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ICC Note: Abudul Rahman is to be freed and offered asylum abroad. But approximately 168,000 Christians were killed last year alone. Christians are being severely persecuted and killed in communist countries, former communist countries and Islamic countries.

Open season on Christians. Adbul Rahman is only one of hundreds of thousands targeted each year

By Licia Corbella

For Entire Story Click Here: CalgarySun.com

CalgarySun.com (03/28/06) — The parallels between Abdul Rahman and Reza are striking. Both men are Persian, Rahman from Afghanistan and Reza from Iran .

Both men have been persecuted for converting from Islam to Christianity. Reza, 36, was almost killed for his faith, Rahman, 41, may yet be executed for his.

Both men were betrayed by those close to them — Rahman by his own father and Reza by a very close friend.

The big difference between the two men — besides one now being free and living in southeast Calgary while the other is in an Afghan prison — is Rahman’s case is receiving international attention while Reza’s has received none.

In fact, according to the Christian advocacy group Voice of the Martyrs Canada, most cases of Christians being killed for their faith receive no attention at all.

“There are more Christians being martyred today than at any other time in history,” said Glenn Penner, communications director of the Voice of the Martyrs.

Penner says the International Journal of Missionary Research estimates that from June 2005 until June 2006, about 171,000 Christians are expected to be murdered simply because of what they believe. That’s up from 168,000 murders of Christians in the previous year.

Most of those killings will take place in communist countries — North Korea , Vietnam and China , said Penner on Friday.

A non-Christian woman from North Korea , who escaped from that oppressive country, reported that while she was in prison she witnessed a group of Christians having molten lead poured on them.

“Being caught with a Bible in North Korea is a certain death sentence,” said Penner.

Muslim countries, including Egypt , Saudi Arabia , Ethiopia , Sudan , Nigeria , Iran , Iraq and Indonesia amongst others, also regularly put Christians to death.

Reza said when he lived in Iran , the government was careful not to kill Christians or political prisoners in prison for fear of international outrage.

Instead, authorities would either inform local Islamic clerics of the prisoner’s conversion and allow the Imam to urge his followers to execute the apostate once he’s released back into the community or they would have the secret police commit the murder.