In a newly shared CBN report, they describe as shocking, an ordinary French citizen who has been watching the Islamization of Paris decided that the world needed to see what was happening to his city. The report also offers a warning to the West by French politician, Jean-François Copé.
In April 2014, we shared a video report highlighting ‘No Go Zones’ in France. The report Muslim immigrants refusing to assimilate into French society, taking over areas and terrorizing French natives in communities some families have lived in for generations.
Jerusalem (Agenzia Fides) – The strike that Christian schools have been conducting for two weeks against the discriminatory policies implemented against them by the Israeli government represents a battle to defend education, “basic human right that should not be denied to any young person”.
13 Patriarchs and heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem contextualize the struggle waged by Christian educational institutions, that since the beginning of the school year have not yet opened the schools, to protest the cutting of state funding by the Israeli government. “It hurts us” write Christian leaders in a statement released on Wednesday, September 16 “to see 33 thousand students of all faiths and denominations who remain out of classes”, while hundreds of teachers and employees spend their days of mobilization in empty schools.
The statement points out that the battle of justice against discrimination of Christian Schools began two years ago, when severe budget cuts imposed by the government led many Christian schools to pay in a situation of financial deficit. In the statement, the solutions proposed so far by the Israeli Ministry to overcome the crisis are defined unrealistic or pejorative. “For hundreds of years”, says the text sent to Fides “our schools offered high level education. Our commitment to the service of education and in the promotion of our society is rooted in our very mission and our vision”. The statement refers to the Ministry of Education and the Government of Israel to put in place measures that lead to the immediate suspension of the strike, responding to the right and certainly not exorbitant demands of Christian schools. The Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem hope that the story will eventually lead to the full restoration of the rights and the due respect to Christian schools”, so that they can continue their educational mission, for the glory of God and at the service of humanity”.
The budgetary constraints imposed by the Jewish state are at the root of the protest, which put at risk the very survival of educational institutions animated by the Churches and Christian communities in Israel. In a few years, government subsidies to Christian schools have declined by more than 45%, forcing the institutions to increase the school fees paid by families, often with low incomes, below the national average.
The 47 Christian schools in Israel are attended by 33 thousand students (of whom only half are baptized) and employ 3 thousand teachers. State subsidies, which until a few years ago covered 65% of the fees, have been dramatically reduced and now do not even cover 30% of the expenses. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/09/2015)
Christians make up slightly over 2% of Israel’s population. Christians are mainly Arabic speaking and attend Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic churches. These Christian schools recognised but unofficial by the Israeli government, are attended by Christians, Muslims, Druze, including Jews and considered some of the best in the country. These schools are known for their success and contribution to Arab and Israeli society, were mostly founded before the establishment of the State of Israel. In secular schools where Jewish students considerably out-perform their Arab classmates, Arab students at Christian schools do far better.
It’s been claimed that Jewish ultra-orthodox schools, also classified as ‘recognised but unofficial’, still receive full funding from the state. However, the Education Ministry reports there is no difference in the funding of Christian and Jewish schools of recognized but unofficial status. They also stated that Christians had been offered a number of ways to resolve the differences but had rejected them while choosing to close the schools “at the students’ expense.”
Botrus Mansour, the general director of Nazareth Baptist school said, “We will lose our control, message and our identity,” he says, adding that under the proposed regulation, the state would be responsible for appointing teachers and principals, as well as choosing the students. source
On September 6, some 450,000 Arab Israeli pupils stayed home as their schools called a strike in solidarity with the Christian schools. Yesterday, students in the country’s Christian school system came out in droves to demonstrate in Haifa and other places. Protests continue on this 17th day of the strike.
Outraged by the discrimination against them, many believe the budget cuts, which also puts a cap on tuition fees, are a death blow to the continuance of Christian schools in the nation.
UPDATE Sept. 27, 2015:
The Christian schools have been on strike since the school year began on Sept. 1 to protest cuts in government funding. Christian leaders have said the cuts amounted to discrimination.
There exists a great suffering that many do not dare to cry out.
Wanting to unite to the cry of so many souls, especially those of Christians, who are suffering persecution because of their faith, HM Television shared the clip “Guilty Silence” giving a voice to those who are living persecution themselves and to those accompanying the persecuted in their pain. These testimonies are excerpts from interviews that you can find in the HM Television series, “In the Footsteps of the Nazarene.”
They asks, “Will you remain silent after watching it?”
By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Last month, six church committee members from Kilto, Ethiopia, were found guilty of destroying the public’s trust in government officials and spreading hatred.
According to Barnabas Aid, the six had dared to write a letter to their church leadership describing the persecution they have endured as Christians living in the Muslim-majority Silte zone. The letter was later leaked to local media and then went viral.
As a result, government officials sentenced church committee leader Yemariam Worke to eight years and eight months in prison and the other five members of the committee to five years and six months each. They were all then transferred to a prison in Worabe, the capital of Silte zone.
In the letter, the six had complained of discrimination in employment, the destruction of their church buildings, physical attacks and even death threats.
Ethnic Silte people voted to create a separate zone in a referendum in 2001.
(Morning Star News) – An attack on a prayer meeting in Jharkhand state that sent six people to the hospital on Sept. 4 began when Hindu women entered the home where it was held and began insulting Christians, sources said.
By the end of the day, Hindu extremists with guns, axes, spades and clubs had broken bones of Christians of Anugrah (Grace) Church in Hututag village, Palamu District and beaten women unconscious before threatening to finish them off if they continued worshiping Christ, a local pastor said.
About 30 people from the church had gathered at the house of Mukh Dev for a Friday prayer meeting when some women entered and began verbally abusing Pastor Sarvajit Bharti and others, the Rev. Akash Nandi told Morning Star News.
“Thereafter, two men entered and asked the pastor and the others to go outside, but the Christians refused to go,” he said.
Shouting insults, the Hindu extremists then took Pastor Bharti’s motorbike key, damaged the vehicle and dragged out associate pastor Mitilesh Kumar. They asked Kumar whether he would stop worshipping Jesus and instead worship Hindu idols, Pastor Nandi said.
“Mitilesh replied that they are not doing anything wrong in worshipping Christ, and that they will not stop,” Pastor Nandi said.
Later, some 15 furious Hindu extremists armed with guns, axes, spades and clubs broke into the prayer meeting, but by then members had hidden Pastor Bharti on the roof. The assailants demanded to know his whereabouts. The Christians said he had gone to the police station.
“On hearing this, the extremists mercilessly beat up the Christians,” Pastor Nandi said. “Among the seriously injured, Munni Devi, 60, had both hands fractured, and they beat her up so severely that her whole body turned blue and black, and she fell unconscious.”
Another woman, 30-year-old Mani Matiya, loss consciousness after one of the assailants beat her head with a spade. Associate Pastor Kumar, 22, received a deep cut on his head and abrasions on his body, while 60-year-old Mukh Dev took an axe-blow to the head that left a deep gash.
Sarita Kumar, 18, sustained stomach wounds, and her 16-year-old brother, Pappu Kumar, had the skin at his stomach split. The other Christians also sustained bruises and cuts. At least six received treatment at Sadar Hospital, Pastor Bharti said.
“Four of them received treatment for 10 days, while the rest were given first aid and some medicines,” he said. “Since April of this year we have been pressured to choose between Christ and our lives, and we are constantly threatened to be chased out from the village if we do not denounce Christ.”
As the village head backs the Hindu extremist actions, it has been difficult to hold worship meetings, and the Christians have been forbidden from walking on the main road and getting water from the main pump, Pastor Bharti said.
The pastor had to relocate from the village this year after Hindu extremists chased him out during a midnight raid in July, he said.
In West Singbhum District, on Wednesday (Sept. 9) a massive throng of people opposed to Christianity from various villages amassed to insult and threaten to kill Christians in Sagarkatta village, sources said.
Among the Ho tribal villagers near Chaibasa, seven Christian families from the Pentecostal Holiness Church were socially boycotted and threatened with death if they continued to follow Jesus, Pastor Nandi told Morning Star News.
“One baptized widow out of intense fear and pressure decided to return to Hinduism, and two men who started attending church services also promised not to take part in any of the Christian meetings again,” he said.
Officials prohibited the Christians from walking on the main road and from fetching water from the village well, he said. They also threatened to cancel the Christians’ tribal certificates, necessary for obtaining certain benefits, and told them their lands and goods would be seized if they did not renounce Christ.
Hostilities against the Christians broke out in different villages in the state in July. Area church leader Rampath Nayak told Morning Star News that a group was formed that identified villages where there were few Christians, called public meetings in those areas and filled villagers’ minds with malicious lies about Christianity.
The Hindu extremists in August called for public meetings in which they publicly humiliated Christians for their faith, forced them to renounce Christ and subjected them to local ordinances calling for them to be socially boycott from the Ho community.
The first Christian in Sagarkatta village, a man who goes by the single name of Buthram, began to lead worship services at his home earlier this year, and many started to attend, Pastor Nandi said. Opposition from villagers culminated in June, when Hindu extremists gave poison to his two sons, ages 10 and 12.
“The local Hindu extremists called the two boys and offered them jackfruit, and immediately after eating, the two boys died,” he said. “The boys were rushed to the area government hospital, where the doctor declared that the boys died of food poisoning and even asked Buthram whether he wanted to submit a police complaint. For lack of any support legal or otherwise, Buthram did not file any police complaint.”
In Lupungi Messasai, a neighboring village 19 miles away, villagers incited by Hindu extremists in late August harassed four Christian families, accused them of leaving their traditional faith and socially boycotted them, Pastor Nayak said.
“The believers in this village could not go anywhere, as they are restricted from walking on the road and taking water from the public pump, and the children were banned from the school,” Pastor Nayak said. “They were not allowed to take care of their herds of cattle, and the extremists threatened to kill and take hold of all their possession if they did not denounce Christ.”
In Bichaburu village, less than 10 miles from Sagarkatta, 31 Christian families from the Pentecostal Church of God were summoned to a public meeting in August, Pastor Nayak said. The Christians were told that some village issues would be discussed, but when they arrived, Hindu extremists began reviling them, accusing them of betraying their traditional faith and threatening to kill them if they did not return to Hinduism, he said.
In Masessai and Sagarkatta villages, Hindu extremists have continued to threaten the Christians.
“The situation is tense, as the extremists are boldly pursuing the Christians and threaten to burn them if they do not leave Christ,” Pastor Nandi said. “It is especially hard for the children, with no proper water to drink as the Christians are restricted from taking water from the well.”
On Sunday, August 23, a Coptic Christian soldier was killed in his army unit in Egypt. Baha Saeed Karam, 22, was found shot dead with four bullet wounds at the headquarters of his battalion in Marsa Matruh. Although transferred to a hospital in Alexandria, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
According to Baha’s brother, Cyril, the Coptic soldier had recently told him that he had gotten into arguments with other Muslim soldiers in his unit and that one had threatened him with death.
Baha is certainly not the first Coptic Christian serving in his country’s military to be killed over his religious identity.
Two months earlier, on June 24, the only Christian in his army unit was found shot dead in a chair at the office of the military base he was stationed. Baha Gamal Mikhail Silvanus, a 23-year-old conscript, had two gunshot wounds and a gun at his feet. Relatives who later saw the body said he also had wounds atop his head, as if he had been bludgeoned with an object.
The military’s official position was that the Copt committed suicide—despite the fact that suicides are rarely able to shoot themselves twice or first hit themselves atop the head with blunt objects. Moreover, according to Rev. Mikhial Shenouda, who knew the deceased, “A person who commits suicide is a disappointed and desperate person, but Baha was in very good spirits. He was smiling always. He was keeping the word of God,” and planning on entering the monastic life after his military service.
A friend of the deceased Christian said that Silvanus had confided to him that he was regularly pressured by other soldiers in his unit to convert to Islam: “He told me that the persecution of the fanatical Muslim conscripts in the battalion against him had increased … and that they would kill him if he wouldn’t convert to Islam.”
On August 31, 2013, another Copt in the armed services, Abu al-Khair Atta, was killed in his unit by an “extremist officer” for “refusing to convert to Islam.” Again, the interior ministry informed the slain Copt’s family that he had committed suicide.
However, Abu al-Khair’s father, citing eyewitnesses who spoke to him, said that “one of the radical, fanatical officers pressured and threatened him on more than one occasion to convert to Islam. Abu al-Khair resisted the threats, which vexed the officer more.”
Then there was 20-year-old Guirgus Rizq Yusif al-Maqar, who died on September 18, 2006. Without notifying him why, the armed forces summoned his handicapped father to the station in Asyut. After making the arduous journey, he was verbally mistreated by some officers and then bluntly told, “Go take your son’s corpse from the refrigerator!” The father “collapsed from the horror of the news.”
Officials claimed the youth died of a sudden drop in blood pressure. Later, however, while family members were washing Guirgus’ body, they discovered wounds on his shoulders and a large black swelling around his testicles.
Assuming these were products of injuries incurred during harsh training, his family proceeded to bury him. Later, however, a colleague of the deceased told them that Guirgus was regularly insulted, humiliated, and beaten—including on his testicles—simply because he was Christian. The dead youth’s family implored authorities to exhume Guirgus’ body for a forensic examination but was denied.
And on August 2006, the mutilated and drowned body of another Copt serving in the Egyptian military, Hani Seraphim, was found. Earlier he had confided to his family that he was being insulted and abused for being a Christian by his commander, both in public and in private.
According to MCN, “His unit commander ordered him to renounce Christianity and join the ranks of Islam.” The Coptic youth refused, warning his Muslim commander: “I will notify military intelligence about this,” to which his superior replied, “Okay, Hani; soon I will settle my account with you.”
His body was later found floating in the Nile covered with signs of torture.
It should come as no surprise that some Muslim soldiers insist that the men fighting alongside them be Muslims as well. “Infidels” are seen as untrustworthy fifth columns (hence why Islamic law holds that non-Muslim subjects, or dhimmis, are forbidden from owning weapons). In Islam, allegiance belongs to the Umma—the abstract “Muslim world” that transcends racial, linguistic, and territorial borders—and not to any particular Muslim nation.
Thus it may seem reasonable for all Egyptian citizens—Muslims and Christians alike—to serve in their nation’s military. But for Muslims who equate “war” with “jihad,” having non-Muslims fighting alongside them is unacceptable—hence the aforementioned anecdotes of pressure on Christian soldiers to convert to Islam.
Nor is this sort of thinking limited to Egypt. In Kuwait, no one can become a citizen without first converting to Islam, and indigenous Kuwaitis who openly leave Islam lose their citizenship. In nations as diverse as Iran and Sudan, prominent church leaders are regularly persecuted, some put on death row, on the accusation that, because they are not Muslim, they must be treasonous agitators working for the West (which, in the popular Muslim mind, continues to be conflated with Christianity).
Finally, all these modern day slayings of Christian soldiers who refuse to convert to Islam thoroughly contradict the historic narrative being peddled by Mideast academics in America. Put differently, the present sheds light on the past.
In an attempt to whitewash the meaning of jizya—the extortion money non-Muslims redeemed their lives with—Georgetown University’s John Esposito writes that jizya was actually paid to “exempt them [non-Muslims] from military service.” Similarly, Sohaib Sultan, Princeton University’s Muslim chaplain, asserts that jizya was merely “an exemption tax in lieu of military service.”
Such assertions are absurd: Muslim overlords never wanted their conquered and despised “infidel” subjects to fight alongside them in the name of jihad—holy war against infidels, such as the conquered subjects themselves—without first converting to Islam.
That’s how it was in the past, and, increasingly, the way it is in the present.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow, David Horowitz Freedom Center; a CBN News contributor; a Media Fellow, Hoover Institution (2013); and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum . Ibrahim’s dual-background — born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East — has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
By Mark Pattison – Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Some panelists at a Sept. 9 forum on Islamic State atrocities want the United States and United Nations to declare the Islamic State’s actions in the Middle East a genocide.
”We failed with the Armenian genocide in Turkey. We failed in Srebrenica,” Bosnia-Herzegovina, where 8,000 boys and men were slaughtered by Bosnian Serb nationalists 20 years ago, said former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, now a distinguished senior fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative.
”Will we fail again in the Middle East?” Wolf asked. Some panelists referred to genocide as “the g-word.”
”The evil of the past is upon us,” said Katrina Lantos Swett, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. ”The indifference and the willful inability to hear is something my own family endured,” she added. Her father, the late U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, was a Holocaust survivor.
”No religious group has been free of ISIS’ depravations,” Swett said. Christians, Yazidis and even Muslims who do not subscribe to the Islamic State’s ideology and worldview, have been killed, and women raped and taken as slaves. ”Silence is no option, nor was it even an option, for men and women of conscience,” she said. – See more
Nigeria (Morning Star News) – Amid reports of more Christians killed by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, a clergyman here told protestors that in the past 15 years he has conducted more funerals than weddings.
After leading hundreds of Christian demonstrators to the Plateau House of Assembly on Aug. 31, the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Kwashi, Anglican archbishop of Jos, said the deaths were the result of attacks by Muslim Fulani herdsmen and Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
“As a pastor, I have conducted more burial services of those killed through attacks than weddings and naming ceremonies since 2001,” he said. “It’s sad to note that most victims of the attacks are harmless children, some infants, women and youth.”
Archbishop Kwashi, also addressing members of the House of Assembly, said urgent steps must be taken to curtail the violence.
“The Nigerian government must end the killings,” he said. “Attention should not be concentrated only in the northeast alone, as people too are being killed here in Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa and Kaduna states.”
Peter Azi, speaker of the House of Assembly, responded with a statement condemning unprovoked attacks on Christian communities in Plateau state. He gave assurances that parliamentarians were doing everything possible to urge the federal government address the violence.
A protestor, Teyei Paul, said the Nigerian government has been largely silent on the unprovoked killings. Quoting Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s statement, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil,” Teyei said government silence is an indication of subtle support for the onslaught against Christians in Nigeria.
On the day of the protest, armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed five Christians in Tanabu village, Gashish District, Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, including a community leader and a leader of a Women’s Fellowship Group of a an area Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), sources said.
An area resident whose identity is withheld identified the victims of the ambush as Maiungwa Akare Mangam, Mashingil Mangam, Paul Akare, Elizabeth Ezekiel and Josephine Sunday, all of the COCIN congregation in Tababu Makoli Gashish, Barkin Ladi LGA. The source told Morning Star News they were killed on their way to a local market.
“The five Christians were ambushed and murdered on Monday, Aug. 31, at 6 a.m.,” he said. “They were shot with guns, and their heads were smashed and their faces destroyed. The victims were on their way to Mai-katako market for business.”
He added that it was the second attack in two days.
“Two days earlier, on Aug. 29, Jol village was attacked by the same Fulani herdsmen,” he said. “In this village, the Muslim Fulani gunmen killed many of the villagers and wounded dozens of others.”
He said Jol village has been attacked more than 30 times.
“Several Christian communities in Barkin Ladi and Riyom have completely been uprooted and displaced,” he added.
The Rev. Dachalom Datiri, president of the COCIN, confirmed the killings.
“We did receive report from our local church in that village on the killing of our members, and like we have always stressed, there is the need for the Nigerian government to take necessary steps to end these killings of Christians in the country,” Datiri told Morning Star News.
One of the Christians leading protestors alongside Archbishop Kwashi in Jos, Daniel Meshak, said Christians have largely deserted Barkin Ladi and Riyom LGAs, with survivors living in displaced persons camps. He said 50,000 Christians have been displaced from their homes.
Istifanus Pwajok, member of the Plateau House of Assembly, told Morning Star News at the protest that there were more than 22,000 displaced Christians in eight camps alone. Another protestor whose name is withheld told Morning Star News that on Aug. 29 he witnessed the killing of a Christian in Riyom.
Boko Haram also has continued to target Christians. Addressing journalists a week earlier, the Rev. Samuel Dali, president of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, said the Islamic extremist group, which seeks to impose Islamic law (sharia) throughout the country, had destroyed denominational church buildings, hospitals and Bible schools in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Dali said most Brethren pastors in the three states lost their lives or been displaced.
“Seventy percent of our churches have been destroyed in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states by Boko Haram, more than 8,000 of our members were killed and 176 of the girls kidnapped in Chibok are our members,” he said.
The Brethren church’s headquarters in Mubi, Adamawa state in northeast Nigeria have been moved to Jos following an attack on the church headquarters last year.
Nigeria’s State Security Service issued a statement from Abuja on Aug. 30 that it had arrested 20 Boko Haram members in different parts of the country, and that some of them were involved in carrying out bombings in Jos.