By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY (BosNewsLife)– BosNewsLife’s November 25-December 2 news week began with a massive explosion as at least five people were killed and dozens injured when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into a church inside the Jaji military barracks in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state.
There was no immediate known claim of responsibility, but similar attacks have been carried out by Islam group Boko Haram, or ‘Western education is a sin’, which wants to establish a strict Islamic state.mber 2 newsweek began with a massive explosion as at least five people were killed and dozens injured when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into a church inside the Jaji military barracks in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state.
That wasn’t all. Gunmen later attacked a police station near Nigeria’s capital Abuja that holds members of the feared ‘Boko Haram’, freeing prisoners and killing two police officers, officials said Monday November 26.
The shootings at the headquarters of the ‘Special Anti-Robbery Squad’ (SARS) came as the death toll for Sunday’s suicide car bombings near a Protestant church at a military base in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state rose to 30, according to local hospital officials.
Local media reported at least 30 detainees escaped, but that most were later recaptured.
RUSSIA SCIENTIST RELEASED
Thousands of miles away there was more positive news for a Russian scientist who was sentenced on what he and his supporters claim are trumped-up charges of spying for China.
Valentin Danilov was released on parole after nearly a decade behind bars in Siberia. Though he served eight of a 14-year prison term in tough conditions with murders and other criminals, Danilov made clear he is not a broken man and looks forward to be with his wife and family.
Christians and rights activists weren’t the only groups targeted this week. Jewish people were again the focus of attention by extremists with the United States on Tuesday, November 27, expressing concerns about antisemitism in Hungary.
The U.S. condemned calls by an influential Hungarian far-right parliamentarian to draw up lists of Jews who pose a “national security risk”, a proposal resembling the Nazi-era.
Marton Gyöngyösi, a leader of Hungary’s third-strongest political party ‘Movement for a Better Hungary’ (Jobbik) said the list was necessary because of heightened tensions following the brief conflict in Gaza and should include members of parliament and government.
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION?
It comes a fresh world debate on how far freedom of expression should go: On Wednesday, November 28, the European Union was under pressure to freeze 500 million euro ($647 million) in annual financial aid to
Egypt after a court in the capital Cairo sentenced seven Egyptian Christians and an American pastor to death for their involvement in an anti-Islam film that prompted deadly riots throughout the world.
Christian Europarliamentarian Peter van Dalen, of the Dutch ‘ChristenUnie’ (ChristianUnion) party, told BosNewsLife in a reaction that it is “absolutely outrages that…people are sentenced to death for participating in a film.”s a fresh world debate on how far freedom of expression should go: On Wednesday, November 28, the European Union was under pressure to freeze 500 million euro ($647 million) in annual financial aid to Egypt after a court in the capital Cairo sentenced seven Egyptian Christians and an American pastor to death for their involvement in an anti-Islam film that prompted deadly riots throughout the world.
He said he has asked the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, “to freeze the 500 million euro annual aid to Egypt” and to “summon the Egyptian ambassador” to Brussels. There wasn’t any indication yet that would happen.
Justice was also demanded Thursday, November 29 by Serbia as it condemned a United Nations tribunal in The Hague for acquitting Kosovo’s former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and two of his aids of war crimes against Serbs and other civilians.
The ruling, made in a retrial, was welcomed in Kosovo, which broke away from Serbia after a bloody conflict.
‘JOINT ENTERPRISE’ ALLEGATIONS
Prosecutors claimed Ramush Haradinaj was involved in a joint enterprise that abducted and tortured 16 civilians, and ultimately killed eight of them.
However the presiding judge of the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes court, Bakone Moloto, cleared him of all charges, prompting protests in Serbia which claims it predominantly Orthodox Christian minority in Kosovo is discriminated while the UN seems bias towards Serbs.
In Asia Christians in Pakistan face new tensions Friday, November 30.
A Muslim leader ordered Christian families to burn their homes and leave a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province after a villager freed his abducted underage daughter who was “raped and forced to convert to Islam”, negotiators told BosNewsLife.
“Today [our representatives] are holding a meeting with Muslim clerics in Chack No- 198/EB of Vehari District to help the eight Christian families and [the rescued Christian girl] Aisya Masih,” said Farrukh H. Saif, the executive director of Pakistan-based advocacy group World Vision In Progress (WVIP).
LOCAL MOSQUE WARNINGS
The talks began after the ‘Paish Imam’ of the local mosque warned announced that Aisya Masih “cannot live as a Christian” because she “was converted to Islam.”
In other Islamic nations, including Iran, Christians are under pressure too: Iranian Christians and rights activists said Friday, November 30, that a jailed Iranian pastor is facing serious health problems and may not survive the remaining five years of his prison term on “trumped-up charges” of “crimes against national security”.
Pastor Behnam Irani, 41, reportedly lost about five kilograms as he fights a blood infection. Iranian Christians have told BosNewsLife that he was previously beaten by fellow inmates and guards of the Ghezel Hesar Prison in Karaj city, one of the toughest jails in the country, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the nation’s capital Tehran.
The week ended with more controversy in Hungary. A Hungarian-born Nazi death camp survivor, who claims Nobel Peace Prize author Elie Wiesel lies about his Holocaust past and stole the identity of an inmate, lost a defamation case.
Nikolaus (Miklós) Grüner, 83, sued a prominent Hungarian rabbi who helped organize Wiesel’s historic visit to Hungary in 2009 while “knowing that this man is not a genuine Holocaust survivor.”
Grüner, who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and other suffering, launched the case after Rabbi Slomó Köves accused him publicly of “falsifying history”.
The rabbi also compared him to American academic Norman Finkelstein who wrote ‘The Holocaust Industry’. Finkelstein’s controversial book alleges that Jewish leaders are fueling Europe’s antisemitism by forcing German and Swiss banks to pay new compensation to those who suffered under the Nazis.
Grüner demanded that the rabbi takes back his words and publicly explains “the truth” about Wiesel.
Yet, an appeals court in Budapest upheld a previous court ruling saying while Köves remarks were “harsh” they were ‘within the boundaries of freedom of expression.”
The court also said this week it was up to historians to decide if Wiesel was a genuine Holocaust survivor… (Based in Budapest, BosNewsLife is Central Europe’s first Christian online news agency. With reporting by BosNewsLife’s Paul Jongas in Nigeria and Stefan J. Bos at BosNewsLife News Center).