Persecution of Christians in 2007

http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2007/dec/31/yehey/opinion/20071231opi1.html

Monday, December 31, 2007

EDITORIAL
Persecution of Christians
The Christmas season does not end until after the solemnity, or feast, of the Baptism of the Lord Jesus on January 13. The season is a time of hope and joy. Sadly, there is little joy among Christians suffering persecution in countries where they are a minority.
The said thing is that, as the famous international human rights lawyer and expert on the Palestinian Christian minority, Justus Reid Weiner, has been saying,

The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs.” The same can be said of Christian minorities in other parts of the world.
Here are some cases of Christian persecution reported by various advocacy groups based in the countries where the incidents occurred.
In India’s state of Orissa, last Monday (December 24), a mob of militant Hindus attacked a Christmas worship service. The attackers destroyed the crib and the figure of the Baby Jesus, the lights and the sound equipment.
An ecumenical Christian group representing churches and mission societies has reported that in the past two years, Hindu militants—backed by local political parties and activists—have carried out 500 or more attacks against mainly Christian missionaries.

In a Chinese province, on Dec. 19, local police—or men of the public security bureau—arrested and tortured the leader of an underground-church community. This incident is part of an annual Christmas season crackdown on Christians, whether Catholic or Protestants, who refuse to join the approved churches. They hold Masses and services clandestinely in private homes. The approved churches operate under the government’s religious affairs section.

A Christian group sent a report to Hong Kong that at least 150 house-church pastors were believed to be behind bars in the second week of December. They were arrested by Chinese security forces that broke up a their meeting in Shandong province.

In Pakistan, on December 18, a Pakistani couple and their children went into hiding because they converted to Christianity and their Muslim relatives threatened to kill them. They could not seek protection from authorities whom they feared of being ideologically militant Islamists themselves.
Also in Pakistan, the secretary-general of the Churches of Pakistan was kidnapped in early December. The suspected abductors are Muslim militants who had earlier killed at least three Pakistani Christians.


In Indonesia, after a group of Muslim militants attacked a Baptist pastor’s chapel and carried out a noisy protest against Catholics who had built a chapel in the same town, Indonesian officials agreed to the militants’ demand for the closure of both chapels.
In the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, two Baptist pastors were detained and now face deportation. Police in both countries have been cracking down on evangelical churches.

In Egypt, the husband of an Egyptian woman who had converted to Christianity and married him last year reported that on their wedding anniversary the police arrested his wife.
Christian oppression in Palestine
Christian pilgrims and tourists have flocked to Israel and the Palestine Authority’s territories throughout December to visit sites associated with the Lord Jesus. They learn about Christian oppression in Palestine.
On May 14, 1948, Israel was declared an independent state by the international community, despite Arab objections to the partition of Palestine into the Jewish state of Israel and the state of Palestine for the Muslims.
The situation for Christians in Israel is better than those under the Palestine Authority. In the West Bank and Gaza today, Christians (mainly Arab Christians) form only one-and-a-half percent of the population. In 1948 Christians were 15 percent of the population in the West Bank and Gaza.
Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, now has a population of 30,000 of which less than 6,000 are Christians. In 1948, 85 percent or more of the people of Bethlehem were Christians.
Justus Reid Werner, the international human rights lawyer and expert on the Palestinian Christian minority, said earlier this month that Muslim persecution is the primary cause of the dramatic decline of the Christian community in the West Bank and Gaza.


Under the late Yassir Arafat and the present Palestine Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, Christians were at least more or less to be officially treated well. But when the Hamas government took over in June 2007, the problem of Christian persecution worsened.
Weiner said Arab Christians have no voice and no protection in Palestinian areas. “The systematic persecution of Christian Arabs living in Palestinian areas is being met with nearly total silence by the international community, human rights activists, the media and NGOs.”


There has been a notable rise in anti-Christian attacks, especially in the Gaza Strip since Hamas took over the territory. On April 15, 2007, a Christian bookstore in Gaza City, run by the Holy Bible Society, was bombed along with two Internet cafes. Six months later, on October 7, Rami Ayyad, the bookstore’s manager, was stabbed and shot to death. Every month in 2007 there has been an attack against Christians.

1 comment:

Anders said...

Hello! I found your website. My name is Anders Branderud, I am 23 years and I am from Sweden.

By practising Torah non-selectively, just like the historical Jesus did, we make the world a better place to live in!

To realize that one can follow two polar-opposite masters — the authentic, historical, PRO-Torah 1st-century Ribi from Nazareth – the Messiah - and the 4th-century (post-135 C.E.), arch-antithesis ANTI-Torah apostasy developed by the Hellenists (namely the Sadducees and Roman pagans who conspired to kill Ribi Yәhoshua, displaced his original followers (the Netzarim) and redacted the NT); is a step in that direction!

So who then was the historical Jesus? His name was Ribi Yehoshua.
The research of world-recognized authorities (for example Barrie Wilson; www.barriewilson.com) in this area implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee (a Torah-practising Jewish group - who according to 4Q MMT (a Scroll found in the Qumran-caves) practised both written and oral Torah (oral Torah in an unbroken chain since Mosheh (Moses); commanded by Mosheh in Torah; oral Torah is recorded Beit-Din (Jewish Court)-decisions of how Torah shall be applied).. As the earliest church historians, most eminent modern university historians, our web site (www.netzarim.co.il) and our Khavruta (Distance Learning) texts confirm, the original teachings of Ribi Yehoshua were not only accepted by most of the Pharisaic Jewish community, he had hoards of Jewish students.

For words that you don’t understand; se www.netzarim.co.il ; the link to Glossaries at the first page.

Ribi Yehoshua warned for false prophets who don’t produce good fruit = defined as don’t practise the commandments in Torah according to Halakhah (oral Torah; see the above definition). See Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:1-6.

The research of Scholars in leading universities which implies that Ribi Yehoshua was a Pharisee necessarily implies that if you want to follow him you need to practise his Torah-teachings.
So you need to start follow the historical Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – by practising Torah (including oral Torah)!

Finding the historical Jew, who was a Pharisee Ribi and following him brings you into Torah, which gives you a rich and meaningful life here on earth and great rewards in life after death (“heaven”)!

From Anders Branderud
Geir Toshav, Netzarim in Ra’anana in Israel (www.netzarim.co.il) who is followers of Ribi Yehoshua – the Messiah – in Orthodox Judaism