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Posts Tagged ‘Muslims’

Is The Mediterranean Now Europe’s Graveyard for Heathen Christians?

Posted by addisethiopia on March 24, 2017

They Send Africans and Christians to death. on packed boats, in rough seas – But they let Arab and African Muslims in. What a morally sick and perverted world: We daily see that what should be despised is being respected, and what should be respected is despised. We see that bad is called good and good is called bad. We see children being viewed as adults, while adults are being treated as children. We see perversion called love

23 March 2017

More than 250 African Migrants Are Feared Drowned in the Mediterranean

A charity rescue boat’s discovery of five corpses and two sinking rubber dinghies 15 miles from the Libyan coast has raised fears that more than 250 African migrants may have drowned in the Mediterranean, Thursday.

Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, who operated the rescue boat, said that the two partially submerged dinghies it discovered near the corpses were the kind usually used by people traffickers, Agence France-Press reports. They would typically carry 120-140 migrants each a spokeswoman for the organization said.

We don’t think there can be any other explanation than that these dinghies would have been full of people,” Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza told AFP. “It seems clear that they sunk.”

In over a year we have never seen any of these dinghies that were anything other than packed,” Lanuza added.

Source

24 March 2017

Migrant Boat Sinks Off Turkish Coast, 11 Dead

Eleven people drowned and four remained missing in a migrant boat sinking off Turkey’s Aegean coast on Friday, local media reported.

The bodies of the dead were found on the shore in the western province of Aydin, seven others on board the inflatable dinghy were found alive, the agency added.

Source

Heathen Christians?

24 Mar 2017

25,170 Muslim Migrants and Refugees Entered Europe by sea in 2017


More than 6,000 migrants have been rescued on the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy in the last few days, as greater numbers take to the sea in warmer weather, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

IOM reports that 25,170 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 22 March, with over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 163,273 through the first 82 days of 2016. IOM Rome spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo said Thursday between 20 and 22 March, 4,380 migrants arrived in Italy by sea. On 23 March another 1,200 migrants who were rescued in recent days also were brought to land. They are not yet included in the 20,674 total arrivals figure compiled by Italy’s Ministry of Interior to date. The main nationalities included with these 1,200 additional arrivals are Nigerian, Gambian, Ivorian, Ghanaian, Malian, Senegalese and Guinean (both Guinea-Bissau and Conakry). Di Giacomo further reported that on Thursday the NGO Proactiva Open Arms retrieved the remains of five migrants from a capsized dinghy. These five deaths are not included in the 559 Mediterranean migrant and refugee fatalities recorded by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project through March 22. Also, IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday that on Tuesday (21 March) local fishermen rescued 54 migrants – 50 men, four women) off Zuwarah. An estimated 120 people were on board a rubber boat, she reported, and that the remains of two male migrants were retrieved on shore. IOM Libya reports the total number of migrants rescued in Libyan water in 2017 is 3,457. Total known fatalities: 163 Last year at this time IOM recorded 554 Mediterranean fatalities, two thirds of those occurring off Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2017 so far only two fatalities have been recorded on this route. By contrast, nearly 560 of this year’s reported deaths have occurred on the routes to Italy and Spain – or about three times the combined 188 fatalities recorded on these two routes in 2016. Worldwide, Missing Migrants reports fatalities on this date top 1,050 (see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over half of the global total. As of March 23, Missing Migrants Project has recorded 20,157 migrant deaths since the start of 2014 – or over 20,000 migrant deaths recorded in just over three years.

Source

Another MEDITERRANEAN TRAGEDY: It’s Only Africans and Christians They Drown Out

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Christianity On The Rise In Bangladesh As Tens Of Thousands Of Muslims Are Turning Away From Allah To Embrace Jesus

Posted by addisethiopia on March 16, 2017

Christianity is making such significant gains in one Muslim-majority nation in South Asia that local evangelists are now envisioning the day when their country would become a Christian nation.

The country is Bangladesh, the fourth largest Muslim nation in the world with a population of 164.8 million people, only 866,000 of whom are Christian, according to Open Doors USA.

Christian Freedom International (CFI) says official figures claim that 89.1 percent of the country’s population are Muslim, 10 percent Hindi, and less than 1 percent Christian.

However, the numbers are deceiving. CFI says official reports on religious composition only count “traditional Christians,” or Bangladeshis who are born into the Christian faith and attend government approved churches. The surveys and reports do not include former Muslims who converted to Christianity.

The consensus among believers in Bangladesh is that Christians now make up at least 10 percent of the country’s population and is growing more every day. If the 10 percent figure is correct, then this Muslim-dominated nation is now the home of at least 15.6 million Christians, CFI says.

In fact, one local pastor says Christianity is growing so fast that it has become “a real problem” for the country’s Muslim leaders.

“In the last 12 months, more than 20,000 Muslims have converted to Christianity, and this is becoming a real problem for the Muslims,” says Pastor Khaleque, a former Muslim who is now a Christian street pastor.

The rise of Christianity has also resulted in the increased persecution of believers and crackdown on underground Christian churches as Muslim leaders try to stamp out the threat to their religion.

Source

May the growth continue until the abominable religions are wiped out and every nation on earth honors the universal kingship of Christ.„

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All Christians Are Brothers — And All Muslims Are Brothers – Except When Their Skin Is Black

Posted by addisethiopia on February 13, 2017

goldfish-staring-at-black-fish-in-bowl-racism

How much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? Why do Muslims lose so little sleep over the elimination of their co-religionists in Darfur?

South Sudan refugee camp, 2011. Maximilian Norz/DPA/PA Images. All rights reserved.Judging by the millions protesting against president Trump’s policies on behalf of the vulnerable and voiceless, empathy is alive and well. Or is it? Trump’s recent immigration ban exempts Christians from Muslim-majority countries, recognizing their status as the world’s most persecuted faith. But how much empathy do Christians feel for their brothers and sisters in Africa? And why do Muslims who care about the plight of the Palestinians lose so little sleep over the systematic elimination of their black African co-religionists in Darfur? Is skin colour still a significant stumbling block to empathy?

Who exactly is my neighbour?

For years, African Christians have been persecuted for their faith. For the purposes of this article, persecution is not litigation against bakers who refuse to make cakes for gay weddings, or pharmacists declining to sell contraceptives. Rather, persecution is the deliberate and deadly targeting of Christians because of their religious identity, whether it is the terrorist group Boko Haram bombing churches in northern Nigeria, or the Sudanese armed forces killing their non-Muslim citizens, or Islamic State brutally erasing 2000 years of Middle East sectarian diversity.

Occasionally, the western media reports on Egyptian mobs destroying Coptic Churches, or ISIS beheading Syrian and Iraqi Christians. But coverage of Africans being subjected to massive ethnic cleansing is relatively rare. African Christians are left wondering if their co-religionists in the comparatively wealthy white world take the commandment about loving their neighbour so literally that they empathise only with people like themselves, as Richard Dawkins suggested in The Selfish Gene.

The Africans interviewed for this article do not come from the ranks of intellectuals who blame colonialism for the continent’s problems. Yet, they believe that even though most westerners deny it, at a subconscious level a black African Christian life isn’t quite as valuable as a white one.

Christians in Europe and America are not talking much about the killings of fellow Christians in Africa because to some, Africans do not matter, just like during the genocide, when our people were killed,” a survivor of the Rwandan genocide explained to me. “The west did not care much, but when they are attacked by terrorists they make measures to stop terrorists and it is in the world news”. In the words of another Rwandan, who provides training for genocide survivors: “My take on this? It is pure racism, and there has never been any brotherly love”.

A retired British bishop recalled attending a conference at Lambeth Palace (home of the Anglican Church worldwide) where an American bishop said the African Anglicans were, “only just out of the jungle.” “He failed to realize that more of the African Bishops had earned doctorates than he or most of those American Bishops who complained!” The retired bishop continued: “I was a bit shocked when Archbishop Justin Welby said he lost sleep over homophobia, at the same time as fellow Christians were being massacred in Northern Nigeria, which he didn’t mention”.

According to Bill Andress, an American who has been campaigning against the persecution of Sudanese Christians for decades, “whether consciously or subconsciously, we do not value the lives and welfare of black people as we value those of white people, and we assume that tragedy in Africa is just part of the picture and cannot be stopped”.

Another American campaigner, Marv Steinberg, of Genocide No More, believes Christians in the US are split in their interpretation of the commandment to love thy neighbour, “meaning your immediate neighbour, if he agrees with you. I really think race enters into it”.

And Rod Brayfindley, a pastor in northern California, blames “the difficulty of overcoming both deep and latent racism in the western press.” He adds, “news rooms argue African conflicts are too expensive and risky to cover, but if a similar group of white folk were being attacked, they would absolutely have the funds to cover them”.

Many European and American Christians insist people of faith should be concerned about all humankind, and not just their co-religionists. Yet, this does not account for the widespread ignorance among western Christians about black African Christians who are being killed precisely because they practise their faith, rather than converting to Islam or agreeing to live by Islamic rules.

According to Ann Buwalda of the Jubilee Campaign, a UK charity which advocates for persecuted Christians worldwide, “when I speak or share in American churches, I find there is interest in the suffering in Africa. But when people are not given anything to do in response to hearing the horrors, they will shut down and tune out because of the emotional side of learning and then not knowing what to do with the information”.

The awareness gap persists, despite the best efforts of several western NGOs like the Jubilee Campaign. It is unlikely many Jewish people have not heard of the Holocaust, or that most literate Muslims would not know about the Palestinians. Both ‘sides’ in the Palestine-Israel conflict have efficiently politicised their co-religionists across the globe. Arguably, some Muslims and Jews living beyond the Holy Land may pay lip service to the cause represented by their imperiled brothers, but, in contrast to Christians, they are at least aware of the issues.

Perhaps, as Barbara, an Anglican stalwart in California, put it, people feel so overwhelmed by the misery of Africa that they do not distinguish between the victims of famine, AIDS, natural disasters, civil wars and jihad. If this is the case, then, in the view of one British aid worker I spoke to, development charities and NGOs may be partly to blame for painting such a negative picture of the continent in order to raise money.

Andy Warren-Rothlin, an academic living in Nigeria, echoes this, when he argues that “western media has tended to present suffering Africans in ways which do not engender engagement (‘she’s just like me!’), but rather paternalism (‘I must help the poor thing’). The result is that western audiences don’t see a village in northeast Nigeria as somewhere they might live, or a Nigerian church as somewhere they might have been when Boko Haram rolled into town”.

It was not always like this, points out Sam Totten, an American academic with decades of human rights and humanitarian experience in Africa. Less than 20 years ago, the evangelical supporters of George W Bush pushed him to press the Sudanese regime to allow ten million southern Sudanese Christians to secede in 2011, forming South Sudan. That widely-shared concern seems to have shrunk to a few NGOs and activists.

One of president Obama’s final acts was to ease Sudanese sanctions. Yet, the Khartoum regime continues to bomb the Christian areas in what remains of Sudan. Villages, schools and hospitals have been targeted as recently as January 2017, while, according to Amnesty, Sudan used chemical weapons against its Muslim civilians in Darfur in September 2016. But instead of outrage at Obama’s appeasement of Sudanese leader Field Marshall Bashir, the only sitting head of state indicted for the crime of genocide, there has been near silence from American politicians who otherwise flaunt their Christian values.

The wrong kind of Muslim?

abeed

On the above image: „In my humble opinion, this is like putting lipstick on a pig. You can shame Arab Muslims into not using the “A” word, but you can’t erase the fact that Arab Muslims have been and are still complicit in producing and maintaining structures that dehumanize, abuse, exploit, and devalue Black people

The Islamic world is similarly unmoved by the fate of Muslims in Darfur, prompting some Middle Eastern commentators to observe that black African Muslims suffer from the same indifference as black African Christians. “Are the people of Darfur not Muslim as well?” demands Tareq Al-Hamed of the Asharq Alaswat paper. And the former fundamentalist, now Washington think-tank expert Ed Husain asks, “Are Darfuris the ‘wrong’ kind of Muslim because they self-identify as black Africans rather than Arabs?”.

I spoke to a canon in northern Nigeria who believes that most Arabs still view Africans as slaves, even when they share the same Muslim faith. His view is supported by anecdotes from Sudanese who describe being routinely and publicly addressed as abid (slave) when working in North Africa and the Middle East. In Libya, Human Rights Watch has documented the alarming extent to which black African Muslims have been bullied, tormented, attacked and killed by Arabs. The Canadian academic Salim Mansur believes, “Blacks are viewed by Arabs as racially inferior, and Arab violence against blacks has a long and turbulent history”.

Andy Warren-Rothlin sees the situation differently. “This is clearly not a race issue, since it’s even harder to get interest from London-based southern Nigerians in the suffering of their northern Nigerian compatriots. Or if it is race (if you use such terms!), you must recognise that each of the 500 or so ethnic groups in Nigeria is one ‘race’.” His views are shared by American Christian activists who are disappointed by the lack of concern shown by southern Nigerian Christians towards their fellow Christians in the northeast of the country. “Nigeria is so delicately balanced between Muslim and Christian, that the Christians living in relative peace don’t want to stir up trouble,” admitted one campaigner.

Richard Cockett, a regional editor at The Economist, argues that the Rohingya people of Myanmar have, until very recently, suffered the same invisibility as African Muslims. Because the Rohingya are “mildly Sufi”, he tells me, they have not attracted support from Muslims further afield. Now, thanks to a recent UN report, their persecution has been noticed, but for decades they suffered ethnic cleansing in obscurity. They might not have been African, but it seems they were the wrong kind of Muslim.

Meanwhile, Muslim countries that consider themselves as defenders of the faith have been silent following the Trump Administration’s ban on Muslim immigrants. And it has been widely noted that three million Syrian refugees could be given shelter in the 100,000 air-conditioned tents standing empty in Saudi Arabia.

What can be done? Each time a Christian or Muslim leader or politician piously invokes their faith, they should be challenged by the faithful and the non-faithful alike in their community to make good on the pledges of equality and shared identity explicit in the roots of both religions. If a church or mosque does not have a partner or link with a church or mosque in Africa, then members of their community should ask why not. In addition, our governments should recognise the vital role played by African churches and mosques as arbiters of local reconciliation, because they often represent the only genuine civil society in repressive countries; and our aid programmes should therefore support those grassroots peace-building efforts.

Is it worth contacting our elected officials and faith leaders about these matters? The late American Senator Paul Simon said that if only he had heard from 100 constituents demanding action during the Rwanda genocide, he would have felt empowered to contact the Secretary of State. Politicians know that for every one person who makes a phone call or writes a letter or an email, there are hundreds of thousands who share their views but haven’t quite got around to taking action. It is never a waste of energy.

Are Afro-Arabs More Racist Than Whites?

Another Tragedy: African ‘Boat People’ Drowning in Front of A Tunisian Ship – And Afrophobes and Racists Applauding Their Death and Calling for More Genocide

AfricanRefugees3

As Black Africans in the Western world contend with everyday racial discrimination and abuse, their lookalikes in some parts of Africa suffer the same kind of malevolence in the hands of fellow Africans.

Often times we hear of harrowing tales of Black Africans being discriminated against and called all sorts of racially demeaning names by their fellow Africans in North Africa, which is predominantly inhabited by Afro-Arabs.

Last year, an unidentified Egyptian official caused a storm when he allegedly made a disparaging comment at the United Nations Environmental Assembly held in Nairobi, Kenya, in May.

Yvonne Khamati, a Kenyan diplomat attending the conference, filed a formal complaint with the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accusing an Egyptian expatriate of referring to sub-Saharan Africans as “dogs and slaves.

We Are Not Racist

In the letter, Khamati, African Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee chairwoman, said the abusive comment was made, after the conference failed to reach a resolution on the conflict in the Gaza Strip. She said the comment was made in Arabic.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs later released a statement denying the allegations of racism and accusing the Kenyan diplomat of making flimsy accusations against the republic of Egypt.

While it’s not every Arab in Egypt and other Afro-Arab countries who is racist, it is no secret that racism exists in most of these countries and the people involved don’t want to accept it.

It is this self-denial that led renowned Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy to write an article in the New York Times, entitled, “The Arab World’s Dirty Secret,” where she wrote about the racist exchange between an Egyptian and and young South Sudanese:

I was on my way home on the Cairo Metro, lost in thought as I listened to music when I noticed a young Egyptian taunting a Sudanese girl. She reached out and tried to grab the girl’s nose and laughed when the girl tried to brush her hand away.

The Sudanese girl looked to be Dinka, from southern Sudan and not the northern Sudanese who “look like us.” She was obviously in distress

It’s a contradiction that Africans, including Afro-Arabs, like to point the finger at White people as the initiators of racism and discrimination against Black people when clearly the first form of oppression against Black Africans was from the Arabs.

Slavery, Abuse & Persecution

In Mauritania, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and other Afro-Arab countries, slavery and other forms of oppression against Black Africans is still widespread.

In Sudan, it has been widely reported that nearly 20 million Black Africans in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions were ethnically cleansed during the first and second Sudanese Civil wars.

It is this form of abuse that triggered the infamous Darfur War, which ended with the excision of South Sudan, a predominantly Black Nubian state, from the larger Sudan.

Racism is also very rife in Libya if the 2000 anti-African racist violence is anything to go by. According to Amnesty International, thousands of Black Africans were massacred during the Libyan Civil War in 2011.

Black African migrants in Algeria have often suffered attacks, most of which are done in broad daylight and in the presence of local law enforcement officers.

Even though slavery was officially abolished in 1981, at least 20 percent of the Mauritanian population, mainly dark-skinned Mauritians, are still enslaved.

Given the history of slavery and colonialism in Africa, it’s likely that some people could still be suffering from a superiority complex and an identity crisis, but it is egotistical and absurd for anyone, especially an African, to discriminate against a fellow African based on their skin color.

Source

My Note: Esau and Ishmael Unite Against Israelites / Ethiopians in Fulfillment of Ancient Prophecy. For Bible believers, these and similar news items that reflect increasing cooperation between the Arab world and the West should be viewed as fulfillment of ancient prophecy. The children of Esau (today’s Western nations) and the children of Ishmael (today’s Arab nations) are gradually uniting against Israelites / Christians at the End of Days.

This alliance was forged at the very beginning of the Bible, when Esau married Ishmael’s daughter.

So Esau went unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives that he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife. [Genesis 28:9]

In the end, Ishmaelites and Esauites will battle against each other: Sooner or later children of those two will take out one another in a random and mysterious manner:

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The West’s Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians

Posted by addisethiopia on February 8, 2017

ishmael-a-wild-man

“Unfortunately, the West has rejected the idea of solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East, prioritizing diplomacy based on oil interests and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus, the United States, Britain, and France have largely ignored the persecutions of the Christians of Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, and Sudan, while rushing to save the oil-rich Muslim states of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait…” — Hannibal Travis, Professor of Law, 2006.

Indigenous Christians in Iraq and Syria have not only been exposed to genocide at the hands of the Islamic State and other Islamist groups, but also their applications for immigration to Western countries have been put on the back-burner by, shamefully but not surprisingly, the UN.

When one brings up the issue of Western states taking in Muslim migrants from Syria and Iraq without vetting them for jihadist ties, while leaving behind the Christian and Yazidi victims of jihadists, one is accused of being “bigoted” or “racist”. But the real bigotry is abandoning the persecuted and benign Middle Eastern Christians and Yazidis, the main victims of the ongoing genocides in Syria and Iraq.

The German government is also rejecting applications for asylum of Christian refugees and deporting them unfairly, according to a German pastor.

Nearly a third of the respondents said that most of the discrimination and violence came mostly from refugee camp guards of Muslim descent.

It is high time that not only the U.S. but all other Western governments finally saw that the Christians in the Middle East are them.

Finally, after years of apathy and inaction, Washington is extending a much-needed helping hand to Middle Eastern Christians. U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States.

Christians and Yazidis are being exposed to genocide at the hands of ISIS and other Islamist groups, who have engaged in a massive campaign to enslave the remnant non-Muslim minorities and to destroy their cultural heritage.

The scholar Hannibal Travis wrote in 2006:

“Unfortunately, the West has rejected the idea of solidarity with the Christians of the Middle East, prioritizing diplomacy based on oil interests and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus, the United States, Britain, and France have largely ignored the persecutions of the Christians of Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, and Sudan, while rushing to save the oil-rich Muslim states of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as besieged minority Kurds, Bosnians, and Kosovars. To this day, American troops in Iraq reportedly do not always intervene against the persecution of Christians, perhaps not wanting to be seen as ‘siding with the Christians’ and thus provoke retaliation.”

Then, the so-called liberals in the West — and even Christians — started pushing back against the move.

Indigenous Christians in Iraq and Syria have not only been exposed to genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Islamist groups but also their applications for immigration to Western countries have been put on the back burner by, shamefully but not surprisingly, the UN.

A group of Armenians from Iraq, for example, have fled their homes in Iraq after ISIS came. Instead they have gone to Yozgat, Turkey. The newspaper Agos ran a story about them on 21 December, 2015:

“They live in hard conditions. The UN could not schedule any appointment for immigration application before 2022. They don’t know how they can live in these conditions for 7 years. The only thing they want is to meet with their relatives.”

Yozgat, one of the Anatolian cities where Armenians were exposed to the most horrific murders and exile at the hands of Muslims during the 1915 genocide, is where Armenians find themselves again, this time struggling to survive in the midst of unemployment, poverty, harassment, intolerance, and illness.

Şant Garabedyan, 23, said that no jobs are given to Christians:

“I have been in Yozgat for two months. We are eight people in the same house…. Nobody hires me, because I am a Christian. My wife is Chaldean and doesn’t wear her pectoral cross because she is afraid.”

Alis Şalcıyan said that they left Iraq fearing ISIS.

“We have been here for a year. Back in Baghdad, we felt frightened, when ISIS came to Iraq…. Someone on the street saw my necklace and spat while looking into my eyes. After that, I took it off and kept it at home…. We filed an immigration application with the UN, but they scheduled an appointment for 2022, although they scheduled appointments for the next year for others. We must wait here for seven years.”

Ğazar Setrakyan said that they left Baghdad the night ISIS came to the city: “When ISIS militants came to Baghdad, they wrote ‘house of Christians’ on our door. It was impossible to stay there. We left our home and three shops, and we ran away.”

Lusin Sarkisyan said that her son, who had worked for Americans in Iraq, was targeted by ISIS. “One day, ISIS militants threatened my son saying that they would kill his family if he continues to work with Americans. We had to run away.”

Sarkisyan added that the UN officials scheduled an appointment for an immigration application for 2018. “I do not know what we are going to do until then.”

Even when European states take in Christian refugees, they fail to protect them from the attacks of Muslims in refugee housing facilities.

According to the findings of a survey from the Christian advocacy group Open Doors USA, refugees of Christian and Yazidi descent who fled persecution in places like Syria and Iraq keep facing other religiously motivated attacks in Germany.

Since February 2016, nearly 800 Christians and Yazidi refugees were attacked by others at the relief centers and camps, according to a report entitled, “Lack of protection for religious minorities in Germany” conducted from 15 February to 30 September, 2016.

“When questioned about the nature of the attacks, assault was named most often, followed by death threats, either directed directly at the Christian refugees or their family in Germany or in their home countries.

“44 people indicated that they had been victims of sexual assaults. Other forms of persecution include insults, general threats, and physical attacks that had not been defined as an assault. 11% of those questioned felt intimidated by loud music/prayers.”

According to the testimony of a male refugee from Iraq, he received death threats after Muslims saw that he was reading the Bible:

“They wanted me to convert back to Islam. The manager of the facility said that he is helpless and cannot protect me. As I feared for my life, I then reported it to a social worker who then wrote a report. The death threats increased. The interpreter tried to trivialize the threats and conceal them from the social welfare department. The department instructed the facility management to make more of an effort to ensure my safety. They were incapable of doing so and therefore I was moved into other accommodation.”

“Muslims said,” a refugee from Iran revealed, “that ‘Islam allows us to spill your blood’, ‘Your breath and your clothes are impure’.”

A female refugee from Iran stated:

“In the beginning they were all good to us. They then realized that I am a Christian. They took the dirty water they used to clean with and emptied it over us from the top floor…. I don’t know what happened after that anymore. […] To this day [17 days later] my statement has still not been recorded.”

Yazidis, who are a persecuted and indigenous religious minority in the Middle East, are also exposed to assaults and discrimination, according to the report.

“Of the 10 Yezidi refugees three of them received death threats, two experienced sexual harassment and five suffered other forms of persecution; six reported that these occurrences took place numerous times. In three cases the perpetrators were fellow refugees and in three further cases the security staffs’ relatives were the perpetrators. Five of the victims did not report anything because they deemed it useless.”

Staff members in the refugee facilities are also involved in the discrimination. Nearly a third of the respondents said that most of the discrimination and violence came mostly from refugee-center guards of Muslim descent. According to the report:

“In the case of conflict, a large amount of the Muslim staff show their solidarity towards fellow Muslims, obstruct or trivialize the complaints. Interpreters influence the outcome of the asylum procedures in an unlawful way and sometimes they are even actively involved in the discrimination inside the facilities.”

A Christian from Iran said:

“I had a problem and reported it at the Info point again and again. There is someone there that always insults our mothers and sister. He said we are ‘neciz’ [impure].”

“The security service staff are all Arabs and they only help the Arabs,” said a Christian from Eritrea. “Whenever somebody does something wrong in the accommodation, they say: ‘It was the Christians’ even if we had done nothing.”

Only in the rarest cases would the aggrieved actually file a complaint (17% / 129 people) to the police, according to the report.

“If you include the reports and complaints presented to the facility management, then only 28% (213) sought the protection of the German authorities. 54% of those questioned (399) gave specific reasons for not filing any complaints: 48% of them were afraid, especially for fear of repeated attacks or that the situation would even get worse (36%). Other reasons were that there were no safe opportunities to contact or communicate with the police or the respective authorities because of language barriers (14%) and the impression that the report would be pointless anyhow.”

In other European states — including Austria, Switzerland, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Greece — Christian and Yazidi refugees are also exposed to attacks at the hands of refugees of Muslim descent.

The German government is also rejecting applications for asylum of Christian refugees and deporting them unfairly, according to a German pastor.

Dr. Gottfried Martens, a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Berlin, reported that the German government is rejecting almost all applications for asylum from most of his church’s Iranian and Afghan refugee members, who have waited years in Germany for the government to hear their cases, according to CBN News.

Melkite Greek Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Jean-Clément Jeanbart, said in an interview:

“The egoism and the interests slavishly defended by your governments will in the end kill you, as well. Open your eyes. Didn’t you see what happened recently in Paris?”

Apparently, they did not. They still seem to live in denial. According to the U.S. government figures, of the almost 11,000 Syrian refugees admitted to the United States in fiscal 2016, only 56 were Christian.

When one brings up the issue of Western states taking in Muslim migrants from Syria and Iraq without vetting them for jihadist ties, while leaving behind the Christian and Yazidi victims of jihadists, one is accused of being “bigoted” or “racist”. But the real bigotry is abandoning the persecuted and benign Middle Eastern Christians and Yazidis, the main victims of the ongoing genocides in Syria and Iraq.

It is true that Shia Muslims and even some Sunni Muslims — particularly secular, non-observant or moderate ones — are also threatened by the Islamic State. But ISIS and other Islamist organizations are not trying to destroy Islam and Muslims. On the contrary, they aim to further institutionalize Islam and even expand Islamic influence to other lands and establish a Caliphate (Islamic empire) based on Islamic scriptures.

Helping religious minorities in the Muslim world is not just a humanitarian issue, but also a political issue of vital importance to the West. Some people might think that the U.S. or the West should not get engaged in Middle Eastern politics.

But if the West continues turning a blind eye to the Islamic radicalization of the Middle East and North Africa, what does it expect will happen to it?

As long as Islamists keep winning “victories” across nations and as long as Christians and other non-Muslims continue to be exterminated, Islamists will gain more power and courage to expand to Europe and other parts of the world.

Radical Islamic ideology never stops where it takes over. It is a genocidal, imperialistic and colonialist ideology. It aims to murder or subjugate all non-Muslims under its rule. Islamic jihad started in the 7th century, in the Arabian Peninsula. Then through massacres and social pressure, including the jizya tax and the institution of dhimmitude, it expanded to three continents — Asia, Africa and Europe — and persecuted countless indigenous peoples.

It seems that one of the most effective ways to stop this pattern is to support Christians and other non-Muslims in the Middle East. The West would not only gain a significant ally in the Middle East, but also the political, military, and economic influence of Islamists will be weakened.

Western countries should welcome Christians and Yazidis — the main targets of genocide — to the West immediately, and also consider ways to empower them in their native lands, such as by creating safe havens for them. It is high time that not only the U.S. but all other Western governments finally saw that the Christians in the Middle East are them.

Source

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Muslims Bomb Cairo’s Main Coptic Cathedral Killing at Least 25 Including Six Children

Posted by addisethiopia on December 11, 2016

Many of the victims are women and children who were worshipping in the smaller St Peter and St Paul Coptic Orthodox Church attached to the cathedral.

Security sources said at least six children are among the dead as a protest broke out in front of the cathedral.

The blast at St Mark’s Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassiya area of Cairo took place during Sunday morning prayers near the section designed for female churchgoers.

Continue reading…

17 People Dead After Two Girls Blow Themselves Up In Nigeria Market

160 Feared Killed In Nigeria Church Collapse

Somalia Suicide Truck Bombing Kills More Than 20

The love many has grown cold, callous, sinister and filled with wanton cruelty. Violence grows because we have ceased to see ourselves as human, we look to humanity and scoff. The rejection of Christ is the rejection of humanity, for in Christ is the encompassing of the whole of mankind. In Christ can we “bear also the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:49) The antichrist ideology of Muhammad makes war with this absolute and beautiful truth, that humanity can become one with God, that humanity may participate in his salvation. The idea that mankind has no participation in his own redemption, is a gnostic one, for it essentially preaches that man is so evil, so far away from God, that any bridging with the divine is blasphemy.

To sever mankind with God, is to make God mechanical as a clock, a cold machine lingering somewhere in the heavens; and to place mankind in the place of God. This is why these terrorists are so heartless and are so filled with spite against Christians: their god is as cold as they are, and they hate the ones who say that God is Love. Theodore Shoebat

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CCTV Catches Group Of Muslims Kicking Random German Girl Down The Subway Stairs Just For Fun

Posted by addisethiopia on December 8, 2016

My Note: 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg | 13,000 police officers, 26 boats, 23 water cannons and other police vehicles — everything to protect the establishment elite. Who protects these defenseless girls?

In a shocking new video, Muslim men kick a German girl down the stairs and severely injure her just because they can for fun: 

This is an excellent video, for as we have pointed out before, this is how many of the Muslims really feel about non-Muslim people, that they can do what they want because they will not be held accountable for their actions no matter what they are, even if it means going on sprees of murder, rape, or urinating on others just because they can.

However, there is one small point to be noted here, and that is the use of the word “migrant.”

While most of the time this correctly refers to Muslims, we here at Shoebat.com have been consistently pointing out that it can and has been used in the discussion about the Muslim invasion today to mean anybody who is not a native European, including non-Muslims. I say this in light of the still strongly anti-Christian views across Europe in combination with the rise of a natural call for justice for what is happening.

As we have been repeatedly emphasizing, this “crisis” was not an accident, but intentionally engineered by the same people who promised to protect Europe. It is being done in order that some people, upon creating massive chaos, would use it as an opportunity to “present” their “solution” to the “problem” which they created.

Muslims as well as the many non-Muslim criminal invaders cannot be excused of their crimes. Likewise, the governments of Western Europe must be held accountable for letting these people do this because as we are trying to make plainly clear, this was orchestrated in order that the government might present socialism in combination with eugenics to the people and the people would accept it as they would feel they had no other option.

St. Paul writes that even if an angel from heaven should deliver a different doctrine than that which Christ has given, it must be rejected. Naturally, Islam must be rejected, but so too must also be the equally heinous sins of eugenics and socialism.

Source

These are Eritreans (Ethiopian) Christians who are protesting against Racism / Racialism — against a better and more privileged treatment of Afghans and Arabs than them by the authorities and medias — this in spite of the fact that it’s Arab & Afghan Muslims who are raping and murdering their sons and daughters on a daily basis. 

Mind you, in the following story it’s Muslim Turks who want to build, build and build as many mosques as possible – yet, Africa, once, Africa, twice…it’s only AFRICA in their mind, always!

‘Go To Africa’ Seething Party Members Blasts City Councilors Over Plans To Build A Mosque

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Eritrean Arabic Translator: Muslim Migrants Secretly Hate Christians, Seek to Outbreed Them

Posted by addisethiopia on November 17, 2016

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A translator who has lived in Germany since the 1990s has revealed that Muslim migrants believe “Germany should be Islamised”, and loathe their hosts, according to a new report.

Working with asylum seekers in migrant centres, the 39 year old translator says she learnt that Muslims seek to “destroy” Christians, through having more children, and preach hatred towards people of other faiths.

Catholic website Kath.net, which has been looking into reports that Christians are discriminated against in German refugee camps, arranged a meeting with the Eritrean after being contacted by a German politician aware of the Catholic news agency’s work.

Grateful for the “open-minded reception and support” she was given by Germany after arriving as a refugee in 1991, the woman began to volunteer in asylum centres five years ago to “give something back”.

A Christian but presumed to be Muslim by migrants and other staff volunteering and working at the shelters, the translator of Arabic immediately discovered “Christians are oppressed, intimidated and harassed by Muslim refugees. This is normal.”

The woman has worked in several migrant centres and discloses that their security staff and other translators, who are almost all Muslim, are part of the problem.

They have mostly grown up here, are well-educated and are professionals, and they give a first impression of having a cosmopolitan outlook”, she says.

However this changes as soon as they are “among themselves”, the translator says. When migrant centre staff believe non-Muslims are out of earshot, “they then show their true face and how they want Germany to be Islamised. They despise our country and our values”.

Horrified by what she heard, but curious to learn more, she chose to continue concealing her religion and decided to check out study sessions in nearby mosques.

Pure hatred against non-believers is preached, and children are brought here from an early age here in Germany. It’s very similar in asylum housing, where Muslim boys refuse to play with Christians”, she informs the Catholic news agency.

Attempts to mediate, where the translator would say “You’re a Muslim, he’s a Christian. What difference does it make?” typically garner responses like “I don’t play with Christians. My parents hate them too”, she reports.

The Eritrean was also shocked by attitudes shown by the migrants when she brings up the topic of contraception methods with the women, who often have several children young.

Some women told me ‘We will multiply our numbers. We must have more children than the Christians because it’s the only way we can destroy them here”, she recalls.

When the translator objected to this sentiment, and pointed out that it’s Christians who are helping them, she says she was told that defending Christians is a sin.

Since May 743 Christians have been subjected to attacks in Germany’s asylum system, with the vast majority of perpetrators being Muslim according to a report released last month.

416 of the victims reported having been physically assaulted, 44 sexually assaulted and 314 said they have received death threats. In addition, the perpetrators in 205 of the cases were guards at asylum homes — individuals who are paid to protect the migrants in their care.

Selected Comments

The muslim invasion of the non-muslim world began 1400 years ago when their own primitive societies failed them, and they invaded and conquered nearby non-muslim countries in order to leech of their more successful societies.

It is a pattern which muslims have repeated ever since, as soon as their host countries were no longer able to support their parasitic masters.

Jihad by out-breeding has never been a secret, and Muslim never made it a secret. It’s one of the simplest ways to make jihad for a Muslim, and for a Muslim guy, clearly the most fun way to make jihad. It’s the Westerners of all walks of life who don’t take Jihad by out-breeding seriously –by continuing to embrace infanticide like it’s going out style.

It is an attempt by the moslems to subjugate the Western World. The moslem invasion started when they were given the code word “High Horse” by Barack Hussein Obama.

The only “situation” being exploited is the ignorance of the westerners who allow the globalists govts to bring these lunatics to Europe and the US.

The wrong humans are breeding. They are the perfect example of parasites.

Source

— IOM: 340 dead or missing in 4 shipwrecks in recent days

— MIGRANT CAMP ABLAZE: Angry clashes in Greece as mob launch fireworks at locals

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Christian Children Kicked Out Of School For Refusing To Wear Hijab Or Recite Koran

Posted by addisethiopia on November 5, 2016

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Schools across Egypt are forcing girls of every religion to wear the Muslim headscarf and children of both sexes are being punished if they cannot quote the Koran off by heart.

Even Muslim girls who refuse to wear a hijab are being forced out of school in a country where Coptic Christians have previously been able to live free of persecution.

Rahman Salem, 12, was ordered to leave her lesson and banned from taking part in any activities at her school in the Delta, northern Egypt.

Other pupils gave her nasty looks and started leaving the Muslim girl out over the incident.

She said: “I was made to stand all alone in the school courtyard.

The headmistress later came to me and said: ‘Here in school, you put on the headscarf. Outside, you may do as you wish.’

“No girl can show up with her hair showing. They all have to wear the hijab.

“Christian girls have to wear the hijab. As soon as the end-of-day bell rings, they start taking it off.”

Her mother said: “I was told ‘Stop being an idiot! Don’t you want your daughter to be decent?’.

“I was shocked when other mothers stopped me at the gate. ‘What’s that? How can your daughter show up like this?’

I re-inspected my daughter’s uniform, and incredulously asked what was wrong. ‘Her head and neck have to be strictly covered!’”

Last month another school in the same province of Sharqia put in force rules to make all female students wear a hijab, with the al-Nassiriya School’s headteacher posting a large sign saying Islam dress is now part of the girls’ uniform.

And Christian seven-year-old Viola Samir told how her Islamic religious studies teacher held eight Christian pupils in her class of 35 children back.

The teacher then beat anyone who had not learnt the Koran off by heart.

Usually, Christian students in Egypt move to a different classroom during religious studies classes where they learn about Christianity while Muslims stay and learn about Islam.

Viola’s father told Christian persecution website, World Watch Monitor: “When my daughter told the teacher that the extra texts were not part of the Arabic curriculum [which all students have to learn], she was severely punished by her teacher.

“The Christian religious studies teacher complained to the headmaster, but he took no disciplinary action against the Muslim teacher.

In the end, the teacher allowed the Christian children to leave the class to join their Christian studies class.”

Another parent in a different school in the same town of Samalout, 155 miles from Cairo, said his 11-year-old son son was caned for not reciting verses from the Koran.

He said: “”Once, the teacher, Mohamed, caned Abanob on the back of his hands, afterwards forcing him to stand with his face to the board and both arms up in the air for the entire length of the lesson.

My son had failed to repeat the Koranic text by heart when prompted to.”

All the parents said their children now hate going to school and are often absent due to bullying from both teachers and children.

Source

Christians Shed Tears of Joy as Cross, Symbol of Christ’s Victory Over Evil, Is Back in Iraq

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Germany Refugee Centre an ‘Example For Others’ Dealing With Interfaith Conflict

Posted by addisethiopia on November 3, 2016

A week after a new report claimed that life for some Christian refugees in Germany is “still unbearable, a case study has been released as an example for other refugee centres to follow.

The study, which profiles a refugee centre in the central German town of Rotenburg an der Fulda, notes that “much action is needed” and demands there be “no more integration experiments at the expense of Christians”.

A list of recommendations is given, including an increase of non-Muslim staff; training for staff about the history of and potential for inter-religious clashes; and education for asylum seekers about religious freedom.

The centre is praised for its response to incidents in June and July, when what the local press initially reported as a “drunken brawl” between refugees was later discovered to have been religiously motivated.

In July, Christians were evacuated from the centre after a message was written on a wall, saying, “To all Muslims: now is the time to behead the unbelievers”.

Open Doors Germany, author of the case study and co-author of the initial report, praised the decision to evacuate the Christians and the subsequent “firm address” to all Muslim staff, in which it was stressed that “such attacks should not be allowed to happen again”. The next day, the Christians were returned and the centre manager told the staff he would be “keeping his eye on them”. Since then, no incidents have been reported.

Open Doors acknowledged the sensitivity of reporting religiously motivated violence, and the possibility some will “exploit” it to feed right-wing or anti-Islamic agendas, but stressed that “the human right of religious freedom and the protection of victims in a country like Germany – that is a constant admonisher of human rights abuses on an international scale – should not be sacrificed for political objectives or the interests of individual groups.

It is therefore everybody’s duty to take action, so that the protection of the victims can be guaranteed. To remain inactive, to trivialise or to remain silent due to political or other reasons, is to be just as guilty as those who exploit the situation for political reasons”.

Slim Chance Of Help’

The charity said that, in most centres, “Christians have [a] pretty slim chance of getting help” because “the victims of religiously motivated attacks are a minority, and the reasons why Muslims attack Christians and other religious minorities are not well known to facilities’ operators and management.

For this reason, religiously motivated attacks are either not recognised or they are deliberately trivialised as general conflicts between refugees. The families of the predominantly Muslim support staff, i.e. security personnel and interpreters, will tend to side with their fellow believers in religious conflicts or in some cases even become perpetrators themselves, as experience shows.”

Thirty-two of the 49 Christian refugees living in the centre at the time of the study (out of a total of around 700 (70% Muslim, 10% Christian, 20% other) agreed to be interviewed. Open Doors praised their “courage … [in relating] their experiences of religiously motivated attacks”.

Open Doors noted that the tension in the centre had increased around the time of Ramadan, when hunger and thirst among the Muslims led to heightened emotions.

One interviewee said that, during Ramadan, “The Afghans does not want [sic] to use the same washing machine we wash with because to them we are unworthy and impure. From the moment the Afghans knew that we are Christians, they disinfected the bathroom every time we used it. They call us infidels, neciz [impure], won’t shake our hands and are very careful to not have any physical contact with us.

Open Doors added that, “In general, the Muslim refugees avoided any contact with non-Muslims during Ramadan – fearing defilement and becoming impure. They said it would render the validity of their fasting null and void… Muslims avoided touching any common objects (e.g. body contact with toilet seats) so that they had no indirect contact with ‘infidels’. Sanitation became extremely poor. It was unclear who was going to be responsible for cleaning up the faeces, which then led to frequent conflicts within the community.”

The charity said it was particularly important for staff to recognise the challenge of dealing with an influx of refugees from Islamic nations.

If we take a look into the mainly Islamic countries from which many of these refugees come, and consider how they treat religious minorities, it is obvious that their understanding of Islam is most definitely not compatible with the idea of religious freedom and the equality of all people,” the study noted. “Thus, it is justified to speak of systematic attacks, because the cultural and religious influence of a large number of refugees is based on the teachings of the Quran, something which is deeply ingrained.”

Open Doors added that refugee quarters “are much more aligned to the needs of Muslims, which then often has substantial side effects for the other residents”.

The situation in the Rotenburg reception centre is no different from many other, comparable facilities where Muslims has been living long enough to establish their own Islamic parallel society,” noted the study. “Because of their faith, Christians are devalued to become second-class citizens and are branded ‘impure’ and ‘apostates’, while enduring physical assaults whenever they offer resistance. The same mind-set is also expressed by moderate Muslims, due to the fact that, according to Muslim thinking, Islam is the superior religion, which pursues the submission of all people to Allah.”

Another interviewee reported: “Every day the same group of Muslims from different countries walks through the quarters and forms a Sharia council, consulting on what they should do with us and according to which laws they are planning to sentence us. The council consists of Sheiks und Mullahs.”

Source

Fury as German primary school ‘forces’ children to chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Muslim prayer

Germans leaving ‘in droves’ amid fallout from Angela Merkel’s open door migrant policy

Putin:A Society That Cannot Defend Its Children Has No Future.

In a European country, a child is raped by a migrant, and the court releases him.

It doesn’t fit into my head what on earth they’re thinking over there.

I can’t even explain the rationale – is it a sense of guilt before the migrants? What’s going on? It’s not clear.”

Continue reading…

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Aleppo Churches Open Doors To Displaced Muslim Families

Posted by addisethiopia on November 3, 2016

For the first time in history, Muslims are coming to us. The only thing we have to do is tell them the good news; they are waiting for it

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Life hasn’t been easy for 28-year-old Syrian mother Kristina, a Christian of Armenian descent, who lived with her husband in Aleppo long before the civil war started in 2011.

It was in that besieged city that Kristina gave birth to her firstborn daughter, 18 months ago. She’s brought the little girl to the house where a World Watch Monitor contact meets her. While her mother talks, the toddler explores the room.

Please close the door, I’d like to keep an eye on her,” Kristina asks, not letting her child out of her sight.

With the pain still visible in her eyes, Kristina recalls her first days of being a mother in the spring of 2015 – the war raging outside, electricity, gas and water cut off most of the time and her family unable to visit and help her.

The first two weeks after my daughter was born were the hardest in my life,” Kristina says. “It was so cold that we put our mattresses on the living room floor, the warmest room in the house. There we lived for two weeks on the ground, wrapped in blankets.”

As soon as it was safe, Kristina, her husband and her baby daughter travelled to neighbouring Lebanon to safety. At first it was intended to be a short trip, but when the violence increased and also the Christian part of Aleppo was being bombed, the young family decided to wait for the end of the war before returning to Syria.

I can’t let my baby girl grow up amidst all those dangers,” Kristina says.

With the violence continuing and worsening, gradually more Christians left Aleppo. In Kristina’s church, now only 10 per cent of the regular church-goers are left, she hears from friends.

But you know what’s surprising? The church is still full; displaced people take their place. Especially Muslims are coming to the church now,” she says.

In Syria, the Christian children’s activities draw the most attention, Kristina says. A lot of Syrians from other parts of Aleppo – the fighting is heaviest in Muslim areas – have fled to the Christian areas to seek refuge. For many Muslims, it is the first time they have mixed with Christians.

Kristina also says the Muslim women were surprised to see that churches offered support and programmes for all Syrians, not just for Christians.

Their mosques don’t do that,” Kristina says. “Many are re-thinking the faith they grew up in and have dropped their hostility towards Christians.

Many Muslims were genuinely surprised when they met Christian women in our churches willing to serve them. Their image was that all Christian women spend most of their days dancing in night clubs and drinking alcohol! Meeting each other was a shock, both for them and for us.

A growing number of Muslim children have been attending the children’s activities, where the Bible is opened daily.

The mothers are okay with that,” says Kristina. “They see it as positive if their children learn about God. It’s the husbands who are stricter, usually.”

But, gradually, also the mothers and, in some cases, whole Muslim families have found their way to the church activities, including the services.

That absolutely did not happen before the war,” Kristina says. “Still the Muslims are afraid – especially when entering and leaving the building – but they are there. The children have opened the church’s doors, then the women followed, and finally the men.”

Kristina says Muslim women “feel liberated when they notice the church doesn’t see them as merely machines only fit for cleaning, giving birth to children, and raising them, like many Muslim men do”.

In Islam, many women don’t have any rights. When they feel how Christians really care for them, it feels like heaven for those women. They see it’s possible to live as independent women, to dream,” Kristina says.

Despite the war, Kristina speaks of a “golden age” for the Church in the Middle East.

For the first time in history, Muslims are coming to us. The only thing we have to do is tell them the good news; they are waiting for it,” she says. “They realise that, when living in a Christian environment, the [Christian message] will be shared. They may even see it as a sign of weakness if it isn’t.”

Source

A New Home and a New Religion in Germany

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Among the Iranian refugees filling European church pews

When I first met Mattias in July at a refugee shelter just north of Berlin, he went by the name Mohammed. He had arrived in Germany from Iran the previous fall, along with thousands of other asylum-seekers—sometimes up to 10,000 arrived in a single day. After the German government assigned him to this shelter, he converted to Christianity. “I wouldn’t say I was a Muslim” before, he told me. “I didn’t go to a mosque for an entire year. Now I am going to church every week.” He expects it will take about three weeks to get off his church’s waiting list to be baptized. Perhaps once he’s more settled in Germany, he’ll be able to change his name legally to Mattias, his chosen Christian name.

We sat together in a sparse dormitory room at the shelter with three other Iranians who had converted from Islam to Christianity. They attend a Protestant church together, but asked that I not provide the exact location nor give their full names. Two of them said they became Christian while living in Iran. Another, like Mattias, had converted after arriving in Germany as an asylum-seeker.

Throughout Germany, the pews of churches like theirs are filled increasingly by asylum-seekers. Though two umbrella church organizations told me that they couldn’t provide exact statistics or comment on the nationality of the asylum-seekers attending church, Christoph Heil, a spokesman for the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia—which includes 1,300 parishes—confirmed the pattern. “Normally we don’t count the number of asylum-seekers who are baptized because we don’t differentiate between who is an asylum-seeker and who isn’t, but [asylum-seekers asking to be baptized] appears to be a new trend,” he said.

Muslim converts to Christianity that I spoke to in Germany cited the redemptive power of Jesus’s story, and disillusionment with Islam. It’s also worth noting the more earthly forces potentially at work: Germany does not grant refugee status to Iranians as easily as it does Syrians and Iraqis. Around 27,000 Iranians applied for asylum in the EU in 2015, with Germany hosting the overwhelming majority; according to Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 60 percent of Iranian requests for asylum received positive answers that year. Iranians seeking refugee status must prove that if they are sent home, they stand the risk of being persecuted for their beliefs. In Iran, that often means Christian converts.

During conversations with newly converted Iranian asylum-seekers, it struck me that being born again after arriving in Europe was not only an act of faith, but a practical matter: Europe is largely Christian, after all. Some converts, like Mattias, weren’t particularly devout Muslims to begin with anyway. “There are asylum-seekers looking to get baptized who have converted in their home countries and others are getting in touch with Christianity now after seeing a certain way of life in Germany,” Heil said. “They ask themselves, what is the root of this way of living, [of] freedom and democracy.”

At his shelter, Mattias and three of his friends, who all appeared to be in their 30s and 40s, pulled a metal folding table into the middle of the dorm room to prepare for lunch. One of them told me he hoped Donald Trump would become president of the United States, since he’d heard he was a Christian. Before we ate, another of Mattias’s friends prayed as we bowed our heads, giving thanks for the food. “In Jesus’s name, Amen,” he said. “Amen,” the others echoed. Then we dug into rice pilaf from a frying pan.

The man who led the prayer said he had converted to Christianity in Iran after getting hold of a smuggled Farsi-language Bible. “Before it was just theoretical to me, but now I can see it and feel it by my pastor’s kindness,” he said. Another said he converted in Iran because of an old neighbor who had been born Christian. Christians, he said, “were kind people. In Islam, the person who does the killing and the person who dies yells Allahu Akbar,” he said. “In Iran,” he noted, referring to the Arab occupation of Persia that began in the seventh century, “we became Muslim by force.”

A week after that meal, I visited Trinity Lutheran Church, which also hosts a large Iranian congregation. A pale, yellow, sterile-looking structure set just off a residential street in Berlin’s southwestern Steglitz neighborhood, it appears modest compared to the grand churches of Europe. On the lawn out front, some of the Iranian congregants greeted each other with smiles and overzealous, welcoming handshakes. Others shuffled inside, their eyes averted. Notices written in Farsi were posted all over the church.

The pastor at Trinity is Gottfried Martens, 53, an affable man with a salt-and-pepper widow’s peak and kind smile. He explained that Trinity’s sister congregation in the adjacent district of Zehlendorf had been helping new migrants adjust to life in Germany since the 1990s, adopting a welcoming stance that eventually turned his church into a destination for Iranian Christians seeking help. Once a few Farsi speakers began attending, more arrived. In 2013, Trinity began its service focusing on “refugee work,” in Martens’s words, providing translations in Farsi and English during services and other church activities.

Before the service began that day, I talked with Saeed, another Iranian asylum-seeker. Up the stairs and past the Iranian ushers, we poked our heads into the nave. There were few seats available, so we crowded into the choir loft along with the other stragglers. There appeared to be around 300 people in attendance, mostly Iranians, but my translator pointed out that a line of men seated behind us included Hazaras from Afghanistan—also current or former Shia Muslims—like the Iranians. Only a dozen or so in attendance appeared to be German. A woman in the front pews still wore a hijab.

During the service, much of which was translated into Farsi, the Iranians and Afghans tried to follow along in the church bulletin, concluding each section with a hearty, accented “Ah-meeen” (familiar to the Iranians and Afghans from Muslim prayers) that filled the sanctuary.

Do you want to go take communion?” Saeed asked when people began lining up in the center aisle after the sermon. I told him I would stay seated, since I didn’t know how to cross myself, which, naturally, confused him: earlier, I had told him that I was a Christian. He was a new believer, steadfast and eager about the outward signs of devotion like partaking in the sacraments, crossing himself at the appropriate times, and eating pork. The outward trappings of Christianity I grew up with in a non-denominational church in rural Maryland, by contrast—using euphemisms rather than cursing (darn rather than damn), voting Republican, eating Chick-Fil-A, and doing nothing remotely Catholic—were difficult to explain.

After the service ended, the Iranians and Afghans gathered downstairs for a meal of rice, lentils, and cabbage salad. Asylum-seekers had often complained to me about the German food at their shelters, which they found bland. But the church’s lunch menu seemed tailored to their tastes. During the meal, one Iranian man was filling out a baptism questionnaire that asked for his personal history. It soon turned into a group activity. “How do you write ‘engineer’ in German?” he asked the crowd that had surrounded him.

Continue reading…

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