2014 Religion

Global war against Christians

The 2013-2014 season was not an ideal season for the non-trinitarian community in Belgium. Efforts where made to unite or to share information between the many non-trinitarian groups. I failed in my trials and my Christadelphian community was not able to join with two other Christadelphian groups and with some Biblestudents.

Many Christians were used to the harsh mocking pen of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and for sure found this a magazine not to be find in the hands of a believer in God. In other media god and commandments where also more mocked than in previous years. Singers like Luc De Vos did not mind to take any occasion to ridicule Christian Faith. Even after he died, at the remembrance events, big screens showed cartoons and animation films mocking with Jesus and with God.

But on the internet it was very busy to bring attacks to different religions. Hardest hit were the Muslims. As from 2001 they have to cope with the fundamentalist Muslims and most of all have to fear the Jihadi fighters and sympathisers of ISIS. Though not enough counteraction was made by the mosques and Islamic organisations. This made people more worried and undermined the belief that there could be sincere trustworthy Muslims.

Not only lost a lot of the population faith in the Muslims. The Roman Catholic Church continued to loose people who did not find their way to other denominations in Christendom or Christianity. On the net there where so many attacks on the different denominations and most severe attacks on non-trinitarians, by trinitarian Christians that lots of people found all those preachers or pastors hypocrites, not living according to what they preached and also contradicting themselves, by preaching no works can bring salvation, but at the same time demanding to fund their organisation otherwise they would not come in heaven or would not receive such a good place in it. Others went on contradicting themselves, no work had to be done, but demanded that their followers would not have sex any more with multiple persons, would stop drinking alcohol and other actions which all demand some work. all the negativism and hate against other denominations or other faithgropus made that many did not like to come out with their community name

On the net we could find enough people who wanted to present Abrahamic religion (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) to have created a dissatisfied and angry god to manipulate people into obedience – do good or be punished.  {Unbelief in an angry god}  Lots of people wanted others to believe that it is religion which is the cause of all the problems in this world. The call from 2013 did become stronger in 2014

Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check

2014 was as

The hammer that Christianity has dropped on the world is falling back on them with multiplied force. It will be dispersed and shattered into pieces. Their every wind of doctrine is being blown away. {Hammered}

Lots of preachers on the internet forgot that all people are created in God’s image and that Jesus did not create Christianity and certainly not Christendom. The division battle continued heavily in 2014.  In the meantime lots of people forgot that it are not the real honest religious people from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism that cause friction between nations. {A last note concerning civil rights}

The continuous attacks on the internet and in real life on non-trinitarians made them withdraw more. This made it also more difficult for the many ecclesiae to continue working or to grow, because of more older people going to sleep and leaving this earth for what it is. {Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism}

In February of 2014 some of the top fighters against persecution from all over the world came to Capitol Hill in the United States to sound an alarm at a House hearing about the global war against Christians.

For many of the older generations (Baby boomers) it is clear that the believers in God are facing a huge problem which is getting worse, not just in the Middle East, though it’s getting worse there, but in China, in North Korea and elsewhere.

“There’s an explosion of persecution against Christians, including martyrdom, torture, and harassment of all kinds,

Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told CBN News. {World’s Largest Religion Also Most Persecuted}

Boston Globe Associate Editor John Allen travelled the world to gather the horrific facts for his book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution.

Allen said a major problem for Christians is they make such a convenient target for those angry at the West.

Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Vatican’s U.N. nuncio and a witness to Christian persecution in Iraq, talked at the hearing about the plight of Christians in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region.

“Arab Christians, a small but significant community, find themselves the target of constant harassment for no reason other than their religious faith,”

he told lawmakers.

Rep. Smith pointed out that there used to be 1.4 million Christians in Iraq.But the harassment against them has been so intense, most have fled. There are only about 150,000 Christians there now.

Elliott Abrams, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, offered a bit of a rebuke for lawmakers.

“Persecution of Christians is growing around the world and Congress needs to pay more attention to it,”

he said during the hearing.

“It needs to be a higher priority issue in our relations with all these countries where this persecution takes place.” {World’s Largest Religion Also Most Persecuted}

In China according to some messages religious liberty has still been under attack. Protestants and Catholics in China have not been spared the undue attention of communist persecution. U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in a joint press event with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said,

“The Patriotic Church, the Catholic Church, they are being targeted with church demolitions and other kinds of repression which we have not seen before. So there’s a great deal of concern that religious freedom, as bad as it was, has further deteriorated in China.”

The senator’s remarks are based on a recent report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

It seems the churches in China can get more people into the Christian faith. Some people think Christianity will  grow so strongly that China will become the most Christian nation in the world in only another 15 years. By far, the greatest growth is coming outside the official state-sanctioned churches, which are rightly considered subservient to the Communist Party. Numbers are increasing, rather, in unofficial Protestant “house churches” and in the underground Catholic church.

According to the annual report of the human rights group China Aid, persecution of Christians worsened dramatically in 2013, in line with a constant trend of deteriorating religious freedom over the past eight years. Most recently, the oppression of Christians has especially targeted Protestant groups, leaving most Catholics alone, which many feel reflects Beijing’s strategic goal of re-establishing diplomatic relations with the Vatican. According to reports, hundreds of Protestant churches in the eastern province of Zhejiang have been targeted for demolition in the past year.

Antisemitic incidents hit record high in 2014

In 2013 we noticed already an increase of violence against Jewish citizens in France and Belgium. The number of antisemitic incidents continued to increase and in the UK it reached a record high last year as people reacted to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors the extent of anti-Semitism in Britain, said 1,168 incidents had taken place nationwide in 2014 – more than double the 535 reported in 2013 and the highest annual total since records began in 1984.

There were 81 incidents of physical assault in total, but most involved verbal abuse, hate mail or bullying on social media.

Summer got a sudden upsurge in violence in the Gaza Strip which appeared to be the single biggest contributing factor to the surge in antisemitism. July saw 314 incidents, the highest-ever monthly total, while August saw 228. In 2013 there were only 59 incidents in July and 48 in August. Authorities in France, Belgium, Holland and the UK have been on heightened alert over antisemitism since the terrorist attacks on the Brussels Jewish museum and the Paris attack of last month, when an assault on a Jewish supermarket left four people dead.

Multi-religious society and state

You would expect that in our multi-religious society in which every religion has its own variant theological streams you could find more respect for others and acceptance for them being there. Also you might expect relativity to master the minds of the people living together. some would even say

the right to blaspheme is also the right to believe. Liberal theology can contrive interchangeable beliefs which do not contradict or claim special knowledge over any other religion. But traditionalist faiths are exclusive. {The Importance of Blasphemy By Daniel Greenfield}

This makes that we do have to consider that everyone’s religion could be someone else’s blasphemy. Daniel Greenfield says:

If we forget that, we need only look to Saudi Arabia, where no other religion is allowed, as a reminder.Blasphemy is the price we pay for not having a theocracy. Muslims are not only outraged but baffled by the Mohammed cartoons because they come from a world in which Islamic law dominates their countries and through its special place proclaims the superiority of Islam over all other religions. {The Importance of Blasphemy By Daniel Greenfield}

He continues

Religious people need not embrace the extremes of French secularism or the anti-religious positions of the ACLU to see that some distance between religion and state is a good thing for both. A separation between religion and state should not mean compulsory secularism, but at the same time it avoids the religious tests for office which existed in colonial times in states that banned Catholics, Quakers and Jews, among others, from holding political office. {The Importance of Blasphemy By Daniel Greenfield}

For many came convinced in 2014 that

Believers who claim that Islam or Christianity or Judaism is a religion of peace are speaking a half truth—and a naive falsehood. » {Religion: Not the cause of violence}

and that

Religion is just one part of the lethal cocktail, but it is a powerful intoxicant. {Like Alcohol, Religion Disinhibits Violence, Doesn’t Cause It}

What the media unveiled of horrors being perpetrated in South America, Africa, Azia thanks to American and European missionary dollars or euros. We could see several documentaries where Evangelical and Pentecostal churches tried to misuse the gullibility of the poor people. In several documentaries shown on television we could see that those who called themselves workers of the Lord, frightened people and even did not mind to bring damage to their skin for ever by beating or burning or disfiguring with acid after being condemning them as “witches.”  {Like Alcohol, Religion Disinhibits Violence, Doesn’t Cause It}

Lots of children in Africa where abandoned by their parents, either because of what American missionaries taught them

that the Bible is the literally perfect word of God, and the Bible says, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” (Exodus 22:18).  When children are condemned by pastors and priests, exposed in the name of Jesus by the Holy Spirit himself, parents abandon them and their villages drive them out.  The lucky ones find refuge in shelters.  (For photos click here.) {Like Alcohol, Religion Disinhibits Violence, Doesn’t Cause It}

or because they where abused in the hands of Islam fighters like Boko Haram.

Boko Haram increasing its presence

Boko Haram continued to increase its presence in northern Cameroon and continued to capture territory in north-eastern and eastern areas of Borno, as well as in Adamawe and Yobe. They kidnapped 276 girls from Chibok, Borno in april and abducted 10 Chinese workers in a raid on a construction company camp in Waza, near the Nigerian border.
In July, the Vice-President’s home village was attacked by around 200 militants; his wife was kidnapped, along with the Sultan of Kolofata and his family. At least 15 people, including soldiers and police, were killed in the raid. The Vice-President’s wife was subsequently released in October, along with 26 others including the ten Chinese construction workers who had been captured in May; authorities made no comment about any ransom, which the Cameroon government had previously claimed it never pays. {Natasha Culzac (11 October 2014). “Boko Haram releases 27 hostages including Deputy PM’s wife, Cameroon says”. The Independent. Retrieved 20 December 2014.}

Boko Haram announced in August that Gwoza was now part of an Islamic caliphate.

On 13 December Boko Haram attacked the village of Gumsuri in Borno, killing over 30, and kidnapping over 100 women and children.

Some of the people the Islamic rebels killed were inside a mosque, but apparently the Congregation of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad, aka Boko Haram and other IS related groups do find their actions are justified because the ‘others’ are to be the wrong kind of Muslims. And apostates and heretics warrant the death penalty under Islamic law.

Islamic community growing

Though the Muslim community coming so often in the news with horrible features, they may not complain being the fastest-growing religion in the world. {Johnson, Todd M.; Grim, Brian J. (2013). The World’s Religions in Figures: An Introduction to International Religious Demography. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 10. Retrieved 2 September 2013.; Guinness World Records 2003. Guinness World Records. 2003. p. 142.; Staff (May 2007). “The List: The World’s Fastest-Growing Religions”. Foreign Policy (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace).}
In the period 1990–2000, approximately 12.5 million more people converted to Islam than to Christianity”
and in Belgium, France and Holland more local Caucasians can be found to been converted to the teachings of Muhammad.

Many wonder how it can be that ISIS would not be a real Islamic group, when so many from Belgium, France, Holland and the U.K. do believe they have to fight for the good cause and really only one good faith and join such rebels. Many can also not understand why the imams in those countries than not show the world what real Islam is!

For the states security forces it is extremely difficult to track every youngster who might travel abroad to join terrorist groups like the Islamic State. It is also very difficult to find out who is having combat training and which connections they do have with terrorist groups around Europe and Africa. Also for Americans it is easy to get to Europe and from there to reach Turkey to enter into Syria.

Islamic fighters who are caught and imprisoned do not show any remorse and after some years imprisonment they like Richard Reid, the ‘Shoe Bomber,’ who still believes his actions were permissible under Islamic law, do not to seem changing mind.

Strange also to find such people who converted to Islam who in our regions do not seem to be finding it wrong to harass young women on the streets. (Presented also in a very good Canvas documentary showing by a hidden camera how they do not seem to stop annoying lots of female pedestrians in Europe’s capital.)

In August 2014, the Alexis Jay report in the United Kingdom identified 1,400 cases of child sexual exploitation in the Yorkshire town. But Sky News has learned that hundreds more cases were known to authorities prior to its publication and that hundreds more are being reported. Victims continue to feel let down by authorities.{Rotherham Victim Says Abusers ‘Untouchable’}

Some northern states of Nigeria incorporated Sharia law into their previously secular legal systems, which has brought about some controversy. Next to the political corruption the country was plagued by the Islamic terrorists.

Spiritual life anno 2014

When we look at the trends in the spiritual life of people we notice a growing trend among elders, preachers, and members of the church of Christ which is to turn Christianity and worship into things that are casual in nature. > Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus + Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God.

Tomorrowland logo

Tomorrowland, the largest annual electronic music festival held in the world, taking place in the town of Boom, 16 kilometers south of Antwerp, 32 kilometers north of Brussels, in Belgium. It used to be organized as a joint venture by the original founders together with ID&T.

There are not so many churches interested any more to really keep to the teachings of the Bible how to build an ecclesia or church and to whom which roles may be given. Seeing their membership diminishing they first had tried to bring in more people with shows and much more entertainment in church, but this did not seem to work any more, having big festivals drawing loads of people and bringing sorts of ‘High Day Masses” where people form all over the world where flown over to be part of a huge psychedelic crowd celebrating theme “The Arising of Life,” and “The Gathering” with attendees staying in Dreamville, the camp grounds of TomorrowWorld. Over 40,000 people camped at Dreamville, selling out the basic camping option. More than 160,000 people attended TomorrowWorld 2014. {Tomorrowland (festival)}

black-mass

The Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma City has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a satanic cult that plans to perform a “black mass” in the city now that the cult has returned a stolen consecrated host to the church.

The popfestivals have replaced the annual bible songfests and seminars. christian masses may not be liked so much but in 2014 we could see a rice of satanic and black masses. The black mass in Oklahoma City in September 2014 got lots of media attention.

Security had been stepped up for the event and Oklahoma City Police told KOKH-TV that someone had called in a bomb threat during the service. The Oklahoman reported that one woman was arrested after she knelt in front of one of the entrances to the Civic Center and refused to leave. {Dozens attend Satanic ‘black mass’ in Oklahoma City, hundreds protest outside}

Among the top ten largest Christian denominations today may be called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who continued to send out their missionaries into the world and got some television screening in Flanders on the state channel. Two missionaries, one from America and one from South Africa, where followed through Flanders on their mission.

In spite of America’s “Christian” self-description, there is a growing sense among North American Christ-followers that the culture is changing faster than we can keep up with or respond to—and we’re not always sure how to live faithfully in a world that feels like it’s headed off the rails. Not too many years ago, church attendance and basic Bible literacy were the cultural norm. Being a Christian didn’t feel like swimming against the cultural current. But now?

Churchless

If Unchurched Americans Were Their Own Nation, They’d Be the Eighth Largest on Earth About 156 million U.S. adults and children are churchless. Churchless Americans = Bigger Than Canada, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa & New Zealand . . . Combined Only China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the churchgoing half of the United States are larger.

can be found in the Barna study Churchless which confirms that the world has, indeed, altered in significant ways during the last few decades. It’s not just your imagination. Real data confirm how drastically the moral, social and spiritual lives of Americans and Europeans have changed and are changing.

Paganism and Wicca have also not to complain, because they may boast to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the United States as well, continuing its march from early this century. { “PRLog (Press Release) “Wicca”- The Fastest Growing Belief System In The World Today}

Atheists looking at the religious

U.S. Public Has Warmest Feelings for Jews, Catholics and Evangelicals

Barometer of feelings by Americans about other believes – Religious groups are rated more positively by their own members than by people from other religious backgrounds.

In 2013 ist was already said that American atheists are most religiously literate Americans. Atheists/agnostics and Jews that year correctly answered an average of roughly seven of the nine general knowledge questions. To know how they looked at other religions was very interesting and in 2014 they took a stronger stance.

Having so many people fighting and using the name of their God atheist took more an aversion against the believers in a god. According to a Pew Research Center Poll in the United States, atheists themselves are rated positively by atheists and agnostics, and they receive neutral ratings from Jews and those who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” Atheists are rated much more negatively by other religious groups.

Atheists gave largely positive ratings to several non-Christian religious groups, including Buddhists (who received an average rating of 69 from atheists), Jews (61) and Hindus (58). Atheists tend to give much cooler ratings to Muslims and the Christian groups asked about in the survey. {How Americans Feel About Religious Groups}

Most people under age 45 have been taken by commercialism and want to enjoy themselves as much as possible. A religion for them seems to be an interception. They are not keen at all to find obstacles on their way of enjoyment and see that religious groups may put barriers in front of them.

The criteria for human value, to the world at large, has shifted from that of someone who champions high ethical standards at work, has personal integrity in his dealings, and who is committed to doing the right thing no matter what, to someone who, at work, is willing to do whatever can ensure the greatest commercial viability and his own personal security, and get away with whatever s/he can in their personal dealings. The more noble qualities of human nature are unwittingly being sacrificed on the altar of commerce. Most do not realize the cost: ending up as two-dimensional beings, mere cogs in the wheel of commerce without a heart capable of compassion. {Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix}

The Millenials

Millennial men being “more easily swayed” by advertising than Millennial women, according to a study by Creditcards.com are not at all interested in a Higher Being they can not touch or see.

In 2014 there were (a projected 75.4) million Boomers. By midcentury, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million and in 2015 the “Millennial” generation is projected to surpass the Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. This is according to the population projections released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In many industrialised countries the Millennial generation is growing thanks to young immigrants. Boomer numbers are shrinking as we move on from life at a pace faster than the immigration numbers of boomers.  This makes that the generation which grew up in a church community, faithful to their own parish and sticking to the faith they grew up in, to wither away and to leave a generation who saw their older folks doubting and struggling with their faith.

More and more people born in the first half of the previous century exchanging this life with the dead, are adding to the loss of many churches, who can not find a new input from those younger people who prefer to look for their entertainment elsewhere.

Feeling that more people do not feel anything any more about God and Church, the atheists do feel themselves becoming greater in numbers, which attracts many to open attacking moves to those who still belief. The non-trinitarians are then the most lucrative target, because they are most sincere about their belief in the Bible.

The millennial generation imposes a greater influence on our world and gets not only the digital world to adapt to their needs, they want others to fit their thinking and their idea of behaviour. They look at the Gen X’ers or Generation X to offer them huge challenges and even bigger opportunities. Old devices and Old-ideas have become worthless for them. Religion is pre-historic thinking for them and looking at the Bible is even more dumb and not done than looking at any book. For some laptops and desktops are also already passé.

Of the American Millennials 39% say they never read the Bible, compared to 26% of all adults. Perhaps many of them, 80% compared to 88% of all adults, own a Bible because they still got it from their parents home or from school. Only 35% of those adults believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life (compared to 50% of all adults). Given the increase in Millennials who don’t believe the Bible is sacred and the decrease in Bible awareness among Millennials, Bible skepticism will likely continue to rise in the next five years.

Churchless

Younger = More Churchless The younger you are, the more likely you are to never have been to church. More than half of Mosaics (born between 1984 and 2002) are unchurched, compared to one-third of Elders (born before 1946). Twenty years ago, 18 percent of skeptics—that is, atheists and agnostics—were under 30. Today, 34 percent are Mosaics. The younger the generation, the more post-Christian it is

Millennials who will have more spending power than any other generation by 2018 do “not want to loose time” by coming together in dark places (like they think churches are) to listen to old stories and having to hear about some men who lived centuries ago. They do not see any use of such meetings or do not have any clue what it can contribute to their  diverse, tech-savvy, and aspirational techno world where they enjoy not such long stories or features on social media, which is always with them wherever they go and always to be entertained by ‘their’ brands, lacking faith in traditional institutions. For them there are other sacred moments like being able to be there at TommorWorld.

They will build up the future generation, which for them can be really good funded on our commercial values instead of ethics and Judeo-Christian values.

Brands that entertain millennials do better at engaging a millennial audience. They will spread the word about brands that they love. In fact, this generation is extremely social, tech-savvy, and influential. If your organization or business is not engaging digitally with millennials, than you simply are not engaging millennials. This generation is mostly leaderless. The Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Hong Kong and the Black Lives Matter protests did not have a single leader. Yet, social media was a sounding board and an organizing platform for activism.

Millennials are not just rising, they will begin to take the helm in business, politics, education and other institutions. We need to stop asking if Millennials can adapt to the real world. Millennials are the future, and the future is now. {Preparing for the Millennial Apex}

they cry.

In October, the 2014 Alignment Conference featured Barna’s David Kinnaman and pastor and church planter Dave Ferguson talking about millennials, who presented a “game changing moment” for the church.

We find ourselves facing into “millennial anxiety” as well as concern about the “rise of the nones” (those who do not identify with any religious tradition, a cohort that is apparently growing in the West). Like some reverse Paul Revere, many ride through the fiber optics of the Internet and into church basements shouting, “The millennials are leaving! Watch out for the rise of the nones!” Simply put, millennial anxiety—a concern shared by both mainline and evangelical churches—is the fear that those between ages 18 and 25 have little interest in the church, and that the church has failed to convince them to stay. {Why Your Millennial Outreach Needs a Bit of Bonhoeffer}

Churches wanting to admit to the present generation

Many denomination found that they had to try to get the present generation back to church. Therefore they started to bring a more entertainment like show-service and some churches even conducted pageants. Some temples hosted dinners, and others spend weeks or months meticulously planning how to break a Guinness World Record.

World Record attempt at largest live nativity occurs at Rock Canyon in Provo 1

Participants relax on the hillside while waiting to begin a Guinness World Record- breaking attempt for the largest live nativity in Rock Canyon Park on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.

There were several faith-based Guinness World Records  that were smashed in 2014: in Provo, Utah, they set a record for the most living figures in a Nativity scene.

Two, Guinness World Records were set when the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) hosted its centennial celebration on July 27, 2014, in the Philippines: largest gospel choir and largest mixed-use indoor theater. It took 4,745 participants singing hymns together in tidy, white sections in a 55,000-seat stadium to break the record once set in February 2014 in New Jersey by the current and former athletes who make up the NFL Players Choir. {5 religious Guinness World Records smashed in 2014, and 5 to shoot for in 2015}

The Art of the Living Foundation gathered nearly 47,000 people reading aloud simultaneously (single location), set at the Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, India, in February, reciting, in unison, a Hindu devotional poem called “Jnanappana” by the famous Lord Krishna devotee Poonthanam.

In November there was a Record breaking preaching in Mount Dora.

New fresh wind in Roman Catholic Church

In April the Catholic Church simultaneously canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II and in October the Roman Catholic Church beatified Pope Paul VI.

The successor of Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis I became really the pope who could be the real successor of Pope John XXIII taking care that the Roman Catholic Church would come closer to its flock. The first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741, 1,272 years earlier, has surprised the elder conservatives at the Vatican. His humility, his concern for the poor and his commitment to dialogue as a way to build bridges between people of all backgrounds, beliefs and faiths, was already noticed when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires (1998) and cardinal (2001). He took on a simpler and less formal approach to the papacy, most notably by choosing to reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse rather than the papal apartments of the Apostolic Palace used by his predecessors.

Though he affirmed Catholic doctrine on abortion, artificial contraception, and homosexuality, he also gave some way for more openness which was also translated in several countries by accepting homosexuals in church and taking part of the Eucharist.

Years the catholic Church did protect lots of paedophile priests and nuns, but Pope Francis has also announced a zero-tolerance policy towards sex abuse in the Church, saying that sex abuse was “as bad as performing a satanic mass.

The new pope soon started to show how he tried to communicate openly with others, young, old, believer and non-believer. Politically he also tried to be a mediator, bringing opponents closer to a situation where both parties could better themselves, but most particular where the oppressed population could see a new star at the firmament.
The Greek Foreign Ministry issued the following announcement regarding the historic U.S. rapprochement with Cuba:

Particularly praiseworthy are the mediating efforts of Pope Francis and the Canadian government, which created the conditions for the success of the diplomatic efforts aimed at ending this historical rivalry and opening a new chapter in the relations between the United States of America and Cuba.”

In October Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,”

Francis I said. He added:

“He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment.

Giulio Giorello, professor of the philosophy of science at Milan’s University degli Studi, told reporters that he believed Francis was “trying to reduce the emotion of dispute or presumed disputes” with science.

Despite the huge gulf in theological stance between his tenure and that of his predecessor, Francis praised Benedict XVI as he unveiled a bronze bust of him at the academy’s headquarters in the Vatican Gardens.

“No one could ever say of him that study and science made him and his love for God and his neighbour wither,”

Francis said, according to a translation by the Catholic News Service.

According to

What is clear is that creationism of some sort is still an essential part of Francis’s view of life. Although the media, besotted by a supposedly “modern” Pope, is all excited about what Francis said, his views don’t differ in substance from that of his recent predecessors. As usual, Francis appears to be a voice for modernity but still clings to old dogma. {Stop Celebrating the Pope’s Views on Evolution and the Big Bang. They Make No Sense.}

Yazidis in the news

For the other religions coming in the news mostly the Yazidis will be remembered for the tough time they had in 2014. Those who have travel anywhere in northern Iraq, could see the small, white, conical shrines that sit alone in the fields, along with the sheep. Inside, the floors are greasy, covered with drippings from oil lamps. There are low-lying altars for the occasional animal sacrifice. The doorways are low, making one bow toward the altar upon entering.  These are the khalwas – temples for the Yazidi, an ethnic-Kurdish group that practices a religion that is a mixture of Islam, Zoroastrianism, gnosticism, Judaism, Sufism and shamanism. Their faith predates Islam, but it derives its name from Yezid or Yazid, a seventh-century Umayyad caliph, or spiritual leader. The faith is based at Lalish, a town 15 miles north of Mosul, the site of a tomb of a 12th-century Yazidi mystic, Sheik Adi. All Yazidis are encouraged to make pilgrimages there every fall.

Western media outlets have focused on the idiosyncrasies of the faith, like adherents’ supposed fear of lettuce and pumpkins, and refusal to wear the color blue. And supposedly, the religion is syncretic, meaning that it incorporates elements of many different faith traditions, including Christianity, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.

Philip Kreyenbroek, a professor at Germany’s University of Göttingen who has written several books on Yazidis, says these characterizations of the religion are only partially true.

“They have very ancient roots,”

he noted.

Although it’s difficult to determine exactly how old the religion is, scholars believe the Yazidis were one of the Indo-European peoples who lived in ancient Mesopotamia. Around 3,000 B.C.E, when other groups migrated east to India and Iran, the ancestors of the Yazidis stayed and settled in the area now known as Kurdistan.

Although

“they believe in an absolute god who is responsible for everything that happens in the world, good or evil,”

which in some ways resembles the Abrahamic conception of God, their faith is actually rooted in an older tradition:

“Basically what they believe is in a much older divinity called Mithras,”

an ancient Indian and Iranian god, Kreyenbroek said. Yazidis believe that Lucifer, after he fell, repented and was restored by God to his previous position as chief of all the angels of which seven guard the world. Of those angels the most important being Melek Taus, or the peacock angel. Yazidis also venerate depictions of serpents.

Yazidis and their fellow Muslim Kurds share the same mountainous regions in Iraq, Turkey, Armenia and Syria. There are roughly 1 million Yazidis in the world, according to a briefing paper distributed by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Most other estimates number them between 200,000 and 300,000. An estimated 70,000 Yazidis live in Europe – mostly in Germany – and about 450 to 500 are scattered across the United States.

Though Sunnis and Shi’ites alike call them Satanists, they don’t attack them. But ISIS, which al-Khoei said is on “a genocidal rampage,” won’t tolerate them in its self-declared Islamic caliphate.

The Yazidis, a People Who Fled - Iraq 2014 - Photo Rodi Said/Reuters

The Yazidis, a People Who Fled – Iraq 2014 – Photo Rodi Said/Reuters

Acting on a centuries-old mutual loathing the Muslim suicide bombers killed at least 400 Yazidis August 14.

For them the religious persecution is not a new horror.

Under Hussein’s rule, Yazidis also found themselves persecuted by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for resisting assimilation, according to a report by the Roosevelt Institute on Iraq’s minorities. Many of their villages were destroyed when Saddam Hussein’s troops tried to crush the Kurds during his iron-fisted rule. Some were taken away by the executed former leader’s intelligence agents.

On Aug. 14, 2007, a series of car bombings almost completely wiped up two small Yazidi villages killing more than 500 people. The attack was the deadliest event since the war started in 2003.

On Aug. 13, 2009, a suicide attack in a cafe in Sinjar killed 20 people and injured dozens more, apparently targeting Yazidis.

Even before the ISIS war, Yazidis felt threatened. Thousands of them, despite Iraq being their ancestral homeland for more than 4,000 years, fled to Europe under Saddam Hussein’s control. Germany is home to the largest community abroad, with an estimated 40,000.  Hussein’s government has targeted the Yazidis.

“For example, 33 members of the Yazidi community of Mosul, arrested in July 1996, still are unaccounted for,”

the US State Department said in a report on international religious freedom.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled for their lives after Kurdish fighters abandoned them in the face of Islamic State militants, and were trapped on a mountain near Sinjar at risk of starvation.

Ongoing battle in Syria

The West was stupid not to intervene straight ahead when the civil war broke out in Syria. Because they did not come to help the Muslim population they felt abandoned by them and got furious when they was the West only got into some action when Christians where threatened or killed. By not reacting soon enough they gave the opportunity to ISIL/ISIS to grow and proved that they were putting their head in the sand for the fact that the atrocities of the Islamic State will not stop in Iraq and could be repeated somewhere else, also in Europe or North America. Because there where no urgent measures taken to neutralize this terrorist group and by not giving a clear signal to the Islam community that the Western World wants to have a place where everybody is free to chose his or her own religion and should be able to say whatever they think. The freedom of religion and freedom of speech should be noted as high values of our society.

More than ever it is now the responsibility of the international community to take a firm stand against the Islamic State. Some will even find it has become high time to reach a consensus on a legitimate decision to start the war on Islamic State to stop genocides and atrocities against civilians.

2014 ending

Coming to the end 2014 did not bring a solution for many people around the world who became victims by people fighting using their god and their religion as the main reason for their fighting. clearly by all of them it was about getting more power over more regions.
The Jihadi fighters have become the ones Europe and America should be concerned, when they come back to Europe. Also their influence on those who live in our regions should be looked at seriously. We do have to be careful no one tries to enslave others in name of their religion.

At the end of 2014 for the first time in history, leaders of the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Jewish faiths made a joint declaration to end slavery.

Watch and share the video of this historic moment when global faith leaders declared their commitment to ending slavery.

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Find additional literature and background information:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. RE:Creation
  3. Come and Feast
  4. Not many coming out with their community name
  5. Governments need to be more proactive to ensure racism is kept in check
  6. Christian Association of Nigeria in dispute
  7. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  8. Division and defrocking because of same-sex wedding
  9. Greek Foreign Ministry on the historic U.S. rapprochement with Cuba
  10. Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?
  11. The Number of Churchless Americans Has Jumped by Nearly One-Third in Just 20 Years
  12. The State of the Bible: 6 Trends for 2014
  13. Barna releases latest numbers on ‘churchless’ Americans
  14. The State of the Bible
  15. Dissolution of Bijbelvorsers (Bible scholars), Association for Bible study
  16. Some christians do have problems with the Christian connection with Jews
  17. Christian fundamentalism as dangerous as Muslim fundamentalism
  18. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  19. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  20. Renewed Catholic-Jewish relations still with a blemish
  21. Brussels’ Jewish Museum re-opened on Sunday
  22. Male domination and tyranny giving opportunities to defile the Name of God
  23. Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam
  24. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque
  25. Muslim Grooming (Rape) Gangs and Sharia
  26. Sharing a common security and a common set of values
  27. Private: Faith Over Fear
  28. Iraqi Underclass and animosities
  29. Iraqi Christians flee homes amid Islamic militant rampage
  30. More Muslim children than Christian children growing up in our cities
  31. Do Al-Qaeda, Islamic State, ISIS and ISIL belong to true Islam
  32. ISIS, Mosul Dam and threatening lives of those who want to live in freedom
  33. FBI official: Islamic State is recruiting U.S. teens
  34. Shoe bomber: “I do believe my actions to have been permissible in Islamic law”
  35. UK: Hundreds more Muslim rape gang cases discovered; authorities still hiding them for fear of “racism” charges
  36. Meet Iraq’s secretive, persecuted sect under siege by militants from ISIS
  37. Death of a religion – ISIS and the Yezidi
  38. Who are the Yazidis and why is Isis hunting them?
  39. Who Are the Yazidis, the Ancient, Persecuted Religious Minority Struggling to Survive in Iraq?
  40. The Yazidis, a People Who Fled
  41. After Centuries of Persecution, Yazidis Advocate Final Exodus From Iraq
  42. Iraq: The Other Kurds: Yazidis in Colonial Iraq
  43. Iraq’s Yazidis in danger
  44. ‘In Iraq, there is no peace for Yazidis’
  45. Persecution of Yazidis by ISIL
  46. Yazidi community under attack — again
  47. Trapped Yazidis Face Death
  48. Kurds rescue Yazidis from Iraqi mountain
  49. Exclusive: Iraq says Islamic State killed 500 Yazidis, buried some victims alive
  50. Malaysia requires sole use of God’s title for Muslims
  51. More Mexicans start questioning Catholic doctrine and the concept of the Trinity
  52. Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’
  53. Pope Endorses Theories Of Evolution And Big Bang
  54. The Pope Would Like You to Accept Evolution And the Big Bang
  55. Stop Celebrating the Pope’s Views on Evolution and the Big Bang. They Make No Sense.
  56. Chinese Persecution of Christians on the Rise During Holidays
  57. Christians in China Outnumber the Communists
  58. Satanic ‘black mass’ gets green light from U.S. city
  59. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  60. Stand Up
  61. Evangelisation, local preaching opposite overseas evangelism
  62. A last note concerning civil rights
  63. Mobile first. Millennials.
  64. Record breaking preaching in Mount Dora
  65. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  66. Scepticals of the Bible

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This is part of a review of 2014
Preceding reviews of 2014:

  1. My blogs 2014 in review2014
  2. Politics in the United States of America
  3. 2014 Politics all over the world
  4. 2014 Human Rights
  5. 2014 Health and welfare
  6. 2014 Social contacts
  7. 2014 To remember our Earth
  8. 2014 Economics
  9. 2014 Culture
  10. 2014 Personalities and Obituary

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  • Debunking three myths about anti-Christian violence… (cruxnow.com)
    At the end of every December, the Vatican’s missionary agency Fides puts out a list of Catholic pastoral workers killed in the line of duty during the past year. It’s not a complete index of anti-Christian violence, just clergy and laity murdered while working full-time for the Catholic Church.
    For 2014, the agency lists 26 such victims, including 17 priests, one religious brother, six nuns, one seminarian, and one lay catechist. Latin America was the most dangerous zone, accounting for 11 deaths, followed by Africa with 7.
  • Pantheon Demigods of Lucifer’s Church (mysteryoftheiniquity.com)
    Underneath the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican, they have mysterious items which have been kept for hundreds of years. These items reveal who and what these elite people of the R.C.C. worship.
  • The lady and the lewdest (jamaica-gleaner.com)
    The church, for so many centuries, skilled at getting to the bottom of these types of matters, was rendered speechless. Would it be forced to take testimony from a woman? Surely, the husband, consecrated by scripture as the ‘head’ (like a faculty dean) of the woman, must be believed no matter what wifey might say? What about independent testimony? The scriptural dean having thrown a wet towel on proceedings, would anybody support the lewdist? Kama? Sutra? Anybody?
  • Roman Catholic Church ‘opposed on principle’ to IVF change (itv.com)

    The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has reiterated its opposition to mitochondrial donation after the vote.

    Bishop John Sherrington, speaking for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:

    Whilst the Church recognises the suffering that mitochondrial diseases bring and hopes that alternative methods of treatment can be found, it remains opposed on principle to these procedures where the destruction of human embryos is part of the process.

    This is about a human life with potential, arising from a father and a mother, being used as disposable material …

    – Bishop John Sherrington
  • Pope Francis prays for Malawi flood survivors (nyasatimes.com)
  • 10 Dirty Secrets Of The Catholic Church (listverse.com)
    Between the late ’30s and early ’60s, the Catholic Church shipped at least 1,000 British and 310 Maltese children to Catholic schools in Australia, where many were forced to do construction work or other hard labor.In addition to forced labor, subsequent inquiries have found that many of the migrant children in the Church’s care were brutally beaten, raped, and starved—some children were made to “scramble for food thrown on the floor” to survive. Many of the children were stripped of their birth name. Decades later, in 2001, the Catholic Church in Australia confirmed the crimes committed and issued an apology.
  • Bishop Calls On Catholic Church To Recognise Same-Sex Relationships (lgbtlife.co.uk)
    A Belgian Catholic bishop is pressing for the Catholic Church to change its official position challenging same-sex relationships, the National Catholic Reporter reported in its English coverage of a Belgium newspaper. Speaking to the Belgium newspaper De Morgen, Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, Belgium said that the church should evolve to be inclusive of a “diversity of forms” for contemporary believers, a nod to Pope Francis’ comments encouraging the church to move away from social issues, like gay marriage, birth control, and abortion.
    “There should be recognition of a diversity of forms,” Bonny said in the De Morgen interview published December 27, strongly advocating for gay and lesbian couples to receive the same recognition as people in ecclesiastical marriages, though perhaps stopping short of allowing the Catholic Church to perform same-sex marriages.
  • Pope Francis Drives A Wedge Between Catholic Church, GOP | TheHill (1-800-politics.com)
    Pope Francis is increasingly driving a wedge between conservatives and the Catholic Church.
    The magnetic pope has sparked new enthusiasm around the world for the church and has flexed his political muscles internationally, most recently by helping to engineer a new relationship between the United States and Cuba.
  • Catholic Professors and Theologians Compared Eric Garner To… (youngcons.com)

    More than 400 Catholic theologians have signed a “statement of commitment to racial justice” in response to the deaths of black Americans in confrontations with police officers.

    Crafted by St. Louis University Professor of Theological Ethics Dr. Tobias Winright, the statement addresses “the flagrant failures of a nation still bound by sin, our bondage to and complicity in racial injustice.”

    The eclectic group of theologians, who range from department chairs at the University of Notre Dame to local parish associates, claim they cannot “ignore what is happening in our midst.”

About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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