Persecution, Suffering

A visit to the Chaldean Christian town of Karemlash, 9 miles from Mosul, liberated from ISIS by Iraqi and Kurdish forces in November 2016.

I sure hope and pray the world wakes up and stops this carnage. I am glad President Trump has promised – and is doing something already to end this.

{ 0 comments }

squadIn my talk Swimming Upstream I usually tell the story of 40 Roman soldiers who chose to freeze naked on a frozen lake in 320 AD rather than deny Jesus Christ.

St. Basil, Doctor of the Church, told of the heroic martyrdom of 40 soldiers in a homily. They had been executed fifty years before his episcopate. They died a heroic martyrdom in Armenia around AD 320.

They had been executed by Emperor Licinius. There have been churches built in their honor — even a chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Here is how I tell the story in my talk:

The Twelfth Legion — nicknamed “Armed with Lightning” —  was the best and the bravest warriors of the Roman Empire.

RomanLegion2When the great Roman army was sent to fight in far-away Armenia, no soldiers were braver or more loyal than this band of soldiers. But news reached Emperor Licinius that many Roman soldiers had accepted the Christian faith.

A decree was dispatched: “If there be any among your soldiers who cling to the faith of the Christian, they must die!”

The Prefect called the soldiers together and asked: “Are any of you Christians? The 40 soldiers stepped forward and stood at attention. The Prefect had not expected so many, nor such select ones.

He demanded they deny their Christ and offer sacrifices to the pagan gods. They refused. Not a single man would deny his Lord.

Finally the Prefect said, “The decree of the emperor must be obeyed. I order you to strip and march out upon the lake of ice.”

I40-martyrs-of-sebasten the meantime fires were built along the shore with tubs of warm water to entice the men to recant their faith.

The 40 soldiers were stripped and marched on the ice to the center of the lake. They broke into their chant: “Forty soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and the victor’s crown!” 

In the night, overcome by cold, one soldier caved in and crept toward the fire, renouncing his Lord.

f1From the darkness their chant echoed in the cold: “Thirty-nine soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and the victor’s crown!”

One of the guards keeping watch over the freezing men was amazed when he saw a brilliant supernatural light overshadowing the Christian soldiers on the ice.

At once he announced “I too am now a Christian, threw off his uniform, cast aside his sword. He disappeared into the darkness to join the thirty-nine. 

Shivering beside the thirty-nine soldiers of Christ he joined their cry, “Forty soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor’s crown!” 

230628.bAt daybreak most were dead, the stiffened bodies of the confessors who still showed signs of life, were killed. They were all burned and their ashes tossed over the ice.

(Picture: Church marking the place of their martyrdom)

For more information read Taylor Marshall’s blog and the Wikipedia entry.

{ 1 comment }

Christian Refugees Merit Priority Status

by Steve Ray on February 1, 2017

Bill Donohue comments on the urgent need to give priority status to persecuted Christian refugees. (sorry for the graphic images, but someone has to show and tell what is going on with Muslim persecution of Christians)

In November 2015, President Barack Obama told a G20 press conference that proposals to give priority status to Christian refugees from Syria were “shameful.” He said, “We do not have a religious test for our compassion.” Now he is criticizing President Donald Trump for making good on this initiative.

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 8.05.18 AMWhat is really shameful is Obama’s hypocrisy, and that of his supporters. According to the logic of Trump’s critics, Obama employed a religious test to keep Syrian Christian refugees out of the United States, something that Trump is now seeking to rectify. Moreover, those refugees were created, in large part, by Obama’s failed Middle East policy.

Obama’s policy of giving priority status to Muslims was so blatant that it caught the attention of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Daniel Manion.

In November, he voiced concern over the almost complete absence of Christians among the Syrian refugees. He noted that “of the nearly 11,000 refugees admitted by mid-September, only 56 were Christian.”

President Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, one day after Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and captured their biggest majority in the House in more than 60 years.

He further observed that “Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian.”

It is not persuasive to say that Obama did not explicitly employ a religious test against Christians. His defenders cannot have it both ways. If Obama didn’t have a religious test, then neither does Trump—there is no “Muslim ban.”

Trump’s executive order was written to stop refugees from Syria and six other Muslim-run nations—it did not single out Muslims. And if it were a “Muslim ban,” then all nations that are predominantly Muslim would have been named, but they were not.

imagesShould Christian refugees be given priority status? Absolutely. There is one overriding reason: they are the most persecuted people on earth.

It is not compassionate to treat every religion equally when the distribution of the victims of religious persecution, and the reasons for it, are so egregiously unequal. Millions of Christians were murdered under Hitler, but they were not targeted for genocide the way 6 million Jews were. That makes a difference.

An Italian research institute, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, recently released a report on Christian persecution worldwide finding that 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016. It concluded that this means one Christian is killed every six minutes.

egyptian-christian-beaten-by-Islamist1Open Doors, the world’s largest outreach organization to persecuted Christians, found that aside from North Korea, it was in Muslim-run nations where Christians were most likely to be victimized. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan [note the name] killed more Christians because of their faith in 2016 than any other country.
The U.S. State Department’s Commission on International Religious Freedom recorded in its 2016 annual report that “More people are on death row or serving life sentences for blasphemy in Pakistan than in any other country in the world.” It detailed the violence of Muslim-run nations against Christians.

pakistan2Political scientist Abraham Miller notes that the State Department still uses an antiquated calculation when assessing the victims of persecution: it limits its study to state oppression, wholly ignoring terrorist entities such as ISIS. This means, he says, that “their brutal persecution of Christians does not give Christians special consideration as refugees.”

Miller also points out that U.N. refugee camps are dominated by Muslims, many of whom brutalize Christians. “In the refugee camp in Jordan,” he says, “there are no Christians. In the camps Christians are murdered, raped, and even kidnapped and sold into slavery.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-01 at 8.20.17 AMPew Research Center cites a survey from October where it found that the majority of Americans believe the U.S. does not have a responsibility to accept refugees from Syria. Of course, decisions on such an important humanitarian subject cannot be guided by polls alone—moral issues demand presidential leadership.

No matter, the survey results should temper those who are now claiming that President Trump has opened Pandora’s box; he is doing what the people want. Moreover, that box was opened by Obama when he gave preferential treatment to Muslim refugees, victims who were themselves victimized by his disastrous foreign policy decisions.

Trump’s corrective is in direct response to these realities.

{ 0 comments }

‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian

January 12, 2017

Islamic extremism now has a rival, according to 2017 World Watch List. Jeremy Weber  Posted in Christianity Today   1/11/2017 09:00AM For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high. But the primary cause, Islamic extremism, now has a rival: ethnic nationalism. Thus, Asia increasingly merits […]

Read the full article →

Thanks to Assad and Putin…

December 25, 2016

Are you against Syrian President Bashar Assad like Obama and Hilary are? Thanks to Putin/Assad Catholics in Aleppo have Christmas Mass 1st time in 5 years! Assad has always supported and protected the Christians. How can our country get it so wrong? Read more HERE.

Read the full article →

The Eight Stages of the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

October 20, 2016

Written by Msgr. Charles Pope and posted October 12, 2016 on Community in Mission Cultures and civilizations go through cycles. Over time, many civilizations and cultures have risen and then fallen. We who live in painful times like these do well to recall these truths. Cultures and civilizations come and go; only the Church (though […]

Read the full article →

Are Catholics to Blame for the Orlando Jihad Slaughter?

June 18, 2016

UPDATE: Bishop Lynch rebuked by Archbishop of Miami. Some say “Yes!” including Bishop Robert Lynch, the bishop of St. Petersburg Florida who said, “sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. (Let’s hope he soon corrects or clarifies his comment.) Attacks […]

Read the full article →

My CD Audio “Swimming Upstream: Living a Catholic Life in a Pagan World” now available at Lighthouse!

April 3, 2016

This is the talk I have been most asked to give in the last few years. It is a hard-hitting, politically incorrect talk about the state of our culture and what we as Christians are called to do. I use some pretty scary and interesting stories and example. We step back into the early Church […]

Read the full article →

West has ‘betrayed the Christians of the East’, says Syrian Patriarch

November 28, 2015

Syria, November 19, 2015: The head of the Syrian Catholic Church, Mar Ignace Youssif III Youan, has said the West has betrayed Syrians and caused an endless conflict in the country. Speaking to Le Messenger, an Egpytian Catholic magazine, Youan spoke passionately about the “chaos” that Western governments have caused by ignoring the advice of […]

Read the full article →

I Just Donated to Christians Persecuted in Syria – Join Me!

September 16, 2015
Read the full article →

Office Depot Defiantly Rejects Printing Order for a Pro-Life prayer; I Just Took Action!

September 11, 2015

n a clear case of religious discrimination, Office Depot has refused to print 500 copies of a flyer that contains a prayer to end abortion at the hands of Planned Parenthood. Chicago resident Maria Goldstein wanted to make a few hundred copies for her parish and went to her local Office Depot store, where her […]

Read the full article →

Countdown to Persecution in America

August 17, 2015

Two excellent articles (Part I and Part II and Part III). There is no doubt our society is rapidly moving away from it foundations and turning into an intolerant, secular society. When that happens Christians are the first to suffer. Over the last few years I have been giving a talk entitled “Swimming Upstream: Living a […]

Read the full article →

Expect More of this: “Religious Beliefs belong in your House of Worship or your own Home!”

August 3, 2015

While flying home from Europe two days ago I was reading the USA Today newspaper. There was a section on the new policy of the Boy Scouts to allow openly gay leaders and employees.  One of the comments (see to right) demonstrates two things I have been predicting for a long time. First, we Christians […]

Read the full article →

Supreme Court just Legalized Same-Sex “Marriage”

June 26, 2015

Oh boy! Here we go again. The battles are mounting and we Christians are becoming the despised sub-culture.  This ruling is the second blast of a double-barreled shotgun, the first being legalized murder through abortion. With these two rulings which destroy the family and the high view of marriage, sexuality and human dignity we are […]

Read the full article →

Who Would Dare to Love ISIS? The People of the Cross, thats’ who

April 25, 2015

The first reaction is to hate ISIS but the People of the Cross, the Christians of the Middle East have sent them a “Letter” in the form of a beautiful video.

Read the full article →

Gay Totalitarianism and the Coming Persecution of Christians

April 7, 2015

I have been telling my wife and kids and others — that the big persecution coming to Christians will be from the militant Gay Totalitarianism. I am not hateful of gays — to the contrary, I love them like everyone else.  Do I oppose the Gay Lifestyle? Yes. I also oppose other aberrant and perverted […]

Read the full article →