CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Christian café owner warned by police over Bible verse display
ChristianToday.com reports: “The owner of a Christian café has been told by police to stop displaying offensive Bible verses.
Police visited Jamie Murray, owner of the Salt & Light Coffee House in Blackpool following a complaint about insulting and homophobic material, according to The Christian Institute, which is advising Mr Murray.
The café has a TV mounted on the wall that displays verses of the Bible from a set of DVDs called the Watchword Bible.
The DVDs provide audio and text of the entire New Testament but the volume is turned down in the café.
Police told Mr Murray they had received a complaint about insulting and homophobic material being displayed in the café, although they did not tell him the specific texts relating to the complaint.
According to The Christian Institute, Mr Murray was told to stop displaying the Bible verses because it breached Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which forbids the display of offensive or insulting words.
He said: I couldnt believe the police were saying I cant display the Bible. The officers were not very polite; in fact they were quite aggressive. It felt like an interrogation ” (Jude 1:3, 4, 10, 14, 15.)
Condemned pastor won’t renounce faith
The Australian reports: “Britains Foreign Secretary and the Archbishop of Canterbury intervened to try to save a Christian pastor in Iran who has refused to renounce his faith to escape a death sentence.
An Iranian court gave Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, a third and final chance to avoid hanging, but he replied: I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant.
The panel of five judges will decide whether to confirm his execution for apostasy, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah, his lawyer, told The Times.
William Hague said that he deplored Pastor Nadarkhani’s plight, and a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office diplomat telephoned the Iranian Charge d’Affaires in London to protest.
This demonstrates the Iranian regime’s continued unwillingness to abide by its constitutional and international obligations to respect religious freedom, Mr Hague said. I pay tribute to the courage shown by Pastor Nadarkhani, who has no case to answer, and call on the Iranian authorities to overturn his sentence.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, broke his silence to express deep concern at the sentence faced by Pastor Nadarkhani, and at the persecution of religious minorities in Iran generally.
Sources said that Christian clerics and advisers had been working hard behind the scenes to save the pastor’s life, but had sought to avoid megaphone diplomacy in case it did more harm than good ” (This headline is the beginning of death sentences in Muslim nations for Jews and Christians especially under the passage of the Blasphemy Law Matthew 24:9; John 16:2; Revelation 6:9; 13:15; 20:4.)
Case of Iranian Pastor Facing Death Penalty Reportedly in Hands of Supreme Leader
Fox News reports: “The case of an Iranian pastor facing a possible death sentence has reportedly been referred to Iran’s supreme leader, a move some say shows the Islamic republic is feeling pressure in the face of growing international support.
Attorney Mohammad Ali Dadkhah told AFP that an Iranian court has decided to seek the opinion of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — the Islamic republic’s spiritual leader and highest authority — in the case of Youcef Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old pastor who was arrested in October 2009 and later sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.
Dadkhah and religious rights organizations say Nadarkhani is facing possible execution for apostasy and for refusing to renounce his religion, contradicting reports by Iran state media that have indicated Nadarkhani was found guilty of rape, extortion and security-related crimes. Messages seeking comment from Dadkhah were not immediately returned.
Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based organization that is monitoring Nadarkhani’s case, told FoxNews.com that the move was unusual and is part of the secretive process within the Iranian judicial system.
Based on these reports, Pastor Youcef is alive and we have reached the highest level of Iranian government, Sekulow said. I don’t believe this would’ve ever reached the level of Khamenei without the media attention and outpouring of support we’ve seen. ” (Imam Khamenei hates Christianity and only a miracle can save this Godly Christian Pastor. Regardless of the outcome God says in Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” See also the next report.)
Girls school expulsion for blasphemy alarms British Pakistani Christians
ChristianToday.com reports: “British Pakistani Christians have voiced dismay over the expulsion of a Christian girl from a school over blasphemy allegations.
Faryal Bhatti was accused of blasphemy by officials at Sir Syed Girls High School in Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) colony in Havelian, near Abbottabad.
The accusation was made after she misspelled a word in a class test on a poem praising the Prophet Muhammad.
She was reportedly beaten by her teacher over the mistake before the school took the decision to expel her.
A rally was held by local Muslims demanding that criminal charges be brought against Bhatti. At Friday prayers imams said her entire family should be punished.
The decision to expel her was taken by officials following a meeting with the girl and her mother in which Bhatti apologised and tried to explain that it had been a simple spelling mistake
Wilson Chowdhry, head of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said this was not an isolated incident and that Christians in Pakistani schools are forced to take Islamic lessons and face pressure to convert or take part in Islamic worship.
He said Bhattis expulsion demonstrates that too often there is little difference between the mainstream and extremist educational establishments in Pakistan ”
Coptic Church torched in Egypt
ChristianToday.com reports: “A mob of several thousand Muslims from the village of Elmarinab in Edfu, Aswan province, demolished and torched St George’s church, which was being renovated.
According to Mary Abdelmassih, writing for AINA – Assyrian International News Agency , the mob demolished the dome, walls and columns, after Friday prayers then went to the church depot where the lumber to be used for construction was stored and torched it. The fire lasted 2 hours, but the attack continued until 7 PM.
AINA says that in an interview on Coptic TV channel, Father Salib of St. George’s Church said: The Imam of one of the village mosques called on the people to take matters in their own hands. Other witnesses named the Imam as Sheikh Sabry.
AINA reports that according to eyewitnesses, the Muslims also torched a large depot of electrical goods owned by a Coptic Christian, a supermarket and four Coptic homes. Muslims prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. Security forces, which were present, stood there watching, said Mr.Michael Ramzy, a social worker at the church ” (Coptic Christians are members of the Roman Catholic faith as are the Chaldean Christians. What a price these precious believers have paid already in the beginning of the 21st century. Its not finished yet because II Timothy 3:12 states: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution“. See also the next report.)
Thousands of Egyptians march in Cairo’s Tahrir square for Copt’s funeral
Haaretz reports: “Thousands of Egyptians marched in central Cairo’s Tahrir square for the funeral procession of a young man who was killed in clashes between mostly Coptic Christians and government troops.
Mourners marched from the Coptic Hospital to Tahrir square carrying the coffin of Mina Daniel, who was among 26 people killed in the violence that took place in front of the state television building in Cairo.
The Health Ministry said nearly 300 people were wounded.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians begin a three-day fast to mourn the dead.
On Sunday, about 2,000 people had gathered in Cairo for an initially peaceful rally to protest at the destruction of a church in southern Egypt last month. Fighting soon broke out among the protesters, residents and troops ”