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“Let us therefore without ceasing hold fast by our hope and by the earnest of our righteousness, which is Jesus Christ who took up our sins in His own body upon the tree, who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, but for our sakes He endured all things, that we might live in Him. Let us therefore become imitators of His endurance; and if we should suffer for His name’s sake, let us glorify Him. For He gave this example to us in His own person, and we believed this.”

~ Polycarp (80-167), Letter to the Philippians A.D., 110-140, 8:1-2

Burghers michael saintpolycarp.jpg

This is From the Gospel Coalition

The Daily Mall and others are reporting on Said (or Sayed) Musa. Earlier I had posted a link to his letter from prison describing sexual and physical abuse. Here’s the new report:

An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.

Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.

Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.

He was arrested in May last year as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy following a crackdown on Christians within Afghanistan.

He claims he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he converted back to Islam.

But he remains defiant and said he would be willing to die for his faith.

He told the Sunday Times: ‘My body is theirs to do what they want with.’

You can also read the Compass Direct News report, which begins:

An Afghani amputee in prison for his Christian faith since May will face a judge this Sunday (Nov. 21) without legal representation or knowledge of the charges against him, according to local sources.

Denny Burk suggests that if you have Twitter, you post one of the following:

Mr. President, speak wisely and boldly, in private if necessary, for Said Musa, imprisoned in Kabul. http://dsr.gd/ezR3jW @BarackObama

Mr. President, please persuade the Afghan govt. not to execute our brother Said Musa. http://bit.ly/bQ5RLQ @BarackObama Prov. 24:10-12

Bomb outside Egyptian church kills 21, wounds more than 70 after New Year’s Mass

By MAGGIE MICHAEL , Associated Press
Last update: January 1, 2011 – 5:12 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – A powerful bomb exploded in front of a crowded Coptic Christian church a half hour into the New Year early Saturday, hitting worshippers emerging from a holiday Mass in the Egyptian city of Alexandria and killing at least 21 people in an attack that raised suspicions of an al-Qaida role.

The attack came in the wake of repeated threats by al-Qaida militants in Iraq to attack Egypt’s Christians. A direct al-Qaida hand in the bombing would be a dramatic development, as Egypt’s government has long denied that the terror network has a significant presence in the country. Al-Qaida in Iraq has already been waging a campaign of violence against Christians in that country.

Police initially said the blast came from an explosives-packed car parked outside the Saints Church in the Mediterranean port city. But the Interior Ministry later said it was more likely from a suicide bomber who blew himself up among the crowd.

Both tactics are hallmarks of al-Qaida and have been rarely used in Egypt, where the government crushed an insurgency by Islamic militants in the 1990s. Though the government denies an al-Qaida presence, Egypt does have a rising movement of Islamic hard-liners who, while they do not advocate violence, adhere to an ideology similar in other ways to al-Qaida, and there have been fears they could be further radicalized amid growing sectarian tensions between Egypt’s Muslim majority and Christian minority.

Nearly 1,000 Christians were attending the New Year’s Mass at the Saints Church, said Father Mena Adel, a priest who attended. The service had just ended, and worshippers were leaving the building when the bomb went off about a half-hour after midnight, he said.

“The last thing I heard was a powerful explosion and then my ears went deaf,” Marco Boutros, a 17-year-old survivor, said from his hospital bed. “All I could see were body parts scattered all over — legs and bits of flesh.”

Bodies of many of the dead were collected from the street and kept inside the church overnight before they were taken away Saturday by ambulances for burial amid scenes of grief and anger.

Some Christians carried white sheets with the sign of the cross emblazoned on them with what appeared to be the blood of the victims.

For the rest of the article…

SUMMARY: More than 30 people were killed and another 74 injured when five bombs exploded in the Nigerian city of Jos on Christmas Eve.  Although no group has taken credit for the blasts, authorities received threatening letters from radical Muslims in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Jos is located on the invisible line dividing Northern Nigeria (mostly Muslim) from Southern Nigeria (most Christian). In the past few years, hundreds of Christians and Muslims have been killed in and around this city. According to Human Rights Watch, “more than 13,500 people have died [in Nigeria] in religious and ethnic clashes since the end of military rule in 1999.”

On Christmas Eve 2010, five bombs went off in Jos, killing 31 and injuring 74. “Most of the injured have serious wounds,” one report stated.

Although no group has claimed responsibility, authorities suspect Muslim extremists. “For long, they have been threatening to use violence against Christians,” an official admitted. “In recent weeks, the governor’s office had received letters purported to be from some Muslim organizations threatening to attack Christians. The security officials didn’t take the threat letters seriously.”

Despite increased police patrols and additional checkpoints in the region, the government admitted a “lapse in security” and said the task force assigned to peacekeeping in Jos failed to perform as expected.

Nigeria is number 27 on the Open Doors World Watch List of worst persecutors of Christians in the world. WIN partners pray for Nigeria on Day 29 of the Window International Network Praying Through the Window 9: Global Terrorism and World Religions prayer calendar.

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