Masked gunmen shoot dead coptic man as murder spree of Christians in Egypt continues

January 16, 2018 by  
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Egypt, January 15, 2018: Three masked gunmen reportedly shot dead a Coptic Christian man in the latest attack on believers in Egypt’s North Sinai. No group has claimed responsibility yet.

The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the victim of Saturday’s attack is 35-year-old Bassem Attallah, though few other details were made available by security officials, who spoke anonymously.

The attack is said to have borne “the hallmarks of Islamic State militants,” who have killed hundreds of Christians in various attacks across the country in the last several years.

The turn of the New Year has seen the attacks continue, with two Copts losing their lives on New Year’s morning in the town of Giza.

The two victims were brothers, who were killed during an attack on their friend’s liquor store by a masked gunman on the back of a motorcycle taxi with a rifle.

The brothers, Ashraf and Adel Azar, who own a parts store located near the liquor store, were apparently helping the store’s owner transfer boxes of liquor from his vehicle when the assault occurred.

The store owner survived, while the gunman fled the scene and remains at large. Local residents attempted to help the Christians, but the two brothers died from their wounds on the way to a hospital.

Just days earlier, nine people were slaughtered in two terror attacks in Cairo, targeting Christians. Armed gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on people outside a church south of Cairo, while an hour later a Coptic-owned shop in the same area also came under fire.

Mostafa, an auto-rickshaw driver who was near the Marmina church, described the attack:

“Dozens of people ran to the church entrance to see the source of the shooting. I saw the terrorist lying on the floor bleeding as policemen surrounded him. He had a beard and had a big [armor] belt around him.”

Still, a heavy security presence deployed at the 2,626 churches in Egypt allowed believers to celebrate Christmas, both on Dec. 25 and Jan. 7, when Copts mark the holiday, relatively in peace.

The head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, led midnight mass at a cathedral in Cairo, which was attended by President Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

Sisi was reportedly cheered by believers as he entered the cathedral, though he has also faced criticism by other Christians for failing to stop the attacks and guarantee the safety of all citizens in the country.

IS has been killing Christians, among others, as part of its operations in Egypt these past couple of years.

IS is also said to be behind the mass bombing of Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed in November, where over 300 Islamic worshipers were killed.

– christian post

3 Churches firebombed ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Chile

January 14, 2018 by  
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Chile, January 14, 2018: Days before the scheduled visit of Pope Francis to Chile, three Roman Catholic churches in the national capital of Santiago were firebombed and a note left at the scene threatening to put “the next bomb” in the pontiff’s “cassock.”

After the firebomb attacks on the three churches Friday, police found barrels of flammable liquid at two other churches that had not been ignited, according to The Associated Press.

No injuries were reported, except minor physical damage, according to Interior Ministry official Mahmud Aleuy.

Pamphlets threatening, “The next bombs will be in your cassock,” were found outside one of the three churches that was attacked.

The pamphlets mentioned the Mapuche indigenous people, who are asking the government to return their ancestral lands and give them some rights. They also referred to “dominion over our bodies,” and included the phrase “free, impure and savage bodies,” alluding to the church’s positions on sexuality and abortion, according to The New York Times. “We attack with the fire of combat, exploding your disgusting morals,” the pamphlets said, and also called for the liberation of “all political prisoners in the world.”

In 2011, the Vatican found the Rev. Fernando Karadima from El Bosque parish in Santiago guilty of sexual abuse and sentenced him to a life of penitence and prayer, but the victims were not compensated, according to the Times.

Research published recently by showed that around 80 members of the clergy in Chile have been accused of sexual abuse since 2000, and that more than half have been convicted in court or by the Vatican.

Francis will arrive Monday in Santiago and later celebrate Mass and meet with Mapuche people in the southern city of Temuco Wednesday.

Authorities have increased security measures in the city, with more than 4,000 additional police officers and special forces troops, even though Francis is expected to stay only for a few hours. Police had earlier said 18,000 officers will be deployed during the pope’s visits to Santiago, Temuco and the northern city of Iquique, and have helicopters on hand and monitor events with drones.

Hours after the attacks, President Michelle Bachelet said, “I also want to invite you all to experience this visit in a climate of respect, solidarity and happiness.”

“We are deeply hurt by these events that contradict the spirit of peace that inspires the pope’s visit,” Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago was quoted as saying.

– christian post

Christians in China fear persecution will get worse after authorities bomb evangelical megachurch

January 12, 2018 by  
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China, January 11, 2018: An evangelical megachurch was destroyed by Chinese Communist authorities Tuesday in the country’s northern Shanxi province, sparking fears among Christians that the persecution they suffer will soon get worse.

China Aid said in an update Wednesday that Chinese military police detonated explosives inside Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, destroying the $2.6 million house of worship, which was owned by the Christians who worshiped there.

A demolition crew broke apart the remaining pieces of the church after the explosion with diggers and jackhammers.

Lampstand’s head Pastor, Yang Rongli, had previously spent seven years in prison on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance since his release in October 2016.

Describing the demolition, the pastor was quoted as saying that at first, police surrounded the church.

“Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch,” she said.

“The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”

The order to demolish the church reportedly came from China’s top officials, who control the military police.

“The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said ChinaAid President and founder Bob Fu.

“ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches.”

The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force.

As many as 1,200 crosses have been removed from churches in Zhejiang province since 2015, with officials arguing that many of the demolitions have been down to building code violations.

A local pastor, who asked not to be named, said that he saw “more police than I could count” at the site, preventing worshipers from approaching.

“My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own,” he said. “This church was built in 2008, there’s no reason for them to destroy it now.”

The Associated Press noted that the evangelical megachurch had a congregation of 50,000, and had been targeted by police on a number of occasions. Officials reportedly hired thugs to smash the church and take its Bible during the crackdown in 2009, when Rongli was arrested.

Christians have protested against church demolitions, with a video captured in Shanxi in August showing a clash between Catholics and government representatives who were using bulldozers to destroy church property.

The believers in the video could be heard shouting “Jesus save me!” and “Mother Mary, have pity on us,” and successfully blocked the government’s efforts.

– christian post

14-Y-O Christian girl kidnapped and sold to Muslim leader for $160, open doors says

January 11, 2018 by  
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Nigeria, January 10, 2018: The head of one of the most prominent Christian persecution watchdog organizations in the United States shared the horrifying story of a young Christian girl who was kidnapped last year while on her way to school and sold off to a Muslim tribal leader for less than $200.

At the unveiling of the 2018 World Watch List at the National Press Club on Wednesday, Open Doors USA CEO David Curry explained that there were over 2,260 cases of Christian women and girls who were either raped, assaulted or forced into Islamic marriages during the organization’s 2017 reporting period.

One girl who faced such an experience in 2017 was a 14-year-old Nigerian Christian girl, Curry recalled.

Referring to her by the name of “Habiba,” Curry detailed the situation that her family faces.

“In Nigeria, which is No. 14 on the World Watch List, there was a 14-year-old girl this year who was walking to school — the picture of innocence,” he said. “As she walked to school, she was kidnapped and taken from her family by a Muslim extremist living in the northern tribal region. She was forced into marriage.”

Curry said that after the child was taken from her family, the extremist kidnapper agreed to sell the girl.

“A deal was cut with the tribal leader under sharia law to sell this 14-year-old girl, Habiba, for $160,” Curry explained. “Do you believe this is unique? It’s not.”

Open Doors USA estimates that about six women and girls throughout the world are raped, assaulted or forced into Islamic marriages every day.

Curry urged Christians in the West to put faces to the statistics.

“Imagine your mother or sister, your daughter being forced, being taken away from her home and being forced into marriage with a Muslim extremist maybe for $160,” he stated.

He also highlighted the story of a 47-year-old nun in India who was raped and abused by Hindu extremists.

“[L]ike Mother Teresa, [she] worked with the poorest of the poor in India,” Curry said. “Because of her faith and because of the rising pressure of persecution in India, she faced numerous threats on her life from Hindu extremists, who said to her, ‘Stop working with the poor, stop loving people in Jesus’ name or we will kill you or hurt you.'”

Those threats came true when two extremists attacked the nun at her medical clinic, Curry said. The nun was drugged, raped and left tied to a bed unconscious.

“When the police came to investigate, they began to systematically destroy evidence and had the shoddyist of investigative processes,” he stated. “That’s what justice is like in India.”

According to Curry, the nun’s attackers were acquitted.

India ranks as the 11th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution on the 2018 World Watch List. Curry said that India is in “a particular place of shame on the World Watch List because it purports to be part of the international community.” The World Watch List shows that 635 Christians were held or detained in India in the last Open Doors reporting period.

A 30-year-old Christian woman who lives in Upper Egypt named Tabitha told The Christian Post after the press conference that Christian women are harassed and assaulted every day on the streets of Egypt.

“Persecution is so heavy, for women especially. We live in Islamic country and Islamic culture is so heavy. They persecute Christian women and girls, firstly, because they consider women second class,” Tabitha said, adding that Islamic culture allows men to have up to four wives.

“They always [commit] verbal harassment and physical harassment everyday while we are walking on the street, especially Christians since they don’t have the veil or the scarf on their heads. So everybody knows they are Christians. It is written in their ID actually that they are female and they are Christians,” she continued.

“They kidnap them, they are facing lots of sexual abuse, especially in villages because Christians there are so poor and are illiterate and they use them in a very bad way.”

– christian post

Gunmen murder at least 14 churchgoers returning from New Year midnight services

January 9, 2018 by  
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Nigeria, January 4, 2018: Christians returning from New Year midnight church services were shot at by gunmen in the early hours of Monday (1 January 2018) in Rivers State, in the country’s oil-rich Niger-Delta region, eyewitnesses state.

A police source said that the total number of casualties is not yet confirmed, but at least 14 people were killed at the scene. Twelve victims were rushed to the hospital, and there are some reports that three of the injured have now died. The simultaneous attacks occurred at two different locations, the Kirigani and Oboh areas of Aligu community in Omoku town.

These areas have experienced persistent cult-related violence, and a notable politician has blamed the attack on a power struggle between local “cult groups.” The state government has offered a reward for more information on the attackers.

The Rivers State police spokesperson announced that they have “launched a manhunt for the bandits to ensure they are arrested and prosecuted … The deputy commissioner of police in charge of operation and other tactical heads have been mobilised there to restore peace.”

– barnabas persecution update

Muslim confesses to poisoning christian mother with Christmas gifts, sending her vomiting

January 8, 2018 by  
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Uganda, January 8, 2018: A Muslim woman in Uganda has admitted to and asked for forgiveness for intentionally poisoning a Christian mother of five on Christmas morning with food gifts.

Morning Star News reported late last week that Nafamba Bongo Madina, the Christian mother, and her five young children received gifts of sugar, salt, soap, matchboxes, groundnuts and cooking oil on Christmas morning from Taaka Hajira, a Muslim woman, and other neighbors in Gayaza village, Kabuna Sub-County, Budaka District.

Madina used the oil while cooking some food, but decided to taste it first before serving it to family members.

“When she started screaming and was continuously vomiting, I called in a taxi and rushed her to Kabuna dispensary, where it was found that she had been poisoned,” an in-law explained.

Madina was discharged after spending a night in the health center, with analysis of the cooking oil confirming that it contained poison.

Gavaza village Chairman John Guloba questioned Hajira after finding out about the incident and the Muslim woman confessed to giving poison.

Hajira was accused of attempted murder, after which she asked for forgiveness. The woman explained that the loudness of weekly worship at Madina’s house had been disturbing her and other Muslim neighbors, even though Hajira’s house is almost 300 feet away.

Despite the serious consequences that could have befallen the Christian family as a result of the poisoning, the police were not called, with the village seeking to prevent religious tensions from escalating.

Madina lost her husband two years ago, who died shortly after they left Islam for Christianity. The children, all of whom are under 15, have reportedly been facing taunts by Muslim neighbors, who call them infidels.

Although Christians are a majority in Uganda, they have been targeted in a number of attacks in the eastern parts of the country.

A former Islamic teacher turned Christian was beaten and left in a pool of his own blood by assailants back in November.

Twenty-seven-year-old Mulangira Ibrahim explained that he was on his way to a church one day, “when four people stopped me and then got hold of me and started threatening me that if I do not recant Christianity and return to Islam, then they were going to kill me.”

“I did not answer them, and one began slapping me, while another hit me with a blunt object. As I started screaming for help, I received more blows and from there I lost my consciousness,” Ibrahim stated.

In January 2017, a Muslim mob raped 15 Christian women and beat several members of a church, also in eastern Uganda, looking to punish their pastor for sharing the Gospel with Muslims.

The Islamic radicals reportedly attacked the 500-member congregation during an evening prayer meeting with clubs and sticks, locking up the people inside, beating the men and raping several women.

– christian post

If Iran protests successful it’s much better for mideast Christians, experts say

January 5, 2018 by  
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Iran, January 5, 2018: If the Iran protesters are successful, conditions look to improve greatly for Christians not only in Iran but throughout the Middle East, some say.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in demonstrations that began last Thursday in protest of the autocratic regime over rampant corruption, rising food and fuel prices, and a faltering economy, CNN reported. Not since the 2009 uprising known as the Green Revolution has there been such vast nationwide protests.

“If the protesters can recover something of that inclusive nationalism, then Christians and other ethnic and sectarian minorities will be better off than they are now,” said Iranian-born journalist and Catholic convert Sohrab Ahmari, in a Tuesday interview with Catholic News Agency.

“The Iranians who are pouring into the streets have had it with an ideological regime that represses them and can’t even deliver basic economic security,” he said.

Author Ken Timmerman, president of CEO of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, concurred, telling The Christian Post in a phone interview Thursday that the Islamic State of Iran has its fingers all over the Middle East, wreaking havoc everywhere.

“If this evil regime falls, you have the cutting off the hand that commands the fingers. You’re talking about dramatically reducing the level of violence throughout the region,” Timmerman said.

One need look no further than what is happening to Iraqi Christians across the Nineveh plains in Northern Iraq, he said. Timmerman was in Iraq over the summer and recounted that there was a brief respite when Christians began returning home following the liberation from Islamic State but that has now reversed and they are leaving again because of the Iran-backed Shiite militias who are forcing them out.

These militias are battling Kurdish forces for domination over what have historically been Christian areas of Iraq.

CP reported Nov. 21 that some Iraqi Christians had hoped to go back to normal after Mosul was liberated but the situation is “even worse” now and they are living in fear of “shiafication” of their villages. Human rights groups have warned that Iran has funded the opening of a school — named after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini — mosque and library in the once predominantly Christian town of Bartella.

“Imagine what would happen if the Iranian regime no longer has the money or the resources or the will to support those Iranian-backed militias in Iraq. Things become much easier and much better for Iraqi Christians,” Timmerman said.

When former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad first took power, he said he was going to declare war on Christianity, specifically the house churches across the nation, he explained.

“One of the reasons for this is that even then in 2005 reports were beginning to emerge that there were potentially as many as several million converts to Christianity and there were house churches set up inside the Revolutionary Guard,” the nation’s security force.

Timmerman thinks that it is true and he has personally spoken to Iranian evangelical Christian leaders, some of whom are former Muslims. The house church movement is broad-based and widespread, he noted, and though they are persecuted the regime has not been very successful at cracking down on them. And if house churches are indeed inside the Revolutionary Guard, it will likely affect how those people are going to respond, and what kind of orders they are going to give to their troops during these protests, he said.

“My suspicion is given that they are faithful Christians that they are not going to be telling their troops to open fire [on the protesters].”

“And so you could have an acceleration of the protest by people acting not just out of a desire for freedom but out of their Christian faith,” Timmerman said, likening the Iranian house church movement to a “force multiplier without being part of a political movement.”

Messianic Jewish scholar and host of the The Line of Fire Michael Brown wrote earlier this week that he believes that massive conversions of Muslims to Christianity is one of the best kept secrets in the world, something he believes is playing a vital role in the rising discontent.

Brown’s sources have reportedly told him that “it is only a matter of time before the number of those conversions reaches a critical mass and allows these new believers to emerge from the underground into the public eye.”

The Mohabat News (the Iranian Christian News Agency) reported in August 2017 that “Christianity has been growing at an exponential rate in the last couple of decades in Iran, causing the Islamic government a great deal of concern,” he noted.

– christian post

2 Coptic Christians killed by gunman in Egypt days after Cairo Church attack

January 3, 2018 by  
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Egypt, January 2, 2018: Just days after 11 people were killed during an attack targeting Christians in Cairo, two more Coptic Christians were killed by a gunman in Egypt on New Year’s morning in Cairo’s twin city.

Egyptian security officials confirmed the killing of two Christian brothers, who were slain during an attack on their friend’s liquor store in the town of Giza.

According to sources who spoke with AFP, the gunman was masked and on the back of a motorcycle taxi when he began firing on the liquor store at around 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Reuters reports that the weapon of choice was a rifle. At the time of the attack, the sources said that there were still New Year’s celebrators walking along the street.

The motive for the attack has not yet been made clear and there was no immediate claim of responsibility, which typically occurs after larger attacks on religious minorities in the region. The gunman is still at large.

The Egypt Independent reports that the two victims are named Ashraf and Adel Azar, who own a parts store located near the liquor store. The two were in the liquor store at the time of the incident to help the store’s owner, Raouf, transfer boxes of liquor from his vehicle into the store. The store’s owner survived the incident.

Although local residents tried to help the shooting victims, the men died on their way to a hospital.

The liquor store attack comes as 11 people lost their lives last Friday when a masked gunman opened fire at the Coptic Orthodox Church of Saint Menas in Cairo and a nearby shop owned by a Coptic Christian businessman. Ten citizens and one police officer were killed.

According to The Sunday Times, the liquor store killing bears a resemblance to the attack on the Cairo church and nearby Christian shop in the fact that it involved two gunmen who opened fire on a motorcycle.

The Dec. 29 attack was claimed by the Islamic State-affiliated Amaq News Agency.

Authorities have charged the gunman who carried out the church attack with murder. The gunman is receiving medical treatment for the wounds he suffered in the exchange with security officials.

“He is accused of premeditated murder, attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed weapon and using it for terrorist activity,” a source told Reuters.

Egypt currently ranks as the 21st-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s 2017 World Watch List. However, there is a good possibility that Egypt could rank higher on the 2018 World Watch List that will be released this month considering the increase in the terror-related deaths of Egyptian Christians in 2017.

In the past year, there have been a number of egregious attacks on the Coptic Christian community.

In May, at least 28 Christians were killed when a bus carrying them to a monastery south of Cairo was targeted by gunmen.

On Palm Sunday in April, two churches in Tanta and Alexandria were attacked by suicide bombers. A total of 47 people were killed in those acts of violence.

The Palm Sunday bombings came after St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Cairo was bombed in December 2016, killing 29 worshipers and injuring at least 47.

– christian post

Gunmen attack Coptic Christians in Cairo church and shop, killing 9

December 29, 2017 by  
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Egypt, December 29, 2017: Nine people were killed in two terror attacks by gunmen on Coptic Christians Friday in the Egyptian capital Cairo, officials have said.

BBC News initially reported that 10 or 12 people were killed as gunmen on a motorcycle tried to storm a church south of Cairo, opening fire, with at least one of the attackers killed by security forces.

The dead terrorist was found with an explosives belt, suggesting that the assailants could have been planning to carry out a bombing and kill even more people.

A Coptic-owned shop in the same area was attacked an hour later, which left two other people dead.

Mostafa, an auto-rickshaw driver who was near the Marmina church, said that he witnessed the attack.

“Dozens of people ran to the church entrance to see the source of the shooting. I saw the terrorist lying on the floor bleeding as policemen surrounded him. He had a beard and had a big [armor] belt around him,” the man said, according to The Guardian.

The Coptic Orthodox church added in a statement: “A terrorist attack has targeted the Church of the Martyr Marmina as unknown assailants fired gunshots, killing a person from the security force guarding the church as well as five of the people of the church, in addition to other injured individuals.”

Egypt’s health ministry said that at least five other people were wounded, including two women who are in serious condition.

Security forces have put up checkpoints around Cairo in response to the attacks.

Officials are searching for those behind the assault, though the Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for a number of similar attacks in Egypt this year, which has led to the deaths of over 100 believers.

Just last week, Egyptian authorities promised that as many as 230,000 security forces would be deployed to guard Christmas celebrations around the country, given the number of church and mosque bombings in recent times.

Omar Ashour, a visiting professor of security studies at the Doha Institute, told Al Jazeera that there is an “ongoing crisis” in the North African country.

“It’s more continuity than change, we still need more details to come up, but so far Egypt has witnessed over 2,000 attacks in the last three years,” Ashour said.

“There are two issues, one is the political crisis in Egypt which unfolded after 2013. That has not been resolved, and it’s creating more and more recruitment and radicalization to armed groups of various forms,” he added.

“There is also basically a series of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism blunders which the Egyptian forces have been committing, and that is adding more and more oil to the fire.”

Beside the upcoming new year’s eve celebrations, Coptic Christians are also preparing to observe Christmas, which on the Julian calendar that many Orthodox believers follow falls Jan. 7.

– christian post

School restricts Christmas celebrations after Muslim student says it’s not compatible with Islam

December 24, 2017 by  
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Germany, December 22, 2017: A school in Germany has decided to restrict its Christmas celebrations and stop performing music that contains Christian lyrics after a Muslim student complained that carols are incompatible with Islam.

Headmaster Friedrich Suhr of the Johanneum Gymnasium in Lüneburg said that the school will now be taking a “sensitive approach” to the holiday, Breitbart News reported on Thursday, based on a translation of an article.

Suhr clarified initial reports that the school had “canceled” Christmas, by stating the annual Christmas party, which was postponed, will still take place, but will be voluntary.

What is more, music lessons at the school will no longer include religiously-themed lyrics in order not to offend students of non-Christian faiths.

Bianca Schöneich, a spokesperson for the local authority, said that “religious content in schools should be done in moderation,” warning that “a Christmas party should not have the character of a church service.”

Local church figures have spoken out against the limitation of Christians celebrations, however, with Catholic Bureau of Lower Saxony prelate Felix Bernard stating that religious music in Germany “is part of our cultural heritage.”

“The singing of Christmas carols constitutes neither a religious confession nor a service,” Bernard told Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung.

Auxiliary Bishop Nikolaus Schwerdtfeger added, “The fact that a school Christmas party cannot take place during class time, I find a pity and also a bit absurd.”

Germany, which has had to deal with a large influx of refugees — over 1 million — most from Islamic countries, has seen a decline in religious faith in recent years, though the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation has also sparked hope for a Christian revival.

“We really sense there is some move of God,” Susanne Schmell, a German native who leads the Youth With A Mission group in Bad Blankenburg, told The Christian Post back in November.

“For the Germans, our prayer is that the Lord will not only visit us again but restore the gift of faith to the Germans because we have lost it,” Scmhell said.

Madison Horn, from Gas City, Indiana, and a recent graduate of Ivy Tech Community College, told CP while leading the outreach team in Germany during Reformation week celebrations: “I just feel God’s presence here; the Holy spirit is moving here. He’s moving into people’s hearts and opening up the things that are closed, the walls that are closed. Those are just being torn down.”

Christmas celebrations have been challenged and canceled in other places in Western Europe too this year.

A school in Denmark decided to cancel its traditional Christmas service at church, with concerns that it would offend non-Christian children and parents.

Christian critics spoke out against the decision, however, including Graested Mayor Kim Valentin.

“We are a Christian country and we should be proud of it,” Valentin wrote on Facebook. “It shouldn’t be mandatory, but our church and especially Christmas is an important part of our culture.”

– christian post

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