Barnabas educates over 7,700 persecuted Christian youngsters *Kuwait leader rejects death sentence

June 30, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

World, June 28, 2012: An incident in which a Sri Lankan Christian school boy was severely beaten by a Buddhist monk when he professed his faith in the classroom highlights the ongoing need for Christian youngsters living in contexts of persecution to be educated in Christian schools.

Amila Tharanga Thilakaratne (14) was left bleeding from the ear after the assault at his school in Kandy district. Only Buddhism is taught in the school and Amila is the only non-Buddhist in his class. He and his older brother Gashan, who attends the same school, are discriminated against because of their Christian faith.

On 11 June, a Buddhist monk came to Amila’s class to teach the children about Buddhism. The monk forced him to sit at the front and recite the names of the Buddha’s parents. When Amila replied that he was a Christian, the monk said that he should nevertheless learn Buddhist teachings before severely assaulting the school boy. He received no medical treatment and was warned by the monk and another teacher not to tell anyone about the assault.

Amila was too afraid to tell his parents about the incident so went straight to bed after school. But when he began to vomit later that evening, his father asked what had happened and Amila revealed all.

Mr Thilakaratne took his son to hospital the next morning and, despite being threatened with further violence by the monk if he reported the incident to the authorities, filed a complaint with the police. An investigation is yet to be initiated and Mr Thilakaratne fears that no action will be taken against the monk. He is also concerned that Amila may be expelled from the school for reporting the matter.

Many Christian children like Amila, who live in places where Christians are a despised minority, face hostility, injustice and even violence on account of their faith at state schools. The majority religion may be strongly promoted and the Christian youngsters are often put under pressure to convert. They are sometimes deliberately failed in exams, destroying their employment prospects and keeping them trapped in poverty. Christian parents are often too poor to send their children to privately-run Christian schools. Sometimes they are too poor to send them to any school at all.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:

Sadly what happened to Amila is all too typical of the persecution Christian youngsters experience at school. These vulnerable little brothers and sisters need particular protection and support as they grow up to become their country’s next generation of believers and church leaders. It is a great privilege for Barnabas Fund to be able to give them the best possible start in their young Christian lives.

Barnabas Fund is helping by supporting Christian schools and education projects in eight countries including parts of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Over 7,700 persecuted Christian children are therefore able to receive a good education in a nurturing Christian environment where they are encouraged in their faith.

On average it costs just £18 (US$29) per month to support a child in school. Sponsors who give regularly will receive a card with a photo and personal information about one Christian child and a twice-yearly newsletter about the project.

– barnabas team

Kuwait leader rejects death sentence


Kuwait, June 28, 2012: Kuwait’s ruler has refused to pass a bill previously voted through by parliament that would allow Muslims who insult Islam to be put to death and would harshly penalize Christians and other non-Muslims.

The bill seeking to institute the death penalty for Muslims who insult Allah, the Qu’ran, Muslim prophets or Muhammad’s wives was passed with an overwhelming majority last May, and it stipulates that Christians and other non-Muslims will be given a minimum sentence of 10 years for the same offense.

Kuwait’s leader has the power to refuse the bill, but the elected parliament can overturn his decision with a two-thirds majority vote.

Praise God that this bill has not been approved. Please pray that the Emir’s decision will win the support of parliament and that this unjust law will not be passed. Pray that those who oppress Christians may experience repentance and salvation, just as Paul did (Acts 9:1-19).

– icc

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