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 Religious Persecution

Saturday February 25, 2012
IranReligious Persecution:
Yousef Nadarkhani Lawyers for an Iranian pastor awaiting a final decision on his death sentence have not received communication from authorities that their client will be executed, despite reports that his death is imminent.

Rumors of an imminent execution of Yousef Nadarkhani — who is a pastor in a movement considered to be theologically a cult of Christianity — were leaked this week after a source close to one of his lawyers contacted international media.

Monday February 20, 2012
IranReligious Persecution:
Iran persecutes Christians Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran to discontinue them.

The services attracted the city’s converts to Christianity as well as Muslims interested in Christianity.

Monday February 13, 2012
IranReligious Persecution:
Iran Iranian authorities this week arrested Christian converts from Islam while they were meeting for worship at a home in the southern city of Shiraz, according to sources.

The sources put the number of the arrested Christians, who belong to one of Iran’s many underground house churches, at between six and 10.

Burma/MyanmarReligious Persecution:
Burma Burmese troops kill or torture civilians and destroy churches and even entire villages of the predominantly Christian Kachin minority despite pledges from Burma’s nominally civilian government that it seeks ceasefire agreements with ethnic groups, investigators say.

Rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said it recorded “grave human rights abuses” during a three week visit to the Rangoon and Kachin State on the China-Burma border.

Wednesday February 8, 2012
Religious PersecutionRussia:
Russia As protesters demanding more freedom and fair elections prepared to demonstrate in freezing temperatures in Moscow last Saturday, a major Russian mission group warned of more difficulties for evangelical Christians and other religious minorities in Russia and other former Soviet Union nations.

Wednesday January 25, 2012
Boko HaramHate GroupsIslamNigeriaReligious Persecution:
Islam Early morning attacks in Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi state on Sunday left at least seven Christians dead and a church building destroyed.

The attack on the Evangelical Church Winning All Church 2 was carried out by area Islamic extremists alongside members of the Boko Haram sect, with the church building and surrounding houses bombed.

Monday January 23, 2012
Religious PersecutionSudan:
Sudan Christians in Sudan and newly created South Sudan face possible detention, beatings and even death amid a “deteriorating humanitarian situation” with thousands of people being killed this year alone, aid workers and Christians say.

In Sudan’s capital Kharthoum, minority Christians have also been pressured to leave the country towards South Sudan, with reports of detentions and beatings, church leaders said.

Thursday January 19, 2012
Religious PersecutionSudan:
Sudan Sudan’s Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments has threatened to arrest church leaders if they carry out evangelistic activities and do not comply with an order for churches to provide their names and contact information.

The warning arrived a few days after Sudan President Omar al-Bashir told cheering crowds that the country’s constitution will be more deeply entrenched in sharia (Islamic law).

Tuesday January 17, 2012
Religious PersecutionUganda:
Susan Ithungu A 15-year-old Christian girl in western Uganda who lost the use of her legs after her father locked her in a room for six months for leaving Islam has begun to take tentative steps.

Susan Ithungu had been hospitalized since September 2010 after neighbors along with police rescued her.

Wednesday January 11, 2012
al-Shabab | Al ShabaabHate GroupsReligious Persecution:
Somalia A Somali convert from Islam was paraded before a cheering crowd last month and publicly flogged as a punishment for embracing a “foreign religion,” sources said.

Sofia Osman, a 28-year-old Christian from Janale city in Somali’as Lower Shabelle region, had been taken into custody by Islamic extremist al Shabaab militants in November; the public whipping was meant to mark her release.

Thursday January 5, 2012
IndonesiaReligious IntoleranceReligious Persecution:
Indonesia Acts of violence and intolerance against Christians in Indonesia almost doubled in 2011, with an Islamist campaign to close down churches symbolizing the plight of the religious minority.

The worst is perhaps yet to come if authorities continue to overlook the threat of extremism, said a representative from the Jakarta-based Wahid Institute, a Muslim organization that promotes tolerance.

Tuesday December 27, 2011
PakistanReligious Persecution:
Pakistan A young man has been charged with desecrating the Quran under Pakistan’s controversial “blasphemy” laws after the Christian had an argument over rent with his Muslim landlord, his attorneys said.

Police charged the man after his landlord accused him of burning pages of the Quran in order to prepare tea.

Thursday December 22, 2011
LaosReligious Persecution:
Laos Dozens of Christians in southern Laos have been told to leave their village within 24 hours if they continue to believe in Christ and hold worship services.

With Christmas approaching, Lao authorities already plan to expel at least 47 Christians, “including men, women and children,” from Natoo village in the Palansai District of Savannakhet province.

Wednesday December 21, 2011
AlgeriaIslamReligious Persecution:
Algeria A judge’s decision this month to indefinitely postpone the appeal of a Christian sentenced under Algeria’s defamation and anti-proselytizing laws shows how the judicial system keeps Christians in limbo without officially punishing or acquitting them, according to sources.

Friday December 16, 2011
IranReligious Persecution:
Youcef Nadarkhani Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has to serve at least one more year in prison before he may be executed for refusing to abandon his faith in Christ and return to Islam, an official assisting him has said.

Iran’s judiciary wants to use that time to “use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam”, explained Jason DeMars, director of advocacy group Present Truth Ministries.

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