PLEASE JOIN IN PRAYERS FOR THE FORMATION OF A DUTCH COALITION GOVERNMENT BASED ON CHRISTIAN PRO LIFE PRINCIPALS

Those who participated in the December 2006 United for Life Conference, held in Hilversum, the Netherlands, wish to draw the attention to the necessity of prayers now and especially for coming January 2007.

In that month meetings will take place with members of three political parties with the goal to form the new Dutch Government, after the November 22, 2006 elections.

Background
After the November 22, 2006 elections in the Kingdom of the Netherlands it became apparent that the foundation of a new government would only be possible by forming a coalition consisting of more than two Parties.

On January 2, 2007 new talks will start with the leaders of the three parties, J.P. Balkenende (CDA), W. Bos (PvdA) and A. Rouvoet (CU).

The CDA and PvdA did not have a Pro-Life vision included in their parties election programme.

The ChristenUnie however do, together with one other Christian party.

What is at stake
The Netherlands are known for the liberal views on ethical subjects. Abortion became legal twenty five years ago. Further euthanasia and legal equal gender marriages are subjects which focussed attention of the International Press worldwide seven years ago, but are commonly accepted now.

With the formation talks for a new Government there may be a chance to reverse the liberal views in the Netherlands and turn to the commandments and guidelines as given to us in the Holy Scriptures.

Goals
It is our strong desire that CU leader Mr. André Rouvoet may be strengthened by our Lord through the Holy Ghost and follow the principals of the CU party program, stating a clear view on the subject of reversing life threatening laws; with amongst others, the goal to end legal abortions up to the 24th week, as part of the new political program effective after formation of the new government.

Prayer and fasting are the secrets. Actions and miracles are the results.

May we therefore ask your prayers in favour of CU leader Mr. André Rouvoet that he may be strong and courageous and not deviate from his pro-life Christian standpoints.

May the Lord bless André Rouvoet and all those around him, now and throughout the New Year.

United for life,

Michael van der Mast

Schreeuw om Leven, Cry for Life

Ruitersweg 35-37

1211 KT Hilversum

The Netherlands

Drs. Bert P. Dorenbos
voorzitter / president
Schreeuw om Leven / Cry for Life
Ruitersweg 35-37
1211 KT Hilversum
The Netherlands
P: +31 (0)35 624 43 51 / +31 (0)35 624 43 52
F: +31 (0)35 624 91 41
info@schreeuwomleven.nl
http://www.schreeuwomleven.nl

(Author Unknown, from http://www.unitedcopts.org)

The Koran was placed for the first time in the White House library. It was a winter banquet prepared by host and hostess US President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Muslims from throughout the nation were invited—both males and females. The two genders ate in separate rooms with Mrs. Bush with the women and Mr. Bush with the men.

As the Koran was lifted high with honor that evening, it took its place in the Pennsylvania Avenue residence of the most powerful ruler on Earth. Now when it comes to the Christians’ holy book, the Bible, it is shredded at Saudi Arabian airports.

An attendant will not ask questions but will take the book to the nearby shredder as the tourist watches God’s Word destroyed. If a quantity of Bibles is taken into the country—and found—the carrier will get several dozen whiplashes.

If the confiscator concludes that the punishment should be more severe, the tourist could be executed for carrying divine revelation into Saudi Arabia. Muslims in free countries demand—and I mean demand—all freedoms. They will not tolerate any discrimination whatsoever.

Such web sites as the Council on American-Islamic Affairs (CAIR) instruct readers what authority to contact if there is any sign of alleged discrimination or so-called mistreatment of an Islamic in the United States. Yet the American traveler to the Muslim country may be shot throw if he has a quantity of Bibles in his belongings. Executed or whip lashed.

Consider the cost. With that, it is ridiculous that free countries bow and scrape before Muslims’ demands. For instance, in Germany Muslims have demanded and got pork removed from soup kitchens for the poor. The officialdom is afraid of what Muslims will do if pork remains in the soup.

Imagine the weak-kneed authorities throughout Germany in condescending to such rude demands from the Allah-worshipers. So it is that Europe that will succumb to the Devil. And then the European Union will wonder how it came about that it was sucked under—and quickly.

As far I am concerned, Muslims should be ousted from free countries and sent to their own habitats. No Muslim should be admitted to a free country. They are all suspect because of the spread of this devilish cult around the globe. Islam breeds destruction, despair and death. Christianity provides life, light and love in Jesus. Consider the difference. The two cannot integrate under the title of “multiculturalism.”

Everywhere the Muslims go they spread venom. When Mr. Bush’s surveillance program was put into affect, Muslims immediately demanded meetings with top government officials in Washington DC. They got the red carpet treatment. You, the usual American citizen, try to get an appointment at one of those offices and see if you can get through.

The Muslims do get through and they do sit in those chairs in the rooms of the highest echelons. This has to stop if democracies hope to survive the devil’s strangle hold. Why was the Catholic priest shot in the back while kneeling in his Turk chapel? Because he was praying to another deity than Allah. So a Muslim murdered him while praying alone in his sanctuary. That was just days ago.

The pope then asks Muslims for tolerance just as they expect tolerance in non-Muslims countries. Does not the pope know Islam? There is no tolerance in Islam—none. It is Islam world rule or nothing. There is absolutely no margin for tolerance in the Koran. Instead, that unholy publication describes specifically how to gouge out the infidel eyes, lop off their ears, tongues, fingers and toes.

No tolerance. Contrast Islam with the gospel of Jesus. He offers forgiveness for repented sins, mercy and grace upon the contrite soul, the hope of heavenly bliss, the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in comfort and wisdom, and the joy of living by faith. There is nothing parallel to that in Islam. Nothing. In Saudi Arabia the haters of the Bible are called “religious police.”

They are members of the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. That is how the devil reverses legitimate terms and definitions—good is bad and bad is good. Islamic vice is virtue. Islamic vice is virtue. Because of the shiria, the hellish “law and justice” system of Islam, there are no criminals within Islam. Muslims can slit a woman’s throat in “honor killing.” But that is not a crime; it is a pious act. And so forth with other atrocious deeds in Allah’s name.

That makes the Muslims worldwide the criminal-free community and the most spiritual lot on the globe. Whatever crime they commit is not a crime but a religious duty. Consequently, when Saddam Hussein stood in his court this week to ask “Where’s the crime?” he was sincere.

He has not committed one crime in his life. He has only followed the Koran and thereby is an Islamic saint. At Guantanamo Bay Muslims complained about their Koran being mistreated.

The US responded with all sorts of protocol detail in how non-Muslim personnel were to hold, handle, place and transfer the Koran. Reading the detail was a joke, but not to those personnel who had to walk the razor’s edge. Not only the Bible, but any Christian symbol is repulsive to Muslims. That’s why they burn churches.

Churches this week have been burnt to the ground throughout Pakistan. Try to build a church in Turkey. It will take a decade or more to get the blueprints approved. Once it’s constructed, the church could burn in the night.

Who will have lit the match? Yasser Arafat was known for murdering Christian believers and then leveling their sanctuaries or using the church buildings for his militia.

Imperial Dreams

December 22, 2006

By Alan Block

Well, our esteemed President has decided that he won’t
make any adjustments, whether cosmetic or substantive,
to his policy in Iraq until after the first of the year,
so perhaps I’ll leave the topic alone for a while as well.
Although it no doubt means more Americans and Iraqis will
die for nothing much, it might actually be a shrewd move.
Few Americans want the Christmas season spoiled by having
to consider the pros and cons of cut-and-run, cut-and-walk,
or sending more troops to be ineffectual.

Sufficient unto the New Year is the evil thereof. And
besides, things are happening in other parts of the world.
Take Russia. Please.

The Russian government has pressured Shell, the Anglo-Dutch
oil company, into reducing its stake in a promising but
difficult oil and natural gas field in Siberia from a
majority share to a minority share. Gazprom, the Russian
state-owned energy group, which has invested little in
exploiting the energy resources on and around Sakhalin
Island, will now have the majority interest. The interests
of two minority Japanese investors, Mitsui and Mitsubishi,
have also been reduced.

LARGER PATTERN

This might be a back-of-the-business pages story except
that it seems to be part of a pattern of pushing foreign
companies out of any ownership interest in Russian energy
resources, as part of a larger project of bolstering the
power of the Russian state and making it more authoritarian.
Russia’s government wants to control those energy resources
and its temporary cut-off of oil supplies to Belarus last
year – which had an impact on Western Europe – shows that
it is not averse to using the power such control will give
it in geopolitical power games.

There is not much we can do about this, but it’s worth
knowing about. It just might presage a day when Russia
recreates enough of an empire to become a legitimate U.S.
foreign-policy concern. Even if that doesn’t happen, it
is a troubling development for those who had hoped that
Russian policy after the fall of communism might be a bit
more enlightened and good for the Russian people.

Sakhalin, an island north of Japan and once claimed by
Japan, off the coast of Siberia, is home to oil and gas
reserves. When it is fully exploited it is expected to
produce 150,000 barrels of oil a day and around 10 million
tons of liquefied natural gas a year. But it is a difficult
environment in which to operate – bitingly cold, and near
a feeding ground for gray whales. Development to date has
cost about $20 billion, $10 billion more than originally
expected. Shell went into the project as a 55 percent owner
of the energy to be extracted and the major operational
partner. This summer the Russian environmental ministry
shut down the project for environmental problems. Those
problems are real to a great extent. Sakhalin has 1,000
rivers, streams and brooks, many of which are used by
salmon for spawning. Shell is obliged to be careful when
laying pipes across or under them, restoring the topsoil
and relaying gravel in the streambeds. This is labor-
intensive work and doesn’t always get finished correctly.

LEGITIMATE AND POLITICAL

There have no doubt been legitimate environmental concerns.
But the pattern to date has been for the Russian government
to come down hard on foreign companies like Shell and Exxon-
Mobil, while Russian-owned companies are seldom sanctioned.

The Sakhalin project was described in financial
publications as recently as May as a make-or-break
proposition for Shell. A successful Sakhalin project was
supposed to be the key for the troubled company to get
future contracts in Russia by showing it could operate
in the frigid conditions that seem to be where most of
Russia’s energy reserves are located.

Chris Finlayson, chairman of Shell in Russia, told the
London Sunday Times: “All natural-resources companies
have to go where the natural resources are. Russia has
40 percent of the world’s natural gas and is the largest
oil producer after Saudi Arabia. Russia is by definition
important. It is where the opportunities lie.”

It’s hard to weep too sincerely for a multinational oil
company that gets the screw from a government rather than
the favored treatment and subsidies such companies often
extract from governments where they operate. But the
campaign against Shell will almost certainly raise the
cost of extracting those resources, since state-owned
Gazprom will not have the incentives a private company
in a competitive environment would have to improve
efficiency.

The sanctions against Shell unquestionably were
instrumental in creating pressure to give in to Russian
demands that it cede its majority interest, giving Gazprom
a 51 percent stake and Shell 25 percent. There’s little
doubt that the sanctions were deployed politically. Dimitry
Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, told
reporters that in the future foreign companies might be
welcome as subcontractors, providing capital and expertise,
but not as owners. These moves against foreign ownership of
natural resources in Russia reflects a changing economic
environment. In the 1990s Russia was strapped economically
and welcomed foreign investors and owners. Since then oil
prices have risen and Russian energy companies have
profited, so they need foreigners less.

GOING AUTHORITARIAN

This has coincided with an increase in nationalist
sentiment in Russia, encouraged and exploited by the
government to justify a more authoritarian regime than
most people hoped for after communism fell. Russia clearly
aches to be a major geopolitical power again, and oil
wealth – and the leverage of being a major energy supplier
for Western Europe – is part of the equation. Oil wealth
has been a mixed blessing – perhaps even more curse than
blessing except for those who have become fabulously
wealthy like Saud family members – in countries where oil
wealth is the primary or only source of large-scale wealth.
Russia has a more diversified economy than, say, Saudi
Arabia, but having politicians with a lust for power in
control of the country’s energy resources will undoubtedly
invite hubris and abuses along the way.

Dreams of empire such as those entertained by Putin and
his claque are usually vain in the end. And the process
of seeking or enhancing an empire is almost uniformly
deleterious to the ordinary people of countries that harbor
leaders with such ambitions. Free and open markets produce
wealth faster and distribute it more equitably than state-
controlled economies. Vain as such dreams may be, however,
imperial ambitions usually lead to political and military
conflicts that can cause enormous suffering. Russia under
Putin is hardly an imminent threat to the United States.
But it is now in a position that it can pressure most of
Western Europe through manipulating energy supplies. The
ambitions of its leaders – remembering that Putin is still
quite popular among the general population, though that
could change – bear watching.

BAY HARBOR ISLANDS, Fla., Dec. 5 /Christian Newswire/ — Christian activist Sondra Snowdon, has been fighting her town of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla. for the past three years in Federal Court to have a Nativity in her town at Christmas. She is now calling on all Christians to respond to the outrage of unfairness in regards to the town giving religious preference to Judaism and the Menorah over her Christian Nativity. Snowdon is determined not to let this situation rest and is calling on Christians around the world to take a stand with her as she fights for fairness again, against her town.

On Monday November 27th, the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, Fla. placed the town Menorah in the center position at the town’s designated public forum and proclaimed that the placement of the Nativity would have to be placed “off to the side.” Snowdon’s Consent Judgment signed in the Federal Court with the town demands that, “all faiths are equal” in the designated public forum. The town has already been found by the Judge to have been, for several years, in violation of the Establishment Clause for favoring the Menorah and not allowing Snowdon her Nativity. Still the town insist on both sponsoring the Menorah and placing it front and center leaving the Nativity to be placed in a lower and lesser ranking position. The Judgment gives Snowdon the right for 10 years to have her Nativity in the designated public forum that was created as a result for her Federal lawsuit. Snowdon pays for the Nativity at her own expense. Meanwhile, the town purchased and paid for the Menorah with taxpayer dollars and has given the Menorah preference in the forum. A Jewish resident in Bay Harbor applied to the town to sponsor the Menorah and was refused. The town stated that, “they would be the sponsor of the Menorah as part of their holiday display.”

On November 13th at the Town Council Meeting, the town also passed Ordinance 812 to govern the newly formed designated public forum and placed penalties to both fine and arrest Snowdon if she attempted to have any ceremonies affiliated with her Nativity display. For the past five years, those of Jewish faith could visit the Menorah and pray with the Rabbi and light candles each night of Hanukah. However, when Christians wanted a small prayer service, they passed a new town ordinance that no one was allowed to visit the displays.

In addition, the town’s lampposts have gone dark within the Business District due to the town refusing to add Christian decorations with their eight eight- foot decorative Menorahs and eight-foot Stars of David’s, that hung in years past. Now, they claim separation of Church and State while still sponsoring a Menorah in the designated public forum. The Consent Judgment provides that if any decorations go on the lamppost that Christian Nativity decorations be added on 6 lampposts. The town would rather go dark and have no holiday decorations than allow Christian symbols be included. In her lawsuit, the town fought in court that the Menorah was a secular symbol and a decoration, not a religious symbol. The Federal Court ruled that the Menorah was indeed a religious symbol. Snowdon does not object to the town having “white lights only” to wrap around the Palm trees in the median of the main street. She believes that, “the white lights can represent that Christ is the Light of the World.”

The town’s discrimination against Christians coincides with the release of the motion picture The Nativity Story. Snowdon adds, “Jesus once again has been relegated to the back position just as his birth in a stable over 2000 years ago.” She maintains that “we as Christians today must unite and stand up for Jesus this Christmas and not let Christ take second billing.“ Ironically, during the course of her legal battle, Snowdon started a website to share the meaning of Christmas and help others understand the birth of Christ, which is http://www.nativitystory.com. She is now receiving e-mails at her site in conjunction with the film release. Many think that she is involved with the film because of her story being the modern day version of fighting for Jesus and the Nativity.

Her journey has also been difficult along the way, just as the true story. The former Mayor called her an “anti-Semitic bitch”, tried to have her evicted from her apartment , told the local synagogue that they had to warn all Holocaust victims that their was an “anti-Semite” living in Bay Harbor Islands and even called Christian decorations “trivial.” She has received numerous death threats, and her car was intentionally tampered with in an intent to harm. In the recent November Town’s Newsletter, the present Mayor has belittled Snowdon by calling her a “renter” on the island who receives “free” legal advice from Christian Law firms. He goes on to state that she has cost the town’s people thousands of taxpayer dollars in legal fees trying to put Christ back into Christmas at their expense. Snowdon maintains that she has fought for fairness in her town and for equality during the Christmas and Holiday Season.

The town to date, has paid more than $350,000 to fight Snowdon in court and is now suing her personally for $45,000 in legal fees resulting from her recent Appellate Court case. The town was found to have been in violation of seven of Snowdon’s Constitutional rights including violation of the establishment clause, freedom of speech and equal protection. Snowdon states, “That if her Constitutional rights have been violated than that affects every American. If we as Americans do not stand strong and fight now to preserve our Constitution than we will all wake up one day and find that our rights have been stripped away and that we are living in a secular country devoid of religious symbols.”

Snowdon says that her battle has really just begun and she now needs Christian support. She plans to take her case back into court and represent herself pro se in asking the courts to enforce “equality” for Christ. The Menorah should not get center position. Although Jesus may have been born in a stable, Snowdon refuses to put up her Nativity in an “off position.” She says, “That in this 21st Century, I will not allow Jesus to take a back seat or be hidden away. My Jesus will not be seated on the back of the bus.”

Ms Snowdon has been a guest on The O’Reilly Factor. Her story has also been featured on Dr. James Kennedy’s Coral Ridge Hour. She was one of the honored recipients of this years prestigious Salt & Light Award from The Center for Reclaiming America for Christ for her fight in the Federal Courts for the Nativity. Both the national and international press has covered her battle with Bay Harbor Islands. She has also been on several radio talk shows. As a Christian Activist, Ms Snowdon continues her fight to “Put Christ Back into Christmas.” The Rutherford Institute, Thomas More Law Center, and attorney Kevin Brown have represented her. Westlaw has also published her case.

Please contact Ms Snowdon directly at sondrasnowdon@yahoo.com or by telephone at (305) 861-8634 (before 10:00AM or after 10:00PM Eastern)

Christian

Two nation survey: America vs. Bethlehem.
BETHLEHEM, Dec. 20 /Christian Newswire/ — Press Conference: 12pm noon, Thursday 21/12/2006, Furno Hall, Millennium Building, Bethlehem University. Bethlehem, Palestine. Details below.

Most Americans believe Bethlehem is an Israeli town inhabited by a mixture of Jews and Muslims, a pre- Christmas survey of US perceptions of the town has shown.

Only 15 per cent of Americans realize that it is a Palestinian city with a mixed Christian-Muslim community, lying in the occupied West Bank.

The nationwide survey, carried out by top US political pollsters Zogby International, canvassed 15000 American respondents. The poll was commissioned by the campaign organization Open Bethlehem to coincide with a survey carried out in Bethlehem itself – canvassing 1000 respondents from the three urban centres of Bethlehem, where the population splits almost equally between Muslims and Christians.

The surveys have put the spotlight on the plight of the town, which has been fast losing its indigenous Christian population since the construction of the Israeli wall plunged Bethlehem into economic crisis.

The two surveys show that American perceptions of the town are wildly at odds with the perceptions of those who live there.

While the Christians of Bethlehem overwhelmingly (78%) blame the exodus of Christians from the town on Israel’s blockade, Americans are more likely (45.9%) to blame it on Islamic politics and are reluctant (7.4%) to blame Israel.

And while four out of ten Americans believe that the wall exists for Israel’s security, more than nine out of ten Bethlehemites believe it is part of a plan by Israel to confiscate Palestinian land.

The Zogby survey shows strong support for the town in the US, where 65.5% of the population want the UN to list it as a world heritage site. Americans are also strongly in favor (80.6%) of Bethlehem retaining a strong Christian presence.

Americans are also ambivalent about the Israeli wall, with 31.5% in favour of it, with another 31.6% opposed.

But more than two-thirds of Americans believe Bethlehem is unsafe to visit, while 80% of Bethlehemites consider their town safe for visitors.

While the US survey showed that Americans are skeptical about Muslims and Christians living contentedly alongside each other – only 17% thought they lived together in peaceful coexistence – the Palestinian survey showed they do: around 90% of Christians said they had Muslim friends, and vice- versa.

The Israeli government could well be shaken by the discovery that Americans’ tolerance of the wall would be strained by the discovery that it separates communities and families, cuts Bethlehem off from Jerusalem, and requires the seizure of privately- owned land.

US Christians, meanwhile, are likely to be shocked by the discovery that seven out of ten Christians in Bethlehem believe Israel treats the town’s Christian heritage with brutality or indifference.

The Bethlehem poll, which was carried out by the Palestinian Centre for research and Cultural Dialogue, shows on the other hand that more than two-thirds (73.3%) of Bethlehem’s Christians believe that the Palestinian Authority treats Christian heritage with respect. That result will surprise some who believe that the election of Hamas has strained Christian- Muslim relations in the town.

Leila Sansour, Open Bethlehem’s Chief Executive, says:
“Our US poll shows overwhelming support for Bethlehem’s Christian heritage, yet our survey of Bethlehem’s own citizens shows the city cannot retain this heritage and its Christian community while the wall remains.

“The choice is stark. Either the wall stays and Bethlehem ceases to be a Christian town. Or Bethlehem retains its Christian population – in which case the wall has to come down. The international community needs to wake up to what is happening and choose.”

Footnotes:
Reports of the surveys will be available on Open Bethlehem website http://www.openbethlehem.org

For more information, interviews, maps, photos or survey reports please contact:

Open Bethlehem
Manger Square, Bethlehem http://www.openbethlehem.org
Tel: +972-2-2777993 Fax: +972-2-2740139
e-mail: admin@openbethlehem.org
Nida Rishmawi: +970599940990
Austen Ivereigh: +44 7905224860
Leila Sansour, CEO (mobile): +972-547547921

Open Bethlehem – London Office
16-18 Strutton Ground, London SW1P 2HP
Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 2072228443
openbethlehem@openbethlehem.org

Federal Judge Denies Chicago’s Motion to Dismiss All Charges Against the City for Free Speech Violations
CHICAGO, Dec. 19 /Christian Newswire/ — On Friday, December 15, Federal Judge Milton I. Shadur, US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, denied in its entirety Chicago’s motion to dismiss charges against the City that it violated REPENT AMERICA’s (RA) First Amendment rights during the Gay Games earlier this year.

During the Gay Games, RA volunteers saw an opportunity to share the good news of Jesus who wants people to repent because “the truth is that God has put in the Bible clear prohibitions against homosexual behavior.” RA’s method is to engage people in conversations and pass out literature in public venues which is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. However, on Sunday, July 16, 2006 in Gateway Park across from Navy Pier, Chicago Police officers handcuffed three RA volunteers and arrested two of them, yelled profanities at them, and held them for four hours at a Chicago police station. Then on Saturday, July 22, 2006, on a sidewalk in front of Wrigley Field, where the Gay Games closing ceremonies were being held, police arrested an RA volunteer for holding a sign proclaiming that “Marriage is Between One Man and One Woman.” However, persons nearby holding pro- homosexual signs and deriding President Bush were left alone.

After these incidents, RA volunteers filed a civil law suit charging that Chicago violated their free speech rights, equal protection of the laws, and violation of the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act, all were found to have merit by Judge Shadur.

Andy Norman of Mauck & Baker, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said “We truly believe that this ruling will benefit people who struggle with homosexual temptation. It will ensure that Christians can continue to preach the truth in love at homosexual events, so their message can be used by God for healthy change in the lives of homosexuals. The judge has ruled that plaintiffs’ message of healing through faith in Jesus the Messiah, including people ensnared in homosexual lifestyles, can be publicly expressed.”

The judge’s order is available upon request.

Christian Newswire

MIDLAND, Texas, Dec. 11 /Christian Newswire/ — CAA learned recently the local government of Tongling City, Anhui Province is taking administrative measures that interfere with the religious affairs of Christians by forcing them to join the Three-Self Church.

November 26, 2006 a house church assembly in Laodong Xincui, Tongling City, Anhui Province, was closed by the local Religious Affair Bureau. The church leaders were told to worship in the local Three-Self Church.

The house church was founded by renowned Christian Brother Wang Xingquan 53 years ago and currently has a membership of approximately 200 Christians. Brother Wang was thrown into prison for his faith during the Cultural Revolution.

In order to exert more pressure on Brother Wang, his daughter’s work unit stopped paying her salary, and has threatened to fire her unless she sets an example for other Christians by joining the local Three-Self Church. Another brother under threat of losing his job was coerced to resign from the church.

December 5, 2006 upon the request of the Christians, the government held a hearing in which the Religious Affair Bureau’s decision to close the church was upheld.

Currently the Christians hold worship services in their homes; they said they are preparing for further legal action to regain their right of religious freedom.

“The Religious Affair Bureau is only one department in the government in charge of religious affairs. It is definitely not powerful enough to force a work unit to stop paying its employees.” said Bob Fu, President of CAA, “It is obvious that the entire course of action was formulated by the upper level government. Tongling government’s resorting to administrative methods to interfere with religious affairs ultimately tramples the spirit and promise of religious freedom stipulated in the Chinese Constitution and International Laws. We hope that the Tongling government corrects their mistakes and protects religious freedom of its citizens.

CAA also learned that all of the Christians arrested October 20, 2006 in Qingshuihe Town, Huocheng County, Yili City, Xinjiang autonomous area were released by November 26, 2006. Four brothers were locked in the detention center for 32 days, one brother and two sisters 14 days. No legal documents were issued when they were arrested and released.

Four brothers who were locked up for 32 days are now in the hospital for medical treatment as a result of being severely tortured by other prisoners. “I was beaten daily morning, noon and night! They beat me if I ate the food or did not eat the food, ate too much or too little, went to the toilet or did not go to the toilet! They just beat me for no reason.” one brother said. What’s more, the Christians were clearly told by the prisoners that they were beaten according to the instructions from the police officers in charge of the detention centre.

Brother Tan’s experience is especially horrible. He was intentionally placed in a cell with homosexual prisoners where he suffered the humiliation being sexually abused as well as physically beaten. “I would not come out alive if I had been with them any longer.” said brother Tan.

“It is totally intolerable to treat a sixty-year old man like that!” said Bob Fu, President of CAA. “We appeal to the Xinjiang government to investigate this event and punish the people involved in detaining and abusing these Christians.”

CAA has sent a representative to Xinjiang to comfort and encourage these suffering brothers and sisters. Please contact CAA if you wish to help them.

Christian Newswire