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News in brief: 30 April 2013

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News in brief: 30 April 2013

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News in brief: 30 April 2013

Country/Region: Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Iraq, Morocco, Somalia

MoroccoFatwa calls for the death penalty for those who leave Islam

A council that represents official Islam in Morocco has issued a fatwa saying that Muslims who renounce their faith “should be condemned to death”.

The Supreme Ulema Council published the decree in the Arabic-language Akhbar al-Youm newspaper on 23 April.

The apostasy law, which endangers Muslim-background Christians in many countries, is not currently enshrined in the Moroccan penal system.

Some Christians in the country fear that, if approved by the government, the controversial edict could be used as a means of harassing and arresting them and could give extremists an excuse to attack believers.

A senior human rights official in the Moroccan government said that the fatwa “does not concern our government and commits us to nothing”.

Somalia – Christian widow whose husband was killed for his faith shot dead

A Christian widow whose husband was killed for his faith has been shot dead by extremists from the Islamist group al-Shabaab.

Fartun Omar (42) was detained at a roadblock in Buulobarde and shot to death on 13 April. She and her five children were fleeing the central city of Beledweyne because of the threat to them from al-Shabaab militants, who were looking for her because she was a secret Christian, like her late husband.

Fartun’s husband, Mursal Isse Siad, was fatally shot by unidentified masked men on 8 December 2012. He had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam.

The couple’s children are currently being cared for by a neighbour.

Source: Morning Star News

Iraq – Kurdish pastor released after nearly two years in prison

A pastor who has been repeatedly imprisoned in Iraq is now free after spending 21 months in jail. Abdi Ali Hamzah, who is better known as Pastor Jamal, is a convert from Islam who has been active in spreading the Gospel in northern Iraq.

His release came after a representative from a US-based ministry with which Pastor Jamal was involved met with Iraqi officials and delivered a letter from a US senator requesting the pastor’s release.

Pastor Jamal has been imprisoned four times for his faith. During his latest period of incarceration he was subjected to torture and put in solitary confinement but refused to return to Islam.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 60 minutes ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

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