Jun 06 2018

Ingo Breuer

Two Men Assault Clergyman in Bethlehem

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Assailants Were Harassing Christian Pilgrims Attempting To Enter Church

06/05/2018 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on June 1, 2018, a Franciscan friar was stabbed after protecting pilgrim women from two men harassing them as they attempted to enter a church. Video footage of the incident shows that Father Fadi Shallufi was stabbed through a closed gate after he attempted to calm the situation.

According to an incident report obtained by al-Arab Newservice, “Police indicated that they ‘started the investigation after receiving a complaint from a Christian cleric from the north about the harassment of young worshipers near a church in Bethlehem, and asked young worshipers to maintain calm in the place.”

Fides shared a statement by the spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land which says that “two young men were disturbing a group of pilgrims heading towards the Milk Grotto Church, adjacent to the Basilica of the Nativity. In the face of this behavior, Father Fadi limited himself to allowing the pilgrims to quickly enter the church, and then closed the gate and thus prevented access to the two attackers.”

Father Fadi was stabbed shortly after closing the gate. Bishop Atallah Hannah published a statement saying, “We thank God that the injury was minor, but this action is a criminal act that is far from our human, moral and national values. We reject attacks against clerics.”

The Jerusalem Post added, “According to a source within the church, assaults on clergy are very rare. But this incident, he said, had crossed a redline. He couldn’t think of more than two serious incidents in the last several decades, however, he did acknowledge that during times of political crises or on religious holidays there can be harassment and tension.”

The attack on Father Fadi corresponds with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is scheduled to end mid-June. Arab48 news reports that the two assailants have taken responsibility for the crime, but police have not released any additional details.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “The assault on Father Fadi and the harassment of Christians attending his church is deeply worrying. While we are grateful that no one was seriously injured during this incident, the reality is that Middle Eastern Christians constantly live in fear of such attacks. Sadly, the escalation of intimidation, harassment, and violence towards Christians is an all too common occurrence during Ramadan.”

For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press

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Jun 05 2018

Ingo Breuer

On Tiananmen Anniversary, China Detains Dozens of Christians in Sichuan

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06/05/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on June 4 at 3:30 pm, local authorities raided Autumn Rain Covenant Church in Sichuan, China to summon pastor Wang Yi and preacher Li Yingqiang ahead of their scheduled prayer vigil for the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

Two hours later, pastor Wang Yi, his wife Jiang Rong, four preachers Li Yingqiang, Zhang Xudong, Ge Yingfeng, An Yankui, 11 other members of the church including Weng Guanghe, Liu Yingxu, Dai Zhichao, and Ran Yifei were taken away by the police.

In the process, preacher Li Yingqiang was brutally pushed against the wall, choked, and slapped multiple times by police officers. The authorities also cut the church’s electricity and placed a notice on the wall which reads, “[…] this is not an authorized place for religious gathering, […] please go to an authorized and registered religious venue to participate in religious activities.”

A source in China who wishes not to be named confirmed with ICC that, at the time of writing, the entire group is still being held by the government. Neither pastor Wang Yi nor his wife could be contacted.

June 4 marks the 29th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China, where an estimated several hundred to thousands of student protesters were killed by the government, with more than 10,000 people arrested during and after the protests.

According to South China Morning Post, since 2009, the Church has designated the period between May 12 and June 4 its “prayer month” to remember the natural and man-made disasters that have hit China on those two dates. May 12 was the anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan in 2008 while June 4 was the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.

This was not the first time that Pastor Wang Yi has been targeted by the government. On May 12, he and dozens of his congregants were detained before they could hold a memorial service for the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He has also been barred from participating in overseas Christian conferences several times in the past years. The underground church pastor is known for his resiliency and outspokenness against the government’s crackdown on Christians.

The leadership of the church sent out an urgent message yesterday, telling people that “as long as there is one body in Christ who has not returned home, we will not cease praying. May God use prayers to overturn the hearts of people in power!”

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Chinese Christians continue to face a growing crackdown under President Xi Jinping, especially those who refuse to submit to the government’s control. It’s shameful that three decades after the infamous Tiananmen incident, Beijing is still fearful of its people, viewing people of faith and activists as the state’s enemy. China will never be a great country unless it learns to listen and respect the rights of its citizens.”

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

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Jun 03 2018

Ingo Breuer

North Korea Conference with President Trump on June 12

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1953-2018, “End of Korean War” Anniversary

1983-2018, KAL007 Anniversary

The conference between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Singapore is back on the schedule after talks between President Trump and a senior North Korean envoy.

We have no idea what  this conference may bring. The leftist press might take advantage of it to further whitewash a brutal communist dictator and further tarnish a president who has so far delivered well on a conservative agenda. As a believer I am in prayer about such a meeting. Jesus taught us the principle of reciprocity in Matthew 7:12: All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” There has to be a balance and a benefit for both sides in negotiations. For example, it would be wrong to enter into negotiations from a weak position where one side only gives and the other only takes. Such has been the foul Iran deal. The US pays billions to the Iranians, the EU earns billions through exports to Iran and Iran can have its way and fund its national and military interest all under the guise of “peace”. Europeans are crazy about exporting to Muslim countries. Because of their dying populations sales to foreign countries are their only lifeline. Europeans don’t buy stuff because they are overtaxed by their socialist national governments and the Brussels uber-government. European politician usually exclude conservative, Christian interests from their politics because their interests are not in line with globalist elites running the continent. That’s not a good example of reciprocity.

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Jun 02 2018

Ingo Breuer

Christians Falsely Accused of Forced Conversion in India’s Jharkhand State

Filed under PersecutionShare!  

Christian Leaders Say Anti-Conversion Law Has Led to Increase in Harassment

06/01/2018 Washington, DC (International Christian Concern) www.persecution.org– International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that at least 15 Christians in India’s northeastern state of Jharkhand have been falsely charged with forced conversions during the month of May. According to local Christians, this series of charges is a product of increased harassment experienced by the Christian community since Jharkhand passed the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017.
On May 12, 11 Christians were charged under Section 4 of the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017 after they gathered for prayer at a Christian home in Medhasai village, located in the Chaibasa District of Jharkhand. Susheela Barla, Manseed Kandulna, Sunil Horo, Jeevan Kandayaburu, Jone Suren, Mojes Gagarai, Sekindar Bading, Basanth Manji, Vijaya Thikki, Rajesh Kalkho, and Mothilal Ho were all charged of engaging in forced conversions (FIR no. 15/18) and have fled their homes fearing arrest.
On May 30, four more Christians, including two Christians youths to be married, were arrested for fraudulent conversion activities in Porker village, located in the Simdega District of Jharkhand. Rupesh Manji, age 24, and Sumanthi Kumari, age 20, were engaged to be married on May 30, but the local Sarna tribe opposed the wedding. When the young couple approached police for help, they were taken into custody and falsely charged under the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017 (FIR no. 05/18). Two more Christians, Pastor Sudarshan Manji and Nilam Devi, were arrested along with the young couple.
“[These] anti-conversion laws, ironically titled freedom of religion laws, are actually aimed at taking away the freedom of religion and rights of tribal and other marginalized sections of the Indian society,” Rev. Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary Evangelical Fellowship of India, said in a press statement following the passage of the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017.
Section 3 of the law states, “No person shall attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religious faith to another by use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means, nor shall any person abet any such conversion.
Punishment under this bill includes imprisonment of up to three years, a fine of 50,000 Rupees, or both. Similar laws exist in seven other states in India and state governments have not defined the terms inducement, coercion, force, or fraud in the context of religious conversions. Due to this ambiguity, these laws are widely abused by Hindu radicals to harass and intimidate Christians while claiming to be operating under the auspices of state law.
Pastor Rajesh Bage, who serves as a pastor in Simdega District told ICC that the arrests of Christians have become more frequent since the Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act 2017 became a law. “The latest arrests of four people in Porker village is the effect of the anti-conversion law that came into effect from last year August,” Pastor Bage told ICC.
Another Christian leader from Jharkhand, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “It is becoming more clear that the anti-conversion law was brought by the BJP to target Christians in the state. Hindu radicals are feeling empowered and enjoy a free hand to attack Christians. It is very unfortunate what is happening to Christians in Jharkhand.
William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are deeply disappointed to see Christians in Jharkhand being harassed under the auspices of state law. These Freedom of Religion Laws are widely abused by Hindu radicals due to the ambiguity within the laws themselves. These laws provide an easy excuse for radicals to attack Christian leaders with impunity. Following an assault, one simply needs to claim the pastor was forcefully converting an individual. As a result, instead of the pastor’s assailants being arrested, it’s the assailed pastor who is arrested. With attacks on Christians skyrocketing, the adoption of a law that would only incite more violence seems to be another step away from India enforcing religious freedom for all.
For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press

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