Tuesday, December 31, 2019

China: Christian Pastor Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). My comments follow immediately below the press release. Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world. 

Pastor Wang Yi Sentenced Following Secret Trial

12/30/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Pastor Wang Yi from Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) in Sichuan was sentenced to nine years in prison for “subversion of state power” and “illegal business operations.”

Based on the statement posted on the website of the Chengdu court in Sichuan, Pastor Wang has also been deprived of his political rights for three years and 50,000 yuan ($7,160 USD) of his personal property was confiscated.

According to China Aid, Pastor Wang was secretly tried on December 26, his wife Jiang Rong’s birthday, at the Chengdu Intermediate Court.

“A large amount of plainclothes officials were stationed near the court, according to one witness who was detained and later released. Only government appointed lawyers were at the trial,” the persecution watchdog stated. “No members of Pastor Wang’s family or members of Early Rain Covenant Church were invited to the proceedings.”

Wang’s wife has been placed under house arrest along with her 12-year-old son, with no access to the outside world. She was also detained for several months until she was released on bail last June.
Wang’s lawyer, Zhang Peihong, who has been prevented from representing him, commented on Facebook today, “Woe to you, for you see evil as kindness and see kindness as evil. You are not sending a criminal to prison, [instead], you are crowning a righteous man.”

A church leader who is a friend of Pastor Wang told ICC, “The reason why the authorities picked nine years for his imprisonment is so that when he comes out, he will lose influence. The government wants to use him as a scapegoat to warn other house church pastors not to do the same like him.”
Pastor Wang is the last person from ERCC who was sentenced, after elder Qin Derfu was sentenced to four years in prison for “illegal business” on November 29. Given the lack of rule of law in China, it is unlikely that Pastor Wang’s sentence will be overturned.

He was detained last December along with his wife and more than 100 other ERCC members, many of whom have since been released on bail, but still placed under surveillance.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said, “The sentence of Pastor Wang Yi further proves that the Chinese government disregards religious freedom and is paranoid about Christians from house churches. The unfounded accusations against Pastor Wang Yi and the inhumane treatment of his wife and son are pure evil. The international community must rally behind Pastor Wang and condemn China for its ongoing persecution against Christians.”
 
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Timothy's Comments: China, which remains under strict communist control despite opening up to capitalism in recent decades,  has a population of approximately 1.4 billion people. The Communist Party in China, which is officially atheist, has approximately 70 million members. However, the strong growth of Christianity in China has resulted in slightly over 100 million Chinese Christians - approximately 75 million Evangelicals and 27 million Catholics. Also, the Chinese Orthodox Church, an autonomous Eastern Orthodox church, has about 15,000 members.  

This situation of Christians outnumbering official Communist Party members is at least partially behind government crackdowns on Christianity over the last few years as they seek to exercise control over Christianity in China. Communist governments, and all other collectivist regimes, demand that the citizen's top loyalty be to the State, not to God, the Church, or even the family. The State essentially sets itself up as God, and hates competition for that slot. 
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Monday, December 23, 2019

36 Christian Refugees Arrested in Thailand - Face Deportation Back to Pakistan

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.
 
Dozens of Pakistani Christian Refugees Arrested in Bangkok

12/23/2019 Thailand (International Christian Concern) – Dozens of Pakistani Christian refugees in Bangkok, Thailand were arrested by immigration authorities on December 19 in an early morning raid. According to UCA News, an estimated 36 people, including children, were arrested in the raid.

The immigration officers “came knocking on doors and when the people inside didn’t open up, the officers broke the doors down,” Joseph, a Pakistan Christian refugee, told the media. “The authorities took them all, even the kids and women.

They are being held at a police station,” Joseph continued. “We done know what will happen to them.

Due to widespread discrimination and religious intolerance, many Pakistani Christians flee to Thailand seeking asylum. Unfortunately, immigration authorities in Thailand take a dim view of these asylum seekers and often treat them as illegal immigrants.

While many of these refugees file asylum cases with the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), it can take years before an individual case is heard. During this prolonged waiting period, many Pakistani Christian refugees are forced to hid out in Bangkok to avoid arrest and deportation by Thai authorities.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Evening News for Dec. 18, 2019

By Timothy Gamble

Impeachment is the major news of the day, of course, with the House of Representatives voting 230 - 197 along almost entirely party lines (2 democrats voted against impeachment) for the "Abuse of Power" charge. The other charge, Obstruction of Congress, passed 229 - 198 (3 democrats voted against impeachment). One additional democrat, Tulsi Gabbard, voted "present" on both charges, saying the the country needs "reconciliation" instead of impeachment. (news link)

However, it matters not: as I've already reported, impeachment is going nowhere in the Senate. Trump will remain in office. And the spectacle of the impeachment process - its obvious political motivations, the unfairness in which it was executed, and the overwhelming lack of evidence of any crime - has turned off all but the most partisan voters and committed never-Trumpers (article link) - and has virtually guaranteed Trump's re-election. The most recent Gallop Poll shows Trump's approval up 6 points since impeachment began (article link) and multiple polls are also showing a strong surge of support for Trump against all potential Democrat contenders in 2020 (article link). The most recent USA Today/Suffulk University poll has Trump winning the general election (article link) against each of the major Democrat candidates:



In other impeachment headlines, Democrat Al Green Used a fake news photo of a migrant child in the impeachment debate on the House floor (article link). Also during the floor debate, Democrat Jerry Nadler accused a GOP congressman of "spouting Russian propaganda on the floor of the House," which lead to a shouting match between the two congressmen (article link). 

AD:  The Case Against Socialism, Rand Paul's new book, needs to be read by every voting age adult in America. John Stossel calls it a "fact-filled case against socialism" with lots of new evidence that even he did not know. Get it on Amazon. Makes a great Christmas gift, too! 

Here are some non-impeachment headlines you may have missed today: 
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Monday, December 16, 2019

The Evening News for Dec. 16, 2019

By Timothy Gamble

Impeachment: Democrats will win the battle, but lose the war

Not surprisingly, it looks like the Democrats in the House have the votes to impeach Trump on both charges (article link). But the effort will die in the Senate. Trump will remain in office. It is looking more and more like the impeachment will backfire politically on the Democrats, as a majority of the public now believe that senior FBI and DOJ officials illegally targeted Trump (article link). Multiple polls are also showing a strong surge of support for Trump against all potential Democrat contenders in 2020 (article link).

The Importance of ICE

So far in 2019, ICE deported 267,000 illegal aliens, including 5,497 gang members and 58 terrorists, reports American Military News (article link). Despite being demonized by the open borders crowd, ICE performs an important function in keeping America safe. 

China pays cash bounties to turn in Christians

Christian Persecution News is reporting that the Chinese government is offering cash rewards of up to two months salary to turn in ministers and believers who are part of the underground Church in China:


 
 Canada: Movement to euthanize dementia patients

Quebec considers allowing doctors to euthanize dementia patients without their active consent (article link). The move to allow doctors to euthanize sick people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other degenerative diseases, and who are no longer able to give their consent, is now in its public comments phase.

Islam in the News 

In Arizona, an Egyptian imam in Phoenix is accused of sexual battery, child abuse, misappropriation of charitable funds, falsely presenting himself as single to pursue relationships with female congregants while having 2 concurrent concealed marriages, among other charges (article link). 

In Switzerland, an Algerian Muslim migrant is arrested after invading a womn’s home to rape her (article link). Muslim migrant rapist stories have become all too common throughout much of Europe over the last few years. 

https://amzn.to/2M26TkvAD:  Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad, by veteran investigative journalist Leo Hohmann, documents  a well-defined strategy for conquering America, not necessarily with violent jihadist attacks, although we should expect those to increase, but through more subtle means collectively called "civilization jihad."





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Saturday, December 14, 2019

Virginia National Guard Statement Regarding Potential Gun Confiscation

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) and several other politicians have openly suggested using the Virginia National Guard to implement gun confiscation plans in those jurisdictions that have declared themselves "Second Amendment Sanctuaries."  No formal request to do so has yet been made, although speculation is swirling. In response, Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, has released the following statement via the Facebook account of the Virginia National Guard.

Official Statement from Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams

"We have received multiple questions regarding proposed legislation for the 2020 General Assembly session and the authority of the Governor of Virginia to employ the Virginia National Guard in a law enforcement role. Please make sure you share this message with your all of your personnel.

We understand and respect the passion people feel for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights. We will not speculate about the possible use of the Virginia National Guard. I encourage everyone to be patient while we allow our elected officials to work through the legislative process.

We have not received any requests from the Governor, or anyone on his staff, about serving in a law enforcement role related to any proposed legislation.

I expect our Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force to be professional and respectful in their discussions about this subject. As private citizens, our personnel are free to express their opinions to their elected officials, but they should not engage in any political activity while in a uniformed status.

We will provide regular updates when appropriate during the General Assembly session. Please utilize your chain of command to direct any questions or concerns to my office, and we will do our best to address them." 

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Updates from the Impeachment/Coup

By Timothy Gamble

On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee voted on and passed two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump, charging the President with Obstruction of Congress and Abuse of Power. The Articles of Impeachment passed on a strictly party line vote of 23 to 17. This sets up a full House vote on each article individually, which is expected to occur on Wednesday, Dec. 18, although some have suggested pushing the vote back one day to Dec. 19, which was the date of President Bill Clinton's Impeachment in 1998.

It is considered highly likely that the Articles of Impeachment will be passed by the full House, although it is expected that between 6 and 12 democrats, all from Districts that Trump carried in 2016, will vote against the Articles. Impeachment by the House of Representatives carries no enforcement or punishment. The Articles of Impeachment will then be sent to the Senate for consideration. 

The Senate does have the power to issue punishment up to and including removal from office. Should Trump be removed from office, Vice-President Mike Pence will be sworn in as President. However, it is considered highly unlikely the Senate would approve the Articles of Impeachment or issue any punitive measures. Other then making news for another week or two, impeachment is dead at this point.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton has issued the following statement: "[Yesterday's] vote on the articles of impeachment was both a tragedy and a farce. Truly, it is a sad day for America because a grave injustice was committed. There is no abuse of power by President Trump, however, it is clear that abuses were committed against him by the DOJ, the State Department, the FISA court, and certainly by Democrats in the House.

This impeachment scam was corruptly formed and is being corruptly pursued. A coup cabal has hijacked the House to violate the rights of President Trump and undermine our constitutional republic. It is not too late to “stop the coup.” Americans should call their members of Congress to share their views on this wild attack on self-government."

People wishing to contact their members of Congress can find contact information at https://www.contactingcongress.org/.
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Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Evening News for 12-12-2019

Today's handpicked headlines, with analysis and commentary.

Conservatives, Boris, and Brexit Win in a Blowout!  Although the votes are still being tallied as I type this, it appears almost certain that Boris Johnson and the Conservatives have won the UK election by a HUGE margin. It appears to be an absolute blowout of historic proportions, with Conservatives likely to win an 86 seat majority. This is their best showing since the Margaret Thatcher days, and Labor's worst election since the 1940s. Results will likely mean a rather quick Brexit is assured, and a quick trade deal with the US is coming.  Too many quickly changing headlines to post at the moment, so I'll post some tomorrow night.

14-Year-Old Child Hospitalized After Being Brutally Attacked By Multiple Students on School Bus Over Trump Hat (Gateway Pundit) - More violence from the political LEFT. Despite the claims of the talking heads in the mainstream media, most political violence historically (and currently) comes from the LEFT.  

Finnish parents lose custody of child for refusing sex change treatment (Voice of Europe) - Again, we see that parental rights are denied when it conflicts with the LGBT agenda. This is happening more and more often.

Denmark: Twenty Muslims arrested as jihad massacre plot is foiled (Jihad Watch) - Another result of uncontrolled migration as the Islamic stealth invasion of Europe continues.

AD:  Stealth Invasion: Muslim Conquest Through Immigration and Resettlement Jihad, by  veteran investigative journalist Leo Hohmann, documents  a well-defined strategy for conquering America, not necessarily with violent jihadist attacks, although we should expect those to increase, but through more subtle means collectively called "civilization jihad." 

Headlines from the Impeachment/Coup

FBI Lawyer Doctored Email to Cover Up Errors in FISA Applications on Carter Page (Breitbart) 

The GOP’s Four-Point Defense Of Trump Is Devastating (The Federalist) 

Jim Jordan Blasts Another Hole Through Democrats' Impeachment Narrative (PJ Media)
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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Evening News for 12-11-2019

Today's handpicked headlines, with analysis and commentary.

With Rise of Far-Right Extremists, N.Y.P.D. Creates Special Unit (New York Times) - Sounds good. Violent extremists need to be stopped, regardless of their political or social ideology. The problem will be who defines "far-right," and how. At first, groups advocating violence will be so labeled, but these things have a way of being abused by politicians. How long before pro-life protesters, for example, are investigated for extremism because demonstrating against abortion is considered a form of intimidation and bullying, and thus "violent?" Or a ministry for being "anti-gay marriage." Or a hunting club because they have firearms? A slippery-slope which bears close watching.

"This Is The End Of The World For The Average Person..." (ZeroHedge) - This line from the article explains it all: "technology will continue to advance, and therefore, so will automation.  As this happens, the gap between the wealthy and the poor will increase as the middle class fades into nonexistence." Yep. We are on the cusp of an emerging dystopia, and technology will play a major role. Its part of the reason for my new Dystopian Survival website.

Liz Wheeler, host of Tipping Point on OANN, reports via her Twitter account:  "Btw the Black Israelites who shot up the Kosher deli yesterday in a targeted anti-Semitic massacre... are the same group name as the folks who harassed the Covington Catholic kids.  Just thought you should know since the MSM will never report that."

Record number of migrants arriving at U.S. border from terrorist-prone nations (OAN video via Whatfinger News) - This is why we need secure borders. We have a right and a duty to protect our people by knowing who is coming into our country, and stopping undesirables such as terrorists, human taffickers, drug cartels, and gang members from entering. 

Germany: Left-wing extremists set fire to Leipzig tax office (Voice of Europe) - Despite what the tlking heads in the mainstream media say, it is the political LEFT which is much more prone to violence than the Right, both historically and in today's current climate.  

Norwegian government awards Islamist group 100,000 euros to convert 100-year-old church into a mosque (Voice of Europe) - Europe is not only losing its Christian culture, it is in fact slowly becoming Islamic. 

‘Hitler-worshipping Islamist’ migrant nearly kills Swedish teen during hours of brutal torture (Voice of Europe) - Its not much noted today due to political correctness, but there was a great deal of admiration for Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler among muslims during and after World War II. Those ties exist today, as the ideology and hate spewed by both neo-Nazis and Islamic extremists are quite similar. Two peas in a pod.

New York: (Another) Muslim Immigrant Pleads Guilty to Providing Material Support to Terrorists (Creeping Sharia) - It will be largely ignored by the mainstream media, but yet another Muslim immigrant in the US is actively supporting terrorists.

As experts analyze North Korean missile engine test, some say Kim is done talking (American Militry News) - As the US continues to dance with North Korea over their nuclear and missle programs, its worth remembering that Kim and North Korea dance to the tune of China.

Headlines from the Impeachment/Coup


10 Times FBI Officials Conveniently Could ‘Not Remember’ Key Details Of Trump-Russia Probe (Federalist) 

FBI deliberately hid Carter Page's patriotic role as CIA asset, IG report shows (Washington Times)

MSNBC Panel Dismisses Clinton Impeachment: Unlike Trump, He Didn’t Hurt America! (Newsbusters)

Pavlich: Impeachment does Russia's bidding (Thde Hill)

Two Polls Show Majority of Registered Voters Oppose Impeachment (Breitbart)

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

At Least Nine Christians Murdered in Kenya Attack...

...for failing to recite the Islamic Shahada

The following is from a press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). My commentary follows the press release. Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

At Least Nine Christians Murdered in Kenya Attack

12/09/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)International Christian Concern has learned that on December 6, 2019, 11 non-local Christian passengers were attacked while travelling to Mandera from Nairobi and killed at Kotulo in northeastern Kenya. They were reportedly separated from their Muslim counterparts and killed for failing to recite the Islamic Shahada. 

Confirming the incident, a Kenyan police officer told ICC, “A passenger bus belonging to Medina Bus Company, traveling between Wajir and Mandera was attacked by a criminal gang at around 1730 hours this evening. The attack happened at Maadathe area, five kilometers to Kotulo. Lives are believed to have been lost.”

According to a reliable source, the militants separated passengers into groups, targeting the non-locals. Nine of the passengers on the Mandera-bound bus who could not recite the Shahada were paraded out of the bus and shot dead at close range by those believed to be al-Shabaab militants. There are two passengers still missing who are believed to also be dead. The names of those confirmed as killed are Athanus Kiti, Enos Odhiambo, Kelvin Mandela, Wisely Meli, Tikane Kasale, Leonard Mukanda, Francis Mbuvi, Rodgers Machuka, and Anchari Okerosi. The two still missing are Emmanuel Barasa and Nathan Bett.

Commenting on the terror attack, the governor of Mandera said, “I am deeply saddened to learn of the heinous bus attack near Kotulo, Wajir today around 5:00 p.m. where 10 passengers were killed [or are missing]. I am informed that the suspected al-Shabaab fighters cowardly segregated non-locals heading to Mandera from Nairobi. It is extremely sad and humanly disturbing to learn that, yet again, they segregated locals from non-locals before killing those they believed to be non-locals.

The attack comes only a month after eight construction workers in Mandera escaped unharmed when the Somali-based militant group al-Shabaab ambushed the workers’ van along the Elwak-Kotulo road. It is common in northeastern Kenya for terrorists to target buses, separate passengers by religious identity, and kill the Christians.

In 2018, Fredrick Ngui Ngonde and Joshua Ooko Obila were killed in a similar manner for declining to recite the Islamic creed along the Garissa Masalani road.

In 2015, 148 students at Garissa University were killed by gunmen after the Muslim students were freed. In the same year, a Muslim teacher, Salah Farah, was shot for defending Christian passengers who were being separated for execution by al-Shabaab.

In 2014, 28 teachers traveling to Nairobi for the Christmas holiday were killed after being forced to recite the Islamic statement of faith.

Nathan Johnson, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, commented, “We pray for the families of the deceased and for peace to come to a region that has seen increased violence toward Christians who are just trying to survive. We hope that the government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic extremists like al-Shabaab. We praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”
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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Chinese Church Leader Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

The following is from a press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). My commentary follows the press release. Please check out the ICC website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

Chinese Church Leader Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

   Sentence Defies Previous Legal Promises by the Police

International Christian Concern (ICC) is reporting that Qin Derfu, an elder from Sichuan’s Early Rain Covenant Church (ERCC) who has been detained since last December, was sentenced to four years in prison for “illegal business” on November 29. The sentencing took place four days after his trial at the Qingyang People’s Court.

The police promised Qin’s family that if they allowed the government to employ two assigned lawyers to replace Qin’s own assigned lawyer, Qin “would only need to appear at the court before he can be released.” However, the judge then slapped him with the four-year sentence for illegally printing and publishing publications without authorization from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

According to Radio Free Asia, Qin’s wife received two passes to attend the trial. Qin’s own assigned lawyer was, however, unable to sit in, and Qin was left to be defended by the two state assigned lawyers. The court asked Qin to plead guilty to the aforementioned accusations, to which he refused.

The judge stated that “Qin’s criminal act was especially grave,” for he printed tens of thousands of Gospel pamphlets. An ERCC member told RFA that during the trial, the prosecutor never mentioned Qin’s church, or that he is a Christian and an elder, in a clear attempt to mark this case as non-religious and purely about running an illegal business.

After Qin was sentenced, he asked the police to tell his wife, Xiao Hongliu, that he cannot plead guilty simply to meet the police’s needs, because his consciousness does not allow him to do so. In his last statement, he said, “I am a Christian, and I serve at my church, according to my congregation’s needs. With the understanding of an ordinary citizen, I have done nothing illegal or contrary to law, I believe having [Christian] faith is not a crime.”

Zhang Peihong, the assigned lawyer of imprisoned pastor Wang Yi, commented on Facebook, “According to Pastor Wang Yi’s testimony, he actively took the main responsibilities for printing these evangelism materials. So based on this (Qin’s sentence), I sense that Wang will receive at least 10 years of imprisonment.”

While most of the victims of last year’s 1209 ERCC crackdown have been released, Pastor Wang Yi and elder Qin Derfu are the last two who remain behind bars.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager for Southeast Asia, said, “We strongly condemn the Chinese government for the injustice that has been applied to a devout Christian, who has done nothing illegal and was solely punished for his faith and ministry. We also ask for prayers for the Early Rain Covenant Church, as they continue to face persecution from the government, exploited of their right to freely worship in China.”

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Tim's Commentary: Why does this matter to Americans? Besides the compassion we should feel for Qin Derfu, this situation holds an important lesson:  With collectivist / communist / socialist governments, the State has to be God, and the State doesn't like competition, whether from religion, the family, or anything else.. If the USA really does down the path the Progressives want to take us down, we will lose our freedoms, including Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech.  
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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Korean Christian Evangelist Murdered in Southeast Turkey

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

Korean Evangelist Stabbed by Assailant on Diyarbakir Street

11/20/19 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on November 19, 2019, Korean evangelist Jinwook Kim was stabbed on the streets in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir. He later died in the hospital from his injuries; he was 41 years old. The Public Security Branch Directorate of Murder Bureau has arrested a 16-year-old suspect and an investigation is ongoing.

Kim had arrived in Diyarbakir with his family earlier this year and was pastoring a small community of Christians. The assailant stabbed Kim three times: twice in the heart, once in the back. 

Officials, however, claim that the incident occurred in an effort to steal Kim’s phone. Local believers urge the authorities to investigate the incident as an assassination, rather than an attempt at extortion. Kim was married and had one child, although his second is expected to be born in the coming days. A funeral service will be held tomorrow. He had lived in Turkey for five years.

Kim is the first Christian murdered in Turkey since the 2007 Zirve Publishing House murders, which left three Christians martyred in Malatya. Christians living in Turkey have reported an increase in harassment, threats, and other non-violent incidents over the past three years. Turkey is considered a Tier 2 Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

“This is the first martyrdom since Malatya. The Turkish government has started a massive deportation of Protestant leaders who served in Turkey for many years,” said one church leader. “But deportation isn’t enough for evangelists. This kind of attack would scare [them]. I think this is the last level of a plan, being like China.” 

“This wasn’t just a robbery; they came to kill him,” added a Turkish evangelist, who received a death threat the day after this incident. “We always get threats. A brother prophesied a few days ago that they (the government) are going to kick out these foreigners, and probably kill a few Turkish brothers. They are going to cause chaos. They know that I am trying to spread the Gospel, so they may target me too. This may be a sign.” 

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “The grief among Turkey’s Christian community is strongly felt, along with great shock and fear. Martyrdom is not normal in Turkey, and this incident sadly shows just how much the country has changed. Just this year, we have seen a significant increase in incidents proving how the environment has grown more hostile toward Christianity. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and pray for God’s peace for them through this difficult time. We also urge the authorities to set public examples of religious tolerance, and to investigate this incident with honesty and due process of law.” 
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Monday, November 11, 2019

Syria: ISIS Attack on Armenian Christians Leaves Two Priests Dead

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.

ISIS Takes Credit for Violent Attack Against Armenian Church Leaders
 
11/11/19 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on November 11, 2019, gunmen affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) attacked a car known to be carrying Armenian Christian leaders who were traveling from the Syrian city of Qamishli to Deir ez-Zor. The attack left two priests murdered, and wounded a deacon. ISIS has officially claimed responsibility for the incident.

The attack on the vehicle took place as three nearly simultaneous car bombings occurred in the city of Qamishli, which is well known for its religious and ethnic diversity. One of the explosions occurred near a Chaldean church.

The Armenian church leaders were traveling to Deir ez-Zor to inspect an Armenian Catholic Church which has suffered damage because of the Syrian conflict. Father Hanna Bidu, also known as Father Abrahim Petoyan, was killed instantly during the attack. His son, known as Father Hovsep Petoyan, reportedly succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The deacon, Fati Sano from the Armenian al-Hassakeh Church, was wounded.

“(An) armed group at the entrance of the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor was targeting a car that was carrying the father,” reported the Assyrian Monitor for Human Rights. “This armed group targeted and killed the priest and his father, while the third person was injured. Father and his companions were headed to Deir ez-Zor city this Monday morning on a mission to follow the status of waqf of the Armenian Catholic Church.” 

The incident was confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Video footage obtained by Hawar News shows that the car used by the priests had a special tag in its front window which acknowledged that it was traveling for business with the Armenian Catholic Church. The video shows significant frontal damage to the vehicle, placing the two front seat occupants within a direct line of fire.

“Pastor of the Armenian Catholic Community of Qamishli, Priest Hovsep Petoyan, and his father, Priest Abraham Petoyan, were traveling in a vehicle en route to Deir ez-Zor when terrorists opened gunfire on their car and killed them,” stated the Armenian Press. “The Armenian Catholic priests were heading to inspect the condition of the Catholic Church.” 

ISIS’s official Amaq media outlet claimed responsibility, saying, “Two Christian priests were killed today, ISIS shot them down.”

ISIS was officially declared militarily defeated in Syria this past March. However, reprisal attacks following the October death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi in Syria were expected. Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria also prompted fears that it would allow opportunities for ISIS militants to take advantage of the resulting chaos. This is the first deadly incident since its military defeat in which ISIS has successfully targeted church leaders in the Levant.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Today’s violence in northern Syria and the targeting of Armenian leadership is a tragedy that deeply wounds the region’s entire Christian community. Christians have long warned that ISIS will seek every opportunity to continue its genocide against religious minorities. Meanwhile, Turkey’s actions in the area have generated an environment of instability. Armenian Christians, whose ancestors were killed by Turkey’s genocide, find themselves caught between violent actors across all of Syria. We must keep the Christian community of Syria in our prayers, and urge for an end to this senseless conflict.” 
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A brief essay on the proper relationship between the Citizen and Politics.


A brief essay on the proper relationship between the Citizen and Politics.

By Tim Gamble

This essay isn't about which candidate or party to support with your vote, money, or time. In that sense, this is a non-partisan essay. Rather, this essay concerns itself with how a prepper, survivalist, Christian, or any other American for that matter, should approach politics.

First, let's get one thing straight: politics affects everyone. You can ignore it, but you can't hide from it. Politics affects everything from the health of the economy, to whether or not government respects your rights (government doesn't give you rights - those come from God - but government often tries to deny you those rights). From zoning laws to EPA regulations, sales taxes to the education system, directly or indirectly we all are affected by politics. For better or for worse, and it seems too often to be for worse, politics affects your life everyday, and in many ways.

Therefore, you must deal with politics. But how? There are many ways: One response is to simply try to ignore politics as best you can (but you will still have to deal with consequences of politics). Another response is to try to manipulate politics to your advantage (the elites in big business and the political class are masters of this manipulation). Most people today choose one of those responses, at least to some degree. I suggest a third - respond as a true Citizen of the Republic.

Before I define how a Citizen  of the Republic responds, let me say this: Politics will not save us. What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics and economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing. 

The United States of America is a Republic, NOT a Democracy

The first thing a Citizen of the Republic should realize is that the United States is NOT a democracy. It is a Republic, and that is a very good thing. Democracy is Evil. It is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for dinner. In a democracy, rights come from government, and therefore are subject to change with the passing whims of the times. The rights of individuals, even basic rights such as the rights to life, free speech, free exercise of religion, and even self-defense, can be ignored or even taken away by the government or a simple majority vote of the people.

In a Republic, Rights are external from government. Rights come from a Higher Authority (God, the Creator, Natural Law, Nature and Nature's God, or whatever one wishes to call that Higher Authority). Since Rights don't come from the government, government cannot take away or change those Rights. Not even by majority vote. 

Those Rights from God (or whatever you wish to call the Higher Authority) are therefore "unalienable," literally un-a-lien-able. A "lien" being a legal claim on something belonging to another (a lien on a house, for example, where someone other than the owner, typically the government or a bank, claims an interest over the house, typically over money owed). Something being unalienable means that no one can claim an interest over it other than the owner. In the case of unalienable Rights, no one - not even government, not even a majority of voters - can make any claim against those Rights. Well, they can and do try, but those efforts are immoral, unjust, and not valid under a Republic.

The United States was intentionally created by our Founders as a Republic, not a democracy. They knew and feared the dangers of democracy, and wanted to protect themselves and their fellow Citizens from it. Sadly, since the early days of our founding, the United States has slowly been slipping away from a Republic, and into a democracy. In recent decades, and even more so in recent years, this process has been greatly accelerated. Today, we stand on the brink of becoming a full-fledged democracy, with the last remnants of the old Republic slipping away. This is the source of most of our nation's political problems, and has made the people little more than slaves of a government which demands ever-increasing control over our lives, rights, money, and property.

Note: The word "democracy" does not appear anywhere in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. Nor does it appear in any of the fifty state constitutions. We were never intended to be a democracy. 

Limited Government

The way our Founding Fathers protected the Citizens of the Republic from democracy was through the concept of Limited Government. They created a government limited in both size and power by the Constitution, with our unalienable Rights guaranteed (not granted)  in the Bill of Rights. 


The Constitution establishes and limits the scope of the federal government. It sets up a system of checks-and-balances intended to keep government and politicians from exceeding their limits of power as set forth in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights specifically guarantees that government will respect the unalienable Rights of the people. In other words, the Constitution and Bill of Rights intend that the Citizens of the Republic be more powerful than the government that represents them.

It has taken more than 100 years for the elites in the political class to successfully re-interpret our Founding documents to subvert the Republic into a democracy, and to successfully dumb-down the American people to accept, and even applaud, the evils of democracy. 

Amendment X of the Constitution: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Respond as a Citizen of the Republic

Democracy is mob-rule. It is divisive, and based in emotion, selfishness, and greed. It is easy to manipulate. Reason and logic, and an unwavering belief in the Higher Authority, are the cure to democracy. Think; don't react emotionally. Consider the consequences, both intentional and unintentional, of your words, actions, and votes. 

To enable you to think with reason, not emotion, you need to learn real history, real economics, and real civics, rather than the pro-democracy and pro-collectivist propaganda taught in public schools over the last several generations.

Be independent of government. Do not look to government for hand-outs, freebies, or special favors. Be self-reliant. The less dependent on government you are, the less power government will be able to exert over you.

Don't look to government to "make life fair" or to "get even" with people who may be richer or more successful than you. One of the most successful tactics of the collectivists is to convince people that they are "victims" and need government to protect them and make things right. Don't ever think of yourself as a victim.

Don't look to government to redistribute the wealth of others. Holding a gun to someones head and demanding they give you money is theft. Having the government hold a gun to someones head, demanding their money, and then giving their money to you, is also theft. Don't ever think you are entitled to anything without having to earn it first, other than your God-given Rights.

Realize the sole legitimate purpose to government is to protect the unalienable Rights of its Citizens; to protect Life, Liberty, and Property. The role of government is not to protect individuals from their own mistakes and bad choices. 

But what about helping the poor, widows, orphans, and others who cannot help themselves? Shouldn't we help them? Isn't that what Jesus' taught? Yes, He did.  The role of government is to protect the Life, Liberty, and Property of all, especially those who cannot help themselves. But, help beyond that is the proper role of the Church, charities, and individuals. When Jesus, and later the Apostles, taught us to help others, it was always a command to us as individuals and as His followers (the Church). Never did Jesus or the Apostles teach that such help was the role of the government. On the contrary, we are expected to help each other. 

Work hard to elect candidates to public office who realize that we are a Republic, not a democracy, and who understand the difference. Look for candidates who are pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights (all of them), pro-Free Market Capitalism, and pro-Liberty. This is important on the federal level, but also and especially on the state and local levels.

In considering politicians, character matters, especially integrity. If a politician or candidate is dishonest, you cannot trust them to keep their word to respect the Constitution and our unalienable Rights. Liars rarely keep their word.

Pay attention to what your elected officials actually do, and hold them accountable. Not just in DC, but in your state and hometown, too.

Beware of politicians using a crisis to enact laws taking away our liberty, even "temporarily." Realize that temporary laws, such as the income tax was supposed to be, are never temporary. Once government successful takes on an expanded power, it never willing lets it go. Government doesn't care about you as an individual, or about your rights. Government only cares about expanding and protecting its power.

Politicians and government officials often use crises, real or imagined, as the excuse to expand government power. By definition, government power can only be expanded at the loss of individual liberty.

"We must pass this law (or this tax) in order to stop terrorism, stop crime, stop climate change, win the war on drugs, and protect the children. If you are against this law or this tax, then you must be a potential terrorist, or a criminal, or hate children." -- any politician, anytime, wanting to pass a new law or tax

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children younger than 15 years old (the leading cause is accidents). The good news is that, detected early, the overall survival rate for childhood cancers now exceeds 80%. The problem is in early detection. How do you distinguish the normal bumps, bruises, and illnesses of childhood from more serious illnesses such as cancer? This is made especially difficult in young children, who may not be able to properly identify and explain their symptoms to adults. 

Regular medical checkups for children are especially important for that reason. Although no one, young or old, enjoys going to the doctor, and it can be both costly and time-consuming, delaying or even skipping checkups can be dangerous. 

In addition to regular checkups, parents and guardians should be aware of the warning signs of childhood cancer. Although these symptoms can occur for reasons other than cancer, seek medical advice if any of the following are persistent and/or otherwise unexplainable. (This list comes from materials provided by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital,)
  • Persistent/unexplainable fever
  • Fatigue and paleness
  • Swelling or lumps anywhere on the body, especially in the neck, armpit, or groin
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Change of disposition, e.g. whining or crying spells, unusual irritability
  • Regression of toilet habits
  • Stumbling or falling
  • Double vision or other eye problems
  • Easy and frequent bruising
  • Nosebleeds or bleeding from any part of the body
Other possible symptoms include (additional symptoms from information provided by the American Cancer Society):
  • Persistent/unexplainable weight loss
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Frequent headaches or dizziness
  • Ongoing pain in a specific area
  • Limping or difficulty walking
Again, these symptoms may occur for reasons other than cancer. What you are looking for are symptoms that are persistent and/or otherwise unexplainable.

If your child frequently exhibits any of these symptoms, seemingly without cause, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Early detection is absolutely key to the successful treatment for childhood cancers. 

The American Cancer Society provides the following information about seeing the doctor (links are to pages on their website):

"The doctor will ask about the child's medical history and symptoms, and will then examine your child. If cancer might be causing the symptoms, the doctor might order imaging tests (such as x-rays) or other tests. Sometimes if an abnormal lump or tumor is found, the doctor might need to remove some or all of it so that it can be looked at under a microscope for cancer cells. This is known as a biopsy.

If your child is found to have cancer, you can learn about coping and moving forward after the diagnosis is made in If Your Child Is Diagnosed With Cancer."

Sources: Information in this article comes from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the American Cancer Society. Please visit their websites for more information.
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Saturday, November 2, 2019

News Brief: Social Security Changes for 2020

Here's a quick roundup of the major changes for Social Security coming in 2020:
  • Monthly benefits will increase by 1.6%
  • Maximum monthly benefit will rise to $3,011 per month (currently $2,861 per month)
  • Annual social security tax cap (the maximum amount of earnings subject to social security tax) will rise to $137,700 (currently $132,900)
  • Earnings limit on retirees receiving social security before full retirement will rise to $18, 240, after which the deductions of $1 for every $2 earned will go into effect
  • Earnings limit on retirees receiving social security after full retirement will rise to $48,600, after which the deductions of $1 for every $3 earned will go into effect
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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Privacy Statement, Cookie Policy, and Important Notices

The following is posted at the bottom of EVERY page of  www.TimGamble.com, as well as in the FAQs section of this website. I post it again here to go "above and beyond" in terms of compliance and transparency. Thank you for your patronage of this website!

Privacy Statement, Cookie Policy, and Important Notices

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The purpose of this website is to provide information and opinion on a variety of topics typically relating to self-reliance. emergency preparedness, wilderness survival, homesteading, gardening, and bushcraft (outdoor skills). It also contains religious content (from a traditional Christian perspective), political & economic content (from a limited government and pro-Capitalism perspective), and educational materials.

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India: American Pastor from Tennessee Arrested and Detained

Hindu extremism has been on the rise in India since 2014, when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took power. The BJP embraces an anti-Westernization idea logy which sees Christianity as a political and cultural threat. 

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC) regarding the latest incident. Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.


Pastor Targeted After Telling Customs Officials He Is a Christian

10/29/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) learned that Pastor Bryan Nerren, a Christian pastor from Tennessee, has been arrested and detained in India after being accused of violating the country’s Foreign Exchange Management Act. 

According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Pastor Nerren and two other pastors from Tennessee arrived in India on October 5 to attend two conferences in India and Nepal. The ACLJ reported that Pastor Nerren was then targeted and arrested by Indian customs agents after he told them he was a Christian.

After the three pastors arrived in New Delhi, Pastor Nerren was detained by customs agents while proceeding through the domestic security check for a flight to Bagdogra. According to the ACLJ, the pastor was carrying funds to cover the expenses for the two conferences as well as the two-week trip for himself and the other pastors. Customs agents questioned Pastor Nerren about the funds and their usage for about an hour. According to reports, Pastor Nerren has been traveling to India and Nepal for the past 17 years to train people to become Sunday school teachers.

According to the ACLJ, customs agents specifically asked Pastor Nerren if he was a Christian and if the funds would be used to support Christian causes. After fully explaining what the funds were to be used for, the customs agents told Pastor Nerren he was free to go. However, when Pastor Nerren arrived in Bagdogra, he was arrested and transported to Siliguri where he was incarcerated for six days and denied any visitors, including those from the US Consulate.

Pastor Nerren was able to secure bail after six days in jail. However, the judge has retained Pastor Nerren’s passport and ordered a travel ban. A hearing regarding Pastor Nerren’s case was scheduled for October 22, but it did not take place. Another court date has been set for Pastor Nerren’s case on December 12. According to the ACLJ, Pastor Nerren is effectively trapped in Siliguri.

Religious intolerance and instances of persecution have steadily escalated in India since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a political party founded on Hindu nationalist ideology, took power in 2014. 

According to the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), 147 instances of religiously motivated violence against Christians were documented in 2014. In 2018, after four years of BJP rule, EFI documented 325 instances of religiously motivated violence against Christians.

William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “We here at International Christian Concern are deeply concerned by the arrest and detention of Pastor Nerren. We are most concerned by reports that Pastor Nerren was targeted by Indian customs officials after he told them he is a Christian. 

Article 25 of India’s own constitution protects religious freedom for all of the country’s citizens. In addition, Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also protects religious freedom. However, it seems these protections are being denied to Pastor Nerren due to his identity as a Christian.
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