Durban II – Indonesia (Nth Sulawesi and Papua) – Iraq – Pakistan

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Religious Liberty Alert | Week ending Friday 01 May 2009  



To avoid a flood of boycotts, the preparatory 'Outcome Document' omitted the controversial clauses against defamation of religion. Whilst religious freedom was not the issue it threatened to be, still, the conference not only failed to address racism (which frequently impacts religious communities) but actually incited it. 

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer asks why not one single racist human rights abuser - not Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Libya or Ian (amongst others) - was reviewed. 

Why Did Durban Review Fail to Review A Single Abuser?United Nations Durban Review Conference Statement by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer Geneva, 23 April 2009



Police found Rev Frans Koagow (64) and his wife Femy Kumendong (73) at their home, killed with machetes. The couple lived in Manado, capital of North Sulawesi Province, where a majority of Sulawesi Island Christians live. Two as yet unidentified men visited the Koagow home on a motorbike around 7 am that morning. Nothing was stolen. 

Protestant clergyman and wife killed with machetes
Asia News | 27 April 2009


Amidst escalating religious and ethnic tensions, and in the face of rapid Islamisation, Indonesia has ordered the International Committee of the Red Cross out of Papua. 

Indonesia tells ICRC to leave PapuaRadio New Zealand | 23 April 2009http://www.rnzi.com/pages/news.php?op=read&id=46139 



Iraq is seeing a marked escalation in sectarian violence, involving not only well-reported mass killings by suicide bombing, but the targeted executions of non-Muslims. 

** Christians ** 

In two separate attacks on Sunday 26 April, gunmen shot five Chaldean Catholic Christians in their Kirkuk homes, killing three and injuring two. In the first attack, cousins Suzan Latif David and Muna Banna David were murdered; and in the second attack Yousif Shaba and his sons Thamir and Basil were shot.Basil (17) was killed. Yousif and Thamir are in a critical condition in the same area, leaving the 17-year-old Basil dead. The families were peaceful and not politically active. Clerics believe they were targeted specifically because of their faith. 

Gunmen Kill Christians in Kirkuk, Iraq
Compass Direct | 28 April 2009

Kirkuk: commando brigade attacks two Christian families, three killed
Asia News | 27 April 2009

According to Barnabas Fund, the following ultimatum has been posted on various websites: "The General Secretariat of the Adherent of Islam Brigade has decided to address the final warning to ... the infidel Christian Crusaders ... and order you to leave immediately, in masses and permanently from the Muslim countries. There is no place for you infidel Christians among the Muslim believers in Iraq from now on. Otherwise, our swords will be legalized over your neck." 


** Mandaeans (disciples of John the Baptist)** 

The Australian Sabian Mandaean Association has been advised that at about 9 am on Sunday 19 April 2009 three Mandaeans were shot dead in their jewellery shops in the Tobje (Al Salam) district of Baghdad. The assailants used pistols with silencers. Those killed were Anaas Hytham Hamid, Hytham Hamid Khodaer and Loay Asaad Hani. Two other Mandaeans, Asaad Hani and Firas Shaker Gulam, were injured in this attack and are receiving treatment in hospital. The assailants stole all the money and stock in the shops then fled in three cars. The Mandaean Supreme Council in Iraq has tried several times to bring to the attention of the Iraqi government the fact that the Mandaeans are continuously targeted and attacked but the Iraqi authorities have taken no effective action. 

SEE ALSO Iraq: Mandaean Persecution Leaves Community Broken with Little Hope
Jubilee Campaign | 24 April 2009

UNHCR: As noted in the UNHCR's Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International Protection Needs of Iraqi Asylum Seekers (dated April 2009), Iraq's religious minorities are particularly vulnerable.



Clashes between political and ethnic groups erupted in Karachi last week. In one clash three members of the Christian community were injured. Unidentified elements had painted pro-Taliban and anti-Christian graffiti on the church. Accounts of what happened after that vary. Most Christian media report that Christians were attacked by Islamic extremists as they either erased the graffiti or protested peacefully. The Pakistan Daily Times which is a reliable source reported that 'scores of people belonging to the Christian community'protested with anti-Pashtun slogans and vandalised Pashtun property. This brought the Pashtuns (Pakhtoons) out in force for the fatal clash. The true Church does not have control over all those who identify as part of the 'Christian community'. However, the true Church is most likely to be targeted in any reprisal. 

Taliban attack Christians in Karachi
Asia News by Qaiser Felix | 23 April 2009

Four, including an 11-year-old boy, wounded in crossfire; houses and shops set ablaze: Pro-Taliban graffiti on church walls spurs violence.
Daily Times By Faraz Khan | 23 April 2009

Meanwhile, the al-Qaeda-Taliban Spring Offensive into Buner district hasbrought the Taliban to within 100km of Islamabad. Taliban elements have also infiltrated Haripur district which borders the outskirts of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The Taliban is also entering Mansehra district through whichruns the strategic Karakoram Highway, a paved highway that links Pakistan to the Pakistani-controlled Northern Areas of Kashmir, and the Muslim Uyghur-dominated Xinjiang Province of Western China. http://www.longwarjournal.org/  

Taliban takeover of Pak is inevitable, imminent
Rediff News | 24 April 2009


Digest compiled by Australian Evangelical Alliance (AEA) Religious LibertyCommission (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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