By Theodore Shoebat
Muslim terrorists in Pakistan butchered twenty five people in another jihadist attack, as we read in one report:
A bomb exploded next to a convoy of the deputy chairman of the Pakistan Senate on Friday (May 12) in the violence-plagued province of Baluchistan, killing at least 25 people, officials said, with dozens more being rushed to hospital for treatment.
At least 35 people were wounded in the blast near the town of Mastung, 50 km (30 miles) from the provincial capital of Quetta.
Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the deputy chairman of the upper house of parliament, told Reuters minutes after the explosion he believed he was the target and he had sustained minor injuries.
Haideri is a member of Jamiat e Ulema Islam, a right-wing Sunni Islamist political party that is part of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s coalition government.
Mastung police official Ghazanfar Ali Shah said by telephone that the convoy appeared to have been hit by a suicide bomber.
Islamic State (ISIS) said it had carried out a deadly bomb attack next to a convoy of the deputy chairman of the Pakistan Senate in the province of Baluchistan.
The group’s Amaq news agency said a bomber wearing an explosive vest was responsible for the attack.
By Theodore Shoebat
A major Christian leader, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, has declared that “regime change” would only lead to the slaughter and persecution of Christians, giving a warning to US foreign policy, since its actions have been very destructive to Christians in the Middle East. As we read in one report:
The policy of regime change “in the name of democracy” gives terrorists control over vast territories and makes Christians flee and suffer, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev told RT during his Washington visit.
One of the top clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church and head of External Church Relations, Hilarion Alfeyev, spoke to an RT correspondent after the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, which took place in the US capital.
The forum gathered representatives of more than 130 countries to testify on the persecution of Christians around the world.
Alfeyev noted that events in some states have “one and the same scenario,” in which an existing regime is accused of various crimes and the leader is ousted for being ‘undemocratic.’
“The regime is overthrown in the name of democracy, but instead of democracy… political chaos comes,” he told RT.
This allows terrorists to seize territory, jeopardizing Christian communities and causing people to flee as they are persecuted in their own land.
“This is precisely the situation that is used by terrorists to gain control of huge territories. This happened in Iraq, this happened in Libya,” he said, adding that great amounts of people have left those countries and many Christians there are still in danger.
“In Iraq under Saddam Hussein there were 1.5 million Christians, now there is probably one tenth of this quantity left and even those who are left are in constant danger. In Libya there was a strong Christian community, there is practically none of it left,” he said.
He added that he does not support any particular regime, but they can maintain “certain balances” between various religious and ethnic groups. The destruction of these balances leads to “tragedy for the Christians of Middle East.”
“It is largely due to the actions of previous administrations of the United States that the situation in the Middle East developed in this deplorable direction,” he said.
In 2003, the US-led invasion of Iraq started under a false pretext to eliminate weapons of mass destruction allegedly possessed by leader Saddam Hussein. The weapons were never found, but Hussein was deposed and later executed. Following the invasion, Iraq suffered a growing insurgency, which led to the spread of terrorism, and eventually, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which has been particularly ruthless in their persecution of religious minorities, including Christians.
The UN-authorized intervention in Libya in 2011 led to the overthrow and murder of the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi. Libya still does not have a unified government, and is torn apart by rival groups and radical jihadists.
Alfeyev also had the opportunity to speak with US Vice President Mike Pence ahead of the meeting in Washington.
“If there are several anti-terrorist coalitions which are fighting against one another, then the problem will remain and this is precisely what terrorists want. If the countries [are] able to set their political differences aside in order to act as allies in one anti-terrorist coalition, then it would be possible to win over terrorism,” he told Pence.
He also said that the Russian Orthodox Christian leadership supports Russia-US cooperation in restoring peace to Syria.
When asked why the US media does not pay much attention to the persecution of Christians, he said that many of them “are in the hands of those in opposition to the current President of the country.”
Alfeyev noted that he was rather surprised by the level of “anti-Trump hysteria” in the US media.
Mob in Indonesia demanding the death of the Christian governor
By Theodore Shoebat
The only Christian governor in Indonesia, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the governor of Jakarta, has been sentenced for two years in prison for “blasphemy” against Islam. The surge of anger against him began when a video, falsely subtitled, started to be mass distributed on youtube, supposedly showing the governor stating that the Quran states that non-Muslims cannot have a Muslim leader. Mobs began to demand for his death, and now he will be behind bars for two years. The story is a demonstration as to how dangerous the internet can become when used to rile up the mob, and also how Islamist Indonesia is becoming. If they can put the governor of Indonesia’s capital in prison, then they will — under the instigation of the mob, put regular Christians in prison, in mass numbers. As we read in one report:
The first Christian governor of Indonesia’s capital city in decades was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday for blasphemy against Islam.
The harsh sentence is perceived as a critical blow to religious tolerance in the world’s largest majority country, reports Reuters. The governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was “found to have legitimately and convincingly conducted a criminal act of blasphemy,” a judge declared Tuesday. Purnama intends to appeal the ruling.
The governor, a political ally of President Joko Widodo, was taken to a prison in East Jakarta.
Indonesia’s blasphemy controversy emerged in September, when an incorrectly-subtitled video of the governor criticizing those who claim that the Qur’an prohibits Muslims from having a non-Muslim leader surfaced online.
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian’s marched on the capital in protest. A riot in November involving around 100,000 people turned violent, killing one and injuring a dozen others. A few weeks later, roughly 200,000 conservative Muslims rallied in the Indonesian capital to protest Purnama, who is known as “Ahok” by his supporters. There were more huge protests in February, and thousands more Muslims marched on Jakarta in March of this year to demand Purnama’s arrest.
The protests were reportedly organized by hard-line and radical Islamic groups, such as the Islamic Defenders Front.
Purnama lost his bid for re-election to Muslim rival Anies Baswedan in April. He will surrender his position to his opponent in October. If Purnama’s appeals fail, he will not be allowed to hold public office even after his release.
Hardliners called for the maximum penalty — five years, but he was given a reduced sentence.
When the verdict was announced, many of Ahok’s supporters declared the trial a farce. Many were angry, and others reportedly cried openly. Purnama enjoyed popularity as the governor of Jakarta.
Human rights organizations believe that Purnama’s fall represents a major setback for Indonesia, where most Muslims practice a moderate form of Islam in a country that is relatively tolerant of Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus. “If someone like Ahok, the governor of the capital, backed by the country’s largest political party, ally of the president, can be jailed on groundless accusations, what will others do?” asked Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch, according to Reuters.
By Theodore Shoebat
A Christian man in Egypt was murdered in a barber shop by Islamist terrorists by being shot to death. This killing took place not too longer after a major jihadist leader declared: “Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels,” as we read in one report:
Security officials say a Christian man has been shot dead by suspected Daesh militants while inside a barber’s shop in Egypt’s turbulent northern Sinai.
The late Saturday killing in the coastal city of al-Arish came one day after the Daesh terrorist group’s local affiliate warned it would escalate attacks against Christians. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.
Ayoub is at least the seventh Christian in northern Sinai to be killed by suspected Daesh militants in recent months. The killings have forced hundreds of Christians to flee the region. At least 75 others have been killed in Daesh attacks targeting churches since December.
A Daesh leader in Egypt vowed last week to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and western embassies as they are targets of their group’s militants.
“Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels,” the unidentified leader said in a lengthy interview published by the group’s al-Nabaa newsletter on Thursday. He said churches, security posts and institutions, as well as places where “crusader nationals of western countries” gather were all “legitimate targets.”
By Theodore Shoebat
16,000 Christians are said to be hiding in a Catholic Cathedral in Sudan, trying to take refuge from the horrific violence that has been rampant in the region on account of a devastating civil war. According to the report:
As violence and civil war tear South Sudan apart, people search for refuge within churches and cathedrals while trying to stave off famine and persecution.
Rita Williams slept under a tree beside St. Mary Catholic Cathedral, her three hungry children beside her. Around them, as many as 16,000 other displaced people filled the cathedral compound, hoping the church would keep them safe as their country spirals into greater violence.
“I’ve been here two weeks, since the soldiers chased us out of our house and burned it,” she said April 26. “We have nothing, not even salt. Our clothes are dirty, and some days all we have to eat or drink is water. We’re waiting. I don’t know for what, but we’re afraid to go back home.”
When civil war ripped apart South Sudan’s fragile democracy in 2013, residents of this city in the country’s northwest watched the violence from afar, seemingly unconcerned that the politically manipulated ethnic violence would spread here. And then it did, and the victims ran for the city’s churches.
“It wasn’t safe anywhere, but people said that if they were going to be killed, they preferred to be killed in the church because this is the place that Jesus is present. They wanted to die in the church rather than die in their homes,” said Father Germano Bernardo, a priest in Wau.
Although tensions had been building for months, last June intense fighting broke out between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, who are mostly members of the dominant Dinka tribe, and a mixture of local opposition groups and members of other ethnic communities.
On June 23, the violence spread into the center of Wau, where two members of the cathedral choir were killed.
“They were walking home in the evening after choir practice and were attacked by six soldiers, who shot them dead,” said Bernardo, who at the time served as vicar general of the diocese.
The next day, government soldiers started looting and burning houses belonging to the Fertit and other ethnic groups, and people rushed to the city’s churches and a nearby U.N. base, Bernardo told Catholic News Service.
By June 25, he said, soldiers were driving around the city, “shooting people as they ran from their houses.”
One small child, age 1, was killed as he ran for the church, said Bernardo.