The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Persecution Update

Every so often I provide an update on just a few of the more egregious examples of the ongoing persecution of Christians throughout the world. The following items came to my attention in recent days.

Pakistan. A Christian woman and mother of five, Asia Bibi, 45, was recently sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy. It seems some of her Muslim neighbors in her village accused her of saying unkind things about the "Prophet Muhammad."

Many outside Pakistan, including Pope Benedict XVI, are pleading for clemency, and even some in the Pakistani government are calling for her pardon and release. But Pakistan's President Zardari is under pressure from many influential and hard-line Muslim political groups to allow the execution to take place. Many have even threatened violence in the streets if Bibi is pardoned. Pray for this woman, that true justice be done rather than that poor imitation of justice known as sharia law. Click here to read more.

Pakistani Muslim militants calling for Asia Bibi's execution

Egypt. Egyptian authorities have been cracking down lately on the building of new Christian churches. The Coptic Church seems to be a special target, likely because it represents the largest group of Christians in Egypt.

In a recent incident 156 Copts were arrested and accused of rioting after police stopped the construction of their church, citing improper building permits. During the incident the police shot a 24-year-old Coptic woman, Milad Malak, who subsequently died as a result of her wounds. Many others were wounded. Click here to read more.

Iraq. Christians are being targeted throughout Iraq by Muslim militants who have vowed to rid the country of all Christians. In the latest incident, two Christian brothers were shot and killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. The brothers, Saad and Raad Hannah were working in their auto mechanic shop when gunmen burst in and shot them dead. Local police say they were shot because they were Christian. This incident was similar to another in Mosul last week in which gunman burst into the Christian house and killed two residents in their living room. And a few weeks ago five Christians were murdered in Baghdad in a series of coordinated bombings of Christian homes and neighborhoods. Is it any wonder that Christians are fleeing the country in large numbers? Another question: Why does our government never speak of this when discussing the remarkable progress being made in Iraq? Click here to read more.
Iraqi man grieves at funeral for two slain Christian brothers

The promised persecutions continue...Pray for our brothers and sisters who desire only to live and worship in peace. They are wonderful witnesses of faith and courage in the face of persecution.

God's peace...

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