Biblical Perspective on Government Mandated Mask


Mask mandates are a form of political control not science based health. Such mandates that include mandatory self-quarantining of the healthy and social distancing are based on political COVID fear more than science. There is plenty of science verified solutions for COVID discounted by Leftist power-brokers and greedy Big Pharma doctors/scientists that could have made lives normal. THIS POST addresses Mask Mandates, Christian Civil Disobedience and those – even Christian leaders –  who are subservient to totalitarianism which is un-Constitutional and un-Biblical manipulation. (I encourage you to specifically take the time to listen to the fiery audio sermon of Pastor Matt Trewhella.)

 

JRH 8/25/20

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Biblical Perspective on Government Mandated Mask

EKKLESIA SPECIAL EDITION

 

EKKLESIA – Facemask Special Edition

 

Posted by Daniel Navejas

August 23, 2020

Facebook Group OKLAHOMA CONSERVATIVES FOR FREEDOM

 

A Biblical Perspective on Government Mandated Mask & The Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates:

 

As the government begins to institute mask mandates, Christians must seriously consider what our response should be. In these tumultuous times it is even more crucial that we KNOW & LIVE the TRUTH!

 

The issue of mandating masks is extremely controversial, but it is also vitally important. We believe the God ordained role of Government is to PROTECT, not to infringe on the liberties that GOD has given us. Blind compliance with unjust and tyrannical demands is neither Godly nor biblical, and the road of compromise and compliance ALWAYS leads to enslavement, persecution and tyrannical dictatorships.

 

But in the midst of this we have begun to see the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, practiced across the nation. (click here to download a free PDF: https://caperepublic.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/matthew_j._trewhella_the_doctrine_of_the_lesser_magistrate.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1FezEeJ-fUh1lYQtaBQf9g5F8hp8riwvlHwjM1n_eMhekbKPZQCqTDMNA).

 

Pastor Matt Trewhella, the author of the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates, recently preached a sermon on the issue of mask mandates explaining biblically and historically why it is no small matter. (Audio: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=72120161361809&fbclid=IwAR3lvj7csU-2dT9kW2_hd__RdTp8T4y_Cv-V6vF23Q0Se1siOk9l6rlBYtQ [Direct Audio: https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=72120161361809])

https://www.sermonaudio.com/saplayer/playpopup.asp?SID=72120161361809

Here in Oklahoma communities have begun to demand that city councils and Mayors be held accountable for these unconstitutional orders. The message is clear, if you are unwilling to listen and represent us, then you will be RECALLED & REPLACED.

 

A group called Unite Norman has collected over 2,400 signatures, enough to place two city council members on a recall ballot. They need 18,000 signatures to place the Mayor on recall. The link above will take you to the Facebook group if you would like to get connected to them as more and more communities began to follow suit.

 

BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL PRECEDENT

 

1Pe 2:13-17 “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme…”

 

We do not have an emperor who is supreme. The supreme ruler of the land is not a person but law—our Constitution. Even the President is subject to the Constitution. Therefore, in order to honor 1 Pet 2:13, we must oppose lawlessness. Robbing a convenience store is lawlessness, but it is also lawless for a politician or policeman to violate the supreme law of the land. It is my duty as a Christian and a citizen to oppose those who violate the law which is the Constitution. Laws contrary to the Constitution are invalid and in order to oppose lawlessness, we must NOT comply with invalid laws. [Blog Editor: Bold text indicates Blog Editor extreme agreement.]

 

Rom 13:1-7 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities…”

 

Context is very important here. For the people to whom this was written, the governing authority was an emperor and ecclesiastical leaders. Neither of these are elected or in any way beholden to the people they rule. Our form of government could not be more different.

 

We literally select and HIRE our leaders, as an employer does employees, who then work FOR us. When they do not adequately perform the task for which we have chosen them, they hear from us, and, if needs be, are removed. It’s government by consent of the governed. When those we have chosen as leaders abuse their power, our lack of consent to their atrocities is the first recourse to halting the tyranny, and it is our duty to do so.

 

Our duty, I repeat, both as citizens of a self-ruled republic, and as Christians obeying the ultimate rule(r) of our country. Indeed, our refusal to consent is the first line of defense against tyranny.

 

The primary obstruction before a power-hungry politician is, “The people will not go along with it”.

 

Sadly, power-hungry politicians have lately discovered that the people will in fact go along will all manner of abuses, even clamoring for more, when they are afraid of a virus. This is a very dangerous precedent.

 

The duties of the responsible American citizen are vastly different from those of the Roman or Israeli citizen. Alexander Hamilton said:

 

“If it were to be asked, what is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of security in a Republic? The answer would be, An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws… It is by this, in a great degree, that the rich and powerful are to be restrained from enterprises against the common liberty—operated upon by the influence of a general sentiment, by their interest in the principle, and by the obstacles which the habit it produces erects against innovation and encroachment. It is by this, in a still greater degree, that caballers, intriguers, and demagogues are prevented from climbing on the shoulders of faction to the tempting seats of usurpation and tyranny… a sacred respect for the constitutional law is the vital principle, the sustaining energy of a free government… There are indeed great and urgent cases where the bounds of the constitution are manifestly transgressed, or its constitutional authorities so exercised as to produce unequivocal oppression on the community, and to render resistance justifiable.”

 

James Madison said:

 

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.”

 

Hamilton again, in the Federalist Papers stated:

 

“If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.”

 

“What did Jesus do about such ordinances that ran contrary to the HIGHER LAWS?”

 

This quoting of our nation’s architects could go on for pages. But to return to Scripture, when Jesus walked the earth, many times He healed people on the Sabbath. He could certainly have waited one more day, and been in compliance with the Pharisees’ rules. But He deliberately chose not to. What is His justification for this “rebellion”? I would suggest that in Israel’s government of that day, the Torah was their Constitution, and the laws of the Pharisees were comparable to our city ordinances. What did Jesus do about such ordinances that ran contrary to the higher laws? In at least some instances, He defied them to make a point. When He and His disciples were walking through a grain field on the Sabbath, they began to eat the ears of grain as they walked. The Pharisees strongly objected; this too was against the rules. Jesus let them do it, and gave the Pharisees a lesson on Israeli history.

 

Paul insisted on his civil rights, and did not comply with directives to the contrary. Acts 16:36-39 says:

 

“And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, ‘The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.’ But Paul said to them, ‘They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.’ The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens. So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.”

 

What about the blacks in the 1960s? Many black Christians engaged in much civil disobedience. They sat at lunch counters where the “law” said they could not sit. I can’t see a compelling argument for this law violating anyone’s conscience. It wasn’t a sin for them to sit elsewhere. They could have followed the rules and still eaten, gotten to work on the bus, etc. But the law was unjust and they made a point of defying it in hopes of changing it. Does Scripture really condemn this stand for justice? Especially under a government designed to accept such rebukes.

 

And what of the Jews? If the law says to put this star of David identification on, there’s nothing immoral about that; the Christian ones among them should obey, right? In The Boy on the Wooden Box, a memoir of a Jew on Schindler’s List, the importance of “taking alarm” early on in abuses is echoed:

 

“Meanwhile, in Krakow, the Germans tightened their grip on us. Jewish parents could no longer reassure children with the phrase, ‘It will soon be over,’ and a new phrase surfaced: ‘If this is the worst that happens.’…When forced to hand over our radio to the Nazis, we silently repeated the words; whenever a German was near, we whispered to ourselves, ‘If this is the worst…’”

 

Blind obedience to government, even in America, is ill-advised. “Perhaps the following historical event, as recorded in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, will serve to illustrate the incompleteness of the obedience perspective alone.

 

On November 5, 1864, Major Scott J. Anthony assured Black Kettle and a party of approximately 600 Cheyenne Indians that if they returned to their camp, they would be safe under the protection of nearby Fort Lyon. Black Kettle had been to Washington, D.C., met President Lincoln, and been given a large American flag which he flew over his tent with the promise from Col. Greenwood that no soldiers would fire on him as long as he flew this flag. Black Kettle and his tribe went peacefully to Sand Creek, obediently remaining under the umbrella of the authority of the United States government.

 

On November 26, 1864, Major Anthony and the Fort Lyon troops, along with Col. Chivington and 600 reinforcements, attacked Black Kettle and his people at sunrise. As the soldiers opened fire on the sleeping Indians, women and children rushed to huddle around Black Kettle’s tent which flew the American flag. The soldiers paid no attention to flags or cries for peace, but proceeded to massacre the Indians in a most brutal manner, killing 105 women and children and 28 men. (All but 35 of the men were gone on a hunting party, leaving the camp unprotected.) Black Kettle was under…authority…The Indians who didn’t believe Major Anthony and refused to camp [under authority] were unmolested. Black Kettle was not an advocate of war, but a voice for peace among his people. [Blog Editor: Here is the Thoughtco.com account that differs only Chief Lean Bear met with President Lincoln]

 

Thomas Jefferson once said:

 

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.”

 

It is the duty of responsible citizens to do their own research and not to trust the “government experts”. Men, with power, usually have ulterior motives, and it is for our safety that we must determine to the best of our ability (and with the internet we have greater powers than ever before) whether their advice is valid or tainted with ulterior motives and self-interest. The necessary action taken after such knowledge is gained is not the foot-stamping of rebellious teenagers but the responsible action of adults who are not gullible.

 

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.”—James Madison

 

We at the Ekklesia believe government instituted mask mandates are ENTIRELY outside their jurisdiction and is nothing less than TYRANNICAL. While individuals and private business have every right to choose to wear and enforce masks on their own property, the government DOES NOT have that right. Let us therefore consider carefully and prayerfully how we ought to interpret passages such as Romans 13 in light of context, additional Scriptures, historical precedent, and present times.

 

To learn more about The Ekklesia of Oklahoma or donate to further our efforts visit our website: www.ekkok.com

 

To learn more and even discuss what you can do to protect the rights of your community and city you can send a private message or email Pastor Daniel Navejas directly at daniel.navejas@gmail.com

#NOmaskMandates #AbolishAbortion #SaveOurChildren

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Edited by John R. Houk

Embedded links by the Editor. Direct links (except direct audio sermon with embed by Matt Trewhella) are by Pastor Daniel Navejas.

 

Intro to ‘Trump Delivers Prophetic Warning To Christian Leaders!’


Intro by John R. Houk, Blog Editor

Post & Video by Lance Wallnau

© August 30, 2018

An evangelist friend of my wife sent a Facebook Private Message to her from a gentleman named Lance Wallnau who put together an 18-minute podcast about a conversation President Trump had with some evangelists about the possible negative effects of the November 2018 election.

 

After I viewed the video, I was so impressed that I decided to cross post it on my Blog. I was even going to upload it to my Youtube Channel to share more effectively.

 

I had zero knowledge of who or what Lance Wallnau was about. In the process of looking for Wallnau I discovered he posted his own Youtube version which I will share.

 

In case you are in the same boat as me, here is some bio info on Dr. Lance Wallnau:

 

USA Today reports that he is one of only three evangelical leaders to have accurately predicted Donald Trump’s Presidency while running against 15 opponents. Dr. Wallnau’s Best Selling book, “Gods Chaos Candidate” explains the global shift that accompanies Trumps unexpected electoral upset. God is working in new and unprecedented ways among the nations.

 

Dr. Wallnau has shared platforms with best-selling authors Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell, and lectured at universities from Harvard and M.I.T. to the London School of Theology. Merging a thirty-year background consulting in business and the non-profit sector, Lance inspires visions of tomorrow with the clarity of today—connecting ideas to action. His students represent a tapestry spanning nations and spheres: from politicians, to CEO’s, entertainers and entrepreneurs. He currently directs the Lance Learning Group, a strategic teaching and consulting company based in Dallas, Texas.

 

Dr. Wallnau’s is a frequent television guest and conference keynote speaker. Thousands of leaders around the world attest to the lasting impact of their first encounter with Lance. If you’ve never heard him before you should  join with thousands of others – just check out his regular broadcasts on Periscope and Facebook Live, under Lance Wallnau. (ABOUT Dr. Lance Wallnau; LanceWallnau.com; © 2018 Lance Wallnau ~ All Rights Reserved)

 

MorningStar Ministries also has a short author’s bio: HERE.

 

In case you are interest, HERE’s a link Lance Wallnau Facebook post of the video.

 

AND below is the LanceWallnau.com post of the Youtube video, “TRUMP DELIVERS PROPHETIC WARNING TO CHRISTIAN LEADERS!”

 

Dr. Wallnau delivers a referendum on Christian Free Speech and Religious Liberty. The last couple of minutes Wallnau shares that CNN and Carl Bernstein lied about a Trump foreknowledge that Trump JR. was to meet Russians in Trump Tower to gather dirt on Crooked Hillary.

 

LISTEN! SHARE! VOTE in November 2018!

 

JRH 8/30/18 (Hat Tip: Sundra Girard & Diana Houk (my gorgeous wife)

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Trump Delivers Prophetic Warning To Christian Leaders!

 

By Lance Wallnau

August 29, 2018

LanceWallnau.com

 

Donald Trump delivers a private warning to Christian leaders about what’s happening in the country and how the midterms are going to be a referendum on your religion. Christians are so fragmented and scattered we don’t have a coherent mechanism for sharing messages like the left has. That needs to change!

 

VIDEO: Trump Delivers Prophetic Warning To Christian Leaders!

 

[Posted by Lance Wallnau

Published on Aug 30, 2018

 

President Donald Trump delivers a private, prophetic warning to Christian leaders about what’s happening in the country and how the midterms are going to be a referendum on your religion.

 

Christians are so fragmented and scattered we don’t have a coherent mechanism for sharing messages like the left has. That needs to change! We must spread the word, and take over these midterm elections.]

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Intro to ‘Trump Delivers Prophetic Warning To Christian Leaders!’

Intro by John R. Houk, Blog Editor

© August 30, 2018

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Trump Delivers Prophetic Warning To Christian Leaders!

 

Lance Wallnau Donation/Partner Page

 

MoHR Purposed Amendments in Christian Marriage and Divorce Acts’


Marriage & Divorce Among Christians

An Intro to Shamim’s ‘MoHR Purposed Amendments in Christian Marriage and Divorce Acts’

 

Intro by John R. Houk

© April 8, 2017 (Intro- JRH & ‘MoHR Purposed …-SM)

 

Shamim Mahmood (Masih) addresses marriage and divorce reforms for Christians in the Pakistan legal code. The tenor of Shamim’s report is to bring Pakistan law into the 21st century with a focus on women’s rights pertaining to marriage and divorce.

 

I’m a bit old fashioned choosing to agree with the New Testament:

 

Matthew 5:31-32; 1 Corinthians 7: 10-16 (NKJV)

 

Marriage Is Sacred and Binding

 

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality[a] causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.

 

Footnotes:

 

a Matthew 5:32Or fornication

 

Matthew 5:32Or fornication

 

Keep Your Marriage Vows

 

10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.

 

12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

 

In full disclosure, I have been divorced. My first wife divorced me because my Christian beliefs did not coincide with the lifestyle she desired to live. I remarried in 1990 and have had a long happy Marriage to this very day (minus a few marital spats along the way).

 

Now addressing the issue of domestic wife and child abuse/battery. I definitely do advocate a married remain together when one inflicts violence upon another, even though the New Testament does not provide for consequences for such marital abuse for either the husband or the wife.

 

However, the New Testament has commands for the way a married life is to be conducted:

 

1 Corinthians 7: 2-5 (NKJV)

 

Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 

All you husbands need to read the above verses to make sure there is no misunderstanding about how to treat one’s wife in these next verses:

 

Ephesians 5:22-29 – ff (NKJV)

 

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

 

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

 

There is no room for wife beaters among Christians. Adultery and unbelievers appears to be the principles behind divorce. BUT, if you are a man of God DO NOT allow a man to beat on his wife even if you must take matters in your own hands. Even if taking action means you at the very least call upon the rule of law to take care of a wife beater.

 

Ok, I know … this is an American perspective. I can only imagine how women are treated in a Muslim dominated nation like Pakistan. Christians definitely need the law to be on their side in greater context in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Below, Shamim address marriage and divorce in Pakistan.

 

JRH 4/8/17

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MoHR Purposed Amendments in Christian Marriage and Divorce Acts

 

By Shamim Mahmood

Sent 4/7/2017 10:46 PM

ISLAMABAD: Christian leadership agreed to bring reforms in the Marriage and Divorce acts to protect women rights. The clergy, parliamentarians and civil society have agreed to bring amendments to Christian Marriages Act 1872 and the Divorce Acts of 1869 of the constitutions of Pakistan.

 

A national level consultation of religious leaders, civil society and Christian parliamentarians was held to discuss Christian Marriage and divorce Acts. Senator Kamran Michael, Federal Minster for Human Rights stated that the Government is aware of the need for greater protection and promotion of minority rights whether it is legislation, education, health, nutrition or violence against them. He informed that Christian Family matters among the Christian community are dealt with by the Christian Marriages Act of 1872 and the Divorce Act of 1869. Since both the Acts are centuries old and need to be reviewed as certain provisions became outdated; they smack of colonial rule. Talking to the UCANews Senator Kamran Michael said the incumbent government is committed to protect the rights of every citizens of Pakistan especially women, children and minorities [Similar Thought Pakistan Point]. He said to facilitate the Christian community across the country, Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR) [MoHR update from Pakistan Today 3/19/17] has obtained Resolutions from Provincial Governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan to regulate matter pertaining to Christian Marriage and divorce. He also referred first national consultation held in August 2016 wherein the same bills were thoroughly examined.

 

Mr. Sharafat Ali Chaudhry, Legal consultant, MoHR presented the Bill and stated that in these drafts, it has been proposed that the registration of marriage will be responsibility of the State and solemnization will be done by the Church. Age of marriage both for male and female has been proposed to be 18 years, and both male and female must be from Christian background, he further informed. Under the present applicable law of Christian Divorce Act 1869, there is only one ground of divorce available which is raising allegations against the chastity of the spouse, however, in the proposed draft, other grounds of the divorce have been proposed for the parties.

 

A Legal Consultant pointed out difference of opinion among different Christian religious communities. A detail discussion was held and it was proposed that more consultations are needed to have a unified legislation. It was also proposed that Representatives of National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) may also be invited during next consultations as registration of marriages is responsibility of NADRA and Christian community is facing problem in getting marriage certificates.

 

A detailed discussion was also held to discuss amendments in divorce. It was informed that there has been a bill in the national assembly related to health issues wherein amendment has also been proposed in the Christian Bills. Legal consultant elaborated ground for divorce and raised the issue that mental and physical illness as well as cruelty shall be included in the grounds for divorce. Numbers of ground were proposed by the participants in view of current changed social, economic and cultural situations.

 

Senator Kamran Michael stated that the law is for Christian community and all denomination shall unanimously approve it. He was of the view that there shall not be amendments which are in contradiction to the Bible, however, clergy may like to consider different options and grounds for divorce. He further purposed another consultation meeting in Islamabad next month wherein the amendment proposed during current meeting will be discussed.

 

All denominational heads from Roman Catholic, Church of Pakistan, Presbyterian, and Salvation Army, members from the civil society and Christian parliamentarians were part of the meeting and agreed to the purposed amendments.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Mahmood

 

 

SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is shamimpakistan@gmail.com, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

Email: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Eushaw

Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
http://oiwerk.blogspot.com/

+92-300-642-4560

 

___________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Mahmood – MoHR Purposed Amendments in Christian Marriage and Divorce Acts

Rise up for ‘A Cause’


Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego & Christ

We Americans hear most about the atrocities against Christians committed by the ISIS terrorists in the conflict ablaze in the areas of Iraq and Syria. But you have to understand that wherever Christians live in a Muslim dominated nation they are persecuted often in some of the most barbaric ways reminiscent of Early Christianity when the Roman Empire at various time tried to stamp the Christian faith until Constantine the Great embrace it.

 

Shamim Masih writes about an incident that in America was the Mid-term election. In Pakistan two Christians – a couple – tried to get released from their bondage labor agreement at a brick kiln because the lady was pregnant with their fourth child. The Muslim owner demanded an insurmountable amount of Pakistan Rupees for her release. When push came to shove the Muslim owner decided to be vindictive and a blasphemy accusation was broadcast about them in a Muslim village. The Muslims came out as a mob beat, stripped them for humiliation and tossed them alive into the burning kiln oven.

 

JRH 11/8/14

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Rise up for ‘A Cause’

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 11/6/2014 11:00 PM

 

 

Shahzad Masih and Shama Bibi - Christians burned alive Pakistan

Sijjad Masih and Saima Bibi

 

 

ISLAMABAD: On November 04, 2014, it was bright sunny day in Pakistan, and Shia Muslims were mourning over the incident [that] happened hundreds years ago in Karbala. Due to 10th Muharram event, mobile service was off in the major cities of the country and thus internet was not working as well in our surroundings. In the morning, my friend Sohail Johnson told me on the phone that a mob attacked a Christian couple and burnt their bodies at a brick kiln where they worked. Due to the distortion in the line, I could not hear it clearly but I perceived that the poor Christian couple met a terrible end. Later I got the detailed story. According to details, a Christian married couple, Sijjad Masih (the name mentioned in the FIR) and his wife Saima Bibi (nick name Shama) were beaten to within an inch of their lives and then burnt alive in an oven of a brick kiln. Think of it, all is done in the name of Islam. A false charge of blasphemy was leveled against the couple in what was really a money dispute. The Muslim owner of brick kiln exacted revenge on the non-Muslims by leveling false charges, and the punishments are savage [as in extralegal rather than rule of law].

 

To me it is not a new story, it has been happening to Christians for many years. And it reminds us of the Gojra incident. The laws of Sharia are used to exact revenge against religious minorities. We don’t as yet know, in the absence of any judicial process, if they were guilty of any offence at all. We do know that blasphemy laws in the country have been frequently misused. It is the same practice, they did [it] in 2009 in Gojra, and [the] seven family members [who] were burnt alive. It is a systematic approach to wipe out the minorities from the Islamic State of Pakistan. First they accuse them of blasphemy by accusing them of desecrating [the] Quran and then killing them. This has been their [Sunni Muslim] long time approach and the World still watches.

   

The controversial blasphemy laws were formulated in the 1980s during General Zia-ul-Haq’s martial law regime. A conviction or merely an accusation of blasphemy can put one’s life in danger. Even if one is acquitted the fear of death at the hands of vigilantes remains. Even the courts and legislators think twice before dwelling into the sensitivities of these issues.

 

Around 1300 people have been charged under the stringent blasphemy laws of Pakistan between 1986 until 2014. And according to sources, more than 50 people accused of blasphemy were killed before their respective trials were over. There are 14 people, who were sentenced to death and are waiting on death row and 19 were granted a life sentence. However, the death sentence has never been implemented. Prior to 1986, only 14 cases pertaining to blasphemy were reported.

 

Blasphemy is a very sensitive subject in [our] country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence. Anyone convicted, or even just accused, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes. In the recent outrageous act in Check No. 59 [i.e. the live burning of Sijjad Masih and Saima Bibi], Sohail Johnson, Chairman, Sharing Life Ministry (SLMP), reached on the spot at once with his team and [expedited] his job, arguing with the officials [even] in registering [the] first investigating report (FIR), collecting ash and body parts of the deceased. He helped to take them and buried them in their parent village Clarkabad [Link]. A few [of the] Christian’s political figures were seen there as well.

 

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry chairman Pakistan Minority Alliance (PMA) reached there and staged a protest rally on second day of the incident.

 

Albert David chairman Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM) denounced the increasing victimization of religious minorities. He demanded to take strict and immediate action against the people involved in the killing of a Christian couple. He warns the government if the victimization continues people will consider other options.

 

Sajid Ishaq demanded the government to punish the people who misuse this law. He said the State should made substantial efforts to protect minorities from being victimization by the miscreants. Chief of Pakistani Interfaith League (PIL) declared this incident another example of biased behavior and prejudiced mind sets.

 

Basharat Khokhar, a human right activist declared this brutal killing an inhuman action. He demanded the authority to punish the culprits to set an example for others. There is not rule of law and minorities especially Christians are targeted time to time, he added.

 

Some other Christian activists in and outside the country have showed their deep concern about the recent incident. Few political and religious figures were also seen in few pictures. All of these people are doing their job but much require to be done. I think, correctly said Albert David that somehow we are increasingly becoming vulnerable to the discriminatory laws and mob violence. And nobody knows who will be the next victim of this law. The sward is hanging on. We need to step forward and take action against this brutality. Enough is enough; all Christian leadership outside the government, should demand the Christian parliamentarians to stand with the community and demand the government to re-visit this law. I tell you if you have not taken solid step to stop them, tomorrow will be your turn. Look, Salman Taseer, Ex-Governor Punjab and Shahbaz Bhatti were ruthlessly murdered in the capital. And the murderer of Salman Taseer lives comfortably in a special cell at Rawalpindi’s Adiayla Jail.

 

Christians of the country should demand the government to bring amendments in this law and until then should stop its application. U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has already demanded to stop implementation of blasphemy laws until reforms.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

 

Diplomatic Correspondent covering: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist

 

Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text and links enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Protection and Promotion of Rights of Expression


Blasphemy Law Human Rights Violation

Shamim editorializes about the injustice of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law and how it is often used by Sunni Muslims to settle personal scores not only with Christians but the other minorities that exist in Pakistan.

 

JRH 10/11/14

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Protection and Promotion of Rights of Expression

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 10/10/2014 11:40 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: It is heard since August, 2011 that a National Commission will be established for the protection of the rights of the minorities in Pakistan to promote interfaith harmony among different sects. But nothing is seen in practical. Now we heard the echo to [the] establishment of the Minority Rights Commission. Before establishing these commissions, let’s consider the working and output of the Ministry of National Harmony or Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pakistan.

 

First of all, the State and the Constitution should provide the basics of faith to its citizens. Minorities should be given equal rights and not to be made victims of discrimination at any level. Unfortunately the gap between Muslims and the minorities’ groups had widened to a great extent. Various religious groups are living in their respective pigeon holes and it is a dangerous trend. We need to develop Minority Rights Commission for interfaith harmony but it is impossible without justice and equality in the society as peace should not be promoted without it. [The] Constitution of the country was not based on inter-faith harmony.

 

During the last three decades, religious minorities are desperately disheartened due the prevailing situation in the country. Especially Sunni Muslims and other extremist group are targeting religious minorities Christians, Hindu and Ahmadis’. And this ratio has been incredibly increased during the recent years. Targeting and burning the Christians’ colonies is becoming habitual. Thus Pakistan has become one of the most obsessive countries in the world. According to the figures presented during United Nations Human Rights Council 25th session; between year 2012-13, more than 700 people were killed and more than 1100 injured because of religion – related violence. At least 16 people are facing the death penalty in Pakistan for blasphemy, and 20 are serving life sentences.

 

In that report presented to [the] United Nations; Pakistan was declared one of the most hostile nations for religious minorities in the world and countries to violate many of its citizens’ right to freedom of religion or belief. You will hear on every other day that someone [is] being charged of blasphemy and there are the judges on duty to award [a] death sentence to such people when the charges are proven. Everyone is aware in the country that the blasphemy law has often been used for settling personal scores.

 

Let me give you the short history of the blasphemy law; this law was enacted by the British to protect the religious sentiments of the Muslims minorities in the subcontinent against the Hindu majority. After the partition, when [the] Muslims have become majority, the law should have been abolished. But it was made more stringent. Life imprisonment was replaced with the mandatory death penalty in the section 295-C.

 

There is need to promote interfaith harmony, but [the] state minister for interfaith harmony is only seen in [the] papers. It is only sharing about Hajj issues in Pakistan. Establishment of [the] “Minority Rights Commissions at National and Provincial’ level is seen but in [the] papers only.  Fact is [the] situation [is] worsening for religious minorities day by day, because disharmony is based in the Constitution of Pakistan. There is need to bring [an] amendment in the constitution along with revising the educational syllabus to highlight the role of minorities’ groups in the struggle for Pakistan. Our history has been twisted badly and the innocent minds were never provided with correct information. But now the time has come that [the] new generation should be provided real facts through education and legislation.

 

In our country, protection and promotion of rights expression is [the] dare need of the day. We are lacking of leadership that will come to reduce these issues in the country. We have to take collective efforts and rise to resolve the issues of the minorities of the country. Unfortunately our local Christian political leadership is not taking up these issues seriously and collectively. Some political leaders are using their resources to get seats in the main stream political parties. This electoral system and [the] influential have divided our Christian people in the name of politics and religion. Thus the situation has become alarming for religious minorities. Home, life and property, the synagogues are not secure and [a] series of incidents [are] conducted.

 

Yes! We are facing terrorism, energy crises, and unemployment collectively as a nation but there are some forces within state, threatening all religious minorities of the country. Yes! We want to live with brotherhood, sympathy, peace and social harmony. But there are some barbaric discriminatory laws [that] reeks of [a] medieval mentality. We need to start [to] behave like rational human beings with [the] ability to critically analyze things rather than behaving like savage and barbaric animals.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Diplomatic Correspondent

Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

__________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets are by the editor.

Please click the Western Union LINK to support Shamim a Christian Activist in Pakistan.

 

© Shamim Masih

 

 

New Ideas, New Players


pleasing-allah-by-burning-christian-homes

There may be Muslim nations with a greater population of Christians than Pakistan but that does not diminish the fact that Pakistani-Christians receive perhaps the most horrific amount of persecution by the Muslim majority than other nations. YET the Western media rarely delivers the news to raise the consciousness of this horrific treatment of Christians in Pakistan.

 

JRH 6/1/14

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New Ideas, New Players

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: May 31, 2014 3:19 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has arguably become the worst place on Earth for Christians while there are others like Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan etc. Other nations persecute believers, but in Pakistan the entire country has spent generations forming a world view that values the torturing of those that claim the name of Christ. In 1973; when Islam became the national religion and Bhutto’s government seized Christian schools and replaced their teachers and curriculum. Than it was imposed that the Quran is required to be read and recited in all classes at all levels. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Christian to touch or own the Quran. Now, 40 years later, Bhutto, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chief’s plan was successful. Literacy in Pakistan is around 50%, but literacy for Christians is less than 10%. There is only a handful of Christians who work for the government at any level. Mostly Christians are reduced to living in slums, where they are routinely either demolished or their houses frequently set ablaze. But this is not the worst of what happens to Christians here.

 

The worst is that their children, particularly young girls are the targets of their violence. Girls are kidnapped, raped and forced to convert to Islam. Young girls that refuse to convert and marry are beaten, physically tortured and either killed or simply raped and left to die naked in the wilderness. It is unfortunate that Christians do not have access to the legal system in Pakistan. Police arrest them for any crime they are accused of and they are really only accused of one crime: blasphemy, which carries an automatic death sentences. Judges in Pakistan know that if they ever find a Christian innocent of blasphemy that the judge and his family will be murdered. In the last few years blasphemy charges against Christians have become more common. Christians are frequently falsely accused of blasphemy, arrested and their houses are seized. Judges don’t want to hear these cases, and lawyers are afraid for their lives.

 

Today in Pakistan, Christian’s children do not have access to read. They cannot afford the high tuition fee in private schools and government school curriculum is changed according to Islam’s teachings. It is nearly impossible for Christians to get an education, and there are no jobs for them. Parents are afraid to teach their children the basics of the gospel – out of fear that their children may say something that will get them killed.

 

In 2011 the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom completed a study of the educational structure in Pakistan [Blog Editor: PDF version of report]. They reported that “all” of the public school teachers they interviewed taught their students that jihad was the violent struggle against infidels and that is “compulsory” for Muslims to be violent toward Christians (see pg. 16 of that report). Pakistan is a nation where nearly all – if not all – of the teachers, at every level of education, teach their children to kill Christians.

 

Talent, Time and Treasure:

 

The threat matrix for Pakistan religious minorities has changed radically and it has become a useless routine to condemn the act of violence and injustice. So we need to bring change, bringing time, and talent and treasure altogether. Let’s it take in such a way, [the] two nation theory; we as a Christian; are totally different from Muslims. We pray in a different way, we believe in the trinity, our ceremonial way is different, we believe and respect God but in a different way [than] they do. We respect and honor prophets but we are not too rigid and thus Muslims believe that we have an insulting approach which is not true thus they consider it blasphemy.

 

With the passage of time, a new, talented and competent young leader [has been] raised up in this arena. Albert David is one young emerging politician with his platform “Pakistan United Christian Movement (PUCM)”. He has proven track record of his success in his field and ambition to bring change.

 

Sajid Ishaq, a young social activist and politician gives the impression to teach the youth for a better future. Sohail Johnson, chairman Sharing Life Ministry, a brilliant person, companionate and is doing wonderful job in humanitarian field. Farrukh H Saif, chief of World Vision in Progress (WVIP) has been rescuing the persecuted for years.

 

The Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), a political party came in with new changes and working on unity. Tahir Naveed Chaudhry has recently formed a new political party. Naila J Dayal, chairperson Christian Progressive Movement, has been working for years. And there are so many human right activists and politicians working within their resources. The keystone for raising efficiency has to [be] tied up in [a] cord; often even the threat of competition spurs innovation, so allowing more players in is a win-win for all. Let’s face it, [they are] given the challenges that face Christians today in Pakistan.

 

Pakistan used to have a noticeable Christian presence. I urge these and others [to be] zealous for the protection of Christianity in the country. Let’s join hands together, putting our time, talent and treasure together and start to join [an] effort against this malice, injustice and discrimination in the society. I would humbly request to our religious leadership to act like Jesus [when He] gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. (Matthew 14:19). Once Jesus has blessed you and [then] now it’s your responsibility to give to the people. Please deliver:                 

 

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Information and links enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

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The Burning neighbourhoods – For how long?


Pleasing allah by burning Christian homes

 

Shamim writes of persecution spewed up Pakistan’s religious minorities which include the Christians. The persecution is validated by the Blasphemy Law which is used more often than not as a tool for a vendetta agenda against Christians. As a tool a Sunni Muslim simply can falsely accuse a Christian of Breaking the Blasphemy Law for something as simple as an argument or in greed to acquire Christian property.

 

Even in the case if a Blasphemy Law is actually broken. Ridiculous occurrences may result in imprisonment, fines, lashes and/or even death. Ridiculous is tearing a Quran, poking fun at Mohammed, perhaps in a Muslim-Christian discussion or argument the Muslim says something disparaging about Christianity and the Christians responds in kind by saying something disparaging about Islam. Islamic Supremacism says any religion can be denigrated but if Islam is denigrated punishment must follow.

 

Shamim also expresses frustration about Pakistani Christian organizations and Churches receiving generous funding abroad, yet the funds are used to court Muslim Officials and Leaders or for self-aggrandizement and too often not for Christians living in poverty or in need of protection from persecution by Muslims.

 

JRH 7/20/13

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The Burning neighbourhoods – For how long?

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: Fri 7/19/2013 12:30 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Another victim of the blasphemy law was being punished. According to the BBC news, Sajjad Masih was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of two hundred thousand rupees for sending blasphemous text messages to Muslim clerics to seek revenge from his ex-fiancée in Gojra.

 

Sajjad Masih, a resident of Pakpattan district, was arrested in December, 2011. Gojra is religiously sensitive, having witnessed massive attacks on Christians triggered by reports of desecration of the Holy Qura’an in 2002. Eight family members were burnt alive and forty houses and a Church were set ablaze by a mob on August 1, 2009.

 

A recently released, highly researched report conducted by a senior judge suggests that violence against Christians in Pakistan over the past five years could have been prevented by the country’s local authorities. The government reportedly ordered a senior judge to conduct a review following the anti-Christian riots which took place in Gojra. The mob, which accumulated strength in numbers over several days following encouraging sermons at local mosques, torched the Christian neighborhoods of Gojra after it was rumored that family members of a Christian couple used torn-up pieces of the Holy Qura’an at a Christian wedding ceremony.

 

The purpose of report is not only to address the past incident but also to determine how to end the violence relating to the disputes, including an incident in Gujranwala in which Muslim mob attacked Christians, resulting in the injury of five Christians and the damaging of property, including a church and vehicles. The extensive research finds that local intelligence agencies and law enforcement were aware that the some activists of banned outfit, Sipah-e-Sahaba organized riots against Christians, yet they did nothing to stop the violence.

 

This is not the end, on September 21, 2012, a church and a high school in Church compound was reduced to ashes. And the March, 2013, an over 3,000 strong mob set ablaze more than 150 houses in a Christian locality Joseph Colony, Lahore to “take revenge of the blasphemy” allegedly committed by a Christian man. This is the episode of continuous violence and is still on and would not surely stop or there is anyone who dares to stop it. US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) reported that it had tracked 203 publically reported incidents of sectarian violence resulting in more than 1,800 casualties, including over 700 deaths. The report said that between January 2012 and June, 2013, there were 77 attacks against Shias, 37 against Christians, 54 against, Ahmadis, 16 against Hindus and 3 against Sikhs. More than 5 Christians and 7 Hindus girls were rapped.

 

This is blasphemy law, embedded in sections 295 B, C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which is frequently misused for personal revenge. It carries no provision to punish a false accuser or a false witness of blasphemy. For example, the very recent blasphemy case of Rimsha in Islamabad the Apex Court has thumbed on Islamabad High Court judgment. Time will tell whether the courts will punish the false accuser.

 

Force conversion is another issue; innocent females are trapped, kidnapped and married forcefully. On the other hand, minorities are not even free to preach openly. If any person converts to Islam, it is proudly highlighted while Christians have no right to argue on it.

 

 Consequences of the laws

 

Since 1986 blasphemy laws have been frequently used to intimidate and persecute religious minorities and to settle personal vendetta. Hundreds of innocent people have been imprisoned, forced to leave the country or killed by religious fundamentalists. It encourages hostility towards minorities and has proven to be a license for abuse of law and religion. The instigators motivated by religious bigotry, personal prejudice, selfish gain or professional rivalry have used allegations for their convenience. In many cases complaints are filed at the insistence of a number of local clerics or outfits inciting hate against minorities. The laws are inherently arbitrary and restrict freedom of speech and other fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitutions and international human rights laws.

 

Christians in Pakistan have been suffering since independence; the discrimination is seen in the constitution as well. With the passage of time the screw is being tightened. “When the state and constitution make preference on the basis of religion, they end up violating the rights of their citizens.”

 

Human Rights organizations

 

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), along with relevant Special Procedures should monitor the situation in Pakistan and offer a response to the situation concerning human rights abuses, especially of the religious minorities.

 

But who will the bell the cat? All human aid organizations, USAID, UK AID, etc. are helping Muslims in Pakistan. They are working for their vested interests. Since they are in Pakistan, whether these human aid organizations have ever helped Christians …….. All scholarships for education go to Muslim students….. How come they can claim, they are helping humanity equally.    Pakistani Christian Human Rights Activists are busy in leg pulling of each other, some write about the incident and others condemn it and give their own opinion to attract donor’s attention…… People are threatened and if reported some human rights activist deny it and give their own opinion to become champion.

 

 Christian leadership

 

So called efforts by some of the country’s prominent leaders to repeal or amend the law have gone in vain. Pakistani Christians all claim to be born leaders. As the saying goes, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. As Sir Winston Churchill or Margaret Thatcher were born great leaders, so they are! Time has proven that they are all leaders, and this the main cause of their sufferings.

 

During the past era, the minority members in legislative assemblies have signed and endorsed these laws. It is observed that as soon as there is mess, the seasonal creepers come out and earn money on the name of human rights service for the next tenure. Even the religious leaders are involved in illegally selling Church properties, Evangelical Bishops receive billions of aid from their sister Churches in Western countries for promotion and preaching of the Gospel and NGOs funded for charitable programs but they lavishly spend those funds hosting Muslim political leaders and for self-promotions instead vulnerable communities. They are crazy and spend millions for their political positions but will not support any Christian student for their education. During the past months, Christian schools have expelled the Christian students for not paying their school fees. When few leaders were asked to take responsibility of their dues, they simply refused; saying that they don’t have funds for them. But very next month the same leadership spent millions of rupees in election campaign of mainstream political parties in hope of selection as member of legislative assemblies.

 

All of the Christian leaders need to put their act together for the collective good of the community instead of following a divisive course.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

__________________________

© Shamim Masih

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General

REAP

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