Barnabas briefs: Holy Land, Tanzania, Egypt & Pak

May 26, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-asia

HOLY LAND: CHRISTIAN STABBED, OTHERS INJURED IN ATTACK ON CHURCH

Holy LandA Christian man was stabbed and around eight others injured in an attack on a church near Bethlehem.

Muslims interrupted a church service in the village of El-Khader in the West Bank, turning violent when they were asked to leave. They started throwing stones at the building, causing damage including broken windows.

The incident comes amid increased attacks on churches in Israel; 14 have been reported in the past year, several of them over the last month. Threats have also been made against senior church leaders.

TANZANIA: PASTOR SUFFERS HOME ATTACK, FALSE ACCUSATION OF RAPE

tanzaniaA pastor’s home was attacked, and two of his children were injured; when he went to report the incident to the police, he was falsely accused of rape.

The pastor, who leads a church in the Kilimanjaro region, has faced much opposition because of his outreach to Muslims, scores of whom have turned to Christ. Several failed attempts have been made to frame him with false accusations.

Following the attack at his home on Saturday (17 May), he was accused of raping a young woman who had left Islam to follow Christ. The pastor had taken her into his home, along with four other converts, after she was thrown out by her family. The relatives subsequently made the false accusation against him.

PAKISTAN: PARLIAMENT CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT MINORITY PLACES OF WORSHIP

Pakistani ChristiansPakistan’s National Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to take steps to protect the worship places of the country’s religious minorities.

The motion urges the deployment of special security personnel at sites located in “areas at risk of terrorist attacks”.

Though non-binding, the resolution has symbolic significance as a statement of intent to protect Christians and other minorities, who are regularly targeted by Islamic extremists in Pakistan.

It has been welcomed by some Christian leaders, but Paul Bhatti, former minister for national harmony and leader of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, said the resolution was not necessary, and called on the government to apply existing rules to protect the innocent.

EGYPT: CHRISTIAN MAN ARRESTED FOR USING HOME AS CHURCH WITHOUT PERMIT

Egypt ChristiansA Christian man has been arrested following complaints by Muslim neighbours that he has been using his home as a church without a permit.

The 55-year-old man from Minya in Upper Egypt, where Christians are particularly vulnerable to persecution, was arrested once before, in 2011, for the same offence.

Every church building in Egypt requires a permit, but these are notoriously difficult to obtain, and the Christian community has a woeful lack of places to meet for worship.

The country’s new constitution seeks for the first time to address this issue; it includes an article that requires the new parliament to “in its first session … issue a law aimed at regulating the construction and restoration of churches in a way that ensures that Christians perform their religious rites freely”.

– barnabas team

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