Christian Persecution Jul/Aug 2021

NAIROBI, Kenya—A mosque leader had men rape three teenaged relatives of a church pastor in western Uganda because his wife put her faith in Christ. The imam also sent a Muslim to the church’s worship services to gather information for a future attack on the church and threatened the pastor, reported morningstarnews.org.

The February 16 rapes of the pastor’s relatives—ages 19, 17, and 16—came two days after Imam Caled Bwambale Hussein learned his wife, Mariam Mbambu, trusted Christ in January and was baptized February 6.

“When my husband interrogated me about being a Christian, I refused to answer him,” Mbambu told morningstarnews.org. “Soon a Christian neighbor told me that my husband was out to kill me, hence I should escape with my children. That particular day in the evening hours, I escaped with my five children. I am thankful that the church received us.”

NEW DELHI, India
Pastor Sanjay Bhandari and his wife were attacked while drinking tea at a relative’s home in Karnataka state in April. He was tortured and later hospitalized with severe injuries, reported morningstarnews.org.

“They tortured Pastor Sanjay physically and mentally,” Santosh Satpute told the news service. “He was forced to perform Hindu rituals against his free will. The harassment and torture he went through is beyond description.”

Pastor Bhandari said he and his wife were visiting his wife’s sister when “a few men barged inside the house and, grabbing me by my shirt collar, they dragged me outside, accusing me of carrying out conversions. I tried very hard to explain that it was my relatives’ house, and that we were only paying them a casual visit, but the men refused to listen.” The relatives were believers and members of his church.

The Hindu extremists also ignored the pleas of his wife’s family. They took Pastor Bhandari outside, where 50 to 60 Hindu extremists were waiting. The mob paraded him a mile to the rented worship hall where he has led Sunday services for five years, hitting and kicking him along the way.

“They abused me and Jesus Christ in filthy language and pressured me to hail ‘Jai Sri Ram [Hail lord Ram]’ as they beat me,” he said. “They hit me on my private parts, my face, chest, and all over my body, accusing me of trying to convert my sister-in-law.” The beating severely damaged one of his eardrums.

“They warned that they would chop me to pieces if I conduct church again,” Pastor Bhandari said. He has pastored the independent church for seven years without any opposition and said he was shocked to see two people with whom he had enjoyed good relations among the assailants. “I have been to their homes and have sat and had meals at their homes,” he said. He was hospitalized for his injuries.

LAHORE, Pakistan
Two Christian nurses were arrested in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in April after complying with a supervisor’s order to remove stickers bearing verses from the Koran at a government hospital. A Muslim employee attacked one of the nurses with a knife for removing the stickers, reported morningstarnews.org.

Nurse Mariam Lal and student nurse Navish Arooj were charged under Section 295-B of Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes against “defiling the Koran” after an Islamist mob demanded “death to blasphemers” inside Civil Hospital, their attorney said. Conviction under Section 295-B is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or a fine.

The nurses were jailed for their security, according to police. Their families have gone into hiding out of fear of Islamist mobs.

To read these reports and many more in full, go to morningstarnews.org.

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