Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church

July 29, 2011 at 10:35 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Indonesia: Officials Close Church

A church in Bogor that has been attacked six times since 2008 was recently ordered to stop all religious activities or risk inviting “the community and others to react in a way that could spark a potential disturbance.” But church members have refused to obey the local government’s demands.

The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor, West Java, near Jakarta, has had an ongoing dispute with Islamist groups and local authorities. In 2008, the city revoked the church’s building permit and sealed the church building. Since then, the congregation has conducted weekly services outside the church, prompting some neighbors to complain of a public disruption. Local community members, backed by Islamist groups, have held multiple protests against the church. And even though the Supreme Court ordered Bogor city authorities to re-open the building in December 2010, it has remained sealed. Local authorities say they are afraid opening the church would spark social unrest. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church…

Persecution Friday: India

June 3, 2011 at 7:29 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

India: Attacks Persist

Hindu extremists continue to target Christians in India with harassment, false accusations, beatings and even murder. The Global Council of Indian Christians believes Hindu extremists are behind two recent murders of Christians in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In the most recent case, 17-year-old Nirupama Pradhan was raped and murdered after school on May 12, 2011. Her father, Sitrian Pradhan, named the possible murderer, but according to Asia News, police have done nothing to find the murderer.

Police also have refused to give a post-mortem report to the widow of Saul Pradhan, a Christian preacher who was murdered on Jan. 10, 2011. Pradhan had taken a new job at a brick kiln in another village. When he did not return home from work one day, his family searched for him and found his body near a pond. Police originally claimed Pradhan died from the “bitter cold,” but his employers, Hindu radicals, later confessed to the murder. Continue Reading Persecution Friday: India…

Persecution Fridays: Iran – “Dismantle Evangelism”

March 25, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Iran: Dismantle Evangelism

Iran’s Religious Leaders Continue Public Attacks on Christianity

Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani spoke out against Christianity and evangelism during a recent religious class at the Islamic seminary in Qom, Iran. On Wednesday, March 9, Khorasani stated, “People [in Iran] have become Christians, and Shiite youths are being misled by Christianity.” His statements were published on the government website “Ayandeh.”

Khorasani told his students, “There is no one to tell to the government officials what this misled and distracted Christian evangelism is doing even in Qom.” Qom, an important religious city for Shiites, is home to the largest center for Shiite scholarship in the world. “Christian-deviated teachings are being diverted to our nation,” Khorasani said. “If the authorities even assume that something is going to shake their power, they will confront it with full force, but they do nothing against these evangelists who are misleading our Shiite youth population.”

Khorasani joins several other religious and political leaders in acknowledging the rapid growth of Christianity in Iran and criticizing the government’s inaction. During an October 2010 visit to Qom, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned against the growth of house churches in Iran. He called house churches “enemies of Islam.” Using similar rhetoric, the governor of Tehran Province, Morteza Tamaddon, has called Christians “radicals who want to corrupt and divert the body of Islam.”

The inflammatory words of Iran’s leaders seem to reflect a rising fear of Christianity within the government. In recent months, Christians in Iran have faced a systematic wave of arrests, and new converts from Islam have been especially targeted. More than 200 Christians have been imprisoned since Christmas. To date, 20 of them have seen no progress in their cases, and they continue to face difficult circumstances inside detention centers.

Evidence of the Iranian government’s disdain for Christianity continues to mount. During a routine inspection of a bus at a border crossing recently, the office of Contraband Search and Seizure, along with members of the revolutionary guard, discovered two boxes containing 300 New Testaments each. The revolutionary guards seized the boxes and burned the Bibles.

Newslinks 01/09/11

January 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

Passion to 22,000 Students: Be Free, Fully Alive in Jesus
People want to be here. That’s the sense you get when you come to the Passion 2011 conference that opened Saturday, New Year’s Day, with 22,000 students.

Beth Moore: Control Your Mind, Focus on ‘One Thing’

 

American Churches Begin 2011 with Prayer, Fasting

 

Atheists Declare Religions as ‘Scams’ in New Ad

 

Global Church Body Condemns ‘Vicious Attack’ in Egypt

 

Islamic Extremists Protest Efforts to Change Blasphemy Laws and Free Christian

Louie Giglio Surprises Passion Crowd with Haitian Family
Attendees of the Passion conference on Sunday heard about a family that survived the Haiti earthquake that destroyed their home and killed two family members. What the crowd did not expect was to see them walk out on stage. Continue Reading Newslinks 01/09/11…

Persecution Fridays: Ethiopia

September 3, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Ethiopia: Muslims Attack Convert

On Aug. 21, Mohamed Ali Garas, a prominent Somali church leader and convert from Islam, was beaten by Muslims in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, according to International Christian Concern.

Mohamed was walking to his new home when two Somali Muslim men struck him on the head with a wooden club and knocked him to the ground. The men continued hitting and kicking him in the chest and stomach. Mohamed had fled to Ethiopia from Somalia in 2005 after Somali authorities attempted to arrest him. He had recently moved to a new neighborhood in Addis Ababa because Somali Muslims threatened to attack him. At last report, Mohamed was being treated at a local hospital for his injuries, which included a damaged kneecap.

In recent months, Somali Christians living in Ethiopia have come under increased attacks from Somali Muslims. A Christian man was assaulted in July for reading a book critical of the Prophet Muhammad. A Somali pastor in the Ethiopian capital described this latest attack as “an apparent attempt to scare the Somali Christian community in Addis Ababa who consider Ethiopia a safe haven from religious persecution.”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for Mohamed and all believers in Somalia, who risk their lives for their faith in Christ. Ask God to give Mohamed healing. Pray that his attackers will be brought to justice. Pray that he and other Somali believers facing persecution in Ethiopia will continue to trust in the Lord to guide and embolden them as they serve Him.

Persecution Fridays: Afghanistan

August 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Afghanistan: Aid Workers Killed

Ten members of a Christian aid team were murdered in northern Afghanistan on Aug. 5 after spending three weeks providing medical care to villagers, according to The New York Times (NYT).

Six Americans, a Briton, a German and two Afghans were ambushed when they stopped to eat lunch in Sharrun Valley, in the Hindu Kush mountains of northern Afghanistan. The Taliban, who have claimed responsibility for the killings, have accused the team of spying and being Christian missionaries. However, local police think the team was robbed and killed by local criminals. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays: Afghanistan…

Newslinks 08/15/10

August 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Obama backs ‘gay’ group at U.N.
A homosexual activist group has side-stepped normal procedures to gain a non-government organization status at the United Nations.

GOP: Obama developing ‘backdoor amnesty plan’
The Obama administration is considering ways it could go around lawmakers to let illegal immigrants stay in the United States, according to an agency memo.

Another Democrat facing ethics charges
A second House Democrat, Rep. Maxine Waters of California, could be facing an ethics trial this fall, further complicating the midterm election outlook for the party as it battles to hold onto its majority.

Amish communities growing rapidly
A new study estimates the number of Amish in North America has doubled since 1992 and increased nearly 10 percent in the past two years alone.

Baptist World Alliance Confirms New President
Virginia native John Upton was elected Saturday to lead the Baptist World Alliance as its new president. The long-time Baptist succeeds David Coffey of the United Kingdom. Continue Reading Newslinks 08/15/10…

Pharisees

June 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Often, when we are hearing about events that took place in the gospels, we are told about the enemies of Jesus. Those people who opposed Him and tried everything they could to show Him to be a charlatan. Of all the groups that did this, the one that Christians are most familiar with are the Pharisees. Because of the often simple light in which this group is painted, many people don’t realize the dangers inherent in what they said and did. To understand this, it is important to understand where the Pharisees came from.
 
The group of Jews known as Pharisees arose during the reign of John Hyrcanus. They came from the Hasidism, which was a militant religious community that was focused on obedience to the Law and worship to God. They began around 168 B.C. (before Christ!…). The name Pharisee means “separated one” and was applied to this group because they separated themselves from the Hellenistic influence brought in through the Greeks. At the time of Jesus, it is believed that there were around 6,000 Pharisees in Israel. The Pharisees saw the entire Old Testament as authoritative, but accepted oral tradition as authoritative as well. They believed in the existence of angels and demons. They believed in life after death and bodily resurrection. They believed that the study of the Law was worship. They strove to live holy by keeping the Law and saw the Law as determining what was clean and unclean. They felt very strongly about obedience to the Law and developed a set of regulations to help save people from breaking the Law. There are 613 laws in the Old Testament and the discussions that they had were as specific as whether or not a person should eat an egg laid on the Sabbath. The Pharisees lived for the Law and sought to use it in all situations. Continue Reading Pharisees…

Revival (long)

April 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I don’t know what it is like in other areas of America (I’m originally from Ohio and don’t remember hearing a lot about this up there), but over the next five or so months, churches across the South will be holding revivals. These will be big to-dos varying in length from three or four days to an entire week. During the time leading up to these events, the church excitement grows and people look forward to this in order to be “refreshed” and get a spiritual boost so that they continue to “work for the Lord”.  They will dress in their Sunday best, notebooks in hand, to hear what the preacher/evangelist (usually a guest) has to say. Depending on the denomination and area, these meetings will range in volume and action. The expectation is that at the end of the week, they will have heard the very thing they needed to hear so that they can move to a new level with God and “do more” for Him. I remember attending a few revivals (I haven’t been to one in years) and recall them being emotionally charged appeals (in some cases) or sound, steady topical teaching (in other cases). For weeks following the revival, people would make larger efforts to have more ministries, outreaches, events, and other things geared toward the church. As I look back though, I seem to also remember that after about two months the revival wore off. People began getting caught up in the daily grind again and all of those new ministries and events just fell by the wayside. I have thought about this a lot lately. In my own life, I am striving harder to have everything I do line the Scriptures. I am not even close yet, but things are moving along. I started wondering what Scripture said about revival. What I found was interesting. Continue Reading Revival (long)…

Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach

October 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is something that is dear to me. The design is called Free to Preach. It shows the American flag with embers at the end of it. Next to the flag is part of the first amendment to the Constitution. This amendment provides for both freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Sadly, both of these freedoms are under attack today. The freedom of religion is grounded in the history of the United States. When the first settlers came to this land, it was because they desired to worship the God of the Bible they way they felt the scriptures told them to and not how the state told them to.

In England, the church and the crown were closely tied together and often oppressed the common people. When the Constitution was ratified, a few states only did so with the condition that the Constitution would be amended with certain rights spelled out. The fact that freedom of religion is one of them speaks volumes on the focus of our founders. The founders were not out to “separate church and state” like so many today seem to think. They were out to keep the government from telling them how they could or couldn’t worship. Unfortunately, any time someone mentions freedom of religion, the “separation of church and state” invariably comes up, even though it’s not in the Constitution. The phrase is in a response by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists. The Baptists were concerned that the proposed amendment would allow the federal government to impose whatever rules and regulations they desired onto the beliefs of the people. Jefferson assured the Baptists that the amendment would insure that the freedom to worship God would not be hindered by the federal government. Sadly, the very thing the Baptists were worried about has come to pass. The federal government now controls much of what is said and done by Christians. In today’s time, you can promote any religion at all, except Christianity. Muslims can teach their doctrines in schools, Hindus are promoting yoga in kindergarten classes, and Atheists can teach evolution without fear of reprimand; but if you are a Christian and you try to promote Jesus Christ, you are attacked from every side. Bible clubs have a hard time getting recognition or allowance to exist, biblical evidence for the origins of the universe aren’t allowed to even be discussed (even a purely scientific critique of evolution is not allowed – what are they afraid of if their “theory” is so watertight?), and the moral laws of God cannot be promoted (even though they are exactly what our country needs and the only thing that will help our nation stop it slide into complete darkness).

Why is it that this only happens to Christianity? Why is it that the majority of Christians are fighting an uphill battle to regain the freedom that all other religions so readily enjoy? The answer is actually quite simple. While people have no problem talking about Buddha, Allah, Brahma or any number of other false “gods”, they are simply afraid of Jesus Christ. Of course they won’t admit it. To do so would admit that He’s real while the others are not. But their refusal to admit that they are scared of Jesus doesn’t make it any less true. Why do you think that the atheistic scientists on every level fight so vehemently to keep creation out of schools? Because they know that if their so-called “theory” comes up against the truth, they won’t stand a chance. And when their “theory” disintegrates into the fairy tale that it is, they will be faced with the truth that God exists and that they are accountable for all of their sins. Why do Muslims so violently attack Christians for the smallest of imagined offenses? It’s because they know that if they don’t continuously fight against the truth with blind rage and anger, they will have to stop and think about that truth and they don’t want to do that. If they did, they would be forced to admit that they have been chasing a lie their entire lives and they are too proud to do that. Why do homosexuals mock Christians and speak out against them so much? They have to. If they didn’t attack Christians so relentlessly, they would have to admit that their entire lifestyle was an abomination to God. They would no longer be able to live in the sinful lifestyle they have created for themselves. And they love that sin more than they love anything else. So they attack the representatives of the God that they can’t ignore in hopes that their barbed words and injurous actions will placate their guilt ridden consciences. And on and on it goes. The Hindus, the Buddhists, the post-moderns, the Mormans, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the secular humanists, and the false converts all join in with the others to attack Christianity. They do so because they can’t hurt the God they hate. Instead, they hurt His children.

The grace of God has told us through scripture that those who truly belong to Christ will be hated by everyone else. Those who speak the truth about sin, hell, and judgment will be mocked, attacked, and even killed for what they believe in. This is somewhat reassuring to those who are being persecuted for their faith (how small are the numbers in America?) and it should be a source of concern to those who claim to belong to Christ and are not persecuted at all…In America we are still Free to Preach…for now…are you preaching?

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