Making War on Jesus
News From Around the World
Thursday, March 11, 2004
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor
Being a Christian in America means being subjected to various, subtle forms of persecution, coming mostly in the form of not being allowed to pray on public property, or being ridiculed for one's faith. And persecution, American-style is no respecter of persons. George Bush was widely lambasted by the media for his public profession of Christ during Election 2000.
Back then, he was accused of 'cynically exploiting his faith to get votes' -- which raises an interesting question.
If being a Christian in America is subject to ridicule, exclusion and even legal sanctions, why would Bush have been accused of cynically exploiting his faith to get votes in the first place? The answer is simple. Because, according to all the polls, America remains a majority Christian country.
That's not to say that all Americans are Christians, or even that all Americans who claim to be Christians really are. (Take Al Gore, for example).
It is one of those 21st century things where the vocal minority can shout down the silent majority.
The war against Jesus is subliminal in America, but it is real. Both from without and from within. It is part of a larger war against God and all things that remind the world of God.
Christians are targets, and since America is still a Christian nation, America is a target.
The God-haters in America are easily identifiable. Just listen to the rhetoric from the left.
Liberals hate Jesus, since Jesus is not of this world but His influence keeps them in check. They vigorously defend the 'separation of church and state' argument, despite the fact the Constitution says no such thing.
They also hate Israel, for reasons they cannot define without admitting it is because they are Jews who claim their existence is by Divine appointment.
Even among Christians, biblical Christianity is under attack. In his recently released book and a subsequent research report on worldviews, author and researcher George Barna made waves by citing statistics showing just 9% of all born again adults and just 7% of Protestants possess a biblical worldview.
That information pricked people’s curiosity regarding the worldviews of the nation’s religious leaders, prompting Barna Research to conduct a national survey on that topic among Protestant pastors.
Based on interviews with 601 Senior Pastors nationwide, representing a random cross-section of Protestant churches, Barna reports that only half of the country’s Protestant pastors – 51% - have a biblical worldview.
Barna defined a biblical worldview as believing that absolute moral truth exists, that it is based upon the Bible, and having a biblical view on six core beliefs (the accuracy of biblical teaching, the sinless nature of Jesus, the literal existence of Satan, the omnipotence and omniscience of God, salvation by grace alone, and the personal responsibility to evangelize.
Globally, persecution of Christians and Jews is somewhat less subtle. A Baptist missionary in Tajikistan was murdered recently by Islamists as he prayed in his room.
In Karachi, Pakistan, police received an anonymous phone warning that the Pakistan Bible Society would be attacked. Fifteen minutes later, a bomb hidden in a nearby parked car exploded, wounding fifteen people and damaging a nearby church.
In Jakarta, Indonesia, Muslim groups are taking advantage of a document issued by the Indonesian government to close several existing churches and prevent the building of new churches in Jakarta.
The 'Letter of Decision' No. 137, issued in 2002, allows for churches in the Jakarta area to be closed down -- even if they have the required government permit -- should people in the surrounding community object to their existence or location. So far, four churches there have been closed, even though they had the required permits.
Since the Cambodian government closed the refugee camps in Mondulkiri and Rattanakiri provinces of Cambodia, the Vietnamese government has increased repression in the Central Highlands, arresting, imprisoning and killing the Montagnard Degar people to halt the spread of grass roots Christianity.
Leaders of the Christian community in the northern state of Jigawa, Nigeria, report that Muslim extremists burned down 10 churches and over 100 church-owned properties in November during unprovoked attacks against Christians in the town of Kazaure.
Stan Westrom, a former US Marine who became a missionary in East Africa, died in a Nairobi hospital where he had been taken after being ambushed by bandits on January 4th.
A Protestant pastor in Pakistan’s Punjab province was murdered in the early hours of January 5, just minutes after he left his home to catch a train to Lahore.
In Istanbul, Turkey, Pastor Mukhtar Masih, 50, died after he was shot once in the chest at close range with a 32 caliber pistol. According to a Daily Times newspaper report on January 6, local police superintendent Jamil Ahmed discounted robbery as a likely murder motive. The pastor's cash and papers were untouched.
In Iraq, more than 2,000 Christians have already fled the Basra area following bombings and murders directed at the Christian population there.
Eritrean police arrested and jailed another Protestant evangelical pastor, taking him and seven of his church members to prison. A second new arrest of 10 young women from various Pentecostal churches has also been confirmed.
Six of the 62 young people locked into metal containers at Sawa this past summer for having Bibles are believed to still be jailed in underground isolation cells at this same camp.
Fourteen women soldiers, along with 63 men, are still being held at Assab, where authorities have used torture, isolation and cruel threats to try to force them to retract their evangelical beliefs.
According to lists compiled by local Protestants, currently at least 334 evangelical believers are imprisoned for their religious beliefs in nine known locations across Eritrea.
More than 10 Christian churches and a church-run vocational training center in and around the sprawling Wad el Bashier displaced persons camp in West Omdurman, Sudan, have been demolished by authorities there.
Persecution of Christians is not new -- it is as old as Christianity itself. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (John 15:18-19)
In this verse, Jesus lays out the reason for the persecution of both Christians and Jews. The Jews are 'God's Chosen People' -- a title that even offends many Christians, despite the fact Scriptures say that God Himself bestowed that title on them.
The same applies to Christians because, as Jesus said, we were chosen by Him out of this world, THEREFORE the world hates us.
But until this generation, there was a safe haven for both Christians and Jews in America. America was the first country in history to extend the sovereign franchise (the right to vote) to the Jew.
In early America, one could not run for public office unless one were a Christian. America was founded by the Pilgrims who were seeking religious freedom.
But Bible prophecy says that during the Tribulation Period, there will be NO safe haven for either the Jews or the Tribulation saints.
"But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:" (Matthew 24:20)
"And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:22)
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Revelation 13:7)
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8)
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. . . Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. . . .Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived." (2 Timothy 3:1,5,12-13)
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18, says, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."
But that guarantee doesn't extend to Israel, which was founded exclusively as a Jewish state. The UN calls that exclusionary and racist, at the same time fully supporting the Palestinian efforts at ethnic cleansing of all Jews from its territory.
In Islamist countries, a Muslim who converts to Christianity can be summarily killed with no outcry from anyone at the UN.
Christian persecution gets no attention from the United Nations, while other religions, including Islam, are afforded a special status by the General Assembly. Jewish and Christian religious leaders have no similar status.
Article 14 says, "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution" but then specifically excludes religious persecution in the next breath. Subsection (b) says, "This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations."
Literally reading the 1948 Genocide Treaty, Christianity is 'genocide'. The genocide concept was defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide Crime.
According to the article 2 of this Convention, 'genocide' includes "inflicting serious physical or mental integrity" on the group members. Christians believe that the only way to heaven is through faith in Jesus Christ. That specifically excludes all other religions, which has already been successfully argued as the 'infliction of serious mental harm' to members of other identifiable religious groups.
It was the same concept under which the Romans persecuted Christians. The Romans didn't object to one more God, they had lots of gods. They objected to the Christian claim that Jesus is the ONLY way -- they took offense to that as a hate crime. So will the coming leader of the Revived Roman Empire in the last days.
The conditioning process is already well underway.
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