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M A C D O N A L D C O L U M N I S T
The Pope Is Furious
January 6, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
Radical Islam is provoking the most terrifying institution in the world.
f Asia Bibi, a hard-working mother of five living in northern Pakistan, could have known what
would happen at work on June 14, 2009, she never would have gotten out of bed. On June 18, four days after the incident, a mob of villagers snatched Bibi from her home, stripped and beat her in the street, and then marched her to the local police station. Fearing the angry hordes (which included Muslim clerics), and without any investigation into the veracity of the claims against her, village officials arrested and locked Bibi away. On Nov. 8, 2010²after being held in isolation in prison for more than a year²a local court sentenced Bibi to death. What heinous crime did Asia Bibi commit? ³She was picking berries with other women,´ her husband explained, ³when she was sent to get water. One of the women [a Muslim] refused to drink the water after my wife dipped her cup in the bucket. This woman said it was contaminated because it was touched by a Christian.´ Before long a group of Muslim women had descended on Bibi, insulting her mother, children and religion. Asia tried to defend herself, her husband says, and simply responded by ³repeat[ing] the same insults back to them.´ Four days later, Bibi was ripped from her home and family, viciously beaten, unfairly arrested and thrown in jail on the trumped-up charge that she blasphemed the prophet Mohammad. Long story short, radical Muslims sentenced Asia Bibi to death for being a Christian. Bibi¶s tale of religious intolerance, injustice and outright persecution and violence is not an anomaly. As Muhammad Salim, one of the Muslim clerics responsible for having Bibi locked away, stated: ³Any Muslim, if given the chance, would kill such a person´ as Bibi. To the outside observer, the hatred among many Pakistanis for Bibi is astonishing. Across Pakistan, hard-line clerics have promised riots and protests if the president releases Bibi. One cleric in nearby Peshawar has offered 500,000 rupees, about $6,000, to the person who kills Bibi, should she be released from jail by the federal government. Why such vicious hatred for a 45-year-old mother of five, whose only crime was defending herself from a gang of Muslim women who became furious after she drank water from the same bucket? Asia Bibi is a victim of
RADICAL ISLAM¶S EVER GROWING HATRED FOR
Persecution of Christians is now so pervasive and violent, wrote Jeffery Kuhner in the Washington Times recently, that ³Christianity is on the VERGE OF EXTINCTION in the ancient lands of its birth.´ Across
the Middle East, Kuhner lamented, ³a creeping religious genocide is taking place´ (emphasis mine throughout). Truth is, there are hundreds, even thousands, of Bibis, in a host of countries around this world. On New Year¶s Eve in Alexandria, Egypt, 21 Coptic Christians were killed and 79 were wounded when a bomb left outside the door of the Two Saints Coptic church exploded. Despite some ridiculous claims that the attack was conducted by the Mossad, Egyptian authorities and various intelligence agencies agree that the attack, the worst terrorist attack in Egypt since 2006, was carried out by Iraq-based Islamic terrorists. The same day, a cluster of 10 bombs were placed near the homes of 14 Catholic families in Baghdad, Iraq. Four of the bombs were defused; the others exploded, killing two and wounding 20. The victims were all Catholic. In Russia the next day, radical Islamists set fire to a church using a grenade in the Muslim-rich North Caucasus region. A week earlier in the Philippines, six people were wounded on the island of Jolo after a bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded inside a church during Christmas Day mass. In Nigeria, at least 80 Christians were killed in a wave of attacks on Christmas Eve. In one instance, dozens of armed men attacked a church in Maiduguri, dragging the pastor from his home and executing him in the street. In another, more than 32 people were killed and 50 wounded in the central Nigerian city of Jos after a series of roadside bombs placed by radical Islamists exploded. In Nigeria alone, the number of Christians killed by Muslim terrorists numbered in the hundreds. In Iran, a Christian pastor is slated to be executed for converting to Christianity. In Pakistan last February, 150 armed Muslims invaded PaharGanj, a Christian neighborhood north of Karachi, and ransacked two churches, beat Christians, and torched shops and vehicles²all because a Christian lad touched a piece of fruit on a Muslim vendor¶s cart. In Somalia, the Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab, which controls much of central Somalia, routinely persecutes, even kills, Christians, and is seeking to eradicate Christianity. Similar atrocities against Christians are becoming increasingly common in the Ivory Coast, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Lebanon²and the list goes on. Then there¶s Iraq, which in 2010 experienced the worst attack on Iraqi Christians on record. On October 31, as 140 parishioners prepared to take mass in Baghdad¶s Our Lady of Salvation Catholic church, the church was invaded by gunmen from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq terrorist group. When the church was later stormed by Iraq¶s counterterrorism unit, the militants detonated suicide bomb vests, killing 58 men, women and children, including two priests, and wounding 80 more people. Over the past decade, Christian Iraqis have fled the country at a shocking pace: Before 2003, Iraq¶s Christian population was about 1.5 million; today, barely 400,000 Christians remain! The exodus of Christians from the Middle East, lamented Robert Fisk last fall, has reached ³ALMOST BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS.´ Although times are tough for many professing Christians, and growing numbers are being tormented and tortured by radical Islam, both Bible prophecy and history tell us that the persecution will soon end. As Christians flee Iraq, as church members wipe the blood of their brethren from the walls of the Coptic church in Alexandria, as Asia Bibi sits in jail awaiting the noose, the plight of these individuals, and the larger Catholic community, is not going unnoticed.
The deep-seated hatred for Christianity that wells inside radical Islam, and the global campaign of violence and cruelty that it has engendered, is serving to infuriate the most dangerous and terrifying institution on Earth²THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH! The day after Islamic terrorists attacked Catholics in Alexandria, Pope Benedict XVI said it was a ³vile gesture of death´ and that it ³offends God and all of humanity.´ In his speech, he appealed to Christians: ³In the face of the threatening tensions of the moment, especially in the face of discrimination, of abuse of power and religious intolerance that today particularly strikes Christians, I again direct a pressing invitation NOT TO YIELD TO DISCOURAGEMENT AND RESIGNATION.´ That¶s a polite way of saying, ³LET¶S NOT CAPITULATE TO THE DEMANDS OF RADICAL ISLAM.´ Radical Islam is not a compromising religion. Buoyed by its apparent success, radical Islam will undoubtedly remain unrelenting in its attacks on Christians in 2011. The story this year will be how the Vatican responds. Fifteen hundred years of European history²including the Crusades, when tens of thousands of Catholic Europeans responded to Pope Urban¶s war cry and descended on the Middle East²tell us that the Catholic Church will respond mightily, with terrific FORCE and VIGOR! In practical terms, two developments are likely. First, the ongoing persecution of various Christian churches and Catholic sects will drive these groups into the protective arms of the mother church, the Catholic Church. The more its daughter churches run to it for protection, the stronger the Vatican will become in defending its spiritual family. The further radical Islam encroaches, the more intense andpopular Benedict¶s campaign to re-evangelize the Catholic community, especially in Europe, will grow. Second, expect the Vatican to increasingly employ its tried and tested strategy of forging a powerful axis with the most dominant European power, and then exploiting that powerful entity as the instrument through which it can confront its enemy, in this case radical Islam. For the Vatican, the rise of militant Islam is an ideal talking point with Europeans, millions of whom are alarmed by the encroachment of Islam on the Continent. With a little prodding here and there, and a few phone calls to European governments, the Vatican could begin to make life much tougher for Muslims in Europe! Point is, radical Islam is a mutual threat to both the Catholic Church and Europe, making it an issue on which the Catholic Church¶s relations with the German-led European Union could reach new levels. While we don¶t claim to know the thoughts and designs of Pope Benedict and other Catholic leaders, we do know what Bible prophecy and history say. And we can say with absolute certainty that Pope Benedict XVI is looking at Asia Bibi, and the Catholic victims of the bombing in Alexandria, and the mass exodus of Catholics from Iraq, and is becoming enraged. Even now, he is more than likely hatching a strategy to confront this enemy. That strategy, Bible prophecy says, will soon thrust the entire world into a time of unprecedented upheaval and violence! Brad Macdonald¶s column appears every Thursday. To e-mail Brad Macdonald, click here. Please note that, unless you request otherwise, your comment may appear on our feedback page. To read more articles by this author, click here.
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