Wednesday, 1 April 2009

'faith-hate' crime in UK

I received the following update from the Barnabas fund. It is about a  friend of mine Rev Nobel Samuel who takes a part in a  satellite TV show. He was beaten up last month and has been described as a faith hate crime. 

Asian Gospel Show By Rev Nobel Samuel

There is a Google video clip with him as part of a Pakistani singing group.  He is standing on the right. I include the Barnabas update in full. I noticed they have spelt his name differently but it is appropriate since Nobel Samuel's response has indeed been noble.    


The Rev. Noble Samuel, a Christian minister at a United Reformed Church in West London, has been attacked by three men on his way to the TV studio where he films a Gospel programme. Mr Samuel was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain 15 years ago. He presents an hour-long live Asian Gospel Show on satellite television. He does not set out to be confrontational, but in recent weeks his views have been aggressively challenged by Muslim callers in a broadcast phone-in.

The incident, which has been described as a "faith hate" crime by police, happened when a car pulled in front of Mr Samuel and a man came over to ask for directions. The attacker opened the car door and started punching Mr Samuel and trying to hit his head on the steering wheel; he then grabbed Mr Samuel's cross and pulled it off, throwing it to the floor. Two other men stole his laptop and Bible. The assailants warned Mr Samuel, "If you go back to the studio, we'll break your legs." Following the attack, Mr Samuel went ahead with his show at studios that are owned by local Muslim businessman Tahir Ali, who went on air later that day to condemn the attacks.

Earlier this year, the plight of Asian Christians in Britain was highlighted during a meeting at the General Synod of the Church of England. An Asian Synod member, Mrs Zahida Mallard, noted, "We are very much aware of the persecuted Church in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan and other places where to own the Name of Christ is to invite suffering, stigma and social isolation ¦ but the persecuted Church is a reality not just in these foreign lands but in our cities." Particularly vulnerable are British-born Asians who have converted from other faiths to follow Christ and are often treated as traitors by their friends, relatives and community. A minute's silence was held at the meeting in February 2009 in honour of persecuted Asian Christians in England.

Thank God that Mr Samuel faced his attackers with courage and continued with his work for Christ following the attack.

Pray for the Lord's protection of Mr Samuel's family, and that their faith in the Lord Jesus will keep them from fear.

Pray that "faith hate" crimes will be taken seriously in the UK and that the police will deal with such crimes appropriately.

You can read the rest fo the update here

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