Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crucified naked; Religiously trafficked; 11yo Down's girl charged

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN - MAY 12:  Afghan boys a...
A madrasa in Afghanistan (Getty Images @daylife)
EGYPT - On August 1, a massive pogrom against Christians occurred on the outskirts of Cairo when a Muslim took offense at a Coptic Christian launderer whose iron accidentally singed his shirt. Rejecting the Christian’s offer of compensation, the Muslim returned with a large mob and attacked his business. 

In self-defense, the Copt threw a Molotov cocktail, unintentionally hitting a young Muslim bystander. When the youth died a few days later, Islamic clerics incited the pogrom as collective punishment of the Copts. The violence and death threats forced virtually the entire local Christian community of approximately 120 families to flee. 

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is using terror to consolidate the new Egyptian president’s power. Numerous reports emerged last week that the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood, that now controls Egypt’s government, has begun executing Christians who oppose Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi by crucifying them naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others. Among those opposing the new radical Islamic regime, “extra brutality is reserved for Christians.” Pray the Lord will protect and provide for the families who have left the area. Source: Australian Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission

BANGLADESH - 80 children from Christian homes in eastern Bangladesh were trafficked under false pretences by mullahs (Islamic clerics) to various madrasas (Islamic boarding schools) where they attempted to forcibly convert them to Islam. Eleven children have been rescued, but the whereabouts of 69 are unknown. In January and February, the Christian parents each paid 15,000 BDT (roughly US$175) to individuals who promised to house and educate their children in nearby cities. Since a quality education is rare, parents often do this to provide a future for their children. 

This time, parents lost communication with their children almost immediately. After months of searching, they contacted Hotline Human Rights Trust who located the eleven. The rescued children recounted physical abuse for refusing to pray, read the Qur'an, or learn Arabic. The children then attempted to escape after being told they would be forcibly circumcised. Thank the Lord for the children who have returned to their families and pray the missing children will be found soon. Ask the Lord to protect these children both physically and spiritually. Pray the traffickers will be brought to justice and the families will find better ways of educating their children. Source: International Christian Concern

PAKISTAN – Details have emerged about the 11year old girl with Down Syndrome, Rimsha Masih, who has been charged with blasphemy and accused of burning verses of the Qu’ran. She remains jailed in the capital, Islamabad. Pakistan’s President has asked the Interior Ministry to investigate the girl’s Aug 16 arrest. 

Rimsha's landlord's nephew claims he saw her holding a burned copy of an Islamic religious text that included quotations from the Qu’ran. He told a local cleric who gathered a mob and demanded the police take action. Rimsha was arrested and charged with blasphemy and her parents placed in protective custody. Pakistani police say the accusations are baseless and the case will probably be dropped, but the girl now has an ominous future. 

Accusing someone of blasphemy is an easy way to persecute religious minorities with false accusations or settle personal scores. In fact, a mere accusation of blasphemy is often a death sentence itself, especially for Christians, who often face murder by lynch mobs no matter the outcome of a trial. Hundreds of Christians have fled Rimsha's neighborhood in fear of attacks by angry Muslims, and it is likely she and her family will never be able to return home. Source: Baptist Press