Category Archives: Jesus Lives

Katy Perry’s Illuminati Symbolism Filled ‘Dark Horse Song Copied Christian Rapper Flame Song ‘A Joyful Noise’, Jury Finds.

Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Copied Christian Rapper Flame, Jury Finds.

The pop star and her songwriting team will owe yet unspecified damages

Source: rollingstone.com

UPDATE: A jury has found that Katy Perry, her collaborators and her label Capitol Records must pay $2.78 million in damages to Marcus Gray and two of his co-writers for copying elements of the Christian rapper’s 2009 song “Joyful Noise” on Perry’s 2013 song “Dark Horse,” Associated Pressreports. The jury awarded the money on Thursday.

A jury unanimously ruled that Katy Perry’s 2013 hit single “Dark Horse” improperly copied Christian rapper Flame’s 2009 song “Joyful Noise.” The nine-member federal jury in a Los Angeles determined that Perry and her co-writers and producers will owe unspecified damages for copyright infringement.

“Dark Horse,” which has sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, credits several songwriters, including Perry and Sarah Hudson, who wrote the lyrics, and rapper Juicy J, who wrote his verse. The track was produced by Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut, who created the beat in question during the week-long trial. Flame, born Marcus Gray, and Emanuel Lambert and Chike Ojukwuhis, two co-authors on “Joyful Noise,” first sued in 2014, alleging that “Dark Horse” stole the song’s memorable beat. A rep for Perry declined to comment. Reps for Dr. Luke and Juicy J did not reply to requests for comment.

Perry’s lawyers argued that if the “commonplace” beats in question were subject to copyright it could hurt all songwriters and have potential implications for music down the road. “They’re trying to own basic building blocks of music, the alphabet of music that should be available to everyone,” Perry’s lawyer Christine Lepera said during closing arguments of the trial. Lepera did not reply to a request for comment.

Perry, who was not present when the verdict was read, testified that she had never heard “Joyful Noise,” nor heard of Flame, before the lawsuit. Her co-writers testified similarly. Flame’s lawyers responded that the song was widely distributed, with millions of plays on YouTube and Spotify, and reminded the jury of Perry’s origins in the Christian music scene. His team argued that Perry and her team had ripped off the main beat and instrumental line of “Joyful Noise.”

During the trial, Perry even offered to perform “Dark Horse” live when her lawyers were unable to play the song due to a broken speaker system. The issue was eventually fixed, so no impromptu concert was necessary.

Capitol Records, Perry’s label, which distributed the single, was also found liable in the lawsuit verdict. “Dark Horse” appeared on Perry’s fourth album, Prism, released by Capitol on October 18, 2013. The track was nominated for a Grammy nomination and Perry also performed the song during her 2015 Super Bowl halftime show.

The jury will decide this week how much Flame is owed in damages by Perry and the other defendants.

Kentucky Latest State To Require “In God We Trust” to Be Displayed in Schools.

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Monday, 05 August 2019
Written by Dave Bohon
Source: TheNewAmerican.com

Kentucky has joined several other states in passing legislation requiring schools to display the U.S. national motto “In God We Trust.” Kentucky’s state legislature passed the measure in March, Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed it into law, and with the beginning of this school year students across the state will be greeted by the phrase, thanks to the measure which mandates that “local boards shall require each public elementary and secondary school to display the national motto of the United States, ‘In God We Trust,’ in a prominent location in the school.”

The Lexington Herald Leader newspaper reported that school districts across Kentucky are hard at work placing the motto in prominent spots in school facilities. And while thus far the secular-atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation has been silent on the Kentucky law, that state’s franchise of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to the legislature before the measure’s passage insisting that lawmakers “refrain from mandating any religious observation or exercise of religion in our public schools.”

In a public letter ACLU attorneys wrote: “We firmly believe that our legislature should be working to ensure that schools are adequately funded, that teachers are appropriately compensated, and that our students receive the highest quality education possible. To do right by our students, these should be our priorities — not mandating that every school in the Commonwealth display a motto that has the appearance of endorsing religion.”

Up to now, the ACLU has decided that it is not worth diving into a full-blown legal fight with the state against the new law. However, the group invited parents and students “who feel like their rights have been violated or have questions or concerns about the implantation of the ‘In God We Trust’ motto law” to contact the ACLU’s Kentucky office.

According to ChristianHeadlines.com, the recent uptick in legislation requiring schools to prominently display “In God We Trust” was most likely influenced by a study entitled Report and Analysis on Religious Freedom Measures Impacting Prayer and Faith in America. “The report, put together by pro-religious groups, encourages lawmakers that ‘states can and must play a crucial role in protecting religious freedom,’” reported the Christian news site.

As reported previously by The New American, South Dakota passed similar legislation in March, requiring schools in the state to display the motto “In God We Trust.” According to a report by National Public Radio, “within the last couple of years, six Southern states — Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and Arizona — have approved similar legislation, enforcing or allowing public schools to post the U.S. motto.”

Separation Of Church And State Is Not Mentioned In The U.S. Constitution And Is A Misleading Metaphor. The U.S. Is A Christian Nation.

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Separation of Church and State – The Metaphor and the Constitution.

Source: allabouthistory.org

“Separation of church and state” is a common metaphor that is well recognized. Equally well recognized is the metaphorical meaning of the church staying out of the state’s business and the state staying out of the church’s business. Because of the very common usage of the “separation of church and state phrase,” most people incorrectly think the phrase is in the constitution. The phrase “wall of separation between the church and the state” was originally coined by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802. His purpose in this letter was to assuage the fears of the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists, and so he told them that this wall had been erected to protect them. The metaphor was used exclusively to keep the state out of the church’s business, not to keep the church out of the state’s business.

The constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Both the free exercise clause and the establishment clause place restrictions on the government concerning laws they pass or interfering with religion. No restrictions are placed on religions except perhaps that a religious denomination cannot become the state religion.

However, currently the implied common meaning and the use of the metaphor is strictly for the church staying out of the state’s business. The opposite meaning essentially cannot be found in the media, the judiciary, or in public debate and is not any part of the agenda of the ACLU or the judiciary.

This, in conjunction with several other factors, makes the “separation of church and state” metaphor an icon for eliminating anything having to do with Christian theism, the religion of our heritage, in the public arena. One of these factors is the use of the metaphor in place of the actual words of the constitution in discourse and debate. This allows the true meaning of the words in the constitution to be effectively changed to the implied meaning of the metaphor and the effect of the “free exercise” clause to be obviated. Another factor facilitating the icon to censor all forms of Christian theism in the public arena is a complete misunderstanding of the “establishment” clause.

Separation of Church and State – The Establishment Clause in Context

In addition to the “Separation of Church and State” metaphor misrepresenting the words of the establishment clause, the true meaning of the establishment clause is also misrepresented. The “establishment” clause states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. . .” Before these words can be put in context and the true meaning of the clause can be correctly identified, we need to examine the word “religion” and put it in America’s historical context at the time the constitution was framed. In addition, we need to examine the previous European historical background of the founders of our country to identify what specifically motivated them to place the “establishment” clause in the constitution.

To accomplish this, we need to add more specificity to the word “religion” to clarify both the American and European historical backgrounds and put the word “religion” in proper context. We need to delineate between doctrinal and denominational religion. We also need to understand that the doctrinal religion being discussed is Christian Theism, which is defined by a belief in the Bible. We know what specific Christian denominational religions are.


Separation of Church and State – Constitution Framers Historical Context

The “Separation of Church and State” metaphor blurs the distinction between a doctrinal religion and a denominational religion. This places the doctrinal religion we have embraced in the same basket as an organized denominational religion with potential to merge with the state.

The documentary evidence of the doctrinal Christian religion origin of this nation is voluminous. The Supreme Court thoroughly studied this issue, and in 1892 gave what is known as the Trinity Decision. In that decision the Supreme Court declared, “this is a Christian nation.” John Quincy Adams said, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was, it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

The founders were definitely Christian for the most part. At least 90 to 95 percentage of them were practicing, Trinitarian Christians. This and the additional supporting evidence below show conclusively that the concern that motivated the framers to include the establishment clause in the constitution was definitely not fear of the doctrinal religion of Christian Theism.

It was understood that Christian Theism was the default state doctrinal religion. As opposed to being something to fear, it was something believed to be vital to the success of our government. Consequently, the framers feared a state denominational religion not a state doctrinal religion! Some additional evidences that indicate Christian Theism was the national doctrinal religion are listed below:

Emblazoned over the Speaker of the House in the US Capitol are the words “In God We Trust.”

The Supreme Court building built in the 1930’s has carvings of Moses and the Ten Commandments.

God is mentioned in stone all over Washington D.C., on its monuments and buildings.

As a nation, we have celebrated Christmas to commemorate the Savior’s birth for centuries.

Oaths in courtrooms have invoked God from the beginning.

The founding fathers often quoted the Bible in their writings.

Every president that has given an inaugural address has mentioned God in that speech.

Prayers have been said at the swearing in of each president.

Each president was sworn in on the Bible, saying the words, “So help me God.”

Our national anthem mentions God.

The liberty bell has a Bible verse engraved on it.

The original constitution of all 50 states mentions God.

Chaplains have been in the public payroll from the very beginning.

Our nations birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, mentions God four times.

The Bible was used as a textbook in the schools.

In God We Trust Is On Our Currency (money).
The Pledge of Allegiance Mentions God.

Separation of Church and State – Founders European Historical Context

As indicated above, the “Separation of Church and State” metaphor blurs the distinction between a doctrinal religion and a denominational religion. The lack of this distinction automatically assigns the potential evil of the denominational religion to the doctrinal religion as explained below.

The pilgrims were ultimately forced to leave Europe and flee to the land we now know as America because of persecution and oppression. This persecution and oppression was a result of the Church of England, the Anglican Church, becoming the state church. It was an unholy alliance giving more power to both the church and the state to control the people.

The Anglican Church was a denominational church that persecuted religious nonconformists like the Puritans that just wanted to believe in the Bible and worship accordingly. As such they were not really a denomination. They were more of a doctrinal religion. In this case the denominational religion was the evil and the doctrinal religious group was the victim.

However, the denominational religion was not the only perpetrator of evil. The state was also a perpetrator. Neither states nor denominational religions are inherently evil. We are not always fearful of either a state or a denominational religion. It is the persecution and the oppression that are inherently evil. They can come from any organization that has power. However, the establishment clause was definitely added to the constitution to prevent a denominational religion from becoming the state religion not the doctrinal religion of Christian Theism.

Separation of Church and State – Summary of Fact Vs. Deception

The current implied meaning of the “Separation of Church and State” metaphor and its use is just the opposite of what was intended and what historical facts justify. Our framers feared a state denominational church based upon European history.

The constitutional restrictions were targeted at our government to prevent it from making a denominational religion the state church. We actually embraced the Christian Theism doctrinal religion as the state religion.

Now we are rejecting any expression or symbol of our doctrinal religion, which our framers embraced. We are treating the doctrinal religion of our heritage like a virus that must be expunged from the public square.

We also have inverted the original intent of the “Separation of Church and State” metaphor. The oppression that the Christian Theism religion is now undergoing through the ACLU and activist judges is the same evil that the establishment clause in our constitution was intended to prevent. Our current state religion of humanism is using the full power of the government to oppress the nonconformists to its doctrine, which is exactly the opposite doctrine of Christian Theism.

Learn More Now!

Information taken from: Dr. D James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, “What if America were a Christian Nation Again.”

The War To Destroy Christianity In America.

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TheNewAmerican.com
Written by Troy Anderson
Tuesday, 04 June 2019

In his new book Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America, New York Timesbest-selling author David Horowitz wrote that the liberal establishment and their radical allies envision a “godless, heathen American society” in which Christianity is banished.

Their success, he argues, could destroy the very fabric of America’s political order and culture. He warns that the rising attacks on Christians and their beliefs threaten all Americans — including Jews such as himself — because these are attacks on the founding principles of America.

“Since its birth in the fires of the French Revolution, the political left has been at war with religion, and with the Christian religion in particular,” wrote Horowitz, a former 1960s radical-turned-conservative and president of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

“In a symbolic, revolutionary act, the Jacobin leaders of the French Revolution changed the name of the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the ‘Temple of Reason.’ Then, in the name of ‘reason,’ they proceeded to massacre the inhabitants of the Vendee region of west central France because its citizens were Catholics.”

Considered the first modern genocide, it was far from the last. Inspired by this hatred, revolutionaries have regarded religion as the “enemy of progress and the mask of oppression” ever since, Horowitz wrote.

In Russia, socialist revolutionary Karl Marx’s followers scrubbed religious teaching from the schools, forbade criticism of atheism, and burned over 10,000 churches. When priests demanded freedom of religion, they were executed. Between 1917 and 1935, 130,000 Russian Orthodox priests were arrested, 95,000 of whom were shot by firing squads.

“Radicals in America today don’t have the political power to execute religious people and destroy their houses of worship,” Horowitz wrote. “Yet they openly declare their desire to obliterate religion. In their own minds, their intentions are noble — they want to save the human race from the social injustice and oppression that religion allegedly inflicts on humanity. ‘Religion must die in order for mankind to live,’ proclaimed left-wing commentator and comedian Bill Maher in Religulous, the most-watched documentary feature of 2008.”

Frank Gaffney, president and chief executive officer of Save the Persecuted Christians coalition, told The New American that the coalition has been making the case since it was formed in January 2018 that the persecution of Christians in other parts of the world is a “precursor to what can happen closer to home if we’re not careful, and if we don’t do a better job than we have to date in trying to stop” persecution around the world.

“That said, obviously what’s happening in the United States at the moment is nowhere near what is taking place in Nigeria or China or parts of the Middle East where people are being routinely brutalized, tortured, raped, sold into slavery, murdered, even on a genocidal scale,” Gaffney says.

“But I’ve been in any number of meetings where public interest law firms have described what is happening in case after case after case after case that is clearly on the leading edge of kind of a targeted effort to make the lives difficult of people who are practicing Christianity. They are doing things that their faith calls them to do but are not approved of by whoever it is that is suing them or getting the government to prosecute them.”

Is Persecution Coming to America? 

At a time when experts say 245 million Christians worldwide are experiencing severe persecution, Christian communicators at the recent National Religious Broadcasters “Proclaim 19” convention in Anaheim, California, said Christians in America are facing increasing “soft” persecution and restrictions on religious freedom.

“It’s gotten a lot worse,” Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told The New American. “I think it’s part of a change of attitude in our society, which is one of hostility toward the gospel. In the past, our society was either accepting toward the gospel or complacent with the gospel culturally.”

“But now we have large parts of America where people openly despise the gospel and see church people as symbols of hatred. They feel they are doing a good and righteous thing by attacking and silencing people preaching the gospel. To me it’s not just uncomfortable, but they see it as an affront to their lifestyles and their very self-identity.”

One of the most egregious examples involves multiple arrests of ministers preaching the gospel in public places.

The Apostle Paul would have had a difficult time in the United States preaching the “good news” because so many ministers have been arrested in recent years for preaching in public places, Dacus says.

“In the past, if someone would preach the gospel on a public sidewalk, some people may not like their particular style, but they were never arrested,” Dacus says. “But now criminal arrests for public preaching have become very common.”

Over the last few years, the Pacific Justice Institute has successfully defended 12 individuals who were criminally prosecuted for public preaching. In two other cases, the legal defense organization did not prevail and has filed appeals.

“In one case out of San Diego the man was preaching, and he mentioned a whole bunch of sins,” Dacus says. “Well, because one of the [Bible] verses mentioned was homosexual conduct, the police were called, and he had criminal charges brought against him for attempting to incite violence and hate speech.”

Initially, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office would drop the charges only if Dacus’ client was willing to go to an LGBT reorientation program, Dacus says.

“I mean that’s the way George Orwell’s 1984 book ends — the exact same way,” he says. “And our client said, ‘No.’ We were prepared for trial. The day before the trial the DA dropped the charges. That’s their tactic. These aren’t accidental. These criminal cases are dragged on — usually until the day of or the day before the actual trial.”

Dacus’ remarks come as a new report by the Pew Research Center finds 50 percent of Americans say evangelical Christians are discriminated against in the United States, up from 42 percent in 2016. Nearly one in five — 18 percent — say evangelicals, who constitute about a quarter of America’s population, face “a lot” of discrimination.

Religious Freedom Under Fire 

This discrimination is taking many forms.

Across the “land of the free,” according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), religious freedom is under fire. Some recent cases, according to the ADF, include:

In Idaho, ordained ministers Don and Lynn Knapp, who were threatened by the City of Coeur d’Alene with fines and jail time for declining to officiate same-sex weddings at their wedding chapel.

After cake artist Jack Phillips politely declined a same-sex couple’s request to design a cake to celebrate their wedding, a Colorado civil rights commissioner stated at a hearing that religious freedom is a ‘despicable piece of rhetoric’ that slave owners, Nazis, and Jack used ‘to hurt others.’ He was also ordered to stop ‘discriminating,’ ‘reeducate’ his staff, and file quarterly compliance reports.

Five pastors in Houston, Texas, had their sermons and personal communications with churchgoers subpoenaed as part of a campaign by the mayor to silence them on important moral issues.

In California, Dacus says, a “new education framework, which states across the country are considering adopting, is hostile to children from Christian families.”

In the past, parents could opt their children out of sex-education courses in schools, Dacus says. But California lawmakers recently approved the California Healthy Youth Act, requiring a “pro-LGBT indoctrination curriculum that on its face parents cannot opt out of,” Dacus says.

“It’s totally divergent from a biblical, Christian worldview,” he says. “The spiritual casualties from this kind of indoctrination are horrific, but it gets worse. The new education framework will have children from kindergarten through third grade taught story books like Princess Boy where it teaches children it’s okay for them to be a boy on the inside but be a girl on the outside. Transgender persons putting on presentations to these young children with a worldview totally divergent from the Christian worldview is already in process and becoming commonplace with this new framework.”

Further, the California Department of Education is proposing a curriculum that recommends using Planned Parenthood personnel to teach students about sexual health. As part of this curriculum, students would be taught to view religious boundaries of sexual activity as “spiritual abuse,” Dacus says.

“It would authorize the removal of a child from a family, a religious family, that constrained the sexual relationships that their children wish to have,” Dacus says. “This is curriculum [that] is in [the] process of being adopted and proposed in other states as well, but California is leading the way.”

Meanwhile, Dacus says, he’s seen a purging of college professors with Christian worldviews in recent years.

College campuses used to be the marketplace of ideas. Now, public colleges and universities are becoming the “most repressive places in the country” when it comes to sharing and living the Christian faith, Dacus says.

“An example of that are universities setting up little, six-by-six-foot free speech zones to attempt to limit where students can share their faith,” he says.

Christians have also faced discrimination on social media, Dacus says.

“The Big Tech companies have been blatant in their hostility and silencing of Christian biblical worldviews and have limited organizations and ministries,” Dacus says. “We’ve seen a number of cases of organizations, including our own, that at times have suffered from such blatant, hostile discrimination against those customers with religious messaging and biblical worldviews.”

One of the primary drivers behind this larger phenomenon of discrimination against Christians is the “LGBT agenda,” Dacus says.

“The LGBT agenda has become very hostile to traditional Christianity and those who believe in the teachings of the Bible,” Dacus says. “Christians and the biblical worldview are what stand in the way of total sexual transformation in the United States.”

Recently, the ADF and others have expressed concerns about the proposed “Equality Act.” H.R. 5, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and public education. The ADF says it “poses a devastating and unprecedented threat to religious freedom.”

The act adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to existing nondiscrimination laws, the ADF’s Sarah Kramer wrote.

This would prohibit employers, individuals who rent out apartments in their homes, preschools, and even religious schools and organizations from making choices based on biology, bodily privacy, and their beliefs about the nature of marriage.

The act would force women to share private spaces with men, Kramer wrote. The act would also open shower facilities, restrooms, and locker rooms to members of the opposite sex in schools and churches.

“Essentially, the ‘Equality Act’ gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment,” Kramer wrote.

Stephen Black, executive director of First Stone Ministries in Oklahoma City, told The New American that the Equality Act would put “LGBT on the same level equal to race and gender.”

“As an ordained Christian minister this is intolerable in being able to preach the Bible because what H.R. 5 would do is it would — bottom line — make Christian speech and proclaiming the truth about homosexuality, or any form of sexual sin and brokenness, criminalized,” Black says. “You wouldn’t be able to preach against it because it would be considered hate speech.”

Stigmatizing Opponents

In Dark Agenda, Horowitz explains that the Left likes to label its political opponents as “phobic” and divides America into two kinds of people — those who care about gay rights, minorities, and other victim groups and “un-American ‘deplorables’ who hate and oppress society’s victims.”

“Stigmatizing one’s opponents is a classical radical tactic,” Horowitz wrote. “That is why radicals paint their political opponents as homophobes, xenophobes, and Islamophobes.”

“According to the Left, in other words, people who oppose abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ have a kind of mental illness…. Calling critics ‘phobic’ is a rationale for denying their First Amendment rights. Shouts of ‘No free speech for homophobes or Islamophobes’ are already heard from leftists on college campuses. Or, to put them all in one fearful basket: ‘No free speech for fascists.’”

Ironically, by suppressing the First Amendment rights of Christians and labeling them as “fascists,” the Left are themselves becoming fascists and following the example of their Jacobin predecessors in the French Revolution.

Christianity Under Attack – U.S. Fake News Media Refuses To Cover The Persecution.

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A Dangerous Time To Be Christian

TheNewAmerican.com
Written by Troy Anderson
Tuesday, 04 June 2019

Though its incidence is not shared by major media, violence — including torture and murder — against Christians around the world is at historic levels.

This past Easter will live in infamy — as an omen and wake-up call for global Christendom and Western civilization.

At a time when many of the world’s 2.5 billion Christians were celebrating the resurrection of their crucified savior Jesus Christ, two shocking events just days apart sent reverberations around the world.

First, a few days before Easter, the world watched as the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was largely consumed in flames. In an article the following day, nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Dennis Prager captured the tragic irony of the disaster. “The symbolism of the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, the most renowned building in Western civilization, the iconic symbol of Western Christendom, is hard to miss,” Prager wrote in his column “Notre Dame: An Omen.”

“It is as if God Himself wanted to warn us in the most unmistakable way that Western Christianity is burning — and with it, Western civilization.”

A few days later, on Easter Sunday, over 250 people were killed, including nearly 50 children, when three Christian churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka were targeted in a series of coordinated Islamic terrorist bombings.

“What you have in these kinds of events are people who have a radical agenda who want to attack churches, attack Christians, and destroy the freedom of religious expression of Christians,” David Curry, president and chief executive officer of Open Doors USA, told The New American.

“This attack on these churches, by the way, is not rare. It’s happening regularly in various parts of the world where Christian churches are attacked, not just on Easter, but many times throughout the year. It’s based on this radical idea that they think Christians are infidels and they want to eradicate them.”

This attack on Christians, among the worst in modern history, came amid reports that persecution of Christ’s followers globally is worse today “than at any time in history.”

Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution, according to the authors of a study by Aid to the Church in Need.

“There is a war being waged against the world’s Christians and unfortunately American Christians have been lulled or shamed into silence while secular and progressive voices in media and our own government have sought to keep us in the dark about the brutal, worldwide war being waged against Christianity in a growing and record number of countries,” Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) coalition, said at the recent National Religious Broadcasters “Proclaim 19” convention in Anaheim, California.

“Rest assured, the cake baker here in the United States, the 15-year-old school girl being held by jihadists as a slave for life in Nigeria, and the imprisoned North Korean being slowly starved to death for the crime of being Christian, are casualties of the same brutal war that has been festering for centuries. This war, most accurately, a war between love and hate, a war between good and evil, is raging and spreading like a wildfire left to burn uncontrolled.”

All this has occurred, Laugesen continued, as the citizens of the only nation in the world built upon the principles of Christian love and justice, are safely sleeping in a “carefully constructed bubble of ignorance and distraction.”

This may be the most dangerous time in history to be a Christian. 

“More Christians have died for their faith over the last 100 years than in all prior centuries since Jesus’ time,” Laugesen says.

An April 2019 study commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office echoed this assessment, noting Christians are “by far the most persecuted” religious group and are experiencing what amounts to genocide in some parts of the world.

“The eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of ‘the sword’ or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines,” Bishop of Truro Reverend Philip Mounstephen wrote. “An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols…. Where these and other incidents meet the tests of genocide, governments will be required to bring perpetrators to justice, aid victims and take preventative measures for the future.”

“The main impact of such genocidal acts against Christians is exodus. Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christians number below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today.”

Pockets of Christianity Facing Extermination 

Today, according to Open Doors, which supports persecuted believers around the world, Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the planet.

While Christian persecution takes many forms, it is defined as any hostility experienced as a result of identification with Christ. The persecution of Christians is a serious issue for believers throughout the world, many of whom are beaten, tortured, beheaded, crucified, raped, imprisoned or enslaved, or wind up losing their livelihoods, homes, and assets as a result of their faith.

Trends show that countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa are intensifying persecution against Christians, and perhaps the most vulnerable are Christian women and girls, who often face sexual assault and double persecution for their faith and sex.

Each month, on average, 345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons, 105 churches and Christian buildings are burned or attacked, and 219 Christians are detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, or imprisoned, according to Open Doors.

Today, nearly a quarter billion Christians experience high levels of persecution in the countries on Open Door’s World Watch List.

“It’s severe and we base that on the fact that there are more Christians being persecuted than ever before and the intensity is higher,” Curry says. “Sometimes it’s governments that are doing it, other times it’s non-state actors and radical groups like ISIS, and others. Persecution has been spiking for the last seven to eight years in record numbers and every year it seems to be getting more intense.”

Christians in a record number of countries are being subjected to brutal human rights abuses and even genocidal violence by authoritarian regimes and radical groups, according to STPC, a coalition of over 130 faith leaders and community influencers.

“There have been 26 million martyrs over the past 100 years which is more than the previous 1,900 years combined,” says Kevin Jessip, chairman of the Board of Directors of STPC, which endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.

“If you think of the worst atrocities in the history of the world — what Pol Pot did in Cambodia, what Adolf Hitler did in the Third Reich, what Joseph Stalin did in the Soviet Union, what Mao Tse-tung did in China — and if you put the numbers of people that they killed together, they would pale by comparison to the number of lives that are being destroyed — not in every case people being killed — but their lives are being destroyed around the world today,” says Frank J. Gaffney, president and chief executive officer of STPC and former deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear forces and arms control policy during the Reagan administration.

In 2018, Open Doors estimated there were 215 million Christians who were heavily persecuted — not just inconvenienced or suffering, but heavily persecuted, meaning tortured, raped, sold into slavery, crucified, murdered, expelled from their homes, and harmed in egregious ways, including genocide, Gaffney says.

“But their estimate [in 2019] is there are now 245 million Christians who are experiencing that kind of persecution,” he says.

One in Nine Christians Experiences High Levels of Persecution 

Globally, one in nine Christians experiences high levels of persecution, and Islamic oppression fuels Christian persecution in eight of the top 10 countries on Open Doors’ World Watch List.

Open Doors has identified many factors behind the increase in persecution, including the rise and spread of radical Islam.

“It’s more than just whether ISIS owns territories,” Curry says. “They don’t need territory to share their ideas. These ideas — first recognized in Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda — are now widely spread and it’s like a cancer that has metastasized.”

“That’s a driver that is still in place and it’s driving persecution in a number of countries in the world, so when you look at the top countries on the World Watch List, North Korea is number one, but then you jump to Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran. All those countries are driven by radical Islam. They have a radical ideology that wants to force Islamic belief on other people, attack Christians and restrict the rights of Christians.”

This means that for millions of Christians — particularly those who grew up Muslim — openly following Jesus can have painful consequences.

But it’s not just adherents of radical Islam that persecute Christians. For the first time since the start of the World Watch List over two decades ago, India has entered the top 10. Additionally, China jumped 16 spots, from 43 to 27.

Hindu nationalists in India continue to attack Christians with what seems like no consequences, and in China, the increased power of the government and the rule of Xi Jinping continue to make open worship difficult in some parts of the country, according to Open Doors.

And while the violent excesses of ISIS and other Islamic militants have mostly disappeared from headlines in the Middle East, their loss of territory there means the fighters have dispersed to a larger number of countries not only in the region but, increasingly, into sub-Saharan Africa.

“Despite broad-based agreement that people should not suffer for their faith, in spite of most of the world’s countries signing on with the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, more than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in a religiously-restricted atmosphere,” Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom, told hundreds of mostly Christian television and radio broadcasters at the NRB International Christian Media Convention.

“As I travel the world, I’m struck with stories of men and women who suffer restrictions, discrimination and persecution, yet their souls are beautifully crafted through pain. It is their voices that spur me on in our office and work, and I believe it is their voices that will help turn the tide of religious persecution around the world.”

Voices of the Persecuted

One of these voices is American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who spent a couple of years in a “nightmare prison” in Turkey until President Donald Trump intervened late last year.

Afterward, Brunson, who had been in Turkish custody since October 2016, returned to the United States. He was accused of being party to a failed coup attempt against Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, charges he denied.

Brunson’s imprisonment sparked a diplomatic conflict between the United States and Turkey, with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Trump’s Twitter accounts all calling for Brunson’s release, while Erdoğan insisted on a prisoner exchange. Then, in October 2018, a Turkish court ordered Brunson’s release amid reports of a “secret deal.”

“President Trump got this done,” Brownback said. “I was pushing, pushing, but he just got fed up and said, ‘I’m going to slap these tariffs on, tank the economy, and wait for them to do the right thing.’ And they eventually did. No other president has ever put tariffs and sanctions on a fellow NATO ally, but this president did.”

While Brunson’s story has a happy ending, many of the believers imprisoned for their faith around the world face horrifying conditions.

Hea Woo, a pseudonym Open Doors created for a woman who spent time in North Korean prisons, lost her husband and daughter and narrowly escaped with her own life.

In 1997, amid a famine in North Korea, her daughter starved to death. Woo’s husband fled to China, where he became a Christian, but he was caught by the secret police and thrown in a North Korean prison. He died there.

It wasn’t long after that Woo also escaped to China. A short time later, she was also caught by the secret police, sent back to North Korea, and put in a prison camp. In an interview with Open Doors, she explained what the conditions were like:

“There were different parts within the prison,” Woo says. “Some [sectors] did agriculture, some did construction work, some did mining. Men and women were separated; all the inmates seemed like they were about to faint. They were all hopeless and in despair. And plus, they were starving. Each person received one handful of rotten corn [and] there was nothing else to eat.”

“We got something watery — it wasn’t even a soup. We got those as food for the whole year. Nothing else. And people are obligated to work more than cows or animals. Because everyone is forced to labor, people die from malnutrition. People died from accidents while working, too…. So many died — and there was no hope in the prison. All [inmates] were on the verge of death.”

Open Doors estimates about 250,000 people are suffering in North Korea’s “Nazi-style prison camps,” 50,000 of whom are imprisoned for their faith.

A 2017 report by the International Bar Association War Committee noted that a child survivor of the World War II concentration camp Auschwitz said the conditions in North Korea were as bad — or even worse — than what he experienced at the hands of the Nazis.

The report described routine public executions carried out in front of both children and adults, designed to “subdue the prison population.”

Dominic Sputo, director of STPC and author of Heirloom Love: Authentic Christianity in This Age of Persecution, visited persecuted believers in the Middle East several years ago and met a man who had been “shot by men with beards and machineguns for preaching the gospel.”

“The Lord miraculously healed him and when I arrived, I met him in the same place and he was still preaching the gospel,” Sputo says. “I was scared hanging out with him that day.”

Sputo went to his home and visited with him, his wife, and three children.

“It just etched something deeply in my spirit to see and meet with brothers and sisters who, for them, the normal Christian life is taking up the cross and denying themselves in ways that I never would have imagined,” Sputo says. “After I left them, a couple of weeks later, a brother in their church was clubbed to death on his driveway in front of his family. Another was shot in the back of the head.”

China and Social Credit Scores

The violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world is just one aspect of the persecution that believers are experiencing globally.

In China, the world’s largest country, with 1.4 billion people, the nation’s rapidly growing Christian population has recently experienced serious persecution. China’s Communist Party is intensifying religious persecution of Christians, closing and demolishing churches, jailing pastors, and proposing a new state translation of the Bible that will establish a “correct understanding of the text.”

“Think about the 90 million Christians in China who are followers of Jesus who are now facing growing restrictions, having to deal with facial recognition technologies and having a social credit score,” Curry says.

“China is increasing the pressure and trying to force Christians into a ‘China first’ kind of idea — and that’s because there are now more Christians in China than the Communist Party, and they quickly realized they needed to control the Christian movement. So, they are starting to force unregistered churches to register with the government, allowing cameras to be posted in the churches and outside the churches, and trying to approve the theology and sermons of pastors.”

One of the biggest concerns among proponents of religious freedom involves China’s social credit scores that rate a person’s trustworthiness. In China, the government and private companies collect data about people’s finances, social-media activities, credit history, online purchases, health records, legal matters, tax payments, and the people they associate with — information gleaned from the nation’s hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras.

This data is used to determine citizens’ social credit scores. Generally, higher scores give people advantages, such as avoiding deposits on rental properties. Those with lower scores may find their ability to purchase a new house restricted or be prohibited from buying airline tickets.

“For a long time, China viewed Christians as a great part of society,” Curry says. “They taught a moral framework that the Chinese didn’t teach, drug use wasn’t as prevalent in the Christian population, and so they saw it as a valuable thing.” He added:

Now they see it as a threat to their communist system. The fear is that anybody with a low social credit score will be denied rights that others would otherwise have. Now that sounds like a new thing to us in the West, but this is what has happened in other places like North Korea where Christians are considered enemies of the state. They’re the last to get food in a famine and are put in labor camps, sometimes for up to three generations because their grandfather was a Christian or was found with a Bible.

Brownback says it’s “truly scary what is taking place” in China and could be exported to other countries.

“I saw a report recently that nearly 400 million security cameras are being deployed in China by the end of next year,” Brownback says. “And then there are the facial-recognition systems behind it to be able to recognize who is going into the church, who is going into a mosque, and then be able to sort through that data.”

“And now they have the social credit score system that they are saying is to make people better people, but it can also be used to remove you from your apartment, keep you from your job, and not allow your children in school. So, they’ve got these systems they’re developing as a security apparatus and are using artificial intelligence to sort through the data to really focus on persecuting people of faith, to marginalize you in society. How do you participate in society with this?”

Brownback says he’s concerned that China may sell the system to other countries, and those nations will be able to “use this system to put down populations that governments don’t like.”

“The Chinese Communist party does not trust its own people to allow them to choose their own path for their souls,” Brownback says. “There are over one billion souls at stake. It seems the Chinese government is at war with faith, and it is a war they will not win.”

“A War They Will Not Win”

In response, Brownback says, the Trump administration is committed to helping persecuted Christians throughout the world and is “pursuing this aggressively,” with economic sanctions on countries that persecute Christians and other measures.

“Religious freedom is a top foreign policy priority for this administration,” Brownback says. “We believe this is a universal and natural right. When I reflect on my own faith, I think about how God gave man the free will to choose to believe or not. That freedom is a beautiful one, a sacred right. If God has given man this freedom, how much more should governments leave it to their citizens this freedom to do with their own soul as they choose?”

Western media, many elected officials, and even some faith leaders have been silent for too long about this anti-Christian plague of oppression and death sweeping the globe. These crimes against humanity have thus festered and proliferated, according to the STPC.

To combat this, STPC (www.savethepersecutedchristians.org) is determined to raise America’s awareness of the plight of the world’s Christians and call them to join in a movement to hold the persecutors accountable and create real costs for their crimes. The group seeks not only to alleviate the suffering, but also to discourage and ultimately stop those responsible. The movement is bringing political pressure to bear on governments that are engaged as a matter of state policy in the persecution of Christians, on those who allow it to take place on their watch, and on those who persecute with impunity. One of the strategies STPC is encouraging the Trump administration to use, as it did with Turkey, involves the imposition of economic sanctions.

“The problem clearly isn’t being ameliorated just by trying to relieve some of the suffering,” Gaffney says. “Our theory is that’s because the persecutors don’t perceive any particular downside to doing what they’re doing. They see the upside — it’s good for the party, it’s good for the leader, it’s good for their service to Allah — whatever their particular rationale may be, but they just don’t see real costs associated with doing so. And our job, it seems to me, is to create those costs, to hold the persecutors accountable, and to create penalties for engaging in this kind of behavior.”

Many organizations in America and elsewhere, including Open Doors, are doing important work on behalf of persecuted Christians, helping feed, clothe, shelter, and otherwise help them. What is needed is more awareness on the part of the American faithful to drive charitable giving, and to apply political pressure to enact policy that will relieve the suffering, obtain justice for those harmed, and exact heavy costs on persecutors of Christians, according to STPC.

As part of this effort, STPC is building a movement such as one in the 1970s that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution — Soviet Jews — to impel policy changes that will hold the persecutors accountable and increase the costs for their crimes against humanity. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union ruthlessly persecuted the religious, particularly those of the Jewish faith. However, in the 1970s, the “Save Soviet Jewry” campaign launched an effort that would one day help free the Soviet Union’s oppressed Jews. This campaign began with banners and signs outside synagogues and other houses of worship across America.

“Over time it developed into a powerful political force and a guy I happened to work for later by the name of U.S. Senator Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson turned it into the kind of punitive sanctions on the Soviets that we’re talking about,” Gaffney says. “It was called the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and what it said was simply that the Soviets would not get most-favored nation status unless they let the Jews out and anybody else who wanted to go.”

President Ronald Reagan used “economic warfare against the Soviet Union decisively to not only free a lot of Jews, but hundreds of millions of other people who were enslaved in the Soviet empire, the ‘Evil Empire,’ as it was famously called.”

The same thing could happen today with persecuted Christians, Gaffney says.

At the first-ever Help the Persecuted Summit in Washington, D.C., in March, Vice President Pence said no people of faith face greater hostility or hatred than followers of Christ. “In Iraq, we see monasteries demolished, priests and monks beheaded, and the two-millennia-old Christian tradition in Mosul clinging for survival,” Pence said. “In Syria, we see ancient communities burned to the ground and believers tortured for confessing the name of Christ.”

“It’s heartbreaking to think that the Christian population in Syria has been cut in half in just the past six years, and many of those who remain have been displaced from their ancient homes. In Iraq, the followers of Christ have fallen by 80 percent in the past decade and a half.”

Like the “miracle” that helped free millions of Soviet Jews and others, Gaffney believes “another miracle is entirely possible.”

“Now maybe it’s not going to stop all the persecution all over the world,” he says. “Christ said that won’t happen, but we could alleviate it in any of the places where it’s currently happening, save lives — and save a few souls too.”

In addition, the group is lobbying Trump and Congress to serve notice that those responsible for persecution of Christians will jeopardize the benefits they garner from U.S. foreign aid, military sales, bilateral relations and the opportunity for the leaders of these countries, their family members, and citizens of their nations to visit the United States, go to college and maintain bank accounts in America.

Critics of America’s foreign policy in the Middle East have noted that the policies couldn’t be intentionally designed to do a better job of liquidating Christians.

Many of the Christians who have suffered and died have lived in countries that receive billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars every year. After trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives were sacrificed by the U.S. government over the last few decades intervening in the Middle East — the birthplace of Christianity — Christian communities now face genocide and serious persecution.

In many cases, U.S. taxpayers are either subsidizing the slaughter by distributing billions of dollars to oppressive regimes, or worse, helping to create the conditions that allow the persecution to happen in the first place.

In response, Gaffney says, STPC is urging Trump and Congress to withhold foreign aid from those nations that are persecuting believers.

“The point is that when Christians are persecuted in places around the world like these we find that they often feel as though they have been abandoned by the rest of us, which only further emboldens their persecutors,” Gaffney says. “So, I’m very pleased to say I’m leading an organization that aspires to become a movement that will change the calculus with these persons, not simply by helping people who are providing symptomatic relief to those suffering, but by holding the persecutors accountable and creating real costs for what they’re doing.”

SaveUs Banner 

The SaveUs movement asks houses of worship and concerned Americans to place a SaveUs banner in a prominent place to build awareness.

People can encourage their pastors to visit the STPC website and order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These banners feature a graphic “SaveUs” plea with a cross and the coalition’s website where Americans can learn about the global persecution of Christians and find out what they can do to help stop the violence.

STPC also invites people and groups to host their traveling exhibit, “The People of the Cross.” This exhibit shows what millions of Christians are suffering.

In the summer of 2018, as a side event to the U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, STPC debuted an exhibit at the U.S. Capitol that featured a series of more than 20 7-foot-by-32-inch vertical banners showing what millions of people experience simply because they follow Christ. Since then, the banners have toured the nation and been featured at 21 events in 10 states, reaching an audience of at least 14,500.

Also, with such staggering statistics, and the knowledge that most of these crimes are not covered in the media, STPC developed a special news aggregator — http://www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com — to capture those present-day stories of persecution that do make the news and to provide STPC coalition members an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.

Communist Professor Charged With Attempting To Torch St. Patrick’s Cathedral In New York City.

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After Notre-Dame, Professor Charged With Attempting to Torch St. Patrick’s Cathedral

thenewamerican.com

Written by Selwyn Duke

April 19, 2019

In yet another episode of academics behaving badly, a college professor walked into New York City’s iconic St. Patrick’s Cathedral while carrying gasoline, lighter fluid, and lighters — in an apparent arson attempt — just two days after the shocking fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

“Marc Lamparello, 37, of New Jersey, entered the historic Midtown church about 8 p.m. [Wednesday] with the flammable paraphernalia, but was quickly intercepted by church security, law enforcement sources said,” reports the New York Post. “He turned around, but spilled some gas in the process, prompting the guards to alert counter-terrorism cops stationed outside the church.”

The paper continued, “When questioned, Lamparello claimed he was simply cutting through the church to get to Madison Avenue because his van, which was parked outside on Fifth Avenue, ran out of gas, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said at a press conference outside St. Pat’s Wednesday night.”

Of course, this claim is problematic when your vehicle isn’t actually out of fuel, which Lamparello’s mini-van wasn’t. Moreover, his “‘answers were inconsistent and evasive, although he remained conversational with them [the authorities] and cooperative,’ Miller said,” the Post further reports.

Miller also stated, writes the paper, “I think the totality of circumstances of [an] individual walking into an iconic location like St. Patrick’s Cathedral carrying over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and lighters is something that we would have great concern over.” Yes, well, unless he was just trying to ensure his votive candle’s successful lighting, I’d say so.

Lamparello was arrested and charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment. Miller explained that “surveillance camera footage showed Lamparello circling St. Patrick’s several times in a minivan well over an hour before he parked outside the cathedral on Fifth Avenue, walked around the area, returned to his vehicle, and retrieved the gasoline and lighter fluid,” Fox News informs.

It also emerged that he was just arrested Monday at a different church, the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, for refusing to leave after a late Mass.

What will surprise some but not others is that Lamparello is a college professor, having worked part-time as an online instructor at Lehman College in the Bronx and as an adjunct instructor at Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He also was teaching a class at Brooklyn College as part of his requirement as a Ph.D. student.

Given the level of competency Lamparello displayed at St. Patrick’s, it’s no surprise learning that his field of study isn’t criminology, but philosophy (and Aquinas he’s not). Unfortunately, his intent also won’t surprise astute observers, as misbehaving academics are legion. Here’s a short list:

• Professor Melissa Click was fired by the University of Missouri in 2015 after a student journalist pressed assault charges. Among other things, she told a mob that she needed some “muscle” to help her strong-arm the journalist. Don’t feel too sorry for her, though — she was hired to teach the next year by Washington’s Gonzaga University.

• College of Southern Nevada sociology professor Mark Bird was brought up on multiple charges last year after bringing a gun on campus and shooting himself to protest President Trump. It sounds like the sociologist needs a psychologist.

• That is, unless it’s Millikin University psychology Professor James St. James, former head of the institution’s Behavioral Science Department. It was revealed in 2013 that the pony-tailed academic had murdered his entire family in 1967, but spent only six years in a mental asylum after being found not guilty by reason of insanity. Apparently, though, he was still sane enough for academia.

• University of Alabama professor Amy Bishop, who had a history of volatile behavior, shot six colleagues in 2010. She, too, had a unique way of settling family squabbles: She’d shot her 18-year-old brother to death in 1986.

• Charles Johnston, a psychology professor at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, was charged with attempted murder last year after shooting at truck drivers and police in Iowa.

The above just scratches the surface. Then there’s the endless list of academics who utter comments (usually on Twitter) such as:

• It’s “a privilege to teach future dead cops”;

• “Hurricane Harvey was karmic payback for Republican-voting Texans”;

• “Trump must hang”;

• The president should be shot;

• The late Barbara Bush was an “amazing racist who…raised a war criminal” (posted just after Mrs. Bush’s death);

• “F— your life!” (shouted at a student);

• Some “white people may have to die for black communities to be made whole”; and

• “All I want for Christmas is white genocide.”

None of this will surprise an ex-Ivy League professor-turned-editor I know — he once told me that academics are “wretched” people (I believe it’s one of the reasons he left academia).

What’s the explanation? Well, note that a 2016 study confirmed what most already knew: Academia is a leftist bastion in which liberals outnumber conservatives almost 12 to 1 — and this imbalance is getting worse, too.

This is relevant because, as the Daily Mail reported in a 2008 article, “Right-wingers really are nicer people, latest research shows.” This thesis can be informally tested here, by the way. Just try to determine how many of the misbehaving academics are not leftists. Wanna’ bet the number is smaller than 1 in 12?

Anyway, defending her actions, Melissa “Muscle” Click stated in 2016 that there “was no reason to think I was doing something that wasn’t sanctioned by the university.” This is absolutely believable and is why we shouldn’t assume that Marc Lamparello won’t yet get the chance to mold young minds. After all, attempted arson may not be actual murder, but they both appear to be résumé enhancers on today’s college campus.

Twelve French Churches Attacked, Vandalized In One Week In France. But Notre Dame Fire Just A Accident?

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Saint-Sulpice church in Paris on fire on March 17. Alice Weidel linked this blaze to the Notre Dame fire despite investigators believing the latest incident was an accident

breitbart.com
THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

20 Mar 2019

A dozen Catholic churches have been desecrated across France over the period of one week in an egregious case of anti-Christian vandalism.

The recent spate of church profanations has puzzled both police and ecclesiastical leaders, who have mostly remained silent as the violations have spread up and down France.

Last Sunday, marauders set fire to the church of Saint-Sulpice — one of Paris’ largest and most important churches — shortly after the twelve-o’clock Mass.

Police have concluded that the fire was the result of arson and are now looking for possible suspects. The restoration of the church from the damage caused by the fire will reportedly cost several hundred million euros.

In Nimes (department of the Gard), near the border with Spain, the church of Notre-Dame des Enfants was desecrated in a particularly odious way, with vandals painting a cross with human excrement, looting the main altar and the tabernacle, and stealing the consecrated hosts, which were discovered later among piles of garbage.

Likewise, the church of Notre-Dame in Dijon, in the east of the country, suffered the sacking of the high altar and the hosts were also taken from the tabernacle, scattered on the ground, and trampled.

In Lavaur, in the southern department of the Tarn, the village church was assaulted by young men, who twisted one arm of a representation of the crucified Christ to make it appear that he was making an obscene gesture.

In the peripheries of Paris, in the department of Yvelines, several churches have suffered profanations of varying importance, in Maisons-Laffitte and in Houilles.

Although commentators have been reluctant to attach a particular religious or cultural origin to the profanations, they all share an evident anti-Christian character.

In recent months, anti-Semitic gangs have desecrated Jewish cemeteries, signing their actions with swastikas. In the case of the desecration of Catholic churches, the vandalism has spoken for itself: ridicule of the figure of Christ on the cross and desecration of major altars.

The Catholic hierarchy has kept silent about the episodes, limited themselves to highlighting that anti-Christian threat and expressing hope that politicians and police will get to the bottom of the crimes.

Reports indicate that 80 percent of the desecration of places of worship in France concerns Christian churches and in the year 2018 this meant the profanation of an average of two Christian churches per day in France, even though these actions rarely make the headlines.

In 2018, the Ministry of the Interior recorded 541 anti-Semitic acts, 100 anti-Muslim acts, and 1063 anti-Christian acts.

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