Sunday, February 9, 2014

A cry for help from Syrian church leaders!

Christians are being targeted by militants in war-torn Syria, says church leaders in the country.

Syrian church leaders raised the warning during a visit to Washington DC last week sponsored by Barnabas Fund and the Westminster Institute in the US.

During their visit, they took part in a panel discussion at the Heritage Foundation under the harrowing title of "Marked for Destruction: The Plight of Syria's Christians".

The panel shared that more than 1,200 Christians were martyred in Syria in 2013 alone and that over 600,000 have fled the country. Many still remain in Syria where they are at risk of abduction and acts of violence, and struggling with the same hardships as the rest of the population.

Barnabas Fund estimates that between 30 and 40 per cent of churches in Syria have been seriously damaged or completely destroyed as a result of the fighting.

Riad Jarjour, a Presbyterian pastor from Homs and former president of the Middle East Council of Churches, said: "If this continues the way it is, there will come a time when there will be no more Christians in Syria."

Kenya President Vows Not to Allow Radicalization in Worship Centers

Uhuru Kenyatta - Kenya, President
Kenya's president said he would not allow places of worship to be used to radicalize young people, in the wake of a police raid on a mosque in the port of Mombasa that triggered renewed clashes with Muslim protesters on Friday.

Armed officers swooped on the Masjid Mussa mosque over the weekend, saying they had a tip-off youths were being trained there for militant attacks.

Police fired teargas and rubber bullets at youths who threw stones and looted shops on Friday, said witnesses, in the city's fourth significant outbreak of violence since the raid.

"Under no circumstance will we allow places of worship, like I said, be it a Hindu temple, a Muslim mosque, be it a Christian church, to be used as a place to radicalize and to threaten the lives of Kenyans," said President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nigerian-Americans look to Obama for more support against Boko Haram terror

Nigerian-Americans have welcomed Barack Obama's pledge to help stop terror against Nigerian churches.

The US President used his speech at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC to speak up for religious freedom around the world and reiterate his determination to stamp out terrorism.

He also restated the resolve of the US government to support the Nigerian people in the ongoing effort to end terrorism.

"I've pledged our support to the people of Nigeria, who deserve to worship in their churches and mosques in peace, free from terror," Obama said.

The US State Department recently designated Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. The Islamist militant group has waged a campaign of violence and death against government institutions and churches, killing thousands. Targets have also included Muslims who have opposed them.

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