Children raped, castrated, thrown into fires in South Sudan: UN

Illustrative photo of Sudanese school children in Juba, South Sudan. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Illustrative photo of Sudanese school children in Juba, South Sudan. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

18-month civil war characterized by ethnic massacres, mass child abductions into service of warring militias

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Muslim Brotherhood ‘taking anger out’ on Christians

Pro-Morsi backlash turns deadly for some believers

(WND) In the wake of the military coup in Egypt earlier this month, media reports frequently recounted the violent clashes between the military and supporters of the ousted Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohammed Morsi. What is not often reported, however, is the brutal treatment of Coptic Christians, usually at the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“Members of the Muslim Brotherhood have taken their anger out specifically on Christians because many Christians wanted the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi out of power and were speaking out, including the Coptic pope,” said Jerry Dykstra, spokesman for Open Doors USA, one of the leading organizations reaching out to the persecuted Christian church.

 “So in the last three weeks or so, we’ve seen Christians targeted, especially a Coptic priest who was killed in northern Sinai. An Egyptian businessman was killed and beheaded in northern Sinai. Churches were also burned and Christians were driven out of their communities,” Dykstra told WND. “Whenever things get bad, Christians are almost doubly in the spotlight and the crosshairs and we’re seeing this now as things get even worse.”

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Severely autistic man branded at Bronx group home with hot potato-masher: negligence lawsuit

Eduardo Sandoval, 24, was incapable of identifying the person who attacked him at the Leake & Watts residential facility in June.

Eduardo Sandoval's permanent scar. The two workers accused as perpetrators in the lawsuit have both been fired. They've blamed each other, sources said.

Craig Warga/New York Daily News
Eduardo Sandoval’s permanent scar. The two workers accused as perpetrators in the lawsuit have both been fired. They’ve blamed each other, sources said.


A severely autistic man was branded with a searing-hot potato masher by at least one staffer at a Bronx group home for the mentally disabled, leaving him physically and emotionally scarred, a lawsuit charges.

Eduardo Sandoval, 24, has the mental capacity of a toddler and was incapable of identifying the person who attacked him at the Leake & Watts residential facility last June. His torso is permanently disfigured by the distinctive pattern of the kitchen utensil, his older brother said.

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Muslim Extremists in Somalia Seize, Torture Convert from Islam

Al Shabaab rebels monitor movement of Somali Christian returning from Kenya for visit.

Somali refugees in border town of Liboi, Kenya, en route to other parts of Kenya. (UNHCR photo)

Somali refugees in border town of Liboi, Kenya, en route to other parts of Kenya. (UNHCR photo)

NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – Muslim militants still controlling part of the Lower Shebelle Region of Somalia have jailed and tortured a Christian for converting from Islam, sources said.

Al Shabaab rebels seized Hassan Gulled, 25, on March 23 in Bulo Marer near Qoryoley District, they said. Gulled, who had fled to Kenya in 2007 in search of safety and a better life, had left Kenya on Feb. 27 to visit family in Somalia, sources said.

Gulled is one of dozens of Somali refugees in Kenya facing dangers from Al Shabaab extremists as they return to Somalia following the establishment of a new government in Mogadishu and the weakening of Al Shabaab, which once held large swathes of territory.

As Gulled was only visiting family in Somalia, his wife remained in an undisclosed city in Kenya. Al Shabaab extremists in Kenya who knew of his Christian activities there apparently contacted members of the militant group in Somalia, who monitored his movement for three weeks before seizing him, sources said.

“Four masked, armed militia from Al Shabaab took Gulled into a Land Cruiser and then drove away as family watched him helplessly,” said one source.

Another source said it was confirmed that Gulled has been jailed in Bulo Marer.

“The Al Shabaab have been torturing him to see whether he would deny his Christian faith,” the source said. “Since last week, no information has surfaced concerning Gulled. There is a possibility that he could have been killed.”

A militant Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab has a base in Bulo Marer, about 50 miles from Mogadishu. Last week, however, Somali government troops backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces had reportedly taken control of nearby Qoryoley. Al Shabaab has vowed to rid Somalia of Christians, who meet secretly due to persecution – besides Al Shabaab, the government and many in Somali society also view leaving Islam as deserving of death.

Gulled became a Christian in Kenya in 2010. He married there in 2011 and has no children.

“Gulled’s wife is very distressed and worried that she might not see her husband again,” a source said.

Many Somali members of Christian fellowships in Kenya have returned to Somalia after formation of a Somali government on Aug. 20, 2012, which replaced the Transitional Federal Government, said the source, who requested anonymity.

“Several Christian agencies are helping them settle,” he said. “But we are worried that some of our members are being monitored closely by Islamic extremists.”

Al Shabaab has lost control of several areas of Somalia since Kenyan military forces helped to dislodge them in the past year, but they are suspected in the shooting death of a Christian pharmacist on the outskirts of Kismayo in February. Two masked men killed Ahmed Ali Jimale, a 42-year-old father of four, on Feb. 18 as he stood outside his house in Alanley village (see Morning Star News, Feb. 28).

On Dec. 8, 2012 in Beledweyne, 206 miles (332 kilometers) north of Mogadishu, gunmen killed a Christian who had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam. Two unidentified, masked men shot Mursal Isse Siad, 55, outside his home, Muslim and Christian sources said (see Morning Star News. Dec. 14, 2012).

Siad and his wife, who converted to Christianity in 2000 according to a source who used to worship with them, had moved to Beledweyne from Doolow eight months before, after Somalia’s transitional federal government and African Union Mission in Somalia troops captured Beledweyne from Al Shabaab rebels.

The area was under government control and there was no indication that the killers belonged to the Al Shabaab rebels who have vowed to rid the country of Christianity, but the Islamic extremist insurgents were present in Buulodbarde, 20 kilometers (12 miles) away, and Christians believed a few Al Shabaab rebels could have been hiding in Beledweyne.

In the coastal city of Barawa on Nov. 16, 2012, Al Shabaab militants killed a Christian after accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said. The extremists beheaded 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose after monitoring his movements for six months, sources said (see “Morning Star News, Nov. 17, 2012).

Mose drew suspicion when he returned to Barawa, in Somalia’s Lower Shebelle Region, in December 2011 after spending time in Kenya, according to underground Christians in Somalia. Kenya’s population is nearly 83 percent Christian, according to Operation World, while Somalia’s is close to 100 percent Muslim.


 © 2013 Morning Star News. Articles may be reprinted with credit to Morning Star News.


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5-year-old Indian girl battles for her life after kidnapping and brutal rape

Indian activists shout slogans during a protest against the gang rape and murder of a student in New Delhi on January 15, 2013. (AFP)


By Agence France-Presse
Friday, April 19, 2013

A five-year-old Indian girl was battling for her life on Friday after being kidnapped and brutally raped in the latest incident of sexual violence which has triggered nationwide protests.

The girl was attacked inside a locked room over a 48-hour period, police said, after being abducted as she played outside on Monday in a lower-middle class area of the capital New Delhi.

“We initially registered a case of kidnapping. We have now launched a preliminary inquiry into rape and attempted murder,” Rajan Bhagat told AFP, adding a hunt was on to catch a family neighbour who is the main accused.

The child was admitted to the intensive care unit of a city hospital on Wednesday and doctors said her condition was “critical” as news channels provided wall-to-wall coverage.

“The girl was traumatised when she was brought to us. There were injuries to her lips, cheeks and chest wall. There were bruises on her neck,” R.N. Bansal, medical superintendent of a local government hospital, told NDTV news channel.

Doctors said the girl’s genital area had been mutilated and that objects had been inserted inside her, causing serious internal injuries and infection.

“We are keeping her under constant observation. The next few hours are going to be very critical,” Bansal said.

She was found after a passerby heard her crying and alerted the police.

The incident comes just months after India was shaken by the horrific gang-rape of a student in Delhi on a bus last year that triggered countrywide demonstrations and debate over the status of women and girls and their safety.

The woman succumbed to her injuries 13 days after the assault in which her attackers drove an iron rod inside her, damaging her internal organs.

The parents of the five-year-old girl, who was later moved to a better-equipped government hospital in the city, accused the police of being insensitive in their investigation.

“They were reluctant to register our complaint (that she was missing) when we approached them the first time. Then the police asked us to be content with the fact she was at least found alive,” the father of the girl said.

Scores of protesters gathered outside the hospital Friday where the child was admitted and shouted abuse at police for failing to investigate her disappearance properly.

Women’s rights activists condemned the incident, saying the injuries inflicted on the girl were shocking.

“This incident shows what kind of brutes do we have in society. Society is also responsible for this. It has become full of perverts,” said Ranjana Kumari of the Delhi-based Centre for Social Research.


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Christians Tortured in Egyptian Mosque

Egyptian mosque turned into house of torture for Christians after Muslim Brotherhood protest

Published March 26, 2013


Amir Ayad lies in a hospital bed after he was allegedly beaten by Islamic hardliners who stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo. (MidEast Christian News)

Mideast Egypt_Wils.jpg

Protesters chant in front of the general prosecutor’s office in Cairo this week after the arrest of a prominent blogger and four others following violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)


Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is under fire from Copts and moderate Muslims, but violent militias are fighting his opponents in the streets. (AP) (AP/Egypt State TV)

Islamic hard-liners stormed a mosque in suburban Cairo, turning it into torture chamber for Christians who had been demonstrating against the ruling Muslim Brotherhood in the latest case of violent persecution that experts fear will only get worse.

Such stories have become increasingly common as tensions between Egypt’s Muslims and Copts mount, but in the latest case, mosque officials corroborated much of the account and even filed a police report. Demonstrators, some of whom were Muslim, say they were taken from the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in suburban Cairo to a nearby mosque on Friday and tortured for hours by hard-line militia members.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back. The floodgates are open.”

– Shaul Gabbay, University of Denver professor on Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

“They accompanied me to one of the mosques in the area and I discovered the mosque was being used to imprison demonstrators and torture them,” Amir Ayad, a Coptic who has been a vocal protester against the regime, told MidEast Christian News from a hospital bed.

Ayad said he was beaten for hours with sticks before being left for dead on a roadside. Amir’s brother, Ezzat Ayad, said he received an anonymous phone call at 3 a.m. Saturday, with the caller saying his brother had been found near death and had been taken to the ambulance.

“He underwent radiation treatment that proved that he suffered a fracture in the bottom of his skull, a fracture in his left arm, a bleeding in the right eye, and birdshot injuries,” Ezzat Ayad said.

Officials at the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque said radical militias stormed the building, in the Cairo suburb of Moqattam, after Friday prayers.

“[We] deeply regret what has happened and apologize to the people of Moqattam,” mosque officials said in a statement, adding that “they had lost control over the mosque at the time.”

The statement also “denounced and condemned the violence and involving mosques in political conflicts.”

The latest crackdown is further confirmation that the Muslim Brotherhood’s most hard-line elements are consolidating control in Egypt, according to Shaul Gabbay, a professor of international studies at the University of Denver.

“It will only get worse,” said Gabbay. “This has been a longstanding conflict, but now that the Muslim Brotherhood is in power, it is moving forward to implement its ideology – which is that Christians are supposed to become Muslims.

“There is no longer anything to hold them back,” he continued. “The floodgates are open.”

Gabbay said the violent militias that allegedly tortured Ayad work hand-in-hand with police and may, in fact, be beyond the control of increasingly unpopular President Mohammed Morsi. While he may benefit from roving bands that attack demonstrators, they also undermine his claim of being a legitimate leader.

“Egyptian society is split over the Morsi regime, and it is not just a Coptic-Muslim split,” Gabbay said. “The less conservative elements of the Muslim society are increasingly uneasy with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Christian Copts are an easy target, but they are not alone in their mistrust of the Brotherhood.”

Experts agreed that the Copts, who comprise roughly 10 percent of the nation’s 83 million people, are not alone in their opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood, which took power in hotly contested elections following the 2011 ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak. Moderate Muslims and secular liberals are increasingly uncomfortable with the Islamization of the government.  

Sheikh Ahmed Saber, a well-known imam and official in Egypt’s Ministry of Endowments, has blasted Morsi’s justice ministry for allowing persecution of Copts.

“All Egyptians in general are oppressed, but Christians are particularly oppressed, because they suffer double of what others suffer,” Saber told MCN.


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Government arrests, tortures missionaries for ‘illegal’ religious activity


The Libyan government has now arrested seven people for preaching the gospel and tortured at least one, claiming the missionaries are a threat to national security.

Morningstar News reported that among the seven arrested are at least three Egyptians, in addition to a Swedish-American missionary, a South African and a South Korean.

Middle East analyst Raymond Ibrahim reported that the leader of the Libyan security forces, Hussein Bin Hmeid, claimed the missionary activities threaten Libya’s “national security.”

Bin Hmeid tried to justify the Islamic ban on free speech, Ibrahim said, noting proselytizing is forbidden in Libya.

The Libyan official said: “We are a 100-percent Muslim country, and this kind of action affects our national security.”

Ibrahim pointed out that “Muslim governments – most notably Iran’s – constantly suppress any talk of Christianity, claiming it threatens ‘our national security.’”

Arrrests for promoting another religion as an act of preserving “national security” underscores what Ibrahim called a “tribal mentality.”

International Christian Concern Middle East analyst Aidan Clay noted that in Libya, Egypt and several Middle Eastern countries, “Islamists have gained significant political influence, and sentences against proselytizing, blasphemy and apostasy are being enforced to an extent never seen under former dictatorships.”

He added that Libya is showing its true intentions with the arrest of the seven foreigners. However, he said the arrest of the seven is only one of several anti-Christian actions.

In December, two Egyptian Christians were killed in a bomb blast at a Coptic church in the Mediterranean town of Dafniya, Clay said.

“Christian graves have also been routinely vandalized in the country for more than a year.”

More recently, Catholic nuns living in three communities in eastern Libya left their congregations following increasing threats by Islamists, he said.

Citing Father Dominique Rezeau, Clay said there were as many as 100,000 Christians in Libya before the country’s revolution, primarily among the expatriate community, but today only a few thousand remain.

He anticipates that conditions for Libya’s small Christian community will only grow more severe.

“Islamists are growing bolder with every new accusation against a Christian or other minority for proselytizing or being involved in some other type of ‘illegal’ religious activity. Sadly, the arrests of Christians and attacks on the Christian community are bound to escalate as a result,” he said.

Ibrahim said public pressure can help secure the release of the prisoners.

“As for publicity helping secure their releases, based on my observations, yes: whenever the plight of a Christian minority suffering under Islam’s anti-Christian laws actually gets sufficient media attention – like the Iranian pastor and the Pakistani girl – they are eventually released,” he said.

Ibrahim added that he doesn’t expect any protests from the White House.

“As for Obama – considering the extent he and his administration went to cover up the Benghazi diplomatic facility attack – I do not expect he will want to address this matter, either,” he said. “For, once again, we get to see how the government he helped install is no friend to freedom, to Americans, or to Christianity.”


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Two North Koreans Killed for Christian Faith

Two North Korean Christians have died because of their faith, a global persecution watchdog group revealed today.

(Photo: Reuters/KRT via Reuters TV)
North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un looks on during the memorial for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, in this still image taken from video December 29, 2011.  –  By Stoyan Zaimov

Opens Doors USA confirmed the deaths of the two Christians, revealing that one was shot while he was leaving for Bible training in China, and that another one died in a labor camp in North Korea.

“He was very excited about his new faith and wanted to share the Gospel with his family,” an unnamed Open Doors worker said in a statement. “He wanted to come back to China to study the Bible more so he could explain the Christian faith better to his family. It is heartbreaking that he was killed. I cannot stop thinking: ‘If only he had arrived a little later at the border river, the guard would not have seen and shot him. He could still be alive today.'”

The other Christian who was killed also apparently took Bible courses in China, but returned to North Korea eight months later. Open Doors says that he was a dedicated and faithful Christian, which is a criminal offense in North Korea, punishable by prison and even death. When authorities found out about his faith, they sent him to one of their notorious prison labor camps.

“We just received an update that he was dead,” Open Doors said. “He was terribly tortured because of his faith. He was also forced to do heavy labor while hardly receiving any food. Before his return to North Korea, he was baptized and willing to deal with the all the hardships he had to face. We never tell people to go back to North Korea, but he was happy to. We are devastated to hear about these murders. We know Christians die for their faith almost every day in North Korea, but it is still hard to deal with.”

The watchgroup, which reports on Christian persecution around the world, has had North Korea as No. 1 on its list of most oppressive countries in the world for 11 years running.

“Nowhere else in the world is the persecution of Christians so intense. Even the possession of the Bible is enough to be killed or sent to a labor camp for life with your family,” Open Doors says. The organization added that between 200,000 and 400,000 Christians may be living in North Korea, but official figures are hard to come by since profession of faith must be kept a secret. Of those believers, as many as 50,000 to 70,000 are believed to be living in concentration camps, where some face a grim death.

“There is no religious freedom whatsoever in North Korea. People are simply killed if they believe in Jesus,” a North Korean refugee whose name was withheld for security reasons told Open Doors. “Kim Jong-Un is a god and there cannot be any god besides him. Yes, there are church services in North Korea, but only when foreigners are present. The state calls up some locals to be present. There is no freedom of religion, speech or press in North Korea.”

In December, a U.S. citizen connected to a Protestant group was reportedly arrested in North Korea. Details of his case remain vague, but sources have said that authorities found in his possession a computer with “delicate information” about North Korea. The information in question allegedly referred to photos of orphans and the struggles people face, which the Pacific nation does not want to be spread around the world.