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Newsdesk - 23 Feb 2017

23 February 2017


PAKISTAN – Police pressure Christian girl sexually assaulted by Muslim to drop charges

Local police in Rawalpindi are pressuring a 16-year-old Christian girl to drop charges after she was sexually assaulted by a Muslim man. When a Muslim woman known to her family offered Sameera a job to help pay for her studies, she was given permission from her mother to meet her potential employer. She was taken to a house to meet the husband of the Muslim woman and then drugged. When Sameera came around, she realised she was naked and locked in darkened room, where she was held for two days before being released. Sameera and her mother immediately went to police, who subsequently arrested the husband of the Muslim woman but have since pressured Sameera to agree a “compromise” and drop her case.

From Barnabas Fund source



EGYPT – Christian burned alive and another shot, as Islamic State makes new threat to eliminate Egypt's Christians

Islamic State (IS) has threatened to eliminate Egypt’s “apostate” Christians and “liberate Cairo” in a newly released propaganda video. The video also included a pre-recorded statement by the IS bomber responsible for the attack at a church in Cairo in December 2016 in which 27 Christians, mainly women and children, were killed.

On 21 February, a Christian father and son were brutally murdered in Al Arish in northern Sinai: the father was shot in the head by masked men and his son was burned alive. Tuesday’s attack took place less than a week after a Christian teacher was gunned down as he walked to the school where he worked in the town. Six believers have now been killed in or near Al Arish by suspected Islamic militants since late January; a pastor from Al Arish was murdered by IS last June.

From ARA News here



EGYPT – Case reopened against Muslims who stripped and beat 70-year-old Christian grandmother

Prosecutors have reopened the case of Souad Thabet, a 70-year-old Christian grandmother, who was stripped naked, beaten and paraded through the streets by a Muslim mob in May 2016, after a rumour circulated that her son was having an affair with a Muslim woman. Thabet’s case had been dropped last month, after prosecutors claimed there was “insufficient evidence” as witnesses had altered their testimonies, although her lawyers insisted the witnesses had been threatened. Following May’s attack, during which the mob also destroyed the homes of seven Christians, including Thabet’s, President al-Sisi stated that those responsible would not “escape without justice”.

From Wataninet here



EGYPT – Imam’s false accusation leads to 15-year jail term for Christian minor; family evicted and threatened

“[My son’s] entire future is at stake. We are now filing an appeal in court … My shops are closed; we were evicted from our house; we are under constant danger and banned from our hometown,” says Mr Tawfiq. His 14-year-old son, Fadi, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting a young Muslim boy, although police forensic examinations found no evidence of sexual assault.

Fadi was accused of assaulting the grandson of the local imam in May last year. The family agreed to leave the village after a “reconciliation” meeting, at which the imam’s family said they would drop charges. However, they then took the case to court. Police held Fadi in prison for 55 days, before the court later handed down a 15-year sentence on 28 January.

From Wataninet here



TURKEY – Istanbul New Year nightclub attacker aimed to kill Christians

The Islamic State terrorist who murdered 39 people and injured 69 when he opened fire in an Istanbul night club has stated his “aim was to kill Christians”. The attack was deliberately planned to coincide with New Year, often considered by Islamists to be a Christian holiday. The attacker, a 34-year old man originally from Uzbekistan, had pre-recorded a video in which he encouraged his son to become a suicide bomber. He claimed in court he “wanted to stage the attack on Christians in order to exact revenge on them for their acts committed all over the world.”

From Hurriyet Daily News here