Sunday, February 21, 2016

Come To Their Rescue 2-21-16


Still streaking down their lonely cheeks,
so many tears are shed.
With cries throughout the longest nights,
those nightmares are widespread.
---
I've maybe heard them once or twice,
but please bear this in mind -
there's so much shopping I must do
and outfits I must find.
The birthday parties I attend,
the weddings, funerals too -
and holidays are coming soon.
Oh, what am I to do?

Or maybe I am all wrapped up
inside my fav'rite teams -
the one that's in the playoffs now
fulfilling this fan's dreams.
For those who live outside my world,
how can I really care?
What can I do while I am here -
and they are over there?

To rescue someone?  Tell me how.
They don't live next to me.
How can I hear their cries for help
when they, I cannot see?
Once unaware of torture, my
snug ignorance was bliss.
But why should I now waste any time
here telling you all this?

Please don't think I am ignorant
of other people's pain -
and all wrapped up inside myself.
I'm not self-centered, vain.
Tomorrow they'll be hurting too
as they were yesterday.
I can't go wasting all my time
on folks so far away.

The raping, loss of self-respect
and murdering of girls,
can't push important things aside
like shopping now for pearls.
Do I hurt anybody?  No!
It's Jesus I exalt.
So do not tug at my heart strings.
Their pain is not my fault!

And don't think I'm not thankful here
in warm and toasty bed -
between my clean, soft cotton sheets
as pillow hugs my head.
 But muffled screams - I hear them now.
They, in my mem-ries, stay.
They linger through the cold, dark nights
and pester me all day.

Oh, who can hear those victims scream
through distant, starry nights?
And who can hear survivors cries
from cruel and futile fights?
Though innocent, survivors moved.
They had no other choice.
They lost their homes and furniture
and with it all, their voice.

I cannot see those makeshift tents
or taste what they call food.
I cannot stop those terrorists
or change my attitude.
I'm done with sports and shopping now
and buying myself stuff.
Their screams have fin'lly reach my ears.
I've failed them long enough.

I do not buy new outfits now.
And football's not my game.
I'm focused on the "least of these".
My life is not the same.
I once thought it important here.
I now no longer do.
I'll start by giving all I can
to come to their rescue.

It's serious, the plight they're in.
Please understand their worth.
As sin runs rampant over weak
around this evil earth.
Our Congressmen must focus too
while evil men connive.
Please vote to stop the terrorists
to save those still alive.
---
Still streaking down their lonely cheeks,
so many tears are shed,
With cries throughout the longest nights,
those nightmares are widespread.

©2016 louis gander - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

-------

The results of disrespect, hate, sin:


The year 2014 saw more global persecution of Christians than any other year in recent history, and can only be compared to the first centuries when Christians were hunted down as criminals in the Roman Empire. The policy of the Emperor Diocletian, in fact, who reigned from 284-305AD, was remarkably similar to that taken by the Islamic State and Boko Haram: “Convert or die.”

A look around the globe reveals an unprecedented pattern of persecution that has shifted from isolated incidents of hostility to a systematic campaign to exterminate Christians in places where they have lived peacefully for centuries.

From the kidnapped school girls and massacres in Nigeria and the displacement of thousands in the Central African Republic, to the believers arrested for having a Bible study in Central Asia, to Meriam Ibrahim being sentenced to death in Sudan, to the ISIS slaughters, to the couple burned alive for blasphemy and hundreds of girls kidnapped in Pakistan, Christians throughout the world saw a major escalation in persecution in 2014.

The Jerusalem Post has spoken of “the religious cleansing of Middle East Christians” and noted that “anti-Christian violence in 2014 saw a transformation from under-told news coverage, to routine reports of radical Islamists seeking to obliterate Christianity’s presence.”

Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, said that “persecution” no longer adequately describes the treatment of Christians in a growing number of Muslim areas. “Religious cleansing, a type of cultural genocide, which is a crime against humanity, is the more accurate description,” she said. “This is now occurring in Iraq, Syria, parts of Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia and Pakistan.”

As noted in World Affairs, in Iraq the Islamic State is undertaking a religious cleansing intended to eradicate the entire presence of the country’s non-Muslim citizens. This war on Christians is not restricted to Iraq, but is also underway in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Extermination campaigns are being carried out by a multitude of extremist groups and “are directed most commonly and with special zeal against Christian communities that in some cases have coexisted with Muslims for more than a thousand years.”

Archbishop Athanasius Toma Dawod of the Syriac Orthodox church in Iraq describes the systematic persecution of Christians in the Middle East as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing.” He has further said: “They are killing our people in the name of Allah and telling people that anyone who kills a Christian will go straight to heaven: that is their message.”

Dawod catalogs their activities in a grim list of offenses: “They have burned churches; they have burned very old books. They have damaged our crosses and statues of the Virgin Mary. They are occupying our churches and converting them into mosques.”

Things are no better in Syria, where Christians, both clerical and lay, have been the target of continual aggression. Last April 7, assassins broke into the monastery of Jesuit priest Frans van der Lugt in Homs, Syria, and shot him twice in the head. Although the priest had been doing humanitarian work nearly fifty years, suddenly in 2014 he was considered a symbol of the “infidel,” as one of a handful of Christians remaining in Homs of the population of eighty thousand Christians that lived there until recently.

With the rise of ISIS, “targeted violence against Christians has escalated.” Syria is undergoing a period of intense “Islamization” and Christians are becoming more exposed in all spheres of life. Many Christians have been abducted, physically abused or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21, jihadists invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and harming many more.

In northern Nigeria, the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has undertaken a ruthless program of forced conversions in its attempt to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Boko Haram soldiers storm Christian areas going from home to home demanding that every man convert to Islam. Those who refuse are shot dead on the spot. The radical group, which has proved more than a match for the Nigerian military, has killed as many as 350 Christians in a single week.

Boko Haram has repeatedly beheaded male opponents and forced Christian women to marry them and convert to Islam, and has been responsible for the deaths of at least 4,000 Nigerians in this year alone.

In 2014, China saw some of the most aggressive anti-Christian persecution since the times of Mao, which involved incarceration, the demolition of churches, and the systematic removal of crosses. An elderly woman in Sanjiang, in Zhejiang province, saw her church demolished. “During the Cultural Revolution they burned Bibles, but they didn’t remove the crosses,” she said.

A pastor in Beijing noted that “by making a clean sweep of Sanjiang, the government wants to set an example and show that nothing will stop it.” In May, six other churches were earmarked for demolition in Wenzhou, and one church was converted into a “cultural auditorium.” In the following weeks, the crosses on 15 churches in the Wenzhou region were smashed or removed by crane. Another local pastor said simply: “They want to remove every trace.”

Paradoxically, it is in some of these very areas where Christians are suffering most that are seeing the greatest growth in conversions to Christianity.

A second-century Church Father named Tertullian famously said that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians,” meaning that Christianity thrives under persecution. This certainly appears to be the case now, as Christianity is flourishing, for example, in China and Africa, while growth is markedly slower in Europe and much of the first world. If current trends continue, China will have the largest Christian population of any nation in the world in just 15 years.

So as Islamic extremists try to eradicate Christianity in its birthplace, and still others attempt to stamp it out in where it is growing fastest—Africa and China—the west seems somewhat complacent, and rests on the sacrifices of prior generations. Moreover, the western response seems often what has been called the “embarrassed silence of Christians in face of anti-Christian persecution.”

The true tragedy would be for those who take their religious freedom for granted to become numb to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters who are shedding their blood in faithfulness to their beliefs.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome
http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/01/03/2014-the-year-of-the-christian-genocide/

---

Genocide Emergency
Syria - Since the first uprisings began in the Syrian Arab Republic in early March 2011, President Bashar al-Assad’s government has violently repressed civilian protests and launched attacks on both rebel forces and Sunni Arab civilians. Data collected by the UN Human Rights office estimates the death toll to be greater than 60,000 people. According to the UN Refugee Agency, over 700,000 registered Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, with thousands more leaving daily. President Assad continues to label the armed rebel forces as “terrorists” and has rejected the offer of peace talks made by Sheik Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, the main opposition leader. Nations should call for a cease-fire, convince Assad to step down, and bring in more humanitarian assistance. If Assad will not stop bombing his own nation into rubble, NATO forces led by Turkey should destroy his air force.
Sudan - Since the Bush Administration first recognized the genocide in Darfur, at least 250,000 more men, women, and children have died. Using its own military and the Janjaweed militia, Sudan's regime has conducted a systematic campaign to kill and drive out Darfur's ethnic Fur, Massalit, and Zhagawa peoples. Supported by aircraft and helicopter gunships, the Janjaweed attack towns, villages, and refugee camps, kill the men and boys, rape the women and girls, and poison the wells. Their goal is to replace these African peoples with Arab herders.
Democratic Republic of the Congo - The DRC is plagued by enduring conflict in its eastern provinces. Formally the second Congolese war came to an end in 2002. However, in practice the conflict drags on and is the most deadliest since the second World War. Estimates of the dead range from three to five million persons. The victims are civilians, in particular women and girls, and ethnic groups such as the Banyamulenge, the Hutu Banyarwanda, the Hema and the Lendu. Many of the killers and rapists are former genocidists who escaped into the DRC from the Rwandan genocide.
Ethiopia - In September 2008, Genocide Watch declared a Genocide Warning regarding the war that was being waged against small ethnic minority called Burji in a town of Hagre Mariam by an ethnic Oromo group called Guji. Since then the Guji Oromo have continued to wage protracted war against Burji in various localities, especially in towns and villages surrounding the city of Soyama, which is 60 Km west of the city of Hagremariam. Over the course of the last several months there have been heavy loss of lives and damage to Guji properties including destruction of crops and farm equipment. In January 2009, there were reports of heavy fighting on three different fronts, namely Nadale/ Chuluse front and Gara and Tisho vicinities. News from Hagremariam stated that Guji Oromo warriers were advancing towards Soyama in great numbers. According to Genocide Watch sources, Guji/Oromo attacks on Buji began on January 22, 2009. The situation is continues to be dire, and urgent action must be taken to avert further attacks.
Burma/Myanmar - Burma, Southeast Asia's most oppressed nation, remains under the forty-three year tyranny of a military junta and should be a grave concern to the international community. Abuse of ethnic minorities, mass rape of women, mandatory relocations, extrajudicial state executions, military recruitment of children, and forced labor are only a few of the many violations of human rights currently practiced in the resource rich but economically impoverished nation.1 The regime change of 2004 which deposed General Khin Nyunt in favor of Lieutenant General Soe Win continues to suppress the strong movement for democracy, keeping Burma in a cyclical state of tyranny.

Genocide Warning

Nigeria - The insurgency of the radical Islamist movement Boko Haram in the north of Nigeria poses a great threat of genocidal massacres. Since the summer of 2011 Boko Haram has struck different targets in Nigeria ranging from government buildings, especially the security sector, to churches. The latter category of attacks is alarming as they might radicalize relations between the Muslim north and the Christian south of the country.
Chad - Chad is largely influenced by the situation in neighboring country Sudan. The Sudanese government has supported rebels who have made three attempts to overthrow the Chadian government by force. These situations made Genocide Watch declare Genocide Warnings for Chad in 2005, renewed in April 2006 and January 2008. Today Chad remains at Stage 6, the Preparation stage preceding genocide. Since 2010, ties between the Sudanese president al-Bashir and the Chadian president have improved, but this has not ended the hopeless situation of hundreds of thousands refugees in Chad. In February 2011, a report of the International Crisis group raised an Alert about Chad’s Northwest, as the next high-risk area where violence and famine could endanger human lives.
Equatorial Guinea - There is deep ethnic division in Equatorial Guinea, and also clan division within ethnicities. The majority of the population belong to the Fang group. Within this group there are clans. President Obiang Nguema favors his own clan, the Esangui. The Bubi people represent the minority ethnicity and are indigenous to Bioko Island. They are subject to systematic discrimination and persecution by the government, and were the main victims of the genocide carried out by president MacĂ­as Nguema from 1978 - 1979. Genocide Watch considers Equatorial Guinea to be at early warning stage 6: Preparation for potential massacres.
Yemen - Genocide Watch has downgraded the risk of genocide and politicide in Yemen from stage 7 (active massacres) to stage 6: potential massacres. Genocide Watch welcomes the recent transfer of power in Yemen and the large participation in elections by Yemeni citizens. However, the following risk factors are evidence that the security situation in Yemen is still of great concern. The roots of national identity and democracy are shallow. Yemen could again degenerate quickly into violence.
Kenya - Genocide Watch has called a Genocide Alert because of genocidal massacres that are increasing daily in Kenya in the wake of a disputed election between President Mwai Kibaki, who is a member of the Kikuyu ethnic group, and Mr. Raila Odinga, who is ethnically a Luo. Ethnic riots have broken out in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, and numerous other places in Kenya. People have been pulled from their cars and their identification cards checked for their names, which symbolize their ethnic identity, and then killed if they belong to groups being targeted. Hundreds of people have already been murdered. Today a church in Eldoret was locked and the people inside were burned to death by a mob.Ethnic massacres are an indicator that the risk of genocide in Kenya has risen to Stage 6, the Preparation stage.Kenya has not yet descended into actual genocide. However, the next stage in the process is actual genocide, and Kenya is close to that stage.
Central African Republic - Since its independence from France in 1960, the political situation in CAR has always been unstable. Last years, the CAR has also become a refuge for the Lord’s Resistance Army, led since 1987 by the mass murderer, Joseph Kony of Uganda. Kony is notorious for abducting child soldiers and girl sex slaves and was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2005, but still not arrested. Another pressing security threat in the CAR is the Front Populaire Pour le Redressement (FPR), a Chadian armed rebel group backed by Sudan that has carried out sporadic attacks in northern CAR since 2008. Because crimes against humanity by the LRA and FPR have led to widespread terror and forced displacement, Genocide Watch considers CAR at stage 6: potential massacres.

http://www.genocidewatch.org/alerts/newsalerts.html

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