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Posts Tagged ‘persecution of Christians’

Pakistani Christian Sentenced to Die Under Blasphemy Law

PakistanChurchAttacked

A Pakistani Christian was recently sentenced to death for blasphemy against Muhammad.

Pakistani Christians routinely have their property confiscated or destroyed, are imprisoned or sentenced to death on the basis of Pakistan’s blasphemy law which makes it a crime to say anything negative about Muhammad or the Quran.

I’m grateful for the freedom of speech in the United States we still have, where I am allowed to publicly say and preach that Muhammad is a false prophet and that the Quran comes from the devil.

However, Pakistani Christians cannot say such things without the very real risk of death or imprisonment.

And even if they don’t say them, it is easy for them to be prosecuted under the law on the basis of false witness.  This can happen when people want to take their land or property, or it can happen simply because people resent the presence of Christians in Pakistan.  No doubt in a country where Christians are a despised minority, their presence in the country itself is a walking affront to people who think that Pakistanis should be Muslim.

We are seeing this kind of resentment against Christians just beginning in the United States, although here we are not an affront to Muslims but to “tolerance”; the fact that there are still Christians who haven’t been shamed into agreeing that homosexuality is okay or at least being silent in public provokes more and more people.   When pressure is ratcheted up and you don’t deny the faith, it just makes some folks madder, even if you say nothing, because even if you say nothing, the fact that you haven’t given in is a testimony to their condemnation.  The fact that you suffer and don’t give in makes them feel even more threatened that maybe what you confess about God’s wrath and judgment is true.  That’s what the New Testament is talking about in verses like these:

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. 29 For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, 30 engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30)

 

4 Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.  (2 Thessalonians 1:4-10)

 

At any rate, even though we can see the seeds of this resentment starting to sprout in the US, we still have lots of legal protection.   In Pakistan the Christians  have few advocates and almost no defense.  If they’re hated just for existing, or someone covets their property, all they have to do is get a couple of people together to say that they heard this or that Christian say Muhammad is a fake prophet.

 

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Christians in Syria

June 19, 2013 1 comment

As our government sends money to fund the revolution in Syria, remember the plight of Syrian Christians.

TheVoiceOfSyria

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Syrian Christians make up 10% of Syria’s population. Since Syria is a secular state, Christians, as a minority were able to live their lives freely without being ridiculed by the overwhelming Muslim population. Christians were able to go to Church, wear whatever they like and live their lives according to their standards and not by the governments. In fact, Christians and Muslims got along perfectly well in Syria before the fake revolution occurred. Unfortunately the world is unaware that these so called “freedom fighters” are the ones committing a massive genocide in Syria.

Aleppo, which has the largest Armenian population, has been hit hard with countless terrorist attacks. Churches have been destroyed, Christians kidnapped, beheaded, raped and tortured. Damascus has a reasonable about of Christians, but Homs is home to the second largest Christian population in Syria, and unfortunately Homs is the first city where the fake revolution occurred. In…

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US Funding to Feed the Dogs in Syria

June 17, 2013 1 comment

slain priestPresident Bush’s theory was that if we made the Middle East safe for democracy, Arabs would get a taste of iphones and unmarried sex and the other glories of Western Civilization and would no longer be attracted to guys who fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

The idea had the merit of being idealistic and invoking America’s better angels.  In response to the tragedy of September 11th, we were going to export freedom; help oppressed people in the Middle East exercise their inalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator.

Unfortunately the idea ran aground on the usual reef that ideas inspired by Christian charity often do in the political realm.  Government and diplomacy have the task of restraining evil, not creating utopia or anything approaching it.  The Church preaches grace to evil men, but it does so knowing that crucifixion will follow.  Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world.

But the U.S. government is of this world.  If it wants to protect the innocent and provide safety for its citizens, it has to have clear eyes.  It has to understand that sometimes an evil, secularist tyrant does a better job of keeping order and restraining murder of the weak than a popular government that reflects the will of the majority.

Exporting democracy, as President Bush wanted to do, really isn’t consistent with the genius of the American revolution.  It has more in common with the fanaticism of the French and Russian revolutions and the bleary-eyed idealism of Woodrow Wilson, who dragged us into a war we didn’t need to be in in the name of democracy.  And the foolish idealism that brought us into that conflict ultimately was responsible for the truly monstrous evil that was able to assume control of a shattered and humiliated Germany in the 1930’s.

When Barack Obama ran for president the first time, I was under the impression that he wanted to put an end to the naïve idealism that led us into two wars in the Middle East, which were not perceived as wars of liberation but instead crusades and attempts at colonization.  But now Obama seems to be not backing away from Bush’s vision, but instead advancing it, just as he has furthered the Bush policy of spying on American citizens.

He’s been inching toward intervention in Syria for months, and now has decided to put his weight behind toppling al-Assad.

Of course, Assad is a bad guy, just like Saddam was.  But when Saddam was in power, a large Christian minority could live in Iraq without their blood being spattered on the walls of their churches by suicide bombers on a near daily basis.  At this point nearly all the Christians in Iraq, who have lived there for approaching 2000 years, have fled.

The same thing, of course, has been happening in Syria.  Two orthodox bishops were kidnapped in the past few months.  The story below of a Syrian Christian being fed to dogs was published in December.  Just as in Egypt, al-Qaeda-esque jihadis have quickly taken over the rebellion which we were told would lead to something like western democracy.

Now we’re sending them guns.  When they don’t want us there, we’re imperialists.  That’s why the soldier was hacked to pieces with meat cleavers in London.  When they can’t win without us, we’re heartless and have no concern for human rights.  Even after the decision was made to send weapons to the rebels I read headlines saying the rebels complain that it isn’t enough–we need to send them missiles, apparently.  Maybe nerve gas?

And the US government assures us that it can make sure that none of the weapons I paid forget into the hands of the same slavering would-be martyrs who killed thousands in New York and got us involved in these wars in the first place.  None of the weapons I paid for will get into the hands of the “freedom fighters” who feed Syrian Christians to the dogs.

Sure, Uncle Sam.  I’m sure you’ll be able to do that.  You couldn’t stop the Boston bombing, even with advance notice about the perpetrators, because you were trying to convince us (and yourself?) that the real terrorist threat was from the Tea Party types and Focus on the Family.  Because Uncle Sam doesn’t know what every drooling idiot in America can tell you (unless they went to college).  If there’s a terror attack, a Muslim probably did it.

Now you put guns in their hands so that they can slaughter Christians in Syria and force them out of the country in the name of making the Middle East safe for democracy.

Syria rebels ‘beheaded a Christian and fed him to the dogs’ as fears grow  over Islamist atrocities

By  Nick Fagge

PUBLISHED: 19:41 EST, 30  December 2012 |  UPDATED: 04:50 EST, 31 December 2012

Syrian rebels beheaded a Christian man and  fed his body to dogs, according to a nun who says the West is ignoring  atrocities committed by Islamic extremists.

The nun said taxi driver Andrei Arbashe, 38,  was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that fighters against the  ruling regime behaved like bandits.

She said his headless corpse was found by the  side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs. He had recently married and was  soon to be a father.

 Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His  only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like  bandits, which is what they are.’

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Egyptian Church Attacked In Retaliation for Marriage of Muslim Woman to Christian Man

Nile river egypt beni suef

Nile river egypt beni suef (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Under Islamic law, Muslim men can marry Christian women, but Christian men can’t marry Muslim women.  So when it happens, if the government doesn’t do it, often Muslims will carry out privately what they believe to be the will of Allah by punishing the Christians.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/70183/Egypt/Politics-/Prompted-by-conversion-rumour,-crowds-attack-churc.aspx

Prompted by conversion rumour, crowds attack church in central Egypt
Sectarian tensions in Beni Suef erupt after reports that a Muslim woman had converted to Christianity and left the country with a Christian man
Ahram Online  , Friday 26 Apr 2013

Ahram Arabic website reported that clashes broke out between protesters and security forces at Saint George’s Church in Beni Suef, with eight people injured and 11 arrested.

 

Angry Muslim protesters attempted to storm Saint George’s Church in Al-Wasata city in the governorate of Beni Suef on Friday.

Tensions erupted in the city recently after reports that a 21-year-old Muslim girl had disappeared, with her family accusing a Christian family in the city of forcing her to convert to Christianity and facilitating her travel to Turkey with a Coptic Christian man.

Local Islamist groups had given the Christian family a deadline to return the girl, which expired on Friday, reported Ahram’s Arabic language website.

Security forces fired teargas grenades at angry protesters, who attempted to storm the church following the Friday Muslim prayer, and arrested five people for throwing Molotov cocktails at the church.

Security vehicles and forces are reportedly surrounding churches in the city.

A number of traders have already closed their shops, particularly Christian jewelers who fear they will be targets.

American Christians Should Expect the Gulag

April 26, 2013 1 comment

gulagSo.
The media keeps saying it was a good thing when the dictator Hosni Mubarak was overthrown.  Even though a variety of “Islamists” have a great deal of power in Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood has taken power, we’re supposed to think this is “good.”  Because it’s a movement toward democracy and self-determination, two things that are always “good”.  Self-determination is supposed to result in “equality,” which is also “good.”  All right-thinking Americans know these things.

We don’t hear too much in the media about the Coptic Christians who keep finding their businesses, houses, and churches on fire, or about the Christian girls who are abducted from their families in Egypt and “converted” to Islam so that they can be married to a Muslim man while under the age of majority.  (If the Christian girls have converted to Islam and married a Muslim man, it is difficult for Christian parents to get their children back, lest they try to force the child to “renounce” the Islam they supposedly converted to.  According to some readings of this verse from the Quran, the penalty for apostasizing from Islam is death:

Sura 4:89 (Muhsin Khan trans.)

They wish that you reject Faith, as they have rejected (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So take not Auliya’ (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the Way of Allah (to Muhammad SAW). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold) of them and kill them wherever you find them, and take neither Auliya’ (protectors or friends) nor helpers from them.

Then the bombing happened in Boston.  Everyone was told not to jump to conclusions.  (What conclusion could anyone jump to?  Apparently there was a lot of potential for jumping to conclusions, although the conclusion everyone was likely to jump to wasn’t stated.  Nor was it discussed why people might be liable to jump to that conclusion.  Nor was it discussed whether people had any good reasons to jump to this conclusion.)

After all the US Military Academy just issued a paper warning of the great threat posed by  homegrown right wing terrorists, such as neo-nazis, the Klan, radical pro-lifers, and Focus on the Family. ( The Family Research Council is a lot of things, but I would never have guessed that Dr. James Dobson or his associates or admirers were likely to detonate pressure cooker bombs, or grab rusty Kalashnikovs and RPGs and hole up in caves in the Colorado Rockies, descending periodically to make sure that no women were wearing short skirts and no kids were listening to music that was not made by Michael W. Smith.  If Dobson had been more like that I probably would have thought he was cooler when I was a teenager.  I would have much more gladly attended a Promise Keepers event instead of being dragged there by my dad in the 90s if they had made us wear camo and spent the day teaching us guerilla tactics and how to make bombs while memorizing bible verses.  Sadly, it was just a lot of middle aged fat white men who cried a lot. )

But apparently there was grave danger that, bunch of goose-stepping fascists-in-waiting that we are, Americans were going to leave church on Sunday morning and run through the streets throwing improvised explosives at anyone who might look Muslim, even though we didn’t find out that they were Muslim yet and of course could only be miserable bigots if the thought even crossed our minds.

Lo and behold, contrary to everyone’s wildest speculations, the Boston Marathon was bombed by professed Muslims, although we are supposed to quickly say, “of course, this really has nothing to do with Islam.”  Right.  Islam, after all, is far more peaceful and forgiving than any Christian since Jesus has managed to be.  Only a bigot could even consider any other possibility.

Interestingly enough–you probably didn’t hear about the fact that the evangelical lobbying group “Family Research Council” had a gunman break in and start shooting people around a month ago.  Well, they did.

Guess what?  The shooter was not a Christian or a far right-extremist.  He wasn’t even an Islamist!

He was a guy who found out that the Family Research Council was an anti-gay hate group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In other words, you could say, “a liberal”.  A right-thinking American.  A man so inflamed with passion for the most victimized of all victims–homosexuals–that he decided to send about a dozen evangelicals to their graves with a Chik-Fil-A sandwich mashed in each intolerant face.

So this John Brown-like defender of holy equality went in to their offices shooting.  His plan was to kill as many as possible and dishonor their corpses with the chicken sandwich preferred by 9 out of 1o potential Christian terrorists. (You remember, the owner of Chick-Fil-A said that he didn’t agree with homosexual “marriage” and Chik-Fil-A was boycotted in cool cities that probably didn’t have any Chik-Fil-A’s anyway.  And right-thinking Americans all over facebook defriended facebook friends who posted anything pro-Chik-Fil-A.  It was almost like deja vu all over again.. Salem Witch Trials, abolitionism, the temperance movement.  Puritanism in all its incarnations in American history always is able to find the evil that stands in the way of a truly godly social order.  And it is always in something definite and concrete that the puritans don’t mind getting rid of.)

Normally we would have to say that this guy who shot up the FRC was a right thinking American.  He was on the right side of history.  However the terrorist attack on the Family Research Council is slightly embarrassing.

Christians, however, should note the commonalities–

Whether you’re a Syrian Orthodox Bishop kidnapped by Chechen terrorists in the glorious democratic Syrian Revolution,

Or a an orthodox priest captured by Islamic terrorists who doesn’t even make the news in the west at all,

Or a born again Christian who thinks that the government should not treat the pledge of two men or women to have some kind of union (more or less open, sexually) as though it were the same as a man and a woman pledging to be joined for life, to have children (if God wills) and devote their lives to raising those children:

your life is less important than the dogmas the media is trying to impress on the masses.  Your lives, Christians, are worth lessgulag2 than the importance of getting people to think a certain way.  For the media and for the Zeitgeist and the devil who manipulates both, your life, like all human life, is really nothing.  But ideas are everything, far more important than human beings.  Human beings exist or don’t exist and few people notice.  But if everyone believes something–or the vast majority of people do–that becomes reality, at least as far as people are concerned.

So, it’s so important that everyone believe that “equality” means what the media people now say that it means than that a few Christians are shot or killed as a result of the propaganda against them.  “Equality” means that even the moral law written on peoples’ consciences by virtue of their humanity, and the moral law that is evident from nature to reason, is a force of oppression.  Rather than being simply a fact, it is just one mythology that can be just as easily replaced by the myth of “equality.”  Making this version of equality the new moral truth is so important that it justifies classifying the Family Research Council as a hate group along the lines of the Ku Klux Klan.  (Unfortunately for the FRC, real hate groups tend to hide the identities of their leaders and headquarters, and they also tend to be dangerous.  They really need to get in more bar brawls and practice stomping heads if they’re going to succeed with this “hate group” label.)

So, if a couple of Ned Flanders types get shot in the name of gay marriage…Well, we know that Ned is probably completely incapable of violence and may even be a nice guy.  But the idea of “equality” is more important than the lives of a few non-violent, nice guys.  Homosexual “marriage” (a fascinating example of “newspeak”) is more important than the lives of a few Flanderses, or Duggars, or Tebows, or Dobsons, or whatever(Well, what do you expect?  Do you think the guy’s going to go on a killing spree at a nazi skinhead clubhouse?)

“Hate Group” is an interesting slur.  It’s supposed to describe what the groups do, but it seems like it is actually a directive masquerading as a description. 

big brother newspeak“These are hate groups, which means both that they hate and/or that you are required to hate them or be hated yourself.” If you are labeled a “Hate group member” and are shot and wounded (or killed)–if a terrorist attack is carried out against you–the media will hardly even cover the story, much less demand that the Southern Poverty Law Center take any responsibility for the crime, as they would do in nearly any other similar situation with different players.

If you are a Christian in the middle east–even a bishop!–don’t expect the US media to pay any attention if you are arrested or killed.  It’s unfortunate that this happened to you, but it would be far more unfortunate if Americans started to think that Chechen Islamic Terrorists are not unique to Boston, or if they started to think that maybe Islam itself has something to do with the regularity of attacks like these, or if they started to question whether the United States ought to be  supporting insurrections that are fought by large numbers of guys whose end goal is not democracy but a theocratic Islamic empire.

Or if Americans started to wonder whether “equality” and “non-discrimination” are really, always, without exception “good”.  Maybe it’s good if we discriminate against Salafis who want to see the entire world united under a black flag.

Maybe it’s good if we can recognize that Islam is not an Arab form of Methodism.

Or that homosexual unions are vastly different than marriage, not simply because of who one is attracted to, but because marriage is supposed to beget and support and nurture the next generation.  Whereas fornication of the heterosexual or homosexual variety is completely unconcerned with the offspring which are (as far as I can tell) one of the main reasons why we have sexual organs in the first place.  Indeed, one could easily think that that is the CHIEF purpose of sex organs and of sex itself, given that sex organs have a tendency to produce children a lot of times when the tendency is not impeded.

Maybe it’s good if we can discriminate between the Family Research Council and the Hammerskins of Northern Illinois.

Christians in America: don’t expect people to care about your human rights.  Expect them to call you a hate group, come and shoot you, and then blame you for it.  If people are too afraid to say in the media, “Look, Islam promotes violence and holy warfare in a way that Christianity doesn’t,” even when it’s obvious, don’t expect them to say anything (or even pay much attention) when you are killed or kidnapped or wounded.  If people are too afraid or too blind to state the obvious in the media–ie Islam has a tendency toward violence not present in Christianity; sodomy resembles marriage the way an embalmed corpse resembles the living person–don’t expect them to care when Christians are unfairly treated or start to become the victims of violent attacks.  Don’t be surprised when after this happens they blame you for it.

How can they do differently?  If you’re terrified of being vilified for saying the wrong thing, what’s going to happen when physical safety is at stake?

Below is a news story about the Orthodox Bishops who have been kidnapped recently in Syria.

When we’re in the gulag, hopefully Christians in countries where they’re free to worship won’t forget about us, but at least will pray for us.

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Jihadis Claim 780 Lives in Nigeria, 2012

December 29, 2012 Leave a comment

780 people died this year in attacks by Boko Haram, the jihadist group in Nigeria that claims as justification for its killing the Islamic teaching about jihad, or holy war, according to this article:

Nigerian Catholic church in capital city of Abuja, where the priest and 4 parishioners were shot and killed during Christmas Eve mass. Then the church was set on fire.  On Christmas Eve, 2012, a similar attack happened on an Evangelical church during its Christmas Eve services.  Several parishioners and the pastor were shot and killed, and the church was set on fire.

Nigerian Catholic church in capital city of Abuja, where the priest and 4 parishioners were shot and killed during Christmas Eve mass. Then the church was set on fire. On Christmas Eve, 2012, a similar attack happened on an Evangelical church during its Christmas Eve services. Several parishioners and the pastor were shot and killed, and the church was set on fire.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/world/afrfifteen-tied-up-and-killed-in-nigeria/story-fnd140321226545187834?sv=98b621943446e2a86643dc4ef3906cfe#.UN8c7sRSVRk.twitter

Please keep the Lutheran Church in Nigeria in your prayers, along with all Christians in Nigeria and the whole nation, particularly those bereaved.  Also pray for Muslims, particularly those who are convinced that it is a holy duty to kill their enemies.

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law

The 12 Nigerian states with Sharia law (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was at school, there was a pastor from Nigeria named Michael A.  who was getting a Ph. D. in missiology.  Oftentimes when I hear numbers representing people killed in other parts of the world, it’s easy for it not to register.  But when you know someone there, it makes you slow down and think about it.  780 dead in one year.  God help Nigeria and the churches there, and have mercy also on the killers and turn their hearts.

Here are some links to and excerpts from recent news from Nigeria:

Boko Haram killings increase in West Africa

More than 770 people have been killed in a spate of Boko Haram attacks in Western Africa and seem to be growing more violent.
The radical fighters gather around piles of weapons and ammunition and shout praises to God as they shoot into the expanse of the African desert. These extremists depicted in this video are from Boko Haram, a radical sect in Nigeria, that turned to wide-scale violence in 2009 over local grievances and largely focused their assaults in Maiduguri – the city where the sect started.

As Boko Haram seems to be growing more violent with a record number of people killed this year, and slowly internationalising its stance, the group has become a possible danger for the rest of West Africa.

Previous attacks In 2009, rioting by Boko Haram set off a military crackdown that left 700 people dead in Maiduguri. Army tanks destroyed the sect’s Maiduguri mosque and Yusuf was killed in police custody.

Over time Boko Haram has grown far more sophisticated, bombing the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and launching massive, military-style assaults like the one that killed at least 185 people in Kano in January.

Soldiers have been deployed in the streets across north-east Nigeria but Boko Haram has repeatedly used suicide car bombers to attack churches and security posts.

The sect has said it will stop its attacks only if the government strictly implements Shariah law and frees its imprisoned members.

US army general and commander of the US military’s Africa command, Carter Ham said on Monday that while Boko Haram appears focused on local issues it could become a greater worldwide threat if left unchecked. Ham said the group has already received training, money and weaponry from al-Qaeda in Maghreb as part of “a relationship that goes both ways”.

“It is clear to me that Boko Haram’s leadership aspires to broader activities across the region – certainly to Europe,” Ham said at George Washington University.

“As their name implies, anything that is Western is a legitimate target in their eyes. I think it’s in our national interest to help the Nigerians address this problem internally before it gets worse and the organisation has an ability to further expand their efforts.”

“Did jihad stop? No, a thousand no’s,” Shekau said, according to a translation by the Search for International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group. “Jihad doesn’t stop until Allah wills it to be stopped, and with the glory of Allah the almighty, oh disbelievers, oh apostates, oh hypocrites, die from your frustration.”

Nigeria gunmen kill six at Christmas mass, burn church

  • From:         AAP
  • December 25, 201210:58PM

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