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Persecution Brief: Pakistani Christian Tortured, Nadarkhani Still Facing Death

Persecution Brief: Pakistani Christian Tortured, Nadarkhani Still Facing Death

Several reports of the persecution of Christians and related issues appeared in the press this week. Among them was an account of a Christian woman being tortured and humiliated in Pakistan; a false report on Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani having been executed; and the anniversary of the death of a Christian government official murdered last year in Pakistan being remembered by both Christians and Muslims.

Pakistan – Seema Bibi, a Christian woman, was recently humiliated, tortured and paraded in the streets of her village by a mob who accused her of "anti-Islam views," it was reported. The act is more evidence of the worsening situation of Christians in the overwhelmingly Muslim country, where religious minorities are said to be often targeted via the misuse of blasphemy and apostasy laws, which are also used against Christians.

Pakistan – Two Christian Pakistani employees of a Korean hospital and mission were kidnapped in Karachi on March 1, it emerged recently. The men were ordered out of a van they were driving to Good Samaritan Hospital, a transplant from South Korea, and taken to an unknown location. The authorities do not know who abducted the two Christians, but suspect a terror group.

India – A group of Burmese Chin Christians living in India held a press conference in Washington, D.C., this week to raise awareness about their status of nonexistence in the eyes of law of the place where they have been forced to live.

Nigeria – New details of Boko Haram's grand plans to "Islamize Nigeria" have leaked this week when two coordinators within the terrorist organization were forced to speak out about the terror group's goal, which is to eradicate all faiths but Islam.

Syria – Reports of President Bashar Assad's regime in Syria turning against Christians have been emerging recently as violence between his security forces and rebels escalates in the country. Syrian Christians have for the most part been reported to hold with the regime, fearing persecution from Muslim extremists should an Islamic party reach power after the fall of Assad. But recently many Christians, who oppose any violence, have been tending to the wounded rebels and bringing humanitarian aid, apparently angering the authoritarian leader.

Iran – It emerged Monday that pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was sentenced for apostasy in Iran, is in fact alive, despite rumors that he was executed by hanging last weekend, with photos even circulating on the Internet of Nadarkhani with a nooose.

Pakistan – Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani, cabinet members, lawmakers, diplomats, public figures, Christians and Muslims, as well as ordinary citizens, participated in a conference organized to honor the memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic Minority Affairs minister murdered by Muslim extremists on March 2, 2011.


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