Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Muslim Extremists Threaten to Burn Christian Women

Four months after a recent convert to Christianity from Islam in eastern India’s West Bengal state was stripped and beaten, about 50 Muslim extremists yesterday disrupted a prayer meeting held in her home, threatening to burn it down if she did not return to Islam, area Christians said.

The extremists warned Selina Bibi of Motijil village in Murshidabad district that if she did not return to Islam, then she must either leave the area or see her house burned down. At her baptism at Believers Church four kilometers from her home on March 29, a large crowd of Muslim extremists disrupted the service, said a pastor identified only as Bashir.

“I pleaded with them to let me at least finish the worship service before they attack us,” he told Compass.

When word of her conversion to Christianity reached her village, another extremist group from Motijil led by Jamal Shaike disrupted the service. Shaike and the others verbally abused the Christians, and he ordered his son who was present at the service to leave immediately, Bashir said.

The pastor said that on April 5, two Muslim women along with members of the extremist group summoned Selina Bibi to one of their homes and forcefully stripped her naked.

“The radicals believe that when any person from the Muslim community becomes Christian, they get Christian marks on their body,” Bashir said. “When the radicals could not find such marks, they started beating her up.”

The Muslim extremists later gathered at the local mosque and resolved to ostracize her until she returned to Islam. She lives only with her two teenage sons.

Selina Bibi told Bashir that her body bore the marks of suffering for the sake of Christ, and that she was being treated like a criminal.

“She was not allowed to buy goods from the store, nor was she allowed to sell any vegetables,” he said. “They have also restricted her from procuring water from the village well. In spite of the persecutions she constantly faces from the radicals, she has started conducting a Bible study for ladies every Thursday at her home.”

After the extremist threats yesterday, study member Naseema Bibi said she and some of the other women attending the meeting went to the Murshidabad police station to file a complaint. Police called both parties, and they agreed in writing to allow each other to practice their respective faiths, and that police would prosecute any further attacks or disturbances, she said.

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Case against pastor studied, may be void. He's accused of filming girls in shower at church

Charges against a former youth pastor accused of videotaping four teenage girls in a shower at a Pasadena church in 2007 may not be valid because they were not filed within the three-year statute of limitations.

Thomas Jason Fortenberry, 30, was charged Thursday with two counts of improper photography for the alleged Nov. 4, 2007, incident.

However, Texas law reads that the two state jail felonies must be charged within three years of the offense, a time limit that expired in November.

Asked about dismissing the charges Monday, prosecutors said they are still "evaluating the evidence."

Churches to Read Torah as Others Read Koran

Churches in the U.S. are preparing to read sections of the Torah on Sunday, August 13, in a show of solidarity with Israel and the Jewish people.

The move is a response to an initiative by a group of churches that read from the Muslim Koran during their services on Sunday, June 26. According to the Faith Shared project, which initiated the Koran reading, 66 churches from 32 states joined that effort.

In an effort to counter the move, a grassroots movement of churches across America is preparing to read from sections of the Torah during their services.

According to Pastor Mark Biltz, one of the pastors leading the move, while Jewish communities around the world read the Shema prayer, Christian communities will join them in solidarity. “There is a special bond between Jews and Christians, as both hold as the greatest commandment to love the L-rd their G-d with all their heart," Pastor Biltz explained. "So I’ve also posted the Shema in as many languages as I could find on our website so everyone could see it.

“I am asking in a show of solidarity with the G-d of Israel, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that churches/organizations join together in one accord and read from the Torah during their Saturday/Sunday services this coming August 13 and 14,” he wrote.

Biltz went on to say that "The suggested reading from this Torah portion is the greatest commandment, found in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, that we love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength."

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Teachers and the Question of Corporal Punishment

In recent years, great controversies have spanned across all news networks, with their focus being the extent of the teacher's control over children. Central to these controversies is the question of whether a child should be disciplined by his parents or by his teachers, and whether the law should punish teachers who take action or refuse to take action against harmful student behavior. Fortunately for Americans, the answer lies within the works of a man who greatly influenced our very declaration of independence: John Locke.

In his Second Treatise of Government, Locke explains that a child, not having full possession or full development of his mental faculties, cannot be considered to have full liberties and rights. For the rights and liberties owned by a grown man are owned solely because he is capable of no longer being a danger to himself or others, knowing well the boundaries within which he may interact with his neighbors (sect 58-59). But before such faculty is developed, he is held under the near-total authority of his parents in all matters not requiring the state's intervention.

It is the child's lack of maturity which grants his parents authority over him otherwise excluded to the rest of mankind. This institution is so obvious that it is generally considered natural. For without such an appreciation for the institution of parenthood, as well as the powers it must necessarily grant parents, not only is the child susceptible to harm and potential death, but so are those in his neighborhood. And if a child is not properly raised, the likelihood of his harming society could very well continue into his adult years.

This authority, to all reasonable men, must necessarily include discipline through corporal punishment. Were a child fully capable of reason, respecting the superior understanding of his parents and acting with wisdom, such correction would not be necessary. But shy of such respect, all those under parental authority must have pain substituted in place of reason until reason is achievable, the more primitive regions of the mind being conditioned to follow law when higher portions cannot or will not.

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Dobson: America Desperately Needs God's Touch

HOUSTON, TX - Thousands of Americans who gathered here this weekend for a national prayer rally heard many messages of concern about the state of their nation -- but they also heard that with God's blessing, their country can be healed.

"His agenda is not a political agenda; his agenda is a salvation agenda," Texas Governor Rick Perry told the more than 30,000 in attendance at Saturday's prayer rally -- not including the thousands more who watched via streaming video online. (See earlier story)

Organizers of "The Response" said they sought to not make the prayer rally about politics or Perry's possible bid for president, or design an event around any one Christian leader. Reliant Stadium was packed, however, with well-known followers of Christ who simply wanted to exalt the name of Jesus as the nation faces historic challenges.

Dr. James Dobson of Family Talk was one of those in attendance. He told OneNewsNow that he believes the prayer rally will have more lasting impact than people realize -- and that he is hopeful it will spawn a "national revival" because the nation "desperately need[s] a touch" from God.

"We don't have all the answers. We don't have any of them," he said. "We've got a lot of questions we don't have answers [for]. And I just think that this is a historical moment in the long history of this great nation."

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