The story, painfully old, sounds like a scene from “Anatevka.” Were it not for the geography, century and ethnicity of the protagonists, it might as well be.
“My father is the second name on their list…” said a man huddling with four members of his family at the Evangelical Church in Ismailia.
He and his family are waiting for the kindness of others, hoping to find a place to stay, far from the threat of death that now hangs over his father.
The Sinai Province (Wilayat Sinai) terrorist organization, the Sinai branch of Islamic State (ISIS / Da’esh) terrorist group, is driving Egypt’s Christians out of the northern section of the Sinai Peninsula.
Residents of the northern Sinai town of el-Arish told a Reuters reporter on Friday that members of the terrorist group have been circulating “death lists” online, and in the streets. The lists carry a warning to Christians to leave the region, or die.
Many local Christians are taking the hint. But some are just too old to flee, too old to face the hardship that comes with never knowing where your next stop will be. And so they’re staying, knowing they may die.
Church officials have said that of the 160 families in North Sinai, 100 were leaving. More than 200 students fled El-Arish as well.
Since January 30, seven Christians were murdered by members of Wilayat Sinai, including five who were shot and killed, one set afire, and one who was beheaded.
How more ironic can it get, with Passover approaching, that such a horrific tragedy is taking place at this time and in this place, and targeting this population?
Monday, February 27, 2017
Saturday, February 18, 2017
From here, where there is more:
A recent report explains that the refugees who had converted to Christianity are now facing threats from Afghan refugees. There have been increased reported incidents of Christian converts facing persecution they face at the hands of Muslims who are targeting converts.Read the rest.
A group of Christians converts living in the refugee camps in Europe told a Christian persecution watchdog that they “fled from the Islamic Republic of Iran because they have been accused of being Christians and, therefore, have repeatedly been threatened by torture, imprisonment and the death penalty.” They were quoted as saying: “Here, where we have been accommodated presently, we are exposed to the same kinds of threats as before, this time at the hand of Afghan Muslims, and we fear for our lives.”
“The Afghan refugees, call us Iranian Christians ‘apostates’ and ‘infidels’ because of our decision to leave Islam and consider the shedding of our blood as legitimate or even necessary.” There are reports of the Kurdish church leaders being threatened and warned to leave the refugee group. The Kurdish pastor who had converted said that he was forced to leave Kurdistan because he received threats from local rebels and the local police.
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Gayle McCormick, 73, decided to split up with her husband of 22 years after he voted for the Republican in last November's presidential election. He had announced his intentions at a lunch with friends prior to the election.
‘It totally undid me that he could vote for Trump,’ said McCormick, who identifies as a ‘Democrat leaning toward socialist’. She added: ‘I felt like I had been fooling myself.
‘It opened up areas between us I had not faced before. I realized how far I had gone in my life to accept things I would have never accepted when I was younger.’
|(Click to enlarge) Graph showing Reuters/Ipsos polling results.|
Families across the US have been divided by the election according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
The number of respondents who argued with family and friends over politics jumped six percentage points from a pre-election poll in October, up to 39% from 33%.
Many people had also stopped talking to their loved ones after the vote, with 22% of Hillary Clinton fans admitting they had ended communication with a relative or close friend.
‘It’s been pretty rough for me,” said Rob Brunello, a truck driver who voted for Trump. ‘People couldn’t believe Trump could beat Hillary. They are having a hard time adjusting to it.’
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom with some respondents saying their relationships had not suffered because of the election. Around 40% had not argued with a family member or friend over the race.
Friendships were also created with 21% saying they become friends with someone they did not know because of the election.
I would like to remind my Christian friends of the words of Scripture: "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
From the New York Post:
The North Korean elite are expressing their discontent toward young leader Kim Jong Un and his government as more outside information trickles into the isolated country, North Korea’s former deputy ambassador to London said Wednesday.
Thae Yong Ho defected to South Korea in August last year and since December 2016 has been speaking to media and appearing on television shows to discuss his defection to Seoul and his life as a North Korean envoy.
“When Kim Jong Un first came to power, I was hopeful that he would make reasonable and rational decisions to save North Korea from poverty, but I soon fell into despair watching him purging officials for no proper reasons,” Thae said during his first news conference with foreign media Wednesday.
“Low-level dissent or criticism of the regime, until recently unthinkable, is becoming more frequent,” said Thae, who spoke in fluent, British-accented English.
“We have to spray gasoline on North Korea, and let the North Korean people set fire to it.”
Thae, 54, has said publicly that dissatisfaction with Kim prompted him to flee his post. Two university-age sons living with him and his wife in London also defected with him.
North and South Korea are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North, which is subject to UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.
Thae is the most senior official to have fled North Korea and entered public life in the South since the 1997 defection of Hwang Jang Yop, the brains behind the North’s governing ideology, “Juche,” which combines Marxism and extreme nationalism.
Today’s North Korean system had “nothing to do with true communism,” Thae said, adding that the elite, like himself, had watched with unease as countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union embraced economic and social reforms.
Thae has said more North Korean diplomats are waiting in Europe to defect to South Korea.
North Korea still outwardly professes to maintain a Soviet-style command economy, but for years a thriving network of informal markets and person-to-person trading has become the main source of food and money for ordinary people.
Fully embracing these reforms would end Kim Jong Un’s rule, Thae said. Asked if Kim’s brother, Kim Jong Chol, could run the country instead, Thae remained skeptical.
“Kim Jong Chol has no interest in politics. He is only interested in music,” Thae said.
“He’s only interested in Eric Clapton. If he was a normal man, I’m sure he’d be a very good professional guitarist.”
Of particular concern is Thae Yong Ho's assertion (toward the end of the video) that Kim Jong Un would readily press the nuclear button if he saw his regime threatened. North Korea already possesses nuclear warheads and is in the process of testing missiles that could soon have the capability of reaching the United States.
[Sorry, the video interview originally posted here no longer exists.]