Thursday, August 20, 2009

Please Pray!

Christian girl begs state: Don't let them kill me!
Judge decides fate of honor student, cheerleader who fled Muslim parents
Posted: August 20, 20098:27 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling© 2009 WorldNetDaily
Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17 A young Christian runaway in foster care awaits her hearing tomorrow when Florida authorities will decide whether she will be forced to return to her Muslim parents – whom she says will kill her for converting to Christianity.
Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, an honor student and cheerleader, was raised in a Muslim family in Columbus, Ohio. She became a Christian four years ago as a result of her interactions with children at school.

Atlas Shrugs' Pamela Geller has followed Bary's case closely, reporting that the girl's friends accompanied her to the school counselor after they noticed bruises covering her arms and legs that allegedly resulted from beatings by her father and brother.
"The middle school, in a serious dereliction of duty, did not report these beatings to child welfare services," Geller reported. "Beatings were random, violent, unprovoked. Take, for example, when Rifqa and her father Mohamed were driving in the car. He would force her to wear the hijab (head covering), which she hated. In her discomfort she would slouch down, embarrassed, and her father would haul off and sock her in the face so that she never forgot to sit up straight in her costume. The beatings were regular and so much a part of the landscape of Rifqa's life, she became inured to them …"

Bary, a native of Sri Lanka, hitchhiked to a bus station and ran away from home on July 19 because she says her family will murder her in what is known as an honor killing. In Islamic tradition, an honor killing is the customary slaughter of a person who is believed to have brought dishonor upon his or her family.
The Christian teen turned to pastors Blake and Beverly Lorenz of Global Revolution Church in Orlando, Fla., whom she met through Facebook. She has been placed in foster care by the Florida Department of Children and Families, or DCF, awaiting a decision tomorrow on whether her case will be heard in Florida or in Ohio. Her jurisdiction hearing is now scheduled for 3:15 p.m. EST in Orlando's juvenile court.
Fox News reported that legal experts have said she will almost certainly be forced to return to her parents' home in Ohio where she will be required to live with her parents since Ohio does not have an emancipation statute. According to the report, Florida has such a statute, but it requires parental consent.

The teen's attorney, John Stemberger, filed a petition for adjudication of dependency on Aug 18.
Blake Lorenz embraced the emotional teen as she told her story in the following video posted on YouTube:

"I'm a Christian, and my parents are Muslim. They are extremely devout," she said. "They threatened to kill me. … You guys wouldn't understand. Islam is very different than you guys think. They have to kill me. My blood is now halal, which means that because I am now a Christian, I'm from a Muslim background, it's an honor. If they love God more than me, they have to do this. I'm fighting for my life. ..."

Asked what her father, Mohamed Bary, told her, she replied, "He said he would kill me. Or he'd have me sent back to Sri Lanka where they'd put me in the asylum."
She said she left a note for her parents before she ran away: "I said, 'I refuse to deny Jesus. He is my Lord and Savior. I pray you find his forgiveness and mercy, and I love you both dearly.' I wrote that, but they never showed it to the police officers."
Bary warned that if she is forced to return to her family in Ohio, she will die "within a week."

Asked why she ran away, she said, "I was threatened by my dad. When my dad found out – I had a Facebook, that's how he found out – and phone calls from the Muslim community started coming in with e-mails that confronted me. And I had a laptop and he took that laptop and waved it in the air, and he was about to beat me with it, and he said, 'If you have this Jesus in your heart, you're dead to me. You're not my daughter.' And I refused to speak but he said, 'I will kill you. Tell me the truth.' In these words, bad words, cuss words. So I knew that I had to get away."

Atlas Shrugs reported that those members of the Muslim community, from Noor Islamic Cultural Center, warned Bary's father that his daughter was an apostate, so the teenager sought to escape with her life.
Bary said she would sneak out to Christian prayer meetings and hide her Bible from her parents. After her father confronted her, he forced her to attend several classes, hoping she would return to Islam. However, several weeks later, her mother discovered a Christian book that belonged to her.

"I knew right then that it was over for me," she said. "I had to leave."
Fox News reported that the father discovered she had been baptized earlier this year.
The teenager said that in the 150 generations of her family, no one has ever known Jesus.
"I am the first one," she said. "Imagine the honor in killing me."
Bary said she wants to remain in Florida so she can be free to worship Jesus, go to church and read her Bible.
"You talk about religious freedom?" she asked. "No! I don't have that. I want to be here. I want to worship Jesus freely. I don't want to die."

Bary's father, a jeweler, called the church a "cult" and claimed it has brainwashed Fatima.
"This is a cult group who kidnapped my daughter and took her away," Mohamed Bary told WESH 2 News.
He also denied the charges she is making and claims he does not intend to hurt her. He and his lawyer are in Florida, fighting to take his daughter back to Ohio.
Fathima Rifqa Bary has been the subject of various media attacks in recent weeks. Pakistan Daily reported, "The family maintains that the girls was into drugs, promiscuous behavior and raunchy messages on Facebook. She was discussing sex with multiple older married men. When the parents tried to control her behavior she refused to do so. On her return to the home she conjured up a story of conversion to Christianity. There are serious accusations against the church on holding a minor girl in custody against the will of her guardians and parents. How many more girls will the church kidnap?"

WND located the following photo of Bary with a boy named Tayee Adrian on Facebook. Messages left with Adrian and Global Revolution Church had not been returned at the time of this report.
Facebook photo of Fathima Rifqa Bary posted by boy named Tayee Adrian
Geller points out that the media appear to be focusing primarily on "the lies and deception of Rifqa Bary's devout Muslim family and their lawyers" and smearing the pastors for caring for Bary rather than immediately turning her over to her parents. She also said the Bary family mosque, Noor Islamic Center, is a hotbed of extremist activity, noting that Patrick Poole of Ohio Against Terror has reported extensively on extremist positions of its leaders.

Bary's Aug. 18 petition to the court states:
The child's parents are devout followers of Islam and members of the extreme Noor Islamic Cultural Center in Columbus, Ohio. This is where the internationally known Hama cleric, Salah Sultan, was the resident scholar before being banned from the United States. Salah Sultan is known as a global terrorist who publicly advocates the killing of Americans and Jews. The largest cell of Al Qaeda[sic] operatives was operating from the largest mosque in the Columbus area. Columbus is one of the cities under current investigation concerning the U.S. operations of Al-Qaeda [sic]. The child is a target for the radical Muslim community of Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Phyllis Chesler, author of "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?" told Fox News Bary's life will be in danger if she is forced to return to her parents.

"Anyone who converts from Islam is considered an apostate, and apostasy is a capital crime," she said. "If she is returned to her family, if she is lucky, they will isolate her, beat her, threaten her, and if she is not 'presuaded' to return to Islam, they will kill her. They have no choice."
Chesler continued, "She escaped from her family's brutal tyranny and shamed her family further through public exposure. Muslim girls and women are killed for far less."

Meanwhile, International Christian Concern is urging Florida officials to retain custody of Bary.
In a statement, ICC said it is concerned about Rifqa because the Columbus police officer who investigated the case told the press that Rifqa's father "comes across to me as a loving, caring, worried father about the whereabouts and the health of his daughter."
However, ICC reveals that a source who spoke with the same investigating officer said the officer indicated earlier that he has spoken with 20 different people who warned him that the girl's life was in danger.
"We are extremely concerned about Rifqa," ICC President Jeff King wrote. "... Based on our extensive international experience with fundamentalist Islam, we strongly believe that Rifqa's life will be in danger if DCF decides to send her back to Ohio. We call upon authorities in Florida to retain custody of Rifqa."
Fathima Rifqa Bary now has more than 2,000 Facebook fans expressing their support for the young girl. However, one Facebook group titled, "Rifqa Bary's father 100% correct" was created by a man in Sri Lanka named Hashan Dilshan. The group has only 14 members – each with Islamic names.
One member named Mohammed Rizwan writes, "Rifqa, it's not your fault. Rifqa, please be cool and think about what you are going to and what you will get from this religion. Rifqa, nothing to worry. Allah with you always if you not close to him, but Allah always close to you [sic]."
In yet another message likely intended for the girl's father, Rizwan wrote, "Bary, you are correct. No one can do without Allah order! [sic] Go ahead … We are all together …"

Concerned individuals may e-mail Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, fill out a contact form, call his office at (850)488-4441 or (850)488-7146 or fax (850)487-0801.
The Florida Department of Children and Families may be reached by calling (850)487-1111 or fax (850)922-2993.
Verne Melvin, acting regional director of the Ninth Judicial Circuit Department of Children and Families, may be reached by calling (407)245-0400.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Al-Qaida-linked thugs now executing children

Posted: July 01, 200911:35 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh© 2009 WorldNetDaily

An al-Qaida-linked terror group has been identified as the organization that dragged off three children of a Christian father in Somalia and executed two of them by beheading, according to a horrifying new report from Compass Direct News.
The Islamic extremists identified as being with a group called al-Shabaab, which has been described by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization, attacked the family and killed the boys because their father refused to provide information about a church leader, the report said.

"I watched my three boys dragged away helplessly as my youngest boy was crying," said the mother, Batula Ali Arbow. "I knew they were going to be slaughtered."
A short time later, 7-year-old Abdulahi Musa Yusuf came running back to his mother, wailing and crying. Dead were his brothers 12-year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf and 11-year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf, according to the report.

The killers continued searching Kenya's refugee camps to find the father, Musa Mohammed Yusuf, who was gone at the time, the report said. He was the leader of an underground church in Yonday village in Somalia before April, when the family fled to a Kenyan camp.
Word of the tragedy is just being reported because of the remote area (20 miles outside of Kismayo) where the attack happened several weeks ago.

According to the report, al-Shabaab militants arrived in Yonday village in February, went to Yusuf's house and interrogated him about his work with Salat Mberwa, a leader of 66 Somali Christians meeting in an undisclosed location. Yusuf told them he knew nothing.
The terrorist left, but promised to return, so Yusuf fled. Not finding him on their return, the attackers killed the boys, the report said.

U.S. government agencies describe the al-Shabaab militants as terrorists who hold "mobile Shariah courts" as they travel, often dispensing Quran-prescribed punishments such as amputations on the spot. Al-Shabaab reportedly controls large sections of southern Somalia, a land where no formal government has been in control for years.
Known formally as Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, the group has been involved in a violent insurgency since 2006. It has released statements praising al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, and claims to have succeeded in multiple bombings and shootings in Mogadishu. Its victims have included peace activists, aid workers and journalists, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

Minnesota Public Radio has reported that the organization is suspected of recruiting young men from Minnesota, which has the largest population of Somalis in the United States, to launch the terror attacks in Somalia. Shirwa Ahmad, who is described by the FBI as the first U.S. citizen to carry out a terror bombing attack in Somalia, reportedly began his training in Minnesota.

The boys' mother said she buried their bodies after the terrorists left.
Yusuf, who had fled to Kismayo, got word of the attack and spent several weeks seeking help to reach Kenya. The remaining members of the family later gathered at the refugee camp, where they reportedly are living without shelter or sleeping mats.
Interviewed by Compass, Mberwa said the terrorists "are on our heads … even here in the refugee camp we are not safe."
The report said an example of the vicious nature of the al-Shabaab attackers came just a week ago, when "in a show of power in the capital city stronghold of Mogadishu … hard-line Islamic insurgents sentenced four young men each to amputation of a hand and a foot as punishment for robbery."

"After mosques announced when the amputations would take place, the extremists carried them out by machete in front of about 300 people on Thursday (June 25) at a military camp," the report said.

Many Somalis, while Muslims, are moderate and the strict and bloody enforcement of such penalties has shocked, according to Compass
Another previous attack had indicated how dedicated the Islamic terrorists were to finding Christian leaders. Late last year, they interrogated Mberwa's son, Abdi, about his father's whereabouts. Not getting the information they wanted, they beat him with a gun until leaving him for dead, although he was hospitalized and survived.
Abdi Mbera told Compass it is urgent to help Christians flee Somalia, "before they are wiped out."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pray for Iran

This is a little off the main theme of this blog, but in reading and hearing of news of riots and upheaval in Iran, I just wanted to ask for prayers for the people of Iran. There are many Christian believers, and former Muslims who need our prayers more than ever. There have been reports also of more and more Muslims coming to a belief in Christ, many are having visions and dreams of Jesus. Let us keep these people in our prayers, and pray the Holy Spirit to shine the Light of Christ on these people. Pray they will be saved, as there are going to be many happenings soon in this part of the world. God Bless- and thank you!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Belarus and Tanzania

Belarus church told to vacate by Monday
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2009, 12:37 (BST)

Christianity Today

A prominent church in an ongoing struggle with the authorities in Belarus has been told by city authorities that they must legally transfer the property to the government and vacate the building before Monday. New Life Church, which has become an emblematic case in the battle for religious freedom in Belarus, was notified by the Property Maintenance and Repair Department (PMRD) of the Moscow District of the City of Minsk that if they did not comply by 1 June, the city will “undertake necessary measures to settle the case” including the use of state security officers to enforce their decision.Belarusian legislation demands that all religious groups must be registered, but in practice, it is almost impossible for most non-Orthodox churches to do so. Since its inception, New Life Church has repeatedly attempted to register but has been refused on each occasion. The building continues to appear on city plans as authorised only for use as a “cow shed”, although it is illegal to keep cattle within city limitsRev Stuart Windsor, CSW’s National Director said: “The events of next week are likely to have a major impact on religious freedom throughout Belarus. If New Life Church is forced to shut its doors, the hundreds of other churches across the country who have been denied the right to register will have real reason to fear the same fate. “It is essential that the international community, in particular the European Union, having just launched its Eastern Partnership initiative which is meant to promote respect for human rights in countries including Belarus, makes it absolutely clear that the religious liberty of the members of New Life Church must be defended and upheld.”


Authorities do nothing to help threatened Christians.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 (Compass Direct News) –

Sunday worship in a house church near Zanzibar City, on a Tanzanian island off the coast of East Africa, did not take place for the third week running on Sunday (May 24) after Muslim extremists expelled worshippers from their rented property.
Radical Muslims on May 9 drove members of Zanzibar Pentecostal Church (Kanisa la Pentecoste Zanzibar) from worship premises in a rented house at Ungunja Ukuu, on the outskirts of Zanzibar City. Restrictions on purchasing land for church buildings have slowed the Christians’ efforts to find a new worship site.
Angered by a recent upsurge in Christian evangelism in the area, church members said, radical Muslims had sent several threats to the Christians warning them to stop their activities. The church had undertaken a two-day, door-to-door evangelism campaign culminating in an Easter celebration.
“Radical Muslims reported the church campaign to [village elder Mnemo] Mgomba, who in turn ordered that no Christian activity to be carried out in his area of jurisdiction,” said Obeid Fabian Hofi, bishop of the church.
On the morning of the attack, more than 20 church members had gathered for Saturday fellowship when word reached them that Muslim extremists were about to attack. As the radical group approached, the Christians fled in fear of their lives.
“The group was shouting, saying, ‘We do not want the church to be in our locality – they should leave the place and never come back again,’” said one church member who requested anonymity.
A Muslim had rented his house to a member of the church, Leah Shabani, who later decided to make it a place of fellowship. The church, which has been in existence for seven years, had reached more than 30 members at the beginning of this year, most of them from the Tanzanian mainland. Without their worship site, Bishop Hofi said, some members are traveling long distances into Zanzibar City to worship.
When the church reported the attack to area chief Jecha Ali, members said, he told them that he could not help them.
“This property is not mine – if the owner has refused to allow you people to pray there, then I have nothing to do,” Ali told them.
When Bishop Hofi went to police in Ungunja Ukuu about the attack, officers also told him that the landlord had the right to refuse to rent to the Christian.
“The head of police said he could not help us, arguing that it was the prerogative of the plot’s owner to decide who to lease his property to,” he said.
Police promised to investigate, but Bishop Hofi said he was not convinced they would take any action against those who had attacked his congregation.
“To date no action has been taken by the police,” he said. “I am very concerned about the spiritual situation of my flock, seeing that my appeal has landed in deaf ears. No one is ready to listen to our grievances. We are fighting a losing battle since the administration is headed by Muslims.”
Bishop Hofi said he has decided to appeal for prayer and financial support from churches in Zanzibar to buy property for a church building. He said church members have spoken with Mercy Baraza, a Muslim from the Tanzanian mainland, who has pledged to sell her Zanzibar plot to them.
“The church is now raising money with the hope that the members will soon have a place to worship,” Bishop Hofi told Compass by telephone. “I know getting the money is easy, but to get someone to sell the land might be difficult, especially for worship purpose, but we are trusting God for His providence. We shall be very grateful for prayers and any support towards the purchase of the plot for church worship.”
The prospective site is near a police station, he said, giving him optimism that if they obtain it they could worship peaceably.
“It will be a secure place for the church,” he said.
In predominately Sunni Muslim Zanzibar, the church faces numerous hurdles. There are restrictions on getting land to build churches, open preaching is outlawed and there is limited time on national television to air Christian programs. In government schools, only Islamic Religious knowledge is taught, not Christian Religious Education.
Zanzibar is the informal designation for the island of Unguja in the Indian Ocean. The Zanzibar archipelago united with Tanganyika to form the present day Tanzania in 1964.
Muslim traders from the Persian Gulf had settled in the region early in the 10th century after monsoon winds propelled them through the Gulf of Aden and Somalia. The 1964 merger left island Muslims uneasy about Christianity, seeing it as a means by which mainland Tanzania would dominate them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

More Troubles in Pakistan

From Voice of the Martyrs

Pakistan –

Six Churches Attacked and Christian Homes Burned by the Taliban
On Feb. 22, the Taliban attacked six churches, burned several Christian homes and four Bibles and injured children in Karachi, Pakistan, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.
Eye witnesses reported the Taliban shouting, "Accept Islam, Accept Islam, LA ILAHA ILL ALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOL ALLAH," meaning there is no god, only Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. The churches that were attacked are, Christ United Church, Philadelphia Pentecostal Church, ARP Church, Salvation Army Church and two public churches.

With all of the newer conflict in Pakistan, we need to keep our brothers and sisters in that troubled country in our daily prayers! We need to pray also for the leaders to seek and hear God's wisdom in driving back the Taliban!

The Voice of the Martyrs supports persecuted believers in Pakistan. Pray for the believers who were injured in this attack and those who lost their homes. Ask God to encourage and protect believers in Pakistan who continue to stand for Him despite persecution.
Posted April 23, 2009