Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When Apostates Attack!

A Christian pastor who [may have] converted from Islam may be put to death for [allegedly] leaving Islam following the recent ruling of an Iranian court.

Youcef Nadarkhani, 34, was arrested more than two years ago on charges of apostasy, and has now been sentenced to death by an Iranian court for refusing to renounce his Christianity, according to the pastor's legal team.

The father-of-two had defied a request by the Gilan provincial court, in Rasht, Iran, to repent, and now faces death by hanging.

Religious freedom advocates everywhere continue to desperately attempt to save the life of a man who is guilty of nothing more than adhering to a personal belief system.

Read more here.

Latest update(s) here.

Sign the petition created by The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Kyrgyzstan Bans Unification Church

Considering the Kyrgyz Republic's history of enforced atheism [Soviet period] followed by efforts to go secular within a predominantly (Sunni/Hanafi) Muslim milieu topped by an ever continuing, abysmal record on human rights, the decision is not surprising.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty posted this brief note on the subject today.

However, the Religious Law of Kyrgyzstan, (signed January 2009) and reaction to it, may be instructive:
Sergei Lysov, a pastor and head of Kyrgyzstan's chapter of Bible League, a non-profit Christian group, [noted at that time that he saw] the bill as yet another challenge to religious freedom in Kyrgyzstan and worries it will curtail his organization's activities. "We prayed this law would not be passed," Lysov said. But "I think it will only strengthen religious communities. For a true believer, it is important to have tests, because it only makes him stronger." 
Must torture, imprisonment, etc., ever be "tests"?

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) concerns have been lost within the political shuffle.

Last years' Jehovah Witnesses court victory offers a glimmer of hope, though "pretrial detention" is still imprisonment.

Continuing . . .