Archive for Muslim

Religious Tensions in Egypt

Posted in Egypt with tags , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by Mike

The Middle East Times has an interesting article about the increasing religious tensions between the country’s Muslims and its Coptic Christians.

Still, to say that Egypt’s Christian Copts — 16 million in a country of 81.7 million — have coexisted peacefully with the Muslim majority may be stretching the truth. While the two communities have largely gotten along over the years, there have been periodic clashes, some of them violent, some of them leaving many dead and wounded.

Ever since the Muslims became the majority in Egypt around the middle of the first century, Egypt’s Christians and followers of St. Mark the apostle and evangelist, known as Copts, found themselves relegated to the position of second-class citizens. Their situation began to improve in the early 19th century under the stability and tolerance brought to the country under the dynasty of Mohammad Ali.

Yet, despite Egypt’s generally more moderate approach to religion when compared with other Muslim countries — such as Saudi Arabia, for example — strife between the country’s Muslim and Christian communities will periodically make the headlines.

Ahmad al-Aswani, an Egyptian writer, posted on June 7 an essay on the liberal Web site Aafaq.org, in which he sheds light on a series of escalating attacks on members of the Copts community.

“What is happening to our Coptic brothers … is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” writes al-Aswani. “It is open season on Egypt’s Copts,” said the Egyptian writer in a dispatch translated from Arabic by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“It is no longer a matter of sporadic incidents,” said al-Aswani.

Read the rest of the article for examples of the violence that Muslims have committed against Christians.

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The Disappearing Church in Algeria

Posted in Algeria with tags , , , on June 12, 2008 by Mike

Open Doors USA has an alarming post about how the Church is being forced into extinction in Algeria.

In March 2006,the Algerian government introduced new legislation that redefined the conditions for exercising religious activities outside of Islam. Since November 2007, 26 of the 52 known Algerian churches have been ordered to close. Many churches that attempt to register in accordance with this new law are often denied applications by the government with little or no explanation. Send an email to the Algerian Ambassador today, asking the Algerian government to stop the church closures!

The government fears that the growth of religious minorities within Algeria will allow foreign powers to interfere with Algeria’s internal affairs. Authorities have begun comparing Christianity with terrorism, and reports encourage Muslim schools and mosques to counter this “dangerous” Christian evangelism. As the number of church closures rises and more are encouraged to fight Christianity, the Algerian church risks becoming extinct.

Christian Loses Eye at Hands of Pakistani Muslims

Posted in Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2008 by Mike

In yet another story of Muslim mobs attacking Christians, Christian News Today is reporting that a Muslim gouged out the eye of a Christian Pakistani with a dagger after he refused to kneel down.

“We will take out eyes of every infidel who shall dare to look straight in our eyes,” the PCP quoted one of the Muslims as saying.

Khariat Masih, who advanced to release John from the mob’s clutches suffered injuries to his head, abdomen and legs after he was attacked with an axe.

The area Christian Councilor, Basharat Masih, rushed to defuse tension and to prevent attackers but he was brutally beaten with sticks. His mother Salima Bibi fell to save his son Basharat Masih from attackers but she was also dragged by hair in courtyard, said the story.

Later, Muslim mob broke out doors, which have been closed in fear of attack and dragged out children, men, women and elders. In gunfire, mob disgraced women and tortured men before their families, the story said.

The police came after attack and arrested Christians instead to registering any case against the Muslims. The police officials later started inquiry of incident in light of a property dispute between the two groups, the story maintained.

On the intervention of senior officials, John Masih, Khariat Masih, Basharat Masih, Salima Bibi, and three other were admitted in hospital. John Masih and Khariat Masih are said to be in critical condition.

Christian Students Attacked in Nigeria by Muslims

Posted in Nigeria with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2008 by Mike

Muslim students in Nigeria are turning to deception and violence to get Christian students thrown out of public high schools, according to report in Christian News Today. A group of Muslim students accused a Christian student of writing a “blasphemous” article about Muhammad, and consequently went on a rampage.

One of the injured minors who suffered knife and machete wounds, Ahmadu Inuwa, said the accused Christian student, Ashiru Danlami, could not possibly have written the alleged English-language article as he could hardly speak in English, much less write in the language. Inuwa said school authorities had established this fact.

The Rev. Samaila Kogo of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), from Sumaila, told Compass his investigations showed that Muslim students wrote and published the blasphemous article as a pretext for attacking Christian students. This strategy, he said, is used in schools across northern Nigeria to force Christian students out of schools.

The enfuriating part is that the school tried to expel the student, not because it believed he had written the article, but because the school knew about the Muslim students’ plans to attack the Christians if they continued attending the school.

“In spite of the suspension of Danlami from school, the plan to attack Christian students there went on, and this forced all these Christian students to flee from the school,” Rev. Kogo said. “It was at this point that the school authority and the police met and decided that the Christian students be called back to school with an assurance that nothing would happen to them.”

Nevertheless, only two of the 57 Christian students who had fled threats dared to return to the school, he said. Inuwa and Isiaku Dogo – final-year students with only a few months to graduate – felt they needed to be in class to prepare for finals. Muslim students assaulted them with knives and machetes.

Having injured the two Christian students, Christian sources said, the Muslim students went directly to the town’s police station, where they killed the Christian police officer and burned down the police station.

This is another case of a society that cows in fear of violent Muslims instead of standing up to them and demanding that they obey the laws of civility and common decency. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria that they will stand strong in their faith and defend the Gospel.

Uzbek Pastor Presses On

Posted in Uzbekistan with tags , , , , , , on January 21, 2008 by Mike

Christian Today tells the story of Pastor Salavat Serikbayev, a man who has been jailed, abandoned by his church, and endured times of near starvation. But he remains faithful to God.

Pastor Serikbayev, a former Muslim, was jailed in 1999 for conducting Bible studies, performing baptisms and having dozens of Bibles and Christian books in his home. But jail and several other brushes with the law have not stopped him from serving Jesus.

“I had a family including two children at that time,” he says. “Still I was happy to suffer for Christ; this was something I could do for Jesus.”

Undeterred he continued to lead a church. Then in February 2006, he was arrested again for his religious activities in Karakalpakstan. He was sentenced to two years of correctional labour, reduced to one year, and was made to cultivate plants in the desert.

He was in trouble again the following year when the police raided his church. Says Pastor Serikbayev: “I was at a monthly pastor’s meeting at this apartment. After half an hour, 15 of 16 policemen raided the meeting and said, why are you here? Many had no passports, so everyone was arrested and taken to the police station.

Read the rest of his story. And then pray for him and his church who face arrest and imprisonment.

A new start

Posted in America, Overseas with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2007 by Mike

I’ve decided to “start over” with my blogging on the Persecuted Church.  I had previously been posting at reedrambler.blogspot.com, but that blog had become too scatterbrained, dealing with too wide a variety of topics.  So I’ve moved all of my posts dealing with the Church over here from Blogger and will now focus solely on stories of our Christian brothers and sisters who are facing persecution around the world.  I will also include stories that show the increasing hostility that American Christians are facing–although I realize that what we currently face here is nothing compared to what Christians are going through in China, India, and the Muslim world.

I hope that my posts will serve to motivate you to, first of all, pray for our extended family, and then to take action to support and encourage them–whether that be by political, financial, or other means. 

A religion of peace?

Posted in Overseas with tags , , , , on February 25, 2007 by Mike

Grant Swank has a great commentary at The Conservative Voice about how Christians are increasingly being attacked in Muslim countries, with authorities turning a blind eye, passing on the story of a 78-year-old Christian man in Egypt who was killed while at church. A Muslim stormed into the church with two long knives and stabbed several people, shouting “god is great!”

When these atrocities occur, little if nothing is done by the authorities. They too are extremist Muslim. They too read the Koran and its demands that non-Muslims be put out. Therefore, why should Christians be guarded when they are to be extinguished?

What free nations need to realize is that Christians living in these conditions elsewhere put up with this murderous threat every day of their lives. It is not just an occasional trap. It could happen any day, any hour, any time. Christian children are brought up to be on the watch for fear of their lives.

Again, in free countries Muslims demand freedom of religion. They expect freedom to erect their mosques, have their clerics teach whatever they want to preach, hold their secret meetings, run their propaganda-filled web sites and see through the eventual Islam World Rule.

On Muslim web sites, for instance there are stark warnings to Muslims to watch out for persecution in free nations. They are instructed step by step how to report any discrimination and then press for immediate, accurate action.

However, when Christians are slain in a Muslim country such as Egypt, it’s over and out for the Christians. Another life lost. So it goes. It’s just another “Christian story.”

Swank goes on to describe the dangers that women, both Muslim and non-Muslim, face in Islamic countries.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in a recent report said that violence against women had increased alarmingly, with some of the incidents incited by Mullahs opposed to women’s emancipation.

“Islamists also campaigned against the Women Protection Bill which was recently passed by parliament, which seeks to provide protection to women who have suffered discrimination under Islamic Sharia laws.

“Women make up just over 20 per cent of the lower house of parliament, according to the country’s main human rights group, and there are three women ministers in the cabinet of the federal government. But widespread discrimination against females continues to be a problem in what remains a male-dominated society, particularly in the countryside, where most Pakistanis live.”

It is time for “moderate” Muslims to step up in countries where they can speak freely and speak out against the atrocities that so-called extremist Muslims are committing against mankind. If they don’t speak out soon, there will be no need to use the word “extremist” when describing these terrorists.