The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is committed to insuring the ongoing viability of constitutional freedoms.
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What the Bible Says, Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Link:Â http://sermons-urc.s3.amazonaws.com/2009/september/090609.mp3Format:Â Audio/MP3Topic(s):Â Chapter 09Author(s)/Speaker(s):Â Kevin DeYoung
Link:Â http://sermons-urc.s3.amazonaws.com/2009/september/090609pm.mp3Format:Â Audio/MP3Topic(s):Â Chapter 09Author(s)/Speaker(s):Â Kevin DeYoung
As the United States and China continue to discuss trade, we have a unique opportunity to raise religious freedom concerns such as that countryâs ongoing detention of Christian pastors and mass repression of Uyghur Muslims. It is therefore encouraging to see Family Research Council President and chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Tony Perkins announce yesterday that he was formally adopting Dilshat Perhat Ataman as a prisoner of conscience to highlight his case of unjust imprisonment due to his faith.Dilshat is a Uyghur Muslim currently detained in a âre-educationâ internment camp in Chinaâs Xinjiang province.Dilshat founded and managed a popular website called âDiyarim,â which promoted Uyghur history and culture and provided a social media platform to the Uyghur community. In 2009, he was arrested by Chinese authorities and charged with âendangering state securityâ after a comment was posted in a chatroom on his website about the Chinese governmentâs suppression of Uyghur protests.After serving five years in prison, Dilshat was released in 2014. Yet, his freedom was short-lived. In June 2018, he was rearrested without reason from the Chinese authoritiesâthis time he was taken to a âre-educationâ internment camp.Those who have been released from these camps describe how Uyghurs are tortured during interrogation, live in crowded cells, and are subjected to extensive daily regimens of Chinese Communist Party indoctrination (as seen in this BBC report). Detainees routinely face harsh treatment and are forced to live in unhygienic conditions, sometimes leading to their death.Â The Chinese government has invested a lot of resources to surveil and suppress Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang.Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group who are mostly Muslim. Yet, it is not a contradiction to say that Christians must care about the suffering they face due to their religious beliefs and advocate on their behalf.Â Â Christians believe that God is in control of human affairs yet gives people the freedom to choose their beliefs. Just as God gives people that freedom, we should defend the freedom of others to choose and live out their religious convictions without any government harassing, oppressing, imprisoning, or killing people for expressing their basic right to religious freedom.What the Chinese government is doing to the Uyghurs is evilâand that should be something everyone is concerned about.Dilshat is one of at least 880,000 and possibly more than 2 million Uyghurs who are detained in Chinese âre-educationâ internment camps.The injustice of Chinaâs detention of Dilshat Perhat Ataman in a âre-educationâ camp is obvious. Hopefully, by bringing Dilshatâs case to light, there will be a greater awareness of the plight of Uyghur Muslims who are targeted for persecution because the Chinese government views their religious beliefs as a threat to the political ideology and authority of the Communist Party.
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I attended an event at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, June 11, where Nigerian witnesses spoke about their first-hand experiences with Boko Haram andÂ FulaniÂ herdsmen. You can watch the full hearing here.Â I was sitting about ten feet away from witness Rebecca Sharibu as she walked to the podium. Boko Haram, a radical jihadist organization in northern Nigeria, kidnapped Rebecca Sharibuâs daughter over a year and a half ago, and she was never returned. Rebecca could barely start before becoming overwhelmed with tears. The room fell silent as the mother struggled to make a simple plea, âHelp me bring my daughter back. I need my daughter.âRebeccaâs daughter, Leah Sharibu, was 14 years old when she and 110 of her classmates were kidnapped from the Government Girls Science and Technical College in February of last year. Two months after they were kidnapped, 110 of the girls returned to their families. Yet, because Leah is a Christian and refused to convert to Islam, Boko Haram singled her out to be kept as a slave.Boko Haramâs stated goal is to eradicate Christianity, and the militant group has killed tens of thousands of Christians and civilians since 2009. Frank Wolf, author of the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act, stated that more people have died at the hands of Boko Haram than ISIS. âBoko Haram is guilty of genocide,â Wolf forcefully insisted.But Boko Haram is no longer the only terrorist threat to Christians in Nigeria. Semi-nomadic Islamic herdsman known as the Fulani armed with AK-47s frequently attack communities, burn homes, and inhumanly maim their victims.Â Mercy Maisamari, a witness at the event, described how Fulani would mock their Christian victims and taunt, âCall your Jesus to come and save you.ââAnother thing [the Fulani] do is to cut limbs and they cut open pregnant women and remove the babies and cut them. And they try their best for the woman not to die,â she said.The words of Alheri Magaji rattled in my ears as I listened to the horrors she relayed to the audience. She recounted the story of a mother of four children who was nine months pregnant. In the middle of the night, 400 Fulani militants rushed her village, and some of the men entered her home. In front of her eyes, they executed three of her children. They repeatedly kicked her stomach. When she awoke in a hospital, she was told that her unborn child had not survived.Â âNobody will take our story,â Magaji said. âWe paid people, no one will take our storyâŚso weâre here to beg youâto beg the U.S. government to take our story.âThe five Nigerian witnesses described how the world is incorrectly framing the ongoing genocide in their country. To Western governments, the Fulani attacks are simple ethnic struggles âbetween farmers and herdsman.â And Boko Haram only terrorizes Nigeria and other small African countriesâwhy should the world leaders and Christians around the globe care?Here are three reasons:1.Â Praying and advocating for persecuted believers is not optional for Christians.The body of Christ is wounded, and that affects all Christians. Our fight is against spiritual forces, and we must band together to protect the church wherever it is attackedâotherwise we compromise the present ground we stand on. Itâs a simple remedy: speak boldly at church about those who are persecuted, tell your friends, and pray with your family. Godâs heart breaks for His childrenâlet ours break also.2.Â The United States plays a key role in promoting religious liberty across the globe, so our stance on foreign policy is critical.The United States advocates for religious freedom around the globe, but there is a desperate need for more advocates speaking on behalf of the voiceless. Whether with the Uyghurs in China, the violence in India, or the persecuted in Nigeria, people of all faiths across the world live under dire circumstances. While praying for the present and long term, let us respond vocally and through votingâsending the message that Christians require their political leaders to support religious liberty.3.Â Boko Haramâs actions in Nigeria are genocide, and worldâs governments are turning a blind eye.Boko Haram actively kills, tortures, destroys villages, and kidnaps Christians in Nigeria with the intention of wiping out the Christians in Nigeria. This meets theÂ definitionÂ of genocide established in theÂ 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.âWe have a museum not very far from here saying never again,â said Frank Wolf, referring to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.Yet, genocide is taking place in Nigeria. Tens of thousands have already perished because of Boko Haramâs systematic strategy to eliminate Christians.Anglican Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi closed the event with one final plea:âI canât find any other country that will stand up for justice. That will stand up for the way you have always stood up for the oppressed. Please, please donât disappoint the people of Nigeria. Please donât disappoint the people of West Africa. Please donât disappoint the people of Africa. And, pleaseâdonât disappoint yourselves.âLuke Isbell is an intern at Family Research Council.
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