It has been nearly two years since Farshid Fathi was arrested (December 26, 2010). He was one of at least twenty-two Christians arrested in Tehran, Iran, the day after Christmas in 2010. Ten of the individuals were released after questioning and signing an agreement to refrain from Christian activities, and eleven others were released after being held for several months. One, however, remains in custody — Farshid Fathi. This despite the fact that his family paid an enormous bail on his behalf.
Farshid converted to Christianity from Islam and charged with “acting against national security through membership of a Christian organization, collection of funds, propaganda against the Islamic Regime by helping spread Christianity in the country.” He was sentenced to a six-year term on March 5, 2012, and his appeal was rejected in June. The remainder of his sentence is to be fulfilled in Evin Prison. Please pray not only for Farshid, but also his wife, Leila, and their two children, Rosana and Bardia.
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.
(Philippians 1:12-20 ESV)
A grenade exploded outside the St. Polycarp Anglican Church in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 30th (2012). John Ian Maina, a nine-year-old child who was waiting with other children for Sunday School to begin, was killed. Several other children were injured and rushed to area hospitals. A warning was issued the previous day by police in regard to al-Shabaab. The group threatened retaliation throughout Kenya following the capture of Kismayo Port by the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) in southern Somalia. It is suspected that the Islamists have targeted several congregations in various areas of Kenya since the KDF entered Somalia.
ALGERIA – Last month the governor of Bejaia Province sent a written notice to seven Christian congregations informing them they would be closed for operating “illegally.” The congregations are considered illegal because they have not registered with the government, required under Ordinance 06-03 of the nation’s legal code. The measure was introduced in 2006 to regulate non-Islamic religious practices. Christians report, however, that the government refuses to either respond or grant applications for registration. Mustapha Krim, president of the Protestant Church of Algeria, stated, “The churches of Bejaia have submitted the documentation the law requires and the government’s unwillingness to give official permission for the churches to operate is a matter for officials, not churches, to resolve.” He added that believers in Algeria have mobilized for prayer, asking for God’s intervention in the matter. Please join our brothers and sisters in prayer.
According to MSNBC, an unidentified Iraqi police official stated that seven individuals were wounded by a roadside bomb placed six meters from the entrance of the Sacred Heart Church in Baghdad’s Karradah neighborhood. Shrapnel from the blast struck the outside of the building and wounded seven bystanders, including three civilians and four police officers. The officers were posted outside the church building because all Iraqi security forces were on high alert for Islamists targeting Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community on Easter Sunday.
Last month, Columbia University freshman Anthony Maschek, a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who was awarded the Purple Heart after being shot 11 times in a firefight in northern Iraq three years ago, was jeered and castigated as a “racist” when he spoke on in favor of welcoming ROTC on campus. Maschek told those gathered at the assembly, “It doesn’t matter how you feel about the war. It doesn’t matter how you feel about fighting. There are bad men out there plotting to kill you.” The courageous veteran was heckled for his comments. It was on this very campus which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was made welcome with open arms.
These Ivy League students are paving the way for Shariah Law in America. Anthony Maschek is correct, there are “bad men out there plotting to kill you.” They’re plotting on killing those who oppose Islam, they’re already plotting on how to reshape the American landscape once they have control. In fact, they are already discussing what to do with the Statue of Liberty. The Shariah 4 America website declares with one of its articles, “Muslims without Shariah are like Fish out of Water.” They intend to implement Shariah Law in this land, and then act accordingly, including demolishing the Statue of Liberty. The article discussing the landmark declares:
One of the founding principles of the Islamic constitution is to ensure that all sovereignty and supremacy belongs solely to [Allah]; the Shari’ah is a practical manifestation of this sovereignty and supremacy because it seeks to establish His command in society. The status of a nation subsequently does not depend on its number, strength or technological advancement, but rather how much it submits to the commands of God. When a nation seeks to be free from such commands, then ultimately it will meet its destruction. [emphasis added] The Statue of Liberty, designed by Frederic Bartholdi, stands on Liberty Island in New York Harbor; representing Libertas, the Roman (false) goddess of Freedom, it is symbolic of the rebellious nature of the US constitution that elevates the command of man over the command of God. [emphasis added] In Islam, the public veneration of idols and statues is strictly prohibited. This has forced sincere Muslims to develop realistic plans that will aid in the removal of the Statue of Liberty. [emphasis added] Due to the scale of the task at hand, it is highly likely that rigorous safety checks will need to be employed before the demolition of the Statue of Liberty can commence; thus as a temporary measure, it is proposed that a large burkha is used to cover the statue, thereby shielding this horrendous eye sore from public view as well as sending a strong message to its French creators. [emphasis added] Post demolition, it is recommended that a minaret be built as a fitting replacement, allowing the glorification of God to be proclaimed daily as well as act as a powerful reminder of the superiority of Islam over all other ways of life. [emphasis added]
If you cherish democracy, then you have no other choice than to oppose this radicalized religion.
INDONESIA – A mob of a thousand Islamists in Java burned two church buildings and damaged another in addition to attacking police officers on February 8th to “protest” the “lenient” sentence given to a Christian convicted of blaspheming Islam. Antonius Bawengan, 58, received the maximum sentence possible, five years’ imprisonment, for distributing literature which allegedly denounced Islam. The mob screamed that Bawengan should have been put to death. Ambassador Scot Marciel posted a statement on the U. S. Embassy websate, remarking that the U.S. agrees with the “vast majority of Indonesians” who deplore the violence which took place. The ambassador also encouraged the Indonesian government to continue fostering tolerance among all communities and protecting their rights.
Please pray for the Christians in Indonesia in general, and for Antonius Bawengan in particular.
EGYPT – As demonstrations calling for the overthrow of the government erupted in Egypt, Islamists in the southern part of the nation broke into two Coptic Christian homes on January 30th, murdering men, women, and children. A total of 11 people were butchered by the cowardly assailants, and four others were wounded seriously. The survivors reported that the assailants were assisted by Muslim neighbors. Fear is escalating among Christians in Egypt, particularly Coptic Christians, regarding who will be in charge of the government. Many believe it will fall into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Please pray for Christians in Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations where persecution is growing due to Islamic radicalization.
SOMALIA – A wife and mother of four, Asha Mberwa was murdered on January 7th near Mogadishu by Islamists for simply being a Christian. According to a relative, Asha was arrested on the 6th by members of al-Shabaab. The following day, her throat was slit in front of villagers who gathered as witnesses of the event. The relative stated Asha’s husband fled to an unknown location after she began receiving threatening messages, and that a “good Samaritan” in Mogadishu was caring for the children (ages 12, 8, 6, 4).
Please pray for the Mberwa children and the rest of Asha’s family. Please pray as well for the Christians in Somalia who al-Shabaab has determined to exterminate.
A Twitter campaign has been launched by Christian leaders in order to preserve the life of Said Musa, 45, an Afghan and former Red Cross worker, who has been sentenced to execution for simply converting to Christianity from Islam. The Daily Mail reported on February 7 th that a judge handed down the sentence and informed Musa he would be hanged within days unless he returned to Islam. The campaign on Twitter began with Denny Burk, the Dean of Boyce College, appealing to Mr. Obama to “persuade the Afghan govt. not to execute our brother Said Musa.” Shortly after that, John Piper tweeted a similar message, “Mr. President, speak wisely and boldly, in private if necessary, for Said Musa, imprisoned in Kabul.” Matt Chandler was among over one hundred who re-tweeted a message from Christian Hip Hop artist Shai Linn requesting prayer for Musa. David Platt tweeted, “Let us not be quiet. Pray/Plead for Said Musa…& unknown others who face death for confessing Christ.” Ed Stetzer, in a re-tweeted message, stated, “No man should die b/c he wants to change religion.” Stetzer put in a hash tag for “barackobama” and asked others to re-tweet.
Rick Warren, named one of the Top 20 Twitter celebrities by Forbes, put the spotlight on Musa’s plight and how the secular media has underreported this story. He wrote, “Media CLAIM to champion free speech but if they really did, they’d report these stories everyday.” Saddleback’s pastor also linked a National Review Online article, “America Quiet on the Execution of Afghan Christian Said Musa.” The article questions why Mr. Obama was so vocal regarding Terry Jones’ threat to burn the Qu’ran, but has been absolutely silent regarding Said Musa’s impending execution. Paul Marshall stated, “If the actions of a Florida pastor who threatened to destroy a book holy to Muslims deserved public and presidential attention, then the actions of the Afghan government, ostensibly a ‘democratic’ ally, to destroy something holy to Christians, a human being made in the image of God, also deserve public and presidential attention.”
Musa reported that during his incarceration he has been sexually assaulted, beaten, and spit upon for being a Christian. Despite the threat of death, he refused to renounce Christ Jesus. He told a Sunday Times reporter, “My body is theirs to do what they want with. Only God can decide if my spirit goes to hell.” His wife and six children have fled Afghanistan in fear for their lives.
HT: Christian Post
Nurta Mohamed Farah, 17, fled from her home village of Bardher in the Gedo Region, Somalia, to live with relatives in the Galgaduud Region after her parents were shackled to a tree and tortured for converting to Christianity from Islam. Though she fled to escape persecution because she also converted, a pair of Islamic men shot her to death on November 25th (2010). She was just 200 meters from her new home when she was murdered. It is suspected that the Islamists who shot her in the chest and head were relatives acting on behalf of her family.
Please pray for Christians in Somalia who face beatings and the loss of life for their faith in Christ Jesus.
PAKISTAN – An Islamic imam, Maulana Yousef Qureshi, offered 500,000 rupees ($5,800 USD) on December 3, 2010, to anyone who murdered Asia Bibi if the court fails to implement capital punishment against her. Asia Bibi was found guilty of “insulting” Muhammad and sentenced to death by hanging under a blasphemy law which is utilized frequently in Pakistan to persecute non-Muslims. Two days later, Nawa-i-Waqt, a major Pakistani newspaper, issued a call for Muslims to decapitate the wife and mother of five if she is not hanged to death. The newspaper declared, “The punishment handed down to Asia Bibi will be carried out in one manner or the other.” Prior to these calls for murder, Bibi’s appeal drew demonstrations all over Pakistan.
Islamists in the Lahore high court blocked an offer of pardon by President Zardari. The governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who called publicly for a pardon, was gunned down this past week by a police guard in Islamabad. The Moaviya, an Islamist group, has declared its intention to mount a suicide attack on the Sheikhupura district jail where the 45-year-0ld Bibi is being held. An intelligence report issued last week has corroborated the threat.
There are currently 131 individuals being imprisoned across Punjab on blasphemy charges. 11 have been sentenced to death, including Bibi, the first woman to be given the death penalty. Though no one has been executed officially by the government following a conviction under the controversial law, since 1990, 35 individuals accused of blasphemy or defending those charged with blasphemy, have either been victims of extra-judicial killing or found dead in prison under suspicious circumstances.
A bombing of a New Year’s Eve service at the Church of the Two Saints in Alexandria, Egypt, left 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians dead. Riots erupted following the bombing, with frustrated Copts attacking Muslims in a nearby mosque. The Copts have complained bitterly that the government permits attacks against the nation’s historic Christian community by Islamists who desire Egypt’s absolute submission to Islam. Fifty-two anti-Christian incidents occurred the last two years without a single perpetrator being prosecuted.
The U.S. State Department’s 2010 International Religious Freedom Report, released this past November, revealed the Egyptian government restricts religious freedom in favor of Islam – the official state religion – despite its constitution guaranteeing freedom of religious belief and practice. According to the report, Christians are discriminated individually and collectively, particularly in government employment. The government often arrests, detains and harasses converts from Islam to Christianity, and often refuses to provide them with new identity documents indicating their chosen faith. The government’s refusal to prosecute crimes against Christians contributes to a climate of impunity, encouraging additional assaults by Islamists. In 2009, the government destroyed a quarter of a million pigs, devastating the livelihood of a large community of Christians in Cairo, claiming the action would prevent swine flu.
Leonard Leo, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent bipartisan government panel, stated the Egyptian government has failed to take sufficient action to halt the repression and discrimination against Christians, or to punish individuals responsible for severe violations of religious freedom. Regarding the New Year’s bombing, Leo declared, “This attack all too clearly demonstrates the ongoing problem of unchecked violence against Christians in Egypt. At present, there is no real deterrent for those who target Egyptian citizens because of their religious identity. Until there is justice and accountability, the Christian minority, and other minorities in Egypt, will remain vulnerable to extremists and terrorists.”
Islamists are promoting anti-Christian sentiment among ordinary Egyptian citizens according to Youssef Sidhom, the editor of a Coptic newspaper. Sidhom noted, “The infiltration of political Islam into our education, our schools, into the hearts and minds of school teachers and into our school books and is extremely dangerous because it produces innocent children who are infected by the version of Islam that does not accept the other and preaches non-acceptance of Christians.”
Christians in Iraq have called off Christmas festivities as al-Qaeda insurgents threatened more attacks against Christians. Christians are still terrified after Islamists sieged a Baghdad church two months ago and murdered 68 people. Just days after the siege, insurgents targeted Christian homes and neighborhoods across the capital with a series of bombs. A council representing Christian denominations across the nation advised its members to cancel public Christmas celebrations out of concern for new terror attacks, and also to mourn for the victims of the church siege and other violence. Church officials in some cities went so far as to encourage Christians to refrain from decorating their own homes. This past Tuesday, the Islamic State of Iraq renewed its threats against Christians, and demanded the release of two women it claims are being held captive by Egypt’s Coptic Church. Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako commented, “Nobody can ignore the threats of al-Qaeda against Iraqi Christians. We cannot find a single source of joy that makes us celebrate. The situation of the Christians is bleak.” It is believed only 400-600 thousand Christians remain in Iraq, as compared to the 1.4 million who lived in the nation prior to the war.
Islamists in Great Britain launched a nationwide campaign denouncing Christmas as evil. Thousands of placards were posted around the UK claiming the historic season of goodwill is responsible for sexually transmitted diseases, debt, rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, paganism, domestic violence, homelessness, vandalism, alcohol and drugs. One of the other offenses of Christmas – “claiming God has a son.” The hope for Great Britain? The poster declares, “In Islam we are protected from all of these evils. We have marriage, family, honour, dignity, security, rights for man, woman and child.”
What the posters don’t reveal is that Islamic nations lead the world in the persecution of religious minorities and human rights violations. Nonetheless, organizers hope the campaign will “destroy Christmas” and lead British citizens to convert to Islam. Abu Rumaysah, who has called for Sharia Law in Great Britain, led the organization of the campaign. The 27-year-old Islamist declared he was unconcerned about offending Christians, stating, “Christmas is a lie and as Muslims it is our duty to attack it. But our main attack is on the fruits of Christmas, things like alcohol abuse and promiscuity that increase during Christmas and all the other evils these lead to such as abortion, domestic violence, and crime. We hope that our campaign will make people realize that Islam is the only way to avoid this and convert.”
Christine Frost, founder of the East London Neighbours in Poplar charity – a volunteer group which distributes food and presents to pensioners and the lonely at Christmas – remarked, “The more posters I saw, the more angry I got. Someone is stirring hatred which leaves the road open to revenge attacks or petrol bombs through letter-boxes. I told the Mayor we are all scared. If we said such things about Muslims, we’d all be hanging from lamp-posts.” With one in three British Muslim students believing that murder is justified on behalf of Islam, and 40% wanting Sharia Law enforced in the nation, her fears are not unfounded.
Said Musa, a Christian in Afghanistan, was arrested May 24, 2010. His arrest came shortly following a television broadcast aired which showed Christian worship services and baptisms. Since being imprisoned, Mr. Musa has been interrogated and beaten repeatedly. He has been pressured heavily to disclose details regarding Non-Governmental Organizations and those associated with them. Prior to his arrest, he was employed by the Red Cross/Red Crescent Society for 16 years.
NBC has recently picked up the story regarding Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of five who has been sentenced to death by hanging under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. The death sentence has received condemnation across the globe and placed pressure upon the Pakistani government to overturn the verdict, but Islamic groups have threatened civil war if the government pardons Bibi or attempts to amend the law.
Ashiq Masih, Bibi’s husband, has gone into hiding with their children because Islamists are out to kill the family. He continues to insist Asia was the victim of old score-settling in their village of Ittan Walli, where his family was just one of a pair of Christian families. In an interview with NBC News, Qari Muhammed Salem, the local Islamic cleric in Ittan Walli, accused Masih of lying and insisted Bibi is guilty. He claims she confessed her crime before the entire village and begged for forgiveness.
Bibi’s attorney has filed an appeal with the High Court in Lahore. If the appeals process is protracted, Pakistani President Asif Zardari could consider a pardon. Shahbaz Bhatti, the nation’s Minister for Minority Affairs, submitted a report to Zardari which concluded the charges were baseless. Other acquittals in similar cases have resulted in the assassination of both judges and accused persons. The accused have often been murdered inside prisons or outside courtrooms just after being released. Bhatti promised, “We will protect Asia and her entire family. No harm will come to them.” Nonetheless, Islamic groups have held demonstrations across Pakistan with reports of a possible pardon for Bibi, and Zardari has been warned that a violent backlash will be unleashed if the death sentence is commuted. At one such rally, organized by the “Movement for the Protection of the Prophet’s Honor,” protesters chanted, “We are ready to sacrifice our life for the prophet.”
Please continue to pray for Asia, Ashiq, and their children, and for the nation of Pakistan.
Sunni terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda attacked an Assyrian Catholic Church in Baghdad, Iraq, on October 31st. Fifty-nine worshipers were murdered, including two priests, along with five police officers. Over 80 others were injured. The terrorists were all killed in the attack, either with the explosives they detonated or by the Iraqi police. The terrorists at first held the worshipers hostage, demanding the release of two Egyptian Christian women who they insisted were being held against their will and tortured by Coptic Christians.
Christians continue to fear for their safety as false allegations, violent threats, and mass demonstrations escalate against them in Egypt. Islamic rage was ignited when unfounded accusations were made on Al-Jazeera television that Christians aligned with Israel and have been stockpiling weapons in preparation for war against Muslims. The rights of Christians in the nation have been threatened by the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, a government body, which confirmed Egypt as an Islamic state where “the citizenship rights of non-Muslims were conditional to their abiding by the Islamic identity of the State.” Thousands of Islamists with the Front of Islamic Egypt have promised a Christian “bloodbath” in massive demonstrations.
Mark Ebeid, a Coptic activist, stated, “Sheikhs in Egypt decided to spread unfounded allegations and convince thousands of Muslims of their fabrications. Besides, the Coptic Church would have never delivered two of its children, who sought refuge within its walls, to the fundamentalists.”
Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani, a leader in the Full Gospel “Church of Iran” network, was sentenced to death for “apostasy” by the 11th Chamber of the Assize Court of the Province of Gilan in Iran. He was arrested in October 2009 after protesting a decision by the government requiring his son to study the Quran. His wife was also imprisoned, but released eventually. Pastor Nardarkhani was transferred to Lakan prison, which is supervised by the Political Police of the Islamic Republic. If he is executed, it would be the first judicial execution of a Christian in Iran in two decades.
Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother-of-five and a Christian in Pakistan who has been imprisoned since June 2009 for “blasphemy,” was sentenced to execution this past Monday. Bibi denies the charges. She told investigators she is being persecuted for her faith in a nation where Christians face routine discrimination and harassment. Her husband, Ashiq Masih, stated, “I haven’t told two of my younger daughters about the court’s decision. They asked me many times about their mother but I can’t get the courage to tell them that the judge has sentenced their mother to capital punishment for a crime she never committed.”
Bibi was imprisoned shortly after a Muslim mob attacked her. Rescued by police, she was taken to a police station for her own safety. While at the station, the mob – which included Islamic clerics – called for death, claiming she had spoken ill of their prophet, Mohammed. The police then registered a blasphemy case against her.
Mrs. Bibi’s case will be appealed. While no one has ever been executed under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, because they are generally freed on appeal, as many as ten individuals have been murdered while on trial. Human rights groups believe the law is often utilized to discriminate against religious minorities. Ali Hasan Dayan of Human Rights Watch declared the law is out of line with the rights guaranteed by Pakistan’s constitution, and should be repealed. He stated, “It’s an obscene law. Essentially the blasphemy law is used as a tool of persecution and to settle other scores that are nothing to do with religion. It makes religious minorities particularly vulnerable because it’s often used against them.”
This past June, Hasean Lumbantoruan Sihombing, an elder of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi, Indonesia, was stabbed by Islamists. When Luspida Simanjuntak attempted to come to his aid, she was beaten severely. Both were hospitalized, with Sihombing being placed in the intensive care unit following surgery. A month ago, when the members of the congregation arrived to the church facilities, they discovered the building had been closed down by authorities. Murhali Barda, leader of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) in Bekasi, protested against the church’s services last month and declared, “The Batak Christians deserve to be stabbed to death.”
Please pray for Hasean and Luspida, as well as the other Christians in Batack.
Please pray for the Islamists who continue to act violently for their cause.
An Islamic mob attacked a dozen Christians in Gujrat, Pakistan, on September 23 (2010). It was the latest of more than ten such attacks in the Christian-dominated region. Among the victims were Tariq Gill, a Christian cleared of “blasphemy” charges on September 3, and his mother, who was stripped naked and dragged through the city streets. Both have been hospitalized, along with the others who were attacked. The mob was incited apparently by three Islamic politicians who vowed to mount attacks on the Christian colony in Gujrat just as Gojra was in 2009.
The Christian colony of Gojra was attacked by Islamists last year in August. Seven Christians, including women and children, were burned to death and 19 were injured in the attacks. The colony was looted and over 50 homes were set on fire.
Please pray for the Christians in Gujrat to remain faithful in the face of persecution.
Please pray for the perpetrators of these cowardly and violent crimes to be brought to justice.
Please pray for God’s grace to be poured out upon the Muslims in the region.
On August 27, Pastor Ilmurad Nurliev of the Light to the World Church in the town of Mary, Turkmenistan, was arrested on charges of “swindling.” Authorities began questioning church members earlier this year (2010) and pressuring them to make accusations against the pastor. One church member was notified she would be imprisoned if she did not comply. Since then, three individuals succumbed to the threats and provided written statements to authorities claiming the pastor extorted 1,400 Manats ($491 USD) from them. Two were women who now regret the statements greatly. The pastor’s wife, Maya, and other church members maintain the allegations are false and were obtained only under compulsion.
All non-Islamic religious communities in Turkmenistan are subjected to tight government controls and continual surveillance. Other faiths are unable to acquire, open or maintain places of worship freely. They are also prohibited from offering religious education, or publishing or importing religious materials.
Please pray for Pastor Nurliev, his family, and the members of the Light to the World congregation. Pray that the case will be brought to trial quickly and that justice will prevail. Pray also that neither Pastor Nurliev’s health nor faith will fail during his imprisonment.
Pastor Terry Jones and the members of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida, plan on burning 200 copies of the Quran this Saturday in order to protest the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jones, author of Islam is of the Devil, informed CNN’s ‘American Morning’ show that the burning is designed to send a message to radical Islamists. The local fire department has denied a required burn permit, but the minister has vowed to press forward with the event nonetheless.
Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has warned that the event would be exploited by the Taliban, cause American forces to face greater danger, and endanger American efforts. Several hundred Muslims, mostly students, gathered outside Kabul’s Milad ul-Nabi mosque on Monday to protest the congregation’s planned event. Wahidullah Nori declared, “We call on America to stop desecrating our Holy Quran!” while the crowd chanted, “Death to America!” Jones, who has received over 100 death threats himself, stated, “We are weighing the thing that we are about to do. What it possibly could cause, what is our actual message, what are we trying to get across?”
The message that Jones and Dove World Outreach will send to Muslims worldwide is one of disrespect. For those who say they are concerned with Islam, particularly radical Islam, burning Qurans will simply fan the flames of fanaticism and violence. I’m sure that Pastor Jones felt a sense of grief when Islamists showed contempt for Christians by burning Bibles and destroying crosses. Rather than acting in similar fashion, the members of Dove World Outreach would do well to heed the words of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
- Gospel of St. Matthew 5:43-48
I, for one, pray the event will be canceled, and hope a more constructive event will take its place.
UPDATE: On Sept. 9, 2010, Pastor Jones and the folks at Dove World Outreach decided to cancel the event. I’m thankful.
This is a provocative piece regarding Islam. Some may classify this as an “Islamophobic” video, while others may classify it as a reason for alarm. You decide, and as the video encourages, study the subject for yourself.
Interestingly enough, this article about “Moderate Islam” appeared in The National Review yesterday.