Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Orthodox Christians Targeted in Turkey with Vandalism and Threats


Disturbing events from the supposed "modern and moderate" Muslim nation of Turkey

On Sunday, February 23, 2019, threatening graffiti messages were found on the main entrance door of the Armenian Church of the Holy Mother of God (Balat Surp Hreshdagabet) in Istanbul, Turkey. 

According to a statement issued by the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, “There were written racist and hate speeches in both English and Arabic [saying] you are finished!”

Since then, the Greek Orthodox Cemetery at Kadikoy has been vandalized in a similar manner. 
 
The church’s security cameras obtained footage of the incident at the church and the church administration filed a criminal complaint at the Fatih District Police Department. The statement continued, “It is our greatest wish that such events do not happen again and the criminals are punished.” 

Despite the video surveillance footage at the church and eye witnesses to the vandalism at the cemetery, local police seem inclined not to investigate, even dismissing the cemetery vandalism as having "no political cause." and therefore not a hate crime, according to journalist Seyfi Genç, who spoke with Kadikoy police. 

So, without the "political cause" to the cemetery, writing insults or profanity is as free as the police don't even need to take action... Would it be different if it were a Muslim cemetery?" Seyfi Genç comments via Twitter.

The incident has drawn widespread condemnation from across Turkey’s Armenian community, who are frequently harassed and targeted through hate crimes by Turkish Muslims. The Armenian Genocide from 1915-1917, during which at least 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed by the Islamic Ottoman Empire, continues to haunt those few who remain in modern Turkey, as Islamists view Armenians as an inherent threat to the constitutionally protected status of "Turkishness," which they see as instrinsically Islamic.

A prominent Armenian writer, Murad Mıhçı, shared images of the vandalism on Twitter, saying, “The walls and the door of the Balat Surp Armenian Church. Its entrance we built with the rocks from the historical church in İznik (Nicaea), where the council met. (Now) the church opens one day a year, it is believed to give a remedy to the people. As they say, ‘ARE YOU FINISHED?’ There are no local (Armenian) people left. The ‘New Turkey!’”



Seyfi Genç shared images of the damage to the Greek Orthodox cemetery, on Twitter.  




Garo Paylan, an Armenian Member of Parliament, tweeted, “A hate attack has been carried out against Balat Surp Hreshdagabet Armenian Church. Every year, scores of hate attacks are being carried out against churches and synagogues. Not just the perpetrators, but also the people who are behind them, should be addressed. For the most important part, the politics that produce hate should be ended.”

According to Turkey’s Protestant Churches Association’s 2018 Violence Monitoring Report, hate speech against all Christians has increased significantly within the last year. Christian leaders have raised concerns that the intensity of hate speech is similar to the days preceding the 2007 Zirve Publishing House massacre, sometimes referred to as the missionary massacres.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “Thankfully, no one was hurt during this incident. However, the gravity of the situation cannot be ignored. Armenian Christians have long suffered targeted harassment and violence in Turkey, which drove most to flee. The general increase of hate speech in Turkey directed against Christians sounds the alarm that the environment is increasingly hostile toward non-Muslims. Turkey purports itself to be a secular nation, a country which has turned over a new leaf. If such is true, then those who encourage and commit these hate crimes against Christians must be held accountable before the situation escalates to something worse."

Sources: 1) official statement issued by the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople, 2) press release by International Christian Concern (ICC), and 3) information and photos posted to twitter by Murad Mıhçı and Seyfi Genç. 
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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Christian Student in Pakistan Nearly Killed in Stabbing by Muslim Classmates

Tim's Note:  It is "politically incorrect" to say this, but what happened to this Christian student in Pakistan is typical of how Christians are treated by Muslims in Muslim countries. This incident is not at all uncommon or unusual. Christians are, at best, treated as second class citizens with little or no legal rights. Within the religion of Islam, Christians are part of the "kafir" - nonbelievers - a term used directly in the Quran 134 times, and another 250+ times in the Quran in various other grammatical forms. The term "kafir" is sometimes translated as "infidel." 

Kafirs are considered not only religiously wrong, but unacceptable and offensive to God. Because of this status, intolerance, violence, enslavement, and plunder of kafirs by Muslims is often tolerated by Islamic government officials and courts, and very often not even considered "sinful" by most Muslim religious authorities.  

The following press release is from International Christian Concern (ICC). Visit their website at https://www.persecution.org/  


Christian Student in Pakistan Nearly Killed in Stabbing by Muslim Classmate 

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Christian student from Karachi, Pakistan was nearly killed after being stabbed in an attack by Muslim classmates. As is common with attacks by Muslims on Christians, the student’s parents were pressured by the police to not press charges. Yet, the family has declared that they want justice. According to a local human rights defender, this violent incident resulted from unchecked religious intolerance in Pakistan’s educational system.

The incident began on Friday, February 15, when Haroon Irfan, a Christian student at Government Mohammadi School in Karachi, reported that his Muslim classmate, Muhammad Majid, stole and damaged his school notebook. According to the school’s headmaster, Muhammad Aftab, Haroon is known by the nickname “small Einstein” because of his intelligence.

Haroon made a complaint to the teacher and, when the notebook was recovered from Majid’s backpack, he got angry and felt insulted,” Irfan Masih, Haroon’s father, told ICC.

Two days later, on Sunday, February 17, Haroon was attacked by Majid and several other Muslim boys as he was on his way to buy food from a local hotel. “When Haroon was alone on the road, Majid and five others beat Haroon for alleging [Majid] of stealing his notebook and complaining to the teacher,” Irfan explained.

In the course of the attack, the assailants stabbed Haroon in the stomach, damaging his kidney. “The attack was so terrible that Haroon’s kidney was cut into two pieces,” a local Christian activist told ICC.

The assailants fled the scene, leaving Haroon wounded on the ground. When Haroon was discovered, he was rushed to Jinnah Hospital in Karachi where doctors were forced to remove his kidney.

Haroon’s father reported that local police were initially unwilling to register a First Information Report (FIR) regarding the attack on Haroon. According to Irfan, the police pressured him to settle the matter outside of Pakistan’s judicial system.

We are not going into any process of negotiations or forgiveness,” Khursheed Bibi, Haroon’s grandmother, told ICC. “We want justice.

This incident is a continuation of previous incidents of intolerance which we have experienced in schools and colleges,” Ghazala Shafeeq, a local human rights defender, stated on social media. 

Christians feel insecure, therefore authorities must come up with practical steps to ensure their safety and security.

The authorities must also introduce amendments to the educational system to promote religious tolerance,” Shafeeq continued. “If we don’t purify educational institutions and delete the hate material from the textbooks, we are going to damage the next generation.

ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, said, “We here at ICC are deeply distressed by the violent attack on Haroon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. Religious intolerance and discrimination based on religious identity are widespread in Pakistan. Unfortunately, this is not only present in Pakistan’s educational institutions, it is widely modeled by many teachers and taught by school curriculums. We hope that this attack will lead to justice for Haroon as well as real change to Pakistan’s educational institutions. These institutions should be safe places where students are allowed to receive a proper education regardless of their religious identity.
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Leah Sharibu, Kidnapped Teenager, Marks One Year of Captivity for Being a Christian


On February 19, 2018, at 5:30 p.m., Boko Haram entered the town of Dapchi, Nigeria, wearing military uniforms and driving trucks mounted with machine guns. They approached the Government Girls’ Science and Technical College (GGSTC) and ordered more than 100 schoolgirls to enter their trucks. They then disappeared with the girls for more than a month before the girls’ eventual release. Today marks one year since Boko Haram kidnapped those 110 schoolgirls. Of the girls who were abducted, only one remains in captivity. Leah Sharibu was the only Christian among the girls who were taken and she is also the only one still being held captive.

On March 21, 2018, 104 of the kidnapped girls were released back to their families; five died in captivity. Boko Haram militants brought the girls back home on buses, then warned the families against sending their daughters back to school. These same girls then told their families of Leah’s courage and faith in the face of almost certain death.

Prior to returning the abducted girls, the terrorists pulled Leah aside and told her that she would not be allowed to go home unless she recanted her faith. She refused. She told the terrorists that she could not deny Christ. After being held for nearly eight months, Leah again made headlines. On August 27, the terrorist group released a proof of life video of Leah. In the video, she pleads for the government to help her and her family.

Then, on September 17, 2018, Boko Haram killed an aid worker from the Red Cross named Saifura Khorsa. During the execution, the militants said that they would kill another three victims if the Nigerian government did not pay ransoms, including Leah. One month later, on October 16, Boko Haram executed another worker named Hauwa Liman. After her execution, Boko Haram declared that they were going to keep Leah as a “slave for life” because the government had not paid a ransom for her. Since then, there has been little to no communication about Leah from the Buhari administration or Boko Haram.

The Leah Sharibu Foundation stated, “We cannot forget about her today. Petition God, in prayer and fasting, for Leah’s release and freedom of religion.” 

----- This article is from a press release by International Christian Concern (ICC). You can visit their website at   https://www.persecution.org/  

Christian Pastor in Myanmar Abducted by Arakan Army

Christians in Rakhine State Face Increasing Danger

International Christian Concern (ICC) is reporting that on Wednesday, February 13, Pastor U Thar Tun was taken from his home in Buthidaung township, Rakhine State, by members of the Arakan Army (AA), a Buddhist rebel group. According to his wife, Daw Hla Sein, the insurgent group initially demanded that they leave their home to talk, so the family complied with the orders. However, the insurgents then tied up the pastor and dragged him away. She informed the local authorities and the police are now investigating the abduction.

U Thar Tun, the 50-year-old pastor of Mara Evangelical Church, is from the Myo ethnic group, one of the most common minority groups from Rakhine State, Myanmar. The father of five received his theological education from Mizoram State in India.  He has been serving as a pastor in his church for many years and, although his church could not financially support him, he still takes a leadership role in church activities. He is also involved in local community development.

A colleague from the area told ICC, “He is innocent and actively involved in social and ethnic Myo people activities. He acts with truth and love for the oppressed people and he also protects them. Even though there is only [a] slim chance, I would like to request his immediate release from the people who had taken him. He is a valued member of our community.”

His congregation and fellow Myo people are very concerned about his disappearance. Some locals believe that he will not be coming back.

The fighting between the Burmese Army and the AA resumed last December. AA is a Buddhist rebel group known for its intolerance of other religious groups. A month ago, Pastor Tun Nu from Rakhine State’s Sittwe District was also abducted by the AA and his death was confirmed earlier this month.

Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “While a lot of attention has been paid to the Rohingya crisis in Rakhine State, it is alarming to see Christian persecution on the rise in the area. We urge the Burmese government to negotiate the release of Pastor U Thar Tun, given that his life is at risk in the hands of the Arakan Army. This evil act cannot be tolerated or ignored.”  

----- This article is from a press release by International Christian Concern (ICC). You can visit their website at   https://www.persecution.org/ 

Monday, February 18, 2019

72-year-old Catholic Priest Is Latest Victim of a Sharp Rise in Muslim Violence in West Africa

By Tim Gamble
2-18-2019

Vatican News is reporting that a 72-year-old Roman Catholic priest and missionary was killed by Muslim jihadists in the West African country of Burkina Faso on Friday, February 15.  Father Antonio César Fernandez, a Salesian priest, was traveling by car with three companions when the group of Muslims attacked a customs checkpoint near the southern border. In addition to Father Fernandez, four Burkina Faso customs officials were also murdered. Father Fernandez's three companions survived the attack.

Burkina Faso is a Muslim-majority country with a significant Christian minority (about 23% according to government statistics).

This region of West Africa (Burkina Faso, along with Mali and Niger) has seen a sharp rise in Muslim extremist violence over the past year.

Including the attack that killed Father Fernandez, Burkina Faso has experienced seven attacks by Muslim jihadis in the last month alone, with 41 people killed and 11 injured, according to reports gathered by thereligionofpeace.com. In Mali, there have been four Muslim jihadi attacks over the last month,  killing 17 and injuring 36. In Niger, there have been five attacks by Muslim jihadis during the same time period, killing 24 and injuring at least 10. 

Worldwide persecution, violence and genocide against Christians, primarily by Muslims and communists, is largely ignored by the mainstream media in America and Europe.
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Formal Request Made for Treasury Sanctions Against Iranian Leaders for Sending Christians to “Torture Factory”

Three Judges and Infamous Evin Prison Targeted Under Global Magnitsky Act

02/11/2019 Washington D.C. – Today, International Christian Concern (ICC) submitted the names of three Iranian judges and the infamous Evin Prison to the US Treasury for consideration of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act. The names submitted are Judge Mashallah Ahmadzadeh, Judge Mohammed Moghiseh, Judge Ahmad Zargar, and Evin Prison itself.

February 11 marks the 40-year anniversary of the founding of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran. Since then, Iran has been ruled by elites who have fused hardline Islam with governance. Christians are viewed as a national security threat and prosecuted under these judges and then imprisoned in the infamous Evin Prison, commonly referred to as the “torture factory.”

These three Revolutionary Court judges, and Evin Prison, have a long record of human rights abuses toward Iranian Christians. The judges are responsible for convicting Christians on trumped up charges. They wield Iran’s legal system as a systemic tool of repression against religious minorities. Often, when Christians stand firm in their faith, Iran’s judges send them to the notorious Evin Prison, located on the outskirts of Tehran. Stories of those who survived Evin Prison are heartbreaking; the wide variety of abuse faced by inmates is chilling.

Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “For the last 40 years, Iran has sought to control the souls of its citizens through hardline Islamic judges and the threat of incarceration at Evin Prison. Christians have faced degrading and inhumane treatment for no other reason than their faith. Yet, despite this intense persecution, they firmly held onto their faith. In response, these judges have only strengthened their resolve to further crack down on all practice of Christianity.”  

ICC tracked these religious freedom violations in order to build the legal background for the Magnitsky submission. The Global Magnitsky Act is a powerful legal tool which specifically targets individuals and entities to be sanctioned for human rights violations. The original legal framework passed in 2012 which specifically targeted Eastern European perpetrators. The act was later expanded to include all global perpetrators of human rights violations. For more information on the act, please visit the Treasury Department web page on the Magnitsky Act;

Matias Perttula, ICC’s Advocacy Director, said, The Global Magnitsky Act is a monumental piece of bipartisan legislation that empowered the fight for human rights around the world in a brand new way. This legal tool empowers the US government and the civil society community to target individuals and entities guilty of oppressing people and violating their God-given human rights with the full force of the United States sanctions capabilities.”

Those wishing to show support for the sanctions request may contact the Department of the Treasury's Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Office, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by the following methods:

Toll-Free Hotline:  1-800-540-6322​
E-Mail Address:  ofac_feedback@treasury.gov
Postal Address:  Office of Foreign Assets Control
                             U.S. Department of the Treasury 
                             Treasury Annex 
                             1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW 
                             Washington, DC 20220

You may also wish to contact your House Representative and Senators.

SOURCES:  This article is from a Press Release from International Christian Concern dated February 11, 2019, and additional information from the US Department of Treasury website.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Muslim Genocide Against Christians, Ignored by MSM, Increased Sharply in 2018

Thousands of Christians Murdered by Muslims in Nigeria

Even though Christians are by far the most persecuted group of peoples in the world, persecution and genocide of Christians is rarely reported in the mainstream media. This is bacuase the two primary persecutors - Muslims and Communists - are "protected' classes within leftist idealogy, while Christians are often considered problematic at best, or actually despised at worst. Thus, mainstream journalists usually turn a blind eye to the plight of Christians around the world. A prime example is what is happening in Nigeria.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), has compiled data for 2018 on the ongoing genocide of Christians in Nigeria.  ACLED reported that approximately 1,930 brutal deaths were attributed to Fulani militants in 2018. In addition, Boko Haram was responsible for at least another 550 deaths according to records mainstained by TheReligionofPeace.com (TROP), bringing the total number murdered in the name of Islam in Nigeria in 2018 to at least 2,480. This was a sharp increase over the 1,900 total people killed in 2017 by both Boko Haram and Fulani militants (both groups are Muslim).

According to  International Christian Concern (ICC) "Due to ethnic tensions, religious differences, and a lack of economic resources, Fulani attacks against defenseless farmers in largely Christian areas claimed many lives and displaced tens of thousands."

"This, however, does not account for the dozens of villages that were completely razed and the more than 30 churches that were destroyed in Plateau State (of Nigeria) alone, as reported by Rev. Dacholom Datiri, president of the Church of Christ in Nigeria."

The Nigerian government has made little serious effort to address the ongoing genocide of Christians. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is a Muslim who has expressed support in the past for the "total implementation of Sharia Law" in Nigeria, despite the country's population being evenly divided between Christians and Muslims.

Below are the largest attacks that took place in 2018 (links to external news sites).
  1. April 23, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Benue State, killing 19 worshippers.
  2. June 23, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Plateau State, killing approximately 238.
  3. July 10, 2018: Fulani militants attack in Adamawa and Taraba States, killing 50.
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