A COUPLE IN SUDAN FACE FLOGGING
A Christian couple in Sudan could receive 100 lashes as punishment after being charged with adultery.
The accusation against them was made after an Islamic court annulled their marriage due to the husband’s conversion to Christianity.
Hamouda Tia Kafi , 34, and Nada Hamad Shukralah, 25, from Al Bageir in Al Jazirah state were Muslims when they married in 2016, but when Kafi converted in 2018, Shukralah’s family asked a sharia court to dissolve their marriage. Shukralah then left her husband, but in 2021 Shukralah became a Christian herself and returned to Kafi with their two children – at which point her brother charged them with ‘adultery’.
The next hearing for the couple was due on 12 May.
Flogging violates the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill treatment in international human rights law, according to Amnesty International.
An Islamic court annulled their marriage due to the husband’s conversion
100 killed in Nigeria in one month
Two attacks on predominantly Christian villages in Nigeria killed around 100 people in April.
Islamist gunmen attacked ten villages in Plateau State on 10 April, killing at least 80 people and abducting 60, according to Release International.
Later, Muslim Fulani herdsmen attacked four villages in Kaduna state on 26 April, killing 18 Christians and burning down 92 houses.
Release International is urging the Nigerian government Sudan Nigeria to take urgent action to protect Christians who are suffering violence “on an almost daily basis”.
Gunmen killed at least 80 people and abducted 60
According to Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List, more Christians were killed and kidnapped for their faith in Nigeria than in any other nation in 2020/21.
US COMMISSION WARNS OF INCREASING PERSECUTION IN INDIA, NIGERIA AND AFGHANISTAN
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is calling for India, Nigeria and Afghanistan to be added to the USA’s list of countries of ‘particular concern’.
The Commission, which advises the President and the US State Department, is calling for 15 nations in total to be included on the list of countries with severe religious intolerance: Nigeria, India and Afghanistan join China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Syria and Vietnam.
Paul Robinson, CEO of Release International, said: “We welcome this report. Release International has long been reporting on the widespread violence against Christians in Nigeria, as well as India and Afghanistan. These other countries have also earned their places on the list.”
Life gets harder for Christians in Kyrgyzstan
Oppression of Christians is on the rise in Kyrgyzstan, reports Open Doors.
The charity, which supports persecuted Christians, gives the example of a Christian man who wasn’t allowed to attend his mother’s funeral because of his faith. After the funeral, the man tried to enter the cemetery to mourn his mother – but the mullah (Muslim leader) and other villagers threw him out, saying his presence would “desecrate the holy place”, and forced him to leave the village.
The same mullah had previously prevented him from burying his brother in the village, because of the family’s faith, and the ceremony had to take place in a Christian cemetery nearly 100 miles away.
In many places there have been death threats, violence and abuse.
Some converts are locked up for long periods by their families and beaten
An Open Doors spokesperson for Central Asia says: “For many Christians in Kyrgyzstan, persecution is a daily occurrence. They face discrimination – be it in their local community, workplace or army. Some converts are locked up for long periods by their families and beaten. Local Islamic teachers preach against them and may cause them to be expelled from their communities.”
EUROPEAN COURT SAVES PAKISTANI CONVERT
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has saved a Christian man from being returned to Pakistan. By doing so it has recognised that Pakistani Christian converts from Islam face danger in their homeland.
The ex-Muslim, known as ‘MAM’ fled to Switzerland in fear of his life, yet a Swiss court denied him asylum. While the Swiss accepted that MAM’s conversion was genuine, they ruled that he was not in danger. MAM was due to be returned to Pakistan, but appealed to the ECHR with the help of the European Centre for Law & Justice (ECLJ).
He was due to be returned to Pakistan
After the ECLJ provided evidence of the risks that ex-Muslim converts face in Pakistan, the ECHR ruled on 26 April that MAM was in danger if he was expelled from Switzerland.
The ECHR concluded: “The [Swiss] Federal Administrative Court did examine the situation of Christians in Pakistan but did not specifically examine the situation of converts to Christianity… the Court considers that… the Swiss authorities have not made a sufficient assessment of the risk that the applicant would face because of his conversion, if he returned to Pakistan.”
It is unlikely that the Swiss will now expel MAM and the case reinforces the ECHR’s case law on Christian converts from Islam
QUICK FACTS ABOUT WORLDWIDE PERSECUTION
While about 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at Christians. Source: International Society for Human Rights
Christians face persecution in more than 60 countries. Source: US State Department
Millions of Christians face interrogation, arrest, torture, and/or death because of their religious convictions and cultural/ethnic identification. Source: Open Doors USA
Between 2007 and 2014, Christians have been targeted for harassment in more countries than any other religious group. Source: Pew Research
Christian responses to persecution are almost always non-violent and, with very few exceptions, do not involve acts of terrorism. Source: Under Caesar’s Sword