International Award winning Christian Writer/Blogger Issues Statement Strongly Condemning Egyptian Church Bombings.
Katy, Texas) In response to ISIS’s claim of responsibility for the bombing of two Egyptian churches, Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder of FaithInspires.Org and an international award winning writer and blogger issued the following statement.
“ In attacking two churches on Palm Sunday, the Islamic State did not just attack two churches, but attacked the ideals that all people of faith share. They have shown us again that they have no respect for human life, or any faith but their own. Their actions are a disgrace to their faith or any other, and cannot be condoned for any reason or at any level. “
Crutchfield turned his attention to compassion for the victims adding, “ I begin by thanking God for the mercy he showed Coptic Pope Tawadros II, and all those who were spared from the attack. My heart is crying for those who were killed and injured. I encourage fervent prayer for those killed and their families, the injured, and those who were called to assist them all.”
The statement was issued through the FaithInspires.Org website, and released to the media Sunday afternoon following the attacks.
Crutchfield is the founder of FaithInspires.Org an internationally known Christian news and information blog. He was winner of the Author of the Month Award at Scriggler. Com in October of 2016. He also won the Article of the month title there both in October and December of 2016. He also is a Christian Growth and Healing Expert at Selfgrowth.com. He and his work have been seen in GoogleNews, MotivateAmazeBeGreat.com, Katy Christian Magazine, and elsewhere.
By Wide Margin Americans Say ISIS’ Targeting of Christians and Other Religious Minorities is Genocide
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Dec. 15, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — A new nationwide survey conducted by Marist Poll finds that Americans are well aware of ISIS’ atrocities against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, and believe those actions to constitute genocide.
By almost 20 points, 55 percent to 36 percent, Americans agree that this targeting of Christians and other religious minorities meets the U.N. definition of genocide.
In addition, nearly 6 in 10 Americans (59 percent), say they have heard “a great deal” or “a good amount” about the targeting of Christians and other religious minorities in the region by ISIS.
The survey comes just over a week after a broad coalition of religious leaders, researchers and scholars sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging – based on the overwhelming evidence of their targeting in Iraq and Syria – that Christians be included in any determination of genocide made by the State Department.
And one week ago, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) also released a statement urging the State Department to declare what is happening to religious minorities in the region as genocide.
Pope Francis has called the situation genocide as well. During his trip to Bolivia, he stated, “Today we are dismayed to see how in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world many of our brothers and sisters are persecuted, tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. … A form of genocide is taking place, and it must end.”
Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, in a letter has also urged Congress to pass the “Genocide” resolution, H.Con.Res. 75.
The survey of 1,517 adults was conducted Dec. 1-7, 2015, by The Marist Poll sponsored and funded in partnership with The Knights of Columbus. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the continental United States were interviewed in English or Spanish by (landline and cellular) telephone, using live interviewers. Results are statistically significant within ±2.5 percentage points.
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — This Sunday, “60 Minutes” will air Lara Logan’s report on the plight of the Christian church in Iraq. Among those interviewed for the program was Bishop Bashar Warda whose flock has expanded by 60,000 as Erbil has abandoned thousands of those displaced by the Islamic State.
21Wilberforce also met with Bishop Warda and other faith leaders during a January visit to northern Iraq and issued a report entitled “Edge of Extinction” (21wilberforce.org). Just as Bishop Warda’s flock has grown exponentially, dozens of priests from Mosul and surrounding areas have seen their flocks decimated with a reported 12 Christian families leaving Iraq daily due to the violence and desperate circumstances of their prolonged displacement.
“I am pleased to see 60 Minutes shining a bright light on the existential crisis facing Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq—a crisis which increasingly looks like genocide. As we approach April, Genocide Prevention Month, we must not let the words ‘Never Again’ ring hollow,” said former Congressman Frank Wolf, co-founder of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative.
Yesterday the United Nations human rights office released a report which found that the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) may have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in its attacks against ethnic and religious groups in the country. Specifically the UN mission gathered information regarding acts of violence perpetrated against civilians because of their affiliation with an ethnic or religious group and then surmised, “It is reasonable to conclude that some of these incidents, considering the overall information, may constitute genocide.
“The church in the West must stand in solidarity with our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and throughout the Middle East who find themselves in the murderous crosshairs of the Islamic State,” remarked Wilberforce president and co-founder Dr. Randel Everett.
Christian and Muslim Leaders to Condemn ISIS Violence at White House Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday Evening
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The vigil will be on Wednesday, November 12, at 7:00 P.M. on Pennsylvania Ave. NW across from Lafayette Park.
It is critical that Christian and Muslim voices stand together in solidarity to condemn the violence of ISIS and encourage the Obama Administration to ensure religious minorities, women and children are being helped and protected.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition in Washington, D.C. states,
“It is imperative that the global community stand up and with a loud voice and condemn the violence of ISIS against religious minorities, women and children. We cannot be silent when it comes to this brutality and barbarism. We cannot be indifferent.
“It is especially critical that Christians and Muslims unite in one voice to condemn the violence and let those who are being impacted by ISIS know that they are not not alone and we have not forgotten them.
“As a Christian, I have been called to pray and work for peace and reach out with mercy and compassion to those who are suffering, wounded and broken throughout the world.
“Holding this candlelight vigil is a positive step for our two communities to come together and send a powerful message to the world and the Obama Administration that we are united in our condemnation of violence.”
Kris Keating, Founder of Hillside Missions and Director of World Horizons USA states;
“I am saddened by the continued violence perpetrated by ISIS on so many people who have lost everything, and I am glad to be able to stand in solidarity and add my prayers to those of so many other specifically for these women who are experiencing such horrific abuse.”
Saba Ahmed, of the Republican Muslim Coalition states;
“According to the teachings of Islam, Muslim soldiers are strictly forbidden from harming innocent children, the elderly, and women. Not only is it forbidden for them to kill women, but also they may not harm or violate women in any way whatsoever. (Abu Bakr Siddiq, First Islamic Caliph instructions to his Army)
“It is our job as Muslims to hold our leaders accountable and stop them from committing evil crimes. ISIS is hurting Islam, Muslims, Christians, women and children to the detriment of humanity. Allah’s cause is peace, security and justice. Success only comes with humility before God and applying justice. I urge Mr. Al-Baghdadi to read the Quran and Sunnah, teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that advocate for peace and justice. Allah hates arrogant tyrants, Islam needs peacemakers not militants.
“Christians are nearest in affection to Muslims (5:82) and we must work together to establish divine justice on earth.”
Susannah Boyed, spokesperson for Hillside Missions states;
“The degree to which ISIS has terrorized Iraqi communities in a relatively short amount of time follows a patter of terrorism in the middle east that has become all too familiar. The specifically horrific crimes against women and children are shocking and heartbreaking. Inaction is inhumane and will only fuel this nightmare. We must speak up for those whose voices are being silenced. As a Christian, I am compelled to both pray for peace and call for a global response that reflects fervent compassion for our neighbors in a moment of great need.”
BALTIMORE, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has committed an initial $1 million in private funding to help victims of the escalating violence in northern Iraq. With the help of our partners in Iraq, CRS is currently providing food, water and essential living supplies to families in desperate need of the essentials. Over the next six months, CRS hopes to more than double our initial $1 million commitment and help an additional 30,000 people with social support and trauma counseling, education for children and preparation for longer-term resettlement.
The situation is horrific, said Kris Ozar, CRS emergency response coordinator in Iraq. People are completely traumatized after being forced to flee their homes under threat of death. Many have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Some who tried to pack their belongings were stripped of everything–even the rings off their fingers–at mandatory checkpoints,” he said.
With support from our Catholic Church partners in Iraq, CRS has provided immediate, life-saving assistance to almost 4,000 families forced to flee their homes by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Religious minorities including Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen and Shia Muslims have been singled out for attack. Many are living in empty houses, schools, clinics, church compounds and abandoned buildings, with living conditions deteriorating.
“Every day, I meet brave but frightened people who have no idea what the future holds. Recently I met a young mother with a three-week-old baby living in a school. Then, I met a man who took in 20 orphaned children from Mt. Sinjar. Another day, I met a former humanitarian aid worker from Caritas Iraq huddled with his family under the shade of a lone tree in the desert. This man, who used to help people, now needs help himself,” said Ozar.
Pope Francis launched an appeal for unity, calling for “security, peace and a future of reconciliation and justice, where all Iraqis, whatever their religion, could build their nation together, creating a model of coexistence.” For more information about how CRS is assisting persecuted minorities in Iraq, visit crs.org.
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS eases suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 93 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. Our programs touch nearly 100 million lives. CRS has been helping people in need for more than 70 years. For more information, please visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Coptic Solidarity condemns the grossly inadequate and slow response by the international community to the ongoing genocide and humanitarian crisis in Iraq driven by ISIL Jihadists against religious and ethnic minorities. The founding words of the United Nations, “Never Again” ring hollow as the UN and powerful member states lack the will-power to intervene and stop the genocide of religious minorities, yet again.
As ISIL seeks to establish a Sunni Caliphate in the Middle East, their advances “bear all the warning signs and hallmarks of genocide“ against communities and individuals who do not share their faith. Hundreds of thousands of Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities have been forced to convert, pay jizya and live in submission, or flee empty-handed. There are plentiful videos and firsthand accounts of the massacring of minority men, the kidnapping, rape, and selling of minority women, and even the murder of innocent minority children. Cultural cleansing has reached unprecedented levels. With such abominable barbarities, humanity is facing a real incarnation of evil.
The UN Security Council’s statement last week, condemning ISIL actions and calling on member states to provide humanitarian aid, rings hollow and shows duplicity when compared with others. The effacement of Europe on the international scene at this tragic moment is shameful.
President Obama has finally started to react, by authorizing limited air strikes to defend “American interests” in Iraq, bolster the threatened Kurdish region, and deliver some humanitarian aid. Yet, the response is woefully inadequate. It falls far short of what the catastrophic situation on the ground requires. Essentially preserving the status quo, this response fails to make it an objective of driving the dark forces of ISIL into retreating. It also fails to recognize that ISIL is an international, not just Iraqi, problem, as a hotbed of terrorism makes roots in such a vital area.
In response to the current genocide and humanitarian crisis, Coptic Solidarity makes the following recommendations to the UN and its member states, especially the United States:
- Authorize air strikes against ISIL forces, by NATO or an alliance of willing countries;
- Refer all ISIL leaders to the International Criminal Court under Chapter VII;
- Immediately create safe havens for the minority communities in Iraq and Syria;
- Provide arms to the Kurdish Peshmerga for their self-defense and protection of the minorities who have sought refuge in the Kurdish-controlled region;
- Expose and block the financial networks that support ISIL terrorists;
- Develop a plan and provide assistance and protection for refugees to return to their homes.
The West has blood on its hands by its past actions and inactions that helped “create” the current situation. Leaders of the international community bear responsibility for the agony and deaths of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. Now is the time for immediate action, not for more empty, feel-good, statements and posturing by the international community.
Coptic Solidarity is non-profit organization dedicated to leading efforts to achieve equal citizenship for the Copts in Egypt and minorities in Middle East.
SOURCE Coptic Solidarity
SANTA ANA, Calif., June 27, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The occupation of the Iraqi city of Mosul by violent extremist Muslims of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forced up to 3,000 Christian families out of their houses on June 9. Most of them fled to the safer northern Kurdish area.
A few days later Open Doors started supporting the refugees with humanitarian aid, working with local churches and partner organizations.
A Christian believer told an Open Doors worker that on June 9 it was like a nightmare on the streets of Mosul. “There were lots of families walking; everyone was moving. It was crowded in the streets in the middle of the night.”
The Iraqi believer adds that he, his wife and four small children fled while two houses on their street were hit by bombs and set on fire. They fled with only the clothes on their backs and wearing sandals.
In the days that followed, up to half a million people fled Mosul and the surrounding region. Most families fled to cities such as Erbil in northern Iraq while others remained in the cities and villages on the outskirts of Mosul. The fortunate ones stay with relatives. Others reside in places such as schools, unfinished buildings and tent camps.
A team of Open Doors field workers, who have been ministering to persecuted refugees from Mosul, Baghdad and other areas for years, started gathering information after the ISIS attack.
“The immediate needs were very obvious — water and food,” states one field worker. “Because many of the refugees were placed in schools or empty buildings, they were sleeping on a piece of cardboard; there were no mattresses and pillows. And with temperatures reaching 113 degrees during the day, a third need made itself known — air coolers, especially important for families with young children or the elderly.”
A few days after the first help arrived in one Christian village, a man loaded bags filled with water and food items out of his pick-up truck. A group of refugees waited in the shadow of the church. Some refugees waited in line to register for help with the priest.
“When you hear that people are arriving without any food or water, having walked for half a day or longer with only a plastic bag with their belongings, you just want to provide help,” says the field worker. “People can live a day without water, but in this heat, of course, it was imperative that we needed to act immediately.”
Other Christian initiatives were also put into place. In a village near a checkpoint, a place where the army checks the people that want to enter the region, Christian villagers collected $1,000 to purchase water and food items to distribute to the refugees that were waiting in the heat.
“Initiatives like this are encouraging. They are examples of the charitable spirit we want to encourage,” says the Open Doors regional manager for the Middle East.
Open Doors supports these often poor Christian villagers and churches through local partner organizations with the finances they need in order to be able to continue to act in this charitable spirit.
Open Doors encourages the Christians to serve non-Christians trying to find refuge in their area. “We believe that it’s important for the church to be a light for all; to show the love of Christ to their neighbors. Even if those people have showed an anti-Christian attitude before,” adds the regional manager.
Soon Open Doors hopes to support 2,000 families in 21 villages, even the most remote ones. With reports of increasing persecution and violence in Mosul, local Christians don’t know if they’ll ever be able to safely return to their homes.
“It might have been the last time that Christians flee Mosul as I expect that soon all Christians will have left the city,” shares a field worker.
Over the years the Open Doors ministry in Iraq has included trauma support, biblical training for church leaders and Muslim Background Believers, distribution of Bibles and Christian literature, community development projects and working with Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kurdistan.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians in the areas of Bible and gospel development, women and children’s advancement and Christian community restoration. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.