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 Fridays – Pakistan

June 17, 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

Pakistan: The Power to Forgive

Shaken and still feeling the effects from an attack on their service, Numseoul Presbyterian Church publicly forgave the men who attacked them on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Armed with guns, the nephew of a former legislator, Muhammad Shoaib, and four other men disrupted the church service three days earlier. “They were just out of control,” Pastor Ashraf Masih told Compass Direct News. “Shoaib and his men broke the glass altar of the church, threw copies of the Bible towards the wall and desecrated the cross.” The gang also beat three elderly Christians with bamboo sticks.

The attackers cursed the congregation for disrupting the peace by worshipping on loudspeakers, Masih said. However, the church uses loudspeakers only inside the church building, located in a rural area outside Lahore. “The loudspeakers on mosques are used all day long for prayers and sermons,” he said. “I fail to understand why this man has turned against us in the last few months.” Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Pakistan…

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…

What has God done for me?

March 29, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Many people today, inside and outside the church, have become focused on self. They are all about them and what they can do. They often don’t know or care what God has done for them. Those who aren’t professing Christians can’t see that their very life is a gift from God. Sadly, this affects the gospel. When people don’t understand what God has done for them or why He did it, is cheapens the gospel and lessens the effect the good news can have in a person’s life. When pastors don’t preach the true gospel, the people listening don’t receive what they need to hear to help them understand who God is and what He’s done for them. Continue Reading What has God done for me?…

Newslinks 01/10/09

January 10, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

DHS Plans to Catch Only One in Four Travelers Committing ‘Major’ Criminal Violations While Entering U.S. on International Fights in 2010
(CNSNews.com)
– Documents produced by the Department of Homeland Security indicate that in fiscal 2010, the department is planning to catch only 26 percent of travelers committing major criminal violations while seeking to enter the United States through international airports. DHS documents also indicate that the department will fail to screen against law enforcement databases 15 percent of travelers entering the United States in 2010 through all official ports of entry.

Pro-Abortion Advocates Praise Abortionist, Blast Pro-Life Efforts
(CNSNews.com)
— The pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America is asking visitors to its Web site to cast votes for the person who has done the most for their movement. Nominations include abortionist LeRoy Carhart, who is one of the few to perform late-term abortions in his Nebraska clinic.

Combat-Related U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan Double Over Last Year, IEDs Major Cause
(CNSNews.com)
– There were 272 combat-related deaths of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan in 2009, as this story went to press on Dec. 31. That number is more than double the 135 combat-related deaths in 2008. The majority of the combat-related deaths in 2009 were caused by roadside bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices.

More question legality of Senate healthcare bill
Constitutional historian David Barton says American courts would have to overturn their last 80 years of jurisprudence to uphold the constitutionality of the healthcare bill in Congress.

Senate abortion support may lead to legal battles
Healthcare reform could lead to court battles if the Senate bill becomes law.
Treasury lifts bailout cap
A regulatory policy expert says the Obama administration is pursuing an odd strategy designed to prop up the housing market – make even more bad mortgage loans.
Church votes to split from ELCA over homosexual clergy
The congregation of the First Lutheran Church of Harvey, ND, has cast the first of two votes to split from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

 Prospects rosy for adult stem-cell treatments
The past decade spelled success in research with adult stem cells.

Pray for America Campaigns Kick Off 2010

Rick Warren’s End-of-Year Plea Raises $2.4M for Church

Malaysian Gov’t to Appeal Christian ‘Allah’ Ruling

Obama Returns from Church-Less Christmas Vacation

Montana Becomes 3rd State to OK Doctor-Assisted Suicide

Report Finds Over 1,200 Crimes Against Churches in 2009

U.S. Pastors Encouraged to Join Nat’l Marriage Week Effort

Pastor Chuck Smith to Be Released from Hospital

Ministry Launches Effort to Plant Prayer Rooms Across All U.S. Colleges

Muslim Mob in Pakistan Wounds Christian Family

Obama’s 2010 budget includes ‘poverty traps’
Remember when candidate Barack Obama said he wanted to “spread the wealth around”? One researcher suggests he’s been successful in doing that.

Perspective: The faith of Tebow, the ire of the left
The media’s secular left already dislikes Tim Tebow’s public faith. Think about their reaction if he shows up in a pro-life Super Bowl ad…

A fine line – sex offenders in church
A North Carolina judge has struck down part of a state law restricting activities of registered sex offenders.

NARAL recognition a badge of honor
A national pro-life group views its recent recognition as a distinct honor.

Is Napolitano on the ropes?
Immigration reform proponent William Gheen is calling for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in the wake of the attempted hijacking of a U.S. airliner Christmas Day. Time to replace Napolitano (commentary by Star Parker)

Car Bomb Explodes Near Iraqi Church; Dozen People Injured

Malaysian Gov’t Appeals Ruling on Christian ‘Allah’ Use

U.K. Teacher Suspended after Offering to Pray for Student

Stephen Baldwin Takes His Faith to the Celebrity Big Brother House

Moody Bible Institute, Michigan Theological Seminary Complete Merger

Homeland Security’s National Operations Center ‘Unable’ to Do Its Job, Inspector General Finds
(CNSNews.com)
– The Homeland Security Department’s National Operations Center (NOC) is “unable” to do its job of ensuring coordination among the 22 federal agencies that make up the Department of Homeland Security and focuses too much on disaster management rather than terrorism prevention, according to its own inspector general. After Hurricane Katrina, “the NOC began to dedicate most of its resources to emergency management rather than terrorism prevention. Many NOC staff contend that this shift in focus is detrimental to NOC intelligence and law enforcement functions,” the report says.

Pro-Life Advocates Plan to Protest Opening of Largest Abortion Clinic in U.S.
(CNSNews.com)
– A coalition of pro-life advocates and religious leaders plans to gather in Houston on Jan. 18 to oppose what is expected to be the largest abortion clinic in the country. Planned Parenthood is renovating a former bank into a 78,000 square foot facility, which will include a surgical wing equipped to provide late-term abortions. “It’s an abortion super center,” one pro-life activist said.

White House to State AGs: No ‘Legitimate Constitutional Concerns’ in Senate Health Care Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– The White House on Tuesday dismissed the concerns of 13 state attorneys general about the constitutionality of a clause in the Senate health care bill that singles out Nebraska for special treatment when it comes to covering the cost of expanding Medicaid coverage. “I have not seen the letter from the attorneys general” but “I do not believe that anybody has legitimate constitutional concerns about the legislation,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Pelosi Pledged to Give Public ‘Ample Amount of Time’ to Read Final Health Bill
(CNSNews.com)
– While Nancy Pelosi is now dodging a request from C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb to open up House-Senate negotiations over the final version of the health-care bill so C-SPAN’s cameras can show them to the public, back in July she pledged she would give the public an “ample amount of time” to read the final bill before brining it to a vote. Listen to her say it.

Democrats and Republicans Oppose Obama Move Giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Unlimited Funding
(CNSNews.com)
– Democrat and Republican lawmakers alike are blasting the Treasury Department’s Christmas Eve announcement that it will send unlimited tax money to failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, thereby eliminating the current $400 billion cap on emergency aid that Treasury can give without having to come back to Congress for authorization. This means Treasury can continue to manage the companies, which were seized last year, until the end of President Obama’s current term.

State Department Using ‘Diversity Visas’ to Encourage Immigration to U.S. from Terror-Ridden Yemen
(CNSNews.com)
–The State Department has awarded 1,011 special “diversity visas” allowing Yemeni nationals to immigrate to the United States since 2000, the year of the terror attack on the USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden. The “diversity visas” are designed to encourage immigration from countries that do not otherwise send significant numbers of people to the United States.

Control-conscious Dems seek unorthodox route
Congressional Democrats will apparently bypass a conference committee in order to get healthcare reform passed more quickly.

Perspective: Obama and the Vampire Congress
Instead of a promised ethical and transparent administration, Democrats have delivered a creepy legislative environment that could double as a Twilight movie set.

Sour notes – ‘homophobia’ and music ed
The Illinois Family Institute is weighing in on an intriguing article that appeared in the December issue of the Music Educators Journal.

Restrictive home school legislation up for vote
New Hampshire lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that one attorney has described as “the most anti-home school legislation ever conceived” in that state.

Schools agree to end Bible distribution
Public school officials in Wilson County, Tennessee, have agreed to stop distributing Bibles to students during the school day on school grounds.

Persecution List: N. Korea, Iran Top Oppressors of Christians

Churches Called to ‘Do Something’

Southern Baptist Pastor Counters 2012 Doomsday ‘Prophecies’

Orthodox Christmas Marked Amid Protests in Bethlehem

Best Christian Workplaces Announced for 2010

U.S. Embassy in Nigeria Had ‘Major Problems,’ State Department Inspection Found
(CNSNews.com)
– The most recent State Department inspection, conducted in 2002, found that the U.S. consulate in Lagos was “in serious trouble” due to chronic staff shortages, while the U.S. embassy in Abuja relied primarily on junior staff, contract employees, and State Department retirees on temporary assignment to fill “key positions.” The report found that the lack of key staff hampered any and all “substantial progress” at the embassy, preventing it from making improvements in any of its functions.

U.S. Paid for Full-Body Scanners at Nigeria’s Four International Airports in 2007
(CNSNews.com)
– The four international airports in Nigeria are equipped with full-body scanners — the same technology that the United States and other countries are now scrambling to put into place following the attempted bombing of an American airliner on Christmas Day by a Nigerian terrorist. The scanners in Nigeria were paid for by the United States and installed in 2007, according to the State Department’s 2008 Country Reports on Terrorism.

One in Five Gitmo Suspects Returns to Terror, Pentagon Finds
(CNSNews.com)
– A Defense Department spokesman told reporters on Wednesday that Pentagon officials are working to declassify a report showing that almost 20 percent of the prisoners released from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are either confirmed or suspected to have engaged in terrorism again. That’s almost double the recidivism rate reported in December 2008.

Less Than One Percent of ‘Known or Suspected Terrorists’ Were Put on ‘No Fly’ List
(CNSNews.com)
– As of one month ago, less than one percent of the people designated as “known or suspected terrorists” by the U.S. government had been put on the “No Fly” list that the Department of Homeland Security uses to screen air travelers, according to data provided to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Dec. 9.

Man in Charge of Analyzing Terror-Threat Info Did Not Interrupt Ski Vacation After Attempted Airplane Bombing, Report Says
(CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama did not interrupt his Hawaiian vacation when a Nigerian man tried to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner over Michigan on Christmas Day, and neither did Michael Leiter, the director of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center. Leiter — appointed by President George W. Bush — was mentioned Thursday on cable TV outlets as someone who eventually may be fired as a result of the major security breach.

Ray Stevens’ Song ‘We the People’ Becoming Anthem of Tea Party Movement
(CNSNews.com)
– Grammy Award-winning music artist Ray Stevens has recorded a song that is fast becoming the anthem of the Tea Party Movement.
“We the People” is about Obamacare and the health-care reform bills that have passed both houses of Congress.

Brit Hume: Media Backlash Over His Remarks to Tiger Woods About Christianity Reflects ‘A Double Standard’
(CNSNews.com)
– Fox News analyst Brit Hume said he was “not surprised” by the media backlash over his remark that Tiger Woods look to Christianity for help in redeeming his personal life. Hume says there is a “double-standard” when it comes to speaking publicly about Christianity versus other religions.

Obama appoints transgendered LGBT activist
President Obama has named Amanda Simpson to a post in the Commerce Department, making Simpson perhaps the first-ever transgender appointment in a U.S. presidential administration.

Jesus Christ – ‘two most explosive words,’ says Hume
Fox News analyst Brit Hume says he doesn’t regret urging Tiger Woods to become a Christian so the golfer can find forgiveness for marital infidelity.

Perspective: Sarah Palin – Wrong prescription for America?
The former GOP VP candidate isn’t smart enough to be president, you say? Not articulate enough? Has poor judgment? Don’t get me started…

‘Wrecking ball’ wrong approach to reform
The president of a non-partisan seniors’ advocacy group says two U.S. senators who decided not to seek re-election are the first victims of a senior citizen tsunami.

War on terror primarily a ‘war against young Muslim men’
Terrorism expert Robert Spencer disagrees with the premise of a newly released U.S. government study on homegrown terrorism that contends extremism is contrary to the true teachings of Islam.

Obama Administration Underestimated the Immediate Threat Posed by ‘Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’
(CNSNews.com)
– President Obama and his White House counterterrorism adviser on Thursday accepted responsibility for attempted terror attack on Christmas Day that could have knocked an airliner out of the sky over Michigan. “We didn’t know [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] had progressed to the point of actually launching individuals here,” John Brennan said Thursday. “We knew that they sought to strike the United States and that they were recruiting operatives to do so,” Obama said.

Obama Declares America ‘At War’ with Al Qaeda, Offers New Security Initiatives
(CNSNews.com)
– President Barack Obama is directing all intelligence to be “distributed more rapidly and more widely” among federal agencies; he wants greater integration of intelligence analysis; and he’s order security agencies to immediately add more people to the terrorism watch list, specifically the “no fly” list.

More Independents Choosing ‘Conservative’ in Obama’s First Year, Survey Says
(CNSNews.com)
– According to a compilation of all Gallup political identification surveys from 2009, 40 percent of Americans identified themselves as conservatives, more than the 36 percent who answered moderate and far more than the 21 percent who answered liberal. The percentage of American Independents who identified as conservatives – 35 percent – increased at the fastest rate in 10 years between 2008 and 2009.

Catholic Bishops Launch New Push for Immigration Reform, Pathway to Citizenship
(CNSNews.com)
– The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is launching a new push to get immigration-reform legislation enacted in 2010. The group backs a Democrat-sponsored bill that grants a pathway to citizenship for people who came to this country illegally.

Pelosi ‘crazy,’ ‘very confused’ on church teachings
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent interview with Newsweek Magazine is creating a stir in the pro-life community.

Children best served by mom’s lesbian relationship?
An official with the Illinois Family Institute says it’s outrageous that a judge has permitted a mother to take her children from their dad in order to move in with her lesbian partner.

‘Obama Doctrine’ detrimental to U.S.
National defense analyst Frank Gaffney agrees with the assessment of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that Americans are less safe than they were a year ago when Barack Obama took office.

Perspective: To profile or not to profile
Observing strange behavior is a legitimate and needed part of law enforcement and airline security. It is not “profiling.”

U.S. missionary’s NK incursion: Publicity stunt?
An advocate for persecuted Christians calls U.S. missionary Robert Park’s incursion into North Korea on Christmas Eve a “publicity stunt” that’s likely to do more harm than good.

N.J. Senate Rejects Same-Sex Marriage Bill

World Vision: Anti-Gay Bill Could Undermine HIV/AIDS Work

Egyptian Police Arrest Suspects in Drive-By Church Shooting

Tetrapod Footprint Discovery Busts Evolutionary Paradigm, Says Biochemist

Christian Retailers Target Mega-Retailers in Federal Probe

California gay marriage opponent fears for his life
An outspoken gay marriage opponent serving as an official litigant defending the state’s ban on same-sex weddings on Friday asked a judge to remove him from the lawsuit because he feared the trial would generate publicity that could endanger him and his family.

Pro-life group scrutinizing Catholic charity
American Life League is challenging the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Churches attacked amid ‘Allah’ dispute
Malaysian officials say attackers have fire-bombed one church and tried to set another ablaze amid a growing conflict over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

Fellowship trains to fight slavery
The Polaris Project is bringing the next generation into the anti-slavery and anti-trafficking movement.

U.S. missionary’s NK incursion: Publicity stunt?
An advocate for persecuted Christians calls U.S. missionary Robert Park’s incursion into North Korea on Christmas Eve a “publicity stunt” that’s likely to do more harm than good.

 

Naughty or Nice?

December 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Well, it’s that time of year again. The time when every little girl and boy tries to make it onto the “nice/good” list. In a recent Rassmussen poll (Dec. 8th), the consensus was in and 9% of Americans believe that they would make the “naughty/bad” list. Nine percent. Another 77% say that they would make the “good” list and 14% weren’t sure about it. The poll clarified things a little bit by saying that they didn’t really define “naughty” or “nice”.
 
I can only shake my head and laugh at this. It’s not surprising at all. The poll left the definition of good and bad up to the individual and 77% of Americans have defined themselves as good. If we go by the definition found in the dictionary, someone is good if they are “pleasing, agreeable, delightful, virtuous, respectable, and decorous”. On the other hand, the definition of naughty is “disobedient, mishcievous, improper, tasteless, indecorous, or indecent”. This means that 77% of Americans believe that they are agreeable, virtuous, and respectable. If you ask the majority of people on the streets if they are good, they will say that they are without hesitation that they are good. Some go to the point of painting themselves as saints. They are the most helpful, courteous, kind, cheerful, (and humble) people that you’ve ever met. They’re veritable Boy Scouts. The 14% who aren’t sure are at least honest enough to consider that they’ve done something over the past year that is less than virtuous. Then there are those poor souls who make up the 9% of naughty people in America. They are the dark, horrible, twisted souls who roam about seeking trouble and making lives miserable. What’s amusing about this is the fact that all of this “naughty and nice” stuff is all to determine whether or not a non-existent fat man in a red suit can bring them a lot of material goods. Continue Reading Naughty or Nice?…


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