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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Israel has struck back at Iranian forces in Syria after Iran launched four rockets at Israel’s Golen Heights.

According to CBN News, the Israel Defense Forces fired back at Iranian and Assad targets.

The Jerusalem Post reported that IDF didn’t hit the rocket launchers, but targeted Iranian forces bases, storehouses and other military facilities.

IDF said in a statement that it also destroyed Syrian aerial defense batteries after a missile was fired at its fighter planes, CNN reports.

“Israeli warplanes… targeted the vicinity of the city of Damascus with a number of missiles,” the Syrian state news agency, SANA, reported. “Our air defense confronted the heavy attack and intercepted the hostile missiles, and was able to destroy most of them before reaching their targets.”

Eleven people, including civilians, were killed in the strike, Syrian sources told reporters.

Following the strike, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “whoever harms us, we will harm them.”

"That is what we did tonight in Syria against Iranian Quds Force targets and Syrian military targets, after rockets were fired from its territory towards Israel,” he said. “We will continue to aggressively guard the security of Israel.”

The strike came after Iran launched four rockets at Israel early Tuesday. The Iron Dome intercepted the assault, and no injuries or deaths were reported.

“This incident is an Iranian operation against the State of Israel,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz told the Ynet news site after the rocket fire. “The State of Israel will continue to act according to its policy. The policy was and remains to prevent Iran from establishing itself in the area.”

This week’s response attack from Israel is meant to signal that Israel is “changing the rules,” a senior Israeli security official told the BBC.

The IDF said in its statement that it held "the Syrian regime responsible for the actions that take place in Syrian territory and warn them against allowing further attacks against Israel.”

Photo courtesy: Anton Mislawsky/Unsplash

Kanye West, who recently released his gospel album, has announced that he will be launching a Biblical opera that will tell the story of King Nebuchadnezzar.

According to Faithwire, West announced the show on Twitter, saying the opera will debut at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 24 and feature music by the Sunday Service choir.

Tickets for the show go on sale Monday.

Nebuchadnezzar ruled Babylon for more than 40 years, from about 605 BC to 562 BC, Forbes explains. His story is found in the Book of Daniel. In the book of Daniel, Daniel reveals and interprets the king’s dream after others have failed to do so. 

Later in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar tells the people to worship an image of gold. Daniel and other Israelites refuse, and Daniel and two of his friends are thrown into a furnace. The three men survive, and the king praises God.

Then in Daniel 4, Nebuchadnezzar has another dream of a giant tree that protects the land and animals, but a holy messenger tells him that the tree must be cut down, and he will be sent to live in the wild. Daniel tells him the dream is about the king and tells him to renounce his sins.

Later, Nebuchadnezzar is stripped of his royalty and driven away. At the end, he praises God.

In an interview in October, West spoke about the story of Nebuchadnezzar.

“[God] is saying, Let me take this Nebuchadnezzar-type character — Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, and he looked at his entire kingdom and said, ‘I did this,’ ” West said during the interview. “I stood on the top of the mountain talking about Yeezus, saying, ‘I’m a God’ — I had a guy dressed as Jesus,” he said.

West made the announcement following his visit to megachurch Lakewood Church in Houston with Joel Osteen.

"I think it's a historic day for us," Osteen said. "Coming together just kind of two different worlds."

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Jerritt Clark/Stringer

CAIROEgypt, November 20, 2019 (Morning Star News) – A Coptic Christian is in critical condition after he, his mother and brother were stabbed in Egypt on Sunday night (Nov. 17), according to media reports.

The Muslim assailant in a village in Upper Egypt’s Minya Governorate told them that Christians must not sit outside before attacking them, leaving the adult son in critical condition at a hospital’s Intensive Care Unit with several wounds to the stomach, according to media reports

Area residents told Egyptian news media that a non-Christian with a criminal reputation assaulted the family members with a dagger at about 10:30 p.m. after arguing with them as they sat in front of their house in Nassiriya village, near Beni Mazar. Beni Mazar is 219 kilometers (136 miles) south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile River.

The residents said the argument started when the assailant, identified only as Ali M., walked by the family members as they sat in front of their house and began shouting for them to go back in, saying no Christians were allowed outside. A Facebook post identified the assailant as a Muslim named Ali Eid Morsi; the post has since been removed.

When the adult son, identified as Shinoda Aziz, objected and stood up to the assailant, the suspect retrieved a dagger from his home, returned and attacked him, according to the area residents. When his mother started screaming, the assailant started stabbing her in the head   and also attacked the younger son, cutting his face, they said. 

Al Mowatna News reported that news anchor Osama Eid confirmed the attack. The news outlet added that the assailant is known for involvement with drugs and prostitution.

The family reportedly told police the assailant intended to kill them.

Security forces in Minya have reportedly arrested the suspect and are questioning witnesses.

An area source told Morning Star News by phone that the village is tranquil. The area was said to be predominantly Coptic Christian in the country that is about 90 percent Muslim.

Egypt ranked 16th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. 

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved. 

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Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Eddie Gerald