ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children – Amanda Casanova

ISIS Targets Christian Town, Killing Scores of People, Including Children

©Thinkstockphotos.com

 

Islamic State soldiers have reportedly killed “scores” of people, including women and children, in Qaryatayn, a town that was once predominantly Christian.

Syrian troops recaptured the city over the weekend, but found that ISIS had killed many civilians.

“These are people who don’t know God, they don’t know anything. They killed children and women with knives, they beat women, broke their arms,” a town resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It’s unclear how many were killed. The Associated Press said 67 were killed, while Homs province Governor Tala Barazi told Reuters that “more than 60 were dead” and more than 100 are missing. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some 128 people were killed.

Abdullah AbdulKarim, a former resident of the city, said the latest slaughter was revenge killing. His own uncle and two of his cousins were shot.

“They came into town with a hit list,” he said, adding that soldiers went door to door for weeks looking for people.

According to International Christian Concern, Qaryatayn was a predominantly Christian town until about 2015 when ISIS first captured the city.

The town has been recaptured and taken back between Syrian and ISIS forces many times. The town was finally recaptured again by ISIS earlier this month.

 

Written by: Amanda Casanova

More and More Millennials are Turning to Witchcraft in Place of Religion – Veronica Neffinger

More and More Millennials are Turning to Witchcraft in Place of Religion

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Research and studies are showing that more Americans are interested in spirituality, but are less interested in organized religion. This trend is especially true for millennials.

According to a report from MarketWatch.com, interest in spirituality, astrology, and witchcraft is soaring among millennials. One study has even shown that over half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. The psychic services industry, which involves things such as tarot card reading, palm reading, mediums, and astrology has also grown by two percent in the four years between 2011 and 2016 to be a $2 billion industry.

Melissa Jayne, the owner of Catland, a “metaphysical boutique” in Brooklyn, New York, said she has seen interest in this types of spirituality increase recently, particularly among millennials. To cater to this uptick in interest, Catland now offers classes such as “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and “Spirit Seance.”

Jayne pinpoints why so many young people are showing an increased interest in this type of connection with the supernatural.

“Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,” she said. “For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.”

Danielle Ayoka, another individual whose business profits from the trend in witchcraft, astrology, and similar interests, adds that these things have become increasingly mainstream:

“When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo. Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded,” she said.

 

Written By: Veronica Neffinger

Why ‘Ordinary Time’ is Most Extraordinary for God’s Work – James Tonkowich

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During our New Years visit to see our son and his family, our grandson asked his mom if he could “open the door” when we got home from church. “Open the front door? Sure you can,” she replied. That’s not what he had in mind. He wanted to open “a little door” like the other little doors he opened in his Advent calendar. “Not till next year,” he was told.

 

Christmas is over and as a friend likes to say, “Ain’t nothin’ as over as Christmas.”

 

We waited again with Israel of old for the promised Messiah. We marveled at the angel’s announcement to Mary and held our breath until we heard her say, “Be it done to me according to your word,” assuring our salvation. We fretted with Joseph about what to do with pregnant Mary until he too heard the words of an angel. We went on the wearying journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Mary about to deliver only to hear, “No room at the inn” and plop down in the stable. We rejoiced at the birth of Jesus with the angels and shepherds and saw with Simeon the “light to give light to the Gentiles and the glory of… Israel.” We waited as the Magi made their way by the light of the star, worshipped the baby king, and went home by another way.

That is, we’ve relived the who, what, when, where, why, and how of our faith. (Or at least a big chunk of it. We’ll relive the rest from Lent to Pentecost.) Now we begin what liturgists call “Ordinary Time.”

 

The late Richard John Neuhaus objected to the phrase “Ordinary Time” since, he wrote, for the Christian “no time is ordinary.” And, while I agree at some level, on another level I believe (and I’m sure Fr. Neuhaus believed) that it is precisely in the midst of our ordinary that God works his extraordinary. That’s because it’s during Ordinary Time that we answer the question, “So what?” What difference do the facts of the incarnation, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus make in the ordinary, daily grind at home, in the office, at school, in the supermarket, at the airport, in the kitchen, at the gym?

 

Brother Lawrence (1614-1691) had an answer. He entered the monastery knowing that he hated kitchen work, but no one seems to have asked his opinion. When he received his work assignment, he found himself fixing meals and washing the pots and pans on permanent KP. Over time, the ordinary and endless cycle of meal preparation and clean up took on an extraordinary dimension. “The time of business,” he said in The Practice of the Presence of God, “does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament,” that is, as if at worship.

 

2015 will, I believe, be a troubled and troubling year. Religious liberty will continue to be eroded by the press toward greater and greater sexual license and the accompanying demand for affirmation in our schools, corporations, public life, and even our churches. The murderous attack on employees of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week is a reminder that radical Islam is alive and well across the West as it is across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. And the cyber attack and blackmail perpetrated on Sony last month make it clear that our hyper-connected, technological wonderland may be our worst nightmare. We live in a very dangerous world and many will willingly hand over freedom in exchange for hypothetical safety.

 

Confronted with this, I keep coming back to the words of Fr. George Rutler who wrote in his book A Crisis of Saints: The Call to Heroic Faith in an Unheroic World, “All I really have to say about this is that each turning point in history is a test of holiness, and the saints make the big difference in the world’s fortunes. As a corollary to this, since holiness is marked by heroic virtue, the real danger to society is not merely a lack of virtue, but lack of heroism.”

 

What can ordinary people do during ordinary time about the dangers before us? If the events of Christmas time and Easter time are true and we take God at his word and act by faith, the answer will be deeds that are extraordinary, even heroic.

 

 

Jim Tonkowich is a writer, commentator, and speaker focusing on the role of religion in our public life. His new book, The Liberty Threat: The Attack on Religious Freedom in America Today is available from St. Benedict Press and other online retailers.

Veteran Jazz artiste, Mike Aremu unleashed new song “Nigeria Fiful”, advocates peaceful resolve and One Nigeria.

Saxophonist, Mike Aremu has responded in style to the on going agitations and struggles for separation in Nigeria. The AfroGoJazz inventor has put out a new song “Nigeria Fiful” meaning Nigerian People to celebrate the county’s 57th Independence Day Anniversary and also advocates to peaceful resolve and One Nigeria. “Truly we have our differences, our struggles, our agitations and upset about Nigeria, but I’d rather a “ONE NIGERIA” he concluded.

The song “Nigeria Fiful” is embedded with a strong message for unity and oneness and coming at a time when the country celebrates its 57th Independence.

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Self-Harm on the Rise Among Teen Girls – Jim Liebelt

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.

 

Teen girls are much more likely to self-harm than boys, and the dangerous practice is on the rise.

That’s the conclusion of a new British study that also found a strong link between self-harm — practices such as cutting or burning oneself — and a higher risk of suicide.

Researchers reviewed information from nearly 650 general practices in the United Kingdom. The records had data on almost 9,000 patients aged 10 to 19 who self-harmed between 2001 and 2014. The investigators compared those children to more than 170,000 kids who didn’t self-harm, matched for age and gender.

The rate of self-harm was about three times higher among girls than boys. The rate rose 68 percent among girls ages 13 to 16 from 2011 to 2014.

Referrals to mental health services within 12 months of self-harming were 23 percent less likely for children in the poorest areas, even though the rates of self-harm were higher in these areas.

The researchers also found that children and teens who self-harmed had a nine times increased risk of death from non-natural causes. The risk from suicide and alcohol/drug poisoning was especially pronounced.

The high self-harm rate among teen girls may be due to common mental health problems in females at this age. Biological factors such as puberty and onset of sexual activity may also play a role in self-harm, according to lead researcher Cathy Morgan, from the University of Manchester, and colleagues.

The researchers said there is some evidence that common mental health disorders are on the rise among teens. This may be because they “are living in more stressful times,” Morgan’s team said.

The study was published in BMJ.

 

Written by Jim Liebelt

Find out more on: Health Day

Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar has Become Full-Scale Genocide – Amanda Casanova

Ethnic Cleansing in Myanmar has Become Full-Scale Genocide

 

The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, where thousands of people have fled the killing in the country, is “genocide,” said Azeem Ibrahim, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Policy.

Ibrahim, in a column for CNN, said while the crisis has long been described an “ethnic cleansing,” the situation has turned into genocide.

The United Nation’s 1948 Genocide Convention defines genocide as acts that are committed with “intent to destroy” in the whole or part of a national, ethnical or racial or religious group by killing, causing bodily injury or mental harm, imposing measures to prevent births.

“Though the Rohingya situation has met most of the above criteria for being described as a genocide under international law for a number of years now, the label has been resisted until now because we think of genocide as one huge act of frenzied violence, like the machete insanity in Rwanda or the gas chambers of Nazi Germany,” he said.

Ibrahim says in Myanmar that Buddhist monks are preaching that the Rohingya are reincarnations of snakes and insects and killing them is a sort of “pest control.”

“The duty of any good Buddhist who wants to maintain the national and religious character of Myanmar is to prevent the Islamist takeover, and thus to help remove the threat posed by the ‘vermin,’” he says.

Some 600,000 Rohingya have been driven out of Myanmar because of the violence and persecution.

“More than half of an entire population has been removed from their ancestral lands in just eight weeks,” Ibrahim says.

“Just like we did in Rwanda, just like we did in the Balkans, we are once again seeing a genocide happen before our very eyes,” he added. “And we will do nothing about it. We will bury our heads in the sand, and when our children will ask us why we let this happen we will plead ignorance. Once the final act of killing starts, it is usually too late. For the Rohingya, the final act is in full swing. And still we are in denial about what is happening.”

 

Find out more about the writer from the link below:

Amanda Casanova

Worship Untamed With Esther Osaji


Sensational Gospel Minister, Esther Osaji in-conjunction with M & O Records PresentsWorship Untamed.

Theme: Unshakeable

Date: Sunday, 29th October 2017

Time: 4pm

Venue: Unilag Main Auditorium, Lagos, Nigeria

Ministering: Chioma Jesus, Emeka Okolie, True Worshippers, Agoha, MFM HQ Youth Choir, Victor Praise, Ayo Jezreel & Titi Oloyede

Powered By: Mountain Of Fire Ministry, M & O Records & Starz Bloom Foundation

 

Admission Is Free





About Esther Osaji

A devout Christian, wife, mother of three, and humanitarian, she has a strong passion for helping the less privileged. This concern for others is part of what led her to study Sociology at the Kogi State University where she graduated with honours in 2006.

Aside being an amazing musician and song writer, she is a business woman and social worker. Her NGO, Starbloom Foundation helps provide support and guidance to the less privileged in society.
A true Nigerian, born to a Hausa father from Nassarawa State, a Yoruba mother from Ogun State and an Igbo husband from Delta State with whom she currently lives in Lagos.

Her early years were spent in the FCT Abuja, her birthplace. Esther speaks English, Hausa and Yoruba fluenty and is getting better at speaking Igbo and French.

She was only nine when she started singing and is blessed to have performed at that age at presidential and state banquettes, schools and in church where she sang and still sings as a member of the choir and church band.
Upon getting married in 2007, she had to concentrate on her family and business but never stopped nursing her passion to be a recording gospel singer, she continued singing and writing.

A spirit filled woman who loves to worship and sing praises to The Lord God Almighty; this she translates in her songs.
In 2006, she performed live with Onyeka Onwenu at the official opening of the New National Stadium Abuja. Her love, passion and devotion to singing is amazing to behold.