Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Message from the Chairman of Peace Worldwide Mr. Hector Aleem on International Tolerance Day

In 1996, the UN General Assembly (by resolution 51/95) invited UN Member States to observe the International Day for Tolerance on 16 November, with activities directed towards both educational establishments and the wider public.

This action followed on the United Nations Year for Tolerance, 1995, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 at the initiative of UNESCO, as outlined in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance and Follow-up Plan of Action for the Year.
The 2005 World Summit Outcome document (A/RES/60/1) furthered the commitment of Heads of State and Government to advance human welfare, freedom and progress everywhere, as well as to encourage tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples. 

This day is very important because there is intolerance everywhere. Almost every human being on this planet is carrying intolerance in his/her mind and that intolerance often takes the form of violence and other hate crimes. This day is not observed much like other international Observance days because people are not tolerant to anything they don’t like.

There are two main reasons why people are intolerant to each other i.e. “Religion” and “Race”. We must all understand that we are same human beings no matter what our color of skin is. Racial intolerance was the reason behind World War 2 which destroyed the lives of millions around the globe.

Religious intolerance on the other hand is growing even more than racial intolerance. Almost every country on this planet is in the grip of religious intolerance. There are religious extremist organizations which are responsible for many terrorist attacks across the planet. There is no religion which teaches any person to hate. There is one common message in all religions which is “love”.

So it’s better to put the differences aside and look what is common in us. We are all same and are equal to each other no matter what our race, culture, religion or language is. We must understand that we are human beings and we must tolerate each other in order to live with peace and harmony. Tolerance is the one which separates human beings from animals. There is no tolerance in animals, but we are different and we can tolerate each other.

As we all face the complex and global challenges of our times, Peace Worldwide will continue to work for the mutual understanding among people and countries. Tolerate each other, not only for yourselves but for your coming generations.

Hector Aleem
Peace Worldwide

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Christians in the Middle East: Egypt

The Middle East is the birthplace of Christianity and home to some of the world's most ancient Christian denominations. But Christian communities across the region are declining in numbers because of a combination of low birth rates, emigration and, in some places, persecution and violence. Here are some Facts about Egypt in which Christian persecution is a common practice.

Most Christians in Egypt are Copts - Christians descended from the ancient Egyptians.
  • Total pop: 84.5m
  • Christians: 8.9m (est)
  • 10.5% of total pop
  • Main Church: Coptic Orthodox
  • Issues: Anti-Christian violence; political instability
  • Sources: World Christian Database; UN
Their Church split from the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in 451AD because of a theological dispute over the nature of Christ, but is now, on most issues, doctrinally similar to the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Coptic language - a derivative of the ancient Egyptian language, written mainly in the Greek alphabet - is still used for small parts of services.
Christian-Muslim relations have deteriorated in recent years, with outbreaks of violence by radical Islamists against Christians and their places of worship.
Egyptian Christians have accused the post-Mubarak governing military council of being too lenient on the perpetrators of the attacks.
Copts also complain of discrimination, including a law requiring presidential permission for churches to be built.
A plethora of other Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Armenian Churches are present in smaller numbers in Egypt.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

National Commission for minorities’ protection soon

ISLAMABAD (APP) - Minister of State for National Harmony Akram Masih Gill has said that a National Commission will be established for the protection of the rights of the minorities in the country to promote interfaith harmony among different sects. 
The minister expressed these views while talking to Second Secretary Political, British High commission, Ben Stride, who called on him here on Thursday. He said Ministry of National Harmony has been formed, which will have six departments pertaining to federal legislation about minorities’ affairs.
Akram Gill said the ministry will promote peace, patience and tolerance in the country and also work for understanding and brotherhood among people of different sects or different schools of thought. The ministry will also promote inter-faith harmony in the country and enact new laws and take policy decisions to promote inter-faith harmony and also look after international agreements about minorities.
He said representatives will be sent at United Nations sub-commission on prevention of discrimination to minorities and a welfare fund will be established in the ministry for the development of the minorities and scholarships will be given to their children. The minister thanked the British government for announcing development assistance for the reduction of poverty, promotion of education and health sectors in Pakistan and for extending helping hand when the floods hit the country in 2010.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Congratulations To South Sudan

The whole team of Peace Worldwide wants to congratulate the very new nation on the face of this planet known as South Sudan. We wish all citizens of South Sudan a very stable and happy Journey ahead and we wish them all best of luck. 

God Bless South Sudan

Peace  Worldwide 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thank You For Your Support

Dear brothers and sisters due to your prayers, financial and moral support. Mr. Hector Aleem chairman Peace Worldwide has been acquitted from blasphemy case. Honorable Additional Session judge Rawalpindi Mr. Sarfaraz Akhtar announced that Hector Aleem is acquitted and ordered the higher authorities of police to take severe action against the Investigation Officer sub Inspector Zafar Iqbal regarding the false case against Mr. Hector Aleem.

Once again thanks for your support. Please continue your prayers for Mr. Hector Aleem because still he is behind the bars due to other false cases.
Hector Aleem has done a lot for Human Rights, religious freedom and minority rights. Extremists and fundamentalists disliked his peaceful struggle for oppressed minorities. They registered many false cases against him.
I request again that everyone keep Hector Aleem in your prayers

Peace Worldwide

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Campaign to Ban Holy Bible in Pakistan 2

Islamabad:  A hardline Pakistani political party today demanded a ban on the Bible and set a 30-day deadline for the Supreme Court to take action in this regard.

Maulana Abdur Raoof Farooqi, a leader of a faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam led by Samiul Haq, claimed the Bible "contains blasphemous passages that are a cause of humiliation for Muslims".

He said his party wants the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of this issue, said a report on the website of The Express Tribune.

If the Chief Justice does not accept their request within a month, Farooqi said he would present the issue to an independent tribunal that may comprise judges from the Federal Shariah Court.

Farooqui said he wants the matter to be resolved judicially so that Christians have the right to defend their position. He said that if this petition to the apex court was unsuccessful, "pages from the Bible will be burned all over the world."

Pakistan People's Party legislator Pervez Rafique, a member of the central organising committee of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, said the apex court should not take any action of the JUI-S' request to ban the Bible.

"We totally condemn this demand from their party. It is against religious freedom and violates the right to practice our religion as granted by the UN Charter," said Rafique.

"How can they ban the Bible that is followed throughout the world?" he added. 

Peace Worldwide on the other hand is waiting for the chief Justice to reject the petition to ban the Holy Bible from Pakistan. This is a clear violation of religious freedom and we are also waiting for the leaders of Pakistan to stop this discriminating Campaign. Calling Holy Bible blasphemous is also a blasphemy against The Word of God known as Holy Bible. We are all just waiting for the Supreme Court to take severe action on JUI.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Campaign to Ban Holy Bible in Pakistan

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - The radical Islamic party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and has launched a campaign asking to ban the circulation of the Bible, described as a "pornographic " and "blasphemous book". This is a new attack against the Christian community in Pakistan, frightened by the attacks and threats suffered after the death of Bin Laden, already under attack due to the damaging effects of the blasphemy law, with the consequence of death penalty to those who insult the Holy Quran or the Prophet Muhammad. The radical group Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, with its headquarters in Karachi, launched the campaign at a public conference. According to the group's leader, Abdul Rauf Farooqi, some passages of the Bible describe characters that Muslims regard as prophets as being "vicious and immoral".
"It is a move that could fuel religious hatred against Christians. It is a threat to peaceful coexistence, an attack on the heart of our faith", says a bewildered Fr. Saleh Diego to Fides, who presides over the "Justice and Peace Commission" in the Archdiocese of Karachi. "As Christians we are already very weak and subject to pressures for the unjust blasphemy law. These radical groups want to delete us entirely. Sure, they are only minority groups, and we hope for the rise of voices of moderate Muslim leaders to stop this campaign of hatred " he remarks.

"Our response as Christians in Pakistan, already seen as targets, can be only to confirm the urgency of dialogue and respect for all religious symbols and sacred books of all religions. But we expect that, at an international level, a stronger and more determined answer might emerge, in order to sustain us", concludes Father Diego, calling for a mobilization of Christians and international institutions to stop the campaign against the Bible. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/06/2011)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Christians go to court for protection

ISLAMABAD, April 4: An Emmanuel Church Committee on Monday moved a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), asking for protection and security as it plans to construct a church in sector G-8/2.

IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman is likely to take up on Tuesday the petition filed by the committee through Nazir Masih, its president.
Making chairman Capital Development Authority, Inspector General and Senior Superintendent of Islamabad police respondents, the committee through its lawyer Abdul Hafeez Amjad prayed to the court for security for construction of the church on a “lawfully allotted plot”.
In the petition, Pastor Masih has maintained that certain “extremist elements” have been averse to the construction of the church, adding that he felt threatened.
According to the petition, the CDA on October 22, 2002 allotted a plot measuring 100 x 200 square yards near PARC Colony for the construction of church for the followers of the Emmanuel Church in Islamabad.Pastor Masih applied for the plot way back in 1972.
He got the physical possession of the plot in October 2002.
When the committee submitted construction plan of the church with the Capital Development Authority for final approval, the petition said some “practical difficulties such as threats of cancellation of the allotted plot” started emerging.
It said cases were filed against the construction of the church. But all cases have been dismissed by the courts, the petition said.
An appeal against the dismissal of cases had also been turned down on July 30, 2005.
But the petition said after clearing all legal hurdles whenever the petitioner started construction work, “either its construction material was removed or the deployed labour was threatened by the some persons from nearby mosque.”
Meanwhile, Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi of the Islamabad High Court reserved verdict on a bail plea of Raja Aftab-ul-Islam, a former joint secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, in the Haj scam case.
Raja Aftab has been accused of being co-signatory with Rao Shakeel, former DG Haj, of all contracts for hiring expensive and ill-equipped residences for Pakistani pilgrims.
In his bail plea, the former secretary has maintained that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) could not find any evidence against him in the case as no abnormal transaction had been traced through his accounts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Famous Christian Women in History

Proverbs 11:16
A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 

It is a fact that women are mostly honest, brave, courageous and hardworking. But Christian women are even more than ordinary women. Christian women worked a lot throughout the history, for humanity and for Christianity. The most blessed, caring and brave woman in the history of mankind is Blessed Mother Mary. We also cannot forget what St Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale did. These women are famous and we know about them. But there are also some other Christian women who worked a lot but only few people know about them. Today is International Womens Day and we salute all those brave Christian women who did a lot for us, there are of course many other Christian women who did great things but we dont know about them.. Here is the list of some of those Christian women with their names and their work.

Christian Women in the Early Church

Blandina died 177 AD She was a famous martyr in what is now France

Perpetua and Felicitas 203 AD

These two women were famous Christian women martyrs. (There were of course many other women martyrs).

Faltonia Betitia Proba 4th Century AD
There were also women writers in the early church. She was a Christian poet.

Fabiola 4th Century AD She was a wealthy woman who gave up everything to nurse the poor.

Christian Women in the Middle Ages

Brigid c. 450-525
She founded the first women's religious community in Ireland.

Clotilde 475-545
Clotilde married Clovis, the king of the Franks who ruled northern France. She was instrumental in converting her husband to Christianity.

Berta or Bertha 539-612
In the 6th century AD England was divided into small kingdoms and the English were pagans. However Berta was from France and she was a Christian. She was married to the king of Kent. It was partly due to her influence that Kent was converted to Christianity.

Hilda of Whitby 614-680
Hilda was an influential woman in the Saxon church who founded several monasteries. In 664 she hosted the Synod of Whitby. (At that time there were two kinds of Christianity, Roman in most of Europe and Celtic in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The Synod (meeting) of Whitby was held to decide which side the kingdom of Northumbria (northern England) should join. (Hilda much preferred Celtic Christianity but the Synod decided on Rome).

Kassia 810-867 She was a Greek poet and hymn writer

Hildegard 1088-1179
Hildegard was a theologian and writer. She also wrote about natural history and the medicinal use of plants. She also wrote music and a play.

Heloise 1101-1164 She was a French Abbess and she was widely respected for her learning.

The Waldensians 1175 onwards
The Waldensians were a Christian movement that began in southern France and spread across central Europe and Italy in the 13th century. Many Waldensian preachers were women.

Clare of Assisi 1194-1253 A follower of Francis of Assisi she founded an order of nuns called the Poor Clares

Julian of Norwich 1342-1416
Despite the masculine name Julian was a woman. She was a famous mystic and writer. Julian wrote about the 'motherhood' of God.

Margery Kempe 1373-1439
Margery was an English mystic. The story of her life became a famous book The Book of Margery Kempe.

The Lollards c. 1380 onwards
The Lollards were a Christian movement in England from the late 14th century to the early 16th century when they merged with the Protestants. Many Lollard preachers were women.

Christian Women in the 16th Century

Anne Askew 1521-1546 She was an English Protestant martyr

Katharine Zell 1497-1562 Neither Luther or Calvin believed in women preachers. However Katharine was an influential Protestant in Germany. She visited the sick and prisoners and sheltered Protestant refugees. She also wrote letters, which were circulated among Protestants.

Christian Women in the 17th Century

In the 17th century the Baptists and the Quakers had many women preachers. However in the late 17th century the Baptists became more conservative and began to disfavour women preachers.

Anne Hutchinson 1591-1643 Anne was a preacher in 17th century Massachusetts

Anne Bradstreet 1612-1672
Anne Bradstreet was a Christian poet of the 17th Century. She was born in Northampton but in 1630 she emigrated to North America.

Margaret Fell 1614-1702 Co-founded the Quakers with George Fox. One of the books she wrote was called Women's Speaking Justified, Proved and Knowed of the Scriptures.

Christian Women in the 18th Century

In the 18th century when the Methodist movement was born many Methodist leaders were women. John Wesley supported them but after his death in 1791 the Methodists began to disfavour women leaders. In the USA there was a movement called the Separate Baptists, which allowed women preachers.

Anne Dutton 1692-1765 Anne was a theologian

Selina, Countess of Huntingdon 1707-1791 Selina was a key figure in the Methodist Movement of the 18th Century.

Sarah Osborn 1714-1796 Sarah was a Christian leader and writer

Sarah Crosby 1729-1804 Sarah was a famous Methodist preacher

Ann Lee 1736-1784 Ann was a Quaker missionary.

Hannah More 1745-1833 Hannah was a famous writer and philanthropist.

Phyllis Wheatley 1753-1784 Phyllis was a poet

Hannah Adams 1755-1831 Hannah was a famous Christian writer.

Elizabeth Ann Seton 1774-1821 She was a Christian writer

Ann Judson 1789-1826 Ann was a missionary to Burma

Christian Women in the 19th Century

Some people think that Victorian women just stayed at home all day. In reality women were evangelists, preachers, writers and missionaries. They also organised charities.

Phoebe Palmer 1807-1874 Phoebe was a famous evangelist and writer.

Fanny Crosby 1820-1915 Fanny (Frances) was a famous hymn writer of the 19th century.

Anoinette Brown 1825-1921 In 1853 she became the first ordained Congregationalist woman minister

Catherine Booth 1829-1890
Catherine Booth was a preacher. She married William Booth in 1855. (At first William disagreed with the idea of women preachers but he changed his mind after hearing Catherine preach!). Catherine and William founded the Salvation Army in 1865.

Hannah Whitall Smith 1832-1911 Hannah was a writer and evangelist.

Lottie Moon 1840-1912 She was a missionary to China.

Maria Woodworth-Etter 1844-1924 She was a famous evangelist

Mary Slessor 1848-1915 She was a missionary to Africa.

Christian Women in the 20th Century

Evangeline Booth 1865-1950
From 1904 Evangeline was leader of the Salvation Army in the USA. From 1934-39 she was Commander in Chief of the Salvation Army worldwide.

Ida Scudder 1870-1960 She was a medical missionary

Evely Brand 1879-1974 She was a missionary to India

Gladys Aylward 1903-1970 She was a missionary to China

Patricia St John 1919-1993 She was a Christian writer

Esther John 1929-1960 She was a Pakistani Christian nurse and martyr

Eva Burrows 1930- She was an Australian evangelist
Meanwhile a new Christian movement started at the beginning of the 20th Century - Pentecostalism. Many of the preachers in the new movement were women.

Agnes Ozman 1870-1937 She was a Pentecostal evangelist

Aimee Semple McPherson 1890-1944 Is probably the most famous women evangelist of the early 20th century

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pakistan: Yet another Christian accused of blasphemy

A Christian woman, Agnes Nuggo, was accused of blasphemy and arrested in the Diocese of Faisalabad, in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The Catholic Church, which is handling the case, expressed "extreme concern"  over the affair.
The Commission for Justice and Peace in the diocese reported that Agnes (50) is married to Bashir Masih, has children and lives in the Christian quarter of Waris Pura. She was accused of blasphemy after a dispute over a piece of land that had already created controversy with his relatives. Some Muslim neighbours accused her of having made insulting statements against the Prophet Mohammed and against Islam. On 16 February, the local police registered a FIR (First Information Report) pursuant to art. 295/a of the Criminal Code and arrested her. Agnes professes her innocence and says the accusations are completely fabricated.
Fr. Nisar Barkat, Director of the Justice and Peace Commission in Faisalabad, reported "Bishop Joseph Coutts has become aware of the case and asked me to follow it closely." Fr. Nisar was in court and obtained a copy of the complaint against Agnes, who will have her first court hearing in two weeks. The church will find her a lawyer and will take care of her family.
According to some sisters who know Agnes personally "the case is quite complicated: the woman was lured into a trap. Some people wanted to take revenge on her, because in the past Agnes had agreed to testify in court for money."”
Fr. Pascal Paulus, a Dominican priest in the Waris Pura area, said that "the situation is critical for us Christians. We need to be very careful. The Islamic radicals want to exploit these cases to attack the Christian minorities. We are exposed to spurious attacks, which have already been happening."
Asia Bibi, another Christian woman accused of blasphemy, has been imprisoned for several months and has been condemend to death under Islamic law, Haroon Barket Masih of the Masihi Foundation said of Nuggo, "She is a new Asia Bibi. Agnes' case is one of many cases of persecution that continue to occur. Most of the episodes don't leave a trace and do not reach the clamour of the spotlight. Only when the victims' families trust in the Churches, foundations and NGOs, then the injustices come to light. Families often keep silent for fear of retaliation. And institutions are absent: in this situation, what can Christians do?"
Rosemary Noel, head of the Pakistan Catholic Women's Organisation said, "Being a Christian woman in Pakistan is a dual challenge. Even the status of women is itself exposed to discrimination, violence and abuse. Women struggle to gain access to education and the world of work. Those Christians are doubly discriminated against. They are considered as objects by Muslims and suffer all sorts of abuse and injustice to general indifference."
According to data provided by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops, including Agnes, there have been 16 Christian women accused and imprisoned between 1987 and 2010 (in addition to a Muslim woman and a Hindu), but many other cases escape inclusion, because they did not end with a formal complaint.