This shows you what type of hell the country called Pakistan is. The Muscatine Journal writes:
LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Even before reading news reports about the religious conflicts in Lahore, Pakistan, the Rev. Carlton Potts was well aware of the persecution that Christians were facing there.
The Indiana pastor has been preaching to a congregation in that country on the other side of the globe. Potts has been using today’s technology to preach a centuries-old message. He holds weekly sermons via Skype.
He said Asif Masih, the founder and chairman of Fresh Fire Gospel Church Ministries in Lahore, reached out to him in January via Facebook. “They were desperately looking for someone to preach the word from outside the country,” he said. “They feel isolated.”
“I was devastated,” he said of the conflict in Pakistan. “[And] I try to impart that emotion and knowledge to members of our church. So many people in the U.S. don’t know what it’s really like to be persecuted because of your religious beliefs.”
Masih, who lives near the neighborhood where the homes of dozens of Christians were recently burned by a mob. The mob reacted to reports that a Christian man had committed blasphemy against Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
Christians represent a small minority in Pakistan, where the official religion is Islam. About 96 percent of the Pakistani population is Muslim; the other 4 percent includes Christians and Hindus, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Masih said Christians experience a variety of discrimination in employment and education, primarily because of the Pakistani perception that Christianity is associated with the United States.
“Now (the) majority of our Christians are less advantaged here,” he wrote in an email. “We are (considered) lower or second- or third-class citizens here.”
Sometimes the conflict becomes violent, he wrote.
“Last year, our 10 Christian nurses were forced to accept Islam and when they refused they were forced to drink poisonous juice,” he wrote. “Many times our girls are raped, kidnapped and forced to accept Islam.”
He also wrote that at times the church’s prayer service is forbidden and Christians cannot openly express their religious views as Muslims do.
Potts and his church, Whole Truth Apostolic Faith Assembly, where he is the assistant pastor, sent Masih’s church $700 to help with the crisis.
Masih wrote that members of his church feel “oppressed” and “ignored.”
“When they hear from a foreigner a word of God, they feel that there are so many people around the world who are Christians too,” he wrote. “Their ego comes up, faith (flourishes) and a sense of being valued develops.”
Potts said encouragement is especially important during these times of crisis.
“I think that encouragement helps gives us strength and we pray for everyone and there’s comfort in that too,” he said.
HAVANA, CUBA (Christiantelegraph)- Despite verbal assurances from Cuban authorities that his application would be approved, Pastor Omar Gude Perez has so far been denied a visa to leave Cuba in order to seek asylum in the United States, reports Michael Ireland, Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service.
According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), Pastor Gude Perez’s wife and two children have been given exit visas, or “white cards”, as they are called in Cuba, but the family has refused to leave Cuba without him, for fear that delays in the pastor’s visa application may lead to a long-term separation.
CSW says that since the family was granted asylum by the US in July 2010, they have had to wait several months for their exit visas to be approved, and have been subject to contradictory messages from the authorities on whether the family will be able to leave Cuba together.
CSW reports that Pastor Gude, a national leader in a fast growing network of independent churches called the Apostolic Movement, served almost three years of a six-and-a-half year prison sentence on trumped up charges. His release was subject to certain conditions, namely that he was prohibited from preaching or from travelling outside the city of Camaguey.
The Apostolic Movement is a non-denominational, Charismatic, Protestant network of church groups which are outside of the traditionally recognized Christian denominations in Cuba.
CSW has documented intense government persecution of church leaders linked to the network over the past three years, detailed in its annual report on religious freedom in Cuba.
CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “CSW is deeply concerned at the failure of Cuban officials to honour verbal assurances to grant Pastor Omar Gude Perez an exit visa.
“The Gude family have been waiting for the whole family to be granted exit visas for more than six months, and do not want to be forced to separate. We call on the Cuban government to honour its promise to the Gude family and grant Pastor Gude Perez an exit visa so that he and his family can begin a new life in the United States together without any further delay.”