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Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Iran's Christians urgently need the West's support

LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH [Barclay] - By Fleur Brading - September 30, 2011
For the first time in 20 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has issued a formal death sentence for a Christian. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, leader of the Church of Iran denomination in Rasht, was arrested in October 2009 while seeking to register his church. He has been on death row since being found guilty of apostasy, conversion from Islam, in September 2010. ...
Although apostasy does not carry a formal death penalty under Iran's penal code, judges in Rasht were able to use the supremacy of Islamic jurisprudence in Iran's constitution to sue for the death sentence based on religious fatwas, or Islamic rulings, by leading Ayatollahs. ...
There have been over 300 arrests of Christians in 35 cities across Iran since June 2010. Detainees are typically held in unsanitary prisons, sometimes in solitary confinement, with evidence of torture and interrogation tactics being used against them on account of their faith. Excessively high bail demands, some as great as $30,000, see title deeds to detainees' houses being given in return for their liberty. Those inmates whose families cannot meet these demands, such as Pastor Farshid Fathi, who was detained in a brutal crackdown against evangelical Christians over Christmas of last year, remain detained. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8799149/Irans-Christians-urgently-need-the-Wests-support.html



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Algeria: Provincial Official Orders Churches to Close

CDN / COMPASS DIRECT [Compass Direct News] - May 25, 2011
ISTANBUL - Seven Algerian churches face closure this week after the governor of their province sent them written notice that they were operating "illegally."
The notice on Sunday (May 22) from Police Chief Ben Salma, citing a May 8 decree from the Bejaia Province governor, also states that all churches "in all parts of the country" will be closed for lack of compliance with registration regulations, but Christian leaders dismissed this assertion as the provincial official does not have nationwide authority.

"All buildings permanently designated for or in the process of being designated for the practice of religious worship other than Muslim will be permanently closed down in all parts of the country, as well as those not having received the conformity authorization from the National Commission," Salma stated in the notice.
On Sunday (May 22) the governor of Bejaia sent a statement to the president of the Protestant Church of Algeria (EPA) informing him that all churches in the province were illegal because they were unregistered. Registration is required under controversial Ordinance 06-03, but Christians report the government refuses to respond to or grant their applications for registration.
The controversial law was introduced in 2006 to regulate non-Muslim worship. ...

According to the governor's statement, if the churches do not comply, authorities may use force. The leaders of the churches in Bejaia have decided to conduct church services this weekend as scheduled and "see what happens," said Krim, who also expects police to show up. ...
There are more than 99,000 Christians in Algeria, less than 0.3 percent of the total population of 35.4 million people, according to Operation World. Muslims make up more than 97 percent of the population.

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/13314/article_113076.html


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.









Analysis: Mideast Christians struggle during Arab Spring

REUTERS [Thomson-Reuters] - June 23, 2011
VENICE - Middle East Christians are struggling to keep hope alive with Arab Spring democracy movements promising more political freedom but threatening religious strife that could decimate their dwindling ranks.
Scenes of Egyptian Muslims and Christians protesting side by side in Cairo's Tahrir Square five months ago marked the high point of the euphoric phase when a new era seemed possible for religious minorities chafing under Islamic majority rule.
Since then, violent attacks on churches by Salafists - a radical Islamist movement once held in check by the region's now weakened or toppled authoritarian regimes - have convinced Christians their lot has not really improved and could get worse. ...

The Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, feared the three-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad spelled a bleak future for the 850,000 Christians there.
"If there is a change of regime," he said, "it's the end of Christianity in Syria. I saw what happened in Iraq."
The uncomfortable reality for the Middle East's Christians, whose communities date back to the first centuries of the faith, is that the authoritarian regimes challenged by the Arab Spring often protected them against any Muslim hostility.
Apart from Lebanon, where they make up about one-third of the population and wield political power, Christians are a small and vulnerable minority in Arab countries.
The next largest group, in Egypt, comprises about 10 percent of the population while Christians in other countries are less than 5 percent of the overall total.
Under Saddam Hussein, about 1.5 million Christians lived safely in Iraq. Since the US-led invasion in 2003, so many have fled from Islamist militant attacks that their ranks have shrunk to half that size, out of a population of 30 million. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=226236



FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.











Obama Should Condemn Anti-Christian Violence in Egypt


WHITE HOUSE DOSSIER - By Keith Koffler - May 12, 2011
Even as he renews his outreach to Muslims, President Obama should seek to stem the growing tide of violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt by condemning last weekend’s attacks that left a dozen people dead and scores injured.
The attacks, about which Obama has been silent, also resulted in the burning of Coptic Orthodox churches and the destruction of Christian homes and businesses.
The president needs to say more to stem religious violence that creates opportunities for Islamic extremists who want to seize power in Egypt, our most important Arab ally.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday “strongly” condemned the violence, saying, “We stand behind the Coptic Christian community and their right to practice their faith in safety and security, free of persecution.”
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Obama is preparing to try to reengage Muslims with a speech, possibly next week, that will make the case that Muslims should “reject Islamic militancy in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and embrace a new era of relations with the U.S.”

Whether Obama views condemning Muslim violence against Christians as inopportune during the lead up to a renewed outreach to Muslims is unclear. But it’s worth noting that after Obama seemed inexplicably slow off the mark supporting the masses of Iranian protestors two years ago, there was widespread belief that he was concerned about compromising his outreach to the Iranian government.
Obama, though a Christian, seems to view his background, which includes a Muslim grandfather and several years living as a child in Muslim Indonesia, as giving him a special conduit into the Muslim world. But I doubt this type of personal outreach by one man changes the way people view the United States. And it shouldn’t interfere with other aspects of U.S. policy.

Obama commendably condemned a New Year’s Eve church bombing in Alexandria, Egypt that killed 21. But he has said little - actually nothing that I could find - about the religious killings and tensions since then, which included the deaths of 12 people Jan. 30 during a raid of Christian homes in Upper Egypt.
Obama also should speak about about the growing violence against Christians in Iraq, a country where we have some real sway. Four were killed and 171 injured in attacks over the weekend, prompting a reaction from Pope Benedict XVI.

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting
http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/05/12/obama-should-condemn-anti-christian-violence-egypt/



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Christians and Religious minorities fear Syrian Islamists


THE WASHINGTON TIMES [News World Communications/Moon-Unification Church] - By Ben Birnbaum - September 25, 2011
Syrian Christians and other minorities are scared of potential government influence by Islamic hard-liners if President Bashar Assad falls, U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford says.
“A lot of Christians here are very frightened of it, frankly,” said Mr. Ford, speaking by phone with The Washington Times from the Syrian capital, Damascus.
He also said that many in the minority Allawite Muslim sect, business owners and reformers who advocate a separation between religion and state are also concerned about a rise of political Islam in Syria. ...
As many as 10 percent of Syria’s 21 million people are Christians and an additional 12 percent belong to Mr. Assad’s Allawite sect, a Shiite offshoot.
Mr. Ford said the opposition’s newly created National Council of Syria needs to assure both groups that they would not face persecution by the country’s Sunni majority in any new government. ...
It may be a hard sell for the Christians, many of whom are refugees from Iraq. An independent report, meanwhile, has revealed that nearly 93,000 Christians have fled Egypt since its February revolution. ...

Edited :: See Original Report Here
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/sep/25/religious-minorities-fear-syria-islamists/



FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.







Monday, October 10, 2011

Missouri student gets in trouble for wearing a religious shirt her school says is vulgar


“JESUS... HE SCARES THE HELL OUT OF YOU”


KSHB-TV NBC 41/42 KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI-KANSAS [E. W. Scripps Co./Scripps TV Station Group] - By Josh Lucht - March 17, 2011
KIRKWOOD, Missouri - A Missouri student is pulled out of class for wearing a T-shirt she claimed was an expression of religious freedom, but her school says was inappropriate.

The T-shirt reads “JESUS... HE SCARES THE HELL OUT OF YOU”

The North Kirkwood Middle School says shirts with swear words, no matter the context, are not allowed in class. So when Michelle Ramirez wore the shirt to school, the principal told her she would have to change into a different t-shirt because it was a violation of the dress code.

When the school called Michelle's parents, Christina Ramirez, Michelle’s mother stood squarely behind her daughter.

"I got on the phone with Michelle, I told Michelle, 'if you feel convicted to wear the shirt, you go ahead and put it back on," says Christina.

Christina and Michelle both insist the T-shirt does not violate the school’s no-swearing policy for T-shirts because it refers to a place they actually believe in, rather than just using the word as slang.

“I don't think it's a slang word because it's all capitalized, and even though the "hell" is a different color, that it still means the same thing: that he (Jesus) does scare the hell out of you that you're not letting the devil in," insists Christina.

School officials say they don’t have an issue with the message on the shirt, just the questionable meaning of the language on it.

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting
http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/national/a-missouri-student-gets-in-trouble-for-wearing-a-religious-shirt-her-school-says-is-vulgar1300372839229


FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Countries With Worst Religious Freedom Grades Are Mostly Islamic

CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE (CNSN.com) [Media Research Center] - By Patrick Goodenough - August 10, 2011
Muslim-majority countries score worst across a range of measures in a comprehensive new study tracking government restrictions on religion as well as social hostilities involving religion around the world.

The study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life, released Tuesday, found that nearly one-third of the world’s population lives in countries where religion-related government restrictions or social hostilities rose significantly between mid-2006 and mid-2009.

Geographically, the Middle East/North Africa region boasted the largest proportion of countries – 30 percent – where official restrictions on religion increased over that three-year period.

Digging deeper, the 117-page report reveals that countries belonging to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) dominate many of the most serious measures tracked at the end of the survey period in mid-2009.

Seven of the ten countries with the highest – that is, worst – grades when it comes to government restrictions on religion were OIC countries – Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Maldives, Malaysia and Indonesia. The other three were China, Burma and Eritrea.

Of the 10 countries on that benchmark index, six are designated by the U.S. government as “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations – Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.

A separate index in the Pew report graded countries according to levels of social hostility involving religion. Eight of the top ten countries in that index were Muslim-majority states – Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Egypt. The other two, India and Israel, have Hindu and Jewish majorities respectively, and large Muslim minorities.

In an index measuring official interference with religious practice, 18 out of 26 countries (69 percent) whose government “prohibits worship or religious practices of one or more religious groups as a general policy,” were OIC members – Brunei, Chad, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The other eight were Burma, China, Eritrea, Laos, Madagascar, Monaco, Tuvalu and Vietnam.

A grading of countries where conversion from one religion to another is restricted was also dominated by Islamic states, accounting for 25 out of 29 countries listed (86 percent). They were Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Comoros, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

The four non-Muslim countries were Eritrea, India, Israel and Vietnam.

Taking the conversion issue a step further, among 13 countries where there were incidents of physical violence over conversions from one religion to another, 10 (77 percent) were Muslim – Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Comoros, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria. The other three were India, Mongolia and Nepal.

Sixteen out of 26 countries/territories where “religion-related terrorist groups” perpetrated violence that resulted in ten or more injuries or deaths” were OIC members – Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Yemen

The 10 non-Muslim countries were Central African Republic, China, Congo, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Nepal, Philippines, Russia and Sri Lanka. (The report does not provide a breakdown of actual attacks, but in at least some of those countries – India, Israel, the Philippines and Russia – terror activity is largely attributed to Islamist groups.)

Blasphemy, ‘defamation’
The Pew report also examined the issue of “defamation” of religion, tracking countries where various penalties are enforced for apostasy, blasphemy or criticism of religions.

“While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical,” it said.

It found 21 Muslim countries in that category – Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Western Sahara and Yemen.

The study also found 23 non-Muslim countries where penalties are enforced for such criticism of religion – Austria, Brazil, Burma, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, India, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region,” it said. “These penalties are enforced in 60 percent of the countries in the region. In Europe, nearly four-in-ten countries (38 per cent) have such laws and nearly a third (31 per cent) actively enforces them.”

The report did not, however, draw a distinction between the types of penalties enforced in Muslim and non-Muslim countries for breaching these laws.

A study by Human Rights First, released last March, documented more than 70 cases in 15 countries where the enforcement of blasphemy laws resulted in problems of various kinds since 2007.

Of the 70 cases, only four were not in Muslim countries. They were in Austria (where a woman was fined for “denigrating” Islam during a lecture); India (where nine people were charged over a magazine article said to have injured the sentiments of Hindus); Sri Lanka (where a convert from Buddhism to Islam was accused of offending Buddhism); and Poland (where a provocative rock star was accused of insulting religious sentiments in the predominantly Catholic country).

By contrast, the vast majority of the cases documented in the report took place in Islamic countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan – and included lengthy prison terms and the imposition of the death penalty, as well as extrajudicial retribution such as mob attacks and killings.

‘Repressive’
One country that did not feature in the Pew survey’s country scores was North Korea – not because it is not a problem, but because of difficulties obtaining accurate information in the reclusive Stalinist state.

“The sources clearly indicate that the government of North Korea is among the most repressive in the world with respect to religion as well as other civil liberties,” the report said. “But because North Korean society is effectively closed to outsiders, the sources are unable to provide the kind of specific and timely information that the Pew Forum coded in this quantitative study.”

The religious freedom advocacy group Open Doors has listed North Korea at No. 1 on its annual World Watch List of countries most hostile to Christians for the past nine consecutive years.

The rest of the top 10 on its 2011 list were Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Laos. Apart from communist Laos, all are OIC member-states.

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting



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