Tag Archives: Christian

Obama Administration’s War on Persecuted Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim
Special to IPT News
August 2, 2012

The Obama administration’s support for its Islamist allies means a lack of U.S. support for their enemies or, more properly, victims—the Christian and other non-Muslim minorities of the Muslim world. Consider the many recent proofs:

According to Pete Winn of CNS:

The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports. The new human rights reports—purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered—are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role. For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011… (emphasis added).

The CNS report goes on to quote several U.S. officials questioning the motives of the Obama administration. Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Farr said that he has “observed during the three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration that the issue of religious freedom has been distinctly downplayed.” Leonard Leo, former chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said “to have pulled religious freedom out of it [the report] means that fewer people will obtain information,” so that “you don’t have the whole picture.”

It’s not the first time the administration has suppressed knowledge concerning the suffering of religious minorities under Islam. Earlier it suppressed knowledge concerning Islam itself (see here for a surreal example of the effects of such censorship).

In “Obama Overlooks Christian Persecution,” James Walsh gives more examples of State Department indifference “regarding the New Years’ murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the ravaging of a cathedral,” including how the State Department “refused to list Egypt as ‘a country of particular concern,’ even as Christians and others were being murdered, churches destroyed, and girls kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. ”

And the evidence keeps mounting. Legislation to create a special envoy for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia—legislation that, in the words of the Washington Post, “passed the House by a huge margin,” has been stalled by Sen. James Webb, D-Va.:

In a letter sent to Webb Wednesday night, Rep. Frank Wolf [R-Va, who introduced the envoy bill] said he “cannot understand why” the hold had been placed on a bill that might help Coptic Christians and other groups “who face daily persecution, hardship, violence, instability and even death.”

Yet the ultimate source of opposition is the State Department. The Post continues:

Webb spokesman Will Jenkins explained the hold by saying that “after considering the legislation, Senator Webb asked the State Department for its analysis.” In a position paper issued in response, State Department officials said “we oppose the bill as it infringes on the Secretary’s [Hillary Clinton’s] flexibility to make appropriate staffing decisions,” and suggested the duties of Wolf’s proposed envoy would overlap with several existing positions. “The new special envoy position is unnecessary, duplicative, and likely counterproductive,” the State Department said (emphasis added).

But as Wolf explained in his letter: “If I believed that religious minorities, especially in these strategic regions, were getting the attention warranted at the State Department, I would cease in pressing for passage of this legislation. Sadly, that is far from being the case. We must act now…. Time is running out.”

Much of this was discussed during Coptic Solidarity’s third annual conference in Washington D.C. last month, which I participated in, and which featured many politicians and lawmakers—including the U.K.’s Lord Alton, Senator Roy Blunt, Congressman Trent Franks, Congressman Joseph Pitts, and Frank Wolf himself. As Coptic Solidarity’s summary report puts it, “All policy makers voiced strong support to the Copts…. Some policy makers raised concerns about the current U.S. Administration’s overtures towards religious extremists.”

There was little doubt among the speakers that, while Webb is the front man, Hillary Clinton—who was named often—is ultimately behind the opposition to the bill. (Videos of all speakers can be accessed here; for information on the envoy bill and how to contact Webb’s office, click here).

Even those invited to speak about matters outside of Egypt, such as Nigerian lawyer and activist Emmanuel Ogebe, wondered at Obama’s position that the ongoing massacres of Christians have nothing to do with religion. After describing the sheer carnage of thousands of Christians at the hands of Muslim militants, lamented that Obama’s response was to pressure the Nigerian president to make more concessions, including by creating more mosques (the very places that “radicalize” Muslims against infidel Christians).

Indeed, while the administration vocally condemned vandal attacks on mosques in the West Bank (where no Muslims died), it had nothing to say when Islamic terrorists bombed Nigerian churches on Easter Sunday, killing some 50 Christians and wounding hundreds. And when the Egyptian military indiscriminately massacred dozens of unarmed Christians for protesting the nonstop attacks on their churches, all the White House could say is, “Now is a time for restraint on all sides”—as if Egypt’s beleaguered Christian minority needs to “restrain” itself against the nation’s military, a military that intentionally ran armored vehicles over them at Maspero.

In light of all this, naturally the Obama administration, in the guise of the State Department, would oppose a bill to create an envoy who will only expose more religious persecution that the administration will have to suppress or obfuscate?

Bottom line: In its attempts to empower its Islamist allies, the current U.S. administration has taken up their cause by waging a war of silence on their despised enemies—the Christians and other minorities of the Islamic world.

Thomas More Law Center Appeals Conviction of Young Christian Missionary Arrested at Dearborn Arab Festival

Standing barely 5 feet tall, 18-year old Negeen Mayel, whose parents escaped from Afghanistan after the Russian invasion, could not escape the clutches of the Dearborn, Michigan Police Department. Her crime: she was a Christian publicly filming her fellow Christian missionaries discussing the Gospel with Muslims at last year’s annual Dearborn Arab Festival, and she didn’t turn off her camera quick enough after a police officer ordered her to do so.

Negeen Mayel was convicted in the Dearborn District Court of failure to obey a police officer’s order. Astonishingly, at the trial, the officer admitted that the filming by Mayel was in fact not a crime.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) filed its opening brief with the Wayne County Circuit Court, seeking to overturn her conviction. Mayel was one of four Christian missionaries originally arrested for preaching the Gospel at the 2010 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan.

All four Christians were charged with Breach of the Peace for discussing their faith with Muslims at the Festival. All four were acquitted by a jury. However, Negeen Mayel was also charged with “failure to obey” for not turning off her video camera when told to do so by a Dearborn police officer. The officer then forcefully grabbed Negeen’s arm and camera, placed her in handcuffs, and had her locked-up in the city jail.

Dearborn is considered home to the largest Muslim population in America. As a result, many City officials, including the Mayor, engage in official action solely to please this significant voting bloc. In this case, police effectively replaced our constitutional guarantees of Free Speech with Sharia law, which forbids Christians to proselytize Muslims.

The Law Center’s brief argues that the conviction must be overturned because the arresting police officer lacked any information that Mayel was involved in criminal activity when she was seized by the officer, in violation of the Constitution. According to the brief filed with the Circuit Court, the police officer’s order “to shut off her camera and remain with him for questioning directly violated constitutional rights. Consequently, cannot be criminally charged nor convicted for disobeying an unconstitutional—and thus unlawful—police order.”

Robert Muise, TMLC’s Senior Trial Counsel who is handling the matter, stated, “The arresting officer’s actions and the actions of the Dearborn police department are textbook examples of civil rights violations of the highest order. Consequently, when a conviction is based on the actions of a police officer that violate fundamental constitutional rights, as in this case, that conviction must be reversed, lest our constitutional freedoms be rendered meaningless platitudes subject to the will of police officials.”

Read more about Negeen Mayel’s case by going here and here.

Why Ground Zero Mosque is Not Good for Islam or America

No wonder Muslims around the world claim the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center project is bad for Islam. First, the original name proposed by Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf for the mosque, Cordoba House, is a throw-back to its Middle Aged namesake famous as a launch pad for Islam’s militant efforts of global domination. The term used for it is Jihad, which is more than just a religious concept of self-rule. It also is a term depicting militant religious conversion of all infidels or non-Muslims.

If peace with the Western world were actually the Rauf’s goal, why then has he developed a Shariah Index? Not to be confused with some of financial indexes, the purpose of his index is to measure how well nations conform to the Sharia law. It is a Western tool to make governments and cultures compliant to policy goals. The Koran provides the principles and Sharia law provides enforceable sanctions. After Muslims conquered Spain over 1,300 years ago, they launched their camapign to conquer the Western world from Cordoba. The Shariah Index shows Rauf’s intention is to launch a similar campaign to again conquer the West. However, this time Jihad comes in the deceptive form of tolernace, education, and peace.

The ultimate aim of Muslim clerics like Rauf is to convert the world to Islam. At Cordoba Spain, the victory was secured by militant Jihad. Peaceful co-existence came at the point of swords of Muslim rulers. Peaceful co-existence was the result of enforcing Shariah law upon predominately Christian Spain.

Amerincans and the West becoming aware of such relations between Muslim and Christians at Cordoba indeed would not be good for the Islamic cause.

Second, one of the primary financial backers of the Ground Zero mosque is Hisham Elzanaty, who has been a financial supporter of Hamas. Elzanty, an Egypian born New York medical supply dealer, also has gained noteriety for attempting to scam Medicaire. Don’t ask–don’t tell policy in Islamic circles may make it difficullt for fellow Muslims to distinguish between those who are committing “terrorism” and who are doing good social works, but to many Western onlookers their seems to be little difference. This is more than Islamaphobia or racism; it is just the proper kind of skepticism or maybe fear. (NY Post, September 3, 2010)

Third, and last, is the recent discovery that the U.S. government is funding the construction and renovation of mosques around the globe. Ancient Rome under Caesar did the same thing. Nicole Thompson, spokeswoman for the State Department’s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), stated the purpose of these projects:

“It is helping to preserve our cultural heritage. It is not just to preserve religious structures. It is not to preserve a religion. It is to help us as global inhabitants preserve cultures.” (Newsmax, September 6, 2010)

Notice, the Obama administration justifies spending millions of taxpayer money to fund foreign “cultural preservation” projects as somehow preservering our cultural heritage. Islamic cultural is not our culture. It may be Obama’s and Hilary may have adopted her assistants religious culture, but is not America’s culture. Christian culture and law our heritage. The U.S. is not the United Nations, but apparently, globalists like Obama think otherwise.

Obama’s official support of the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center is a tell-tale sign of why it is not good for Americans either. Not only is federal tax dollars financing Imam Abdul-Rauf’s fundraising trips but state taxpayer money may also be given to underwrite the mosque. Obama’s diplomatic along with financial backing of the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center gives legitimacy to the ancient dream of a global and triumphant Islam. (NY Post, August 10, 2010 and Reuters, August 27, 2010)

Resurrection of Jesus : Any proof?

By Daniel Downs

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is to Christianity as bedrock is to a stable building. A building capable of withstanding violent storms must be anchored to a solid foundation. Earth’s bedrock is the best of all foundation. The one type of natural disaster that bedrock may be unable to withstand is an earthquake. Probably, the best type of foundation is one capable of flexing while retaining its structural integrity. The resurrection of Jesus is bedrock of the Christian faith. Its 2,000 years of growth throughout the world provides solid evidence of its stable reality. Moreover, the quakes of earthly life such as persecution, natural disasters, devastating illnesses, economics disasters, and other forms of suffering more often than not result in greater assurance that Jesus overcame the worst of all disasters, death. That is due to Jesus’ present help during disasters faced by individuals and families that enable them to not only overcome the terrible affects but to even deepen their faith.

We have witnessed a recent example of the triumph over tragedy in Haiti. Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief mission has been sharing the experiences of Haitians tragedy and triumph. Motivated by the love of God for people, Christians like those Samaritan’s Purse volunteers go to places like Haiti to help in a multitude of ways. Without having experienced the love of God through the risen Christ, neither Franklin Graham nor his volunteers would have considered enduring the hassle or hardships of going to any devastated place and helping any devastated people. Yet, they do because of their own experiences of the risen Jesus’ overcoming help.

In other words, God works through people and nature to accomplish his good will toward people made in His likeness and image.

Even before Franklin Graham’s missionaries arrived in Haiti, news reports of people who were rescued after being buried in rubble for weeks gave God credit for their survival. Why? Because God and Christ was a present help in their time of trouble.

To help skeptics reading this, the above can be put in another way. Science teaches us that the composition of all matter is reducible to atoms. Yet, no nuclear physicist has ever observed an atom. According to nuclear physicist Russell Stannard, they only witness the residue of energy of where an atom once was. All elements, molecules, cell, organism, super organisms, like we humans, are made up of various types of atoms. Therefore, what we see–stars, sun, moon, earth, animals, people, and even microbes–are made of things that are not seen. Is it not then reasonable to believe that the unseen God created the things humans have never seen? It certainly is when personal experience verifies that God is a genuinely present and real.

Christian apologists often defend the faith based on the argument that none of the ancient disciples of Jesus would have died because of their faith and testimony to the resurrection of Jesus had they known it was a lie. As taught by sociologists and anthropologists, honor and prestige may have been of great importance to ancient peoples, but the disciples of Jesus and the early church had very limited honor or prestige. That only changed after Emperor Constantine made Christianity the imperial religion.

I still doubt the above has convinced the skeptical.

However, other evidence available to us includes the report by Paul that the 11 disciples were not the only ones who saw Jesus after his resurrection. Paul’s conversion to the messianic faith was the result of seeing and hearing Jesus after his resurrection and ascension to the throne of God. Paul also wrote that over 500 saw Jesus after his resurrection most of whom were still alive, and a similar account is mentioned in the gospel of Matthew. (1 Corinthians 15-52-53; Matthew 27:52-53).

There also exist documented cases of people in various parts of the world having been resurrected from the dead. David Servant has published his detailed investigation into the death and resurrection story of Nigerian Pastor Daniel Ekechukwu, which happened in 2001.

Contrary to denials of skeptics and atheists, the so-called contradictions are likely to have occurred from cursory reading of the lengthy report by David Servant. My postings on the blog, The State of America, reflect the same. I first said that the pastor had been embalmed and then raised from the dead. But, after carefully reading Servant’s report, I discovered that the mortician had attempted to embalm the pastor but was not able to do so. What caused the same mortician to demand the pastor’s family to remove the corpse from his mortuary was song coming from the place of the dead pastor without any live human present. This so-called rumor originated from the mortician as reported by Servant.

A healthy skepticism of supposedly strange or supernatural events is good. However, rejecting accounts of experienced events because of one’s belief (in this disbelief) does mean the events didn’t occur. The fact is skeptics and atheists will one day die too. They also will discover if life extends beyond the grave. Unfortunately, for them, they will get the justice they deserve rather than the grace that was extended to them by God during their mortal life.

In 2005, Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu, a Myanmar Buddhist monk, was also raised from the dead after a number of days. He was on the funeral pyre being readied for public cremation when he was resurrected. The Monk said he went to the gates of hell first where he saw the Buddha and another renowned Buddhist saint. However, gatekeeper (read, prison door) turned him way telling him that he was not supposed to be there. So he walked away down a path where a man named Peter confronted him. He instructed to tell what he had witness and that the faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. This he did and was arrested for it. After he was released, he recorded his death experience on tape, which was first transcribed and published by Asian Minorities Outreach.

One of the most recent resurrection events came after an American pastor’s head on collision with a semi-truck. Pastor Don Piper was driving home after a conference. While he was passing over a single lane bridge, a semi-truck also entered the bridge but the driver didn’t see the pastor’s car. The impact crushed the pastor instantly killing him. Pastor Piper describes in great detail what he saw and heard in heaven where he went. In the meantime, another Baptist pastor came upon the scene. He would not have stayed to pray because the pastor was already dead. However, God told to pray for him. After a while, he stopped praying and began singing hymns. When the dead pastor was about to pass through the gate into the heavenly city, he suddenly heard singing coming from behind. Instantly, he was back into his body. That is he was resurrected. According to his surgeons and physicians, regaining the use of his severed arm and leg that they stitched back together was highly improbable. Yet, God healed him so that he has full use of all his limbs and organs. A number of his interviews (by Bill O’Reilly, NBC, CBN) are published on the internet and his book about his death and resurrection in titled 90 Minutes In Heaven.

Although not as well documented as the three previous events, other reported bodily resurrections include an Iranian named Sami by a Muslim name Mohammed, six-year-old Jyothi Pothabathula with her parents, and 45-year-old shop owner Mesheck Manepally, both of Andhra Pradesh, India.

The common denominator of all of the reported resurrection experiences is the risen Jesus.

Some scholars like Raymond Brown regard Jesus’ resurrection as substantially different from other biblical and modern experiences. In his book titled Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, Brown says that like those raised from the dead by Jesus, the above pastors, Buddhist, Muslim, and Indians will again die. Brown thinks resuscitation is a better word from this type of resurrection. Jesus, on the other hand, did not die again. As Elijah, he went to God’s heavenly kingdom alive.

Yet, Paul the apostle described Jesus’ resurrection this way:

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the imperishable inherit the imperishable. This perishable [body] must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Cor. 15: 50, 53, 44)

Paul teaching points to the impossibility of Jesus physical ascension to heaven not his physical resurrection. Jesus could not have departed earth’s atmosphere without his physical body disintegrating unless he had some sort of transport or a surrounding field of energy or something similar to capable of protecting his body from the various elementary changes that would have destroyed him. Paul’s writings claim Jesus put off his natural terrestrial body and put on a new form of celestial body to continue life in the place of the resurrected dead, the new heaven and earth. Paul’s teaching reflects his seeing after he had ascended to the throne of God (Acts 9:1-19). All people can look forward to this type of resurrection. There is a catch however. Jesus said, “Those who in this life did the good to a resurrection of life and those who did evil to a resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28-29)

Mr. Obama Manages to Offend Millions of Christians During Holy Week

By Chris Long, President of Ohio Christian Alliance

As a Christian first, American citizen second, I found many of President Obama’s actions and words during his recent foreign trip to be troublesome, bordering on appalling. To outline a few of the most egregious:

First, last Friday President Obama bowed to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. No President of the United States has ever bowed before royalty. If it was a mistake of protocol, it is interesting to note that Mr. Obama did not bow to the royalties of England whom he first met with, but later to an Arab monarch who is Muslim. Many take great umbrage that a standing President representing the people of the United States of America would show obeisance to any royalty.

Second, he stated while on tour in the Islamic nation of Turkey that America is not a Christian nation, contradicting the belief of many of his predecessors and the writings of many founding fathers.

For instance, Harry Truman, in a statement to Pope Pius XII in 1947, stated, “This is a Christian nation.”

Woodrow Wilson at a Denver rally in 1911, stated, “America was born a Christian nation”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt described the United States as “The lasting concord between men and nations, founded on the principles of Christianity” in a mid-Atlantic summit with British Prime Minister Churchill before asking the crew of an American warship to join him in singing the hymn, “Onward, Christian Soldiers.”

Abraham Lincoln, in his March 4, 1861 inaugural address, stated, “Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulties.”

Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1909, “I believe that the next half century will determine if we will advance the cause of Christian civilization or revert to the horrors of brutal paganism.”

Third, President Obama, while at the G20 Summit, was invited by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to visit the graves at the Normandy beaches, which are the final resting place of thousands of U.S. soldiers who died liberating Europe during WWII. President Obama declined the invitation, but took the opportunity to visit a mosque in Istanbul, Turkey during his stay there.

President Obama has yet to find a Christian church to attend in Washington, D.C. even though he promised to do so after leaving the divisive controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church in Chicago.

President Obama needs to be held accountable for his actions. His statements and his actions are offensive to many Christians in this country. The Ohio Christian Alliance is calling upon its members to write and let President Obama know that his actions and words are offensive to the Christian people of this nation.

America is a Christian nation, as attested by many Presidents prior to Mr. Obama. The message that President Obama has managed to send is that Jews and Christians are to move to the back of the Obama bus.

Source: Christian Newswire, April 9, 2009