Advocating for Pakistan’s Minorities and Persecuted. Read Advocates International’s press release below!
Jubilee Campaign has submitted a joint letter with Advocates International and the American Center for Law and Justice to the Pakistan embassy highlighting our organizations’ experience working with licensed attorneys in Pakistan who dedicate themselves to promoting the rule of law and protection of religious minorities. We expressed our interest in a long-term, constructive dialogue with the Pakistani government concerning how we can assist in mutual efforts to halt the incitement of violence, encourage peace and reconciliation in communities, and assist in the rebuilding of trust between religious communities.
2 women were arrested for converting to Christianity in Tehran in March and faced trial this past weekend. They currently await a verdict. Please see the story below:
In a dramatic session before the revolutionary court this past weekend, documented by Elam Ministries, Maryam Rustampoor (27) and Marzieh Amirizadeh (30) were told to recant their faith in Christ. Though great pressure was put on them, both women have refused to give in. Maryam and Marzieh were originally arrested on March 5, 2009 and have suffered greatly while in prison, suffering ill health, solitary confinement and interrogations for many hours while blindfolded.
In a dramatic court room, the deputy prosecutor, Mr. Haddad, questioned Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and told them that they had to recant in both verbal and written form. They responded, “We will not deny our faith.”
As the questioning continued, Maryam and Marzieh made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit.
Mr. Haddad told them, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.”
Marzieh asked him in return, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?”
Mr. Haddad then replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.”
Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”
In the eyes of the court, Maryam and Marzieh’s only crime was their conversion to Christianity, but these young women have stayed strong and clung to their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are now in prison awaiting their verdict. Although the Iranian Parliament has not yet passed a threatened new apostacy bill, over the last 20 years Iran has punished many converts to Christianity through torture, imprisonment, and extrajudicial killings.
Please pray for these courageous women of God.
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News reports today indicate that hundreds of Christians protested after the recent attacks against the Christian community in Gojra on Sunday, August 2 and Pakistani officials have finally caved and will file charges against key Muslim clerics and security officers. Please pray that this will bring about protection for the Christian minority, as well as other Muslim communities, who face the most persecution at the hand of extremists. A letter has been drafted to the Pakistani embassy. Please send it in with your name at the bottom to request police protection of Christian groups in Pakistan. Make an impact!
Ambassador Husain Haqqani
Embassy of Pakistan
3517 International Ct NW
Washington, DC 20008-3023
August 5, 2009
Two brutal mob attacks against the Christian communities of Gojra and Korian Village in Faisalabad have left at least 7 dead, nearly 100 Christian homes burned, and much unrest in Pakistan.
We are writing you today to ask for protection for the Christian minorities in these areas especially, as well as throughout the rest of Pakistan. We are concerned with the group-targeted violence we are seeing on grounds of blasphemy.
In Korian Village on July 30, 2009, over 47 Christian homes were burned in response to an accusation of blasphemy. Women and children were set on fire and severely burned. Fire brigade vans arrived to control the fire but the extreme Islamist mob did not allow them to pass and lay down in front of the vans to create a blockade. The riots were incited by broadcasts from local mosques.
The next day on August 1 around 11:00 a.m., another attack against the Christian community in Gojra occurred based on blasphemy allegations. An estimated 50 Christian homes were burned and more Christians were killed. Women and children burned did not have access to medical care. Local police arrived on the scene but the situation was reportedly out of control as thousands of Muslims gathered for in reaction to the announcement of the local Mosques, which impeded the arrival of help.
The dead include women and children, with several other burn victims unable to reach hospitals for medical care. The event is reminiscent of the recent July 1st, 2009, incident in Bahminwala village, Kasur where 57 houses were destroyed as a response to false blasphemy allegations, and the mounting violence is a cause for concern and your immediate action.
We ask that the government of Pakistan abolishes the blasphemy law, a root cause of the false allegations which stir up the sentiments of the community. We ask the government of Pakistan to fully prosecute all those who murdered innocent villagers and those responsible for inciting the violence and destruction of homes. We ask that all the injured receive proper medical care. We call upon the government of Pakistan to prevent future violence targeted at Christian groups, including those subject to charges of blasphemy.