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Iranian government increases Christian persecution

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8 Aug 2012
Iranian government increases Christian persecution

The Farsi Christian News Network cited on its website Friday a report from the Tehran-based, Persian-language Haran News Agency that Christian activist and House Church organizer Farshid Fat’hi has had his six-year prison sentence upheld by an appeals court. Fat’hi is one of several Iranian’s who have been arrested and jailed for practicing Christianity in the Islamic Republic, and was specifically charged in 2011 with “acting against national security through membership of the Christian organization Ilam, collection of funds and propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country.” FCNN posted an appeal saying “Farshid Fat’hi is, now more than ever, in need of your and the church’s support and prayers. His sense of pride in the service of God is shared by all Iranian-Christians. United in Christ, we call for his immediate freedom from this grossly unfair sentence.”

Hezbollah attacks foiled
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Wednesday that it had recently rounded up a group of Arab-Israeli men operating on behalf of the Lebanese Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah. The eight men were arraigned in the Nazareth District Court, as the Shin Bet presented evidence including 20 kilograms of C-4 plastic explosives the men had received from Hezbollah smugglers, along with other weapons. "The explosives could have been used against any type of target inside Israel," a senior Shin Bet official said on Wednesday. "This is just the tip of the iceberg of Hezbollah's efforts against Israel...the attempted attack here and the recent attack in Bulgaria are all carried out by the same organization."

Family of Hamas leader receives medical treatment in Israel
Suhila Abd el-Salam Ahmed Haniyeh, the sister of Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh recently entered Israel along with her husband, who was treated for a serious medical condition at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Despite the favor Israel did his sister and her husband, Haniyeh has been relentless in his condemnation of Israel, including leading a prayer meeting outside the Egyptian Embassy in Gaza City on Monday in which he accused Israel of orchestrating last Sunday’s attack on Egyptian troops in the Sinai desert.

More Israelis coming home
Israel’s Central Bureau of statistics published a report this week which shows that fewer Israelis are moving overseas than at any point in the last 40 years. The data also shows that a large number of people who have emigrated in recent years are returning, which the report’s authors credited to the relatively strong economy in Israel and deteriorating economic opportunities in North America and Europe. Including children born to Israeli parents in other countries, the CBS estimates that nearly 800,000 Israeli citizens live in other countries, mostly the US and Canada.

Scandinavian flotilla to confront Israel’s Gaza blockad
A Scandinavian activist group, “Ship to Gaza,” launched the aid ship, SV Estelle, departing from Oslo and destined for Gaza on Tuesday. "We have the same goal as the previous flotillas, to put an end to the blockade of Gaza by challenging the Israeli navy," said Torstein Dahle, the leader of the Norwegian division.

Greece awards Peres gold during Athens visit
Evangelos Meimarakis, president of the Greek Parliament, presented Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Gold Medal of the Hellenic Parliament recognizing his contribution to the global community during his visit to Athens this week. Peres is “a man who has contributed to peace in a region that has been sorely tried,” remarked Meimarakis. The medal, the highest honor Greece offers, is engraved with the image of Pericles, the great Athenian leader who rebuilt the city in the wake of the Persian wars. During his visit, Peres held discussions with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and other dignitaries on advancing cooperation between the two countries in politics, security, culture and economics. Peres encouraged Greece to pursue science and technology and offered Israel’s full cooperation in every aspect of bilateral relations.


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