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May 01, 2000
Persecution Watch : Kosovo


Foreign Affairs News

Source: Charisma Magazine

Published: 5/17/00 Author: Keston news Service

PERSECUTION WATCH: KOSOVO An Assemblies of God church in the capital,
Pristina, was raided by masked Islamic militants who bound several members,
stole equipment and money, and daubed slogans on the door and walls. The
third raid on The Fellowship of the Lord's People in the last year was
carried out by men who claimed to be part of the Kosovo branch of an
organization linked to Saudi Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The pastor, Artur Krasniqi, and three others were sleeping at the church
after a teens' meeting when three gunmen arrived at the church on April 29.
They threatened a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint, ordering him to renounce
Christianity in favor of Islam, but he refused, Keston News Service (KNS)
reported.

Peacekeeping forces are investigating, but currently they are treating the
incident as a criminal inquiry. Other Protestant churches have reported
attacks in recent months. Krasniqi's church is planning to step up security,
but he fears for the future. "We are considering this as the beginning of
the future [of] hard persecution against Christians in the country," he told
KNS.

"Long is the list of believers who in one way or another are facing
persecution. Many are anonymous phone calls to our church that they are
going to kill us all and burn this church down." He said that an Islamic
magazine also published regular articles against churches, suggesting they
have received aid money--a claim meant as a "kind of inspiration for the
criminals."


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