Religious rules should end “at the door of the temple” and give way to the “public law” laid down by Parliament, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said.
He argued that Roman Catholic adoption agencies and other faith groups providing public services must choose between their religion and obeying the law when their beliefs conflict with the will of the state.
by Michael Ledeen:
I’m sure Mark Levin would agree that it’s no accident. This president, who so vigorously asserts and imposes state power against Americans, is much more comfortable supporting dissident movements against American friends than against American enemies.
At a certain point, after unconscionable dithering, he announced that Qadaffi must go, and he ordered our armed forces to help that happen. Qadaffi wasn’t killing Americans.
Now he has his feckless secretary of state announce that, while Assad must also go, we will not support–not even from way behind–those fighting against Bashar Assad, who has killed lots of Americans. With one caveat: if Assad says it’s ok, then we might do it. (Really)
By Daniel Hannan:
How much worse do things have to get, for Heaven’s sake? Greek politicians keep repeating that leaving the euro would be an economic disaster. As opposed to what, precisely? The present Wirtschaftswunder?
In 2011, the Greek economy contracted, not by the forecast three per cent, but by six per cent. Sixty thousand small firms closed, and unemployment rose to 20 per cent. As bank accounts are emptied, Greeks are reverting to barter. Farmers are bringing eggs and vegetables to their cousins in urban areas. Well-dressed people are to be found discreetly rummaging in bins for food.
As the brilliant Ambrose Evans-Pritchard puts it (in what is presumably his entry for the Most Mixed Metaphor Ever Award):
The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada
Thursday, February 16, 2012
“In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved
– Romans 8:37 (NASB)
Sign up now to receive our free Monthly Newsletter at
In this week’s edition: reports from Colombia, Laos, Somalia and Iran.
1. Violent guerrilla group impedes evangelism in Colombia
Members of the notorious guerrilla group Fuerzas Armadas
Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) recently prevented a VOM
evangelist, “Rolo,” from entering La Macarena region in Colombia with
radios, Bibles and Christian books. The Marxist-Leninist revolutionary
guerrilla organization has been a significant contributor to violence
and volatility in the region. A VOM worker in the area reported that
members of FARC are closing the churches and burning the buses of
those attempting to enter the area.
Leftist guerrillas and right-wing paramilitary groups in the country
are both acting as lawless gangs raising funds with drug trafficking
and ransom kidnapping. Despite the upheaval and political violence,
however, the Church is flourishing. While there were about 15,000
evangelical Christians in Colombia in 1933, by last year, they
numbered between 3.5 and 5 million with some churches growing
1,000-fold over the last two decades.
Please pray that Rolo’s evangelistic efforts will not be thwarted any
longer and that Christians in the region will not be impeded in
sharing the gospel message. Pray that the Church will continue to
thrive despite the efforts to keep it from doing so.
For more information on the struggles of believers in Colombia, please
2. Update: Seven imprisoned Christian leaders freed in Laos
Seven Christian leaders arrested during a church service last December
in Boukham village in Laos were unconditionally released on January
12. The village chief had ordered authorities to raid the Christmas
service on December 16, 2011, even though freedom of religion is
guaranteed in the Lao constitution (for more information on the raid,
go to http://www.persecution.net/la-2012-01-05.htm
The seven leaders were held without being charged until December 30.
Since authorities were unable to charge the pastors with violating a
religion law, they eventually charged them with violating the
village’s “hiit,” the traditional spirit cult. The Christians were
fined the equivalent of 35 times the average monthly wage.
International human rights organizations had exerted pressure on
authorities to release the imprisoned Christians, and the families of
those arrested filed complaints against the village authorities
shortly before they were released.
Praise God for the release of these bold followers and thank Him for
their safety while in custody. Please pray that these believers will
not be subjected to any further persecution. Pray that their
steadfastness would strengthen the faith of other Christians in Laos.
For more on the trials Christians face in Laos, go to
3. Islamic extremists behead another believer in Somalia
(Source: Compass Direct News)
Islamic extremists belonging to the al Shabaab extremist group in
Somalia beheaded a young Christian man just outside Mogadishu last
month. Twenty-six-year-old Zakaria Hussein Omar, who had worked for a
Christian humanitarian organization banned by al Shabaab, was murdered
on January 2 in Cee-carfiid village. The body of the young man lay
undiscovered for about 20 hours before nomads came upon his remains. A
close friend who identified Omar’s body said Omar had confided in him
that he feared for his life when the organization he was working with
was banned by the al Shabaab. Omar, an accountant, had converted to
Christianity seven years ago while he was living in Ethiopia. He is
survived by his wife, his parents, a brother and four sisters.
Last September, militants also decapitated a young Christian man,
Guled Jama Muktar, in his home near Mogadishu (for more, go to
). Earlier that month, the terrorists beheaded a Christian convert,
Juma Nuradin Kamil, in south-western Somalia (go to
for more information).
The Islamic extremists seek to impose a strict version of Shariah
(Islamic law), ridding the country of Christianity. The country’s
president, Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed, has embraced a version of
Shariah that mandates the death penalty for those who leave Islam.
Please pray that Omar’s wife and family will find peace and rest in
Christ. Please pray that the Lord will intercede against the violence
facing our brothers and sisters in Somalia. Pray that the gospel will
spread like never before in Somalia.
Go to http://www.persecution.net/somalia.htm
for more on Somalia’s suffering Church. Visit
to add a prayer of support for Omarâ€™s family on our Persecuted
Church Prayer Wall. ***********************************
4. Iranian court bars Christian convert from university for one year
(Source: Mohabat News)
A Christian convert was recently sentenced to one year of deprivation
of education by a court in Tehran, Iran. Fatemeh Nouri, an art student
in one of the universities in Tehran, was arrested in September 2011
at her home and was then transferred to Evin prison. Fatemeh was
convicted of attending a house church,insulting sacred figures, and
activities against national security. She was released on November 30,
2011, after spending almost three months in prison. However, she is
not allowed to receive an education for the duration of her one-year
The Iranian constitution allows religious freedom for followers of
non-Islamic faiths. The sentencing violates the country’s own laws, as
well as the universal declaration of human rights, which considers
education a right for all regardless of race, colour, belief, religion
and gender. While the Islamic Republic has in the past made Christian
students attend Islamic courses in an effort to convert them, it now
seems that the deprivation of education or expulsion from universities
may be the new method for opposing the spread of Christianity.
Please pray that this sentence will be recognized as unlawful and will
be overturned. Pray that Fatemeh will not become discouraged, but that
she will find new strength in Christ. Please pray for Fatemeh’s future
as well as for the futures of all young Iranian Christians seeking to
further their education and bring glory to God with their gifts.
To learn more about persecution in Iran, go to
5. Join VOM in Calgary this spring!
This April, join VOM for the launch of our new youth and young adults
ministry and for our annual prayer conference!
Scheduled speakers include Gilbert and Joseph Hovsepian, Iranian
brothers whose father, Haik, was martyred in 1994 (for more
information about the Hovsepian’s ministry, go to
). The conferences will also provide the opportunity to pray for the
persecuted and worship together with fellow believers. Be sure to mark
your calendar now for these special events!
Youth Ministry Launch
Friday, April 13, 2012
7:15 – 10 p.m.
Standing in the Fire Prayer Conference
Saturday, April 14, 2012
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Centre Street Church, West Campus
4120 Centre Street N
Calgary, AB T2E 2Y7
For more information about VOM’s youth ministry, visit
or visit our Facebook page at
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
Mothers who had low vitamin D levels while they were pregnant are more likely to have a child with a language impairment
by Alan M. Dershowitz:
In a quickly changing world, it is important to ask which countries the United States can always count on in times of crisis. Recent events have shortened that list considerably.
India has long claimed to be a reliable ally, but it is now undercutting American efforts to impose meaningful sanctions against Iran. Its help cannot any longer be counted on in the struggle against the greatest danger faced by the United States—an Iran with nuclear weapons. Japan, another ally, is dilly dallying on sanctions as well. Brazil used to be a reliable partner, until it began to fall under the sway of Venezuela’s Chavez, who is closely allied with Iran and other American enemies. The “new” Russia and China demonstrated their lack of reliability when they vetoed American efforts in the Security Council to help resolve the Syrian crisis. Egypt, which has received billions of dollars of American aid, has defied American warnings not to put US citizens on trial on phony, trumped-up charges. Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates are now playing footsy with Hamas and Hezbollah, also Iranian surrogates, as they worry about the contagion of the Arab Spring and the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
It turns out that other than Europe, Israel may be America’s only remaining reliable ally. And even some European countries, such as France, Sweden and Norway, are in doubt.
What about Canada?
by Shiraz Maher:
“We are not to blame for ‘provoking’ the Islamists; they need no such provocation.”
These have not been good times for free speech in the UK. Islamist students and cowardly student bodies – which, ironically, would identify themselves as liberal and progressive – have clamped down on the right of secular and atheist societies to voice their opposition to Islam (as they do to other religions too).
By DANIEL HALPER:
The Richmond Tea Party group is blasting the IRS for allegedly failing to grant tax exempt status to the pro-limited government organization. “The Internal Revenue Service has served Richmond Tea Party (RTP) with unreasonable requests to obtain a tax-exempt status, fitting the pattern of the Federal Government’s forcing liberty groups to spend inordinate time and money complying with their demands during this critical 2012 election year,” RTP claims in a press release.
According to the Richmond Tea Party, here’s the process that led to the “unreasonable documentation requests” from the IRS:
by David Solway:
The usual understanding of Israel as an aggressive, colonial, apartheid state robbing the Palestinians of their heritage is quite possibly the greatest political scam of modern times. It is the outcome of a mixture of historical amnesia, ideological prejudice and reflex hostility, which serves to keep it mind-proof. This species of unreason explains why, in the interminable conflict raging in the Middle East, the Palestinians have been given a free pass.
by Bruce Thornton:
Remember last year’s giddy bipartisan enthusiasm over the “Arab Spring”? President Obama claimed that Egyptians merely wanted “a government that is fair and just and responsive,” Senator John McCain asserted that Libyans were aiming for “lasting peace, dignity, and justice,” while Senator Joseph Lieberman wrote in Foreign Affairs that the Arab Spring was a struggle for “democracy, dignity, economic opportunity, and involvement in the modern world.” Every day that passes shows these assessments to be not just delusional, but dangerous to America’s interests and security.
By Alex Pappasand David Martosko:
The liberal Media Matters for America organization once accepted a $50,000 grant to monitor and attack religious news outlets, according to tax returns examined by The Daily Caller.
The grant came in 2006 from the ARCA Foundation, a 60-year-old philanthropy that funds Democratic causes. The foundation gave Media Matters the $50,000 “to support a Religious Broadcasting Project to expand the monitoring and fact checking of religious broadcasts,” according to its tax return that year.
By Lee DeCovnick:
Andrew McCarthy commands a well-deserved respect for his insightful and thought provoking discourse on American conservatism. And Saturday’s’ NRO column clearly delineates what many conservatives think about the despotic nature of this Administration. The sharply focused conclusion, that tyranny’s deadly embrace has ensnared our nation, should set painfully on the shoulders of all Americans.
Here are the opening and ending paragraphs:
by Audrey Hudson:
The federal government will no longer forgive student loans in exchange for public service if that service is related to religion, according to a new Education Department rule from the Obama administration.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program announced the change Jan. 31 with little fanfare, while most of Washington was focused on the new ObamaCare rule requiring religious organizations to provide free birth control through health insurance.
The Judicial Watch Blog:
To meet the Obama Administration’s high standards of political correctness, the U.S. government will change the way it trains agents to combat terrorism and violent extremism by eliminating all materials that shed a negative light on Muslims.
It’s a government-wide call to end Islamophobia, if you will. A few months after the White House ordered an investigation of government counterterrorism training, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has destroyed instructional material that characterizes Muslims as prone to violence or terrorism.
So far 700 pages of documents from about 300 presentations given to agents since the 2001 terrorist attacks have been purged, according to a news report published this week. The White House order came after the same publication reported in late November that the FBI, Department of Justice (DOJ) and Pentagon taught employees that mainstream Muslims embrace violence and compared the Islamic religion to the death star.
By Paul Kengor:
A fascinating theory has been advanced by Dick Morris, which, in turn, is being considered by Rush Limbaugh and other leading conservatives. Morris speculates that the Obama HHS mandate on contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients is a fight with the Catholic Church that Team Obama wants — and with the focus based narrowly on contraception, not abortifacients.
Dick Morris may be right. It seems no accident that Obama publicly noted that the vast majority of Catholic women use contraception. Yes, the vast majority does, but the vast majority does not support abortifacients — that is, “contraceptive” drugs that cause or induce an abortion.
Obama is underscoring “contraception” generally, not abortifacients specifically. Sadly, our superficial media, which reflexively ramrods everything into a 10-second sound-bite, is aiding and abetting his tactic. Again and again, I hear reporters refer to Obama’s mandate not as a mandate on “contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs” (which it is), but as simply one on “contraception.”