Sunday, October 30, 2011

12-Year-Old Christian Gang-Raped by Muslims

The Qur'an allows Muslims to rape their female captives, whether they are married or not:

Forbidden to you are married women, save those whom your right hands possess. Sura 4:24

Here would be the context for such a verse:
Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) "And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess."
Sunan Abu-Dawud 2150

There it shouldn't surprise any of us that our sister in Christ got raped as this video shows:

Pray that this girl gets justice.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Love: Without it, martyrdom is vanity

The Saint Paul commences 1st Corinthians 13 by showing that apart from love, spiritual gifts such tongues, faith and prophecy are meaningless and impious:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-2

However, before he starts on what love is and isn't, he says something that very shocking:

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:3

This revelation, I believe is quite shocking and frightening!!!! Normally one would think that a giving is done in love and especially being martyred are signs that you are a true Christian. However, Paul makes it clear that not all those who give their lives for Christ Jesus are true or that it is out of love for Him.

This is frightening.
The reason this is shocking is because one would think that if you give to the poor then you are being a loving person. One would also think that if you die as a martyr you are sincere in your faith and being a loving person. Yet the Saint Paul says that it is possible to die as a martyr and yet not be loving. This verse frightens me to some degree. When I think of my many Christian brethren who are being martyred in countries like China, Egypt, Pakistan, Somalia and Iraq for their Christian faith, I wonder if they are truly saved when they show their willingness to die for their faith or if their desire to die comes from vain-glory or masochism (a love for having pain inflicted one's self). At first take, giving to the poor looks like a loving act yet the King of Kings said that one can give from bad motives (Matt. 6:1-4). Also there are people who are martyred as well for Christ Jesus and it seems like they are sincere in their faith. However, this verse shows that you can get killed for Christ and not have good motives. And without good motives, that makes martyrdom or the good deeds null and void in God's sight.

This requires all Chistians, especially those on death row for their faith in Christ, to really examine themselves before they go off to be executed. It also says that not only should every deed we do be loving, but it should be done out of love for God the Father and God the Son (1 Corinthians 16:14). At the end of the day, this verse shows that, "The Lord knows those who are his."

Baptist Pastor Arrested In Cuba

For those who don't know, Cuba is a Communist country and in communist countries, religion in general is frowned upon. Therefore it should be unsurprising that our Cuban brother in Christ gets arrested.

10/25/2011 Cuba (CSW) - In a message to the outside world after his recent arrest, Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso said, “In the midst of so much tribulation they have not made me lose hope, nor a feeling of security, quite the opposite, I have lived moments of exultation which cannot be bought with any kind of money”.

A blogger and supporter of the human rights movement, he was arrested in the town of Taguayabón last Wednesday morning after he tried to leave his home for a teaching job at a seminary in Santa Clara. Pastor Lleonart Barroso was informed that he had been placed under house arrest, although no reason was given for his detention. He went back inside his home and told his wife that he was going to leave "because it was his right and that the house arrest was a constraint on his freedom". Following this, state security officials drove up in a four-wheel drive and ordered Pastor Lleonart Barroso to get in. When he refused, the pastor’s wife and several other eyewitnesses saw the security agents forcibly throw him inside the vehicle and drive to a local police station.

Pastor Lleonart Barroso has been subjected to multiple house arrests in the past month, on one occasion for attempting to attend a theological course. He came under increasing spotlight when he gave pastoral support to hunger striker and EU human rights prize-winner, Guillermo Fariῆas. This called international attention to human rights in Cuba, an unpopular move with the Cuban Government.
It is believed that this latest detention could also be an attempt to prevent Pastor Lleonart Barroso from signing a book of condolence in Havana for Laura Pollan, a human rights leader who died last week(Source).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Imprisoned For ‘Blasphemy’ Pakistani Christian Woman Pressured To Embrace Islam

October 27, 2011 International Christian Concern (Washington D.C.)- Ruth Thomas (name changed for security reasons), a Pakistani mother of four was arrested in February 2011 after a Muslim man falsely accused her of blaspheming against Muhammad. After spending the past eight months behind bars, she was released on bail on October 18th. She could be put to death if found guilty of the alleged offense.

Speaking to ICC, Ruth recounted her ordeal during the prison time. She said, “A lady prison guard tortured me in the prison and cut my hair off. The entire Muslim fellow prisoners and prison staff hated me a lot. They were so unkind to me even when I was on my death bed. They wanted me to die without any medical help. They considered me untouchable; nobody was there to console me or to help me in prison.”

She also said that she came under pressure to embrace Islam in exchange for better treatment.
Once, a prison warden asked me to accept Islam. She offered me better treatment, food, clothes and other luxuries for embracing Islam but I refused flatly. I said to her that I would prefer dying in Christ rather than obtaining luxuries without Him. I have been praying for my release because I was sure that God is my heavenly father and whatever I will ask in the name of Christ He will grant me. It was my strong belief that He was watching my suffering and someday He will set me free.”

testimony is very similar to Asia Bibi’s, a Christian woman on a death row after her Muslim colleagues accused her of blasphemy against Muhammad. Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih is quoted as saying that his wife “is weak and frail, but is high in spirit.”

ICC’S Regional Manager for South Asia, Jonathan Racho, said “we continue to be mesmerized by the strong faith of Christians in Pakistan and other countries where they face persecution. For many Christians, the only hope they have in the face of persecution is their faith and the prayers of Christians around the world. Please pray for Ruth, Asia Bibi and other Christian victims of persecution (Source).”

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scottish Church Leader Warns Persecution Risks If Marriage Redefined

10/26/2011 UK (The Christian Concern)-The Scottish Government risks making the beliefs of many Scots “unlawful” if it redefines marriage, one of Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholics has warned. Mario Conti, the Archbishop of Glasgow, has cautioned that a “hugely significant number” of Scots would be “vulnerable to accusations of discrimination” if they support traditional marriage. His comments come just days after a Christian housing manager in England was demoted for privately expressing his opinions about civil partnerships in churches.
“What we do know is that there is a hugely significant number of Scots who are not only opposed to this change for very sound reasons but who would, even after such a change, continue to hold that there cannot be a moral equivalence between the two forms of union.

“A change in the law will effectively render such people in a sense ‘unlawful’ ie, in a position opposed to the law, vulnerable to accusations of discrimination, and in danger in some circumstances, of losing their jobs if their integrity does not allow them to equivocate.”
The Archbishop added: “We need to support marriage and not further unsettle its traditional place in our land.”
The Scottish Government is currently holding a consultation on whether to rewrite the definition of marriage.
And an SNP activist warned that a “politically correct secular society” that redefines marriage was not his idea of an independent Scotland.
The Free Church Commission said that to change the meaning of marriage shows “an irrational determination to force a form of equality upon society which is not rooted in any recognised moral foundation”(Source).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christian in UK Demoted for Views on Gay Weddings

10/24/2011 United Kingdom (The Telegraph) - Adrian Smith, a Christian, posted in his own time a response to a news story on the Government’s plans to allow gay weddings in church. The posting, which was only available to his friends, questioned whether the plans were “an equality too far”.

father of two has been found guilty of gross misconduct by the Trafford Housing Trust, a publicly funded housing association, and has been demoted from his £35,000 a year managerial post to a more junior £21,000 position.

Mike Judge, a spokesman for the Christian Institute, said it is the latest case of a public servant being targeted for their beliefs. He said an electrician at another housing association was recently threatened with disciplinary action for refusing to remove a palm cross from the association’s van.

Also people with their own companies, such as bed and breakfasts or hotels, have been threatened with legal action for expressing their views on gay marriage. Mr Judge called for a ‘common sense approach’ that enables people to express their beliefs in - especially in the age of the internet.

“I hope this does not intimidate Christians in the public sector,” he said. “They should be free to express their views in modest way(Source)."

Egypt’s Coptic Christians Fear More Violence

I pray that my Egyptian brethren in Christ Jesus get religious freedom in Egypt. I also hope that some of them remain in the country so they can preach the gospel to the Muslims there.

10/24/2011 Egypt (Christian Post) – Thousands of Coptic Christians gathered in front of the White House Wednesday, Oct. 19, to protest the ensuing violence against Christians in what many predict to be a progressively sectarian society in Egypt. Christians fear that violent clashes between military and protesters Sunday, Oct. 9 are just the beginning of a heated, bloody battle, with Muslims and the military in combat with diminishing numbers of Coptic Christians.

“The risk is that Islamist parties will gain substantial influence, and political debates ultimately will become debates about the proper interpretation of Shariah [Islamic law], and that’s a conversation in which the Copts won’t have any part,” Eric Trager, fellow of the Washington Institute for Near Ear Policy told The Washington Times.

Although Egypt’s current ruling Military regime promised to step down after upcoming parliamentary elections, they have now pushed back the date of the elections. Christians fear that continued military rule will slight any chances of religious freedom in Egypt (Source).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ethiopian Gov’t Says The Country Faces Threat Due To Intolerant Teachings of Wahhabism

Hopefully these Wahhabi Muslims will fail in their attempt to bring Sharia law into Ethiopia, thereby making life worse for my Ethiopian brethren in Christ Jesus.

10/10/2011 Ethiopia (The Bussiness Ethiopia)-Some Wahhabi Muslim extremists in Ethiopia are being engaged in underground violence and unrest instigation activities by abusing the freedom of religion and faith guaranteed by the constitution says, Ethiopian government official.

“We are not against their doctrine; what they are doing by organizing themselves underground is a crime against the constitution,” said Shiferaw Teklemariam, Minister of Federal Affairs.

The minister made the remark at a daylong workshop prepared for local journalists and public relation officers of the government at the Federal Police Headquarter here in Addis Ababa over the weekend.
Wahabi Muslim extremists have been invading mosques in the country with causing violence that resulted in death and injuries of other non- Wahabi Muslims sect followers, according to the minister, who mentioned the crisis witnessed in Harar, Gimma, Wellega, Illubabor and Bale areas of the country over the past years.

The group have been working in secrete to make Ethiopia a Muslim nation that will be ruled by Sharia law by abusing the rights of religion stated in the constitution of the country. “As such acts of Wahhabi Muslim extremists will lead the country in chaos, the government is forced to intervene,” the minister said.
According to the Ethiopian constitution government and religion are separate and one will not interfere into business of the other. While people are free to choose the religion they want to follow. In addition it also states that there will be no state religion in Ethiopia and all religions are equal.

Contrary to this, the government has now found that the Wahabi Muslim extremists have been working underground to make Ethiopia a Muslim nation by violating the rights of other people to believe in what ever they want. “We have found evidences and pamphlets were publicly distributed during the month of Ramadan calling on the Muslim community to stand up against all non- Wahabi Muslims and other religion followers,” he said.

Wahabi sect is a member of a strictly orthodox Sunni Muslim sect from Saudi Arabia. The doctrine strives to purify Islamic beliefs and rejects any innovation occurring after the 3rd century of Islam; "Osama bin Laden is said to be a Wahhabi Muslim".

Religion and Faith Director General at the Ministry, Meressa Reda on his part said: “At the moment our main duty is to save the innocent Muslims who being led to the traps of religious conflict in Ethiopia orchestrated by these Wahabi Muslim extremists”.

Implementing Constitution without Rules
From the public transport to streets, from government offices to universities, different religion extremists have been abusing the rights of people who also have the right not to follow any of these religions.
The fact that Ethiopia has not yet put in place proclamations, rules and manuals on how to use freedom of religion and faith written on the constitution is mentioned as one of the reasons that allowed people to abuse these rights.
As a result of conflicts within or between or among these religion extremists is resulting in unnecessary bloodsheds and burning of mosques and churches. Some people advice that the government has to use early warning and protection mechanisms before such conflicts manifest.

External Interference
Arab Wahabi missionaries, mainly from Saudi Arabia, continue to make inroads into the Ethiopian Muslim community, but are meeting increasing resistance in doing so, according to a recent US cable released by Wikileaks. The indigenous Muslim culture (mainly Sufi Muslim community) has come under attack since 9/11 by Wahabi missionaries engaging in what amounts to cultural imperialism against Ethiopian Islam.
“Prior to 9/11, there was little Wahabi proselytizing in Ethiopia.

As a result, Ethiopia's delicate Muslim/Christian balance and historic attitudes between the faith communities regarding tolerance and mutual respect are being challenged, thereby undermining U.S. interests in the region. Sufi Muslim leaders want support from the U.S. to counter this pressure,” according to wikileaks. The other part of US cable released August 30, 2011 stated that as part of the strategy of countering Wahabi influence through cultural programming the United States government has been doing different things in Ethiopia since 2006 to present.

“In addition, AFCP grant to restore the Teferi Mekonnen Palace in Harar (although the childhood home of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Palace now houses the City Museum, which is heavily focused on Muslim life in Harar,” stated the cable entitled ‘Countering Wahabi Influences in Ethiopia Through Cultural Programs’.

“When well-considered and executed creatively, cultural programming can make a real difference in turning back Islamic extremism and turning public opinion against activists who seek to overturn the existing order and import a brand of Islam that breeds conflict through its corrosive teachings that run counter to more orthodox interpretations of the Koran,” Ambassador Yamamato concludes in his July 2009 report(Source).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Christianity In Britain Today Is Under Severe Persecution

My  brethren in Christ living in Britain are facing lots of persecution in their country. It's only a matter of time before it starts to get violent and they feel the same sort of violent persecution that our brethren in Christ Jesus face in places like China, Nigeria, Iraq, Egypt and Pakistan. This saddens and frightens me to some degree, but at the same time I'm glad that my British brothers and sisters in Christ get to suffer for the sake of the risen Lord.

10/21/2011 UK (Mail Online)-I am very much looking forward to tomorrow’s speech by Ann Widdecombe in which she will criticise our government for its double standards in withdrawing aid from countries which persecute homosexuals while at the same time turning a blind eye to those realms around the world which persecute Christians.

Ms Widdecombe says, 'You have a better chance of earnest representation if you are a hedgehog than if you are a persecuted Christian.'

I am too old and cynical to expect anything better of governments, of whatever hue. But you might think that the leaders of the Church of England would protest more strongly against the persecution of Christians abroad and over here. Recently a seventy-five year old woman in Saudi Arabia was given forty lashes for socializing with her men friends. Christianity is illegal in Saudi – one of our most important middle-eastern allies with whom we do massive trade in weaponry. If you are caught in that country with a Bible, or with the Cross around your neck, you will be arrested by the religious police and thrown into prison.

In Pakistan, a thirteen year old girl was taunted for being a Christian by five Muslim youths who then raped her. The rapists were not charged.Churches are burned down every week in Pakistan. A man is on trial for his life in Egypt for converting to our faith. In China a house church pastor has been slung into prison for utilising superstition to undermine the law.

There have been ancient and established Christian churches in the Middle East since the time of St Paul. Now these are breaking up as never before in 2000 years as hordes of Christians try to leave to escape persecution. In the face of endemic violence from the radical Islamists, the archbishops and bishops have set up an impotent, everlasting talking shop to promote Christian-Muslim dialogue and they issue vacuous communiqués from time to time.

Ah but surely all the atrocities are taking place in far off countries of which we know little? Not at all. Let’s come a bit nearer home:

In England a Muslim girl who converted to Christianity from Islam has been removed from the home of her carer after she chose to be baptised. She was placed in a foster home because her father beat her and threatened to send her to Pakistan for a forced marriage. Her carer, who has fostered more than eighty children, did nothing to encourage her to convert

Also in England, three Coptic Christian children have been placed by social services with a Muslim foster family after their parents divorced. They were originally placed in the custody of the city mosque.  The authority has refused to return the children to the custody of the Coptic Church.

And so on. The nurse who offered prayer to a patient, as part of her ministry to body and soul, is sacked. The airline worker who wears a discreet Cross is sacked also. A child was reprimanded for discussing God at junior school. Public libraries have been instructed to place Bibles on the highest shelf – as if they were some sort of pornography likely to deprave and corrupt.

In the face of all these terrible persecutions, it is easy to be seduced by the arguments of those who tell us there is a clash of civilisations between the Christian West and Islam. This is not true. Most practising Muslims desire only to say their prayers and go to the mosque and to have good relations with their neighbours of whatever faith or none. I have not come across many Muslims who object to Christmas decorations or the wearing of the Cross or the public exhibition of the Bible.

The truth is more sinister. We are dominated by a secular elite which hates Islam every bit as much it hates Christianity. This elite of atheists and metro-political despisers is also a cowardly elite and dare not attack Islam for fear of getting its corporate throat slit. But it finds it useful to invoke an allegedly outraged Islamic sensitivity in order to persecute the Christian faith.
This secular elite – the Dawkins, Pullmans, Toynbees, Graylings and the BBC entire, targets Christianity because it sees Christianity as the embodiment of those historic and traditional values which, until the contemporary reversal, made this country a place worth living in.
Why is the Church of England’s hierarchy not out on the streets protesting about the persecution of Christians? Because, shocking as it sounds, many of its members are effectively non-believers who reject the traditional teachings of the church – the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord – and reinterpret them in secular categories as mere metaphors for social involvement. Their ideal image of Jesus Christ is that of a social worker and preacher of the multicultural society. What was it Muggeridge said of the “liberal” Christian view of Christ – that they regarded him as the Labour member for Galilee South...
The law of the land says we must not discriminate – except in favour of secularism. Did you know it is an offence to teach Christianity in schools as something that is true – though the 1944 Butler Education Act assumed it is true? Christianity now must be taught only as one among many religions. The only way this can be done is from the secular perspective. This is atheism by state decree.

Christianity in Britain today is under severe persecution. And it will get much worse. I do not resent this persecution. I welcome it. For it will weed out the pseudo-Christians, the wimpish bishops and the caved-in Synod. By persecution we discover who our true friends actually are.

Persecution? Bring it on, I say. We will stand for what is good and right as Christian men knowing whose subjects we are. And if there should come the day when we are murdered by the unholy alliance between the Islamist terrorist and the secular commissar, then so be it. For 'the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.'

What I am saying in today’s piece is no mere airing of my personal prejudices. I am only quoting what I have read. And this is what I have read:

'They shall deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated for my name’s sake…rejoice and be exceeding glad, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you(Source).'

And we as American Christians ought to take notice of what's happening to our British brethren in Christ Jesus. Because we could be next.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Islamic Extremists In Somalia Behead 17-Year-Old Christian

10/19/2011 Somalia  (CDN)-Militants from the Islamic extremist al Shabaab beheaded a 17-year-old Somali Christian near Mogadishu last month, a journalist in the Somali capital told Compass.
The militants, who have vowed to rid Somalia of Christianity, killed Guled Jama Muktar on Sept. 25 in his home near Deynile, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Mogadishu. The Islamic extremist group had been monitoring his family since the Christians arrived in Somalia from Kenya in 2008, said the source in Mogadishu, who requested anonymity.

The Islamic militants, who are fighting the transitional government for control of the country, knew from their observations of the family that they were Christians, the source said.

“I personally know this family as Christians who used to have secret Bible meetings in their house,” he said.
Based on talks with the boy’s parents and their neighbors, the source said al Shabaab members arrived at Muktar’s home at 6 a.m., when his parents, whose names are withheld for security reasons, were already at work at their retail space at the Hamarweyne market on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
The extremists found Muktar as he was preparing to go to school, he said.

“The neighbors heard screaming coming from the house, and then it immediately stopped,” the source said. “After awhile, they saw a white car leaving the homestead.”

The neighbors informed the parents, who hurriedly returned home from their market stall. They buried their son’s body quickly, fearing the militants would kill them as well, returned to their market space and then fled to an unknown destination, the source said.

“When the incident happened, the parents called to tell me that their son had been killed and that they feared for their lives,” the source said. “Since then, I have not heard from them.”

On the outskirts of Hudur City in Bakool region in southwestern Somalia, a kidnapped Christian convert from Islam was found decapitated on Sept. 2. Juma Nuradin Kamil was forced into a car by three suspected Islamic extremists from the al Shabaab terrorist group on Aug. 21, area sources said. After members of his community thoroughly combed the area looking for him, at 2 p.m. on Sept. 2 one of them found Kamil’s body dumped on a street.

Muslim extremists from al Shabaab, which has ties to al Qaeda, control the area some 400 kilometers (249 miles) from Mogadishu. A Christian who saw Kamil’s body said it bore the marks of an al Shabaab killing, according to a leader in Somalia’s underground church who lives in another city.

“It is usual for the al Shabaab to decapitate those they suspect to have embraced the Christian faith, or sympathizers of western ideals,” the leader said.

With estimates of al Shabaab’s size ranging from 3,000 to 7,000, the insurgents seek to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law), but the government in Mogadishu fighting to retain control of the country treats Christians little better than the al Shabaab extremists do. While proclaiming himself a moderate, President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed has embraced a version of sharia that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.

Al Shabaab was among several splinter groups that emerged after Ethiopian forces removed the Islamic Courts Union, a group of sharia courts, from power in Somalia in 2006. Al Shabaab has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments(Source).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Teacher’s Islamic Blasphemy Sentence Upgraded In Pakistan

It seems like Pakistan is cracking down on their blasphemy laws. Those type of laws need to be abolished for good so that the Pakistani society can advance and so my Pakistani brethren in Christ can stop being imprisoned on trumped up charges.

10/19/2011 Pakistan (The Australian)-A retired Pakistani schoolteacher has been jailed for three years on blasphemy charges after appealing against a one-month sentence handed down for allegedly insulting the Muslim prophet Mohammad. Mehram Wahocho was also fined Rs5000 ($US57) in the appeal judgment, which found that the lower court sentence handed down two years ago was too lenient. The decision was made after Wahocho's accuser also appealed against the original sentence, asking for an increase in his punishment.

Last month, a 13-year-old Christian girl was expelled from her school, and her government nurse mother transferred from her job, for allegedly committing blasphemy during a test in which she inadvertently made a spelling error. Faryal Tauseef, an eighth grade student at Sir Syed High School in the northwest town of Havelian, was asked with her class to define "naat" (hymn), a style of poem written in praise of Mohammed, instead writing the word "lanaat" (curse).

"In her explanation, Faryal wrote a word which was blasphemous," the school's administrator, Junaid Sarfraz, said, adding that her teacher had referred the case to Muslim clerics believing she had intentionally used the word.

"The girl confessed, saying that she did it by mistake and the school administration, after consulting local clerics, decided to rusticate (expel) her."

Pakistan's Human Rights Commission chairman Asma Jahangir said the blasphemy laws were open to blatant abuse but the current "climate of fear" in Pakistan stifled all debate about reform(Source).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Call For Expulsion Of An American Christian Teacher After Her Facebook Comments On Gays

Yesterday, the article focused on persecution of my British brethren in Christ Jesus. Now, it's here in America. If you as a Christian are still nursing the comforting, stupid and naive Illusion that we as Christians can't be persecuted here in the West, or in America, here's an article to destroy that idea:

(Note: The words in bold within the article are from the author himself and what he thinks about this whole incident.)
10/17/2011 United States (The Christian Post)-Gay rights activists plan to protest at a New Jersey board of education meeting on Tuesday after a school teacher described homosexuality as a sin on her Facebook account. Though supporters of the teacher, Viki Knox, say her First Amendment rights should be protected, her opponents are calling on the school board to take away her job.

According to the Facebook page for Garden State Equality, an organization dedicated to supporting gay rights, the protest is being organized to tell the school board in Union Township that “it is wrong for a teacher to spew anti-LGBT hatred on Facebook in her official capacity as a teacher.”

“Ms. Knox went out of her way several times in her vicious tirade to identify herself as a teacher and to communicate as a teacher, not as a private citizen,” said Steven Goldstein, the chair and CEO of GSE, in a comment posted on GSE's Facebook page. “And in the role of teacher on Facebook, she communicated her bile to students. That is the line she crossed here – that is why the school should take action.”

The controversy began when Knox, a special education teacher at Union High School, posted an image to her personal Facebook account of a display at the school which promotes the month of October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History Month.

I should let you know that this teacher did the wrong thing by putting a negative display of LGBT on her facebook account,  because it was of something from school, on school property. Nonetheless, I have a feeling that her comments on homosexuality would have threatened her job whether she had posted that photo or not.

She said she was “pitching a fit” over the display, and eventually sparked a debate for taking a stance against homosexuality. In her comments Knox describes homosexuality a “perverted spirit” and a sinful lifestyle, saying, “I know sin and it breeds like cancer!”

While many are quick to label Knox's position on homosexuality as hateful, she claimed she doesn't hate anyone.

“I love my family members and friends that practice alternate lifestyles but I do not condone or support their lifestyle,” she wrote, according to a copy of the Facebook debate posted on GSE's website.

“I do not deny them access to me or my home. Christ draws us all through a love so vast and encompassing that our human minds continue to fail to comprehend but it was still LOVE! I have no idea how the ADULTS saw my pic, read something I wrote and concluded I was hating and bashing.”

Kim Colby, senior legal counsel for the Christian Legal Society, told The Christian Post via email on Monday that Knox has a right to comment on the issue without being punished.

“Unfortunately some groups have decided that their political agenda is more important than the First Amendment,” Colby said. “The First Amendment must protect everyone’s right to express personal beliefs on controversial topics, or we all lose freedom of speech(Source).”

Monday, October 17, 2011

No Wonder Christians Feel Discriminated Against In British Society, A Disturbing Trend Is Now Emerging

Note: This article was written by a non-Christian. And I have to agree with the writer, Britain is persecuting the religion that has made it what it is today. Christianity is the religion which has shaped Western Countries, like America, Canada, France and Great Britain. Now thanks to Secularism, it seems like the West is bent on marginalizing the religion of the risen Savior.

10/14/2011 UK (The Huffington Post)-Last month a Christian owner of a Café where bible verses were being displayed on television screens was told (quite incorrectly) by police that he was breaking the law.
The fact that British police would consider the displaying of Christian scripture an illegal offence is a concerning indication of the mentality that British society has come to adopt towards all things Christian.

For anyone who follows the British media's reporting of American politics, the continuous attempt to run down certain American politicians on account of their faith rather than engaging with their politics has now become a rather boring familiarity.

Bush and Palin are crazed evangelical fundamentalists we are forever being told, oh yawn, is this kind of cheap and lazy defamation really what we have to make do with for journalism? Yet what is far more concerning is what is happening to Christians here in our own country. It is only when one steps back and takes an overview of the litany of cases where Christians have been discriminated against for their religious convictions, that it is possible to appreciate what resembles a sustained assault against the Christian communities in Britain.

Whether it is the case of the nurse who was suspended for offering to pray for a patient, the van driver who faced disciplinary action if he refused to remove a palm cross from his dashboard, the couple who were prohibited from fostering because of their Christian beliefs or the supply teacher who was dismissed when she mentioned praying for a child's family. The list goes on and on.

It is as if there is a systematic effort to extrapolate British society from its Christian heritage and the values that have for centuries served as a basis for British culture and identity. Those who have been responsible for these moves have often advocated for them on the grounds of creating a more secular and therefore a supposedly more inclusive and pluralistic society for everyone.

Yet it is hard to escape the fact that it has often been the very same people who have promoted secular values when it has come to driving out Christian aspects of public life, who have simultaneously lent their support for the establishment of a parallel religious legal system in the form of Sharia law courts.

At our universities these speakers are often provided with an open platform on the grounds of free speech and freedom of religious expression. Those were the kind of arguments that many in the British media were at pains to stress when discussing the ground zero mosque in Manhattan.

And while our media obsessed over supporting the building of one mosque in America, it all but ignored the burning down of countless churches elsewhere in the world, not to mention the massacring of Coptic Christians in their Churches in Egypt or the murder of Iraqi Christians in their places of worship there.

Yet this is symptomatic of a growing double standard. We all remember the crowds who turned out for the protest at the Pope rally last year but where were the demonstrations against the then Mayor Ken Livingstone sponsoring the visit to London by the extremist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi?

As much as I am not a Christian, it still seems clear that all of us who value the rights and freedoms afforded by a liberal democracy should ensure that there is fair treatment for Christians in Britain. More than that, we as a society need to recognise that Christianity has played a major and for the most part extremely positive role, in forming our nation's history and national identity(Source).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vietnamese Authorities Finally Return Land “Borrowed” From Church In 1976

Praise God for that!!!! Maybe there is some hope in this world for my brethren in Christ Jesus.

10/14/2011 Vietnam (ICN) - Government authorities in Quang Binh province, Vietnam have decided to return property formerly owned by the Church after decades of petitions submitted by parishioners. Fr Paul Nguyen Chi Thien, a parish priest in Trung Quan in Quang Binh province, said authorities ruled last month to return the land, owned by the Church since 1921.

“We are very happy that provincial authorities have decided to return the former Church-owned plot of land to us, and we plan to build new facilities on it to meet our increasing religious needs.”

He added, however, that the decision still requires official documentation.
“We hope the district will complete documents and return the land [officially] next month.”

Fr Thien, who joined the parish last year, said the government has been using facilities on the land as a nursery and that the Church plans to build a new school for the local government near the plot of land in December, at an estimated cost of 200 million dong (US$10,000).

Benedict Tran Quang Dam, head of the parish council, said local Catholics whose ancestors converted to Catholicism as early as 1676 built a church and other facilities on the 3,730-square-meter plot of land in 1938. Those facilities were destroyed in 1968 during bombing by US forces during the war in Vietnam.

Dam, 70, said local Catholics set up a chapel in 1969 and used it until 1976, when the government “borrowed” it and then built the present pre-school building. The lay leader said the Church has petitioned the government many times since 1995 to return the land(Source).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

U.S. Congress Reports: 500 Members Of ‘Unregistered’ Church In China Under House Arrest

10/13/2011 China (CNS News) - In continuing religious freedom violations, the Chinese government placed 500 members of a Protestant church under house arrest between the fall of 2010 and the fall of 2011 reporting year, according to a Congress-mandated report on China released this week.

In April 2011, the report states, “public security authorities in Beijing repeatedly took into custody and placed under ‘soft detention’ members and leaders of the unregistered Shouwang Church as they attempted to worship outdoors.”

The incident occurred after the landlord of the building where the church meets was pressured by the government to prevent the congregation from accessing the property. As of April 29, all seven pastors of the church were still in custody, it says.

Releasing the Congressional-Executive Commission on China report at a press conference Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said it shows that “China’s leaders have tightened their grip on Chinese society and grown more aggressive in disregarding the very laws and international standards that they claim to uphold.”

Beijing tolerates Christian practice through “patriotic” movements, one Protestant and one Catholic.
“House churches” and other unregistered Protestant congregations that do not belong to the Three Self-Patriotic Movement (TSPM) have long faced harassment.

At least 40 unregistered Chinese bishops are in hiding, or in detention, home confinement or under surveillance, “or have disappeared under suspicious circumstances,” the report states.

“As a nation committed to freedom and democracy and the rule of law, the U.S. must redouble our efforts, work harder to hold China accountable for its actions and ensure that any push for enhanced economic ties with China does not come at the expense of our own economy, national security and our commitment to help the Chinese people secure human rights protections from their own government,” Smith said(Source).

Iran: “I was deprived of all my social activities because of my faith”

Three things I want to say:
1. I praise that the Lord Jesus has led this man to Him. I praise for opening his eyes in the year 2000!!!!
2. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for technology. Because Jesus Christ has provided us with technology the gospel can get out to places where it's hard to reach people with the gospel.
3. I pray that God will keep this man safe in Iran and that if he has to face persecution for his faith, I pray that he responds with bravery.

10/10/2011 Iran (Mohabat News) – In recent years, Iran has become a key target for different religions seeking to spread their influence through the growth of modern media inside the country. The following article is based on an interview of one Iranian Christian artists who has used his art and his voice to spread the gospel in his homeland. As a result these efforts, he faced many difficulties which eventually caused him to flee Iran.

It seems that hunting down, harassing, torturing and even killing people who disagree with the philosophy of the government has become a regular habit for the Iranian authorities. The regime applies Sharia law vigorously in an effort to force the entire society to remain Muslim. They interrogate people and punish anyone who dares to leave the Islamic faith.

As a result followers of other religions face serious limitations with respect to spreading or sharing their own faith. But in recent years, use of the internet and other electronic media has grown rapidly in Iran, providing an effective means for spreading religious messages.

Arian Risbaf is a Christian convert who has used his art and recent developments in information technology to spread his faith and to share the "love of Christ" with other Iranians. But his case was not an exception and he was not immune from pressure by the Iranian authorities. His story is available below following an exclusive interview by a reporter of the Iranian Christian News agency, Mohabatnews.

Q: Please introduce yourself and tell us how long it is since you converted to Christianity?
I'm Arian Risbaf. I was born in Tehran, 1976 and it's now 11 years since I accepted Jesus into my heart.

Q: Why Christianity?
I was always feeling guilty because of my inability to fulfill the Islamic law. While I was known as a Muslim and I think it was not my problem only. I was trying to do my best to be good just like the other people. I was trying to live a good and proper life but I knew that almost all the things I did were not according Islamic laws and as a result I was feeling guilty. As a result of this guilty feeling, I decided to think less about religious matters in my life. Before too long I recognized that I was not a religious person. However, when I came to know Jesus and felt the love he has provided for all generations, all the guilt in my heart was wiped away. Then I received the peace needed to live a life of integrity. You know, it's more understandable and reasonable that the one who created us doesn't need to force us to worship him. Nor does he take away his love for us because of our human faults.

Q: How did you come to know Jesus?
During the Christmas season of 2000 one of my friends, who had believed in Jesus some years earlier, invited me to a church service. There, a churchman was explaining why God became flesh. The sermon so deeply influenced me that I began to think about how I could possibly repay God's love. [Before long I trusted Jesus to forgive my sins and be my personal savior.]

Q: How has this decision changed your personal and social life?
From the moment I heard the message of the Gospel, I became friendlier to myself and to others. The very same change made me more successful in my personal life and I began to be easier on other people. I no longer felt guilty because of being human and I experienced spiritual peace. All these changes are like a new birth to me.

Q: After you believed in Jesus, how did the behavior of other people change toward you?
At first, my parents, who are open-minded Muslims, asked me many questions because it was something new for them. But gradually, when they saw the positive impact that my new faith had on my life they easily accepted it and I experienced no further problem from them. Among other people, it was different. I didn't talk about my faith usually, but when some of them realized that I had become a Christian, they were very intrigued and in almost all instances they showed interest. I really believe that Iranian people have a positive idea regarding religion and the right to choose your religion. On the other hand, they saw the Islamic government always making problems for religious minorities. These very actions seem to prompt people to investigate religious matters more carefully.

Q: What kind of problems was the government causing you?
Apart from the security problems which came later, there were problems regarding my work. My job required me to be in contact with the ministry of the culture and Islamic guidance and also the government-run TV and Radio network (IRIB). Actually, these organizations don't allow religious minorities to work in jobs related to the culture.

I also could not appear openly in Christian communities in order to keep my job. At first I attended church services on a regular basis, but during the past 6 years I have only been able to attend house church meetings(Source).

Friday, October 14, 2011

China Insists On Repatriating North Korean Refugees, Some May Face Public Execution

10/15/2011 North Korea (TC) - The Chinese government has told South Korea that it is determined to repatriate 20 North Korean defectors who were arrested in Shenyang and elsewhere last month. Seoul asked Beijing to let them go to South Korea, but Beijing said this would encourage an unmanageable flood of copycats. China signed up to the UN Refugee Convention in 1982. Article 1 of the convention classifies a refugee as a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or… is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".

Article 33, Clause 1 stipulates that signatories of the convention must not send refugees to places where they are under threat of death and also bans forced repatriations.

If China now sits face to face with the U.S. to discuss global political and economic issues, it is also bound to abide by the UN convention and cooperate with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to investigate whether North Korean defectors are indeed refugees or criminals on the run. Once they are found to be refugees, China must offer them humanitarian treatment.

The world is fully aware of the fact that North Korea defectors who are sent back face imprisonment in political prison camps and beatings, brutal torture and even public execution. China is probably more aware than any other country of such abuses. The North Korean Human Rights Resolution which the UN General Assembly has adopted each year since 2005 also sheds light on the torture and executions of North Korean defectors. But China continues to send North Korean defectors back, citing a border treaty it signed with Pyongyang in 1998(Source).

A Muslim Man Kidnaps A 12-Year-Old Christian Girl, Raped Her And Forcefully Convert Her To Islam

10/13/2011 Pakistan (The Daily Mail)-A 12-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped and repeatedly raped for eight months in Pakistan by a man who then falsified marriage documents with her, it was claimed today.
The girl was lured on a shopping trip in Lahore by a friend, before she was driven 120 miles to Tandianwalla and raped by the friend's uncle in January this year.

Two days later, she was forced to sign papers consenting to marriage with the man and beaten for refusing to convert from Christianity to Islam. She was then held against her will for eight months, before managing to escape and contact her family. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has said the rapists have not been arrested because of their affiliation with a militant Muslim organisation - the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.

It claims the police have refused to order a medical check-up on the girl, and have warned her parents that it would be better for them to hand over the girl to her 'legal' husband or a criminal case would be filed against them. An investigation into the kidnapping found the girl's father reported her disappearance in January and made complaints against her abductors, but police took no action for eight months.

The rapists then contacted the police through their religious group and produced a marriage certificate that claimed to show one of them was married to the 12-year-old.

As a result of their complaint, the Christian family has gone into hiding as members of Lashkar-e-Tayyaba are searching for them. The group claims the girl is pregnant, but her mother has denied this is true (Source).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Muslim Mother tries to kill her son for turning to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Muhammad commanded his followers to kill people who leave Islam:

Sahih al-Bukhari 6922- Allah’s Messenger said, “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.

Therefore is shouldn't surprise when Muslims try to kill anyone when they leave Islam:

On a different note, I praise the Lord Jesus Christ that he has opened the eyes of another human being and has led him to the foot of the cross. I loved his testimony, it was very, very moving. 

For more on the subject of death and apostasy in Islam, here's a video from my brother in Christ Jesus, David Wood:

Church In China Still Growing Despite Persecution

10/11/2011 China (CathNews) - Many of China’s churches are full of worshippers every Sunday. The number of Christians are multiplying, although statistics, official and unofficial, fail to give a reliable image of what seems to be a phenomenon of extraordinary proportions. So much so that one wonders, as did a recent survey by the BBC, whether this wave of spirituality isn’t actually provoked by the unbridled capitalism implemented by the regime after decades of ideological repression.

With regards to the figures, the debate could continue indefinitely; and it is actually impossible to say how many followers of Christ there are, divided into different denominations, in the Empire of the Dragon. The government says there are about 25 million: 18 million Protestants of various affiliations, and six million Catholics. But the figures provided by independent observers and analysts suggest that Beijing’s figures fall well below actual numbers which are estimated at being up to 60 million.

This may not be a great figure in the sea of Chinese, but they are still a significant respected minority; the entire population of a country like Italy. Some say, in a provocative manner, that on Sundays there are more faithful present at the various Christian celebrations in China, than in churches throughout Europe. The new converts pass transversely through all the different segments of the complex Chinese society: from the peasants in remote rural areas to the young businessmen of the booming metropolises(Source).

Officials In Sudan Threaten To Raze Three Church Building

Pray for our Sudanese brethren in Christ Jesus.

10/12/2011 Pakistan (CDN)-Local authorities have threatened to demolish three church buildings in Omdurman as part of a long-standing bid to rid Sudan of Christianity, Christian sources told Compass. Officials from the Ministry of Physical Planning and Public Utilities-Khartoum State appeared at the three church sites in Omdurman, on the Nile River opposite Khartoum, the afternoon of Sept. 11, threatening to demolish the structures if the churches continued to conduct worship services, church leaders said.

Church leaders from the three churches in the Madinat al Fath area of Omdurman – the Sudanese Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church of Sudan and the Roman Catholic Church – said they were surprised to see government officials come to their church premises and accuse them of operating churches on government land without permission. The church leaders told Compass the buildings were not located on government land and required no permission.

They said that, starting at 2 p.m. the officials asked leaders of the Sudanese Church of Christ who had given them permission to build on government land, and then proceeded to the other two churches. The officials marked the three church buildings for demolition with red crosses, saying, “We are going to demolish these churches,” the church leaders said.

Jaafer al Sudani, manager of Church Affairs in the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment, told Compass that officials there had no knowledge of church buildings to be demolished. The state planning officials insist that the churches are operating on government land. Citing a growing tide of hostility toward Christians, members of the threatened churches said they were concerned about their future.

“These are clearly evil plans directed against churches and Christians in this country,” said Kornules Yousif, an area Christian leader.

“This is serious,” said another church member who asked to remain unnamed. “We do not want them to demolish our churches.” Local Muslims complain of the Christian presence in the area, Yousif said.

“Muslims say churches are not supposed to be given permission to operate because the number of Muslims is greater than that of Christians,” he said.

Area Christians told Compass they take seriously such statements by Muslims as they reveal hostile motives by both the Islamic government and Muslim communities.

“These people can do everything possible to clear this country of Christianity,” said a member of one of the threatened churches.

At the same time, area Christians said they believe the government is quietly carrying out surveys on Christians and church programs as part of a broader effort to make Islam the official state religion; officials from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowment have called church leaders, asking them to reveal information about their church members and activities of the Churches, they said.

“This is purely for intelligence purposes, so that they can put more restrictions on churches and Christians,” said the Rev. Yousif El-Denger Kodi, general secretary of the Sudanese Lutheran Church. “We as church leaders are aware of their plans, but we pray for God to rescue us from their evil plans.”

Islam is favored in law and policy in Sudan, according to the U.S. Department of State’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report. While sharia (Islamic law) is only “a source of legislation” according to the Interim National Constitution, there is a movement afoot to make Islam the official state religion following the secession of largely non-Muslim southern Sudan on July 9.

“Muslims are not happy to see churches in their areas, because they believe in Islam and fear the influence of the church, and that is why they hate to see churches,” a church leader who requested anonymity told Compass(Source).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Syrian believers now threatened

10/9/2011 Syria (OneNewsNow) – Christians in Syria need to be remembered in prayer during that country's civil turmoil. As part of the violence and other turmoil in that country, the general population has suffered job losses and increased prices. Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra tells OneNewsNow that Christians among the population are suffering as well.

"More so perhaps than the regular population," he adds, "so there's a great need for goods [and] for food ... so we need to uplift the Christian community there, which numbers about ten percent of the country -- which is a significant amount, 1.9 million people."

Latest figures show at least 2,700 people have been killed and many thousands more arrested in an effort to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

"... [Christians in Syria] really been pretty well protected by that president," Dykstra explains. "Of course al-Assad is now under tremendous pressure and fire."

According to the ministry spokesman, if al-Assad is overthrown, Sharia law may be implemented -- which will further threaten Syrian Christians(Source).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pakistani Muslims Fire On Christians In Land-Grab, Killing One

10/07/2011 Pakistan (CDN)-Muslims in Pakistan’s Mian Channu area in southern Punjab Province shot dead an unarmed Christian man and injured 21 others, six of them critically, in an attempted land-grab on Wednesday (Oct. 5). Residents of the area told Compass by phone that 40 to 45 heavily-armed Muslims on 10 to 12 motorcycles, two tractor-trolleys and in a car reached Chak 134-16/L village, in Khanewal district, and forcibly entered the home of Adeel Kashif, a Christian carpenter who was living on a government-owned piece of land.

“The attackers forced their way into Kashif’s house and started throwing the family’s belongings onto the street,” Wazir Masih, a Christian elder in the area, told Compass. “They also tore the clothes off Kashif’s three female family members – Violet, 40, Parveen, 35, and Esther, 17, and tortured the family.”
Masih said the assailants wanted to take illegal possession of the 18-marla piece of land (in Pakistan, one marla equals 30.25 square yards).

“Since pre-partition days, a piece of government land is given to Kammis [laborers or craftsmen] for residence, and in return they help the villagers in whatever way they can,” Masih said. “This allotment is made with the complete consensus of the villagers.”

Before Kashif, a Muslim carpenter named Muhammad Iqbal was allowed to live on the property, he said.
“Iqbal lived there for over 10 years and moved out about two months ago,” Masih said. “However, before leaving he prepared fake papers of the land in connivance with the Patwari [local revenue officer] and a local Muslim group and ‘sold’ it to them for 130,000 rupees [US$1,480],” Masih said, adding that the entire process was fraudulent because no one can sell the government’s land in a personal capacity.

He said that on Wednesday (Oct. 5), armed Muslims led by men of the area’s powerful Jagrane family arrived at the house and tried to force the Christians out.

“Kashif’s neighbors and some other villagers came out of their homes on hearing the commotion,” Masih said. “The village comprises about 250 Christian families, and some 90 to 100 people gathered there and tried to persuade the Muslims not to dislodge the Christian carpenter illegally. None of the Christians present there was carrying any weapon, as no one was expecting such a harsh action by the Muslims.”

Masih said the Muslims suddenly opened indiscriminate fire on the Christians, instantly killing 25-year-old Sajid Bashir Masih and seriously injuring 21 others, including women and children. He added that six of the injured were in critical condition, one of them Sajid Bashir Masih’s younger brother, Haroon.

“The Christians had done nothing to provoke the Muslims into employing such brute force,” Wazir Masih said. “They just opened fire on the defenseless people with their automatic rifles and shotguns.”

Masih said that as soon as Sajid Bashir Masih succumbed to his injuries, some of the assailants fled the scene while others took refuge inside Kashif’s house and started shooting at the villagers. He said the villagers immediately informed police, who arrived soon from a nearby station.

Police besieged the house and eventually managed to arrest 16 armed assailants, but the primary suspects remain free. A First Information Report was registered against the attackers in Mian Channu’s Saddar Police Station by the deceased’s father, Bashir Masih, early yesterday (FIR No. 432 under sections 302, 324, 448, 511, 452, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code).

Some of the injured Christians have been transferred to the District Headquarters Hospital, while those with serious bullet wounds have been admitted to the Nishtar Hospital in Multan. A.D. Sahil, a Christian schoolteacher of the area, told Compass that the Christians suspected police complicity in the incident.

“The police station is just a couple of kilometers away, yet such a large group of heavily-armed Muslims managed to reach our village in broad daylight,” he said, adding that there was tension between the two communities since the killing, and police have been deployed in the village. “The district police chief and the district’s administrative head reached the village soon after the incident and held negotiations with us.”

He added that, in view of the history of bitter inter-religious relations in the area, government officials have given assurances of protection to local Christians. The village is near Shantinagar, a Christian village attacked by thousands of Islamist extremists on Feb. 6, 1997.

The Muslims burned down 785 houses and four churches, and more than 2,500 Christians had to flee following allegations that a Christian villager had blasphemed against the Muslim prophet, Muhammad.
Christians make up only 2.45 percent of Pakistan’s population, which is more than 95 percent Muslim, according to Operation World(Source).

Protestants Reach Agreement In Mexico After Being Threatened With Crucifixion

Let's hope that the agreement for religious freedom lasts and that there will be no more threats for Crucifixion against my brethren in Chist Jesus.

10/03/2011 Mexico (ANS) - An international Christian organization working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, is welcoming the recent agreement signed by Catholic and Protestant leaders and the government to resolve a religious conflict in the village of San Rafael Tlanalapan, Mexico. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) says that in the agreement, both religious communities agree to promote religious freedom and tolerance in their community.

According to CSW, the situation in San Rafael Tlanalapan, located in Puebla State in central Mexico, received international press coverage when in early September, hardline traditionalists threatened to "lynch and crucify" approximately seventy Protestant members of the community. Many of the Protestants fled or took refuge in the church.

CSW says that according to local press reports the Catholic Church took quick steps to remove the local priest accused of instigating the conflict. Puebla State officials also intervened and over the course of the month helped to negotiate an agreement between both religious communities.

In a media update, CSW explained: "In the written agreement, signed by government officials and representatives on both sides, Catholics and Protestants agreed to promote religious freedom, encourage respect for one another and other religious groups, and to instruct their religious leaders to promote the rule of law. In addition, the Protestants promised to move their place of worship within the town in order to help avoid future tensions and the government officials agreed to offer support in the process of relocation."

CSW added that it continues to be concerned about an unresolved situation in San Jose de Axuxco, also in Puebla State where traditionalist hardliners continue to prevent Protestants' access to water. Tensions there first surfaced in May after the Protestants, all members of a local Baptist church, refused to contribute financially to a Catholic religious festival(Source).

A firsthand account of Sunday’s massacre in Cairo: Marching from Shubra to deaths at Maspero

The Quran commands Muslims to fight and oppress all non-Muslims:
Quran 9:29- Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and his Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, from among the People of the Book till they pay the Jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

Quran 9:73- O Prophet! Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.

Quran 9:111- Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain.

Quran 9:123- O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you  and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).

Quran 47:35- Be not weary and fainthearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost: for Allah is with you, and will never put yu in loss for your (good) deeds.

The Hadith command them to do the same thing:

Sahih al-Bukhari 6924- Allah's Messenger said, "I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and whoever said La ilaha illallah, Allah will save his property and his life from me."

Sahih Muslim 30- It is reported on the authority of Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against the people so long as they do not there is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was guaranteed the protection of his property and life on my behalf except for the right, and his affairs rest with Allah.

Sahih Muslim 33- It has been narrated on the authority of Abdullah b. Umar that the Messenger o Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till thy testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and they establish prayer, and pay Zakat and if they do it, their blood and property are guaranteed protection on my behalf except when justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah.

Sahih al-Bukhari 2787- Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid in His Case into Paradise if he is killed, otherwise He will return him to him safely with rewards and war plunder.

Therefore we shouldn't be surprised when Muslims in Egypt kill our Egyptian brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ

10/10/2011 Egypt (Al Masry Al Youm) – The march from the Cairo district of Shubra was huge, like the numbers on 28 January. In the front row was a group of men in long white bibs, “martyr upon demand” written on their chests. A tiny old lady walked among them, waving a large wooden cross: “God protect you my children, God protect you.”

The march started down Shubra Street around 4 pm, past its muddle of old apartment buildings, beat up and sad but still graceful compared with the constructions from the Mubarak era next to them - brutish and unfinished-looking.

A man explained why there were bigger numbers than the march last week in response to the attack on the St. George’s Church in Aswan: the army had hit a priest while violently dispersing Coptic protesters in front of the Maspiro state TV building on Wednesday. A video posted online showed a young man being brutally assaulted by army soldiers and riot police.

At a traffic underpass at the end of Shubra Street, at around 6 pm, there was the sudden sound of what sounded like gunfire. Protesters at the front told those behind to stop - the march was under attack. Rocks rained down from left and right and from the bridge, underneath which protesters were taking shelter.
Some threw stones back. Behind them, protesters chanted, “The people want the removal of the Field Commander.” The stone throwing eventually stopped sufficiently for the march to continue. A teenage boy crossed himself repeatedly as he moved forward toward the rocks.

Outside the Ramsis Hilton Hotel, the chanting stopped momentarily - the exuberance of having escaped the attack in Shubra faded as the march rounded the corner toward Maspiro. It was immediately met with gunfire in the air. As protesters continued moving forwards, the gunfire continued.

Suddenly, there was a great surge of people moving back, and something strange happened. Two armored personnel carriers (APCs) began driving at frightening speed through protesters, who threw themselves out of its path. A soldier on top of each vehicle manned a gun, and spun it wildly, apparently shooting at random although the screams made it difficult to discern exactly where the sound of gunfire was coming from.
It was like some brutal perversion of the military show the armed forces put on for the 6th of October celebration three days before.

The two vehicles zigzagged down the road outside Maspiro underneath the 6th of October Bridge and then back in synchronicity, the rhythm for this particular parade provided by the "tac tac tac" of never-ending gunfire, the music the screams of the protesters they drove directly at.

And then it happened: an APC mounted the island in the middle of the road, like a maddened animal on a rampage. I saw a group of people disappear, sucked underneath it. It drove over them. I wasn’t able to see what happened to them because it then started coming in my direction.

Later, as riot police fired tear gas at another small attempt at a demonstration and fires burned around Maspiro, I found on the floor part of one of the white “martyrs upon demand” bibs the men had been wearing, and took it home. It had been ripped in half.
The Coptic Hospital tried its best to deal with the sudden influx of casualties. Its floors were sticky with blood and there was barely room to move among the wounded, the worried and the inconsolable.
A man asked if we were press, and whether we’d like to film the morgue if we “were strong enough.”

The morgue was a harshly lit two-room building surrounded by men and women screaming and hitting themselves in paroxysms of grief. In the first room there were two bodies, middle-aged men on the floor next to the fridge, which we were told held three bodies. In the other room there were the bodies of 12 men of varying ages. A young woman sat by one of them clasping his hand and wailing. Vivian and Michael, who were engaged to be married.

Michael had been crushed, his leg destroyed. Next to Michael was the body of a man whose face was contorted into an impossible expression. A priest opened his hands and showed me the remains of the man’s skull and parts of his brain. He too had been crushed. Outside a woman said out loud to the dead, “How lucky you are, now in heaven!” A man screamed, “We won’t be silent again(Source).”

Monday, October 10, 2011

A beacon of hope for Iraq Christians

10/4/2011 Iraq (Vatican Radio) – In the last decade, the Christian population in Iraq has plummeted from 800,000 to an estimated 150,000. Many have fled their homes and even the country to escape attacks and religious intolerance. But one area in Northern Iraq is seeing an influx of Christians. The town of Ankawa, a suburb of the Kurdish capital Erbil has seen an increase from over 8 thousand in the mid 1990’s to more than 25 thousand today.

“There are two main reasons (for this influx), one is this is the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq where the safety and general security is thought to be that much better than elsewhere in Iraq. That’s the first reason; the second reason is because that particular suburb… is already quite well populated with Christians,” says Senior Press Officer for Aid to the Church in Need, John Pontifex(Source).

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In Egypt, Muslim persecution of Christians intensifies

CAIRO (AP) — On her first day to school, 15-year-old Christian student Ferial Habib was stopped at the doorstep of her new high school with clear instructions: either put on a headscarf or no school this year.
Habib refused. While most Muslim women in Egypt wear the headscarf, Christians do not, and the move by administrators to force a Christian student to don it was unprecedented. For the next two weeks, Habib reported to school in the southern Egyptian village of Sheik Fadl every day in her uniform, without the head covering, only to be turned back by teachers.

One day, Habib heard the school loudspeakers echoing her name and teachers with megaphones leading a number of students in chants of "We don't want Ferial here," the teenager told The Associated Press.
Habib's was allowed last week to attend without the scarf, and civil rights advocates say her case is a rare one. But it stokes the fears of Egypt's significant Christian minority that they will become the victims as Islamists grow more assertive after the Feb. 11 toppling of President Hosni Mubarak. It also illustrates how amid the country's political turmoil, with little sense of who is in charge and government control weakened, Islamic conservatives in low-level posts can step in and try to unilaterally enforce their own decisions.

Wagdi Halfa, one of Habib's lawyers, said the root problem is a lack of the rule of law.
"We don't want more laws but we want to activate the laws already in place," he said. "We are in a dark tunnel in terms of sectarian tension. Even if you have the majority who are moderate Muslims, a minority of extremists can make big impact on them and poison their minds."

In the past weeks, riots have broken out at two churches in southern Egypt, prompted by Muslim crowds angered by church construction. One riot broke out, near the city of Aswan, even after church officials agreed to a demand by local ultraconservative Muslims, called Salafis, that a cross and bells be removed from the building.

The violence is particularly frustrating for Christians because soon after Mubarak's fall the new government promised to review and lift heavy Mubarak-era restrictions on building or renovating churches. The promise raised hopes among Christians that the government would establish a clear legal right to build, resolving an issue that in recent years has increasingly sparked riots. But the review never came, and Salafi clerics have increased their rhetoric against Christians, including accusing them of seeking to spread their faith with new churches(Source).