Friday, March 28, 2008

Violence against Christians escalates in Sri Lanka

Violence continues to escalate at a Gospel for Asia Bible college in Sri Lanka.In recent developments, a local elected official and a group of Buddhist monks have accused the school of being a front for the Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group. The school, located in Colombo, was later attacked as Buddhist monks staged a protest at the facility. A government official in Sri Lanka has also encouraged lawmakers to consider approving anti-conversion legislation. K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia, says violence and persecution against Christians has been increasing in Sri Lanka for some time now. He believes the violence is in direct response to the number of Christian conversions. "Obviously that is the reason why this persecution is," he confirms. "[I]n the Book of Acts, we find that as [Christians] were going about preaching the gospel they were beaten, abused, and persecuted, and this is what is happening today." Lal Vanderwall, a GFA ministry leader in Sri Lanka, says in a press statement that "accusing Christians" has become more common than ever as Sri Lankans are choosing to follow Jesus-despite the ongoing tensions. "We have more Bible college students this year than ever, and our churches are growing faster than ever before," says Vanderwall. "There are so many good things happening here that I am convinced this is all spiritual warfare. But we know that the Lord is on our side." Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus make up the majority of Sri Lanka's population, and the country has been embroiled in a civil war for more than two decades.
As in the days of Noah....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

China's Tibet response prompts ministry call to action

China-Tibet protesters publicly embarrassed China by disrupting the Beijing Olympics flame-lighting ceremony.China's recent crackdown on the minority group was swift and strong. On the anniversary of the 1959 failed uprising against China's rule of the Himalayan region, demonstrations were held throughout Tibet's capital city and around the country.Those demonstrations in Lhasa turned deadly four days later.Chinese troops clashed with protesters, and riots broke out. The deaths led to waves of unrest in surrounding provinces and Nepal and set off more rallies from sympathizers around the world.The death toll from the violence varies widely, depending on who is reporting the statistics. Suffice it to say the range between 22 and 80 dead is likely impossible to confirm.China's response provoked calls from the international community to open dialogue with the religious leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama. While China has refused talks, the strength of their reaction to the protests raised the concerns of ministries like Open Doors.
Open Doors-USA president, Dr. Carl Moeller notes that, "China is very sensitive to its public relations image in the run up to the Olympics here. They are using the repression in Tibet as a means to send a signal to all groups that don't approve of China's policies on human rights records to settle down and be quiet."Since China wants to present a unified face, dissenting voices could mean that the persecution of Christians may get stronger.[[[[[[[However, despite the opposition, the church in China is growing rapidly. One estimate suggests that six percent of China's population is Christian.]]]]]]]By contrast, Tibet has an estimated total of three hundred Christians.Although many ministries hope to use the event to share the hope of Christ, Moeller says, "We need to pray for China's leaders, because as they make these decisions to crack down or not crack down, it's going to take the result of people's experience with persecution and either make it better or worse."

As in the days of Noah....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

6th Indian State Passes Anti-Conversion Bill

[[[[[[[[[[[The government in India’s Rajasthan state sanctioned an anti-religious conversion bill Friday in a bid to scrutinize Christian activities, including allegations of conversions by force and allurement.The bill, introduced in the House last week, received strong resistance from the opposition Congress and religious leaders in the country.It prohibits conversions by use of force, allurement or fraudulent means, and punishes offenders with up to five years imprisonment as well fines of up to 50,000 Indian rupees (US$1,200)."Some religious and other institutions, bodies and individuals are found to the involved in unlawful conversion from one religion to another by allurement or by fraudulent means or forcibly which at times has caused annoyance in the community belonging to the other religion," states the bill."In order to curb such illegal activities and to maintain harmony amongst persons of various religions, it has been considered expedient to enact a special law for the purpose."Christian leaders in the state, however, feel that the bill will be misused to torture and imprison Christian missionaries on fabricated charges.Cases related to this have been reported in the past.]]]]]]]]]]"It appears that the BJP (Indian People's Party) government is working on the hidden Hindu agenda to appease RSS (National Volunteers' Organization) in the Vidhan Sabha elections slated later this year in the state," commented Congress Chief Whip Juber Khan.With a similar bill awaiting the approval of Indian President Prathiba Patil, Khan questioned how the BJP government could re-introduce another bill.The 2006 Rajasthan Dharma Swatantraya Bill was passed by the House earlier but was returned by then-Governor Pratibha Patil.Patil had returned the bill to the state government asking to get it cleared from the then-President A.P.J Abdul Kalam.Despite opposition from Congress members, BJP MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) were unwilling to wait.”Problems of fanaticism, terrorism and secessionism have always arisen in the areas where Hindus were reduced to minority by large-scale conversions,” claimed BJP MLA Nand Kishore Garg.Rajasthan is the sixth Indian state to pass an anti-conversion bill into law after Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
As in the days of Noah....

Bomb Targets Pastor's Home; Injures Son

JERUSALEM-The teenage son of a Christian pastor was seriously wounded when a package bomb delivered to the family's West Bank home went off in his hands, Israeli officials said Friday. Police wouldn't release further details on Thursday's explosion or discuss possible motives. The boy's brother, reached by telephone at the family's home in the Jewish settlement of Ariel, confirmed the bombing but declined to elaborate. Israeli media speculated that the bomb-apparently delivered in one of the gift baskets Jews exchange on the Purim holiday that began Thursday night-might have been directed at the family's Christian missionary activities.Israeli authorities and Orthodox Jews frown on missionary activity aimed at Jews, and some Muslims are angered by efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity.News reports identified the injured youth as Amiel Ortiz, son of David Ortiz, a missionary who leads a small Christian congregation in Ariel."He is in serious condition, still unconscious and hooked up to a respirator," Dr. Efrat Har-Lev of Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva told Channel 10 TV. "He has shrapnel all over his body, and one of his eyes was hurt."She said his prospects for recovery were good because of his youth.

As in the days of Noah....

Nigerian Christians have asked the world to pray for them on Good Friday as they face the growing threat of Muslim violence.

“If the radical Islamic agenda succeeds in Nigeria—where African Christianity is most vibrant—Islam could swallow a continent. We desperately need intervention from God.”
The world’s attention is usually focused on Israel during the Easter holiday, when thousands of holiday pilgrims visit the tomb where Jesus rose from the dead in Jerusalem. But in Nigeria, where the spreading of the gospel has alarmed Muslims, Christians are asking the world to pray with them as they seek justice for a senseless murder that occurred one year ago this Friday.On March 21, 2007, in the Nigerian state of Gombe, a 32-year-old schoolteacher named Christiana Oluwasesin collected books and school bags from her high school class and placed them in the front of the room so she could administer a test. A Muslim girl accused the teacher of desecrating her copy of the Quran, and all the students began to shout “Allahu Akbar!” (“God is great!”). They soon started a riot.Some teachers came to Christiana’s aid and rushed her to the principal’s office for safety, but by that time more students had joined the ruckus. The mob demanded that Christiana be released to them. When she was, the teenagers hit her with an iron club, stripped her naked and beat her until a 12-year-old boy slit her throat with a knife. The students then soaked her body with gasoline and set her on fire.Christiana was a Spirit-filled Christian who had been outspoken about her faith in Jesus. Her two young children—a 3-year-old girl and a 10-month-old boy—are now left in the care of her husband, Michael. His last memory of his wife was of her burnt remains, which had been taken to a morgue in Gombe. Eyewitnesses of the incident said the Muslim students actually tried to kill Christiana’s baby as well, but an unidentified woman smuggled the child off school property by concealing him under her clothes.No one ever found the copy of the Quran that was supposedly desecrated by Christiana.The incident sparked outrage in Nigeria, at least among believers in the southern region of the country where Christianity is dominant. People were appalled that 12- and 13-year-olds could commit such a heinous act of violence against their own teacher. It soon became obvious, after independent investigations, that Christiana’s murder was totally motivated by religious prejudice.She joined the growing list of Nigerian Christians who have been martyred in the last several years by radical Muslims.Leading the outcry against Christiana’s death is Ladi Thompson, a pastor in Lagos who says the Muslim-dominated government of Nigeria has not handled the incident with fairness. He says the police offered halfhearted protection to the teacher, the judge handling the case has not sought justice, and government officials have not stepped in to arrest the perpetrators.Says Thompson: “We will give ourselves no rest until justice is done. We will fan the flames of conscience back to life at all levels of governance in this country.”Thompson, also a Pentecostal, directs The Macedonian Initiative, an organization that offers legal support and other types of aid to Christian victims of religious violence in northern Nigeria—where hundreds of churches have been burned by Muslim mobs. Many pastors and church members also have been killed or maimed by Muslim fanatics in the region.Four years ago, when I traveled with Thompson to the northern city of Kaduna, I interviewed many Christian victims of religious violence. When I saw Thompson this week in Lagos, he explained that he has issued an urgent appeal to Christians all over the world to pray for Nigeria on Good Friday, March 21. He’s asking that we all stand in solidarity with the Nigerian church, praying that God will defend believers from terror and that the Nigerian government will pursue justice.
“The Gombe case should be considered the bullet head that will open the way for a revaluation of human worth in Nigeria,” the pastor said.I am linking arms with my Nigerian brothers, and I ask you to do the same this Friday. When one part of Christ’s body is suffering, we all suffer. If the radical Islamic agenda succeeds in Nigeria—where African Christianity is most vibrant—Islam could swallow a continent. We desperately need intervention from God.I am also asking that you contact Nigeria’s acting ambassador to the United States, Usman A. Baraya. One of our own African sisters has been martyred, yet the Nigerian government is ignoring the tragedy, hoping that the international community will eventually forget it. We cannot ignore Christiana’s senseless death. Please cry out for justice.
J. Lee Grady is the editor of Charisma. He returns this week from Nigeria after hosting the African Woman Arising conference in Lagos.
You can send a letter to the Nigerian Embassy ( at
3519 International Court, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20008.
For more information about The Macedonian Initiative, go to
As in the days of Noah....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Christian school battles discrimination complaint:Suspension over inappropriate behavior leads to claim of racism

For more than 20 years, Chapel Field Christian School in Pine Bush, N.Y., has offered scholarships to kids from the inner cities, mostly blacks, as well as orphans from several African institutions, again mostly blacks.Now it is being sued for "expelling" a student-who was accused by other students of sexual improprieties-because he is black.The story of such faith under fire comes from school Headmaster William Spanjer, who is working with a law firm on the school's defense against the accusations made by Gerald Cheers of Newburgh in a federal lawsuit.According to the local Times Herald-Record, Cheers alleges his "expulsion" was because he is black.Cheers' mother filed the action, with the help of Goshen lawyer Michael Sussman, who has filed a series of actions against area schools over alleged civil rights violations.The action alleges Cheers, 17, was subjected to "insulting and bigoted" remarks by unnamed members of the school staff, and "expelled."The action claims the school broke federal and state anti-discrimination laws.Spanjer, however, told WND that the student never was expelled, he was placed on suspension after more than a dozen other students made allegations that he was making inappropriate sexual remarks and advances, and it was Cheers' own mother who voluntarily withdrew him from the school in order to have him attend elsewhere.The irony is that the school was founded with the goal of reaching out and offering a quality education to inner-city and foreign students, many of them black, and many of them who attended the private tuition-funded school on scholarships the school itself raised.The parent ministry of the school, which has graduated 22 classes of seniors already, is called Affirmative Evangelism Fellowship, Spanjer said. "It's about doing positive things to call people to God in Christ," he said.The beginnings included running summer camps for inner city children, when organizers discovered many of those students were failing in class."It never gets dark in the city," he said. "The kids would be up all night.""My wife and I had a little property in New York state, and we opened the school in 1986," he said.As part of the continuing Christian outreach of the school, it started sponsoring food drives for orphanages in Africa, and has sent numerous containers of food to the continent.A natural followup saw some of those children making the return trip to America to attend the new school, living in staff members' homes, he said.Then came the situation that prompted the lawsuit."One of our students was reported harassing female students. We looked into it, and 14 to 15 students, both male and female, were aware of the situation," he told WND.The local newspaper reported the student allegedly violated the school's honor code by pointing out girls he wanted to have sex with, and boasting of his sexual exploits."I had to suspend this black student. We didn't dismiss him. It was May. We said stay home and we'll help you get your work done. But his mother then transferred him to a public school and brought the lawsuit against us for racial discrimination," he said.The student in a meeting with school officials denied any inappropriate behavior, although school officials confirm they later discovered problems he'd had at a previous school."The evidence from the students, the statements they've made are overwhelming that this actually did take place," Spanjer said. He said he previously has expelled white students for similar behavior.The case at this point is in the stage that the two sides are exchanging affidavits and statements, but he said the problem is that the legal defense will be costly for the school."It's already approach about $5,000 to $8,000, and to get to the trial, it will be $30,000," he said.For a school where many teachers get paid only $17,000 or $18,000 for their services, that's a great deal, he said."We do have a defense fund [at a local bank] and our attorneys have agreed to [give the school] a discount while trying to help out," he said.He said he believes the plaintiffs will be unable to prove any sort of discriminatory behavior, but just fighting the accusation could impact efforts to serve the 300 other students.The tuition is only $4,000 for students in lower grades, and $5,000 for those in upper grades, he said."Our teachers view this as a ministry," he said. "We support our local churches. All of the kids go to church regularly."He said the student in question was not expelled specifically because of the ministry's goals of restoration and reinstatement. In this case, however, the parents refused to accept the situation, he said.Should such a situation come up again, he would handle it the same way. "I had no choice but to remove him from the student body," he said. Female students were in tears expressing their worry over the statements he'd made, he said. "I couldn't permit that."He's hoping a judge will agree with a request for dismissal of the case that his attorneys are preparing.In the local media, others were coming to the school's defense. "I went there [Chapel Field] for four years. I'm black, and I never heard a racist comment out of any of the teachers," wrote one supporter.The school's own website outlines the strict rules students must follow, including a dress code for boys that does not allow "anything that is designed to draw special attention."For girls, no sleeveless shirts are allowed, even on "dress-down" days."Chapel Field is not just a school," says its philosophy page."It is a program.It is a program designed to have its students embrace six imperatives for living."Those are academic discipline, extracurricular accomplishment, moral character and integrity, personal commitment to Christ and church, volunteerism, and faithful and modest lifestyle.Students, to be part of the school, must agree to "tell the truth at all times and be respectful in word, manner and action to my parents and school staff" and following the behavior code both in and out of school.

As in the days of Noah....

Canada orders ministry by Christians shut down

The Canadian government has ordered a Christian ministry that teaches doctrine and the differences between Christians and cults shut down because its reference materials were "critical" of the beliefs of those who are not Christian, WND has learned.So what used to be called MacGregor Ministries with offerings in how to recognize and eliminate "faulty fads" in Christian churches has been re-created in the United States, and now operates under the name MM Outreach Media Ministries.Lorri MacGregor, who has dedicated her life to explaining the straight and narrow of Christian beliefs since she found her way out of the Jehovah's Witness system years ago, told WND Canada's version of a "hate crimes" law prevented their work from continuing as it had for nearly 30 years.[[[[[[[[[["Canada is no longer a Christian nation," she said. "And watch out America!"]]]]]]]]]]The issue of the ministry's charities license in Canada, allowing it to operate as a ministry, came up during a routine audit of the ministry's finances, which was uneventful."The auditor that originally looked at our books told us her supervisor had said she wanted us shut down," Mrs. MacGregor told WND. "Canada has very strong hate laws."She said the ministry points out the differences between Christianity and various cult beliefs, but also with respect, and never as a proponent. She said the work always is in response to a question or issue.[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[["When a group such as Jehovah's Witnesses said of our doctrine we're worshipping a freakish three-headed God (the Trinity), we should be able to respond," she said. "We say, 'Here's the doctrine of the Trinity and here is where it is in the Scripture.'"That, however, violates Canada's hate crimes laws, and the ministry was ordered to either make wholesale changes in its presentations, or shut down."There was nothing we could do that would please them," she said. "They wanted us every time we criticized something to say, 'So Christianity is equal to Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses… Just decide for yourself.'""We cannot do that," she said of the work she and her husband, Keith, have spent their lives assembling."She gave us an ultimatum that we needed to say that all religions are equal, Lorri MacGregor was to stop writing our magazine on the cults, we were to remove our websites and stop selling any products to help teach about the cults, and any future DVDs that we do on the Bible must not be persuasive," the couple alerted friends in an e-mail. "We could not live under those restrictions.""We chose to shut down the ministry and we are in Washington to sign papers to start up a U.S. corporation and also start the long process of applyign for 501(c)3 status in the U.S. We have been told that within five to 10 years, the U.S. government will be in the same position as the Canadian government and t hey will also go after Christian apologetics groups," the alert continued."It was a no-win situation. We didn't want to see our charity money eaten up by lawyers," Mrs. MacGregor told WND. "It was heart-wrenching."
"We wrote on Feb. 7 and voluntarily revoked our license ourselves," she said. "We said this auditor requires us to compromise our Christian faith, which we cannot do."]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
The ministry entered into the expense of relocating its corporate structure into the United States, and is in the process of applying for that nation's tax-exempt status offered mission organizations.[[[[[[["You're not allowed in Canada to speak in a persuasive way about your own faith," she said.]]]]]]]The effort cost considerable funds, although Mrs. MacGregor didn't want to provide dollar figures on their loss through the changeover. "We had been saving up to build a studio, because we don't believe in debt," she said. "At the moment we are ready to start construction, the government moved in to shut us down.""They said if we were just preaching our own Gospel, and weren't criticizing anybody else, we could continue," she said. "If you're going to defend the Gospel, you've got to criticize sometimes."For example, the ministry addresses the issue of "fads," including a "creeping Eastern mysticism" appearing in some churches, "turning meaningful prayer meetings into mind-emptying rituals called contemplative prayer promising experiences of a spiritual nature.""Feelings have often replaced the solid word of God," the website warns."Numerous churches have become 'seeker' churches, disposing of the parts of the Gospel message that might offend anyone's lifestyle. Crowds come to hear contemporary music, followed by a feel-good message, and perhaps even a 'conversion' experience, to an all-accepting Jesus. No change required! They now consider themselves Christians, but are they?"Regarding Mormons, they have a list of cautions:
*"Mormons won't tell you that all their so-called scriptures such as the Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, and even their official 'Mormon Doctrine' statements contradict each other…"
*"Mormons won't tell you that the reason the Book of Mormon has no maps is because there is not one scrap of archaeological evidence to support it!"
*"Mormons won't tell you that their prophet Joseph Smith was heavily involved in the occult when he founded Mormonism."
*"Mormons won't tell you that that they encourage visitations from dead relatives from the 'spirit world,' a practice forbidden in the Bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10- 12.)"
They also note the misguided teachings of others.
"Neale Donald Walsch who wrote the bestseller Conversations with God says, 'Hitler went to heaven' (Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997; p. 35) And the reason according to Walsh 'There is no hell, so there is no place else for him to go.'"
"The Bible states that the ONLY WAY to heaven is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. Universalism teaches that there is not just one way of salvation but many different ways. The Christian inclusivists state salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone, but they change the meaning to be that His grace extends out to those who do not believe (not needing faith) because he died for them too," the website teaches.WND previously has reported how proposals are being made in Canada to raise taxes and fees on churches dramatically, as well as ban them from meeting in some locations.WND also has reported on how many Biblical standards of behavior are under attack by the "bastardized courts" of Canada, where activists who claim they have "hurt feelings" are demanding – and getting – penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle.It also has reported on the times that "hate crimes" legislation for the United States has been considered in Congress.

As in the days of Noah....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Wife of vicar beaten for 'being a Christian' by Asian yobs speaks of shock at faith hate attack

The wife of a clergymanbeaten up in his churchyard in a suspected " faithhate" crime has spoken of the shock felt by his congregation. Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, was set upon by three Asian youths shouting anti-Christian abuse when he confronted them for rowdy behaviour outside St George-in-the-East church in Shadwell, leaving him with two black eyes and cuts and bruises.His wife, Janina Ainsworth, 56, took Palm Sunday services yesterday after Canon Ainsworth was re-admitted to hospital for his injuries. She said: "It is obvious that it does contain a religious element."Quite clearly, there are mindless individuals in every community under the influence of drink and drugs who will engage in random acts of violence. But we're very shocked."She said her husband was expected home to the rectory next to the church in Cannon Street Road tonight."We do know that churchyards have been quite vulnerable places so we are going to be working with the church, the police and the local council to look at security," she added. "Normally community relations here are very good. We have had very strong messages of support from the East London Mosque and Tower Hamlets Mosque with whom we've got good relations. "Clearly the Muslim community is very shocked.These individuals were under the influence and this was a random act."The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, said clergymen who were part of the community were "vulnerable" to attacks."Over the years we've had murders, we've had assaults on clergy,"he said. "Therefore we have over the past few years been beefing up our security and operations."But of course if you go out into the streets, if you belong to the community, if you're a part of it, then you are vulnerable."Mrs Ainsworth faced a fearful congregation yesterday who said rising tensions in the area had led up to the attack on 5 March, the second time the church has been targeted after a Good Friday attack last year in which youths threw bricks through the windows.Gravestones in nearby St Dunstan's Church in Stepney are also regularly vandalised and locals say drink and drugs problems, combined with religious differences, fuel the attacks.Parishioner Susan Crocker said: "It is not out of the blue, they broke the glass last Easter - it's a recurrent problem."Toni Davey, 43, said: "To be honest something like this was going to happen sooner or later - it is the area and the times we are living in. There is a tension in the area with the Muslims."Father-of-four Mr Ainsworth officiated last year at the wedding of Coronation Street star Andy Whyment, who plays Kirk Sutherland.He moved with his family from Manchester last summer and was said to be working hard to connect with the large Bangladeshi community in the area.Michael Saward, 75, said: "I saw Michael about 10 days ago and he looked very frail and fragile with two large black eyes. Obviously we're all very shocked."Police have confirmed the case is being treated as a faith-hate crime and no arrests have been made.The Rev Alan Green, area dean for Tower Hamlets and chairman of the Tower Hamlets Inter-Faith Forum, said: "Any incident that involves an element of abusive faith-related language should be handled in this way."An important part of the work of the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum is to bring together representatives from our local faith communities, the borough council and the Metropolitan Police to monitor and respond to all reported faith-hate incidents."This ensures that we protect people of all faiths or none and maintain the good relations that exist locally between our diverse population."

As in the days of Noah....

Monday, March 17, 2008

Violence hits Bible College in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka-The volatile situation at Gospel for Asia's Sri Lanka Bible College is escalating as a local elected official and a small group of Buddhist monks are falsely accusing the school of being a front for a Sri Lankan terrorist group, the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers are fighting to divide Sri Lanka along ethnic lines.Founder and President of Gospel for Asia KP Yohannan describes what happened over the weekend. "One of the elected political officials who is very much anti-Christian came to our campus with a loaded gun, and a whole bunch of people with him threatened to kill our students and rape our female students, and they demanded our school be closed down."Yohannan(picture left) says GFA workers contacted authorities, and police intervened.Earlier in the day, this man and the monks staged a protest at the school carrying banners and placards. The Sri Lankan media covered the protest.After the midnight attack, the elected official filed a police complaint against the security guard, but the police arrested the official instead. The politician told police that he was acting out of patriotic concern for his country.On March 2, a group of students from the Bible college were attacked while on their way to worship at a nearby GFA-related church.The militants responsible for that attack say their ultimate goal is to close down the Bible college. Yohannan says the Gospel message that Christ is the only way to salvation is what's triggering these attacks."They simply see this as a threat to their community.It's a threat to their religion, and they rise up to oppose the Gospel and those who do it."He says while many of their pastors, evangelists and missionaries have been attacked and churches destroyed,"this kind of attack on a Bible College is a first for us in Sri Lanka." Yohannan says this continues to be a dangerous situation, but believers aren't losing heart."We are taking all the precautions to make sure that our students are protected. But our leaders are believing that in the midst of difficulties they should not run away but continue the ministry and teach our students, trusting the Lord to overrule the situation."Gospel for Asia leaders in Sri Lanka asks for prayer for the safety of the students and staff at the Bible College.They also request prayer that God would intervene in this injustice and stop this kind of violence against His children.

As in the days of Noah....

Iraq marks grim anniversary

Iraq-It'll be five years this Thursday since the U.S. went to war in Iraq. Initially, the Christian population supported the fall of Saddam Hussein. But five years later, Christians are caught in the crossfire of violence.The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated that at least 2 million Iraqis have fled the country since 2003, and another 2 million are displaced inside the country. The worst struggle and subsequent violence seems to be coming from the ever-growing friction between Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites.According to Open Doors, the resulting violence has caused many to leave the country, which means less than 400,000 Christians remain in the country of Iraq.Some say that in the past few years, almost 500 Iraqi Christians, including pastors and priests, have been murdered because of their faith.Even more Christians have been killed in attacks, in fighting or kidnappings for money.Bombings of Christian religious institutions have been common throughout the process, particularly in the Mosul area of northern Iraq.At the same time, some pastors and Christian workers see this time as an excellent opportunity to share the hope and peace of Jesus. Pray that the violence will decrease and Christians would be able to live their faith without fear. Pray for ministry opportunities for churches and Christian relief organizations working in Iraq.
As in the days of Noah....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Librarian sues OSU to get his job back:University hostile to Christian views, lawsuit claims

A former Ohio State University librarian accused of sexual harassment after recommending a conservative book for freshmen has filed a lawsuit against the university and some of its faculty.
Scott Savage, who said he resigned because of personal and professional attacks on his character, asks for his job back and for OSU to be forced to change its sexual-harassment policies.OSU is "an aggressive proponent of the homosexual lifestyle by virtue of its practices and policies," Savage says in the lawsuit, filed in federal court because he says his civil rights were violated."OSU is therefore a naturally hostile environment to the expression of traditional Christian beliefs and morality."In 2006, Savage agreed to serve on a committee to determine required reading for incoming freshmen at the Mansfield campus.Savage said the books considered by the committee were too liberal and suggested The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian.Professors James F. Buckley and Norman W. Jones filed a sexual-harassment complaint against Savage, saying he was homophobic for suggesting the book. The complaint was dismissed as unfounded.Because he continued to be harassed, Savage said, he was forced to resign.The suit says he is a devout Christian, married for 18 years and the father of eight. It says he has struggled to find library work since leaving OSU.OSU spokesman Jim Lynch declined to comment.
As in the days of Noah....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Evangelist found guilty of 'disorderly conduct' for street preaching in 'Witch City'

Philadelphia-based street preacher Michael Marcavage has been found guilty of disorderly conduct for proclaiming the gospel in Salem, Massachusetts.Marcavage is president of Repent America, a ministry that calls America back to its Christian roots. On Halloween night last year, Marcavage was street preaching in Salem, a community also known as "Witch City." Marcavage was eventually arrested after police charged him with using an amplified megaphone to preach. The charge was later dropped, after lawyers argued that he was arrested before 10:00 p.m.-the hour when the noise ordinance takes effect.However, the Christian activist was found guilty of disorderly conduct.Ben DuPre, an attorney with the Foundation for Moral Law,which represents Marcavage, says the verdict will be appealed."If they were out there promoting the virtues of Halloween and Satanism, it may have fit with the theme of the night and have been more welcome,"argues DuPre."But just because it is an unpopular message of the gospel of Jesus Christ does not make it illegal.In fact, that's the kind of speech the federal and state constitutions were meant to protect-unpopular speech." DuPre points out that police turned a blind eye to lewd behavior from many on the streets of Salem and instead focused on Marcavage's speech, which some in the boisterous crowd apparently found offensive.According to DuPre, people accused Marcavage of shoving literature in their faces and waving a crucifix-an item Marcavage does not possess.The Foundation for Moral Law was started by former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

As in the days of Noah....

Kidnapped Iraqi Archbishop dead

Friday, March 7, 2008

Homeschoolers' setback sends shock waves through state

A California appeals court ruling clamping down on homeschooling by parents without teaching credentials sent shock waves across the state this week, leaving an estimated 166,000 children as possible truants and their parents at risk of prosecution.The homeschooling movement never saw the case coming."At first, there was a sense of, 'No way,' " said homeschool parent Loren Mavromati, a resident of Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County) who is active with a homeschool association."Then there was a little bit of fear.I think it has moved now into indignation."The ruling arose from a child welfare dispute between the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Philip and Mary Long of Lynwood, who have been homeschooling their eight children.Mary Long is their teacher,but holds no teaching credential. The parents said they also enrolled their children in Sunland Christian School, a private religious academy in Sylmar (Los Angeles County), which considers the Long children part of its independent study program and visits the home about four times a year.The Second District Court of Appeal ruled that California law requires parents to send their children to full-time public or private schools or have them taught by credentialed tutors at home.Some homeschoolers are affiliated with private or charter schools, like the Longs, but others fly under the radar completely.Many homeschooling families avoid truancy laws by registering with the state as a private school and then enroll only their own children.Yet the appeals court said state law has been clear since at least 1953, when another appellate court rejected a challenge by homeschooling parents to California's compulsory education statutes.Those statutes require children ages 6 to 18 to attend a full-time day school, either public or private, or to be instructed by a tutor who holds a state credential for the child's grade level."California courts have held that...parents do not have a constitutional right to homeschool their children," Justice H. Walter Croskey said in the 3-0 ruling issued on Feb. 28. "Parents have a legal duty to see to their children's schooling under the provisions of these laws."Parents can be criminally prosecuted for failing to comply, Croskey said."A primary purpose of the educational system is to train school children in good citizenship, patriotism and loyalty to the state and the nation as a means of protecting the public welfare," the judge wrote, quoting from a 1961 case on a similar issue.
Union pleased with ruling
[[[[[[[The ruling was applauded by a director for the state's largest teachers union."We're happy," said Lloyd Porter, who is on the California Teachers Association board of directors. "We always think students should be taught by credentialed teachers, no matter what the setting."]]]]]]A spokesman for the state Department of Education said the agency is reviewing the decision to determine its impact on current policies and procedures. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell issued a statement saying he supports "parental choice when it comes to homeschooling."[[[Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, which agreed earlier this week to represent Sunland Christian School and legally advise the Long family on a likely appeal to the state Supreme Court, said the appellate court ruling has set a precedent that can now be used to go after homeschoolers."With this case law, anyone in California who is homeschooling without a teaching credential is subject to prosecution for truancy violation, which could require community service, heavy fines and possibly removal of their children under allegations of educational neglect," Dacus said.]]]Parents say they choose homeschooling for a variety of reasons, from religious beliefs to disillusionment with the local public schools.
Homeschooling parent Debbie Schwarzer(picture above left) of Los Altos said she's ready for a fight.Schwarzer runs Oak Hill Academy out of her Santa Clara County home.It is a state-registered private school with two students, she said, noting they are her own children, ages 10 and 12. She does not have a teaching credential, but she does have a law degree."I'm kind of hoping some truancy officer shows up on my doorstep," she said. "I'm ready. I have damn good arguments."She opted to teach her children at home to better meet their needs.The ruling, Schwarzer said, "stinks."
Began as child welfare case
The Long family legal battle didn't start out as a test case on the validity of homeschooling.It was a child welfare case.A juvenile court judge looking into one child's complaint of mistreatment by Philip Long found that the children were being poorly educated but refused to order two of the children, ages 7 and 9, to be enrolled in a full-time school. He said parents in California have a right to educate their children at home.The appeals court told the juvenile court judge to require the parents to comply with the law by enrolling their children in a school, but excluded the Sunland Christian School from enrolling the children because that institution "was willing to participate in the deprivation of the children's right to a legal education."The decision could also affect other kinds of homeschooled children, including those enrolled in independent study or distance learning through public charter schools - a setup similar to the one the Longs have, Dacus said.Charter school advocates disagreed, saying Thursday that charter schools are public and are required to employ only credentialed teachers to supervise students - whether in class or through independent study.
Ruling will apply statewide
Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said the ruling would effectively ban homeschooling in the state.[[["California is now on the path to being the only state to deny the vast majority of homeschooling parents their fundamental right to teach their own children at home," he said in a statement.]]]But Leslie Heimov, executive director of the Children's Law Center of Los Angeles, which represented the Longs' two children in the case, said the ruling did not change the law."They just affirmed that the current California law, which has been unchanged since the last time it was ruled on in the 1950s, is that children have to be educated in a public school, an accredited private school, or with an accredited tutor," she said. "If they want to send them to a private Christian school, they can, but they have to actually go to the school and be taught by teachers."Heimov said her organization's chief concern was not the quality of the children's education, but their "being in a place daily where they would be observed by people who had a duty to ensure their ongoing safety."
Online resources
The ruling: To view the ruling by the Second District Court of Appeal, go to
ByBob Egelko, Jill Tucker, Chronicle Staff Writers
This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle
As in the days of Noah....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dr. Dobson Outraged by California Ruling Banning

A state appeals court has decided California parents without teaching credentials do not have a right to home-school their children.The 2nd District Court of Appeals ruling could affect up to 200,000 home-schooled students in the state.“The court is guilty of an imperious assault on the rights of parents,” said Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. “How dare these judges have the audacity to label tens of thousands of parents criminals-the equivalent to drug dealers or pickpockets-because they want to raise and educate their children according to their deeply held values?"The case before them involved one couple-the ruling should have been confined to that one couple, not used to punish an entire class of people, the vast majority of them religious conservatives.”According to the Home School Legal Defense Association, California is set to become the only state to deny the vast majority of home schooling parents their fundamental right to teach their children at home. The group will file an amicus brief in the case.Dr. Dobson said Focus on the Family will do whatever it can to get the ruling overturned and to restore the basic rights of parents in California to determine how their children are educated.“This is an all-out assault on the family, and it must be met with a concerted effort to defend parents and their children,” he said. “We will team with key allies and use every means at our disposal to make sure that not just every Californian, but every American, is aware of this miscarriage of justice. We will encourage them, by the hundreds of thousands, to make their voices heard on this matter."And we’re hopeful that, in the end, common sense and legal sanity will prevail.”Dr. Dobson will discuss the ruling on his Friday radio broadcast.Candi Cushman, education analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said the court's timing is horrible."This takes away recourse from thousands of parents in California who want to escape the government-enforced indoctrination in public schools," she said. "The Legislature recently passed a law that basically ensures that students get a one-sided, positive portrayal of homosexuality and same-sex 'marriage.' "
We are asking concerned citizens across America to sign a petition asking the state Supreme Court to "depublish" the case, which means to apply the case to the family involved — not to all California families.
As in the days of Noah....

Evangelist on Trial for Halloween Sermon

The Foundation for Moral Law, a religious-liberties legal organization led by Judge Roy Moore, will be defending Michael Marcavage of Repent America, in a trial scheduled for March 10, 2008, against the charge of "disorderly conduct" brought against Mr. Marcavage for preaching in a Salem, Mass. public square on Halloween night, Oct. 31, 2007.Even though Salem's laws allow the use of speech amplification until 10:00 p.m., Salem police officers on Halloween night confiscated Mr. Marcavage's megaphone at 8:30 p.m., threw him to the ground, and arrested him on charges of allegedly violating the noise ordinance and "disorderly conduct"-all for calmly preaching the gospel to a large crowd of Halloween revelers.After the Foundation showed the local district attorney's office that the Salem noise ordinance statute allowed Mr. Marcavage to use the megaphone, the noise ordinance charge was dropped.Because the district attorney's office is still insisting that Mr. Marcavage's preaching amounted to "disorderly conduct," however, Foundation attorney Ben DuPré will represent Mr. Marcavage at his March 10, 2008 trial in Salem District Court and will argue that his peaceful preaching of the Gospel was not disorderly or in any way illegal.Attorney DuPré explained, "The city of Salem does not have the right to arrest Mr. Marcavage simply because his religious message is not welcomed there. The police should have been protecting Mr. Marcavage's right to speak instead of targeting him for the Christian content of his speech. Preaching the Gospel is not disorderly conduct, even on Halloween night."The Foundation for Moral Law, a national non-profit legal organization, is located in Montgomery, Alabama, and is dedicated to restoring the knowledge of God in law and government through litigation relating to moral issues and religious liberty, as well as education consisting of forums for pastors, judges, and the general public.
For more information about the Foundation for Moral Law, please visit
As in the days of Noah....

Violence escalates for Christians in Iraq

John Eibner, who heads a worldwide Christian human rights group, says although the U.S.-led military surge is reducing violence overall in Iraq, the situation for Christians is still tense and dangerous.A Catholic archbishop was recently kidnapped in eastern Mosul,and his two bodyguards-who were both Christian-were shot and killed.This is the latest in a long line of violent acts targeting Christians throughout Iraq. Since the fall of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, more than 400,000 Christians have been forced to flee the country. Dr. John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, encourages believers in the U.S. to call on the government to ensure that Christians in Iraq are protected.[[["We have a special responsibility because we are in a position to make a difference," says Eibner. "It's now or never, and we have to pull out all stops if we're going to fulfill our obligations as members of the body of Christ, to help the other parts of the body that are suffering." Christians are not simply caught in the middle of the crossfire, notes Eibner, but are actually targeted for death, and are also discriminated against on a regular basis. He says some Christians even receive letters that demand they convert to Islam or face death. Eibner believes as long as U.S.-led forces are still in the country, it is the responsibility of the United States to ensure that Christians and other religious minorities are safe.]]]
As in the days of Noah.....

Home Schooling UNLAWFUL,says California Court...

[[[[[[A three-judge panel of the California Court of Appeal has determined parents in that state have no legal right to home school.A Christian attorney in Sacramento says unless the ruling is reversed, literally thousands of students in the Golden State will be subject to criminal sanctions. California Justice H. Walter Croskey has stated in an opinion that "parents who fail to comply with school enrollment laws may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."The opinion was issued in the case of one family who enrolled their daughter in Sunland Christian School, a private home-schooling program based in Sylmar. The ruling reverses an earlier opinion from a Superior Court that found that "parents have a constitutional right to school their children in their own home." But in his reversal, Croskey refers to the "ruse of enrolling children in a private school and then letting them stay home and be taught by a non-credentialed parent."Brad Dacus, president of the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute, calls the scope of the decision "breathtaking.""It not only attacks traditional home schooling, but also calls into question home schooling through charter schools and teaching children at home via independent study through public and private schools,"he explains.]]]]]]According to Dacus, the ruling goes against prior court decisions."Case law in federal court and by the U.S. Supreme Court has already recognized that parents have a fundamental right over the education of their children," he points out."And in fact, the lower-court judge in this decision...actually ruled that these parents had a constitutional right to home school their children.But it was reversed by this three-judge panel in this appellate court.Dacus says an appeal has already been filed by his firm on the school's behalf. "We're going to try to have this decision non-published and specifically tabled until a final determination by the State Supreme Court," he says.[[[And if the decision is not reversed, says the attorney, "more than 166,000 students currently receiving an education at home will be subject to criminal sanctions."For the time being, the decision affects four counties in the Los Angeles metro area.Sunland Christian School, says the Pacific Justice Institute, has been in full compliance with the requirements of California law for more than 20 years.]]]
PS:PERSECUTION IS OFFICIALLY HERE IN THE US folks....!!!!I TOLD YOU SO for many many months.....Our nation IS spiralling down and WE VE GOT TO PRAY FOR REVIVAL.....which at this point is the ONLY HOPE for the US.....!!!!!
As in the days of Noah....

White House Concerned about Jordan's Expulsion of Evangelicals

WHITE HOUSE - The White House is voicing concern about the expulsion of dozens of evangelical Christians from Jordan.Last month, Jordan's foreign minister said Americans and other foreign Christians were expelled for proselytizing in the predominantly Muslim nation. The expulsions reportedly included pastors, missionaries and students at the Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary.White House Press Secretary Dana Perino says President Bush believes missionaries in Jordan should be able to work freely, since the country has a long history of religious tolerance.However, White House aides could not say if the president raised the issue Tuesday during his White House meetings and lunch with Jordan's King Abdullah.
As in the days of Noah...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

'Gideon' Pastors Speak Out for N. Korean Refugees

Korean-American pastors from California and across the United States gathered Tuesday to launch the first of a series of regional conferences aimed at informing pastors on China’s atrocious policies towards North Korean refugees.The Gideon’s 300 LA Conference, hosted by the Korean Church Coalition (KCC), attracted some 350 pastors who were interested in learning about the plight of North Korean refugees and bringing the story back to their congregants. Organizers hope pastors across the United States will mobilize their churches to campaign against China’s human rights violation ahead of the Beijing Olympics.“In this campaign, we are proclaiming to China that ‘if you want to host the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, in conformity with the Spirit of which the Olympic games represents, stop turning your backs on the North Korean refugees residing within your borders,’” wrote KCC president the Rev. Peter I. Sohn, in a letter.“Grant them Refugee Status and grant them at least the minimal protection afforded to them under international law,” he demanded.Sohn called for the end of China’s repatriation of North Koreans, given that more humane options are available, most notably, allowing refugees safe passage to a third country willing to take them. Both the United States and South Korea have welcomed North Korean refugees to settle in their country, but China has employed many tactics to block the refugees from escaping to these third countries.China classifies North Korean refugees residing within its borders as “illegal economic migrants” even though the U.N. Special Rapporteur on North Korea has declared North Koreans who flee to China “refugees.” Under the status of “illegal economic migrants,” China treats the North Koreans as criminals, jailing or forcefully repatriating them back to North Korea where they face imprisonment, torture and sometimes execution for leaving the country – a state crime.At least 500,000 North Koreans are believed to have crossed the border over to China in the past 10 years.According to witnesses and human rights reports, the North Korean regime is particularly harsh on Christians, who are considered a serious threat to its power. There are many reports of Christians being publicly executed, tortured or imprisoned indefinitely simply for believing in Jesus Christ.Around 200,000 Christians are believed to currently be in prison labor camps simply for their faith. Earlier this year, North Korea was listed for the sixth straight year as the No. 1 worst Christian persecutor by watchdog group Open Doors.Worship of all gods beside those enforced in the state religion – a personality cult revolving around current dictator Kim Jong Il, and his deceased father, Kim Il Sung – is strictly prohibited.Estimates show that there are up to 400,000 to 500,000 believers secretly practicing their faith in North Korea, according to Open Doors sources in North Korea.Recently, attention has been turned to the plight of North Korean women and children, who arguably suffer the most in China.“They (China) stand by and watch as North Korean girls and women are kidnapped and sold and resold as sex slaves,” Sohn said. “They stand by and watch as North Koreans work as slaves for shelter and food. And when these North Korean refugees seek help from the authorities, or ask to be sent to a third country that is willing and to accept them, they repatriate them back to North Korea, where five out of six are murdered in prison.“China is responsible for all of these abuses and for the murder by the North Korean government of numerous refugees,” the KCC president accused.During the regional conference, organizers will distribute “Let My People Go before the Beijing Olympics” banners, stickers, as well as DVDs and other materials to the participating pastors to take back to their home churches.The campaign hopes that hundreds of thousands of banners and bumper stickers will be displayed throughout the United States before the Olympics Games.Organizers had hoped to gather only 300 Korean-American pastors in their effort to replicate the biblical story of Gideon and his outnumbered army of 300 men who still defeated the massive Midianite forces with the help of God. With this famed story of defeating the enemy despite the odds, the pastors hoped to change the policy of big and powerful China despite their small number. Following the LA event, Gideon’s 300 will continue its campaign and hold conferences in Chicago, Houston, New York, Seattle and Toronto. All the conferences will be held before the Aug. 8, 2008, Beijing Olympics.Korean Church Coalition came together in 2004 as a collective response to end the sufferings endured by North Koreans. The coalition represents more than 3,000 pastors and millions of their congregational members in every major city in the United States.
The “Let My People Go” campaign was launched in 2007 to seek cooperation from religious and humanitarian groups to win freedom for the 300,000 North Korean refugees currently residing in China.The Gideon’s 300 LA Conference ends Wednesday.
As in the days of Noah....

Iraqi Christians Nervous after Cleric’s Abduction

Iraq’s tiny Christian community is living in fear after the abduction of a Chaldean Archbishop in Mosul, a city in the northern Nineveh province, last week.Armed attackers abducted Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho as he left the Holy Spirit Church on Friday, while his driver and two bodyguards were killed.A local priest told the Christian persecution news agency Compass Direct that Christians across Iraq had been left shaken by the abduction.He added that the kidnappers have demanded a large ransom for the release of the archbishop.“They want money, but in addition they want to break all the Christians in Mosul,” said Father Najeeb Mikhail.He said that Rahho’s health had been badly affected by the stress of constant threats from militant gangs demanding extortion money.“One day before his kidnapping, they attacked the bishop’s house in Mosul and broke many things,” Mikhail said, adding that the archbishop had refused to meet the demands of the attackers for money.The Chaldean Church, which practices an ancient Eastern rite, is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church and recognizes the authority of the Pope.Following the archbishop’s abduction, many of the less than one million Christians in Iraq fear they will be next.Father Emanuel Youkhana of Christian Aid Program Nohadra Iraq said he expected more Christian families would flee Mosul as a result of the kidnapping, which follows the murder of a Chaldean priest and three deacons last June, and a series of bomb blasts on Mosul churches in January.“You might release the bishop, but you cannot recover the confidence of the people,” Youkhana said. “Within the last two or three months, the church is attacked and then the bishop is kidnapped, so how can people save their confidence?”Mikhail believes the attacks are not about money but about driving Christians out of the area. “There are some Muslims that want to put Christians out of Mosul,” the priest said. “So through these criminals, they try to intimidate the relationship between Muslims and Christians.”Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has written to the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad and spiritual leader of Iraq’s Roman Catholics, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, expressing his “deep sadness and grief” over Rahho’s kidnapping.In a statement Tuesday, Maliki said, "The prime minister has issued an order to the interior minister and all security officials of Nineveh province to follow the case and work very hard to release Rahho as soon as possible.”"The Christian sect in Iraq is one of the basic components of Iraqi society and can never be parted from its people and civilization,” Maliki commented in the statement. “Any assault on its sons represents an assault on all Iraqis."On Saturday, the U.N. envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, called on the government to “redouble its efforts” to protect religious minorities in Iraq.Christians make up about 3 percent of Iraq's 27 million, mostly Muslim, population.
As in the days of Noah....

SPEECHLESS....Silencing Christians:13-week TV series labeled a call to Christian action

A new weekly TV series that looks at how Christians and free-speech rights are under attack has started running online and on several broadcasting outlets.The 13-week series is titled Speechless....Silencing the Christians. Each half-hour episode is hosted by commentator and author Janet Parshall and examines the growing anti-Christian bias throughout the nation. The series highlights numerous interviews with Christians who have experienced persecution because of their religious faith, as well as comments and observations by those arguing their cases in court and defending the cause in the mainstream media. The series premiere aired Saturday evening on INSP-and over the weekend, more than 40,000 people viewed that first episode through American Family Association websites. AFA president Tim Wildmon says the series is meant to inform and equip Christians. "People need to watch the video and then join groups like the American Family Association that are getting Christians together to stand up and fight back and be aware and take action," Wildmon urges."There is power in numbers-and so if we can get more people to join efforts like the AFA and other groups, that's the way they can make a difference." The series is shown weekly on the INSP network, and also on i-Lifetv.
More information is available online at
As in the days of Noah....

Christians released from Eritrean prison

More than 30 Christians have been released from jail in the small African nation of Eritrea.The religious prisoners were being held in the port city of Massawa. Reports indicate the men and women were arrested during a police raid in early January while they were worshipping at a private home.Official charges were never filed against the believers, and they were denied visitation rights while imprisoned.Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says Christians in Eritrea came under intense scrutiny from the government back in May 2002. "At that time the government called in the leaders of all the different evangelical denominations and told them your meetings are no longer legal, your church has been outlawed, you can no longer hold public worship," Nettleton describes. According to Nettleton, many of the people who were attending those churches responded that they would no longer meet in the church. "But they continued to meet in homes and other private settings," he adds. Voice of the Martyrs maintains a keeps track of persecuted Christians in Eritrea and worldwide.
As in the days of Noah....

Seeds planted at international book fair in Egypt

Egypt-The World Bible Translation Center recently took part in an International Book Fair in Cairo. Many Muslims and Arabs purchased the Easy-to-Read Arabic New Testaments.The ERV translation has many advantages over traditional translations due to uncomplicated grammar and contemporary words that effectively communicate the truth of the hope of Christ.As more interest grew, the team attracted notice of the police. On three different occasions, authorities observed the team talking intently with the attendees. That led them to arrest one team member and put him in jail.While the constitution allows for freedom of conversion, it seems to give preference to Muslims. Christians are treated as second-class citizens, denied political representation, and many times, discriminated against.The WBTC team member was later released, and the team compared their experience to that of the Apostles in Acts 5. According to WBTC, when they were questioned, the team told the police that when people ask about the Bible or Jesus, "We can't say that we don't know!"That worldview is at the heart of the church-planting movement. WBTC is committed to providing the Easy-to-Read Bible to aid in bringing people to an understanding of who makes up the church and how the church is to work. The ERV Bibles and New Testaments are available in 30 languages around the world to ministries and churches working to plant more churches.
Click here if you can help support WBTC.

As in the days of Noah....

Russia's election outcome expected, ministry remains alert

Russia-Russia's president-elect, Dmitry Medvedev, has vowed to stay the course and continue leading the country under former president Vladimir Putin's vision.Sunday's election results showed Medvedev with 70 percent of the vote.However,there were election watchers and opponents who are calling the election flawed and questioning the validity of the results.The international community, too, has been muted in its greeting.France and Germany say the process did not meet their standards for a democratic election. However,the United States, Britain and the European Union offered congratulations and said they would work with Russia's new leader when he takes office.Putin will not be entirely out of the picture.Although he will not be president any longer (May), he pledged to accept an offer of the prime minister's post.Add to that United Russia's (Putin's party) Duma win, and it seems there are few allies for Christians left in government seats.The concern is that Putin's aims for Russia will be unfriendly to open religious freedoms.Already there are tightened restrictions on those doing evangelistic work. A leader that has vowed to continue in this vein has unsettled many ministries.However, there's a bright side. Slavic Gospel Association's Joel Griffith says although Medvedev was Putin's hand-picked protege, ministries still have some time to prepare for indigenous ministry."Look at Turkmenistan when their new president took over after Sapamurat Niyazov passed away. Incremental things have been happening. There has been change, but none that I would say has been sweeping, overnight. I just think we need to hold our expectations in check and wait and see what happens."It is evident that there will be change, and if true to the current course, that change could make evangelistic work difficult in the coming years. Griffith says prayer is the best course of action. "Our prayer is that the new leadership, whoever it is in the ministerial offices and under President Medvedev, will once again turn back to a more Western-style freedom and way of doing things and that they will lessen restrictions on evangelical ministry and not increase them."SGA serves Bible-preaching churches in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, helping native pastors and churches reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As in the days of Noah....

Tulsa lifts ban on Jesus prayers

Members of the City Council of Tulsa, Oklahoma voted 7-2 to restore religious liberty, lifting a 20-year ban which had prohibited praying “in Jesus’ name” before Council meetings.When a liberal chaplain who had controlled the rotating schedule for visiting pastors began enforcing the “no Jesus” prayer policy, it blew up in the Tulsa World newspaper. Reverend Danny Lynchard admitted, “The phrase ‘in Jesus’ name’ made it a non-inclusive prayer,” so religious leaders who did not comply were removed from the rotation.Never one to shy from controversy, I sounded the alarm by granting my own newspaper interview, and vowed to mobilize Tulsa area pastors to stand up for Jesus and take back their government, even if I must fly to Oklahoma myself.At least one Tulsa pastor, Mark Rollins, took up my challenge and appeared personally before the city council to read the newspaper’s exposure of anti-Jesus discrimination.“I’m upset about this,” Rollins told the council, “you can’t tell people to stop praying to Jesus.I know dozens of pastors in this town, and they won’t stand for this.”Rollins then invited me to Tulsa and I stayed in his home, and together we prayed and watched the next city council meeting on a local cable television network. Fireworks ensued.The city council took 45 minutes to debate the issue, and opened the floor to ten citizens, including eight liberals who came together, pleading to keep the 20 year old ban in place.The liberal group Oklahoma Conference for Community and Justice (OCCJ) held a monopoly for decades, admitting they helped write the original policy that mandated “non-sectarian” prayers. OCCJ executive director Nancy Day argued, “When asked to give a prayer in a public setting, you cannot assume everyone is of your praying to or through Jesus, that excludes folks in the room who are not Christian.” Apparently she sees no irony in her own exclusion of praying Christians.But Councilor John Eagleton countered with a brilliant legal defense of freedom, including case-law precedent, concluding “I firmly believe that sanitized prayers to a generic deity don’t really serve a spiritual purpose, at least not for me.” Public outcry from Christian citizens apparently won the day, when the council voted 7-2 to restore liberty, writing a new policy that permits praying “in Jesus’ name,” a model policy that could be copied by other legislatures:“The prayer leader may use the specific name of their god within the prayer, so long as it is not used in a manner to proselytize or advance, or to disparage any faith or belief or the particular tenets or beliefs of individual faiths,” the new policy reads. The Supreme Court has ruled in 1991 Lee v. Weisman that governments cannot suggest “non-sectarian” prayer content, nor exclude expression of more sectarian beliefs.]Unfortunately the Colorado State Legislature has much to learn from Tulsa, since their long-standing ban of “sectarian” prayers apparently only restricts Christians, but allows Hindus.When Hindu Priest Rajan Zed recently prayed on the floor of the Colorado Senate, he sprinkled water from the Ganges River around the podium, and chanted the “om” syllable, that, according to his belief system, contains the universe.Colorado Senator David Schultheis told WND he was shocked by the appearance of the Hindu, since rules ban faith-specific references, such as the words “in Jesus’ name.”“I think the most troubling thing is we have this appearance, and yet the bulk of our population is Christian or say they are Christian, and we are not allowed to mention ‘Jesus’ in any prayer,” he said.I have emailed Senator Dave Schultheis directly requesting he sponsor me to pray “in Jesus’ name” on the floor of the Colorado Senate. You might encourage the good Senator this week, by calling his office at either:303-866-4835 or 719-532-0546.When I wrote about my experience watching Zed pray a Hindu prayer in the U.S. Senate, and myself being excluded by Senators Reid and Clinton, I received hateful telephone calls and hateful emails from Hindu activists, some calling Jesus the son of the Devil.So much for their “religious tolerance” of all faiths. When I advocate for their freedom, they demand I be excluded.It’s strange how quickly their “ecumenical” crowd transforms into an “exclusive” club, likely refusing access to Jesus himself, and anybody who claims His Name.Thank God, the city of Tulsa has elected officials with common sense.
Gordon James Klingenschmitt is a former Navy chaplain who sacrificed his career to help change national policy, restoring the rights of military chaplains to publicly pray "in Jesus' name" – even in uniform. “Chaps” travels to speak at churches, and can be invited via e-mail.[] He encourages readers to sign the petition [] to reinstate Chaplain Danny Harvey, the hospital chaplain fired for praying in Jesus' name.
As in the days of Noah....

Bush is Urged to Confront Jordan's King on Evangelicals' Expulsions

WASHINGTON-President Bush is being urged to confront Jordan's King Abdullah about his country's expulsion of dozens of evangelical Christians when the two leaders meet at the White House on Tuesday.Jordan's foreign minister acknowledged last month that the predominantly Muslim nation had expelled Americans and other foreign Christians for alleged proselytizing. The expulsions reportedly involved pastors, missionaries and students at Jordan Evangelical Theological Seminary.The Reverend Keith Roderick of Christian Solidarity International says President Bush should "highlight the issue of the deportation"with King Abdullah.Roderick says the king should be told there could be "repercussions" from American evangelicals who don't wish to visit or invest in a country that persecutes their fellow believers.
As in the days of Noah....

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Persecution in Chad....

Compass Direct reports that a long-time and faithful believer is still under much pressure from family members for converting to Christianity in December 1995. Since his conversion, Jeje Nehamiah Baki has had his wife taken by his in-laws; his first son killed by poisoning; and after having threats on his own life, decided to leave his father-in-laws house, without his wife.Baki shares how that many divine occurrences and assurances of Jesus Christ has sustained him all of this time. From being an illiterate nomad to becoming a health assistant in a Christian clinic Baki still boldly announces of his continued faith in Jesus Christ stating that “trials and sufferings should not discourage anyone from following Jesus Christ.”
*Pray that the Lord will open the door to allow Baki’s wife and other son to be reunited with him.
*Pray that God will move in Chad and others will find Jesus Christ.
*Pray for continued encouragement and strength for Jeje Nehemiah Baki, and for all of the Muslim background believers in Chad and elsewhere.

As in the days of Noah....

Letter From a Christian Brother in Pakistan.....

Dear Praying Friends,
The tragedy of Ms Bhutto’s assassination is a
strong signal of the extremist elements who not
only want to silence the voice of democracy but
want to hold our country hostage to a Taliban
type rule, stifling all freedom-- religious and
Please join us in prayer, focusing especially
on the following:
• Please pray for us that in the midst of all
this we would be light and salt and would be
Christ-like, always.
• For President Musharraf. Pray God will
protect him and give him wisdom and that
he will lead this nation in the way God so
desires. Pray for his family and those who
work with him.
• Pray for Ms Bhutto’s family and that the
Lord would give them strength and comfort for
their loss. Pray for those Christians around
them who can be a witness at this time when
the children mourn the death of their mother.
• Pray for this election to be free from
any further violence and unrest and for an
environment that encourages free and fair
elections on February 18, 2008.
• Minorities (Christians being the largest of
those) who are participating along with the
majority in choosing Parliament. Please pray
for God to give us wisdom in our use of the
vote and in the choice we make. It is not an
easy choice but we love our country and want
only to be guided by Him.
• Pray for the families of those who have
been either injured or killed in the spate
of violence which has affected Karachi and
Islamabad. Sadly for the first time, even
Lahore has been attacked and many innocent
families have been affected. May they know
the Lord’s healing. May also the Christian
presence at this time be a comfort to those
who mourn and a praying presence in the
• Pray for the availability of flour and
other edibles. The food crisis has hit the
region and as always it is the poor who are
suffering most.
• There is constant trouble with power cuts
and low gas supplies which are affecting
the efficiency of work. Pray for safety of
Know also that in spite of the difficulties
we have in our country, we continue to remember
you, our precious family before the Lord. Thank
you for being part of our lives and for the way
in which you support us. You are precious to us
and our prayer for you this year is that the
Lord may bless you and make His face to shine
upon you and that the Lord may you speak to you
clearly through the year and use you for the
extension of His Kingdom. May He draw us closer
to one another through our love for Him and the
ongoing work of the Cross and Resurrection.
Many blessings,
Your brother in Christ
As in the days of Noah....

Egyptian Court Recognizes Conversion of 12 Christian Converts:High Court Decision is a Well-Disguised Blow to Religious Freedom

The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on February 9, 2008, Egypt’s highest civil court recognized the right of 12 Muslims to convert to Christianity, reversing a lower court’s decision.The ruling enables the Christian identity of the 12 converts to be indicated on their government-issued identity cards.The 12 individuals were raised as Christians but converted to Islam and then returned to Christianity and have been fighting for their re-conversion to be recognized by the Egyptian government.Egypt’s highest civil court has broken from Islamic tradition and officially permitted someone to convert to some other religion than Islam.However, this ruling is only a partial victory for religious freedom, and may indeed end up harming more than it helps.The reason the court recognized these 12 conversions is because they had been Christians before they were Muslims.This does not help Muslim-born Egyptians who convert to Christianity. The only Muslim-born convert to Christianity to ask Egyptian officials for recognition of his Christian identity is Mohammed Hegazy. A lower Egyptian court ruled not to recognize his Christian identity on January 28,2008. Presently,Hegazy lives in hiding because he has received many serious death threats from Muslims who consider him an apostate. Most Muslim-background Christians face such intense persecution that they do not even ask for official recognition of their Christianity for fear of discrimination and persecution from the government and from Muslims.In addition, the court provided no protection for the converts, instead making them a target for extremists by requiring that their previous Muslim identity be displayed on their ID cards as well. When asked about his reactions to the decision by the Egyptian court to recognize the 12 Christian converts, Mr. Magdi Khalil, Director of Middle East Freedom Forum, said to ICC that the decision of the court could not be used as proof of the existence of religious freedom in Egypt. Rather, it endangers the converts because, according to the decision, while indicating the Christian identity of the 12 converts on their ID, government officials were also directed to include a bracket indicating that the Christians had also been Muslims. When extremists see their IDs, the Christians could be subject to discrimination and even killed, since they are considered apostates.Khalil also pointed out that the court made no reference to the religious freedom clause in the Egyptian Constitution. In neglecting to mention this part of Egyptian law, the court has effectively made this case into something besides religious freedom, and kept itself from setting any precedent that could extend that right to all Egyptians. “Freedom of religion should allow Egyptians the right to convert to any religion, any time, without restriction,” Khalil said. Khalil discussed the severe lack of religious freedom in Egypt, giving examples of how Christians are forced to convert to Islam. Some Christian girls are kidnapped by Muslim men and forced to become Muslims. There are also cases in which Christians are lured into becoming Muslims by offering them money which comes from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. In addition, Christians are given jobs if they decide to become Muslims.ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Darara Gubo, said, “Egyptian authorities should not interfere with the right of citizens to choose the religion they want to follow. Rather, they have an obligation to protect citizens who choose to convert to Christianity and to recognize those conversions without any restrictions. The international community should step up pressure on Egypt to provide real religious freedom.”Concerned individuals should call the Egyptian embassy in their respective countries to request religious freedom for all citizens in Egypt.
Egyptian Embassies
UK: [44] (207) 499 2401/499 3304
Germany: (030) 477-54-70
As in the days of Noah....