Islamic Extremists Kill Somali Christian Convert

Story here: http://www.persecution.org/suffering/ICCnews/newsdetail.php?newscode=8208&title=islamic-extremists-kill-somali-christian

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Iran: Death to non-Muslims

Lawmakers in Iran are considering a proposal to make the death penalty automatic for those who leave the Muslim faith.

Abe Ghafari of Iranian Christians International, Inc. (ICI) was at least a little surprised to learn the news. “Before, it was like an option that an Islamic judge could decide to use or not to use — but now it will become an automatic thing. And from the language of the legislation, it seems like something that cannot be appealed,” Ghafari contends.

The death penalty would primarily apply to those who convert to the Christian faith. “There are large numbers of conversions from Islam, maybe even in the tens of thousands every year, and this is causing concern in the Islamic circles in Iran,” Ghafari explains.

People who use the Internet to convert people away from the Muslim faith will also be subject to the death penalty. Ghafari was asked if this information shocked him. “Yes, it does a bit because we do know that under Islamic law of Iran, there was always this option of issuing death penalties for any conversions from Islam. So this was already available, but it looks like they just want to escalate persecution – making the death penalty almost automatic for anyone who converts from Islam,” Ghafari adds.

While Christians are the primary target, anyone converting to the Bahá’í faith will also face the death penalty. Ghafari sees trouble ahead, and is hopeful Christians everywhere will pray for the underground church in Iran.

Information on legislation provided by ICI about Iranian apostasy and the death penalty is available here.

Religious Persecution (Algeria)

Four Algerians who converted to Christianity have been condemned to prison and heavy fines, while two others were set free after renouncing their conversion.

The defence lawyer said the four were charged with “illegally practicing a non-Muslim faith,” the French news agency AFP reported.

Attorney Khelloudja Khalfoun said one of the converts was sentenced to six months in prison and fined USD3,087, while the other three were sentenced to two months in prison and fined USD1,544 each.

The four converts, who were condemned by a court in Tiaret, refused to deny their faith, in contrast with the two others who were freed. Kheloudja told AFP that he would appeal the verdict, since only the ones who admitted they had converted were found guilty.

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Christian Converts on Trial For Non-Muslim Prayer (Algeria)

ALGIERS, MAY 21 – For the first time in Algeria a trial against an Algerian woman converted to Christianity was launched yesterday in Tiaret (400 km west of Algiers). The woman was accused of having “practised a non-Muslim prayer without authorisation”. In fact, the girl was not arrested while praying, but on a bus and because of some gospels that she had with her. “The charge however is not for proselytism, for the first time,” daily El Watan writes adding “the liberty to practice freely the Christian faith is really brought into question”. According to the daily, Habiba, under 30 and converted to Christianity for four years, would not renounce her religion just to avoid the court. “Either it is the mosque or the court,” Tiaret’s prosecutor intimidated her during the first conversation, as El Watan writes. “Did they make you drink from the water which will carry you straight to paradise?”, the judge in court asked yesterday. Habiba was arrested on a bus heading to Oran. The police discovered in her backpack twelve religious books. The girl defended herself saying that these were personal texts and were not intended for other people. The Religious Affairs Ministry instituted a civil action and the prosecutor demanded yesterday a three-year prison sentence. The sentence will be pronounced on Tuesday. Together with the woman, another six members of Tiaret’s Christian community accused of proselytism will stand trial. (ANSAmed).