Sunday, July 31, 2011

DEATH PENALTY UPHELD FOR CHURCH LEADER

Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was convicted of apostasy from Islam in September 2010. The pastor had appealed against his conviction, but a written verdict from the court has now confirmed that the appeal was unsuccessful. The death penalty will be annulled if the father of two renounces his faith.
Youcef (33), who was born to Muslim parents, was arrested in October 2009 for objecting to the teaching of Islam to Christian children in schools. The charges against him were later changed to apostasy and evangelising Muslims. His wife, Fatemeh Passandideh, was arrested in June 2010 and sentenced to life in prison. Supporters say that this was an attempt to pressurise the pastor to renounce his faith, but he remained steadfast. Fatemeh was released on appeal in October after four months in prison.
If the sentence is carried out, it would be the first execution for apostasy in Iran since Hossein Soodmand in 1990.
In another incident, Christian student Mostafa Zangooyee (24) was detained for sharing his faith at the university he attends on 30 June. He remains in custody.
Pray for protection for Youcef and others who are in prison for their faith; pray that the death sentence will not be carried out and that he will soon be released unharmed.
Give thanks for Mostafa’s boldness in witnessing for Christ despite the dangers that Christians face in Iran.

BARNABAS FUND
EMAIL NEWS SERVICE
About us: Barnabas Fund works to support Christian communities around the world where they are facing poverty and persecution.

International Website: www.barnabasfund.org
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thirty Days of Prayer For the Persecuted During Ramadan

SANTA ANA, CA (ANS Wednesday, July 20, 2011 )

With the start of the month-long Islamic fast called Ramadan that begins Aug. 1, Open Doors USA is launching a 30-day campaign urging Christians in the West to pray with persecuted believers in Muslim-dominated countries.
During August most Muslims will fast from dawn until dusk, seeking to shed their sins through acts of restraint. They believe this is a time of purification accomplished through good deeds and self-control.
To guide Christian’s prayers during Ramadan, Open Doors USA is offering a Ramadan Prayer Calendar. The calendar has multiple prayer points designed to help Christians pray with persecuted Christians around the world during the 30 days.
“Ramadan is a time when Christians are especially isolated in some Muslim-dominated countries,” says Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller. “This is why it is so important for us to unite in prayer with persecuted Christians throughout the world. I urge you to use the Open Doors resources to pray with our brothers and sisters.”
Eight of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments, while 38 of the top 50 on the list are Muslim-dominated societies. Those eight countries include Iran (2), Afghanistan (3), Saudi Arabia (4), Somalia (5), Maldives (6), Yemen (7), Iraq (8) and Uzbekistan (9).
Approximately seven months ago, protests for reforms began in the country of Tunisia. Egypt, Libya and Syria soon followed. The movement is called “Arab Spring.” Throughout these “Arab Spring” protests, some Christians in these countries have faced intensified persecution, especially in Egypt. The observance of Ramadan could increase pressure on believers.
Less than two weeks after the end of Ramadan, Sept. 11 will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Muslim terrorist attacks against America.
“It is vital that we pray for both Christians and Muslims during this anniversary,” says Michele Miller, Director of Open Doors Prayer Ministries. “Prayer has changed the hearts of millions, so it is also important to pray past the month of Ramadan.”
During Ramadan Open Doors USA will be sending out daily emails with a story from a Muslim-dominated country, prayer requests and a call to action. For instance, this is from Day 19 on the Ramadan Prayer Calendar: “For Takoosh, whose husband was killed by the Iranian government, Jesus’ command to love her enemies was impossible. Hatred filled her heart….and then she prayed. From the depths of her heart love poured out releasing forgiveness.”
To sign up for these resources and for more information on the campaign, visit the Open Doors USA website at http://www.opendoorsusa.org/pray/Ramadan .
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Emily Fuentes at 949-413-6721 or email EmilyF@odusa.org)
Now available “The Privilege of Persecution” by Dr. Carl A. Moeller & David W. Hegg
http://www.privilegeofpersecution.com
PO Box 27001
Santa Ana, CA 92799

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA
Visit our web site at: www.assistnews.net -- E-mail: assistnews@aol.com


Thirty Days of Prayer For the Persecuted During Ramadan
Open Doors USA Offers Prayer Calendar to Use To Pray with Christians in Muslim-Dominated Countries

For Immediate Release
Emily Fuentes
Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
Open Doors USA
Tel: 949-413-6721
emilyb@odusa.org
www.OpenDoorsUSA.org

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cameron is not a consevative.

THE TEXT OF DAVID CAMERON‘S SPEECH
Given to assorted homosexual activists 22nd June 2011

You‘re all extraordinarily welcome here at Number 10 Downing Street.

I‘m just sorry that because of the uncertainty over the weather, that while we‘re out, we‘re not out in the garden, like we were last year, I‘m afraid.

Ever since the government held drought talks, it hasn‘t stopped raining.

It‘s great to have this reception here today. I was just thinking, someone told me that if Sir Ian McKellen was here, I could say I had the Queen and Prince Phillip here for lunch yesterday, Sir Ian today. Who can say they‘ve had two of Britain‘s most prominent queens over in 48 hours? (Cue raucous ribald laughter.)

I think we‘ve got a lot to celebrate in Britain when it comes to issues for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Recently, Britain was named the best place for gay equality in Europe. I don‘t think that means we should be complacent.

I think it is a huge testament to the work of the last government and I believe what this government has done as well. It‘s great to see politicians from all parties here. But I just want to say one thing that made me very proud in the House of Commons today, it was a Conservative member of parliament who stood up and congratulated the government on the reception for a section of society that wouldn‘t have happened years ago. Iain Stewart asked that question. I‘m proud he asked that question, I‘m proud I was able to answer it, it shows that all organisations can change.

There‘s a couple of things the government has done that I think have moved this agenda forward, which I want to mention. The first is actually laying the groundwork for having civil partnerships in religious institutions. I think that is a good step forward and I‘m glad that it‘s happening. I also think wiping the slate clean for consensual sexual offences for gay men, that is something we promised as a coalition and we have delivered. Another thing is the huge survey that is being carried out on transgender issues.

I think frankly though we have other areas where we could improve. But there are three I just wanted to mention tonight, that I think we should really focus on, not just as a government but as a country.

The first is the issue of homophobia in sport, and I think it‘s great that tonight, in Number 10, we‘ve got representatives and governing bodies of almost every single sport that I can think of, here signing a charter saying it‘s time to put an end to homophobia and trying to give sports stars who want to come out the confidence to come out.

It‘s a huge honour to have here in Number 10 Downing Street not just Gareth Thomas, not just Ben Cohen, who is doing great campaigning work, but also a great heroine of mine – and in Wimbledon week, amazing to get her here – Billie Jean King.

But frankly there‘s a lot more we need to do. There is an absolutely tiny number of sports personalities who have felt able to come out and we should be doing far more for those who don‘t feel comfortable enough to do that. And that links to the second issue that I want to mention and that is the issue of homophobic bullying in schools, which is still a huge problem in our country.

And frankly, the two issues are interlinked because young people need role models and if we don‘t have enough role models, enough positive role models, then behaviour won‘t change. So I think that while government clearly has a huge role, in making sure we tackle bullying, in making sure headteachers have the powers they need and making sure we address the issue properly, it‘s not just a government problem or a legal problem, it‘s a societal problem. Sport has a massive influence.

The third issue, where I think we are making progress as a government, and I think an area where we have the ability to make progress, is the fact that gay people can be appallingly treated in other parts of the world, particularly in Africa.

Now, we‘ve had to make a lot of difficult decisions as a government and we‘ve had to make lots of tough decisions but I‘m very proud of the fact, in spite of the fact that it‘s not always popular, we have made the difficult, but I believe the right, decision, to maintain a commitment to 0.7 per cent of our national income going in aid to the poorest countries by 2013. It‘s a huge commitment for Britain to make, alone in the world. Everywhere is breaking their promises … we are keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world. And I think this is right morally because as a rich country, we should be helping the poorest people in the world.

But it also has a spin-off benefit of giving us some moral authority in the world to talk to other leaders and governments about our relationship with them and what we expect from them. I‘m very proud of the fact we [put] huge pressure on the leader of Malawi about an issue in that country but I‘m convinced we can do more. We have got the ability to speak to African leaders, African governments, about this issue that I know concerns everyone here tonight. And it concerns me.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wise words. Camoron take note.

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity, by legislating the wealth out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Let’s pray for Rupert Murdoch, not prey upon him

ASSIST News Service (ANS) - PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609-0609 USA Wednesday, July 20, 2011
By Mark A. Kellner
Special to ASSIST News Service

FULTON, MD (ANS) -- Just about the easiest thing in the world right now is to join the mob piling on Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, his son, James, and others associated with the recent “hacking” scandals at the now-shuttered “News of the World” tabloid newspaper in London.


Rupert Murdoch

The horrible notion of “News of the World” reporters “hacking” into the voice mail of a missing teenage girl (who was later found murdered), potentially causing all sorts of problems for the investigation and grief for her family and friends, is repulsive. Those who are criminally responsible must to face judgment. Those with moral responsibility may escape the bar of justice in this life, but believers know there’s another “court” where we shall each, and all, be judged. One’s only hope there is the blood of Jesus, applied to one’s sins through acceptance of Christ as savior and Lord. That’s true whether you’re a corporate chairman, or the charwoman who cleans the corporate office.

Having said this, how then should Christians view Rupert Murdoch? The easiest thing, as mentioned, is to pile on, offer criticism and smugly say, “Well, I would never buy ‘News of the World’ or read those kind of papers. I’m a believer, after all!”

Well, do you have a New International Version of the Bible in your home? Chances are, it was published by a subsidiary of a subsidiary of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp. Do you watch the fine nature programming on the National Geographic Channel? That’s a News Corp. property, too. And do you rely on Barron’s or The Wall Street Journal for stock market news and investment advice? You guessed it; Mr. Murdoch’s company owns both of these titles.

I’m not suggesting that by owning HarperCollins Publishers, which owns Zondervan, Mr. Murdoch somehow absolves himself, or News Corp., of any transgressions. But the folks at Zondervan have, I’m sure, absolutely nothing at all to do with the misdeeds at “News of the World.” To boycott the NIV, or Zondervan, or NatGeo, as the cable venture is called, because of this is to cut off our own nose to spite what’s left of our countenance. If the NIV is your favored translation, buy one from Zondervan and be at peace. You’re not financing “tabloid trash,” you’re helping employ Christian editors, designers, marketers, authors and translators.

Moreover, while Mr. Murdoch may have some things to answer for (as I have, and as have you, in all likelihood), he’s done something very important: he’s kept newspapers alive.

I’ll admit a bias here: while I have never worked for a News Corp. entity, I admire and respect several of them, and, more important, many of the people I know at these outlets. There are fine, committed, hardworking journalists at Fox News Channel who in my opinion report the facts fairly, present good reporting, and even shine a much-welcome spotlight on faith, without ridiculing believers. The Wall Street Journal regularly publishes intelligent articles about faith and its impact in culture, in its “Houses of Worship” column, something you don’t see in many places.

Even Mr. Murdoch’s brassy, sometimes brazen, New York Post has provided jobs for dozens and dozens of people over the years, and this because Rupert Murdoch bought it in the mid-1970s and kept it going. There’s a lot of gossip and garishness in the paper, yes, but it’s also unearthed scandals and fought for the “little” guy, and gal, of its readership.

The easy thing is to join the facile sniping of many so-called “elites,” who are joyfully bleating about Mr. Murdoch’s alleged transgressions and his soon-arriving comeuppance. However, I don’t believe Jesus would want to do that, or would want me to do that.

If you look through the Gospel of John, as a speaker pointed out during a morning worship I attended recently, you find Jesus going to people and meeting their needs, whether it was the master of the wedding feast, Nicodemus, the woman at the well, or the crippled man at the pool in Bethesda who had no help. When each of these had a need: supply for a banquet, salvation for their soul, peace of mind, or healing, Jesus met that need, and supernaturally. He didn’t censure or judge the cripple, He didn’t hand Nicodemus an Alpha Course and tell the Jewish leader to come back when the lessons were done. His “witnessing” was in loving and serving those in need.

Right now, at least some of the people who work for – and depend upon News Corporation - are very likely in need of peace of mind and the ability to move forward. Might I be so bold as to suggest that Rupert Murdoch, despite his presumed power and wealth, might also benefit from a spot of encouragement right now?

Not having his telephone number or e-mail address, I can’t contact Mr. Murdoch directly. But I can pray for him, for his employees and, well, for each of us. Care to join me?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

From Freedom Firm

Karishma was only 12 years old when she was rescued from a filthy brothel by the highway. You can imagine how thrilled we were when she declared, “From now on I want my life to matter and make it something really special.” Karishma was the first child Freedom Firm rescued five years ago. Since then our investigative team has rescued 160 more girls. Our social workers regularly visit and counsel rescued girls in government homes and in our aftercare home in Ooty, south India. Karishma graduated from the Ooty aftercare program on her birthday July 5th, 2011 and is looking forward to a new level of independence and freedom.

Six brothel keepers were sentenced from five to seven years in prison as a direct result of Freedom Firm’s legal efforts in 2010. Currently another 50 cases are moving forward through the Indian legal system. We are passionate about working with local police and government officials to free young women enslaved in the sex trade.

Would you give a girl a chance to be free and strike a blow to sex trafficking in India by making a donation or giving regularly to Freedom Firm? As a reminder of your participation, we will send you a key chain made by a rescued girl. Thank you for your concern for girls as precious to God as your daughter or sister. Your gifts and prayers make a difference.

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CHRISTIANS AT RISK AS ISLAMISTS PLAN MAJOR TERRORIST CAMPAIGN IN NIGERIA

Tuesday 19 July 2011 from Barnabas Fund

Islamist militant group Boko Haram are stepping up attacks in Northern Nigeria, with churches and Christians among their main targets, ahead of plans to mark the anniversary of their founder’s death at the end of the month in a “big way”.

Churches have been targeted in anti-Christian violence over recent months
The threat comes amid a spate of deadly bomb blasts on churches, police bases, markets, and bars as well as the assassination of Christians, politicians, security personnel and Muslim critics. Boko Haram, which is also known as “the Nigerian Taliban”, is fighting to establish an Islamic state in the North.
Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, where Boko Haram was formed in 2002, has been worst hit by the violence, which is spreading to other Northern states. The group has carried out at least 20 deadly attacks in Maiduguri since the beginning of the year, forcing the state university to close on 11 July and thousands of people to flee.
CHURCHES TARGETED
Two churches in Suleja, Niger State, were attacked in the space of two days. Four people were killed and seven more seriously injured in an explosion at one church during a committee meeting after the service on 10 July. The blast was so severe that a neighbouring church was also damaged. The following day, a bomb was thrown into the grounds of another church, damaging the outer walls, during a prayer service. Nobody was injured on that occasion.
On 7 June, church leader David Usman and Hamman Andrew, the assistant secretary of his Maiduguri church, were shot dead. Gunmen reportedly arrived on motorbikes as the church was concluding a meeting; they shot Mr Andrew and ordered that someone phone and inform the pastor. He rushed to the church, where the gunmen were lying in wait to shoot him also.
Another church in Maiduguri was bombed twice in the space of a week; ten people died in the blasts on the 1 and 7 June.
Churches are being guarded by security personnel, who are stopping and searching people after a woman pretending to be a Christian worshipper was caught trying to smuggle a bomb into a church in Maiduguri on 26 June.
Some churches are reportedly shutting down or rescheduling their services in a bid to outmanoeuvre militants who plan their attacks around service times to cause most carnage.
MOUNTING THREAT
Boko Haram, which means “Western (or un-Islamic) education is forbidden”, was founded by Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf, a religious teacher. On 26 July 2009, the group launched an uprising in Maiduguri that was quashed by the military. Their founding leader was arrested and died in police custody on 31 July, prompting the group to declare, on 9 August, that they had “started a Jihad in Nigeria”. They threatened to render the country ungovernable and warned that Nigeria would be Islamised by force.
In June 2010, Boko Haram formalised its links with al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is seeking to gain “strategic depth” in sub-Saharan Africa; the latter’s leader Abu Mousab Abdel Wadoud pledged that the international jihadist movement would assist Boko Haram with weapons and training. Terrorism analyst Yossef Bodansky warned in August 2010 that the AQIM link could lead to the emergence of “spectacular terrorism” al-Qaeda style, such as suicide bombings, which had not previously been seen in Nigeria. On 16 June this year, his prediction was proved correct as Boko Haram perpetrated the first ever suicide bombing in the country. Eight people were killed and dozens wounded when the bomber targeted the police headquarters in Abuja.
Attacks have been waged against the authorities with increasing intensity “because they are not protecting Islam”, Boko Haram said in a statement in April this year. They said:
We will never accept any system of governance apart from the one described by Islam because that is the only way Muslims can be liberated.
A further statement, issued in June, warned that Boko Haram “commandos” had completed their training in Somalia and would consequently be “stepping up attacks in the coming weeks in all northern states”.
The group has now threatened to mark the 31 July anniversary of Yusuf’s death in a “big way”; the authorities are bracing themselves for a major terror campaign by the group at the end of the month.
GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
Christian President Goodluck Jonathan, whose re-election in April sparked widespread anti-Christian violence, has offered to open talks with Boko Haram. But the group has refused to engage in dialogue, saying that sharia law must be implemented across Northern Nigeria before this can take place.
A joint military task force has been established to combat the militants, but soldiers have been heavily criticised for allegedly committing human rights abuses and shooting innocent civilians in their efforts to quash the uprising.
President Jonathan is now coming under mounting pressure to declare a state of emergency in Borno State to bring the escalating situation under control. The battle against Boko Haram looks set to become one of the defining features of his presidency; it is one he must win to prevent Nigeria from descending into lawlessness and ever-deepening division between the majority-Muslim North and predominantly Christian South.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

ARMENIA – Legal threat to Christian activity

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Christian groups in Armenia are concerned over a hardening of official attitudes towards non-orthodox church groups as the draft of a new religious law is unveiled.

The proposed new Religion Law – and amendments to other existing legislation – is of greatest concern, particularly sections relating to 'improper proselytising' and the compulsory registration of communities with more than 25 adult members. The proposed crime of 'improper proselytism' or 'soul hunting' would carry a maximum penalty of two years' imprisonment. Groups refusing to register would face fines of up to 600 times the minimum monthly wage.

Some elements of the Christian community say these proposed changes represent a significant hardening in attitudes towards religious minorities and non-orthodox church groups, and may be used to repress or curb their activities, according to Forum 18 news service.

The drafts of these laws were posted on the Justice Ministry's website on July 12. The Government says it is currently inviting comment on the drafts.

The proposed laws come against a backdrop of reports of increasing religious intolerance and mounting pressure on non-Orthodox Armenian Christians – from officials, media and the dominant Armenian Apostolic Church. Forum 18 sources suggest that the Armenian Apostolic Church, which it describes as being seen as a 'socio-political organisation' with close ties to the Government, has been involved in drafting the restrictive clauses. The media have falsely described some churches as 'sects'.

A case cited as an example of this harassment is the criminal trial of Pentecostal pastor Vladimir Bagdasaryan from Sevan, a city in Gegharkunik province. He is on trial for 'obstructing the lawful professional activities of a journalist' – after he resisted a TV crew's attempts to enter and film his church without his permission. His defence team's closing address was scheduled for a hearing on July 13 and a verdict is now awaited.

Pastor Vladimir told Forum 18 that he expects to be convicted and fined. Even though the prosecution has suggested he could be pardoned under a presidential amnesty and not made to pay a fine, the pastor is concerned he would still have a criminal record. His supporters say the case should never have come to trial.

Armenia is still officially 94 per cent Christian. Of this figure, 84 per cent are Orthodox, according to Operation World.

(Sources: Forum 18, Operation World)

• Pray for unity among the church in Armenia. Pray that Christians of all denominations will recognise their nation's rich Christian heritage and work together to build God's kingdom.
• Pray that draft religious laws will be amended so that Armenian legislation will uphold religious freedom rather than promote religious intolerance.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This man makes Wilders sound moderate

Click on my title to see.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Christians flee northern city as militant sect plan massive assault

Christians in northern Nigeria’s Borno state are stopping church services and fleeing their homes following a spate of attacks by militant Islamists. Ten Christians were killed in two bombings on 1st and 7th of June after the attackers stormed a church service and threw bombs into the premises. Another four Christians were killed on 16 June following a similar attack on a Brethren Church and other churches have reported attacks and threats.
In Maiduguri, Christians are streaming out of the city. Churches bold enough to open, have rescheduled their worship services, to outmanoeuvre militants who knew that most services start at 10 a.m.
The bombings are being attributed to the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The group has carried out over 20 deadly attacks in the city since the beginning of the year, the state university has closed indefinitely, and hundreds of people are reported to be fleeing the city following a weekend of violence that left at least 30 people dead, some allegedly at the hands of the security services.
In June, Boko Haram issued an online statement warning that it's "commandos" had completed their “training in Somalia", and would consequently be "stepping up attacks in the coming weeks in all northern states", particularly in places "such as Plateau, Kaduna, Taraba, Benue … [and] especially in Kaduna."
Open Doors has also received reports that the deposed and ailing patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Abune Antonios, is in poor health after maintaining another hunger strike to protest his own circumstances and his government's interference in Orthodox Church business. Under house arrest since 2005, the 84-year-old clergyman is still prevented from receiving visitors and refused the diet required for his diabetes.
Dr. Abdulateef Adegbite, secretary-general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, pleaded with members of Boko Haram to put an end to the senseless killings. "Our plea is that you cease fire and embrace peace," he said. "We can't continue to go on like this."
Prayer Resources for Nigeria:
www.opendoorsuk.org/praybycountry
Source: Compass News Direct, CSW
Please pray:
1.    For the families of Christians who have been killed or injured, that they would know God’s peace and healing at this time.
2.    That the government will take decisive action to address the country’s Christian/Muslim divide.
3.    That Boko Haram members behind the Jihadi attacks will be revealed and disabled from causing further violence.

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NIGERIA: CSW calls for urgent prayer over Islamist violence 13/07/2011

Last week CSW reported that the Boko Haram sect had attacked the security forces, bars, markets, churches and Muslim opponents in the north-eastern state of Borno. Since then, at least four more attacks have taken place, with violence spreading to other states.

Militant Islamist sect expands its attacks

On Monday 11 July, suspected members of the Boko Haram sect threw a bomb at a church building in Madalla, a suburb of Suleja in Niger State, where congregation members were holding their weekly prayer meeting. The bomb fell short of the building, damaging the outer walls, but causing no injuries. The church is part of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) denomination, which suffered great losses during the recent electoral violence.
On 10 July in the same town, a bomb was detonated at the All Christian-Fellowship Mission during a church committee meeting, killing three people and injuring three others.
On the same day in the neighbouring state of Kaduna, several people were injured when a bomb exploded in a dustbin at a popular night spot.
Meanwhile in Maiduguri in Borno State, the university has closed indefinitely, and hundreds are fleeing after non-stop violence over the weekend that killed over thirty people. One resident told CSW, “I am just so overwhelmed. It’s just been God’s mercy keeping us. Things are very tough and difficult – we need help”.

CSW is calling all supporters to pray urgently over this situation.

The Boko Haram sect targets security personnel, Muslim critics, churches and Christians in the north-eastern state of Borno.

Islamist militia carry out mounting attacks

The north-eastern city of Maiduguri experienced relentless attacks by the Islamist militia group, Boko Haram, translated as ‘western education is forbidden’, with news reports indicating at least 40 deaths in a ten day period.

In April this year, Boko Haram issued a three page statement saying, “we will never accept any system of governance apart from the one described by Islam because that is the only way Muslims can be liberated. They went on to say, they would continue to fight the Nigerian military and police “because they are not protecting Islam." According to an unconfirmed report, the group has now warned people to stay away from Christians, security agents, and government institutions and functions, or risk death.

Multiple killings in troubled Maiduguri

The group is thought to have carried out well-over 20 attacks this year. This July, Boko Haram murdered five people, including a prominent political leader of the All Nigeria People’s Party, Mallam Mustafa Baale, a three-time chairman of Jere local government area, (LGA) who had just been reappointed to the post by the Borno State governor, Kashim Shetima.

Just weeks before this, Boko Haram shot two church workers dead in Maiduguri. Reverend David Usman pastored a the Church of Christ in Nigeria COCIN) church located close to the former Boko Haram headquarters in the Railway area, and Hamman Andrew was the assistant church secretary. The assailants had set a trap for Reverend Usman, faking a phone call telling him that Hamman Andrew had been shot and was lying in a pool of blood in the church, prompting him to rush to the premises where they lay in wait.

Christians, police and Muslim opponents targeted

Over June, Boko Haram attacked police stations, bars, churches and Muslim leaders who oppose their extremist philosophy. This included gun and bomb attacks on police stations, bars and a Catholic church, and assassinations of prominent Wahabbi imam Ibrahim Birkuti, and Ibrahim Ahmed Abdullahi, another Muslim cleric, who had both criticised the upsurge in sectarian violence and the targeting of policemen and politicians.

Government reaction

There is now a curfew in the capital, Abuja, and the army has taken over security operations in Maiduguri. President Goodluck Jonathan is also reportedly creating a panel to review the security situation in the country. However, the federal government seems torn between rehabilitating and prosecuting suspected militants.

Meanwhile the bitter dispute between the authorities and the Islamists rages on. Boko Haram at one stage threatened to “hunt down” the governors of Bauchi and Gombe states, along with the former Borno State Governor, vowing to “[search] for them until they come out publicly and apologise”. The seeming response to this was an apology from Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and former governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, for any rights violations suffered by Boko Haram during a military crackdown on its armed uprising in 2009. The current governor of Borno, Kashim Shetima, has now offered Boko Haram an amnesty and Ali Modu Sheriff, the former governor of Borno,has also apologised.


CSW encourages prayer
CSW is requesting urgent and sustained prayer for an end to the continuing violence and for protection for those targeted by the sect..

Please pray the following:

- That God would comfort, protect and encourage the Church in Maiduguri.

- For wisdom for President Goodluck Jonathan, and that his government would formulate an effective strategy to deal with this violence

- For the new security efforts to be effective in stemming the violence and restoring order.

- That the militants would have a change of heart and embrace dialogue and peaceful co-existence.

- For the protection of those currently targeted by the groups, including religious leaders from both communities.

- For protection of the Christians in northern and central Nigeria following the recent alleged threat

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Friday, July 15, 2011

ASSIST News Service Receives Unofficial Translation of Verdict in Youcef Nadarkhani’s Apostasy Case

By Michael Ireland, Senior Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
RASHT, IRAN (ANS) -- An unofficial translation of the written verdict, delivered by the Iranian Supreme Court, in the apostasy case against Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, has now been made available to ASSIST News Service (ANS).
Jason DeMars, of Present Truth Ministries (www.presenttruthmn.com ) says there are some very significant points included in the translation obtained by his ministry, which has been monitoring Nadarkhani’s case.
“I want you to note that they include the denial of the 12th imam as one of his sins. Also, as we stated previously, if it is discovered that he was a practicing Muslim prior to becoming a Christian he must recant or else be executed by hanging,” DeMars told ANS.


The pastor and his wife
He added: “Youcef was not a practicing Muslim from age 15 to 19. He was born into a Muslim family and did not truly embrace any religion prior to coming to Jesus Christ.

“We ask that you pray for him and his enemies, seek God’s deliverance for him. I also request you continue to write a letter to brother Youcef and take immediate action for brother Youcef.”

The unofficial translation of the Iranian Supreme Court’s written verdict is as follows:
“In the name of Allah
“To the lawyers of the accused (defendant)
“To the local court
“To the state court of Gilan Section 11
“December 5, 2010
“Issued by section 27 Supreme Court Judge Morteza Fazel and Azizoallah Razaghi
“Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32 years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad, at the age of 19.
“He has often participated in Christian worship and organized home church services, evangelizing and has been baptized and baptized others, converting Muslims to Christianity. He has been accused of breaking Islamic Law that from puberty (15 years according to Islamic law) until the age of 19 the year 1996, he was raised a Muslim in a Muslim home. During court trials, he denied the prophecy of Mohammad and the authority of Islam. He has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim.
“During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging according to article 8 of Tahrir -olvasileh (one of Khomeni’s books about Sharia Law and Khamenie’s and Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi’s fatwa) His sentence was appealed by his attorney and sent to the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court’s Response
“In the name of Allah
“June 12, 2011
This subpoena states:
“We know that Mr. Nadarkhani has confessed that in his heart and in his actions he has denied being Muslim and converted to Christianity and have advertised and encouraged other Muslims to convert to Christianity. And because of advertising and pastoring a church repeatedly professed his Christian faith and denied the prophet Mohammad and the 12th Imam and denied the entire Koran and truth of the Koran.
“His case was forwarded to the Supreme Court (Judge Fazel) and
“According to Part 2 of article 265 of the Islamic Republic Criminal Law, this case received by and must be returned the state court of Gilan Section 11, and further investigated to prove that from puberty (15 years) to 19 he was not Muslim by his acquaintances, relatives, local elders, and Muslims he frequented. He must repent his Christian faith if this is the case. No research has been done to prove this, if it can be proved that he was a practicing Muslim as an adult and has not repented, the execution will be carried out.
“Signed by Morteza Fazeli and Azizollah Razaghi.”
DeMars said: “The situation is quite critical at this time. It appears that the lower court will do a re-examination of the case sometime this fall. They will interview relatives and try to determine according to their judgment whether or not Youcef was a practicing Muslim from age 15 to 19.
“I'm certain if he ever went to the Mosque or went through any Islamic rituals it will be used against him. Our greatest weapon is prayer.”

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Attacks and Threats Shutter Nigeria's Churches

Obed Minchakpu, Compass Direct NewsWednesday, July 13, 2011

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (CDN) — Christians in northern Nigeria’s Borno state, already forced to abandon worship services due to attacks by Islamic sect Boko Haram, are bracing for a massive assault to commemorate the death of the extremists group’s leader at the end of the month.

Christians are streaming out of Maiduguri, about 540 miles northeast of the Nigerian capital of Abuja, where some of the worst-hit churches are located. Churches are shutting down as many of their members have lost their lives in attacks that have not ceased even after security agencies were enlisted to confront the assailants.

Compass witnessed most church buildings were shuttered and guarded by soldiers and police in the Maiduguri areas of Wulari-Jerusalem, Railway Station, Bulunkutu, Damboa Road, and Bayan NNPC. Some churches bold enough to open were compelled to reschedule their worship services in order to outmaneuver militants who knew that most services start at 10 a.m.

“As you can see, the town is unsafe, and it is just appropriate for any church leader to be reasonable and safe,” a pastor with The Apostolic Church who declined to give his name for fear of attack told Compass. “We took the decision to hold a one-and-a-half-hour service earlier than our usual time so that our people can return home in time because of the threat.”

Church leaders said The Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) in Maiduguri’s Bulunkuttu area and the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in the Gomari area have seen attendance at worship drastically reduced – from 2,250 to 759 for the Living Faith Church, and from 500 to 240 for the COCIN body.

In early June the Islamic sect attacked St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Maiduguri twice, killing a total of 10 people in bombings on June 1 and June 7.

“The Islamic bombers, driving in a Honda car, stormed the church in the afternoon of that fateful day and threw the bombs into the church premises,” said police spokesman Abdulahi Lawal of the June 7 incident.

A Catholic priest at the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church who requested anonymity told Compass that the attack of June 7 took place in mid-afternoon, with about 50 members gathered inside.

The Rev. Yuguda Mdurvwa, chairman of the Borno state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Compass that besides St. Patrick’s and the COCIN church, churches attacked in Maiduguri include a Church of the Brethren (EYN) and several others. He said CAN leadership has directed churches to either suspend or reschedule their church services due to the dangers.

On the afternoon of June 16, Boko Haram militants attacked a Church of the Brethren congregation in Damboa, about 87 kilometers (54 miles) from Maiduguri, killing four persons.

Members of the Jama’atu ahlus Sunnah lid da’awati wal Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram, have claimed responsibility for these church bombings and other attacks. Moreover, the Islamist sect that has declared jihad on the Nigerian government is reportedly expected to launch a terrorist offensive at the end of this month, the two-year anniversary of the death of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf.

Nigerian security forces captured Yusuf on July 30, 2009, and the next day he was dead under mysterious circumstances.

Religious freedom analyst Elizabeth Kendal writes in her Religious Liberty Monitoring blog that in June 2010, Boko Haram formalized its links with Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Kendal notes that terrorism analyst Yossef Bodansky predicts this development could lead to the emergence of large-scale terrorism, including suicide bombings, unknown in Nigeria.

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NIGERIA – Three killed in church bombing amid mounting threat from militia group

Three people died when a bomb exploded at a church close to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Sunday.

Two women were killed instantly when explosives were detonated at the All Christian-Fellowship Mission in Suleja, Niger state – and a man later died of his injuries in hospital. Agence-France Presse (AFP) news agency reports that seven others were seriously injured.

The blast went off just after 3pm, shortly after a service and during a church committee meeting. Windows in one side of the building were reportedly blown out by the force of the explosion.

Although there have been no reports of any group claiming responsibility for the attack, news sources are linking it to Islamist militia group Boko Haram, which launched a series of attacks in the run-up to April's elections. In fact, its campaign of violence has continued ever since, escalating in recent weeks. The group is determined to extend strict Sharia or Islamic law across Nigeria – and has targeted Christians as well as official figures such as politicians, police and the military.

In Maiduguri, capital of Borno state in north-east Nigeria, churches were closed on Sunday during another outbreak of violence the previous day when 'multiple explosions' rocked the city. Members of the Joint Military Task Force charged with keeping order in the state are reported to have gone on the rampage, rounding up and killing people suspected of collaborating with Boko Haram, according to AFP. Local residents accused Task Force members of shooting innocent civilians, however.

United Press International news agency reports that more than 30 people died in Maiduguri over the weekend – and 20 homes were set alight. The violence was reportedly in retaliation for a recent Boko Haram bomb attack on an army patrol, which damaged buildings and vehicles.

Release partner Stefanos Foundation is concerned that recent violence may discourage Christians, particularly in the north of Nigeria, from attending church.

Religious rights group Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports that Boko Haram has recently issued a declaration warning Nigerians to avoid Christians, security agents and government officials – or risk death.

(Sources: Agence-France Presse, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, United Press International)

• Pray for all those who were injured and bereaved in the Suleja church bomb attack. Ask God to bless the ministry of this church and add to its number.
• Pray for Christians in Maiduguri, amid warnings of possible attacks by Boko Haram. Pray that they will stand firm in their faith and that they will not allow recent violence to rob them of the opportunity to attend church and meet together for fellowship.


The information in this email can be reproduced in church magazines and news bulletins, provided the source is acknowledged

Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK

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Wake up Britain (unfortunately too late I think!!!)

New Immigration Laws:

PLEASE read to the bottom or you will miss the message...

1 There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

2. All ballots will be in this nation's language.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

3. All government business will be conducted in our language.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

6. Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programmes.
Any burden will be deported.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

8. If foreigners come here and buy land... Options will be restricted.
Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens
naturally born into this country.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a
foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our prime minister
or his policies. These will lead to imprisonment and deportation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged.
All assets will be taken from you.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Too strict?......


The above laws are the current immigration laws of the Muslim countries !


These sound fine to me, NOW, how can we get these laws to be our laws??
THIS IS MY COUNTRY!
And, because I make
This statement
DOES NOT
Mean I'm against immigration!!!
YOU ARE WELCOME HERE,
IN MY COUNTRY!
Welcome!

To come through legally:
1. Get a sponsor!
2. Get a place to lay your head!
3. Get a job!
4. Live By OUR Rules!
5. Pay YOUR Taxes!
And
6. Learn the LANGUAGE like immigrants have in the past!!!
AND
7. Please don't demand that we hand over our lifetime
savings of welfare benefits to you.

If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone,
Then
YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

When will The British People stop giving away
THEIR RIGHTS?
We've gone so far the other way...
Bent over backwards not to offend anyone.
But it seems no one cares about the
BRITISH Citizen
that's being offended!

WAKE UP BRITAIN If you agree.... Pass this on.


My one comment is I prefer subject not citizen which is the Enlightenment description.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bombs ravaging Maiduguri City, Borno State today 12th July 2011;

Bombs ravaging Maiduguri City, Borno State today 12th July 2011; so far confirmed affected areas includes Baptist Church Jajiri, UBA Bank Baga Rd., Timber shade, Immaculate Church Baga Rd.


Sources confirmed that bombs are still going off at the time of this reporting. Residents are reported leaving the city as it is becoming unsafe to live anywhere in Maiduguri. It is difficult to estimate number of death or injured, as people are presently on the run.



Pray for the peace of Borno State.



Mark Lipdo

Program Coordinator

Stefanos Fdn.

Jos, Nigeria

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Orangeman's Day

Oh the bricks they will bleed and the rain it will weep
And the damp Lagan fog lull the city to sleep
It's to hell with the future and live on the past
May the Lord in his Mercy be Kind to Belfast.
Maurice Craig

When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and asked if the god I did not believe in was the protestand God or the catholic one. - Quentin Crisp

I have never met anyone in Ireland who understood the Irish Question, except one Englishman who had only been there a week. Keith Fraser MP, House of Commons, May 1920.

This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever. -- Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

Murder is murder is murder. - John Paul II to the IRA , Ireland, 1979, quoted in Brenda Maddox, Maggie the First Lady, p134

To the north of the island of Inkiltere is the island of Irlanda. Its length is some twelve days' journey, and its breadth at the center about four days, and it is famous for its multiplicity of dissension. Its people were heathens and then adopted Christianity in imitation of their neighbours. - Ibn Sa'id - 13th century

There is a story that when incoming jets throttle back for the approach to Belfast's Aldergrove Airport, the pilots tell their passengers to put their watches back to local time--1690. -- Quoted by Russell Miller, 1980

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Chester A. Arthur(1830-1886)- http://www.christiansquoting.org.uk/

I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody's damned business.- Chester A. Arthur(1830-1886) US president: Responding to a visitor asking him about his expensive tastes.

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

An interesting insight on Nigerian Christianity

In the last few years Nigeria has witnessed a dramatic upsurge of apparent fundamentalism in Christian religious practice.

People are turning away from the orthodox churches and they are rushing to the Pentecostal churches in their millions.

The rush began with young people who were weaned on a new gospel of prosperity and miracles in college campuses.

When the new army of Pentecostal "born agains" graduated and were launched into society, the mainstream churches were caught napping; before they could feel the force of what had hit them, their former members were clapping and gyrating and sweating in new congregations.

The Pentecostal church has become a movement that is sweeping across the nation, catching both Christians and Muslims.

Rituals are no longer performed with goats and cockerels but with tithes and American dollar offerings”

It claims to be the fastest-growing religious sect in Nigeria; all others are merely trying out strategies to halt the force.

Yet, the secret of the Pentecostal leaders' success was apparently simple enough: They studied the Nigerian.

The average Nigerian has a strong belief in destiny.

They hold it that however hard or lazily one may work, the will of the gods, as pre-destined, will come to pass in their life.

They do not take responsibility for anything - not even for the inevitable road accident when they drive drunk, nor for exam failure resulting from truancy in class.

Therefore they believe that they must appease the gods at all times.

In the past, the appeasement was to the family or communal deities.

Those rituals are now out-of-date. Enter the Pentecostal church.

The pastor or prophet in designer silk suit from Milan has taken over from the village diviner and rituals are no longer performed with goats and cockerels but with tithes and American dollar offerings.

Prophecies do not come in riddles or proverbs, but in plain language.

One does not have anything over the other except in the most important matter of bank balance.
Sola Odunfa, Nollywood and religion

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