Christians and non-Christians alike can draw inspiration from their courage, faith and perseverance.
The Lenten Season is here again and Christians the world over are preparing for Easter.
Though it receives little to any attention in the American media, the truth of the matter is that for a good number of contemporary Christians—approximately 215 million, or one in twelve, according to Open Doors, an organization dedicated to ministering to persecuted Christians—experience “high levels” of persecution in dozens of countries.
Today, in 2019, numerous Christians, adults and, yes, children, are regularly following the example of holy men and women from throughout the Church’s history who have died as testimony to their faith. Open Doors shares the following startling information:
Every month, 255 Christians are killed; 104 are abducted; 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed, or forced into marriage; 66 churches are besieged; and 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned.
Just last year, 3,066 Christians were murdered, while 1,252 were kidnapped, 1,020 were raped or otherwise sexually abused, and 793 churches attacked.
Open Doors supplies the public with a “World Watch” list of 50 of the world’s most dangerous countries for Christians.
Eight out of ten of those countries are Islamic.
Rape is an especially common form of persecution for Christian women in Islamic lands—a fact that Open Doors substantiates via the testimony of several Christian females who have lived through it first-hand.
Take, first, Rita, a Christian woman who lived in the Qaraqosh, in Iraq. When she was in her mid-twenties, Rita was abducted by Islamic State zealots after they converged upon her city. Over the next four years, until she was freed and reunited with her family, Rita was sold as a sex slave four times. She was subjected to numerous beatings and rapes as her tormentors mocked and threatened her.
Then there’s Aisha, who was a 28 year-old wife and the mother of three children when her Nigerian home town of Kano was besieged by Fulani Islamic fanatics. The latter forced their way into Aisha’s family’s home. Upon seeing a Bible, her Muslim attackers knew immediately that Aisha and her family were Christians, and they suspected that her husband was a pastor. The predators seized Aisha’s husband and whisked him away while demanding sex from Aisha. She refused—but to no avail.
Two men would rape Aisha on that fateful evening.
Maizah was an Islamic, Libyan woman who converted to Christianity. She is especially courageous, knowing as she must have known that going public with her account promised to invite attempts on her very life—as they did. A group of older men attacked Maizah, beating her for her conversion to Christianity. They promised to spare her life if she agreed to become the fourth wife of one of her attackers.
Maizah, painfully aware that she couldn’t take refuge in her family members, who also might try to kill her for abandoning Islam, decided that her only option was to flee.
Today, Maizah lives somewhere in the West. She no longer has to worry about being murdered because of her allegiance to Christ. However, she continues to endure trauma over what she endured.
Esther was but 17 years-old when Boko Haram, a Nigerian species of Islamic militancy, raided Esther’s village and carried her, along with several other girls, off to captivity deep into the Sambisa forest. Their abductors pressured their victims to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam.
Esther, despite being repeatedly gang-raped, refused to repudiate Christ. And even after she conceived and gave birth to the child of one of her rapists, she still refused to abandon her Lord and Savior.
Sadly, when Esther and her baby finally made it home, her own family and fellow villagers ostracized her. She was referred to as one of the “Boko Haram women” and her daughter they called, simply, “Boko.”
Open Doors notes that the experiences of these women are all too common at present. In nearly 60% of the planet’s 50 most dangerous countries for Christians, sexual assault was identified as a feature of Christian persecution. In 47% of these countries, Christian women are selected as victims of rape.
Yet Christian women are also persecuted in other gender-specific ways. Thirty-five percent of the 50 most dangerous countries report that Christian women are subjected to “forced divorce” and, subsequently, denied custody of their children. On the other hand, 57% of these countries say that Christian women are subjected to “forced marriage.”
There are still other methods of persecuting Christian women. From Open Doors:
Persecution exploits all of a woman’s vulnerabilities, including (but not limited to): lack of education, [lack of adequate] healthcare, forced divorce, travel bans, trafficking, widowhood, incarceration in a psychiatric unit, forced abortions or [forced] contraception, being denied access to work and lack of choice to marry a person of similar faith.
In those societies within which women are of low stature, Christian women are especially vulnerable. The CEO of Open Doors, David Curry, explains:
To further complicate and degrade their value, Christian women specifically face and even greater challenge. They are targeted specifically for their faith and often are helpless to demand justice.
As the United States continues to focus on improving the lives of American women, let us not forget those who cannot even have a man arrested for violence against them.
Amen. And this Lenten season, let Christian and non-Christian alike draw inspiration from the example of strength, courage, and faith exhibited by persecuted Christians and persecuted Christian women like the young ladies mentioned here.
Aug 16, 2019 0
Aug 16, 2019 0
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.
German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
Sales to Iran plunged by 48 percent to 678 million euros ($758.8 million) from January through June year-on-year, data from the Federal Statistics Office reviewed by Reutersshowed. Imports from Iran declined by 43 percent to nearly 110 million euros.
The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
Canadian Observer to Post: Canada has niche capabilities to help in such a scenario.
“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
The five-day, large-scale multinational exercise, with 10 foreign fleets off the Haifa coast simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake, has brought the Israel Navy to “another level” of preparedness.
Dubbed “Mighty Waves,” the drill saw the participation of hundreds of troops on six ships at sea. Five helicopters also took part in the exercise, which focused on the after-effects of a significant 7.5 earthquake that leaves thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
CTech – Israel has a reputation for being the Startup Nation, but Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, predicts that in coming years Israel will be known as the FoodTech Nation.
“Foodtech and biotech are two fields that are climbing to the top of the tech industry,” Machluf told Calcalist in a recent interview. “This push is happening for a reason.
Aug 16, 2019 0A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. Another rabbi has been attacked in the streets of Berlin, the German capital, by male assailants who pushed him to...
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
If Saturday’s horrifying terrorist attack in an El Paso Walmart had taken place in Jerusalem, leaving 22 Israelis dead, the killer would rot in jail knowing his family would be taken care of, paid every month by his government.
What, one has to ask, does Iran’s Islamic regime have to fear from the country’s Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.
The fate of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 executive order barring state contractors from participating in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is in the hands of a federal judge. The order violates First Amendment rights, a lawsuit filed by a former Maryland state legislator claims. wsuit.
This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.