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FAITH ‘This Is a Christian Country’: National Leader Sends Out Astounding Easter Message — but He’s Not an American

by Dave Urbanski
A world leader offered an Easter video message over the weekend filled with affirmations directed toward the Christian church that could come off sounding a bit strange to some — only because such words don’t seem to be stated in such overt ways on such public stages much at all these days.

The central theme of this leader’s two-minute-and-25-second address was that his nation is “a Christian country.”

So who offered the inspirational message?

British Prime Minister David Cameron.

“Easter is a time for Christians to celebrate the ultimate triumph of life over death in the resurrection of Jesus,” Cameron began. “And for all of us, it’s a time to reflect on the part that Christianity plays in our national life.”

“The church is not just a collection of beautiful, old buildings; it is a living, active force doing great works right across our country,” he continued, noting how the church helps the homeless, the addicted, the suffering and the grieving.

“Across Britain, Christians don’t just talk about ‘loving thy neighbor’, they live it out in faith schools, in prisons, in community groups,” Cameron noted. “And it’s for all these reasons that we should feel proud to say, ‘This is a Christian country.’ Yes, we’re a nation that embraces, welcomes and accepts all faiths and none, but we are still a Christian country.”

Cameron also urged his fellow citizens to speak out about the persecution of Christians around the world.

Check out the clip below:

‘Why will no one speak out for us?’

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by Greg Corombos

Former Rep. Frank Wolf, the leading voice for religious freedom in Congress for decades, says Christianity is on the verge of extinction in Iraq and the remaining steadfast believers do not see much effort from the U.S. or other Western nations to improve their plight.

Wolf served in the House of Representatives from 1981 to 2015. He is the author of the International Religious Freedom Act, which established the International Religious Freedom Office at the State Department and created an ambassador-at-large position to promote religious freedom around the world. That post has been vacant for some time.

Upon leaving the House, Wolf became the first-ever Wilson chair in religious freedom at Baylor University and co-founded the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. He co-led a trip to Iraq in January to observe conditions for Christians and other minorities and to speak to people firsthand. The group recently released a report based on that trip titled, “Edge of Extinction: The Eradication of Religious and Ethnic Minorities in Iraq.” He said the conclusions of the visit were obvious.

“Two things. They’re really suffering and they’re really facing extinction,” said Wolf, who added that the people there are mystified at the relative silence in the midst of their suffering, since the Islamic State has very real plans to bring its savagery to the West as well.

“The threat ISIS poses is not only to them but to people in the West and, quite frankly, people in the United States,” Wolf said. “It’s kind of a conglomeration. They kept saying, ‘Why will no one in the West speak out for us? Does anyone care?’

“I think they’re running out of confidence that the West will do much about it, because you know it’s been going on since it started in June, then in August. Now here we are in February of the next year, so they’re not seeing very much assistance.”

Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with former Rep. Frank Wolf:

Wolf said that impression is only intensified after events like the beheading of Coptic Christians in Libya and then the Obama administration only referring to them as Egyptian citizens. He said, instead of reacting to individual atrocities, the U.S. and other Western nations need to understand what’s really happening.

“It is genocide, genocide against Christians and genocide against the Yazidis and other religious minorities,” he said.

The nightmare for Christians started long before the rise of the Islamic State. Wolf said the state of Christianity in Iraq now compared to the days before the Iraq War is staggering.

“In 2001, there were a million-and-a-half Christians in Iraq,” he said. “They’re down now to 300,000, and I think probably under that number. Some say under 225,000.”

He added, “The suffering of the people is not just numbers. We interviewed many, many people there who are suffering. They would like to stay, but if something isn’t done they are going to leave.”

Christians who refuse to convert are either killed or forced to live in subhuman conditions. As cold winter conditions hit the region, thousands of people are sleeping in whatever abandoned buildings they can find, often in 12′x12′ or 15′x15′ sections with just two-inch-thick mattresses as beds and kerosene heaters for warmth. For those allowed to live, there is no opportunity for work or for education. They also have no medical care.

“Many of them are doctors, and many of them are lawyers. They’re educated people, but they don’t have any resources,” said Wolf, who noted that the most substantial relief is coming to believers through a Catholic group called the Dominican Sisters as well as Samaritan’s Purse, the relief organization headed by evangelist Franklin Graham.

All of this is taking place in a region rich in biblical history.

“More biblical activity took place in Iraq than any other country in the whole world, other than Israel,” he said. “Abraham’s from Iraq. Rebekah’s from Iraq. The 12 tribes of Israel lived in Iraq. Ezekiel is buried in Iraq. Jonah, Ninevah, in fact Jonah’s tomb was just blown up in Iraq. Daniel, one of the great men of the Bible, is buried in Iraq.”

Despite the intense persecution, the report from the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative suggests the faith of embattled believers remains strong. It tells stories of people preferring to die than recant their faith in Christ. Another man lost his wife to cancer after the Islamic State refused to allow her to receive treatment in Mosul because she would not convert to Islam. In the report, the widowed husband shared his wife’s last words.

“I am going to hold onto the cross of Christ,” she told him. “I refuse to convert. I prefer death. I prefer death to abandoning my religion and my faith.”

Wolf said faith of Iraqi Christians is the strongest he’s ever seen, but he added that Christians and other religious minorities there have infinitely less faith in Western nations to come to their rescue.

“Their faith is strong,” he said. “Maybe their faith is greater with the persecution than it is in the West, where there’s a lot more materialism and things like that. I think they’re beginning to give up on the West, and many are saying, ‘Help us stay,’ meaning if we don’t stay, we’re going to leave.

“If they leave, we will literally see the end of Christianity in the place where it kind of began,” he said. “In the cradle of Christendom, there’ll be no Christians left and ISIS will have won.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/why-will-no-one-speak-out-for-us/#CI0lErgXZbfzoDGM.99

Open letter to His Holiness Pope Francis, by Geert Wilders

Covering the Conclave

by Hugh Hewitt
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How are American newspapers and networks covering the Conclave? Poorly, if at all. Most of the stories are breathless horserace-style speculations about men they don’t know. When American journalists venture into the issues facing the Roman Catholic Church they rightly mention the abuse scandals and then most stop, except for a few who go on about celibacy –which is not going to change no matter who emerges as the new pope. When you next spot an article talking about the slaughter of Christians in the world or the suppression of the Church in China, send me a link. The next pope has enormous issues to confront that most American journalists can’t even begin to conceive of much less cover in depth.

I am trying to find and use the best experts on my radio show, and even if you are not a regular listener, if you do care about the Conclave and its result, I suggest you get the app or listen online at one of my stations such as 1260 AM in Washington D.C., Conservative Talk 94.5 in South Carolina, or 98.9 The Answer in Columbus, Ohio.

Not everyone welcomes in-depth coverage of the Roman Catholic Church’s huge moment. One listener emails regularly to complain when I cover a story with any Catholic connection. The country is full of anti-religious people, many of them especially anti-Catholic, and the once-or-twice-a-generation story of a Conclave not only doesn’t interest them, they despise the process and the people involved.

He is going to suffer a lot through the next two weeks. Yesterday’s conversation with George Weigel (the transcript is here) was only the beginning. Today I will speak with the Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput at the beginning of the show, and will continue to keep a close eye on the proceedings and of course the man who emerges as the new pope. My column yesterday in the Washington Examiner discussed the Conclave as does this one, and as will many future columns in both places.

And for this reason. As Weigel explains in his new book Evangelical Catholicism, the spirit of the age is profoundly, even shockingly anti-God.

Anyone who has listened to the series of debates I have hosted over the years –collected now in Talking with Pagans—knows this, and anyone who practices their faith feels it. To believe in the traditional faith, Catholic or Protestant, is to risk far more than the sneers of the elite political class, but genuine discrimination in many ways.

My friend John Schroeder talked about this in his post this morning at Article VI Blog as he reflected on the dilemmas the Romneys faced while running, and many of the same dilemmas will confront Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, or Marco Rubio, all men of deep Roman Catholic faith, if they run for the presidency and are true to the Gospel on the issues of life and marriage to name just two.

Christianity faces a two-sided assault, from anti-religious secular absolutists on one side and from radical Islamists on the other. There are domestic political battles underway that impact both battles –the neutering of our military is profoundly dangerous vis-à-vis radical Islam and the Supreme Court must decide whether or not to jam down the secularist view of marriage despite votes in 31 states—but all across the world Christianity is under assault, assaults which are often deadly, and the result of the deliberations in Rome will produce a leader (or not) who will greatly impact the course of these struggles in America and abroad.

Weigel joked with me that there is a club of two lay Americans who can speak intelligently on the goings-on, himself and John L. Allen, Jr. All of Weigel’s writings appear at www.eppc.org and Allen’s are at the National Catholic Reporter. The transcript of my interview with Archbishop Chaput will be published later today as well, and I will keep finding the clergy equipped to talk about the issues swirling around this Conclave even as I keep pestering Weigel and Allen to appear often on the show.

My pal Ed Morrissey is decamping to Rome for Townhall.com soon and will provide color commentary as well from the pages of HotAir.com.

Seriously, journalists, you need to read Weigel’s book, and Archbishop Chaput’s as well as well or you are committing malpractice. Too much hangs in the balance in too many places of the world not just now but for decades to come to treat this like another election or confirmation contest.

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