13 Feb by liwenting

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                                                                PERSECUTION WATCH ~ For Prayer Concern
                                                                     Weekly update 13 Feb. 2010
                                                                                   By Charles M. Joshi
                                                  Issue – 06 / Feb. 2010 (For Private Circulation Only)


 Let brotherly love continue…. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who
                        are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Heb. 13: 1&3

   Are we about to enter into the end time Daniel’s 70thweek? Current events say so.
    They shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. Mathew 24.9
   If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me, before it hated you.                           John 15.18


In This Edition: USA: Federal Investigators: Arson Behind Texas Church Fires ** LAOS: Lao Officials Force
    Christians from Worship at Gunpoint; Church members marched to open field, deprived of homes **
MOROCCO: Moroccan Authorities Raid Bible Study, Arrest Christians; Order to detain 18 nationals, deport
 U.S. citizen apparently came from highest levels. ** HAITI / USA: Haiti judge wants 10 Americans released;
Investigations will continue ** ISRAEL: Suspected Jewish terrorist admits to anti-missionary Activities **
 INDIA: Update on Anti-christian Violence In Orissa - EU Visit to Orissa, Triggers Barrage of Accusations;
    Justice Denied to Victims. PM Manmohan and CM Patnaik not fulfilled their Kandhamal Promises ++
 Believer arrested in Karnataka ++ Somasekhara Commission resumes inquiry in Karnataka ++ Ministry
in Madhya Pradesh on hold ** CHINA: Persecuted Shuozhou Church appeal that Govt. release the arrested
  Christians and Evangelists ++ American Bar Association Petitions State Department for Chinese Rule of
   Law ++ New Year in prison for the Chinese bishops. Two priests released ** PAKISTAN: No Justice for
Persecuted Pakistani Christian; His Son’s Murderers Return to Burn Down His Home ++ Remembering the
    1997 massacre of Christians of Shanti Nagar ** BHUTAN: king of Bhutan claims to be "father of the
  Christians," but does not build churches ** MIYANMAR: Latest round of ethic and religious cleansing by
 Burma's military regime against Christian Karen ** INDONESIA: West Java, a crowd of 150 Muslims block
    construction of Protestant church ** PHILIPPINES: Mission board protests arrests in Philippines **
   NEPAL: Imprisoned missionary Manja tells his story ** UZBEKISTAN: Drugs planted and worshippers
 beaten up? ** KAZAKHSTAN: Women's prayers lead to massive fine and more? ** UK: Church of England
  concerned by 'religious TV cuts' Good Friday Ignored ** NIGERIA: Nigerian Christians count dead after
 Jos violence ++ Three-Day Fasting and Prayer For Kidnap Victims attack at Qua Iboe Church ** MIDEAST:
                The underground seminary keeps church growth healthy and M O R E …….

USA: Federal Investigators: Arson Behind Texas Church Fires 09 Feb. 2010 CP Since the start of the
New Year, at least ten churches in the eastern and central Texas regions have been struck by fires, which federal
investigators suspect are the work of an arsonist or a team of arsonists. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
and Explosives (ATF) was brought in to investigate the fires after two churches were stuck over the weekend of
Jan. 16-17. Since then, four more churches have been hit, prompting the ATF's National Response Team (NRT)
along with ATF special agents from the Tyler Field Office, Dallas Field Division to get involved last week. "ATF will
use all of the resources at its disposal to determine the origin and cause of this fire," said Ken Chisholm, Assistant
Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Dallas Field Division, this past Thursday. Earlier, Chisholm reported that ATF
was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved
in the church fires. Though the church fires have long been believed to be the result of arson, authorities officially
announced Tuesday that the first eight churches that were set ablaze were struck deliberately. As for Monday's
fires, authorities have yet to draw a conclusion but suspect they were intentionally set as well.
LAOS: Lao Officials Force Christians from Worship at Gunpoint; Church members marched to
open field, deprived of homes. (Photo: Praising God amid the turmoil - Christian Aid Mission) About
                              100 local officials, police and villagers put guns to the heads of Christians during their
                              Sunday morning service in a village in Laos last month, forcing them from their
                              worship and homes, according to an advocacy organization. Human Rights Watch
                              for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF) reported that in Katin village of Ta-Oyl district,
                              Saravan Province, Lao authorities including the village chief, a religious affairs’
                              official, three district police and a 15-man volunteer unit joined 15 village police
                              officers to force all 48 Christian adults and children of the church to an open field.
                              Afterward, the officials confiscated all personal belongings from 11 homes of
                              Christians and destroyed six of the 11 homes. Unable to cajole the Christians into
                              renouncing Christ with the illegal use of arms, the officials forced them to walk six
                              kilometers and then left them on the side of a road. ―While being forced with guns to
their heads, the believers took only the personal belongings they could grab,‖ according to an HRWLRF statement.
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                   Page No. 02

Since then, officials have posted local police at the entrance of Katin village in order to keep the Christians from
returning. The men, women and children of the church have been sleeping on the ground in the woods with hardly
enough food supplies, equipment, or tools to survive, according to HRWLRF. ―They are without light, food and
clean water, except for a small stream nearby,‖ the organization reported. Laos is a Communist country that is 1.5
percent Christian and 67 percent Buddhist, with the remainder unspecified. Article 6 and Article 30 of the Lao
Constitution guarantee the right of Christians and other religious minorities to practice the religion of their choice
without discrimination or penalty. Around Jan. 18, a Saravan provincial religious affairs official identified only by his
surname, Khampuey, and a Ta-Oyl district official identified only by the surname of Bounma tried to persuade the
believers to renounce their Christian faith, according to the organization. Why do you believe in it [the Bible?‖ they
asked the Christians. ―It’s just a book.‖ When the Christians responded that the Bible was no mere book but a gift
from God, the officials pointed out that other poor villagers had received government assistance because they had
not converted to Christianity. ―Before, we were under the power of the spirits and had to sacrifice to them,‖ said one
Christian. ―Now, having believed in God, we no longer have to do any sacrifice.‖ The officials further harangued
them, saying, ―See what happens to you because of your belief? You are now left in the middle of nowhere without
any home, food, or help. You should deny your Christian belief and then you will be allowed back in your village.‖
Unable to persuade the believers to renounce Christ, the two officials prohibited them from returning to their home
village to get their personal belongings, including tools and items needed to make a living and protect themselves.
MOROCCO: Moroccan Authorities Raid Bible Study, Arrest Christians; Order to detain 18
nationals, deport U.S. citizen apparently came from highest levels. 09 Feb. 2010 Compass A
large, military-led team of Moroccan authorities raided a Bible study in a small city southeast of Marrakech last
week, arresting 18 Moroccans and deporting a U.S. citizen, area Christian leaders said. Approximately 60 officers
from the Moroccan security services on Feb. 4 afternoon raided the home of a Christian in Amizmiz, a picturesque
city of 10,000 mainly Berber people 56 kilometers southeast of Marrakech. A church Bible study was in progress at
the home with visitors from western and southern Morocco, the leaders said. Five of the 18 people held for 14
hours were small children, two of them infants no more than 6 months old. The other small children ranged from 20
months to 4 years old, and also detained was the visiting 16-year-old nephew of one of the participants. The
Christian leaders said authorities interrogated participants in the Bible study for 14 hours. The authorities filmed the
interrogations with digital video cameras and cell phones. The leader of the Christian group, who requested
anonymity for security reasons, said the raiding party was unusually large. It included an accompaniment of 15
vehicles led by a colonel and two captains. ―It’s the first time in our current Moroccan church history that the
Moroccan government used this size of a legion to attack a small Christian meeting,‖ he said. ―All the time they
kept repeating that this was ordered personally by the new Moroccan Justice Minister Mohamed Naciri and by the
highest level General of the Gendarmerie.‖ Quoting a statement by the Interior Ministry, the state-run Maghreb
Arabe Presse news agency reported that a ―foreign missionary‖ had been arrested for trying to ―spread evangelist
creed in the Kingdom and locate new Moroccan nationals for recruitment. The U.S. citizen, whose name has not
been released, was deported immediately after interrogation. The Christian leaders said the visiting Moroccans
were sent back to their homes in western and southern Morocco. Authorities seized Bibles, books, two laptops, a
digital camera and one cell phone, they said. ―I don’t think this number of Moroccan government forces was ever
used even against Muslim fundamentalists,‖ the leader of the Christian group said. In early December last year
Moroccan police expelled five Christian foreigners for ―attending a forbidden meeting,‖ according to an unnamed
government official. The five men were involved in a training seminar for 17 Christians in northern Morocco. On
March 29, 2009, the Moroccan government announced that it had expelled five female Christians for attempting to
―proselytize,‖ although sources said they were foreign visitors merely attending a Bible study with fellow Christians.
The accused women were five of 23 tourists, expatriates and Moroccans arrested in Casablanca on March 28
during what the Interior Ministry called a ―proselytizing‖ meeting involving Moroccan citizens. ―The authorities
reportedly pressured the women to return to Islam, mocked their Christian faith, questioned why they left Islam to
become Christians, and asked if there were other Christians in their families,‖ the report states.
HAITI / USA: Haiti judge wants 10 Americans released; Investigations will continue 12 Feb. 2010
Wash. Times Port-Au-Prince -- The Haitian judge deciding whether 10 U.S. missionaries should face trial on
charges of trying to take a busload of children out of the country said Thursday he will recommend that they be
released provisionally while the investigation continues. Judge Bernard Saint-Vil must now send his
recommendation to the prosecutor, who may agree or object, but the judge has the final authority to decide
whether they stay in custody or go free. Judge Saint-Vil said he was making his recommendation a day after
questioning the Americans and hearing testimony from parents who said they willingly gave their children to the
Baptist missionaries, believing they would educate and care for them. "After listening to the families, I see the
possibility that they can all be released," Judge Saint-Vil told the Associated Press. "I am recommending that all 10
Americans be released." Later, Judge Saint-Vil said he would recommend provisional freedom for the detainees
while the investigation continues. But it wasn't clear whether their possible release means they would be allowed
to leave Haiti, or what implications the judge's decision could have on whether the charges may be dropped. By
midday Thursday, Judge Saint-Vil had yet to deliver his formal recommendation to the prosecutor. Gary Lassade,
an attorney for one of the Americans, said he expects the judge will recommend the case be dropped - though the
prosecutor could also appeal that ruling. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday that Secretary
of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had not personally intervened in the case. The U.S.-based legal team for one of
the missionaries, Jim Allen of Amarillo, Texas, had asked her to do so in a letter Tuesday.
Christian Defense Coalition Continues to Bring Pressure for the Immediate Release of the Ten
American Missionaries Under Arrest in Haiti 10 Feb. 2010 CNW The group says it is now clear that the
American missionaries were only trying to help needy children in Haiti and were not involved in human trafficking or
kidnapping. After meeting with the Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph, the Christian Defense Coalition
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                        Page No. 03

continues to press for the immediate release of the ten missionaries jailed in Haiti. The Christian Defense also
wants to remind Haitian leaders and officials that the people they have labeled as "kidnappers" and "traffickers" are
part of the Christian community that has given millions of dollars to help their country, opened schools, medical
clinics, and orphanages, teaches their children and are now giving countless hours and dollars to help rebuild their
country after the devastating earthquake last month. The Haitian government should not make an "example" out of
people who were only trying to help their country. The Christian Defense Coalition in the past has worked with
members of the Central Valley Baptist Church in Idaho on a variety of projects.
ISRAEL: Suspected Jewish terrorist admits to anti-missionary Activities 10 Feb. 2010 Haaretz
Suspected Jewish terrorist Yaakov (Jack) Teitel told his interrogators he was an active member of anti-missionary
group Yad L'achim for five years, Haaretz has learned. The Bnei Brak-based ultra-Orthodox group has gained
notoriety in recent years for its actions against Messianic Jews, whom it perceives as a "sect" seeking to convert
Jews to Christianity. The organization also prides itself on "rescuing" Jewish women from relationships with
Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. Teitel, a resident of the settlement Shvut Rachel, was charged last November with
murdering two Palestinians and attempting to murder three people, including Hebrew University Professor Zeev
Sternhell and Ariel teenager Ami Ortiz. Ortiz, from a family of Messianic Jews, was gravely wounded by a bomb
packaged inside a Purim gift in March 2008. Teitel admitted to placing the bomb, and called the Ortiz family
"missionaries trying to capture weak Jews."
INDIA: Orissa, Khandamal Christians As Prisoners In Their Own Land 13 Feb. 2010 Sepro News
The Christians living there are still suffering...one year after the horrible violence in Orissa, which was started when
Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda was assassinated. Hindu nationalists wrongfully blamed it on Christians and
used his murder as an excuse to attack them. The extremists came with axes, machetes and homemade guns.
They set fire houses and Churches. It has been claimed that this was the worst case of religious persecution in
India since the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947. An Open Doors co-worker who visited the village a few
months ago says: "These people are prisoners on their own land. A man showed me the edge of a neighboring
Hindu village. He said 'Look, there is our border, like the border between Pakistan and India.' More than 4,000
Christians in Orissa are still refugees in relief camps and are unable to return to their villages for fear of death or
forcible conversion to Hinduism. Recent reports state that Christians remain targets of violence and persecution by
Hindu extremists. What makes Rudangia special is that the Christian community refused to be sent to a refugee
camp far from home, but instead insisted on being able to return to an encampment on their own land. Three
denominations -- Catholic, Baptist and Church of North India -- worship in the only church with a roof still standing.
Persecution has brought these believers together. In response to this outbreak of violence, Rep. Trent Franks and
Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver have co- sponsored a Congressional letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa Navin Patnaik to
express their concern about the violence against religious minorities. Christians are still being persecuted. They
need your prayers and support."
INDIA: Update on Anti-christian Violence In Orissa - EU Visit to Orissa, India Triggers Barrage of
Accusations; Justice Denied to Victims. PM Manmohan and CM Patnaik not fulfilled their
Kandhamal Promises; The Kandhamal fire still burning 08 Feb. 2010 Compass A delegation from
the European Union concluded a ―fruitful‖ trip to India’s violence-torn Orissa state on Feb. 5 amid a swirl of protests
by Hindu nationalist groups and cries of injustice by Christians. The delegation was able to hold ―open and frank‖
discussions with Kandhamal officials on the visit, said Gabriele Annis of the Embassy of Italy. The delegation was
led by Christophe Manet, head of Political Affairs of the European Commission delegation to India and consisted of
members from Spain, Hungary, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, the UK, Finland and Sweden. A delegation from
five European countries had visited Orissa earlier in Nov. 2009, but the government of Orissa denied them
permission to visit Kandhamal district, where Christians say they continue to be threatened and destitute.
Prime Minister and Chief Minister have not delivered on Kandhamal Promises: Archbishop Raphael
Cheenath said on Feb. 6 that despite the claims of the state and district administrations, life for the Christian
victims of violence in August-September 2008 remains far from normal: thousands still live in makeshift shanties
along roadsides and in forests, he said, and local officials and police harass them daily. ―The block officers have
been playing with the facts, indulging in corrupt practices and cosmetic exercises whenever political and other
dignitaries come to visit or inspect,‖ the archbishop said in a statement. ―Innocent people are coerced into giving a
false picture.. It is strange that officers in whose presence the violence took place and thousands of houses were
burnt are still in office and are declaring that there is peace in the district.‖ More than 4,400 families still live in tents,
makeshift shelters or the remnants of their damaged houses, he said. The number of attack victims who have
received financial assistance from the government, churches or Non-Governmental Organizations is unknown, but
is estimated at 1,100 families, Cheenath added. He criticized Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Chief
Minister of Orissa Naveen Patnaik saying, ―Both of them had promised to provide adequate compensation for the
damages caused during the 2008 anti-christian violence. But the victims have not been adequately compensated.‖
Cheenath said the state government had decided not to compensate any riot-affected religious institutions even
though Supreme Court had directed the government to compensate them for all damages.
Extremist cosmetic makeover by evacuating nearly 100 Christians: Prior to the visit, Christian leaders
expressed their shock at Kandhamal district authorities attempting a cosmetic makeover by evacuating nearly 100
Christians from G. Udayagiri. In letters to the EU delegation, the state government and national human rights and
minorities commissions, Dr. John Dayal of the All India Christian Council narrated the plight of the 91 members of
21 families from 11 villages who were living under plastic sheets along a road in the marketplace area of G.
Udayagiri. They had faced almost daily threats, he said, as they had not been allowed to return to their villages
unless they renounced their faith and became Hindus. Soon after the decision to allow the EU delegation, the water
supply to the makeshift site was cut off and police and civil officers drove away the residents, who had only plastic
sheets to protect them from the cold, he said. The refugees said officers later gave them permission to come back
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                 Page No. 04

at night but to keep the area clear. ―The families are in G. Udayagiri, they have moved in front of the road, and
they are in a very bad state,‖ the Rev. Samant Nayak told Compass. ―They are literally on the road.‖ He said that
approximately 55 families were living in G. Udayagiri, where they had been given land, and a Christian NGO was
helping to construct houses for them. The Press Trust of India reported that Orissa officials were nervous about last
week’s delegation visiting Kandhamal but finally gave permission under pressure from the central government.
State officials finally allowed the visit with the pre-condition that the delegation would be allowed only to interact
with people and not engage in fact-finding, according to a senior official in Orissa’s home department.
Justice Denied to Christians as justice is critical to long term peace: The anti-Christian violence in
August-September 2008 killed over 120 people and burned 4,640 houses, 252 churches and 13 educational
institutions. Archbishop Cheenath said justice is critical to long term peace. ―The two Fast Track courts, and the
court premises, have seen a travesty of justice,‖ he said in a statement. ―Witnesses are being coerced, threatened,
cajoled and sought to be bribed by murderers and arsonists facing trial. The court premises are full of top activists
of fundamentalist organizations. The witnesses are also threatened in their homes with elimination, and even their
distant relatives are being coerced specially in the murder and arson cases against Member of Legislative
Assembly Manoj Pradhan.‖ Though some witnesses have testified on Pradhan’s alleged involvement in crimes in
depositions, he has been acquitted in case after case, the archbishop added. Cheenath said victims have filed
3,232 complaints at Kandhamal police stations, but officers registered only 832 cases. So far, 71 cases have been
tried in the two courts, and 63 cases have been disposed of. Of these, conviction occurred only in 25 cases, and
even that is partial as most of the accused have not been arrested or brought to trial.‖ Only 89 persons have been
convicted so far in Orissa state, while 251 have been acquitted, supposedly for lack of witnesses against them, he
said. ―Among them is Manoj Pradhan,‖ Cheenath said. ―It is strange that in the case of 10 deaths by murder, nine
cases have been closed without anybody being convicted, while there has been partial conviction in the case of
one death. Who will bring justice in the case of the nine murder cases?‖
INDIA: Believer arrested in Puttur, Karnataka 07 Feb. 2010 GCIC Believer Harish 35 years was
arrested just after returning from a friend’s house after prayer on 7th February. The arrest was made on the basis
                       of a false complaint of forceful conversion filed by Bajarang Dal leader Sekhar. Police from
                       Kadaba Police arrested Harish. Believer Harish hails from Mardala Village in Puttur taluk . He
                       has been charged under IPC. Harish was produced to the Puttur Magistrate's residence in the
                       night and was sent to Mangalore Jail. The police also detained believer Harish's wife Lakshmi,
                       28 years and their 2 months old baby. The mother and child was released after 5 hours of
                       interrogation. Believer Harish is a member of New India Church of God., which is ministered by
Pastor Sam T Varghese. The church is about 15 years old and has about 35 members.
INDIA: Somasekhara Commission resumes inquiry in Karnataka 10 Feb. 2010 CT A week after
sending the interim report on church attacks in Mangalore and Dakshina Kannada districts, Justice B K
Somasekhara Commission has resumed inquiry till a final report is submitted to the state government. In the latest,
a local Christian group submitted a set of documents against the Bajrang Dal and its then state convener
Mahendra Kumar, accusing them of deliberate attacks against minority Christians. Appearing before the
Somasekhara Commission, Anil Colaco of Karnataka Christa Sanghatanegala Okkoota, produced several news
clippings, letters written to government authorities and copies of police complaints regarding alleged atrocities
against Christians in Chikmagalur district.Justice Somasekhara, a former High Court judge, in his interim report
accused top police officers, district administration and other authorities to have colluded with the right-wing Hindu
organisations during the violence on Christians. Somasekhara suggested Karnataka's BJP government to publicly
state its commitment to protect all religions.
INDIA: Ministry in Madhya Pradesh on hold 10 Feb. 2010 MNN A pastor in Madhya Pradesh was
recently arrested for hosting a prayer meeting. A case has now been filed against him by police, who claim he was
forcing conversions. Pastor was holding a prayer regular prayer meeting. There was no evangelistic agenda to the
meeting, but some non-believers were there. In the middle of the meeting, Hindu extremists stormed in and took
everyone to the police. Police arrested Pastor K, detaining him for a week. Christians were let go. "The non-
Christians they took into another location," says Dave Stravers of Grand rapids, Michigan Based Mission – India
"They gave them all money and basically forced them to sign a statement saying that Pastor K was forcing them to
convert. The word used there if force. There's an anti-conversion law in many states of India that says you cannot
force a person to change his religion." These signed statements gave police (who, Stravers notes, clearly had
some sort of plans with the Hindu extremists who stormed the prayer meeting) the leverage to file a case against
Pastor K. Since then, the media has picked up the story, accusing other Christians of forcing conversion as well.
"So you've got the media, the police, the violent extremists all trying to stop what's happening in Madhya Pradesh,"
says Stravers. Stravers notes that "what's happening" is the spread of the Gospel. People have become very
receptive to the Word of God in Madhya Pradesh, and many new churches have been started there by Mission
India-trained pastors. Many staunch Hindus in the area are angry with the Christian influx.
CHINA: Persecuted Shuozhou Church Releases Confession of Faith and appeal that Govt. release
the arrested Christians and Evangelists 09 Feb. 2010 China Aid In the aftermath following the detention
of six Shuozhou pastors and the destruction of BrotherGao Mao's home, members of Shuozhou have issued a
Confession of Faith, affirming their doctrine and taking a stand in defense of their faith. And they have affirmed that
House churches that are under persecution are politically or morally innocent. They are persecuted because of
fellowshipping, preaching, sharing the Gospel and refusing to join in the three-self church. House churches do not
have anger against the government. They endure the sufferings in silence and pray for the government all the time.
The house church leaders are under all kinds of persecution, but they never complain. They love their country and
their government, and wait patiently for God’s mercy. The house churches hold authentic biblical beliefs. They
serve the people in accordance to the Bible and have God’s presence. They develop fast; oppression could not
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                    Page No. 05

stop the trend. The number of house church members is far more than those in the three-self churches. This is our
proof from God. And therefore, they have appealed to Govt. Stop persecuting (beating, confiscating properties,
imposing fines, education through labor) the house churches and fulfill region freedom soon. Release the
Christians and evangelists who are under arrest because of their beliefs and practice of faith. Actually, where there
are more Christians, where the society is more stable, cultivated and blessed. (For full Confession of Faith pls. visit
at Chinaaid.org)
CHINA: American Bar Association Petitions State Department for Chinese Rule of Law 12 Feb.
2010 Chinaaid Photo- Gao Zhisheng persecuted for defending "highly sensitive cases." Chinese
lawyers who specifically defend religious or ethnic minority groups are given disproportionate wages, fired or fined,
have their families placed under surveillance, or find their licenses terminated. In more severe cases, lawyers have
                                been tortured. Gao Zhisheng, one of the most prominent Chinese attorneys and two-
                                time Nobel Peace prize nominee, sustained 53 days of brutal torture in 2007, and has
                                been missing without no account for over one year, as of February 4, 2010. The
                                Chinese legal association had refused to renew Jiang’s license to practice law in the
                                spring of 2009, because had had taken on ―highly sensitive cases.‖ Unable to
                                practice, he was fired from his firm, causing his family’s well-being to suffer. The day
                                after he returned to China from his trip to the U.S, he and four other legal advocates
                                attempted to meet with the U.S. Ambassador in Beijing, but with no success, The next
day he was shoved into a police car, his wife beaten before their daughter’s eyes, and detained for over 12 hours.
Concerned by these gross violations of rule of law in China, President of the American Bar Association Carolyn
Lamm directed a poignant letter to U.S. Secretary Clinton, in December, 2009. The letter cites the four specific
cases of well-known Chinese human rights defenders Gao Zhisheng, Jiang Tianyong, Li Suibin, and Xu Zhiyong,
and calls on the U.S. Government to urge the Chinese government to ―demonstrate its commitment to rule of law
principles,‖ by halting the arbitrary practice of denying legal licenses and to value the role of human rights lawyers
in maintaining national stability and preserving the peace.
CHINA – VATICAN: New Year in prison for the Chinese bishops. Two priests released 13 Feb. 2010
Asianews Despite repeated requests of Catholic Christians and their families, Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo,
underground bishop of Zhengding (Hebei), will remain under sequester during the festivities of Chinese New Year,
which begins tomorrow. Bishop Jia Zhiguo was arrested on 30 March, 2009, as the Vatican Commission on China
held a closed-door encounter. With him, two other underground bishops remain segregated in unknown places in
the hands of police. Meanwhile, police in Zhengding areas have in recent weeks released two priests of the
diocese: Fr. Hu Baoguo, vicar general, was released on Jan. 29, Fr. Ma Hong'en was released on 6 January.
Underground priests were often targeted and subjected to periods of imprisonment to force them to join the
Patriotic Association, the state body that wants to build a National Catholic Church, separate from Rome. Just like
Bishop Jia, two other bishops remain seized in police custody in unknown locations. The first is Bishop James Su
Zhimin 75, arrested and disappeared since 1996. In Nov. 2003 he was seen in a hospital in Baoding, controlled by
the police, where he underwent treatment for the heart and eyes. But after a few days he disappeared again. The
second is Mgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang, 86, who was arrested and disappeared April 13, 2001. Bishop Shi, ordained a
bishop in '82, had been in prison for 30 years. The last time he was arrested in Dec. '90, and released in '93. Since
then he has lived in forced isolation until his latest arrest.
CHINA: Rise in reported persecution cases in China 09 Feb. 2010 CT There was an increase in the
number of reported persecution cases against Christians in China last year, according to a religious freedom group
that specialises in Chinese house churches. In its ―Annual 2009 Persecution Report‖, ChinaAid Association
revealed a 19 pct. increase in number of Christian persecution cases compared to data from 2008. The US-based
group emphasised, however, that the report is based on only a small portion of the total number of persecution
cases that took place in mainland China last year because many incidents go unreported. The report defines
persecution as acts involving, but not limited to, threats, inordinate fines, property confiscation, interrogation, arrest
and other abuses. In 2009, ChinaAid recorded 77 total cases of persecution against house churches that affected
nearly 3,000 people – 45 pct more than in 2008. The total number of people arrested, meanwhile, was 389, and the
number of those sentenced to jail 23. A total of 114 people were reportedly abused in 2009 – up by 90 percent from
2008. ChinaAid noted persecution in 2009 particularly increased in large cities and among megachurches. Among
the 77 reported cases of persecution in mainland China, 56 of them occurred in urban areas.
PAKISTAN: No Justice for Persecuted Pakistani Christian; His Son’s Murderers Return to Burn
Down His Home 12 Feb. 2010 ICC International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on January 26,
three Muslim brothers and their accomplices allegedly burned down the house of a Christian man in Gujranwala,
Pakistan 18 months after they allegedly killed his son. The local police told the victim to keep quiet about the violent
acts. Unfortunately this is a normal occurrence for Christians in Pakistan. Walayat Masih, the Christian father, told
ICC that the three Muslim brothers and their accomplices burned down his house after he refused their repeated
demand to buy it from him. The house is located in a commercial area. The three Muslims are also suspects in
the killing of Masih’s eldest son. Masih contacted GT Road Police Station when his son was killed, and again after
his house was torched. However, in both cases the police refused to investigate the alleged suspects. By the time
of this press release, no one has been arrested for these crimes. Muslim radicals subject Pakistani Christians to
various forms of persecution, including violent attacks, forceful land seizures and raping of Christian women.
PAKISTAN: Remembering the 1997 massacre of Christians of Shanti Nagar 08 Feb. 2010 Asia
News Shanti Nagar - Hundreds of Christians gathered in the church of the Salvation Army to celebrate the 14th
anniversary of the bloody attack perpetrated against the community by Islamic fundamentalists. The small village of
Punjab was decimated by the fundamentalists, who accused Christians of being "spies of the West‖. The interfaith
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                    Page No. 06

prayer service was attended by the pastors of the Salvation Army along with those of the Assembly of God and the
Church of Yahaw Nasi, local Protestant denominations. Pastor Hisqeel Sarosh, master of the house, opened the
celebration by thanking the Lord for ―having saved the lives of those present from violence against the innocent. "
On 6 February 1997, recalls one of those present, "thousands of Muslim fundamentalists attacked the village
saying that we were blasphemers. They carried placards saying 'Kill the Christians, blasphemers against the Koran
and the Prophet' and attacked us indiscriminately. " During the clashes 785 houses and 4 churches were
destroyed. Over 2,500 Christians were also forced to flee. The survivors asked the children attending the
celebration of two days ago, "not to forget the past and what happened in the village."
PAKISTAN: 5 members of a Pakistani Christian Family Killed in Bomb Blast 08 Feb. 2010 Assist
At least 27 men, women and children, among them five members of a Christian family, were killed during a twin
blasts in Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial hub on Feb. 5. About 133 others were wounded. Aftab Alexander Mughal,
Editor, Minorities Concern of Pakistan, says five members of that Christian family of Ibrahim Hyderi, Labour
Colony, were killed in the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) blast. The deceased were; Manzoor Masih
and his wife Rosy, daughter Carol, 14, Mrs Parveen Basharat and her daughter Narmal, 12. They went to see a
new born daughter of their relative Sheeba who was admitted there. Right after meeting the girl, as they reached
the emergency gate of the JPMC, the bomb went off and they all died on the spot.
BHUTAN: The king of Bhutan claims to be "father of the Christians," but does not build churches
12 Feb. 2010 Asianews The king of Bhutan Jigme Khesar author of democratic reform in the country for years
has claimed to be the "father of Christians." In 2005 he married his fifth sister with the nephew of Fr Kinley, a
Canadian Jesuit who helped the government to realign the education system. Nevertheless the construction of
religious buildings other than Buddhists ones is still prohibited in the country remains. Recently the Christian
organization Open Doors has in fact classified Bhutan 12th in a list of 50 countries in the world where religious
freedom is violated. In 1979 the then King Jigme Singye Wangchuck forbade the practice of religions other than
Buddhism and Hinduism. This prevented the 6 thousand Christians living in the country, mostly Protestant, from
building churches and worship, leading to the creation of an underground community. In 2008, the ascent to the
throne of 28-year old King Jigme Khesar brought new hopes of opening in the country, with the creation of a new
constitution providing for freedom of faith for all Bhutanese, after reporting to authorities. But proselytism, the
publication of Bibles, the building of Christian schools and the entrance of religious remain prohibited. To date, the
Jesuit Father Kinley is the only resident priest in the country. "There's a reason why Christians are not tolerated in
the country - says a former member of the government - there is indeed a fear that Christianity will divide society
and create tension." Thus, while the country opens up to modern building, pubs and discos, it still hampers the
building of churches.
MIYANMAR: Latest round of ethic and religious cleansing by Burma's military regime against
Christian Karen 11 Feb. 2010 CSW Over 70 houses, a mobile health clinic and two schools in eastern
Burma have been burnt down by army patrols stepping up the offensive on Karen villagers, according to the
Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP.) Most recently, Burma army allied troops set fire to 46
houses in Toe Hta area and 28 houses in Ka Di Mu Der area of Ler Doh township, Nyaunglebin District. A vital
mobile health clinic, a middle school, and a nursery school in K’Dee Mu Der village and Tee Mu TaVillage were
also destroyed by soldiers on 8 February. Other schools have been forced to close. Thousands of people have
been displaced and are still in hiding following the attacks, according to Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a relief
organization working in the conflict zones of eastern Burma.
INDONESIA: West Java, a crowd of 150 Muslims block construction of Protestant church 12 Feb.
2010 Asianews A crowd of over 150 Muslims in the village of Curug Mekar, in the sub district of West Bogor
(West Java province), staged a protest against the building permit (IMB) of a Protestant church. The event has
                                prompted local authorities to revoke the authorization, justifying the decision by alleged
                                "irregularities" in the collection of signatures needed for the building of the place of
                                Christian worship.       At the center of the controversy is the Protestant Church of
                                Yasmin in the village of Curug Mekar. The document issued by the Indonesian
                                authorities for the construction of buildings (IMB) requires a structured process, which
                                is further complicated in the case of Christian places of worship. Governmental
                                permits, must be approved "without prejudice" by collecting signatures of residents of
                                the area affected by the project. It may take up to 10 years to get all the needed
                                documents in order. The Indonesian Bishops' Conference has also intervened against
the repeated and sudden revocation of building permits, making a formal protest in Parliament. A crowd of Muslims
blocked the building of the Catholic church of Saint Mary at Purwakarta in West Java province. The faithful had
obtained all permits, denounce the bishops, but the realization of the place of worship is still pending and the local
authorities fail to protect the legitimate rights of minorities.
PHILIPPINES: Mission board protests arrests in Philippines 11 Feb. 2010 UMC.org The United
Methodist Board of Global Ministries has joined other religious organizations asking the Philippines government for
the humane treatment and quick release of a group of health workers, including a church-related doctor, arrested
on Feb. 6. The military claims the group was training to make bombs. Family members of the detained health
workers said they were attending a medical seminar. ―This incident appears to be a continuation of a military and
government campaign against persons who seek to provide services to and represent the interests of the poor,‖
said Bishop Joel N. Martinez, interim top executive of the international mission agency. He appealed for prayers for
those seized and their families. The 43 persons were arrested in the town of Morong, Rizal Province, at the home
of Dr. Melecia Velmonte, who is chairperson of the Community Medicine Development Foundation. The house was
stormed by the army and national police on the grounds of a search for a specific person, who was not present.
The 43 were arrested on suspicion of being supporters of the New People's Army, a Communist rebel group. The
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                  Page No. 07

two doctors, a nurse, a midwife and 39 other persons were held without bail at Camp Capinpin, a military
headquarters in Tanay. Some reporters indicated that the detainees were tortured in an effort to win confessions of
complicity with the New People's Army. According to news reports, the Armed Forces of the Philippines did not
present the 43 to the court as directed on Feb. 12. On Feb. 11, the Supreme Court of the Philippines granted their
relatives’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the National Council
of Churches of the Philippines, and the World Council of Churches are among the religious organizations calling for
the release and just treatment of the health workers. The United Methodist Church has sought justice and called for
an end to the killings, abductions and torture of hundreds of people since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo took
office in 2001.
BANGLADESH: Self-styled prophet arrested in Bangladesh: he called for war against Christians
12 Feb. 2010 Asianews The Islamic cleric Ansarul Haq has for the past two years said that he is Jesus Christ
and has collected thousands of disciples around him. But police fear that fraud is taking place and have arrested
the self-styled prophet. Anaraul Haq works in the city of Ashramapara in the northwestern district of Thakurgaon
about 300 kilometers from the capital Dhaka. He is joined by another Muslim cleric, Harun-ur Rashid, who in turn is
said to be Imam Mehdi, a charismatic historical figure for Muslims. The self-styled prophet proclaims that he will
command Christians and Jews to recognize that there is only one true religious community, which is Islam. But
local sources reported that two "prophets" have begun to incite Muslims to violence toward Christians and Jews
and say that it is time for a violent war against non-Muslims forcing them to convert to Islam. The two have
attracted thousands of disciples and have published numerous books touting a violent war against non- Islamists
and the forced conversion of everyone to Islam. The police, however, has been careful and arrested the two
prophets, along with their trusty collaborators Zahurul Islam and Mukut Rana, on charges that they were preparing
violent actions against non-Muslims.
NEPAL: Imprisoned missionary Manja tells his story 11 Feb. 2010 MNN Photo: Manja and Rati
Tamang In 2002, Mission Network News told you about Gospel for Asia missionary Manja Tamang from Nepal.
He was serving as an evangelist when he was falsely accused of murdering a foreign man, who Tamang
                                      discovered along the road. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison but was
                                      released late last year. Now, Tamang along with his wife, Rati, are telling their
                                      story to the world. Together they talk about Manja's imprisonment and even
                                      torture on false charges. He talks about life in prison, including a miracle that
                                      happened in jail. While declaring, "I will never stop serving God," Manja tells of
                                      his discouragement in jail--and his determination to continue on. He also
                                      thanks Christians around the world who remembered and prayed for him. All
                                      through his imprisonment, Manja continued to be a joyful witness, sharing the
                                      Gospel with the other prisoners. He organized and led Bible studies and
worship services, with at least 30 inmates attending many of those services. And several men in his little "prison
congregation" chose to follow Christ. Manja also taught social studies classes in the prison's education system.
Manja's story also inspired a song written by Shannon Wexelberg and sung by Charles Billingsley, "The Pleasure
of My King," which was featured on the Better Than Life project by Discovery House Music in 2007.
UZBEKISTAN: Drugs planted and worshippers beaten up? 09 Feb. 2010 Forum 18 Uzbekistan
continues to punish people for unregistered religious worship, Forum 18 notes. Tohar Haydarov, a Baptist, has
been arrested and faces criminal charges of producing or storing drugs, which is punishable by up to five years in
prison. Haydarov's fellow believers insist that the case has been fabricated, one stating that "police planted a
matchbox with drugs." They also state that Haydarov "was beaten and forced by the police to sign different papers.
His face looked exhausted and swollen, and he could hardly walk. He did not even remember what was written in
those papers." The authorities claim these are "lies". In another case police raided a peaceful meeting of local
Baptists, who sustained injuries during detention which have been verified by a medical examination. Told that
Forum 18 had seen the medical record, a police officer appeared at a loss for words. "I don't know what to say, the
police were there only to assist other state agencies with the detentions," he said. In both cases the authorities are
also thought to be preparing criminal cases against some of the Baptists.
KAZAKHSTAN: Women's prayers lead to massive fine and more? 09 Feb. 2010 Forum 18
Kazakhstan has fined Zhanna-Tereza Raudovich 100 times the minimum monthly wage for hosting a Sunday
morning worship service in her home, attended by local Baptist women and their children, Forum 18 has learned.
Police who raided Raudovich's home drew up an official record that "they had discovered an illegally functioning
religious community", local Baptists complained. An appeal is due to be heard on 11 Feb. It remains unclear how
Raudovich could pay the fine, as she has six children and does not have paid work. She has been warned that she
will face criminal charges if she does not pay the fine. Meanwhile, police have told that Kazakh-born Baptist Dmitry
Leven will be deported for "illegal missionary activity" unless an appeal to Kazakhstan's Supreme Court against his
conviction is successful. As the Supreme Court has refused to even consider an appeal, it is unclear what will
happen to Leven. "I just want to be able to remain here," Leven told. "I don't want to go anywhere else."
KAZAKHSTAN: Government retaining punishments for exercising religious freedom 10 Feb. 2010
Forum 18 Kazakhstan's proposed new Administrative Code continues current penalties for exercising freedom of
religion or belief, Forum 18 notes. The state-approved version being considered by Parliament continues existing
fines and bans punishing individuals and religious communities operating without state-granted legal status or who
conduct unregistered "missionary activity". Those classified as foreigners who conduct unapproved "missionary
activity" are set to continue to face fines and deportation, as is currently being threatened in the case of a Kazakh-
born Baptist. Also, a new offence of inciting an undefined "religious superiority" is included in the government draft.
A Baptist jailed for three days in 2009 for unregistered worship told: "What we want is simple: to be left alone to
pray to God and to speak to others of God without any obstruction. We don't want any privileges or any
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                Page No. 08

discrimination in our favour." He said that in the 1990s they could worship freely, "but since 2000 this has been
banned and that has been banned."
TURKMENISTAN: Work not even begun on new Religion Law 12 Feb. 2010 Forum 18 Shemshat
Atajanova of the government's National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights has admitted that work on a
proposed new Religion Law has not even begun. "We were working on the NGO Law first," she told Forum 18. She
then admitted that the proposed NGO Law has not even gone to Parliament yet. Both were among the "priority"
laws marked for "reform" in Jan.2008. Religious believers told that they remain sceptical that any legal changes will
end the violations of religious freedom. "Nothing good for you will come from the new Religion Law," one Protestant
cited Nurmukhamed Gurbanov, deputy head of the government's Committee for Religious Affairs, as having told
them back in 2008. Nor has any non-Muslim community been able to gain legal status since Sept. 2007. "We don't
understand why they won't do it," members of the Path of Faith Baptist church in Dashoguz – which applied in 2005
– complained to Forum 18. The church was raided during worship in December 2009 because it is unregistered.
UK: Church of England concerned by 'religious TV cuts' Good Friday Ignored. 10 Feb 2010 BBC
The Church of England's general synod has voted to back a motion expressing "deep concern" at what it believes
is a cut in religious TV programming. But the synod drew back from singling out the BBC, instead backing a motion
aimed at all mainstream broadcasters. It called for more programming that "imaginatively marks major festivals".
The BBC said it had increased its coverage in recent years, while Channel 4 said religious programmes were "at
the heart of its schedule". Some members of the synod - effectively the Church's parliament - believe there has
been a reduction in the scope of broadcasting about religion and that it is undermining Christian influence in UK
national life. Nigel Holmes, a lay member, put forward the original motion singling out the BBC, saying its coverage
was "frankly not good enough". Mr Holmes said his motion had been triggered by his feeling that the BBC "seemed
to ignore the Christian significance" of Good Friday in 2009. But the synod rejected his motion and instead voted by
267 to 4 in favour of expressing "deep concern about the overall reduction in religious broadcasting across British
television in recent years".
UK: Carey Attacks Judges After Nadia Eweida Loses BA Crucifix Case 12 Feb. 2010 Timesonline A
Christian has lost her appeal against a ruling that British Airways did not discriminate her by banning her from
wearing a visible cross at work. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, immediately condemned the
decision by three Court of Appeal judges against Nadia Eweida and warned that it would lead to more cases of
religious discrimination. Ms Eweida, 58, from Twickenham, southwest London, went to the Court of Appeal to try to
overturn a decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal that she was not a victim of indirect religion or belief
discrimination. But today Lord Justice Sedley said that her case of indirect discrimination was defeated by BA’s
case that its actions were justified. The ruling is likely to be challenged in the Supreme Court.
UK: Methodists declare 'we're ready to merge' with Church of England 12 Feb. 2010 The Times
The Methodist Church is prepared to be absorbed by the Church of England if that is the price of unity, Britain’s
most senior Methodist said yesterday. The Rev David Gamble, president of the Methodist Conference, told the
General Synod of the Church of England, meeting at Church House, Westminster: ―We are prepared to go out of
existence, not because we are declining or failing in mission, but for the sake of mission.‖ Methodists were
―prepared to be changed and even to cease having a separate existence as a Church‖ if that served the needs of
the Kingdom of God. The Church of England and Methodists have been flirting with reconciliation ever since their
divorce two centuries ago. Formal talks between the two churches began in the 1960s, but an attempt in 1972 at
full unity failed at the last hurdle because Anglo-Catholics were opposed. It took a generation for the Methodists to
recover from the humiliation of being rejected after voting for a reunion. A condition of unity will be keeping the
name Methodist in some form. ―It is more of a coming together rather than any suggestion that it would be the
Methodist Church being swallowed up or losing its name,‖ a spokesman for the Methodist Church said. It would not
be an Anglican takeover.
UK: Church of England General Synod extends pension rights for gay partners 11 Feb. 2010
guardian.co.uk The Church of England may not allow its clergy to have their civil partnerships blessed in church
but it voted tonight to allow the survivors of same-sex partnerships the same pension rights as other spouses. The
church's General Synod, meeting in London, voted in favour of what supporters of the move described as big-
heartedness at odds with the church's public reputation for homophobia in its wrangles over gay clergy. In doing so,
members saw off a wrecking amendment by conservative evangelicals to extend equal pension rights to all clergy
relatives who might have lived in their households for five years. A move by bishops that, instead of equal pensions
rights, partners should be allowed to apply for hardship grants was also seen off. It is not known how many clergy
have entered civil partnership, but the inequity was spelled out by Simon Baynes, a synod member from St Albans
diocese. The Church of England's clergy pension fund had a deficit of £350m at the end of 2008.
NIGERIA: Nigerian Christians count dead after Jos violence 08 Feb. 2010 AP A Christian group says
20 of its members died and another 56 remain missing after religious and political violence that consumed central
Nigeria last month. A reverend with the Church of Christ in Nigeria said Monday that 67 other members were
injured and nearly 1,300 buildings were destroyed during the violence in Jos. The reverend blamed Muslims for
fighting that engulfed the city and surrounding communities, killing more than 300 Christians and Muslims. Muslims
say that rioting started after the Christians attacked a Muslim man trying to rebuild his home. Sectarian violence in
this region of Nigeria has left thousands dead over the past decade. The latest outbreak came despite the Nigerian
government's efforts to quell religious extremism in the West African country.
Jos Displaced Dread Return 12 Feb. IRIN Some 15,400 people who fled violence in the central Nigerian city
of Jos remain displaced three weeks later and despite dire living conditions, many do not plan to return and rebuild
their destroyed homes. NGOs estimate that 6,900 displaced people (IDPs) are sheltering in makeshift camps in
and around Jos, capital of Plateau, while another 8,500 have fled to neighbouring Bauchi state, where the
authorities are providing them with water and food. "We are in a dilemma. We can't go back to our homes and at
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                     Page No. 09

the same time we can't stay here for the rest of our lives. We have to find places to stay." IDPs are calling on the
Plateau authorities to compensate them for their lost property so they can rebuild elsewhere. Most of the Jos
displaced are sheltering in mosques, schools, churches and military barracks. None of these facilities has adequate
toilets or running water, making sanitation the biggest worry, said Awwalu Mohammed, head of Nigeria Red Cross
in Jos. Water is delivered in tanks every few days, he said, but it is not sufficient. "IDPs are left with no option but to
defecate in the open which poses serious health risks to them, especially to children," Mohammed told IRIN.
Northern Traditional Rulers Meet On Jos Crisis 10 Feb. 2010 Leadership (Abuja) Following the
persistent sectarian crisis that engulfed Jos, the Plateau State capital, traditional rulers from the old Benue and
Plateau, comprising of Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, and Plateau States have agreed in a consultation meeting to
fashion a lasting solution and restore normalcy to the state and country at large. He urged the traditional rulers to
make recommendations that would ensure restoration and sustenance of lasting peace in Jos.
NIGERIA: Nigeria footage: uniformed men shoot unarmed men 09 Feb. 2010 AP An international
news channel is showing chilling footage of men in uniforms shooting unarmed men after they purportedly were
arrested during clashes last year with Muslim militants in northern Nigeria. The footage aired Tuesday on Al-
Jazeera shows two uniformed men forcing seven young men to lie face-down at the side of a busy road. The
uniformed men then fire into the men's backs. The footage could not be authenticated by The Associated Press.
Boko Haram sect militants sparked violence in late July, unleashing a bloodbath in which 700 people died. Rights
groups claimed authorities committed extrajudicial killings. Borno state Police Commissioner Ibrahim Abdu says the
TV images are false and "a deliberate attempt of the surviving sect members to cause confusion and threats."
NIGERIA: Three-Day Fasting and Prayer For Kidnap Victims attack at Qua Iboe Church 11 Feb.
2010 Daily Champion Lagos — Akwa Ibom State Government has declared a three-day fasting and prayer for
the two women who died during the recent kidnap attack at Qua Iboe Church, Iwok1 in Nsit Atai Local Government
Area(LGA) by unknown gunmen. Governor Godswill Akpabio who announced this during a condolence visit and
Sunday service at the church explained that the fasting and prayer would end Fridaday, February 11, this week,
saying it was for God to use the blood of those who lost their lives during the kidnapping incident to judge the
wicked. Akpabio who consoled the kidnapped victims who had since been released noted that the prayer session
would be rounded off at Ibom Hall grounds, urging Akwa Ibom women to appear in black attires to commemorate
the sad incident.The governor advised the people to thank God that their prayers were being answered, adding that
"It would have been worse if we were not praying. In everything, we should give thanks to God".He announced a
donation of N2.5 million to each of the deceased families for their funeral and plans by the government to renovate
the church building in memory of the victims of the attack. Although incidences of kidnapping is not new in the
state, the worst is that the perpetrators have invaded the church to spill blood and kidnap people. This time, they
have kidnapped God and my God will give you safety now that they challenged God", he pointed out.
MIDEAST: The underground seminary keeps church growth healthy 11 Feb. 2010 MNN You're
familiar with the underground church of the Middle East. But a church needs a pastor. According toE3 Partners ,
the persecution of believers in the Middle East is the worst that the church has experienced in the past twenty
years, so where does the pastor of an underground church get training? At an
underground seminary, of course. E3 Partners and the International Training
Institute are providing a seminary level education and training to help first
generation Christians be effective leaders in the underground church. Does it
work? Pastor Jamal seems to think so. E3 posted a letter sent on behalf of the
entire e3 Middle East Team. He writes, "Thank you brothers and sisters in
America for praying for us. We are your family in Christ, and God has called us to
have the privilege of serving Jesus here in this dangerous region. Thank you also
for helping us train young pastors that will be the leaders of the underground
church. We love you and know that our Father in Heaven has heard your faithful
prayers and will use your gifts to help us reach the Islamic world." Training is the key. E3 has ministry training
centers around the MECA (Middle East and Central Asia) region in addition to the seminary level courses so
national leaders can learn within their own country. This year, the ministry hopes to see hundreds of new churches
planted across the region. Their vision is that these churches help change nations by bringing life in Christ to every
village and city within the Middle East and Central Asia. It costs just $300 to see a pastor through the course.
SOUTH AFRICA: Why President Zuma Not Mentioned of Churches in Apartheid Fight? 12 Feb.
2010 ENI –Geneva In a parliamentary speech before Nelson Mandela, one of the major driving forces behind
the end of apartheid, Jacob Zuma, the current South African president, promised his people more job opportunities
and a continued fight against crime, but in thanking those who had fought for freedom, he ignored the country's
churches. Zuma was speaking on the 20th anniversary on 11 February of the release of Mandela. In response to
Zuma's speech, two parliamentary political leaders, who are also pastors as is the president, urged him to fulfil the
promises he made in his previous annual state of the nation address. Dandala, who played a role like Mandela and
another Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in the struggle against apartheid, said he was
disappointed that in Zuma's anniversary speech, "not a word about the religious community was raised by the
president when he thanked notable figures of the anti-apartheid struggle". Dandala said Zuma should also have
apologised for his government's shoot-to-kill policy introduced to fight crime in 2009, which has sparked
controversy following the deaths of innocent people.
USA /HAITI: Lutheran World Relief Increases Haiti Commitment to Assist Underserved Rural
Communities 11 Feb. 2010 CNW/LWR Lutheran World Relief today increased its financial commitment to
Haiti relief efforts to $4 million, up from an earlier increased pledge of $2.25 million. The Rev. John Nunes, LWR's
president and CEO, said the increase "will help meet the needs of overwhelmed and underserved rural
Persecution Watch Contd…. 13 Feb. 2010                                                                   Page No. 10

communities in Haiti." LWR increased the commitment for a second time based on fundraising returns, including
generous donations from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its members and pledges of support from both the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. While many aid groups are
focusing on emergency food supplies in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding urban areas, far fewer organizations
are helping communities affected by mass migration to already struggling rural areas in the north. The United
Nations indicates that nearly 470,000 people have fled to rural areas, with 300,000 going to rural areas north of
Port-au-Prince where LWR currently works. "LWR has worked in Haiti for 14 years, helping to improve health, food
production and income in rural communities," says Michael Watt, LWR's Regional Director for Latin America
programs. That long standing presence made LWR well positioned to act on behalf of communities that are often
overlooked by traditional short-term relief efforts.

                                         Should We Pray For the Persecuted Church?
Today, nearly sixty years after the creation of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, discrimination against and persecution of Christians is only increasing.
                             Therefore, we simply cannot put our faith in human institutions that
                             is why the Church at prayer is far more powerful and effective than
                             any human institution. Persecution of Christians is as old as the
                             Church itself. Earlier, when Apostles and Believers were
                             persecuted, they reported it to the believing community and they
                             all turned together to God in Prayer. God was addressed as
                             Sovereign Lord. The rulers may claim authority but are powerless
                             against the maker of heaven and earth. Believers asked God as
                             Sovereign Lord not for protection, but for boldness and power to
                             speak out in the name of Resurrected Jesus to spread the Gospel.
                             Power and confidence in the sovereign power of God, is still a
                             source of great strength for the people of the Lord. The persecution
                             caused the early church to draw even closer together. It stimulated
                             not only prayer but also the willingness of each to help meet the
                             needs of others. Jesus has indeed freed us to put persons before
our material possessions.
                                    Therefore, we, as a believing community, turn together to the Sovereign God in Prayer
                                                The Church which grows in love and unity has as its basis a faith marked
                                                                                            by suffering and persecution.
                                                        PRAYER CHANGES LIVES AND NATIONS.
                             Prayer Groups Help Enrich Prayer Life And One’s Closeness

								
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