By Carl E. Olson:
Charlie Spiering reports for Crisis magazine about the Rally for Reason, which featured a bunch of people without ultimate purpose who randomly gathered to and emote and to talk, by complete chance, about their accidentally shared hatred of religion, which they insist, with great intensity, is beneath them and is not worthy of their attention—other than, of course, holding a six-hour rally:
by Murray Vasser:
Every scientist on the planet agrees that a human fetus is a human being, that is, a member of the species Homo sapiens.
The question at the heart of the elective abortion controversy is not, “Is the human fetus a human being?” Rather, the question is, “Which human beings have human rights?”
Therefore, the recent article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics (which recently appears to have been taken offline) has put the pro choice movement in a rather difficult position. The authors argue that since a fetus does not have human rights, neither does a newborn infant. They suggest that more countries should legalize infanticide, a procedure they label “after-birth abortion“.
by Frank Crimi:
Syrian President Basher Assad isn’t the only target of Syrian rebels as Syria’s Orthodox Christian Church reports “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Christians” by al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militant groups in the embattled Syrian city of Homs.
The report from the Vatican news agency Fides says Brigade Faruq, which has links with elements of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Islamist mercenaries from Libya, has expelled 90 percent of Christians living in Homs, nearly 50,000 people.
Former U.S. diplomat John Bolton alleged Thursday that the Obama administration leaked a story about covert Israeli activity in order to foil potential plans by the country to attack Iran’s nuclear program.
Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration, was responding to an article in Foreign Policy magazine that quoted government sources claiming Israel had been granted access to airfields in Azerbaijan — along Iran’s northern border.
by Richard Fernandez:
One Tagalog word for which no exact translation in English exists is “kuryente.” It literally means “electric current,” but the word can be applied to the practice of spreading sensational but faked news in order to produce a media jolt. One newspaper translates “kuryente” as “a bum steer”; others have rendered it as “actually but not really” or “confirmed but not definite.” At any rate, the phrase applies perfectly to the storm of bogus rumors swirling around the Trayvon Martin media feeding frenzy. The Daily Mail reports:
Location: Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Arrested: October 2009
Days Imprisoned: 900
Youcef Nadarkhani, a 34-year-old pastor from Rasht, about 750 miles northwest of Tehran, was arrested in October 2009 after he protested a government policy that required children, including his 8- and 9-year-old sons, to study the Quran in school. Youcef told school officials that the Iranian constitution allows for freedom of religious practice. As a result of his protest, secret police called him before a political tribunal and arrested him for protesting. The charges were later amended to apostasy and evangelism of Muslims. Youcef was tried on Sept. 21–22, 2010 by the 1st Court of the Revolutionary Tribunal and sentenced to death on Nov. 13 for apostasy.
The pastor is imprisoned in Lakan prison, where authorities have used various methods, including medication, to convert him back to Islam.
After Youcef refused to convert to Islam, his wife was arrested, put on trial without an attorney and sentenced to life in prison. She was later released after an attorney appealed her sentence. The Nadarkhanis’ children were cared for by a relative while they were both in prison.
Iranian Government: Nadarkhani Offended Islam
An Iranian envoy has denied an execution order was issued for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, but revealed a list of charges against the evangelical Christian that allegedly make him guilty of “offending Islam.” The envoy said Nadarkhani was inviting juveniles into his home, without their parent’s permission, to preach Christianity. He also claimed Nadarkhani converted his basement into a church without the government’s permission. He also said that in preaching Christianity, Nadarkhani was offending Islam, a serious charge that shows the true reason why his case is so concerning to the government.
By Victor Davis Hanson:
The world was reinvented in the 1970s by soaring oil prices and massive transfers of national wealth. It could be again if the price of petroleum crashes — a real possibility given the amazing estimates about the new gas and oil reserves on the North American continent. The Canadian tar sands, deepwater exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, horizontal drilling off the eastern and western American coastlines, fracking in once-untapped sites in North Dakota, and new pipelines from Alaska and Canada could double North American gas and oil production within a decade.
Given that North America in general and the United States in particular might soon be completely autonomous in natural-gas production and without much need of imported oil within a decade, life as we have known it for nearly the last half-century would change radically.
The Persecution & Prayer Alert
The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada
Thursday, March 29, 2012
“The true calling of a Christian is not to do extraordinary things,
but to do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.”
A. P. Stanley
Sign up now to receive our free Monthly Newsletter at
In this week’s edition: reports from Morocco, China, Iran and India
1. Three secret believers arrested in Morocco
(Sources: VOM-USA, Mission Network News)
Three Christian men were arrested in a city cafÃ© on March 1 in
Morocco. During the arrest, police apparently gained information about
other secret believers in the country. The arrest involved two young
men who were meeting with an older believer from another city. While
the two young men were released later that night, the older believer
remains in custody. The families of the two young men did not know the
men were following Christ. One of them was no longer welcome in his
home once his beliefs were discovered.
Many foreign Christians were expelled from Morocco two years ago, and
this had a significant impact on the Church as anti-Christian
sentiment seems to be growing in the country. Moroccan believers now
meet in small groups for fear of persecution. While becoming a
Christian in Morocco is not actually illegal, it is forbidden to share
the gospel with non-Christians.
Please pray that Moroccan Christians will continue to gather despite
the threats of reprisals. Pray that the believer in prison will remain
strong in his faith and will be freed. Pray that Moroccan Christians’
passion for Christ will be the light that draws others to Jesus
For more information on persecution in Morocco, please visit
. To post a prayer of support for Moroccan believers, visit our
Persecuted Church Prayer Wall at http://www.persecution.net/prayerwall
2. House church raided, believers detained in China
(Source: China Aid Association)
More than 70 Christians were taken into custody when a house church,
which had been meeting for more than two decades, was raided in
western China. The church, located in the region of Xinjiang, was
stormed by police on March 18. About a dozen policemen and Domestic
Security Protection agents burst into Pastor He Enjun’s home, and
authorities on the scene declared it was an “unapproved, illegal
meeting” and ordered an immediate end to the meeting. Each Christian
present was photographed by force and was taken for questioning. Some
believers were not released for two days. Bibles, hymnals, notebooks,
Christian education DVDs and other materials were confiscated without
a receipt, even though a receipt is required by law. The pastor and
his wife were later called back into the local police station for
further questioning. They were threatened and ordered to stop hosting
meetings in their home.
Please pray that the Lord will reward the faithfulness of these
believers by using them to lead even more people to the King of Kings.
Pray that these believers will echo Peter’s sentiment to obey God
regardless of what man says (Acts 5:29). Pray that God will work
powerfully in the hearts of the authorities in Xinjiang.
Please visit http://www.persecution.net/china.htm
for more on the persecuted Church in China.
3. Twenty-seven believers remain detained in Iran
(Source: Middle East Concern)
There are calls for both praise and petition in Iran as some formerly
imprisoned believers have been released while others remain jailed for
their faith. Davoud Alijani was arrested in Ahvaz last December and
was released on March 8. Sharifeh Dookh, Masoud Golrooyan and Nima
Shokouhi arrested in Shiraz last February were released after 36 days
in custody. And Giti Hakimpour, a 78-year old detained for three days
in February, received all the property back that was confiscated when
she was arrested including her passport, pension book, computer,
mobile phone and Bibles and other religious materials (for more on her
arrest, go to http://www.persecution.net/ir-2012-03-08.htm
However, at least 27 believers remain detained across Iran because of
their Christian faith. Following a series of raids in February and
early March, five believers remain detained in Shiraz, three in
Kermanshah and at least seven in Isfahan. Among those detained for
more than one year are Youcef Nadarkhani, Noorallah Qabitizade and
Farshid Fathi. Several believers who have been released on bail await
court hearings. Alireza Akhavan, a Christian who was released on bail
in 2010 but was convicted in November 2011 of “actions against
national security,” was re-arrested on March 14 while attempting to
flee from Iran.
Please pray that each of those detained or facing court hearings will
know the presence and peace of Jesus. Please pray that believers
across Iran will know the Lord’s wisdom and protection while meeting
together, and so will be enabled to live without fear.
To learn more about Iran’s persecuted Church, go to
. You can encourage imprisoned believers in Iran by writing them
letters of encouragement. Compile a letter online at
or download our letter writing guide at
4. Hostility for believers increasing in India
Three vicious attacks against Christians in India in recent months
reflect a growing anti-Christian sentiment.
A pastor and his children were attacked last February in Kerala state.
Pastor Titus Ignatius Kapan and his family were eating dinner in the
home of a convert to Christianity from Hinduism when Hindu extremists
stormed in. They abused the pastor and his children and then dropped
large boulders on the pastor’s car.
Days earlier, Hindu extremists disrupted a prayer service in Pandhi
village in Chhattisgarh state. For two days the attackers threatened
and assaulted attendees with their fists and leather belts. They also
tore down the believers’ tent.
Finally, a group of Christians in Haibasa district in Jharkhand state
were forced to leave their village after a series of attacks by local
villagers. The Christians took refuge at a local church but at last
report are living without necessities. In the last of the attacks, the
violent mob shut down all exit points to the village before assaulting
Christians with iron rods, axes, arrows and other sharp weapons,
severely beating four Christians. Other believers, including children,
were locked in a room where the assailants attempted to burn them
alive. Thankfully police arrived before they could carry out the
Please pray that Christians in India will find strength in Christ to
bear the persecution and to continue to proclaim the Kingdom. Please
pray that God will soften the hearts of the persecutors and draw them
to repentance. Pray that our suffering brothers and sisters in India
will trust God to enable them to proclaim the gospel even while
suffering (2 Timothy 4:16-18).
For more on persecution in India, go to
5. Join us in Calgary this April!
Please join us this spring for our annual prayer conference and for
the launch of Thirteen Three, our new youth and young adult ministry!
Scheduled speakers at both conferences include Gilbert and Joseph
Hovsepian, Iranian brothers whose father, Haik, was martyred in 1994.
A husband and wife originally from Iran (names withheld for security
reasons) are also planning to share about the sufferings they have
faced and how the Lord has been faithful in all things.
If you bring a friend to the Saturday conference, both you and your
friend will receive a free copy of “Iran: Desperate for God,” a book
of inspiring testimonies compiled by The Voice of the Martyrs. Lunch
will be available for $10.00, with proceeds supporting VOM projects in
Iran. Should you have any dietary restrictions, please bring your own
Event details are as follows:
Thirteen Three 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
The conferences are free and open to all. Kindly RSVP with your name,
the number attending, and the conference you will be attending by
calling 1-888-298-6423 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
. We hope to see you there!
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 Charles C. W. Cooke:
In Britain, the trend toward the curbing of free expression picked up speed on Monday, when British student Liam Stacey was sentenced to 56 days in prison for posting racist comments on Twitter. When Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba had a heart attack during a soccer game and was rushed to hospital, a drunk Stacey took to the microblogging site and spewed a series of racially abhorrent tweets into the ether. Other Twitter users — including sports pundit and former top-flight footballer Stan Collymore — quickly noticed his words and reported Stacey to the police, who arrested him and charged him with incitement to racial hatred a few days later.
When Muamba collapsed, said the judge at Stacey’s trial, “not just the footballer’s family, not just the footballing world but the whole world were literally praying for his life. Your comments aggravated this situation.” In fact, it is hard to see how Stacey’s words aggravated anything much at all. What he wrote, utterly appalling and unprintable as it was, had bearing neither on the efficacy of Muamba’s life-saving treatment nor on the likelihood of his survival. It prevented nobody from praying for his life or exercising any of their own rights. And it encouraged nobody to do anything illegal. Sure, what Stacey wrote may have — should have — upset many people. But in a free country, that cannot be a crime.