Christians across the world are persecuted for their Faith in Christ in many ways. Often times in Muslim countries, Christians will be jailed for false charges carrying long prison terms. Then the judge or prosecutor will come to them and say if they deny Christ, they will be released.
In the same story coming out of Pakistan, two Christians jailed over unproven accusations of starting a riot were told by the Muslim judge that they will be set free and all charges dropped if the convert to Islam:
A Pakistani deputy district public prosecutor (DDPP), Syed Anees Shah, has been accused of blackmailing many Christians to embrace Islam to avoid being convicted for the killing of two Muslims in mass violence in 2015.
Forty two Christians were charged with lynching two Muslim men in March 2015, soon after suicide blasts targeted Sunday mass in two churches in Pakistan. Violence erupted in Youhanabad Christian neighbourhood of Lahore on March 15 after a mob lynched two men suspecting them of being involved in the blasts.
Joseph Franci, a rights activist who is legally assisting the accused Christians, said that DDPP Syed Anees Shah had told the accused in the case that they will be acquitted if they converted from Christianity to Islam, according to The Express Tribune.
“He told them if they embrace Islam, he can guarantee them their acquittal in this case,” Joseph said. The activist added that the accused were dumbfounded when they were approached with the deal.
An advocate, Naseeb Anjum, said that the offer made by the public prosecutor was nothing new and that Shah had also given the same offer to some other accused around six months back, however they rejected it.
“They believe in independence of the court, but why is the DDPP blackmailing them? The government should get rid of such elements that bring bad name to the state by such acts,” the advocate said.
When contacted, Shah denied making any such offers. However, when he was told that the accused had a video recording of him offering a deal to them, the public prosecutor attempted to defend himself by saying that he was just offering them a choice. (here)
In a story coming out of Eritrea, two Christian women were imprisoned for being part of an illegal Christian church. They went on a hunger strike, after which they were raped and then beaten to death according to a recent report:
Two Pentecostal women have died following a hunger strike after being transferred to a hospital from the detention centre where they were being held.
Eritrean website Erimedrek News reported that the women had been detained at Wi’a Military Camp and had begun a hunger strike in protest at the abuse they were experiencing whilst incarcerated.
The site also reported that bruises on the women’s bodies suggested that they had injuries consistent with sexual abuse.
The women were admitted to Massawa Hospital on 12 March, where they were guarded by security personnel, but died five days later. (source)
A Muslim man in Iran, Ebrahim Firouzi, realized the diabolical nature of Islam, and converted to Christianity. The Iranian government just recently sentenced him to five years in prison. As we read in one report:
The five years prison sentence issued by the court of first instance for the Iranian Christian convert Ebrahim Firouzi has been confirmed by the appeals court.
The so-called Revolutionary Court has convicted Firoozi of ‘forming a group in order to disrupt national security’, while human rights defenders say that Firoozi is in prison only for his beliefs.
Branch 28 of the so-called Tehran Revolutionary Court presided by Mohammad Moghiseh sentenced Ebrahim Firouzi in March 2015 to five years in prison on charges of ‘forming a group for disrupting national security’.
According to reports, Ebrahim Firouzi rejected at all stages of the judicial process having formed any group or trying to disrupt national security. Nonetheless, parts of the evidence presented at the appeals court were the same previously presented against him, according to which he was sentenced in the past.
Mr. Firoozi has been kept in Rajaeeshahr prison in Karaj since his sentence was issued last year. Now, Mansour Borji, spokesman for the Article 18 Committee, of the United Council of Iranian Churches in London (Hamgaam), tells Radiofarda that Mr. Firoozi’s sentence has been confirmed and that the Christian convert has to spend the coming years in prison.
Also according to ‘Mohabatnews’, an Iranian Christian outlet, the final verdict of the appeals court has been issued on January 14, 2017.
According to reports, Ebrahim Firouzi has also been arrested and tried once before. In 2013, the Revolutionar Court in Robat Karim, Tehran, sentenced Firoozi to one year in prison and two years of exile in the city of Sarbaz, Sistan and Baluchestan province, on charges of ‘propaganda against the Islamic Republic’, ‘forming and leading a perverted evangelical Christian group’, and ‘having links with foreign anti-revolutionary individuals and networks’, says Mohabatnews.
There has been several reports over the past years on arresting and trying Christian converts in Iran. A number of human rights organizations issued a joint statement in December 2016, asking the international community to try to stop persecution of Christian converts in Iran.
Christians have been persecuted in China since the communists took power in 1949, but in recent years it has only gotten worse. Right now, reports on the ground are saying that it is the worst it has been since the Cultural Revolution and is only deteriorating. Not only that, but it has come out that the Chinese government has targeted Christians for extermination, and after destroying churches they have been kidnapping Christians and harvesting their organs for medical use:
A report from a Christian charity has found that Christians are being persecuted at rates not seen since the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1966 until 1976.
The Cultural Revolution, launched by dictator Mao Zedong, attempted to eliminate the “Four Olds,” which were defined as “Old Customs,” “Old Culture,” “Old Habits,” and “Old Ideas.” The campaign, carried out by organized groups of students Mao called the Red Guards, targeted the adherents of religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and others. Countless temples, historical sites, books, and priceless historical artifacts were destroyed. Religious expression, which permeated the culture in China during that time, was essentially banned, and it could have dire consequences. Millions of people were persecuted, tortured and killed.
Now, China Aid’s Annual Persecution Report for 2016 found that incidents of Christian persecution rose about 20 percent on the previous year, while the number of Christians imprisoned went up by nearly 150 percent. Officials with the Chinese Communist Party, which is officially atheist, also called for the forced demolition of churches and removal of church crosses.
The report also noted that Christians may have been killed for their organs—a grisly practice used mainly on adherents of Falun Gong, a form of traditional meditation that, during the 1990s, made up approximately one twelfth of the population, according to some estimates, and has been targeted for elimination by Chinese Communist authorities since 1999. Last June, a report said up to 1.5 million organ transplants may have taken place in China since 2000—most of which were harvested from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience.
“I believe it’s ideology, mass murder, and the cover-up of a terrible crime where the only way to cover up that crime is to keep killing people who know about it,” said investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann, who helped release last year’s report on organ harvesting in China, aptly titled, “Bloody Harvest/The Slaughter: An Update.” China has “built a juggernaut,” Gutmann added, referring to the statewide network of hospitals used for organ harvesting.
According to China Aid, Christians are still forced to worship in houses or underground churches, adding that China ranks 39th out of the 50 worst countries in the world for persecuting Christians. (source)
Violence against Christians in India has been growing rapidly as Hindu extremists are gaining power and attempt to use it to stop the spread of Christianity and to force poor Christians to convert to Hinduism.
In a recent story out of India, a Hindu mob went on an anti-Christian rampage, smashing crosses, destroying Christian graves, and forcing poor Christians to convert to Hinduism:
Crosses taken down; tombstones smashed: at least ten Christian tombs were vandalized in the Rajapur Allahabad cemetery (Uttar Pradesh), as shown in a video published below and provided by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). Its president, Sajan K George, told AsiaNews: “The violence against Christian tombs deeply hurt our religious feelings and show contempt for our ancestors. “This is done with the culture of impunity, and with intent to cause insecurity and fear in the minds of the minisucule Christian community. As can be seen, crosses have been broken, and epitaphs of nearly a dozen graves have been smashed”.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in India, where the Hindu nationalist BJP party won an unprecedented victory in recent weeks. But the state is also known for a crescendo of violence against Christians.
On the same days the vandalism took place at the cemetery, the Hindu Yuva Vahini volunteers, an organization of the extreme right founded in 2002 by the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, began spreading accusations of forced conversions to Christianity of local Dalit communities.
Sajan K George calls the allegations “completely unfounded.”
Toma, the head of the Hindu Yuva Vahini for the area west of Uttar Pradesh said: “The Christian missionaries have lured our young people for decades. We must identify these people and persuade them to return to their religion of origin. ” (source)