Global persecution of Christians reaches “near-genocidal levels”
A new report on Christian persecution ordered by the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Hunt, finds that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world.
The review, led by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, found that one in three people suffer from religious persecution globally, with 80% of the persecuted being followers of Jesus Christ.
Hunt felt that given the research consistently showed that Christians are the most persecuted religious group, such a study was warranted to further investigate the nature and scope of the persecution. Hunt also added that “political correctness” played a role in not confronting the issue sooner.
The report, which is not yet finalized, defines persecution as “discriminatory treatment where that treatment is accompanied by actual or perceived threats of violence or other forced coercion.”
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the report found that severity of Christian persecution came close to meeting the UN definition of a genocide.
The primary effect of this acute persecution has been a mass exodus of Christians from these countries. In Syria, the Christian population has gone from 1.7 million in 2011 to 450,000 in 2019. In Iraq, the number of Christians has declined dramatically from 1.5 million in 2003 to below 120,000 today.
Given the scale of persecution of Christians today, indications that it is getting worse and that its impact involves the decimation of some of the faith group’s oldest and most enduring communities, the need for governments to give increasing priority and specific targeted support to this faith community is not only necessary but increasingly urgent.-Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians – Interim Report
Truro’s review isn’t the only group to reach these dire conclusions. In 2016, Pew Research found that Christians were targeted in 144 countries, up 19 from 125 in 2015.
Christian persecution NGO Open Doors reported earlier this year that
“approximately 245 million Christians living in the top 50 countries suffer high levels of persecution or worse,” up 30 million from last year. The NGO stated that the number of countries classified as having “extreme” levels of persecution has risen from one (North Korea) to 11.
In the MENA, the Christian population has substantially declined over the past century, from 20% to less than 4% today. The report cites political failures, an increase in religious conservatism (primarily Muslim), and a rise in radical Islamic militants.
In South Asia, the report finds that persecution against Christians has grown in large part to the growth of militant nationalism in the region. Political parties in Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka are embracing militant religious causes to increase their populist electoral base.
In 2017, Sri Lanka (majority Buddhist) experienced a rise in attacks against Christians and Muslims, with 97 attack documented throughout the year. In India, persecution has risen sharply since the right wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. Attacks more than doubled from 358 in 2016 to 736 in 2017.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, despite the region being overwhelmingly Christian, persecution has increased in a number of countries on the southern edge of the Sahara desert which have formed a bit of a “fault line” where Christian and Muslim majority countries collide.
The worst persecution in the region came from the radical Islamic militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The groups distinct aim is to “eliminate Christianity and pave the way for the total Islamisation of the country.” In 2015, U.S. intelligence reports estimated that 200,000 Christians were at risk of being killed by Boko Haram.
In Maiduguri, a city in north-east Nigeria, research from the Catholic Church reported that the massacres by the Islamists had “created 5,000 widows and 15,000 orphans and resulted in attacks on 200 churches and chapels, 35 presbyteries and parish centres.”
In communist China, the Christian church is also increasingly under attack.
When it comes to China’s own citizens, its communist ideology and nationalistic outlook leads it to suppress the Christian church in a number of ways. The Communist party in China has historically attempted to limit freedoms throughout Chinese society so as to maintain a strong grip on the country and to ensure it stays in power. In recent years President Xi has sought to control the church. As part of this, the Chinese state has provided ‘active guidance’ for Chinese churches to adapt to China’s socialist society and legislation came into force in February 2018 which gave the state far-reaching powers to monitor and control religious organisations.-Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians – Interim Report
Persecution in China against Christians often takes place in subtle ways, with church leaders beings arrested on trumped up charges of tax fraud or embezzlement as a way to shut down their ministry.
The report’s findings come after more than 250 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in attacks at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
The Environment Minister is closing a $200 million project by Nation Rise Wind Farm near Finch, Ontario. The Stormont County town windmill project was nearly complete with many of the planned 29 turbines already constructed. That came to an abrupt halt on Monday when Minister Jeff Yurek revoked the approval, citing a threat to the local bat population.
Several of the turbines were ready to begin generating power and the project had been previously approved by the Environmental Review Tribunal. Nation Rise Wind Farm is a subsidiary of the multinational EDP Renewables, their North American headquarters is in Texas.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” Yurek said in a press release. “While I agree with most of the conclusions of the tribunal, I disagree with the tribunal’s conclusions with respect to the degree of harm that will be caused to local bat species by the project.
“I am therefore altering the tribunal’s decision based on my conclusion that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to bats, and I revoke the approval.”
The Environmental Tribunal held weeks-long hearings to look at objections to the project that covered a range of issues. It’s been a rather divisive issue in the community and the township has twice voted against being a “willing host” for the project.
There are a variety of reasons people complain about wind turbines in their community. The eye sore, the claim that vibrations caused by them bring on migraines, the price of real estate drops instantly and as well the effects on the local wildlife.
Yurek decision came seven months into the projects construction, telling EDP Renewables that he had the authority to “confirm, alter or revoke” the Environmental Review Tribunal’s approval, “as I consider in the public interest.” His reasoning was also based on the potential harm to the wildlife “in the context of the minimal contribution the project is likely to have on the electricity supply in Ontario.”
The tribunal had ruled such risks to the various bat populations were negligible.
“I am therefore altering the tribunal’s decision based on my conclusion that the project will cause serious and irreversible harm to bats, and I revoke the approval.” said Yurek.
The colonies of bats include big brown bats, hoary bats and little brown bats, which are on the Species at Risk Ontario List. The fear is that the bats will fly into the turbine blades. Yurek admits that one while one can’t know the full extent of the harm, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
“This power project has been very divisive for our community; now North Stormont can again be a good place to grow,” said Maragret Benke in a statement. a founding member of the grassroots organization Concerned Citizens of North Stormont. The group appealed the approval and reached out to the Minister for help.
In a statement provided to the Standard-Freeholder, EDP wrote. “This unprecedented decision means the (approval) that was issued by the minister’s own staff, defended by ministry legal counsel and subsequently ratified by the Environmental Review Tribunal is no longer in effect,” reads a statement from the company. “Decisions of this nature should be based on science and law, yet there was no expert testimony or evidence presented at the tribunal or to the minister that would provide a reasonable rationale for the minister’s decision.”
The issue of what risk the wind farm poses to bat populations was discussed at length during tribunal hearings held in Finch, in August of 2018.
“This power project has been very divisive for our community; now North Stormont can again be a good place to grow,” said Maragret Benke, a founding member of the grassroots organization Concerned Citizens of North Stormont. The group appealed the approval and reached out to the Minister for help.
There are moments when it begins to become clear that there has been a sea-change in public opinion.
And with it now being a year since Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested and held hostage by communist China, such a moment has arrived.
The clearest example is what happened to Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman, who Tweeted what he apparently thought would be an innocuous photo of his meeting with China’s ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu.
Bowman was absolutely slammed for the Tweet, which went so far as to “thank” the ambassador for the meeting and mentioned working on “human rights,” while completely ignoring China’s horrific human rights record and failing to mention anything about Canada’s detained Citizens.
Bowman was totally ratioed, with over 500 comments and just a couple-dozen retweets. Bowman was slammed by some MPs, and even by Canada’s former ambassador to China.
But it was the response of regular Canadians that really stood out. People from across the political spectrum were outraged by Bowman’s fawning weakness.
The response reflected something that has been bubbling below the surface among Canadians: A real awakening to the danger posed by communist China, and a sense that enough is enough.
We Canadians are generally an easy-going people, but we have a strong inherent sense of right and wrong. And while the Canadian political and business elites may be able to overlook China’s actions, the Canadian People are not overlooking it.
Canadians have turned against China’s communist government, with surveys showing 90 percent having a negative view of the government led by Xi Jinping.
Whether it’s the destruction of freedom in Hong Kong, holding Canadians hostage, putting millions of Uighurs in concentration camps, forced organ harvesting, or the Orwellian surveillance state, Canadians are looking at China and seeing a country that simply doesn’t share our values, and is in many ways hostile to Canada itself.
There was a time when someone like Brian Bowman could have gotten away with his fawning Tweet, but that time has passed. Sooner or later, Canada’s elites will be forced to realize that they can’t hide the truth about China’s government, and they can’t suppress the real views of Canadians.
The pressure is mounting for a tougher approach to China, for reducing our reliance on China, and to move towards a political and economic decoupling from the ruthless communist State. Whether it starts happening now or down the road, the demands of the Canadian People will be translated into policy one way or another.
A man was caught on camera stealing a package from a home in Ingersoll, Ont., on Monday. The thief could be seen on the home’s surveillance camera.
The Ontario Provincial Police are telling homeowners to keep an eye out for other “porch pirates” after the incident.
The Oxford OPP have said that the home is located on Cross Street in Ingersoll. They posted the video on their twitter account on Tuesday.
The thief was last seen driving a white Chevrolet Cruze.
The suspect is described as a thin, brown-haired male in his 20s who is clean shaven and stands at about six feet tall. The man was also wearing white shoes with a dark Reebok hoodie and dark pants.
The OPP had no further information on the incident when The Post Millennial was in touch with them Wednesday.
One in four Canadians have fallen victim to “porch pirates” according to a survey recently taken by FedEx.
Police have recommended that anyone expecting a package be at home during the delivery if possible or alternatively have a friend or neighbor help with receiving it.
Another option is to request a signature or special delivery instructions if the company delivering your package has those options available. Police are asking anybody with any information on the Ingersoll incident to get in contact with them or with Crime Stoppers.
The Conservatives’ motion to establish a special committee to examine Canada’s worsening relations with China succeeded in the House of Commons Tuesday night after garnering support from the Bloc and New Democrats.
Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole’s motion won the vote 171-148, in the 43rd Parliament’s first division since convening on December 5.
While not a confidence vote against the minority Liberal government, O’Toole’s small victory will establish, as per his motion, “a special committee with the mandate to conduct hearings to examine and review all aspects of the Canada-China relationship including, but not limited to consular, economic, legal, security and diplomatic relations.”
During debate on O’Toole’s proposed Canada-China committee, Liberal MPs told the House such a configuration was unnecessary as the Commons foreign affairs committee could manage any examination of the ongoing, and deteriorating file.
The vote took place in the House of Commons on the same day, one year ago, when Canadians Micheal Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China, where they remain behind bars without access to lawyers and facing espionage charges.
Their arrest is viewed as retaliation after Canada detained Chinese tech-giant Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. extradition warrant, while she was transiting through Vancouver International Airport.
As Spavor and Kovrig begin their second year in captivity in China, Liberals have faced questions about why, after the detentions and agriculture bans – beef and pork bans have been lifted by China, while its canola embargo remains – the government continues to back the Chinese-controlled Asian Infrastructure Bank with $256 million.
Overlaying this diplomatic entanglement is more Liberal dithering on a decision whether to allow Huawei 5G technology on our domestic telecommunications networks.
Citing serious national security concerns over the Chinese-controlled company, United States wants its ‘five eyes’ signals intelligence network allies – Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia – to ban Huawei from their respective domestic infrastructure.
Parliament’s nascent Canada-China relations committee will be comprised of six Liberal members, four from the Conservatives and one MP from the Bloc and NDP parties.