Franklin Graham: ‘Equality Act’ will lead to Christian persecution ‘as never before’

July 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Evangelical leader Rev. Franklin Graham is speaking out against one of the LGBT lobby’s top congressional priorities, warning that the so-called Equality Act would have “catastrophic consequences” for both religious freedom and women’s rights if it became law.

The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include “sex,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” among expressly recognized “non-discrimination” categories in “public accommodations” (the definition of which would be dramatically expanded); and force employers of 15 or more people to recognize their claimed “gender identity,” forbid them from “discriminating” based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity,” and mandate transgender “access” to sex-specific facilities.

In May, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, which Graham warns could become law depending on the outcome of next year’s elections, WND reports.

“If the Senate majority changes or if enough Republican senators change their position, it would be up to the president to veto the bill. And if that office were to change hands in 2020, I have little doubt this would become the law of the land,” Graham wrote in the July-August issue of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association magazine Decision.

If that happens, he continued, Christian employers “would lose all protections to hire people who adhere to their biblical statements of faith. Christians will be persecuted for their sincerely held beliefs as never before. The clear teachings of the Bible on the sins of homosexuality and abortion will no doubt be considered ‘hate speech.’ It will be a nightmare from which this nation may never recover.”

Conservatives have long warned that the legislation’s true purpose is not to protect homosexual or gender-confused Americans from tangible harm, but to force other Americans such as photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex “weddings”; to force employers and businesses to accommodate cross-dressing, same-sex cohabitation, and sex-change treatments regardless of their own values or policies; and to force women and girls to sleep, shower, and use the bathroomalongside gender-confused males.

WND adds that in the same issue, the Graham association’s Jerry Pierce warned that the Equality Act “would make no exemptions for religious institutions and explicitly invalidates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” leading to the closure of adoption agencies that insist children be placed in homes with a mother and a father along with stripping “parents of their right to raise and educate their own children if their beliefs contradict government mandates.”

“Rather than offering meaningful protections for individuals, the Equality Act would impose sweeping new norms that negatively impact the unborn, health care, charitable services, schools, personal privacy, athletics, free speech, religious liberties, and parental rights,” five chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) declared in May.

“The Act’s unsound definitions of ‘sex’ and ’gender identity’ would erase women’s distinct, hard-won recognition in federal laws. Its sex-based nondiscrimination terms would end women’s shelters and many single-sex schools. It would close faith-based foster care and adoption agencies that honor children’s rights to a mother and father. The bill would even act as an abortion mandate,” the bishops added.

The Daily Caller reported last month that every 2020 Democrat presidential candidate averaging above 1% in the polls has endorsed the Equality Act, including former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. (Click to Source)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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China Update – A Message from the Church in China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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UN poised to launch global ban on speech that insults Muslims

  BY 

Sharia-adherent nations have long “sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally.’”

But somehow Westerners still generally refuse to acknowledge the real meaning and intent of the concept of “Islamophobia.” In short, it’s intended to promote the supremacy of the Sharia by discrediting and silencing critics of Islam. The UN declared its intention to become closer with the OIC years ago, and it has happened. Now:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

This aggressive campaign is the logical next step following years of appeasement, thanks to politically correct Western leaders. There have been enough warnings. Now, the final stage for Western subjugation has arrived, and the more Westerners fight for their own right to the freedom of speech, the more aggressive the “Islamophobia” brigade will become, particularly in light of the fact that they have come this far through bullying, intimidation, deceit and manipulation. They’re not about to surrender now, as they have been encouraged by too many Western dhimmis surrendering to them.

Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

Mainstream Muslim groups in the West share the message of Lodhi and routinely persecute those who call out the truth about Islam. Lodhi stated a common message which is now embraced across the West in describing the so-called consequences of those who offend Islam:

“An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia”

An “inclusive political process for durable peace”  by rejecting “Islamophobia” is what Lodhi — and other stealth jihadists who are promoting the Sharia — have duped Westerners into believing as they promote Islamic anti-blasphemy laws.

“UN poised to launch global ban on all criticism of Islam,” by Michael F. Haverluck, One News Now, June 23, 2019:

Nations belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other governments adhering to Shariah law across the world are ramping up their new campaign with the United Nations to prohibit all speech that Muslims consider offensive.

“Islamist nations … long have sought a determination from the United Nations that any criticism of Islam or Muslims is ‘Islamophobia’ and banned globally,’” WND reported, noting that with 57 members, the OIC represents the largest voting bloc in the U.N. “But each time it has come up for a vote, more realistic arguments prevailed and the campaign never was legitimized.”

Pakistan putting on the pressure
After U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres unveiled the new “U.N. Strategy and Plan of Action” to fight so-called “hate speech” at a special meeting in the packed Economic and Social (ECOSOC) chamber, Pakistan Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi incited more support to silence any opposition to Islam and its adherents – including speech condemning Islam for its scriptural inciting of terrorists to conduct jihad (holy war) on “infidels.”

An inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance, anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia,” Lodhi proclaimed before ambassadors, senior diplomats and high-ranking U.N. officials, as quoted in a press release, according to MSN. “My Prime Minister Imran Khan has recently again called for urgent action to counter Islamophobia, which is today the most prevalent expression of racism and hatred against ‘the other.’” (Click to Source)

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

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

May 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Police investigating after anti-Islam leaflets dropped in Auckland

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 
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THEY REFUSED TO DENOUNCE JESUS—PASTOR, 5 OTHERS SHOT AFTER CHURCH SERVICE IN BURKINA FASO

May 7, 2019 by Lindy Lowry in Africa, Stories of Persecution

Last Sunday seemed like any Sunday for 80-year-old Pastor Pierre OuIt, who has spent 40 years serving his church and Sirgadji village community in the northeastern Soum province of Burkina Faso. On April 28, he gathered for worship with his congregation in the West African country. And like every Sunday, he preached the Word of God with the wisdom that seasoned years of life and ministry bring.

But shortly after the service, an ordinary Sunday suddenly turned deadly and a church building where worshippers had just gathered became a crime scene.

KILLED FOR FOLLOWING JESUS

At about 1 pm, while Pastor Pierre was still talking with several congregants in the churchyard, a dozen men on motorbikes stormed the area.

A local leader who wished to remain anonymous told World Watch Monitor“The assailants asked the Christians to convert to Islam, but the pastor and the others refused.”

Reportedly, the attackers gathered Pastor Pierre and the five other congregants under a tree and then confiscated their Bibles and cell phones.

“Then they called them, one after the other, behind the church building where they shot them dead,” the leader said.

In addition to Pastor Pierre, the attackers killed his son, Wend-Kuni, and his brother-in-law (a church deacon), Zoéyandé Sawadogo, as well as believers Sayouba and Arouna Sawadogo, and a primary school teacher, Elie Boena. Another was seriously injured and taken to a nearby hospital.

The men then set the church building and two motorbikes on fire. Before they left, they stole sheep and a bag of rice from Pastor Pierre’s home.

He and his five congregants were buried the same day in a ceremony that drew people from both Christian and Muslim communities. The pastor leaves behind his wife and six other children.

Other locals reported that the next day, the same attackers (some of them known to village residents as “young men who’ve been radicalized”) came back into the village “searching for Christians.”

The sources say the armed groups can move with impunity because of the lack of law enforcement in the area in the West African country.

“I WOULD RATHER DIE THAN LEAVE”

Previously, Pastor Pierre told relatives about his concerns over the deterioration of security in the region, though there had been no incidents in his village.

The community leader said that when he and others advised the pastor to leave the area, he refused, saying he “would rather die for his faith than leave the community he has been serving for 40 years.”

In the last few months, more than 100 Christians have fled the area, moving farther south, more than 46 miles away. In February, armed men believed to be Islamist militants killed a church leader in the southeast region of Nohao, as he was returning from Togo.

Last Sunday’s violence in Burkina Faso that took the life of Pastor Pierre and his five congregants appears to have been the first attack, specifically on a church building, in which believers in Burkina Faso have been killed by Islamist extremists.

BURKINA FASO: A ONCE-PEACEFUL COUNTRY

Burkina Faso is long known for its peaceful co-existence among religious communities, unlike neighboring Mali. But over the past two years, attacks by Islamist militants, military operations, and waves of inter-communal violence have left hundreds dead and 135,000 displaced, triggering what New Humanitarian News has called an “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis that has caught many by surprise.

According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, reported fatalities from attacks targeting civilians have risen by 300 percent in Mali, 500 percent in Niger, and a staggering 7,000 percent in Burkina Faso compared to the same period last year.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project

@ACLEDINFO

BREAKING: @ACLEDinfo records skyrocketing levels of political violence in the #Sahel.

Reported fatalities from attacks targeting civilians have risen by 300% in #Mali, 500% in #Niger, and 7,000% in #BurkinaFaso relative to the same period last year: https://bit.ly/2U3w7Uu 

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The news agency reports that “home-grown militant groups, as well as extremists linked to al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State group, have been in the country’s north (bordering Mali) since 2016, but have expanded to new fronts in the east and southwest, threatening the stability of neighboring countries (among them Ghana, Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast).

Almost a year ago, a pastor from another Assemblies of God church in the same province, and some of his relatives were kidnapped. On June 3 in the village of Bilhoré, Pierre Boéna was kidnapped by armed men, along with his son, daughter-in-law, two grandsons, and a member of his church and her twin daughter. He was later released. It’s unclear what happened to the others.

The country has been the scene of several Islamist attacks, including one in January 2016 in which 29 people were killed, including a U.S. missionary and six Christians on a humanitarian trip.

The same day, an Australian doctor and his wife were kidnapped in Djibo, near the Mali border. Ken and Jocelyn Elliott, who are in their 80s, had worked in Burkina Faso since the 1970s. Jocelyn was released after a month, but Ken is still missing.

“ASK GOD TO GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO SPREAD LOVE”

FEME President Pastor Henri Yé speaks at a press conference in the capital city of Ouagadougou. (photo: FEME)

The Federation of Evangelical Churches and Missions in Burkina Faso expressed its concern over the killings:

A day after the killings on April 30, the federation’s president, Henri Yé, said: “It’s not only the church of Sirgadji that has been attacked; all the values of tolerance, forgiveness, and love that have always led our country have been hurt. The freedom of worship consecrated by our fundamental law [the Constitution] has been flouted.”

Yé also called on all Burkina citizens, particularly Christians, not to fall into the attackers’ trap:

“In the face of blind hatred, let us ask God to give us the strength to spread love, which makes us the children of God. The unity of the Body of Christ and of the whole nation must be preserved at all costs.” (Click to Source)

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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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Democrats preparing ultimatum for people of faith

‘Change your … practices or face government punishment’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Heritage Foundation said employers, workers, medical professionals, parents, children, women and nonprofit organizations all would be harmed by the plan. (Click to Source)
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INSIDER REVEALS TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN TO PROTECT CHRISTIANS

‘What you don’t know about is what goes on behind closed doors’

Published: 04/23/2019 at 2:34 PM

When President Trump was a candidate in 2016, he vowed to support the right of evangelical Christians to express their beliefs and to oppose abortion.

Since his election, fulfillment of some of his promises have made headlines, including the release of pastor Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey on bogus, politically motivated charges.

Trump also appointed two justices to the Supreme Court who have created a conservative majority that could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that established a right to abortion.

But other such efforts by the president have been behind the scenes.

Such as the one revealed recently by his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported Trump routinely asks world leaders who visit the White House what they are doing for religious minorities.

“What you don’t know about is what goes on behind closed doors,” Mulvaney said recently at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

“I very rarely talk about my private meetings with the president, the stuff that goes on what goes on outside the private eye, but I can assure you that I have been sitting with him in the Oval Office, in the cabinet room, with leaders around the world, where he will look at them and say ‘Now, you’re not doing enough to take care of the Christians in your country,’ or, ‘Thank you for helping Christians in your country.’”

Mulvaney, a special guest speaker at the breakfast as a Catholic leader, said Trump frequently has addressed the problem of persecution of Christians and other religious minorities.

“Mulvaney referenced the first-ever State Department Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom attended by 600 people from around the world as well as President Trump’s role in the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from his two-year imprisonment in Turkey,” the report said.

“That’s pretty powerful stuff, to be a leader of a foreign nation sitting in the Oval Office with the president of the United States and have him say, ‘Look, I need you to do more to help religious minorities,’” Mulvaney said.

It’s an issue, he said, that “hasn’t been articulated in the Oval Office in way too long.” (Click to Source)

 

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Christian Teacher Called Nazi, Fired For Opposing Transgender Lessons in School

Mother of two’s life turned upside down for critiquing LGBT lessons 

By: Pippa Monroe  |@NeonNettle on 21st April 2019 @ 6.00pm

A Christian teaching assistant who dared to voice her opinion on about transgender teaching at her son’s primary school has been fired. Mother of two Christie Higgs had a faultless track record and reputation in her teaching profession, but that came to a grinding halt when she dared to question LGBT lessons being forced upon her son.

Higg’s life was turned upside down when a single anonymous complaint was accusing her of offending gay and transgender pupils.

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Ironically, many gay and transgender teenagers turned to Higgins for emotional and practical support. Following the accusation, Higgs was immediately suspended before being fired.The school governor compared her to a pro-Nazi, far-Right extremist.

School chiefs later question why she had used her school email to receive ‘inspirational’ quotations from the Bible;A school governor told her she had no ‘absolute right’ to freedom of speech.Ironically, many gay and transgender teenagers turned to Higgins for emotional and practical support.

‘I loved my job, and I loved the children that I cared for,’ she says.‘It wasn’t just kids who were in trouble; I also helped children who were gay or changing gender.

When they came to my office, I opened my arms to them and treated them like any other young people.

I never discriminated against them and never would.’According to the DailyMail: Kristie’s ordeal began in October when the Church of England primary school attended by her youngest son adopted ‘No Outsiders’ teaching about sexual minorities.

The same programme has generated a row between schools and Muslim parents in Birmingham.

Books given to children as young as four include stories about a boy who wants to wear a dress and one about a red crayon that discovers it is blue.

Kristie felt that her son was too young to appreciate the issues so, with the agreement of teachers, excluded the nine-year-old from the lessons.

The statement in the books that people can change gender at will jarred with her firmly held Christian beliefs.

The dubious teaching programme ‘No Outsiders’ was created by gay assistant head teacher Andrew Moffat in 2014 to promote tolerance of sexual minorities.

It is now taught at primary schools across England and Wales but has sparked protests among Muslims in Birmingham where parents have withdrawn pupils from lessons.

Children as young as four are taught about same-sex relationships and transgender people using brightly illustrated books.

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Kristie felt that her son was too young to appreciate the issues so, with the agreement of teachers, excluded the nine-year-old from the lessons The ‘No Outsiders’ programme is not officially part of the Government projects to make relationships education compulsory in primary schools next year but last month schools watchdog Ofsted gave it is backing.

In a recent interview, Tory MP Andrea Leadsom said it was ‘absolutely right’ for parents to be allowed to choose what age their children should be taught about LGBT issues.

Never anticipating the catastrophic consequences, she posted on her Facebook page a petition, which did not originate from her, against Government plans to make ‘relationships education’ compulsory in schools adding: ‘They are brainwashing our children!’

While some may not agree with the petition’s views, it’s hard to understand why it caused so much offense.

It alerts parents to the plans, pointing out: ‘Children will be taught… gender is a matter of choice, not biology so that it’s up to them what sex they are.

At the same time, it means that expressing and teaching fundamental Christian beliefs, relating to the creation of men and women and marriage, will in practice become forbidden – because they conflict with the new morality and are seen as indoctrination into unacceptable religious bigotry.’

It continues: ‘Freedom of belief will be destroyed, with freedom of speech permitted only for those who toe the party line!’The online petition then warned: ‘We say again, this is a vicious form of totalitarianism aimed at suppressing Christianity.

’Kristie then put up a second Facebook post linking to an American blog criticizing schools for using children’s books to teach youngsters about changing sex.

The blogger, who argues that someone’s sex can only be biologically determined, branded the stories a ‘perversion of the truth’ and ‘a form of child abuse.

’Kristie says: ‘My only crime was to share information about what was happening in schools with other parents and I can’t see what was so terrible about that.

‘I was raising concerns about my son being educated in matters that are not aligned with my religious beliefs and people could choose to agree or disagree.

I would never tell others what to think.‘My bigger worry was that they were introducing the confusing idea of changing gender to children at such a young age.

’Kristie’s accuser, one of her Facebook friends, complained to her headteacher in an email on October 26 last year and asked the school to keep their identity secret.

Kristie has never been allowed to challenge them and still doesn’t know the identity of her accuser.In the message, the unnamed parent, whose child attends Farmor’s School, alleged that Kristie had been ‘posting homophobic and prejudiced views against the LGBT community on Facebook.

’And in light of her ‘offensive’ views, they were worried that the softly spoken pastoral assistant ‘may exert influence over the vulnerable pupils who may end up in isolation’ – the very pupils she had been helping for seven years.

Days later Kristie was called into the headmaster’s office without warning and told she was suspended pending an investigation into whether she had broken the school’s code of conduct.

After hearing the allegations against her, Kristie told the headmaster that millions of Christians around the world shared her view.

He insisted the suspension had nothing to do with her religion, but she suspects he had been warned to say that to avoid allegations of religious discrimination against her.

‘It had everything to do with my Christianity. To suggest otherwise is ridiculous’, she says

.In the weeks after her suspension, which she was banned from discussing with anyone, Kristie was ordered to attend two further ‘investigation’ meetings with the school’s human resources officer

In the second of these sessions, it emerged that the school had been trawling through her work emails in search of any wrongdoing.

Bizarrely, one school official demanded to know if she had used her professional email address to subscribe to a Christian broadcast service that sent out daily inspirational Bible readings.

‘I could not believe they had gone into my email messages looking for evidence that I was a Christian. It felt as if I was being persecuted for my faith,’ Kristie says. (Click to Source)

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