Barnabas Briefs: Persecuton in Morocco, Vietnam & Kazakhstan

February 22, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Morocco: Christian’s conviction for evangelism quashed by appeal court

Morocco ChristiansThe conviction of a Moroccan convert from Islam to Christianity for evangelising and “shaking the faith of a Muslim” has been overturned on appeal.

Mohamed El Baladi was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and fined 5,000 dirhams (£400; US$600) in September.

On 6 February, an appeals court judge dismissed the case because of lack of evidence. Mohamed had been arrested, tried and sentenced within a week without any legal representation.

He was arrested after someone complained to the police about a conversation he had allegedly had with them about his faith. Evangelism among Muslims is illegal in Morocco.

Vietnam: Conviction of Christian lawyer upheld on appeal

Vietnam highland ChristiansThe conviction of a well-known Christian lawyer and activist has been upheld on appeal.

Le Quoc Quan, who was sentenced in October to two and a half years in jail on trumped-up tax evasion charges, staged a hunger strike for 17 days before the hearing on Tuesday (18 February). He was protesting against the prison authorities’ refusal to allow him access to a Bible and legal texts to help him prepare for the appeal.

At the hearing, Le Quoc said that he was “the victim of a political conspiracy”. The tax evasion charges have been denounced by international human rights campaigners as politically motivated.

The Christian rights’ campaigner has been repeatedly detained by the Vietnamese authorities, who clamp down hard on dissenters against the Communist regime.

Kazakhstan: Christian broadcaster blocked from leaving country for U.S. conference

Kazakhstan ChristiansA prominent church leader and broadcaster was blocked from leaving the country to attend a conference in the US.

Bishop Maxim Maximov, head of Kazakhstan’s 60-plus New Life churches and founder of a Christian Russian-language TV channel, and his wife Larissa were removed from the plane they had boarded on 12 February to go to the National Religious Broadcasters’ event.

They were detained by border patrol officers for over an hour without any explanation. Bishop Maximov was summoned for questioning the following day by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The couple were able to make the journey on 14 February after being told that the restrictions were a “mistake” and had been lifted.

– barnabas team

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