PRAYER REQUEST: Christian governor of Jakarta faces blasphemy charges

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Christian governor of Jakarta, Indonesia, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, will face blasphemy charges in court.

Governor Ahok, who is running for re-election, was named a suspect of blasphemy last week for remarks he made in a campaign speech on September 27. Governor Ahok had stated, “(You are) deceived (by people) using Al-Maidah 51.” The remarks, which alluded to a verse in the Quran, were made in response to push-back received from ultraconservative Muslims in the nation who believe a non-Muslim should not be able to hold a leadership office, and use this verse to support their view.

Massive protests have been held calling for the arrest of Governor Ahok, despite his public apologies stating he never meant to offend anyone. One protest resulted in the death of an individual.

Many are upset that it appears the police have made Ahok a suspect of blasphemy after falling to the pressures of demonstrators instead of the judging the situation through the lenses of the law. Indonesia remains caught between progressing into a nation that allows religious freedom and the pressures from hardliner Muslims to become a strict Islamic nation.

We celebrate the fact that Governor Ahok is the second Christian governor of Jakarta, following Henk Ngantung who was governor from 1964 until 1965. We hope to see more Christian leaders rise up in Indonesia.

Please pray that Governor Ahok will no longer be viewed as a suspect, and that the protests will cease. Pray for the nation of Indonesia, that blasphemy laws will be repealed and Christians will be able to live freely.

Cathedral Bombing in Cairo Leaves 25 Dead

 

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Coptic Christians attending Sunday mass were attacked by a suicide bomber at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 25 and injuring dozens more. The attack has been one of the deadliest attacks Egypt’s Coptic Christians have faced in years.

The government has named 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa as the perpetrator of the incident. No group has claimed the attack, although authorities suspect the Muslim Brotherhood or the Islamic State to be behind the deadly bombing.

St. Mark’s is important to the Coptic faith. Not only is it the seat of the Coptic Orthodox pope, Pope Tawadros II, but it is named after Saint Mark, Jesus’ apostle. Saint Mark is considered the founder of the Coptic faith. He traveled to Egypt in 50 A.D. Relics of Saint Mark’s life are held in a shrine within the cathedral.

The Egyptian population is comprised of approximately 10% Coptic Christians. This is one of the largest Christian groups in the Muslim-dominated Arab world. Copts in Egypt have looked to President Sisi to protect them from religiously-motivated violence, but are having doubts following Sunday’s bombings. Angry demonstrators have appeared outside of the cathedral, shouting insults at the Sisi administration.

Please pray for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as they fear persecution from Islamic extremists. Pray that the government will find and prosecute all those involved in the attack, and that measures will be taken to provide protection to the Christian minority. Pray that all our brothers and sisters in Christ in Egypt will be filled with peace by the Holy Spirit.

Giving Tuesday

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Join the movement & give back
November 29th, 2016

Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year, nationwide individuals and families will be participating in #GivingTuesday.

Giving Tuesday was created by 92nd Street Y in New York City to bring people together for one purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Here is how you can participate with Jubilee Campaign this year:

The Christian Rescue Fund: In 1998, the late actor Dean Jones had a vision to rescue persecuted Christians and Jews. The need is as great today, if not greater, than it was then. Dean entrusted Jubilee Campaign with continuing the vision and mission of the Christian Rescue Committee, and we established the Christian Rescue Fund to do just that. Right now the fund is being used to provide, food, housing, and other necessities to Pakistani Christian refugees in Bangkok, Thailand. Donate

Support North Korean Freedom: Currently, Jubilee Campaign serves as treasurer of advocacy programs for the North Korean Freedom Coalition. The coalition aims to make Human Rights the key policy of all governments in dealing with North Korea, and also to bring freedom, human rights, and dignity to the North Korean people. Donate

Help Nigerian IDP’s: Nigeria is currently facing one of the worst food crises. The violence and destruction caused by Boko Haram and Fulani Militants have destroyed farms and crops, leaving Nigeria in a food shortage. In addition, IDP camps are not receiving adequate aid. This has left many Nigerians, especially children, vulnerable to malnutrition and starvation. Please considering designating your donation to “Nigerian IDP’s”. Donate

You may also contribute a general donation to Jubilee Campaign to be used where its most needed! Thank you for participating in #GivingTuesday!

International Day of Prayer

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Jubilee Campaign invites you to join us in this year’s International Day of Prayer. Each year we join ministries and churches around the world to encourage Christians to set aside a Sunday in November as a special day of prayer for the persecuted church.

This year, Jubilee Campaign will speak about the International Day of Prayer on November 13 at Redeeming Grace Church in Fairfax, VA.

Why do we set aside a whole day to pray for persecuted Christians?

Recent reports indicate that most acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. From 2000-2010, The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity found that 100,000 Christians died every year because of their faith – about 11 every hour. Religion-related terrorism has reached new highs in recent years. The persecuted church needs our prayers!

Are you interested in participating in the International Day of Prayer but you’re not sure what countries to pray for? Here are some of the countries Jubilee Campaign is working in now:

Nigeria: A militant group in Nigeria associated with the Fulani herdsmen have become increasingly dangerous. After killing 1,229 people in 2014, they were declared the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world. With the presence of the Boko Haram terrorist organization, the world’s deadliest terrorist organization, Nigeria contains two of the top terrorist groups in the world. One of the largest attacks happened earlier this year when Fulani militants killed 300-500 villagers within a few days in Agatu. The Fulani militants have gotten little international attention due to a focus on the Boko Haram, allowing their activities to grow unchecked. They typically kill villagers, burn villages, and move in with their cattle so that any survivors from the attacked village are unable to return and rebuild their lives. Christian communities have been especially attacked and displaced.

Also, this past April marked the two-year anniversary of the kidnapping of over 200 mostly Christian schoolgirls from the town of Chibok by Boko Haram terrorists. Though some have since been released, many remain captive. The Islamist terrorist group abducted over 2,000 women and girls from 2014-2015 and killed at least 6,000 Muslim and Christian civilians in 2014. Fulani militants reportedly killed over 1,000 people in response to land disputes in 2014. Many Christians have reported a lack of protection by federal, state, and local authorities.

Partnering with a Nigerian ministry, Jubilee Campaign provided relief supplies for families staying in Internally Displaced Persons camps. Jubilee Campaign Netherlands members have also been meeting with Nigerian government officials to discuss the issues of violence and vulnerability among their people.

Pray that jihad and intolerant Islamic extremism will be rejected and that militants’ plans will fail. Pray that captives would be freed and Nigerian believers would be strengthened in their faith. Pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian government to make wise and peace improving decisions.

Christian Refugees in Thailand: There are now 8,000-9,000 Pakistanis seeking asylum in Thailand and most of them are Christians. Many Christians in Pakistan are forced to flee to Thailand due to intense persecution. Country reports on Pakistan reveal that Christian communities face great risk of attacks from Islamist extremists. It is also common for Christians to be accused of blasphemy, which can carry the death penalty. Many Pakistani Christians use a tourist visa to quickly enter Thailand, but they are not protected nor accepted as refugees.

Thailand has not signed the international refugee convention that requires countries to protect refugees and has no formal national asylum framework. Worse yet, Thailand’s Immigration Act considers these asylum-seekers illegal immigrants subject to arrest, detention and deportation. This situation restricts their access to work, health care, and housing. Thai authorities have recently organized massive raids to find and imprison immigrants with expired visas. Asylum-seekers detained in the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) face overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. Over 100 Pakistani Christians are currently in the IDC, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Jubilee Campaign is concerned about the handling by the UNHCR office in Bangkok of the Pakistani Christian asylum claims, as a majority of Christians’ cases have been unjustifiably denied. Recently interviewed Pakistani Christians “feel the UNHCR treats their applications unsympathetically and thereby delays their resettlement.”

Please pray for relief workers who are bringing aid to the Pakistani asylum-seekers in Thailand. Pray for strength for the Christians there who are imprisoned or marginalized from society, especially those with young children. Pray that the UNHCR would quickly resolve refugees’ cases. In addition to your prayers, if you would like to support these refugees financially, please visit https://www.youcaring.com/christian-refugees-614066

Save North Korean Refugees Day

As part of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, we are joining in Save North Korean Refugees Day, and we are asking you to join us! This Friday at 5 pm there will be a demonstration and candlelight vigil at the park across from the Chinese embassy in DC.

Here are details of the event from Suzanne Scholte, the president of the NKFC:

Where in the world will you be on Friday, September 23rd? Will you join people around the world standing up for the people of North Korea, the most suffering people on Earth? Please join the annual Save North Korean Refugees Day scheduled for Friday, September 23, 2016.

Because of Kim Jong Un’s escalating nuclear threats and the rising tension between South Korea and China regarding THAAD, this year’s annual Save North Korean Refugees Day will emphasize “Save North Koreans!” as volunteers will deliver appeals to PRC embassies and consulates around the world calling for President Xi Jinping to end China’s support for Kim Jong Un and work with South Korea for peaceful unification. China’s leaders are realizing this is the only way to ensure peace and a nuclear free Korean peninsula.

Last year, NGO leaders and volunteers in twenty-two cities delivered letters to the PRC embassies and consulates throughout the world. Joining again this year are Kyung B Lee and Alain Dione of Council for Human Rights in North Korea-Canada, Arienne Moser of the Jubilee Campaign-The Netherlands, Ben Rogers of CSW and Jooil Kim in the United Kingdom, Teresa Ost of NKFC-Mexico, while Nicole Martin is reaching out to folks in Germany and New Zealand for help.

Here in the USA, we need to cover every city with a PRC consulate as we did last year. In Washington, D.C., the National Unification Advisory Council’s Washington Chapter is teaming up with the North Korea Freedom Coalition for events at 5pm on that Friday at the PRC embassy. Meanwhile Christine Han and Sharon Stratton of the North Korea Strategy Center are taking action in New York City. We have volunteers that want to help in Chicago and Los Angeles but we need coordinators. And where are you Houston and San Francisco?

These are simple actions that can have momentous results. Just deliver an appeal to Xi Jinping to end China’s support for the Kim regime that makes China complicit in crimes against humanity and, instead, work with South Korea for peaceful unification.

It’s true we have been demonstrating at the Chinese embassies for many years and sometimes we question whether we are having an impact. I can tell you honestly I have met North Korean refugees and former prisoners from Chinese jails who had given up all hope. What kept them alive was news that they were not forgotten, that people were standing up for them. Furthermore, these embassies and consulates must report back to Beijing. You will be heard, but only if you take a stand.

Wherever you are in the world, please join us. Here’s how you can take part on Save North Koreans Day:

1) If you live in a city with a Chinese embassy or consulate, please volunteer to be a city coordinator and plan to deliver a petition on that day, Friday, September 23rd. We have a letter of petition already drafted and ready to be delivered. You may also plan other events as NKFC and NUAC will hold a demonstration for unification and a candlelight vigil for the refugees at 5 pm that day in Washington DC, while the NKSC hopes to plan a special event in New York City in addition to delivering the petition. Jubilee Campaign-Netherlands is recruiting an MP to participate, while NKFC-Mexico is collecting signatories throughout the Spanish speaking world.

2) Be a solidarity city and plan an event in support of North Korea’s freedom and human rights by hosting a defector for a presentation or schedule a film screening and ask for support for the many NGOs working to save North Korean refugees and to get information into North Korea.

3) If you live in the Washington DC metro area, join us at 5pm, Friday, September 23rd as we gather at the park across the street from the Chinese embassy for a demonstration to Save North Koreans, the delivery of the petition and a candlelight vigil to remember the North Korean refugees.

We are working hard to connect folks around the world so that we can have as much participation as possible! Please be a part of Save North Koreans Day by emailing us and letting us know that you will join us and the city where you can help.

UPDATE: Save North Korean Refugee Day was a huge success! Petitions were delivered to Chinese consulates in at least 24 cities world wide! In Washington DC, Jubilee Campaign participated in a protest, the petition delivery, and Executive Director Ann Buwalda spoke about the vulnerable status of North Korean refugees. The events were even featured on SBS Evening News: https://www.facebook.com/sbsinteveningnews/videos/1210533942350062/