Church

Crucifix Vandalised Again in Mumbai, Christians Protest

Christian Today.

A crucifix in Mumbai that was vandalised in December 2013 was once again attacked and desecrated on Monday, 14th July 2014 early morning and arrested a lone Catholic man instead of the real culprits, prompting Christian bodies to organize protest.

The historic crucifix, located on Swami Vivekanand Road near the Life Insurance Corporations building in Vile Parle West, a Mumbai suburb, was found by locals to have been attacked. The miscreants had hacked off the statue’s hands.

Christian groups such as Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum (MCYF) and the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) that jointly organized the protest noted that this was the second time the same crucifix was desecrated.

Mr. Joseph Dias, the general secretary of the Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) believes this was part of an attempt to polarize votes on communal lines with the state assembly elections just a few months away.

The police arrested Agnelo Pereira, who according to the police vandalized the crucifix on the sole witness of a drug addict and on the confession of the accused himself, ignoring pleas of Christians that many other suspects were not arrested, including the addict, the press release by the Christian bodies noted.

Meanwhile, “the Archbishop of Bombay, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, appeals to the Christian community to remain peaceful, calm and lift up the perpetrators of this crime in prayer,” the Archdiocese of Bombay stated.

“We urge the police to investigate the crime with full earnestness and to provide police protection to this sacred image.”

“Till date no updates have been provided to the Christian community at Vile Parle or to the Archdiocese of Bombay with regards to the investigation of the previous vandalisation which took place on December 15, 2013,” the archdiocese noted.

The crucifix, which was erected in 1880, is visited regularly by the faithful, who offer prayers and floral gifts, and is also generally treated with reverence by Mumbaikars of other religions.

 

Church

Churches Intensify Campaign Against TopTV Porn Plans

Gateway News:

Senior Christian leaders who met in Pretoria yesterday (July 31, 2013) say that if ailing pay-TV provider TopTV goes ahead with its plans to launch three pornography channels they will intensify a nationwide boycott of the broadcaster and its supporters.

TopTV hopes that the addition of the porn channels, which was approved by broadcasting regulator ICASA in April 2013, will help to save the business. The porn launch is being held up by the business rescue process which includes negotiations with Chinese broadcaster and prospective shareholder StarTimes.

In a statement released after yesterday’s meeting, the Christian leaders say research overwhelmingly indicates that easy access to pornography – whether on the internet or television – is harmful to women and children and destructive to marriage and families.

“As a result, the undersigned Christian leaders and its affiliate organisations in South Africa reiterate our commitment to the nationwide boycott of TopTV, its advertisers, sponsors and retail partners,” says the statement.

The church leaders say they will immediately cancel the boycott if TopTV scraps its porn plans and commits to providing family-friendly content.

Spiralling rates of rape, sexual violence
“The Christian Church is tragically aware of the spiralling rates of rape and other forms of sexual violence and abuse of women and children in South Africa. We are therefore horrified that a government agency like ICASA would provide a failed business a license to broadcast three hard-core pornographic channels in a nation where a woman or child is raped or sexually abused every few minutes,” say the Christian leaders.

The statement cites a media report that records rapes of elderly women in various parts of SA and reports an expert opinion that rape of the elderly is on the increase.

“We are extremely concerned about governments failure to effectively combat the widespread abuse of women, children and the elderly in South Africa. The South African Government’s indirect condoning of the broadcast of hard-core pornography on television, coupled with its failure to significantly reduce sexual crimes, makes South Africa one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women, children and the elderly to live. We ask why, when governments like that of Great Britain are introducing legislation to restrict access to pornography on the Internet, our government insists on liberalising an already liberal broadcasting regime.

“We, the undersigned, as Christian leaders in South Africa, call on our government to fulfil its constitutional obligations to restore the safety and dignity of women, children and the elderly in SA by urgently amending the Broadcasting Act to prohibit all forms of pornography on South African television. We further encourage government to install filters on the internet at tier-one level to block all sexually explicit content entering the country. This measure will serve to protect vulnerable children from being exposed to hard-core pornography on the internet, including adults being harassed by unwanted guerrilla marketing tactics by unscrupulous porn merchants,” concludes the statement.

The statement is signed by:

The Apostolic Faith Mission of SA (AFM/AGS) – Rev Isak Burger (President)
The Assemblies of God of SA (AOG) – Rev Ernest Hlophe (General Secretary)
The Baptist Union of SA – Rev Angelo Scheepers (General Secretary)
The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference – Archbishop Stephen Brislin(President)
Church of England in SA (CESA) – Rev Desmond Inglesby (Presiding Bishop)
The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) – Rev Braam Hanekom (Moderator)
The Full Gospel Church of SA – Rev Anton van Deventer (Moderator)
The Methodist Church of Southern Africa – Rev Ziphozihle Siwa (Presiding Bishop)
The Evangelical Alliance of SA – (TEASA) – Rev Moss Ntlha (Secretary General)
The Association of Vineyard Churches in SA – Rev Costa Mitchell (National Director)
Christian Family Church SA – Rev Johnny Slabbert (COO)
His People Christian Churches SA – Rev Gilian Davids
Shofar Churches SA – Rev Fred May
Family Policy Institute – Errol Naidoo (Founder and Director).

Church

Westboro Lunatics to Picket at Sandy Hook

In the Huffington Post:

The Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group known for protesting outside funerals of slain U.S. service members, announced that it will picket a vigil for the victims of Friday’s Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the second-deadliest school shooting in American history.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, a spokesperson for the group and, like most members of the organization, a relative of the group’s founder, Fred Phelps, announced on Twitter on Saturday the group’s plan “to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment”…

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church say that America is being punished for its acceptance of gays and lesbians. In recent days, Phelps family members have sent tweets about the Connecticut shooting that have said “God sent the shooter.”

Not surprisingly, the group’s announcement was met with resistance online…

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the Westboro Baptist Church “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America,” while the Anti-Defamation League calls it “a small virulently homophobic, anti-Semitic hate group.”

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church, saying that the right to picket funerals was protected under the First Amendment. President Obama earlier this year, however, signed legislation that said that protests must be held 300 feet from military funerals.

 

Church

Israel: Women of the Wall

Israeli security guards at the Western Wall on Friday searched women worshippers arriving at the holiest place where Jews can pray for a seemingly inoffensive object – the Jewish prayer shawl, which under the Orthodox tradition can be worn only by men.

Once the shawls were found, dozens of women had to deposit them before proceeding to pray in the section reserved for women. A few, who managed to sneak the shawls in under their coats and wrapped them around their shoulders, were promptly evicted or detained.

Similar scenes have played out almost a dozen times every year since the group known as Women of the Wall was first established nearly 25 years ago.

Its members have endured arrests, heckling and legal battles in a struggle to attain what they consider their inalienable right – to pray and worship at the Western Wall like men do.

Under Israel’s predominantly Orthodox Jewish tradition, only men may wear a prayer shawl, a skullcap and phylacteries. Liberal Reform Judaism, marginal in Israel but the largest denomination in the United States, allows women to practice the same way as men do in Orthodox Judaism: they may be ordained as rabbis, read from the Torah, the Jewish holy book, and wear prayer shawls.

The multi-denominational Women of the Wall adheres to that liberal stream. Since 1988, its members have come to the holy site 11 times a year to pray on the first day of the new Jewish month, except on the New Year.

The police know they are coming and are on the lookout. The group’s members have been repeatedly detained, as soon as they are perceived to be offending Orthodox sensibilities – such as carrying a Torah scroll or if they try to drape themselves in the shawls. They are usually released after a few hours.

They have never been charged – evidence, the women say, that what they are doing is not illegal.

“We want to have the ability to pray out loud, to wear a prayer shawl, to read the Torah. And we want to do it without fear at the Western Wall,” said Anat Hoffman, the group’s chairwoman…

Read on in the Huffington Post.

 

Church

Turkish Film about Fall of Constantinople Incites Hatred of Christians

The Eponymous Flower:

The Turkish film, Faith 1453 tells of the dramatic, and for Christians traumatic, sack of Constantinople by the Mohammedan Ottomans in 1453.  Constantinople which was the Capital of the Roman Empire for more than 1,100 years was with Rome the most important city of Christendom.  The    $17 million-dollar-film which drew enthusiasm in Turkey, incited hard critics from Christians in the Orient.  The film has numerous historical errors and barbs of hate against Christians.

The film is to be shown in theaters in Beruit.  The Christian community of the Land of the Cedars have thus called for a boycott   They are calling it a “Propaganda film”.  The 160 minute production of the Turkish director Faruk Aksoy begins with a flashback to Mohamed in exile from Medina, promising his  followers “eternal happiness” if they conquered the Byzantine capital.  The Ottoman Sultan took up this prophesy of Mohamed symbolically, according to the film, and began his operations against Constantinople which had defied Islam for 800 years.

Politico-Religious Propaganda Film Far Removed from Historical Reality

The combination of religious prophesy and Ottoman conquest in the film clearly speaks to Turkish national pride, as sold-out theater sales since February show.

One historical appraisal praised the film, say critics, but didn’t stand.  The historical errors represented therein have rewritten the glorification of Islam and the Sultan’s politico-religious leadership.  With that the film is not only a historical, but also more in a poltical dimension. A political dimension which which occurs in the re-islamicization of Turkey and connected with the beginning of the 20th century’s declining Ottoman Empire and Turkey as a great power in the Orient.

Rodrigo Khoury, the founder of the Christian Lebanese party Al-Machreq is among the first to see the film in a preview.  The Lebanese Christians were shocked.  He forwarded an introductory film review with a detailed explanation of historical errors to General Surete, the censor of the Lebanese government.  Khoury addressed himself to numerous journalists, to allow the release of the film in the name of freedom of expression and art.

The Film Shows the Struggle Between Christian and Muslim Culture — Christendom is a Grotesque Caricature

“The Film” says Khoury, “doesn’t tell the struggle between two kingdoms, as the subtitle maintains, rather it’s the struggle between two cultures, the Christian and the Muslim.  The Christian culture is distorted as a grotesque culture and the origin of all evil, while the Muslim culture on the other hand as perfect, faultless and portrayed therefore as the superior culture.”  The young Christians of Lebanon are rejecting this film, because it “clearly calls for open hatred against Christians”, says Khoury.

Father Abdo Abou Kassem is of the same opinion as the press agent for the Catholic Church in Lebanon.  “The Christian religion will be disparaged through numerous and substantial historical errors, and unjustly portrayed.”  One scene shows, says the Catholic priest, how Sultan Mehmed (Mohammed) II entered the Basilica of Hagia Sofia and pushed among thousands of faithful, who had fled there in terror.  The Sultan hugged and silenced then a child and explained that the conqueror will also be a protector.  “As we know from the chronicles and the history, this is absolute fabrication.  As the Sultan entered the largest church in the city, he gave the order to slaughter all of the Christians there, more than 3,000, and let his soldiers rape Christian women there as a sign of the occupation.  The Basilica was then turned into a mosque,” says Father Abdo.

“Fetih 1453” was released some weeks after protests against a short private film against Mohamed in Arabic lands. Because of a “blasphemous” disparagement of Mohammed and of Islam hundreds of thousands of Muslims in many states went to the streets.  The protests which were at times violent, costed more than 50 human lives, among them the American ambassador in Libya and hundreds of wounded.

 

Church

Pro-abortion Protesters Storm Church Chanting…

if Mary had aborted, we wouldn’t have this nonsense! Despicable.

A Quebec pro-life conference was interrupted last weekend when about a dozen pro-abortion protesters stormed the evangelical church in which it was held and began chanting blasphemous slogans in front of the barricaded doors of the conference hall. Police had to bring in reinforcements to remove the protesters.

“The church door was locked to keep the protesters out, but as one of the conference participant left the building during the morning session, the protesters took advantage of the open door and snuck in,” said Georges Buscemi, president of Quebec Life Coalition, to LifeSiteNews.com.

The pro-abortion protesters stormed the stairwell leading to the conference hall, but were stopped short by the conference doors that had just been barricaded.

“One of our people physically blocked the doors to prevent the protesters from entering,” said Buscemi…

Upon reached the barricaded doors of the conference hall, the protesters clapped and stamped, shouting slogans for 10 minutes before police reinforcements arrived and were able to intervene.

Behind the barricaded doors, conference attendees heard the protesters chanting the equivalent in French of “It’s my body, my choice”.

They also heard chanted a French pro-abortion sing-song against the Virgin Mary: “Ah si Marie avait connu l’avortement, on n’aurait pas tous ces emmerdement.s” (“Oh, If Mary had known about abortion, we wouldn’t have to deal with all this nonsense.”)

… Buscemi said that he was “not surprised” by the protesters. “Can you really expect people who advocate for the death of babies in the womb to be polite and respectful of property?”

“It’s only going to get worse in the future,” he said.

Indeed.

(HTFr Z)

Speaking of the evil that is abortion, news out yesterday indicates that over 70 000 abortions were performed in South Africa during 2011.

CAPE TOWN – Over 70,000 abortions were carried out throughout the country in 2011.

This came to light in a parliamentary reply on Friday.

The number of pregnancy terminations has steadily increased since 2010.

The Free State recorded the highest number of abortions with almost 22,000 being performed in 2011.

Over 12,000 terminations were carried out in the North West.

In Gauteng, at least 11,000 were performed at state health facilities.

The Western Cape’s abortion figures dropped from 12,500 in 2010 to just over 6,900 in 2011.

The Health Department said it could not determine the ages of most women who had abortions in 2011.

Shocking!

Please, let us pray:

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.

I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.

Through Christ our Lord.

Amen!