Indonesia: Muslims Prevent Christians From Praying at Sealed-Off Church, Tell Churchgoers to Bow to Their Demands
Jakarta Globe – “Conflict between members of a persecuted church in Bekasi and residents was captured on video and posted online on Thursday, showing the residents violently resisting attempts by the churchgoers to pray in their sealed-off house of worship.
The video, uploaded by Ferry Putra on Vimeo, began with members of the Filadelfia congregation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) preparing to march toward the church, situated in Jejalen Jaya village in Tambun Utara, Bekasi, on Sunday.
They were set to hold Mass on the sidewalk in front of their sealed-off church, which by law they are allowed to use.
The residents, many of whom wore Muslim attributes, however, were quick to blockade them, urging the Filadelfia congregation to disperse.
The congregation insisted on advancing, and clashes were only narrowly averted when police and officials intervened.
The officials told the churchgoers to hold their mass at the local subdistrict office, but the latter refused, saying it was too far, about five kilometers from the sealed-off church.
They then held the Mass on the road, with scores of the residents trying to disrupt it by running a motorcycle through it and then playing loud music.
Tambun Utara subdistrict head Suharto and local police precinct head Comr. Andri Ananta were seen in the video trying to tell the churchgoers to bow to the residents’ demands.” Read more.
Flashback: Indonesia: Anti-Christian Incidents Nearly Double in 2011, Worst May Be Yet to Come – “Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia almost doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches symbolizing the plight of the religious minority. The Indonesian Protestant Church Union, locally known as PGI, counted 54 acts of violence and other violations against Christians in 2011, up from 30 in 2010. The number of such incidents against religious minorities in general also grew, from 198 in 2010 to 276 in 2011, but the worst is perhaps yet to come if authorities continue to overlook the threat of extremism …” Read more.
By JRS Gill, Pakistan Christian Post – “No one really knows the size of Pakistan’s Christian minority, nor of the entire population. The most recent census — conducted in 1981 — gave a rough count of 84 million people of whom not quite a million were Christian. The unofficial 1990 estimate is 108 million, with an explosive birth-rate of nearly 4 percent. That could soon mean up to 2 million Christians in this land of Islam.
The data published by the Pakistani government this January shows that the number of Christians in the country is approximately 3, 8 million. Their condition today can be described as catastrophic. In 1986, a law on blasphemy was adopted in Pakistan to become a tool for persecuting religious minorities. This law is often used to squaring personal accounts and to seize other people’s property. This law has become a tool for the tough persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians. Last year, at least 161 people were sentenced under the law of ‘blasphemy’ in Pakistan. Nine people accused of ‘blasphemy’ and ‘outrage against Islam’ were executed extra judicially. Even Muslim legal scholars admit that 95% of all the accusations of ‘blasphemy’ are false.
Christians are deprived of their rights under this law because a Muslim can report an outrage against Islam without providing witnesses or proof. The law on ‘blasphemy’ demands that the accused should be immediately sentenced. Recently the death sentence for Asia Bibi – who, asked about her faith, replied that she was a Christian and was accused of ‘blasphemy’ – was reconfirmed. As of February 1, 2012, over 580 000 people in 100 countries signed an appeal to the Pakistani government to release Asia Bibi. At present, her health is in critical condition.
A young mother has been falsely accused of ‘blaspheming’ Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, because she rebuffed attempts by relatives who had converted to Islam to force her to renounce her Christian faith, family members said.” Read more.
The church in Khartoum’s Al-Jiraif district was built on a disputed plot of land but the Saturday night incident appeared to be part of the fallout from ongoing hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan over control of an oil town on their ill-defined border.
Sudan and South Sudan have been drawing closer to a full scale war in recent months over the unresolved issues of sharing oil revenues and a disputed border.
Last week, South Sudanese troops seized Heglig, which the southerners call Panthou, sending Sudanese troops fleeing. The Khartoum government later claimed to have regained the town.
The witnesses and several newspapers said a mob of several hundreds shouting insults at southerners torched the church. Fire engines could not put out the fire, they added.
One newspaper, Al-Sahafah, said the church was part of a complex that included a school and dormitories. Ethiopian refugees living in the Sudanese capital also used the church.” Read more.
Possible Meteor Impact: Windows Rattle in Nevada After Witnesses See Fireball Streak Across Sky Followed By ‘Explosion’
The Tuolumne County sheriff’s department said they are investigating the possibility that it might have been the physical impact of an overnight meteor shower. Some people in the Tahoe area said they saw what they believed to be a meteor just prior to the sound. Others said they saw a fireball streak across the sky at the same time.
People who live in in Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, Placer County, Tuolumne County, Amador County and Nevada County contacted our sister station in Sacramento. KCRA is reporting that they heard the sound just after 8:30 a.m.
The Associated Press reported the explosion rattled windows and shook houses from Reno to Winnemucca in Nevada, and from the Sacramento to Bakersfield.
Meteorologists in California and Nevada including our own Rob Mayeda said there were meteor showers Saturday night that could have still been going on Sunday morning.
If the boom was a signal that an outer space rock made it way through the atmosphere, then there could be a rock or rocks now on Terra Firma. So far, no one has called authorities or television stations to report ‘a hit.’” Read more.
Egypt Breaches Peace Treaty With Israel and Cancels Natural Gas Export, ‘Egypt Does Not Understand What It Is Doing’
Actually, I believe that Egypt is fully aware of what it is doing. It is one step towards an all-out annulment of the Camp David Accords …
Ampal-American Israel Corporation, a partner in the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which operates the pipeline, said the Egyptian companies involved had notified EMG they were ‘terminating the gas and purchase agreement.’
The company said in a statement that the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company had notified them of the decision, adding that ‘EMG considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith, and consequently demanded its withdrawal.’
It said EMG, Ampal, and EMG’s other international shareholders were ‘considering their options and legal remedies as well as approaching the various governments.’
Sources close to EMG said in response, ‘Egypt does not understand what it is doing. This move will bring back the country – politically and economically – by 30 years. This is a breach of the peace agreement with Israel.’” Read more.