68 killed while worshiping in Church in Baghdad, Iraq
Our Lady of Deliverance or Our Lady of Salvation (Sayidat al-Nejat) Syriac Catholic Cathedral an Aramaic Christian Church in Baghdad, Iraq was the site of a horrific massacre of Iraqi Christians. Pastors Saad Abdallah Tha'ir and Waseem Tabeeh ( AKA Fathers Tha'ir Saad and Boutros Wasim) were killed execution style in front of all the parishoners. Pastor Raphael Qatin was seriously wounded and later died in the hospital. Over 100 were in attendance. 68 killed 78 wounded. Between six and fifteen gunmen began the attack by killing 2 armed guards in front of the Iraq Stock Exchange with a loud explosion and bursts of gunfire. The attackers then moved across the street to the Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church, which is in the Karrada neighbourhood. At the church, they took its construction and cleaning crew hostage. They also took more than 100 worshippers hostage. One witness said that when attackers came into the church they closed the door and started to shoot at the lights, the fixtures, the crucifix, the Madonna and over the Sunday service worshippers. An eyewitness said the attackers shouted at them saying "All of you are infidels. We are here to avenge the burning of the Qur'ans and the jailing of Muslim women in Egypt." Two hours after the raid, police arrived on the scene and cordoned off streets in the neighbourhood, after which a standoff ensued. The men wearing the suicide/homicide vests stood at both sides of the church. They detonated their vests, which were loaded with projectiles, into the congregation. 58 died immediately and many of the survivors lost arms and legs. The church was full of women and children. The next Sunday services were held in the church. The walls were still splattered with blood and embedded with chunks of human flesh.
TWO NOTES: (1) To the Muslims the suicide bombers are "martyrs" but the innocent Christians are not. That should tell you all you need to know about Islam. (2) What is the Egyptian connection? Well, Egypt has a large Christian population. Coptic priests can marry. In Egypt, sometimes Coptic Christians convert to Islam to get a divorce. It is hard to get the Coptic church to grant a divorce but in Islam a divorce is very simple. A Muslim man need only to say "I divorce you" three times in a row. Two women married to Coptic priests ran away from unhappy marriages. They have been given shelter in Coptic monestaries and are basically in hiding as the church tries to diffuse the situation. A rumor got started that the woman converted to Islam in order to escape their marriages and are being held captive against their will. This was the excuse the Muslims in Baghdad used to massacre the Assyrian Christians there. The Coptic church tries to avoid such conflict. The rumors are probably not true. Now, the women, their ex-husbands and the Coptic population of Egypt and the entire Christian community in the Middle East are in danger. This is what happens when we tolerate Islamic hysteria and intolerance. We must put an end to it.
Chuck Colson Bravely Speaks out against the Massacre of Assyrian Christians
Persecution in Iraq: Intolerable Silence
By: Chuck Colson|Published: December 17, 2010 12:00 AM
Finally, a major news outlet reports on the persecution of Iraqi Christians. But I have to wonder if the Administration is reading the headlines. On Monday the New York Times ran a lead paragraph to a story that's as chilling as any I've read in recent memory. Here it is: "A new wave of Iraqi Christians has fled to northern Iraq and abroad amid a campaign of violence against them and growing fear that the country's security forces are unable or, more ominously, unwilling to protect them." There, in one paragraph, the Times sums up the grim situation facing Christians in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. They are subject to a campaign of violence—not some indiscriminate acts by a few Islamist radicals. They are being harassed and killed right under the very noses of the Iraqi security forces and the government, and it is not clear at all that the government wants to stop it. I have talked about this time and time again on BreakPoint, and I have criticized the American media for ignoring it. Well, my hat's off to the New York Times for putting the story on the front page. The issue of Christians in Iraq really hits home, particularly the week before Christmas. These "Assyrian" or "Chaldean" Christians form one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, dating back to biblical times—long before the rise of Islam. And, sad to say, the action or inaction of the U. S. government has played a major role in the situation. No doubt the U.S. government never intended to place Christians in the crosshairs of Islamist radicals, but the invasion of Iraq prepared the ground for what Nina Shea at Freedom House has called a "ruthless cleansing campaign by Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish militants." What's scandalous is that the U.S. has done precious little about it. I have no doubt that if the Administration were to pressure the Iraqi government—including threatening to cut off aid—the persecution would either stop, or at least the Iraqi government would start to make honest efforts to end the bloodshed. And you and I need to tell the Administration and Congress that the U. S. government must not tolerate such blatant persecution. Maybe the Administration's silence on the issue has something to do with its effort to improve relations with the Muslim world—an effort I applaud. But we can't remain silent for fear of offending Muslims. Even if, as a reputable pollster told me, up to 18 percent of Muslims hold radical views and support religious violence, that means 80 percent or more do not. It is those peace-loving Muslims we should enlist in the fight against the radical Islamist worldview and the barbarians who embrace religious bloodshed. After all, we believe in the words of the Declaration of Independence. "All men," that's including Muslims, as well as Iraqi Christians, "are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." Religious freedom is one of those rights. So when our men and women go into combat around the world, they are fighting not just for the rights of Christians, but for Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, —that is, for the rights of all people. But by doing nothing as our so-called allies in the Iraqi government ignore the deadly persecution of Christians, the U.S. not only betrays its principles, but it has blood on its hands. So, kudos to the New York Times for giving the plight of Iraqi Christians top billing. It's time for the Administration to do the same.
More Christians Flee Iraq After New Violence
Steven Lee Myers | The New York Times | December 12, 2010
The Persecution of Christians in the 'Muslim World'
Ken Blackwell | World Magazine | December 15, 2010
NEW BOOK BY STEPHEN
"Saint Thaddeus and the King of the Assyrians"
According to ancient manuscripts written in the Aramaic language, Saint Thaddeus, one of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, traveled to Mesopotamia and preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the Assyrians and preached in Chaldea and Babylonian as well. The Assyrian people received the Gospel and became fervent Christians. The Assyrian Church of the East produced many great theologians and scholars. Assyrian missionaries planted churches in India, China, Mongolia and Socotra all before the year 700 A.D. Under the pagan Persians and then later under the Moslems, the Assyrians endured horrific persecution because of their Christian faith. The Assyrian Christians still endure persecution and still live in Iran and Iraq and have survived as a dynamic living testimony to the saving power of Jesus Christ.
The Strongest Strongs
The Strong's Bible Concordance has been a very popular and useful tool for over one hundred years. Recently, it has been improved. One way it has been improved is by bringing it up to date with the latest research. Since its original publication many important archeological discoveries have been made that expand our knowledge of biblical languages. This includes the Ugaritic tablets of Ebla-which are written in a language very similar to Hebrew. Another important discovery dealing with ancient Hebrew is the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our knowledge of New Testament Greek, or "Koine" Greek, has been expanded by the discovery of common correspondence of the Greek period that was discovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt. Another helpful modification is that this revision of the Strong's Concordance has three Lexicons in the back. In earlier editions there was a Hebrew/ Chaldee Lexicon (meaning Hebrew/Aramaic Lexicon). However, Aramaic and Hebrew, while they are both Semitic language are different languages. So now, the new concordance gives Aramaic its own dictionary.
The Situation in Sudan
In the later part of the Twentieth Century about 2 million Sudanese Christians were slaughtered by Muslims. When I first arrived in Egypt-back in 1991, I met with Sudanese Christians and they discussed with me their plight. They feel that South Sudan should not belong to Sudan. They feel like the British attached their land to the land of the northern Sudanese-a people with whom they have nothing in common. Racially, linguistically and religiously-they are a different people. They are not Muslim nor Arab. Northern Sudan became an Islamic Republic that persecutes them. This January, the people of south Sudan get to vote for independence. If it is a free election-southern Sudan will become an independent country. I doubt that the Muslims of northern Sudan will allow the southern Sudanese to go free.
Jesus said that every secret will be made known. What you hear whispered in the closets will be proclaimed from the housetops.
I think that a lot of what has recently came out of wiki-leaks-the public needs to know. Saudi Arabia basically IS Al-Qaida. (I've been saying this.) The Syrian government controls and arms Hezbollah in Lebanon. Some of the things done and said are unacceptable behavior for people working in government. We MUST expose Islamic terror. These leaks show that our government protects Islamic terrorist states-such as Saudi Arabia. These secrets are not being kept secret to protect the national security of the United States. In fact, they endanger the United States, by strengthening and protecting our enemies. It was wrong for whoever released this information to do so. I also believe that these leaks have exposed wrong-doing by our government. So, good has come out of this. Information that the public needs to know and has a right to know, information that being kept secret actually puts us in danger-are kept secret in order to protect and strengthen our enemies against us. I am sure the politicians and the powers that be gain a financial benefit by protecting Saudi Arabia and other radical Muslim states. Also, it came out the Karzai and our Afghan and Pakistani allies are corrupt and in alliance with radical Muslims terrorists against the US. Much of this information that came out through the Wikileaks needed to be made public.