CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Thousands of Christians Displaced in Ethiopia
Fox News reports: “Thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Western Ethiopia after Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.
At least one Christian has been killed, many more have been injured and anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 have been displaced in the attacks that began March 2 after a Christian in the community of Asendabo was accused of desecrating the Koran.
The violence escalated to the point that federal police forces sent to the area two weeks ago were initially overwhelmed by the mobs. Government spokesman Shimelis Kemal told Voice of America police reinforcements had since restored order and 130 suspects had been arrested and charged with instigating religious hatred and violence.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the Islamist group Kawarja is believed to have incited the violence.
We believe there are elements of the Kawarja sect and other extremists who have been preaching religious intolerance in the area, he said at a press conference. In previous times, we have cracked down on Kawarja because they were involved in violence. Since then they have changed their tactics and they have been able to camouflage their activities through legal channels.
The string of attacks comes on the heels of several reports of growing anti-Christian tension and violence around the country where Muslims make up roughly one-third of the total population but more than 90 percent of the population in certain areas, 2007 Census data shows.
One of those areas is Besheno where, on November 9, all the Christians in the city woke up to find notes on their doors warning them to convert to Islam, leave the city or face death, a Christian from Besheno told FoxNews.com on condition of anonymity.
Under the Egyptian constitution we are supposed to have freedom of religion, but Muslim leaders in our town dont allow us that right, the source said.
Later three Christians in Besheno were assaulted in religiously-motivated attacks and three others were forced to flee the city after being told that Muslim leaders had commissioned hit men to kill them, one of the exiled Christians told FoxNews.com ” (Jude 1:3, 4, 10, 13, 14, and 15 the Islamic terrorists are destroying Christians in most of the nations where they co-exist. Or do they? Islamic terrorists are barbaric murderers beware America.)
Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says
BBC News reports: “A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.
The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.
The team’s mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one.
The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.
The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
Nonlinear dynamics is invoked to explain a wide range of physical phenomena in which a number of factors play a part.
One of the team, Daniel Abrams of Northwestern University, put forth a similar model in 2003 to put a numerical basis behind the decline of lesser-spoken world languages.
At its heart is the competition between speakers of different languages, and the utility of speaking one instead of another.
The idea is pretty simple, said Richard Wiener of the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and the University of Arizona.
It posits that social groups that have more members are going to be more attractive to join, and it posits that social groups have a social status or utility.
For example in languages, there can be greater utility or status in speaking Spanish instead of [the dying language] Quechuan in Peru, and similarly there’s some kind of status or utility in being a member of a religion or not.
Dr Wiener continued: In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%.
The team then applied their nonlinear dynamics model, adjusting parameters for the relative social and utilitarian merits of membership of the non-religious category ” (Jesus said: “When the Son of man comes, shall he find faith upon the earth?” Luke 18:8)