Barbara G. Baker

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Former Iranian army colonel acquitted in Islamic court; military conviction still in force

ISTANBUL (BP)--An Islamic court in Iran has acquitted a Christian lay pastor and former army colonel, Hamid Pourmand, on charges of apostasy and proselytizing, declaring, “Under sharia [Islamic law], there are no charges against you,” Compass Direct news service reported May 30.
      During a May 28 court hearing in the southern port city of Bandar-i Bushehr, Pourmand’s judge declared he was acquitting Pourmand, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity 25 years ago, because he had “done nothing wrong” according to Islamic law.

Turkey’s Protestants face attacks, anti-missionary threats

ISTANBUL, (BP)--A Protestant pastor in the Turkish industrial city of Izmit woke up May 18 to find a huge red swastika painted on his apartment door, with a handwritten hate letter shoved underneath, according to a report by Compass Direct news service.

A first: Pakistani lower court acquits Christian of blasphemy

ISTANBUL, Turkey (BP)--Anwer Masih was acquitted of blasphemy in Lahore, Pakistan, last month by a Judicial Magistrate’s Court, making him the first Pakistani Christian ever acquitted of the charge in the country’s lower courts, according to a report by Compass Direct news service.

Pakistani gunmen murder 7 Christians in Karachi

ISTANBUL (BP)--Armed gunmen attacked a Pakistani Christian welfare organization in Karachi Sept. 25, killing seven Christians and leaving an eighth critically injured, Compass Direct news service reported.

Pakistan’s Christians told to ‘protect themselves’

ISTANBUL (BP)--In the wake of two more deadly terrorist attacks against Christian institutions in Pakistan in early August, government security officials have advised local church leaders to arm themselves for possible assaults by Muslim extremists.

Christian’s appeal among 4,911 backlogged in Pakistan court

ISTANBUL (BP)--The Supreme Court of Pakistan went into its official summer recess during the week of June 11, dousing hopes that Christian death-row prisoner Ayub Masih's final judicial appeal might be heard before sessions resume in September. Then, on June 17, judges of both the Supreme Court and the High Court of Pakistan issued an official notice that they had agreed to continue working through at least half of the recess period, Compass Direct news service reported June 19.

Deportations from Saudi Arabia continue for detained Christians

ISTANBUL (BP)--Five jailed Christians caught in deportation wrangles in Saudi Arabia since December have been released to their home countries during the past two weeks, leaving one Filipino and two Ethiopians still under detention by Saudi authorities, Compass Direct news service reported Feb. 12.

Questions of forced conversion to be aired in Egyptian court

ISTANBUL (BP)--The religious identity of a Coptic Christian pharmacist who suddenly converted to Islam last year while being treated for severe mental illness will be the focus of a Cairo court of appeals hearing May 14, Compass Direct news service reported May 7.

Saudi Arabia begins deporting expatriate Christian prisoners

ISTANBUL, Turkey (BP)–Five of some 20 expatriate Christians arrested in Riyadh last month were deported by the Saudi Arabian government to their home countries July 14. Four Filipinos and a Dutch national were believed to have been expelled for involvement in Christian activities, which are strictly forbidden in the Muslim kingdom. At least eight other […]