VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Home » Persecution of women and children

Category Archives: Persecution of women and children

Nigeria: President ready to negotiate with Boko Haram for release of 200+ Schoolgirls

5556-55-chibok

Chibok Schoolgirls forced to convert to Islam by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria

NIGERIA Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former dictator, who took office in May, stated he had no new intelligence on over 200 schoolgirls (majority Christians) kidnapped nearly two years ago in April 2014. His government is now willing to negotiate with any “credible” Boko Haram leadership for the release of the schoolgirls. Their case captured international attention when it made global headlines. We pray for their return as for the thousands of girls kidnapped during the course of 6 years, yet rarely cover by the media.

276 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from their school in the town of Chibok in northeast Nigeria. Some of girls were able to escape soon afterwards, but nothing has been seen or heard from around 200 of the girls since a video released, last May.

This video shows a clip of the girl in the 2014 video. One girl describes seeing some of the schoolgirls months later during her captivity.


In a radio broadcast, President Buhari said, “We are prepared to negotiate with them without precondition.” He relayed they wanted to make contact and added, “we are looking for a credible Boko Haram leadership that will confirm that the girls are alive.”  “We want to be sure that they are complete, safe.”

He said it was the honest truth that the government has no information on the girls, including their health condition.

In their six-year terror campaign to create an independent Islamic state in Nigeria, Boko Haram has brutally slaughtered thousands of people. 2.2 million people have fled their communities, many completely razed, now refugees in their own land. They are called IDP’s, Internally Displaced Persons.

Last week, Buhari’s announced that “technically” the group had been defeated. But his words proven false by a wave of attacks and suicide bombings that killed over 50 people, injuring many more in the weary northeast of the country.

Sources on the frontlines told Voice of the Persecuted(VOP), “Our hearts are heavy. They claim they are meeting the December dead line even after lives have been lost. We have come to lose confidence in our military. In regards to last week’s attacks, we were told some had to flee for safety, but things have improved.

Buhari, a Muslim, mentioned to journalists that he could ban the wearing of hijabs or other headwear by Muslim women if insurgents continue to use veiled females to carry out suicide attacks. “Hijab will have to be banned if this continues,” he said.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu stated on Friday,

“Everything will be done to balance national security requirements with the rights and obligations of citizens under their religions as protected by the constitution.”

While noting that the increasing abuse of the Hijab by terrorists to perpetrate criminal mass murder and other atrocities is a reality, he asserted that the government would address the security challenge in consultations with Muslim leaders so as to find a workable solution.

Today, President  Buhari said a committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle IDPs will soon be inaugurated.

The committee, will be led by a frontline statesman, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, a retired lieutenant general. It will also include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, a statement by spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said.

Buhari announced that all forms of assistance and aid in this respect, generated locally and from foreign countries as promised by the Group of Seven of Industrialized Countries (G7) would be channeled through the committee when inaugurated.

He said he had compiled a list of damaged infrastructure,including schools and bridges and handed it to the leaders of the G7 and the United States, adding that “I didn’t ask for a Kobo (in cash). It is up to them to choose what they will undertake. Already, some of them have sent teams to verify our assertions.”

He also decried the impact of the Boko Haram violence on women and children, declaring that they are its worst victims.

“In the North-East, what I saw for myself and on those clips is a source of concern for people with conscience,” he said. “They are mostly women, and children who are orphaned. Some of them don’t even know where they come from. This is the pathetic situation in which the country has found itself.”

He said the fight for the return of the Chibok girls was ongoing and “continues to be a most worrying issue” to his government, emphasizing that the administration will do all within its powers in making the best efforts to secure their freedom.

Based on latest assessment reports, many areas remain too dangerous for return. It’s also believed the planned closings of government IDP camps will not be possible as seen with the latest attacks. Boko Haram is not defeated and still remains a deadly threat.

VOP is aiding an IDP camp caring for Christians who have faced incredible persecution. Nearly every person has lost loved ones, at the hands of Boko Haram militants. The road ahead is long, both physically and emotionally. The well project to protect these dear ones from disease has begun! The the ground appears very difficult and after drilling to a great depth, drillers feel the need to change location. Pray this project goes smoothly and more funds will not be necessary to finish the well. Daily, those in the camp draw water from a local well and must carry the water back to the camp. It’s also believed to be contaminated by overuse causing an outbreak of Cholera.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Much help is needed to continue covering basic needs for persecuted families, orphans and widows in the camp, approx. 400 people. Your gifts make it possible to get food, clothing, medical needs/care and fresh water to the suffering. These brothers and sisters need us to step up.

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

Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and 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

Advertisements

Rape Swept Under The Rug in Pakistan

(Voice of the Persecuted) We’ve have learned a heartbreaking story out of Pakistan that has been ‘swept under the rug,’ not reported in the media or in Police headquarters.  Through our contacts we have been told about the fate of a Christian girl.  This girl took employment with a family in Pakistan cleaning, and serving the family.  It’s common in Pakistan for a family to have another woman in the house to help clean, and care for the families children.  She lived in a small quarter of the employers home.  We are told that when the man’s wife was away, this man would take the girl and rape her.  This happened many times.  The girl was so ashamed thinking that she did something wrong, she didn’t want to talk about it.  This too is the normal behavior for rape victims.  When she finally  report it to the authorities, the man wasn’t charged. She quickly withdrew her statement after threats to her and her family.  He threatened to kill her brother and her family.  She was victimized for several years before the girl was able to leave. My heart breaks for this precious girl and others who have endured such trauma.   It happens repeatedly in Pakistan and gang rapes are also frequent, but not often reported to the police or reported in the media.

Rights workers and activists in Pakistan say that the police attitude is that if a girl comes forward to report a rape, she is shameful and has defamed her family.  Automatically they say she is lying.  And many times the burden of supplying 4 witnesses as sharia law commands is impossible.  The courts will not allow DNA evidence even when it proves guilt.  In January of last year, a girl was raped, killed and hung from a tree in the Layyah district in Punjab.  This case mirrored one in India where a girl was gang raped and found hanging from a tree.  In March of last year a young girl was gang raped, and then set herself on fire in protest after the police released the men responsible without pressing charges.  Five men kidnapped her at gunpoint and raped her.  Her brother said this:  “She was already depressed after going through the trauma, but after the release of the accused, she lost all hope of getting justice and set herself on fire,”  There is no justice for these heinous acts.  Rape and domestic violence against women are widespread in Pakistan.  From what we hear Human Rights abuses in Pakistan abound, especially with women and minorities, and often within the Christian population.

Some facts about domestic violence in Pakistan:

  • Domestic violence in Pakistan is an endemic social problem. According to Human Rights Watch, it is estimated that between 70 and 90 percent of women and girls in Pakistan have suffered some form of abuse.
  •  An estimated 5000 women are killed per year from domestic violence, with thousands of others maimed or disabled.
  •  The majority of victims of violence have no legal recourse.
  • Law enforcement authorities do not view domestic violence as a crime and usually refuse to register any cases brought to them.
  • Given the very few women’s shelters in the country, victims have limited ability to escape from violent situations.

Reporting of these abuses is very difficult.  “Freedom of the press is allowed but any reports critical of the government policy or critical of the military is censored. Journalists face widespread threats and violence making Pakistan, one of the worst countries to be a journalist in, with 61 being killed since September 2001 and at least 6 murdered in 2013 alone.  Tv stations and news papers are routinely shut down for publishing any reports critical of the government or the military.”

While everything is portrayed as normal, these awful abuses are taking place.   And this only covers one aspect of the abuses coming out of Pakistan.  Christians are killed and imprisoned on an almost daily basis.  Asia Bibi is still in prison awaiting a death sentence by hanging because she was a Christians and took a drink from a Muslim well.  Pakistan is one of the top receivers of aid from the West and the US.  It’s time to hold these countries accountable.

Nigerian Christians-The Wearing Down Of The Saints

Members of self-defence groups against Boko Haram to Gombi in February 2015. (VOA-Wikimedia commons)

Members of self-defence groups against Boko Haram to Gombi in February 2015. (VOA-Wikimedia commons)

As violence escalates, threats abound and body counts rise, we pour over reports from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon for the latest on the developments in in the fight against Boko Haram. We see nations joining together in this fight, governments accusing one another, allegations of corruption and all manner of evil being manifest.  Threats of evil growing and threats to conform nations to world views.

What else are we witnessing?  The faithful being led to slaughter as lambs.  The heartbreaking grief of their families. The world with it’s watchful eyes, some in shock, some in fear, some in disbelief.  We watch the faith of our brethren in the midst of evil, in spite of the fear they face.  We see them crying out to the global community for help.  Crying out to the world body of Christians for prayer.

In a report shared by BBC, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos said 

“Brothers and sisters, there is no better time to storm the heavens with prayers and petitions than now.”

What we are seeing particularly in larger areas like Maidaguri is the wearing down of the Saints.  How in their attempts to praise and thank God for His love and guidance, they are prevented from gathering in houses of worship. They are fearful not only for their lives, but for the life of their Nation.  Neighboring countries have united and are beginning to combat this evil with reports that 300 Boko Haram have been killed just in the last hours.  Recently, Maidaguri has come under attack with threats of being taken over by Boko Haram.

And as in this report that we received from Fr. Gideon Obasogie states, Christians in the capital city (Maidaguri)  are really paying the price for their faith.   Their movements are so restricted they cannot even have a sound gathering on a Sunday to thank God for his love thus far and most particularly to pray for peaceful elections. The threats and distractions have become totally unbearable. The ferocious attempt by the unrepentant radical Islamist militants, Boko Haram to overrun the capital city of Maiduguri has been very frightening. I wonder and sometimes I am forced to think aloud, when will this culture of savagery and bloodletting end.   Is it that as a Nation we lack the inner capacity to abate it?    With the recent waves of attacks, there is so much fear and tension in the air. With the  Polls drawing ever close we see all sorts of personalities with well fashioned and designed promises too good to be taken as true; trooping into Maiduguri and the northeast, not to identify with us in our plight but to beg for our votes. 

Nigerians are beginning to feel like pawns in a vicious lethal game, not knowing who to trust.  It is very encouraging to know that neighboring governments are rallying together to combat this. But it’s discouraging that  promises and visits from dignitaries are not addressing the plight of the millions that have been displaced in a blatant disregard for human life and dignity.  We have reported that the refugee camps are grossly neglected.  They are infiltrated with rebels from Nigeria to Yemen.  Rebels use these camps as recruiting tools, even kidnapping, sex traffic and arms trades, with some reporting that there are sleeper cells living with the refugees.  The camps are very dangerous causing many refugees to flee into the bush with out even the basic of supplies to sustain them.

We received a report from our contact who recently visited a refugee camp and the testimonies are heart wrenching.   Sharing with the refugee’s what little they had,  they were told this:  “I have been here for 10 months without meat, produce, nor salt to put in our soups.”  These precious people also said to pray hard for normalcy to returned to the Gwoza local government so that they can go back home.  Others mirrored this request and testimony pleading to the Christians in Nigeria and abroad to continue to pray for them because they have no shelter or even a mat to sleep on.  One father describes the tears his son sheds at night for simply an orange. In October of last year Fr. Gideon Obasogie reported that refugees in the thousands were eating grass to survive.  This has also been reported by our contacts on the ground.  The aid efforts are grossly inadequate, with many afraid to travel to the hardest hit areas.  They ask prayers for the governments to return to normal.  That statement alone stands out like the elephant in the room.  What has happened?  What evil has overtaken and infiltrated even the basic of government in this nation?  This country can’t even guarantee the basics of safety to it’s residents.

The confusion of the people and the government is obvious in Fr. Obasogie’s report in his statement  “If anyone needs our votes, our safety must first be assured.”  Where is the UN, where is the world?  The BRICS nations have been courting Africa for some time for it’s minerals, and oil, but where are they now when the people of Northern Africa suffer so much?  It’s been said the US offered to train the military, but it’s unclear what happened, if it was rescinded or turned down.  It’s been claimed that the US supplied drones to help look for the Chibok schoolgirls, but appears to have short lived.  It’s also been said that the US is supplying intelligence, but that can’t be proven. France has a presence in the nation off and on, Chad, Cameroon and Niger are building troops, but where is the UN?

Church gathering Maiduguri, Nigeria (World Watch Monitor)

Church gathering Maiduguri, Nigeria (World Watch Monitor)

Maiduguri’s Christian population is at great risk.  Maiduguri is the state capital and the seat of Government, with all its structures, with a high concentration of state population and the commercial nerve of the northeast.  If it falls, the citizens will be more facile to radicalization. And the terrorists will have more conscripts.  If it falls, we have only succeeded collectively in empowering the terrorists, recapturing it would take some time and the consequences apparently would be deadly.

Nigerian Christians are wearing down, their faith is great in the face of persecution, however their needs are also great.  They need and deserve a government that will fight for them, fight for their rights, their dignity, their right to live in peace and prosper.  And their right to worship Christ.

Pray for Nigeria.  We will be lifting up Nigeria on our International Prayer Call ‘FIRE in FERUARY on Friday, Feb. 2oth. See details here

  • Pray for leadership that will provide just & fair judgements. Leadership with a love for all Nigerians
  • Pray for peace.
  • Pray for Boko Haram to be defeated.
  • Pray for normalcy to return to the lives of the people of Nigeria.
  • Pray for comfort.
  • Pray for strength and endurance.
  • Pray for the lost in the country to be found in Christ.

Above all Nigeria know that Christians everywhere are with you, we are praying with and for you, we are suffering with you and we are watching.  God is with you!

By C.Refsland, VOP Advocate/News Analyst

Related:

Why Should The West Concern Itself With Elections In Nigeria? Read This « VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

What Lies Ahead For Nigerian Christians And The Innocent Of Nigeria? Darkness Or Light? « VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

vop-fire-in-ferbruary-2015

JOIN THE CALL! Click for details

Why Should The West Concern Itself With Elections In Nigeria? Read This

Why should the West concern itself with the elections in Nigeria, you ask.  You think the mudslinging during our campaigns are bad, what is happening in Nigeria is frightening, not only to the people there, but to the world.  Or at least it should be.  Take a look at what’s surfacing today.

“If Maiduguri falls into the hands of Boko Haram, it would be a disaster for Africa as a continent”  And that’s only a portion of the implications for the West and the world.

Snapshots of Chaos in Nigeria and the elections and what it’s about.  Who are the parties?

Ideology: Social democracy,Big tent Progressivism, Federalism Political position:Centre-left International affiliationSocialist International

Ideology : Social democracy,Big tent
Progressivism, Federalism
Political position:Centre-left
International affiliation Socialist International

Ideology: Catch all Economic liberalism, Political position: Centre-right to Right-wing Religion:Secular International affiliation:None

Ideology : Catch all
Economic liberalism,
Political position: Centre-right to Right-wing
Religion: Secular
International affiliation:None

We have been reporting on the increase of attacks in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad ahead of the Feb. elections in Nigeria. We have verified that intense fighting is taking place in Maiduguri and surrounding areas by a force from Chad and the military of Nigeria.  Some reports claim that there is a civilian force also  combating this evil.  Reports are surfacing that offer proof that indeed this an effort to thwart the election. And at the very least throw off the outcome.  Nigeria is at a crossroads.  A very dark crossroad. One that could shake the world if the back and forth between candidates is true.  And it appears as if they are.  I wondered why John Kerry would visit Nigeria ahead of the elections and it’s becoming frighteningly clear.

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) – “If Maiduguri falls into the hands of Boko Haram, it would be a disaster for all of Africa”, says Fr. Gideon Obasogie, head of social communications of the Diocese of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State in northeastern Nigeria.

“Maiduguri is the state capital and the seat of Government, with all its structures, with a high concentration of state population and the commercial nerve of the northeast”, explains Fr. Obasogie. “If the city falls, citizens will be more facile to radicalization and the terrorists will have more conscripts. Maiduguri for Boko Haram would become a strong base and then rumble into Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa. Finally, if Maiduguri falls, the militants would control an airport and a military base with the 7 Div. This is really and truly dangerous for Nigeria, as it is a potential disaster for Africa as a continent”, emphasizes the priest. “So far – said Fr. Obasogie – the militants have conquered and occupied towns and villages near Maiduguri”.

The priest describes the situation in the capital of Borno State: “With the recent waves of attacks, there is so much fear and tension in the air. With the February Polls drawing ever close we see all sorts of personalities with well fashioned and designed promises too good to be taken as true; trooping into Maiduguri and the northeast, not to identify with us in our plight but to beg for our votes”.

“Citizens of Maiduguri as much as possible avoid crowded areas and the polling units would not be an exception, unless people’s security is assured and ensured. If anyone needs our votes, our safety must first be assured”, concludes Fr. Obasogie. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/02/2015)

Another report from Fides confirms the above dire situation that Nigeria and the Christian population faces:   “We risk seeing Boko Haram conquer the entire north-east before the end of the election, unless foreign troops intervene”, said Mgr. Doeme, referring to the presidential elections to be held in mid-February and to the coordination of the military actions of neighboring Countries against Boko Haram, after the latest raids of Nigerian extremists in Cameroon and the conquest of the base of the international force of Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad (see Fides 09/01/2015).
“The situation is very complex and the first victims are innocent civilians”, concluded the Bishop of Maiduguri who implies the existence of some “saboteurs” and accomplices within the Nigerian army, who favor the advance of Boko Haram for political reasons.”

Not only that, but we have reported on the checkered past of Buhari (has been referred to over the years as: “Janjanweed ticket”) who is running for President, and the smear campaigns on both sides, now this quote from today’s report by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh sends chills down the spine of those watching and know the groups behind the demonic slaughter taking place in the whole of Africa:  “We know that 90 per cent of these non-indigenes are supporters of the PDP. This is part of the APC  Janjaweed ideology to truncate democracy in this country.”  “The APC have been saying they were on top of the election, but now that it is obvious that PDP is on top, that President Goodluck Jonathan will win the election, they have resorted to causing mayhem.”  

 "Janjaweed are omnipresent. They are seen in marketplaces and within walking distance of refugee camps. They have terrorized black Africans in Darfur for more than a year."

“Janjaweed are omnipresent. They are seen in marketplaces and within walking distance of refugee camps. They have terrorized black Africans in Darfur for more than a year.”

We shared this report a year ago,  about the evil in the CAR and now there are those who are tying this in with the current violence in the Northeast of Nigeria.  Africa:  A Sinister Plot Behind the Massacre In CAR.

The Janjaweed are a ruthless group with the same ideologies as ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabob, the Seleka, and many other groups.  To form their own government, “Sharia” and rule the continent of Africa and the Middle East— with the end time goal of ruling the World.  They hate the West, they hate democracy, they hate Christians and other minorities.  They show no mercy in their murderous slaughter.  And now they have their sights on Nigeria.

Still other reports tell of the untold suffering of civilians most specifically Christians.  Doctors without Borders is desperately trying to send what aid they can.  Most have retreated to the bush as the refugee camps are either overcrowded or are not safe. The very least implication is that certified voters will be null and void as at least 1/4 of the population is displaced with more displacement every day.  Malnutrition is rampant, and disease is not far behind.  When you ask questions and seek the answers they are not hard to find, and it’s not hard to see that the interests of Africa are not for the innocent.  Pray for Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

Screenshot: From "The Devil Came On Horseback" (Janjaweed)

Screenshot: From “The Devil Came On Horseback” (Janjaweed)

Recommended:

The Devil Came On Horseback:  A documentary about the Janjaweed, a Sudanese government backed militia, who have stolen, raped and murdered Sudanese people in Darfur. (Watch)  *Very Graphic*

Religion Or Politics Or Both? Nigerian Elections Less Than 2 Weeks Away & Christians Stand The Most To Lose

 

We’ve watched Goodluck Jonathon’s governance from a distance.  We’ve reported in the past about the pressure from the west for Jonathon to instill more Muslims into his cabinet.  There was even for a short time pressure for him to negotiate with Boko Haram as the west insisted at the beginning that they were just suppressed, oppressed people who needed a voice in their government to satisfy them.  What a load of propaganda that turned out to be.

Nigeria Seeing Shift In Politics Of Religion Ahead Of Vote

Lagos (AFP) – Less than two weeks from national polls, Nigeria’s ruling party is facing unprecedented shifts in the politics of religion that could spell trouble for the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan.  via Nigeria seeing shift in politics of religion ahead of vote – Yahoo News.

Now that the election is less than 2 weeks away, besides the obvious concerns about the hundreds of thousands even millions of people displaced by Boko Haram, there is new concerns.  Concerns about religion.  Even Christians have abandoned Jonathon in favor of a muslim contender (4 time contender).  Buhari has a very checkered past as a General who ruled with less than stellar morals.

This article about the shift in politics of religion is true.  We have verified it with those on the ground.  They say “this is absolutely true, Majority of Christians are not interested in the Jonathon administration because they believe that he has failed them.   And the major reason is, he gave all the political key offices to the Muslims and they were the one controlling his administration.”

We reported back in April 2014 about the possibility of corruption in the Jonathon administration, and where the west was pressuring him to renounce his loyalties.

Given the recent escalations in the attacks from the Boko Haram, we have to ask why.  When you look at the big picture of the history of the government in Nigeria, and the events of the recent past, with the firing of top Generals and who they were replaced with, you have to ask was this done to placate the Muslim population?

 Or is there pressure from international leaders, including those in the west to form a coalition government with Muslims in power, similar to what is taking place in western nations?  In fact he had this to say after a heinous bomb attack in Abuja that killed over 70.  “We console with our country men and women, we will continue to work very hard.  The issue of Boko Haram attacks is quite an ugly history within this period of our own development.  We will do everything to make sure that we move our country forward.  These are unnecessary distractions that are pushing us backward.”   (More)

Now that Boko Haram has claimed more territory than ISIS, and is carving out a Sharia form of government for themselves, I can see why Christians are disillusioned with Jonathon. But there has been just as much negativity reported about Buhari. Below is one of many videos about Buhari’s past.  Pray for the people of Nigeria, for them to have Knowledge as they choose a leader to lead them out of this darkness, and not fall for a false promise of peace and prosperity.

Some facts about General Buhari:

  • Nigerian politician and a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army who ruled Nigeria from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.
  • Ran unsuccessfully for the office of President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, for the 2015 elections.
  • His faith is Sunni Islam.
  • In July 1966 Lieutenant Muhammadu Buhari was one of the participants in a coup led by Lt-Col Murtala Muhammed that overthrew and assassinated Nigeria’s first self-appointed military Head of State General Aguiyi Ironsi
  • In 1983, when Chadian forces invaded Nigeria in the Borno State, Buhari used the forces under his command to chase them out of the country, crossing into Chadian territory in spite of an order given by then President Shagari to withdraw. This 1983 Chadian military affair led to more than 100 victims and “prisoners of war”
  • Muhammadu Buhari has denied his role in the December 1983 coup however the example of the late Major Bamidele betrays Buhari’s complicity in the December 1983 coup.
  • Under Buhari’s rule the state security and the chief of staff were given the power to detain, without charges, individuals deemed to be a security risk to the state for up to three months.
  • Protests against Buhari’s rule were banned and the NSO were given unprecedented powers intimidating, harassing and jailing those who protested.  Critics of the regime were also jailed.

Remember what everyone in the West forgets is that the Christians of Nigeria are suffering an ethnic cleansing of genocidal proportions.  Pray for Nigeria.

nigeria people dying

“Terror,Blood and Death of Christians” When Will It Stop?

pray

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 (to act or interpose on behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition) 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

Christmas: Solidarity With The Victims Of The Massacre In Peshawar

pray-for-Christians-pakistan-Voice of the Persecuted

Our hearts and prayers are with Pakistan as it mourns these precious souls.  One Pakistani Christian remarked as these events were unfolding, “they destroyed a generation.”

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – For Christians in Pakistan, Christmas 2014 will be marked by prayers and moments of solidarity for the victims of the massacre in Peshawar, where the Taliban killed more than 130 children in an army school. Many churches have set up altars with images of victims and lighted candles. Archbishop Joseph Coutts, President of the Episcopal Conference, has launched an appeal so that the Christian community reflects on the message of hope and peace that Christmas brings. In a message sent to Fides, Peter Jacob, a Catholic activist for human rights, reports that 11 parishes and several churches in the city of Lahore have decided to cancel or postpone until after January 1, some programs and events (Christmas carol concerts, shows, games) that were planned to celebrate Christmas. According to deacon Shahid Mehraj, of the Cathedral of Lahore, “there is pain and concern” over what is seen as “an attack on the future of Pakistan”.  At Christmas, he informs “we will dedicate a special candle lighting ceremony to those who lost their lives in the attack”. “Christmas brings a message of hope to the world. The birth of Christ was also marked by a massacre of innocent children by King Herod. In the context of this bloodshed, Christ was born as a symbol of hope”, he says, pointing out the similarities with the Pakistani context today. For this, he concludes, “now is a time to spread the message of love and brotherhood in Pakistan”.  Christians remember that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was born on December 25, also for this reason the country should reflect on his vision and the country that Jinnah dreamed: a united, open, tolerant, peaceful nation, free from hatred and violence. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/12/2014)

We also want to remember Asia Bibi & those imprisoned for their faith, and the Christians there who have lost their lives for their faith in Christ.  Remember our brothers and sisters still there facing persecution.   May we always remember that Christ is the light in this darkness, and always let that light shine through us.

Pray for Pakistan

  • Pray for God’s healing power
  • Pray for God’s mercy
  • Pray for the light of Christ to shine through this darkness
  • Pray for comfort, knowledge, wisdom and guidance

Credit:  Original photo from wiki-media commons By (Matthew Bowden http://www.digitallyrefreshing.com (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/148763) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons)

Voice of the Persecuted Mourns the Death of Children in Pakistan: “My Mother cried today.”

 children_silhouette-1

(Voice of the Persecuted)Deeply saddened, we are still learning the magnitude of the slaughter of innocents in Pakistan, yesterday. A Taliban revenge attack for a military offensive against their safe havens. Reports claim that 148 have been killed and over 130 were children. And many were wounded. Since early yesterday morning, we have sat crying and praying for the survivors and victims of the Peshawar Army school attack. This is also the same city where a Taliban suicide bombing killed nearly 100 people after a church service at the All Saints Church in September 2013.

In agreement with this statement by Franklin Graham.  “What kind of evil perpetrates this kind of crime?”

He also said,

“We pray that God will comfort the families and that they would know the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. We long for the second coming of the Lord Jesus, when he will gather those who follow Him. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NKJV)

We have spoken with our contacts in Pakistan and one Christian forced to flee the nation due to extreme persecution. They describe an emotional roller coaster upon hearing the news.  Grief, anger, revenge, shock and disbelief felt all at once.  They are asking the same question over and over, “Why?”

The attack has brought international outcry from France, Britain, and the US.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Sharif  visited Peshawar and said,

“My children have been targeted in the tragedy. He said the loss of innocent children is the loss of the nation.”

He also directed his Ministers to coordinate rescue operations and instructed them to secure the safety of the children at all costs.

Muhammad Sarwar Governor of Punjab said,

“I strongly condemn the attack on school children in Peshawar and offer my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. It is heart-rendering to see innocent lives being so brutally targeted. The barbarians will surely be brought to justice for such a callous act. This remorseful incident is a national tragedy and those who concocted this heinous plan are the murderers of humanity.”

And Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa told reporters, “This is not a human act.” “This is a national tragedy.”

We asked for a translation of a video where children were interviewed after the attack. They told us a boy was saying, “First they came inside, they went up to the roof of the school and started firing over there.” They explained this was for show that they (the militants) had conquered the place, in a gesture to say ‘this is now ours’.

One child recalled, “Then the teacher said to lay down on the floor and lock the doors.” They broke in while an army nurse or doctor was training for first aid class, they broke the doors then starting firing on all the children, killing them.”   While he was giving statements, he was visibly confused, scared and still living the trauma.

Another gave a testimony while hiding under a desk that all he saw were “big black boots bringing death”.

130+ mothers will not be able to sleep for many nights. It’s hard to imagine their suffering, such a senseless tragedy. An American Pakistani said, “My mother started crying when she heard the news.” Regardless of religion, many mothers in Pakistan and around the globe are crying with those who are grieving today.

A Christian from Pakistan shared the following poem with us. It was written by another Pakistani after the attack.  The word for ‘Mother’ in this poem is ‘Ammi’.

What was my fault?
I never hurt you, Never teased you
I dont even know who are you..
I knew villians are there,
But Ammi said they are never real
If they are, then where is the superman?
I also had a big gun
but that was plastic one…
I left it with my teddy,
Over the pillow of my Daddy
My teddy would miss me every night
And so will my batman and spiderman fight
Now, Please tell my Ammi to visit my permanent bed
Tell Ammi to sing me lullaby as she said
I had heard Teachers are never wrong or deceit
She told animal walks on Four but I saw animals walking on
Two Feet
By Ashish Chauhan

Voice of the Persecuted strong condemns this violent attack. We stand with the victims and pray for their wounds physically and mentally. We pray not only for Pakistani Christians, but all people of Pakistan. Praying for peace and equality for all. God bless you, Pakistan.

Pray with us for Pakistan:

Father we ask for your comfort, your light, & your peace. Peace that passes all understanding.  We lean on you in this time of darkness.  Father we know these precious soul’s are in your arms.  We ask that you bring comfort and peace to the parents and the families.  We ask for strength and courage.  Grant your mercy, Father. Show Your love and light to the people of Pakistan.  Hold this nation in your loving arms as they grieve for their children.  Father, this touches us all, our hearts are heavy, we can’t understand the suffering of such innocence.  But we will put our faith and our trust in you.  Hold them, Father and grant healing.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen.



%d bloggers like this: