Category Archives: humanrights

Religious violence in Nigeria

KANO, Nigeria, November 26 – Church leaders said violence over local elections in the Sumaila area this month included a religious element, with Muslims killing one Christian in an attack on a Christian settlement. Eyewitnesses said violence broke out in the Gani electoral ward of Sumaila on November 17 after news reports showed that the Christian candidate for councillor for the Peoples Democratic Party, Zara Gambo, was ahead in the polls, signifying the first ever victory for a Christian candidate in the area. As a result, Muslims attacked Christians in Gani town and in Gani Mission, a Christian settlement in the area, destroying their houses and shops, injuring several of them and killing school teacher Danyaro Bala. Sani Duma, Bala’s brother, told Compass that he believes Muslims killed the church elder in order to cow area Christians into submitting to Islam. “Religion is at the center of this attack on us and the killing of my brother,” Duma said. “The selection of only houses of Christians and their shops for destruction shows clearly that Muslims were out to force us into submitting to their hold on political leadership.”

-Compass Direct News

Egypt releases human rights activists

CAIRO — Egyptian police this week released two Christian rights activists detained for three months. A host of journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family and friends gathered at the Cairo home of Adel Fawzy Faltas last night to celebrate the acquittal and release on Monday (November 5) of the Egyptian head of the Middle East Christian Association and an associate. Faltas, 61, and colleague Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt ’s reputation abroad. Faltas had conducted an online interview with a controversial convert from Islam to Chris tianity only days before his arrest on August 8.

Sporting a wide grin, shorts and tennis shoes as well-wishers pressed around him at his 8th floor flat, Faltas said, “I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free.”

-Compass Direct News

Muslim extremists apologize for attack on Pakistani church

ISTANBUL – Muslims who attacked a Pakistani church and declared religious war against Christians from mosque minarets have apologized for their actions, human rights workers said. The threats included demands that Christians of Gowindh, a Punjabi village of 10,000, convert to Islam or “be prepared to fight or die.” Muslims ended their boycott against trading with the 300 Christians. This incident is the latest in a pattern of church attacks in which perpetrators apologize and avoid facing charges.

 -Compass Direct News

Muslim administrators force widow into early retirement without pay

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Asabe Ladagu, a Christian widow in this capital city of Borno state in northern Nigeria, has survived without income the past 16 months. It was that long ago, the former librarian told Compass, that Muslim administrators at Ramat Polytechnic forced her into early retirement – without pay – after she and others requested land to build a chapel. “We were branded as dangerous people because we are Christians,” Ladagu said. She had put in 35 years of government service as Ramat Polytechnic’s librarian and chief lecturer. “Other Christian brethren too have either been forced out or have been the subjects of witch-hunts,” she said. The Rev. Joshua Adamu, chairman of the Borno state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, asserted that persecution of Christians has become a state policy.

-Compass Direct News 

Fourth state in India passes ‘anti-conversion’ law

NEW DELHI, October 8  – The Congress Party government in Himachal Pradesh state has brought into force its “anti-conversion” law six months after the governor gave assent to the controversial bill regulating religious conversions. The move brings the number of states with anti-conversion laws in India to four: Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh, although in Chhattisgarh the governor is seeking the opinion of the Attorney General of India on the legislation. Lansinglu Rongmei of the Christian Legal Association said her organization would challenge the constitutional validity of the law in Himachal Pradesh, which requires any person wishing to convert to give a prior notice of at least 30 days and prohibits conversion by “force or by inducement or by any other fraudulent means.” Rongmei said the law “paves the way for extremists to indulge in ‘re-conversion’ programs with impunity.” -Compass Direct News  

Palestinian Bible store manager murdered in Gaza

Police found Christian leader Rami Ayyad murdered early Sunday morning near the Christian bookstore that he managed in the Palestinian territory of Gaza. He had been shot in the head and had multiple stab wounds. Unknown individuals abducted Ayyad, 30, as he closed The Teacher’s Bookshop at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (October 6). Muslim extremists have repeatedly threatened the bookshop, operated by the Palestinian Bible Society; it was bombed in April after previous threats. Ayyad is survived by two children and his pregnant wife, Pauline.

-Compass Direct News

Ten Christians killed, nine churches destroyed in Nigeria

TUDUN WADA DANKADAI, Nigeria, October 5 (Compass Direct News) – A Muslim rampage last week in this town in the northern state of Kano resulted in the killing of 10 Christians and the destruction of nine churches, according to eyewitnesses.

Another 61 people were injured and more than 500 displaced in the September 28 disturbance, touched off when Muslim students of Government College-Tudun Wada Dankadai, a public high school, claimed that a Christian student had drawn a cartoon of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, on the wall of the school’s mosque.

Rabiu Danbawa, pastor of an area Evangelical Church of West Africa congregation, said he stood about 500 meters from his church and parish home as it burned.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said. “I did not know the fate of my wife and my children.”

Danbawa said he went to the police station, only to find the police dispersing the many Christians who had run there to escape the attack.

“We were told to leave, as our safety could not be guaranteed,” he said, in tears. “Women and children all scampered to the bush, only to be attacked by the Muslims who had already hid themselves in the bush awaiting their Christian prey.”

Read the full article at