Persecution Unveiled Cause

Persecution Unveiled Cause
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Persecution Unveiled has established this cause to educate people about the persecution of Christians and religious minorities in the US & worldwide. Mission Raising awareness to the growing tide of bigotry and hatred toward Christians around the world has become a burden on those trying to wake up those who cherish religious freedom as a God given right. Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to speak up and act on behalf of those who have no voice. Email
persecutionunveiled@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ISIS Threatens Attacks on Churches in Washington DC, New York on Christmas

(PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/MARTIN KÜNZEL)
Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on May 30, 2008.
By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post

Islamic State supporters have threatened to launch a terror attack in Washington, D.C. and New York on Christmas, according to the SITE intelligence group. A propaganda poster carries a picture that shows Washington's National Cathedral erupting in flames while indicating that New York could be their target.

"We meet at Christmas in New York soon," reads the caption of the poster, which otherwise carries an image of Washington's National Cathedral, reveals SITE, which monitors extremist communications online.

The poster was found circulating through a pro-Islamic State encrypted channel, Telegram.

"ISIS is incentivized to make threats like this, which come at no cost to them. ISIS is not dispatching fighters around the world for complex coordinated terrorist attacks, but has largely relied upon individuals and citizens already living in Europe and the United States to commit unsophisticated attacks," Newsweek quotes Harrison Akins, a researcher at the Howard Baker Center, as saying.

A member of the New York Police Department's Counterterrorism Bureau patrols the Union Square holiday market following the Berlin Christmas market attacks in Manhattan, New York City, December 20, 2017 (Photo: Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

"These individuals' affiliations with ISIS are often tenuous and are perhaps better described as 'inspired by' rather than operationally directed. So perhaps somebody within the U.S. will take it upon themselves to commit an attack on Christmas, which falsely bolsters the perceived capabilities and reach of the group."

In October, a 27-year-old man from Virginia, Mohamad Khweis, became the first U.S. citizen to be convicted of successfully joining the Islamic State terror group, also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Over 100 people in the U.S. have been charged with trying to support or join IS, but Khweis succeeded.

IS managed to encourage over 40,000 fighters from more than 110 countries to travel to join their fight before and after the declaration of the "caliphate" in June 2014, according to a report, "Beyond the Caliphate: Foreign Fighters and the Threat of Returnees."

The report, recently released by the Washington-based security intelligence consultancy Soufan Center, states that there are now at least 5,600 citizens or residents from 33 countries who have returned home — accounting for about 15 percent of the fighters.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sudan Evicts 2 Christian Families From Church-Owned Homes, Gives to Muslim Investor

Baraka Parish church at Hajj Yusuf, on the outskirts of Khartoum, Sudan,
February 2013. (Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

By Samuel Smith
Christian Post


Two Sudanese Christian families remain homeless after a Muslim judge ruled against their appeals of eviction from their homes in Omdurman, and said that a Muslim real estate investor can rightfully take ownership of the church-owned properties.

Sources told nonprofit Christian persecution watchdog group Morning Star News that Judge Adam Tahir Haj Adam upheld the eviction of Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church moderator, the Rev. Yahia Abdelrahim Nalu, and the Rev. Sidiq Abdalla from their homes and awarded ownership to Hisham Hamad Al-Neel, a Muslim investor.

The move leaves the two church leaders and their families homeless. Abdalla has two children, ages 8 and 10. Meanwhile, Nalu has a 1-year-old son.

On Aug. 15, police raided the families' homes and evicted the families on court order. Al-Neel claimed he had ownership of the property for investment purposes, Radio Tamazuj reported at the time. The pastors appealed the court order.

According to Morning Star News, one of the pastors said his house wasn't even listed on the court order. The house listed in the court order was No. 567 and the pastor's house number is No. 772. SPEC leaders who spoke with Morning Star News fear that the court's ruling could lead to the demolition of at least one of the homes.

"All appeals presented are rejected, and implantation of court order should continue," the court order was quoted as stating. The church leaders have appealed the judge's ruling to a high court. A ruling is expected by the end of the year, according to Morning Star News.

The two pastors' homes are not the only church properties that Al-Neel has targeted. The persecution watchdog group cited anonymous sources who said that Al-Neel is the Muslim businessman behind most all of the court attempts to take over church-owned properties in the area.

According to the sources, there are more than 60 church leaders facing charges in Khartoum for opposing the turnover of church property to Al-Neel. The sources added that on Nov. 28, over 25 church leaders appeared in court on charges related to Al-Neel's claims.

"Almost all the cases were opened by Hisham," a source said.

Sudan ranks as the fifth-worst nation in the world when it comes Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's 2017 World Watch List. The country has been listed on the World Watch List every year since 1993.
Christian Post report continues here

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India Police Arrest 30 Christian Seminary Students, Priests Singing Christmas Carols




By Anughar Kumar
Christian Post

Police in India's central state of Madhya Pradesh arrested 30 seminary students and two priests as they were singing Christmas carols in a village. The Christians were also roughed up by Hindu nationalists, who also burned down a car belonging to the priests while police allegedly looked on.

The carol singers, who are from St. Ephrem's Theological College in Satna district in the state of Madhya Pradesh, were arrested from Dara Kalan village Thursday night "as they were conducting a routine Christmas carol singing programme which has been the practice during the Christmas season for the last 30 years," according to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Eight priests who later went to inquire about the detained priests and seminarians were also taken into custody, CBCI says in a statement, adding that the situation outside the police station in Satna "was allowed to be so hostile that even those who wanted to approach the detained persons could get no access to them." The "goons" also torched the vehicle of the priests, the statement says.

A member of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu nationalist group associated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party, had accused members of the seminary of distributing the Bible, photos of Jesus Christ and singing carols, according to Huffington Post.

"We were only singing carols, but the hardline Hindus attacked us and said we were on a mission to make India a Christian nation ... that's not true," Anish Emmanuel, a seminary member, was quoted as saying. CBCI called the accusation of conversion "frivolous and laughable."
"All right thinking Indians will hang their heads in shame at these terrorists who have taken on the garb of 'religious police,'" the bishops said. "We are absolutely sure that they do not speak in the name of our very broad minded and peace loving Hindu brethren."


Friday, December 15, 2017

No Christian Displays at Christmas! What Happened When a Woman Put a Bible Verse on Her Door


CBN News

Many people like to celebrate Christmas with bright lights, wreaths and joyful decorations on their homes. But when an elderly Christian woman from Massachusetts tried to join in the festivities by posting a Bible verse on her front door, she was met with resistance.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) recently reported that the elderly woman's apartment complex ordered her to take down her display.

The complex notified the woman that by posting a Bible verse, she was violating federal law. They claimed her display could offend someone and said they're trying to keep the complex "religion neutral."

After the woman reached out to the ACLJ, the legal group sent a letter to the complex telling them by forcing her to take it down, they are violating the Fair Housing Act. The FHA notes that people cannot be discriminated against due to religion and are allowed to display religious items on their doors.

They stated, "While the FHA requires neutrality, it does not prohibit religious expression, nor does it require, much less permit, the removal of religious expression simply because another tenant may find it offensive."

According to the ACLJ, the complex immediately complied and the matter was quickly resolved. The woman can now proudly display her Bible verses on her front door without retaliation for the rest of the Christmas season.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

When Arabs Ruled Jerusalem: What Life Was Like For Christians And Jews

On 05 June 1967, Israel launched preemptive attacks against Egypt and Syria. In just six days, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula of Egypt, the Golan Heights of Syria, and the West Bank and Arab sector of East Jerusalem (both under Jordanian rule), thereby giving the conflict the name of the Six-Day War.(AFP/Getty Images)

By Richard Pollack
The Daily Caller

Following President Donald Trump’s declaration that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Saeb Erekat quickly shot back and demanded “equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine.”

Protests over Trump’s move have sparked riots in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and even violent protests in Europe, from Germany to Sweden. But how exactly did Arab Muslims treat Christians and Jews when they ruled over Jerusalem for 19 years?

It appears Arabs were anything but tolerant toward either. The Daily Caller News Foundation examined Arab rule over the eastern half of Jerusalem from 1949 until 1967, and found that both Christians and Jews were routinely denied religious freedom and often faced persecution at the hands of the Arabs when Muslims were in charge of the eastern half of the holy city.

In 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan to permit both Jews and Muslims to govern separate sectors. Israel accepted the plan but the Arabs refused it and sent their armies against a group of citizen-soldiers.

The Israelis won a surprising victory in what they called their War of Independence. In 1949, an armistice was signed by both Jordan and Israel, signaling the end to the conflict.

The western half of Jerusalem was to be governed by Israel and the eastern half by the Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom. The Jewish Quarter and many of the most sacred Jewish sites were located in the eastern half ruled by Jordan and local Arabs.


People walk near Damascus Gate leading into Jerusalem’s Old City taken July 14, 1967. On June 1967 Jews were allowed to enter the eastern half of Jerusalem for the first time in 19 years. Fritz Cohen/Courtesy of Government Press Office/Handout via Reuters
From the very start, the Jordanians banned Jews outright, even though the armistice promised “free access to the holy sites and cultural institutions and use of the cemeteries on the Mount of Olives.”

But the Arab governing bodies also persecuted the Christian church and its followers during the same 19 years it ruled over Jerusalem.

“Christian residents, like Jews, did not have equal rights,” noted pastor John C. Hagee, founder and chairman of Christians United for Israel, in an interview with TheDCNF.
Jordanian and local Arab edicts prohibited Christians and later Christian churches from buying land and houses in the Old City of Jerusalem, according to the nonprofit Gatestone Institute.

The Institute reported that Arab Muslims restricted the number of Christian pilgrimages permitted in Jerusalem and Bethlehem during Christmas and Easter. They further imposed strict rules on Christian schools, including mandatory teaching of the Muslim Koran.

Hagee recounted the many indignities suffered by Christians who lived in Jerusalem.

“In 1952, Jordan proclaimed Islam as the official religion, including in Jerusalem,” he recalled. “In 1953, Christians were constrained for buying or holding land near holy sites. In 1955, all Jordanian schools were to be overseen by the government and only government-sanctioned textbooks could be used. In 1964, Churches were prohibited from buying land in Jerusalem. Churches were barred from funding hospitals or social services in Jerusalem.”
While Christians faced hardship and very harsh restrictions, Jews were banished entirely from the holy city.

From 1949 onward, there were no Jewish homes, synagogues or businesses in ancient Jerusalem. Jewish homes were taken over and occupied by Arabs and Jews lost their businesses. Most Jews fled to the western half of Jerusalem or to other parts of the Israel. Israelis or Jews of any nationality could not enter the Muslim section of Jerusalem for 19 years.


The treatment of Jewish synagogues and holy sites were documented when Jewish forces entered the Old City after the Six Day War in June 1967. An official November 1967 report by Israel’s Minister of Religious Affairs found “wanton disregard of the religious rights of others,” according to news reported at the time by The Jewish Telegraph Agency.

When the Israelis entered the eastern part of Jerusalem, they found the most sacred ancient Jewish shrines had been desecrated or totally destroyed by the Jordanian army or by local Arab residents.


An ultra-Orthodox Jew walks in the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem June 15, 2009. Arabs took the Jewish tombstones and used them to pave roads and even used as tops for latrines when they ruled Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
One of the most spectacular acts of desecration was the destruction of the 2,000-year old Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, which was supposed to be protected by the armistice. Christian clergy who raised concerns about the desecration of the cemetery was told by Jordanian authorities “to mind his own business,” according to the 1967 Israeli report.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Over 77,000 Sign Petitions Supporting Air Force Colonel Punished for Opposing Gay Marriage


By Michael Gryboski
Christian Post


A pair of socially conservative advocacy groups have sent two petitions signed by more than 77,000 people to the military in support of an Air Force colonel punished for not supporting gay marriage.

Colonel Leland Bohannon garnered headlines in October after being suspended for refusing on religious grounds to sign a certificate of appreciation to the same-sex spouse of a retiring serviceman.

Family Research Council and the American Family Association delivered 77,000 signed petitions in support of Bohannon to the Pentagon on Wednesday.

"I urge you to restore and protect Colonel Leland Bohannon's Constitutional right to freely exercise his religious beliefs by reversing the complaint against him and by removing any unfavorable remarks from his record related to this complaint," read the AFA's petition.


Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Family Research Council's executive vice president, said in a statement Wednesday that "we will not back down from defending the religious liberty of those in the military."
"... over 77,000 Americans have joined together in this petition to say they will not stand for service members being punished and driven out simply for living in accordance with their religious beliefs," stated Boykin.
"The action taken against Colonel Bohannon is unacceptable, and Air Force policy must be corrected to ensure this does not happen again. In addition, the complaint against Col. Bohannon needs to be reversed and removed from his record."
The incident involving Bohannon occurred at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico in May, according to the Associated Press. He was asked to sign a "certificate of spouse appreciation" for an airman in a same-sex marriage.
"The certificate is an unofficial document that's traditionally given to the spouses of retiring military members, and it's not legally required to be given," reported the AP.
Bohannon asked for a religious accommodation, saying he could not sign the document due to his beliefs as a Christian on marriage.

Later, the airman filed a complaint with the Equal Opportunity office, and Bohannon was accused of "unlawful discrimination on the basis of his sexual orientation." He was then suspended.



American Christian Street Preacher Cleared of 'Hate Speech' Conviction in the UK

American street preacher Daniel Courney had his conviction 
overturned by the Crown Court in London, England

By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post


A court in the United Kingdom has overturned the conviction of an American Christian street preacher for using "threatening and discriminatory language" while preaching to Muslims in Lincoln.

The Crown Court on Thursday overturned the conviction of the 33-year-old evangelist, Daniel Courney, whom Lincoln Magistrates had declared guilty on Sept. 14 after the Crown Prosecution Service pressed charges over complaints by Muslims on Lincoln High Street, according to Christian Concern.

While the preacher was giving a sermon, a crowd disrupted by shouting when he was saying that Jesus is the only way to God. But later a Muslim woman claimed that Courney called her "ISIS (Islamic State)" and told her to "go back to your country," an allegation that the preacher denied.

He was arrested under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
"I came to the United Kingdom with its rich Christian history, to bring back the message of Jesus Christ," Courney was quoted as saying earlier. "The message is a simple one: repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and do not follow false religions."
But due to the case, he has had to travel to and from the U.K. four times in the last three months, he added. "I have had other restrictions on my liberty during that time. I have been held in police custody and accused of being a hate preacher. At all times I simply wanted to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Courney thanked the Christian Legal Centre for their help and support and their free legal counsel.
"We are proud to represent street preachers in our country as they share the love of Jesus Christ with people on the street," Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, was quoted as saying. "This case once again highlights the need for police operating in these situations to understand how the law protects free speech."
In a separate case in March, the Bristol Magistrates' Court in the U.K. convicted two Christian street preachers, Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell, of public order offenses for saying Muslims are going to Hell and Jesus is the only way to God.

They were found guilty of using "threatening or abusive words or behavior or disorderly behavior within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress, thereby, and the offense was religiously aggravated."


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Christian Persecution Is 'the Issue of Our Time,' Says Watchdog

Relatives of victims of terrorist attack killed at least 30 Coptic Christians

By Stoyan Zaimov
Christians Post


The persecution of Christians around the world is the "tipping point" behind almost every major world crisis, a watchdog group warned during a major conference in Washington, D.C.
"This is the issue, I think, of our time. I say that with confidence because persecution, ... and particularly the persecution of Christians, is the tipping point in every major crisis around the world," said David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, during the 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom, a three-day conference being held in Washington, D.C.
"In North Korea, in Africa, in Iraq and Syria — it begins with persecution of Christians," he stated, according to Mission Network News.
The conference brought together Christian leaders, politicians, charity and human rights groups from around the world to talk about the ever-growing problem, given statistics that say close to 80 percent of religious persecution around the world targets Christians.

Curry noted that the conference focuses not only on leaders, but also everyday believers who are experiencing persecution for their beliefs.
"I think both approaches are terribly important — that we have senators and congressmen meeting with church officials to hear the stories of what's happening in their regions. I think it's good," Curry said, before adding, "It can't do everything.
"We need to continue to draw attention to what's happening at the grassroots level and talk about it in the halls of Congress, pray about it in churches."
Curry, whose organization documents the persecution of Christians around the world, said that when religious freedom starts to unravel, all of society begins to suffer.
"This is the issue we need to be talking about and addressing. And I think when people don't have the freedom to worship the way they choose, they basically don't have any freedom at all," he pointed out.
The Open Doors CEO said that the Advent season is a good time to pray for persecuted followers of Christ.
"[I'm] thankful for people who begin to pray now around Christmas for these folks around the [world]... I think this is an opportunity for Jesus' people to stand up in a big way and to reach out and to care for what's happening around the world and to be the moral voice," he stated.
Christian Post article continues

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Friday, December 8, 2017

7 Christian Missionaries Arrested After Hindus Accuse Them of 'Forcible Conversion' in India

 Pastor Stanley Jacob and his family

                                                      
By Samuel Smith
Christian Post

Seven pastors have been arrested in Northern India and could face years in prison after they were accused of forcible conversion even though family members say that the allegations stem from Muslim families' unwillingness to accept that their loved ones had converted to Christianity.

The London-based charity British Asian Christian Association has raised an alarm about the Monday arrests of missionaries in the Uttar Pradesh state who were charged under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code and could face up to three years for accusations that they performed a "forcible conversion campaign."

As originally reported by The Times of India, the pastors were accused of resorting to violence when the local Hindus refused to accept the evangelistic efforts after their ministry had been heavily active in the Irauli Gurjar area for the past month. The pastors were accused of trying force lower-caste Hindus to convert to Christianity.

Family members of Pastor Stanley Jacob told BACA, also known as the British Pakistani Christian Association, that Jacob and the other pastors were invited by a woman named Mamta to come to her house to pray on Monday. Mamta had recently moved to the village after she and her husband, Pradeep Singh, converted to Christianity.
"Mamta's sister had also recently converted to Christianity but all these conversions had caused upset within Mamta's family," BACA reports. "The pastors visited the house to hold a house meeting and share the gospel, pray and distribute bibles with local people who had been responding to invites to the meeting."
However, the prayer meeting was interrupted by local outraged Hindus. According to BACA, Singh's uncle, Lal, called the police. Officers arrived quickly and took the pastors away.

Lal Singh also filed a complaint even though he was not present during the meetings and claimed that the pastors were guilty of promoting blasphemous content. Singh also claimed to have been told that there were forced conversions being done.

According to BACA, the seven pastors were refused bail on Wednesday.
"I can't express the frustration I feel for these pastors. Words simply cannot convey the anger I feel when I think of their unwarranted arrest based on the lies of local people fearful of the Gospel message of Christ," BACA's lead officer in India, Pastor Naresh, said in a statement. "Men trying to save the lives and the souls of other are arrested on the whim of extremists, but they never lose their calling or faith."
Christian Post report continues 

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Children, Entire Evangelical Families Being Arrested in Eritrea Simply for Praying



By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Entire evangelical Christian families, including children, are reportedly being arrested in new persecution tactics being used by Eritrean officials, human rights activists have said.
"Since May of this year, nearly 200 Christians have been arrested. The interesting thing about this — they have shifted tactics ... Instead of just raiding church services or Bible studies, now the government is going to the homes of Christians, and they're arresting the whole family," Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs USA told Mission Network News.
"Even children have been put under arrest if they're part of a Christian family."
Nettleton explained that the children are taken into custody when their parents are arrested, and said that 16 students were taken by officials in November, simply for praying.
"Even as bad as it was, this seems like even a step further in the persecution of Christians — to arrest even children who are involved in Christian activities," Nettleton added.
The country's Christian population, roughly half of the nation, are given a choice to worship at the Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, but all other house churches and Christian meetings are not tolerated.
"The Evangelical Church has been outlawed in Eritrea by the government. Any kind of public church meetings are illegal, other than those in the approved denominations by the government," he stated.
"So anytime Christians gather together, they face arrest, they face persecution and imprisonment. Many times those imprisonments are in horrible conditions, even being held in shipping containers which have no plumbing. They have very limited air supply, they're closed off, they're [hot] in the summer, they're very cold in the winter."
Both a major Catholic and an Islamic school were also recently targeted. Christian Solidarity Worldwide told The Christian Post in November that the government "appears obsessed with controlling every aspect of the lives of its citizens."

Khataza Gondwe, CSW's team leader for Africa and the Middle East, explained that the three permitted Christian churches, including the one sanctioned Islamic branch, are not free from government interference.


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Friday, December 1, 2017

China Urges Rural Christians to Replace Jesus Images with Xi Jinping


By Frances Martel
Breitbart

Chinese officials and residents in a rural area of Jiangxi province have revealed a government plan to “melt the hard ice” in the hearts of Christians towards communism by denying them pivotal poverty relief packages if they do not replace images of Jesus in their households with photos of President Xi Jinping.

One official stated that the move was necessary because Christians are “ignorant” and need to be taught to worship the state, not God.

The move is the latest in a string of crackdowns against Christianity in the Xi era. Xi’s regime views Christianity, which has experienced a popularity boom in the past decade, as a challenge to the supremacy of the Communist Party’s growing cult of personality around Xi himself.

The South China Morning Post first picked up on the social media posting that revealed the program, noting that the post showed someone replacing their Christian images with Xi Jinping’s official headshot and praised local Communist Party officials for having transformed locals “from believing in religion to believing in the party.”

The social media post tracked efforts in the town of Huangjinbu, in southeastern Jiangxi province. It claimed that up to 600 residents had “voluntarily” replaced their images of Jesus, resulting in 453 new photos of Xi hanging on living room walls.

The Washington Post, which also reported on the post, noted that Communist Party officials in Yugan county in Jiangxi, where Huangjinbu is located, had noted with panic the rapid growth of the region’s Christian population an expressed “a sense of crisis” about it in a regional meeting in October. This new effort may have been a result of brainstorming to solve the problem of more people believing in Jesus than communism.

The South China Morning Post confirmed the efforts with Qi Yan, identified as “chairman of the Huangjinbu people’s congress.”
“Many rural people are ignorant. They think God is their savior. … After our cadres’ work, they’ll realize their mistakes and think: we should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help,” Qi told the newspaper. Some, he added, became Christians due to “illness in the family,” which the communists argue can only be cured through “the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi.”
Qi claimed that the government has only forced individuals to place photos of Xi over their Christian images in “the center of their home,” not their bedrooms or other private areas.
A local resident, which the South China Morning Post identified as “Liu,” stated that many families were forced to remove their images because they would otherwise not receive their poverty relief packages, putting their lives in jeopardy.

Blogger's Note: 

Christianity is prohibited in all communist societies. As a matter of fact, many if not all religions are viciously suppressed in communist societies; for example, the only tolerable religion in North Korea is the personality cult of Kim Il Sung. 

The reason communist leaders forbid all other forms of religion is because everything outside of state worship takes the focus and glory off the government. And Christianity is especially hated, since God’s “invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” 

In sum, communist leaders do not acknowledge Christianity’s truth because it contradicts all the things they hold dear in their “superiority” over their people.

Quote from "Communism vs. Christianity", by Sarah Merly (15 year-old homeschooler). Check out her blog here

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Algeria Shuts Down Church Accused of Illegally Printing Bibles and Evangelism Materials



By Samuel Smith
Christian Post


A church in the Northeastern African nation of Algeria has been closed down after authorities claimed that the church building was being used to print Bibles and other Christian materials.

World Watch Monitor reports that a church affiliated with the Protestant Church of Algeria in the Mediterranean coastal town of Ain Turk was shut down by government officials on Nov. 9.

Authorities in the port city of Oran, which is about 20 miles from Ain Turk, have claimed that the church was being used to "illegally print Gospels and publications intended for evangelism." Additionally, the police say that the church did not have state approval.

However, a Christian leader has decried the government's allegations against the church in question and called them "unfounded."
"Firstly, this community is indeed affiliated to the Protestant Church of Algeria, which has been officially recognized by the government since 1974 and is accredited with both the Ministry of the Interior and the local government," the Rev. Mahmoud Haddad explained, according to WWM. "Also there is no printing activity of Gospels or Christian publications inside these premises."
A church board member named Youssef also told the Christian persecution media outlet that the church was closed down based on "false motives."
"I am very saddened by this injustice and persecution we are facing in Algeria," Youssef was quoted as saying.
Algeria, a Muslim-majority country, ranks as the 36th-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's World Watch List.

An Open Doors factsheet on Algeria states that the country prohibits public assembly for worship of religions other than Islam. However, Open Doors explains that Catholic and Protestant churches generally are able to conduct services without fear of government interference.

Although a new Algerian constitution enacted in February 2016 guaranteed the freedom of worship, churches have still been forced to fight for their rights to assemble due to the country's 2006 law banning non-Muslim worship.

Christian Post report continues

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Iranian Christian Convert Loses Appeal Against 10-Year Prison Sentence for 'Missionary Activities'

World Watch Monitor from left to right: Bahram Nasibov, Eldar
    Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov, and Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh
By James Macinytre
Christian Today


An Iranian convert to Christianity has had his 10-year prison sentence for 'missionary activities' upheld after losing his appeal, World Watch Monitor has reported.

Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh was sentenced in May alongside three Azerbaijanis, and all four men were given 10-year sentences for 'missionary activities' and 'actions against national security' in Iran.

However, the three Azerbaijanis – Eldar Gurbanov, Yusif Farhadov and Bahram Nasibov – were released from Iran in November 2016 and, according to WWM, are unlikely to be forced to return, despite their representatives also failing to overturn their verdicts during the hearing on 
November 12.

The four men were arrested after security agents raided a wedding party in Tehran in June 2016, according to WWM. They spent four months in prison before being released on bail, after which the Azerbaijani men travelled home.

The charges were described as 'unwarranted and unjustifiable' by Mervyn Thomas, the chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

According to the advocacy group Article 18, 21 Christians have been sentenced to long prison terms in Iran since May.

Iran is ranked 8th on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

In 2016, over 193 Christians were arrested for attending these prayer meetings and Bible studies in 'house churches' according to WWM.

Website: Christian Today

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Monday, November 27, 2017

UM Students Pass Anti-Israel Divestment Resolution: "Jews Are Not a Nation"

"Zionism is a Dirty Political Ideology"


By Rachel Frommer
Washington Free Beacon

Students at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (UM) supporting an anti-Israel student government resolution were caught on hidden camera rejecting the concept of Jewish nationhood and denying a Jewish student the right to participate in a discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In one of the exchanges in the footage obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon, students agree that Palestinian activists should engage in a "re-evaluation of the past nonviolent stance."

In another conversation, Ahmed Ismail, a member of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), the group that led the coalition of clubs supporting the resolution, is seen having an extended argument with an unidentified male and female about the existence of a relationship between Judaism and Israel.
"Jews are not a nation," he said repeatedly. "There's no nation called ‘Judaism,'" Ismail said. "Where on the map is there a country called ‘Jews'?"
"Zionism is a dirty political ideology," said Ismail, co-founder of the Michigan Muscle Club, which endorsed the SAFE motion. Zionism, a term coined in the nineteenth century, refers to the goal of rebuilding a Jewish state in the land of Israel. There are political, religious, and cultural forms of Zionism.
Ismail reinforced his comments in a phone call with the Free Beacon, saying that Zionism was the Jewish version of the Ku Klux Klan or ISIS.
"Any person who is a Zionist believes in the State of Israel, even though it oppresses and kills millions of Palestinians—which I call terrorism," said Ismail.  "Most Jews are Zionists," he added.
As proof, though, that Zionism has no inherent tie to Judaism, Ismail said there are more non-Jewish Zionists than Jewish Zionists. Ismail noted that he has "lots of Jewish friends," and that "terrorism in Israel has nothing to do with it being Jewish."  He said that his views were formed by literature given to him by SAFE, and his experiences growing up as a Muslim in Egypt. He said he has never taken a class on Zionism or the history of Judaism.

Another exchange documented the practice by Palestinian activists of "anti-normalization," or a refusal to speak with or participate in ordinary conversation with those they believe to be pro-Israel.

A Palestinian female student is seen cutting off the discussion on Palestinian politics she was leading in a public hallway, when she noticed that a male student wearing a traditional Jewish skullcap and ritual tassels known as tzitzit had started to listen.
"You are not welcome into this conversation," she told him, prompting praise from other students on "the strength" it takes to "say that to someone's face."
A man, who said he was Muslim and supportive of the divestment motion, later approached the group and asked if his friend was sent away because he's Jewish. "No, it's because he's Zionist," he was told.

She later instructed someone to tell the Jewish student that he is "welcome to ask permission to stand and listen and not ask questions." Conditionally invited to ask permission to be an observer of the discussion, the Jewish student is granted permission to listen.
"You can’t ask me questions though," said the Palestinian student. "I’m not going to have a conversation with you. Those are my guiding principles."
The Palestinian student who steered the exchange could not be reached for comment.

Washington Free Beacon article continues

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Sudan Arrests 5 Pastors for Preaching the Gospel in Crackdown on Christians


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Pastors in Sudan are speaking out against the arrests of five church leaders last week for allegedly "disturbing the peace," and said that Christians are being punished by the government for preaching to Muslims and living out the New Testament.
"The government is using the court of law to persecute Christians who are peaceful in carrying out their mandate as commissioned in the New Testament. After spending 14 months in a jail in Khartoum, I was released this year in January due to lack of evidence. I was again arrested this Sunday for unfounded reasons," Pastor Kuwa Shamal, who has been arrested on a number of occasions without charge, told International Christian Concern in a statement released on Monday.

ICC, a persecution watchdog group that reports on attacks against Christians worldwide, said that the five church leaders are all from the Sudanese Church of Christ, and includes the Rev. Ayoub Matin, evangelist Habail Abraham, the Rev. Ali Haakim, Pastor Ambrat Hammad, and elder Abdo Elbaya.

"Why is the government coercing us to surrender the leadership of the church to a select committee? What crime have we done?" Shamal asked.

The Rev. Ayoub Tiliyan, chairman of the SCOC, explained that the persecution of Christians has been rising this year in the African country.
"It is very disturbing to see the government that we obey, pray for, and pay taxes to harass members of the society just because they belong to a different faith," Tiliyan said.
"This has become the norm over the years, with threats heightening in the past three years. Several churches have been demolished, pastors arrested, and evangelists warned against preaching the Gospel to Muslims."

The Islamic-majority nation has seen at least four Christian churches closed in Khartoum so far this year, with the government planning to demolish another 20 houses of worship.

SCOC, which is part of a reformed denomination, has been targeted on a number of occasions, with another seven Christian leaders arrested in another incident in August.

The pastors were reportedly held for refusing to comply with an order from a government agency demanding they give up leadership of the church.

The pastors were later released on bail, with Shamal telling Morning Star News at the time that Christians will continue opposing government efforts to impose committees on the church.


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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kenyan Christian Convert Disowned by Muslim Family After Giving Life to Christ Shares Her Story

Christians from the World Victory Centre sing hymns during an Easter
Easter crusade service for the victims of the Garissa University attack
in Kenya's capital Nairobi, April 5, 2015. 
By Samuel Smith
Christian Post

A 21-year-old Kenyan who grew up in a strict Muslim household and was forced to pray five times per day is now paying the consequence that many from strict Muslim families experience when they leave Islam and give their lives to Christ, a Christian non-governmental organization has reported.

The United States-based organization International Christian Concern shared the experiences of a Kenyan Christian convert, identified only by the pseudonym Rahma.

Rahma, according to ICC, was raised in a Muslim family of eight with parents who desired nothing more than for their children to be devout Muslims. The problem was that Rahma felt that Islam was nothing more than a "heavy burden" she had to carry.
"Islam was a yoke to my heart. I felt as if I was forced to believe in things that were a heavy burden to carry. So three weeks ago, I yielded to the call of God and put my faith in Christ Jesus," Rahma was quoted as saying.
Rahma detailed that as she began to question the practices of her family's faith, she often forgot to do her daily prayers and would be disciplined by her father.

After Rahma's mother passed away in 2001, her father got so fed up with Rahma being a less-than devout Muslim that he sent Rahma to her aunt's house in Mombasa in hopes that she would learn the importance of submitting to the strict demands of the Muslim faith.

"Living with my auntie and cousins in Mombasa got even worse because in the house we had two rooms dedicated for prayers — one for the men and the other for the women. As if this was not enough, my uncle employed a sheikh to help me grow in the ways of Allah," Rahma explained. "This went on for some weeks and I could not continue with the lessons because I could not understand anything. The sheikh gave up on me and this upset my family very much. A new level of war had just begun."

While Rahma continued to question her family's faith, ICC noted that her curiosity about the Christian faith continued to grow until it blossomed in 2016. That year was when she began to sneak out of her aunt's house and attend church services. She was eventually disciplined after her family found out that she snuck out to attend an overnight prayer session in Mombasa, where she received Christian literature.
"When I returned home in the morning, my auntie disciplined me after learning that I was in church. She insulted me before my cousins and affirmed that she will never give me permission to leave the house. That week she gave me $30 to start a small home-based beauty business," Rahma said. 
"My desire to become a Christian was gaining momentum as well as having a very strong dislike for Islam but I wanted to know exactly what Christianity is all about and who could understand me and help me change my faith."
Although Rahma continued to go through the motions of being a Muslim just to appease her family, a friend put her in contact with a pastor named John Magenge. Rahma met the pastor for the first time this past October, according to ICC.

"When she came to see me in October, I knew that she had already overcome some obstacles to Muslim evangelism. She was ready to put her faith in Christ, publicly testify of her new faith and maybe get baptized," Magenge told ICC. "And so I interrogated her desire to become a Christian and yes, she had valid reason to be helped in the Christian faith. She has been growing tremendously and we have put her into mentorship that involves Bible reading, prayer and fellowship."


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pray for the Persecuted Church: Abroad and at Home

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the 
D. James Kennedy Legacy Library, 
a spokesman and cohost of Kennedy Classics.

Dr. JerryNewcombe
Christian Post


Sunday, November 5 and 12, 2017, has been designated as the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

I planned to write about this topic and focus on anti-Christian persecution overseas at this time. And then came this tragedy — the mass shooting in a church in Texas, killing 26 and wounding 20 on Sunday. The killer was described as one who "preached atheism" and "hated religious people."

Of course, killing Christians just because they are Christians is the exception in America. However, in about sixty countries on earth, for millions of professing Christians, it is dangerous to be a practicing believer in Jesus, yet God is using Christian martyrdom to grow the church.
"We are witnessing an astonishing escalation in Christian persecution, like we have rarely seen since the first century," writes Johnnie Moore in his new book called The Martyr's Oath: Living for the Jesus They're Willing to Die For. Johnnie wrote a book a few years ago that was a bestseller, called Defying ISIS. After writing that first book, he was able to raise $25 million on behalf of the persecuted church.
In a radio interview with him about his new book, Moore told me he got involved in this because, as a college student at Liberty University, he witnessed an unusual (to him) graduation ceremony in India.

Moore said, "There were 2000 graduates to this Bible school ... and yet, before they got their diploma and a bicycle and a one-way train ticket to an unreached place of their choice, they had an extra step. They had to actually stand up and take a 'martyr's oath.' They had to pledge that if they had to die for their faith, they would be willing to die for their faith."
"I AM A FOLLLOWER OF JESUS. I believe he lived and walked among us, was crucified for our sins, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scriptures," begins the "Martyr's Oath," which Moore includes in the appendix of his book. This is the same type of pledge that the Indian bishop administered.
The oath continues, 
"I believe he is the King of the earth, who will come back for his church .... As he has given his life for me, so I am willing to give my life for him. I will use every breath I possess to boldly proclaim his gospel."
Moore reflected on how this struck him at the time: 
"Here I was, a sheltered American, never having been exposed to such a thing; and all of a sudden, I was in the heart of the persecuted church. And I felt like I was standing in the book of Acts." He notes that persecution of Christians has often been the norm in history, not the exception.
Moore told of a Muslim couple that converted to Jesus and left Syria for a neighboring country. One of their relatives wrote, saying he knew what they had done (leaving Islam), and he knew where they lived. When he caught up with them, he would crucify them, unless they changed back.

Moore said the couple wrote back to the relative, answering that they were glad to know Jesus and were willing to die for Him — but that they were not worthy to die in the same manner as He did.

Christian Post article continues

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Georgia School District Bans Coaches from Praying with Team: Players Pray Anyway

Many parents and students were outraged at the school district's decision to ban coaches from praying with their teams.


US CBN News

Fans noticed one difference last Friday night when the East Coweta High School football team in Georgia took off their helmets to pray before the game -- no coaches were present.

The Coweta County School System has banned the coaches from participating in the traditional pre-game prayer.

So in a show of solidarity, the entire team took off their helmets and standing shoulder to shoulder, prayed right next to the bleachers with many parents and students in the stands clasping hands and praying with the team.

Last month, a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), a Wisconsin-based non-profit, wrote a letter to the Coweta County School System, warning them it was illegal for public school employees to participate with students in prayer. It included a video showing Coach John Small bowing his head in prayer with his team. The video, the group said, was taken by a local concerned citizen.

According to The Newnan Times-Herald, Steve Barker, the district's superintendent, asked school board attorney Nathan Lee to provide legal guidance on the issue. Barker told the newspaper he wanted to make sure to have legal guidance available for school system employees.

"As superintendent, it is very important that when we have any matter with a legal question that we pass along the information to our employees," he said. "Obviously we have responsibilities to our students."

"We also want our employees to be aware of anything that they might not even understand to be a problem from a legal perspective," Barker continued.

"I feel like it is my responsibility to make sure that we are following the law," he said.

In addition, last Friday, Barker met with coaches from the three public high schools to discuss the rules surrounding religious activity during school events.
A memo was then distributed to all high school principals this week.

FFRF legal fellow Christopher Line said Small's praying with his team violates the First Amendment.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Iranian Christian Convert Arrested, Believers Told They'll Be Beaten to Death for Faith in Jesus


By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post


A growing number of Christian converts have been arrested by the Iranian government and warned that they'll either be forced to leave the country or be beaten to death for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Mohabat News reported on Monday that Abdol-Ali Pourmand, a member of the Payam-e Aramesh (Message of Peace) house church in Dezful, was arrested last week after security officials raided his house and found Bibles and Christian CDs.

The Christian convert, who has been transferred to the city of Ahwaz, has been allowed to make a short phone call to his family, sharing that he has been told that he will not be held long.

Concern for Christians in Iran continues to grow after recent arrests of three other believers in Dezful.
"Mohabat News has obtained confirmed reports of them being beaten in prison and threatened that if they don't renounce their faith in Christ and turn away from their Christian faith they will be forced to leave the country or be beaten to death," the article noted.
Mohammad Ali Torabi, also a member of the Message of Peace church, was arrested at his work place on Oct. 10. Like Pourmand, he has also been told that he will be released soon, but still remains in custody.

The Iranian regime has denied it's persecuting Christians despite numerous reports of arrests, harassment and heavy sentences in the past few years and decades, targeting Farsi-speaking believers in particular.

The Iranian government does not allow for house churches to operate, and continues to carry out home invasions, accusing members of inciting anti-government and "national security" activities.

In August, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom named Iran among the five worst-scoring countries when it comes to blasphemy laws that protect the state religion of Islam but discriminate against minorities.
"Advocates for blasphemy laws may argue that they are needed in order to protect religious freedom, but these laws do no such thing. Blasphemy laws are wrong in principle, and they often invite abuse and lead to assaults, murders, and mob attacks. Wherever they exist, they should be repealed," USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark said at the time.
Some leading Islamic seminary officials, such as Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, have pointed to "accurate reports indicating that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches."

Clerics have raised the alarm over the number of Iranian youths becoming Christians, and have blamed "foreign influence" for the conversions.

Website: Christian Post

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