Why Are So Many Muslim Refugees in Europe Suddenly Finding Jesus?
by, Nadette De Visser | The Daily Beast | h/t Blazing CatFur
AMSTERDAM — Hundreds of Pakistanis and Afghans have been lining up at a local swimming pool in Hamburg, Germany, to be baptized as Christians. In the Netherlands and Denmark, as well, many are converting from Islam to Christianity, and the trend appears to be growing. Indeed, converts are filling up some European churches largely forsaken by their old Christian flocks.
All of which raises a question, not least, for the United States: If American presidential candidate Donald Trump gets elected and bars Muslims from entering the country, as he says he will, would the ban apply to Christians who used to be Muslims? How would one judge the quality of their faith?
For the moment, that quandary is a ways off for U.S. Homeland Security, but in Europe even now the phenomenon is fraught with echoes of the past, problems in the present, and omens for the future. Forced conversions of Muslims and Jews during the Spanish Inquisition were a dark page in Europe’s history. More than a little suspicion surrounds some of the current conversions, seen by some to be cynical bids to improve the chance of getting asylum. And, looking forward, it’s potentially quite dangerous for those who embrace the Gospel to return to homelands where abandoning Islam for another faith can be treated as a capital crime.Still, many preachers are pleased. The German pastor of the Evangelical-Lutheran church in Berlin calls the conversion phenomenon “a gift from God.” In his modest community a staggering 1,200 Muslims, mainly Afghans and Iranians, converted in just three years.
In Hamburg, where German ARD TV showed the Pakistanis and Afghans lining up to be baptized by the pastor of the Persian Church community, more than 600 people reportedly were received into the congregation.
There is no reliable overall figure for converts in northern Europe, but judging by reports from different media outlets, it is safe to assume the number runs into the thousands, maybe even tens of thousands who say they want the Gospel, “the good news,” offered by Jesus Christ.
One young Iranian woman convert told the German news magazine Stern, “I’ve been looking all my life for peace and happiness, but in Islam, I have not found them,” Another convert told Stern he had found in Christianity an element—love—that was missing from the faith he was brought up in. “In Islam, we always lived in fear,” he said. “Fear God, fear of sin, fear of punishment. But Christ is a God of love.”
Not all church communities are equally excited about this new development, however. Some church leaders question the integrity of the new stream of conversions, which may be undertaken under subtle—or not so subtle—pressure.
Pastor Gerhard Scholte of the Reformed Keizersgracht Church, who also heads up the refugee task force of combined Amsterdam churches, says, “conversion to Christianity is not promoted in our church, so we see very little of it.” From his point of view, “Everyone is a child of God,” whether baptized or not. “Faith should not be conditional,” he says.
Indeed, Scholte suggests that conversion on a large scale may verge on abuse. “It is taking advantage of people in weak positions and it’s all about the figures,” Scholte says, “That is abhorrent to me.”
His Reformed Keizersgracht Church in Amsterdam has been working with refugees since the early ‘80s. “Unless it saves lives, we are not eager to convert. In that case however, we convert anyone who wants to,” Scholte adds. In fact, this church has a long tradition saving lives through conversion. “This is what our church did to help Jews in the Second World War,” he said.
Many evangelical communities today take a more pro-active posture. They approach their work with missionary zeal and, implicitly if not explicitly, may link aid to conversion.
In the Netherlands and other Northern European countries, such churches are very active giving refugee assistance. They encourage refugees to accept Jesus in their lives and embrace the Gospel of Love. At the same time, they offer free Dutch lessons and may invite refugees for a temporary stay in Dutch Christian homes. In many cases this is the first and the only glimpse refugees get into Dutch society outside the boundaries of a camp.
The Dutch New Life Evangelical community in Alphen aan den Rijn reportedly saw 50 new converts added to its ranks in one year. “They were touched by God’s word during the prayer sessions,” Pastor Ab Meerbeek told the national newspaper Trouw. Most are from Iran and Afghanistan. They listen to the sermons translated in Farsi on headphones.
Whatever the reasons are for Muslim refugees to embrace Christianity, their conversions may endanger them if asylum is refused and they are sent back to their countries of origin. And contrary to popular belief, conversion to Christianity can actually damage one’s chances of asylum in the Netherlands.
“It does not help people, because the Dutch authorities tend to distrust swift conversion,” said Scholte. “It can work against you when you are seeking asylum.”
In Germany, conversion can work to a refugee’s advantage. “Members of our community are almost always granted asylum,” Pastor Gottfried Martens of the Berlin Evangelical-Lutheran Church told BZ Berlin. “They can’t go back without danger to their lives in their home country as Christians.”
This paradoxical fact—converted Christians are more likely to be persecuted than those who stay Muslims, and are thus more eligible for asylum—may explain part of the recent surge in conversions.
But there are many cases in which personal safety already is compromised before refugees arrive in Europe, says Geesje Werkman of Church in Action.
“If an Afghan woman comes to you saying she wants to convert because she was raped and because of that she would be stoned, she can be deeply touched and wanting to convert because of a passage in the Bible that says, ‘He who is without sin cast the first stone,’” says Werkman.
Werkman says she worries about generalizations. “There is not just one story, there are a multitude of different stories,” he tells The Daily Beast. “It really doesn’t help if the press writes that the conversions are unreliable, when there are so many different situations, it cannot be reduced to one storyline.”
Scholte, for all his skepticism about conversions and those who encourage them, thinks the strongest appeal of churches in Europe is a new idea of freedom. “That is what they sense when they come in touch with Christianity. I do understand,” Scholte says. “But if you tell me what church you are from, I will tell you how ‘free’ that will actually be. There are enormous differences.”
It is my personal opinion that we should not ‘prejudge’ the authenticity of another person’s transformation of faith. But rather, we should each focus internally, on the authenticity of our own faith.
Our Creator knows their hearts and their motivations.
And the truth shall always come to light, within the manifestation of the fruit.
Ahavah and Shalom.
by, fairus.org. | h/t futuret
In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, Congress cut benefits to veterans by increasing co-pays for prescriptions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the increased co-pays saved the federal government approximately $1.5 billion. (See CBO Estimate FY2016 NDAA) However, it now appears that $336 million generated from the veterans’ cuts was used to pay for 3,000 additional Afghan interpreters to be resettled in the United States. (The Daily Caller News Foundation, May 16, 2016)
Known as the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), this program was created by Congress in 2009 for Afghan employees and contractors who were employed by the U.S. government in Afghanistan any time after October 6, 2001, and who experienced an ongoing serious threat as a result of that employment. (See P.L. 111-8; 8 U.S.C. § 1101 note 26) Initially, the annual cap on SIVs issued was 1,500 but it was increased to 4,000 in the Fiscal Year 2015 NDAA before being increased again in the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA to 7,000. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Dec. 9, 2014; Department of State SIV Guidelines)
While Afghan translators serve an important function in the ongoing war on terror, it is poor public policy to cut benefits to American citizen veterans to pay for these visas. “Military families shouldn’t be paying for the SIV program. The program should be funded outright because of the service our interpreters rendered,” said former Army combat veteran Alex Plitsas. (The Daily Caller News Foundation, May 16, 2016) There’s no reason to put veterans’ benefits on the chopping block, especially since there is overlap in jurisdiction with the State Department’s control of visa programs. (Id.)
Outrageously, it appears that several Senators want to cut veterans’ benefits again in the Fiscal Year 2017 NDAA to pay for even more SIV. An unnamed GOP Senate aide told the Daily Caller, “I’ve been told by multiple sources that they’re trying to use the co-pay hike to pay for the visa increase again this year.” (Id.) “With so much wasteful government spending that should be cut, it is befuddling how some in Congress are so eager to put military and veteran benefits on the chopping block.” (Id.)
The Senate is working on the Fiscal Year 2017 NDAA this week. Both Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have expressed a desire to increase the SIV cap but neither has explained how it would be paid for.
Video courtesy of: CBN News
by, Nikolaj Nielsen | eu observer | h/t Nightmouse @ Blazing CatFur
The threat of terrorists attacks in the EU remains the top national security concern among member states, with some 211 foiled plots last year alone, according to a top EU security official.
The threat of another attack similar in scale to the Paris attack in November last year or in Brussels this past March has national authorities on edge.
Manuel Navarrete Paniagua, the head of the European Counter Terrorism Centre at the EU police agency Europol, told euro-deputies on Monday (23 May) that terrorist cells in the EU were likely stockpiling explosives for later use.
“We have some information reported by the member states that terrorists groups are trying to establish large clandestine stockpiles of explosives in the European Union to be used eventually in large scale home attacks,” he said.
Paniagua was briefing MEPs in the civil liberties committee on the yet-to-be published EU Terrorism Situation & Trend Report (TE-SAT) compiled by Europol and member states.
The report is set for publication in a few weeks’ time.
Paniagua cited figures and broader conclusions due in the report, noting that “jihadist terrorism” remains the top threat to security in the European Union.
The latest attacks in the EU suggest much better coordination among the terrorists than previously thought. He said their combined use of explosives and firearms was also a novelty and a threat that is evolving rapidly.
Authorities have yet to nail down any single profile of a home-grown terrorist or foreign fighter.
But he said many have petty criminal backgrounds. He pointed out a significant proportion of foreign fighters have also been diagnosed with mental problems.
More than 4,000 so-called foreign fighters have been identified in the EU and entered into a Europol database.
“Using the terrorist financial tracking programme, we provided last year more than 2,700 leads regarding foreign terrorist fighters to the member states,” he said.
Some 1,057 people were also arrested last year on terrorism-related offences, he said.
He said there are also unconfirmed reports that some jihadist militants have set up training camps in the Western Balkans and some EU states.
Terrorists and migration flows
Other concerns related to terrorists exploiting the migration flows from Turkey and elsewhere to enter the European Union.
“We found no evidence of the systematic of using this flow to infiltrate terrorists into the European Union. But they do, they use it, we have some cases, some of the people that perpetrated the Paris attacks were eventually disguised in this immigration flow,” he said.
Paniagua said migrants were being victimised twice as result. First they flee terrorists and then again when the same attempt to infiltrate the EU by hiding among the refugees, he said.
“Again, we have no indication that this systematic,” he said.
Earlier this month, Europol announced it would deploy some 200 counter-terrorist and other investigators to migrant arrival centres known as hotspots in Italy and Greece.
Of those, Europol said it would dispatch around 50 “at key points on the external border of the EU” to track down and help identify suspected criminals and terrorists.
A European Commission report earlier this month noted that Turkey is suspected to have around 1,300 Turkish citizens fighting alongside Islamic militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
It noted that the plan to lift visa restrictions on Turkish nationals “could potentially have an impact on the terrorist risk in the EU.”
Approximately 5% of the Swedish population self-identify as Muslim
by, Mattias Albinsson | Fria Tider | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Refugee children and other immigrant groups were behind at least 80 percent of the sexual molestation reported on Swedish bathhouse last year. It writes the police in a progress report presented Monday.
Sexual molestation on the bathhouse was reported at 123 different occasions in 2015, in 112 of the cases were directed against the molestations of girls and eleven meetings against boys.
“In 80 percent of the complaints from the public baths were the perpetrators of the declared or established foreign origin. Most lacked a Swedish personal and reports indicated that they belonged to groups of asylum seekers boys,” says the police in their report.
Police says that the perpetrators in other sexöverfall, which does not occur in the bathhouse environment, although they are primarily people with foreign citizenship.
The report is very grim reading, showing how sexual crimes and insecurity for women in the country exploded in Sweden in asylkaosets track. Police notes that sexofredandena on bathhouses and other public places “have created a sense of helplessness and girls affected have felt deeply offended and scared to go out.”
Police also lists a long series of events that describes how the sexual molestations and abuses often go to the New Sweden:
A sixteen year old girl was attacked by a large number of boys who “were foreign and spoke poor Swedish” who tried to rip off her clothes.Some photographed the event. The girl was walking home with her boyfriend from a party when she was attacked. The boyfriend was a witness to the incident.
In a similar situation two girls were assaulted by a group of 10-20 guys with “African origin” who were 15-20 years old.
At an assault against a girl in a park, a sexual assault of a completed rape by several guys in the group. They had previously been at the same party and saw her leave the place.
At an assault against a 12 year old girl reported the following identifying data; “Four men in the 20-25 age which looked to be Arabs and spoke foreign, possibly Arabic between them”. A passerby young man intervened and was beaten.
One girl said that she would pee in a bush when twelve perpetrators came up to her and sexually harassed her. In this connection, the perpetrators had resorted plaintiff’s wallet. “The sexual the harassment consisted among other things of the unknown perpetrator took the plaintiffs in the butt”
A girl of 17 years, which went from a shopping mall, was followed and stopped by the three “African guys” who attacked her by pinching her butt so hard that her pants broke.
A girl of 13 years who attend special schools were approached by “4-5 foreign guys” who spoke Swedish with an accent. They took her, one at a time “in places she did not like, among other things on her buttocks and breasts.
When a girl was waiting for a train, she was surrounded by six youths in the 15-17 age “of foreign origin”. They poked at her and talked obscene and threatening her in Swedish. When the train arrived broke off the harassment.
In another case, a girl said that she had met a group of about 10 guys 18-20 years of age. Four of the guys in the gang grabbed her shirt and held her arm while three of the other guys took on her body and breasts.She screamed for help, tried to resist and asked them to stop but without success. Eventually she managed to break free.
A girl got on a train molested with obscene gestures by a gang of nine men at age 25, and they tried to block the road when she would go off.None of the guys spoke Swedish and the plaintiff stated in the notification that “they could be from Afghanistan.”
A girl was surrounded on a train of eight men who boarded the same time. Two of the men began to take on her thighs and up toward her crotch. She finally took out a pepper spray and all are moving. All the men were over 25 years old and had foreign origin.
“Attitudes and standards”
The progress report has been prepared by the National Police Operations Department (Noah) and the police’s prescription to remedy asylum immigrants many Swedish sexual abuse against women and girls is to work more with the “attitudes and norms.”
– Sexual molestation is a social problem that is about attitudes and norms. The police alone can not come to grips with the causes but the entire judiciary and society at large need to act against these attitudes and behaviors, says Linda Staaf, head of the police intelligence unit.
Muslim immigrants have reportedly been; ‘..tearing up Bibles, assaulting Christians, sexually abusing women and children and beating up homosexuals..’
by, Liam Deacon | Breitbart News | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop and Vlad Tepesblog (video)
ACHTUNG deutsche Leser: Bitte klicken Sie hier, um diesen Artikel auf Deutsch zu lesen. Danke.
A gang of Chechen Muslims wielding knives and baseball bats have allegedly “ambushed” a group of Yazidi migrants in Germany, sparking a “religious war” involving more than 100 people and leaving several hospitalised.
The showdown in Bielefeld, Germany on Saturday night was initially reported as a random fight. However, Westfalen-Blatt reports that those suffering injuries were exclusively Yazidi.
A group called ‘Yazidis International’ has now claimed the Muslims lured the Yazidis out of their hostel, before attacking them with weapons in an assault that correlates with other attacks on non-Muslim minorities seen in Germany’s migrant centres.
One man suffered a head injury, another a skull fracture, one a hand fracture, and another person was seriously cut.
When the police arrived they described the situation as “very confusing” as they struggled to ascertain who was attacking who in the complex, sectarian religious conflict.
The Yazidi group, thought to be Iraqi Kurds, were angered by the initial attack, and began to muster later that evening with the intention of exerting revenge upon the Muslims, Neue Westfalen reports.
The Yazidis are thought to have organised on social media, with around 100 gathered near to the migrant centre where the Muslim migrants were staying. However, police managed to set up a roadblock to contain the group and further conflict was averted.
The police are now reported to be considering ways of keeping the two warring groups apart.
Multiple reports and studies on migrant centres and the migrant crisis in Germany have found that religious conflict and sexual violence is common and widespread among the new arrivals.
A report by Amnesty International released in January found that women travelling in the company of male asylum seekers have been subjected to sickening intimidation.
A separate study published by German newspaper Die Welt in February found that violence toward ethnic minorities, religious minorities and women had increased across German migrant centres.
Muslim men were singled out for tearing up Bibles and assaulting Christians, sexually abusing women and children and beating up homosexuals.
In a related story, provided courtesy of our friend and Infidel brother ‘Vlad the Impaler‘…
Sunni Translators in Germany are Distorting and Falsifying Statements to Authorities, to Protect Other Sunnis:
Awaiting autopsy results to see if “other crimes” were committed against this little girl prior to her death…
by, Tanveer Hossain | Dhaka Tribune | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Narayanganj, Bangladesh: Police in Narayanganj’s Rupganj upazila recovered the body of an eight-year-old girl yesterday, two days after she went missing.
Sumaiya Akhter, daughter of Wazid Miah of Sutalara area, was found dead in a pond adjacent to Sutalara Jam-e mosque in the upazila’s Tarab municipality.
Police detained the muezzin of the mosque, Jahirul Islam, in this connection and he confessed to killing Sumaiya during primary interrogation.
Ismail Hossain, officer-in-charge of Rupganj police station, said Sumaiya and several other children went to the mosque to take Arabic lessons from Jahirul on Thursday morning.
“After the lesson ended, Jahirul allowed to leave all students, except Sumaiya. He also made a loudspeaker announcement from the mosque that Sumaiya had gone missing,” he said.
The body of the minor girl bore several wounds and was sent to Narayanganj General Hospital for autopsy.
Police said Jahirul had confessed to killing Sumaiya by pushing her into the pond but more details would be revealed when he would be extensively grilled.
Sumaiya’s father filed a case with Rupganj police station after her body was recovered.
In the case statement, Wazid said attempts were made to disappear his daughter’s body after killing her.
by, Josie Ensor (Beirut Bureau) | The Telegraph | h/t Blazing CatFur
Islamic State has moved its chemical weapons operation to densely populated residential areas and is testing homemade chlorine and mustard gas on its prisoners, residents of the Iraqi city of Mosul have claimed.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is reported to have set up laboratories in built-up neighbourhoods in the heart of its so-called caliphate to avoid being targeted by coalition air strikes.
The terror group is known to harbour chemical and nuclear ambitions, and is trying to manufacture weapons not only for attacks within Iraq and Syria but also the West.
It has a special unit for chemical weapons research made up of Iraqi scientists who worked on weapons programmes under Saddam Hussein, as well as foreign experts.
The head of the unit, Sleiman Daoud al-Afari, was captured during a raid by US special forces outside Mosul in March and is now sharing intelligence on Isil’s chemical operation.
An investigation by Syrian and Iraqi citizen journalists who report under the name Sound and Picture, reveal he has now been replaced by Abu Shaima, an Iraqi doctor who worked at the University of Baghdad during Saddam’s reign.
Other than his links to the late Iraqi dictator little is known about Shaima, which is customary for top Isil leaders.
He is said last month to have moved the group’s operations away from its main laboratories at the universities of Mosul and Tel Afar, which have both been hit in recent months, to residential areas to protect it against aerial attack.
Residents of al-Mohandseen – which had been a wealthy Christian neighbourhood until Isil seized the city – said several houses had been taken over by Isil officials in the last few weeks. A number of large unmarked trucks have been parked outside and more recently they reported seeing dozens of dead dogs and rabbits in nearby rubbish containers.
An Isil insider confirmed to the journalists, who shared the information with the Telegraph, that they had been dumped there after they were used for chemical testing.
The report also claimed Isil has been carrying out experiments on prisoners they are holding at a secret jail in al-Andalus, in the Nineveh governorate of Mosul, exposing them to chlorine and mustard gas to test the toxicity.
Residents near the prison have reported breathing difficulties and children developing severe rashes – some of the side effects of exposure to such substances.
The extremists have seized large quantities of industrial chlorine and are believed to have the expertise to make mustard gas. They are also feared to have captured chemical weapon stocks from Bashar al-Assad’s regime across the border in Syria.
And in March, a suspected Isil chemical attack on the Iraqi town of Taza, south of Kirkuk, killed three children and wounded some 1,500 people, with injuries ranging from burns to rashes and respiratory problems.
Brig Roger Noble, the deputy commander of international troops training and supporting the Iraqi army, told the Telegraph that Isil militants are expected to use chemical weapons against troops trying to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second city.
Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, former commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment (CBRN) and chemical weapons adviser to NGOs in Syria and Iraq, told the Telegraph the revelations showed the group was adapting to the coalition’s punishing air strikes.
“Isil’s chemical weapons operation has been heavily targeted – as is detailed in this report – and moving into residential areas is exactly what you would expect them to do now.”
He said Western security services should be concerned that their chemical operations have effectively gone underground, allowing them to continue their work outside of strike range.
“Now we know the extent of the Isil chemical and dirty bomb aspirations we must make doubly sure that our security in the UK is absolutely water-tight against this threat.”
by, Leda Reynolds | Sunday Express
A total of 62 men have been snared by German police after smuggling themselves on to lorries heading on to ferries and freighters leaving Cuxhaven near Hamburg.
Holger Jureczko, a police spokesman, said most of the men were from Albania and Kosovo and they had been trying to climb the port’s fence.
Cuxhaven runs cargo ships to Immingham, Humberside, and ferry services to Harwich in Essex, raising fears that the port may become the next Calais.
Three Albanians who had reached Immingham on Monday were caught by border guards and placed on the next ferry back to Cuxhaven.
The new wave of migrants follows a warning that the stretch of coast along the east of England was vulnerable as a increasingly desperate migrants look for new ways to dodge border controls.
And Keith Vaz, Labour chairman of the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee, criticised Germany and called on the country to do more to track the one million migrants it had admitted last year.
He said: “Focusing on the main problem areas such as Calais leaves the smaller ports without adequate protection against illegal migration.
“This latest information is a serious worry.
“EU partners like Germany must do much more to stop the flow.
“Encouraging people to come to Germany and then not processing them there shows an absence of planning and a lack of care.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “We work with a range of domestic, European and international partners to develop a detailed picture of the routes being used by migrants attempting to enter the UK illegally.
“Where a credible threat is identified, we will take joint action.”