Thursday, March 26, 2015

Survival of the Unfittest – Escaping Syria Presents New Challenges to Disabled Muslim

Survival of the Unfittest – Escaping Syria Presents New Challenges to Disabled Muslim

March 26, 2015
Syrian refugees await a chance for scarce affordable housing in Greece.
Not many of Syria's 3.7 million refugees try to make it to Greece, and of those that do, many perish in Mediterranean or Aegean waters or elsewhere on the hazardous route. A Syrian Muslim who has no use of his hands or feet, however, managed to flee to a Greek island off the coast of Turkey, where he faces new challenges to survive.
A doctor on the Greek island of Lesbos recently called the director of a ministry to Syrian refugees in Athens, called Bridge, to say that the disabled Syrian, Sami*, was going to be released from an immigration detention center the following day – and that he had no accompanying relatives, friends or money. He had left his wife and daughter in Turkey.
Syrian refugees who survive people smugglers' exorbitant fees and death – more than 3,000 people died or went missing at sea last year, according to U.N. estimates – arrive to a less than warm welcome in Greece. Greek authorities arrested more than 2,000 Syrian refugees arriving illegally last year.
Bridge personnel explained that it had no place to house Sami, but they found a wheelchair and some Syrians who could accompany him to Athens, said Voula Antouan, wife of Bridge Director Ilias Antouan. After three days of searching without success for accommodations and people to house him, Voula Antouan said, Sami and his Syrian travelers showed up at a Bridge gathering.
"They arrived at our meeting carrying him and saying, 'We've been told that you can take care of him. We do not know him, and we cannot keep him,'" she said. "Again we explained that we have no facilities for this, but their argument was, 'Actually, we are leaving tomorrow, so where will he stay?'"
The Syrians agreed to put him up that night, if Bridge would take care of him thereafter.
"We asked him how he came to Greece, and the answer was, 'My co-travelers were carrying me on their backs on the mountains of Turkey till we reached the beach, and then I came by boat," Voula Antouan said. "Easily you could see the despair and the questioning in his eyes, thinking that coming to Greece he would find everything waiting for him."
The manager of an inexpensive hotel that previously had taken Syrian refugees told Antouan that he could not stay there, even with Bridge paying his bill; the manager said the elevator was too small for wheelchairs. When Antouan said they would handle the wheelchair and would provide all his meals, the hotel manager balked.
"No, you do not understand," the manager said. "There is not even a handle in the bathroom. How can he manage it himself?"
"Listen," Antouan told him, "if you do not offer him a room, which I promise that we shall pay, he will stay homeless."
The hotel manager finally consented, but the ministry's search for more permanent housing was equally challenging. Lack of vacancy in an economically depressed country overrun with refugees, no facilities for people with special needs, and Sami's unresolved legal status all blocked Bridge's efforts.
Bridge arranged to send Sami to another agency for legal and social help, and to a hospital for diagnosis. But neither these organizations nor the refugee asylum office could come to Sami; he had to go to them, which meant someone had to take him – including carrying him up and down the hotel stairs.
A Muslim Syrian refugee, who had been attending Bridge's fellowship meetings, stepped up to take Sami to the various agencies.
"Our beloved Syrian friend, Ammar, was diligently attending every meeting and has a great, compassionate heart," Antouan said. "He had applied for asylum in Greece, but as he was still looking for a job, he also had the time to help."
Ammar provided meals to Sami each day at the hotel and took him to a humanitarian medical agency, the hospital and the refugee asylum center – each time carrying him up to and down from his hotel room. In addition, an Iraqi woman from the Bridge's fellowship offered to share her daily meal with Sami.
Bridge arranged and coordinated help to the humanitarian medical agency, the Greek Council of Refugees, the refugee asylum office, and a nephew of Sami's in Germany, his desired destination.
Housing, however, remained elusive; no organization could provide him a place to stay.
"Unfortunately, in Greece there was nothing appropriate for him to stay in, so no organization could offer accommodations for him," Antouan said. "At the beginning the answer was, 'Yes, he will apply for asylum and then he will be offered accommodations.' In the end, no one was willing to accept him!"
Bridge asked for a small reduction in the hotel bill, "as it had become very hard on us," Antouan said, and the owner accepted.
Syrian refugees generally pass through Athens to seek asylum and transit to other parts of Europe.
A Bridge worker named Angela volunteered to cook for Sami each day and wash his clothes, and Ammar continued to take him lunch daily. Ammar went the extra step of going to his hotel each Wednesday and Friday to put him on his back, carry him to the lobby to get his wheelchair and take him to worship services. Karam of Bridge offered to visit him, spending time and sharing the gospel with him.
At the end of the second week, Antouan, her husband, Ilias, Karam and Ammar visited Sami in his hotel room, she said. They learned that his wife and daughter were in a refugee camp in Turkey. Sami's desire was that they, too, make it to Germany so the family can be reunited.
Antouan saw a New Testament next to his pillow and asked him what he was reading.
"I started from the beginning, and now I am at Luke chapter 12," Sami said. "I am searching ... I keep reading ... Maybe Islam is the best, I do not know.... May I ask questions when I come to your meetings?"
They told him he certainly could.
This month, and after many discussions and interventions of public and private organizations, a place has been found for Sami, Antouan said. He lives in a new building with modern facilities, but he still needs food provided for him, cleaning supplies, cleaning and tidying of his bedroom, transportation and interpretation.
"The whole church gathered together, and many got a part of responsibility to cover the needs," Antouan said. "Ammar, as a very compassionate person who just 10 days ago accepted Jesus as his Savior, agreed to keep helping him."
Ammar put his trust in Christ during a worship conference, she said.
"He is serving in worship, and he feels happy serving our Lord," Antouan said. "We can see his life changing gradually, but we also pray for him, as he is really concerned for his family back in Syria. He is jobless, and he looks really broken."
Bridge Director Ilias Antouan asked for prayer for Ammar, for Sami, and for the growing number of refugees from Syria who are staying longer in Greece before moving on to other parts of Europe – in large part because they wish to know more from Bridge personnel about this Jesus they have come to know.
*Name changed for security reasons
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Waiting for Life

Two Syrian refugees – among the growing number arriving in Greece after fleeing Islamic State atrocities – contemplate their future. Most refugees in Greece are in transit to other parts of Europe, but increasingly many are too broke to travel further or wish to gain legal status before moving on. That has given Bridge, a ministry to Syrian refugees in Greece, more time to show the love of Christ to Muslims and others who are coming to Christ. A nominal Christian father of one family said that after hearing the gospel, he no longer worried about when to leave Greece. “I’ve got peace in my heart – I know now that God brought me here to give Him my soul,” he said. “I am 44 years old and I had never touched a Bible in my life, and I thought I was a Christian.” A Muslim who lost two brothers in Syria’s civil war and was himself seriously injured also put his trust in Christ; he expected to have documents to travel soon but said he would stay an extra month to learn more about Christ and be baptized. “Our heart is really overwhelmed for all of these people as their immediate attitude is to go out to other Syrians and say, ‘Come, we found someone who knows God and they can talk to you about Him,’” Bridge’s Voula Antoan said. The demands of the ministry grow correspondingly for housing, groceries, meals, transportation, medicines, financial support to jobless volunteers and administration expenses.

Theories abound on why the German Co-Pilot would allegedly crash

Theories abound on why the German Co-Pilot would allegedly crash the 320 Airbus into the French Alps
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST and ASSIST News Service
Copilot by Golden Gate Bridge useGERMANY (ANS – March 26, 3015) – A report by Michael Mannheimer that has just appeared in the German magazine, “PI-News”, claims that during a six-month break from his job with Germanwings, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, the man now accused of hijacking and crashing the 320 Airbus into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, converted to Islam.
This was revealed by Dave Gibson, writing in,  who provided an English translation of Mannheimer’s article, which follows:
“All evidence indicates that the copilot of Airbus machine in his six-months break during his training as a pilot in Germanwings, converted to Isla and subsequently either by the order of ‘radical’, i.e. devout Muslims , or received the order from the book of terror, the Quran, on his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder.
“As a radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert was staying often, it can be assumed that he – as Mohammed Atta, in the attack against New York – received his instructions directly from the immediate vicinity of the mosque.”
He went on to say, “Converts are the most important weapon of Islam. Because their resume do not suggests that they often are particularly violent Muslims. Thus Germany now has its own 9/11, but in a reduced form. And so it is clear that Islam is a terrorist organization that are in accordance with §129a of the Criminal Code to prohibit it and to investigate its followers. But nothing will happen."
However, Corey Saylor, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights advocacy organization based in Washington, was reported as saying, “Jumping to conclusions does not help ease the pain for the families who are mourning a horrific loss. It also does not help the investigators do their jobs.”
Another theory was that the co-pilot was suffering from burnout.
According to the Daily Telegraph in London, a mother of a schoolmate told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that he had told her daughter he had taken a break from his pilot training because he was suffering from depression.
“Apparently he had a burnout, he was in depression,” the woman, whom the paper did not name.
She said her daughter had seen him again just before Christmas and that he had appeared normal. She added he was a “lovely boy”. “He had a good family background,” she told the paper.
“By the time of the accident he was still relatively inexperienced, having notched up only 630 hours of flying time, compared to the flight's captain, who had flown for more than 6,000 hours and had worked for Lufthansa for 10 years,” said the Daily Telegraph.
The captain was Patrick Sonderheimer, a father to two children, had joined Germanwings in May 2014. Previously he was a pilot with Lufthansa and Condor, a Lufthansa partner airline. He had been a pilot for 10 years.
It was Carsten Spohr, CEO of Germanwings parent company, in a press conference on Thursday who first said that Lubitz “took a break in his training six years ago. Then he did the tests (technical and psychological) again. And he was deemed 100 percent fit to fly”.
“I am not able to state the reasons why he took the break for several months,” he added.
So, before we jump to conclusions, we should wait until a full report is issued as to the cause of this young man apparently deliberately crashing the plane and killing all those on board.
Photo caption: Andreas Lubitz by the Golden Gate Bridge.
Note: Please feel free to republish this or any of our ANS stories with full attribution to the ASSIST News Service (  
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A symbol intended to target Christians

Are You 'N'?
A symbol intended to target Christians has instead sparked a movement.
Christ-followers worldwide have rallied behind Christians in Iraq and Syria following the rise of the Islamic State (IS). IS painted the Arabic letter “ن,” or “N” (to indicate “Nazarene,” or Christian), on the homes of believers in Mosul, Iraq. Residents were then given an ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a high tax, leave the area or be killed.
To show that we are standing with these Christians, The Voice of the Martyrs created the “i-am-n” T-shirt. It features the same “ن” symbol that marked Christians’ homes in Mosul. Half the purchase price of each T-shirt directly supports Christians facing Islamic extremism.
Are you “N”?
Join the 'N' Movement

Monday, March 23, 2015

New Propaganda of Pakistani media against Christian NGOs and their Heads

New Propaganda of Pakistani media against Christian NGOs and their Heads
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST and ASSIST News Service
Lahore Chrisians protesting church attackLAHORE, PAKISTAN (ANS – March 22, 2105) – Following the attacks in the Pakistani city of Lahore, on Sunday, March 15, 2015, when two suicide bombers devastated the lives of two Church congregations of the Pakistani city, killing 17 worshippers and injuring 82, a leading Christian lawyer has claimed that the country’s media are conducting attacks against Christian NGS and their heads.
In the attacks, a man rigged with explosives blew himself up outside the main gate of St. John’s Catholic Church after being prevented from entering by a security guard, said Haider Ashraf, a senior police officer. A second blast went off minutes later in the compound of the Protestant Christ Church, about a half-mile away.
Lynching of two men in Lahore GillFollowing the attacks, Sardar Mushtaq Gill, Human Rights Defender and an Advocate in the High Courts of Pakistan, and head of Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD), issued a statement.
He said, “On the spot, two suspects [carrying pistols] were arrested by Police …The mob [were] enraged and snatched the two men from Police custody and beat them to death
then set [them] on fire.”
He then claimed that “biased Pakistani media started to propaganda against Christian NGOs and blamed that they [were] responsible.”
Gill cited one Urdu-language newspaper had claimed that one Christian NGO based in Youhanabad had instigated Christian youth to lynch the two men.
“The same kind of propaganda was aired on local TV. They wrote that NGO workers and heads [have] fled from Pakistan because they have already stamped visas,” he said.
Advocate Gill PakistanThe lawyer stated that the agenda behind this was to stop the “voice of the vulnerable Christian minority” and added that the {authorities] were “now planning to ban the NGOs and take action against them.”
The Advocate said that the Christians now feel that “militants” can attack us at any time.
He went on to say, “Our work as a Human Rights Defender is totally and fully non-violent and we condemn the elements who took the law in their hands.”
Gill then stated that he had just received a visit from a Christian man, Ilyas Masih, who told him that his two daughters were gang-raped, and if the attorney couldn’t provide him with free legal assistance, he would not even be able to register his complaints at the local police station.
“He shared, however, that he was very thankful for NGOs,” added Gill, who concluded by saying, “Please remember us in your prayers and stand with us in this bad time. Support us so that we can defend those who are being arrested by Police.”
Note: Sardar Mushtaq Gill, an Advocate in the High Courts, is the Chief Counsel of LEAD, a non-profit organization which focuses on discriminatory and constitutional law, and does not charge for its services. For more information, please go to
Photo captions: 1) Protestors after the church attacks. (Photo: Reuters, F. Aziz. 2) The shocking lynching. 3) Sardar Mushtaq Gill.
Please feel free to re-produce this any of our ANS stores with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (,  where you can also get a free subscription.
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Friday, March 20, 2015

The 'ISIS' of Pakistan Strikes Again

Photo: A mother and brother hold the body of their loved one who died during the attack.  

Last Sunday, March 15, the Taliban attacked two churches in Lahore, Pakistan, with suicide bombers. Seventeen people were killed and over 80 others were horribly wounded; the Taliban has warned that more attacks are coming. 

Within 10 minutes of the attack, our Pakistani staff were at the bomb site aiding victims, and assessing damage and the help the victims would need. What they witnessed was horrific and beyond description. The picture above is the closest thing we can show you of the carnage that the Christians suffered. 

The Christians of Pakistan have suffered for decades under the hand of a group of radical Islamists that are as brutal as ISIS, yet their attacks don't get the same media attention and therefore the Christians do not receive the help they desperately need. 

Lack of education for their children, bombings, kidnappings of young Christian women, and regular imprisonments and life sentences (or murder) for those who say the wrong thing that offends a Muslim are all a regular part of the life of a Christian in Pakistan. The Christians of Pakistan are, in fact, one of the most persecuted groups of Christians in the world. Metaphorically, they are locked in a room with a violent psychopath and the government refuses to protect them since they are "people of the book."

The most frustrating thing for us is that this incredibly brave and courageous group of believers receives scant attention for their suffering. The media only cover the most egregious attacks so they live out their suffering in obscurity; if there was more attention, they would receive more help
How You Can Help

The government has said they will aid Sunday's victims with some cash awards but what we have seen is that their payments are often a Band-Aid; not a long-term solution. That's where ICC steps in.

In tragedies like this, when families lose their bread winner, we provide a small shop for them so that the wife can sustain the family for the rest of their lives.

We provide long-term, quality educational support for children of the victims so they don't fall into generations of extreme poverty. For those who face major medical problems, we step in with long-term medical care, prosthetic limbs, physical therapy and other needs that will not be provided by their government.

The Father's Call 

The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none,
and their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, the LORD, will answer them Myself,
as the God of Israel I will not forsake them.
Isaiah 41:17

We do this work not because we are "do-gooders" but because of two things. First, the Lord tells us in Scripture that He is alive in the body of His saved children via His Holy Spirit and therefore He feels the pain in His body. Do a study on "the body of Christ" and you will see this truth unfolded. The second reason is that the Lord calls us to relieve suffering and to rescue the oppressed; especially the family of believers around the world. Watch ICC's just-released video on how we're providing for the victims of these attacks. 

Today, you can change the life of a victim of persecution in Pakistan.

Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters attacked simply for their faith. Thank you for responding to the need. May God bless you.


Jeff Signature  
Jeff King,
ICC President

Christian Girl in Uganda Who Fled Beating by Muslim Uncle Mysteriously Dies

Christian Girl in Uganda Who Fled Beating by Muslim Uncle Mysteriously Dies
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST and the ASSIST News Service
IGANGA, UGANDA (ANS – March 17, 2015) – A 16-year-old girl in Uganda who fled from a Muslim uncle who beat her for becoming a Christian mysteriously died on Sunday (March 8) after relatives searching for her discovered her whereabouts the previous day.
Iganga Hospital Morning Star NewsAccording to the East Africa Correspondent of Morning Star News (, Namwase Aisha died at 5:30 p.m. at Iganga Hospital in eastern Uganda, where she had been recovering from malaria after being admitted on March 2.
He said that sources said a doctor had also determined she needed further treatment for a head injury suffered on Feb. 1, when her uncle beat her and her sister with a wooden rod and locked them in a room for nearly three days without food.
“On Saturday [March 7], Muslim relatives discovered her location and visited the hospital after tracing her whereabouts for some weeks,” an area source told Morning Star News. “Aisha then was responding very well to the medication, but on Sunday morning, after receiving morning medication, she became restless, and we wondered what could have happened to her.”
Her condition continued to deteriorate until her death, said a pastor caring for her.
“We suspect that the death of our sister Aisha could be related to the medication given the morning of Sunday, which has connection with the arrival of the Muslim relatives on Saturday,” said the area source, who like the pastor cannot have their names published for security reasons.
The correspondent said that hospital personnel first told church leaders that Aisha died from an overdose of medication, sources said. Later they told the church leaders that she died from heart failure resulting from a kind of depression that could be related to the injuries she had suffered, the sources said.
A doctor who would not disclose his name told Morning Star News he was uncertain about the cause of death. "We cannot rule out an overdose of medication because of the swelling of Aisha’s body, which could have led to heart failure,” he said. “When the girl was admitted to the hospital she, looked traumatized.”
Church leaders considered filing a case against the hospital but felt it would lead to more friction with Muslims, they said.
A street scene in Iganga Morning Star News“It was unclear what contact the Muslim relatives had with Aisha. Two relatives spoke with her on Saturday and then left, but church leaders said they could not establish what the relatives told her because she was so unsettled the following day,” said the Morning Star News correspondent.
Aisha received a Christian burial near the area to which she had fled on Tuesday (March 10).
“As we took Aisha to the burial site, her body was swollen and smelling of drugs, which is an indication that her body could have been injected with unknown drug,” the pastor told Morning Star News by phone.
The church leaders notified Aisha’s 14-year-old sister, Nabagabana Fatuma, of her death on Monday (March 9).
“It is painful that my sister is dead, but I know I will meet her again,” Fatuma told Morning Star News by phone.
Their uncle, Kakongoka Ahamadah, had taken custody of the sisters after the death of their father five years ago. The girls’ father had retained custody after divorcing their mother two years before he died, sources said.
On Feb. 1 the girls had put their trust in Christ while visiting a church, and when they told their uncle about it that evening, he beat them and locked them in a room at their home in Nasenye village, Pallisa District, because they had converted to Christianity, sources said.
Aisha sustained a swollen cheek and an injury to her left leg, while Fatuma’s right arm was injured, sources said.
While the uncle was away buying food in a nearby town on Feb. 3, a friend of his heard the children crying and broke the padlock, sources said. The girls feared telling the friend, also a Muslim, what had happened, so they said only that their uncle was punishing them for going out without permission. When he left to get their uncle, they fled.
Aisha told Morning Star News last month that she and her sister had been attending classes at an Islamic school (madrassa) where they had been taught about jinn, or supernatural creatures from another world, which they said were oppressing them. They went to a worship gathering at a church whose name is withheld for security reasons and accepted Christ.
The two girls had been disowned by their uncle and other relatives.
“We need prayers especially for Fatuma,” the area source said. “Fatuma is still traumatized.”
The source said he was caring for many other converts from Islam whose families have kicked them out of their homes, and he requested prayer for them and for financial support in order to send Fatuma to school, although at present she is too traumatized to attend classes. Those wishing to help can contact for referral to parties who can assist.
“Though Aisha has left us, we know she has gone to be with the Lord,” the pastor said.
Photo captions: 1) Scene in a ward at the Iganga Hospital. 2) A street scene in Uganga, eastern Uganda. Note: Please feel free to re-publish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST
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Islamic State Destroys Assyrian Churches

Islamic State Destroys Assyrian Churches, Hostages Still Being Held
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST and the ASSIST News Service
MOSUL, IRAQ (ANS – March 17, 2015) – The self-styled terror group, Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has been on a rampage of destroying Assyrian churches in Northern Iraq.
Isis destroying the crossAccording to the Assyrian International News Agency (, Islamic State members has destroyed the St. George Catholic Monastery in Mosul, and has proudly posted pictures on its Twitter account of its members using sledgehammers to smash crosses and icons, and removing the cross from the dome and replacing it with the black ISIS flag.
Islamic State captured Mosul on June 10, 2014 and immediately destroyed or occupied all 45 Assyrian churches and other religious institutions in the city.
ISIS destroying inside of St. GeorgesThe group also destroyed Assyrian archaeological sites, including the walls of Nineveh and the cities of Nimrud and Khorsabad.
According to AINA, in Syria Islamic Sate attacked 35 Assyrian villages in the Hasaka region, capturing at least 300 Assyrians and destroying at least 5 churches, including the church in Tel Hurmiz, one of the oldest churches in Syria, the Mar Bisho church in Tel Shamiran, the church in Qabr Shamiy and the church in Tel Baloua.
After two days of heavy clashes Assyrian and Kurdish forces regained the Assyrian villages of Tel Mighas and Tel Misas.
The Church of St. Sawa in Tel-Jadiya was destroyed by Islamic State fighters, who burned Bibles in the church and broke its cross.
“This church has been liberated and is now under the control of Assyrian and Kurdish fighters,” said the news service.
Hostages still being held
ISIS destroys cross in a graveyardDespite reports to the contrary that all of the 52 Assyrian families, nearly 300 people, who were captured in
the initial attacks on February 23, AINA says that “no progress has been made in the negotiations for their release in the last three days.”
On March 10, 2015, AINA said, that according to the Vatican ambassador in Damascus, Mario  Zinari, 52 Assyrian families who were captured by Islamic State and who were supposed to be freed yesterday (March 9, 2015) have not been released because Kurdish forces bombed the caravan containing the families. After the bombing ISIS decided to delay their release. There is no information on whether Islamic State intends to go through with their release.
“It is not clear why Kurdish forces bombed the Assyrian hostages caravan,” said their story.
Nine Assyrian fighters died defending their villages in the initial attacks and there are reports that Islamic State has executed at least 12 Assyrian fighters who were captured, two of them women.
Photo captions: 1) Islamic State members destroying the cross. 2) Islamic State hard at work destorying the inside of a church. 3) Islamic State fighter smashing a cross in a graveyard.
Note: Please feel free to re-publish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (
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Muslim Turns from Jihad to Christ in Nigeria

Muslim Turns from Jihad to Christ in Nigeria
By Dan Wooding, who was born in Nigeria, and is the founder of the ASSIST News Service
CHAMBERSBURG, PA (ANS – March 16, 2015) -- As the radical Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram continues its rampage of death and destruction in Nigeria, The Tide® global radio ministry is receiving miraculous testimonies of salvation and protection in the midst of terror.
boko haramAccording to a news release from Hamilton Strategies, one Muslim listener heard The Tide ministry program in the Hausa language, the official language of Islam in Nigeria. Although a believer in Jihad, he was challenged by the message of hope and peace that only Christ can offer. He responded to the Gospel message, called the number at the end of the program and is now a follower of Christ.
“There is no situation more powerful than the power of the Gospel, and there is no one beyond the reach of Christ’s love and salvation, if they only will come to Him,” said The Tide® Director Don Shenk. “The message of hope in Jesus Christ is for everyone—and God’s greatest desire is that those who are committed to opposing Him would instead run to Him and accept His offer of salvation and reconciliation.”
Shenk added that even as some terrorists continue to embrace Jihad, The Tide ministry also received word of God’s protection in the face of terror.
The news release went on to say that one listener wrote, “I am a Nigerian soldier with the 15th armored brigade. I have been a regular listener to your radio program. I am just back from the war front where I joined my colleagues in the war against Boko Haram insurgents. Thanks for your prayers. God has brought me back home alive. By God’s grace Boko Haram will be defeated and the northeast border will witness the flushing out of the terrorists.”
Shenk added, “Just as Boko Haram is trying to keep people in bondage through terror, the terrorists themselves are in bondage to a belief system that demands that they kill and terrorize. Only the Gospel message has the power to bring peace to those terrorized and to rescue the terrorists. We pray for protection for those facing terror and for a revelation of Jesus Christ to those who embrace terror.”
The Tide ministry began broadcasting in Nigeria in 2009 in the Efik language, spoken by approximately two million Nigerian people. Today, The Tide radio programming can be heard in eleven languages in Nigeria: Efik, Hausa, Ijaw, Igbo, Annang, Yoruba, Tiv, Ibibio, Nupe, Amo and Agwagune.
The radio ministry is unique in that its programs are produced on-site, using indigenous speakers who tell people about Jesus in the language they were born to speak.
As one listener in Nigeria said, “Finally, a God who speaks my language!”
Radio from the Tide in NigeriaNow in its 69th year of ministry, The Tide global radio ministry shares the good news of Jesus Christ across three continents through producing radio programs in heart languages. The Tide ministry currently broadcasts in 23 heart languages, including eleven languages in Nigeria, two languages in Nepal, one language each in Zimbabwe, Bhutan and Albania/Kosovo and seven languages in India.
“The mission of The Tide ministry is to creatively share the good news of Jesus Christ worldwide through media and partnerships,” explained the news release. “The Tide ministry is working diligently to expand its Christian broadcasts in more languages across the globe.”
The Tide ministry invites Christians to sign up for the “Have You Heard?” Campaign ( Millions of people live their lives every day without knowing about the hope and peace of Jesus Christ. “Have You Heard?” challenges individuals to ask just ten people throughout the course of the next year if they have heard what Jesus did for them. If someone responds, “No,” then the door is opened to share God’s plan of salvation. If the response is, “Yes, I know Jesus,” then all can rejoice in meeting a fellow Christ follower, and The Tide ministry invites those believers to join in its mission to be
“creatively sharing the good news of Jesus Christ worldwide through media and partnerships.”
Registration for the “Have You Heard?” Campaign can be found at The challenge is open to all believers, and The Tide ministry encourages participation by families, churches, Bible study small groups, youth groups, women’s and men’s ministries, and other Christ-focused groups.
The Tide ministry says that it is committed to supporting and helping those who accept the “Have You Heard?” challenge. And anyone who signs up for the challenge will receive a “Have You Heard?” kit, which includes a pamphlet with suggestions on how to share their faith, brochures for distributing to others and a free “Have You Heard?” t-shirt, which, it says, " is bound to be a conversation-starter with friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers."
The Tide Vision 2015 initiative builds on the momentum of more than six decades of radio ministry and strives to add several new languages to its efforts by the end of 2015. With almost a quarter of the world’s population living within the current range of The Tide radio programming, and nearly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, the opportunities are tremendous. Several new potential languages are also being considered for strategic growth, such as those spoken in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Albania.
In addition to producing programs in heart languages, The Tide ministry gives radios to people in remote villages in Africa and Asia so they can listen to the programs. An alarmingly high number of people across the globe have never heard the message of God’s saving love, due to lack of a simple $40 radio. At the same time, Christianity is growing worldwide, partly because of programs like The Tide radio programs. Thousands of generous people across the United States have enabled The Tide radio programs to thrive and expand into even more countries through the “Sponsor a Radio” program that helps further projects like The Tide Radios for Nigeria and Radios for India.
Details on The Tide “Sponsor a Radio” program can be found at
For more information about The Tide projects, Radios for India, Radios for Nigeria, the “Have You Heard?” Campaign, the weekly Global Update radio features, and other news, visit
About The Tide®:
Don Shenk in ZimbabweFor 69 years, The Tide® radio programs have been changing lives by telling people about Jesus in the language they were born to speak. Founded in 1946 as the Gospel Tide Broadcasting Association, The Tide ministry has transitioned from a domestic radio program to a versatile multi-national outreach focusing on the least reached regions of the world.
Through radio broadcasts in 23 heart languages, thousands of lost people are coming to know Christ. Driven by a sense of urgency to rescue the world from false teachings and pagan religious practices, The Tide board of directors has set an aggressive goal to introduce evangelistic radio programs in 15 additional languages by the year 2015.Currently, The Tide ministry is just six languages away from reaching this goal.
The Tide® outreach includes discipleship seminars, literature distribution, Bible correspondence courses and leadership training. This combination of ministry elements has proven to be extremely effective in changing lives and planting churches where believers are nurtured in their faith so that whole communities are drawn into the Kingdom of God.
Media note: To schedule interviews with Don Shenk, Executive Director of The Tide global radio ministry, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096,
Photo captions: 1) Boko Haram fighters. (2) One radio placed in a village in Nigeria makes it possible for many to hear about God's love, grace, and mercy. 3) Don Shenk, Director of The Tide®, consults with a Zimbabwean leader.
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Monday, March 16, 2015

7 Things to NEVER Say to a Depressed Christian

7 Things to NEVER Say to a Depressed Christian

“Please understand, it’s not your job to solve the depression.”
As many of you know, I’ve been depressed for almost five years now. I had a major break in March of 2010. It came out of nowhere and has been a frequent uninvited guest in my home ever since.
I won’t go into it now, but almost seven weeks ago I came out of the depression. I think I know the triggers. But I often tell people not to get too excited. I can never be sure which “me” is going to wake up tomorrow. Will it be joyful me (whom I love)? He’s the one who sees life positively and has no time for worry (too busy serving God)? Or will it be broken me (whom I hate)? He can’t dwell on anything but the bad and sees no hope in life (and doesn’t even act like there’s a God)? But while I have my thoughts straight, I’ve been able to dwell on so many positive things. One of these is the subject of this post. I’ve accumulated a list of seven things depressed people (Christians especially) are told. They’re meant to help them out of their depression. I’ve even had these things said to me. But these things are wrong.
Please Note: None of these things necessarily come from evil intentions. These come from people who sincerely want you to recover. However, they do come from the evil flesh that dwells in all of us: judgmentalism. I hope this becomes clear as you read.
Further Reading: Dealing With My Depression #1: Muffling Its Voice

“Just Snap Out of It”

I don’t know how many times I said this to my depressed sister before she took her life. “Just snap out of it, Angie.” From my perspective, I thought you could. I thought that being depressed or happy was an act of the will. If you just make the right decision, you can think your way out of it. But more often than not, depression is not an act of the will. It is an interplay between the mind and the brain that you can’t snap out of. Don’t you think that people who are depressed would “just snap out of it” if it were that easy? Remember, they don’t want to be depressed. It is the worst torture that one can possibly imagine.

“Think Positively”

Again, this might seem right. Please realize that most of the time a depressed person can’t think positively. That’s why they’re depressed. If I were to tell you there’s a giant elephant in your room, would you believe me? What if I said that all you have to do is close your eyes and trust it to be true? You’d probably say, “I can’t!” Telling someone who’s depressed to “think positively” completely misses the problem. They can’t think positively any more than you can believe there’s an elephant in the room. They don’t want to think negatively. They just can’t stop.
Further Reading: Depression—When We Want to Die

“Confess Your Sins”

Trying to find a sin trigger in the life of the depressed is a hard proposition. There may be some evident sin in their lives that they need to deal with, but consider this:
1) Everyone Sins, but Not Everyone’s Depressed. There is evil in everyone. According to Martin Luther, we’re all simul justus et peccator, which is Latin for “at the same time just and sinners.” Additionally, according to the Gospel of John, we have to admit to sin in our lives:
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. —1 John 1:8 (ESV)
All too often, a lengthy (and often judgmental) assessment of every sin the depressed person has takes place. Once they’re identified, they’ll try to get rid of them one by one. This is both impossible and can cause deeper depression. The depressed may believe you and think getting rid of all these sins is the answer. When they realize that this cannot happen this side of heaven, the depression deepens.
2) They Can’t Change the Past. Sometimes the sins that led to depression are from a years of lifestyle choices. They build up over the years. It’s usually the little ones that end up getting us. However, bringing this to the conversation with the depressed does little good. They can’t back up and change their choices. If they could, they would.
3) They Already Know They’re Sinners. The depressed person likely knows if it’s sin that’s causing their depression. If it’s alcohol, drugs, etc., bringing this up early will only harden the person. It will make them defensive. If sin is causing the depression (and that’s a big “if”) tact and prudence should be used in abundance. This will allow them to recognize their sin without becoming defensive.

“Get on Some Meds Immediately!”

I am no Tom Cruise. I believe that psychiatric medications are often the answer and are a gift of God. I believe that there are many out there who are not taking meds due to a taboo or stigma attached to them that should be. However, the use of mind altering drugs also needs to be considered very deeply. I also think that they are prescribed too easily without a plan of attack.
Briefly, I believe that some people need to go through the darkness without an immediate way out. Many of the Psalms might not have been written had these drugs been available to David. His ups and downs would have been leveled by a script from the doctor. But we needed David to go through his mental bipolar disorder (if that is what it was). The same might be said of Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation. He definitely needed to be on something! However, God used his mental anxiety for great things.
Book Suggestion: Genius, Grief, & Grace: A Doctor Looks at Suffering & Success (Biography of great saints of the past who suffered greatly, but were used greatly.)
For some people—as hard as it is to hear—God wants you to go through this darkness. But this is not for everyone. These drugs are a blessing of God when used properly. For some, they can get you over the “hill” of darkness and are only needed for a short time. For others, they are needed permanently for the stability of the mind.
All I am doing is asking you to consider that the depressed person may be a David or a Luther to the church. Don’t immediately demand that they get on these drugs.

“I’ve Been Through Worse”

I had a relative say this to me with absolute resolve and conviction in her voice. She said, “Michael, whatever you have gone through, I have been though worse! So don’t try to give me your sob story.” She meant well, but this is not something to say to a depressed person. It may be true that you have been through worse and been able to get out of it. What you mat not know is that this is meaningless to the depressed for two reasons:
  1. Once you’re in the black hole of depression, the hole itself is the worst thing you’ve gone through. The tragic events that might have brought you there often pale in comparison.
  2. Suffering is relative. There are always going to be people who have it worse than you. This isn’t the issue. It’s how you perceive and internalize your suffering relative to who you were before. For some, the loss of a job can make them suicidal. For others (who live in harsher climates of society) even the loss of a child is expected and absorbed with less depression.
So depression is a very relative thing. Letting people know that you’ve been through worse—while it might be objectively true—can be both unwise and irresponsible. It will only harden the person in their depression.

“God Won’t Give You More Than You Can Handle”

This is in my top 10 things of what the Bible does not say that Christians often quote as Scripture. There is nowhere in the Bible that says God will not give us more than we can handle. It does say that he will in temptation provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). But never does it say that God will not give us more pain and suffering than we can handle.
Many Christians have suffered to the point of death at the hands of executors. Many suffer to the point of death at their own hands. All we can say is that “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). This may not solve our depression, but it does give us perspective. Even if our depression has caused us enormous doubt, this can be helpful.

“Depression Is a Sin—You Should Have Joy in Your Life”

This always comes from the person who has never experienced real depression. Once you have, you would never say something like this again. Unfortunately, this often comes from those who feel that it’s their job to deliver us from this evil. But is depression a sin? I don’t think so.
Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This mourning should not be thought of as some temporary bout with suffering. It’s not purely circumstantial (like mourning for the death of a loved one). The Greek word for mourn (pentheo) is a present active participle. It is actually the best word to use for “sadness” or “depression.” Christ is saying that those that are always (present, active) sad and down, will be comforted. The comfort, in the context, does not come in this life, but in the life to come.So far from being a sin, depression is often going to be the progressive state of the “blessed.”

How You Bear the Burdens of the Depressed

So, if these are the things you don’t do, what do you do? If you have a loved one who’s depressed, it is hard to handle. It can cause depression in you if you are not careful. All you want to do is solve it. Please understand, it’s not your job to solve the depression. You may be able to be a great influence in getting the depressed to feel better, but God has not given you the responsibility to deliver a loved one from depression. Let yourself off the hook. Don’t make yourself responsible for something you cannot do. Though you may be used by Him to bring the depressed to wholeness, you are not the Holy Spirit.
Most of what you “say” will only cause more depression, as shown above. This was the mistake of Job’s friends. They stayed silent for seven days (Job 2:13). They should have stayed silent for good. After seven days, they couldn’t take it any more and made all the mistakes we’ve looked at.
Silence, with your arm around the depressed, is the best advice. There may be a time for verbal inquiry, but this needs to come naturally and without judgement. You’re not given a podium to preach to the depressed; you’re given arms to hold them. Even if this doesn’t “work,” your goal should not be to bring them out of their depression. Your goal should be to be there for them their entire life if necessary. It is a terrible burden to bear when this is a loved one, I know. But this is how we bear the burdens of the depressed.
“Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.” —Margaret Runbeck
When someone is there for you without all the answers and requiring you to follow their advice “or else,” you have a true friend. And, unfortunately, these friends have been rare from the beginning of time.  

C. Michael Patton Michael received a bachelor of arts in biblical studies at University of Biblical Studies and Seminary in Bethany, OK. He received a master of theology degree in New Testament Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. Michael is the president of Credo House Ministries. He is also a speaker on Theology Unplugged, an Internet radio broadcast found at He currently resides in Oklahoma with his wife and four kids. More from C. Michael Patton or visit C. Michael at

Friday, March 13, 2015

Officials Threaten Pastors in Laos Imprisoned for Praying for Healing

Officials Threaten Pastors in Laos Imprisoned for Praying for Healing

March 12, 2015
Lao Christians pray for healing.
Five church leaders in Laos have been sentenced to prison as “illegal doctors” for praying for healing for a woman who later died. They received another legal blow when health officials on Feb. 27 agreed with an inexplicable court ruling that calling on God to heal violates Laos´ Health Care Law.
A rights advocate has helped the pastors file an appeal in the bizarre case, which he acknowledges has little chance of succeeding against a communist government determined to limit the spread of Christianity. Local authorities have threatened to extend the nine-month sentences for the five pastors if they do not withdraw the appeal.
“Our hearts are extremely heavy to see our five Lao pastors in prison for calling on God for His healing for a dying woman,” said the advocate for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom (HRWLRF). “Now that they have submitted an appeal, police and other local authorities are threatening to increase the prison sentence from nine months to several years if they don´t withdraw the appeal.”
The People´s Court of Savannakhet Province on Feb. 12 sentenced the five Christians to nine months in prison and a fine of 500,000 kips (US$62) each. In addition, the defendants are to jointly pay 20 million kips (US$2,448) in emotional damages and funeral costs to the family of the deceased.
The woman who died, identified only as Chansee (also known as Chan), had been ill for two years with an unknown condition. Various kinds of healers and doctors in Saisomboon village, Atsaphangthong District, had treated her without success.
Without proving that the five Christians had malicious intent or that their prayer was the cause of death, the court has abused the law, said the HRWLRF advocate, whose name is withheld for security reasons.
“Facts needed to be brought out in court that the arrest and conviction was to stop the Christians from spreading the Christian faith,” he said in a report by Morning Star News on Feb. 19.
Held in stocks after their arrest in June 2014, the Christians – female pastor Kaithong Khounphaisane and four leaders of other churches identified in court records as Phouphet, Muk, Hatsady and Thiang – are now imprisoned at Savannakhet Provincial Prison.
After putting her faith in Christ, Chansee on June 19, 2014 requested prayer from the Christian leaders, who prayed for her for two days. When her condition did not improve, the Christians brought her to a hospital in Utumphone District, where a licensed doctor treated her.
She requested discharge from the hospital on June 21 so she could die at home. By the time those driving her home arrived, she had died, Morning Star News reported, citing court records.
By ruling that praying for the sick for healing constitutes an act considered medical practice that requires a license from the Ministry of Health, the People´s Court wrongly found the five Christians guilty of performing medical profession without license, the HRWLRF advocate said.
“In the whole process of investigation and court trial, the five Christians were not given the chance to have a lawyer to represent their case,” he told Morning Star News.
Two of Chansee´s children, identified as Poung and Khay, on June 24 had petitioned the court for the defendants to pay the family 100 million kips (US$12,238) in order to compensate for the death of their mother. On Jan. 26, two other children, identified as Khone and Ham, filed a statement saying that Kaithong had done everything possible to help their mother and that they had no intention of bringing charges against her.
The court sentenced the pastors to pay the family 15 million kips (US$1,836) in emotional damages and 5 million kips (US$612) for funeral expenses, a total of US$2,448.
“Our five pastors who are paying for their faith physically and mentally along with their families have submitted an appeal to Court of Appeal in Champasak Province on Friday, March 6,” the advocate said. “It is a very slim chance that the Court of Appeal will overturn the Savannakhet Court´s verdict. However, appealing the case will be the only option they have to fight for the right and freedom to pray to God for His healing when faced with different physical problems or illness.”
Court in Savannakhet Province, Laos. (HRWLRF)
The HRWLRF holds that the Feb. 27 determination by the State Inspection Authority and the Savannakhet Provincial Health Department that praying for the sick violates articles 41 and 42 of the Health Care Law contravenes Laos´ constitution and laws.
“While the Lao Constitution stipulates that ‘the state respects and protects all lawful activities of the Buddhists and of other religious followers´ (Article 9), these two Lao government agencies are essentially stating that praying for the sick for the purpose of healing is ‘unlawful activity’ and, therefore, Lao citizens cannot appeal to the constitution for protection,” the advocate said.
Article 30 of the constitution states that Lao citizens have the right and freedom to believe or not believe in religions, he noted, and that praying for the sick to be healed by the intervention of a supernatural power is at the core of one´s religious belief.
The decision of the Lao government agencies also contravenes the right to pray as guaranteed by Article 11 of the Decree on Management and Protection of Religious Activities in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Prime Minister´s Office No. 92/PM, he said. Moreover, the decision goes against the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is binding on the Lao government.
Article 18 (1) of the Covenant stipulates, “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
The advocate acknowledged that Article 18 (3) of the Covenant states that religious freedoms may be “subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.” But he said it would be hard to prove “that the act of praying for the sick, upon the request of the sick, without the use of medicine or material remedy would bring direct harm to the sick.”
The HRWLRF is appealing to the Lao government to review the decision of the State Inspection Authority and Savannakhet Provincial Health Department, respect the Lao constitution and laws, and abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The group is appealing for the immediate release of the five Christians.
“Stand with us and with these five brothers/sisters in their suffering, as well as their families,” the advocate said. “The Court of Appeal will have 45 days to decide whether to uphold or overturn the Savannakhet Court´s verdict. Also, pray for me. It has been very mentally and physically taxing to write the legal defense to appeal this case for the five.”
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call 434-977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 730PERS. Thank you!

Protected Priestly Class

Buddhist monks and monks-in-training have found cover from a liberalizing of the Lao communist government’s policy toward Buddhism; in spite of marked conflicts between Buddhism and Marxism, the government has used the Buddhist Sangha, or community, as a means for achieving political goals rather than banning the religion. Thus the Christian minority in Laos, about 3.4 percent of the population, faces formidable opposition from the combination of government and religion. Buddhism in Laos, often mixed with tribal religions emphasizing animist beliefs and ancestral spirits, is practiced by 57 percent of the population, according to Operation World, while about 35 percent of the country practices indigenous religions. “At the local and village levels, Christians still find themselves to be targets,” Operation World notes, adding that strong spiritual opposition compounds family and societal pressures to continue traditional rituals.

Six Christians Killed by Soldiers at Church in Kaduna State, Nigeria

Hasil gambar untuk Six Christians Killed by Soldiers at Church in Kaduna State, Nigeria
Six Christians Killed by Soldiers at Church in Kaduna State, Nigeria
By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service
JOS, NIGERIA (ANS, March 12, 2015)  -- Soldiers have killed five members of a Catholic church in Kaduna State in Nigeria, eyewitnesses told Morning Star News ( .
The killings apparently occurred when Nigerian soldiers became upset that watchmen of the Church  on Sunday (March 8) set up a road-block as a security measure, the news agency’s Nigeria Correspondent reports.
Morning Star News stated that shortly after opening fire on St. Peter's Catholic church in Gidan-Waya, the soldiers shot and killed a Christian from another church as he returned to his home near the site in the Jama'a Local Government Area of southern Kaduna. In the clash that ensued between soldiers and area residents, a soldier was reportedly killed and several people were injured.
According to the Morning Star News report, worshippers were celebrating Mass at about 10 a.m. when a soldier ordered the watchmen, church members known as Cadets, to remove the road-blocks, parish member Christopher Mamman told Morning Star News by phone.
"A soldier approached our Cadets who had mounted a blockade during Sunday morning Mass on the road leading to our parish and ordered them to dismantle the blockade,” Mamman said. “The Cadets told the soldier that Mass was going on, and they would remove the blockade as soon as it was over, but the soldier was dissatisfied with the explanation.”
Morning Star News reported the soldier returned 10 minutes later with other soldiers from a check-point on the Jos-Abuja highway.
"They stormed the parish, shooting at worshippers inside the church," Mamman said. "Five of our members were shot and killed, while many others were injured. One other Christian from another church was also killed when the incident escalated and engulfed the town."
Sources said one Cadet died in a hospital and four other church members were killed.
Butus Jatau, another member of the church, confirmed the shooting death of the five members of St. Peter’s and the ensuing shooting of the other Christian, Morning Star News stated.
"The attack on our church forced other Christians in Gidan-Waya to clash with the soldiers, and in the process, another Christian was shot to death, bringing the number of those killed to six," he told Morning Star News.Jatau said the soldier who initially objected to the barricade was shouting at the church watchmen, asking why they had blocked the road.
"After arguing with them, he left and returned about 10 minutes later with some of his colleagues to the church to shoot at the Cadets and other members of our church,” he said.
Jatau said also that the sixth Christian the soldiers killed was a member of another church congregation in the town who was returning to his nearby house when he was gunned down."As the soldiers were shooting, another Christian returning from another church was hit by the bullet and he died instantly,” he said. “One of the Cadet boys was shot, and he died after being taken to a hospital here in Gidan-Waya.”
The Morning Star News stated another resident, however, reportedly said the soldiers did not fire into the church, and that the four non-Cadet church members were killed in the ensuing clash. Another resident reportedly said the soldier who objected to the road-block routinely accelerated his motorcycle outside the worship service, a habit the watchmen had requested he stop, implying that this conflict was at the root of the argument over the barricades.
Efforts to reach the Rt. Rev. Joseph Bagobiri, the Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, and authorities of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna were unsuccessful. At press time military officials had not commented publicly on the soldiers’ disproportionate response to what exactly had touched off the quarrel.The names of the six Christians killed were not immediately available. At press time protests and unrest continued, with residents and students of the Kaduna State College of Education fleeing to the bush and surrounding towns and villages to escape the violence.
Morning Star News explained that according to sources, St. Peter's Catholic Church has set up the street barricade the past few years to prevent would-be terrorists from bombing their services. Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Kaduna state have also mounted attacks that have killed numerous Christians.
It went on to report that the attack in Gidan-Waya is not the first time soldiers charged with protecting Christians have turned their guns on them. Survivors of a Jan. 6, 2014 slaughter of 33 Christians in a village in Nigeria’s Plateau state said Special Task Force (STF) soldiers stationed to protect them turned their weapons on those fleeing the attack.
Also in Plateau state, Muslim soldiers on Sept. 3, 2013 joined ethnic Fulani herdsmen in night raids on Gura Dabwam village, near Jos in Gyel District, killing three Christians, relatives said.
Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent. Those practicing indigenous religions may be as high as 10 percent of the total population, according to Operation World, so the percentages of Christians and Muslims may be less.
Note: Please feel free to us this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (
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