It’s been a while since our last Persecution Update and a lot has been happening around the world.
This past month, there has been recent news from Turkey, Iran, Nigeria, Libya and India.
Turkish military linked to Christian murders
New evidence provides glimpse into Turkey’s ‘Deep State’
Nearly six years into the court trial over the murder of three Christians in southeastern Turkey, documents have emerged confirming that secret military units were involved in those assassinations and others.
Malatya’s 3rd Criminal Court is forcing prosecutors and the military to turn over previously secret documents, throwing light on a shadowy network believed to be behind several decades of assassination and coup plots in Turkey.
The court is conducting the trial of five men accused of stabbing, torturing and then slashing the throats of Turkish Christians Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and German Christian Tilmann Geske in the Malatya office of Zirve Christian Publishing on April 18, 2007.
Earlier this month, the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office handed over to the Malatya court confidential intelligence files seized from the General Staff’s Tactical Mobilization Group archives, known as the “Cosmic Room” in the Turkish media.
Iranian President’s Words Require Action, Religious Rights Advocates Say
Wife of imprisoned U.S.-Iranian pastor gives letter to new president’s entourage.
After a week in which the new president of Iran skirted religious rights issues even as he received a letter from an imprisoned pastor, religious rights advocates hoped action would accompany the “moderate” face he presented.
The day before Hassan Rouhani addressed the U.N. General Assembly, the wife of an Iranian-American pastor imprisoned for his faith hand-delivered a letter written by her husband to the Iranian president’s U.N. delegation in New York, requesting release. Naghmeh Abedini, wife of pastor Saeed Abedini, presented the letter to Rouhani’s entourage on Monday (Sept. 23) in a lobby of a hotel in New York City where both she and the delegation were staying.
The member of the delegation who received the letter assured her they would deliver it to Rouhani.
In an interview later on CNN, Rouhani was non-committal when asked about the pastor, commenting only that he could not interfere with the legal system and the “due process of law” in Iran – hollow words to Abedini’s family, who assert that charges against him are not only unjust but false.
Muslim Herdsmen, Islamic Extremists Kill More Christians in Nigeria
Ethnic Fulanis murder 15 in Kaduna state; Boko Haram suspected in slaying of Anglican priest in Yobe state.
Muslim herdsmen killed 15 Christians in Nigeria’s Kaduna state Saturday morning (Sept. 28), two days after suspected Islamic extremists in Yobe state killed an Anglican pastor and his son, sources said.
The ethnic Fulani Muslims in Kaduna state in central Nigeria, where attacks against Christians have increased markedly in the past year with the aid of outside Muslim extremists, invaded predominantly Christian Zangang village in the Kaura Local Government Area from the east and south, “killing the villagers and burning down houses,” said the Rev. Yakubu Gandu Nkut.
“The Fulani Muslim herdsmen lay siege to the village, while at the same time attacking Christians there using guns to kill and burn down their houses,” Nkut told Morning Star News. “They attacked the village between the hours of 6 and 8 a.m.”
Two Egyptian Christians Slain in Libya
Orthodox Copts refused Muslims’ demand to convert to Islam, relatives say.
A group of Muslims robbed two Egyptian Christians living in Libya, then tied up and shot them to death after the two Copts refused their demand to convert to Islam, relatives said.
On a rural road in Derna District in northeastern Libya on Wednesday (Sept. 25), a group of Muslims surrounded Waleed Saad Shaker, 25, and Nash’at Shenouda Ishaq, 27, demanded their belongings and started beating them. During the strong-arm robbery, the relatives said, the Muslims demanded that Shaker and Ishaq recite the shahada, the declaration of conversion to Islam. When the two Orthodox Coptic Christians refused, the group of Muslims tied them up and shot them.
Later that day, a shepherd found Shaker and Ishaq in the desert, and they were taken to Derna Hospital. Shaker was dead upon arrival at the hospital, according to a member of Ishaq’s family who requested anonymity. Gamel Saleem, a cousin of Shaker who saw his body, said the skull had been beaten in. Shaker’s death certificate identifies injuries to his head as the cause of death.
Ishaq initially survived the attack, and before he died he was able to give details about the assault to a relative, also resident in Libya. Escorting the body back to Upper Egypt for burial, the relative relayed the details to Ishaq’s family and the Shaker family.
Persecution of Christians Rockets in Karnataka, India
Hindu extremists drag woman to temple in effort to ‘reconvert’ her.
Incidents of violence against Christians in India’s Karnataka state have spiked since June, including hospitalization of a school helper this month after Hindu extremists beat her and marched her through the streets.
Hindu extremists kicked and punched the 50-year-old Christian woman, who goes by the single name of Sannamma, after intercepting her in Chamrajnagar District on Sept. 13. A resident of Kolipalya, Sannamma was in Nirayanpalya village to invite students back to school when a mob of about 40 Hindu nationalists stopped her and demanded she give money for a Hindu festival, a Christian leader said.
“Sannamma agreed to give them the money later, as she did not have any money with her at that time,” area pastor Vincent Dass told Morning Star News.
Please pray for the persecuted Church!
IMAGE: Morning Star News