April 19, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 19 /Christian Newswire/ — The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC), has just become informed that Turkey has detained 5 more suspected accomplices in the gruesome execution of 3 Christian workers. These deaths are only the latest in a string of attacks aimed at Christians. In 2006, a priest was murdered while praying, and two other priests were attacked. In January 2007, a Christian journalist was gunned down outside his newspaper office.
I was in downtown Washington, DC yesterday on the way to a USAID conference of hundreds of NGOs that were gathering to coordinate their work of trying to make the world a better place when I heard the news. Three Christians in Turkey (2 Turks, 1 German) had been slaughtered. Their hands bound, their throats slit. A fourth died as a result of injuries sustained from jumping out of the window trying to escape the killers.
The two Turks who were slaughtered like animals were Necati Aydýn and Uður Yüksel. Necati was a convert to Christianity from Islam. Necati was a husband and father of two young children. He had met his wife when he boarded a bus and the only available seat was next to a girl who was reading her Bible. He was intrigued and began to ask her questions about the Bible. Eventually, they married. Uður was trying to save up money to get married to his engaged sweetheart.
Necati and his coworker Uður lived in Malatya, a known center of Turkish nationalism (it is the hometown of Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981).
While they are generally described as “Bible workers” in the press, what is not known is that they were devoted to their city and to Turkey.
They had a love for Turkey and wanted to make it a better place. In fact, they had recently been involved in the work of rehabilitating 3 Turkish (not Christian) schools that had fallen into disrepair.
These small life details always seem to get lost in cases like these where victims become symbols for greater struggles.
In the end, they were simple, gentle, and kind Turks whose blood was wasted by overzealous youth intent on protecting Turkey from its 1% Christian population. Hürriyet newspaper quoted one of the suspects as saying, “We didn’t do this for ourselves, but for our religion…Our religion is being destroyed. Let this be a lesson to enemies of our religion.”
Turkey has long been a moderate center of Islam, existing as a bridge between the East and West, Christianity and Islam. It is an amazing country with wonderful people and an assortment of historical and Biblical landmarks that will leave you spellbound.
Turkey presently stands at a crossroads as they debate issues of nationalism, Islamic radicalism, and entry into the EU. We pray that Turks would mourn the death of these two as Turks first and Christians second, and denounce their loss as a loss to Turkey and as a sign of where things will head if they do not deal firmly with increasing radicalism in their country.
ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to serve persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Assistance, Advocacy, and Awareness to the worldwide persecuted Church.
April 19, 2007
MEDIA ADVISORY, April 19 /Christian Newswire/ — On March 28, 2007, Ellen Sauerbrey, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, received a letter signed by 19 EU politicians urging her to withdraw from this year’s World Congress on Families, to be held in Warsaw, May 11-13. The politicians cited the supposedly “extremist and intolerant views held by some participants and attendees” as reasons why she should stay away, going on to attack Population Research Institute and its President, Steven W. Mosher, by name.
The EU parliamentarians took issue with PRI and Mosher for speaking openly of Europe’s demographic decline, and wrongly assert that PRI “claims that Muslims are to blame.” They quote, as an example of this so-called “extremism,” a statement from PRI’s website: “These immigrants, particularly Muslim ones in Europe, are too many and too culturally different from their new countries’ populations to assimilate quickly, and they are contributing to the cultural suicide of these nations as they commit demographic suicide.”
“We stand by our statement that Europe is facing demographic catastrophe,” says Mosher. “Anyone looking at the falling birthrate in countries from Ireland to Russia cannot help but conclude that present-day Europeans are committing a kind of national suicide.” The passage quoted by the EU politicians does not blame Muslims as such for Europe’s demographic collapse, Mosher points out. “Europe’s decline is obviously not caused by Muslim immigration,” Mosher said. “Rather, high rates of Muslim immigration are a consequence of Europe’s decline. The workers have to come from somewhere. And since they come from a very different culture, they will obviously be harder to assimilate.”
Assistant Secretary Sauerbrey’s appearance at the Congress will help Europe face up to the grim realities of demographic decline, Mosher said. “We welcome the wrong-headed and probably barren politicians who signed this misleading letter to join us at the conference,” he added. “They might learn something.”
The World Congress of Families convenes on May 11- 13, 2007 at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland. For more information, visit http://www.worldcongress.org.
The Population Research Institute (PRI) was founded in 1989 by Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, PhD and is dedicated to: (1) ending human rights abuses committed in the name of “family planning”, (2) opposing outdated social and economic paradigms premised on the myth of overpopulation, (3) informing the public about the social and economic benefits of moderate population growth, and (4) promoting pro- natal and pro-family attitudes and policies worldwide. Steven Mosher was named President of PRI in 1995 by Fr. Marx and is continuing his legacy. Autographed copies of Hegemon are available through the Population Research Institute for $24.95, plus $5 for shipping and handling.
April 19, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 18 /Christian Newswire/ — A delegation led by Institute on Religion and Public Policy Founder and President Joseph K. Grieboski recently returned from a mission to Sudan to survey the situation in Darfur and to assess the development of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement by Khartoum and the Government of South Sudan.
“With the world’s attention on Darfur, little notice has been paid to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” commented Mr. Grieboski. “Darfur is sometimes mistakenly believed to be a separate issue, sharing no common ground, with the rest of the problems plaguing Sudan. Appropriate attention to and action on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement will facilitate the resolution of the situation in Darfur as well.”
“Ongoing signals that the international community is interested in ‘regime change’, displaying a general mistrust towards the Bashir regime and not recognizing them as the only legitimate partner with the SPLM in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is not conducive to finding a positive solution to the Darfur crisis, and will only exacerbate the still existent tension between the North and South,” Mr. Grieboski continued. “Southern Sudanese leaders expressed their concern to us that a collapse of the current government in Khartoum leaves the South without a partner in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Their fears of a protracted civil war as a result of such a collapse were palpable.”
“The Institute on Religion and Public Policy has yet to release an evaluation of the trip or its recommendations,” Mr. Grieboski concluded. “However it is clear that a lesson must be learned from the success of the US involvement in the North-South peace process that balanced pressure on all parties. All rebel groups in the Darfur region, non signatories to the Darfur Peace Agreement, and the Government in Khartoum must equally be pressured to find peaceful solutions to the complex issues in the Sudan.”
To: National & International Desks
Contact: Kevin Fahey, The Institute on Religion and Public Policy, 202-835-8760, Fahey@religionandpolicy.org
The Institute on Religion and Public Policy
WASHINGTON, April 18 /Christian Newswire/ — The Institute on Religion and Public Policy decries the killing of four Christian publishing house employees in Malatya, Turkey on Wednesday. The publishing house, Zirve, was a prominent source for printing and distributing Bibles in Turkish.
Three of victims’ throats were slit, including that of the publishing house owner, while the fourth victim died after jumping from a third floor window in an attempt to escape the assailants. Ultra-nationalist groups, who reportedly made previous threats against the company, are suspected in the early stages of the investigation.
Responding to the vicious slayings, Joseph K. Grieboski, President of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy stated, “These atrocious murders are evidence that religious intolerance continues to rise in Turkey. While one can discount this horrific incident as a singular event, one cannot ignore the repeated attacks against members of minority religious communities in Turkey. The Government of Turkey has a responsibility to each of its citizens regardless of religious identity to provide security, protection, and, in the event of acts such as this, effective and objective investigation and pursuit of justice.”
April 19, 2007
MIDLAND, Texas, April 18 /Christian Newswire/ — China Aid Association has learned that three House Church leaders from Henan and Inner Mongolia filed a lawsuit against the government for abuse during their detention after both local governments rejected their application for an administrative review of their penalties.
Dong Quanqu and his wife Li Huage from Henan have filed a lawsuit in the People’s Court of Nanyang city demanding that the Wancheng Branch of Nanyang Municipal Public Security Bureau cancel all its illegal specific acts, return the confiscated properties and compensate for the applicants’ properties that was illegally detained, including 400 yuan of detention fees. However, the court hasn’t decided whether or not to take up this case.
Photo: sister Zhi Ruiping’s administrative detention paper
Zhi Ruiping from Inner Mongolia filed her case in the People’s Court of Duolun County on April 12, 2007 and that court has accepted her case. Her trial will be held soon.
For the case of pastor Dong Quanyu and his wife, the reasons given by the applicants are based on the laws of the People’s Republic of China. On March 6, 2007, the police raided the house church without presenting proper identification and failed to comply with the legal procedure as defined in Article 37 of the “Laws of Administrative Penalty of the People’s Republic of China.”
Confiscation of their computers, cameras, Dong Quanyu’s cell phone, 30-40 boxes of Bibles and 400 yuan of cash is a violation of Article 89 of “Laws of Administrative Penalty of the People’s Republic of China.” Other references of the laws include Articles 96, 97, 27 of the “Laws of Administrative Penalty of the People’s Republic of China” and Articles 36 and 37 of “The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China.”
Dong Yuanqu was detained 10 days; from March 6, 2007 to March 16, 2007. Li Huage was detained on March 19, 2007 on the grounds that Li notified the people gathering on March 6. She was released on March 29, 2007. So far, the properties confiscated have not been returned.
For the case of sister Zhi Ruiping, the requests in her application are:
Repeal the Penalty Decision Gong (Guo) Jue Zi No. 3 of Duolun County according to law
Rule that the defendant pay one yuan in the form of state compensation according to law
Rule that the defendant pay the litigation expenses for this case
Zhi Ruiping was arrested on December 29, 2006 by Duolun County Public Security Bureau on the grounds that she organized a Christmas celebration without registration. She was given a penalty of 15 days of detention and was released on January 13, 2007.
CAA has been supporting both cases with legal and financial aid.
Issued on April 18 2007 by China Aid Association, Inc.
April 17, 2007
CARROLLTON, Texas, April 16 /Christian Newswire/ — Attacks on Christians in India intensified throughout the recent Easter season. Two Gospel for Asia missionaries and several members of a GFA-affiliated church were targeted in one of the recently-reported attacks.
Missionaries Chandan Chhinchhadi and Dinesh Toppo were attacked in their home around 2 p.m. on Easter Sunday. The two men had conducted Easter services at a GFA-affiliated church earlier in the day and were resting at their home when five anti- Christian extremists stormed in and began harassing them. The attackers beat the pastors for more than an hour while accusing them of forcing people to convert to Christianity and various other crimes.
The attackers even dragged our pastors to the market at the center of the village in an attempt to humiliate them.
The next day, the pastors tried to report the incident to the local authorities, but the extremists prevented them from entering the police station. The extremists even filed a false report against the pastors. That same day, the police came to Chandan and Dinesh and said that, for their own safety they should come to the police station. They also brought along three believers from the church. However, once they reached the police station, all of them were arrested and they were put in jail.
GFA leaders from a nearby office came to the police station late that night and pleaded with officials to release the pastor and believers, who were innocent of any crime. The police agreed to release them, but for their own safety would not let them go that night. During the time the pastor and believers were in jail, two truckloads of anti-Christian extremists had gathered outside the police station and were waiting to attack the Christians. A few hours later the situation calmed down and the pastor and believers were released and taken to a regional GFA facility for their own safety.
The next day, the GFA leaders once again attempted to file a police report about the beatings, but the police refused to accept the report.
Complicating matters for the five who were arrested is the fact that one of them, a woman who is a government employee, is being singled out for threats-the extremists are trying to have her fired from her job.
The extremists are also inciting the villagers, telling them to kill the believers and to burn down their homes.
This incident comes just one week after children in a Gospel for Asia Bridge of Hope center in Manipur, India, were caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between opposing insurgent groups.
This is not the first time Christians in India have faced persecution during the Easter season. On Easter Sunday 2006, anti-Christian extremists stormed into a GFA-affiliated church in Karnataka, India, and attacked the GFA missionary who serves there. The extremists also attacked about 35 believers in the church, including the women and children. They even ransacked the church, the pastor’s home and his vehicle.
Several other Easter-related attacks were reported this year in India, including:
Anti-Christian extremists attacked Christians who were praying at another church in Madhya Pradesh on Palm Sunday.
In another area of Madhya Pradesh, extremists attacked a group comprised mostly of children during a Palm Sunday procession. Two people in that group suffered serious head injuries as a result of the attack.
In Andhra Pradesh, an unidentified group brutally attacked a Christian worker while he was returning from a Lenten prayer meeting at a believer’s home. The attackers covered the man’s face with a mask and tortured him for three hours, while accusing him of being a terrorist. They dragged the man to a schoolyard where they continued to beat him and tried to strangle him.
Uttar Pradesh police arrested a Christian pastor on false charges on Maundy Thursday. The pastor was charged with paying families to convert to Christianity. The pastor was jailed for one day and ordered to pay a small fine before being released.
Gospel for Asia missionaries and leaders in Madhya Pradesh request prayer for God’s intervention and protection of the believers who were arrested on Easter and the days following. They have all now returned to their homes, but are living under threat of continued violence. Pray especially for the government employee whose job is in danger. The believers and pastors also need prayer for strength and boldness as they live under continued threats from the extremists.
The believers and leaders in Madhya Pradesh are asking God to grant them favor from the police. They also request prayer that God would change the hearts of the extremists who are persecuting them and that the extremists would come to know Jesus.
Gospel for Asia is a mission organization involved in evangelism and church planting in Asia’s unreached regions. Currently Gospel for Asia supports more than 16,000 church planters in 10 countries. On average, these missionaries establish approximately 10 fellowships every day among unreached villages and people groups. Gospel for Asia is also committed to training native missionaries. The organization’s 54 Bible colleges are preparing nearly 9,000 students to become full-time church planters.
April 17, 2007
WASHINGTON, April 16 /Christian Newswire/ — Christians Reviving America’s ValuEs is a national organization also known by the name CRAVE, because we CRAVE revival in our churches and the restoration of Godly principles in America.
Every year we write more than 1,000,000 letters to Christians in America. We want to educate them about the War on Christianity. We tell them about the role played by Christianity, The Ten Commandments and morality of our Founding Fathers in establishing our great nation. We remind people that honesty, integrity, moral character and our national freedoms are still important in America today.
The President of CRAVE, Don Swarthout, attended the United States Supreme Court hearings on the public display of the Ten Commandments. CRAVE is also involved in Exposing the ACLU and requested a Congressional Investigation into their activities. We are also very concerned about the lack of truthfulness of American prosecutors in the trials like the Duke Rape Case and the trials of Border Patrol Agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.
Too many Christians today don’t think we should be involved in politics, but we should involve our Christianity in absolutely everything in our lives.
In Genesis 1:26, the first chapter, of the first book of the Bible God tells us “to take dominion over the earth and everything therein.” We are also taught “to occupy until he returns,” and “to be good stewards over everything He has given us,” and that most certainly includes this nation.
The Bible teaches us that Jesus is coming back. He will reign and rule over the earth for a thousand years. That sounds to me like Jesus is going to be quite involved in the government of our world. Isaiah 9:6-7 makes that very clear.
“We must never forget America is the only nation in the history of the world to base a government upon the will of the people and the principles of God. It takes a lot of study of American History and the Bible to fully understand this, but if you will invest the time, you will find it is true,” according to Swarthout.
“Most people today think that our freedom comes from our Constitution, but our freedom comes directly from God. The God of the Holy Scriptures is the God of freedom because He created man with the ability to make our own decisions. That makes Him the God of our freedom, it is just that simple,” Swarthout said.
Our Declaration of Independence says our Creator gave us certain unalienable rights. Those unalienable rights come directly from God. The purpose of our government is to help us maintain our rights. That is our government’s responsibility to us. However, the government is not doing their job very well.
WE ARE LOSING OUR FREEDOMS IN AMERICA
We are losing our freedoms and our Christian rights in America. The ACLU gets rich from your tax dollars when they win a case against Religious Freedom or the Ten Commandments. If they lose such a case the ACLU pays you nothing. They just pick up their marbles and go home. The ACLU says they are against someone searching your bags when you enter a building, but they have a scanner and search every bag coming into their very own headquarters. Your teenage daughter can get an abortion without your knowledge; Government can take your property and sell it to someone else just because they can get more money for it in tax revenue; Border Patrol Agents can be convicted and sent to prison for doing their jobs; Islamic leaders lie to us over and over again while they are preparing for a war against America.
“We must learn to call things by their real names,” said Don Swarthout, President of Christians Reviving America’s ValuEs. An example of this can be illustrated by a lady telling a story about someone’s pickup truck being stolen and set on fire in a small town. The lady telling the story said, “Of course, the keys were left in the ignition switch.” The people listening to the story said, “Oh well, no wonder then the truck was stolen.”
The lady telling the story said, “No, I think the Commandment is; Thou shalt not steal, instead of thou shalt not leave your keys in your truck.” The lady telling this story really had it right. She repeated exactly what the Bible says and we need to learn to always think that way. If everyone would just try to live by the Ten Commandments it would be a much better world.
In another example, the ACLU defended NAMBLA’s (North America Man Boy Love Association) website in court. The ACLU said this website, which taught older men how to seduce young boys into homosexual activities, could be called free speech.
Yet the truth is this website could be seen as encouraging the crime of Pedophilia which is against the law. This website should not be called free speech, but rather it is about committing Pedophilia which is an illegal crime in America.
Don Swarthout said, “Every year CRAVE spends more than $500,000 just on the cost of our mailings compared to the ACLU’s annual budget of $45,000,000. Where are the Christians who say they would love to see the ACLU shut down? If Christians could see the whole picture, they would help us to fight these battles.”