Showing posts with label EUROPE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EUROPE. Show all posts

Friday 30 October 2020

France: Knife attack at church in Nice leaves three dead

French officials said an investigation was underway into a terrorist attack

Authorities are investigating a deadly knife attack in the French city of Nice as a terrorist incident. Following the third attack in two months attributed to Muslim extremists, France raised its alert level to urgent.

Evangelicals pray for peace after three were killed at a Catholic church in Nice, the third incident in recent months attributed to Muslim extremists.

What do we know about the attack?

  • The attack took place Thursday morning at the Notre Dame Basilica in the heart of the Mediterranean city.
  • Terrorism investigators said the suspect entered the church and waited a half-hour before cutting the throat of the custodian, then nearly decapitating an elderly woman and stabbing a third woman, who escaped the church and died at a nearby cafe. 
  • The suspect was shot and seriously injured by police and is currently being medically treated in custody.
  • Authorities said that the suspect is a 21-year-old Tunisian man named Brahim Aouissaoui, who recently entered France from Italy. He arrived in Nice by train.
  • While being detained, the suspect began shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great)
  • The attacker is believed to have acted alone.

French evangelicals are mourning along with the Catholic church and the rest of the nation after an attacker armed with a knife killed three people Thursday at a basilica in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

“Let us be peacemakers in a French society that lacks it. Pray for our fellow citizens, whatever their religion. Let us love our neighbors, as Jesus ordered us to do,” stated the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF), citing Matthew 5:9.

Police in Nice have closed all places of worship in the city, and the evangelical group advised pastors across the country to heed government recommendations to heighten security due to the threat of further violence.

The incident at Notre Dame Basilica in Nice was the third attack in two months in France that authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists, including the beheading of a teacher.

It comes amid a growing furor over caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad that were republished by the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo—renewing vociferous debate in France and the Muslim world over the depictions that Muslims consider offensive but are protected by French free speech laws.

Other confrontations and attacks were reported Thursday in the southern French city of Avignon and in the Saudi city of Jiddah, but it was not immediately clear if they were linked to the attack in Nice.

“He cried ‘Allah Akbar!’ over and over, even after he was injured,” said Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, who told BFM television that two women and a man had died, two inside the church and a third who fled to a nearby bar but was mortally wounded. “The meaning of his gesture left no doubt.”

Christian leaders across France responded by crying out to God in prayer and calling for peace in their country. “May God console the hearts of bereaved families,” said Thierry Le Gall, a pastoral director with CNEF. “Let us pray for our nation, the forces of order and unite against barbarism, for freedom of religion and expression.”

The assailant in Nice was wounded by police and hospitalized after the killings at the basilica, less than a half-mile from the site in 2016 where another attacker plowed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd, killing dozens of people.

Shots punctuated the air and witnesses screamed as police stationed at the grandiose doors to the church appeared to fire at the attacker inside, according to videos obtained by the Associated Press. Hours later, AP reporters at the scene saw emergency vehicles and police tape lining the wide Notre Dame Avenue leading toward the plaza in front of the basilica. For a time after the attack, sounds of explosions could be heard as sappers exploded suspicious objects.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the attack, the third one since a trial opened in September for people linked to the 2015 attacks at Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket by gunmen who claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. The trial is nearing its end, with a verdict planned for November 13, the fifth anniversary of another series of deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

The Protestant Federation of France stated, “Religious fanaticism is a scourge that we are all called to fight against and we call on the authorities to be extremely firm with regard to such terrorist acts.” The group called on Christians to stand together around gospel hope while recognizing the tragedy of the situation in France.

French Roman Catholic sites have been ferociously and repeatedly targeted by extremists in recent years, including the killing of Jaqcues Hamel, who had his throat slit while celebrating Mass in his Normandy church by Islamic militants and a plot to bomb Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral.

Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group, which also is believed to have recruited a man now on trial who plotted unsuccessfully to attack a church on the outskirts of Paris.

Saturday 14 December 2019

Should Christmas Trees Be Decorated With the Star of David?

A Norwegian church is under fire for using the Jewish symbol, but some are coming to its defense

A church in Norway is under fire by local authorities for using the Star of David as part of its public Christmas decorations, which raises the question, why use Jewish symbols in association with a Christian holiday?

Despite the fact that it is apparently common in Northern Europe to associate the Star of David (in Hebrew the Magen David) with Christmas, Irene Heng Lauvsnes, mayor of the Norwegian town of Strand, asked the same question of the Klippen Pentecostal Church, which uses the Jewish symbol prominently in its annual Christmas celebration held in a municipal park.

Lauvsnes insisted that the Star of David is a symbol of the Jews and of the State of Israel, and therefore has no place in a Christmas celebration.

Vebjorn Selbekk, editor-in-chief of the Norwegian daily Dagen and Israel Today’s partner in Norway, was bewildered by how grossly Lauvsnes, and modern liberal society as a whole could mix up historical facts.

In an editorial appearing in his own newspaper, Selbekk sought to remind everyone that Christmas is a celebration of “a Jewish boy born to a Jewish mother in a Jewish stable in a Jewish city in a Jewish country.”

As such, Jewish symbolism is very much fitting with the true reason for the season.

Only in an ultra-secular society determined to water down religious commemorations to the point that they become mere cultural phenomena could the Jewish connection to Christmas be missed.

Source Link: Israel Today

Saturday 9 November 2019

British Editorial urges non-Jews to not vote for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn

UK Jewish paper publishes editorial urging non-Jews not to vote for Jeremy Corbyn

The United Kingdom’s Jewish Chronicle published a front-page editorial message to non-Jews expressing Jewish concerns about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn possibly becoming prime minister.
“Putting oneself in the shoes of another person, or another group can be difficult. But we believe it is important—and urgent—that you do that,” the paper said, citing a recent poll that found 87 per cent of British Jews consider Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to be an anti-Semite.

“Throughout his career, he has allied with and supported antisemites such as Paul Eisen, Stephen Sizer and Raed Salah. He has described organisations like Hamas, whose founding charter commits it to the extermination of every Jew on the planet, as his ‘friends.’ He has laid a wreath to honour terrorists who have murdered Jews. He has insulted “Zionists”—the word used by antisemites when they mean ‘Jew’ because they think it allows them to get away with it—as lacking understanding of ‘English irony.’ ”

That is why we are seeking your attention. If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark,” the editorial concluded.

Meanwhile, two former Labour Party MPs are telling voters ahead of the country’s election on Dec. 13 to support current British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and stop Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister.

Ian Austin, who left the party in February over claims that it failed to do enough to tackle anti-Semitism, said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, “I think Jeremy Corbyn is completely unfit to lead our country. Completely unfit to lead the Labour Party. … It’s really come to something when I tell decent, traditional, patriotic Labour voters that they should be voting for Boris Johnson in this election. I can’t believe it’s come to this, but that’s where we are.”

Austin also said Corbyn “always picks our country’s enemies” to side with, adding that the Labour Party has “been poisoned with anti-Jewish racism under his leadership and it is a complete and utter disgrace.”

Former Labour MP John Woodcock expressed the same sentiments by saying, “The choice to keep Jeremy Corbyn away from Downing Street, to stop him getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence, has to be to vote Conservative in this election, and that’s what I’ll be doing as well.”

One day earlier, Labour MP Tom Watson announced his resignation as the party’s deputy leader, a decision that the Jewish Labour Movement called “shocking and saddening” since Watson was “a strong ally in the fight against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.”


Tuesday 28 November 2017

‘Fairly Serious Error’ Reading of Quran in Church Service

Queen’s Chaplain Steps Down, Calls Reading of Quran in Church Service a ‘Fairly Serious Error’

Rev. Gavin Ashenden

One particular chaplain to the queen resigned right after his criticism with the reading of the Quran within the church service held at St Mary's Episcopal in Glasgow recently.

The Rev. Gavin Ashenden, in a blog published on his website, explained he necessary to resign from his post, that he held for nine years, in order to avoid any confusion that his statements against what occurred in the service were released on behalf of the Queen.

As among the 33 chaplains for the Queen, his behavior could possibly be misinterpreted as representing the monarchy. When deciding on to vacate his post, although being able to freely “speak on behalf of the faith,” he said.

“If I did decide to speak out, really should be integrity and responsibility, I should not do it while I was in possession of the office of ‘Chaplain to the Queen,’” Ashenden wrote. “Because I think it a higher and more compelling duty to convey out on behalf of the faith, than to retain an open honor which precludes me performing this at the moment, I resigned my post,” he continued.

Ashenden got involved with a controversy when he openly criticized the reading of the Quran during a church service at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in celebration of the Feast of Epiphany. As reported by the church, Muslim worshipers were invited and permitted to participate in the service as part of the church's efforts to bolster interfaith relationships.

Having said that, while in the service, passages from the Quran saying Jesus was not the Son of God were read in Arabic, causing many Christians to feel offended that this was allowed at a church service, particularly one which was intended to celebrate the wise men’s visit to Jesus when He was a child as an acknowledgment of Him being God in human form.

 Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet but does not believe He is God.
Ashenden felt compelled to share out up against the Quran reading, that he thought to be “a fairly serious error.”
“To have a reading from the Koran at that point was a fairly serious error for the Christian worshipping community, but to decide on the reading they chose doubled the error,” he told BBC Radio 4 in an interview. "Of all passages you could have read likely to cause offense, that was one of the most problematic.”

In a letter he wrote for The Times, he also demanded that the church apologizes to Christians who are enduring intense persecution from Muslims.

"The challenge with what actually happened in Glasgow was that even though it was presented as a way of building bridges and a way of educating people it was done badly in the wrong way in the wrong place in the wrong context.,” he said. “It must not occur in the Holy Eucharist specifically a Eucharist whose principal purpose is to celebrate Christ the word made flesh come into the world.”
Ashenden said he made a decision to resign after meeting with officials from Buckingham Palace.

The Scottish Episcopal Church released an announcement stating that while developing strong interfaith relationships is one of the commitments of the church to cultivate the work of reconciliation, efforts to do so “must be founded on truth.”

“We approach others with open hearts but we stand in the truth of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” the Scottish Episcopal Church said. “Those who are looking for to operate in the area of interfaith relationships must consider thoroughly perhaps the choices which they make are suitable or otherwise.”


Sunday 12 November 2017

Paris suburb halt Muslim street prayers

Tensions brewing over Muslim street prayers north of Paris

Hundreds of Muslims pray on the street in Clichy la Garenne.
This is what has officials so upset
Local authorities and citizens of a French suburb took to the streets on Friday to stop Muslims from praying on the street, amid a constant challenge with regards to a lack of mosques in France.
Walking in line beneath a large banner reading "Stop Illegal Street Prayers," Mayor Remi Muzeau led over 100 demonstrators through the streets of Clichy-la-Garenne to demonstrate against the utilization of the town's market square for weekly Friday prayers.

"We'll do it every Friday when necessary," said Muzeau.

"I must assure the tranquillity and freedom of the people in my city," he said. "We must not allow this to happen in our country. Our nation, the French Republic is ruined."

Local Muslims seem to have been praying within square every Friday for months in a demonstration about the closing of a prayer room.

A small number of worshippers attempt to pray anyway but decided to stay away from confrontation with the protesters and retreated towards a less visible area. However, the key demonstrators pushed them toward a wood wall.

While the confrontation remained largely peaceful, both groups competed in chanting slogans. The worshippers, who numbered a few dozen, chanted "God is great" in Arabic, whilst the demonstrators loudly sang the French national anthem. Many of the protesters were seen waving French flags and crucifixes.
mayor of a Paris suburb tried to block the town’s Muslims
from praying on the street

In the midst of pushing and shoving, a banner the worshippers were carrying reading "United for a Grand Mosque of Clichy" was torn down.

The rival groups were then separated by police officers who made a human barrier.

While the protest drew towards a close, Mayor Muzeau promised of the fact that demonstration will return back next week. The worshippers, who clapped in celebration after performing their prayers, also vowed to come back.

Hamid Kazed, president of the Union of Muslim Associations of Clichy, who headed the prayers, said, "We will certainly continue until there's a discussion for a defined location."

"That's their ambitions. To split the citizens," he said. "We typically are not fundamentalists. We are for Islam in France."

Despite the fact that Islam is certainly the second religion, the nation has a serious lack of mosques for its approximated 5 million Muslims. This has resulted in Muslims in various towns turning to praying on the streets, creating the anti-immigrant sentiment of far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Muslims praying in a street in Clichy, near Paris

Clichy Muslims have been renting a prayer hall from City Hall. However, the key town's mayor thought they would turn that space into a library for the town's 60,000 residents, and the prayer hall was closed in March after a court battle.

City Hall says Muslims can worship a new Islamic cultural and prayer centre, previously utilized by many hundreds when the town inaugurated a year ago. But a majority of Muslims say the new facility is way too small, distant and will not meet safety standards.

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Thursday 9 November 2017

UK Christian Student Expelled Over Facebook Comments

UK Student Expelled Over Facebook Comments Outlining Biblical Stance on Homosexuality Loses Appeal

LONDON - A student at a well-known university in the UK who was expelled over comments which he made on Facebook explaining the biblical position on homosexuality has lost his appeal right before the Royal Courts of Justice.

Although Judge Rowena Collins-Rice found out that the “right to express the information of deeply held religious viewpoints is worthy of respect in a democratic and plural society,” she said that the issue came down to “how [the student’s comments] could possibly be accessed and read by people that would perceive them as judgmental, not compatible with service ethos, or an indication of discriminatory intent.”

“That was a problem in its own right,” she wrote. “But whatever the actual intention was, it was the perception of the posting that would cause the damage. It was reasonable to be concerned about that perception.”

As previously reported, in September 2015, Felix Ngole, 39, checked his Facebook account and saw a news story in his feed regarding Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who had gone to prison for declining to personally sign same-sex “marriage” certificates.

As a number of commenters were speaking against Davis, Ngole decided to chime in and note that “the Bible and God identify homosexuality as a sin.” When he was asked where the Scriptures state that homosexuality is sinful, he provided the citations, including the biblical law of Leviticus.

However, nearly two months later, Ngole’s remarks were brought to the attention of administrators at the University of Sheffield, which touts itself as a “world top-100 university and number one in the U.K. for student satisfaction in the 2014-15 Times Higher Student Experience Survey.”

Ngole, who was a second-year Master’s student studying to be a social worker, then became the subject of a “Fitness to Practice” hearing, as he was advised that he “may have caused offense to some individuals” and had “transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”

Following additional meetings, the Sheffield committee concluded that Ngole’s beliefs would negatively affect his “ability to carry out a role as a social worker,” and was consequently advised that he was “excluded from the further study on a program leading to a professional qualification.” The school recently informed Ngole that he is “no longer recognized as a university student.”

“Your student record will be terminated shortly and your library membership and university computer account withdrawn. You may wish to contact your funding body for advice on your financial position,” it wrote.

Ngole appealed the decision, but last April, he received a letter from the appeals office at the University of Sheffield stating that his post was “inappropriate” in light of the professional conduct standards outlined in the Health and Care Professions Councils (HCPC).

It was additionally asserted that Ngole had not “offered any insight or reflection” on the “potential impact” that his comments might have had on his Facebook friends, or how it would reflect on the social work profession.

With the assistance of the Christian Legal Centre, Ngole took the matter to the Royal Courts of Justice. However, while finding the university’s punishment of Ngole to be “indeed severe,” Judge Collins-Rice agreed on Friday that his words could negatively affect his social work.

“Public religious speech has to be looked at in a regulated context from the perspective of a public readership,” she wrote. “Social workers have considerable power over the lives of vulnerable service users and trust is a precious professional commodity.”

The Christian Legal Centre has expressed concern over the ruling, opining that while homosexuals are coming out the closet, Christians are being shoved into it.

“Rulings like this show that society is becoming increasingly intolerant of Christian moral values. Christians are being told to shut up and keep quiet about their moral views or face a bar from employment. Unless the views you express are politically correct, you may be barred from office,” Chief Executive Andrea Williams said in a statement. “This is very far from how a free and fair society should operate.”

Ngole plans to appeal.

“My passion is to love everyone regardless of their race, sexuality or gender. I want to love everyone just as Christ loves them, but also to proclaim His truth. This is what I was doing during the Facebook discussion that I took part in,” he said in an article published by Premier Christianity. “I was convinced I had done the right thing by answering a question from someone who wanted to know if homosexuality was a sin and what the Bible said about it.”

“It is because of love and not hate that we share the word of God,” Ngole continued. “I don’t think I have lost the case at all because right now this very important issue is being discussed throughout the world for His glory. The word of God was also read in court, and as a result, it has been recorded for future reference. The body of Christ continues to unite in prayer in one accord because of today’s verdict. Clearly traditional Christian beliefs are being censored by our government.”


Monday 14 August 2017

Britain’s first Anglican same-sex marriage in Scottish

Britain’s first Anglican same-sex marriage celebrated in a Scottish church

LONDON - The first gay marriage in an Anglican church in Britain took place this week, a day after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby described the continuing squabbles over same-sex marriage in the worldwide Anglican Communion as “intractable.”

The gay couple, known as “Mark and Rick,” had their order of service posted on Facebook, which told people that they were married on Tuesday (Aug. 1) at a service that included the Eucharist at St. John’s Episcopal Church in the center of Edinburgh. The Rev. Markus Dünzkofer, rector of St. John’s, a church of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, officiated.

The wedding was “a small intimate occasion,” said Dünzkofer. The couple, he said, were Americans with Scottish connections who had been together 24 years.
“This was not some pretty, fancy occasion,” he said. “They wanted a religious ceremony and they wanted it to be a nuptial Mass.”

In June, the Scottish Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion, announced that it was allowing gay weddings after its synod voted to amend its canon law on marriage. The change was made when the synod agreed the law stating that marriage was between one man and one woman should be removed.

Anglican national churches in Brazil, South Africa, South India, New Zealand and Canada have taken steps toward approving and celebrating same-sex relationships amid strong resistance among other national churches within the 80 million-member global body. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. has allowed gay marriage since 2015.

The Scottish vote sparked a backlash from traditionalists in the Global Anglican Future Conference, or GAFCON. The group responded by announcing it had appointed a missionary bishop to Scotland to offer alternative leadership for traditionalist Anglicans opposed to the synod’s decision.
Welby, speaking to the BBC from Africa where he has been traveling, was asked if the Anglican Communion’s rift over homosexuality might worsen, given that the communion’s center of growth is on that continent, where traditional views on marriage hold sway.

The archbishop answered: “It’s an intractable problem. This is more complex than having a binary approach. There is not an easy fix, but the primates (of the Anglican Communion) have said that they will work together.”
But the situation in Scotland will make the archbishop of Canterbury’s task in keeping the Anglican Communion together much more difficult.

Since the vote in June, at least nine Scottish Episcopal Church clergy have registered to officiate at same-sex weddings. The first to sign up was the Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, the provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow.

Holdsworth, a leading figure in the Changing Attitude Scotland campaign, said that people in Scotland have changed their minds on gay marriage and now support it.
archbishop canterbury justin welby
“The congregation has been hugely supportive. There were loud cheers in church when I announced that bookings for weddings were now open to all couples, when I received permission to do this a couple of weeks ago,” Holdsworth said. “Several members of the congregation were wearing badges saying, ‘The Archbishop of Canterbury has no jurisdiction in this realm of Scotland.’”

St. John’s Church in Edinburgh first announced that it would offer the rite of marriage beginning in July. Dünzkofer said that there had been dialogue throughout the Scottish Episcopal Church about human sexuality and same-sex marriage.

“It has been easier than in the Church of England,” he said. “We are a smaller church, we are not the established church and there is less of an evangelical voice. But we heard different perspectives and heard very different voices.”

Dünzkofer estimated about 80 percent of his congregation approved the change in doctrine. St John’s website reflects these varying opinions, with an apology “for the deep pain” the church caused to LGBTQ people and their families. “(W)e asked for forgiveness for our resistance to proclaiming the love of God more courageously. We have failed.”

But it also says that it “recognizes that the radical move by the Scottish Episcopal Church will be difficult for some people. We also have failed in loving more generously and embracing more compassionately those who disagree with recent developments in church and state. For this we are sorry, too.”

The proximity of Scotland to the Church of England will make the situation particularly difficult for Welby. Although they have only an estimated 100,000 members, the impact of gay weddings in its Scottish Episcopal churches will be significant, according to Simon Sarmiento, of the website, Thinking Anglicans.

“Gay Anglicans in England will be able to travel to Scotland to get married, putting more pressure on the Church of England,” he said.

Within the Church of England there are deeply divergent views on gays, and at the most recent General Synod, a bishops’ report advocating no change in the church’s stance on the blessing of gay partnerships or the conducting of gay marriages was narrowly rejected.

Since then a Pastoral Advisory Group has been set up and chaired by Bishop of Newcastle Christine Hardman to support and advise dioceses on pastoral approaches to human sexuality.
Holdsworth said Welby is wrong to say the problem is intractable and urged him to speak to gay people who want to help come up with solutions.

“If Justin Welby wants to hear from passionate Anglicans with lots of ideas about how to solve these troubles then one of the things he needs to do is to speak to the people concerned. LGBT people from around the communion would be willing to meet him to help find solutions,” Holdsworth said. “The last time an international meeting of LGBT activists was invited to meet with a senior leader from the Anglican Communion was in 2005.”

Religion News Service

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Charlie Gard: Parents bid farewell to child

Parents bid farewell to child

Charlie Gard's parents are spending their "last precious moments" with the terminally ill little boy after abandoning attempts to persuade a judge to let him travel to America for experimental therapy. Lawyers representing Chris Gard and Connie Yates say they want to spend the "maximum amount of time they have left with Charlie".

The little boy would turn one year old on August 4 but Charlie's parents say he "unfortunately won't make his first birthday". Bosses at Great Ormond Street Hospital have not said when Charlie's life support equipment will be turned off. But in late June, when litigation appeared to have come to an end after European Court judges refused to intervene in the case, a hospital spokeswoman had said there would be "careful planning and discussion" before life-support treatment ended.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates, who are aged in their 30s and come from Bedfont, west London, had asked Mr Justice Francis to rule that Charlie should be allowed to undergo a therapy trial in New York.
Doctors at Great Ormond Street said the therapy would not help. They said life-support treatment should stop. Mr Justice Francis in April ruled in favour of Great Ormond Street and said Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Charlie's parents subsequently failed to overturn his ruling in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London. They also failed to persuade European Court of Human Rights judges to intervene. But the couple had recently returned to court, saying they had new evidence and they asked Mr Justice Francis to change his mind.

The couple abandoned their legal fight on Monday after concluding that Charlie had deteriorated to the ''point of no return''. Ms Gard read a statement during a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court. "We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won't make his first birthday in just under two weeks' time," she said.

"Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn't save you.
"Sweet dreams baby.
"Sleep tight our beautiful little boy."

cred: Reuters

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Persecuted Christians in Refugee Camps

Persecuted Christians Face One Trial after Another in Refugee Camps

A Christian charity in London is asking the Greek government to change a policy that is keeping homeless Christian refugees who fled to Lesbos from being able to apply for asylum with the United Nations.

The British Pakistani Christian Association wrote to the U.N. and Green officials, saying that Pakistani Christian refugees fled from the U.N. Moria camp and Lesbos island because Muslims persecuted them inside the camp.

BPCA President Wilson Chowdhry said Greek authorities put in place a “geographical restriction” that blocks asylum seekers who had fled from the refugee camps from being able to apply for asylum on the mainland unless they return to the camp. The policy is meant to keep better track of asylum seekerg.

An exception is if the asylum seeker has a severe health condition.

“I would like to bring to your attention several reports of persecution that have been raised with the British Pakistani Christian Association, relating to persecution of Christians with the Muslim majority … Moria Camp,” Chowdhry wrote in an email to the United Kingdom’s Greek Ambassador Dimitris Caramitsos.

Chowdhry reached out to the ambassador for help to change the policy.

“Christians are being prevented from holding church services, worshiping and praying by their Muslim neighbors.

“The majority of Christian refugees escape but are being refused asylum by Greek authorities who only consider adverse health as a mitigating factor and not Christian persecution,” he said.

Caramitsos has not responded to Chowdhry’s request.

Sunday 16 July 2017

Maltese Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage within an Almost Unanimous Election

Maltese Parliament Legalizes Gay Marriage

EUROPE: The country of Malta legalized same-sex marriage the 2009 week inside a sweeping election of 66 to 1.

The traditional phrase, “you are now husband and wife,” is set to be replaced with a vaguer one: “you are now spouses.”

Helena Dalli, Malta’s Equality Minister, the proponent from the legislation, really wants to “modernize the institution of marriage.”

“As a Christian politician I cannot leave my conscience outside the door,” said , Edwin Vassallo, the one member of the Maltese Parliament who voted against the measure, according to the Washington Post. The Catholic lawmaker says the new law is “morally unacceptable,” but, according to The Malta Independent, added, “This was a matter of my personal conscience and I cannot try and influence the conscience of others,” when asked if other members of parliament shared his sentiments.

However, Vassallo isn’t the only leader in the predominantly Catholic country who opposes the new legislation, and there are others who take a stiffer stance against the new law.

“I can decide that a carob and an orange should no longer be called by their name,” said Archbishop Charles Scicluna. “But a carob remains a carob and an orange remains an orange. And marriage, whatever the law says, remains an eternal union exclusive to a man and a woman.”

The law will also replace the terms “mother,” and “father,” and with, “parents.”

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