Church leaders condemn “truly shameful” conditions in Eritrea

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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eritreaAfrica, 17 June, 2014: Four senior church leaders in Eritrea have published an open letter criticising conditions in the oppressive African state as “truly shameful and unacceptable”, in a rare and bold move.

Four senior church leaders in Eritrea have published an open letter criticising conditions in the oppressive African state as “truly shameful and unacceptable”, in a rare and bold move.

They describe the country as “desolate” because so many people have fled, are imprisoned or conscripted into the army and lament the fragmentation of the family unit, saying the elderly are left with no one to care for them.

The bishops said Eritreans were leaving for “peaceful countries, to countries of justice, of work, where one expresses himself loudly, a country where one works and earns”.

The letter said, “There is no need for a land of milk and honey if you are already in one.”

Publishing such a letter was extremely courageous in a country that does not tolerate any kind of dissent and is one of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians.

Over 1,000 Christians are thought to be imprisoned in the country’s notoriously harsh detention system; some church leaders have been held for over ten years.

In 2002, the repressive Marxist government of Eritrea required all non-registered religious groups to register or cease their activities, but since then it has refused to grant any new registrations. Only three Christian denominations are officially recognised, and members of unregistered churches are subject to harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention without due process of law.

Christian prisoners may be incarcerated in metal shipping containers with extreme temperature changes, forbidden to pray aloud, sing, preach or have a Bible, and tortured to make them recant their faith. Some have died under torture or because they were denied medical care.

Such intense persecution drives many Christians to flee Eritrea. Compulsory national service for men until the age of 40 prompts an estimated 3,000 to leave every month.

People put themselves in extreme danger trying to escape Eritrea. Many drown trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, while those who seek asylum in Egypt may be arrested and imprisoned. Others fall into the hands of people traffickers as they attempt to cross the deserts of Sinai to get to Israel; the captives are subjected to horrendous abuse, and huge ransom payments are demanded from their families for their release.

- barnabas team

3 church members released, six still detained in China

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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chinaLondon, 22 June, 2014: It has emerged that three members of Nanle County Christian Church, who had been detained since November of last year, were released on June 11, according to reports from China Aid Association.

Fan Ruiling (aka Fan Ruizhen), Yan Beibei and Zhao Zhijun were among over 20 members of the church detained in November and December last year.

Yan Beibei, 23, was the youngest detained. On November 15, 2013, several church members, including Yan Beibei and Zhao Zhijun, were detained after petitioning a higher authority about a land dispute involving the church, which belongs to the state-sanctioned Three-Self Patriotic Movement.

The following day, police detained the church’s pastor, Zhang Shaojie, without any formal documentation.

Fan Ruiling was detained after attending a church service on Nov 17. Church members, lawyers and Christians who visited the family of detained Protestant Pastor Zhang Shaojie were beaten, harassed and detained by “hired thugs”, police and government agencies in December last year.

The release of Fan, Yan and Zhao leaves six church members in detention, including Pastor Zhang Shaojie and his sister, Zhang Cuijian.

Although some lawyers have been able to meet with their clients, so far only Zhang Shaojie has been to trial. He faces charges of “fraud” and “disturbing public order”.

Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), said, “We welcome the release of Fan Ruiling, Yan Beibei and Zhao Zhijun from detention in Henan Province.

At the same time, we remain concerned about the six church members still detained, in particular those detained at an unknown location.

“We are especially concerned that the majority of the detainees have not been allowed to meet with their lawyers. CSW therefore calls on the Chinese authorities to allow all the lawyers to meet with their clients.

“We further urge the relevant authorities to urgently review each detainee’s case without delay and in accordance with the law, with a view to securing their release.”

- ucanews

Prayer

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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Why Do we feel sleepy in Prayer,

But stay awake through a 3 hour movie?

Prayer

Why are we so bored when we look at the HOLY BOOK,

But find it easy to read other books?

Why is it so easy to ignore a msg about God,

Yet we forward the nasty ones?

messaging

Why are Prayers getting smaller,

But bars and clubs are expanding?

Why is it so easy to worship a celebrity,

But very difficult to engage with God?

worshipping celebrities

God has no BLACKBERRY but he’s my favorite contact!!!

He is not on FACEBOOK but he is my best friend!!!

blackberry and facebook

He is not on TWITTER but I still follow him!!!

& even without the INTERNET I am always connected to him!!!

He is not on WHATSAPP but he’s always online!!!

twitter and whatsapp

- fwd: elizabeth pereira

Chin refugees in India want to stop Burmese religious conversion law

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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Chin refugeesMumbai, 19 June, 2014: The Chin refugee community in Delhi have garnered more than two thousand signatures asking the government of Myanmar to scrap Religious Conversion Law. Yesterday Christian Burmese community handed over the file to President Thein Sein for his consideration, by submitting it to the Myanmar Embassy in Delhi.

The Burmese government has published the draft “Religious Conversion Law” in state-run media on 27 May 2014.

This draft law sets out a process for applying for official permission to convert from one religion to another. It grants township-level officials to determine whether an applicant has exercised free will in choosing to change religion.

Those found to be applying for conversion “with the intent of insulting or destroying a religion” could be punished by up to two years’ imprisonment, raising the prospect of arbitrary arrest and detention for those wishing to convert from Theravada Buddhism – the faith of the majority in Myanmar – to a minority religion, or no religion at all.

Compelling an individual to convert to another religion through “undue influence or pressure” could carry a one-year jail penalty.

This piece of draft legislation appears to legitimize the views of those promoting hate-speech and inciting violence against Christians, Muslims and other minorities, and if adopted, will further institutionalize discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities.

The text was presented by a formation of extremist Buddhist monks, who are fighting for the protection of “race, religion and belief ,” and provides strong limits on conversions and religious freedom. (NC)

- asianews

Palestinian leaders urge India to boycott Israeli products

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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BDSHyderabad, 22 June, 2014: Palestine’s Grand Mufti Mohammed A.H. Hussein and parliamentarian Abdullah M.I. Abdullah Saturday called upon India to participate in the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) campaign against Israel for its continued illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

Hoping that the new government in India will continue the country’s principled stand on the Palestinian issue, they urged both the government and the people of India to participate in the global movement.

Addressing a news conference here Saturday, the two leaders cited the growing support for the campaign even from the US and several European countries.

They hoped that the campaign would finally lead to the end of the “last colonization” of the 21st century.

The grand mufti and the parliamentarian along with Palestine’s Ambassador to India Adli Shaban Hassan Sadeq and Sudan’s Ambassador to India Hassan E. El Talib were here to address a public meeting in support of the Palestinian cause organised by the Indo-Arab League.

Abdullah said the BDS campaign was receiving support from around the world with several countries boycotting Israeli products coming from occupied territories of Palestine and divesting their investments in firms and banks located there.

“We expect Indian people known for their justice oriented position to also support this campaign to boycott all products that come from illegal settlements,” Abdullah said.

The parliamentarian hoped that the Narendra Modi government will continue India’s policy on Palestine based on “principles and not interests”.

Abdullah pointed out that after the new government in India assumed office, Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas sent a message congratulating Prime Minister Modi, in which he stressed the traditional relationship between India and Palestine.

Referring to the statement made by India at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Algiers last month, he said the stand taken by New Delhi “is definitely assuring that India will be positively looking at the situation”.

“We are asking for more from people of India by participating in BDS campaign,” he said.

The grand mufti recalled that India has been supporting the cause of Palestine since 1948 and hoped that it will continue to stand for justice and rights of Palestinians.

He accused Israel of going ahead with its plan to desecrate the Al-Aqsa mosque of Jerusalem, and alleged that Israelis were desecrating religious sites of both Muslims and Christians.

The grand mufti also said excavation underneath the mosque was weakening the mosque’s base, while Israeli extremists were also making daily incursions into mosque, the third holiest place for the Muslims after Makkah and Madina.

He said Palestinians were fighting for their own state with Jerusalem as its capital. He called upon all the countries who believe in justice and human rights to stand up against the Israel’s criminal actions.

He said the Palestinian issue was not a question of only Palestinians or Arabs but had international dimensions as Israelis had infringed on the rights of Palestinian people.

He said they expect world leaders including the United States to be as neutral and as objective as possible. “Unfortunately US is not neutral at all. It is biased. It is the only country in the country shying away from criticising Israel for its criminals acts,” he said.

Referring the developments in the Arab world, Abdullah said unfortunately every Arab country had its own internal problem. He said it was a conspiracy of imperialists to keep every Arab country busy to keep them away from backing Palestinians but claimed that this did not work as Palestine enjoy clear and strong support of the Arabs.

The ambassador of Sudan said after the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994, the world had hoped that it will be free from colonization and repression but even after 20 years since then, Palestine remained occupied by Israel.

He said India which was seeking permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council should back the cause of Palestinians to convince the world that it stand by high values set by Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi.

- ians

Assam: National Workshop on Programmes and Schemes held at Hojai

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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MoMAAssam, 23 June, 2014: Eminent leaders and thinkers from different parts of the country exhorted the members of the minority communities to introspect over their problems and remedies thereto during the one-day national workshop on ‘The Programmes and Schemes of Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA), Government of India for their Socio-Economic and Educational Development’ on Sunday at Newland Doctors Colony, Hojai in Assam’s Nagaon district.

In a bid to create awareness among the Minority Communities for their ‘Socio-cultural, economic and educational backwardness of India with special reference to Assam: the workshop was organized by Ajmal Foundation, Hojai, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs, New Delhi.

The programme generated a lot of heat and ire against the vested interest groups who were keen on keeping the minority communities of the country in the ‘backward’ seat so that the upper crust could perpetuate their hegemony over the distressed and downtrodden community.

The keynote speaker, Professor, Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, highlighted ‘the Policy on’ Education of Minority Girls: Implementation and issues. Speaking on the occasion Siddiqui stressed on educational upliftment of the minority communities specially Muslims. He further said, “Muslim women’s are still educationally more backward than the Schedule Cast (SC) and Schedule Tribe (ST) as per the latest Government report”.

Prof. Dr. Raj V Siddiqui, Member- National Minorities Education Committee, HRDM, Government of India, New Delhi, briefly discussed focusing on ‘Alleviation of poverty through management of sustainable resources’ in the occasion.

Mrs Anita Nuna, Faculty and Programme Co-ordinator, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT, New Delhi, urged all the participants to create more awareness about the projects and schemes which are available to all Ministries including Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Dr. Shabistan Gaffar, Chairperson, Committee on Girls Education, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, Govt. of India, Dr. Halima Sadia Rizvi, Professor and Head, Department of Economics, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and Khasrul Islam, Manager, Ajmal Foundation also highlighted the different aspects of Ministry of Minority Affairs in the workshop.

It’s to be noted that around 50 NGOs from Nagaon and 200 Participants of different organizations/institutions from different parts of Assam took part actively in the Workshop for awareness of the different Schemes of the Minority Communities.

- tcn

Pope: who judges others puts himself in God’s place, imitating Satan

June 28, 2014 by admin  
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Pope FrancisVatican City , 23 June, 2014: Those who judge others, who slander others, who imitate “this prince of this world” shall be judged by “the same measure”, but will be able to count on Jesus’ defence, Pope Francis said during the Mass he celebrated this morning at Domus Sanctae Marthae, in his commentary on today’s Gospel passage about the splinter and the beam in the eye.

“Those who judge others are wrong to do so,” Vatican Radio quoted the pope as saying. “Eventually, God will judge them in the same way. Only God is our sole judge”.

Jesus’ accusation of “hypocrite,” Pope Francis points out, is addressed to the scribes but is in fact for anyone who hastily judges others. “God,” on the other hand, said the pontiff, “takes his time” when handing down judgment.

For this reason, “The person who judges,” the Pope explained, “is wrong, and mistaken. [. . .] He who does this is so obsessed with the person he wants to judge – that person – so, so obsessed! That the splinter will not let him sleep! ‘But I want to take away the splinter!’… And he does not notice the log that he, himself has.”

“Such a person confuses the splinter for a beam. He confuses reality. He is fantasizing. And he who judges becomes a loser, ends up badly, because the same measure will be used to judge him.”

“Only God, and those of his choosing, have the right to judge,” the pope as he emphasised that “Jesus was an example to follow.”

“Jesus, before the Father, never accuses! It is the opposite: he defends! He is the first Paraclete. Then, he sends the second, who is the (Holy) Spirit. He is the defender: he comes before the Father to defend us against the charges.”

In the Bible, the Pope noted, the “accuser” is the devil, Satan. “Jesus will judge, yes, at the end of the world but in the meantime, he intercedes, defends. [. . .] Ultimately, he who judges is an imitator of the prince of this world, always behind people to accuse them before the Father.”

Instead, the Holy Father called on the faithful to “imitate Jesus: intercessor, advocate, lawyer; not just for ourselves, but for others too. [. . .] Ddo not imitate others, which in the end will destroy us”.

“If we want to follow the way of Jesus,” the Pope said in concluding, “more than accusers, we have to be defenders of others before the Father. I see a bad thing in someone – do I go defend him? No! But keep quiet! Go pray and defend him before the Father as Jesus does. Pray for him, and judge not! Because if you do, when you do something bad, you shall be judged. Let us remember this well; it will do us good in everyday life when we get the urge to judge others, to speak ill of others, which is a form of judging.”

- asianews

Realize the value of time

June 24, 2014 by admin  
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To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn’t have one.

brothers and sisiter

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

divorce

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

graduate

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

failure

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature baby.

baby

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

Bus and train

To realize
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

timeTime waits for no one.

Treasure every moment you have.

Remember….
Hold on tight to the ones you love!

- blossom noronha

China: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

June 24, 2014 by admin  
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ChinaVatican City, June 23, 2014: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in China is a fact of life for the Catholic faithful, just as, and perhaps more so than, in all the regions of the Catholic Church throughout the world. Ask a Chinese Catholic if he is familiar with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and you’ll likely insult him, as if you had doubts about their orthodoxy and orthopraxis.

Even today, an encounter with the spiritual life and traditions of the Chinese faithful is edifying. Especially if one recalls that their life has been subjected to drastic, often sad changes due to mutations in the rhythm of life: internal migration, and especially the propaganda of antireligious ideals and values imposed by so many ‘authorities’.

External expressions of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are plentiful. In homes and sanctuaries, the icon of the Sacred Heart is ever present, shackled by the Crown of thorns, surrounded by flames of love, sprinkled with drops of blood and the cross planted in the middle. These signs invitate one to remember God’s eternal love for mankind, a love manifested in the life and death of His Son. They are a remembrance of the unspeakable suffering of Jesus, inflicted upon Love Incarnate, concentrated as it were in the puncturing of his heart after death. The icon, a part of the promised special blessings for every family, remains a strong foundation and proclamation of the center of the Christian faith, an urgent call to the apostolate for every Christian, to give a response of our own faith and love.

The countless churches and chapels dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in China, witness to this widespread devotion. The first church in honor of the sacred heart was consecrated in 1863 in Zhangzhuangcun (now in the Diocese of Xianxian, Hebei), at that time called “the number one church of northern China”. It was a historical event, after long years of apparitions of the Heart of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1673-1675) and the ecclesiastical imprimatur to celebrate the liturgy publicly (in 1765 for Poland alone, in 1856 for the whole Church).

This first church dedicated to the Sacred Heart in China was destroyed in 1976, at the end of the cultural revolution, but was rebuilt and dedicated on October 10, 1999. Today, according to a booklet on the history of Xianxian, there are 52 churches and chapels in the diocese in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

We do not know how many churches in other dioceses are dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The table of contents of the recent Guida of the Catholic Church in China indicates only the address of many churches, but without the title of dedication.

A boost to the mission

The large number of churches dedicated to the Sacred Heart in the Diocese of Xianxian is perhaps due to this territory, like the majority of the dioceses of Hebei in the past, having been under the missionary and pastoral care of the Jesuits, who were intimately connected with this spirituality from the outset after the apparitions of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary. Yet the missionaries of the classical orders, Franciscans, Dominicans and the more recent congregations, are also fed by the rich spirituality of the Sacred Heart. It is a spirituality that has essentially grown out of the theology of John’s gospel, patristic theology and medieval mysticism (especially male and female monasteries in the Teutonic regions). Then, the rich bloom with the impetus of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary.

The personal encounter with the Heart of Jesus became a decisive factor in the foundation of missionary institutes, pushing religious men and women to go into the “missions”, devoting themselves to the work of evangelization. Among many other examples, this is shown by the life of St. Arnold Janssen, founder of the Society of the Divine Word: he was so devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that on this feast in 1875 he consecrated himself to Him. This day was then considered as the date of the founding of his society. The spiritual life of his missionary congregation has also centered on the Sacred Heart of Jesus: in its missionary houses there abounded the icons of Paray-le-Monial; all Community prayers concluded with: “And may the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all men”.

The Divine Word missionaries who went to China, breathed the devotion to the Sacred Heart. Among these, especially notable is St. Joseph Freinademetz (one of the first Divine Word missionaries in Shandong province) who referred everything to the Sacred Heart. He found it significant that on 1 June 1881, in the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, he had set out on a journey from Hong Kong to Shandong, and that the 24th of the same month, feast of the Sacred Heart, he arrived.

In 2003, Janssen and Frainademetz were canonized along with Daniele Comboni, founder of the Combonian missionaries; he too was an eminent devotee of the Sacred Heart.

Among the Catholic communities in China, devotional practices to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are widespread. Where the pace of life allows it – more commonly in the countryside than in the cities – the faithful live an almost communitary spiritual life, which initially was a reflection of the monastic or seminary life. Early in the morning, called to prayer by the sound of bells, they gathered, where possible, in the church or village chapel to recite morning prayer together. It is a long prayer, abundant, generous, with many intentions and invocations.

At least in June, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it contains the Litany of the Sacred Heart, followed by several pages of prayers addressed to the Sacred Heart. After these prayers, which occupy more or less an hour, if there is a priest, Holy Mass is celebrated. The faithful often continue with the meditation of the Via Crucis. In the past, Sunday was entirely dedicated to common prayer and the faithful spent more time in church than at home. The evening prayer, again prayed together, took up again the theme of the Sacred Heart and again the faithful recited the invocations and litanies.

The texts of the prayers, introduced by the missionaries of the past, recited in chant, use a somewhat archaic form of Chinese, not easily comprehensible to young people or the less educated. Several dioceses have books containing all the texts. But what strikes us as Europeans, is the fact that all the prayers are recited from memory. In the past, since they were children, all the prayers used to be memorized. I would like to see who among us could recite by heart, and for over an hour, a barely comprehensible prayer!

The lack of literal comprehension of the texts does not diminish the faithful’s faith and fervour: the phenomenon is comparable to the “praying in tongues” of the Catholic charismatic renewal, fervent prayer and song from the abundance of the heart, without being constrained by linguistic forms.

The Sacred Heart and the martyrs

The iconography of the Heart of Jesus according to the description of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque – the heart chained by the Crown of thorns, surrounded by flames of love, sprinkled with the blood drops, the cross implanted in the center – is also a constant for decor in Catholic churches and homes in China. In this aspect the Church in China has not been innovative. The icon has been accepted as is, though the Chinese sensitivity formed by virtue of “filial piety” could oppose such a representation: the ideal of filial piety requires that after death the body of a man be returned intact to the parents; the dismemberment of a dead body was considered the supreme horror.

From this point of view, in China the Western interest in creating relics from the bodies of saints is not easily understood. The Divine Word missionaries in China protested strongly when, after the unexpected death of their first bishop, Giovanni Battista von Anzer, in Rome, his superiors wanted to send his heart to China as a relic. In Europe this was seen as an expression of his faithful love for the Church in China, but for Chinese Christians the gesture was unacceptable due to their filial feelings. So, the heart of the Bishop remained in the society’s seminary in Vienna and gave missionary inspiration to us young seminarians.

In all likelihood, in Chinese art there is no representation of the physical heart, though the concept of “heart” occupies a central place in Chinese thought and sentiment. The heart is the center and source of all mental, cognitive, and spiritual activities. In the characters of Chinese writing all these operations or mental states have as their root or matrix the symbol of the “heart”. In dictionaries one finds hundreds of these pictograms and myriad expressions or proverbs that use the symbol of the “heart” as a key to enter into their meaning.

By speaking of the “Heart of Jesus”, one speaks of the deepest, most intimate, most real place in God, the source, the vital environment, the purpose of existence. Perhaps artistic expression with its painting of a physical heart does not evoke what the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus would intend. What would help more would be the use of Chinese calligraphy, which is much appreciated by all.

On the occasion of the canonisation of 120 Chinese martyrs in the year 2000, the Holy Father was presented with an impressive work of calligraphy: since in China you could not mention, and much less represent the martyred saints who were canonized (an event odious to the Communists), the Chinese made a calligraphic work of the character of “love” formed out of 120 symbols, each slightly different, and in the center, an ideogram of “love” the size of four symbols. The pictogram “love” has as its root or key the “heart” symbol. The 120 symbols each stand for a martyr, the great symbol in the center stands for Jesus: thus, 120 symbols of a cordial love for a heart all inflamed with love. One can easily infuse such a calligraphic work with all the richness of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a memorial of all the elements of the faith, encouraging all to a joyful collaboration in the salvific project of Sacred Heart of Jesus.

- asianews

Egypt: Christians kidnapped. Islamist violence continues

June 24, 2014 by admin  
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EgyptEgypt, June 23, 2014: Two Egyptian Christians have been kidnapped by suspected Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula as the community continues to be targeted.

Wadie Ramses, a well-known surgeon, was seized in El-Arish on 14 June. The assailants opened fire on his vehicle and took him away wounded. They later demanded a ransom of ten million Egyptian Pounds (£800,000; US$1.4 million) for his release.

Two days later, Christian merchant Gemal Shenouda was captured near his home in El-Arish. No immediate ransom demand was made.

The abductions have alarmed local Christians, causing some to consider leaving the area.

It is thought that Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda, who have been behind escalating violence in Sinai, are responsible for the kidnappings. The Egyptian army has been trying to put down the growing insurgency.

Kidnapping for ransom has been a persistent problem for the Christian community amid the political upheaval and instability following the “Arab Spring” revolution of 2011.

Christian women have increasingly been targeted, but in their case not to extort money, rather to force them to convert to Islam. The Association of Victims of Abduction and Forced Disappearance recorded between January 2011 and March 2014 over 550 cases of Christian girls and women being kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to convert and marry their captors. The victims are often subjected to violence and rape.

The problem dates back to before the revolution but has increased dramatically since. Pre-2011, five or six girls would go missing each month, but this figure has increased nearly three-fold.

The revolution and subsequent security breakdown emboldened Islamic extremists, who previously had been kept on a tight leash by strongman president Hosni Mubarak. The electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the Arab Spring gave them further confidence.

They were thus enraged by the removal of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July and have since used violence to undermine the new military-backed regime, targeting Christians in particular for supporting it.

Christians are hopeful that the election last month of former military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi as the country’s new president will result in improved security for them. He has cracked down hard on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, but for now, Christians are continuing to suffer targeted Islamist violence.

- barnabas team

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