Pakistan: Christian gunned down in Karachi

Location of Karachi, in the province of Sindh ...

Location of Karachi. Image via Wikipedia

A 38-year-old layman has been gunned down in Pakistan’s largest city.

Arnold Archie Dass was slain in front of dozens of onlookers in the oldest Christian neighborhood in Karachi. In the decades since property values have risen in the neighborhood, members of the “Muslim land mafia” have been harassing area Christians, the Pakistan Christian Post reported; the area is now predominantly Muslim.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Christian gunned down in Pakistan.

More information on AsiaNews.it:

The victim was getting into his car to go home from work. Local sources say a group of gunmen opened fire in front of dozens of witnesses.

the group of Islamic extremists who carried out the attack left the scene undisturbed after checking that their target would not survive.

Indonesia: Christian group condemns arson on three Christian churches this week

Location of Riau in Indonesia

Location in Riau province (Indonesia). Image via Wikipedia

700 churches have been attacked in the past decade in Indonesia. And the attacks continue:

The Communion of Churches in Indonesia (PGI) today condemned arson attacks on three Christian churches earlier this week by mobs in Riau province in central Sumatra.

The coordinating body for 26 regional communions in the country also accused local governments and law enforcement agencies of doing nothing to prevent attacks on Christian places of worship.

“The PGI strongly condemns these attacks which add to a growing number of cases,” said PGI spokesman Reverend Jeiry Sumampauw.Lack of firm action by local governments, or law enforcement, are turning churches into targets,” he said.

via Christian group condemns arson – ucanews.com.

Apparently, authorities have not considered these attacks as important ones:

A Kuansing Police representative said the homes were only made of board and not real churches.

The houses were “easily burned because they were made of planks, thus flammable,” said Pangean Police Chief Adjutant Nazarudin.

He said police were investigating and called upon all residents to maintain vigilance.

Pakistan: Muslims Convicted for Beating Christian to Death

Well, at least this time they have been convicted:

Three Muslims convicted of killing Christian Rasheed Masih, in Pakistan’s Punjab Province for refusing to convert to Islam last year have been given life sentences, according to attorneys for the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) in Pakistan.

The Sessions Court in Mian Channu on July 7 convicted Ghulam Rasool, Amjad Iqbal and Kashir Saleem of torturing and killing Rasheed Masih on March 9, 2010, and sentenced them to life in prison, which in Pakistan is 25 years. The court also ordered each convict to pay 100,000 rupees (US$1,153) to Masih’s family. A fourth suspect, Muhammad Asif, was acquitted.

via Christian Persecution Blog: Pakistani Muslims Convicted for Beating Christian to Death.

Related:

Egypt: Muslim Attack on Christians Provoked By Installation of Church Bell

Cutaway drawing of a church bell, showing cons...

Image via Wikipedia

An exchange of harsh words on July 25 between Ruth, a Christian woman, and Gassem Fouad, a Muslim man who had parked his tricycle in front of her home, escalated into assault by the man on Ruth and other Christian villagers, and the arrest of one Copt. After Ruth, who is 5 months pregnant, was assaulted, a Muslim mob waited for Coptic farmers to return from the fields, where they were intercepted and beaten with iron rods and pipes.

Security forces managed to contain the situation.

Six Christians, including Ruth and her sister-in-law Hannan, were hospitalized with concussions, head injuries and broken limbs. No Muslim was injured.

None of the Muslim perpetrators was arrested.

Ruth’s husband, Kirillos Daniel, was accused of possessing a weapon — a rifle found thrown where the Christians were attacked, and is under detention.

In an interview on CTV Coptic TV, Father Estephanos Shehata, of the Samalout Coptic dioceses, said “The real reason behind this assault was the church bell, which has greatly angered the Muslims in the village.” He said the dilapidated church in the village of Ezbet Jacob Bebawi, outside Samalout, north of Minya, was given permission to renovate and this was completed last week, and the church bell was reinstalled.

via Muslim Attack on Christians in Egypt Provoked By Installation of Church Bell.

Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

Image via Wikipedia

A young Pakistani married couple has been forced into hiding because of death threats. Islamic leaders have condemned their marriage because the husband is Christian while the wife is Muslim.

Asthma Zubaida, a Muslim schoolteacher, married Basharat Mashi, a civil official in the town of Gujranwala, in September 2010. After receiving multiple death threats, they have fled the town. Their relatives report that they now have been threatened, and complain that local police have taken little interest in their safety.

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pakistan: mixed Christian-Muslim married couple flee death threats.

France: theatre play will show Christ as “whore terrorist devil”

Speaking about Christophobia:

Christ will soon be a “fucking hell of a terrorist.” This is provided in a “show” ( what are you talking about…) which, coincidentally, will be held in Paris in December, ie just before the Feast of the Nativity, or as we say today, Christmas. The “show” is funded by institutional partners and sponsors (see below, it is very instructive).

So, about this new vulgar, obscene and Christianophobic “show”, a Catholic institute informs (excerpts): “The” Golgota picnic “(ndmg – Picnic at Golgotha​​?) it is scheduled  at the Theatre du Rond-Point in Paris from 8 to 17 December. The director Rodrigo Garcia claims he is revisiting the Holy Scriptures and spoke about his “absolutely shameless” approach, intended to present the Christian iconography as the image of “the terror and barbarism”. “I allow myself even the poetic license to say that with such a past iconography, it is normal to rape little boys,” dares to declare what Rodrigo Garcia.

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“In the press kit of Golgotha ​​picnic, Rodrigo Garcia explains how he built his own biblical imagination, translating it into an obscene language and images. Christ is here called “el diablo puto” (ndmg – whore devil) and is compared to a terrorist. He also shows Christ, crucified surrounded by banknotes. Burgers litter the floor of the stage, trying to parody grotesquelly the multiplication of the loaves. And then the Italian conductor Marino Formenti plays in the piano the “Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross” by Haydn. “
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But Marino Formenti sees no malice because “the actors appear naked very often on stage” (yes, actores also appear naked… it’s soooo original, isn’t it?). And this blasphemous show is scheduled in the agenda of the prestigious “Fall Festival”.

via Le Christ est un « putain de diable terroriste » – Michel Garroté – drzz.info.

The play will be funded by the French Culture Ministry and by prestigious associations such as the Fuoundation Pierre Bergé and the Baron Philippe de Rotschild Society, among others.

Iraq: anti-Christian violence hit new peak in 2010

Saint Elijah's Monastery, Mosul, Iraq - the ol...

Saint Eijah's monastery, Mosu, Iraq. The oldest monastery in Iraq. Image via Wikipedia

Anti-Christian violence in Iraq left 92 dead and 47 wounded in 2010, making the year the worst to date for the Christian minority, according to the human-rights group Hammurabi.

Hammurabi reports that all of Iraq’s Christian churches have been badly hurt by violence and by the emigration of families leaving the country to find security elsewhere. More than 800 Christians have been killed in the years since the start of the US-lead military intervention.

Nevertheless the group found that the Christians remaining in Iraq who a strong sense of commitment. On July 4 the Chaldean Catholic Partiarch Emmanuel III paid a courtesy call on Ali al Sistani, Iraqi’s leading Shi’ite cleric, to demonstrate ‘the unity of Iraq and of Iraqis, Muslims and Christians.”

via Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Iraq’s anti-Christian violence hit new peak in 2010.

Malaysia: Islam’s Persecution of Christians

A MESSAGE FROM THE "FRIENDLY" ISLAMI...

Image by SS&SS via Flickr

An interview with IBA co-blogger The Anti-Jihadist:

Deciding that Islam as an ideology (and not Muslims per se) was my enemy was a personal Rubicon for me, a step that, once taken, could never be retracted. I understood how serious this was, from my own studies of Islam, from my knowledge of what’s happened to other critics of Islam, and from the repeated warnings here in Malaysia regarding ‘insults’ to Islam — i.e. being too truthful about it.  And the pointed Malaysian warnings about being ‘respectful’ of all religions (‘respect’ for Islam is all the government here really cares about) make it very clear that criticism of Islam is a big, big red line that should never be crossed.  Furthermore, in Malaysia it’s quite legal for anyone to be arrested and held indefinitely without charge, trial or access to legal council.  It’s a law called the ‘Internal Security Act’ or ‘ISA’ for short and it’s positively medieval. ISA is one of the reasons that you rarely hear criticism of Islam from anyone in this country, in public and even in private, no matter how outrageous things get.

…On a more personal level, Muslims in Malaysia have on numerous occasions destroyed churches, sometimes with official backing on the flimsiest of pretexts (like for supposed ‘code violations’). The same has also happened to Hindu and Buddhist temples. Bibles are sometimes seized in carload lots by the (Muslim) authorities on one technicality or another. New church construction is heavily discouraged, and it takes years if not decades for new churches to be approved and built. And they must be built in a ‘low profile’ manner if they are allowed to be built at all.

All of these restrictions and the drip-drip-drip of discrimination, or worse, creates a tense and foreboding atmosphere for Christians. It’s pointless for Christians — who are mostly Indians and Chinese — to petition the Malay (Muslim) government for any sort of redress of grievances, because the police, courts and judges here are all owned and operated by Muslims. So increasingly, the ‘infidels’ are leaving — permanently. The same sort of Islamic repression of Christians that has played out in Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and virtually every other Muslim-ruled country is also playing out here.

via Islam’s Persecution of Christians in Malaysia | FrontPage Magazine.

US: Democrat Congresswoman considers a threat “those Christian militants who want to overturn the Government”

Lee cited the proverbial case of the man who blew up an abortion clinic and proposed that this was an attempt by Christians to undermine U.S. law that allows a woman to get an abortion. Then she went on to intimate that Christians opposing the current abortion laws were tantamount to trying to overturn the government.

These statements were made during a hearing about Islamic radicalization in prisons. Of course, the difference is that nearly no Christian would support these methods to defend life.

It’s curious though: she thinks that only Christians are pro-life.

Egypt: Christians fleeing from Eritrea face horrible suffering

Eritreans who have fled one of the world’s most repressive regimes are facing unimaginable suffering once they arrive in Egypt, where an estimated 200 have fallen into the hands of human traffickers.

“They are in great danger from their government, which is one of the most severe persecutors of Christians in the world, and if they flee in the hope of a better life elsewhere, they face imprisonment, kidnap, torture, rape, beatings and even death,” said Patrick Sookhdeo, the international director of the Barnabas Fund, which provides aid to persecuted Christians. In addition, some refugees have reportedly had their organs harvested.

Read here.

Both Pope Benedict and Christian Solidarity Worldwide have both of them denounced this problem. I hope other international organizations also denounce it the sooner the better.

Iraq: Christian beheaded by his kidnappers

The decapitated body of a Christian man has been discovered in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, a few days after he was kidnapped. Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was abducted late Friday night or early Saturday morning (13 or 14 May) and his mutilated body was discovered last Monday morning (16 May).

His family had been asked for a ransom but was not able to pay the sum of more than £61,500 the kidnappers demanded.

Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, the charity for persecuted and other suffering Christians, Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk condemned the killing, and went on to pay tribute to the strength and faith of his community despite the continuing threat of violence.

Archbishop Sako said: “In all these years, I have never heard of a single Christian converting to Islam, despite the many threats.”

More here. Found here.

Pakistan: Court Acquits 70 Muslim Radicals of Burning 8 Christians Alive during 2009 Gojra Massacre

Pakistan’s fundamentalists are rejoicing following the acquittal verdict. The country’s Christian minority is “under shock” because, this time as well, the massacre of innocent victims done in the name of the infamous blasphemy law will go unpunished. The justice system also shows its powerlessness vis-à-vis extremists who can carry out heinous crimes with total impunity, whilst the government remains silent. Meanwhile, a Muslim religious leader publicly says that Christians “deserve” to be murdered.Burning

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court acquitted 70 people who, in various roles, were involved in the Gojra massacre of August 2009 (see Fareed Khan, “Eight Christians burned alive in Punjab,” in AsiaNews, 2 August 2009). The anti-Christian violence broke out following blasphemy allegations. During a wedding, a group of Christians supposedly burnt pages of the Qur‘an, a pretext used to strike at the religious minority.

More here.

Background: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Egypt: War against Copts

“When they were beating me, they kept saying: ‘We won’t leave any Christians in this country,’” Mr. Mitri recalled in a recent interview, two months after the March attack. Blood dripped through a plastic tube from his unhealed wound to a plastic container. “Here, there is a war against the Copts,” he said.

His attackers, who were never arrested or prosecuted, follow the ultrafundamentalist Salafi strain of Islam that promotes an austere, Saudi-inspired worldview. Before President Hosni Mubarak was toppled on Feb. 11, the Salafis mostly confined themselves to preaching. Since then, they’ve entered the political arena, drawing crowds and swaying government decisions. Salafi militants also have blocked roads, burned churches and killed Copts.

The Salafi vigilantes who brutalized Mr. Mitri later ignited a bigger controversy that is still playing out here in Qena, an upper Nile governorate of three million people—almost one-third of them Copts. In April, Egypt’s new government appointed a Christian to be Qena’s new governor, replacing another Christian who had held the post under Mr. Mubarak. The Salafis responded by demanding a Muslim governor and organizing mass protests, showcasing the movement’s new political influence.

Angry crowds left the mosques and converged outside the governor’s headquarters for a sit-in. Qena’s revolutionary coalition split. Some liberal Muslims, such as Mr. Yasin, were offended by bigoted slogans and left. Others, including Muslim Brotherhood youths, stayed.

Hala Helmy Botros, a Coptic blogger active in the uprising against Mr. Mubarak, was stunned to see a former comrade-in-arms with a poster that read: “I am against sectarianism—but I refuse a Copt as governor!” Other protesters screamed: “Islamic, Islamic—we want a Muslim, not an infidel.”

More here.

Egypt: Christians begin to flee the country

They are insisting on leaving Egypt because the risks of staying here are too great,” Naguib Gabriel, a Coptic human rights lawyer, told Egypt Daily News. “Many Christians are afraid of the future because of the fanatics in the mosques.”

At least 20 Christians have been killed in sectarian violence with Muslims since Mubarak‘s ouster. And groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have been taking an increasingly visible role in forming Egypt’s next government.

In fact, a Coptic church in Soul has been rebuilt with the Army’s help, but the Copts are complaining the inactivity of the authorities to prosecute the perpetrators of the fire that destroyed it. Meanwhile, 17 Christians arrested during the protests continue in prison.

Via.