Tuesday, February 28, 2012

American Girl, 14, Gets Death Threats For Defending Marriage

There are MANY things I want to say about this article and maybe I will. But for now I will say:
1. Even the young aren't immune from persecution.

2. It surprises me that they are going so far as to threaten my sister in Christ. It goes to show the wickedness of man. And the fact that they threaten her shows that they know that what they are doing wrong and they are trying to suppress (Romans 1:18-25).

3. Just so everyone knows, I am from Maryland (where same-sex marriage has just been made legal) and the fact that this happening in my home state is frightening.

I'll say more later.

02/28/2012 United States (The Christian Institute)-A 14-year-old girl in America received death threats and abuse after taking a stand for the traditional definition of marriage. Sarah appeared before the state of Maryland’s legislature last month where she urged lawmakers not to redefine marriage. She urged a committee to give her “the best birthday present ever,” by “vot[ing] no on gay marriage.”

Threats
But after the youngster’s testimony appeared online she was subjected to vulgar attacks, threats of violence and even death wishes. Other documented responses included: “I’m gonna kill ‘er!”

Exterminated
“Her parents should be exterminated.”
“The [sic] is why abortion must stay legal—to prevent little bigots like this from being Born…”
“Kill this child and his [sic] parent, for my 11 birthday would be a wonderful gift, thanks.”
“Parents like hers should be sterilized…”

Testified

Sarah testified before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee at the end of January. She said: “I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender. Even though some kids think it’s fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on. “I don’t want more kids to get confused about what’s right and okay. I really don’t want to grow up in a world where marriage isn’t such a special thing anymore.”

School Censors Second Grade Student’s John 3:16 Message

Western Persecution continues. People trample over the 1st amendment because of their hostility to the Christian religion.


02/21/2012 United States (Charisma News) - What was meant to be a sweet holiday left a bitter taste in the mouth of second grader Dexter Thielhelm. At a Valentine’s Day “friendship party and chocolate celebration,” James Madison Elementary School officials confiscated Thielhelm’s gifts of candy-filled water bottles with a typewritten note that included the message “Jesus Loves You” and the text of the Bible verse John 3:16. The Sheboygan, Wis., school’s principal only allowed the gifts to be distributed after his message was removed.

David French, a senior attorney with the ACLJ, issued a demand letter this week to the Sheboygan Area School District, asking for assurances that the district will “cease its viewpoint-discriminatory treatment of religious speech.”

“It has been well settled by the Supreme Court that religious speech is protected by the First Amendment and may not be singled out for disparate treatment,” says French. “To censor Dexter’s speech because of its religious nature is pure and simple viewpoint discrimination.”

According to District Assistant Superintendent of Student Instructional Services Mark Holzman, Thielhelm’s
Valentine’s Day messages were censored for fear that students receiving the child’s gift might not be comfortable with his religious message. But the Supreme Court has ruled that students cannot be prohibited from exercising their First Amendment rights simply because someone might be offended.

“It’s pretty simple, really. A student does not shed his constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate. The general rule is student free speech is protected absent disruption. Dexter’s message was not disruptive, and the school must end its censorship,” French says.

“In claiming the district’s decision was necessary to maintain religious neutrality, Sheboygan District Superintendent Joe Sheehan has gotten it backwards. Neutrality would have been achieved by allowing Dexter to distribute his religious Valentine’s message on the same terms that other students were permitted to distribute their Valentine’s gifts(Source).”

A Review of Tortured for Christ Part II: A continuation the reflection and summary

After spending fourteen years in prison, he met up with his wife again and they leave Romania for Western countries like Norway, England and then finally America. He goes on to say in the 4th chapter (Defeating Communism with the Love Spirit of Christ) that he hates communism, but he loves the communist. And he recaps in that chapter that he and fellow brethren in Christ were joyful while in prison. Later in the book (Chapters 5 and 6), he continues to talk about the Underground Church, their courage and how they are defeating communism. He talks about the courage of people who challenge the communist professors on their atheistic beliefs. They did this so much so that theses professors stopped giving their lectures. He says that the Christians were shining their lights for the Lord Jesus Christ and that was what gave them credibility for their witness among the non-Christian Russians. He recaps a story about a Christian girl who shows loves to a Communist girl and that eventually causes her to swear her allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. This causes her to witness openly to all the inmates and other people in the prison. It is only a matter of time before they shipped her off to Siberia. After this Varia (the atheist girl who was led to Christ), writes a letter basically saying that she can’t keep quiet about the gospel and now because she has Jesus Christ, her life now has purpose. In her last letter she was said to have become a slave laborer. And finally he concludes with ways the Western Christians can help their persecuted brethren in Christ.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Review of Tortured for Christ: A summary and a reflection

I'm going to do something very different here. I'm going to give a personal insider's look in the life of a persecuted Christian. I'm going to summarize a book known  as Tortured for Christ, which was written by a man named Richard Wurmbrand. Richard is the founder of Voice of the Martyrs, an organization which is dedicated to helping our persecuted brethren in Christ Jesus all over the world.

Note: This summary/reflection is a report that I'm writing for my College class, Christianity and Critical Thinking at Grace College. This will explain the way in which I may write at times.

The book Tortured for Christ, recaps the adventures of a Romanian Christian named Richard Wurmbrand. It includes the giving of his life to the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the persecution he faced in the Communist country that he lived in at the time. This story also includes his ministry of converting the atheists and other people to the Christian religion and many other miracles that accompany it. It also shows how he began the famous ministry known as Voice of the Martyrs, which is focused on serving persecuted Christians even to this day.
            The first chapter of the book, “The Russians Avid thirst for Christ”, shows us how Richard was converted. Richard was a staunch atheist up till the age of 28 years of age when he was lead to Christ Jesus by a carpenter. A little bit later his wife, Sabina, gave her life to Christ Jesus. After that conversion experience, he and his wife begin to start evangelizing civilians all over Romania. However it wasn’t easy. The Soviet Union (modern day Russia) started to occupy Romania. The Soviet Union was a Communist country. For those who don’t know, communism is a philosophy invented by Karl Marx and his sidekick Vladimir Lenin. It was a philosophy designed to overthrow the bourgeoisie (rich people, ruling people) and create a classless society where everyone shared property. Here was Marx’s view of religion and God; he thought that God was an idea made up by the bourgeoisie to oppress the proletariat as seen here:
            Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.[1]
Because this was Marx’s view on God and religion, Wurmbrand and his fellow brethren in Christ faced heavy persecution from the Communists. Chapter two which is named “Greater Love Hath No Man” recaps basically all the persecution which Richard and his brethren in Christ faced, particularly within prison. It was especially horrendous. The Communists used red-hot pokers, knives, put them in freezing chambers, had them beaten and tortured all for the sake of Christ and to force confessions out of them. Richard Wurmbrand writes saying, that the torturers got rapturous joy from torturing them. Their communist philosophy caused them to believe that humans were just material beings. Yet most, if not all, of them endured it for Christ and they became examples of boldness to the other members of the Underground church. Finally in 1956, after being in prison for 8 and half years of being beaten, tortured and interrogated, Wurmbrand was released. He resumed his previous position for about a week and at that week he preached two sermons. After that the authorities asked him to stop. Then he witnessed to the brethren in Christ which he met about the pain he endured while in prison. He also directed a secret network of evangelists who spread the gospel to non-Christians. Finally the Secret police caught him and Wurmbrand went through another five and half years of prison, torture and many other horrendous things. However, just like his 8 and half years prison he saw his fellow Christian inmates loving their persecutors, responding to their persecution with bravery, and so on and so forth.     
This review of Tortured for Christ is taking a while. I'll have to finish it tomorrow.

Campaign To Retain The Legal Definition Of Marriage As That Between A Man And A Woman

02/21/2012 UK (Christian Concern)-Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, David Burrowes, has faced harassment, abuse and even a death threat due to his support for a campaign to retain the legal definition of marriage as that between a man and a woman.

Mr Burrowes is a leading supporter of ‘The Coalition for Marriage’, a campaign launched on 20 February to stop the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples. He said: “My views are that the values of marriage should be between a man and a woman and that is something which is set out in statute hundreds of times – if you change the shape of marriage then you change its purpose and risk changing the meaning of it.

“I do not see the need for legislation to recognise gay marriage. I will vote against it. But it does not at all follow that I am anti-gay and homophobic.

“I don’t in any way challenge the fact that people will want to change the law and it’s important that this is a debate that is done with respect and we respect people’s views.”

Campaign against Mr Burrowes
As well as receiving abusive messages and a death threat, Mr Burrowes faces opposition from within his own party. Phillip Dawson, the treasurer at Mr Burrowes’ Conservative association, has launched a campaign to challenge his position and also to condemn his involvement with Christian group CARE, urging him to “listen to the views” of his homosexual constituents.
...
Consultation
Next month, Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone will publish a consultation on homosexual marriage, although the consultation will be asking ‘how’ such a measure will be introduced, rather than ‘whether’ it should be.

The Prime Minister’s plans do not appear to be favoured by Christians. A recent poll by ComRes found that 83% of church-going Christians in the UK are opposed to the plans to legalise homosexual marriage, and 57% of all respondents are ‘less likely to vote’ for the party because of this move.

Earlier this month, the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, also received abusive and threatening emails after he told The Daily Telegraph that marriage was not for the “state to define” but must continue to be legally recognised as “a relationship between a man and a woman(Source)."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

UK Christian Woman Denied Rights Given To A Muslim Over Work Days?

The double standards here shock, anger and enrage me. In Saudi Arabia, women aren't even allowed to drive a car and in Islam a woman can be beaten into submission (Sura 4:34). Is it just me or is Britain slowly starting to look like countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan as this article is showing? (Words written in bold throughout the article are of the author)Read it for yourself:

02/21/2012 UK (The Christian Post)-A Christian care worker from the U.K. claims that she was discriminated against when she was not allowed accommodations from her employers for her beliefs while her Muslim co-worker was treated differently. Celestina Mba is suing the London Borough of Merton after being forced to resign from her position at the Brightwell Children's Home in 2010 over her desire not to work on Sundays, the day of Sabbath.

She states that her requests not to work on a Sunday were initially respected by the council, which reportedly indicated they could "work around" that fact, when she applied for the job. Seven months into her job at the respite home, however, her bosses changed their position and asked her to cover shifts on Sundays, forcing her to choose between her job and her faith.

Mba, a Christian since a young girl, has never worked on a Sunday and worships every Sabbath at her Baptist church. She is also part of the ministry team visiting hospitals and providing pastoral care for young women, according to The Daily Mail UK.

The 57-year-old employee tried to reach a compromise with her employers, saying that she was willing to work "at any unsocial time of shift (i.e. night time or Saturday shifts) in order to preserve [her] Sundays."
She claimed that was even willing to take a reduction in pay as well and tried to arrange shift swaps with her colleagues, which the management purportedly tried to obstruct.

But she believed that ultimately her bosses did not want to compromise with her and saw the issue as "a question of management power with disrespect to the Christian faith."
Her beliefs and unwillingness to work on a Sunday eventually led to a disciplinary hearing in January 2010 and she resigned four months later.

I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for giving my sister in the faith the willingness to be uncompromising in her beliefs.

While her own faith could not be accommodated for, Mba stated that managers were "happy" and willing to allow her Muslim colleague to attend mosque every Friday. But her former manager, John Deegan, testified that he did not know of any Muslim employee being given special treatment and also denied Mba even mentioning that it was difficult for her to work on Sundays because of her religion.

"This is another case where we see intolerance towards the Christian faith and a lack of willingness to make accommodation for it," Andrea Williams, director of the CLC, said.
...
Richard Thompson, president and chief council of the Thomas More Law Society, believes that under American law, though he wasn't sure about the laws in the U.K., the courts would hopefully find that Mba was being discriminated against on the basis of religious belief, especially since her Muslim co-worker was given rights that she was not(Keep reading).

Friday, February 17, 2012

Accused Pastor In Kashmir, India Given Reprieve

02/16/2012 India (CDN)-A court has ordered the Jammu and Kashmir state government to temporarily halt criminal proceedings against a pastor accused of bribing Muslim youths to convert to Christianity. The state’s High Court on Saturday (Feb. 11) halted proceedings in the police complaint of “promotion of religious enmity by conversions” against the Rev. Chander Mani Khanna of the Church of North India denomination.

Responding to a petition by the pastor to quash the complaint, the court issued notices to top officials of the state’s police department and interior ministry because investigators have not been able to formulate charges even though the case was registered last Oct. 29, Pastor Khanna told Compass by phone. Pastor Khanna, who retired on Jan. 16 from All Saints Church in Kashmir Valley’s Srinagar city, seemed relieved.

“After I was released on bail, the court had asked me not to leave the state, but with this stay order I can at least travel out,” he said.

The pastor, who remained in jail for more than 40 days until he was released on bail last Dec. 1, added that the court asked the government to file its response by March 14, and then it will set the date for the next hearing. Police have not been able to gather evidence of “conversion by allurement” against Pastor Khanna.
The pastor added that real victory will be achieved when he is allowed to return to Kashmir, in the Muslim-majority region of the state.

“We do not want to retaliate,” he said. “We want to promote the spirit of acceptance, accommodation and tolerance and be salt to the community in Kashmir for the betterment of the whole country.”

Kashmir’s sharia (Islamic law) court, which has no legal authority in India, in December found Pastor Khanna, the Rev. Jim Borst, a Dutch Catholic missionary and Gayoor Messah, a Christian worker, guilty of “luring the valley Muslims to Christianity” and ordered them to leave the state. The court, headed by Kashmir Grand Mufti Bashir-ud-din Ahmad, also “directed” the state government to take over the management of all Christian schools in the region.
Muslim leaders had been rallying against Christians after a video posted on YouTube last October showed the baptism of formerly Muslim youths at All Saints Church. The sharia court summoned Pastor Khanna and held a hearing before announcing its verdict against the three pastors.
Reconversions
Life has been extremely difficult for Kashmir’s Christians since the sharia court’s verdict, said a Christian worker who fled the region last month along with 15 others. Muslim clergy, he told Compass, claim to have converted 155 Christians back to Islam.

“But I don’t believe that,” added the source, who said he fled fearing police would force him to speak against Pastor Khanna. “I have spoken to some of them, and they said they neither denounced their faith, and nor did they embrace Islam. Out of fear, they listened to the ‘advice’ while remaining non-committal.”
Local online news portal Kashmirwatch.com late last month reported that an Islamic seminary in north Kashmir was working with 115 converts to bring them back to Islam.

“We are collecting details,” it quoted a seminary official as saying. “We would try to catch them all and persuade them to revert to Islam.”

Local Christians say the sharia court has formed area committees to prevent conversions and reconvert Christians. Committee members are visiting Christians’ homes and allegedly pressuring them and their families to return to Islam.

Kashmirwatch.com reported that over 20,000 Kashmiri Muslims had converted to Christianity since separatist militancy erupted in Kashmir in the 1990s. According to a September 2002 report in Christian media in the United States, it reported, the number of “neo-Christians” was 15,000.

“The conversions are likely to have surged past 20,000, with over a dozen Christian missions and churches based in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland operating in the state,” the news portal stated.
Local Christians said the report in the U.S. media was not accurate (Keep reading).

Monday, February 13, 2012

8 Christian Families Evicted from Egyptian Village Following Attacks on Christian Homes and Businesses

Washington, D.C. (February 13, 2012) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that eight Coptic Christian families were evicted from their homes in northern Egypt following two attacks by radical Islamists on Christian homes and businesses in late-January. The attacks were in response to an alleged affair between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.

On January 27th, hundreds of Muslims, led by Salafists who adhere to the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam, looted and torched Christian homes and shops in Kobry el-Sharbat near Alexandria following rumors that a Christian man, Mourad Samy Guirguis, had an affair with a Muslim woman. On January 30th, a group of Muslims attacked the village for the second time, setting fire to three Christian homes. Guirguis denied the accusations, but reportedly turned himself into the police for his own security.

Village elders, including representatives from the Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood, and local police, agreed to evict eight Coptic families and put their property up for sale. Ironically, they came to this decision after holding three ‘reconciliation’ meetings, Asia News reported. At the first meeting, Muslims argued that “Muslim honor has been damaged,” and refused to offer compensation to Coptic Christians who were innocent victims of the violence. Father Boktor Nashed from St. George's Church in el-Nahdah, who was present at the meeting, called the decision a “complete injustice.” Sherif el-Hawary, a Salafist sheik, was given the authority to execute the meeting’s demands.

Who gave them the right to form a committee headed by a Salafi to sell Christian property? This is thuggery and the blatant targeting of Copts,” said Magdi Khalil, head of the Middle East Freedom Forum. “If we accept this, we will open the door to an avalanche of forced evictions.”

Reconciliation meetings are a traditional form of ‘conflict resolution’ that bypasses Egypt’s judicial system and often fails to bring perpetrators of attacks against Christians to justice. In its 2011 Religious Freedom Report, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) stated, “Reconciliation efforts should not be used to undermine enforcing the law and punishing perpetrators for wrongdoing. The State Department also has concluded that reconciliation sessions not only ‘prevented the prosecution of perpetrators of crimes against Coptic Christians and precluded their recourse to the judicial system for restitution’ but also ‘contributed to a climate of impunity that encouraged further assaults’.”

Aidan Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Reconciliation meetings are nothing more than a method to excuse those responsible for violence, shift blame on the victims, and to completely ignore justice. The recent attack in Kobry el-Sharbat again proves that nothing has changed in the ‘new’ Egypt after President Mubarak’s ouster, as perpetrators of attacks against minorities continue to be pardoned and allowed to pursue their bloody campaign to rid the country of Christians(Keep Reading).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

UK Judge Rules Against Christian Guesthouse Owners

02/10/2012 UK (Christian Concern)-Two Christian guesthouse owners have today lost their appeal against last year’s ruling which left them with a £3,600 fine for only letting married couples rent double-rooms in their guesthouse. Peter and Hazelmary Bull were found to have discriminated after refusing a double-room to a non-married same-sex couple in 2008. The Bulls appealed the decision, claiming that they had always restricted double-rooms to married couples in accordance with their Christian beliefs.

However, today the Court of Appeal upheld the original decision and found that same-sex couple Mr Hall and Mr Preddy had been discriminated against under equality laws. Mr Hall and Mr Preddy were backed in their case by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The EHRC has intervened in several cases relating to the clash between freedom of belief and homosexual rights, and in every such case it has intervened strongly against the freedom to manifest religious belief. The EHRC caused outrage last year when it argued in Johns v Derby Council that Christians with Christian moral views on sex should not be allowed to foster because they might ‘infect’ children.

The Christian Institute funded Mr and Mrs Bull’s appeal.
Spokesman Simon Calvert said: “Peter and Hazelmary have been penalised for their beliefs about marriage.

“Something has gone badly wrong with our equality laws when good, decent people like Peter and Hazelmary are penalised but extremist hate preachers are protected.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“This was the wrong decision. A number of judgments have now elevated sexual orientation rights above historic freedom of belief. This was never the intention of Parliament, and has no democratic mandate.

“Bed and breakfast owners have now become another category of people in the UK who will be penalised if they try to serve the public without compromising their religious beliefs.

“We are heading towards a two-tier society where only those who subscribe to secular, humanistic values will be able to operate in many areas in the public sphere.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Iran: Ten converts arrested in house church

I praise God that these 10 people have given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will protect my brethren in Christ and that they will find ways to glorify God in and through their persecution as seen in this article:

2/9/2012 Iran (Mohabat News) – Plain clothes security authorities raided a house church and arrested 10 members who were gathered for prayer service. All 10 detainees were transferred to an unknown location.

According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News' reporters, following the continued arrests of Iranian Christians, Iranian security authorities invaded a residential building used as house church on 8 February 2012, and arrested 10 Christian converts gathered there to worship.

These believers who had gathered in a home to hold a worship service were arrested and transferred to an unknown location using a police vehicle. The location of the detainees is still unknown despite their family's efforts. The authorities refuse to give any information in this regard(Source).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Christian Convert Beheaded in Somalia

Muhammad said that a person who leaves Islam should be killed:

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

Hence one should be unsurprised when on of our brothers in Christ Jesus is killed for leaving Islam as seen in this article:
02/9/2012 Africa (CDN) — Islamic extremists from the rebel al Shabaab militia in Somalia beheaded a Christian on the outskirts of Mogadishu last month, sources said. The militants fighting the transitional government in Mogadishu murdered Zakaria Hussein Omar, 26, on Jan. 2 in Cee-carfiid village, about 15 kilometers (nine miles) outside of the Somali capital, they said. Omar had worked for a Christian humanitarian organization that al Shabaab banned last year. His body was left lying for 20 hours before nomads found it and carried it into Mogadishu, a close friend said.

"We have been communicating with Omar, and he was sharing with me his life as a Christian," the friend said. "Last year he mentioned to me that his life was in danger when the NGO [Non-Governmental Organization] he worked for was banned by the al Shabaab."

The friend said he identified the body.
"One of the persons who saw him said, ‘This is the young man who stayed in Ethiopia, and people have been saying that he left Islam and joined Christianity.’"

Omar converted to Christianity seven years ago while in Ethiopia, where he lived with relatives. He returned to Somalia in 2008 and completed his university education in 2009 with a degree in accounting.
Omar had married in the latter part of 2010. He is survived by his wife, his parents (originally from central Somalia), a brother and four sisters.

Last September, the militants beheaded another young Christian near Mogadishu. 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 (See www.compassdirect.org, "Islamic Extremists in Somalia Behead 17-year-old Christian," Oct. 19, 2011).

Earlier that month, a kidnapped Christian convert from Islam was found decapitated on the outskirts of Hudur City in Bakool region, in southwestern Somalia. Juma Nuradin Kamil was forced into a car by three suspected Islamic extremists from the al Shabaab terrorist group on Aug. 21, 2011 and murdered on Sept. 2, area sources said (See www.compassdirect.org, "Somali Convert to Christianity Kidnapped, Beheaded," Sept. 12, 2011).

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 transitional 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. It has been designated a terrorist organization by several western governments(Source).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Many Christians Fled Yobe State In Nigeria Following Attacks By Islamic Radicals

02/08/2012 Nigeria (NigerianTribune)-Reverend Garba Idi is the chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Yobe State chapter. In this interview with Isaac Shobayo, he speaks on the security situation in the state. What are your experiences as the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Yobe State?

The situation in Yobe is terrible. Churches were burnt and attacked while many Christians lost their lives in the course of this mayhem. We have the records. Since 4 November last year, when the Boko Haram sect struck in Yobe, it burnt 11 churches in Damaturu and many people lost their lives. Also on 26 November, these people struck and attacked one of the local government areas called Kaitam where they burnt five churches, including 12 shops belonging to Christians who were also burnt.

Also on 22 and 23 December, 2011, they attacked three churches in Damaturu and burnt them. The following day the ECWA Church, Kadaka in Fika Local Government Area, was attacked and they burnt five vehicles belonging to members of the church.

On Christmas day, they burnt two churches in Postiskum. Houses belonging to Christians and also St Peter’s Anglican Church were also affected . On 5 January, this year, two people were killed in Damaturu in their homes by 8p.m. and three injured are on admission right now in the hospital. On 6 January, they killed an Igbo man in his shop in Potiskum.

Six people were also killed on 11 January. They killed three in Angwan Darawa in Potiskum; three in a filling station on their way from Maiduguri to Potiskum where they stopped to fuel their cars. Gun men just attacked and shot them- two men and a woman. On 12 January, there was an attack on a Christian home and two people were killed.

On 14 January, another family was attacked and two people were killed in Damaturu. On 15 January, another family was also attacked and three people were killed, all Christians. In all, from January to this moment, 15 Christians have been killed, both in Potiskum and Damaturu.
....
So what is the reaction of the government to your exodus from the state?
Actually, the government did not show any concern to our plight or show sympathy for us, despite the fact that we have been making efforts with the police to see that our lives and properties are secured. But I cannot remember any time the state government called the leaders of the Christian community to show sympathy or reason with us in the situation we find ourselves. So, there is no such gesture from the government of Yobe State.

Are you suspecting any collaboration against the Christian?
Well, I cannot say anything because the situation is beyond our understanding. We are confused in the sense that what we know is that the attack is targeted at us Christians.

So, what do you want the government to do for you?
Actually, what we want the government to do is to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Christians in Yobe. I thank God for what the Federal Government did by sending soldiers to take over the security situation. There was a troop sent to Damaturu and Potiskum. So, I think that is good and gives a kind of hope and assurance to those who are still living there that they are secured with the soldiers on ground in Damaturu(Source).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Suspected Drug Traffickers Kill Pastor In Guatemala

01/30/2012 Guatemala (CIC) - Christians in Guatemala were mourning Monday, January 30, a pastor who was shot and killed by suspected drug traffickers on his way to a regional meeting of church leaders in a violent border area near Mexico. 'Church of God' Pastor Neftali Leiva, a father of five daughters, was gunned down last week near the gathering, said his denomination's territorial administrative bishop, Jose Clara Vela.

He added that the shooting was witnessed by another pastor. The witnessing pastor was quoted as saying that an unknown assailant walked up to the victim without a word and shot him point blank several times. When the shooter saw the witness a short way down the street, he reportedly also fired three times in his direction.

“The assassin shouted, ‘I’ll kill you,[also]’” the elderly pastor was quoted as saying. It is the practice in the violent area to leave no witnesses, Christians said. The pastor apparently felt the bullets go by and impact the trees behind him, but was unhurt."God’s hand of protection covered me, and the man ran away,” added the unidentified pastor, who is reportedly involved in a new Church of God church just across the border in Mexico.

World Missions, a mission group supporting indigenous Christians, said it has set up a relief fund to help care for the murdered pastor's widow and children. The border territory where the attack took place is only about 48 kilometers (30 miles) long, but is home to 73 Church of God congregations, Christians said. Clara explained that 20 new churches were "planted" in the region in the last two years.

However he stressed that the latest killing underscores that the church is growing in an area suffering of violence caused by drug distribution and transit.

 “When we travel in the area, we go with the car windows down so people will see who we are and not confuse us with their enemies,” the overseer said in published remarks. It was not clear what prompted the killing and local authorities could not be reached for comment(Source).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hindu Radicals Attack A Pastor For Showing Film About Jesus

02/02/2012 India (AsiaNews)-“Repeated attacks against India’s Christian community are too much. There is no respect,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after more anti-Christian attacks occurred in late January in two different Indian states. In Chhattisgarh, a group of ultranationalist Hindu extremists attacked and seriously wounded a Pentecostal clergyman after accusing him of forced conversions. In Gujarat, someone desecrated a monumental Christian cemetery.

On Tuesday, nine activists from the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Hindu ultranationalist Sangh Parivar, stormed the private home of Rev Rajendra Masih. The latter had screened a Hindi movie about Jesus, Dava Sagar, outside of the house. After breaking his equipment, they beat and insult him and those present. The violence lasted for more than an hour. Rev Masih reported injuries to the face, particularly to his left eye.
At the end of their action, the attackers filed a complaint against the clergyman for proselytising and forced conversions.

On 26 January, unidentified people destroyed a number of tombs in the monumental Christian cemetery in Sabarmati, using a bulldozer. According to local sources, Chanchalben Parmar, a local councillor with ultranationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, had incited them.

“Chanchalben Parmar, her husband and local officials are directly responsible for what has happened. It was their moral duty to protect all believers and their places of worship,” he added(Source).