Ponder about it

June 30, 2011 by admin  
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Beautiful Quotes

Beautiful Nature Photo

If you are right then there is no need to get angry
And if you are wrong then you don’t have any right to get angry.
 
Patience with family is love,
Patience with others is respect,
Patience with self is confidence
and
Patience with GOD is faith.

 
Never Think Hard about PAST,
It brings Tears…
Don’t Think more about FUTURE,
It brings Fears…
Live this Moment with a Smile,
It brings Cheers.!!!!
 
Every test in our life makes us bitter or better,
Every problem comes to make us or break us,
Choice is our whether we become victim or victorious !!!


Search a beautiful heart not a beautiful face.
Beautiful things are not always good
but good things are always beautiful.

 
Remember me like pressed flower in your Notebook.
It may not be having any fragrance
but will remind you of my existence forever in your life
.
 
Do you know, why God created gaps between fingers?
So that someone who is special to you, comes and fills those gaps by holding your hands forever.

Archbishop Chaput warns about Catholic Institutions losing Religious Identity

June 30, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Persecution, USA, World

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Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver

Denver, USA, 22 June 2011 (CNA/EWTN):  Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver warned Catholic social workers against the danger of Church institutions losing their religious identity amidst increasing hostility from the government and society. “The more that Catholic universities or hospitals mute their religious identity; the more that Catholic social ministries weaken their religious character … the less useful to the Gospel they become,” he said. Archbishop Chaput delivered a dual message to Catholic social workers this week, urging them to not let their Christian identity wane and also stressing that the government has no right to impede the work of Catholic institutions. At a June 21 address to the Catholic Social Workers National Convention in Denver, he said that civil society consists “not just of autonomous individuals” but communities as well. “Those communities also have rights. Catholic institutions are extensions of the Catholic community and Catholic belief,” he emphasized.

“The state has no right to interfere with their legitimate work, even when it claims to act in the name of individuals unhappy with Catholic teaching.” Archbishop Chaput’s remarks were made against the backdrop of Catholic Charities in several dioceses across the U.S. shutting down adoption and foster care services after their local states enacted civil union laws. Despite these setbacks, however, the Denver archbishop said that Catholic ministries “have the duty to faithfully embody Catholic beliefs on marriage, the family, social justice, sexuality, abortion and other important issues.”  “And if the state refuses to allow those Catholic ministries to be faithful in their services through legal or financial bullying,” he added, “then as a matter of integrity, they should end their services.” “Catholic social ministry begins and ends with Jesus Christ,” he said. “If it doesn’t, it isn’t Catholic.”

“And if our social work isn’t deeply, confidently and explicitly Catholic in its identity, then we should stop using the word ‘Catholic.’  It’s that simple.” Archbishop Chaput warned that “a new kind of America” is emerging in the 21st century, one that is likely to be “much less friendly to religious faith than anything in the nation’s past.” The reason for this, he said, is that “America’s religious soul – its Christian subtext – has been weakening for decades.” The archbishop observed that religious communities have historically had a great deal of power in shaping attitudes and behavior in the U.S.  “And that’s why, if you dislike religion or resent the Catholic Church, or just want to reshape American life into some new kind of experiment, you need to use the state to break the influence of the Church and her ministries.” He said that in the years ahead, the nation’s religious communities will encounter more attempts by civil authorities to interfere and will find less “unchallenged space” to carry out their work in the public square.

“It’s already happening with Catholic hospitals and adoption agencies, and even in the hiring practices of organizations like Catholic Charities,” the archbishop said. He noted that this increasing hostility towards the Catholicism shows how “no one in Catholic social work can afford to be lukewarm about his faith.” “Being faithful to Catholic teaching isn’t something optional for a Catholic social worker.  It’s basic to his or her identity,” he said, adding that the faith “is much more than a list of dos and don’ts.” Rather, Catholic teaching is part “of a much larger view of the human person, human dignity and our eternal destiny,” he said. “The content of this teaching comes from God through his son Jesus Christ.  It’s defined by the universal Church and then preached, taught and applied by the local bishop.”  Archbishop Chaput concluded his remarks by saying he “painted a pretty stark picture of the America we may face in the next few decades.”  “But we shouldn’t lose heart, even for a minute,” he said.

“Our job is to let God change us, and then to help God, through our actions, to change the lives of others. That’s what we’ll be held accountable for, and it’s very much within our ability – if we remain faithful to who we are as believers.”

Priest wants Saudi maid investigation

June 30, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Asia, Persecution, Sri Lanka

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Sri Lankan housemaid, Rizana Nafeek on death row in Saudi jailSri Lanka, 22 June, 2011: An activist-priest today joined human rights groups calling on the government to conduct a full probe in the case involving Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, who is on death row in a Saudi jail. “Rights groups in Sri Lanka have joined hands with Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) to call on the government of Sri Lanka to conduct a full probe,” said Fr. Nandana Manatunga, head of the House of Torture Victims in the diocese of Kandy.

Hong Kong-based AHRC said last week the housemaid signed a statement two years after the incident, saying she was forced to admit to the killing after being beaten up by local police, and that she signed a confession under duress. All faiths and organisations including Caritas have organized several signature campaigns and prayer services nationwide to appeal to the king of Saudi Arabia for a pardon to the housemaid, but to no avail.

Foreign Employment Minister Dilan Perera said the government was ready to provide compensation money in exchange for the release of the maid. “One parent of the dead child has pardoned the maid, but this is not enough. Both parents must agree if the maid is to be released,” Perera said. Several rights groups have appealed to the Saudi monarchy to intervene on behalf of the housemaid.

- ucan

A. Mohammed John is now Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Minister in Tamil Nadu

June 30, 2011 by admin  
Filed under India, Persecution, Tamil Nadu

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AIADMK legislator A Mohammed John sworn in as Minister

A. Mohammed John

Chennai: AIADMK legislator A. Mohammed John was Wednesday sworn in as minister in the Tamil Nadu government.

Governor Surjit Singh Barnala administered the oath of office and secrecy to John at Raj Bhavan in the presence of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her cabinet colleagues.

John, representing Ranipet assembly constituency, has been given backward classes and minorities welfare portfolio.

With John’s induction, the strength of Jayalalithaa’s ministry has gone up to 34.

Khurshid clarifies his ‘controversial’ views on Sachar Report

June 30, 2011 by admin  
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Salman Khurshid clarifies his ‘controversial’ views on Sachar Report

Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Four days after calling for critical examination of Sachar Report as, in his view, some of its aspects could lead to ghettoisation of Muslims, and consequently instigating a war of words among some eminent members of the community, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid, in an exclusive interview with TwoCircles.net, clarified his views about the report.

Mr. Khursheed has repeated, that there are aspects of the Sachar report, which if implemented, will lead to Muslims’ ghettoization but he has also clarified that he has not questioned the credibility and the data of the report.

“Sachar Committee Report or aspects of Sachar Committee Report need to be critically examined to ensure that it doesn’t lead to ghettoization,” said Khursheed.

“By critically examining we meant obviously not the complete report because we have already accepted almost ninety percent of the recommendations. There are few aspects of the report which lead towards the direction of ghettoization. Don’t we have the right to question and critically analyze those aspects,” asks the anguished Minister.

He points out an instance from that “aspect of Sachar” which will alienate the community and not integrate it within the mainstream. For instance Indian Wakf Service which is one of the recommendations of Sachar report on Wakf. The Sachar report recommends a separate Wakf cadre in Indian Administrative Services recruited through the UPSC for the proper management of Wakf properties.

A section of the Muslim community has been criticizing Salman Khursheed for “ignoring” Sachar recommendations on Wakf and the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Wakf.

“We want equity with integration and not equity with separation. If you have a cadre of Muslim officers under the government, what else is ghettoization,” asks Khursheed.
 
“I believe all officers should be available to Muslim institutions. If you want Muslim officers for Wakf, take them from all India service. You can’t create a special service for Muslims,” adds Khursheed.

“You want Public Premises Act to apply to Wakf. If it applies to Wakf, why should not it be applied to other religious trusts?” says the Minister adding that “We have the right to critically examine to ensure that we are not moving into the direction of ghettoization. That’s all.”

Khursheed also points out that it’s not only Sachar’s critical examination but “ there should be critical analysis of every minority schemes should be done so that they don’t lead to ghettoization.”

Although Khursheed also adds that this recommendation by Sachar was rejected by the government, “even before I came, it was found by the government as ‘not feasible.”

Not Questioning Sachar

Khursheed also categorically denies questioning the credibility of Sachar. Clarifying the context of his actual statement, he clarifies, “I am not initiating the questioning of Sachar. Neither am I questioning the credibility of Sachar. Any body saying that I am questioning the credibility or the data of Sachar, is wrong.”

Praising the Sachar report Khursheed says that, “There is no question of change of stand on Sachar as far we are concerned. Sachar report is the best thing which has ever happened in India. Its recommendations on education and reservation are outstanding. Its proposal of Equal opportunity Commission is my passion which I ham fighting for,” adds Khursheed.

Agenda of Ghettoization

Since last few months there has started a war of words between Salman Khursheed and a section of leaders from the Muslim community, which, as Khursheed claims, has opened a “campaign against him.”

Prominent of them, as Khursheed says, is led by Zafar Mahmood, who was also the Officer on Special Duty to the Sachar Committee. Soon after Khursheed gave the statement asking for “critical examination” of Sachar, Zafar Mahmood along with few other community leaders drafted a letter asking for his resignation for “over-ruled the pivotal recommendations of the JPC on Waqfs without giving any reasons thereof while presenting the Waqf Bill in Parliament.”
 
Khursheed on the other hand says that most of the recommendations which haven’t been incorporated in the Bill were not because they were found not feasible today.

He further asks, “Why not JPC on Harshad Mehta, is being implemented? Why not JPC on Air India is being implemented?”

“This is ghettoization. What happens across the board doesn’t concern us. What concerns us is the JPC on Wakf and what concerns us is that unless you accept the complete JPC on Wakf we will say you are anti-Muslims,” says Khursheed.

Hitting out at the section of the community which criticizes him for being “anti-Muslim” Khursheed says, “So what I am saying is that there is an agenda for ghettoization which gets upset whenever I speak that there should not be ghettoization.”

“What is ghettoization? Its ghettoization of mind,” says Khursheed saying that “Integration with equality is EOC and separation with non-discrimination is minorities’ commission.”

“Why hasn’t a single voice raised in my support of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) which I have been raising since it was recommended by the Sachar? Why not these guys who have opened a campaign against me, appreciate even a single thing which is being done by this ministry,” asks Khursheed.

Hinting at the political agenda behind attacks on his from this group, Khursheed says, “we just want to attack our Muslim Minister because once he goes there is a space for us.”

Khursheed says that he is against nothing but “ghettoization” and the agenda of ghettoization which a section of the Muslim leaders apparently have.

“There are people who don’t want integration and if we don’t seek integration, equality will come under question mark,” adds Khursheed.

Talking about one Mr. Lekhi who approached court against Sachar, Khursheed says that, “People question what we are doing for Muslims because of the articulation that Sachar is for Muslims.”

“What we are saying is that Sachar is for citizens of India who are Muslims,” concludes the Minister.

- Md. Ali (TwoCircles.net)

Church schools complain of harassment

June 30, 2011 by admin  
Filed under India, Madhya Pradesh, Persecution

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The Christian delegation headed by Archbishop Leo Cornelio with Education minister Archana Chitnis in Bhopal

The Christian delegation headed by Archbishop Leo Cornelio with Education minister Archana Chitnis in Bhopal

The Madhya Pradesh government is using a federal law to harass Christian schools, some Church leaders in the central state allege.

“Our schools have been constantly harassed and victimized in the name of the Right to Education Act,” said Father Anand Muttungal, spokesman for the Catholic Church in the state.

The new law is meant to provide for free and compulsory education to poor people.

However, government officials in the state now demand admission in Christian schools “in total violation of the law” since it came into force, the priest alleged.

“They not only use pressure tactics for out-of- turn admissions but also try to interfere with the daily administration of our schools,” he added.

Father P. J. Johny, principal of St. Joseph’s Co-Ed School in Bhopal, the state capital, finds the government officials’ interference “really disturbing.”

According to him, the law has become handy for officials to arm twist Christian schools. “As the new session has just begun, people use all kinds of pressure tactics to get admission for their children,” he said.

He said he received a letter from the top government official in Bhopal demanding admission for a third grader under the new law. “It is quite worrying,” the priest said.
Father Muttungal cited another case where the district education officer sought admission for a student under the new law. “Several such cases are pouring in from Christian schools across the state,” he added.

The new law stipulates that every school should set aside 25 percent of places for poor children in the first grade.

Father Muttungal said he would consult lawyers to take up the matter in court to stop “undue interference”.

- ucan

Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World

June 30, 2011 by admin  
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Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe

Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe

The document was launched on June 28, 2011, by Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the WCC, and Cardinal Tauran of the PCID, and Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, Secretary General of the WEA, at the headquarters of the WCC in Geneva, Switzerland.

World Council of Churches
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
World Evangelical Alliance

Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World
Recommendations for Conduct

 Preamble

Mission belongs to the very being of the church. Proclaiming the word of God and witnessing to the world is essential for every Christian. At the same time, it is necessary to do so according to gospel principles, with full respect and love for all human beings.

Aware of the tensions between people and communities of different religious convictions and the varied interpretations of Christian witness, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), the World Council of Churches (WCC) and, at the invitation of the WCC, the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), met during a period of 5 years to reflect and produce this document to serve as a set of recommendations for conduct on Christian witness around the world. This document does not intend to be a theological statement on mission but to address practical issues associated with Christian witness in a multi-religious world.

The purpose of this document is to encourage churches, church councils and mission agencies to reflect on their current practices and to use the recommendations in this document to prepare, where appropriate, their own guidelines for their witness and mission among those of different religions and among those who do not profess any particular religion. It is hoped that Christians across the world will study this document in the light of their own practices in witnessing to their faith in Christ, both by word and deed.

A basis for Christian witness

1. For Christians it is a privilege and joy to give an accounting for the hope that is within them and to do so with gentleness and respect (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

2. Jesus Christ is the supreme witness (cf. John 18:37). Christian witness is always a sharing in his witness, which takes the form of proclamation of the kingdom, service to neighbour and the total gift of self even if that act of giving leads to the cross. Just as the Father sent the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit, so believers are sent in mission to witness in word and action to the love of the triune God.

3. The example and teaching of Jesus Christ and of the early church must be the guides for Christian mission. For two millennia Christians have sought to follow Christ’s way by sharing the good news of God’s kingdom (cf. Luke 4:16-20).

4. Christian witness in a pluralistic world includes engaging in dialogue with people of different religions and cultures (cf. Acts 17:22-28).

5. In some contexts, living and proclaiming the gospel is difficult, hindered or even prohibited, yet Christians are commissioned by Christ to continue faithfully in solidarity with one another in their witness to him (cf. Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8).

6. If Christians engage in inappropriate methods of exercising mission by resorting to deception and coercive means, they betray the gospel and may cause suffering to others. Such departures call for repentance and remind us of our need for God’s continuing grace (cf. Romans 3:23).

7. Christians affirm that while it is their responsibility to witness to Christ, conversion is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:7-9; Acts 10:44-47). They recognize that the Spirit blows where the Spirit wills in ways over which no human being has control (cf. John 3:8).

Principles

Christians are called to adhere to the following principles as they seek to fulfil Christ’s commission in an appropriate manner, particularly within interreligious contexts.

1. Acting in God’s love. Christians believe that God is the source of all love and, accordingly, in their witness they are called to live lives of love and to love their neighbour as themselves (cf. Matthew 22:34-40; John 14:15).

2. Imitating Jesus Christ. In all aspects of life, and especially in their witness, Christians are called to follow the example and teachings of Jesus Christ, sharing his love, giving glory and honour to God the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 20:21-23).

3. Christian virtues. Christians are called to conduct themselves with integrity, charity, compassion and humility, and to overcome all arrogance, condescension and disparagement (cf. Galatians 5:22).

4. Acts of service and justice. Christians are called to act justly and to love tenderly (cf. Micah 6:8). They are further called to serve others and in so doing to recognize Christ in the least of their sisters and brothers (cf. Matthew 25:45). Acts of service, such as providing education, health care, relief services and acts of justice and advocacy are an integral part of witnessing to the gospel. The exploitation of situations of poverty and need has no place in Christian outreach. Christians should denounce and refrain from offering all forms of allurements, including financial incentives and rewards, in their acts of service.

5. Discernment in ministries of healing. As an integral part of their witness to the gospel, Christians exercise ministries of healing. They are called to exercise discernment as they carry out these ministries, fully respecting human dignity and ensuring that the vulnerability of people and their need for healing are not exploited.

6. Rejection of violence. Christians are called to reject all forms of violence, even psychological or social, including the abuse of power in their witness. They also reject violence, unjust discrimination or repression by any religious or secular authority, including the violation or destruction of places of worship, sacred symbols or texts.

7. Freedom of religion and belief. Religious freedom including the right to publicly profess, practice, propagate and change one’s religion flows from the very dignity of the human person which is grounded in the creation of all human beings in the image and likeness of God (cf. Genesis 1:26). Thus, all human beings have equal rights and responsibilities. Where any religion is instrumentalized for political ends, or where religious persecution occurs, Christians are called to engage in a prophetic witness denouncing such actions.

8. Mutual respect and solidarity. Christians are called to commit themselves to work with all people in mutual respect, promoting together justice, peace and the common good. Interreligious cooperation is an essential dimension of such commitment.

9. Respect for all people. Christians recognize that the gospel both challenges and enriches cultures. Even when the gospel challenges certain aspects of cultures, Christians are called to respect all people. Christians are also called to discern elements in their own cultures that are challenged by the gospel.

10. Renouncing false witness. Christians are to speak sincerely and respectfully; they are to listen in order to learn about and understand others’ beliefs and practices, and are encouraged to acknowledge and appreciate what is true and good in them. Any comment or critical approach should be made in a spirit of mutual respect, making sure not to bear false witness concerning other religions.

11. Ensuring personal discernment. Christians are to acknowledge that changing one’s religion is a decisive step that must be accompanied by sufficient time for adequate reflection and preparation, through a process ensuring full personal freedom.

12. Building interreligious relationships. Christians should continue to build relationships of respect and trust with people of different religions so as to facilitate deeper mutual understanding, reconciliation and cooperation for the common good.

Recommendations

The Third Consultation organized by the World Council of Churches and the PCID of the Holy See in collaboration with World Evangelical Alliance with participation from the largest Christian families of faith (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal), having acted in a spirit of ecumenical cooperation to prepare this document for consideration by churches, national and regional confessional bodies and mission organizations, and especially those working in interreligious contexts, recommends that these bodies:

1. study the issues set out in this document and where appropriate formulate guidelines for conduct regarding Christian witness applicable to their particular contexts. Where possible this should be done ecumenically, and in consultation with representatives of other religions.

2. build relationships of respect and trust with people of all religions, in particular at institutional levels between churches and other religious communities, engaging in on-going interreligious dialogue as part of their Christian commitment. In certain contexts, where years of tension and conflict have created deep suspicions and breaches of trust between and among communities, interreligious dialogue can provide new opportunities for resolving conflicts, restoring justice, healing of memories, reconciliation and peace-building.

3. encourage Christians to strengthen their own religious identity and faith while deepening their knowledge and understanding of different religions, and to do so also taking into account the perspectives of the adherents of those religions. Christians should avoid misrepresenting the beliefs and practices of people of different religions.

4. cooperate with other religious communities engaging in interreligious advocacy towards justice and the common good and, wherever possible, standing together in solidarity with people who are in situations of conflict.

5. call on their governments to ensure that freedom of religion is properly and comprehensively respected, recognizing that in many countries religious institutions and persons are inhibited from exercising their mission.

6. pray for their neighbours and their well-being, recognizing that prayer is integral to who we are and what we do, as well as to Christ’s mission.

Appendix: Background to the document

1. In today’s world there is increasing collaboration among Christians and between Christians and followers of different religions. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) of the Holy See and the World Council of Churches’ Programme on Interreligious Dialogue and Co-operation (WCCIRDC) have a history of such collaboration. Examples of themes on which the PCID/WCC-IRDC have collaborated in the past are: Interreligious Marriage (1994-1997), Interreligious Prayer (1997-1998) and African Religiosity (2000-2004). This document is a result of their work together.

2. There are increasing interreligious tensions in the world today, including violence and the loss of human life. Politics, economics and other factors play a role in these tensions. Christians too are sometimes involved in these conflicts, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, either as those who are persecuted or as those participating in violence. In response to this the PCID and WCC-IRDC decided to address the issues involved in a joint process towards producing shared recommendations for conduct on Christian witness. The WCC-IRDC invited the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) to participate in this process, and they have gladly done so.

3. Initially two consultations were held: the first, in Lariano, Italy, in May 2006, was entitled “Assessing the Reality” where representatives of different religions shared their views and experiences on the question of conversion. A statement from the consultation reads in part: “We affirm that, while everyone has a right to invite others to an understanding of their faith, it should not be exercised by violating others’ rights and religious sensibilities. Freedom of religion enjoins upon all of us the equally non-negotiable responsibility to respect faiths other than our own, and never to denigrate, vilify or misrepresent them for the purpose of affirming superiority of our faith.”

4. The second, an inter-Christian consultation, was held in Toulouse, France, in August 2007, to reflect on these same issues. Questions on Family and Community, Respect for Others, Economy, Marketing and Competition, and Violence and Politics were thoroughly discussed. The pastoral and missionary issues around these topics became the background for theological reflection and for the principles developed in this document. Each issue is important in its own right and deserves more attention that can be given in these recommendations.

5. The participants of the third (inter-Christian) consultation met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 25-28, January, 2011 and finalized this document.

Click here to download the historic document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World document:
http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pdf/1106Christian_Witness_in_a_Multi-Religious_World.pdf

Click here to view Dr. Geoff Tunniclife’s speech:
http://www.worldevangelicals.org/pdf/2011_0628_Christian_Witness_comments_GT.pdf

Summary of Corruption in India

June 28, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Miscellaneous, Persecution

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Summary of Corruption in India

Summary of Corruption in India

Forced Conversions to Islam Make Christian Families Scared for Their Two Missing Daughters

June 28, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Egypt, Persecution, World

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Tensions Rise in Egypt Over Two Missing Christian Girls.

ICC Note: Two young Coptic girls have alledgedly converted to islam after reportedly being kidnapped by two Muslim brothers.

Nancy Magdy Fathy & Christine Ezzat Fathy, Egypt

Nancy Magdy Fathy & Christine Ezzat Fathy

Tension is escalating over the case of 14-year-old Nancy Magdy Fathy, and her 16-year old cousin Christine Ezzat Fathy, who have disappeared and allegedly converted to Islam. Many parties are being pulled into the row over their future, including Al Azhar, the Church, activists and lately Islamist organizations, which are threatening violence against the church.

The story of the missing girls became public after they disappeared while on their way to church on Sunday June 12. A the two day sit-in staged by Copts in front of the Minya Security Headquarters, demanding Nancy and Christine’s return, focused attention on their story. Rumors in the media emerged as to their whereabouts, the identity of the perpetrators and whether the girls were actually traded to another Muslims gang.

Nearly two weeks after they disappeared, Nancy and Christine were found in Cairo wearing Burkas. They were incidentally stopped in the street by a police officer when he noticed that one of them had a cross tattooed on her wrist, as many Copts have. The girls told the policeman they converted to Islam and did not marry any Muslims sheikh as the newspapers said, but fearing the wrath of their parents, they sought shelter at the home of a Muslim man. He issued a report of the incident and let them go.

. . .

An investigation into their disappearance was launched, as their parents accused two Muslim brothers from a neighboring village of abducting them. They were also asked about the video clip which appeared on the Internet, taken in Tahrir Square, where Nancy and Christine allegedly converted to Islam.

According to the investigators, the Christian minors said they converted to Islam of their own free will, and refused to return to their families, and even applied for protection from them. The prosecution decided to put them in a state care home and provide protection for them, until the completion of the investigation. Authorities also wanted an Al-Azhar scholar to determine if they really believe in Islam.

This has angered their families, who said their girls are minors and should not be subjected to such procedures.

. . .
Al Azhar and the Fatwa (religious edict) Committee denied that the two Coptic teenagers had converted to Islam, because they are still minors and have not yet reached 18 years of age, as is required by law.

The families’ lawyer, Dr Naguib.Gabriel, said the decision to deliver the girls to the state care home belonging to the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood is contrary to the law, because they are still minors, noting that Al-Azhar said that it does not recognize their conversion, and therefore the two girls should be returned to their families.

Gabriel added that he had made a complaint to the Egyptian Public Prosecutor, on behalf of the families, as they oppose handing Nancy and Christine over to the care home.

. . .

Dr. Gabriel said that there is a possibility the two girls were subjected to pressure in order to say they converted to Islam of their free will, or they fear the reaction of their families in case they return home, especially since they come from an ultra conservative Upper Egyptian society, where the disappearance of a girl for days is considered a scandal and a shame. He said he will obtain a pledge from their families to protect them, and not to harm them in any way upon their return.

The security director of Minya told Al-Ahram newspaper on June 17 the two girls are considered minors before the law and the authorities and therefore their conversion to Islam and their marriage is not recognized officially as they do not yet have the necessary ID card, which is issued from the age of 16. On this basis, anyone involved in the incident will be punished according to the law.

The two Muslim brothers accused by the fathers are in detention pending investigation. The family of the accused protested today, calling for their release because Nancy and Christine said they left home on their own accord and where not abducted.

The Egyptian daily newspaper ElYoum7 published a statement from the Islamist “Alliance for the support of New Muslim Women,” in which the group threatened to carry out “extended protests” in all governorates in Egypt if Nancy and Christine are returned to the church. The Alliance emphasized in its statement the protests this time will escalate violently: “We will not retreat this time, until each captive is free and out of the monasteries in which they are held as prisoners.”

. . .

In the past the Alliance had staged over 20 demonstrations every Friday in support of Kamilia Shehata, the priest’s wife whom they claim converted to Islam but was held captive by the church, despite of Al Azhar confirming that she never set foot there and her appearance twice in public to refute all their claims of her conversion (AINA 9-18-2010).

“The daily abduction and forced Islamization of Coptic minors, conducted by Muslims funded by Saudi Arabia, has escalated to new levels after the January 25th Revolution,” said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid, “and has greatly enraged the Copts. Everyone is now fearing that they might not be able to stand it any longer with the continuous Islamists provocations.”

- Mary Abdelmassih (aina)

Muslim Militants Bomb a Catholic Church in Philippines, Two Killed

June 28, 2011 by admin  
Filed under Asia, Persecution, Philippines

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A Church in PhilippinesTwo people were killed and eight wounded when an bomb exploded outside a canteen near a Catholic Church in the southern Philippines, police said Sunday.

The blast occurred Saturday in Isabela City in Basilan province, 900 kilometres south of Manila, according to regional commander Felicisimo Khu. Khu said the explosion caused a fire in the canteen.

Basilan is one of the strongholds of al-Qaeda-linked Muslim militants accused of some of the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines and high-profile kidnappings involving foreign hostages.

- M&C

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