Posts tagged ‘persecution’

July 1st, 2011

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution Imminent

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has been sentenced to death for apostasy faces execution any moment. Now that the Iranian Supreme Court has upheld his death sentence, he could be hanged anytime. Please pray for him, his loved ones, Iranian Christians, their oppressors and Iranian Muslims.

The international community needs to put pressure on the Iranian government and it starts with us. Similar death sentences were commuted in Afghanistan due to the international pressure.

Apparently, “Freedom to change one’s religion is a fundamental right which Iran pledged to uphold when it signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” The world should hold Iran accountable.

The workweek in Iran is Saturday to Thursday. The fact that it is the weekend in most countries doesn’t mean offices in Iran aren’t open. Please use Twitter, Facebook or whatever means is at your disposal to spread the word about Pastor Nadarkhani’s plight. His life should be spared and his freedom granted. Please pray for Pastor Youcef!

2 Corinthians 4:8-10: We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

More information is available HERE.

June 8th, 2011

Answered Prayers: End of My Asylum Case Imminent

I am very grateful to all who prayed for my wife and I the past year. My asylum case has been reopened, which means I will not be leaving the United States in order to pursue other legal US immigration status.

A year ago the Associated Press broke the news that the federal court of appeals had declined to overturn a lower court’s decision to deny me asylum and refused to reverse the order to send me back to Kenya, where I had suffered persecution for converting to Christianity. I learned of the court’s decision from the media. Since then, I filed a motion to reopen my asylum case with the Board of Immigration Appeals and it has been granted (AP story). The decision in part reads:

Considering the totality of circumstances presented in the respondent’s motion, which has not been opposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the proceedings are reopened under the provisions of 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(a), and the record will be remanded to the Immigration Judge to provide the respondent a further opportunity to establish his eligibility for relief from removal…

FURTHER ORDER (sic): The record is remanded to the Immigration Judge for further proceedings not inconsistent with this order and for the entry of a new decision.

The motion, which you can find HERE, showed new evidence of change in country conditions in Kenya. I cited sworn statements of cases of severe persecutions of Muslim converts to Christianity with at least one of them killed since my petition was denied in 2006.

This has been a long and arduous process for my wife and I. The order to reopen my asylum case is our first real good news regarding immigration in almost 9 years. If you think only those who overstay their visas or undocumented immigrants run into manifestations of broken US immigration laws, think again. I filed for asylum in August 2002 while I was still in legal status, but my application was denied and was not referred to the Immigration Court for adjudication. My asylum interview was only 45 minutes long. A veteran immigration attorney and law professor told me afterward the asylum office normally decides even before an interview which asylum application to deny. Since my interview was short, it met that criterion. I reapplied and the asylum office told me to petition the Immigration Court. Here is an excerpt of a message I received from my attorney about my subsequent application:

I have some disturbing news for you.  I just received back from the Chicago Asylum Office your application for asylum. In the cover letter from the Immigration Service, I am told that, because your previous application was denied by the Asylum Office, that you must make your request for asylum to the Immigration Court.

This makes no sense and does not comport with the Immigration Service’s own rules.It is also not consistent with other cases: for example, I just filed an application for a young man from Ivory Coast who is in your same procedural situation and his interview at the Asylum Office is next week.

My question for you is this:  given that you would likely be denied again by the Asylum Office (it is very rare that the Asylum Office will grant asylum on a second application if the first application was already denied) and sent to the Immigration Court, do you wish to make your request to the Immigration Court directly?  Where you make your application makes very little difference but, in terms of timing, if you skip the step of going to the Asylum Office interview, you could have a hearing in the Immigration Court in late-summer or early-fall while, if you go through the Asylum Office, you will not have a hearing in the Immigration Court until late-fall. Either way is fine for me but I want you to make the decision because the timing may affect other plans you have. [Emphasis mine.]

I filed my third application with the Court and had a hearing in 2006!

The Judge found my testimony credible but denied my asylum petition because US State Department Country Reports on Kenya did not show any persecution of Muslim apostates in Kenya. Sadly, US Embassy in Nairobi mostly relies on Kenyan mainstream media to compile Kenya Country Report and there are reasons discussed below they have been silent on issues of religious persecution. I have complied with every request or order of the US government and appealed every adverse decision in accordance with established US immigration laws.

In the case of a Muslim convert who was killed in February 2010, the Kenyan police determined his murder was a robbery, even disregarding death threats he had reported to them. There is no known media report in Kenya of his gruesome murder, let alone a report revealing his killing was on the account of his apostasy.

I am in contact with other Muslim apostates in Kenya. Some of them receive death threats on regular basis. The police have been of little help. The Kenyan media has turned a deaf ear to their plights as well. The closest to a news report is in the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report 2010:

Local Christian organizations reported that individuals who converted to Christianity from Islam, particularly individuals of Somali ethnic origin, were often threatened with violence or death by Muslim religious leaders and their families. These threats prompted some individuals to go into hiding.

I have made inquiries to the Kenyan media regarding the lack of coverage of religious persecution. A Kenyan reporter said there was news blackout because the Kenyan “media policies are very strict, especially when it comes to reports on religion.” He even averred how the East African Standard offices were burnt down in the mid 1990s because the newspaper published an article on Islam written by a Muslim scholar. An Ismaili Muslim organization is the principal shareholder of the Daily Nation, a Kenyan newspaper with a wide circulation. Perhaps that explains why Muslim persecution of apostates got no coverage in the paper.

I am grateful for the Board’s decision granting me options for immigration relief. The order for me to leave the United States has been vacated and I will have a new hearing to determine my new immigration status.

Going through the asylum process has been very hard for me. Thoughts of whether I have been trying to “save” my life have lingered. Jesus said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”[1] Am I putting my trust in the United States’ government to save me from persecution that God has apportioned for me? I have sometimes wondered why I have been going through this arduous process with everything seeming to work against me but now I am very thankful for this good news. The end is imminent.


[1] Luke 17:33, NIV.

December 10th, 2010

Cracks in the Crescent now a Google Edition eBook

Cracks in the Crescent (252 pages) is about Hussein Wario’s upbringing as a Sunni Muslim in Kenya, his conversion to Christianity and the ensuing persecution. It is now available as an ebook. You can read it  on the Web, Android phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Nook, Sony devices and other supported eReaders. To start reading, please click HERE. Thank you.

Here is a sampling of some of the reviews:

This book should be read by any and all Catholic clergy and laymen interested in Islam. While some of the information provided will call for great tact and sensitivity if shared with Muslim friends and acquaintances, it will readily furnish the needed resources and references required to help both Muslims and non-Muslims come to a clearer understanding of Islam and its growing influence in our world today. Dr. Philip Blosser, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Sacred Heart Major Seminar

…Elegantly written… The New Oxford Review

…Must read… The Standard Bearer

…Excellent… Rev. Otto Kaiser, Associate Professor of Religion, Global University (Assemblies of God)

If you are unfamiliar with Islam and its beliefs, this is an excellent book to have on hand. Christians should know what Muslims think about Christianity and the author has written a book unlike any other that I have read on the subject of Islam. This would also be an excellent book to give to Muslims because it shows quite clearly where they have been misinformed about Christians and in particular Jesus. If you have Muslim friends you want to get this book! Interviews & Reviews, Canada

The fact that it is autobiographical adds an important dimension that most books on Islam lack…. very special. Dr. R. Greenway, PhD, Professor of Missiology

Truly remarkable testimony of God’s grace… engaging and moving… Dr. Rex M. Rogers, PhD, President, SAT-7 USA

Hussein Wario is a Kenyan Christian of Sunni Muslim background. He blogs regularly here. You can listen to his testimony here or read it here.

June 25th, 2010

Muslims’ Persecution of Christians

Christians suffer persecution in most countries with majority Muslim population. Hector Aleem has been languishing in jail in Pakistan for more than a year. He is accused falsely of blasphemy. Here is a letter his daughter wrote earlier this year. Would you please use your resources to highlight this brother’s plight? Thank you. I know some of us have been writing for months on Dr. Ergun Caner. Here is Mehwish:

Dear All,

At a time that the United Nations calls Switzerland’s ban on new minarets “clearly discriminatory and deeply divisive,” and the whole world is condemning the swiss for their vote, I would like to bring to the attention of the world my plight.

My name is Mehwish Aleem and my father (Hector Aleem) is a human rights activist in Pakistan. He has been working as a human rights activist since 1996. He is running an NGO with the name of PEACE WORLDWIDE.

Hector Aleem has worked for Christians and Muslims without prejudice. But today he is in jail and could be killed at any time.

My father was working for a church destroyed by CDA (capital development authority) in Islamabad Pakistan. The church was destroyed because according to CDA it was built illegally. The charge was false.

There are many mosques in Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) that are built with no permit, but no one will dare to touch them. For example, there was a vacant lot near my house and a Maulvi (Muslim leader) started to build a mosque on it. The land belonged to an absentee owner. When the owner learned about it, he started to destroy the illegally built mosque on his property. Hundreds of Muslims rioted and threatened to kill the owner of the land. As the result he give up his land in order to save his life. The government did not intervene.

Churches on the other hand are destroyed by the governments’ own agents. When Hector Aleem objected to the destruction of the church he faced with several lawsuits ranging from fraud to criminal charges. He fought all of them in the courts and proved his innocence. His opponents tried to assassinate him several times. The Maulvies threatened him that if he continues to work for the church they would kill him and his sons, and would force his dughters to convert to Islam.

During this time Hector Aleem received a Peace award by Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani the prime minister of Pakistan. One month later, on 21st January, 2009 he was arrested by the police. They severely beat him and tortured him mentally and physically. After 24 hours of not knowing what were the charges, we were told that his offence is blasphemy, a charge that carries the death penalty in Pakistan.

According to the first information report someone sent a blasphemous message to a leader of Sunni Tehreek (a Muslim extremist organization) and that sender had once contacted my father. So my father is guilty by association. Since they could not find the offender, they arrested my father. Hector Aleem, is 51 years old and is a heart patient. He is not allowed to take his medication and is denied visitation.

During his trial a large mob gathered in front of the court chanting slogans against him and threatened the judge that if he releases my father they will kill him themselves and they will destroy the court and will also kill the judge and the lawyer who defended my father. Under the mob’s pressure, the judge refused bail. The lawyer of the plaintiffs, who is a Maulvi, told the judge that if he releases my father, he (my father) will be killed as soon as he steps outside the court. Then on 24 June 2009, chief justice of Pakistan Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed Chaudry granted my father bail, but the Maulvies lodged many other criminal cases against him so that he cannot come out. Hector Aleem is still in jail.

It is one year since his capture. The police are in cahoots with the Maulvies. Once two policemen went to my father’s cell and told him that even if he is granted a bail they will not let a blasphemer out. They will lodge so many cases against him that he will not be able to bear them.

Soon after that they proceeded to lodge more charges against my father. They used to take him to the police station every fifteen days, where they beat him and torture him in front of the Maulvies and the Taliban. I am begging for help. I plead to all those who champion the right of Muslims to build more minarets to also care about the minorities in Islamic countries. We are fighting for our lives. Are Muslim minarets more important than our lives of non-Muslims?

Please sign my petition. Please write to the Pakistani authorities listed bellow and ask them to release my father Hector Aleem as soon as possible. He is not guilty of any crime and the accusations of blasphemy that are made against him are false. They want to destroy him because he objected to the destruction of a church. Today, all our family is in hiding. All of us have received death threats. My siblings and I have left our studies and hide for our safety. There is no future for us in our country. If my father is released he will be killed by the mob. We need to get out of Pakistan. Please help us if you can. We don’t know where to turn and whom to ask for help. There is so much hoo-ha about the ban of minarets in Switzerland, but will anyone hear our cry? Please make our cry reach to the ears of those who care more for human life than building minarets. We have done nothing wrong. Our only crime is to be Christians in an Islamic country.

Please contact these authorities and tell them to release my father. They know Hector Aleem is innocent, they are afraid of the mob. Your concern will give them the excuse to act.

Sincerely,

Please Don’t Forget to sign this petition by clicking the link below.

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/HAleem/petition.html

For more information please visit Hector Aleem’s Blog

http://www.hectoraleem.blogspot.com

Mehwish Aleem

Free Hector Aleem Facebook Group

March 1st, 2010

Autobiography

Countless books have been written on the subject of Islam, making it a daunting task for the reader to select a good one. The lack of consensus among Islamic scholars also makes Islam a very complex topic. These scholars, who supposedly have the task of clearing the confusion in Islam, tend to prevaricate (beat around the bush) when questions that could help to decipher Islam are asked. As a result, ordinary Muslims and non-Muslims are generally victims of misinformation, rummaging through this morass trying to grasp Islamic teachings. Therefore, it is imperative for one to read a book with a clear, concise, and coherent message in order to gain a proper understanding of Islam. Cracks in the Crescent unravels some esoteric aspects of Islam by conspicuously illustrating them throughout my upbringing as a Muslim, my conversion to Christianity and the ensuing persecution. It is an objective appraisal of Islam that utilizes Allah’s word, the Qur’an, and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, the Hadith, to make its case. (Read the first four chapters HERE.)

WHERE TO BUY

There are a few thousand copies of Cracks in the Crescent in print and are available at Hope College, Calvin College, Reformed Book Outlet and Cornerstone University bookstores and Schuler Books & Music in the United States and CPRF Bookstore in Europe.

Also available at Amazon.com

You can also buy securely using PAYPAL here. You don’t have to have a Paypal account because a credit card, debit card or a check is accepted. Free shipping. Offer ends Friday, December 31, 2010.


February 9th, 2010

About Me

I am a former Kenyan Sunni Muslim who was educated in madrassa (Islamic religious school) during my formative years. (Hussein is my given first name, the name I received at birth. Hajji Wario was my father and he passed away on Wednesday, June 17, 1987. In madrassa I used to go by Hussein Hajji Wario. I legally go by Wario Hussein because the order of my name reversed with additional names added in April 1995.) Upon graduation from madrassa, I became a madrassa teaching assistant and a muadhin (a person who calls Muslims to pray) in my hometown, which is near Garsen. I converted to Christianity in August 1989 when I was 14 years old. My people group, the Orma, is one of the “unreached” people groups in the world because more than 99.98 percent is Muslim. I am only the second Orma to convert to Christianity.

My family found out about my conversion through my Muslim schoolmates at a boarding school six months later. Subsequent persecution resulted in the Kenyan government representative in my home area giving a final directive that led to my separation from my family in May 1990. I stayed in different parts of the country with various Christian families from different people groups and nationalities for about six years until I came to the United States in August 1996. I graduated from Hope College in 2000.

My faith journey is featured in my autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent. It discusses some esoteric aspects of Islam by conspicuously illustrating them throughout my upbringing as a Muslim, my conversion to Christianity and the ensuing persecution. It utilizes the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, the Hadith, to make its case.

Portions of my conversion story and the subsequent persecution have been featured in a 1998 book, The Call of Africa; the Grand Rapids Press in October 1996; a nationwide radio broadcast through Radio Bible Class (RBC) Ministries’ weekend program Words to Live By in the United States, Canada and in some select countries in October 2003; and a reformed semi-monthly magazine the Standard Bearer in September 2006. I have shared my story with churches, schools, colleges, and Christian groups in Kenya and the United States.

I live to give glory to the Lord for saving me from among my people. I am grateful, among many things, for His protection from my detractors. I believe that the Lord has called me to be an encouragement to His church and also be an instrument in mitigating difficulties it faces in understanding Islam and reaching out to Muslims. Please email me at info@husseinwario.com or call me if you have any question on Islam or if you would like me to speak at any of your events. Thank you.

My autobiography, Cracks in the Crescent, is available for purchase. Free shipping. Offer ends Friday, December 31, 2010.