October 28 - November 27, 2011
October 28, 2011
USA (hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
Beirut Arab news agency al Nashra reported on Saturday November 22, that [White House Muslim envoy] Dalia Mogahed has succeeded in canceling a meeting between the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon and President Barack Obama.
Writing in al Nashra, the reporter said "an unnamed US source told the news agency, that those who sought canceling a visit of (the spiritual head of the Maronite Church) Patriarch Beshara Rahi to the White House are Dalia Mujahid (Mogahed), the highest adviser on Arab and Islamic Affairs in the State Department, who is from Egyptian origins. And that," according to al Nashra, "heeding a request by the higher leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who consider that US Administration must support the Islamist Sunni current facing the Iranian current in the region."
To what extent was Egypt's Maspero massacre, wherein the military literally mowed down Christian Copts protesting the ongoing destruction of their churches, a product of anti-Christian sentiment?
A video of Egypt's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Ali Gomaa (or Gom'a), which began circulating weeks before the massacre, helps elucidate. While holding that Muslims may coexist with Christians (who, as dhimmis, have rights), Gomaa categorized Christians as kuffar - "infidels" - a word that connotes "enemies," "evil-doers," and every bad thing to Muslim ears.
After quoting Quran 5:17, "Infidels are those who declare God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary," he expounded by saying any association between a human and God (in Arabic, shirk) is the greatest sin: "Whoever thinks the Christ is God, or the Son of God, not symbolically - for we are all sons of God - but attributively, has rejected the faith which God requires for salvation," thereby becoming an infidel.
Nothing is known of two Christian brothers from Faisalabad (Punjab) who were seized by the Muslim landowning family that employed them. The two disappeared on 14 September. Since then, "We have no idea where they are, whether they are dead or alive," their mother told AsiaNews.
A money dispute between the two Christian farm workers and their Muslim landlords is at the root of their abduction. Police have not yet opened a First Information Report because one of the landlords is a police officer.
October 29, 2011
Muslims attacked Christians attending a Catholic celebration in southern France. The Joyeuse Union Don Bosco takes place in Nîmes, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady the Virgin of Santa Cruz, built by French people repatriated from the Algerian city of Oran following Algerian independence. These people were driven out of the place they grew up in by Muslim aggression. Now they face it in France too!
After a day of welcoming and reunions, around 7 pm, the participants were leaving in their cars and vehicles when "young Arab immigrants" from the city started to throw stones at the vehicles descending from the sanctuary. The local police, whose station is in this area, were immediately notified and the event organisers had to arrange a diversion to another route to protect the occupants of the vehicles from the savage attacks which continued.
October 30, 2011
In mid-October Egyptian media published news of an altercation between Muslim and Christian students over a classroom seat at a school in Mallawi, Minya province. The altercation lead to the murder of a Christian student. The media portrayed the incident as non-sectarian. However, Copts Without Borders, a Coptic news website, refuted this version and was first to report that the Christian student was murdered because he was wearing a crucifix.
November 1, 2011
Mohammad Amer, a Salafi Sheikh in Damanhur, Egypt, issued a fatwa prohibiting votes for any Christian, secular or liberal candidate, as well as any Muslim candidate who does not pray daily or call for the implementation of Shariah law.
Amer claimed that voting for any such candidate would constitute a grave sin. "I want the voters to vote in favor of the candidates of the Islamic movements and to oppose those who want to separate religion from the state. There is nothing called liberalism in Islam and there is no absolute freedom in our religion," he said to London's Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, defending the move.
Five Algerian Christians remained jailed in north-eastern Algeria Tuesday, November 1, after they were reportedly detained this weekend for "worshiping in an unregistered location."
Another Christian, a minor, was released and placed on probation following Saturday's raid in a village near the town of Bougous in north-eastern El Tarf province bordering Tunisia, news reports said.
November 4, 2011
Government officials in Iran are trying to convince a jailed pastor to return to Islam as he waits for the nation's supreme leader to decide whether he should be executed for converting to Christianity, sources close to the case told FoxNews.com.
Iran's secret service officials recently approached 34-year-old pastor Youcef Nadarkhani at his prison site in Rasht and presented him with a book on Islamic literature, telling him they would be back to discuss the material and hear his opinion, the sources said.
Nadarkhani remains in prison, awaiting a final verdict that has been drawn out and delayed amid heavy and targeted international attention to his case. Iran's judiciary has been caught in a bind, fearing the ultimate decision will have far-reaching political implications.
If Nadarkhani is released, the judiciary risks appearing disrespectful of the tenets of Shariah law. But if he is executed, Iran will face increasing criticism from the international community, which continues to petition for the pastor's release. Update HERE.
November 5, 2011
Egypt's Military Prosecutor decided on November 3 to continue the detention of 34 Coptic Christians for another 15 days, pending investigations on charges of inciting violence, carrying arms and insulting the armed forces during the October 9 Maspero Massacre, which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329. The court session was attended by more than twenty defense lawyers. The case was adjourned to November 18.
According to defense lawyers, most of the detainees were arrested after October 9, and some were not even at the Maspero protest and were just collected from the streets for "being a Christian." Three of them were teens under 16 years old and another had an operation to extract a bullet from his jaw and was chained to his bed in hospital, according to defense lawyer Ibrahim Edward. "After the operation he was sent straight to prison where he cannot eat without feeding tubes, so he lives on juices."
Prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fatah, who criticized the army for the Maspero Massacre, was arrested on October 30, charged with inciting violence, seizing military equipment, and vandalizing military property. He refused to answer questions from the military prosecutors "in a case where the military is accused of committing a massacre when their APCs ran over peaceful protesters in front of Maspero on Oct. 9," said his lawyer Ahmed Seif Al-Islam, former director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.
Islamic militants shouting "Allahu Akbar", or 'Allah is great', carried out coordinated gun and bomb attacks on churches and police stations in northern Nigeria, killing at least 150 people and injuring some 100 others, aid workers and witnesses confirmed Saturday, November 5.
Militant group Boko Haram, or 'Western education is a sin', claimed responsibility for what Nigeria's President leader Goodluck Jonathan described as a "heinous" violence in mainly Damaturu, capital of Yobe state. Confirmation of the attacks Saturday, November 5, came as frightened mourners tried to leave their homes to begin burying their dead. More HERE.
Boko Haram, which seeks strict implementation of Shariah, or Islamic law, across the nation of more than 160 million people, pledged more attacks. More HERE. Update HERE.
November 6, 2011
Two people were killed in a suspected al-Shabab attack at a church in an eastern Kenyan town, a police official said Sunday.
Kenyan police chief Leo Nyongesa said that a woman and her two grandchildren were also injured when attackers hurled a grenade at the Pentecostal Church in Garissa late Saturday. Ibrahim Makunyi, the head pastor at the church, said the house near the entrance of the church that belonged to a church elder had been bombed. "One of the dead is a member of the choir, and the other is the son of the church elder," he said. Witness Mary Nginya said that after the explosion she heard attackers say "It is just the beginning," in Swahili.
Another bomb was thrown Saturday at a busy taxi circle frequented by military officers, but it failed to explode, Nyongesa said. More HERE.
November 7, 2011
The U.S. State Department is reporting that there is not one Christian church or school left in Afghanistan.
The absence of Christian churches and schools exists despite the decade-long war the United States has been fighting against the Taliban and the $440 billion taxpayers have shelled out for the war. According to the department's annual International Religious Freedom Report for July through December of 2010, released just last month, "There is no longer a public Christian church; the courts have not upheld the church's claim to its 99-year lease, and the landowner destroyed the building in March."
November 9, 2011
Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and Christians, while most teachers view religious minorities as " enemies of Islam", according to a study by a US government commission released on Wednesday. The findings indicate how deeply ingrained hardline Islam is in Pakistan and help explain why militancy is often supported, tolerated or excused in the country.
"Teaching discrimination increases the likelihood that violent religious extremism in Pakistan will continue to grow, weakening religious freedom, national and regional stability, and global security," said Leonard Leo, the chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom.
November 10, 2011
Police in India's Kashmir Valley detained and beat converts from Islam and were expected to arrest Christian workers after Muslim leaders alleged that Muslim youth were being "lured" to Christianity.
Police in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley picked up seven converts who were recently baptized in All Saints Church in Srinagar, a local Christian who spoke to the converts after their release on Nov. 2 told Compass. Srinagar is the summer capital of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and the main city of the Kashmir Valley.
The source, who requested anonymity, said police beat the converts and asked if Christians had given them money for their conversion. Most of the converts were from Budgam district, about 18 miles from Srinagar, and pastors there fearful of being arrested were in hiding, he added.
November 11, 2011
Religious leaders, Muslim and Christian intellectuals, members of Indonesian civil society have all condemned the behavior of the Mayor of Bogor, Diani Budiarto, who continues to ignore the Constitutional Court's decision authorizing celebrations in the Protestant community of Yasmin Chuch.
For months the Yasmin Church in Bogor, West Java Province, has been the victim of a blatant violation of law, perpetrated by the local mayor Diani Budiarto who, heedless of the dictates of a constitutional court ruling in favor of Christians, prevents the holding of religious services. The building was designed according to the dictates set by law and has the building permit, the IMB "legal document" needed to authorize house churches or places of prayer. Update HERE. (hat tip to JihadWatch)
Novembr 15, 2011
Bogor Christians celebrated Mass at home yesterday. After the ban on meeting at their church, members of the Yasmin Church (KGI) were not allowed to hold their Sunday service in the street.
Despite criticism and international focus on the case, Bogor Mayor Diano Budiarto continues to refuse to bow to public opinion and a court order. In his latest action, he has exceeded his authority and blocked all access roads to the Yasmin Church.
November 17, 2011
Hundreds of Coptic Christians marching in Cairo on Thursday came under attack by assailants throwing stones and bottles and 25 people were lightly injured in subsequent clashes, a security official said.
They were marching to demand justice for the Christian victims of a clash with soldiers in October that left at least 25 people dead, most of them Christians.
The official said the Copts were attacked in the northern Shoubra neighbourhood with stones and bottles, and that some among them responded in kind. He said supporters of an Islamist candidate for upcoming parliamentary election joined in the attack on the Copts. An AFP correspondent on the scene said hundreds of riot police were deployed to the area and that the clashes had eventually subsided.
One Christian left his native Somalia 10 years ago and another fled as Muslim extremists were bombing his house earlier this year, but both Somali converts from Islam feel they are still in danger in Kenya.
November 21, 2011
A Christian woman, Agnes Bibi was accused of defaming the name of the prophet Muhammad. Arrested for blasphemy, she had the original accusation dismissed and the case against her reduced to a lower charge. This allowed her to apply and get bail.
Police in Kashmir arrested Rev Chander Mani Khanna of the All Saints Church after the head of the Kashmir Shariat Court accused the Christian clergyman of converting Muslims in exchange of money. The case began on 8 November when Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-Din summoned him to appear before the court to explain the alleged conversions.
To back his accusation, the Grand Mufti used a video that appeared on YouTube that shows Rev Khanna baptising seven young Muslim men and women. The same video was then linked by other online platforms provoking an avalanche of verbal attacks against the clergyman. More HERE. And HERE.
November 22, 2011
Egypt (hat tip to JihadWatch)
Egypt's highest Islamic legal official denied on Tuesday that minority Christians faced sectarian discrimination and said Islamists would win no more than 20 percent of votes in next week's election.
Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa said Egypt had done its best to abolish discrimination against Copts, who make up 10 percent of Egypt's roughly 80 million population, but a small minority of radical salafist Islamists were causing trouble.
Coptic leaders accuse the army of not protecting them against salafist attacks and cracking down more harshly on their protests than others. About 25 died last month when army trucks charged a mostly Coptic protest in Cairo.
November 23, 2011
A militant group seeking to enforce Sharia, or Islamic law, throughout Nigeria, has shot and killed two children of an ex-terrorist and "murderer" because he converted to Christianity, well-informed missionaries told BosNewsLife.
November 24, 2011
Paul Bhatti, brother of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic minister for religious minorities assassinated on 2 March, confirms the commitment for the "rehabilitation" of the name "Jesus Christ", banned last week along with a thousand words considered "pornographic in nature" or of a confessional nature. In the letter sent Nov. 14 to telephone operators, Garan ordered the installation of communications software to block forbidden words - in Urdu and English - including "naked, gay and ... Jesus Christ."
November 27, 2011
Nohad Halawi, who worked at Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employers for unfair dismissal, claiming that she and other Christian staff at the airport were victims of systematic harassment because of their religion.
She claims that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.
Mrs Halawi, who came to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, worked in the duty-free section as a perfume saleswoman of the airport for 13 years but was dismissed in July. Her case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, who say it raises important legal issues and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.
It comes amid growing concern among some Christians that their faith is being marginalised and follows calls from Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, for Christians to be given greater legal protection in the wake of a series of cases where they have been disciplined or dismissed for practising their faith.