Iran: Maryam and Marzieh RELEASED!

Maryam and Marzieh

Praise the Lord! Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh were released from Evin prison in Iran yesterday, Wednesday November 18, 2009 at 3:30pm, without bail.  They may have to face an additional court hearing.

“Words are not enough to express our gratitude to the Lord and to His people who have prayed and worked for our release,” they said.

Maryam and Marzieh were arrested because of their Christian faith on March 5, 2009. Though their health has suffered greatly while in prison, they are doing as well as could be expected, and are rejoicing in the Lord’s faithfulness to them.

We greatly rejoice in their release and ask you to pray for their full and unconditional release, and for their safety and quick recovery.  We look forward to sharing more wonderful news with you later.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers and please continue to pray for Maryam and Marzieh to have a safe transition.

Civil Society Responds to UN Proposal for Binding Treaty on “Defamation of Religions”

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Erin Weston
Phone: 703.503.0791
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2009

Civil Society Responds to UN Proposal for Binding Treaty on “Defamation of Religions”The United Nations has continuously passed non-binding resolutions on “defamation of religions” since 1999. However, for the first time ever this year, a UN body proposed a binding treaty to combat the “defamation of religions.” Over 100 NGOS from over 20 countries have signed a Common Statement protesting the resolution.In a Geneva meeting that concluded on October 30th, Pakistan, on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), and Nigeria, on behalf of the Africa Group, proposed a binding treaty amendment to the ICERD, an existing international treaty on racism.

Meanwhile, in New York on October 29th, Syria, on behalf of the OIC, along with Belarus and Venezuela, proposed yet another General Assembly resolution “combating defamation of religions.”

The resolution lends credibility to the proposal of a binding treaty and continues to provide international cover for domestic anti-blasphemy laws in countries like Pakistan and Sudan. A preliminary vote on the resolution is expected before Thanksgiving, and a final plenary vote is expected in early to mid-December.

In response, Jubilee Campaign  has joined over 100 other human rights organizations in a common civil society statement against the concept of “defamation of religions. ” This coalition is indeed an odd group of bedfellows, both religiously diverse with Muslims, Christians, Baha’is, Jews, Hare Krishnas, Atheists, Humanists, and non-religious organizations, and also regionally diverse, hailing from over 20 countries around the world. The civil society statement and signatories are available at www.whatisdefamationofreligion.com.

“Defamation of Religions is a misunderstood concept,” said Ann Buwalda, Executive Director of the Jubilee Campaign. “Many countries assume that because the law will not affect their people, that voting for the resolution is a show of political good faith with the supportive countries. In reality, if this becomes binding law, governments and citizens who commit crimes with impunity for the sake of blasphemy or other non-popular idealogy will be completely and legally validated by the international community.”

Please click here to download the pdf of the statement and signatories.

Jubilee Campaign promotes the human rights and religious liberty of ethnic and religious minorities; advocates the release of prisoners of conscience; and protects and promotes the freedom and safety of children from bodily harm and sexual exploitation.

For more information, please contact Erin Weston, Deputy Assistant to the Director, at erinweston@jubileecampaign.org.

Tibet: Breaking the Deadlock

Lord David Alton, a member of the House of Lords in the UK, is a relentless champion of human rights who often collaborates with Jubilee Campaign USA and co-founder of Jubilee Campaign UK.

His recent report, entitled “Tibet: Breaking the Deadlock” is a report based on evidence gathered from his recent visit to Tibet. Lord Alton offers a balanced approach to the China-Tibet issue and reflects on several specific cases, human rights, and religious freedom. You can read the full report Tibet: Breaking the Deadlock.

Set List: Anecho Night of Worship

On Friday, October 9 @ 7PM, Jubilee Campaign will host a night of music and worship at Sovereign Grace Church in Fairfax, VA.  Chasing Vermont, a local band with a heart for the persecuted, will lead the night in engaging worship in loud, intimate, energizing, and hopefully entrancing ways that will aim to open a wide connection between us and God.  This event will be a great place to release yourself from inhibition and your everyday drudgery, and to lean into an environment of passion, music, and prayer. Expression stations will be open for you to journal, pray, or draw. We will hear testimonies of the persecuted from Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea and enter into a time of corporate prayer to intercede for the persecuted church.

Childcare will be provided.
For more info or to RSVP for childcare e-mail anechoworship@jubileecampaign.org

If you want to familiarize yourself with the music or build a playlist on your ipod, here is the set list:

You Won’t Relent/Misty Edwards

All Consuming Fire/Misty Edwards

Sweetly Broken/Jeremy Riddle

One of These Days/Small Town Poets

Blessed Be the Name/Tree63

Psalm 131/Waterdeep

Video/Testimonies of the persecuted, Prayer

Deliver Me (It is Well Remix)/David Crowder Band

Hymn/Jars of Clay

Beloved/Erin Weston

How He Loves Us/John Mark McMillan

Oh Praise Him/David Crowder Band

Scripture Readings, Time of Silence, Prayer