Sunday, March 14, 2010
Persecution of Christians is a common occurrence throughout the world, but is rarely reported by the mainstream media. Due to their faith, Christians endure harassment, discrimination, deportation, imprisonment, rape, torture, murder and other forms of persecution. This trend of Christian persecution continues on an alarming scale while Communist and former Communist states are becoming less antagonistic towards Christianity (North Korea being the exception). Concurrently, persecution continues to increase in Islamic countries. International Christian Concern ICC 2010 report
The Hall of shame 2010 : Top 10 christian persecutors
4- North Korea
7- Saudi Arabia
NB : because of the wide definition of the persecution term and the difficulty to collect all the information about persecution around the globe, other countries may be listed in the top 10 persecutors which are : Maldives , Afghanistan, Yemen, Laos, Uzbekistan, and Mauritania (Open doors report)
Sources : Map : Open doors organization
Ranking : International Christian Concern ICC
Saturday, March 13, 2010
“The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her. In fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing.” St. Thomas Aquinas
From Nigeria to Indonesia , passing through Egypt , Iraq and Malaysia … Christians are being persecuted killed slaughtered for their faith !
Starting by the latest killings in Nigeria . Sunday the 7th of March 2010 around 500 Christians were killed in the villages of Dogo Nahawa, Zot and Ratsat in the central Plateau state in Nigeria which lies on the division line between the northern Muslim majority and the southern Christian majority !
Moving to Egypt where the suffering of Christians never ends . Christians in Egypt make around 10 % of a population of 80 million (around 8 million) which is a large minority , but they aren’t allowed to build churches or even renovate it unless they get a special permit from the president while on the other side Cairo is flourishing with mosques , it is called the city of thousand mosques ! not to mention that Christians are barred from high government positions, diplomatic service and the military, as well as from many state benefits. Universities have quotas for Coptic students considerably lower than their actual percentage within the population… But the new there is that after a few years of relative calm , clashes are seen more often and Christians are being killed on everyday basis. On the 6th of January 2010 , six Christian Copts were murdered in the city of Nag Hammadi on the Coptic Christmas eve , and the Egyptian government seems not to care .
In Iraq , Churches , Christian’s owned shops and businesses and houses are a magnet for terrorists .The number of Christians has fallen from more than 1.4 million before 2003 to less than 600 000 in 2009 ! Since the break out of violence against and killings of the Indigenous Arameans of Mosul at beginning of February this year already 12 Arameans of various denominations have been killed and 720 families (4320 people) fled Mosul for outlying villages and areas for more safety. Last week around 8 Christians were killed also in Mosul…
The latest violence in Malaysia erupted after a decision of the Malaysia's high court that the word Allah (God in Arabic) is not exclusive to Muslims, therefore Christians can also use it! The decision angered radical Muslims in the countries that went on widespread protests that ended up in exploding three churches in Kuala Lumpur as well as several killings !
Finally in neighboring Indonesia , the most populous Muslim country in the world , radical Islam is flourishing . During the past month of February Muslim mob burned a pastor’s house and two churches , another two churches were forced to close…
It is estimated that around 100 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide , which make them the most persecuted religious group in the world. The fate of Christians has always been to give their blood for their faith but the course of history has proven that the more persecuted they are the more they grow up stronger , and Rome is the biggest example where Christians were the more persecuted and nowadays it’s the capital of Catholicism Christianity .
You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
More infos : International Christian concern - Persecutions
American chronicle - End of Aramaen Christianity in northern Iraq
Christianity's Modern-Day Martyrs
Noël : cent millions de chrétiens sous surveillance
Can Christians Say 'Allah'? In Malaysia, Muslims Say No
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Epiphany is a Christian feast celebrated on the 6th of January. The origin of the world is from Greek which means “appearance" or "manifestation".
The commemorations defer between the western churches and the eastern ones.
In the west , it is the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus which is celebrated. While in the east it is the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordon river in which he was manifested as the son of God.
Traditions and rituals also differ between countries. In Spain and the Spanish speaking world children receive gifts from the three magi (Los Reyes Magos) on the 5th of January (the eve) it is the equivalent to Santa and they also eat a specific cake called roscón de reyes that contains a small statue of Baby Jesus. In France (as well as in Switzerland, Belgium , Canada , Louisiana) another type of cake is made , it is called La Galette des Rois and it contains also a small statue.
In Lebanon the feast is very popular among Lebanese Christians , as eastern Christians the traditions reflect the importance of the baptism of Jesus. That’s why people bring bottles of water to the church to be blessed, also the priests visit the houses and schools and pour blessed water all around in the house and the rooms to give the blessings of Jesus. It is also believed that Jesus pass by the houses at midnight and the trees inclines in front of the Lord, that’s why some families leave the doors open at midnight, and they also go pray outside waiting for Jesus’ passing and some make the dough and leave it to the morning after so that Jesus can bless it at midnight. The Lebanese also do some special pastries for the occasion.