VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

Home » Posts tagged 'Christianity'

Tag Archives: Christianity

Categories

Archives

Christian Hungary on Collision Course with European Union’s Islamic ‘Blackmail’

(CBN) BUDAPEST – In a time when most of Europe is in the grips of atheism, there is a nation where Christianity seems to not only be holding its own but some say is thriving.

Imagine a government that is unabashedly Christian, that thinks Christian values are worth defending; that wants to protect and even nourish the family.

Welcome to Hungary.

A Christian Nation

Hungary’s constitution is explicitly Christian, and says that marriage is between one man and one woman and that life begins at conception. It even includes the phrase, “God bless the Hungarians.”

Hungary’s Faith Church, with 300 branches, is one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Europe, with 70,000 attendees.

Help for Persecuted Christians

And the Hungarian government has taken on the role of protecting Christianity. It’s even set up an office to help persecuted Christians worldwide.

When CBN News revealed the story of Sweden’s threat to deport Iranian actress Aideen Strandsson back to certain prison and torture in Islamic Iran, only one nation stepped up and offered her asylum: Hungary.

The Hungarian government says, “Taking in persecuted Christians is our moral and constitutional duty.”

Returning to Its Christian Roots

Hungarian policy analyst István Pócza says Hungary has only returned to its roots as a historic bastion of Christianity, dating back over a thousand years.

“Hungary wants to protect the European values; European Christian Jewish values,” he told CBN News.

Christianity in Hungary has survived almost 200 years of Muslim Ottoman rule and Soviet Communist domination.

Secretary of State Zoltán Kovács told us, “You have to stick to your traditions and legacies. Europe’s legacy is a Christian legacy, not necessarily in a religious form but most definitely in a cultural form.”

Resisting Islamization

And it’s this belief that has Hungary locked in a battle with the European Union over migrants.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Mihály Orbán has accused the European Union of trying to Islamize Europe, and Hungary has infuriated Brussels by building a fence to keep illegal migrants out.

Orbán has essentially told the European Union to ‘take a hike’ when it comes to open borders. Hungary has seen the terrorism and chaos caused by migration in Western Europe and has said, “not here.”

The European Union has even gone to court to force Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to take in migrants. Mr. Oban has accused Brussels of “blackmail.”

“Securing the borders to stop illegal migration is indeed a solution, and this is actually the only way to reinstate law and order at the borders of the European union, and not the other way around,” Kovács told CBN News.

Islam Matters

Kovács says it matters that most of the migrants trying to enter Hungary are Muslim. And he says Western European nations are paying a heavy price by pretending that Islam doesn’t matter.

“We’ve been living with and close to Islam for centuries in the past and we know about it. So, that’s why it does matter who has come in and in what manner people are coming,” Kovács told CBN News.

Orbán Is No Putin, Or Is He?

Orbán is often portrayed in the western media as a version of Vladimir Putin; an undemocratic strongman. In fact, at an EU summit in 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reportedly greeted Orbán with the words, “Hello, dictator.”

Hungary is most certainly not a dictatorship. But Orbán’s critics accuse him of corruption and using the instruments of government against his political opponents, including the recent billboard campaign against billionaire George Soros.

Tamás Lattmann of the Institute of International Relations told us, “What we see in Hungary today is the shameless use of public money, of tax money to formulate pro-government messages.”

Bulcsú Hunyadi of the Political Capital Policy Research and Consulting Institute said, “Since 2008 the Hungarian government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been continuously weakening the system of checks and balances and weakening democratic institutions.”

But Orbán, a man who even his critics concede is a skilled politician, doesn’t seem to have a serious political rival, and he will probably remain in power, meaning Hungary’s standoff with the European Union over migrants is likely to escalate.

Is also means that Hungary will continue to have a government that thinks Christianity is worth protecting.

The Precarious State of Middle East Christians

Mid-East-map-mag
By Lee Smith

(AINA) Klaus Wivel is a reporter writing for the Danish weekly Weekendavisen. His book about Middle Eastern Christians, The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands, was just published in the United States. Wivel sat down with me recently to discuss his book, the Christian community in the Middle East, how those Christians are received in Europe, and what the future holds.

THE WEEKLY STANDARD: What drew you to the story of Middle East Christians?

KLAUS WIVEL: I started writing about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 1998. At the time of the Second Intifada, 2000-2005, it became increasingly evident that Palestinian Christians felt vulnerable. They had been an instrumental part of the Palestinian national movement, but the character of Palestinian nationalism shifted in a more Islamic direction during those years. The Christians told me that they felt like strangers in their own land, and began to leave by the thousands. I was told by Christians in Bethlehem that if the emigration kept going at this pace, no Christians would be left in a couple of decades, besides a few monks and custodians maintaining the holy sites. Being only two percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, this assessment wasn’t an exaggeration.

Around 2006 even more catastrophic news made its way from Iraq where it was stated that up to two thirds of the Christian population–among the oldest in the world–had left the country. Several churches were bombed, priests were killed, Christians were kidnapped by the thousands, and whole areas of the major cities Baghdad and Mosul were being evicted.

Then in 2011, following the Arab Spring and the ouster of then-president Hosni Mubarak, the same stories were heard in Egypt. Christians here, too, were under attack and with even less protection from the security forces than they’d received under Mubarak. I decided at that point to travel to the area to investigate the story myself.

TWS: How does the Sunni-Shiite conflict affect Middle East Christians?

WIVEL: In Iraq, Christians were caught in the middle during the war. It’s worth remembering that the Christians in Iraq where not a part of the civil war and had no armed militias. They were left more or less unprotected. Both Shiites and Sunnis would kill or kidnap Christians, although it’s unclear whether their crimes had anything to do with religion or sectarian strife or if it was simply local thugs using the shield of militant jihad to get rich from hostage taking.

In Syria it’s a little different. Here the Christians have been allied with the Assad regime, made up of Alawites, who constitute a heterodox branch of Shia Islam. For that reason Sunnis have attacked Christians who are seen as Assad loyalists.

In Lebanon the Christians are divided against themselves. One part has been aligned with the Sunnis since the pro-democracy March 14 movement ousted the Syrians from Lebanon following the murder of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005. The other part of the Lebanese Christian community, led by Michel Aoun, is siding with Hezbollah.

TWS: What do the Middle East Christians want from the Christians of the West, especially North America and Europe?

WIVEL: Attention. Many of the Christians I met were baffled by the fact that the Christian West was not up in arms about this. But it’s a delicate matter. Some Christians think–especially among the clergy–that if Western governments state the case of the persecution of the Christians too forcefully, they will really place the Christians in the poisonous position of being accused of being lackeys of the West.

I’m certain that this was one of the main reasons why Western governments gave no warnings about the persecution of Iraqi Christians during the Iraqi war. They feared that if they did that, the invasion would be viewed as a Christian invasion, a “crusade”, a word President Bush learned the hard way never to use again. It was a fair point, but silence didn’t help either. Today there are hardly any Christians left in the areas outside of Kurdistan.

This is why it was important when Secretary of State John Kerry recognized Islamic State atrocities against minorities as a genocide. Nonetheless, Christians and Yazidis living in Kurdish refugee camps lack everything, including the most basic supplies like food and medicine. This is a scandal. If we can’t find the means to help the ones who are still in the area it’s no wonder millions of refugees are going to Europe. Our priorities need to be fixed.

TWS: Have lots of Middle East Christians found refuge in Europe? Are you working with Christian groups in Europe now to help Christians from the Middle East?

WIVEL: Many don’t realize the dire nature of the situation. In my home country, Denmark–officially a Christian nation, but among the most secular places on the planet–the most unpleasant experience a priest ever will encounter is preaching to an empty church. Middle Eastern Christians tend to choose to go to the Americas. They view Europe as a post-Christian society. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, the Swedish town of Södertälje has welcomed Christian immigrants since the 1970s, first from Turkey, then from Syria, and since 2003 from Iraq. Södertälje accepted more refugees from the Iraqi war than the US did.

TWS: How does this end for Middle East Christians? The Jews built their own state, but this is unlikely with the Christians. So does someone step in and save their towns and regions, or is this a community on the verge of disappearing?

WIVEL: There’s certainly a feeling among the Iraqi Christians that after 2000 years the Christian presence in Iraq, outside of the Kurdish area, is finished. Everyone knows that Sunni Muslim locals helped Islamic State in pointing out where the Christians lived in the summer of 2014 so that they could be evicted, enslaved or killed. Even if Islamic State is defeated the distrust toward the locals is monumental.

Many call for a safe zone in the Nineveh Plains guarded by troops from the international community, but that’s doubtful. In other Arab countries like Egypt, Christians will continue to leave, but since there are several millions still living there, there will continue to be Christian presence for a long time. There are two things preventing Middle East Christians from leaving. First is that there is no Christian version of Israel where they can find refuge in the region. Second, migration to the West is becoming increasingly difficult. Europeans are not more welcoming of Christians than of Muslims.

VOP PRAYER REQUEST:

With no end to radicalism and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East in sight, the signs seem to point to the prophesies and intensifying violence and battle in this war torn region. No matter your political or spiritual view regarding the current unrest, as Christians we can unite on the front line in the fight together in prayer.

  • Almighty God, in the name of Jesus defend your faithful in their time of need. Help them endure all that may come against them. Comfort them in their suffering, fear and grief.
  • We pray freedom for those held captive.
  • We ask that you intervene when violence and evil plots against your people.
  • Father, help them to forgive.
  • Oh God, give us your heart for the persecuted Church and for the persecutors.
  • Refresh your Church with the Holy Spirit.
  • May your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
  • Come quickly Lord Jesus, our Savior.

In His Holy name, we ask these things. Amen.

 

What’s the future look like for Christianity? The State of Religion – April 30, 2016 (CBN)

A look at the state of the religion in the U.S., Europe, and the world.

MARCH 21, This Day in Christian History: On a Sinking Ship, John Newton is Converted by Amazing Grace

amazing grace

Watch and share the documentary below. To be at sea in a storm on an ocean liner can be thrilling. To face a storm in a sailing vessel that is not seaworthy can be terrifying. The boat in which John Newton sailed was in disrepair and its sails and rigging worn. A hard man who had often mocked God, John was considered impious even by his godless mates.

One night, he was awakened by a violent wave crashing against the vessel. Water filled his cabin. Hurrying above, he found that timbers had been ripped away. All were in terrible danger as the ship plunged through a furious storm. Men pumped desperately. Clothes and bedding were stuffed into holes and boards nailed over them. John joined those who were manning the pumps.

Too exhausted to pump any longer, he was lashed to the wheel to try and steer the ship. The storm raged on and on. It was bitterly cold, more so since the men had few clothes left. In this desperate moment, John began to review his life. Raised to the age of seven by a Christian mother, he had sought the Lord with fasts and prayers, but failing to find God he had become embittered. Despite this, the Lord preserved him through many dangers. Once he was even made a servant to slaves on the West coast of Africa.

In his heart, he believed Christianity to be true. This brought him no consolation. “I concluded my sins were too great to be forgiven. I waited with fear and impatience to receive my doom.” But soon he heard the glad news that the ship was freed of water. “I began to pray…to think of that Jesus that I had so often derided; I recollected his death: a death for sins not his own, but, as I remembered, for the sake of those who should put their trust in him.” On this day, March 21, 1747(new calendar) a day he ever after observed, John realized he needed a Savior to intercede for him with God.

He snatched a free moment to open the Bible and begin to read. Though the storm raged on for days, John spent every free moment in the Scripture and praying for guidance. Hungry, cold, exhausted, the men kept the ship afloat. Only one died of exhaustion but the Captain muttered that John ought to be thrown overboard like Jonah; he claimed John’s wickedness was the cause of all their misery. Finally, they reached Ireland.

By then John was convinced the Lord had reached down and delivered his soul. The story of the Prodigal Son seemed to exactly fit his case. He never turned back from that day of salvation, although, not realizing slavery was a sin, he worked six years as a slave ship master. He showed kindness to the slaves he transported, held worship services for his men and wrote hymns for them. Later he saw that slavery was wrong and became an abolitionist and a minister. Reflecting on his hard life, he wrote one of the world’s most loved hymns: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” Christianity.com

Follow VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED on Facebook and Twitter

HELP SAVE PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate the horrific suffering of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 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

Video and Persecution Story Behind the Song ‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus’

(Voice of the Persecuted) The story of the song is covered in the Book by Dr. P.P. Job and Indian preacher in His book “Why God Why” About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales, England. As a result of this, many missionaries came from England and Germany to North-East India to spread the Gospel. At the time, north-east India was not divided into many states as it is today. The region was known as Assam and comprised hundreds of tribes. The tribal communities were quite primitive and aggressive by nature.

The tribals were also called head-hunters because of a social custom which required the male members of the community to collect as many heads as possible. A man’s strength and ability to protect his wife was assessed by the number of heads he had collected. Therefore, a youth of marriageable age would try and collect as many heads as possible and hang them on the walls of his house. The more heads a man had, the more eligible he was considered.

Into this hostile and aggressive community, came a group of Welsh missionaries spreading the message of love, peace and hope of Jesus Christ. Naturally, they were not welcomed. One Welsh missionary succeeded in converting a man, his wife, and two children. This man’s faith proved contagious and many villagers began to accept Christianity. Angry, the village chief summoned all the villagers. He then called the family who had first converted to renounce their faith in public or face execution.

Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man instantly composed a song which became famous down the years. He sang:

I have decided to follow Jesus. (3 times)
No turning back, no turning back.

Enraged at the refusal of the man, the chief ordered his archers to arrow down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the floor, the chief asked, “Will you deny your faith? You have lost both your children. You will lose your wife too.” But the man sang these words in reply:

Though None Go With Me, Still I Will Follow (3Times)
No Turning Back, No Turning Back.

The chief was beside himself with fury and ordered his wife to be arrowed down. In a moment, she joined her two children in death. Now he asked for the last time, “I will give you one more opportunity to deny your faith and live.”
In the face of death the man sang the final memorable lines:

The World Behind Me, The Cross Before Me (3 times)
No Turning Back, No Turning Back.

He was shot dead like the rest of his family. But with their deaths, a miracle took place. The chief who had ordered the killings was moved by the faith of the man. He wondered, “Why should this man, his wife and two children die for a Man who lived in a far-away land on another continent some 2,000 years ago? There must be some supernatural power behind the family, and I too want that supernatural power.”

In a spontaneous confession of faith, he declared, “I too belong to Jesus Christ!” When the crowd heard this from the mouth of their chief, the whole village accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. This is the power of God in demonstrated in true faith. NO TURNING BACK!


via James on Youtube

Navy quashes effort to fire chaplain who counseled according to his beliefs | Tennessee Christian News ™

navy -bible

MILLINGTON, Tenn. — Top Navy officials have quashed an effort by a commander at the Nuclear Power Training Command in South Carolina to fire a chaplain. Capt. J.R. Fahs relieved Lt. Cmdr. Chaplain Wes Modder from duty allegedly because he offered counseling on sexuality consistent with his Christian faith.

Fahs recommended that Modder be “detached for cause” after some service members who went to the chaplain filed a complaint against him for offering counsel they didn’t agree with but was nonetheless consistent with the chaplain’s faith. Navy Personnel Command rejected the recommendation Thursday, saying that the “evidence of substandard performance in this case does not meet the standard of gross negligence or complete disregard for duty” that Navy rules require for a detachment for cause.

“The Navy should be commended for ruling in accord with its own understanding and expectation that chaplains provide counsel according to the tenets of their faith,” said Chaplain (COL) Ron Crews, USA Retired, executive director of Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “No disciplinary action, then, can cite his religious views or his verbalization of them as a cause for the action. Further, Congress passed language in the National Defense Authorization Act to make clear that chaplains who provide ministry from their faith tradition are protected from adverse actions by command.”

READ FULL ARTICLE AT:  Tennessee Christian News ™

Ex-Muslims Lighting the Way for Islam’s Collapse?

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, why are so many Muslims leaving their faith? Some believe the collapse of Islam is on the horizon

In Egypt, God is moving in a BIG way!

Egyptian Coptic Christians carry a cross and chant prayers during a candlelight protest marking one week since sectarian clashes with soldiers and riot police at a protest against an attack on a church in southern Egypt, at Abassaiya Cathedral in Cairo

Since January 18, 2011, Egypt has been in a state of civil and political unrest, but in the midst of the violence and uncertainty, God is moving in a BIG way.

Eyes Open from Moving Works on Vimeo.

%d bloggers like this: