PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATES

30 Christians Jailed in India as Persecution Escalates

06/02/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – At least 30 people were imprisoned in India during May because of their faith. According to persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern (ICC), the arrests were justified by filling charges of forced conversion. In one incident a mob of radicals broke into the home of a local pastor, who was praying with his family and beat him before handing him over to police. The police then imprisoned him under the charge of “deliberate and malicious acts against another religion”. Anti-conversion laws, adopted in 11 Indian states, are often used against Christians as it allows authorities to jail them with little regard for due process. “We have arrived at a critical juncture, where practicing faith of our choice is equated as crime and punished accordingly,” a local Christian leader told ICC.

36 Christians Kidnapped in Nigeria’s Kaduna State

07/28/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – On Monday, July 25, an estimated 36 Christians were kidnapped from a village in Nigeria’s Kaduna state. The kidnappers are estimated to be Islamic extremists who performed door-to-door kidnappings in the village.  

An area resident described the kidnappings to Morning Star News. They said, “The Muslim terrorists attacked the community at about 9 p.m., shooting at the people, and broke into their houses and forcefully took away the victims to an unknown place.” 

Hmong Christians Suffering Daily Persecution in Vietnam

07/31/2022 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – Hmong Christians in the Nghe An province of Vietnam are suffering from severe persecution.  

According to Morning Star News, officials in the province are trying to create “Christian-free zones” where they are able to operate “with no conscience or humanity,” as if the religious freedom violations were occurring a country other than Vietnam, where such acts are not legal.  

Other forms of persecution come from within their own communities. Most Vietnamese follow traditional animist teachings, and many who convert to Christianity from the traditional faith face rejection and even persecution from their family members and communities.  

Additionally, Vietnamese authorities pressure animist relatives of Christian converts to drive Christians from their homes and exile them. The only hope these Christians have of rejoining their communities is if they renounce their new faith.

Christians Prevented from Worshipping in Burkina Faso

7/30/2022 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – According to Aid to the Church in Need International, Catholic churches in Burkina Faso are suffering interference by Islamic groups in the country. In many cases, militants are entering the churches during the service and forcing men and women to sit separately. In other instances, the sermons are being replaced with Islamic sermons. With this being the case, many people in the villages are not receiving proper pastoral care, and the pastoral care that is occurring is only because it is permitted by Islamists.

This recent interference comes on the heels of an attack that killed 20 people on July 3.

Lebanese Christians Concerned Over Political Future

07/30/2022 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – As Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s six-year term approaches its October 31 close, Christians in Lebanon are concerned for their nation’s future. Lebanon’s historically Christian presidency, an important vestige of the religious community’s declining influence in the country, could worryingly fall to one of four individuals, none of whom are particularly popular with the nation’s Christian community. 

Overall, Christians in Lebanon face an unfortunate political reality. The Christian presidential candidates Aoun, Bassil, and Frangieh are all sympathetic to Hezbollah, and the other likely option to fill the role besides them is the Muslim Prime Minister Mikati. Unfortunately, this conundrum well reflects declining Christian political influence in the state of Lebanon

Cemeteries of Religious Minorities Targeted in Turkey

07/31/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Radicals have targeted another minority cemetery this month in Turkey. On July 15, a Jewish community discovered that their local cemetery in the Haskoy neighborhood of Istanbul had sustained serious damage. Vandals had desecrated 81 gravestones, excavated graves, and left the site in disarray.

 This month’s attack comes specifically on the heels of a similar incident against a Christian community in Turkey. On June 29, local Christians found the perpetrators had desecrated their cemetery, which was dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, just prior to an annual celebration dedicated to the two saints. 

Source: Premier Christian News

END TIMES PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS

A Hindu nationalist religious leader called for fellow Hindus to behead Christian converts at a mass rally in India’s central Chhattisgarh state. Swami Parmatmanand, a prominent leader in the Hindutva movement, called for the targeted killings at a protest earlier this month. The protest was organised against an alleged rise in conversions of Hindus to Christianity.  Speaking to an audience, which included senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Swami Parmatmanand said: “Keep a lathi (stick) at home in our villages, people keep hand-axes. Why do they keep axes? Behead them – those who come for conversion. Now you’ll say that I am spreading hate although I’m a saint. But it’s important to ignite the fire sometimes. I am telling you; anyone who comes into your house, street, neighborhood, village, don’t forgive them.” The Swami continued: “I want to tell those Christians who converted, why did you leave the ocean for the well? “I want you to talk to them politely first. Stop, protest, shoot.”

Who is motivating this Hindu nationalist leader who says he is a saint despite urging his followers to kill fellow Indians on the basis they are Christians? It is certainly not the God of love who tells us to love our neighbour as ourselves. I would suggest it is Satan himself.

Note the placards signifying Christians are PEACE LOVING

Dr David Landrum, Director of Advocacy for Open Doors UK & Ireland, said: “What we are seeing in India is a coordinated campaign against Christians by Hindu nationalists. Violence is being incited by local political and religious leaders who see the public vilification of Christians as an easy way to shore up their Hindu vote bank. Police are complicit and state actors ignore and even condone persecution. The way Hindu nationalists spread the message of hatred through these rallies and protests is unbelievable. This self-perpetuating cycle of violence and intimidation has now become socially acceptable.”

Satan knows his time is short and he is doing his utmost to take as many people (people made in God’s image) down with him.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS ESCALATING IN INDIA

At least 5 Christians have been killed for their faith in India during a surge of violence over the past two months. Voice of the Martyrs radio host Todd Nettleton has the latest on the tragic deaths — and their inspirational stand for Jesus in the midst of violent persecution. Just further evidence that we are in the prophesied last days before Jesus returns

A young woman in the Khunti district of Jharkhand has become the fifth victim in a string of Christians killed in India because of their faith.

The woman, 25-year-old Suman Munda, was found dead on July 19 in a deserted place near her home, according to Vatican News. Just one month earlier, on June 24, another Christian, 27-year-old Ramji Munda, was killed outside a village in the Khunti district. Speaking out about Munda’s murder, Bishop Binay Kandulna said, “It is a matter of serious concern because the state witnessed a Christian man killed only last month in the same district.”

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Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

PROPHESIED END TIMES INCREASED PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS EVIDENT NOW

While Samaritan’s Purse has treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients at its field hospital in Central Park, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson demanded that the Christian charity leave the city over its biblical views on homosexuality.

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“It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave New York City. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed,” Johnson wrote on Twitter Saturday. “Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman (openly gay member of the State Senate), who represents the district where Beth Israel is located said in a press release Friday: “It was bad enough that Donald Trump’s failure to prepare the nation for this pandemic forced New York to accept charity from a bigot like Franklin Graham. Inviting Graham to stay on longer is an insult to LGBTQ New Yorkers and sends the dangerous message that homophobia and transphobia are acceptable.”

Hoylman said. “On behalf of the LGBTQ community I represent, I demand they end their association with Franklin Graham and Samaritan’s Purse, or risk further reputational harm with LGBTQ New Yorkers and the wider public.”

Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate arm of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded to Johnson’s tweets and argued that Christians are the ones being discriminated against.

“This open hostility to Christianity is breathtaking. Christians have always believed that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that all sexual relations outside marriage are by definition immoral, It’s not a particularly popular point of view in the secular West, but it is what all faithful Christians everywhere throughout the 2,000-year history of the church have always believed. This is nothing new.

“What is new is the notion that real live Christians are unwelcome to live and work and practice their faith in New York. That is an innovation of recent vintage and is nothing more than unvarnished animus—invidious discrimination. If Christians are not allowed to practice their faith in NYC, rest assured that it is only a matter of time before they won’t be allowed to practice it anywhere in the U.S.”

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IS INCREASING RAPIDLY

 As the nonpartisan Pew Centre records, Christians are the most persecuted religious minority in the world. And there is in the West an appalling reluctance to discuss this issue or take any action in connection with it.

The scale of the persecution is enormous. According to Mike Gore, chief executive of Open Doors, the leading Protestant non-governmental organisation working in this area, persecution of Christians is now worse than it has been at any period since biblical times. “I would say the persecution of Christians is increasing rapidly,” he says.

Bernard Toutounji, head of the equivalent Catholic body, Aid to the Church in Need, makes a similar judgement: “The situation is continuing to get worse, especially in Pakistan, China and across the Middle East. The Western world in general is asleep at the wheel.”

Open Doors estimates about 215 million Christians in different parts of the world face serious, ongoing persecution. The true figure, Gore thinks, is higher as this encompasses only the 100 biggest nations. Another widely held estimate is that about 250 Christians are killed for their beliefs every month. These estimates are naturally ­imprecise but no one really disputes them.

Pakistani hardliners call for Asai Bibi’s execution. Picture: AFP

The fate of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman condemned to death on a ludicrous charge of blasphemy, could be decided as early as this month.

In 2009 she made the awful mistake of drinking water from a well. For this she was abused and told that as a Christian she was unclean and could not therefore share anyone else’s drinking cup. There was an argument, and she and her family were badly beaten.

During the beating, she confessed to blasphemy. A long and tortuous legal process ensued and she was subsequently sentenced to death. After nine years in jail, Bibi was finally acquitted on appeal last October. Her confession under torture could not be relied on.

Her suffering didn’t end there. Huge mobs demonstrated against her in the streets, demanding her death. An Islamist group appealed against her acquittal, and this could be determined this month.

For a time after she was released, Bibi had to move from house to house in fear of her life. She is now, with her husband, in a protected situation at an undisclosed location.

Hers is one of very few cases of the persecution of Christians to pierce the determined Western indifference to Christian suffering in many parts of the world.

Yet Bibi’s plight has not produced the response from governments you might expect. Britain and the US have not offered her asylum. But all the leading Western nations are in active discussion about her fate. I am pleased to report that Australia is taking a strong stand against persecution of Christians

Canada has been the most forward, suggesting it will take Bibi and her family and offer them a safe life. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton of Australia has said: “If the discussions with Canada fall through, we will facilitate bringing Asia Bibi to Australia.”

Foreign Minister of Australia, Marise Payne tells The Weekend Australian: “Australia is deeply concerned about restrictions on Christian communities imposed by some governments and non-state actors around the world.

“Bringing attention to restrictions on religious freedom is a key priority of our current membership of the UN Human Rights Council. We will continue to use every possible avenue to express Australia’s opposition to the targeting of Christian communities internationally.