"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Few of the Christian Martyrs of 2016

Having received some criticism for my previous article: 1 Christian Killed for Their Faith Every 6 Minutes in 2016 – Study I thought it appropriate to support it with some data. I admit I had some doubts about the article which I expressed in it. 

One concern I didn't express is who they define as Christian. It's possible they included people such as those killed in the Berlin Christmas Market attack. Germany is, theoretically, a Christian country, although it is unlikely that there are very many Germans who have a real and functioning relationship with Jesus Christ. Most are Christians in name only. As such, they should probably not be included as Christian martyrs, although, to the terrorist(s) who murdered them, they were Christians and he was attacking Christianity.

So, finally, I don't know if the numbers in the report are accurate. I know they are incomplete as not including India and China, so they may actually be too low. Nevertheless, here is an example of what goes on in the world today that you will almost never hear about in the anti-Christian mainstream media:



27 Killed in bombing of Coptic church in Cairo 12 Dec '16


Men, women and children filed in to Cairo's Coptic Christian chapel on Sunday morning, taking a moment of respite from the bustle of the Egyptian capital's busy streets.

Situated in a complex at St Mark's Cathedral, the congregation was worshipping near the seat of the Coptic pope and the heart of their religion.


Minutes later, a blast ripped through the congregation, on the side of the church usually used by women, killing 23 and wounding scores of others in an attack that was chilling even by the bloody standards of Egypt's recent history.  

The death toll has been raised to 27 since this report. Scores more were injured.




Dozens of Pakistani Christians die after consuming toxic alcohol on Christmas
Jardine Malado

Dozens of Christians died and at least a hundred more fell sick after drinking toxic alcohol during Christmas celebrations in the district of Toba Tek Singh in eastern Punjab.

Officially 27 dead but according to a report from Al Jazeera, at least 42 have died and 150 were taken to the clinics. Muhammad Shahbaz, a local police official, said that the authorities have already taken the alcohol sellers in the district into custody for questioning. He added that five Muslims were among the victims.

Shahbaz also revealed that the individual who was allegedly responsible for arranging the liquor at the Christmas festivities was among the dead.

Senior police official Bilal Kamyana said that the alcohol was prepared at home and sold in polythene bags for 500 rupees or about $5.00 each.

According to the DNA India, five suspects were taken into custody in connection to the alcohol poisoning. The suspects allegedly purchased 20 liters of aftershave lotion and mixed it with other chemicals before they sold it as liquor.

"The men who belong to the Christian community drank liquor on the night of December 25 and went home," said police officer Mohammad Nadeem. "Tragedy struck the next morning when many did not rise from their beds, while others got sick," he went on to say.

This hasn't been proven as a hate crime and may never be. This kind of thing happens in Pakistan more than one a year. The last time it happened on this scale, last spring, it was a bunch of Hindus celebrating a Holy day. What are the odds?



Christians in Baghdad celebrate Christmas in fear after deadly attack
Jardine Malado (REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani)

Iraqi Christians pray during a mass on Christmas at St. Joseph Chaldean church in Baghdad, Iraq December 25, 2016.

Christians in Baghdad celebrated Christmas in fear due to a recent attack that left at least three people dead and four wounded.

The latest numbers say 8 Christians and 1 Yezidi were shot and killed.

According to Reuters, a gunman opened fire on two Christian-owned shops that sell alcohol on Friday in the city's Ghadeer neighborhood.

The police said that three people were killed, but local activists are claiming that the actual death toll is higher. Rayan al-Kildani, the commander of a Christian militia known as Babiliyon Brigades, said that eight Christians and one member of the Yazidi sect was killed in the attack.

Vian Dakhil, a lawmaker from the ancient Yazidi sect, also reported the same death toll.

Maria Polos, a retired schoolteacher in the district where the attack occurred, said that she and other Christians are fearful of celebrating Christmas in public.



Church says ‘808 killed in southern Kaduna’

The Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan says the unrest in southern Kaduna State has claimed 808 lives.

Kaduna State, Nigeria

Fifty three villages have so far been attacked and 57 people injured, the church said.

Mr. Yakubu said four local government areas have been attacked, with 808 people killed and 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops, and one primary school destroyed.

PREMIUM TIMES could not independently verify those figures.



Eight Christians killed leaving church as violence escalates in Nigeria 
by Associated Press

Islamic extremists said on Tuesday they killed more than 40 troops from a multi-national force in an attack on a convoy in north-east Nigeria — the fourth attack in three days following a lull as Nigeria’s home-grown insurgency confronts a leadership struggle.

There were three earlier attacks on Sunday and Monday that led to the deaths of 18 people. Eight Christians were gunned down leaving a church service on Sunday, while there was also a further ambush on a convoy and a village leader and his son were beheaded. No one has claimed responsibility for these killings.



Christians Killed in 2016 So Far Almost Equal to Entire 2015 in Nigeria
BY STOYAN ZAIMOV , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
Jul 28, 2016 | 8:15 AM

The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans has called on the Nigerian government to end the growing slaughter of Christians at the hands of radical Islamists in the country, arguing that such a massacre should not be the Christians' "portion in Jesus' name."

(Photo: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)Members of the Bring Back Our Girls movement attend a candlelight procession in tribute to military personnel who were killed in the fight against Boko Haram militants, during Nigeria's Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja, Nigeria, Jan 15, 2016.

"Whatever the federal government is doing, if any, is either too slow or insignificant compared with the reoccurrence of the killings; the federal government needs to step up and take bold actions to give members of the Christian community in the country a sense of security and belonging," said Pastor Ade Oyesile, executive director of CANAN, in a statement.

"We MUST all work hard to avoid these sectarian killings which in our very eyes have made countries embroiled in it to become failed nations. That should not be our portion in Jesus Christ name."

Like a number of other persecution watchdog groups, CANAN has raised its voice against the spate of killings of Christians by radical Muslims throughout 2016. The group says that according to its records, at least 384 Christians have been killed so far this year, and produced a list of the various attacks carried out by radical groups such as Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen.

Oyesile warned that the number of Christians killed in 2016 is already close to equaling the total killed in 2015, and barely half the year has gone by.

"This dastardly killings of Christians in the country MUST stop. It is most disappointing that these unprovoked killings of Christians have continued despite the federal government condemnation statements," he said.

Western voices, such as former Congressman Frank Wolf, a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, have also been speaking out against the ongoing slaughter, and urged the United States government also to step up and help.

"People of faith, Christians, feel very much forgotten. Nigeria is fractured and is breaking down in so many ways, and it seems that the world has forgotten about it," Wolf said earlier in July.

"They feel abandoned by the West, and by the Church in the West. You are not hearing many in the West advocating (for them). They would expect that the faith community in the West, Europe, would be advocating, speaking out," he added.



At Least 1,131 Christians Martyred by ISIS in Middle East: Many Killed in Front of Their Families

Hazel Torres 

ISIS militants stand behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians in Wilayat Fazzan, in this still image from an undated video made available on a social media website on April 19, 2015. Reuters

It is an undisputed fact that the Islamic State (ISIS) has been waging a campaign of genocide on Christians as part of its grand scheme to conquer the world.

But there has been no exact accounting of the number of Christians who lost their lives at the merciless hands of the Islamist jihadist and terrorist group—until early this year. In a report submitted to the U.S. State Department, the Knights of Columbus and the humanitarian group In Defense of Christians provided the numbers.

According to their report based on documented cases, between 2003 and June 9, 2014, at least 1,131 Christians – identified by name and place of death – had been murdered by ISIS, according to CNS News.

During that same period, the report said at least 125 Christian churches were also attacked or destroyed by ISIS. They include Saint George Church in Mosul, which was blown up on March 9, 2015; Virgin Mary Chaldean Church, which was attacked by car bomb on June 9, 2008; and the Armenian Church in Mosul, burned on Jan. 25, 2015.

More Christians were reportedly murdered by ISIS militants in 2015 and 2016, but the names and places of death of the victims have yet to be compiled in one document, CNS News reported.

This report became the basis for the official declaration by U.S. State Secretary John Kerry that the ISIS's ongoing actions against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities constituted genocide. Britain, the European Parliament, the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Iraqi and Kurdish governments have also declared that ISIS's actions genocide.

"Murder of Christians is commonplace" in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, and that "many have been killed in front of their own families," the report states.

During the ISIS takeover of Mosul, the second biggest city in Iraq next to Baghdad, some 500 people were killed by the jihadis, it says.

"In Syria, where the organization Aid to the Church in Need has reported on mass graves of Christians, Patriarch Younan estimates the number of Christians 'targeted and killed by Islamic bands' at more than 1,000," the report adds.

The report submitted by the Knights of Columbus and In Defense of Christians lists the names and place and "date of martyrdom" of 1,131 Christians who were murdered by ISIS. For instance, it says Alicia Nour was martyred in Mosul on Feb. 1, 2005. Ashoor Younan Botros was murdered in Baghdad on June 24, 2013. On July 1, 2015, Qays Abd Shaaya was martyred by the Islamic State in Baghdad.



Eleven missionaries, including a 12-year-old boy, were slaughtered outside Aleppo, Syria.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK) Catholic Online

LOS ANGELES, CA - the murders occurred on August 28 when the Christians refused to convert to Islam.

The Gospel Herald reported they died while reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Humanitarian group Christian Aid Mission spoke to relatives and witnesses who explained ISIS was responsible for torturing and murdering the boy and his family: 

"In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam.

"When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy met their deaths in crucifixion."

Militants also grabbed eight aid workers, two of whom were women from another village.

The women were both raped before their executions.

"Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord's Prayer, and others said some of them lifted their hands to commend their spirits to Jesus. One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, 'Jesus!'"

Christians in the Middle East continue to be persecuted (CrossMap).

The Christians' bodies were then hung on crosses and left as a warning to anyone who dares turn from Islam.

Patrick Sookhdeo, the founder of humanitarian aid group Barnabas Fund, claims ISIS' actions take Christians back 1,000 years, then claimed the terrorist group makes Nazis look tame.

"Crucifying these people is sending a message and they are using forms of killing which they believe have been sanctioned by Sharia law," Sookhdeo stated. 

"For them what they are doing is perfectly normal and they don't see a problem with it. It is that religious justification which is so appalling."



Six Christians killed in Kenya
Fri 07 Oct 2016
By Hannah Tooley

Six Christians have been killed by terror group al-Shabaab in Kenya. 

The attack took place on the border with Somalia and had been coordinated by the Islamist group.

According to the terror group's radio station it was a "well-planned attack which targeted Christian members in Mandera".

In recent years, attacks on Christians have increased. Last April almost 150 people were killed in an attack on a university and in December Muslims protected their Christian counterparts in an attack on a public bus.




Somalia's al-Shabab rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on the Bishaaro Guest House

25th Oct 2016


Islamic extremist gunmen from neighbouring Somalia killed 12 people in an attack on non-Muslims in Kenya’s northern Mandera County, an official said on Tuesday.

Somalia’s al-Shabab rebels claimed responsibility for the early-morning attack on the Bishaaro Guest House, saying its fighters targeted Christians, according to the group’s radio station, Andalus.

The gunmen used grenades and homemade explosives to break into the guest house and then stormed in with guns, said Mohamed Saleh, Mandera’s regional commander.

Survivor Veronica Wambui, an actor with a group touring Mandera to showcase textbooks in schools, said they were asleep at around 2.30am when they heard explosions at the main gate to the guesthouse.

The attackers came in and went to room to room shooting and killing her colleagues, she said. She said she and others hid in a storeroom and the attackers set off another explosion which made the wall collapse on her.

“I could see the lights from the torch (flashlight) when they were checking out the room but the collapsed wall had covered me,” said Wambui, speaking from her hospital bed where she is being treated for a bullet wound in the palm of her left hand and injuries to both her legs.




Christians Killed In Massive Attacks In Northwest Pakistan
September 2, 2016

by BosNewsLife's Stefan J. BPeshawar-gunos

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)-- Islamic militants have claimed responsibility for attacks in a Christian neighborhood and outside a court complex in northwest Pakistan Friday, September 2, that officials said killed at least 12 and wounded dozens.

The Jamaat-ur-Ahrar group, a breakaway of the Pakistani Taliban faction, said it had carried out two bombings and shootings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistani Christians told BosNewsLife that the violence first erupted early Friday, September 2, in a Christian residential area near Warsak Dam in the suburbs of the provincial capital Peshawar.

One bomber reportedly got into the house of Farukh Masih and started to say prayers to Allah before exploding his suicide vest. "By God's grace when his suicide vest exploded only he was killed. The family of Farukh Masih survived with minor injuries," said the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) in a statement to BosNewsLife.

Masih reportedly said that he has been "thanking God" for saving his family and him. "In the few moments we had to think we all just prayed to him for protection. By his power we have all survived and the evil man who tried to take our lives will now answer to him."

Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa said in a statement that the attackers included at least four suicide bombers and that the military "promptly responded," killing all four attackers.


I'm sure it's just a coincidence that all the murderers of these blessed people were Muslims. 

So, these are just a few of the stories of martyrdom from 2016. I'm sure there are many, many more that we will never hear of this side of Heaven. My purpose is to give you a glimpse of what is actually happening out there, because MSM (main stream media) will not tell you about this any more than they will share stories sympathetic to Israel. 

MSM is antiChristian and antisemitic! When was the last time you saw a positive story on Christianity or Judaism?