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CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

Report: Christian Persecution 2019 a Scourge of ‘Mammoth Proportions’

June 24, 2019 — “June 2019 is an ‘especially menacing time’ for Christians both on the domestic and international fronts, writes Christian persecution expert John L. Allen in a report Sunday.

The U.S. Catholic Church is facing ‘one of the most serious potential violations of religious freedom in its history in the form of SB 360 in California,’ writes Allen, author of the 2013 bestseller The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, since the bill would compel priests to reveal information learned while hearing confessions as evidence against possible sex offenders.

‘The bill passed the California senate in late May by a 30-2 vote and is expected to be considered by the State Assembly in September,’ Allen notes.

On the international scene, ‘the scope of anti-Christian hostility is staggering,’ Allen continues, with the number of Christians facing ‘harassment, physical assault, arrest and imprisonment, torture, and even death’ on a daily basis estimated at around 200 million.

Christians in North Korea, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria and a host of other countries live under a constant threat of active persecution, as documented by Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog group.

Even in Latin America, the world’s largest ‘Catholic’ region, the number of Catholic clergy and personnel killed each year frequently tops the list of continents…”  (“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.  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 Father.  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.  But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning” – John 15:18-27.)

Christian arrested for ‘insulting Islam’ on Facebook

June 19, 2019

WND.com reports: “A young Egyptian Christian was arrested for allegedly insulting Islam on Facebook after a mob of angry Muslims chased his parents from their home and ransacked the house.

Morning Star News reported Fady Yousef, 25, was arrested June 11 in Giza, southwest of Cairo, despite having posted a video claiming hackers had placed the offending material on his Facebook page.

Citing the Coptic Bishopric of Maghagha and El Edwa in Minya, Morning Star News said Muslims angered by the material attacked his parents’ home in Eshneen el Nasara village, near Maghgaha in Minya Governorate…”  (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;  “…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.  See the next report.)

China’s end game: Elimination of home churches

May 28, 2019 —WND.com reports: “China claims the existence of the state-controlled Three Self churches demonstrates its tolerance of Christianity, but the communist government wants all other Christian congregations to disappear, warns International Christian Concern, which assists persecuted Christians around the world.

Gina Goh of ICC writes that like Thanos in Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ movies, the Communist Party would like to snap its fingers and make a huge portion of the population disappear.

The Chinese Communist Party reported in 2018 that China has 40 million Christians. But Goh says that because of ‘the discrete nature of underground churches, some experts believe that the actual number of Christians falls between 80 million and 100 million.’

That concerns Beijing, she said.

For one thing, the CCP has only about 89 million members…”

Christianity is dying in Germany while Islam rises

May 22, 2019 — Israel National News reports: “In 2001, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Peter Sewald: ‘The church will be reduced numerically. In a city like Magdeburg the percentage of Christians is only 8 percent of the total population, including – mind you – all Christian denominations. The statistical data show irrefutable tendencies’.

Since 2000, the Catholic church in Germany has desecrated, demolished and sold 540 churches and chapels. Of these, 80 were in Magdeburg. In the diocese of Essen, Bishop Franz Hengsbach saw the number of Catholics halved, so 57 churches were abandoned. In the diocese of Hildesheim, as many as 51 churches have been deconsecrated since 2008.

17 years have passed since that Ratzinger interview and the data has almost collapsed everywhere. From ‘irrefutable’, the numbers seem to have become irredeemable.

In a study commissioned by the Bishops’ Conference, researchers at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg are even more pessimistic than Ratzinger: the total of Christian denominations – adding up the Catholic and Protestant ones – will fall from the current 45 million to 34 million in 2035 and will halve to 22 million within 40 years. The number of Protestants in the next generation will fall from the current 21.5 million to 10.5 million, while that of Catholics from 23 million to 12.3 million…”  (I John 2:19: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”  This Holy text describes the sad situation of 21st Century Christianity just before Christ’s return.  Our days on earth are now limited.  Get ready for the Rapture as described in I Thessalonians 4:13 – 18: “…I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”  See the next report.)

Christianity in Iraq is ‘perilously close to extinction’, says Archbishop

May 24, 2019 —ChristianToday.com reports: “An Iraqi Archbishop has pleaded with Britain’s Church and political leaders to do more to save the Christian community in Iraq from being wiped out.

At an address in London, the Archbishop of Irbil, the Rt Rev Bashar Warda warned that Christians in Iraq face extinction after seeing a dramatic fall in numbers from around 1.5 million at the end of Saddam Hussein’s reign in 2003, to just 250,000 today.

The Archbishop said that the prospects for those who have remained in the country were not good.

‘Christianity in Iraq, one of the oldest Churches, if not the oldest Church in the world, is perilously close to extinction. Those of us who remain must be ready to face martyrdom,’ he said.

Christians have had a presence in Iraq for at least 1,400 years but after the Islamic State began its onslaught in 2014, they and other minority communities came under intense persecution.

The Archbishop said that their ‘tormentors’ had sought ‘to wipe out our history and destroy our future’…”

Iranian court upholds prison sentences of two Christian converts

May 22, 2019 — ChristianToday.com reports: “A court in Iran has upheld the prison sentences of two Christian converts involved in house churches.

Saheb Fadaie was sentenced to 18 months in prison and Fatemeh Bakhteri to 12 months last September after being found guilty of ‘spreading propaganda against the regime’.  In delivering the sentence, the court equated discussions of Christian doctrine in house churches to an attack on Islam, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

In addition to a prison sentence, Mr Fadaie was also given two years in internal exile in Nehbandan, a remote area close to the border with Afghanistan.

The pair, who were both active in house churches, lodged an appeal against the decision and at a hearing in January were asked to renounce their faith.  Both refused, CSW reports.

CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said the decision to uphold their sentences was a ‘grave violation’ of Iran’s constitutional and international legal obligations, and ‘illustrative of the heightened campaign of repression that has seen Christians receiving excessive charges and sentences merely for manifesting their religion in private and in community with others’…”  (“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.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” – Revelation 2:10, 11.  Christians who suffer and die for Christ will receive the “Crown of Life” to place at the feet of Jesus – James 1:12; Revelation 2:10.  The 24 elders represent 12 Old Testament Tribes and 12 New Testament Apostles – saved Jews and redeemed Christians.  In Revelation 4: 10 & 11 they cast their earned crowns before the Lord Jesus Christ.  Question – Will you be among them?)

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