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Five Christians Killed, Five Others Missing in Muslim Herdsmen Attacks in Nigeria

The Rev. Dacholom Datiri of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN). (Morning Star News)

(Morning Star News) – Five Christians were killed and five others are missing after attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s Plateau and Benue states in the past two weeks.

Two members of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) were killed on Sunday (Nov. 12) in Plateau state’s Wereng village, Riyom Local Government Area (LGA), as they were returning to their village at about 9:30 p.m., area resident Gyang Dahoro, a COCIN elder, told Morning Star News.

Christopher Musa Chong, 28, and Bulus Dantoro, 35, were ambushed and shot death, and their corpses cut with machetes, according to Dahoro.

“The two did not return to the village on Sunday evening,” Dahoro said. “A search was organized, and their corpses were found in bushes the following morning with bullet wounds and machete cuts.”

The Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the COCIN, said in a text message to Morning Star News that the church keeps losing its members as Muslim herdsmen have continued to ravage the countryside in a series of armed attacks.

“These armed Fulani herdsmen have continued with their attacks, and the church is at the receiving end,” Datiri said. “We have lost our members to these unprovoked attacks. We are on our knees praying for God’s mercy.”

Police in Plateau state reported recovering items belonging to the herdsmen at the scene of the attack. Plateau State Command spokesman Matthias Terna confirmed in a press statement the two Christians were ambushed and killed by the herdsmen.

“The dead bodies were recovered on the scene at about 8:15 in the morning by miners who were on their way to mining camp,” Terna said. “The police recovered two sticks belonging to the gunmen, and a motorcycle belonging to the deceased persons in the scene.”

Lamenting incessant killings of Christians in the state by the herdsmen using guerrilla tactics, a member of Nigeria’s parliament, the National Assembly, demanded the government declare the herdsmen as terrorists. Istifanus Gyang said in a press statement that the time has come for herdsmen to be classified as terrorists.

“The truth is that there is a quest by the herdsmen to forcefully acquire land and territory for occupation,” Gyang said. “Under this unfortunate development, the Nigerian state and government, which have the constitutional responsibility of protecting citizens from aggression, have left the victims at the mercy of the marauding herdsmen. These attacks have to be profiled and classified as acts of insurgency and treated with the same response as Boko Haram has been handled.”

Benue State Killings

In Benue state, three Christians were killed and five others abducted by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, sources said.

One of the Christians, Saater Kwaghdom, was killed in an attack in Gaambe-tiv village, Logo LGA, on Nov. 2 in which the herdsmen took away the five Christians, Joseph Anawa of Makurdi told Morning Star News.

Another Christian, Apesuu Uhula, was killed in Isho village, Guma LGA, on Tuesday (Nov. 13), and the same day herdsmen killed another Christian, Ortse Kwaghdoo, in Azdege village, Logo LGA, according to Anawa.

All three slain Christians were members of the Universal Reformed Christian Church, in Nigeria known as the NKST (Nongo U KristuU I Ser Sha Tar), he said.

Among those kidnapped, also NKST members, were Hingir Akaa Azemgbe, Doosul Nambo, and Ladi Mhbahme, he said.

Moses Yamu, spokesman for the Benue State Command, said in a press statement that some herdsmen who carried out the attacks have been arrested.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.

Benue state is majority-Christian, and a report released this month describes attacks there as a “Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen invasion of Benue.”

“Nigeria: Benue State Under the Shadow of Herdsmen Terrorism,” commissioned by the World Watch Research unit of Open Doors International and Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says ethnic, socio-economic, environmental and political factors play some part in attacks, but that policy makers have diminished the underlying jihadist motives.

The ideology of the Hausa-Fulani Muslim invasion of Benue is based on the slogan, “Everything belongs to Allah. Every piece of land belongs to Allah and not you; it is not for you infidels but for Allah,” the report notes.

“Thus, with climate change, competition over limited resources and environmental threat to the ways of life of the herdsmen, the use of terror and its religious justification has been intensified, particularly in Benue,” the report states. “Herdsmen use terror tactics to conduct jihad, displacing local communities from their land to make room for their herds, to occupy those lands and to spread Islam.”

Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen are generally misperceived as people who are only in search of a better environment for caring for their sheep, the report states.

“They are mostly considered as people whose life, survival and tradition is embedded in the value attached to the herds, and the capacity they retain to protect their way of life,” it states. “Yet, historically, it is necessary to emphasize the fact that herdsmen in Africa have always played an important role in Islamic jihad. Their actions clearly demonstrate that their use of terror is premeditated; it is ideologically driven and sometimes politically motivated depending on the place, time and socio-political context.”

The report also asserts that the government is complicit in the violence by failing to stop attacks or prosecute assailants.

Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

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Lawyer expects Asia Bibi’s blasphemy case to be heard by year end

Aasia Bibi with her children before blasphemy charges

In October, it was reported that the Supreme Court was likely to hear Aasia [Asia] Bibi’s blasphemy case during the next couple of months.

Bibi’s lawyer, Saiful Malook, told The Express Tribune that the court’s additional registrar had conveyed to him that the case was likely to be fixed for hearing in November. However, if for some reason there was a delay, it would definitely be listed in December.

“I have been told that currently the Supreme Court’s special bench is hearing criminal appeals filed in 2015. The Aasia case was listed the same year. Therefore, it will be heard during the ongoing year,” said the lawyer.

Legal experts say it’s unclear if a bench led by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar will resume, or the special bench, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, will hear her case.

The 51-year-old Christian, has been on the death row since November 2010 after being convicted of controversial blasphemy charges during an argument with a Muslim woman. Aasia’s case gained prominence after then Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer pleaded for her retrial and was subsequently shot dead by his guard, Mumtaz Qadri, in January 2011.

In 2014, the Lahore High Court upheld Aasia’s death sentence, but the Supreme Court stayed her execution in July 2015.

The Tribune reported,

The last time her case was taken up was on October 13 last year by a three-judge bench headed by Justice Nisar and comprising Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman and Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik. The hearing was postponed when Justice Rehman recused himself as he was the CJ of the Islamabad High Court when it heard the Salmaan Taseer assassination case. The assassin had cited Taseer’s interest in the Aasia Bibi case as his motive.

Describing her case, Bibi said she was working in a field when she was asked to fetch water. Because she is a Christian, some of her Muslim co-workers objected, saying that she should not touch the water vessel as she would make it unclean. An argue began and harsh words were exchanged. Bibi claims the women later accused her of blasphemy in conspiracy with another Muslim woman. Bibi maintains her innocence.

Read full report

VOP Note: During our recent IDOP prayer conference calls, we prayed specifically for Aasia, including that her case be heard. In discussions on the possibility of her case being heard in December, some are reluctant, as Pakistan prepares for elections to take place. Some fear the case will once again be postponed until after the elections. They also fear if she is released riots would ensue.

Please continue lifting her up to the Lord. In the name of Jesus, let us pray for those proceeding over the case to have the courage to do what is right and release her. Pray for those who would intend to harm these officials, Aasia and her family, or organize mob violence when she is acquitted. Lord have mercy on our sister who longs to reunite with her family.

 

 

Underground Churches in China…A Rare Video Clip

Liberal Clergy “Bless” Texas Abortion Clinic, Declare Abortion a “God-Given Right”

A group of liberal clergy gathered at a Fort Worth, Texas abortion clinic to “bless” its staff and patients, sing “Hallelujah,” and support abortion as a woman’s “God-given right.”

The Texas Observer reported liberal clergy organized by the Religious Institute gathered last Thursday, November 9, to pray for God’s blessings over the abortion clinic and counter the narrative “Anti-abortion advocacy is often inextricably tied to religion.”

The pro-abortion prayer event was organized by Kentina Washington-Leapheart, a minister who earned her Master of Divinity degree from the United Methodist-affiliated Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and director of programs for reproductive justice and sexuality education at the Religious Institute. READ MORE

Voice of the Persecuted Note: Following the commands of a worldly culture, instead of the Word of God. I’m reminded of Matthew 13:24-30, the parable of the Wheat and Tares.
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Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. (Tares, a weed, or darnel which is referred to as “false wheat”. It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears.) But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The farmhands came and said to the man, ‘Sir, didn’t sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ They asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’ But he said, No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.
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Jesus said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’ And ‘He who does not love Me does not keep My words,’ John 14:15-24
1 John 2:3-6 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.
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Do they really believe a God-given right allows us to take the life of another?
You either believe in God’s word, or you don’t. You either follow Jesus, or you don’t. There is nowhere in-between and the choice is simple, the LORD or the world being led astray by the god of this age.  Let us not be deceived!

Germany charges Palestinian with murder of Christians over Temple Mount Tensions

The Jerusalem Post reports the prosecutor’s office said, according to the indictment, that a Palestinian man, Ahmad A., 26, wanted “to kill as many German nationals of the Christian faith as possible.” His reasoning behind the act was because of the “escalating conflict between Muslim believers and Israel security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He wanted his actions “to be viewed in the context of an Islamic attack, and understood as a contribution to worldwide jihad.”

On July 28 at a supermarket in Hamburg, Ahmad allegedly murdered one man, aged 50, with a 20-cm. (approx. 8″) knife and wounded an additional six people. On Friday, Germany’s federal prosecution charged the Palestinian with murder and six counts of attempted murder.

Read the full report here

 

Your love has deeply encouraged the persecuted

 
(Voice of the Persecuted) We would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you for those of you who came on the IDOP call, this past Sunday. The Holy Spirit was with us in a very special and deep way.  The call flowed smoothly. God kept us free of technical glitches and satanic interference.
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I believe our prayers brought down the kingdom of God and pushed back the forces of darkness. Our prayers greatly encouraged our persecuted brothers and sisters and did, indeed, call out God’s redemptive heart for the global harvest of souls.
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We heard encouraging reports about what God is doing in the front lines among the persecuted.  As a result,  much encouraging and fervent prayer went up on behalf of the persecuted and those who work on the harvest.
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This morning, in my time with the Lord, I heard him say that our prayers were sealed. I believe this is God’s way of saying that our prayers were heard and answered.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank each of you, from my heart, for hearing the Spirit’s prompting to join and pray with us as one in the Body of Christ. Our persecuted brothers and sisters thank you for blessing them through your prayers.
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Much blessings be upon each and everyone of you.
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In Christ,
Blaine and the VOP team
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Blaine Scogin serves as Prayer Director for Persecution Watch and Voice of the Persecuted.

Persecution Watch is a national prayer conference call to pray specifically for the persecuted Church. For the past 8 years, Blaine has faithfully led this national network of believers praying for the persecuted Church and the global harvest. The group normally meets via a free call-in service every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night at 9pm EST. However, dedicated in their prayers for our persecuted brothers and sisters, there have been times when these prayer warriors have met every night for a month or more—lifting the persecuted up as the Lord leads. Often, they host callers from nations other than the United States.

We encourage you to join the weekly prayer call to continue to pray together for those suffering for Christ.

Tuesday, Thursday. Saturday
Time:
9 p.m. Eastern time
8 p.m. Central time
7 p.m. Mountain time
6 p.m. Pacific time
Call Number:  
712-775-7035
Access Code:
281207#

For those who may be subject to added charges for conference calls. Please download the app, it’s free!

MOBILE APP: Free Conference Call HD also provides a quick and easy way for you to dial into conference calls without having to remember the dial-in credentials. Save all of your conference call dial-in numbers and access codes using this free app. With the Free Conference Call HD you can instantly dial into a conference call via 3G/4G data network and or regular mobile carrier. Google Play link  or App Store – iTunes

Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Ambush, Kill Nine Christians in Plateau State, Nigeria

(Morning Star News) – Nine Christians were buried in north-central Nigeria yesterday after Muslim Fulani herdsmen ambushed and killed them earlier this week, sources said.

The victims, all members of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN), were buried after a funeral service in Plateau state’s Riyom Local Government Area. They were killed, and three others seriously injured, on Tuesday (Nov. 7) evening at about 7:30 p.m. in Rim village as they returned from a nearby market.

In a text messsage to Morning Star News, COCIN Church Rim elder Gyang Dahoro identified those killed as Felix Ngwong, 34; Gyang Emmanuel, 29; Chuwang Bitrus, 31; Daniel Nini, 52; Dagam Danbwarang, 29; Rueben Danbwarang, 25, Sunday Danbwarang, 52; Dachollom Shom, 37; and Daniel Shom, 45.

Dahoro said the injured Dalyop Bwede, Darwang Samuel and Toma Sunday were being treated at the Plateau State Specialist Hospital in Jos.

The Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the COCIN, confirmed the killing of members of his church.

“We are saddened again by yet another attack on members of our church,” he said. “We have continued to be forced into mourning the death of some our members for no just cause. Whatever it is, our faith is dependent on Jesus Christ, our Savior.”

Istifanus Gyang, a member of parliament in Nigeria’s National Assembly, decried unabated attacks on Christians in Plateau state. Gyang said the attacks were carried out by “blood-thirsty killers and terror militia” whom he said were prosecuting “ruthless banditry and brutal slaughter” in order to wipe out Christian communities and occupy their lands.

“We shall therefore overcome this season, as it is written, “weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning,” he said.

A similar attack was carried out in the same area a few weeks ago, when a Christian woman and her son and a daughter were brutally killed by armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen who have been raiding Christian communities in the central Nigerian states of Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Taraba and Niger.

The chairman of the Riyom Council, Emmanuel Damboyi, called for the arrest of Fulani leaders in Riyom, according to Nigerian newspaper The Nation, as they had vowed to attack Berom communities due to the alleged killing of a missing Fulani boy.

The Fulani leaders made the threat at a Security Council meeting, according to Damboyi.

“I think the Fulani leaders are not ready for peace, they should be arrested and questioned for these killings,” he reportedly said.

Plateau State Police Command spokesman Terna Tyopev said in a press statement that the number of those killed was 11, with four injured.

“Eleven people who were returning from a weekly village market of Makera were shot dead at about 7:30 p.m.,” he said. “No arrests yet, but investigations are ongoing, and we shall definitely get to the roots of this.”

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.

Nigeria ranks 12th on Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

ANCA-Sponsored Conference on Christians in the Middle East Prioritizes Justice for the Armenian Genocide

Hundreds of Christian leaders, international religious-freedom advocates, and human rights defenders held over 400 Congressional meetings calling on legislators to reject Turkey’s Armenian Genocide gag rule and draw on the lessons of that crime in preventing renewed atrocities against Christians and other at-risk religious minorities across the Middle East.

The advocates were gathered for In Defense of Christians (IDC) 2017 Summit, “American Leadership and Securing the Future of Christians in the Middle East,” cosponsored by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), The Philos Project, and The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD).

The meetings, which included Christian clergy from many denominations and supporters of diverse nationalities and creeds, focused on the summit’s five-pronged advocacy agenda, including support of H.Res.220, a bipartisan measure seeks to apply the lessons of the Armenian Genocide in preventing new atrocities across the Middle East, as well as efforts to advance security and stability in Lebanon; emergency relief for victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria; allies and accountability in the Middle East; and legal punishment for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other perpetrators of genocide.

Images from the meetings are available on the ANCA Facebook page.

Prior to the Congressional visitations, a dozen members of Congress joined with advocates to share their personal commitment to support the safety and security of the Middle East’s historic Christian communities, and cited the importance of grassroots mobilization to advance those concerns. Among U.S. Representatives offering remarks were Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Ron Estes (R-Kans.), Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), Andy Harris (R-Md.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.), Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Keith Rothfus (R-Pa.), Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), and Randy Weber (R-Tex.). Read More

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