on his Facebook account, before the account was removed.

“If someone had been caught with hashish or was drinking alcohol on the street, it would have been easier for them than everything we’ve gone through,” the Christian said.

The names and ages of the three Christians have not been confirmed. One was identified as Stephen Boutros Fayed, and the full names of the other two, said to be Fady and Shady, were not immediately known. They were said to be in their late teens or early 20s, with one possibly being a minor.

After police arrested the Christian distributing literature and dates, he was allowed to call one of his friends. The friend went to the police station on Sunday (July 12) with a third Christian to offer assistance, and the two were promptly arrested and charged with blasphemy as well, sources said.

It was unclear if the two other Christians were involved in the evangelism outreach.

Egypt’s 2014 Constitution guarantees both religious freedom and freedom of expression, but the Constitution is often trumped by the penal code and aggressive, often unfair enforcement of Article 98F. While not strictly a blasphemy statute, Article 98F prohibits acts that show disdain or contempt for “any of the heavenly religions or the sects belonging thereto.” A violation is punishable by detention for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years, or paying a fine of not less than 500 Egyptian pounds and not exceeding 1,000 Egyptian pounds.

Ishak Ibrahim, freedom of religion and belief officer for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), said the outreach was legal and that the arrest was just another example of the government’s abuse of the law to persecute religious minorities.

“In Egyptian criminal law, there is no crime called ‘evangelism’ or any punishment for it,” Ibrahim said. “But there is a section that considers blasphemy against a ‘heavenly religion’ to be a crime in cases where it threatens the unity of a nation. But in this case, they are being accused of blasphemy. It’s not that they really did blaspheme; it’s a misuse of the law.”

Blasphemy cases have been on the rise since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was sworn into office in 2014. There have been 15 blasphemy cases since January, according to EIPR. The blasphemy cases disproportionately target Christians, but other religious minorities, such as Shia Muslims and Baha’i, have also been charged with actions against a “heavenly religion.”

Keep our Egyptian brothers and sisters in your prayers.

(UPDATED RECEIVED: READ FULL REPORT ) “If Boko Haram succeed in cutting us off from the other part of Nigeria, Maiduguri is doomed”

Update (3pm) CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT  from our project contact on the front lines in Nigeria.

(UPDATED: FULL REPORT RECEIVED) “If Boko Haram succeed in cutting us off from the other part of Nigeria, Maiduguri is doomed”

NIGERIA: (Voice of the Persecuted) Latest update FULL REPORT from our project contact on the front lines in Nigeria.

What is known as the circumscription of Maiduguri diocese has gone through untold hardship and pains.  Our people are been massacred daily. Traveling from one part  of the diocese to another has become dangerous as it is deadly.  From Maiduguri which houses the Episcopal Throne – the head quarter of the diocese to the Adamawa part of the diocese which before now takes just three hours now lasts about fifteen hours by road.  We now have to travel through Damaturu in Yobe state, Gombe state and Yola before making it to Mubi axis of the Catholic diocese of Maiduguri.

Traveling for hours is not our major plight but the danger on the way has recently become a constant threat.

Commuting along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway was halted again for the fourth ‎time in a week, as security operatives battle to prevent travelers from driving into an ambush by the bloodthirsty insurgents. I passed through this road to Maiduguri from Jos on Wednesday 15/7/2015. A lot of cars were intercepted and burnt down. A good number of the residents of most villages along the Maiduguri – Damaturu highway had fled their communities for fear of further attacks.  The rate of the Boko Haram attacks in the past few weeks have become worrisome and dangerous. This remains the only route linking Maiduguri city with the other parts of the world. One can only imagine, what it would look like, if the terrorists succeed in cutting us off from the other part of Nigeria.

dangerous explosion while driving on highway

dangerous explosion while driving on highway

Vehicles intercepted and burnt

Vehicles intercepted and burnt

Boko Haram has in the last one year bombed all major bridges on ‎four of the five highways linking the rest of the world with Maiduguri. The group has also planted landmines on the roads, killing several travellers.

Maiduguri now hosts over a million internally displaced persons, and now relies only on the Kano-Damaturu-Maiduguri  highway for access. But with the incessant onslaught on the highway by the Boko Haram terrorists, there are fears by residents that even the only relatively safe route might be taken by the terrorists.

We hope that soldiers would be deployed to Benisheik town, 85 kilometres from Maiduguri, to specifically guard the major bridge along ‎the highway, for fear that the terrorists might be plotting to attack the bridge. If that happens, ‎we are doomed in Maiduguri, because that is the only surviving road that thousands of travellers ply daily.

Two days after the attack on  Mainok town in Borno state, which left over 30 persons dead and most part of the village burnt, Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday returned to attack villagers returning to count their losses.

Mainok is a town located about 65 kilometres from Maiduguri, in  Kaga local government area of Borno state. The attack lasted about five hours as the gunmen took their time to ensure that no single edifice in the village was left untouched, even as more than 30 villagers and travelers  were said to have been killed during the attack.

Sources said more than a hundred Boko Haram terrorists had, at about 5:30pm, stormed Mainok town and opened fire on civilians, killing at least 40 helpless civilians. More than 30 vehicles that were trapped near the village were also burnt as well as hundreds of homes.

Warsala, a village located on the boundary between Borno and Yobe states, in northeast Nigeria, was the latest community along the Kano-Maiduguri highway, that is being attacked by Boko Haram extremists. The attack took place at about 8pm when the gunmen arrived Warsala shooting sporadically and killing innocent citizens freely.

The agrarian community is not more than 5km from Ngamdu, another village along the highway that buried 10 persons killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Friday night. Travelers along the route on Wednesday drove through villages practically deserted, as they sighted some smoking trailer trucks and many cars abandoned by the road side. Some spots were  stranded villagers fleeing the dead zone.

A group of travelers along this same route  were attacked, and many killed  in Ngamdu village about 2 kilometres away from Warsala, which is a village under Yobe state.

The rampaging Boko Haram terrorists have  forced the village to start fleeing their homes en mass.  People numbering over 3000 were seen trekking [on foot], some were conveyed in trucks and available vehicles.  The  Damaturu-Maiduguri highway is becoming a dead zone; this is the fourth attack this week from Monday. We pray intensive patrol measures be launched to stop this massacre.

We still have a good number of  helpless citizens/ Catholics and priests who must ply this highway daily….your prayers and constant intercession is needed now more than ever. As you can see in the photos above, the situation is very dangerous. Please pray for peace for our brethren and peace in Nigeria.

Project 13:3 Nigeria

orphan-306x4601In the camp we are helping to aid, the people are desperately struggling. “Their home villages are yet to be conquered. They can’t go back home. Our people are hungry and sick. There is an urgent need for food, medication, clothing, and beddings.” (the camp does not discriminate between denominations, all are loved and welcome.)

We are praying with your help to get the much needed medication and nutritional needs immediately to the families forced to live in this primitive refugee camp. Many who survive attacks and persecution, have no other choice but to live under the extremely harsh conditions of the camps. Many have succumbed to starvation, illness and disease. The children and elderly are most affected. We cannot forget or give up on them. These dear ones are in dire need of our compassion and support, today. Is God calling you to be His vessel in Nigeria? If the Lord is burdening your heart for them, please help us now to shine God’s love and comfort over these families, our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.

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

Voice of the Persecuted

Obama Gets Frustrated With CBS Reporter Major Garrett Who Raises 4 Americans Held in Iran (VIDEO)

Boko Haram intensifies terror attacks

Boko-Haram

Nigeria: On July 10, a Boko Haram militant dressed as a woman was apprehended. He later confessed to being a member of the Islamist terrorist group. And told authorities that he intended to meet 29 other members who were present in Yola.

Monday, the Borno state police commissioner confirmed attacks by Boko Haram near Monguno.

“Boko Haram terrorists had on Friday night attacked Misala and Kalwa, which are two neighboring villages. The two villages are located not more than 17km from Monguno town on the way to Marte.

Through the night, they set houses ablaze. And later 43 persons were found dead either killed by gunshots or slaughtered like animals. They continued their attacks on other villages around the area, and set the homes ablaze. These villages had already been  abandoned, so there were no fatalities. A security member said many villages in the Monguno local government areas are being attacked almost  daily.

Chad: On July 11, a suicide bomber dressed as a woman (in a full-face veil) attacked a busy market in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad killing 15 people and injuring nearly 100. Military police tried to stop him, but was heard saying, “Allahu Akbar,” God is great in Arabic, before detonating himself.

A month ago, N’Djamena was the scene of a deadly attack that killed nearly 40 people. After that attack, Chad put a ban on women wearing the burqa attempting to prevent suicide attacks. In June, 2 more suicide bombings in N’Djamena killed 11 people.

The Chadian authorities have now stepped up their security measures and warned anyone found wearing the Muslim full-face veil would be arrested. With the latest attack, Chad plans to strictly enforce the ban. Paul Manga, national police spokesman was quoted as saying, “It now must be respected more than ever by the entire population.” And “Anyone who does not obey the law will be automatically arrested and brought to justice.”

Chad has been a major participant in the 4 nation coalition offensive (including Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon) to fight against Boko Haram. The Islamic terror group has publicly threatened the Chadian President with retaliation.

A deadly attack was thwarted when explosives were found at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in the city of Jos on Sunday, July 12. Sources say the bombs were later defused by the Explosives Ordinance Division of the Nigerian Police Force. Jos is an area which has suffered at hands the militants during it’s 6 year long brutal campaign. 

A spokesman for the state police in Plateau said, “It was averted because the bomb was detected by the church’s security personnel. There were no casualties.” 

Cameroon: The Cameroonian military reported that at least 12 civilians and a Chadian soldier were killed in two suicide attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in the town of Fotokol of northern Cameroon, in the evening on Sunday, July 12. An officer said the attacks were targeting a special forces camp located in the town.

Niger: The militants who intended free its members from the prison in the town of Diffa, were repelled according to the country’s military. Three Boko Haram members were killed, along with one soldier in the gun battle. The prison had been attack early this year in February by the Islamic militants.

Trying to instill fear, Boko Haram recently released a video showing gruesome execution similar to the ones seen in the ISIS videos.

On Monday, Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari fired the security chiefs of the army, navy and air force  as the country endures the worst period of violence by Islamist insurgents since he came to power six weeks ago.Replacements have been chosen but have not been announced.

View the Fox News interview with Former Ambassador John Campbell and Emmanuel Ogebe, a international human rights lawyer debate the extremist group’s capabilities. 

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

When Muslims Betray Non-Muslim Friends and Neighbors

raq

Days ago, after the Islamic State [IS] entered the Syrian city of Hassakè, prompting a mass exodus of Christians, a familiar, though often overlooked scene, took place: many otherwise “normal” Muslims joined ranks with IS, instantly turning on their longtime Christian neighbors.

This is the third category of Muslims that lurks between “moderates” and “radicals”: “sleepers,” Muslims who appear “moderate” but who are merely  waiting for circumstances to turn to Islam’s advantage before they join the jihad; Muslims who are waiting for the rewards of jihad to become greater than the risks.

There is no lack of examples of these types of Muslims.  The following are testimonials from non-Muslims, mostly Christian refuges from those regions of Iraq and Syria now under Islamic State (or other jihadi) control.  Consider what they say about their longtime Sunni neighbors who appeared “moderate”—or at least nonviolent—but who, once the jihad came to town, exposed their true colors:

Georgios, a man from the ancient Christian town of Ma‘loula—one of the few areas in the world where the language of Christ was still spoken—told of how Muslim neighbors he knew all his life turned on the Christians after al-Nusra, another jihadi outfit, invaded in 2013:

We knew our Muslim neighbours all our lives. Yes, we knew the Diab family were quite radical, but we thought they would never betray us. We ate with them. We are one people.

A few of the Diab family had left months ago and we guessed they were with the Nusra [al-Qaeda front]. But their wives and children were still here. We looked after them. Then, two days before the Nusra attacked, the families suddenly left the town. We didn’t know why. And then our neighbours led our enemies in among us.

The Christian man explained with disbelief how he saw a young member of the Diab family whom he knew from youth holding a sword and leading foreign jihadis to Christian homes.  Continues Georgios:

We had excellent relations. It never occurred to us that Muslim neighbours would betray us. We all said “please let this town live in peace — we don’t have to kill each other.”  But now there is bad blood. They brought in the Nusra to throw out the Christians and get rid of us forever. Some of the Muslims who lived with us are good people but I will never trust 90 per cent of them again.

A teenage Christian girl from Homs, Syria—which once had a Christian population of approximately 80,000, but which is now reportedly zero—relates her story:

We left because they were trying to kill us. . . . They wanted to kill us because we were Christians. They were calling us Kaffirs [infidels], even little children saying these things. Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house. I’ve kept in touch with the few Christian friends left back home, but I cannot speak to my Muslim friends any more. I feel very sorry about that. (Crucified Again, p. 207)

When asked who exactly threatened and drove Christians out of Mosul, which fell to the Islamic State a year ago, another anonymous Christian refugee responded:

We left Mosul because ISIS came to the city. The [Sunni Muslim] people of Mosul embraced ISIS and drove the Christians out of the city. When ISIS entered Mosul, the people hailed them and drove out the Christians….

The people who embraced ISIS, the people who lived there with us… Yes, my neighbors. Our neighbors and other people threatened us. They said: “Leave before ISIS get you.” What does that mean? Where would we go?…  Christians have no support in Iraq. Whoever claims to be protecting the Christians is a liar. A liar!

Nor is such Muslim treachery limited to Christians.  Other “infidels,” Yazidis for example, have experienced the same betrayal.  Discussing IS invasion of his village, a 68-year-old Yazidi man who managed to flee the bloody offensive—which included the slaughter of many Yazidi men and enslavement of women and children—said:

The (non-Iraqi) jihadists were Afghans, Bosnians, Arabs and even Americans and British fighters….  But the worst killings came from the people living among us, our (Sunni) Muslim neighbours….  The Metwet, Khawata and Kejala tribes—they were all our neighbours. But they joined the IS, took heavy weapons from them, and informed on who was Yazidi and who was not. Our neighbours made the IS takeover possible.

Likewise, watch this 60 Minute interview with a Yazidi woman.  When asked why people she knew her whole life would suddenly join IS and savagely turn on her people, she replied:

I can’t tell you exactly, but it has to be religion.  It has to be religion.  They constantly asked us to convert, but we refused.  Before this, they never mentioned it.  Prior, we thought of each other as family.  But I say, it has to be religion.

Lest it seem that this phenomenon of Sunni betrayal is limited to Islamic jihad in Mesopotamia, know that it has occurred historically and currently in other nations.  The following anecdote from the Ottoman Empire is over 100 years old:

Then one night, my husband came home and told me that the padisha [sultan] had sent word that we were to kill all the Christians in our village, and that we would have to kill our neighbours. I was very angry, and told him that I did not care who gave such orders, they were wrong. These neighbours had always been kind to us, and if he dared to kill them Allah would pay us out. I tried all I could to stop him, but he killed them — killed them with his own hand. (Sir Edwin Pears, Turkey and Its People, London: Methuen and Co., 1911, p. 39)

And in Nigeria—a nation that shares little with Syria, Iraq, or Turkey, other than Islam—a jihadi attack on Christians that left five churches destroyed and several Christians killed was enabled by “local Muslims”:

The Muslims in this town were going round town pointing out church buildings and shops owned by Christians to members of Boko Haram, and they in turn bombed these churches and shops.

Such similar patterns of traitorous behavior—patterns that cross continents and centuries, patterns that regularly appear whenever Muslims live alongside non-Muslims—are easily understood by turning to Koran 3:28:

Let believers [Muslims] not take infidels [non-Muslims] for friends and allies instead of believers. Whoever does this shall have no relationship left with God—unless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions.  But Allah cautions you [to fear] Himself. For the final goal is to Allah.

Here is how Islam’s most authoritative ulema and exegetes explain Koran 3:28:

Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari (d. 923), author of a standard and authoritative commentary of the Koran, writes:

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

Ibn Kathir (d. 1373), another prime authority on the Koran, writes:

The Most High said, “[U]nless you but guard yourselves against them, taking precautions”—that is, whoever at any time or place fears their evil may protect himself through outward show—not sincere conviction. As al-Bukhari records through Abu al-Darda the words [of the Prophet], “Truly, we grin to the faces of some peoples, while our hearts curse them.”

In other words, Muslims are not to befriend non-Muslims, unless circumstances are such that it is in the Muslims’ interests to do so.  For example, if Muslims are a minority (as in America), or if their leaders  brutally crack down on jihadi activities (as in Bashar Assad’s pre-Islamic State Syria): then they may preach and even feign peace, tolerance and coexistence with their non-Muslim neighbors.

However, if and when circumstances to make Islam supreme appear, Muslims are expected to join the jihad—“for the final goal is to Allah.”[1]


[1]For more on Islamic sanctioned forms of deception, read about taqiyyatawriya, and taysir.  For more on how Muslims are never to befriend non-Muslims—except when in their interest—see Ayman al-Zawahiri’s “Loyalty and Enmity,” The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs., 63-115.

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Help To Save Persecuted Sudan Pastors Sentenced To Death For Christian Faith

Who: Pastor Michael and Pastor Peter
Their Crime: Encouraging the Church to be Strong and Endure the Government’s Persecution.
The Penalty: EXECUTION or life in prison.

Voice of the Persecuted has joined the Save Sudan Pastors Coalition, adding our VOICE for their release. And to call on the government of Sudan to cease the wrongful detention of Christians and pastors.

Their Story

Pastor Yat Michael Ruot was arrested by Sudan’s dreaded National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Dec. 21, 2014. He was a guest preacher at Khartoum’s Bahri Evangelical Church when NISS agents arrested him for encouraging the church to be strong and endure the government’s persecution.

Pastor Peter Yen Reith was arrested after he inquired of the Sudanese authorities and expressed concern for his friend, Pastor Michael. Michael and Peter are from South Sudan. Michael is 49 years old, married and has two young children. Peter is 39 years old, married and the father of a two year-old girl.

For two months following their arrest, Michael and Peter were secretly detained and held on unknown charges. They weren’t allowed to speak with lawyers and their families didn’t know where they were – which is in violation of international human rights laws.

Four months after their arrest, they were officially charged with “undermining the constitutional system”, “waging war against the State”, and “espionage” all of which carry the death penalty – which in Sudan usually means hanging. They were also charged with “inciting organized groups”, “offending Islamic beliefs,” and “blasphemy” which call for imprisonment and whipping.

The trial was originally scheduled to start on May 14 but was postponed until May 19 because the prosecutor’s witness from the NISS failed to appear. The trial has since been postponed again in order to give the government more time to find evidence and build a case.

Sudanese officials are known mass murderers. Sudan’s air force bombs innocent Christian civilians in the Nuba Mountains – EVERY DAY. They’ve already been indicted by the International Criminal Court on three counts of genocide for killing hundreds of thousands, even millions of Christians.

Sudan is arguably the worst nation in the world for persecuting Christians. But when the world speaks out, Sudan listens.

Sudan is striving to improve their international reputation for human rights in order to accomplish their heinous political and economic agenda. They’re motivated to avoid negative publicity and will respond more favorably to Michael and Peter’s case if the world speaks up on their behalf. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE … just like we did last year for Meriam Ibraheem.

The opposite is also true. Pastors Michael and Peter will likely perish for their faith if we remain silent.

WILL YOU SPEAK FOR THESE MEN OF GOD?

Proverbs 31:8 (KJV)

Open thy mouth for the dumb [the mute, those silenced] in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.

We are bound together as family in Christ. Let us stand with these dear brothers and let us keep them and the nation of Sudan constant in our prayers. Act now! Please do not delay, be their VOICE. We cannot sit idly by while a part of the Body is suffering!

sign_petition_buttonSign the petition to automatically send a letter on their behalf to your U.S. representatives, the United Nations, African Union and Sudanese Officials.

Download the photos below and add them to you social media profile page and encourage others/churches to join you in this important mission.

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