Since the battles we face are spiritual in nature, we must fight with spiritual weapons. If we try to combat the powers of darkness in the strength of our flesh, we will not succeed. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly], but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (II Corinthians 10:4). The whole armour of God gives us the practical means to be mighty and victorious warriors by putting on Christ in all His fullness (Romans 13:14).
The Bible says that God’s people “are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Therefore, it is mandatory that we learn how to effectively fight against evil and the devil’s schemes. Like it or not, we cannot escape spiritual warfare by denying that it exists, nor can we avoid spiritual battles by refusing to fight. Our adversaries do not stop waging warfare against us! Thus, it is to our advantage to fully utilise all that the Lord has made available for our spiritual protection.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ARMOR
The Bible lists all the components of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18. ”Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ”Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ”Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. ”And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
QUESTION: Could you give me all the references to God’s Laws that we are required to follow now? I know about the 10 commandments, loving God and loving others, but I’d like a complete list of them if possible.
ANSWER: A famous theologian once said, “Christianity is not a set of laws to be obeyed, or a creed to be accepted. It’s not a religion to be followed, or a social order to be lived. It’s a love story written in blood on a cross of wood.”
Jesus didn’t come to Earth to start a religion based on God’s laws for all of us. He came to Earth to establish a personal relationship based on God’s love for each of us.
The New Testament contains lots of instructions on how believers can respond to God’s love with words and actions. Following these instructions pleases Him, but only if we do so as an expression of our gratitude for the free gift of His love.
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, through which the Law and Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:21-22).
2Chr. 7:13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
2Chr. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land
A Russian-Syrian led offensive in southwest Syria is complicating Israel’s operational abilities against the growing Iranian threat from the country.
The offensive by the pro-Assad coalition started early last week and aims to drive the various rebel groups out of the region along the Jordanian and Israeli border.
To make things even more complicated for Israel the Russian air force joined the offensive which spelled the end of the so-called de-escalation zones agreement between the U.S., Russia and Jordan from July 2017.
Russian and Syrian airplanes are currently bombing rebel positions in the Daraa Province which borders the Kuneitra Province along the Israeli border.
The offensive has already made between 45,000 and 120,000 civilians homeless, the United Nations and Emad Batin, the vice president of the opposition’s Daraa Provincial Council,reported on Thursday.
The displaced Syrians first tried to flee in the direction of the Jordanian border but after the Hashemite Kingdom, which is already home to more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees closed its borders, the region along the Israeli border became a last resort for the Daraa residents.
Apparently the displaced persons hope Israel will open its border with Syria or that the Syrian army will not dare to launch attacks so close to the Israeli border.
Israeli intervention to stop the Iranian Russian-backed pro-Assad coalition from taking over the border region on the Golan Heights is increasingly becoming unlikely since the Russian air force joined the offensive.
Russian and Syrian warplanes carried out more than 84 airstrikes in Daraa on Thursday morning alone while the Islamist rebels in the Yarmouk Basin region used suicide attacks in an attempt to derail the offensive.
Heavy fighting was also reported in the eastern countryside of Daraa while the Long War Journal (LWJ)revealed at least one Iranian backed Shiite militia from Iraq is fighting along Assad’s army.
According to LWJ the Iraqi Shia militia Liwa Zulfiqar advertised its presence in the offensive via videos and photos which it posted on its Facebook page.
Liwa Zulfiqar took part in the battle for Busra al Harir a strategically important town in eastern Daraa and claimed rebels had tried to assassinate its commander.
During the offensive in Daraa at least three hospitals were bombed leaving residents of the province, where the uprising against Assad started in 2011, without medical care local media reported.
The pro-Assad coalition is now approaching the Israeli border and bombed the Free Syrian Army in the town of Nawa which is located less than twelve kilometers from the Golan Heights.
Russian and Syrian warplanes are targeting the Islamic State affiliate Jaish Khalid bin al-Walid which is controlling most of the Yarmouk Basin area.
Israel, meanwhile, continues to strike Iranian weapon transports to Syria but seems to be robbed of its military options by Russia to stop the Iran-dominated pro-Assad coalition from taking over the region adjacent to the Israeli Syrian border on the Golan Heights.
The presence of Russian airplanes in Syrian airspace above the Quneitra and Daraa provinces will most likely tie the hands of the Israeli air force whenever the offensive reaches the Golan Heights
The pro-Assad coalition, on the other hand, seems also very cautious in its efforts to take over the Golan Heights.
Most of the fighting since the beginning of the offensive has taken place in Daraa, not Kuneitra.
While Arab media claimed a Syrian offensive on the Golan Heights would lead to Israeli airstrikes or even an IDF ground operation in Syria, the most likely path the pro-Assad coalition will follow is to close a ‘reconciliation’ deal with the Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights.
Such deals ended other stand-offs with Islamist rebel groups across Syria and would include the forced transfer of the Islamist rebels along the Israeli and Jordanian border to Sunni dominated areas in northern and eastern Syria.
The Israeli military has reportedly drawn its “red lines” for the ongoing fighting between the Syrian government and militants along its northern border, ruling out a direct clash with pro-Assad forces and claiming that they alone must take over the conflict zone.
Tel Aviv urges Damascus to stick to the 1974 disengagement agreement, which provided for a buffer zone between the two countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu said at a cabinet meeting on Sunday. He added he is “in continual contact” with the US and Russia on the situation in southern Syria, which is the site of clashes between pro-Assad forces and militant groups.
Netanyahu reaffirmed Israel’s committment to border security. He also promised that Tel Aviv would provide humanitarian assistance and wouldn’t take in refugees from the north.
The PM’s statement came the same day the Israeli army said it beefed up its presence near the Golan Heights border with Syria with tanks and artillery. The Israeli military also said it would stick to its policy of non-intervention in the Syrian conflict.
The IDF made the remark shortly after Haaretz said Israeli defense officials ruled out a direct confrontation between the IDF and the Syrian Army in the wake of a pro-government offensive against the al-Nusra Front and Daesh* terrorist groups in southwestern Syria near the border with Israel.
According to Israeli officials cited by the media outlet, pro-Assad forces must be the only ones to enter the conflict zone near Israel’s de facto northern border and take control over it when the strife is over, while Tel Aviv does not intend to allow other forces and armed groups to take over the area or join the Syrian army.
In a meeting between senior defense officials, Israel addressed an array of scenarios it would not tolerate from the Syrian troops or other forces in the area, the report says.
Israel is also keeping a close eye on the situation in the area, to verify which forces are affiliated with President Bashar al-Assad.
The report comes shortly after the IDF were put on high alert in the disputed Golan Heights, preparing for potential side-effects from the strife near the country’s northern border.
The Israeli military sent additional tanks and artillery cannons to the Syrian border on Sunday in light of a renewed offensive by dictator Bashar Assad and the Russian military against the remaining rebel holdouts in the country’s southwest, the army said.
The reinforcements were sent to the Israel Defense Forces’ 210th Bashan Division, which guards the Golan Heights, the army said.
“This was [done] as part of IDF preparations and preparedness in light of developments in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border,” the IDF said in a statement.
The military vowed a “determined response” to any strike — deliberate or accidental — that hits Israeli territory from Syria.
“The IDF sees great importance in maintaining the armistice agreement between Israel and Syria from 1974,” the army said.
“The IDF will continue to uphold its principle of non-involvement in what is happening in Syria, alongside a policy of delivering a determined response to violations of the sovereignty of the State of Israel and threats to its citizens,” the IDF said.
Last week, the IDF announced it had delivered several tons of humanitarian aid — food, clothes, medicine — to southern Syria in light of the deteriorating situation in the hastily erected displaced person camps near the border.
Israel on Friday night also brought in six injured Syrians, four of them children orphaned in the Syrian-Russian attacks, for medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.
“Israel has been giving humanitarian aid for years and will continue now in light of the need for it,” the army said
Israel’s deployment of reinforcements to the Golan Heights is a message to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as his forces draw closer to the Israeli border, an Israeli analyst said Sunday.
“Now that your army is coming south, don’t send them into the demilitarized zone established in the 1974 [ceasefire] agreement. Israel will see this as a serious violation,” was how Hadashot television news’s defense analyst Roni Daniel couched Israel’s apparent message.
Israel’s army sent tanks and artillery cannons to the Syrian border on Sunday morning amid a renewed offensive by Assad’s forces and the Russian military against the remaining rebel holdouts in Syria’s southwest.
The IDF then announced the move to the media.
“This was a message to Assad,” Daniel said. “When the IDF deploys reinforcements and announces the reinforcement, there’s only one address: Assad.”
Israel beefed up its tank and artillery deployment on the Golan Heights frontier with Syria on Sunday, cautioning Damascus’ forces to keep a distance as they sweep rebel-held areas over the border.
Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched an offensive last month to regain the southwestern Deraa region, driving thousands of refugees toward neighboring Jordan and Israel.
Israel’s military deployed tank and artillery reinforcements to the Golan on Sunday, a statement said, “in light of developments on the Syrian Golan Heights”.
In its statement the military said Israel was holding to its non-intervention policy.
Israel says it is neutral in the seven-year war but has carried out scores of air strikes in Syria on suspected Iranian targets, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas or in response to what it said were attacks directed against its own forces in the Golan.
Israel seized much of the Golan from Syria in the 1967 war and annexed the strategic plateau, a move not recognized abroad.
Citing the Syrian instability, Israel has sought U.S. endorsement for its claim of sovereignty over the Golan. A senior Netanyahu cabinet minister said in May the Trump administration could soon oblige. Washington has not commented on the matter.
A report in March on UNDOF activities said Syria’s armed forces maintained positions in the Golan which violated the accord, as did Israel’s deployment to the area of 155 mm artillery, Iron Dome anti-missile systems and related equipment.
The IDF Northern Command Sunday, July 1, upgraded the preparedness of the Golan Bashan Division with tanks, artillery and rocket units after evaluating the level of fighting on the Syria side of the border. This was announced by the military spokesman. His announcement went on to stress “the high importance the IDF attaches to maintaining the disengagement of forces agreement on the Golan concluded in 1974 by Israel and Syria.” He added: “Israel abides by a policy of non-involvement in Syrian affairs, along with a firm response to violations of its sovereignty and possible harm to its citizens.” DEBKAfile adds: This statement provides advance notice that Israel will not tolerate the entry of Hizballah and pro-Iranian Shiite forces to the Quneitra region opposite IDF Golan lines, and further emphasizes non-acceptance of their entry into the historic disengagement zone between Quneitra and the Israeli border.
WARNINGS ABOUT A “CIVIL WAR IN AMERICA” ARE BECOMING MUCH LOUDER
I have been warning about where we are heading as a society on The Economic Collapse Blog for quite a long time, but now the warnings about a coming “civil war” are becoming very loud in the mainstream media.
For example, in a Bloomberg opinion piece entitled “What Democratic Rage Would Look Like”, political scientist Thomas Schaller made the following astounding statement: “I think we’re at the beginning of a soft civil war. … I don’t know if the country gets out of it whole.”
And Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, the author of “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself”, made the following observations in his recent USA Today article entitled “Is America headed toward a civil war?”…
Will it get worse? Probably. To have a civil war, soft or otherwise, takes two sides. But as pseudonymous tweeter Thomas H. Crown notes, it’s childishly easy in these days to identify people in mobs, and then to dispatch similar mobs to their homes and workplaces. Eventually, he notes, it becomes “protesters all the way down, and if we haven’t yet figured out that can lead to political violence, we’re dumb.”
Apparently, some of us are dumb or else want violence. As Crown warns, “We carefully erected civil peace to avoid this sort of devolution-to-a-mob. It is a great civilizational achievement and it is intensely fragile.” Yes, it is indeed fragile, and many people will miss it when it’s entirely gone.
But most alarming of all was a tweet that was posted by U.S. Congressman Steve King on Sunday…
“America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry. After that comes Ft. Sumter.”
When sitting members of Congress start talking about a coming civil war, it is time to start paying attention.
King was responding to an incident in Portland, Oregon in which radical leftists had physically taken control of an ICE office…
“Occupy” protesters have been camping outside an ICE office in Portland, Oregon, leading the facility to temporarily shut down. The occupiers say that they won’t leave until the Trump administration revokes its “zero tolerance” immigration policy.
Since Sunday the agitators, whose numbers are increasing, have been engaged in activities such as blocking the entrance to the building…
If the mainstream media and liberal leaders continue to stoke the flames of hatred and continue to incite violence on a daily basis, we are going to see much worse in the months ahead.
For example, over the weekend U.S. Representative Maxine Waters stunned the nation when she urged Americans to physically confront members of the Trump administration wherever they can be found. The following comes from the Los Angeles Times…
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), a frequent critic of the administration, gave a high-profile boost to the tactic by saying members of the Trump administration should be repeatedly confronted in their everyday lives.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they are not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said at a rally in Los Angeles on Saturday.
I don’t know that we have ever seen anything like this in modern American history.
Could you imagine what would have happened if conservative leaders had called for members of the Obama administration to be physically confronted?
After being greatly criticized for her remarks, Waters decided to reaffirm them during an interview with MSNBC the very next day…
On MSNBC the next day, she doubled down, saying that Americans are fed up. “The people are going to turn on them, they are going to protest, they are going to absolutely harass them,” she said.
And since that time her remarks have been endorsed by other progressive leaders including Democratic Senator Cory Booker.
Of course members of the Trump administration have already been getting physically confronted in public. Just a few days ago, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out of a restaurant by anti-Trump activists, and then an unruly mob of protesters decided to hold an event right in front of her home.
Then on Friday night, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her kids were kicked out of a Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia.
That incident made headlines all over the nation.
And then on Monday we learned that a “group of chanting protesters” had gathered right in front of Stephen Miller’s apartment in Washington…
A group of chanting protesters gathered outside White House adviser Stephen Miller’s Washington D.C. apartment on Monday.
But before the chanting really picked up, the crowd circulated “Wanted” flyers expressing the contention that Miller is guilty of “crimes against humanity,” among other things.
Reportedly, they are passing out flyers portraying him as a “wanted” criminal.
Civil wars don’t emerge out of a vacuum.
You can usually see them coming a long way away, and they are the result of tensions that build up over a long period of time.
America is a very deeply divided nation, and it is getting worse with each passing day. The left has already shown that they are willing to become very violent when push comes to shove, and what we have seen so far is just the small tip of a very large iceberg.
A few weeks ago, Israeli Prime Min. Netanyahu was talking about Israel’s conflict with Iran and Hezbollah in Syria; and he said, “It is not over.”
He recently saw fit to repeat that statement.
I have often said everything Jesus said is important, but the things He said more than once are very, very important.
When Mr. Netanyahu deliberately repeats something, it is very, very important.
On June 21, 2018, Israel Today Magazine carried an article by Yochanan Visser titled “ANALYSIS: Has Iran’s Multi-Front War Against Israel Already Begun?”
Every good student of Bible prophecy knows that Prime Min. Netanyahu was right when he said, “It is not over,” but Mr. Visser’s article generates at least three questions.
One, has the Psa. 83 War started (if there is one because some writers include it as part of the Battle of Gog and Magog)?
Two, are the events that are taking place in Syria a prelude to the destruction of Damascus (Isa. 17)?
Three, is the Battle of Gog and Magog on the horizon (Ezek. 38-39)?
First, concerning the possibility that the Psa. 83 War has started; since March 30, 2018, under the influence of Iran, thousands of Hamas terrorists and Palestinians have been rioting in Gaza, firing rockets and mortars into Israel, sending helium-filled balloons with bombs into Israel, etc.
These crude weapons have destroyed thousands of acres of Israeli crops and forests. And the Hamas terrorists and Palestinians say they plan to keep doing it.
Dozens of Hamas terrorists and Palestinians have been killed and thousands have been wounded.
About 200,000 Israelis are sent scurrying to bomb shelters every night.
Israeli officials say they have plans to stop it, they are prepared for war, they will be forced to launch a major invasion of Gaza soon, etc.
Three days before the Visser article, the situation was bad enough to cause the UN Sec. Gen. Antonio Guterres to warn the UN Security Council that ISRAEL AND GAZA ARE “CLOSE TO THE BRINK OF WAR.”
Second, concerning the destruction of Damascus, troops from Syria and Iran recently attacked targets in a de-confliction zone established by Russia in agreement with the U.S. on Syria’s border with Israel and Jordan.
The U.S. and Israel had both warned Syria and Iran not to attack these targets, but they did it anyway.
Thousands of people have fled the area in anticipation of a widening war.
Syria and Iran want to take control of this area to create a way to get behind Israeli troops on the Golan Heights and expand the war against Israel.
Many think it is unwise for Syria and Iran to ignore the clear warnings of Pres. Trump and Prime Min. Netanyahu.
On June 26, 2018, a large Iranian cargo plane landed at the Damascus International airport in Damascus, Syria.
The plane was struck by two Israeli missiles while it was being unloaded.
There are contradictory reports on what happened, but one source said the plane exploded and many people were killed.
Third, concerning the Battle of Gog and Magog, the U.S. doesn’t believe Syria and Iran would attack targets in the de-confliction zone in Syria without the permission of Russia.
The U.S. was recently proven right when Russian jets provided air cover for another attack in the de-confliction zone.
Since that attack, Iran has started massing troops in Syria near the Golan Heights on Israel’s border with Syria.
This confirms that Iran is not satisfied with the territory they now hold.
Iranian and Hezbollah troops keep moving closer and closer to Israel’s border with Syria (or should I say closer and closer to their destruction).
On June 26, 2018, loud explosions were heard near the Golan Heights. Sources said Syria was firing anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli jets.
On that same day, Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah troops violated a Syrian-Israeli agreement and took illegal possession of an abandoned UN post in a demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights.
This writer can’t predict whether Israel will respond or not, but Israel has made it clear that the Israeli military is aware of the illegal presence of those troops, and the Israeli military may have to remove them by force.
It is anyone’s guess as to whether or not the prophesied wars have started, but the conflict is definitely not over, and it is growing more serious with each passing day.
Incidentally, before I close, on June 25, 2018, the value of Iran’s currency plummeted against the dollar and massive protests broke out in Tehran.
Protesters chanted “death to Syria” and “our enemy is here, not the U.S.”
A report on June 25, 2018, by The Times of Israel staff said: “Videos posted to social media showed protesters chanting: ‘No to Gaza, no to Lebanon’ and ‘Leave Syria and think of us.’ Chants of ‘We don’t want the ayatollahs’ and ‘Death to the dictator’ were also heard at some rallies.”
The Mullahs of Iran badly need silver and gold, cattle and goods (Ez. 38:11-12).
WEBPAGE ADMINISTRATOR:This matter concerns America, and the American people, but it also concern’s everyone else in our World no matter which country we live in. America is on the verge of “CIVIL WAR”, and this war “Will” destroy America as a superpower, and it will bring on the “One World Government” from Europe, which is also in a “Critical State” right now; But God’s Word will prevail, and we know that America is not mentioned in Bible Prophecy, and We are on the “VERY BRINK” of the start of the Tribulation. If America falls, Russia, China, North Korea, and the entire Middle East will go to War, if not even before the fall, as we are on the brink of Chaos and Rebellion in the entire World. Be prepared Jesus is at the door.
Rasmussen Reports that a survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted June 21-24 indicated that 59% of all voters are concerned that those opposed to President Donald Trump’s policies will resort to violence, and 31% believe there will be a second Civil War within five years. Couple this with a former president praising the “resistance” efforts of Organizing For America, Antifa and other organizations; Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) calls for people to deny food services to those who agree with Trump. Democrats are embracing Democrat Socialist Congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a “progressive” revolution. As we approach Independence Day, our country faces a threat to all liberty.
What do these liberals and the vast majority of Democratic Party officeholders have in common? They fancy themselves as “progressives.” This is a polite, politically acceptable name for socialists or communists. Progressiveness is a path to tyranny and spiritual darkness. No communist society is free. No true socialist society is free. Why do you think all these people want open borders? It is so they can promise everything to people with nothing and secure their votes. That’s exactly how Cortez got the nomination. Once those votes are secured, it won’t be long before the Constitutional Republic falls to socialism. I have heard a lot of Christians say that this doesn’t matter-that we are of another kingdom.
This is wrong-minded thinking. The American experiment guaranteed the right to free speech and religious freedom. The American dream, how ever imperfect in its practical implementation, resulted in much of the world being evangelised by Christians. The liberty to speak freely about Jesus Christ supported the Great Commission like no other country in the history of the world. Progressivism, socialism, communism would bring a sharp and violent end to this liberty because these forms of tyranny are based in the Communist Manifesto, which states: “Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis.” These are antichrist political systems. Those who agree with them and claim to be followers of Christ, should repent.
What of God do the leaders and followers of the progressive resistance have in common with Christianity? Oh, they ply people with emotions of compassion based on half-truths and twisted facts. But what of Godly principles? Most of them would even say that all religions serve one god, the same god. What does the Lord say? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Allowing a “progressive revolution” is consenting godlessness to advance. As Galatians 5:1 says, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” We are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. It extends to the politics of tyranny and to those who would proclaim evil as good. It is bondage. We must overcome evil with good.
GOVERNMENT RIPS AWAY RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FROM CHINESE MINORS
On a recent Sunday morning, the local authorities broke into a church service in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China, and demanded that children under the age of 18 leave the service immediately. One of the women pleaded with the officer to allow her to stay at the service with her infant baby. The officer rejected her request and replied: “Anyone under 18 shall be banned from all religious activities.” The woman was dragged out of the meeting room with her baby.
Similar incidents have happened during church services in many cities around China since the revised Regulation on Religious Affairs became effective on Feb. 1, 2018, which severely curtails the religious freedom of minors. According to the Regulations, unregistered religious groups, such as house churches, are deprived of the right to provide religious training, including Sunday school, to the children of their church members. Sunday schools were forced to shut down or change the type of class to something non-religious, like drawing or crafting.
Christian schools and kindergartens established by local churches were also shut down by authorities. In public schools and universities, campus ministry is strictly forbidden. In some schools, even religious discussions or individual prayers are interrupted, and the individuals involved face school discipline. Some Christian celebrations, such as Easter and Christmas, were prohibited at schools and universities in China to make young people resist the “corrosion of Western religious culture.”
Moreover, many cities implement the Regulations to such an extent that they equate preaching a sermon to receiving religious education, making it impossible for minors to enter even government approved registered churches, not to mention unregistered house churches.
More and more registered churches, both Protestant and Catholic, are putting out signs that say “No minors under 18” at their entrances. It’s become such a problem that local officials will visit schools and insist that students with Christian parents not follow their parents’ religious beliefs or attend Sunday worship. Many parents have to give up their own religious activities as their children are forbidden from entering the religious venues with them.
In reality, the new Regulations only forbids preaching in non-religious schools and educational institutions, but state nothing about prohibiting minors from entering religious venues. This arbitrary interpretation and implementation of the Regulations deprives minors in China from any religious freedom far beyond the text of the Regulations themselves.
As Christianity has been growing rapidly on Chinese campuses, more and more young people are becoming Christians instead of joining the Chinese Community Party—the atheist ruling party of China. The Chinese government started to see this trend as a “fight over the next generation,” and a threat to the Party’s development.
Thus, the Chinese government is now using the new Regulations to push Christianity out of campuses and the lives of young people, and, at the same time, to advocate atheism through both public education and social media. For example, China’s Communist Youth League, the Chinese Communist Party for young people, posted a self-made video—“What If Atheism Is a Religion?”—on its Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter) to advocate atheism for Chinese youth, winning much popularity.
China has an estimated population of 70 million Christians; 58 million Protestants and 12 million Catholics. Soon China will have the largest Christian population of any country. We will continue to keep an eye on the new Regulations and China’s implementation of them, as well as the Chinese Christians that are persevering on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Read more of the ACLJ’s legal analyses of the plight of Chinese Christians:
The death toll of last weekend’s massacre of Nigerian Christians by militant Muslim Fulani herdsmen has risen to at least 200, according to a report released Friday by Open Doors, an organization that monitors Christian persecution.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, heavily armed gunmen recognized as Fulani herdsmen opened fire on Christians in a number of villages in Plateau State of central Nigeria last weekend, killing scores and injuring hundreds more, as well as burning some 50 homes to the ground. Most of the victims were returning home from the funeral of the father of a local Christian minister.
Despite the evidently religious nature of the slaughter, mainstream media chose to downplay the militant Islamism behind the attacks, preferring to attribute the violence to “ethnic tensions,” a “battle for land and resources,” or even “climate change.”
Meanwhile, two local Catholic bishops have called out the violence for what it was: a “clear agenda for Islamizing the Nigerian Middle Belt” by using Fulani shepherds.
One of the bishops, Matthew Ishaya Audu of Lafia, said the attacks are not random or economically motivated, but purposefully target Christians.
“They want to strike Christians,” Bishop Audu said, “and the government does nothing to stop them, because President Buhari is also of the Fulani ethnic group.”
Other observers concur that the attacks form part of a larger plan to eliminate Christians from the area.
“The killings are becoming no longer herder and farmer clashes” but a “deliberate attempt to conquer and occupy the land of the people’s ancestral heritage,” said Dr. Soja Bewarang, while denouncing an attack on a Bible school that trained Christian missionaries in Gana-Ropp village.
Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam, of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Jos, said that the violence is part of a pattern, an emerging agenda, which represents “another Boko Haram in disguise.”
The intensity of the attacks in central Nigeria is indicative, Para-Mallam said, “because Plateau state is the epicenter of Christianity.”
The recent “killing spree” lasted four days, Thursday through Sunday evening and into Monday, Open Doors revealed in its report Friday.
During this time, a dozen villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state were reportedly wiped out and on Sunday, 75 of the victims were buried in a mass grave.
Among the victims of the massacre included a local pastor, Rev. Musa Choji, along with his wife and son.
In a single village, Nghar, herdsmen killed over 100 Christians and burned down all the houses, as well as two churches, according to an unnamed pastor of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA).
Assailants killed 14 members of the pastor’s wife’s family, including her mother and sister. In that household, 27 people lost their lives, all of them burned to death, Open Doors said.
On the day of the attack in Nghar, only two soldiers and one policeman were in the village, but they reportedly fled as soon as the herdsmen launched their attack.
Although the anti-Christian violence came to a head over the weekend, in reality it has been going on for some time, according to Pastor Steve Kwol, chairman of the Pentecostal Federation of Nigeria for Plateau North.
Even since the weekend, with a military presence and dusk-to-dawn curfew, the assaults are ongoing, he said. Two more villages—Kwi and Dorowa—were badly damaged on Monday.
Most of the buildings were burned down in Dorowa, including four church buildings, and the adjoining buildings, including pastors’ houses, were also destroyed by fire.
Herdsmen set fire to a number of buildings, including churches, in Kwi as well. The precise number of casualties is unknown, but many villagers were displaced and are now living in camps in neighboring villages.
“We’ve been living peacefully with [Fulani herdsmen]” Pastor Kwol said. “Since this crisis started in Plateau in recent months, our people have not killed one Fulani man. Instead, they have been killing our people one by one. We just buried them and carried on.” he said.
“As a result of the ongoing insecurity, there are places where people can no longer go to farm,” he said, “because when they go, the Fulani will come and take their cows, or attack them.”
“Just two weeks ago, they shot my wife’s young brother. But he survived. He was discharged on Wednesday and had returned home on Thursday, only to get killed in the last attack, on Saturday,” he said.