My heart is breaking. We have spent countless hours on video conference calls, and phone conversations with our brethren in Nigeria and Pakistan. Two countries, our Lord has laid on our hearts to intervene and bring hope. We have listened to heartbreaking story after story of the desperation, the untold death and suffering. We comfort those who have fled, forced to leave loved ones behind. The sorrow and helplessness in their voices digs at our very soul. But we do this with great love and joy as our Lord commanded us, but at times we shed uncontrollable tears. And today is one of those times.
As I look at videos and pictures of the achievements and growth of a family that we are aiding, I hear sadness in the father’s voice. He is alone, without his family, not by choice but a situation forced on him through extreme persecution.
A short while later I reviewed videos of another sort—the death and destruction carried out by evil men and my soul cries out like theirs does. One on the frontlines was literally broken for a time. The sights of brutal slayings, wails of brokenhearted and lives forever turned upside down, proving too much for his mind and soul to process—literally unable to speak of it. He even began questioning his own faith. After much prayer and comfort from God, he is healing with a renewed spirit and sense of commitment.
We could share all the details that would break your heart in two, but for fear for our brothers and sisters safety, the risk is too great. But know this, their suffering is real, their tears are real, what they are witnessing is real. Traumatized until they reach the Kingdom of Heaven and all sorrow is wiped from their eyes.
The shock and pain the children are enduring is impossible for us to recognize in the West. Our precious brethren in Nigeria and Pakistan wonder, “Do our brethren in the West even know, do they care?” They wonder what would it be like to live in a country where you can walk the streets without fear. Never needing to look over your shoulder, or fearing what awaits around the next corner. To live in a nation not bombarded by targeted attacks month after month, week after week. No need to flee their home to find safe places, as they pass the dead careful to avoid bodies strewn along the path. Why can’t it be this way in their own country, their generational homeland, they don’t want to leave. “We just want to live in Peace.”
I want to share their story, but must do so with discernment.
Recently, we learned of 2 men who were captured by the Boko Haram. They were given the options, convert or die. In fear, one converted, but they killed him anyway stating, “We will send you to Allah without sin.” The other refused to denounce Christ. As they butchered him, he began preaching the Gospel. He begged them not to kill him, not because he was afraid, but because in his words, “You will be judged for this, please don’t do it.” He had that much forgiveness and love for his attackers.
One dear soul tells of a vision that keeps him going, a vision from God of the Kingdom of Heaven. Those of you that share the gifts of prayer and hope, letters, and donations mean so much to those persecuted. One day soon they will be able to tell their stories. But as for now I can only ask that God would allow me to take their pain from them, if only for a moment to allow them comfort.
What if each one of us did this every day, or even once a week? Asking God to give us for a time, the pain of one who suffers allowing them to heal and feel peace. Could you handle it? Could you handle the shock, the pain, the sorrow, the helplessness and hopelessness that they feel every day even for a moment? What if we took 5 minutes even 10, every day to pray and intercede ( o in this manner? I believe the healing that would go forth would amaze.
We don’t normally share video’s that portray horrific images, but I turned to this video by accident which normally I will shut off rather than watch. I already hear firsthand these stories vividly in the lives of our brethren, but this time it was as if God said No, you will watch and then share it. Right now, if God is speaking to your heart to intercede for them—watch this video from Nigeria. It’s 2 years old and at present it is much more volatile. Please use discretion, the video is very graphic and not for the faint of heart. Afterwards, spend time with God asking “What can I do?” Let us know how God is using or moving you for care for these dear ones.
C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst
WARNING! VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO BY CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIAN AMERICANS
Islamic extremist threat reigns whether they remain or are repatriated.
KENYA (Morning Star News) – The Somali convert from Islam and his wife were holding each other under their bed in a Kenyan refugee camp as gunmen outside their door threatened to shoot.
Abukar Mohammed (surname withheld for security reasons), 36, suspected members of Somalia’s Islamic extremist Al Shabaab insurgency who lived in the camp near Dadaab were the ones pounding on the door and demanding he open it the night of April 27. The door was made of wooden poles, and the assailants could see through the gaps between them.
“Come out the door or we will kill you,” one of the assailants said.
“Who are you?” said Abukar, who became a Christian 19 years ago in one of the Dadaab refugee camps some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Somali border. “We are not opening the door.”
The attackers called him the Arabic and Somali words for infidel, “Kafir,” and “Gaal” respectively, then said, “We need your head.”
“The killers started shooting at us through the spaces between the poles and hit us on the legs,” Abukar told Morning Star News. “As were lying in great pain, I heard the attackers saying, ‘We have killed the infidels’ as they shot into the air while leaving.”
The couple was later found inside their home in a pool of blood. Two days later they were flown to Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital, where they were treated for two months. They continued treatment at a rehabilitation center on the outskirts of Nairobi, but they are still nursing their injuries, and Abukar’s wife, still in great pain, must use a walking stick.
Abukar, who took on the nickname Ali after his conversion to Christ became known in the predominantly Somali Muslim refugee camp, recalled that the assailants spoke to neighbors outside his home before the assault, asking, “Is this the house of Ali, the Gaal?”
The Muslim operators of the camp could hardly be relied upon for security; indeed, Abukar said Kenyan security personnel assisted the gunmen in the assault.
The experience of this Christian couple – Abukar’s wife also a Somali convert from Islam – is just one example of dangers facing Christians in the Dadaab refugee camps, where an office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is based. Kenyan officials are increasingly trying to repatriate refugees to Somalia, where the threat of Al Shabaab violence awaits them. The Islamic extremist insurgents have vowed to rid Somalia of its underground Christians.
Abukar is one of many refugees who have spent a large part of their lives in the camps – a generation has known no other existence – and in that time concealing his faith became more difficult. He gained popularity as a distributor of food, some of it from a Christian aid organization, to underground Christian families for six months; he associated with an Ethiopian Christian; and he attended a fellowship run by Christian police in the camp.
He had come to Christ in the camp in 1995 under the influence of Canadian Baptist church workers; his wife (name withheld) converted to Christ in the camp in 2006. Childless, she suffered her third miscarriage while being treated for her wounds from the shooting, she said.
The two said they are in desperate need of help.
“We need medicine and food,” Abukar said. “We thank some few Kenyan Christians who once in a while come and see us.”
Another Somali convert from Islam, 48-year-old Abdikadir (surname withheld), saw Muslim relatives and other Somalis burn his home down in one of the undisclosed Dadaab refugee camps in April. He told Morning Star News that they took away his wife and four children in the course of destroying his home.
Like Abukar and his wife, Abdikadir is also a UNHCR-designated refugee; he managed to escape the attack in the camp and is now in hiding elsewhere. He came to Christ while still living in Somalia, and in Kenya his boldness in proclaiming Christ landed him in a Khadi (Islamic) civil court in Garissa under a charge of leaving Islam on March 22, 2013, he said.
“I could not deny my faith in Christ,” he said. “I stood firm with my conviction that Jesus is my Lord and Savior,” he said.
He escaped retribution, but he and other Somali underground Christians in Kenya live in constant fear of Kenya’s repatriation efforts.
“We appeal to the churches in Kenya to protect us and speak of our situation, lest we are taken back to Somalia only to be killed as we try to provide for our basic needs,” he said. “We also appeal to international community to give us asylum abroad.”
There is an ever increasing highway that is being built in the Middle East and Africa. It is no longer tribal factions fighting over grazing land, or water rights. This is a blackness of untold magnitude that is spreading from the east to the west. And it’s growing like a cancer. It has been covered in a fog from the bottom to the top. The bottom with the media, and the top with Governments. The media is working alongside the governments in these areas and the West to cover and distract the world from knowing the truth.
We get only snapshots of terror, that they like to blame on tribal fighting, and small groups of religious zealots, & civil wars over evil dictators. It works for the most part because it guides the public into thinking it’s the same old fight that’s been going on for centuries—why worry about it.
This is not the truth. There is a terrible highway being built by evil factions that have one agenda. Though they are a mixed people they have one goal in mind, and that is to kill everyone and everything that is different from them. If you don’t believe in their brand of god, than you will die. They don’t care about life, they have no regard for it. While talking with a Christian brother from this region, I have come to understand that there are nearly 100 different sects of people who follow Islam. And none of them seem to know which or who will go into ‘paradise’ with their God. So they are all bent on killing seeing this as the sure way to guarantee their entry into paradise. To die in battle fighting in the name of Allah.
So as the media and the West fiddles, so to speak, the middle east and Africa are on fire. In Syria there has been a battle cry raised, a cry that commands all to come and fight. This is not war in the conventional sense, this is not the Syrian people raising up to topple an evil dictator. This is a Holy War, a jihad commanded by a Holy Book. With an end outcome of causing chaos, while ridding the world of non-believers so that their Mahdi/savior can appear.
Leaders in the Middle East supplying the means to martyrs to wreak havoc and slaughter everything in their path. Abomonation means evil, and this is a picture of the worse evil causing astounding devastation. Look at Syria and the devastation there not only to the land, but to the people. Millions have fled, hundreds of thousands have died in heinous ways. The devastation continue while most in the West distract, distract, distract from the truth.
In Somalia today, Charisma magazine is reporting that a woman who converted to Christianity was dragged from her home and shot in the street with the community watching. Some tried to help her, and so they fired into the crowd. This was Al-shabab. (More) Al-shabab is connected to Al-queda via the terror network that is spreading through a super highway of evil. These evil abominations have manifested themselves and are targeting governments and officials in an attempt to rid the regions of ‘Christians.’
This is happening in Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Lybia, and the CAR. Look at all the deaths to the lawmakers there in recent past. And this is the claim made by these incendiary thugs. They are ridding their land of Christians and those who take money from the West. This is happening in Nigeria, it’s happening in the CAR, it’s happening in Libya, Pakistan, & Afghanistan. It’s time for the world to wake up!
While they have unleashed this snake, dragon, beast, a silent genocide is being carried out. While they terrorize communities, innocents, and governments, the west is silent. They have created these groups Al-qaeda-like, to do their dirty work like in Afghanistan, with proxy wars and now they can’t control them. They can’t do anything but watch. Watch in horror as Christians and the worse slaughter in history takes place. This will go down in history as the second holocaust. A holocaust like the first, as the world was silent while it’s carried out. And they are silent for the second holocaust. So maybe some of our questions have been answered. The West and the world is complicit in this slaughter. And Christians and other minorities are indeed just collateral damage.
While the stench of death rises in every part of these regions, the governments are dividing up the spoils. Land, minerals, oil, diamonds and wealth. And if you enter that door to the East and Africa and get past the stench of death, you see a picture of human rights violations that make the civil rights of the 60’s and the Nazi movement of WWII that makes them pale in comparison.
In Pakistan alone, did you know that most public water wells and fountains specifically only for Muslims? This is not an isolated incident when the Christian woman, (Asia Bibi) was sentenced to death for drinking out of a Muslim well. It is considered that a Christian will defile the water. I have talked to another Christian brother who say’s this is the norm. Christians are not allowed to drink from public water, they are not allowed to eat in many public places. And they are spat on, beat, mocked and threatened with death for doing the things that we take for granted.
Children are exploited, raped, prostituted and executed. In Libya, I have spoken to a young Christian who is beat regularly, and threatened with death by his own family for his faith in Christ. He is constantly in fear for his life, quite possibly by the hands of his relatives. Where is the outcry from the Human Rights committees? We can’t hear them…silenced by greed and world leaders.
Remember nothing is as it seems. Understand what is happening . Recognize the symptoms of evil, and corruption. The thrawls of death have it’s claws into the innocents and it will not let go, until they have eliminated them.
By C. Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst
There is so much violence in the CAR, Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia. Staggering chaos and many, many unanswered questions. The MSM reports that Chadian Troops have killed 24 people, mainly Christians when they attacked neighborhoods in Bangui 2 days ago. Reports from BBC indicate that the Chadian troops were attacked by the ‘Christian Militia.’ BBC also say’s that Chadian forces have been accused of supporting muslim rebels. (more) What is puzzling is that the Chadian troops are not part of the African Union Peacekeeping force. So why are militaries, and militia’s allowed to wreak havoc here? Why has the government, strengthened by the French army, the UN and African Peace keeping forces not been able to bring about calm?
The African Peace keepers are defending the Chadian Troops, stating that they came under attack from ‘Christian Militias’. There are very deep feelings from the area about the Chadian troops. (More) Chad has been accused of meddling in the conflict, helping to overthrow the government last year. The new government lead by the Central African Republic’s first female president Catherine Samba-Panza, has been embroiled in it’s own controversy. At her first speech to the nation, she re-introduced the military, and minutes after she left, the new Army beat a man to death and drug him through the streets. (Read here)
Chad and Libya has had their share of back and forth, but remember Chad in the beginning was backing Gadaffi. And he even had Chadian forces defending him. We all know about the French, Nato, and Gadaffi, with reported hints of arms trafficking into Libya and the Benghazi incident, where Ambassador Stevens and others were killed. Here is a quote from International Crises Group from 2011 titled ‘Africa without Qaddafi: The Case of Chad:
“When the crisis began, Déby tried to defend Qaddafi’s legitimacy by accusing the rebels of colluding with Islamists. Though his government denied it was providing any military support, the presence of Chadian fighters in Libya among Qaddafi’s troops stripped his statements of weight.” (More)
Despite sincere efforts of the media portraying this as a religious war, this is most likely not the case. Religious leaders have been speaking out regularly stating it’s a political conflict not religious. And it’s Christian and Muslim leaders. This map may show why this conflict continues to rage. Take note of the oil pipelines.
The Christians and the Muslims have lived side by side here for years without incident. We have just reported recently that it’s been found that so-called Christians are fighting with the Seleka (muslim rebels) and the Muslim rebels are fighting with these so-called Christians. The Anti-balaka raise many red flags, such as who is training them? And the big question—where is the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army’? We know they are in the area. And not much has been said about them lately. We also found that the practices of the Anti-balaka closely resemble the practices of the ‘Lord’s Resistance Army.’ They wrongfully call themselves, Christian Militia. Their actions and rituals are far from Christianity.
Religious leaders from both sides recently met in the West begging us not to forget them. But it appears we have done just that.
The refugee camps which many are fleeing to, are rife with rebels hiding as refugees. These camps are hot beds for kidnapping, rape, torture and arms trafficking. So why can’t the government gain control? Not surprising, these arms shipments are making their way north to the Boko Haram in Nigeria. With some caches recently found and seized by the Cameroon military near the Nigerian border.
The Boko Haram are a vicious, radical Islamist sect who kill anything that move in their attacks. And they have become more embolden in recent months. Is there a connection?
According to the UNHCR: Over 400,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced, compared to some 94,000 in early 2012. Some 65,000 individuals have fled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of the Congo, Chad and Cameroon, bringing the global number of Central African refugees close to 220,000.
Euro news: Thousands have died since the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power a year ago and launched a campaign of terror.
Nigeria, Boko Haram: The group is known for attacking Christians and government targets, bombing churches, attacking schools and police stations, kidnapping western tourists, but has also assassinated members of the Islamic establishment. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013. The conflicts have left around 90,000 people displaced. Human Rights Watch claims that Boko Haram uses child soldiers, including 12 year olds.
The statistics are very hard to obtain for these areas, I can tell you in 2014 the violence and death’s have increased to the point of Genocide. The amount of people displaced has exponentially increased. Please don’t let the horrors these people face go unnoticed or forgotten. Speak out, and pray. Pray for calm, pray for peace, pray for comfort, strength, and protection. So many innocent people and children are suffering beyond imagination.
This is an ongoing conflict, and we will update as we get new information.
By C.Refsland & L.Kanalos VOP Advocates
“The injuries number 25 — they are in various hospitals — and we have retrieved six bodies,” he said.”
The blasts came as people made their way home for the evening, some stopping for a bite to eat.
The attack comes a week after six people died when assailants burst into a church in the Likoni district close to the port city of Mombasa and opened fire on worshippers.
The latest attacks have happened amid heightened warnings of a threat of Islamist violence in Kenya and despite boosted security in major cities.
Read the full article via Nairobi blasts kill at least six – Yahoo News.
(Morning Star News) – Islamic extremists from the rebel Al Shabaab militia last week publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin in southeastern Somalia after discovering they were Christians, sources said.
In the port town of Barawa in the Lower Shebelle Region, the extremists on March 4 called residents to the town center to witness the executions of the 41-year-old mother, Sadia Ali Omar, and her 35-year-old cousin, Osman Mohamoud Moge, the sources said.
Before killing them, an Al Shabaab militant announced, “We know these two people are Christians who recently came back from Kenya – we want to wipe out any underground Christian living inside of mujahidin [jihadists’] area,” according to an area resident whose name is undisclosed for security reasons.
Omar’s daughters, ages 8 and 15, were witness to the slaughter, sources said, with the younger girl screaming and shouting for someone to save her mother. A friend helped the girls, whose names are withheld, to relocate to another area.
“We are afraid that the Al Shabaab might continue monitoring these two children and eventually kill them just like their mother,” the area resident said.
The militants from Al Shabaab – which has vowed to rid the country of the Christian fellowships, which meet secretly as leaving Islam in Somalia is punishable by death – became suspicious of Omar and Moge due to their irregular attendance at Friday mosque prayers, sources said.
“The two people who were killed on many occasions did not take Friday prayers seriously, especially Omar, who claimed that she was praying in her house,” another area resident said.
Another source noted of Al Shabaab, “They have some spy everywhere in Somalia.”
Somalis who have lived in Christian-majority Kenya are especially suspect. The sources said Omar lived in the Nairobi suburb of Eastleigh for seven years; her husband became ill in 2011 and returned to Somalia, where he died. Omar and her cousin Moge, who helped take care of her daughters, left Kenya for Somalia in January 2013.
Barawa reportedly came under Al Shabaab control in 2009. In October 2013, a U.S. Navy SEAL team raided a beachside house in the town in an unsuccessful search for Al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Abu Zubeyr.
In the capital city of Mogadishu last October, gunmen who said they intended to kill a Christian for spreading his faith shot him to death, according to an area resident. Two men armed with pistols on Oct. 20, 2013 shot Abdikhani Hassan seven times as he approached his home after closing his pharmacy in Dharkenley District. Hassan was survived by a wife who was pregnant and five children ranging in age from 3 to 12.
The Somali cell of Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab was suspected of killing Fatuma Isak Elmi, 35, on Sept. 1, 2013 inside her home in Beledweyne, Hiran Province in south-central Somalia (see Morning Star News, Sept. 9, 2013). Her husband had received a threatening note that morning believed to be from the Islamic extremist group and was away at the time of the murder.
Al Shabaab’s attack on the upscale Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on Sept. 21, 2013 killed at least 67 people, with dozens still unaccounted for (see Morning Star News, Sept. 22).
On April 13, 2013, Al Shabaab militants shot Fartun Omar to death in Buulodbarde, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Beledweyne (see Morning Star News, April 22, 2013). Omar was the widow of Mursal Isse Siad, killed for his faith on Dec. 8, 2012 in Beledweyne, 206 miles (332 kilometers) north of Mogadishu. He had been receiving death threats for leaving Islam (see Morning Star News, Dec. 14, 2012).
Siad and his wife, who converted to Christianity in 2000, had moved to Beledweyne from Doolow eight months before. The area was under government control and there was no indication that the killers belonged to the Al Shabaab rebels, but the Islamic extremist insurgents were present in Buulodbarde, and Christians believed a few Al Shabaab rebels could have been hiding in Beledweyne.
On June 7, 2013 in Jamaame District in southern Somalia, insurgents from the group shot 28-year-old Hassan Hurshe to death after identifying him as a Christian, sources said (see Morning Star News, June 20). Al Shabaab members brought Hurshe to a public place in the town of Jilib and shot him in the head, they said.
On Feb. 18, 2013, suspected Islamic extremists shot Ahmed Ali Jimale, a 42-year-old father of four, on the outskirts of the coastal city of Kismayo (see Morning Star News, Feb. 28).
In Barawa on Nov. 16, 2012, Al Shabaab militants killed a Christian after accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said. The extremists beheaded 25-year-old Farhan Haji Mose after monitoring his movements for six months, sources said (see Morning Star News, Nov. 17, 2012).
Mose drew suspicion when he returned to Barawa in December 2011 after spending time in Kenya, according to underground Christians in Somalia. Kenya’s population is nearly 83 percent Christian, according to Operation World, while Somalia’s is close to 100 percent Muslim.
An annual survey reported cases of Christians killed for their faith around the world doubled in 2013 from the previous year. Syria had the highest number of deaths, more than the entire global total in 2012. In the list of killings, Syria was followed by Nigeria with 612 cases last year after 791 in 2012. Pakistan was third with 88, up from 15 in 2012. Egypt ranked fourth with 83 deaths after 19 the previous year.
“This is a very minimal count based on what has been reported in the media and we can confirm,” said Frans Veerman, head of research for Open Doors. Estimates by other groups put the figure as high as 8,000.
Christianity is the largest religion in the world with 2.2 billion followers, or 32 percent of the world population, according to a survey by the U.S.-based Pew Forum on religion and Public Life. But they are also the most persecuted.
Open Doors published the 2014 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution. You can view the list here. Woefully, persecution is increasing in many of the countries on the list.
For the twelfth consecutive time, North Korea retained they’re spot as the most difficult country in the world to be a Christian. Christians found with Bibles or Christian related material are at risk of execution or life in the prison camps. Many have been separated from their loved ones never to be heard from again. Solely for their faith in Jesus Christ, up to 70,000 Christians have been imprisoned.
Somalia ranks behind North Korea and is now #2 on the list. Converts are policed and for fear of persecution, must secretly worship ‘undergound’ keeping their faith hidden. They are also under attack by extremists of al-Shabaab, a terrorists group trying to force Sharia law in the country.
Violence against Christians in Syria has seriously increased moving them from #36 in 2012 to #3 on this year’s list. The report claims more Christians have been martyred(at least 1213) in Syria than any other country.
The cause of persecution against Christians in 36 of the 50 countries on the list, is said to be from Islamic extremism.
This year, Central African Republic #16, Sri Lanka #29 and Bangladesh #48 have all been added to the list. Violence in these nations surged against Christians. Extremism and the advancement of Sharia law again relating to the increase.
Open Doors says,
Though these facts and figures are absolutely devestating, we know that our hope is in Christ and that He his faithful to hear the prayers of His people, says.
Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church.
Your prayers and VOICE for persecuted Christians are needed more than ever. Inform others, ask you pastor to pray weekly with the church for our Christian family suffering for their faith in Christ.
Thank you for your prayers and interest in those being persecuted!
Britain should withhold aid to countries that persecute Christians, a senior Conservative has said.
Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, said that it was “unacceptable” for taxpayers’ money to go to regimes that do not “represent our values” and refused to tolerate other religions.
“A lot of people find it increasingly unacceptable as we look round the world and we see persecution of Christians, for example, or persecution of other religious minorities. They say, ‘Why should our money be given to regimes and governments who are extremely intolerant when it comes to other people’s religions?’”
The Times reported that he singled out Pakistan and Somalia as countries that fell short of British “ethical values”.
A number of MPs have spoken out for Christians in the Middle East after Prince Charles last month warned of a “crisis” of organised persecution in the region.
The Prince of Wales said at a reception for Middle Eastern Christian leaders at Clarence House that “Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants.”
Days later the shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, in an article in the Sunday Telegraph, accused British politicians of having “forsaken” the cause of Christians in the Middle East.
He praised the Conservative Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Warsi, and the DUP MP Jim Shannon, for speaking out in Parliament and elsewhere for the rights of Christian minorities.
by Liz Dodd for The Tablet