Signs of the Times


International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013


The Bible shows that there have always been persecutions, especially of those who try to live godly lives. TheJewish people were persecuted for their faith. The Early Church was also persecuted and a great number of believerswere killed because of their belief in Jesus Christ. Even in more recent times persecution has been common. Mostof the early colonists in the United States came here to escape persecution from their European neighbors!

Wars are usually persecution taken to its next dreadful level. Jesus said that persecution will increase, especiallyduring the Tribulation in the future.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.- Matthew 24:9

Most of the terrifying events of the Tribulation are building up during this present time, which Jesus called"The beginning of birth pains." Ethnic wars, terrorism and anti-Christian philosophies contribute to an ever-growingtoll of suffering and death.

Experts estimate that that between 100 and 200 million Christians around the globe are currently suffering for their faith,especially in communistic and Islamic countries. This persecution takes many forms: imprisonment, abuse, hostilities, and even death.

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Current Events
Links about Persecution
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Current Events

Prophetic Significance of Persecution

Notice: Sources often remove their news links after a period of time. Some of them move older stories to a subscription-only section. Even if the story is no longer on line, our summary will still be available on this page.


World Watch Monitor
Morning Star News
Christian Persecution Magazine

See also:

See more recent articles: After December 31, 2013

Mr. Obama's deafening silence

Dec. 16, 2013 - Michael Youssef quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
In behalf of persecuted Christians everywhere Youssef wonders why there is no word of compassion from President Obama for Christians who are being killed or mutilated,and for the churches being destroyed in Nigeria, Central African Republic, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, or any of the fifty-plus other countries whereChristians are being persecuted. He asks the president, if he claims to be a Christian, to be like Dr. King and break his silence.
Source: Michael Youssef - OneNewsNow

Prophetic Significance of Persecution

Pray for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East Before It's Too Late!

Oct. 19, 2013 -Every true Christian should make themselves fully aware of the plight of 100 million persecuted Christians in the world, and especially thosein the Middle East who may soon be exterminated from the area!
“When one member suffers, all members suffer with it…” (1 Cor. 12:26).
Carefully read these two articles, and ABOVE ALL, PRAY for your persecuted fellow-believers! Bookmark this section of ProphecyCentral and come back often for more news and links.
Pray for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East Before It's Too Late - Religion Today
Bloody ‘Sunday’ has arrived for Christians - Post Independent

Are there really 100,000 new Christian martyrs every year? - (Maybe not, but it is still a huge number) - BBC
Update 12/24/13 - Lives of fear for Egypt's Christians - BBC

Congress approves creation of new envoy as religious attacks rise globally

Sept. 29, 2013 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 402 to 22 to create a special envoy for religious freedom in South Central Asiaand the Middle East. If approved by the Senate, the new State Department official would become an advocate for religious minorities.
The legislation is supported by many large religious groups in the U.S., including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United MethodistChurch, and the Southern Baptist Convention. Many Jewish and Muslim groups have also endorsed the legislation.
Source: Fox
Are American Christians Ignoring the Mayhem of the Middle East? - Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family - Religion Today

Christian Persecution Increasing World-wide!

Sept. 25, 2013 -
Silence is deafening as attacks on Christians continue to grow - Fox
‘But wasn’t the persecution of Christians predicted in the Bible?’ - Gary Bauer - Washington Post
Pope sounds alarm on anti-Christian persecution - National Catholic Reporter
Christians will not be slaughtered silently - Jim Fletcher - WND
Despised and Disgraced: Persecution Uniquely Faced by Christian Women in Pakistan - - International Christian Concern
Syrian Christians in Limbo, Fearing Repeat of Iraq - Voice of America

Pakistan: 85 Killed in Church Attack, Christians Take to the Streets

Sept. 23, 2013 - Two suicide bombers caused the death of 85 church-goers and the injury of more than 100 others in Pakistan. The explosionstook place Sunday at the All Saints Church in the old quarter of the city of Peshawar. Members were leaving the service to receive free food out on the lawn.

The Jundullah wing of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks. A spokesman said, “They [Christians] are the enemies of Islam, therefore wetarget them.”

Source: Religion Today
Matthew Fisher: It’s open season on Christians in Syria and across the Muslim world - National Post
Earlier: Sept. 8, 2013 Syrian rebels seize control of Christian village - USA Today
O'REILLY: The World Failing to Confront the True Nature of Muslim Terrorism - Fox

Kenya standoff

Sept. 22, 2013 - The Westgate Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, is the target of an ongoing attack by Al-Shabab militants, part of theal-Qaeda network. The attack, which has killed at least 59 people, comes after repeated threats of violence unless Kenya pulls its troopsout of Somalia. More than 10 attackers are thought to still be in the complex. They have targeted non-Muslims and foreigners who frequent theIsraeli-owned mall.
Source: BBC
Update Sept. 23, 2013 - Nairobi Westgate attack: Assault begins to break siege62 dead and more than 170 injured - BBC
Kenyan Forces Move to Free Hostages From Mall Siege - Wall Street Journal
Three Attackers in Kenya Mall Siege Lived in US — CNN - NewsMax

Jihad Against Egypt's Christians: The US Must Speak Out

Aug. 22, 2013 - The history of Israel and the Church are intertwined with Egypt. Jesus escaped Herod's massacre when hisfamily fled to Egypt. Egypt was Christian for six hundred years before the advent of Islam.
It provided sanctuary for the Holy Family. And later produced some of the Church's greatest minds: Tertullian, Origen and the greatdefender of orthodoxy, Athanasius.
The descendants of those early Christians are known as the Copts. The Coptic Church has kept the faith in spite of persecution down through thecenturies. Now the Muslim Brotherhood, which is on the verge of being driven underground again in Egypt, is brutally attacking Coptic churchesand Christians.

The writer of this article urges all of us to call or email our representatives in Congress and the White House. He says, "The U.S. must speakout and condemn the targeting and murder of Egyptian Christians."

Source: John Stonestreet - Christian Post
Contact Congress and the White House
Obama Must Demand Christian Protection in Exchange for Foreign Aid to Egypt, Petition Urges - Christian Post
The 'almost unremarked' tragedy of Christians persecuted in the Middle East - Telegraph UK

Egyptian Islamists blamed for attack on 60 churches

Aug. 21, 2013 - Islamists in Egypt have attacked some 60 churches since the regime's bloody raid on two Islamist protest camps.
The Coptic Christian churches were vandalized, and in many cases set on fire, in a surge of anti-Christian violence after the Aug. 14 raid andensuing violence that led to the deaths of more than 900 Morsi supporters.
Source: UPI
Coptic Kristallnacht - National Review
Ravaged churches reveal sectarian split feeding Egypt’s violence - Washingon Post

Egyptian Islamists target Christians as security tightens ahead of protests

Aug. 18, 2013 - Christians in Egypt comprise 10 percent of the population of 90 million. They are opposed to the Islamist vision ofgovernment that President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood imposed on the country. Morsi supporters have stepped up persecution of Christiansas a warning to stand down from political activism.
In the four days since security forces cleared two sit-in camps by Morsi supporters, Islamists have attacked dozens of Coptic churches,along with homes and businesses owned by the Christian minority.
Source: Fox
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood calls for week of rallies to protest killings - Prophecy Central: Egypt Section

U.S. city looks to penalize Bible believers

July 24, 2013 - In August the San Antonio City Council will resume consideration of a proposed change to its nondiscriminationordinance. Christians in the city are concerned.
That’s because the change creates a penalty for those who ever exhibit a “bias,” which clearly could include adopting the Bible’scondemnation of homosexuality, with a permanent ban on participation in city government, business or employment.
Source: WND

Christians Killed in Egypt Following President's Ouster

July 10, 2013 -
Five Egyptian Christians were killed and dozens injured in scattered violence following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, accordingto a report from Morningstar News.
The Muslim Brotherhood has suffered heavy losses because of the ouster of Morsi. Fifty-one pro-Morsi protestors during a protest againstthe military. Now they are lashing out against the Christians (Coptic Church) for their part in the situation.
Source: Christianity Today
Muslim Brotherhood Kept Christians From Voting at Gunpoint During Morsi Election, Megachurch Pastor Reveals - Christian Post
What Will the Future Hold for the Christian Minority in the Middle East? - Religion Today

100,000 Christians Are Killed Around the Globe Each Year, Says Holy See Official

May 31, 2013 - Monsieur Silvano Maria Tomassi, representative of the Vatican at the United Nations, said that approximately 100,000 Christiansare killed annually due to their religious faith.
He added that the Middle East, Africa and Asia are the regions that witness the most violations against religious freedoms and blamed sectarian incitement, fanaticism and terrorism.
Source: Christian Post

Iran's Largest Pentecostal Church Closed, Pastor Detained

May 27, 2013 -
The Central Assembles of God Church (AOG), Iran's largest Persian-speaking Pentecostal church, was closed during a worship service on Monday,according to BosNewsLife. Its pastor, Robert Asserian, was detained on May 21 and moved to an unknown location.
Growing Christian churches that conduct worship services in Farsi are considered a threat to the influence of the Islamic authorities there.
Source: Christian Post

Congressman gets standing O for nailing IRS chief

May 17, 2013 - During the Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing about the scandal of the IRS targeting conservativegroups, Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa. grilled former IRS Chief Steve Miller who just resigned under pressure. Kelly said to Miller,
“When the IRS comes in, you’re not allowed to be shoddy, you’re not allowed to be run horribly, you’re not allowed to make mistakes, you’renot allowed to do one d— thing that doesn’t come in compliance,” Kelly blasted. “If you do, you’re held responsible right then.”
When Kelly called the situation "an outrage for all America,” the gallery erupted in applause.
Source: WND

May 14, 2013 - In the light of recent news that the IRS has been inappropriate targeting of groups with "tea party" and other conservativebuzzwords, Franklin Graham revealed that The Billy Graham Evangelical Association and Samaritan Purse were both audited last year , apparently becausethey encouraged voters to vote with Christian principles in mmind.
Both the BGEA and Samaritan's Purse passed the audits and retained their tax-exempt status. But Franklin Graham says the audits, which"wasted" ministry time and money, were not "coincidence" or "justifiable."
Source: Christianity Today
pdf file of the Letter -

In IRS scandal, echoes of Watergate

May 13, 2013 - Recent disclosures that the IRS is deliberately targeting groups sympathetic to the Tea Party or advocating patriotism orconstitutional rights has hit the news as another scandal that affects the White House. Commentator George T. Will notes that 40 years ago a similar complainthelped bring down President Nixon during the Watergate Scandal era.
Source: George T. Will - Washington Post

US Dept. of State Accused of Enabling Nigerian Islamist Group Boko Haram

May 1, 2013 -
A Nigerian human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Ogebe, has accused the U.S. Department of State of enabling Islamist militant group Boko Haram bymischaracterizing their actions in that country which have resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Christians and other civilians since 2012.
The Department of State failed to designate Boko Haram a terror group, and now it claims that they are economically motivated and should receivemore money to assist their operations.
Source: Christian Post

Nigeria: The Deadliest Place to Be a Christian

Apr. 29, 2014 -
According to various report, over 900 Christian were killed in Nigeria in 2012 for no other reason than subscribing to the Christian faith.Many victims died at the hands of Islamic militants attached to the extremist group Boko Haram.
Already this year some 128 people have been killed.
Source: International Christian Concern - Religion Today

Pastor Saeed Abedini Severely Beaten, Fainting From Internal Bleeding

Apr. 15, 2013 - The American Center for Law and Justice reports that U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini has been severely beaten in Evin Prisonin Tehran, and is experiencing fainting spells. He is not receiving proper medical care. He has been building an orphanage for children in Iran, andwas arrested last year, tried for "endangering national security," and sentenced to eight years in prison.
The ACLJ called that a "sham trail," however, noting that the real reason behind Abedini's sentence was his faith.
Source: Christian Post

Egypt's Copts Need Protection: What's Morsi Waiting For?

Apr. 15, 2013 - The Coptic Orthodox church in Egypt is experiencing the worst persecution in their 2000 year history. A weekago last Sunday, at the end of a funeral service at their Cathedral, some 200 Muslims attacked them, killing one man and injuring dozensof others. Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II said that there had been no clear action by the state against the perpetrators.
Source: Christian Post
Egyptian Religious Ministry Bans Interactions With Evangelical Church - Christian Post

Military warned 'evangelicals' No. 1 threat

Apr. 6, 2013 -
Soldiers in the U.S. military have been told in a training briefing that evangelical Christians are the No. 1 extremist threat to America – ahead of groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, KKK, Nation of Islam, al-Qaida, Hamas and others
At an Army reserve unit in Pennsylvania, a training brief titled “Extremism and Extremist Organizations,” also listed Catholicism andultra-orthodox Judaism as extremist organizations. Extremists were defined as people who believe their beliefs, customs and traditions arethe only ‘right way.’
Source: WND

Website stunner: 'Legalize Jesus'

Mar. 25, 2013 - Check out the new Hollywood-style website that exposes the rising tide of persecution against Christians!
Source: WND
Rise of Islam fuels Christian persecution - WND

Anti-Christian Pogrom in Pakistan

Mar. 18, 2013 - Muslims in Badami Bagh, a suburb of the city of Lahore in Pakistan, burned about 170 homes of Christians. Theyclaimed that the town’s residents has spoken disrespectfully about Prophet Muhammad.
Source: The Voice of Russia

Activists Scold U.S. Over Pastor Imprisoned in Iran

Mar. 18, 2013 - When the U.S. State Department failed to show up for a hearing on Mar. 13 about Iran's treatment of religious minorities,and pastor Saeed Abedini's imprisonment in Tehran's Evin prison, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice,complained,
"The State Department is AWOL -- they are absent without leave."
Source: Religion Today

Persecution Rises in China as Plan Begins to End House Churches

Feb. 19,. 2013 - The Chinese government has begun a three-phase plan to eliminate unregistered house churches.

The first phase began last year, from January to June. The State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) secretly investigated housechurches across the country and created files on them. It is estimated that there are between 45 million and 60 million house-church members.The government has banned the term "house church."

The second phase, which is being implemented now, is to try to convince churches to become part of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement(TSPM),the legal, government-controlled church. Most underground Christian object to TSPM beliefs. If they do join TSPM they will be called"house gatherings."

The third phase is expected to begin from 2015 through to 2025, when the government would shut down house churches that do not comply withthe requirement to join the TSPM.
Source: Religion Today
How China Plans to Wipe Out House Churches - Christianity Today
For balance on this issue: China Isn't Trying to Wipe Out Christianity - Christianity Today

20 Churches Destroyed, 100s of 'Sons' Killed in Syria; Christian Leader Reveals Dire Reality

Feb. 9, 2013 - The Patriarch of the Greek Melkite Catholic Church revealed that twenty churches have been destroyed,damaged or abandoned, and around a hundred Christians have been killed in recent fighting in Syria.
Source: Christian Post

Feb. 8, 2013 - Maikel Adel Naguib Farag and Maikel Mossad Shaker were sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt for possessinga military machine gun during a a protest in Cairo last October. The protest denounced the demolition of a church in Aswan. The militaryopened fire on the demonstrators and ran over some of them with their armored vehicles.
To date, no top-ranking military officials have been held responsible for the massacre and only three soldiers have been sentencedwith short prison terms on charges of involuntary manslaughter for their role in the deaths of fourteen protestors.
Source: Religion Today

American Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years in Iran

Jan. 28, 2013 - An American pastor, Saeed Abedini, has been convicted on charges of setting up house churches in Iran. Herejected the charges, but was sentenced to 8 years in prison. State Department spokesman said that the department is calling on Iranto respect 's human rights and release him.
Source: NewsMax
Update Feb. 8, 2013 - American pastor tortured in Iranian prison - WND

Religious War: North Africa's Christians Multiply Amid Persecution

Jan. 27, 2013 - Operation World reports that Christian persecution has increased since the Arab Spring in countries like Egypt,Libya, and Algeria.
"Yet increased pressure over the last decade has not crushed the evangelical churches, which are growing by 5 percent annually. 'Aprayer and renewal movement has burst onto the scene in recent years with many thousands from all the major churches participating.'”
Source: Religion Today

Africa Rises, China Falls on Christian Persecution List

Jan. 9, 2013 - Open Doors, a Christian missionary organization reports that there was a vast rise in Christian persecutionin Africa last year as radical Islamists consolidated power there. Nigeria, Somalia, Ethiopia and Mali were especially bad for Christians.
North Korea topped Open Doors' list for the 11th year in a row...The group estimates that as many as 70,000 Christians areimprisoned in North Korea simply for being Christian, and the act of carrying a Bible can result in execution.
Other top violators are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with Syria rising rapidly.

On the other hand, China has improved, moving down on the persecution list from No. 21 in 2011 to No. 37 in 2012.

Source: Religion Today
About 100 million Christians persecuted around the world: report - Reuters
Why President Obama Does Not Defend Persecuted Christians - By Egyptian Christian Author - Christian Post

Hobby Lobby: The First Martyr Under Obamacare?

Jan. 8, 2013 - It is interesting that December 26 is the day that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused judicial reliefto the Hobby Lobby craft store chain regarding their objection to the Affordable Care Act because it requires them to providebirth control methods that may result in abortion. December 26 happens to be Stephen's Day, the day that honors Christendom's first martyr.

A statement from Hobby Lobby says, "The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to theirfaith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs." Contraception is not the the issue, but some of thegovernment-approved methods will stop the growth of a fertilized egg.

As a result the government could fine Hobby Lobby $1.3 million per day! That would be the "death knell" for the company.

Apparently, that death would be more desirable to the company's owners than potentially funding the deaths of developing human beings.
Source: Karen Swallow Prior - Christianity Today

The Scandal of Silence: Our Persecuted Brethren

Jan. 7, 2013 - Evangelical Christians have had a serious blindspot this past year about the "outrageous, brutal and systematicpersecution of Christians — especially in the Islamic world." The U.S. government and the media have been silent too! Recording "BreakpointThis Week," the author joined WORLD magazine columnist Mindy Belz and Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research to discuss this problem. For example:The Islamic group Boko Haram have been on a murderous rampage against Christians in Nigeria.
And of course, it’s not just Nigeria. Entire Christian communities have disappeared in Iraq. In Syria, Christians are being targeted by Islamist radicals mixed in with the Syrian opposition forces.
All over the world there are neglected stories of persecution against Christians. Will this be the year we break our silence?
Source: John Stonestreet, BreakPoint - Religion Today

Go to: Articles before Jan. 1, 2013

Links About Persecution


Legalize Jesus
Morning Star News
Religious Freedom - Christian Post
World Watch Monitor
Worthy Network
Persecution of Christians - Wikipedia
Ayaan Hirsi Ali:The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World - Newsweek
Amnesty International
Bible League
Christian Freedom International
Christians In Crisis
Compas Direct
Defend Christians
Hudson Institute's Center For Religious Freedom
Human Rights Watch
International Christian Concern
International Day of Prayer For The Persecuted Church
Open Doors International - Brother Andrew
Persecution Project
World Watch List
The Rutherford Institute
The Thomas More Law Center

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Last Updated: 12/16/13

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