Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Persecuted ChurchEgyptian Christian Burned Alive

Sadly, the Christian Post is reporting this horrific story about an Egyptian Christian who was burned alive and his father was also murdered.

Yasser Ahmed Qasim approached 25-year-old Sabri Shihata and poured gasoline on the Coptic Christian and then set him on fire, reported the Voice of the Copts on Friday. The young Copt tried to put out the fire by throwing himself into a nearby canal, but the burns were too severe and he later died.

His 60-year-old father, Sabri Shihata, later arrived at a village rally where a group of Muslims stabbed him to death. One stab reportedly entered his back and came out of his abdomen below the rib cage, according to Voice of the Copts. The elder Shihata was taken to the hospital but nevertheless died from the attacks.

The Muslim group also attacked the Coptic man’s younger brother, 22-year-old Rami Sabri Shihata, causing a deep injury to his head.

John 15:20
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘ A slave is not greater than his master ‘ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

View article…

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The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada

Persecuted Church

A weekly news digest on the Persecuted Church and how you can respond.

Tough times require tough faith. Find out more at www.persecution.net/newsletter.

Subscribe to the RSS feed at www.persecution.net/pnp.xml.
In this week’s edition: Reports from Nigeria, India and Egypt, with updates from Pakistan and Sri Lanka

1. Christians killed, property destroyed in Bauchi, Nigeria

At least 11 people were killed, over 1,500 displaced, and dozens of homes and churches burned during a weekend of violence in Bauchi state, Nigeria, according to a February 23 report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide. When a mosque was set on fire in the early hours of February 21, Muslims blamed Christians and began attacking believers and destroying their property. However, local Christians believe the mosque’s destruction was the work of Muslim militants seeking a pretext to attack Christians in retaliation for the loss of Muslim lives in Jos (see www.persecution.net/ng-2008-12-03.htm). According to local sources, some of the displaced believers have taken shelter in military barracks and are without sufficient food and water. Although a curfew was imposed in the area, attacks continued for several days and believers fear further violence.

Pray for lasting peace in Nigeria. Pray for healing for those injured and provision for those displaced. Pray that believers will be Christ-like in how they interact with their Muslim neighbours.

To find out more about how Christians are persecuted in Nigeria, go to www.persecution.net/nigeria.htm.

2. Pastors arrested in Madhya Pradesh, India

Three pastors were arrested in recent weeks in Madhya Pradesh, India for their alleged involvement in selling a book offensive to Hindus at a January conference in Anuppur district. Two individuals were selling books entitled “Secularism and Hindutva” near the site of the three-day prayer conference. A group of Hindu militants purchased a copy, brought it to the local police station and filed a complaint against the conference’s organizer, Pastor Paulose. After explaining to police that he was unaware that the books were being sold, Pastor Paulose was reprimanded and released. However, on February 25 he was again arrested. At last report he was denied bail and was being held at the Chachai police station.

On February 19, two other pastors were arrested for “deliberate and malicious acts to outrage religious feelings” in connection with the complaint about the book. At last report, one was being held at the Shadol district jail while the other was freed on bail.

Pray for the release of the imprisoned pastors. Ask God to give them and other suffering believers in India grace, wisdom and endurance as they serve Him (1 Peter 5:10).

To learn more about Indian Christians under fire for their faith, visit www.persecution.net/india.htm.

3. Egyptian convert to Christianity fighting for recognition of his faith

A convert to Christianity from Islam, Maher Ahmad El-Mo’otahssem Bellah El-Gohary (56), is currently involved in a legal battle to obtain identification papers that recognize his Christian faith, according to a February 26 report from Compass Direct. More than 20 Islamic lawyers attended a February 22 hearing where they advocated that El-Gohary be convicted of apostasy and sentenced to death. The lawyers submitted memos that allegedly asserted that cases like El-Gohary’s were part of a U.S. Zionist attack on Islam in Egypt. The documents also claimed that Christianity is inferior to Islam and stated that Christians protect and defend converts from Islam at their own peril. Fearing an attack, El-Gohary did not attend the proceedings. He had attempted to obtain papers authorizing his attorney to act as his proxy representative in court but when he went to the registry office to sign the papers he was beaten by officials. El-Gohary has been attacked several times during his legal battle and he and his 14-year-old daughter have received death threats. At last report, he was in hiding.

El-Gohary’s fight for legal recognition of his Christian faith was sparked by his concern for his daughter, who will be issued her national identity card in approximately a year. Unless his documents are changed, she will be subject to Islamic law, which would include denying her the right to marry a Christian. At present, she has to attend Islamic classes at school despite her Christian faith.

Pray for safety and protection for El-Gohary and his daughter. Pray that Egyptian Christians will be allowed to express their true religious identity in a spiritually hostile environment.

For more information on the persecution of Christians in Egypt, go to www.persecution.net/egypt.htm.

4. Update: Charges filed against kidnappers in Pakistan

The abductors of two Pakistani Christian sisters, Saba and Aneela (see www.persecution.net/pk-2008-10-29.htm), were charged on February 21 with kidnapping, trespassing and threatening the girls’ family, according to a February 26 report from Compass Direct. The charges come after the three kidnappers entered the property of the girls’ parents in late December and threatened to kill the family and burn down their house. In spite of the judge’s decision, at last report the local police had yet to arrest the three men.

5. Update: Sri Lanka defers anti-conversion bill debate

VOMC was pleased to learn that the debate on a religious-conversion bill in Sri Lanka’s parliament (see www.persecution.net/lk-2009-01-21.htm) has been deferred amid opposition from Christians. According to UCANews, a parliamentary committee comprised of Christian parliamentarians and leaders of political parties examined the bill on February 18 and agreed that it could have serious consequences on religious activities, spark interreligious conflict and possibly violate the country’s constitution.

Pandu Bandaranayake, the Minister of Religious Affairs, confirmed Christians have called for more clarity on some words in the bill and so, despite opposition from the Buddhist-led party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), the bill will be re-examined by the Ministry’s religious consultative committee.

Continue to pray for Christians in Sri Lanka, as it is believed that this relief will be only temporary and that there will be considerable pressure by the JHU to bring back the bill virtually unchanged for debate.

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Persecuted ChurchEgypt

Civil administration in Alexandria refused to give her ID after converting to Christianity

By-Hekmat Hana- Coptsunited
After converted to Islam and took a sense of remorse Iman Aziz, rushed to change the religion card a personal record of Muharram Bek Alexandria after its return to the survey, however, that the management failed to give her the ID and consider her as apostate .

It is a violation of article 47 of Act 143 of 1994, which paid to file a lawsuit against the Interior Minister of the superior to the administrative head of the Civil Status and the Ministry of Interior registered number 23613 / 63 s to put obstacles to the granting of the religion of origin.

Where it was born 5-15-1978 and has lived throughout the Orthodox Christian life with her father, Aziz Abu Elyamen Hanna and went right in the circumstances of Islam in unknown circumstances in 2005 and then returned to Christianity after the difficult period experienced by, and asked only that the card on the administration, which declined as own lawyer Ramses Raouf Elnajar, contrary to the law and the constitution which provides for freedom of religion and freedom of religious practice, describing the declaration of Islam that is easier than the passage of water in the faucet, and upon its return to the Christian religion, such as the request of the original mixing water with oil in case of all similar cases to that issue.

He adds that Iman Mohammed does not have a figure of national identity and to prove that point with the Department will modify the data of the first name and religion in violation of the law and the reality as it is a Christian since the birth of religion and practice their own religion and the Christian Patriarchy has a certificate from this effect.

The administrative section must be given proof of their identity card on behalf of the true faith rather than faith, Aziz Mohammed, the true Christian religion, so as to maintain its dealings with the adminstration and all the organs of state and government agencies.

Requesting and waiting for the court to judge them by enabling them to obtain a personal identity card to prove the firm by the name of national religion and Christianity  View article...


In Other News

An anti-conversion bill in Sri Lanka faces opposition View article…

Religious freedom survey, February 2009 View article…

Three New Anti-Christian Incidents in India View article…

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Persecuted ChurchCHINA –House Church Leaders Arrested – China Aid Association

On Feb. 11, 60 house church leaders, including two South Korean pastors, were arrested by Chinese authorities while attending a seminar in Wolong district, Henan province. According to China Aid Association, 30 police officers disrupted the meeting, arrested the Christians and confiscated phones, books and money. Authorities forced the believers to register with the government and pay a fine. Elderly believers were released. Meanwhile, on Feb. 14, the South Korean pastors were deported from China for “engaging in illegal religious activities” and have been banned from entering the country for five years. On Feb. 16 two more house church leaders were released after authorities received calls from foreign journalists. It is believed that four leaders remain in detention. Pray for the release of those detained. Pray that Christians in China will continue to stand firm in their faith in the face of opposition. View article…

In Other News

“Moderate” Egypt Imitates Saudi Arabian Extremism

In another sign of radicalization of Islam in Egypt, the authorities in that country sentenced six Christians to three years of imprisonment with hard labor.Their crimes?running bussiness during Islamic holiday of Ramadan. View article…

Egypt: Islamic Lawyers Urge Death Sentence For Convert

“Our rights in Egypt, as Christians or converts, are less than the rights of animals,”

View article…

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Wassuli People

Music has been called the universal language. Despite language and culture barriers, anywhere we go, there will be music and it always speaks to the heart!

The Wassuli people of western Africa have always loved their musical expression. Their style, known as wass, is known internationally, and people of all ages enjoy listening to it. Wass is best known via the talents of singer Oumou Sangare, a Wassuli from Mali. Her sound has been celebrated since the release of her first album in 1990. She has been known as “The Songbird of Wassoulou.”

The Wassulis have lived in parts of Mali, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea for centuries. They are very congenial and hospitable. Many of their dwelling areas are very remote and inaccessible by car during the rainy season. Most Wassulis are farmers who raise rice, peanuts and corn. Their primary export crop is cotton.

Islam was brought to the Wassulis in the late 1800s, but many Wassulis still follow more strongly their traditional African beliefs, creating their own form of folk Islam. There are very few known followers of Christ among the Wassuli people.

Pray that the Lord would stir and move His servants to make their homes among the Wassulis so that they can share Christ with them. Pray for a spiritual breakthrough among the Wassulis that will lead them to faithful obedience and to use their musical talents to sing His praise among the nations.-JR

View article…

Sudanese of Egypt

People Name: Arab, Sudanese
Country Name: Egypt
Population: 4,135,000
Primary Language: Arabic, Sudanese Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
% Evangelical: 0.20
Status: Unreached

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Fear in Egypt

Egyptian convert from Islam to Christianity: “I am afraid. Many, many people can kill me and my daughter anytime”

     Muhammad said, “If anyone changes his religion, kill him” (cf. Bukhari vol. 9, bk. 84, no. 57). 

To read the entire entry please click on the link below:




The editor and publisher of a top English-language Indian daily have been arrested on charges of “hurting the religious feelings” of Muslims.


The Statesman’s editor Ravindra Kumar and publisher Anand Sinha were detained in Calcutta after complaints.

Muslims said they were upset with the Statesman for reproducing an article from the UK’s Independent daily in its 5 February edition.

The article was entitled: “Why should I respect these oppressive religions?”

It concerns the erosion of the right to criticise religions.

In it, the author, Johann Hari, writes: “I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a ‘Prophet’ who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him.”

Mr Kumar and Mr Sinha appeared in court on Wednesday and were granted bail.


Angry Muslims have been demonstrating in front of the offices of the Statesman since its republication of the article.

Police have broken up the demonstrations using baton charges several times this week.

Some Muslims close to the Jamiat-e-Ulema e Hind (The Organisation of Indian Scholars, a leading Islamic group in India) later filed a complaint with police alleging that the publication had “outraged their religious feelings”, which is an offence under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code.

Mr Kumar has said he has already issued a public apology for reproducing the article.

“I admit it was an editorial misjudgement but it was never intentional,” Mr Kumar told the BBC in an interview


Libraries put Bible on top shelf in a sop to Muslims (UK)

Librarians are being told to move the Bible to the top shelf to avoid giving offence to followers of Islam.


Muslims have complained of finding the Koran on lower shelves, saying it should be put above commonplace things.

So officials have responded with guidance, backed by ministers, that all holy books should be treated equally and go on the top shelf together.

This means that Christian works, which also have immense historical and literary value, will be kept out of the reach and sight of many readers.

The guidance was published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a quango answering to Culture Secretary Andy Burnham.

It said Muslims in Leicester had moved copies of the Koran to the top shelves of libraries, in keeping with the belief that the Koran is the all-important word of God

For the rest of the aricle View article…

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Iraqi Christians Jittery After the Murder of Two Christians

By Success Kanayo Uchime
Special to ASSIST News Service

MOSUL, IRAQ (ANS) — Tension has continued to rise among Christians in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq over the recent murder of two Christian sisters.

In a statement by Release International (RI), gunmen shot one of the women outside her home in Al Qahira district, before storming the house, killing her sister and wounding their mother.

“The assailants planted a bomb in the entrance to the house before leaving and the device exploded when police arrived at the scene, injuring several officers,” the report said.

According to the report, thousands of Christians fled Mosul after a spate of killings and attacks on their community in September and October 2008 and that some were starting to return home as security seemed to be improving.

But the recent killing by some Muslim fundamentalists has created serious tension in the city thereby worsening any hope of peace returning in the region and Christians across Iraq are angry about a new electoral law which gives them only three seats out of a total of 440 available on provincial councils.

The report has it that the legislation, signed by President Jalal Talabani earlier this month, fell a long way short of earlier promises that 13 seats would be reserved for the Christian community.

To make the matter worse, the government said it will use the new legislation only to renew provincial councils’ in January’s elections and that thereafter it will conduct a census to review quotas.

In his reaction the auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, expressed dismay over the issue stating that; “It is meaningless to deny representation today whilst pledging equality for later.”

Other Iraq Articles: View article…, View article…

Videos Show Muslims Storming Church in Egypt

Thousands of Muslims who stormed a church in Ain Shams, Cairo, on Sunday and set fire to the building, are seen in two videos on a news agency website.View article…

20,000 Muslims Attack a Church in Cairo, Trapping a Thousand Christian Worshippers Inside

View article…, View article…,

Going Rate to Kill a Pastor in India: 250 Dollars

Hindu extremist groups are offering money, food and alcohol to anyone who murders Christians and destroys their homes.

View article…

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Persecuted ChurchGood News in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan (MNN) ― Christians across Azerbaijan live under the threat of government harassment. The country’s religion laws can be harsh, imposing severe penalties on violators. Many church leaders encounter legal problems and jail time.

Take, for example, the recent case of Pastor Hamid Shabanov, charged with allegedly holding an illegal weapon — an accusation strongly refuted by his congregation. Authorities transferred Shabanov from prison to house arrest shortly after a November 5th hearing at the Zakatala District Court in northwestern Azerbaijan. After multiple delays, Forum 18 indicates the trial is scheduled to resume November 17.

Shabanov’s difficulties are not unusual. The government forbids expatriate Christians to engage in what they call “religious propaganda,” and there are severe restrictions on distribution of literature for “nontraditional” religious groups. Read more

Egypt: Two Coptic boys, forced to live with father convert-to-Islam,  vow hunger strike to the death if not allowed to return to mother

I was reading the October edition of the Arabic newspaper, Sawt al-Muhajir (“Voice of the Immigrant” Y9N62) which regularly reports the abuses non-Muslims, mostly Christians, suffer living in the Islamic world. I found an update to a story we had originally posted here. According to that report, an Egyptian Christian intentionally converted to Islam simply so he could divorce his wife and remarry another, presumably Muslim, woman.

The problem, however, is that, upon converting to Islam, and despite Article 20 of Egyptian law, “which grants custody of children to their mothers until the age of 15, and a fatwa (religious ruling) from Egypt’s most respected Islamic scholar, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, giving her custody,” the court granted the man custody of their two Coptic boys, Andrew and Mario. As the mother’s lawyer observed: “This decision was dangerous because it was not taken in accordance with Egyptian law but according to sharia [Islamic] law.”

The update I read in the Arabic paper yesterday stated that, though the mother (Gaballah) has been fervently trying to seek help, international and otherwise, in getting back her sons, the Egyptian (rather, sharia) ruling still stands. More troubling still, the boys, who desperately want to return to their mother, have made a pact that, if the ruling is not turned, they will go on a starvation strike, to the death.  View article…

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