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-Saudi Arabia: Declares All Atheists ‘Terrorists’

by Dr. D ~ April 2nd, 2014
King Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz in 2002

                (King Abdullah: Wikipedia)

The Saudi Arabian authorities have just declared that from now on all atheists are considered ‘terrorists’ in their country and subject to as much as 20 years in prison.

Here’s the story from the UK Independent:

Saudi Arabia has introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists, according to a report from Human Rights Watch.

In a string of royal decrees and an overarching new piece of legislation to deal with terrorism generally, the Saudi King Abdullah has clamped down on all forms of political dissent and protests that could "harm public order".

The new laws have largely been brought in to combat the growing number of Saudis travelling to take part in the civil war in Syria, who have previously returned with newfound training and ideas about overthrowing the monarchy.

To that end, King Abdullah issued Royal Decree 44, which criminalises "participating in hostilities outside the kingdom" with prison sentences of between three and 20 years, Human Rights Watch said.  …

Article one of the new provisions defines terrorism as "calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based".

<Read the whole article>

Response: So ‘terrorism’ in Saudi Arabia is defined as calling into question or denying the Islamic religion. For once myself and all Christians are in the very same category as atheists?

There is no freedom of religion or thought in Saudi Arabia. Now even absence of religious beliefs and personal atheist philosophy is not tolerated? There are no churches and neither are home Bible study groups or Christian worship in ones own home officially allowed in the Kingdom.

The one unofficial exception is that foreign workers living in Western compounds are substantially left alone. I have known some folks in the past who worked and lived for a while in the Kingdom. They would get together for Christian worship in homes but were very careful to keep it low key and not to even mention it to Saudi co-workers. Some Christians have even found that it was difficult to bring their own personal Bibles into the country.            *Top

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-Russia: First Crimea Next Alaska?

by Dr. D ~ April 1st, 2014
English: Russian Orthodox Church and Churchyar...

                               (Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska: Wikipedia)

First Crimea next Alaska? Yes it is April Fools Day and this is my not so funny contribution.

However ‘Alaska’ is now the favorite punch line to a joke that is supposedly making the rounds among the jubilant Russian leaders in Moscow.

Also, 30,000 or so ‘Alaskans’ have actually signed a White House petition to rejoin the Russian Empire under Putin. Here’s the story from HotAir:

Some Alaskans apparently are not opposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent annexation of Crimea—in fact, they are hoping to be grabbed up next.

More than 30,000 Alaskans have signed the petition “Alaska back to Russia,” pleading that the White House allow them to secede and join their native land. If the request garners 100,000 signatures by April 20, the White House will make an official response.

<Read the whole article>

One wonders if those supposed ‘Alaskans’ might really be some of the same folks who contributed to the recent 95% vote in Crimea?

Here’s a story that isn’t so much a joke but a maybe real dispute. Some Russian officials are seeking the return of 30 Russian Orthodox churches in Alaska and a whole island that housed one of their monasteries. Here’s the story from the Moscow Times which is entitled-“After Crimea, Russians Say They Want Alaska Back”:

Alaska is home to more than 30 Russian Orthodox churches, six of which are U.S. National Historical Landmarks. These remnants of the state’s Russian history may offer Russia, or at least Russia’s most popular faith, the best chance of reclaiming portions of Alaskan territory.

Researchers led by Aysen Nikolayev, the mayor of Yakutsk, a far northern city of 270,000, have found archival evidence that suggests Alaska’s Spruce Island still belongs to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Nikolayev has petitioned President Vladimir Putin, both chambers of the Russian parliament and the Foreign Ministry for the return of the largely uninhabited Spruce Island to the Russian Orthodox Church.  …

"I have not proposed that Spruce Island be returned to the Russian Federation," he said. "I have only proposed that it be returned to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is active in many countries. Very few people live on Spruce Island. And if the Russian Orthodox Church were to retrieve its land, I highly doubt that anyone would be evicted."

Dan Clarion, the mayor of Ouzinkie, Spruce Island’s only town, had never heard that the 46-square-kilometer island in the Kodiak Archipelago supposedly still belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church.

"There is a Russian Orthodox monastery on the other side of the island, but I have never heard claims that the whole island belongs to the Church," said Clarion, who oversees a town of 185 people, in a telephone interview.

Read the whole interesting article to get the Russian perspective on this April Fools Day not-so-much a joke. It could send chills up your spine. It really does give one a new perspective of how weak the Obama administration is viewed by the Russian leaders and maybe the rest of the world.  That is no joke.            *Top

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-UN Group Demands Church Change on Abortion and Homosexuality

by Dr. D ~ March 28th, 2014
New york - UN building

                                    ( UN building in New York: Janitors)

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child recently demanded that the Catholic church change it’s worldview and teaching on abortion, contraceptives, and homosexual behavior. Here’s the incredible story from Speak Up Movement:

One of the more outrageous recent assaults is coming from the United Nations. …

The Convention on the Rights of the Child told the Catholic Church to yield its Biblical beliefs to a worldview that can only be called secular — and the darker things that come with it.

The Convention called for the Church to approve abortion and homosexual behavior. It told the Church to approve of contraceptives – not just adults, but for children!

…The committee demanded the Catholic Church change its teaching on family. It accused the Church of “stigmatizing” and contributing to “violence” against the children of homosexual parents. …

This assault on religious freedom is not occurring in a vacuum. It raises red flags for Protestants and Catholics alike. Though the Catholic Church is under attack now, everyone with Biblical beliefs on marriage, life, and liberty should pay attention. An attack on anyone’s religious liberty is an attack on all.

<Read the whole article>

Response: Incredible! Another day- another group opposing the Bible, the Christian Church, religious liberty and freedom in America. Unfortunately we have an administration that is substantially on the same page as this UN organization. But fortunately we still have a Constitution that continues to guarantee religious freedom. At least it does for as long as 9 SCOTUS justices continue to support the traditional understanding of the First Amendment.            *Top

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-Head of Ukraine Church Says Putin Broke 3 of the 10 Commandments in Crimea Invasion

by Dr. D ~ March 27th, 2014

Ukraine-patriarch

(Patriarch Filaret Denysenko: Religious Information Service of Ukraine)

Here’s an interesting perspective on the Ukraine/Crimea invasion from the leader of the Ukrainian church. Definitely not something you might run across in the secularized Western press. 

The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in an address last week condemned Russia’s attack and annexation of Crimea saying that Putin “used the tool of the devil—he mixed the truth with falsehood.” Here’s the story from God Reports:

Patriarch Filaret Denysenko said, “I am sure that half-truth from the mouth of the Russian leader that the whole world heard is worse than outright lies—as hidden poison in food is more dangerous than obvious poison.”

He said Russia’s leaders violated three of the Ten Commandments: Do not kill; Do not bear false witness against your neighbor; Do not covet your neighbor’s house … (and) anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:15-17).  …

“In the occupied Crimea community activists disappear without a trace,” he charged.  Those who were released bore witness to cruel and inhuman treatment at the hands of the Russians, including constant humiliation, death threats, and simulation of execution.

“The Russian leadership is personally responsible for all this,” he declared.

While Putin considers “the disintegration of the totalitarian USSR a ‘tragic event,’ he (Putin) didn’t say that in Ukraine, including the Crimea and Sevastopol, most people on December 1, 1991 at a public referendum without any coercion supported the independence of Ukraine.”

“He did not mention a single word about the obligation not only to respect but also to guarantee the territorial integrity, sovereignty and inviolability of borders of Ukraine, taken over by the Russian Federation according to Budapest Memorandum of 1994 and the Treaty of Friendship of 1997.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: I am sure that Putin cares about the patriarch’s condemnation? It would be interesting to get a response from the head of the Russian Church on Patriarch Denysenko’s comments. Interestingly Putin has appeared in the past to be very close to the Russian church leaders so their opinion on Patriarch Denysenko comments would be relevant.

Unfortunately that will never happen since the Western press would never care or think to ask the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church for a response. Plus the Russian media is now solidly under Putin’s control so no criticism or dissenting views would ever be forthcoming.              *Top

HT: ASSIST News Service

-Hobby Lobby SCOTUS Case: Can Businesses Be Forced to Pay for Abortion?

by Dr. D ~ March 26th, 2014
US Supreme Court building, front elevation, st...

                                   (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday in the Hobby Lobby case, the government lawyers contended that ultimately the USA government should have the power to force businesses and business owners to pay for abortions even if it is against their religious conscience.

From OneNewsNow:

Jordan Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice spoke with OneNewsNow following Tuesday arguments and said there are legitimate questions as to whether the government respects religious beliefs.

"The administration is in that pickle where they’re trying to argue What are the limits of this power? Are there any limits to this power?" he explained. "And it was clear that they don’t see a limit."

Sekulow is hopeful the public doesn’t lose sight of the importance of the case. …

Attorney Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council attended the hearing. She describes one "startling" admission by the government attorney.

"… When Justice Kennedy asked the government’s attorney whether he believes family businesses could be forced to pay for abortion even over their religious objections, the government attorney said yes," stated Ruse.

Response: The government’s response to questioning before SCOTUS is in harmony with the progressive ideals of the Obama administration and President Obama in particular.

Yesterday we quoted Catholic Cardinal Burke in regard to the administration’s policies on trying to restrict religious liberty to ‘freedom of worship’ within the four walls of a official place of worship: 

“Now [Obama] wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,”

The response by the government’s attorney in the Hobby Lobby case is in support of the view that religious conscience can be overridden by the government in spite of the 1st amendment of the Constitution. This case before the Supreme Court is far more important than most realize. The actual limits of the 1st amendment are now on the table and in question and subject to the vote of the Supreme Court justices.  Prayers are in order since I believe the entire future of religious liberty in America are in the crosshairs of this case.            *Top

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-U.S. Catholic Cardinal Says Pres. Obama is ‘Hostile Toward Christian Civilization’ and Impeding Religious Freedom

by Dr. D ~ March 25th, 2014
President of the United States Barack Obama ta...

               (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In an interview, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, overseer of the Vatican’s highest court, said that President Obama is a ‘totally secularized man’ who is actually ‘hostile toward Christian civilization.’  He also accused the President of promoting anti-life and anti-family policies and trying to reinterpret and limit the traditional understanding of freedom of religion to freedom of worship.

Here’s the story from the Blaze:

U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, … who serves as the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, said during an interview with Polonia Christiana Magazine that Obama’s policies have been increasingly unfriendly toward Christians.

“It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization,” Burke said. “He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”   …

“Now [Obama] wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,” the cardinal continued. “Such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago.”

<Read the whole article>

Response: There are very few Christian leaders who have dared to speak out openly against this President. Most are hoping just to survive the next few years without the IRS knocking at their door. What Burke said here is the truth and very few in America seem to recognize the real challenges that this administration is bringing against freedom of religion and individual religious liberty in particular.

Cardinal Burke is also among the very few who understand that Obama is trying to restrict religious freedom to the four walls and confines of a place of worship and constrain religious freedom everywhere else. If the President is successful then America will be forever changed and the Constitution will be rewritten without going through the amendment process. We live in very serious times and very few even see the dangers.              *Top

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-Persecution of Christians Continues to be Ignored

by Dr. D ~ March 24th, 2014

cross-50crescent-50

The ongoing persecution of Christians around the world continues to be substantially ignored by the media and the Obama administration. Most of the trouble for Christians is happening in Muslim dominated countries which is one of the reasons the MSM in America ignores most of the stories for the fear that the truth will lead to an escalation of so-called ‘Islamophobia’ in the USA.

Every morning when I go on line I find a new stories of Christians being killed, jailed, and injured for their faith, and churches being bombed and burned. They really are not too hard to find except in our newspapers and major media productions. One has to go to foreign news sources in the UK, Africa, India, and Australia or Christian websites like VOM Persecution blogBosNewsLife, Middle East Forum. Also I find a lot of Christian persecution news on the following sites but usually go to their article sources for the unvarnished truth: Jihad Watch, and Atlas Shrugs.

Here’s today’s featured story from the Middle East Forum: “Why the Media Doesn’t Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

Well worth reading. Here’s a quote from the article:

The media simply cannot portray radical Muslim persecution of Christians—which in essence and form amount to unprovoked pogroms—as a "land dispute" or a product of "grievance" (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate radical Islamic attacks on Christians through the "grievance" paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.  …

If mainstream media were to report honestly on Christian persecution at the hands of radical Islamists so many bedrocks of the leftist narrative currently dominating political discourse would crumble, first and foremost, the idea that radical Islamic intolerance is a product of "grievances," and that Israel is responsible for all Jihadist terrorism against it.

<Read the whole article>

Response: According to the writer of this article, the American MSM is so vested in presenting the Muslim violence of the Middle East as a product of “grievance,” particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that it is impossible for them to shift the narrative toward Christians having “grievances.” Particularly against the same radical Muslims including the Palestinians who receive a pass because of their own perceived “grievances.” Therefore the story does not get covered since it could result in decreased sympathy for the Palestinians and other poor and ‘subjected’ Muslims.

I am sure that is one of the reasons that Christian persecution does not get sufficiently covered by the American media along with the perceived problem of ‘Islamophobia’ and the fact that many in the MSM have very few ties with Christianity in America. Not only that, but American Christians seem to be on the opposite side of every political and social issue from the secular progressive folks that dominate the media in the USA.              *Top