Iranian Protesters Chanting ‘Death to Palestine!’ as Economy Collapsing

Iranian Protesters Chanting ‘Death to Palestine!’

Crowds of protesters in Iran, which used to chant “Death to Khamenei” and “Down with the dictator,” have moved up earlier this month, to chanting “Death to Palestine!”

As Sohrab Ahmari tweeted: “”Death to Palestine!” Not to Israel. Not to America. But to Palestine,” to which he added, “Hamas and Hezbollah and Palestinian Jihad can kiss their Iranian funding goodbye if the regime falls.”

Former GW Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted: “To reporters everywhere: Please pay attention to what is happening in Iran now. I know foreign bureaus are almost non-existent these days, but keep a close eye on this story – and report it.”

With that kind of pressure, how could we not.

Opposition website Iran Wire reported Monday that protests have broken out across Tehran in response to rising prices and the sharp fall in the value of Iranian currency.

“The unrest started on Monday morning in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar and soon spread to southern and central parts of Tehran. And there were reports that bazaar traders in the cities of Shahriar in Tehran province, Ahvaz in Khuzestan and Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz have also gone on strike and staged protests.”

“In Tehran, riot police fired tear gas to disperse the crowds as people headed toward the Iranian parliament. Witnesses posted videos on social media showing the harsh police action against the demonstrators, as well as protesters setting police motorcycles on fire,” Iran Wire reported, noting that “traditional Tehran bazaars have always been considered a bastion of support for the Islamic Republic and its authorities.”

Not any more, apparently.

The Rial exchange rate for Tuesday morning dropped to 86,000 IRR per one US dollar, down from 60,000 in the spring.

The government is blaming consumers’ increasing demand for hard currency for this collapse of the national coin, suggesting enemies of the state of smuggling goods in order to distress the economy. Back in May, Tehran implemented harsh economic policies, banning all currency trade outside the banking system, promising to punish any Iranian caught with more than 10,000 euros, and shutting down currency exchange outlets.

This means Iranian exporters and importers can only conduct transactions through the Central Bank of Iran, using official exchange rates, which, of course, is a recipe for spectacular failure.

Jews Harassed Worldwide Despite their Minuscule Percentage of Planet’s Population

Jews continued to be harassed in the third-largest number of countries around the world, according to a Pew Research Center June 21 report titled “Harassment of religious groups hits highest point since 2007.”

The Pew analysis of 2016 sources cites reports of religiously motivated harassment “in the vast majority of the world’s countries (187, up from 169 in 2015).”

Source: Pew Research Center

In case you were wondering, there are 195 countries in the world today, including 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations, and two imaginary countries: the Vatican and the “State of Palestine.”

“In 2016, the number of countries where Jews were harassed increased to 87, reversing the decline that occurred in 2015. In Uruguay, for example, a Jewish man was stabbed to death by an assailant claiming to follow Allah’s orders, and Jewish organizations said anti-Semitic attitudes were still present in parts of Uruguayan society.”

The Pew report stresses that this fact that Jews are harassed in so many countries is “particularly notable due to their small population size (Jewish people make up just 0.2% of the world’s population).”

At the same time, according to Pew, in Russia, an atheist blogger was charged under that country’s blasphemy law for denying the existence of God and for describing the Bible as “a collection of Jewish fairy tales.”

Pew reports that since 2007, “Jews have consistently been harassed by social groups or individuals in more countries than they have been harassed by governments (66 compared to 56 in 2016).”

Christian groups are harassed by governments (114 countries) more than by social groups (107 countries).

In Singapore, the government has maintained a ban on J. Witnesses since 1972, because they refuse to enlist in the country’s national service, won’t reciting the national pledge of allegiance, and won’t sing the national anthem, which goes: “Come, we (fellow) Singaporeans / (Let us progress) towards happiness together / (May) our noble aspiration (bring) / A successful Singapore.”

Harassment of members of religious groups takes many forms, according to Pew, including “physical assaults, arrests and detentions, desecration of holy sites, and discrimination against religious groups in employment, education and housing.”

Harassment and intimidation also include verbal assaults.

Altogether, Christians, with an estimated 2.2 billion adherents suffered harassment in 144 countries in 2016. Muslims, with some 1.6 billion, were harassed in 142 countries. Jews, with an estimated 15 million (the most optimistic figure) were harassed in 87 countries.

Judge to hear alleged Islamic takeover of U.S. schools

A federal court has scheduled a hearing in July on a case alleging Muslim activists have hijacked curriculum in San Diego’s public school district.

The case was brought by parents in the district who are suing over an “anti-Islamophobia” initiative in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed with district officials to combat “bullying.”

The Freedom ofConscience Defense Fund, which is working with the parents, said U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia A. Bashant issued an order setting July 17 as the hearing date regarding its motion for a preliminary injunction.

“At the hearing, attorneys for both the families and the school district will present argument about whether the court should enjoin district officials from enforcing the initiative, which singles out Muslim students for special accommodations and empowers a controversial Islamic organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), to revise school curricula to depict Islam in a more ‘inclusive’ light,” the organization announced.

“The school district claims they rescinded the policy in July 2017, but thousands of pages of documents show district officials are still working with CAIR to implement a so-called ‘Islamophobia Toolkit’ for teachers. After the hearing, the court could rule on the motion before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.”

Daniel Piedra, the fund’s executive director, said: “Preventing bullying and protecting our students is critically important, but public school policies must not discriminate in favor of one religion. San Diego Unified School District’s anti-Islamophobia initiative divides students along religious lines and allows a controversial sectarian syndicate unlimited access to impressionable children. Consequently, the initiative runs roughshod over bedrock First Amendment principles.”

To obtain the injunction, FCDF plans to show that its lawsuit is likely to succeed.

The FBI has provided an abundance of evidence that CAIR is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas. And even a Persian Gulf state, the United Arab Emirates, has designated the Washington, D.C.-based organization a terrorist group.

The school board said last July, amid the concerns of parents, that it canceled the initiative. But more than 2,000 pages of district emails disclosed during the litigation, FCDF said, show that school officials are still working with CAIR under the guise of an “Intercultural Relations Community Council.”

FCDF responded by filing a motion in February to shut down the initiative.

CAIR contends that the initiative’s purpose is not to favor Muslim students or force students to convert to Islam but to “educate and promote diversity.”

However, FCDF said, CAIR “spends twenty-five pages mischaracterizing Plaintiffs’ claims, concocting new ones, and altogether spurning long-held Establishment Clause jurisprudence as interpreted by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit, and about every other circuit.”

CAIR successfully lobbied the district’s superintendent and school board to adopt the program by providing surveys that it conducted showing a “plague of Muslim bullying” in San Diego schools.

However, the school district is mandated to report all incidents of bullying to California’s Department of Education, and it reported just two incidents of Muslim bullying in 2015 and 2016 out of 130,000 students. The district reported quadruple the number of anti-Semitic incidents.

The district paid thousands of dollars for CAIR’s recommended teaching materials, which were distributed to classrooms along with instructions for their use.

WND reported in March FCDF issued investigative subpoenas to CAIR after a federal judge decided school officials must reveal details of their work with the Islamic advocacy organization.

FCDF sought communications between CAIR agents and the school district “as well as documents tracing the Islamic organization’s strategic process for gaining inside access to impressionable schoolchildren.”

“CAIR’s national director testified that proselytizing to schoolchildren is a ‘religious obligation,’ and the purpose of CAIR’s educational outreach, which includes passing out religious propaganda to students during class, is to ‘create a religious educational environment,” the organization said.

‘The true faith, Islam’

The influence of Islam in public schools has become a nationwide issue.

In May 2017, in Groesbeck, Texas, a couple moved their sixth-grade daughter to a new school after they discovered her history homework assignment on Islam.

In late March 2017, as WND reported, a middle school in Chatham, New Jersey, was using a cartoon video to teach the Five Pillars of Islam to seventh-grade students, prompting two parents to obtain legal services to fight the school district, which has ignored their concerns.

Teaching the five pillars of Islam also created an uproar in Summerville, South Carolina, and in Loganville, Georgia, last year.

WND also reported in March 2017 a high school in Frisco, Texas, set up an Islamic prayer room specifically for Muslim students to pray on campus during school hours. The same type of prayer rooms have been set up in high schools in St. Cloud, Minnesota, and other school districts.

In 2015, parents in Tennessee asked the governor, legislature and state education department to investigate pro-Islam bias in textbooks and other materials.

WND reported in 2012 ACT for America conducted an analysis of 38 textbooks used in the sixth through 12th grades in public schools and found that since the 1990s, discussions of Islam are taking up more and more pages, while the space devoted to Judaism and Christianity has simultaneously decreased.

In 2009, Gilbert T. Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, a group that reviews history books, told Fox News the texts were “whitewashing” Islamic extremism and key subjects such as jihad, Islamic law and the status of women.

Also in 2009, WND reported the middle school textbook “History Alive! The Medieval World and Beyond,” published by Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, said an Islamic “jihad” is an effort by Muslims to convince “others to take up worthy causes, such as funding medical research.”

In 2006, WND reported a school in Oregon taught Islam by having students study and learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims.

WND reported in 2003 a prominent Muslim leader who eventually was convicted on terror-related charges helped write the “Religious Expression in Public Schools” guidelines issued by President Bill Clinton.

In 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, seventh graders in Byron, California, were taught a three-week course on Islam that required them to learn 25 Islamic terms, 20 proverbs, Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, 10 key Islamic prophets and disciples, recite from the Quran, wear a robe during class, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own “holy war” in a dice game.

Parents went to court to uphold their right to reject the class for their children, but a federal judge ruled against them, and in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider their appeal.

Not everybody is smiling over ‘civil rights’ gone wrong

Transgender athlete Terry Miller

Look I am a Girl too and the Idiot’s believed me

Braving accusations of bigotry, coaches and parents are finally speaking out about transgender female athletes who are crushing girls in high school track.

In the state of Connecticut, biological males Terry Miller (pictured above) and Andraya Yearwood (pictured belowplaced first and second respectively when runners competed in state finals in recent weeks.

Miller, in fact, set a meet record in the 200-meter dash on June 4 and set a new record in the 100-meter dash three days later.

The Daily Wire and other media pointed out that record-breaker Miller was competing on the boys’ team over the winter then joined the girls’ team.

Gary Moore, the coach for a competing team, meanwhile, has said Miller has the right to compete, but his presence was unfair to the female runners and there should be a “level playing field.”

Coach Moore, from Hillhouse High, went on to state that he was stopped by at least five coaches who told him they appreciated his concerns that were published in the local newspaper.

“How come other coaches aren’t talking?” he asked. “This is a big issue a lot of coaches have, that we’ve got to do something. But how come you’re not saying anything?”

A second track coach complained that current state law allows Miller to compete. The law should be changed, he said, because it was written to protect homosexuals and transgenders from bullying – not to open up girls’ high school sports to boys who identify as girls.

Yearwood (transgender runner)Steve McConkey of 4 Winds Christian Athletics says it’s wrong that a high school athlete can simply say they want to compete as a girl with no rules or barriers to block them. But, he adds, it’s good to see coaches, players, and parents pushing back.

“Don’t be afraid,” he says, even when school authorities and LGBT activists make claims of bullying.

In fact, an executive director for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference cited “civil rights issues” and Title IX requirements when asked about the fairness of biological boys competing.

But the opposition isn’t backing down, however.

“Of course it should be that way for math and science and chorus,” a female 100-meter runner said. “Sports are set up for fairness. Biologically male and female are different. The great majority is being sacrificed for the minority.”

“The rule needs to be changed,” said a track coach representing Simsbury High.

“You need to stand up and stay strong,” advises McConkey, “and lovingly tell people the truth and don’t cave in.”

Things to Know about the Refugee problem

June 20, 2018 was World Refugee Day, an annual observance created by the United Nations to “commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.” Here is what you should know about refugee and asylum policy in the United States, especially in light of the recent immigration crisis and President Trump’s signing of a new executive order that seeks to keep immigrant families together.Photo courtesy: Getty Images

WHAT IS A REFUGEE?

The U.S. government defines “refugee” as any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

WHAT IS ASYLUM?

Asylum is government-sanctioned protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the legal definition of a “refugee.” As a signatory to the United Nations 1951 Conventionand 1967 Protocol, and through U.S. immigration law, the U.S. has legal obligations to provide protection to those who qualify as refugees.

Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Cole Patrick

HOW DO REFUGEES APPLY FOR ASYLUM IN THE U.S.?

The Refugee Act of 1980 allows for two paths to obtain refugee status—either from abroad as a resettled refugee or in the U.S. as an asylum seeker.

If done abroad, a refugee must receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee. If they receive a referral, they refugee will receive help filling out their application and then be interviewed abroad by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer who will determine whether they are eligible for refugee resettlement.

Asylum seekers who are already in the country (such as on a travel visa) or who have arrived at a U.S. port of entry must file the application with an immigration judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the Department of Justice. Almost all refugee applicants who fail to apply for asylum within one year of entering the U.S. are barred from receiving asylum.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/MangoStar_Studio

WHAT HAPPENS IF A REFUGEE SHOWS UP AT A PORT OF ENTRY OR CROSSES THE BORDER UNLAWFULLY?

Whether they are caught at the border crossing illegally or present themselves to immigration officials at a port of entry, refugee candidates are subject to “expedited removal,” a policy that allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deport an undocumented person without giving them a chance to defend against deportation in immigration court.

To prevent immediate deportation, asylum seekers who are placed in an expedited removal process must tell a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official they fear persecution, torture, or returning to their country, or that they wish to apply for asylum. If an U.S. asylum officer determines asylum seeker has a “credible fear” of persecution or torture, they can proceed with the asylum application process.

If a person has re-entered the U.S. unlawfully after a prior deportation order or is a noncitizen convicted of certain crimes, they are subject to a different expedited removal process called “reinstatement of removal.” Asylum seekers in this process must meet the “reasonable fear” standard in an interview with an asylum officer. To demonstrate a reasonable fear, the asylum seeker must meet the definition of refugee and show there is a “reasonable possibility” they will be persecuted or tortured in the country of removal.

All asylum seekers have the burden of proving that they meet the definition of a refugee.

Photo courtesy: Religion News Service

 

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE CURRENTLY SEEKING ASYLUM AND HOW MANY ARE APPROVED?

In 2016, the last year for which complete data is available, 20,455 people were granted asylum. In fiscal year 2018, there are 714,067 pending asylum cases in the U.S. (If the 2016 rate holds in 2018, then only about 3 percent of current asylum seekers will be granted asylum.)

Photo courtesy: Religion News Service

HOW LONG MUST A REFUGEE WAIT BEFORE ASYLUM IS GRANTED?

In fiscal year 2018, the average asylum seeker will wait 721 days for their case to be resolved. The waiting time to be granted asylum depends on a number of factors, including the person’s nationality, the state handling the case, and the court location. You can find more details here.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com

CAN REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS WORK IN THE U.S. WHILE THEY ARE WAITING ADJUDICATION?

Yes. Both refugees and asylum seekers who are allowed to await adjudication in the U.S. are authorized and entitled to work. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services outlines the details of this information in a document titled “I am a refugee or asylee: How do I show my employer that I am authorized to work in the United States?”

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/littlehenrabi

CAN A REFUGEE OR ASYLUM SEEKER BECOME A U.S. CITIZEN?

Yes. A refugee or asylee may apply for permanent resident status in the U.S. one year after being admitted as a refugee or being granted asylum status. Refugees are required by law to apply for permanent resident status one year after being admitted to the United States in refugee status. Asylees are not required to apply for permanent resident status after being granted asylum for one year, but it may not be in their best interest to do so as it may affect their benefits they would receive if granted refugee status.

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/JamesYetMingAu-Photography

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING THE RESETTLEMENT OF REFUGEES IN THE U.S.?

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is the federal government agency charged with providing benefits and services to assist the resettlement and local integration of refugee populations. Some of the ORR programs include Refugee Cash Assistance and Refugee Medical Assistance (for up to 8 months); Refugee Social Services, such as job and language training (for up to 5 years); and temporary custody and care to unaccompanied refugee children. But according to a recent paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, by the time refugees who entered the U.S. as adults have been here for 20 years, they will have paid, on average, $21,000 more in taxes to all levels of government than they received in benefits over that time span.

Based on the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission article “Expainer: How the refugee and asylum process works in the U.S.” Used with permission.

Christian Death Toll from Herdsmen Attacks Mounts in Adamawa State, Nigeria

JOSNigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslim Fulani herdsmen have killed at least 54 Christians this year in the northeastern state of Adamawa, Nigeria, according to area sources.

In a state where predominantly Christian Bachama tribesmen have formed militias in response to violence by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and heavily-armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen, Christians were slaughtered in the Numan, Demsa, Lamurde and Girei areas, the sources  said.

At least 15 Christians were killed in the Numan area on May 2 when Fulani herdsmen attacked Bang, Nyanga, Bonki and Nzomosu villages, area resident Harold Wilson told Morning Star News by text message.

“About 400 armed Fulani herdsmen carried out the attacks,” he reported.

Arnold Jibla, chairman of the Numan Local Government Area (LGA), confirmed the attack in a phone interview with Morning Star News.

In the Demsa LGA, herdsmen attacked Gwamba village on Feb. 27, killing 20 Christians and wounding 23 others, said resident Omayan Tambaya Dilli.

“The attack occurred about 8 a.m. and lasted three hours,” Dilli said. “The Fulani herdsmen drove into Gwamba in four trucks and many motorbikes to carry out the attack.”

In apparent retaliation for attacks by ethnic Bachama militia on Fulani families, among the 20 Christians killed by the armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen was the Rev. Haruna Enoch, area residents said. The killings reportedly came in retaliation for an unspecified attack on Fulani families by young men from the predominantly Christian Bachama tribe who have formed militias in response to violence by Boko Haram and heavily-armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen.

Dilli said about 3,000 Christians in the community were displaced after the Feb. 27 attacks, and that it was the second time the community was attacked this year.

“In January, the Gwamba community was also attacked by the herdsmen, and one Christian was killed,” he said.

Also in January, Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed three Christians in Kikon in the Numan LGA. On Jan. 21 the herdsmen drove into the community on motorbikes and destroyed whatever they saw, area resident Mary Amos told Morning Star News by text message.

“They invaded our community at about 2 a.m., burning down houses and destroying farmlands,” she said, adding that other Christian communities in roughly the same period, Mbang and Baga villages, were also attacked.

Two weeks earlier in the Lamurde area, the herdsmen on Jan. 7 attacked the Christian communities of Suwa and Burukutu, resident Thomas Ayuba told Morning Star News by phone.

“The attacks by the Fulani herdsmen occurred at about 4 a.m.,” he said. “They destroyed our houses completely, forcing those of us who survived to flee.”

A day earlier in the Girei LGA, herdsmen killed 15 Christian in an attack on Luru village on Jan. 6, said area resident Christopher Ahmadu.

“The herdsmen attacked these farmers while they were working on their farms,” Ahmadu told Morning Star News.

The Rev. Musa Panti Filibus, president of the Lutheran World Fellowship and archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria (LCCN), recently said the killings were undermining the church.

“It is most saddening that the senseless killings and attacks on our people continues unabated,” Filibus told delegates to the General Church Council of the LCCN in Numan town on May 29. “We are disturbed by the monstrous acts of our attackers and killers, who raid, ransack, and set ablaze our villages and towns sometimes in broad daylight.”

Filibus urged Christians in northern Nigeria not to give up praying for the herdsmen and for a halt to the carnage, and to advocate for government action.

“I call us to continue to put pressure on our government at all levels to rise to their responsibility of protecting citizens from internal and external aggression,” he said. “We will continue to condemn in strongest terms possible the brutal and gruesome killings of innocent citizens.”

Five Christians Sentenced to Death

While no Muslim Fulani herdsmen has been prosecuted for the thousands of murders of Christian civilians in recent years in Nigeria, Christians were outraged when a Muslim judge in Yola, capital of Adamawa state, this month sentenced five Christians to death for the killing of a herdsman who had joined attacks on Christian communities.

Abdul-Azeez Waziri on June 11 rejected the self-defense argument of Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi, all residents of the Demsa LGA, in the June 1 killing of Adamu Buba. The judge said the five Christians “willfully and intentionally conspired and attacked three herdsmen rearing cattle, killing one of them, Adamu Buba,” in Kadamun village, Demsa LGA.

“I hereby sentence the accused persons on counts one and two to death by hanging, while on counts four and five, I sentence the accused to three years in prison to run concurrently,” Waziri reportedly said, adding that they have the option of appealing within 90 days.

Yola resident Zidon Love said in a text to Morning Star News shortly after the ruling that the five Christians are members of the LCCN.

“These five Christians will die if nothing is urgently done to assist them,” he said.

The president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Rev. Samson Ayokunle, said in a June 12 statement that there is no moral justification for the death penalty for the five Christians.

“CAN is not supporting jungle justice or any criminality,” Ayokunle said. “But hundreds of our members [Christians] in southern Kaduna, Benue, Taraba and Plateau states in the north-central geo-political zones, and a state like Enugu in the south, have been killed. Citizens stood helpless at the massacre of their peaceful fellow Nigerians; the international community watched in anguish how government security agencies could not bring perpetrators of these heinous killings to book.”

Ayokunle said that in spite of gruesome killings of Christians in different parts of Nigeria, it saddens the church that no Muslim herdsmen have been arrested and charged.

“We are shocked at the speed of light deployed by security and judicial officers in sentencing the alleged killers of the herdsman in Adamawa state,” he said, questioning the rationale behind the death sentence while Muslims who killed Christians in major Nigerian cities for evangelizing have been set free.

“Why did the court discharge the alleged killers of Madam Bridget Agbahime on the orders of the Kano state government?” he said. “Why have security officials not arrested those behind the killings of Christians in southern Kaduna? Why did Nigeria Police set free those arrested for the murder of Mrs. Eunice Elisha Olawale in Kubwa, Abuja? In view of this, CAN is calling on President Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa.”

Ayokunle said CAN leaders have asked attorneys to urgently study the sentencing in order to file a stay of execution motion.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) also opposed the verdict of the Yola High Court. Bishop Emmah Isong, PFN spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday (June 19) that the Pentecostal fellowship’s opposition to the death sentence should not seen as supporting crime in any form.

Isong, who is also president of the Christian Central Chapel International in Calabar, said there should be equity and fairness when issues involving Christians and Muslims are presented before Nigeria’s courts.

Isong said it is unacceptable to the Pentecostal fellowship that no herdsman has been arrested, prosecuted and condemned to death by any court in Nigeria for killing thousands of Christians in Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, and Kogi states.

“It looks as if it is vengeance for a Yola court to condemn five Christians to death for allegedly killing herdsman when herdsmen are rampaging everywhere killing and maiming innocent Christians and going free,” he said.

The pastor also said the leadership of PFN will have no option but to mount protests if the execution of the five Christians is not overturned.

“It is high time the federal government had to intervene and to ensure that those Christians are not killed to forestall further religious conflict within that axis,” Isong said. “Instead of killing people for herdsmen, the Nigerian federal government should rather find a way to curtail their activities and provide adequate security to all Nigerians.”

The World Council of Bishops, whose World Episcopal Headquarters is based in Texas, sent a letter dated June 13 to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari calling for a halt of the death sentences.

“Nigeria has suffered untold bloodshed from killings, maiming, traumatizing of innocent citizens around the north-eastern, north-central and Middle Belt states, as a result of the frequent attacks by the Fulani herdsmen times without number,” the bishops stated.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.

Nigeria ranked 14th on Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

How Muslim Mobs Attack Christian Churches in Egypt with Impunity

(Morning Star News) – Christians coerced into an out-of-court settlement following an Islamist attack on a church building in Egypt recently saw the usual outcome – a closed church – a practice that has long oppressed Christians, according to Middle East observers.

Members of an armed Muslim mob that attacked a church building in Meinin village, Beni Suef Governorate, in April were acquitted on May 22 of mobbing, fighting and possession of unlicensed firearms based on a “conciliation” settlement calling for the church site to close.

Nine Christians were arrested – with five held illegally for a month – and charged with failing to have a church building license in a country where officials are slow to approve licenses if at all, Middle East specialist Raymond Ibrahim noted on his website. The State Security Court handed the nine Christians and 11 Muslims one-year suspended sentences, essentially acquitting them based on the out-of-court settlement.

Coptic villagers told Watani newspaper that authorities had recently visited the site in preparation for legalizing the church building, prompting the attack.

Obtaining or constructing a church building in Egypt was nearly impossible before a 2016 Law for Building Churches, and the Meinin church of the Holy Virgin and Pope Kyrillos had applied for legalization under the law – which stipulates that no church that has submitted its application to officials shall be closed, according to Watani.

Muslim attacks on church buildings create the threat of sectarian conflict that then serves as the pretext for closing them, Ibrahim notes.

“Authorities tell Christian leaders things like, ‘Yes, we understand the situation and your innocence, but the only way to create calm in the village is for X [the offending Christian and extended family, all of whom may have been beaten] to leave the village – just for now, until things calm down,’” Ibrahim wrote in a previous article. “Or, ‘Yes, we understand you need a church, but as you can see, the situation is volatile right now, so, for the time being, maybe you can walk to the church in the next town six miles away – you know, until things die down.”

Should the Christians refuse and demand their rights as citizens against the assailants, authorities smile and say “Okay,” he states.

“Then they go through the village making arrests – except that most of those whom they arrest are Christian youths,” he writes. “Then they tell the Christian leaders, ‘Well, we’ve made the arrests. But just as you say so-and-so [Muslim] was involved, there are even more witnesses [Muslims] who insist your own [Christian] youths were the ones who began the violence. So, we can either arrest and prosecute them, or you can rethink our offer about having a reconciliation meeting.”

The dejected Christians see no alternative but to comply, or else their young men will go to prison and be tortured, Ibrahim notes.

Islamist assailants are further emboldened to attack the next church about to be legalized, he adds.

In the Beni Suef attack, five Coptic Christians illegally held without charge for a month were released on May 21. One of them, Farag Sehata, lost his job due to the detention, his brother told Watani. Sehata was unable to provide proof to his employers that he was in police custody because, not wanting to admit holding him illegally, officers refused to give it to him.

The Meinin village church had used its now-shuttered building for about 10 years, according to Watani. It is one of 3,370 churches that Samuel Tadros, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said have applied for licenses. Earlier this year the government announced the legalization of 53 church buildings under the new law, all constructed before the 2016 church building law went into effect.

Delta Church Attack

Another church that applied for legalization under the new law was attacked by Muslims who feared it was about to be legalized, according to Watani.

Muslims at a mosque in Al-Shuqaf, near Housh Eissa in the west Delta governorate of Beheira, on May 26 reportedly used mosque microphones to call on villagers to attack the church.

“The mob also pelted the Coptic villagers’ houses with stones, damaged the priest’s car, and set on fire a motorbike that was parked in front of the church,” Watani reported. “Seven Copts suffered slight injuries. The Coptic villagers claim that the nine Copts who were arrested had been caught randomly in what has now become common practice by the police in order to pressure the Copts into ‘conciliation,’ so that no legal action would be taken against the Muslim culprits in exchange for setting free the Coptic detainees and ensuring a swift end to hostilities.”

With the intervention of local political and security officials, the Coptic Christians and Muslims forged an agreement allowing the church building to remain in use if charges were dropped against the assailants, according to Watani.

The church is among those that have applied for legalization under the 2016 law, which eases building and restoration restrictions for the first time in centuries.

Egypt was ranked 17th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

Costa Coffee and Royal Mail celebrate ‘gay pride’

Costa Coffee has announced it is “proud to be supporting” LGBT events, as it launched a new range of multi-coloured coffee cups.

Announcing the move, Costa Coffee’s Managing Director for UK & Ireland Jason Cotta called it “a fun way to celebrate” ‘gay pride.’

The Royal Mail has also introduced a new ‘rainbow truck’ in Northern Ireland to show its support for ‘gay pride.’

‘Equality’

Costa Coffee, one of the largest coffee chains in the world, made the announcement via Twitter.

Costa Coffee

@CostaCoffee

We’re proud to be supporting with our rainbow cups. They will available in 8 main locations in support of GLOW (GLBTQ+ Out at Whitbread), championing equality and inclusion in the workplace for LGBTQ+ employees.

The cups will be available at eight locations around the UK including London, Brighton, and Edinburgh.

Royal Mail and Primark

The Royal Mail said: “We are delighted to support LGBT colleagues and bring the rainbow truck to Northern Ireland to help us deliver the mail in a unique way.”

In Northern Ireland, marriage continues to be defined as between one man and one woman.

Last month, Primark announced its partnership with homosexual lobby group Stonewall by launching a merchandise range featuring “Pride‐ready goodies”.

The high street chain said that 20 per cent of sales from the new products will be donated “directly to the charity itself”.

YouTube admits mistake and reinstates pro-life channel

YouTube has apologised to a pro-life organisation for suspending its channel over content.

The suspension was placed on Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Reversal channel last month, after it had posted four videos showing how a baby can still be saved if the mother has taken an abortion pill.

But after an appeal, the censorship has been ended.

Successful appeal

Jor-El Godsey, President of Heartbeat International, said: “We commend YouTube for acknowledging their mistake and promptly resolving it.”

“No woman should ever be censored for sharing her testimony simply because she chose life – even at the last minute. Nor should vital life-saving information be censored from the public”, she added.

The successful appeal was launched with the support of pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

Censorship

Mallory Quigley, Vice President of Communications for SBA List, said censorship of pro-life views is becoming increasingly common.

“Big social media companies have a track record of arbitrarily banning content from pro-life groups who then have to jump through hoops to have it reinstated, while organisations like Planned Parenthood are allowed to promote abortion on demand.”

“Social media is a great equalizer for pro-lifers standing up to the well-funded abortion lobby and its massive PR machine.

“We will continue to assert our rights and fight the censorship of pro-life views”, she added.

Bomb making

One of the videos that the Abortion Pill Reversal channel had posted featured a doctor explaining the process from a medical perspective, while three others showed mothers recounting their experiences of having ‘reversed’ their abortion.

YouTube had explained that it “doesn’t allow content that encourages or promotes violent or dangerous acts that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death”.

Other videos such as “instructional bomb making, choking games, hard drug use, or other acts where serious injury may result” fall into this category.

 

Spain Fines Christian Television Station 6,000 Euro for ‘Homophobic Content’

Evangelical Focus)  The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC, in Spanish) has fined Revelation TV 6,000 Euro.

The media group has its headquarters in the UK, defines itself as a Christian ministry, and broadcasts in Spain through satellite since 2012. According to the CNMC, the fine comes after an individual complained to the state agency about one of the programs in September 2017.

Comments on one of Revelation TV’s shows that day “could be considered as threatening to the dignity of the homosexual and transgender group, although there was no manifest incitation to hate against these groups by the channel that owns the program,” the official CNMC statement says.

The comments defined as “homophobic” happened in the morning show Rmornings, in which news of the day is commented on by the regular talk-show guests or the special guests, Gordon Pettie, Director of Revelation TV, told Spanish news website Protestante Digital.

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