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Posts Tagged ‘Christian persecution’

Christian High School Student Suspended for Sharing Faith

In Family, Political Issues on April 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm

The No. 1 selling book of all time -- not welcome at Gateway High

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. — 2 Timothy 3:12

The persecution of Christians in America continues to swell. But now some are challenging it. Kenneth Dominguez a 16 year old High School student at Gateway East High School in El Cajon, California was suspended in January 2010 for sharing the Gospel with his friends in school and defying an order from a school administrator to not bring his Bible onto school grounds. As the Christian Post reports, Dominguez is now suing the school for its punishment.

At the time of the suspension, Dominguez was a newly saved believer, who was excited about his faith and wanted to share it with his friends at school. Upon his return from Christmas break, he did just that. But soon he was reprimanded by a school official and told not to discuss the Gospel because of “separation of church and state.”

According to the attorney from the Pacific Justice Institute, which is representing Dominguez in this case, the young Christian man was not disrupting any school procedures. He did not preach during class or shout out to anyone. He limited his witnessing of the Gospel to his lunch time as he sat with his friends. There were also no complaints from any other students or staff about Dominguez.

After the warning, Dominguez continued to share the Gospel and bring his Bible to school. He was then informed by the administrator that he was not allowed to bring his Bible onto school grounds. When he continued to bring it, he was issued a two-day suspension.
As the article stated:

Defending the student, attorney Michael J. Peffer, who heads PJI’s Southern California office, contended, “No student should be forced to leave his faith and Bible at the gate when he enters school grounds. We are looking forward to this opportunity to vindicate Mr. Dominguez and protect students throughout California.”

It seems ludicrous that a school would prevent students from bringing books they like to read onto school grounds. In addition to this being a clear violation of this young man’s free speech based on the facts presented, it presents a greater spiritual issue. Many public schools all over the United States are seeking to silence the voice of Christian students as they attempt to erase any reference to the God of the Bible or Jesus Christ completely. Even though at the same time, public schools are catering to Muslim students by providing foot baths and prayer rooms for them to use during the school day, Christians are not even permitted to speak about their faith. How do prayer rooms for the Muslim faith not be an issue of “separation of church and state”?

Such hypocrisy is just the result of a spirit that is growing in this age. And that spirit wants the church silenced and the Word of God removed from American society — which of course will allow sin to flourish. We do not have to “fight” the system, God fights for us. But we do have to preach the Word as we are commanded by Jesus Christ our Lord. And Christians need to stand on their faith be ready at any moment to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray for this young man to keep his faith through this time and for the success of his lawsuit. And also pray to God for your own faith to keep sharing His message of love and eternal life in an age where the stakes for even speaking about it are getting much higher.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
— 2 Timothy 4:3

Two Florida Street Preachers Murdered for Sharing The Gospel

In Persecuted Church on March 20, 2011 at 2:19 am

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, says a prayer before laying flowers on SW 2nd Avenue in Boynton Beach where two street preachers were shot and killed in January.

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD [is] the death of his saints.

Although it has gotten minimal coverage, a terrible tragedy occurred on January 30, 2011. Steven Ocean and Tite Sifra, 23 and 24 years old respectively, were shot and killed after sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with an 18 year old teenager in Florida. The 18 year old, Jeriah Woody, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder. The news reports stated:

Woody’s phone reportedly rang and he turned and walked away to take the call. But then he turned around again and started walking towards the street preachers. Sufra approached him and Woody allegedly shot him in the head. Ocean tried to run away, but police said Woody allegedly shot him in the back and then walked up to him and shot him again in the head at point-blank range.
The police account is based on the third street preacher that was with Sufra and Ocean when they talked to Woody. The unidentified third minister had escaped by running in the opposite direction.

Both Ocean and Sifra came from difficult backgrounds and had run-ins with unlawful behavior as teens but turned their lives around once they became born-again Christians. From that point they became ministers and regularly reached out to the youth of their area trying to encourage them to give up the lifestyle they had both experienced and seek a godly life by salvation in Jesus Christ. According to Ocean’s sister: “They go around and minister to boys and say where they came from,” the sister said. “They did that all day and all night.” Their frequent witnessing to gang members, leading them out of a life of violence and crime, led to a lot of resentment of them by gang members in their area and was the suspected motivation behind the shooting according to the Christian Defense Coalition.

Tite Sufra

This is truly a sad event, but a sign of how much things are changing in America. While we have documented the persecution of Christians overseas, where some can be jailed or killed for even possessing a Bible, this level of anti-Christian hostility has not been seen in the United States.

As believers we should lament over fallen saints of the Lord Jesus Christ. But also remember that we too have the same mission and command from Jesus: go forth into the world and spread the Gospel. Despite this tragic end, these two young saints were victorious! It is our obedience that God wants. And they obeyed to the very end.

Where Is the Media Coverage?

With such a stunning crime occurring right here in the United States, where is the news coverage of this event? One has to search and search to find any stories from any of the major news outlets. Why have we seen no comments from the Attorney General about potential hate crimes? Where is the ACLU and other advocacy groups who seek to protect “victims of hate” and discrimination? They seem to be silent in the face of Christian persecution.

Why The Gospel is So Important

Stephen Ocean

Once you are certain that you are a born again Christian, this is your main mission and purpose in the world. The last command Jesus gave to Christians was: “..repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.. 48And ye are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24) And it does not require traveling to a foreign country to spread the Good News. It can start right in your own home.

Are you too frustrated with family members to continue to share God’s Word with them? Do you feel too embarrassed to testify to God’s greatness and His grace when at social events? Are you a student worried that your friends will laugh and mock you if you start speaking to them about their eternal destiny? If so, hopefully the courage and bravery of these two young Christian men will inspire you to overcome your own anxieties to witness to those around you. If you are too scared to witness to strangers at this point, share the Gospel with family and friends. If that is too challenging, then just leave tracts in public places where they can be picked up and read by others. We can all do our part to share God’s Word and help plant seeds that can lead to souls being saved.

Pray for strength and also pray for the young man who killed them. that in this horrible sin, he can understand that the victims of this crime were only trying to make sure he would be forgiven for all the sins he had committed in his life, including this one. And as long as he is alive, Jesus is still waiting to forgive him. With repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior, even this young men, who killed two Christians can have all his sins forgiven. And that is the beauty of the Gospel. Spread the Word.

Romans 10: 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Nigeria: Christian Persecution Continues

In Persecuted Church on July 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Let's pray the wickedness does stop

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved

Matthew 5: 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

After months of what seemed like relative peace in the city of Jos, Nigeria, the calm of the night was ripped apart by a vicious attack on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen which resulted in 10 people dead, many wounded, homes destroyed and churches burned down. Here is an excerpt from the story:

The pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Maza II, Reverend Nuhu Dawat, was said to have lost his wife and two children to the invasion while his church was also burnt down

Reverend Dawat, who spoke with newsmen after the tragedy, said that at about 1am he heard a knock at his door and opened but found nobody standing at the door. Immediately he locked the door, sporadic gunshot rent the air and he bolted out through the backdoor and hid in a nearby farm, he said

“I was there watching as the people were breaking into houses and running after those who escaped from their houses. After they left, I returned to my house only to find my wife, two children and a grandson hacked to death”.

Again, these murders and attacks were simply because the people in this area choose to put their faith in Jesus Christ as their savior. As the persecution continues and more Bible prophecy is fulfilled, we must not stop praying for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria. We must ask the Lord to keep them safe, heal their wounds and strengthen their faith during these times of tribulation. And most importantly, continue to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ while demonstrating His love in their actions towards those who persecute them. May God let their light continue to shine in a very dark time.

Killed for Christ – The Second War in Iraq

In End-Times/Eschatology, Persecuted Church on February 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Biblical Principles

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

News of the fourth murder of a Christian in Iraq this week has still not garnered barely any mainstream media attention. Whether one supported the war in Iraq or not, our troops are there and deserve our support and prayers. But we must not also forget the rampant Christian persecution that has been taking place since the war started. In Iraq and many other countries around the world, there is an open war against Christians. This is spiritual at its core. The forces of darkness don’t want the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to spread across this world. Whether it’s church bombings, denial of basic rights, being jailed, beaten or killed, the persecution against the followers of Jesus Christ is growing to an all-time high. For men like Basil Mati Koriya Kaktoma, life as a follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ became a nightmare. As he stated: “What I saw was so horrible that I can’t even look at a map of my own country.” 1

Kaktoma, a retired oil company employee, was abducted by Muslim gunmen in May 2006. During the eight days of his captivity, he was physically abused, including the breaking of his right leg which has become permanently discolored. He was released because relatives in the United States and Canada paid the ransom. And all of this was just for being a Christian. Christians, who make up just 3% of the Iraqi population, have comprised 50% of the refugees leaving the country. An estimated 250,000 – 500,000 Christians have fled the country since the war commenced.

The end-time persecution of our brothers and sisters in the faith was prophesied by Jesus. Living in America. The 5th Seal of Revelation Chapter 6 shows us the souls of martyrs who “were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:” (Revelation 6:10). When they cry out for vengeance to God, He assures that they should wait “until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” (Revelation 6:11). Persecution was not only prophesied, it’s going to be the final straw that brings God into action to judge those who have persecuted His saints.

Living in the United States it’s difficult to perceive at times how widespread the brutal attacks, harassment and killing of Christians is worldwide. We have no one trying to stop us from worshiping and many still have a hard time getting up on Sunday to do what others are being killed for. Stay on top of these issues. There are some great websites like persecution.com which provide updates and prayer requests for persecuted saints who are overseas. Learn their stories. Share their testimonies and support ministries that seek to spread the Gospel to the nations. We must continue to pray for Christians overseas who live in countries that permit persecution. In all of this sad news, the church is still growing exponentially! Nations like China are seeing tens of thousands of new Christians each month. Underground churches are spreading throughout the Middle East and Asia. Christ is indeed building His church!

Pray for these nations. Pray for the leaders of these nations to provide equal protection under the law for Christians. Pray for the people who are doing these attacks, that they can find Jesus and be forgiven for their sins. And pray for the faith of the Christians who are being victimized. That they can stand strong in the face of persecution. Pray that they respond in a Christ-like manner, blessing those who cruse them and praying for those who persecute them. And pray that they always remember Christ’s promise to all believers:

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

1. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20081201/iraqi-refugee-i-d-rather-go-to-hell-than-go-back/index.html