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If Chip and Joanna Gaines are bigots, then Jesus was, too – Christian leader

Christian couple Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of HGTV's highest-rated program, Fixer Upper.

Christian couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines are the hosts of HGTV’s highest-rated program, Fixer Upper.

DALLAS (Christian Examiner) – Christian leaders are pushing back against a Buzzfeed article that questioned HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines for attending a church that opposes same-sex marriage. The Gaines are the hosts of HGTV’s highest-rated program, Fixer Upper.

The Nov. 29 story quickly was labeled a “hit piece” by critics, who questioned why it was newsworthy that a famous couple’s church holds to traditional beliefs that have been affirmed by Christians for 2,000 years.

The story carried the headline: “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage” and said in a subhead: “whether the Fixer Upper couple agrees is unclear.” It has been read more than 500,000 times.

Glenn T. Stanton, director of family formation studies at Focus on the Family, said such accusations should be answered “bluntly.” READ MORE

URGENT UPDATE: Serious Concerns for American Christian Couple Detained in Turkey

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(Voice of the Persecuted) received an update on American Christians, Andrew Brunson and his wife, Norine’s situation as of late Friday, October 21.  Turkish officials arrested and detained the couple on October 7 in the coastal city of Izmir on grounds of conducting activities constituted as “national security risks”.

Norine and Andrew have been living in Turkey for 23 years, running a church with the full knowledge of the local authorities.  They were summoned to the police department on Friday, October 7, for what they assumed would be questions about their recent residency application.  Upon their arrival they were presented with a letter from Ankara labeling them a threat to national security and ordering their deportation.  They were immediately detained, their phones were confiscated, and they were completely isolated from the outside world.

The authorities denied repeated requests from their lawyers, the US State Department, and friends to see them or communicate with them in any way.  They were explicitly forbidden from having a Bible, and were not allowed to receive books or any change of clothes.  Andrew’s glasses and watch were taken away.  They were told that their government had forgotten about them and that “hopefully” they would be deported, suggesting that they might simply disappear and never be heard from again.

Norine was released after 12 days (Oct. 19) and verbally told that all charges against her were dropped, but her lawyer has told her that is almost certainly not true given that nothing was put in writing.  She was allowed to see Andrew for half an hour on October 20, but was denied any access on October 21.  Apart from Norine, Andrew has had no contact with the outside world since October 7.

Norine and Andrew explicitly waived their right to protest the deportation, and yet there has been no deportation to date.  The right to legal counsel is guaranteed under Turkish law, and the right of the US State Department to visit detained US citizens is guaranteed by 36(1)(c) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which Turkey has ratified.  Both of these rights have clearly been violated.

At this point, the priority is to get Norine and Andrew safely out of Turkey, something entirely in keeping with the deportation order.  Norine’s current visa expires on November 10, and though she might be forced to leave at any time, she really does not want to leave the country without Andrew.  Norine is also concerned that her husband might be transferred from the current immigration center to a prison.  Prison in that environment is entirely different from prison in the United States, and often includes people disappearing and without ever being heard from again.

There are far more serious charges supposedly brought against them, but none of it in writing, and none of it with any semblance of transparency or accountability.  Those charges cannot be discussed openly, but Norine indicates that it’s difficult to overstate how dangerous the situation is.

The new objective is to see Norine and Andrew safely released from Turkey.  They are willing and ready to comply with the deportation order, and yet the authorities continue to hold Andrew.  Very little progress has been made through normal channels, so we will now start pressing the issue through Congress, through the media, and through the Turkish embassy.

It is time to press Turkey for Norine and Andrew’s rights to be restored.  If the objective was to deport them, why detain them and deny them rights guaranteed under both Turkish and international law?  Where are they being held and why have the charges not been stated in writing?  Why hold them in isolation and confiscate things like Andrew’s glasses?

As always, your continued prayers are much appreciated, and we know that God will cause good to come from this.

ACT NOW by

PRAYING and sharing this urgent prayer request:

  • Pray that Andrew would be released from detention
  • Pray that the authorities would not discriminate against Christians in Turkey;
  • Pray for religious freedom in Turkey.

 

(11/11/16 UPDATE:) At this time, due to ongoing negotiations, we are only sharing that Turkish authorities have released Norine Brunson. We request that prayer and fasting continue for her husband, Andrew who is still being detained. The Brunsons have been residents of Turkey for the past 20 years. Pastor Andrew Brunson had been leading the Izmir Resurrection Church, a small Protestant congregation averaging 30 to 40 worshipers, in Turkey. We will share further updates, including how you can get involved if further action becomes necessary.

As always, your continued love, concern and prayers are much appreciated. We know that God will cause good to come from this. Andrew’s wife, Norine told Voice of the Persecuted that she is tremendously blessed to hear that a large network of prayer warriors are lifting her and husband in prayer, each day.

“Amazing.  Humbling.  Please pass on our gratefulness,” she added.

Your prayers are such an encouragement and make a difference to those suffering for Christ. Please continue to press in for this couple and their family.

  • Pray for Andrew and peace for his wife, Norine.
  • Pray the authorities would not discriminate against Christians in Turkey.
  • Pray for religious freedom in Turkey.

 

UPDATE (Dec. 15, 2016) American Pastor Andrew Brunson Wrongfully Imprisoned In Turkey

U.S. Helps Muslims, not Christians

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: July, 2016

  • The Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians — even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there.
  • The logic of the pope’s statement seems to be that violence done that contradicts the Judeo-Christian God’s commandments — such as the murder of wives and mothers-in-law — is identical to violence done in accord with Allah’s commandments to wage jihad on “infidels.”
  • One million Christian children whose families have been displaced or affected by the violent activities of Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen are starving. Boko Haram’s seven-year rebellion has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced. — Nigeria.
  • One social media posting by the Islamic State showed a picture of a young girl with the caption: “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old… Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”
  • Countless reports continued to appear indicating that non-Muslim students, most often Christians, are being forced to convert to Islam through the public school system. Teachers force them to recite the shahada — which when said before Muslim witnesses makes them a Muslim. — Pakistan.
  • The government is trying to “cleanse” the nation of Christians and create a homogenous Muslim state. — Sudan.

As the Muslim persecution of Christians continues to reach critical proportions around the world (see report below), the average American shows much more concern than the current administration. Soon after it was revealed that the Obama administration has taken in 5,435 Muslim refugees, but only 28 Christians — even though Christians are approximately 10 percent of Syria’s population and are classified as experiencing a genocide there. A poll found that more than three-quarters of American respondents agreed with the statement: “It is important to me that the next US President be committed to addressing the persecution that some Christians face around the world (e.g.: imprisonment, beheadings, rape, loss of home and assets).”

The deliberate targeting and killing of Christians in Europe also reached unprecedented levels in modern times. Most notably, on the morning of July 26, shouting Muslims shouting “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is the Greatest”] stormed a small church in France during morning mass. They forced 85-year-old Father Jacques Hamel to his knees, slit his throat, and “critically injured” a nun, before being killed by police. (It was later revealed that police had known that church was being targeted and had even been monitoring one of the murderers for at least a year and a half.)

Later, when a journalist asked Pope Francis if Fr. Jacques was “killed in the name of Islam,” the pope disagreed. He argued that he hears of Christians committing violence every day in Italy: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics! If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.” The logic of the pope’s statement seems to be that violence done in direct contradiction of the Judeo-Christian God’s commandments — such as the murder of wives and mothers-in-law — is identical to violence done in accordance with Allah’s commandments to wage jihad on “infidels.”

In ISIS-controlled territories in Iraq and Syria, reports continued to emerge of Christians being tortured to convert, sold into sex slavery, maimed, crucified, burned alive or beheaded. In Iraq, a report says that:

“Christians and other minorities in Iraq are facing persecution at unprecedented levels and are at the verge of extinction …. The Christian population has dwindled from 1.4 million to 300,000 in the last decade, according to some estimates. However, Minority Rights Group put that the number at anywhere between 50,000 to 250,000.”

A former ISIS member exposed some of the atrocities the group commits in Syria. “They were extremely brutal, killing women and the elderly who did not obey them. They abused and mutilated their dead bodies. They cut up the corpses, tied them to the back of the cars and dragged them along. They would find them and publicly execute them. I witnessed many executions.”

The remainder of July’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians — most of which was not committed by ISIS — includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Nigeria:

Two armed Muslim tribesmen murdered Rev. Joseph Kurah, an evangelical pastor, while he was working on his farm. They repeatedly hacked him to death with machetes. A local Muslim reportedly hired the assassins after he got into an argument with the Christian leader. Since 2001, Muslim Fulani have murdered thousands of Christians and destroyed hundreds of churches. According to a separate report, in just June and July, Muslim Fulani tribesmen targeted and invaded several Christian-majority villages. They killed 133 people, destroyed 76 churches, and countless Christian properties and farms.

Muslims hacked a female Christian preacher to death in the outskirts of Abuja. Eunice Elisha, a minister from the Redeemed Church of God, was found dead in a pool of her own blood after she went out to preach in the streets. A month earlier, on June 2, a Muslim mob beat Bridget Agbahime, the wife of a Christian pastor, to death with iron rods on the accusation that she had blasphemed against Muhammad.

About one million Christian children whose families have been displaced or affected by the violent activities of Boko Haram and Muslim Fulani herdsmen are starving. Churches, which are currently the primary supporters of these children, have gone beyond capacity and tens of thousands of children are expected to die of starvation and disease if they do not receive aid from elsewhere. According to the report, Boko Haram’s seven-year rebellion has left 20,000 people dead and more than two million displaced.

Philippines: Attacks and murders of Christians around Mindanao Island, which has a large Muslim population, are on the rise. Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, who has lived in the region for 40 years, is calling on authorities to “find proper solutions” to stop “the agony of the Christian community.” He said, “A Christian was killed in Jolo a few days ago. A reliable source told me that 20 Christians have been targeted to be killed or kidnapped soon…. the Christian community is suffering a form of persecution from those who are guided by bad elements who claim to do it in the name of Islam.”

Kenya: Muslim gunmen from Al Shabaab murdered Pastor John as he was returning home from facilitating a peacemaking training seminar. The jihadis ambushed the bus he was in, killing the pastor and six other people including children.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Suspected Muslim militants armed with guns and machetes slaughtered nine Christians in the North Kivu region. They also looted homes, seizing food and cattle as plunder. The area, which is 96% Christian, has seen more than 1,100 killed over the last year and a half.

Pakistan: The 2013 Muslim bombing of the All Saints Church in Peshawar, which killed more than 100 Christian worshippers, claimed its latest victim. After battling internal injuries, Cecilia, a 42-year-old Christian nurse, had received three years earlier from the attack, died from bomb fragments that had turned cancerous while embedded in her body. According to the report, “With tearstained eyes,” her husband noted that “We are still losing loved ones [after the attack].

Forced Conversion, Rape and Murder of Christians

Libya: A report documents the sufferings that Christians experience at the hands Muslim militants when they migrated through Libya in an effort to reach Europe. In one instance 11 women were abducted, kept as sex slaves underground and repeatedly raped by various jihadis for almost a year. One of the Christian women, Amal, 21, said: “They took [the Christians] to Tripoli and kept us underground – we didn’t see the sun for nine months…. Sometimes we didn’t eat for three days. Other times they would give us one meal a day, half a piece of bread.” The Christian woman described how they were pressured into converting to Islam under threat of death and beaten with hoses or sticks. “Sometimes they would frighten us with their guns, or threaten to slaughter us with their knives.”

Islamic State: ISIS has been making use of social media—including Facebook, and mobile applications, such as WhatsApp, and Telegram—to sell enslaved Christian and Yazidi girls to a wider network of sadists and pedophiles. One Telegram posting showed a picture of a young girl with the caption: “Virgin. Beautiful. 12 years old,” the posting states. “Her price has reached $12,500 and she will be sold soon.”

Nigeria: Another report says that the Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram, has murdered 466 people, almost all of whom were Christian, for refusing to convert to Islam; they also forced 218 women and young girls to “marry” their fighters.

Pakistan:

Muslims kidnapped and forced a 14-year-old Christian girl to convert to Islam last May. Her father pled with them for weeks to release his daughter. They eventually pretended to relent, told him to meet them somewhere so they could return his daughter; once he arrived, shot him dead. The girl remains with the rapists, the slain father’s widow and three other daughters are hiding in their home in fear of further reprisals from the kidnappers. According to Najma Bibi, the girl’s mother: “several months after my daughter’s kidnapping, the police have not done anything because we have no money to defend our rights. We live in a hopeless situation, we need help. I pray that my daughter will continue to place hope and faith in Jesus Christ.”

Muhammad Iqrar, a Muslim man, assaulted and raped Sonia Nasar, a 16-year-old Christian girl. Although the rapist fled when her father rushed to the scene after hearing the cries of his daughter, Sonia, she was left in “critical condition.” He said that he expects no justice or follow up from local authorities, some of whom are associated with the rapist.

Sobia Nadeem, a Christian girl studying for a Master’s degree in physics, was abducted by a group of Muslims, forced to convert to Islam, and forced to marry—at gunpoint—a man named Mohammad Hamza in Lahore. Although the girl managed to escape back to her parents’ home, she was taken to court where her family had to prove that her conversion and marriage were performed under force.

Countless reports continued to appear indicating that non-Muslim students, most often Christians, are being forced to convert to Islam through the public school system. Teachers force them to recite the shahada—which when said before Muslim witnesses makes them a Muslim. Teachers also force them to study Muslim beliefs and practices. This often occurs in conjunction with denigration of the Christian faith. Due to ongoing Christian protests, the Punjab government said it would launch an inquiry.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches and Symbols

Turkey: During the July 15 failed coup attempt, at least two churches were attacked. “One of the attacks happened in Trabzon. A group of 10 people attacked Santa Maria Church with paving stones and hammers to smash the windows” said the report. One church leader in Istanbul said, “I’m not optimistic about the plight of Christians in Turkey. Bear in mind we’ve had a Roman Catholic Bishop murdered, we’ve had clergy threatened, we’ve had one priest murdered 10 years ago. Any Christian leader, if they’re being honest, would say that some of what’s going on is quite alarming.”

Nigeria: On Friday, July 15, Muslims attacked a Catholic church. They said they were angered that Christians were praying in the church on Friday, Islam’s “holy day,” when Muslims congregate and pray in mosques. According to a Christian church leader, “Sometime around 2pm, some Muslim youths in their [sic] hundreds left their mosque after their Friday Jumat prayer and rushed to the church premises, climbed the wall and destroyed everything in the church: the windows, the altar, musical instruments, the chapel. The security man in the church premises was beaten to a pulp. Some women holding a prayer meeting were chased away. The seminarian, who is resident in the premises, was also beaten up and chased away.”

Iraq: According to a new report, “All 45 churches and monasteries inside Mosul are reportedly now occupied by ISIS, who have looted, burned and destroyed property, in addition to removing the building’s crosses.” Christians unable to flee are forced to pay huge extortion money (jizya) or risk instant execution.

Sudan: A report notes that by continuously bombing Christian and non-Muslim indigenous regions near South Sudan, and targeting churches and pastors’ homes for destruction, the government is trying to “cleanse” the nation of Christians and create a homogenous Muslim state. In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced by the violence, their homes, crops, churches, schools and hospitals destroyed.

Indonesia: Despite receiving all legal documents and permits, a Catholic family trying to construct a shrine to the Virgin Mary on their own land since 2009 continued to face growing threats from local Muslims. In 2012, a Muslim mob set fire to the shrine site and brought construction to a halt. Most recently in July, Muslims stormed the house of a Catholic leader and ordered him to stop the work, even though he has a building permit issued by the authorities.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Apostates, Blasphemers, and Preachers

Egypt: According to a report, “Just like the biblical character Daniel in the lions’ den, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity found himself at the mercy of ferocious attack dogs that were unleashed by his jailers to torture and possibly kill him. However, the law student, Majed El Shafie, must have had God on his side and, just as in the story of Daniel, the savage animals miraculously did not harm him—to the utter astonishment of his prison guards.” He was, however, tortured by the Muslim guards.

Uganda: Another Muslim convert to Christianity has lost his family, home, and business, and now lives in a tiny shanty. As a result of his apostasy, the extended family of the 53-year-old man, a former Muslim imam stormed into and eventually appropriated his ancestral home in after an attempt on his life. Of that night, he said: “I heard people talking outside my house around 8 p.m., saying that they wanted to take away my life and, ‘We cannot watch the whole family turning to Christianity.'” He complained to the local council after his relatives also destroyed his business, but their intervention had no effect. He now lives without any means to provide for himself.

Pakistan:

Nadeem James, a 27-year-old Christian man and father of two, was arrested in Gujarat district after a Muslim angry with him accused him of texting a poem deemed “blasphemous” toward Muhammad. According to James’s brother: “We were not at home when the police raided our house to arrest Nadeem. However, when the cops couldn’t find any of us in the premises, they took away two women of the family – my wife and the wife of my elder brother, Faryad.” Around the same time, local mosques began calling on megaphones that if he did not surrender himself, Christian homes would burn. Nadeem surrendered himself and the women were released.

“The charge against my brother is completely baseless. Nadeem is uneducated and could not have possibly sent that text message. I’m certain that Yasir Bashir [Muslim accuser] downloaded the supposedly blasphemous text onto Nadeem’s phone and then forwarded it to his cell number to build a case against my brother.”

In Hyderabad, Yaqoob Masih, 56, a Christian sanitary worker, was accused of committing blasphemy against Islam. According to the report:

“Masih collected waste from the streets and dumped it at a specific [location], however Bakash [the Muslim accuser], without verifying what had happened, tortured Masih with a stick, accusing him [of] committing blasphemy by burning pages of a book which [reportedly] carried Islamic verses. Masih was packing the garbage and waste in a trunk when Bakash accused him [of] blasphemy.”

Masih had to be hospitalized.

A Muslim doctor who treated a dying Christian man with medicine donated through Islamic charity, zakat, received death threats. The Christian was on the verge of dying without treatment. In his defense, the Muslim doctor said he did not know the man was a Christian, or that it was against some interpretations of Islamic law to use Muslim charity money to help non-Muslims.

Iran: Three Azerbaijani pastors were arrested in Tehran during a visit. No reason was given to family and local legal experts. According to the report, “This is the latest in a succession of pastors who have been imprisoned by Iranian authorities over many years for accusations ranging from apostasy to evangelism.” And Ebrahim Firouzi, who has been under arrest since 2013 under vague charges “suffered physical abuse at the hands of prison guards when he was forced to attend an appeal hearing.”

Dhimmitude: The Condition Muslim Contempt and Hostility for Christians

Bangladesh: Christian and Hindu businesses received notices from a banned Islamic organization ordering them to uphold a number of Islamic customs or be killed. These include hanging banners with Allah’s name, keeping copies of the Koran, putting pictures of the Kaba in Mecca, removing pictures or statues of their own religions, creating a place for Muslims to pray, and banning music and female workers.

Pakistan: The government in the Raiwind district flooded a Christian graveyard with sewage water and desecrated all the graves. In response, protesting Christians complained that even in the grave they can receive no peace in Pakistan.

Sudan: Authorities insulted, forcefully arrested and jailed 14 Christians when they attempted to stop the authorities from seizing an evangelical school on church property, which the authorities apparently plan on giving to Muslim businesses. Later, the authorities returned to the same Christian school, gave letters of dismissal to the Christian headmistress, vandalized her office, and replaced her with a teacher of their own choosing.

Egypt: After a Christian man was stabbed to death and many Christian homes and a church burned by angry Muslims because of a rumor that a church was going to be built, Coptic Christian Bishop Makarious of al-Minya was interviewed on television. Church authorities in Egypt are regularly diplomatic and sensitive to what they say, but Makarious made many revealing comments. Although only Christians, no Muslims, were killed and hurt, he wondered why the government and media continue to describe these incidents as “clashes”—which suggests two quarrelling parties—when the reality is always that one side attacks the other:

“Within minutes [of the start of one of the attacks], 100 Muslims instantly appeared, fully armed, as if ready for war. … As long as the attackers are never punished, and the armed forces are portrayed as doing their duty, this will just encourage others to continue the attacks, as, even if they are arrested, they will quickly be released.”

When the host asked questions about who is released and why, suggesting that perhaps those released are in fact innocent of any wrongdoing against the Christians, the bishop replied:

“Well what do you think when the actual attackers themselves are arrested, with complete proofs and evidences against them, but then are still declared innocent and released?… this happens every single time.”

By Raymond Ibrahim (Gatestone Institute)

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing.

The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities, and locations.

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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Voice of the Persecuted is on the ground in places such as Nigeria and Thailand aiding Christians fleeing violence, languishing in refugee (IDP) camps or seeking asylum from persecution. Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

Donations are always desperately needed.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

The U.S. and U.N. Have Abandoned Christian Refugees

Christian boy in Iraq

“The U.N.’s next secretary-general, António Guterres, says that persecuted Christians shouldn’t be resettled in the West.”
“the Obama administration’s expanded refugee program for Syria depends on refugee referrals from the UNHCR. Yet Syria’s genocide survivors have been consistently underrepresented.”

By Nina Shea (WSJ) — Six months ago, Secretary of State John Kerry officially designated Islamic State as “responsible for genocide” against Christians, Yazidis and other vulnerable groups in areas under ISIS control in Syria and Iraq. So why has the Obama administration entrusted the survival of these people—and so much valuable American aid—to a troubled office at the United Nations, which, like its parent organization, has never even acknowledged that the genocide exists?

The State Department says it is helping religious minorities who have fled, along with millions of other displaced Syrians and Iraqis, primarily through the U.N. America has sent over half of $5.6 billion in humanitarian aid earmarked for Syrians since 2012 to the U.N.

Yet the U.N.’s lead agency for aiding refugees, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), marginalizes Christians and others targeted by ISIS for eradication in two critical programs: refugee housing in the region and Syrian refugee-resettlement abroad.  Voice of the Persecuted recommends that you continue reading here. Afterward, please contact your elected officials asking them to quickly bring to a vote the bipartisan H.R.5961 – Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2016, introduced Sept. 8 by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). Please share this story and encourage many to action and PRAYER.

We’ve seen rising discrimination against Christian refugees and asylum seekers in UNHCR offices, even outside of the Middle East. Please keep them in your prayers and ACT, today. Be their VOICE!

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

Donations always desperately needed

Retired Navy Chaplain warns it will be difficult for Christians joining the Military

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Bott Radio Network President and CEO Rich Bott is joined by Eben Fowler of BRN covering from the 2016 Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC. This video clip is an interview with Wes Modder, a former Marine and retired military chaplain. The U.S. Navy threatened Modder in late 2014 with detachment for cause, removal from the promotion list, and a Board of Inquiry after Modder answered questions pertaining to marriage and sexuality according to his religious beliefs and denomination’s teachings during private counseling sessions. In September 2015, the Navy exonerated Modder, dropping all charges against him and allowing him to continue serving in his full capacity as a chaplain. Modder warns his case is not the last time you will see Christianity openly under attack in the Armed Forces. In fact, he believes the problem is getting even worse.

You can also view his interview with CBN here

Obama’s Refugee Policy: Yes to Potential Terrorists, No to Genocide Victims

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Originally published by the Gatestone Institute

The Obama administration has been escalating a policy that both abandons Mideast Christians and exposes Americans to the jihad. Late last year it was revealed that 97% of Syrian refugees accepted into the U.S. were Sunni Muslims—the same Islamic sect to which the Islamic State belongs—while fewer than half-a-percent were Christians.

This disparity has since gotten worse. From May 1 to May 23, 499 Syrian refugees—a number that exceeds the total number of refugees admitted during the last three years—were received into the U.S.  Zero Christians were among them; 99 percent were Sunni (the remaining one percent was simply listed as “Muslim”).

These numbers are troubling:

First, from a strictly humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees—Christians should receive priority simply because currently they are among the most persecuted groups in the Middle EastAlong with the Yazidis, Christians are experiencing genocide at the hands of ISIS, as the State Department recently determined The Islamic State has repeatedly forced Christians to renounce Christ or die; has enslaved and raped them, and desecrated or destroyed more than 400 of their churches.

As Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) put it this March, “Without doubt, Syrians of all confessions are being victimized by this savage war and are facing unimaginable suffering.  But only Christians and other religious minorities are the deliberate targets of systematic persecution and genocide.”

Sunni Muslims are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for refusing to renounce their faith since it is identical to ISIS’.  They are not having their mosques burned, nor are they being jailed and killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization.  On the contrary, non-ISIS affiliated Sunnis are responsible for committing dozens of such atrocities against Christian minorities every single month all throughout the Islamic world.[1]

Unsurprisingly, many Sunnis entering America and Europe—including the terrorists who killed 120 people in Paris, 32 people in Brussels, and 12 in California—share the same Sunni-sanctioned hate for and opposition to non-Muslim “infidels.”  Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admits that ISIS is “taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow.”

Even if one were to operate under the assumption that refugee status must be made available to all Syrians, regardless of religion, the simple demographics of Syria expose the pro-Sunni, anti-Christian bias of the current Obama refugee policy:  Christians account for 10% of Syria’s total population—yet they account for less than .5% of the refugees.  Sunni Muslims are 74% of Syria’s population—yet 99% of those received into America.  In other words, there should be 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status than there already have been.

Finally, the excuse given by those who defend this disparity does not pass the smell test.  According to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, Christian and other minorities “fear that registration might bring retribution from other refugees.” So supposedly they do not register and are left out of the process.  Indeed, as ongoing reports reveal, the majority of those at refugee camps—Sunnis—are persecuting the Christians in their midst, sometimes killing them.  During one Mediterranean crossing from Libya to Sicily, Muslim “refugees” shouted “Allahu Akbar!”  as they hurled as many as 53 Christians overboard.

Although the U.N and U.S. know that Sunni refugees are terrorizing Christians in their camps, they abandon the true victims who deserve sanctuary in the West, while “humanitarianly” taking in their persecutors.

The Catholic Church and several mainline Protestant denominations are equally guilty.  Most recently, “Christian refugees [were] ‘let down’ by Pope [Francis]: he promised to take them to Italy but then took only Muslims instead.”

Such hypocrisy has been on open display since the question of refugees was first raised in America.   Months ago, Barrack Obama—who was raised a Sunni Muslim—described the proposal that preference should be given to Christian minorities as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” loftily added the American president.

Today, however, it is clear from the statistics alone that there is a very clear bias[2]  in the refugee program: it favors those most prone to committing acts of terror in America while ignoring those experiencing genocide.  It is the Obama administration’s own refugee policies that are “shameful,” “not American,” and do not represent “who we are.”

Syrain Christian refugee children

Syrain Christian refugee children

[1] Even before ISIS’ new “caliphate” was established, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim mobs, Muslim individuals, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian, etc.)—and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one.  See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians who are especially deserving of refugee status.

[2] These recent revelations of the Obama administration’s pro-Muslim and anti-Christian policies fit a clear and established pattern of religious bias within his administration.  Examples follow:

Who called sheriff on boy for sharing Bible?

faith in school

PALMDALE, Calif. (BP) — A public school superintendent told Baptist Press he has been unable to discover why a deputy sheriff visited the home of a first-grade boy to warn him not to share Scripture with classmates at a school in the superintendent’s district.

Religious freedom advocates Liberty Counsel contacted Palmdale School District Supt. Raul Maldonado after a Los Angeles deputy sheriff visited the home of Christina and Jaime Zavala, whose child was cautioned this spring about sharing with classmates written Scripture notes his mother had put in his lunchbox.

While Maldonado doesn’t deny that a sheriff’s deputy visited the Zavala home in relation to the Scripture notes, he told BP the school has been unable to determine why such a visit occurred.

“We really should not discuss or identify individual students, parents or teachers without their consent, so I cannot talk about the family and teachers you have mentioned,” Maldonado said in response to BP’s June 6 information request. “However I can tell you, we have not been able to identify anyone at any level at the school in question who called the sheriff and asked for a visit to a child’s home about this matter.”

Several pastors were slated to hold a press conference at noon Pacific Time today (June 7) on the steps of Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale to address the issue.

Paul Chappell, pastor of Lancaster [Independent] Baptist Church in Palmdale, released an advance copy of his prepared comments to BP.

“If in fact this 7-year-old child was reprimanded for sharing his Bible verses and notes, we believe the staff involved need training regarding the educational codes and a reminder that we do not bully or demean students,” Chappell said. “As faith and community leaders, we believe it is vital for people of all faiths that the district provide assurances that the children’s constitutional rights are upheld.”

Liberty Counsel gave the school an ultimatum in a May 24 letter and follow-up communication, according to Liberty Counsel founder and president Mathew Staver.

“Having reviewed the … facts, District policies, and applicable law, it is clear that the actions of District staff in this instance, in prohibiting voluntary student religious expression during non-instructional time; then completely banning such student expression from school property entirely; and finally calling the police to report the same are simply unconstitutional,” reads the letter posted at Liberty Counsel’s website. “These actions must be disavowed and reversed, to avoid liability for civil rights violations.” READ MORE

Voice of the Persecuted Note: It is sad when children are silenced when sharing what we Christians know to be the most important message anyone could hear. The 6 yr old granddaughter of one of our advocates faced a similar situation in school. A rotation was set up and a student put on a schedule and asked to bring in their book of choice to be read by the teacher to the class during ‘Story Time’, everyday.

An early reader and at the granddaughter’s request, the teacher allowed her to read to the class on her scheduled day. She notably liked her role as ‘the reader’ and thought it important to choose a story that her classmates would thoroughly enjoy and benefit from. Once again, the rotation fell on her day. This day, she decided she would read a story from her favorite book, her Children’s Bible. It had been read to her nearly everyday since she was a baby and even at the young age of 6, she had already read it from start to finish. She felt it was perfect for Story Time.

When she got up to read, her teacher noticed her chosen book. She pulled her aside telling her that she was sorry but she could not allow her to read from that book. Completely surprised the little girl asked her teacher to explain why. The teacher told her it was a religious book and not allowed in school. This little girl who had previously asked God for the wisdom of Solomon said,

“It is not a religious book. It is the Word of GOD and everyone should hear it!”

Out of the mouths of babes. We believe God has already granted her request.

She was able to read, but given another book by her teacher. It’s interesting to note that she was the teacher’s favorite student, who even requested to be her teacher again in an advanced academic program the following year. The teacher was not against the little girl and most probably a Christian too, but bound by school regulations that have removed God from the classroom. Two years later, this same child expressed concern when she found some of her classmates knew nothing about or didn’t believe in God or Jesus.

Imagine what it must be like growing up in a world adamantly trying to silence Christianity and remove God.

  • Pray for the 7 yr. old trying to share the love of Christ.
  • Pray for our advocates granddaughter who is finishing 6th grade in Junior High.
  • Pray for all our children, that they not be intimidated and to boldly share the Gospel with their peers.
  • Teach your children to know the Scriptures.
  • Help them to be represent Christ to the world.
  • Tell them adversity will come and why so they can defend their faith in strength in Christ.

For a time such as this.

 

 

 

 

Day of Prayer’s Tony Evans Warns ‘Time’s Running Out in America’

 

2016 National Day of Prayer (Theme: WAKE UP AMERICA)

2016 National Day of Prayer (Theme: WAKE UP AMERICA)

Today, Thursday, May 5th, 2016 is the National Day of Prayer! The Theme and Verse for the 65th annual National Day of Prayer 2016 will have profound significance for our country.  It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.

The theme for 2016 is Wake Up America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen Isaiah 58:1a as our Scripture for this year: Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.

For the May 5th observances, Dr. Tony Evans, the 2016 Honorary Chairman, wrote a special prayer to be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (ET).  This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us.  Millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by our volunteer coordinators and people just like you!  We hope you’ll join with our staff again as we seek to bring more communities than ever before together in prayer.  As a way of assisting you, we have assembled a variety of resources that equip you to organize and publicize prayer gatherings, citywide prayer breakfasts, worship services, and rallies.  These materials also present creative ideas geared toward helping individuals and families to establish meaningful devotional times.  If you have any questions after reviewing these items, please don’t hesitate to contact the NDP staff at (800) 444-8828.  They count it a privilege to lend a hand in whatever manner we are able.

At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray.  Thank you in advance for making this spiritual discipline a personal priority and for standing with us as we encourage others to incorporate prayer in their lives.  The Lord has graciously anointed our efforts, empowering them to touch and change many hearts and lives.  We look forward to seeing His hand move across our land in exciting ways each May in response to our petitions!  In closing, we ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer in your church or community to lead a National Day of Prayer gathering. May the Lord’s peace fill your heart as you rest in Him throughout the days ahead.

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