Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy against Islam before she was freed last year, is now safely in Canada and reunited with her family, her lawyer has said.
“It is a big day,” Saiful Malook told the Guardian. “Asia Bibi has left Pakistan and reached Canada. She has reunited with her family. Justice has been dispensed.”
Pakistani TV channels Geo and ARY, citing unidentified sources, also reported Bibi had left the country.
Roman Catholic Bibi was acquitted of her religious crime last year but has since faced death threats in Pakistan and was offered asylum by multiple countries including Italy, the Netherlands, and Canada. The latter has finally provided her with safe haven.
The British government turned her away, allegedly to appease “certain sections of the community” at home and Islamist terrorists who might be inclined to attack British embassies abroad.
Everyone, please thank Canada for their help in this matter of providing asylum to Christians.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; (Romans 12:10 NASB)
FINALLY ASIA BIBI has been released from the prison. Thanks to Chief Justice Asif Khosa to take bold step and also… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Countless churches throughout Western Europe are being vandalized, defecated on, and torched.
In France, two churches are desecrated every day on average. According to PI-News, a German news site, 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) were registered in France in 2018. This represents a 17% increase compared to the previous year (2017), when 878 attacks were registered — meaning that such attacks are only going from bad to worse.
Among some of the recent desecrations in France, the following took place in just February and March:
The Saint-Nicolas Church in Houilles was vandalized on three separate occasions in February; a 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary, regarded as “
irreparable,” was “completely pulverized,” said a clergyman; and a hanging cross was thrown to the floor.
Vandals desecrated and smashed crosses and statues at Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, and mangled the arms of a statue of a crucified Christ in a mocking manner. In addition, an altar cloth was burned.
Arsonists torched the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris soon after midday mass on Sunday, March 17.
Similar reports are coming out of Germany. Four separate churches were vandalized and/or torched in March alone. “In this country,” PI-News explained, “there is a creeping war against everything that symbolizes Christianity: attacks on mountain-summit crosses, on sacred statues by the wayside, on churches… and recently also on cemeteries.”
A group of Islamic terrorists opened fire on a customs post in southern Burkina Faso Friday, slaying a missionary priest as well as four customs officials, Vatican News reported Saturday.
Father Antonio César Fernandez Fernandez, a Spanish priest of the Salesian order, had been working as a missionary in Africa for the last 37 years and helped to found the first Salesian community in Togo in 1982.
The three men were returning from Lome, Togo, where they had participated in the first session of the provincial chapter of the Salesians of Francophone West Africa.
Clashes between security forces and some jihadist groups have increased in recent months in Burkina Faso, but this is the first attack in this region of the country. Mali and Niger have been facing similar attacks for several years.
Burkina Faso is several hundred miles from Nigeria, where jihadists from the Boko Haram terror group have carried out deadly attacks for the past ten years. Boko Haram has reportedly killed some 30,000 people and forced another two million to flee their homes since the insurgency began in 2009.
The news out of Nigeria is getting progressively worse as it is being reported that more than 300 people were killed in at least seven predominantly Christian villages across Nigeria in February and March this year, according to multiple sources that monitor persecution of Christians.
“Since February 10, there have been at least 270 people killed in Kaduna State alone,” International Christian Concern confirms. “It has been reported that at least 70 Christians have been killed during a 10-week span at the beginning of 2019 across the other Middle Belt states.”
In one early morning attack on the village of Karamai on Feb. 14, sources said 41 people died after 300 gunmen swarmed the village shouting “Allahu Akbar!” as they fired their weapons and ransacked people’s homes, according to Barnabas Fund. It was reported almost all of those killed were women and children along with a few senior residents who were unable to run away.
This is yet another story rarely mentioned by America’s main stream media. If it were Muslim victims in a Western nation, the coverage would last for weeks after the terrible event. For Christians, there is no mention.
‘Everything is burning’: Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on fire
A fire at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France has destroyed most of the roof and collapsed the church’s central spire. Eyewitness videos show smoke and fire engulfing the jewel of Gothic architecture.
The blaze broke out in the scaffolding around the spire on Monday afternoon, Paris firefighters confirmed, adding that a major operation to tackle the fire is underway.
“Everything is burning. There won’t be anything left of the wood frame, which dates to the XIX century on one side and the XII century on the other,” Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot told French media. “We’ll have to see if the [stone] vault, which protects the cathedral, will be touched or not.”
I hope that there is definitive proof that this was not the work of an Islamist. However, to declare that the fire resulted from an accident while the firefighters are still putting the fire out is premature.
The visit marks an effort to boost the Vatican’s outreach to Islam.
Pope Francis, who has made strengthening ties between the two largest religions a cornerstone of his papacy, is expected to have talks with the UAE’s crown prince on Monday and hold an open-air mass for 135,000 worshipers on Tuesday.
Pope Francis on Sunday called for urgent “respect” for a ceasefire accord in Yemen to allow humanitarian aid through in the conflict-weary country.
“The population is exhausted by the long conflict and many, many children are suffering from hunger but they are not able to get to food deposits. The cry of these children and their parents rises up to God,” he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square during his regular Sunday address.
“I appeal to all sides involved and to the international community to urgently press for respect of the agreements that have been reached, to guarantee the distribution of food, and work for the good of the population.”
“There are children who are hungry, they are thirsty, they don’t have medicine,” he added.
“I am following the humanitarian crisis in Yemen with great concern,” he added.
The UAE has played a leading role in the Saudi-led military coalition waging a nearly four-year war against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen in a conflict which has pushed the poorest country on the peninsula to the brink of famine.
The Gulf state currently has about 800,000 Catholics but few of them are citizens, they’re mostly temporary migrant workers from South and South East Asia.
“Dear people of the United Arab Emirates, Salam aleikum, peace be upon you. Faith in God unifies, not divides, bringing people closer even with their differences, while keeping them away from hostilities and aversion,” Pope Francis said in a video message.
Freedom of religion in the UAE is limited. It’s illegal for a Muslim to renounce their religion.
My first reaction had me wondering whether this pope was declaring “another gospel” (in seeming to suggest that Muslims and Christians hold a common faith in God).
For the uninitiated, the problem with anyone declaring “another gospel” is that, in changing the central message of Christ, you are really abandoning Christ (as explained in Galatians 1: 6-9):
I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
However, in light of the fact that Islam recently has shown significant hostility toward Christians with its lands AND there are 800,000 foreign Catholics (and various other denominations of Christians) in the UAE — there seems to be a need for a gentle response.
Because the Pope leads a the largest portion of proclaimed Christians on Earth, we must pray for him as a leader. Even while we may cringe at the Pope embracing an Islamist who calls for the killing of Christians, we have to realize that the strength of the Catholic Church will color non-Christian’s views of Christians. To that extent, we need to pray that the Lord directs the Pope’s steps.
Finally, on my part, I need to realize that I was not in the UAE, standing across from those who had preached the killing of Christians. Likewise, I am not in a religious environment where I might stand face-to-face with those who would kill my fellow Christians due to words I have said.
In a 14 February 2016 article, the Christian Post memorialized Justice Scalia’s service to the country and his faith in Jesus.
” ‘Justice Antonin Scalia stood as a champion of life, religious liberty and limited government,’ the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, said in a statement. ‘The son of Italian immigrants, his life journey speaks to the power embedded when one reconciles faith with education. His presence on the court represented a firewall against judicial activism. His life should serve as both a reminder and a clarion call for us to be both vigilant and committed in defending our God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’
Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, called the judge’s death ‘a blow to all Americans who believe in the rule of law and his adherence to an originalist’s view of the Constitution.’
The court’s longest serving member was ‘one of the greatest jurists of our age,’ Daly said. ‘He was a terrific thinker with a fluid pen. Most importantly, he was a devout believer in Jesus Christ. Many of the nation’s most impressive attorneys stood before him. Now, the justice stands before the ultimate Judge of the world,’ he continued, adding that he ‘attempted to save our Constitution. Now, his faith in his Lord and Savior has saved him.’ ”
“U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia today told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 Catholics to have ‘the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity’ by society’s sophisticates.
Scalia, the longest-serving justice on the high court and one of its most conservative, received a rousing welcome from a throng sprawled across several adjoining rooms of the Denver Convention Center.
Scanning the crowd of participants in the two-day Living the Catholic Faith Conference, Scalia quipped that that this was his first time in front of a group where he had to look so far to the left and to the right.
The 75-year-old Scalia said that today one can believe in a creator and the teachings of Jesus without being the brunt of too much ridicule, but that to hold traditional Christian beliefs that Jesus is God and He physically rose from the grave is to be derided as simple-minded by those considered leading intellectuals.
Traditional Catholics, Scalia said, are seen as peasant-like in their saying the Rosary, kneeling before the Holy Eucharist and indiscriminately following the teachings of the pope.
‘(Yet) the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight,’ Scalia said, quoting the Bible.”
In Washington, Scalia said, the pundits and media couldn’t believe in a miracle performed under their noses.
‘My point is not that reason and intellect need to be laid aside,’ Scalia said. ‘A faith without a rational basis should be laid aside as false. … What is irrational is to reject a priori the possibility of miracles in general and the resurrection of Jesus Christ in particular.’ ”
The New York Magazine Summarized Antonin Scalia
On the 27th anniversary of his entry to the high court, the New York Magazine interviewed Antonin Scalia. In this 6 October 2013 article, this left-leaning publication presented just about as fair an assessment of Justice Scalia as I have seen in any main stream publication.
On September 26—a day that just happened to be the 27th anniversary of his swearing-in as associate justice—Antonin Scalia entered the Supreme Court’s enormous East Conference Room so casually that one might easily have missed him. He is smaller than his king-size persona suggests, and his manner more puckish than formal. Washingtonians may know Scalia as charming and disarming, but most outsiders tend to regard him as either a demigod on stilts or a menace to democracy, depending on which side of the aisle they sit. A singularity on the Court and an icon on the right, Scalia is perhaps more responsible than any American alive for the mainstreaming of conservative ideas about jurisprudence—in particular the principles of originalism (interpreting the Constitution as the framers intended it rather than as an evolving document) and textualism (that statutes must be interpreted based on their words alone). And he has got to be the only justice to ever use the phrase “argle-bargle” in a dissent.
Then you served in the Ford administration. That must have been an awfully lonely time to be a young conservative. It was a terrible time, not for the Republican Party, but for the presidency. It was such a wounded and enfeebled presidency, and Congress was just eating us alive. I mean, we had a president who had never been elected to anything except … what? A district in Michigan? Everything was in chaos.
It was a time when people were talking about “the imperial presidency.” I knew very well that the 900-pound gorilla in Washington is not the presidency. It’s Congress. If Congress can get its act together, it can roll over the president. That’s what the framers thought. They said you have to enlist your jealousy against the legislature in a democracy—that will be the source of tyranny.
But weren’t you just saying that you learned from Watergate that presidents aren’t incorruptible? What, and Congress is? I mean, they’re all human beings. Power tends to corrupt. But the power in Washington resides in Congress, if it wants to use it. It can do anything—it can stop the Vietnam War, it can make its will felt, if it can ever get its act together to do anything.
Had you already arrived at originalism as a philosophy? I don’t know when I came to that view. I’ve always had it, as far as I know. Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change. I mean, the notion that the Constitution should simply, by decree of the Court, mean something that it didn’t mean when the people voted for it—frankly, you should ask the other side the question! How did they ever get there?
The 6 February 2015 Christian Broadcasting Network report shared that torture, kidnapping, and murder of pastors and priests has risen markedly in Ukraine. It seems that Russian forces have developed a record of interrogating groups it sees as being aligned with the West (Catholics, Pentacostals, and other Protestant denominations).
Christians need to show their faith by helping their brothers in the faith.
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. (James 2:14-18 NIV)
The world is our neighbor.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV)
We need to look for the needs of our Christian brothers and sisters in Ukraine.
not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Romans 12:10 NIV)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10 NIV)
As Christians, while getting our government to help the people of God would be good (just as it was good that Nehemiah got Nebuchadnezzar to finance the building of the walls of Jerusalem), we should not put our trust in government.
Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. (Psalms 146:3-5 NIV)
When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan. (Proverbs 29:2 NIV)