MIDDLE EAST CHRISTIANS, ALLIES OF ISRAEL & WEST, SEEK REFUGE FROM PERSECUTION Posted on February 17, 2017 Printer Friendly Trump Helps Persecuted Christians and Protects America with One Move: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Feb. 2, 2017— During a recent interview with CBN, President Trump was asked if he thinks America should prioritize persecuted Christians as refugees. Assyrian Statehood: Preventing a Rupture in Kurdish-American Relations: Bradley Martin, JNS, Feb. 9, 2017— Assyrian autonomy would do more than rectify a centuries-old injustice. The True Face of Christendom: Earl Cox, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2017— With anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in America and Europe, it is imperative that Israel knows who her true friends are. Christian Realism and Christian Zionism: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Jan. 24, 2017 — Back in the early 1940s, when the World Zionist Organization as was seeking credible Christian support for the cause of creating a Jewish State… On Topic Links Canada Heading Towards Blasphemy Law: Raheel Raza, Clarion Project, Feb. 13, 2017 ‘Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg’ Review: Documenting Atrocities: Mark Yost, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 15, 2017 The West's Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 5, 2017 United Church of Christ Indoctrinates Children to Hate: Abraham Cooper and Dexter van Zile, Huffington Post, Dec. 15, 2017 TRUMP HELPS PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS AND PROTECTS AMERICA WITH ONE MOVE Raymond Ibrahim Frontpage, Feb. 2, 2017 During a recent interview with CBN, President Trump was asked if he thinks America should prioritize persecuted Christians as refugees. He responded: Yes. Yes, they’ve been horribly treated. If you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, or at least very, very tough, to get into the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair — everybody was persecuted, in all fairness — but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them. This is a far different response than that given by Barrack Hussein Obama back in November 2015. Then, as president, he lashed out against the idea of giving preference to Christian refugees, describing it as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” Obama had added. While Obama was making such lofty admonishments, his administration was quietly discriminating against Mideast Christians in a myriad of ways—including, as Trump pointed out, by aggressively accepting Muslim refugees over Christian ones. Despite the U.S. government’s own acknowledgement that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria—and not against fellow Sunni Muslims—the Obama administration took in 5,435 Muslims, almost all of which were Sunni, but only 28 Christians. Considering that Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, to be on an equal ratio with Muslims entering America, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28. But questions of equality aside, the idea of prioritizing Christian refugees over Muslims (which I argued for back in 2015) is not only more humane; it brings benefits to America as well. Consider the facts: Unlike Muslims, Christian minorities are being singled out and persecuted simply because of their despised religious identity. From a humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the reason being cited for accepting millions of refugees—Christians should receive top priority simply because they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East. Even before the Islamic State was formed, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, and Muslim regimes, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian)—and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one. (See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians.) Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi sympathizers posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing religious persecution (as mentioned, 99% of Muslim refugees accepted into the U.S. are, like ISIS, Sunnis), but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion. Hence why when large numbers of Muslims enter Western nations—in Germany, Sweden, France, the UK—tension, crimes, rapes, and terrorism soar. Indeed, what more proof is needed than the fact that so-called Muslim “refugees” are throwing Christians overboard during their boat voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe? Or that Muslim majority refugee centers in Europe are essentially microcosms of Muslim majority nations: there, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted. One report found that 88% of the 231 Christian refugees interviewed in Germany have suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats, and sexual assaults. Some were pressured to convert to Islam. “I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” one Christian refugee said. Is persecuting religious minorities the behavior of people who are in need of refugee status in America? Or is this behavior yet another reminder that it is non-Muslims from the Middle East who are truly in need of sanctuary? The U.S. should further prioritize Christian refugees because U.S. foreign policies are directly responsible for exacerbating their persecution. Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muamar Gaddafi’s Libya. Their systematic persecution—to the point of genocide—began only after the U.S. interfered in those nations under the pretext of “democracy.” All they did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering countless Christian “infidels” and other minorities… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents ASSYRIAN STATEHOOD: PREVENTING A RUPTURE IN KURDISH-AMERICAN RELATIONS Bradley Martin JNS, Feb. 9, 2017 Assyrian autonomy would do more than rectify a centuries-old injustice. It could also be the key to preventing irreversible damage to relations between the U.S. and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban against seven Muslim-majority countries has been met with a growing backlash in the Middle East. In response to Trump’s executive order, the Iraqi parliament voted to support reciprocal restrictions, barring Americans from entering Iraq unless Washington reverses its decision. This leaves Iraqi Kurds in a very precarious position. “The KRG must now decide whether to help unify Iraq or go to war with Iraq,” said retired Lt. Col. Sargis Sangari, an expert on Assyrian Christians and CEO of the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement. “The Kurds may now feel compelled to implement their own travel ban against U.S. citizens, since their Muslim brethren would interpret such opposition as both a betrayal and an unpardonable offense against their religion.” Any refusal by the KRG to implement such a ban would put the Kurds at odds with the federal government in Baghdad. It would also prove damaging to Kurdish aspirations for independence, since the KRG cannot afford to enter negotiations while opposing the travel bans imposed by Iran and Iraq against American citizens. By supporting Assyrian statehood, the KRG would send a clear message that it stands firmly with the U.S. and Western values. The three countries would share an unbreakable bond based on shared morals and economic prosperity. Assyrians are indigenous to Mesopotamia, and their history spans more than 6,700 years. When the Assyrian Empire came to an end in 612 B.C.E, the Assyrians would go on to become the first nation to convert to Christianity. The Assyrian language, a dialect of Aramaic, is likely what Jesus would have spoken during his lifetime. Prior to the Islamic conquest of the Middle East, the Assyrian Church had an estimated 80 million adherents. Today, the Assyrian population throughout the world has been reduced to a little more than 4 million. Continuous murder, rape and forcible conversions to Islam have resulted in as much as 95 percent of this ancient community being forced to live outside (their) native region. Until 2003, the Assyrian-Christian population numbered 1.5 million in Iraq. By the end of 2015, that number had been reduced to an estimated 150,000. This constitutes a 90-percent reduction of the Assyrian Christian population in their ancestral homeland. This genocide of Assyrians continues today, with the Islamic State terror group committing mass murder, forced conversions, rape and the destruction of Christian holy sites under its dominion. “If a new Assyrian state becomes a reality, Assyrians from all over the world would go back,” said Sangari. “The majority of talented, Western-educated Assyrians would probably go back as well.” American Assyrians who return to their homeland would represent a link to the U.S., which the KRG could cultivate by supporting the foundation of this new Assyrian state. President Trump recently stated that persecuted Christians in the Middle East would be given priority as refugees. If the KRG were to aid in the rebuilding of the Assyrian national homeland, this would represent a goodwill gesture that would reverberate to Washington and send a powerful message that the genocide of Christians in the region will not be tolerated. Western-educated Assyrians would serve as a significant boon to the region. Coupled with oil production, a sophisticated economy would emerge for everyone’s benefit. Kurdish statehood is therefore contingent on the rebirth of an Assyrian state. Although KRG President Massud Barzani recently stated that a declaration of Kurdish independence was imminent, the problem is that the KRG remains deeply divided. There is no guarantee that the two factions that make up the Kurdish Peshmerga forces will remain unified, since both militias remain deeply partisan. This division, compounded by potential conflicts with Iran and Iraq, does not bode well for the continued survival of a Kurdish state. Rather than a blessing, oil wealth would be a regional curse as it is used to fund further military campaigns. If the KRG supported the rebirth of an Assyrian state, it would have a reliable and powerful ally in the region. A new U.S.-backed alliance between Kurdistan, Assyria and Israel that enshrines Western principles of freedom and democracy would create an oasis of peace and prosperity in an area of the world that desperately needs it. Bradley Martin is a CIJR Student Intern and Deputy Editor Contents THE TRUE FACE OF CHRISTENDOM Earl Cox Jerusalem Post, Feb. 12, 2017 With anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in America and Europe, it is imperative that Israel knows who her true friends are. It’s sad and disturbing that anti-Semitism in the West originated with the early church fathers. How could this be? Jews and Christians share a common heritage: both are people of the Book; both our Scriptures confirm the Jews as G-d’s chosen people, whom He loves, and to whom He promised the land of Israel by everlasting covenant to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their descendants. Christian Scripture talks about dividing the sheep from the goats. These foundations of the faith should be no-brainers. Yet a deep divide emerged in Christendom beginning with the First Century church fathers. Its two main issues were the authority and interpretation of the Bible, and God’s love and plan for Israel. It’s an anomaly that the cultural/political church has a history of anti-Semitism—especially mainstream denominations such as Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and others. Cultural, politicized Christianity has spawned “politically correct” positions that conflict with biblical truth. For example, the false doctrine of replacement theology teaches that the church has “replaced” Judaism, that Jews have no future in G-d’s plan, or sovereignty over Israel and Jerusalem; thus all G-d’s promises and blessings have become the church’s exclusive domain. Nothing could be further than the truth. Replacement theologians squirmed in 1948 when the Lord returned the captivity of Zion and Israel was reborn in a day! Here’s a sampling of how poisonous anti-Semitism infiltrated the early church: Justin Martyr, who called Gentile believers the “new” Israel, wrote: “The Jewish Scriptures are no longer yours, they are now ours.” Irenaeus: “The Jews are now disinherited from the grace of God.” Tertullian: “God has rejected the Jews in favor of the Christians.” Eusebius: “The promises of the Hebrew Scriptures are now for the Christians and not the Jews—but the curses are for the Jews.” The Emperor Constantine exhorted separation from the “despicable” Jews. Jerome stooped to degrading terms, later borrowed by the Nazis and Muslims. Augustine’s sermon “Against the Jews” deeply impacted Martin Luther, who advocated setting fire to Jewish synagogues and schools, destroying Jewish homes and prayer books, forbidding rabbis to teach, and confiscating Jews’ cash and treasures. Despite his faith, Luther’s writings inspired the horrors of the Holocaust. Over time, some denominations unabashedly began to subordinate the Bible to political views, as liberal mainstream seminaries taught false doctrines such as replacement and liberation theologies. In the latter, Jesus is seen as liberator of the poor and oppressed. In this worldview, Palestinian suicide bombers blow themselves up only because they’ve been oppressed and historically wronged—remove or restrain their Israeli oppressors and they’ll live in peace—despite being brainwashed from cradle to grave to hate and kill Israelis and other “infidels.” From bitter roots grow poisonous trees. Last year, the Presbyterian Church USA called for BDS based on Israel’s “human rights abuses” and “militarized violence” against Palestinians, without condemning Palestinian terrorism. For these leaders, BDS is justified due to Israel’s alleged violation of Palestinian human rights. Yet they fail to address the PA or Hamas’s violation of human rights of their own people, or Israel’s legitimate need for self-defense. In 2016, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on the United State to end aid to Israel and “enable an independent Palestinian state.” It also adopted a resolution calling for divestment from Israel, so as not to “profit from human rights abuses.” ELCA group Isaiah 58 promotes a book recommending Islamic sharia law as the remedy for Israeli “occupation.” Though liberal seminaries are seedbeds for anti-Semitism, most evangelical Christians study the Bible free of political interference. After all, Christian support for Israel is Biblical, not political. Evangelicals are the largest consistently pro-Israel block in the United States. A Pew Research Center poll found that 82 percent of white evangelicals believe God gave Israel to the Jewish people, compared to less than half as many Jewish or Catholic Americans. The true face of Christendom is the tens of millions of evangelicals who demonstrate their love for Israel with no hidden agendas, believe G-d gave Israel to the Jewish people, respect and obey the Bible as the ultimate written authority, and know that G-d always keeps His promises. How can any true Christian love Christ but not love His family and His land? Contents CHRISTIAN REALISM AND CHRISTIAN ZIONISM Paul Merkley Bayview Review, Jan. 24, 2017 Back in the early 1940s, when the World Zionist Organization as was seeking credible Christian support for the cause of creating a Jewish State, they settled upon Reinhold Niebuhr, the principal spokesman for the Christian Council for Palestine, and later for the American Christian Palestine Committee. There was great advantage for the Zionist cause in the fact that, in a time when theology still played a modest (although clearly failing) part in academic discussion, Niebuhr was the only American theologian who was widely read throughout the English-speaking world. He commanded a large audience not only of Christians but also of secular intellectuals. Niebuhr was the acknowledged leading light of Christian Realism- the movement that emerged slowly and painfully out of resistance to the appeasement which took hold of all the journals of Christian opinion in the late 1930s. By 1945, he was widely recognized, inside church ranks and even more outside church ranks, as an exceptionally realistic commentator on world affairs. Niebuhr’s prominence in the Christian pro-Zionist camp does not mark him as a Christian Zionist however. A Christian Zionist is one who believes that his support of the people of Israel in their ongoing struggles traces follows from a claim put upon himself by Biblical prophecy. To Niebuhr, the notion of predictive prophecy was all superstition, and accordingly he had no patience for the idea that working for the Restoration of the Jews was a task commanded by Scripture. This attitude was consistent with his theology: when it came to matters of the Creed, in typically liberal fashion, he swept away the miracles, the raising from the dead, and the life everlasting. He shared this mindset with all but perhaps one or two of the leaders of the Christian Council for Palestine and American Christian Palestine Committee. There were two strings to the Liberal-Christian Pro-Zionist Christian argument for Partition of the Mandate and support for the State of Israel. The first string was that it was a requirement of justice in light of the perilous state in which the Hitler war had left the Jewish people. Appearing before the body which the UN had appointed to consider the case for Partition, Niebuhr said “The Jews have a right to a homeland. They are a nation, scattered among the nations of the world. They have no place where they are not exposed to the perils of minority status.” As for the complaint that this solution would work some injustice for the Arabs of the region, Niebuhr said: “The Arabs have a vast hinterland in the Middle East, and the fact that the Jews have nowhere to go, establishes the relative justice of their claims and their cause…. Arab sovereignty over a portion of a debated territory must undoubtedly be sacrificed for the sake of establishing a world homeland for the Jews.” The second string to the Liberal argument was that the Jewish people would establish in the Middle East a bridgehead for the values of European civilization, beginning a process of rolling back what Niebuhr described as the “feudal realities” left by centuries of Islam. This second argument does not resonate favorably in liberal circles today. The moment of Israel’s creation, however, belongs to the hour when Western intellectuals were reviewing the strengths of our Christian civilization in the light of the recent escape from Nazism and the prospect of a long struggle against the Soviet Communist Empire. Before another generation had gone by, academics and elites of opinion had got themselves persuaded that the first duty of the inquiring mind is to despise what one belongs to: it was becoming impossible in academic circles to say a kind word for “civilization” and downright heresy to say a kind word for the Christian legacy. At the end of this process, the intellectual consensus was that the democratic State of Israel was an engine of imperialism, the oppressor of Third World peoples, the proxy of the bloody Crusaders. Reinhold Niebuhr stood out among his generation of Christian intellectuals because he was such a discriminating critic of the thoughtless generalities that were current among his Christian academic contemporaries. Since the bottom line to these generalities was reckoned as “liberalism,” a new word had to be invented to catch what distinguished him from the others. The word “Neo-Orthodox” was recruited. This word is quite misleading, however. Niebuhr’s own theology was far from orthodox. He recited the Apostles Creed every Sunday along with everyone else, but in private conversation he confessed that he had no commitment to the reality of the Deity of Jesus or the Resurrection from the dead. With reference to our interests here: he refused to acknowledge any predictive character in any part of the Bible – including the Major and Minor Prophets. Thus, Niebuhr refused to credit any argument made in favour of the Zionist cause that was built upon confidence in the predictive capacity of Scripture. During the years leading to the Partition Debate, Niebuhr did everything he could to avoid being associated with people who called themselves Christian Zionists. The arguments that he made in those days in support of the Partition and the creation of the State were both idealistic and realistic – never theological. At the same time, however, Niebuhr never lost his commitment to defense of Israel, and partly for that reason became alienated from the main body of liberal Christians who shifted to the anti-Israel camp in the wake of the 1967 War and who effectively eased him out of the pages of the liberal Christian journals of opinion – including the journal which he himself had founded, Christianity and Crisis. Never in WCC documents today do we find the least hint that Israel came into existence in response to the decision of the world’s parliament, taken on November 29, 1947, and that, therefore, the dilemma of the other side follows from its steadfast and illegal rejection of the legitimacy of this decision. Ecumenical Christian organizations became steadily less enthusiastic about “legitimacy” and increasingly infatuated throughout the 1960s with “Liberation theology.” Today, WCC documents ring with denunciations of “colonialism,” “cultural imperialism” and “oppression.”… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Paul Merkley is a CIJR Academic Fellow CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom! Contents On Topic Links Canada Heading Towards Blasphemy Law: Raheel Raza, Clarion Project, Feb. 13, 2017—On December 5, 2016, Canadian MP Iqra Khalid proposed a bill against Islamophobia (Motion 103). She began her statement in parliament by saying, “Mr. Speaker, I am a young, brown, Muslim, Canadian woman …” ‘Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg’ Review: Documenting Atrocities: Mark Yost, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 15, 2017 — To most people, the evidence—detailed Nazi records, the crematoriums and barracks, personal testaments, and film of the Allied liberation of the death camps—is overwhelming enough to silence any Holocaust denier. The West's Real Bigotry: Rejecting Persecuted Christians: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 5, 2017—Finally, after years of apathy and inaction, Washington is extending a much-needed helping hand to Middle Eastern Christians. U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced that persecuted Christians will be given priority when it comes to applying for refugee status in the United States. United Church of Christ Indoctrinates Children to Hate: Abraham Cooper and Dexter van Zile, Huffington Post, Dec. 15, 2017—Until relatively recently it was estimated that some 300,000 child soldiers have served various masters, mostly in Africa and Asia. While the number has decreased, the exploitation of children in the name of a cause continues apace. Offenders rely on indoctrination, as well as direct recruitment.