News from the Frontlines

Friday October 31, 2014

Human Rights Defender in Sudan without Home, Country after Muslim Extremist Attack

Convert from Islam flees Darfur after trying to exercise right to free speech.

By Our East Africa Correspondent

NAIROBI, Kenya, October 29, 2014 (Morning Star News) – A Sudanese father of two who once worked as a human rights defender now lives in a refugee camp after surviving an attempt on his life by Islamic extremists.


Before Ibrahim Ismaeil Ibrahim, 34, left Islam and dared to criticize the religion, he worked as a writer and human rights defender in Darfur Region’s state of West Darfur for the Sudan Contemporary Center for Studies and Development. As he chronicled human rights violations by Islamic extremists, he became disillusioned with the religion and put his faith in Jesus Christ, he said. [READ MORE]


Friday October 24, 2014

Muslim Extremists Kill 31 Christians in Taraba State, Nigeria

Boko Haram insurgents collaborate with Fulani herdsmen, church leader says.


By Our Nigeria Correspondent

JOS, Nigeria, October 24, 2014 (Morning Star News) – Armed Muslim extremists stormed two churches in Taraba state on Sunday (Oct. 19) and killed 31 people as they worshipped, a church leader said.


Two pastors, one pastor’s son, and 28 other Christians were slain in the attacks in the villages of Gindin Waya and Sondi, said the Rev. Caleb Ahema, president of the Christian Reformed Church of Christ in Nigeria. Ahema said the onslaught was the seventh attack on Christian communities in Wukari Local Government Area since February. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Thursday October 23, 2014

Behnam Irani, Two Others Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Christian Activities in Iran

House-church leaders to serve sentences in remote, harsh prisons.

By Our Middle East Correspondent

ISTANBUL, Turkey, October 23, 2014 (Morning Star News) – In what was termed a “serious blow” to house-church leader Behnam Irani, Iran has sentenced him and two other Christian leaders to six years in prison for their involvement in house churches, human rights groups learned this week.


Irani, Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and Reza Rabbani, all leaders in the Church of Iran, were sentenced on Sunday (Oct. 19) for “action against national security” and “creating a network to overthrow the system,” catch-all terms the Islamist government uses to suppress Christians and political opponents it perceives as threats.

The sentence was “a serious blow” for the family of Irani, lead pastor of the group, said a pastor in direct contact with members of Irani’s family. When the verdict was handed down, Irani was already serving the remainder of a prior five-year sentence for his involvement with house churches.


Irani’s wife, Kristina, is resolute in her faith and in her devotion to her husband but needs prayer, said the pastor, who cannot be identified for security reasons. Irani won’t be eligible for release until 2023, according to Middle East Concern (MEC). [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Wednesday October 22, 2014

Sudanese Air Force Bombing Kills Six Christian Children

Plane drops bombs on crowded market, homes.


By Our Sudan Correspondent

JUBA, South Sudan, October 22, 2014 (Morning Star News) – The Sudanese Air Force on Thursday (Oct. 16) dropped bombs on Nuba Mountain civilians that killed at least six Christian children and seriously injured another.


In Heiban, South Kordofan, a Russian-made Antonov dropped five bombs – three on a crowded square during the weekly market day, and two others nearby, including one that hit a house where a Catholic family lived, sources said. The government is fighting a three-year battle against rebels in the Nuba Mountains, but there is no military presence in the area bombed, they said. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Friday October 17, 2014

Death Sentence Upheld for Christian Mother in Pakistan

Muslim extremists packed into courtroom erupt in celebration.

By Our Pakistan Correspondent

LAHORE, Pakistan, October 16, 2014 (Morning Star News) – In spite of protests within Pakistan and abroad against the country’s blasphemy laws, the Lahore High Court today upheld the death sentence for a Christian mother accused of insulting Islam’s prophet.


Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, is the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. Arrested in June 2009 after Muslim co-workers in a berry field 60 miles west of Lahore beat her when she refused to convert to Islam, her death sentence was announced in November 2010.[READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Wednesday October 15, 2014

Sudanese Air Force Bombs Church Complex in Nuba Mountains

Family able to escape house in compound.

By Our Sudan Correspondent

JUBA, South Sudan, October 14, 2014 (Morning Star News) – The Sudanese Air Force dropped four bombs on an Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) complex in the Nuba Mountains on Friday (Oct. 10), church leaders said.


“The bombs have completely destroyed our church compound in Tabolo,” the Rev. Youhana Yaqoub of the ECS in Al Atmor, near the Tabolo area in South Kordofan state, told Morning Star News. “A family living at the church compound miraculously escaped the attack, although their whole house and property were destroyed.”[READ MORE]


Friday October 10, 2014

Two Attempted Murders by Boko Haram Show Islamic Extremist Motives

Both Christians left for dead; each cites a miracle.

By Our Nigeria Correspondent

JOS, Nigeria, October 10, 2014 (Morning Star News) – Adamu, 28, bears a scar on the back of his neck where two members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Harm tried to slaughter him.


A member of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Gwoza, Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, Adamu told Morning Star News that in April 2013 he was working on his bean farm in Musari village, in the Mungono area, when a member of the insurgent Boko Haram approached him. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Monday October 6, 2014

Messianic Jew Deported from Israel Will Appeal to Supreme Court

Banned from country for 10 years, Barry Barnett fights for rights.

By Our Middle East Correspondent

ISTANBUL, Turkey, Oct. 6, 2014 (Morning Star News) – A British messianic Jew deported from Israel last year for participating in an evangelistic outreach to Jews confirmed that he will appeal his case to the nation’s supreme court.


Barry Barnett, 50, left the country on Dec. 2 under a deportation order issued by Israel’s Ministry of the Interior. He was banned from the country for 10 years. Barnett said his primary concern is returning to Israel but that the case has religious rights implications that go far beyond him. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Sunday October 5, 2014

Christian 'Blasphemy' Suspect Misreported as Slain in Pakistani Jail Is Alive and Well

Police prison guard's attack raises questions about security.

By Our Pakistan Correspondent

LAHORE, Pakistan, Oct. 3, 2014 (Morning Star News) – Contrary to published reports, a Christian on trial for alleged “blasphemy” in Rawalpindi, Pakistan is alive and well following a Sept. 25 gun attack by a prison guard ranting against defamers of the prophet of Islam, sources said.


Prison officials and the wife of the accused Christian, Zafar Bhatti, told Morning Star News that Adiala Jail guard Muhammad Yousaf wanted to kill all inmates accused of blasphemy against Islam, but that other guards took him down after he shot a British-Pakistani Muslim in the chest who was convicted of blasphemy. The victim was recuperating at a private hospital. [READ MORE]

News from the Frontlines

Tuesday September 30, 2014

Attacks on Church in East Jerusalem Grow More Intense

Palestinian militants seek to stop ministry and seize property, Christians say.

By Our Middle East Correspondent

ISTANBUL, Turkey, September 30, 2014 (Morning Star News) – In the latest of several attacks on a congregation in East Jerusalem, young men with ties to a Palestinian militant group wired shut a church door and sprayed a gaseous substance at those inside hours before dawn on Monday (Sept. 29), church sources said.

No one was injured as those sleeping or keeping vigil fled into a hallway before the chemical spray could impair breathing, but it was the second “gas attack” in the past two weeks, Living Bread Church leader Karen Dunham told Morning Star News. On Sept. 17, a man passing by the church’s patio area opened a plastic bag containing a small gas canister inside. Within seconds, Dunham said, people on the porch were unable to breathe and fled into the church building – only to find that someone had pumped the same chemical spray into the worship hall. [READ MORE]

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