Nine detained for converting from Islam to Christianity
“Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
– Psalm 12:5 [NIV]
Yemeni police have detained at least nine people for converting from Islam to Christianity, a security official has admitted. The nine were arrested between May and early August and remain in police custody, said the official.
Converting from Islam to any other religion is illegal in Yemen and can be punishable by death. But in previous cases, those arrested are usually released after they revoke their new faith and pledge to return to Islam.
Three of the nine were detained in the capital, San’a, said the official, but he declined to provide details about the others. A family member of one of the detainees said he fears those arrested could face torture or abuse in prison. He said that Hani el-Dahayni, 30, was detained in May after police stormed his office and confiscated computers and compact discs.
Mansour Hayel, vice president of the Omar al-Gawi Political Forum that advocates for human rights and civil liberties in Yemen, blamed the arrests on the growing influence of extremist Muslim groups in Yemen.
Source: Assist News / International Christian Concern
- Ask God to give strength and endurance to the nine prisoners and their families
- Pray for their protection and swift release
- Pray that God would prosper the work of those working for religious freedom in Yemen
Update on Christian girls kidnapped in Pakistan
The custody battle over Saba and Aneela Younis, who were allegedly forced to convert to Islam, remained inconclusive after a hearing on 20 August, with rights advocates for the family suspecting Muslim fundamentalists of pressuring the minors and a medical board. The next hearing has been set for 9 September. For the latest information see www.opendoorsuk.org/news.
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