News from the Frontlines

Thursday July 2, 2015

Charges Dropped against Muslim Accused of Killing Christian in Egypt

Like others accused of violence against copts, suspect is declared insane.By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, July 2, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Prosecutors in Upper Egypt have dropped all charges against a Muslim who, according to numerous eyewitnesses, gunned down a Christian with the aim of intimidating his family into withdrawing charges in another religiously motivated killing.
Prosecuting attorneys on June 24 found that the accused in the January shooting, Hasan Baghdadi, was incompetent to stand trial by reason of insanity and closed the case before it could be presented to a judge, according to human rights activists. Additionally, the investigation into Baghdadi’s brother, Mohammed, who was also allegedly involved in the incident, was dropped.

Sometime after the case was withdrawn, Baghdadi was sent to a psychiatric facility where he remained Wednesday (July 1), according to human rights activists. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Friday June 26, 2015

Christians Fear Creation of Muslim Sub-State in Philippines

President's solution to decades of violence could cause more tensions, critics say.By Our Philippines Correspondent
MINDANAO, Philippines, June 26, 2015(Morning Star News) – Christians and others in the southern Philippines have expressed strong fears that legislation creating an Islamic sub-state on Mindanao Island will exacerbate religious tensions rather than resolve them.
The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), proposed by President Benigno Aquino III last September with the aim of ending decades of Islamist rebel violence in Mindanao, was approved by a House Ad Hoc Committee on May 20 with 50 members voting yes, 17 voting no and one abstaining. The area, comprising five provinces with sizeable non-Muslim populations, already enjoys a measure of autonomy as the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and the proposed BBL would give leaders sufficient independence to impose sharia (Islamic law).

“What President Aquino is doing is treasonous to Christian communities in Mindanao,” Rolly Pelinggon, national convenor of Mindanaoans for Mindanao (M4M), told Morning Star News.

If Bangsamoro, or “Moro Country” with Moro being colloquial for “Muslim,” were ruled under sharia, non-Muslims would become second-class citizens with drastically reduced rights. Critics of the bill say it would render the federal government powerless to redress human rights abuses under Islamic law. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Friday June 26, 2015

Nun in Chhattisgarh, India Says Two Masked Men Bound, Raped Her

Christians protest official downplay of severity, religious motives of attack.By Our India Correspondent
NEW DELHI, June 25, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Contrary to police reports, a nun with her face covered said yesterday at a press conference in Chhattisgarh state that two men raped her at a medical clinic in Raipur on Saturday (June 20).
The unidentified, 47-year-old nun told media that two masked men entered her room at the Christ Help Center (Khrist Sahay Kendre) at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday. When she asked them if they wanted money, they replied, “We want much more than money,” she said.

One of the men held her while the other forced drugs into her mouth and gagged her with a cloth, she said, flanked by representatives of minority groups and political parties. The two assailants then tied her to the cot with her sari and used a long head scarf to bind her hands before taking turns raping her, she said. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Wednesday June 24, 2015

Christian Mother of 11 in Uganda Poisoned by Muslim In-Laws, Area Sources Say

Wife of former sheikh succumbs after sister-in-law feeds her.By Our East Africa Correspondent
NAIROBI, Kenya, June 23, 2015 (Morning Star News) – A mother of 11 who left Islam for Christianity was poisoned to death last week in a village in eastern Uganda, area sources said.

Namumbeiza Swabura, mother of a 5-month-old baby, died on Wednesday (June 17) in Nabuli village, Kibuku District, after her sister-in-law visited her and offered to prepare a light meal of cooked plantain called matoke for her, area sources said. Swabura and her husband, former sheikh (Islamic teacher) Mugoya Muhammad, put their faith in Christ in August 2014.
Her husband’s sister, Jafaran Wowa of Kanyolo village, visited her at 4 p.m. and after an hour prepared the dish, sources said. Wowa, who did not eat any of the dish, left soon after Swabura finished it, Muhammad learned.

Muhammad arrived soon after she finished eating to find his wife complaining of stomach pain. She told him the pain started immediately after eating the food that his sister had prepared for her, sources said. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Monday June 22, 2015

Muslims in Zanzibar Take Worship Hall, Bleed Another Church with Court Costs

Pastor forced to change homes four times in two years.By Our East Africa Correspondent
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, June 22, 2015(Morning Star News) – Hard-line Muslims on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania have driven a pastor and father of five into hiding and taken over his church’s rented worship hall, he said.
“I have changed my place of residence four times since 2012” due to threats from area Muslims, said Pastor Philemon, whose full name is withheld for security purposes.

Once a congregation of 100, his New Covenant Church has shrunk to 25 members. Intent on removing his church from the undisclosed area, the Muslims cajoled a landlord into renting the congregation’s worship hall to them before the term of church’s lease ended, the pastor said.

“The church faithful are so scattered,” he said. “Some members are always knocking at my door requesting a place for worship.” [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Saturday June 20, 2015

Two Injured in Arson Attack on Historic Church in Galilee, Israel

Monk, volunteer recovering from smoke, fumes.By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 19, 2015 (Morning Star News) – An elderly monk is recovering from smoke and toxic fumes he inhaled in an arson attack on a Galilee church yesterday as Israeli police investigate the blaze that caused more that $1 million in damages.

Before dawn on Thursday (June 18) someone set fire to the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, a Roman Catholic church run by Benedictine monks on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Tabgha village.
Officials have not released the name of the monk, who according to local media reports is 80 years old. Both the monk and a German volunteer at the church required hospitalization. Both suffered from smoke inhalation, with the monk’s injuries appearing to be more serious.

No arrests have been in connection with the fire, but 16 Jewish “youths” were held, questioned then released, said police spokeswoman Luba Samri in press statements. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Thursday June 18, 2015

Blasphemy Law Reform Drafted in Pakistan as Three More Christians Are Accused

'Bad intent' must be proven for conviction under new legislation.By Our Pakistan Correspondent
LAHORE, Pakistan, June 17, 2015 (Morning Star News) – The Pakistani government has finished drafting a bill to combat abuse of blasphemy laws to which three Christians in the past month alone have fallen prey, sources said.

In Nankana Sahib District of Punjab Province, a Muslim accused a 94-year-old Christian landowner of blaspheming Islam in retaliation for the landowner’s attempt to resolve a disagreement over profit-sharing on a cornfield. Chaudhry Habil Qaiser of Martinpur village on May 27 filed an application with the predominantly Christian area’s inter-faith harmony committee asserting that Maulvi Muhammad Bashir, who used to till his land, was spreading false rumors that he had blasphemed Islam.

“Despite my repeated calls to Bashir, he refused to come to my house and discuss the issue,” Qaiser told Morning Star News. “On May 25, Malik Ghulam Amjad, a Muslim from a neighboring village, told me on the telephone that Bashir was propagating that I had mocked Islamic tenets in his presence. This propaganda was disseminated in several Muslim-inhabited villages.” [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Thursday June 18, 2015

Christians Shaken after Attack on their Church Building in Istanbul, Turkey

Some congregation members suspect assailant did not act alone.By Our Middle East Correspondent
ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 17, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Some members of a congregation in Istanbul suspect a man who attacked their church building last week did not act alone.
Church members said they suspect the assailant, whom police said has a severe psychological disorder, was pressured to commit the attack by a group that wanted to stir up religious, ethnic or political problems in Turkey.

In the early evening hours of June 9, a man who appeared to be in his 20s threw a lit Molotov cocktail at a wooden side door of the Hagia Triada (Holy Trinity) Orthodox Church in Kadıköy, Istanbul, according to witnesses at the scene. He then stood outside the door screaming “Allahu Akbar [God is greater]” as the flames spread upwards.

As police arrived and took the assailant into custody, he screamed out, “Revenge will be taken for Al-Aqsa Mosque,” an apparent reference to one of Sunni Islam’s holiest sites, located in the Old City of Jerusalem. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Tuesday June 16, 2015

No New Evidence against Two South Sudanese Pastors in Sudan, Relatives Say

Church leaders put in separate, high-security cells.By Our Sudan Correspondent
JUBA, South Sudan, June 15, 2015 (Morning Star News) – Prosecutors produced no new evidence today in the trial of two South Sudanese pastors facing the death penalty on charges of undermining the Sudanese constitution, sources said.
At a hearing in Khartoum in the trial of the Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yein Reith, the same two officials of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) who testified previously offered the same weak evidence as before, a relative in the courtroom told Morning Star News.

A defense attorney asked the NISS officials to produce evidence for the charges, including spying (Article 53) – which along with “undermining the constitution” is punishable by death or life imprisonment – and waging war against the state (Article 51), which calls for the death penalty. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Thursday June 11, 2015

Christians Suspect Islamic State Influencing Muslims in Palestinian Territories, Israel

Increased radicalization seen in attacks, rhetoric.By Our Middle East Correspondent
Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. (Wikipedia)ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 11, 2015 (Morning Star News) – After months of Islamic State (IS) committing horrific violence in the Middle East and North Africa, Palestinian Christians say a large number of Muslims in the Palestinian Territories and Israel have become “radicalized” and are much more aggressive toward them.

Anti-Christian hostility boiling under the surface for years has come into plain view in the past few months in the form of physical attacks, incendiary religious speeches and inflammatory billboards, they said. Read More

Page 1 of 156  > >>