Religion

Report: 75% of Victims of Religious Persecution Are Christians

A grim new report on Christian persecution around the globe suggests that rather than improving, the situation of Christians worldwide is worsening, a fact whitewashed by mainstream media. “Christians are the victims of at least 75 percent of all religiously-motivated violence and oppression,” declares the 2015-2017 report from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), and moreover “the extent of this persecution is largely ignored by our media.” In their report titled “Persecuted and Forgotten?”, ACN noted that in Iraq more than half of the country’s Christian population have become internal refugees, while in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Christian population has fallen by more than 75 percent. Up until 2011 Aleppo was home to the largest Christian community but in just 6 years numbers have dropped from 150,000 to just over 35,000. “In terms of the number of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed and their impact, it is clear that the persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history,” said John Pontifex, the Report’s editor. In the 13 countries where Christians suffer the most intense persecution, the situation has worsened in all but one—Saudi Arabia—in the last two years, and conditions there have stayed the same. “In almost all the countries reviewed,” the report reads, “the oppression and violence against Christians have increased since 2015 – a development especially significant given the rate of decline in the immediate run-up to the reporting period.” In communist North Korea, for example, Christians have undergone “unspeakable atrocities,” the report states, “including extra-judicial killings, forced labour, torture, persecution, starvation, rape, forced abortion and sexual violence.” According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, documented incidents against Christians include “being hung on a cross over a fire, crushed under a steamroller, herded off bridges, and trampled underfoot.” One estimate suggests that three quarters of Christians in the camps die from the harsh punishments inflicted on them. But the second part of the report’s title—“forgotten”—is also key to understanding the situation of persecuted Christians worldwide. Particularly in the Middle East where Christians have been undergoing a systematic genocide, virtually no help has been forthcoming from Western (predominantly Christian) countries or from the United Nations. “Governments in the West and the UN failed to offer Christians in countries such as Iraq and Syria the emergency help they needed as genocide got underway,” ACN’s website relates. “If Christian organisations and other institutions had not filled the gap, the Christian presence could already have disappeared in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.” In the forward to the report, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop John Darwish of Lebanon noted that up to the present, “the UN and other humanitarian organizations have provided no aid” leaving the oppressed Christians to fend for themselves. John Pontifex told the Tablet that the “pc agenda” among western governments and mainstream media is preventing the attention that the Christian community requires. “The UN and western governments send strong messages of support – but that’s not matched by action.” Pontifex said. “To date, the response of the UN has been too little too late. For example, Iraqi Christians from Mosul and Nineveh who ended up in Erbil were just given tarpaulins; people need homes, medicines and pastoral support.” One exception to the systematic neglect from Western governments has been the central European country of Hungary, which in 2016 established a Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, making it the only nation in the world with a department of this nature. So far, the new secretariat has sent assistance of more than four million euros to rebuild homes, churches and schools so that Christians can stay in their homes in the Middle East. They have also granted dozens of scholarships to Christian students in Africa and the Middle East who lost everything to militant Islamic terror groups. Last week, the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán called together key Christian leaders from the Middle East for a three-day summit in Budapest to discuss targeted assistance to persecuted Christians.

Good on Hungary for taking such a leadership role.  Hopefully other nations will follow that lead.  Thanks to ISIS and other evil, Islamo-fascist organizations, Christianity in countries like Iraq and Syria have undergone genocide.  Awful…  Thanks to Dr. Thomas D. Williams, PhD for this sobering report.

Federal court upholds prayer in Congress

A federal court ruled Wednesday that Congress can continue to open its sessions each day with a prayer, and upheld the House’s ability to pick and choose who’s allowed to lead the prayer. U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, a Bush appointee who sits in Washington, D.C., rejected a challenge by Daniel Barker, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation, who said he was not permitted to give an opening invocation, even though other guest chaplains have been permitted. Judge Collyer said House rules didn’t permit him to lead the prayer because he had left his faith. Judge Collyer also said an opening prayer has been a tradition in this country for more than two centuries, and the Supreme Court has ruled it doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause. “To decide that Mr. Barker was discriminated against and should be permitted to address the House would be to disregard the Supreme Court precedent that permits legislative prayer,” Judge Collyer wrote in her opinion on Wednesday. Mr. Barker said her ruling was tainted by personal bias against nonreligious people. “The judge’s acquiescence in this inequity sends a crystal clear message that our government, founded upon our entirely secular Constitution, may discriminate with impunity against atheists and freethinkers,” he said. But House Speaker Paul D. Ryan applauded the ruling. “Since the first session of the Continental Congress, our nation’s legislature has opened with a prayer to God. Today, that tradition was upheld and the freedom to exercise religion was vindicated,” said Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican. He added the return of Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican, who was shot earlier this year by a left wing zealot, reminded Congress of the power of prayer.

Indeed..  This ruling was spot on, and with precedent from the Supreme Court.  This idiot from FFRF got slapped down, and rightfully so.  This is a small, yet important, victory for religious freedom, and for freedom of speech.  As we’ve documented on numerous occasions here at The Daily Buzz… The whole notion of a “separation of church and state” is bs.  There is no such thing.  That phrase originated in a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the members of a church where he raised the idea in a philosophical sense.  That’s it.  Nowhere in our founding legal documents (i.e. The U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.) is that phrase found.   Our founders intended freedom OF religion; NOT freedom FROM religion.  Kudos to Judge Collyer for her spot-on analysis, and excellent ruling!

Was Santa Claus’ grave discovered? Experts may have found final resting place of St. Nicholas

Archaeologists may be close to finding the grave of St. Nicholas beneath a church in southern Turkey. St. Nicholas, a 4th-century Greek Bishop who became famous for his acts of generosity, is the historical inspiration for Santa Claus. On the Saint’s death in 343, he was buried in a church in the ancient city of Myra. The modern Turkish town of Demre now stands on the site once occupied by Myra. Experts say they have likely identified the Saint’s tomb beneath the ancient St. Nicholas Church in Demre. Cemil Karabayram, Director of Surveying and Monuments for the province of Antalya, told the Hurriyet newspaper that electronic surveys have revealed a “special section” beneath the church that may contain St. Nicholas’s tomb. “We will reach the ground and maybe we will find the untouched body of St. Nicholas,” he told Hurriyet. “We appointed eight academics of different branches to work here.” Archaeologists are employing CT-scanning technology and geo-radars in the church. They are now planning to carefully remove mosaics from the stone floor of the church before they can access the grave believed to contain St. Nicholas’s body. It has long been believed that the Saint’s bones were removed from the Demre site in the 11th century and taken to Bari in Italy, where the Basilica di San Nicola was built to house the remains. Citing records studied by the archaeologists, however, Karabayram says that another set of remains may have been taken to Italy. The church where the Saint’s bones were originally interred was rebuilt during the 11th century, records say. “According to these notes, this church was demolished and rebuilt,” Karabayram told Hurriyet. “During the reconstruction, traders in Bari took the bones. But it is said that these bones did not belong to St. Nicholas but to another priest.”

Fascinating!!

Doomsday is not on Saturday after all, writer says after predicting end of the world

The end is still nigh — just not as nigh as it was earlier this week, a Doomsday writer says. David Meade, who claimed the world is ending Saturday when a mysterious planet collides with Earth, is now backtracking on the calamitous claim. Meade said the world won’t end on Sept. 23 after all, but instead Saturday will only mark the beginning of a series of catastrophic events to occur over several weeks. “The world is not ending, but the world as we know it is ending,” he told the Washington Post. “A major part of the world will not be the same the beginning of October.” Meade said his prediction is based on verses and numerical codes found in the Bible, specifically in the apocalyptic Book of Revelation. He said recent events, such as the solar eclipse and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, are omens of the approaching apocalypse. The significant number is 33, according to Meade. “Jesus lived for 33 years. The name Elohim, which is the name of God for the Jews, was mentioned 33 times [in the Bible],” he said. “It’s a very biblically significant, numerologically significant number. I’m talking astronomy. I’m talking the Bible…and merging the two.” Sept. 23 is also 33 days since the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Meade has also built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23. This will cause volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, he claims. NASA has repeatedly said Planet X does not exist. Meade’s prediction has been dismissed by people of faith including the Roman Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity. Ed Stetzer, a professor and executive director of Wheaton College’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, slammed Meade’s theory on Friday, calling it “fake news” and asked Christians to be critical. “It’s simply fake news that a lot of Christians believe the world will end on September 23,” Stetzer wrote in Christianity Today. “Yet, it is still a reminder that we need to think critically about all the news.”

Agreed..  Well, Mr. Meade’s prediction about today has been a total bust.  And, this hail Mary mea culpa isn’t likely help him any.  Why on Earth would anyone listen to this idiot?

Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim

A Christian numerologist claims that the world will end next Saturday when a planet will, supposedly, collide with Earth. According to Christian numerologist David Meade, verses in Luke 21:25 to 26 are the sign that recent events, such as the recent solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey, are signs of the apocalypse. The verses read: “25: There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “’26: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.’ Sept. 23 is a date that was pinpointed using codes from the Bible, as well as a “date marker” in the pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Meade’s views are not endorsed by Roman Catholic, Protestant or eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity. Meade has built his theory on the so-called Planet X, which is also known as Nibiru, which he believes will pass Earth on Sept. 23, causing volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes, according to British newspaper The Sun. NASA has repeatedly said Planet X is a hoax. For a certain branch of evangelical Christianity, Revelation 12:1–2, describes the beginning of what is known as the rapture and the second coming of Christ. The passage reads: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.” In the passage, the woman is Virgo. On Sept. 23, both the sun and the moon will be in Virgo, as will the planet Jupiter. However, this occurrence happens naturally once every 12 years. There is also a rare alignment, known as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” which the conspiracy theorists are hanging their hats on. According to the Express, author Jonathan Sarfati wrote that the same planetary coincidence previously happened four times in the last millennium. “As usual with any astrology (or Christian adaptations of it), one cherry-picks the stars that fit the desired conclusion,” Sarfati wrote, according to the Express. “There is nothing to suggest that 23 September is a momentous date for biblical prophecy, and Christians need to be careful about being drawn into such sensationalist claims.”

Agreed..

 

Ancient mug workshop found near site of Jesus wine miracle

Israeli archeologists on Thursday unveiled a 2,000-year-old workshop for making stone vessels similar to those Jesus is believed to have used to miraculously turn water into wine. Located near the Galilee village of Reineh in northern Israel, the site is walking distance from Cana, the site of a wedding where the Gospel of John says Jesus performed the miracle, his first. The workshop and an adjoining quarry were discovered by chance during the construction of an access road for a new sports centre, excavation director Yonatan Adler said. Since the discovery two months ago, Adler and his team have uncovered fragments of chalkstone mugs and bowls along with thousands of cylindrical chalk cores discarded in the process of hollowing out the vessels with a lathe. They are typical of a period from the second half of the first century BC to the middle of the first century AD. Jews of the period used stoneware for reasons of religious observance, Adler said. “According to ancient Jewish ritual law, vessels made of pottery are easily made impure and must be broken. Stone, on the other hand, was thought to be a material which can never become ritually impure,” he said. That practice was noted in John’s New Testament account of the Cana wedding, which described larger vessels: “There were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews.” “So far at this site we haven’t found production of these large jars,” Adler said. “But presumably the stone jars that would have been used at Cana would have been produced at a site like this, probably in the area.” He said that prior to the Reineh excavation two similar sites had been excavated, both near Jerusalem. “What’s exciting here is that for the first time we have physical evidence of production of stone vessels here in Galilee,” he said. “There has always been a question amongst scholars regarding the nature of Judaism in Galilee,” something particularly important when studying early Christianity, he said. “The question is, who are these people that are living in Galilee?”

Fascinating!!   🙂

Archaeological find in Jerusalem ‘proves Bible passage is historically true’

Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem have found burned artifacts dating from 2,600 years ago – which prove that a passage in the Bible is true. Researchers uncovered charred wood, grape seeds, fish scales, bones and pottery while digging in the City of David in Jerusalem. The find provides evidence that the Babylonians ‘burned all the houses of Jerusalem’, described in the book of Jeremiah. Researchers from the Israel Antiquities Authority found the artifacts beneath layers of rock in the City of David – along with jars with seals which enabled the researchers to date the artifacts. ‘These seals are characteristic of the end of the First Temple Period,’ said Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘Used for the administrative system that developed towards the end of the Judean dynasty.’ The fire damage can be dated to 2,600 years ago – which ties with events described in the Bible. The book of Jeremiah says, ‘Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire.’

Fascinating!!  To see the video, click on the text above.   🙂