By Luiza Oleszczuk – “An Afghan Christian widow and three of her daughters were denied refugee status by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in New Delhi for the second time last month, and currently face imminent deportation to their home country where they could face imprisonment for apostasy and a potential death sentence.
The widow and her daughters, whose names have not been released for security reasons, received a deportation notice from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs after their first application for asylum was rejected in October 2009, International Christian Concern (ICC), a global Christian advocacy group, informed The Christian Post. When the mother reapplied in July 2011 with her three daughters and a fourth daughter, who is widowed with a child, only the widowed daughter and the child were accepted. The others are no longer permitted to correspond with the UNHCR office and are currently living in India as illegal immigrants, ICC said.
‘All members of the family left Afghanistan for the same reason, all of them are Christians, and all are facing the same kind of problem,’ Obaid S. Christ, a leader of the Afghan Christian community in New Delhi, told ICC. ‘If two members of the same family are recognized as refugees and four others are denied, there is definitely something wrong with the UNHCR judgment system. We believe that the UNHCR office blindly closed their application without making any inquiry, investigation, or considering the new facts and real danger that these women are facing back in their home country.'” Read more.
Flashback: Not a Single Christian Church Left in Afghanistan, Says State Department – “There is not a single, public Christian church left in Afghanistan, according to the U.S. State Department. This reflects the state of religious freedom in that country ten years after the United States first invaded it and overthrew its Islamist Taliban regime… The last public Christian church in Afghanistan was razed in March 2010, according to the State Department’s latest International Religious Freedom Report. The report, which was released last month and covers the period of July 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010, also states that ‘there were no Christian schools in the country.’” Read more.
‘In an instant, anything can happen,’ she told Reuters. ‘And I firmly believe that you have to be prepared.’
Tegeler is among a growing subculture of Americans who refer to themselves informally as ‘preppers.’ Some are driven by a fear of imminent societal collapse, others are worried about terrorism, and many have a vague concern that an escalating series of natural disasters is leading to some type of environmental cataclysm.
They are following in the footsteps of hippies in the 1960s who set up communes to separate themselves from what they saw as a materialistic society, and the survivalists in the 1990s who were hoping to escape the dictates of what they perceived as an increasingly secular and oppressive government.
Preppers, though are, worried about no government.
Tegeler, 57, has turned her home in rural Virginia into a ‘survival center,’ complete with a large generator, portable heaters, water tanks, and a two-year supply of freeze-dried food that her sister recently gave her as a birthday present. She says that in case of emergency, she could survive indefinitely in her home. And she thinks that emergency could come soon.
‘I think this economy is about to fall apart,’ she said.” Read more.
Libya: Muslim Brotherhood Set to Dominate Libya’s Political Future as Islamists Rally Demanding Sharia-Based Legislation
By Mahmoud Habboush – “(Reuters) – Hundreds of Libyan Islamists rallied on Friday to demand that Muslim sharia law inspire legislation in what organizers called a response to the emergence of secular political parties after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s dictatorship last year.
Assembled by Islamist political and religious groups, mostly young and bearded men holding up copies of the Koran demonstrated in squares in the capital Tripoli, the eastern city of Benghazi and in Sabha in the southern desert.
In Tripoli’s Algeria Square, Islamists burned copies of the ‘Green Book,’ Gaddafi’s eccentric handbook on politics, economics and everyday life, to underline that the Koran should be the country’s main source of legislation.
By contrast, a group of secularists who have staged a sit-in in the square for more than a month chanted: ‘We want a civil state.’
The Islamist demonstrators encompassed members of the conservative Muslim Brotherhood and harder-line Salafis, who both back strict versions of Islam, and relative moderates who prefer a civil state simply inspired by sharia.
The protests offered a glimpse into Libya’s political future in which Islamist and secularist parties are expected to vie for seats in a national assembly scheduled to be elected in June to draft a constitution for the North African country.
Experts believe the Muslim Brotherhood is the most organized political force and could emerge as the leading political player in Libya after Gaddafi, who harshly suppressed Islamists during his 42 years in autocratic power.
Western powers are coming to accept that the advent of democracy in the Arab world means bringing Islamists to power. They have become the biggest election winners in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco over the past few months.” Read more.
By Noha El-Hennawy – “As the Muslim Brotherhood strives to project the image of a moderate and democratic political organization, a book featuring the angry account of a former member has hit the market.
‘The Memoirs of a Former Sister: My Story with the Muslim Brotherhood’ is the testimony of Intissar Abdel Moneim, an Alexandria-based novelist and author. With a compelling style and sharp language, the book takes the reader on a journey exploring the internal politics of the 83-year-old organization, placing special emphasis on discrimination against female members.
Throughout her work, Abdel Moneim decries the sisters’ internalization of oppression as women are socialized in a way that compels them to accept male dominance within the organization — and the household.
Early in the book, Abdel Moneim condemns what could be interpreted as the Brotherhood’s exploitation of the permissibility of polygamy in Islam.
‘One of the areas where the Brothers have exploited the idea of blind obedience and submission is polygamy,’ she writes, adding that a brother would take second and third wives for no valid reason. ‘When the [first] wife complains, a session is held for her where other sisters would remind her of the importance of obedience, patience and submission to God’s will and to [the husband]’s will,’ she writes.
To understand the roots of the subjugation of women, Abdel Moneim unpacks the writings of Hassan al-Banna, the group’s late founder. Here, the author summons her courage and puts forth a vehement critique of the group’s canonized leader, who is rarely questioned, even by the most vocal ex-brothers.” Read more.
Former Muslim woman speaks out against the treatment of women in Islam – “… parents visiting me and my brothers from Pakistan. While they were here staying with me, I could not but help feeling really sorry for them, especially my mother. She covers herself in that black garb and thinks that those women who do not are committing a major crime in the eyes of Allah and Mohammed and those women (actually an indirect insinuation in my direction) will surely be the fuel of the hell fire. I really feel so sorry for my mom and most of my Muslim friends who don the hijab and consider women like us not completely Muslim, and most of the Muslim men consider non-Muslim women and non-hijabi women as mere whores. Believe me when I say that no one suffers as much in this world as the Muslim women, in fact the mother of all believers Ayesha said the exact same words. Islam is heaven for Muslim men, but a hell for the believing women.” Read more.
Flashback: Norwegian Authorities Covering Up Muslim Rapes; Rapist: Women Have No Rights or Opinions in Islam – “There has been a spike in the number of rape charges in Scandinavia in recent years. It has reached near epidemic proportions in Sweden… This trend is not exclusive to Scandinavia. It is the same all over Western Europe wherever we find significant numbers of Muslim immigrants. In fact, the number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations is so extremely high that it is difficult to view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. German journalist Gudrun Eussner considers this to be ‘sexuality as a weapon against disobedient and non-Muslim women, both categorized as ‘unbelievers’. Against them jihad is the duty, and what to do with women ‘conquered’ in jihad, this may be read in the Qur’an: they become slaves to be used by the victors.’” Read more.
By Emele Onu and Mustapha Muhammad – “Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) — The death toll from yesterday’s bomb blasts in the northern Nigerian city of Kano rose to at least 165, a human rights official involved in the rescue effort said.
‘The death toll has risen to 165 by the last count,’ Shehu Sani, the president of the Civil Rights Congress who is helping to ferry the dead and wounded to hospitals, said today by phone from Kano. The dead included journalist Enenche Akogwu, Lagos-based Channels Television said in a statement.
‘We will not fold our hands and watch enemies of democracy perpetrate unprecedented evil in our land, and I want to re- assure Nigerians and the international community that all those involved in that dastardly act would be made to face the wrath of the law,’ President Goodluck Jonathan said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Abuja.
The Boko Haram Islamic group claimed responsibility for the blasts that struck eight government buildings, its spokesman, Abu Qaqa, said by phone. Authorities in Africa’s top oil producer blame Boko Haram, whose name means ‘Western education is a sin,’ for a series of bombings and attacks in the mainly Muslim north and Abuja over the past year.
‘The full horror of last night’s events is still unfolding, but we know that a great many people have died and many more have been injured,’ U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said today in a statement.” Read more.
Nigeria: Christians Told to ‘Leave, Convert or Die’ as Nation’s Leader Says Protecting Christians Against Religious Cleansing Now Nearly Impossible – “Another religious persecution watchdog group is drawing attention to the dangerous situation in Nigeria. There has been a spike in violence against Christians in Nigeria and a terrorist group called Boko Haram is taking credit. International Christian Concern spokesman Jonathan Racho points out that more than 80 Christians have been martyred in the north in the past few weeks. ‘The Christian leaders in Nigeria are expressing their concern that these killings could amount to religious cleansing,’ says Racho. ‘They are calling for help. They are calling for prayers.’ Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed concern in a recent statement that it is nearly impossible to protect Christians.” Read more.
Report: Kuwaiti Royal Prince Denounces Islam and Converts to Christianity, ‘I will Appear Before Jesus Christ and Be With Him for All Eternity’ If Killed
God. Is. Good! …
Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
By MARCO TOSATTI – “According to reports, a Kuwaiti royal prince has become a follower of Jesus Christ. In an audio file posted with his name, he affirms that if he is killed because of a recording he made where he talks about his conversion, he firmly believes that he will meet Jesus Christ face-to-face. The news comes from Middle Eastern sources which state that al-Haqiqa – a Christian satellite TV channel in Arabic that transmits Christian religious programmes – broadcast an audio file attributed to the Kuwaiti prince, identified as Abdullah al-Sabah. The al-Sabahs are the royal family of Kuwait, a country rich in oil. The name Abdullah (servant of God) frequently appears in the Emir’s family tree.
In his audio file, Abdullah declared: ‘First of all, I fully agree with the distribution of this audio file and I now declare that if they kill me because of it, then I will appear before Jesus Christ and be with him for all eternity.’ In this statement, the prince demonstrates his awareness of the fate in store for a martyr of the faith, according to Christian doctrine. The television channel stated that Abdullah is a member of the royal family, and that he recently renounced his faith in Islam and became a Christian, without specifying which particular branch of Christianity he had chosen. After stating his full name, the prince declared: ‘I will accept whatever they do to me, because the truth in the Bible has guided me towards the right path.’
In the audio file, Abdullah talks about the Islamic groups that are winning the elections in Egypt and declares: ‘Islamic communities have always wanted to attack in different parts of the world but God has preserved the world and still protects it. This is why we have recently seen disagreements appearing among Islamic groups who are now fighting with each other. They are about to divide further into different groups.'” Read more.
Recommended: A Few Simple Questions for Muslim Visitors
Fact or Faked? China Begins to Turn Against Iran and Issues Its Clearest Condemnation of Tehran To Date
Here is a development that should cause any student of Biblical eschatology to take note. It’s almost one of the things I would expect to hear during the fulfillment of the first portion of Daniel 11:44, which informs us that “news from the east and the north shall trouble him“, with this obviously pertaining to alarming news from the east. Unfortunately, the reports that reach him would then be enough to evoke a very ominous and indignant response, for it is at that time that “he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many” …
By Malcolm Moore, Henry Samuel and Damien McElroy – “After a visit to the Gulf in which he met the leaders of the states most threatened by Iran’s aggressive foreign policy, Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, issued Beijing’s clearest condemnation yet .
‘China adamantly opposes Iran developing and possessing nuclear weapons,’ he said.
China appears to have sent a message to Iran that it could not rely on Beijing’s unstinting support by reducing its imports of oil at a time when the US and Europe are promoting an embargo on the country.
The Washington Post reported that China trimmed its oil imports from Iran in January from a daily average of around 550,000 barrels to 285,000 barrels a day.
Chinese foreign policy experts said the statement demonstrated that Beijing would not allow its international position to end up beholden to Iran.
Mr Wen’s trip to three of the world’s biggest oil-and-gas producers was decribed by some commentators as an attempt to seek alternative energy sources, although he politely denied this was the case: ‘Some people said my visit was to secure oil, which is narrow-minded. I came here for friendship.’
‘Iran would not have wanted China to make this statement, but Iran must understand that if it comes down to a choice China will not alienate itself from the rest of the world for the sake of single country,’ said Yu Guoqing, a researcher on the Middle East at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
With a second front of pressure opening up on Iran over its support for the Syrian regime’s crackdown on nationwide protests, Tehran has moved closer to global pariah status.” Read more.
Things that make you go “Hmmm” …
China: a lifeline for Iran and its oil exports? – “There were few signs that US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner had any success during his visit to Beijing this month to persuade China to help pressure Tehran over its nuclear program by buying less Iranian oil. ‘China’s regular demand for energy has nothing to do with the nuclear issue and it should not be affected,’ Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Jan. 11, after Mr. Geithner met with top Chinese leaders. China is Iran’s largest oil and gas client, and Beijing has consistently played down economic sanctions as an effective way to influence Tehran, or any other government… On New Year’s Eve, President Obama signed a bill that would ban foreign financial institutions that deal with Iran’s Central Bank from operating in US financial markets. That would effectively make it impossible for refiners in China to pay Iran for the oil they buy.” Read more.
Obama’s Keystone Denial Prompts Canada to Look to China Sales – “President Barack Obama’s decision yesterday to reject a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline may prompt Canada to turn to China for oil exports. Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a telephone call yesterday, told Obama ‘Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports,’ according to details provided by Harper’s office. Canadian Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver said relying less on the U.S. would help strengthen the country’s ‘financial security.’ The ‘decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,’ Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.” Read more.