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Free Leah


Churches worldwide held prayers on 25 March in response to a call to prayer issued bythe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the release of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl from Dapchi, Nigeria, who is still being held by the Boko Haram terrorist group for refusing to renounce her faith in exchange for freedom.
On 21 March, the al-Barnawi faction of Boko Haram returned 104 of the 110 girls they had abducted on 19 February from the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State. They did so following an agreement that saw armed forces withdraw from the town, allowing the terrorists unhindered access.
As well as confirming that five of their fellow abductees were dead and had been buried in the bush, returnees said Leah Sharibu had been “held back on religious grounds” due to her refusal to renounce her faith and wear a hijab. Her mother, Rebecca Sharibu, was informed that Leah had already boarded the vehicle bound for Dapchi along with others, but was told to disembark after refusing to recite the Islamic profession of faith: “They said my daughter would only be brought back home the day she knows how to recite Kalima shahada.”
In an interview with Nigerian media, one of the girls speculated that she and the others may have been released “because we are Muslims and they felt it was right for them to free us so that we will not suffer”.
As reports circulated on 24 March of soldiers withdrawing from Dapchi town and Boko Haram militants on the move, many anticipated that Leah was about to be set free. Speculation was heightened further when the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, appeared to confirm that her release was imminent in an interview given to journalists during his visit to the Military Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Borno state. However, when the release did not occur and Leah’s father, Nathan Sharibu, confirmed his daughter was “yet to return”, the police media office issued a statement on 25 March claiming the IGP had been “misunderstood and misquoted.”
Calls continue to be issued for the Buhari administration to secure Leah’s immediate release. Rev Dr Jeremiah M Gado, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), to which Leah and her parents belong, issued a statement saluting her “courage, doggedness, and faith” and condemning “in strong terms any attempt to forcefully convert anyone from one religion to another.”
On 26 March, the Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC) 19 states and Abuja said that while its members rejoiced that nearly all the Dapchi girls had been released, they were “heavily saddened” that Leah “is been held because of her faith.” In a statement issued on 23 March, CAN called for “total re-organisation of the security agencies aligned with professionalism that will make them respond rapidly to security challenges in any part of the country”, and the creation of “a high power judicial panel to investigate the abduction of the schoolgirls with a view to unmasking those behind the abduction and make them face the full wrath of the law.”
On 22 March, the European Union (EU) Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ray, commended the Nigerian government for the release of the 104 Dapchi girls, and said: “We renew our solidarity with all the girls still held captive and call for their liberation. … All young people have a right to safe education, and the EU will work with Nigeria in supporting efforts to secure this objective.”
Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said: “Our prayers are with Leah and her family as they await her return. Given Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity, we remain perplexed at her apparent exclusion, on account of her religious beliefs, from the deal that secured the release of the other girls. It is vital that last weekend’s rumours of her imminent release do not divert international attention from her case and hamper efforts to ensure her release. There must be no let-up in pressure being brought to bear on the militants holding her. CSW also continues to call on the Nigerian government to ensure that every child is free to pursue an education without fear.”

Churches worldwide held prayers on 25 March in response to a call to prayer issued by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) for the release of Leah Sharibu, the Christian girl from Dapchi, Nigeria, who is still being held by the Boko Haram terrorist group for refusing to renounce her faith in exchange for freedom.

On 21 March, the al-Barnawi faction of Boko Haram returned 104 of the 110 girls they had abducted on 19 February from the Government Girls Science and Technical College in Dapchi, Yobe State. They did so following an agreement that saw armed forces withdraw from the town, allowing the terrorists unhindered access.

As well as confirming that five of their fellow abductees were dead and had been buried in the bush, returnees said Leah Sharibu had been “held back on religious grounds” due to her refusal to renounce her faith and wear a hijab. Her mother, Rebecca Sharibu, was informed that Leah had already boarded the vehicle bound for Dapchi along with others, but was told to disembark after refusing to recite the Islamic profession of faith: “They said my daughter would only be brought back home the day she knows how to recite Kalima shahada.”

In an interview with Nigerian media, one of the girls speculated that she and the others may have been released “because we are Muslims and they felt it was right for them to free us so that we will not suffer”. 

As reports circulated on 24 March of soldiers withdrawing from Dapchi town and Boko Haram militants on the move, many anticipated that Leah was about to be set free. Speculation was heightened further when the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, appeared to confirm that her release was imminent in an interview given to journalists during his visit to the Military Command and Control Centre in Maiduguri, Borno state.  However, when the release did not occur and Leah’s father, Nathan Sharibu, confirmed his daughter was “yet to return”, the police media office issued a statement on 25 March claiming the IGP had been “misunderstood and misquoted.”

Calls continue to be issued for the Buhari administration to secure Leah’s immediate release. Rev Dr Jeremiah M Gado, president of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), to which Leah and her parents belong, issued a statement saluting her “courage, doggedness, and faith” and condemning “in strong terms any attempt to forcefully convert anyone from one religion to another.”

On 26 March, the Congress of Northern Nigeria Christians (CNNC) 19 states and Abuja said that while its members rejoiced that nearly all the Dapchi girls had been released, they were “heavily saddened” that Leah “is been held because of her faith.” In a statement issued on 23 March, CAN called for “total re-organisation of the security agencies aligned with professionalism that will make them respond rapidly to security challenges in any part of the country”, and the creation of “a high power judicial panel to investigate the abduction of the schoolgirls with a view to unmasking those behind the abduction and make them face the full wrath of the law.”  

 

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April 9, 2018 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, Food, fraud, Health, Homeless, housing, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Religious freedon in China


Chinese state media agency Xinhua announced on 21 March that the United Front Work Department, an agency of the Communist Party of China (CPC), will now oversee ethnic and religious affairs in the country. These changes are part of a restructuring of party agencies in China, which place the Chinese government more directly under Party control.
Previously, religious affairs were managed by the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA), and registered religious organisations were overseen by state-sanctioned associations. The United Front Work Department will now absorb SARA, effectively giving the Party direct oversight of religious affairs. The United Front Work Department will also oversee the State Ethnic Affairs Commission and the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said: “Many religious believers in China, including Christians, are already concerned about tightening control over religious activities. These changes will do nothing to allay their fears. Under Xi Jinping control of religious life has become a new priority for the Communist Party of China, and so far this has been manifested through the curtailing of the right to freedom of religion or belief for both registered and unregistered religious communities, including Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists and Muslims. We call on the Chinese authorities to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief for people of all faiths in China, in all parts of the country, and to release those detained in connection with their peaceful religious practice.”
Officials say the changes are aimed at the centralisation of leadership and will help to consolidate the Party’s direction on religious affairs. However, analysts suggest that these changes indicate that the Party sees the control of religious affairs as essential to maintaining and expanding its power, and could give rise to a situation in which the Party leadership may bypass laws and regulations.
The merger of SARA with the United Front is part of tightening control of religion or belief activities and communities under President Xi Jinping. On 1 February 2018, revised Regulations on Religious Affairs came into effect, which included further restrictions on religious practice, including online religious expression, and contained special provisions on national security and foreign connections. The Regulations continue to make registration with the government mandatory: communities which do not register, such as unregistered ‘house churches’, have been pressurized to register through harassment, eviction, intimidation and the detention of leaders.
Even before the regulations came into effect, churches and other religious communities reported an increase in violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief, including the demolition of religious buildings, and the harassment and detention of religious believers accused of belonging to ‘evil cults’.

April 9, 2018 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Food, fraud, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion, scams, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vietnam Human Rights


On Thursday 5 April, Vietnamese human rights laywer Nguyen Van Dai was sentenced to 15 years in prison for ‘carrying out activities aimed at overthrowing the government’ under Article 79 of the Vietnamese penal code.
Many of you will remember praying for and sending cards to Nguyen Van Dai, who was arrested on 16 December 2016 and has remained in prison without trial for over two years. As a Christian human rights lawyer he provided advice and representation to victims of human rights abuses – including religious freedom abuses – across Vietnam. Because of this work, he has been repeatedly harassed and intimidated by the Vietnamese authorities and has previously spent four years in prison.
Lawyer Dai was one of six defendants on trial: others included pastor and activist Nguyen Trung Ton and legal expert Nguyen Bac Truyen. Pastor Ton and Mr Truyen were sentenced to 12 years and 11 years in prison respectively: all of them will have a chance to appeal their sentences

April 9, 2018 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, fraud, Health, Internet, Money, People, Politics, religion, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Free Alimujan Yimit


 

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling for a judicial review in the case of Uyghur Christian Alimujan Yimit, who is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for “illegally providing state secrets to foreign nationals”.
Alimujan Yimit (also written Alimjan Yimit or Alimujiang Yimiti) is a Uyghur Christian from Xinjiang in Northwest China. In 2009, he was convicted of “illegally providing state secrets to foreign nationals” and is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence. Mr Yimit has denied these charges. Those familiar with the case believe his detention is connected with a set of earlier charges put forward by the Kashgar Municipal Bureau for Ethnic and Religious Affairs in Xinjiang, relating to his “illegal” religious activities as the leader of an unregistered church.
The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has rendered the opinion that Mr Yimit has been arbitrarily detained.
A Chinese author close to Mr Yimit’s family claims that his case could be reopened in connection with China’s nationwide anti-corruption campaign, which has resulted in the ousting of officials who handled Yimit’s case. CSW has not yet been able to verify this report.
Religion is a sensitive issue in Xinjiang. In 2015 and 2016 CSW continued to receive reports of restrictions on religious activities and expression in the region, including bans on civil servants and students fasting during Ramadan, restrictions on dress and appearance with religious connections, such as head coverings for women and long beards for men, and convictions for religious meetings outside designated venues. In August 2016, Radio Free Asia also reported that authorities were asking school pupils in Xinjiang about their families’ religious practices and telling them not to engage in religious activities.
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “CSW has campaigned on Alimujian Yimit’s case for several years and continues to be concerned about his conviction and detention, which the UN has declared to be arbitrary. We believe the charges against him are groundless and that he is being penalised for his peaceful religious activities as an unregistered church leader. We urge the authorities to re-assess his case thoroughly, impartially and without delay, with a view to securing his unconditional release. We further call on the government to ensure that any persons found responsible for Yimit’s wrongful imprisonment and/or ill-treatment in detention are held accountable and to ensure that Yimit’s current conditions in detention comply with international standards.”

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Disgusting, Health, housing, Money, People, Politics, religion, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

North Korea: ‘Lord! Help


World News

North Korea: ‘Lord! Help!’
Hannah Cho* tells her story of faith in God despite horrendous persecution.
World Watch Monitor

photo: iStock
After the Korean war, public religion was discouraged. The local church was turned into a school and Hannah remembers that her Christian mother prayed at home while the family kept watch for informants.
The cough signal
‘If anyone came close, we’d cough and she’d stop praying,’ Hannah said. ‘Sometimes my father was annoyed with her and didn’t want her praying in the living room, so she went outside, even when it was snowing.
Hannah wanted to understand her mother’s faith, but she spoke so fast when she prayed that it was difficult to understand. ‘All we could make out was “Hananim, Hananim!’ [Lord! Lord!], Help!’ she said.
‘We had no idea who this ‘Hananim’ was. My daughter even asked her one day why she wouldn’t simply visit this guy if he was that important to her. My mother replied: ‘One day I will.’
‘Because of my mum’s prayers, I was never as indoctrinated by the Juche [self-reliance] ideology as others,’ Hannah said. Hannah’s mother said nothing to her about her Christian faith until her marriage aged 23.
Leaving for China
After Hannah’s mother died, she and her family decided to leave North Korea for China. ‘My eldest daughters were first to flee, but they were betrayed by the broker. When we didn’t hear from them, my husband went to China to try to find them. Meanwhile, I took care of my two youngest children at home. My husband didn’t come back; a year later, I went to look for them all in China. At first, I couldn’t locate my husband. I prayed with the only words I knew: ‘Hananim, Hananim!’ Finally, I found my husband’s relative and he connected me with my husband, but my daughters were still missing.’
All converted
When the family were reunited after searching in China, they started to attend the church of a relative, where they all converted to the Christian faith.
‘We had seen my mother’s faith, but now we understood it,’ Hannah said. ‘We felt peace in our hearts and unexplainable joy. It was so refreshing, as if the specks in my eyes had been washed away and I could finally see God. Now I could follow him like my mother had. Our faith grew very quickly because we had been prepared all our lives for this moment.’
Arrested and sent back
‘But soon we were discovered by Chinese secret agents and arrested,’ Hannah recalled. ‘We were sent back to North Korea. We witnessed terrible things. A woman in prison was pregnant by a Chinese man. Race is very important in North Korea. When she gave birth the guard ordered her to kill her baby, but she couldn’t. The guard threatened another woman, telling her he would let her live if she killed the baby. He put his gun to her head and the inmate had no other choice but to strangle the baby until he died. And we had to watch.’
‘My husband told the guards he’d become a Christian. After he saw what they did with the baby and the guards threatened to kill his family, he had to tell them the truth. After his confession, all four of us were locked up in solitary confinement – a small cage. We didn’t receive any food or water and couldn’t sleep.
‘Prisoners in solitary confinement were badly beaten. The more they tortured my husband, the harder he defended his faith. He yelled: “If believing in God is a sin, I’d rather die! Just kill me! It’s my mission to live according to God’s will!”
‘Each time he spoke out, they beat him up as if he was an animal. His flesh was torn and ripped. When he lost consciousness, they woke him and started again.
‘I was dehydrated and beaten until I was unconscious too. When I woke up, I was dragged back to a regular cell with my daughter and other inmates. Then they beat me in front of them. All my daughter could do was cry silently, which she did day and night.
Praying in prison
‘We prayed throughout our time in prison. When we were granted an amnesty and released, we didn’t recognise each other due to the torture. My husband couldn’t stand up due to his injuries. When we walked out of the prison that night and were finally free and alone, we quietly sang a hymn.’
The family have not been able to reunite though, and Hannah’s husband died soon after leaving prison.
‘My mother only taught me one prayer. But I still pray it every day, for my family and for my country: “Hananim, Hananim! – Lord, Lord, please help!”
* Name changed for security reasons

October 6, 2017 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, Film, Food, fraud, Health, Homeless, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

New Camp for Political Prisoners Discovered in North Korea


 

New Camp for Political Prisoners Discovered in North Korea

November 22, 2016 by Jannelle P in Asia

The Human Rights in North Korea Committee reports the discovery of a new kwan-li-so, the name North Korea uses for political labor camps from which there is no escape. The official name of the camp is unknown, so the researchers call it Ch’oma-Bong, after the name of a nearby village. Though the camp was initially built over a decade ago and has recently been expanded, it is still one of the smaller camps. As far as North Korean camps go, it appears to be fairly well maintained. There is no way to determine the prisoner population, but the recent construction of over 54 new housing units suggests significant growth. Detainees, and possibly civilians, work mainly in agriculture and mining around the camp. It’s likely that prisoners are required to do the majority of the dangerous work in the mines.

Ch’oma-Bong is located only 45 miles northeast of the capital Pyongyang. A portion of the camp’s security fence is shared with infamous Camp 14. Two high security compounds have been built, which suggests that “high value” prisoners are being kept there. There are no roads leading up to the security guard posts, which indicate that they patrol largely by foot. The camp is connected to a railway station located just over a mile away.

North Korea has led the World Watch List for 14 consecutive years now. According to 2016 WWL information,

Kim Jong-un has continued to consolidate his power, and no changes or improvements have been seen over the past year. Ideology again trumped everything as could be seen in the celebration of the ruling Korean Workers Party’s 70th anniversary in October 2015. North Korea remains an opaque state and it is difficult to make sense of most of the news pouring out of the country. This is even truer when it comes to topics like human rights or the situation of the Christian minority. Christianity is not only seen as “opium for the people,” as is normal for all communist states, it is also seen as deeply Western and despicable. Christians try to hide their faith as far as possible to avoid arrest and being sent to labor camps with horrific conditions. Thus, one’s Christian faith usually remains a well-protected secret, and most parents refrain from introducing their children to the Christian faith in order to make sure that nothing slips their tongue when they are asked.”

Though the Committee did not specify that Christians are among those in the detainment camp, manybrothers and sisters in Christ in North Korea are imprisoned in kwan-li-so facilities like this one. Please pray for the people held here. God knows those who are His children.

Our Heavenly Father, who upholds the cause of the oppressed and sets the prisoners free, we pray for our fellow Christians in North Korea, imprisoned for their faith in Christ. Sustain them, Lord. Be their strength and joy in this earthly suffering. Encourage them with Your Word and Presence when their faith wanes, when loneliness sets in and when intense suffering is inflicted on them. Give them opportunity to share their faith boldly but wisely with other prisoners. May Christ be evident in their lives, not only to the prisoners, but also to the guards, and may You use their stalwart faith to draw many to Yourself. Turn their eyes from this earthly suffering to the glory set before them. In the name of Jesus, who has set us free from bondage to life, that we might be called His brothers. Amen.

February 9, 2017 Posted by | Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, Food, fraud, Health, Homeless, Just Wrong, Money, People, Politics, religion | | Leave a comment

North Korea test fires ballistic missile: Seoul


North Korea test fires ballistic missile: Seoul

North Korea on Wednesday test-fired a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s defence ministry said.

  • Posted 03 Aug 2016 08:32
  • Updated 03 Aug 2016 08:56

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspects a surface-to-surface medium long-range strategic ballistic missile test in North Korea in undated photo. (Photo: AFP)

SEOUL: North Korea on Wednesday test-fired a ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan, South Korea’s defence ministry said, in an apparent reaction to the planned deployment of a US missile defence system.

The missile was launched from near the western city of Unyul at around 7.50am Wednesday (6.50am, Singapore time), it added.

The test follows the launch of three ballistic missiles on Jul 19 in what the North said were simulated nuclear strikes on the South.

Pyongyang has carried out a series of missile tests this year in defiance of tough UN sanctions, and vowed to take "physical action" against the planned deployment of a US missile defence system in the South announced in July.

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from developing ballistic missile technology.

Pyongyang has repeatedly warned of pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the South and US targets, although the main focus of its nuclear weapons programme is to develop a credible strike threat against the US mainland.

A series of missile tests this year aimed at backing up that threat led to an agreement between Seoul and Washington to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or THAAD, by the end of the year.

North Korea-US tensions had already been stoked by Pyongyang’s fury at Washington’s decision to personally target leader Kim Jong-Un with sanctions related to human rights abuses.

August 3, 2016 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Business, CELEBRITY, Death, Disgusting, Entertainement, Flying, Food, fraud, Health, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion, Si-Fi, Space, Weird | | Leave a comment

PAKISTAN A Pakistani family converted to Christianity is hounded, victim of death threats – Asia News


 

A Pakistani family converted to Christianity is hounded, victim of death threats
by Stephen John
Since 2006, the couple has had two children and constant persecution from certain Muslims because the wife converted to her husband’s religion. Attempts to file a case against their tormentors have fallen on deaf police ears. After years on the run, the family is now in hiding. Human rights activists want the government to defend religious freedom, human rights and the country’s constitution.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) – A Christian family has been on the run for almost ten years, finding temporary refuge but no safe haven. Jobless and desperate, they are unable to meet their own needs, as they continue to be threatened, hounded, and attacked because they want to live a Christian life and raise their children in accordance with Christ’s teachings. 

After hearing their tragic story, AsiaNews decided to present it. Names, places and other details have been changed to protect the family, but their fate is part and parcel of the fight for religious freedom and the rights of Christians in Pakistan.

In May 2006, Amina, a 29 year-old Muslim woman, married 34-year-old Salamat Masih, a Christian. Her family was against it from the start, especially since they had already arranged her marriage to a trusted Muslim man.

However, Amina would not give in to her family’s pressures, and decided to marry the man she loved. The two also wanted a Christian wedding, but no pastor was willing to do it for fear of retaliation by her relatives.

To stop the marriage, Amina’s family filed a case against the would-be husband for rape and kidnapping. Thus, fearing arrest, Amina and Salamat decided to elope in accordance with Islamic law. This meant that Salamat, a Christian, had to convert to Islam since Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslims.

Two Muslim men, Naveed Asim and Kareem Ahmad, acted as witnesses to the Islamic wedding. Proud of converting a Christian to Islam and of the greater standing they achieved among Muslims, they also took on the responsibility of monitoring the newlywed’s life.

With this purpose in mind, the two “guardians” forced the couple to move to Sadar, a town near Karachi, and live according to Islamic traditions, including fasting during Ramadan.

Still, Amina and Salamat did not want to live as Muslims and sought help from a local Church to arrange a Christian marriage and live among local Christians.

Eventually, the pastor of a local church agreed to register their marriage as Christian on 26 October 2006. The couple also found refuge among local Christians because of threats of reprisal from Muslims.

In the following years, the couple had two daughters. Yet, their secret did not last and threats started again, especially from the two men who had taken on the task of acting as their “guardians”.

For Amina, constant threats and pressures proved too much and she miscarried a third child. This further aggravated the conflict because the father chose to give his son a Christian burial rather than laying him to rest in a Muslim cemetery. The family’s enemies had one more reason to persecute them.

Fearing for their life, the family went from city to city, finding temporary shelter in various homes. Muslims from Amina’s community, especially the two “guardians”, kept tracking them down, proffering fresh threats and exerting more pressure on them.

Two years ago, threats turned into an actual attack. Gunmen shot at Salamat, in the leg, then drove their motorcycle over the injured limb. Only the presence of bystanders forced the attackers to flee, thus preventing them from finishing off their victim.

Because of the family’s difficult economic circumstances, Salamat was never properly treated and his leg has not fully healed. Such an impairment has limited his ability to work, making family life that much harder.

The couple’s relatives are no longer able to help for fear of reprisals and attacks by Muslims.  The same goes for co-workers and friends who helped them and gave them refuge. The fear of an attack has proven stronger than the desire to help.

Since March 2015, the family has been hiding in one of the country’s largest cities. Since the family has been tracked down once and attacked before, the location has been kept secret for security reasons.

Attempts to file a case with police for the violence and threats against the family have fallen on deaf years. Law enforcement agencies have refused to deal with it.

Forced into hiding for weeks on end, Amina and Salamat have been unable to work and lead a normal life. Although a local NGO has helped them with their immediate needs, the couple and their children have gone to bed hungry on several occasions.

For Amina’s family, marrying a Christian and converting to Christianity are dishonourable acts, hence the threats. This is the more acceptable since her attackers have walked away, scot-free, ready to strike again.

However, not everyone has stood idly by. Citing the Constitution of Pakistan, the Asian Human Rights Commission has called on Pakistani authorities to respect the principle of equality of citizens, and guarantee freedom of religion. Likewise, it has called for action against the police officers who failed in their duty to protect the family.

PAKISTAN A Pakistani family converted to Christianity is hounded, victim of death threats – Asia News

October 20, 2015 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, Food, fraud, Health, Homeless, Internet, Just Wrong, People, religion | , | Leave a comment

Syrian Priest, 270 Christian and Muslim Hostages Kidnapped by Islamic Militants Reportedly Alive


 

Syrian Priest, 270 Christian and Muslim Hostages Kidnapped by Islamic Militants Reportedly Alive

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter

September 7, 2015|9:32 am

Assyrian Christians

(Photo: Reuters/Rodi Said)

Displaced Assyrians, who fled from the villages around Tel Tamr, gather outside the Assyrian Church in al-Hasaka city, as they wait for news about the Assyrians abductees remaining in Islamic State hands, March 9, 2015. Islamic State released 19 Assyrian Christian captives in Syria on March 1 after processing them through a sharia court, a monitoring group which tracks the conflict said. More than 200 Assyrians remain in Islamic State hands, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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A Syrian priest, along with 270 Christian and Muslim hostages kidnapped by Islamic militants earlier this summer in an offensive on the city of Homs, are reportedly alive and hoping that they’ll be released after negotiations.

Fides News Agency said that Father Jacques Murad, who belongs to the monastic community of Deir Mar Musa, is still alive, according to local sources, but is being held hostage with groups of Christians and Muslims taken by jihadists in August. The hostages are reported to be "stable and secure," and are waiting as local ecclesial communities are carrying out negotiations through mediators for their possible release.

 

"The sources contacted by Fides confirm that all the hostages are still in Quaryatayn, and specify that the news on the story of father Murad broadcast in recent days by Lebanese television network Nursat TV did not include any statement regarding the religious person kidnapped, but only reassuring considerations about his fate, expressed by another priest," the report added.

Murad was captured in May by two armed men on motorbikes who arrived at the Mar Elian monastery, before forcing the priest into his car and taking him to an unknown destination.

The monastery has reportedly been hosting hundreds of refugees from the Syrian civil war, including over a hundred children younger than 10. Before he was captured, Murad had been helping provide basic necessities for the refugees.

It was not made clear which groups the jihadists belong to, though the country has been torn apart by clashes between government forces and various Islamic rebel groups seeking to take power.

Christians have been targeted especially heavily by the Islamic State terror group, which has captured significant territory in Syria, and has forced believers to agree to live under strict conditions or be driven out of the captured cities.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained a copy of a document Christians in the captured town of al-Quaryatayn are being forced to sign, which lists 11 stipulations that must be followed.

The contract prohibits: the establishment of churches, the displaying of crosses, making Muslims hear Christian prayers or rituals of worship, the hiding of spies, offending Islamic religious beliefs, the carrying of weapons, the sale of pork or wine to Muslims, and failing to dress modestly.

Syrian Priest, 270 Christian and Muslim Hostages Kidnapped by Islamic Militants Reportedly Alive

September 8, 2015 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Disgusting, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion | , | Leave a comment

Father-of-five leaves UK to fight ISIS but he may NEVER see his family | UK | News | Daily Express


 

Father-of-five to leave UK to fight ISIS despite admitting he may NEVER see family again

A FATHER is leaving behind his life in the UK to join the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) – despite admitting he might never see his family again.

By Selina Sykes

PUBLISHED: 17:36, Wed, Sep 2, 2015 | UPDATED: 20:25, Wed, Sep 2, 2015

 

Man standing SWNS

Jamie McCarroll is taking the fight against extremism into his own hands

Former soldier Jamie McCarroll, 40, is taking the fight against extremism into his own hands as he feels the UK government is not doing enough to help persecuted Christians in northern Iraq.

The father-of-five from Glasgow, who quit his job to fight ISIS, has not yet explained his decision to his three daughters and two stepsons but has told them the news.

He said: "I’m leaving my life here and my kids, they’re my whole life.

"I’m giving up a lot to go over there to nothing. But I understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it."

Mr McCarroll, who is self-funding his efforts, plans to join Dwekh Nawsha, a militant group founded in 2014 to help protect the country’s Christian population.

The group’s Facebook page refers to them as "The Sacrificers" who are "doing our duty to the Assyrian people who are in need".

Mr McCarroll said: "They aren’t getting any help from any organisations, and just looking at everything that’s going on is so difficult.

"They’re being murdered all over that part of the world by Islamic State if they refuse to convert their religion.

"It’s very bleak for them as there’s no one helping them at all. The UK and US governments aren’t doing anything to help them."

Man in armySWNS

Mr McCarroll admitted he might never see his family again

I’m giving up a lot to go over there to nothing

Jamie McCarroll

Mr McCarroll, who fought with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, said: "I don’t really think about something bad happening. It’s not something you think about because if you do you won’t last long.

"I’d rather think about going over there and helping those people than worrying about my own safety."

He is hoping to fly out to Erbil, northern Iraq, in the next six to eight weeks, where he’ll be taken to a safe house and undergo training before fighting on the front line.

It is thought more than 2,000 Britons have joined ISIS, while a small handful have also flown out to Iraq and Syria to fight against the extremist group.

Mr McCarroll said: "I’ll be on the frontline fighting, putting my life at risk, and knowing that my children might never see their father again.

"I couldn’t live with myself doing nothing, when I knew I could help."

Mr McCarroll, who joined the army at 18 and served during the Bosnian genocide, stressed there are too many untrained men going over to fight who are a liability to professional soldiers.

He said: "You need to have formal training if you want to go out and help, but there’s people out fighting at the moment who’ve not got any formal training and who’ve been there for over a year now."

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September 7, 2015 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Politics, religion | | Leave a comment