China Update – A Message from the Church in China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Addiction Ends at the Foot of the Cross by True Salvation thru Yeshua the Messiah – Jesus Christ

Africa: Alarming Rise of Christian Persecution

by Uzay Bulut

  • “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.” — The Independent Review of FCO support for Persecuted Christians.
  • “The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.” — World Watch Monitor, May 2, 2019.
  • As the British report demonstrates, persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims; it is about their religion.
  • If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority.

According to a recent interim report published in the U.K., “it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form, with Christians being the most persecuted group.”

Although the full report — commissioned by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and conducted by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen — was due to be released by Easter this year, “the scale and nature of the phenomenon [of Christian persecution] simply required more time,” accordingto the report. As a result, Mounstephen explained, the “interim” findings released in April are incomplete, and the final report will be published at the end of June.

According to the “overview” section of the interim “Independent Review of FCO support for Persecuted Christians”:

“In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

Africa — now home to the greatest number of Christians in the world — is one such region.

On June 16, for instance, a Christian elementary school in a Muslim village in Uganda was destroyed, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported.

On June 15, “a mob of Muslim protestors set a church ablaze in Maradi, the third largest city in Niger. The incident was a response to the arrest of a very prominent Imam who was arrested after he claimed the country’s proposed legislation on worship was ‘anti-Islamic.'”

On June 9 and 10, two terrorist attacks in Burkina Faso left 29 Christians dead. This purposeful slaughter of Christians came less than two months after the April 28 massacre of 80-year-old pastor, Pierre Ouédraogo, and other members of his congregation in Burkina Faso, by armed Islamists. A local leader, who requested anonymity, told World Watch Monitor:

“The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused. They ordered them to gather under a tree and took their Bibles and mobile phones. Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead.”

On June 7, a Christian woman in Niger was kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists and released three days later with a letter calling on all Christians to “leave the town within three days or be killed.”

The above incidents are not isolated. According to the 2019 World Watch Listcompiled by Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group:

“While the violent excesses of ISIS and other Islamic militants have mostly disappeared from headlines from the Middle East, their loss of territory there means that fighters have dispersed to a larger number of countries not only in the region but, increasingly, into sub-Saharan Africa. Their radical ideology has inspired, or infiltrated, numerous splinter groups such as Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a deadly group that broke away from Nigeria’s Boko Haram that also enslaves Christian women and girls as an integral part of their strategy.”

Terrorist groups are not the only sources of persecution in Africa. Many Muslim governments and individuals also target Christians.

According to the Open Doors 2019 report, the situation in many African nations is as follows:

In Somalia, there is a “life of violence and isolation” for the Christian community that numbers only a few hundred.

“Estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somalis are Muslims, and any minority religions are heavily persecuted. 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. Additionally, in many rural areas, Islamic militant groups like al-Shabab are de facto rulers. Somali Christians often must hide their faith to stay safe.”

Libya is home to a Christian population of only around 38,000.

“Converts to Christianity face abuse and violence for their decision to follow Christ. Libya is also home to many migrant workers who have been attacked, sexually assaulted and detained, which can be even worse if it is discovered they are Christians.”

Sudan is home to 1.9 million Christians.

“The country has been ruled as an Islamic state with limited rights for religious minorities and heavy restrictions on freedom of speech and press. Christians, whose population is over 1,900,000, face discrimination and pressure— multiple church buildings were demolished in 2017 and 2018, leaving some Christians without a place to worship. Christian converts from Islam are especially targeted for persecution.”

In Eritrea, sometimes called “Africa’s North Korea”, there are around 2.5 million Christians, and many suffer in prisons.

“Since 1993, President Isaias Afwerki has overseen a brutal authoritarian regime that rests on massive human rights violations. In 2018, there were raids on churches, and hundreds of Christians were imprisoned in inhumane conditions. Additionally, there are estimates that other Christians are currently in Eritrea’s vast prison network, but no one knows how many there are or if they are still alive.”

Nigeria, where over 90 million Christians live, is one of the worst places in Africa for Christians.

“Nigeria’s score for violence 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. Christians from Muslim backgrounds face persecution from their own families”.

Christians in Egypt, whose Christian population is 9,937,600, suffer from persecution in various ways.

“Those with Muslim backgrounds face enormous pressure from immediate and extended families to return to Islam. 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.”

In the Central African Republic (CAR), the main religion is Christianity, and the Christian population numbers more than 3,450,000.

“Over the last year, the situation has worsened for CAR Christians who face intensifying pressure from Muslims. Christians are also threatened by jihadists and criminal groups in the country whose actions often overlap. And Christian civilians are still caught in the violent conflict between the mainly Muslim Seleka and self-defense militant groups called anti-Balaka.”

Algeria, where around 125,000 Christians live, “has seen an increasing number of churches closed” over the last year.

“At the same time, Christian converts have become more open about their faith, leading to a backlash by Muslim families and the intolerant society. Laws regulating non-Muslim worship, banning conversion and prohibiting blasphemy make proselytizing and public expression of the Christian faith dangerous as well.”

In Mali, the Christian population is 425,000.

“The West African country has become increasingly militant. In the northern part of the country especially, this intolerance has resulted in increasing violence against Christians from jihadist and criminal groups that have a vested interest in keeping the country mired in chaos and instability.”

In Mauritania, there are only around 10,000 Christians from population of 4.5 million people.

“The ‘Islamic Republic of Mauritania’ — the autocratic government of Africa’s 11th largest country — often acts as protector of the Islamic religion. As a result, the state is a major source of persecution. Radical Islamic preachers and militants contribute to the radicalization of society, fueling antagonism and hatred toward non-Muslims. Additionally, a caste system marginalizes darker-skinned Mauritanians and those who do not adhere to Islam.”

In Ethiopia, where the main religion is Christianity and the Christian population numbers more than 64 million, “radical Islam is growing at the local, regional and national levels. Particularly in the rural areas, where Muslims are the majority, Christians are harassed and often denied access to communal resources.”

Morocco has a Christian population of around 31,500.

“Christians suffer persecution from both the state and society. There are restrictions imposed by the state on Christians, such as confiscation of Christian materials written in Arabic, restrictions on evangelization and difficulty getting places of worship for believers from a Muslim background. Radical Muslims within the general populace also put pressure on Christians. In rural areas, pressure from family and community can also be considerable.”

In Tunisia, for the small community of Christians numbering around 24,000, “life within Islamic society comes with hostility and daily pressure.”

“And the threat of Islamic militant activity—especially by those returning from fighting with ISIS—is still worrying, with one suicide-attack on a police station in Tunis in September and a major attack in the border region with Algeria in July 2018.”

In Kenya, another African nation where the main religion is Christianity, Christians are targeted both by Muslim officials and terror groups.

“Inspired by Islamic radicals in Somalia, Muslim politicians have made it their agenda to eliminate Christianity. Officials often demand churches do things that are not in line with their faith, while militants viciously carry out suicide bomb attacks and other brutal acts against those considered to be the enemies of Islam. Due to corruption inside the government agencies, those operating against Christians tragically often enjoy impunity.”

In a May 21 article for Open Doors, Lindy Lowry says that Boko Haram, founded in 2002 in Nigeria, has expanded into neighboring countries:

“They have conducted terrorist attacks in Niger, Chad and Cameroon, which have resulted in dramatic refugee and humanitarian crises. They are even regarded as ‘slave raiders’ who target women in raids for ‘wives’ in the areas around Lake Chad, which borders Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria…

“In Rwanda, the country has closed thousands of churches and has arrested at least six pastors since February 2018 for ‘noise pollution’ and failing to comply with building regulations. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s eastern province of North Kivu, leaders of the church have been targeted and killed. Reportedly, at least 15 armed extremist groups were known to be operating in the area.”

As the British report demonstrates, persecution against Christians and other non-Muslims is not about the ethnicity, race or skin color of either the perpetrators or the victims; it is about their religion. In Africa, various Islamist groups and individuals are attacking and attempting to annihilate Christians for being Christian. If these crimes are not stopped, it is highly likely that the fate of the African Continent will be like that of the Middle East: Once it was a majority-Christian region; now, Christians are a tiny, dying, defenseless minority. (Click to Source)

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

Iraqi Christian survives being burned alive by ISIS 3 times: ‘[Jesus] spoke to me’

By Caleb Parke | Fox News

An Iraqi Christian who said Jesus appeared to him twice in his dreams recounts being imprisoned by ISIS, tortured and burned three times by the terrorist group.

The man, a Yazidi, recounts his harrowing story in a documentary by Sean Feucht and Bethel Music.

“The Yazidis… were really targeted by ISIS for genocide…they were raped, they were beaten, they were executed,” Feucht told Fox News. “ISIS didn’t even want to imprison them, they just wanted to kill them, wipe them off the map.”

Feucht interviewed the man, who was not named, through his non-profit, Light A Candle Project, which goes into all parts of the world but primarily Iraq, where the Islamic State was at the height of its brutality, to help people who’ve experienced some of the world’s worst suffering.

Sean Feucht, the founder of The Light A Candle Project, told an Iraqi Christian who was tortured by ISIS that Jesus appeared to him in his dreams because he loves him. His story was their first supernatural encounter documented in an upcoming documentary with Bethel Music called "Heart and Hands: Iraq."

Sean Feucht, the founder of The Light A Candle Project, told an Iraqi Christian who was tortured by ISIS that Jesus appeared to him in his dreams because he loves him. His story was their first supernatural encounter documented in an upcoming documentary with Bethel Music called “Heart and Hands: Iraq.” (Bethel Music)

 

The Yazidi man says he was burned alive three times by ISIS after they found out he was a follower of Christ. He said his body “didn’t burn” a single time when he was imprisoned and tortured by the radical Islamic terrorists for two months.

“He spoke to me,” the persecuted Christian shared, referencing Jesus in his dreams.

Feucht told him: “Jesus appeared twice to you in a dream because He loves you.”

The man said he was stoned and ISIS members drenched him in 20 gallons of gasoline. But even though he was burned alive, he said he inexplicably survived unharmed. He credited Jesus for surviving.

“And they burned me, but I didn’t burn,” he said.

 

 

The Iraqi Christian’s story is one account from the upcoming documentary film “Hearts and Hands: Iraq” that is expected to be released later this year. A preview was shown at the “Heaven Come” conference in Los Angeles.

Feucht said it shows what persecuted Christians go through overseas.

His group recently raised over $100,000 to distribute food, blankets, mattresses, and other materials, as well as offering trauma therapy counseling and kids programs, teaching music, and praying with persecuted Christians in the region where Christianity once flourished but is now near extinction, according to faith leaders.

“I feel like we’re really called to the most persecuted, closed, dark, marginalized places,” he said. Over the past 15 years, the Bethel Music worship leader has gone into North Korea, India, Afghanistan…”some of the topmost closed countries and places where it’s illegal to be a Christian,” he said. But they said they’ve seen and heard stories of incredible miracles.

Bethel Music worship leaders Bethany Wohrle and Sean Feucht play music with refugees as part of the "Light A Candle Project."

Bethel Music worship leaders Bethany Wohrle and Sean Feucht play music with refugees as part of the “Light A Candle Project.” (Rachel Soh)

 

Feucht said he is encouraged by the growth of the church in Iraq, China, and India, places where it is most persecuted.

“Our team’s in Iraq right now, and the U.S. State Department just sent out this notification that said ‘All US personnel leave Iraq’ and all the NGOs left but our guys are still there. We were there through ISIS. We’ve been there through the worst of the worst,” Feucht said. “Everyone thought we were crazy. Right as everyone was leaving, we came in, and because of it, we have a thriving, flourishing project there.”

For Feucht, mission work is in his family’s DNA, as the son of medical missionaries who took him on trips to unreached people and remote places, he has seen what most Americans Christians, who make up just 5 percent of the global Christian population, don’t get to see.

“We want to re-define missions for a generation to where we’re actually the first ones to respond,” Feucht concluded. “That’s the essence of the gospel to go into places where no one else is willing to go.” (Click to Source)

Hindu Radical Leader Calls for Forced Sterilization of Christians and Muslims in India

05/03/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – As India continues to go to the polls in what is set to be the biggest democratic election in history, Deva Thakur, vice president of the radical Hindu Mahasabha Party, has called for the forced sterilization of Indian Christians and Muslims. The radical leader also called on Hindus to have more children in order to counter the rise in India’s Christian and Muslim populations.

Speaking to reporters last Saturday, Thakur explained that Christians and Muslims are a threat to Hindus and “have to be forced to undergo sterilization.

Thakur and the Hindu Mahasabha Party are no strangers to controversy. In the past, they have used religiously divisive language to stir up anti-minority sentiments in their campaign to establish India has a Hindu nation.

In particular, Thakur’s recent sterilization statement speaks directly to a fear held by radical Hindu nationalists that India is being overrun by Christians and Muslims. Speaking to Asia News, John Dayal, General Secretary of the All India Christian Council, explained, “For Thakur, the population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. To rein this in, the [government] will have to impose emergency [measures] and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilization so they can’t increase their numbers.

[Hindu radicals] raised a racket when the 2016 census showed the Hindu population under the 80% mark,” Dayal recalled. Although this was a drop less than 1%, it was enough to fuel fears that Muslims and Christians in India would eventually overtake Hindus.

In an election already marred by religiously divisive rhetoric, Thakur’s sterilization statement belies the dark consequences of radical Hindu nationalists coming to power. For many religious minorities in India, it is hoped that the current elections will bring change to the country and bring in a government that respects religious freedom and the rights of minorities. (Click to Source)

 

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Muslim who sought to kill Christian cousin embraces faith after Jesus appears in dream

 CURRENT PAGE:WORLD | WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2019

By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter

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An Egyptian Muslim who planned to kill his cousin for converting to Christianity has shared how he embraced the religion he once hated after Jesus delivered a powerful message to him in a dream.

Mostafa, a new convert in Egypt, recently shared with persecution watchdog Open Doors how he traveled to Cairo with the intention of killing his cousin, Mohammad, who had converted from Islam to Christianity.

In Egypt, converting from Islam to Christianity is seen as a betrayal of one’s family and heritage. Christian converts risk losing their family, friends, and even their lives.

After finding his cousin sitting in a Christian worship service, Mostafa slipped behind him and waited to make his move. But as he listened to the songs and prayers, he noticed that the words he was hearing appealed to him.

Following the service, Mostafa approached Mohammad with tears in his eyes: “I came all the way from our family’s village to spy on you and see if you had indeed become a Christian,” he said. “I should inform your family about what I saw, but I just can’t. I think the choice you made might have been the right one. Can you tell me more? Why did you leave Islam for Christianity?”

That evening, the cousins spent hours talking about the Gospel. That night, Mostafa had a dream. He saw Jesus on the cross, looking at him and saying: “I did all of this because I love you, and I want you to be free from your sins.”

The next morning, Mostafa told Mohammed what he saw in his dream and asked his cousin to pray together with him for his salvation.

Mostafa recalled telling God: “I planned to kill my cousin, Your follower. But now I am prepared to give my life for You myself.”

The following month, Mostafa was baptized with his cousin standing next to him. He hasn’t told his family that he and Mohammed are now followers of Jesus, and the two men are currently living as secret believers.

Egypt is No. 16 on Open Doors’ World Watch List and continues to be a country that poses extreme danger and violence for Christians, according to the persecution watchdog. Various Islamic extremist groups remain the largest persecutors of Christians in the country.

Despite continued persecution, a number of Christians across the Middle East have embraced Christianity. Officially, about 10% of the 95 million population are Christian, although many believe the figure is significantly higher.

Last year, a former Muslim-turned-pastor who started hundreds of churches in Pakistan told The Christian Post that many Muslims are making decisions to convert after Jesus Himself has visited them in dreams and visions.

“It’s very dangerous for anyone to preach the Word of God face-to-face in non-Western countries,” the pastor told CP. “God reveals things through dreams to evangelists/pastors. People in the East are more uneducated and unable to read the Bible so God uses this method to reach them.”

“[People] are very faithful in the East, placing themselves in positions to see the signs of God by studying the Word of God,” he added. “Eastern people watch for the signs and miracles to show that the Word of God is alive. It is a privilege, one not everyone can share in — to own a Bible in the East. In the West, people look more for wisdom, like the Greeks of old. They do not always rely on faith, which can’t be seen.”

Mission Frontiers magazine also reported that out of 600 Muslim converts, 25 percent experienced a dream that led to their conversion.

A now-former shaman in a village in northwest China shared in another article for Open Doors in July that she saw Christ while on her deathbed.

“I was in the back seat of a taxi as my brother drove me toward endless darkness. But then three men, who were wearing brilliant white robes, approached. But their light was so bright, I couldn’t see their faces,” Ting, the former shaman, said of her experience.

“They told me I must make a choice. And as they spoke, two other men wearing black robes invited me to follow them. I knew in my heart one of the men wearing a white robe was Jesus. So I followed Him.”

In 2015, an Islamic State terror group fighter who had killed Christians also turned to Christ after reportedly dreaming of “a man in white.” (Click to Source)

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How The Apostles Died/ The Death of Jesus

 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12) King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

I feel this article needs to be reprinted and it is of great importance to all of our faith in Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.

Dear Friends,
Please take the time to read all of this — very interesting and really give us something to think about….!   And, please forward to all your friends. 
 
Have a Very Blessed Day!!!
Bill
remember-the-persecuted-58-638
I’ve NEVER, EVER SEEN THIS ALL IN ONE PLACE BEFORE!

1.   Matthew 
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia.  Killed by a sword wound. 

2. Mark
Died in Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.
 3.  Luke
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.
4.  John
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome.  However, he was miraculously delivered from death.  John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island  of  Patmos.  He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos.  The Apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey.  He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

5.  Peter
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition, it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die In the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

6.  James
The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.  When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.
* This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.
7.  James the Great
Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus Called him to a lifetime of ministry.  As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem.

The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer Walked beside James to the place of execution.  Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
8.  Bartholomew
Also known as Nathaniel was a missionary to Asia.  He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey.  Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
9.  Andrew
Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece.  After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony.  His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: “I have long desired and expected this happy hour.  The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.”  He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired. 

10.  Thomas
Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.
11.  Jude
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
12.  Matthias
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
St. Paul
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67.  Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire.  These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

Perhaps this is a reminder to us.

That our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles and disciples during their times for the sake of the faith.  And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake:  But he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 

Faith is not believing that God can;
it is knowing that God WILL!”
Jesus’ Death: For the next 60 seconds, set aside whatever you are doing and take this opportunity!
Let’s see if Satan can stop this.

THE (SCIENTIFIC) DEATH OF JESUS
At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death.  At the time Crucifixion was the “worst” death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by Crucifixion, Jesus was to be nailed to the Cross by His hands and feet.
Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that
extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe.
Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.  Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe.  Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering?  A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding.  He was simply pouring water from his wounds.  From common images, we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side…  But, do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body.  A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear.  But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten.  The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body.  The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The Crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp.  Most men would not have survived this torture.  He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds.  The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters  (just less than a gallon) of blood.  Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest..

All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed). Jesus had to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven, So that you can have free access to God.  So that your sins could be “washed” away.  All of them, with no exception!  Don’t ignore this situation.  JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!He died for you! It is easy to pass jokes or foolish photos by e-mail, but when it comes to God, sometimes you feel ashamed to forward to others because you are worried of what they may think about you.  God has plans for you, show all your friends what He experienced to save you.  Now think about this! May God bless your life!  60 seconds with God… For the next 60 seconds, set aside what you’re doing and take this opportunity!  Let’s see if Satan can stop

This..  All you have to do is:
1.  Simply Pray for the person who sent this message to you.
2. Then, send this message to people.  The more the better.
3.  People will pray for you and you will make that many people pray to God
for other people.
4.  Take a moment to appreciate the power of God in your life, for doing what pleases Him.If you are not ashamed to do this, please, follow Jesus’ instructions.

He said (Matthew 10:32 & 33): “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me before others, I also will deny before My Father in heaven.”
Yes, I love God. He is my source of life and my Savior. He keeps me alive day and night.  Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.This is the simple proof.  If you love God and you are a believer and trust in salvation through Christ Jesus, send this to all those you love.
God Bless You All and meet every need!
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245 Million Christians Facing ‘Extreme’ Persecution Worldwide (VIDEO)

 

WASHINGTON, DC — North Korea remains at the top of a list of 50 countries where at least 245 million Christians are facing “extreme persecution” this year, up 14 percent from 215 million at the beginning of 2018, the World Wide Watch List (WWL) released on Wednesday by Open Doors, a group that monitors the mistreatment of Christ followers, revealed.

At the Heritage Foundation, David Curry, the president and CEO of Open Doors, unveiled the 2019 WWL that ranks the top 50 “most dangerous” countries to follow Jesus, noting that women are especially targeted.

“The Open Doors World Watch List which you will see today is the most comprehensive grassroots study of what is happening around the world to restrict religious freedom, particularly for Christians,” he explained, adding “The data proves conclusively that Christian women are the most exploited group on the face of the earth.”

Curry highlighted several trends that are currently fueling the mistreatment of Christians, including the rise of authoritarianism and spread of radical Islam, particularly into sub-Saharan Africa.

“Radical Islam is the driver behind eight of the top 10 on the World Watch List this year, four of which are from Africa,” the Open Doors chief proclaimed.

“Africa is now a major epicenter of violence against Christians,” he observed.

Last year, worldwide persecution resulted in 4,136 deaths, 1,266 attacks on worshipping centers, and the detention 2,625 individuals, the report revealed. The number of deaths increased by about 35 percent from 3,066 at the beginning of 2018.

“Christians were killed for faith-related reasons. On average, that’s 11 Christians killed every day for their faith,” Open Doors noted.

Overall, one in 9 Christians across the world suffered from “high levels of persecution,” the organization added.

North Korea remained at the top of the list for the 18th year in a row.

Curry noted:

North Korea is number one on the World Watch List again and number one in the use of authoritarian tactics. It’s illegal to own a bible. The very suggestion that you’re a Christian can get you arrested with neighborhood watches again using old school communist tactics to control people. The use of authoritarian methods is a major trend on this year’s World Watch List and it’s a worrisome trend. We believe that churches must be sacred from authoritarian tactics.

This year, Open Doors listed 11 countries where Christians are experiencing “extreme persecution”: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, India, and Syria.

“For the first time since the start of the World Watch List, India has entered the top 10,” Open Doors pointed out.

Open Doors’ report thus argues that India is a worse place to practice Christianity than China, where persecution against followers of Jesus has intensified under Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, who has vowed to “Sinicize” the country’s religions or make them more Chinese by instilling core communist values.

“China jumped 16 spots, from 43 to 27,” the monitor group reported.

Referring to both India and China, the Open Doors report said:

Each of these countries is home to more than a billion people, so these trends are distressing. Hindu nationalists in India continue to attack Christians with what seems like no consequences, and in China, the increased power of the government and the rule of Xi Jinping continue to make open worship difficult in some parts of the country.

Open Doors described the persecution of Christians in China as the worst it has been for more than a decade, with at least 50 million people facing some form of repression this year as the Xi administration tightens its grip over religious worship, the Guardian found.

The watchdog group, alluding to the estimated 65 million Christians in India, reported:

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.

Hindu nationalist groups in India are reportedly affiliated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Curry pointed out:

The BJP party, which is the ruling party, Prime Minister Modi’s party has created a radical Hindu agenda within India that seeks to push out the Christian faith and anything other than the Hindu faith. They’re not hiding it. It’s not a secret. It’s their agenda and they have created an environment where people have impunity to attack churches — hundreds of churches have been attacked.

He went on to urge “influential business people in America of Indian descent…to speak out about the discrimination against Christians in India.”

“We believe the international community is beginning to wake up to this discrimination within India … because this is a massive human rights violation and Indian needs to be held to account if they want to be part of the international business community,” Curry added.

The Open Doors chief also urged the United States and other Western nations to defend and promote religious freedom.

Curry told reporters:

People around the world are losing their freedom to choose their faith and we have to pay attention. Religious freedom is the key to what it means to be free. It is the key to what it means to be human and we believe at Open Doors that everyone should have the right to choose their own faith or if they want to have no faith at all. The United States and the Western world can lead in defending and promoting religious freedom.

Open Doors released its WWL assessment one day after the United States government marked 2019’s Religious Freedom Day on Tuesday. (Click to Source)

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Christians, Stop Saying Jesus is the Son of God, it Provokes Muslims

Muslims

Buried in the concluding paragraphs of a Christmas Eve Washington Times report about Muslims in Uganda forcing Christians to convert to Islam was the extraordinary revelation that in that country, Muslims now consider any public statement of the Christian Faith to be a calculated insult to Muslims, for which they can justifiably exact revenge.

This is, or should be, sobering news for the comfortable Christians of the West who have made an idol out of “interfaith dialogue” and fastidiously avoid saying anything remotely critical about Islam, even as the Muslim persecution of Christians continues worldwide.

“In June,” the Times reported, “a group of Muslims attacked Christian preachers in eastern Uganda during a ‘crusade,’ where Christians publicly profess their faith and invite others to join. Muslims in the town accused the Christians of mocking Islam by publicly saying Jesus was the Son of God.”

In response, said Christian pastor Moses Saku, the Muslims became violent: “They became very angry and began throwing rocks at Christians, chanting ‘Allah Akbar.’ Many Christians were injured during the incident.”

The Christians appealed to the Muslims to have respect for those of other faith; the Muslims responded with contempt. One Muslim, Abubakar Yusuf, declared: “We have now declared a jihad against them. We are not going to allow anybody to despise Islamic teachings at their church or crusade. We will seek revenge.”

How did the Christians “despise Islamic teachings”? By preaching aspects of Christianity, such as the divinity of Christ, that Islam denies. The Christians, knowing how delicate their situation was, would never have dreamed of actually saying something critical about Islam itself; but to the Muslims who heard them, just enunciating the tenets of their Christian faith was criticism enough. And they refused to stand for it.

A few years ago, when jihadis attacked AFDI’s Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas, some Christians castigated me for co-sponsoring and speaking at the event. They said that Pamela Geller and I, as co-organizers of the event, were being needlessly provocative, poking Muslims in the eye, goading them, etc.

These charitable and enlightened Christians said that Christians should instead be deferential to others’ religious sensibilities. At the time, I responded to these people by explaining that giving in to violent intimidation (our event was a response to the jihad murder of the Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoonists in Paris) would only encourage more violent intimidation, and that given the fact that Muslims frequently found even basic expressions of Christian faith to be “provocative,” they were effectively cutting the ground out from under themselves and their children, making it impossible for them to practice Christianity in the future.

These incidents in Uganda are proof that this was correct. In declaring jihad and stating that the Muslims were now on a quest for revenge, Abubakar Yusuf and the Muslims who agree with him are in effect saying that the public expression of the Christian Faith mocks Islam and despises Islamic teachings. Abubakar Yusuf’s announcement that the Muslims had “declared jihad” against the Christians and would “seek revenge” against them was tantamount to a declaration that the Christians must submit to the hegemony of the Muslims, not daring to practice their faith openly, but only in private, behind closed door, and at the sufferance of their Muslim overlords.

This is exactly the status that Islamic law prescribes for Christians in lands governed by Islamic law, and so it is clear that Abubakar Yusuf is no lone fanatic, but is enunciating what many Muslims in Uganda believe to be only right and proper.

The lesson is clear, and not just for Uganda. If the advice of the cosseted, suburban Western Christians who were excoriating me for the Garland event is to be heeded, Christians should make no public expression of their faith at all, and convert to Islam, so as to avoid mocking, provoking, and offending Muslims, and poking them in the eye.

And when it comes to it, that is most likely the exact thing that those Christians will do. (Click to Source)

Reported by: Robert Spencer – Israel, Islam & End Times
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WHY CHRISTIANS ARE PERSECUTED

David Kupelian on real reason believers have been attacked ever since Jesus walked the earth

Resurrection-Lazarus-Wiki-Commons

Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? … And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; … Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. … Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

– John 11:39-40, 43-48, 53

The story of Jesus Christ raising Lazarus from the dead is one of the most dramatic in the New Testament. Yet, almost as amazing as bringing a man back to life after four days in the grave is the authorities’ reaction to this astonishing miracle: It made them want to kill Jesus.

This cosmic irony – of genuine godliness inspiring loathing and violence – has been reflected throughout our world ever since.

Christianity inspired hostility from the beginning; not only was Jesus crucified, but 11 of the 12 apostles were martyred.

christian_cross

Today, sincere followers of Jesus Christ are under attack everywhere, not only in lands dominated by religions and governments hostile to Christianity, but increasingly in those parts of the world historically home to, and founded by, Christians.

Think of it. The most transcendent way of life a man or woman can embrace on this earth – one that commands not only that you love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, but that you “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you” – is cursed, hated and persecuted.

This persecution shows up in a broad spectrum of ways. In the United States it is, as a rule, far less overt and brutal than overseas, taking the form of censorship, demonization and criminalization – for example, the never-ending prosecutions of Christian businesses and individuals (including the jailing of a Christian county clerk) for being unwilling to actively participate in homosexual weddings. Then there are the ubiquitous assaults on Christian expression in the public square, online and within our public schools and armed forces, and the ongoing destruction of Christian memorials, crosses, nativity scenes and the like, and even the recent equating of Christianity with white supremacism and the open mockery of prayer.

Of course, in much of the rest of the world no such subtlety or restraints exist, with scores of nations persecuting, torturing, enslaving and slaughtering Christians daily.

By every measure, Christian persecution – and even more fundamentally, fear and loathing of biblical Christianity – is growing worldwide, even in the once-Christian West, including Europe, the United Kingdom and North America.

The most appalling manifestation within the U.S. has been church shooting massacres, including September 2017’s church shooting in Tennessee and the following November’s mass-murder in rural Texas when a militant atheist, calling believers “stupid,” slaughtered 26 churchgoers and injured dozens more.

Around the world, sums up Open Doors, a ministry serving the needs of the persecuted faithful, “Christians are being persecuted in more countries and in more ways than ever before.”
first-baptist-church-texas-shooting-scene-tw-600

Why is this happening?

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. – John 3:19-20

In many parts of the globe, the reasons Christian believers are targeted are clear enough: Christians are considered “infidels” by millions of Muslims taught from birth that such are deserving of death or forced conversion to Islam, or else dhimmitude (subservient second-class status including a punitive tax). Likewise, the ruling elite in communist societies indoctrinates the population that there is no God – or, as in North Korea, that their leader is a god – rendering Christianity a serious competitor for the people’s loyalty and thus a mortal threat to communists’ limitless ambitions to power.

But even in America, Christian believers are increasingly reviled in a land historically founded as an explicitly Christian one. America’s culture today is not merely un-Christian, but anti-Christian. The news and entertainment media mock and belittle Christian beliefs as do most of the nation’s colleges and universities, while the political left increasingly equates biblical values with ignorance and bigotry at best, and at worst, with white nationalism and fascism. Unfortunately, this growing antipathy toward Christianity was turbocharged by President Obama, who for eight years openly denigrated the very faith he claims to follow. In reality, raised by a Muslim stepfather and schooled as a follower of Islam in Indonesia, Obama later embraced the atheistic religion of Marxism for decades – and he has never publicly renounced nor even criticized either one.

Obama_church

But let us now turn up the magnification and take a much closer look at what actually underlies today’s growing antagonism toward the followers and teachings of Christ.

Bear with me, please, because it may seem at first as though we’re not dealing directly with the subject at hand – Christian persecution – although you’ll soon see we have arrived at the very heart of the matter.

Let’s zoom in on a common scene in 21st-century America. For the nearly four-and-a-half decades since Roe v. Wade, pro-lifers – the vast majority of them Christians – have been standing vigil and praying outside abortion clinics across the country and, when opportunity arises, speaking to the mostly young women entering therein. As a rule, these “sidewalk counselors” demonstrate genuine love and concern for both mother and child, frequently offering to take the expectant mother to a nearby pro-life crisis pregnancy center that gives free ultrasounds, counseling and support in dealing with a crisis pregnancy without abortion. Countless women have been helped this way; otherwise, pro-lifers wouldn’t engage in this outreach year after year.

But some women – and a great many of the abortion clinics’ staffers – insist they witness vile, hateful, vicious verbal assaults from the pro-life interventionists. It’s not true, of course. I have known many pro-life activists and sidewalk counselors, including some who offer – out of their own personal substance – to help these girls, to pay their way, even take them into their own home to provide them with a loving, supportive, life-affirming alternative to abortion. They are motivated by love.

Why, then, do some people experience the genuine concern of kindhearted, well-intentioned people as vile, vicious and abusive?

March-for-Life-2013-Wiki-Commons

Only because, in order to head down the dark path toward aborting their child, they have had to stifle or ignore their own conscience – that little spark of God within, the moral compass in every human being that illuminates right from wrong. And what happens when this conscience, which they have managed for the time being to evade, suddenly pops out in another person and speaks eloquently and boldly to them? They react to the voice of conscience in the pro-lifer the same way they react to their own conscience – as an adversary to be discredited and overcome.

In essence, since they feel pain when the Christian pro-lifer speaks to them, they conclude that the person did something terribly wrong to them!

But in reality, all that’s happening is the light of truth shining through one soul is exposing a dark deed in another – in this case, fortunately, a dark deed that hasn’t yet occurred. (This is why some of the most grateful people on earth are women who have been confronted by someone with a little love before entering an abortion clinic.)

Much the same dynamic is replicated in other areas of life, such as when Christian business owners including wedding photographers, bakers, event planners and venue hosts decline on moral-religious grounds to actively participate in homosexual weddings, which celebrate something the Bible explicitly condemns as immoral and sinful. To many who have fallen into the highly addictive world of homosexuality, someone shining a light on their sexual perversion by simply declining to participate in a wedding ceremony is seen as evidence not just of bigotry and hate, but of a crime.

Yet consider that a remarkable body of major peer-reviewed research confirms what previous generations of psychiatrists and psychologists knew, and what many people intuitively recognize – that homosexual identification frequently results from childhood sexual abuse. Thus, despite today’s supercharged cultural and legal affirmation of homosexuality as a perfectly normal, healthy, even glorious lifestyle, underneath it all great anxiety and guilt persist because homosexual acts actually are morally wrong and disordered and often rooted in trauma. When that deeply buried angst over one’s homosexuality is awakened by some innocent person who fails to affirm that homosexuality is moral and wholesome, it is often experienced as “hate.”

It is not hate, only an unwelcome truth.

Ironically, though Islam is infinitely harsher than Christianity in its treatment of homosexuals – lashing them, throwing them off buildings, hanging, stoning, torturing or shooting them – rarely are any complaints heard from the left about Islam. Only about Christianity. Why?

Islam-gay-boy-TerrorMonitor-TW

Because the left’s real enemy is not Islam, it is the Judeo-Christian biblical precepts and commandments that for centuries served as Western civilization’s moral foundation. The left does not feel threatened by Islam because Islam doesn’t shine a light on the left’s sins; it just represents a different form of darkness and, therefore, causes no spiritual conflict or shame.

Moreover, for now at least, the left is strategically comfortable allying with Islam because “the enemy of your enemy is your friend,” and both Islam and the atheistic left are at war with Christianity.

It’s no coincidence that the two previous examples cited – abortion and homosexuality – both revolve around sex. Much of the American left’s hatred of Christianity has everything to do with sex and morality. Indeed, since the 1960s cultural revolution and the ascendency of the various “liberation” movements – “sexual liberation,” “gay liberation,” “women’s liberation,” legalized abortion and so on, much of it hinging on “sexual freedom” – one single factor has stood in opposition to total Marxist socio-sexual anarchy: biblical morality.

That’s right. Even today, most of those so strenuously denouncing the endless stream of sexual predators being exposed in Hollywood, Congress and the news media fail to realize that the only thing that has ever effectively restrained such misbehavior has been the Judeo-Christian moral laws found in the Bible.

How ironic that the very worldview the left mocks is the one and only factor that has, for all previous generations, provided our society with a sacred core of sound moral values with regard to sex, marriage and family. The secular elite’s hypocrisy is staggering: America’s colleges promote sexual anarchy in every conceivable way, with Harvard holding its annual “Sex Week” last month, including a clinic instructing students on how to have anal sex. And yet these same institutions complain bitterly about the “culture of rape” on campus – a culture they literally created.

The very high cost of discipleship

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. – John 1:5

What about the rest of the world? In so many nations, life is more wretched and the human spirit more stifled than we in the West can ever imagine.

And in these dark regions, where the light of Judeo-Christian civilization has never dawned, and where the marvelous freedom, security, self-worth, individual rights and resulting entrepreneurism, innovation and other blessings of liberty have never existed, the dynamics of persecution just described manifest not as mockery and lawsuits, but as brutal suppression, mayhem, madness and murder.

For those who rise to positions of power in totalitarian nations, as well as for those unfree souls forced to serve as soldier-slaves of the regime’s enforcement machinery, the mortal threat posed by the very existence of the Christian Gospel being shared in that land – because of its exceedingly powerful appeal to the hearts, minds and souls of the people – is total. It must be stamped out at all costs. The darkness not only can’t “comprehend” the light – it absolutely can’t stand it and feels compelled to put it out.

The extreme penalties simply for being a Christian in much of the Arab-Muslim world, and especially for apostasy – converting to Christianity from Islam, generally earning a death sentence – are a measure of just how truly dark the state-mandated religion can be in many parts of the world.

egypt_christians

And yet, to the great masses of people living in totalitarian regions, hearing and receiving the Gospel message often is like being gifted with cool water in a stifling spiritual desert. This is why, despite the very high cost of discipleship, Christianity blooms readily in the most hostile places on earth. Places like Nigeria and Somalia in northern Africa, where being a Christian can easily mean having your home burned to the ground and your entire family beheaded, and North Korea, where simply being found to possess a small Bible can lead to summary execution with a high-powered rifle shot to the head. But many would much rather live with the extreme danger, yet with joy and the promise of eternal life, than continue in the living death they had before.

And then, there is Europe.

Currently in the process of being conquered by Islam, Europe has already largely been conquered by the seductive, atheistic, yet insufferably self-righteous “religion” of socialism/Marxism and the moral and spiritual emptiness it truly represents. Europeans rejected the stout Christian faith of their forefathers for the sake of gaining “freedom” from their prior bondage to old-fashioned morality, biblical values and the personal responsibility, self-denial and sacrifice that real liberty requires. However, that rebellion against their centuries-old Christian foundations has created a raging spiritual vacuum, which Islam has been only too happy to fill. With its rapidly expanding population – comprising both migrants and converts –Europe’s Muslims seem full of religious fervor and willingness to have lots of children unlike native Europeans, and to generate a never-ending supply of fired-up jihad warriors and wannabe martyrs eager to die while ushering in the Islamic apocalypse.

It’s been said it takes a religion to fight a religion – and Europe has none.

Indeed, the plight of Europe and the United Kingdom today is eerily reminiscent of the many biblical accounts of God’s chosen people who, having fallen into disobedience and corruption, were invaded, put to the sword and conquered by pagan armies serving an alien god.

Freedom from bondage

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. – Matthew 5:11-12

So where does this leave us? Our world, despite its natural beauty, wonder and awesomely dazzling complexity, is filled with the wretchedness of desperate people trying to bear up under the yoke of every form of bondage. Not just bondage to deranged leaders and enslaving philosophies, religions and governments, but bondage to drugs, alcohol, food, sex, gambling and everything in between. Human weaknesses like pride, doubt, anger, lust and greed manifest as cruelty, confusion, corruption, exploitation and criminality – and terrorism and war are never far behind. Even in the most civilized of nations like America, rage, depression, anxiety, mental illness, addiction, divorce, family breakdown, hopelessness and suicide far too often get the upper hand.

Yet, God is merciful. For into this exceedingly dark world, He sends a gift. The Creator of the entire universe, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, somehow manages to wrap His nature and goodness and grace and healing and majesty and a plan for redemption all into a tiny package – a present for mankind – and sends it to earth in the form of an infant. A wonder literally beyond our imagining, God’s Son is not only full of love and truth and innocence – basically, everything this world is not – but bears the ultimate gift of healing for mankind. The child grows up to become not only the most important person to ever live – the greatest example, greatest teacher, greatest religious leader and so on – but much more. He becomes the savior of mankind, the doorway to a new life for us, both in this world and the next.

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But, He says, there will be many difficulties as we journey through this present life.

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

For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. – Philippians 1:29

Even so, there is a sort of divine magic afoot, for all who embrace Him and faithfully follow His path to peace and fulfillment even in the midst of suffering, joy in the face of heartache, fullness of life even when surrounded by death. The magic of God’s love for us and our redemption is a great and mysterious heavenly miracle, yet down here at “ground level” we are called to focus on forgiveness: God forgives our sins through Christ’s sacrifice for us – and we, in gratitude and obedience, forgive everyone else’s sins. Everyone. Completely and totally.

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 5:44-45

If you think about it, when we bless those who curse us and do good to them that hate us and pray for those who persecute us, we can’t lose. No matter what. We become bulletproof. The good is good, and the bad is good, so to speak.

Christian_soldiers

Moreover, let’s remember that as important as this life is, we are on a sojourn through this world to another kingdom. While here, we’re meant to live every moment of our lives in faithful service and obedience to our now and future king.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. – Revelation 21:4-5  (Click to Source)

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Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Media Silent

‘Pure Genocide’: Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children

By Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Reporter | 

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Church leaders in Nigeria have said that Christians are experiencing “pure genocide” as 6,000 people, mostly women and children, have been murdered by Fulani radicals since January.

“What is happening in Plateau state and other select states in Nigeria is pure genocide and must be stopped immediately,” said the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State in a press release last week.

The church leaders said that “over 6,000 persons, mostly children, women and the aged have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen,” which is prompting their cry to the government of Nigeria “to stop this senseless and blood shedding in the land and avoid a state of complete anarchy where the people are forced to defend themselves.”

The press release also pleaded with the international community, as well as the United Nations, to intervene in the Fulani attacks, fearing they might spread to other countries as well.

“We are particularly worried at the widespread insecurity in the country where wanton attacks and killings by armed Fulani herdsmen, bandits and terrorists have been taking place on a daily basis in our communities unchallenged despite huge investments in the security agencies,” they added, saying President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to bring attackers to justice.

They referenced several mass-scale attacks this year, including the slaughter of over 200 people, mostly Christians, at the end of June in raids carried out by the herdsmen on local area farmers near the city of Jos.

Although some international news media has sought to characterize the killings as a land conflict between community groups, the church leaders, along with major persecution watchdog groups such as Open Doors USA and International Christian Concern, have all said that Christians are being deliberately targeted.

“We reject the narrative that the attacks on Christian communities across the country as ‘farmers/herdsmen clash.’ The federal government has been so immersed in this false propaganda and deceit while forcefully pushing the policy idea of establishing cattle ranches/colonies on the ancestral farming lands of the attacked communities for the Fulani herdsmen as the only solution to the problem,” the press release declared, accusing the government of also pushing such a narrative.

“How can it be a clash when one group is persistently attacking, killing, maiming, destroying; and the other group is persistently being killed, maimed and their places of worship destroyed? How can it be a clash when the herdsmen are hunting farmers in their own villages/communities and farmers are running for their lives?” the church leaders asked.

“How can it be a clash when the herdsmen are the predators and the inhabitant/indigenous farmers are the prey? Until we call a disease by its real name and causatives, it would be difficult to properly diagnose the disease for the right curative medications.”

There have been different reports on the number of Christians killed in Nigeria since the start of the year.

The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, stated on Tuesday that a combined total of 1,750 Christians, along with non-Muslims, have been killed both by the Fulani herdsmen, and by Boko Haram radicals, who are a separate terror group.

Intersociety also warned of a genocide in its statement.

“Nigeria is drifting to [a path of] genocide through killing, maiming, burning and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship, and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worship, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians and other indigenous religionists in Northern Nigeria,” it said.

Roman Catholic Bishop William Avenya of Gboko separately told charity Aid to the Church in Need that the world cannot wait for a full-on genocide before deciding to intervene.

“Please don’t make the same mistake as was made with the genocide in Rwanda,” he pleaded, referring to the massacre of Tutsi people in Rwanda, where close to 1 million were killed in 1994.

“It happened beneath our noses, but no one stopped it. And we know well how that ended,” Avenya said. (Click to Source)

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