Persecution Fridays: Uzbekistan – False Prosecutions

August 19, 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

Uzbekistan: False Prosecutions

Authorities in Uzbekistan continue to pressure churches and religious groups, often fabricating evidence to punish or limit Christians’ ability to practice their faith. Christians recently have been subjected to excessive fines, false accusations and literature confiscations. In the most recent case, on July 15, 2011, Konstantin Malchikovsky, pastor of the Hamza District Baptist Church in Tashkent, was indicted for tax fraud.

The indictment involved allegations that Malchikovsky failed to pay taxes on church offerings and book sales between 2003 and 2010. According to Forum 18 News, a government investigator threatened church members with jail time if they refused to fabricate evidence against the pastor. The government apparently wants the church to use a cash register to receive offerings so they can issue a receipt for each one.

Malchikovsky faces a maximum of two years in jail if convicted. Local Christians told Forum 18 that city tax authorities did not present to the court all of the documents claimed as evidence. And the judge ignored documents that proved the inaccuracy of the indictment.

Last spring, authorities raided the Hamza District Baptist Church, confiscating money, printing equipment and tens of thousands of Christian books. Four church members, including Malchikovsky, were fined between 50 and 100 times the minimum monthly wage.

In a separate raid in June, authorities confiscated about 250 Christian books and recordings, a computer and a passport from Christian Anvar Rajapov’s home. Rajapov was fined 80 times the minimum monthly wage. Ignoring police threats, Rajapov twice unsuccessfully appealed the ruling to Tashkent Criminal Court. On July 10, when Rajapov asked the court for the return of his hard drive, the court ordered that it be destroyed.

In another case, the Uzbek Supreme Court recently upheld the 10-year sentence of Tohar Haydarov, who was arrested in March 2010 and charged with the “illegal sale of narcotic or psychotropic substances in large quantities.” Church members consistently told Forum 18 News that the allegations were fabricated to punish him.

Although prison authorities have shown Haydarov letters that have been mailed to him, he has not been allowed to read them. The reason, prison authorities say, is that there are “too many citations from the Bible in them.” Local Christians told Forum 18 News that Haydarov has admonished other Christians to “appreciate dearly your worship services and listen attentively to the sermons. I so much wish to attend worship services, but, alas, I don’t have the opportunity.”

Persecution Friday: Uzbekistan

May 27, 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

Uzbekistan: Raids Increase in April

Christians in Uzbekistan have faced increased persecution recently in the form of raids, literature confiscations, court-ordered literature destruction and heavy fines.

On April 5, Police and National Security Service (NSS) officers raided the home of Anvar Rajapov, a believer in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, according to Forum 18 News Service. Police confiscated about 250 religious books and recordings, a computer and Rajapov’s passport. A police officer also photographed Rajapov’s children without his knowledge.

Rajapov was convicted on April 14 of violating five articles of the administrative code, including those prohibiting the illegal storage of religious materials, the illegal organization of meetings, and proselytism. Rajapov was fined 80 times the minimum monthly wage, or about $2,330. The judge also ordered the destruction of the religious books confiscated in the raid, “except for those that can be allowed for internal use of religious communities.”

Local Christians told Forum 18 that the court had produced no evidence to support the charges brought against Rajapov. “The whole case is fabricated,” one believer said. He added that the judge “did not even investigate the case but just signed the hastily and carelessly prepared decision.” Local believers said the head of the city district committee, Ulmas Shukurov, had called for Rajapov to be punished and expelled from the district because he had left Islam and accepted Christianity. Shukurov accompanied police on the raid of Rajapov’s house.

Rajapov’s case is not uncommon, as Uzbekistan’s courts frequently order the confiscation and destruction of religious literature, including Bibles. Uzbek authorities conducted two raids in April on the Hamza District Baptist Church, also located in Tashkent. In a raid on April 7, police confiscated thousands of Christian books from the church as well as money belonging to a church member. Four days later, on April 11, police and NSS officers raided a church-owned flat nearby, confiscating printing equipment and tens of thousands of Christian books. Four church members were each fined between 50 and 100 times the minimum monthly wage, according to Forum 18. In addition, tax authorities fined the church the equivalent of about $4,090 on April 28 for failing to use a cash register to record sales and donations.

Persecution Fridays: Cuba

March 4, 2011 at 10:17 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 

Cuba: Persecution Increases

Pastors and Christian leaders in Cuba are reporting a shift in how the government treats Christians. The government appears to have moved away from higher profile forms of oppression, such as threatening to shut down or destroy churches, and is now focusing pressure on church leaders, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Church leaders both within and outside of the Cuban Council of Churches (CCC) report receiving frequent visits from state security agents and Cuban Communist Party (CCP) officials. The CCC is an umbrella organization representing Protestant churches. These visits and meetings seem to have the intent of intimidating church leaders and making them aware they are under close surveillance.

In October 2010, Pastor Homero Carbonell decided to resign as leader of La Trinidad First Baptist Church in Santa Clara after prolonged government pressure and threats, according to CSW. He hoped giving up his leadership position would alleviate some of the demands on the congregation, but nothing has changed.

Pastor Carbonell, a respected high-level denominational leader, denounced the government persecution in an open letter, according to CSW. He wrote that spurious accusations against him, including allegations that he is associated with the counterrevolution, brought a series of penalties to his church. The pastor also described how the Religious Affairs Office has treated the church over the past three years. In one meeting with the Religious Affairs Office, officials told Pastor Carbonell to “behave himself.”

CSW reports that the government’s attention on Pastor Carbonell and his church may have been prompted by the church’s refusal to expel family members of political prisoners and members of human rights or pro-democracy groups.

Religious groups in Cuba are under the authority of the Religious Affairs Office of the CCP’s Central Committee, rather than a government body. Church leaders have complained for years about difficulties dealing with the Religious Affairs Office, especially with regard to permission for church repair or construction. Many of VOM’s partners in Cuba have faced conflict with authorities while building or repairing churches. Some get around requirements by constructing structures with roofs but no walls.

Bibles and Christian literature may be imported into the country only through the Cuban Council of Churches, which, according to CSW, represents a minority of churches. This limitation has led to a severe shortage of religious materials in Cuba. VOM friends help bring Bibles and other materials into the country through other channels and also sponsor a clandestine printing press for Christian literature.

Newslinks 06/27/10

June 27, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Sherwood’s new film focuses on fatherhood
The pastor of the church that made the hit movie Fireproof says his congregation’s next film will stress the importance of fathers in their children’s lives.

Adopted child joins Mark Hall this Father’s Day
The lead singer of the Christian band Casting Crowns says adopting a little girl from China last month has given him insight into what it means to be adopted into God’s family.

Emmy nomination for pro-life program
A pro-life TV show has received a nomination for a regional Emmy Award.

Guns in church bill headed to governor
Concealed weapons will be allowed in some Louisiana churches after all.

Reformed Bodies Sign Off on Merger
The two largest reformed church bodies officially merged on Friday to become the World Communion of Reformed Churches, representing more than 80 million Christians. Continue Reading Newslinks 06/27/10…

Newslinks 06/13/10

June 13, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Franklin Graham Closes 3rd Brazilian Festival with Over 25,000
American evangelist Franklin Graham concluded his third evangelistic festival in Brazil Saturday night, preaching to over 25,000 Brazilians in the city of Belo Horizonte.

Homeland Security Seeks to Deport Christian ‘Son of Hamas’

‘Leaving Islam’ Bus Ads Run in NYC

Dallas Baptist Church Ousted over Gay Deacons

Federal Judge to Rule Soon on Church Graduation Case

Prayers for N. Korean Christians Urged as Tensions Rise, Sanctions OKd

America pauses to remember its military heroes
Across the U.S. on this Memorial Day, Americans are pausing to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we enjoy.

Abstinence message – teachers wrong, student right
A middle-school student in Minnesota has regained his right to wear at school a T-shirt bearing an abstinence message. Continue Reading Newslinks 06/13/10…

Newslinks 03/28/10

March 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Catholic hospitals endorse Obamacare
A group representing Catholic hospitals Saturday rallied behind President Barack Obama’s health care bill ahead of a House vote in which pro-life lawmakers could play a decisive role.

Ohio upholds law, protects children from porn
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld part of a state law designed to protect children from obscenity on the Internet.

Indiana student sues to stop prayer
The top-ranked senior at a suburban Indianapolis high school is asking a federal judge to stop a graduation prayer that the class voted to approve.

Iowa rep fights for personhood
A move to add a personhood amendment to the state constitution is under way in Iowa.

Poll: Abortion Support Falling among Young Adults
Over the last 20 years, support for legal abortion has continued to drop among young adults, a new Gallup poll shows. Continue Reading Newslinks 03/28/10…

Newslinks – 02/21/10

February 21, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

What is Planned Parenthood really doing in Haiti?
International Planned Parenthood has focused on the earthquake in Haiti to raise funds — but for what purpose?

Detained Americans seek distance from adviser
Relatives of a group of jailed U.S. missionaries thought a man who volunteered legal assistance – but who may be wanted for human trafficking in El Salvador – was a good Samaritan, a family member said.

Please don’t send me roses…
Saudi Arabia has launched a nationwide crackdown on stores selling items that are red or otherwise allude to the banned celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Obama’s New OIC Envoy Defended Activist Who Aided Terrorist Group
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference was quoted in 2004 as saying an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions.” Rashad Hussain was quoted as telling a Muslim students’ event in Chicago that if U.S. Muslims did not speak out against the injustices taking place in America, then everyone’s rights would be in jeopardy.

Concerns About U.S. Passenger Send Jumbo Jet Back to U.K.
(CNSNews.com)
– Concerns about an American passenger prompted U.S. officials to bar a British Airways flight from U.S. airspace on Friday. The plane was heading from London to Mexico City when it was forced to turn around.

Americans Most Satisfied in Cold Northern States, Least Satisfied in Nevada
(CNSNews.com)
– Americans are most satisfied with their standard of living in cold northern states—including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Alaska — and least satisfied in Nevada, which is represented in the Senate by Majority Leader Harry Reid, according to a new Gallup poll.

NARAL Dedicates Annual Report to Late-Term Abortionist; Gives the Nation a ‘D’ Grade for Reproductive Rights
(CNSNews.com) – In a new status report on women’s reproductive rights, a pro-abortion group gives the nation a cumulative grade of “D,” based on state and federal legislation it sees as “pro-choice” or “anti-choice.” NARAL Pro-Choice America dedicated its 2009 report to the late George Tiller, the abortionist who was shot and killed last year by a man with a history of mental problems.

Construction Industry Opposes Obama Pro-Union Order
(CNSNews.com)
– A federal commission has not yet enacted a year-old executive order that President Barack Obama thinks will avoid labor unrest. Critics, including the construction industry, say the executive order discriminates against non-union companies and non-union workers in federal contracting.

Amid Turmoil at Home, Iran Eyes Seat on Top U.N. Human Rights Body
(CNSNews.com)
– As Iran’s continuing crackdown on opposition supporters roils the country and makes headlines around the world, the Islamic republic is seeking support for a fresh bid to join the U.N. Human Rights Council. In May, Iran will be one of five contenders for four available Asia seats.

Speak the truth, defend your rights
Michigan pro-family advocate Gary Glenn is honored to be on the front lines in fighting for First Amendment rights to speak out against homosexuality.

Pollster: Palin has ‘mountain to climb’
A Republican consultant and pollster says a new survey showing Sarah Palin has a low favorability rating is not a “kiss of death” for her White House ambitions.

Perspective: Social Security reform cooking again
Barack Obama has an opportunity to truly make history by restoring an American retirement system based on ownership rather than socialism.

University student gets probabtion for evangelist assault
A Middle Tennessee State University student has entered a plea agreement on a charge that she assaulted an evangelist on campus last year.

Heckling of Israeli ambassador ‘shameful’
An Arab-American and terrorism expert says it’s absolutely shameful that the University of California-Irvine allowed a group of Muslim students to heckle the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. during a recent address on campus.

Churches Spotlight Safe Water During Lent
Several church bodies are tying a worldwide campaign for safe water to this year’s Lenten season.

Legal Counsel for Americans in Haiti Suspected of Trafficking

Progressive Institute Calls for More Talk on Sexuality from Pulpit

Billboards Claim Abortion Industry Targets Blacks

Gayle Haggard’s Book Makes NY Times Bestseller List

Christian Music Stars Unite for Haiti; Release ‘Come Together Now’

States gain support in ‘personhood’ battle
Signatures are being submitted to let voters decide on a Personhood amendment in Mississippi, and Colorado residents may once again have the chance to determine when a person is legally a person.

Obama appoints Muslim envoy
An Islamic critic and terrorism expert says President Barack Obama should not have named a special envoy to an Islamic organization that is an absolute enemy of the United States.

Netanyahu: Ezekiel 37 fulfilled
The leader of a Messianic Jewish ministry is pleased that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently proclaimed the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel, Chapter 37.

Global-warming arguments contested yet again
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change faces more challenges to its claim that human pollution is causing global temperatures to rise.

Creation News: Bird-from-dinosaur theory
Read the latest from Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum examining news from the biblical viewpoint.

Nation’s Top Conservatives Will Sign Philosophical Declaration of War against Big Government
(CNSNews.com)
– The nation’s top conservative leaders will gather Wednesday in Alexandria, Va.—at a property that once was the site of George Washington’s River Farm—to sign a document organizers are calling the Mount Vernon Statement. It is designed to signal that a united and resurgent conservative movement is declaring philosophical war against the big government and moral relativism advanced by the nation’s liberal cultural, academic and political establishments. The statement emphatically rejects the type of “change” pushed by political leaders who ignore the Constitution’s limits on government power.

Taxpayers Paid Federal Workers Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Not to Work Last Week
(CNSNews.com)
– When the federal government closed for four days and two hours last week because of snow and ice in the Washington area, U.S. taxpayers still had to shell out an estimated $425 million to $670 million in wages and benefits to those workers. The federal government was officially shut down on Feb. 8, 9, 10, and 11 and opened for business two hours late on Feb. 12.

Islamic and Leftist Allies Defend Iran’s Human Rights Record at U.N. Gathering
(CNSNews.com)
– As the U.N. Human Rights Council scrutinized Iran’s domestic rights record on Monday, Western nations raised concerns about abuses including executions, torture and mass arrests, while Tehran’s Islamic and leftist allies lined up to defend and praise the regime. The events once again highlighted the deep divisions in the Geneva-based U.N. body, which the Obama administration joined last year.

Hillary Clinton Views Previous Iranian Governments as ‘Democratically Elected’
(CNSNews.com)
– Expanding her views on Iran “becoming a military dictatorship,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was increasingly filling the space once held by Iran’s clerical and political leaders. Speaking in Saudi Arabia Monday, she suggested that the situation in Iran today has changed from an earlier one in which Iran had “democratically elected governments…which had the support of the Iranian people.”

Sen. Graham Wants Military Commanders’ Input On Whether Ending ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Will Hurt Recruitment
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Obama administration is pushing to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding homosexuals in the military, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told CNSNews.com that he wants to hear from military commanders, not from politicians. He said he will not make a “political decision” to “reward a political movement.”

MSNBC’s Maddow Regrets Misquoting Senator Inhofe But Then Misquotes Him Again, Says Inhofe’s Office
(CNSNews.com)
– MSNBC news host Rachel Maddow corrected the record for misquoting Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on her Feb. 9 broadcast — when she incorrectly claimed that the senator had praised federal economic stimulus spending. But she apparently has misquoted the senator again and, as Inhofe’s office told CNSNews.com, “We appreciate that Rachel is a proud liberal defending the massive government spending bills now flowing out of Washington, but hope she will consider making another correction.”

Kenneth Starr Named Baylor University President
The world’s largest Baptist university has named Kenneth Winston Starr, who is most well-known for his work as special prosecutor in the Clinton scandals, as its next president.

4 Christians Shot, 1 Kidnapped Since Start of Iraqi Campaign Season

Activists Call for N. Korea Freedom on Kim Jong-il’s Birthday

Millions to Mark Lent, Countdown to Easter

Report: Recession Keeping Marriages Intact, For Now

Megachurch to Kick Off Event Amid ‘Scathing’ Allegations

White House Marks Anniversary of Stimulus Despite Lack of Public Confidence
(CNSNews.com) –
Though unemployment is at 9.7 percent, and just six percent of Americans think the government has created jobs, President Barack Obama will hold a White House reception on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus bill…

Obama’s Budget Deficit Could be Trillions of Dollars Higher Than CBO’s Outlook, Budget Watchdog Group Says
(CNSNews.com) –
Republicans railed against the Obama administration last month when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted a $6 trillion dollar deficit over the next decade. But an analysis by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a taxpayer watchdog group, of President Obama’s proposed budget baseline for fiscal year 2011 points out it actually could spur more like $8.5 trillion in deficits…

New Initiative to Attract Latinos to Conservative Movement Mirrors Liberals’ Policy, Critic Charges(CNSNews.com) – The American Principles Project (APP) has launched an initiative designed to bring Latinos into the conservative movement by “supporting policies that are welcoming to immigrants,” but critics said one of the policies – the pathway to citizenship plan – is identical to the open border stance of President Barack Obama and other liberals…

Obama’s Faith-Based Adviser Harry Knox Bashed Pope and Catholic Church For Many Years, Records Show
(CNSNews.com) –
Harry Knox, who serves on President Barack Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and who has said the Pope is “hurting people in the name of Jesus,” has a record of making anti-Catholic statements…

Publication Denies Cover-Up on OIC Envoy, Implies Anti-Muslim Bias Lies Behind Story
(CNSNews.com) –
A Washington-based publication said Tuesday that it incorrectly quoted President Barack Obama’s newly appointed envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference as saying in 2004 that an American who aided a Palestinian terrorist group was the victim of “politically motivated persecutions.”…

Dubai Government Issues Warrants for Mystery Killers of Hamas Terrorist
(CNSNews.com) –
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday they were issuing international arrest warrants for 11 people – traveling on British, Irish, French and German passports – suspected of assassinating a top Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel room last month…

‘Mount Vernon Statement’ to unite conservatives
Leaders from different branches of the conservative movement are planning to release a document today in Washington that one longtime activist hopes will “codify what it means to be a small-government, principled conservative.”

Iowa faith leaders back same-gender ‘marriage’
More than 160 faith leaders in Iowa have voiced their support for same-sex “marriage” and are criticizing opponents who cite the Bible in raising objections.

Census fraud example of gov’t ineptitude
The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Darling says the findings of a new audit of the U.S. Census Bureau illustrate why the government cannot be trusted to stimulate the economy.

Ken Ham calls for ‘new Reformation’
The founder of the Creation Museum says American Christians are losing the culture war because many of them now believe what he calls the “pagan religion” of evolution.

Feature: Resurgence – Islam and the West
Christianity and Islam — the world’s two largest religions are quite similar in important ways, not the least of which is a core belief that its tenets are to be spread throughout the world.

Catholic Father, Jewish Mother Battle Over Daughter’s Faith
There’s a strong possibility a Chicago man could be jailed for defying a court order that temporarily barred him from taking his daughter to church.

Haitian Judge Frees 8 Americans; 2 Remain in Jail

Survey: Millennials Attend Religious Services Less Often than Older Adults

Mission Strategist: Camel Method ‘Very Useful’ for Muslim Outreach

Family of Slain Woman Drops Attempt to Sue Joyce Meyer Ministries

Pakistani Christians Outraged at Release of Suspects in Girl’s Death

‘Faith leaders’ undermine God’s plan for marriage
An official with the Institute on Religion & Democracy says it’s a sad sign of the times that a group of “faith leaders” in Iowa signed a document declaring their support for same-sex “marriage.”

Is ‘stimulus’ creating more jobs – or more debt?
A budget analyst with the Cato Institute says the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s economic “stimulus” package is yet another reminder that government cannot create new wealth, only redistribute it.

Perspective: O’s ‘faith-based economics’
The White House has no use for evidence that the stimulus failed. It has its computer models — and it’s not letting economic reality get in the way.

‘Public option’ still breathing
Some Senate Democrats apparently still believe they can pass a public health insurance option by going outside the Senate’s regular rules of order.

Missionaries freed by Haitian judge now in U.S.
Eight of the ten American missionaries charged with child kidnapping in Haiti returned to the U.S. aboard a military cargo plane early Thursday after nearly three weeks in a Haitian jail.

Top U.S. Climate Official: 15 Years With No Global Warming Is Not a Trend
(CNSNews.com) –
When asked yesterday whether she agreed or disagreed with one of the world’s top climate-change scientists that there had been no statistically significant global warming over the last fifteen years, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco would only say “that it is inappropriate to look at any particular short period of time to discern the long-term trend.”…

White House Still Can’t Say if Obama Knew in Advance on Christmas Day That Underwear Bomber Would Be Mirandized
(CNSNews.com) –
Almost two months after the attempted Christmas Day terror-bombing on a Northwest airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit, the White House still cannot say whether President Barack Obama knew in advance that the suspect would be read his Miranda rights on the same day as the attempted attack and after he had been interrogated for only 50 minutes…

White House: KSM will be Executed But Civilian Trial Defendants Presumed Innocent
(CNSNews.com) –
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs agreed that part of a civilian trial is the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, but Gibbs also said that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, would be “convicted”  and  “executed for his crimes.”…The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, said on Wednesday that he is inspired by the upcoming March 7 election in Iraq and that democracy is taking root there, but he stopped short of giving any credit to the Bush administration for Iraq’s transition from a dictatorship to one where people will cast a vote for their future leaders…

U.S. Ambassador Praises Progress in Iraq, Skirts Question on Bush Legacy
(CNSNews.com) –

Event Attended by Obama’s Muslim Envoy Was Held by Group With Troubling Views, Ties
(CNSNews.com) –
The Islamic organization whose event was attended by President Obama’s new envoy to the Muslim world six years ago has a history of radical stances, and at the time of the event it was urging members to support incarcerated Muslims including terror suspects and a convicted cop killer…

‘Mt. Vernon Statement’ of Conservative Principles Released to Public
(CNSNews.com) –
America must return to “constitutional conservatism” and her  founding principles, which have been “under sustained attack,” reads a statement to be signed on Wednesday by 80 leaders of the conservative movement…

Freed Baptist Volunteers Arrive in Miami
Eight of the ten American volunteers detained in Haiti for the past three weeks on suspicion of child abduction were finally released and arrived in Miami early Thursday morning.

Christian Student Killed in Iraq; Fourth Murder in Days

Ugandan Pastor’s Gay Porn Stunt Upsets U.S. Christians

2 Years Later, Eritrea Frees 14 Christians

Salvation Army Reaches Settlement in Church-State Suit

Poll: Mississippians Most Likely to Attend Church Frequently

Romney to Obama: Stop Blaming Others for Failure
(CNSNews.com)
– Saying that America is not better off than it was $1.8 trillion ago, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said President Obama should stop blaming his predecessor and the American people for high unemployment and growing deficit and failure of the Democratic health care overhaul proposal…

D.C. Archdiocese Ends Foster Care Program Over Same-Sex Marriage Bill, Which Allows Homosexual Couples to Adopt Children
(CNSNews.com) –
The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. has ended its 80-year tenure as a public foster care provider because of a same-sex marriage bill in the nation’s capital that allows children to be adopted by homosexual couples…

Former Justice Dept Official Launches Site Exploring Harmful Effects of Pornography
(CNSNews.com)
– Patrick Trueman, a former Justice Department (DOJ) official during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, launched a Web site on Thursday aimed at illuminating the damage pornography can do to society…

‘Both Parties Are Guilty,’ Boehner Says at CPAC
(CNSNews.com) –
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) pledged that Americans can count on him to change the way Congress works if Republicans take the House in the coming elections. He also stressed that he is “serious” about listening to “those who are really in charge of this country: the American people.”…

Revolutionary Guard Meddling in Iranian Politics Began Decades Ago
(CNSNews.com)
– The Obama administration is painting Tehran’s failure to respond to its overtures as the result of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) having “supplanted” political and clerical leaders who would otherwise likely have been more open to engaging the U.S…

Cheney Passes Political Torch to His Daughter and ‘The Younger Generation’ at Surprise CPAC Appearance
(CNSNews.com) –
Former Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, joining his daughter Liz Cheney on the stage, in front of a standing and cheering crowd…

Crist, McCain challengers woo conservatives
Marco Rubio and J.D. Hayworth have different styles and different backgrounds and they’re from opposite sides of the country. But both are hoping to win Senate seats by tapping into the energy of conservatives to defeat big-name, establishment-backed Republicans.

Perspective: It’s all the Tea Party’s fault
From the attack on the IRS office in Austin to the shooting at Alabama-Huntsville, the Tea Party movement is the juvenile left’s all-purpose scapegoat for every crime and disaster.

Consequences of proposed ‘LBGT law’ for military
A coalition of conservative pro-family and national defense organizations is advising Congress to pursue answers to a specific question: How would repealing the ban on homosexual military service improve military readiness?

Are Ezekiel prophecies on the horizon?
Messianic Jewish ministry leader Jan Markell believes a couple of biblical prophecies dealing with wars in the Middle East could come to fruition within the next five years.

Benny Hinn’s wife files for divorce
Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County on February 1, citing irreconcilable differences after more than 30 years of marriage to the televangelist.

Lutherans Unveil Name, Plan for Rival Body
Lutherans who have left or are pondering their exit from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have put a name to the alternate church body they plan to form – North American Lutheran Church.

Attorney: Haiti Volunteer to Set Facts Straight

Christian Educators Barred from Arguing Against Anti-Religious Court Order

Faith-Based Office Not Just about Money, Says Director

Kentucky Committee OKs Bible Classes for Public Schools

Ethiopian Authorities Concoct New Charge against Christian

Stung’ abortionist retains license
A controversial California abortionist will keep his medical license in spite of pleas from the California Medical Board.

‘W’ to speak at pregnancy center banquet
A Southern Baptist church in Dallas has booked a special guest speaker for a weekend fundraiser for its pregnancy center.

DC citizens blocked again on marriage vote
On Friday, another court hearing was held in the District of Columbia on whether citizens will have a chance to vote on the homosexual “marriage” issue.

Florida library sued over access issue
A Florida library slammed the door on a Christian organization and now faces a federal court lawsuit.

Perspective: America’s real foundational problem
The greatest problem in America is a spiritual one…and even the church, by and large, doesn’t know what to do to restore the biblical foundations.

Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

A GOP bow to the Tea Party movement?
The Republican National Committee has adopted a rule that will prod GOP leaders to provide financial support to only those candidates who support the party’s platform.

Fortuneteller sues, claims discrimination
A Virginia fortuneteller is suing to overturn a Chesterfield County ordinance, saying it discriminates against her beliefs.

Muslim parents reject deal with Christian daughter
The Muslim parents of an Ohio girl who ran away from home claiming she feared harm for becoming Christian have rejected a deal meant to resolve the conflict.

U.S. Attorney Reviews Call for Probe of SEIU Activities with White House, Congress
(CNSNews.com)
– Federal prosecutors are reviewing a request for an investigation into whether Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act with his frequent visits to the White House and with members of Congress in 2009. Americans for Tax Reform has written to acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia asking for a probe.

SEC Ruling Requires Companies to Tell Shareholders If Climate Laws Are Bad for Business
(CNSNews.com)
– A new SEC ruling by would require corporations to inform their shareholders about the business risks and potential impacts of climate change legislation, environmental regulation, and international climate treaties. The ruling marks the first time the SEC has required companies to make such information available to shareholders, and one fiscal conservative told CNSNews.com the ruling will benefit investors.

Congressional Salaries Should Not Go Up Until Federal Spending Is Under Control, Hatch Says
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Congressional Budget Office reported last week a projected $6 trillion total in new national debt over the next 10 years, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that lawmakers’ salaries should not go up until Congress does a “really good job of getting budgetary spending under control.” Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10…

Newslinks – 09/19/09

September 19, 2009 at 10:43 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Thousands march in D.C. to protest Obama spending
Tens of thousands of protesters fed up with government spending marched to the U.S. Capitol on Saturday, showing their disdain for the president’s health care plan with slogans such as “Obamacare makes me sick” and “I’m not your ATM.”

Michigan man arrested in pro-life murder
All week “the sign guy” had stood outside the local public high school, protesting abortion.

HR 3200 provides taxpayer-funded abortions
The healthcare reform bill puts taxpayers in the position of paying for abortions.

Christian attorneys defend First Amendment at schools
Alliance Defense Fund is expanding its program to declare college and university campuses free-speech zones.

Feature: Happy Grandparents Day!
Grandboomers get another chance at real peace and love. Continue Reading Newslinks – 09/19/09…

Divided We Stand?

April 7, 2008 at 9:18 am | Posted in Christianity | 3 Comments
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In the body of Christ today there are many denominations of churches. There are Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of Christ, Calvinists, Nazarene, Seventh Day Adventist, Non-Denominational, and Interdenominational churches. Within these denominations there are further splits. For instance, in the Baptist denomination, you have the Baptists, Southern Baptists, Missionary Baptists and others. In the Methodist denomination you have the Methodists, United Methodists, First United Methodists, etc. There are many other denominations that I haven’t even listed!

 

Why all the denominations? What is the need for them? What is their purpose? Are they helping the body of Christ? Many of the denominations that started did so because someone disagreed with someone else about theology. This doesn’t mean that the disagreements were wrong. In fact, many of them are still being argued over today. But in the last few decades, many new denominations have arisen because people just want to do things their way. They try to be more “relevant” and culturally up to speed with the secular world. They have a theology that is very liberal and only loosely based on the Bible (if at all). Some of them even introduce ideas from other religions into their denomination!

 

Sadly, the large number of denominations in the body of Christ has been an excuse used by many for a reason not to become Christian. And, to some degree, I can see why. Which “denomination” has the correct truth? Is it the Catholic Church, which claims to have been the “Church” that was founded by Jesus in Matthew 16? Or is it the Lutheran Church, which came about because of Luther’s doctrinal and theological disagreements with the Catholic Church? What about the churches that say that the followers of their denomination are the only ones going to heaven? Do they have the “right” truth? The number of denominations in the body of Christ has been a major cause of grief for many outside the body. There are more and more people that are looking for the truth, but when they see this denomination’s truth and it contradicts that denomination’s truth, they not only turn their backs on both denominations, but they turn their backs on Christ as well. Because of the continued confusion for non-believers, many denominations have watched their attendance drop.

 

So, why are there so many denominations and what can we do about them? First, I’m not trying to knock any denominations. I know that there are scripturally sound churches in every denomination that treat the Word of God the way that it’s supposed to be treated. Sadly, these churches are becoming more and more scarce. I believe that the number of denominations is the direct result of the lack of understanding of God’s Word. I believe that as the body of Christ grew, instead of dealing with the disagreements according to what God said, the people involved handled it their own way and they either forced the disagreers out or they left on their own. Many, many churches today don’t teach God’s Word the way that He said it. They teach topical things that are “relevant”. The truth is, I don’t need “5 ways to a better job”, “3 steps to be spiritually fit”, or “30 days to a better sex life”. What I need is the truth of God, the way He said it. I need to understand what He said, in the context He said it, and I need to understand how to apply that to my life so that I become more like Him. Many today don’t do that though. They put themselves in authority over the Word and they change it to make it say what they want. Instead of letting the truth of the Word change them; they change the truth of the Word! They twist it and contort it so that it supports the point that they’re trying to make – and many in their congregations are clueless!

 

In Acts 17, Luke points out the Bereans because they listened to Paul’s preaching and then compared it to scripture “to see if it was so”. This isn’t happening in the majority of churches in the US! How do I know? Look at what’s being preached. Just looking at many of those who preach on TV, there is a great discrepancy between the “messages” given and the truth of the Word. It doesn’t matter if the message sounds good or they give a lot of scriptures to support it! If the scriptures don’t actually support what’s being said, then they made worthless. I have seen scripture notes of some pastors and have had the hardest time getting what was preached out of the scripture references listed. Why? Because they either don’t know how to study the Word, or they are trying to make scripture say what they want it to say instead of telling their congregations what God’s already said. My heart weighs heavy for these men and women. They call themselves shepherds but instead of leading people toward Christ they are leading them farther away.

 

But, why are there so many who don’t understand the truth of the Word? I believe that there are many reasons, but there are a few that stick out to me.

 

First, many don’t understand the truth because they spend their time looking for “deeper meanings”. I’ve had conversations with people who held to a doctrine that wasn’t scripturally sound and said that I didn’t see it because I wasn’t seeing the “deeper meaning”. We can’t be looking for a deeper meaning in scripture. I’m not saying that there aren’t any, but why don’t we work on reading and understanding the plain meaning first? If you read scripture and it says that God created in six 24-hour days, then that’s what it means! There’s no “deeper meaning” in that. That’s the plainest reading and that’s what was meant. I can’t help but think of the scripture “God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise”. People don’t need “deeper meanings”. The simple truth of God will change the life of the most hardened sinner, but WE’RE NOT GIVING IT TO THEM!

 

I believe that if every denomination were to turn back to the truth of the Word of God the way God said it, and stop trying to make it say what they want it to say, we would see a lot more things happen. First, we would see the denominations start to have a lot more in common than they did and the differences would be small indeed. Second, the body of Christ would be in a better position to do what it’s supposed to be doing because the energy being spent going against other denominations would be spent preaching God’s truth to the lost. We would see more people truly saved and changed instead of a large group of people who talk about being Christians but look nothing like what scripture says a Christian should. Our nation would change, as the secular world would be facing a united front of Christianity instead of a whole bunch of little pockets of Christians doing their own thing their own way. We would begin to see morality return to the nation, as those who claim to be Christian would actually be living it out and be examples for others.

I’m not trying to make a call for all Christians to become mimics of each other. God made us all with differences and we need to use those to our advantage. But, we need to have our lives based on the truth of the Word of God so that we rightly and honestly represent the risen Christ to a world that is in dire need of Him…


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