CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Franklin Graham warns ‘wicked’ America
WND.com reports: “He was banned from a Pentagon prayer service because of Muslim complaints about his beliefs, and he later charged that Barack Obama has shaken his fist at God by endorsing same-sex marriage, so no one would expect mild platitudes from the strong-willed Franklin Graham.
But to liken Americas current situation to the status of the Old Testament tribe of Judah under Manasseh, the wickedest king to rule?
That the message that can be taken from a recent public letter posted on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association website.
There, Franklin Graham warns that the nations financial cliff is nothing to worry about compared to the spiritual cliff he sees. That financial cliff was a mix of new taxes to be imposed, old tax breaks to expire and spending cuts to be imposed automatically Jan. 1. Congress avoided it by raising taxes on American families to raise another $600 billion for Obamas spending plans.
Since the recent election, weve seen same-sex couples lining up at courthouses in several states to receive their marriage licenses, and hundreds of people gathering in public places to light up marijuana cigarettes in the states where it has just been decriminalized, Graham wrote.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. The moral decline we see on television programs blatant immorality, senseless violence, media-friendly gay and lesbian behavior is just a reflection of the moral corruption that has infected our entire nation. These are indeed dark days but there is hope ” (Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived II Timothy 3:13. See Romans 1:26 32 and Jude 1:6 8.)
Christianity ‘close to extinction’ in Middle East
The London Daily Telegraph reports: “The study warns that Christians suffer greater hostility across the world than any other religious group.
And it claims politicians have been blind to the extent of violence faced by Christians in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The most common threat to Christians abroad is militant Islam, it says, claiming that oppression in Muslim countries is often ignored because of a fear that criticism will be seen as racism.
It warns that converts from Islam face being killed in Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Iran and risk severe legal penalties in other countries across the Middle East.
The report, by the think tank Civitas, says: It is generally accepted that many faith-based groups face discrimination or persecution to some degree.
A far less widely grasped fact is that Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.
It cites estimates that 200 million Christians, or 10 per cent of Christians worldwide, are socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs. ” (The latest report by two famous Rabbis is that the most hated and persecuted group in 121 nations is Christianity.
Soon Islam will be carrying out the prophetical predictions of Revelation 6:9; 13:15 18; and 20:4.
See the next three reports for comments about Islam, the religion of peace — Bunk!)
Iraqi Christians: Out of frying pan into fire
WND.com reports:” Thousands of Iraqi Christians who escaped persecution in Iraq by going to Syria are now returning to Iraq to escape persecution.
Christian Solidarity International, USA President John Eibner, who recently returned from Iraq on an aid mission, couldnt estimate the number of two-time refugees, but pointed to a report compiled by a special United Nations group that determined the Syrian civil war is now largely sectarian.
The conflict [in Syria] has become overtly sectarian in nature, Eibner said, quoting from the U. N. report. Entire communities are at risk of being forced out of the country or of being killed inside the country.
That means genocide, Eibner explained, according to the Genocide Convention of 1948.
Eibner explained Iraqi Christians who fled Iraq to get away from Muslims trying to kill them have now found the same danger cropping up in Syria.
The displaced Iraqis whom we met earlier this week were forced by Islamic terror to flee their country and found refuge in Syria, where they enjoyed security and a better standard of living than they had in Iraq, Eibner said. [But] now they are witnessing sectarian violence in Syria that is reminiscent of what they experienced in Iraq in the run up to the reign of terror in 2006-2008.
The returning Iraqi Christians, however, will likely still face ongoing persecution in the predominately Sunni-led Iraq ”
Egypts Christians fear things will only get worse
The National Post reports: “A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last weeks referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say. The disenfranchisement is hiking Christians worries over their future under empowered Muslim conservatives.
Around a week before the vote, some 50,000 Islamists marched through the provincial capital, Assiut, chanting that Egypt will be Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians. At their head rode several bearded men on horseback with swords in scabbards on their hips, evoking images of early Muslims conquering Christian Egypt in the 7th Century.
They made sure to go through mainly Christian districts of the city, where residents, fearing attacks, shuttered down their stores and stayed in their homes, witnesses said.
The day of the voting itself on Saturday, Christian voting was minimal as low as 7% in some areas, according to church officials. Some of those who did try to head to polling stations in some villages were pelted by stones, forcing them to turn back without casting ballots, Christian activists and residents told The Associated Press this week.
The activists now see what happened in Assiut as a barometer for what Christians status will be under a constitution that enshrines a greater role for Shariah, or Islamic law, in government and daily life. Even under the secular regime of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Egypts Christians complained of discrimination and government failure to protect them and their rights. They fear it will be worse with the Islamists who have dominated Egypts political landscape since Mubaraks ouster in February 2011 ”
More Christians jailed in Iran
ChristianToday.com reports: “Two Christians from the Church of Iran denomination, Behzad Taalipasand and Mohammadreza (Johann) Omidi, were detained on New Year’s Eve in the northern city of Rasht.
The arrests are the latest developments in a December crackdown on house churches by the Iranian government.
In an annual ritual ironically referred to by local Christians as a Christmas gift, the Iranian regime generally intensifies its campaign of repression during the Christmas season. In 2010, 70 Christians were arrested during this period, while in 2011, the authorities in the southern city of Ahwaz aided and detained an entire Assemblies of God (AoG) congregation, including the Sunday school children.
This year has been no exception. On 25 December Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani of the Church of Iran, acquitted of apostasy in September, was jailed again in Rasht at the instigation of prison authorities to serve the remaining 45 days of a three year sentence for evangelising Muslims.
Then on 27 December, around 50 Christians were arrested at a residential home in Tehran where they had gathered to celebrate Christmas. According to reports received by Iranian news agency Mohabat News, the majority were released after being interrogated and handing over mobile phones, full contact details and passwords to emails and social networking sites.
However, 60-year old Reverend Vruir Avanessian was detained in Evin Prison, despite suffering severe health challenges. The reverend has since been escorted by guards to a specialist clinic for compulsory dialysis treatment, where he was briefly visited by his wife before being returned to prison ”