september/october 2011

tHe AID AGeNcY For tHe persecUteD cHUrcH www.barnabasfund.org
IN tHIs IssUe
suffering church sunday 2011-12
Information, sermon outline,
resources and more inside
Christians in
south asia
a pattern of world perseCution
3
Project News
Desert bursts into
life in Egypt
To guard the safety of Christians in hostile environments,
names may have been changed or omitted. Thank you for
your understanding.
Front cover: A Christian woman in India, where Barnabas
Fund are building houses for homeless Christians
Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken
from the New International Version
®
.
Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and
obtain permission for stories and images used in this
publication. Barnabas Fund apologises for any errors or
omissions and will be grateful for any further information
regarding copyright.
© Barnabas Fund 2011
Contents
6
Christians in
South Asia
Suffering Church
Sunday 2011-12
23
Operation
Nehemiah
Equality commission
promotes freedom for
Christians
According to tradition, it was the Apostle
Thomas who first brought the Gospel to
India, starting seven churches in the south
and setting up a cross in each of the seven
towns. He is said to have converted 13,229
people, including two kings and seven
village chiefs, not so much by his preaching
as through the holiness of his life and the
miracles he performed. He is believed to
have been martyred near Mylapore, where
Hindu priests killed him because he refused
to worship the goddess Kali. Thomas is
known for his doubts, but the New
Testament shows that he was actually a
disciple who loved the Lord deeply, and the
fruit of his evangelistic work in India has
endured for two millennia.
There are indications that Thomas may also
have been to the north-west of the sub-
continent. Whether he did or not, historical
records show that, by the late 2
nd
century,
there were Christians in the region that is
now Afghanistan and Pakistan. A precious
artifact for today’s Pakistani Christians is a
small cross discovered in a field near Taxila
in 1935 and believed to date back to the 2
nd

century. It is for them tangible proof that
Christianity is part of the heritage of their
homeland. By the early 4
th
century there
was an organized indigenous Church in the
Indian sub-continent.
While the Church in south India has had a
continuous existence to this day, Christians
in the north did not fare so well. From the
11
th
century onwards, they began to face
severe difficulties from a succession of
Muslim invasions. The southward move of
the Muslim armies was eventually halted in
1344 by an alliance of Hindu states, but by
this time Christianity had probably been
largely eliminated from the centre and
north. Certainly by the time the first Western
missionaries arrived, there had been no
Christian presence there for many
generations.
We can rejoice in the Lord that there are
now national Christians in every country of
South Asia, even in Afghanistan. Yet life is
not easy for them. They face pressures from
militant Islam, the rise of fundamentalist
Hinduism, and a form of Buddhism that is
no longer a religion of peace but has
become a religion of violence. In some
countries they also face pressure from the
rise of nationalism and communism. Like
the apostle Paul, they are “hard pressed on
every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but
not in despair; persecuted, but not
abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-9).
In the midst of such pressure, the Church
continues to grow; yet, like Thomas, they
are uncertain of the future, asking their Lord
the way (John 14:5). In reply, the Lord Jesus
promised Thomas not a road map but a
relationship with Himself (John 14:6). And
He will hold their hand and lead them into
the future as, again like Thomas of old, they
continue to affirm Him as their Lord and
their God (John 20:28).
Dr patrick sookhdeo
International Director
For more information on the early history of
the Church in the Indian sub-continent see
A People Betrayed by Patrick Sookhdeo
(Christian Focus Publications and Isaac
Publishing, 2002). To order this, please visit
www.barnabasfund.org/shop, or contact
your nearest Barnabas office (addresses on
back cover).
Welcome from the Director
“Persecuted...
but not destroyed”
The Church in South Asia
24
Newsroom
Independence at last
for South Sudan
26
In Touch
Sales and sports raise
funds for Barnabas
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 2
6 Poster
7 Introduction
8 Regional profile
13 Testimony
14 Focus
16 Project update
18 Sermon outline
20 Bible study
21 Resources
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 3
Project News
thank you for supporting your persecuted christian brothers and sisters around the world. Your gifts
and prayers are a great encouragement to them and are changing their lives and situations. In these
three pages we have space to mention only a small selection of the many projects we are supporting.
please pray as you read.
“The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.”
Isaiah 35:1

The current unrest in Egypt has not deterred a
large-scale income-generating project in Egypt
from forging ahead thanks to a £38,394
(US$62,007; €44,000) grant from Barnabas.
After drilling a well, our partners transformed
more than 80 acres of desert into green
farmland where animals feed and fruit trees are
grown. They now have a successful farm where
they breed rabbits, chickens, sheep and cows.
The farm is situated in a region of high
unemployment, and 80 to 100 Christian
workers are now employed there after receiving
on-the-job training. The enterprise is self-
sufficient. And they sell their juice, meat
products and eggs in a small market shop.
Egyptian Christians often find it hard to get
work because of the discrimination they face.
project reference 11-926
Egypt:
desert
in bloom
cows, chickens and lambs are bred at the farming enterprise in egypt, which is now self-sufficient
Drilling a well in egypt to transform the desert into farmland
Many Christian children from ethnic
minorities in Burma witness horrific
brutalities at the hand of Burmese soldiers,
who sometimes will take the young ones
and force them to become child soldiers or
porters. Desperate to keep their children
safe, parents are forced to take them to
Christian-run children’s homes because
the villages where they live and work are
too dangerous.
“Ben”, a 13-year-old Christian boy at one
of the homes supported by Barnabas, says,
“I still have a father, but no mother any
Shelter for Christian children from Burma
“ben”, a 13-year-old christian boy from
burma tells us about his harrowing
experiences
project reference 75-821
more. My mother died of malaria in the jungle
while we were in hiding. I have seen Burmese
soldiers coming to villages and do bad things
to our people, I was always very scared.”
The children are safe at the homes and can
receive a Christian education. Despite the great
hardships the children have experienced, the
general atmosphere at the shelter is positive. A
recent grant of £5,940 (US$9,587; €6,782), for
one that Barnabas supports, covers, amongst
other needs, food, medicine and the salaries of
two caretakers, a nursery teacher and two
cooks for six months.
Project News
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 4
“I didn’t think that a religious book could be
so interesting!” a Bashkir woman exclaimed
after reading part of the Bible in her own
language. She continued, “I have tried to
read the Quran several times but it is
impossible to understand it. This book,
however, is easy to read.”
Barnabas is making it possible for the Bible
to be translated, sometimes into new
languages, and distributed. A Bible institute
in the Russian Federation received total
grants of £7,300 (US$11,888; €8,290) for a
Bible in the Tajik language and a New
Testament in the Bashkir language. The
Tajik Bible is almost complete and will soon
be printed. The New Testament in Bashkir, a
language spoken by 1.6 million people in
the Russian Federation, Central Asia and the
Ukraine, most of whom are Muslims, is due
for completion in 2012.
In Pakistan an Urdu study Bible and a
synopsis of the four Gospels have been
produced for the first time. Thanks to a
grant of £4,000 (US$6,459; €4,562) from
Barnabas 260 pastors, all working amongst
the poor, were given a copy of each book.
One of the pastors said, “It was my great
desire to get this Bible but could not
A pastor who works amongst the poor in pakistan
receives his own copy of the Urdu study bible
Russia and Pakistan:
Bibles in their own language
because of financial constraints; I am
therefore very delighted to get this Bible.”
project reference 00-362
(bibles and scriptures Fund)
Bangladesh and Armenia:
help in tough seasons
Winters can be surprisingly cold in Bangladesh,
leaving impoverished Christians unable to
sleep at night because of the extremely low
temperature. Barnabas assists with grants to
provide blankets for Christian families. Our
most recent grant was £6,006 (US$9,693;
€6,857).
Lakhhi, a widow who with her children has
suffered greatly from the winter cold since
her husband died, started crying when she
received a blanket. Our local contact
reports that she then raised her hands to
bless Barnabas Fund and gave thanks to
the Lord.
A freak cold summer in Armenia in 2011
ruined many crops and forced people to
forage for plant roots just to feed their
children. Barnabas Fund provided a grant of
£51,128 (US$58,372; €58,372) to help feed
400 Christian families for four months in
northern Armenia. The cost per family per
month was £128 (US$206; €146).
project references
04-854 (bangladesh)
79-719 (Armenia)
A young christian woman in bangladesh
receives a blanket to help her through the
cold winter
Emergency aid for
East Africa and Niger
“We are so moved by your concern for us...
it has been getting worse by day.” A Kenyan
Christian leader wrote this to Barnabas Fund
as the food crisis due to the serious drought
in East Africa grew more intense.
Barnabas Fund is helping Christians in the
region through local churches, and at the
time of writing we have sent grants totalling
£93,391 (US$152,544; €106,713). In Ethiopia
we have provided wheat flour; a 25kg sack
costing £10 feeds a family for a month. In
north-east Kenya we have funded maize,
rice, beans and cooking oil for families,
nutritious food and medical care for
under-fives, and bore-wells.
Over in West Africa, the low rainfall in Niger
often causes severe food shortages in the
months just before harvest-time. With our
grants totalling £265,928 (US$433,000,
€303,200) churches in Niger distributed
bags of rice and millet and tinned fruit and
vegetables to 3,408 families in rural areas.
project references
25-359 (Horn of Africa)
38-568 (Niger)
Project News
5 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
rubina bibi, who was acquitted from
blasphemy charges with the help of a
christian legal centre in pakistan
ernest and his family can now grow fruit and vegetables in their garden in the crimea
Last year a missionary couple from a
central Asian country, who received
£1,237 (US$1,996; €1,412) from
Barnabas Fund for their upkeep, moved to
a remote, Muslim-majority region of their
country where the Gospel may never have
been preached before.
They directly started witnessing to their
neighbours and telling them how they had
once been Muslims themselves, and how
a newborn faith in Jesus Christ has
completely changed their lives. As a result
20 people and four families all turned to
Christ, among them the family of a local
mullah. Because of great hostility from
Muslim neighbours and local authorities,
the missionaries visit the new converts
secretly at night.
Ernest and his family, all converts from
Islam, live in a village in the crimea,
Ukraine. He leads a small but very active
fellowship of 15 believers, most from a
Muslim background. Ernest’s family did
Christians learn how to
stand up for their rights
A conference made possible through a grant
from Barnabas of £8,903 (US$14,522;
€10,113) brought together 24 Christian
leaders, lawyers and human rights activists
from eleven countries in South and South-
East Asia where Christians face severe
persecution. At the conference they received
innovative training on how to be pro-active
in standing up for their rights. They were
shown how effective advocacy and media
Group discussion at a conference where
church leaders, christian lawyers and
human rights activists from Asia learned
how to stand up for their rights
communication can prevent the
implementation of unjust laws, and even
persuade governments to take positive
action.
Afterwards, one of the participants related,
“This seminar was an eye-opening
experience and a great challenge. I believe
God is preparing us for the future. I would
like to share what I have learned with other
Christian leaders in my country.”
Barnabas also funded a similar conference
for about 25 lawyers and church
representatives from Central Asia, where they
learned how to defend themselves better in
matters such as church registration, an issue
which is often used to harass and persecute
churches in the region.
Barnabas also supports a Christian legal
centre in Pakistan, which helps defend
Christians facing harassment and false
accusations of many kinds. In 2010 they
defended Christians free of charge in 121
court cases. In just one example, Rubina
Bibi, a young mother of three, was declared
not guilty of defiling the name of
Muhammad after four and a half months in
jail. If found guilty she would have been
sentenced to death. Our latest grant was
£20,000 (US$32,279; €22,831), which
contributed not only to the daily running
costs and legal aid of the organisation but
also to the support of their two safe houses,
one for converts from Islam and one for
Christian girls and women.
project references
41-645 (christian legal centre,
pakistan)
85-924 (conference for south and
south-east Asia)
Enabling pastors and evangelists in former Soviet states
not have their own water connection, and
every time they needed clean drinking
water, they had to fetch it several hundreds
of yards from their home.
With a grant of £1,259 (US$2,033; €1,437)
from Barnabas they were able to construct a
well in their garden. The water source has
greatly helped them in their everyday life.
Now they can grow vegetables such as
tomatoes, garlic and strawberries.
project references
00-478 (evangelist support Fund)
00-635 (Water projects Fund)
Christians in south asia: Suffering Church Sunday 2011-12
Christians in
south asia
SUFFERING CHURCH
SUNDAY 2011-2012
a pattern of world perseCution
VENUE
DATE TIME
www.barnabasfund.org
7 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010
Christians in south asia: Suffering Church Sunday 2011-12
there are many different sources of anti-christian persecution. Violent extremism is gaining
ground within several of the world’s major religions. militant communism remains a potent
force in some countries, and zealous nationalism is destabilising various others. these forces
often see christian communities as their enemy, and turn their anger upon them, with very
destructive results.
a pattern
of world
perseCution
All these elements are found in the region of South
Asia, where God’s people are a beleaguered – though
also bold – minority. Their sufferings are made worse
by the poverty and instability that afflict so many
countries, and by the natural disasters that can wreak
terrible devastation without warning. Thus the region is
a model or microcosm of anti-Christian persecution
throughout the world.
To order
8
Regional Profile
13
Testimony
14
Focus
16
Project Update
18
Sermon outline on John 13:31-38
20
Bible study on John 13:31-38
21
Resources
For this year’s Suffering Church Sunday we focus on the
Christians of South Asia and the pressures and
persecutions that they face. You may like to choose a
Sunday in November (or another month if this is better for
your church’s calendar) and use the material in the
following pages for a special service or meeting on this
theme. As you read, please remember our suffering
brothers and sisters in your prayers.
South Asia: a microcosm of world persecution
From violent persecutor to fervent evangelist
Homelessness: weapon and wound
of persecution
Barnabas supporting homeless Christians
in South Asia
“Love one another as I have loved you”
For use in home groups or personal study
Poster, PowerPoint and other materials for
your service
The resources listed on pages 21 and 22 are available
free of charge from your national Barnabas Fund
office (addresses on back cover) or from our website,
www.barnabasfund.org/scs.
7 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
8
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
Regional Profile
that devastated the same areas. The appalling
floods that swept through large parts of
Pakistan in July and August 2010 affected
more than 17 million people and destroyed at
least 1.2 million homes. Also the Indian Ocean
tsunami in 2004 struck the coasts of the
region, causing thousands of casualties in
Sri Lanka and India.
five repressive
ideologies
Within this large area, in which Christian
minorities struggle to maintain their worship
and witness in the midst of such grave
instability, five ideologies dominate the
various societies. Sometimes they are in
competition with each other; sometimes they
work in uneasy alliance; but everywhere they
are bad news for the churches.
islam
(pakistan, bangladesh,
Afghanistan, maldives)
Islam is the majority religion in four of the
South Asian countries, commanding the
adherence of between 90 and 100% of their
citizens. Pakistan and Bangladesh were
created as homelands for South Asian
Muslims. Although they began their existence
as secular states, the former was made an
Islamic republic in 1956 and a theocratic
state in 1973, while the latter adopted Islam
as its state religion in 1988. Afghanistan is
“ ·· «·· |«·- -··..·- · ·.··« .-· /- ·- .·.|·-
-··-. ···- /- ·- -·.-«· -··.·.-·- /- ·-
«/«-··- .-·.· -·- /- ·- -·.-··«·-”
. ··-|«. .··
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Five powerful ideologies hold sway
over the various nations of south Asia
and severely oppress local christians.
Indeed, most of the different forms and
sources of persecution that beset
God’s people throughout the world can
be found in this region. the poverty
endemic to the region and the
proneness of many areas to political
turmoil or natural disasters make our
brothers and sisters still more
vulnerable. Yet in some countries the
churches are growing and flourishing,
or maintaining a bold witness in face
of persecution.
In this Regional Profile we will examine
the acute challenges faced by Christians
in South Asia, as a way of surveying the
main religions and philosophies that
cause so much suffering and distress to
our Christian family all around the world.
an unstable region
South Asia covers a huge area of some
two million square miles. It is home to
more than 1.6 billion people, and among
these, Christians probably number only
about 80 million (although the figures for
some countries are disputed). The vast
majority of them live in India, but this is
much the largest nation in terms of both
territory and population, and even here
they are a small minority. There are nearly
five million in Pakistan, but in some
countries their numbers are tiny.
The economy of India is booming, but its
rural poor and urban slum-dwellers still run
to hundreds of millions. In the other
countries of the region poverty is also
widespread. Bangladesh and Nepal are
among the world’s poorest nations; most
people in Bhutan and the Maldives live at
subsistence levels; the economies of Sri
Lanka and Afghanistan have been severely
affected by war. Even in the larger nation of
Pakistan much of the population are
impoverished.
The region is also politically unstable.
Pakistan and Bangladesh have endured
repeated political upheavals over several
decades, with assassinations and military
coups. The long civil war in Sri Lanka ended
only in 2009; the conflict in Afghanistan
drags on and on. Nepal and the Maldives
have recently moved to multi-party systems
after years of autocracy, and the long-term
effects of these changes remain uncertain.
Some countries are particularly liable to
natural disasters. Bangladesh, with its
low-lying land, has suffered devastating floods
and cyclones; thousands of people died in
Cyclone Sidr in 2007. Sri Lanka has recently
been affected by a severe drought that created
desperate poverty in some parts of the
country, and then by torrential monsoon rains
south asia:
a miCroCosm of
world perseCution
also an Islamic republic, and in the Maldives
Islam is the only recognised religion.
The dominance of Islam in these nations poses
immense problems for their Christian minorities.
Discrimination. Social, political and
legal discrimination against Christians is
widespread in these countries, where, as
in most of the Islamic world, they are
regarded as second-class. In Pakistan
Christians are generally mistrusted,
suspected of siding with the “Christian”
West against their own country. Their
educational opportunities are limited:
they are given no instruction in their own
faith and face many difficulties in
obtaining university places. Most are
from the poorest stratum of society, and
many can get only the most menial jobs.
Anti-Christian discrimination in education
and employment is common also in
Bangladesh, while in the Maldives the
existence of non-Muslims is barely
recognised. The constitution expressly
forbids them from becoming citizens,
and a government minister has declared,
“All Maldivians are Muslims.” The small
number of indigenous Christians are
ostracised and carefully watched.
Violence. Violence against Christians
has been characteristic of Islam almost
from the first, and the South Asian
countries see their share of this. In
Pakistan individuals and whole Christian
communities have been brutally attacked
and their property destroyed, and in
Bangladesh several Christians, including
some evangelists, have been martyred in
recent years. In war-torn Afghanistan,
where the Taliban’s violent insurgency
has destabilised much of the country and
cost so many lives, Christians are at
particular risk of violence.
9
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Regional Profile
students at a bible college in bangladesh
that barnabas Fund has supported
Legal penalties. As in many Muslim-majority
countries, Christians are liable to harassment
and discrimination through the legal system.
The most notorious example of this problem is
Pakistan’s “blasphemy law”. Under its
provisions, desecration of the Quran carries
the punishment of life imprisonment, and
defiling the name of Muhammad incurs a
mandatory death sentence.
The law is often exploited to settle personal
scores and grudges, and Christians are
especially vulnerable to malicious, false
accusation. Although no-one has yet been
executed for blasphemy, many of those
charged have spent months or years in custody
while their cases are considered, and some
have been murdered by zealous Muslims.
Extremists in Bangladesh are demanding the
introduction of similar laws there.
the husband of pakistani christian rukhsana Abass was murdered by a muslim for not picking
up rubbish quickly enough
Ill-treatment of converts. All schools of
Islamic law prescribe the death penalty for
adult, male Muslims who choose to leave
their religion. This “apostasy law” makes
many Muslims in South Asia very hostile to
Christian converts from Islam. Television
footage of baptisms in Afghanistan in 2010
triggered a frenzied anti-Christian
response, with leading political figures
calling for the execution of converts. A
number of Christians were arrested, and at
least two were held for some months.
Forced conversion. Islam is a
missionary faith, and Muslims’ zeal for
converts is sometimes expressed
forcibly. This form of persecution is
particularly severe in Pakistan, where
some Muslim men abduct Christian girls,
force them to convert to Islam, and then
marry them. One estimate puts the
annual number of forced conversions to
Islam as high as 500 to 600.
Christian victim of the blasphemy law
aasia bibi (46), a Christian mother of fve,
is currently on death row in pakistan. she
was falsely accused in 2010 of insulting
muhammad and was prosecuted and
convicted under the blasphemy law. if
her appeal fails, she faces execution in
november. two prominent politicians,
one muslim and one Christian, who have
taken up her cause have been
assassinated during 2011.
The Maldives adhere strictly to sharia law,
and although the 2008 constitution introduced
many democratic changes, it contained no
guarantee of freedom of religion. In Pakistan
too elements of sharia have been
implemented, and it has a significant place
in the legal and taxation systems and in public
life generally.
an afghan martyr for Christ
a recently released video shows the
beheading of an afghan Christian,
abdul latif, by the taliban in herat
province. one of the killers says, “all
praise be to our creator almighty god
that he helped and blessed the holy
warriors... so that we can implement
the commandment of god on this
infdel ... he is punished according to
the commandment of god so that it is
a warning to other infdels.” they
shout “allahu akbar” (“god is great”)
over and over again during the
murder, and they bring an execution
notice to hang on the wall.
10 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
introduction of anti-conversion laws that
restrict the freedom of non-Hindus to share
their faith. They impose penalties for
converting people by “force”, “fraud” or
“allurement” but in some places are used to
prevent legitimate Christian evangelism.
In Nepal Hindu extremists are also very
suspicious of the churches because of their
recent growth. Converts to Christianity face
social ostracism from their communities,
and occasional hostility, discrimination or
even violence. Christians suspected of
encouraging conversion can be reported to
the authorities, and may be fined or
imprisoned. Proposed new legislation by the
Maoist government threatens further to
restrict evangelism and undermine freedom
of religion and expression.
Discrimination. The Hindu caste system
dictates people’s occupations and often their
economic circumstances. Most Christians are
of low social status, and many are Dalits,
who are seen as lower than the lowest caste.
Corruption is rife in the police and courts, and
it is difficult for Christians to get justice. Many
offences against them are inadequately
investigated, and often no-one is prosecuted
or convicted. Their unwillingness to play the
system dishonestly counts against them.
When Hindutva supporters become dominant
in an area, anti-Christian discrimination is
likely to become worse.
Violence. Assaults on Christian individuals
and churches in India by Hindutva
supporters are frequent and widespread.
Pastors and local evangelists are particular
targets. But in recent years there have also
India is a secular and democratic state, but it
too faces a challenge from Hindu extremism,
which in this case is linked to an aggressive,
strident form of nationalism. The Hindutva
(“Hinduness”) movement is striving to make
India a single, culturally and religiously “pure”
nation, and to return it to a supposed golden
age when it was uninfluenced by “alien”
cultures. It is particularly hostile to religions
that it perceives as “non-Indian” because they
entered the country from outside. Christianity
is the primary target, because it is wrongly
viewed as a colonial imposition, despite the
fact that Indian Christians believe that it was
the apostle Thomas who first brought the faith
to their country.
Communism, specifically Maoism, also has
a significant place in these two countries.
The militant Naxalite movement is active in
many parts of India, waging a long and
violent campaign in pursuit of a communist
state. A prolonged Maoist insurgency in
Nepal helped to provoke the recent political
changes, and the current government is
dominated by Maoists.
These three ideologies, and the alliances and
conflicts between them, frequently place
Christians in their firing line, especially in India.
evangelism and conversion. The success
of Christian evangelism in both countries,
and the conversion of many Hindus to
Christianity, has made this a very sensitive
issue. In India the concern has been
exploited by Hindutva supporters. In seven
states its political wing has secured the
Regional Profile
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
A Hindu temple in Nepal (source: ralf Lotys, Wikimedia commons)
buildings. In the Maldives there are no
places of worship for non-Muslims, and
Christian worship is allowed only in one’s
own home. A bill that criminalises the
public practice of non-Muslim worship,
and the construction of non-Muslim
buildings, won almost unanimous support
in parliament in 2009, although it has not
yet been passed into law. There are no
church buildings in Afghanistan either
except in one embassy, and in Pakistan
they are easy targets for attack.
Natural disasters. Following the floods in
Pakistan in 2010, local church leaders
expected that hardly any international aid
would reach the Christian minority. Before
long a Pakistani national newspaper
reported that displaced Christians were
often excluded from receiving healthcare
or food, as they were not being registered
and therefore “supposedly do not exist”.
hinduism,
nationalism,
Communism
(India, Nepal)
India and Nepal both have large Hindu
majorities of around 75%. From 1960
until 2006 Nepal was officially designated
as a Hindu kingdom, with Hinduism as its
national religion. Following years of
political instability, an interim constitution
established the country as a secular state
in 2008, but Hindu extremists want to turn
it back into a Hindu nation.
no justice in the courts
a recent report about the authorities’
investigations into the mass violence
in Kandhamal, orissa state in 2008
illustrates how hard it is for indian
Christians to obtain justice, even for
serious crimes against them. the
state government acknowledged 52
fatalities, 38 of them Christians,
during that period and the earlier
violence in 2007. but the report
showed that the authorities had made
no attempt to record as murder those
cases where victims did not die at the
scene. when these are included, the
number of Christian dead stands at
91. only 20 cases had been brought to
date, and there had been only one
conviction for murder.
11 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
demanded that all Christians leave the
country or their homes would be
destroyed.
It is not only from Hindu nationalists that
Christians in India are in danger of
violence. The Naxalites, who are strongly
anti-Christian, threaten the stability and
security of a large area of rural India,
running from the border of Nepal to the
state of Andhra Pradesh and known as the
Red Corridor. They also threaten the
growth of the churches by infiltrating
Christian communities.
buddhism
(sri Lanka, bhutan)
Buddhism is dominant in Sri Lanka and
Bhutan and is practised by more than 70%
of the population in each country. Although
it is not officially the state religion of Sri
Lanka, the constitution does give it “the
foremost place”, and as a result it is
protected and promoted. The government
of Bhutan is headed by a Buddhist
monarchy, and Mahayana Buddhism is
said to be the state’s “spiritual heritage”.
Only Buddhism and Hinduism are officially
recognised in Bhutan, and the practice of
other religions is technically illegal.
Despite a long history in Sri Lanka,
Christians now number only some 8% of
the population. In Bhutan the proportion
is much smaller. Buddhism has a
reputation for being peaceable and
non-violent, but it is not notably tolerant
of other religions. In both countries
Christians are seriously disadvantaged in
various ways.
Discrimination. Sri Lanka has a powerful
Sinhalese Buddhist lobby that exploits the
special status given to Buddhism by
demanding privileges for itself at the
expense of the Christians. Although this
pressure has not yet generated anti-
Christian legislation, there are reports of
discrimination against Christians in
taxation, employment and education.
Some Christians are also very poor and
have to work in appalling conditions on
tea and rubber plantations.
In Bhutan, the legal system is based on
Buddhist precepts, and non-Buddhists are
pressured by the majority, both officially and
unofficially, to conform to traditional
Buddhist values and norms. Again, there are
also reports of discrimination in education.
Regional Profile
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
this evangelist in Kandhamal, orissa state,
India lost his home and possessions in
anti-christian violence
been some major outbreaks of mob violence
against entire Christian communities. In
Orissa State many Christians were killed and
thousands left homeless in two sets of
attacks by Hindu nationalists in 2007 and
2008. In September 2008 there was also a
series of 37 anti-Christian assaults in two or
three days in Karnataka State, which were
clearly organised and planned in advance.
Since the Hindutva party came to power in
Karnataka that year, there have been more
than 200 anti-Christian incidents.
conversion. The Sinhalese Buddhist lobby
in Sri Lanka also campaigns for legislation
to control religious conversion, though so far
they have not succeeded. Complaints
against allegedly unethical or forced
conversions have been lodged by some
Buddhists, though Christians believe that
these are directed against legitimate
evangelism.
Although the constitution of Bhutan does not
prohibit or restrict the right to convert or
evangelise, some Christians are sufficiently
concerned about interference from the
authorities that they hold their meetings
discreetly, especially in rural areas. They
may be prosecuted if their activities are
adjudged to be promoting “feelings of
enmity or hatred” between different
religious groups.
imprisoned for showing flms on
Christianity
in october 2010 prem singh gurung was
sentenced to three years in prison in
bhutan for screening flms on
Christianity. gurung was arrested and
was found guilty of “attempting to
promote civil unrest” after local
residents complained that he was
showing Christian flms in two villages.
two other Christians, who helped
gurung by bringing a portable generator
to provide electricity for showing the
flm, were forced into hiding as police
accused them of involvement in the
offence and sought to arrest them.
An Indian Christian leader said that Christians
in the state were living in a “climate of fear,
persecution and harassment”. Earlier in the
year a Hindutva supporter in the Karnataka
legislature vowed to “weed out” the seeds of
Christianity.
Violence against Christians is rare in Nepal,
but in May 2009 a bomb exploded in a large
church in the capital, Kathmandu, during
morning service. Three worshippers were
killed and several others injured. Hindu
extremists claimed responsibility and
grim day in Karnataka
in a single day in december 2010 there
were four attacks by hindu extremists on
Christians in the indian state of
Karnataka. fifty Christians were
threatened and terrorised when
extremists attacked their church in a
bangalore slum. four more were beaten
up and dragged from their church
buildings in the district of shimoga. the
assailants then had their victims
arrested by police on charges of trying
to convert hindus. another church in
bangalore was surrounded by a group of
40 extremists, throwing stones and
shouting anti-Christian slogans.
this pakistani christian benefits from one
of barnabas Fund’s feeding programmes
12
Regional Profile
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
Violence. Buddhist extremism in Sri
Lanka is expressed in organised
opposition to some churches, especially in
rural areas and places seen as Buddhist
preserves. Christian buildings and church
leaders are sometimes attacked. The
Sinhalese Buddhist movement wants to
impose its identity on the whole country,
and some of its members are prepared to
use force.
in makeshift tents and shelters, and as
members of a despised minority they are
finding themselves overlooked in the
building process.
Torrential monsoon rains in May 2010
brought devastation to large areas of west
and south-west Sri Lanka, where around half
the country’s Christians live. Then further
floods between December 2010 and February
2011 ravaged the centre and east of the
country. Thousands were made homeless
and put at risk of disease and snake bites.
These floods followed a severe drought the
previous year that had created desperate
poverty among Christians in the region.
Again, their low status in society gives them
less defence against such disasters.
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
helping south
asia’s Christians
So here in a single region, albeit a vast one,
are all the main causes of the pressure and
persecution endured by Christians around
the world. South Asia illustrates the rise of
extremism among Muslims, Hindus and
Buddhists. It shows how nationalism is
developing as a reaction against the
influence of the West, foreign interference
and globalisation. It reveals the continuing
barnabas sponsors christian education for the neediest christian children in India
serious floods devastated central and
eastern sri Lanka in early 2011. barnabas
Fund sent aid
anti-Christian violence in sri lanka
in early 2010 a mob of about 150
people, led by three buddhist
monks, attacked a church in
germanwatte, pugoda, in the
gampaha district. they destroyed
furniture and threatened the pastor
with death unless he stopped
Christian worship in the area. some
of the attackers spat in the face of
his elderly mother.
shortly before, two Christian
community centres and a prayer
centre were damaged by mobs. a
church hall that had been used for
prayer and worship was attacked in
bandarawela, in the south of the
country. then around 200 people
stormed a community centre built by
a local Christian church, in
mawathawewa in the north of sri
lanka. armed with rods, the mob
destroyed the brand-new building
and warned villagers not to intervene
or call the police.
buildings. In Bhutan Christians are
generally free to worship in private homes,
but church buildings are officially not
allowed. In early 2011 it was reported that
the Bhutanese government was
considering recognising Christianity
officially, and this status would give the
churches the right to construct buildings
for worship. However, only one Christian
organisation was likely to be recognised,
which would be expected to represent all
Christians, and the government’s intention
might be to give itself more power to
regulate Christian activities.
War and natural disaster. The Sri
Lankan civil war was prolonged and
bitter, and it ended only in 2009. It has
left a malign legacy of violence and
deprivation. Hundreds of thousands of
people, some of them Christians, were
displaced from their homes and took
refuge in temporary camps. Many
Christians are living in temporary huts, or
presence and power of communism, despite
the dissolution of the former Eastern bloc.
And it demonstrates the destructive impact
of these repressive ideologies on Christian
communities, especially in contexts of
economic hardship, political turmoil and
natural disasters.
Yet despite these immense difficulties, God
is wonderfully at work in South Asia. The
churches of India have seen remarkable
growth in the last few decades, as
evangelists and church planters have
founded thousands of new congregations.
Christians in Nepal have increased rapidly in
numbers: until 1950 they were not even
officially allowed to live there, and now
there are over half a million. Church growth
has also been reported in Bangladesh, and
among some Sri Lankan denominations.
Many of our brothers and sisters patiently
endure their sufferings year after year in
faithfulness to the Lord.
Barnabas Fund is providing assistance to
various projects run by local Christians to
help needy believers and strengthen the
churches in their life and witness. These
include feeding programmes, income-
generation projects, theological training,
supplying Bibles and resources, support for
pastors and evangelists, funding for
Christian schools, provision of safe houses
for converts and for Pakistani Christian
women, legal aid for those suffering
injustice, and many more. At present we are
also working to provide simple homes for
thousands of homeless Christians in India,
Pakistan and Sri Lanka. For more details on
this project, please turn to pages 16-17.
Please also remember the Christians in
South Asia in your prayers, asking the Lord
to strengthen them to maintain their witness
to Him in the face of hardship and distress,
and that their sufferings will be relieved.
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 13
Testimony
these rousing words were spoken by
“mustafa”, an ardent christian with a
muslim background who is working as a
missionary in Islamic areas of east
Africa after attending a three-month
discipleship training course for converts
from Islam, which was financed by
barnabas Fund.
A couple of years earlier Mustafa had been
a militant Muslim, believing in jihad and
supporting Islamic terrorism throughout the
world. His commitment even drove him to
lead a Muslim youth gang in destroying a
church building in September 2008 in his
home town.
But Mustafa’s Islamic beliefs were
challenged when his sister, who had
emigrated to Saudi Arabia to work for a
wealthy Saudi Muslim family, was murdered
by her boss. He was perplexed that a fellow
Muslim in an Islamic holy land could
butcher another Muslim believer like that.
Also his sister was going to send him
money for helping him expand his business
of selling bicycle spare parts, and now he
would not get it.
Enraged, Mustafa decided to consult his
sheikh to seek some sort of justice within
the Islamic community and compel the
Saudi man to compensate the family. But
the sheikh supported the Saudi man’s
actions, saying, “A woman must always be
under the mercy of a man. If that Saudi man
killed your sister, it must have been for a
justifiable reason.”
The sheikh’s response infuriated Mustafa
even more. He stopped attending the
mosque and began to question and even to
hate Islamic practices. Life became
meaningless. In this disillusioned state, he
was given an evangelistic DVD by some
evangelists. After watching the message of
the Good News, he decided to follow Christ.
The missionaries discipled him further, and
in May 2010 Mustafa was baptised.
Soon afterwards, Mustafa felt great remorse
for having led Muslim youths to destroy a
church building. The destruction had been
very costly for the congregation; one and a
half years later they were still worshipping
in the sweltering heat of the open air. He
gathered his courage and went to the pastor
and congregation to confess his mistakes
and ask for forgiveness. The congregation
welcomed him warmly, and he started
worshipping in that church, which has since
relocated to a new building.
Because of his remarkable growth in Christ,
Mustafa was selected, together with 39
other Muslim-background Christians, to
attend the three-month training course in
discipleship at a Bible institute nearby.
Mustafa graduated in March 2011 with the
highest marks.
Now he has gone back to his business and
spends 36 hours per week witnessing to
others who are still Muslims, a seemingly
impossible task but one that is gradually
bearing fruit. The skills he acquired from the
training greatly help him to carry out his
discipleship work effectively and be a good
manager and leader.
Mustafa testifies, “Missionary work is not
easy but that’s not a reason for not doing it.
We should all be doing the work of an
evangelist, making people followers of
Jesus. He wants us to help as many people
as possible to find salvation in Him. To be a
disciple of Jesus means that you must study
His Word and live the Word.”
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1



1
2
|·.- .·.. .«»·
-· -|· -··.- -· .«.·
.··. — ·¡ -|·»
«» -|· -··.- -- ¡··
-|«- .··« ··«.· -«.
.|·- »··.« .· -|«-
»· -|· -··.- ·¡
.··. |·.- .·..
»-|- -.-.«« |.
»»·.· -«-·.· «.
« ··«»-.· ¡·· -|·.·
-|· -·.- /·.·.·
|» «- ··.·.·
·-··«. .¡·
»·-|« .
“As a disciple of Jesus, I must
spread His Word regardless of
the sacrifices and the personal
difficulties I have to endure.”
From violent
persecutor
to fervent
evangelist
barnabas Fund supports evangelists
and converts in east Africa
14
Focus
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Fleeing for their lives
– and left homeless
“When will they come to kill us, Daddy?”
asked the children of an egyptian christian leader as the family faced growing uncertainty during the revolution in
February 2011. the christian community in egypt found themselves under threat as the political uprising brought
increased instability. Fearing for their safety, christian families living in mainly muslim villages fled their homes.
Sadly these events are not unusual in
countries where Christians are a
vulnerable, despised and persecuted
minority. Rumours or small disagreements
can lead to mob rampages; homes and
businesses owned by Christians may be
torched and Christians beaten and even
murdered to settle disputes. The Christian
community is often associated with the
“Christian” West, so members of the
majority religion take out their anger
against the West on the nearest available
substitute – their Christian neighbours.
Western military initiatives in the Muslim
world, or individual actions such as the
burning of a Quran far away in the USA,
can result in a violent backlash against
local Christians in Muslim countries.
Sometimes the violence is spontaneous,
but other times it appears to have been
planned and deliberately stirred up.
In addition to such persecution, factors
such as war and natural disasters, or even
persecution by their own relatives, can
force Christians to flee.
War and civil unrest
Christians are often caught up in civil war
and fighting when their country is in a state
of political upheaval. In Gaza and the West
Bank, Christians are caught in the middle
of a conflict not of their making. This,
together with other pressures, has caused
many to emigrate.
Decades of civil war ripped the country of
Sudan apart and left some five million
people homeless as the government
attempted to impose Islamic sharia law on
the mainly Christian South. Churches and
homes were demolished, and there were
reports of kidnappings, forced labour and
massacres. Displaced people from the South
fled to the largely Islamic North.
In January 2011, the South of Sudan voted
overwhelmingly for independence, which
became reality on 9 July. But fighting and
“ethnic cleansing” in the disputed border
region blighted the run-up to independence,
forcing thousands of people, including
Christians, from their homes and creating a
humanitarian crisis. Troops and tanks of the
Khartoum government in the mainly Muslim
North overran the contested Abyei region,
causing more than 110,000 people to flee to
the south, where the majority are living in
unsheltered and basic conditions.
But it is not only ethnic tension that
produces national division, leaving
Christians homeless. As demonstrations
against the Syrian government intensified in
2011, Christians came under increasing
pressure to join the uprising. In the village of
Hala, Muslim residents issued an ultimatum
to their Christian neighbours either to join
the demonstrations against President
Bashar al-Assad’s regime or to leave.
Government-sponsored
action
In some countries, Christians suffer for their
faith at the hands of the government, military,
police and justice systems. Secular regimes
such as the one in Burma (Myanmar) may use
the majority faith as an ally in the oppression
of their Christian community. Most Christians
are members of the non-Burman ethnic
minorities. They are treated by the ruling
military junta as if they were enemies of the
state. The army will attack the mountain
villages that are home to the Christians, killing
any inhabitants who do not manage to escape
in time. They then set fire to the villages or
plant landmines around the homes and the
bodies to kill anyone who tries to return. Those
who run end up camping in the surrounding
jungle, and many die there from snake bites,
disease or starvation.
thousands of people, mainly christians, fled from decades of fighting in sudan and lived in
extremely basic refugee camps
An entire christian village in Kaduna state, Nigeria, was burned to ashes by a mob of 300 muslim militants on 18 April
2011. the attackers arrived armed with various weapons and torched the village as the christians ran for their lives.
15 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Direct persecution
In other countries, thousands of Christians are
displaced owing to direct targeting of their
communities. Up to 3,000 Christians were forced
from their homes following allegations of
blasphemy against local Christians in April 2011
in Pakistan. In Egypt, anti-Christian violence is
increasing and sometimes entire Christian
communities have had to flee their homes; in
November 2009 chaos erupted as a mob of up to
3,000 Muslims went on the rampage, attacking
Christians and setting fire to their homes, shops
and cars to settle a personal dispute.
Perhaps the most shocking example of
displacement is Iraq, where the Christian
community is undergoing a mass migration.
Christians have faced mounting hostility since
the Gulf War of 1990-1, as they are seen to be
linked with the West because of their faith.
They have become the target of threats,
bombings, kidnappings and murder, forcing
hundreds of thousands of Christians to leave
their homes and flee to neighbouring Syria,
Jordan or Lebanon. Today, the Christian
community in Iraq is estimated at less than a
third of its size in 1990, meaning that over a
million have left their homeland.
In Orissa, India, Christian families could do
nothing but run for their lives into the jungle
when Hindu extremists descended on their
villages at Christmas 2007 with guns, knives
and home-made bombs, shouting slogans such
as “Only Hindus to stay here – no Christians to
stay here!” Eight months later, attacks began
again and continued almost unabated for two
months. Thousands of homes were burned to
the ground and hundreds of churches and
church buildings were destroyed. Those who
survived the onslaught of violence and wanted
to return to their homes were told, “Come back
as Hindu or don’t come back at all.” Over
56,000 Christians were left homeless.
Focus
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
christian villagers in burma (myanmar)
flee from persecution on foot, taking only
what they can carry
Fifty-six thousand christians were left homeless when Hindu extremist mobs torched entire
villages in orissa, India in 2007 and 2008. Violence has continued spasmodically ever since
Family persecution
Many Christians experience persecution
from their families when they choose to
follow Christ. In Central Asia, “Alima” was
told by her mother-in-law that when her
husband died, she would be turned out of
her house unless she renounced her
Christian faith and returned to Islam, the
faith into which she had been born. She
refused, and she and her five children found
themselves without a roof over their heads.
Natural disasters
Where Christians are in the minority, they
may suffer disproportionately when natural
disasters occur. Poverty often leaves
Christians living in homes that are poorly
constructed and therefore even more
vulnerable to destruction. In countries
where Christians are despised, rejected and
persecuted, they may be neglected in the
distribution of aid, including the provision of
materials to help them to rebuild their
homes and lives.
Many Pakistani Christian families had their
homes completely destroyed in the terrible
floods of August 2010. After water poured
into his lifelong home, Joseph Bashir said,
“On my present salary, even in 50 years I
cannot rebuild by house.” Younis Masih had
built his home with his own hands over 25
years. Tragically, the house collapsed under
the strain of the gushing waters.
Barnabas working to
rehome the homeless
In the Bible God is presented as the refuge
of His poor and needy people, a shelter
from the storm and a shade from the heat
(Isaiah 25:4), and this protection is part of
His provision for them in the age to come
(Isaiah 4:5-6). But the Bible also tells us
that we have a responsibility to provide
for other members of God’s family who
do not have a roof over their heads (Isaiah
58:7), including those who are persecuted
for their faith.
Barnabas Fund provides emergency
funding when our Lord’s family find
themselves displaced, homeless and
struggling to survive. As well as feeding
programmes and education projects, we
have also provided emergency funding for
families in Nigeria who have had to leave
their homes following horrific anti-
Christian violence, and in Iraq we have
financed the construction of 40 apartments
for Christians who have sought security in
the north of the country.
In Central Asia, Barnabas funded the
purchase of a new home for “Alima” (see
above). The house has four rooms, a
kitchen, a bathhouse and a vegetable
garden, and the family can keep livestock.
A report received from the pastor of her
church said, “The family is very happy and
rejoice because they have their own house
and they thank you very much for this. It is
as a new life for them.”
Currently we are also working with a
number of partners in Pakistan, Sri Lanka
and India to build homes and churches
for hundreds of Christians who are
homeless because of their faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ. Please turn to pages
16-17 to find out more about these
important projects, and how you can help.
16
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
New houses being constructed for homeless christians in India with help from barnabas.
they are built close together in this particular location to protect them from elephants
Project Update
Kuhe, a Christian widow, and her three
children are living in a primitive tarpaulin
tent. They have been there for over a
year. Her meagre earnings as a labourer
are not enough to support her children.
Two years ago, when she and her
husband fled from their home in northern
Sri Lanka to escape the violence from the
civil war, her husband was killed by
artillery fire. Kuhe saw him suffer and die
in agonising pain, and because of the
ongoing shelling around her, she had to
leave his body behind without a burial.
Appalling living conditions
Thousands of Sri Lankan Christian
families are living in makeshift tents and
shelters without direct access to clean
water and sanitation. Even though the
civil war ended in 2009, many still have
nowhere permanent to live. And since
Christians are part of a despised minority
in Sri Lanka, they may find themselves
overlooked in the building process.
In India and Pakistan, this tragic story of
extended homelessness repeats itself. Despised
or ignored by their own society, Christians are
languishing in sub-human conditions.
In Orissa State, India, around 56,000
Christians became homeless in 2007-08
when Hindu extremists set fire to Christian
homes and churches, or forced Christians to
leave unless they would convert to
Hinduism. After all these years some are
still living in makeshift huts in the jungle.
In Islamabad, Pakistan, 250 poor and
vulnerable Christian families became
homeless in 2009 following a housing
dispute and ended up living in tents along the
centre of a highway. The only water supply
ran beside an open pit latrine and waste
dump. They are now living in a primitive
tent camp outside the city without access
to electricity or clean water.
building homes
Moved by the desperate need of Christians
in these three countries, Barnabas Fund
launched a major campaign this summer
to raise awareness and funds to build
proper homes and churches for our
brothers and sisters in South Asia. Local
Christian partner organisations will then
construct the homes.
Building costs are extremely low compared
to those for a house in the West. Just £700
(US$1,100; €800) can provide a simple but
good-quality one-room brick home, with a
cement floor, tin roof and toilet and
including a toilet, for a Christian family in
India. An overhanging roof at the front of
the house creates a veranda for cooking.
Brick by brick:
building homes and churches in South Asia
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
17 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Project Update
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
Want to start a brick by brick
campaign in your church?
Here are some ideas.
Lego house: members of the
congregation “buy” a brick
Find someone who is willing to lend about
60 or 70 lego or duplo blocks. Write
amounts on the blocks: say, £50, £20,
and £5 and some £1 to get the children
involved. Station a lego board with a sack
of the blocks on a table near the coffee
corner or another place where people
meet together informally. Add a sign and
hang up a house-building poster nearby.
Tell the congregation about the project
during the services and challenge them to
buy a brick. A church member can then
symbolically “buy” the lego brick at the
price that is on it and place it on the
board. Everyone can see a small house
slowly going up.
Camp out in your church building
Be homeless yourself for a night by
camping out in your church building. Ask
members of the congregation to sponsor
your homeless night.
“· -|- -|·« .«»· -· ··
|·.· «- -·.- . -· /·.·»·
--. ¡ -· -«-·- -·
.·-· .-««- -|··· |·«
|«- -«·-·-·- -· ·.. »« ¡«-|··
«- /··-|··. ·-| ¡·«· -· «..
:·- -· -|· ¡···.- |·« ¡·..·-·-
. -|· -|- .·«·.|- -·
.«-.| «- ·.. . ·· |«- -·
· «-«« ¡··» -|· ¡···.- «-
.«»· -· (« -·- -|··· -·
.-««·- « ··.·¡ .«»- ·
|·.· . .·»-.·-·.« /·- -·-
«- ·· /·.·--. «·· · -|···
¡·- -· |«.· · -.«.· -· .-««”
smrutilata, a girl from orissa, India
Fundraising ideas
for your church
some homeless christians in sri Lanka are currently living in temporary shelters
A four-room house in Pakistan with kitchen,
bathroom, toilet and shower, including
electricity, can be built for £2,500-£3,000
(US$4,000-5,000; €2,800-3,400). In Sri
Lanka, a basic home with indoor kitchen,
toilet and water supply costs £3,500
(US$5,700; €4,000), while at a typical cost of
£6,000 (US$9,800; €6,800), a new church
building for worship can be provided.
“Without a proper home we feel insecure and vulnerable.”
Seventy-year-old Khazan expresses the fears and concerns of many of the 250 Christian
families with whom he lives in a tent camp in Pakistan. He and his 65-year-old wife
Basharian have been without a proper home for over two years.
Life in the camp is squalid and desperate. The only way to cook meals is over a small
fire after collecting wood from the forest. For clean water all the Christians must go to
one tube well outside the colony. Washing is done inside their tent. Mosquito bites are
causing many illnesses, especially amongst the children. Their tents are not resistant to
the heavy rains during the monsoon season.
Homeless in Pakistan
Khazan and his wife basharian
in front of their tent
Can you help us build these homes and
churches? Why not get your church involved
through prayer and giving? Any gift, however
small, will help.
More details at www.barnabasfund.org. For
free leaflets to hand out at your church, please
contact us by phone or email (contact details
on back cover).
18
Sermon outline
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1



1
2
christian children sit amid the devastation
caused by the cyclone in burma
the following sermon outline can be used at a suffering
church sunday service or meeting. It can be read out as it
stands, though you may want to add some illustrations of
your own. Alternatively it can be used as a framework for
your own ideas and applications. some helpful
commentaries are recommended on page 20.
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
“ Love one another as I have loved you”
John 13:31-38
“Tears of joy made them unable to speak,
because their situation was very bad and they
felt that the Lord had answered their prayer.
They thanked you and prayed for you.”
This is how suffering Christians in Burma
responded when they received a supply of
rice, through a grant from Barnabas Fund.
They had been persecuted for their faith in
Christ. They had been so neglected by their
government after a devastating cyclone that
they found themselves in desperate need. But
now, through the love of their Christian family,
their joy was renewed and their need supplied.
When Christians suffer for their faith, the
love shown to them by Christian brothers
and sisters is immensely important. Just
knowing that members of their Christian
family care about them helps to encourage
and strengthen them in their trials.
Younis is a Pakistani Christian whose home
was destroyed in last year’s devastating
floods. It had taken him over 25 years to
build, because he is so poor. When Barnabas
Fund provided a new house, he rejoiced and
said, “The Lord brought us brothers and
sisters from far to help us in our time of
need. We are full of joy and very thankful.”
Another Pakistani Christian flood victim, Lal,
commented that he was happy that the new
house he had received from Barnabas had
come from “his own people”.
Of course, the encouragement of knowing
they have not been forgotten is only one
part of the picture. The practical help can
transform their lives now and bring hope for
the future. In the love they receive from
other Christians, they experience the love of
God in Christ.
Again and again the Bible calls Christians to
love one another, to care for those who
belong to the family of believers. Jesus
19 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
explicitly commands us to love one another
in John 13:34 and 15:12. Yet we do not
always make this love a high priority.
Perhaps we do not realise how important it
is. Perhaps we are not sure how to do it.
Perhaps we think we do not have the ability
to do it. Sometimes it even seems we find it
easier to love non-Christians than our fellow
believers.
This passage from John’s Gospel is part of
Jesus’ farewell teaching to His first
disciples, and it includes His command to
them and to us to love one another. It shows
us why we are to love, whom we are to love,
and how we are to love.
·|« ».- -· .·.·`
(John 13:31-32)
After Judas has gone out to betray Him,
Jesus declares that the time has come for
Him to suffer and die. When He is lifted up
on the cross out of love for others, He will
give glory to God by showing His love to the
world. So God will then give glory to Him in
turn, by raising Him up to heaven.
So, for Jesus, the way to glory was the way
of suffering, as He laid down His life in love.
And as it was for Jesus, so it is for us. We
must express that love in the costly service
of His people – including those who suffer
for their faith. In this way we show God’s
love to the world, and God will raise us up to
be with Jesus in our turn.
-·- .|·.- -· .·.·`
(John 13:34-35)
Jesus gives His disciples a new command:
they are to love one another just as He has
loved them. God’s people are told to love one
another in the Old Testament, but Jesus
restates this command in two new ways. First,
the love that He commands is based and
modelled on His love for His disciples. It is a
response to that love and it reflects that love.
Secondly, the love that Jesus commands
belongs to the new age of salvation that He
has begun. When His disciples keep this
command, everyone will know that they
really are followers of Jesus (verse 35). Their
love for one another shows to the world how
Christ has transformed their lives. It proves
the reality of their Christian discipleship.
An early Christian writer noted how the pagans
of his day used to say of the Christians, “Look
how they love one another and how they are
ready to die for each other.” People of other
religions are impressed to see Christians loving
one another; it is a bad witness if we are not
seen to care for our own people. John tells us
elsewhere to love not just with words or speech
but with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).
So our love for one another as Christians
must be practical and visible, modelled on
Jesus’ care for us. Our persecuted brother
or sister in another country has been loved
by Jesus; so we should share our love with
them. And He has loved them by meeting
their greatest need, for salvation; so we
should try to meet their lesser needs, for
hope and aid to relieve their hardships. This
is how we express our allegiance to Him;
this is how we show to the world His power
to change our lives.
-·- .« -· .·.·`
(John 13:33, 36-38)
Jesus tells His disciples that He is with them
for only a little while longer. They will look
for Him, but for now they cannot come
where He is going. At this stage in the story
they cannot follow Him in His death or into
His glory. They cannot yet make a proper
response to Him; they cannot yet love each
other enough. But Jesus does not say that
they will never find or follow Him.
Peter’s exchange with Jesus follows from this
statement. Peter wants to know where the
Lord is going, and asks why he cannot follow
Him now; he claims that he will lay down his
life for Him. But Jesus suggests that Peter is
not yet ready to walk His path: for now he is
just not capable of dying for Jesus or entering
His glory; for now he just cannot offer that
kind of love to his Lord. In fact, He is about to
do the exact opposite, by denying Him three
times before the cock crows.
But later, says Jesus, Peter will follow Him
to the place where He is going. After Jesus
has been crucified and lifted up to heaven,
Peter will be able to offer that love, and to
lay down his life for his Lord. Jesus’ death
and His entry into glory begin a new age,
when His disciples will be empowered by
the Spirit, and then they can walk His path
of love and self-sacrifice.
As Christians today, we live in this new age.
We are now able to fulfil Christ’s command
to love one another, to give of ourselves to
help other Christians in need; and we are
now able to follow Him to glory. We can do
this because of His death and exalting to
heaven, and in the power of the Spirit
whom He has given us. Until He had died
and ascended, the Holy Spirit could not
come with His power (John 16:7).
·...·
So love for other Christians matters
because it is the path to glory for us, as it
was for Jesus. It involves caring for one
another after His example. And it is possible
– because He has died and gone into
heaven to enable us to follow His example.
Christians in many parts of the world are
suffering poverty and discrimination,
harassment and persecution, because of
their faith in Jesus. We can relieve their
pain and even transform their lives by our
prayers and gifts and encouragement. And
as we have seen, the Gospel commands
us to care for them, and it gives us the
best of reasons to do so. What then is our
proper response?
It must be to love them – to “love one
another”, as Jesus has loved us and as He
commands us.
Sermon outline
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1



1
2
Younis, a pakistani christian pictured here with his family, rejoiced to receive help from
other christians after his house was destroyed by floods
20
Bible study
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
Loving our christian family
John 13:31-38
INtroDUctIoN
1. What stories have you heard of
Christians being persecuted for their
faith? How did you react to them?
2. How important do you think it is to love
other Christians? What, if anything, stops
you from making this a high priority?
(See also question 13 below.)
reAD JoHN 13:31-32
3. To what event is Jesus referring in these
verses? (See John 12:32.) What is He
going to do for God, and what will God
then do for Him? (See also question 14
below.)
4. How are we to follow Jesus on His
journey to glory? (See 1 John 3:16.)
What does this mean for how we relate
to other Christians?
reAD JoHN 13:34-35
5. What is Jesus’ command* to His
disciples in these verses? In what way/s
is this a new commandment?
6. What basis and model does Jesus give
us for our love for one another? And
what impact will it have on those who
witness it?
7. How can we express this love for one
another in practical ways? How might
we show it towards Christians who suffer
badly on account of Christ? Why is it
important for our witness to non-Christians?
reAD JoHN 13:33, 36-38
8. Jesus says that His disciples cannot
follow Him where He is going. What does
it mean to follow Him? (See verses
31-32.) Why do you think the disciples
cannot do so at this point?
9. When will Jesus’ disciples be able to
follow Him? What will enable them to do
so, when they could not before? (See
John 14:16-17.)
10. What does a life laid down for others
look like? How do you think we can draw
on the resources God supplies for us to
live like this?
coNcLUsIoN
11. Try to sum up what you have learned
from this passage. Why should we love
other Christians? How should we do it?
And how can we do it?
12. Share one action that you can now take in
response to this teaching. Can you do
something to help persecuted Christians?
this study looks at the same passage as the sermon outline
(p. 18-19). It can be used before or after hearing the sermon, or
separately. If it is used without the sermon, it may be helpful for
the group leader to read through the sermon outline beforehand.
the section at the end entitled “Digging deeper” is intended for
those who would like to explore the passage in more depth and
in its wider context.
13. In the Gospels, whom does Jesus
call us to love? (If you get stuck,
look up Mark 12:30-31; Matthew
5:44; John 15:12.) Which of these
people do you find it easiest /
hardest to love? Why?
14. Look up some of the references to
“glory” in John’s Gospel. (See
1:14; 2:11; 11:4; 12:41; 17:4-5,
10, 22, 24.) What is Jesus’
“glory”? What does it mean for us
to glorify God?
15. Think about what happens to
Peter later in the Gospel. (See
John 18:10-11, 15-18, 25-27;
20:1-10; 21, esp. verses 15-22.)
Compare Jesus’ words to him in
chapter 21 with those in chapter
13. How are they different, and
what has made the difference?
16. The first letter of John contains
lots more teaching on loving our
fellow Christians. Look at one or
both of the key passages (3:11-18;
4:7-21). What do they add to John
13:31-38?
DIGGING Deeper
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Further reading
For further explanation of this passage, please see the following:
C.K. Barrett, The Gospel according to St John, 2nd edition. London: SPCK, 1978, pp. 449-453.
George R. Beasley-Murray, John (Word Biblical Commentary), 2nd edition. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999, pp. 246-248.
*The Greek word agapao is used many times in John’s Gospel to refer to the sacrificial love of God and of Jesus, and to the love of
His disciples in response to that love.
21
Resources
A prAyer
for Suffering
ChurCh SundAy
Our Father in heaven
Thank You that You are the Lord who provides
and that You meet all our needs, in ways that
we often do not recognise.
We pray for all those who are suffering
harassment, discrimination and persecution
for their faith in You, O Lord. We pray that You
will give them daily strength to endure their
pain, whether it be physical, emotional or
spiritual. Today, we think particularly of those
who have been left homeless because of
persecution and violence. We pray that they
will remain steadfast in their faith and seek
Your face in their trials, and that You will meet
them in their time of need.
Lord Jesus, help us to remember to give
thanks for all that You have provided for us
and to remember our responsibility to provide
for other members of Your family.
We give thanks for Your faithful people in South
Asia, who endure so many different forms of
persecution from all sides. Thank You that
Barnabas Fund is working to provide houses for
Christians in that area, and we pray that You
will give clear direction in how You want this
work to be carried out.
In Jesus’ Name
Amen
originAl SongS from
BArnABAS SupporterS
We are grateful to two Barnabas Fund supporters who have provided us with
songs they have written and given us permission to publish them.
Steve Giles from Brisbane, Australia has written a song, entitled “Western
Christians and the suffering Church”. The voice and guitar recording of his song,
and accompanying PowerPoint, are available as a meditative song to play to your
congregation and can be found on the Barnabas Fund Suffering Church Sunday
DVD 2011-2012.
The lyrics of Gordon Churchyard’s song “Prayer for those in prison” have been
reproduced below. Mr Churchyard, a Barnabas Fund supporter from Somerset,
UK, wrote the hymn to encourage members of his congregation to pray for
those who are in prison because of their love for Jesus Christ. The piano score
for this hymn can be found on the DVD or downloaded from our website
(www.barnabasfund.org/SCS).
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
SuggeSted SongS for your ServiCe
n Almighty Sovereign Lord (Phil Lawson Johnston, Songs of
Fellowship 18)
n You are my hiding place (Michael Ledner, Songs of
Fellowship 625)
n Guide me O Thou great Jehovah (William Williams, Songs
of Fellowship 148 / Mission Praise 201)
n We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender! (Edith G
Cherry, Songs of Fellowship 587 / Mission Praise 735)
n The king of love my Shepherd is (Henry Williams Baker,
Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard 126)
n Blessed be Your Name (Matt Redman, Ultimate Collection)
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1
-
1
2
Suffering ChurCh
SundAy offering
Thousands of Christians in India, Pakistan and
Sri Lanka have lost their homes owing to war,
persecution and injustice. Living in squalid
conditions without proper homes, they are
vulnerable, despised and unable to help
themselves. You can read more about this
project on pages 16-17.
Our Heavenly Father calls us to provide for
other members of His family who do not have
a roof over their heads (Isaiah 58:7). Will you
help our brothers and sisters who are
homeless and who suffer because of their
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
Please consider taking up a Suffering Church
Sunday offering for our major initiative to
provide housing for Christians in South Asia:
project reference 00-977
prayer for those in prison
We pray for those in prison,
Shut in for their belief!
Great God of freedom – grant that they
Will never lose their faith:
O send your angels to them
To comfort their distress;
And may your Holy Spirit’s love
Flood through their hearts to bless!
Raise up the shining vision
Of Jesus on His Cross,
No freedom then – just blood and pain –
And all seemed dark and lost;
But death’s dark prison opened
On Easter’s radiant morn,
And Christ the Lord stepped out to life.
From death the great First-born!
So strengthen those in prison
Till they too shall be free,
No prison wall will bar the way
To their eternity.
We pray for those in prison,
Shut in for their belief!
Great God of freedom – grant that they
Will never lose their faith!
22
Resources
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
I would like to order the following free resources: (please indicate quantities in boxes)
A3 poster “Christians in South Asia” DVD A4 cards
Prayer-and-response cards Copies of the Suffering Church Sunday issue of Barnabas Aid (Sept/Oct 2011)
Name: (Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms, Rev, Dr)
Address:
Postcode:
Email:
Name of church:
Send this form to your nearest Barnabas Fund office (addresses on back cover). Resources can also be ordered or downloaded from www.barnabasfund.org/scs.
order your free Suffering
ChurCh SundAy reSourCeS
the following resources are available free of charge from
your national barnabas Fund office (addresses on back
cover) or from our website (www.barnabasfund.org/scs),
or please use the order form below.
n A3 version (approx. 300x420mm) of the poster (see page 6), to advertise
your Suffering Church Sunday service.
n Prayer-and-response cards (see above), including the “Prayer for Suffering
Church Sunday” and a response form.
n SCS 2011-2012 DVD containing a recording of Steve Giles’ song “Western
Christians and the suffering Church” and accompanying reflective
PowerPoint, and the piano score for Gordon Churchyard’s hymn “Prayer
for those in prison”.
n PowerPoint presentation to accompany the sermon on John 13:31-38 (see
page 18). Available on the DVD and to download from our website.
n NEW FOR SCS 2011-2012! A4 cards to highlight the problem of
homelessness among Christians in Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.
prAyer-And-
reSponSe CArd
The Suffering Church Sunday prayer-
and-response card includes the prayer
(above) and a response form. These
cards are a great resource for
distribution to your congregation at your
Suffering Church Sunday service. They
are available to order free of charge
from your national Barnabas Fund office
– please order as many as you need!
C
h
r
i
s
t
i
a
n
s

i
n

s
o
u
t
h

a
s
i
a
:

S
u
f
f
e
r
i
n
g

C
h
u
r
c
h

S
u
n
d
a
y

2
0
1
1



1
2
BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 23
Your actions bring change
23
Operation Nehemiah
raising awareness of halal meat
“I ... wrote to the two local butchers. One did
not reply but the other phoned to say that he
had unwittingly been purchasing poultry from
an outside supplier which is halal. He stated he
was not happy with this discovery and intended
to review the matter.” e & m smith, bristol
challenging the media
“After reading your booklet [The Way Ahead]
that evening there was an Agatha Christie
drama on Channel 4. In the first scenes there
was swearing. It was 8pm. I phoned the
News in brief
Islamists call for british
“emirates”
Muslim minorities in Western countries
tend to be highly concentrated in certain
areas. For example, in Australia the Sydney
suburbs of Auburn and Lakemba are home
to large Muslim populations. In Britain
some neighbourhoods are almost 100%
Muslim, and an Islamist group has now
called on Muslims to create enclaves in
major cities where sharia will one day be
implemented.
Dewsbury, Bradford and Tower Hamlets,
London, have been suggested by the group
as “emirates” where Muslims can live by
sharia outside British law.
According to the group, it is an obligation for
Muslims to call for sharia to be implemented
wherever they are in the world. The report
encourages all Muslims to live amongst
other Muslims and to trade amongst
themselves where possible. It also advises
Muslims to set up Islamic schools that teach
the Islamic curriculum, and not to go to
non-Islamic courts for arbitration.
equality commission says
christians should have
right to follow conscience
The UK’s equality watchdog has
determined that Christians should be given
greater freedom to follow their beliefs in
the workplace.
The Equality and Human Rights
Commission (EHRC) said that judges had
interpreted the law “too narrowly” in
cases where Christians had claimed
religious discrimination and that it is
proposing “reasonable accommodation”
to help employers manage religion in the
workplace.
For more information on these stories and
other Operation Nehemiah news updates,
please visit www.barnabasfund.org/
operation_nehemiah.
complaints number and left a recorded
message. The next day I was personally
phoned and thanked and told my comment
would go to the drama producers... It made
me realise some good people in these
departments are waiting for your comments. I
was careful also to say some good points and
that Agatha Christie never had a swear word
in any of her many books. I also felt that many
of us should phone the BBC after Songs of
Praise and say how much we enjoyed and
valued the programme. Let us be quick to
praise any good programme, especially
Christian, and say so.” e. Long, bexhill
order your free Suffering
ChurCh SundAy reSourCeS
operation Nehemiah would like to thank all those supporters in various parts of the
world who provide us with feedback on various aspects of our global campaign and
news of what they are doing to help. We are reproducing below two of these letters
from the UK, which show how simple actions can make a difference. please do keep
them coming.
mega-mosque update
Thank you to all those supporters who have been praying about the plan to build a huge
£3 million mosque in Camberley, England. The Muslim group behind the plan, who hold
extremist views, have had it finally dismissed by the local authorities.
If the plans had been approved, the mosque would have had two 30-metre minarets
overlooking the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and towering above the parade ground
and the adjacent St Michael’s Church. The proposal raised serious security concerns,
especially in view of the frequent royal visits to Sandhurst. The controversial plans to knock
down the listed Victorian school currently used as a mosque and build the mega-mosque
were initially approved by the council’s planning committee.
In many parts of the world, including Africa and the West, large mosques are being
built in areas where there are not many muslims, as symbols of the presence and
superiority of Islam. but sometimes the plans can be frustrated. Here is one recent
example from an english suburban town.
request Acts for the new school year!
Would you or your church like to support your local school in the teaching of christianity at
primary level? For a donation of £250, Operation Nehemiah is offering a pack worth over £470 to donate
to a UK primary school of your choice. The pack contains reference books, posters, wall charts, animated
DVDs, activity workbooks, Bible story books, fiction and lots more items for primary level. Call 01672
564938 today for more information or visit www.barnabasfund.org/operation_nehemiah/Acts.
Operation Nehemiah invites you to look out
for and send us any relevant newspaper
articles, posters, local authority publications
or material produced by Islamist groups in
your country or region to help in our
research. Local newspaper reports are
especially helpful too, as they often provide
information that does not always reach
mainstream media and is not so easily
accessible to us.
Local news from around the world
mission statement: operation Nehemiah is committed to maintaining christian values of
freedom of conscience, speech and religion for the next generation in church and society.
Newsroom
24 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
The ruling applies to those who were
registered – on their birth certificates and/
or national ID cards – as “Christian” but
whose religious identity was changed to
“Muslim”, either because they converted
to Islam as adults, or as a consequence of
a parent changing his/her registration, or
because of a clerical error. It means that
those who return to Christianity having
converted to Islam will be officially
identified as Christians rather than
Muslims. This is particularly important for
Christian women and girls, as there are
many tragic cases of abductions and
forced conversions in Egypt. Christian girls
are being kidnapped, raped, forced to
convert to Islam, and forced into marriages
with Muslim men. Since the revolution in
January, there has been a surge in
disappearance of Christian girls; one church
leader said in July, “More than two to three
girls disappear everyday in Giza alone... The
cases that are brought to public attention
are few compared to what the numbers
actually are.”
Religious registration affects many important
areas of life including marriage, inheritance,
education and church attendance. ID cards
must be presented in order to perform
everyday acts such as travel or registering a
complaint at a police station. The ruling does
not apply to converts to Christianity who
were registered as Muslim at birth.
Egyptian Christians have been campaigning
for this court ruling since 2004; several
eGYpt: coUrt rULING ALLoWs cHrIstIAN recoNVerts to reGIster FAItH
similar verdicts, issued in 2008, have not
been implemented. A more recent ruling
was blocked by the State Council’s fatwa
committee, which said that each case
must be reviewed individually by the
court.
Lawyer Peter El-Naggar was optimistic
that the court order would be executed
this time. But a senior Church leader was
more sceptical, saying, “The problem is
with the authorities who refuse to
implement the court orders issued in our
favour.”
Despite this rare piece of good news,
there is still an air of unease among the
Christians in Egypt as Islamist parties gear
up for the elections later this year.
Farooqi claimed that “blasphemous”
portions had been added to the Bible,
which, he said, charged some prophets
with “a variety of moral crimes, which
undermine the sanctity of the holy
figures”. He said such “insertions”
strongly offended Muslims, who hold all
prophets and holy books in high esteem.
He said that if the Supreme Court did not
respond by banning the Bible, Islamic
clerics would formally petition the court,
and added that the move was an act of
revenge against the desecration of the
Quran by a church in Florida.
Pakistani Christians have strongly
condemned the call, and there are fears
that this attack on the Bible signals an
intensification of persecution against
Christians in Pakistan, where Islamists are
said to have become more extreme in the
wake of Osama bin Laden’s assassination.
pAKIstAN: cALL to bAN tHe bIbLe
egypt’s supreme Administrative court has made a significant ruling that will allow christian reconverts to have their
religious registration officially changed back to “christian”.
pakistani christian students engaged in a bible study. turn to page 4 to read how
barnabas Fund is helping to supply bibles to christian leaders in pakistan
An important Islamic political party has called for pakistan’s supreme court to ban the bible, describing it as
“pornographic”. A leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, maulana Abdul rauf Farooqi, made the appeal at a press
conference at a mosque in Lahore on 30 may.
Newsroom
25 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 25
The anti-Christian violence broke out as
rioters took to the streets to protest
against President Abdoulaye Wade’s
controversial plans to change the
country’s constitution. Dakar city centre
was cut off as demonstrators set fire to
vehicles and threw stones at riot police,
while other violent protests were staged
elsewhere in the city and in other
Senegalese towns.
With tensions already high in the city,
one neighbourhood erupted, and the
crowd took out their anger on the
Christians. One church was set upon by a
group of men and young people during
the morning service on Sunday 26 June.
The worshippers were driven out and
pelted with stones as they escaped
before the steel-structured building was
fire-bombed. The following day, the
mayor ordered that the building be
“cleaned up”; the steel and scrap iron,
valuable commodities in Senegal, were
taken away by truck, leaving nothing but
a raised concrete platform where the
seNeGAL: cHUrcHes LooteD AND torcHeD
pulpit had been. The building had seated
around 400 people.
Such anti-Christian violence is almost
unheard of in Senegal, despite its
being a predominantly Muslim country
(91%), but aggressive Islamist groups
funded by Saudi Arabia and Libya are
making inroads, threatening the tolerant
status quo.
Fighting in sudan’s border
region blighted the long-
awaited independence of the
predominantly christian south
and threatened a return to the
deadly civil war that tore the
country apart from 1983 to 2005.
Troops and tanks of the Khartoum
government in the mainly Muslim North
overran the contested Abyei region on
21 May in what was described by South
Sudan as an act of war. Violent clashes
had broken out between Northern and
Southern forces over the fertile region,
which both sides claim as theirs. As
Northern forces dropped bombs on
villages, more than 110,000 people fled
south, where the majority remain, living
in basic conditions without shelter.
Further conflict broke out in the key
northern oil state of South Kordofan,
which borders both the South and Abyei,
on 5 June. The Northern government
carried out its threats to attack any
Southern forces that remained in the area
by 1 June, using aerial bombardments,
house-to-house executions of suspected
opposition sympathisers and rape as their
weapons. Nuba Christians have suffered
in both the air strikes and ground attacks,
and there are reports of Muslim militia
shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”)
as they opened fire on Christians
gathered for worship. A new church in
Kadugli, the main town of South
Kordofan, was burnt down and looted. A
senior church leader described the
violence as a “policy of ethnic cleansing”.
Southern Christians are looking forward
to greater freedom and peace, following
independence on 9 July, but there are
indications that life for Christians in the
North will become more restrictive and
dangerous following the split. President
Omar al-Bashir has declared that the
North will be 100% Arab and Muslim,
and has made clear his intention to
reinforce its hard-line Islamic character.
sUDAN: DAWN
oF INDepeNDeNce
brINGs VIoLeNce
IVorY coAst: cHrIstIAN brotHers crUcIFIeD
two peasant brothers were brutally
crucified after “the example of christ”
on 29 may by forces loyal to the new
muslim president of Ivory coast,
Alassane ouattara.
The pair, from the village of Binkro, were
badly beaten and tortured before being
crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by
their hands and feet with steel spikes.
They were falsely accused of hiding
weapons in their village, and although
they repeatedly denied any involvement,
their pleas were ignored. After crucifying
them, Ouattara’s men took them on an
extensive search of Binkro, but found
only a store of medical equipment and
supplies. The seriously wounded pair
were then taken to prison in Oumé.
Raphael Aka Kouame died of his injuries
that night; incredibly his younger
brother, Kouassi Privat Kacou, survived
the ordeal.
This is just one of the many atrocities that
have been committed in fighting between
rival supporters of Ouattara and his
predecessor Laurent Gbagbo, who was
ousted following the disputed presidential
election in November 2010. Christians
are seen as supporters of Gbagbo and
have been caught up in the conflict.
christians have been attacked and eight churches looted and torched
in Dakar, the capital of senegal, as aggressors took advantage of
political unrest in the country to vent their hostility. the churches
were targeted over a two week period following a declaration of war
by muslims against “new churches”. A church leader said this was
because of the visible growth of these churches in Dakar.
the concrete platform (foreground)
where the pulpit once stood is all that
remains of this church in senegal which
once seated approximately 400 people
In Touch
“We are aware that our privilege [of worshipping and
spreading the Good News] brings responsibility to help
those who need our prayerful and practical support.” These
are the words of Pat Wells, Acting Head/Chair of Governors
of Emmanuel Christian School in Leicester. The 26 pupils
aged between 4 and 13 ran a combined marathon in June
and raised £147.60 for Barnabas Fund. Each child ran as
many circuits round the track as he or she could manage in
15 minutes. Their distances were then added together,
giving just slightly more than a full marathon distance. Pat
says the children always had in mind to give a donation to
Barnabas Fund to help the persecuted Church in different
areas of the world.
Supporting Barnabas through sales and school sports
26 BARNABAS AID SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011
Electronic communication from Barnabas Fund
A lot has changed in the way we communicate with our supporters at Barnabas Fund.
In the last year, we have redesigned our website to make it more accessible and
informative. The “News”
section is updated regularly to
keep you informed of the
ever-changing situation of our
persecuted brothers and sisters
around the world. Further tabs
allow you to navigate around
“Our work”, and find out about
different ways that you can
“Act” for and “Donate” to
Barnabas Fund.
The best way we can inform
our supporters of a crisis and
an urgent need for donations or prayer is through email, and we now send a weekly
email round-up of the latest news affecting Christians around the world.
If you would like to receive news and prayer information about the persecuted Church
by email, please visit our website www.barnabasfund.org, go to the bottom left
section, enter your name and email address and click “subscribe”.
Resource to focus
your prayers
Each month, we produce an information
sheet with up-to-date news on the suffering
Church, to aid with your prayers individually
and in your prayer groups, and for inclusion
in your church magazine (A4 or A5 sizes
available for easy use in magazines of
different sizes.) Barnabas Fund’s Prayer
Focus Update covers events from around
the world, providing a snapshot of anti-
Christian violence and persecution to guide
you in praying for our suffering brothers and
sisters.
This invaluable prayer resource is available
free of charge and can be sent via email or
post at the beginning of each month. To
receive a copy regularly, please contact
your nearest national office (addresses on
back cover). You can also download a copy
of the latest Prayer Focus Update or
previous updates by visiting
www.barnabasfund.org/prayer.
the children from emmanuel christian school, Leicester, who ran a
combined marathon and raised money for the persecuted church
maire (r) and her friend at the barnabas
stall at shrewsbury carnival
A Carnival Day in Shrewsbury was the scene for more fundraising for
Barnabas. Maire Juvonen-Shah raised £212.24 through a stall at the Carnival
on 18 June and a plant sale at her church. Ms Juvonen-Shah sent us this
photograph of her and a friend at the stall, which won a trophy for the best
charity stall at the carnival.
We are always grateful to receive news of ways that you have been fundraising
for Barnabas Fund. Please keep sending us details of your events and how
much you raised, and we will try to publish them as and when we have space
in our magazine!
Yes, I would like to help the persecuted Church
Here is my gift of ______________________
Please use my gift for

Wherever the need is greatest (General Fund)

Other ___________________________________________*

I enclose a cheque/voucher payable to “Barnabas Fund”.


Please debit my

Visa

Mastercard

American Express
Maestro CAF card /other charity card
Number

Maestro issue number

or issue date
/
Expiry date
/ Signature
______________________________

I do not require an acknowledgement of this gift.

I would like to give regularly through my bank. Please send me
the appropriate form. (UK supporters may use the Direct Debit
form below.)
Alternative Gift Card To make an alternative gift for a loved one, please
contact your national Barnabas office.
DIRECT DEBIT for UK supporters who would like to give regularly
I/We want to bring hope and aid to the persecuted Church by a regular gift, to be used
where it is most needed (General Fund) or for ________________________________*(give reference number of project to be supported)
Gift Aid Declaration (Applicable to UK tax payers only)
I authorise Barnabas Fund, registered charity no. 1092935, to treat all
donations I have made since 6 April 2007 and all subsequent donations
as Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise.
Signature ______________________________________ Date ____________
If you have previously signed a Gift Aid Declaration for Barnabas Fund, you do not need
to sign again. To qualify for Gift Aid, what you pay in income tax or capital gains tax must
at least equal the amount of tax reclaimed on donations to registered charities in the tax
year. Please inform us if you change your name or address or stop paying tax.
Name (Mr,Mrs,Miss,Ms,Rev,Dr)
Address
Postcode Telephone
Email
Please return this form to Barnabas Fund at your national office or to the UK office.
Addresses are on the back cover. Barnabas Fund will not give your address or email
to anyone else.
Phone 0800 587 4006 or visit our website at www.barnabasfund.org to make a
credit card donation. From outside UK phone +44 1672 565031.
Registered Charity number 1092935 Company registered in England number 4029536
*If the project chosen is sufficiently funded, we reserve the right to use designated gifts either for
another project of a similar type or for another project in the same country.
Supporters in Germany: please turn to back cover for how to send gifts to
Barnabas Fund. Mag 09/11
A3 poster
“Christians in South Asia”
Prayer-and-response card
Please send the following resources (indicate quantity required):
The aid agency for the persecuted Church
*If the project chosen is sufficiently funded, we reserve the right to use designated gifts either for another project of a similar type or for another project in the same country.
Name (Mr,Mrs,Miss,Ms,Rev,Dr)
Address


Postcode
I would like to give a regular gift of £__________________________________
(amount in words) __________________________________________________
Starting on 1st / 11th / 21st _________________ and then every
month/quarter/year (delete as applicable) until further notice.
This Direct Debit is a new one / in addition to / replaces an earlier Standing
Order / Direct Debit in favour of Barnabas Fund. (delete as applicable).
THE DIRECT DEBIT GUARANTEE
This Guarantee is offered by all Banks and Building Societies that accept instructions to pay Direct Debits.
If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit Barnabas Fund will notify you 14 working days in advance of your account being debited
or as otherwise agreed.
If you request Barnabas Fund to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.
If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit by Barnabas Fund or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount
paid from from your bank or building society.
If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, you must pay it back when Barnabas Fund asks you to. You can cancel a Direct Debit at any time by simply contacting your bank or building society. Written
confirmation may be required. Please also notify us.
Instruction to your bank or building society to pay by Direct Debit
Please fill in the whole form including official use box using a ball point
pen and send it to: Barnabas Fund, 9 Priory Row, Coventry CV1 5EX
Service User Number
2 5 3 6 4 5
Reference (Barnabas Fund to complete) Name and full postal address of your bank or building society
Name(s) of account holder(s)
Bank/building society account number Branch sort code Signature(s)
Date
Instruction to your bank or building society: Please pay Barnabas Fund
Direct Debits from the account detailed in this instruction subject to the
safeguards assured to by the Direct Debit Guarantee. I understand that this
instruction may remain with Barnabas Fund and, if so, details will be
passed electronically to my bank/building society. DD18
Mag 09/11
Mag 09/11
SCS 2011-2012 DVD and
PowerPoint presentation
Copies of the SCS edition of
Barnabas Aid (Sept/Oct 2011)
The “Barnabas Fund Distinctive”
We WorK bY:
n directing our aid only to Christians,
although its benefits may not be
exclusive to them (“As we have
opportunity, let us do good to all people,
especially to those who belong to the
family of believers.” Galatians 6:10,
emphasis added)
n aiming the majority of our aid at
Christians living in Muslim environments
n channelling money from Christians
through Christians to Christians
n channelling money through existing
structures in the countries where funds
are sent (e.g. local churches or Christian
organisations)
n using the money to fund projects
that have been developed by local
Christians in their own communities,
countries or regions
n considering any request,
however small
n acting as equal partners with the
persecuted Church, whose leaders often
help shape our overall direction
n acting on behalf of the persecuted
Church, to be their voice – making their
needs known to Christians around the
world and the injustice of their
persecution known to governments and
international bodies
We seeK to:
n meet both practical and spiritual needs
n encourage, strengthen and enable the
existing local Church and Christian
communities – so they can maintain their
presence and witness rather than setting
up our own structures or sending out
missionaries
n tackle persecution at its root by making
known the aspects of the Islamic faith
and other ideologies that result in
injustice and oppression of non-believers
n inform and enable Christians in the West
to respond to the growing challenge of
Islam to Church, society and mission in
their own countries
n facilitate global intercession for the
persecuted Church by providing
comprehensive prayer materials
We beLIeVe:
n we are called to address both religious
and secular ideologies that deny full
religious liberty to Christian minorities
– while continuing to show God’s love to
all people
n in the clear Biblical teaching that
Christians should treat all people
of all faiths with love and compassion,
even those who seek
to persecute them
n in the power of prayer to change
people’s lives and situations, either
through grace to endure or through
deliverance from suffering
What helps make Barnabas Fund distinctive from other Christian organisations that deal
with persecution?
“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
The Barnabas Fund Distinctive
How to Find Us
You may contact Barnabas Fund at the following addresses:
UK (for general mailing queries)
9 Priory Row, Coventry CV1 5EX
telephone 024 7623 1923 Fax 024 7683 4718
From outside the UK
telephone +44 24 7623 1923 Fax +44 24 7683 4718
email info@barnabasfund.org
Registered charity number 1092935
Company registered in England number 4029536
For a list of all trustees, please contact Barnabas Fund UK at the Coventry address above.
Australia
Postal Suite 107, 236 Hyperdome, Loganholme QLD 4129
telephone (07) 3806 1076 or 1300 365 799
Fax (07) 3806 4076 email bfaustralia@barnabasfund.org
Germany
German supporters may send gifts for Barnabas Fund via Hilfe für Brüder who will
provide you with a tax-deductible receipt. Please mention that the donation is for “SPC
20 Barnabas Fund”. If you would like your donation to go to a specific project of
Barnabas Fund, please inform the Barnabas Fund office in Pewsey, UK.
Account holder: Hilfe für Brüder e.V.
Account number: 415 600 Bank: Evang. Kreditgenossenschaft Stuttgart
bankcode (bLZ): 520 604 10
www.barnabasfund.org
© Barnabas Fund 2011. For permission to reproduce articles from this magazine, please
contact the International Headquarters address above.
The paper used is produced using wood fibre at a mill that has been awarded the ISO14001
certificate for environmental management.
Jersey
Le Jardin, La Rue A Don, Grouville, Jersey, Channel Islands JE3 9GB
telephone 700600 Fax 700601 email bfjersey@barnabasfund.org
New Zealand
PO Box 27 6018, Manukau City, Auckland, 2241
telephone (09) 280 4385 or 0800 008 805
email office@barnabasfund.org.nz
USA
6731 Curran St, McLean, VA 22101
telephone (703) 288-1681 or toll-free 1-866-936-2525
Fax (703) 288-1682 email usa@barnabasaid.org
International Headquarters
The Old Rectory, River Street, Pewsey,
Wiltshire SN9 5DB, UK
telephone 01672 564938
Fax 01672 565030
From outside UK:
telephone +44 1672 564938
Fax +44 1672 565030
email info@barnabasfund.org
to donate by credit card, please visit the website
or phone 0800 587 4006 (from outside the UK phone +44 1672 565031).
barnabasaid the magazine of Barnabas Fund
executive editor Steve Carter
published by barnabas Fund The Old Rectory, River Street, Pewsey, Wiltshire SN9
5DB, UK telephone 01672 564938 Fax 01672 565030
From outside UK: telephone +44 1672 564938 Fax +44 1672 565030
email info@barnabasfund.org

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful