Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pray for Meriam

This is almost verbatim the confession of faith most used by the Holy NeoMartyrs under the Ottoman Muslim tyranny:
She appeared again before the court and declared openly and emphatically: “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”

Pray for Meriam
by Fr Daniel C. Kovalak — — May 22, 2014

“...for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light, (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)”—Ephesians 5:8-9

Here’s a widely-reported and very troubling “breaking news” story from today’s headlines. It’s about a 27-year-old woman in Sudan, Meriam Ibrahim. She was born to a Muslim father and an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian mother. Her father abandoned the home when she was a young child. Nevertheless, in Sudan, children are expected to follow the religion of their fathers.

Three years ago, Meriam married a professing Christian man and about a year later gave birth to a son. She’s now expecting another child and is eight-plus months pregnant.

Sudanese law prohibits women from marrying non-Muslims, although men can marry whomever they want without any penalty whatsoever. So on May 11, 2014 (ironically Mothers’ Day) Meriam was convicted of apostasy for rejecting Islam and was given four days to recant, which would save her life.

But unlike countless others who’ve faced similar sentences in Sudan and elsewhere, she refused to renounce her faith and convert to Islam. After four days, on May 15, she appeared again before the court and declared openly and emphatically: “I am a Christian, and I will remain a Christian.”

In response, Judge Abbas Khalifa pronounced his verdict. “I sentence you to be hanged to death.” As if this weren’t horrific enough, Meriam was also convicted by the court of committing “zena”—an implication of adultery for marrying a non-Muslim. And for this alleged crime, she was also sentenced to receive 100 lashes—before the imposition of the sentence of hanging!

Currently, with her 18-month-old son and the child in her womb, Meriam remains shackled in a prison, awaiting the carrying-out of the sentences.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An American’s Experience with Islamic Apostasy

Not yet convinced that Islam itself is of the devil?  Read this first person narrative. — May 25, 2014

Editor’s note: The following was written for by an anonymous American teacher living in the Muslim world

One of the most prominent Muslim clerics and scholars of our time, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

At a recent dinner party, the death sentence of Meriam Yahia Ibrahim for the crime of apostasy by a Sudanese Islamic court came up as a topic of discussion.  Not surprisingly, the progressive elements of the group did their best to defend Islam, claiming that her sentence to die by hanging was handed down by religious fanatics (not Muslim fanatics) who don’t understand the peaceful nature of Islam.

With my wife by my side, I firmly disagreed with them, stating that my three years’ experience working in the Middle East has taught me that Meriam’s hanging sentence fits perfectly well within the Islamic culture.  To further my point, I mentioned a past interaction I had with a group of Sudanese Muslims who wanted to kill my wife for leaving Islam.

This event occurred a few years ago while I was working as an ESL instructor in a Saudi Arabian University.  Many of my colleagues were Sudanese Muslims and my first impression of them was very positive.  I admired them because they were hardworking and forward looking.  They were in Saudi Arabia to earn enough money to either start a family, buy a home, or invest in a business.  For many months, we shared stories regarding our families and dreams.

Knowing that I have a Thai wife who remained in Thailand while I worked in Saudi Arabia, my Sudanese co-workers would regularly ask me why I didn’t bring her to live with me in Saudi Arabia, to which I always responded, “She doesn’t like the idea of wearing the hijab in the Saudi heat nor the idea of remaining in our apartment all day while I am at work.”

To that, they would reply, “She must live that way in Saudi Arabia; that is our culture,” to which I responded, “She doesn’t like that aspect of this culture which is why she refuses to move to Saudi Arabia.”

One day, to get them off my back for good regarding that issue, I told them the whole truth about my wife not moving to Saudi Arabia.  I confided in them that my wife was a Muslim and that she converted to Buddhism in her early twenties, years before I met her, and that Saudi Arabia could be dangerous for her.

Considering these men my friends, I was hoping they would be understanding and change the topic of conversation.  After a long minute of silence, one of Sudanese looked at me and said, “Your wife must be put to death!”

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: 'Every form of violence in the name of religion is violence against religion itself'

Which is why Islam fails utterly and is being revealed throughout all the world as a false religion. Violence against Christians and other non-Muslims, and against women, in the name of Islam is part of Islam itself. It is not only permitted but made obligatory in the supposedly eternal and unchanging words of the Quran, the example being established through the Sunnah, the life and sayings (or 'Way') of Muhammad. 

We live in a pivotal age, when Orthodox Christians should hold out to Muslims of good conscience the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invite them to leave behind their false religion which unleashes such bloodshed and madness upon the entire planet, and come into the Church to work out their salvation with us in fear and trembling. 

In a very subtle way, this is what +Bartholomew is doing. Without being antagonistic, His All Holiness is appealing to those Muslims who retain some measure of their God-given conscience.

Message to Muslims: "Leave falsehood, embrace Truth — Leave Islam, embrace Christ."

Every form of violence in the name of religion is violence against religion itself
What is happening in Nigeria and Sudan is a dual act of wrongdoing.
Pravmir — May 18, 2014

The Ecumenical Patriarchate has witnessed with great pain and distress the recent manifestations of religious violence against women in Northern Africa, which have profoundly and justifiably concerned the global community. It expresses its outright and unequivocal condemnation of the kidnapping in Nigeria of scores of young women, who are forcibly subjected to espouse Islam. Moreover, it professes its wholehearted and unambiguous denunciation of the pregnant young Christian mother in the Sudan for refusing to espouse Islam.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Islam: ‘Appalling and Abhorrent’ in the Eyes of a Blind World?

by Raymond Ibrahim — May 20, 2014

A few days ago in Sudan, an eight-month pregnant wife and mother was sentenced to death by hanging for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam.  According to the LA Times:

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who has a young son and is married to a Christian from South Sudan, violated Islamic sharia law, the court said. She insists she was raised Christian, not Muslim. 
The court also ordered Ibrahim to be flogged for having sexual relations with her husband, since her marriage is not recognized by officials. 
Ibrahim refused a court order Sunday giving her several days to renounce her Christian faith, which resulted in the sentencing Thursday… 
Ibrahim, currently jailed with her son, will be allowed to give birth and raise her second child until the age of 2 years but then faces execution. Sudanese authorities refuse to allow Ibrahim’s son to reside with her husband because the husband is Christian.

Tragic as this story is, it is also immensely commonplace in Islamic countries.  Why? Because Islamic law does in fact punish the apostate from Islam—including with death—in accordance with the commands of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.  Indeed, many Muslim clerics believe that “If the [death] penalty for apostasy was ignored, there would not be an Islam today; Islam would have ended on the death of the prophet,” as top Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi once declared on live television.

Of more significance is the Amnesty International statement concerning Meriam Ibrahim’s plight. While its criticism is aimed at Sudan’s legal system, the statement unwittingly provides a glimpse of how the international community would view Islam if it could actually understand that these human rights abuses are not products of this or that government or regime, but of Islam itself.

The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent.
Adultery and apostasy are acts which should not be considered crimes at all. It is flagrant breach of international human rights law.  The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which includes the freedom to hold beliefs, is far-reaching and profound; it encompasses freedom of thought on all matters, personal conviction and the commitment to religion or belief (emphasis added).

If, as Amnesty International declares, flogging and executing a person, in this case a pregnant woman, because of her “religious choice” and marrying a man of a “different religion” are “appalling and abhorrent”; if they are a “flagrant breach of international human rights law”—what do we make of the fact that Muslim converts to Christianity are punished and sometimes killed all across the Islamic world?

Consider the following anecdotes, a few examples, most from 2013 alone (culled from my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” series and listed in country alphabetical order):

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

‘Defeat the Infidels’: Could Jihad Be Headed to Ukraine?

Moscow and Poland also targeted in video call to 'path of jihad' by Al Qaeda-linked Muslim extremists.

by Sharona Schwartz, The Blaze — May 19, 2014

Leaders of the Muhajireen Army tell Ukrainian Muslims to “start on the path of jihad” (Image source: YouTube)
Islamist rebels fighting in Syria are apparently calling on Muslims in Ukraine to wage jihad on their home front and have suggested eventually taking the battle to Moscow and Poland.

In a new video posted online, Abdul Karim Krymsky, the deputy head of the Al Qaeda-linked group the Muhajireen Army, challenged Ukrainian Muslims to “start on the path of jihad” against the Russian government.

Quotes from the video, which was posted online last week, were provided by the Washington-based research organization Foundation for Defense of Democracy’s publication the Long War Journal which covers jihadi movements.

“You have to open up lands yourselves and defeat the infidels,” Krymsky said.

Bosnia and Serbia hit by worst flooding for 120 years, Patriarch calls for help

At the IOCC site, you can donate online to their Emergency Response Fund.

Pravmir — May 18, 2014

Serbia declared a national emergency on Thursday as rain-swollen rivers across the Balkans flooded roads and bridges, shutting down schools and cutting off power, reports APTN.

Three people have reportedly drowned and more than 3,000 evacuated following flooding caused by torrential rain.

Hundreds of people had to be evacuated by military helicopters after meteorologists said the rainfall was the most since measuring started 120 years ago.

Authorities in Belgrade said the average rainfall of a two-month period hit the city in just 40 hours.

Surging water coursed through towns and villages, overflowing across streets and into homes, sweeping bridges off their moorings and causing landslides across the region.

Dozens of buses and cars were stranded on flooded roads and two main north-south railway lines in Serbia were impassable.

River levels rose all over Bosnia, including the capital Sarajevo and Maglaj, a town 60 miles north of the capital, was cut off by water surging into streets.

The rain was expected to persist until the weekend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Western Leaders Warned: Islam Demands Subjugation

Few politicians willing to address Islamic theology as 'root source' of Muslim persecution of Christians.

by Jim Fletcher, WND — May 17, 2014

Western leaders are unwilling to recognize that Islamic jihadists want to subjugate the world and apply Islamic law to everyone, including them, according to several researchers.

Raymond Ibrahim, a researcher, translator and author, said that because Muslim persecution of Christians and others is “grounded in the theology of Islam, very few politicians are willing to address the root source of it.”

“And of course if you cannot ascertain a problem, you cannot fix it,” he said.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Study: Radicalized Muslims are better integrated and “better educated than average and also perform better economically and socially”

by Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch — May 8, 2014

This contradicts the mainstream, Marxist view that Muslims turn to follow the Qur’an because of poverty and society’s lack of ability to integrate them. Jihad has nothing to do with socioeconomic factors; it has to do with Islam. 

Via, translated from Uriasposten by Nicolai Sennels:

Researcher in Islamism Marco Goli from Metropolitan University College in Copenhagen concludes that radicalized young Muslims are often what one would consider well-integrated:  
They are better educated than average and also perform better economically and socially, and will therefore be largely able to maintain a double life. 
“In relation to the parameters that we normally measure integration, they are in great shape,” says Marco Goli, who in 2010 co-authored a major study of Islamism from the Centre for Studies in Islamism and Radicalisation at Aarhus University, Denmark. …”

Boko Haram and the Dynamics of Denial: Islam is not the victim here

by Dr. Mark Durie — May 16, 2014

It is a common refrain of pious Muslims in the face of atrocities done by other Muslims in the name of Islam that Islam must not be shamed: whenever an atrocity potentially dishonors Islam, non-Muslims are asked to agree that ‘This is not Islamic’ so that the honor of Islam can be kept pristine. 
However the real issue is not what would be good or bad for Islam’s reputation.  … Islam is not the victim here. The pressing issue here is not to get people to think well of Islam, but how these girls can be rescued, and above all how Boko Haram’s murderous rampage is to be halted.

Qasim Rashid, an American Muslim, published on FoxNews a heart-felt expression of deep distress at the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram (‘What would Muhammad say to Boko Haram’).  He declared that Muhammad himself would not recognize this group as acting in line with his teachings:
“Boko Haram’s claim that Islam motivates their kidnappings is no different than Adolf Hitler’s claim that Christianity motivated his genocide. This terrorist organization acts in direct violation of every Islamic teaching regarding women.”

Qasim Rashid is not the only Muslim who has been speaking out in support of the kidnapped girls, while denying that their plight has anything to do with Islam (see here). 

Qasim Rashid is a member of the Ahmaddiyah community, which is regarded as unorthodox by most Muslims.  Indeed Ahmaddiyahs are often severely persecuted for their beliefs in Islamic nations.  Although Qasim Rashid does not speak for mainstream Islam, he is nevertheless to be commended for speaking up against Boko Haram’s repugnant acts.

But does the claim that Boko Haram is not Islamic hold up to scrutiny?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Christian Teen Whose Dad, Brother Slain by Boko Haram was Denied U.S. Visa

  • Nigerian Christian pastor and his son killed for refusing to deny their faith in Jesus Christ and embrace Islam;
  • Pastor's teen daughter tied up and left for dead between their two corpses;
  • Teen denied visa multiple times by U.S. State Department;
  • State Dept. refuses to acknowledge religious persecution in Nigeria, cites poverty as Boko Haram's motivation in spite of specific targeting of Christians, with thousands killed, dozens of churches destroyed just in the past three years;
  • More on Boko Haram here.

Christian Teen Whose Dad, Brother Slain by Boko Haram was Denied U.S. Visa
CNS News, May 14, 2014 (h/t Jihad Watch)

Deborah Peters at the Hudson Institute.
A 15-year-old girl who witnessed the murder of her father and teenage brother at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists says she decided to tell her story after the group kidnapped almost 300 schoolgirls last month in the same village in northern Nigeria where she grew up.

Deborah Peters, speaking Tuesday at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., recalled how in 2011 members of Boko Haram came to her home in Chibok, where she lived with her brother and father, who was a pastor of a local church.

“Three men knocked on our door, and then my brother opened the door for them,” Peters said. “And they asked him, ‘Where is your dad?’ And he told them, ‘My dad is in the bathroom taking a shower.’

The men said her father was “wasting their time.”

“So when they take [sic] him out of the bathroom, they told him that he should deny his faith,” Peters said. “He told them that he can’t deny his faith, so they told him that they were going to kill him if he didn’t deny his faith.

“But he told them that he should rather die than to go to hellfire,” Peters said. “So my dad refused to deny his faith, and then they shoot [sic] him three times in the chest.”

The Islamic terrorists also shot her brother three times, then tied up Deborah and left her lying between the two corpses.

Camels and Urine and Goats — Oh My!

Mark Steyn explores some homeopathic aspects of traditional Islamic culture and health care:
May 16, 2014

American Millie Hinkel, Camel-milk advocate

...A Minnesota university has canceled a "Hump Day" event featuring a real camel because, like everything else in America, that too is racist:
Students at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota have cancelled an event to celebrate the end of the year after complaints that bringing a camel on campus could offend those of Middle Eastern cultures. 
The "Hump Day" event, put on by the Residence Hall Association (RHA), was supposed to be "a petting zoo type of atmosphere" in which students could hang out and take photos with a live camel.

But now the RHA has folded like a cheap Bedouin tent and canceled "Hump Day"...

Why exactly would the presence of a camel "offend those of Middle Eastern cultures"? 

I assumed at first, even by the standards of privilege-checking self-neutering American college students, they must be, as they say in Britain, "taking the piss". Well, it turns out they are:

While camels are clearly a major part of the MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] story, which the majority were found infected with a strain genetically almost identical to the strain that's infecting people, yet questions arise if the transmission occurs through the drinking of unpasteurized camel milk, consumption of cheese made from it, or is it the drinking of camel urine?

That's the invaluable Walid Shoebat on the root causes of MERS, which, lethal-disease-wise, is this year's SARS. 

[If you can "stomach" it, pardon the pun, there are several videos and much more info on the Muslim world's love for camel urine on the Shoebat Foundation site. It is used in beauty products, and is often mixed with camel's milk to drink, which has finally been legalized for sale in the U.S. by the FDA. If that's not a sign of the apocalypse, I don't know what is.] 

If you've spent any time in Araby, you'll know that camel urine is as vital to the economy as oil:
Western health experts are unfamiliar with litany of Muslim products that are produced from Camel's urine... 
Even CNN Arabic promoted under its "Health and Technology" column an article titled "A mouthful a day" and even in capsule form – just like you would with fish oil, massage it into your hair or apply it directly to your face. For best results, the CNN report recommends "to take mouthfuls of camel urine daily for an entire year" and to make sure the camel be a female virgin. Surveys are even done to conclude from patients that, the urine of a virgin camel has a "preferable distinct flavor and aroma." 
Westerners are not accustomed to how camel urine is an essential aphrodisiac to many Muslims as Ginseng is to Chinese.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pregnant Woman Facing Execution in Sudan for Apostasy

Another brave confessor of Jesus Christ willing to witness to her Muslim persecutors of her faith — even unto death.  Perhaps one or two Hagarenes will be converted through this. Prayers up for Mariam!

This is Islamic Sharia Law being applied in Sudan. As Robert Spencer notes in his coverage of this case: 

Islamic apologists in the West routinely claim that Islam has no death penalty for apostasy. Unfortunately, misunderstanders of Islam abound in large numbers, and for some reason they cannot shake the notion that Islam does mandate death for those who are considered to have left the faith. 
Why do they persist in this misunderstanding? Maybe it’s because Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. 
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”

Pregnant Woman Facing Execution in Sudan: 'I am a Christian'
by Frances Martel, Breitbart News — May 15, 2015

Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a 27-year-old pregnant mother, has been sentenced to death in Sudan for "apostasy" for marrying a Christian, despite being raised a Christian, because her father was Muslim. Ibrahim has refused to accept Islam after a three-day stay on her execution and is slated to be killed today.

Ibrahim, who is almost nine months pregnant, is married to an American citizen of South Sudanese descent, who has applied for her to come to the United States but has not yet received approval from the American government. Her marriage is considered void by the Sudanese government because of her husband's Christian faith, and she was sentenced to hanging and 100 lashes for both adultery and apostasy. She was given three days to abandon the Christian faith and her husband and children-- her unborn child and an 18-month-old boy-- and "revert" to her father's religion. The court did not make clear what would happen to the children should she renounce Christianity-- and thus her family-- and accept their version of Islam.

Ibrahim refused to abandon her religious faith, telling the judge, "I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy."

"We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam," Judge Abbas Mohammed Al-Khalifa told her, according to Al Jazeera, announcing his death sentence and the additional lashes for "adultery." The judge only addressed her by her father's name, emphasizing his Muslim background.

Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos: 'Ferocious Persecution in the Middle East against Christians'

"This past Holy Week and Easter I frequently thought of the Christians in the Middle East... I thought how they must have spent those days like our ancestors who were under terrible enslavement to the Ottomans. How much they must have felt the nails of hate against them, against the Body of the Church that is being persecuted..." 
—Met. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou
MYSTAGOGY — May 9, 2014

The Easter issue of the American magazine TIME was dedicated to Christians who are "persecuted" in the Middle East and Egypt. A few items are suggestive of the situation in these countries in relation to its Christian element. Reference will be made according to reports from Kathimerini.

One critical and important element is that "in the last population census during the Ottoman Empire, one in four residents of the Middle East were Christians. Today, Christians represent less that 5%, and there are strong pressures in countries like Syria or Egypt."

Of course, at this time there are Christians of various Confessions, even Coptic Monophysites, and not only Orthodox Romans.

Also in TIME magazine it is reported that "in war-torn Syria, some Christians are persecuted for their faith, while others had a choice for survival in reference to previous centuries. In today's war-torn Rakka in North Syria, the Islamic organization ISIS asked $650 from Christian families who stayed behind for protection.

At least one in four Christians in Syria fled the country after the outbreak of the Civil War, while in Iraq, about one million Christians fled after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, leaving behind about 300,000 Christians. If current demographic trends continue, of the twelve million Christians currently residing in the Middle East, in 2020 only half will remain" (Kathimerini Holy Saturday April 19 - Easter Sunday April 20, 2014).

From this data it appears that in the Middle East a ferocious persecution has evolved in the Middle East against Christians, expressed in various ways, namely murder, extortion, displacement, exile, trauma, refugees etc. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

U.S. Becomes Chief Enabler of Christian Persecution: Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2014

by Raymond IbrahimGatestone Institute — May 14, 2014

Human rights organization Open Doors published its 2014 World Watch List in January, highlighting and ranking the top 50 nations that persecute Christians.  The overwhelming majority of countries making the list—and nine of the top ten worst offenders—are Muslim, and include nations from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait) and its contenders (Iran); from among economically rich nations (Qatar) and poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); from among “Islamic republic” nations (Afghanistan), “democracies” (Iraq), and “moderate” nations (Malaysia and Indonesia).

The report also indicates that every Muslim nation that the U.S. has helped “liberate,” including in the context of the “Arab Spring,” has become significantly worse for Christians and other minorities. Previously moderate Syria is now ranked the third worst nation in the world to be Christian, Iraq fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four receive the worst designation in the ranking process: “extreme persecution.”

Three of these countries—Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya—were “liberated” in part thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring “freedom fighters” against the regime, many of whom have been responsible for any number of atrocities—including massacres, beheadings, and the crucifixion of Christians and others.

Despite this track record of interfering in Islamic nations only for the human rights of minorities to plummet, and despite the fact that Syria has gotten dramatically worse for Christian minorities, Secretary of State John Kerry declared in January that, if only Bashar Assad goes away, “I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma‘ilis, Alawites—all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected.”

The same was predicted of Iraq over a decade ago, yet today, well more than half of the Christians are either dead or fled, after years of constant attacks on their churches and persons once Arab dictator Saddam Hussein was ousted.

Libya offers a more recent precedent.  Since U.S.-backed “rebels” overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have been tortured and killed (some for refusing to convert), their churches bombed, and their nuns threatened.

January’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Egypt: Christian arrested for using home as church

This brave soul is a Confessor of Jesus Christ. He is willing to place his life in jeopardy, applying principles of non-violent resistance against the seventh-century 'Conditions of Omar' under which Christians in Egypt are subjugated as dhimmis, second-class non-Muslims, prevented by law from openly practicing their faith.  ICXC + NIKA

by Raymond Ibrahim, JihadWatch — May 14, 2014

A Coptic Christian man in Egypt has been arrested on complaints from local Muslims that, without a permit, he has converted his home into a church and is supposedly even holding religious rituals.

The 55-year-old man, known only by his initial, “BH,” is a laborer in the al-Minya district in Upper Egypt, where Christians are especially targeted.  It was back in 2011 that the Copt first turned his home into a church, prompting angry, local Muslims to report him.   He was arrested by police but later released after agreeing that he would never again try to use his home as a church.

Apparently not one to be deterred, “after a while, Muslims in the village were shocked to see the Christian worker do it again [use his home as a church]—only openly this time.”

So police have arrested him once again, pending investigation.

In Egypt, as well as most other Muslim countries, Christians need special permits, often from the presidency itself, to build churches—permits which are next to impossible to acquire—shedding some light on this Copt’s actions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Why We're Only Now Paying Attention to Boko Haram Is a Disgrace

THE essential primer on the history and dynamics of Islam in Nigeria.

"Boko Haram began as a local Nigerian jihadist group, but it has linked up with the global jihad movement, and so has transformed into a regional threat across not just Nigeria but Cameroon, Niger, Chad and possibly Mali, Mauritania, Algeria and even Libya." — Timothy Furnish

by Timothy R. Furnish, History News Network — May 12, 2014

Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic, African and World history and works as an author, analyst and consultant to the US military. His website is and he is on Twitter as @occidentaljihad

The Nigerian Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has finally grabbed the world’s attention via its seizure of almost 300 Christian girls and its threats to sell them into (sex) slavery. But the group has actually been active for some 12 years, and in point of fact constitutes not some new, virulent form of African Islam but, rather, simply the latest in a long series of similar jihadist and shari`a-imposing groups going back for centuries in that part of the continent. 

Nigeria is the most-populous nation in Africa, and its 160 million inhabitants are almost evenly divided between Christians (in the south) and Muslims (in the north). There are also a number of important ethnolinguistic divisions—notably Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ibo and Ijaw. Nigeria is the world’s 14th-largest oil producer and the fifth-largest supplier to the US. It is also, according to revamped metrics, the largest economy on the African continent. Despite its enormous size, Nigeria has a relatively small military: only about 85,000 troops. (Compare that with Egypt, which has half Nigeria’s population but an army of over 400,000 men.)

Modern Nigeria was created by the British in 1903. The major polity they incorporated into the new colonial territory was the Sokoto Caliphate, which had encompassed not just modern northern Nigeria and Cameroon, but also parts of Niger and Chad, from its creation in the early 19th century at the guidance of Usman Don Fodio (d. 1817), the great Hausa Muslim mujaddid (“renewer” of Islam) whom many considered the Mahdi. Don Fodio’s movement was the most successful of a legion of Muslim jihads in West Africa (modern Mauritania, Senegal, Nigeria, etc.) between the 16th and 20th centuries. During its century of existence, the Sokoto state enforced shari`a law, which included brutal criminal punishments and the relegation of Christians to second-class dhimmi status. (Also, under Caliph Don Fodio and his successors, other jihads in West, Central and North Africa were given ideological and, if possible, financial support.) Don Fodio’s Islamization campaign was so successful that to this day in Nigeria the denizens of the former caliphal areas identify themselves first and foremost by their religion, Islam, rather than by their ethnolinguistic group—unlike most other Nigerians for whom the latter took priority. (This, however, does seem to be changing as Ibo, Yoruba and Ijaw peoples are increasingly identifying themselves as Christians, over against the depredations of Boko Haram.)

Under British rule, northern Nigeria and its former caliphal rulers and subjects were actually insulated from Western influences, under a well-meaning British policy of tolerance. However, the major result of this policy—in effect for almost six decades, until Nigerian independence in 1960—has been the underdevelopment and ideological isolation of the Muslim communities of the former Sokoto Caliphate, and the sowing of fertile ground for the likes of Boko Haram. 

However, that group did not spring into existence ex nihilo in 2002; rather, it emerged from the re-imposition of Islam into Nigeria’s political sphere which began only about a decade after independence. The most important Islamic political party was Jama`at Izalat al-Bida wa-Iqamat al-Sunna (“Society for the Eradication of Innovation and Establishment of the Sunna”), founded in 1978 by Abubakr Gumi (d. 1992), former Chief Mufti of Nigeria. He had strong Wahhabi leanings and so, too, did Izala, which received support from Saudi Arabia (despite the heretical belief that women could be educated). 

William Kilpatrick: Taking the Islamic Challenge Seriously

"As long as Muslims believe that Muhammad received his marching orders from God, the Islamic jihad will continue. If we want to put a stop to the jihad, we need to put a dent in that belief." — William Kilpatrick

It is my firm belief that the greatest service to Christians, to civilization, and indeed, to Muslims themselves, is to boldly live and proclaim the Truth which is in Christ Jesus. 

Jesus Christ is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father" but through Him. He showed us the Way of the most extreme humility, of the most brave and profound love, and of the most gentle compassion and care, in order to restore us to the high calling of humanity which we had from the Father "In the beginning." Let us live in and through Him, that we may actualize in our lives this life-changing love which the world needs so desperately now.

In my book, Facing Islam, I featured these two quotes immediately before my Preface. They sum up the Christian response to the "Islamic Challenge" which William Kilpatrick writes of in his essay:

"I think it is very important for Christians to wake up and return to their roots, to be serious about their faith, and to try to share that faith with Moslems. This is the greatest defense against Islam."  
~ Archimandrite Daniel Byantoro

"Christian compromise in thought and word and negligence in deed have opened the way to the triumph of the forces of the absurd, of Satan, of Antichrist. The present age of absurdity is the just reward of Christians who have failed to be Christians.

"It is futile, in fact it is precisely absurd, to speak of reforming society, of changing the path of history, of emerging into an age beyond ab- surdity, if we have not Christ in our hearts; and if we do have Christ in our hearts, nothing else matters.

"Now one cannot be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely or not at all."

~ Hieromonk Seraphim Rose (+1982)

Taking the Islamic Challenge Seriously
By William Kilpatrick
May 13, 2014

Better get used to it.
When Muslims commit acts of terror, it is standard operating procedure for some authority or other to assure the populace that "this has nothing to do with Islam." This is said so frequently as to induce a boy-who-cried-wolf reaction in anyone with an ounce of contrariness. Nowadays, if there's a fender bender on the next block or a glitch in our computer, we automatically assume that it probably has something to do with Islam. So it's refreshing to finally hear a world leader (in this case, a former world leader) admit that global Islamic terror actually does have something to do with Islam.

In a keynote address in April at Bloomberg Headquarters in London, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair described radical Islam as the single biggest threat facing the world today. He went on to criticize Western commentators who "go to extraordinary lengths" to avoid linking terrorism with Islam. "It is bizarre," he said, "to ignore the fact that the principal actors in all situations express themselves through the medium of religious identity."

Although Blair suggested that radical Islamic ideology "distorts and warps Islam's true message," he nevertheless emphasized that this extremist movement is based in religious belief. He added that we in the West can gain a better understanding of the Islamist ideology by remembering "the experience of revolutionary communism and fascism." His main message? The "defeating of this ideology" should be at the top of the global agenda. In short, Blair is calling for ideological warfare against "Islamism" (his term for radical Islam).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Saint Thekla Monastery in Maaloula, Before and After the Catastrophe (photos)

This is the women's monastery in Syria which was destroyed by Muslims, and from which were abducted Mother Pelagia and her sisters, who were released from captivity back in early March.

Source: MYSTAGOGY — May 12, 2014

‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Chickens’: Muslim Persecution of Christians, December 2013

Raymond Ibrahim's December Report
Published April 8, 2014

As happens at Christmas every year throughout the Muslim world, Christians and their churches were especially targeted—from jihadi terror strikes killing worshippers, to measures by Muslim authorities restricting Christmas celebrations.  Some incidents follow:

Iraq:  “Militants” reported the Associated Press, “targeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people, officials said Wednesday.  In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said. Earlier, two bombs ripped through a nearby outdoor market simultaneously in the Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21.”

Iran:  Five Muslim converts to Christianity were arrested from a house-church during a Christmas celebration. Plain clothes Iranian security authorities raided a house where, according to Mohabat News, “a group of Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas on Tuesday, December 24.” Before arresting the five apostates, authorities “insulted and searched those in attendance, and seized all Christian books, CDs, and laptops they found. They also took the Satellite TV receiver.”  The original report received by Mohabat stated: “These Christians had gathered to worship and celebrate [the] birth of Jesus.”

Indonesia: Muslims in the Aceh province protested against Christmas and New Year celebrations and called on authorities to ban them. Days earlier, an influential Islamic cleric organization, the Ulema Consultative Assembly, issued a fatwa, or edict, “prohibiting Muslims from offering Christmas wishes or celebrating on New Year’s Eve,” said the Associated Press.  Aceh is the “only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to implement a version of Islamic Shariah law.”

Kenya: “Youths,” reported Reuters, “threw petrol bombs at two Kenyan churches on Christmas day … in the latest bout of violence against Christians on the country’s predominantly Muslim coast.”  The attacks occurred “in the early hours of December 25 after churchgoers held services to usher in Christmas.”  The churches were located in Muslim-majority regions. One church was “completely destroyed.”

Somalia: The more “moderate” government—as it is often portrayed in comparison to Al Shabaab (“The Youth”) opposition—banned Christmas celebrations. Hours before Christmas Day, the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs released a directive banning any Christian festivities from being held in the east African nation.  In the words of one ministry official: “We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia that some festivities to mark Christian Days will take place around the world in this week. It is prohibited to celebrate those days in this country.”  All security and law enforcement agencies were instructed to quash any Christian celebrations.

Pakistan:  During Christmas Eve services, “Heavy contingents of police were deployed around the churches to thwart any untoward incident.”  In some regions, “prayer service at major churches focused on remembering the Pakistani Christians who lost their lives in terror attacks.” For example, three months earlier, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar following Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing some 130 worshippers, including many Sunday school children, women, and choir members, and injuring nearly 200 people.

Even in Western nations like Denmark, Christmas Eve witnessed Islamic demonstrations and cries of “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater”).

Also in December, Syria’s Greek-Catholic Church declared that it had three “true martyrs”—men from the small town of Ma’loula, an ancient Christian site where the inhabitants still spoke the language of Christ.  According to Asia News, “When the town fell [in September, to al-Qaeda linked rebels], a climate of fear was imposed… When three men refused to repudiate their religion, they were summarily executed in public, and six more were taken hostage. This was followed by a failed attempt by Syrian government forces to retake the town.”  In the words of Patriarch Gregorios III to Pope Francis in a meeting: 

Holy Father, they are true martyrs. Ordered to give up their faith, they proudly refused. Three others however gave in and were forced to declare themselves Muslim, but later returned to the faith of their ancestors.

According to the families who fled from Ma’loula, “some of their Muslim neighbors took part in the attack that devastated this historic village where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Muslims are approximately one third of the population of the village…”

The rest of December’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Ancient Icons Miraculously Survive in 6th Century Syrian Church damaged by Muslims

Pravoslavie — May 11, 2014

In the Syrian Old Homs, "Eleven Christian churches are either completely destroyed or heavily damaged," related a local priest named George Abu Zahem to the Lebanese The Daily Star newspaper. 

He has described the situation in the al-Hamidiyah Christian quarter as disastrous. According to the priest, the churches were robbed and desecrated by militants. 

"A true miracle happened at Holy Martyr Elian's Orthodox Church in Homs (6th century). The gunmen set it on fire. However, the fire did not touch the ancient icons on the walls—they just slightly darkened," the priest said. 

The thick walls have saved the Cathedral of Holy Theotokos, the "calling card" of Old Homs, where is the city's main relic—a small portion of the Girdle of the Mother of God. 

According to Abu Zahem, the bell-tower was damaged as a result of fighting: its bell collapsed in the cathedral's courtyard.

© Pravoslavie.Ru

Christians Cry Loud to Stop Terrorism in Syria, rebuke USA for supporting Islamic Extremists

"The USA allies with terrorism through sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorist groups in Syria,” Metropolitan Antonius Shidrawi

The Metropolitan of Mexico issued a strong statement to Washington: “You are supporting those who do not know what freedom is…The Christians are being slaughtered and displaced from their homeland in Syria, while you are sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorists under the name of opposition.”

Pravmir — May 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- Metropolitan of Mexico, Venezuela and Central America and the Caribbean Islands for the Roman Orthodox Church Antonius Shidrawi said Christians' cries around the world were continuous tirelessly, appealing for repelling Takfiri extremism and stopping support for the western-backed terrorist groups who were committing systematic crimes in Syria.

“The USA allies with terrorism through sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorist groups in Syria,” Antonius Shidrawi said in a SANA’s report.

Metropolitan Shidrawi called upon Washington in a statement directed to the US Ambassador in Lebanon David Hill “you are supporting those who do not know what freedom is…The Christians are being slaughtered and displaced from their homeland in Syria, while you are sending weapons to the Takfiri terrorists under the name of opposition.”

More on 'Boko Haram'

Boko Haram is a party of dedicated Muslims whose actual name is 'Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad'.

Still from the infamous video of the abducted Nigerian Christian schoolgirls, forced to convert to Islam by the Muslim group 'Boko Haram'.

Robert Spencer discusses the importance of both the nickname and the official, and unpacks this very deliberate construct as follows:

Boko Haram means “Western education is sin,” or more literally, “Books bad.” The mainstream media has reported this as if the group were a bunch of Luddites with AK-47s – people who for some unexplained reason object to modern technology except for the weaponry. But actually the moniker “Boko Haram” is a specifically Islamic name, referring to the sinfulness of any system of education that is not based and centered upon the Qur’an and Islam. 
And the actual name of the group is not Boko Haram at all; it is the 'Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad'. Sunnah is accepted Islamic practice as derived from the Qur’an and Hadith; dawah is Islamic proselytizing; and jihad, of course, is (according to mainstream Islamic tradition) primarily warfare against unbelievers in order to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. 
Clearly, then, the group’s focus and motivation is entirely Islamic – which is probably why the media never calls the group by its actual name: too much focus on Islam in connection with terrorism is, for the media, as verboten for today’s media as it would have been for Der Stürmer to run a piece favorable to Jews.

Mr. Spencer arrays several other key points to understanding Boko Haram:

The abduction of the schoolgirls is only the latest in a huge string of atrocities. 
[They have] murdered over 2,500 people in the first three months of 2014 alone and torched numerous churches and Christian homes.

Muslim clerics recruit for them in mosques.
The British tabloid The Sun reported in late April that “Nigerian Muslim clerics living in the border towns of Cameroon and Nigeria are recruiting Boko Haram members in their mosques, the government of Cameroon has alleged.” It quoted StrategyPage, an American military news site: 
"Cameroon is also concerned about pro-Boko Haram clerics from Nigeria quietly preaching and recruiting for Boko Haram in Cameroon mosques. Islamic conservative clergy are not unusual on either side of the border, but those who do not denounce Boko Haram are suspected of quietly recruiting young men to join the “jihad” (struggle) and fight (and often die) in Nigeria."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Nigeria abducted girls: Boko Haram leader claims captives converted to Islam (with video)

Boko Haram, and its abduction of these poor girls is motivated by Islam, its leader is an Islamic scholar, and the group justifies its actions by citing specific passages from the Quran and examples from the life of Muhammad. See also this story:

90% of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls are Christians; jihadists released Muslim girls

Nigeria abducted girls: Boko Haram leader claims captives converted to Islam (with video)
By Aminu Abubakar and Faith Karimi, 
CNN — May 12, 2014

(CNN) -- A Boko Haram video emerged Monday purportedly showing some of the kidnapped Nigerian girls in Muslim headdresses and the terror group's leader declaring they have converted to Islam.

The video, released by French news agency Agence France-Presse, was shot in a nondescript bush area and showed about 100 girls.

In the 27-minute footage, the terror group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, says he is willing to exchange the schoolgirls for Boko Haram prisoners.

It shows girls dressed in black and gray hijabs, and reciting the Quran as they make Islamic declarations of faith. Shekau appears in a separate part of the video, but never with the girls.

"Praise be to Allah, the lord of the world," the girls in the video chant.

The Cause of Evils & Illness, and the Source of Healing

"Do those that wish to slaughter the peoples of other countries want to be healed of their passion for bloodletting, ethnic hatred and territorial conquest?"

by Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Pravoslavie — May 11, 2014

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 

Today's Gospel (JN 5:1-15) of the healing of the paralytic raises a number of questions. The first perhaps is: Where does illness come from? 

“Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

The answer to this question is contained within the selfsame Gospel, in the words of Our Lord to the healed paralytic: 'Sin no more lest a worse thing come unto thee'. In other words, the origin of illness is in sin. 

We can see this very clearly in the cases of those who destroy their organisms through the taking of drugs, such as tobacco, alcohol or heroin. But most illnesses are not voluntary, they are involuntary. Thus anyone can catch a cold. And we all know people who have lung cancer but have never smoked a cigarette in their lives. Another example: at this very moment our prayers are with Archbishop Alipy who lies paralysed after falling from a tree that he was pruning. This was not his fault, and yet he is now an invalid, requiring healing. The fact is that the vast majority of illnesses and infirmities are involuntary, not the result of personal sin, but the result of the general sin that is in the world, the consequence of the Fall of Adam. This is part of our general human condition and this can happen to anyone. 

What is the way out? What is the solution? 

The way out is Christ, He who healed the paralytic.

The answer to this question too is given in today's Gospel. The way out is Christ, He who healed the paralytic. Not only can He heal illness, because He overcomes sin, but also He can overcome the ultimate consequence of sin—death itself. 

Today's miracle of the healing of the paralytic is most apt for today's world, for this world lies like a paralytic, in a spiritual and moral paralysis, seeming not to know how to overcome the problems that it has invented for itself. 

Iraq’s Vanishing Christians

"The head of the Iraqi Catholic Church sent a chilling warning that Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction as new waves of Christians take the journey of exodus."

OCP Media — May 10, 2014

By Salah Nasrawi

As the mass exodus of Iraq’s Christians continues, so does the call for ending the plight of those who have remained. Like Iraq’s ancient Jewish community before them, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities may soon cease to exist.

The disappearance of Iraq’s religious minorities has been a troubling trend since the US-led invasion in 2003, and it has threatened to end the cultural diversity of Iraq. As the violence in the country spikes and religious intolerance grows, many Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans and other minority community members are leaving the country.

Last week, the head of the Iraqi Catholic Church sent a chilling warning that Iraq’s 2,000-year-old Christian community is on the brink of extinction as new waves of Christians take the journey of exodus.

The exodus is largely blamed on the worsening security since the US-led invasion that toppled former president Saddam Hussein’s regime. Christians have suffered abuses by Muslim extremists and militias, including brutal attacks, death threats and forcible seizure of property.

‘Christians in Turkey Are Second-Class Citizens’

By Walter Flick
OCP Media — May 10, 2014

The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew of Constantinople, arrives to Germany May 10. During his nine-day visit, the 74-year-old will meet with state representatives including Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck. He’ll also be a guest of honor at major Christian churches, and receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Munich.

Bartholomew I has been the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, based in Istanbul, since November 1991. Orthodox Christians are a tiny minority in Turkey, and the population routinely faces discrimination. Walter Flick, a religious expert with the International Society for Human Rights in Germany, shares his insights on the situation in an interview with DW.

DW: Are Christians oppressed in Turkey?

Walter Flick: Turkey has almost 80 million inhabitants. There are only around 120,000 Christians, which is less than 1 percent of the population. Christians are certainly seen as second-class citizens. A real citizen is Muslim, and those who aren’t Muslim are seen as suspicious. Christians aren’t equal. You can’t say they’re being persecuted in Turkey, but they don’t have the same rights, especially when it comes to religious freedom.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bethlehem: One stabbed as Muslim mob storms and stones church

Church Near Beit Jala Attacked
CAMERA, May 8, 2014 (via JihadWatch):

Reports are starting to trickle out of the West Bank about violence St. George’s Orthodox Church near Beit Jala. The details are sketchy, but the violence took place on May 6, 2014. One person was allegedly stabbed and several others hurt during a confrontation between Muslims and Christians at the church, which was celebrating the feast of St. George, its patron saint. [Linked] is video of the event that was posted on Youtube soon after the attack. Injured parishioners can be seen moving past the camera and at one point, a stone can be seen flying into a crowd.

More details as they are available.

Update: 11:10 a.m. May 8, 2014: 

A Bethlehem Greek Orthodox Church (St. George’s Church – Khadar – near Beit Jala) was attacked by Muslims during its annual St. George’s Day services on May 6. … Some local Muslims either tried to park a car too close the church and/or tried to enter the church during a service honoring St. George – the initial instigation isn’t clear. But when the intruders were asked to leave, one of them stabbed a Christian man who was outside the church serving as a guard. He was hospitalized. Several then started throwing stones at the church. 7 or 8 Christians were injured and some physical damage was done – broken windows etc. The police didn’t show up for an hour.

Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says

"The number of Christians in the Middle East has plunged to just 10 percent of the overall population from more than 25 percent in 2011."

by Benjamin Weinthal, — May 11, 2014

Christians are under siege in the Middle East, and the Obama administration is not doing enough to stop religious persecution by its allies, according to a new report from a bipartisan federal commission.

The report, from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, faulted usual suspects Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as North Korea. The number of Christians in the Middle East has plunged to just 10 percent of the overall population from more than 25 percent in 2011.

Lessons Learned from the ‘Brave German Woman’

The incident of the 'Brave German Woman' is very instructive. And it vividly reminds me of an incident in my former parish which I wrote about in my book, Facing Islam:

WHEN I WAS A YOUNG CONVERT new to Orthodoxy, the late Archbishop Michael (Shaheen) of the Antiochian Archdiocese came to our parish. In delivering the homily, he stated unequivocally that (and I paraphrase), “We must embrace the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, for we all worship the same God; we just worship in different ways, and are merely traveling different paths to the same destination.” In doing so, he was blatantly standing against Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the Seven Ecumenical Councils, the Confessors and Martyrs and all true Orthodox believers of every age. 
Many of us were scandalized beyond belief. Cries of “ANAXIOS!” welled up in our throats, only to be strangled by cowardice. The teens in the church were greatly confused, and it caused quite an uproar, which our beloved priest and spiritual father tried to calm down by urging us to forgive and forget because, “He’s an old man and not much of a theologian.” 
Perhaps that was the correct thing to do in this situation, but the day may soon be coming when we may again hear someone in authority preaching heresy with a bared head from the ambon itself. Will we have the courage to at least walk out and refuse to listen? Will we be even stronger and find our voice of faith to refute the falsehood? Or will we be passive and implicitly deny Christ and lose our salvation? 
There is an old legal maxim: “Silence implies assent.” St. John of Kronstadt lamented a century ago, “How many are silent when it is necessary to defend the glory of God and of His saints, which is blasphemed by the children of this world!” And as St. Gregory the Theologian warned, “By your silence you can betray God.” 
O Heavenly Father, grant us to speak even one word of faith in our hour of trial!

Lessons Learned from the ‘Brave German Woman’
by Raymond Ibrahim — May 7, 2014

Mund waves flag saying ‘Christ is Lord’ while imam shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’

Several are the important lessons learned from last year’s “Brave German Woman” incident.

Context: On November 10, 2013, a Muslim imam was invited to give the Islamic call to prayer inside the Memorial Church of the Reformation in the city of Speyer, Germany—a church dedicated to honoring Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.

“When the brave German woman, whose real name is Heidi Mund, heard about the event, she prayed,” reports CBN News.  Not sure what she would do upon arrival, she grabbed her German flag emblazoned with the words “Jesus Christ is Lord” and headed for the concert:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Hagia Sofia to become half-mosque and half-museum

Christian Icons and frescoes to be shrouded in shadows and 'dark light' to avoid offending Islam.

We knew this was coming, yet it is still an immensely significant, symbolic move, which Muslims will universally see as a "second conquering" of Christendom, and even as a precursor to the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. As I wrote back in December:
The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque is an eschatological sign of our times, as pure, seventh-century Islam, that "forerunner of the Antichrist," reasserts its diabolical hold over its fervent adherents, and re-stakes its claim to global domination, ushering in a new era of bloody Muslim jihad already raging around the globe.

Here are some of my recent posts on this:

Turkey: Hagia Sofia to become half mosque and half museum
ANSAMed (Thanks to JihadWatch) — May 8, 2014

ANKARA - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government plans to turn Istanbul's Hagia Sofia Basilica into a mosque in the afternoon and evening and a museum in the morning. The historical monument, which draws millions of tourists every year, will have the Byzantine frescoes covering its walls cast into shadow by 'dark light' so as to avoid offending Islam.