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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Christian Jailed for Praying Dies After Officials Deny Diabetes Medication

By Rick Pearcey • September 23, 2015, 01:03 PM

The U.K. Express reports:

Tiang Kwentianthong passed away after his release from prison where authorities reportedly watched him deteriorate without helping.

According to human rights groups, Mr. Kwentianthong, from Huey, Laos, was arrested after he was caught praying for a sick woman.

Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom said the 61-year-old "continued to suffer severe diabetes" throughout his imprisonment.

The human rights group issued a statement saying, "During his imprisonment," Mr. Kwentianthong "requested permission to be treated for his worsening diabetic condition, but the prison officials denied his request."

"The father-of-six was arrested nine months ago when he and four other Christian men visited a recent Christian convert who had asked for prayers for healing," the Express reports.

"All Christian activities, such as prayer, require government approval in Laos -- which is a predominantly Buddhist nation," the Express states.

"A court found Mr. Kwentianthong and the four others guilty of 'performance of the medical profession without a license' because of their prayers for healing, sentencing them to nine months in prison," according to the Express.

"Despite being released in March, his condition worsened and he died last week," the Express reports.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Two Presbyterian Pastors Face Likely Death Penalty in Sudan, Persecuted for Their Christian Faith

By Rick Pearcey • May 27, 2015, 11:24 AM

Stoyan Zaimov reports at Christian Post:

Two Presbyterian pastors are facing a likely death penalty as their trial in the Republic of Sudan begins.

The Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yen Reith of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church have been charged with espionage and blasphemy, though the church says they're being persecuted for their Christian faith, like other pastors in the Muslim-dominated country.

Related
Christian Extermination in the Middle East
Christians Fleeing Marauding Muslims in Africa's "Forgotten Crisis"



Monday, May 26, 2014

The Benham Brothers and "Truly Being Persecuted" in America Now

By Rick Pearcey • May 26, 2014, 11:02 AM

Ken McIntyre writes at The Foundry

The twin brothers who lost their reality TV show when a website attacked their Christian beliefs say they’ll not only "stand up" to bullying intolerance but also keep a commitment to six families by selling their properties without taking a cent.

David and Jason Benham, who recently met and prayed with the six families scheduled to be on their canceled show, told Dana Loesch on her online show on TheBlaze TV that Christians in other countries face far worse than losing television deals.

"We are really not being persecuted in this country yet. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for," David Benham said. "So we just remember those folks that are truly being persecuted. And it really strengthens our resolve in this nation to really stand up to this bully, this agenda to silence, and say: 'OK, enough is enough.'"

The Benham brothers are correct to stand up to bullies, but the evidence suggests that they miss the mark when they say they are not "truly being persecuted."

True enough, the brothers are not being physically attacked, but physical assault is a later indicator, not an early indicator, of persecution.

I address this topic in "Easter and Other Four-Letter Words":

The "systematic efforts by those who seek to eradicate Christian principles from our schools and the public square should be seen for what it is -- persecution," said Rena Lindevaldsen, an attorney with Liberty Counsel. "Any avid observer of First Amendment issues will recognize that the efforts made by certain groups to 'maintain the separation of church and state' are blatantly discriminatory." For "only Christian teachings and beliefs are targeted for removal," and yet "secular humanism runs rampant in the schools" and "students are regularly taught Buddhist principles and Muslim beliefs."

But haven’t we been told that real persecution happens in other countries? Besides, how can Christians possibly be persecuted here in America, where they are in the majority? A brief look at the Biblical information on the word "persecution" may help clarify what we are talking about, and help us avoid overstating, or understating, what confronts us here in the States.

Biblically speaking, "persecution" can be understood to include a range of hostile actions against Christians. Consider the activities of Saul. In Acts 8, we learn that there "arose a great persecution against the church" and that "Saul was ravaging the church." Here the persecution was "great" but did not include killing or maiming, for Saul limited himself to dragging off "men and women" and committing "them to prison."

In Acts 9:1, Saul was "still breathing threats and murder against the disciples." Here, the persecution includes "threats" and a strong desire to kill Christians, as well as Saul’s attempt to acquire the authority to carry out the threats. Later, the great persecutor would be on hand to witness the stoning of Stephen, but Saul’s own action as a persecutor demonstrates that persecution is an activity that includes but is not limited to killing or maiming.

Consider also the career of Saul-turned-Paul, for he who once persecuted Christians later embraced Christianity. In 2 Tim. 3:11,12, Paul talks about the "persecutions and sufferings that happened" to him at "Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra." When we turn to Acts 13 and 14, we discover that "persecutions" include several elements. In Antioch, Paul’s teaching was opposed by people who drove Paul and Barnabas out of the district. In Iconium, unbelievers "poisoned [Gentiles’] minds" against Christianity and intended to "mistreat" and "stone" Paul and Barnabas, but the two of them left -- thus, Paul and Barnabas suffered persecution even though they had the good sense to leave before experiencing ill-treatment in a physically intense form.

In Lystra, the opposition pursued Paul and turned the crowds against him. He was stoned, dragged out of the city, and left for dead. Here we see persecution in many of its elements: Pursuit of the Christian, stirring up anti-Christian animus, and then decisive physical action based on that anti-Christian animus. It is this range of Biblical data that led one of my former professors in New Testament Greek to conclude that there are different kinds of persecutions: "physical, social, mental, and spiritual" (see W. Harold Mare, "Persecution," in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology).

It seems clear that what we see in contemporary America is a form of persecution. This is simply to state a fact, a fact that should always be kept in balance even as it is acknowledged. "As a boy," Os Guinness of Trinity Forum told me, "I lived through the Chinese revolution and its wave of savage persecution against Christians, so we must always keep a sense of perspective. And of course, we must always respond, not with victim-playing, but in the way Jesus taught his followers to face hatred and opposition. But there's no doubt that prejudice and discrimination against the 'old faith' are mounting and that extreme persecution may be in the wings." . . .

"Persecution is simply the clash between two irreconcilable value-systems," wrote John R.W. Stott in Christian Counterculture: The Message of the Sermon on the Mount. This is not to say that the clash of irreconcilable systems necessarily always results in physical or legal violence -- and Christians especially should take care not to persecute those with whom they have theological differences, as for example occurred when pre-Reformer Jan Hus was burned at the stake in July 1415 at the Council of Constance.

And yet, Stott’s comment about the clash of irreconcilable systems offers insight into much of what we have today: A smaller, but more organized and culturally powerful secular elite gripped by an anti-Christian worldview has successfully targeted the larger but less-organized and culturally less-powerful Christian community in America.

The two groups represent mutually irreconcilable worldviews, with the secularists declaring that Christianity is at best a subjective crutch that belongs in the closet and that, at worst, is responsible for just about all the ills of the modern world. A smaller group with a vision, plan, and the will to execute the plan, often has the advantage over a larger group, even a majority, if that larger group lacks these strengths and instead fears its loss of privilege, influence, or its "personal peace and affluence," as Francis Schaeffer once put it.

The Christian community as a whole has yet to mount an effective answer to the challenge of today’s low-intensity persecution in America. What is needed is an answer that says (and demonstrates, observably) that Christianity is a total way of life based on verifiable truth about God, humanity, and the universe, and that the Judeo-Christian worldview alone gives an adequate intellectual and livable basis for the dignity of man and human creativity, the fight against evil and injustice, and the possibility of substantial healing across the whole of private and public life, including government, law, and education. We have to ask ourselves: If we have yet to sufficiently challenge the milder opposition we now face in America, what makes us think we will be ready if we have to face forms of "extreme persecution” that "may be in the wings"? 

Thankfully, we in America have not yet faced the kind of systematic persecution that Guinness lived through as a boy in China and that others even now face in North Korea, China, in Islamic nations, and so on, around the globe. We should be thankful not just because friends and families are not being harmed, but also because the relative freedom we still enjoy in this land can be used to better provide aid to our brothers and sisters afflicted elsewhere around the globe.

Having said this, let us not forget that Christians in America have been subjected to a measure of lethal anti-Christian violence. We can think of the three students in Paducah, Ky., who in December 1997 were gunned down at Heath High School, where they had gathered in the lobby to pray. Five other members of the group were wounded. Then in April 1999, among the many casualties of Columbine High School in Colorado were one wounded and two murdered Christian students (the killers reportedly asked students, "Do you believe in God?").

Then in September 1999, seven people died and seven were wounded at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth after a gunman fired into a congregation gathered for a Wednesday night prayer meeting. Those who think that severe, organized persecution could never happen here may want to consider the implications of abortion in America: that secularists are willing to spill human blood, even that of the innocent unborn, if they have the power and the law behind them. Is there anything more fascist than abortion?

"Social ostracism," wrote E.M. Blaiklock in The Christian in Pagan Society, "in the early history of the church preceded official persecution." There is a pattern in the move from milder to more extreme forms of persecution: First ostracize and demonize, then destroy. How many more years of the demonization of Christians will it take before the power-centers of society feel sufficiently emboldened to act against those who refuse to bend the knee to a modern Nero-class of government elites protected by activist supporters in the press, Hollywood, and on campus?

If the church, for example, can be demonized as a kind of cancer (which happened to a local congregation in Castle Hills, Texas, as Limbaugh’s Persecution reports), do we really think that anti-Christian hate groups will not employ this kind of sentiment to justify the attempt to remove the church and other "cancerous" groups from the body of society for the health of society? Christians are being persecuted in America, admitted one critic of the Limbaugh book, and they should be, according to this person -- because we live in a multicultural society.

"If Christians do not fight for the right to express their faith, they will soon find themselves living in an America where the more severe forms of persecution become mainstream," cautioned Lindevaldsen. Clearly, resisting the spirit of Herod and Pilate is not nearly as difficult as it some day may be, should the opposition actually enjoy the support of most Americans.

I concluded at that time, in days before Easter 2004: "There’s no need to wait for the arena and the full blast of evil against good. We can act now by waging love in small ways. Easter is at the door. Let the Easter eggs roll. Enjoy the colors of the day and the rising of the sun as it breaks over the horizon and casts the darkness away.

"But we might also remember to tell a friend what it’s all about. That there was in space and time and history circa A.D. 33 a huge stone that you could touch with your hands. The rock was set in front of a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, guarded by flesh-and-blood Roman guards whose lives depended upon making sure the body of Jesus of Nazareth remained undisturbed by friend or foe. Everything went according to plan, according to fate, the laws of life and death, the gods of Rome, and according to the wishes of the political and religious elites. Until the stone moved."

FYI -- For more on persecution in America, please see Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity, by David Limbaugh. I was honored to serve as primary editor of this book.



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christians Burned Alive, Beheaded, Crucified, Tortured to Death, Imprisoned in Metal Shipping Containers

By Rick Pearcey • December 10, 2013, 07:41 AM

Michael Snyder writes at The American Dream:

The "coming persecution of Christians" has already begun. It is already here. So why is the mainstream media in the United States almost totally silent about this phenomenon? 

When some politician somewhere around the globe inadvertently offends homosexuals or Muslims, it instantly makes headline news. But very few Americans are even aware that it has been estimated that 100 million Christians are currently facing persecution and that approximately 100,000 Christians die for their faith each year. 

As you are about to see, Christians all over the world are being burned alive, beheaded, crucified, tortured to death and imprisoned in metal shipping containers just because of what they believe. 

This persecution goes on year after year and it is steadily intensifying. But the governments of the western world and the mainstream media are almost entirely ignoring what is happening.

The information shared [in this report] is extremely graphic. Some of the websites that normally run my articles may want to think twice before posting this one. 

The reason why I have included such graphic information is because I believe that it is very important to accurately communicate what is truly going on out there. People need to know the reality of the holocaust that is happening. 

The following are short excerpts from news stories about incidents of Christian persecution that took place in 12 different countries around the planet. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans have never even heard about any of these stories.

Go here to read the report by Michael Snyder.



Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pentagon May Court-Martial Soldiers Who Share the Gospel

By Rick Pearcey • May 2, 2013, 10:45 AM

Ken Klukowski reports at Breitbart.com:

The Pentagon has released a statement confirming that soldiers could be prosecuted for promoting their faith: "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense. . . . Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis."

"The statement, released to Fox News, follows a Breitbart News report on Obama administration Pentagon appointees meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith," Breitbart reports.

On Nov. 23, 2012, I wrote on Twitter, "You do realize that 'Christian' Obama is in the process of criminalizing Christianity."

I then illustrated this on Facebook with reference to Obamacare, writing also on Nov. 23, 2012: 

Obamacare requires the funding of pro-abortion provisions. 

Obamamare will fine people who embrace science (the human biology of the fetus), ethics (it's wrong to kill the innocent), the Constitution (there is no basis for the federal gov't to impose its "healthcare" upon the states and the people).

The verifiable data we have vis-a-vis the Christian worldview embraces science, protects the innocent, and favors freedom.

This worldview, as such, cannot therefore be reduced to activities inside prayer closets or to singing 18 verses of "Just as I am."

Community with God and man is intended to be lived out across the whole of life. [emphasis added]

We now already have massive demonization from Obama, the Democrats, and the formerly mainstream Democrat media.

The purpose of demonization is to destroy -- reputations at first; much more later, if necessary.

Fines for not complying with Obamacare will be in force.

What do you think will happen if companies and individuals or companies refuse to pay fines?

Well, stiffer fines. Court. Jail. Possibly more.

This is one of the paths to the criminalization of Christianity currently underway.

Jesus of Nazareth commissioned his followers to take the Good News regarding God's answer to the problem of human brokenness into all parts of the world: "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15-16).

In view of this statement from the Pentagon, we now have the Department of Defense of "Christian" Barack Obama repudiating Christ, repudiating the explicit, normative, publicly actionable, and verifiable teaching of Jesus of Nazareth.

Memo to Obama: The scope of Christ's commission to share with our fellow human beings the Good News from the Creator (who is the basis of unalienable rights), regarding the real-world solution to the brokenness of the human condition, includes all of life, including military life, even at the Pentagon.

Obama is a mere creature. Neither he nor his servants has the authority to countermand this commission from Christ himself. The extremism of Barack Obama against God, humanity, and freedom becomes more evident with each passing day. A free-thinking people, and a freedom-thinking people, revolts.

Related 
Extremism In, Extremism Out: Obama’s Soldiers for Secularism 
What Is "Mainstream" America?
Secularist Washington-Centrism Is Un-American
"I Pledge Allegiance to Obama"?



Thursday, March 14, 2013

On Torching Christians in Pakistan

By Rick Pearcey • March 14, 2013, 09:02 AM

Frank Crimi writes at Frontpage.com:

In the latest act of bruising intolerance being perpetrated by Muslims against Pakistan’s besieged Christian community, a Muslim mob recently burned down over 150 Christian homes and two churches over allegations that a Christian man had committed blasphemy. [emphasis added]

The rioting, which occurred in the Pakistani city of Lahore, began after a Muslim man accused Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian, of insulting the Prophet Muhammad, an allegation punishable by death under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

Even though Pakistani police had swiftly arrested Masih, Christian families nevertheless hurriedly fled the area in fear of Muslim reprisals, an exodus which proved fortuitous given the ensuing Muslim rampage.

"Once the mob’s fury had been spent, Christians slowly made their way back to their burned-out homes, leaving one Christian surveying the destruction to lament, 'Nothing is left here. I don't know why this happened'," Crimi writes.

"The answer to that question, unfortunately, is exceedingly clear given the type of barbaric treatment routinely meted out by Muslims to those Christians and other religious minorities unfortunate enough to run afoul of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws."

Related
Thousands Set Fire to Christian Neighborhood -- Photos
Franklin Graham: Obama "Giving Islam a Pass," Warns of Persecution