PROPHESIED PERSECUTION OF THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

Chinese President Xi Jinping  believes in the absolute power of the Party and wants his government to exert control over every aspect of Chinese life.  Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has severely cracked down on human rights, religious freedom and freedom of expression.  Christians in China are experiencing some of the worst persecution in decades.

The recent arrest of a prominent church pastor underscores the level of persecution against Christians.  Authorities in the city of Chengdu, in China’s southwest, recently arrested pastor Wang Yi, along with his wife and 100 members of his Church.  Authorities shut down the church and charged pastor Wang with “inciting subversion of state power.”

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Wang’s church, like scores of other congregations, is outside government control as part of China’s burgeoning so-called underground or house church movement.  Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, says this movement has touched every corner of China.  “All across China, there are house churches, or what they call ‘family churches’ and the reason the Communist government is so worried is because there are far more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party,” Nettleton said.

In recent months, Beijing has waged a brutal and widespread crackdown to stop the growth of these unregistered churches. “This crackdown is a direct response to the fear of the Communist Party leaders who see the church growing faster than the party is,” Nettleton said. Fenggang Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, says what started several years ago as a small campaign against unregistered churches has turned into all-out war.  “The campaign started first in Zhejiang province from 2014 to 2016,” Yang said.  “Now, it is a nationwide campaign.” Now authorities routinely target houses of worship, destroy crosses, burn Bibles and arrest pastors.

Foreseeing his arrest, pastor Wang wrote a letter with instructions that it should be published if he went missing for more than 48 hours.  In it, Wang vowed to use non-violent methods to stand against Chinese laws he believed were against the Bible and God.

My saviour Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws,” Wang wrote.

Wang continued “I am filled with anger at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at their wickedness in depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience.  As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely.  The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that are contrary to God’s word.  Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family, the authorities are capable of doing all of these things,” Wang warned.  “However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life.”

The church needs to prepare for the coming tribulation which we know will escalate as we approach and move into  the last seven years before Jesus returns to rule and reign in the Millennium. Jesus refers to great tribulation in the last half of 70th week of Daniel and prior to the Rapture of the church at the trumpet blast at the seventh seal and before God’s wrath is poured out with the trumpet and bowl judgements. Time is wonderfully short before Jesus return, but we need to be bold and courageous and open to the Holy Spirits lead to pray for and evangelise the lost.

THE SEND: 59,000 GATHER TO WAGE SPIRITUAL WARFARE

If Christians want to see an awakening and revival, then they need to not only pray, but actually go out into the world and get to work. That was the message of The Send, a charismatic mega-event that continued without ceasing for nearly 12 hours straight on a sweltering Saturday in Orlando, Florida. According to Youth With a Mission’s Andy Byrd, 59,000 people attended the free event, held in the Camping World Stadium, and peak attendance at one time was 40,000.

“We are here because we are crazy enough to believe that we are called for the greatest move of God in human history,” said Byrd. The Send is not led by any one individual or ministry. At one point during his message, Francis Chan wryly remarked how unfair it was that The Send attendees got “20 speakers and 15 bands” while there are people around the world who have never heard the gospel.

Fixing that disparity was the main goal of The Send, to hear its speakers explain it. Evangelist Kolenda said he’s used to seeing crowds this size in countries like Africa or Asia, quipping that in Africa, “We do our counsellor  training in a stadium this size.”

Regarding neighbourhoods, Liebscher and Chan urged Christians to take everyday evangelism seriously, emphasising it as a matter of personal responsibility. Liebscher said many believers, without knowing it, approach church with a worldly mindset rather than a kingdom mindset. He says people often come into church not wanting to be equipped but wanting the church to do their Christian life for them.

“We approach the church more like a restaurant where I’m coming because I don’t want to do certain things,” Liebscher said. “I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to clean up. So I pay you money, and you do that.”

But Liebscher said that doesn’t work for church, because God explicitly demands certain things from every one of His disciples: praying for the sick, widow and orphan care, discipleship, generosity and evangelism.

“It is not your pastor’s job to see your friend saved,” Liebscher said. “One of the biggest prophetic words God wants to give to the church right now is two words: ‘personal responsibility.'”

“I believe God’s message today is first be faithful in your neighbourhood,” Chan said. “Do the people on your block know what you believe and that you love them? Have you warned them about who they’re going to face? Have you told them they can have peace with God? If not, why would he want to send us somewhere else—to not do the same thing in another language?

“I so want to see God do huge things, but he’s not going to pick you unless you’re faithful in the small things: with forgiveness, with relationships in the local church, with getting the pornography out of your life, with getting the immorality out of your life, [with] the discipline of studying the Word of God so you know what the heck you’re talking about.”

Francis Chan concluded the segment with a prayer reminding all in attendance they are adopted too: “You are a Father to the fatherless, and You want us to be the same. How can the love of God be in us if we pass by those who are in need? I ask your forgiveness, Lord, for not thinking about all these children who are in need.

“Every time we cry out ‘Abba, Father,’ from the depth of our souls, we are reminded of the many children who would love to say that.”

What a great message conveyed at The Send. A timely message for this hour and further confirmation time is running out to preach the GOOD NEWS. I hope it challenges you, as it did me.

OBLIVIOUS TO IMPENDING JUDGEMENT

Long-running parenting magazine Parents has featured fitness guru Shaun T. and his husband Scott Blokker, along with their one-year-old twins, on its February cover.

It’s believed to be the first time a gay couple has appeared on the magazine’s cover in its 92-year history. Moreover, a magazine of this size would not take this move unless it thought it good for business. It is clearly a further sign we are in the “end times” when God’s commandments are being abandoned and the Bible says, “they will call evil good and good evil”.

“I’ve received two great pieces of advice,” Shaun T, who is known for his at-home workout videos, reveals in the accompanying interview.

“Scott’s dad told me, ‘You’re not coming into the babies’ world. They’re coming into yours,’ and that made me eager to show them the life we live.” A life without a female influence. Shaun identifies himself as the wife and therefore I assume the mother of the two boys in this relationship.

He continued: “The second was from my grandfather, who was married to my grandmother for 56 years. He said, ‘Never go to bed angry,’ and we don’t. The connectedness you feel at the end of the day is the driving force for how you wake up the next day, so every night we fall asleep holding hands.”

The above is great advice from Shaun if it was male and female as it was with his grandmother and grandfather, and as God ordained, but it isn’t, God calls male with male sinful and the consequences cannot be good for the two men nor the children.

While many took to social media to praise “Parents” publication for becoming more inclusive, fortunately the conservative organisation One Million Moms criticised the move.

Parents is using its magazine as a platform to promote the pro-homosexual lifestyle,” the group wrote.

“Even if families do not personally subscribe to the publication, they should be warned that it could be displayed in waiting rooms of dentist and doctor offices, where children could easily be subjected to the glorification of same-sex parents.”

The group continued: “Many families subscribe to Parents and should be aware of the upcoming change of content in this magazine. After all, most conservative and Christian families will disagree morally with the magazine’s decision, and subsequently, will not want to support its content.”

THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS BEING RELEASED UPON THE EARTH

This prophetic vision “I am bringing a shaking like an unstoppable train” given to Bill Yount is I believe authentic and hence I am reproducing part of it here for your consideration.

Bill Yount has been a member of Bridge of Life Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 40 years and is in leadership. He faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope Inc. for 23 years. 

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“I stood in the valley of a highway. Suddenly, what appeared to be a huge locomotive train barrelled down the highway straight toward me. The wheels shaved the concrete, and its power shook the earth in proclamation” “I don’t need tracks!” I was paralysed by the terror of it as highways and overpasses crumbled in its wake. Mountains were shaken and surrendered their strength and majesty. All the earth was vulnerable to this all-inclusive power. I was astounded. My whole world was shaking, and yet I was still standing.

After several weeks of earnest prayer, the Holy Spirit helped me to understand this experience of being transported and provided the interpretation.

‘Son, I Am the Trackless, Unstoppable Locomotive’

The terror you experienced as I came near was the fear of the Lord being released in the earth. The fear of the Lord brings a great shaking. Some people will turn from Me, but many more will become deeply committed. This shaking alone will bring in an unprecedented harvest of souls. The crumbling highways and overpasses were man-made structures built in order to reach Me. With great force I will shake those man-made spiritual structures and religious spirits that have prevented Me from coming to them.”

He said, “You have been faithful in disliking religious spirits, but you have fallen short in loving religious people. I love them. I want to deliver them. Not loving them invites a religious spirit into your life.”

I saw the fire of God falling on every denomination wherever there was a smell of smoke from a flickering flame of love gone out long ago. People in all denominations will be visited by a rekindling, as well as so-called Spirit-filled churches.

“A bruised reed He will not break, and a smouldering wick He will not quench, until He renders judgement unto victory” ( Matt. 12:20 ).

‘My Fire Is Beginning to Invade These Mountains and Bring Them Into My Kingdom’

God continued saying, “The mountains you saw caving in represent the seven mountains of the kingdoms of this world. The church, family, education, government, media, arts and entertainment, and business and finances.”

“My fire is beginning to invade these mountains to redeem and bring them into My kingdom. The reason you couldn’t stop the fire in the house is because the fire is of Me. I am coming this hour through the fires of adversity and affliction to bring whole families back together again into My kingdom. Their troubles have come to bless them.”

“The pride of man in what he has made are the fallen, far-off city structures. Pride is crumbling. The contagious fires of God raging in the streets of cities are the certainty of the vision in its influence.”

Sidewalks and gutters in the streets were now burning with unquenchable fire falling upon the homeless and red-light districts. Grave clothes were being burned off those bound in prisons and spiritual cemeteries.”

JEZEBEL IN THE “LAST DAYS” CHURCH

Months after Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber issued a call for Christian feminists to send her their old “purity” rings, the once-discarded jewellery has been completely transformed.

The purity rings ― symbols of an abstinence pledge ― were melted or pounded down and reshaped into a sculpture of a vulva emerging from a throne of flames.

Bolz-Weber, the progressive Christian theologian and writer behind the project, unveiled the sculpture on Thursday at the 2019 conference for Makers, a feminist media brand.

Gloria Steinem and Nadia Bolz-Weber appear during The 2019 MAKERS Conference on February 7, 2019 in Dana...

Bolz-Weber was the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a queer-inclusive Lutheran congregation in Denver. Although she was raised in a fundamentalist Christian family, the pastor has become a prominent voice in progressive Christian circles.

The vulva sculpture project ― part of a promotion for Shameless, Bolz-Weber’s recently published book about sex and Christianity ― sought to prove that symbols of a harmful and patriarchal theology can be reclaimed.

“It’s actually part of the tradition, that we can take objects that have harmed us and turn them into objects that help heal and sustain us,” the pastor said.

Not only is this melting down of jewellery eerily reminiscent of the Golden Calf episode in Exodus, it strangely looked very much like the Black Stone of Mecca supposedly the “holiest” (no pun intended), place in all of Islam.
If you look really closely at the hideous “Freedom” statue, the symbolism is frightful.  There is no “freedom” in it.  It mocks the Truth of scripture:
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  ~ 2 Corinthians 3:17
Apparently, the sculptress utilised a can from the Collins Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.  The name Collins means “dove” or a symbol of peace.  So far, so good, right?  But the name “Corsicana” is derived from the Island of Corsica which means SIREN SONG.  For those not familiar with Ancient Greek mythology, the Sirens attracted people with their sweet singing but only to entice them to their DEATH when they CRASHED ON THE ROCK.  These people are attempting to “bewitch” you to your doom.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion. Proverbs 11:22
“You also took the fine jewellery of gold and silver I had given you, and you made male idols with which to prostitute yourself.”  Ezekiel 16:17
“You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied.” Ezekiel 16:28
I believe we are seeing Jesus’ warning to the church in Revelation come true before our very eyes: 
“But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads My servants to be sexually immoral and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20

END TIMES PROPHECY BEING FULFILLED IN OUR DAY

The pope and the grand imam of al-Azhar have signed a historic declaration of fraternity, calling for peace between nations, religions and races, in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths.

Pope Francis, the leader of the world’s Catholics, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning, arrived at the ceremony in Abu Dhabi hand-in-hand in a symbol of interfaith brotherhood.

Pope Francis and Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb signing a document on fighting extremism, during an inter-religious meeting.

This historic interfaith covenant was signed in the Middle East on Monday, and the mainstream media in the United States has been almost entirely silent about it. Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb is considered to be the most important imam in Sunni Islam. This wasn’t just a ceremony for Catholics and Muslims. According to a British news source, the signing of this covenant was done “in front of a global audience of religious leaders from Christianity, Islam, Judaism and other faiths”. In other words, there was a concerted effort to make sure that all of the religions of the world were represented at this gathering.

There is a lot of language about peace in this document, but it goes way beyond just advocating for peace.

Over and over again, the word “God” is used to simultaneously identify Allah and the God of Christianity. Here is just one example…

We, who believe in God and in the final meeting with Him and His judgement, on the basis of our religious and moral responsibility, and through this Document, call upon ourselves, upon the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.

On top of that, the document also boldly declares that “the diversity of religions” that we see in the world was “willed by God”.

In essence, this is saying that it is the will of God that there are hundreds of different religions in the world and that they are all acceptable in His sight.

We know the Bible prophecies a one world religion in the “end times” but to see the most important clerics from both Catholicism and Islam make such a dramatic public push for it is absolutely amazing and stunning proof we are seeing end times prophecy being fulfilled in our day.

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The official logo for the Pope’s apostolic visit to the cities of Rabat and Casablanca on March 30-31, 2019 (pictured below) was chosen from among 50 competition entries, a Jan. 7 statement released by the Vatican said.

The Vatican explained the logo’s symbolism in this way: “A cross and a crescent: the Christian cross and the Muslim crescent = the dimension of an inter religious encounter between Christians and Muslims, the meeting of Pope Francis and the Commander of the Faithful in Rabat, 800 years after Francis of Assisi’s meeting with the Sultan.”

 

HIGH COST OF REJECTING GOD AND HIS CREATIVE ORDER

Having rejected our Creator, society is hell-bent on rejecting His created order. Society is intent on self-harming.

As I see it, the big cost to rejecting God is missing out on eternal life with our Creator in a new heaven and earth, but I am amazed at the number of people who are interested in only the here and now. Moreover, they seem totally oblivious to the enormous costs that are manifesting now across those nations that are abandoning God’s laws.

Devaluing life:

In the USA, in at least two States including New York, in 2019 it is legal now to terminate a baby’s life at birth. 

Book image: Snubbing God - The High Cost of Rejecting God's Created Order

In its twin Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, which were handed down on January 22, 1973, the Court federalised the issue and legalised abortion for any reason. Tragically, 45 years later, National Right to Life estimates that over 60 million unborn children have lost their lives as a result of those decisions.

Suicide rates rose in all but one state in the USA between 1999 and 2016, with increases seen across age, gender, race and ethnicity, according to a recent report  by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In more than half of all deaths in 27 states, the people had no known mental health condition when they ended their lives. Increasingly, suicide is being viewed not only as a mental health problem but a public health one. Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the United States in 2016 — more than twice the number of homicides — making it the 10th-leading cause of death. Among people ages 15 to 34, suicide is the second-leading cause of death.

“At what point is it a crisis?” asked Nadine Kaslow, a past president of the American Psychological Association. “Suicide is a public health crisis when you look at the numbers, and they keep going up. It’s up everywhere. And we know that the rates are actually higher than what’s reported.

Sexually transmitted diseases:

Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise in the United States. Last year, 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis were diagnosed — 200,000 more than the previous record number, from 2016, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the CDC director said, the increase has been “steep and steady” for the past four years, calling it “a persistent and troubling trend.” The most common STD has been chlamydia, with 1.7 million diagnoses last year, with nearly half of those cases in women and girls ages 15 to 24.

Family breakdown:

A huge, painful hash of gender, sex, marriage and family is obvious. In 1960, the height of the post-World War II baby boom, there was one dominant family form. At that time 73% of all children were living in a family with two married parents in their first marriage. By 1980, 61% of children were living in this type of family, and today less than half (46%) are. The declining share of children living in what is often deemed a “traditional” family has been largely supplanted by the rising shares of children living with single or cohabiting parents. The decline in children living in two-parent families has been offset by an almost threefold increase in those living with just one parent—typically the mother. Fully one-fourth (26%) of children younger than age 18 are now living with a single parent, up from just 9% in 1960 and 22% in 2000. The share of children living without either parent stands at 5%; most of these children are being raised by grandparents. Could family breakdown be a cause for the increased suicide rate in young people? The link is inescapable.

Environment

Alternately, idolising and brutalising the environment and living creatures is what we see happening. Moreover, as the world continues to reject God, judgement will escalate exactly as prophesied with increased natural disasters, famine and pestilence.

What we see happening in the world is exactly what Jesus said would be signs of the “end times’ and His soon return to rule and reign with a rod of iron during His Millennial reign on earth. His Kingdom will have come to earth as it is in heaven. The prayer Jesus taught us to pray will finally be answered.

 

1,043 SCIENTISTS PUBLICLY SIGN ‘A SCIENTIFIC DISSENT FROM DARWINISM’

“There are 1,043 scientists on the ‘A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism’ list. It passed the 1,000 mark this month,” said Sarah Chaffee, a program officer for the Discovery Institute, which maintains the list.

“A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism” is a simple, 32-word statement that reads: “We are sceptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Launched in 2001, the list continues to collect support from scientists from universities across America and globally. Signers have earned their Ph.D.s at institutions that include Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. Others on the list earned their doctorates at Clemson, UT Austin, Ohio State, UCLA, Duke, Stanford, Emory, UNC Chapel Hill and many others universities. Still other signers are currently employed as professors across the nation.

Those who sign it “must either hold a Ph.D. in a scientific field such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, computer science, or one of the other natural sciences; or they must hold an M.D. and serve as a professor of medicine,” according to the institute.

Image result for Flickr image evolution of man

The group points out that signing the statement does not mean these scholars endorse “alternative theories such as self-organisation, structuralism, or intelligent design,” but rather simply indicates “scepticism about modern Darwinian theories central claim that natural selection acting on random mutations is the driving force behind the complexity of life.”

According to Discovery Institute Senior Fellow David Klinghoffer, the signers “have all risked their careers or reputations in signing.”

“Such is the power of group-think,” he wrote. “The scientific mainstream will punish you if they can, and the media is wedded to its narrative that ‘the scientists’ are all in agreement and only ‘poets,’ ‘lawyers,’ and other ‘daft rubes’ doubt Darwinian theory. In fact, I’m currently seeking to place an awesome manuscript by a scientist at an Ivy League university with the guts to give his reasons for rejecting Darwinism. The problem is that, as yet, nobody has the guts to publish it.”

In interviews with The College Fix, some of the list’s signers explained why they were willing to go public with their scepticism.

“[Darwin’s theory] claimed to explain all major features of life and I think that’s very unlikely. Nonetheless, I think Darwinism has gotten to be kind of an orthodoxy, that is it’s accepted in the scientific community unthinkingly and it’s taught to kids unthinkingly,” said Michael Behe, a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University.

“Getting a list of scientists who point out that they don’t believe the orthodoxy can kind of open up some minds hopefully,” he said.

“It is clearly a growing trend with biology to think that Darwin missed a whole lot of biology and cannot explain a good deal of evolution,” Behe added.

Regarding how his colleagues view the list, Behe said, “Most of my peers are unaware of it, but those who are aware of it don’t like it one bit. They think that anybody who would sign such a list has to have a dishonourable motive for doing so.”

Taking a stand comes with a risk. Scott Minnich, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Idaho, said he has many times been accused of being “anti-science.”

“I signed this list when it first came out because of this intellectual deep scepticism I have that the random unintelligent forces of nature can produce systems that outstrip our own intellectual capacity,” he told The Fix.

Minnich went on to quote the writer C.S. Lewis: “Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Law Giver.”

David Dewitt, chair of the Department of Biology and Chemistry at Liberty University, told The College Fix in an email interview he signed the list because “I don’t believe that Darwinism accounts for all living things. Natural selection doesn’t produce new information and can’t.”

Dewitt said he’s not alone.

“I think more scientists are realising the limitations to Darwinism, specifically in regard to the origin of life and the complexity of the cell. So much of how cells actually work reveal how impossible it is that life arose from mutation and natural selection. As we have learned more and more about molecular and cellular biology, more scientists doubt Darwinism although they may not admit it for fear of repercussions,” Dewitt told The Fix in an email interview.

Shun Cheung, an associate professor of computer science at Emory University, referred The College Fix to his website to outline his concerns.

“When Darwin formulated his ‘evolution theory,’ [he] did not have good microscopes and the cell was a blob to him without any structure. Darwin thought that a cell was simple and without structure. We now know that a cell is like a complex factory consisting of many different components-each with a distinct function. Each part/component is necessary in the entire operation of the cell,” Cheung writes.

When will they give glory to their wonderful Creator God?

GOD’S MARTYRS IMPACTING THE WORLD FOR HIM

A new book to be released Friday takes a look at the lives of the 21 Christian men the world saw being beheaded on a Libyan beach in 2015 and how their deaths at the hands of the Islamic State only strengthened the faith of believers in their hometown.

Martyrs are the seeds of Christianity. The brutal death of these men has served to reveal the true nature of the god of Islam.

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The world was appalled when the brutal terrorist group released footage showing the 21 men — all but one being migrants from Egypt — being led to the shore of a Libyan beach near Sirte dressed in orange jumpsuits.

The video came at the height of the Islamic State’s reign of terror that wreaked havoc in places like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Libya and showcased how brutal and atrocious the jihadi death cult could be.

Iconic photographs and screenshots taken from that Islamic State propaganda video are all over the internet showing the 21 men on their knees with their backs toward the Mediterranean Sea. Behind each of the 21 men was an Islamic State militant standing with a knife that would be used to cut off their heads, thus sending a message to the world.

Four years later, the martyrdom of those 21 men is not forgotten in Upper Egypt as all 21 have been canonised as martyr saints by the Coptic Church.

“You get the feeling in Upper Egypt that they are not in an Islamic country at all. It is a Christian country,” popular German novelist Martin Mosebach told The Christian Post in a recent phone interview. “It’s mixed in a society there with Muslims but the Christians in Upper Egypt are the majority.”

The new book, The 21 – A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs, is the account of Mosebach’s journey to El-Aour.

“It is a very dirty village. It is a very poor and primitive village,” Mosebach explained, adding that the Coptic villagers there are very strong and knowledgeable in their faith.

Although Christians in Upper Egypt are always under the threat of persecution, as Egypt has been under Islamic rule for 1,400 years, the faith of the Coptic Church as founded by St. Mark has been unwavering and continues to remain strong today, according to Mosebach.

“These communities and congregations are very educated and know the faith,” he explained. “In the spirituality of the Copts, miracles are a very important thing.”

In El-Aour, Mosebach said, “everybody is talking about miracles.”

According to Mosebach, numerous miracle stories have built up around the 21 martyrs in El-Aour. Some stories include the martyrs being credited with saving children who fall out of windows, curing sick people and even healing a woman of infertility.

“Miracles didn’t save the [21] from decapitation but did prove that their sacrifices had made them Christlike and therefore accepted as such,” Mosebach wrote.

One miracle involved the son of one of the martyrs. The son was said to have fallen onto the street from the third floor of a building, causing him to break his arm in multiple places. When the son regained consciousness, he claimed that his now-dead father had caught him. Days later, the son’s X-rays reportedly did not show any fractures.

According to Mosebach, the term “miracle” is used by the Coptic community as the “next explanation for any phenomenon they see.”

“Everything that has happened is according to the will of God,” Mosebach told CP. “The miracles are also now seen with the martyrs, which the martyrs heal people.”

Although the Coptic community has faced much persecution throughout its history that continues today, Mosebach explained that Copts do not consider themselves to be victims and do not seek revenge.

He added that the villagers in El-Aour are proud of the martyrs for standing strong and dying for their faiths.

The mothers who lost their sons at the hands of the Islamic State know that their sons are now “crowned kings in Heaven,” Mosebach said.

“You can go to every family in this region. They will tell you the same thing,” Mosebach explained. “That they are ready for martyrdom and they wait for the martyrdom and they are proud of the martyrs. They say that ‘our church is the church of the martyrs.’ Martyrs are the seeds of Christianity. As long as people are killed for Christianity, the church is living and not dead.”

Although El-Aour is a poor and primitive village, it is now a destination for Coptic Christians across the region.

Following the beheading of the 21 Copts, Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ordered the construction of The Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland in El-Aour. The church has become a pilgrimage site as it is the final resting spot for the bodies of the Coptic martyrs.

According to Mosebach, some Christians travel as far as 350 miles to come to see the church.

“Now it has become a real pilgrimage village, with a hotel and stops to buy pictures and memories of the martyred,” Mosebach said of Al-Aour.

Mosebach’s book was originally published in German last year. It will be released in English for the first time on Friday.

 

FORMERLY TRANSGENDER WOMEN SHARE REGRETS ABOUT TRANSITIONING DURING TEEN YEARS

Four brave young women have taken on the bold task of combating our culture’s popular but extremely harmful views surrounding sex and gender identity. Dagny, Chiara, Jesse and Helena are the faces of the newly launched Pique Resilience Project, a movement designed to support individuals who have been victimised by progressive transgender ideology.

Earlier this month, the group launched a YouTube channel devoted to discussions surrounding “gender transition” and the pressure to define one’s sexual identity at a young age.The Pique Resilience Project website explicitly notes that the group is not conservative.

In the first video, posted Feb. 1, the young women, ages 20 to 22, share how they came to identify as men. At one point, three out of the four women were taking male hormone supplements to catalyse their physical “transition” from female to male.

Desiring happiness

Dagny noted that her parents’ encouragement led her to make decisions she would ultimately come to regret.

“I think if I had been made to wait until I was 18, when I was just on the verge of going to college, I would not have started hormones,” she said.

Later in the video, Dagny explained how her transgender identity ultimately stemmed from a desire to feel loved, accepted and happy.

“I think that transitioning both socially and then later medically became this way to inject positive change over my life when at the time I had no control over my life and was super sad,” she said. “But looking back it was probably the most stagnant period of my life so far.” “I made no new friends,” she added. “I was miserable all the time, my grades were dropping, I was self-harming.”

“I think what I saw as positive change was actually the thing that was dragging me down the most in my life at the time,” Dagny said. “So I honestly can’t see any pros to, at least, my experience with transition.”

Jesse shared that her decision to live “as a man” only served to worsen other already existing mental health issues. She looks back on that period in her teens as a “confusing and deluded” time. “I completely regret jumping into it,” she said. “I should have just chilled out.”

Helena added that her decision to transition ultimately came down to intense pressure from others. Whenever she voiced any doubts or raised questions, she was “vehemently shot down.”

Paying the price

Chiara also spoke about the pressure to solidify her transgender identity, and the backlash she faced when she dared to change her mind.

“As soon as you start to maybe move away from a trans identity or start to voice things, they call you a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), or they instantly ostracise you and call you a traitor and fake,” she said. “So it’s very hard to voice doubts and that contributes to not allowing you to voice that or realise that about yourself.”

The group is not against transgenderism so much as it seeks to promote an openness to individuals who no longer identify as trans. But for many in the transgender movement, even that is going too far.

Seeking solidarity

Efforts like the Pique Resilience Project should be welcomed by Christian and conservative groups who oppose radical gender ideology. Though these women may be coming from a different political and moral perspective, their experiences speak to the true consequences of living outside God’s design. They may not be able to see exactly why just yet, but the freedom they experienced after breaking away from a transgender lifestyle is a testament to the goodness and beauty of embracing the law written on every human heart.

As our culture continues to push new and confusing views surrounding sex and gender, we need to be praying for our struggling brothers and sisters, that they may find healing and freedom in living out God’s plan for their lives.

Taken from article by Carly Hoilman in Faithwire

 

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