Sentence Upheld for Pastor in Algeria Stopped for Carrying Christian Literature

Court in Tiaret, Algeria. (Morning Star News)

TIZI-OUZOUAlgeria (Morning Star News) – A case that began with police in Algeria stopping a Christian suspected of carrying Bibles in his car ended yesterday with a large fine for the church leader.

A judge in Tiaret, 600 kilometers (372 miles) southwest of Algiers, on Wednesday (May 16) denied pastor Nouredine Belabed’s appeal of a sentence of a 100,000-dinar (US$868) fine and payment of court fees under a controversial law that forbids “undermining the faith of a Muslim.” Belabed had received the sentenceon March 8, including a three-month suspended prison term reduced from what had been a two-year prison term.

The 37-year-old father of three was traveling with a companion, identified only as 26-year-old Khalil, to Tiaret on March 14, 2015 when gendarmes stopped their vehicle, Pastor Belabed told Morning Star News. National Gendarmerie in Tiaret had contacted officers in Sidi Abderrahmane to report two suspects driving an Opel Zaphira coming from El-Bayadh toward Tiaret with Christian books on board.

“We went to El-Bayadh to see our Christian brothers, but also to answer the call of a man who contacted us to know Christ,” Pastor Belabed told Morning Star News. “I do not know him, but we are used to working that way. But once there, he called me to apologize for not being able to come. Back at a gendarmerie checkpoint at a junction, we were stopped to search the vehicle from top to bottom. I was sure someone pointed us out.”

A thorough search followed, ending with the officers seizing 56 books, according to a police report delivered to prosecutors at a court in Frenda, 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Tiaret. The books included the Gospel of Mathew, Bibles, a Bible commentary, a book on church history and some pamphlets.

Pastor Belabed told officers that he had bought them at a Christian bookstore in Algiers after a meeting with other church leaders at the headquarters of the legally recognized Protestant Church of Algeria (l’Église Protestante d’Algérie, or EPA). He told them he meant to distribute them free to other Christians or any other person who wanted to know Christ, he said.

“They detained us at the gendarmerie brigade from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. after photocopying each of the books we were carrying,” he said. “Since then we did not hear of this case. I thought they had forgotten us.”

Nearly two years later, around Christmas of 2017, he was informed that a security warrant had been issued on him and that he had been sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of 50,000 dinars (US$434) by a court in Frenda. The judgment was dated October 27, 2015.

“It was at the police station that I was informed,” he said. “The two of us had been sentenced for possession and distribution of Christian articles in order to destabilize and undermine the faith of Muslim according to article 02/11 of the Law 03/06.”

Law 03/2006, commonly known as Law 03/06, calls for a prison term of two to five years and a fine of 500,000 to 1 million dinars (US$4,343 to US$8,687) for anyone who “incites, constrains, or utilizes means of seduction tending to convert a Muslim to another religion, or using for this purpose the institutions of education, health, social, cultural, or educational institutions, or other establishment, or financial advantage; or makes, stores or distributes printed documents or films or other audiovisual medium or means intended to undermine the faith of a Muslim.”

Christian leaders say the charge is unconstitutional, citing the Algerian constitution’s Article 42, which guarantees freedom of belief, opinion and worship.

During interrogation Pastor Belabed told officers he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2003, and Khalil said he had converted in 2009.

Judge Rebukes Pastor

While the pastor secured an attorney with the EPA’s help, Khalil fled the country for Europe with others in a makeshift boat at the risk of their lives, Pastor Belabed said.

After he fought the sentence with legal defense, in March a court in Frenda convicted both Christians of undermining the faith of a Muslim and sentenced them to pay the fine and court fees; the two-year prison sentence was cancelled in favor of the three-month suspended sentence, while the fine of 50,000 dinars was doubled.

The pastor opted to appeal, and the case was transferred to the Tiaret Criminal Court. On May 9, he appeared before the same judge who had sentenced him in 2015.

“When I saw and recognized the judge, knowing that it was the same who had sentenced me in Frenda, I was scared,” Pastor Belabed said. “But, encouraged by the Lord, I tried to defend my cause somehow. But the judge was harsh and said, “Why do you carry those Christian books, Are not you ashamed?’ The judge used intimidation and told me repeatedly, ‘You’re not ashamed to do that? Algeria is a Muslim country.’”

He replied that he was a Christian who loved Muslims and did not seek to harm their peace, he said. The pastor said he told the judge, “I did not do anything wrong, judge. The Bibles I carried were intended for members of our community, our Tiaret church, which is affiliated with the EPA. I did not give them to others or try to evangelize anyone.”

The May 16 verdict did not appear to mention Khalil.

“Nouredine B. alone was found guilty for carrying and distributing Christian articles in order to undermine and destabilize the faith of a Muslim, in accordance with Article 11/02 of Law 03/06, and for that he is ordered to pay a fine of 100,000. DA ($ 862),” the verdict read.

Pastor Belabed said he would not file any more appeals.

“I am tired,” he said. “The police keep watching us, my wife and me. They watch all our movements. I do not want to inflict more on my family than that; I decide to choose to pay the fine.”

Algeria ranked 42nd on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Right on cue, the world condemns Israel

Is it any coincidence that all this is taking place at the same time we relocated our embassy to Jerusalem? Things are falling into place just as scripted by Hamas.

Here are the fake Media reports: Israel is slaughtering unarmed men! Israel is killing women and children! Israel is butchering babies! It’s time for the world to condemn this genocidal nation!

Things are falling into place just as scripted by Hamas. The terrorist organization recruits and sends its young men on suicide missions. Israel responds with the expected force. The media reports the events along anti-Israel lines. Then the nations of the world rise up to condemn evil Israel.

I previously cited Aaron Klein and Melanie Phillips, both of whom pointed out how the secular media plays right into Hamas’s hands. Since then, David Friedman, our ambassador to Israel, also weighed in, dubbing the protests and the ensuing casualties “a public relations event.”

He said, “If I could give a word of advice to the media, if they purport to care so much about the Palestinian cause: this coverage of Palestinians running to the fence, burning tires — it’s the fuel or the lubricant for further malign behavior.”

He added, “there’s a reason why Hamas sends impressionable kids to the front, telling them that the border is safe to cross. They want them to be killed or injured, to make the front page of the paper.”

Palestinian ambassador blasting IsraelThat is the satanic and cynical strategy of Hamas.

Alan Dershowitz made similar comments, claiming that when the media reports in such “a biased manner,” that “incentivizes and encourages Hamas.” He said:

“You use children and women, you deliberately put them on the front lines, you make it impossible for Israel to defend itself without occasionally killing a woman or a child or an elderly person. And every time Israel accidentally kills somebody like that, Israelis grieve. Israel loses. Hamas cheers and celebrates because that’s exactly what they want. They want the media to show the body count. They want the media to show the dead baby, even though Israel tried everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties.”

It doesn’t matter that Hamas has admitted that more than 80 percent of those killed on Monday were Hamas members. (See here also)

It doesn’t matter that the dead baby (seen with grieving mother), did not die at the hands of the IDF. (And why on earth would you bring an infant anywhere near the front lines of an active shooting site?)

It doesn’t matter that, “A Hamas leader said in an interview that the terror group was ‘deceiving the public’ when it spoke of ‘peaceful resistance.'”

All that matters is that Israel is evil and Israel is monstrous and Israel is genocidal.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is now calling on the Islamic world to unite against Israel. “The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre,” he said.

And here in the West, celebrities are condemning evil Israel once again.

According to Chelsea Handler (on Tuesday): “Nikki Haley is on tv talking about Hamas being responsible for the Palestinians protesting yesterday. These people had no weapons. They had tires to burn. There was a dead baby. While Netanyahu celebrates.”

Bette Midler tweeted (specifically targeting President Trump): “Fifty-two people die in protest over moving American Embassy to Jerusalem. Thanks, a–hole! Your uninformed and demented actions have consequences! Don’t you get it? Those people had families too!”

Michael Ian Black was more succinct: “Two *thousand* wounded. This is a massacre.”

Did I say that things were playing out just as Hamas scripted?

Again, as I emphasized in my last column, I grieve over this loss of life as well, regardless of who is ultimately responsible for it. And I do not claim that Israel is perfect in all her actions.

But this is a story we’ve read before. We know the plot. We know the players. We know how the story ends: Israel is a genocidal monster that must be stopped!

Is it any coincidence that all this is taking place at the same time we relocated our embassy to Jerusalem? Is it any coincidence that Zechariah, writing more than 2,500 years ago, described how all the nations would unite to attack Jerusalem? (See Zechariah 12 and 14. This could speak of all surrounding nations, of a coalition of nations worldwide, or literally, of every nation.)

The Pro Gay Marriage Bishop

Royal Wedding Pastor Michael Curry Is Pro-Gay Marriage--Should it Matter?

Royal Wedding Pastor Michael Curry Is Pro-Gay Marriage–Should it Matter?

Christians across the globe were inspired by Bishop Michael Curry’s message about love during the royal wedding Saturday, but many of those same Christians then debated whether his views on gay marriage and LGBT issues should matter.

In 2015 he was installed as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, becoming the first African-American leader of the predominately white denomination. But before that, as a bishop in North Carolina, he was “one of the first to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in churches there,” The Washington Post reported.

When the Anglican Communion penalized the Episcopal Church for its stance on gay marriage, Curry drew parallels between the struggles of African Americans and of those in the LBGT community.

“I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain,” he said at the time.

On Twitter over the weekend, Christians and others debated whether Curry’s stance on gay marriage should matter.

“Fascinating that so many Christians who are against LGBT people are lauding Michael Curry, a priest who openly marries gay people and welcomes them in. Lack of fact-checking or just choosing not to see?” wrote one person, Siân Duffin (@Siannie81).

‏Robin Self (@triplejaymom), wrote, “For those praising Bishop Michael Curry for bringing the royals ‘to church,’ as a bishop in the Episcopal church, he is pro abortion, blesses gay marriage, and is highly active in the social justice movement. About as ANTI-Church as you can get.”

Another court hears fight over Pensacola cross

Pensacola cross

Oral arguments are scheduled for today over a public cross that could be taken down if atheist plaintiffs succeed with their lawsuit.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Freedom from Religion Foundation filed for summary judgment in April 2017 on behalf of local residents, arguing that the City of Pensacola’s large cross, maintained by the city in a city park, violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

The District Court ruled against the City in June 2017, and the City appealed a month later.

That brings the case to today’s argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia.

Erected in 1941, the cross has been included in Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations, and it was the site of a community-wide memorial site after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

On the other side of the First Amendment issue is Becket attorney Joe Davis, who says the legal arguments against the cross are too broad.

“They effectively say that crosses are unconstitutional under the First Amendment, no matter what,” Davis tells OneNewsNow.

“There’s no other facts that’s relevant other than that it’s a cross,” he continues, “and our view is that the Constitution is not a body of some sort of distinct hostility to one particular symbol.”

Becket also contends in its court brief that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on an Establishment Clause test for legal purposes, which focuses on history and thus makes the historical cross legal and constitutional.

“So this cross has very much become a part of the fabric of Pensacola, for reasons religious and non-religious,” Davis says. “And the point of this lawsuit is to erase that part of Pensacola’s history.”

Man Shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ Kills One, Wounds Four in Knife Attack in Paris

PARIS — A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed one person and injured four others on Saturday in a popular tour district in Paris. He was killed by police minutes later.

“France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.

According to reports, Khamzat Azimov, a 20-year-old French resident who was born in Chechnya, began randomly attacking passersby in the Opera district around 8:47 p.m. as the streets were filled with people. He tried to enter several bars and restaurants, but was prevented by those inside.

 “I will kill you! I will kill you!” Azimov shouted at the responding officers, according to Reuters.

Police tried to taser the assailant, but as it did not subdue him, police resorted to using lethal gunfire.

“The attacker came down this road here with his hands covered in blood, holding a knife up in the air,” Oliver Woodhead, owner of L’Entente Restaurant, told the outlet RT. “We had three policemen on foot here, and he went toward them. They tried to taser him twice; it didn’t work.”

“He then managed to isolate one of them and move down the street, trying to attack him,” he continued. “There were two shots fired, and he was shot dead two meters in front of the restaurant.”

One of the victims of the knife attack died from their wounds, and two others are listed in serious condition.

The matter is now being investigated as a terror attack. Azimov had reportedly been marked a national security threat two years ago.

“At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried ‘Allahu akbar’ while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office,” said Prosecutor Francois Molins.

The barbaric Islamic group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the act, but it is not known whether Azimov had ties to the organization.

As previously reported, Paris has suffered a number of terror attacks in recent years, including a strategic massacre in 2015 at the office of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a publication known for cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Mohammad and other Islamic figures. The suspects, who had yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ in carrying out the attack, were later killed in a standoff with police.

CA: Nope, can’t tell your kids there is no Ze and Zir

Gender Unicorn (sex unknown)

Parents and conservative activists are spreading the word that parental rights come after the right of the State of California to indoctrinate your children.

The latest dispute involves a California health law that mandates parents cannot remove their children from sex education lessons.

It’s called the “California Healthy Youth Act of 2015.”

Parents can pull their children out of classes for explicit descriptions of sex acts but the law states they must remain seated for all other instruction, including liberal instruction on gender identity and “sexual orientation,” says Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute.

Although the law is three years old, the controversial rules came to light from a March memowritten by attorney Ronald Wenkart, general counsel for the Orange County Public School District.

The memo was addressed to the Orange County Board of Education but has since been picked up by news organizations and activists such as “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnson.

Johnson and others were appalled to read that Wenkart suggested parents are “free to advise” their children of any sex-ed content they disagree with – after their children sit through the classroom instructions.

California flag“This is a clear violation of every single parent’s First Amendment right,” Johnston wrote, “to freely practice their religion as they are literally barred by law from even being notified when their children are being exposed to confusing, highly inappropriate subject matters.”

It’s not news that California’s state government is dominated by far-left Democrats, but the state continues to make headlines after its lawmakers suggest Draconian regulationsfor homeschoolers and even seek to replace President’s Day with Communist holiday, May Day.

Dacus tells OneNewsNow that the law clearly suggests students can be propagandized with left-wing indoctrination without parental notification.

Mitt Romney Criticizes Pastor Slated to Pray at Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem

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Senate candidate and former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney objected to the inclusion of Pastor Robert Jeffress in the opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem. He brought up comments Jeffress made about other religions in the past and said it made him a poor choice for the occasion. Romney stated on his Twitter account Sunday that, “Robert Jeffress says ‘you can’t be saved by being a Jew,” and ‘Mormonism is a heresy from the pit of hell.’ He’s said the same about Islam. Such a religious bigot should not be giving the prayer that opens the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.”

Image result for Pastor Jeffress images

Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, responded to Romney without mentioning him by name. “Historic Christianity has taught for 2,000 years that salvation is through faith alone in Christ. The fact that I, along with tens of millions of evangelical Christians around the world, continue to espouse that belief, is neither bigoted nor newsworthy.”

Jeffress spoke out about Mormonism in the early stages of the 2012 Republican Presidential primaries. Jeffress introduced then Texas Governor Rick Perry before the Value Voters Summit, calling him a “true follower of Jesus.” Afterward, Jeffress spoke with reporters and told them that the Mormon Church is a cult. Jeffress later told reporters that he did not understand the controversy surrounding his comments since they reflected the views held by most evangelicals. He said at the time, “The idea that Mormonism is a theological cult is not news either. That has been the historical position of Christianity for a long time.”

Jeffress is slated to give the opening prayer at Monday’s ceremony. He told Fox & Friends that he intends to pray for three things. He said he will thank God for “his faithfulness to Israel for 4,000 years,” citing the occasion as another fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. Then, he said he will thank God “for the strong leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” because he “is determined to protect his people.” Jeffress also stated he would “express gratitude for our tremendous President, Donald Trump.”

CNN reported that Pastor John Hagee will also take part in the ceremony. Hagee says he told President Trump that his decision to move the embassy would guarantee him “political immortality” because he has “the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage to do.”

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Five ISIS Leaders Caught After Three Month Long Intelligence Operation

(Worthy News) – At least five senior Islamic State officials have been captured in a three-month operation by Iraqi and American intelligence that involved phone apps and the breaking of secret bank accounts and communication codes, according to news reports.

The captures were announced Wednesday on Iraqi state TV, which broadcast images of four of the detainees wearing yellow prisoner jumpsuits.

President Trump, in a tweet on Thursday, said only that “Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured.” [ Source: USA Today (Read More…) ]

Scantily-clad aerialists now part of ‘normal worship’ at Atlanta church

(Photo courtesy Instagram / Itsapostleb)

This is one sign we are in the end times. Order your book from Amazon.com or get it on Kindle. The winds of Megiddo by George C Duke

Image result for 2 Timothy 4: 3 images

An Atlanta pastor is packing the pews, but also facing criticism for embracing performances by scantily-clad aerialists as part of what he calls his new “normal worship experience.”

Bryan Meadows, who leads the Embassy congregation, recently posted photographs and a video from the CreativeCon Conference, which included a time of worship that incorporated a female aerialist suspended from the ceiling.

“We endeavor to create a culture driven by the creativity and character of Christ!” Meadows said in a social media post. “This was one of my favorite highlights!!!”

The reaction has been mixed.

“So cool! So out the box!” one commenter wrote. Another offered: “This is HOT!!”

(Photo courtesy Instagram / Itsapostleb)

Meadows returned fire on the critics.

“Because they shouldn’t have to go to the circus to use the gifts that God gave them!” he said. “The church should be able to create space so that everyone can use their gifts to glorify God. People may be distracted for a couple weeks, but they will get used to it!”

“I’m all for using all our gifts in the house of God, but how about she covers up her lower body?” asked another. “It can be as distracting as a male worshipper topless.”

Jerusalem Day Riots Begin on Temple Mount

Riots on Temple Mt. May 13, 2018

 Jerusalem Liberation Day has begun, as Waqf members are claiming that the Jews who visited the Temple Mount Sunday morning began to pray. They tried to prevent them, police intervened, according to a tweet by Yaara Shapira of Channel 1 News.

Hundreds of Jews are already waiting at the entrance to the Temple Mount, so far, as of 7:20 AM, more than 150 have entered [Click here for the latest numbers]. According to TPS, about 10 Jewish visitors have been removed from the mountain after failing to pass police inspection, apparently because of the combination of long side curls and large skullcaps. One Jew was detained by police on suspicion of bowing to the Creator of the Universe.

As Arabs began shouting at the Jewish groups, the Jews began to sing holiday songs in response. In response, an Arab riot began against the Jews, which was suppressed by the police. At least one Arab was detained.