El Shafie Ministries

Urgent Support Needed for Sensitive Intervention

posts-header.jpg
Dear Friends and Partners,

As we write, we are preparing a sensitive rescue mission in a very dangerous part of the world. You will recall the efforts that went into saving little Neeha and her family and Magdi Youssef, and the danger that accompanied those interventions and others we have carried out. Your prayers and support enabled us to complete those successful missions and the current operation will require every bit as much care, trust, and attention from our team at OFWI headquarters and support from you, our family.

In order to ensure the safety of all those involved, we regret that we will not be able to give further details until after the successful conclusion of this intervention. But in the meantime, we urgently need your help: we need your prayers and financial support for this operation without delay. The success of the mission and the lives of your brothers and sisters depend on it. Please pray for Rev. El Shafie and the success of this intervention and, if you are able, give generously to secure the success of this operation. We look forward to being able to provide a full victory report, but we need your confidence and support. Thank you for your faithfulness and love and we trust that we can count on you to help in any way you can.

In the meantime, you can take the opportunity to view Rev. El Shafie’s recent testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the United States Congress where he testified on March 21, 2012 about the experiences of religious minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This opportunity follows on the heels of his testimony before the Subcommittee on Human Rights of the U.S. Congress in October last year. Click here for the video.

As we work on completing this critical mission and look forward to sending you a victory report, please pray:

• for Rev. El Shafie, that he would have the wisdom and boldness to successfully carry out this mission and for his personal safety throughout;

• for the victims, that they would be filled with peace, hope, and courage and, most importantly, strengthened in their faith in the midst of this trying time;

• for the local authorities, that we would find favour in their eyes and that no one would be able to prevent this rescue;

• that God would supply the resources, from the right people to all the material resources needed for the success of this mission; and,

• for all those involved in planning and executing this mission, that they would have the wisdom, understanding, and spirit of cooperation to be effective agents for rescuing God’s precious faithful ones.

ACTION:

The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and send your financial support for this mission to:

One Free World International 20 Bloor Street East, Box 75129 Toronto, ON M4W 3T3

Or by Direct Deposit to:

Bank: Toronto Dominion Bank Institution Code: 004 Transit Number: 12492 Account Number: 1249 5002036 (Canadian deposits); 1249 7200215 (U.S. dollar deposits) Swift: TDOMCATTTOR

Remember that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling. They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.

“They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream” in the Lord’s name.

Be with God and may God be with you.

Rev. Majed El Shafie President and Founder One Free World International El Shafie Ministries

2011 in Review

posts-header.jpg
Dear Friends and Partners,

We hope that you had a very peaceful and joyful Christmas and happy Hanukkah, and we take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year from the OFWI team. As 2011 comes to a close we are pleased to be able to share with you some of the highlights and challenges that marked this momentous and eventful year…

We would like to begin with one of the high notes of this year, which was the completion of Freedom Fighter, a documentary movie that introduces Rev. El Shafie’s story and follows his work over the last four years, including a segment on his rescue of little Neeha and her family. The film was premiered in Vancouver and Toronto and has been screened at several film festivals where it has won critical acclaim and been recognized with the award for Best Documentary Feature, the Gold Award for a Documentary Feature, and Official Selection. Freedom Fighter is also scheduled to be screened at some upcoming film festivals and we have been working with our distributor to make it more widely available to you in the New Year.

Alerts, Cases, and Missions

Much of 2011 was spent planning and executing a very delicate and dangerous mission to Iraq which we have told you about throughout the year. Rev. El Shafie assembled a delegation that included a Canadian member of parliament and senator as observers and was the highest-level Canadian visit to Iraq since the beginning of the war. The delegation met with senior government officials including the Vice-President, the Deputy Prime Minister, the President of Parliament (equivalent to our Speaker of the House), the Minister of Human Rights, the Minister of the Environment, senior Foreign Affairs officials, and others and Rev. El Shafie challenged them about the threats facing Iraqi minorities. He also supported Iraqi refugees and visited Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad where he spoke with and encouraged parishioners whose church had been targeted in a hostage-taking in which more than 50 people were killed in October 2010.

The situation in Egypt received the majority of the focus in our alerts this year, beginning with the New Year’s attack on al-Qiddissin church in Alexandria. Less than a month later, Egypt was the focus of the world’s attention as the Egyptian people undertook an historic campaign to openly oppose the government, eventually forcing President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The army stepped in to govern the country through the transition to a new regime, but we shared with you about our concerns over Islamic extremists strengthening their position and about the continued and worsening attacks against Christians by both Islamic extremists and the army.  The October 9 massacre at Maspero in Cairo when the army turned its armoured vehicles against a crowd of peaceful Christian demonstrators horrified the world yet prompted only weak statements from our political leaders which fell notably short of doing justice to the outrage and condemnation this event deserved. In addition to working hard to keep this attack before decision-makers, OFWI also responded by sending medical supplies to treat injured Christians.

We have monitored the situation in Nigeria since we mentioned it together with Egypt in our first alert of the year. This is an on-going situation and an alert will follow this update summarizing events of this year and focusing on attacks that took place this Christmas.

In the meantime, Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani continues to face the death sentence for apostasy (converting from Islam).  While Iranian authorities indicate the case is still pending, we are concerned that the sentence may be carried out quietly as the delays turn the world’s attention elsewhere. Your letters together with thousands of others from around the world have been invaluable in Pastor Yousef’s case and as long as he is still alive, your continued attention to this matter in 2012 can literally help to save his life.

Other Events

Shortly after his return from Iraq, Rev. El Shafie was invited to advise the Canadian government with respect to its proposed Office for Religious Freedom. His oral testimony at the official consultations was very well received and was supported by a written report setting out OFWI’s recommendations with respect to the Office, which we hope will be an effective tool in the fight against religious persecution around the world. Finally, Rev. El Shafie was invited to testify before the human rights subcommittees of the US Congress and the Canadian Parliament where he was asked to share his insights into the dramatic events that have taken place in Egypt and the situation in Iraq.

As always, we are blessed and humbled to be granted the opportunities to speak to those in positions of power and authority on behalf of the persecuted Christians and other people of minority religions who have no voice. This year has been full of challenges, hope, and victory, but we are already planning our campaigns for 2012 and the only thing we are sure of is that there will be no shortage of events calling for our urgent intervention. More than this, however, we are secure in the knowledge that as we stand with the persecuted and the oppressed, we are fulfilling the will and call of God on our lives and He will stand with us to accomplish the mission.

Special Thanks

We would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to our OFWI team, those partners and volunteers who work anonymously behind the scenes, sacrificing their time, sleep, effort, finances, and even lives, to ensure that the work moves forward.

Finally, the OFWI family would like to thank all of you for being partners in our work in 2011. Without your active participation, prayers, and moral and financial support none of our work would be possible. We undertake our work by faith, knowing that it is the call of the Lord and that it must be done, making great sacrifices and trusting that He will provide even though the work requires tremendous resources. Please take this opportunity to prayerfully consider making a special year-end donation to OFWI or committing to support our work on a monthly basis in the coming year (OFWI’s address and banking information are included below).

Once again, we hope that you had a lovely Christmas and Hanukkah, and wish you a very happy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year 2012!! As we look forward to the New Year and all the challenges that lie ahead, we trust that you will continue to support our work, both in prayer and financially, and by taking action with us on behalf of the persecuted church.

Please continue to pray through 2012 for Pastor Nadarkhani and his family and for the Christians in Egypt and around the world that they would experience the love and presence of Christ at this special time and be able to rejoice in the midst of their suffering. Pray that they would stay strong and courageous in the face of great evil and that their response to their enemies would help their persecutors experience and receive the joy, love, and peace of Christ.

Finally, remember that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling.  They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.

“They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream” in the Lord’s name.

Be with God and may God be with you.

One Free World International El Shafie Ministries

One Free World International Delegation Returns Safely from Iraq

posts-header.jpg
Dear Friends and Partners,

We are pleased to report that Rev. El Shafie andMajed El Shafie with Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi (photo: OFWI) his delegation have returned safely from a successful mission to Iraq. During this mission the delegation discussed the threats facing Iraqi minorities with high-level government officials including the Vice-President, the Deputy Prime Minister, the President of Parliament (equivalent to our Speaker of the House), the Minister of Human Rights, the Minister of the Environment, senior Foreign Affairs officials, and others. With a Canadian member of parliament and senator along as observers on our delegation, this was the highest-level Canadian visit to Iraq since the war.

Our Lady of Salvation Church Bombing in Baghdad Rev. El Shafie also visited Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad and spoke with and encouraged victims shaken by recent attacks on their communities. Our Lady of Salvation Church was the target of a hostage-taking in which more than 50 people were killed over several hours during Sunday mass on October 31, 2010. Despite some calming of the overall security situation in Iraq, minorities continue to be threatened as evidenced by the attacks that took place last month against churches in Kirkuk which we mentioned in a recent alert.

Approximately 50% of Iraqi Christians have fled as refugees to neighbouring countries and other destinations since the American-led invasion. The Mandaean community is even harder hit with only about 10% of their people remaining in Iraq. Like many Iraqis, Christians and other minorities have fled the violence associated with the invasion and ensuing insurgency but those who remain face further danger… Their churches and communities have been targeted specifically by bombs, kidnappings, and threats, including threats to either convert to Islam, leave, or be killed. Authorities make a show of responding when an attack is too scandalous to ignore, but Iraqi minorities point to indications that the authorities themselves are often complicit in these attacks.

Our delegation has returned but this mission is not over as Rev. El Shafie will be bringing the plight of Iraqi minorities to the attention of Canadians and Americans and our decision-makers in the weeks to come. In the meantime, OFWI has significant outstanding expenses from this mission and we need your help urgently. If you are able, please help shoulder part of the financial burden of this mission and send your special contribution today. As you know, OFWI is fully supported through the contributions of our friends and members without whose support none of our work would be possible. We regret that OFWI is not able to issue tax receipts for your donations; however, US residents wishing to make a significant donation and requiring a tax receipt can contact us at info@onefreeworldinternational.org for information on how to donate.

Thank you for your faithful support for the work of OFWI through your prayers and financial contributions. Without your support on both levels we would not be able to do what we do, so please stand with us as we stand with the people of Iraq who deserve to live in peace, freedom, and equality regardless of their religious beliefs.

Please pray:

• for the besieged Iraqi Christian community and other minorities, that they would remain strong, steadfast, and faithful in the midst of the great trials and dangers they face daily;

• for the Iraqi people in general, that they would be able to put aside their differences and work together to re-build their country after decades of war and oppression and that they would find true peace in the Prince of Peace; and,

• for Iraqi authorities, that they would govern their country with truth, justice, and righteousness, and guarantee for the Iraqi people the freedom to seek and worship God in freedom and in accordance with their conscience.

ACTION:

The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and help us defray the costs of this mission by sending your donation today to:One Free World International 20 Bloor Street East, Box 75129 Toronto, ON M4W 3T3Or by direct deposit to:Bank: Royal Bank of Canada Institution Code: 003 Transit Number: 5452 Account Number: 1008507 (Canadian deposits); 4003232 (U.S. dollar deposits) Swift: ROYCCAT2

Remember that the persecuted Christians are dying every day, but they are still smiling.  They are in a very deep dark night, but they have the candle of the Lord. The enemy can have a very strong weapon and a very strong army, but we have the Lord Almighty.

"They can kill the dreamer, but they cannot kill the dream" in the Lord’s name.

Be with God and may God be with you.

Fatima

Iranian Government Launches Crackdown Against Christians

Iranian Government Launches Crackdown Against Christians

two courageous Iranian women who suffered several months of prison and abuse because of their Christian faith but who were eventually freed thanks in part to your faithful prayers and letters on their behalf.

In addition to a number of other individuals who have been arrested in the meantime...