Archive for 03/25/2013

Kazakhstan Destroys Bibles, Uzbekistan Attacks Christian Converts From Islam

03/25/2013 4 comments

By BosNewsLife News Center – “A court in Kazakhstan has ordered the destruction of 121 pieces of Christian literature, including Bibles, while in neighboring Uzbekistan an elderly convert from Islam is in ‘great distress’ after police raided his home, Christians said Thursday, March 21.

Vyacheslav Cherkasov, a street evangelist from the Kazakhstan’s city of Shchuchinsk, was reportedly detained by police on October 20 last year for offering Christian literature to passers-by in the street.

Officers confiscated his suitcase containing Bibles, children’s Bibles and other books and leaflets about the Christian faith, said Forum 18, an advocacy group investigating the case.

On March 5 the court said the confiscated material should be destroyed, in what is believed to be the first such ruling since Kazakhstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Cherkasov was also ordered to pay 86,550 Tenge (US$574) well above the average one month’s wage in Kazakhstan on charges of ‘violating the rules’ regarding ‘importing, publishing and distribution of religious literature’ which came into force in 2011 as part of a harsh new Religion Law…

The legislation was introduced under the autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been in power virtually unchallenged since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Cherkasov, who was previously harassed by police, has lodged an appeal, trial observers said.

The state Agency of Religious Affairs (ARA) has reportedly defended the ruling saying they are not ‘bothered by having to destroy religious literature’.

Local Council of Churches Baptists said in published remarks: ‘We were shocked – this is sacrilege and illegality’.

The latest incident is part of a wider crackdown by authorities on devoted Christians in Central Asia, rights activists say, with reports that in neighboring Uzbekistan an elderly man was attacked by security forces.” Read more.

Flashback: Kazakhstan: Fall of Soviet Union Gives Birth to Islamic Religious Revival in Former Soviet Republic, and the Rise of Islamic Terror – “After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the people of Kazakhstan, like those in the rest of the former Soviet Republics, experienced a revival in religious affiliation… Previously non-existent elements of Salafism crept to the surface in Kazakhstan and are now apparent, especially in the southern and western regions of the country located near the Caspian Sea and the volatile North Caucasus. Salafism is a reform movement of Islam in which followers believe that the life of their Prophet Mohammad and the earliest Muslim community constitutes a universal paradigm for interpreting world events and history…” Read more.

Flashback: Strict Muslim’ from Uzbekistan Caught by the FBI Sought Ways to Kill President Obama, ‘Didn’t Care If He Lost His Life In An Assassination Attempt’ – “A man from Uzbekistan who pleaded guilty Friday to plotting to kill President Barack Obama with an automatic rifle claimed he was acting at the direction of an Islamic terror group in his home country. Authorities said Ulugbek Kodirov had discussed trying to kill the president as he campaigned for re-election because he would be out in public more often. Kodirov entered the plea during a hearing in Birmingham before U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon, an Obama appointee.” Read more.

Rumor: Assad ‘Confirmed Dead’, Iran Attempts To Control Syrian Army, Israel On Heightened Alert

03/25/2013 2 comments

Until we see a Syrian official confirming the death of Assad via mainstream media outlets, take all of this with a huge grain of salt. This could all be little more than intentional misinformation or the fog of war, but if verified, an already dire situation for Christians in Syria is about to get a whole lot more complicated …

By Israel News Agency Staff – “Jerusalem, Israel — March 24, 2013 … Russian media sources have confirmed that Syria President Bashar Assad was shot by an Iranian bodyguard Saturday night.

‘The lone assassination pumped several bullets at point blank range into Assad,’ said the source. ‘Assad was rushed to Al-Shami Hospital in Damascus in critical condition. He died on the operating table from heart failure resulting from massive blood loss.’

An Israeli security analyst believes the report to be accurate.

‘In the last 24 hours have we seen Assad? Any photographs or video? No. Nor will we see any as loyalists who are closest to Assad have been threatened if any leaked photos or reports reach Western media. Iran is attempting to take control of the Syrian army and its wealth of weapons as Syrian solders are now deserting in mass. I don’t believe that the West will allow any Iranian control of Damascus.’

‘There was a reason why Barack Obama visited Israel. And it was not for a photo op with Miss Israel. I don’t think Netanyahu would apologize to Turkey or to anyone. But if it was between a dead Assad and saying sorry to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan I think there was no hesitation in making that telephone call to Ankara.’

The Israeli analyst said that several events have taken place in the last 24 hours including the Syrian army shooting at an Israeli border patrol unit. It is believed that this action was coordinated by Assad loyalists who stood outside the dead President’s hospital room to deflect the global media from the assassination and to pull Israel into a war with the Syrian army. The leader of the Western-backed Syrian opposition coalition announced he was resigning.

Moaz al-Khatib didn’t detail what motivated his decision, in a status update made on social media Website Facebook. But he did say that he now had Read more…

Pakistan Reopens Blasphemy Cases Against Challenged Christian Girl; Mother Faces Death Sentence

03/25/2013 1 comment

By Stefan J. Bos, BosNewsLife – “Pakistani authorities have reopened a trial against a mentally challenged Christian girl on charges of ‘blasphemy’ while a Christian mother faces a possible death sentence for allegedly making ‘derogatory remarks’ about Islam’s prophet Mohammed, lawyers told BosNewsLife Saturday, March 23.

‘A police investigator asked the Supreme Court in Islamabad to reopen the case’ against Rimsha Masih, 14, ‘saying he was pressured by the government to drop charges against her after an international outcry,’ said the Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) group.

Rimsha was jailed August 17 in a prison near Islamabad after allegedly burning pages with verses of the Koran, viewed as holy book by Muslims. Her detention at Adiala Jail triggered international protests because of her age and a medical report confirming that she was mentally handicapped.

Amid mounting pressure, Rimsha was flown to safety on September 8 and eventually acquitted on the charges, though she remains in hiding. On the outskirts of Islamabad families are afraid to return to their Christian community in the city’s Mehrabadi district because the girl lived there.

Besides Rimsha, who may face life imprisonment, a court is also considering a death sentence against 47-year-old Martha Bibi after years of legal wrangling, BosNewsLife learned…

Bibi, who is married and has 7 children, will face a court in the city of Lahore on March 27, said her lawyer Mushtaq Gill.

‘She was detained in January 2007 in her village of Kot Nanak Sigh for allegedly making ‘derogatory remarks’ about Prophet Mohammed in an argument with a Muslim woman,’ explained Gill, who is also director of the LEAD advocacy group.

Bibi has always strongly denied the charges.

The blasphemy case was registered at a nearby police station where she ‘was arrested and put behind the bars after being beaten and tortured by Muslims,’ the lawyer said.” Read more.

Pakistani Christians Left Fearful, Disillusioned After Muslim Mob Destroys Their Homes

03/25/2013 2 comments

Christian Today – “LAHORE, Pakistan – Christians living in tents here after Muslims destroyed more than 175 homes following a blasphemy accusation are disillusioned that authorities have not compensated them, but for some the greatest pain is what cannot be replaced.

‘I am still unable to recover from the trauma after seeing my house burnt down completely,’ said one elderly woman, Meraj Bibi. ‘It takes ages to build a house and make it into home, but these cruel people shattered our lives within minutes.’

The two streets leading to predominantly Christian Joseph Colony are packed with white and yellow tents, most donated by the Al-Khair Foundation, a British Muslim charity, and the Sindh-based ‘secular’ political party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Christians of Joseph Colony lost their homes after police ordered them to leave the area in anticipation of rioting by local Muslims this month. About 3,000 Muslims gathered outside Joseph Colony on March 9, furious over an alleged remark against Islam by a Christian, Sawan Masih, in an earlier discussion with his Muslim drinking buddy, barber Shahid Imran.

‘They [the police] said that the mobs could harm our daughters, so we should vacate our houses immediately,’ said Monica, mother of a 2-year-old and wife of a sanitation worker. ‘We trusted them and thought that they would protect our belongings, but the next day we saw our homes turn into ashes.’

Another resident, Parveen Bibi, told Morning Star News that she and her family had lived in Joseph Colony for 40 years.

‘My husband and sons are sanitation workers – we keep the city clean, we keep the people’s homes clean, and yet this is how we are acknowledged,’ she said. ‘They even took the jewelry we had collected for our daughter’s wedding. And here we are now, sitting in a tent wondering when we’ll be able to sleep in our homes.’

In spite of Masih’s arrest in the wee morning hours of March 9, the mob robbed and torched more than 175 houses, two church buildings and dozens of shops and vehicles (see Morning Star News, March 11). Masih was arrested under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which calls for death or life imprisonment for those accused of blaspheming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.” Read more.

Flashback: Pakistan: Christians Forced To Flee Into The Wilderness To Escape Islamic Persecution – “In the middle of a forest in the Pakistani capital, a group of Christians has cut down trees to clear land and has begun to build a church out of branches after leaving their neighborhood in fear when one of their own was accused of violating Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws. The roughly 100 men, women and children who slept overnight on the ground in a clearing just a few miles (kilometers) from the seat of the Pakistani government are fallout from the case of a young Christian girl accused by a neighbor of burning pages from Islam’s holy book, the Quran.” Read more.

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