Friday, October 24, 2008

Persecution

Three Algerian Christians Face 3 Years in Prison for “Blasphemy”

October 23, 2008 Algeria (International Christian Concern)-On October 21, 2008, an Algerian court held a hearing on the case of three Christians who face three years of prison and a fine of 500 euros. The Court held the hearing in Ain Turk, a town 267 miles away from Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

The three Christians are Youssef Ourahmane, Rachid Seghir and Hamid Ramdani. The public prosecutor accused them of “insulting Islam, its prophet and threatening the former professing Christian that complained against them."

Earlier, a lower court agreed with the prosecutor and handed down a 3 year prison sentence and 500 euro fine. The defendants were not present at the time of the decision. The defendants then appealed the decision of the lower court on July 15, 2008. The appeal court postponed the hearing until October 21, 2008.

The case against the three Christians was brought by the public prosecutor with the help of Mr. Shamouma Al-Aid. Mr. Al-Aid “converted” from Islam to Christianity for a period time during which he also attended a Bible school. According to Compass Direct News, Mr. Al-Aid continued to maintain relations with radical Muslims while attending churches and the Bible school.

Later he “reconverted” to Islam and alleged that the three Christians were blaspheming Islam and its prophet Mohammed. He also alleged that the Christians were threatening him for “reconverting” to Islam.

The Judge, after hearing the arguments of the parties, scheduled to decide the case on October 29, 2008.

ICC’s Regional Manger for Africa, Jonathan Racho, stated, “As a member of the international community, the Algerian government has the obligation to respect the freedom of religion for its Christian minorities. It is time for Algerian officials to carry out their obligations by ceasing to interfere with freedom of worship of the country’s Christian minorities.”

ICC calls upon Christians to pray for their Algerian brothers and sisters who are going through persecution. Please pray that the three Christians in this case will be cleared of the false accusation made against them. Please contact ICC for more information on how to help Christians in Algeria.
from: http://www.persecution.org/suffering/index.php



"I Miss Daddy So Much!"

In Turkey, 6-year-old Esther's father was martyred by Muslim extremists.

By Jerry Dykstra

One Sunday night in October 2007 on the way home from church services, a sad little voice spoke from the back seat of a car: "Mommy, I miss my daddy so much. Can't Jesus bring him back to us?"

The mother sighed, turning from the front seat to explain gently once more to her 6-year-old daughter, "Jesus decided to take Daddy to heaven to be with him, Esther. We'll have to wait until Jesus takes us to heaven to see Daddy again."

After a few seconds of thought, Esther declared, "Well, if Daddy isn't coming back, then I want to go to heaven too!"

According to Compass Direct News, that touching exchange happened five months after Esther Aydin's father was beaten, tortured, and killed with a knife in Turkey's eastern city of Malatya by five young Muslims who claimed they had done it "for our religion."

Esther and her brother Elisha, 7, are still struggling with the loss of their father, Necati Aydin, who shared his martyrdom on April 18, 2007, with another Turkish Christian, Ugur Yuksel, and German Christian Tilmann Geske. All three were bound, tortured, and their throats were cut.

Semse Aydin, who spoke last fall at a memorial service near Istanbul, says the shock of the cruel and sudden death still hits her every morning.

Turkish Protestants have reported increasing attacks and threats despite claims by President Abdullah Gul that Christians in Turkey are not targeted. Turkey is 99.6 percent Muslim and 0.3 percent Christian. Though the Turkish constitution includes freedom of religion, in reality the Christian minority often faces harassment, threats, and prison. The construction of new churches is often restricted.

Despite the personal cost of her pain, Aydin stands by her statement to the Turkish media two days after her husband's death, declaring that she has forgiven the five charged with the murders. In fact, she is actively praying for at least one of them to repent and come to faith in Christ. "That's the ultimate revenge, isn't it?" Aydin asked.

Persecution Report is presented in cooperation with Open Doors USA, which serves the Persecuted Church through training, Bible distribution, and community development. For more information, call 1-888-5-BIBLE-5 or visit www.odusa.org.
from: http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2008/002/14.16.html



Today's Christian, January/February 2008

Iran: Telling Their Father's Story

Two brothers make a documentary about their martyred father's death and the persecution of Christians in Iran.

By Jerry Dykstra

Joseph Hovsepian will never forget that day in early 1994 when he was called into a local morgue to identify his his father's body. Bishop Haik Hovsepian, an evangelical Christian leader in Iran, had been stabbed 26 times in the chest, his death an apparent martyrdom for standing up to Iranian officials for their mistreatment of Christ followers. No arrests were ever made.

One month before Bishop Hovse-pian's murder, an Islamic judge in northern Iran had condemned Mehdi Dibaj to death for "apostasy"—for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. The bishop launched an international campaign for the sentence to be overturned, and then disappeared on January 19, 1994. Twelve days later, his son Joseph got the call from the morgue.

The experience eventually led Joseph, who was then a budding filmmaker, into telling his father's story. Joseph and his brother Andre went on to make A Cry from Iran, a compelling 55-minute documentary about their father and the persecution of Christians in Iran.

"This is the story not only of my father's martyrdom, but also of the victims who have been killed and continue to be tortured for being Christians," says co-director and producer Joseph Hovsepian. "The chronicling of this life and death puts a focus on the many stories of persecution that are happening as we speak."

Joseph and Andre have put their hearts and souls into the project, which included filming in five countries, interviews with 40 political and religion experts, family, and friends, 42 months of production, and 200 hours of footage.

Andre Hovsepian, who was 10 when his father was killed, says, "It was as if I lived with my father for the entire year it took to edit the movie. I had feelings of joy and sorrow. It was a good reminder of how Christians suffer for their faith."

Iran is ranked No. 3 on Open Doors' World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most severe persecution. Also, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom lists Iran as one of the nations on the "Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs)" for its religious violations.

A Cry from Iran has won awards at several film festivals. The DVD is available for purchase at www.acryfromiran.com or www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Persecution Report is presented in cooperation with Open Doors USA, which serves the Persecuted Church through training, Bible distribution, and community development. For more information, call 1-888-5-BIBLE-5 or visit www.odusa.org.

10 comments:

satire and theology said...

The Algerian episode sounds like a kangaroo court.

All the best with work!

Jeff said...

Russ,

The Algerian episode sounds like a kangaroo court.

Yeah...including the fact that the defendants were not present at the time of the decision; the prosecutor 'converting' back and forth; and “the [so-called] former professing Christian that complained against them."

All the best with work!

Thanks! Although things are slow, I just now sat in on a photo shoot, which was interesting, and I have the covers for two magazines to do between now and Tuesday, so things are going well. So far, so good. The covers I did last week came out pretty well, and I got a couple compliments on them.

My bank is being bought out, but I guess that's nothing new.

thekingpin68 said...

Photo shoot...Mr. Jackson is a big shot now.;)

Bank being bought out...Mr. Jenkins may be sweating a little now.;)

satire and theology said...

re: gospel tracts/Facebook Halloween...

Dress up as Obomba in a Dracula costume.;)

thekingpin68 said...

Or he could just dress up as you...

thekingpin68 said...

Dress up as the tex man.

Jeff said...

Russ,

Photo shoot...Mr. Jackson is a big shot now.;)

LOL! Not really. I wasn't in the photos, just watching. The photos were for the design cover I'm working on for 2 magazines.


Bank being bought out...Mr. Jenkins may be sweating a little now.;)

I hope nothing changes as far as how it affects me.


Dress up as Obomba in a Dracula costume.;)

LOL!

satire and theology said...

Or tax man...

Jeff said...

Or he could just dress up as you...

He might scare away all his voters.

Jeff said...

Or tax man...

Yeah, I was wondering who the "tex man" was. Someone from Texas?

If I dressed up as somebody from the IRS, I might get shot!