January 17, 2018

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Town Denies Passport To Dutch Vegan Because She Is ‘Too Annoying’. Wow They Don't Mess Around. 😦

Yahoo News
written by Andy Wells
January 11, 2017

A Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport has had her application rejected because the locals found her too annoying.

Nancy Holten, 42, moved to Switzerland from the Netherlands when she was eight years old and now has children who are Swiss nationals.

However, when she tried to get a Swiss passport for herself, residents of Gipf-Oberfrick in the canton of Aargau rejected her application.

Ms Holten, a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals.

The resident’s committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.

Ms Holten told local media: “The bells, which the cows have to wear when they walk to and from the pasture, are especially heavy.

“The animals carry around five kilograms around their neck. It causes friction and burns to their skin.”

She added: “The sound that cow bells make is a hundred decibel. It is comparable with a pneumatic drill. We also would not want such a thing hanging close to our ears?”

Tanja Suter, the president of the local Swiss People’s Party, claimed Ms Holten has a “big mouth” and that residents did not want to grant her citizenship “if she annoys us and doesn’t respect our traditions”.

Responding to the rejection, Ms Holten said: “I think I spoke my mind too often, and I say it out too loud.”

Ms Holten, who describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student, has also campaigned against a number of other Swiss traditions like hunting, pig races and the noisy church bells in town.

She was previously rejected for citizenship in 2015 after residents voted to block her initial application.

The case has now been transferred to the Cantonal government in Aargau, which can overrule the decision and can still grant her a Swiss passport despite the objections of the locals.

Local residents in Switzerland often have a say in citizenship applications, which are decided by the cantons and towns where the applicants live rather than federal government.

It is still very difficult to be granted Swiss citizenship and being born in the country does not give the children or even the grandchildren of immigrants the automatic right to be Swiss. (WOW 😦)
CNN
written by Elizabeth Roberts, CNN
January 13, 2017

A vegan woman has twice had her application for Swiss citizenship rejected because annoyed locals object to her "loud" opinions about animal rights.

Dutch national Nancy Holten, 42, has lived in Switzerland for more than 30 years. There, applications for citizenship are determined by local governments -- sometimes with input from residents.

And among the requirements are that a person is integrated in the Swiss way of life and familiar with Swiss customs and traditions.

And therein lies the issue the residents of Gipf-Oberfrick have with Holten.

She's repeatedly spoken out in the media against cowbells, church bells, hunting and other traditions -- which the residents consider Swiss values.

Holten says she has annoyed farmers and conservative residents.

So, the municipality turned down her application for citizenship in 2015 and again last year.

"Shortly before [the applications] she had begun to fight against various Swiss values such as church bells, cowbells, livestock farming, hunting, pig racing, eating meat, circus animals, mouse-catching, giving out milk at school, etc. She did this above all in the media," Urs Treier, a spokesman for the municipal council, told CNN.

Treier said the rejection was "on the basis that a person who sets themselves against so many of Switzerland's shared values, practices and traditions, and does this in person, directly and above all, loudly, in the press, should not be granted citizenship."

Meets criteria, but not approval

Gipf-Oberfrick is a municipality in the northern Switzerland with a population of about 3,500.

"Gipf-Oberfrick is rural and there are farmers and conservative residents here. They aren't used to green topics being discussed so openly," Holten told CNN. "As a vegan, I campaign publicly for animals. That annoys a lot of people."

"It also bothers them that I've been (and continue to be) in the media so much. I do this in order to make people think more about the issue of animal protection. That's my wish."

Holten describes herself as as a freelance journalist, model and drama student. She says she's against cowbells because she believes they damage the animals' health. A 2014 research report from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in suggest the bells can make bovines deaf.

She also believes church bells are too noisy and unnecessary.

Holten said she meets all the criteria for citizenship. And Treier agrees.

He told CNN Holten's applications were rejected despite the municipal and cantonal authorities having no formal objection, and Holten meeting all legal requirements. He added this is the first time in 20 years that Gipf-Oberfrick has blocked such an application.

Holten is now appealing to the government of the canton of Aargau, which oversees Gipf-Oberfrick. Treier expects her appeal will be upheld.

"Nancy Holten's attitude speaks to her personal view of the world. In Switzerland, the freedom of expression is enshrined in law. Citizenship cannot be denied on the basis of personal opinion," he said.

CANADA: Another Fake Hate Crime Exposed. 11-Year-Old Muslim Girl Lied To Authorities About A Man Pulling Off Her Hijab And Cutting It With Scissors. Mainstream Media Silent. Damage Done!

The Daily Caller
written by Chuck Ross, Reporter
Monday January 15, 2018

An 11-year-old Toronto girl who claimed she was attacked because of her hijab fabricated the story, according to local police.

The story of Kwalah Noman received international coverage last week after she and her family held a press conference calling for hate crime charges against a man she claimed attacked her on her way to school.

“I felt really scared and confused,” Noman said on Friday.

She told police that while she was walking to school with her brother, a man wearing a black hoodie approached her from behind, pulled her hijab from her jacket, and cut it with scissors.

“I screamed. The man just ran away. We followed this crowd of people to be safe. He came again. He continued cutting my hijab again,” said Noman.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the “cowardly attack.”
CNN, The Huffington Post, Al-Jazeera, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, and numerous other news outlets covered the story.

But Toronto police released a brief statement Monday saying that the events described by Noman did not occur.

“After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen,” Toronto police said in a statement.

Noman’s allegation was cited as evidence of growing anti-Muslim sentiment in the West. Activists in Canada and the U.S. have claimed that bigotry and hate crimes towards Muslims have been on the rise. But there have also been an increased number of hoaxes, especially involving girls and women who have claimed that they were attacked for wearing a hijab.

WORLD: "Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We'll Kill You All"

Gatestone Institute
written by Raymond Ibrahim
Sunday January 14, 2018
  • A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco's Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the "Koran requires the killing of apostates." — Morocco.
  • Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, "instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges." Hours later, the imam and "a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen." — Pakistan.
  • Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, "it's not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it's your problem." Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.
  • In the name of "fighting terrorism," Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.
A document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East's Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity "will vanish" from its ancient homelands in a few years' time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 -- roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities "have lost almost all of their Christian population."

Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the "vicar of Baghdad," had said that, "the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited."

Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: "Now is the time. We have an administration that's open to doing something," he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, "Remember this, you kuffar [infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing]." The narrator of the video also vowed that, "After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders' enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth." When asked about this, the pope's top aide said, "Pope Francis hasn't changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he'll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians."

August's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians' homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger" — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the "severely traumatized" wife of one of the men, "Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder."

Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip's Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that "the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church." When they found he was not in the church, "out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church." However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria, but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a "jihadist slaughter" of Christian churchgoers.

Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son, and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians "in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid," according to human rights activists.

Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, "There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place." When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family's sons: "You filthy Chura ["worthless thing"], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die." Afterwards, "he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them." He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family's home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a "suicide." Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:
"Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government's clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities... There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him."
Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead "under mysterious circumstances in police custody," according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised "release in exchange of reneging Christ."
"He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death.... The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars."
Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling "comfortable" as a Christian. Another said:
"I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same.... There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam."
Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that "Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution."

Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco's Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converts from Islam, ended with the message: the "Koran requires the killing of apostates." "Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches," the report adds. "Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country."

Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with "blaspheming" against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, "has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians," that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, "instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges." Hours later, the imam and "a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen."
"As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession."
Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:
"My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home."
When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, "He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus." Three days later, word of his daughter's healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. "My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick," Sophia explained. "Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night." The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, "it's not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it's your problem." Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as "the world's humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees," continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the "rape capital of Europe."

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:
"The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law."
The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. "We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers," Makarios added in his statement. "Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers."

Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, "We were prevented from prayer like criminals," frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:
"We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words ... As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?"
Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State's handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as "There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands" and "The Cross is under our foot." The following German writing was found in one church:
"Oh you Cross worshippers, we'll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don't belong here.... Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we'll kill you."
"They'd [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice," said one man of another church. "The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here." Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. "To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us," commented one Christian man.

Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government's conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, "The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years." The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education's call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision "viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group" — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISIS appeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said "that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group." He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq's Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

Pakistan: The Islamic nation's senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the "State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory." However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill "will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students... It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise."

Bangladesh: In the name of "fighting terrorism," the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs "geared specifically for the Christian community" explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. "Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan's bid to rid the country of Christianity," notes the report, adding that "the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians."

Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors "were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats," "They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, 'Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in," Pastor Nalu, 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. "The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street."

Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to "economic terrorism": "As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau," he said, "know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land."

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SWEDEN: Sweden Deporting A Female Iranian Muslim Convert To Christianity Back To Iran Because She's Receiving DEATH THREATS Telling Her, "It's Her Fault She Converted To Christianity."


World Watch Monitor
written by Staff
August 16, 2017

An Iranian convert to Christianity has been refused asylum in Sweden, placing her at risk of deportation and “torture and rape” in jail in her home country.

Aideen Strandsson, 37, who was baptised in Sweden in 2014, said officials at the country’s Migration Board did not believe her life would be in danger if she were sent back to Iran, where converts from Islam – as she is – can face jail. “They said to me it’s your personal life and it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian; it’s your problem,” she told the US-based Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). (She arrived in Sweden on a work visa three years ago and took a Swedish surname.)

Subsequent appeals against the board’s decision were also rejected.

Ms Strandsson says that a Swedish migration official told her it wouldn’t be as bad for her in Iran as she is expecting because “it would only be six months in prison”, and, in her words, for the official that was “no problem”.

Ms Strandsson became a Christian in Iran after having a dream about Jesus, according to CBN.

The Migration Board website states that, in line with UN, EU and Swedish regulations, a person is considered a refugee when they have “well-founded reasons to fear persecution due to … religious or political beliefs”, and that anyone at risk of corporal punishment, torture or death is deemed in need of extra protection.

Board official Ulrika Langels told CBN: “[Ms Strandsson’s] case has been appealed and processed by the Migration Agency and thereafter by the Swedish courts, which have also decided that she cannot be granted asylum.”

Swedish lawyer Gabriel Donner, who has worked on around 1,000 asylum cases involving Iranian and Afghan converts, said “torture and rape is common in Iranian prisons”.

He told World Watch Monitor: “The Migration Board did not believe that Aideen is truly a Christian and believed her knowledge of [the] Christian faith was inadequate.”

But he added: “There are no reliable criteria for judging what a Christian should know in order to [be seen to] believe.”

Churches in Sweden have criticised the Migration Board for assessing conversions with questions based on doctrine such as “Can you explain the Trinity?” Faith is often seen as a private matter, in contrast to the openness and enthusiasm with which some converts discuss their conversion on social media.

Critics of the Strandsson decision have pointed out that Lund County in Sweden has considered offering protected identities, housing and benefits to returning Islamic State fighters, in order to enable them to reintegrate into Swedish society. Sweden has identified some 150 of these fighters nationally.

A spokeswoman for the Christian Council of Sweden told World Watch Monitor the alleged comments made by Migration Board officials would be considered “neither decent nor appropriate” by their superiors. She added that the council focused not on single events but worked with the board to build up the “necessary competence on these special issues, but also to point out perceived general misconduct and injustices in the process regarding religious converts and other asylum-seekers of conviction”.

Mr Donner suggested the rejection of Ms Strandsson’s asylum application was not a one-off. He said the Migration Board was “blatantly ignoring” UN guidelines for determining grounds for asylum. “Christian converts from Iran and Afghanistan … under the present government are facing extensive legally discriminatory treatment when their asylum cases are tried,” he said.

“The UN Guidelines concerning examination of cases involving converts is on the one hand admitted as substantive law in Sweden, and on the other hand blatantly ignored. Converts face refusal of their cases because, earlier in their process of conversion, they had not yet developed the degree of maturity in their faith they now have.

“These guidelines require of us first to ask whether the person has definitely abandoned Islam or not. The Migration Board ignores this question in nine out of ten cases.”

When it came to assessing the integrity of a conversion, Mr Donner claimed the Board rejected around half of the assessments and testimonies submitted by clergy and members of applicants’ congregations.

He said: “One must not forget that converts, with the backing of their congregations, normally have evidence very few asylum-seekers can compete with.

“Testimonies of [their] true faith are dismissed contrary to all normal legal procedure. Assessments of faith, made by church ministers based on how [the applicant] expresses faith in words, in deeds and emotionally in a religious environment, [are] dismissed off-hand with the explanation that people of the cloth and members of the congregation would be unable to assess faith, while bureaucrats – who have barely met the person – would by some incredible powers see what nobody else sees. What is worse is that this dismissal of testimonies lacks all reasonably support in statistics.

“So converts convinced by Jesus Christ’s message of love are refused with the argument that this could not be a valid reason for conversion.”

Ms Strandsson, has been offered asylum in Hungary, although she may not leave of her own accord because her Iranian passport has reportedly been taken away. The Hungarian government website republished comments Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen told the newspaper Magyar Idok: “Hungary does not send anyone back to a country where his or her life or physical well-being may be in danger … Taking in persecuted Christians is our moral and constitutional duty all at once.”

Iran is ranked eighth on the Open Doors 2017 World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most difficult to live as a Christian. The Islamic government in Iran persecutes Christians – particularly converts on the belief that their religion is Western-influenced and a threat to the country’s Islamic identity. The government is guided by Sharia (Islamic law), which calls for the death penalty for apostates, or those who abandon Islam to follow another faith.

Kiaa Aalipour from the rights group Article 18 told World Watch Monitor that while “the only person officially executed in Iran for apostasy was Rev Hossein Soodmand in 1990 … recently, many Iranian Christian converts have received heavy sentences”. He added: “If Aideen Strandsson returns to Iran, the Iranian regime will put pressure on her. If she is an active Christian [i.e. wants to take part in collective worship] then the chance of being arrested is high.”

At least 193 Christians were arrested or imprisoned in Iran in 2016, according to Open Doors, while in the past few months over a dozen Christians – most of them converts – have been sentenced to long prison terms on charges of acting against national security.

How other European countries assess conversion claims

In Germany, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been accused of wrongly rejecting asylum claims where the applicant’s path to conversion had only taken a few months. Green Party MP Volker Beck also criticised the Office for ruling that weekly church attendance did not amount to evidence of religious conversion, the German daily Handelsblatt reported. Mr Beck accused the BAMF of considering itself more qualified than a parish priest to judge the authenticity of a person’s stated beliefs, based only on a two-hour interview.

By contrast, a migration official in the Netherlands said the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service had moved away from asking questions related to biblical knowledge to asylum-seekers who claimed to have converted. Instead officials asked about people’s personal experiences to determine whether a conversion was genuine, according to a BBC documentary aired last month.

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Breitbart News
written by Chris Tomlinson
August 15, 2017

Hungary has offered asylum to Christian convert Aideen Strandsson because the Swedish government plans to deport her to Iran where she could face prison or even the death penalty for apostasy.

In 2014, Iranian actress Aideen Strandsson came to Sweden on a work visa and applied for asylum after she had converted from Islam to Christianity. The Swedish Migration Board recently denied Strandsson asylum and began the process of deporting her but now the Hungarian government has offered to take her in instead, Nyheter Idag reports.

Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén released a statement on Hungary’s official government website saying: “Right from the beginning, we have differentiated between economic migrants and genuine asylum-seekers.”

“Taking in persecuted Christians is our moral and constitutional duty all at once,” he added.

Semjén also noted that Christians would have a much easier time integrating into Hungarian society than Muslim migrants. The move backs up previous statements from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who has previously said that multiculturalism and mass migration are endangering the “Christian roots” of Europe.

The Hungarian government’s decision comes after they refused to take in 5,000, largely Muslim, migrants in March. Swedish Immigration and Justice Minister Morgan Johansson claimed that Hungary had a “duty” to take in the migrants who Johansson said should return to Hungary under the European Union’s Dublin Regulation.

The Hungarians have also refused to accept the EU’s migrant redistribution scheme in which the political bloc would take migrants from Italy and Greece and send them to various member states. The nation held a referendum on the issue in October last year which saw overwhelming support for the Hungarian government’s position of rejecting the redistribution.

Hungary was also one of the first countries to rebuke the prevailing pro-migrant rhetoric from politicians like German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015. The Hungarians built a border fence which drastically reduced the number of arriving migrants.

The nation also placed the blame for mass migration on pro-migrant NGOs, many of which are funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros who is originally from Hungary. Prime Minister Orbán has claimed the EU is following the “migrant plan” of Soros.

Orbán has accused Soros of operating an “extensive mafia network” of NGOs and people smugglers. The Hungarian government also put forth legislation that would make Soros-funded NGOs more financially transparent and will force NGOs who receive foreign funding to be labelled “foreign-supported organisations”.

January 15, 2018

USA: Islamist Militant Group Hezbollah Funded By Iranian Mullahs Exploded Into A Major Cocaine Trafficker For The U.S. Under Former President Obama's Watch To Help Score A Nuclear Deal With Iran.

Newsweek
written by Robert Valencia
December 18, 2017

The Islamist militant group Hezbollah exploded into a major cocaine trafficker for the United States over the past decade—and it happened under former President Barack Obama's watch to help score a nuclear deal with Iran, a report revealed Monday.

Project Cassandra, a campaign launched by the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2008, found that the Iran-backed military and political organization collected $1 billion a year from money laundering, criminal activities, and drug and weapons trade, according to Politico. Over the following eight years, the agency found that Hezbollah was involved in cocaine shipments from Latin America to West Africa, as well as through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States.

The Obama administration halted Project Cassandra as it was approaching the upper echelons of Hezbollah’s conspiracy in order to seal a nuclear deal with Iran, even though Hezbollah was still funneling cocaine into America. Officials at the U.S. Justice and Treasury departments delayed the project’s requests to conduct relevant investigations, prosecutions and arrests. Obama eventually helped strike the Iran deal with several other nations in 2015.

Because of the project's sudden end, it is hard to determine how much cocaine has come into the U.S. from Hezbollah-affiliated networks. But through Venezuela alone, Hezbollah sent thousands of tons to the United States in a matter of years.

The Obama administration also did not move forward to extradite two Venezuelan citizens who were deeply involved between the South American country, Hezbollah, Iran and drug trafficking: businessman Walid Makled and former chief of intelligence Hugo Carvajal.

In the years after the 9/11 attacks, Iran and Hezbollah’s influence in Latin America thrived with the help of populist leaders. Venezuela's then-President Hugo Chávez worked alongside Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah on drug trade and other activities to weaken the U.S. clout in the region. Within a few years, cocaine trafficking from Venezuela to the U.S. soared from 50 tons a year to 250 tons, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Statistics.

The findings corroborate that the rise of populism in Latin America was fertile ground for Iran and Hezbollah’s intentions. Earlier this year, the U.S. State Department found that Hezbollah strengthened its relationship with Mexican and Colombian cartels and established operations in Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela’s island of Margarita.

In February, the Trump administration sanctioned Venezuelan officials, including acting Vice President Tareck El Aissami, due to his alleged role in Hezbollah’s money laundering. El Aissami "facilitated shipments of narcotics from Venezuela … He oversaw or partially owned narcotic shipments of over 1,000 kilograms from Venezuela on multiple occasions, including those with final destinations of Mexico and the United States,” the Treasury Department said.

Hezbollah’s activities in Latin America potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security. “Though U.S. authorities know that Hezbollah’s terror finance operations in Latin America are a growing threat, to date they have not been able to estimate its value accurately,” Emanuele Ottolenghi, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Hill.
Politico
written by Josh Meyer
December 18, 2017

PART I
A GLOBAL THREAT EMERGES
How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

n its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

They followed cocaine shipments, tracked a river of dirty cash, and traced what they believed to be the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.

The Justice Department declined requests by Project Cassandra and other authorities to file criminal charges against major players such as Hezbollah’s high-profile envoy to Iran, a Lebanese bank that allegedly laundered billions in alleged drug profits, and a central player in a U.S.-based cell of the Iranian paramilitary Quds force. And the State Department rejected requests to lure high-value targets to countries where they could be arrested.

December 15, 2011
The money, allegedly laundered through the Lebanese Canadian Bank and two exchange houses, involved approximately 30 U.S. car buyers.
“This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” said David Asher, who helped establish and oversee Project Cassandra as a Defense Department illicit finance analyst. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down.”

The untold story of Project Cassandra illustrates the immense difficulty in mapping and countering illicit networks in an age where global terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime have merged, but also the extent to which competing agendas among government agencies — and shifting priorities at the highest levels — can set back years of progress.

And while the pursuit may be shadowed in secrecy, from Latin American luxury hotels to car parks in Africa to the banks and battlefields of the Middle East, the impact is not: In this case, multi-ton loads of cocaine entering the United States, and hundreds of millions of dollars going to a U.S.-designated terrorist organization with vast reach.

Obama had entered office in 2009 promising to improve relations with Iran as part of a broader rapprochement with the Muslim world. On the campaign trail, he had asserted repeatedly that the Bush administration’s policy of pressuring Iran to stop its illicit nuclear program wasn’t working, and that he would reach out to Tehran to reduce tensions.

The man who would become Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser and then CIA director, John Brennan, went further. He recommended in a policy paper that “the next president has the opportunity to set a new course for relations between the two countries” through not only a direct dialogue, but “greater assimilation of Hezbollah into Lebanon’s political system.”

By May 2010, Brennan, then assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, confirmed in a speech that the administration was looking for ways to build up “moderate elements” within Hezbollah.

“Hezbollah is a very interesting organization,” Brennan told a Washington conference, saying it had evolved from “purely a terrorist organization” to a militia and, ultimately, a political party with representatives in the Lebanese Parliament and Cabinet, according to a Reuters report.

“There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they’re doing,” Brennan said. “And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements.”

In practice, the administration’s willingness to envision a new role for Hezbollah in the Middle East, combined with its desire for a negotiated settlement to Iran’s nuclear program, translated into a reluctance to move aggressively against the top Hezbollah operatives, according to Project Cassandra members and others.


Lebanese arms dealer Ali Fayad , a suspected top Hezbollah operative whom agents believed reported to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a key supplier of weapons to Syria and Iraq, was arrested in Prague in the spring of 2014. But for the nearly two years Fayad was in custody, top Obama administration officials declined to apply serious pressure on the Czech government to extradite him to the United States, even as Putin was lobbying aggressively against it.

Fayad, who had been indicted in U.S. courts on charges of planning the murders of U.S. government employees, attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization and attempting to acquire, transfer and use anti-aircraft missiles, was ultimately sent to Beirut. He is now believed by U.S. officials to be back in business, and helping to arm militants in Syria and elsewhere with Russian heavy weapons.

Please CLICK HERE to read the entire long very detailed article...

USA: MLK's Niece Alveda King Said It's 'Outrageous' That Critics Are 'Unjustly' Calling Trump Racist.


FOX News
written by Staff
Saturday January 13, 2018

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece ripped accusations that President Trump is a "racist" for speaking in an off-color manner about third world countries.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin claimed Trump referred to Haiti and the African continent as a "s**thole," prompting critics to label the president a racist.

Dr. Alveda King said Saturday on "Fox & Friends" such claims about Trump are "outrageous."
She said that Trump has done excellent work in highlighting the important accomplishments of her uncle, including officially declaring his Georgia birthplace a national historic park.

"Racism is just a word that is being bandied about and thrown... at the president unjustly," she said. "President Trump is not a racist."

King said that, in his reported remarks, Trump was not disparaging Africans or Haitians but instead calling attention to the fact many of their governments are inadequate and corrupt.

"Some of their own leaders have taken advantage of them," she said.

She also criticized American Urban Radio Networks correspondent April Ryan, who repeatedly shouted "are you a racist" at the president during the King Birthplace park signing ceremony.

USA: President Trump Signed Official Proclamation Making This Monday, January 15, The “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday."

The White House, 1600 Daily
January 12, 2018

Today, President Donald J. Trump will sign the official proclamation making this Monday, January 15, the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.” This year marks the first time in more than a decade that the federal holiday falls on King’s actual birthday.

Here is an advance look at what the President will tell Americans today:
  • Reverend King preached love throughout his life—love for each other, for our fellow Americans, and for humanity. That is what drove his work.
  • We celebrate King first and foremost for standing up for the self-evident truth Americans hold so dear: No matter the color of our skin, or the place of our birth, we are ALL created equal by God.
This April will mark half a century since King was cruelly taken from us by an assassin’s bullet. As we mourn his loss, we also pledge to fight for his dream of equality, freedom, justice, and peace.

The White House Published on Jan 12, 2018:
President Trump Signs a Proclamation to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day making this Monday, January 15, the “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.”

This is President Trump's full speech.

FOX News

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece ripped accusations that President Trump is a "racist" for speaking in an off-color manner about third world countries.

Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin claimed Trump referred to Haiti and the African continent as a "s**thole," prompting critics to label the president a racist.

Dr. Alveda King said Saturday on "Fox & Friends" such claims about Trump are "outrageous."

USA: Sharing Great Words Of Wisdom By Martin Luther King Jr. On This Special Day. ♥

"The function of education
is to teach one to think intensively
and to think critically.
Intelligence plus character
- that is the goal of true education."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ♥
"A nation or civilization that
continues to produce soft-minded men
purchases its own spiritual death
on the installment plan."
~ by Martin Luther King, Jr. ♥

January 14, 2018

Keep Your Eyes On God...♥

This was the message I woke up with this morning. God said to keep our eyes on Him. Just as a child taking their first footsteps. God says, "Keep your eyes on me, not your surroundings." A child totally trust their father or mother who is holding out their hands waiting to receive them or catch them if they were to fall. We are all children of the Most High God, our Creator, and He wants us to feel the same trust as we surrender ourselves, surrender our lives to Him and step forward in His divine grace and divine purpose. God sees us as His little child no matter how old we are in this material world. God loves you sooooo much... ♥ Nothing on earth can be compared to His love, His mercy and His amazing grace.
Hold on to God's hand and don't let go. Trust and believe.

The (Holy) Spirit you received does not make you slaves,
so that you live in fear again;
rather, the (Holy) Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Communicate And Trust God Like A Child ♥

Knocked at Heaven's door this morning. God asked me, My child what can I do for you? I said: Father, please protect and bless the person reading this. God smiled and answered, request granted!

"Therefore I tell you,
whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it,
and it will be yours."

Be kinder than necessary ~ for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. ♥

You Will Always Be God's Precious Little Child

Just know that God is keeping you
safe in the palm of His hands

This is how God see's you,
His precious little child
I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart
and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.
(Jeremiah 1:5)

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
who formed you from the womb:
“I am the Lord, who made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
(Isaiah 44:24)

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
(Isaiah 49:15)

Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
you are he who took me from my mother's womb.
My praise is continually of you.
(Psalm 71:6)

But when he who had set me apart before I was born,
and who called me by his grace,
(Galatians 1:15)

Lord seeth not as man seeth;
for man looketh on the outward appearance
but the Lord looketh on the HEART.
(1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus said, "Truly I tell you,
anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God like a little child
will never enter it."

And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you,
unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

10 Confidence Quotes To Stregthen Your Spirit...❤

10 Confidence Quotes To Stregthen Your Spirit
by Various Extra-Ordinary People
  1. There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad - you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you. ~ by Stacey Charter

  2. The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. ~ by Epictetus ♥

  3. Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~ by Dr. Seuss

  4. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that you can't do this or that. That's nonsense. Make up your mind, you'll never use crutches or a stick, then have a go at everything. Go to school, join in all the games you can. Go anywhere you want to. But never, never let them persuade you that things are too difficult or impossible. ~ by Douglas Bader

  5. The only opinion about your dream that really counts is yours. The negative comments of others merely reflect their limitations - not yours. ~ by Cynthia Kersey

  6. Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ~ by Dale Carnegie

  7. The last person one wants to be is themselves. Sadly, that is the best person to be. ~ by Unknown Author

  8. To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are. ~ by Unknown Author

  9. Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions. ~ by Earl Gray Stevens

  10. Even when I was in the orphanage, when I was roaming the street trying to find enough to eat, even then I thought of myself as the greatest actor in the world. I had to feel the exuberance that comes from utter confidence in yourself. Without it, you go down to defeat. ~ by Charlie Chaplin
BONUS

Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably. ~ by Walt Disney

BONUS BONUS

Circumstances don't dictate your life, the choices you make do! ♥ - by Unknown author