Sunday, December 4, 2016

War On Christianity

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Christian Children

The Iraqi Parliament is taking great strides to ensure that Christians remain vulnerable in their country. While many are fleeing the country because of the violence of ISIS and others are simply too destitute to have means to leave the country, a law was passed late last month that affected children exclusively.

The Iraqi government passed into legislation that any children of a father who converts to Islam or a woman who marries a Muslim are automatically considered to be Muslim themselves.

An amendment was put forth by the Iraq’s non-Muslim religious communities that sought to allow children religious autonomy until age 18. It was rejected– 137 votes to 51.

Groups protested the law early this month before the UN office in country. They cite the total lack of regard for religious freedom and diversity as well as the inequality it creates among citizens.

Iraq’s constitution has a provision against religious coercion and this new law stands as the exact opposite. Christians are already facing a genocide in Iraq and the new law is a slap in the face to say the least.

Catholic Bishop, Rabban al-Qas, in Iraqi Kurdistan has already spoken up about how the law will only serve to “drive Christians away”. He makes clear the solemn state of the Christian faith in Iraq:

“We are facing a genocide in a country that knows only death and liberticidal laws…Here there is neither freedom nor respect.”

There are those who believe that Iraq will see the end of any Christian presence very soon.

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The University of Missouri has been rocked by race-related protests over the last few weeks—but it looks like activists may have found another villain: Christians.

In Mizzou’s “free speech zone”—apparently, the First Amendment right to free speech is not available throughout the public university’s campus—a man was identified as a Mizzou student and Christian preacher, but his name has not been identified.

Holding a protest sign that promised “salvation to all that obey Him,” and referenced the Bible verse Hebrews 5:9, the preacher was vocally criticizing the African-American community, claiming that many of them were arrested by the police because they had an attitude of “eff the police.”

He quickly attracted a crowd of angry black protestors, but the preacher continued his speech. The attack started after the preacher referenced the death of Michael Brown, the Missouri teenager who was shot while attacking a police officer and sparked the first waves of the so-called “Black Lives Matter” protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The preacher said: “Michael Brown died because he had a disrespect for authority.”

In a video uploaded to Periscope, that was quickly the straw that broke the camel’s back; a black male protestor ripped the preacher’s sign from his hands, threw it to the ground, and then began physically assaulting the preacher—first by pushing him, and then by punching him in the face. Both the attacker and the victim were quickly separated and held back by other protestors.

After the assault, another protestor grabbed the preacher’s microphone to turn the conversation away from Christianity, and back to racism and oppression.

Police have yet to make an arrest or identify the attacker. A later photo of the victim showed him with a bloody lip, but otherwise uninjured.

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christians-in-syria

Key Biscayne, Florida, saw fifteen Cuban migrants land last week. They made their passage from Cuba in a handmade sailboat. U.S. Customs and Border protection processed the immigrants and let them go. The practice is legal under the United States’ “wet-foot-dry-foot” policy. For Cuban immigrants, as long as they arrive in one piece, that is how they are allowed to stay.

The policy has been around for decades, but those men and women may be the last of their kind. The long overdue repeal is not coming from the fact that it should not be happening, but from improving relations with Cuba.

“Wet-Foot-Dry-Foot” began in 1966 under the Cuban Adjustment Act and also during the Cold War which is well over. It grants them immediate amnesty just for making it to U.S. soil. They are allowed to become permanent U.S. residence after they have occupied the country for a year and a day.

The practice stands as a living testament to what happens when policies go unchecked. While ISIS literally crucifies Christians and refugees try flee their oppressive and deadly presence with nowhere to run, Cubans are landing on U.S. soil and then, often after becoming residents travel back and forth from the country that they so “feared”.

The Obama administration is well behind other countries in accepting religious refugees from Iraq and Syria, and yet, it is as simple as placing a foot on an American beach for Cuban “refugees” to be granted amnesty.

The U.S. embassy in Cuba is even set to reopen as well as the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. Yet, there remains this troubling practice of those who can abuse a decades-old policy and be here legally simply because a meeting has not occurred and a signature not made on another piece of paper to close the loophole.

So when it comes to Christians needing refuge from those persecuting them, we do not have the resources, but for those from Cuba we magically do?

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jesus

40% of people in England don’t believe Jesus was a real person, according to a new survey from the Church of England.

Even more shockingly, a full 25% of 18-to-34-year-olds believe he was a mythical figure, akin to Paul Bunyan or the Easter Bunny or Zeus—rather than an actual human being.

It’s one thing to not believe in Christianity, or whether or not Jesus was the son of God.

It’s another thing, altogether, to believe Jesus wasn’t a real person—when historic documentation shows that, fairly uncontroversially and objectively, he existed and lived as a real person 2,000 years ago.

The survey was commissioned by a joint effort, involving the Church of England; Hope, a group that represents all non-denominational churches in England; and the Evangelical Alliance, which represents English evangelical Christians.

The purpose was to find out what the English people believed about Christianity. But they couldn’t have been expecting that nearly half of the country believes Jesus was a fictional character, rather than a historic figure.

The survey also showed that Christianity is on a swift decline in England: just 57% of the historically Christian nation consider themselves “Christians,” and fewer than 10% of English people read the Bible or regularly attend church.

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Deny-God

Victor Skinner, writing for the Education Action Group Foundation, revealed today that a public school teacher in Katy, Texas was accused by a seventh-grader that her teacher ordered her to deny that God is real or face a failing grade for the class.

The young girl reported the incident at a meeting of the Katy, Texas School Board where she explained how the events in her class unfolded… that she would not deny her deeply held religious beliefs… and should not receive a failing grade for believing in God.

The girl, identified as Jordan Wooley, a seventh grade student at West Memorial Junior High School in the Katy Independent School District, testified at the school board meeting that the assignment provoked serious controversy in class and said she was frustrated over the teacher’s effort to indoctrinate her and her classmates into atheism.

“Today I was given an assignment in school that questioned my faith and told me that God was not real. Our teacher had started off saying that the assignment had been giving problems all day.

We were asked to take a poll to say whether God is fact, opinion or a myth and she told anyone who said fact or opinion was wrong and God was only a myth,” Wooley told board members.

Wooley said she and many of her fellow students immediately objected to the order, adding that the teacher refused to consider their position. According to Wooley:

The teacher, “started telling kids they were completely wrong and that when kids argued we were told we would get in trouble.

When I tried to argue, she told me to prove it, and I tried to reference things such as the Bible and stories I have read before from people who have died and went to heaven but came back and told their stories, and she told me both were just things people were doing to get attention.”

“I know it wasn’t just me who was affected by it. My friend, she went home and started crying. She was supposed to come with me but she didn’t know if she could” because she was so upset…”

The teen said she spoke with other students in the class who received low grades because of their religious faith and tried to propose compromises that would allow students to express their belief in God, but that the teacher would have none of it.

“Another student asked the teacher if we could put what we believe in the paper, and she said we could … but you would fail the paper if you do,” Wooley told the board.

“I had known before that our schools aren’t really supposed to teach us much about religion or question religion. When I asked my teacher about it she said it doesn’t have anything to do with religion because the problem is just saying there is no God.”

Wooley’s mother, Chantel Wooley, attended the school board meeting with her daughter saying she had exchanged text messages with her daughter about the assignment earlier in the day.

“Hey mom so in reading we were required to say that God is just a myth,” Jordan texted her mother shortly before 3 p.m. Monday. “I thought if a question was against our religion that we could put what we think is true but we got in trouble for saying He is true.”

“Wait what? Myth?” Chantel Wooley replied.

“We had to deny God is real. Yeah, we had to say he was just a myth,” Jordan wrote.

“You got in trouble?” Chantel questioned.

“Yeah she told me I was wrong bc I put it was fact,” Jordan wrote.

“What did you say?” Chantel texted.

“I said he is real and she said that can’t be proven,” Jordan replied.

“And what happened?” Chantel wrote.

“I still put fact on my paper,” Jordan texted.

Jordan told school board members that her family contacted the school principal, who promised to speak with the teacher and investigate the incident. Board members also vowed to “look into it,” but said school administrators should first focus on addressing the issue.

They also thanked Wooley for voicing her concerns and said she “was very brave” to tell her version of events before an open meeting of the school board.

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scientist
Scientists are testing new magnets–that can alter a person’s brain chemistry to make him or her more liberal, and less likely to believe in God.
Volunteers for the study had their brains hit by large magnets as part of the experiment, and answered survey questions about political and religious stances both before and after the “treatment.”
The scientists announced their findings: that, after the magnetic treatment, belief in God was “reduced by almost a third,” and that on liberal social issues, like immigration, “participants became 28.5 percent less bother.”
One of the researchers, Dr. Keise Izuma at the University of York, explained, “People often turn to ideology when they are confronted by problems…
He added: “We wanted to find out whether a brain region that is linked with solving concrete problems, like deciding how to move one’s body to overcome an obstacle, is also involved in solving abstract problems addressed by ideology.”
Izuma explained that, after treatment, people were “less inclined to reach for comforting religious ideas despite having been reminded of death” and had a “negative, less ideologically motivated reaction.”
The study isn’t officially designed to change people’s views, but rather to explore new treatments for depression.
However, the idea that a magnet can change deep-seated beliefs–including beliefs about religion–could have dire and widespread repercussions for society moving forward.

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