Friday, November 23, 2012

Christ the King of time and our lives

Pastor's notes for the 25 Nov 2012 bulletin

To read click HERE

Analysis of the Gaza Clash

another excellent piece by Tawfik Hamid


Analysis of the Gaza Clash
By Tawfik Hamid
The recent military confrontation between Israel and Hamas organization in Gaza raises several concerns. One of these concerns is: Who is behind this escalation & why have they occurred at this particular time?
Some Palestinian leaders such as Saeb Erekat have accused[i]Prime Minister Netanyahu of plotting the conflict for political gain, suggesting that the conflict will help Netanyahu's party in the coming Israeli elections. These accusations are somewhat illogical as the conflict is more likely to put the Israeli government in a serious Catch-22: accepting a cease fire will not satisfy those Israelis who support an invasion of Gaza , whereas invading Gaza may displease a significant percentage of the Israeli population.

Hamas is indisputably part of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)[ii](according both to the second item of the Hamas Charter and to the public oath of allegiance taken by Hamas leaders to the MB). This means that the MB could easily have prevented Hamas from raining rockets down on Israeli civilians, and could have also prevented the escalation of the problem in the first place. One of the main principles of the MB is "Alsama Wa Al-Taa"-which means that by swearing allegiance to the supreme leader of the MB, Hamas MUST obey any commandment given to them by the Supreme guide of the MB (the "Murshid"). Because they did not order Hamas to stand down, the MB must accept an equal share of the responsibility for killing those innocent civilians.
The MB leadership may not have stopped Hamas from attacking Israel for the simple reason that they stood to achieve several important political gains from this conflict.

Understanding the current political situation in Egypt is vital to understand this possibility.
Any observer of recent Middle East affairs must realize that many Egyptians have been recently turning against the Muslim Brotherhood. This is chiefly due to the rapid economic deterioration in Egypt since they came to power. Long gas queuesand spotty residential electricity due to energy shortages have become commonplace since the MB took power. Furthermore, attempts to limitfreedom of the press and attempts to censor the Internet have sparked outrage by many Egyptian liberals against the Islamist ruling regime. Too, the recent MB government decision to close shops at 10pm created a strong public backlash because the decision undermines basic Egyptian cultural mores. Increasing food prices has added even more fuel to the anti-MB fire. The extraordinarily high expectations for a 'miraculous' Islamist solution to Egyptian economic woes, coupled with Mursy's failed promise to solve most of Egypt's problems within the first 100 days of his presidency has accelerated distrust of the Muslim Brotherhood. Anger on the streets against the new government, apparent in recent demonstrations involving thousands of disgruntled Egyptians, has recently reached a level that is beginning to shake the power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Let us now consider how not stopping Hamas from attacking Israel and thereby allowing the escalation of the conflict might help the MB.

The conflict in Gaza at this particular moment might help divert the attention of many Egyptians to the Palestinian problem and thus decrease the mounting public pressure on and the criticism of the MB. It is important in this context to remember that leading members of Hamas have already publicly sworn allegiance to the supreme ruler ('Murshed') of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that both groups share a common ideological platform: wipe Israel from the face of the earth.
Additionally, igniting a military confrontation and pulling Israel into a clash in Gaza could also be used by the MB to justify opening the borders[iii]with Gaza and to garner popular support for giving economic aid to Gaza-even while the Egyptians are themselves seriously suffering! Many Egyptians were extremely angry that the MB was giving diesel to the Gazans while Egyptians are suffering fuel shortages and waiting for hours in very long queues to fill up their cars.

Furthermore, many Egyptians were turning against opening the borders with Gaza after members of the radical Palestinian Islamic groups managed to enter Sinai and killed 16 Egyptian soldiers. Now, after the military confrontation in the area the Muslim Brotherhood can find a 'good' reason to regain the public support for opening the borders with Gaza and for giving economic support to its population.
The conflict can also help Mursy at the international level by showing him as the one who can negotiate with Hamas and end the conflict.

Interestingly, many Egyptians-as observed on mainstream Arabic media and on Internet social media networks-were not in fact distracted by the Gaza issue and are still criticizing the MB for mismanagement of the country. Coincidentally, a recent train accident in the south of Egypt that killed more than 50 young school children has turned even more Egyptians against the MB, who seemed to care more about the situation in Gaza than the tragedy at home. In the last few days, Facebook and Twitter are replete with comparisons between the MB's affectionate concern for Gaza and the apparent lack of concern for their own people. This situation confirmed to many Egyptians the spreading view that the MB loyalty is to the Palestinians--NOT to the Egyptian people.
To conclude, initiating rocket attacks on Israel by the Hamas organization was preventable. The MB leaders in Egypt could have simply commanded Hamas not to attack Israeli civilians. Their failure to do so is particularly egregious because it is so obviously politically motivated. In light of the fact that a clash in Gaza-at this particular moment in time-could only serve to divert the seriously intensifying 'Internal' public anger against the MB toward an 'external' enemy (i.e., Israel), it is not easy to reach a conclusion that is charitable toward the Muslim Brotherhood. 
 
 
Finally , it is yet to be explained WHY and HOW Hamas became capable of attacking Tel Aviv and Jerusalem for the first timeONLY after President Mursy came to power last June (i.e. only within 6 months of him assuming office!).

 

[i] This piece of information was provided by Mr. Jeff Young (Senior Correspondent of VOA) in his interview with Dr. Hamid 20/Nov/2012 time 11:30 am-12 pm.

[ii] Article Two: The Link between Hamas and the Association of Muslim Brothers
 
The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine. The Muslim Brotherhood Movement is a world organization, the largest Islamic Movement in the modern era. It is characterized by a profound understanding by precise notions and by a complete comprehensiveness of all concepts of Islam in all domains of life: views and beliefs, politics and economics, education and society, jurisprudence and rule, indoctrination and teaching, the arts and publications, the hidden and the evident, and all the other domains of life.
[iii] The more Palestinians can enter Sinai, the more the Muslim Brotherhood can maintain power in Egypt as the 'military trained' personnel from Hamas can be readily available to assist the MB at any time against a (likely) future public uprising by the Egyptian people against the MB.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

UK Charity Commission Says Christianity Is Not Necessarily for Public Good


ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: assistnews@aol.com

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UK Charity Commission Says Christianity Is Not Necessarily for Public Good

By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News ServiceLONDON, ENGLAND (ANS) -- Britain's charity watchdog has put the charitable status of the nation's churches in question after it ruled that a congregation in Devon in the South West of England did not exist for public benefit.
Charity Commission Logo
According to a Christian Concern article under charity law, churches and other organisations must show that their existence has some form of "public benefit."
But in a letter to the Plymouth Brethren, the Charity Commission explained its refusal to grant charitable status to one of the denomination's churches in Devon.
Head of legal services for the commission, Kenneth Dibble, stated: "This decision makes it clear that there was no presumption that religion generally, or at any more specific level, is for the public benefit, even in the case of Christianity or the Church of England."
Christian Concern went on to report that a committee of MPs is currently investigating the Charity Commission. Some of these have expressed concern that the Charity Commission is engaged in a "politically correct" campaign aimed at supressing Christianity.

Charlie Elphicke MP
Charlie Elphicke MP, a Conservative member of the committee who disclosed the letter, said: "The concern of many of us is that they [the commission] are actively trying to suppress religion in the UK, particularly Christian religion, with a kind of north London, Hampstead secularist approach."
MP for Harlow Robert Halfon, another member of the committee, said: "I think there has been some kind of conspiracy by people in the commission ... They are using this group as a test case to have a wider go at Christian groups."
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also voiced his unease at
Lord Carey
 the

 decision: "I do believe we need to hold the Charity Commission to account as much as they hold religion and any social service to account. I believe Christianity has a ... great record in terms of serving the community ... education and in all kinds of ways."

A law introduced in 2006 means that organisations which previously gained charitable status automatically now have to demonstrate "public benefit".
Professor Peter Luxton, an expert in charity law at Cardiff University, said the Charity Commission's attempt to define public benefit was "a nonsense," since the 2006 law did not make any changes to the definition of a charity.
He added: "The commission has been completely out of control."
This is thought to be the first time the commission has denied charitable status to a religious organisation, opening up the possibility that other Christian groups may lose out.
"This is a good time to remember the huge public benefit that Jesus Christ has brought to our nation," said Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern.
"In his life and teachings, he promoted the values of service, compassion, generosity and tolerance, all rooted in love. The public benefit of such values is not disputed by any clear-thinking person.
"So much of what we h old dear as a nation - including healthcare, education and just laws - has arisen from Christian ideas.
"The Charity Commission does indeed need to be held to account over its decision and I hope the Public Administration Select Committee will have every success in doing so".
For more on Christian Concern go to: www.christianconcern.com

Peter Wooding is an award-winning TV, radio and print journalist and media consultant under the name of Peter Wooding Productions (www.peterwoodingproductions.com). Having previously spent 10 years as news editor with UCB Radio in the UK, he has travelled extensively reporting from countries including Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Dubai, South Korea, Zambia, Gambia, Mozambique, Croatia, Israel and India. He now reports regularly for CBN News, ASSIST News Service, GDOP London, Russian Ministries, Whispering Word and Sorted Magazine. Peter and wife Sharon live in North Wales, UK with their three children. Passionate to see God's Justice and Mercy impact lives, Peter is director of a new UK ministry Mercy Projects International (www.mercyproject.org.uk) to help at-risk young people in Ukraine, Russia, Armenia, Kosovo, the Middle East and beyond. Contact Peter for consultation at: peter@peterwoodingproductions.com or tel. +44 1244 549167/+44 7500 903067


** You may republish this story with proper attribution

Radical Clerics Seek to Legalise Child Brides

http://www.ipsnews.net/2012/11/radical-clerics-seek-to-legalise-child-brides/


Radical Clerics Seek to Legalise Child Brides

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A Salafi rally in Cairo. Islamist leaders are pushing to reduce Egypt's legal marriage age for girls, some arguing for as low as nine. Credit: Cam McGrath/IPS.
A Salafi rally in Cairo. Islamist leaders are pushing to reduce Egypt's legal marriage age for girls, some arguing for as low as nine. Credit: Cam McGrath/IPS.
CAIRO, Nov 14 2012 (IPS) - An ultraconservative Salafi cleric recently sparked outrage among Egypt’s liberal circles when he attempted to justify his opposition to a proposed constitutional article that would outlaw the trafficking of women for sex.
Speaking on privately-owned Al-Nas satellite channel, Sheikh Mohamed Saad El-Azhary said he feared the proposed article could conflict with the local practice of child marriage. He explained that in Egypt, particularly in rural areas, there is a culture of marrying off girls as soon as they hit puberty.
“The important thing is that the girl is ready and can tolerate marriage,” El-Azhary declared.
He went on to protest proposed laws protecting women from violence, warning that if allowed to pass husbands could be prosecuted for beating their child brides or forcing themselves upon them.
“If you have intercourse with your wife against her will, she will be able to file a complaint against you,” he said. “That’s where things are headed.”
Followers of the Salafi trend believe in a literal reading of the Quran and hadith (traditions of Prophet Muhammad) and aspire to emulate the lifestyle of the Prophet and his companions. Their puritanical approach to Islam has put them at odds with secular Muslims and minority groups, who denounce their intolerant worldview.
For Salafis, the fundamental justification for child marriage is passages in the hadith that state Prophet Muhammad married his third wife when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage after her first menses at nine.
Sheikh Yasser Borhamy, spokesman for the Salafi Dawah, outlined his interpretation of the Quranic texts during an interview with TV presenter Wael El-Ebrashy. He argued that Egypt’s marriage laws contradict the provisions of Sharia (Islamic law), as girls should be married off once they reach puberty, or before “if she can”.
“If Islam allowed it during the Prophet’s time, it will be permissible until the End of Days,” Borhamy asserted.
While Salafis represent just a small but vocal minority of Egyptians, the recent election of an Islamist parliament and president has extended their political clout.
But what deeply concerns child rights advocates is that El-Azhary and Borhamy are members of the committee tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution. And they are not alone. Other members of the Islamist-stacked panel are known to share their views on child marriage and may be attempting to enshrine them in the constitution.
“We fought for years to raise the minimum age of marriage for girls (from 16) to 18, and now the Islamists want to lower it,” says women’s rights activist Azza Kamel. “There are Salafis arguing it should be as low as nine.”
Some battles may have already been lost.
When a copy of the constitution’s first draft circulated last month, rights advocates were shocked to find that a proposed clause banning the trafficking of women had been omitted. Salafi members of the drafting committee had argued to have it removed on the grounds that human trafficking “does not exist in Egypt” and its mere mention “tarnishes Egypt’s image.”
International agencies strongly disagree. According to a 2010 report by the U.S. State Department, human trafficking exists at many levels in Egypt. The country is a transit point and destination for trafficked African and Asian women and children, who are subjected to forced labour and prostitution.
It is also a source of trafficked women, including young girls exploited under the guise of marriage.
Local NGO Memphis Foundation for Development says the phenomenon of child marriage is widespread in Egypt, particularly in rural areas where parents often marry off their daughters early to escape grinding poverty. Research conducted in 2008 found that nearly a quarter of all marriages involved girls under 16.
Afaf Marei, director of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement (EACPE), says many of these underage girls are sold by their parents to wealthy Gulf Arabs who come to Egypt in search of “summer brides”.
The marriages are arranged by lawyers who act as brokers, and may last from hours to months according to the “dowry” paid to the parents. Often the transaction is made without the girl’s knowledge or consent.
“These marriages are a form of trafficking women (under the pretence of) Islamic law,” says Marei.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the conservative Islamic group that dominated this year’s parliamentary and presidential polls, has kept a low profile in the discourse on child marriage. While some reformists in the group reject the practice, its hardline leaders were the principal opponents of the 2008 law that raised the minimum marriage age of girls to 18.
Now, as pressure mounts on the constitutional drafting body to have the document ready by a Dec. 12 deadline, the Brotherhood’s weight could prove decisive both on the panel and at the polls. If the constitution goes to a referendum without a clause explicitly banning the trafficking of women, it is likely to pass given the Brotherhood’s ability to rally public support, say liberal activists.
“We’re fighting to win, but rationally I don’t think we can,” concedes Amal Abdel Hadi, head of the New Women Foundation. “This is just one battle and we’re fighting the Islamists on even greater issues such as (to guarantee) the equality of citizenship.” (END)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Will Obama in his promise to change the world for the better do anything to stop the persecution of Christians world wide?

Seems MANY non USA citizens are praising and celebrating Obama's re-election. Hmmm...
And in the light of this guardian article entitled ..

Barack Obama has another chance to deliver his foreign policy promises

The US president has taken a back seat in the world's dramatic changes over the past four years, but that may change
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/07/barack-obama-foreign-policy-promises

... I wonder especially in the light of Raymond Ibrahim's latest piece ... (see below)




Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2012

by Raymond Ibrahim
Gatestone Institute
October 31, 2012
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The aftermath of collective punishment for Pakistan's Christians—the inevitable byproduct of the notorious Rimsha Masih blasphemy case, concerning a Christian girl falsely accused of desecrating a Quran—was more dramatic than the blasphemy case itself. Indeed, knowing what was in store for them, some Christians even held a symbolic funeral procession, carrying a Christian leader in a coffin and digging a grave for the "deceased."
Their morbid predictions proved too true—especially after another pretext for Muslims to riot emerged: the Youtube Muhammad movie. After Friday prayers, Muslims attacked, killed, and robbed the Christians in their midst, who account for a miniscule 1.5% of Pakistan's population. St. Paul's Church in Mardan was attacked by hundreds of Muslims armed with clubs and sticks. After looting and desecrating it, they set the church on fire (see picture here). Next Muslims raided a nearby church-run school, looting and torching it as well, and burning down a library containing more than 3,000 Christian books. Although the library also contained thousands of books on Islam—making the Muslim mobs' actions blasphemous under Pakistan's law—"the attack continued for more than three hours, with minimal efforts by the authorities to stop it."
Separately, Gunmen on motorbikes dressed in green (Islam's color) opened fire on the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral in Hyderabad, murdering at least 28 people. Their immediate target appears to have been a nun, Mother Christina. Days later, unknown men reportedly threatened workers at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hyderabad, saying: "We will teach a lesson to the Christians," destroying the hospital's windows and doors. Naeem Samuel, the bishop of Trinity Evangelical Church was assaulted, severely beat, and injured as he exited his church.
Meanwhile, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, far from condemning such outrages, validated them by falsely accusing the Muhammad movie for all the violence—even as they exposed their double standards by refusing to denounce paintings offensive to Christians, such as "Piss Christ." The New York Times also exposed its bias by defending the anti-Christian "Piss Christ" as "art," while condemning the anti-Muslim Muhammad movie as hate-speech.
Categorized by theme, September's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.
Church Attacks
Bahrain: Long considered the most tolerant nation in the Arabian Peninsula, with a 30% non-Muslim population of foreign workers, Bahrain is the latest Muslim nation to showcase intolerance for churches: Sunni clerics strongly opposed the planned construction of a Catholic church, "in a rare open challenge of the country's Sunni king. More than 70 clerics signed a petition last week saying it was forbidden to build churches in the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam." One prominent cleric, Sheik Adel Hassan al-Hamad, proclaimed that "anyone who believes that a church is a true place of worship is someone who has broken in their faith in God."
Egypt: Kasr El-Dobara, the largest evangelical church in the Middle East, located in Egypt, wasbesieged by "unknown people" hurling "stones and gas bombs." The first gas bomb thrown at the church was described as an "error" by police, but it was soon followed by other bomb attacks, which lasted through midnight until early Friday. Worshippers locked themselves inside the church and put on masks to avoid gas poisoning. Some of those trapped inside looked for help by trying to contact politicians, journalists, and even the "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood. All the Brotherhood did was announce on TV that the attackers were not members of the Muslim Brotherhood. After the men conducting the siege finally left, and the trapped Christians finally came out, not a single police or security agent to counter the attacks or protect the church could be found.
Indonesia: The several-year-long campaign against GKI Yasmin Church took another turn for the worse, asauthorities ordered the congregation to relocate—a demand that abrogated a previous agreement which had permitted the church to exist, provided that a mosque would be built next door, and to which the church had agreed. Moreover, a Supreme Court ruling in 2010 ordered the GKI Yasmin's building to be reopened; it had been shut down in 2008 by local Muslims who, along with the mayor, to this day still refuse to comply with Supreme Court ruling. As one church leader said, "The rule of law in Indonesia has collapsed." Since its forced closure, the congregation has been holding services in the street in front of its half-constructed building or in private homes.
Lebanon: Two unknown assailants opened fire on the Saint Joseph Church in the town of Bqosta near Sidon, damaging the building's windows.
Nigeria: A suicide bomb attack on Saint John's Catholic Church claimed three lives including those of a woman and a child; 44 others were seriously injured. Another report describes the typical aftermath of church attacks in Nigeria, citing just one example: "One month after gunmen opened fire inside Deeper Life Bible Church [August 7] … members of the church have yet to resume worship services and other activities. 'All of us are traumatized by this attack. [There is] no family in this church that is not affected by this incident,' said Stephen Imagejor, an assistant pastor whose wife, Ruth, was killed, and their two daughters, Amen, 12, and Juliet, 9, hit by bullets and hospitalized. In all, 19 died. Church members say they were attacked specifically because of their Christian faith. They may have been a target, they say, because some of the dead include former Muslims who had converted to Christianity. And in the aftermath, 'Many are now saying that they can no longer come to the church,' Imagejor said. 'But we will eventually try to see how we can get those of us that have survived the attack to return to the church for worship services. But, I do visit them to encourage them to remain steadfast in the faith in spite of the persecution.'"
Spain: In Catalonia, a Catholic church was attacked by Moroccan Muslims, who, along with two other Moroccan Muslims, have been detained and charged with multiple assaults and robberies, including terrorizing and beating indigenous Spaniards with clubs and robbing them.
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Egypt: The U.S. embassy in Cairo issued a press release saying it had "credible information suggesting terrorist interest in targeting U.S. female missionaries in Egypt. Accordingly, U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance." And an Egyptian court sentenced a Christian teacher to six years in prison after convicting him of blasphemy—specifically "insulting Prophet Muhammad"—and defaming the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt on his Facebook page.
Maldives: Airport customs officials seized 11 books about Christianity from a Bangladeshi expatriate who came to the Maldives via Sri Lanka. Later the same day a Maldivian national was caught with more Christian books, after arriving to the Maldives from Sri Lanka. The pair has been handed over to police. According to the Maldives Religious Unity Regulations, "it is illegal in the Maldives to propagate any faith other than Islam or to engage in any effort to convert anyone to any religion other than Islam. It is also illegal to display in public any symbols or slogans belonging to any religion other than Islam, or creating interest in such articles. It is also illegal in the Maldives to carry or display in public books on religions (other than Islam) and books and writings that promote and propagate other religions…"
Saudi Arabia: The hunt for a 28-year-old Saudi woman, Maryan, who embraced Christianity and fled the country, first gaining sanctuary in a Lebanese church, but then fleeing to Sweden, continues. Earlier the woman had said that, though she "was raised to hate Judaism and Christianity she has come to love those religions since finding peace in Christianity." Two men, a Christian Lebanese and a Muslim Saudi and are accused of proselytizing to her and helping her escape, respectively. Prosecuting lawyer, Humood Al-Khaldi, said that while the penalty in Islam of death for apostasy is clear, "the roles played by the two men, the Saudi and Lebanese, in making the girl become Christian should be taken into consideration," meaning they too must be brought to judgment. Swedish authorities are actually helping to find and extradite the apostate fugitive back to Saudi Arabia to face Sharia justice, including the possibility of execution.
SomaliaMuslims shot three converts to Christianity. The men had converted while in Ethiopia in 2005, but when Muslims began noticing they were not serious about attending mosque prayers, the apostates were attacked by "militants" who burst into their home and opened fire. Similarly, another family that had embraced Christianity fled their village after receiving death threats. Another convert who fled to Kenya said "Pastors and Christians are very afraid. I know people, mainly Christian converts, who had to leave their homes and their families because of pressures from these terrorists." The messages of the Islamists include statements like: "Stop your harmful ideologies and preaching to the Muslims"; "Some Somali Muslims are already affected by this cancer of Christianity… they will be under the sword of the mujahedeen (holy worriers)… We know where you are… We ask Allah to help us make his purpose reign… We are reaching millions of youth to join our jihad against the enemy of Islam and to terrorize by any means we can to make them understand that they are nothing but lowly infidels."
Uzbekistan: A disabled Christian woman, who walks with crutches, and her mother were brutally beaten with sticks in a violent police raid on their home. The officers turned the home upside down, seizing Bibles and other religious literature. At the police station, officers tried to pressure them to accept Islam, saying it was better than Christianity, and that a married man could marry them because Muslim men are allowed to have four wives. When the women refused to comply, the officers beat them again. The court ordered the destruction of the literature.
Dhimmitude
[General Abuse and Suppression of Non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]
Bangladesh: A new report indicates that some 300 Christian children were recently abducted and forcibly converted to Islam: So-called intermediaries visit poverty-stricken communities where they convince families to send their children to a mission hostel, charging them the equivalent of US$ 500 to 1,200 for school and board. "After pocketing the money, the intermediaries sell the children to Islamic schools elsewhere in the country 'where imams force them to abjure Christianity.'" The children are then instructed in Islam and beaten; after full indoctrination, they are asked if they are "ready to give their lives for Islam," presumably by becoming jihadi suicide-bombers.
Iran: Pastor Behnam Irani, imprisoned for "holding house church services and leading Muslims to Christ," continues to suffer health problems, while receiving no aid: "First, his eyesight is dimming and he has not been given access to a doctor to get prescription lenses. Second, he has a bleeding ulcer in his intestines. This has caused him to have bloody stool, vomiting blood, resulting in unconsciousness at one point. Third, from an accident several years ago, he had metal placed in his knee, and according to a family member it needs to be replaced every so often."
Syria: Christians fleeing to the Lebanese border are still being targeted, kidnapped, and in some cases murdered for ransom money. One report said 280 were held hostage by "armed gangs" taking advantage of the chaos of the war. Some of those kidnapped are later found slaughtered on the road.
Turkmenistan: A new report indicates how "the situation [for Christians] has got markedly worse since July and we don't know why." Among other anecdotes, Christian homes were raided and Bibles confiscated; Christians were threatened for not participating in Muslim prayers; they lost their jobs and businesses; Christian children are being harassed and discriminated against in schools. In one instance, "secret police officers raided a flat where five elderly Christian women had gathered for worship, as was their regular practice. They were so frightened by the incident that they have stopped meeting together."
Uzbekistan: A former Uzbek Muslim who converted to Christianity eventually becoming an active Protestant house church leader, and subsequently persecuted by the state, fled with his family to Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan wants him back to face charges that he practiced religion "outside state regulation." Because of its evangelical nature, Protestantism is banned in Uzbekistan. His case now rests before the country's highest court, which has yet to set a hearing date.
Pakistani Dhimmitude
Pakistan continues to show that it is one of the absolute worst nations for Christians and other non-Muslims, requiring its own section for September:
  • A 16-year-old Christian girl, Shumaila Masih, was gang-raped for hours by Muslims—joining the countless Christian girls and boys raped and murdered in Pakistan. Three Muslim men met her on the street, persuading her to go with them. She refused and was forcibly abducted and taken to the home of one of the men, who took "turns raping her for hours. The attack took place at 11 am, in broad daylight, but no one intervened to save Shumaila, despite the desperate cries and pleas for help. Around 5 pm, her father and his cousins began searching for her; when they came to the rape-house, they heard her cries and rushed to it: "At the sight of the men, the three young Muslims fled, leaving Shumaila naked and in pain on the bed."
  • According to a new report, as many as 2,000 women and girls from various minority sects, especially Christianity, were forcibly converted to Islam through rape, torture and kidnappings, while 161 people were charged with blasphemy in 2011. "The actual number is larger as many cases go unreported… For instance, policemen are involved in more than 60 percent of sexual abuse cases of street children."
  • A separate report discussing the murder of a Christian youth by Muslims, notes that "Christians are harassed by criminal gangs and Islamic terrorist groups of ethnic Pashtuns: armed to the teeth, the militants enter the area to collect jizya [extortion money imposed on Christians and Jews, according to Quran 9:29]. Militants raid houses, steal and abuse women and children for fun. The local population is terrorized."
  • Another 16-year-old Christian girl, Sumbal, a maid working for Muslims, was "beaten harshly" by the family with "pipes and iron rods … afterwards, she was taken to the washroom and terribly tortured there." When the child's parents learned of the incident, they went to retrieve their daughter but were told by the family that they did not know her whereabouts. According to Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association: "Yet again we have violence against a teenage Christian maid. The fact that the family are refusing her mother access is very disturbing. What are they covering up? Is it the fact that the girl was murdered, as in a recent case where a senior lawyer in the same city tortured to death a young Christian girl servant? Is it to try and concoct a story about her condition, or has she been raped and forced to marry and convert as so many young Christian girls are?"
  • Soon after a Muslim opened a madrassa (Islamic school) near where Christians held their tent church worship, Muslims began harassing the Christians, including by spraying bullets on their homes and saying "Convert to Islam or leave this neighborhood"; trying to trick a pastor to admit he proselytizes Muslims; and gathering in front of the church and harassing Christian girls as they exit after services.
About this Series
Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
  1. Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
  2. Instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy and blasphemy laws; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (tribute); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed "dhimmis" (barely tolerated citizens); and simple violence and murder. Oftentimes it is a combination thereof.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and throughout the West, wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Related Topics:  Anti-Christianism  |  Raymond IbrahimThis text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.