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Humiliating Attack in India Tests Young Pastor’s Faith

pastor india

(Morning Star News) – A pastor in northern India who was beaten and paraded through streets with his head half-shaved as crowds called for him to be cut to pieces said he is thankful that he was counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.

On Friday (Jan. 29) Hindu extremists posing as policemen picked up Avdhesh Savita, a 35-year-old father of four, from his home in Rendhar village in Uttar Pradesh state and took him to Orai, Jalaun District. They beat him, shaved half of his head, one eyebrow and one side of his moustache, and put him on a donkey as they led him in a procession through Orai.

They and others in the frenzied crowd mocked him, falsely accusing him of forcible conversion.

“The mob that was parading me was shouting, ‘Kill him, cut him in pieces,’ but I kept telling them that faith unites, it does not divide,” Savita told Morning Star News. “I told my tormentors that I believe in Christ out of my own freewill, and that I have never hurt anyone, but they just did not listen to me.”

The assailants were reportedly members of Yuvavahini (Youth Brigade), a Hindu nationalist group, and took him to the head office of the Hindu extremist Bajrang Dal in Orai, where others joined in the abuse.

“I kept praying throughout the ordeal, I am not afraid of dying,” Savita said. “I thought, ‘This is the day when I will stand before my Savior.’ But I also thought of my children, they are young, and that was my only concern. In the Lord I am persecuted, I am thankful for this privilege.”

The extremists picked up Savita, who became a Christian four years ago, in Rendhar, about 45 kilometers (27 miles) from Orai, in what appeared to be a police Jeep, and told him to come along for questioning, he said. Like him, his family members believed the men who came were policemen though they were in civilian clothes.

“They started hitting me once I was in the Jeep and continued hitting me on the way,” he told Morning Star News, in anguish. “They took me to the Bajrang Dal head office in Orai, where they hit me with their legs and fists, verbally abused me with the filthiest of language, shaved half my head, removed one eyebrow completely and half shaved my moustache. They then put me on a donkey and paraded me for about a half hour.”

The Hindu extremists took his jacket, which had money in it, and his mobile phone, said Savita, a poor lay pastor from the Dalit “untouchable” class that is lower than any of the Hindu caste levels.

Savita has two daughters, 16 and 14 years old, and two sons, 11 and 8.

Revenge Attack

The attack was rooted in the alleged instigator deciding to take vengeance on Savita because the pastor refused his request to give him money for alcohol and tobacco, a Christian leader said.

When Savita went to a Christian program in Varanasi from Dec. 18 to 23, Sangam Jatav was among three men from his village who had shown an interest in attending and accompanied him, the Rev. Daniel Inbaraj of the Mizpah Ministries told Morning Star News.

“On the fourth day of the program, Sangam Jatav asked Pastor Avdhesh for some money to buy alcohol and tobacco,” Pastor Inbaraj said. “When Avdhesh refused, he got furious. After returning from the program, Sangam Jatav went to Avdhesh’s house, threatened him and demanded money.”

Jatav demanded 20,000 rupees (US$294), saying that if Savita refused he would spread rumors that the pastor had tried to fraudulently convert him, and that he would get Bajrang Dal members to beat him, Savita said. Jatav subsequently called the Bajrang Dal, saying Savita had “converted him without his knowledge” and made him eat beef and desecrate photographs of Hindu gods by walking on them.

Jatav leveled the accusations in interviews with television stations, Pastor Inbaraj said.

“During the interviews, he alleged that the Christians forced him to eat beef, locked him in a room with the other two who had accompanied Avdhesh and him to the program, and forced him to walk on pictures of Hindu gods, Ram and Hanuman,” he said. “He also alleged that he was given 5,000 Indian rupees to become a Christian. But when the other two were quizzed by the police, they denied any such accusation.”

The other two men who attended the Christian program, Sunil Jatav and Ravi Saxena, said that they were never forced to eat beef, and that only vegetarian food was served, Pastor Inbaraj said.

“They did say that they attended religious discourses but denounced the claim of Sangam Jatav that they were forcibly converted,” he said. “‘We went to the program and came back safe,’ they said.”

Jatav was arrested on Sunday (Jan. 31) and remains in jail, police officials told Morning Star News. Three cases are registered against him, including one of attempted murder in connection with the attack on Savita, they said.

Orai Senior Inspector Alok Sinha told Morning Star News that nine Bajrang Dal members have been arrested, but he declined to give any more information, except to say that police were searching for other members.

Pastor Inbaraj said he would raise the issue of Hindu extremists using what appeared to be a police Jeep with the superintendent of police.

The Rev. Savarimuthu Sankar, spokesperson of the Roman Catholic Delhi Archdiocese, called the attack a “glaring example of the impunitythat Hindu extremist groups enjoy under the federal government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“We demand a reply from the RSS [Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh], the parent body and the government,” he said.

John Dayal, spokesman for the United Christian Forum, told Morning Star News that election time in India seems to breed even more Hindu nationalist violence than that which takes place in provinces and towns where elections are not imminent.

“Uttar Pradesh, which is preparing for its legislative assembly elections, has seen considerable Hindutva activity in recent months, with both Christian and Muslims as its victims,” he said. “The state government, which is not controlled by the BJP, seems complicit on this violence.”

At the very least, Dayal said, the state government has failed to act on complaints.

“This blatant attempt to terrorize the community in the guise of protesting conversions is a case in point,” he said. “Uttar Pradesh does not have laws banning [fraudulent or forced] conversion such as exist in the states of Orissa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and three others. And yet both these Hindutva gangs and the police seem to believe that even the profession and propagation of faith is illegal. We condemn this manifestation of religious terrorism and call upon the state and Union governments to take strict action against it. Policemen guilty of complicity or impunity need also to be identified and brought to book.”

Two First Information Reports (FIRs) were registered against 150 to 200 unknown people at Orai and Rendhar police stations. The FIRs also name 13 people, including Jatav, who has been charged with attempt to murder (Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code), voluntary causing hurt (323), intentional insult to provoke breach of peace (504) and criminal intimidation (506) at Orai Police Station; and cheating by impersonation (419), cheating and dishonesty (420), punishment for extortion (384), impersonating a public servant (170) and public mischief with intent to incite (505) at Rendhar Police Station.

One FIR also names Akhilesh Dhiya, district convenor of Bajrang Dal at Jalaun. He has been charged with house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint (452), punishment for dacoity (395), kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person (365), promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion (153A), criminal intimidation (506), voluntary causing hurt (323) and punishment for defamation (500). Dhiya is absconding, and the police have yet to find him.

After the ordeal, Savita spent a night at the police station for interrogation and was released the next day when local Christian leaders intervened.

Living in Fear

Savita have moved to his parents’ place at a different village out of fear over his family’s safety. Because his wife and family must care for two animals, they cannot leave the village, he said. If the family left the area, they would have to sell their animals.

“My three elder children have stopped going to school, as they are very fearful,” he said. “We fear that they too might be kidnapped or insulted in the same manner.”

His brother, Mukesh Savita, said the attack seemed to be well-planned.

“My brother is in shock, but what can we do?” he said. “We are in a minority, we are Dalits. Even my family is very afraid. These people who did this to my brother are criminals, and till they are all arrested, we will not be able to live in peace.”

Village onlookers also mistook the assailants for policemen, he added.

“It would have been better if they had shot him,” he told Morning Star News. “This humiliation is a lot worse than death.”

Boko Haram Can Attack As They Wish Unsafe To Return IDP’s

photo: ICRC

photo: ICRC

“It is a challenge to the army of Nigeria”, His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, in northern Nigeria, near which lies the village of Dalori, attacked on January 30 by Boko Haram. See attack report

The Bishop told Fides, “The village is less than 2.5 miles from Maiduguri where the military’s headquarters of the operations against Boko Haram is situated. The Islamist sect wanted to demonstrate that, in spite of the blows inflicted by our military, it is still able to operate near Maidugiuri”, said Mgr. Doeme.

“There were no security forces in Dalori at the time of the assault, carried out with extreme brutality. The men of Boko Haram killed a large number of people (at least 86 according to official sources, ed.). They burned most of the houses while two suicide bombers blew themselves up in two places in the village”, says the Bishop.

The Bishop said the attack lasted four hours, despite the village being only a short distance from the headquarters of the anti Boko Haram forces.

“I think that Boko Haram takes advantage of the lack of coordination among the forces that should fight it. In addition, our army is struggling to get into the Sambisa forest, where the main bases of the Islamist sect are. Until these basis are conquered, members of Boko Haram can attack as they wish various parts of northern Nigeria”. The problem is that our troops are not well-equipped for this task. I have collected the complaints of soldiers, who do not have weapons to effectively fight against Boko Haram. Greater efforts are therefore needed by all”, the Bishop concluded.

Voice of the Persecuted stays in close and direct contact with the Diocese of Maiduguri and the needs of persecuted Christians in the area.

The latest attacks have risen concerns of the governments plans to close IDP camps and return the displaced back to their villages. Of course many 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.

While checking on the Christians suffering near the recent attack, a Christian leader told Voice of the Persecuted,

“We doing fine but with great panic and fear of the unknown. The experience of current attacks has forced thousands into the city. The villages and towns surrounding Maiduguri are becoming really unsafe. I shall keep you informed of other Christian camps within Maiduguri.”

The camp which VOP is helping to care for, is the largest Christian camp 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.

Voiorphan-306x4601ce of the Persecuted (VOP) is caring for internal refugees from Christian villages hardest hit by the Boko Haram. Many children reside at the camp, including those orphaned and women 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.

 

Praying Justice for the Persecuted—Thank You Prayer Warriors!

Thank You- Voice of the Persecuted Prayer call event

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16

(Voice of the Persecuted) A message from Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) Prayer Director to all the Prayer Warriors who joined last weekend’s 24 hour Prayer Call Event.
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My Brothers and Sisters,
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From my heart, I would like to thank each and everyone of you who participated on our prayer call for the persecuted church.  Thank you to the missionaries who shared the stories and incredible faith of the persecuted church. I believe our prayers filled that bowl Revelation speaks of and that angels worked overtime to add incense to our prayers. I cannot help but think that God was pleased with the sacrifice of prayer and praise that went up before Him.  So again thank you from my heart. More than that, the persecuted thank you. For I am sure they felt your prayers and in that, God was most pleased.
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During the call, we were able to ask questions and hear from persecuted brothers and sisters on the front lines. They told us of their joy in knowing we have not forgotten them and so encouraged that we lift them in prayer. It was a touching moment while in their suffering, they prayed for us and a strengthening of faith for the American church. They shared their hearts and current situations helping to direct our prayers. It was a blessing to serve these dear ones by washing their feet in prayer.
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While speaking with a Nigerian pastor during the call on Saturday, he informed us that explosions were taking place on the edge of the city. Though not physically in the location, it was as if we were united as one, experiencing the attack with them. We later learned the Boko Haram attack was most devastating. The next day, some of you contacted us to get an update. You let us know that in that moment on the call, something changed…it became personal. No longer were you praying for people on the ‘other side of the world’ caught in a conflict, but for family members, your own brothers and sister connected through Christ. You felt their pain as if suffering with them, as one in the Body of Christ. For Christians, it is personal, as we see revealed in the Scriptures, the Word of God.
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Dear saints, may we continue to remember our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer.  For their first request is always, “Please pray for us”. Our next 24 hour Prayer Call Event will be begin at 9pm EST on Friday, April 29th and continue through Saturday, April 30th until 9pm EST. Mark your calendars!
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God bless you,
Blaine Scogin, serving as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch.
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Though this weekend’s 24 hour call was a special event, many of you joined us again on Tuesday, a regularly scheduled prayer conference call to pray for the persecuted 3 times a week. This call is typically 1-2 hours in duration and is hosted by Brother Blaine, VOP Prayer Director through his ministry, Persecution Watch (a national teleconference prayer call). We are unaware of any other prayer calls praying solely for the persecuted in the USA.
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It was so encouraging how many joined again to unite for the persecuted. Much Spirit led prayer went up Tuesday evening, as we pressed in for Nigeria, our suffering brothers and sisters and those lost in the nation. Again, we thank you! We invite and hope you will continue to come on the weekly calls. It means more to the Persecuted than you can imagine. MEET YOU ON THE CALL!
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Persecution Watch Weekly Prayer Call Schedule:
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays
(Please check your time zones)
9 p.m. Eastern
8 p.m. Central
7 p.m. Mountain
6 p.m. Pacific

Call number and access code are…….
712.775.7035.      281207#

Information for international callers can be found here

For more prayer call information contact: pwprayercall@gmail.com

We invite you to join in prayer as we advance His kingdom purposes by praying for the Persecuted Church and calling out for the global harvest of souls.

Police torture to kill Christian man on intimation of his Muslim employer politician

Gujranwala: January 15, 2016. (PCP) The tortured dead body of one Christian man named Liaquat Masih aged 47, driver by profession was handed over to his family on January 14, 2016, by Gujranwala Cantonment Police station which spread anger and fear among relatives and civil society members. - See more at: http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/detail.php?hnewsid=5754#sthash.UoSdDsiz.dpuf

Gujranwala: January 15, 2016. (PCP) The tortured dead body of one Christian man named Liaquat Masih aged 47, driver by profession was handed over to his family on January 14, 2016, by Gujranwala Cantonment Police station which spread anger and fear among relatives and civil society members.

Liaqat Masih, who worked as the driver for Raza Hameed, the son of Gujranwala politician SA Hameed, was arrested on November 15, 2015 following accusations of theft. Raza Hameed is the son of Mohammad SA Hameed who is a local leader of Pakistan Tehreek Insaf PTI led by Imran Khan and known as a very wealthy and influential politician among Muslim elite circles of district Gujranwala.

Although Raza Hameed had initially lodged the complaint against unknown perpetrators, he later registered a case against Liaqat Masih after becoming suspicious of him. The police arrested Masih’s son Khurram Sunil on 27 December 2015.

Masih was held in judicial remand at Gujuranwala police station without evidence or trial until 10 January 2016, when the police claimed that they had new evidence which allowed them to proceed with his case. His family was uncertain of his location for four days before they heard that he was being held in a private torture cell in Gujranwala Cantt police station.

On 8 January, Khurram Sunil was released on bail until 19 January, however he was rearrested on 10 January and named as an accomplice in the theft.

Liaquat Masih died in police custody on 14 January. Although the police postmortem states that he died of a heart attack, his son claims that his father was brutally beaten on the night that he died and sustained fatal injuries after being hung upside down by a rope. On the 15th, police released his body to the family, but withheld a copy of the autopsy.

Pakistan Christian Post reported,

Mohammad Raza Hameed lodged report against unknown thieves in Gujranwala Cantonment Police Station but later pressured police to arrest his driver Liaquat Masih who was serving him from last 15 years.

Influential Muslim employers often demand confessions in theft cases in their homes. According to sources, Liaquat Masih was murdered while police tortured him.

The relatives and other area Christians identified torture marks on Liaquat Masih’s body. They assembled in front of Gujranwala Cantonment Police Station and demanding to file a report against police who murdered Masih.  The Gujranwala Cantonment Police instead charged and arrested 6 of the Christians protesting on disturbing peace. They claim the Christian man died of a heart attack.

Police also arrested Masih’s 20 yr. old son who also faced police torture in front of his father to force him to confess theft but his father claimed he was innocent. Read more

Proceedings must take place with a serious and full independent investigation to identify and punish those responsible for the Liaqat Masih’s death. The extrajudicial executions of Christians continues in Pakistan without serious action to prevent this extreme injustice. Pakistan must be held accountable for these crimes against humanity and human rights. Promises and words of good intent are not enough, action must be implemented without delay.

Al Shabaab Kills Christians in Raid on Village in Coastal Kenya

attack kenya

(Morning Star News) – In a pre-dawn raid on a predominantly Christian area in coastal Kenya on Sunday (Jan. 31), Islamic extremist Al Shabaab rebels killed at least four Christians, beheading one of them, area sources said.

In the Kaisari area of Maporomoko village, near Pandanguo about 25 miles inland from the Indian Ocean town of Lamu, Al Shabaab rebels attacked from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., a wounded survivor at Mpeketoni Sub-County Hospital told Morning Star News.

The victim, a Christian from the Maporomoko-Bondeni area who was shot in his right hand, said there were five or six heavily-armed assailants who spoke Somali and were dressed in military uniform. They shot two Christians to death, hacked and beheaded another and killed at least one other by setting his house on fire, he said.

“I could not understand them, so they shot me in my hand, but I managed to escape while a neighbor who was with me was beheaded by the other attackers,” the Christian (name withheld) said from his hospital bed. “As I fled for my life bleeding, I could see two houses burning. Those who were attacked are Christians. I am very sure that the attackers were looking for Christians.”

The beheaded man was identified only as Mwaura, a Christian.

“This is the third time the area has been attacked, and we have lost several Christians,” the survivor said.

The rebels, who are fighting government and regional forces in Somalia, regard the northern coastal area of Kenya as Islamic territory. Al Shabaab, linked with Al Qaeda, took responsibility for the attack in a call to news organization Al Jazeera.

“Our fighters attacked non-believers in the occupied Muslim land of Lamu,” a spokesman said. “Our Mujahideen [Jihadists] killed several non-believers in the attack. We will give more details later.”

Unknown people resembling Al Shabaab militants had previously been seen in Pandanguo, a predominantly Muslim area, an area Christian leader said. Pandanguo is about 60 miles from the Somalia border.

“The Muslims want to wholly own the coastal region, and they want that the Christians should leave the area for them, but our presence in Lamu will bring many to the Christian faith,” the pastor said. “God has called us to be the salt and the light and to lead many to the marvelous light of Christ.”

Maporomoko village has a population of about 2,000 people from Christian tribes – Kikuyus, Meru and Kamba – and from non-Christian or Muslim Orma, Boni and Wasanye tribes, as well as Somalis. The Al Shabaab militants attacked only the Christian areas, the Christian leader said.

The rebels burned homes, left several people wounded and kidnapped some Christians, according to various sources.

“Security forces were following the footpaths of those kidnapped, who disappeared into the Pandanguo area, which is the home of the Boni and Somalis,” the pastor said. “The Christians are now finding out about some of their missing neighbors. The security personnel are not disclosing information, as tension remains high in areas where Christians have settled themselves: Mpeketoni, Hindi and some parts of Maporomoko area, which has been a target of Al Shabaab militia.”

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet told media the attack occurred near Pandanguo, which witnessed killings during June 2014 Al Shabaab attacks. Boinnet reportedly said security personnel were in the area tracking down the militants.

“They were dressed in military attire and heavily armed,” a senior police officer reportedly said. “They spoke in the Somali language and shot at locals and beheaded others before escaping on foot.”

On June 15, 2014, Al Shabaab rebels attacked Mpeketoni, in Lamu County, selecting out Christian males as they killed more than 57 people, area sources said. The estimated 50 Al Shabaab militants attacked two hotels, a police station and other buildings in a five-hour assault with guns and grenades. Sources told Morning Star News the attackers were chanting “Allahu Akbar [God is Greater]” and killing whoever could not recite verses from the Koran.

After Sunday morning’s assault, Mpeketoni residents on Monday morning (Feb. 1) protested terror attacks by Al Shabaab militia in the region. Police had to stop the demonstration of angry Mpeketoni residents to keep them from retaliation attacks on Somalis living in the area. At the same time, hundreds of people in Kaisari, greater Maporomoko and nearby Jima and Nyatha villages have been seen fleeing their homes.

“We feel very insecure, and our lives are in danger,” a mother of four in Hindi told Morning Star News. “Next time, the attackers will come and destroy us completely.”

Al Shabaab rebels have launched several attacks in northeast Kenya since Kenyan forces led an African coalition into Somalia against the rebels in October 2011, in response to terrorist attacks on tourists and others on Kenya’s coast.

Thank You For Remembering Us And Sending Your Love

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And If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward. Matthew 10:42

(Voice of the Persecuted) Our precious brethren in Thailand fled Pakistan from certain death and now suffering immensely at the hands of the Government in Thailand, as the country refuses to recognize their UNHCR documents. The UNHCR does little to help them particularly by postponing their interviews for years, putting them at risks of arrested and starvation. Children are suffering the most. Ridden with disease and physical as well as emotional pain, it’s nearly impossible—unbearable for them to endure. They are and feel FORGOTTEN.

Voice of the Persecuted is able to get food, medical care and cover the cost of shelter for those in extreme suffering and remain at great risk. 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’. Go on the mission with us and bless these dear ones through your gifts.

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

 

 

 

 

Pakistani Christians staged protest in front of Embassy of Thailand

Pakistan-refugee

Holland: February 1, 2016. (PCP) On 29 January, 2016 between 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. Pakistani Christians in large numbers from Holland and Belgium gathered in front of Embassy of Royal Kingdom of Thailand to protest and raise their voices for voiceless Pakistani Christian Asylum Seekers struggling for life, safety, Refugee Rights and indeed greatest sufferings of current century in the territory of Royal Kingdom of Thailand. Read More

Egypt: Where Even Official Permits Can’t Help Churches

Church of Saint Simon, Muquattam, Cairo, Egypt Photo: Diego Delso [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Church of Saint Simon, Muquattam, Cairo, Egypt
Photo: Diego Delso via Wikimedia Commons

Security forces in Upper Egypt recently arrested 10 Coptic Christians for trying to build a wall around a piece of vacant land in order to expand their current church into the territory or possibly even build a church.

A church already exists in the village of Abu Hannas in Samalout, Minya; but, according to Father Stephanous Shehata, the current church, named after the martyr, Saint Abu Maqqar, is too small to serve the large Christian population of the village.  So the church purchased an unused piece of land next to it in the hopes of expanding the current church or building another.  The 10 Christians were arrested while attempting to build the wall, pending an investigation.

Islamic law, or Sharia, bans the renovation of existing Christian churches and the building of new ones.  Accordingly, in Egypt, building, expanding, or even renovating churches is extremely difficult.  The first hurdle is the government; it often takes many years to get permits.  Once and if a permit is issued, Christian minorities must then face angry Muslim mobs, who often go on rampages, including against existing churches.

For example, one month earlier, another church under construction in Minya was attacked by a mob consisting of at least 400 Muslims believed to have been incited by local officials.   After the attack, and although the church had obtained the necessary permits required for construction, it was closed by officials. source Raymond Ibrahim

Further explaining the church attack above, the nearly 3,000 Coptic Christians in Swada village comprise about 35% of the village, yet there isn’t a Coptic Orthodox church in the village. There is one evangelical church, but the nearest Coptic Orthodox church is more than 8 km from the village.

The Eshhad Project explains Egypt’s church construction law and it’s discriminatory affect for Christians in Egypt, which is a violation of domestic and international law.  While Coptic Christians face this hardship, an underground church leader told Voice of the Persecuted, “Those who have converted to Christianity have an even harder time and worship in secret”. He also shared that the underground church movement was rapidly expanding in Egypt. He explained in they’re mission alone, nearly 10 new ‘underground churches’ were planted in the past year with plans of over 20 more.  He asked for prayers of protection and the ability to get the needed materials to train pastors, as more and more Muslims become believers in Christ.

 

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