Friday, September 13, 2013

Updates From The Epicenter

The story of persecution is growing. Remember Jesus said this would be one of the signs of this generation and we are seeing this fulfilled in the Middle East in a dramatic way:

[The key here, is the tragic fact that the U.S. is supporting these terrorists]

Al-Nusra Front fighters first attacked the village last Wednesday. The following seven days saw Maaloula torn between the rebels and government forces, with both occasionally gaining control over the village.
Some residents, who claim rebels have resorted to looting, executions and forcing residents to convert to Islam, chose to join the Army to defend their village. Among them, Saba Ubeid, a store owner, said when filmed by RT in 2012 that he was sure the rebels would never come to the village. This time he was armed with a gun and fought alongside Syrian soldiers.
“They sent terrorists here from all corners of the world to kill Syrian people and each other. Why? I ask the world, why?” he cried out.  “While in Europe if a citizen is simply slapped in his face, there'll be a scandal. While Syrians – how many victims, how many hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered? When it will stop?”

Until recently, Syria was a safe-haven for Christians.

The New York Times notes:
As secular leaders from the secretive Alawite sect, the Assad dynasty largely preserved Christian life, protecting Syria’s minorities from what was perceived as a collective threat from the country’s Sunni majority.
Watching their once-shielding dictators fall like dominos across the region, Christians have suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of history. Faced by a rising tide of radical Sunni Islam, Christians in Iraq and Egypt have fled by the thousands. In Syria, concern over Christian repression has fallen on deaf ears, drowned out by popular support for the country’s opposition in the face of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown.
BBC points out:
Syria has for much of the century had a sizeable Christian minority, making up at least 10% of the population.
In recent years Syria has been considered one of the easier Middle Eastern countries for Christians to live in. Power is concentrated in the hands of the Alawite minority – a Shia sect considered heretical by many Muslims – which has clamped down hard on extreme forms of Islam.
But that’s all changed since Al Qaeda terrorists started targeting Christians in Syria more than a year ago.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Jihadists who overran Syria’s ancient town of Maalula last week disparaged Christians as “Crusaders” and forced at least one person to convert to Islam at gunpoint, say residents who fled the town.
“They arrived in our town at dawn… and shouted ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,” an Islamist term for Christians ….
Maalula is one of the most renowned Christian towns in Syria, and many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
“I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” said Nasrallah, a Christian.
One of them “put a pistol to the head of my neighbour and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’.”
“Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now’.”
Another resident, Rasha, recounted how the jihadists had seized her fiance Atef, who belonged to the town’s militia, and brutally murdered him.
“I rang his mobile phone and one of them answered,” she said.
“Good morning, Rashrush,” a voice answered, using her nickname. “We are from the Free Syrian Army. Do you know your fiance was a member of the shabiha (pro-regime militia) who was carrying weapons, and we have slit his throat.”
The man told her Atef had been given the option of converting to Islam, but had refused.
“Jesus didn’t come to save him,” he taunted.
Daily Mail writes:
Another Christian resident said: ‘I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, “Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded”.’
Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.
The Christian Science Monitor notes:
Anas, their son, says he got threatening messages back in Syria: “Your money is for us to take, your wife is for us to sleep with, and your children are for killing. This is all halal,” or permissible under Islamic law. He escaped with his wife and children to Jordan, but not before his liquor store had been burned down.
WND reports:
The Christian residents were offered four choices: 1. renounce the ‘idolatry’ of Christianity and convert to Islam; 2. pay a heavy tribute to the Muslims for the privilege of keeping their heads and their Christian faith (this tribute is known as jizya); 3. be killed; 4. flee for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.”
The Washington Times reported in June:
A priest and another Christian were beheaded before a cheering crowd by Syrian insurgents who say they aided and abetted the enemy… The reported beheading of the two Christians comes about the same time America has started sending arms to rebel fighters, the Wall Street Journal revealed this week.”
Most of the Syrian “rebels” are Al Qaeda.  As NBC News reports, Al Qaeda is gaining more and more power among the rebels.
And the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel  have been backing these guys for years.  Indeed, we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.
Congressman Amish points out that the U.S. is breaking the law by aiding and abetting a designated terrorist group.
Indeed, Obama’s own top lawyers warned him that arming the rebels would be illegal.
Ironically, Obama has just renewed the Declaration of a State of Emergency for America first started by Bush in September 2001.  That declaration of emergency is supposed to be about fighting – you know –Al Qaeda.
But the U.S. has long wanted regime change in Syria … and long backed the most violent terrorists in the world for geopolitical reasons.

A trio of my journalist friends – I’m so proud of them – are helping lead the way for pulling back the curtain on Christian persecution at the hands of jihadists and the wider war on freedom.
It’s a massive story, but one that is hushed up in certain circles, especially (ironically) within evangelicalism.

Too many evangelical leaders are focusing only on a range of social justice issues that ignore the slaughter of Christians. Nowhere is this more evident than in Egypt.
The reticence isn’t stopping Raymond Ibrahim, Erick Stakelbeck and Lela Gilbert from writing about the persecutions.
Ibrahim is an Egyptian-born Christian, now living in the U.S. He works with the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an organization everyone should follow. His new book, “Crucified Again,” is a searing account of how Islamic terrorists brutalize Christians. His description of the dhimmi status of Christians (the concept in Islam calls for conquered peoples – “infidels” – to live under the heel of their Muslim conquerors) is worth the price of the book. As I’ve done with all three of the books I’m describing, my copy is now marked up with yellow highlighter, and I refer to the research time and again.
Hear Raymond’s perspective: “It’s time people connect the dots and understand the significance of these unprecedented attacks on Egypt’s Christians. For, if the Islamists who are killing Christians and burning dozens of churches are also the strongest supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood – indeed, they’re attacking Christians on behalf of the Brotherhood – then what does that say about the Brotherhood itself, and its views towards the nation’s Christians?

“Today, Islamist hate for Egypt’s Copts is at an all time high – which is certainly saying something – and fueled by any number of Brotherhood leaders and clerics demonizing the Christians and inciting Muslims against them as scapegoats for the ouster of Morsi,” he continues. “The world must understand that these savage attacks on dozens of Egyptian churches bode a genocidal impulse.”
Erick Stakelbeck, a dear brother who’s been given a huge platform (CBN’s “Stakelbeck on Terror”) also has a terrific new title dealing with the stealth agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood – “The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy.” I just finished it and it’s a must-have.
His in-depth research, writing and reporting go to the heart of the matter: “Americans who believe that the fast approaching Egyptian civil war will have no effect on the United States are sadly mistaken. If the Muslim Brotherhood and its jihadist allies decide to target the Suez Canal and the abundance of oil that passes through it each day, or use the Sinai Peninsula to instigate some sort of conflict with Israel, oil and gas prices will skyrocket, and every American will feel the effects. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is now revealing its true face – violent, fanatical and totalitarian – and fulfilling the jihadist vision laid out by its founder, Hassan Al-Banna. Very dark days lie ahead for Egypt as a result.”

Putin will be able to claim credit in the event of Syrian compliance, and in the event of Syrian defiance.
Contrary to Obama’s statement, the entire world knows that the American president laid down a redline for Assad regarding use of chemical weapons.
The entire world knows that Assad flouted that redline. And the entire world now knows that very little is going to be done about it.
It’s not just that Russian prestige is not on the line over any of this. It is that American prestige is now in the hands of the Russians. Putin can make the chemical weapons proposal work, or not work. Assad is in no position to refuse him.
And Putin, but not Obama, gains either way.
Presumably, the White House is hoping that the Russian president will choose to be kind.

The Russian Navy intends to build its presence in the Mediterranean Sea - particularly in the area close to Syrian shores - to up to 10 battleships, announced Admiral of the Fleet Viktor Chirkov.
“The task is crystal clear: to avoid a slightest threat to the security of the state. This is a general practice of all fleets around the world, to be there when a tension level increases. They are all going to act on operational command plan of the offshore maritime zone,” Chirkov told journalists on Friday. "Russia will be building up its Mediterranean fleet until it is deemed sufficient to perform the task set." 
Russia began military build-up in the Mediterranean in 2012, and starting from December last year the Navy established a constant presence in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. 
On May 1, 2013 all Russian battleships operating in the area were assigned to a single task force under special offshore maritime zone operation command.
Currently there are seven warships deployed in the area: landing craft carriers 'Aleksandr Shabalin’, ‘Admiral Nevelskoy’, ‘Peresvet’, ‘Novocherkassk’ and ‘Minsk’ from Russia’s Black and Baltic Sea Fleets, as well as the escort vessel ‘Neustrashimy’, and large anti-submarine ship ‘Admiral Panteleyev’. 

Also see:


David H said...

My prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Syria, God be with them...

David H said...

I wonder if that hook spoken of in Ezekiel 38 is already in Russia's jaw...
Just a thought...

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Stephen said...

so what do we believe ??

Mr. Putin has taken OVER the M E
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sure looks that way.

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Scott said...

Stephen - That was an interesting article -thanks

Sandra said...

Hi Stephen,
thank you for posting...very interesting. Makes you wonder if part of the shifting is the removal of his children in the rapture, leaving behind those who have form of godliness but deny the power of it.
Anyways, I don't want this commment to spark any unnecessary debate. Scott, these articles really make it real HOW SHORT time is for us.