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Two Iranian Christians refuse to renounce Christian faith in exchange for freedom from prison.




Iranian Christians at their final appeal hearing were ordered by a court to renounce their Christian faith to gain their freedom but they refused to do so.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide said the hearing took place on Tuesday in Tehran, where Christians Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri were ordered by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to turn away from their religion.

The believers, who refused to comply, have been convicted of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” and are waiting to hear their final verdict. In September, Fadaie was sentenced to 18 months in prison, along with two years of internal exile, while Bakhteri was sentenced to one year in prison.

The Christians were arrested and convicted for discussing Christian doctrine in a house church, which was deemed to be an attack on Islam, the dominant religion in Iran.

Fadaie is already serving a 10-year prison sentence in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran, convicted in July 2017 along with three other Christians “for acting against national security” by “promoting Zionist Christianity.”

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas argued that Fadaie’s and Bakhteri’s convictions were not only go against their right to religious freedom, but also “criminalizes the Christian faith, which the Iranian Constitution purports to recognize.”

“It is deeply concerning that Judges Babaee and Zargar are presiding over their appeal, especially in view of the unacceptable demand for them to renounce their faith; the rejection by these judges of a previous appeal involving Mr. Fadaie, and the allegations that both judges are implicated in human rights violations,” Thomas added.

The CSW head insisted that the two Christians deserve due process and to have their verdicts overturned.

“We also continue to urge the Iranian government to cease all forms of harassment and intimidation of peaceable religious communities, and to release all those detained in connection with their religion or belief,” he said.

In October, a ministry helping Iranian believers told that it was witnessing one of the “fastest growing underground church movements” in the world.

Mike Ansari, president of Heart4Iran Ministries, told CP that “the persecution of minorities has been a constant under the current Islamic regime in Iran. The Iranian converts to Christianity have been systematically arrested and persecuted as heretics.”

He attested that the persecution is stemming from a “historic and organic growth of Christianity inside Iran, evidenced by one of the fastest growing underground church movements in the world.”

The ministry leader revealed that most Christians who are arrested “are coerced to divulge information about their house-church activities and those of their friends, under the threat of criminal persecution, or arrest of family members.”

Ansari said it’s important to remember that the Church was strong in Iran even before the rise of Islam.

“Much of today’s Islamic world, including Iran, was once Christian. The churches across Iran and Iraq were once great and enduring churches, which sent the first missionaries to China. Yet with emergence of Islam, these communities were marginalized and at times completely destroyed,” Ansari said ahead of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church that month.

“It seems there is an organic re-emergence of Christianity across Iran. God is on the move and building His Church. With growth comes persecution.”

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ഫിലിപ്പീൻസിൽ കുർബാനയ്ക്കിടെ സ്ഫോടനം; 4 മരണം



പാരിസ് : ഫിലിപ്പീൻസിലും പാരിസിലും 2 ഭീകരാക്രമണങ്ങളിൽ 5 പേർ മരിച്ചു. തെക്കൻ ഫിലിപ്പീൻസിലെ മറാവി നഗരത്തിലെ മിൻഡനാവ് സ്റ്റേറ്റ് യൂണിവേഴ്സിറ്റിയുടെ ജിംനേഷ്യത്തിൽ നടന്ന ഞായറാഴ്ച കുർബാനയ്ക്കിടെ ഉണ്ടായ ബോംബ് സ്ഫോടനത്തിൽ 4 പേർ കൊല്ലപ്പെട്ടു. 50 പേർക്കു പരുക്കേറ്റു. മരിച്ചവരിൽ 3 പേർ സ്ത്രീകളാണ്. പരുക്കേറ്റവരിൽ 2 പേരുടെ നില അതീവ ഗുരുതരമാണ്.

പാരിസിൽ ഐഫൽ ടവറിനു സമീപം ജർമൻ സഞ്ചാരി കുത്തേറ്റു മരിച്ചു. ഒരു ബ്രിട്ടിഷ് സഞ്ചാരിയുൾപ്പെടെ 2 പേർക്കു പരുക്കേറ്റു. കത്തിയും ചുറ്റികയുമായി ആക്രമണം നടത്തിയ ഫ്രഞ്ചുകാരനെ പൊലീസ് അറസ്റ്റ് ചെയ്തു. 2016 ൽ ഒരു ആക്രമണക്കേസിൽ അറസ്റ്റിലായി 4 വർഷം ജയിൽശിക്ഷ അനുഭവിച്ചയാളാണ് അക്രമിയെന്നു പൊലീസ് പറഞ്ഞു.

ഫിലിപ്പീൻസിലെ സ്ഫോടനത്തിനു പിന്നിൽ വിദേശ ഭീകരരാണെന്നു പ്രസിഡന്റ് ഫെർഡിനന്റ് മാർക്കോസ് ജൂനിയർ ആരോപിച്ചു. തെക്കൻ ഫിലിപ്പീൻസിലെ മഗുണ്ടിനാവ് പ്രവിശ്യയിലെ ഡേറ്റു ഹോഫർ പട്ടണത്തിൽ വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച 11 ഇസ്‍ലാമിക് സ്റ്റേറ്റ് ഭീകരർ സൈനിക നടപടിയിൽ കൊല്ലപ്പെട്ടിരുന്നു. ഇന്നലെ രാവിലെ കുർബാനയ്ക്കിടെ ഉണ്ടായ സ്ഫോടനത്തിന് ഇതുമായി ബന്ധമുണ്ടോയെന്ന് പൊലീസ് സംശയിക്കുന്നു. കത്തോലിക്കാ ഭൂരിപക്ഷ രാജ്യമാണ് ഫിലിപ്പീൻസ്.

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നൈജീരിയയിൽ വീണ്ടും ക്രൈസ്തവർക്ക് നേരെ ആക്രമണം; ഏഴുപേർ കൊല്ലപ്പെട്ടു



നൈജീരിയയിലെ രണ്ട് ഗ്രാമങ്ങളിൽ നവംബർ 30 ന് ഫുലാനി തീവ്രവാദികൾ നടത്തിയ ആക്രമണത്തിൽ ഏഴ് ക്രൈസ്തവർ കൊല്ലപ്പെട്ടു. മാംഗു കൗണ്ടിയിലെ പുക, ഡിന്റർ ഗ്രാമങ്ങൾ പുലർച്ചെ ഒരു മണിയോടെയാണ് ആക്രമണം നടന്നത്.

“ഫുലാനി തീവ്രവാദികൾ ഞങ്ങളുടെ പുക, ഡിന്റർ എന്നീ ഗ്രാമങ്ങൾ ആക്രമിച്ചു ഏഴ് ക്രൈസ്തവരെ കൊലപ്പെടുത്തി. മറ്റ് നിരവധി ക്രൈസ്തവർക്ക് പരിക്കേറ്റു, അവർ ഇപ്പോൾ ചികിത്സയിലാണ്. മൂന്ന് ക്രൈസ്തവരെ തട്ടിക്കൊണ്ടു പോകുകയും ചെയ്തു.” പ്രദേശവാസികൾ പറയുന്നു.

ടോറോ കൗണ്ടിയിൽ നടന്ന മറ്റൊരുആക്രമത്തിൽ തട്ടിക്കൊണ്ടു പോയ മൂന്ന് ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികളെയും അന്ന് വൈകുന്നേരം രക്ഷപ്പെടുത്തിയതായി പ്രാദേശിക പത്രങ്ങൾ റിപ്പോർട്ട് ചെയ്തു.

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Christian teen forced into marriage makes daring escape, shares her story



Nayab Gill was just 13 years old when she was taken from her home in Gujranwala, Pakistan, by her Muslim employer. She was forced to convert to Islam and made to marry her abductor at gunpoint, a fate faced by dozens of minor Christian girls in Pakistan each year. Two years after her kidnapping, Nayab made a daring escape and is now sharing her story.

On May 20, 2021, Nayab Gill’s employer, Saddam Hayat, a 30-year-old married father of four children, reportedly arrived at her home to “take her to work” in his vehicle.

“Saddam was a frequent visitor to our house,” said Nayab. “He owned some shops in our area, one of which was rented by my father. Saddam promised to pay me a salary of 10,000 Pakistani Rupees ($34) and said the money would help my poor family to supplement its income. My father reluctantly agreed to his proposal because Saddam told him that I was like his own daughter.”

Nayab recalls that Saddam at least twice tried to make advances on her at work, compelling her to keep a safe distance.

“I was afraid that if I told my family about Saddam’s advances, my father would stop me from going to work, and my family would lose the money that we needed so desperately,” she said.

On the day of the kidnapping, instead of taking her to the salon where she worked selling facial products, Saddam took her to a deserted house, where he forced her to renounce her Christian faith and sign a blank paper. Nayab says that soon after being held hostage, Saddam threatened her at gunpoint that if she did not succumb to his will, he would kill her and her father.

“I screamed and cried, but no one heard me. After getting the paper forcibly signed, Saddam locked me up in a room and left,” she said. “I was kept there for two days, during which I was given food only once in 24 hours.”

“On the third day, Saddam came and told me that my father had registered a case of abduction against him. He told me that I would be presented before a judge, and if I did not testify that I had converted to Islam and married him of my free will, my family and I would be killed on the court’s premises.”

Nayab recorded a statement in court in her abductor’s favor. He was given custody of Nayab as his lawful wife in front of her helpless parents, who shed tears for their young daughter.

Nayab’s ordeal worsened after the court gave custody to her abductor.

“Saddam then took me to his own house and locked me up in a room on the second floor,” she said. “During my two-year captivity, he repeatedly assaulted me against my will and treated me like a slave. But I did not lose hope and my faith in Christ!”

“I prayed every night, saying, ‘God, please help me.’ I would also pray for my family’s safety. They refused to give up and kept moving through the court system for my recovery. But I was too scared to reveal the truth. Each time I was summoned in court, I would say that I was an adult and had married Saddam with my free will.”

“Saddam’s family treated me like an outcast. They often humiliated me for being born to a Christian family. There were times when I thought I should end my life, but I think it was my faith in God that gave me the strength to face that situation.”

In April 2023, Nayab found a chance to escape.

“It was the last week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when Saddam’s former wife registered a case against him for threatening her,” she said. “Fearing arrest, Saddam and his brothers fled the house, but in the rush of things, they forgot to lock me up.

“It seemed God had answered my prayers for freedom. I discreetly left the house and started running, not even knowing where the road would lead me.”

“I stopped at a market to catch my breath when a Muslim woman approached me. She must have sensed that something was not right. She asked me if I needed help. I told her that I did not have any money or a phone to contact my father. She took me to her house, where I was able to get in touch with my family.”

Nayab was soon reunited with her parents.

“I don’t have words to express the joy I felt when I saw my father,” she said. “Tears rolled down our eyes as he hugged me and kissed my forehead, promising to keep me safe forever.”

Nayab’s father filed a second petition with the Supreme Court in July 2021 after the High Court rejected his first petition and sent the girl with her abductor. The Supreme Court set a hearing for the newest petition a full two years in the future, dampening the family’s hopes of recovering their child. Once the court finally heard the case in September 2023, it dismissed the petition as being “infructuous,” or pointless, because the girl had been reunited with her family.

The Supreme Court’s decision has left the door open for more sexual exploitation of underage Christian girls in Pakistan in the guise of religious conversion.

“I was expecting that the Supreme Court would hear my story, but it seems it wasn’t interested. I now want to resume my education and make friends. I don’t have friends anymore. I even asked my mother to let me cut my hair because I want to be like a boy. It’s not safe to be a girl in Pakistan.”
Sources:Christian Post

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