June 27, 2019

ETHIOPIA: Church Ordered to Vacate

Worship in Ethiopia

Despite meeting in the same location for ten years, a church in central Ethiopia has been ordered to vacate, citing noise violations. Members of the Mekane Yesus Evangelical Church in the town of Robe were told by state authorities that neighbours have complained about the noise and that the building was not suitable for worship services. They also claimed that those attending were not from the local area.

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EGYPT: Facebook Posts Lead to Riot and Arrests

Damage in the home of Fady Yousef's parents - Photo: Facebook / Nader Shukry
Damages at the home
of Fady's parents.
Photo: Facebook / Nader Shukry
via Morning Star News

In early June, posts critical of Islam showed up on the Facebook page of Fady Youssef Todari, a 25-year-old young man from Giza. When he noticed the posts, he was quick to announce that his Facebook account had been hacked and, as a result, posted a video message apologizing for any disdainful messages that had occurred. Despite this, militants in the village called for revenge.

Hundreds of Muslim protestors gathered on June 10th and marched to the homes of Fady's father and uncle. While both homes were damaged by the mob, the home where Fady lived with his father was destroyed.

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PAKISTAN: Appeal Adjourned for the Seventh Time

Zafar Bhatti
Zafar Bhatti

Zafar Bhatti has been in prison since July 2012, charged with blasphemous text messages. In 2017, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He denies any involvement as the mobile phone in question was not registered to his name. He has appealed the sentence, yet hearings have been repeatedly adjourned. The latest court date was set for June 19th, but it too was delayed for the seventh time. The hearing is now rescheduled to take place on September 12th.

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