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U.S. Supreme High Court turns away homeschoolers’ request for asylum

Romeike family

Now that a homeschooling family’s last judicial hope for asylum in the U.S. has been dashed, an attorney fears they will face “certain persecution” if forced to return to Germany – unless his legal firm can find another avenue to help them.

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case of a Christian family from Germany seeking asylum in the U.S. The Romeike family fled Germany in 2008 to avoid persecution for homeschooling their children.

Michael Farris, chairman of the Homeschool School Legal Defense Association, says he’s disappointed because of indications last week the justices might take up the case. He is convinced the family would be secure in their asylum in America if it weren’t for the Obama administration.

“The original asylum judge held that this was a case of religious persecution and granted them asylum,” he explains. “And if the Obama administration would have just left that alone, it would have set no precedent; it was a very low-level decision. But they decided to make a case out of it – and literally make a federal case out of it.” HSLDA is currently working with members of Congress on possible legislation that could help the Romeikes – and others like them – who are fleeing persecution.

Farris points out while the administration is sympathetic toward the 12 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., the Romeikes are apparently the object of its scorn.

“But one family that comes here for religious freedom, which is the original freedom-based reason to come to the United States, that’s not welcome anymore,” he laments. ”

I can’t read anything into it other than this is part of the overall attack on Christianity that this administration is waging.” The HSLDA chairman says if the family is deported, it’s possible German officials could immediately seize the Romeike children without the opportunity to appeal or comply with German law surrounding compulsory public education.

By Bob Kellogg One News Now

Persecution News Weekly Update February 25, 2013

Strengthening the Underground Church in Somalia (February 14, 2013) The Christian community of Somalia is one of the most persecuted and secretive populations in the world. Because of intense levels of persecution, it is estimated that the numbers of Christians in Somalia may be as little as 550 individuals. Most are forced to worship at clandestine Bible studies conducted at the homes of other believers. Living in a failed state and in a society that is openly hostile towards Christians, underground churches are in desperate need of educated leaders, Bibles in the Somali language and other basic Christian resources. READ MORE

Saudi Hypocrisy at Its Best (February 14, 2013) Few things offer surreal experiences as when Islam and the West interact—when 7th century primordialism encounters 21st century relativism. Consider the issue of “interfaith dialogue.” In  principle, it is a decent thing: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others  trying to reach a common ground and professing mutual respect. But what does one make of the gross contradictions that emerge when a  human-rights violating nation calls for “dialogue,” even as it enforces religious intolerance on its own turf? Enter Saudi Arabia. Birthplace of Islam, the Arabian kingdom is also the one Muslim nation that regularly sponsors interfaith initiatives in  the West—even as its official policy back home is to demonize and  persecute the very faiths it claims to want to have an interfaith dialogue with. READ MORE

  • July 2008A historic interfaith dialogue conference was initiated by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to solve world problems through concord instead of conflict. The conference was attended by religious leaders of different faiths such as Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism and was hosted by King Juan Carlos of Spain in Madrid. Source
  • KAICIID Dialogue Centre – King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, globally known by its abbreviation: KAICIID, is a controversial but uniquely empathic non-governmental, not-for-profit worldwide organization founded in October 2011 by King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. Accordingly, the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain are also backing the Centre with the aim of keeping KAICIID free from all political interference and influence. Source (Does this not send up red flags for you?)

Two More Churches Hit in Makassar Molotov Cocktail Attacks (February 14, 2013) Police in Makassar, South Sulawesi, are standing guard outside churches after would-be arsonists hit two more churches in a second wave of attacks early Thursday morning. Unknown assailants hurled homemade molotov cocktails at the South Sulawesi Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) and the Toraja Klassis Makassar Church Panakkukang Congregation in a pair of coordinated 4 a.m. attacks. Both churches suffered fire damage in the attempted fire bombings, police said. READ MORE

BAHRAIN: Sentenced to two years in prison for advocating and exercising the right to peaceful assembly (February 14, 2013)

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), publishes today a report, which presents findings of a judicial observation mission conducted on the trial in appeal of prominent human rights defender Nabeel Rajab. The report concludes that a series of violations of the right to fair trial marred the judicial process and that Mr. Nabeel Rajab is suffering judicial harassment for merely advocating for and exercising the right to peaceful assembly in Bahrain.
While February 14, 2013 marks the second anniversary of the start of pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, Mr. Nabeel Rajab, Deputy Secretary General of FIDH, President of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and Director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), remains detained in Jaw Prison, serving a two-year prison sentence. On December 11, 2012 the Appeals Court in Bahrain confirmed his conviction on charges of calling for and participating in peaceful gatherings on three occasions. As of today, he has been in detention for 217 days. READ MORE
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3427287791_7a5664d8eb_mA Deafening Silence? (CSW) Mervyn Thomas’s blog series on the role of the Americas in combating global religious persecution. This week I’m looking at Congressman Frank Wolf’s uncompromising challenge to Church Leaders in the West. “Have we in the West ceased to be salt and light? Has our comfort led to complacency?“ These words were still ringing in my ears when I visited Frank Wolf on Capitol Hill this week. His recent letter to hundreds of Protestant and Catholic leaders is an impassioned plea to Western churches to speak up on behalf of those millions around the world who suffer because of their faith.

“God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.”

He quotes a story from the book When A Nation Forgets God by Erwin Lutzer, a German Christian. Lutzer recounted how the trains taking Jews to death camps would pass by his church every Sunday during the Holocaust. “Their screams tormented us,” he wrote, “but … what could anyone do to stop it? We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it anymore. But I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me; forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.” READ MORE

Campaign of letters, support for persecuted Church- “For some reason, the Church in the West has really gone silent. They just don’t speak out for the persecuted Christians around the world.” Wolf, who co-chairs the sponsoring Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, adds the Church has a bigger… obligation than government officials to call Christians into action on behalf of the persecuted Church. “I would love the Church to adopt persecuted Christians,” he says. “I mean, you have Catholic bishops and Protestant pastors in jail in China, and nobody even knows who they are and nobody says anything. You have Iraqi Christians who speak the same language Jesus did — the Aramaic language — and you can’t even get people in the West to advocate for them.” READ MORE
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Urgent prayer request for Columbian pastor who has received death threats
We ask prayers for Alfonso Murillo, a pastor in northern Colombia who has received death threats from illegal prayer-158x238armed groups, forcing him to flee for three months. Recently he returned home; however, the threats have continued. The pastor has reported these threats to government authorities and requested protection, which the authorities have not granted him. He approached Open Doors Colombia requesting protection. We ask prayers for his protection and protection for his family.
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Religious persecution, rape still evident in Kachin State- Sixty-six Christian churches have been burnt down in Kachin state since the conflict erupted in June 2011, according to the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT), a figure that is backed by Myitkyina-based Kachin Baptist Convention. Speaking at a seminar at Chiang Mai University on Friday, Julia Marip of KWAT said that the burning of churches by Myanmar government forces amounts to religious persecution. lso on Friday, a group of Roman Catholic bishops in Kachin State called for peace. ccording to website CatholicCulture, spokesman Bishop Francis Daw Tang of Myitkyina said, “As a church, we walk with our displaced people, watch their lives being destroyed by war, their families fragmented by the depressing life in the displaced camps.” He accused government forces were waging “unequal warfare” on Christian holy days.
Kwat’s Marip said there are now 100,000 people displaced by the conflict in Kachin State, 60,000 of whom are sheltered at the Sino-Myanmar border or other areas under Kachin rebel control, and 40,000 in areas under government control. Marip said her organization had continuing evidence of systematic rape by Myanmar troops against Kachin and other ethnic women. She said KWAT had recorded 30 incidents where 64 women or girls had been sexually assaulted in Kachin State since the conflict began. “But there could be many more cases that we have not been able to document,” she said, explaining that NGOs were unable to make contact with many rural areas and villages under government control.  “Half of those women raped were killed afterward,” she said. SOURCE

German Christians May Face Jail Time for Homeschooling Children – Homeschooling Not a Fundamental Right, Justice Dept. Argues. ICC Note: In an unusual case an evangelical German family that fled to the United States. READ MORE

Libya: Christians arrested and allegedly tortured for proselytizing- Arrests continue of Christians accused of proselytizing in Libya, with a total of seven now known to be in custody including one reported to have been tortured, sources said.
Four expatriate Christians in the eastern coastal town of Benghazi were arrested on Feb. 10, accused of proselytizing. Libya’s Preventative Security Unit arrested the Egyptian, South African, Korean and dual Swedish-American Christians, who have yet to be officially charged. On Feb. 13, Preventative Security officers picked up two more Egyptian Christians, and another Egyptian Christian was arrested by Feb. 16, sources said. All the detainees were being held in Benghazi. It was unclear what led to their arrests. Peventative Security spokesman Hussein Bin Hmeid said in a statement to Reuters that the four Christians originally arrested were printing books calling for conversion to Christianity. He said the country is 100 percent Muslim and that proselytizing “affects our national security.” READ MORE

PROJECT UPDATE | Rescued: A Home for 100 Children
kidsLast summer, we learned that Christian children from poor tribal areas in the mountains of Bangladesh were being trafficked from their homes and sold to Islamic Training Centers (madrassas…) in various cities. As news was released about the rescue of the first 19 children, whom ICC now cares for, families began to come forward asking for help finding their missing children. They thought they were sending their children to Christian schools in the city, but as an ICC partner investigated it became apparent that upwards of 300 children were told that same lie and are now suffering in madrassas around Bangladesh. In addition to the first 19 rescued, ICC, its partners, and the communities are joined together to build a safe hostel for 100 children to live. As of now, the first 90 have arrived. Plans are already being discussed to build safe hostels for others to go to once they are rescued. In these hostels, the children have their daily needs met, receive Christian spiritual education, and go to school. They are free, happy, healthy and have a bright future in front of them.
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Accused of worshipping “Wrong God” couple loses 14 adopted children- (BarnabasAid) A Christian couple in Russia have had their 14 adopted children removed by the authorities, in a case that bears the marks of religious discrimination. Although Ilya Yaroslavkin, a church pastor, and his wife Lubov have won awards and been praised for their exceptional care, local authorities accused them of worshipping “the wrong god” and following “unintelligible church traditions”. The couple’s children were removed from their schools on 12 September 2012 without being able to say goodbye to their parents. Pray for this family, which has been so cruelly torn apart. Ask that the Lord will comfort Ilya and Lubov and their children as they endure this separation, and that the decision will be overturned so that the family can be reunited. SOURCE

 Another Christian girl raped in district Kasur of Punjab province of Pakistan- Pakistan, Pattoki: Legal Evangelical Association Development reports that while the rape case of a Christian girl, Fouzia Bibi is still under investigation  violence and pressure on the victim’s family continues. They have also pressured LEAD trying to avoid proceedings in this case. Both are facing these problems, including financial crisis. READ MORE
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How China Plans to Wipe Out House Churches China’s Christians felt a noticeable rise in persecution in 2012 as the Communist government began the first of a three-phase plan to eradicate unregistered house churches, a new report says. Incidents of persecution of Christians rose by about 42 percent last year compared with 2011, according to the report by human rights group China Aid. Many of these incidents involved groups of Christians. In total, the number of individual persecuted Christians rose by roughly 14 percent and total individual detentions increased by nearly 12 percent. China Aid said overall total persecution in six categories was about 13 percent worse than in 2011—though China Aid termed its statistics just “the tip of the iceberg.” READ MORE
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Key immigration role urged for new religious-freedom ambassador- An evangelical Christian leader wants the federal government’s new ambassador for religious freedom to play a central role in screening refugees and immigrants fleeing religious persecution. Nearly two years after promising to name Canada’s first ambassador for religious freedom, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to make the long-delayed announcement Tuesday at a Toronto-area mosque and community center. READ MORE
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Syria – Russian Orthodox Church fears for Christians
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Tanzania Too: Christians Threatened with Islamist Violence on Easter- Tanzania is the latest in a growing number of African countries to be struggling  with escalating Islamist terror. In this country of 45 million people, over 60  percent of whom are Christian, church leaders are the canaries in the coalmine.  On Sunday, 55-year-old Catholic priest Father Evarist Mushi was shot dead by  assailants on a motorcycle in front of Zanzibar’s St. Joseph’s Cathedral just  before Sunday morning Mass. According to the Pontifical news agency Fides, local  bishops and priests received a message claiming responsibility from a group  calling itself “Muslim Renewal.” READ MORE

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A Hindu Who Converted To Christianity Gunned Down For His Faith By Muslim- Pakistan Lahore: On February 16, 2013, a 45 year old Christian man, Roshan Masih was murdered after a trivial disagreement on faith with a Muslim, Sohail Akhtar. Twenty years ago Roshan Masih(Hindu name Lal Ram) had migrated from Metro Basti Tehsil Fortabas, Behawal Nagar and settled in Lahore after accepting Jesus Christ. He was living at Jughian Asam Town in Lahore. READ MORE

Saeed Learns About #SaveSaeed, News Brings “Hope” in His “Dark Prison” – The Iranian prison guards told Saeed we’d abandoned him, that he was forgotten and alone.  Saeed’s family told him that hundreds of thousands of Americans had signed petitions for his freedom, and they told him of the musicians who were all rallying to support him and call for his freedom. READ MORE
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Two Christian Pastors In India Arrested After Being Beaten- Pastor Mallik Arjun knew something was wrong when he received a call from the cell phone of his friend and fellow pastor in Gadag District, Karnataka state – but it was a stranger on the other end of the line. READ MORE
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Sudanese Government Detains Over 50 Christians SUDAN-Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that at least 55 Christians have been detained by the Sudanese government for approximately two weeks without charge.  According to CSW’s sources, the group, which has no political affiliations and includes church leaders, has been falsely accused of receiving money from foreign countries, including Israel. READ MORE
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Madhya Pradesh: Hindu fundamentalists attack Christians even in the privacy of their homes In two separate incidents, Pentecostal clergymen are accused of forced conversions. For the president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), India’s constitution guarantees freedom of worship and praying at home does not violate the penal code. READ MORE
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Saeed Abedini’s Letter from Inside Iran’s Evin PrisonIn a rare event, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was recently able to write a letter to his family and all those in support of him. In the letter, he describes the brutal treatment and pressure he’s enduring at the notorious Evin prison in Iran. He has now been imprisoned for close to 5 months. He describes the pain of not being able to see his family, physical and psychological abuse, humiliation and the bullyng by extremist and others incarcerated within the prison. In one incident, he was attacked by an inmate for singing praise and worship songs. In his latest letter, Saeed says he is still being threatened with death. He also confirms the torture and mental abuse continues, as means to make him recant his faith in Christ. This, he says he will never do. He wrote: READ MORE
From a brother in Nigeria: 
2012415“I ask that you don’t forget to pray for us.We need your prayers.”
He says, Boko haram has now divided. The first is controlled by (Sheikh Shakarau, (NORTH DIVISION).  The second, he can’t confirm the leader, IS TRYING TO ADVANCE TO THE SOUTH. They’re involved in kidnapping of foreigners in Bauchi (NORTH). They attac…k the JTF going to Mali (at KOGI). Their aim is to spread their tentacles to unaffected areas, and the SOUTHWEST is their first thought)…..Brethren, Are we going to be watching these EVILs break into our house before we can Pray for Help? Here in the North, every Sunday is a (RED-DAY). Though there’s no bombing of churches for the past 3 weeks, they break into one’s house and kill people. “On Sundays, very few people can stand up with Faith to go to Church”.

I’M PRAYING THAT THESE THINGS WILL NOT HAPPEN IN THE SOUTH. WE NEED GOD’S HELP!

Psalms 121 says
“I will lift up my eyes unto the Hills, from whence cometh my (OUR) HELP.
My (Our) help comes from the LORD, which made heaven and the earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be Moved; he that Keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper; the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all Evil; he shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time Forth, and even for evermore.”

Amen

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