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

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

UK Preachers Convicted of Saying 'Jesus Only Way to God' Win Appeal, Hail Victory for Christians

Michael Stockwell speaking in an interview with Bristol Post
 at Bristol Crown Court in the U.K. on June 29, 2017
By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Two U.K. Christian preachers convicted of religiously aggravated public disorder have won their appeal and are hailing it as a notable victory and an encouragement to Christians across the nation.
"This is not an isolated case. How many times must we go to court before there is respect for the law?" Michael Overd said following the victory at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday, BBC News reported.
"My heart bleeds for this country, but I am a patriot and I will be back on the streets to preach."
Overd, 53, who called himself a "Christian soldier," vowed that he will continue spreading the Good News.

Michael Stockwell, 51, the second preacher, who is also a former U.S. marine, commented, 
"I feel elated that it is over. My heart is still for the Bristol people, and that they will be able to hear the Gospel being preached on the streets unhindered."
"When we were convicted of public order offenses in February, I was shocked that God's message of love is now considered by some to be hateful and dangerous," Stockwell continued, according to Premier.
"Freedom of speech is under increasing assault in this nation. People should be free to express their beliefs in public, without risk of harm, violence or other repercussions. That's why today's result is such a great victory."
The preachers were convicted and fined back in February after they were accused of hate speech against Muslims and gay people for reading from the King James Bible and saying that "Jesus is the only way to God" before a crowd of 100 people last year.

Overd said at the appeal hearing earlier this week that he does not hate Muslims or gays.
"If we truly love the Muslims we must bring the truth. Jesus said any prophet who comes in any other way is a liar and a thief. The Bible and Quran are fundamentally different," Overd declared, adding that he disagrees with homosexual people, but does not find them to be worse than anyone else.
Bristol Crown Court judges said on Thursday that despite witness reports that the preachers had been intentionally trying to wind people up, there was no evidence provided that the offense was religiously aggravated.

Judge Martin Picton said: "We conclude Mr Stockwell did no more than express his no doubt sincerely held religious beliefs as he was entitled to do."

Picton said that Overd seemed to take satisfaction in "working the crowd," as the Bristol Post reported, but admitted that it could not be proved that he committed a public order offense.

Andrea Williams from the Christian Legal Center, which has been supporting the preachers, lauded the court decision, stating "At a time where Christians are becoming increasingly fearful about expressing their beliefs in the public space, this is a welcome and needed result.
"We are grateful that the judge made the right decision today."
Website: Christian Post

Second Priest Murdered in Mexico in Less than a Week

By Catholic News Agency

Guadalajara, Mexico, Apr 23, 2018 / 03:30 pm (ACI Prensa).- The reported murder of a priest in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday marks the second killing of a priest in less than a week in the country.

Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was shot to death the afternoon of April 20 inside Saint Pio of Pietrelcina church, in Guadalajara, Jalisco State, authorities reported.

The murder of Fr. Contreras Garcia makes the second murder of a priest in Mexico in less than a week, following the killing of Fr. Rubén Alcántara Díaz, the vicar general of the Diocese of Cuautitlán Izcalli, on April 18.

According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, this makes a total of 23 priests murdered in the country in the last six years.

The Attorney General's Office of Jalisco State reported that Fr. Contreras Garcia was believed to have been attacked by two men from the Hacienda Santa Fe neighborhood in the town of Tlajomulco, in the Guadalajara metropolitan area.

The attorney general's office indicated the killers “entered the sacristy of the parish and straight away attacked the victim, fleeing afterwards in a compact vehicle.”
“The victim was found in the church with several gunshot wounds,” the office said.
In a message released by the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, his auxiliary bishops, the clergy and the faithful expressed “our deepest grief.”

The Archdiocese of Guadalajara urged “the state and municipal authorities to investigate and determine the facts of this deplorable incident.”

In addition, they called on “those that commit these atrocities against people's lives to reconsider the damage they do to society and the climate of anguish they bring upon the citizens, so that their minds and hearts be moved to repent of their actions.”
“We unite in prayer so that this climate of violence that afflicts our state of Jalisco would come to an end.”
The bishops of Mexico also released a statement voicing “sadness and grief over the murder of another priest in just a few days.”
“We make an urgent call to build a culture of peace and reconciliation. These deplorable incidents call all of us to a much deeper and sincere conversion. It is time to look honestly at our culture and society, to ask ourselves why we have lost respect for life and the sacred.”
Catholic News Agency continues here 

Merkel Condemns Attack on Two Men Wearing Skullcaps in Germany

By Kirsten Grieshaber
Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday sharply condemned a street assault in Berlin on two young men wearing Jewish skullcaps that has stoked the debate about anti-Semitism in the country.

In a surprising twist, however, the victim of the attack, who identified himself on Israeli television as Adam Armoush, later told German TV that he wasn't Jewish, but an Israeli from an Arab family.

Armoush told Deutsche Welle Television that he wore the skullcap to make a point to a friend who said it was risky to do so in Germany.
"I was saying it's really safe and I wanted to prove it, but it ended like that," he said.
Regardless of Armoush's intention, it comes at a time of increased fears of anti-Semitism and indications that attacks against Jews are on the rise.

A video of the attack Tuesday showing Armoush being whipped with a belt quickly went viral with people assuming that Armoush was Jewish.

Merkel called the attack in the city's trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood "a very horrible incident" and vowed the government would respond "with full force and resolve" against growing anti-Semitism in Germany.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted that "Jews shall never again feel threatened here."
"It's our responsibility to protect Jewish life here," he wrote in reference to the killing of 6 million European Jews by Germany under the Nazis in the Holocaust more than 70 years ago.
Berlin police said the two men with the skullcaps were 21 and 24 years old but didn't identify them.

The video doesn't show the outbreak of the fight or how it started, but Armoush told Israeli Kan TV said he was leaving his Berlin home when the three people started cursing at them.
"They kept cursing us and my friend asked them to stop cursing," Armoush told Israeli Kan TV in Hebrew. "They started to get angry and one of them ran to me and I knew it was important to film it because there would be no way to catch him by the time police arrived."
Police said they are still looking for the attackers.

Two Jewish organizations posted the video, which showed a young man attacking Armoush while yelling "Yahudi!" or "Jew" in Arabic.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

California Gender Bill May Ban the Sale of Bibles

By Rusty
The Political Insider

Democrats in the alt-left state of California have passed a bill in the Assembly that would ban the sale of books that express Christian beliefs about sexual morality, quite possibly extending to printed texts such as the Bible.

No surprise there, after all this is the same party that once tried to abolish God from their official political platform … three times.

Assembly Bill 2943, which passed by a vote of 50-18, seeks to eliminate the “sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that promote “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

Those efforts are subsequently defined as “efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.”

The Bible instills sex as an act meant for marriage between a man and a woman. In other words, its teachings seek to ‘reduce sexual attractions towards individuals of the same sex.’

Un. Freakin. Real. All of our grandparents would think this is insane. Most of our parents would think this is insane. Now California legislators are trying to make an outrageous attack on the First Amendment the law. 

Even the Los Angeles Times has raised the possibility that such a bill could lead to a ban on Bibles.
“One key part of the debate centers on whether Assembly Bill 2943 would stretch beyond businesses that charge for these programs and extend to printed documents,” they wrote, “even Bibles.”
Randy Thomasson, president of, seems to think it’s possible.
“A church bookstore selling the Bible, of course, selling a book about marriage or sexual purity or overcoming homosexuality or overcoming trans-sexuality,” he explained. “You could see a member of the public or even a member of the state government coming and saying, ‘Hey, that’s illegal.'”
 The Political Insider article continues here

The New 'Red Line' Christians in China Are Being Warned Not to Cross

"It is an offence for any organizations or individuals to guide, support, permit and condone minors to believe in religions or participate in religious activities," it warned.

By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Christians in China are being forced to adhere to revised regulations on religion that were implemented in February which has led to strict government controls on their everyday lives, and have been warned about a "red line" they must not cross.

The state-approved Henan Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and Henan Catholic Administration Commission have recently sent out a letter to believers, warning them that religious buildings will be closed by Communist Party authorities unless they adhere to all the new rules.

Some of the most notable restrictions prohibit parents from bringing their children to church, while religious venues are banned from holding training sessions. Both directives are part of the "principle of religion and education separation" outlined by the Religious Affairs Regulations.

"It was only propaganda and education previously, but now there is a red line, a high-pressure line, so take it seriously," the circular warned, according to an article in on Wednesday.
Catholic churchgoers have said that representatives of the Religious Affairs Bureau of Huiji district have been ordering all youth to leave church mass, with local officials blocking children from entering houses of worship in both Henan's Shangqiu and Anyang dioceses.
"We do not know what will happen next," an unnamed source said.
The new regulations have also forced primary schools in Henan to warn parents that they are not allowed to breach the country's laws on the practice of religion.
"No one may use religions to disrupt social order, harm citizens or impede the national education system," read a letter by the Ninth Primary School of Linzhou city of Anyang and the First Primary School of Chengguan town of Xingyang city of Chengzhou.
"It is an offence for any organizations or individuals to guide, support, permit and condone minors to believe in religions or participate in religious activities," it warned.
Officials have also reportedly warned that schools are places "for the state to foster students to build up socialist society," with parents told they have an obligation "to nurture children in accordance with national laws and social requirements."

One pastor, identified only by the name John, said that the measures could be implemented nationwide, pointing out that for decades churches in China dared not to speak out over Christian persecution, "otherwise they would be attacked."

Chinese believers have said that they are pleading for prayers regarding the new rules and the ongoing church crosses demolition campaign, which have targeted both officially sanctioned churches and underground congregations.

"The condition is deteriorating, but the obstacles tie the house churches together and direct them to God," a believer with the surname Li from a house church in Nanyang told ChinaAid last week.
Website: Christian Post

Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the conscience of this nation and all free people to pray for, speak up and act on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith.   Follow us on Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

'Imprisoned' Palestinian Christians Down to Last 1,000 in Gaza; Priest Pleads for Prayers

Palestinian children watch worshippers as they attend Orthodox Christian
Palm Sunday mass at the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City April 5, 2015.
By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

A Roman Catholic priest in the Gaza Strip has said that the Christian population there has dwindled to its last 1,000 inhabitants, and he's asking the global Church to pray for them as believers face threats from Islamic radicals and harsh living conditions.

Gazans "live like it's an open air prison since we can't leave. We can't visit relatives, look for work, medicine or good hospitals on the outside," Fr. Mario da Silva told ACI Prensa, according to a translation by the Catholic News Agency on Tuesday.

The Christian population in the troubled region has been rapidly declining, down from 4,500 six years ago, the priest said.

With Gaza being ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas, Egypt and Israel have imposed an economic blockade, leaving many of the 1.8 million inhabitants without basic necessities and the means to support themselves.

Silva explained that many Gazans are unemployed; have only three hours of electricity a day; and face a shortage of drinking water.
"It's really a prison. People don't have any money and the situation is terrible. There is widespread poverty," the priest said.
Although they face travel restrictions, many Christians have left never to return when given annual permits to visit holy places on Easter and Christmas.

He noted that while Christians do not typically experience persecution from the local Muslims, fear is growing due to the rise of the Islamic State terror group and its attacks in Egypt in Sinai.
"There have already been threats. There is also fear of the Salafist groups who are coming in from the south," Silva said.
"In fact, when we have problems with Muslims who want to do something against the church, we've asked the government to protect us and they have done so," he added.
The priest noted that several Catholic groups are working in the region to try and help Christians stay in Gaza.
"We're doing two things: first, preaching Christ and the importance of Christians in the Holy Land; preaching the importance of forgiveness and of carrying the cross is what we most try to do," he explained.
The groups also offer material assistance and aid, he said.
"For example, with the help of institutions such as the Pontifical Mission or the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Church tries to give work to more than 30 young people so they won't leave, because they are mainly the ones who leave."
The recent Easter celebrations gave believers joy in the knowledge of the risen Savior, despite all they are going through, Silva added.
"Pray much for this, which is what we mainly ask for, because only God can change the situation we're going through in these countries here in the Middle East," he said.
Others, including Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, have also warned that there has been a huge drop in the number of Christians in Gaza, as the Israel-Palestine conflict remains without a resolution. He estimated that only 130 Roman Catholic parishioners remain in the area, down from 1,700 not too long ago.

Persecution Unveiled has been called to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to pray for, speak up and act on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith. Follow us on Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook.

Former Muslim Who Hated Christians has Just Planted the First Church this Town Has Seen in 700 Years.

"As the first generation of Christians, we need your prayers to pray for us to be standing strong for Christ ... to finish the race and go to the end." Urim Bogaj

By Emily Jones
Breaking Christian News

(Kosovo)—[CBN News] A man is helping take the Gospel to the four corners of the earth by planting the first church a town in Kosovo has seen in 700 years.

It's a story with an unlikely beginning.

Urim Bogaj grew up in a Muslim family that hated Christians.

But everything changed when his aunt converted to Christianity in 1999 just after a bloody war rocked the small eastern European country.

She shared her new faith with 15-year-old Urim, who found it hard to accept.
"It was hard to listen to her. To receive what she had to say. We always knew that Christians were serpents. Serpents were evil. I did not want to become a Christian," he told the Global News Alliance.
However, Urim continued reading the Bible and eventually gave his life to Christ.

His family was shocked by the news of his conversion. Despite this, he shared the Gospel with them and his entire family renounced Islam.

Now, he has planted a church in Malisheve, the first one the majority Muslim town has seen in 700 years.
"There were challenges. There were different problems. Persecution of every kind," he said.
Urim is calling on the global community of Believers to pray for the work he is doing there.
"As the first generation of Christians, we need your prayers to pray for us to be standing strong for Christ ... to finish the race and go to the end."

Israeli Flag Flies on the Temple Mount for the First Time in 50 Years, Thanks to Chinese Christians

Chinese Tourists on Temple Mount (Photo via Facebook page Stand With Us)

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
Breaking Christian News

There is currently an ongoing petition by World Likud, a global extension of the Likud political party in Israel, and the French Zionist organization, Israel is Forever, requesting the right to fly the Israeli flag on the Temple Mount.

The last time the Israeli flag flew on the Temple Mount was for a very brief time after the IDF conquered the site in the 1967 Six Day War, but on Wednesday, a group of Chinese Christian tourists posed with a flag on the steps leading up to the Dome of the Rock. (Photo: Chinese Tourists on Temple Mount with Israeli Flag/Facebook-Stand With Us/via BIN)

On Wednesday, Stand With Us, a non-profit pro-Israel education and advocacy organization based in Los Angeles posted the photo on their Facebook page, saying:

Yosef Rabin writes, "An Israeli Flag has not flown on the Temple Mount since the 1967 War. Today Chinese tourists brought an Israeli Flag up to the Temple Mount. I am not sure how they got the flag past security and how the Waqf [Jordanian Islamic security that controls the Temple Mount] or police did not notice, but this sets a massive precedent—I hope.

In the meantime, A BIG THUMBS UP FOR THE CHINESE!!!"...

Friday, April 6, 2018

Air Force Reverses Decision to Punish Colonel For His Religious Beliefs

Col. Leland Bohannon
By Todd Starnes, Fox News

(U.S. Air Force) The Air Force has reversed its decision to punish a highly-decorated and respected colonel after he refused to publicly affirm the same-sex spouse of a retiring subordinate.

Col. Leland Bohannon was on the verge of being promoted to a one-star general when he was suspended from command in 2017. Orders were also handed down recommending he not be promoted.

The colonel was punished after he declined to sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for a retiring master sergeant’s same-sex spouse.

An Equal Opportunity investigator determined at the time that the colonel had discriminated against the airman – and went on to say that “even had the accommodation been granted, Col. Bohannon would nonetheless be guilty of unlawful discrimination.”

First Liberty Institute, one of the nation’s most prominent religious liberty law firms, argued that the colonel went out of his way to accommodate the airman by having a two-star general sign the document.

Col. Bohannon had flown combat missions in the Middle East and he is the recipient of the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal. His punishment brought strong condemnation from Republicans in Congress.

“Col. Bohannon has suffered severely on account of the EO investigator’s mishandling of his religious liberty rights,” eight U.S. senators wrote in a letter. 
“The Air Force owes it to him to see that justice is restored, along with his good name.”
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced Monday that the director of the Air Force Review Boards Agency ruled in favor of the colonel.
“The director concluded that Colonel Bohannon had the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs and did not unlawfully discriminate when he declined to sign the certificate of appreciation for the same sex spouse of an Airman in his command,” Secretary Wilson wrote in a letter to Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Air Force Veteran Sues After Being Thrown Out of Flag-Folding Ceremony

By Stephen Losey
Air Force News

Oscar Rodriguez, the retired senior master sergeant whose ejection during a flag-folding ceremony at Travis Air Force Base in California sparked a nationwide uproar, is suing the Air Force for alleged civil rights violations.

In April 2016, Rodriguez was thrown out of a retirement ceremony for his friend Master Sgt. Charles Roberson when he stood — at Roberson’s request — to deliver an unauthorized speech during a flag-folding ceremony that mentioned God.

Roberson is also a plaintiff to the lawsuit, which was filed on their behalf by the religious freedom organization First Liberty Institute. Rodriguez is alleging violations of his rights under the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution.

“No one should be assaulted for saying the word ‘God’ on an Air Force base,” Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty, said in a release. “Certainly, our United States airmen are strong enough to be exposed to the word ’God’ at a retirement ceremony.”
The Air Force Inspector General said in a September 2016 report that Rodriguez was not removed because his speech mentioned God, but because it was unauthorized.

The IG said that Rodriguez had been told multiple times that he could not deliver his speech because the ceremony was an official on-base retirement, and his speech was not the one spelled out in Air Force regulations. He was told he could attend the ceremony quietly as a guest but not as a participant.

Rodriguez ignored those instructions and stood up to deliver his speech. After delivering his opening lines, he was dragged out by four noncommissioned officers while continuing to shout his speech.

A video of his ejection posted by the John Q. Public blog went viral, and the incident prompted a debate over whether the officials at Travis went too far.

Air Force IG: God talk didn't get retired airman kicked out of friend's retirement ceremony
Air Force IG: God talk didn't get retired airman kicked out of friend's retirement ceremony
The controversial and forcible removal of a retired airman who was attempting to deliver a flag-folding speech at a friend's retirement ceremony was because it was unauthorized and not because it mentioned God, the Air Force Inspector General said.

 “I spent my career in the Air Force defending this country from its enemies,” Rodriguez said in the First Liberty release. “I never thought any Air Force official would be afraid that someone would use the word ‘God’ on base, and I am shocked that they would assault me for trying.”

In the wake of the uproar, the Air Force in June 2016 revised its rules to specifically allow religious language during flag foldings at retirement ceremonies.

The lawsuit asks the court for a judgment declaring the Air Force violated Rodriguez and Roberson’s rights to free speech, free exercise of religion and due process and rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

It also asks for a permanent injunction requiring the Air Force to follow its revised policy and allow Rodriguez to perform his speech at retirement ceremonies and other events when he is invited to do so.

Bolton Could be the First National Security Chief to Prioritize Religious Freedom

By Ken Blackwell and 
Former Rep. Frank Wolf 
The Hill

Among the Trump administration’s early successes, two stand out particularly, and incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton has the chance to take both to the next level.

First, the administration prioritized religious freedom in its recently released National Security Strategy, stating: “The United States also remains committed to supporting and advancing religious freedom — America’s first freedom.”

It adds: 
“[The United States] will advocate on behalf of religious freedom and threatened minorities. Religious minorities continue to be victims of violence. We will place a priority on protecting these groups and will continue working with regional partners to protect minority communities from attacks and to preserve their cultural heritage.”
Second, on religious freedom, the administration has backed its words with action. Especially notable are concrete steps taken to assist victims of genocide in the Middle East — including Christians and Yazidis.

The vice president’s October announcement that aid was coming gave the Christian and Yazidi communities hope. Now the money has begun to flow. 

After years of neglect, devastated communities are finally receiving the sort of support the United States has historically provided to those victimized by targeted extermination. 

USAID and the State Department have committed $55 million, and a chastened, more cooperative United Nations has pledged an additional $55 million to minority groups whose very survival has been in doubt since ISIS swept across Iraq’s Nineveh Plain in the summer of 2014.

However, those of us who have labored for years to promote international religious freedom as a top U.S. foreign policy priority, remain concerned whether America’s current policy toward ISIS genocide victims will ultimately succeed. We are worried because personnel is policy, and at the moment, there simply is not adequate personnel — at the State Department or the National Security Council.

While staffing at the State Department will take time with the departure of Secretary Rex Tillerson, we encourage newly appointed NSA Bolton to make swift and bold changes when he takes the reins of the NSC in early April. In particular, Bolton should immediately appoint a Special Advisor to the President for International Religious Freedom at the National Security Council.

While the administration has made important strides in helping communities targeted for genocide, the lack of coordination between the State Department, USAID, the White House, and NSC on this front risks failure or debilitating inefficiencies to U.S. efforts in this area. A special advisor would bridge the gap between agencies by serving as interagency coordinator.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Persecuted Iraqi, Syrian Christians Receive Over $1 Million From US Charity for Easter

By Samuel Smith
Christian Post

The world's largest Catholic fraternal organization gave over $1 million to help persecuted Iraqi and Syrian Christians as they celebrate the Holy Week and reflect on the resurrection and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

The United States-based Knights of Columbus announced Tuesday that it had transferred the funds to church leaders in Iraq and Syria.

A total of $500,000 was given to support a food program run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil — the church body that has aided thousands of displaced Christians since the Islamic State took over large swaths of the Nineveh Plain in 2014 and as they resettle in their battered hometowns after the liberation.

Additionally, $300,000 will support aid programs run by the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate which aids nearly 3,000 families from both Iraq and Syria in dire need of clothes, food, shelter, medical care and access to education.
"As we recall the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, it is particularly timely for us to remember and support our brothers and sisters in Christ who have, in places like Iraq and Syria, endured so much persecution for their faith," Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson said in a statement.
 "Having faced suffering and even death at the hands of ISIS, we hope that our assistance will help these communities to rise up again and rebuild for the future."
According to the group, a total $250,000 of the transfer comes from a previous Knights of Columbus pledge to help Iraqi Christians rebuild their destroyed hometown.

An additional $800,000 comes in the form of new contributions to the Catholic Archdiocese of Erbil and the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate.
"Our people know that without the direct support from the Knights of Columbus to Christians in the region, and without its assistance in making our case to the United States government, Christianity might already have been driven out of Iraq completely," Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Bashar Warda said in a statement.
This is not the first time that Knights of Columbus has blessed persecuted Christians celebrating a Christian holiday.

Last year, the organization donated over $1 million-worth of food supplies to the Archdiocese of Erbil to ensure that 15,000 displaced Christians were able to eat well during the Christmas season.

The addition of the new $800,000 brings the total amount of aid the Knights of Columbus has committed to Christians and religious minorities in the region since 2014 to nearly $19 million.

Cuba Blocks Distribution of 17,000 NIV Bibles Despite Lifting Bible Ban

By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post

The Communist government of Cuba sent back a shipment carrying 17,000 copies of the New International Version Bible, saying it would only allow Bibles in the King James version, according to a report. On paper, Cuba lifted its ban on printing new Bibles in 2015.

The Department of Religious Affairs sent the shipment by Christian ministry Biblica back to Miami, Florida, in 2016, Marti News reported this week.

The Cuban government is not giving permission for the NIV Bibles to enter the country, as it prefers older translations, Esteban Fernández, executive director of the publishing house for Latin America, was quoted as saying.

Biblica had earlier sent about 33,000 copies of the Bible to Cuba. 
IMB, which is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, has also sent thousands of Bibles to Cuba.

Many Cubans still have to share a Bible with six people while in the United States each home as an average of two Bibles, Fernández said, adding that you can see tears in the eyes of Cubans when they receive a copy of the Bible.

In January, details emerged about the arrest and imprisonment of a Cuban Christian rights activist who was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison late last year after authorities raided his home and confiscated Bibles and crucifixes.

Misael Diaz Paseiro, a dissident who is a member of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance Front, was charged with "pre-criminal social dangerousness."

The Cuban government amended its Constitution in 1992, declaring it a secular state, instead of an atheist state, partially allowing religious activities. The number of Christians has been growing since then.

Cuba has been governed by a one-party state since authoritarian Marxist leader Fidel Castro, who died in November 2016, overthrew the U.S.-supported dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1959. While the Communist regime showed some signs of economic and political reforms after Castro allowed his brother, Raul Castro, to succeed as president in 2008, repression continues.

According to Open Doors USA, about 57 percent of Cubans are Christian and they face constant government surveillance and infiltration. However, the Church continues to grow in the island country. 

In 2014, Cuba's government announced the approval of a permit for the building of a Catholic church in Santiago de Cuba, the island's second largest city, for the first time in the nation since the 1959 Revolution.

Persecution Unveiled has been called by God to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to pray for, speak up and act on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith. Follow us on Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook.

Friday, March 30, 2018

'We Are Losing Our Freedoms': Alex McFarland's Apologetics Conference to Focus on Saving America

By Michael Gryboski
Christian Post

Notable apologist and author Alex McFarland's latest Truth for a New Generation conference will have a focus on saving the United States and its constitutional rights.
"We are losing our freedoms, we're actually suffering as a nation because of our abandonment of morality or what we might call natural law," McFarland told The Christian Post.
"I believe that our abandonment of morality in terms of abortion, the redefinition of marriage, the blurring of gender and sexual truth, it really threatens our Constitution."
Begun by McFarland back in the 1990s, Truth for a New Generation will kick off its next conference at Life Community Church in Jamestown, North Carolina, on Friday.

McFarland noted that the chief purpose of the conference remains evangelism and equipping believers to intellectually defend the faith. He stressed that "without a return to morality and God, we stand to lose our Constitution."

Christian apologist, author Alex McFarland being
interviewed for the 2018 documentary
"The God Who Speaks."
"It's been building for a number of years, but we're teetering on the brink of societal chaos and that will only escalate unless we return to Christ," added McFarland.

McFarland's latest apologetics conference comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers two cases which social conservatives argue showcase curbs on religious liberty by social liberals.

Last December, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which centers on whether a Christian baker can refuse to make a gay wedding cake due to his sincerely held religious objections.

Earlier this week, the high court heard oral arguments in the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, in which a California law that compels pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion is being challenged.

In addition to McFarland, other notable speakers at the weekend conference will include Fox News contributor and author Todd Starnes, apologist and author Josh McDowell, former Islamic jihadist turned Christian evangelist Kamal Saleem, and Abraham Hamilton III, radio host at Urban Family Talk, among others.

Hamilton told CP that he agreed to speak at the conference because he believed "there is a tremendous need in the body of Christ to be sharpened in the area of apologetics."

Gaza Christians Denied Access to Jerusalem for Easter

Worshippers kneel and pray in front of the closed doors of the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, February 25, 2018.
By James Macintyre
Christianity Today

Christians in the Gaza Strip have yet to receive any permits from Israel to travel to Jerusalem and worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus is held to have been crucified and resurrected, church leaders have said.

Israel, which has said that it will only issue permits this year to to Gazan Christians aged at least 55, tightly restricts movements out of the Gaza Strip, territory which is controlled by Hamas.

The Israeli military-run authority which operates in the West Bank defended its policy to restrict access, saying that many Palestinians had stayed on illegally in the past. 
'Israel is a sovereign state and it has the right to decide who will enter its gates. No foreign residents have an inherent right to enter Israel, including Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip,' said a Civil Administration (COGAT) spokesman, without saying whether permits would be issued this year.
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem said church authorities had applied for around 600 permits for Gaza Palestinian worshipers to travel, but had not received any.

Gaza, which is under an ongoing Israeli blockade, has only around 1,000 Christians – most of them Greek Orthodox – among a population of 2 million in the narrow coastal strip.

Father Ibrahim Shomali, chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, said that worshippers should not even be required to gain permits from Israel.
'We have to have free access to the Holy Land, free access to our holy places,' he said at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
'Of course, we apply, but in reality, there must be no applying for permits to come to visit your own places.'
Church leaders feared more restrictions than usual this year as Easter falls on the same weekend as the start of the Jewish festival of Passover. Some also fear that Israel has been emboldened by the recent decision by Donald Trump unilaterally and controversially to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
'[Israel] will close every single checkpoint, and this will be more strict than any other year because of the proclamation of Trump and the effects we got from it, and that we will get from it,' Shomali said.
Christian Today article continues here 

Imprisoned American Pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkish Prison Visited by Sen. Thom Tillis

Pastor Andrew Brunson

By Samuel Smith
Christian Post

American pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey since October 2016 on false terror and espionage charges, received a visit Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., inside Buca Prison in Izmir.

Tillis' visit comes as Brunson, who hails from Black Mountain, North Carolina, and has pastored at a church in Izmir for the last two decades, could face up to 35 years in prison.

"Pastor Brunson is strengthened by his love for his family and his faith in God, but his health has deteriorated," Tillis said in a statement following the visit. "He has lost 50 pounds and spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact."

According to Tillis, Brunson is trying to visit a doctor this week, which would require him being transferred with several guards while being handcuffed.

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Thom Tillis attends a debate between the four top-polling Republican candidates in North Carolina for the U.S. Senate, at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina April 22, 2014.
"He fears the possibility that the American government accepts the indictment and forgets about him, which we will not allow to happen," Tillis assured. 

"There should be no mistake that Pastor Brunson is the victim of false accusations, and we call upon the Turkish authorities to honestly and transparently review his indictment."

Advocates say that Bruson has been falsely accused of having links to the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen and his FETO network. The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Gulen of organizing the 2016 coup attempt.

The charges against Brunson are based off testimony from a supposed secret witness. The identity of the witness has not been revealed.

Erdoğan suggested last year that Brunson could be released if the U.S. extradites Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

"Pastor Brunson is being used as a political pawn by some elements of the Turkish government," Tillis asserted in his statement.
 "These elements seek to undercut the longstanding partnership between the United States and Turkey, in which our two nations have enjoyed close diplomatic, economic, and military ties. It is vital that our nations continue this partnership and continue to work together to pursue our common interests."
Tillis, who was elected to the Senate in 2014 while serving as speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, has worked with the State Department to push for Brunson's release.

Tillis has also led a Congressional committee in addressing the imprisonment of Brunson and other U.S. citizens in Turkey.

"I would also note the continued detention of multiple other U.S. citizens, as well as several Turkish staff of the U.S. diplomatic Mission, on scant evidence under the state of emergency, which continues to undermine the partnership between our two countries," Tillis continued.
"It is time for Pastor Brunson and these individuals to be reunited with their families. We look forward to Pastor Brunson's return home to America."
Christian Post article continues here 

Raising awareness to the growing tide of bigotry and hatred toward Christians around the world a mission to wake up all who cherish religious freedom as a God given right. Persecution Unveiled has been called to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to pray for, speak up and act on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith. Follow us on Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pakistani Court Acquits 20 Men Who Burned Christian Couple Alive in Brick Kiln

Christian couple Sheathed, 35, (R) and Shamah Masih (L), 31,
were killed for allegedly desecrating the Quran in Pakistan, November 2014.

By Anugrah Kumar
Christian Post

A Pakistani court has acquitted 20 people who were charged with torturing and burning alive a young Pakistani Christian couple in a brick kiln after being falsely accused of blasphemy.

Shahzad Masih, 26, and his 24-year-old, five months-pregnant wife, Shama Bibi, who were from the village of Kot Radhakishan in the Punjab province, were accused by local Muslims of tearing pages out of a Quran, following which hundreds of enraged Muslims gathered and burned them alive on Nov. 4, 2014.

RadioFreeEurope quotes the prosecutor, Abdur Rauf, as saying that the court on Saturday acquitted 20 suspects.

In November 2016, an anti-terrorism court had sentenced five men to death and 10 others were given varying jail terms for playing a supportive role in the killings. Later, the court acquitted 93 other suspects in the case the same year.

Christian and other minorities in Pakistan routinely face blasphemy charges followed by "religious" lynching.

Pakistan has a notorious blasphemy law, embedded in Sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which provide for penalties ranging from a fine to death. The law is often misused to target religious minorities, including Christians, Shi'as, Ahmadiyyas and Hindus, as there is no provision to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy. It has been found that the law is used by some Muslims to falsely accuse members of minority communities to settle personal scores.

Although the couple tried to hide from the mob, they were eventually beaten ruthlessly and burned alive inside the brick kiln that they worked at, leaving their three young children, Suleman, Sonia and Poonam without their parents.

Yousaf Gujjar, the owner of the brick kiln that both Shama and Shahzad worked at as bonded laborers, is believed to have made up the blasphemy allegations because the couple owed him money that they could not pay. However, he was granted bail based on the claim that he was not even at the brick kiln the day that the couple was burned.

An estimated 1.6 percent of Pakistan's 17 million people are Christian, both Catholic and Protestant. Around 97 percent of the Pakistanis are Muslim, predominantly Sunni.

Blogger's note: To view the original story posted November 2014 click here.

Friday, March 23, 2018

North Korean Regime Teaches Children Christianity Is Evil, Cross Is 'the Devil': Defector Share On Facebook Share On Twitter

By Stoyan Zaimov
Christian Post

Children living in the North Korean regime are taught daily that Christianity is evil and that the cross is a symbol of the devil, a believer who now lives outside the country has said.

A Christian by the pseudonym of John Choi spoke about life under the Communist ideals of the hermit kingdom in an article for Open Doors USA on Monday.

Choi explained that children are taught to believe that Christianity is an "evil American religion" and that missionaries are never to be trusted.
"When I grew up in North Korea, I also believed that Christianity was evil and that the cross was a symbol of the devil. Even in nursery school, we had to bow to the pictures of the first leaders of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung and his son, Kim Jong-Il," the defector revealed.
"Today, North Korean children learn about and bow to current 'Dear Leader' Kim Jong-Un, too."
Some of the propaganda includes stories that Kim Il-Sung was "able to catch a double rainbow with one hand because of his 'majestic powers.'"
"Everything in North Korea revolves around the Kim family. North Korean children are brainwashed so that they will honor the leader of their day. In preschool, the teachers prayed to the leaders at lunchtime. We had to give thanks to the dictators for our 'daily bread,' Now, I realize they stole this from the Lord's Prayer," Choi said.
He noted that children are taught to hate the "American imperialists" and "South Korean puppets," with the message pushed by propaganda messages in films, musicals, paintings, and cartoons.

Citizens are also told stories about Christian pastors and missionaries raping and attacking people, creating an evil image in their minds that they are supposed to stay away from.

Still, Choi shared his hopes that with advancing technology, children are finding new ways to learn the truth about the world and are wising up to the regime's lies.
"Today's North Korean children are able to discover other beliefs and ways of life through escapees' disseminated information, smuggled USB drives and foreign radio broadcasts in the Korean language. More parents are coming to faith and, when the children are old enough, they will hear about the Bible and the Gospel," the defector said.
"I'm praying that God would open the eyes, ears and hearts of North Koreans of all ages. I truly believe that if believers throughout the world continue to pray with North Korean believers, one day all North Korean children will learn the truth about God and Christianity. One day, they will turn to the cross," he shared of his hopes.
Other defectors, such as Pastor Lee Joo-Chan, who now lives in China, have also talked about how children are brought up under the Kim regime.

Raising awareness to the growing tide of bigotry and hatred toward Christians around the world a mission to wake up all who cherish religious freedom as a God given right. 

Persecution Unveiled has been called to prick the consciences of this nation and all free people to pray for, speak up and act on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith. Follow us on Pinterest, and Google and like us on Facebook.

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