Sunday, July 1, 2012


Jesus warned us:

"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other...because of the increase in wickedness, the love of most will grow cold..." (Matthew 24:9-11)

Unlike those nations, such as Saudi Arabia, that have eliminated Christianity altogether, Muslim countries with significant Christian minorities saw much persecution during the month of May: in Egypt, Christians were openly discriminated against in law courts, even as some accused the nation's new president of declaring that he will "achieve the Islamic conquest of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam;" in Indonesia, Muslims threw bags of urine on Christians during worship; in Kashmir and Zanzibar, churches were set on fire; and in Mali, Christianity "faces being eradicated."

Elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa—in Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, the Ivory Coast—wherever Islam and Christianity meet, Christians are being killed, slaughtered, beheaded and even crucified.

Categorized by theme, May's assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity. Note: As Pakistan had the lion's share of persecuted Christians last month, it has its own section below, covering the entire gamut of persecution—from apostasy and blasphemy to rape and forced conversions.
Take a look at these stark examples (the article is too long to post), as it is worth reading. Take a step back and ponder the illogic of this persecution: Christians pose a threat to no one; the growing persecution represents a manifestation of the epic battle of good vs evil - a battle that is rapidly drawing to a close but will reach its pinnacle during the Tribulation.

A few months ago, in a blog post, I wondered whether the Syrian jihadist rebels were taking advantaging of the chaos the country is in to destroy symbols of the country's Christian heritage, like the famous crusader castle of Krak des Chevaliers. As these images of plundered churches show, it is now clear that they have gone much further than that.

Why are our governments continuing to agitate for action against the Syrian government when it is overwhelmingly clear that the toppling of the Assad regime will produce the same result as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc., in other words jihadistscoming to power? Perhaps you could excuse some of their naivety initially. But when they learn no lessons from their mistakes, you have to ask: what is going on? Are they really so spectacularly naive or do they have some other agenda? The history of the 20th century is chock-full of episodes in which conniving western governments thought they could exploit jihadists for their own ends, only to discover the jihadists weren't quite as amenable as their foolish western backers had hoped.

At least 22 churches have been forced to close in Indonesia this year due to mounting pressure on local governments. Eighteen of the closed churches are located in the Singkil regency of Aceh province, where Muslims held a “peace rally” on April 30 urging the local government to tear down all churches lacking legal permits.

At the suggestion of the head of district police, Muslim leaders agreed to give the Christians three days to tear down their own church buildings. The Muslims formed a group to monitor the Christians, with the understanding that police would tear down the unregistered churches if they were still standing in three days.

The Islamic extremist group Boko Haram attacked two more Nigerian churches on Sunday, June 10, the second such attack in two weeks. A suicide car bomber killed two and injured 40 others in an attack on Christ’s Chosen Church of God in Plateau state, and gunmen killed at least two other Christians in an attack on a church in Borno state.

The bomber who targeted Christ’s Chosen Church of God drove into the church after a service. Most worshipers had already left, but church leaders and children remained in the building. The powerful explosion collapsed the sanctuary roof, and neighbors across the street felt the explosion in their homes.

In a similar attack the previous Sunday, a car bomber detonated his explosives as worshipers left the Living Faith Church in Yelwa, a Christian settlement near the capital of Bauchi state. Although security personnel stopped the car before it reached the church, the bomb blast nevertheless destroyed part of the Living Faith Church building as well as the nearby Harvest Field Church, which collapsed on worshipers inside. At least 13 people were killed and 25 wounded in the explosion.

Nigerians face a growing wave of violence triggered by Boko Haram. The group has claimed responsibility for killing more than 530 people this year alone, and at last 181 of those killed were targeted because they were Christians.

In other recent attacks, Boko Haram terrorists opened fire on worshipers during church services at Bayero University in Kano state on Sunday, April 29, killing 19 people as they fled. And on April 18, at least 38 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked churches celebrating Easter.

The intro is seen below; the entire letter is worth reading, as this Christian faces death:

Greetings from your servant and younger brother in Christ, Youcef Nadarkhani.

To: All those who are concerned and worried about my current situation.

First, I would like to inform all of my beloved brothers and sisters that I am in perfect health in the flesh and spirit. And I try to have a little different approach from others to these days, and consider it as the day of exam and trial of my faith. And during these days which are hard in order to prove loyalty and sincerity to God, I am trying to do the best in my power to stay right with what I have learned from God’s commandments.

I need to remind my beloveds, though my trial has been so long, and as in the flesh I wish these days to end, yet I have surrendered myself to God’s will.

Also see:

Syrian troops have regained control of a rebellious Damascus suburb after a 10-day assault that left dozens dead, hundreds wounded and caused a major humanitarian crisis, activists said Saturday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local activist Mohammed Saeed said regime forces recaptured Douma, outside the capital, late Friday. The latest offensive was the worst of several assaults on the area, with dead bodies left in the streets, the Observatory said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad are strong in central Damascus, but have battled to control the ring of suburbs and settlements in the surrounding countryside.

The latest violence came as representatives of global and regional powers tried to agree on a peaceful formula to end the bloody crisis in Syria, including the role of Assad in a transitional government.

The talks hosted by the United Nations are seen as a last-ditch attempt to salvage the peace plan brokered by the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

The European oil embargo taking effect Sunday, July 1 blocks the sale to European Union members of 1 million, or one third, of Iran’s daily output of 3.3 million barrels a day. EU insurance firms, the biggest in the world, henceforth withhold cover from governments and firms operating tankers which carry Iranian oil.

Braced against potential reprisals from Tehran, Saud Arabia and fellow Gulf nations have placed their armies on alert. Completing a deployment begun last Thursday for possible intervention in Syria, Saudi Arabia has massed units on its borders with Jordan, Iraq and Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates sea, air and special forces are on a state of readiness, as are US Fifth Fleet vessels in Gulf waters.

While not anticipating full-scale war, they are acutely apprehensive of possible Iranian strikes against Gulf oil fields, export terminals, pipelines or tankers either by covert Al Qods Brigades squads or local Shiite saboteurs.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to treat an oil embargo as an act of war and close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to Gulf shipping in response.

Two days before the oil embargo went into effect, Saudi Arabia and the UAE activated two extra oil pipelines bypassing Hormuz and providing alternative routes for their oil to continue to flow to export markets if the Straits are blocked.

American and French forces went on standby at this port since Saturday. Tehran could attack both of these pipelines as one form of reprisal for the tough, new sanction.
Friday, June 29, a senior Revolutionary Guards Corp general announced that missiles with a range of 300 kilometers were to be installed on Iranian warships on duty in the vicinity of the Hormuz Straits.

Not long ago the Arab Spring was seen as a harbinger of democracy. It turns out that, instead, it's creating breeding grounds for international terror--and safe havens for al-Qaeda itself.

That is not just a polemical opinion but the somber assessment of the director-general of Britain's MI5 internal security agency, Jonathan Evans.

Evans specifically said that British jihadis, who have been training for years at al-Qaeda strongholds in Yemen and Somalia, "are known to be receiving training in the likes of Libya and Egypt"

The MI5 chief also confirmed that al-Qaeda is now active in Syria, and "warned against suggestions that al-Qaeda's threat has 'evaporated' following the death of Osama bin Laden and significant victories in Pakistan." He noted that Britain, for its part, has "experienced a credible terrorist attack plot about once a year since 9/11."

Evans didn't say in what part of Egypt the jihadis are training. Israel, though, has been aware that--particularly since the winds of "spring" toppled Egypt's pro-Western Mubarak regime--the presence of al-Qaeda and other global-jihad elements has been rapidly growing at least in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

Still more significant, though, is the fact that "permissive environments" where al-Qaeda is coming back to roost--"Arab Spring" countries like Egypt, Libya, and Syria--are also places where the Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining strength.

The bottom line:

Does anyone out there genuinely believe this is what the Founders had envisioned? Passing the largest tax increase in American history that if not stopped, will surely break the back of a once great nation. While putting into place an IRS Gestapo, 16,500 and more strong that will act as a jack booted thuggish arm of the Obama administration. Taxation will be thoroughly (even more than now) weaponized and will be used to punish enemies of the state. Remind you of anyone? Comply or else and everyone is a criminal. How very Atlas Shrugged.

Internal Revenue Service has just become Barack Obama’s domestic army. That is what we face now.”

Somewhere between 18 and 22 new taxes will be levied because of this ruling. Some begin next year. I don’t know about you, but we are having trouble making it now and we are already worried about the heavy food inflation we are seeing here. I definitely wonder how we will make it with these new taxes if they come into play.

Obamacare will add $1.15 trillion to the national debt. Americans need to confront that and understand what that means. There is no coming back from that. We are bankrupt and it will finish us off. Forget about a Depression, this will be a financial Armageddon. As a matter of fact, there is an argument to be made that that boat has already sailed because the US now carries a mind numbing $15 trillion in debt and another $65 trillion in unfunded liabilities related to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Obamacare is the final nail in the fiscal coffin of America and Obama knows it. If implemented, Cloward and Piven will succeed so massively not even they could have dreamed of attaining such complete success.

The facts:

And this:

“The United States Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by extending the power of the United States Congress to tax Americans’ behavior. This is a sad day for Americans, as they will be taxed to pay for benefits they may not need or want as part of the insurance they are forced to buy. With this decision, Congress has been granted infinite taxation power, and there are no longer any limits on what the federal government can tax its citizens to do.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will hit the middle class especially hard, as hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost as businesses try to avoid the penalties and costs created by the healthcare law. The healthcare law will cost trillions of dollars, raise costs for employers and create huge incentives for them to drop health insurance.

Benjamin Franklin did indeed state, ‘In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.’ However, Dr. Franklin never envisioned the federal government would use its power of taxation to punish people for not purchasing health care. Today, individual sovereignty in America has been defeated.” Congressman Allen West

We have to view these events as "road paving" as we race down this road to the Tribulation. We were destined to see this process in it's early stages - Jesus warned of this aspect of biblical prophecy as well:

"...but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come."
(Matthew 24:6)

The bride is patiently enduring. The bride is patiently awaiting the bridegroom to come, in order take her away to the wedding, just as the ancient Jewish wedding customs would dictate.

That promise is always worth remembering and today is no exception:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.

I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going"

(John 14:1-4)

Jesus' words?

"See to it that you are not alarmed"

"Such things must happen"

"Do not let your hearts be troubled"

"Trust in God; trust also in me"

Let's cling to these words in the last days - darker and darker days on this earth as the last rise of evil surfaces - a rise that cannot be completed while the Holy Spirit resides on the earth within the Bride of Christ - the Church.

Jesus knew we would be exposed to this era in history - before the gathering up. He knew we'd see these ominous developments as the world prepares to enter the Tribulation.

He also wants our focus to be entirely on Him and His coming:

"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

(Luke 21:28)


We have no reason to fear and we have no reason for apprehension. Our sole focus should be on Jesus who is returning for His beloved Bride.

After all, we're just on the threshold of that event.


WVBORN56 said...

Praying fro the persecuted church as we wait for the coming of the Lord.

Perhaps Today!


Dylan said...

A praise item I heard in church today. In 2005 a lady from somewhere in the USA set up a ministry in Niger. She helped dig wells and set up a church called "promise land". She's been unable to go back since 2007 due to increased extremist activity, but in 2011/12, with the unrest in North African countries, around 4000 people have been led to Christ by that ministry and are now going back to their home countries (Egypt, Libya, etc.) to spread the gospel. Our God is great! Maranatha!

Caver said...

Scott, thanks for such a thorough synopsis, and such a message of hope.

WV, joining in prayer for our persecuted Brothers and Sisters.

Dylan, joining in rejoicing rejoicing.