Monday, November 18, 2013

Pope Francis: More Christians Persecuted Than In The First Centuries



Vatican City, 17 November 2013 (VIS) – At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square. Before the Marian prayer, the Pope commented on Jesus' discourse in Jerusalem about the end of time. Jesus exhorted the apostles not to be deceived by false messiahs and not to be paralysed by fear, but rather to live this moment of waiting in hope, as a time of witness and perseverance.

The Holy Father emphasised the relevance of these words even to us now in the twenty-first century. “It is a call to discernment”, he said. “Even nowadays, in fact, there are false 'saviours' who seek to take Jesus' place: leaders of this world, gurus, holy men, people who want to attract hearts and minds, especially of young people. Jesus warns us: 'do not follow them'. And the Lord also helps us not to be afraid when faced with wars and revolutions, natural disasters and epidemics: Jesus liberates us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions. … He reminds us that we are entirely in God's hands! The adversity we encounter on account of our faith and our adhesion to the Gospel are opportunities for witness; they should not turn us away from the Lord but rather encourage us to abandon ourselves more fully to Him, to the strength of His Spirit and His grace”.

In this moment”, he continued, unscripted, “let us think of the many Christian brothers and sisters who suffer persecution for their faith. There are many of them. Perhaps more than in the first centuries. Jesus is with them. Let us also be united with them by our prayer and our affection. Let us admire their courage and their witness. They are our brothers and sisters, who in many parts of the world suffer for being faithful to Jesus Christ. Let us extend our heartfelt and affectionate greetings to them”.

Francis highlighted Jesus' promise to us as a guarantee of victory: “'Stand firm, and you will win life'. … This is a call to hope and patience, to know how to await the certain fruits of salvation, trusting in the deep meaning of life and history; the trials and difficulties form part of a greater design, and the Lord, the master of history, guides all to its fulfilment. Despite the disorder and catastrophes that afflict the world, God's plan of goodness and mercy will prevail”.


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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Surge in kidnappings of Egypt’s Christians : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:

  • Abductions of Christians near Minya, a city in central Egypt, have surged in the months following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, The Christian Science Monitor reported.
  • Nearly 100 area Christians have been kidnapped since the Arab Spring began, with a spike occurring in recent months. Egypt’s Christians have tended to support the ouster of Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader – leading to attacks on dozens of churches and Christian institutions by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

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Surge in kidnappings of Egypt’s Christians : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Killing Copts for Ransom in Egypt

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

  • Not only are the churches, monasteries, and institutions of Egypt's Christians under attack by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters--nearly 100 now have been torched, destroyed, ransacked, etc.--but Christians themselves are under attack all throughout Egypt, with practically zero coverage in Western media.
  • Days ago, for example, Copts held a funeral for Wahid Jacob, a young Christian deacon who used to serve in St. John the Baptist Church, part of the Qusiya diocese in Asyut, Egypt. He was kidnapped on August 21 by "unknown persons" who demanded an exorbitant ransom from his impoverished family--1,200,000 Egyptian pounds (equivalent to $171,000 USD). Because his family could not raise the sum, he was executed--his body dumped in a field where it was later found. The priest who conducted his funeral service said that the youth's body bore signs of severe torture.

Read more by clicking below:
Killing Copts for Ransom in Egypt

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Video From Egypt Shows Muslim Mob Attacking Christian Church, Taking Down Cross

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

  • Newly-surfaced video from Egypt shows a Muslim mob storming a Coptic church, setting cars on fire and then toppling a cross atop the steeple, in a shocking attack that Christians say has been played out dozens of times since the ouster of Mohammad Morsi.
  • The video, obtained by MidEast Christian News, was shot Aug. 14 from a nearby building overlooking the diocese in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag. In the six-minute video, a crowd, incensed by the eviction of pro-Morsi supporters from camps in Cairo, masses outside the church. Several members of the group scale a wall and attack vehicles in a courtyard, setting several ablaze. The video culminates in the crown exhorting a man high up on the steeple to take down a cross, which he does.
  • Dozens of Coptic churches were attacked by members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the military's move against Morsi, who critics say was turning Egypt into an Islamist state. Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million, but Morsi supporters blamed them for his ouster, according to Coptic leaders.
  • Bishop Makarious, a Coptic leader from Minya, accused Muslim Brotherhood leaders of planning attacks on Christian churches, homes and businesses in an effort to divide the embattled nation.

Read more by clicking below:
Video From Egypt Shows Muslim Mob Attacking Christian Church, Taking Down Cross

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Coptic Catholic Leader: Egyptian Government is Not Stopping Hate Speech Against Christians

The following excerpts are from AINA:

  • Egypt's new interim government is doing nothing to prevent hate speech, which is inciting violence against Christians, a prominent Egyptian Catholic leader has said.
  • "The state is paying no attention to sermons coming out of the mosques, which are inciting Muslims against Christians," said Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak.
  • In a statement he said perpetrators involved in a wave of attacks on Christian institutions across the country since early July were not being apprehended, and those involved in the burning and destruction of churches should have been forced to repair them at their own expense and not at the cost of the state.
  • He said southern parts of the Minya governorate had seen some of the most severe anti-Christian violence so far, and that "people there are so extreme that they are threatening the Copts with expulsion from their homes".

Read more by clicking below:
Coptic Catholic Leader: Egyptian Government is Not Stopping Hate Speech Against Christians

Middle East, Holy Land Christians Are Suffering Most

The following excerpts are from AINA:

  • Minority religious groups face the reality of targeted violence against them in the region
  • The leader of the Maronite Catholic Church has said that Christians are suffering the most from the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
  • Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï said that the situation in the Middle East is worsening, and that 'whenever a conflict breaks out in the Middle East, whenever chaos ensues, Muslim groups attack the minority Christian community, as if they were always the scapegoat.'
  • The patriarch, whose church is in full communion with the Vatican, said Christians were 'paying the price' of outside interference in both Egypt and Syria.
  • "I have written to the Holy Father twice to describe what is happening. I appeal again to the Holy Father, who only talks about peace and reconciliation," said the Maronite leader, who was made a cardinal in 2012.
  • He also accused the international community of 'total silence' over Iraq, where he said 1.5 million Christians had fled in the wake of Saddam Hussein's fall.

Read more by clicking below:
Middle East, Holy Land Christians Are Suffering Most

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egypt's Coptic Christians face unprecedented reprisals from the Muslim Brotherhood - Washington Times

The following excerpts are from The Washington Times:

  • Islamist mobs have torched schools and businesses owned by Christians, looted churches and even paraded captive nuns through the streets of a city south of Cairo in a display of rage unseen in Egypt’s recent history.
  • The campaign of killing and arson is retaliation for the tiny Christian community’s support of the military coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government.
  • “The Muslim Brotherhood were the ones who called for aggression [against Christians]. They are responsible,” said the Rev. Khalil Fawzi, a pastor at Kasr El Dubarrah Evangelical Church, the largest evangelical congregation in the Middle East. “Either they are in control or they burn Egypt.”

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Egypt's Coptic Christians face unprecedented reprisals from the Muslim Brotherhood - Washington Times

Friday, August 16, 2013

Egypt: 2nd day of attacks on churches : News Headlines

The following excerpts are from CWN:

Photo: Nervana Mahmoud

  • By the end of a second day of attacks on Christian institutions, homes, and businesses in Egypt, Islamists had burned down over 50 churches, a Coptic Orthodox bishop told CNN.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood had declared a "Friday of Anger" to protest the actions, and Islamic militants took to the streets after gathering in mosques for Friday prayers. Their attacks on Christian targets followed police and military action against Muslim Brotherhood protestors who support ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

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Thursday, August 01, 2013

AFRICA/EGYPT - The Bishop of Minya: with the lie of the "Coptic plot" Islamists will justify other terror against Christians - Fides News Agency

The following excerpts are from Fides News Agency:
  • Western chanceries "have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people" and now "remain floored and ambiguous before the scenarios opened by the revolution of 30 June", while the Islamists " emphasize the role of Christians in that uprising also to justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against them". This is what the Egyptian bishop Botros Fahim Awad Hanna reports to Fides Agency with regards to two dynamics he understood during the serious moment experienced by the North African country. In past days, blogs close to the Muslim Brotherhood have labeled the new structure found by the country after the overthrow of President Morsi as the "Military Republic of Tawadros", indicating Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and his Church as the true architects of the popular uprising which led to the end of the Islamist government. "It is obvious" Anba Botros explains to Fides "that the Muslim Brotherhood wants to explain their political failure by resorting to the theory of 'Christian conspiracy'.
  • To emphasize the role Christians had in the collapse of the Islamist regime will also serve to justify future terrorism against them. 
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sen. Ted Cruz: Gay ‘marriage’ could lead to Christian beliefs being punished as ‘hate speech’ | LifeSiteNews.com


The following excerpts are from LifeSiteNews.com:
  • In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he believes the legalization of same-sex “marriage” may lead to those who express religious objections to homosexuality being prosecuted for hate speech.
  • “If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, that’s the next step of where it gets enforced,” Cruz told CBN host David Brody. “It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage, that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech, as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”
  • In Canada, where gay ‘marriage’ was legalized in 2005, Christian pastors, public officials, educators and business owners have all faced heavy fines and lengthy court battles after speaking critically of the homosexual lifestyle. In one case a pastor was fined $7000 and ordered never again to speak publicly about the issue of homosexuality after he wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper criticizing the homosexual agenda in schools.
Read more by clicking below:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cardinal decries rape of Orissa nun, low status of women in India : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai (Bombay), the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, has condemned the recent rape of a nun in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.
  • “I condemn this gang rape of this young nun in the strongest possible terms,” he said. “This gang rape is physical and emotional terrorism.”
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Cardinal decries rape of Orissa nun, low status of women in India : News Headlines - Catholic Culture



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Homosexuality an area of ‘special protection’ to UK govt’, police: UK barrister | LifeSiteNews.com

The following excerpts are from LifeSiteNews.com:
  • For hundreds of years, Evangelical street preachers have been a normal part of the English cultural scene, but in recent years, a new feature of the political and legal scene has been their frequent arrests whenever they have dared to contradict the sexual zeitgeist and reiterate the Biblical and moral injunctions against homosexuality. British barrister and chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, James Bogle spoke with LifeSiteNews.com this week, saying that the phenomenon is a sign of a deeper problem with British authorities undermining the rule of law and civil liberties.
  • Bogle said that it is more a matter of policy “at all levels of government” that homosexuality is “a special area” deserving of special protections and treatment. 
  • “But why this particular area, and not other areas?” he said. “Why don’t pro-lifers rate this special protection? Why don’t Evangelical Christians get the same protection?” 
  • In response to the large number of arrests in recent years of Christians under the notorious Section 5 of the Public Order Act, Bogle said, “Particularly in relation to homosexuality, where anybody who criticises homosexual acts or homosexual ‘marriage’ or relationships, there appears to be a police policy to treat this as what is called a ‘hate crime,’ but there isn’t such a thing in English law as a hate crime. There are crimes that might come under a very broad umbrella, but it’s the use of that very broad umbrella that is causing people to have fears about civil liberties.” 
Read more by clicking below:
Homosexuality an area of ‘special protection’ to UK govt’, police: UK barrister | LifeSiteNews.com

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nearly 80% of Italian doctors refuse abortion; MPs attack conscience rights | LifeSiteNews.com

The following excerpts are from LifeSiteNews.com:

  • A report by the Italian government has found that more than 80 per cent of gynecologists – in some areas it is believed to be as much as 91 per cent – and over 50 per cent of anesthesiologists and nurses refuse to participate in abortions, and the number is growing.
  • In response, a group of parliamentarians on the left from various parties have attacked the right to conscientious objection, saying that the government must put quotas into place for recruiting doctors willing to abort babies. One deputy alleged that the refusal of so many doctors and other staff to participate has resulted in an increase in the number of “clandestine” illegal abortions and in the number of Italian women going overseas to abort their children. 
  • Monsignore Igancio Barreiro, head of the Rome office of Human Life International said pro-life activists “have to be ready to defend the rights of conscience and we know that the proponents of the Culture of Death are ready to attack the right to refuse to do abortions.” 
  • “We must be vigilant and concerned because this is not something new,” he added. “We have to reaffirm it. It’s a basic human right.” 

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Nearly 80% of Italian doctors refuse abortion; MPs attack conscience rights | LifeSiteNews.com


Nigerian churches burned; Boko Haram suspected : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic World News:

  • Four Christian churches in northern Nigeria were bombed and burned over the weekend, in attacks attributed to the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Read more by clicking below:
Nigerian churches burned; Boko Haram suspected : News Headlines - Catholic Culture


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Syria: Aleppo priest advises Christians to leave : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Following the kidnapping and (reported) release of two Orthodox prelates, a parish priest in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, discussed his ministry there.
  • “Car bombs have been found near churches,” said the anonymous priest. “Divine Providence has permitted our fellow citizens to notice the danger and so the bombs were disabled before their explosion.”
  • “I think that all agree on this point: should we leave the country or stay and keep the Christian presence in the Levant?” he continued. “I, and I say it with sincerity, advise those who can, to go away even if momentarily.”
[As shared earlier here the Syrian Orthodox bishops were erroneously reported as released. They are still being held captive. Please pray for their safety and release.]

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Feminist protest disrupts archbishop's talk in Brussels : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:

  • Four bare-breasted feminist demonstrators interrupted a lecture by Archbishop André-Marie Leonard of Brussels on April 23, and soaked the prelate with water.
  • The topless protesters, members of the radical group Femen, wore jeans and boots, and had slogans painted across their chests. They carried water bottles, with which they soaked the archbishop before being removed.
  • Ironically, Archbishop Leonard was speaking at a conference on blasphemy and the limits of religious freedom.

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Violence against Christians in India following allegations of proselytizing children : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Armed with stones and sticks, a group of men in Srinagar, a largely Muslim city of 1.3 million in northern India, attacked and attempted to set fire to a Christian children’s home. The men beat residents of the home before police arrived.
Read more by clicking below:
Violence against Christians in India following allegations of proselytizing children : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Coptic leader raps Egyptian president for failure to contain anti-Christian violence : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has berated Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his government’s failure to protect the country’s Christian minority.
  • The Coptic leader said that Morsi had promised to protect St. Mark’s cathedral in Cairo, “but in reality he did not.” The cathedral was attacked by Islamic radicals, in which 80 people were injured, during the past weekend.

[Meanwhile, the Obama administration keeps sending money to a government that allows attacks on Christians. But it's OK. They are attacked by adherents to the "religion of peace".]

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Friday, April 05, 2013

Pakistan: mob burns shops, cars in Christian neighborhood : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • A Muslim mob burned shops and cars and threw stones at a church in a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala, a city of 2.7 million in northeastern Pakistan that was the site of anti-Christian violence in 2011. Six were wounded in the latest incident; calm was restored following police intervention.
  • “The spark that ignited the violence was a dispute between young Muslims and Christians which degenerated into a fight,” said Samson Salamat, director of the Centre for Human Rights Education, who told the Fides news agency that “an imam of the mosque instigated the Muslims to attack Christians.”
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Students try to banish Catholic chaplain from campus for anti-gay stance | The Daily Caller

The following excerpts are from The Daily Caller:
  • Two gay seniors at George Washington University say they feel alienated because the chaplain at George Washington’s Newman Center rejects homosexuality, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.
  • The seniors, Damian Legacy and Blake Bergen, have announced a coordinated campaign to rid the campus of the Roman Catholic priest, reports The GW Hatchet, the school’s independent student newspaper.
  • They also assert that 12 or more students have quit the Newman Center in recent years because they can’t tolerate Father Greg Shaffer’s ardent anti-gay – and, for the record, anti-abortion — beliefs.
  • Shaffer has worked for five years at George Washington’s Newman Center. He told the Hatchet that religion and unrestricted speech “play a vital role at a diverse university like GW.”
  • Legacy and Bergen say they are primarily upset about the counseling Shaffer offers. They say he urges students who have homosexual feelings to lead a life of celibacy.
Read more by clicking below:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Boko Haram has destroyed 50 Catholic churches in one Nigerian state, priest reports : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • The Boko Haram terrorist group has destroyed 50 of the 52 Catholic churches in Nigeria’s Borno state, according to a priest there.
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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Archbishop Chaput: new 'compromise' on HHS mandate still 'gravely flawed' : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • A new proposal by the Obama administration to apply the HHS contraceptive mandate to religious institutions “remains unnecessary, coercive, and gravely flawed,” according to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia.
  • The latest “compromise” offered by the White House “may actually make things worse,” the archbishop said.
Read more by clicking below:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

String of attacks against Armenian Christians in Istanbul : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Cultures "Catholic World News":
  • Five Armenian Christians have been attacked recently in an Istanbul neighborhood. One 85-year-old murder victim was stabbed repeatedly and had a cross carved on her corpse.
Read more by clicking below:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Italian bishop confined to home by homosexual demonstration : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from the Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • An Italian archbishop has revealed that he was confined to his home, forced to remain inside his “besieged” residence, when homosexual activists staged a protest there earlier this month, and warned that gay-rights campaigners aim to prosecute all who oppose their agenda.
  • Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste was the target of a demonstration organized by ArciGay on January 12. Italian media outlets ignored the incident, and city officials in Trieste showed their support for the protest. Two members of the local city council reportedly participated in the demonstration.
Read more by clicking below:

Monday, January 07, 2013

Christians will not leave Egypt, Coptic leader vows : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic Orthodox leader, has dismissed as “irrational” a proposal to divide Egypt’s territory to create a Coptic state.
  • The Coptic Church is “an integral part of that Egypt that will not be divided,” the Orthodox prelate said. He said that Copts are loyal Egyptian citizens, and the concerns that many Copts have expressed about the language of a new constitution do not reflect sectarian concerns but understandable worries about the fundamental principles of equal justice under law.
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French government calls for no discussion of same-sex marriage in Catholic schools : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • French President Francois Hollande and Education Minister Vincent Peillon are urging Catholic schools not to hold discussions with students about impending legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage. Hollande’s administration supports the legislation.
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Thursday, January 03, 2013

New restrictions on religious freedom in Vietnam : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Decree 92, issued by Vietnam’s Communist government in November, went into effect on January 1 and is raising concerns among the nation’s Christians and Buddhists – particularly after the vice president of the nation’s parliament said that “Vietnam will increasingly model itself on China in matters of religious policies.”
Read more by clicking below:
New restrictions on religious freedom in Vietnam : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2 dead following church bombing in Libya : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

2 dead following church bombing in Libya : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

:)

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