November 28 – December 27, 2011
November 28, 2011
Fulani Muslim herdsmen along with Muslim soldiers have killed at least 45 ethnic Berom Christians in Plateau state in the past week, Christians in this northern-central Nigerian town said.
Smaller attacks beginning on Nov. 20, reportedly over allegations by Fulani Muslims of cattle theft, preceded an attack on a Barkin Ladi church on Nov. 23 that killed four Christians, and an assault the next day left 35 Christians dead in Barkin Ladi and nearby Kwok village, according to area Christian leaders.
Church attendance was decimated yesterday as thousands of Christians have left the area. “Christians are fleeing the town because we have no guns to fight back,” said one woman in a group of six Christians trying to leave Barkin Ladi. “Muslims have guns, and they have their soldiers fighting for them, so we have no choice but to leave town.”
Indonesia (hat tip to JihadWatch)
Hundreds of hard-line Muslims rallied outside the Bogor City Hall on Sunday to decry the “arrogance” of a beleaguered church in the city that remains shuttered by authorities despite a Supreme Court order to open it. The protesters, from Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia and the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum (Forkami), said they wanted to show that all Muslims were united in opposition to the presence of the GKI Yasmin Church in the city.
“We’re here to refute the arrogance of the church, which continues to insist on setting up in the Taman Yasmin [housing complex],” said Achmad Imam, the Forkami head in Bogor. The Bogor administration issued a building permit for the church in 2006, but it revoked it two years later, alleging the church had falsified the signatures required to obtain it.
The Supreme Court ruled in December 2010 that the closure was unlawful and ordered its reopening, but the city administration continues to ignore the ruling. MoreHERE.
November 29, 2011
With Islamist groups expected to do well in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, many Coptic Christians are concerned that their limited rights will come under greater threat. Coptic Christians do not have the same rights as other people in the country, and that others look down on them as if they are not human. Now, some Christians say, it can only get worse. The elections that started this week are expected to favor Islamist parties, including the conservative Salafis.
November 30, 2011
Chander Mani Khanna, the Anglican clergyman from All Saints Church arrested for baptised seven Muslims, will be released on bail, a court in Sranigar, Kashmir, ruled this morning. The pastor’s son, Nathan, said, “We are waiting for his arrival in Jammu. He is in custody but safe, but not outside.” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), pleaded with the Kashmir government to guarantee the pastor’s safety after his release. Rev Khanna has been in prison since 19 November.
Thousands of Muslims attacked and besieged Copts in el Ghorayzat village, population 80,000, killing two Copts and severely wounding others, as well as looting and torching homes and businesses. A quarrel between a Copt, John Hosni, and Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer, who later died in hospital, turned into collective punishment of all Copts in the majority Christian village of elGhorayzat, in the Maragha district of Sohag province. Muslims vowed not to bury Abdel-Nazeer until John Hosni is punished. Mr. Hosni fled from the village with his family, “fearing a wholesale massacre of Copts,” reported activist Mariam Ragy.
The events started on Monday, November 28, when John Hosni, a building supplier, had a quarrel with his neighbor, Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer (48), over some steel rods and cement Mr. Hosni had left in the street to use for erecting a wall around his house. This was perceived by Mr. Abdel-Nazeer as extending the home into the street, which is public property. “Instead of reporting this building transgression to the police or local authorities, Abdel-Nazeer took the matter in his own hands and brought some Salafists and torched the store and the home of the Copt,” said an eyewitness.
In the altercation between the neighbors, Mr. Hosni hit Abdel-Nazeer in the head with a wooden branch, which lead to his death later in hospital.
Angry Muslims murdered two Christian brothers, Kamel Tamer Ibrahim (55) and Kameel Tamer Ibrahim (50), in revenge. The brothers were not a party to the altercation. Kamel Tamer, who was defending his shop from looting, was murdered in front of his wife. His brother was also murdered in front of his wife for defending his home (video of the murdered Copts. WARNING: contains highly graphic content).
Three other Christians, Maher Samir Gota, his wife, and his brother Osama Samir Gota, were severely injured and are in intensive care. They were in their homes when their shop was broken into and looted by Muslims. Maher and his wife were stabbed and Osama received a blow on the head. The ambulance could not go to them to transport them to hospital. He was privately transported by his friends. There were reports of Muslims preventing the fire brigades from reaching the burning homes. After killing the Copts, Muslims went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian owned homes and businesses.
December 5, 2011
An Islamic extremist group in Pracimantoro, a town in the district of Wonogiri, in central Java, has appealed to local government for the demolition of five Protestant churches in the area. The alarm is launched by Theophilus Bela, human rights activist and promoter of interfaith dialogue, according to whom that the fundamentalists complaint claims the Christian communities lack the building permits (IMB) for places of worship. The tension in the area is steadily increasing, and rumors of threats of demolition, circulating since yesterday evening in a series of documents, is not contributing to calming tempers. Previously, adds the Christian activist, extremist threats have focused on nine other churches in Bekasi regency, West Java.
Canada (hat tip to TheReligionOfPeace)
A posh Montreal suburb has decided to remove a nativity scene and menorah from town hall rather than acquiesce to demands from a Muslim group to erect Islamic religious symbols.
The decision by the Town of Mount Royal upsets a Christian resident who says the town is abandoning an established tradition under pressure from a tiny religious minority.
December 6, 2011
A 25 year old Christian builder has been falsely accused of having ripped and burned pages of the Koran by a Muslim known for his hatred toward non-Muslims. The police registered the complaint despite the intervention of religious leaders. Fanatic groups threaten to kill him.
December 7, 2011
Iraq (hat tip to TheReligionOfPeace)
About 500,000 Christians remain in Iraq, down from an estimated 800,000 to 1.4 million in 2003, according to a report by Minority Rights Group International, a research body. Persecution makes the Christian community smaller each year, with churches as well as households being targeted and causing worshippers to flee.
The Christmas holiday season has rarely been a happy one for Christians in the Middle East, where they are often not allowed to raise church buildings and house churches often experience raids and harassment. Experts on the region say the Christmas season is a particularly dangerous period for the Christian minority, when numerous acts of violence and vandalism take place.
The most recent of such attacks in Iraq occured on Dec. 2, when at least 25 people, many of them Christian, were wounded in an attack carried out by a group of Kurds in the Dohuk Governate in the north of the country.
December 9, 2011
A rash of attacks on Christian-owned businesses in northern Iraq has raised troubling questions about the future safety of the country’s shrinking Christian community, particularly as U.S. forces withdraw completely from the nation they’ve refereed since 2003.
The attacks, which have received little international attention, raged through northern cities following a sermon last Friday by a local mullah. Video purportedly from the riots posted online shows mobs burning and wrecking businesses, which included liquor stores, hotels and hair salons.
December 11, 2011
Coptic Christians are anxiously watching a theological and political battle between Muslim parties expected to win 60% of parliament seats. The struggle will define an emerging political Islam.
“The Islamists have been unleashed,” says Nasri, a pharmacist hoping to follow the lead of tens of thousands of Copts who have left Egypt this year. “You’re talking about no rights for women. No rights for Coptic Christians. They’ll make us more of a minority. It’ll be like living centuries ago.”
December 12, 201
Raymond Ibrahim testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives, in a hearing presented by Reps. Frank Wolf and James McDermott, titled “Under Threat: The Worsening Plight of Egypt’s Coptic Christians.”
December 13, 2011
More than 500 Muslim students assisted by Muslim police burned down a church in the village of Qoto Baloso, Ethiopia, on Nov. 29. The students screamed “Allahu Akbar” as they set fire to St. Arsema Orthodox Church, which was built on land used by the Christian community for more than 60 years.
According to Inspector Mustefa Bashir of Silte Province, police had already ruined the roof after a court ruled that the church was built without a permit, but as for the razing of the church by students, we are investigating to determine those responsible.
December 14, 2011
Iraq (hat tip to JihadWatch)
A number of gunmen shot and killed a Christian couple as they were walking towards their car on Tuesday night in the restive city of Mosul. Adnan Elia, 34 an owner of jewelry shop, and his wife Raghad, 25 were walking to their car in the Tammuz 17 neighborhood as assailants shot the two who died instantly on the scene. Their two children were hurt but are still alive. On Wednesday morning, the scene was sealed by the security force and the bodies were taken to the forensic department.
The incident comes as the chief of police of the Nineveh province told journalist this week that his department has received information on a plot against the Christian minority in Mosul during the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays.
December 15, 2011
Vandals decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary in a small grotto in Sendag Prawito, Tawangmangu, Semarang Archdiocese (Central Java). A cross was stolen and the aspersorium was badly damaged. “This brutal action has strongly affected the Catholic community,” Mgr Johannes Pujasumarta, archbishop of Semarang, told AsiaNews.
Egypt (hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
Two weeks after the murder of two Christian brothers by Muslims during the violence that swept the upper Egyptian village of elGhorayzat, the family of the murdered Christians has temporarily come out of hiding to speak of the terror they have been subjected to and decry the impunity enjoyed by the killers, who are walking freely in the village.
On November 28, the two Christian brothers, Kamel Tamer Abraham (55) and Camille Tamer Abraham (50), were killed in revenge for the death of the Muslim Mohamad Abdel-Nazeer, who was injured during an altercation with a village Christian over the building of a fence round the Christian’s house, and who later died in hospital. The Christian man fled from the village with his family.
Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer, the brother of the dead Muslim, and a mob of Muslims, vowed to avenge his death from all village Copts. They went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian owned homes and businesses, and resulted in the murder of the two brothers and injury to several other Christians not involved in the altercation.
December 16, 2011
Nigeria (hat tip to JihadWatch)
Fliers threatening bombings of churches and other areas have been posted in the Nigerian city of Jos, where Christmas Eve 2010 attacks and reprisals killed dozens, authorities said Friday. A number of fliers were found on the ground in the city, which has long been hit by waves of clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups that have left thousands dead.
The pamphlet signed by someone named Idris Musa and written in poor English listed some 21 targets in the planned attacks. “We entire Muslim of Plateau State will never give up until we have our right … Nothing can stop us from bombing these areas before December 26, 2011,” said the flier seen by AFP.
December 17, 2011
Saudi security forces arrested 42 Ethiopian Christians at an evening prayer gathering in Jedda. Those who attended the service were beaten and threatened with death before being arrested and thrown in jail.
December 18, 2011
Kurdistan (hat tip to JihadWatch)
Fahmi Yusef Mansour is the owner of Iraq’s biggest beer supply in the village of Seji near Duhok city in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mansour’s beer storage was stormed and torched by an angry mob during the riots in the province earlier this month. Following Friday sermons people in the cit of Zakho attacked liquor stores, massage parlors and hotels.
Mansour, a Christian, said he had received messages threatening to burn down his business. He said he had informed the local mayor and security officials about the threats, but was reassured that nothing would happen. He was in Dohuk the day his store was attacked. He rushed back and tried to protect his business with the help of some relatives carrying guns. According to Mansour around 2,000 people, the majority of them teenagers had attacked his beer storage.
Mansour believes some school teachers are responsible for instigating the young people against Christians. “Many teachers encourage student to oppose Christians and their places of worship,” he said, adding that a number of teenage students had thrown stones at the local church. Two students detained by the security forces have allegedly confessed that their teacher had incited them to attack the church.
December 20, 2011
It will be another Christmas in jail, away from her loved ones, for Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five children, locked in the women’s prison Sheikpura (Punjab), sentenced to death by the ” black law” pending appeal, still awaiting for the High Court of Lahore to set a date.
Yesterday a delegation of the International Masihi Foundation, an NGO that deals with the legal protection of women, visited her to exchange greetings on the eve of the festive season. And for the first time since the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was killed by his bodyguard in January last year, Asia has found herself before a large group of people so far, in fact, she could only speak with her husband and the lawyer during the weekly interview with relatives.
In her isolation cell, looking tired and aged, beyond her 46 years, fragile and very weak, she can barely stand up. Entering the room reserved for meetings escorted by two guards, she appears confused and her eyes run from right to left for the duration of the meeting, about 2 hours and 20 minutes, with alternating emotions ranging from tears to laughter, as well as long periods of silence.”
December 22, 2011
Pakistan (hat tip to TheReligionOfPeace)
In Kasur City, one more Christian Irfan Masih was falsely accused under the Blasphemy Law. The Muslims caught him and they attacked him with knifes and almost killed him, however due to the intervention of the local police they stopped.
Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq told the agency Aid to the Church in Need that Christians will spend Christmas in “great fear” because of the risk of new attacks. All services and Masses have been scheduled for daylight hours, he said in an interview with Rome-based AsiaNews.
“Midnight Christmas Mass has been canceled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians,” he said, citing the Oct. 31, 2010, attack on the Syrian Catholic cathedral that left 57 people dead in the Iraqi capital.
December 23, 2011
Bethlehem (hat tip to AtlasShrugs)
When the Latin patriarch came to Gaza’s Holy Family church to celebrate Christmas mass last week, he instructed a full house of Catholic and Orthodox families to pray for reconciliation. As the archbishop, Fouad Twal, stood at the lectern in Gaza City, Fatah and Hamas leaders were meeting in Cairo attempting to mend differences that have divided the Palestinian factions for four years and rendered Gaza a besieged Islamist enclave.
Of the 1.5 million Palestinians now living in the Gaza Strip, fewer than 1,400 are Christian and those who can are leaving. The church hopes reconciliation will bring them back.
There hasn’t been a Christmas tree in Gaza City’s main square since Hamas pushed the Palestinian Authority out of Gaza in 2007 and Christmas is no longer a public holiday. Imad Jelda is an Orthodox Christian who runs a youth training centre in Gaza City. With unemployment hovering at 23%, he has seen young Christian men leave to study and work abroad in their droves. “People here do not celebrate Christmas anymore because they are nervous,” Jelda said. “The youth in particular have a fear inside themselves.”
December 24, 2011
Nigeria (hat tip to TheReligionofPeace)
Local Islamists and Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked a Christian community in Kaduna state on Monday (Dec. 19), killing five people and wounding six, area sources said, just nine days after a deadly attack on a Christian community in Kukum Gida in the same local government area.
The Muslim assailants, brandishing firearms and machetes, attacked Christians in Ungwan Rami village of Kaura Local Government Area at 10 p.m. in a manner consistent with other religiously motivated assaults in the state, which saw Christians killed last month as well, the sources said.
December 25, 2011
Terror attacks targeted at Christians, including two bombs at church services, have killed at least 40 across Nigeria. A radical Muslim sect claimed responsibility for five attacks which struck the nation’s north-east today. Most of the victims died on the steps of a Roman Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass.
The Christmas Day attacks show the growing national ambition of the sect known as Boko Haram, which is thought to be responsible for 504 killings this year alone. The sect, which aims to impose sharia law across the country, claimed responsibility for the three church bombs, the second Christmas in a row the group has caused mass carnage with deadly bombings of churches.
Uganda (hat tip to The ReligionofPeace)
As many Ugandans celebrate Christmas, Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church, Namasuba was lying in pain following an acid attack by unknown person last night. The unfortunate incident happened at mid-night, after Pastor Mulinde led his congregation into night prayers that ushered in Christmas.
Witness says that after the attacker poured acid onto the pastor’s face he took off before he could be recognized. Mulinde fall down and started shouting calling for help from his followers who rushed him to Mengo hospital.
“The pastor conducted prayers in joyful mood and even asked Christian to repent for their sins. But all of sudden after the prayers when the pastor was leaving the church somebody came and attacked him with acid,” a witness said.
Umar is a graduate of Islamic propagation and a sheikh who grew up in a staunch Muslim family where his father was the local Imam. He heard the Gospel clearly explained in relation to his religion at an outdoor meeting when he was a university student.
A senior evangelical pastor and his wife are spending Christmas behind bars in southern Iran after security forces raided their Assemblies of God-affiliated church, detaining everyone in the building, including children attending Sunday School, a friend of the couple told BosNewsLife.
“Pastor Farhad Sabokrouh and his wife Shahnaz were among those detained in the southern town of Ahwaz Friday morning, [December 23] while they were having Christmas celebrations”, explained their friend, Firouz Khandjani, early Sunday, December 25.
He said security forces pushed dozens of worshipers, including children, into two buses and brought them to a local police station. Most were eventually released, “but the pastor and his wife remain in jail,” Khandjani explained.
December 26, 2011
Indonesia (hat tip to TheReligionofPeace) )
The congregation of the embattled GKI Yasmin church in Bogor was forced to move its Christmas prayers to a member’s house after Islamic groups assembled at the disputed site and threatened to challenge the sermon on Sunday.
The service was slated to start at 9 a.m. in the sealed church on Jalan Abdullah bin Nuh, but the congregants went elsewhere after members of the Indonesian Muslim Communication Forum (Forkami), the Islamic Reform Movement (Garis) and the Bogor Muslim Community (KMB) objected to that plan. The opposition protestors came to the church in the morning and shouted to guarding police officers and members of the public order agency (Satpol PP) to expel the congregation.
“On December 23, they were given a letter stating that they are banned from holding a prayer here. The letter clearly mentioned they can’t hold the service,” Forkami head Ahmad Iman said.
Garis head Majudien threatened to deploy his members to the location in a mass Muslim gathering known as tabligh akbar should the Yasmin congregation insist on holding the service there.
December 27, 2011
A Christian man who spent more than three years in a Pakistani jail on “false charges of blasphemy against Islam” was hiding with his family in Pakistan’s Punjab province Tuesday, December 27, after police briefly detained him again, a friend and human rights official told BosNewsLife.
Those who murdered Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic, belong to Sipah-e-Sahaba, a Muslim terrorist organisation, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said during a Christmas event at Islamabad’s Fatima Church. In cooperation with Interpol, Pakistani authorities are making all possible efforts to bring them back to Pakistan after they fled to Dubai. Paul Bhatti, brother of the slain minister and national harmony advisor to the prime minister, praised the Interior minister’s statement.
“Rehman Malik`s statement will bring an end to the rumours that have been surfacing regarding Shahbaz Bhatti`s murder,” he said.