Navy chaplain accused of violating Constitution for encouraging soldiers to ‘lead like Jesus’

By Brandon Showalter, CP Reporter –  CURRENT PAGE:U.S. | SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020

A U.S. Navy chaplain has been accused of violating the U.S. Constitution for teaching an optional 12-week seminar called “Lead Like Jesus” at Naval Station Newport in Rhode Island.

According to the religious liberty legal organization First Liberty Institute, Cmdr. Richard Smothers is being antagonized by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation — a group that argues for a strictly secularist interpretation of the Constitution — for promoting the seminar at the base.

MRFF sent an email demanding that Capt. Ian Johnson, commander of the Naval base, investigate Smothers and anyone else who promoted the seminar through emails or fliers. The organization argues that service members were being “voluntold” to attend the Christian-oriented event.

Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, founder of MRFF, accused Smothers of having “weaponized Christianity” in an interview with the Navy Times published in January. He added that those behind the discussions should be “visibly and aggressively investigated and punished.”

“Nothing could be more disruptive to good order and discipline and unit cohesion than a message like this,” he said.

Commenting on the matter, First Liberty noted that encouraging troops through faith is in the job description of a chaplain.

“Most chaplains are endorsed by a particular church or religious organization, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or a host of other religions. They agree to uphold that organization’s beliefs and to carry out their duties as a representative of their faith. If they don’t, they lose their endorsement,” the organization said Friday.

“That’s why it’s so absurd when chaplains are attacked for sharing certain aspects of their faith — like a Christian chaplain giving a seminar about Jesus. It goes against their very job description.”

Cmdr. Elizabeth Baker, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman, said in response to the complaint that no one was being coerced to attend the seminar.

“It’s not any kind of directive from the chaplain to lead like Jesus … it’s a discussion series after services only for those who volunteer to attend,” she said in a response to Navy Times.

An advisory board member of MRFF countered that discussions called “Lead like Mohammed” or “Atheist Leadership” would likewise not be “tolerated” on the base.

Mike Berry, general counsel for First Liberty Institute, said in an interview with Fox News earlier this month that Jesus was a leader and it’s perfectly legal to study His leadership.

“It’s perfectly legal to study his leadership. In fact, some of our military leaders would do well to study Jesus’ leadership a bit more. None other than our first commander in chief, George Washington, looked to Jesus as a model of leadership.”

First Liberty Institute is the law firm that won a 7-2 victory at the United States Supreme Court last year in a case concerning the Bladensburg World War I “Peace Cross” in the case of American Legion et. al. v. American Humanist Association. The high court ruled that the monument, which has stood on public land in Maryland for approximately 50 years, does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. (Click to Source)

 

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China Just Escalated Their Brutal Persecution Of Christians To An Entirely New Level

 

Be very thankful that you don’t live in China.  Approximately one out of every seven people on the entire planet lives in China, and it has become one of the most dystopian societies that the world has ever seen.  Surveillance cameras, government spies and facial recognition scanners are everywhere, and the totalitarian “social credit score” system that is currently being rolled out is an absolute nightmare.  And the Chinese government is not content to simply control how people behave.  They also want to literally control what people believe, and the ongoing crackdown on the Christian faith has been absolutely brutal.  Over the past several years, scores of pastors have been arrested, countless underground churches have been shut down, and thousands of Bibles have been burned.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for Chinese officials, and so they have now taken things to an entirely new level.

When the communists first came to power in China, it was a very dark time for Christians.  But underground churches started blossoming even in the midst of the persecution, and eventually there were a few decades where the national government more or less tolerated unsanctioned gatherings.  Today, it has been estimated that there are more than 100 million Christians in China, and it is being projected that China may actually have more Christians that any other nation on the planet by the year 2030.

Needless to say, the communists don’t like any threats to their power, and they see this underground movement as a very serious threat.

Under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the persecution of unofficial churches has steadily escalated.  This year they actually tried to ban Christians from gathering on Christmas, and a series of new regulations has just been introduced that requires “total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times”…

A new mandate entitled “Administrative Measures for Religious Groups” has been approved by the CPC and is comprised of six chapters and 41 articles dealing with the organization, functions, offices, supervision, projects and economic administration of religious communities.

The new rules also seek to ensure that religious leaders support, promote and implement total submission to the Chinese Communist Party at all times.

So what does that sort of “submission” look like?

Well, in some cases officials have required churches to take down pictures of Jesus and replace them with pictures of President Xi Jinping.

Yes, this is how twisted things have become in China.

The new regulations also require all churches to “spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in all of their activities…

According to International Christian Concern, Article 5 of the new ordinance reads that “religious organizations must adhere to the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, observe the constitution, laws, regulations, ordinances and policies, adhere to the principle of independence and self-government, adhere to the directives on religions in China, implementing the values ​​of socialism …”

In addition, Article 17 specifies that all religious organizations “must spread the principles and policies of the Chinese Communist Party” in everything they do.

Any church that does not go along is likely to be raided and shut down at any time.

For example, Pastor Wang Yi once led one of the most important underground churches in all of China, but his church was raided and he was arrested.

And now we have learned that he has just been sentenced to nine years in prison…

Wang Yi, a leader in one of the most well-known Christian congregations in China, has been quietly sentenced to nine years in prison, according to a statement on the website of the Intermediate People’s Court of Chengdu Municipality.

The sentencing is the latest incident in an ongoing crackdown on organized religion in China. Early Rain Covenant Church, which Wang founded in 2008, attracted about 500 followers and was considered one of the most influential “underground churches” in China, operating independently of the state.

According to Chinese officials, Pastor Yi received such a harsh sentence for “subverting state power”.

Of course it isn’t just pastors that are being arrested.  Countless numbers of ordinary Chinese citizens have been swept up during the raids, and many are never seen or heard from again.

One Chinese Christian woman told the Los Angeles Times what happened to her when she was interrogated…

Li Chengju glared at her prison interrogator as he pressed her to renounce her Christian church and condemn her pastor.

Her captor warned she would not be so lucky as the pastor, who was locked in secret detention but at least might get a day in court.

“Look at you. You sweep the floors at church,” the interrogator said. “You think you’re getting a trial like your pastor? You don’t qualify.”

The way that the Chinese are treating their citizens is absolutely reprehensible, and unless they completely change course we should not be conducting any trade with them at all.

Sadly, the “five-year plan” that was launched in 2018 to indoctrinate churches all over China is not even halfway done…

The government calls its campaign “Sinicization” — a euphemism for turning faith into a tool for indoctrination in Chinese Communist Party ideology. The official five-year plan, issued in 2018, calls for inserting “patriotic education” and “socialist core values” into churches, revising the Bible and using church sermons to enforce party leadership and reject foreign influences.

The persecution of Christians is likely to get even worse in China, and this comes at a time when Christian persecution is on the rise all over the world.  This is something that many of us have been anticipating because of the times in which we live, but it is still horrifying to actually watch it happen.

As I close this article, I would like to share a message from Pastor Wang Yi that was posted on Facebook after he was arrested.  May his words inspire all of us to live every moment and to be the people that we were created to be…

“I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.”

“Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.”

“Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.”

“Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.”

“Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.”

– Pastor Wang Yi, “My Declaration of Faithful Disobedience” (Click to Source)


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UN, UK Treating Persecuted Christians as “Enemies”

by Raymond Ibrahim

  • “You have this absurd situation where the scheme is set up to help Syrian refugees and the people most in need, Christians who have been ‘genocided,’ they can’t even get into the U.N. camps to get the food. If you enter and say I am a Christian or convert, the Muslim U.N. guards will block you [from] getting in… and even threaten you…” — Paul Diamond, British Human Rights Lawyer, CBN News, December 4, 2019.
  • Lord George Carey is suing the UK Home Office for allegedly being “institutionally biased” against Christian refugees and therefore complicit in what he calls “the steady crucifixion of Middle East Christians.”
  • When it comes to offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christians. Statistics seemed to confirm this allegation: “out of 4,850 Syrian refugees accepted for resettlement by the Home Office in 2017, only eleven were Christian….” — Barnabas Fund, November 2, 2017.
  • A number of other Christian orderlies were also denied visas, including another nun with a PhD in biblical theology from Oxford; another nun denied for not having a personal bank account; and a Catholic priest denied for not being married.
  • Christian “infidels” need not apply, but radical Muslims are welcomed with open arms.

The United Nations Refugee Agency appears to be committed to blocking persecuted Christians from receiving any assistance. According to a recent CBN News report:

Christian Syrian refugees … have been blocked from getting help from the United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, by Muslim UN officials in Jordan.

One of the refugees, Hasan, a Syrian convert to Christianity, told us in a phone call that Muslim UN camp officials “knew that we were Muslims and became Christians and they dealt with us with persecution and mockery. They didn’t let us into the office. They ignored our request.”

Hasan and his family are now in hiding, afraid that they will be arrested by Jordanian police, or even killed. Converting to Christianity is a serious crime in Jordan.

According to Timothy, a Jordanian Muslim who converted to Christianity, “All of the United Nations officials [apparently in Jordan], most of them, 99 percent, they are Muslims, and they were treating us as enemies.”

Addressing this issue, Paul Diamond, a British human rights lawyer, recently elaborated:

“You have this absurd situation where the scheme is set up to help Syrian refugees and the people most in need, Christians who have been “genocided,” they can’t even get into the U.N. camps to get the food. If you enter and say I am a Christian or convert, the Muslim U.N. guards will block you [from] getting in and laugh at you and mock you and even threaten you…. Sunni Muslim officials have blocked the way. They’ve laughed at them, threatened them, said ‘You shouldn’t have converted. You’re an idiot for converting. You get what you get,’ words to that effect.”

The next obstacle facing those few Christians who make it past UN refugee camps are the immigration centers of Western nations themselves. The discrimination is apparently so obvious in the United Kingdom that Lord George Carey is suing the UK Home Office for allegedly being “institutionally biased” against Christian refugees and therefore complicit in what he calls “the steady crucifixion of Middle East Christians.”

He is hardly the only one making such charges. One independent report said that when it comes to offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christians. Statistics seemed to confirm this allegation: “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.”

Due to such figures, Lord David Alton of Liverpool, a life peer in the House of Lords, wrote to Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who then headed 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.

Such imbalances appear even stranger on the realization that the Islamic State, which precipitated the refugee crisis, is itself a Sunni organization that only targets non-Sunnis— primarily Christians, Yazidis, and Shia — all minority groups that the U.S. has acknowledged experienced a “genocide.”

Two of the strangest individual cases of anti-Christian bias were reported earlier this year, when the UK denied asylum to persecuted Christians by bizarrely citing the Bible and Islam. Both Christians, a man and a woman, were former Muslims separately seeking asylum from the Islamic Republic of Iran, the ninth-worst persecutor of Christians, particularly former Muslims.

In his rejection letter from the UK’s Home Office, the Iranian man was told that several biblical passages were “inconsistent” with his claim to have converted to Christianity after discovering it was a “peaceful” faith. The letter cited biblical excerpts — including from Exodus, Leviticus, and Matthew — as supposed proof that the Bible is violent; it said Revelation was “filled with imagery of revenge, destruction, death and violence.” The rejection 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 the second case, an Iranian female asylum seeker was sarcastically 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.”

Discussing her experiences, the rejected woman 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, the woman 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. For instance he asked me why Jesus didn’t help you from the Iranian regime or Iranian authorities.”

Similarly, when Sister Ban Madleen, a Christian nun who was chased out of Iraq by the Islamic State, wanted to visit her sick sister in the UK, she was denied a visa — twice. A number of other Christian orderlies were also denied visas, including another nun with a PhD in biblical theology from Oxford; another nun denied for not having a personal bank account; and a Catholic priest denied for not being married.

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

Considering that persecuted Christian minorities — including priests and nuns — are denied visas, one may conclude that Britain’s Home Office is extremely stringent concerning its asylum requirements. However, this notion is quickly dispelled on the realization that the Home Office regularly grants visas and refugee status to extremist Muslims — not to mention that one has yet to hear about Muslim asylum seekers being denied because the Koran is too violent, or because they do not have enough faith in Muhammad.

For instance, despite having no papers on him — and despite telling the Home Office that “he had been trained as an ISIS soldier” — Ahmed Hassan was still granted asylum two years before he launched a terrorist attack on a London train station that left 30 injured in September 2017. The Home Office also allowed a foreign Muslim cleric to enter and lecture in London, even though he advocates decapitating, burning, and/or throwing homosexuals from cliffs. 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 wife and mother of five who spent the last decade of her life on death row in Pakistan for challenging the authority of Muhammad — best sheds light on the immigration situation in the UK. After she was finally acquitted in November 2018, Muslims rioted throughout Pakistan; in one demonstration, more than 11,000 Muslims demanded her immediate public hanging.

As Pakistanis make for the majority of the UK’s significant Muslim population — Sajid Javid, then head of the Home Office, is himself Pakistani — when they got wind that the UK might offer Bibi asylum, they too rioted. As a result, then Prime Minister Theresa May personally blocked Bibi’s asylum application, “despite UK playing host to [Muslim] hijackers, extremists and rapists,” to quote from one headline. In other words, the Britain 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, however, the Home Office allowed a Pakistani cleric who celebrated the slaughter of a politician because he had defended Asia Bibi — a cleric deemed so extreme as to be banned from his native Pakistan — to enter the UK and lecture in mosques.

Discussing how “visas were granted [by the Home Office] in July [2016] to two Pakistani Islamic leaders who have called for the killing of Christians accused of blasphemy,” Dr. Martin Parsons, a human rights activist, expressed his frustration: “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.”

In short, Muslim influence against Christians is not only at work in UN refugee camps, as recent evidence indicates, but in the UK’s immigration policy as well: Christian “infidels” need not apply, but radical Muslims are welcomed with open arms. (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, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.


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The Exodus: Christians Fleeing Gaza, Fearing Persecution

by Elizabeth Blade

A 60-year-old Christian from Gaza is now living on the streets of Nazareth but says he prefers to stay there than to go back to Gaza, where he had lived his entire life.

Kamal Tarazi fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Hamas, an Islamic group considered a terrorist outfit in Israel, seized control of the enclave, ousting its previous government, officials from Fatah.

“The moment they took control, they started persecuting us, ruining our churches and forcing Christians to convert to Islam”, the 60-year-old Christian recalls.

The Turning Point

It was then that Tarazi decided to organise demonstrations against the movement, uniting Christians and Muslims alike. The calls to act didn’t move the masses, but they did anger Hamas.

“I was jailed several times. Do you know what a Hamas prison is? It is pure torture”, he explains, adding that the Islamic group decided to keep him alive to avoid depicting themselves as persecutors of the local Christian population, something that could potentially anger the international community.

After two months in prison, Tarazi had had enough. Shortly before Christmas, he applied for a permit that would allow him to cross the border into Israel and then travel to Bethlehem – located in the West Bank – to attend a series of religious ceremonies.

Once the permit was given and the border was crossed, Tarazi vowed he would never go back, and he is not alone.

Gaza’s Christian community has been steadily declining over the years. Before Hamas came to power in 2007, Christians made up some 3,500 people in the Strip. Now, however, there are no more than 1,300 and Tarazi says the actual number is even lower.

“I am sure there are no more than 500 Christians left in Gaza and it is just part of the general trend”, he explains.

Over the years, many Gazans decided to flee the Strip, unable to cope with the difficult security and economic situation.

In 2018 alone, some 35,000 Gazans fled the Strip and Tarazi says the number of those who have left since 2007 surpassed 200,000 people.

“For Gaza, with its total population of 1.8 million, this number is significant”, he continues.

The Comeback

Despite promises he would never go back fearing for his life, Tarazi decided to give it a try in 2014, shortly before Israel started its operation Protective Edge aimed at putting an end to the continuous rocket barrage emanating from the Strip and targeting Israel’s southern communities.

“I missed my family and wanted to see how they were doing”, he says. But when he came home, he found an empty place.

“My wife and daughter left the flat where we used to live and moved in with my parents-in-law. As for my house, Hamas turned it into a warehouse, where they kept rockets and various ammunition”, he goes on, adding that he wanted to flee again but the Islamic group wouldn’t let him do so, imprisoning him for several months.

That, however, didn’t silence Tarazi and every time he was out of prison, he gathered crowds sending a clear message to Hamas: “Bidna Naesh” – Arabic for “we want to live”.

Similar protests have been staged by other peace activists but just like in the case of Tarazi, they too were silenced.

Hamas’s Days Numbered?

But Tarazi says the policy to silence those who oppose the Hamas regime cannot continue for too long. “Christians and Muslims live well together in Gaza but both are tired of this organisation that kills and damages everything around them. Their days are numbered”, he warns, adding that the situation in Gaza is explosive.

In Gaza, where 75 percent of the population lives in poverty, the unemployment rate is 52 percent, and the average salary is less than $20 a day, some 68 percent of Palestinians describe their situation as either bad or very bad, according to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.

Leaving for good

“My situation was so bad and I was so desperate to leave that at some stage I tore my clothes off in public and wanted to set myself ablaze”, Tarazi recalls, adding that Hamas prevented him from doing so. To hush him they finally gave him a permit to leave Gaza, five years after his return.

“Initially I went to Bethlehem and from there to a church in Nazareth that gave me shelter for some time, until one day they asked me to pay for the accommodation they provided me with, which of course I couldn’t afford, and that pushed me to the streets of Nazareth, where I currently live”, he continues.

With winter approaching, no money in his pocket, and no Israeli job permit, Tarazi relies on the aid of charity organisations.

But help won’t come as Israel lacks relevant bodies that could take care of Tarazi’s needs.

“Israel has organisations that take care of African refugees and NGOs that help Palestinians with mainly legal advice but none of them will be able to provide him with housing, medication or even food”, explained a representative of Gisha, a non-profit organisation that protects the freedom of movement of Palestinians.

Tarazi, mewanwhile, continues to stroll along the streets of Nazareth, hoping that ordinary citizens will show more empathy.

Sputnik reached out to a number of other NGOs and aid organisations but none was able to help. Hamas hasn’t responded to a request for comment by the time of publication. (Click to Source)


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United Nations refugee camps put Christians last for food, shelter, baby items

Posted by  on December 20, 2019

Christians often languish in the United Nations refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan.

I discovered this when I was in Iraq last month documenting the good work the Nazarene Fund has been doing with our Save the Christians fundraising money.

The shortcomings in relief efforts are because the United Nations is completely inept but also because the bigotry against Christians doesn’t stop at the fence that wraps around the enormous camps.

Christians refugees inside the UN camps can be the last to get food, shelter, diapers for their babies, and clean clothing and bedding. And their refugee paperwork can mysteriously get “lost”, leaving them no way out.

The Nazarene Fund, and their in-country partners at White Mountain Research, fill in the gaps in resources given to Christian refugees in the region by going into the UN camps to deliver food aid to Christian families.

All the money and power in the world and the United Nations is failing the Christians of Iraq and Syria. (Click to Source)


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Hungarian PM Says Only Solution to World’s Problems Is Return to Christianity (Orban)

Hungary’s prime minister believes that the Christians, who are being protected from persecution today, may rise and save Europe tomorrow.

Hungarian PM Victor Orbán gave a powerful speech in Budapest during the Second International Conference on Christian Persecution.

Orbán declared: ‘I’m convinced that in order to save Europe, those who could provide us with the biggest help are those whom we’re helping right now. We’re sowing a seed, giving the persecuted what they need and getting back from them the Christian faith, love, and persistence.’

Orbán argues that his country’s Christian identity gives Hungary an obligation to help other Christian communities. ‘Hungarians believe Christian values lead to peace and happiness, and this is why our Constitution states that protection of Christianity is an obligation for the Hungarian state,’ he said.

‘It obligates us to protect Christian communities throughout the world who suffer persecution,’ Mr Orbán added.

Orbán contrasted the large number of Christians among those who suffer for their faith with the indifference of most of Europe.

‘Four out of five people persecuted for their faith are Christians and some 245 million Christians around the globe suffer extreme persecution, and yet Europe remains silent again and again.

European politicians seem paralyzed and unable to do anything, insisting that it is all a matter of human rights.’

The Hungarian Prime Minister argued that Christian persecution is not only an attack on people but on an entire culture, ‘including here in Europe.’

This persecution is sometimes violent but sometimes more subtle, including population exchange through mass migration, stigmatization, mockery, and the muzzle of political correctness.

Orbán said also that Western Europe’s indiscriminate acceptance of mass migration is a time bomb for the future.

‘Western Europe has already provided dozens of militants to the Islamic State, and uncontrolled immigration has produced a radical change in the demographics of the population,’ he said.

The Prime Minister said that the only solution is for Europe to discover its Christian roots and reaffirm its Christian identity.

By April this year, the Hungarian initiative had given the equivalent of $26,200,752 to Christians living and working in their home countries, which include five Middle Eastern and two sub-Saharan nations.

According to Breitbart, the Hungarian Prime Minister stressed the important role Christian Hungary has to play in the world.  ’Hungarians make up only 0.02 percent of the world’s population, so how much difference can it make? Is it worth it?’ Orbán asked. He answered his own question by reflecting on the 12 apostles who, though small in number, changed the world with the Good News.

‘Standing up for our persecuted brothers and sisters engenders courage in us and others,’ Orbán continued. ‘When we raised Aid to Persecuted Christians to the level of a government ministry, who would have known how it would grow and influence others?’

The Minister stated that during the past year 2,625 Christians have been wrongfully arrested and that over 1,200 Christian churches across the world have been attacked.

Szijjártó also criticised the UN Global Compact for Migration, saying that every country has the right not to be a source, transitional country, or object of migration.

‘Every country has the right to decide whether it wants to be one or neither of these, just as everyone also has the right to live in the land of their birth and to live a secure life there in their own homeland. This is the foundation on which the Hungarian government is building its policy when it supports Christian communities abroad.’ (Click to Source)


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“Lovers of Islam, Force These Demonic Creatures Out!” Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2019

 by 

The Slaughter of Christians

Burkina Faso: A number of fatal Islamic terror attacks on Christians and their churches occurred throughout or were reported in May:

  • On Sunday 26 May, armed Muslims stormed a Catholic church during mass and opened fire on the gathered worshippers; four were killed and several others injured. killing four and injuring others.
  • On May 13, armed Muslims attacked a Catholic procession, slaughtered four Christiansand “burned a statue of the Virgin Mary.”
  • On May 12, approximately 30 armed Muslims stormed a Catholic church, slaughtered at least six worshippers—including the officiating priest—and then burned the church to the ground.
  • On Sunday, April 28, Islamic terrorists stormed a Protestant church and killed six worshippers, including the 80-year-old pastor and his two sons.  According to a local, “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused.”  So “they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”
  • On April 5, Islamic gunmen entered a Catholic church and murdered four Christians.

Nigeria:  On Sunday, May 26, Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and slaughtered as many as 30 Christians as they walked home after church service.  The Muslim tribesmen also torched approximately 20 Christian households as part of their planned “Islamization” of Nigeria, said a local pastor, adding, “These targeted attacks on innocent Christians are unacceptable, particularly with confirmed arrests of over 30 Christian women [who work as] fruit and food vendors by soldiers … after the attack.”  Separately, on May 18, Islamic gunmen killed a Christian and kidnapped two others at a Baptist church.

Central African Republic: An elderly Christian nun of Spanish/French origins who spent her days teaching young girls how to sew in the African nation was beheaded by a militant group representing and partially composed of Muslim Fulani herdsmen; around the same time the group massacred at least 26 people, in what one report refers to as “one of the biggest single losses of life in the Central African Republic (CAR) since a February peace deal.”

Turkey:  The murder of an elderly Christian man is believed to have been a hate crime.  According to the report, the “86-year-old Greek man was found murdered in his home with his hands and feet tied. He was reportedly tortured”:

Zafir Pinari’s death on May 14 comes just five days before the commemorative anniversary of the Greek Genocide. This genocide was conducted from 1913-1922 by the Ottoman Empire and was the systematic killing of Christian Greek citizens. By … 1923, most of the Greek population were either murdered or had fled the country. A wave of killing of Greek Christians again occurred in the 1960s.  A suspect has been arrested in this case and three others are under investigation. It is not yet clear as to what motivated the murder. However, given the historical context, local press covering the incident are labeling it as a hate crime.

Pakistan: A Muslim man tortured his Christian employee to death after the latter tried to quit his job.   Javid Masih, 45, worked as a livestock farmhand for Abbas Jutt.  According to a source acquainted with the case, “Masih wanted to quit because he was often subjected to discrimination and religious hatred.”  The deceased’s widow confirms: “We had been experiencing religious hatred from [Jutt] and his colleagues, however, we had no courage to register this with police.  We are poor and belong to a downtrodden segment of society. Therefore, we are never heard.  Jutt has damaged our lives and we have nothing to live for now.”

Egypt:  A Muslim employee murdered his Christian supervisor on May 7, “because of his Christian faith” notes a report.  Surveillance footage from a nearby building captured the incident.  While passing each other, the two men speak briefly, before the Muslim man returns with a knife and butchers the Christian, who leaves behind a wife and two boys aged 15 and 9.  “The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began nearly two weeks ago,” the report adds. “It is common for Christians to suffer increased violence and harassment during this time. Persecution is a constant theme of life for Egyptian Christians, as they are already viewed as second class citizens in this Islamic nation.”

Syria: Islamic militants bombed a Christian village; five children and a 35-year-old woman were killed.  “The kids went out to play after some days of calm” near a monastery, explained a local priest, when a rocket struck near them, “instantly killing five and wounding others… the woman was killed in a nearby street by a separate rocket.”

Iraq:  On May 13, Islamic militants connected with the Shia group, Shabak, which is supported by Iran,  broke into the home of two elderly Christian women, a mother and daughter, and repeatedly stabbed them with knives.  Although the mother’s age is unknown, it can be surmised considering that her daughter—who was last reported as “struggling with death” and “in critical condition”—is 69 years old. According to one report, “The women were repeatedly stabbed with a knife and their gold and money were stolen. The two victims were then hospitalized in Mosul. The daughter, who sustained a violent head injury, remains in critical condition.”  Although the two women were subsequently robbed, local Christians say plunder was not the primary motive: “The attackers tried to deliver a message of threat….  I don’t think it was a robbery because they stabbed the daughter on her head by a knife which means the criminals tried to kill them….  You know who could be the ones who may attack Christians. Everyone knows them. But no one can give you the names since they are supported by the militia.”

Separately, in an address delivered in London, the Rev. Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, accused Britain’s Christian leaders of indifference to the genocide of Iraq’s Christians.  Some of his comments follow:

Christianity in Iraq, one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom….  Our tormentors confiscated our present, while seeking to wipe out our history and destroy our future. In Iraq there is no redress for those who have lost properties, homes and businesses. Tens of thousands of Christians have nothing to show for their life’s work, for generations of work, in places where their families have lived, maybe, for thousands of years….  Will you continue to condone this never-ending, organised persecution against us?  When the next wave of violence begins to hit us, will anyone on your campuses hold demonstrations and carry signs that say “We are all Christians”?  And yes I do say, the “next wave of violence”, for this is simply the natural result of a ruling system that preaches inequality, and justifies persecution. The equation is not complicated. One group is taught that they are superior and legally entitled to treat others as inferior human beings on the sole basis of their faith and religious practices. This teaching inevitably leads to violence against any “inferiors” who refuse to change their faith. And there you have it—the history of Christians in the Middle East for the last 1,400 years.

Attacks on Churches

Nigeria: Muslim Fulani herdsmen stormed a church during evening choir practice and kidnapped 17 Christians on May 18.   “As we were in the church, Fulani herdsmen numbering over 20 just surrounded the church and started shooting,” a church member recalled. “Everybody was terrified, but there was no way we could run because they had already surrounded the church. They were asking for the pastor’s house, and they threatened to shoot us if we don’t show them the house. Some of them went to the pastor’s house while others kept watch over us.”

Kenya:  On May 17, a rampaging mob of Somali Muslims destroyed the properties of four churches—Kingdom Gospel for All Nations Ministry, Evangelical Victory Church International, End Time Army Church, and Kale Heywot Church—and injured several Christians.  On the previous day, locals had called police on an outdoor Islamic event because it was getting too loud and rowdy.  Citing “public disturbance,” police responded by pulling the plug on the event.   On the next day, “a group of Muslim adherents stormed our church building armed with stones, machetes, and petrol,” the pastor of one of the destroyed churches said.  “They broke into the church and damaged everything; from chairs to sound equipment. They also attempted to set the church on fire, but police arrived and contained the situation….  After they destroyed the chairs and equipment of this church, they split into small groups and went around stealing from the nearby shops operated by Christians. This was outright persecution of the people that subscribe to the Christian faith.” Another pastor of an attacked church said, “Our freedom of worship has been violated and we can only pray for a time when the Muslim community will allow Christians to worship without fear of being attacked. Our members are now scattered and … we have received notes at our church warning us against going to church, praying and preaching.”  “The influx of the Somali people who are majorly Muslims has posed a great danger to the churches,” said the leader of another attacked church. “They have erected four mosques and are looking for portions to build other mosques. They have been threatening churches to leave so that they can build mosques on those plots.”

Turkey: On May 21, police interrupted a baptismal ceremony while raiding and subsequently shutting down an unauthorized church composed of Iranian Christian asylum seekers. “Turkey does not have a pathway for legalization of churches,” the report adds:

Many are instead forced to register as a foundation or association, and most even then will not be allowed to open a church building. For this reason, many like the church in Bolu are forced to exist in apartment buildings.  It is common for Christians to report harassment and intimidation by the police who monitor their church services. For Iranian Christians, they are often challenged in that as asylum seekers, they are usually housed in extremely Islamic areas who do not want a Christian presence.

Iran:  Authorities directly under the control of the Supreme Leader  raided an Assyrian Presbyterian Church on May 9. They tore the church’s cross down, changed its locks, and made clear that worship was no longer be permitted at the church.  Apparently the church’s crime was that it used the Persian language alongside its own Assyrian language; because the overwhelming majority of Iran’s Muslim population speaks only Persian, conducting church services in that language is seen by the Islamist regime as a seductive threat to the faith of Muslims

Algeria:  Citing a law that requires special authorization for non-Muslim places of worship, authorities shut down another church and its Bible school on May 22.  “I am sad to have to face this injustice,” its pastor said: “We prayed for those authorities who are persecuting us, as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded.” The church had filled all other prerequisites for legalization, and had been waiting for approval since 2017, which never came.   This is the latest of several churches to be closed in recent years.  According to the report,  “Officials have yet to issue any license for a church building under the regulation…Several churches have since received written orders to cease all activities, and authorities have closed a number of them for operating without a license. Islam is the state religion in Algeria, where 99 percent of the population of 40 million are Muslim.”

Egypt: Authorities closed down another church in response to Muslim disapproval.  “This is a very hard situation,” said one local Christian. “You can see kids praying in tears because of their feelings of fear … that is very painful for us as Christians personally. I don’t trust in the government promises, but we have to continue praying for [a] reopening the church.” “Many years ago we were praying in our houses with the priest because there was not an [existing] church,” another local Christian gave background information. “Now there are more than 400 Coptic persons in our village and the number of us increases day by day… During the last feast days (Orthodox Easter) many Copts prayed and the police had secured the building, but then the police asked Bishop Georgius to close the church because some Muslims in the village disagreed.”

Separately, an American professor teaching at Cairo’s American University was fired for refusing to emphasize Islam over other religions during his Religions of the World Class. According to one report,

Professor Adam Duker has taught Comparative Religions at the university since 2016. His dismissal reportedly comes after a conflict with Saudi billionaire Tarek Taher, who maintains close ties to the university.  Taher had requested that Professor Duker focus more heavily on Islam. When Professor Duker refused, his contract was terminated effective October 2019. Professor Duker says that Taher asked him to encourage non-Muslim students to convert to Islam and that Taher wanted his lectures pre-approved before teaching. [A more detailed report on this development appears here.]

Pakistan: “A pastor … received a letter on May 1 warning him that his church would be the site of a terrorist attack unless he paid a ransom of more than $3,500.00,” notes a report. “The threat has many church leaders in Karachi on edge and calling on local authorities to provide their communities with protection….The letter also warned that if Pastor Azeem went to police, there would be consequences like the recent terrorist attacks on churches in Sri Lanka.”

In a separate incident, 38 Christian graves at a Pakistani cemetery were desecrated; the unknown assailants also defaced several crosses fixed to the graves.

Attacks on Apostates and Blasphemers

Uganda:  Muslims burned the home of a former Muslim convert to Christianity and his large family (when still a Muslim he had married three women who gave him 14 children).  Most of the family was indoors and barely made it out in time before the charred roof collapsed.   “We thank God that no one was physically hurt but emotionally are very hurt as we continue receiving threatening messages warning us of a possible attack,” said the father. “The pressure from the extended family and radical Muslims is really troubling my family, and we cannot risk going back to our houses.”  Problems began once Muslims learned the family had embraced Christianity; area Muslims began stoning their home on the same day they saw the family attend church.  Muslim villagers and the imam of the local mosque also began insulting and harassing the family, with one villager saying, “If you do not come back to Islam, then expect something unusual to befall your family.” “Since then,” explained the father, “my family became vigilant, and we even hired a guard to take care of the family during the night, but the stone-throwing continued in one of the houses while the guard was on patrol on the other side of the homestead.”  Even after being made homeless, the family continues to receive threatening messages, including,  “The burning of the house was just warning. If you continue hardening your hearts and fail to return to Islam, then expect a worst thing that you have never seen before.”  “We sincerely need prayers and financial support,” concluded the father. “My family is scattered, and the children are unable to go to school. We gave our lives to Jesus and here we are living a troubled, restless life. The law should bring these perpetrators to book.”

Pakistan: On May 15, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian family accused for allegedly blaspheming against Islam. The incident started after a Christian man asked a Muslim man who was loudly cursing on his phone near the Christian family home to move away.  The Muslim responded with a derogatory, anti-Christian slur, which led to a physical altercation, until the Christian family managed to separate the two men.  That night, the local mosque’s megaphones started blaring out against the Christian household, accusing them of blasphemy and adding: “All the lovers of Islam must gather together and force these demonic creatures out of this village.”  A family member explains what happened next:

This was a horrifying moment for my whole family and other Christians. We felt totally helpless. In our panic we started to get ourselves ready to flee our homes and  get far away from the village, however, we were all to[o] slow. In no time we start to hear Muslims gather outside our home—even the children. The violent mob surrounded our home and all of them had weapons including guns—which were being shot in the air, sticks, axes, poles and farming tools. Even the small children had weapons [and] we feared for our lives. The mob began shouting outside our home asking for our family to exit our home and receive divine retribution for our sin. It did not seem very divine—we just saw raging evil violent people ready to kill us.”  Seven Christian family homes were attacked before the mobs dispersed.

Sexual Abuse of Christians

Indonesia:  A May 23 report says that “ a new form of persecution is on the rise—Christian girls are being targeted by Muslim men…  Influential leaders are literally training young men to target Christian girls to impregnate them”:

They target them to try and sort of diffuse the spread of Christianity because the family of the Christian girl is so ashamed that…they’re forced into marrying that daughter into a Muslim family….  The family, because the shame is so overwhelming, they agree to that… and the Muslims who are being trained to do this, they understand that. That’s why they’re doing that. They’re taking a Christian into a Muslim family so they can influence [her].  Once girls are married into the Muslim families, they’re often cut off from or abandoned by their families and they face even more difficult circumstances.  In some cases, girls are the second or third wife of their persecutor and they have few freedoms.

Pakistan:  Neha Pervaiz, a 15-year-old Christian girl, was raped, forcefully converted to Islam, and married to a 45-year-old Muslim man. “I was taken by my aunt, a Muslim convert, to her house on April 28 to help her look after her sick son,” recalls Neha. “But there I was asked to marry a Muslim man named Imran. When I refused, they beat me up and threatened to kill my minor brother who was with me.”  She was then forced into another room and raped by Imran. “They then pressurized me to convert to Islam and marry Imram.”  Over the following two days she was forced to convert, renamed Fatima, and taken to court where she was illegally married to Imran.  She eventually managed to escape back to her parents.

Egypt: Muslims reportedly kidnapped a Christian wife and mother of three near Cairo. Her family has since received threatening messages saying that unless the woman embraces Islam one of her sons will targeted for slaughter.  After the family took the matter to police, the latter refused to open a case,  suggesting that the woman left her home of her own free will.

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, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed in 2011 to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that occur or are reported each month. It serves two purposes:

1)          To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2)          To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who “offend” Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam;  theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it. (Click to Source)

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President Trump, moved by religious persecution victims’ plight, insists meeting go into overtime

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – With a meeting near its end and more than two dozen victims of global religious persecution about to be ushered out of the Oval Office, President Trump insisted that they stay longer so that he could listen to more of their testimonies and requests for help.

Twenty-seven people from 16 countries who had been or are persecuted for their faith gathered around the president’s desk on Wednesday. Some spoke briefly of their harrowing plights and others simply thanked President Trump for his administration’s efforts to promote and protect religious freedom.

Among the guests was Pastor Andrew Brunson, who languished in a Turkish jail before the Trump administration intervened to secure his freedom.

“What you have in common is each of you has suffered tremendously for your faith,” noted the President as he welcomed his guests to the Oval Office. “You’ve endured harassment, threats, attacks, trials, imprisonment, and torture.”

“Each of you has now become a witness to the importance of advancing religious liberty all around the world,” he said. “It’s about religious liberty.”

“In America, we’ve always understood that our rights come from God, not from government,” continued the President. “In our Bill of Rights, the first liberty is religious liberty. Each of us has the right to follow the dictates of our conscience and the demands of our religious conviction. We know that if people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much.”

“That’s why Americans will never tire in our effort to defend and promote religious freedom,” said the President. “To me, it’s very important. It’s vital. It’s really vital.”

“You’ve been through a lot — more than most people could ever endure,” added the President. “It’s really an honor to be with you, and I will stand side by side with you forever.”

“Thank you for your leadership, standing up for humanity, standing up for religious groups and their rights,” said a man who survived the horrific Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque massacre, where 51 perished. “And God bless you. And God bless the United States.”

“Sir, I am from Bangladesh,” said one woman. “My request is: Please help us. We don’t want to leave our country. Just help, Mr. President. I have lost my home. They burned my home. They’ve taken my land.”

Ms. Zhang, a Falun Gong practitioner, told the President that her husband remains a prisoner for his faith in China. “And the forced organ harvesting still exists.”

“Mr. President, one to three million Uyghur population are locked up in concentration camps in China, including my father, who is now serving a life sentence. I haven’t seen him since 2013,” explained Ms. Ilham.

When President Trump asked her if she is able to communicate with her father, Ilham explained, “I haven’t heard about him since 2017, because that’s when the concentration camps started.”

“Anyone who goes to ask about anybody’s family members’ news will never make their way back to their own homes,” she added.

Esther Bitrus of Nigeria shook the President’s hand as she said, “I escaped from Boko Haram.”

Mr. Ju spoke of his family’s plight in North Korea, saying, “All of them, they are in political prison camp.”

“I don’t know where is; they just took [them] at the dawn,” because they are Christians, said Ju.  He also explained that his cousin’s family had been executed.

Among the last to speak was Nadia Murad, who received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in helping women and children who are victims of abuse and human trafficking.

Murad told President Trump about her harrowing experience as a girl in Iraq: “When ISIS attack us in 2014, they killed six of my brothers. They killed my mom. They took me to captivity with my … sister-in-law, with all my sister and my nieces.”

“Today we have 3,000 Yazidi women and children in captivity,” she added.

During the course of the meeting, Pastor Paula White commended the President for his  courageous leadership. “I have watched, from day one and even before you took this office, you be a relentless fighter for people of all faiths and religious liberty.”

“We see it stateside — from you saying we can say ‘Merry Christmas’ again; to the DOJ passing laws that no other administration could pass to give high holy days to all religions to be able to take off of work and to honor that,” said White.

“So we thank you, President, for being the leader — the courageous leader to stand up not only in our nation, but countries all around, for all faith, of all people that we should have the practice and the right to practice our religion,” she added. (Click to Source)

 

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China Update – A Message from the Church in China

Do you notice anything different about the above photo? It was taken earlier this year, and shows a group of Christians from the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China. The photo shows faithful believers meeting in a public park after their services were shut down and their leaders taken away. Starting last December, more than 100 members of this fellowship have been arrested, with many being tortured in prison.

If you look closely, you will see that many have packed bags next to them as they worship the Lord. They brought their clothes and personal items to the open-air meeting in case they were arrested and taken to prison. Across China right now thousands of churches are going through similar intense hardship.

In this newsletter we would like to give a brief summary of what is presently happening in the Chinese Church. The situation is fluid and changing daily, but our contacts in China have shared the following update, followed by a special message from 2 Corinthians chapter 4, which seems particularly relevant and will hopefully greatly encourage you in your own walk with God.

First, an update on some of the recent developments in China:

* Thousands of churches continue to be closed down, and many pastors and evangelists have been arrested. This is true both of city churches and rural fellowships. The persecution is nationwide, and is the result of the implementation of new anti-religion laws introduced in 2017 and 2018.

* Many large city churches have tried to protect their brothers and sisters in the countryside by providing resources, finances and teaching so their faith will be strengthened and better able to withstand the storm. Although the most severe persecution first affected the cities, it has now spread even to small towns and villages. The majority of Chinese Christians remain poor farmers and factory workers.

* Many house church leaders have gone missing. Large numbers have been arrested, while others have gone into hiding. Invasive technology, however, means it is now very difficult to remain anonymous in China. Some leaders have decided they should simply continue to serve God openly, and they are ready to face whatever consequences their actions may bring.

* Even many government-registered Three-Self churches are undergoing a fiery trial. Video cameras with facial-recognition technology have been placed behind pulpits, facing the congregation, and on the walls above church entrances. Scripture posters have been forcibly removed from the walls of many churches and replaced with portraits of President Xi or the national flag.

* All children’s ministry has been banned. This has always been a particularly sensitive topic for the Communist authorities in China. Children are being encouraged to tell on their classmates if they are involved in any religious activity.

* All over the country various local initiatives have been launched in an attempt to stop the growth of Christianity. For example, in the city of Guangzhou the authorities announced they will pay 10,000 Yuan (about US$1,500) to citizens who disclose the names of any missionaries (foreign or Chinese) who work in their city.

* In Henan, which is the province with the largest number of Christians in China, the authorities have issued a paper entitled, “Christianity’s Enormous Harm on China’s Security.” Such reports show how insecure the government is as they seek to consolidate their hold on power. In reality, Christians in China are the most peaceable, hard-working and obedient members of society.

* There is a massive shortage of Bibles right now. The churches are facing a famine of God’s Word as printing slows down, and in many places appears to have come to a halt. Bibles are becoming increasingly rare, and many websites and apps that enabled believers to access the Scriptures have been blocked by the government. Asia Harvest is one of a few organizations still able to provide Bibles to China’s house church Christians.

Please pray for this urgent need. Without the nourishment of God’s Word, the Body of Christ in China will wither.

A Message from the Church in China (from 2 Corinthians 4)

“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4:1-2).

The first thing that we Christians in China would like the global Body of Christ to know is that we have not lost heart. Although we are experiencing a severe trial and some people have given up the faith, we are thankful for the hardship, because God is pruning His Church. It is vital that all believers know that it’s not Satan or any government that prunes God’s Church. The Master Gardener is our loving and wise Heavenly Father!

The reason the Lord prunes is to make the vine even more fruitful, for He said: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:1-2). Therefore we do not lose heart, for we know our lives are completely in the hands of our all-powerful Lord and Savior. At the moment, He is getting rid of some unfruitful branches among His people in China, so that His Church will be refined and more holy as we march forward in spiritual warfare.

We look forward to the time when we will be more fruitful for the kingdom of God. In the meantime, we will not stop proclaiming the Gospel, and we are willing to lay down our lives if necessary so that all of China will hear about Jesus Christ.

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:3-5).

While our lives are firmly in God’s hands, we also recognize that the source of attacks on the Church is the devil. Mankind has been locked in a fierce battle with Satan ever since God declared: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). The word “enmity” means much more than a separation. This was the commencement of a full-on war to death, as the devil seeks to destroy mankind, especially those people who reflect the character and goodness of God.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Cor. 4:7-9).

We praise the Lord that He sets limits on what man can do to us. Although millions of believers throughout China are now without a church building to go to and countless home meetings have also been closed down, our faith is strong. The truth of God’s Word and the indwelling sweet presence of the Holy Spirit can never be taken from us. We are not afraid, for the Lord Jesus told us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Cor. 4:10).

Hallelujah! Already we are seeing the benefits of this time of purging in China. In many places, instead of being decimated, churches are experiencing growth! The hardship has caused Christians to become more serious about our faith, and the gospel ie being boldly proclaimed, resulting in even more people pressing into the kingdom of God.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

Finally, brothers and sisters around the world, we want to thank God for you, for we are all members of the same family. Thank you for praying for the Church in China! Although your struggles may be different from ours right now, we know that the Lord is passionate for His people, and He will never abandon us. God’s purpose in suffering is always to humble us, so that we will rely not on our own futile strength, but on the power of His might. We want to conclude by reminding all Christians of this exhortation:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:6-9). (Click to Source)

 

 

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POLICE IN NEW ZEALAND LOOKING TO MAKE ARREST OF PERSON WHO LEFT A CHICK GOSPEL TRACT ABOUT ISLAM AND MUSLIMS CALLED ‘MEN OF PEACE’ IN MAILBOX

Police have taken fingerprints and have canvassed the neighbourhood to try and identify who delivered the material. The Pamphlet appears to originate from American evangelical Christian Jack Chick, who was known for his anti-Islam, anti-Judaism, anti-Catholic cartoons.The New Zealand Muslim Association president Ikhlaq Kashkari says he’s pleased the police are taking it so seriously. Mr Kashkari says we must remember these are just fringe elements. Police are urging anyone with similar concerns to contact them and say they are taking the matter seriously.

May 12, 2019

A Sri Lankan woman living in Mt Roskill, who didn’t want to be identified, told 1 News she saw someone leaving the leaflet in her letterbox.

I got saved and began handing out gospel tracts pretty soon after, a practice that I continue to this day. Before creating our own gospel tract, I loved to hand out the Chick gospel tracts. They had a great message, were drawn really well and people really like to read them. I read one about a year before a got saved and it made a strong impression on me. Jack Chick, before his death, dealt with many topics and warned people about the counterfeit Christian church known as Roman Catholicism, warned people about the LGBTQ, warned people about all sorts of topics. Chick also produced many tracts warning people about Islam and Sharia Law. Someone in New Zealand handed out some of these tracts, and now they are wanted by the police.

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20 (KJV)

Do you get the sense that the wide-open window we have enjoyed for so long is starting to close? I do. Yes, this story takes place in New Zealand and not in America, but guess what? America is a kitten’s whisker away from turning Socialist. Could I see Americans in America arrested for handing out gospel tracts if the Democratic Socialists get power? I absolutely do! Read the story below and click on the link to read the new Chick tract on Islam in its entirety, and then ask yourself if it hate speech, or is it the gospel?

This article refers to people who hand out gospel tracts as ‘fringe elements’ and ‘extremists’, and calls for them to be locked up. Locked up for handing out gospel tracts. The door is closing people, and it’s closing fast. Like we always say, if you’re looking to get something done for the Lord, do it soon.

Police investigating after anti-Islam leaflets dropped in Auckland

NEWSNOW NEW ZEALAND: Police are investigating the distribution of anti-Islam material in Auckland letterboxes. She was so concerned about the material she took it to police. “I think they are taking it serious, they came immediately,” she said. Before the Christchurch terror attacks, she’d never seen such material. Mt Roskill is one of Auckland’s most diverse suburbs.

 

Police have taken fingerprints and have canvassed the neighbourhood to try and identify who delivered the material. The pamphlet appears to originate from American evangelical Christian Jack Chick, who was known for his anti-Islam, anti-Judaism, anti-Catholic cartoons.

MEN OF PEACE? Muhammad ended up in the same place as everyone else who rejects Jesus.

The New Zealand Muslim Association president Ikhlaq Kashkari says he’s pleased the police are taking it so seriously.

“It’s quite a significant change from the past. when i’ve reported that messages and emails that are coming through, they’ve said they are just psychological issues. We have been encouraging people to report, because we’ve had the silent majority not speaking for some time so we’re encouraging New Zealand and the community to discuss these things,” he said.

Mr Kashkari says we must remember these are just fringe elements. Police are urging anyone with similar concerns to contact them and say they are taking the matter seriously. (Click to Source)

 
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