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RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:29 pm    Post subject: Christians are the most persecuted group in the world Reply with quote

( this Easter weekend , north American Christians have much freedom to practice there religion but things are not so nice elsewhere in the world )



Christians most persecuted group in the world as vicious attacks grow

Perry Chiaramonte

By Perry Chiaramonte
·Published April 14, 2017
· FoxNews.com




April 10, 2017 Women pass by the Coptic church that was bombed on Sunday in Tanta, Egypt. ISIS has recently increased their attacks on Egypt's Christian community.


The recent Palm Sunday bombings at two Egyptian churches that killed 44 worshippers and wounded more than 100 others are the latest in a spate of deadly attacks targeting the world’s Christians.

Nearly 90,000 of the faithful were killed for their beliefs in violent and gruesome attacks last year, according to a report by the Center for Studies on New Religions, making Christians the most persecuted group in the world. While some were killed as part of state-sanctioned persecution, as in places like North Korea, nearly one-third of the Christians who died in 2016 were executed at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS.



The study also found that as many as 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016.

"There are many places on Earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be,” Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project told Fox News in January.



In this Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 photo, Iraqis, who fled the fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, gather around flames to warm themselves from the cold, as they wait to cross to the Kurdish controlled area, in the Nineveh plain, northeast of Mosul. Cloudy skies neutralized air power in Mosul on Thursday, Iraqi forces said, hampering their advance into the northern city, although they still faced deadly attacks by Islamic State militants that killed seven civilians and two soldiers. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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Nov. 17, 2016: Iraqis, who fled the fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants, gather around flames to warm themselves from the cold, as they wait to cross to the Kurdish controlled area, in the Nineveh plain, northeast of Mosul. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla )


Some of the more violent attacks on Christians include: terror groups in Nigeria taking out the eyes of Christians before butchering them; a mob of Muslim worshippers in Uganda -- mad over conversion efforts -- entering a church and beating parishioners and raping at least a dozen women; and the numerous bombings of Coptic churches in Egypt.

The violence against Christians has been on the rise over the past two years, with assailants growing more ferocious with each attack.

In October 2016, more than 40 Christians were killed in the village of GodoGodo, Nigeria, by Muslim Fulani Herdsman. The mostly Christian town was burned to the ground and crops and grazing land was destroyed by the herdsmen, who shot and slashed dozens of the fleeing villagers. In addition, more than 300 were left severely injured.

In the war-torn Central African Republic, more than a dozen Christian refugees were hacked by machete-wielding militia fighters, also in October 2016. Fighters from the republic’s largely Muslim Sleeka militia attacked refugees living in the village of Kaga Bandoro. More than 50 people were injured and another 13 were killed before U.N. peacekeepers from a nearby camp stopped the bloodshed.

In February 2015, a video was released by the Islamic State showing the mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya.

The tape showed the victims -- who were migrant workers kidnapped in the city of Sirte -- kneeling in orange jumpsuits on a beach along the southern Mediterranean coast before they were beheaded.

"Oh people, recently you've seen us on the hills of Al-Sham [Greater Syria] and on Dabiq's Plain, chopping off the heads that had been carrying the cross delusion for a long time, filled with spite against Islam and Muslims, and today we… are sending another message,” said one of their captives in English before the decapitations.

While the video, experts say, was doctored to make ISIS soldiers appear larger than life, no one holds out hope the victims, mostly poor fishermen who had gone to Libya for work, are alive. The following day, after the clip went viral, Egyptian warplanes launched airstrikes on a port city near Tripoli, where the video appeared to have been filmed.

The Coptic Christian community has become what is seemingly a top target for ISIS. Worshippers on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and the northern part of the country have been under siege.

The Sinai Peninsula -- where northeastern Egypt shares its borders with Gaza and Israel -- has been the center of an ongoing conflict between Islamists and Egyptian forces for years, but in recent times the Islamic State and their local affiliates, known as the “Sinai Province,” have been attempting to drive the Coptic population out of the northern Mediterranean city of Al Arish.

While the Christian population of the city has had to flee from threats before, their plight has taken a dark turn in 2017. With a recent call from ISIS for the Copts on the peninsula to be killed, more than 100 families had to flee amid attacks – including the executions of their loved ones.

In the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt, at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the bombings -- which ISIS claimed responsibility for.

The first blast occurred at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said.

Television footage showed the inside of the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers.

The second explosion – which Egypt’s Interior Ministry says was caused by a suicide bomber who tried to storm St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria -- left at least 17 dead, and 48 injured.

The attack came just after Pope Tawadros II -- leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria -- finished services. He reportedly was unhurt.

The blasts came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, the most solemn time for Christians and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit Egypt. The attacks led Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to call for a three-month long state of emergency.

Christians continue to live in fear of practicing their faith, and there are no signs the slaughter soon will be coming to an end.


Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....-grow.html
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

News Events

Christian persecution: How many are being killed, where they are being killed



By Georeen Tanner
·Published April 14, 2017
· FoxNews.com



This past Palm Sunday was a dark day in Egypt. Suicide bombings at two Coptic Christian churches, one in Alexandria and the other in Tanta left 45 people dead and many more wounded. Although there has been an uptick in violence against Christians in the region, Egypt is hardly alone in a long list of countries -- many in the Middle East -- that are violently hostile towards Christians.

A list generated by Open Doors USA, a nonprofit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians, shows the Middle East accounts for a majority of countries ranked in the top 10 for extreme persecution of Christians. In order, the countries are as follows:

1. North Korea

2. Somalia

3. Afghanistan

4. Pakistan

5. Sudan

6. Syria

7. Iraq

8. Iran

9. Yemen

10. Eritrea

Egypt ranks No. 21. According to the Christian advocacy group, one in 12 Christians today experiences high, very high or extreme persecution for their faith. Nearly 215 million Christians face high persecution, with 100 million of those living in Asia.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.


From Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, Open Doors documented as many as 1,207 Christians who were killed around the globe for faith-related reasons during the 2017 list’s reporting period. This is a conservative estimate since it only includes documented cases and does not include statistics from North Korea and large areas of Iraq and Syria. Of the lists procured, these are the Middle Eastern or Muslim-dominated countries where Christian deaths occurred during the same time period:

1. Pakistan: 76

2. Syria: 24

3. Somalia: 12

4. Egypt: 12

5. Afghanistan: 10

6. Yemen: 4

7. Libya: 2

8. Iraq: 1

Open Doors also documented a total of 1,329 churches attacked worldwide for faith-related reasons. These are the Middle Eastern or Muslim-dominated countries where those attacks happened between Nov. 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2016:

1. Pakistan: 600

2. Iran: 11

3. Iraq: 8

4. Syria: 7

5. Yemen: 3

6. Libya: 3

7. Palestinian territories: 2

The underlying cause for persecution is Islamic extremism, according to Open Doors. The Christian population in Iraq alone has plummeted from 1.5 million in 2003 to current estimates of 275,000. In a few years that number could be zero, activists say.

http://www.foxnews.com/politic.....illed.html
RCO





Joined: 02 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christianity

Christianity's prospects of surviving in its birthplace are grim



Perry Chiaramonte

By Perry Chiaramonte
·Published April 14, 2017
· FoxNews.com



A Coptic Orthodox bishop surveys a damaged church in late August in Minya, Egypt. Concelebrating Mass with the leader of Egypt’s Coptic Catholics, Pope Francis prayed for the safety and religious liberty of Christians in the Middle East. (CNS photo/Louafi Larbi, Reuters) (Dec. 9, 2013) See POPE-COPTS Dec. 9, 2013.


Prospects of Christianity surviving in its birthplace, the Middle East, appear as grim this Holy Week as they have at any time in the last two millennia.

Persecution of the world’s largest religion has intensified throughout the 20th century and that trajectory has only intensified in recent years, especially in Muslim-dominated countries. Jihadists appear to have repeatedly carried out one of their oft-stated goals of erasing any trace of Christianity in some regions, while in others persecution against Christians and other religious minorities are being held at bay — for now.

The actual prospects facing Christianity in three of its longest-standing strongholds, Syria, Egypt and Iraq, vary significantly. But a blind eye is often turned by the mainstream media and others when it comes to anti-Christian atrocities, which have become an all-too-common way of life for many in the Mideast.

What follows is a summary of challenges facing Christians in each of these three areas.


“Believing that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again for the sins of the world is still one of the most dangerous things one can do in many parts of the world.”

- Robert Nicholson, The Philos Project

Egypt.

Egypt's Christians, known as Coptic Christians, make up around 10 percent of the population and have long been a target not only of Islamic extremists but the majority Muslim population’s resentment of Copts.

Coptic leaders have reported that since February 2011, after the Arab Spring resulted in the election of a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi as president, persecution worsened. Since then at least 200,000 Christians have fled the country.



An Iraqi Christian family fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul, sleeps inside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaldean Church in Telkaif near Mosul, in the province of Nineveh, July 20, 2014. The head of Iraq's largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who ransacked medieval Baghdad. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako led a wave of condemnation for the Sunni Islamists who demanded Christians either convert, submit to their radical rule and pay a religious levy or face death by the sword. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS SOCIETY RELIGION) - RTR3ZFZK
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July 20, 2014: An Iraqi Christian family fleeing the violence in the Iraqi city of Mosul, sleeps inside the Sacred Heart of Jesus Chaldean Church in Telkaif near Mosul, in the province of Nineveh. (REUTERS)


Two years later when a military coup ousted Morsi many of his supporters blamed the Copts. As a result, violent incidents against Christians have steadily increased. And while current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has made concerted efforts to protect the Coptic community, this year has shown some of the most violent attacks against Christians.

That is especially so in Egypt’s northern Sinai region where the Islamic State is taking direct aim against Christians. Before 2011, that community numbered up to 5,000; it has now dwindled to fewer than 1,000, according to the Associated Press. There are no official statistics on the number of Christians in cities or across the country.



Christians walk in the rain to attend Christmas Eve's Mass in the Assyrian Orthodox church of Mart Shmoni, in Bartella, Iraq, Saturday, December 24, 2016. For the 300 Christians who braved rain and wind to attend the mass in their hometown, the ceremony provided them with as much holiday cheer as grim reminders of the war still raging on around their northern Iraqi town and the distant prospect of moving back home. Displaced when the Islamic State seized their town in 2014, they were bused into the town from Irbil, capital of the self-ruled Kurdish region, where they have lived for more than two years. (AP Photo/Cengiz Yar)
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Saturday, December 24, 2016: Christians walk in the rain to attend Christmas Eve's Mass in the Assyrian Orthodox church of Mart Shmoni, in Bartella, Iraq. (The Associated Press)


“The Copts, like most Christians around the region, are victims of religious hatred. But they are also pawns in a larger game to destabilize ‘apostate’ Arab regimes and invite Western intervention that will, in turn, ignite Arab opposition on the street – not to mention opposition on the Western street,” Robert Nicholson said to Fox News.

Unless Sissi can bring to heel ISIS and dissipate the widespread loathing of Christians that characterizes the nation’s Muslim population, prospects for the Egyptian church appear grim.

Iraq.

In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was an estimated 1.4 million, according to ADF International. Christians enjoyed relatively many civil rights and were able to rise to high levels in private and public life. Indeed, Saddam Hussein’s foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was a Christian. The Nineveh Plain region, also known as the Plain of Mosul, in northern Iraq was a centuries-old homeland for the country’s Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian Christians.

Then the U.S. invaded Iraq, unleashing an orgy of sectarian violence that hammered churches. Christians fled the Nineveh Plain, and as of late last year the number of Christians in Iraq had fallen to an estimated 275,000.

One reason for the exodus was ISIS conquering northern Iraq in 2014. The terror group launched a pogrom against the church, as well as against other minority religions. But today, a U.S. coalition has eliminated the Islamic State’s chokehold on much of northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul.

Zammo Marza, Sherineh Marza, Charli Kanoun and Abdo Marza, from left, kneel at the grave of Marza Marza in Saarlouis, Germany in this Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 photo. The Marza family were among 226 Assyrian Christians taken captive by the Islamic State group in a February 2015 attack on their villages in Syria’s Khabur River valley. It took a year to free the hostages, and only after three were killed and millions of dollars gathered by the Assyrian diaspora worldwide was paid to the militants, and in the end the Khabur region has been totally emptied of the tiny, centuries-old minority community. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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Prospects for Christianity surviving in Iraq now turns on whether the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian believers will be allowed to return to their ancestral homelands.


An Iraqi Assyrian woman who fled from Mosul to Lebanon holds a placard depicting the map of Iraq and Syria, during a sit-in for abducted Christians in Syria and Iraq, at a church in Sabtiyesh area east Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Islamic State militants snatched more hostages from homes in northeastern Syria over the past three days, bringing the total number of Christians abducted to over 220 in the one the largest hostage-takings by the extremist group, activists said Thursday. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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A majority of the Assyrian towns in the Plain have been left decimated. In some of the towns most of the infrastructure has been reduced to rubble; in others, dangerous chemical compounds have been dumped, polluting the ground to toxic levels.

“Everything is damaged,” Jalal, an Assyrian from the village of Karamles, told Fox News in December 2016. “Houses have been burned by fire. There’s no water, no anything. People will only return if there is some sort of promise of protection.”



Residents carry the body of several people killed during fights between Iraq security forces and Islamic State on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 24, 2017. Residents of the Iraqi city's neighborhood known as Mosul Jidideh at the scene say that scores of residents are believed to have been killed by airstrikes that hit a cluster of homes in the area earlier this month (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Residents carry the body of several people killed during fights between Iraq security forces and Islamic State on the western side of Mosul, Iraq, Friday, March 24, 2017. Residents of the Iraqi city's neighborhood known as Mosul Jidideh at the scene say that scores of residents are believed to have been killed by airstrikes that hit a cluster of homes in the area earlier this month (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


One proposal that has been vetted is to create a safe zone for Christians, an area that could evolve into a semi-autonomous region such as the Kurds are seeking.

Some organizations are helping with efforts to rebuild Assyrian villages in the area. The Iraqi Christian Relief Council has been spearheading an initiative since last year called Operation Return to Nineveh, which is raising funds to rebuild homes, churches and infrastructure that was destroyed by ISIS.

“Restoring these villages will be a long-term project, but it has to be done,” Juliana Taimoorazy, the organization’s executive director, told Fox News in December. “It’s doable only if there’s active security on the ground.”

But such efforts are the exception, not the rule.

“Not nearly enough is being done for Iraqi Christians who want to return home. ISIS has been pushed back and trickles of IDPs [internally displaced persons] have begun returning to their towns and villages, but no one is making any special effort to help them,” says Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, a U.S.-based advocacy group for Christians in the Middle East said to Fox News.

“They need massive reconstruction, jobs, schools, and affirmative protections for their religion, language, and culture. Most importantly, they need to be empowered to protect and govern themselves so that this kind of genocidal destruction won’t happen again.”

Some groups favor a go-slow approach to bringing Christians back to northern Iraq.

“It’s a little early to jump to safe havens,” David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, which monitors incidents of Christian persecution worldwide, tells Fox News. “They often wind up creating a bigger target.”

No matter if or how quickly Christians are able to return home, persecution of believers will remain a fact of life.

“It is hard to predict how many Christians will be killed this year, but it seems likely that they will remain the No. 1 target of religious persecution,” Nicholson told Fox News. “Believing that a man named Jesus Christ was crucified and rose again for the sins of the world is still one of the most dangerous things one can do in many parts of the world.”

Syria.

For a majority of the last century, this country has had a relatively sizable Christian presence, comprising at least 10% of the total population.

Many of Syria’s Christians, known as Eastern Orthodox, have historically seen their country as an oasis of religious freedom when compared to neighboring countries. President Bashar Assad’s regime, which is predominantly Alawite, a variant of Shia Islam, has long allowed churches to evangelize, publish religious materials and build sanctuaries. The Christian population has also had access to education and employment and many are more financially well off then their Muslim counterparts.

However, things may be growing worse for the Syrian church. As the civil war continues, believers in the country have been split over whether to support the Bashar regime. Some support the regime but also believe that all Syrians have rights that should be afforded to them. Some Christians have become part of the diaspora as well, but it is for a myriad of reasons other than Muslim persecution.


FILE -- In this Sept. 21, 2016 file photo released by the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks to The Associated Press at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statement Tuesday, April 11, 2017, that the reign of President Bashar Assad’s family “is coming to an end” suggests Washington is taking a much more aggressive approach about the Syrian leader. Taking him out of the equation without a clear transition plan would be a major gamble. (Syrian Presidency via AP, File)


While many Syrian Christians do not want to become refugees, there is an underlying fear among the community that their country could have the same issues seen in Iraq if the regime is toppled.

Prospects for Syrian Christians will turn on whether the Assad regime survives and, if it does not, whether a successor government maintains the current regime’s protection of the church.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2.....-grim.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christians don't care. That's my conclusion. They will take in streams of Moslems and feel ennobled by it. It makes it even better if some small percentage of those new arrivals would be perfectly happy to cut Christian heads off.

But they don't want to hear about what is happening to Christians all through the Moslem world. Egypt is nothing, compared to Pakistan, or sub-Saharan Africa. They sit quietly by while Christian symbols are purged from public buildings of all sorts. The phrase Merry Christmas was stigmatizing for awhile, Christians seemingly preferring the term Happy holidays lest they give offense.

Stockwell Day was publicly ridiculed by the national broadcaster, if you'll recall, because he was a man of faith. It was as if Christianity made him less honourable as a politician. And no Christians rose up in righteous anger.

But look at what has happened to Christianity. It has a huge overlap with the social democracy. There have been leaders in the United Church, and Anglicans as well, who proudly proclaim themselves to have rejected basic elements of their faith. The government takes care of the poor, so the Christians don't have to anymore. That seems to be the attitude. It's all 'turn-the-other-cheek and the-meek-shall-inherit-the-earth stuff nowadays.

What Christian even know that Jesus told his disciples, when he was sending them out into the wider world: Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36)

The Christian ought to stand up for the right things. But (s)he should stand up, and not expect the crowd to support him/her. There's more to it than turning the other cheek, and bowing before evil. That was the fuller message of Christ.
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Christians are the most persecuted group in the world

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