CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Number of Christians killed for their faith doubled in 2013
January 8, 2014 — The Globe and Mail reports: “Reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the year before, with Syria accounting for more than the whole global total in 2012, according to an annual survey.
Open Doors, a non-denominational group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday it had documented 2,123 ‘martyr’ killings, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone last year, it said.
‘This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,’ said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other Christian groups put the annual figure as high as 8,000…” (The Lord Jesus, our Christ and Israel’s Messiah taught that great persecution would come to both Jews and Christians in our day – the final generation – Matthew 24:9; John 16:12; Matthew 5:10 – 12; and John 15:18 – 20 – then it becomes drastically dangerous and deadly during the 7 year Tribulation period– Revelation 6:9 and 20:4. Please take time to look up these texts and see the next five reports.)
37 Muslim nations persecuting Christians
January 12, 2014 — WND.com reports: “The number of Christian martyrs was twice as high in 2013 as the year before, and radical Islamist governments and groups are responsible for the vast majority of deaths and persecution around the world, according to the 2014 World Watch List.
As WND reported, Open Doors USA, which assists the persecuted church around the world, compiled the World Watch list and reports 2,123 Christians were killed for their faith last year, compared to 1,201 in 2012. In fact, the killings in Syria alone (1,213) trumped the total from a year earlier.
‘The target of violence is mainly taking place mainly from rebel groups who are Islamic extremists, so these are jihadists practicing extreme Islam and are targeting Christian areas,’ said Emily Fuentes, communications director at Open Doors USA. ‘Many of these Christians have had to flee, and these towns have essentially become ghost towns because they’ve cleared Christians out. In October of last year, there was a massacre in one of these towns where more than 45 people died and hundreds were injured just because it was a Christian-dominated town.
‘Syria is experiencing a whole new level of persecution and violence of Christians,’ said Fuentes, noting that Syria is now the third worst persecutor of Christians, skyrocketing from the 36th spot it held just two years ago.
While Syria is the most deadly spot on earth for Christians, Fuentes said it fits a pattern in the Islamic world. She noted, of the 50 worst nations for persecution, 37 of them are Muslim. Fuentes said another disturbing twist is the melding of radical Islam with communist and other totalitarian ideologies…”
Top 50 list of Christian persecutors
January 9, 2014 — WND.com reports: “The isolationist regime of North Korea once again tops the Open Doors USA list of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians.
Open Doors USA released its list Wednesday of the world’s 50 worst violators, weighing factors such as the jailing of Christians, executions and legal restrictions on religious freedom.
The Christian group this year added the category of whether or not a nation was a ‘failed’ state.
Operations Director Jerry Dykstra says a failed state is ‘a weak state where social and political structures have collapsed to the point where government has little or no control.’
Rounding out the top 12 are Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Sudan and Eritrea.
Open Doors Communications Director Emily Fuentes says North Korea is like no other country in the world.
‘North Korea remains the most difficult country in the world to be a Christian because it’s an act that is punishable there by death or life in prison,’ Fuentes said…”
Nun: Slain Christians’ blood drained and sold
January 2, 2014 — WND.com reports: “Atrocities by Syrian jihadist rebels have reached sensational new levels, according to a revered nun working with persecuted Christians and an explosive new video report.
Sister Hatune Dogan told WND in a Skype interview that members of the Syrian opposition are draining the blood of Christians they behead and selling vials to Islamic radicals for $100,000 a piece.
The Syrian Orthodox nun explained that the blood is used in a ritual washing of hands in the belief the act atones for sins and provides privileged access to heaven.
The Christians, she said, are beheaded in ceremonies in which they are forced to kneel, with their hands and feet bound, as the Muslim radicals read a death sentence imposed because the victim refuses to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam…”
Christians persecuted by Islamists, says Prince Charles
December 18, 2013 — BBC News reports: “Christians in parts of the Middle East are being deliberately targeted by Islamist militants in a campaign of persecution, Prince Charles has said.
The Prince of Wales made his comments after visiting the British branches of churches based in the region.
The prince heard accounts of Christians being murdered and families forced from their homes.
The upheavals of the Arab Spring have left many religious minorities vulnerable to accusation and attack.
Charles, accompanied by Prince Ghazi of Jordan, visited the Egyptian Coptic Church centre in Stevenage and the Syriac Orthodox cathedral in west London.
The two royals met church members who had either suffered intimidation or family members whose safety they feared for.
Later at a reception at Clarence House, attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of Westminster and the Chief Rabbi, Prince Charles said he felt deeply troubled by the plight of Christians.
‘For 20 years I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity to dispel ignorance and misunderstanding,’ he told the audience.
‘The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so.
‘This is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution including to the Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.’…”
Islamic jihad against Christians
December 30, 2013 — WND.com reports: “With their typical mutual respect, devout Muslims have been celebrating Christmas the world over. Jihad bombers murdered 34 people as Christians were coming out of church on Christmas morning in Baghdad, and Muslims threatened and protested against Christmas celebrations all over the world. Two days after Christmas, Lebanon’s former ambassador to the U.S. and at least four other people were murdered in a car bombing in Beirut. That same day, jihadists killed 10 people with a bomb in a restaurant in Mogadishu and three soldiers with a homicide car bombing in Kabul.
Of course, we all know that it’s Islamophobia that’s the real problem – although I suspect that the victims might not agree. And meanwhile, on Christmas Muslims showed the respect and tolerance they demand from everyone else at a time when Christians are being mercilessly persecuted and slaughtered under Muslim rule across the world.
In Denmark, Muslims screaming ‘Allahu akbar’ held a demonstration on Christmas Eve…”
Malaysia’s Islamic authorities seize Bibles as Allah row deepens
January 3, 2014 — Reuters reports: “Islamic authorities in Malaysia on Thursday seized 321 Bibles from a Christian group because they used the word Allah to refer to God, signaling growing intolerance that may inflame ethnic and religious tension in the Southeast Asian country.
The raid comes after a Malaysian court in October ruled that the Arabic word was exclusive to Muslims, most of whom are ethnic Malays, the largest ethnic group in the country alongside sizeable Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities.
That ruling overturned a court decision that allowed a Roman Catholic newspaper printed in Malay, the country’s national language, to use Allah.
The change has heightened concern that religious authorities, which issue rulings for Muslims and operate alongside civil courts, now have more legal muscle.
Analysts say new rulings that affect non-Muslims could be a way of deflecting anger against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government from poor Malay Muslims over subsidy cuts likely to force up electricity, petrol and sugar prices.
On Thursday, the top Islamic authority in the richest and most populous state of Selangor seized the Malay-language Bibles from the Bible Society. The society said authority officials escorted two of its officials to a police station to make statements after which they were released on bail.
‘We were told that we were under investigation for breaking a Selangor state law banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah,’ said Bible Society of Malaysia Chairman Lee Min Choon…” (Apostate Christianity wants to compromise renaming our God Allah. Now the Muslims of Malaysia state: “We reject Christians using and defiling the name of our god. Wake up my Catholic and Protestant brothers Dr. Rick Warren and Dr. Schuler!)