President Barack Obama spoke Thursday about religious freedom as a key component of United States foreign policy at the National Prayer Breakfast, noting that freedom of religion is central to human dignity.
"Today we profess the principles we know to be true," he said. "We know that each of us is wonderfully made in the image of God. We therefore believe in the inherent dignity of every human being – dignity that no earthly power can take away. And central to that dignity is freedom of religion – the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith if they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do this free from persecution and fear."
The United States leads the world in promoting religious freedom, which is one of the main foreign policy goals of the United States, Obama declared. more >>
The Voice of the Martyrs, a Christian nonprofit that highlights the persecution of Christians worldwide, has drawn its attention this month to the hostilities faced by Christians in the Holy Land, and acknowledges that some might find its "position of highlighting Israel as a hostile nation" disagreeable and offensive.
"There's no persecution in the Holy Land … unless you share your faith," reads the quote on the cover of The Voice of the Martyr's February 2014 newsletter. The quote is attributed to Steven Khoury, an Arab Israeli Christian who pastors churches in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Pastor Khoury has spoken in the media of witnessing church members being attacked because of their faith, and of losing an uncle who was martyred.
There was a recent decision in a German court that ought to give every-freedom loving American the willies---especially because the same mentality can be found here.
The case involved a conscientious Christian home-schooling family. The judge ruled that the four children of the Wunderlich family---taken forcibly by the state from the parents last summer---are not to be returned to the family since home schooling is illegal in Germany.
The judge ruled that this was for the children's "well-being," according to Peter Baklinski, writing for LifeSiteNews.com (1/17/14). He says the judge feared the homeschooled children might "grow up in a parallel society without having learned to be integrated or to have a dialogue with those who think differently and facing them in the sense of practicing tolerance." more >>
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has ordered Egyptian Muslims to stop persecuting their fellow Middle Eastern Christians and instead focus their energy on confronting the military-backed government.
Ayman al-Zawahri, an Egyptian physician who has been responsible for terrorist attacks in North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and dubbed as the "mastermind" behind 9/11, told his followers in an audio message posted to militant websites this week that they should stop antagonizing the country's Christians because "we have to be busy confronting the Americanized coup of (Gen. Abdel-Fattah) el-Sissi and establish an Islamic government instead," according to the Associated Press.
In July 2013, Egypt's military oversaw the ejection from power of then-President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was elected just a year before. Following Morsi's fall from power, Coptic Christians were made into scapegoats and targeted by Morsi-supporters after some Copt leaders had expressed their support of action against Morsi's regime. more >>
I am overwhelmed, at Auschwitz, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, where I join somberly with fellow Israeli leaders to remember and to learn lessons for the future.
The infamous arched sign over the gates to the concentration camp still commands: Arbeit Macht Frei. This was no mere motto. It was the final element of the Final Solution, an elusive promise that having endured the roundups and ghetto liquidations, the hunger and the forced train journey, here at last was the hint of humanity. Just obey the rules, my people were told, and somehow it would all turn out all right.
Lesson number one: Reject the lies told to us, especially the ones that fly in the face of reality and aim to annihilate rather than rescue us. This sign must be remembered each and every time our delegation enters the negotiating room to be solicitously asked for still more concessions, more prisoner and land retreats. more >>
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was recently interviewed about Syria. While many of his assertions can be debated, one especially requires a response. Throughout the interview, he repeatedly insisted that, if Bashar Assad would only leave power, everything would go well - especially for all of Syria's minorities.
In his words: "I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma'ilis, Alawites - all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected."
Elsewhere in the interview, Kerry declared that "The world would protect the Alawites, Druze, Christians, and all minorities in Syria after the ousting of Assad." more >>