Persecution of Ex-Muslims (India)
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Young Christian girl (convert from Shi'ite Islam) kidnapped in Kashmir
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The Kashmiri convert, N, is one of only a few Kashmiri women who have become Christians. She has been involved with translation work on children's Bible stories. The ministry itself has had much pressure from the local mullahs, who have been harassing the workers to leave their homes, and issuing death threats against them.
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John Mark Ministries, May 17, 2005
Converted Christian son of devout Muslim cleric remains on death list after at least four failed attempts on his life and numerous death threats by phone and by letter
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“Last month, a few reporters came to me warning that killers were out to take me down,” Alavi said. “All my life I have had threats from fundamentalists. So I wasn’t surprised to hear this from reporters who were tipped off by a source with a radical, Indian Islamic group.” Though Muslim extremist organizations deny having any part in the attempts on his life, police officials and intelligence agencies have confirmed their role.
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In an Islamic area where Christianity is considered blasphemy, Rev. Alavi has led at least 50 Muslims – estimates range as high as 200 – to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Each year thousands of inquiries pour in. Working out of his home in Calicut, he meets curious and questioning Muslims asking about Jesus.
The threats on his life began in 1981. “A mob of Sunni Muslims stormed into my property looking for me with machetes,” he said. “I ran all the way to the police station. Later I took refuge at the home of a Hindu attorney.” The lawyer’s family fed him and eventually provided an escort back to his home.Rev. Alavi is not attacked merely for being a Christian, he said. “I happened to be the first Muslim in a Muslim town who still converts Muslims in modern times,” he said. “They saw clearly that I’m a sort of a bridge for many to walk to Jesus. They could never stand the idea. Hence I happen to be their foremost enemy.”
Vidyadar Sreeprasad, Christian Examiner, January 2006
Two Muslims kill Christian convert in broad daylight as he chats with friends in his village
Ghulam Rasool Tantray, his cousin, said: “Two militants enquired about the public transport system. As soon as my cousin finished talking, they killed him.” The two militants fled the scene on their motorbike.
After his conversion, Bashir dedicated himself enthusiastically to social projects and to evangelization in the area with an evangelical group. Shortly after he changed his religion, he had received threats against his life and escaped from his village, returning years later.
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Asia News, November 22, 2006
Mother of two forcibly stripped naked and beaten by Muslims for converting to Christianity. Prayer meeting at home and Baptism of convert at church disturbed by Muslim mobs who threaten to burn down building
The extremists warned Selina Bibi of Motijil village in Murshidabad district that if she did not return to Islam, then she must either leave the area or see her house burned down. At her baptism at Believers Church four kilometers from her home on March 29, a large crowd of Muslim extremists disrupted the service, said a pastor identified only as Bashir.
“I pleaded with them to let me at least finish the worship service before they attack us,” he told Compass.
When word of her conversion to Christianity reached her village, another extremist group from Motijil led by Jamal Shaike disrupted the service. Shaike and the others verbally abused the Christians, and he ordered his son who was present at the service to leave immediately, Bashir said.
The pastor said that on April 5, two Muslim women along with members of the extremist group summoned Selina Bibi to one of their homes and forcefully stripped her naked.
“The radicals believe that when any person from the Muslim community becomes Christian, they get Christian marks on their body,” Bashir said. “When the radicals could not find such marks, they started beating her up.”
The Muslim extremists later gathered at the local mosque and resolved to ostracize her until she returned to Islam. She lives only with her two teenage sons.
Selina Bibi told Bashir that her body bore the marks of suffering for the sake of Christ, and that she was being treated like a criminal.
“She was not allowed to buy goods from the store, nor was she allowed to sell any vegetables,” he said. “They have also restricted her from procuring water from the village well. In spite of the persecutions she constantly faces from the radicals, she has started conducting a Bible study for ladies every Thursday at her home.”After the extremist threats yesterday, study member Naseema Bibi said she and some of the other women attending the meeting went to the Murshidabad police station to file a complaint. Police called both parties, and they agreed in writing to allow each other to practice their respective faiths, and that police would prosecute any further attacks or disturbances, she said.
Compass Direct, August 6, 2011
Muslims hold three "infidel" female Christian converts hostage and threaten, "convert back to Islam or face dire consequences"
Moyazan Bibi and Aimazan Bibi of Believers Church told Compass that at 5:30 p.m. they had set out to visit a widow, Suryja Bibi, to share the message of Christ at her invitation. As they reached her house, a large mob of Muslim extremists led by Fakir Shaike, Sajahan Shaike, Manuwar Shaike, Samsul Shaike, Ahamed Shaike and Jalal Shaike blocked their way, pushed them around and verbally abused them for their faith in Christ as they threatened them.
“The extremists called us infidels and held us captive, threatening that they will call a public meeting to socially boycott us,” Aimazan Bibi said. “The extremists angrily shouted that we should not return to our homes, while they continued to mock and push us around.”
The extremists rushed Suryja Bibi, asking her why she invited “infidels” into her home as they were pushing her. One of the assailants twisted her hand, the Christian women said.
“She was injured, but by God’s grace it was not broken,” said Bashir, founder and pastor of the Believers Church. “They warned Suryja Bibi never to call the Christians to her home again or leave the area and they also threatened all the villagers with the dire consequences they will face if they attend Christian meetings or talk to any one of them.”
Suryja Bibi tried to file a police complaint the next day, July 22, but the local Muslim head and other extremists stopped her, threatening to harm her, area Christians said.
Bashir said Suryja Bibi showed interest in hearing more about Christ, and that he met her and her daughters Mamoota and Darju at his house church fellowship on July19.
“Since then, the radicals have warned them not to attend any Christian service or talk to any Christians or else they will be burned alive,” he said.
Naseema Bibi informed Bashir of the incident by phone, and he called police, he said.
“I also tried to call Aimazan,” he said. “At that time she could not take my call, as some radicals were trying to snatch her mobile phone from her.”
Moyazan Bibi said she pleaded with the assailants.
“I asked the attackers what crime have we done for them to torture us in this manner?” she said. “But the enraged extremists brutally pushed us around, furiously shouting at us to convert back to Islam or face dire consequences.”
After holding and harassing the Christian women for about an hour, the extremists fled in fear after they learned that Bashir had contacted the police, the women said.
The area was still tense at press time, with Suryja Bibi and her family unable to attend any Christian meetings as the extremists are closely monitoring them and are prepared to pounce on them at the slightest opportunity, Bashir said.
“We are trying to contact Suryja Bibi, but the radicals are not allowing any Christian to contact or meet her,” he said. “But we are praying for her safety.”
Aizama Bibi and Moyazan Bibi, who two years ago began trusting Christ as their Savior, told Compass that last December the extremists tried to chase them away from the village, threatening to burn them and their houses. They were not allowed to sell and buy in the area and were kept from using the public bathroom and the water well.
The extremists also burned the crops field of Aimazan’s husband, Gaffar. The Christians reported the matter to police, and officers warned the Muslim extremists not to disturb the Christians again.The Evangelical Fellowship of India last year reported that Muslim extremists in Natungram on Nov. 28, 2010, ostracized another member of Believers Church, keeping Chanda Bibi and her family from selling and buying. They also warned the family to stop attending church services and threatened to impose a fine on her if her family continued to follow Christ.
Compass Direct, August 6, 2011
Addressing a gathering here on Sunday, Hami said some Christian missionaries were trying to alter the Muslim majority character of Jammu and Kashmir at the behest of America and Israel. “We ask Muslims who have fallen for the trap of these missionaries and converted to Christianity to present themselves before Ulema before Eid-ul-Azha, and seek repentance from Allah,” he said.
“Otherwise, Karwani Islami and Darul-Ifta will convene a joint session of Ulema and Muftis on November 11 and issue a fatwa(decree) of social boycott against these converts,” Hami said.
Hami said the Ulema will not remain silent over the activities of Christian missionaries. “ They are luring young Muslims with money to convert and we will go to any extent to stop their activities,” he said.
Hami said, being a Muslim majority state, liquor should have been banned in Jammu and Kashmir. “Instead, the government under a well planned conspiracy is promoting liquor among youth ,” he said.
Hami said it was ironic that the government had allowed a liquor shop opposite the Children’s hospital in Sonawar. “If the government doesn’t revoke the license of the liquor shop, Karwani-i-Islami would take to the streets,” he said.He appealed youth to follow the footsteps of Hazrat Amir Kabeer, Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, and fight the conspiracies being hatched against Islam.
Kashmir Dispatch, October 30, 2011
Police in Kashmir Valley detain and beat Christian converts from Islam and are expected to arrest Christian workers after Muslim leaders allege that Muslim youth were being “lured” to Christianity
Police in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley picked up seven converts who were recently baptized in All Saints Church in Srinagar, a local Christian who spoke to the converts after their release on Nov. 2 told Compass. Srinagar is the summer capital of the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and the main city of the Kashmir Valley.
The source, who requested anonymity, said police beat the converts and asked if Christians had given them money for their conversion. Most of the converts were from Budgam district, about 18 miles from Srinagar, and pastors there fearful of being arrested were in hiding, he added.
Senior Superintendent of Police of Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari was not available for comment.
Police got the names of the converts and pastors from a video recording of the baptism provided by Kashmir’s grand mufti (the highest official of religious law), Bashir-ud-din Ahmad. The video was later posted on YouTube.
The Rev. Chander Mani Khanna, pastor of All Saints Church, told Compass that he had been summoned by the mufti, who is also the head of the sharia (Islamic law) court. He said he would meet Ahmad on Nov. 17.
The court had issued the summons for Saturday (Nov. 12), but Pastor Khanna had a prior engagement.
India, home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population, has a few sharia courts pertaining only to civil matters.
Ahmad alleged that Pastor Khanna, whose church is affiliated with the Church of North India (CNI) denomination, was converting young Muslim men and women by offering money, and that therefore he must be arrested. The mufti told media that the video was definitive evidence that Muslims were being “lured” to Christianity, although it only shows the baptism ceremony.
Pastor Khanna said the young men converted of their own will and without his persuasion.
The Indian constitution provides for religious freedom, including the right to propagate and the right to change one’s religion.
The pastor told Compass that the former Muslims, who were baptized at his church facility in August, were willing to sign affidavits saying there was no duress or allurement.
“That’s what they told the police also,” he said.
Pastor Khanna said his church is located in the heart of Srinagar, and that many Muslims come to attend worship service on Sundays.
“I have never gone to anyone’s house to share about Jesus,” he said. ‘But in the church, it is my responsibility to preach God’s Word. I can’t refuse anyone. The house of God is open for all.”
The pastor said the Muslim youths had been coming to the church on their own initiative and wanted to take part in Holy Communion. Pastor Khanna told them they had to follow a procedure if they really wanted to join in the sacrament, and they expressed desire to be baptized in due course.
“I can’t convert anyone; it is the work of the Holy Spirit,” he added. “And what do I teach in the church? God’s love and how to be good citizens and good human beings … I have never shown disrespect for the Quran.”
Pastor Khanna said there were many people, some with cameras, at the baptism ceremony.
“If it was meant to be a secret or illegal activity, we wouldn’t have allowed cameras,” he said.
Kashmir’s civil society had shown support, he added, as the church had helped build about 600 homes for the poor, apart from providing other services in the region.
Kashmir police reportedly acted on the mufti’s complaint because conversion is a sensitive issue.“The decision to book the seven was taken at the highest level to avoid possible unrest in the Valley,” The Times of India reported.
Compass Direct, November 10, 2011
Parents throw their daughter out and help Islamic "extremists" to beat her nearly unconscious, because she gave thanks to Jesus. Muslims threaten to kill a further 25 Muslim families who show an interest in Christianity
The attack on Rekha Khatoon, 22, took place on March 9 in Nutangram, Murshidabad.
“I boldly told those who beat me up that I may leave my parents, but that I will not leave Jesus,” Khatoon said. “Jesus has healed me, and I cannot forget Him.”
In a village where hard-line Muslims have threatened to kill the 25 families who initially showed interest in Christ, leaving only five frightened Christian families, Khatoon was returning from worship with Believers Church at Al Hamdulillah Hall when her parents and Muslim extremists attacked her, she said. They called her a pagan, among other verbal abuse.
The mob also harassed the Christian woman who encouraged Khatoon to trust Christ as Lord, Aimazan Bibi, said Bashir Pal, pastor and founder of the village Believers Church.
“On the same night, Rekha Khatoon’s father, Nistar Shaike, and about 20 Muslim radicals surrounded Aimazan’s house, shouted anti-Christian slogans, threatened to harm her and her family and falsely accused her of ‘luring’ Rekha to convert to Christianity,” Pastor Pal told Compass.After finding herself alone on a road after the beating, Khatoon had taken refuge in Aimazan Bibi’s home.
Compass Direct, March 21, 2012