News from the Frontlines

Monday March 2, 2015

Authorities in Iran Raid Christians' Homes, Ask Them to Leave Country

By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 1, 2015 (Morning Star News) – A Christian in Iran who received 80 lashes for drinking communion wine has been asked to leave the country, human right activists said.

Agents from the Iranian intelligence service, known as VEVAK, on Feb. 16 raided the home of Mehdi Reza Omidi and two other members of house churches in Rasht, Saheb Fadaie and Yasser Mosayebzadeh, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a United Kingdom-based advocacy group. Omidi was one of four men sentenced on Oct. 6, 2013 to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine and owning a satellite antenna. Rights advocates believe the flogging was carried out within a month after sentencing.

After the Feb. 16 raids on the homes of Omidi and the two others, authorities ordered the three Christians to report the next day for questioning, where officials asked them to leave Iran. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Friday February 27, 2015

Islamic Extremists in Sub-Saharan Africa Pursue Convert from Islam Who Fled Egypt

By Our Sudan Correspondent
NAIROBI, Kenya, February 26, 2015 (Morning Star News) – When Ahmed Ali, a Christian convert from Islam, fled his native Egypt to a sub-Saharan nation after months of torture by his father and brothers, loneliness was not his worst problem.

On the streets of the capital city of the African country (undisclosed for security reasons) last month, Ali’s uncle appeared – accompanied by members of an Islamic extremist group his family had hired to assault him, Ali said.

“Why have you left Islam?” various ones among them said, according to Ali. “Why did you become an infidel? You should pay for your act.” [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Friday February 27, 2015

U.S. Evangelist Wins Five Year Battle for Residency in Turkey

By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, February 25, 2015 (Morning Star News) – After a five-year court battle, a U.S. evangelist singled out by Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior for deportation because of his outreach activities has been granted a residency permit to stay in Turkey.

David Byle was issued a residency permit at the end of January after five years of living in limbo. During that time, the co-founder of the Holy Book Information Association, also known as the Bible Correspondence Course in Turkey (BCC-Turkey), was unsure from month to month if he might be detained and deported.

His problems stemmed from an immigration hold placed on his name by Turkey’s Ministry of the Interior that prevented him from getting a regular residency visa. Over the summer, the Fifth Administrative Court in Ankara found that the hold on his file was not legal. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Monday February 23, 2015

Hindu Extremists Strive to Mortify, Malign Christians in Jharkhand State, India

By Our New Delhi Correspondent
NEW DELHI, February 20, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Hindu extremists in India this month sought to shame and malign Christians, as four women were publicly beaten in one village and a teacher was falsely accused of child molestation in another, sources said.

In India’s eastern state of Jharkhand, 11 assailants dragged four Christian women from their prayer meeting on Feb. 8 in Navardi, Chatra, to a public meeting site, where they beat them and partially stripped one, sources said. The women had just finished their meeting at a home when the Hindu extremists charged in, reviled them for praying to Christ and dragged them out to the road, said area church leader Rampath Nayak.

As the husbands of the four women worked in the fields, the extremists took Shanti, Samudri, Sonamati and Yasoda (surnames withheld for security reasons) to a public meeting place, placed them on a platform and started beating them with their hands and shoes, he said. [READ MORE]

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