Attacks On Christians Double Since 2017

Apr 25, 2019

“He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure.” 2 Sam. 23:5

PASSOVER 2019: PLEASE HELP VISION FOR ISRAEL TO MAKE THIS A JOYFUL CELEBRATION MONTH FOR THOSE IN NEED: Passover, a seven-day commemoration of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, ends at nightfall on Friday 26 April. Together, this week, the nation has remembered in song and story the biblical deliverance, under the leadership of Moses, from the slave pits of Egypt, the ten plagues preceding it, and escapes from death because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Every year, thanks to the generous donations of our supporters, Vision for Israel has been able to help hundreds of families by providing gift cards for purchasing holiday food, so they can celebrate with dignity. This year, our team has given gift cards to terror victims, Holocaust survivors, and needy families in our communities. Throughout this holiday month, we hope with the help of our partners to reach 1,000 families, with a gift of approximately $150 per family. Please help us to attain this goal. Your donations are vital and appreciated at www.visionforisrael.com. Be sure to follow our link on Facebook to learn more about what VFI is accomplishing in a fundraising drive for the Passover month. https://www.facebook.com/donate/697535270660682/

ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS DOUBLE SINCE 2017: Violence against Christians — like the bomb attacks that killed hundreds of people in Catholic churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday — has been escalating steadily over the past few years. Open Doors USA, a mission for persecuted Christians estimates that violent attacks on the faithful doubled from 2017 to 2018, with approximately 11 Christians dying every day for their faith. “There’s a specific pattern of violence around Christian holy days, such as Easter and Christmas,” said Sarah Cunningham, senior director of communications for Open Doors USA. Nearly 50 worshipers were killed on Palm Sunday 2017 by bombers who targeted Coptic Christians in Cairo. That same year, at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan, nine Christians were killed a week before Christmas by suicide bombers linked to ISIS. Whereas international organizers tracking attacks against Christians a generation ago concentrated on the officially atheistic Soviet Union, today the focus is on terrorist and extremist Muslim factions.

“Militant [terrorist] Islamic camps are definitely one of the primary sources of Christian persecution in these countries,” said Cunningham, noting that Christians are being targeted beyond the former borders of the now-scattered ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria. Sunday’s 21 April 2019 attacks occurred in largely Buddhist Sri Lanka, where the percentage of Muslims and Christians is in the single digits. News reports suggest that Sri Lankan authorities were slow to respond to growing threats against Christians, who account for less than 8% of the nation’s 23 million people. “Often these nations lack the resources or the desire to confront persecution against Christians,” Cunningham said. Open Doors USA said 4,136 Christians have been killed for their faith since 2018 and 1,200 churches or Christian buildings have been destroyed. In countries where parishioners face violence for their Christian faith, churches have gone underground or into forests, caves, and fields. Parishioners are encouraged to congregate in small groups to private homes to avoid suspicion. (Washington Times)Focused intercession is needed for the believing remnant in Muslim majority countries - and in fact throughout the world.  Persecution against Christians is increasing both in frequency and degree. Pray for courage, comfort, escapes from death and a strong witness to be with our brethren throughout the world who suffer under Islamist regimes, and due to other religious extremism.

A QUESTION TRUMP ASKS WORLD LEADERS IN THE OVAL OFFICE WILL MAKE CHRISTIANS CHEER: Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney revealed at The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., this week that President Donald Trump outright asks world leaders what they do to protect Christians in their countries. Mulvaney noted that during the past two and a half years Trump has spent a great deal of time on the mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities internationally. “What you don’t know about is what goes on behind closed doors,” Mulvaney said. “I very rarely talk about my private meetings with the president, but I can assure you that I have been sitting with him in the Oval Office, with leaders from around the world, where he will look at them and say ‘Now, you’re not doing enough to take care of the Christians in your country,’ or, ‘Thank you for helping Christians in your country.' I won’t lie to you, that’s pretty powerful stuff.” Mulvaney said that to be present during these meetings and to be part of such discussion has been invigorating. “It hasn’t been articulated in the Oval Office in way too long,” the Chief of Staff said. (Daily Caller)

DEATH TOLL IN SRI LANKA EASTER BOMBINGS RISES TO 359: The number of people killed in a string of bombings on Easter Sunday earlier this week has risen to 359, police in Sri Lanka have reported. Seven suicide bombers hit hotels and churches in a wave of attacks Sunday 21 April 2019 coinciding with the Easter holiday. Along with the 359 people dead, some 500 victims were injured in the bombings. On Tue. 23 April 2019, the ISIS terror organization claimed responsibility for the attacks. Previously, authorities believed that the National Thowheeth Jama’at (NTJ), a Sri Lankan Islamist movement, was responsible for orchestrating the Easter Sunday attacks. However, a government spokesman had emphasized that NTJ was small and would have required "international support" to carry out such a complex attack. (INN) Continue to pray for the swift and complete healing of those people who have been wounded, and for the comforting of families and friends who have lost loved ones in these tragic attacks.

ISIS PUBLISHES PHOTO, NAMES OF SRI LANKA TERRORISTS: The ISIS terrorist organization released a photograph of seven of the terrorists behind the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka shortly after claiming responsibility for the attacks that left 351 people dead and 500 people injured. A statement issued by the organization details the names of the seven terrorists who carried out the attack and including a photograph in which the terrorists appeared in masks.  Sri Lankan PM Raniel Wickremasinghe warned that there is a possibility more attacks will be carried out in the country, adding that there are more explosive devices and other terrorists in the country. (Arutz-7)

TRUMP SQUEEZES IRAN’S OIL EXPORTS: USA President Donald Trump has decided not to renew the exemption from sanctions on Iranian oil imports granted to several countries. The aim of the decision is to reduce the export of Iranian oil to zero, thus preventing from the Ayatollah’s regime its main source of income. "The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the three largest energy producers in the world, together with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring the world's oil markets receive all supplies, including the deficit created by the non-use of Iranian oil. The Trump administration and its allies are determined to continue and expand the campaign of economic pressure on Iran to put an end to the destabilizing activities of the regime, which is a threat to the United States, its partners, and its allies in the Middle East," the statement said. The White House also noted that "the President's decision is a direct continuation of the decision to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, a further step that demonstrates USA commitment to eliminate the Iranian terror network and to change the regime's behavior in the country. (Arutz-7)

USA OFFERS $10M FOR FINANCIAL DISRUPTION TO HEZBOLLAH: The USA government earlier this week offered a $10 million reward for information leading to a financial disruption of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. USA Treasury Department official Marshall Billingslea said Washington, D.C., wants to "hit Hezbollah in the wallet." Hezbollah, which the United States considers a terror organization, has sent fighters to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad, and has had growing influence in Lebanon's government. Hezbollah is heavily backed by Iran. The State Department said it would pay the reward for information about Hezbollah's sources of revenue, any major donors, financial institutions facilitating transactions, businesses owed by the group, front companies or other criminal schemes. "This includes specifically information on corporation and shareholder documents," Billingslea said. "We will pay for bank records, customs forms, real estate transactions and anything evidencing money laundering or cash smuggling." The reward will be paid through the State Department's Rewards for Justice program. (UPI) All that the Trump Administration is doing to shut down Hezbollah and Iran is incredible and to be highly commended. As intercessors, we need to continue to smite the enemies of Israel in prayer and to defeat their strategies.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU WANTS TO NAME TOWN IN ISRAEL AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP: Israel PM Netanyahu said this week that he will introduce a resolution to name a town in the Golan Heights after President Donald Trump. The Trump administration officially recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights earlier this month, after the international community had previously spent decades refusing to recognize the country’s authority over the land.  “All Israelis were deeply moved when President Trump made his historic decision to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Netanyahu said. “Therefore, after the Passover holiday, I intend to bring to the government a resolution calling for a new community on the Golan Heights named after President Donald J. Trump.” Last year, Trump fulfilled his campaign promise to move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to its capital in Jerusalem. Around the same time, Trump also made the decision to pull the USA out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, a pact which Netanyahu had claimed was based on lies. (Daily Caller)

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