CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Christians ‘Hung On A Cross Over Fire’, Steamrollered And Crushed To Death In North Korea
September 23, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Christians in North Korea face rape, torture, enslavement, and being killed for their faith, a damning new report from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has warned.
CSW, a UK-based religious freedom charity, said in the report, Total Denial: Violations of Freedom of Religion or Belief in North Korea, that freedom of religion or belief ‘is largely non-existent’ under dictator Kim Jong-Un’s leadership.
‘Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the Supreme Leader, so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted,’ the report says.
‘Christians suffer significantly because of the anti-revolutionary and imperialist labels attached to them by the country’s leadership.’
Among the documented incidents against Christians are ‘being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges and trampled underfoot’…” (What vicious monsters these inhuman barbarians are. Why? Jesus stated in Matthew 24:9: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” The latest reports confirm that Christians are hated and persecuted in 130 nations. See the next five reports.)
Churches burned and members threatened with violence: The reality of being a Christian in Cuba
September 19, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Amid an escalating crackdown on churches in Cuba, a prominent pastor and religious freedom activist has warned that ‘the threat of physical violence… comes with the territory of being a Christian’ in the Caribbean island.
Rev Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso, who has left Cuba after being targeted by authorities, told International Christian Concern (ICC) that the Cuban government closely monitors religious groups.
The Office of Religious Affairs (ORA) is ‘supposed to mediate and act as a bridge between churches, people, and the government,’ he said.
‘But if you’ve lived in Cuba or know anything about the way things are from the inside, you know the ORA is nothing more than an arm of the state established to suppress the religious liberties and rights of Cuban citizens. It’s just another one of the government’s ways to have eyes and ears everywhere.’
The constitution guarantees religious freedom in Cuba, but UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has warned that the government’s treatment of religious groups has significantly deteriorated in the last year. The organisation has accused authorities of targeting church properties ‘to tighten its control over the activities and membership of religious groups and thus eliminate the potential for any social unrest.’…”
More Christians Killed In Nigeria By Islamist Terrorists Of Boko Haram
September 29, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “More Christians have been brutally murdered in Nigeria in the latest attack on Christian villages by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram.
At least two Christians died in the attacks on Kuburumbula and Boftari on Monday, according to International Christian Concern (ICC). One man was tied up with rope and ‘slaughtered’ in front of his wife and children, witnesses said.
Kuburumbula lost the largest number, 47, of the 276 girls kidnaped by Boko Haram from their school in Chibok in April 2014.
The killings are just the latest in a recent series of attacks on Christians by Boko Haram which has distressed parents of the kidnapped girls by releasing a video saying they will only let them go if their own captured fighters are released. Eight Christians were reportedly shot dead by Boko Haram as they left a church service earlier this month.
In the first attack on Monday, insurgents burnt seven houses, vandalised shops and set alight market products, Pastor Filibus of the Christian Association of Nigeria told ICC, which is organising an ‘International Day of Prayer’ for the persecuted church worldwide in November.
In the second village, Mallum Tela Madu, a Christian, was dragged into the village, tied up with rope and then brutally murdered by the Boko Haram Islamists while his family were forced to watch.
ICC reports that it is a new strategy by Boko Haram to deliberately target Christian villages in Nigeria…”
Christian Writer Shot Dead For Insulting Islam
September 25, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar was shot dead on Sunday outside the court where he was to stand trial on charges of contempt of religion.
Hattar, a Christian, was arrested after sharing on social media a caricature seen as insulting Islam, state news agency Petra said. The gunman was arrested at the scene.
Hattar, an anti-Islamist activist and supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was arrested last month after he shared a caricature that depicted a bearded man in heaven smoking in bed with women and asking God to bring him wine and cashews.
Many conservative Muslim Jordanians considered Hattar’s move offensive and against their religion. The authorities said he violated the law by sharing the caricature.
The state news agency quoted a security source as saying Hattar was killed by a man who fired three shots at him on the steps of the palace of justice in the Jordanian capital…”
Two Dozen Christians Deported From Saudi Arabia For Praying
September 27, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Christians for having a service in their home to mark the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven, according to news reports.
The deportation was carried out because the Christians’ prayers were ‘unIslamic’, according to EWTN.
The women, some of whom had children with them, argued unsuccessfully that because the Koran esteems Mary, their prayers should not be seen as insulting.
In 2006 the Saudi government pledged to stop interfering with private worship of non-Muslims.
Christians make up about three per cent of the population of Saudi Arabia, where churches are banned and apostasy is a capital offence…”
Christians In China Forbidden From Singing Hymns And Praying
September 29, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Another church in China has been issued with a legal notice to quit Christian activities in the latest of a spate of actions against house churches.
The house church in Sichuan province has been ordered to stop meeting under rules that govern religious gatherings. The church has been subjected to a clamp down because its pastors are not government-appointed and it is not an officially-licensed church.
Similar action has been taken recently against other house churches in Guangdong, Zhejiang, Anhui and Henan provinces.
Zhang Mingxuan, a pastor and president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, told China Aid that there was a large operation against house churches taking place throughout China. He described it as ‘harrassment’ and said it ‘directly contradicts China’s own laws and its supposed commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.
The latest ‘Notice of Order to Reform’, issued to Pastor Zhang Daichun, stated he was guilty of gathering Christians in the 40th building of Jiuzhaigou Garden in Yongle County ‘to perform Christian activities (sing hymns, pray, chant) since 2010’.
Pastor Zhang was given 15 days to stop letting Christians in to worship, and to stop the hymn singing, praying and chanting…”
More than 3,500 Muslim refugees in Germany baptised into Christian faith
September 13, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “More than 3,500 Muslim refugees have turned to Christ and been baptised in Germany in the last two years, a new survey reveals.
Churches report that many of the refugees being baptised had converted in their home countries such as Syria and Iraq, and especially Iran, but had lived in fear of being murdered if they disclosed their new faith.
As soon as they were able to flee and find safety in Germany, they were able to live openly in Christ and be baptised.
All Germany’s 20 Protestant state Churches and the five largest free Churches were surveyed by the German evangelical organisation Idea.
The survey found that most of those baptised are former Muslims from Iran, Iraq and Syria…” (These converted Muslims experienced Galatians 6:12 & 14 – suffering persecution for the cross. Because of their being born again, they joyfully followed Matthew 28:19: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”)
Christian executed in Iran spoke of meeting Jesus before his death
September 9, 2016 — ChristianToday.com reports: “The moving last words of a man executed in prison in Iran a few days ago were of his profound faith in Jesus Christ.
The brother of Alireza Asadi, one of 12 people executed near Tehran at the end of August, has posted his last words on Facebook.
Asadi said the ‘best experience’ he had was of meeting Jesus.
The post was circulated widely by Pastor Saeed Abedini, a naturalised US citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity in 2000 and became prominent in Iran’s house church movement. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2013 in Iran and released in January this year.
Alireza Asadi, speaking to his brother Mohsen, one day before his execution, said all was going well…
He said he had been talking to them of God and would continue to do so.
‘For many of you it was a question if I am a Christian or not. But now I say that I am a Christian. And now I have one or two days til I will die. And I hope it will never happen to you guys. During these moments you forgive all the bad that has happen to you. But the most I want tell you is the best experience that I had. And that was meeting Jesus. And I don’t want to force you guys, But please start to get to know Him. If you just read two sentences from the Bible, you will never leave it again.’…” (“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” – I John 3:2, 3.)