• Watch and Pray

Weekly round up of news: 17 January 2020

A weekly round-up of interesting articles and news stories from across the secular and Christian media. The various external links to news outlets do not imply a recommendation for all the content found on these sites and do not necessarily represent my views.

Exile and Hope

Every society has foundations. Shared beliefs and values, and institutions that reflect and enact these, are the bedrock of any ordered and enduring society. In Britain, for centuries, these foundations have been ‘Christian’... But Britain is no longer ‘Christian’, and its foundations are crumbling... Christianity no longer provides the nation’s moral foundations, and there is little indication that the present, or any, Government will or can do anything to change that. Britain is no longer a Christian - In Dec 2015, a two-year major inquiry into the place of religion in Britain as modern society, chaired by the former senior judge Baroness Butler-Sloss, and involving leading religious leaders from all faiths, called for public life in Britain to be systematically de-Christianised. The report stated that Britain is no longer a Christian country and should stop acting as if it is. The report also concluded that the decline of churchgoing and the rise of Islam and other faiths mean a "new settlement" is needed for religion in the UK, giving more official influence to non-religious voices and those of non-Christian faiths.

Facing the Future

The axe is at the root of the trees. “Is there any word from the Lord?” This was the urgent request King Zedekiah addressed to Jeremiah as the Babylonian army approached Jerusalem. The same request should be on the lips of all Bible-believing Christians at the beginning of this new decade as the 21st Century plunges headlong into increasingly turbulent times...Last week I spoke to a young Methodist minister who had been told to resign after he had publicly stated that marriage is only between a man and a woman.


The Methodist Split – A Warning For All Churches On Friday, representatives of the United Methodist Church tentatively agreed on a proposal that would split the nation’s second largest Protestant denomination over “fundamental differences” regarding the “interpretation of Scripture, theology, and practice.” Thus, every Bible-believing pastor and congregation will have to make a conscious and public decision. Will they remain committed to their theologically conservative convictions or will they compromise?


New Church of England Archbishop Believes Christian Views on Sexuality Should Be Adapted ‘To Fit Culture’ The latest senior appointee in the Church of England has made some startling remarks about the relevance of the Bible in our modern culture. Stephen Cottrell, the incoming Archbishop of York, made the controversial comments back in 2017 after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called for a “radical new Christian inclusion” amongst the Anglican communion.


Muslim population of England passes the three million mark for the first time as the numbers of Christians continues to decline, figures reveal The Muslim population of England has passed the three million mark for the first time, according to estimates prepared by Whitehall. They said that Muslims are the fastest-growing faith group in the country – while allegiance to Christianity continues to decline. The figures were produced by the Office for National Statistics…

We have to talk about these Pakistani gangs

A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions...This is a scandal of epic proportions. The very organisations that are charged with looking after young people who are at risk of abuse failed to do their duty

Backlash against Sarah's Law NDAs: Woman who discovered paedophile neighbour taken to court after being accused of telling neighbours

Charities have sparked a backlash over the use of NDAs linked to ‘Sarah’s Law’ after a woman who outed her paedophile neighbour was taken to court for revealing his crimes. Sarah's Law, officially known as the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme, was introduced following the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne by paedophile Roy Whiting, in 2000. It allows anyone to ask their local police force if someone has a record of committing crimes against children.

Knife offences hit 10-year high as number jailed falls, official figures show

Knife offences have hit a ten-year high but the number given jail sentences has fallen, according to Ministry of Justice (MoJ) figures. The number of offences for knife and offensive weapons rose by three per cent to 22,286, the equivalent of 60 a day and the highest number since 2009 when there were 26,364.


City Hall's 300 per cent rise in office spending under Sadiq Khan queried

A threefold increase in City Hall office spending under Sadiq Khan has come under question, with one London Assembly member suggesting it could be “uncontrolled”.... The report noted that Greater London Authority (GLA) office spending under Khan had dramatically increased from £240m in 2016-17 to £767 in 2020-21 – a 320 per cent rise. Sadiq Khan has increased press office spending by 26 per cent in four years

Duke of York set to lose taxpayer-funded bodyguards in wake of Jeffrey Epstein scandal

The Duke of York could be stripped of his round-the-clock armed bodyguards in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, it has been claimed. Prince Andrew, 59, faces losing his Metropolitan police protection following a proposed downgrade of his security.

School Blocks Parents From Viewing ‘Gay Porn’ Shown to Children in LGBT Lessons A Pennsylvania has blocked parents from being able to review “gay porn” videos that are shown to their children during mandatory LGBT sex education classes.

Child sex abusers like Gary Glitter must be banned from travelling abroad to commit further attacks, inquiry concludes

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has today published its report on the protection of children outside the UK...The inquiry found that as of March 31 2018, only around 0.2% of the 58,637 registered sex offenders in England and Wales had their foreign travel restricted.

Delays to child porn inquiries put abused at further risk

Cases taking up to 10 years as technological and data issues impede prosecutions... Child protection advocates are concerned the delays are exposing children to unnecessary risk and that the authorities are missing opportunities to rescue children depicted in the material.


Pedophile says he’s entitled to look at child sex abuse images because of free speech laws

Joseph Gobrick, 45, told a judge he identifies as an eight-year-old girl during his trial for child pornography...Gobrick continued to insist his innocence and even likened his prosecution to the holocaust. ‘Under the law, Auschwitz was legal. What you’re doing here is wrong, Just as Auschwitz was,’ he said, telling the judge that he was not sexually attracted to children.

TV’s Dracula strikes a chord in our post-modern age

Moffat and Gatiss, who describe themselves as “a couple of ageing atheists”....Bram Stoker’s Dracula was a kind of anti-Christ, a being with god-like qualities of immortality and omnipotence but who turned these to evil. As Moffat has said, their aim was to make evil “attractive and sexy” because “we’re all attracted to evil”...And the fascination of the modern age with Dracula is allied to a fascination with the occult


Disney Introduces: ‘Demon’ who Trains Children to be Witches A new Disney animated television series released by Disney Television Animation on Friday has many parents concerned that the House that Mickey Mouse Built has transitioned into giving children a bizarre pro-demon and witchcraft message. The Newsweek article noted that the writers’ room for the show was “full of books on witchcraft, witches and spells to take inspiration from.”


University Displays ‘Unholy Bible’ Artwork Depicting Jesus With Satanic Face The University of Southern Maine has displayed student-created artwork entitled Unholy Bible: Very Revised Standard Edition, which cut up the Holy Scriptures to look like flames and pasted a Satanic image over the face of Christ. After receiving complaints from Christian students, the university says the display is protected speech.


Scantily Clad Women, Men Dance in Suggestive Manner for Pope A Circus act put on a performance for Pope Francis. The act featured scantily clad men and women dancing in a sexually suggestive manner for the Pope. One Youtuber noticed that the performance took place in a location that featured a massive statue with a serpent coming out of Jesus’ head as seen in the video… (see video)


Panama: Seven people found dead after suspected exorcism The bodies of seven people have been found in a mass grave in an indigenous area of Panama where members of a religious sect were believed to be performing exorcisms, officials say. The victims included a pregnant woman, 32, and five of her children, aged one to 11. The sixth was a neighbour, 17. Fifteen other people were freed.


Academic had gruelling sex swap surgery and then changed his mind at the last minute - and is now accusing the 'transition' industry of pushing vulnerable people like him into irreversible operations they'll regret

A man who underwent drastic surgery to appear like a woman has now ‘detransitioned’ and says he is glad to be living as a man once again. Richard Hoskins, an author and criminologist, began living as a woman after his son David died and his second marriage ended.

Why Hollywood’s Cozy Relationship With China Could Face An Ugly Reckoning In The 2020s

From the Golden Globes to 'Mulan,' the foreshocks of a fight over Hollywood's cozy relationship with China are trembling beneath our feet


Hollywood Actress Accused of Sacrificing Child for Golden Idol As far-fetched as the following may sound, it is actually disturbingly accurate. During her award speech at the “prestigious” Golden Globes award, Hollywood actress Michelle Williams, proudly stated that if it wasn’t for her getting an abortion, she would not have been able to receive her golden globe award. “She literally held a golden idol while claiming she had to sacrifice her child for it”.


42.4M babies killed by abortion in 2019; here’s what’s ahead for US abortion laws in 2020 In 2019, around 42.4 million pregnancies ended in abortion worldwide. According to Worldometers, which tabulates global statistics on abortion procedures based on the most current available figures from the World Health Organization, 40 to 50 million abortions are performed annually worldwide.

Questions raised over Rory Stewart association with church under fraud cloud

Mayoral candidate Rory Stewart has been criticised for associating himself with a church being investigated for fraud by the Metropolitan Police and the Charity Commissioner. Croydon-based SPAC Nation was set up by former gang members to try and combat knife crime in BAME communities....Steve Reed said many people had come to him to complain about the group in his role as local MP. He told City A.M. that the group displays all the classic traits of a cult. “They run events where they offer free food to young people, they identify the most vulnerable ones, they befriend them and some of them are moved into properties run by leaders of the organisation. “They are brainwashed and then they’re coerced into making fraudulent applications for loans.


Brexit: MPs give final backing to Withdrawal Agreement Bill MPs have given their final backing to the bill that will implement the UK government’s Brexit deal. The Commons voted 330 to 231 in favour of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and it will now pass to the House of Lords for further scrutiny next week. If peers choose to amend it will it come back before MPs.

'It's awful!' Nigel Farage tears apart Boris Johnson's 'shocking' Brexit deal

The Brexit Party leader described the Prime Minister's deal with the European Union as "absolutely shocking" and 95 percent the same as Theresa May's deal. However, Mr Farage highlighted that the crucial difference between the two deals was the language around it... "Boris has made an explicit promise saying we will not have regulatory alignment and we will leave next year, it’s in the Conservative manifesto. "Provided Boris Johnson sticks to his word we’ll be ok."

Maajid Nawaz's incredibly powerful speech on US Iran tensions

This is Maajid Nawaz's incredibly powerful speech on whether President Trump did the right thing by killing Qassem Soleimani. Middle East expert Maajid Nawaz took the listener through every step of the US Iran tensions in this detailed analysis of the last week's events.

UK Treasury Announces Freeze on All Hezbollah Financial Assets

The UK government announced on Friday that it would add the entirety of Hezbollah — Iran’s Shi’a proxy based in Lebanon — to its list of terrorist groups that are subject to asset freezing, drawing a line under its earlier position that sanctions against Hezbollah should apply only to its “military wing” and not its so-called “political wing.”


Abbas Livid that EU Wants to Stipulate Aid on Severing Ties with Terror Organizations “The national Palestinian campaign to reject conditional funding” has picked up steam in recent weeks, after the European Union, for the first time, introduced a fundamental change to the financial aid contracts Palestinian bodies are required to sign, whereby any cooperation with terrorist organizations will result in the unilateral cessation of funding. The Palestinian campaign to annul this stipulation is based on the claim that “the struggle against Israeli occupation” is not terrorism, and that P.A. institutions included on the European Union terrorist list are political parties for all intents and purposes.


Congress Seeks Investigation Into Pro-Iran Lobby Group Tied to Tehran Regime

Congressional leaders have petitioned the Trump administration to investigate a pro-Iran lobbying organization that has long faced accusations of acting as the Islamic Republic's unregistered mouthpiece in America, according to official communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. A group of senators has requested that the Trump administration investigate the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC. The council, a pro-Tehran advocacy group with deep ties to the Iranian regime, played a key role in the Obama administration's pro-Iran "echo chamber," which misled Congress and the American people about the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. Two Iranians sentenced for spying on the United States


Growing Hamas-Iran ties spark concern in Egypt

This source of the rift was Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh’s surprise decision to lead a senior Hamas delegation to Tehran to attend Soleimani’s funeral. While in Tehran, Haniyeh offered his condolences to the Iranian leadership and Soleimani’s family.... Haniyeh thus blatantly broke his pledge to Egypt by traveling to Tehran at the head of a Hamas delegation. He further violated the Egyptian terms when he publicly eulogized Soleimani, calling him "the martyr of Jerusalem." The Hamas leader even kissed Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.


Hamas creates alternate US history, claims American Indians were Muslim

"George Washington killed Indians because they were Muslims," says Hamas legislator according to a clip shared by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)

The Persian Puzzle: Iran, Iraq, and the United States

What a trove of leaked Iranian cables tells us about Iran’s influence in Iraq. A recent report published jointly by the New York Times and the Intercept relied on hundreds of leaked intelligence cables to outline just how deep that influence runs. On First Person, Foreign Policy podcast this week, we hear from the New York Times reporter Farnaz Fassihi. She was a member of the investigative team that brought the leaked cables to light. Fassihi is also the author of the book Waiting for An Ordinary Day, a memoir of her four years covering the Iraq War and witnessing the unraveling of social life for Iraqi citizens.


Understanding Iran’s End Times Eschatology – The Mahdi & The Mosque For the first time ever, a blood red flag is being flown over the famous Jamkaran Mosque in the Iranian “holy city” of Qom. And as I will explain below, the fact that this mosque is directly associated with the Mahdi makes this symbolic gesture doubly significant. The hoisting of this flag was broadcast on Iranian state television, and it was obviously intended to send a message to Shiites all over the globe. So precisely what was that message?

Iran’s heroic protesters expose decadence and humbug among western liberals

Now the protesters who have endured an estimated 1500 murders and thousands of arrests since their demonstrations started last November, against a regime which has crushed their lives, freedom and economy and prioritised instead foreign terrorism and war-mongering, have taken to the streets again in further astonishing scenes of mass courage... Yet sickeningly, the EU is poised to undermine this revolt and strengthen the regime. Despite the US introducing new sanctions on Iran last Friday, EU leaders have said they will “spare no efforts” to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive. Iranian protesters refuse to walk on US, Israeli flags - watch

Angela Merkel warns EU: ‘Brexit is a wake-up call’

This is why the EU must continue to reform, completing the digital single market, progressing with banking union — a plan to centralise the supervision and crisis management of European banks... “I believe that chips should be manufactured in the European Union, that Europe should have its own hyperscalers... She adds: “The United States’ focus on Europe is declining — that will be the case under any president.”


German former EU diplomat suspected of spying for China: report

German prosecutors are investigating a former senior EU diplomat who works for a lobbying firm on suspicion of spying for China, Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday. Two employees of another lobbying firm are also under investigation, Spiegel reported. Two of the suspects passed on private and commercial information to China's ministry for state security while the third said he was ready to do the same, the German news outlet reported.

We would never let China make our RAF jets, so why let them build our 5G network?

That they took the trouble to visit London to warn of the dangers we could be getting ourselves into ought to be seen as a ...We would not allow a Chinese company, say, to build fighter jets for the RAF or to construct our radar defence system. This kind of work is rightly the preserve of contractors on whom we can rely totally, even in times of international conflict. Such is the importance of telecommunications in military and civil defence that we now have to think of mobile networks in the same light. US Homeland Security Secretary Points Out Huawei's Lies About Espionage - "Huawei's claims of no wrongdoing are wearing thin. The Wall Street Journal's newly revealed investigation offers evidence that Huawei employees played a direct role in helping governments spy on political opponents. Accusations that Huawei has inappropriately intercepted private communications have come from multiple different sources, and the Chinese telecom giant's denial doesn't make these charges untrue," Ridge said. David Cameron takes senior role in China infrastructure ...

Trade Agreements

China’s Technocrat Belt And Road Expansion Breeds Local Anger. Many Cambodians I spoke with voiced concerns about Sihanoukville turning into a de facto Chinese colony, and the consensus was that they were being treated like second-class citizens in their own homeland


Thousands of farmers protest in Berlin 7h ago

Long convoys of vehicles blocked roads in Bavaria, Baden Württemberg and Bremen, as well as the German capital. Agriculturists are angry at what they perceive as unwarranted environmental regulations. The rallies come as Berlin holds the International Green Week, a food and agricultural fair which starts on Friday. The annual festival, which has been in existence for almost 100 years, has seen a number of protests in recent years as locals express concerns over the future of the agricultural industry and environmental policy.

US threatens tariffs on Europeans unless Iran nuke deal scrapped

Tehran says European governments sacrificing agreement to avoid trade reprisals from ‘bully’ Trump, after Washington says it will levy fees on car imports...Germany’s defense minister on Thursday confirmed... that the United States had threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on imports of European cars if EU governments continued to back the nuclear deal... The European states triggered a dispute mechanism established under the deal, which allows a party to claim significant non-compliance by another party before a joint commission, with appeals possible to an advisory board and ultimately to the UN Security Council. France,

Britain, Germany trigger Iran nuclear deal dispute mechanism


Top White House official says peace plan could be rolled out before March vote

A top White House official has said US President Donald Trump’s administration will not necessarily wait until after Israel’s March 2 elections to release its long-awaited peace plan. The launch of the so-called “deal of the century” has been delayed repeatedly by the political uncertainty in Israel, which will hold an unprecedented third vote in the span of a single year after two indecisive elections.


Rabbi Glick Interrupts Netanyahu’s Speech to Remind him to Build Third Temple Warning about the dangers of Israel’s withdrawal from the region it liberated in the Six-Day-War, Netanyahu stated: “If Israel is not present on the hills of Judea and Samaria, Islamists will take over instead.” Without skipping a beat, Rabbi Yehuda Glick interrupted him yelling: “same with the Temple Mount!” Bennett responded to Glick’s comment saying: “You’re absolutely right Yehuda, also the Temple Mount.”


Erdoğan's Chief Advisor And Former General Tanrıverdi Presents Vision – Reflected In Turkey's Policy – Of A United Islamic Superpower Based On Shari'a Comprising 61 Countries And With Istanbul As Capital

... Adnan Tanrıverdi, has been articulating a vision of a unified Islamic superpower through conferences and documents published by his organizations... The Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM), of which Tanrıverdi is chairman of the board, has scheduled seven annual "congresses," of which three have taken place, to work through the technical problems in the formation and governance of an "Islamic union."... " ASSAM has also published a 69-page draft of a constitution for a planned shari'a-based confederation of 61 Islamic countries. This constitution declares that "sovereignty belongs to shariah," that Istanbul is to be the capital of the confederation, that the Arabic language would be taught in all of its schools, and that its name will be "Asrica," which is formed from a combination of Asia and Africa.

Is The Mideast Heading For An Energy War?

Following the discovery of natural gas reserves under the Mediterranean, a combination of ego, politics and the prospect of billions of dollars now threatens to erupt into military conflict, with clear ramifications for Israel...It looks like the next war in the Middle East won’t be over water, but over gas—control of the region’s natural gas resources and ways of supplying it to Europe.... It is Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, that now poses the main threat to regional stability, and the steps it is taking could drag the entire region into a conflict.

The significance of Israel’s natural-gas feat

Exports will generate tens of billions of dollars in tax revenues for the government—just one more successful venture led by the Jewish state’s longest-serving prime minister. The start of natural-gas flow from the Leviathan rig is a momentous achievement for the State of Israel. For the first time, a resource-poor country can become an energy superpower. The export of natural gas to immediate neighbors Jordan and Egypt—and later exported via Cyprus and Greece—strengthens Israel’s geopolitical status both in the Middle East as well as the West.


‘Putschist Haftar’ has ‘ran away’ from Moscow after Libya truce talks – Turkey’s Erdogan

Erdogan on Tuesday said ‘putschist Haftar’ has ‘ran away’ from Moscow after the Libya truce talks. Turkey will not refrain from teaching ‘putschist Haftar’ a lesson if he continues attacks against Libya’s government, people Erdogan added.. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Cavusoglu said that Sarraj signed the draft agreement

US’ lack of Middle East strategy a boon for Putin

President Donald Trump reiterated what he had said before: The US does not need Middle East oil. He also said that the US would not leave Iraq unless Baghdad coughed up billions of dollars in compensation. Indicating that the US was ready to decrease its presence in the region, Trump suggested that NATO should take on more responsibilities. Whether or not he will follow through on this suggestion, which goes beyond the strategic mandate of NATO, remains unclear.... Meanwhile, Putin is slowly filling the void left by the US. Focus On Russia’s Bilateral Relations - Russia This Week is a weekly review by the MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project, covering the latest Russia-related news and analysis from media in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe

The Rise Of Gog? Putin Positions Himself To Influence Russia For Life

The entire Russian government led by former Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned after Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech on constitutional reform. Medvedev said, this was "to give President Vladimir Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to make to the constitution."


Persecution of Christians and Jews

The west mourns the Jewish dead. But what about the living?

At Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Jan. 23, some 46 political leaders and royals, including Britain’s Prince Charles, will be attending the fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At this and doubtless other such memorial events, many eloquent, important and heartfelt observations will be made about the evils of Nazism and Jew-hatred. In today’s climate, however, there’s something disquieting about such memorializing. Given the eruption of physical and verbal attacks on Jews in Britain, America and Europe, it might be said that it’s never been so important to remember the horrors of the Holocaust. But the west is now teeming with Holocaust memorials and museums, while schools have been imparting Holocaust education since the 1980s. And yet never since the defeat of Nazism has there been such an epidemic of Jew-hatred in western society.


Four hospitalized after antisemitic mob rampages through Uman An armed mob stormed through the city of Uman, Ukraine over Shabbat, attacking Jews outside the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, Yeshiva World News reported. “I returned from the Kloiz [the Breslov synagogue] and I see that they’re beating every Jew who ‘dared’ to look at them or say a word to them,” one Jewish visitor to the town said.


Blaming Antisemitism on Capitalism

This formulation is problematic not because it is technically false, but because of the vital explanatory layers that it leaves out. Soviet democracy didn’t suddenly disappear with the death of Vladimir Lenin; the historical record amply shows that the Bolsheviks were actively suppressing dissent well before Stalin purged the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party in the 1930s. The Jewish community, no less than other groups in Soviet Russia, knew this from firsthand experience. Shortly after the 1917 revolution, Zionist organizations were banned, the teaching of Hebrew was proscribed, and Jewish culture became the exclusive preserve of the “Yevsektsiya,” as the Jewish section of the Communist Party was known.

Over 9,000 churches, Christian buildings attacked in past year: Open Doors

This year’s list names a number of repeat offenders such as North Korea, China, Iran, Somalia, and Eritrea as well as newly added countries where radical Islamic extremism wreaked havoc on Christian communities in 2019.

Lithuania parliament drafts bill absolving nation, leaders from Holocaust crimes

A Lithuanian parliament committee is drafting legislation declaring that neither Lithuania nor its leaders as participating in the Holocaust, a lawmaker working on the bill said last month at a conference...About 95 percent of the country’s 250,000 Jews were killed the Holocaust after Nazis invaded in 1941.


Delaware Republican Party leader fired for blaming Jews for Trump’s impeachment

“I’m not anti-Semitic,” she said on Monday, contending that her remarks had been “changed.”.... In the Facebook post, Jordan wrote, “What amazes me the most in these theatrical Congress hearings, is to see how many Jews ‘In Name Only’ lend themselves to be in the hoaks [sic] of the pure made up story of Impeachment that the Democrats have woven as spiders catching flies and bugs.” “These jews [sic] have been enrolled to come and testify, to come and interrogate and to be involved in anything that the Democrats enlist them to do to try to look credible to the people of this country,” the post also stated.


Hamas Calls for Mass Prayer Rallies at Temple Mount, Cave of the Patriarchs Hamas is calling for mass prayer rallies on Friday at the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and other mosques in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip in protest against “Israeli Judaization schemes” at the two sites.

Ramiel Bet Tamraz begins jail sentence in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison

Ramiel was initially arrested in August 2016, when security officials interrupted a gathering of Christian families enjoying a picnic in Firuzkuh, north of Tehran. He and four Christian convert friends were detained in Evin Prison, where they were held in solitary confinement for long periods and subjected to intense interrogation. Pastor Victor and Shamiram were first arrested on 26 December 2014. In July 2017, the pastor was sentenced to ten years in prison for “acting against national security” by organising and conducting house churches and Shamiram was given a five-year sentence

Muslim Men Abduct, Assault, Rob Norwegian Street Preacher, Demand He Convert to Islam or Be Killed

Roar Fløttum, who regularly preaches and prays for the sick on the streets of the historic northern city, was lured away on 28 November by the four seemingly friendly men to pray for a friend who had “injured his foot and was waiting for an ambulance”. After pushing Fløttum down a flight of stairs and beating him about the head, they took his bank cards, mobile phone and extracted his passcodes. He was held captive while the men withdrew over 10,000 Kr (£900; $1,100; €1,000) from his accounts.


China Persecuted 5,576 Churches in 2019, Climbs to 23 on Worst Persecutors List

“The Chinese government is nearly single-handedly responsible for the steep increase in churches and Christian buildings attacked in 2019,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors. “Their newest policies are penalizing minority Christians in unprecedented ways. If they continue down this path they will be the single largest violator of human rights worldwide.”

Kenya: Al-Shabaab extremists execute 3 Christian teachers in raid on primary school

As Al-Shabaab has conducted other deadly attacks in the Garissa area in recent years targeting the Christian community, the United States-based nonprofit persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern reports that the three teachers were Christian.


At least seven Christians killed as Boko Haram strikes villages in Far North Cameroon

In the first attacks, which began late at night on 6 January, two men were killed and two children kidnapped when heavily armed militants invaded the village of Hitere, Tourou district. Hitawa village, in the same district, was also raided and looted. In Moudokou village, Moskota district, three Christians were killed in a raid and a ten-year-old boy was kidnapped. Another Christian man was murdered by the Islamists in an attack on Guitsenad village.


Nigerian Christian bride and friends murdered in jihadi ambush on way to wedding

The contact said the Christian community has been “terribly shaken” by the atrocity and is concerned by a lack of action from the authorities in Nigeria to tackle the latest wave of jihadi attacks, which in recent days has included the brutal murder of eleven Christians and an attack on a bus that claimed ten lives. In another attack on Christmas Eve, seven people were killed and a teenage girl abducted when Boko Haram raided a Christian village near the town of Chibok, in Borno State. The community requests our prayers.

Brazil: Far-right culture minister fired after echoing Nazi Goebbels

Brazil's Culture Minister Roberto Alvim has been fired after giving a speech that appears to copy Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels. Alvim promised a "heroic decade" and played music by Hitler's favorite composer...Alvim had previously defended accusations that he had emulated the Nazi ideologue as a "rhetorical coincidence" and called the similarity an "unintentional error."

New York City Police Release Video in Hunt for Subway Swastika Vandal

The incident occurred on New Year’s Eve at the 96th Street subway station. Surveillance video showed the man crafting a swastika out of service advisory fliers that had been distributed by the city’s transport authority on the platform.


JVL officials at the centre of ugly antisemitism row nominated new Labour MP

Local Labour member Alex Holmes wrote on Twitter that he and Jewish member were accused of being “agents of a foreign power” during the debate over the motion at a meeting of the Cranbrook and Valentines branch after they objected to its wording. He said it had been the "worst meeting I had ever attended."


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