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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Christian student in the U.K. kicked out by his university for Facebook message opposing gay marriage

Sheffield University

Sheffield University

  • Felix Ngole, 38, expelled from Sheffield University after Facebook message
  • Postgraduate father of four had been studying to become a social worker
  • Set to appeal because of consequences for the ‘freedom of expression’

A Christian student has been ejected from his university course for voicing his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook.

Felix Ngole, 38, was expelled from Sheffield University after faculty staff decided he ‘may have caused offence to some individuals’.

The postgraduate father of four, who was studying to become a social worker, has been told his actions affect his fitness to practice and was ordered to hand back his student ID and library card.

Mr Ngole was reported after using his private Facebook account to express support for Kim Davis, a county clerk from Kentucky, who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences after the introduction of same-sex unions there last September.

Mr Ngole argued that homosexual activity is against the teaching of the Bible, quoting a verse from Leviticus describing it as an ‘abomination’. Read More

VIDEO: Thailand’s Asylum Crackdown

Pakistani child living in slum conditions (BBC video)

Pakistani child living in slum conditions (BBC video)

(Voice of the Persecuted) BBC Journalist, Chris Rogers went undercover in Thailand to expose how the country treats its asylum seekers. Pakistani Christians fleeing extremist violence are among the second largest group of asylum seekers in Thailand. Many are routinely rounded up and sent indefinitely to immigration detention centres or locked up in jails. Their crime: to be seeking asylum, in a country which does not recognise refugees. The video is an eyewitness account of only a portion of the suffering our brothers and sisters face in Thailand while seeking safety from extreme persecution in Pakistan. We highly recommend that you view the video by opening this link and typing the password: Pakistan

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers at risk of arrest

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers at risk of arrest

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground offering compassion, food, shelter and medical needs. We are also caring for one of the families in the video interview. Please consider partnering with us so that we can continue to help these brothers and sisters and their children survive. The need is great and they truly need our help. If you or your church group would like to sponsor a family, please contact us at info@voiceofthepersecuted.org for more information. If we are the Body, let’s do this!

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 

Capture2

Let us not forget them, nor think as the world, ‘someone else will step up to help’. Let us not regret the loss of even one of these ‘family members’ when there is surely a way to share and provide. But any help you can give is appreciated more than you could ever know.

L Kanalos, VOP Founder

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

Every day, 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

 

Christian Converts Flee German Asylum Centres After Muslim Intimidation

Evstafiev-travnik-refugees

One of the Iranians told German media, “we would read the Bible in our Twelve-bed room. Immediately, the Muslims come into the room to insult us, because we have converted from Islam to Christianity,” and one of the other victims of the abuse said, “suddenly seventy people stood in front of us called us names and said they wanted to beat us. We were afraid for our lives!”

According to reports at the centre it took over 20 police officers and a K9 unit in order to stop the Muslim mob from committing acts of violence against the Christians.

The National director of the asylum centres admitted: “yes, there is harassment against Christians,” not just in Berlin but all across Germany and in many asylum homes.

Fearing for their continued safety the Iranians have all taken refuge in the care of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Berlin.

The church is headed by pastor Gottfried Martens who said, “In my estimation, at least half of our church members living in the refugee camps are living in fear,” and said many Christians are, “discriminated against, harassed, threatened, beaten in exceptional cases, beaten hospitalised or attacked with weapons.”

The pastor said he was greatly concerned with the safety of the Christians adding, “Many do not dare to identify themselves as Christians. Christians put on headscarves, so that no one recognises that they are not Muslims.”

He said that Muslims often do not recognise any conversion of religion away from Islam and that, “again and again Christians ask me to take them away from the (asylum) home, because there they have such fear. Some no longer dare to stay in the homes.” Read More

EGYPT: Harsh Ruling For Christian Teens Convicted of Contempt of Islam

egypt map

An Egyptian court sentenced three Coptic Christian teenagers to five years in prison on Thursday for mocking Islam in a video. A fourth Christian teen was condemned to a juvenile detention center for an indefinite period of time.

The video was shot on a mobile phone in January 2015 and depicts the four teens allegedly mocking Muslim prayers.

Defense lawyer Maher Naquib insisted the youths had not created the video to insult Islam but to instead mock the beheadings carried out by ISIS jihadists.

However, all four Christians, as well as their teacher who was also featured in the video, have been sentenced to prison.

“The judge didn’t show any mercy. He handed down the maximum punishment,” Naguib told Agency French Press.

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms said in a statement that after the video’s release the teens were imprisoned for 45 days and endured “ill-treatment.” Read More

Listen To The BBC Describe Conditions Of Pakistani Christians In Thailand

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers brought to court caged in police van

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers brought to court caged in police van

The Christians Stranded in Thailand

(Voice of the Persecuted recommended)

Thousands of Christian refugees who have fled religious violence in Pakistan are stranded in Thailand. They travel there because of cheap tourist visas but quickly get caught in a tangle of asylum bureaucracy which can mean waiting years to move on to a third country. It happens because Thailand does not offer asylum to refugees, but passes them on to the UNCHR for processing; but the UN is overwhelmed, leaving many to suffer poverty and deprivation while they await news of their cases.

In some cases men, women and children are rounded up by the Thai authorities and incarcerated in grim detention centres or even imprisoned.

For Assignment, the BBC’s Chris Rogers reports from the backstreets of Bangkok where many of the refugees are in hiding and goes undercover to expose the treatment of these people in Thailand’s detention system.

LISTEN HERE

Voice of the Persecuted is one of the missions helping these Christians in Thailand. Their situation is dire. Please help us to continue offering aid to our brothers and sisters in great suffering.

This unstable situation that will become a regrettable tragedy if continued to be overlooked. If others cannot manage to help them, the Body of Christ (the Church) must step up and care for the least of our brethren in Thailand. Surely this example was set by the first century church, or have we forgotten?

Many new cases are brought to Voice of the Persecuted. Our mission has been designed to stay along side these families to help them endure. But we are a small mission trying to help in a big crisis. It is heartbreaking to not have the means to care for all those needing aid. Each month, we rely on and ask the Lord to provide as we continue covering those we already care for. To give us the ability to add the many other families on our waiting list. We ask for His heart for these dear ones who suffer for their faith in Christ Jesus. We pray for more to partner with us in the mission. As they have had to beg—today, we beg for them. Brothers and sisters, we ask for your help to distribute aid to the persecuted suffering in Thailand.

For more information to aid a persecuted family in Thailand, contact us at info@voiceofthepersecuted.org

Let us not forget them, nor think as the world, ‘someone else will step up to help’. Let us not regret the loss of even one of these ‘family members’ when there is surely a way to share and provide. But any help you can give is appreciated more than you could ever know.

L Kanalos, VOP Founder

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

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

ISIS Release 43 Assyrian Hostages in Syria

Bishop Aprim stands with the Assyrians released by ISIS.

Bishop Aprim stands with the Assyrians released by ISIS.

(AINA) — ISIS today released 43 Assyrian hostages in Syria who were captured captured on February 23 when ISIS attacked the 35 Assyrian villages on the Khabur river in the Hasaka province. According to the Assyrian Church of the East, there are no more Assyrians from Khabur being held by ISIS. However, ISIS is still holding 179 Assyrians it captured in the town of Qaryatain on August 6, 2015

When Family Becomes Enemy Number 1: Egypt’s religious divide forces women and Christians to pay a high price

A street in a neighbourhood of Tamia, Egypt, where the romance began. World Watch Monitor

A street in a neighbourhood of Tamia, Egypt, where the romance began.
World Watch Monitor

(World Watch Monitor) Not for the first time in Egypt, a romance between a Muslim divorcee and a Copt eventually ended in tragedy late last year, when the woman, who had ‘converted’ to Christianity, was killed by members of her family.

Many parts of the story seem inexplicable: how a romance between a Muslim woman and a Christian man could end in marriage in a country where Sharia makes this legally impossible; and how a mother could pay with her life for being with a Christian, while her killers remain at large. There appears to be a pattern of collective punishment, favouring the strong against the weak. It’s a sectarian twist to a notoriously familiar ‘honour-killing’ scenario plaguing many Islamic cultures.

It all began in 2013, when a romance started between Marwa Mohamed, 26, and her Coptic neighbour, Karim Eid, 27, in the town of Tamia, 87 km southwest of Cairo.

The Muslim mother of two (Sahar, eight, and Omar, six), used to frequent a nearby Christian jeweller’s shop where Eid was working.

“The frequent visits by Marwa to meet Karim at the shop gave reason for Karim’s employer to dismiss him,” explained George Fahmi, a relative of Eid and a resident of their home town of Tamia.

“During the summer of 2013, the couple made it secretly out of Tamia to Alexandria [280 km away].”

Marwa’s desperate family tried unsuccessfully to locate her. Their attempts included storming the local St. George church and the priest’s home, according to Fahmi.

Unable to bear the shame of his daughter’s elopement with a Christian, Marwa’s father, together with her mother and siblings, left Tamia for Cairo, where he earned a meagre living as a concierge.

During this time, according to Fahmi, Mohamed converted to Christianity (a ‘conversion’ not backed by official papers), and lived with Eid in Alexandria for nearly 30 months, during which time she became pregnant and they had the baby aborted.

‘Honour’ killing with religion twist

On 6 November last year, Eid took Marwa back to see his family in Tamia. Sahar, Marwa’s daughter from her previous husband is said to have spotted her mother. Eid might have thought Marwa’s now quite changed appearance, with Western clothes and without a headscarf, would mask her identity.

Word spread quickly, and as male guardians of the family’s honour – in absence of her father in Cairo – Marwa’s cousins took it upon themselves to storm Eid’s home, where they assaulted his mother and forcibly took Marwa away to her parents in the capital. Eid was not in at the time.

Another uncomfortable fact is that Eid then escaped for his life. For, following constant taunting by the community, the incensed relatives retrieved Marwa from her parents’ Cairo home back to Tamia, where she was killed.

“Marwa stayed in hiding with us for 10 days until her uncle and his two sons found her in my house,” recalled Ahmed Mohamed, Marwa’s father. “They took us all back to Tamia, where they abused us. Early on Wednesday, 18 November, they killed her in front of me, and her mother and sister.”

Marwa’s younger sister was made to slit her older sister throat, “as a way to deter her from following in her footsteps”, Egyptian media quoted sources as saying. Another version of the story said, however, that Marwa was strangled.

After the body was dumped near a cemetery, Marwa’s parents reported her uncle and their nephews to the police for murdering their daughter. But these men are still at large and no charges have been filed against them. (Egyptian courts are known to look with leniency upon perpetrators of ‘honour’ killings, especially when a convert is involved.)

Community ‘justice’

A conciliatory meeting was convened between the Muslim woman’s clan and Eid’s family. In the presence of the local priest and under the auspices of high-ranking security officials, “it was agreed that the Christian family would sell their homes and leave the town for good, and never set foot therein”, sources told Egyptian media.

Ten days were given for Eid’s immediate family to relocate from their hometown, in order to “avert a sectarian incident”.

“Whenever one party is a Christian, such extrajudicial measures are resorted to,” said human rights activist Adel Shafiq. “Christian families are forced to relocate. The weaker side bears the brunt.”

Read more: Egypt — A timeline of ‘forced relocations’ of Copts

“In scores of incidents, Christian properties were attacked. Often Copts, related to the incident merely by religious association, have been victimised. Offenders are seldom brought to justice,” added Mina Milad, a lawyer and member of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organisation.

“When the romance is the other way round, i.e. a Christian woman converting to Islam for the sake of a Muslim lover, or to escape family pressures, the state deals with it very differently. In this case, the conversion is made legal and paperwork is expedited, even in cases of underage girls,” journalist Nader Shokri wrote on the website, Copts United.

Apparently ISIS is a mentality which puts the knife to the neck of this country

While these issues are not new, one Muslim journalist bemoaned the trend.

“Apparently ISIS is a mentality which puts the knife to the neck of this country,” said Ali Aweiss, suggesting many ordinary Muslims might think or behave in ways not so different from the jihadist movement whose theologically-justified atrocities have made headlines around the world.

“Two lines into the heart-wrenching story of Marwa, one reads right next to it, ‘German family openly convert to Islam’… with a picture showing a man, his wife and two children, mother and daughter clad almost totally in black,” added Aweiss, writing for the Egyptian news site, Misr Times.

“I wonder, would this [German] family be equally hunted down by their relatives and their whole community back home for having departed from their religion of birth?”

VOP Note: Please pray for our brothers and sisters who have converted from Islam. We are in touch with converts in Egypt and it is a hard life for them. But they are not willing to turn back after finding their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They have been filled with so much joy, they are sharing the Gospel and starting ‘churches’. Oh Father, protect these dear ones. Guide them with wisdom and without fear to be fruitful in Your Kingdom purposes and will. In Jesus holy name, we pray.

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UNHCR warns Nigeria to listen to internally displaced (refugees)

UN Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk talks to displaced Nigerian children in Malkohi host community, Yola, Nigeria.

UN Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk talks to displaced Nigerian children in Malkohi host community, Yola, Nigeria.

(Voice of the Persecuted) The government of Nigeria is pushing for IDP camps to be closed and the internally displaced returned to villages which many believe to be extremely vulnerable to Boko Haram attacks. For the past 3 years, VOP has been raising the issue that the Boko Haram is better coordinated globally than the media has reported, or the international community wants to admit. They are equally as dangerous and brutal as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. They too are branching out, spreading like cancer to other regions.

During a recent security conference in Germany, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said,

…There are proofs and evidence that (for) some time Boko Haram has been trained in Somalia and they went back to Nigeria,” he said.

“The terrorists are so linked together, they are associated and so organized, (that) we the world we need to be so organized,”

The UNHCR is warning the Nigerian government to listen to the IDP’s. They have suffered unspeakable atrocities at the hands of the Islamic group who is pushing for the implementation of strict Sharia Law throughout the country and beyond.

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, Feb 23 (UNHCR) UNHCR’s top protection official, Volker Türk, has called on the Nigerian authorities to heed the concerns of internally displaced people (IDP) in the north-east of the country.

“We all need to listen to the IDPs, their aspirations and sense of dignity and safety,” he stressed during a visit at the weekend to Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, referring to organized returns to areas back under government control but still considered risky.

Earlier this month, suicide bombers killed more than 50 people and injured dozens in attacks on a site holding some 50,000 IDPs at Dikwa in Borno, the state hardest hit by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The UN Refugee Agency has long been unable to visit the Dikwa site for security reasons. Many of the IDPs in Borno come from towns and villages that have been practically razed over the past two years, lacking infrastructure, basic services and security.

Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, arrived in Nigeria last Thursday to review the refugee agency’s emergency operations in the north-east, where UNHCR helps tens of thousands of IDPs located in camps. He has also met Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja and government partners to discuss the challenges and areas of cooperation.

During these meetings, he appealed to the government to take advantage of UNHCR’s experience in voluntary repatriation and to work closely to ensure the welfare of people of concern. The insurgency has affected about 5 million people, including more than 2.2 million Nigerians who are internally displaced and almost 180,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries. Türk offered to help neighbouring countries organize voluntary repatriation where and when the conditions were right.

While encouraging government institutions and civil society organizations to lead the response to forced displacement, he said: “UNHCR, as part of the international community, will continue to support local initiatives.”

The Assistant High Commissioner also met IDPs in Borno and Yola states, listening to harrowing tales of violence and destruction and the continuing suffering and challenges facing people unable to return home. He was deeply moved by their courage and resilience.

At Malkohi, on the outskirts of Yola, capital of Adamawa state, he talked to some of the internally displaced about their concerns and situation. “We want to listen to the people in order to better assist them,” Türk said. Hapsatu Amadu, a 47-year-old community leader, told him they needed clothing, food and shelter. “We are exposed to the vagaries of the weather in these grass thatched huts,” she explained.

UNHCR and its partners have been providing protection, shelter, camp management training and assistance to about 10 per cent of the IDPs in north-east Nigeria, where most of the displaced live with host families. At Bakassi camp in Maiduguri, visited by Türk, UNHCR has built 450 transitional shelters.

But the needs in Borno, including Maiduguri’s 17 organized and 13 informal IDP camps hosting some 125,000 people, are great and increasing. “Borno is the most devastated state; social and health infrastructures are virtually non-existent,” a senior local government official, Alhadji Usman Didda Shua, told Türk. “This state should be treated on the same footing with Syria,” he added of an emergency that is under-reported and under-funded as well as spreading in the region.

In Borno alone, 16 out of 38 hospitals have been destroyed or looted, and 214 primary health care centres shut. Bama was the second largest city in Borno until 2014 with a population of 600,000. Today it lies in ruins and is deserted. State authorities say it will require millions of dollars to reconstruct.

“In each crisis, there is an opportunity, which we need to seize, hopefully in the form of a new social contract,” Türk concluded. He will next visit Cameroon to discuss the situation of Nigerian refugees there and to visit the Minawao refugee camp in the Far North Region before wrapping up his regional visit on Wednesday. By Hanson Tamfu in Maiduguri, Nigeria

Promises have been given, as the government claims the Islamic extremists have ‘technically been defeated. But continued attacks prove their capabilities to infiltrate and slaughter innocents. Many believe the return of IDP’s is a dangerous risk. Based on assessment reports from inside the country, Voice of the Persecuted is in agreement with those who say they are in danger. We do not believe their lives should be used as an experiment to test the ability of the military who has, to this day, been unable to protect them, even in an attack near to their headquarters.

It has been brought to our attention that Christians are being severely discriminated agaist in government and UNHCR camps. Many complain water or food is not shared with them and they are constantly pressured to convert to Islam. Christian women are also preyed upon by Muslim men. Church leaders are now requesting they leave those camps and find ‘Christian camps’. Pastors are requesting our prayers.

orphan-306x4601Voice of the Persecuted is caring for internal refugees from Christian villages hardest hit by the Boko Haram. It is one of the largest Christian camps in the area with over 400 displaced persons. We’ve been asked if it would be possible to extend the mission to the other camps too. Many children reside at the camp, including those orphaned and woman made widows in the insurgency. Their needs are immense. Please consider supporting this mission to care for those suffering great physical and emotional trauma. VOP is on the ground in Nigeria, GO with us on the mission through your gifts.

We want you to know that even in great hardship, they thank God and feel extremely blessed that He has kept His hand on them. They have been so encouraged and thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through your support and they keep you in their prayers.

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

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

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.

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