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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Kayla Koslosky

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

After Palestinian terror groups fired several rockets into Israel on Friday, the Israel Defense Forces struck back, attacking “two underground terror structures,” the Times of Israel reports

“A short time ago, IDF warplanes and aircraft attacked two underground terror structures of the Hamas terror group in the north and center of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement.

“The attack was carried out in response to the rocket that was launched from Gaza earlier tonight. The IDF will continue to act against attempts to harm Israeli civilians and sees the Hamas terror group as responsible for all that is done in the Gaza strip,” the group wrote in a statement regarding Friday night’s attack. Reportedly, the rocket fired on Friday was intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system – the Iron Dome.

According to CBN News, the Hamas terror group is believed to have fired three more rockets into southern Israel on Saturday. Of the three rockets fired into Israel, two were intercepted by the Iron Dome. The third rocket – a Qassem rocket – reportedly struck the yard of a home in Sderot.

No one was directly injured by the rockets, though two people were injured while trying to run to shelter. According to the Jerusalem Post, a 30-year-old woman fainted while running toward a bomb shelter and a 76-year-old woman suffered unknown issues which required hospitalization.

Following the rocket launches into Israel on Saturday, IDF troops were confronted by three men attempting to cross into Israel through the Palestine-Israel border fence at the Gaza Strip. The three Palestinian men – 21-year-old Mohammed Al-Taramsi, 22-year-old Mahmoud Al-Walaydeh and 23-year-old Mohammad Abu Namous – were armed and IDF troops reportedly believe they were attempting to infiltrate Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports

IDF troops engaged in gunfire with the men, killing all three. 

“A short time ago, an IDF force identified a number of armed suspects near the Gaza perimeter fence,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement before noting that “an IDF attack helicopter and tank shot at them.”

At the time of this writing, no group has claimed responsibility for the attempted infiltration.

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

One in four babies are aborted in England and Wales, according to a report from Right to Life UK.

The report said that last year, 23.8 percent of pregnancies were ended by abortions. This is up from 20.7 percent in 2012. 

More than 657,000 babies were born alive last year in the two countries, and more than 200,000 babies were aborted.

Catherine Robinson, a spokeswoman for Right to Life UK, said the numbers showed a “national tragedy.”

She said, “It is a national tragedy that almost 1 in 4 pregnancies (excluding stillbirths and natural miscarriage) in England and Wales ended in abortion in 2018. This represents one of the highest proportions of abortions to live births since abortion was introduced in 1967 – the only year with a higher proportion was 2001 where 23.9% of all pregnancies ended in abortion.”

She continued, “Every one of these abortions represents a failure of our society to protect the lives of babies in the womb and a failure to offer full support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

“On the other hand, these figures show the dramatic difference that laws surrounding abortion make,” Robinson added.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom, there were 192,900 abortions in 2017.

Much of the increase comes from non-residents traveling to Wales and England for the procedure. 

In Northern Ireland, only one in 20 pregnancies ended in abortions last year. Northern Ireland’s law allows abortions only in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

The data showed that more than 1,000 women traveled from Northern Ireland to England or Wales for an abortion.

According to Real Clear Politics, Scotland saw a similar trend, and in 2018 the country saw a ten-year high for abortions. According to National Services Scotland’s national statistics publication, there were 13,286 terminations in 2018 – an increase of 843 from 2017. This is a rate of 12.9 abortions in every 1,000 women. 

Photo courtesy: Edward Cisneros/Unsplash

NAIROBIKenya, August 16, 2019 (Morning Star News) – The husband of a 32-year-old mother of two children in Somalia had just discovered that his wife owned a Bible and demanded that she reveal who had given it to her.

“I told my husband that I found the Bible in Nairobi and wanted to read it,” the secret Christian told Morning Star News. “He just pronounced the word talaq [divorce] to me. I knew that our marriage had just been rendered null and void because I joined Christianity, so without wasting time I left the homestead.”

This happened in June in Burao (Burco in Arabic), in Somaliland, a self-declared state widely considered to be an autonomous region of Somalia, a month after the couple returned from a trip to Kenya to obtain medical treatment for her father.

Taking him first to Nairobi Hospital and then to Kijabe Mission Hospital, the woman (name undisclosed for security reasons) had found a Somali-language Bible there and requested a copy to read later in private. Secretly converting from Islam in 2016, she had never owned a Bible.

Having returned to Burao, the mother of two girls, ages 7 and 4, had forgotten to lock the drawer where she hid her Bible. Her husband found it and then proceeded to confront and threaten her, she said.

“There and then he took our two daughters away from me and divorced me,” she told Morning Star News. “He gave me a stern warning that I should not come close to the children, and that if I do, he will take the Bible to the Islamic court and I will be killed by stoning for becoming an apostate.”

Somalia’s constitution establishes Islam as the state religion and prohibits the propagation of any other religion, according to the U.S. State Department. It also requires that laws comply with sharia (Islamic law) principles, with no exceptions in application for non-Muslims.

Somalia is ranked 3rd on Christian support group Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.

She also faced punishment from her brothers after her husband informed her family that he had caught her in possession of a Somali-language Bible.

“My brothers beat me mercilessly with sticks as well as denying me food,” she said. “I feared to report the case to the police or the local administration, because they will charge me with a criminal offense of apostasy in accordance with the sharia.”

She had become a secret Christian in 2016 after the leader of an underground church explained the meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection to her.

The young mother has relocated to another location, undisclosed for security reasons, that is hours from her home, she said.

“God has spared my life, and my fellow underground Christians in other regions of Somalia have received me and shared the little they have, but I am very traumatized,” she said.

A leader of an underground church who requested anonymity told Morning Star News that he hopes starting a micro-enterprise can help her overcome the poverty that awaits women in Somalia who lose their husbands.

“Please pray for her to have wisdom, God’s favor, growth of faith in Jesus, and means to start her own small business in her new region of residence,” he said. “Also, pray for God’s intervention in the Muslim community to lift the harsh treatment imposed on indigenous Christians, restricting the use of Bible, and using sharia law to punish those who embrace the Christian faith.” 

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved. 

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

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

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

 

 

 

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