All posts filed under: Persecution

Protests in Iran Credit: Javad Saharban/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christian pastor arrested in Iran as protests rage through the country

According to reports, Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has once again been arrested by authorities. Plain clothed agents with Iran’s secret police arrived at Yousef’s home on July 22 and were trying to break down the door. When Yousef’s son opened the door to find out what was going on, he was immediately tasered and thrown to the floor. The Iranian agents then tasered pastor Yousef and brutally beat him in front of his family before arresting him and taking him away. The family found out later that the government transferred Yousef to the country’s notorious Evin Prison renown for its brutal treatment of religious and political prisoners. This isn’t the first time the Iranian secret police had arrested Yousef. In 2009, police arrested him for questioning school authorities on why his Christian children were being taught the Koran. Though the Iranian constitution guarantees religious freedom, the current government of Iran routinely ignores the law. At that time, the police charged Yousef with “apostasy,” as it is illegal in Iran for a Muslim to convert to …

Harvest Crusade Billboard that was pulled down: Credit CBN

Harvest Crusade forced to take down billboards in California

Pastor Greg Laurie revealed some disturbing news about several billboards that he was forced to take down earlier this month advertising his SoCal Harvest evangelistic meeting to be held in Anaheim’s Angel stadium between August 17 to 19. With a seating capacity of 45,000 people, Greg Laurie has held his Harvest Crusades at the facility since 1990. The evangelistic meetings draws between 90,000 to 100,000 people and typically result in nearly 10,000 people becoming Christians. To promote the August crusade, Harvest Crusade booked several billboards with a real estate company called Irvine Company. The billboards contracted by Laurie were at a popular mall called Fashion Island in Orange County. The billboards featured Greg Laurie preaching and holding a Bible up in his right hand along with the dates and location of the crusade. According to Todd Starnes, a columnist with Fox News, a representative with the Irvine Company contacted Harvest Crusade stating the company had received several complaints about the billboard and even one “serious threat.” There were no crosses on the billboard and there …

Chick-fil-a restaurant Credit: raymondclarkeimages/Flickr/Creative Commons

Chick-fil-A announces controversial arrival in Toronto

Chick-fil-A is one of the fastest growing fast-food franchises in the US. So it is not surprising that the chain announced it will be opening a store in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, in 2019. It hopes to have upwards of 20 franchises set up in the Greater Toronto Area by 2024. Chick-fil-A’s arrival in Toronto is proving controversial as those on the left unleash their outrage. The left has a problem with Chick-fil-A because: It’s privately owned by the Christians (the Cathy family). The restaurant has Bible verses printed on its cups; It’s owned by Christians who believe in traditional Christian values on marriage; and are not afraid to express these views. In a 2012 interview with the Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A Ceo Dan Cathy said: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Casey said. “We operate as a family business … our restaurants are …

Fulani herdsmen Credit: John Mauremootoo/Flickr/Creative Commons

218 Christians massacred in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen

Over the June 21-22, 2018 weekend, Fulani herdsmen massacred 218 Christians in Nigeria’s northern Plateau state in coordinated attacks on 11 villages. This is the third worst massacre of Christians by Fulani tribesmen behind the slaughter of 500 Christians in March 2010 in Plateau State and 300 in February 2016 in Benue State. This recent spate of violence is both puzzling and concerning. The Fulani herdsmen are nomadic or semi-nomadic tribesmen that travel through several countries such as Nigeria, Niger, Senegal with their cattle herds. They provide the bulk of the meat in Nigeria. Though the Fulani tribesman are Muslim they have worked peaceably side by side Christians farmers for decades. But that changed in recent years, and some are convinced that Muslim extremism, Boko Haram in particular, has radicalized many in this tribal group. Despite Nigeria being made up of 51% Christians and 45% Muslim, the Muslims are concentrated in the Northern and a middle part of Nigeria where they make up the majority of the population. However, the Plateau State where many of …

Yanghu, Anhui, China Credit: Ted McGrath/Flickr/Creative Commons

China’s communist revival: Is Satan rearing his head again?

There is a communist revival taking place in the world today. We see cultural Marxism rearing its ugly head in universities with the extreme left trying to shut down, sometimes violently, any conservatives who dare to disagree with their extreme left-wing opinions. Put perhaps the clearest example of this swing can be seen in the communist resurgence taking place in China. In an article in the Washington Times, Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid a Christian organization that monitors human right abuses in China, said persecution of Christians in China has reached levels unseen since the days of Mao Tse Tung’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In 2016, ChinaAid reported the persecution of 762 Churches and 48,000 people and by 2017 that had risen to 1,265 churches and 223,000 people. The persecution trend is veering upwards again in 2018 since the passing of a law on Feb. 1 requiring all churches to register with the state.  Earlier this year, the government dynamited the largest church in Shanxi province — the Golden Lampstand Church.  The government has also burned …

US Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. Credit: Keith Survell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Victory for religious freedom in US as Supreme Court rules in favor of Colorado baker

In 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver Colorado, was approached by a homosexual couple who wanted Phillips to make a custom wedding cake for their gay wedding. Phillips said no stating that it contravened his beliefs as a Christian. However, Phillips was willing to make them a birthday cake or any cake for that matter, but was unwilling to decorate it with a message supporting gay marriage. Citing discrimination, the gay couple took Phillips before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) that eventually ordered Phillips to make the cake and as well required his staff to undergo re-education training. However, Phillips decided to take the case to the courts. Initially, he lost his cases in the Colorado courts who ruled in favor of the CCRC’s decision. After the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear Phillips’ appeal, with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Phillips petitioned the US Supreme Court in July 2016, the highest court in the US. In June 2017, the court agreed to hear the case in and …

The Black Church of Buoakirkja in Iceland Credit: David Soldano/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to argue with a “New Atheist”

A few years ago, a man I knew was diagnosed with cancer. He was older than me, and I think his health was not good. The cancer doctors used very aggressive treatments and his tumour began to shrink. His friends, including me, were happy about this because it seemed like he was going to beat the cancer. Then the bad news came. The treatment for cancer was so severe, it was killing him. The doctors were forced to stop the treatment to save his life, and the tumor started growing again. He knew he would die from the cancer, and he went to a hospice for palliative care, which means he went to a specialized hospital, and waited to die. And the end of his story is; he did die, after a few weeks. The palliative care unit was close to where I worked and I made a few lunch-time visits. He had visits from family members in the evenings. On my lunchtime work schedule, I had to walk several blocks and I could only …

Credit: Russell Davies/Flickr/Creative Commons

Google rejects ads of Christian publisher

In a statement released on Facebook, Concordia Publishing House (CPH), operated by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) denomination, stated that Google had rejected  one of its ads because CPH’s website had Biblical content and referred to Jesus. Formed in 1847, LCMS has two million members and is evangelical in doctrine as is its publishing arm. In an article on The Federalist, Bruce Kintz, the CEO of Concordia said that they were wanting to advertise their Vacation Bible School but were rejected by Good AdWords that places ads on participating websites. Kintz said Google rejected their ad “because of the faith we express on our website.” When Concordia asked for specifics, Google referred to the organization’s Vacation Bible School page stating the “Bible Challenge would clearly need to come down before they could consider us for ads.” The Bible Challenge page referenced several Biblical passages such as: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the …

George Washington University's Foggy Bottom campus Credit: another believer/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

University calls for Christians to repent of their ‘privilege’

Founded in 1821, the main campus of George Washington University (GWU) is found just a few blocks from the White house in Washington, DC. Its main campus is located in Foggy Bottom, an area largely owned by GWU where it serves as the landlord for such tenants as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. GWU’s motto is Deus Nobis Fiducia (God is our trust) or at least once was. There have been radical changes at the university and now when you click on its website you are welcomed with: “No matter what subject we pursue, we’ve all come here to change the course of history.” Though these words sound noble, when we understand them in the light of the cultural Marxism that has gripped many universities, they take on a more ominous tone. Where GWU once believed “God is our trust,” and make no mistake this is a reference to the Christian God, the campus recently held a workshop to strip people of their “Christian privilege.” The seminar held on Thursday, April 5, …

Beijing, China on a smoggy day Credit: Jesse Varnier/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jesus Meets “The Great Firewall of China”

Very recently, the government of China has restricted the sale of Christian Bibles online, to its own citizens. The Communist government of China wants to control rapidly growing religions, including Christianity and Islam, although the Islamic Koran is still available online. Religion was supposed to die in China, after the Communists came to power in 1949, but recently there are signs that Chinese people are becoming more religious, and the major religions are surging in popularity. Also, China is becoming a world leader in online marketing, or e-commerce. The growth in online sales is also surging in China, and this is a very recent trend. RELATED: China’s e-commerce explosion. What can we learn? In this mix, Bible sales have suddenly been restricted. RELATED: China bans Bible sales: New York Times Bibles are still available from church book stores, but not online. Strangely, China produces millions of Bibles for export, in many languages, including Chinese. There are no restrictions on this business. So, what does the restriction of Bible sales mean for Christians? Probably not much. …

Cuba Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

The struggle for religious freedom in Cuba

Though still a communist nation, in 1992, the Cuba government reclassified itself as a secular nation under its constitution instead of an atheistic one. At the same time, it also partially lifted restrictions on religion and since then Christianity has seen remarkable growth in that country. The country’s current ruler, Raul Castro, the brother of Fidel who died in November 2016, actually attended a Jesuit school before the 1959 Communist revolution. He has been in charge in Cuba since 2011. Under his rule, the Catholic church has retained some favor with the government and in 2014, Cuba allowed a Catholic church in Santiago to construct a new building. It was the first church built in Cuba since the 1959 Communist revolution. The government has also declared Christmas and Good Friday as national holidays. In 2015, President Raul met with Pope Francis and after his meeting commented that he was seriously thinking of going back to church. When reporters laughed, Raul stated, “I’m serious.” But there still remains a tension between the government and Christians. In …

Why did Facebook ban an ad for a Catholic university?

UPDATED: Facebook has been under fire recently for both the free wheeling way it deals with its poster’s personal information and what some consider its blatant attack on free speech and conservative and Christian viewpoints on its social media website. In an article in the British newspaper, The Guardian, a former Facebook employee alleges the social media giant used software algorithms to restrict the number of conservative news articles that appeared in its “trending news” sidebar. Such a move would impact the number of people viewing articles from conservative news sites. Facebook is one of the most dominant social media platforms in the world reporting 2.2 billion active users in January 2018. Founder Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 as a way to connect students attending Harvard University where he was a student. It was initially limited to Harvard students, but after half the school’s population signed up, Zuckerberg quickly realized there was more of a market for the platform. After bringing in others to work on the site, they initially added other universities and …

Credit: Landahlauts/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christians need to toughen up

It is one of the earliest references to Christianity from non Biblical sources. It involves graffiti on an ancient wall in Rome that was part of a home that originally belonged to the notorious Roman emperor Caligula. It was drawn sometime between the first and second century. Carved by soldiers in the Roman army, it involves an image of a man with a donkey’s head hanging on a cross. There is a Roman soldier standing at the side with a hand raised that is explained by the words written in Greek beneath:  “Alexamenos worships [his] God.” According to Christian apologist Tertullian (160 to 225 AD), depicting Jesus as a donkey was a popular way of insulting Christians at that time. He wrote of  a man living in Carthage who had an image of a Christian with ears and hooves of a donkey. In today’s equivalent of an editorial cartoon, it had the words: “The God of the Christians begotten of an ass” written beneath. And lately in North America we starting to see anti Christian …

Vancouver, BC Credit: Jerry Meaden/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Persecuted Christians of British Columbia

A young woman in Vancouver British Columbia applied for a job and received a reply: “… we are not a Christian organization, and most of us actually see Christianity as having destroyed our culture, tradition and way of life.” and “‘God bless’ is very offensive to me and yet another sign of your attempts to impose your religious views on me. I do not want to be blessed by some guy… who has been the very reason for the most horrendous abuses and human rights violations in the history of the human race.” There were other offensive statements, and she did not get the job, so she sued. I think she won 8500 dollars. RELATED: Trinity Western grad ‘attacked’ for being Christian in job rejection: CBC The young woman applied as a recent graduate of Trinity Western University, a private Christian school in BC, and the employers reacted when they learned that. But wait, there’s more: “Maybe the Trinity leadership would be better suited for a Putin’s Russia or any other like his regarding the …

Christian foster couple vindicated: Easter Bunny denial is not wrong Canadian court rules

Derek and Frances Baars are a Christian couple who now live in Edmonton, AB, Canada. In 2016, the couple, who attend a Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, lived in Hamilton, Ontario and were fostering two girls, aged three and four. They ran into problems with the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton (CAS), the organization responsible for fostering, when the Baars refused to tell the two girls that the Easter Bunny was real. Though they did not believe they should lie to the children in their care, the Baars nevertheless organized an Easter egg hunt for the two girls and had them dress up for the occasion. The Baars were completely upfront about their beliefs. When they first applied to be foster parents, they told CAS that they would not lie about the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, and that was obviously fine at the time. In a dramatic conclusion, CAS gave the family one day’s notice before callously yanking the two girls from the home. CAS also ruled the Baars would no longer be …

Lahore, Pakistan Credit: r12a/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have you heard about the Chinese Martyrs in Pakistan?

On June 8, 2017, Islamic radicals announced that they had executed two citizens of China, in Pakistan. The two were a man and a woman, apparently a married couple, named Meng Lisi and Li Xinheng. They were identified as unauthorized Christian missionaries who tried to convert Muslims in Balochistan, a dangerous province in Pakistan, where the majority population is Muslim. The couple lived in Quetta, the capital city. Something interesting is happening there. RELATED: Risky road: China’s missionaries follow Beijing west: BBC If you look at a map of China, you can see that western Chinese territory borders on Pakistan, in a remote mountainous region. Pakistan has been allied with China for decades, as their rival India sided with Russia and the Soviet Union. Recently, China has invested billions in “Silk Road” trade to the west to expand their trade economy. The Silk Road trade route, including travel by sea near the ancient coast of India and Pakistan, was a popular idea with the ancient Roman Empire, two thousand years ago. At the time of …

Former US President Barak Obama being interviewed on The View on July 28, 2010. From Left to Right: Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza/Wikipedia

US Vice President Mike Pence Declared ‘Mentally Ill’ Because He is a Christian?

Mike Pence, a born-again Christian, is also the Vice President of the United States. Recently the former governor of Indiana was labelled mentally ill on a TV program called The View simply because Pence believes Jesus speaks to him. It all started when The View played a brief clip from another TV program called “Celebrity Big Brother” where Omarosa Newman made a comment about Pence. Prior to her role on reality TV, Newman worked at the White House under President Trump. Newman said: “As bad as you think Trump is, you would be worried about Pence…. everyone that is wishing for impeachment might want to reconsider their life. I am a Christian, I love Jesus but he [Pence] thinks Jesus tells him to say things.” This began a brief discussion on The View about the US Vice President. Host Sunny Hostin zeroed in on the fact that Jesus was speaking to Pence adding that despite being elected governor of Indiana, Pence was hated in that state. Hostin based that opinion on the fact she attended …

Credit: Charlie Owen/Flickr/Creative Commons

Free Speech Under Attack: Ken Ham Stopped from Speaking

UPDATE: Since we wrote this article, the University of Central Oklahoma has reversed its decision and will now allow Ken Ham to speak on campus in March. There is a disturbing trend happening on universities across North America and it is starting to creep into society. It is an attack by those on the radical left to stop free speech, the cornerstone of a free society. Spurred on many times by radical professors, the left have protested, often violently, to stop conservatives from speaking on campuses. Predictably, they accuse conservatives of hate speech, which simply isn’t true. The real issue is that the left will no longer allow anyone who disagrees with positions they hold to speak and they will protest violently to stop it. Ben Shapiro, the former editor of Breitbart and current editor of the Daily Wire, was scheduled to speak at the University of Berkley in California in September last year. He had been invited by campus Republicans. Because Shapiro is a well-known conservative, hundreds of radical left protestors, many wearing black …

Mototaxi on the border of Bolivia and Peru. Credit: Tobias Mayr/Flickr/Creative Commons

Whose law will we obey?

Believers in Bolivia may soon be facing a difficult decision. According to a report on Evangelical Focus, the left-leaning Bolivian government of President Evo Morales recently passed a law that could make it illegal for Christians to share their faith. Article 88.11 of Bolivia’s penal code reads: “Whoever recruits, transports, deprives of freedom or host people with the aim of recruiting them to take part in armed conflicts or religious or worship organizations will be penalized five to 12 years of imprisonment.” The way it’s worded, the law suggests that recruiting (sharing your faith) with another person could be considered illegal. Transporting a person to church or even to a religious camp could also be interpreted as an illegal act warranting jail time. The law also equates sharing the Christian faith with armed rebellion. Because of its vague wording, many are concerned Morales could use the law to clamp down on evangelicals. Bolivia has a population of about 11 million of which 78% are considered Roman Catholic, 19% (two million) Protestants and 3% non religious. …

Franklin Graham Credit: cornstalker/Wikipedia

Politicians demand Franklin Graham be banned from entering England

In September 2018, Franklin Graham, 65, the son of famed American evangelist Billy Graham is scheduled to speak at the Lancashire Festival of Hope in Blackpool, England. The event is being sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and a number of local churches. With a population of 150,000, Blackpool is located on the Northwest coast of England. Shortly after the announcement, some left-leaning MPs began petitioning the government to ban Franklin Graham from attending the rally. This included Labour MP Afzal Khan who stated in an interview with The Guardian that Franklin Graham’s “views are not welcome.” He along with a couple other MPs including one Cabinet Minister wrote letters to England’s home secretary Amber Rudd asking her to not issue a visa to Graham preventing him from entering the country. Franklin Graham has publicly opposed Islamic extremism and gay marriage and expressed concerns about immigration. Graham also supported Donald Trump in his campaign for the American presidency and stated that God had a hand in Trump’s victory. Though Graham’s criticisms are considered …

Credit: SAITOR/Flickr/Creative Commons

What Christians need today — courage

YouVersion Bible App was created in 2008, since then over 295 million people have downloaded the app for use on their phone, Ipads and computers. According to this year’s stats, so far this year the app is being downloaded 1.4 times every second of the day. In the same time frame, people are also sharing ten verses with friends. But YouVersion also provides the most read verse of the year and in some ways this provides an insight into what believers are facing around the world. Outside of North America, the most read verse is: 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASV) In America, the most read verse is similar but with a slightly different twist: 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NASV) The verses portray how things are changing …

Camels crossing a desert in Iran Credit: my life, the Universe and everything/Flickr

Similar to Evangelicals, Roman Catholics are reporting Muslims converting to Christianity

According to World Watch Monitor, on November 12, an Iranian who had converted to Christianity, lost his appeal of a ten-year prison sentence for sharing his faith. In May, Naser Navard Gol-Tapeh, along with three men from Azerbaijan were sentenced to ten years for missionary activity along with trumped-up charges of “actions against national security.” The secret police arrested the four men when they attended a wedding in June 2016. Shortly after their arrest, the Iranians allowed the three Azerbaijans to leave Iran while on bail and then sentenced them in abstention. It is doubtful they will return to complete their sentence. But unfortunately, Naser must fulfill his sentence in the brutal Iranian prison system renown for its torture. Since early spring, human rights groups have noticed Iranian courts are handing out unusually long sentences to Christians for simply sharing their faith. Yet despite Iran’s crackdown on Christianity, or maybe because of it, reports are coming in about the large numbers of Muslims abandoning Islam and embracing Christianity in Iran and other Islamic countries. Even …

East Coweta football team gathering for prayer before a game. Credit: Fox News Youtube capture

Victory: Youth take ownership of their faith at East Coweta high school

It was an amazing story, and despite legal threats from an atheist group, students at East Coweta High School in Coweta County, Georgia have taken ownership of their faith in a big way. At the end of October, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter of complaint to the Coweta school district that its high school football head coach, John Small, was leading a team prayer before games and demanded that this stop. FFRF argued that this violated the constitution of separation of church and state and they included an image of Small standing with his head bowed during a team prayer. In response, the Coweta school division sent a letter to all staff that they were no longer to take part in any prayer or worship while working in an “official capacity” with the school. It was expected that the team’s prayer sessions would come to an end. However, instead something incredible happened. The players took the initiative to pray before the game and instead of 100 players gathering to pray as …

Alberta Legislature Wikipedia/GPL

Alberta government starts a range war against Christians

The government of the Canadian province of Alberta has allegedly turned down an Edmonton couple for adoption because of their Christian faith. The unnamed couple who go by the initials C.D. and N.D are Evangelical Christians. The couple was even willing to adopt an older child who typically become stuck in the foster system with little hope of adoption. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is representing C.D. and N.D. in a court case against the Alberta government to have its decision overturned. The married couple, who are unable to conceive, applied for an adoption in October 2016 and were initially approved by the Catholic Social Services (CSS) a representative of the government’s Child and Family Services (CFS). Then in March 2017, the couple were told the government needed them to answer additional questions on how they would handle their potential child’s sexuality. In its news release, JCCF said the couple responded that they would treat any child “with unconditional love, respect and compassion regardless of what the child chose to do, and regardless …

Anne Hathaway and Denzel Washington at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert. Photo Harry Wad / Wikipedia

Denzel Washington and director prayed every day while shooting ‘Roman J. Israel, Esq’

Denzel Washington, 62, has won two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor in the 1989 movie Glory and Best Actor in 2001 for his role in Training Days. He has also won a Tony Award and three Gold Globes. Gospel Herald recently interviewed Denzel about his most recent movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Though, not overtly Christian, Denzel said the movie is filled with Biblical themes including sacrifice as a man gave up a successful career for a cause he believed in. The movie is scheduled for release on November 22, 2017. In the interview, Denzel shared a couple of things I found interesting. First, Denzel and Dan Gilroy, the producer and writer of the movie, prayed and read a Bible devotional together every day during filming. Denzel said, “Dan and I have been prayer partners during this whole collaboration.” It is tough for Christians to speak out in Hollywood, when fellow celebrities not only oppose faith in God, but blatantly mock it. Such as former Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton …

Kim Clement (1956-2016): YouTube Capture

God’s prophetic voice needed today

As I read about the massacre of 26 people (ages five to 72) in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, during their Sunday morning service, it struck me how we need God to speak and warn us. Sutherland Springs located 30 miles southeast of San Antonia is a small town of just 400 people. yet somehow evil found its way there. Twenty were also injured in the attack by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. A former member of the air force, a self-proclaimed atheist and loner, Kelley apparently killed himself after careening off the road in a chase after the shooting. Two days earlier — Friday, November 3, 2017 — a neighbor attacked Christian politician Senator Paul Rand as he returned home. Rand suffered five broken ribs and lung contusions. According to a report on the Daily Caller, another person who lives on the same block alleges the attacker is an “avowed socialist” who fought with other neighbors over politics. Despite this underlying issue, recent media reports suggest that conflicts over landscaping issues …

Painting of Nero's torches also referred to as Christian candlesticks by Henruk Siemiradzki (1843-1902) /Wikipedia

The fiery trials of North Korea described as a ‘life of hell’

In an interview with Fox News, Choi Kwanghyuk said he had never heard of underground churches until he managed to flee North Korea and its brutal dictator Kim Jung-un. After his escape, Choi was granted asylum in the US in 2013 and now lives in Los Angeles. While in North Korea, Choi was a member of  the country’s underground church. Though on paper, North Korea says religion is legal in the country, in reality the only god they are allowed to worship is its president Kim Jung-un. Choi who lived in North Korea’s cold North Hamgyon province told Fox News there were nine members in their church and they were very reluctant to share their faith for fear of being found out because it would result in imprisonment and probably death. Choi added that they had one Bible that they shared between them and they often held church services in a hole that they had dug in the ground as a storage place for kimchi, a spicy pickled cabbage that is considered a national food in …

Salvation Mountain, Colorado Credit: slworking2/Flickr/Creative Commons

How are we to respond?

In mid-October, a small Presbyterian church in Mayesville, South Carolina was vandalized with Satanic graffiti that included crosses drawn upside down, pentagrams and  the word “Satan.” There were over 20 pieces of graffiti spray painted on Salem Black River Presbyterian Church and two of its other buildings. One door was also broken open but nothing was stolen from the church. It was simple act of malicious vandalism. But the church had security cameras and caught video of four people vandalizing the church with the satanic imagery. After police distributed images captured from the video, people began to call in names of the suspects.  The Sumter County Sheriff’s department discovered that all four allegedly involved in the vandalism were from the nearby Shaw Air Force Base. The sheriff’s office have charged four people, Kayla Eilerman, Daveion Green, Clayre Savage and Brandon Munoz, with vandalism, trespass and conspiracy. Meanwhile in Canada, this past August, Trinity Baptist Church located in Burlington, Ontario was set on fire. The fire destroyed the old part of its building, but the fire …

Groom, Texas Credit: maciek/Flickr/Creative Commons

Report: Persecution of American Christians up 133% between 2001 and 2016

A report recently released by First Liberty Institute (FLI) entitled “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” outlines the growing number of attacks on religious liberty in America. Founded in 1972, First Liberty Institute fights for religious liberty in the US through advocacy and litigation by providing pro-bono legal defense to those being persecuted or discriminated against for their faith. According to the organization’s report, the number attacks on Christians jumped by 15% between 2015 and 2016. Since FLI started tracking attacks on religious liberty in 2001, the number has increased by 133% over the following five years. In 2011, FLI reported 600 attacks on religious liberty and by 2016 the number had reached 1,400. FLI’s CEO Kelly Shackelford noted that the cases they cited are just the ones that were published. She described them as just the “tip of the iceberg” as many cases of faith persecution and discrimination are simply not reported. This is not even referring to the number of attacks on Christians that now routinely take place in the …

Li River, China Credit: Charlie fong/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

China forbids children from attending church

According to reports coming out of China, several provinces have stepped up their persecution of the Church by prohibiting children from attending religious services. Recently, over 100 churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang received notice that minors can no longer attend any type of religious activity including church and summer camps. In some jurisdictions, parents were required to sign papers saying their children will not be attending religious services. Officials threatened parents with legal action if they disobeyed. This is not the first time Zhejiang officials had taken a hard-line against Christians. In late 2015, officials ordered the removal of all crosses on government-run churches. When Christians protested, some were arrested and several churches destroyed. Related: Chinese Officials Tear Down More Christian Crosses, Beat Protesters: Breitbart It is uncertain how widespread this recent edict is, but Amnesty International reported receiving news on this prohibition from around the country. In Hunan province, politicians stated they will be investigating both government-run churches (both Catholic and protestant) and the underground churches to make sure they are not …

Coptic Christians were traveling to Saint Samuel the Confessors monsatery (above), when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Credit: Roland Unger/Wikipedia

As in the Days of Noah — ISIS slaughters 28 Egyptian Coptic Christians?

On Friday, May 26, 2017, a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians were traveling by bus to pray at a monastery when they were attacked by Muslim extremists. Their destination was the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor located a hundred miles south of Cairo, Egypt. At least 28 were killed when the bus and an accompanying half ton truck were stopped by three SUVs containing upwards of ten ISIS militants. After storming the bus, the masked extremists demanded the people on board recite the Muslim profession of faith called the shahada: La ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasul Allah. English: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah. When they were unable to do this, the heavily armed militants opened fire killing. In addition to the deaths, they wounded at least 22. TV images of the attack showed the bus riddled with bullet holes and its seats covered in blood. Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt’s population of 94 million and over the last several years have been under …

Lahore, Pakistan Credit: Usman Malik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Pakistani prosecutor tells 42 Christians to convert to Islam to escape murder charges

After Muslim extremists blew up a Catholic church in Lahore, Pakistan in 2015 killing 14 and injuring 75, Christians took to the streets. In the mayhem that followed, the police captured two Muslim men accused of the brutal bombing and handed them over to a Christian crowd who then lynched the Muslims. After the two Muslim men were murdered, Pakistani authorities arrested 500 Christians and kept most of them in jail for nearly 18 months under brutal treatment that included torture. However, after finding most had nothing to do with the crime, about 450 were let go, leaving 42 men still in prison. The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) that is monitoring the situation and providing legal help to the those arrested was horrified by the killing of the two Muslim men, but it said that at least 30 of the men still in jail had nothing to do with the crime. The BPCA then reported on a disturbing story published in a national Pakistani paper, The Express Tribune. The paper wrote about a bizarre …

England's Parliament Building Credit: Jim Nix/Flickr/Creative Commons

In the midst of trials and tribulation lies a ‘Great Opportunity’

Interesting days in England and it probably  indicates what the so-called progressive left eventually wants to see happen in North America. A new law is being debated in England’s House of Commons and if passed, the government’s revised Policing and Crime Bill will see the penalty for a “racially or religiously aggravated offense” increased from its current seven-year imprisonment to 14 years. Since the revised law implies that a person could be thrown in jail for simply offending someone, during the debate UKIP Member of Parliament Lord Pearson asked the following question of the government: “Could such an offense be caused by a Christian preaching the supreme divinity of Christ and thereby denying the supremacy of Muhammad? Would various assembled Muslims be free to regard that as a religiously aggravated offense under this section?” He wanted to know if a person could be thrown in jail for simply stating their belief Jesus is Lord? As an opposition party, UKIP led the charge in England’s decision to leave the European Union. Rather than saying there was …

Nepal Credit: Roberto Saltori/Flickr/Creative Commons

Nepal court sentenced Christians to prison for ‘withcraft’

A court in Nepal has found four Christians guilty of ‘witchcraft’ and ‘violence’ and sentenced them to five years imprisonment. According to World Watch Monitor, the crime the Christians committed was ministering to Seti Pariyar who had been sent to a prayer meeting in June last year by her father-in-law who thought Seti might be possessed by demons. Seti, who struggled with some type of mental illness, attended the prayer meeting, but left early fleeing into a nearby forest. After the prayer meeting ended, members of the church found Seti screaming in the forest and self harming. After praying for her, the group took the woman to her home. A few weeks later, a local businessman shared the incident with the local media who wrote a story on what took place at the church. When news of this came to light, a local resident filed a complaint with the police on the incident, who arrested five Christians and accused them of trying to convert Seti to Christianity. They also accused them of practicing ‘witchcraft’ and …

Islamic State flag and graffiti in Rhone Alpes, France. Credit: thierry ehrmann/Wikipedia

Despite threats against the church, God moves on ISIS leader through a dream

According to USA Today, the Islamic terrorist group, ISIS, is urging radical followers to attack Christians attending New Year’s eve church services. This was based on a report issued by the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that regularly tracks Jihadist websites, forums and social media. SITE states that Jihadist social media messages are encouraging lone-wolf attacks against churches. The report specifically noted four countries were listed as targets — Canada, US, Holland and France. Confirming this report, the FBI issued a warning to churches in the US to be vigilant about possible ISIS attacks during New Year services. The FBI said it has picked up increased chatter of possible strikes against churches and though there were no specifics it issued a general warning. According to Vocatv, Islāmic groups are increasingly using a social media app called Telegram to communicate with followers. It reported on a similar message in Arabic issued by a user who went by the name Abu Marya al-Iraqi: “for bloody celebrations in the Christian New Year … turn the Christian New Year …