While Iran, US Go Head-to-Head, Iranians Are Turning Their Hearts to Jesus

06-26-2019 – Chris Mitchell

 

It may surprise you that the fastest growing church in the world is in Iran.  Yet that’s the assessment of those who have seen and heard the remarkable story of millions turning away from Shiite Islam and turning toward Jesus Christ.

The image Iran presents to the world is large demonstrations with shouts of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’.

Those who have seen Iran from the inside, however, paint a very different picture.

“You can’t believe the images on TV.  Because for example, all the protests you see on the streets, those are mostly contrived.  They’re young people on the streets and they’ve told us if we don’t go to the streets, we won’t get our grades so we’re forced to go and protest,” one Iranian church worker said.

He spoke to CBN News on condition of anonymity.

He says there are two Irans.  The one you see on the news and the other hidden from the world.

“I would say there’s a 10 percent Iran and a 90 percent Iran.  Ten percent control the country in a more oppressive manner, hardline, religious manner and then the majority of the people, 90 percent of the people love America.  They don’t hate Americans.  I think that’s the message that Americans need to hear.  They tell us all the time, we don’t hate Americans, we love America.”

He wants Americans to know that forty years after Iran’s Islamic revolution, there’s another spiritual revolution underway.

“Awaken to the truth that we live in a time that’s very special.  More people have come to faith in Iran in the forty years than in the previous 1400 years.  So, there’s a once, not only in a lifetime, but in history where we have a moment where Iranians are coming to faith at such a rapid rate.”

Frontiers Alliance International (FAI) is producing a documentary called Sheep Among Wolves to introduce the Iranian church to Christians worldwide.

“What’s taking place in Iran right now is spectacular,” says FAI founder and director Dalton Thomas.  “It’s the fastest growing church in the world that owns no buildings, has no 501c3’s, that owns no property, that has no bank accounts; that has no centralized leadership; that has no denominational leaning and yet it’s multiplying like crazy … What the Lord is doing there is staggering.”

The evangelism results in intense persecution that Thomas says leads Iranian believers to seek prayer but not in a way you may think.

“Typically, the way we pray is we expect that they want us to pray for the persecution to end and they say, no, no, don’t do that.  Persecution is growing the church.  When the persecution stops, the growth stops.  What we want is the Gospel to spread far and wide and deep in Iran.”

With Iran and the use on the brink of war, Thomas says it’s important to see what’s happening behind the Iranian veil.

“When Muslims from Iran come in contact with the Man from Nazareth, something beautiful happens.  And when they realize that they have been bought and saved and purchased with Jewish blood; prophesized by Jewish prophets in a Jewish Bible something crazy happens; something beautiful happens and that’s what we’re seeing take place in Iran.”

Thomas believes one day the world may wake up to find Iran’s church growth in the 21stcentury rivaling that in China and Korea in the last century. (Click to Source)

Just like something out of the Bible! Nightmarish swarm of millions of locusts darken the sky over Najran, Saudi Arabia, just weeks after devastating Iran

A few weeks after Iran, swarms of locusts are currently invading southern Saudi Arabia, near Najran, darkening the skies and adding a thick layer of insects to trees. Just like something out of the Bible!

Najran, Saudi Arabia, played host to an invasion of nightmarish proportions when millions of swarming locusts descended over the weekend. On their way from Iran they first crossed Kuwait and its desert before arriving to Saudi Arabia:

Very creepy, isn’t it? Earlier this year, the United Nations warned that swarms of locusts would be bearing down on Saudi Arabia and spreading among the Red Sea thanks to unusually heavy rainfall.

The UN also called on countries in the flight path to take the necessary precautions to ensure the insects make a limited impact.

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جراد؟؟؟

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Locust swarms contain up to 80 million insects per square mile and they can extend for hundreds of square miles.

The biggest fear surrounding locusts is the amount of food they can consume in a short period of time, a “small swarm” weighing about one ton can eat the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.

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نجران الان جراد بشكل غير طبيعي

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Plagues can consume fruits, crops, vegetation in their path ultimately causing devastation to farmers and locals.

Another biblical attack of locusts! (Click to Source)

 
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Iran is facing the worst locust attack in the past 40 years: Biblical invasion threatens crops and food security

A locust outbreak in the Arabian peninsula has been spreading to Iran, threatening crops and food security in large areas of the coastal province of Hormozgan, an official said. Director of a department at Horkozgan’s agricultural organization told Tasnim that Iran is facing the worst locust attack in the past 40 years.

Officials said several swarms of locusts have come from the Arabian peninsula to Iran over the last 10 weeks, some of which have penetrated into farmlands of the province as far as 200 kilometers from the coast.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in February that a locust outbreak in Sudan and Eritrea was spreading rapidly along both sides of the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The FAO also noted that good rains have allowed generations of locust breeding since October 2018, leading to a substantial increase in locust populations and the formation of highly mobile swarms.

The UN agency had also highlighted the control measures in Iran after at least one swarm arrived on the southern coast at the end of January.

Adult locust swarms can fly up to 150 km a day with the wind and adult insects can consume roughly their own weight in fresh food per day.

A very small swarm eats as much in one day as about 35,000 people, posing a devastating threat to crops and food security.

The desert locust is potentially the most dangerous of the locust pests because of the ability of swarms to fly rapidly across great distances.

Plagues of desert locusts have threatened agricultural production in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia for centuries. The livelihood of at least one-tenth of the world’s human population can be affected by this voracious insect. In 1961, desert locusts attacked agricultural lands in Iran and damaged nearly 2.5 million hectares of farms across the country. 

Recently, Iran was hit by the largest flood disaster in 15 years, killing at least 80 people so far.

Maybe, next there will be some frogs? (Click to Source)

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The United States converts S.Arabia into a nuclear force under the “Agenda of the Century” and the Turkey-Iran Prevention

 

The US offers Saudi Arabia the secrets of nuclear technology just like Russia does with Turkey, creating an awe-inspiring rival in the Middle East that becomes dangerously “radioactive” in view of the developments of the Age Agreement for which first has informed pronews.gr

An agreement aimed at “lasting peace” between the Sunni Arab states and Israel and the simultaneous isolation of Shi’ite Iran and Turkey’s imperial aspirations.

US Energy Minister Rick Perry has secretly approved six licenses to companies to deploy nuclear-related technology, related services and technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, reveals a document that was brought to the attention of the Reuters news agency yesterday .

The Donald Trump government implicitly seeks to conclude a much broader agreement to make US nuclear technology available to the United States.

Saudi Arabia is known to seek at least two nuclear power stations. Companies from different countries – the USA, South Korea, Russia – are competing for the project. Which or who the sponsor or sponsors is expected to be revealed by Riyadh this year.

Permissions signed by Perry (“810 Authorizations”) allow US companies to start preparatory work with a view to an agreement, but not to dispose of equipment to be installed in a plant, he explained a source informed of the licenses that were approved, subject to not to be named.

The fact that the permits were signed, the Daily Beast news site first revealed.

According to the Ministry of Energy, the companies were those that the Trabble Government has asked to keep the authorization approvals secret.

US parliamentarians are deeply worried that if the US shares nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, it could potentially trigger a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman had told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if Iran did so, which Riyadh considers his main rival in the region.

In addition, the kingdom reacts to the American claim that any sale accompanied by two clauses would prevent it from acquiring material suitable for the construction of nuclear weapons secretly: a ban on uranium enrichment and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

Congressional concerns over the sale of nuclear technology and the availability of know-how in Saudi Arabia intensified in early October 2018, after Jamal Kassogi, a self-exiled journalist in the United States, was murdered in the consulate of the kingdom in Constantinople.

Authorizations were approved after November 2017, but it is unclear in the document the Reuters saw if some of them were signed after the killing of Casagi.

Democratic MP Brad Sherman has asked US Secretary of State Mike Pombeo to publish the names of the companies that received these licenses by mid-April. Pompeo replied that he would examine it.Sherman also complained that the Government of Trab is trying to avoid Congress in the availability of nuclear technology in Saudi Arabia. Pompeo argued that the government is working to ensure that any agreement on the transfer of nuclear technology does not increase the risk of proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Last month, Democratic MPs complained that White House executives are defying warnings that they may violate the law by working with former officials and the group

IP3 International to promote a multi-billion dollar deal to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

It is ignored if IP3 International is among the licensed companies.

It is noted that Moscow first revealed for the first time that Mr Trump promotes the “Agreement of the Century”, an agreement between the US, Israel and the Arab states, provides for a plan to resolve the Palestinian and Syrian “Israeli mold” and an attack on Iran, something that has been sounding for a long time, but no one confirms it.

It is an agreement that, if achieved, will change the face of the Middle East. For this reason, “diplomatic fever” prevails in all European capitals, Moscow, Washington and throughout the Middle East.

This US government decision is part of the “Solution of the Century” of the pro-Israeli US plan in the Palestinian, ie the implementation of Israeli plans for full annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Jerusalem-West Bank) by Israel, but also full recognition of the Palestinian state. (Click to Source)

New Turkey-Iran-Qatar axis is rising in Middle East, and it has Saudi Arabia furious

Published time: 22 Mar, 2019 16:34

A new alliance being formed by Qatar, Turkey, and Iran, with the potential to receive the backing of Russia and China, is a major concern to the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

The aftermath of over eight years of war in Syria has changed the regional dynamics in a way almost certainly never envisioned by the United States and its allies. Through leaked documents, we have known for some time now that Washington’s interim goal was to, at the very least, destabilise the Assad government in the hopes of scaling back Iranian influence. (Its ultimate goal was quite clearly regime change, which was very close to fruition during at least one stage of the war).

This anti-Assad strategy has, of course, backfired to the point where Iranian-backed forces have essentially amassed along the Syria-Israel border, threatening Washington’s most beloved ally in the region. The other notable – and realistically, most important – development is that Russia, not the United States, emerged out of the rubble of Syria as the major power-broker and military tactician.

However, it seems as though the aftermath of Syria is just the beginning of a tectonic move in a massive direction away from the status quo. Eight years on since the war in Syria broke out, and we are now beginning to see some other major concrete shifts within the regional alliances which has Washington’s traditional allies, particularly Saudi Arabia, starting to tremble.

As of now, Qatar, Iran, and Turkey are forming a regional alliance, which is irking Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States – and they only have themselves to blame. After Saudi Arabia led a coalition of nations that attempted to bully Qatar into submission and accept a long list of inconceivable demands in June 2017, Qatar soon found it could rely on some key partners to weather the Saudi-led storm. These partners are now openly forming a new alliance, which will upend the entire balance of power in the Middle East.

The strengthening of ties between this axis of nations is quite remarkable, when one considers that they each held completely paradoxical positions regarding the Syrian conflict. The horror of this shift from a Western perspective can be seen brilliantly in an Asia Times article entitled ‘America’s Syrian humiliation is worse than it looks’.

When Saudi Arabia blocked Qatar’s only land border and the UAE in turn blocked shipments from its ports to Doha, Qatar quickly found friends in Oman, Turkey, and Iran to bypass this nonsensical blockade. Qatari flights were rerouted over Iranian airspace and Turkey upped the ante on its military presence in the country as a sign of strength and commitment. Eventually, daily life in Qatar could continue quite reasonably. This is not to say that Qatar didn’t experience difficulties, particularly regarding oil prices, real estate prices, tourism, and the slowdown in economic growth. Then again, Qatar was able to draw from its reserves to counter the effects, minimising the damage done by its neighbours.

By the end of 2017, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan had all increased bilateral trade with Qatar, benefitting all four countries. In the less than six months since the ‘Qatar crisis’ had begun, trade between Iran and Qatar reportedly increased by 117 percent. At the time, experts studying the crisis predicted that commercial relations between the two countries would remain intact, even following the closure of the Saudi-led Qatar crisis.

Iran, Qatar, and Turkey also signed a land transportation pact in August of that year which would help reduce the cost and transit period for the exchange of goods. Seeing as Saudi Arabia effectively blockaded the flow of goods into Qatar, it should not be hard to see that even this agreement alone bore major significance.

Qatar for its part has invested heavily in Turkey, well over $20 billion in total. As explained previously by Al-Jazeera, this is the second-highest in terms of value by any country, demonstrating the importance these two nations have given to each other.

By most accounts, the Gulf States need Turkey on their side in order to contain Iran. A recent report published by Middle East Eye revealed how Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt hatched a plan with Israel to scale back the regional influence of Turkey and Iran, with Turkey deemed to be the biggest military threat to these Gulf states’ interests.

As it transpires, the Qatar-Turkey-Iran axis could potentially provide a major buffer to the so-called Arab NATO, which will be headed by Saudi Arabia. While Saudi Arabia appears to have managed to bring Pakistan on side, it still remains that Pakistan shares a border with Iran and relies heavily on China, another key ally of Iran. Islamabad’s anti-Iran stance can therefore only stretch so far.

The fact is that this alliance on the face of it will likely bear the support of Russia and its military will also be of a major concern to the anti-Iran alliance. As it stands, Russia, Iran, and Qatar provide over half of the world’s known gas reserves. Not to mention that Iran and Qatar share the world’s largest gas field, another major concern for the Saudi-led bloc.

Saudi-owned media has already voiced its opposition to this newfound alliance, which can be seen most openly in an article in Al Arabiya entitled ‘How Iran, Turkey use Qatar to undermine regional security and US interest’. According to Al Arabiya, there is a “risk” of Qatar “breaking away from the Arab orbit and posing a serious threat to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.” The Qatar-Iran entente, “previously concealed, is out in the open,” the article also notes.

To put it simply: Qatar has irrevocably joined with Ankara and Tehran against its former Arab allies,” the article’s sources surmise. “It has conclusively positioned itself in a regional alliance that pursues geopolitical dominance by driving instability.”

Qatar is “playing with fire” the article states. At around the same time, Qatar had called for a new alliance to replace the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), further demonstrating this shift in perspective.

According to Russian think tank Katehon, the new Qatar-Iran-Turkey axis is already well underway and has the power to control Asia, west India and Pakistan and challenge the “demonic trio” of the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Do not underestimate the role of small Qatar in this triple alliance with latent empires,” the think tank is cited as saying. “The fact is that the huge financial resources, as well as the successful geographical location of the emirate, allow it to resist even the all-powerful Saudi Arabia, which also claims regional domination.

Thus, international pressure and economic restrictions prompted three completely different states, despite geopolitical differences, to begin rapprochement in the economic sphere. How this will turn out in the future depends primarily on the actions of the United States, which, undoubtedly, will try to break up the emerging triple alliance.” (Click to Source)

 

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

“Is It Really Human Beings Doing This?” Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2019

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Massacres in and Attacks on Churches

Philippines: On Sunday, January 27, Islamic militants bombed a Catholic cathedral during Mass.  At least 20 people were killed and 111 wounded.  Two explosives were detonated about a minute apart in or near the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo around 8:45 a.m.  According to one report, “The initial explosion scattered the wooden pews inside the main hall and blasted window glass panels, and the second bomb hurled human remains and debris across a town square fronting the cathedral.”  Photos on social media showed human bodies and remains strewn on the street just outside the cathedral.  The officiating priest, Fr. Ricky Bacolcol, “was still in shock and could not speak about what happened,” to quote a colleague.  After the first bomb detonated, army troops and police posted outside the cathedral rushed in, at which point the second bomb went off.  Fifteen of the slain were civilians, five military men; 90 of the wounded were civilians.  Located in a Muslim-majority area, the cathedral was heavily guarded as it had been hit before: grenades were hurled at it twice in 2010, both times damaging the building; and in 1997, Bishop Benjamin de Jesus was gunned down just outside the cathedral.  The Islamic State claimed this most recent attack, adding that the massacre was carried out by “two knights of martyrdom” against a “crusader temple.”

Egypt: An Islamic terror plot to bomb a packed Christian church on the evening of January 6,  when Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas, was foiled by police.  According to one report,

[F]our explosive devices were planted around the Church of the Virgin Mary and St Mercurius in … Nasr City.  Three were removed safely but the fourth, concealed in a bag, exploded when police bomb disposal technicians attempted to deactivate it. Police Major Mostafa Ebeid was killed in the blast, which wounded two other officers and a bystander. The explosion was the latest in a series of incidents apparently targeting Egypt’s Coptic Christian population, occurring the day before Orthodox Christmas eve….

Separately, between late December and early January, authorities forcefully shut down four more churches in Egypt after angry Muslim mobs rioted in protest of their existence.  In one instance, on Friday, January 11, over one thousand Muslims surrounded and demanded the instant closure of St. George Church in Minya. Not only did authorities comply but they evicted the two priests who were holed up inside the church and hauled them off in a vehicle used for garbage, prompting “an elated response from a jubilating, gloating mob,” which included triumphant cries of “Allahu Akbar”(Allah is greater; a brief video of the mob can be seen here.)  Police “ behaved with the priests as they would with killers,” one human rights lawyer said.  “What happened frightened us,” added another clergyman. “I am a priest and it is possible for the police to cuff me if the extremist neighboring Muslims protest or gathered in front of my church. Things are getting worse, but let us pray to make God keep us in peace.”  The local Coptic Christian bishopric said in a statement,

This is not the first time a place used for worship by Copts in Minya is closed. The common factor among all closures, however, is that they were done to appease fundamentalists and extremists to the detriment of the Copts. It appears to indicate that extremists now hold the upper hand, and appeasing them is the easy way out of problems….  This comes in the wake of declarations by the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb in favour of churches, also positive talk and actions by President Abdel-Fattah a-Sisi that every Egyptian has the right to practise his or her religion of choice, and to Pope Tawadros’s efforts on that front.

A January 15 report discussing this attack computes that, “In total, Egyptian authorities have closed four churches within the last four and a half weeks. No formal procedures against the attackers of these churches have begun.”

Cameroon: Muslim militants invaded and ransacked two Christian villages in the middle of the night of January 24.   They destroyed 190 homes, plundered and desecrated four churches, set a Christian hospital on fire, and killed livestock.  “Is it really human beings who are doing this?” a local eyewitness was later quoted as saying.   According to the report,

The attack on Gochi and Toufou [the Christian villages] is the fourth by militants in two weeks. In the previous attacks three people were killed and churches and homes were damaged or destroyed….  Christian villages in the far north of Cameroon are subject to attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militias [as] they attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate from north-eastern Nigeria all the way to northern Cameroon, which is where most Cameroonian Muslims live in what is a predominantly Christian country.

Nigeria:  Militant Muslims have destroyed a total of 1,125 churches belonging to one Christian denomination alone, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, which is primarily based in the Muslim majority northeast of the nation, a January 23 report found. The President of the denomination, Rev. Joel Billi continues making appeals for the local Muslim majority government to expedite the rebuilding of these places of worship: “Why are we flagrantly neglected as if we deserve to be punished? If not for the inadequacy of our security forces and political undertone, Boko Haram would not have overrun us. So, why do we pay for the sin that was not committed by us?”

Ghana:  Irate and machete wielding Muslim youth vandalized a church after its pastor predicted that the Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharunutu would die this year. Afterwards they made a video giving the pastor an ultimatum to withdraw his prophecy or else: “We’re warning you,” said the group leader. “You have only 24 hours to capture yourself in a video to apologise to all Muslims. Don’t bring your fake prophecies on the Muslims or our Chief Imam. If you don’t apologise, we’ll drink your blood.”

Indonesia: A Muslim mob stormed a house church meeting on Sunday, January 13, in the North Sumatran capital of Medan.   Video footage shows a loud and angry throng led by men wearing Muslim skullcaps and women in hijabs surrounding a pastor’s residence, which had allegedly been converted into a place of worship for use by the Bethel Indonesia Church congregation.  The mob shouted at and shoved Christians in attendance before forcing the service to a close.  “We didn’t do things that were prohibited,” wrote one church member on Instagram. “We only wanted to pray, but why was our church attacked this morning? Where is justice in this country? Where is our religious tolerance? God is with us.”  Due to this and similar incidents, Christians are increasingly  “feel[ing] intimidated to worship in their own country,” the report notes, before adding that:

members of the congregation claim that they have obtained some permits for the building to function as a house of worship but are still missing some documents, which they say have been difficult to obtain from government officials, especially during the recent holiday period.  In September, authorities in the East Sumatran city of Jambi sealed three churches, which had been used as places of worship for over a decade, because they lacked official permits. An administrator at one of the churches said they were given no warning prior to the closure and that he suspected the churches were shut due to pressure from certain groups who threatened to protest if they remained open. Officials from one of the churches said their attempts to obtain the proper permits had proven difficult as government officials [in the Muslim majority nation] always denied them.

Algeria: After authorities shut down their church, a 300-strong Christian congregation began to meet and worship in a tent—only to be forced out of and ordered to dismantle it as well on January 28.  The tent was erected on the grounds of Azaghar Church, allowing the congregation to continue worshipping following the forced closure of their church on spurious “health and safety” reasons.  According to one report,

The church … lost the use of its building in October 2018, despite the congregation responding to requests to install fire exits and fire extinguishers.  While conversion from Islam is not a criminal offence in Algeria, those who witness to Muslims potentially face a five-year jail sentence.  The officially recognised church had been open for five years and is a powerful ministry to local Muslims. ….  A number of churches have been shut down since the start of 2018, either for alleged breaches of health and safety, or because authorities claim they are not properly registered.

Violence against Christians and Conversion Pressure

Uganda:  Muslims beat and hospitalized a Christian woman for praying to Christ in her home.  “Today we have come to warn you that you should avoid noisy prayers and the use of Issa [Jesus] in your prayers,” one of the four assailants informed Deborah Gimbo’s after bursting into her home.  They added that a local cleric had said that “people who pray in Jesus’ name should be fought and pressured until they accept only worship of Allah, or else be killed.”  “I cannot stop praying,” she responded, “and more so, Issa [Jesus] is my Lord and Savior, and I will continue praying in His name….  Immediately two of the intruders left the house, and in no time entered the room again with sticks and started beating me. I was hit on my face, and blood started flowing down my face as I started shouting for help.”  Neighbors came to her rescue; she was hospitalized for two days.

Iran:  During their final appeal hearing held on January 15,  two Christians “were asked by presiding judges Hassan Babaee and Ahmad Zargar to renounce their faith, but refused to do so,” says one report.  Earlier, on September 22, 2018, the two, Saheb Fadaie and Fatemeh Bakhteri, were sentenced to prison on the charge of “spreading propaganda against the regime,” and “promoting Zionist Christianity.”  The January 15 verdict also “claimed that discussions of Christian doctrine held in house churches were considered attacks on Islam.”  A human rights activist familiar with the case elaborated:

The conviction of Mr Fadaie and Ms Bakhteri for asserting Christian doctrine is not only a grave violation of their right to espouse a religious belief of their choosing, but also criminalises the Christian faith, which the Iranian constitution purports to recognise…. We call for the verdict against Mr Fadaie and Ms Bakhteri to be overturned, and urge the Iranian authorities to ensure due process in cases involving religious minorities. We also continue to urge the Iranian government to cease all forms of harassment and intimidation of peaceable religious communities, and to release all those detained in connection with their religion or belief.

Somalia: “It’s very dangerous for anyone to identify you as a Christian in this country,” an underground pastor going by the pseudonym of John explained in a January 7 report concerning the dangers of being outed as a Christian in the Islamic Horn of Africa. “You will, in fact, be counting your days on Earth.  So we are always silent as long as we meet and share the word of God in private.”  The report elaborates:

Hundreds of Christians in Somalia, typically foreigners from nearby countries who work across the East African nation, fear [that] Muslim extremists — both jihadists in al-Shabab, a group linked to al-Qaida, and rogue elements among their otherwise peaceful neighbors — would kill them if they knew they held Christian services.  Around 99.8 percent of Somalis are Muslim….  In recent years, the situation for Christians in the Horn of Africa has worsened, as illustrated by killings shared on social media. In the region under the control of al-Shabab, the militants hunt for Christians.

Attacks on Muslim Converts to Christianity

Kenya: “Muslim policemen on Saturday (Jan. 19) beat and arrested a Christian man on the outskirts of Nairobi, in retaliation for refusing to recant Christianity,” states one report. “Accompanied by two Muslims of Somali descent who had attacked him previously, the policemen arrived at the home where Hassan (surname withheld for security reasons) lives with his widowed mother, and the officers along with the two others punched, kicked, trampled and struck him with blunt objects…”  According to his mother:

The police arrived and carried Hassan away with blood flowing from his body. My son’s leg is bruised, he has serious chest and back pain, he is unable to walk and some of his teeth were removed.  My family is in danger, where are we going to hide ourselves? I cannot go back to Islam. I am better dying with my family than going back to Islam….I have suffered several persecutions from the Muslims for converting to Christianity….  My stomach is ailing from the attack I suffered few years ago. I cannot stand in an upright position. I and my family have chosen the cause of Christ. No turning back.

Sudan/Egypt:  A January 31 report recounted the persecution experienced by a former Muslim woman turned Christian. Ebtehaj Alsanosi, 42, “had fled to Egypt in 2005 after being jailed five times for her faith in Sudan.”  She eventually married another convert who had also fled Sudan and birthed a daughter.  Her persecutors eventually tracked her down, kidnapping her on the way to market in Egypt:

They called her name, grabbed her, covered her nose and mouth, twisted her hands and sprayed some chemical on her that left her unconscious…They took her to the windowless room in an unknown house where they poured water on her, pulled her hair and tied her hands and legs to a chair, all the while shouting her name. Covering her eyes, they reminded her of her Islamic upbringing in Sudan, and how after her school years she moved with her family to Saudi Arabia. Her Sudanese father, they reminded her, is a sheikh (Islamic teacher) in Saudi Arabia.

“You are disgrace to your Muslim family, you brought shame to the family,” they yelled at her as they beat her. “You are ‘kafira’ [infidel].”  They ordered her to return to her Sudanese family in Saudi Arabia, otherwise, she, her husband, and daughter aged 11 would all be slaughtered.  “I will not go back to Islam—I hate Islam,” she shot back, prompting them to beat her even harder.  One of her abductors then brought “a copy of the Koran and began reciting verses that call for the killing of those who leave Islam”—even as they all shouted “Allahu Akbar”  in between recitals.  “The extremists then untied her, forced her to lie on the floor and ripped her clothes. In spite of her pleas to stop, they raped her in turns.” One of the men said, “This is lesson number one.”  They continued abusing and beating her, asking after each torture session if she was ready to renounce Christ and resubmit to Muhammad, only for her to refuse.  She was eventually struck unconscious, and when she came to, was lying in the middle of a busy street.

A separate January 21 report revealed the sufferings of a Muslim man who also fled from Sudan to Egypt after converting to Christianity.  Osman “left Khartoum in April 2014 after police from Sudan’s Criminal Investigation Department accused him of apostasy, punishable by death in Sudan.”  At one point, “National police arrested him from the streets of Khartoum, covered his eyes with a cloth and took him into secret detention, where they tortured him for three weeks…  He was suspended from the ceiling while agents poured cold water on him, leaving his left hand permanently damaged…”  “[T]hey told me they were going to kill me if I do not return back to Islam,” he explained.  “I fled Sudan for my life after I learned that my life was in danger.”  Before long, however, unknown persons in Cairo began sending him death threats via phone texts.  Most recently, his apartment was raided and his passport stolen, prompting him to go into hiding.   “My life is in great danger as Egypt is becoming an insecure place for me,” Osman was last reported as saying.

Uganda: The story of a mother and daughter who were driven out of their home by their Muslim husband/father after they converted to Christianity appeared in a January 7 report.  According to Adijah, the mother:

All the years that I was a Muslim, I found nothing wrong with it. But last year, when I was listening to a radio program about Jesus, I started thinking about Christianity and why there was so much enmity between Muslims and Christians. I did not know [it then, but it] started my journey to Christianity.  My husband learned that I had accepted Christ when he found a Bible in the house. I pleaded with him to allow me to try out my new faith and see how far I would go, but he was reluctant. Within days, he became hostile towards me and Nuriah [the daughter] who had also started reading the Bible. I was given a one-week ultimatum to decide if I wanted to become a non-Muslim and follow the lost religion of Christianity.

Knowledge of her apostasy from Islam eventually spread throughout the region and extended family and others urged her husband to drive her out: “You are an infidel,” he eventually burst out.  “I do not want to see you here. Pick your clothes and leave with Nuriah because she has also started reading the Bible and singing Christian hymns. See the shame and destruction you have brought to us. Nuriah used to be a good Muslim, but now she hides and goes with you to church.”

The following day before we left [continues Adijah], he had uprooted all the cassava crops I had planted. Shouting at the top of his voice, he threatened to take back everything that he had put under my name so that I will not inherit any property from him. He said these were the dire consequences of forsaking Allah and his prophet and following after other gods.

According to his daughter, Nuriah, “I am ready to become a Christian, but my father might look for me and beat me. I still love my father but he doesn’t want us to worship the way we want. He should not force us into Islam. One of our relatives has informed us that my father is looking for ways to kill us.”  He has since remarried. “I hear that he has looked for a Muslim lady and they are staying together in the same house we used to live,” said his ex-wife. “We live in fear because we don’t know what he is planning to do to us.”   The destitute mother and daughter have experienced much  poverty and turmoil since, and were last reported as taking refuge with a Christian family in another part of the nation.

Separately in Uganda, a former Muslim turned Christian lives in fear for his life after local Muslims razed the church he led to the ground and threatened him with death for apostatizing and causing other Muslims to apostatize from Islam.    “A gang of radical Muslims entered the church compound,” Simon Mustafa Waseke, who became Christian in 2017, recalled, “and pulled down the church building while shouting ‘Allah Akbar [Allah is greater], away with this church and Pastor Mustafa Waseke. No more prayers in this place, or else you will all lose your lives,’ and in no time the church was on its ground.”  A clandestine Christian in touch with the Muslim community informed him that they are plotting his murder:  “Even if am given police protection, I am not sure of the security of my members of the church, who are now very fearful.  I am at a crossroads of not knowing what to do. My church members are scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Soon their faith in Christ will diminish, and they will possibly return to Islam…. The Muslims are now out to kill me and my family—we are having sleepless nights.  How long are we going to hide ourselves from our enemies of Christianity? Please pray for us.”

Pro-Muslim and Anti-Christian Bias in the West

United Kingdom: A Christian man who had been residing in the UK for 15 years was in early January deported back to Pakistan, even though he had been persecuted there.  Asher Samson, 41, “first arrived in the UK in 2004 to carry out his theology training in order to become a pastor, but later applied for asylum after receiving threats from Islamic extremists during visits home,” notes a report. His former pastor, Rev Lorraine Shorton from Hall Green United Community Church, described his current situation:  “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. Pakistan is number five on the World Watch List for extremism against Christians and it’s just disgraceful really that we’re sending people potentially to their death…. Pray that the government will see sense.”

Another separate report from January 20 asserts that, when it comes to offering asylum, the UK “appears to discriminate in favour of Muslims” instead of Christian minorities from Muslim nations. Statistics 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.”

New Zealand:  Of those foreign nationals offered asylum between October 31, 2017 and October 31, 2018, seven were from Iraq, 105 from Afghanistan, and 277 from Syria—yet all were Muslims a report found: “Figures for previous years … are equally bleak. In 2016, only six Christians were among the 377 Syrians granted sanctuary, and in the five weeks up to 10 February 2017 no Christians were among the 45 Syrians, all Muslims, who were allowed to settle. Christians made up 10% of the population of Syria before the war.”  Responding to this disparity, a government spokesman said refugees were considered for resettlement on the basis of “their protection needs and not religious affiliation.”  However, considering that the Islamic State regularly targets people based on their “religious affiliation” suggests that Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities have many more “protection needs” than Muslims.

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.

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface 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 third-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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Damascus To Become A “Ruinous Heap”?: Syria Threatens To Attack The Golan Heights And Israel Prepares For War

The winds of war are blowing once again, and it isn’t going to take much to spark a major conflict in the Middle East.  This week is the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the civil war in Syria, and after the nightmare that the people of Syria have been through, you would think that the Assad regime would be eager for peace.  But instead, Assad appears to be ready to go for broke.  If Syria can spark a Middle East war that results in the complete destruction of Israel, Assad would be remembered as a hero in the Islamic world forever.  Instead of a legacy of civil war and crushing poverty, Assad’s legacy would be one of wartime leader that brought total victory over Syria’s most hated enemy.  But of course such a conflict would be a huge risk, because if it went badly the city of Damascus would be completely flattened and the nation of Syria as we know it today would be entirely destroyed.  And considering how overwhelmingly powerful the Israeli military is, it would seem to be a very foolish risk to take.  Unfortunately, Assad does not appear to be thinking rationally.  On Thursday, Syria officially threatened “to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights”.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post…

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Of course Israel is never going to leave the Golan Heights.  We all know how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels, and on Monday his main opposition in the upcoming election expressed similar sentiments…

Blue and White party politicians Gabi Ashkenazi, Yair Lapid, Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon visited the Golan Heights on Monday and vowed never to give it up.

“We will increase the numbers of residents in the Golan, sending a resounding message to all – we will never relinquish the Golan Heights,” Gantz said.

Let us hope that Syria is bluffing, because if Syria attacks the Golan Heights it will start a war.

And it is a war that Syria could not possibly hope to win on their own.  But Assad doesn’t plan to take on Israel by himself.

Over the last several months, Israel has repeatedly attacked Iranian forces inside Syria.  The Iranians have been fighting on Assad’s side in the Syrian civil war, and the Israelis are afraid that when everything is all said and done that the nation of Syria will end up being totally dominated by Iran.  The following comes from Haaretz…

For Iran, its domination of Syria is key to achieving its long-standing dream of a “Shiite crescent,” extending through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, to the Mediterranean and of establishing a permanent ground, air and naval presence on Israel’s border. Iran’s ability to do so has been impeded to date only by the small and dwindling U.S. force in eastern Syria and hundreds of Israeli airstrikes that have, so far, successfully thwarted Iran’s efforts.

Although Israel has become a powerful and essentially secure state, capable of demonstrating restraint in the face of the many challenges it faces, this would constitute a dire and unacceptable change in the balance of power, one that Israel cannot tolerate and must prevent – even at the expense of war.

The Iranians have stated that they are no longer going to tolerate Israeli airstrikes, and their military leadership is fully ready to go to war.  If war does erupt between Israel and Syria, it seems very unlikely that Iran would stay out of it.

And without a doubt, Iranian targets would be among the first to get hit in a war between Israel and Syria, and the Netanyahu administration has been very clear that Israel is preparing for a war with Iran…

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran. It comes at a particularly delicate moment, as the Trump administration uses a U.S.-organized summit in Warsaw and this week’s 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution to try to rally the world against the government in Tehran.

Such a war would be incredibly bloody, and the moment that missiles began to fall on Tel Aviv the Israelis would not hesitate to use nukes on Damascus and Tehran.

Let us hope that cooler heads prevail.

Meanwhile, the situation in Venezuela continues to unravel as well.  Sunday was the fourth day for the nationwide blackout, and Nicolas Maduro is blaming the failure of the power grid on a U.S. cyberattack…

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro – who is facing a challenge to his rule by the leader of the opposition-led congress, Juan Guaido – has blamed the blackout on an act of “sabotage” by the United States at the Guri hydroelectric dam, but experts say it is the outcome of years of underinvestment.

“The national electrical system has been subject to multiple cyberattacks,” Maduro wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “However, we are making huge efforts to restore stable and definitive supply in the coming hours.”

Hopefully the U.S. was not behind the cyberattack, because a cyberattack is an act of war.

And since nobody has asked the U.S. Congress for permission to go to war, such an attack would be in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, relations with North Korea are rapidly deteriorating as well.  In fact, Kim Jong-Un appears to be preparing to provoke the U.S. by launching a missile…

Following President Donald Trump’s stalemate talks with Kim Jong-Un, it appears North Korea may be preparing to launch a missile or rocket some time soon.

Earlier this week North Korea sparked outrage after satellite images revealed the nation was ‘rapidly rebuilding’ its Sohae Launch Facility, a long-range missile launch site.

New images reveal activity may have also resumed at a second site near Pyongyang, known as Sanumdong, where intercontinental ballistic missiles and satellite-launching rockets are assembled.

We truly do live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and this could very easily be a year of war for the United States.

Unfortunately, our military is not in very good shape right now.  In fact, in RAND’s recent “simulated World War III scenarios” the U.S. just kept on losing…

In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND’s wargames show how US Armed Forces – colored blue on wargame maps – experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can’t thwart Russia or China – which predictably is red – from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he warned.

Over the past decade, the U.S. military has been dramatically transformed, and not for the better.

But even if our military was in the condition that it should be, we should still not desire war, because in this day and age weapons of mass destruction have made full-blown war between major powers absolutely unthinkable. (Click to Source)

 

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Iran Urges Pakistan to Crush Terrorists ‘Whose Source of Financing & Arms Known’

MIDDLE EAST

Tensions between Iran and Pakistan escalated last month after a deadly car bombing attack on a bus carrying Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps servicemen killed at least 27 and left 13 others wounded, with two Pakistani nationals suspected of involvement in the crime.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to take “decisive” action against the al-Qaeda* linked Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group which claimed responsibility for the deadly 13 February terror attack against IRGC forces on a highway in eastern Iran near the Pakistani border.

‘We are awaiting your decisive action against these terrorists,” Rouhani told Khan in a phone call on Saturday, as quoted by Press TV.

The Iranian leader added that Iran was “fully ready to cooperate with the Pakistani Army and government to eradicate these terrorists, whose presence is not in favour of us, you or the region.”

“We should not allow decades of friendship and fraternity between the two countries to be affected by the actions of small terrorist groups, the source of whose financing and arms is known to us both,” Rouhani stressed.

Tehran earlier accused Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States of facilitating terrorist violence against Iran.

Khan reportedly responded that Pakistani forces had closed in on the terrorists’ hideouts, and that there would soon be “good news” for Iran.

“It is in Pakistan’s own interest not to allow our territory to be used by terrorist groups, and the Pakistani army is prepared to confront the terrorists more decisively with the information provided by Iran,” the Pakistani prime minister said, according to Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency.

ran has repeatedly called on Pakistan to tighten its policy against sheltering al-Qaeda-linked terrorists operating on its territory. Last month, IRGC Commander-in-Chief Ali Jafari urged Pakistan to “punish” the militants responsible for the 13 February attack in a timely fashion, warning that if Islamabad failed to do so Iran would “retaliate against the terrorists” in full accordance with international law.

The calls echoed demands by Indian officials asking Pakistani authorities to crack down on terrorism in the Pakistani-controlled portion of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Tensions between the nuclear-armed nations skyrocketed last month after Indian Air Force jets violated Pakistani airspace to strike a training camp belonging to an al-Qaeda-linked group which claimed responsibility for a terror attack which killed over 40 Indian military personnel in Kashmir on 14 February. (Click to Source)

*A terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

 
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Report: “11 Christians Killed Every Day for Their Faith”

by Raymond Ibrahim

  • One of the most noteworthy trends concerns the “shocking reality of persecution against women…. In many places, they experience a ‘double persecution’ — one for being a Christian and one for being a woman.”
  • Another trend that should send an alarm is that, “For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10” — meaning Christians there are now experiencing “extreme persecution.”

Last year, Christians were persecuted more than ever before in the modern era — and this year is expected to be worse: “4,136 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons,” according to Open Doors USA in its recently published World Watch List 2019 (WWL) of the top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted. “On average, that’s 11 Christians killed every day for their faith.” Additionally, “2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned” in 2018, and “1,266 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.”

Whereas 215 million Christians faced persecution in 2018, 245 million will suffer in 2019, according to Open Doors — a 14% increase, that represents 30 million more people abused for their faith. This means that “1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide” (note: all quotations in this article are from the WWL 2019).

One of the most noteworthy trends concerns the “shocking reality of persecution against women.”

“In many places, they experience a ‘double persecution’ — one for being a Christian and one for being a woman. Even in the most restricted circumstances, gender-specific persecution is a key means of destroying the minority Christian community.”

Last year’s WWL provided more specific numbers: “At least six women every day are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage to a Muslim man under the threat of death for their Christian faith…”

Another trend, one that should send an alarm, is that, “For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10” — meaning Christians there are now experiencing “extreme persecution”:

“Christians have been targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists more each year. Since the current ruling party took power in 2014, attacks have increased, and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith — including Christianity — is viewed as non-Indian. Additionally, in some regions of the country, converts to Christianity from Hinduism experience extreme persecution, discrimination and violence.”

The most obvious trend remains unchanged:

“Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians. In seven out of the top 10 World Watch List countries, the primary cause of persecution is Islamic oppression. This means, for millions of Christians — particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families — openly following Jesus can have painful consequences. They can be treated as second-class citizens, discriminated against for jobs or even violently attacked.”

Not only is that responsible for the persecution Christians face in seven of the ten worst nations; 38 of the 50 nations making the list are Muslim-majority.

Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Sharia. In Afghanistan (ranked #2), “Christianity is not permitted to exist” because it “is an Islamic state by constitution, which means government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile toward adherents of any other religion.” Similarly, in Somalia, (#3), “The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence.” In Iran (#9), “society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted.”

While the forms persecution and actors behind them vary, many seem connected to Islam. For example, “Under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws, Christians continue to live in daily fear they will be accused of blasphemy — which can carry a penalty of death.” In Libya (#4), Yemen (#8), Syria (#11), Iraq (#13) war has given rise to Islamic militancy and general lawlessness, both of which prey on Christian minorities.

In Muslim nations where Christians make up a minority, a significant quantity of churches might be needed to meet their numbers — the visibility of which may offend Muslim sensibilities. Thus in Egypt (#16), where Christians number at least 10% of the population (possibly even double that):

“Severe restrictions on building or securing places for worship prevent Christians from congregating, in addition to hostility and violence toward believers who do gather. In recent years, Islamic extremist groups have targeted Christians and churches in numerous violent and deadly acts of persecution.”

“The spread of radical Islam across sub-Saharan Africa” is another growing and troubling trend. For example,

“Nigeria’s score for violence [99.9%] has stayed as high as possible, primarily due to the increased attacks on Christian communities by militant Fulani herdsmen. These attacks claimed the lives of hundreds of believers during the reporting period, and villages and churches burned to the ground. Additionally, in parts of northern Nigeria, Christians are treated as second-class citizens.”

Some WWL’s findings are surprising. Although Orthodox Christians are the majority of its population, the Russian Federation is #41, and the “source of persecution” is, again, “Islamic oppression”: “Christians in parts of Russia dominated by Islam report the highest level of persecution.”

Despite the role of religion, North Korea (#1) remains the worst nation, where “never-ending pressure and violence” is directed against Christians:

“The primary driver of persecution in North Korea is the state. For three generations, everything in the country has focused on idolizing the Kim family. Christians are seen as hostiles to be eradicated.”

As difficult as it is for Christians identified by the Kim regime, there may be some eventual relief for them and those in other communist nations (such as China, #27): cults of personalities might last so long, but in the Arab and Muslim world, where, sadly, there seems to be little or no education to respect religious differences, the weight of the dominant religion continues to permeate all of society. (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.

Recovery Room 7 is a community of people with similar backgrounds, where people from all walks of drug & alcohol recovery can meet together, share, socialize, interact, join in fun activities, share meals, pray and learn. It’s a place of joy and awakening to their true purpose in life. Jesus Christ is always present and ready to receive everyone in Recovery Room 7. We will be located in beautiful Northwest Montana. If you would like to donate to get Recovery Room 7 up and running, please go to our PayPal Donation Link here.

 

The Prophetic Impact Of A U.S. Withdrawal From Syria

magogallianceaug202018

BY BRITT GILLETTE/END TIMES BIBLE PROPHECY FEBRUARY 19, 2019

Back in December, President Trump said the United States will soon withdraw military forces from Syria. In a video tweet, he announced American military personnel are “all coming back, and they’re coming back now.”
He never provided a timeline for withdrawal. However, Department of Defense officials claimed the withdrawal would take 30 days. A week later, President Trump changed the timeline from 30 days to 4 months.
And since then, John Bolton, President Trump’s national security advisor said certain conditions could leave American troops in Syria for months or years to come. Nevertheless, the U.S. withdrew some equipment in mid-January.
So which one is it? Will they stay or will they go? As of now, it’s unclear when or if American forces will completely withdraw. But if they do, the implications will be significant. A U.S. withdrawal will create clear winners and losers.
The Winners
U.S. troops and their allies in Syria currently control about one-third of the country. Their presence provides a check on the actions of others in the region. If the U.S. pulls out, it’s uncertain their current allies can maintain control of that territory. In all likelihood, it will be divided among other competing interests. Here are the leading candidates:
Russia – If the U.S. pulls out of Syria, one of the biggest winners will be Russia. Russia is a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia’s relationship with the Assad family goes back to the Cold War era and the days of the Soviet Union. With vital naval and air bases in Syria, Russia can’t afford to see Assad toppled. This is why Russia entered Syria in 2015 with thousands of ground troops and air support. Russia’s entry turned the tide of the Syrian civil war.
Because of this, Assad owes his survival to Russia. This means, without U.S. influence in Syria, Russia alone will decide its future. The U.S. won’t have any leverage when it comes to shaping post-war Syria. This will make Russia a big winner in the Syrian conflict. It secured its only naval and air bases in the Mediterranean. It also expanded its role in Syria as well as its Middle Eastern sphere of influence.
Iran – Iran is another big winner. If the U.S. leaves, Iran and Russia will be the most powerful forces left. As Assad’s two closest allies, they’ll have a free hand to do whatever they want. Iran has long sought to dominate the region, if not directly, then through the use of proxy armies such as Hezbollah. A U.S. withdrawal gives Iran a clear path to the Mediterranean. Iran will have a corridor to transport troops and weapons to regional allies (such as Hezbollah) in both Lebanon and Syria.
This also gives them the ability to position their own military forces and intelligence assets on Israel’s border. Since first entering Syria in 2015, the U.S. has worked to disrupt Iranian activities from areas it controls (either directly or through allies). If the U.S. leaves Syria, these activities will stop. This will only enhance Iran’s power and influence.
Turkey – Turkey also wins big from a U.S. withdrawal. Turkey already controls territory in northern Syria. In Syria, the U.S. allied itself with Turkey’s longtime enemy, the Kurds. Kurdish forces control large areas of Syrian territory, including areas along the Turkish border. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would love to remove them, but the U.S. presence in Syria has held him back.
The risks associated with an attack on the Kurds are too great. Any incident between Syrian and U.S. troops will trigger a crisis. But if the U.S. leaves, all that changes. The risk of an accidental military conflict with the U.S. disappears. Turkey will be free to attack Kurdish forces.
The Losers
Russia, Turkey, and Iran are the clear winners. But a U.S. withdrawal will also create losers. Two in particular stand out:
The Kurds – The Kurds are a Middle Eastern ethnic group living in an area covering parts of northern Iran, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and southeastern Turkey. Each nation has long seen the Kurds as a threat to break off and form their own nation. Due to a long history of conflict, Turkey views the Kurds as a terrorist group and a threat to Turkish national security.
Despite protests from Turkey, the United States allied itself with the Kurds to fight Islamic State terrorists. To date, the alliance has been successful. It severely diminished the Islamic State presence in Syria. The alliance has also protected the Kurds from a Turkish attack. All that will change if the U.S. withdraws from Syria. Abandoned, the Kurds will almost certainly face a Turkish invasion.
Israel – While the Kurds face a potential conflict with Turkey, by far the biggest loser when it comes to a U.S. withdrawal from Syria is Israel. Removing U.S. forces from Syria will have huge implications for Israeli security.
A U.S. pullout means a permanent presence of Iranian forces on Israel’s border. This means Iran can directly supply Hezbollah and other terrorist groups with advanced weapons and rockets that can reach deep into Israeli territory. The presence of Iran and its proxy groups in Syria poses a mortal threat to Israel.
While Iran could directly attack Israel now, it would almost certainly be destroyed by an Israeli counterattack. But if Iran attacks Israel through proxy groups such as Hezbollah, it can claim it had no hand in the attack. This only increases the likelihood of war.
Russia is no friend of Israel either. Russia has a history of anti-Semitism and aligning itself with Israel’s enemies. As the region’s sole nuclear power, Israel is Russia’s key obstacle to spreading control and influence throughout the oil rich Middle East.
Meanwhile, Israel’s longtime ally Turkey is breaking ties with its secular past. Erdogan is pushing Turkey toward a more antagonistic stance when it comes to the U.S. and Israel. In short, post-war Syria is more of a threat to Israel than the pre-war Assad regime.
It’s not a stretch to imagine all three of these nations – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – uniting in opposition to Israel. And right now all three are consolidating power on Israel’s northern border. In doing so, they’re setting the stage for the fulfillment of a 2,600 year old prophecy.
Where We’re Headed
Long ago, the prophet Ezekiel described an invading force that will form in the last days. In Ezekiel 38-39, he describes this force in detail. Ezekiel said invaders will come from the north of Israel, and a man named Gog will lead them (Ezekiel 38:2-6). Here are the nations who will join Gog, followed by their modern day names:
Rosh = Russia
Magog = Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan
Persia = Iran
Cush = Sudan
Put = Libya
Meshech, Tubal, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah = Turkey
Notice anything? That’s right. The three most powerful nations on the list – Russia, Iran, and Turkey – now reside in Syria. If U.S. troops pull out of Syria, their absence will pave the way for further influence in Syria from these three nations. They’ll consolidate their power until every square inch of the nation becomes a de facto province of one of the three. On February 14, the leaders of Russia, Iran, and Turkey met in Sochi, Russia to devise a joint plan to wipe out terrorists in Syria.
Their military forces are now cooperating in Syria. This puts their joint military forces right on Israel’s border. And not just any border – Israel’s northern border. Ezekiel said this invasion force will come from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). So now we have the three most powerful nations in Gog’s invading force cooperating with each other and stationed on Israel’s northern border. Is this mere coincidence? I don’t think so.
Never before have the military forces of these three nations been on Israel’s northern border at the same time. And never in the history of the world, have the three cooperated militarily. Until now… The Bible said this would happen, and here we are.
The stage is now set for the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecies. Eventually, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other nations in the Gog of Magog alliance will send an overwhelming invasion force against Israel (Ezekiel 38:8-9). The world will not come to Israel’s defense (Ezekiel 38:15-16). But God will. He’ll put His full power on display and supernaturally destroy Israel’s invaders (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
So what does this mean? It means you should expect more and more events in Syria to align with Ezekiel’s account. Expect this alliance to get closer. Expect Israel to become more isolated. And expect the other nations Ezekiel cited to join Russia, Iran, and Turkey.
Most of all, recognize we’re in the last days (Ezekiel 38:8; Ezekiel 39:25-29), and live your life in expectation of the soon return of Jesus Christ. (Click to Source)
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