Thursday, December 18, 2008

'Catch 22' custody crisis for Christian mom

A Virginia mother is fighting off attempts by her former lesbian partner to gain visitation rights to a child.Lisa Miller, a former lesbian and now a born-again Christian, faces jail time for refusing to surrender her daughter to her ex-girlfriend in Vermont.WorldNetDaily reports that Miller could go to prison for refusing to allow her daughter to spend an unsupervised Thanksgiving holiday with her former lesbian partner Janet Jenkins. When Isabella Miller, Lisa's daughter, was 17 months old, Lisa left the homosexual lifestyle and became a Christian. However, when Miller gave birth to Isabella, she was in a civil union with Jenkins. Miller allowed Isabella to visit Jenkins a couple of times after their separation, but she then determined it unhealthy for her daughter and refused to let the unsupervised visitations continue. The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear the case, but there are additional hearings next month and another chance the case will go to the high court. Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver wants the court to take the case because Virginia and Vermont are struggling with competing marriage laws."And more important, people like Lisa Miller and her Christian daughter Isabella are hung in the balance, and their lives are really torn back and forth between these states that want to impose homosexuality or same-sex unions into another sister state," he points out. Staver contends Lisa Miller is caught in a lose-lose situation. "She either protects her child and does not permit unsupervised visitation in an activist lesbian household in Vermont, or she protects the child and faces the fear of a court order to take the child away and putting her in the custody of an activist homosexual-and that's a 'Catch 22' no parent wants to be in," he concludes.
By Charlie Butts and Marty Cooper
As in the days of Noah...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Letter from North Korea Defector

This is a narration of a letter from a North Korean underground church teacher, accompanied with photos of North Korea and its people....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Colo. Megachurch Reflects One Year after Shooting

Slain sisters Rachel (16)and Stephanie Works (18) New Life Church,Colorado
Tiffany Johnson 26 and Philip Crouse 24, killed at Youth With a Mission-Arvada,Colorado
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP)-After a year of accolades that followed her shooting of a gunman who killed two teenage sisters at her church, security guard Jeanne Assam remains "low key" and says she thinks of the family of gunman Matthew Murray."He didn't start off to be mixed up and confused. He started off to be a good person but he went down a wrong path," Assam said during a news conference after a church service Sunday. A former police officer, Assam said that now she is hoping to join the Colorado Springs police department.Assam shot and wounded Murray after he opened fire at New Life Church on Dec. 9, 2007. Murray then killed himself, ending a spree that killed four people in two cities.Assam said volunteering as an armed security guard at the church remains the highlight of her week.In the year since the shooting, Assam said, she has received an award from a Second Amendment group, as well as other accolades that include a resolution in the state Legislature. She also met President George W. Bush."I don't feel bad about what I had to do," she said. "I'm sad that people died...I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. It still feels a little surreal for me for some reason."Murray began his shooting spree at the Youth With a Mission center in the Denver suburb of Arvada just after midnight Dec. 9. There, he killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24.Hours later, he drove 65 miles south to New Life Church in Colorado Springs and began shooting as worshippers left a Sunday service. Sisters Rachel Works, 16, and Stephanie Works, 18, were killed. A memorial that includes a stone bench and two blue spruce pine trees will be dedicated on Tuesday, the one-year anniversary.A candlelight vigil is also planned Tuesday in Chisholm, Minn., Johnson's hometown."I can't explain why I'm here and two wonderful daughters and sisters aren't here," the teens' father, David Works, told 9,000 people at a service Sunday, with wife, Marie, and daughters Laurie, 19, and Gracie, 12, on stage with him. "All I know is God was with us then and he's with us now."David Works, who was shot just above the waist and in the leg, has recovered and has returned to work as an IT specialist. After the service, Works said he has written a book in tribute to his daughters."You have to rebuild your family again," he said.
He said he misses watching Stephanie play chess with Gracie every night, as well as long philosophical talks with Stephanie.He also misses Rachel and her movies."There's no playing chess in the evening anymore," Works said, adding that counseling has helped him to not assign his surviving daughters the former roles of Stephanie and Rachel.During his sermon, Pastor Brady Boyd talked about mourning and how the congregation has had to grieve the death of the Works' sisters and the loss of founding pastor Ted Haggard, who resigned two years ago amid a homosexual sex and drug scandal."Where death happened, life will spring up," Boyd said, later adding: "The best is yet to come at New Life."After the service, Boyd and parishioners said Assam's heroics were miraculous. Boyd called it a "David and Goliath" moment.Wearing a trench coat and carrying an assault rifle, Murray opened fire in the church complex's parking lot and headed into the church. He walked past a playground, which church spokeswoman Amie Streater said was empty that day because it had been snowing, and entered a hallway that led toward the sanctuary past a children's worship area.Outgunned and stationed near the children, Assam stepped out from a doorway, confronted the gunman and then fired 10 shots from 63 feet away, hitting Murray once in the wrist and twice in a leg. Murray died in the hallway barely 40 feet from where he entered."There was no earthly reason why more people shouldn't have died," said June Gordon, 51, with tears welling up as she recalled the horror of the day. "I just know it was God.""There were too many things to happen that went right for there to have been a coincidence, an accident," said her husband, Russ Gordon. "We really believe that was divine."
In addition to David Works, two others were wounded at New Life. A gray column in the hallway where Murray fell has slight discolorations where Streater said bullet holes had been patched.
Assam has said she is writing a book about the role forgiveness has played in her life, but she didn't talk about it Sunday. In the days after the shooting, much was made about her single status, which Boyd said resulted in a flood of e-mails to the church from interested men.When asked if she had met anyone, Assam replied, "No, I have not yet, which is just fine."
By Associated Press Writer
P. Solomon Banda
As in the days of Noah....

Bible movies show Mongolians the Gospel

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (BP)-In an Ulaanbaatar conference room, five Mongolian men ages 26 to 57 sit around a table, fanned out like spokes of a wheel. One is a former Buddhist artist. Another served as an army officer for 26 years. Along one wall is a map of Mongolia with pinned-on yellow triangles. The plain ones stand for ministry sites visited.The 10 with an adorning cross represent new, indigenous churches. Lines partition the Mongolian region into five slices-one for each of the men gathered around the table. For two years, these men have traveled the countryside together, bringing the Gospel to isolated, nomadic communities. Now they will ride out separately, each carrying the Good News to one of the outlined regions.These are the men of Steppe-by-Steppe (named after Mongolian prairielands, called steppes). Each month these believers travel to the outlying areas of Mongolia, showing Bible movies and discipling believers to establish churches and strengthen existing ones. Under the discipleship of Southern Baptist worker Will Everett,* the men have shown movies to more than 25,000 Mongols in 84 communities since 2006."These guys blow me away with what God's done in their lives," Everett said. "More than anybody else in the country, these guys know its pulse. They are the experts of Mongolia."These men are not the first to travel to Mongolia's outer aimags (provinces). When the country opened up in the early '90s after communism, American believers trekked to the countryside to show the JESUS film on ger (tent home) walls and at other venues. Many accepted Christ through the campaign.A decade later, a survey of the country's churches found discipleship to be lacking. Driven by the success of the JESUS film, believers identified a set of 10 movies about the Bible, from Genesis to the New Testament. The men trek to the nomadic areas one to two weeks monthly, showing a movie each night and using the story to bridge the discussion to "Who is Christ?"They offer Bible studies each morning and either filter new believers into existing churches or disciple them to form their own. Sometimes the team's efforts are met with anger: chairs flying when the movie doesn't work, antagonists pulling the plug during a showing. Yet there are also stories about people flagging down a ride to the movies. Others have followed the team to the train station, walking in snow for miles to see them off on their continuing journeys. One member recalls digging a hole in the Gobi desert for a spontaneous baptism.Distrust often can turn to hope when these believers tell the difference Christ has made in their lives. Tumen,* a former military man who once struggled with alcohol, shared his story with alcoholics in a community marketplace.Approximately 60 men cried at the end of his talk. Building seminars from such experiences, the team is addressing villagers' needs-and providing material that can be repurposed for prison ministry."Ministry to those outside the city is new ground," Southern Baptist worker Marie Dawes* said. "Even Mongols are asking, 'How do we do this?' It's going to have to be nomads to nomads.They are in the most unreached area."
by Dea Davidson
*Name changed.
Dea Davidson is a writer for the International Mission Board.
As in the days of Noah...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bill Targets Religious Discrimination in Okla. Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY-The first House bill filed for the 2009 legislative session seeks to clarify where the line is drawn on allowing religion in public schools, but opponents say the bill is an ideologically driven measure that will create more problems than solutions.House Bill 1001, authored by Oklahoma City Republican Reps. Sally Kern and Mike Reynolds, is titled the “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act.”
The bill allows students to express religious viewpoints in the classroom or in assignments without discrimination and prohibits students from being penalized or rewarded for the religious content of their work.The measure also allows religious groups or clubs to have the same access to school facilities as secular groups and requires school districts to adopt policies on student speakers that does not discriminate against expressions of religious viewpoints.
Reynolds said the goal of the bill is not to create any new policies for districts to follow, but simply to codify into law what already has been decided by the U.S. Supreme Court regarding religion in schools.
“There’s nothing new about this bill,” Reynolds said. “It makes it very clear that we agree with the Supreme Court.“The second thing it does is provide for a model policy for school districts to adopt so they don’t have to hire lawyers to come up with these policies.”If a district adopts the model policy contained in the bill, Reynolds said the state attorney general’s office would be required to defend the district if it were sued over the policy.But some lawmakers, including Rep. Ed Cannaday, a former teacher and school administrator in eastern Oklahoma, described the measure as a “cotton candy bill.”“It’s tasteful and you enjoy it, but it does nothing for you,” said Cannaday, D-Porum.Cannaday said the bill also could open the door for radical religious groups to demand equal time in Oklahoma schools.“What’s more dangerous is that this cotton candy has been laced with arsenic,” Cannaday said. “The radical, non-Christian fringe groups who want to undermine our faith will use this to disrupt and to distract from our spiritual base.”
A nearly identical bill last session passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry.In his veto message, Henry said students already are allowed to express their faith and that the bill could subject school officials to “an explosion of costly and protracted litigation.” “While well intended, this legislation is vaguely written and may trigger a number of unintended consequences that actually impede rather than enhance such expression,” Henry wrote.Kern, also a former public school teacher, disagreed with Henry’s take on the bill, saying the measure would provide more clarity for schools.“That is totally bogus,” Kern said of Henry’s veto message. “I doubt he even read the bill.”Dr. Richard Broughton, an associate professor of zoology at the University of Oklahoma and the president of Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education, said he opposed the bill last year and plans to do so again this year. Broughton thinks the bill is an attempt to inject religion into science classrooms, a move the group adamantly opposes.“We think that only science should be taught in science classrooms,” Broughton said. “It doesn’t deal with specific science or content, but the implications are pretty clear about what kind of things could happen if the bill passes.”With Republicans now controlling both the Oklahoma House and Senate, Broughton said he fears more bills will be introduced that are driven by ideology than good public policy.“I really hope we don’t see them, but we’re concerned,” Broughton said. “Those kinds of bills have died in the past, but could re-emerge in the political environment we have now.”
As in the days of Noah...

Church Ad Banned for Being Offensive to Gays

An advertising watchdog has banned a newspaper ad-run by a Belfast, Ireland, church-condemning homosexuality. The Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the ad was offensive and indecent.Sandown Free Presbyterian Church ran a full page ad entitled “The Word of God against Sodomy” in the Belfast Newsletter to coincide with Belfast’s Gay Pride parade.The ad states that homosexuality is an “abomination” and warns of “God’s judgment upon a sin.” It also says that it is “a cause for regret that a section of the community desires to be known for a perverted form of sexuality.”The church said it had been “obliged under God to publicly challenge the vices of this generation.” The Belfast Newsletter said that not publishing the ad would have been an “infringement of freedom of expression on a matter of public interest.”The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints from seven members of the public who felt the ad was homophobic, ruling that it had “caused serious offense to some readers.”The ASA determined that the ad went “further than the majority of readers were likely to find acceptable,” although the Rev. David McIlveen of Sandown church said there was no evidence of this.It also rejected some complaints that the ad would incite hatred and violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."The ad did not in itself incorporate language likely to incite a violent emotional response," the ASA ruled. But it went further to say the ad should not appear again in its current form.McIlveen said ASA’s ruling on this point was “a vindication of the true spirit in which the statement was formulated.”“However, we believe that the part of the adjudication in which the ASA upheld the complainants position shows a basic and fundamental ignorance of the teaching and application of God's Word on the subject of sodomy,” he continued.“By adjudicating on what is in effect the message of the bible on the code of decency is, in our opinion, the setting of a very dangerous precedent.”He also rejected ASA’s ruling that the ad was indecent.“Many thousands of people throughout the UK are in possession of scriptures that declare sodomy as an abomination, a perversion of sexuality and a sin before God.“Therefore by determining that quotations of bible texts and their application have breached CAP Code clause 5.1 (Decency), the ASA is taking the view that the printing and publishing of certain biblical texts is indecent.”He continued: “This is an offense to every bible believer. It is ironic that an authority that seeks to prevent others from being offended appears to have no scruples in offending those who hold to the plain teaching of the word of God.” McIlveen said it would not heed ASA’s recommendation that it seek advice from its copy team before publishing material in the future.“We see as an unwarranted interference into church affairs. It is totally unacceptable for any church to look to an outside body for their approval to print gospel tracts that are based on the word of God. This we cannot and will not do.”
As in the days of Noah...

Thai Church Appeals for Prayer amid Political Unrest

The head of the Thai partner church of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is appealing for Christians around the world to pray for the country as it undergoes a political crisis that has thrown parts of the country in upheaval.Although protesters began to clear out of Bangkok’s main international airport on Tuesday as a court forced the prime minister from office, the week of demonstration has left hundreds of thousands of travelers still waiting for flights out of the country.It will reportedly take weeks before the airlines can clear the backlog of an estimated 350,000 people who missed flights, according to Agence France-Presse."Please pray for the situation throughout our country for wisdom and humility on the part of decision makers and for a swift, just and peaceful solution to hostilities," wrote the Rev. Sayam Muangsak, general secretary of the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) in an email that was received by the PC(USA)'s area coordinator for Asia/Pacific.Anti-government protesters occupied both of Bangkok’s airports last week, forcing them to close and resulting in a mass number of canceled flights.They have also occupied the prime minister compound since August.The protesters, members of the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), demanded that Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat be ousted from the government.Protesters accuse Somchai of being a puppet of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was accused of government corruption, abuse of power, and suppression of free speech.Thaksin was removed from office by a bloodless coup by the Thai military while he was in New York in 2006.But despite the seeming resolution between the PAD and government on Tuesday, the conflict is far from over.Supporters of Somchai vow they will press charges against PAD leaders for their takeover of airports and Government House.Also, the PAD has declared it will not accept any prime minister or politician linked to Thaksin. Despite its name, the PAD is not as democratic as it sounds, but rather royalist.The PAD did not recognize the fact that Thaksin was elected by a landslide and his replacements were democratically selected.Instead, the PAD attacked Somchai’s party until it was found guilty of electoral fraud and disbanded. Meanwhile, Somchai is banned from politics for five years and Deputy Prime Minister Chaowarat Chandeerakul is now acting prime minister. During the past months, there have been several isolated incidents of violence by both the PAD and those who oppose them (the United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship or UDD).Over the weekend, more than 50 people were injured in clashes between PAD supporters and pro-government counter-protesters.But in addition to the political situation, the Church of Christ in Thailand also said it is worried that the global economic crisis and the expected loss in the country’s tourist industry will have a long-term detrimental financial effect on Thailand.“We here in the Church of Christ in Thailand value your prayers at this particular time,” wrote CCT’s Rev. Sayam Muangsak.
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
As in the days of Noah...

Two Arrested for Killing of Youth Minister

CLEVELAND, Ga. - A man and a woman have been arrested in connection with the killing of a church youth minister in Cleveland, Georgia.Cleveland's police chief identifies the suspects as 21-year-old William Joseph Dyer and 29-year-old Jennifer Dawn Lineberger. Both are charged with felony murder. Dyer is also charged with armed robbery.The body of the Rev. Edward Frank Harris Jr. of Clermont was found shortly before 4 a.m. Monday in the yard of a home in Cleveland. The 44-year-old Harris had called his family Sunday afternoon after church to say he was giving two stranded people a ride into town before he returned home.
As in the dasy of Noah....

Nigerian Refugees Flee Muslim-Christian Violence

JOS, Nigeria - Iki Atsen, a Nigerian Christian, says he told the women in his home to flee and grabbed an ax as a man with a bullhorn urged 100 Muslim men to storm the home and kill all non-Muslims.Atsen survived, but his two brothers were cut down by machetes and tossed by the mob into a well.They were among over 300 people slaughtered last week in the worst violence to hit Nigeria in years.The Nigerian Red Cross says some 12,000 people have sought refuge at 13 makeshift camps across the central city of Jos, where homes, churches and mosques lie in ruins.
As in the days of Noah...

Iraqi Christians Slowly Returning Home to Mosul

An Iraqi Christian carries humanitarian aid distributed by the Iraqi Red Crescent, at Saint George Church in Baghdad, Iraq , on Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008. About 45 Christian families came to Baghdad from Mosul after violence against their minority in the area.
(Photo: AP Images / Khalid Mohammed )
BAGHDAD-Iraqi Christians have started to trickle home to the restive city of Mosul in recent days as attacks against them have tapered off, authorities said Friday.Jawdat Ismaeel, a local migration official in Mosul, said Christians are no longer fleeing the northern city following a spate of threats and killings earlier this month. Sunni insurgents are believed to be behind the campaign to drive them out."Christian families have stopped leaving and started to come back to their houses in different neighborhoods in Mosul," Ismaeel said.He said 35 Christian families, or about 210 people, have returned.The government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, has condemned the violence and is trying to lure Christians back to Mosul by offering each family that returns 1 million Iraqi dinars-about $865.The initial response to the offer has been lukewarm, however, according to local officials.Ismaeel said the migration department has also granted Christian government workers and students a leave of absence from work and class until Nov. 1.In Baghdad, meanwhile, some 300 people rallied in front of a Chaldean church in support of Iraqi Christians and to condemn the attacks against them."I am sure that 99 percent of Iraqis are sympathizing with Christians," the Rev. Louis al-Shabi told those gathered. "This is a good indication of the unity and love among Iraqi people."Attacks against Christians and other minorities in Iraq had tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide. But some 1,800 Christians families, or 13,000 people, were chased away by threats and extremist attacks in Mosul earlier this month.That is over half the community in a city where Christians have lived since the early days of the religion.Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled the country in the face of violence by Islamic extremist.
As in the days of Noah...

Militants step up fear campaign

Somalia-Voice of the Martyrs is confirming the murder of a Somali Christian in Manyafulka village.It is the latest in a wave of such attacks on Christians in Somalia recent months.Somalia is almost exclusively Sunni Muslim, with less than one percent of the population Christian.There has been a noticeable increase in the number of Christians in Somalia. A number of believers have been martyred, and others have been publicly named as targets for execution.In many hardline Muslim areas, to convert from Islam to Christianity is apostasy, punishable by death. Compass Direct reports militant Islamists caught up to Mohammed, staged a mock trial and pronounced Mansuur Mohammed an apostate and a spy for Ethiopian soldiers.After stirring up the passions of the crowd, the militants beheaded the 25-year-old convert. They then circulated the video in an effort to instill fear in those contemplating converting from Islam to Christianity.
--Pray for comfort for those who mourn the loss of these Christians.
--Ask God to give strength and comfort to the people in Manyafulka village and the surrounding area.
--Pray that those responsible for these dark deeds will come to know the light of Christ's love
--Pray for a full and lasting peace in this war-torn country.
--Pray for encouragement and strength for the Christians remaining in Somalia as well as for those who have been forced to leave their homes.
As in the days of Noah...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Death toll over 300 in Nigerian sectarian violence

JOS, Nigeria-Mobs burned homes, churches and mosques Saturday in a second day of riots, as the death toll rose to more than 300 in the worst sectarian violence in Africa's most populous nation in years. Sheikh Khalid Abubakar, the imam at the city's main mosque, said more than 300 dead bodies were brought there on Saturday alone and 183 could be seen laying near the building waiting to be interred.Those killed in the Christian community would not likely be taken to the city mosque, raising the possibility that the total death toll could be much higher. The city morgue wasn't immediately accessible Saturday.Police spokesman Bala Kassim said there were "many dead," but couldn't cite a firm number.The hostilities mark the worst clashes in the restive West African nation since 2004, when as many as 700 people died in Plateau State during Christian-Muslim clashes.Jos, the capital of Plateau State, has a long history of community violence that has made it difficult to organize voting. Rioting in September 2001 killed more than 1,000 people.The city is situated in Nigeria's "middle belt," where members of hundreds of ethnic groups commingle in a band of fertile and hotly contested land separating the Muslim north from the predominantly Christian south.Authorities imposed an around-the-clock curfew in the hardest-hit areas of the central Nigerian city, where traditionally pastoralist Hausa Muslims live in tense, close quarters with Christians from other ethnic groups.The fighting began as clashes between supporters of the region's two main political parties following the first local election in the town of Jos in more than a decade. But the violence expanded along ethnic and religious fault lines, with Hausas and members of Christian ethnic groups doing battle.Angry mobs gathered Thursday in Jos after electoral workers failed to publicly post results in ballot collation centers, prompting many onlookers to assume the vote was the latest in a long line of fraudulent Nigerian elections.Riots flared Friday morning and at least 15 people were killed. Local ethnic and religious leaders made radio appeals for calm on Saturday, and streets were mostly empty by early afternoon. Troops were given orders to shoot rioters on sight.The violence is the worst since the May 2007 inauguration of President Umaru Yar'Adua, who came to power in a vote that international observers dismissed as not credible.Few Nigerian elections have been deemed free and fair since independence from Britain in 1960, and military takeovers have periodically interrupted civilian rule.More than 10,000 Nigerians have died in sectarian violence since civilian leaders took over from a former military junta in 1999. Political strife over local issues is common in Nigeria, where government offices control massive budgets stemming from the country's oil industry.

As in the days of Noah...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

20,000 Muslims attack Christian church in Egypt

More disturbing -- but telling -- details regarding this story. "20,000 Muslims Attack a Church in Cairo," from AINA, November 26:
One thousand Christians were today trapped inside the Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary in West Ain Shams,Cairo, after more than twenty thousand Muslims attacked them with stones and butane gas cylinders. The Church's priest Father Antonious said that the situation is extremely dangerous.The Muslim mob that attacked the church blocked both sides of the street and encircled the church building, broke its doors and demolished its entire first floor. The mob were chanting Jihad verses as well as slogans saying "we will demolish the church" and "We sacrifice our blood and souls, we sacrifice ourselves for you, Islam", while the entrapped Christians chanted "Lord have mercy".The incident started on the occasion of the inauguration of the Church today, when the Muslims hastily established a Mosque in the early hours of this morning, by taking over the first floor of a newly-built building facing the Church and started praying there.When the security forces tried to disperse the mob, they went to nearby homes and shops owned by Christians, and were armed with sticks, butane, knives and other sharp objects. Witnesses said the mob included children from as young as 8-years old to men of over 50-years old, in addition to women.The Church building was originally a factory that was adapted into its present state, the matter which took over five years to complete and to get the necessary permissions from the authorities to have a Church established.Human rights organizations and lawyers were refused entry into the besieged Church.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian, and soon to follow, no doubt, Western press, portray this as "sectarian strife" where both sides, Muslims and Christians, are equally guilty of "intolerance."
Posted by Raymond
As in the days of Noah...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deadly N.J. Church Shooting Suspect Captured in Ga

NEW YORK-A man accused of driving across the United States and fatally shooting his estranged Indian immigrant wife and another man inside a church has been captured in Georgia.Joseph M. Pallipurath was arrested around midnight Monday in Monroe, east of Atlanta, said New Jersey district U.S. Marshal James Plousis. Pallipurath, of Sacramento, California, is suspected of shooting and killing 24-year-old Reshma James inside the St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church in Clifton, New Jersey, a suburb about 15 miles west of Manhattan.Also killed was Dennis John Mallosseril, who maintained the church's Web site. Witnesses said he had tried to intervene and break up the church rampage.A third person, James' cousin, Silvy Perincheril, was shot in the head and was hospitalized in critical condition. James had taken out a restraining order against Pallipurath, prosecutors said.In California, the suspect's father had called on him to surrender, as did relatives of one of the victims in New Jersey.All three victims were shot once in the head and didn't regain consciousness, depriving investigators of the opportunity to interview them. James died at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and Mallosseril died three hours later.The search for Pallipurath had centered on Georgia, where he has relatives, prosecutors said.Pallipurath is accused of opening fire Sunday just as the congregation at the largely Indian immigrant church was finishing its prayers for the dead, a staple of weekly worship service. Authorities say he fired more than three times but only three people were hit. No one else was injured.After fleeing three months ago from what relatives said was an abusive, arranged marriage in California, James moved to New Jersey and stayed with Perincheril.The couple were married just over a year ago in India and moved to Sacramento in January.Reshma's aunt Maria Joseph, of Hartford, Connecticut, said she warned her niece, who was studying to become a nurse, not to marry him. Other relatives told her the man had a history of "behavioral problems," Joseph said.Mathai Pallipurath, the suspect's father, said he thought his son and daughter-in-law were happy together, and he described his son as "handsome" and "a nice guy."According to a published report, however, the elder Pallipurath was granted a restraining order against his son in May. The father said Joseph was abusive to family members and had threatened his life.In the story posted on its Web site Monday, The Sacramento Bee, citing family court records, said the restraining order was dropped at Mathai Pallipurath's request on June 17. Mathai Pallipurath was not available later Monday to comment on the report. A man who answered the phone at the family's Sacramento home Monday evening said he did not wish to speak further.The shootings have reverberated throughout the Knanaya faith, a close-knit Christian minority in India who are even closer-knit in the United States.The parish priest, Rev. Thomas Abraham, said he heard a loud noise and thought something had fallen in the church.He got up to go toward the noise, only to be hit with a wave of parishioners pushing him backward, saying someone was shooting inside the sanctuary.He said church members were in shock."They're all scared; they're all really upset," he said. "We have to hold together in this time of adversity."
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As in the days of Noah....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thought Police On Patrol In Canada

Queen’s University in Canada has enacted a sweeping new new speech code that would prevent you from attending an event even on religious grounds.
A sampling of some behaviour that could warrant attention from university-appointed student facilitators, tasked with policing students’ offensive language at Queen’s:
If a student uses the phrase “That’s so gay” in conversation.
If a student calls someone or something “retarded.“
If a student writes a homophobic, racist or other derogatory remark in a public space, such as on a residence poster or classmate’s door.
If a student avoids a classmate’s birthday party for faith-based reasons.
You know what I’m pretty proud of as an American? The fact that the Ku Klux Klan is allowed to hold marches and protests here.Not because I’m a Klan member or even agree with the Klan on much of anything (claims from those of you who send me hate mail to the contrary), but because I think free speech means free speech.Now, I don’t think that free speech rights are necessarily absolute.I don’t think that free speech extends to disrupting the rights of others to speak freely or peacefully assemble.I don’t think that free speech means you can use a bull horn on a residential street at four in the morning.But I do think it means that we have to let those we disagree with have their time to speak and demonstrate freely no matter how offensive their message may be.Because I think the worst thing you can do to extremists is turn them into free speech martyrs by not letting them speak, and the best thing you can do is actually let them speak so that they can be dismissed as loons and roundly criticized by the public at large.Clearly, in Canada, they don’t value free speech (and free religion) at the same level we do here in America.
By Rob
As in the days of Noah....

Court to decide whether campus evangelism a crime

The so-called "free-speech code" of Yuba Community College District is under federal court scrutiny.California student, Ryan Dozier, decided to spend some time on campus sharing his faith and handing out tracts to fellow students, generating conversations about Christianity. Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Heather Hacker comments on the situation. "A campus police officer came over and told him that if he continued to do so without a permit that he would be possibly expelled or arrested, and so Ryan stopped immediately," she explains. Hacker says Dozier thought the case was closed, but he was apparently mistaken."Three weeks later he got a certified letter from the president of the college stating that his actions were the subject of a campus crime report," she adds."Last time I checked, sharing your faith on a public college campus was not a crime." But the letter informed him he could face expulsion if he shared his faith on campus again. ADF filed suit, and a federal judge has ordered the college to suspend enforcement of its highly restricted free speech policies until the lawsuit is resolved.
As in the days of Noah....

2nd church shooting victim dies

CLIFTON, N.J.-A second victim of a weekend church shooting died Monday, leaving one survivor who was in extremely critical condition, authorities said. The estranged wife of the alleged gunman, who remained at large, also died in the attack.John Dennis, 24, a bystander in the shootings, died of head wounds suffered in Sunday's shooting at St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Knanaya Church.The search for the suspect, Joseph M. Pallipurath, focused on Georgia, where he has relatives, Passaic County Prosecutor James Avigliano said.Pallipurath, 27, had come from Sacramento, Calif., and allegedly killed his wife, Reshma James, 24, authorities said. She had been staying with relatives near Clifton since leaving Sacramento, where they lived.She had taken out a restraining order against Pallipurath, Avigliano said. Their marriage had been arranged, he said."She found out he wasn't all he was cut out to be," Avigliano said. "He was abusive toward her, and she left him and came out here."James' cousin, Silvy Perincheril, 47, also was shot in the head and remained in "extremely critical" condition Monday, Avigliano said.Dennis did not know the family, the prosecutor said.Pallipurath was last seen driving a green 2004 Jeep with California license plates and a black soft top.The church caters to immigrant families from the southern Indian state of Kerala.
As in the days of Noah...

Cops Hunt Gunman Who Opened Fire in Packed Service at New Jersey Church

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Flying Gospel

The Voice of the Martyrs has launched gospel balloons and gospel tracts into North Korea for more than 20 years. Each large balloon includes 10,000 gospel tracts, printed on weather proof plastic. The tracts include the book of Mark written in Korean. A time release mechanism drops them at intervals....

North Korea enraged by launch of Gospel gas balloons:Communists see Christian messages by thousands blanketing countryside

Christians launching a balloon to carry thousands of Gospel tracts over North Korea, where they are then dropped to residents
North Korean officials are infuriated by leaflets that have been floated over the communist nation's secured borders and dropped from plastic bags attached to gas-filled balloons, and one organization behind the effort says there's good reason the atheists in power are upset – the pamphlets are carrying a Gospel message directly to the people.Hundreds of thousands of leaflets have reportedly been distributed in just the past few months, and may have been the reason the North recently announced it would shut its border with the South. The North also has threatened to cut other communications, such as telephone lines, over the issue.The leaflets have been attributed to "political" groups, but a spokesman for one organization sponsoring the effort said there's nothing political about it, and the tracts carry a message of hope directly to the North Korean people.The spokesman and his organization, which spreads the Gospel around the world, couldn't be identified because of the potential for danger to affiliated activists who are dispatching the balloons.But he told WND those who have fled government crackdowns on their faith inside North Korea are desperate to get the message of hope to their family, friends and communities behind the wall of communist information censorship."Each balloon carried 10,000 Gospel tracts, in three separate bags at the bottom that have a time release mechanism so that they drop at different times to spread the leaflets over a wider area," he described.On one side, the leaflet cites a "great revival" that launched in Pyongyang in 1907."It began with a Bible study that took place in Changdaehyun church … Many Koreans came together to study the Bible, the written record of God's love for Korean people and the world," it says. "Unfortunately, this study of the truth was stopped by Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. They are not the first people to build big statues of themselves for people to bow down and worship. Throughout history, many leaders have claimed to be a god only to die later. The following is a true story from the Bible that took place thousands of years ago. It is about a man like Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il who thought he was even better than God Himself. But this story is also about 3 courageous men who knew who the real God was, and how they refused to bow down to someone who was only a man."The pamphlet then describes Nebuchadnezzar's reign, his construction of a golden statue to himself and the refusal on the part of three Israelite captives to bow down before it.The Bible records Nebuchadnezzer then had the captives thrown into a fire, but he saw four men, not three, walking around inside the flames, which did not hurt the men."There is only one who is the true Savior. Just as King Nebuchadnezzar died, so did Kim Il-Sung and one day so will Kim Jong-Il. But unlike these 3 men, the true God, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and lives," it continues."King Nebuchadnezzar had his people bow down and worship him, but God showed him that he was not a god. King Nebuchadnezzar had to bow down to the One True God. Everyone, including all the leaders in the world that have thought themselves to be God, will one day have to bow down to the One True God also. The Bible says that the name of Jesus, God's son, is above every name. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord."The Al-Jazeera network reported even the South Korean government was looking for ways to ban "activists" from sending "anti-North Korean propaganda" across the border between the two nations, apparently in an attempt to win favor with the North Korean powers.Kim Ho-Nyoun of South Korea's unification ministry said he was reviewing whether there were "legal grounds" to halt the spread of the messages, which Al-Jazeera described as an "irritant" to North-South relations because of their "critical" message about North Korean leadership.The Islamic network noted North Korean officials had been complaining about "debris," while the Korea Times said the government's previous attempts to discourage the spread of such messages have not been successful.The pamphlet says, "The Bible tells us that 'God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life" (John 3:16). We love God because He first loved us. God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die to save you-and He rose from the dead and is watching over you today. That is why you have found this paper."Although there may be "political" items also being dropped over North Korea, many of the items are evangelism-oriented, the ministry spokesman told WND."The good news of this story is that obviously it works," said the ministry spokesman. "If the leaflets weren't getting into North Korea, or weren't getting read by anyone, the North Korean government wouldn't be making a big deal about it."North Korea long has had a record of banning Christianity and torturing and killing Christians. WND reported a Christian ministry launched a campaign seeking to have North Korean students who were caught reading the Bible freed from jail.According to Free North Korea Broadcasting, a former vice-president of GumRung Co. of the Rodong Dang Labor Organization Department, reported the situation.He escaped to the relative freedom of China to avoid arrest by the National Security Agency of North Korea and carried information about the situation with him."In March 2006, 200 Life Bibles and several hundred CDs were purchased in China and secretly placed in flour bags before being smuggled into North Korea," he reported. "This huge Bible smuggling case was headed by GumRung Co. employees who were influenced by Christianity in China and underground Christians in Nasun City."He continued, "All the leaders have been arrested and are being severely tortured. If I am caught, I will be sent to a prison camp for political criminals. I didn't want to die in prison camp, so I escaped."
But detailed information from inside North Korea often is hard to obtain, many times coming only from those who have survived and escaped. WND previously reported on a North Korean who fled and said many North Koreans believe dictator Kim Jong-Il actually is a god.
By Bob Unruh
As in the days of Noah...

Prop. 8 opponents show 'intolerance', 'hypocrisy'

The war against passage of Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that California voters approved to protect traditional marriage, continues.Homosexual activists have taken the case back to the courts to try to overturn the vote. Filing a brief supporting homosexual marriage are the California Council of Churches and the Episcopal bishops of Northern California and Los Angeles. Brad Dacus of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) says the people who support same-sex marriage believe if voters are permitted to take away rights from a group based on sexual orientation, the same could happen to religious groups."These arguments are totally without merit in that homosexual marriage is not a true fundamental right, and that's the reason why voters had to go to the polls and amend the constitution of California to once again protect that which is truly a fundamental right," he explains. Dacus says he understands where the organizations are coming from, and says it is not the Bible. "These groups that just filed the brief are the ones that are the most adamantly against Christians who believe in the Bible, believe in what the Bible teaches," he adds."Their intolerance is unmistakable, and their hypocrisy is very evident in what they've filed."
As in the days of Noah....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PERSECUTION in AMERICA:Elijah-Jezebel showdown, by Lou Engle

PS:My heart is heavy for my country...that's why I post this video.
May the Lord SPEAK to you that are watching and IF you are not AWAKE,may the Lord SHAKE YOU from SLUMBER....Millions in the valley of Decision....
For all those that dont live in America....this is the PERSECUTION that IS AMONG US ALREADY...May the Lord grant us BOLDNESS to preach the Gospel like never before....!!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

Christian Prayer Group Sexually and Physically Assaulted by Homosexual Mob:San Francisco Castro District residents seek vengeance for vote on Prop 8

SAN FRANCISCO, November 18, 2008 ( mob of homosexuals sexually and physically assaulted a group of Christians praying together in the city's Castro District last week, in apparent retaliation for the recent defeat of homosexual marriage in California.The Christians, a group of Evangelical Protestants who regularly go to the predominantly homosexual Castro District to sing songs and pray with passers-by, say they were holding hands and singing "Amazing Grace" when a angry mob began to shove and kick them, steal their belongings, pour hot coffee on their faces, and sexually assault them."We'd been there for a couple of nights just singing worship songs, people would come up and stand with us and join us, we got to pray for some people," said one participant in an account filmed at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City...

..."but on Friday night it just was different.""We started worshipping, it was kind of like you would walk into someone's living room, and people are just hanging out with a guitar, worshipping Jesus, just really peaceful," she continued. "And a man came up after we'd been there for a little while and just began yelling and swearing at us and commanding us to get out of the Castro District, and our leader went up and he said 'why are you here?' and she said 'we're here to worship God and we're here because we love you'."The words enraged the man, who was soon followed by others. Although the group did no preaching, the mere presence of Christians praying in the Castro District was enough to provoke a frenzy of violence."A few men came and they brought a large piece of cloth and covered us with cloth and cornered us into a corner, and they started swearing at us and yelling at us and just filled with hatred, and the crowd grew larger and larger and larger until it ended up being a few hundred people and the bars had emptied out, and we're completely surrounded by people yelling at us," the participant recounted."And all of a sudden, me and another friend had hot coffee poured on our faces, and I thought they were pouring boiling water on us until I could smell the coffee, and the girl next to me, someone reached in and took her Bible and she went and said 'I'm sorry that's mine, can I have it back please?' and he hit on her head with the Bible, pushed her onto the ground and began kicking her."According to the account, members of the crowd began to shove the group and blow whistles in their ears. They took photographs and said "we know who you are, we're going to kill you". The group made a circle with the women protected inside. That was when "it got bad, it got perverse," the participant said.Although the videotaped participant did not elaborate, a YouTube member who posted a video of the violence included anonymous testimony from a participant claiming that "they were touching and grabbing me, and trying to shove things in my butt, and even trying to take off my pants - basically trying to molest me. I used one hand to hold my pants up, while I used the other arm to hold one of the girls. The guys huddled around all the girls, and protected them." After police arrived in riot gear, the mob reportedly became even more agitated, and began to violently lunge at the prayer group, seeking to go between the officers, who had formed a protective line. That was when the videotaped participant said she thought she was going to die.The police then reportedly insisted in escorting the group out of the Castro District, stating that it was necessary to preserve the lives of the prayer group members. A video on YouTube records the final minutes of the escort, showing angry homosexuals screaming curse words, threatening the Christians, and attempting to force their way through the protective line of police...

San Francisco's KTVU reports that one opponent of Proposition 8 claimed that "their rights were respected. They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood."The television station explicitly attributed the anger of the homosexual mob to the recent victory of Proposition 8, the California referendum that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), told LifeSiteNews that America is beginning to see the real face of the homosexual movement in the aftermath of the Proposition 8 victory in California."Basically I think what we're seeing is that the homofascist element of the larger gay movement is coming out of the closet, and they're emboldened by what they perceive as injustice, but I'm hoping and I'm praying that their antidemocratic behavior educates America and helps Americans wake up to what this movement is all about," LaBarbera said."If you do a little logic test and flip it around and if you had a video of a bunch of Christians or let's just say conservatives, sexually molesting and chasing some gays out of a city, you'd better believe there would be a national outcry," he added.LaBarbera said that his website continues to receive more page views as interest grows in his organization, which is exclusively committed to combating the homosexual political agenda in the United States.
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
Related Links:
Testimony of Prayer Group Participant
Video of Mob Assault of Christian Prayer Group
Americans for Truth About Homosexuality
Related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Prop. 8 Protesters Besiege LA Mormon Temple, Press Forward on Legal Challenges
Video Shows Gay 'Marriage' Backers Terrorizing Cross-Carrying Elderly Woman and Reporter
Mormons, Knights of Columbus Face Chilling Threats and More Vandalism for Prop. 8 Support
Homosexualist Anarchists Storm Michigan Church During Sunday Service
PS:This is very sad....Please remember this community in San Francisco in prayer....Jesus TRULY LOVES the sinner....that's why we preach the Gospel....
As in the days of Noah...

Former Iraqi adviser to Post: Religious extremism is top threat to minorities

Religious extremism is the biggest threat facing minorities in Iraq today and could ultimately see the war-torn country emptied of these populations, a former adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.More than 40 percent of Christians are believed to have emigrated from Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein and Iraq was now seeing a mass migration of the Yazidi religious minority to Europe, said Mirzan Hassan Dinnayi, a Kurdish Yazidi who was Talabani's adviser on minorities in the first half of 2005, and now lives in Germany.Just last month, large numbers of Christians were driven out of Mosul in northern Iraq and other cities, he said."The biggest danger for them is Islamic religious extremism in Iraq and the 'Islamization' of the street - this is what scares religious minority communities," Dinnayi said in an interview, before giving a lecture at the Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Center for the Advancement of Peace.The danger "is the killing based on [religious] identity," he said.The worst-case scenario, he said, was "that the displacement that is happening will empty Iraq of its minority communities."Other religious minorities in the country include the Mandaeans, the Shabaks and a small number of Jews. Roughly 60% of Iraqis are Shi'ites, and 34% are Sunnis.The Yazidis, for example, who make up an estimated 2.5% of Iraq's population and practice one of the most ancient religions in the Middle East, were targeted in three large-scale attacks in 2007.On February 15, 2007, in the Yazidi city of Shaikhan, "hundreds of radical Muslims" destroyed and burned the Yazidi temple, cultural centers, cars and shops, shot aimlessly at houses and citizens and demanded that the Yazidi people leave the area and emigrate, Dinnayi said in his lecture.The next day, they beheaded a Yazidi mother of four children.On April 22, 2007, 24 Yazidi workers were killed in Mosul by a group of gunmen. The attackers were aided by the police, whose headquarters ordered all checkpoints to move away from the area.The next day, an intensifying anti-Yazidi movement caused 820 students to leave their faculties at the University of Mosul, where all Yazidi families have now left.And in August 2007, extremists attacked in the Sinjar district, killing 311 people, wounding 800 and leaving 70 missing.Not only was there a lack of laws to protect these minorities, Dinnayi said, there are few mechanisms to implement the laws that did exist.While the Iraqi constitution protects the rights of all its citizens, "nothing from the constitution until now has been implemented regarding minorities," he said.One solution was "international solidarity" for all minorities, he said. Another would be the stabilization of the security situation in Iraq and an eventual transition to a democratic state and "a state of laws."In addition, one Kurdish official in northern Iraq has proposed establishing a "safe zone" in the Nineveh Plain for the Christian minority. The autonomous region, where Assyrian would be the official language, would have legislative and executive authorities.However, Dinnayi said, there were many questions about the feasibility and even the wisdom of such a move."If this 'Islamization' of the street and radicalization in Iraq becomes stronger," something he expects, "which written law can protect this small island in an ocean of Islamic radicalism?"Meanwhile, most of the minority members who suffered from "Arabization" measures imposed by Saddam Hussein's regime in northern Iraq, including displacement, forced relocation and confiscation of property, had still not been compensated, said attorney Said Pirmurat, a specialist in Iraqi criminal law who also lectured at the Truman Center on Tuesday.While a solution to these policies was sought with the adoption of Article 140 of the Constitution of 2005, the measures have not been implemented.In addition, Article 58 of the Iraqi Transitional Administrative Law of 2004 says that all confiscated lands must be returned to their owners or be compensated for, "but the Iraqi government has ignored this article," said Pirmurat, a Yazidi who also lives in Germany.Both Yazidis and Jews had suffered from measures instituted by Saddam's regime, such as sequestration of property and displacement and destruction of villages. Yazidis in particular had suffered because they were both Kurds and members of a religious minority, he said.One study from the University of Hanover in Germany estimated that some $18 billion worth of property was confiscated from the Jews, Pirmurat said. "Article 58 leaves an opportunity also for Jews to claim what was confiscated from them during these years," he said.
By Brenda Gazzar

As in the days of Noah...

November 21-23, 2008:Three Days of Prayer and Fasting for Iran

In response to a year of persecution and the imminent passing of a law making the death sentence mandatory for all Muslim men who turn to Christ and life imprsonment for Muslim women who turn to Christ, Iranian church leaders are calling for prayer and fasting from November 21 – 23, 2008.They know they have no influence in the courts of men – but they want to take their case to the courts of heaven.And like Esther of old, the queen of Iran who told Mordecai to ask all the people of God to pray and fast for three days, so Iranian Christian leaders are asking the world-wide church to also set aside these three days for prayer and fasting.If you are a prayer leader in your church, please contact other intercessors to be involved in these three days, and please approach your pastor to see if special prayers for Iran can be made at your church service on Sunday November 23.
The growing church in Iran is under attack. Since April there have been at least fifty three arrests of people whose only crime is their faith in Jesus Christ. The arrests are not localised, but have happened in all of Iran’s major cities…Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kerman, and elsewhere. Sometimes people have been released the same day, others spent months in prison, some still remain behind bars. Many of them have had to pay exorbitant fees for bail and face frightening court cases. Some have suffered physically while in detention and it is believed that one elderly couple died as a result of being beaten up. These are only the arrests that get reported: it is likely there have been many more.All of this has been happening against the ominous background of legislation going through the Iranian parliament that will make the death sentence mandatory for any man who leaves Islam and chooses another faith. Women will face life imprisonment for the same ‘crime’.

Click here to read more about this legislation.
Despite the persecution, the church in Iran continues to grow rapidly.The Word of God is reaching many in the country and many believers are determined to courageously share Christ with their countrymen. Christian leaders in Iran believe that the church will continue to grow very rapidly in the next five to ten years, such is the openness of Iranians to the Gospel.
We urge Christians world wide to pray and fast on behalf of the church in Iran.
--Pray for all those who have been arrested and intimidated.
--Pray that the Lord will be their Rock, Deliverer and Shield. (Psalm 18:2)
--Pray that despite the persecution, Christians will be “encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly.” (Phil 1:14)
--Pray against the law of apostasy.

--Pray that the severe mandatory punishments regarding apostasy in Iran’s new penal code will not enter the statute book.
--Pray that many millions of Muslims will see the evil of this law and will hunger for spiritual truth and salvation.
Click here for more details about persecution in Iran in 2008.
Elam Ministries
As in the days of Noah....

Somali Christian shot at Muslim wedding

Somalia-According to International Christian Concern, a 22-year-old Somali Christian, Ahmadey Osman Nur, was murdered last month during a wedding ceremony.The Muslim wedding Nur was attending was performed in Arabic, the language of Islam. Even though most Somali Muslims don't speak Arabic, it is considered the "language Allah hears" and is therefore used in Muslim ceremonies.Due to the lack of comprehension of the service by any of the guests, Nur asked that the contents of the wedding be translated into the Somali vernacular. The Sheik performing the ceremony was aware of Nur's conversion to Christianity, however, and took offense to the request. He declared him to be guilty of apostasy and asked a guard to "silence" him.Nur was encouraged to leave the ceremony, and upon exiting, he was shot and killed by the armed guard.Nur is not the first Christian to be put to death for his faith in Somalia. It seems as though many Islamic extremists are looking for reasons to kill believers, and they often do so without much justification. In the past nine months, six Somali Christians have been martyred, including Nur.Ironically, Nur is now remembered for his generous compassion for those in need, a quality necessitated in the Five Pillars of Islam.
Please pray for believers in Somalia and other Islamic nations that undergo this kind of persecution daily.
Pray that believers would reflect the peace of Christ with their lifestyles and that many more Muslims would come to know the Lord, just as Nur did.
As in the days of Noah....

Persecution Rising in Algeria

Algeria-Courthouses in Algeria are collecting more and more Christians. Operation Mobilization reports the sentencing of five missionaries and several local believers.The Christians received two to three years in prison plus fines, but they are appealing. Although persecution is an opportunity to witness and grow, it's also emotionally draining.So far, 20 churches have been told to stop their activities, but they're ignoring this order. In September, six members of a house fellowship were handcuffed after the meeting and held in custody overnight. Their gathering "disturbed the faith of Muslims," and the believers were ridiculed, pressured and accused of becoming Christians for the money and visas. "The only visa we have received is that to heaven," the believers replied.Among the Christians that visited the court in Tiaret to learn about trial results were local newspapers and internationals. Some of the cases included six believers who were sentenced to two years in prison and two believers that were going through trial again. In the first case, believers were accused of "shaking the faith of Muslims" and "holding religious meetings without permission," On top of the two-year prison sentence, the Christians were fined $5,000 euros apiece. In a separate case, two believers have to face the judge in Tiaret for a second time. Previously held for three days after being found not guilty for carrying Christian literature, the believers are facing trial again.
As in the days of Noah...

Extremists use Bible translation mistake to foment anti-Christian sentiment

India-Extremists in India are stoking and spreading the flames of persecution over a Bible translation mistake.President of Words of Hope, David Bast, says their radio ministry office is in Ranchi, Jharkhand state.They broadcast Christian radio programs in several of the languages spoken in India including Hindi. That's why the latest report alarmed them. On October 20, Bast explains,"There was a huge anti-Christian demonstration in the streets of Ranchi. People came from all over India, not just this area, to protest this particular version of the Bible and to denounce Christians, in general." The controversy stems from one word in the Oraon Bible translation. It centers on the translation of Deuteronomy 12:2 which reads, "You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green (spreading) tree."The context of the passage deals with the children of Israel approaching the end of the time they were wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. According to Words of Hope's Lee DeYoung, the passage in question is part of God's instruction to the tribes concerning what they had to do to make the land ready prior to entering Canaan. The term used for "spreading tree" in Oraon happens to coincide with the name of the religion that the tribal group practices.Extremists claim the point of the passage is proof of a Christian effort to annihilate a particular Indian tribe of people. They've spread the mistranslation and roused thousands to their cause. Militants also demanded mass burnings of the Bible throughout Jharkhand, as well as the renunciation of the first of the Ten Commandments.Bast says he's also been made aware of a demand for public punishment over the translation mistake.While the translation troubles did not come from Words of Hope, ministries like theirs are affected."The Christians in this city are asking us to pray for them to defuse the tensions here, and they're acting in concert to try to negotiate with more reasonable elements the unreasonable demands that are being placed upon them."The Bible Society has publicly apologized for the mistake and corrected it, but the pressure is high.There have been scattered reports of those who have been attacked as they came out of hiding and tried to go back to their villages.Extremists have been reported to be lying in wait and forcing them to reject their faith."Christians have renounced the faith and gone back to Hinduism. It's the only way to save their lives to be able to come back into their homes."
Keep praying for believers and for those in ministry that their faith remains strong throughout this time.
As in the days of Noah...

Church in Bangalore creates necessary defense

India-Church services in India are being conducted a bit differently these days, according to Tom Dudenhofer of Audio Scripture Ministries.After hearing of several other disruptions created by mobs in the middle of church services, one church in Bangalore was forced to "make arrangements," says Dudenhofer. The church neither had nor has any plans to be aggressive, but the congregation has come up with a defense system in order to be left in peace while they worship."Just a few weeks ago," says Dudenhofer, "they told the women and the children that they needed to go and sit near the front of the church. And then all the men were supposed to take up standing positions at all the doorways and all the entrances to the church."These men who encircle the church are there as more of a warning than anything else. The hope is that in a country where violence toward Christians is becoming expected, church services would still maintain some semblance of harmony. Fortunately, the story does not end here. "We believe that this is really a critical time for the country of India," says Dudenhofer. "There still are tremendous open doors." One of these doorways is for a Christian radio station. ASM hopes to build a radio building in order to broadcast encouraging and growth-stimulating programs for local Christians. This is especially important because the literacy rate in India is so low. A radio broadcast would provide another means of teaching for those who can't read and for those who feel threatened in their church services.For some, it may be hard to imagine going to church with the anticipation of hostility, but these faithful believers in Bangalore do it every Sunday. Pray for the safety of these believers, and for the radio building project, that it would bring hope to these devoted followers of Christ.
As in the days of Noah...

Three Algerian Christians Face 3 Years in Prison for "Blasphemy"

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on October 21, 2008, an Algerian court held a hearing on the case of three Christians who face three years of prison and a fine of 500 euros. The Court held the hearing in Ain Turk, a town 267 miles away from Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The three Christians are Youssef Ourahmane, Rachid Seghir and Hamid Ramdani. The public prosecutor accused them of "insulting Islam, its prophet and threatening the former professing Christian that complained against them."Earlier, a lower court agreed with the prosecutor and handed down a 3 year prison sentence and 500 euro fine. The defendants were not present at the time of the decision. The defendants then appealed the decision of the lower court on July 15, 2008. The appeal court postponed the hearing until October 21, 2008. The case against the three Christians was brought by the public prosecutor with the help of Mr. Shamouma Al-Aid. Mr. Al-Aid "converted" from Islam to Christianity for a period time during which he also attended a Bible school. According to Compass Direct News, Mr. Al-Aid continued to maintain relations with radical Muslims while attending churches and the Bible school. Later he "reconverted" to Islam and alleged that the three Christians were blaspheming Islam and its prophet Mohammed. He also alleged that the Christians were threatening him for "reconverting" to Islam. In a positive development, a lawyer who represented the Algerian Ministry of Religious Affairs said that the rights of Algerian religious minorities should be respected.The Judge, after hearing the arguments of the parties, scheduled to decide the case on October 29, 2008. ICC's Regional Manger for Africa, Jonathan Racho, stated, "As a member of the international community, the Algerian government has the obligation to respect the freedom of religion for its Christian minorities. It is time for Algerian officials to carry out their obligations by ceasing to interfere with freedom of worship of the country's Christian minorities."ICC calls upon Christians to pray for their Algerian brothers and sisters who are going through persecution. Please pray that the three Christians in this case will be cleared of the false accusation made against them. Please contact ICC for more information on how to help Christians in Algeria.
As in the days of Noah...