Open Doors Ministers to Victims of Massive Anti-Christian Violence
Volume 13 | Issue 9 | September 2011
Open Doors
PO Box 27001
Santa Ana, CA 92799
August 23 – In Kandhamal district, Orissa
state, it seems that time has stood still
for many. Healing is slow to come as
persecution still exists. It shows in the
fearful faces of the victims who daily
experience discrimination. It has been
nearly four years since the horrendous
attack on Christians on Christmas Eve in
December 2007, and three years since the
massive anti-Christian genocide in 2008.
In Kandhamal district alone, more
than 600 villages were ransacked and
38 people were murdered. Human rights
groups estimate that overall,100 people
were killed from August through December
2008. About 2,000 people were forced to
renounce their Christian faith, 295 churches
were destroyed, and about 50,000 people
were uprooted, forced to live in relief camps.
Many continue to be displaced.
Little Change
Today the situation in Kandhamal, the
epicenter of the anti-Christian pogrom,
has not changed much. Many Christians
cannot move back to their villages because
conversion to Hinduism is a prerequisite.
Threats from the fundamentalists continue.
Christian children still have little access to
education and schooling. Persecution has
forced Christians into poverty; they are
deprived of employment, education and
health services. In many places people have
been left without effective pastoral care.
Peace-building efforts have largely been
Limota Pradhan, wife of a
martyr and mother of two girls,
was given livelihood help by
Open Doors.
Pastor Nikadim
Nayak attended
a legal seminar
which helped him
understand his
rights. Now he
teaches both
Biblical and legal
topics to his
assistant pastors
and evangelists.
The Kandhamal
violence destroyed
Pastor Dillip
Kumar Pradhan’s
church and house.
He attended Open
Doors’ Trauma
program, which
helped him handle
the pressure
and his mental
disturbances. He
prayed for God
to forgive his
attackers. He now
counsels others.
Piku Digal stayed
in a relief camp for
almost one year.
She and other
Christian families
couldn’t resettle in
their village without
becoming Hindus,
so they resettled
elsewhere, without
land, so they could
serve the living
unsuccessful because of lack of trust
and lack of proper facilitation by the local
Active Ministry
Open Doors has been active in
Orissa for more than a decade now, and
has been ministering in Kandhamal,
Orissa state, since Dec. 2007. Open
Doors delivered four installments of relief
supplies which reached nearly all the
victims whose houses were destroyed
in the violence. Literally thousands were
counseled by teams going in and out
of relief camps. Hundreds were helped
through medical camps. The ministry
assisted Christians who were victimized to
seek justice.
Africa page 2
Volume 13, Issue 9 Persecution Update September 2011
Coptic Christian Killed
in Attack on Village
August 10 (Compass) –
Following an argument between
a Muslim and a Christian on
Aug. 7, Muslims attacked a
predominantly Christian village.
A Coptic Christian was killed
and several others were injured
in Minya. The attackers raided
a number of homes owned by
Christian villagers and set eight
on fire.
More Arrests and Deaths
August 30 – Police arrested 24 Christians in
Asmara on Aug. 13 when the house where
they were gathered was searched. Most are
university students. Two Christian women died
on July 28 in the ALLA military camp. They
were denied medical treatment for ill health
suffered as a result of torture. The women were
arrested in April 2009 for attending a prayer
meeting. Another prisoner held for his religious
beliefs since 2009 at the Mitire Military Camp
died soon after officials released him to his
family because his death was imminent.
Missionary Family
Rescued from the Fire
August 2 – Wako Halekie was
not at home when his house was
set on fire on Mar. 31 in the early
morning. Villagers rescued his
wife and three children. Three
years ago, Wako began work as
a missionary in Tuka-Argiso and
was able to plant three churches.
Muslims regarded his activities
as an obstacle to their mission to
Islamize the nomadic tribal area.
Army Said to Help in
Slaughter of Christians
August 28 (Compass) – Muslim
extremists with the alleged help of
Nigerian army personnel killed 24
Christians this month in Plateau state.
The Plateau
governor called
for immediate
withdrawal of
the Nigerian
army because
Muslims in the
army have
taken sides
with Islamist
Violence in Jos
August 2 (Compass) – Five persons were
killed in violence that broke out on July 26
between Muslims and Christians in Jos.
Many Christians remained indoors on
Sunday (July 31) after two bomb explosions
shook predominantly Muslim areas of Jos
where three churches and the residences
of Islamic sect leaders are located. Many
Christians have left this area due to the
religious conflict earlier this year.
Niger Muslims Kill Christians
August 31 (Compass) – Armed Muslims
from Niger entered Kaduna state to help
Islamists invade Christian communities. The
attacks forced Christians to stay away from
worship services and keep watch on their
communities. Attacks occurred on Aug. 21
in Fadiya Bakut village where a boy and
a guard were killed, and on July 24, in the
villages of Angwan Yaro and Angwan Yuli.
Kidnapped Girl Escapes
August 3 (Compass) – Hiba
Abdelfadil Anglo, 16, escaped from
a gang of Muslims who kidnapped
her on June 17, 2010. She suffers
the trauma of being beaten, raped
and pressured to convert from
Christianity to Islam. She was
reunited with her family on July 10.
Churches Torched
August 1 (Compass) – Muslim extremists
shouting, “Away with the church – we do
not want infidels to spoil our community!”
burned down a church building in Zanzibar
on July 30, just three days after another
church was reduced to ashes.
Girl Loses Use of Legs
August 11 (Compass) – A 14-yearold
girl is still unable to walk after her
father tortured her for leaving Islam.
Susan Ithungu put her faith in Christ
after an evangelist spoke at her
school in Mar. 2010. She has been
hospitalized since October 2010 after
neighbors with police help rescued
her from a locked room with almost
no food or water.
Alge ria
Official Recognition for
Protestant Church
August 10 – The Minister of the
Interior recognized the Église
Protestante d’Algerie (EPA) on
July 18 as a council of Protestant
churches. However, it is not an
official recognition
of the individual
churches. The
EPA was founded
in 1972 and had
but no official
documents, for
about 20 years.
Empty Protestant
church in Algiers
The Free
Church in Africa
was burned
down on July 27.
A doctor tends to one of
the victims of an Islamist
attack on Christians in
Heipang village, Plateau.
Hostilities Grow
August 23 (Compass) – Pressures
on churches and Christians have
increased since South Sudan
seceded on July 9, with Muslim
groups threatening to destroy
churches, kill Christians and
purge the country of Christianity. A
Presbyterian church is still afraid to
meet for worship after their church
was burned on Jan. 15.
Mayor Again Balks at
Granting Church Permit
August 15 (Compass) – A mayor
who disregarded a Supreme Court
ruling to reinstate the building
permit of a church in Bogor has
now dismissed a recommendation
by the National Ombudsman
Institute to do so. The congregation
presently worships on a small
strip of land as 15 to 20 Muslim
demonstrators taunt them.
Volume 13, Issue 9 Persecution Update September 2011 page 3
Church Leaders Beaten At
Police Station
August 29 (Compass) – Hundreds
of Christians this month protested
the hitting of two church leaders at
a police station on Aug. 2 after a
Christian reported a local ruling party
activist had illegally occupied his
house on July 23. “If they can beat
us in the police station, they can do
anything on us – where will we get
protection?” asked a church leader.
Police and district administrative
officials recovered the house within
three days, but the political activist
remains unpunished.
Christians Cleared of
Offending Muslims
August 15 (Compass) – Two
Christians were exonerated in court
on Aug. 11, along with four Muslim
friends accused of “hurting religious
sensibility.” The Christians had
helped organize a two-day health
camp offering free treatment to poor
villagers. They and their Muslim
friends were arrested on March 24
after a Japanese doctor had offered
Bibles to patients at the health camp.
The foreign doctor was not charged.
Muslim Extremists
Attack, Threaten
Christian Women
August 5 (Compass) – Four
months after a recent Christian
convert was stripped and beaten,
about 50 Muslim extremists
disrupted a prayer meeting held
in her home, threatening to burn it
down if she did not return to Islam.
On March 29, they had disrupted
her baptism at Believers Church. In
another incident, Muslim extremists
held three Christian women for
an hour on July 21, threatening to
beat and burn them alive if they
continued worshipping Christ.
Motives for Church
Burnings Questioned
August 17 (Compass) – Muslim
mobs burned the meeting places
of a Protestant Church (GBKP)
congregation and a Pentecostal
Church in Indonesia (GPDI) group
on Aug. 1, and that of a Methodist
Church of Indonesia on Aug. 2. About
100 people on motorcycles arrived
at the house church at 11 p.m. on
Aug. 1, throwing stones, threatening
church members with knives and
ultimately pouring gasoline and
setting it on fire. A number of church
members were inside painting at the
time of the attack, but there were no
Churches Live Under Threat
August 18 (Compass ) – Stung by
government discrimination and apathy,
Christians in Nepal joined forces with
other excluded religious communities
like Buddhists and Muslims. In August
they began a campaign seeking an end
to religious discrimination. Perhaps the
greatest concern of Christians is the
delay in promulgating a new constitution
that was to have bolstered the nascent
republic’s secular status. The inordinate
delay has given militant Hindu groups
time to push for the restoration of
Hinduism as the state religion and for
a referendum to decide if Nepal should
remain secular.
Pastor Zhang Rong Liang
September 1
– Pastor Zhang
Rong Liang was
released from
prison on Aug. 31.
He suffered from
several chronic
diseases as
well as a stroke
in 2007 while
serving his
latest 7.5-year
sentence. Pastor
Zhang of the China for Christ Church
had been detained five times before and
had previously spent a total of 12 years
in prison. A house-church pastor for 30
years, Pastor Zhang was first jailed in
1974, and spent seven years in the Xi
Hua labor camp for the crime of “counterrevolution
under the guise of religion.”
Chen Hongxian, Zhang’s wife, was monitored
by authorities, and their two sons were forced
into hiding. Open Doors’ supporters wrote
letters to encourage Chen.
Pastor Zhang needs quiet
time to rest in God and
seek His will and guidance
for future ministry.
Nepal’s religious minorities – Christians,
Buddhists and Muslims – have begun
a campaign through the Inter-Religions
Secularism Protection Movement to fight
in South
Middle East/Muslim World page 4
Volume 13, Issue 9 Persecution Update September 2011
Insurgent Blast Ravages
Church Building
August 16 (Compass) – An
insurgent blast left a church building
in Kirkuk severely damaged on
Aug. 15 in a second round of
attacks against the city’s Christian
community in two weeks. The
bombing of the Syriac Orthodox
Church of Mar Afram was the only
attack against Christian targets
amid a wave of violence that swept
across Iraq on Aug. 15, hitting 17
cities and claiming about 70 lives.
No Christians were killed in the
attack on the church building. On
Aug. 2, insurgents targeted three
churches in the city.
Many Christian Flood Victims
Still Homeless
August 9 (Compass) – Many Christians
who lost their houses in the July 2010
floods remain homeless despite a plan by
the Punjab government to allocate land to
residents in the area. The list of homeless
people was prepared by local land revenue
officers who did not do so fairly, said a
Christian. Under Pakistan’s constitution,
minorities should be given a 5 percent quota
in all government plans.
Christian Accused of ‘Blasphemy’
Granted Rare Bail
August 4 (Compass) – On Aug. 2, Babar
Masih was released on bail. The young
Christian man accused of blaspheming Islam
suffers from a psychiatric disorder that causes
him to shout in fits of rage. A complainant
stated that Masih was “addressing the stars
and calling names of Muslim sages and holy
personages” when he made the alleged
remarks blaspheming Islam on May 2. That
day, a large Muslim mob gathered to kill him,
refusing to hear that Masih was suffering any
mental disorder. Police intervened and took
Masih into custody.
Two Christians
Seriously Injured for
Refusing Islam
August 31 (Compass) –
Ramming their car into the
motorcycle of two Christian
men, young Muslim men armed
with iron rods attacked Ishfaq
Munawar and Naeem Masih
who were returning home after
an early morning prayer service
at their church on Aug. 14. The
ethnic Pashtun youths shouted
that the Christians should either
recite the Kalma or be prepared
to die. When the two Christians
fell unconscious, the young
Muslim men left assuming they
had killed them. The family has
not registered a case with police,
fearing reprisal by the Muslims,
but are now considering filing a
formal complaint.
Government Overturns
Historic Religious
Property Seizures
August 30 (Compass) – The
Turkish government made a
historic U-turn in state policy
on Aug. 27, issuing an official
decree inviting Turkey’s Christian
and Jewish communities to
reclaim their long-confiscated
religious properties. The decree
comes 75 years after the Turkish
government seized hundreds of
lands and buildings owned by
its Greek, Armenian, Syriac and
Jewish communities. The return
of these extensive properties to
their rightful owners has been
a key demand of the European
Union, to which Turkey is
applying for full membership.



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