Democrats preparing ultimatum for people of faith

‘Change your … practices or face government punishment’

The Alliance Defending Freedom, a powerhouse of civil and religious rights advocacy, has joined other groups in denouncing the Equality Act proposed in the Democratic-majority House as a threat to faith.

“Essentially, the Equality Act gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment,” wrote ADF’s Sarah Kramer.

WND reported it would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and the jury system.

And it would specifically prevent Christians from relying on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to uphold their religious rights.

Washington watchdog Judicial Watch has warned it would effectively eliminate single-sex “public multi-stall bathrooms, domestic violence or rape crisis shelters, drug rehabilitation centers, jails, juvenile detention facilities, homeless shelters, locker rooms or group showers.”

The Equality Act also was criticized by leaders such as James Dobson of the James Dobson Family Institute.

He warned, “Make no mistake – the so-called Equality Act is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to finish off religious liberty in America once and for all, which ought to be plainly obvious based upon a cursory reading of the First Amendment.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said during congressional discussion that religious rights protected by the First Amendment never should be used as a defense in a conflict with LGBT rights.

ADF said that while “equality” may “sound nice to some ears, this bill actually poses a devastating and unprecedented threat to religious freedom and the progress that women have made toward true equal treatment in law and culture.”

“This would prohibit employers, individuals who rent out apartments in their homes, preschools, and even religious schools and organizations from making choices based on basic biology, bodily privacy, and their beliefs about the nature of marriage,” ADF said.

ADF cited cases in Alaska over a man’s use of a women’s shelter and a Pennsylvania student’s demand to use public school showers of the opposite sex.

It also, ADF contended, would destroy Title IX, which was meant to prevent discrimination against women in education, including sports.

ADF noted that at a Connecticut state track meet, two biological males identifying as girls beat out the female competitors in several events, taking first and second place.

“In fact, these males have taken medals from girls in meet after meet. As one girl said, ‘Why even try?’ In Alaska, the same happened – a biological male competed as a girl at the state championship and won,” ADF said.

The Equality Act, ADF added, also would overrule the authority of churches and religious nonprofits over employees with opposing views of marriage and morality.

And it would would threaten religious foster care and adoption agencies, and creative professionals and business owners who live and work according to their beliefs, the analysis said.

Kramer said the Equality Act would also force individuals to speak messages that violate their beliefs under the threat of punishment.

“Dr. Nicholas Meriwether was punished by Shawnee State University for declining to refer to a male student by female pronouns. He offered to refer to the student by first or last name only, in order to respect both the student and his own beliefs, but this did not satisfy the University, which still punished him.”

The Equality Act, Judicial Watch warns, provides no exemption for churches or religious groups.

“Religion is no excuse for discrimination when it comes to sexual orientation or gender identity,” Nadler declared.

Dobson said: “I wish I could say I was shocked to see the speed with which Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have brought to committee the sweet sounding but entirely treacherous Equality Act. This decision demonstrates a frightening willingness by those on the left to advance a radical social agenda at a time when our nation already faces so many other divisive challenges.

“Simply put, by creating a protected class of citizens out of the LGBT community, this bill places Christians who believe in traditional marriage at grave legal and civil jeopardy,” said Dobson.

“This bill literally sets the stage for setting up the Bible as prohibited material where it addresses homosexuality,” Liberty Counsel said.

The Heritage Foundation said employers, workers, medical professionals, parents, children, women and nonprofit organizations all would be harmed by the plan. (Click to Source)
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Religious Freedom Expert: Global War on Christians Intensifying

 

The Sri Lanka Easter Sunday massacre on three churches is a signal the Muslim extremist war on Christians is intensifying across the world and something needs to be done about it, a religious freedom expert told Fox News.

Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom of the Hudson Institute, said the United States needs to do more to protect Christians in countries where they are being slaughtered.

“We sell ourselves short,” Shea said. “We don’t ever defend Christians, we always have higher priorities regarding terror. We don’t understand there’s a link between the two. The weakness of those Christians makes them a very soft target, and the governments don’t feel any pressure coming from us. They feel pressure coming from one side, and that’s the extremists.”

Statistics from the Hudson Institute are alarming. Every month about 345 Christians are killed for “faith-based” reasons and 105 churches or Christian buildings are burned or attacked. Globally, one in nine Christians experiences persecution.

“I don’t think people are aware of it,” Shea said. “They’re afraid of talking about it. Some of them are afraid that they will get retribution by the extremists if they talk about it back in those countries.”

She added: “In fact, the United States did give Sri Lanka a quiet warning that churches were going to be attacked over Easter and they did not heed it. We need to elevate this.”

Shea’s colleague, Sam Tadros, estimates there have been about 500 church attacks in the last couple of years. These occurred on Palm Sunday, a coordinated attack a couple of years ago on Christians in December in Cairo.

“It’s heartbreaking and it happens in the villages,”

In Egypt, the government is going after ISIS, Shea notes, but there are local Muslim extremist groups attacking churches with impunity. In Nigeria, an estimated 900 church attacks happened in a five-year period.

“These are happening on Christmas, Easter,” Shea concluded. “The short term solution is security and we need to promote that.” (Click to Source)

Source: Fox News

 

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LGBT Is Out To Destroy Christianity, Forever

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HNewsWire– The militant LGBT activists, who fought for years for homosexuality to be recognized by society and now that it is prominent in our culture and they have not only equal but special legal protection in the United States, they simply aren’t satisfied at that.

The LGBT left seem to believe their mission will not be complete ,In their eyes, it is not enough that they have gained the legal rights they demanded for years. No, every person in this country must share their views on homosexuality, and those who don’t must be punished.

What can be the end except an utter war against the Holy Bible and the godly citizens that will not compromise with such sickness? America is on the precipice of complete sorrow and deceit.

Seek and destroy, this appears to be the case with a group of activists who have targeted a Christian ministry, managed by a man who overcame homosexuality, and are intent on completely destroying the work they are doing as well as all ministries that offer guidance to those seeking freedom from homosexuality.

Christian News Wire has the story:

“The level of hatred and bullying is not like anything we’ve seen,” says Stephen Black, who lived as a gay man for 8 years, over 35 years ago, and now Executive Director of First Stone Ministries is in the crosshairs of gay activists.

On April 6, First Stone Ministries (firststone.org) is hosting a public screening of the documentary film, Tranzformed: Finding Peace with Your God-Given Gender (tranzformed.org/). “This documentary is about 15 people who were unhappy as homosexuals and transgendered and wanted more in their relationship with Jesus Christ,” says Black. Gay activists have already sent death threats to a Michigan pastor and his family and are now setting their sights on Black.

Gay advocate and protestor, Sara Cunningham, vowed to close First Stone Ministries (she appealed for a $25,000 grant from Starbucks for her mission). Her goal is to mobilize and eliminate any mention of the possibility of change, even if people want it and even if it means a transformed life. “To agree to disagree on this issue and this type of ministry is no longer acceptable,” says Cunningham. But Black sees it differently, “In the last ten years, there has been an increasing attack on the gospel-centered message of freedom from homosexuality.” Activists are intent on shutting down any counseling that leads to new life in Christ and freedom from homosexuality.
Please consider supporting First Stone Ministries either financially or by keeping them in prayer as they stand strong against these vicious and violent attacks! If you’d like to encourage Stephen Black during these trying times, you can reach out to him here. Let’s let him know we stand with him and his ministry!

The Church that Jesus Christ died for and was entrusted to the Apostle Paul did not reemerge until the time of John Wycliffe and the Reformation. We call this time period The Enlightenment. In 2014, the LGBT Mafia is, for different reason and for a different outcome, attempting the same type of hostile takeover.

REWRITING THE SCRIPTURES
If the militant LGBT is to be successful, they first must neutralize all those righteous scriptures about their lifestyle – Old and New Testaments – which condemn sodomy between men and lesbianism between women. Its kind of hard to sit in the pews and feel comfortable with the bible telling you your lifestyle is an abomination before a righteous God. So they are publishing bible translations a true perversions which remove the offending bible passages. Bibles like the Queen James Bible aim to meet their need. Its authors say this:

“THE QUEEN JAMES BIBLE RESOLVES ANY HOMOPHOBIC INTERPRETATIONS OF THE BIBLE, BUT THE BIBLE IS STILL FILLED WITH INEQUALITY AND EVEN CONTRADICTION THAT WE HAVE NOT ADDRESSED,” THE WEB SITE NOTES. “NO BIBLE IS PERFECT, INCLUDING THIS ONE. WE WANTED TO MAKE A BOOK FILLED WITH THE WORD OF GOD THAT NOBODY COULD USE TO INCORRECTLY CONDEMN GOD’S LGBT CHILDREN, AND WE SUCCEEDED.”

Authors like Matthew Vines, already a queer celebrity, has written “God and the Gay Christian” which seeks to completely rewrite the historic biblical position against homosexuality. Book publishers who fear the wrath of being labeled as “homophobic” by the militant LGBT Mafia, are publishing books like these which are lapped up by soft Christian church’s and rendered impotent by a decade of cotton candy preaching like of Joel Osteen and a host of other so-called ministers. Because of the spiritual deadness that exists, these tactics have been surprisingly effective. Just as Obama labels all those who oppose him and his Marxist politics as “racists”, the LGBT label all those who oppose their queer lifestyle as speaking “hate speech”, which coincidentally, is now a crime. The LGBT Mafia is ruthless when they attack, just ask Phil Robertson or the Benham Brothers. Freedom of speech only applies if you talk about the LGBT-approved narrative.

INFILTRATE THE CHURCHES
A website called GayChurch.org has been compiling facts and figures of the number of churches and denominations that now offer a LGBT-friendly service, and we found this numbers to be quite revealing.The following taken from their militant homosexual groups website

Another trend that has continued is the number of independent Catholic churches now surpasses the number of Roman Catholic parishes that are brave enough to publically pronounce their affirming stance. The latter is hardly surprising though, given the Vatican’s ongoing negative policy toward the gay and lesbian community. Hopefully we will begin to see this stance soften under Pope Frances.The five denominations of United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran ELCA, Presbyterian, and United Methodist account for 4,623 of the gay-friendly churches listed, which is close to 70% of the directory. The only change from 2012 being that the United Church of Christ has moved slightly ahead of the Episcopal churches to be the most prolific gay affirming denomination. I believe the gay marriage initiatives throughout this country and the world is a key indicator that major progress has taken place. Religious beliefs, unfortunately, are one of the major reasons why prejudice has been allowed to continue against the gay and lesbian community for so long. Indeed, it was religious dogma that gave ‘validity’ to allowing prejudice to exist in the first place. In the same manner, I believe that opening church doors, hearts, and minds will in turn, be the vehicle that helps break down these same walls. I am constantly reminded in my heart that this movement is as much to heal the Body of Christ herself (i.e. the church as a whole) – as it is for us in the gay and lesbian community.

Is it possible to be a gay Christian? If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who struggles against homosexual desires and temptations – yes, a “gay Christian” is possible. However, the description “gay Christian” is not accurate for such a person, since he/she does not desire to be gay, and is struggling against the temptations. Such a person is not a “gay Christian,” but rather is simply a struggling Christian, just as there are Christians who struggle with fornication, lying, and stealing. If the phrase “gay Christian” refers to a person who actively, perpetually, and unrepentantly lives a homosexual lifestyle – no, it is not possible for such a person to truly be a Christian.

USING HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE
Obama’s legacy, whether it will be finished in this term or his third one, will be centered around 3 main things that he managed to pull off. Socialized Medicine, granting Illegal Aliens illegal citizenship, and homosexual Marriage. Obama works so hard on promoting gay marriage, you would think he was getting a commission on the marriage licenses. The LGBT Mafia is very smart, they know that they need to ram this down our throats and sell it in order pass the rest of their agenda. And on this point, they have been astonishingly successful.

The LGBT’s campaign to radically alter your perception of the sin nature of homosexuality has for years been working through music videos, pornography, and in movies and television to make you feel bad if you will not condone their sinful lifestyle. Here is bible twister and ultra-Far Left Liberal Martin Sheen going through his paces in a pathetic attempt to make the bible says things that it does not say.

Nearly every major Fortune 500 company – including Walt Disney – is on-board with promoting a sodomite lifestyle. At the Magic Kingdom, it is paraded in front of children, and if you object you’re a homophobe. A massive, active indoctrination program aimed at children is underway in the Public Schools .

In The End
The bible says that in Revelation 3, the last church before the Rapture – Laodicea – will be cold, dead, lifeless and powerless. The only thing they have an interest in is money and material wealth. In 2 Thessalonians, it talks about a great “falling away” which also will happen. In fact, both these things are happening right now, and because of that, this “hostile takeover” attempt by the LGBT Mafia will be successful. Bible believers will be marginalized, neutralized and either hauled off to a prison cell or driven out of town on a rail. We live in a great and dark age, and are watching the slow but steady fall of the Christian Church. But there is a ray of Hope is all this, and that’s the Rapture promised in Titus 2:13 and 1 Corinthians 15. And after we go, the rabid, ungodly hordes of the LGBT and others who preyed upon the Church will be left alone to have the empty shell that will remain. It will be a “form of Godliness”, but without any of the power of it. It will culminate in the apostate “whore of Babylon” church system, led by the Vatican, which the bible talks about in Revelation 17 & 18.

To the LGBT Mafia, we simply say this: “…but this is your hour, and the power of darkness”. Luke 22:53

“It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It’s better to stand alone with the truth, then to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel and Paul said, ‘If any man preaches any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Click to Source)

StevieRay Hansen
HNewsWire Editor

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people
who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…

Jesus come quick, there is nothing left in society that’s sacred….

 
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“EASTER WORSHIPPERS”: OBAMA & HILLARY REFUSE TO USE THE WORD “CHRISTIAN” AFTER SRI LANKA ATTACKS

Yet they directly referred to “Muslims” following Christchurch mosque attack

Following the deadly attacks in Sri Lanka which killed 290 people, including many Catholics, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton refused to refer to the victims as Christians, preferring instead to call them “Easter worshippers”.

The attacks, which were likely carried out by a local Islamist group with international support, targeted three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district during Easter services. Luxury hotels were also targeted.

Barack Obama reacted to the attacks by tweeting, “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity.”

This is in stark contrast to Obama’s reaction to the New Zealand mosque massacre, when Obama specifically made reference to “the Muslim community”.

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Hillary Clinton also directly spoke of “the global Muslim community” following the Christchurch mosque massacre. She also called out “Islamophobia”.

However, like Obama, Hillary referred to Christian victims in Sri Lanka as “Easter worshippers”.

Given that Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the planet, with vast numbers more Christians being killed by Islamists than vice-versa, why are global leaders afraid to even use the word “Christian” in their condolences?

This bizarre trend of the word “Christian” being somehow taboo has also infected the media. The Associated Press also referred to Christians as “Easter worshippers” in the context of Notre Dame being closed.

Obama and Hillary’s choice of words did not go unnoticed. (Click to Source)

 
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Churches Have Become #1 Target For Attacks – An Average Of 105 Every Single Month

   

The bombings in Sri Lanka have once again put a spotlight on the rising tide of violence against Christians all over the world.  According to Open Doors USA, an average of 105 churches and/or Christian buildings are burned or attacked every month.  That is more than three per day, and almost all of those attacks get ignored by the mainstream media in the western world.  In addition, an average of 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons every single month.  Of course, these numbers will soon be out of date, because violence against Christians continues to escalate all over the globe, and the horrifying attacks that we just witnessed in Sri Lanka are a perfect example.  The following comes from CBS News…

A series of eight bombings in Sri Lanka targeting Christian churches and hotels in three cities killed at least 207 people and wounded up to 450 others on Easter Sunday. Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene described the coordinated blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists.

More specifically, the attackers were Muslim extremists.

Why does the mainstream media have to be so politically-correct all the time?

Of course, this comes right on the heels of the fire that almost destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral.  Authorities are still attempting to determine the cause of that fire, but we do know that many other churches have been hit by vandals and arsonists in France since the beginning of February…

Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.

More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.

In an apparent attempt to copy what happened at Notre Dame, a deranged philosophy professor was caught bringing gas cans and lighter fluid to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York…

The man who allegedly brought gas cans and lighter fluid into St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City has taught philosophy at different colleges in New York and New Jersey, school officials said.

Marc Lamparello, 37, was arrested on Wednesday night and was charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment. He was taken into custody after a security guard at the cathedral on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan spotted him.

Fortunately a great tragedy was averted in that case, but most churches around the world are very “soft targets” with absolutely no security whatsoever.

And these days, there is literally nowhere that is safe.  Attacks on churches are happening literally all over the globe, and sometimes they happen right in the middle of a worship service.

For instance, here is an example from the Philippines that recently made worldwide headlines…

Two suicide attackers detonate two bombs during a Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral on the largely Muslim island of Jolo in the southern Philippines, killing 23 and wounding about 100 others.

Earlier this year in India, a group of Christians was absolutely horrified when they arrived for worship only to find that their church had burned completely to the ground…

Christians were horrified to see Pentecostal Church in India’s Telangana state completely engulfed by black smoke when they arrived for worship. On closer inspection much of the inside of the church, including furniture, the pulpit, the sound system, fans, carpets, and lights, were burned to ashes during the attack on February 2 at about 11am. The devastating attack on the church, home to 200 worshippers, has left Christians from ten villages without a place to worship.

By a very wide margin, churches are the number one target for hate attacks, and it is only going to get worse.

Sadly, churches in the U.S. are increasingly being attacked as well.  You may not have heard about it in the news, but three churches in Louisiana were recently destroyed by arson…

Much of Monica Harris’s identity is tied to the Greater Union Baptist Church, a 129-year-old sanctuary that has been at the center of her family for generations. As a child, she was dunked into a baptismal basin and then paraded like a princess up the aisle in a white dress and white patent leather shoes. She was married at the church, and she said goodbye to her parents there, too.

And so she felt like a piece of her was missing when she set eyes upon the charred remains of Greater Union, one of three predominantly black churches in St. Landry Parish, La., that law enforcement authorities said were set ablaze and destroyed over the stretch of 10 days.

In previous articles, I have argued that all churches are going to need armed security from this point forward.  The world has changed, and we need to change with it.

When I was growing up, I never imagined that someone might come in to my church and start shooting, but over the last several decades we have seen such a scenario play out numerous times.  Just check out this list of fatal church shootings that have happened since Columbine…

  • 1999 Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2001 Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • 2002 Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook, New York
  • 2003 Turner Monumental AME Church in Kirkwood, Georgia
  • 2005 Living Church of God in Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • 2005 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2006 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist in Detroit, Michigan
  • 2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 2007 First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho
  • 2007 First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri
  • 2007 New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 2008 First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois
  • 2009 Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
  • 2012 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 2017 Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee
  • 2017 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
  • 2017 St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Texas

Christian persecution is on the rise all over the world, and it is likely to intensify greatly in the years ahead.

But of course most of the time the mainstream media attempts to ignore this growing trend as much as possible.  When there are spectacular attacks with large numbers of deaths like we just witnessed in Sri Lanka they will cover the story, but other than that they try very hard to avoid any stories that would put Christians in a sympathetic light.

They can try to ignore what is happening all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that hatred for the Christian faith is growing, and what we have been witnessing in recent weeks is just the beginning. (Click to Source)

Article posted with permission from Michael Snyder

 
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Nigeria: Jihad against Christians

by Uzay Bulut

  • The current violence, which has been getting worse since early 2017, “is slightly different, in that it is a series of targeted attacks on Christian communities attempting to displace farmers and take land for herders.” — Nathan Johnson, International Christian Concern, Regional Manager for Africa.
  • “Christians in Nigeria are treated as second-class citizens in the twelve northern states, where sharia law is implemented. They are victimized in many ways. Christian girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage to Muslim men. Pastors are abducted for ransom. Churches are vandalized or completely destroyed.” — Nathan Johnson.
  • “The Nigerian government and the international community… have from the start done little to address the situation. This lack of participation is not surprising: they cannot even acknowledge its roots, namely, the intolerant ideology of jihad. As a result, the death toll of Christians has only risen — and will likely continue to grow exponentially — until such time that this reality is not only acknowledged but addressed.” — Raymond Ibrahim, author and Middle East expert.

 

Christians are being massacred in Nigeria by Fulani and Boko Haram jihadists — and no one seems to care.

The most severe persecution of these defenseless Christians — who make up half of Nigeria’s total population — has been taking place mostly in the Muslim north of the country, which is governed by sharia law, and in the states known as the “Middle Belt,” which are a transition zone between the northern and southern states.

According to the human rights organization International Christian Concern (ICC):

“Fulani militants continued to carry out violent attacks throughout Nigeria’s Middle Belt region in March. The brutal attacks perpetrated by these hardline Islamic militants persistently spark fear among Christians living in the Middle Belt, as death tolls continue to rise… Last month [March 2019], at least 150 people were killed.

“… Nigerian bishop William Amove Avenya of Benue State said, ‘Fulani tribesmen armed to the teeth, are murdering pregnant women and children, and destroying our smallholdings.

“‘This is a time bomb that threatens to ignite the whole region. We cannot wait for a mass genocide to happen before intervening,’ he added.

“… Below are the largest attacks that took place in March:

  1. March 4, 2019: Fulani militants attack Benue State, killing 23
  2. March 11, 2019: Fulani militias attack Kajuru, burning more than 100 homes, killing 52
  3. March 18, 2019: Boko Haram sieged a Christian majority town in Adamawa State, inhabited by more than 370,000 people.”

ICC Regional Manager for Africa, Nathan Johnson, who recently visited Nigeria, told Gatestone that this deadly violence began less than 20 years ago.

“It really only started in 2001, after riots between Muslims and Christians in the Plateau region left more than 1,000 people dead and many churches destroyed. There were also deadly riots in 2008 and 2010, and the tension between the two communities has been growing ever since.”

Johnson noted that the current violence, which has been getting worse since early 2017, “is slightly different, in that it is a series of targeted attacks on Christian communities attempting to displace farmers and take land for herders.”

He said that the hostility includes a complex set of factors — socio-economic (herder vs. farmer), ethnic (mainly Fulani vs. everyone else except Hausa) and religious (Muslim vs. Christian), however:

“The Nigerian government and the mainstream media have downplayed the fact that radical Muslims are slaughtering Christian communities in Nigeria. They would much rather describe the crisis as a clash between two ethnic or socio-economic communities who are killing each other — even though nearly 80% of the casualties are Christians.”

Johnson added:

“Christians in Nigeria are treated as second-class citizens in the twelve northern states, where sharia law is implemented. They are victimized in many ways. Christian girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage to Muslim men. Pastors are abducted for ransom. Churches are vandalized or completely destroyed.

“The Christians I met during my recent trip to Nigeria, who have suffered from both the Fulani and Boko Haram, are hoping that others around the world are concerned about and praying for them. Many lack food, water and shelter, because they have been driven off their lands and into cities where they cannot farm or find work. Hundreds of thousands of Christian children across the country are unable to go to school because their parents cannot afford it, do not have access to it or fear that their children could be attacked or abducted on their way to or in the classroom.”

As the Middle East expert Raymond Ibrahim wrote last year:

“The Nigerian government and the international community… have from the start done little to address the situation. This lack of participation is not surprising: they cannot even acknowledge its roots, namely, the intolerant ideology of jihad. As a result, the death toll of Christians has only risen — and will likely continue to grow exponentially — until such time that this reality is not only acknowledged but addressed.” (Click to Source)

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

 
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Sri Lanka attacks: More than 200 killed as churches and hotels targeted

At least 207 people have been killed and 450 hurt in explosions at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, police say.

Eight blasts were reported, including at three churches in Negombo, Batticaloa and Colombo’s Kochchikade district during Easter services.

The Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand luxury hotels, all in the capital, were also targeted.

A curfew has been put in place “until further notice” and social media networks have been temporarily blocked.

It remains unclear who carried out the attacks, but reports say 13 people have so far been arrested.

Late on Sunday, the country’s air force said an improvised explosive device had been found, and disposed of, close to Colombo’s main airport.

“A PVC pipe which was six feet in length containing explosives in it was discovered,” spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told local media.

It comes as the country’s prime minister admitted there may have been prior intelligence about the attacks.

Officials says 36 foreign nationals are thought to be among the dead, including 25 yet to be identified.

How did the attacks unfold?

The first reports of explosions came at about 08:45 (03:15 GMT) local time – with six blasts reported close together at churches and luxury hotels.

Map showing locations of attacks
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St Sebastian’s church in Negombo was severely damaged in one explosion, with dozens killed at the site.

Images from inside showed blood on the pews and the building’s ceiling shattered.

There were also heavy casualties at the site of the first blast in St Anthony’s, a hugely popular shrine in Kochchikade, a district of Colombo.

Robert Tyler, who has lived in Sri Lanka for six years, told the BBC that at least two of the hotels appeared to have had their restaurants targeted at a busy time for breakfast.

Two further explosions were reported as police tried to find those involved. One blast hit near the zoo in Dehiwala, southern Colombo, and an eighth was reported near the Colombo district of Dematagoda during a police raid, killing three officers.

The government has said most of the attacks are thought to have been carried out by suicide bombers.

A general view of the empty streets after the Sri Lanka Police curfewImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe streets of Colombo were far quieter than usual as the curfew came in

Who are the victims?

The vast majority of those killed are thought to be Sri Lankan nationals, including dozens who were attending Easter church services.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says five British people – including two with joint US citizenship – are among the dead. The US State Department has said “several” Americans have been killed.

Three Danish citizens, two Turkish nationals and one person from the Netherlands were also killed, their governments have confirmed.

Sri Lankan officials say three Indian nationals and one Portuguese citizen are also among the dead.

They say 25 more fatalities at a Colombo mortuary are also thought to be international citizens awaiting identification.

Airlines have said people are still able to travel to the airport under the curfew if they produce their boarding pass and identification at checkpoints.

Travellers are being advised to arrive at the airport four hours before their scheduled flight time.

A bomb goes off as Special Task Force personnel raid a home near Dematagoda in ColomboImage copyrightAFP
Image captionA bomb goes off as Special Task Force personnel raid a home near Dematagoda in Colombo

What have officials said?

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed the media on Sunday evening.

During the briefing, he referred to allegations that officials had been in possession of intelligence suggesting an impending attack.

“We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the Ministers were kept informed,” he said.

“For now the priority is to apprehend the attackers,” he added.

Pope Francis, in his traditional Urbi et Orbi speech at the Vatican, condemned the attacks as “such cruel violence” targeting Christians celebrating Easter.

Blast damage at the Shangri-La hotel in ColomboImage copyrightAFP
Image captionBlast damage at the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo

A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said he is “outraged” by the attacks, and hopes the perpetrators will be “swiftly brought to justice”.

Cardinal Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Ranjith, told the BBC: “It’s a very difficult and a very sad situation for all of us because we never expected such a thing to happen and especially on Easter Sunday.”

UK PM Theresa May tweeted condolences, saying the “acts of violence against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka are truly appalling”.

US President Donald Trump tweeted “heartfelt condolences” for the “horrible terrorist attacks”.

Media caption Archbishop of Colombo: ”A very, very sad day for all of us”

What’s Sri Lanka’s recent history?

Sunday’s attacks are the deadliest seen in Sri Lanka since the end of the country’s civil war in 2009.

The civil war ended with the defeat of the Tamil Tigers, who had fought for 26 years for an independent homeland for the minority ethnic Tamils. The war is thought to have killed between 70,000 and 80,000 people.

The nation has seen some sporadic violence since. In March 2018 a state of emergency was declared after members of the majority Buddhist Sinhala community attacked mosques and Muslim-owned properties.

 

A statue of the Virgin Mary broken in St Anthony's ShrineImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionA statue of the Virgin Mary, broken in St Anthony’s Shrine

Religion in Sri Lanka

Theravada Buddhism is Sri Lanka’s biggest religious group, making up about 70.2% of the population, according to the most recent census.

It is the religion of Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority. It is given primary place in the country’s laws and is singled out in the constitution.

Hindus and Muslims make up 12.6% and 9.7% of the population respectively.

Sri Lanka is also home to about 1.5 million Christians, according to the 2012 census, the vast majority of them Roman Catholic. (Click to Source)

Nigeria: Muslims massacre 17 Christians after baby dedication, including the child’s mother

 

These incidents are really happening, and they’re happening more and more frequently. In the West, meanwhile, those who speak about them are vilified as “Islamophobes” and steadily defamed, deplatformed, and silenced. Silencing news of such incidents, however, will not prevent them from happening, even, eventually, in the U.S.

“Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Massacre Christians after Baby Dedication in Nigeria,” Morning Star News, April 18, 2019:

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 17 Christians who had gathered after a baby dedication at a church in central Nigeria, including the mother of the child, sources said.

Safaratu John Kabiru Ali, the mother of the baby, was slain in the attack on Sunday (April 14) in Konshu-Numa village, in Nasarawa state’s Akwanga County, which also took the lives of people ranging in age from 10 to 80. The baby’s father, John Kabiru Ali, was shot and is in critical condition, sources said. He is receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, in Nasarawa state.

The attack took place at about 7 p.m. as Christians in the predominantly Christian community gathered to eat after the child was dedicated that morning at the Ruhaniya Baptist Church in the village.

The massacred Christians were buried on Wednesday (April 17) after a funeral service at the Baptist church.

A resident of Akwanga town who lost relatives in the shooting, Jacob Tantse, told Morning Star News that 17 Christians were killed, including 10 members of the Ruhaniya Baptist Church, five members of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ (ERCC), one member of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), and a musician playing for guests.

Tantse identified those killed as Ali Nkene, 80; Gode Kako, 13; Afiniki Kako, 10; Matthew Emmanuel, 28; Tafiya Baya, 17; Sarakuna Haruna, 21; Amos Julius, 60; Mary Amos, 40; Sunday Adebayo John, 21; Talatu Mada, 40; Saratu Kabiru John, 21; Justina Barrau, 60; Simon Anfani, 37; Kadon Sule, 20; Ayuba Bulus, 11; Haruna Bawa, 22; and the musician, Samame Andaha, 28.

He also said eight Christians, including the host of the event, John Kabiru Ali, were wounded in the attack.

“They include members of the various congregations of the Baptist, Catholic, and ERCC churches,” Tantse said…. (Click to Source)

UK: Radical Muslims Welcome, Persecuted Christians Need Not Apply

by Raymond Ibrahim

  • In rejecting the claim for asylum of a man who converted from Islam to Christianity, and presumably compelling his return to Iran, the British government is effectively sentencing him to death.
  • “[O]ut of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK.” — Barnabas Fund.
  • At the same time, the Home Office allowed a Pakistani cleric, Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, considered so extreme that he is banned even from his native Pakistan, to come and lecture in UK mosques.
  • “It’s unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians…. There is a serious systemic problem when Islamist leaders who advocate persecution of Christians are given the green light telling them that their applications for UK visas will be looked on favourably, while visas for short pastoral visits to the UK are denied to Christian leaders whose churches are facing genocide. That is an urgent issue that Home Office ministers need to grasp and correct.” — Dr. Martin Parsons, Barnabas Fund.

 

In two unrelated cases, the United Kingdom denied asylum to persecuted Christians by bizarrely citing the Bible and Jesus. Both Christians, a man and a woman, are former Muslims who were separately seeking asylum from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ninth-worst persecutor of Christians — particularly of those who were Muslims and converted to Christianity.

UK asylum worker Nathan Stevens recently shared their stories. In his rejection letter from the UK’s Home Office, which is in charge of immigration, the Iranian man was told that biblical passages were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith. The letter citedseveral biblical excerpts, including from Exodus, Leviticus, and Matthew, presumably to show that the Bible is violent; it said Revelation was “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence.” The governmental letter then concluded:

“These examples are inconsistent with your claim that you converted to Christianity after discovering it is a ‘peaceful’ religion, as opposed to Islam which contains violence, rage and revenge.”

In response, Nathan Stevens, the asylum seeker’s caseworker, tweeted:

“… I’ve seen a lot over the years, but even I was genuinely shocked to read this unbelievably offensive diatribe being used to justify a refusal of asylum.

Stevens added:

“Whatever your views on faith, how can a government official arbitrarily pick bits out of a holy book and then use them to trash someone’s heartfelt reason for coming to a personal decision to follow another faith?

There seemed no awareness that, despite occasional verses of violence in the Bible, its main message, in both the Old and New Testaments, is to be found in Leviticus 19:18: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

In rejecting the claim for asylum of this man who converted from Islam to Christianity, and presumably compelling his return to Iran, the British government is effectively sentencing him to death.

In the second case, an Iranian female asylum seeker was informed in her rejection letter:

“You affirmed in your AIR [Asylum Interview Record] that Jesus is your saviour, but then claimed that He would not be able to save you from the Iranian regime. It is therefore considered that you have no conviction in your faith and your belief in Jesus is half-hearted.”

Recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4, the woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said:

“When I was in Iran I converted to Christianity and the situation changed and the government were [sic] looking for me and I had to flee from Iran…. In my country if someone converts to Christianity their punishment is death or execution.”

Concerning the asylum process, she said that whenever she responded to her Home Office interviewer, “he was either chuckling or maybe just kind of mocking when he was talking to me…. [H]e asked me why Jesus didn’t help you from the Iranian regime or Iranian authorities.”

These two recently exposed cases appear to be symptomatic not only of a breathtaking lack of logic that flies in the face of history — God obviously did not always save those who believed in Him — but also what increasing appears to be a venomous Home Office bias against Christians. For instance, when Sister Ban Madleen, a Christian nun in Iraq who had fled the Islamic State, applied to the Home Office to visit her sick sister in Britain, she was denied a visa — twice. Another report cites a number of other Christian orderlies who were denied visas, including another nun with a PhD in Biblical Theology from Oxford; a nun denied for not having a personal bank account, and a Catholic priest denied for not being married.

In another case, the Home Office not only denied entry to three heroic Christian leaders — archbishops celebrated for their efforts to aid persecuted Christians in Syria and Iraq who had been invited to attend the consecration of the UK’s first Syriac Cathedral, an event attended by Prince Charles — but also mockingly told them there was “no room at the inn.”

Even longtime Christian residents are being deported. Earlier this year, Asher Samson, 41, a Christian man who had been residing in the UK for 15 years and undergoing theological studies, was deported back to Pakistan — where he had earlier been “beaten and threatened by Islamic extremists.” (Such treatment is normative for Christians in Pakistan, the world’s fifth-worst persecutor of Christians.) Samson’s former UK pastor said:

“I’ve received some messages from him. He’s very scared, he’s fearful for his life…. He’s in hiding in Pakistan and his family are terribly worried for him…. At the moment he has no funds to live on — he can’t work …. [T]he UK is sending people back to these countries where their lives are in danger.”

By contrast, a report from the Barnabas Fund found that in offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christians. Statistics confirm this allegation:

“Figures obtained by Barnabas Fund under a Freedom of Information request show that out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian, representing just 0.2% of all Syrian refugees accepted by the UK.”

Statistics from earlier years have shown the same disparity. Although Christians accounted for approximately 10% of Syria’s prewar population, the overwhelming majority of Syrians granted asylum by the Home Office were Sunni Muslims. Such an imbalance appears even more bizarre when one realizes that the Islamic State (ISIS) is itself a Sunni organization that targets non-Sunnis, primarily Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims, all minority groups that the U.S. government acknowledges have been targets of genocide.

As Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a life peer in the House of Lords, wrote to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who heads the Home Office:

“It is widely accepted that Christians, who constituted around 10 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population, were specifically targeted by jihadi rebels and continue to be at risk…. As last year’s statistics more than amply demonstrate, this [ratio imbalance between Muslim and Christian refugees taken in] is not a statistical blip. It shows a pattern of discrimination that the Government has a legal duty to take concrete steps to address.”

Considering that persecuted Christian minorities — including priests and nuns — are denied visas, one might conclude that perhaps the Home Office just has extremely stringent asylum requirements. This notion is quickly dispelled, however, when one sees that the Home Office regularly grants visas and refugee status to extremist Muslims. One has yet to hear about Muslim asylum seekers being denied visas because the Koran is too violent, or because they do “not have enough faith” in Muhammad.

Ahmed Hassan, despite having no papers — and despite telling the Home Office that “he had been trained as an ISIS soldier” — was still granted asylum two years before he launched a terrorist attack in a London train station that left 30 injured in September 2017.

The Home Office also allowed a foreign Muslim cleric, Hamza Sodagar, to enter and lecture in London, even though he advocates beheading, burning, or throwing homosexuals from cliffs.

In addition, according to another report, “British teenagers are being forced to marry abroad and are raped and impregnated while the Home Office ‘turns a blind eye’ by handing visas to their [mostly Muslim] husbands.”

The case of Asia Bibi — a Christian mother of five who has spent the last decade of her life on death row in Pakistan for challenging the authority of Muhammad — is perhaps emblematic of the immigration situation in the UK. After she was finally acquitted last November, Muslims rioted throughout Pakistan; in one march, more than 11,000 Muslims demanded her instant and public hanging.

As Pakistanis make up the majority of all Muslims in the UK — Sajid Javid the head of the Home Office is himself Pakistani — when they got wind that the UK might offer Asia Bibi asylum, they too rioted. As a result, Prime Minister Theresa May personally blocked Bibi’s asylum application — “despite UK playing host to [Muslim] hijackers, extremists and rapists,” one headline read. The UK, in other words, was openly allowing “asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob,” reported the Guardian, “after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK…”

At the same time, the Home Office allowed a Pakistani cleric, Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri, considered so extreme that he is banned even from his native Pakistan, to come and lecture in UK mosques. Qadri celebrated the slaughter of a politician because he had defended Asia Bibi.

In short, local Muslim opinion apparently plays a major role in the UK’s immigration policy: radical Muslims are welcomed with open arms; Christian “infidels” need not apply.

Commenting on the difficulties Christian minority asylum seekers have with the Home Office, Dr. Martin Parsons, the head of research at the Barnabas Fund, remarking that “visas were granted in July to two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have called for the killing of Christians accused of blasphemy,” summarized the situation:

“It’s unbelievable that these persecuted Christians who come from the cradle of Christianity are being told there is no room at the inn, when the UK is offering a welcome to Islamists who persecute Christians…. There is a serious systemic problem when Islamist leaders who advocate persecution of Christians are given the green light telling them that their applications for UK visas will be looked on favourably, while visas for short pastoral visits to the UK are denied to Christian leaders whose churches are facing genocide. That is an urgent issue that Home Office ministers need to grasp and correct.” (Click to Source)

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

 

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Google’s ‘battle with the Bible’: YouTube demonetizes Christian author’s 1,600 videos

Martin M. Barillas – Thu Mar 21, 2019 – 8:43 am EST

MOUNTAINVIEW, California, March 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — New reports indicate that Google’s Vice President Vishal Sharma pulled the trigger that banned Dr. Michael Brown from advertising his Christian ministry and his video “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” on YouTube.

According to leaked internal company documents, enough employees at Google (which owns YouTube) were upset by Brown’s video explaining Christian teachings on same-sex “marriage” that company V.P. Sharma agreed that YouTube should not accept advertising the video.

Internal communications obtained by the Daily Caller revealed a backlash by employees who were upset by Brown’s video. In a listserv, “Yes at Google,” which is operated by Google’s human resources department, the backlash grew large enough to merit a direct response from Sharma. Devoted to enforcing a company ban on “microaggressions,” the listserve has more than 30,000 members and is dedicated to enforcing “micro-corrections” within the company.

One employee wrote on the listserv that it was impossible to understand why Google would tolerate placing Brown’s ads on videos produced by LGBT videographers on YouTube. “This seems very counter to our mission,” wrote the employee, “specifically around PRIDE 2018 timeframe.”

In response, Sharma agreed to remove the offending video. “Thank you for raising this very important issue. It means a lot to me personally and those of us working on this across the Ads and YouTube teams. YouTube is an open platform and we support the free expression of creators with a wide range of views,” Sharma wrote. He wrote that Google will not allow advertising that “disparages people based on who they are — including their sexual orientation — and we remove ads that violate this basic principle.” Sharma said Google removed Brown’s ad because it “violates our policy.”

YouTube has demonetized 1,600 of Brown’s videos. Google software engineer Mike Wacker revealed last week that the company’s human resources department exhibits bias against Christians by labeling Christian YouTube ads “homophobic.”

In an article at The Stream, Brown wrote that he based his video on biblical teachings regarding marriage and homosexuality. He asked, rhetorically, “[Do] I express hatred against any group in the video? Is there anything in the video that could be called homophobic?” “[D]o I state clearly that Jesus died for all, loves all, and offers redemption and transformation to all? Have I excluded any individual or group from God’s redeeming love?” Brown, who is a popular Christian media personality, wrote that his debate opponents have not been able to produce any scriptural support for their views.

Brown cited Sharma, who wrote that Google is an “open platform” that offers “free expression” for a “wide range of views.” However, Brown wrote, Google’s openness does not allow transgressing the sensitivities of LGBTQ advocates. “One dare not present biblical truth in love,” Brown wrote, “when that truth is deemed offensive.” Noting that he simply repeated millennia-old Jewish and Christian teachings about homosexual practices and did not condemn anyone for having feelings or attractions, Brown wrote that the issue at hand is whether “we act on those feelings or attractions. And that, in fact, is our choice.”

According to Brown, Google’s battle is with the Bible. “In short then,” he wrote, “biblical content about homosexual practice, spoken accurately and with love, violates Google’s policy.” Saying that Google has decided that certain groups “cannot and must not be offended, even with biblical truth,” others will be punished by Google. Brown wrote that while “God’s word will stand forever,” even Google “will be here today and gone tomorrow.” (Click to Source)