ISIS izgonit din Raqqa, capitala grupului terorist unde crestinii au fost rastigniti si decapitati

FOTO ISIS defeat in Raqqa Syria Foro SINDOnews.jpg

 

Atunci vă vor da să fiţi chinuiţi şi vă vor omorî; veţi fi urâţi de toate neamurile pentru Numele Meu. – Matei 24:9

36 Alţii au suferit batjocuri, bătăi, lanţuri* şi închisoare, au fost ucişi cu pietre, tăiaţi în două cu ferăstrăul, chinuiţi, au murit ucişi de sabie, au pribegit îmbrăcaţi cu cojoace şi în piei de capre, lipsiţi de toate, prigoniţi, munciţi 38 ei, de care lumea nu era vrednică –, au rătăcit prin pustiuri, prin munţi, prin* peşteri şi prin crăpăturile pământului.– Evrei 11:36-38

Fiecăruia din ei i s-a dat o haină albă şi i s-a spus să se mai odihnească puţină vreme, până se va împlini numărul tovarăşilor lor de slujbă şi al fraţilor lor, care aveau să fie omorâţi ca şi ei. – Apocalipsa 6:11

Potrivit canalului de televiziuneFox News, doar o mână de creștini în cea mai mare parte bolnavi sau în vârstă rămân în cetatea ISIS din Raqqa, iar creștinii sirieni se tem că forțele care au adus populația acelorași adepți ai Evangheliei la un prag de dispariție ar putea face același lucru pentru întreaga națiune .

Siria, împreună cu vecina sa Irak, este considerată leagănul civilizației umane și regiunea în care creștinismul a început acum 2000 de ani. A fost pe drumul spre Damasc când apostolul Pavel și-a experimentat convertirea la creștinism, iar Siria rămâne una dintre puținele localități sacre unde limba aramaică – limba lui Isus – poate fi ascultată.

În anii 1920, creștinii – în special greco-catolici și greco-ortodocși – au reprezentat aproape o treime din populația siriană. Până la data când războiul civil a izbucnit în anul 2011, creștinii din Siria numărau doar 2,2 milioane, sau mai puțin de 10% din populația națiunii. Experții acum estimează că creștinii reprezintă mai puțin de cinci procente din populație.

OCTOMBRIE 2017

OPEN DOORS: In iulie, am raportat cu bucurie eliberarea lui Mosul de sub controlul ISIS și acum anunțăm o alta eliberare, dupa pornirea „marilor operațiuni militare” din Raqqa.

Este evident că domnia grupului terrorist ISIS este în declin – laudă lui Dumnezeu!

Raqqa a devenit capitala de facto pentru ISIS, după câteva câștiguri teritoriale în 2014. Aici au efectuat decapitări publice și răstigniri a creștinilor A fost o bază pentru lansarea atacurilor teroriste din întreaga lume.

Această victorie a venit după eforturile SDF (Forțele Democrate Siriene) de a relua orașul, care a început în iunie. Luptătorii ISIS au fost eliminați din zonă. Steagul negru al grupului a fost inlăturat marți de pe stadionul din Raqqa, ultimul lor ascunziș.

ISIS capital Raqqa recaptured after four months

 

Anunțuri

Cum s-a infiltrat o jurnalistă franceză în Statul Islamic

Doua fete care au parasit Austria sa se alature ISIS in Siria. Photo credit www.mirror.co.uk

O femeie care scria pentru un ziar din Paris s-a prefăcut că este o tânără musulmană convertită pentru a se infiltra în Statul Islamic şi a vedea cum este viaţa tinerelor mirese jihadiste.

„Anna Erelle“, deja al doilea pseudonim al jurnalistei, pentru că acum trăieşte sub o ameninţare constantă, a vorbit cu „Sunday Times“ despre relaţia ei cu un militant de top din organizaţia teroristă Stat Islamic. Erelle a mărturisit că a început infiltrarea în organizaţiei prin crearea unui cont fals pe reţelele sociale. Acolo se numea „Melodie“. Anterior ea intervievase mai multe fete ademenite de Statul Islamic, astfel că a vrut să afle pe propria piele ce înseamnă acest lucru. „Fetele cu care am vorbit ştiau foarte puţin despre religie. Abia dacă citiseră vreo carte, dar învăţaseră jihadul înaintea religiei. Îmi spuneau că eu gândesc cu capul, dar că ele gândesc cu inima. Aveau o viziunea foarte romantică despre radicalism, aşa că m-am întrebat ce s-a întâmplat“, explică jurnalista. Pentru fete, spune Erelle, militanţii sunt ca Brad Pitt, chiar mai bine, pentru că Brad Pitt nu e religios.

La scurtă vreme după ce Erelle şi-a creat conturile false pe reţelele sociale, a atras atenţia lui Abou-Bilel, pe care jurnalista îl descrie ca fiind un comandant de top al Statului Islamic.

„Când am vorbit cu el pe Skype, n-am văzut faţa unui om care ucide şi violează, deşi el se lăuda că ucide zeci de infideli. Îmi spunea deja că e logodnicul meu. Însă primele secunde ale conversaţiei au fost de neuitat. Se uita fix la mine şi când i-am întors privirea n-am văzut nimic în ochii lui, nici religie, nici sentimente. Nu era un om bun“, povesteşte Erelle. El i-a descris bătălia pentru oraşul sirian Raqqa, care a avut loc în 2013 şi cum a luat parte la ea, cum a decapitat şi torturat prizonieri.

Erelle a scos în evidenţă şi ipocrizia unora dintre militanţii Statului Islamic. Bilel a rugat-o să îi cumpere produse luxoase din aeroportul din Amsterdam. „Militanţii resping Occidentul, sunt anti-capitalişti, însă iubesc luxul şi mărcile cunoscute. Au tenişi Nike şi ochelari de soare Ray-Ban, totul amestecat cu hainele militare. Acesta este un alt mod de a atrage fetele: spun că odată erau săraci, dar acum au de toate“.

Aproximativ 550 de femei din Occident au călătorit până acum în Orientul Mijlociu pentru a se alătura grupărilor extremiste, potrivit unor statistici citate de „New York Times“.Citeste mai mult: http://adevarul.ro/international/europa/cum-s-a-infiltrat-jurnalista-franceza-statul-islamic-teroristul-m-a-cerut-nevasta-mi-a-promis-fiu-tratata-printesa-siria-1_550058ef448e03c0fd75679f/index.html

Listen to the oldest song in the world, found engraved on a clay tablet in the ancient city of Ugarit, Syria

Photo credit www.styleoriental.org

For fifteen years Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer puzzled over clay tablets relating to music including some excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early ’50s. The tablets from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) were about 3400 years old, had markings called cuneiform signs in the hurrian language (with borrowed akkadian terms) that provided a form of musical notation. One of the texts formed a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world. Finally in 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation. (Fig. 1).

The top parts were the words and the bottom half instructions for playing the music. Kilmer, working with colleagues Richard L. Crocker and Robert R. Brown produced a record and booklet about the song called Sounds From Silence.

The song, it turns out, is in the equivalent of the diatonic „major” („do, re, mi”) scale. In addition, as Kilmer points out: „We are able to match the number of syllables in the text of the song with the number of notes indicated by the musical notations”. This approach produces harmonies rather than a melody of single notes. The chances the number of syllables would match the notation numbers without intention are astronomical.

This evidence both the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3,400 years ago flies in the face of most musicologists’ views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent (or even impossible) and the scale only about as old as the Ancient Greeks, 2000 years ago. Said Crocker: „This has revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of western music.”

Find Confirms Theory
My own interest comes from a book I wrote, The Origin of Music. which put forward the view that there is a natural foundation to the diatonic scale, that it has existed likely even from antiquity. In addition, the book espoused evidence showing that harmony, as well, existed in antiquity.

Music of various cultures, taken over a long evolutionary period, show patterns emerge (despite other differences) such as the universal use of octaves, 4th and 5ths, and the similarities underpinning the various musical scales between cultures. These facts led to the theory.

Thus, the oldest song known from a cuneiform document has provided major confirmation to this viewpoint. In turn, the theory may even now help to interpret the findings. Kilmer wrote: „I certainly do like and am profiting from The Origin of Music”.

Why Do Scales, Keys and Harmony Exist?
At the earliest times in musical development, a sense for „melody” would not have occurred overnight. Prior to it, music often was the playing of single notes, assigned to various rituals, such as one gong for moon, another for sun, another for death, birth, etc., and played without much or any regard to their succession as musical melody of any sort. Scales might even be virtually non-existent as was harmony.

What is harmony for? After all, a single tone is more „pure” than any combinations of tones or chords, which are cluttered with overtones that are usually dissonant with each other. Why did humanity bother to add, to the relatively clean single tone, „harmony” notes (and therefore, greater dissonance)?

The answer is that harmony’s function has evolved mostly to make the notes of melodies „connect” or to make their connection to each other melodically more apparent to the ear by making their common inner overtones audibly explicit in chords. It follows that harmony had no reason to exist among any people who are lacking scales. Scales are, historically, „congealed” or „generic” melody in the abstract.

Once scales developed (especially a favoured two, major and minor), then we are looking at a people for whom connections between notes is very important. The agenda is whether melody is important enough for them to overlook the dissonant elements in chords (compared to their purer, more consonant single tones), so as to allow them to use chords in the enhancement of their melodies. Only after the full scale and melody develop first can harmony even begin to appear on this historical agenda. The oldest song dates this agenda far earlier in time and gives to the diatonic scale a near-universal status not formerly ascribed to it.

„Tonality”, which is defined as a „loyalty to a keynote”, is also exhibited in the oldest song by repeating phrases found at the end of sentences, usually on the same note as the keynote of the tune.

VIDEO by AssyriaTimes

In Syria, believers are running out of options

Syria unrest: Maps and videos of Homs fighting. Photo credit www.bbc.co.uk

Syria (MNN) — Ukraine has taken over the world’s spotlight, but developments in Syria are cause for concern: believers are running out of options. David Curry of Open Doors USA explains: “Over the past several months, Christians have increasingly been caught in the cross-fire of the battle between those that are loyal to the government and the Muslim extremists.

“Some extremist groups have been quoted as saying, ‘We’ll either kill you or you’ll have to leave.’ There’s a concerted effort to put Christians in the middle of these battles because they want them to leave; they want to impose Sharia law.”

Believers in Homs are standing firm, though: Open Doors says a small group of 28 Christians is refusing to leave the city. They feel that if they leave, there will be nothing to return to when things calm down.

“Extremists and/or government loyalists will claim a historic Christian site as a battleground…and it basically creates these situations where Christians are forced to leave their homes–historic Christian villages, historic Christian places–and maybe lose their homes, maybe never be able to come back,” explains Curry.

Last month, hundreds of Syrians were evacuated from Homs during a temporary ceasefire. At the same time, humanitarian aid and food were brought in. But it wasn’t enough, according to Dutch Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt.

“They [the UN] brought pans and cloths the people didn’t need. We need rice and food. That didn’t come in sufficiently,” he told Dutch NOS Radio 1 during the evacuation.

“There is a huge lack of food. At our breakfast, we eat olives and drink tea. In the afternoon, we make soup with what grows between the stones on the street. In the evening, we just see what we can get.”

With the help of partners in the region, Open Doors is helping some 8,000 families in Syria.  (Image courtesy Open Doors)

With the help of partners in the region, Open Doors
is helping some 8,000 families in Syria.
(Image courtesy Open Doors)

The “starvation tactics” used by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, wherein cities are constantly shelled to prevent movement of goods and people, are taking a toll. Rebels are reportedly striking ceasefires with local governments, turning in their weapons to authorities so that food and medical aid may enter the city.

PHOTO on right – Open Doors is partnering with churches and Christian partners to help 8,000 families in Syria, including relief products.

“We provide food and water and assistance to help people survive,” explains Curry. “We want to make sure that Christians have the ability to stay and to remain in their home country.”

There’s a way for you to help, too.

“We need to have Christians in the West calling their representatives in Congress and Senate and saying, ‘Hey, will you please pay attention to what’s happening to Christians in Syria?’” says Curry.

“A lot of times, people don’t realize Christians are being targeted…but it’s becoming a big problem.”

Pray for strength and courage for the believers choosing to stay in Syria.

Source Mission News Network

Open Doors World Persecution Watch List 2014 (new – VIDEO)

The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

The 5 countries in which Christians are persecuted the most are:

  1. As in the last 12 years, North Korea is #1 as the state where Christians are persecuted the most. Tens of thousands of Christians are imprisoned, gruesomely tortured and have to do forced labor.Being discovered as a Christian in Kim Jung Un’s  North Korea is virtually the same  as a death sentence.
  2. Somalia – Christians do not have the right to live in Somalia. Islamic extremists are insisting that  the country remain a Moslem country, with not room for Christians and Christian churches. A believer in Christ who is discovered has to fear for his life.
  3. Syria – Before the civil war, the country was  regarded as a place of peace for Christians in the middle east. But with the war, many militant islamic  groups have come from abroad and joined the so called free syrian army. Christians are being targeted, attacked, threatened, abducted and killed.
  4. Iraq – Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled the country and attacks on churches and their people continue. Even in the Kurdish regions, in the north, once a refuge for Christians, aggression towards Christians is on the rise.
  5. Afghanistan – There is not a single ‘official’ church building in the country. Moslems who become christians face massive persecution by relatives and government officials. The goal of islamic extremists is to expel or kill all Christians.

You can find more info. on the persecuted Christians  at http://www.opendoors.org

World Watch List 2014

World Watch List 2013

Created by Open Doors, the World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in an entire country and focuses on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. VIDEO by Open Doors USA

World Watch List 2012

The top 10 countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe… The church around the world is facing times which are unprecedented in many ways. For the tenth year in succession, the Open Doors World Watch List is topped by North Korea, and in places as diverse as Libya, North Korea, Pakistan and Burma, significant events are shaping society. But despite the many hardships, the body of Christ continues to grow.

Find out more about our World Watch List by visiting the Open Doors website: http://www.opendoorsuk.org/countries VIDEO by Open Doors UK & Ireland

Norul de martori continua sa creasca – Crestini torturati in Aleppo, Syria

Photo credit voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com

Evrei 11:36-40 si 12:1-3

36 Alţii au suferit batjocuri, bătăi, lanţuri şi închisoare;
37 au fost ucişi cu pietre, tăiaţi în două cu ferestrăul, chinuiţi; au murit ucişi de sabie, au pribegit îmbrăcaţi cu cojoace şi în piei de capre, lipsiţi de toate, prigoniţi, munciţi, –
38 ei, de cari lumea nu era vrednică-au rătăcit prin pustiuri, prin munţi, prin peşteri şi prin crăpăturile pămîntului.
39 Toţi aceştia, măcarcă au fost lăudaţi pentru credinţa lor, totuş n’au primit ce le fusese făgăduit;
40 pentrucă Dumnezeu avea în vedere ceva mai bun pentru noi, ca să n’ajungă ei la desăvîrşire fără noi.

12:1 Şi noi, dar, fiindcă sîntem înconjuraţi cu un nor aşa de mare de martori, să dăm la o parte orice pedică, şi păcatul care ne înfăşoară aşa de lesne, şi să alergăm cu stăruinţă în alergarea care ne stă înainte.
2 Să ne uităm ţintă la Căpetenia şi Desăvîrşirea credinţei noastre, adică la Isus, care, pentru bucuria care -I era pusă înainte, a suferit crucea, a dispreţuit ruşinea, şi şade la dreapta scaunului de domnie al lui Dumnezeu.
3 Uitaţi-vă dar cu luare aminte la Cel ce a suferit din partea păcătoşilor o împotrivire aşa de mare faţă de Sine, pentruca nu cumva să vă pierdeţi inima, şi să cădeţi de oboseală în sufletele voastre.

5d5f1-pray2bfor2bsyria2b2

Nu trec 1-2 saptamani fara sa nu apara video cu cazuri extreme de persecutie in Orientul Mijlociu. Pentru ca nu vorbim limba acelor tari, nu prea putem sa intelegem ce se spune, ca sa aflam mai multe detalii. Dar imaginile zguduitoare vorbesc de la sine si un lucru este cert, cruzimea care noi cei din West o asociam cu barbarismul secolelor trecute este ‘alive & well’ prezenta cu forta in orientul mijlociu. Va rog sa nu va uitati la video, decat daca aveti putere sa va uitati la asa ceva. Youtube chiar va va cere sa raspundeti daca va asumati responsabilitatea sa va uitati si abia apoi va lasa sa vizionati.

Video are 1 1/2 minute, deci e foarte scurt si persoana care a incarcat video i-a identificat fiind rebeli din Arabia Saudita care au torturat cei doi barbati morti si (probabil cel viu care inca e in viata, taiat la fata) si care doresc sa inspaimante lumea aducand strigate lui Alah pentru crimele care ei le-au facut. Data pentru video este data ca fiind 2 Ianuarie 2014.

De ce postam acest video? In primul rand, in timp ce ne rugam pentru binele mers al nostru, al familiei noastre si a celor dragi, sa nu uitam ca sunt mii sau zeci de mii de frati de-ai nostri persecutati si omorati pe pamantul acesta. Sa simtim cu ei si sa ne rugam ca Dumnezeu sa le dea putere si sa-i ocroteasca ca in mijlocul persecutiei ei sa aiba pace si sa simta aripile lui Dumnezeu ocrotitoare. In ultimul rand, sa bagam seama la ce vremuri traim si sa-I slujim lui Dumnezeu cu tot ce avem ca traim niste vremuri grele si incercarile pot veni si peste noi oricand. Dumnezeu sa ne intareasca pe toti sa ne sfarsim alergarea cu bine!

(Un link folositor de la reddit – http://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/1u4e6d/basic_guide_to_factions_in_the_syrian_civil_war/

Saudi Rebel Criminals and their local collaborators Display Tortured Christians Aleppo Syria January 2014. VIDEO by Mussalaha Reconciliation

Citeste si –

  1. syriaCreștinii Uciși in Sadad, Syria (noi detalii si video) – Individual Stories of Persecution: The UNSPEAKABLE crimes committed against the Christians of Sadad, Syria (News Report Video)
  2. 45 de Crestini omorati in Syria – 45 Christians killed, their bodies buried in mass graves, in Sadad, Syria 
  3. Creştinii Orientului sunt „martiri ignoraţi de politicienii Occidentului”
  4. Creștinismul din Orientul Mijlociu, la un pas de exterminare
  5. Exodul in masa al crestinilor sirieni

As persecution increases, so does the distribution of Scripture

biblia 7

If you live in the West you might think the Church is in decline, but more printed Bibles were distributed by United Bible Societies last year than ever before. 32.1 million Bibles were distributed across the world in 2011 – an increase of 11.2% over 2010.

Total Scripture distribution, 2009-2011

It is the first time that the number of Bibles distributed by Bible Societies has exceeded 30 million in a single year. And these figures do not include Bibles in other formats, such as audio or digital, which are rapidly growing in importance and will soon become the main channels for Bible distribution.

The biggest growth was seen in Africa and the Americas, where 3.6 million more Bibles were distributed last year than in 2010. Bible distribution in Europe and the Middle East rose by a modest 2.7%, but fell by 4.2% in Asia Pacific.

The majority of the Bibles we distributed were in the world’s major international languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

biblia 6Report from Christian Today. Photo credit www.unitedbiblesocieties.org

The United Bible Society has reported a sharp increase in the number of Christian Scriptures distributed in some of the countries where believers suffer the highest levels of persecution. Statistics suggest that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world and Baroness Warsi made headlines recently when she warned that Christianity could be wiped out in the Middle East.

However, recent figures released from Bible Societies around the world indicate that more Christian Scriptures were distributed than ever before in 2012. Global Scripture distribution rose from just over 381 million in 2011 to more than 405 million in 2012; an increase of 6%. Of the 405 million distributed, 32.1 million were whole Bibles, which matched 2011’s record-breaking year of Bible distribution.

Surprisingly, the highest increase was in Syria, which is facing huge humanitarian crises as a result of ongoing conflict across the country. Despite this, over eight times more Scriptures were distributed by the Bible Society, through a network of church volunteers, in 2012 than 2011; 163,000 in total last year. „Christians in Syria are under enormous pressure and are in great need of encouragement,” said Mike Bassous, General Secretary of the Lebanon Bible Society, which oversees Bible Society work in Syria. „Staff in Syria are working hard to produce enough Scriptures to meet these needs.”

There has been a similar substantial increase in the distribution of Scripture in Iraq, which borders Syria to the east. Although only 330,000 Christians remain in Iraq, following a mass exodus of believers as a result of increasing persecution, more than 66,000 items of Scripture were distributed in 2012, a 57% increase on the previous year.

Similar reports are coming from countries such as Egypt, India, Laos and Nigeria, which, along with Syria and Iraq, and among those suffering some of the highest levels of persecution according to Open Doors.

United Bible Societies Director General Michael Perreau says that he is greatly encouraged by the continued growth in demand for Scriptures, particularly in countries where Christians are under increasing pressure. „With rising persecution of Christians in certain parts of the world, and increasing secularisation in others, it is encouraging and heartwarming to see that God’s Word is more sought after and cherished than ever before,” he observes. He noted that there has also been „a huge boost” in digital access to Scripture, which is particularly helpful in countries where it is dangerous to read printed Christian literature.

Mr Perreau asked that Christians around the world would pray for the protection and blessing of those who undertake the dangerous task of distributing Scriptures in persecuted countries, and for everyone who encounters God’s Holy Word.

What Were the Original Languages of the Bible?

I found this excellent article at Biblegateway.com and I thought I’d share it:

Photo credit http://www.human-resonance.org (ancient Aramaic scroll, though, not from the OT)

What language was the Bible originally written in? Pastors and seminarians can probably answer that easily enough, but the rest of us might have only a vague idea that the Bible was written in one of those “dead” languages. Ancient Greek? Latin, perhaps?

The Bible was actually written in three different ancient languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. While (a modern version of) each of these languages is spoken today, most modern readers of those languages would have some difficulty with the ancient versions used in the Biblical texts. It’s strange to think that we might hardly recognize the most influential book in the world in its original form!

Hebrew, Language of (Most of) the Old Testament

Ancient Hebrew was the tongue of the ancient Israelites and the language in which most of the Old Testament was penned. Isaiah 19:18 calls it “the language of Canaan,” while other verses label it “Judean” and “language of the Jews” (2 Kings 18:26; Isaiah 36:11, 13; 2 Chronicles 32:18; Nehemiah 13:24).

Ancient Hebrew is a Semitic language that dates back past 1500 B.C. Its alphabet consists of 22 characters, all consonants (don’t worry; vowels were eventually added), and is written from right to left.

While Hebrew remained the sacred tongue of the Jews, its use as a common spoken language declined after the Jews’ return from exile (538 B.C.). Despite a revival of the language during the Maccabean era, it was eventually all but replaced in everyday usage by Aramaic. Modern Hebrew can trace its ancestry to Biblical Hebrew, but has incorporated many other influences as well.

What’s Aramaic?

Ancient Aramaic originated among the Arameans in northern Syria and became widely used under the Assyrians. A few passages in the Old Testament were written in Aramaic (Genesis 31:47; Ezra 4:8-6:18, 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11).

Some have compared the relationship between Hebrew and Aramaic to that between modern Spanish and Portuguese: they’re distinct languages, but sufficiently closely related that a reader of one can understand much of the other. Aramaic was very popular in the ancient world and was commonly spoken in Jesus’ time.

bible scribe

Photo credit hcsb.org

The New Testament wasn’t written in Hebrew?

Many people assume that the New Testament was written in Hebrew as well, but by the time the gospels were being written, many Jews didn’t even speak Hebrew anymore. Rome had conquered Greece, and the influence of Greek culture had saturated the empire. What’s interesting about Biblical Greek is that it didn’t use a high-class or complicated style; it was written in koine (common Greek), a language that could be understood by almost anyone, educated or not.

It’s amazing to see how the Word of God has traveled through languages and cultures. It began in the language of his chosen people, adopted the language of the Roman world, and now exists in over 2,000 different languages. Far from being a static, one-language text, the Bible actually embraces translation and cross-language accessibility by its very nature. Whether you read the Bible in its original languages or in one of thousands of modern tongues, it’s a blessing to be able to read God’s word today just as it was read thousands of years ago.

Creștinii Uciși in Sadad, Syria (noi detalii si video) – Individual Stories of Persecution: The UNSPEAKABLE crimes committed against the Christians of Sadad, Syria (News Report Video)

Funeral family of 6 executed Sadad SyriaFuneral – Family of 6 executed in Sadad – The bodies of six family members were found in a well in Sadad: Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, their grandsons Ranim, 18, and Fadi, 16, and the boys’ paternal grandmother, Mariam, 90. The city of Sadad lies between Damascus and Homs and is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Ezekiel in the Bible.

Inmormântarea familiei creștină- toti cei 6 membri ai familiei au fost impușcati in cap in Sadad. Vezi numele lor si vârsta sub poză. Orașul Sadad, unde a fost savârșit masacrul este așezat intre Damasc și Homs și este mentionat in Biblie in cartile Ezekiel si Numeri.

ROMANIAN:

In acest video, jurnaliștii sirieni raportează din orașul Sadad, după masacrul din 21 Octombrie. Sadad este un oras unde majoritatea locuitorilor sunt creștini.  Intr-una din case, toti cei 6 membri ai familiei au fost legați si impușcați in cap, iar apoi aruncați in fântâna din curtea domiciliului. O alta femeie a ales și ea sa nu fugă din Sadad, deși putea sa plece cu cei doi fii ai ei. Motivul de a  rămâne in Sadad? Avea o soacră handicapată și astfel au rămas și  cei doi părinți ai femeii cu ea. Toți 4 au fost omorâti și aruncati in fântâna. In total, 45 de civili au fost martirizați, inclusiv femei, copii și bărbați.

Stirea: Masacru asupra creștinilor din Sadad- 21 octombrie 2013 a fost o zi neagră pentru creștinii din Sadad (Siria). Orașul a fost asediat de islamiști, care au ucis orbește zeci de creștini, aruncându-i apoi în gropi comune. Arhiepiscopul ortodox sirian Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh a calificat atacul drept „cel mai grav și cel mai mare masacru al creștinilor din Siria, din ultimii doi ani și jumătate.”

Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, care slujește ca mitropolit de Homs și Hama relata pentru presă că numai pe 21 octombrie, la Sadad, „peste 45 de civili nevinovați, printre care copii și femei, au fost martirizați fără niciun motiv, mulți fiind apoi aruncați în gropi comune.”

Orașul Sadad, o așezare mică situată la circa 100 de kilometri de Damasc, a fost timp de o săptămână scena unor lupte de o cruzime fără precedent. „Timp de o săptămână, 1.500 de familii, cu copii şi persoane în vârstă, au fost luate ostatice şi folosite ca scuturi umane. Aproximativ 2.500 de familii au reuşit să fugă din Sadad, în prezent fiind refugiaţi la Damasc, Homs, Fayrouza, Zaydal, Maskane şi Al- Fhayle,” relata arhiepiscopul sirian, pentru theorthodoxchurch.info. Orașul cu circa 15.000 de locuitori a fost aproape complet distrus. Jafurile nu au ocolit nici măcar bisericile, școlile sau clădirile publice. Inclusiv spitalul local a fost o țintă a atacatorilor.

Declarația arhiepiscopului continuă tulburător bilanțul: „3.000 de oameni au fost luați ostatici iar noi am strigat pentru ajutor și nimeni nu ne-a auzit, cu excepția minorităților care ne-au ajutat și care au fost solidare. Unde este conștiința creștină? Unde este conștiința Siriană? Unde este conștiința umană? Unde sunt frații noștri, mitropoliții, preoții și prietenii? Unde?! Unde? Și niciun răspuns… Cu câteva excepții. Am un nod un gât și inima îmi arde pentru toate câte s-au petrecut în eparhia mea și bieții oameni care au căutat refugiu, plecând apoi cu mâinile goale… Unde vor merge de acolo, nu știu…. Rugați-vă pentru noi!”

Procentul creștinilor din Siria a scăzut în prezent la 10%, pe fondul persecuțiilor intense la care sunt supuși. Citeste mai mult aici – Semnele Timpului

ENGLISH:

Syrian News Report, closed-captioned in English. Some disturbing bits from the video:

-a family of 6 members, Sadad city in the countryside of Homs, terrorists carried out against them the ugliest methods of killing. After tying their hands and gagging their mouths, they shot them in the head. Then, they threw their bodies in an old well, beside the house to hide their hatred for humanity and for life.

-one martyred woman was (would have been) able to flee with her two sons, but she refused to leave her old handicapped mother in law, and her own parents, they were not able to go to a secure place. Man to reporter: After a couple of days of ‘the attack’, we found traces of blood on the well. We were shocked. They were killed and dropped into the well and covered with dirt. With the help of civil defense, we were able to remove the dirt thrown over them (their bodies), we were shocked to find (uncover) this big massacre. They threw over them stuff, to cover their ugly crime.

-reporter: words fail to describe…

-a woman to the reporter: ‘An ugly massacre before the eyes of the whole (of) humanity. Where is the humanity in (of) the world? Does (the) humanity of the world accept this crime?

-warning, please use discretion: In the first minute, there is some graphic footage of a dead body being pulled out of one well.

45 Syrian Christians massacred

The „most serious and biggest massacre of Christians in Syria” in which 45 people were killed and 1,500 families held hostage has been reported by the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama.

It happened during the week following 21 October in the ancient Christian town of Sadad, which lies about 100 miles north-east of Damascus, after it was invaded by anti-Assad Islamist militias and before the Syrian army retook the town. Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh said: „Forty-five innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, and many were thrown into mass graves.” Thirty more civilians were wounded and 10 are still missing. Around 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields against the incoming government forces, and 2,500 others fled the town at gunpoint with only the clothes they were wearing.
The archbishop, who conducted the funeral services last week amid grief and outrage, lamented that the outside world has done little to help suffering Syrians. „We have shouted ‘help us’ to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers?”

Church sources told the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) that civilians unable to escape – including the elderly, disabled, women and children – were subjected to torture such as strangulation.

The bodies of six family members were found in a well in Sadad: Matanios El Sheikh, 85, his wife, Habsah, 75, their daughter, Njala, 45, their grandsons Ranim, 18, and Fadi, 16, and the boys’ paternal grandmother, Mariam, 90. The Damascus-based Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III said to ACN: „How can somebody do such inhumane and bestial things to an elderly couple and their family?” He added: „I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

Sadad lies between Damascus and Homs and is mentioned in the books of Numbers and Ezekiel in the Bible. Most of its population of 15,000 people are Syriac Orthodox and it is home to 14 churches, a monastery, temples, historic landmarks and archaeological sites.

Most of these have been destroyed and looted, especially the Syriac Orthodox Church of St Theodore which the Wahhabi terrorists from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) used as a base.

The archbishop said houses have been looted „and schools, government buildings, municipal buildings have been destroyed, along with the post office, the hospital and the clinic”.

Early yesterday morning in Damascus the Holy See’s nunciature was hit by mortar fire, causing slight structural damage to its roof. Archbishop Mario Zenario, the papal nuncio, confirmed that the 6.35 a.m. blast did not cause any injuries. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack or if the building had been specifically targeted. The Syrian Government, the UN and many other nations pledged their solidarity with the Pope’s envoy.

Source http://www.thetablet.co.uk/

Open Doors USA 2013 world ranking of persecution by country – North Korea still #1, Mali newcomer to list #7

WWL-Main-Download

Information and watch list from the non denominational group http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org. Rankings released January 8,2013

North Korea – For the eleventh year running, this is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. In a country of 24.5 million, there are just 400,000 Christians. North Korea is one of the remaining Communist states, and it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labor camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians. We have written on North Korea several times in the past year. At the bottom are some noteworthy articles you can read in order to become more familiar with the brutal hardship that is endured by the Christians of North Korea. You can also read about North Korea’s hidden gulag, below all of the links, and visit the website that published The Hidden Gulag Report.

African countries surge – Open Doors reports that persecution of Christians in Africa vastly increased in 2012. Mali is a newcomer on the list and holds the No. 7 position. Tanzania (No. 24), Kenya (No. 40), Uganda (47) and Niger (No. 50) also moved onto the World Watch List and Ethiopia is one of the strongest risers (from No. 38 to No. 15) on the list. In addition, the small African country of Eritrea made the Top 10 for the first time at No. 10. Libya climbed from No. 26 to No. 17.

Syria made the largest jump on the World Watch List. The country is No. 11 on the list, compared to No. 36 in 2012.

Christians are persecuted in at least 60 countries for their faith. They suffer interrogation, arrest and even death in some of the most dangerous and restrictive countries in the world. For 58 years Open Doors has supported and strengthened believers worldwide through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development and prayer and presence ministry. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Related articles

From around the web

The Hidden Gulag

Second Edition

The Lives and Voices of
“Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”

David Hawk

Description: Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.

From Page 158: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, crimes against humanity are committed against persons sent to the political penal labor colonies. Evidence shows that:

1. Perceived or suspected “wrong-doers” or “wrong-thinkers,” or in some instances, persons with“wrong-knowledge,”123 and/or their family from the DPRK State Security Agency,124 which refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom and refuses to provide information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons with the intent of removing those persons from the “protection of law” for a prolonged period of time.

2. The abducted persons are subjected to deportation or forcible transfer from the area in which they were lawfully present without grounds permitted under international law.

3. The abducted and deported persons are deposited at distant, remote, penal labor colonies or encampments, where they are subjected to “imprisonment or severe deprivation of physi- cal liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.”129 These abductions, deporta- tions and the subsequent imprisonments all take place without any judicial process. There is no arrest, charge, trial, conviction or sentence, as provided in the DPRK Criminal Code and the DPRK Criminal Procedures Code.

4.The prolonged, indefinite detention of family members is a violation of Article 26 of the ICCPR, “…the law shall prohibit any discrimi- nation and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The imprisonment of family members amounts to what the ICC Statute terms as “persecu- tion.” Most family members of suspected wrong-doers or wrong-thinkers are detained for the rest of their lives in sections of the prison camps termed “total control zones.”

5. Once cut off from any contact with the coun- try or world outside of the prison camp, including former family and friends, the imprisoned persons are subjected, usually for a lifetime, to arduous forced labor under extremely severe circumstances. This begins with the provision of below subsistence level food rations.

7. Prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and sometimes more systematic torture for infractions of prison camp regulations and during interrogations.

8.On numerous occasions, prisoners compelled to observe executions (which are carried out publicly to demonstrate to other prisoners the severe consequences of escape attempts and/or non-compliance with camp regulations) …

9. Prison camp officials and guards are regularly able to exact sexual relations with female prison- ers under circumstances that have been judged to constitute rape or sexual violence …

These are just a few excerpts from the CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here – http://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/HRNK_HiddenGulag2_Web_5-18.pdf

Photo via Google satellite via stormfront.org –

the rear of a secret Gulag (internment camp for Christians)

Where Christian Persecution is Worst

World Watch List 2013

Created by Open Doors, the World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in an entire country and focuses on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. VIDEO by Open Doors USA

Open Doors World Watch List 2012

The top 10 countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe… The church around the world is facing times which are unprecedented in many ways. For the tenth year in succession, the Open Doors World Watch List is topped by North Korea, and in places as diverse as Libya, North Korea, Pakistan and Burma, significant events are shaping society. But despite the many hardships, the body of Christ continues to grow.

Find out more about our World Watch List by visiting the Open Doors website: http://www.opendoorsuk.org/countries VIDEO by Open Doors UK & Ireland

45 Christians killed, their bodies buried in mass graves, in Sadad, Syria – 45 de Crestini omorati in Syria

Photo credit  http://voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com

ROMANIAN:

Doar cu cateva zile in urma s-a raportat recucerirea orasului Sadad, Syria, iar, cu doua zile in urma s-au descoperit mormanturi comune in care au fost omorati si inmormantati 45 de sirieni crestini. Vezi aici raportul initial-

Fortele guvernamentale siriene au preluat controlul asupra unui oras aflat la nord de Damasc, dupa o saptamana de lupte grele cu grupari afiliate al Qaida, care pusesera stapanire pe zone importante din acesta, arata presa din Damasc. Rebelii par sa fi dorit sa captureze Sadad din cauza pozitiei sale strategice langa principala autostrada de la nord de Damasc, nu din cauza ca ar fi locuit de o populatie majoritar crestina. Dar o parte din gruparile radicale ale opozitiei sunt ostile fata de minoritatea crestina, care are tendinta sa il sprijine pe Assad.

Unii luptatori ai acestor grupari radicale au distrus si profanat mai multe biserici din Sadad, in perioada in care au detinut controlul saptamana trecuta. SANA a transmis ca armata inca se afla in urmarirea luptatorilor care au fugit din Sadad in fermele din jurul orasului. Agentia relateaza si ca rebelii au vandalizat Biserica Sfantului Theodor din Sadad si i-au deteriorat structura. O organizatie pentru drepturile omului care monitorizeaza situatia din Siria a raportat ca rebelii jihadisti au incendiat duminica seara o biserica armeneasca din orasul nordic Tel Abyad, aflat la granita cu Turcia. Agentia de stiri oficiala SANA a relatat ca armata a readus „securitatea si stabilitatea” in orasul Sadad, aflat la 120 de kilometri nord de Damasc, relateaza ABC News. In comunicat se mai spune ca un mare numar de teroristi au fost ucisi si armamentul lor capturat, iar zeci de bombe au fost dezamorsate, dupa ce au fost plantate de rebeli pe drumurile din jurul orasului locuit de crestini.

Sadad fusese in mainile fortelor de opozitie de saptamana trecuta, cand luptatori ai unor grupuri afiliate al Qaida au capturat un punct de control strategic care le-a oferit controlul intregii parti de vest a orasului. (Sursa)

ENGLISH:

Citeste articolul folosind translatorul google, facand click aici-Romanian

Flag-map of Syria

Flag-map of Syria (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Christian Post reports on the biggest death toll of Christians since the Syrian civil war started 2 1/2 years ago. Pray for the Christians of Syria that God gives the strength and comfort in the midst of violence and death. This whole week, coming up is dedicated to prayer for the persecuted church. We will be posting various videos and news reports from around the globe-

The Christian Post:

More than 30 bodies of Christian civilians have been uncovered in mass graves in the Syrian city of Sadad, which was destroyed in an attack by Islamic militants, with the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop describing the incident as „the most serious and biggest massacre” of Christians in the past two years and a half.

A total of 45 Christians were reported to have been killed in the small town halfway between Homs and Damascus, after Islamist militants apparently invaded on Oct. 21. Fides News Agency reported that representatives of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate and relatives of the victims found the mass graves when they returned home, and later provided a proper burial for their dead relatives and friends.

„45 innocent civilians were martyred for no reason, and among them several women and children, many thrown into mass graves. Other civilians were threatened and terrorized. 30 were wounded and 10 are still missing,” explained Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh, Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Homs and Hama.

„For one week, 1,500 families were held as hostages and human shields. Among them children, the elderly, the young, men and women. Some of them fled on foot travelling 8 km (5 miles) from Sadad to Al-Hafer to find refuge. About 2,500 families fled from Sadad, taking only their clothes, due to the irruption of armed groups and today they are refugees scattered between Damascus, Homs, Fayrouza, Zaydal, Maskane, and Al-Fhayle.”

Eyewitnesses said the 15,000 population city has been entirely destroyed and looted. Sadad was described as an ancient village dating back to 2,000 B.C. with a number of churches, temples, historic landmarks and archaeological sites.

Syria has been locked in a civil war for over two years and a half now, with various rebel factions trying to take down the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, have been caught in the crossfire, and worries are that a victory for radical Islamist groups will put them in even greater danger.

„I think the Islamic rebels winning is a bad idea for the Christians. All of a sudden we’ll have another Islamic state where Christians are persecuted,” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) asserted in September.

Archbishop Alnemeh said in his account of the mass attack in Sadad that people now have no electricity, water or telephone, and that all the houses have been robbed. „The churches are damaged and desecrated, deprived of old books and precious furniture. Schools, government buildings, municipal buildings have been destroyed, along with the post office, the hospital and the clinic,” he added.

„We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us. Where is the Christian conscience? Where is human consciousness? Where are my brothers? I think of all those who are suffering today in mourning and discomfort: We ask everyone to pray for us.”

Christians now suffering mass martyrdom

source and PHOTO credit http://www.telegraph.co.uk– A Pakistani man carries an injured woman on her arrival at the hospital after two suicide bomb attacks on a church in Peshawar)

Christians are being deliberately attacked because of their faith across parts of the Muslim world and even martyred for their faith in large numbers, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone. He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.

But he said that Christians were also being singled out for violence in a string of other countries. Christian communities which have existed “in many cases since the days of Saint Paul” are now under threat in countries such as Syria and Egypt, he said.

Last month around 100 Christian sites were attacked amid the turmoil in Egypt, with 42 churches burnt to the ground. Ancient Christian communities in Syria have also been singled out for violence. But speaking during an interview on BBC Radio 4, Archbishop Welby, who leads almost 80 million Anglicans around the world, said it was the duty of Christians to pray for their killers. He said that in many cases apparently religious conflicts are actually bound up with other social and historical grievances but that this could not explain several recent attacks on Christian. “The appearance is often deceptive but I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith,” he said.

“I think it is true to say – and also in Peshawar – that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days. “They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church. “That is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious difference.”

He said the Church had been raising its fears for Christians abroad with the Foreign Secretary William Hague and called on other Governments to act to protect them But he added: “As Christians one of the things is that we pray for justice and particularly the issues around the anger that comes from his kind of killing. “But we are also called as Jesus did at the cross to pray for those who are doing us harm.” He also emphasized that the Muslim religious leaders in Britain and overseas had been as appalled at the attacks on Christians as he was.

Syria: Rebels Seized Control of a historic Christian Village 3 weeks ago (VIDEO)

As Islamist Occupation Continues,

Syrian Christians Remain Trapped

An update: September 25, 2013 from http://news.antiwar.com

Nearly three weeks ago, rebels from al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra attacked the Syrian Christian village of Maaloula, seizing a hotel on a hilltop and using it as a base to shell the villagers below and eventually taking the town outright. Several failed militarypushes later, parts of the town have been reclaimed, but al-Nusra is still at the hotel.

Most of the tiny village’s population fled when the attacks began, but a number of civilians fled to a convent on the outskirts of town, where nuns take care of orphans. It was never intended to be a long-term solution.

But roughly 40 civilians, including many of the orphans, are still stuck in the convent, with supplies dwindling and a looming humanitarian crisis, they have been appealing to Christians elsewhere in Syria for relief.

That’s going to be tough going, however, since Christians throughout Syria are taking the ongoing civil war particularly hard, stuck between an Assad government that has historically tolerated them, more or less, and Islamist-dominated rebels that see that tolerance as evidence of complicity, and aim to wipe them out.

Tiny towns like Maaloula are mostly off the beaten path in Syria. The villagers there still speak Aramaic, not Syrian Arabic, and beyond a tiny army post inside the village, which was burned almost immediately when al-Nusra attacked, there is little reason why the village would be of interest at all to al-Qaeda.

A statement from an alleged commander of al-Nusra promised to withdraw from the village if the Christians promised to keep the military from returning, but the village of a couple thousand people can’t realistically keep any fighting force out, and so al-Nusra has remained, leaving the villagers stuck in the middle of a civil war.

Photo credit http://www.al-monitor.com/

This is a somewhat (relatively older) story, from September 5th and 8th, 2013. However, I have been digging a little bit past the headlines and found the story reported at Al-Monitor.com. See below the video.

Syrian rebels have reportedly taken control of an historic Christian village near Damascus. Rebel forces led by al Qaeda-linked jihadists captured the Christian village of Maaloula, situated in the mountains just north of Damascus. The village is also known as one of the few places in the world where residents still speak Aramaic, which some scholars say is the language Jesus spoke.

Maaloula is one of the oldest Christian villages in the world, and the oldest in Syria. From CBN News Length 4:02 VIDEO by VOM C

This was the town we read about when the Daily Mail reported on rebels who threatened christians to convert to islam or be beheaded:

Maaloula, Syria Photo credit http://www.dailymail.co.uk

The village of Maaloula has been taken over by Syrian rebels associated with al Qaeda, who have stormed the Christian center and offered local Christians a choice: conversion or death. A resident of the town said the rebels shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as they moved through the village, and proceeded to assault Christian homes and churches.

One Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of whom had beards and shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village.

“They shot and killed people,” he said. “I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village. Where is President Obama to see what has befallen us?” Another witness stated, “I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, ‘Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”

Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.

The beautiful mountain village, 25 miles from Damascus, is one of the few places in the world where residents still use the ancient language of Aramaic, which was spoken by Jesus and his disciples.

Terrified Christians claim Syrian rebels ordered them to convert to Islam on pain of death when they ‘liberated’ their ancient village.

Opposition forces, including fighters linked to Al Qaeda, gained temporary control of the Christian village of Maaloula after fighting with regime forces.

The reports have reignited fears about western support for the rebel groups, which are increasingly being infiltrated by Islamic extremists.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Syrian Christian Village Besieged By Jihadists September 5, 2013

Read the detailed report here: http://www.al-monitor.com/

Syrian Islamist Rebels Threaten Maaloula, Christians

After the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations approved President Barack Obama’s plan to strike Syria, armed extremist Islamists entered the Syrian town of Maaloula, located to the northeast of Damascus.

Maaloula is a historical town that symbolizes the Christian presence in the Levant. To this day, its residents speak Aramaic — the language of Jesus Christ. For centuries, Maaloula has maintained its heritage and embodied the presence of Christianity in Syria, despite the predominant Islamic characteristics the country took on following the Islamic conquests in Syria in 636.

However, in their fight against Christians, those attacking Maaloula are still implementing the old legacies of Islam in its early stages. Back then, the prophet was compelled to make concessions to gain the support of tribes in his conflict with the Quraysh — rich Arab tribes at the time — and those opposed to his call for Islam in the Arab peninsula.

Storming into Maaloula and calling upon its residents to convert to Islam as the only option to stay alive — only days prior to a possible US military attack against the Syrian regime — once again prompts questions about a potential alternative. While, according to the West, President Bashar al-Assad prevents the establishment of democracy in Syria, the Islamist opposition threatens —  if it were to usurp power — to destroy 1,000 years of religious tolerance in the Levant.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/09/syria-islamists-maaloula-threat-religious-coexistence.html#ixzz2fwrThoEY

Syria – Concerned for the safety and future of their children 4 out of 10 Christians leaving Damascus

MissionNewsNetworg.org via OpenDoorsMinistry reports:

Syria ― „The situation is very grim. There is deep sadness and much stress and anxiety.” That is the summary Pastor Edward from Damascus gave to Open Doors on the situation in the Syrian capital. (Photo credit on right www.religiontoday.com)

According to the pastor, about 40% of the members of his church have left the country since the conflict in Syria started over two years ago. Imagine: four of every ten members of your church leaving in such a short period. That means a major loss for every congregation. And that is the reality churches in Syria now face as this example from Damascus shows.

People who have the financial means, and especially those who have contacts abroad, are leaving the country. Pastor Edward knows that in his church, some members still are waiting for the opportunity to leave Syria, too. „They are still trying to find a place to go.” However, all the people that left didn’t leave the church services empty. „No, we see new people coming to church. Many of the families that we visit and help with a monthly food supply, for example, come to our services now.”

Although there is no fighting going on in the central area of Damascus, in several suburbs fighting is a daily reality. No one can escape from the distant sound of explosions and shooting. „It seems that there is no end in sight. Christians are like all other people: concerned for their safety and the future of their children.”

In a way, life goes on for many people in the capital. People who work in the public sector still go to work. „But their income is worth less and less as the Syrian pound lost 75% of its value, which caused huge inflation. After over two years of civil war, most people are suffering economically and are traumatized emotionally.”

The pastor also mentions „a brighter side” in the gloom. „Church people are closer to the Lord and to each other.”

May 11, 2013 – A Special Day of Prayer for Syria

Photo via amalina-peter.blogspot.com

Please pray for Syria.

All churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday 11 May in many places all around the war-torn nation. This is a unique moment of unity of Christians in that country. The Syrian Christians ask their brothers and sisters all around the world to pray with them on that day.

We as MEE field office want to invite all Development bases to contact your contacts to get as much as possible Churches and individual Christians to join in. This is a real request from the persecuted church to join with them in prayer. During the events there will be video recording and pictures will be taken. They will be made available afterwards. (Open Doors)

We have received a letter of the people coordinating this day of prayer:

“As you may know, the Christian church in Syria is experiencing a deep humanitarian crisis that is leading to the rapid loss of hope. In the face of violence and persecution, our brothers and sisters are striving to keep their eyes on the Lord and seeking His face in their country.  Even in pain, suffering, and death, God is using the church to accomplish His plan.

On Saturday May 11th, 2013, Christians from different denominations such as Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant/Evangelical are joining together in prayer and fasting to plead before the Lord for His mercy on Syria and an end to the violence. Due to the dangers of traveling in combat zones, Christians will be limited to local meetings planned all across Syria during this day. These groups will be meeting in homes, meeting arenas and churches, and will be a mix of all denominationsChristians across Syria have asked that you join them in prayer on May 11th

This email is to invite you to help your brothers and sisters in Christ by praying and (if possible) fasting, and by please spreading the word about this unified prayer effort through your local prayer networks and churches. This will be a world-wide meeting of Christians in prayer, and we want all believers to have the chance to join.  

An email will follow with a list of prayer requests directly from the Christians living in Syria. Thank you for standing in the gap on behalf of the Syrian people and reflecting the love of Christ in your acts of worship.”

Almost all denominations in Syria agreed and want to be part of this day. In Damascus part of the churches will meet in an arena, but there will be prayer also in several suburbs of that city.

In Aleppo, the whole Christian community in Aleppo and surroundings are getting together to pray. “This is a huge deal as it has never happened in Syria before. They will have 2 meetings back to back, one hosted by the Catholic church and the other at an Orthodox church.”

The bishops and pastors from these churches have sent emails and letters to all bishops around Syria to inform them and ask them to gather and pray in their areas.

Of course all over the country there will be prayers held at churches and homes. Over twenty churches in Jaramanah (one of the suburbs of Damascus) will pray in their own churches and some will join in the arena.

Many priests and pastors in Syria are telling their denominations word wide to join in prayers too. We know that churches in Germany, France, Norway, India, Sweden, U.S.A, Canada are joining at that day.

The people working on this effort have been on fire to see God’s hand moving. Let’s please keep all of them in prayers.

One of the prayer requests is reconciliation among Christian denominations.

Islam Expert Warns Christians May Completely Disappear From Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt

The Christian Post reports:

The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Photo to the right from Christian Post: Syrians run from an explosion at the Al Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria March 8, 2013.

„This matter of Muslim persecution of Christians is a humanitarian crisis at this point,” said Raymond Ibrahim in a recent interview with Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Ibrahim is the author of the recently released book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.

„We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being,” he wrote. „The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: ‘The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.’ In our lifetime alone ‘Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.'”

Ibrahim said that current reports from Islamic regions support this warning.

„Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators,” he pointed out. „The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshippers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg.”

Ibrahim pointed out that 10 years ago, at least one million Christians lived in Iraq.

„Today fewer than 400,000 remain – the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading,” he wrote.

The same pattern has developed in Syria, Ibrahim said. „Entire regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls telling the populace that it’s a ‘sacred duty’ to drive Christians away.”

Some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled Egypt, their native country, soon after the „Arab Spring,” he further lamented. Reports of attacks and evictions by al-Qaida linked Muslims perpetrated on Christians and especially the Coptic Orthodox Church appear commonplace.

Christians are not only fleeing countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, but also „black” African and „white” European nations with Muslim majorities, according to Ibrahim.

As many as 200,000 Christians fled Mali after an Islamic coup last year. According to reports, Ibrahim said, „the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north „where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out … there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded, Ibrahim wrote.

He gave several other examples of the humanitarian crisis and said that none of the reports come as a surprise to those „following the plight of Christians under Islamic persecution.”
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/islam-expert-warns-christians-may-completely-disappear-from-iraq-afghanistan-egypt-95556/#MmSMKt18wedspc2p.99

Egypt – Bible Prophecy interpreted by Walter Kaiser

In light of the events going on in Egypt, I have decided to reblog this post which was originally posted on Feb 16, 2011. It pertains to the prophecy for Egypt in Isaiah 19, especially verses 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, and 24 which pertain to the future, as they are couched by the phrase „in that day”.

Here’s the post:

A very interesting article from Koinonia (biblical-theological conversations for the community of Christ HOSTED BY ZONDERVAN AND FRIENDS).

Posted: 15 Feb 2011

Kaiserw Recently I was asked by a friend who leads a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class to offer my thoughts on the recent activities in Egypt, and to comment specifically on Isaiah 19, which the class was studying. Here’s what I told the class. What do you think?

Yes, I believe the Isaiah 19 passage is most relevant. Verses 16 to 25 place the coming events “in that day” six times (vss 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, and 24).  Since the prophecies to the foreign nations are bounded by chapter on the first advent of Christ (Isa 7-12) and the second advent of Christ (24-27), chapters 13-23 fall between those two end pieces in position and apparently in time as well.  That is why I also stress the eschatological phrase “In that day.”

After the Civil Disaster of 19:2-4, the economic disaster of 19: 5-10 (as a result of the Aswan Project in 1970), and the Intellectual Disaster im 19:11-15, a bridge passage of vss 16-17 has the Egyptians afraid of Judah for the first time in her history, which cannot be other than the events of the six day war in 1967.

However, the text turns to the distant future of “In that day” in vss 18-24 and gives five new works of God’s salvation and deliverance for Egypt: (1) Revival will break out in Egypt’s five cities, one being “City of the Sun,” otherwise known as Heliopolis (18), (2) a monument will be erected like our statute of Liberty to remember the great Egyptian Spiritual Revival (19) at the country’s border, (3) the nation of Egypt will be oppressed and apparently given a cruel leader, but God will replace him with a “savior,” much as he did in the book of Judges (21), (4) God will once again strike Egypt with a plague of some sort, but he will heal them as well and the Egyptians will turn to the Lord (22), (5) there will be a highway between Egypt and Iraq (Assyria) so that Iraqis, Egyptians and Israelis will worship together in that day (23) and (6) words of blessing formerly used exclusively of Israel are now used of Egypt, “My People,” and Iraq, “My Handiwork,” and Israel “My Inheritance.”

Tremendous!! So, I expect a cruel leader to come out of this revolt some time, but God will replace him with a “Deliverer” for the Egyptians.  In the meantime, Revival will break out all over Egypt with five cities experiencing unusual blessing of God – so much so that a tourist’s memorial is set up to remind all who come to that country in days to come of the great work of God in their midst.  None of this has as yet taken place, but what a day it will be when it occurs.

Note, just as the factions fought each other in West Pakistan vs East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) with the outcome that since 1970 15 believers are now at least 500,000 !!    Will this happen in Tunesia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon?  What other nations in the Arab nations will join them?   These are days in which God is moving is sure and definite ways….

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching; The Messiah in the Old Testament; and The Promise-Plan of God; and coauthored An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning. Dr. Kaiser and his wife, Marge, currently reside at Kerith Farm in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Kaiser’s website is www.walterckaiserjr.com.

Open Doors USA releases its world ranking of persecution by country – North Korea still #1, Mali newcomer to list #7

WWL-Main-Download

Information and watch list from  the non denominational group http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.  Rankings released  January 8,2013

North Korea – For the eleventh year running, this is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. In a country of 24.5 million, there are just 400,000 Christians. North Korea is one of the remaining Communist states, and it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labor camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians. We have written on North Korea several times in the past year. At the bottom are some noteworthy articles you can read in order to become more familiar with the brutal hardship that is endured by the Christians of North Korea. You can also read about North Korea’s hidden gulag, below all of the links, and visit the website that published The Hidden Gulag Report.

African countries surge – Open Doors reports that persecution of Christians in Africa vastly increased in 2012. Mali is a newcomer on the list and holds the No. 7 position. Tanzania (No. 24), Kenya (No. 40), Uganda (47) and Niger (No. 50) also moved onto the World Watch List and Ethiopia is one of the strongest risers (from No. 38 to No. 15) on the list. In addition, the small African country of Eritrea made the Top 10 for the first time at No. 10. Libya climbed from No. 26 to No. 17.

Syria made the largest jump on the World Watch List. The country is No. 11 on the list, compared to No. 36 in 2012.

Christians are persecuted in at least 60 countries for their faith. They suffer interrogation, arrest and even death in some of the most dangerous and restrictive countries in the world. For 58 years Open Doors has supported and strengthened believers worldwide through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development and prayer and presence ministry. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Related articles

From around the web

The Hidden Gulag

Second Edition

The Lives and Voices of
“Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”

David Hawk

Description: Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.

From Page 158: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, crimes against humanity are committed against persons sent to the political penal labor colonies. Evidence shows that:

1. Perceived or suspected “wrong-doers” or “wrong-thinkers,” or in some instances, persons with“wrong-knowledge,”123 and/or their family from the DPRK State Security Agency,124 which refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom and refuses to provide information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons with the intent of removing those persons from the “protection of law” for a prolonged period of time.

2. The abducted persons are subjected to deportation or forcible transfer from the area in which they were lawfully present without grounds permitted under international law.

3. The abducted and deported persons are deposited at distant, remote, penal labor colonies or encampments, where they are subjected to “imprisonment or severe deprivation of physi- cal liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.”129 These abductions, deporta- tions and the subsequent imprisonments all take place without any judicial process. There is no arrest, charge, trial, conviction or sentence, as provided in the DPRK Criminal Code and the DPRK Criminal Procedures Code.

4.The prolonged, indefinite detention of family members is a violation of Article 26 of the ICCPR, “…the law shall prohibit any discrimi- nation and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The imprisonment of family members amounts to what the ICC Statute terms as “persecu- tion.” Most family members of suspected wrong-doers or wrong-thinkers are detained for the rest of their lives in sections of the prison camps termed “total control zones.”

5. Once cut off from any contact with the coun- try or world outside of the prison camp, including former family and friends, the imprisoned persons are subjected, usually for a lifetime, to arduous forced labor under extremely severe circumstances. This begins with the provision of below subsistence level food rations.

7. Prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and sometimes more systematic torture for infractions of prison camp regulations and during interrogations.

8.On numerous occasions, prisoners compelled to observe executions (which are carried out publicly to demonstrate to other prisoners the severe consequences of escape attempts and/or non-compliance with camp regulations) …

9. Prison camp officials and guards are regularly able to exact sexual relations with female prison- ers under circumstances that have been judged to constitute rape or sexual violence …

These are just a few excerpts from the  CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here – http://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/HRNK_HiddenGulag2_Web_5-18.pdf

Photo via Google satellite via stormfront.org –

the rear of a secret Gulag (internment camp for Christians)

Previous Older Entries

Blogosfera Evanghelică

ceas

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari

Click pe harta pt ora actuala

 

http://www.clocklink.com/clocks/HTML5/html5-world.html?Vancouver&Chicago&Athens&480&blue