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Sky Angels Radio…Turn Your Speakers Up!!

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America’s Freedom Stems From Christians Loving Jehovah

by on Oct.20, 2014, under Christian News Articles

The history of America is an open book. It’s a history of reliance upon Jehovah, the One true God. That’s not to say America has a perfect record by any stretch. But in spite of some blemishes, America remains a free country today. Why? Because of Christians who love Jehovah.

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Religion has a way of shaping a nation, be it for good or bad. Jehovah and His Gospel enables man to become free on the inside. This in turn leads to freedom of religion being promoted on the outside. On the other hand, wherever people are following a god other than Jehovah, the result is often oppression and control. Religious zealots dominate others and threaten them with violence simply for exercising their God-given freedom of choice.

By the way, check out these U.S. Marines singing “there’s no God like Jehovah.”  How many nations on earth today have Christians in their military with this kind of spiritual discernment, holy courage, and faith? I mean really, who does that other than Christians that love Jehovah?

Without faith in Jehovah and His Son, man tends to shut down freedom. Without the working of the Holy Spirit in a nation, laws related to matters of faith tend to become oppressive. Jehovah is the author of freedom, and a real witness for Jehovah will teach what Christians have always taught. Namely, the message of forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ. Real witnesses for Jehovah make it clear that works do not save a man’s soul, but rather, good works flow from faith.

Every nation of the world would be wise to welcome Christianity into their land. Why? Because the Gospel always liberates people when they take it to heart and walk in it. Just look at the life of Christ Himself. It was a life of perfection. He gave everyone the freedom to follow Him, or go their own way. And Christians promote that same freedom after embracing the love of the Savior.

If it wasn’t for Jehovah sending us His Son, everyone would be walking in total darkness. But at least there are pockets of light wherever Christians are loving Jehovah. Notice who is responsible for starting so many hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, and relief organizations. Why? Because the love of God flows from the hearts of those who accept Christ as Savior.

There are plenty of nations in the world today where people are made to live in fear. There is no real freedom in those places. There is no dynamic presence of Jehovah and His love. People in those nations are afraid to do anything which might go against the wishes of those in power. How sad. It doesn’t have to be that way. If those nations would welcome the Christian message with open arms, what a positive difference it would make! Loving Jehovah always improves the hearts and lives of people.

Jehovah is the Creator. He created Adam and Eve with freedom of choice. And we find this passion for free choice in any nation where Christianity is spread, believed, and practiced.

Read the Beatitudes. (Matthew 5:1-12) What nation isn’t blessed to follow Christ in this way? Of course there will always be those who persecute Christians and Jews. And yet, everyone gets to decide for himself if he wants to be on the side of Christ and His people, or on the side of those who persecute Christ and His followers. Those who suffer for Christ now will certainly be overflowing with joy in the next life, while those who persecute Christians and others here on earth will have all of eternity to regret their hatred and violence.

Meanwhile, atheists and secular humanists take it all in. And if they are honest, they begin to take note of the freedom in America as compared to the religion and oppression within nations where Christians and Jews are hated and killed for their faith. In fact, Bill Maher made some insightful comments on this issue recently in a discussion with Charlie Rose.

So thank God for freedom, and thank Jehovah for sending His Son. Without Christ and His love, any nation can easily be dominated by hateful extremism flowing from false religion. Thank God for America’s Judeo-Christian roots, and the spirit of freedom which stems from those deep roots. And thank God every time people in America are openly encouraged to love Jehovah and His Son.

After all, it’s the only way any nation can experience lasting freedom.

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Nowhere to Lay Their Heads: Christians in Iraq Face Uncertain Future

by on Oct.20, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Tens of thousands of refugees in northern Iraq are facing a winter living in tents or unfinished concrete buildings.

Humanitarian aid organizations, local governments and NGOs are doing what they can to keep internally displaced persons warm, healthy and well-fed, but the task is huge, and some people on the ground say a humanitarian crisis looms.

“It’s very dire. It’s not going to improve very soon. Conditions are deteriorating. People are in desperate need for help, and the government of Iraq has not helped in any way,” said Joseph T. Kassab, founder and president of the US-based Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute. “Winter is really fierce in Iraq. Lot of people living in shelters or in the open.”

Kassab, whose brother is Bishop Jibrael Kassab of the Chaldean Church in Australia and New Zealand, was himself a refugee from Iraq in 1980.

It is estimated that there are 120,000 Christian refugees in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil, living in schools, churches, monasteries and parks after they were forced from their homes in Mosul and other cities of the Nineveh Plain over the summer by forces of the Islamic State group.

Natalia Prokopchuk, spokeswoman in Iraq for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, described several projects the UNHCR is working on to help internally displaced persons get through the winter, including the distribution of blankets and kerosene stoves. “We are also working to winterize tents where people are living, providing insulation to protect them from rain and snow and put insulation on the floors,” she said.

But limited resources permit the agency to help only half of the IDPs. Also assisting, whether by building shelters or providing medical care or funding are several Catholic agencies: Aid to the Church in Need, Caritas, Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the Knights of Columbus, and Malteser International—as well as Iraqi-American organizations such as the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. Juliana Taimoorazy, the Relief Council’s founder and president, said her organization is appealing to American companies to donate much needed pharmaceuticals and hygiene products for IDPs.

Because of a shortage of medicines, some people are dying of heart disease and diabetes, said Taimoorazy, an Assyrian Christian who found asylum in the West in the 1980s.

Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s relief agency, is setting up a primary health center in one of two UNHCR camps being built between Dohuk and Zakho, in the north of the region, where winter temperatures can drop to 5 degrees. “I was in Dohuk the other day and saw families living in buildings that are still under construction, without walls,” said Malteser’s emergency coordinator, Leigh Ryan, who just returned from two months in the region. 

However the IDPs survive the winter, though, a question still remains in the minds of many refugees and those assisting them: “Do Christians have a future in Iraq?”

“They are really traumatized. I never experienced a people so depressed,” said Father Andrzej Halemba, head of the Asia-Africa Department for Aid to the Church in Need, who visited Erbil recently. “They say, ‘There’s no future for Christians here. This is the end. We are not going to survive.’”

Aid to the Church in Need is building a village for some 4,000 refugees to shelter for the winter and supporting the construction of eight schools in Erbil and Dohuk.

Even if the international coalition led by the United States defeats the Islamic State group, Christian refugees say they are reluctant to go back to the homes they fled, according to Father Halemba and others interviewed for this article. Christians, whose numbers have been steadily decreasing over the past 30 years, feel betrayed by the central government in Baghdad, by the Kurdish peshmerga militia, which failed to protect their towns from the Islamic State’s onslaught, in spite of their assurances to the Christian residents, and by their former neighbors, who in many cases stole the property they had abandoned.

“In many cases, they were the first to go to their properties and steal from them,” said Father Halemba. “Now they have only one thought—to go away: ‘We’re not going back. If we were betrayed three times, how can we trust? How can we build a future?’”

International religious freedom activist Nina Shea agreed that Christians in Iraq feel vulnerable. Commenting last week on the kidnapping and subsequent release of a Franciscan priest in Syria, she said, “Lay Christians have been kidnapped by the thousands, both in Iraq and Syria because they don’t have any protection—neither militias nor tribal networks nor the protection of their governments or any foreign power. So there are only positive consequences for kidnapping Christians—taking ransom money if they can get it.”

Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and a former member of the U.S. Commisssion on International Religious Freedom, said that the Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq, which has been home to Christians for almost 2000 years, is “effectively religiously cleansed for years to come. I don’t see how Christians can return without protection, and there is no protection for them. They will leave for another country. The international Church really needs to be serious about a resettlement plan for them, whether it’s somewhere in the region or somewhere in the West, because they cannot return home.”

Father Halemba reports that 10 or so Christian families are emigrating from Iraq daily—a small number, perhaps, but not so small when seen in the light of a drastic reduction from some 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003 to about 400,000 today.

A meeting of cardinals at the Vatican on Oct. 20 will include a discussion of the situation facing Christians in the Middle East.

Kassab noted that the the Church in the Middle East is “calling for our people to stay, and we agree. But how?” He would like to see more visas available in Western countries for refugees, especially those who want to reunite with their families in the diaspora.

Said Shea, “We’re at the point where we need to make a decision of whether we want to put a massive aid effort into Kurdistan for them to weather the winter, or to put the resources instead into resettling them in a third country.”

John Burger is news editor for Aleteia’s English edition.

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Baghdad minister faults US policy and implores church to help Iraq’s …

by on Oct.20, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Local News

Steilacoom woman sought answers on child abuse — from a child predator

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Christian school 'downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly'

by on Oct.20, 2014, under Christian News Articles

In the latest case inspectors are understood to have warned the head that the
school, which was previously rated as “good” that it would be downgraded to
“adequate” for failing to meet standards requiring it to “actively promote”
harmony between different faiths because it had failed to bring in
representatives from other religions.

They warned that unless the school could demonstrate how it was going to meet
the new requirements there would be a further full inspection which could
ultimately lead to it being closed.

A Government consultation paper published in June, explaining the new rules,
makes clear that even taking children on trips to different places of
worship would not be enough to be judged compliant.

The Institute, which is already planning a legal challenge to the
consultation, arguing that it was rushed through during the school holidays,
fears that the new guidelines could be used to clamp down on the teaching of
anything deemed politically incorrect on issues such as marriage.

“Worryingly, evidence is already emerging of how the new regulations are
requiring Ofsted inspection teams to behave in ways which do not respect the
religious ethos of faith schools,” Simon Calvert, deputy director of the
Christian Institute, told Mrs Morgan.

“The new requirements are infringing the rights of children, parents, teachers
and schools to hold and practise their religious beliefs.”

Listing recent cases involving criticism of Anglican, Roman Catholic and
Jewish schools by Ofsted, he added: “The Christian Institute is currently
working with an independent Christian School which has been marked down by
Ofsted for not promoting other faiths.

“Astonishingly it was told it should invite representatives of other faith
groups to lead assemblies and lessons, such as an Imam.

“The wording of the regulations inevitably results in these kind of outcomes.

“While we obviously support attempts to address the problem of radicalisation,
the current regulations fail to do this.”

A spokeswoman for Ofsted said: “Under Ofsted’s revised guidance for the
inspection of schools, inspectors now pay greater attention to ensuring that
schools provide a broad and balanced education for their pupils, so that
young people are well prepared for the next stage in their education, or for
employment and for life in modern Britain.

“Inspectors will consider the effectiveness of the school’s provision for
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and how the
school’s leadership and management ensure that the curriculum actively
promotes British values.

“This includes, among other factors, pupils’ acceptance and engagement of
different faiths and beliefs, and their understanding and appreciation of
the range of different cultures within school and further afield.”

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Paul Prather: Muslims aren’t all alike; neither are Christians, Jews …

by on Oct.19, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Local News

Lexington man accused of endangering son in drug deal gone bad

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Christians in Iraq Face Uncertain Future

by on Oct.19, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Tens of thousands of refugees in northern Iraq are facing a winter living in tents or unfinished concrete buildings.

Humanitarian aid organizations, local governments and NGOs are doing what they can to keep internally displaced persons warm, healthy and well-fed, but the task is huge, and some people on the ground say a humanitarian crisis looms.

“It’s very dire. It’s not going to improve very soon. Conditions are deteriorating. People are in desperate need for help, and the government of Iraq has not helped in any way,” said Joseph T. Kassab, founder and president of the US-based Iraqi Christians Advocacy and Empowerment Institute. “Winter is really fierce in Iraq. Lot of people living in shelters or in the open.”

Kassab, whose brother is Bishop Jibrael Kassab of the Chaldean Church in Australia and New Zealand, was himself a refugee from Iraq in 1980.

It is estimated that there are 120,000 Christian refugees in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil, living in schools, churches, monasteries and parks after they were forced from their homes in Mosul and other cities of the Nineveh Plain over the summer by forces of the Islamic State group.

Natalia Prokopchuk, spokeswoman in Iraq for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, described several projects the UNHCR is working on to help internally displaced persons get through the winter, including the distribution of blankets and kerosene stoves. “We are also working to winterize tents where people are living, providing insulation to protect them from rain and snow and put insulation on the floors,” she said.

But limited resources permit the agency to help only half of the IDPs. Also assisting, whether by building shelters or providing medical care or funding are several Catholic agencies: Aid to the Church in Need, Caritas, Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the Knights of Columbus, and Malteser International–as well as Iraqi-American organizations such as the Iraqi Christian Relief Council. Juliana Taimoorazy, the Relief Council’s founder and president, said her organization is appealing to American companies to donate much needed pharmaceuticals and hygiene products for IDPs.

Because of a shortage of medicines, some people are dying of heart disease and diabetes, said Taimoorazy, an Assyrian Christian who found asylum in the West in the 1980s.

Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s relief agency, is setting up a primary health center in one of two UNHCR camps being built between Dohuk and Zakho, in the north of the region, where winter temperatures can drop to 5 degrees. “I was in Dohuk the other day and saw families living in buildings that are still under construction, without walls,” said Malteser’s emergency coordinator, Leigh Ryan, who just returned from two months in the region.

However the IDPs survive the winter, though, a question still remains in the minds of many refugees and those assisting them: “Do Christians have a future in Iraq?”

“They are really traumatized. I never experienced a people so depressed,” said Father Andrzej Halemba, head of the Asia-Africa Department for Aid to the Church in Need, who visited Erbil recently. “They say, ‘There’s no future for Christians here. This is the end. We are not going to survive.'”

Aid to the Church in Need is building a village for some 4,000 refugees to shelter for the winter and supporting the construction of eight schools in Erbil and Dohuk.

Even if the international coalition led by the United States defeats the Islamic State group, Christian refugees say they are reluctant to go back to the homes they fled, according to Father Halemba and others interviewed for this article. Christians, whose numbers have been steadily decreasing over the past 30 years, feel betrayed by the central government in Baghdad, by the Kurdish peshmerga militia, which failed to protect their towns from the Islamic State’s onslaught, in spite of their assurances to the Christian residents, and by their former neighbors, who in many cases stole the property they had abandoned.

“In many cases, they were the first to go to their properties and steal from them,” said Father Halemba. “Now they have only one thought–to go away: ‘We’re not going back. If we were betrayed three times, how can we trust? How can we build a future?'”

International religious freedom activist Nina Shea agreed that Christians in Iraq feel vulnerable. Commenting last week on the kidnapping and subsequent release of a Franciscan priest in Syria, she said, “Lay Christians have been kidnapped by the thousands, both in Iraq and Syria because they don’t have any protection–neither militias nor tribal networks nor the protection of their governments or any foreign power. So there are only positive consequences for kidnapping Christians–taking ransom money if they can get it.”

Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and a former member of the U.S. Commisssion on International Religious Freedom, said that the Nineveh Plain in northern Iraq, which has been home to Christians for almost 2000 years, is “effectively religiously cleansed for years to come. I don’t see how Christians can return without protection, and there is no protection for them. They will leave for another country. The international Church really needs to be serious about a resettlement plan for them, whether it’s somewhere in the region or somewhere in the West, because they cannot return home.”

Father Halemba reports that 10 or so Christian families are emigrating from Iraq daily–a small number, perhaps, but not so small when seen in the light of a drastic reduction from some 1.5 million Christians in Iraq in 2003 to about 400,000 today.

A meeting of cardinals at the Vatican on Oct. 20 will include a discussion of the situation facing Christians in the Middle East.

Kassab noted that the the Church in the Middle East is “calling for our people to stay, and we agree. But how?” He would like to see more visas available in Western countries for refugees, especially those who want to reunite with their families in the diaspora.

Said Shea, “We’re at the point where we need to make a decision of whether we want to put a massive aid effort into Kurdistan for them to weather the winter, or to put the resources instead into resettling them in a third country.”

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Christian persecution

by on Oct.19, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Last week, as 4,500 Christians from more than 80 countries converged on Jerusalem to show support for Israel, prominent leaders of Jewish and Christian organizations spoke out against the persecutions Christians face daily throughout the Middle East.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder told the large Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem on Monday night that the persecution of Christians must be stopped.

“Our enemy has shown its true face with rapes, and with the slaughter of Christian women and children and with beheadings,” Lauder said. “There is no safer place in the Middle East for Christians than here in Israel. In Israel, Christians can pray in the open. In Israel, Christian holy sites are protected. In Israel, Christians do not fear for their lives.”

He said it was time for leaders around the world to speak out against the “anti-Christian terror.” Christians were facing “a genocide” in the region, Lauder said. “Together we must speak as one and tell the world: No more discrimination, no more terror no more death and no more silence,” he declared.

During the event, organized by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and the Christian Allies Caucus, a letter signed by 120 leaders was unveiled. “We call on Western democratic leaders to take collective action in confronting the problem through firm diplomatic action against those nations that allow the religious persecution against Christians to continue,” the letter said.

As if to underline the points made at the event, as the leaders were speaking out against persecution of Christians it was reported that the Islamist terrorist group Nusra Front had released a Catholic priest named Father Hanna Jallouf and 20 Christian hostages who had been kidnapped in northwestern Syria, near the town of Jisr al-Shughour. The abduction was just the tip of the iceberg of the monstrous assaults carried out against Christians during the Syria conflict.

Nusra kidnapped Greek Orthodox nuns in Maaloula last December. An Italian priest named Paolo Dall’Oglio, who had been promoting dialogue with Muslims in the country, disappeared in July 2013 and is presumed kidnapped.

The Islamist rebels create various sham reasons to excuse their assaults on clergy. Jallouf was accused of being a “collaborator” with the Syrian government.

But the truth of persecution is obvious. Holy sites of Christians are ransacked and they are forced to flee. When Syrian rebels captured Homs, more than 66,000 members of the ancient community left. Father Frans van der Lugt, who remained behind, told the Catholic News Agency: “I can’t leave my church.” He was murdered in April 2014.

Christian communities that survived for almost 2,000 years in the country are on the brink of extinction as they are forced to leave their homes. The fate of Christians in Syria mirrors what happened in Iraq in the last decade. Islamists took advantage of the chaos after the US-led invasion to slaughter Christians.

The emergence of Islamic State was merely the final cycle of massacre and persecution. In Mosul, more than 95 percent of the Christian community was forced to flee. Mark Arabi, a Chaldean-American business who speaks on behalf of Iraqi Christians from his community, noted, “They are absolutely killing every Christian they see. This is a genocide in every sense of the word. They want everyone to convert and they want Shari’a law to be the law of the land.”

“Genocide” is the world now being used among many Christian leaders tuned into this issue. Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki in Illinois told his church that Islamic State was committing a “genocide of Christians.”

In Libya, gunmen have killed Christians, primarily Coptic emigrants from Egypt, by going door to door in attacks in Benghazi. In Pakistan, a suicide bomber killed more than 81 at a church in Peshawar in September 2013. In Turkey, a priest named Andrea Santoro was killed in 2006 and Christians face ongoing harassment.

Greek Orthodox priest Father Gabriel Nadaf, an Israeli Arab, has estimated that a Christian is murdered in the Middle East every five minutes. “Israel is the only place where Christians are safe,” Nadaf said.

“Just as Christians defend Jews against anti-Semitism, just as Christians support Israel, we Jews have an obligation to speak out against the growing persecution of Christians in many parts of the world,” Lauder said.

It is important for Israel to keep shining a light on persecution in the region and remain a haven for Christians in these difficult times.

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Christian Mother Asia Bibi Sentenced To Hang In Pakistan For 'Insulting Prophet'

by on Oct.19, 2014, under Christian News Articles

A Christian mother-of-five has been sentenced to hang for blasphemy in Pakistan after a squabble with her work colleagues over a drink of water.

The Lahore High Court today rejected the appeal against the death sentence imposed on Asia Bibi, who was alleged to have made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad during an argument.

The 50-year-old, who was working as a farm labourer in Punjab the summer of 2009, offered to fetch some water for colleagues in the sweltering heat, but according to her account, they spurned her offer, saying it was “unclean” to accept water from a non-Muslim.

asia bibi

Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi

Bibi took offence, according to her representatives at Amnesty International, and argued with her colleagues, who in turn complained about her to the local cleric, who gave her the choice between converting to Islam or being reported to police.

She refused, and was taken to the police and charged. In 2010, she was sentenced to death at the Lahore High Court, losing her appeal this week.

Bibi’s case drew global criticism in 2011 when Pakistan’s minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and eastern Punjab governor Salman Taseer were killed for supporting her and opposing blasphemy laws. Taseer was killed in the capital Islamabad by one of his police guards after visiting Bibi in jail.

Bhati was killed months later by the Pakistani Taliban, who called him an “infidel Christian.”

Bibi has since released a memoir from prison called ‘Blasphemy’, detailing her ordeal. “I’m a prisoner because I used the same cup as those Muslim women, because water served by a Christian woman was regarded as unclean by my stupid fellow fruit-pickers,” she wrote.

asia bibi

Sidra Shahzadi, daughter of Christian woman Asia Bibi who had been sentenced to death

“I can no longer bear the sight of people full of hatred, applauding the killing of a poor farm worker. I no longer see them, but I still hear them, the crowd who gave the judge a standing ovation, saying: ‘Kill her, kill her! Allahu Akbar!'”

Her lawyer Sardar Mushtaq said: “We have the right to appeal in 30 days, and we will continue this legal battle by approaching the Supreme Court of Pakistan. We have a strong case, and we will try our best to save her life,” he told The Associated Press.

“This is the latest blasphemy outrage to come out of Pakistan,” Kate Allen UK Director of Amnesty International, said. “It seems obvious that this is a case of religious persecution, and it’s very likely the result of a squabble which escalated out of all proportion.

“Blasphemy accusations in Pakistan are often used to settle petty vendettas and persecute minority groups. It’s a complete disgrace that the courts are complicit in these vendettas.”

There has also been an alarming spate of killings of people who have spoken out against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Mohammad Asghar, a Scottish man, is also on death row in Pakistan after being sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Asghar, 70, who has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, was sentenced to death earlier this year after writing a series of letters claiming to be the Prophet Mohammad. Last month Asghar was shot and wounded by a police officer at the Rawalpindi prison where he is held.

“Asia Bibi and Mohammad Asghar are both languishing on death row for crimes which shouldn’t even be criminalised,” Allen said. “They should both be released immediately. Pakistan should get rid of these poisonous blasphemy laws.”

Jasmine Rana, daughter of Asghar is set to deliver petition signed by more than 70,000 people to Downing Street, calling on David Cameron to secure her father’s return to the UK.

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Dara: The role of Christians in politics

by on Oct.18, 2014, under Christian News Articles

Few days ago, I was in a restaurant with two local preachers who are good friends of mine. While we were eating lunch, the subject of Christians and politics came up. After the lunch, I felt compelled to share with the community what I believe should be the role of Christians in politics. Below, my thoughts in a nutshell.

What is Politics? Aristotle, a Greek philosopher described it as “the coordination of things without destroying other activities.” Mao Tse Tung, the leader of the Cultural Revolution in China described it as “war without bloodshed.” Vladimir Lenin, the Russian leader defined it as “who does what to whom.” Harold Lasswell, an American political scientist described it as “who gets what, when and how.” In short, politics involves society decision making. Every society has conflicting and competing interest. Politics is what they use to reconcile, compromise, and balance those diverse interests.

The word politics is derived from the Greek word “polis” which means “city” or a communal living where every citizen is called to participate in decision making and issues affecting the society. Since Christians are a part of the society in which they live, they should not feel uneasy for participation in politics. If the truth be told, every political upheaval and unsettling dynamics of life affects both Christians and non Christians alike. And that is why Christians are called by God to be salt and light; not only within the four walls of their Churches and synagogues, but in the society at large. Therefore it is missed opportunity if Christians refused to be actively engaged in making our world a better place through politics. The gospel of Jesus is holistic. He is not just trying to get us saved, but he wants to make us whole. Such wholeness will include both of our spiritual, physical and emotional well being.

Frankly speaking, a rejection of politics by many Christians is based on ignorance. Some people say “politics is a dirty game.” Well, if politics is dirty, then Christians need to get involved to make it clean. If there is instability, stagnation and confusion in our society, it may be it’s partly because of the lack of Christian contribution and participation. There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of Christians in that society who feel that they have no stake in it, or that they have nothing to lose.

Some even argue that there should be no mixture of religion with politics. Others proudly brag about not being a politician. But the reality is that just about everything in our community is political. The blunt truth is that politics pervades every aspects of human institution. So Christians have a duty and responsibility to make sure that all areas of life including political and social ones are subject to the rule and law of God. Christians must have a big stake in their society to at least protect it from being destroyed by corrupt people. Being a Christian does not mean that one should be living in an unrealistic isolation from something that affects us all. Our tendency to ignore the political process is often illustrated in our prayers and our comments such as “they ought to pass a law that…..” or “they ought to do something about that.” It is also illustrated in our tendency to blame the legislative, judicial and/or executive branch of our government with little recognition of the part that we and our fellow citizens played in deciding who our elected officials will be and what policies they will be authorized to pursue.

So those who are too lazy to get politically involved will have themselves to be blamed if we end up with bad people in our government. Yes, I believe in separation of church and state, but there should be no separation of Christians and state. Whenever there is suffering and humiliation, Christians should never be silent. At times, our so called neutrality may actually be compounding the problem in our society and our silence may be encouraging the bad guys to rule for so long. I strongly believe that Christians have a serious responsibility to shoulder when it comes to making our world a better place. I call it Christian citizenship.

I will admit that the Bible does not present us with a direct political blueprint; it does give us a deep understanding of the meaning of politics and the principles which should be embodied in the state. The Bible has a lot to say about politics. The Bible actually provides answers to all human questions and challenges. The problem is that many Christians failed to apply the Bible to their situation. Our God demands justice and righteousness of all men in their dealing with one another. Likewise the central truths of the Christian faith have political implications.

For example, in the Old Testament, the Garden of Eden was a type of geopolitical entity with an established constitution and ethical norms. Likewise, the government of the Hebrew people before the institution of monarchy was that of theocracy, government by God himself. Furthermore, Joseph in the Old Testament became involved in the politics of Egypt while depending on God for guidance. He was a great witness for God and as a result God was held in high esteem above all other gods in Egypt. That shows that God is not opposed to His children’s righteous participation in any political system. Likewise, in pre-monarchic era, even prophets served their people as both spiritual and political leaders. A good example was Moses. God gave him the commandments and he dispensed both law and justice to his people. Today, there is hardly any constitution on earth that does not reflect some aspect of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:1-17). Later we saw the role of the Judges and Kings of Israel. People like Samuel, Nehemiah, Esther, Daniel, David, Solomon, Jehoshaphat, literately changed their generation for the better for the glory of God.

Likewise in the New Testament, Jesus was in no sense an enemy of the state on principle. His message was holistic and his respect for the law was obvious. He paid his taxes and instructed his followers to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

The bottom line is that Christians should readily participate in politics. All Christians should always be prepared to vote in every election. It is a duty of citizenship and that is in itself an effective way of exerting political influence. But that is not all. An individual voter who limits his or her political action to registration and voting alone will never become really involved in the real process of policy making. That person just steps out, gets counted and then rejoices or laments over the outcome. While voting is very important, Christians should also get involved in what people will vote upon, whether they will vote, how they will vote, where they will vote, and why they will vote. That is why one of our nation’s founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson said:

“No one can be called happy without his participation in public happiness. No one can be called free unless he experiences public freedom. No one can be called happy or free unless he shares in and contributes to public power.”

So l call on all Christians to go out and register to vote, participate in elections, get involved in our society policy making and stand up for righteousness. Together, we can make our world a better place.

Rev. (Dr.) Joshua Joy Dara is senior pastor at Zion Hill Family Church in Pineville.

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Christians, Jews Team Up to Fight Islamic Persecution

by on Oct.18, 2014, under Christian News Articles

JERUSALEM, Israel — As stories of new beheadings of Christian children in Iraq come to light, many wonder – who will speak out against it?

Now Jews and Christians are banding together to fight growing persecution of Christians in Islamic countries.

“When hundreds of thousands of Christians – men, women and children – are killed, this isn’t a war, this is genocide. And Jews know what happens when the world is silent to genocide,” World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder told participants at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration in Jerusalem.

Lauder advocates for Jewish people around the world. Now he’s teaming up with the ICEJ and Empowered21 to fight Christian persecution.

“What’s happened to the Christians (is) they’re being massacred and killed,” Lauder told CBN News in an interview. “Some 120,000 were killed last year and no one says anything. Everyone’s focusing on Gaza now and the fact is the world is coming apart.”

The WJC, Empowered21 and the ICEJ sent a letter recently to more than 100 world leaders calling on them to take up the cause of persecuted Christians in Muslim countries. Together, the three groups represent millions around the world.

ICEJ Executive Director Jurgen Buhler told journalists, “For the first time to my knowledge in modern history, probably even in the history of Jewish-Christian relations, a Jewish organization and a Christian organization are joining in a letter to protect Christians in the Middle East.”
 
“There has simply been a horrendous thing that has been going on. Christianity is dwindling in the Middle East. We believe it should be growing,” Oral Roberts University President Billy Wilson, co-chairman of Empowered21 Global Council, told CBN News.

Canon Andrew White, known as the Vicar of Baghdad, said ISIS beheaded 30 more children on Saturday who refused to convert to Islam.

“The children said, ‘We have always followed Yesua [Arabic]. We will never leave Yesua.’ They all had their heads chopped off. This is the kind of terror that we are facing,” White told journalists.

Lauder encouraged more than 4,000 Christians from 80 nations at the Feast of Tabernacles celebration to fight together.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he wrote that God did not give us a spirit of fear but the spirit of power,” Lauder told Christian pilgrims at the feast.

“Do not fear. Have courage. Have strength and as one, Christians and Jews, we will be strengthened together and we will, we will not fail,” he said.

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