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CHRISTIANS: On the Front Lines of Muslim Violence

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Islamic State militants seize major Christian town in Iraq; thousands flee

 

By Loveday Morris August 7 at 3:50 PM

BAGHDAD — Sunni Muslim extremists punctured Kurdish defenses in a major offensive in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing control of the country’s largest Christian town and sending thousands of civilians fleeing in panic.

 

Kurdish officials pleaded for international assistance as they appeared to be losing control of the 650-mile border between their semiautonomous region and territory controlled by Sunni extremist militants belonging to the Islamic State, an al-Qaeda splinter group. The Kurdish forces were forced to pull out of the towns of Qaraqosh, Bartella and Bashika overnight, putting militants within 40 miles of the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil, the officials said.

The Kurds’ reverses have compounded an already desperate humanitarian situation, and have left Iraq’s religious minorities particularly vulnerable. Iraqi politicians Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/islamic-state-militants-seize-christian-town-in-northern-iraq-thousands-flee/2014/08/07/942a553a-1e2b-11e4-ab7b-696c295ddfd1_story.html

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Pope: ‘More Martyrs in Church Today Than There Were in First Centuries’

 

(CNSNews.com) – Pope Francis, who has condemned the ongoing persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq by the Islamic State jihadists, recently said, citing the Middle East, that there are “more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries.”

 

“There are many martyrs today, in the Church, many persecuted Christians,” said Pope Francis. “Think of the Middle East where Christians must flee persecution, where Christians are killed. Even those Christians who are forced away in an ‘elegant’ way, with ‘white gloves,’ that too is persecution.”

 

“There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries,” he said. “So, during this Mass, remembering our glorious ancestors, let us think also of our brothers who are persecuted, who suffer and who, with their blood are nurturing the seed of so many little churches that are born. Let us pray for them and for us.”Scissors-32x32.png

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/pope-more-martyrs-church-today-there-were-first-centuries

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Iraqi TV Host Weeps Over Plight of Christians

 

CNSNews.com) – Nahi Mahdi, an Iraqi TV host, broke down in tears while discussing the desperate plight of Christian refugees in Iraq.

“They are our own flesh and blood,” Mahdi said after regaining his composure. “Some of them have left for Sweden or Germany. Who does (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) think it is to drive out our fellow countrymen?”

The Asia TV program was aired in Iraq in late July, according to a video and translation provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“This is one genuine Iraqi we have here,” another panelist commented at the sight of Mahdi in tears.

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http://cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/iraqi-tv-host-weeps-over-plight-christians

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ISIS to Iraqi Christians: You Have One Week to Convert to Islam or Die

 

This situation for Christians in Iraq has grown even direr. ISIS is now giving the religious minority an ultimatum: convert within one week’s time or face the sword.

 

World Watch Monitor documented the case of Mikha Qasha, an elderly and paralyzed Iraqi Christian. ISIS came to his home, WWM reports, and gave him the options of fleeing, converting or death. They gave him one week to think about it.

 

Fortunately, Qasha, along with his grandson, were able to go to a safe haven in the capital area of the Kurdistan region.

 

Many others are still at risk, however.

 

According to MCN Direct, others who fled from a district in Nineveh, and from Qaraqosh and Bartella, said IS is now imposing a conversion deadline of one week for any non-Muslim. Qasha’s neighbour, a young man who fled the city this week, said he was hiding in his home with his father when IS members found them on August 17. They gave them a week, until August 24, to convert to Islam or be killed.

70,000 Christians have arrived in Ankawa, the Christian neighbourhood in Erbil and some 60,000 displaced people are in Dohuk, said Louis Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq.Scissors-32x32.png

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2014/08/27/isis-issues-final-ultimatu-to-iraqs-christians-you-have-one-week-to-convert-to-islam-or-die-n1883682

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The Muslim Rape of Christian Nuns

 

Despite how unsavory and barbaric Islamic groups and persons around the world have been acting—whether Nigeria’s Boko Haram, Mesopotamia’s Islamic State, Somalia’s Shabaab—perhaps few things are as disgusting and cowardly as the Muslim rape of nuns: defenseless Christian women who sacrifice much of their lives to help sick and needy Muslims.

 

The latest such attack comes from Bangladesh, which is over 90% Muslim in population. In early July, dozens of men armed with machetes, knives and iron rods attacked the convent of PIME (Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku), a village mission in north Bangladesh.

 

 

In the words of Bishop Sebastian Tudu “the nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived.”

 

Catholic Online has the complete story:

 

ome 60 men attempted to loot the building and rape the nuns… The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission’s two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours. They then broke down the door of the room where the assistant pastor Father Anselmo Marandy was sleeping. They then raided the convent located in the mission campus…. Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering. “It’s very sad that the sisters cannot continue to work for the people, but our sisters are no longer safe,” Rosaline Costa, a Catholic human rights activist lamented. Local Christians are currently living in fear since the attack. Christians form only 0.8 percent of Dinajpur district’s three million people.Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/raymond-ibrahim/the-muslim-rape-of-christian-nuns/

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RedState:

Death to “Slaves of the Cross” Funded by American Taxpayers, Courtesy of the Obama Administration

 

By: bblankley (Diary) | August 30th, 2014 at 01:18 PM


future-must-not-belong-to-those-who-slanFour years after the Arab Spring, taxpaying

Americans continue to fund ethnic and religious cleansing throughout the Middle East, thanks to President Obama’s subversive strategy to spread Islam.

 

The Eastern Mediterranean region, known as the Levant, was the birthplace of Christianity. Initially, Christ followers called themselves “The Way” (in Arabic “Ahl-Al-Deen”) before they were known as Christians (John 14; Acts 9, 14, 24). Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople were all meccas of Christian scholarship. Christian trade centers included Jerusalem, Gaza, Caesarea, and Beirut and Christians lived peacefully throughout Ethiopia, Yemen, and Persia (Iraq and Iran). Scissors-32x32.png

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Why Is It So Hard To Take A Stand?

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

 

In an interesting op-ed, Yasmine Bahrani, a professor of journalism at American University in Dubai, boldly asks: Where are the Muslims protesting the Islamic State? And although there is disagreement to be found, Bahrani does provoke a consideration of the matter.

 

While Bahrani establishes that she supported recent protests against Israel, she is at a loss to explain the absence of Muslim protests condemning ISIS for their treatment of Yazidis, Christians – and even Muslims.

This is not the first time this question has occurred to me. For years, I have wondered about this absence of public outrage. When I asked about the murder of Iraqi civilians by Sunni and Shiite gangs, my fellow Muslims dodged my questions: “Why did the United States invade Iraq in the first place?” Yes, the U.S. invasion was a mistake. But why is it so hard to take a stand against the killing of women and children? I never got a straight answer.

 

While noting a few non-Western clerics have spoken out against ISIS, Bahrani points the finger back at Muslims everywhere:

 

Don’t Muslims have a responsibility to speak out more loudly than others? We need the world to see anti-Islamic State marchers
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Nigeria: Islamic jihadists behead six-year-old boy because he was Christian

Robert Spencer Aug 31, 2014 at 7:37am19 Comments

“When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks…” (Qur’an 47:4) This reads like the story of a Roman martyr from the second century: “Boko Haram beheaded six-year-old Christian boy, group reports,” Christian Today, August 28, 2014 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): It was revealed this week that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a […] http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/08/nigeria-islamic-jihadists-behead-six-year-old-boy-because-he-was-christian

 

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Missionary Group: Boko Haram Beheaded Six-Year-Old Christian Boy

CNSNews.com) – The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a six-year-old boy during a June attack on the predominantly Christian village of Attagara, according to an eyewitness account provided by the Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) missionary organization.

“Over 100 militants dressed in military uniforms swarmed the predominantly Christian village just as Sunday church services were beginning on June 1,” VOM reports.

“The rebels opened fire on the village and went after people with their machetes.”

Boko Haram became internationally known after it staged a mass kidnapping of over 250 Nigerian school girls in April. The majority of the girls are still missing. Last month, the group publicly aligned itself with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).Scissors-32x32.png

 

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/lauretta-brown/missionary-group-boko-haram-beheaded-six-year-old-christian-boy

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France leading the way in helping Iraqi Christians. Will America step up?

 

By: Jake (Diary) | September 5th, 2014 at 11:00 AM

In a previous post, I wrote about how France was taking the lead on responding to the humanitarian crisis that is the plight of Christians in Iraq.* Recently, France24, the country’s official international news station (like the BBC World Service, RT, or Deutsche Welle), posted a segment (in English) on the country’s efforts to settle the Iraqi Christians to whom it has granted asylum. You can watch the Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.redstate.com/2014/09/05/france-is-leading-the-way-in-helping-iraqi-christians-will-america-step-up/

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Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria is attacking one of the country's remaining Christian strongholds, as it presses its offensive against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

 

Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, who have pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, are encircling the historic Christian town of Mhardeh and bombarding it with artillery, residents have told The Telegraph.

 

"There is shelling night and day. We have no electricity. There is only one road out and it is dangerous to use it now," said Josef, a civil engineer in Mhardeh, who spoke using a pseudonym for fear of reprisals if the jihadists enter the town.

 

For centuries Mhardeh was a safe haven for Syria's Greek Orthodox Christians, recently housing a population of approximately 23,000.Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/11079018/Al-Qaeda-closes-in-on-Syrian-Christian-stronghold.html

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Raped and Slaughtered: Muslim Persecution of Christians

 

From one end of the Islamic world to the other, the abduction and rape of Christian girls at the hands of Muslims—both terrorists and laymen—was a dominant theme in April.

 

 

On Easter Sunday Morning, for instance, four Muslim men raped a 7-year-old Christian girl named Sara in a Punjabi village. Last reported, the child was in an intensive care unit in “critical.” According to Asia News, “the police, instead of arresting the culprits, helped the local clan to kidnap the girl’s father; Iqbal Masih was taken and hidden in a secret place to ‘force the family not to report the story, to reach an agreement with the criminals and to avoid a dispute of a religious background.’”

 

According to a human rights lawyer involved in the case: “Such cases are frequent: abuse against women and girls by Muslim men are examples of how the minorities in Pakistan live under constant fear of persecution. We believe that many cases of violence go unreported.” Similarly, a new report appearing in April by the Solidarity and Peace Movement—a coalition of NGOs, associations and institutions including the “Justice and Peace” Commission of the Pakistani Bishops—confirmed that “an estimated 700 cases per year involve Christian women, 300 Hindu girls.” Even so, “the true extent of the problem is probably much bigger, since many cases are not reported.” (Click here for a better understanding of the extent of this tragedy.)Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/raymond-ibrahim/raped-and-slaughtered-muslim-persecution-of-christians/

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PostEverything: I am a 14-year-old Yazidi girl given as a gift to an ISIS commander. Here’s how I escaped.

Mohammed A. Salih, The Washington Post

 

This is the story told to me by a 14-year-old Yazidi girl I’ll call “Narin,” currently staying in northern Iraqi Kurdistan. I am a Kurdish journalist with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia who covers northern Iraq as a freelancer for several international news outlets. I heard about Narin’s tale through a Yazidi friend who knew her. Aside from translating from Kurdish and excerpting her story in collaboration with Washington Post editors, the only things I changed are all the names, at Narin’s request, to protect her and other victims from reprisal; many of her relatives are still in captivity.

 

As the sun rose over my dusty village on Aug. 3, relatives called with terrifying news: Jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) were coming for us. I’d expected just another day full of household tasks in Tel Uzer, a quiet spot on the western Nineveh plains of Iraq, where I lived with my family. Instead, we scrambled out of town on foot, taking only our clothes and some valuables.

 

After an hour of walking north, we stopped to drink from a well in the heart of the desert. Scissors-32x32.png

https://trove.com/me/content/xInWx?chid=168337&_p=troveTrendingInternal

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Ted Cruz walks off stage after being BOOED for supporting Israel

http://therightscoop.com/this-is-awesome-ted-cruz-walks-off-stage-after-being-booed-for-supporting-israel/

 

By The Right Scoop

 

Ted Cruz is freaking awesome.

 

At a Gala for Middle Eastern Christians tonight, Ted Cruz, the keynote speaker, was booed after saying “Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” according to the Daily Caller:

 

Cruz, the keynote speaker at the sold-out D.C. dinner gala for the recently-founded non-profit In Defense of Christians, began by saying that “...tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings.”

Cruz was not reading from a teleprompter, nor did he appear to be reading from notes.

“Religious bigotry is a cancer with many manifestations,” he continued. “ISIS, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas, state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East. Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage through the region. Hate is hate, and murder is murder. Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice, a humanitarian crisis.”

“Christians have no greater ally than Israel,” he said, at which point members of the crowd began to yell “stop it” and booed him.

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IMO-best part here:

 

 

TheRightScoop via iOTW

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Pro-Israel And Pro-Christian

By ROD DREHERSeptember 15, 2014, 7:27 AM

The Ted Cruz stunt last week continues to be much on my mind. I still could not get over the audacity and the cruelty of the act, and the shamelessness of his using the most persecuted and threatened Christians in the world to boost his own political prospects or to cover his flank with his domestic audience. I don’t know why Cruz did it, but he did, and was widely praised for it on the right. This should not be soon forgotten. A conservative Catholic friend, not an Arab-American, who was in the audience wrote last night to say of the Cruz speech:

 

You can’t quite imagine how painful it was if you weren’t sitting in that room with all those people for whom the genocide of Middle Eastern Christians is an up-close-and-personal reality.

 

It’s not a perfect analogy, but imagine someone going to address a group of persecuted Chinese Christian leaders who had come to Washington to try to figure out how to keep their communities alive, and who had been instructed by a US politician that they needed to denounce the Beijing government as a condition of having his support. Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/ted-cruz-pro-christian-pro-israel/

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Saudi Arabia cracks down on Christians. Will the United States speak up?

By: Jake (Diary) | September 15th, 2014 at 05:30 PM

IfThe situation for Christians in the Middle East continues to get worse, but this time, it isn’t at the hands of a terrorist group or band of rebels. It’s from one of our supposed allies in the region: Saudi Arabia. As Fox News reports, this past Friday (September 12th), agents from the country’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice rounded up 28 Christians at the home of an Indian national in the city of Khafji, and several Bibles were confiscated as well.. Their condition and whereabouts are currently unknown. As Nina Shea of the Hudson Institute told Fox News:

 

“Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy…It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country. Those victimized are typically poor, from Asian and African countries with weak governments.” Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.redstate.com/2014/09/15/saudi-arabia-cracks-christians-will-united-states-speak/

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Pakistan’s Newest Martyr

By ROD DREHERSeptember 25, 2014, 7:32 AM

 

A Christian pastor named Zafar Bhatti was shot to death in a Rawalpindi jail, where he had been taken after having formally been accused of blasphemy. Says NBC News:

 

Bhatti, who worked to protect the human rights of the country’s beleaguered Christian minority, was on trial after an Islamic leader accused him in 2012 of sending text messages derogatory to the Prophet Mohammed’s mother. Family members say police investigations show the phone was registered to someone else. In recent weeks, Bhatti had received death threats in prison from both inmates and guards, his family told Pakistan-based human rights group Life for All. He was being held in the same cell as [a mentally ill man, also killed, Muhammad] Asghar. Blasphemy is punishable by death. Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/pakistans-newest-martyr/

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“First it was your turn, and now it is our turn”

Gene Veith

September 26, 2014

 

The Pope made an interesting comment to visiting Jewish leaders. He compared the atrocities being committed against Christians in parts of the Middle East and the world’s overall silence on the subject to the way Jews were treated in the run-up to World War II. The pope, who sees us in the beginning stages of a new world war, thinks Christians will increasingly be the new target. “First it was your turn,” he said, “and now it is our turn.”

 

(Snip)

 

It’s not right, of course, to compare anything to the magnitude of the Holocaust against the Jews. But Christians might well experience something of what the Jews experienced. For example, I’ve noticed that some people respond to Christianity and to Christians with not just disagreement but a visceral repugnance, an emotional repulsion that has to be similar to the hatred of antisemites. Some might say, well, many of you Christians tormented the Jews for centuries, so turn about is fair play. But this is still very ugly and very dangerous. At any rate, Christians might do well to consider what they someday might have to endure for their faith and what some Christians are already enduring.

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Holy Land: The Perils Facing Christians

 

"All this talk about Israel being behind the pain of Christians in the Palestinian Territories is nonsense. Muslims intimidate us. They burn our stores, steal our real estate. They build mosques beside our churches, and make sure that the calls for prayer disrupt our services. They attack our daughters. There are many cases of rape that have never been reported. Families hide it out of shame, they move away. They flee." — Christian official.

 

Under dhimmi laws, non-Muslims under Muslim rule may not testify against Muslims, so it is virtually impossible for Christians whose lands have been stolen, or whose lives have been threatened, to appeal to the local legal system.

 

Apparently the story is only appealing when Israel can be blamed.

 

Clergy from various churches at a Christmas reception in Jerusalem. (Image source: Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem)

If you ask anyone in the Middle East the meaning of the saying, " First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people," he will answer with a smile: "First, we will get rid of those who pray on Saturday, and then we will get rid of those who pray on Sunday."Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

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From an Iraqi Churchyard

 

Ainkawa, Iraq — During his days in Baghdad, Father Douglas Bazi survived a gunshot to the legs, a kidnapping that lasted nine days, and three explosions aimed at the Christian community. He watched his church shrink from 2,600 members to only 250, some of his flock perishing and many more fleeing. So when Bazi ministers to hundreds of refugees living in flimsy tents in his Ainkawa churchyard in Kurdistan, he can relate to their suffering.

 

“I tell them [their current situation] is not because of what God did,” Father Bazi tells me. “It is what humans or politics did. . . . We belong to God. We don’t belong to anyone else. God saved us in the past, so let’s account for the same God, because he’s going to save us. But we have to put our hearts with God and not anyone else.”

Iraq’s Christian refugees have already chosen their faith over their comfort, but that doesn’t mean they’re not enduring a spiritual crisis in addition to a humanitarian one.

 

Iraq’s current turmoil has displaced more than 1.8 million people in total, many of them Christians. Some estimates suggest that between half and two-thirds of the 1.4 million Christians counted in Iraq in 2003 have since fled from central Iraq, many of them to Kurdistan. Destitute, refugees now live in tents, unfinished buildings, or under bridges. Today, 214 families — more than 700 people — have sought refuge in the front yard of Father Bazi’s church, Mar Elia.Scissors-32x32.png

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/388935/iraqi-churchyard-jillian-kay-melchior

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Pope Convenes Mideast Envoys Amid Islamic Threat
VATICAN CITY — Oct 2, 2014
NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

 

Pope Francis convened his ambassadors from across the Middle East on Thursday for three days of meetings to find ways to better protect Christians targeted by Islamic militants and care for those who have been forced to flee their homes.

 

As the Vatican ramps up its support for military force to stop the militants' advance, Francis told the envoys he hoped their brainstorming would come up with initiatives to show the church's solidarity with persecuted Christians and "respond to the needs of so many people who are suffering in the region," the Vatican said.

 

The meeting brought together Vatican envoys from Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Turkey. They were joined by various heads of the Holy See bureaucracy, including the head of the Vatican's main charity, Cor Unum, and Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who travelled to Kurdistan last month as Francis' personal envoy, with money for displaced Christians and other religious minorities.

 

(Snip)

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