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April 3, 2013|11:07 amMerely having the Christian Scriptures, which likely were smuggled across the border from China, put the unknown woman under suspicion of converting to Christianity, and perhaps even sharing her new faith with others. Our research, drawn from United Nations studies, U.S. governmental sources, newspaper accounts and documentation from churches, think tanks and human rights groups, found that in North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, Christian conversion is treated as a capital crime or otherwise severely punished.The right of conversion, as long as it is not forced, is an integral part of the fundamental human right to religious freedom. Yet, as we document in our new book, "Persecuted," in many countries, in various parts of the world, and stemming from various motives, religious conversion draws horrific reprisals.In his report to the United Nations General Assembly last year, the U.N. special rapporteur on religious freedom, Heiner Bielefeldt, found that "[c]ountless reports of grave violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief relate to converts and those who try to convert others by means of noncoercive persuasion."Persecution for conversion to Christianity – a faith with the "Great Commission" to share the Gospel - is rising globally, along with persecution of some very long-established, even 2000-year-old, Christian communities. Persecution typically happens in places where Christians are a minority, where communist ideology still holds sway, in the Muslim world, or where conversion is seen as a threat to national identity.Iran is a prime example of the growing number of states that harshly punish converts for apostasy from Islam. In January, the Rev. Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American citizen, was sentenced to eight years imprisonment in Tehran's brutal Evin Prison for his own conversion, as well as for his ministry with Iran's burgeoning underground evangelical churches. Another Christian pastor, Yousef Nadarkhani, who was first jailed in 2009 and sentenced to death, was released from prison earlier this year after international pressure.Follow us In September 2012, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said "scores of other Christians appear to remain in detention for freely practicing their religion," and that over the past two years more than 300 Christians have been arrested and detained arbitrarily in Iran. These arrests result from accusations of proselytizing.In Egypt, perceived apostates face many difficulties. In January, an Egyptian court sentenced Nadia Mohamed Ali and her seven children to 15 years imprisonment for reconverting to Christianity. Born a Christian, Nadia converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim man; after his death, she returned to Christianity and ran into trouble when she had the family's official identity cards changed to reflect this.Saudi Arabia requires all its nationals be Muslims and can punish apostasy with beheading. Christian converts also risk honor killings, being murdered by their relatives. In 2008, Gulf News reported that Fatima Al-Mutairi was "burned to death and her tongue had been cut out" by her Saudi father, a religious policeman, after her brother discovered a photo of a cross on her computer screen.A 2012 study by the Washington based Pew Research Center found that proselytism, or talking about one's faith to others, was specifically restricted by central or local governments in 66 countries.An example occurred on March 10, 2013, in Libya, where Ezzat Hakim Atallah, a 45-year-old Coptic Christian from Egypt, was reported tortured to death with electric shocks by security police in order to exact a confession of proselytizing. Five other Copts detained with him remain jailed.Though India is renowned for its religious pluralism, various states in India, influenced by Hindu nationalists, have anti-conversion laws. Ostensibly to protect against coerced conversion from Hinduism, some are so vaguely worded that even spiritual benefits or charity work could be deemed illegal inducements. The worst abuses occur when, stirred by their local political and religious leaders, Hindu mobs riot against entire Christian families or villages. In fact, around the world, the Pew Research study finds generally that social hostilities are 2.5 times higher when governments limit conversion.Vietnam's leaders seem to view converting to Christianity in northwest provinces among the Hmong and in the Central Highlands among various ethnic tribes to be a security threat. In addition to suffering beatings and imprisonment and having their homes torn down and property confiscated, some converts there have been forced to "reconvert" to traditional practices of ancestor worship.Converts to various other faiths are persecuted as well, usually by the same forces that punish Christian conversion. Members of the Bahai faith, a religion that acknowledges a prophet after Islam's Prophet Mohammed, are deprived of all constitutional rights in Iran and their entire leadership is serving a 20-year sentence. Similarly, the Ahmadi Muslim community is targeted under blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Converting others to Islam is punished in parts of India by Hindu nationalists. Koranists in Egypt and outspoken moderate Muslims in Saudi Arabia are persecuted for their unorthodox beliefs.The U.N.'s Bielefeldt concludes that persecution for conversion has become a "human rights problem of great concern."Couched in U.N. diplomatic language, this is a sound of alarm. Recent decades have seen the rapid global spread of Christianity and many thousands of Asians and Africans who are choosing to become Christians are paying a very steep price.It is time that the West, including Western Christians, end their indifference and recognize this for what it is: an egregious human rights violation.We must raise our voices for those facing the executioner's sword, detention camps or other atrocities for their beliefs just as we do for other human rights victims. As the Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in opposing Nazi persecution, had once reminded his fellow Germans: "Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."Nina Shea is director of Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and co-author of Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (Thomas Nelson Publishers, March 2013).Authors: RSS ChristianPost.com

Jesus-News weiterlesen http://www.christianpost.com/news/my-take-what-real-persecution-looks-like-93185/

Wie aus einem tieffliegenden Flugzeug sah ich zunächst aus der Vogelperspektive ein unendlich weites Feld. Als ich näher kam erkannte ich, dass es aus lauter facettenartigen Räumen bestand, die in den buntesten Farben schimmerten. Die Räume waren nicht statisch, sondern wie pulsierende Zellen. Auf die Frage, was das sei, antwortete Gott: "Das sind die Räume in meinem Vaterherzen! Jeder Mensch hat hier einen Raum in meinem Innersten. Im nächsten Moment fand ich mich in einem dieser Räume wieder..."

Da sagte Gott: „Dies ist der Raum der Begegnung, dein Raum in meinem Vaterherzen. Du sollst wissen, dass Du einen festen Platz in meinem Herzen hast! Hier kommen nur Du und ich hinein! Und wir füllen den Raum mit dem Besonderen unserer Beziehung!" Wenn Ihr euch euren eigenen Raum der Begegnung anschauen könntet, würdet ihr sehen, dass die Wände voll mit Bildern sind; Bilder, in denen euch vertraute Situationen ablaufen. Wie eine Sammlung von Orten, an denen ihr schon einmal gewesen seid. Aber nur solche Orte, an denen ihr glücklich ward: perfekte Augenblicke eures Lebens!

Gott sagte dazu: „Glaube mir, mein Kind, es gibt keine perfekten Augenblicke ohne mich! Manchmal war Dir meine Gegenwart gar nicht bewusst. Oft warst Du mehr mit der Schönheit der Natur oder anderer Dinge beschäftigt, als an mich zu denken. Aber ich war dabei und habe diese Augenblicke mit Dir genossen. Und das macht sie zu vollkommenen Momenten Deines Lebens.“
Es würde Euch wahrscheinlich genauso gehen wie mir, dass Ihr euch gar nicht sattsehen könnt an all der Schönheit in diesem Raum. Der Raum war voller Bewegung und Dynamik, es gab keinen Stillstand, und doch strahlt alles Ruhe aus, kein Stress. Ich weiß nicht was Ihr sehen würdet, aber da wären bestimmt vertraute Klänge, Gerüche, Bilder voller positiver Assoziationen!

Und Gott sagt zu Euch: „Ja mein Kind, ich liebe deine Art, wie du lebst, mich liebst und anbetest. Das ist einzigartig. So, wie Du mich liebst mit all deinen Gaben und Talenten, kann mich kein anderer Mensch auf der Welt lieben!“ Ich empfinde bei diesen Worten eine solche Wertschöpfung und Achtung meiner Person, weil Gott alle Dinge in meinem Leben wichtig sind. Er wartet im Raum der Begegnung auf mich und will Gemeinschaft mit mir haben! Ist das nicht unglaublich? Der Schöpfer des Universums wartet auf mich und Dich?

Als nächstes sah ich das Vaterherz wieder aus der Vogelperspektive. Mir fiel auf, dass nicht alle Räume schillernd bunt und pulsierend waren, sondern geradezu blass und farblos. Gott sagte dazu: „Das sind die Räume, die nur selten betreten werden. Manche nur am Sonntag, andere nur an Weihnachten. Ich warte dort vergeblich auf meine Kinder.“

Und dann waren da Räume, die sich wie Nebel im Morgenlicht aufzulösen begannen. „Das sind die Räume“, sagte Gott, „die nie ein Mensch betreten hat. Ich habe dort alle Tage des Lebens auf meine Kinder gewartet, aber sie kamen nicht. Sie waren zu beschäftigt oder glaubten den Lügen über mich.“

Lasst uns nicht länger warten und zusehen, wie immer mehr Räume anfangen, sich aufzulösen! Vielleicht können die J-shirts für einen Menschen um Dich herum eine echte Chance sein, das erste Mal von unserem Vater im Himmel zu hören, der total verliebt auf ihn wartet...