Saturday, September 16, 2006

News From the Ecumenical Front

Convert from Islam to Christianity killed
Somali Christian sources report Ali Mustaf Maka'il, a 22-year-old college student and cloth merchant who converted from Islam to Christianity 11 months ago, was shot and killed in the Manabolyo quarter of Mogadishu.

According to a report from the Barnabas Fund, quoting a Christian source inside Somalia, the gunman was loyal to the Union of Islamic Courts, the Islamist organization that took power in Mogadishu in early June and now controls much of southern Somalia.

The report states the gunman shot Ali in the back Sept. 7 after he refused to join a crowd chanting Quran verses in honor of the lunar eclipse. Solar and lunar eclipses are significant in Islam and are accompanied by special congregational prayers. The Union of Islamic Courts confiscated Ali's body for 24 hours before delivering it to the grieving family, the report said.

Pastors seek police help, get beatings
Christian pastors in India's "beautiful country" district in Karnataka state, where the government website highlights a native dance as a "common form of worship," are facing an apparently organized pattern of arrest, destruction of property and beatings for their faith.

A recent series of episodes highlighted by Voice of the Martyrs, which works with persecuted Christians worldwide, illustrates the concern.

The attacks started late one recent evening when a pastor's rented house was broken into by a gang of militant Hindus who accused Pastor Joseph of not bowing before Hindu gods, officials said.

Caliph will sit in Jerusalem
Head of the northern faction of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah said Friday that “soon Jerusalem will be the capital of the new Muslim caliphate, and the caliph’s seat will be there.”

Salah addressed an audience of 50,000 attending the Islamic Movement’s 11th annual rally in Umm al-Fahm. “Caliph” refers to a leader of the Muslim nation and in Arabic means the “heir” or “substitute” of the prophet Muhammad.

Porn Drove me out of Navy, Says Chaplain
A Royal Navy chaplain quit the service after being told to turn a blind eye to pornography on board two warships, an employment tribunal was told yesterday.

The Rev Mark Sharpe, 37, was so horrified at the amount of pornography below decks that he left training after only a few weeks.

Mr Sharpe has brought a claim against the Ministry of Defence alleging sexual harassment, and discrimination on the grounds of religious affiliation.

Mr Sharpe was a policeman for more than 10 years before becoming a priest. He worked as a curate in York before joining the Navy as a trainee chaplain two years ago. The tribunal in Exeter, Devon, heard that he left the assault ship Albion after only two weeks of his sea training and complained that he had been driven out by pornography.

[…] Mr Sharpe said he was prevented from obeying canonical law and his oath of ordination by conditions aboard the warships.

He said special arrangements were made for Muslim sailors to say prayers five times a day but none were made for him even though he was a trainee chaplain.

5 Churches Attacked in Palestinian Areas
Palestinians wielding guns and firebombs attacked five churches in the West Bank and Gaza on Saturday, following remarks by Pope Benedict that angered many Muslims.

No injuries were reported in the attacks, which left church doors charred and walls pockmarked with bullet holes and scorched by firebombs. Churches of various denominations were targeted.

Relations between Palestinian Muslims and Christians are generally peaceful (as long as the Christians keep their mouths shut – TWA), and the attacks on the churches sparked concern that tensions would heighten.

[…] Firebombings left black scorch marks on the walls and windows of Nablus' Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches. At least five firebombs hit the Anglican church and its door was later set ablaze. Smoke billowed from the church as firefighters put out the flames

Of course, all us sophisticated folk know that the biggest threat to the future of civilization is really that impending Christian theocracy that’s right around the corner. Yeesh.