Meet the PersecUTED

Real stories of real people in various parts of the world persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Please take a moment to read them and then pray for them!

Iran: Why iranians are ultimately protesting against islam

January 04. 2018

Raymond Ibrahim

What began on December 28 as local protests against high food prices in the northern city of Mashhad, Iran, has spiraled into mass protests consisting of some hundreds of thousands of Iranians in some two dozen cities, including if not especially Tehran, the seat of government. So far over 20 protesters have been killed and many hundreds arrested in what has been widely described as "the most serious internal crisis the country has faced this decade."

The protests have morphed from mundane topics concerning the economy to more existential topics concerning Islamic leadership. Reportedly hundreds of thousands of protesters have been heard shouting "We don't want an Islamic Republic," and calling blessings on Reza Shah, the staunch secularist and political reformer who did much to Westernize Iran, until his son and successor, Muhammad Reza Shah was deposed during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. According to Mideast media, women-such as Maryam Rajavi-are spearheading the current protests (and symbolically rejecting Islamic impositions by publicly removing their hijabs).

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Israel: trump scraps cherished"israel grievance" myth

December 27, 2017

Raymond Ibrahim/Front Page Magazine

President Trump's new National Security strategy is not only notable for what it brings back to the paradigm-words such as "jihadi" and "sharia"- but in what it gets rid of, namely, the long held, much entrenched notion that Israel is the root source of all the turmoil plaguing the Middle East. According to the new strategy document,

"For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region's problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats."

That this is true cannot be overstated. For decades, the official establishment position championed by politicians, academics, and journalists of all stripes seeking to apologize for all the anger, violence, and jihadi terror plaguing the region was the creation of Israel. 

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EGYPT: 'Let them live to tell the story'..

Boys who saw dad die on the monastery road

December 21, 2017

by World Watch Monitor

Marco and Mina live in a small village in the Minya region of rural southern Egypt. Both look young for their age, 14 and 10 respectively. On May 25, 2017, they joined their father Ayad to go to the monastery of St. Samuel. Ayad worked there and was going to teach the teenagers his job. He never got the chance.

Right before them on the road to the monastery, a bus full of pilgrims was attacked by a group of armed men. All the Coptic men who would not confess Islam were shot. Then the gunmen heard Ayad's pick-up truck approach.

Mina recalls what happened that day, his empty eyes stare at the floor, his legs wobble impatiently. "My dad was driving, some of his colleagues rode with us. Then we heard shouting."

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egypt: coptic girl, 16, rescued 92 days after islamists kidnapped her

October 5, 2017

World Watch monitor

A 16-year-old Coptic Christian girl kidnapped on June 28 to be "converted to Islam, then married off or sold", was released and returned to her family on September 30 after police found her and arrested her kidnappers in a city just outside Cairo.

Marilyn was recovered from a city name 10th of Ramadan, but she is from a village several hundred kilometers south, in the governorate of Minya.

Her village priest, Father Boutros Khalaf, told World Watch Monitor: "Recently we found out that Marilyn was held in a place in 10th of Ramadan city... We went to the local police station and they really did their best to reach her and managed to arrest her kidnappers, Taha, and his brother, Gaber, and release Marilyn. She returned back to her family on Saturday, September 30, after 92 days".

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U.S. tells sudan to 'immediately suspend' church demolitions

November 20, 2017

World Watch Monitor

The U.S. Deputy Secretary of State has called on Sudan to "immediately suspend" its demolition of churches and to hold a round table discussion with Christian leaders to resolve disputes.

John J. Sullivan, speaking at the Al-Neelain Mosque in Omdurman on Friday, November 17, said, "treatment of members of religious minorities is often the ultimate indicator of a government's commitment" to religious freedom.

He added that the U.S. State Department's recent International Religious Freedom report "noted instances of the arrest, detention, and intimidation of religious leaders, and the denial of permits for the construction of new churches; restrictions on non-Muslim religious groups from entering the country; and the censorship of religious material".

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china: Tightens control on Christians

September 15, 2017

Morning Star New

Recent bans on unregistered church worship and on teaching Christianity to children, "as if intending to eliminate all house churches at once," have startled Christians, a China Aid source reported.

In Guangzhou, Guangdong Province in southern China, a source told China Aid that in the past week police visited members of unregistered church members at their homes to warn them not to attend worship services. Officers also summoned a large number of them for questioning.

"The police called me again today and ordered me to stay away from church gatherings, which irritated me," reported one Christian, who wished to remain unnamed. "I don't know what to do with these people."

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EGYPT: Copts Face arrest after facebook post

September 25, 2017

World Watch Monitor

Two Coptic Christians in a village in Minya, Upper Egypt are facing charges of inciting sectarian strife and insulting Islamic leaders, after comments from one of the men on social media, shared by the other caused some Muslims in their village to riot.

Bassem Abdel-Malak Fahim, 25, from the village of Ezbat El-Sheikh Nageim, first posted the comments on Facebook in the wake of the Minya bus attack in May, when 28 Copts were killed. The day after the attack, Fahim shared photographs of some well-known Islamic leaders, and accused them of inciting people to attack Christians. He also criticized the Egyptian government and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for targeting Islamic extremists in Libya but failing to control those within Egypt's borders.

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Soldier beaten to death for his christian faith, relatives say

July 27, 2017

Morning Star News

In Cairo, Egyptian military officers beat a new soldier to death on July 19 upon learning that he was a Christian, relatives said.

Joseph Reda Helmy of Kafr Darwish village, Beni Suef Governorate, had just completed training at Mubarak military training center and was transferred to Al-Salaam Special Forces police unit, where three officers killed him, relatives told Middle Eastern media. The Egyptian army told relatives Helmy died of an epileptic seizure.

His father, Reda Helmy, told Al Karma TV by phone that his large, strong son had arrived at the camp at 2 p.m. and was dead by 8 p.m.

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Why are Attacks on egypt's coptic christians getting worse?

July 14, 1017

World Watch Monitor

Attacks on Christians in Egypt have intensified in brutality because of an influx of arms and foreign jihadis, lax border security and increased local hostility to non-Muslims, according to a leading UK academic.

Dr. Mariz Tadros of Sussex University's Institute of Development Studies said that the suicide attack on a Cairo church last December showed that jihadis are prepared to engage in suicide bombings "to maximize horror". Attacks by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood members, which have resulted in less damage, have not involved the death of the perpetrator, she added.

Many Egyptian Muslims had shown themselves willing to put their lives in danger to help their Coptic neighbors, she stressed.

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statement by u.s. senator marco rubio (r-fl) for coptic solidarity

June 19, 2017

Coptic Solidarity

Senator Rubio was unable to join Coptic Solidarity's 8th Annual Policy Day, but sent this statement in support of our cause.

While Egypt plays a critical role in the Middle East and is a vital counterterrorism partner, the United States should not hesitate to speak candidly when there are concerns. The Egyptian government must make progress on human rights, religious freedom, democracy, and economic reforms.

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eritrea: 100 christians detained, 10 years after patriarch under house arrest

May 26, 2017

World Watch Monitor

The Eritrean government has steeped up its campaign against Christians, arresting almost 100 in the past months. 

The arrests come as Christians in the repressive East African country mark ten years since government officials placed the Eritrean Orthodox Patriarch under house arrest and incommunicado, and 15 years since the forced closure of many churches.

Patriarch (Abune) Antonios, who turned 90 in July, is diabetic and family and friends fear he is not receiving adequate medical treatment. The location of his incarceration remains unknown.

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islamic state in asia: what you need to know

June 29, 2017

World Watch Monitor

When Islamic State (ISIS) launched its so-called caliphate in 2014 it had seized territory in Iraq and Syria. However over the last 18 months, militants claiming allegiance to the group have carried out attacks in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines, while the group also has sympathizers in India and Pakistan.

ISIS has "recognized" a number of existing Islamist terrorist groups in the Philippines, though it has stopped short of announcing a wilayet -- or province --there, as it has within Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and the Northern Caucasus. Last year the group issued a 20 - minute video encouraging viewers who could not travel to the Middle East to "go to the Philippines".

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survivors of egypt christian bus attack recount their horror

May 30, 2017  

The Associated Press --- from Coptic Solidarity

Video interviews with survivors of a deadly attack by Islamic militants on a bus taking Egyptian Christians to a remote desert monastery are painting a picture of untold horror, with children hiding under their seats to escape gunfire.

The videos surfaced on social media networks on Sunday, two days after 29 were killed in the attack on a desert road south of the capital. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the IS.

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unhcr accused of 'negligence' after pakistani christian dies in thai detention center

June 9, 2017

World Watch Monitor

Thailand's government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Bangkok have been accused of "negligence" after a Pakistani Christian asylum seeker died in a detention center last month.

Ijaz Masih, 35, was reportedly refused medical treatment on May 26, after complaining of chest pains, and died of a heart attack a few hours later. He had previously suffered a stroke, which friends attributed to the stress of life inside an overcrowded detention center and a lack of hope for the future.

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abducted christina reunited with her parents after 3 years

June 9, 2017

World Watch Monitor

After almost three years in captivity, an Iraqi Christian girl abducted by the Islamic State in August 2014 has finally been reunited with her parents.

Christina Abada, who is about to celebrate her sixth birthday, was welcomed home at around 10 am this morning, local time. Locals say she was released by the Iraqi Special Forces.

"It is a very happy moment; everybody is dancing and clapping and singing, " one Christian woman told a World Watch Monitor contact from the Ashti refugee camp, near Erbil, where her parents lived for the past two years.

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ISLAMISTS besieging Marawi, southern philippines, kill 9 christians at checkpoint

May 25, 2017

World Watch Monitor

A catholic priest and 13 other Christians were taken hostage, while a cathedral and Protestant-run college were among the buildings set on fire, when an extremist group which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State descended upon the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines May 23.

Three fires broke out, as around 100 armed members of the Maute group fired off their weapons, beheaded a police chief and erected the black flags of ISIS.

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african mission leader searches for positives despite deadly surge of jihadist violence

May 30, 2017

By World Watch Monitor

Attacks attributed to radical Islamic groups are happening on a weekly, or even daily, basis in Africa, posing security concerns across a vast swathe of the continent.

The phenomenon has dramatically affected Church activities in various regions.

But Rev. Reuben E. Ezemada, Coordinator of the Movement for African National Initiatives (MANI), a grassroots African initiative aimed at mobilizing African churches to send Africans as missionaries around the world, told World Watch Monitor the violence has at least had on unexpected positive effect: boosting mission work in Africa.

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egypt's christians mourn 49 killed in palm sunday church bombing

April 10, 2017

by World Watch Monitor

Egypt's Christians are in mourning and profound shock after this months' twin suicide bombing attacks on churches packed for Palm Sunday, which left at least 49 people dead and more than 110 injured.

The Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, narrowly escaped injury, having just celebrated Mass in one of the cathedrals that was targeted. Pope Tawadros told local television that "sinful acts will not undermine the unity and coherence of the Egyptian people in the face of terrorism".

His deputy, Father Sergius, added: "The Church will celebrate Easter and the terrorism cannot prevent it from doing that. We will not...let them break our joy."

The bombing in St. George's Cathedral in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, 60 miles north of Cairo, killed at least 25 and injured at least 78, the state-run news agency, Al-Ahram, reported.

A suicide bomber then blew himself up among worshipers leaving St. Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria, where Pope Tawadros had just finished celebrating Mass. Eighteen worshipers and four police officers were killed, and 35 were injured.

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in choosing christianity, mexican tribals risk alienation, eviction

April 5, 2017

by World Watch Monitor

The belief dates back to when the Wixarika tribe first arrived in the area, in the western state of Jalisco, and encountered a deer which seemed to appear in front of them whichever way they turned. The tribe interpreted this as a sign of its promise of protection.

Today, in a community still dominated by members of the same tribe, the deer retains its significance as one of three local "gods". The others are the maize upon which the community subsists and a hallucinogenic drug believed to invite an encounter with the spiritual realm.

For many of the tribe, to be Wixarika is to believe in the power of the three and to partake in the ritual and sacrifices offered to the gods-- rituals involving blood, water and the use of the drug.

Yet not all Wixarika's believe in these practices. There are some, dotted around the communities of the surrounding mountains, who have become Christians and now don't want to take part in the rituals.

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Christians Easy Targets in Mexico's Lawless Borderlands

April 6, 2017

by World Watch Monitor

The Governor of Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua, Javier Corral, admitted that his government does not have the means to tackle organized crime, and that he's asked for federal resources to fight the drug cartels.

This came four days after the murder of a local journalist, who'd reported extensively on the links between organized crime and politicians.

Chihuahua's largest city, Juarez, on the border with the US state of Texas, used to be known as the murder capital of the world. From 2007-2014, thousands of people were killed every year in Juarez in violence related to organized crime. In 2011, the death toll across Mexico was greater even than in Syria and Juarez was at the center of it.

A period of relative calm has followed -- though dozens are still killed every month --but a local church leader fears another crescendo of violence is around the corner.

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