Archive for February, 2008

Losing Your Home For Christ

Posted in Bangladesh with tags , , , on February 17, 2008 by Mike

A great article on Cross Rhythms tells the story of a Bangladeshi Christian who lost his home to a fire.

He lost his house in a fire at around 8 in the evening of 8th January this year. “The house was burned because we have been worshipping in his house and leading Bible study every week. [So] his house was targeted,” said another Christian who reported the incident.

The article goes on to ponder the question of how those of us who hold Bible studies in our homes would react if this happened to us.

Ashraful is married with two sons and a daughter. He has two cows for his small business and both were lost in the fire.

What would it mean for us to lose our livelihood and be unable to support our family, because of our faith?

Most of us have experienced some isolation for our faith – people think we’re a bit odd. But how many of us experience direct opposition from our neighbours? How many of us actually know our neighbours that well?

At the time of the fire, Ashraful was in another village to attend a worship service. His mother-in-law was present that night, and suffered minor injuries in one hand. His daughter was also inside the house when it went up in flames; it was a miracle that she came out unscathed.

How would we feel if our faith put our loved ones at risk?

Following Christ is not a decision to take lightly. It’s not about making a decision to allow God to solve all of our problems without actually changing the way we live. In John 15:20, Jesus said, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute me also.” And Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “…for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

May God give us strength and faith to live up to these words.

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Christian Loses Eye at Hands of Pakistani Muslims

Posted in Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2008 by Mike

In yet another story of Muslim mobs attacking Christians, Christian News Today is reporting that a Muslim gouged out the eye of a Christian Pakistani with a dagger after he refused to kneel down.

“We will take out eyes of every infidel who shall dare to look straight in our eyes,” the PCP quoted one of the Muslims as saying.

Khariat Masih, who advanced to release John from the mob’s clutches suffered injuries to his head, abdomen and legs after he was attacked with an axe.

The area Christian Councilor, Basharat Masih, rushed to defuse tension and to prevent attackers but he was brutally beaten with sticks. His mother Salima Bibi fell to save his son Basharat Masih from attackers but she was also dragged by hair in courtyard, said the story.

Later, Muslim mob broke out doors, which have been closed in fear of attack and dragged out children, men, women and elders. In gunfire, mob disgraced women and tortured men before their families, the story said.

The police came after attack and arrested Christians instead to registering any case against the Muslims. The police officials later started inquiry of incident in light of a property dispute between the two groups, the story maintained.

On the intervention of senior officials, John Masih, Khariat Masih, Basharat Masih, Salima Bibi, and three other were admitted in hospital. John Masih and Khariat Masih are said to be in critical condition.

Christian Students Attacked in Nigeria by Muslims

Posted in Nigeria with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2008 by Mike

Muslim students in Nigeria are turning to deception and violence to get Christian students thrown out of public high schools, according to report in Christian News Today. A group of Muslim students accused a Christian student of writing a “blasphemous” article about Muhammad, and consequently went on a rampage.

One of the injured minors who suffered knife and machete wounds, Ahmadu Inuwa, said the accused Christian student, Ashiru Danlami, could not possibly have written the alleged English-language article as he could hardly speak in English, much less write in the language. Inuwa said school authorities had established this fact.

The Rev. Samaila Kogo of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), from Sumaila, told Compass his investigations showed that Muslim students wrote and published the blasphemous article as a pretext for attacking Christian students. This strategy, he said, is used in schools across northern Nigeria to force Christian students out of schools.

The enfuriating part is that the school tried to expel the student, not because it believed he had written the article, but because the school knew about the Muslim students’ plans to attack the Christians if they continued attending the school.

“In spite of the suspension of Danlami from school, the plan to attack Christian students there went on, and this forced all these Christian students to flee from the school,” Rev. Kogo said. “It was at this point that the school authority and the police met and decided that the Christian students be called back to school with an assurance that nothing would happen to them.”

Nevertheless, only two of the 57 Christian students who had fled threats dared to return to the school, he said. Inuwa and Isiaku Dogo – final-year students with only a few months to graduate – felt they needed to be in class to prepare for finals. Muslim students assaulted them with knives and machetes.

Having injured the two Christian students, Christian sources said, the Muslim students went directly to the town’s police station, where they killed the Christian police officer and burned down the police station.

This is another case of a society that cows in fear of violent Muslims instead of standing up to them and demanding that they obey the laws of civility and common decency. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria that they will stand strong in their faith and defend the Gospel.

Against Separation of Church and State

Posted in America with tags , , , on February 1, 2008 by Mike

Bobby Keith has a great article arguing against the separation of church and state. Here’s an excerpt:

The phrase “separation of church and state” was used by Jefferson in a letter that he wrote to the Baptists of Danbury, CT in 1802. This group of Baptists, a minority in the state, were being persecuted because they did not conform to the views of the Congregationalists, who were not only the religious majority in the state, but also held the elective offices in the state. The Baptists were afraid that their freedom to worship God in their own way was endangered.

In Jefferson’s response, he writes, “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

Read the whole article to see how he makes his case.