Iraq - New Zealand - Nigeria - Pakistan - United Kingdom

General February 20, 2009

 Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 20 February 2009 

http://www.ea.org.au/ReligiousLiberty/Alerts.aspx

IRAQ 

Iraq has criticised EU countries who have sought to offer asylum to Iraqi Christians, denying claims that they are persecuted and their lives are at risk. 'According to Christian leaders, Iraq had a Christian population of 800,000 before the 2003 US-led invasion, 250,000 of whom have left the country.'  

'EU should not goad Iraqi Christians to leave'
Press TV | 17 February 2009
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=85977§ionid=351020201 

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NEW ZEALAND 

New Zealand has granted refugee status to Ali Panah, a Christian convert from Islam who fears persecution if returned to his home in Iran. 

Hunger strike pivotal for Iranian refugee
Stuff | 16 February 2009 http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/4849595a11.html 

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NIGERIA 

'A Nigerian Christian has been freed after being wrongly imprisoned by a Sharia court in northern Nigeria for 300 days.' 

Nigerian Christian freed after false imprisonment for 'blasphemy'
Christian Today | 16 February 2009
http://www.christiantoday.com/article/nigerian.christian.freed.after.false.imprisonment.for.blasphemy/22535.htm 

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PAKISTAN 

In exchange for peace in the Swat Valley, the regional government has agreed to the imposition of Sharia law. The insurgent leader, Mullah Fazlullah (33), 'has declared a holy war against the Pakistani Government and in effect established a parallel Islamic regime'.  

Violence still a threat in Swat Valley despite Sharia deal
The Times | 19 February 2009 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5762527.ece 

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Assist News reports, 'Two female Christian students of Fatima Memorial Hospital's nursing school in the Pakistani city of Lahore, have been accused of desecrating verses of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, days after their Muslim room-mates desecrated a picture of Jesus Christ which they had hung in a shared hostel room.' 

Pakistan: Two female Nursing students accused of blasphemy
Assist News | 16 February 2009 http://www.assistnews.net/STORIES/2009/s09020092.htm 

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The Christian prayer room for nursing staff at a Children's Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan was closed by Hospital Administrators because 'allocation of a prayer room at a government building for followers of any religion other than Islam was unconstitutional'. 

Christian prayer room at Pakistan Nursing School closed
Assist News | 14 February 2009 http://www.assistnews.net/STORIES/2009/s09020084.htm 

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UNITED KINGDOM 

The Church of England has made statements this week after media coverage about a range of 'Christians being ostracised in their workplace because of their faith ... referring to the "seeming intolerance and illiberality" aimed at their faith by public bodies'.  

Wake up to intolerance against Christians, Archbishop of York says
Times of Malta | 18 February 2009 http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20090218/world-news/wake-up-to-intolerance-against-christians-archbishop-of-york-says 

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Digest compiled by World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission (RLC). All URL links were active when the digest was issued. Whilst the RLC has taken every care in selecting the items included, their authenticity depends on the original source.  

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