Monday, October 26, 2009

Persecution in Pakistan

NEWS ALERT: Pakistani Christians Fear More Deadly Violence
Posted on: 2009-10-15 13:49:55
By Jawad Mazhar, Worthy News Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan

SARGODHA, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- Christians in Pakistan's Punjab province feared more violence Thursday, October 15, after authorities released on bail six suspected Muslim militants accused of anti-Christian clashes that killed nearly a dozen people, while acquitting an alleged Muslim rapist of a Christian girl.

The news emerged as Pakistani security forces battled suspected Muslim militants who killed dozens of people Thursday, October 15, in attacks against police.

The district and sessions court of Toba Tek Singh released Muhammad Adnan, Muhammad Ammar, Muhammad Safdar, Ali Raza, Javed-ur-Rehman and Amer Hayyat after each of them posted bail in the amount of 50,000 Pakistani Rupee($600), trial observers said.

They were allegedly involved of inciting and carrying out attacks against Christians in Gojra where 11 Christians were killed and over 40 Christian homes were burned down.

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Please keep our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world in your prayers.


“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19

40 comments:

ExPatMatt said...

That's horrible.

Why are these violent attacks happening? I haven't been keeping up to date with the news in that region.

I hope they can find a way to resolve things.

Dorci said...

These attacks against Christians are carried out in many nations around the world because the Name of Jesus Christ is hated. Why? Because it is the Name above all Names. Because He is the only name by which we must be saved. Because the Holy Spirit Who indwells these Christians is an affront to the persecutors way of way. Persecution of Christians has taken place since the time of Christ's own persecution and ultimate martyrdom. They hated Him and they will hate us because we stand with Him in the Truth that is above all Truth, while they would rather remain left alone of the truth and the conviction of it to continue on carrying out their sinful ways. It is a spiritual warfare that is taking place in the heavenly realms which we do not see directly, but we see the evidence of it in the torture and murder of innocent Christians. Christians have been largely free from that violence here in the States and some other countries, but we never know what a day will bring.

Nohm said...

Pakistan sucks when it comes to human rights.

On the other hand, I don't think it's for the reasons that Dorci suggests.

Dorci said...

That's because you don't acknowledge the reality of God, angels and demons and the real war for souls that wages every moment. There is a reason that Christians are the targets, and there is a reason why God's chosen people, the Jews, have been targets for war generation after generation. But it is reality. This is God's world. The fall of His angel Lucifer into rebellion against God has wreaked havoc ever since the deception in the Garden of Eden. These are not just fairy tales. And unfortunately, many will find out that that is indeed the case, but only when they die and meet their Creator, or when the Lord comes back to take the body of Christ from this earth and the final and great war between Good and evil culminates.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

You suggest that this is "the reality". Why should I believe that? It in no way shape or form matches the reality that I experience on a daily basis.

Also, "Lucifer" is not Satan. The name "Lucifer" is only used once in the Bible, and given the context it certainly does not appear to refer to Satan.

Dorci said...

There are many names for satan given in the bible, and lucifer is one of them. He had been a beautiful angel created by God. But then he decided that he wanted to be exalted above God, and God will not have that, and he was cast out of heaven. Ever since, satan has waged war to become as great as God, and he uses people to do that. he uses suicide bombers to kill innocent people. he uses individuals to drag defenseless women and children into the street to have them slaughtered to instill fear into the hearts of any others who would follow Christ.

The only reason I can give you to believe, or at least seek to believe that this is God's world, that He alone created the heavens, the stars, the galaxies, and this earth we now occupy by miraculous means, is that God created you, too, and He desires a relationship with you. That is the reason God sent His Son to die on the cross. Jesus Christ could have gotten off that cross at any moment. Or never allowed the soldiers to arrest Him in the first place. But he didn't. Because you were on his heart. He stayed there to die for your sins, praying that you would accept that gift of forgivenss and follow the One Who loves you with a love far above you could ever imagine, and Who will prepare a place for you in heaven with Him.

Have you watched The Passion of the Christ?

Nohm said...

No, I have not watched "The Passion of the Christ", but I don't see how that's relevant.

I *have* read the Bible. I used to be an evangelist, myself, for a short time.

I encourage you to research the name "Lucifer", and how it's used in the one and only place it's used in the Bible.

Now, Dorci, why should I believe what you just wrote there, as opposed to what a muslim will tell me about the Qur'an and the five pillars of Islam? They also have much to say about Isa (Jesus) and Iblis (Satan).

Dorci, why would a nontheist, like myself, accept any of what you wrote above? If my reality contains none of which you've presented, why should I believe it?

Dorci said...

I have read the scripture that talks about Lucifer. Only one scripture, is still scripture.

Would you admit that throughout generations people have lived in their own "realities" which did not include all of reality? People lived in the "reality" that the earth was flat because they could not see otherwise. People lived in the "reality" that microscopic organisms did not exist because they couldn't see them. But, real reality was, the earth is round and microorganisms do exist. Some tried to tell them the truth, but they would not believe. Their reality was false.

I don't know the specifics of the muslim religion, but most religions are based on working your way to heaven.

God says we can't work our way to heaven. We can't be good enough to earn our way. He also says that we are all sinners. I am, and you are. And our sin has separated us from a perfect and holy God. The bible also says that the wages of sin is death. Either we must pay it by the death of our souls, spending eternity away from God, away from all good things that come from a good God, goodness and light and purity, which is hell, or we can allow the death that Jesus experienced, for the purpose of paying for our sins Himself, be our payment. He has paid our penalty Himself, if we will only believe on Him and accept that gift and have the penalty of our sins taken away. We don't work our way to heaven, Jesus has already paved the way.

The Passion of the Christ is a powerful movie that depicts as close to the reality of the purpose of Jesus' life here on this earth as depicted in the bible as I've ever seen. I encourage you to steel yourself and watch it.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

When you read that scripture that talks about Lucifer, why do you think it's in reference to Satan?

Regarding "The Passion of the Christ", if it's on, I'll watch it... but I don't expect to intentionally rent it.

"Would you admit that throughout generations people have lived in their own "realities" which did not include all of reality?"

Yes, and just like you think I'm incorrect, I think the same of theists.

Steve Martin said...

Here's why these attaks are happening...out of the mouths of the attackers and those that have left that evil political and religious system....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCNtKSLZNJY

Nohm said...

"The bible also says that the wages of sin is death."

I don't currently see the Bible as being authoritative. This is the same as if I said, "The Qur'an says that playing music is haraam."

That means nothing to you because you don't take the Qur'an as being authoritative.

Here's my point, Dorci. I'm a nontheist, and a non-christian. This means that I don't accept the Bible as being authoritative, I don't accept the divinity of Jesus, I don't believe in the existence of: God(s), Satan, Heaven, Hell, and I don't believe in the "supernatural".

So, when you talk about these things, it's like as if I was explaining to you the background and history of Wolverine of the X-Men, and his battles with the Sentinels and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Dorci said...

That's up to you, of course. But it won't stop me from praying for you. :)

Dorci said...

Oh, and I will do more research re the Lucifer thing and get back to you if you want. But, the that would include scripture from the bible and if you don't believe that anyway I'm not sure if it would help.

Dorci said...

And I'm curious, what were you an evangelist of?

Nohm said...

Hi Dorci,

"The Lucifer thing" is really just a pet peeve of mine, whenever I see the name being used to refer to Satan, since you really have to stretch the context of that chapter to mean "Satan".

Only Isaiah 14:12 mentions "Lucifer", but it's in reference to the king of Babylon, and not to Satan. The word "lucifer" means "morning star", which is also used in Revelation 22:16 to refer to... Jesus. Also, in 2 Peter 1:19 the same Latin word "Lucifer" is used to refer to the actual morning star, without any relation to Satan. So, you really have to stretch in Isaiah 14:12 to get the Latin word, lucifer, to mean "Satan" (I put "the Latin word" in bold to bring attention to the fact that it isn't Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, or anything else).

The fact I don't believe in everything the scripture says is irrelevant to this, just as my non-belief in the trials of Hercules is irrelevant as to whose stables he cleaned in the stories (it was the stables of Augeas) or which trial it was (it was the fifth).

As for what I was an evangelist of, I was a born-again baptist street evangelist, kind of like a much much much much less-known version of Ray Comfort. Much less-known, and I only did it for a little over a year. Granted, this was over 15 years ago, so I can't quote scripture from memory as well as I used to, but it was something I was very devoted to at the time.

Nohm said...

Dorci,

I would also never tell you who you can and cannot pray for. :-)

Nohm said...

Actually, what I wrote above might give the wrong impression.

I shouldn't compare how I was to Ray Comfort, since I didn't use his style of sticking to one place and using a microphone to attract people. I was less of a street evangelist and more of a guy who evangelized while walking around during the weekly street fair. I didn't have a sign or a cross, just my Bible and what I learned in my evangelism class. I was from between 19 and 20 years old, so I was also pretty immature at the time.

I hope that gives you a better idea than my previous description.

Dorci said...

So you once believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord...and then you, just didn't?

You gotta admit, that's kind of funny that you have a pet peeve about the bible. ;)

Nohm said...

Hi Dorci,

"So you once believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord...and then you, just didn't?"

Heh, that's an exceptionally miniaturized version of events, but yes, basically. The "and then [I], just didn't" part took many years, though.

It's not a pet peeve about the Bible, per se, but one of the characters in it, and his name. I guess it would be the same for me if people talked often about "the seven trials of Hercules" or "Zeus, the norse god of banquets". It just makes my eye twitch. ;-)

Dorci said...

Yeah, I figured there had to be a story behind it all.

I knew what you meant about the particular meaning of lucifer, but I thought it was funny that you don't believe the bible yet you have a belief about that particular portion.

ExPatMatt said...

Dorci,

How did I know you were going to go down that route?!

I was actually looking for something a bit more specific. Did something happen in the local politics to kick-start this wave of violence? For example.

Also, you said;

"I thought it was funny that you don't believe the bible yet you have a belief about that particular portion".

Why is that funny? If we were in an online discussion about Lord of the Rings and someone said 'Gollum used to be an orc...' and then I corrected them; does that mean that I believe the events in the Lord of the Rings were factually accurate?

Honest question.

Nohm said...

I wouldn't say that I "have a belief about that", Dorci.

Much like Matt explained with his Gollum example, I can view it as a myth but still understand it and its details (i.e., just as "Gollum" is and was not an orc, "lucifer" is both a Latin word and is not in reference to Satan).

I don't believe that the elvish language from the Lord of the Rings is an actual language, but (being a geek) I can sure discuss it. :-)

Makes sense?

ExPatMatt said...

By the way, Dorci,

I watched (and really enjoyed) the Passion when it came out. I thought it was a very well-made movie and Gibson pulled off a very strong piece of story-telling (in a dead language no less).

I'd recommend it Nohm, it's worth it just for the visual effects!

Nohm said...

Eh, I'm not really into watching torture for 2 hours; I'm more of a Hong Kong action film fan.

Regardless, I have an enormous backlog of movies I still need to watch, starting with "Iron Man" (I know, I know).

ExPatMatt said...

Nohm! You're like my soul-mate or something (if I had a soul, of course)

What's your top HK flick?


And make sure you watch Iron Man before the new one comes out, eh?

Nohm said...

Heh, let's take this over to wearesmrt so we don't annoy Wayne. :-)

But, really quickly, my top HK flick is Fist Of Legend, followed quickly by Five Deadly Venoms and Chinese Super Ninjas.

If you can send PMs on wearesmrt, please do that or set up a thread and I'd be more than happy to discuss this.

Nohm said...

Feh, you have it set to not receive private messages, Matt. :-(

Dorci said...

Not funny/haha, funny/ironic. Just an observation.

Nohm said...

Hi Dorci,

I guess I don't understand what you mean when you say that "[I] have a belief about that particular portion", if it's unlike the Lord of the Rings and Hercules examples above.

Dorci said...

I don't know, Nohm. I just don't know.

ExPatMatt said...

Ohhh, 'ironic'!

Like rain on your wedding day or a free ride when you're already late? Or not being able to take good advice.

That kind of ironic. Gotcha.

"I don't know, Nohm. I just don't know".

I was beginning to get that impression too....

ExPatMatt said...

Ok, I've actually been doing a bit of reading on what's going on in Pakistan. Here's a good starting place;

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8329244.stm

There are links to stories from the past two weeks at the bottom.


It seems that the violence is being caused because Pakistani police forces/army are trying to get rid of the militant, Taliban minority near the border with Afghanistan and elsewhere in Pakistan - and they're fighting back. Obviously there's been a lot of innocent blood shed in the ensuing carnage and approximately 200 people have lost their lives in the past 2 weeks.

When there's violence like this, any resentment or hatred of minority groups becomes easier to act on because it's hidden beneath the veil of the wider issues (like the innocent, black Irishmen who lost their lives during the years of sectarian violence in N. Ireland - nothing to do with the over-arching issue, but some people need very little excuse to act out on their deep-seated bigotry)


I hope the madness ends soon.

Dorci said...

Well, since you're going to be that way about it. The difference is that the bible is Spirit-written and spiritually discerned. Any geek can figure out Lord of the Rings stuff. So could my 12 year old. The things written of in the bible are written by God to people who are filled with the Spirit and then the Spirit ministers truth to the heart of the son or daughter of Christ.

If a person doesn't have the desire to believe in the bible, how would they have the desire to understand it, let alone be spiritually discerning of it? The History channel is a prime example. They are always featuring some show on something in the bible and getting it wrong. Why? Because they interpret the bible through solely human means and human understanding, but our finite minds are to small to understand completely. We may understand a bit, but it takes the Holy Spirit of God to be fully comprehending.

Dorci said...

And I had had an absolutely horrible day yesterday, hence my previous answer, but thanks for giving me motivation again.

ExPatMatt said...

Dorci,

I'm sorry to hear that you had a horrible day.

The only way to determine if the Bible is worth believing in, is to read it. We can only read and comprehend with our human minds. If what we find in the Bible doesn't appear to be worth believing in (because it makes no sense) then it's not going to be believed in....


...if it's not believed, then there's no Holy Spirit giving us tips on interpretation, thus making it believable.


It's a very circular proposition you're putting forward there and without any good evidence in support of it, there's no reason to jump on that particular carousel of religious belief as opposed to any other.


Regards,

Nohm said...

Hi Dorci,

Sorry to hear you had a bad day yesterday; my past week has been like that, so I hear you loud and clearly.

I hope things get better for you.

I wasn't trying to push the issue re: Lucifer/Satan, I was just confused but curious.

Nohm said...

Hey Matt, please get in touch with me on the wearesmrt boards.

Thanks.

Dorci said...

Thank you.

I know the reasoning may seem circular, but it really isn't. God knows those whose hearts are open and seeking Him. He draws them, and when we are listening, He will speak to us. If a person reads the bible with the intention of refuting it, they probably aren't going to be open to the truth, although God can, and does, work in those situations, too. But when a person has a sincere desire to know God, He will honor that by beginning to speak the truth to them about His Son, whether that is through their own reading of the bible or through hearing a teaching on the bible.

To bring this all the way back around to the original post, many in the world don't really want to know the truth. They want their truth, but there is only one truth, and that is Jesus Christ. And in the spiritual realm, that offends those who want their own truth, their own way. And many resort to violence in order to see their way prevail. But in the end, it won't. Those who crucified Christ thought they were victorious in stamping out what they viewed as a menace to their religious ways, but they only succeeded in ushering in the death of our Savior, which has brought salvation to millions.

londonlad said...

I am amazed sometimes at my own ignorance; though I realise that part of that ignorance is something I share with the wider society of which I am a part. A few years ago I was traipsing around some museum in Amsterdam and noticed lots of pictures commemorating Dutch naval victories against the British in the 18th Century – a time when Britain and The Netherlands were fighting for supremacy in the conquest of the world; the battles were unknown to me, because countries rarely celebrate defeats – as a Brit, such defeats had not entered the popular imagination. Likewise, yesterday evening I was watching a particularly good history program, written and presented by Andrew Marr, aired on BBC2; he examined the Boer War (1899–1902) in South Africa. A war waged between the British Army and Dutch settlers; a war eventually won by the British, but only after horrific cruelty to the settlers, particularly the wives and children of the men fighting. I was completely ignorant of this element of the Boer War and of Britain’s shameful behaviour towards an essentially non-professional army – all (as is the case is most wars) because Britain wanted control of the natural resources of the area the Boers farmed (in this case, gold).

In Alan Bennett’s play ‘The History Boys’ there is a wonderful line which goes something like ‘We [as a nation] often remember because we want to forget...’; What the line is focusing on is acts of official remembrance. In a few weeks in Britain we will remember our war dead; already many of us wear red poppies to show our thankfulness and remembrance of those who have fallen in battle. Yet in doing so we often forget the circumstances of the battles, or the call to arms. We presume all wars are just wars and that we (in my case the British) were justified in our warfare. As we look backwards into our collective past the picture becomes hazy; hindsight is a very selective form of wisdom...

What has this long preamble got to do with Christians being persecuted in Pakistan? Well it is a matter of history. The majority of Christians are not saints in the putative sense of the word. Many, in the name of Christ, have inflected terrible atrocities on people of other faiths and (alas) on fellow Christians. I do not, for one minute, condone those who commit violence to Christians, but I can understand hostility towards Christians, particularly in Pakistan, where the history of Christianity itself is hardly a noble one. I have no doubt that much anti-Christian feeling in Pakistan is bound up with anti-Western feeling; yet I am also convinced that ‘As you sow, so shall you reap...’ and that anti-Christian feeling has its roots in the errors of colonialism and the arrogance and insensitivity of many Christian missionaries in the colonial and post colonial era.

That said, Muslims appear much better at killing each other, than killing Christians so I wouldn’t get too hung up on Christians being especially marked for death. The terrible car bomb in Peshawar yesterday illustrates this well – it was parked outside a mosque during prayers. It is just man’s inhumanity to man – religion is a nice, ideological smoke screen by which it is dressed up as something else.

It is ironic in the debate above that Islamic theology has very similar answers as to why Muslims are the victims of violence. Muslims believe in Satan and that Isa (Jesus) will return to conquer Satan (as in Revelations). The truth is much mundane: Christians, Muslims, Hindus etc. have been slaughtering each other for centuries. For Christians/Muslims/Hindus etc. the conceit of the believer is enough to make that believer think they are being singled out as a victim or warrior, as ‘special’: it is the inverted pride so endemic in religious belief (of whatever flavour). In reality, people are just very good at doing bad things to each other... Religion just allows them to do it with their god’s blessing... And suffer it with their god’s fortitude and to his glory...

ExPatMatt said...

Londonlad,

Couldn't have said it better myself. Literally.

That was the main purpose behind my initial question; to get some context behind the latest violence. However, I was clearly cast my nets too close to shore - I'd need to back it up another couple of hundred years to get any proper context.

But, of course, it's much easier to cry persecution. Like Scientologists in France. Are they being persecuted because the authorities hate the truth of their faith? NO, they're a bunch of loons and nobody has any problem calling them out on it - but the older your religion is, the less easy it is to dismiss as loonery...

Regards,