CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
China Urges Rural Christians to Replace Jesus Images with Xi Jinping
November 15, 2017 – Breitbart.com reports: “Chinese officials and residents in a rural area of Jiangxi province have revealed a government plan to ‘melt the hard ice’ in the hearts of Christians towards communism by denying them pivotal poverty relief packages if they do not replace images of Jesus in their households with photos of President Xi Jinping.
One official stated that the move was necessary because Christians are ‘ignorant’ and need to be taught to worship the state, not God.
The move is the latest in a string of crackdowns against Christianity in the Xi era. Xi’s regime views Christianity, which has experienced a popularity boom in the past decade, as a challenge to the supremacy of the Communist Party’s growing cult of personality around Xi himself.
The South China Morning Post first picked up on the social media posting that revealed the program, noting that the post showed someone replacing their Christian images with Xi Jinping’s official headshot and praised local Communist Party officials for having transformed locals ‘from believing in religion to believing in the party.’
The Washington Post, which also reported on the post, noted that Communist Party officials in Yugan county in Jiangxi, where Huangjinbu is located, had noted with panic the rapid growth of the region’s Christian population an expressed ‘a sense of crisis’ about it in a regional meeting in October. This new effort may have been a result of brainstorming to solve the problem of more people believing in Jesus than communism.
The South China Morning Post confirmed the efforts with Qi Yan, identified as ‘chairman of the Huangjinbu people’s congress.’
‘Many rural people are ignorant. They think God is their savior. … After our cadres’ work, they’ll realise their mistakes and think: we should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help,’ Qi told the newspaper. Some, he added, became Christians due to ‘illness in the family,’ which the communists argue can only be cured through ‘the Communist Party and General Secretary Xi.’…” (What blasphemy! “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God…” – Exodus 20:3-5. China has recently elevated the stature of President Xi Jinping putting him on par with Chairman Mao Zedong who founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949, making him in essence emperor for life – he can stay in power as long as his health allows. President Xi Jinping had better be careful: “And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost” – Acts 12:21-23. The historian Josephus states that Herod was struck down while delivering his oration and, after five days of suffering, died.)
North Korean Christians Face Beatings, Rape, Torture for Professing Faith
October 26, 2017 — Breitbart.com reports: “Christian North Koreans who have escaped the brutal regime tell of outrageous human rights abuses against anyone suspected of professing the faith, including routine beatings and rapes and specialized torture for those involved in underground prayer.
In a report Wednesday, Fox News profiled North Korean defector Choi Kwanghyuk, who was arrested after founding an underground house church. Choi escaped a labor camp shortly before he believes the regime was ready to transfer him to a concentration camp to end his life.
Before he escaped, however, he asserted that he was tortured and witnessed the torture of many others.
‘I decided to escape because I thought that once they sent me to the other camp, they could eventually send me to the concentration camp or kill me,’ Choi told Fox News. ‘I was traveling back and forth between China and North Korea, but they kept searching for me, and I knew it could put my friends in danger too, so I left.’…” (Great persecution will soon overtake most Christians in a majority of the world. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” – Matthew 5:10 – 12; “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” – John 15:18 – 21; “…When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” — Revelation 6:9; “…I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” – Revelation 20:4; and “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10.)
Muslims kill 48 Christians, scatter hundreds
October 29, 2017 — WND.com reports: “Christians in 13 villages in central Nigeria, 10 days in October were marked by death and destruction at the hands of Muslim jihadists.
A total of 48 Christians were killed and 249 homes were wrecked from Oct. 8 to 17 in attacks in Nigeria’s Plateau state by militant Muslim Fulani cattle herders in collaboration with ‘armed terrorists,’ reported Morning Star News, which specializes in reporting persecution of Christians worldwide.
Christians make up a little more than 51 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north account for 45 percent. Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.
A church elder witnessed the Muslim Fulani herdsmen storm into his village of Zanwrua at 11 p.m. the night of Oct. 13, shooting in all directions, a Morning Star News correspondent in Nigeria reported.
’Every one of us ran to save his life,’ said Dauda Samuel Kadiya, 38, of the Evangelical Church Winning All. ‘I was shot at, but the bullet only bruised my hand. You can see the wound yourself.’
Kadiya said hundreds of Christians in villages in the area have been displaced and some of their church buildings were destroyed by the attackers…” (Drastic times are prophesied to occur in all Islamic nations against Jews and Christians. Study Matthew 24:9; John 16:2; Revelation 6:9; 13:15; and 20:4. Revelation 2:10 states: “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” This crown martyred Christians will place at the feet of Jesus after the “Come up hither” of Revelation 4:1; see verses 10 and 11. See the next two reports.)
Egypt security forces depriving Christians of rights
November 5, 2017 — WND.com reports: “Police in Egypt are failing to following a new law that provides the nation’s Christians with freedom of worship, the right to restore old churches and build a new one – all under pressure from Muslims, documents a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Researcher C. Meital wrote at the Middle East Media Research Institute that the issue of discrimination against Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority has resurfaced recently in the Egyptian media.
‘The renewed debate follows claims that the security forces, submitting to pressure by Islamist elements, are depriving Copts of their freedom of worship,’ MEMRI said.
It gets political, too, as the Copts explain they supported President ‘Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi during the 2013 revolution that brought him to power, and that makes them the president’s ‘natural partners.’
Instead, they say security forces have been preventing them from holding prayers in several villages in Upper Egypt…”
‘It is as if prayer is a crime’: Egypt’s Christians appeal for help after church closures
October 30, 2017 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Following the closure of a number of churches in recent weeks, Coptic Christians in the south of Egypt have renewed calls on local authorities for an end to discrimination.
Two churches in two separate villages in the southern province of Minya have been shut down by the authorities, a statement by the Minya diocese said.
It said worshippers were harassed at both churches and pelted with rocks at one of them.
‘We have kept quiet for two weeks after the closure of one of the churches, but due to our silence the situation has worsened … it is as if prayer is a crime the Copts must be punished for,’ said the statement, which was released on Saturday.
A third church was closed following rumors of a pending attack, but the diocese said no attack has taken place since and the church remains closed…”
Churches in India ordered to stop worship services amid fresh crackdown
November 3, 2017 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Police and officials in the Tamil Nadu state in India have ordered 10 churches to halt worship services, according to Morning Star India.
Local church leaders said that Hindu extremists compelled state officials and police to issue orders to the churches in the Coimbatore district to stop worship unless they obtain permission from the district’s official ‘collector’s office’. According to the report, extremists reportedly intend to target 20 other churches in the same way.
‘It is a well-planned conspiracy against the Christian community, as the Hindu extremists know that it is not easy to approach the collector’s office for such permissions,’ said pastor Johnson Sathyanathan, president of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches of Coimbatore. He told Morning Star India: ‘The time to get such approvals can stretch from a year and a half to many more years.’
The district revenue officer confirmed to church leaders that orders against six churches were issued after complaints by members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist paramilitary group widely regarded as the parent organization of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Orders were reportedly also issued in one case based on a complaint by the Hanuman Sena, a relatively new Hindu extremist group…” (If Christian nations imprisoned the millions of members who spoke out against our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ, our prisons would be unable to hold the horrendous number of Christ haters Instead, the hour is coming and soon when the critics of Christ will face the eternal judgment of God – Exodus 20:7; Jude 1:14, 15. See the next report.)
Nepal Criminalizes Christian Conversion and Evangelism
October 26, 2017 — Christianity Today reports: “Last week, Nepal enacted a law to curb evangelism by criminalizing religious conversion, joining neighboring countries like India and Pakistan, where the region’s small-but-growing Christian minority faces government threats to their faith.
The ‘Nepali government [has] taken a regressive step as this law severely restricts our freedom of expression and our freedom of religion or belief,’ said Tanka Subedi, chair of the national Religious Liberty Forum, to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). The pastor is 1 of an estimated 375,000 Christians living in the former Hindu kingdom…”