CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
John Allen: Global War on Christianity, ‘200 million Daily at Risk’ of Assault, Torture, Death
March 25, 2016 — Breitbart.com reports: ‘On Breitbart News Daily, John L. Allen painted a gruesome picture of the ordeal of millions of Christians throughout the world, and the scandalous ignorance and indifference to their plight in the West.
One of the world’s leading experts on Christian persecution and the author of the 2013 bestseller The Global War on Christians, Allen spoke with Breitbart News Executive Chairman and SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon on Thursday, recounting the rising tide of violence targeting Christians worldwide.
Allen insisted that the term ‘war’ against Christians is a precise description of what is going on, not in the sense of ‘a unified command structure’ but in the massive ‘body count’ and the cohesive motive of hatred against the Christian faith.
‘The high-end estimate for the number of new Christian martyrs every year is around 100 thousand,’ Allen stated. ‘The low-end estimate is about 7 or 8 thousand. Which works out to one casualty either every five minutes or every hour, of every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If that’s not a war, I’m not sure we’ve ever seen one.’
The war on Christians is also ‘global,’ Allen argued, with some ‘200 million Christians in the world today who are daily at risk of physical assault, arrest, imprisonment, torture or death.’…” (I, Dr. Jack Van Impe, ask you to read this report carefully and then open your hearts to the Savior’s concerns. Then take a stand for Him and those for whom He died. Stand on John 15:16. See the next six reports.)
Pakistan explosion leaves many dead at Lahore park
March 27, 2016 — BBC News reports: “At least 50 people have been killed and many others injured in an explosion at a park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials say.
It happened in the early evening when the park was crowded with families.
Police told the BBC it appeared to be a suicide bomb. No group has said it was behind the blast.
There is speculation that Christian families out for the Easter weekend may have been the target, says the BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil, in Lahore.
All the major hospitals in the area have been put on an emergency footing, local media report.
The explosion appears to have been at the main gate to the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park in an area where cars are usually left – and a short distance from the children’s swings.
Most of the dead and injured are women and children, a senior local police officer told Reuters news agency…”
Lahore attack: ‘The target was Christians’ says Taliban
March 28, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “The Taliban faction who killed at least 70 in Lahore on Sunday have said their target was Christians.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack late on Sunday night, and issued a direct challenge to the government.
‘The target was Christians,’ said a faction spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan. ‘We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore.’
The attack hit a busy park in the eastern city of Lahore, the powerbase of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Most of those killed were women and children enjoying an Easter weekend outing. Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state but has more than 2 million Christians, making up less than 2 per cent of the population.
It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since the December 2014 massacre of 134 school children at a military run academy in the city of Peshawar that prompted a big government crackdown on Islamist militancy…”
Genocide: Christian Population in Iraq Drops by 80% in Just Over a Decade
March 31, 2016 — Breitbart.com reports: “The Christian population in Iraq has been decimated in a little over a decade, dropping from 1.4 million in 2003 to just 275,000 today, according to a report released this month.
The recent joint report, compiled by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians (IDC), tells a horrific story of a religious and ethnic purge in the Middle East that has produced the systematic eradication of Christians from the territory.
Christianity’s roots in Iraq date back as far as the first century and yet now has fallen prey to Islamist militant groups committed to the extermination of Christians.
The Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda, has testified that for many long centuries the Christians of Iraq have experienced hardships and persecutions ‘but what we have now experienced are the worst acts of genocide in our homeland. We are facing the extinction of Christianity as a religion in Iraq.’
The tactics employed by the Islamic State to drive away Christians are by now well known. The report states that Christians have been subject to ‘repeated threats of death in the form of a gun to the head or a sword to the throat.’ They were also subjected to ‘beatings, choking, threats of rape, and mock executions. They had their electricity and water cut off, and were deprived of basic sanitation.’…”
Stabbed and left for dead by Islamist radicals: The cost of being a Christian in Pakistan
March 28, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Ali Husnain was 17 when he was attacked and stabbed by members of a fundamentalist Islamic group in his hometown in Pakistan. A year earlier, he had converted to Christianity while visiting an aunt in England, having grown up in a prominent, wealthy Shia Muslim family. He’d kept his conversion quiet for 12 months; he had no Bible to read and couldn’t go to church, but prayed relentlessly at night, and says he dreamt of Jesus many times. It kept him strong in his faith.
But then Ali talked about sin with some friends at school, and told them Jesus was the only who could offer true forgiveness. One of them told their father, a member of an Islamist group, and the next day Ali was attacked outside the school gates and left to die on the side of the road. ‘I remember being thrown to the ground and a man with a beard said: ‘You tried to evangelise our children, now I’m going to kill you and you’ll go to hell’,’ he told Christian Today. ‘Then he stabbed me, and I fell unconscious’…”
ISIS claims killing of Christian in Bangladesh as a ‘lesson to others’
March 23, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Islamic State has claimed responsibility for stabbing a Christian to death in Bangladesh.
The group said Hussein Ali was killed as a ‘lesson to others’, an online group that monitors extremist activity said.
Three attackers approached the 68-year-old on a motorbike while he was taking his regular morning walk in the town of Kurigram and then stabbed him in the neck. He had been aware of the dangers he faced, once telling a member of staff from Redcliffe College in Gloucester: ‘They don’t know anything, they don’t understand, forgive them.’ He prayed that God would ‘place me under Your control’.
Bangladesh has seen a surge in Islamist violence in which liberal activists, members of minority Muslim sects and other religious groups have been targeted.
According to the US-based SITE Intelligence Group, Islamic State said on Twitter that a ‘security detachment’ killed the ‘preacher’ to be a ‘lesson to others’…
Oxford Theology Students Can Now Avoid Studying Christianity
April 3, 2016 — Breitbart.com reports: “It’s one of the oldest degrees on offer in the world, but from next September undergraduate theology students at Oxford University will no longer have to study Christianity beyond the first year of their degree. Instead they will be able to focus on ‘Feminist Approaches’ or ‘Buddhism in Space and Time,’ should they so choose.
The university says it is making the change in response to demand from students and tutors, who are increasingly interested in religions and theologies other than Christianity. Students will still have to study The Bible and the figure of Jesus in their first year, but in their second and third years will be free to completely avoid exploration of the Christian faith altogether, if they want to.
Instead they will be able to opt for courses such as ‘Islam in the Classical Period’, ‘Mysticism’ and ‘Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion’. First year students will also be able to avoid learning classical Hebrew, Greek or Latin and will instead be able to study Qur’anic Arabic or Pali, a language native to the Indian subcontinent in which many early Buddhist texts are written.
‘We recognise that the people who come to study at Oxford come from a variety of different backgrounds and have legitimately different interests,’ Johannes Zachhuber, board chairman of the theology faculty told the Times Higher Education magazine…”