Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ohio Homeless Shelters Already Full Before Winter Sets In

click to read full story from Dayton Daily News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Temperatures are dropping down into the 30s in Ohio. But for the homeless population in Columbus, that's not cold enough to guarantee people shelter.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the staff at Faith Mission had to turn away 41 men and women on Wednesday because all 514 beds were taken.

The weather forecast that night was 39 degrees and rainy. All people seeking shelter are guaranteed a place to stay when temperatures dip below 25 degrees.

The homeless shelter system in Columbus has been praised for its success in getting homeless people off the streets and into apartments.

It hasn't spent money on additional shelter beds in years. Michelle Heritage Ward, executive director of the Community Shelter Board, says the nonprofit group doesn't plan to change that this winter, but it will probably have to rent additional space for temporary beds and mats.

"My great hope is that we're starting to see an economic recovery," Ward said.

Don Strasser, director of the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, says he supports the shelter system's focus on housing, but says it might be time to be flexible with the weather policy.

"But we've never seen it like it is now," he said. "To have to tell people that there is no bed for them because it's not yet 25 degrees is a pretty terrible feeling."

At another shelter last week, 24-year-old Nicole Moberly crawled into bed. She's almost nine months pregnant and works at a fast food restaurant. She says she's one of the lucky ones.

"I see others sleeping outside," Moberly said. "There's not enough room for everyone."

People have helped her line up an apartment and she's due to move in soon after her baby is born.

"I am blessed," she said. "It's really bad out there. I saw a girl as far along as I am sleeping out in the rain."

Persecution Of Christians In Iraq

TWO and a HALF MILLION Iraqis Christians fleeing persecution in Iraq, they have escaped the Islamic militias who slaughtered, kidnapped and tortured their family members and burned down their houses and churches in Baghdad and Mosul.

Since 2003, there has been a mass exodus of Christians from Iraq. Many of those who stayed behind have been kidnapped. Amidst the chaos, many churches succumbed to threats and closed their doors. On April 26, 2009, three Christians were killed and two others wounded in Kirkuk, Iraq. The attackers slit the throats of a Christian woman and her daughter-in-law, killing them both. Meanwhile, in a nearby neighborhood, gunmen attacked another Christian family, shooting the father and his three sons. One of the sons died instantly, and the others were wounded. In October 2008, more than seven Christians were killed and more than 200 families displaced.

World|Sun, Nov. 07 2010 08:17 AM EDT

Christians 'On Verge of Extinction' in Iraq, Muslim Leader Warns

By Brian Hutt|Christian Today Reporter

A Muslim leader is calling on the Iraqi government and US-led forces to step up their efforts to protect the Christian minority in Iraq from extinction.

Navaid Hamid, Secretary of the South Asian Council for Minorities (SACM) and a Muslim, said the deadly attack last weekend on a church in Baghdad was a heinous crime that should be strongly condemned by the international community.

“With the murderous attack, the safety of Iraq’s Christian minority has become critical and it is the prime responsibility not only of the regime in Baghdad but also that of the allied forces led by [the] US to restore confidence and provide safety because never in the history of Iraq, minorities were so vulnerable [sic],” he said.

Around 58 people are believed to have died when al-Qaida linked militants stormed the Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad and opened fire on the congregation.

Hamid said Christians in Iraq were “paying a high price” for their faith and living in fear because of the “unprecedented” levels of violence against them.

“It is a fact that they are on the verge of extinction in Iraq,” he said.

An estimated 400,000 Christians have left Iraq and sought asylum in the US and Europe because of the persecution they face in Iraq.

The biggest victims of the US-led invasion of Iraq, Hamid said, were its minorities.

“[They] have become easy target [sic] for terrorist attacks in their own country,” he said.

Earlier this week, Christian and Muslim leaders issued a joint statement condemning the attack on the church in Baghdad. Signatories of the letter included Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan and representatives of the World Council of Churches.

They said the attack was an “inhumane” act that “contradicts all religious teachings and Middle Eastern culture that enabled people to coexist for many centuries”.

They called on the UN Security Council and Iraqi officials to put an end to terrorist attacks “aimed at degrading Iraqi people … and defiling Christian and Islamic sacred places.”

The Islamic State of Iraq, the group which claimed responsibility for the attack, has threatened to continue targeting Christians. It says it attacked the church in retaliation for the supposed detention of two women converts to Islam by the Coptic Church in Egypt.

According to the Associated Press, the Coptic Church’s head, Pope Shenouda III, said God had turned the attack to good by creating sympathy for his church.

Christians who turned up to St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo for Wednesday’s service were made to pass through metal detectors before being allowed in.

Addressing the congregation, Shenouda said: “God either prevents evil or turns it to good. Affirming that everything turns to good, the message that reached us brought sympathy for us from the Noble Al-Azhar [a revered institution of higher learning in Egypt] and from many writers and journalists and the interior ministry and police.”

In Iraq, armed security guards have been placed outside some churches after last Sunday's attack.

Brian Hutt
Christian Today Reporter

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Palestinian Muslims Build Over Jesus' Garden Tomb

Obama Speaking In India

A question was asked, "What do you think of 'JIHAD'?"

Obama: huminah huminah....... "Islam is one of the world's great religions. "Peace, justice, fairness, tolerance. This great religion, in the hands of a few extremists"