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Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE for the Map Legend.

 

Michigan Police to Answer in Court for “Stoning” of Christians

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The following article published by World Net Daily covers an incident which occurred last April in Dearborn, Michigan. It presents an interesting case where a relatively radical evangelical Christian group attempted to preach to a large crowd of Muslims and were subsequently chased out of the event by an angry mob. None of the Muslims were arrested despite throwing concrete and refuse at the Christian group. Dearborn Police who stood by and avoided stopping the crowd are now being charged with misconduct. 

Churches Experience Backlash in Niger

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Ethiopians Hope for Future with Religious Freedom

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Are the Syrian Christians Vanishing?

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Syria’s Christians have been caught in the middle of a showdown between opposition forces and the Syrian army. Many have quietly supported the army, believing that their freedoms will continue to be ensured under President Assad’s ‘secular’ regime.

These Christians are concerned that if Assad is overthrown, Islamists will take power and the persecution of non-Muslims will increase. Assad’s regime, which has killed thousands of innocent civilians and peaceful demonstrators the past 18 months, has also manipulated minorities into supporting him, according to this report by Commonweal Magazine. “Throughout more than forty years of draconian rule, the Assads have manipulated Syria’s other minorities… by stoking their fears of a takeover by Sunni fundamentalists and then vowing to prevent it,” Joseph Amar writes.

“In exchange, these groups have given the regime their nominal support, which the Assads have then trumpeted as evidence of a policy of benevolent protection.”

Texas Cheerleaders Banned from Using Scripture Receive Support

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

This article describes yet another event in the ongoing battle taking place within the United States between Christian's protecting their right to free speech and atheist organizations working to remove all references to Christianity from public life. 

China: House Church Raided, Four Christians Detained

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Four Christians were detained and Bibles were confiscated after police raided a house church in China's Northwestern Xinjiang Province earlier this month. According to the article their are approximately ten house churches in the city of Kucha, were the raid took place. One Christian reported that she turned to the Three Self Church (China's official Protestant church, controlled by the Communist Party) for help after the raid but they were too intimidated to meet with her. 

Pastor Fined in Russia After Holding Meeting in the Ruins of His Church

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Despite the fall of the Soviet Union over two decades ago, complete religious freedom remains an unrealized dream in most of Russia. Animosity towards protestant Christians remains high in the government. The article below reports that a pastor was fined in the first known incident since Russia enacted a new Demonstrations Law, which could be used to prevent Christians from protesting when their services are shut down by police or, as in the recent case of a Moscow church, their buildings are demolished.

Christian Persecution Intensifies Around the Globe

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The following opinion article provides a succinct overview of what Christians often face in the world today. ICC agrees that first and foremost we must pray for the persecuted church. 

Chinese Government Church Persecuted, to Be Demolished

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Although the majority of persecution in China falls on the countries millions of Christians who attend unregistered house churches, those who attend officially sanctioned churches are not completely safe. The "Three Self Patriotic Movement" churches, as official protestant churches in China are called, are overseen by the Communist Party and subject to it's regulations. The following article details how the government and a real-estate contractors have colluded to demolish a church building despite the protests of the congregation.  

Symposium Highlights Challenges to International Religious Freedom

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

"According to the International Society for Human Rights, 150,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year". This quote comes from Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who attended the symposium in Washington D.C. described in the article below. This statistic as well as other comments made by Catholic leaders during the symposium underscore the severity of Christian persecution worldwide.

Bomb Factory in Nigeria Discovered

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Christians Leaders Speak Out Against Persecution in Nigeria

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The Rising Salafi Muslim Threat to the Middle East

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Salafis—who follow the radical Wahhabi doctrine of Islam found in Saudi Arabia—are one of the biggest threats toward Christianity in the Middle East today. Whereas in the past, Salafis’ primary concerns regarded religious matters, today they are forming political movements and gaining increasing influence in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. “A new Salafi Crescent, radiating from the Persian Gulf sheikdoms into the Levant and North Africa, is one of the most underappreciated and disturbing byproducts of the Arab revolts,” Robin Wright writes in this revealing op-ed for The New York Times. “The Salafis represent a painful long-term conundrum for the West. Their goals are the most anti-Western of any Islamist parties. They are trying to push both secularists and other Islamists into the not-always-virtuous past.”

Middle East Peace Depends on Christian Presence

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

The mass exodus for Christians from Middle Eastern countries following severe persecution has raised concerns that the region ancient Christian heritage may soon diminish. However, only a strong Christian presence in the Middle East can restore peace, said Maronite Fr Samer Nassif, a priest from Lebanon speaking in Scotland. “Without Christians there is no possibility of coexistence, peace and forgiveness between different non-Christian religious communities,” he said.

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Friday, September 28th, 2012

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Teenage Christian Girl Kidnapped, Raped by Young Muslim Men in Pakistan

Friday, September 28th, 2012

A young Christian girl was raped by three Muslim men in Faisalabad, Pakistan last Thursday. The incident came just weeks after a 10-year-old Christian girl was raped by a 60-year-old man in the same city on August 25. The cases evidence escalating abuse toward children in Pakistan’s Punjab province, especially among Christians who are often victimized by the country’s social norms because of their religious minority status.

Nigerian Archbishop Criticizes Governments Lack of Action

Friday, September 28th, 2012

US Representative Condemns Suicide Bombing

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Egypt: Christians Flee Town After Militant Threats

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Islamic militants told Christians living in the city of Rafah in the Sinai Peninsula to leave within 48 hours or violent assaults on Christians, their churches, and business, would follow.

Two days later, masked men opened fire on a Christian’s shop. The local “governor promised to facilitate the Copts' move to the nearby city of el-Arish but did not offer to protect the community to ensure that it stayed in Rafah,” a priest told The Associated Press. Anti-Christian violence has increased significantly in Egypt with the political rise of Islamists following the country’s revolution early last year. Newly gained freedoms have allowed radical Muslims, like those in the Sinai, to attack Christians without fear of reprisal.

Turkmenistan Police Raid Christian Home, Beat 68-year-old Woman

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In a raid earlier this week police in Turkmenistan attacked an elderly Protestant couple and questioned more than a dozen church members over their involvement in religious activity.

Persecution in Uzbekistan Reaches New Low

Friday, September 28th, 2012

This article by MNN summarizes recent incidents that have plagued the beleaguered Protestant church of Uzbekistan, which faces fines and constant harassment by authorities for operating “illegally.” Only Orthodox Christianity is sanctioned by the Uzbek government.

Heavily Persecuted Indonesian Church Faces Uncertain Future

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The GKI Yasmin church of Jakarta, Indonesia has been a flashpoint in the struggle between Christians trying to worship freely and radical Islamic groups determined to push churches out of their neighborhoods. The case has caught international attention as church goers, forced out of their building by the cities mayor, have been continually harassed by extremist groups and told to relocate their church. Pressure on the church by the city and Muslim groups has continued despite an Indonesian Supreme Court ruling telling the church it could stay.

Judge Blocks Law that Bans Preaching on Bourbon Street

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In a small victory for freedom of speech and religion, a judge has temporarily blocked the New Orleans city ordinance that banned speaking on religious topics anytime after sunset on the cities infamous Bourbon Street. The ban had led to the arrest of several Christians evangelizing on the street and stopped at least one pastor from continuing his 30-year long ministry to the area for fear of arrest. ICC applauds the Alliance Defending Freedom for working to protect the rights of American citizens to share their beliefs, including the Gospel of Jesus, in public.

India’s Narrow Path to Religious Freedom

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The following article by Open Doors News provides some interesting insight into the challenges India faces in developing full fledge religious freedom. Religious minorities, including Christians, still face discrimination and outright violence on a weekly basis in many parts of India.

India: Christian Prayer Meeting Attacked, Christians Detained by Police

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Yet another attack by Hindu radicals has led to the beating of a Christian pastor and several other believers. To make matters worse, the pastor and several other Christians were then detained and questioned by police as if they might be responsible for inciting a violent attack against their own prayer meeting. This is an all too common an occurrence in several states across India, and sadly the perpetrators of the violence are never arrested or even questioned.

Thousands of Vietnamese Catholics Gather to Pray for Imprisoned Christian Bloggers

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Last Sunday about 2,000 Catholics gathered in Ho Chi Minh City to pray for three Christian bloggers recently handed harsh prison sentences. The bloggers spoke out against the Communist government’s restrictive policies and unfair political practices.

Christian Church in Wuhan City, China, Faces Forced Demolition

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

This article essentially details the collusion of a church pastor and Chinese government officials as well as real-estate developers to forcibly demolish a large Christian church against the wishes of the congregation. Government control of the “Three-Self” or official Protestant church in China means that believers who attend the churches are often subject to the decrees and wishes of local government officials, many of them who are hostile to Christianity.

Christian Blogger’s Arrest Underlines Differences on Freedom of Speech in Egypt

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Alber Saber, a 27-year-old Coptic Christian arrested on suspicion of posting an anti-Islam film online, was tried in court Wednesday for blasphemy, or ‘insulting Islam’, The Washington Post reports. Activists say the man is innocent, but sensitivities in Egypt towards ‘offending Islam’ have escalated since the release of a US-produced anti-Islamic film that ignited violent protests in more than 20 countries. Saber’s arrest resurfaces concerns over freedom of expression under the new Islamist-dominated government in Egypt. While the country’s church leadership has strongly condemned the film, Christians are walking a tightrope and will continue to be prosecuted, or outright attacked, if something they say or do is deemed offensive to Muslims.

A Survival Plan for Syria’s Christians

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

“As civil war engulfs Syria leaving a tragic stalemate, the fate of Christians in the country hangs in the balance,” the Daily Star in Lebanon reports. Christians have been caught in the middle of Syria’s civil war. While some quietly support the army—which they believe will ensure the freedoms of religious minorities under the ‘secular’ regime—others have sided with opposition movements.

There is widespread concern among Syria’s Christian community, however, that if President Assad is overthrown, Islamists will take power and persecution toward non-Muslims will increase.

Anti-Islam Movie Taps into Fears of Egypt Christians

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Coptic Christians in Egypt are afraid of being blamed for the production of an anti-Islamic film that they did not participate in or endorse. While Coptic Christians living in the US and Canada were involved in making the film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’, the Coptic Church in Egypt has strongly condemned it. Yet Egypt’s Christians—who are often associated with the West because of their religious convictions—fear the film will lead to further persecution.

  • Kids

    Care for orphans and hurting children

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  • Families

    Support wives and children of imprisoned or martyed pastors

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  • Pastors

    Spread the gospel by supporting underground pastors

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  • Women

    Save women from abduction and sexual exploitation

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  • Communities

    Help rebuild communities devastated by persecution

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Other Projects

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ICC is constantly monitoring the state of Christian persecution in countries around the world and looking for ways that we can act as bridge between our supporters and the persecuted church. Beyond the projects you see above, we are working in many other areas to provide practical assistance to our brothers and sisters in Christ. View our other projects page to understand more of our work and keep up to date on our current projects.