Under dangerous conditions, Eritreans are fleeing their country to escape extreme human rights and religious freedom violations.
The ISIS terror group kidnapped 88 Eritrean Christians from a people-smugglers’ caravan in Libya last week, a U.S. defense official confirmed Monday.
The defense official confirmed initial reports of the mass kidnapping to Fox News after seeing a recent intelligence report. The independent Libya Herald newspaper reported that the convoy was ambushed by militants south of Tripoli before dawn this past Wednesday morning.
Meron Estafanos, the co-founder of the Stockholm-based International Commission on Eritrean Refugees, told the paper that the group of migrants included “about 12 Eritrean Muslims and some Egyptians. They put them in another truck and they put 12 Eritrean women Christians in a smaller pick-up”.
Estafanos said that the militants had initially stopped the truck and demanded that the Muslims on board make themselves known. Everyone who responded was asked about the Koran and their religious observance in an attempt to catch Christians pretending to be Muslims. Read More
EGYPT – Positive comments and controversy over the case of the Ethiopian Christians freed in Libya thanks to the Egyptian intervention
(Agenzia Fides) – The recent case of 27 Ethiopian Christians abducted in Libya and released thanks to the decisive involvement of the Egyptian apparatus is arousing positive appraisal regarding the efforts by the Egyptian government in the operation. On Thursday, May 7, the same Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Cairo welcomed the 27 Ethiopians released who had fallen into the hands of jihadist groups operating in Libya. The Egyptian media confirmed the direct involvement of the military and of Egyptian intelligence in the release of the hostages, without providing details on the operation and the level of Egyptian implication.
President al-Sisi, limited himself to saying that the Egyptian apparatus “made every effort” to “release and protect our Ethiopian brothers”. The effectiveness of the Egyptian intervention was much appreciated and praised by commentators and Ethiopian politicians. Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn phoned al-Sisi, expressing gratitude for all the decisions that aim to “ensure stability in Egypt and the Arab and African Countries”. While the professor and opinion maker Alemayehu G.Mariam publicly argue with the Ethiopian authorities for the lack of commitment used in the protection of the Ethiopians exposed to the violence in Libya of armed gangs. (GV (Agenzia Fides 12/05/2015)
(Voice of the Persecuted) Yesterday, Ethiopians began three days of national mourning for more than 20 Ethiopian Christians killed by Islamic State militants in Libya. ISIS once again singled out Christians and documented their savagery in a video where they brutally beheaded and shot the believers in Christ.
The Islamic State – aka ISIL/ISIS/IS/Daesh – has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria in recent months. The militant terror group has established a caliphate and carried out mass persecutions of minority populations, primarily Christians and Yazidis. They have also published videos as a warning to countries that have militarily intervened and a way to control civilians through fear.
The discriminate murders have horrified Ethiopians and spurred international calls for condemnation.
The leader of the Catholic Church shared his anguish of the mass execution and offered his condolences to patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, Abuna Matthias.
Pope Francis lamented,
“With great distress and sadness I learn of the further shocking violence perpetrated against innocent Christians in Libya. I know that Your Holiness is suffering deeply in heart and mind at the sight of your faithful children being killed for the sole reason that they are followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
He also stated,
“It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant,” Pope Francis said in his message. “Their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ!”
He offered hope amidst the darkness, noting the Easter season of joy in the knowledge that “Christ has risen from the dead.”
“This year, that joy – which never fades – is tinged with profound sorrow. Yet we know that the life we live in God’s merciful love is stronger than the pain all Christians feel, a pain shared by men and women of good will in all religious traditions.”
The Pope offered “heartfelt spiritual solidarity” and assurances of “closeness in prayer at the continuing martyrdom being so cruelly inflicted on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia.”
Voice of the Persecuted is praying that more Christian leaders across denominations, will inform their congregations of the modern-day persecution taking place against Christians, encourage them to pray and care for the persecuted, and use their voices to advocate for and stand with our suffering brothers and sisters, worldwide. #WeAreOne
If you are a church leader raising awareness and praying for the persecuted, we would be very encouraged to hear from you! If you are a leader who would like to begin sharing with your congregation, contact us at email@example.com with Pastor for the Persecuted in the subject line. We’d be happy to help you in the process.
(Voice of the Persecuted) The Islamic State (IS/ISIS/Daesh) has released a shocking new video titled ‘Until It Came To Them – Clear Evidence’. The unverified video highlights the slaughter of at least 30 Ethiopian Christians (migrant workers) in Libya.
A masked militant pledged to kill Christians if they do not convert to Islam, ‘Muslim blood shed under the hands of your religions is not cheap. To the nation of the cross we are now back again.’ The footage also includes how Syrian Christians have been given the choice to convert to Islam or pay a ‘special tax’.
The Ethiopian Christians are divided into two groups and identified by the Islamic State militants as the ‘followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church. Approximately 12 men were beheaded on a beach, the remaining shot dead in the desert.
An Ethiopian official, denounced the killings saying, “We strongly condemn such atrocities, whether they are Ethiopians are not.”
In February, IS released the video of them beheading 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya. IS is using video media for their propaganda campaign to instill fear in the hearts of men to control and recruit them.
Chaos and unrest has wracked Libya since the U.S. led attack in 2011 that toppled Kadhafi. IS has taken advantage of it’s destabilization expanding it’s presence in the country.
In 2011 when Obama addressed Americans and the world to justifying NATO involvement in Libya, we heard the following:
- “This is a New generation refusing to be denied their rights any longer”
- “Change will make the world more complicated for a time.”
- “Justice & Human Dignity will be upheld by all.”
- “We will stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles as us.”
- “History is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa and the youth are leading the way.”
- “Our own future is safer if all mankind uphold these values.”
In the mission to uproot leaders deemed murderous and tyrannical, the west has aided to put something far worse in it’s place. Now multiple Libyan jihadist groups and those in other nations have pledged allegiance to IS.
IS marches forward with their tremendous funds, it’s own news agency, even issuing drivers licence and ID cards in the quest to redraw the map and create a caliphate—a new world governed by strict Sharia Law.
The’Christian Winter’ continues and intensifies.
- Pray for the families of these precious soul’s.
- Pray for God’s mercy and protection for his children.
- Pray for endurance.
We are reminded of a young Christian girl in Thailand who had fled persecution in Pakistan. She said there is no need for her to curse anyone who blaspheme’s Christ or our God. She said our God is big enough to defend Himself. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. We can find comfort in this tribulation as the Faith of these Christians in these lands are growing stronger, even in persecution.
Revelation 6:9-11 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.
Al-AOUR, Minya Egypt – The residents of al-Aour, a dusty village in Minya governorate some 250 km south of Cairo, are struggling to come to terms with their loss. Last week, 13 residents of the village, all of whom were Coptic Christians, were executed by Islamic state fighters in Libya.
When news of the execution broke (IS released a graphic video of the killing on the internet) women and children in homes across the village, which is home to 2,500 Christians, could be heard screaming.
When I visited al-Aour last week people were sad and dismayed at the kiling. Others seemed proud, calling the fallen “martyrs” and “heroes.”
“I am happy for my relatives. They had faith in God. They had faith in Jesus Christ. And that is what matters,” Bishop Feloubes Fawzy, 43, who lost his nephew and four of his cousins, told Middle East Eye.
“They died for their faith. They died for Christianity.”
Fifi Shehata, whose father Maged, 41, was killed also felt that their death was not in vain.
“My father died like a lion. He did not bow his head down. IS has no religion or mercy. I am now from the city of the martyrs. The city of the brave lions. May god forgive the killers. We don’t have hatred towards them – this is Christianity. God forgives the sinners, so shall we,” she said. READ MORE
Join thousands of churches for a moment of silence on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd and play this video before offering a prayer of reflection.
40 DAYS TO PRAYER
at 7:03 each day.
Milad Makeen Zaky
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Maged Solaiman Shehata
Yusuf Shukry Yunan
Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
Somaily Astafanus Kamel
Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
Girgis Milad Sinweet
Mina Fayez Aziz
Hany Abdelmesih Salib
Bishoy Adel Khalaf
Samuel Alham Wilson
Worker from Awr village
Ezat Bishri Naseef
Gaber Munir Adly
Esam Badir Samir
Malak Farag Abram
Sameh Salah Faruq
As the world is reeling and rocking to and fro, thinking we’ve witnessed all the terror and horror that we can, the king of evil shows more execrable images to the world. While we as Christians do not have a spirit of timidity, we are saddened and mourning with our brethren. The Bible also tells us we are not to mourn as those who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But 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. We do however share in their sorrow and in their suffering, as if we are in the body with them. We can not splinter the Body of Christ.
Now more than ever we must put on the armor, take a stand and stand firm linking arms and prayers in this tribulation that has fallen upon the Earth. The Revelation of Jesus Christ is very explicit about the trials we are to face. But our hope is in Him, and when we overcome, we will receive a crown of righteousness. We must not lose sight of this. The words have been written, the story has been told, we were warned and instructed to watch and be ready. And we know how the story ends. Do not be distracted, we must keep our eyes focused on Christ and Him alone. As Peter learned how important that is when he attempted to walk on the sea. The moment he took his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. Focused on Jesus, we must stand as one in the Body of Christ. We can’t scatter the body and go off to our own desires, whether it be ignoring the coming storm, or spreading hatred. It’s time to stop calling each other names, does it really matter what denomination we are? Are we not one in the Body of Christ? There is only one definition of Anti-Christ and that is “he who denies that Jesus is Christ.” Christ gave us a commission and that was to spread His light and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We are witnessing a annihilation, the genocide of Christians in immeasurable numbers. And it will only get worse. We condemn these unspeakable acts of evil and barbary, we condemn an ideology that preys on the poor, the weak and the innocent. We condemn any entity that exhibits such blatant disregard for human life, and the basic of human rights such as dignity. We call on the Body of Christ to unite and support one another as the early church did when faced with tribulation. We call on our governments to condemn such evil attacks on the same poor, widowed, the infirm, the orphaned or those who don’t respect religious beliefs of others.
When the sea turns red with the blood of Christian Martyrs it’s time for the Body of Christ to speak out as one. It’s time for us to raise our voices in our churches and to our elected officials to denounce these acts. It’s time for our Government to recognize what has happened, what is happening and what will happen if the world remains silent.
Satan wants to instill fear. He wants us to believe he is all powerful, we are crushed and he will triumph. But the history of the persecuted church has shown that through martyrdom, the gospel has gone forth. Tertullian said that the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church. When the blood of our Egyptian brothers spilled into the sea, may it not be in vain, but expand the Church to spread the Good News of Christ to all shores. Therefore let us pray for God’s victory to be manifested in the death of His precious saints. Let us pray for much fruit to come from the martyrdom of these precious brothers. And let us put away the photos and propaganda stories meant to paralyze us in fear. Let us turn it around and encourage each other with the promises of our Savior, our Lord, our King, Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis condemns beheading of 21 Coptic Christian by ISIS
Pope Francis has today expressed ‘profound sadness’ at hearing of the brutal murders of the 21 Christian Egyptians. ‘Today I read about the execution of those twenty-one or twenty-two Coptic Christians,’ the Pope said in his native Spanish according to Breitbart. ‘Their only words were: “Jesus, help me!” They were executed for nothing more than the fact that they were Christian. The blood of our Christian sisters and brothers is testimony that cries out [to us]. via Pope Francis condemns beheading of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS | Daily Mail Online.
I haven’t watched the video but I have heard the descriptions, I have seen the images of the waves of blood in the sea, I have heard the warnings to the “Nation of the Cross”, I have heard them say that they will put the blood of Christians into the sea with the blood of Osama Bin Laden. What I have not heard is the words from our leader that he condemns the killing of Christians. What he said is far from condemnation, according to him he is Christian, but he shows no mercy, no compassion, no empathy no sorrow for our brethren. He issued this statement by press secretary Josh Earnest late Sunday, “the killing of the 21 Egyptian men a “despicable and cowardly murder” that should accelerate the need for a political resolution to the burgeoning conflict in Libya.“ And now it’s being reported that what Government remains in Libya is condemning Egypt for what they say is an attack on their sovereignty. Really? Which begs the question that we asked in the beginning of the Libya invasion, why? Why did we replace one dictator with a monster? What did they expect would happen?
My heart is with our Brethren and their families. My prayer is for Peace and comfort that can only come from our Father. For endurance, for strength and courage. Christians are mourning, we are mourning with the families of these precious souls, these men have been given white robes at the feet of our Savior, and are hearing the words, well done my good and faithful servant, welcome home.
Revelation 6: When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.