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May 10 2018

Ingo Breuer

Nigeria’s Middle Belt Report: Dozens Murdered in Churches as Attacks Increase

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05/07/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – For Christians in Nigeria’s Middle Belt region, April has been the deadliest month in 2018 thus far. Over the past month, there have been reports of more than 350 people killed in the Middle Belt due to the Fulani militant crisis. These attacks spanned eight states; however, the vast majority of the attacks took place in Benue State. Of the 27 attacks that have been reported, 20 of them took place in a state which has already outlawed open grazing in an attempt to end the violence. This shows that these attacks are not merely about farmers denying herders land. These herders were not denied land by the farmers, but by the government who told them that they must purchase land to graze on.

In a more blatant show of religious motivation, Fulani militants also carried out two attacks on churches in Benue State this past month. On April 24, Fulani militants stormed St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom. During the attack, they killed two priests and at least 17 parishioners in addition to burning down more than 50 homes. Less than a week later, Fulani militants attacked and killed seven internally displaced people who were taking refuge in a church in Mbamondo.

Below are the largest attacks that took place in April.

1. April 14-16, 2018: Fulani militants attack several villages in Nasarawa State, killing at least 39 and destroying more than a dozen homes.

2. April 24, 2018: Fulani militants attack St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Mbalom, killing two priests and 17 others.

3. April 26, 2018: Fulani militants attack three villages, Tse-Umenge, Mbakpase and Tse-Ali villages, killing 39 and destroying more than 150 houses.

In spite of the tragedies, there are encouraging signs of progress. In April, President Trump hosted Nigeria’s President Buhari in Washington D.C. During an interview, President Trump said, “We’ve had serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed [in Nigeria]. We’re going to work on that problem and work on that problem very, very hard.” This brings hope that the international community is starting to realize the dire situation that is taking place in Nigeria. It is time for the Nigerian government to direct its full attention toward these deadly militants.

For interviews with Nathan Johnson, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press

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May 10 2018

Ingo Breuer

Pastor Sentenced to Four Years in Prison on Blasphemy Charge in Indonesia

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05/07/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on May 7, the Tangerang District Court in Indonesia sentenced Reverend Abraham Ben Moses to four years in prison and issued him a 50 million Rupiah fine (~3,500 USD) for religious defamation.

If he cannot afford to pay the fine, “it can be replaced with a one-month prison term and we also give the defendant a chance to refuse the verdict seven days from tomorrow to appeal to the High Court,” said presiding judge Muhammad Damis at the hearing.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Reverend Abraham, 53, is a well-known former Muslim and Christian apologist in Indonesia. As part of his ministry, he is involved with online evangelism and debates with local Muslim groups.

Abraham was arrested on December 5, 2017, after a video went viral that depicted him sharing his faith with a Muslim taxi driver. In the video, he speaks with the taxi driver about converting to Christianity and the Prophet Muhammad’s flawed teachings on marriage.

Members of Indonesia’s second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, immediately lodged a complaint against him on December 8.

According to Jakarta Post, Damis said that “Abraham was convicted under Electronic and Information Transactions Law No. 11/2008 as he intentionally spread information intended to incite hatred against an individual, group and society based on religion.”

Although the verdict was more lenient than the prosecutors’ demand of a five-year prison term, Abraham’s legal team plans to file for an appeal.

A Muhammadiyah official, Pedri Kasman, admitted that he was content about the verdict. “This decision should be appreciated and should serve as a valuable lesson for all parties,” he said.

In a message to Indonesian Christians, Abraham’s wife Sara Ibrahim asked Christians to “pray for pastor Abraham’s punishment to be lighter.”

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The Indonesian government should revisit the country’s blasphemy law, as it is increasingly being exploited by radical Muslim groups to target individuals who they find to be offensive and theologically ‘out-of-line.’ To honor religious freedom as enshrined in Indonesia’s constitution, the government must respect all religions and stop criminalizing Christians when they are merely exercising their right to free speech.”

For interviews with Gina Goh, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press

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May 10 2018

Ingo Breuer

President Trump Calls Out Killing of Christians in Nigeria

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Fulani Crisis Mentioned During Presidential Conversation

05/03/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that President Trump and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria have met in Washington D.C. where they planned to discuss security and economics in Nigeria. However, during the initial televised meeting of the two leaders, President Trump also said that they need to discuss the killing of Christians in Nigeria.

“We’ve had serious problems with Christians who have been murdered, killed,” President Trump stated. “We’re going to work on that problem and work on that problem very, very hard.” This statement and visit took place only days after 18 Christians, including two priests, were killed in Benue State, Nigeria, during a burial service. The assailants in this attack are believed to be Fulani militants. This hostile group, though only a radicalized fraction of the larger ethnic community, has conducted many attacks so far this year, especially in Benue State.

To date, the exact reasons for these attacks have been difficult to pinpoint. Unlike Boko Haram and other extremist groups, the Fulani militants do not have a defined goal or structure. They have, however, conducted more large-scale attacks and caused more devastation over the past year than any other group in Nigeria.

When asked about President Trump’s comment, Rev. John Terlumun of Benue State said, “Trumps’ comments were very soothing, and have given us hope for a quick intervention in the madness of Islamic terror on our people. We are very thankful for his help.”

Solomon Musa, President of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union, said, “President Trump’s comment to President Buhari on the killings in Nigeria is very timely. We couldn’t have hoped for anything Continue Reading »

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Nov 08 2017

Ingo Breuer

Spreading the Gospel preached at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX

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The news about a tragic church shooting in a small town in Texas quickly spread all over the world. Political pundits immediately tried to utilize the events to promote a certain political agenda. They did not even have to time to express any sympathy or empathy to the families affected in that church. As a believer in Jesus Christ I stand together with those in the body of Christ who hurt and undergo suffering. I cannot look the other way. Something that really grieves me about the tragic shooting inside a church is this question: How quick does bad news spread all over the world and causes reactions! But the Good News that this church is faithfully proclaiming and trying to get heard all around the world is not spreading that fast and does not get a reaction.

The human heart is sinful and totally depraved, the Bible says. Bad news in any form arouses a devilish sense of pleasure. So-called “Schadenfreude” is unchristian and a sin that must be confessed. The Bible says “Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.” Proverbs 17:5.

If it hadn’t been for a terrible shooting most people would not have known nor cared about a small town Baptist church in Texas. Now everybody knows. Continue Reading »

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