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Court Drops Charges of Kidnapping, ‘Human Sacrifice’ against Evangelist in Uganda

Church members who prayed for Hassan Muwanguzi in eastern Uganda. (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – A judge in Uganda last week dropped charges aimed at stirring up Islamist opposition against an evangelist who provides refuge to converts from Islam, sources said.

A court in Tirinyi, Kibuku District on March 13 dropped the charges of kidnapping and “human sacrifice” against Hassan Muwanguzi after the complainant and his attorney twice failed to show up in court, Muwanguzi’s attorney told Morning Star News.

Muwanguzi and his attorney appeared at a court hearing on March 10 at which the judge asked whether the complainant or his lawyer were present. They were not.

“The case was adjourned to March 13, and still the complainant failed to appear in court again when the charges were read against Muwanguzi,” the attorney said.

Muwanguzi told Morning Star News his lawyer then requested the court dismiss the case since there was no public witness.

“The magistrate heard the request of my lawyer, and he said, “The case has been dismissed,’” Muwanguzi said. “Immediately we left the courtroom, and as we got out we saw more than 15 Muslims, some dressed in Islamic attire, enter the court gate. We knew that they had come for hearing of the case.”

His lawyer told Muwanguzi that those arriving were too late, and that he should file a defamation case against them so that he could be compensated, the evangelist said.

“I answered him that as a Christian I will forgive them, just as our master Jesus did,” he said. “He [the attorney] was not content at first, but later he accepted it.”

Muwanguzi, who has suffered life-threatening attacks from jihadist Muslims, said he was thankful for the prayers and support of a pastor in Kibuku District at a time when his fears threatened to overcome him.

“Though I am still fearful from not knowing what the Muslims are now planning, the fears are now reduced,” he said.

Hours after Muwanguzi was released on bail on March 3, an Islamic leader urged village Muslims to kill him, an area source said. Muslims in eastern Uganda’s Kachomo village, Budaka District gathered that day to discuss how to stop Muwanguzi, a lay leader with the Church of Uganda well known in the region for his wide-ranging evangelism, said a source who snuck into the gathering. He said a sheikh (Islamic teacher) had told those present that Muwanguzi should be killed.

In an effort to defame Muwanguzi and stir up Islamist sentiment against him, Nghangha Mubakali on Feb. 26 accused him of kidnapping and making a human sacrifice of his daughter, Muwanguzi told Morning Star News. He said Namusisi Budadu Biryeri, 21, had taken refuge with him after her father beat her for putting her faith in Christ in 2015.

Police on Feb. 27 found her alive, and she told them she had sought refuge with Muwanguzi after her father kicked her out of their home on Nov. 12, 2015, for becoming a Christian that day.

Muwanguzi, a married father of six, has long housed converts from Islam in danger from hard-line Muslims.

Muwanguzi said he was grateful also to a pastor who made several calls to government officials about his arrest.

“Also, I am very grateful for the many church members who prayed for me,” he said. “Though the case has been dropped, I still need prayers because persecution is still going on, and I still have fears since I am taking care of many converts from Islam. I need protection and support for these new converts. I know nothing will separate me from the love of Christ and in serving Him.”

Nigeria Orders Christian Leaders to Cancel Mourning, Prayer Day for Killed Christians

(Morning Star News) – Having warned journalists and Christian leaders to stop speaking out about anti-Christian violence in Nigeria, the government this week also ordered the cancellation of a day of prayer and national mourning for slain Christians, sources said.

Christian leaders here said the day of prayer and mourning planned in churches across the country and abroad on Sunday (March 19) in memory of Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen and others has been suspended on orders of the Nigerian government and security agencies. They said they have been under pressure and threat by government and security officials to cancel the program on claims that it would breach national security.

The Rev. Dr. Musa Asake, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said in a statement on Wednesday (March 15) that leaders had no other option than to suspend the program indefinitely.

“CAN wishes to inform all Christians, both at home and abroad, that based on credible reports of concern, it has decided to suspend the Christian Day of Mourning formerly scheduled to take place globally on Sunday 19th March, 2017,” Asake said in the statement. “We took cognizance of the preparations that various Christian groups have made to participate in the program, which was designed, in all honesty and sincerity, to mourn the death of thousands of Christians murdered by religious insurgents.”

The suspension of the program was due to “misunderstanding, misinterpretation and subsequent security concerns,” he said. “All Nigerian Christian assemblies are urged to have a normal Sunday worship on 19th March, 2017 but suspend any action on the Day of Mourning.”

Christians should be careful and watchful, the statement added.

In the meantime, we are all urged to remain steadfast and resolute in the grace of God that Nigeria shall overcome the present distress and peace shall prevail all over the nation,” the statement concluded.

Security agencies and the Nigerian government have recently threatened Christian leaders for speaking out against incessant attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Christian communities in central states such as Benue, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Niger, and by the Islamic extremist Boko Haram group in northeastern Nigeria.

Earlier this month CAN President Samson Olasupo Ayokunle told the body’s National Executive Committee the failure of security agencies to arrest and charge the assailants in southern Kaduna has allowed the crisis to continue. He decried that killings have continued despite curfews, police presence and other security agencies in the area.

“Recently, a Redeemed Christian Church of God building was burnt down in Dei- Dei, here in Abuja, very early in the morning,” he reportedly said. “What shall we do to these continuous provocations without any visible action by the law enforcement agents?”

On March 6, advocacy group Jubilee Campaign noted at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland that a rising Fulani militancy has succeeded Boko Haram as the foremost violent threat in Nigeria. At a press conference at the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, panelists said the alarming increase in militarization in north and central Nigeria has resulted in the death of 4,000 people in the past three years.

“The rising militia is made up of members of the Fulani ethnic tribe. Therefore, they are referred to as the Fulani militants,” Jubilee said in a March 8 statement. “These militants have launched systematic attacks on farming communities that are predominately Christian. During their attacks, they kill villagers, raze homes, and destroy farmland. Many times, they then move in to occupy the attacked village.”

Mark Jacob, former attorney general of Kaduna state, said at the event that Nigeria needed outside help because the government has proven unwilling to protect its citizens.

“We keep complaining, the government appears to be uninterested in what we are saying, and that is why one of the reasons we are here is to ask for intervention,” Jacob said.

Please remember our Nigerian brothers and sisters in your prayers. Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in Nigeria to care for our Christian brothers and sisters experiencing brutal persecution. If you would like 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 thank God for each one of you who have joined this mission through prayer and your support.

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. Donations always desperately needed

Islamic Extremists in Somalia Kill Secret Christian, Her Son, Wound Husband, Sources Say

Photo: Wiki Commons

(Morning Star News) – Islamic extremists in Somalia identified as Al Shabaab rebels last month shot to death an underground Christian woman and her son and seriously wounded her husband, sources said.

The family was asleep at their home at dawn in Afgoi, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) west of Mogadishu, when at least four armed men attacked them on or around Feb. 10 shouting the jihadist slogan, “Allah Akbar [God is greater],” and, “We cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion,” said family head Suleiman Abdiwahab.

The 38-year-old secret Christian, a convert from Islam, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his chest near the right shoulder.

“The gunmen fired several shots, then destroyed the door with a big metallic object and then were able enter into the house,” Abdiwahab told Morning Star News. “They randomly shot at everyone.”

The assailants killed his wife, 35-year-old convert Faduma Osman, and the couple’s 11-year-old son, Ahmed Suleiman. The couple’s two daughters, 13 and 7, and their 9-year-old son were able to escape out a backdoor and have found safe shelter in another town, sources said.

Neighbors found the three shot family members lying in their blood. Discovering Abdiwahab still alive, they took him to a local hospital, and he was later transferred to Mogadishu for specialized treatment, he said. Afgoi is located in Somalia’s Lower Shebelle Region.

Al Shabaab, which has been battling government forces for more than 10 years, has taken control of farming areas surrounding Afgoi, sources said. Since the beginning of the year the rebels have briefly taken over the city three times, with Somali government forces driving them out each time, they said.

Afgoi is thus under control of the Somali government but is vulnerable to Al Shabaab attacks. The insurgent militants, the Somali cell of Al Qaeda, have retreated from major cities but still control some rural parts of southern and central Somalia. The past few years Al Shabaab has lost ground to government and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces.

Abdiwahab, the wounded family head, has been relocated to a shelter in another town, a source told Morning Star News.

“Abdiwahab, due to the blessings of the lord, has survived and is currently recovering from serious gunshot wounds,” he said.

Somalia is second only to North Korea on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian.

The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to mainstream schools of Islamic jurisprudence, and Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda adhere to the teaching.

Somali law and societal tradition create an atmosphere of hostility toward non-Islamic faiths similar to that created in regimes that execute apostates. The country’s Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) does not explicitly prohibit Muslims from converting to other religions, but leaving Islam remains socially unacceptable in all areas, according to the U.S. State Department’s latest Report on International Religious Freedom (2015).

The PFC provides for the right of individuals to practice their religion but prohibits propagation of any religion other than Islam, and it makes Islam the state religion. All laws must comply with the general principles of sharia (Islamic law), the report states.

PRAY FOR CHRISTIANS IN SOMALIA

By PHCM TERRY C. MITCHELL (http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ (DN-ST-93-02604.JPG)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By PHCM TERRY C. MITCHELL (http://www.dodmedia.osd.mil/ (DN-ST-93-02604.JPG)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

(Voice of the Persecuted) Read: Hebrews 13:13 – So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.
Since the downfall of Ziad Barre in 1991, Somalia has become a safe-haven for Islamic militants. Christian converts
from Islam in the country have been facing a great deal of persecution. The mere suspicion of one’s having renounced Islam leads to a rushed public execution. Martyrdom is very common.
.
PRAY: Today, we pray for our persecuted family in Somalia. Lord, protect and provide. Meet their needs and show them Your everlasting hope. You are the God of shalom; Lord, bring peace. – Amen
.
Please do keep our persecuted brothers and sisters in the nation of Somalia and your prayers.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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.

Donations are always desperately needed.

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

Historical Churches in Iran Being Destroyed While UNESCO Overlooks

church_iran_mohabatnews-7

Mohabat News A while ago, a UNESCO representative praised the Islamic Republic of Iran for including a few Armenian Historical church buildings on the list of national heritage sites. The St. Mary Church in Tehran was among the newly registered churches.

Some reports quoted Robert Biglarian, the Armenian member of the Iranian parliament, as saying “Recently, a group of extremist Muslims destroyed an Armenian church in Sava near Marivan County. Armenians have voiced their concern over this issue and officials are investigating to find those responsible.”

This is not an isolated incident. On May 12, 2016, another church called St. Mary in Salmas County in Urumia province was destroyed as well.

Some Iranian news services reported that a mal-intended group entered the church property stealthily, breaking into the church building through its roof and began destroying the cross inside the building using sledgehammers and axes. They also broke the statues of Mary and tore the pictures on the wall.

Destroying church buildings has a long record in the history of the Islamic regime of Iran.

In the spring of 2012, reports indicated that another church near Salmas County is on the verge of destruction.

A year before that in the summer of 2011, judicial authorities in Kerman issued a ruling for a historical church building in their city to be brought down, even though a few years earlier this church had been registered as a national heritage site.

On April 5, 2012, a historic Christian cemetery, more than 200 years old, was destroyed by a group of extremists. No one has been arrested so far in connection with the incident.

A historical evangelical church building in Mashhad that had been registered as a national heritage site in 2005, was destroyed a few years ago.

Currently, there are around five hundred registered church buildings in Iran, with many of them abandoned or on the verge of destruction.

 

 

Remember my imprisonment…a prayer for the persecuted

prayer-for-the-persecuted
Remember my imprisonment…
Three simple words out of Colossians 4:18 from our brother Paul,
… Remember my imprisonment
(Voice of the Persecuted) Today, these would be three simple words from our brothers and sisters in the shadow of the cross.
Remember my imprisonment.
Their heartfelt plea would also be,
… Please pray for me. Please do not forget about me…
How do the persecuted ask us to pray for them.
Please pray for my freedom—Please pray that I can come to America—Please pray that I can escape the persecutions—Please pray that I can have a comfortable life…
Dear saints you may be surprised to know that many of our persecuted brethren have far different prayer requests than we would imagine in the West.
Often their requests go something like this,
… Please pray that I will be faithful to the Lord Jesus in the midst of my trials…
… Please pray that I will not deny my Lord Jesus in the midst of my trials…
… Please pray that I will be be able to endure the sufferings of the cross…
… Please pray that I will love and forgive my persecutors…
…Please pray that my persecutors will come to the Lord Jesus Christ…
… Please pray that my nation will know the light of Jesus Christ shining in the darkness…
…Please pray that I will stand firm to remain in my nation to be a light for the Lord Jesus Christ…
…Please pray that I will keep my eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and have his eternal perspective…
And so on…
As you can see, the persecuted church has more of a kingdom orientation in their prayer request.  They are not looking to sail to heaven on flowery beds of ease.  But rather are looking to carry their cross through the stormy seas.
Let us to remember the prisoners, as in prison with them. Those who are ill-treated, since you yourself also are in the body…Hebrews 13:3.
Please do keep those in the shadow of the cross in your thoughts and prayers, daily.  Remember our brothers and sisters are not wanting to come to the safety, but to stand firm in the fires of affliction. They’re wanting to remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of their persecutions.
You are also welcome to join us as we come together 3 times a week to pray together for our suffering family in Christ.
prayer_warriors_neededPrayer Conference call times:
Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
9 p.m. Eastern time

8 p.m.  Central time

7 p.m.  Mountain time

6 p.m. Pacific time

Call number: 712.775.7035
Access code: 281207#
For Him who was slain.
Blaine Scogin, serving as Prayer Director
Voice of the Persecuted/Persecution Watch

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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.

Donations are always desperately needed.

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

EGYPT – Another Coptic Christian found dead in northern Sinai

Egypt-christian-attack

(Agenzia Fides) – A 40-year-old Coptic Christian was found dead with a gunshot to the neck, in the Egyptian town of Al-Arish, capital of Northern Sinai, on Thursday, February 23. The body was found inside his home, which had been set on fire. This is the third Coptic Christian killed in Al Arish in the past 48 hours, and the seventh murdered in the Sinai Peninsula in the last two weeks.

On Wednesday, February 22 the authorities found the bullet-riddled body of a Christian about 65; his son also died with him, burned alive by jihadists. On February 12, some masked men on a motorcycle gunned down a Christian veterinarian, while he was at the wheel of his own car. In late January, a 35-year-old Christian officer was killed.

In recent days, in a video posted on the Telegram messaging site, the Islamic State had promised to strike the Christian community, defined by jihadists as “the preferred prey”. Among these, the most serious was the suicide bombing on  December 11 against a Coptic Orthodox church in Cairo, which caused 29 victims.

A priest says 1,000 Christians have fled, with some receiving threats on their mobile phones

Hundreds of Christians have fled the city of el-Arish in Egypt after a spate of attacks by suspected Islamic militants.

A priest told the Associated Press that he and some 1,000 other Christians had fled for fear of being targeted next. He blamed lax security, saying: “You feel like this is all meant to force us to leave our homes. We became like refugees.”

It was earlier reported that militants had shot dead a Coptic Christian man, Kamel Youssef, in front of his wife and daughter. The account had been given by two officials speaking on condition of anonymity.

A priest in the city said militants then kidnapped and stabbed his daughter before dumping her body near a police station. It wasn’t immediately possible to confirm his account. Read More

Modern-Day Martyrs Show Love and Forgiveness

father-forgive-them

Two years ago this month Beshir Kamel went on television and thanked so-called Islamic State terrorists for not editing out the last words of his brother and the other Egyptian men they beheaded on a beach in Libya. “Lord, Jesus Christ,” were the last words of the Coptic Christians slaughtered because of their faith. The courage and integrity of their witness strengthened Kamel’s faith. “We are proud to have this number of people from our village who have become martyrs,” he said after his brother’s murder. “Since the Roman era, Christians have… Read more

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