Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spiegel: "Christianity's Modern Day Martyrs" 26 Feb 2010

Germany's SPIEGEL online international has just published an excellent article on Christian persecution , specifically on Christians as the victims of radical Islam.

Christianity's Modern-Day Martyrs

"The rise of Islamic extremism is putting increasing pressure on Christians in Muslim countries, who are the victims of murder, violence and discrimination. Christians are now considered the most persecuted religious group around the world."

* Part 1: Christianity's Modern-Day Martyrs
* Part 2: 'Creeping Genocide' against Christians
* Part 3: 'We Don't Feel Safe Here'


includes a map, and a photo gallery entitled "Dying for Their Faith" (nine photos)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Burmese troops crucify Karen women. 24 Feb 2010

NOTE: Sunday 14 March is Global Day of Prayer for Burma http://www.prayforburma.org/

On Thursdy 24 Feb 2010
, the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) released a report entitled “Walking Amongst Sharp Knives” (see: http://democracyforburma.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/walking-amongst-sharp-knives-by-karen-women/ ) in which they report horrendous attrocities committed by the Burmese military. According to the report, on one occasion, Burmese troops crucified Karen women before cutting their throats.

While the attrocity is horrendous in its own right, why would Burmese soldiers bother to crucify these women unless they were wanting to make a religious statement? Around 40 percent of all Karen are Christian. Ethnic and religious repression and persecution (long a reality in Burma) are escalating ahead of elections scheduled for later this year.

KWO’s report on horrifying abuse of women village chiefs
News - Mizzima News
Report by Usa Pichai
Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:06
http://www.bnionline.net/news/mizzima/7988-kwos-report-on-horrifying-abuse-of-women-village-chiefs.html

Report: Myanmar troops commit atrocities
By DENIS D. GRAY
24 Feb 2010
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/24/AR2010022404909.html

Burmese troops 'rape and murder' Karen women chiefs
25 Feb 2010
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23809821-burmese-troops-rape-and-murder-karen-women-chiefs.do

See also:
International Tribunal on Crimes Against Women of Burma
http://www.nobelwomensinitiative.org/blogs/burmatribunal

Escalating repression

Anmesty International warns of increased repression of Burma's minorities before election
16 Feb 2010
http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Amnesty-International-Warns-of-Increased-Repression-of-Burmas-Minorities-Before-Election-84475707.html

AI report:
Document - Myanmar: The repression of ethnic minority activists in Myanmar
16 Feb 2010
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA16/001/2010/en/183ebaaa-6f76-4d61-952b-8555034d56fd/asa160012010en.html
see particularly:
4.2 Oppression of [Christian] religion and ethnic minority identity among the Kachin, Karen, and Chin

Ethnic Chin flee persecution in Burma
Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Coordinator 5 February 2010, 12:26PM
http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/22494/

Civil war could be imminent

Burma's Kachin army prepares for civil war
22 Feb 2010
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8528985.stm

BACKGROUND

Ethnic Kachin Christians live under duress
11 Dec 2008
http://www.kachinnews.com/Feature/Ethnic-Kachin-Christians-live-under-duress-feature.html

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Myanmar/Burma : Kachin (2008)
http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,463af2212,469f2cd92,49749cdec,0.html

ALSO

Christian Solidarity Worldwide
http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/country.asp?s=id&urn=Burma
in particular:
Carrying the cross 23 Jan 2007
http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=report&id=36

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Egyptian state security accused of torturing Christian youths. 23 Feb 2010

AINA reports: "Egyptian State Security has been accused by lawyers, rights activists and victims' families of torturing the Christian youths arrested in the aftermath of the Christmas Eve shootings of Copts on January 6, 2010. The shooting in the southern town of Nag Hammadi resulted in the death of six and the injury of nine Christians."

http://www.aina.org/news/20100223002532.htm

There is concern that Egyptian authorities might be trying to extract false 'confessions' from Coptic youths which will be used to corrupt the case against the Muslim killers. This is exactly what happen in the el Kosheh case (1998-99) as police sought to frame Copts for the murder of two Coptic youths, even though their Muslim killers had been identified. In that case, the impunity led to a subsequent massacre of Copts in el Kosheh between 30 Dec 1999 - 2 Jan 2000.

Ever since 2007 the Egyptian government has been appeasing Islamic fundamentalists and keeping cases of persecution out of the courts in line with the Sharia provision that prohibit Christians from testifying against Muslims. Christian victims of persecution are being forced into 'reconciliation' sessions, where charges of arson, assault, murder etc are dropped in exchange for peace (and the release of innocent Copts being held in detention as barganing chips). This impunity has led to a dramatic escalation in persecution.

Background see:
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin o38, Wed 13 Jan 2010
Massacre at Nag Hammadi
http://ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=cf849553-79bf-41b8-ac56-d9e765c1d6bf
Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin 039, Wed 20 Jan 2010
What sort of justice?
http://ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=1fae380c-3fa0-43a3-b561-2851de6ab532
and
Keeping the Copts subjugated
WEA RLC News & Analysis 29 May2007
http://ea.org.au/default.aspx?id=0cbcb4c0-615c-4cac-9886-5cf079bc1be0

LRA attacks CAR church, killing two, abducting 30. Fri 19 Feb 2010

A band of Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) militants attacked a church in the southern Central African Republic town of Rafai on Friday 19 Feb. Using clubs and machettes, they killed two and wounded many others. Thirty were taken captive. It was the third LRA attack in the region in less than two weeks.

LRA leader Joseph Kony is a spirit medium. While the LRA has its roots in northern Uganda, it receives backing from the Islamic regime in Khartoum, Sudan, which uses the LRA as a proxy to menace the Christian peoples of Southern Sudan and their Ugandan allies.

Ugandan LRA rebels ransack, loot church in southern CAR
By Richard Ruati
February 21, 2010 (RAFAI, CAR)
http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article34206

LRA goes on rampage in Central African Republic