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Priest pioneers Seleka

Priest pioneers peace process amid CAR's chaos. Published: June 30, 2014 by Illia Djadi
Priest pioneers peace process. Meeting between Seleka, Aurelio and local community representatives. Bozoum, CAR; December 12, 2013. Meeting between Seleka, Aurelio and local community representatives. Bozoum, CAR; December 12, 2013. Courtesy: Fr Aurelio. Despite the Central Africa Republic (CAR)’s increasing level of chaos, a glimmer of hope has been developing in its northern city Bozoum - which is peaceful and prosperous - thanks to mediation efforts. This city of about 26,000 inhabitants enjoys a relative calm which ensures the functioning of vital services such as the hospital, schools, market, thanks to mediation efforts of people of good will, under the leadership of an Italian priest, Father Aurelio Gazzera, the bishop of St. Michael Parish of Bozoum. Since Seleka rebels took over power in March 2013, numerous armed men claiming to be from the Seleka rebels or opposing anti-Balaka militia have been looting and committing other forms of abuse against the population, in Bangui and elsewhere across the country. ''It became clear that the tension between the Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka militias could be detrimental to everyone", said Gazzera. "Thus it’s become necessary to take action to stop the violence against civilians.'' Gazzera has a wealth of knowledge of CAR, a country where he has been living for about twenty two years. His mediation approach is focused on dialogue with different groups: armed men and community leaders. It aims to present and discuss grievances while trying to confront perpetrators with the results of their actions. Father AurelioFather Aurelio
But his first mediation efforts were unsuccessful. In December 2013, fighting broke out in Bozoum, located 400 km north of the capital Bangui, and nearly 6,000 people, mostly Christians, fled their homes and found refuge in the Catholic Parish compound that Gazzera oversees, while dozens of others fled into the bush.
A brief intervention of international troops – just two days for African forces and four days for French forces - was not enough to restore calm. Soon after the troops left, Seleka rebels burned down more than 1,500 houses in Bozoum.
Gazzera engaged in strenuous efforts to persuade them to leave, which succeeded, and the Seleka fighters agreed to withdraw from the city. This enabled avoidance of direct confrontation with the opposing anti-Balaka militiamen, who were gathered by thousands in the surrounding villages.
Despite the mediation efforts, Bozoum has been emptied of its Muslim population, who evacuated to neighboring Chad. It was during this especially tense time that international journalists reached the city, and reported what they found: putting Gazzera into the glare of global news coverage.
''Thus we managed to prevent the worst and maintain a certain level of stability," said Gazzera. "Since the departure of the Seleka in January 2014, only two deaths were recorded against some 130 [deaths] weeks before.''
As signs of this stability, the hospital as well as schools - from nursery to grammar schools - re-opened thanks to a ‘simple’ strategy which consists of buying school materials for students and providing a little ‘incentive’, $30 to $40 US a month, for teachers.
However, these incentives are not a replacement for their wages, which the government is supposed to provide. In total some 15,000 students are registered in 70 schools. This represents an attendance rate of 85% in the city.
Another sign of normality in Bozum is the commencement of farming activities; which are necessary to ensure food needs. Markets and shops have also resumed their usual exchanges - although some imported foods are missing, or are unaffordable. This is the direct result of the departure of the Muslim population, as most of them worked as traders or lorry drivers and predominantly supplied the city’s imported goods from neighboring countries.
Mediation efforts - a risky approach.
Discussions with armed groups have often been cut short, said Gazzera, ''They [Seleka and anti-Balaka] are very violent and have no sense of respect and human dignity.''
Several times, the Italian priest was assaulted by armed men.
For example, last September 16, he was threatened with a gun by a Seleka officer who slapped him as he was trying to negotiate the release of some boys who had been captured and brutally tortured.
On other occasions, Gazzera was pelted with stones and shot at. He was unharmed, but the bullet holes are still visible on his car.
Despite the danger, Gazzera has not let the assaults intimidate him.
He says he has a ‘firm attitude’, that he is the ‘’only voice that has some weight in the area'' especially since civil and military authorities, who fled the rebel attacks in Bozoum, have not yet made their return.
Part of Gazzera’s mediation efforts include the ‘‘Committee of the Wise’’ which acts as a court for the settlement of disputes, while a ‘‘Mediation Committee’’ which consists of Christian and Muslim clerics, and other members of civil society, meets every day to assess the situation in Bozoum.
Gazzera said that despite persistent difficulties, the crisis has led to new, hopeful dynamics within Bozoum’s population.
''God has allowed us to engage in more acceptance of others. The crisis also opens the way to a life of faith, and has enabled some people to encounter the Gospel," he said. "Also, many have already started to regret the departure of Muslims, who were the economic engine of the city."
Gazzera is thankful for the efforts of the city’s religious and community leaders, and hopes that Bozoum’s experience will spread to other cities in CAR.
However, cautioned Gazzera, this mediation effort will - at some point – require the support of experts to set up analysis and strategies on how to better deal with the ongoing crisis.
Click here for Father Gazzera’s blog.
Father Aurelio Gazzera spoke to Illia Djadi in Brussels during his Europe Tour (April-June). Fr Aurelio was invited by the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need.

King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu -- i satanisti americani, voi li conoscete, meglio di me! NON CAMMINARE INSIEME, NON REAGIRE INSIEME, ATTENDERE GLI EVENTI, SIGNIFICA: RIMANERE STRITOLATI! su coraggio, voi potete salvate il genere umano!

ordine esecutivo 11110 Unius REI

King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, -- e cosa vuoi, che, ti possa dire il tuo cuore? le stesse cose, che, dice, anche a tutti gli alri: " soltanto, di Unius REI, noi ci possiamo fidare! "
First time in 1600 years no Mass said in Mosul, Iraq, says Chaldean Archbishop
Published: June 27, 2014
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A young Iraqi couple from Mosul check into Kelek camp after arriving on foot. 13 June 2014A young Iraqi couple from Mosul check into Kelek camp after arriving on foot. 13 June 2014
World Watch Monitor
The Chaldean Catholic Church’s Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, in Kurdish-governed Northern Iraq, is reported as saying that for the first time in 1600 years there was no Mass said in Mosul on Sunday June 15th. This is the city taken over days before by ISIS forces.
Reports say the estimated 3,000 or so Christians still there (from about 35,000 in 2003) all fled ahead of the militias’ takeover of control, although some families were reported to have returned. They cited lack of job prospects and shelter once they’d become internally displaced, or refugees in Kurdish Iraq.
Amongst those fleeing Mosul, World Watch Monitor met families sheltering in a Christian-dominated district of Erbil, Ankawa.
The largely Christian town of Qaraqosh is, 32 miles southeast of Mosul. Its official Arabic name is Baghdeda; there were about 70,000 Christians living in the area.
On Wednesday 25th June, Kurdish Peshmerga forces engaged with the ISIS - also called Daash – militias who were trying to move into Qaraqosh. WWM has seen direct messages confirming that there was bombing of Qaraqosh, during which two Christian families were reported killed by mortars.
Locals believe that it was ISIS which carried out the bombing.
However today (Thursday) Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki has confirmed that Syrian government jets have bombed ISIS in other parts of northern Iraq.
Reports today (Thursday) from locals say that the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, fighting with local Christian residents, were able to repel ISIS from Qaraqosh, especially after 1000 Peshmerga troop reinforcements arrived. Locals say after that, from about 10pm, the situation in the town became quieter, while some news agencies say Qaraqosh is now completely abandoned.
Relief arrives at a church in an Iraqi village. 19 June 2014Relief arrives at a church in an Iraqi village. 19 June 2014
World Watch Monitor
Qaraqosh residents initially started to flee to the churches of another nearby Christian town of Karamles. However, from mid-afternoon Wednesday, thousands of cars with people from Qaraqosh and Karamles were seen waiting at the Kurdish-controlled checkpoint to enter Erbil, a safe haven to the north across the ‘border’ into Kurdistan. Other families headed for Dohuk, about an hour’s drive directly north of Mosul.  
About 40 Christian families reached Erbil’s Ankawa district where they found temporary shelter at a center for elderly people.
They gave accounts of rockets falling near Qaraqosh houses, one of a Christian man, Rammo; as glass windows shattered, people were injured.
Local Christians were quick to help the new arrivals: "Immediate needs are obvious: water and food" said one. "Some are sleeping on a piece of cardboard, so mattresses and pillows are needed too. And with temperatures reaching 45 degrees during the day, we need air coolers, especially important for families with young children or elderly."
Imposition of ‘jizya tax’ on Mosul Christian minority
Meanwhile a member of Iraq’s High Commission on Human Rights Dr. Sallama Al Khafaji has told an Arabic news website, Al Sumaria, that last Saturday, June 21 ISIS began to demand a poll tax (jizya) from Christians in Mosul. In a custom rooted in medieval times, under strict Islamic law, Christians were required to have to pay protection money and are not allowed to publicly express their faith.
Dr Al Khafaji is reported to have said that in one case, ISIS members entered the home of an Assyrian family to demand it. She reports that when the Assyrian family said they did not have the money, three ISIS members raped the mother and daughter in front of the husband and father. The husband and father was so traumatized that he committed suicide, she reported.
"The Christians have told me that they cannot pay this tax," said Dr. Al-Khafaji, "and they say 'what am I to do, shall I kill myself?'"
Meanwhile, Iraqi church leaders, including those from the capital Baghdad – hundreds of miles to the south, have met in Erbil to discuss a ‘rescue plan’, amid growing fears that the ISIS Islamist attacks have put Christianity at increased risk of being extinguished from the country.
Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop of Baghad Saad Sirop, who’d risked travel to the north to Erbil for the meeting, said the crisis could only be solved by reconciliation between the Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. He repeated calls for the international community to press for negotiation between the various Islamic leaders. He added that military action would be counter-productive. "Military intervention did not resolve anything in Syria, nor here in Iraq, so we should not think this will work this time."
Bishop Saad added: "We ask God to give us the wisdom to face these problems with courage. There is no doubt that we are passing through some difficult days."
King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu, -- accettare Unius REI, per gli atei significa accettare la superiorità della ragione, nella uguaglianza, nella abolizione di ogni privilegio, o suprematismo! per noi significa, accettare di essere guidati dall'umanesimo, che, nasce, nella relazione tra: Abramo, Mosé e Dio.. in questo favore.. noi vogliamo vivere!

King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu, voi accettate Unius REI", perché, Dio ci ha creato per vivere come fratelli, tra di noi, ma, i farisei Illuminati Rothschild bildenberg, hanno voluto che, noi dovessimo ucciderci tra di noi, per realizzare il loro imperialismo: il potere di Babilonia 322 Kerry il Gufo

King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu, [ noi non possiamo sperare, che i satanisti USA, migliorino il pianeta, perché, loro si sono troppo impegnati, troppo bene, nel rovinarlo! ] Sudan's death row mother freed again. Published: June 27, 2014. The family is detained one day after her release from prison for allegedly ‘forging documents’
Protest to free Meriam Ibrahim n Madrid, Spain. June 11. 2014 /Flickr/ Creative Commons
Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese mother imprisoned for six months and released from death-row charges for apostasy, was released for the second time on Thursday night.  
She had been re-arrested less than 24hrs after being freed by the court, after being driven to the airport in a US Embassy car with her family.    
Ibrahim, along with her family, was hoping to travel to the US via South Sudan - which gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 - as there are no direct flights.
This time, she was released from police custody, and is currently in the US embassy with her family, said Ibrahim's lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa.
Ibrahim was released on the condition that she remains in Sudan. She told BBC Arabic that her ‘future is in the hands of God’, and that she just wants to spend time with her young family.   
Ibrahim, who until Monday faced a death sentence for leaving Islam, was freed when the court threw out the charges. She, her husband and two children attempted to board a plane Tuesday in Khartoum, only to be detained as Sudanese authorities scrutinised their travel documents.
Despite the emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese authorities being confirmed as genuine, Sudanese officials have accused her of forging the travel documents.
A Sudanese foreign ministry official, Abdullahi Alzareg, told the BBC that Ibrahim is Sudanese and should not have been using another country's travel document, stamped with a U.S. visa.
According to the SUNA government news agency, Sudanese officials criticised South Sudan for issuing travel documents "despite their knowledge that she is a Sudanese national" and condemned the US for trying to help the woman leave Sudan using an "illegal [false] travel document."
World Watch Monitor is curating a Twitter feed on this developing story. Click here to view the feed.
Below is the June 23 news report on Ibrahim's release from prison after a Sudan court threw out apostasy charges against her.
Meriam Ibrahim, her husband, children and legal team. June 23, 2014
Photo courtesy of Hardwired, Inc.
Original report
Meriam Yahia Ibrahim’s death sentence for apostasy has been struck down by the court of appeal in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
"The release of Ibrahim was declared during a plea that was brought to the court of appeal by the Commission for the Defence of Women," according to the national Sudan News Agency.
Ibrahim and her two children, a two-year-old son and a baby girl born this month, are believed to have been released from the prison in North Khartoum this afternoon. They had been detained in the jail since February.
One of Ibrahim’s lawyers, Mohamed Mostafa, told Agence France Presse that the "reasons for her release have not been made public."
"We are very, very happy about this - and we're going to her now," another of her lawyers, Elshareef Ali, told the BBC.
Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Sudanese doctor who gave birth to her daughter while in shackles, had been condemned to death by hanging during a sentencing that was conducted May 15. The boy also was forced to stay in prison with his mother, as his father was refused custody because he is not Muslim.
"Today’s ruling is a small step to redressing the injustice done to Meriam. However, she should never have been prosecuted. Meriam was sentenced to death when eight months pregnant for something which should not be a crime," said Sarah Jackson, Deputy Africa Director at Amnesty International.
The Executive Director of Hardwired Global, a social justice movement seeking to end religious oppression, Tina Ramirez said, "We are witnessing a historic moment - in the three decades of President Bashir's brutal dictatorship millions have lost their lives, yet here stands one defenseless and innocent young pregnant woman who forced President Bashir to respect her dignity and religious freedom."
The American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington D.C. based group that uses litigation to press for religious and speech freedom, called the ruling a significant victory for religious freedom.
"This is tremendous news," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the ACLJ. "Her release is a powerful testimony to the millions of people around the world who have called for her release. This is truly a significant victory for religious freedom."
The ACLJ took part in a global campaign by sending out a legal letter to the Sudanese government on behalf of 350,000 people outlining its violations of law and demanding freedom for Ibrahim and her American children.
Reasons for Ibrahim’s imprisonment
Ibrahim was accused of apostasy for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. The authorities had previously said that Ibrahim’s release would only be possible if she renounced her faith and divorced her husband, although Sudan’s 2005 interim constitution guarantees freedom of religion.
She was charged as a Muslim because her father was Muslim. However, Ibrahim claimed to be raised as a Christian because her mother is Orthodox Christian and her father left the family while she was young.
Previous court rulings had ordered her to receive 100 lashes for committing adultery as they did not recognise her marriage to Daniel Wani, a Catholic American. Under Sudan’s Sharia law, Muslim women are not allowed to marry Christian men.
A June 11 statement released by the Catholic Church of Khartoum suggested that members of Ibrahim and Wani’s families may have been motivated by a desire to access the couple’s businesses, which includes a barber shop and agricultural products. It also said a lawyer who first dealt with the couple’s case in September 2013 was forced to stop representing them due to pressure from Ibrahim’s accusers, including her brother.
Some in Ibrahim’s current legal team have received threats from extremists who say their actions are "un-Islamic" and that they, too, should receive death sentences.
Agence France Presse also reported that extremist groups had lobbied the Sudanese government to uphold the sentence. 
Sudan has a majority Muslim population, and Islamic law has been governing the nation since the 1980s.

Egyptian convert appeals 5-year sentence for misdemeanor: June 27, 2014. King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu, [ noi non possiamo sperare, che i satanisti USA, migliorino il pianeta, perché, loro si sono troppo impegnati, troppo bene, nel rovinarlo! ] Lawyer says Mohamed Hegazy already has served the maximum time
Convertito egiziano fa appello condanna a 5 anni per un delitto: 27 GIUGNO 2014
Avvocato dice Mohamed Hegazy ha già servito il tempo massimo. Mohamed Hegazy, left, with his lawyer, Karam Ghobrial. World Watch Monitor. An Egyptian man who captured video of clashes between Muslims and Christians has been sentenced to five years in prison. Mohamed Hegazy was convicted June 18 for failing to obtain permission to film demonstrations in the Egypt's Minya governate, a volatile region in central Egypt that erupted in anti-Christian violence following the July 2013 ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. The crime is a misdemeanor, and Hegazy already has spent more than 6 months in custody -- the maximum for misdemeanors -- since his arrest Dec. 4. His laywer said he plans to appeal the verdict. "Hegazy is accused of filming a demonstration without permission, so according to the law this is a misdemeanor," the attorney, Karam Ghobrial, told World Watch Monitor. "So this verdict is contradictory to the law because it didn’t include paying the bail to release the accused until the appeal, as in all misdemeanor crimes. “ Hegazy, 31, goes by a different name, Bishoy Armeya, a name he took after he converted from Islam to Christianity in 1999, at age 17. In 2007, he petitioned the government to officially recognize his conversion — an unprecedented request in a country where Islam is the official religion, and where the constitution declares Islamic Sharia law to be "the main source of legislation." Death threats forced Hegazy into hiding. And that, his lawyer says, is the real reason he's going to prison.
“The real reason for keeping Armeya in custody is being a convert," Ghobrial told Mideast Christian News in April. He said police questioned Hegazy about his religion following his arrest -- a subject that he said ought to be irrelevant under Egyptian law. In Egypt, government-issued identity cards include the person's religion. While the law permits citizens to change their faith, in practice Muslims who convert to Christianity often face intense pressure. Hegazy is being held in the El Menya Prison during the appeal. He is good condition, Ghobrial told World Watch Monitor. His wife and children are in Germany, and only his lawyer is permitted to visit him. An appeal hearing is scheduled for July 20. In an unrelated case, a court in Luxor on June 24 sentenced Kerolos Ghattas, a Christian, to six years in prison for loading his Facebook page with images considered insulting to Islam. Ther verdict can be appealed. Mohamed Hegazy, a sinistra, con il suo avvocato, Karam Ghobrial. World Watch Monitor. Un uomo egiziano che ha catturato il video di scontri tra musulmani e cristiani è stato condannato a cinque anni di carcere. Mohamed Hegazy è stato condannato 18 giugno per non avere il permesso di filmare le manifestazioni in Minya governatorato della Egitto, una regione instabile nel centro di Egitto, che esplose in violenze anti-cristiane a seguito del luglio 2013 cacciata dell'ex presidente Mohamed Morsi. Il reato è un reato, e Hegazy ha già speso più di 6 mesi in carcere - il massimo per reati minori -. Dal suo arresto 4 dic sua ​​laywer ha detto che progetta di fare appello il verdetto. "Hegazy è accusato di filmare una manifestazione senza autorizzazione, quindi secondo la legge questo è un reato," l'avvocato, Karam Ghobrial, ha detto World Watch Monitor. "Così questo verdetto è in contraddizione con la legge perché non ha incluso il pagamento della cauzione per rilasciare l'imputato fino al ricorso, come in tutti i crimini di infrazione." Hegazy, 31, passa un nome diverso, Bishoy Armeya, un nome che ha preso dopo essersi convertito dall'Islam al Cristianesimo nel 1999, all'età di 17 anni nel 2007, egli ha chiesto al governo di riconoscere ufficialmente la sua conversione -. Una richiesta senza precedenti in un paese dove l'Islam è la religione ufficiale, e dove la Costituzione dichiara la legge islamica della Sharia di essere "la fonte principale della legislazione". Minacce di morte Hegazy costretti a nascondersi. E che, il suo avvocato dice, è la vera ragione che sta andando in prigione. "La vera ragione per mantenere Armeya in custodia è in corso un convertito", ha detto Ghobrial Medio Oriente Christian News nel mese di aprile ha detto che la polizia interrogato Hegazy della sua religione dopo il suo arresto -.. Un tema che ha detto dovrebbe essere irrilevante ai sensi del diritto egiziano In Egitto, carte d'identità rilasciato dal governo includono la religione della persona. Mentre la legge permette ai cittadini di cambiare la propria fede, in pratica musulmani che si convertono al cristianesimo trovano spesso ad affrontare forti pressioni. Hegazy si terrà a El Menya carcere durante l'appello. Lui è buono stato, Ghobrial detto World Watch Monitor. Sua moglie ei suoi figli sono in Germania, e solo il suo avvocato è autorizzato a fargli visita. L'udienza di appello è prevista per il 20 luglio. In un caso non collegato, un tribunale di Luxor il 24 giugno ha condannato Kerolos Ghattas, un cristiano, a sei anni di carcere per il caricamento sua pagina Facebook con le immagini considerate un insulto all'Islam. Ci sentenza può essere impugnata. 

Eritrea turns 21. Published: May 28, 2014. But for at least 1,000 imprisoned Christians, there’s little to celebrate. A railway bridge in remote Eritrea. Courtesy Open Doors International. The tiny state of Eritrea, flanked by Ethiopia on one side and the Red Sea on the other, celebrated its 21st birthday May 24, its Independence Day a public holiday.
Yet beneath the official festivities, Eritrea’s 6 million people live under a regime that has earned a reputation as the most repressive in Africa. Now an exiled human-rights group, Release Eritrea, reports that more than 1,000 Christians are currently in detention. The group bases its tally on phone calls to friends and colleagues in the country.
The jailed Christians are members of unofficial or ‘unregistered’ churches, which are under persistent attack from the regime. “Our church leaders who were taken to prison in 2003/2004 have been detained for over 10 years now,” said Release Eritrea Director Berhane Asmelash. “Many continue to suffer health problems, although we praise God when we hear reports of their resolute faith and good spirit.” An underground church leader, who has seen many in his congregation disappear into prison or exile, said Eritrea’s antagonism to Christianity is beginning to have generational effects.
“We trust God to safeguard them, but times are tough for their families, their elderly parents are dying and the young children they left behind are now coming of age fatherless,” the church leader said. Officially, Eritrea is a secular state in which all citizens can practise their faith freely. Three main Christian denominations — the Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran churches — and Islam are officially recognized. However, as Amnesty International has reported, in 2002 the government required all minority religious groups to register, and to hand over information about their finances and members. Most refused, and in 2003 the government began a crackdown against the growing evangelical churches, with church members arbitrarily detained during “home-worshipping” or at weddings. Amnesty said many were tortured or ill-treated in an attempt to force them to stop worshipping.  Perhaps the worst afflicted have been members of the sect of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have been detained for refusing military service. They were stripped of their citizenship. Ousted Orthodox Patriarch Abune Antonios, in a 2006 photo. Courtesy Open Doors International. In 2007, the head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Abune Antonious, was removed from his position after criticising the Eritrean government for interference in church activities. Two priests accompanied by government security agents entered the Patriarch's residence and confiscated his personal pontifical insignia. He was replaced by Abune Dioskoros — a development orchestrated by the Eritrean government. Patriarch Antonios, who has never been charged with any offence, remains under house arrest and strict state surveillance. Tens of thousands of young Eritreans have fled the country, escaping across the border to Ethiopia or Sudan to face a difficult and uncertain future. Others have attempted to reach Europe, some of them drowning in the Mediterranean Sea on smuggler ships. Eritrea is ruled by President Isaias Afewerki, who led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, a movement that won independence from Ethiopia in 1991, after 30 years of armed conflict. Then hailed as a hero, he soon turned dictator, first repressing soldiers demanding pay, then turning on religious dissenters and critics within the party. Today the Eritrean regime tolerates no dissent of any kind: there is no free media, no university, and even the ruling party — renamed the People’s Front for Freedom and Democracy — has not held a party conference for years.

Boko Haram kidnaps more girls; outrage mounts. Published: May 07, 2014. by Illia Djadi
The number of Nigerian girls abducted by Boko Haram continues to increase, as does global outrage. Between eight and 11 more teen-aged girls were kidnapped May 4 by the Islamist group, which on April 14 abducted more than 230 schoolgirls, most of them reported to be Christian, from the northeastern town of Chibok.According to local sources, a group of heavily armed men stormed the village of Warabe, near Gwoza town in Borno state, on the night of Sunday, May 4. They opened fire in the village before taking away eight girls between ages 12 and 15. News reports said the attackers then invaded a village five kilometres away, and abducted three more girls.
On Monday, Boko Haram, which has waged a five-year violent campaign to impose Islamic law across Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the abduction of the students attending school in Chibok. “I have kidnapped the girls. I will sell them on the market in the name of Allah,” said a man reputed to be  Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a 57-minute video, obtained by the Agence France Presse news agency.
"I'll sell them as slaves in the name of Allah. There is a market where they sell human beings,’’ said the man on the video. "I said that Western education must stop. Girls must leave school and get married,” the man said. “I would give a 12-year-old girl in marriage; I would give in marriage even a 9-year-old girl.” last week, some parents and community leaders of Chibok have expressed their fear that the abducted girls were taken abroad, to neighbouring Cameroon and Chad, and that some of them have been forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men. Other reports given to the BBC say a “bridegroom” of a girl has been spotted: a price of 2000 Naira, or about US $12.50, has been quoted. Of the 230 girls kidnapped from the Chibok boarding school, at least 165 of them are Christian, according to a list of names and a statement released Sunday, May 4, by a former chairman of an affiliate of the Christian Association of Nigeria. Neither government nor school authorities verified the accuracy of the list.
The statement, issued by evangelist Matthew Owojaiye, said Chibok, in the North-Eastern Nigerian State of Borno, is 90 percent Christian, the implication being that the mass abduction was a religiously motivated crime. The Chibok mass kidnapping has prompted anger across Africa’s most populous nation. Hundreds of people, mostly women, marched in Abuja, the capital and other major cities such as Kano and Lagos, calling on the government to do more to rescue the girls. President Goodluck Jonathan is under intense pressure, at home and from around the world, to track down the kidnappers and rescue the hostages. U.S. President Barack Obama has offered, and Nigeria has accepted, American military and law-enforcement assistance.
The disappearance of the girls has generated headlines around the world and fueled a social-media storm around the tag #bringbackourgirls – at a moment when Nigeria is preparing to host the World Economic Forum on Africa, a gathering of 900 world business leaders. On Tuesday, May 6, Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque, one of the world’s most prominent Sunni institutions of higher learning, issued a statement calling on Boko Haram to release the girls. Boko Haram’s action “does not relate to the noble teachings of Islam in any way,” the statement said. The UN human rights office warned, on Tuesday, May 6, that the threatened sale into slavery of hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram Islamists may constitute a crime against humanity.
"We are deeply concerned about the outrageous claims made in a video believed to be by the leader of Boko Haram in Nigeria yesterday, in which he brazenly says he will sell the abducted schoolgirls 'in the market' and 'marry them off', referring to them as 'slaves,'" said Rupert Colville, spokesman for UN rights chief Navi Pillay.
Yet such kidnappings are not new, Dr. Pogu Chibok, leader of the Chibok Elders Forum, told World Watch Monitor. ‘‘They [Islamists] have been doing it for years,” he said. “They have been kidnapping girls and they have been marring them off to their members forcibly. It is just because of what happened in Chibok, that brought the phenomenon to international arena, and it is now being known by everybody.” Deadly attacks carried out on an almost daily basis by Boko Haram have claimed more than 1,500 lives since January, raising criticism of the Nigerian army’s ability to deal with the insurgency. On April 28, four people were killed and several more injured after Boko Haram attacked Gubla village, in Adamawa state. A Church of the Brethren, known as Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria; as well as the pastor's residence several neighbouring houses were also set on fire by assailants, who sprayed bullets while storming the village around midnight, local sources said. Despite a year-long state of emergency and the deployment of army to the region, the government seems to have lost control of the country, particularly in northeastern Nigeria, a community leader said in a message sent to World Watch Monitor. ‘‘As I am writing this, we heard that the major road from Madagali to Gowza, down to Bama is under the control of the insurgency, since people cannot travel that road without being kidnapped,” the source said. His name is being withheld to preserve his safety. ‘‘Christians in these areas are suffering everyday as most of them are hiding and sleeping in the bush. The insurgency is moving from one village to the other without facing any resistance. I fear, that if urgent action is not taken, what is happening in Central Africa and Southern Sudan will soon be the vents in north-eastern Nigeria,’’ the source wrote.

Why Christians are under pressure to exit Iraq.] [  King Abd Allah Arabia Saudita, Benjamin Netanyahu, [ noi non possiamo sperare, che i satanisti USA, migliorino il pianeta, perché, loro si sono troppo impegnati, troppo bene, nel rovinarlo! ] Published: June 13, 2014. A population of 1.2 million in the 1990’s reduced to 300,000. Internally displaced Iraqi girl holding a children's Bible. Kurdistan, November 2007. World Watch Monitor. BBC reports have described ISIS ambitions to create an Islamist caliphate spreading from northern Iraq across to north-west Syria. If ISIS can hold Mosul and consolidate its presence there, it will have taken a giant step towards its goal of creating an Islamist region, controlled by insurgents, that connects Iraq and Syria. Apart from the overall population being targeted, in the past there has also been ISIS violence explicitly aimed at Christians. Before this week’s attacks about 300,000 Christians were estimated to live in Iraq, out of more than 1.2 million at the beginning of the 1990s. Since then, large numbers have either fled abroad (Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) or to the northern Kurdish region as a result of the severe anti-Christian violence; e.g. church attacks, kidnappings, killings, robberies, rapes and threats. This exodus of Christians means a loss of pluralism and an increase of intolerance in an already divided Iraqi society. The Archbishop of Mosul Amel Nona said that in the 11 years following the 2003 US-led overthrow of Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, Christians in Mosul had declined from 35,000 to 3,000. This week, Mosul’s last remaining Christians had left their homes, he said. Describing reports of attacks to four churches and a monastery in Mosul, the Archbishop said: "We received threats… [and] now all the faithful have fled the city. I wonder if they will ever return there." Some reports, however, say Christians have already returned to Mosul, while other sources claim that all have fled and are unlikely to return.
An organisation partnering with Christians in Iraq has told World Watch Monitor that some families who fled Mosul decided to return due to being unable to find refuge and fearing street fights between the Iraqi Army and the ISIS forces: "some families mentioned it is better to die at home than staying on streets." Chaldean Priest Qais Kage told Fides Agency, "The advance of the ISIS militiamen is favoured by large tribes and Sunnis clans. What happened in Mosul is significant: such a big city cannot fall in a few hours without support from within. The chaos and political division of the country, due to sectarian conflicts, promotes the advance of the militants who have come from outside: the Iraqi army has left everything in their hands.". Guard protecting a church in a suburb of Baghdad. The Iraqi government ordered concrete walls to be put around churches for protection. December 2011. World Watch Monitor. Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq. Iraq is divided in two parts, the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in the North, officially governed by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) based in Erbil and the large remaining Arab part, controlled by the Iraqi Government in Baghdad. Kurds and Arabs have their own languages and culture. Most of Iraq’s oil resources are found near Kirkuk and Mosul, the border areas between the Kurdish region and Arab Iraq, and these are amongst the most violent places of Iraq. Christians are caught here in the crossfire of two different battles: one for a Kurdish autonomous country and one for a religious cleansing of Iraq by Islamic terrorist groups who wish to make the country purely Islamic. The Kurdish aspiration for sovereignty - a desire three Sunni provinces in Arab Iraq have expressed as well - could well be one of the most destabilising factors for Iraq. Fleeing to Kurdistan. A group of internally displaced Iraqis waiting to receive relief. Kurdistan, March 2009. World Watch Monitor. While the north of Iraq has been developing into a more and more dangerous place for Christians, those who flee to the Kurdish region are now considered refugees inside Iraq. As refugees they face high unemployment and inadequate housing, plus difficulty in finding schooling (especially university) for their children, inadequate medical care and monthly food rations due to registration problems and discrimination. ISIS increased extremist Islamic pressures. Iraq remains at number four of the 50 countries listed on the World Watch List ranking the most difficult nations for Christians to live. The list is published annually by Open Doors International, a charity supporting Christians worldwide who live under pressure because of their faith. The situation for Christians in central and south Iraq is as bad as last year, however, the north is developing into a more and more dangerous place for Christians. The main persecution ‘engine’ in Iraq, says Open Doors, is Islamic extremism. Islamic extremist groups desire a religious cleansing of Iraq and wish to make the country purely Islamic. Since the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the situation has continuously deteriorated due to considerable levels of violence by Islamist militants and insurgent groups. Prohibited under Saddam Hussein, Islamist political parties - Shiite and Sunni - have made their entry to politics and even constitute the majority in parliament. Since 2003 anti-Western and anti-Christian sentiments tend to go hand-in-hand. These Islamist groups have increased in number in the North, under the influence of the civil war in Syria. One of their aims is fulfilling jihad and thus resulting in annihilation of the country’s Christian population. This situation is aggravated by government impunity. According to Open Doors International, in general, Iraqi society has increasingly become more Islamic. There is an increase in social control of women, the wearing of the headscarf and observance of Ramadan. Even Christian women in Baghdad and Mosul have been forced to veil themselves in order to move safely outside of their homes. Explanation of background of ISIS. The group ISIS is an Iraq and Syria-based Sunni extremist group. ISIS follows an extreme interpretation of Islam, promotes sectarian violence and targets those with other opinions as infidels and apostates. In October 2004 ISIS-leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, pledged allegiance to Osama bin Laden. This made the group an affiliate of al-Qaeda. In the first year of the war in Syria, late 2011, ISIS engaged in that war through one of the groups that originally assimilated into ISIS: Jabhat al Nusra. Between the leaders of ISIS and al-Nusra grew a division. This led to a split between the two jihadist groups and later caused infighting between both groups. The current leader of ISIS is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri, the man is also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Abu Du’a. ISIS is said to have only some 2500 Iraqi and foreign members in Iraq and some 5000 in Syria, both Syrians as well as many foreigners. ISIS also operates in Lebanon and Turkey. ISIS has undergone several name changes ranging from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, this abbreviation is mostly used) or in Iraq as Da’ash. Old man living in a monastery in Northern Iraq. World Watch Monitor. The role the Syrian conflict plays in Iraq. ISIS has said it wants to establish an Islamist-led state (or Caliphate) which straddles across both Iraq and Syria. The role of the civil war in Syria is significant: it led to a rise in recruitment and funding of Al Qaeda inspired groups in Iraq in 2013. In the current instability in Syria, the position of Islamist radicals and ant-Christian attitudes should not be underestimated, according to Open Doors. ISIS is now better established in Syria, so Syrians seem to be pressured to choose between Assad and Islamist radicals. From ISIS-controlled regions in Syria’s northern city of Raqqa reports of Christians have emerged of them being given an ultimatum of converting to Islam, being killed or signing a ‘dhimmi contract’. The contract is an integral part of traditional Islamic sharia law dating back to medieval times and requiring non-Muslims, in this instance Christians, to pay protection money which only allows them to gather for worship in churches. Under the dhimmi contract, public expressions of Christian faith are not allowed. These prohibitions include: Christian wedding and funeral processions; ringing of church bells; praying in public and scripture being read out loud for Muslims to hear; Christian symbols, like crosses, cannot be displayed openly; churches and monasteries cannot be repaired or restored irrespective if damage was collateral or intentional; and Christians are also not allowed to make offensive remarks about Muslims or Islam. The dhimmi contract also enforces an Islamic dress code, like the veiling for women, and commercial and dietary regulations, including a ban on alcohol. According to Open Doors, about 20 Christian leaders have signed to contract in Syria. If they keep these rules and live as dhimmis, they will be protected. If not, they will be ‘put to the sword’.

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