CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
ISIS claims Easter Monday murders of Pakistani Christians
April 3, 2018 — ChristianToday.com reports: “ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack that left four Christians dead in southwestern Pakistan on Easter Monday.
A press statement from the terror group on Tuesday said a ‘covert unit’ of militants ‘managed to target a number of the combatant Christians’. It added the jihadists ‘shot them with a pistol, which resulted in the killing of four of them, and all praise is due to Allah’.
The family were travelling in a rickshaw when the attackers opened fire, killing three of them plus the driver. One woman survived and was taken to hospital, police said. However her father and three cousins died.
‘It appears to have been a targeted attack,’ provincial police official Moazzam Jah Ansari told Reuters. ‘It was an act of terrorism.’
ISIS has not provided any evidence of its involvement.
The attack comes a day after Pakistan’s Christian community celebrated Easter on Sunday. Around two per cent of Pakistan’s population are Christians.
Minority religious festivals are a security concern in the majority Sunni Muslim country where there have been a number of high casualty attacks on Christians and Shi’ite Muslims. In 2016 on Easter Sunday an explosion at the hospital in Quetta killed 72 people and a bombing in the eastern city of Lahore killed at least 69 people…” (Jesus said in John 15:18-19: “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” He continued in John 16:1-2: “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
These precious believers went from celebrating the Risen Savior on Sunday, to seeing the Risen Savior on Monday.
Just before Stephen was stoned, we read that “…he being full of the Holy Ghost looked up steadfastly into heaven, and say the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. And said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God” – Acts 7:55-56.
Bill and Gloria Gather wrote the lyrics to “Because He Lives” which states in the last verse and chorus:
And then one day I’ll cross the river,
I’ll fight life’s final war with pain.
And then, as death gives way to vict’ry,
I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives.
Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives
“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. See the next three reports.)
Palm Sunday in Cuba: Dozens of Women Beaten, Arrested for Practicing Christianity
March 28, 2018 — Breitbart.com reports: “The Cuban dissident group Ladies in White reports that at least 36 of their members were arrested violently this weekend while participating in pro-democracy protests and attempting to attend Catholic Mass on Palm Sunday.
The Ladies in White are a group consisting of the mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives of political prisoners. They protest the communist regime’s violent repression of speech and religion every Sunday by attempting to attend Mass wearing white and holding gladiolas, often carrying photos of their imprisoned loved ones.
The Havana wing of the group has not been able to attend Mass at their Santa Rita church for 140 Sundays, according to the Cuban-American outlet Babalú Blog. Next week, they will mark two years of being banned from their own church. The Catholic Church largely cooperates with the Cuban Castro regime, despite the latter being nominally atheist and forcing the church to disregard gross human rights abuses. In exchange, with the exception of the Ladies in White, the Cuban regime tends to crack down harder on Evangelical and other non-Catholic Christian denominations…”
‘Christians flee PA oppression’
March 29, 2018 — Israel National News reports: “Dr. Ephraim Herrera, an expert on Islamic studies, explained how Muslim oppression is causing Christians to leave the city of Bethlehem, where they were once the majority.
‘Before the Palestinian Authority took control of these territories, about 85% of the population [of Bethlehem] were Christian citizens, and now they are less than 10% because the Palestinians prevent them from applying their faith and [performing] their customs and their prayers…’ Dr. Herrera told Arutz Sheva near Bethlehem. ‘Therefore, they fled from here.’
He pointed to nearby Beit Jala, which has a predominantly Christian population. ‘You see Beit Jala. I used to come there and to buy from Christians oil and eggs and we lived in peace with them. And now we cannot go there because they will kill me just for the fact I am a Jew.’
‘No Jew can live there. We speak about ‘Apartheid’ in Israel, but there is a law in the Palestinian Authority, that if you are a Jew you cannot be a citizen there. You cannot live there. And the Christians are oppressed there.
He said the Palestinian Authority (PA) accuses Israel of committing the very crimes the PA itself commits. ‘Saeb Erekat, who belongs to the Fatah committee, said that we oppress the Christians in Israel. We are the only country in which the Christians live in peace and they can have their faith and practice it in all the Middle East.’
Dr. Herrera accused Erekat of lying to turn Christians into ‘another factor against Israel.’
He said that the Christians in Israel cannot call out Erekat’s lies out of fear that the PA will intensify its oppression of their coreligionists. ‘All the people in Israel, especially the Christians, know that Israel protects them.’…”
Pakistan: Doctors Kill, Torture Christian for Demanding Care for Pregnant Sister
March 29, 2018 — Breitbart.com reports: “Doctors and security personnel at a hospital in Pakistan reportedly killed and tortured a Christian man with medical scissors and scalpels and seriously injured two other Christians who survived the ordeal, triggered when they demanded care for their pregnant family member.
The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), which tracks cases of Christian persecution, identified the wounded victims as Anil Saleem, a brother of the pregnant woman, and the woman’s husband Kashif Shafeeq.
Sunil Saleem, the 28-year-old brother of pregnant Kiran Saleem, succumbed to his injuries.
Kiran reportedly went to the hospital in Lahore for a scheduled appointment…
Members of the Christian minority in predominantly Muslim Pakistan are often victims of atrocities at the hands of some Islam adherents…
The altercation culminated in doctors and security personnel at the hospital beating and killing Sunil and seriously wounding Anil and Kashif…”