Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fr Josiah Trenham speech at the World Congress on Families

The ninth World Congress on Families was held in Tblisi, Georgia, in October of 2015. The World Congress of Families is a coalition that supports traditional Christian values, especially as relating to families.  Hence, they are pro-traditional marriage, pro-life, against pornography, and so forth. You can find more information on them at their website,*

Fr. Josiah Trenham, pastor of St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California, delivered a speech at the World Congress, in which he exposes the truth about abortion,  homosexuality, and LGBT political movements. The speech, a little under a half-hour in length, is well worth watching.

More information on Fr. Trenham's speech can be found at

*By the way, the ultra-progressive (and, in my opinion, extremely biased and very deceitful) Southern Poverty Law Center has listed the World Congress on Families as a hate group. I can think of no better recommendation for a pro-family, pro-traditional values group.

Nigeria: Mass Riots Follow Attack on Christian College Student Beaten Near Death for Alleged Blasphemy

08/24/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian ConcernInternational Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that radical Muslims have vandalized multiple churches in northern Nigeria after a Christian university student was hospitalized, nearly beaten to death by a mob of Muslim students, accusing him of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
On Sunday, August 21, an argument between a Christian and Muslim student broke out at Abdu Gusau Polytechnic in Talata-Mafara, Zamfara State, and quickly turned violent when the mob gathered to assault the Christian student. According to eyewitnesses, the mob claimed that the Christian student deserved to die for blasphemy.
The Christian student only survived because a fellow Christian intervened to rush him to the hospital with the help of a compassionate Muslim who volunteered his car to carry the victim.
Radical Muslim students began rioting the following day, Monday, destroying Christian campus establishments.
"They moved [around] the school [and] burnt down the Christian fellowship secretariats," an NIFES spokesperson said.
One local church leader told ICC that the chaos overflowed from the campus into the general town.
"When I heard this from my pastor and one of my members, I immediately called some security officials because the radicals went on rampage in town," Anglican Bishop of Zamfara Rev. John Danbinta said.
"They went to ECWA Church, Living Church, and Anglican Church. They vandalized the Anglican Church pastorium, destroying electronics and other property. I heard they also burnt down the home of the rescue volunteer Muslim man (who assisted the attacked Christian student to the hospital), trapping and killing eight persons inside who, sadly, happened to be Muslims also," Danbinta said.
"Things would have been worse but for the intervention of security agencies," he added.
Local Christians call on anyone concerned to pray for their safety as Christians face increased violence in the wake of the incident.
Blasphemy in Northern Nigeria
Radical Muslims mobs who carry out extrajudicial attacks on Christians for alleged blasphemy are nothing new in northern Nigeria. On June 2, 2016, an angry band of radical Muslim youths assembled to murder Bridget Agbahime, a pastor's wife, beating her to death with iron rods after claiming she insulted Islam.
A young Muslim had provoked Mrs. Agbahime by intentionally crossing the street each day to perform Muslim ritualistic washing in front of her shop, impeding traffic to her business and splashing her goods with water. When she confronted the man about the disruption, he alleged blasphemy and the mob assembled within minutes to scale the walls of an office building where she and her husband were taking refuge and burst in to murder her.
According to Muslim eyewitnesses, Mrs. Agbahime was simply reacting to protect her business and did not blaspheme.
The story reached international headlines where even Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was compelled to comment, calling the incident, "sad and regrettable," according to Bloomberg.
Christians Under Threat
These cases represent the normal heat of persecution from Muslim radicals on Christian minority communities in northern states where Muslim Sharia law is imposed.
"We really need help!" Danbinta lamented. "Our fellow Christians elsewhere should mobilize resources and support the Church in Zamfara. Things are difficult for us here."
In a country where the constitution protects religious freedom in every state, areas of northern Nigeria exist under a legal contradiction where Christians face such attacks under the banner of Sharia.
"ICC condemns the recent attack on this Christian student and the subsequent riots that have damaged Christian property in Zamfara State. If Nigeria is to be considered advancing in human rights and religious freedom, the government must take concerted steps to curb such violence and prosecute the people responsible. Furthermore, Nigeria should apply the tenets of its constitution fairly across all corners of the country, protecting and maintaining a citizen's right to worship and to disagree freely without fear of any threats to their safety, extrajudicial or otherwise," ICC's Regional Manager, Troy Augustine, said.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Egypt: How Reconciliation Sessions Lead to Persecution

By Sandra Elliot and ICC's Egypt Representative
08/23/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) - If you've followed the recent spate of attacks in Egypt, you have likely heard the term "reconciliation sessions." These are not kindhearted and well-intended sessions of forgiveness and redemption, but rather a cultural phenomenon in which extra-judicial meetings steal the legal rights of religious minorities who have suffered loss.
Predating the modern judicial system in Egypt, reconciliatory sessions have long been the method of community-based conflict resolution as they are deeply ingrained in Egyptian history and culture. These customary sessions rely on the accumulation of a set of customary rules that, over time, have formed a prevailing norm within particular frameworks or groupings. Their mission is to address conflicts arising between individuals, families, households or workers of certain professions. With the passage of time, these different norms and their applications have acquired a binding force.
The parties in a conflict will typically decide on a neutral place for arbitration where village elders and religious leaders will preside over the negotiations.  After cases and evidence are presented, the presiding arbitrators are left alone to assess and estimate the errors of each position. They will then announce their verdict and file a reconciliation report including a penalty clause stipulating the amount of money to be paid by either party in the case of breaching the terms of the agreement.
Sounds fair, right? Maybe in theory, but not in reality.
Customary reconciliation sessions in Egypt often intimidate Christians into surrendering their legal rights while their Muslim assailants avoid any punishment for their violence. They are often used in lieu of judicial procedures when Muslims violate Christians or their property. Typically, in these sessions, disputes are resolved by insisting that Coptic victims do not press charges to help diffuse an already volatile situation.
As a weak and powerless minority, Christians dare not reject the decisions for fear of further violence. Under pressure from an infuriated Muslim community, Christians often agree to drastic terms as a means to guarantee their own safety.
In Upper Egypt, a large number of cases surrounding sectarian violence end up in such sessions. These meetings have faced widespread criticism from many within the Christian community in Egypt who see the meetings as a form of legal manipulation that allows perpetrators to evade punishment and consolidate religious discrimination. Each time that offenders are not brought to justice, others are emboldened to commit more criminal acts in the assurance that they will be defended under such sessions.
Customary reconciliation sessions constituted a disturbing encroachment on the sovereignty of the state, its judicial system, and on the principles of citizenship and non-discrimination. The starting point to resolve sectarian conflicts should be, instead, the immediate application of the constitution and the laws related to these conflicts without bias.
Reconciliation in Al-Beida Village
In a recent case reported by International Christian Concern (ICC), a Christian man, Naim Aziz, was renovating his home when a Muslim mob attacked under the impression that the construction was intended for a new church. The mob attacked Naim's property and person, along with adjacent homes and other Christians nearby. In the end, police arrested six Muslim men, all of whom were released by the end of the day, and six Christian men, who were released on bail the following day.
"After we were released from the custody of Amriya police station..the security forces would not allow us to go back home unless we opt[ed] for extrajudicial reconciliation," Naim told ICC, "Although we were the victims of the attack and had solely incurred the injuries and losses, we were being coerced into reconciling with our Muslim attackers."
The chief of police at Amriya told Naim that the law would not uphold their case, and they would only be allowed home if they relinquished their legal rights and accepted the terms of the reconciliation session. The chief promised to arrest Naim and his family if they refused.
"On July 4...a large delegation of the village Muslims visited us and insisted that some reconciliation should be worked out for the sake of peace in the village," Naim continued, "There was no way we could say no, especially [since] we had been threatened with police arrest."
The session was held on July 5, with the Amriya police chief participating among other leaders. The Muslim perpetrators made a formal apology toward the wronged Coptic family and offered to pay compensation, but as is the rural tradition, the Christians refused the money which was offered. Both parties signed binding documents relinquishing their legal rights.
The Aziz family received no legal or monetary compensation for their losses.
The legal injustice is blatantly clear. Christians suffer a great deal after their initial victimization as they are bullied into reconciliation sessions that steal their rights as Egyptian citizens. If the government of Egypt wants to make progress in sectarian conflict, here is a crystal clear starting point. Egypt has a judicial system for a purpose; may it be put to proper use.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sheriff David Clarke's News Conference Following Milwaukee Riots

Worth Watching: Sheriff David Clarke's News Conference Following Milwaukee Riots

Worth Reading: The War on Cops - How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe

Friday, August 12, 2016

India: Christian Persecution Continues to Rise

08/12/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern)In India, an orchestrated hate campaign has ravaged the Christian community of the South Asian nation for more than two years now. It was 2014 when village resolutions banning non-Hindu religions came to life across 50+ villages in the Bastar region, directly coinciding with Modi and the Bharatiya Janta Party's (BJP) rise to power in the federal government. Ever since, there has been a steady trend in sectarian attacks targeting Christians in India.
Recent weeks have seen a sharp escalation in violent attacks by the radical Hindutva forces. Perpetrators have enjoyed total impunity while Christians live in a constant state of fear. Attacks have intensified in form as Hindu groups are brutally assaulting men and women alike for their faith in Jesus.
14-Year-Old Christian Girl Murdered in Kondagaon
One Christian child lost her life in the Jattarbedu village on July 22, 2016. The 14-year-old school girl and daughter of Mr. Maner Sori was brutally raped and murdered on her way to school.
Mr. Maner and his family have suffered a social boycott for their refusal to renounce their Christian faith, constantly facing death threats from Hindu radicals in the area. The family has now paid a heavy price in the form of their daughter who was found in the forest, reportedly gang raped and murdered. Her attackers sealed her mouth and eyes with glue to stifle her screams during their barbaric onslaught.
Pastor A. K. Netam, a local pastor and friend to the family, told International Christian Concern (ICC), "It was a revenge attack for her not abandoning her faith. The family of the girl became Christians 18 years ago but was under pressure from local Hindu leaders to give up their faith."
Three Christians Beaten in Damtheri
In another case, taking place in Mandroud village, three Christians were brutally beaten to the point of unconsciousness on July 17, 2016. According to local sources, around 7:00 p.m., more than 150 Bajrangdal people stormed the house of Mr. Sudhama, assaulting family members and manhandling the women. They later took Sudhama, his son Umesh and Pastor Karan outside of the village and ruthlessly beat them. Their limp bodies were thrown by the canal.
Umesh sustained a traumatic head injury while the other two are recovering from severe eye injuries. As is usually the case, police filed a First Information Report (FIR) that left perpetrators with minimal consequences, allowing the attackers to pay an easy bail at the police station and leave without jail time.
Pastor Murdered by Maoists
Another recent incident saw Pastor Yohan Maria killed on the border of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. He was reportedly killed by Maoists who believed him to be a police informer. These rumors began because Pastor Yohan had prayed for a police officer looking for comfort in the church he pastored.
Fearful Times for Christians in Chhattisgarh
"Due to the current situation, many pastors are leaving the Christian work," A Christian leader from Raipur told ICC, "Some of them are [returning] themselves to work silently for the security concerns of them and their families."
Another Christian from Bastar told ICC, "Every other day we hear of an attack on Christians in Bastar region, and there is no peace in the areas, but fear among the Christians is far beyond what we can imagine." He concluded, "These attacks have taken momentum after BJP came to power in the center of 2014."
Of the aforementioned three attacks, no perpetrators were prosecuted in any case. This lack of legal justice shows just one level of the degree of impunity in India.
In Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, every citizen in India, regardless of religion, is promised fundamental rights. The Supreme Court recently commented on the condition of minorities in the country, saying, "Minorities are as much children of the soil as the majority...members of the minority community should not be deprived of their rights to conserve their religion and culture."
If this is to be understood as stated, it is imperative that local authorities take note and change their policies to safeguard the interest of these "children of the soil." Especially when it concerns the Christian minorities in India.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Chile: Another Church Burned to the Ground by the Mapuche Resistance

08/11/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) - On August 9, a church in Collipulli, Chile, was completely destroyed by the Mapuche Resistance of the Malleco Province. The Mapuche are an indigenous group mainly based in southern Chile who are seeking and demanding rights to self-determination, recognition, and specific territories of the country. This is the latest incident in a string of church burnings in recent months, leaving several communities without a place of worship and thereby infringing on the rights of individuals to freely exercise and practice their faith. 

Police officials were able to confirm the Resistance's responsibility for the incident as several pamphlets and signs were left behind with the group's name inscribed on them.

Pamela Contreras, a public prosecutor in the jurisdictional district of nearby Angol, issued a statement clarifying, "There were not electrical circuits which could have caused the fire and, according to the point of ignition, this incident has the character of being intentional."

The Austral of Araucania, a local newspaper, interviewed Cristina Hidalgo, an affected victim. Ms. Hidalgo noted that, having heard of other church burnings in adjacent cities, she and other members of the community tried to prepare in case of an attack. Ms. Hidalgo shared her experience and stated, "With sadness I looked at how 99 percent of the structure was completely floored and smoking. The only thing that was left was a church bell a few feet from the chapel. To me, every act that is related to vandalism generates rejection, regardless of the group that does it."
The Mapuche Resistance was also responsible for the burning of another church in the nearby city of Pidima. This burning took place on August 3. According to local reports, the Mapuche Resistance recently declined an offer to have a round table discussion with Chilean government officials.
As a result of political unrest and recurrent protests, churches have become targets of violence and harassment. Veronica Neffinger, editor at Christian Headlines, stated, "Police reported that at least 16 churches, both Protestant and Catholic, have been burned and desecrated in the past year. Many of the protesters are students who want the government to restore native lands that were overtaken by Spanish invaders or more recent government authorities."

Rafael Cardona
, ICC's Latin America Correspondent, states, "ICC is deeply disturbed by the continuing burning and desecration of churches in Latin American countries in recent months. The recent arson incidents in Chile are an indication of how a country's internal political struggles can lead to the erosion of human rights and religious liberty. We call on any disaffected and aggrieved groups within Chile to seek amicable and peaceful means of resolving their issues with the government. We also call on these groups to refrain from targeting, harassing, and destroying churches. ICC prays for the affected individuals and communities suffering from attacks on their places of worship."
This report is based on a press release by International Christian Concern (ICC).

Friday, August 5, 2016

Dont Tread On Me? The Feds are going after the Gadsden Flag.
The Gadsden Flag, that bright yellow flag with the rattlesnake and the phrase "Dont Tread On Me", is now under attack by the federal government, which is seeking to ban it in much the same way that the Confederate flag has been banned. Never mind that its historical roots are found in the American Revolution, designed by General Christopher Gadsden in 1775, and is actually a symbol of patriotism and liberty.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has now ruled that the Gadsden Flag may, in fact, be considered a racist symbol, and therefore may be considered a form of discriminatory harassment in the workplace. This creates the potential for legal liability for employers who allow the Gadsden Flag to be worn or displayed at work.

(Notice the phrase "may be considered." This is not yet a final ruling from the EEOC, but they seem to be moving in that direction.)

The Complaint

The EOCC received a complaint earlier this year from an employee of the Federal Government about the Gadsden Flag, because a co-worker wore a ball cap with the Gadsden Flag to work on several occasions. The initial ruling from the EEOC is that the Gadsden Flag could be “interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts,” and that this was reason enough to move the complaint on to the investigation phase, after which there will be a final ruling.

Reasons given that the Gadsden Flag could be considered racist include its association in recent years with the Tea Party and Liberty Movements. This is interesting because it shows an underlying assumption that those movements are racist in nature.  The EEOC also pointed out that the Charleston church shooter wore the Gadsden Flag during his killing spree in 2014.

The Real Reason

The real reason that the EEOC is using this complaint to move against the Gadsden Flag is simple. It is a way around the First Amendment in the Federal Government's ongoing attempt to tap down on political dissent in America. The Gadsden Flag is used by many groups as a symbol of political dissent. In the United States, political dissent is protected by the First Amendment. Government cannot directly stop it. So, the next best thing is to get private entities to ban it themselves, by opening them up legal liability for workplace harassment and discrimination lawsuits.

Once the possibility of legal liability is opened-up, expect companies, colleges, schools, and other organizations to quickly ban the Gadsden Flag. Any display of the Gadsden Flag will not  be allowed, including on hats, shirts, bumper stickers, posters, etc. Apartment complexes and housing associations will ban the Gadsden flag from their communities. And many retailers will stop selling merchandise with the Gadsden Flag, similar to what Amazon did with the Confederate Flag.

The federal government's move against the Gadsden Flag has nothing to do with fighting racism.  It has everything to do with finding a way to shut down political dissent despite the First Amendment.