CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

Christian Girl Leah Sharibu Turns 16 as Boko Haram Hostage After Rejecting Islam

May 15, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “Leah Sharibu – the last girl from Dapchi, Nigeria, kept in Boko Haram captivity after a mass abduction in 2018 – will turn 16 Tuesday as a hostage after refusing to convert from Christianity to Islam.

Activists seeking more effective government action against Boko Haram have organized events honoring Sharibu on Tuesday in Nigeria and in front of Nigerian embassies internationally.

Boko Haram, an affiliate of the Islamic State, released the other 109 girls kidnapped from the northern Nigerian town in February 2018 after forcing them to recite the shahada, the Muslim declaration of faith. The freed girls told authorities and Sharibu’s parents that Leah refused to do so and the jihadists have thus refused to release her until she changes her mind…

Sharibu was attending Dapchi’s Government Girls Science and Technical College on February 19, 2018, when Boko Haram jihadists stormed the school and abducted 110 girls. The jihadist group, whose name means ‘Western education is sin,’ typically targets girls’ schools for attack, kidnapping the students and turning them into slave-wives. Escaped captives say the terrorists routinely rape them, force them to cook and clean for them, and otherwise help the group survive in the dense Sambisa forest of northern Nigeria…”  (On her 15th birthday, her parents, Nathan and Rebecca Sharibu, told USA Today that the terrorists will not release her until she converts to Islam.

‘My daughter is alive, but they wouldn’t release her because she is a Christian. They told her they would release her if she converted, but she said she will never become a Muslim. I am very sad, but I am also overjoyed because my daughter did not denounce Christ,’ Nathan told the newspaper…”  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.  Jesus said in the Beatitudes: “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.) 

Islamist Intent on Killing Asia Bibi Claims He Is in Canada to ‘Send Her to Hell’

May 15, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “An Islamist filmed a message making the rounds on the Internet this week saying he is in Canada to slay Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, who was recently released from prison in Pakistan after spending nearly a decade on death row over false blasphemy allegations.

‘This message is for all the enemies of Islam and to the Jew government who helped her get out of Pakistan,’ the unidentified man declared, according to a translation provided by the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).

‘To give Asia Bibi a terrible death and to send her to hell I also reached Canada last night,’ he said, adding, ‘I am ready to die for the respect of Prophet Mohammed, and I will show that.’

The man also sings an Islamic chant honoring Muhammad and pledging to kill Bibi.

He sings, ‘The enthusiasm to die for the Prophet Mohammad will stay alive forever.’…”  (Killing is rewarded in Islam.  Not only do they receive 72 virgins as righteous and martyred godly men, but what even more shocking is they get to choose 70 relatives and friends to go to heaven.  Their plan of winning the lost is a sick one and against God’s plan which is: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16.)

Iran summons Christians to explain why they converted from Islam

May 8, 2019 — ChristianToday.com reports: “Iran’s intelligence minister, Mahmoud Mahmoud Alavi, openly expressed concern last weekend about the spread of Christianity in the Islamic republic and said that some converts to Christianity were ‘summoned’ to explain why they have converted.

The 65-year-old Alavi gave a speech before Shia clerics on Saturday, the day before the beginning of Ramadan.

According to the International Shia News Association, Alavi blamed ‘evangelical propaganda’ for the increase in Iranian Muslims converting to Christianity in certain areas of the country.

Despite Christianity being criminalized in a country where the government is entangled with hardline Islam, the nation is experiencing one of the fastest evolving underground church movements in the world.

According to Radio Farda, Alavi told the clerics that the Intelligence Ministry and Qom Seminary, the country’s largest Islamic seminary, have dispatched individuals and institutions that are active in ‘countering the advocates of Christianity’ to areas where Muslims are being converted.

‘People tend to become Christians who are ordinary people of the community, for example, their sandwich shops and the like, and they became a Christian family,’ he was quoted as saying.

Alavi also said that in a city like Hamadan province in northwestern Iran, the government was given no choice but to summon Muslim converts to Christianity to ask why they have embraced the religion over Islam…”   (In 2015 Rexella had a guest on television, Walid Shoebat, who testified that in Islam you kill to get to heaven, while in Christianity, Christ died for our sins. Isaiah 53:4 – 7 tells us “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. ”) 

‘Nobody Will Go Back’: Christians Flee Middle East After Fall of Islamic State

April 30, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “The number of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, the greater Middle East, continues to plummet months after the Islamic State, which waged a genocidal campaign against Christians, lost its ‘caliphate’ in Iraq and Syria, Breitbart News learned from various experts, including an archbishop.

‘Unfortunately, it can be stated that the Islamic State group’s anti-Christian campaign was very successful in Iraq, and to a certain extent, successful in Syria,’ John Hajjar, the co-chair of the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy (AMCD) and co-director of the Middle East Christian Committee (MECHRIC), told Breitbart News.

‘I think we have no more hope,’ Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the diocesan legate in America’s capital and ecumenical director for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America, also told Breitbart News, referring to the future of Christianity in its Middle East cradle. ‘Middle East Christians have no nation that protects them openly.’

The number of Christians in Middle East-North Africa (MENA), as a component of the overall Muslim-majority population, has dropped substantially — from about ten percent in 1900 to between two and four percent now…”  (The Lord Jesus Christ predicted persecution and death for His faithful followers preceding His return to earth – “…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 and “…I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and 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.)

Christian Charity: Average of 345 Christians Killed Per Month Globally

April 24, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “Christians have become one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world according to figures from charity Open Doors which claims that per month on average around 345 Christians are murdered globally because of their beliefs.

The Christian charity, which is based in the United States, has revealed that per month at least 105 churches or places of worship are vandalized or set on fire and approximately 219 Christians are put on trial or sent to prison for expressing their faith in the Christian Gospels, Italian newspaper Il Giornale reports.

Open Doors is not the only organization to highlight the growing persecution of Christians. Vatican-linked Aid to the Church in Need (ACS) has also noted that up to one in seven Christians lives in countries where they could meet the threat of violence or even be put on trial and face prison sentences or even death for professing Christian beliefs.

According to a report by Open Doors released earlier this year, a total of 245 million Christians face some sort of persecution and the group claimed that in 2018, 4,136 Christians were killed because of their religious convictions…”  (“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 have 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 your also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.  If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.  He that hateth me hateth my Father also.  If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my FatherThese 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. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me” – John 15:18 – 24; 16:1 – 3.  See the five reports.)

105 Christian churches a month become target of ‘hate’

April 23, 2019 — WND.com reports: “Several churches in Sri Lanka were attacked on Easter Sunday by what authorities believe to be Muslim extremists. The suicide bombers killed about 300 and injured hundreds more.

Just a week earlier, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which has stood for nearly 900 years, was the site of a catastrophic fire that turn its wooden roof to ash. Authorities have floated the explanation that a ‘computer glitch’ caused the blaze.

But Islam critic Pamela Geller, under the headline ‘Notre Dame Cathedral inferno ‘intentionally set,’‘ cited Time columnist Christopher J. Hale writing: ‘A Jesuit friend in Paris who works in #NotreDame told me cathedral staff said the fire was intentionally set.’

Geller noted France has been hit with a string of fires at Catholic churches, some of which occurred alongside desecration of sacred objects and acts of vandalism.

Michael Snyder, writing for InfoWars, cited statistics from the Christian ministry Open Doors counting an average of 105 attacks a month on churches…”

Archbishop Says Christians Slaughtered ‘Like Chickens’ in Nigeria

May 1, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “A Nigerian archbishop has decried the slaughter of Christians in his country and the media silence surrounding it, declaring that ‘Christians are being killed like chickens.’

Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso told LifeSiteNews said that in the Muslim-dominated northwest of the country people live in constant fear, especially in the state of Kaduna where he resides.

‘It is one of the states where everybody walks around afraid. There are kidnappers and bandits and they are killing people. Villages are being burned down,’ Archbishop Ndagoso said in an article published Monday.

‘In other parts of the country if something happens, the president shows up. But here people are being killed and nothing is being done about it,’ he said…”

Jihadists Bomb Christian School in Syria, Killing Four Children

May 15, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “Jihadists bombed the Syria Christian village of Al-Sekelbiya (Suqaylabiyah) Sunday, killing at least four children during a catechism lesson along with their teacher and leaving another six children injured, according to local media.

The Islamists who launched the missiles belong to the terror group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which was previously affiliated with the al Qaeda, reported Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

The Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reported that four catechism students between the ages of six and ten years — Jessica, Bashar, Angy, and Suheir — died in the missile attack, which targeted the catechetical school of Al-Sekelbiya.

Other reports have placed the number of children who died at five.

Franciscan Father Hanna Jallouf, parish priest of the Latin church of Knaye, in Idlib, said that ‘rebels bombed the Christian city of Al-Sekelbiya. They hit the catechetical center killing 5 children and their catechist.’…”

Jihadists kill pastor, four others in Burkina church attack

April 30, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “Gunmen killed four worshippers and a pastor in the first jihadist attack on a church in Burkina Faso, security and local sources said Monday, in the latest violence to rock the formerly peaceful west African nation.

Sunday’s raid took place in the small northern town of Silgadji near Djibo, the capital of Soum province.

‘Unidentified armed individuals have attacked the Protestant church in Silgadji, killing four members of the congregation and the main pastor,’ a security source told AFP.

‘At least two other people are missing,’ the source added.

It was the first attack on a church since jihadist violence erupted in Burkina Faso in 2015.

Former colonial ruler France has deployed some 4,500 troops in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in a mission codenamed Barkhane to help local forces try to flush out jihadist groups.

‘The attack happened around 1:00 pm, just as the faithful were leaving the church at the end of the service,’ a member of the church who did not want to be identified told AFP.

‘The attackers were on motorbikes. They fired in the air before aiming at the members of the congregation,’ the witness added…”

Gunmen Kill Six, Burn Down Catholic Church in Burkina Faso

May 12, 2019 — Breitbart.com reports: “Gunmen killed a priest and five church-goers during mass on Sunday (May 12) in an attack on a Catholic church in Dablo, northern Burkina Faso, security sources and local official said.

‘Towards 9am, during mass, armed individuals burst into the Catholic church,’ the mayor of Dablo, Mr. Ousmane Zongo, told AFP.

‘They started firing as the congregation tried to flee.’

The gunmen managed to trap some of the worshippers, he added.

‘They killed five of them. The priest, who was celebrating mass, was also killed, bringing the number of dead to six.’

The attackers set fire to the church, several shops and a small cafe before heading to the local health centre, which they looted and burnt the chief nurse’s vehicle, said Mr. Zongo.

A security source said between 20 and 30 gunmen carried out the attack…”