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US lawmakers rally to protect Islamic world's Ahmadi

US lawmakers on Friday announced a caucus to fight for the rights of the Ahmadi minority, which has faced attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Islamic world. The creation of a caucus -- a group in the US Congress that shares an agenda -- is primarily symbolic in itself but lays the groundwork for lawmakers to be more active. Republican Representative Frank Wolf, the co-chair with Democrat Jackie Speier, said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus would press for the rights of Ahmadis in trouble in Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

Arrested in Islamic Pakistan for reading the Koran: Ahmadi sect under siege

By Katharine Houreld LAHORE (Reuters) - A 72-year-old British doctor is in prison in Pakistan for "posing as a Muslim", charges that reveal an escalating ideological fight that often spills over into violence. Masood Ahmad is a quiet, reserved widower who returned to Pakistan to open a pharmacy in 1982 after decades of working in London to pay his children's school fees, his family said.

No proof kidnapped Syria bishops are free: Christian group

There is "no tangible proof" that two Orthdox bishops kidnapped in Syria have been released, an association of Middle Eastern Christians said Wednesday, going back on an earlier claim that the pair had been freed. "Yesterday evening we received information from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate questioning the release of the two bishops," said Catherine Baumont, spokeswoman of the "Oeuvre d'Orient" association which works to help Middle Eastern Christians.

Ahmadis to boycott Pakistan election

Some 200,000 members of Pakistan's minority Ahmadi community will boycott next month's election in protest at their treatment by the authorities, a spokesman said Monday. Ahmadis, who believe that the founder of their sect was a prophet, were declared non-Muslims by the Pakistani government in 1974 and now suffer discrimination and violent attacks. It is against the law for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims, but they still see themselves as such and object to being treated as a religious minority at election time.

Indonesian minorities protest religious intolerance

Around 200 Christian, Muslim Shiite and Ahmadiyah leaders protested in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Monday against growing religious intolerance in the Sunni Muslim-majority country. The rally of minority groups followed the demolition of a church and the closure of an Ahmadi mosque, both in Bekasi, east of Jakarta, in recent weeks after pressure from Muslim hardliners. The leaders -- most of whom were Christian -- gathered outside the parliament building, singing the country's national anthem and shouting "we have rights" and "stop intolerance".

Indonesian city tears down church in front of worshippers

An Indonesian city government demolished a church in front of its weeping congregation Thursday, as Muslim protesters egged on workers and branded the Christians "infidels". Dozens in the 100-strong congregation wailed as a digger tore down the brick walls, with worshippers accusing the government of "criminalising our religion", in a sign of increasing intolerance in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation.

Bangladesh mob torches Muslim sect festival site

An Islamic sect whose members are seen as heretics by mainstream Muslims Thursday shifted the site for its centenary celebrations in Bangladesh after thousands of religious rivals torched the original venue. A mob, which witnesses said numbered around 20,000, attacked the venue at Kaliakoir, near Dhaka, late Wednesday where members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat were due to mark 100 years since the movement began operating in what is now Bangladesh.
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