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*** RFC NEWS RELEASE *** CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION***
January 9, 2003 10:54AM EST


*** RFC NEWS RELEASE *** RFC NEWS RELEASE ***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Congresswoman Comes To Aid of Christian Family Threatened By Palestinian Authority

January 8, 2003 - Washington, DC

Religious Freedom Coalition chairman William J. Murray announced today that Congresswoman Jo Ann Davis (R-VA) had intervened with the Israeli government on behalf of two Christian brothers seeking asylum in Israel. The brothers, Saeed and Nasser Salame, have been threatened with death by Yassar Arafatís gang of thugs loosely referred to as a government. Their crime? Conversion to Christianity and suspected sympathy for Israel.

Congresswoman Davis, who sits on the House International Relations Committee and the Subcommittee on the Middle East, has formally asked the Israeli government through Ambassador Daniel Ayalon to assist the two brothers and their families lest they be killed by PA authorities.

In her letter Congresswoman Davis outlined the plight of the bothers to Ambassador Ayalon and stated ".... I request that you contact your appropriate officials in the Israeli government on behalf of these two brothers and recommend that they be granted asylum in your country."

Congresswoman Davis is a strong supporter of Israel in the Congress and concluded her letter with these words, "I will conclude by noting that your nation remains in my thoughts and prayers due to the countless violent attacks your countrymen have endured in the past months."

Murray explained, "In that part of the world your religion is on your birth certificate. In the case of Muslims renouncing their birth religion of Islam can result in banishment or violence." One of the brothers, Nasser Salame, has been imprisoned and tortured by the Palestinian Authority police. His body is badly scarred from torture. "We have an opportunity to reach out and help Palestinians who donít hate America and it is an opportunity we should not ignore," Murray said.

"There is widespread knowledge of the persecution of Jews in Islamic areas of the world, but little attention is paid to the price that is paid by Muslims who convert to Christianity. That price is often death." Murray concluded, "The Religious Freedom Coalition will work vigorously to bring these bothers and their families to safety, either in Israel or another Western nation.

Media Contact:

Peggy Birchfield, Executive Director

Phone: (202) 543-0300 email: pbirchfield@rfcnet.org



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