Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christian Aid Seeks Aid for Survivors of Jos Christmas Eve Bombings in Nigeria

Special to Assist News Service
From Christian Aid Mission

JOS, NIGERIA (ANS) -- While the Nigerian city of Jos is still in flames and under a 24-hour military curfew, the first eye-witness reports have begun to come in from indigenous missionaries trapped by the continuing violence. Over 80 people are now confirmed killed in the bombings and assaults on Christmas Eve and the death toll is mounting as street fighting continues.

Christian Aid has set up an emergency hot line to accept donations for the victims at 1-800-977-5650, persecution gift code: 550MCM.

According to a trusted indigenous leader, thousands of internally displaced refugees are on the move. He confirmed that pastors and Christian leaders were targeted and killed in the attacks.

Christian Aid Mission Africa Director Rae Burnett said that the missionary, who is executive director of the one of the mission agencies Christian Aid assists in Jos, is asking Christians around the world to urgently pray for Christians in Nigeria, especially those in the city of Jos.

“We are in regular contact with indigenous missions’ leaders there and are already collecting aid for the survivors – helping them to bury the dead, rebuild homes and churches and heal broken lives,” says Rae Burnett.

Wire service reports say authorities first believed the attacks were orchestrated by a militant Islamic group that has killed dozens of Christians since September in the region. However a new and different terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the Christmas Eve assassinations in Jos and church burnings in Borno State as well.

Rae Burnett released parts of an email report from Gabriel Barau, the executive director of Missionary Crusaders Ministries, who was in Jos for a Christmas field visit when the attacks began.

“Right now, my family and I are still trapped on the outskirts of Jos where Muslim fanatics have set the city on fire once again,” he wrote yesterday. “I will send more reports and updates on this as I get more information tonight and tomorrow.”

Gabriel confirmed reports that the violence began on Christmas Eve when he says seven terrorist bombs were planted in two churches and a market area within Jos City, Plateau State. All exploded successfully, killing many victims.

“Because of the tense situation, I am not able to take any pictures as the city has been taken over by military personnel. The governor has ordered the military to shoot-on-sight anyone caught fomenting trouble.

“Meanwhile the city is locked up. Conditions are tense and many people are still looking for their lost ones. I understand that the many refugees in the city already number over 300,000 – people who have fled their homes because of attacks.

“While the Jos violence is still going on,” Barau said, “another six people including two pastors were killed and a church burnt down in Maiduguri, Borno State. We need prayers for the believers and the work we are doing among these people as radical Muslims are becoming very hostile to Christians in Nigeria. Our mission board, MCM, has a missionary already surveying Maiduguri to help reach the Kanuri people there who are 100% Muslims.

“Pray for our people and missionaries among the Muslims. We will not relent in our efforts to reach them as the Lord is raising up a people for his name among them. Pray for us.”

Christian Aid Mission is an evangelical organization helping indigenous missions proclaim the gospel to all nations. Indigenous missions carry on where Americans are no longer allowed to go as missionaries.

Call 1-800-977-5650 to donate. Please use gift code: 550MCM.
Christian Aid Mission (www.christianaid.org)
Email: info@christianaid.org

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

AFGHANISTAN – Jailed Christian denied access to lawyer

Release is calling for prayer for a Christian prisoner of faith who faces a possible death sentence for 'apostasy'.

Said Musa, who has worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been detained in Kabul since May and is said to have suffered torture, abuse and death threats in custody. He has not yet been allowed to consult a lawyer.

Release understands that charges have not yet been brought – but his arrest was reportedly connected with his decision eight years ago to leave Islam and become a Christian.

Said, who has a prosthetic leg, was arrested after video footage showing Afghan Christians being baptised and participating in prayer gatherings was broadcast on national TV. The broadcast triggered protests throughout the country and prompted some – including a deputy leader in Parliament – to call for Christians to be executed.

Said's family were not informed about his whereabouts for two months after his arrest.

Release is now encouraging supporters to write polite letters to the Afghan authorities expressing concern about Said's situation.

Another Afghan Christian, 25-year-old Shoib Assadullah, has been in detention since October – after he gave a New Testament to someone who then informed on him to the authorities. Shoib, who became a Christian five years ago, is being held in Mazar-e-Sharif district in northern Afghanistan.

(Source: Release source)

Pray
• Pray that Said and Shoib will remain resolute in their faith and know the Lord's comfort, protection and guidance.
• Pray specifically that Said will be granted access to legal counsel. Pray that the cases of both men will be tried quickly and will lead to acquittals.

Act
• Please write a polite letter to President Karzai expressing concern about Said Musa's plight. You can send it via email to: hussain.rahimi@gmail.com or fax it to 020 7581 3452.

For a sample letter and more about Said, go to: http://www.releaseinternational.org/media/download_gallery/Prisoners-of-Faith-Alert-December-2010.pdf


The information in this email can be reproduced in church magazines and news bulletins, provided the source is acknowledged

Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK
Tel: 01689 823491
General enquiries: info@releaseinternational.org
Website address: www.releaseinternational.org

Through our international network of missions, Release International serves persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice.

Registered Charity (England No. 280577) and company ltd by guarantee (England No. 1506576) Registered office: Times House, Throwley Way , Sutton , SM1 4JQ

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Monday, December 27, 2010

What Christmas Really Means.....

At Christmas time there was a man,
who looked so out of place.
As people rushed about him,
at a hurried sort of pace.

He stared at all the Christmas lights,
the tinsel everywhere.
The shopping center Santa Claus,
with children gathered near.

The mall was packed with shoppers,
who were going to and for.
Some with smiles, some with frowns,
and some too tired to go.

They rested on benches,
or they hurried on their way.
To fight the crowds for purchases,
to carry home that day.

The music from the stereo,
was playing loud and clear.
Of Santa Claus and snowmen,
and funny nosed reindeer.

He heard the people talk about,
the good times on the way.
Of parties, fun and food galore,
and gift exchange that day.

I'd like to know what's going on,
the man was heard to say.
There seems to be some sort,
of celebration on the way.

And would you tell me who this is,
all dressed in red and white.
And why are children asking "him"
about a special night.

The answer came in disbelief,
I can't believe my ear.
I can't believe you do not know,
that Christmas time is here.

The time when Santa comes around,
with gifts for girls and boys.
When they are asleep on Christmas Eve,
he leaves them books and toys.

The man you see in red and white,
is Santa Claus so sly.
The children love his joyful laugh,
and twinkle in his eye.

His gift packed sleigh is pulled along,
by very small reindeer.
As he flies quickly through the air,
while darting here and there.

The children learn of Santa Claus,
while they are still quite small.
When Christmas comes "he" is the most,
"important" one of all.

The stranger hung His head in shame,
He closed a nail pierced hand.
His body shook in disbelief,
He did not understand.

A shadow crossed His stricken face,
His voice was low but clear.
"After all these years they still don't know."
And JESUS shed a tear.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Christians in court on Monday, please pray

The Christian Institute reports,

'The Christian owners of a Cornish guesthouse are due to appear in court on Monday because they restrict double bed accommodation to married couples.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull are being sued by homosexuals, Steven Preddy and Martyn Hall, who claim the policy is discriminatory.

The guesthouse is not just a business, it is also Mr and Mrs Bull's own home.

The case will be heard at Bristol County Court on Monday 13 December and is scheduled to last for two days.

The claim is brought under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, the same laws that have caused faith-based adoption agencies to close down or drop their religious ethos.

If the claim against the guesthouse is successful, Mr and Mrs Bull may be ordered to pay up to £5,000 to Mr Preddy and Mr Hall for injury to their feelings.

Mr Preddy and Mr Hall's legal fees are being paid by the Government-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission. The Christian Institute is funding Mr and Mrs Bull's legal defence.

This case could determine whether Christians are permitted to operate B&Bs that restrict double bed accommodation to married couples.

Please pray:

For Peter and Hazelmary Bull, that they will know God's love and support during this difficult time.
For the judge, that he will come to a just decision.
For our legal team, that they will present the case clearly and persuasively.
For the news media, that they will publish balanced and accurate reports.
For the staff of The Christian Institute, as we support and advise Peter and Hazelmary.'

Public money is being used to fund a private prosecution of Christians. We are a sick society. On Monday my London bus had adverts from Stonewall, 'Some people are gay. Get over it.' I was tempted to pull them down.

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

NIGERIA – Three Christians killed in night raid on Jos village

Suspected Fulani militants killed three Christians and injured one other in a night raid on a village near Jos in Plateau state.

The attack on Kwata Zawan last week brings to 540 the number of Christians killed in the Jos area since early March, according to Release partner Stefanos Foundation.

Eyewitnesses told Stefanos Foundation that a band of about ten gunmen dressed in animal-skin jackets and with blackened faces raided Kwata Zawan just after 10pm on November 25. One villager, Sonshak Amos, who ran into the gunmen outside the village, narrowly escaped being attacked with a cutlass and was able to raise the alarm just before the shooting started.

Two men, Iliya Gya and James Gya, were shot dead in their homes, and another, named only as Alfred, was also killed. The village leader Julius Gya, whose brother was among the dead, was shot in the arm.

'Because we were unarmed, we were so scared to come out,' villager David Haruna Samson told Stefanos. 'When everything went calm, we came out and found out that three people were killed.'

Stefanos Foundation, which is supporting survivors, has expressed concern that a nearby military post did not intervene, despite villagers raising the alarm. It is also concerned that perpetrators of other recent attacks on Christian communities have still not been brought to justice.

(Source: Stefanos Foundation)

• Ask God to comfort and strengthen villagers in Kwata Zawan as they come to terms with the violent assault on their community.
• Pray that politicians and military leaders will take resolute steps to protect vulnerable Christian communities in the Jos area, a flashpoint for anti-Christian violence.




Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK

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