prison

EVENT: The Path Forward for Human Rights in Iran

Ottawa-Iran-e1452800345317.jpg

In Ottawa February 3, 2016? Join us for:

The Path Forward for Human Rights in Iran

Join the Machzikei Hadas Congregation & One Free World International for an evening to learn about the new reality for advancing human rights in Iran.

Feature speakers will discuss how to keep the pressure on the Iranian regime to address their dismal human rights track record and what Canadians can do to help activists and minorities in Iran.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Rev. Majed El Shafie, President & Founder, One Free World International
  • Rabbi Reuven Bulka, Rabbi Emeritus, Machzikei Hadas Synagogue
  • Mr. Shimon Fogel, CEO, Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
  • Ardeshir Zarezadeh, Director, International Centre for Human Rights
  • Shabnam Assadollahi, Human Rights Advocate
  • Corinne Box, The Bahá'í Community of Canada
  • Garnett Genuis, MP for Sherwood Park - Fort Saskatchewan
  • David Kilgour

When: February 3, 2016 | 7:00-9:00pm

Where: Machzikei Hadas Synagogue, 2310 Virginia Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

RSVP: info@onefreeworldinternational.org

2016-02-03 Iran Nuclear Deal Ottawa Event

Rev. Majed El Shafie Shares His Story on Fox News Radio

Majed-El-Shafie-publicity-image-285x4001.jpg

Listen to Rev. Majed El Shafie share his powerful story on the Vipp Jaswal Report (Fox News Radio).  Rev. El Shafie was severely tortured and sentenced to death for his conversion to Christianity and bringing awareness to human rights violations related to religious persecution. Belonging to a very prominent legal and political family inEgypt, Rev. El Shafie had tried to work within the Egyptian system to reform the country’s human rights regime.  Hear Rev. El Shafie's powerful story of victory in persecution here.  

Victory Report – Maryam and Marzieh Freed

Iran-Map.gif

Victory Report – Maryam and Marzieh Freed

Dear Friends and Partners,

Two Iranian women, Maryam and Marzieh, were freed without bail last week from the Iranian prison where they have been held for almost 9 months. You may recall our alert dated September 20, 2009 in which we told you of the amazing courage and fortitude exhibited by these two young converts from Islam during a court hearing in August. When the prosecutor attempted to pressure them into renouncing their Christian faith, they refused steadfastly and boldly testified about their relationship with God.Iran Map

After the hearing Maryam and Marzieh were sent back to Evin prison, an Iranian prison notorious for its abuses, and told to return when they were ready to comply with the court’s demands to renounce their faith. The women suffered numerous health problems without adequate medical treatment and reportedly lost a lot of weight while in prison, but they are grateful to be free.In October, the women were acquitted of the charge of “anti-state activities” but charges of “taking part in illegal gatherings” and apostasy remain outstanding.

While the government recently decided not to pass a threatened apostasy law, torture and extrajudicial killings are common in Iran. Maryam and Marzieh are expected to face further court hearings and, if found guilty, could still face abusive punishments or death. They are also expected to be subject to heavy surveillance which will greatly restrict their freedoms.Maryam and Marzieh are just two of many Christians in Iran who are either in prison or out on bail facing similar charges. Other minorities, such as the Bahá’í’s, also face varying degrees of persecution. In the midst of growing repression, Maryam and Marzieh and the entire Christian community as well as other minority communities in Iran need our continued prayers and support.

Please pray:

• for Maryam and Marzieh’s continued recovery from their ordeal and their safety as well as for victory in the outstanding charges against them. Pray that they would be able to use their experiences to encourage other Christians and to glorify God;

• for the numerous others in prison for their faith in Iran, that they would be protected from harm and be released and able to seek and worship God freely;

• that all charges and laws criminalizing religious beliefs and activity would be dropped or repealed without delay and that Iranian authorities would stop targeting minority religious communities and focus on governing their people with fairness and justice for the benefit of the entire country; and,

• for the Iranian people, that they would be able to live and worship freely and that they would find true peace and freedom in the Prince of Peace.

 ACTION:

The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write (contact details are included below):

• the representative of Iran in your country, demanding that Iranian authorities respect international human rights standards with respect to religious freedom and their own constitution and that they drop the charges against Maryam and Marzieh as well as all others who are facing charges based on their religious beliefs or activity; assure them that an Iran where all Iranians, regardless of their beliefs, would be able to live, work, and worship in freedom will be a strong and prosperous Iran; and,

• to the Minister for Foreign Affairs or Secretary of State in your country, urging them to continue using every means at their disposal to make treatment of religious minorities in Iran a primary focus of foreign policy in the region.

Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: info@onefreeworldinternational.org

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

Source: Compass Direct

CONTACT: In Canada:

Mr. Bahram Ghasemi, Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran 245 Metcalfe St. Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2 Tel.: (613) 235-4726; Fax: (613) 232-5712 Email: executive@salamiran.org

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Canada 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON   K1A 0G2 Tel.: (613) 992-5516; Fax: (613) 992-6802 Email: Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca

In the United States:

Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran Embassy of Pakistan 2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20007 Tel.: (202) 965-4990; Fax: (202) 965-1073 Email: requests@daftar.org

Secretary Hillary Clinton U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC  20520 Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard) Webform:http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php?p_sid=F5OZZa6i&p_lva=&p_sp=&p_li

Save Hamoud and Yemane in Saudi Arabia

Saudi-Arabia-Map.jpg

Save Hamoud and Yemane in Saudi Arabia  Dear Friends and Partners,

Saudi Arabia MapA few months ago we sent an alert about a young Saudi woman who had been killed by her father after he discovered her conversion to Christianity. On the heels of that incident, a Saudi convert was arrested and a foreign Christian forced into hiding in January. While we receive reports from the Saudi kingdom about such incidents on a fairly regular basis, these two incidents in Riyadh, the capital city, have Christians particularly worried about the direction of Saudi policy even while the kingdom projects a moderate image by sponsoring inter-faith dialogues in the international arena.

On January 13, 2009, Hamoud Bin Saleh, a 28-year old Saudi national, was arrested after posting comments on his blog describing his conversion to Christianity and criticizing the Saudi judicial system. Several years ago, after Hamoud witnessed three Pakistanis convicted on drug charges being publicly beheaded, he became disillusioned with Islamic justice and began researching comparative religions while traveling and studying abroad. As a result of his study, he converted to Christianity and began advocating equal rights for Christians in Saudi Arabia. Hamoud has been arrested previously for nine months in 2004 and for a month in November 2008, at which time he was released for the duration of a Saudi-sponsored inter-faith conference in New York and immediately re-arrested. Hamoud’s blog has now been blocked by Saudi authorities.

In the meantime, Yemane Gebriel, a 42-year old Eritrean house-church pastor who has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for 25 years, has been forced into hiding because of threats to his life in three separate incidents last month. On January 10, 2009 he found a note on his windshield saying that he would be killed if he didn’t leave the country. Three days later he was stopped by a member of the religious police, accompanied by a police officer, who asked why he was still in the country and threatened him with unspecified “measures”. Two days after that he was forced out of his van by four masked men who again threatened to kill him if he didn’t leave the country. For about 10 years Yemane led a house-church that he and three others had founded, with about 150 foreigners meeting weekly in his villa. In 2005 he was arrested along with 16 other foreigners, but was released after a few weeks because of diplomatic pressure.

As we have mentioned in earlier alerts, Saudi Arabia is an important western ally in the war on terror. Despite some very public international gestures by the new Saudi king in the name of inter-religious dialogue, the kingdom’s Islamic Shari’ah-based legal system is one of the most repressive in the world. Apostasy (conversion) and blasphemy (insulting Islam or Mohammed) are punishable by death and all public non-Muslim religious observance is prohibited. Even private observance among foreigners, while officially tolerated, is severely restricted and reports of raids on private worship services are not uncommon. The government controls all media and Saudis have no access to Bibles or any non-Muslim religious literature apart from specifically seeking it out on the internet or, like Hamoud, by traveling abroad. Any conversions take place in utmost secrecy and the number of Saudi Christians is impossible to determine.

Saudi Arabia’s “religious police” or “mutawwa’in”, officially known as the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, ensure strict compliance with Islamic rules. The government has reportedly relaxed some of its constraints on criticism of the mutawwa’in and made some attempts to restrain them but abuses continue. In any event, we must not rest before everyone under Saudi jurisdiction, Saudi or foreigner, Muslim or non-Muslim, has full freedom to explore any religious or non-religious beliefs and to freely change their own beliefs and to express them, not only in private but also in public teaching, discussion, or observance.

Please pray:

• for Hamoud Bin Saleh, that he would find strength and comfort in the Lord in the midst of darkness, and that he would be released quickly and proceed to be a strong and courageous advocate for religious freedom and human rights in a closed and repressive society;

• for Yemane Gebriel and his family, who have been living apart since his wife and children were able to relocate to Egypt in August 2007, that they will find courage and comfort in their faith and security from threats of violence and that those who have threatened them would realize the wrong in their actions and begin to seek true peace and justice;

• that the Saudi authorities would recognize the importance of respecting human rights and religious freedom and guarantee their citizens the ability to freely research, question, and change their beliefs as they desire; and,

• that the Saudi people would begin to question and challenge the beliefs that allow such oppression and injustice and that they would discover true freedom in the Prince of Peace.

ACTION:

The Bible teaches that faith without action is dead, so please take action urgently and write (contact details are included below):

• to the Saudi ambassador, demanding that Saudi authorities release Hamoud Bin Saleh ensuring his right to religious freedom and freedom of expression, and that they guarantee both his and Yemane Gebriel’s safety. Encourage Saudi authorities to respect international law and human rights standards by ensuring religious freedom for both foreigners and Saudis in their country; and,

• to your foreign affairs minister or secretary of state encouraging them to raise these issues with the Saudi authorities and to demand Saudi compliance with international human rights standards in general by ensuring religious freedom for all citizens and foreigners in the kingdom and specifically by releasing Hamoud Bin Saleh and guaranteeing his and Yemane Gebriel’s safety. Our need for support in the war on terror is not an excuse to ignore wrongs committed by our allies.

Please remember to send us a copy of your correspondence at: info@onefreeworldinternational.org  

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

Sources: Compass Direct News and One Free World International

CONTACT:

In Canada:
His Excellency Abdulaziz H. Al-Sowayegh Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia 201 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON   K1N 1K6 Tel.: (613) 237-4100; Fax: (613) 237-0567The Honourable Lawrence Cannon Minister for Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs Canada 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON   K1A 0G2 Tel.: (613) 992-5516; Fax: (613) 992-6802 Email: Cannon.L@parl.gc.ca

In the United States:

His Excellency Adel A. Al-Jubeir Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia 601 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20037 Tel.: (202) 342-3800 Email: info@saudiembassy.net

Secretary Hillary Clinton U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20520 Tel.: (202) 647-4000 (Main switchboard) Webform