Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 14: International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted

For original article and references, click here.

Reports of Christian persecution around the world seem to be on the increase.

In Asia, a Christian man was sentenced to three years in prison for showing a film about Jesus Christ.

According to Jonathan Racho of International Christian Concern, another anti-Christian incident occurred recently in India:

"A group of Hindu radicals severely beat a pregnant Christian woman while she was attending the funeral of her infant daughter in Orissa, India. Orissa is the same state where in 2008, radicals killed 100 Christians and forced 55,000 Christians from their homes. Another attack had occurred a week earlier in Eritrea, which borders Ethiopia. Eleven Christians were arrested and taken to unknown locations."

Christians arrested in India endure much suffering. Racho relates that they are "imprisoned in metal shipping containers, military barracks, and underground dungeons -- and many die due to torture and harsh prison conditions."

Last summer in Pakistan, two Christians, a pastor and his brother, were shot and killed on courthouse steps.

They had been found innocent after standing trial on accusation under Pakistan's blasphemy law. The brothers supposedly had written and circulated a pamphlet that denigrated Muhammad.

Racho commented that the "Muslims know the law and whenever they want to persecute a Christian, any Christian, they simply go ahead and accuse the Christian of blasphemy." Innocence doesn't matter. "If a Christian is accused of blasphemy, even if the Christian has not done it, and even if the police have proved that the person hasn't done it, it doesn't matter for them."

A forensic analysis of the handwriting showed that the brothers could not have written the document.

"The police came up with an expert witness and the expert testified that the handwriting on the pamphlet doesn't match Rashid or Sajid's handwriting. So obviously, someone else must have written it and put the brother's names and phone numbers on it."

"Christians in Pakistan are treated like third-class citizens, and it's almost on a daily basis that the Christians in Pakistan face discrimination, and it's very common for Christians to be killed, for Christians to face a blasphemy charge without committing any blasphemy actually."

Intelligence analyst Bill Warner, Center for the Study of Political Islam, is not surprised by  shootings of Christians found innocent.

"The killing of a blasphemer is pure Shariah and is Sunna, the perfect example of Muhammad....Muhammad repeatedly had people murdered, assassinated and executed for nothing more that disagreeing with him. When he conquered Mecca he issued death warrants for all the intellectuals and artists who had opposed him. To disagree with Muhammad was and is a capital offense."

Jonathan Racho agrees and adds that the Pakistani government is trying to get the U.N. to adopt its blasphemy law as part of the International Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements.

"Petition to United Nations to award Refugee Status to Pakistani Christians," click here. "We wish to draw your kind attention on rising violence against Christians on pretext to blasphemy law, enforced conversion, kidnap and gang rape of Christian women, vandalism of Churches, desecration of Holy Bibles, attacks on homes of Christians, killing of innocent Christians and destruction of Christian properties in Islamic Republic of Pakistan."

•Pastors and church staff can call 1-800-422-5441 to receive a free kit of information, presentations, and videos about the persecuted church

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