Archive for torture

Iranian Christian Arrested Without Charges

Posted in Iran with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2008 by Mike

Compass Direct News is reporting that Eight policemen arrested Mohsen Namvar, 44, from his Tehran home on May 31, refusing to provide any reason for his arrest.

The officers confiscated a number of the Christian’s personal belongings including his computer, printer, CDs, books and money. His location remains unknown.

An Iranian pastor residing outside the country said that Namvar had anticipated that police would come for him.

“I know that if they decide to kill me as a martyr, you will care for my wife and my children,” the father of two told the Iranian pastor last month.

Acquaintances warned Namvar that he had been implicated during police interrogations of Christians in the city of Amol in April, the pastor residing abroad said. That month officials had detained several Christians in Amol, 80 miles northeast of Tehran, releasing them over the following weeks.

Treatment of Christians in jail follows a customary pattern, the pastor said: Authorities put them in jail for a few weeks and beat them in an attempt to get information about other converts.

Police had previously detained and tortured Namvar for baptizing Muslim converts to Christianity. The Christian was unable to walk for several months after police repeatedly applied electrical shocks to his back in the spring of 2007.

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Faith of the Martyrs

Posted in America with tags , , , on January 11, 2008 by Mike

Jennifer Trafton has written an excellent article at Christianity Today about what life was like for the early Christians in a society that often took sport in torturing the followers of Christ.

Ignatius and many other believers in his time were dealing with dilemmas most American Christians will never have to face: “Should I go to the local executioner and volunteer to die for my faith, or should I try to avoid being arrested at all costs? Is it okay to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods just once, if it means staying alive? Does martyrdom bring me closer to the sufferings of Christ? Are martyrs more special than the rest of us?” Questions like these shaped early Christianity.

Polycarp had been a disciple of the apostle John and was a revered elderly leader of the church. The proconsul pled with him: “Curse Christ and I will release you.” Polycarp’s reply is classic: “Eighty-six years I have served Him. He has never done me wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who has saved me?”

Torture of Christian in Eritrea

Posted in Eritrea with tags , , , on November 10, 2007 by Mike

Stacy Harp at Persecution Blog passes on the story by Jeff Sellers from Compass Direct of a 33-year old Christian woman being tortured to death by authorities in Eritrea in an effort to get her to renounce her faith. It was the fourth such incident in less than a year.

Citing Christian sources in the East African nation, Open Doors reported that 33-year-old Nigsti Haile was killed for refusing to sign a letter renouncing her faith. Held at the Wi’a military training center 20 miles south of the Red Sea port of Massawa, Haile was one of 10 single Christian women arrested at an independent church gathering in Keren. The women have spent 18 months under severe pressure.

Eritrea officially recognizes only Orthodox, Catholic, and Lutheran Christian churches. In May 2002, it outlawed independent Protestant churches, closing their buildings and banning them from meeting in private homes. Haile was a member of a Rhema church.

Earlier this year, on February 15, Magos Solomon Semere died under torture at the Adi-Nefase military confinement facility outside Assab, four and a half years after the Eritrean regime jailed him for worshiping in a banned Protestant church. And last October 17, Immanuel Andegergesh, 23, and Kibrom Firemichel, 30, were arrested for holding a religious service in a private home south of Asmara. Two days later, they died from torture wounds and severe dehydration in a military camp outside the town of Adi-Quala.