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New Rash Of Church Closings Sweeps Across ‘Moderate’ Indonesia

12/19/2013 3 comments

For peaceful purposes …

Qur’an Sura 9:29, “[Mohammed said] Fight those who believe not in Allah … (even if they are) of the People of the Book [Christians], until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Qur’an Sura 3:64, “Verily Allah has cursed the Unbelievers [non-Muslims] and has prepared for them a Blazing Fire to dwell in forever. No protector will they find, nor savior … ‘Our Lord! Give them double torment and curse them with a very great Curse!’”

By Ryan Morgan, ICC – “I watched as the pastor began to cry, tears welling up in his eyes as he described the scene to me. It was May 18th, 2012, and there were hundreds upon hundreds of screaming fanatics hurling rocks, dirt, and even bags filled with urine at his congregation as the police stood by and watched. Signs hanging near his church read ‘Jesus is a dog’ and ‘Kill the Christians.’ The rioters claimed the pastor had never obtained the proper permits to operate his church, and the local government agreed, sealing the building and prohibiting the pastor and his congregation from ever returning.

My interview with Pastor Palti Panjaitan of the GKI Yasmin church was eye opening. For years the world, including the United States, has lauded Indonesia as the prime example of a tolerant, Muslim democracy. The largest Muslim-majority nation in the world, Indonesia embraces a welcoming political philosophy known as ‘Pancasila,’ composed of five ‘inseparable’ principles, including social justice. The vicious attack Pastor Palti described hardly seemed synonymous with Indonesia’s pristine reputation. After further investigation, it proved to merely be the tip of the iceberg.

Across Indonesia in 2012, International Christian Concern (ICC) found that at least 50 churches like Pastor Palti’s were forcibly shut down, almost always under pressure from radical Islamic groups. These groups usually claim the church lacks the proper permits to operate, based on a 2006 zoning law that requires ‘places of worship’ to obtain signatures of approval from surrounding neighbors. The law is well-known to be a charade, as it is almost never applied to anyone except religious minorities. It is also well-known among Indonesia’s church leaders that obtaining a permit can be nearly impossible and usually requires hefty bribery of local officials. In 2012, I was told of one very large church which had to spend more than a million U.S. dollars to obtain a permit that is, officially at least, supposed to be free.

By early 2013, the closure of churches had begun to garner international attention. In March, photos and video of a Batak Protestant Christian church being demolished by the government was picked up by international news agencies. The video showed radical Muslims cheering and applauding as the building was torn apart, all while members of the congregation stood by and watched helplessly. The next month, ICC took the issue to Congress and the State Department. Soon after, reports of churches being sealed shut by local governments plummeted to almost zero.

That is, until three weeks ago. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, a new rash of church closings appears to be sweeping across Indonesia.” Read more.

Flashback: The Indonesian Model of Moderate Islam

Report: Six Christians Families Forced To Flee Iraq Every Day Because Of Islamic Violence

12/19/2013 Leave a comment

Qur’an Sura 58:20, “Those who resist Allah and His Messenger will be among those most humiliated.”

Zechariah 5:3a, 8a, ”… This is the curse [אָלָה – “alah“] that goes out over the face of the whole earth … This is Wickedness …”

By Amjad Salah, Al Sumaria – “The Chaldean Church in Kirkuk announced on Tuesday, December 17 that about 6 Christian families leave Iraq every day, criticizing foreign consulates and embassies for easily giving visas to these families. The Church also revealed that a successor to Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I has been nominated awaiting the Vatican Pope’s approval.

‘Emptying the Middle East from Christians is a great loss. Their presence, competence and liberality are vital to the society and the Muslim majority appreciates that’, said church priest Stephan Banan in a statement to Alsumaria. He also highlighted that: ‘approximately 6 Christian families leave Iraq daily due to a comprehensive strategy adopted to help Christians flee by giving them visas to foreign countries’.

‘Some Christians leave Iraq in fear of being targeted after hearing threats’, clarified the Church’s communiqué, asking ‘why do Christians leave the secure areas such as the northern parts of Iraq after tens of villages were built for them?’

‘The Chaldean Church also agreed to name a priest to head the Chaldean Church in Kirkuk after its current Sheppard, Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I was elected head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world’, clarified the press release. It pointed out that ‘the name of the successor will be announced as soon as we receive the Vatican’s approval and an official ceremony will be held’.

On October 15th, 2013, Patriarch Sako called upon Iraqi Christians who migrated to return to their home country warning against an unknown future. He confirmed that if Christians were to return, they would become the second largest religious group and the third largest ethnicity in Iraq.” Source – Al Sumaria.

Flashback: Christian Charity ‘Open Doors International’: There May Be No Christians Left In Iraq By 2020 – “Increased violence in northern Iraq is pushing Christians out of that part of the country. The Kurdish north was considered a safe area for Christians fleeing from violent persecution in the central and southern regions. But bombings in recent months are causing panic and many are fleeing the country. Al qaeda has claimed responsibility for several of those attacks. Some Christians have been told by local police that they ‘should not be in Iraq because it is Muslim territory.’” Read more.

Flashback: ‘They Want Christians Out’: Islamists Target Christians In Effort To Make Iraq A ‘Muslim Only’ Country – “Islamist extremists want Iraq to be a ‘Muslim only’ country. As a result, Christians in Iraq remain continuous targets of violent attacks. Each month Open Doors field workers receive sad phone calls and emails of Christian acquaintances who report attacks against the Christians near them. While most of them are part of the general violence, such as bomb attacks and mortar fire which intensified during provincial elections last Saturday, a part of the violence can be labelled as specifically targeted against Christians.” Read more.

Flashback: Muslim Cleric In Iraq Issues New Fatwa To All Iraqi Christians: Choose Islam Or Be Killed – “An Advent of light and shadow for Iraq’s Christians, who are celebrating the reopening of the cathedral of Baghdad but at the same time subjected to new – and heavy – threats from a radical Shiite Muslim leader. From studies of a television broadcaster based in Egypt, an Iraqi Ayatollah launches a fatwa against the religious minority on the eve of Christmas: ‘Conversion to Islam or death.’… Labeling them as ‘polytheists’ and ‘friends of the Zionists’, the extremist leader stressed that they must choose ‘or Islam or death,’ while ‘their women and girls may legitimately be regarded wives of Muslims.’” Read more.

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