By Jeremy Warner:
The economic news from the US was universally appalling on Thursday, and to add to everything else, there is now growing evidence of another credit crunch in the European banking system.
Some of the weaker European banks in peripheral eurozone economies are again struggling to secure market funding, particularly dollar denominated funding, and are therefore once more being forced to throw themselves back on central bank lender of last resort support.
A banking crisis which transmogrified into an economic and sovereign debt crisis now shows every sign of transforming itself back into another banking crisis. There’s a terrible circularity about it all which policymakers seem powerless to break. The outlook grows steadily grimmer.
by Madeleine Morgenstern:
Glenn Beck had some strong words for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Thursday after Rep. Joe Walsh said a group of congressmen that wanted to attend next week’s Restoring Courage event in Israel were barred from doing so by the House Ethics Committee.
Speaking on Beck’s radio program, the Illinois Republican said the International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation was going to sponsor a mission for several representatives to go to Israel, meet with officials and join Beck at the event.
“Lo and behold, ethics yesterday said — did not approve the trip,” Walsh said. “They said your portion of the fact-finding mission had the appearance of a political event, they told me. They said there wasn’t enough meeting time built into the schedule and they identified the Israeli Allies Caucus Foundation as a lobbying group currently lobbying Congress on legislation when, in fact, they’re a 501(c)3 charity.”
By CAROLINE B. GLICK:
Israeli military preparedness follows a depressing pattern. The IDF does not change its assessments of the strategic environment until Israeli blood runs in the streets.
What the attack shows is that Israel must prepare for the new strategic reality emerging in Egypt. True, it is early yet to predict how Egypt is going to behave in the coming years. But we do not need perfect information about the emerging strategic reality to prepare for it.
Israel’s requirements are clear. We need to invest the necessary resources to fortify the 240-km. border with Egypt by completing the security fence.
The Washington Post’s On Faith page featured a strange and rambling article recently by “independent researcher in sociology and evolution” Gregory Paul chiding conservatives for doubting Darwin even as they supposedly push what Paul caricatures as an Ayn Randian “Social Darwinist” capitalism. Paul wants to know why conservative Christians in particular fail to champion Marxism since communists drew their inspiration from the early Christian Church. Christianity, not Darwinism, is the natural accompaniment to Marxism-Leninism. Got that?
Today on the same page CSC senior fellow Jay Richards, author of Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem which Paul attacks in his article clearly without having read a word of it, graciously gives Mr. Paul a brief education.
By Victor Davis Hanson:
A once civil and orderly England was torn apart by rioting and looting last week — at first by mostly minority youths, but eventually by young Brits in general. This summer, a number of American cities have witnessed so-called “flash mobs” — mostly African-American youths who swarm at prearranged times to loot stores or randomly attack those of other races and classes. The mayhem has reignited an old debate in the West: Are such criminally minded young Americans and Britons turning to violence in protest over inequality, poverty, and bleak opportunities?
The Left often blames cutbacks in the tottering welfare state and high unemployment. In this view, the havoc and mayhem visited upon us are a wake-up call in an age of insolvency: Do not cut entitlements or we will reap the whirlwind. Instead, tax the affluent and redistribute more of their earnings to those who have been unfairly deprived.
The Right counters that the problem is not too few state subsidies, but far too many. The growing — and now unsustainable — dole of the last half-century has eroded self-reliance and personal initiative.
If I asked you to name the important events of the early 20th century, you’d probably mention the start of World War I in 1914, the Russian Revolution in 1917, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the stock market crash in 1929, and Hitler becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933.
But for millions of people around the world, the most consequential year was 1924. That was when the last caliph – Islam’s supreme religious and political leader, the Prophet Mohammed’s heir — was deposed, the 1,400-year-old institution of the caliphate abolished and all members of the Ottoman dynasty sent into exile.
This was the moment in history when, as Osama bin Laden phrased it, “the whole Islamic world fell under the Crusader banner.” Three months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then al-Qaeda’s chief ideologue/theologian, now bin Laden’s successor, wrote that the “hope of the Muslim nation [is] to reinstate its fallen caliphate and regain its lost glory.”
The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada
Thursday, August 18, 2011
“The tests of life are to make, not break us. Trouble may demolish a
but build up his character. The blow at the outward man may be the
to the inner man. If God, then, puts or permits anything hard in our
be sure that the real peril, the real trouble, is that we shall lose
if we flinch or rebel.”
- Maltbie Davenport Babcock
Sign up now to receive our free Monthly Newsletter at
In this week’s edition: reports from Egypt, Uganda, China, Cuba and
1. Christian killed, others injured in mob attack in Egypt
(Source: Compass Direct)
A Christian was killed and several others were injured by a mob of
Muslims who recently attacked the predominantly Christian village of
Nazlet Faragallah in Al-Minya, Upper Egypt. The attack was reportedly
sparked by an August 6 argument between a Muslim man and a Coptic
Christian woman. The nature of the argument could not be confirmed,
but several Christian men allegedly came to the aid of the woman,
ending the dispute. Several hours later, a group of Muslims arrived at
the village church and started pelting congregants with rocks as they
left the building. The Christians responded in kind. Several people
suffered cuts and bruises, and some of the windows of the church
building were broken.
The next day, Muslims armed with long swords and guns then rampaged
through the community, looting and burning several homes and
businesses belonging to Christians. At least eight homes were torched
to the ground. A Christian farmer, Maher Nassif (46), was killed when
he tried to defend his home. The men then looted the home and stole
Maher’s livestock as his teenage son, who witnessed the attack,
escaped into the night. The violence raged on until the next morning.
According to villagers, tension between Muslims and Christians has
intensified in the country since the revolution earlier this year. One
local Christian blamed worsened relations on the increased
radicalization of certain Muslims in Egypt who want to “complete their
faith by killing Christians.”
Pray that the Christians in this region will not be ruled by fear but
trust in Christ (1 Peter 3:14-15). Pray that those who mourn for Maher
will find comfort in the fact that Christ has triumphed over death and
that those who die in the Lord will be raised with Him (1 Corinthians
15:50-58). Ask God to equip Egyptian Christians to demonstrate His
peace and grace, even to those who target them for their faith.
For more on the trials facing Christians in Egypt, visit
2. Ugandan Christian brutally imprisoned by Muslim father
(Source: Compass Direct)
A 14-year-old girl in western Uganda remains in frail health 10 months
after her father tortured her for leaving Islam for Christianity. In
March 2010, Susan Ithungu came to faith in Christ after an evangelist
came to speak at her school in Isango village, Kasese district. A
month later, news reached Susan’s father that she had converted to
Christianity. He warned her and her brother, Mbusa Baluku, against
attending church or listening to the gospel message, threatening to
kill them in broad daylight if they embraced Christianity. Susan was
then locked in a room with no sunlight. Her brother was warned against
telling anyone of her imprisonment, but would secretly bring her food
In October 2010, Mbusa finally told the neighbours about his sister’s
situation. They then reported the case to the authorities and police
freed her. Susan was extremely weak and unable to walk or talk. “Her
hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and
she looked very slim, less than 20 kilograms,” said one pastor. Her
father was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released. At last
report, Susan was still struggling with her health — unable to walk,
but able to talk and eat soft foods. “The great news is that Susan is
still strong in the Lord Jesus Christ,” the pastor said. “She needs
prayers and support, so that she can resume her education soon.”
Thank God for Susan’s rescue and pray for her continued healing. Pray
many Christians will be emboldened by her story of persevering faith
and confidence in Christ (Hebrews 10:32-39). Pray for safety for her
brother. Ask God to bring her father to repentance and that he, too,
will come to know Christ as Lord.
3. House church members targeted in China
(Source: ChinaAid Association)
Chinese authorities have recently targeted several Christians involved
in house church activities.
On August 11, approximately 100 officials surrounded the residence of
Pastor Lu Jingxiang in Mingguang city, Anhui province, where his house
church was hosting a summer camp for children. Pastor Lu and three
visiting Christian leaders were taken to the police station for
holding an “unregistered, illegal meeting.” The principal of the local
elementary and high school recorded the names of all the children in
attendance. Pastor Lu and the three other leaders were later released.
The evening before the raid, local officials had spread rumours that
Pastor Lu had hidden drugs and cult members in his home.
On August 13, three leaders of a house church in the city of Suqian,
Jiangsu province were given five-day administrative detention
sentences. Last month, the church’s pastor, Pastor Shi Enhao, was
sentenced to two years “re-education through labour” (for more
information, visit http://www.persecution.net/cn-2011-08-04.htm
). Furthermore, Pastor Shi’s son, Shi Yongyang, his daughter, Shi
Yumei, and his son-in-law, Zhang Quansheng, are reportedly also at
risk of being detained.
Pray Chinese believers facing persecution will have an intimate
experience of God’s comfort and protection. Pray that increased
persecution will result in increased boldness among the believers
(Acts 4:29-31). Pray that God will bring to repentance those who
afflict His people in China (Psalm 83).
You can learn more about the persecuted Church in China at
4. Update: Formerly imprisoned Cuban pastor settles in United States
(Source: Compass Direct, VOM-USA)
A formerly imprisoned Cuban pastor recently arrived in the United
States as a political refugee along with his wife and daughters. In
February 2006, Cuban authorities raided the home of Pastor Carlos
Lamelas and arrested him on charges of aiding emigrants who sought to
leave the country illegally. Pastor Carlos was later accused of being
involved in human trafficking. Those acquainted with Pastor Carlos
denied that he was ever involved in such activities and believed he
was being targeted for opposing the Cuban regime on religious rights
issues. Carlos suffered in prison without charges until he was
suddenly given a conditional release in June 2006. He was later fined,
however, on charges of “falsifying documents” (see
Unable to find employment and fearing another arrest, Carlos applied
unsuccessfully for political asylum in 2010. In 2011, however, his
case was reviewed and he and his family were granted status as
political refugees. “For our part, we have been open to the will of
God, and we know he will take us where we can best serve him,” Pastor
During Pastor Carlos’s imprisonment, hundreds of Christians wrote him
letters of encouragement, many through The Voice of the Martyrs’
letter writing site, http://www.PrisonerAlert.com
. “We know that many brothers and sisters have collaborated for our
benefit; we’re sorry not to know specifically who they are.
Nevertheless, we want them to know that our love and gratitude is
sealed in our hearts for the rest of our lives,” said Pastor Carlos.
To get involved in writing letters to prisoners of faith, visit
. You can also download a free guide with pointers and prisoner
addresses at http://www.persecution.net/write.htm
Thank the Lord for the enduring faith of Pastor Carlos. Pray for
provision for him and his family as they serve the Lord. Pray that
Christians in Cuba will continue to confidently entrust themselves to
Christ so that they can preach the gospel without hesitation (2
To learn more about persecution in Cuba, please visit
5. Imported Bibles seized by Iranian government
(Source: Mohabat News)
The Iranian government is expressing great concern over the large
volume of Bibles entering the country. Authorities reportedly seized
6,500 Bibles in transit between the cities of Zanjan and Abhar in
northwest Iran. An Iranian official recently stated that “missionaries
with reliance on huge money and propaganda are trying to deviate our
youth.” He also expressed his concern that “religions are
strengthening their power to confront Islam.” Prior to this, in
November of 2010, police officers and revolutionary guards seized 300
Bibles and burned them.
Pray that the Word of the Lord will continue to go forth in Iran and
that many will come to embrace Christ as their Saviour. Pray that
Iranian believers will never be ashamed of the gospel because, through
its power, God brings salvation (Romans 1:16). Pray for strength and
insight for all those involved in ministry in Iran.
To learn more about Iranian believers serving Christ at great risk, go
The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of The Voice of the
Martyrs, Canada. (Mailing address: P.O. Box 608, Streetsville,
Ontario, L5M 2C1)
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Website: http://www.persecution.net
by Matthew Vadum:
After more than 40 years of waging war against America’s democratic institutions, the lawless ACORN gang has finally been brought to justice.
ACORN, the organization that brought Americans the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (the “Motor Voter” law), which makes election fraud a breeze, was sentenced for felony voter fraud in Las Vegas last week.
The nonprofit group famous for turning graveyards across the nation into Democratic strongholds, had previously pleaded guilty to unlawful compensation for registration of voters, a crime in Nevada.
Significantly, this is the first time ACORN itself, as opposed to its individual workers, has been convicted of a crime.
Father Raymond J. de Souza:
The news is catching up to Mark Steyn, and the author is catching up to himself. His rollicking new book chronicles the advanced cultural, strategic and economic decline of the United States. It’s called After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and it picks up the story that Steyn told in his last book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It. The earlier book was about how the West outside America was on greased skids to civilizational collapse; in this book he demonstrates that America has more than caught up.
By Lloyd Marcus:
Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, said, “The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.” In other words, leadership flows from the top down.
Folks, I believe human beings are responsible for their behavior. However, as America’s first black president, fair or unfair, Obama’s presidency comes with enormous responsibility in terms of its influence on black youths. This is why it is so unfortunate that American black youths’ ultimate role model is a characterless, race-baiting political hack.
While I am not saying president Obama is responsible for the epidemic of black youth flash-mob attacks on whites around our country, his race-baiting has to be a contributing factor.
Obama and his minions have despicably created racial tension for political gain — accusing all who opposed his hostile takeover of our health care system of racism.
By Russell Cook:
I’ve repeatedly asked politicians, policymakers, and mainstream media journalists to explain to me why we need greenhouse gas regulation when skeptic scientists’ climate assessments indicate that it’s a pointless action to stop a natural phenomenon. You’d think at least the journalists would directly answer my questions about their articles’ claims of a scientific consensus, acid oceans, and who corroborated a singular accusation that fossil fuel industries conspire with skeptic scientists to fool the public. Each time, I got evasive replies instead.
Rush Limbaugh will probably howl at me for expecting the MSM to accurately report both sides of the issue, but my incessant inquiries reveal that one news outlet, PBS’ NewsHour, appears unable to clearly state why skeptic scientists’ viewpoints aren’t worth considering.
by Patrick Richardson:
As the president doubles down on regulation — from labor, to carbon, to health care “reform” — business owners are crying foul. Regulation and the costs associated with it are all but incalculable, and are killing the very job creation on which President Barack Obama says he is focused “like a laser.”
See CKE Restaurants: according to a release from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s “American Job Creators” initiative, CKE owns or franchises 3,182 restaurants under the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brand names nationwide, employing more than 70,000. Each new restaurant generates roughly 25 new jobs and pumps more than $1 million into the surrounding community.