Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 27 June 2008

General June 27, 2008

* AMERICA: Daniel and Sharon Dixon have been fired from managing and providing maintenance for an apartment complex owned by Hallmark Companies and Hallmark Management for being 'too religious'. The couple displayed a stained glass artwork 'Consider the lilies ... Matthew 6:28' in their office at the Thornwood Terrace Apartments. The Dixons have filed a lawsuit against the company claiming they were 'discriminated against on the basis of their religious beliefs'.

BIBLE CITATION COSTS COUPLE JOBS, HOME
World Net Daily | 20 June 2008
http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67635


* AZERBAIJAN: F18News reports, 'Ilya Zenchenko, head of Azerbaijan's Baptist Union, has condemned the arrest yesterday (20 June) of Baptist pastor Hamid Shabanov after police claim to have found an illegal weapon in his home. Shabanov's family insist he has no weapon and that police planted the gun they claim to have found.' Shabanov is the second Baptist minister to be arrested in Aliabad in what is described by Baptists in the country as another example of official harassment.

AZERBAIJAN: Shock at second Baptist pastor arrest
F18News | 21 June 2008
http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1146


* EGYPT: Egypt continues to deport Eritrean migrants including Christians fleeing religious persecution. 'The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR has objected to the mass deportations, which could violate the prohibition on sending people home who have a well-grounded fear of persecution.'

Egypt moves more Eritreans slated for deportation
Reuters | 20 June 2008
http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnL20639767.html

Egypt crackdown on African migrants hits Eritreans
Reuters | 26 June 2008
http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnL26606518.html


* FRANCE: A 17-year-old French Jew is in hospital after a fight broke out between youths. The attack has been described by prosecutors as anti-Semitic and five people were detained after the attack.

PROSECUTORS OPEN PROBE INTO PARIS ATTACK ON JEW
Reuters | 24 June 2008
http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL2455843020080624


* JORDAN: Christian missionaries have been 'expelled' from Jordan for 'carrying out proselytising activities under the cover of humanitarian aid operations' to the Bedouins near the country's capital Amman. Jordan is an Islamic state and it is illegal to try to convert Muslims to Christianity.

CHRISTIAN GROUP EXPELLED FROM AMMAN, ACCUSED OF PROSELYTISING AMONG THE MUSLIMS
Asia News | 21 June 2008
http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=11585


* IRAN: Compass Direct News reports, 'Security police officials in Tehran this month tortured a newly converted couple and threatened to put their 4-year-old daughter in an institution after arresting them for holding Bible studies and attending a house church.' The couple were threatened by police that the next time they were caught they would be charged with apostasy, a crime that can be punishable by death in Iran. The couple continue to be intimidated by locals threatening them if they do not profess Islam as their faith.

IRAN: CONVERT COUPLE ARRESTED, TORTURED, THREATENED
Compass Direct News | 25 June 2008
http://www.compassdirect.org/en/display.php?page=news&lang=en&length=long&idelement=5448&backpage=archives&critere=&countryname=&rowcur=0


* PAKISTAN: Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan were kidnapped 'at gunpoint' on 21 June by Islamic militants from a prayer meeting, held overnight and released the following day. '"Christians are being victimised and harassed in the struggle here," Humphrey Peter, secretary of the synod of the Church of Pakistan, told Ecumenical News International on June 23.'

PAKISTAN: CHRISTIANS 'LIVING IN TERROR' AFTER KIDNAPPING
Episcopal Life Online | 23 June 2008
http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81808_98176_ENG_HTM.htm


* THAILAND (Hmong refugees from Laos): The Bangkok post reports, '5000 Hmong marched out of the Huay Nam Khao camp in Phetchabun on Friday [Thailand] ... attempting to walk to Bangkok to draw international attention to their flight.' Following the protest Thai authorities have begun forcibly repatriating Hmong refugees, despite continuing religious persecution against Lao and Hmong Christians and religious minorities in Laos.

FORCED REPATRIATION
Bangkok Post | 23 June 2008
http://www.bangkokpost.com/230608_News/23Jun2008_news08.php

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