Travel Lightly into The New Year


ENTERING a new year is like taking a holiday to some place foreign and uncharted. You never know what to expect.

It’s like turning up in a distant city without pre-arranged accommodation. It sharpens the senses.

There’s a joy in jumping into the unknown, where we can delve into the more essential parts of ourselves.

As Oliver Cromwell once said: “A man never goes so far as when he does not know where he is going.”

A travel writer friend said the great joy of travelling to unknown parts was leaving all his beliefs and certainties behind.

He said the clear difference between a tourist and a traveller was that the latter left assumptions at home, and the former did not.

Life is always a trip and it helps if you travel light and with a little trust in your heart.

There are fewer distractions; more time to consider the bigger picture.

Facing the new year, pursuing true love or searching for spirituality have something of the feel of journeying to foreign lands where the language is at first unknown and the terrain unfamiliar.

Our fears are often baseless. After all, more people are said to be killed annually by donkeys than by planes falling out of the sky.

And more people are killed each year by falling coconuts than sharks.

Whether religious or not, we travel a spiritual path. Every day we make choices that affect the direction in which we are headed.

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus spoke of the two ways open to all of us, each with its own beginning, and each with its own end. He said one way was heavily populated; the other travelled by few.

He sent his disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God, and told them: “Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals, and greet no one on the road.”

The message was clear. Don’t load up the donkey with tons of stuff, tons of preconceptions and angst. Just let go and let God do His job. Travel light.



58 thoughts on “Travel Lightly into The New Year

  1. Sermon on the Mount

    Christ challenges us that it is a spiritual violation of the law against murder to be angry with a person without a cause. Men are to avoid adultery, even to the extent of avoiding lusting after women in their hearts. “Love your enemies” and “be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”. God loves all peoples. He has deep concern even for those who take His name in vain and reject His existence.


    • Taking the Lord’s name in vain, means reneging on your oath. It was fine to say “By God, I’ll do such and such,” or “By Jesus, I will,” if you mean it and do it.


  2. US President Obama uses the sermon on the mount. “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,” the president said. “We must build our house upon a rock.”

    “The reference to Jesus’ most famous — and notoriously challenging — sermon quickly drew attention from the media, some of whom labeled the speech “Obama’s Economic Sermon on the Mount.”

    He used the two-houses parable to remark on government policy and used the sermon’s wider message of tolerance and love to defend his progressive interpretation of Christianity.


  3. A letter from Jail

    “Was not Jesus an extremist for love: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Was not Amos an extremist for justice: “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.” Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” Was not Martin Luther an extremist: “Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God.” And John Bunyan: “I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.” And Abraham Lincoln: “This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.” And Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . .” So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”

    Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Published in:
    King, Martin Luther Jr.


  4. You can struggle all your life to attain possessions, especially if they’ve been hard to get. Then there comes a time of unloading. Surprise surprise, no one wants your treasures. “I don’t want them, sell them on e-bay.” Easier said than done by an elderly person, but thankfully there are charities that are glad of them.

    You might be aiming for luxury housing, then realise all you need or want is quite basic.

    A new year gives the incentive to unload, but apart from incentive, what meaning does it have? Although there is much in the Bible about God’s involvement with time, there are also passages that tell us he also exists beyond time.

    “Someday, when the ultimate laws of physics are in our grasp, we may discover that the notion of time isn’t actually essential. Time might instead emerge to play an important role in the macroscopic world of our experience, even if it is nowhere to be found in the final Theory of Everything.

    “In that case, I would have no trouble saying that time is “real.” I know what it means to grow older or to celebrate an anniversary whether or not time is “fundamental.” And either way, I can still wish people a Happy New Year in good conscience.”

    Read more:


  5. Another man selected point !
    On a scale with zero importance to the universe.
    Give another three billion plus spins around the sun this rock will be barren .
    And two billion more spins of Saturn there will be no more earth.
    And HOMO SAPIENS will no more be the center of the universe.


    • 😛 And happy New Year to you.
      Yes the planet earth will end. But one of the most beautiful promises in the Bible is found in John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”


    • CB, you must rock at parties.
      You are a true atheist with a strong nihilistic streak, except for animals of course.

      Having no such thing as objective morality (not saying you have no morals) you think such thing as right or wrong and no action is preferred to another based on “morality.” Although you have your relativism. You stated so many times we cannot really know anything and this would include morality. Must be confusing.

      I have left you some poems based on your theme of death.
      The second one you can relate to I am sure.

      Dear lovely death
      That taketh all things under wing-
      Never to kill-
      Only to change
      Into some other thing
      This suffering flesh,
      To make it either more or less,
      Yet not again the same-
      Dear lovely death, Change is thy other name.

      -Langston Hughes

      If I can stop one heart from breaking
      I shall not live in vain;
      If I can ease one life the aching
      Or cool one pain,
      Or help a fainting Robin.
      Unto his nest again,
      I shall not live in vain.

      -Emily Dickinson


  6. When Does the Islamic New Year 2015 begin?

    The Islamic New Year is the first day in the Islamic lunar calendar.

    Traditionally, Islamic New Year begins with the first sighting of the new Moon crescent in the month of Muharram, so date may vary with location.

    The crescent Moon may be visible a day or so after the new Moon, but weather and other factors may delay the sighting.

    Islamic New Year 2015
    Year First Day of the Islamic New Year
    2014 Saturday, October 25
    2015 Thursday, October 15
    2016 Friday, October 2


  7. Chinese New Year Festival 2016

    Expect fireworks, food and spectacular dragons to take over Melbourne as the city celebrates the arrival of the Year of the Monkey.

    New Year’s Day is Monday 8th February, 2016

    Enjoy dragon and lion dances at Fed Square, Queen Victoria Market and Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, watch the fireworks from Eureka Skydeck 88 and Melbourne Star, or learn more about Chinese culture at ACMI’s China Up Close program of exhibitions, films and talks.

    Some of Melbourne’s favourite attractions are also offering discounts during February: kids younger than 16 get free entry into Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary, while there’s a 20 per cent discount on tickets to SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium.
    Date | Time
    From: Saturday 6th of February 2016 To Sunday 21st of February 2016


  8. Over the last 15 years there have been over 140,000 terror incidences.

    The most significant groups are;
    Yemen: Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
    Syria: Al Nusrah Front (ANF)
    North Africa (Sahel): Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
    West Africa: Boko Haram and Ansaru
    East Africa (Somalia): Al Shabaab
    Iraq: Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Al Qaida in Iraq (AQI)

    In 2014, there were10,981 terrorist attacks. A total of 30,923 people were killed.

    in 2015 Boko Haram overtook ISIL to become the most deadly terrorist group in the world. Deaths attributed to Boko Haram increased by 317 per cent in 2014 to 6,644. ISIL was responsible for 6,073 terrorist deaths.

    Nigeria has largest increase in deaths from terrorism in 2014. 7,512 deaths from terrorist attacks.

    In 2013, a total of 9,707 terrorist attacks across the globe. 17,800 deaths and more than 32,500 injuries.

    In 2012, a total of 6,771 terrorist attacks occurred globally.

    Sadly, what will 2016 hold for the globe?


    • “Sadly, what will 2016 hold for the globe?”
      Alexei, rather ask “Happily, what will 2016 hold for the globe?”
      I am heartened by Manuel Castels.

      Whatever evil happens, Alexei, God can turn it to good. Bearing in mind that his time frame is beyond ours. Bearing in mind too that Earthly tragedy has to be seen as something to prevent with all endeavour, yet can be likened to just one day in the total scheme of things.


      • “Whatever evil happens, Alexei, God can turn it to good.”

        I agree.

        2016 will bring more Muslims to Christ.

        “The host of an important Christian program reaching Muslims told CBN News, “Islam is going to collapse.”

        Brother Rachid is the son of a Moroccan imam who lived as a secret Christian convert for 15 years. Now he hosts an Arabic language Christian program called “Daring Questions” that challenges Muslims to question their faith.

        “Many Muslims are saying, ‘If ISIS is Islam, I’m leaving.’ Some are becoming atheists,” Brother Rachid said. “There is a huge wave of atheism in the Arab world right now and many are turning to Jesus Christ. Islam was never faced with this crisis before.”

        Nassim said Islam appears strong, but it is only feeding off the spiritual void in weak Christian nations.

        “The greatest power of Islam is the weakness of the Christians,” he said. “That’s what happened in Germany and in America and all the Western countries.”

        Even while it seems Islam seems poised to overtake the West, Brother Rachid says Christians should not fear Islam, a faith he is convinced is slowly dying.

        “Islam is not God’s instrument to judge the West,” he said. “I think people are afraid because of what they see on the news. But even violence is just a sign of collapse.”


      • ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN — A Christian revival is touching the northernmost reaches of Africa. In a region once hostile to the Gospel, now tens of thousands of Muslims are following Jesus.

        As the sun sets over the Mediterranean Sea, Muslims across Northern Africa are converting to faith in Jesus Christ in record numbers.

        “What God is doing in North Africa, all the way from actually Mauritanian to Libya, is unprecedented in the history of missions,” said Tino Qahoush, a graduate of Regent University and filmmaker.

        Qahoush has spent years traveling the region to document the transformation.

        “I have the privilege of recording testimonies and listening to first-hand stories of men and women of all ages, where they can be sitting in a room and see the appearance and the presence of God appear to them in reality, like a vision,” he told CBN News.

        “Some of them gave me stories of how they carry on a conversation. It’s not just a light that appears” he added.


      • Grace for Muslims?: The Journey from Fear to Faith
        By Steve Bell, Andrew (Brother)

        A good read. Bin Laden has done more for Muslims following Christ than any other. Isis and Boko Haram have also done Islam a disservice. Watching a video online of many refugees pushing away volunteers handing out water and supplies because the red cross was on the containers. But you could see muslims within the crowd not daring to accept the packages of love as they were scared to do so. These people of love are the ones who will come to Christ.


      • I have done all my talking on this subject over the years. People can take heed or ignore it. The truth will come out in the end. I am quite happy to wait until then.


      • Despite a ferocious civil war, genocide and widespread religious persecution, particularly in the Darfur region — or perhaps because of such tragedies — church leaders there tell me that more than 1 million Sudanese have made decisions to follow Jesus Christ just since 2001. Since the early 1990s, more than 5 million Sudanese have become followers of Jesus. Seminary classes to train desperately-needed new pastors are held mountain caves. Hundreds of churches have been planted, and thousands of small group Bible studies are being held in secret throughout the country.
        In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. “In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity,” Al Qataani warned. “Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity.” Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. “Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?” Al Qataani repeated his assertion. “Every year,” the cleric confirmed, adding, “a tragedy has happened.”
        One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims throughout the Middle East and even in the United States are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus. They are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus. This is in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The Hebrew Prophet Joel told us that “in the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days….And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (Joel 2:28-32)


    • Most of the attacks mentioned are I believe due to the destabilisation of those countries, caused by interests of large corporations, which in turn have influenced western governments.

      I sometimes wonder if these business interests favour the idea of “Let them slaughter each other, then we can move in.” I am not blaming the west itself, as such, just those who have been manipulating policy.


      • he Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) is an independent, non-partisan, non-pro t think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable, and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.

        Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace, the GTI is based on data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) which is collected and collated by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. The GTD is considered to be the most comprehensive dataset on terrorist activity globally and has codi ed over 140,000 terrorist incidents.

        Terrorist activity is highly correlated to the level of political terror and violent conflict. Ninety-two per cent of all attacks since 1989 occurred in countries with high levels of political terror.
        Since 1989, 88 per cent of all terrorist attacks occurred in countries that were experiencing or involved in violent conflicts.
        Less than 0.6 per cent of all terrorist attacks since 1989 occurred in countries without any ongoing conflict and any form of political terror.
        In OECD countries socio-economic factors such as youth unemployment, confidence in the press, belief in democracy, drug crime and attitudes towards immigration correlate significantly with the GTI. In non-OECD countries factors such as a history of armed conflict, ongoing conflict within the country, corruption and a weak business environment are more strongly correlated.
        Higher levels of political terror, lower respect for human rights, the existence of policies targeting religious freedoms, group grievances, political instability and lower respect for institutions like the UN or the EU all correlate with higher levels of terrorism.


  9. Many Orthodox Christians in Australia celebrate the New Year on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which pre-dates the more widely used Gregorian calendar. This date falls on or near January 14 in the Gregorian calendar.

    Candle holder and orthodox icons in background
    Candles lit in an Orthodox Christian church.

    What Do People Do?
    Some Orthodox Christians in Australia celebrate the New Year based on January 1 in the Julian calendar, which is on or near to January 14 in the Gregorian calendar. There are also Orthodox Christians who observe New Year’s Day (January 1) based on the revised Julian calendar, which correlates with the Gregorian calendar. Both Christmas Day dates fall within the Australian school holiday period so it is a time for many families to have time off and enjoy their summer vacation.

    Orthodox New Year celebrations include social gatherings and dinners featuring traditional activities and dishes from other parts of the world such as eastern Europe. Many Orthodox Christians also attend special New Year’s Day liturgies at their churches.


  10. Isaiah 11:11-12

    “It shall come to pass in that day
    That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time
    To recover the remnant of His people who are left,
    From Assyria and Egypt,
    From Pathros and Cush,
    From Elam and Shinar,
    From Hamath and the islands of the sea.

    12 He will set up a banner for the nations,
    And will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
    And gather together the dispersed of Judah
    From the four corners of the earth.“


  11. eremiah 16:14-15

    14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

    15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

    Jerusalem is a burdensome stone to the world


  12. Turkey Downs Russian Plane

    Turkey and Ukraine have built a defence alliance. Russia is not happy. Turkey is designing, developing and producing fighter jets and tanks, engines and a missile program.
    To make things more complex the Ukrainians oppose a planned Russian-Turkish natural gas pipeline. Russia supplies a lot of energy to Turkey.

    Throw in Islamist uprisings and Syria supported by Turkey and Russia’s then the complication worsens. Then we have China and their squashing Islamic upswings by Turkish speaking peoples.
    Turkey lost its Ottoman Empire and may wish to return to its roots and strength in that. It certainly makes interesting reading and adds to the current mayor issues with Israel, ISIS and other major issues in the Middle East.


    • Interesting view of ISIS

      “It was the Assyrian’s who were known for dragging their captors along by planting hooks into their jaws.
      Many are recognising ISIS as the new Assyrian empire as its brutality is similar, and its largest city, Mosul, lies amongst the ancient ruins of Nineveh – the capital of the ancient Assyrian empire.
      But perhaps the most interesting thing is that God says to Gog in Ezekiel 38, “I will put hooks in your jaws”.
      Is this a reference to ISIS bringing Russia down into the Middle East, before Russia invades Israel?
      Note: Not suggesting that the Arabs or ISIS will be the latter day invader of Israel.”


  13. I prey that those suffering persecution because of their Christian faith would know Gods peace, Grace and healing in 2016.

    The Bible calls us to be a voice for the voiceless. Psalm 82:3 says, “Stand up for those who are weak and for those whose fathers have died. See to it that those who are poor and those who are beaten down are treated fairly.”

    As Christians, we are called to take a stand for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Hebrews 13:3 says, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” Learn more about how you can help persecuted Christians.


    • Prey? Pray. Hmm, Maybe the cHristians have indeed become prey. North Korea tops the list for persecution followed by Mostly Islamic countries.


    • Amnesty International has stated the most persecuted minority on Earth is the Rohingya people. You don’t hear a lot about them.


      • Actually we did but the dark shadow of Isis overshadows this. Have you heard about the world wide persecution of Christians? No, you did not.


      • Actually not amnesty at all, but the author. I would say the people in Syria are the most persecuted.

        Rohingya people: the most persecuted refugees in the world
        Amie Hamling, Online Intern for Amnesty International Australia 7 October 2015, 01:15AM

        About the Author

        Amie Hamling is a Sydney-based writer and creative.
        To read more from Amie, visit her blog.
        This blog entry does not necessarily represent the position or opinion of Amnesty International Australia.


      • “Have you heard about the world wide persecution of Christians?”

        By “world wide” do you mean “parts of the Middle East and parts of Africa”?


      • Ignorance is bliss hey Stu. Not a motto I use but it seems to fit you.

        “By “world wide” do you mean “parts of the Middle East and parts of Africa”?”


      • “Ignorance is bliss hey Stu. Not a motto I use but it seems to fit you.”

        Ignorance of what? The non persecution of Christians in most places in the world?

        But feel free to resort to the ad hominem if it makes you feel better.


    • This is sanctioned by the USA so not termed persecution. Just unfortunate a lot of Muslims are getting killed. Unlike other persecution that goes on, the world turns a blind eye to this. A blind eye, it seems to be a reoccurring theme.

      At least 2,464 people have now been killed by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones since President Barack Obama’s inauguration six years ago, the Bureau’s latest monthly report reveals.

      All actions 2004 – January 31 2015

      Total Obama strikes: 362
      Total US strikes since 2004: 413
      Total reported killed: 2,438-3,942
      Civilians reported killed: 416-959
      Children reported killed: 168-204
      Total reported injured: 1,142

      You can’t fight terror with terror. It increases it.


      • To start with the amounts cover from 2004 to 2016. Total killed is just under 4000. Just ISIS alone does this killing in just a year. Book Haram a year too. The totals of terror attacks against civilians in one year is enormously large compared to this and most are civilians and most are Muslims killing muslims.

        The sources you use are also suspect. They gather the numbers mostly from news sources?????? Read below as Yemen, Somalia rarely publish numbers. Yet this group bases the number son the reports.

        Every strike or event covered in our datasets contains active links to all news reports, statements, documents and press releases which we have used as our sources.

        Both the timelines and casualty counts change according to our best present understanding. New information on a particular strike or action can emerge months or even years after an event.

        In Yemen, the government sometimes publishes information about ‘air strikes’ with no indication as to who carried them out. The government has also occasionally claimed responsibility for attacks that it is unlikely its rickety air force could have carried out, such as night-time strikes, or those on moving vehicles. In Somalia, very little is published at all.

        The majority of our information stems from news reporting. Commonly cited international media sources include CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, Reuters, the BBC, Associated Press, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Fox News, the Nation, the Atlantic, Salon, Xinhua, Army Times, Bloomberg, AFP, NPR, Al Jazeera, and Al Arabiya.


      • “Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.”

        So asserted German Chancellor Angela Merkel late last year, causing a stir. Merkel echoed a concern expressed by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who warned in a 2011 speech that Christians face a “particularly wicked program of cleansing in the Middle East, religious cleansing.”
        Not ‘War on Christmas’
        Now, this is not about clerks who say “Happy Holidays” or bans of nativity scenes in public schools. Merkel spoke of real persecution of hundreds of millions of Christians around the world. Indeed, a 2011 Pew Forum study found that Christians are harassed in 130 countries, more than any of the world’s other religions.
        The just-released book Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians provides the gory details behind these statistics. Persecuted is a collaboration of the Hudson Institute’s Nina Shea, Paul Marshall and Lela Gilbert to catalog the human rights abuses visited upon Christian believers from North Korea to Mali. They define this persecution as Christians “who are tortured, raped, imprisoned, or killed for their faith.” It’s a worldwide phenomenon, but Shea points out a troubling acceleration in the cradle of Christianity’s birth: the Middle East and North Africa. As London Guardian columnist Rupert Shortt wrote in January, “The religious ecology of the Middle East looks more fragile than ever, as the Arab Spring gives way to Christian Winter.”
        Tragically, Christians have been forced to abandon homelands they have occupied for thousands of years. Up to two-thirds of Christians have fled Iraq in the past ten years to escape massacres, church burnings and constant death threats. Many Christians fled to Syria, where they are experiencing persecution anew. In Iran, U.S. pastor Saeed Abedini has been sentenced to eight years in prison for preaching Christianity.
        Violence in Egypt
        Last week, Amnesty International blasted Egypt’s government, a major recipient of U.S. aid, for its continued failure to protect Coptic Christians from discrimination and violence. Amnesty’s report comes on the heels of a fresh wave of attacks just before Easter in the town of Wasta, south of Cairo.
        Lebanon was once a majority Christian country but no longer, as Christians flee the hostility. CBS News reported in 2011 that the former president of Lebanon, Amin Gemayel complained of a “genocide” against Christians in the Middle East. “Massacres are taking place for no reason and without any justification against Christians. It is only because they are Christians.”
        “The future of Christians in the Middle East is very bleak,” Neil Hicks of Human Rights First told me. “What has happened in Iraq and Syria is de facto ethnic cleansing of Christians.” In other words: Christians can leave or be killed.
        The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, an expert on the region, told me he is shocked that American Christians aren’t regularly protesting outside of embassies drawing attention to this issue. Persecution of Christians in the Middle East is, he says, “one of the most undercovered stories in international news.” Perhaps it’s time for that to change.


      • Just ISIS alone does this killing in just a year.

        Yes and they are Muslims that are killed mostly Alexie.

        The group’s killing of Westerners gets attention. But ISIS has killed far more Muslims, and publicizing that fact would harm it more.
        Last Thursday, the United Nations released a report that could provide us with one of the keys to defeating ISIS. Unfortunately, it received almost zero media attention.

        What makes this 26-page report (PDF) so powerful is that it describes to us the gruesome circumstances in which ISIS has killed fellow Muslims. We are talking beheadings, killing of women for objecting to ISIS’ policies, and executing Sunni Muslim clerics for refusing to swear allegiance to ISIS.


      • Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.

        Yes terrible things are happening to Christians around the world.


      • There are more Christians in the world than those of other faiths, so I’m not surprised at a higher number of persecutions. That is not a higher percentage. A minority group can lose a huge percentage.

        “BU Today: Allen calls anti-Christian persecution “the transcendent human rights concern” today. Do you agree?
        Frankfurter: There are all sorts of violent persecutions taking place today, and I would probably rate the massacre of Shiite Muslims in Pakistan and Iraq, along with the massacre of everyday Muslims and Christians in northern Nigeria, at least as high as persecution of Christians in various places.

        “The recent pogroms against Muslims in Central African Republic have been well documented and just staggering in their scale. Christians—whether Egyptian Copts or North Korean evangelicals—are hardly the only religious groups under attack.

        “The problem with imagining a global persecution of Christians, or of any religious group, is that each case is really quite different. The relationship between Copts and Muslims in Egypt has become much more fraught over the 20th century because of economic and political differences. Nigeria is another place where Christians have gained and exerted political and economic power in some ways, while a kind of radical Islamism has energized some movements in the north, with extremely violent consequences. But it is not just Christians who are victimized by the Nigerian group Boko Haram (“Away with Western Culture!”). It is often other Muslims.

        “It is quite wrong to imagine that Christians alone are somehow uniquely targeted by violent groups. And in some cases it is Christians—evangelical, Pentecostal—who are instigating violence, whether against gay people in Uganda or against so-called “child witches” in many parts of west Africa.

        “Whether anti-Christian persecution is the number one abuse issue, other media reports and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2013 report make clear it’s a serious problem in parts of the world. What are its causes?
        Violence against other groups has always taken place during some type of cultural change—think about the Thirty Years’ War and the Reformation in Europe. Violence against rival or minority groups arises from rumors of conspiracy (a woman or child has allegedly been abducted) or the stark worldview of outside groups, like Boko Haram in Nigeria or Ansar Dine in Mali, and often popular rumors that “those people” are dangerous, subversive, immoral, or opposed to the progress of society. A government might attempt to “cleanse” society of evil, in the form of witches, homosexuals, or minority groups, to demonstrate its capacity to safeguard its people, to embrace a notion of modernity. A particular charismatic leader of any religious group may proclaim that his followers can show their true piety by waging war against some particular religious or social entity.”


  14. A GROUP of men in the US storm a federal government building armed to the teeth and declare a plan to occupy it for years. They want to overthrow the government.

    This must be extensively covered by the media right ? Stand down it is just a bunch of white guys not terrorists. Innocent until proven Muslim remember.


    • Dom, you missed some very very important information.
      Info that is needed for context.

      There were no guns in sight.

      Everything was calculated to project an image of calm and reason and the absence of any threat at all. Just after 11am, Bundy opened his media conference.

      “Your role is very important,” he said. “We do believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that the American people have a right to know what’s going on.”

      What is going on is an armed occupation of a federal facility, in support of two cattle ranchers who were convicted of setting fires on federal land. Steven and Dwight Hammond said they did so while trying to clear their own land so their cattle could feed. The authorities said otherwise.

      Father and son served jail time. Both are due to report to a jail in San Diego on Monday, in order to serve some more.


      • Alexie:

        “What is going on is an armed occupation of a federal facility…”

        How do you reconcile the above quote with:

        “There were no guns in sight.”?


      • How do you reconcile the above quote with:

        ask Dom, he posted. I just used his link and it contained the no guns sentence.


      • Alexie:

        “ask Dom, he posted it…”

        You were the one claimed that it was important that this be mentioned as “Dom had missed important information in case context”.

        What context? Did you miss the context in which the the “no guns” quote was made in the context of an ” armed occupation”?


      • Just in case anyone is interested in how the “no guns” quote appears in the context of the occupation:

        “From a state of lockdown it [the armed militia] moved to a charm offensive, inviting a small media contingent inside its redoubt, with warm smiles and waves.”

        Of course Alexie ignored this information in order to grind an axe. Based on this kind of thinking, ISIS would cease to become a terrorist organisation by virtue of holding an unarmed press conference.


    • Must be getting desperate Dom.
      Exaggerating the issue, maybe even adding some lies in there.
      Come on Dom, you are better than that.


      • Alexie:

        “Exaggerating the issue …Dom”

        Sort of like exaggerating polygamy in Berlin without any supporting evidence whatsoever.


    • Come on Dom, you are better than that.

      Don’t pin your hopes on me Alexie. I’ll just let you down dude. I feel a rush of western media coming on. I can’t control it.

      Breaking News.

      Heavily armed and well-equipped federal agents have arrived in Oregon from various parts of the U.S. to gain tactical advantage over the armed patriot group who commandeered a federal building Saturday, by responding swiftly and with force if necessary.


      • I have to laugh at you Dom. You always claim bias with western media then use western media to support some Islamic cause you have. Irony! Then stu jumps in with his two bits worth, showing his lack of clarity.

        The second shot of guys with guns is a media beat up. The original photo contains no guns whatsoever and is not linked to the second one. Militia makes good news in the US.

        Now, they may well be armed but so far there is no shootings, no beheadings, no killing of civilians and no Allah Ackba.

        You can’t call this terrorism, which is your implication followed by some sense of victimising against muslims.

        There is a real injustice here – ranchers leased land from the Federal government on it, unwisely set preventive fires with negligence and then sentenced to five years jail under a Federal law meant to deal with terrorists blowing up ranger’s stations. It’s basically “armed ‘ (Possibly) civil disobedience.

        The jailing of two ranchers, is a much greater moral crime so far. Of course if they are armed and kill then things have changed.


      • Alexie.

        “Now, they may well be armed but so far there is no shootings, no beheadings, no killing of civilians and no Allah Ackba.”

        So in your view, an event doesn’t qualify as terrorism until there’s exclamation in Arabic?

        Or did you mean to say something about Admiral Ackbar and the spread of wasabi in Japan?


      • I have to laugh at you Dom. You always claim bias with western media then use western media to support some Islamic cause you have.

        It is good you are laughing. Would you accept any other sort of media except Western Media from me as an evidence ?


      • CNN states armed protesters won’t leave the building. I am not sure what else you need to convince you that they are armed. Perhaps it is how low key the media is treating it all. Do you think it would be the same if a black guy or middle Eastern guy, it would be stop the press.

        So armed people can take over a government building and yell they want to take down the government but since they are white, things are not a problem until they start killing people ?


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