By Raymond Ibrahim – “The Nigerian church bombings, in which the Islamic group Boko Haram ['Western Education Is Forbidden'] killed over 40 people celebrating Christmas mass, is just the most obvious example of anti-Christian sentiment in the Muslim world. Elsewhere in this region, Christmas time for Christians is a time of increased threats, harassment, and fear, which is not surprising, considering Muslim clerics maintain that ‘saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication or killing someone.’ A few examples:
- Egypt: The Coptic Church is being threatened with a repeat of ‘Nag Hammadi,’ the area where drive-by Muslims shot to death six Christians as they exited church after celebrating Christmas mass in 2010. Due to fears of a repetition,the diocese ‘cancel[ed] all festivities for New Year’s Eve and Christmas Eve.’
- Indonesia: In a ‘brutal act’ that has ‘strongly affected the Catholic community,’ days before Christmas, ‘vandals decapitated the statue of the Virgin Mary in a small grotto … a cross was stolen and the aspersorium was badly damaged.’
- Iran: There were reports of a sharp increase in activities against Christians prior to Christmas by the State Security centers of the Islamic Republic. Local churches were ‘ordered to cancel Christmas and New Year’s celebrations as a show of their compliance and support’ for ‘the two month-long mourning activities of the Shia’ Moslems.’
- Malaysia: Parish priests or their church youth leaders had to get a police permit—requiring them to submit their full names and identity card numbers—simply to ‘visit their fellow church members and belt out ‘Joy to the World,’ [or] ‘Silent Night, Holy Night.'”
- Pakistan: ‘Intelligence reports warned of threats of terrorist attacks on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,’ adding that most church security is ‘inadequate.’ Christians also lamented that ‘extreme power outages have become routine during Christmas and Easter seasons.’
Meanwhile, if Christians under Islam are forced to live like dhimmis—non-Muslims under Muslim authority, and treated as second-class citizens—in the West, voluntarily playing the dhimmi to appease Muslims during Christmas time is commonplace: the University of London held Christmas service featuring readings from the Quran (which condemns the incarnation, that is, Christmas); and ‘a posh Montreal suburb has decided toremove a nativity scene and menorah from town hall rather than acquiesce to demands from a Muslim group to erect Islamic religious symbols.’ Read more…
John 16:2b, “… a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.”
By Mike Pflanz – “It was the latest in a series of attacks blamed on radical Islamists who have vowed to wage a religious war on Nigeria’s Christians and drive them from the country’s majority-Muslim north.
Several dozen Christians had come together for a meeting in a town hall in Mubi, in Adamawa state, to mark the deaths the day before of several people killed in the town.
Up to four gunmen surrounded the building and opened fire with Kalashnikov rifles, killing up to 20 people and leaving another 15 badly injured.
‘We started hearing many gunshots through the windows,’ said Okey Raymond, 48, who was at the meeting.
‘Everyone scampered for safety, but the gunmen chanted: ‘God is great God is great’ while shooting at us.’
Mr Raymond said he hid under a table and escaped through a rear door. The gunmen also carried knives and machetes, the local police commissioner said.
No arrests have been made in the attack, and no one has claimed responsibility.
A purported spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mubi is close to the Cameroon border and is not in an area covered by a state of emergency declared by Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, following two weeks of sectarian violence.
The country’s population of 160 million people is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.” Read more.
Killings of Christians, Protests Roil Nigeria – “Gunmen stormed a shopkeepers’ meeting in northeast Nigeria and killed at least 20 members of a predominantly Christian ethnic group, apparently following through on an Islamic militia’s ultimatum to kill Christians if they fail to leave the country’s largely Muslim north. The lethal attack against Christians, the second in as many days, poses new challenges to President Goodluck Jonathan’s government. Under his rule, religious violence has surged again in Africa’s most populous nation, whose population is roughly split between Christians and Muslims.” Read more.
Christian Persecution Increased Most In Sudan, Nigeria, Report Says – “Sudan and northern Nigeria saw steeper increases in persecution against Christians than 48 other nations where Christians suffered abuse last year, according to an annual ranking by Christian support organization Open Doors. Sudan – where northern Christians experienced greater vulnerability after southern Sudan seceded in a July referendum, and where Christians were targeted amid isolated military conflicts – jumped 19 places last year from its 2010 ranking, from 35th to 16th, according to Open Doors’ 2012 World Watch List. In northern Nigeria, a rash of Islamist bombings, guerrilla-style attacks and increased government restrictions on Christians contributed to the region leaping by 10 on the list, from 23rd to 13th place.” Read more.
Justin Bieber: ‘I’m a Christian, I Believe in God, I Believe That Jesus Died On a Cross for My Sins’
Amen to that! If God can work in mysterious ways, this would even include using someone like Justin Bieber to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whowouldathunkit? …
Romans 5:6-8, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
1 John 4:9-10, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
By Meaghan Murphy – “Justin Bieber has made a lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ – with a tattoo.
The 17-year-old ‘Baby’ singer was spied on a Los Angeles beach on Jan. 5 sporting a large portrait of the Son of God on his left calf.
The black ink portrait, which is approximately about 5” tall, appears to be inspired by an illustration for ‘The Mysteries of the Crown of Thorns,’ written by a Passionist Father in 1879.
While not quite of legal age (California law states that tattooing of minors is prohibited ), this isn’t Bieber’s first tattoo. He now has three tats in his growing collection, including ‘Jesus’ written in Hebrew on his rib cage and a tiny bird on his left hip.
‘I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins,’ Biber told the Associated Press in 2010. ‘I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that. As soon as I start forgetting, I’ve got to click back and be like, you know, this is why I’m here.'” Source – Fox News.
“TOKYO — The Meteorological Agency said Thursday that 6,757 aftershocks were felt in Japan after the March 11 disaster through Dec 31.
Of those, there were 14 with a magnitude over 5, 30 with a magnitude of 5, 174 with a magnitude of 4, 707 (magnitude 3), 1,904 (magnitude 2) and 3,928 (magnitude 1), the agency said on its website.
For the whole year, the agency said there were 9,723 earthquakes and aftershocks, seven times the number in 2010.
An agency official said that although the number of aftershocks has been decreasing, it will be many years before seismic activity returns to pre-March 11 levels.” Source – Japan Today.
Japan, NZ quakes set insurance record – “The devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand made 2011 the costliest year yet for the insurance industry in terms of natural disaster losses, a leading reinsurance company says. Munich Re said in an annual report that insured losses last year totalled US$105 billion ($133 billion), exceeding the previous 2005 record of US$101 billion, when losses were swollen by claims from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The company said the total economic cost last year from natural disasters – including uninsured losses – totalled about US$380 billion. That was far above the 2005 record of US$220 billion.” Read more.