Wife of jailed American pastor lobbies Iran for his release, says her family has been ‘torn apart’


Originally posted on The Lead with Jake Tapper:

His daughter just celebrated her seventh birthday, a second celebration without her father.

She asks her mother how many more birthdays until dad comes home.

“I don’t know what to tell her,” said her mother, Naghmeh Abedini.

It has been one year since the Iranian Revolutionary Guard took Naghmeh’s husband Saeed, a U.S. citizen of Iranian birth, and threw him in a prison in Tehran.

Saeed was arrested and charged in Iran during a visit in June 2012. The 32-year-old converted to Christianity from Islam and then became a pastor, living in Boise, Idaho. He has been detained in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison since late September.

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Egyptian army ‘massacre’ leaves survivors shocked, angry as they search for family among the dead


Originally posted on National Post | News:

CAIRO — As the bodies were claimed, one-by-one, volunteers used marker pens to scribble names on to the white shrouds that covered their faces.

[np_storybar title="Kelly McParland: Egyptian slaughter shows West has bungled away influence" link="http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/08/15/kelly-mcparland-egyptian-slaughter-shows-western-leaders-have-bungled-away-influence/"]
If there ever was an optimistic moment for the future of democracy in the post-Arab Spring Middle East, it certainly died in the military crackdown on protesters Wednesday that saw at least 525 people killed. The failure of Egypt’s first fling at democracy holds the dubious honour of being bad news for almost everyone, from Egyptians who thought military rule was a thing of the past, to regional leaders who supported the democratic experiment, to western powers looking for Egyptian stability.

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Many had died from gunshots to the head, neck or chest, suggesting they were victims of the snipers used by Egypt’s security forces during Wednesday’s assault against opposition protesters in…

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Australia: The First Family


The link below is to an article that takes a look at the Rudd family.

For more visit:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/meet-the-rudds-where-politics-is-a-family-affair-20130719-2q9uo.html

Indonesia: Persecution News Update


The link below is to an article reporting on a convert from Hinduism in Bali who has been locked in her room by her family.

For more visit:
http://www.mnnonline.org/article/18765

Tajikistan: Persecution News Update


The link below is to an article reporting on persecution news from Tajikistan, where a young Christian girl has been repeatedly abused and beaten by her own family.

For more visit:
http://www.christiansincrisis.net/latest-news/1633-tajikistan-young-convert-suffers-severe-persecution.html

Nigeria: Latest Persecution News


The link below is to an article about an Islamic extremist attacks on a pastor and his family in Nigeria.

For more visit:
http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue17212.html

Crystal Cathedral Being Sold Off Due to Financial Crisis


The famous mega-church building, the Crystal Cathedral in California, is being sold to meet financial debts that may see the church able to exit bankruptcy. The Crystal Cathedral is the mega-church which was/is pastored by Robert Schueller and his family.

For more visit:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/crystal-cathedral-to-open-bidding-on-church-property-50813/

 

Suspected Islamists Burn Down Two Homes in Ethiopia


Two thatched-grass structures belonged to evangelist who received threats.

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 21 (CDN) — A Christian near Ethiopia’s southern town of Moyale said suspected Islamic extremists on March 29 burned down his two thatched-grass homes.

Evangelist Wako Hanake of the Mekane Yesus Church told Compass he had been receiving anonymous messages warning him to stop converting Muslims to Christ. The Muslims who became Christians included several children.

“Inside the house were iron sheets and timber stored in preparation for putting up a permanent house,” said Hanake, who is in his late 30s. “I have lost everything.”

The incident in Tuka, five kilometers (nearly three miles) from Moyale in southern Ethiopia’s Oromia Region, happened while Hanake was away on an evangelistic trip. A neighbor said he and others rescued Hanake’s wife and children ages 8, 6 and 2.

“We had to rescue the wife with her three children who were inside one of the houses that the fire was already beginning to burn,” said the neighbor, who requested anonymity.

Church leaders said neighbors are still housing Hanake and his family.

“The family has lost everything, and they feel fearful for their lives,” said a local church leader. “We are doing all we can to provide clothing and food to them. We are appealing to all well wishers to support Hanake’s family.”

Hanake said he has reported the case to Moyale police.

“I hope the culprits will be found,” he said.

An area church leader who requested anonymity told Compass that Christians in Moyale are concerned that those in Tuka are especially vulnerable to a harsh environment in which religious rights are routinely violated.

“The Ethiopian constitution allows for religious tolerance,” said another area church leader, also under condition of anonymity, “but we are concerned that such ugly incidents like this might go unpunished. To date no action has been taken.”

Tuka village, on Ethiopia’s border with Kenya, is populated mainly by ethnic Oromo who are predominantly Muslim. The area Muslims restrict the preaching of non-Muslim faiths, in spite of provisions for religious freedom in Ethiopia’s constitution.

Hostility toward those spreading faiths different from Islam is a common occurrence in predominantly Muslim areas of Ethiopia and neighboring countries, area Christians said, adding that they are often subject to harassment and intimidation.

Ethiopia’s constitution, laws and policies generally respect freedom of religion, but occasionally some local authorities infringe on this right, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report.

According to Operation World, nearly 40 percent of Ethiopia’s population affiliates with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, 19 percent are evangelical and Pentecostal and 34 percent are Sunni Muslim. The remainder are Catholic (3 percent) and ethno-religious (3.7 percent).

 

Jimma Violence

In Jimma Zone in the country’s southwest, where thousands of Christians in and around Asendabo have been displaced as a result of attacks that began on March 2 after Muslims accused a Christian of desecrating the Quran, the number of churches burned has reached 71, and two people have reportedly been killed. Their identities, however, were still unconfirmed.

When the anti-Christian violence of thousands of Muslims subsided by the end of March, 30 homes had reportedly been destroyed and as many as 10,000 Christians may have been displaced from Asendabo, Chiltie, Gilgel Gibe, Gibe, Nada, Dimtu, Uragay, Busa and Koticha.

Report from Compass Direct News
http://www.compassdirect.org