AUSTRALIANÂ PRAYERÂ NETWORKÂ NEWSLETTER
- VICAR OF BAGHDAD SAYS CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ HAVE BEEN LEFT WITH NOTHING
- SYRIA: CHRISTIANS NEED BREAKTHROUGH FOR POLITICAL SOLUTION
- CLERGY DECLARE STATE OF EMERGENCY IN U.S.A.
- MILLIONS FACING DEATH IN SUDAN
- ALABAMA SUPREME COURT RULES EACH PERSON HAS A GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO LIFE
- INCREDIBLE MOVE OF GOD AMONGST MEXICAN YOUTH
Following the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, the Christian minority faces continued sectarian violence, political mayhem, unemployment, lack of security, failing health care and the inability to buy food, according to Canon Andrew White, the ‘Vicar of Baghdad’. According to the Vicar, conditions have grown worse for the Christian community since the American departure. He said “None of us expected any change after the US troops left. They had not been seen on the streets for two years. We were totally wrong: from the day the US military left we were in total chaos and disarray. Violence increased and religious sectarianism began again in force.
Political mayhem began when the Shia Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki accused the Sunni Vice President Tariq Al Hashami of terrorism and issued a warrant for his arrest. White said that this action causedÂ terrible sectarian violence against the Shia. Coordinated attacks were carried out on state institutions, including the Foreign Ministry. With the issue of the arrest warrant, the fragile coalition government fractured down sectarian lines and has turned violently on itself. White stated: “It is very difficult in Iraq right now. Before, we knew that the US were just around the corner, so we could get them if needed, but now they are not there.”
US President Barack Obama declared: “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government elected by its people.” White says the reality is quite the opposite. There have been attempts to ransack the offices of both al Hashami andÂ al Maliki. “The attacks form part of increasing sectarian violence in Iraqi society,” he said. “The fear of the Christians and other minorities has increased. They say, ‘At least the old regime protected us; now we have nothing. Those who have set us free from an evil dictator have now left us.'” White said “There is no security where before the Christians, as minorities, were protected. We face great danger.
Our people have been massacred and murdered, but now we have nobody to turn to. The Iraqi Government has tried to do what it can, but we do not live in a ghetto. Christians are based all over Iraq, but especially in Baghdad and Mosul. So the Christians and all minorities are less safe than they have ever been,” Canon White said. “Employment is limited, not least for women who find it very difficult in an increasingly orthodox Islamic state. No employment means no money, and that means no ability to buy food, pay rent, or access proper health care. The hospital system in Iraq has fallen to pieces and many leading doctors have been killed, kidnapped or have fled from Iraq.”
Canon White told how, “after services each week I have to give all my 4,000 plus people food for the week. We have had to establish a clinic with doctors, dentists, and also a pharmacy. All treatment is totally free, and it is not restricted to Christians but totally open to all who need medical attention. In addition we have also built a school to provide education for our children. It is fortunate that we can provide this service for our people.” White added: “Things are difficult for all Iraqis, but for minorities, it is particularly so. The violence is terrible enough, but now we have another huge problem, corruption. Corruption is so rampant that we no longer know whom we can trust.”
Canon White explained that when the Coalition Provisional Authority took control in 2003, he remembers telling one of the leaders that “we needed to deal with the issue of religion in order to prevent religious sectarian violence. “I was told that this was not really an issue in Iraq. I was told that water and electricity were the first priority to be dealt with. It was only a few weeks later that the same leader came to me and said that he could not even deal with water and electricity because religion kept getting in the way.” Canon White said that religion in Iraq is not seen as a tranquil means of relating to the Almighty, but a means of fighting for the rights of their own.
White said “If religion is the cause of the violence, it must also be the cure. The High Council of Religious Leaders in Iraq began an urgent process to try and reduce the sectarian violence by inviting the Shia and Sunni religious leaders to meet in our presence. An Islamic Fatwa (injunction) was issued against the Sunni attacking and killing the Shia. Canon White concluded: “Sadly, this sectarianism is no longer just restricted to Iraq –the so called Arab Spring has greatly increased the risk of sectarian violence in the whole of the region. Soon there will be a lot more minorities in the region saying, ‘We have nothing?’Â Everybody may have left us, but Yeshua (Jesus) has not!”
Source: ASSIST News Service
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The NATO-US-Saudi-Gulf Arab alliance and al Qaeda both want the same thing in Syria: regime change to install a Sunni Islamist regime more favourable to their interests. Unmarked NATO planes are transporting weapons from Libya to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) base on Turkey’s border with Syria. Western Special Forces trainers are there on the ground training the Syrian rebel jihadists. US military and intelligence drones are operating over Syria, reportedly gathering evidence to ‘make a case for an international response’, but doubtless also monitoring Syrian troop movements for the FSA. al Qaeda has publicly exhorted ‘honourable’ Muslims across the region to join the jihad in Syria.
Subsequently, a group calling itself the Al Baraa Ibn Malik Martyrdom Brigade announced its formation in the Syrian town of Homs and vowed to start employing suicide bombers against Syrian security forces. British author and former UK foreign correspondent John Bradley recently cautioned that Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi forces, with funding from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, have totally hijacked the popular revolts. Bradley maintains that the conflict in Syria is now principally a US-Saudi-Gulf Arab alliance war aimed at countering ascendant Iran. He claims that what will come after Assad will be much worse.
The minority Alawites, Christians, Jews and moderate Sunnis will fight to the death because they know that the civilian opposition is dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the insurgents are now infiltrated by Salafi jihadists. For all its faults Assad’s has been a secular regime that has protected minorities. Russia is brokering talks. The 2 million-plus Christians in Syria (including 300,000 Assyrian refugees from Iraq) are in desperate need of a political breakthrough. Bradley notes, the alternative is ‘a civil war in Syria that will be so bloody that it will make what took place in Libya look like a high school prom’.
PLEASE PRAY SPECIFICALLY THAT GOD WILL
*Â send his Holy Spirit into the war zone in a powerful and palpable way, bringing awakening, repentance and spiritual revival to multitudes.
*Â hear the cries of his imperilled people and be quick to answer with demonstrations of power, love and justice; may escape and deliverance be enabled and may there be provision of food, shelter, security and hope.
*Â erect a bulwark against those who devise evil against God’s Kingdom and cruelty against his precious children.
Source: Elizabeth Kendall, Religious Liberty Commission
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The National Clergy Council, representing church leaders of Catholic, Orthodox, and all Protestant church traditions, has declared a State of Emergency for the Churches in response to an order by President Obama for religious organizations to compromise their religious and moral beliefs by providing employees with insurance coverage that would fund abortions. Jewish rabbis have also joined all Catholic bishops in the United States in expressing alarm over Obama’s mandate and other violations of the Constitution. After consultation with religious leaders, organizational executives and activists, the Reverend Rob Schenck, president of the Council, hand-delivered a letter to the White House.
In it he stated the Council’s unwavering position of protecting its constitutional right to espouse certain principles of conscience; and insisting on its God-given moral right to act upon these principles of conscience in keeping with their attendant prerogatives. The letter expressed hope that President Obama would rescind his directives, but if not, that the Council will hold to its convictions and act according to the conscience of its members no matter the legal, social, pecuniary, or political consequences. Schenck wrote, “The government has overstepped its boundaries.
The American Founders were crystal clear and totally unambiguous when they drafted the wording of the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Under our Constitution, there is no way any law can be passed that imposes a violation of conscience on a religious body because Congress is prohibited from doing so,” says Mr. Schenck. He explained that just as Nazi-era hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out in his day, it was time for the Church to speak out today. It is a time for us to take action to respectfully resist your decrees, and call our co-religionists, and all people of conscience to stand with us.”
* that the unconstitutional threat to the freedom of religion will beoverturned.
* for a strong and unified voice regarding the attack on the sanctity of life that this current administration is attempting to force upon the Church and nation. Ask the Lord to expose any plan that threatens the lives of our unborn.
* asking for God’s sovereign authority to rule over this most grievous provocation.
Editors comments:Â It is believed that since the outcry by the Churches against the order by President Obama mentioned in this article, he has taken steps towards further negotiations with them to try and get an agreement on the issues raised.
Source: Intercessors for America
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The UN estimates that some half-million displaced predominantly Christian African Nuba are facing famine conditions. Not content to disallow their escape into South Sudan, the Islamic regime in Khartoum appears to be preparing to completely annihilate the Nuba. Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers are killing Nuba at manned checkpoints. SAF tanks and artillery are blocking the refugees’ southward escape route while helicopter gunships and bombers are arriving at recently renovated airstrips. The regime has warned that any attempt to cross the southern border with aid for the Nuba would be regarded as a hostile act, i.e. an excuse for war against South Sudan.
Urged on by Christian and Jewish anti-genocide groups, the US administration has intensified efforts to pursue a breakthrough in Sudan, even offering to write-off Khartoum’s debts, estimated at $2.4 billion. Yet Khartoum remains intransigent, maintaining the Nuba are ‘rebels’ — enemies of the state –being assisted by foreign aid groups. On Sunday 19 February the Governmentof Sudan (GoS) agreed to involve international organisations in an operation to assess humanitarian needs in South Kordofan. Khartoum also advised it was considering a proposal put forward by the Arab League.
Sudan’s Minister of Social Welfare and Security, Amira Al-Fadail, reiterated the GoS position that all aid must be distributed through Sudanese facilities. This happened before in the early 1990s when the GoS, after engineering famine in the Nuba Mountains, herded the displaced and starving Nuba into ‘Peace [concentration] Camps’. Receiving food there was conditional on converting to Islam. Forced to choose between Islam and starvation, hundreds of thousands chose starvation. To allow repetition of such a situation would be absolutely unacceptable. However, with famine closing in, analysts are warning of a ‘looming catastrophe that will see millions die.”
Source: Elizabeth Kendall, Religious Liberty Commission
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In a landmark legal case the Alabama State Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that “each person has a God-given right to life.” A concurring opinion issued by four judges specifically stated that Roe v. Wade’s viability standard “should be rejected by other states until the day it is overruled by the United States Supreme Court.” Amy Hamilton sued after doctors repeatedly failed to administer ultrasounds. When an eventual ultrasound showed her child was unusually small and had developed possible signs of severe anaemia and hydrops, which can cause congestive heart failure, she requested to be referred to a perinatologist at another clinic but was refused.
On March 10, 2005, her son was stillborn. A lower court had ruled that, since the child had not yet reached the stage that it could survive outside the womb, she could not pursue a wrongful death claim “for the death of her non-viable foetus.” The Alabama Supreme court’s ruling rejected that understanding, which was based on Roe v. Wade. Instead, it cited the 1973 Alabama Supreme Court decision Wolfe v. Isbell, which ruled “that from the moment of conception, the foetus or embryo is not a part of the mother, but rather has a separate existence within the body of the mother.” The court’s decision has significant implications in relation to the practice of abortion.
The justices quoted the Alabama state constitution before concluding that its “words, borrowed from the Declaration of Independence – affirm that each person has a God-given right to life.” In his concurring opinion joined by three fellow justices, Justice Tom Parker stated, “I write separately today to emphasize the diminishing influence of Roe’s viability standard,” which he described as “arbitrary,” “based on inaccurate history,” and “mostly unsupported by legal precedent.” “Medical advances have conclusively demonstrated that an unborn child is a unique human being at every stage of development,” he wrote.
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A decade ago, short-term mission trips to Mexico were common place. The drug cartels however have overrun any form of lawfulness, andÂ missions trips across the USA/Mexico border have all but stopped. Even so the roots of the Gospel planted by those many mission trips are steadily growing. “The enemy uses deception through the media to paint a bleak and hopeless picture of Mexico, which isn’t true,” explains Mary Stroud. Mary and Matthew, her husband, are missionaries in northern Tamaulipas State – one of the most dangerous areas. “There’s a tremendous uprising of youth coming to Jesus. Seeds that were planted year after year are coming to fruition. The time of harvest is now.”
But the Strouds have seen the Holy Spirit moving in a very dramatic way, among the Church and-in spite of the prevalent availability of crack cocaine-especially among the young people. Mary doesn’t deny the pervasive violence of the area, but she insists, “Victory is here, and it belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ!” Andy Rodriguez, a worker in a Christian drug rehab program has seen addicts turn to God more and more in the last three years,and as they get clean and are “on fire” for the Lord, their families take notice. Rodriguez notes, “It’s written in the Bible, when things go wrong it makes people want God. When everything’s going good, they think they don’t need Him.”
One long-term missionary reported that, churches all over Mexico now get together at least twice a year to pray. The number of churches involved has tripled since they began. In addition, the wife of Mexico’s president and some high-ranking people in the government. have participated in the gatherings, something never heard of before. While everyone knows someone who has been kidnapped, our largest church in Mexico has been able to see the release of everyone who has been prayed for by the congregation. All the victims have been family members or acquaintances of church members, but not one of our members has been kidnapped.
Source: Christian Post
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