“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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Report: Kenyan Women Sterilized, Latest Tragedy in Long History of “Tainted” Vaccines

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1974 memo authored by Henry Kissinger recommended “injectable contraceptives” for women. Where are the SJW’s?

Recent reports are claiming that hundreds of thousands of Kenyan women have been sterilized after receiving tetanus shots. To those who have been following this story, it is all too familiar.

In 2010, Old-Thinker News reported on the efforts of the Gates Foundation and the GAVI alliance to “vaccinate the world.”

While mainstream media attacks claims of sterilization through vaccines, the fact that these vaccines exist cannot be denied.

Anti fertility vaccines have existed for decades. These vaccines work by delivering hCG (the female hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin) attached to the tetanus vaccine, or other carriers. The human body then treats hCG, a hormone required to maintain pregnancy, as an intruder and creates antibodies against it. This has the effect of sterilizing women who receive the vaccine, and in many cases miscarriage when given during pregnancy.

Populations across the third world have received this vaccine in a depopulation program carried out by the UN, World Bank and others.

Many of these countries were specifically targeted in the U.S. Government’s 1974 National Security Memorandum 200 document for population reduction. The document, written with the assistance of globalist kingpin Henry Kissinger, recommended that “injectable contraceptives” receive further funding. It also recommends that food rationing be used to “…help people who can’t/won’t control their population growth…”

According to the local population of the Akha in Thailand, pregnant women are forced to receive vaccines in order to get ID cards for their children. The vaccine often results with miscarriage. In the video below, Matthew McDaniel, a human rights activist who has been working with the Akha people of Thailand, speaks with two Akha women about the forced Tetanus vaccine and the resulting miscarriages. (Click to Source)

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Pharma Co Has License Suspended As Vaccine Blamed For Sterilization Of 500,000 Women And Children

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By Matt Agorist

A state-sponsored forced sterilization on a massive scale has allegedly taken place in Africa according to opposition leaders and the public who are railing against the government. An industrial pharmaceutical laboratory has since had its license suspended by the Kenya Accreditation Service as a result of the controversy.

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga—who swore himself in as president on Tuesday—claimed that at least 500,000 young girls and women may be infertile, following a tetanus vaccine administered by the government in 2014 and 2015.

The controversy began coming to a head in 2016 when Agriq-Quest Ltd, a Nairobi-based pharmaceutical company got in a dispute with Kenya’s Ministry of Health over their tetanus and polio vaccinations. A group of Catholic doctors originally made the accusations claiming that the vaccines may contain a hormone that is dangerous to young women and can cause potential sterilization.

As the Agence de Presse Africaine reported:

Odinga said girls and women aged between 14 and 49 from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of a state-sponsored sterilization exercise that was sold to the country as a tetanus vaccination.

The Catholic Church was ignored when it mounted a strong but lonely campaign against the mass tetanus vaccination, after it raised concerns about the safety of the vaccine that was being used, he said.

At the time, the Catholic Church in Kenya claimed that the tetanus vaccine used by the government of Kenya and UN agencies was contaminated with a hormone (hCG) that can cause miscarriages and render some women sterile.

“The Church’s position was informed by what had happened in Mexico, Nicaragua and Philippines, where the various governments together with WHO/UNICEF had conducted similar campaigns using tetanus toxoid impregnated with beta human chorionic gonadotropin (BhCG) that causes permanent infertility among girls and women,” Odinga continued.

Odinga says they confirmed through analysis of samples that the vaccines used were tainted with the hormone.

“Today, we can confirm to the country that the Catholic Church was right. Hundreds of thousands of our girls and women, aged between 14 and 49, from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of the state-sponsored sterilization that was sold to the country as tetanus vaccination,” he declared.

After Agriq-Quest’s license was suspended, the company pointed the finger at the government. They claimed that the government’s decision to suspend their license was due to the fact that Agriq-Quest refused to doctor the tests for them.

According to Business Daily Africa, when Agriq-Quest conducted the tests on the vaccines, they found the Catholic Church’s suspicions to be correct.

As BDA reported, “The company’s results from tests carried out on the vials showed that the samples of the vaccines were contaminated as had been claimed by the Catholic Church and Agriq-Quest claimed the government wanted the results altered to show that they were fit to be administered to women and children.”

According to Odinga, as reported by APA, the government, for some mysterious reason, was hell-bent on misleading the country, while intentionally sterilizing Kenyan girls and women.

“The vaccines were a great crime committed against women. Women should choose when to have children and how to space them,” he said.

It is important to point out that the belief that tetanus vaccinations sterilizing citizens has been a long time controversy in Kenya and has been disproven prior to these claims.

Also, after the discussion came to a head, in spite of claims of tests showing contamination, UNICEF and the World Health Organization later said that the vaccines were safe and procured from a pre-qualified manufacturer.

However, according to Odinga, they accessed the analysis from four highly-regarded institutions, such as Agriq Quest Ltd, the Nairobi Hospital Laboratories, the University of Nairobi and Lancet Kenya.

“These results all indicate that the Tetanus Toxoid Vaccine had high contents of beta human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (BhCG) that causes sterility in women.” (Click to Source)

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appeared.  Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.

“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”

Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

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Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson)

  • A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” — Morocco.
  • Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen.” — Pakistan.
  • Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.
  • In the name of “fighting terrorism,” Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

    A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

    Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

    Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that, “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

    Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: “Now is the time. We have an administration that’s open to doing something,” he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

    Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing].” The narrator of the video also vowed that, “After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.” When asked about this, the pope’s top aide said, “Pope Francis hasn’t changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he’ll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians.”

    August’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    Muslim Slaughter of Christians

    Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians’ homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the “severely traumatized” wife of one of the men, “Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder.”

    Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that “the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church.” When they found he was not in the church, “out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.” However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria, but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a “jihadist slaughter” of Christian churchgoers.

    Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son, and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians “in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid,” according to human rights activists.

    Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, “There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place.” When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family’s sons: “You filthy Chura [“worthless thing”], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die.” Afterwards, “he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them.” He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family’s home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a “suicide.” Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

    “Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government’s clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities… There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him.”

    Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead “under mysterious circumstances in police custody,” according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised “release in exchange of reneging Christ.”

    “He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death…. The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

    Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling “comfortable” as a Christian. Another said:

    “I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same…. There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam.”

    Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that “Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution.”

    Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converts from Islam, ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” “Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches,” the report adds. “Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country.”

    Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with “blaspheming” against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians,” that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen.”

    “As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.”

    Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:

    “My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home.”

    When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, “He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus.” Three days later, word of his daughter’s healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. “My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick,” Sophia explained. “Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night.” The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

    Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as “the world’s humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees,” continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the “rape capital of Europe.”

    Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

    Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:

    “The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law.”

    The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. “We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers,” Makarios added in his statement. “Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers.”

    Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, “We were prevented from prayer like criminals,” frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

    “We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words … As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?”

    Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State’s handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as “There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands” and “The Cross is under our foot.” The following German writing was found in one church:

    “Oh you Cross worshippers, we’ll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don’t belong here…. Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we’ll kill you.”

    “They’d [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice,” said one man of another church. “The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here.” Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. “To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us,” commented one Christian man.

    Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government’s conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, “The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years.” The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

    Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education’s call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision “viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group” — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

    Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

    Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISISappeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said “that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group.” He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq’s Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

    Pakistan: The Islamic nation’s senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the “State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory.” However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill “will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students… It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise.”

    Bangladesh: In the name of “fighting terrorism,” the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs “geared specifically for the Christian community” explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

    Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. “Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan’s bid to rid the country of Christianity,” notes the report, adding that “the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians.”

    Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors “were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats,” “They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, ‘Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in,” Pastor Nalu, 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. “The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street.”

    Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to “economic terrorism”: “As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau,” he said, “know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land.”

    About this Series

    While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location. (Click to Source)

Warnings of ‘Global Outbreak’ of Black Death as Plague continues to spread

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Health experts are warning there is “something different” about a new Black Death outbreak spreading across the world. Some 1,300 cases of the pneumonic plague, which is transmitted by air, have now been confirmed. An estimated 50 million lives were lost as a result of the Black Death epidemic of the 1300s. And now the deadly disease has spread into more African countries after taking root in Madagascar.

Countries affected include South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Comoros, the Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion. So far, the virus has killed 124 people and infected around 1,300, but scientists say this figure will definitely rise. The World Health Organisation, which has been working with Madagascar’s Ministry of Health, has warned the risk of the epidemic spreading is “high”. (Click to Source)

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PART 4: PERSECUTION – Then, Now, And Coming

Let’s return for a moment to the hours just before our Lord Jesus went to the cross. 

He sat upon the Mount of Olives with His disciples while the group looked down at the Temple sitting atop Mount Moriah. One of His disciples wanted Him to look at the beauty of the great structure. It was a magnificent sight. They were having a time of fellowship, and it must have seemed that nothing bad could come of their circumstances.

Jesus, however, knew what He faced. More than that, He was concerned for His friends and disciples. He knew they had to get a grip on reality as they faced the satanic war that lay before them. Very soon they would see Him die in the cruelest method known to man at the time. They must be given truth upon which they could reflect during the uncertain days ahead. Although they wouldn’t understand for the moment, the prophecies Jesus gave that day in His Olivet Discourse would echo mightily through the centuries until the very end of the age.

“The Olivet Discourse forms Jesus’ last major discourse and His most prophetic sermon,” notes author and eschatologist Tim LaHaye. “While the message includes a prediction of the imminent fall of Jerusalem, it also looks to the distant future of the ‘times of the Gentiles’ (Luke 21:24), which will continue until the end of the Great Tribulation.”

Temple Toppled

Jesus told His disciples that the beautiful Temple they were looking at would soon be completely wiped off Moriah; its destruction would be so complete that “there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2). (The Temple Jesus was referring to was the Second Temple; the first, built by Solomon, had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.)

Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the Second Temple came to pass some thirty-seven years later, when the soldiers under Roman General Titus not only toppled the Temple, but removed from the surface of Moriah every huge stone that had made up the building. Titus tried to stop the soldiers from destroying the structure, but Roman soldiers were often given the freedom to plunder any place they conquered, and they went into a frenzy. Going after precious stones and the gold and silver inlaid within the building, they set fires, causing the gold and silver to melt into the cracks and crevices between the stones. The greedy troops then tore the stones apart in order to retrieve every trace of the valuable metals.

Later, after the scavenger soldiers had picked the site clean, the Temple Mount was leveled and smoothed, then salt was poured on top of the soil so nothing would grow. This, too, fulfilled Old Testament prophecies. But this was just the beginning of Israel feeling the chastening hand of God. He was going to use the Romans to drive most of the Jews from the land.

The words of Christ about the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem would have been deeply troubling to the disciples.

“To the very end of His earthly ministry the apostles had been waiting for Jesus Christ to overthrow Roman rule in Palestine and to usher in the glorious Messianic kingdom,” notes author Arthur Kac. “When, therefore, instead of fulfilling their hopes the Lord Jesus began to speak of his approaching death and the coming destruction of Jerusalem the apostles became deeply distressed.”

“Run for Your Lives!”

In the same Olivet meeting with His disciples, Jesus forewarned that the people of the area would have to run for their lives (Matthew 24:16). There was coming, He prophesied, a time of great trouble in the land. Jesus said the people who lived in and around Jerusalem shouldn’t even take time to pack; they should just run for the hills of Judea when they heard of the Temple being attacked and the city being overrun.

The prophecy, of course, proved absolutely true. The Jewish population—and other people, too—were slaughtered if they stuck around once the looting and plunder started. Many soldiers for hire, along with the Roman forces, combined to massacre many. Hundreds upon hundreds were nailed and tied to crosses much like the one on which Jesus was crucified. The roads leading into and out of Jerusalem were lined with dead and dying people upon crosses.

The most infamous case of Rome crushing the Jewish rebellion is at Masada (Hebrew for “fortress”), which was the last Jewish stronghold in the Promised Land “located atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.” Several years following the destruction of the Temple, “after Judaea became a province of the Roman Empire…the last survivors of the Jewish revolt…chose death rather than slavery when the Roman besiegers broke through their defences.” The stand on the high plateau remains one of the greatest stories of courage in Jewish history.

The Jews’ attempts to take the heavy yoke of Rome from their necks ended with thousands fleeing the land to stay alive. Many others were taken as slaves. Most everyone who was Jewish, whether those who converted to Christianity, those who practiced Judaism, or those who professed no religious affiliation, were either murdered or scattered to other parts of the Middle East and other lands beyond. Around AD 135, Rome dispersed the Jews because it considered the militant uprising against Roman authority a mostly Jewish rebellion. Many of Israel ended up in Rome, where the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would grow into a mighty movement.

“The Jew living now in the various parts of the Roman Empire was painfully aware of the fact that he had no National Home,” states Kac. “And by this time the great bulk of the nation lived outside of Palestine. With the loss of the Jewish National Home in AD 70, the long exile actually began, and the Jews became wanderers over the face of the earth, a people without a country.”

God’s chosen people were chastened by God for rejecting their Messiah. They were chased across the world by the forces of Satan. But the Jews had produced the most important gift ever given anyone: the Savior of the world. The Lord of heaven had already kept His promise to make Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants a blessing to all nations. He will yet make His chosen people the head of all nations as well.

While in Rome…

Meanwhile, Christianity was growing by leaps and bounds. The Jewish religious leaders had for many years persecuted Christians at every opportunity. The apostle Paul of Tarsus, a Christian-hating Jew before God changed his name from Saul, had been one of the worst of all persecutors of Christians.

Saul had held the robes of those who stoned to death the great hero of the Christian faith, Stephen. Saul had also gone into the homes of Christians and pulled them out so they could be imprisoned or murdered. This treatment, in the earliest time of the developing church, had been more the usual way of Jews treating Christians than the unusual.

When Saul saw Jesus in a blinding light on the road to Damascus, he was instantly converted to the Christian faith. Like Abraham, his name was changed to reflect the transformation of his life, and he became Paul, an evangelist for the gospel of Christ unlike any other who has ever lived. He then became the hunted and hated Christian whom the super-pious Jews wanted dead.

Over the hundred years following Paul’s death, the Jews were absorbed into the Roman Empire and given the right to be citizens. But when the Jews found themselves at the center of growing rebellion against their Roman masters, they were scattered throughout the developing medieval states and persecuted almost everywhere they went. Christians, too, were greatly persecuted. Most Christians were Jews who had been converted from Judaism during this time. Satan’s war-making in the Middle East and elsewhere appears to have been even more intense against Christian Jews than against the Jews in general. While in Rome, if Christians and Jews who held to Judaism didn’t repent and do as the Romans did, there was a mighty price to pay.

Christians Forced into Catacombs

Christianity continued to grow tremendously during the second, third, and fourth centuries and beyond. Jesus’ words, foretold to Peter and other disciples—“upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18b)—echoed across the barren wasteland of the Middle East and regions to which God’s children traveled.

Hundreds upon hundreds of Christians—including, many believe, Peter and Paul—died martyrs’ deaths under Roman Emperor Nero and the Caesars who followed. They faced gladiators, bears, and lions in the Roman arenas to entertain Caesar and his mocking friends. Many Christians were set on fire and used as torches to light the night skies for the various sporting events. It was the bloodiest time of Christ’s church. Thousands found shelter and safety in the catacombs, the underground tunnels that were Rome’s cemeteries. Drawings on the catacomb walls tell a story of an underground church in the most literal sense of the word.

Modern Martyrs for Christ

Today in Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, China, and many other places around the world, Christians are facing tortures and atrocities as terrifying as the horrors faced by the early Christians. The following reports offer a striking example:

  • Roadside Ambush in Nigeria Leaves Five Christians Dead and Four Wounded—On the evening of August 29, 2013, near Jos, Nigeria, Emmanuel Sunday was riding his motorcycle towards his village when the nineteen-year-old college student was stopped by an armed group of Islamic jihadists known as Boko Haram. The gunmen asked Emmanuel to identify his religion. He told them he was a Christian. As the young man looked ahead, he saw that the gunmen had detained a minibus and ordered a group of passengers who had also identified themselves as Christians to lie down on the roadside.

As darkness fell, the gunmen robbed the Christians, and as the jihadists began shooting their captives, Emmanuel escaped by running toward a nearby maize farm. He then continued to run for two hours before finally reaching his village.

Five Christians were killed in the attack, including two from Emmanuel’s village. Four were wounded, including a pregnant woman.

Boko Haram, whose name loosely translated means “Western education is sinful,” so far is contained within Nigeria. Its leader, Abubakr Shekau, clearly states the group’s mission: “Let the world know that we have been enjoined by Allah to kill the unbeliever.”

  • Seventy-two Civilians Killed in Mall Massacre in Kenya—Shortly after noon on Saturday, September 21, 2013, gunfire and grenade explosions erupted as Somalian Islamic militants known as al-Shabab launched a massacre at the packed Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, a mall frequented by expatriates and the rising middle class of Nairobi.

According to Joshua Hakim, a born-again Christian, the terrorists shouted for all Muslims to leave the mall. When Hakim realized that the attackers were targeting non-Muslims, he pulled out his identification card and covered his first name with his thumb. Seeing only his Arabic last name, the terrorists let Hakim go; however, the Indian man next to him was not so fortunate: He was shot when he couldn’t answer the question, “What is the name of Muhammad’s mother?” More than seventy-two civilians were killed and two hundred were wounded in the attack.

  • Suicide Bombers in Pakistan Kill Nearly Ninety after Sunday Services—After services on Sunday morning, September 22, 2013, about 550 worshippers were exiting the 130-year-old All Saints Church, a Protestant congregation in Peshawar, Pakistan, unaware of two Taliban suicide bombers in their midst. The explosion killed nearly ninety, many of them women and children; more than 120 people were injured, and the church was destroyed.

“I heard two explosions,” said one parishioner who survived. “People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church.” At the time of the interview, she was still searching for her sister.

It is sad to have to say that while many of us here in America often will not let ourselves be inconvenienced enough to read our Bibles or pray, thousands of Christians are still laying down their lives for the Lord Jesus. According to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, more than 200 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide; they are brutalized, sold as slaves, imprisoned, tortured, threatened, discriminated against, arrested, and killed—solely because they refuse to renounce or hide their faith in Jesus Christ.But the long history of persecution that continues into our time will soon enter one of its darkest, most vicious eras.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Report: Persecution of Christians reveals most abuse in Muslim countries

Nine of top 10 countries where Christians suffer are Islamic, according to Open Doors USA.

The majority of anti-Christian persecution in the world in 2013 took place at the hands of Muslims, according to a list by Open Doors USA .

The nondenominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide recently released its 2014 World Watch List, that describes and ranks anti-Christian persecution in a list of the 50 worst countries for the past year.

It reported increasing violence against Christians in Africa, and said radical Muslims were the main source of persecution in 36 countries on its list – both in Islamic countries and in non-Muslim countries such as Kenya (ranked 40th), Ethiopia (17th) and Tanzania (49th).

The top country where Christians suffer, for the 12th consecutive year, remained communist North Korea, though the nine following countries in the top ten were Islamic: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen.

Open Doors said earlier this month that it had documented 2,123 “martyr” killings over the year, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said.

“The one glaring fact that emerges from this report,” American-born scholar Raymond Ibrahim said in his analysis of the statistics on the Christian Broadcasting Network News website, “is that the overwhelming majority of Christian persecution around the world today is being committed at the hands of Muslims of all races, languages, cultures and socio-political circumstances: Muslims from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia) and its enemies (Iran); Muslims from economically rich nations (Qatar) and from poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); Muslims from ‘Islamic republic’ nations (Afghanistan) and from ‘moderate’ nations (Malaysia and Indonesia); [and] Muslims from nations rescued by America (Kuwait).”

Ibrahim, the son of Coptic Christian Egyptian parents, is a Shillman fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum and author of a new book, titled Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, that documents the suffering of Christians in the region.

He noted that in countries that underwent “Arab Spring” uprisings, increased persecution occurred after the regimes collapsed.

“Muslim persecution of Christians,” Ibrahim said, is “part of a continuum that started nearly 14 centuries ago.”

Click to http://www.jpost.com/International/Report-charting-persecution-of-Christians-worldwide-reveals-most-abuse-in-Muslim-countries-338682