Category archives: Human Rights

Iran Steps-Up Anti-Christian Persecution and What You Can Do To Help

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 30, 2011

According to the respected anti-persecution ministry Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an Iranian Christian pastor has been sentenced to death in Iran for, to put it simply, being a Christian.

CSW says that “the death sentence handed down in 2010 for the crime of apostasy, to evangelical house pastor Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, has reportedly been upheld by the third chamber of the Supreme Court in the Shia holy city of Qom. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani of the Church of Iran denomination was arrested in his home city of Rasht on 13 October 2009 while attempting to register his church. His arrest is believed to have been due to his questioning of the Muslim monopoly on the religious instruction of children in Iran.”

According to the Voice of Martyrs, With (Pastor Nadarkhanis) sentence now upheld and confirmed, it is possible that the authorities will ask him to recant his faith and execute him without advance notice if he refuses —- a typical pattern of action taken by authorities in such cases.

This death sentence has been issued despite Iran being a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, whose Article 18 states:

Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

Sadly, persecution of Christians in Iran is extensive:

A major spike in the harassment and arrest of Iranian Christians in recent months is revealing just how nervous the Islamic republic is about the prodigious success of house churches, say Iranian Christian leaders. At least 202 Christians in 24 cities faced arbitrary arrest between June 2010 and January 2011, according to Elam Ministries. Elam, run by Iranian expatriates, counted 80 arrests over 2008 and 2009 combined.

You can express your concern for Pastor Nadarkhani and ask for his release by calling the Iranian Interest Section at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC at (202) 965-4990. You can also contact the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the United Nations: Email - iran@un.int; Phone - (212) 687-2020.

 

Jack Kevorkian R.I.P.?

by Cathy Ruse

June 6, 2011

For all his bravado, in the end Jack Kevorkian was a coward. Dr. Death promoted killing as virtue and convinced far too many people to rally around his evil creed. But, in the end, what he advocated for he ran away from personally. Notwithstanding all of his medical suffering, rather than pull out his suicide machine, the evil doctor instead reserved for himself a natural death. While his followers may still be lost, Kevorkian himself now knows the truth.

A New Birth of Religious Freedom in China

by Rob Schwarzwalder

May 23, 2011

Earlier this month, a coalition of Christian leaders in China drafted and sent a petition to the Chinese government calling for the religious liberty the Chinese Constitution claims to provide. “For the last six decades, the rights to liberty of religious faith granted to our countrys Christians by the Constitution of the Peoples Republic of China have not been put into practice,” wrote the 19 brave original signatories of the document.

The petition was generated by the growing crackdown on “unofficial” churches in China. As noted in this blog space in April, the Easter crackdown on the Shouwang Church in Beijing is part of a larger, nationwide campaign in which “unofficial” churches —- those that meet independent of government sanction —- are being targeted for repression, and their leaders for arrest.

Up to 70 million believers are part of the “unofficial” Christian movement in China. According to China scholar Dr. William Jeynes in a lecture last week at FRC, the Chinese government is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the construction of officially-recognized churches and seminaries, but the “unofficial” churches remain targets of the central Communist government. Why? Because, notes Jeynes, the government recognizes that Christianity leads to morality and productivity, but is also grounded in the idea that government’s authority is not final. This makes the Communist leaders in Beijing “nervous,” says Jeynes.

In one sense, well it should: Allegiance to Jesus ahead of the state means that authoritarian governments will not have complete control, something for which Beijing’s Party apparatus longs. Yet Christianity, followed faithfully, leads to good order, social stability, and economic growth. This is the clear outgrowth of New Testament faith, and is evidenced wherever Christianity has flourished.

China’s leadership must come to terms with a central paradox: Followers of Jesus have the potential to make the finest citizens, but only if the state does not seek to replace their primary and central loyalty to their Savior with allegiance to itself. Until this happens, the strange dance of Chinese Communism with Christianity eventually will dissolve into a forced march, one that leads to martyrdom and thus, to the greater consternation of the authorities, continued resurgence of “unofficial” faith.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) held an important hearing earlier this month on China’s continued attack on “unregistered” churches and “unofficial” Christians. In his opening remarks, Mr. Smith, long a champion on behalf of persecuted Christians worldwide, said:

Because the Chinese government demands that religious organizations serve the aims of the state, religious organizations must receive government approval to operate. Failure to do so means the groups lack legal protection and the membership is vulnerable to human rights abuses at the hands of government officials. However, many religious observers adhere to the tenet that they must render unto Caesar what is Caesars, but unto God what is Gods, and as a result, they are persecuted.

The Chinese Communist Party, in its historic atheistic commitment to exalting itself as God, cannot manipulate those whose knees bend only before King Jesus. Until it realizes this and allows those brave men and women to practice their faith openly, it will enjoy neither the respect of the world nor the benefits religious liberty brings any society.

For up-to-the-minute reports on the crisis of Christian faith in China, go to China Aid or Voice of the Martyrs.

New Video: Sex Trafficking in America: How You Can Protect Your Children

by Carrie Russell

March 24, 2011

How you can protect your children from the dangers of child pornography and sex trafficking. Watch Bob Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD), and Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council to learn more. You can view the rest of the webcast by clicking here.

State of Sex Trafficking In the States

by Family Research Council

March 22, 2011

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly President Bush said:

Each year, an estimated 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are bought, sold or forced across the world’s borders. Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim to the sex trade. This commerce in human life generates billions of dollars each year — much of which is used to finance organized crime. Theres a special evil in the abuse and exploitation of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims of sex trade see little of life before they see the very worst of life, an underground of brutality and lonely fear. Those who create these victims and profit from their suffering must be severely punished. Those who patronize this industry debase themselves and deepen the misery of others. And governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating a form of slavery.

This tragic form of slavery is not just a problem over there, in third world countries far removed from us. On the contrary, it is happening right in our own backyard. Despite laws criminalizing it, sex trafficking is a huge problem in America.

In The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking: Americas Prostituted Children, Shared Hope International affirms that at least 100,000 American children a year are victims of sex trafficking, and that number may be much higher. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) highlights the fact that sex trafficking of children is largely under-reported in their estimate that 1 in 5 girls are sexually abused or assaulted before they become adults and 1 in 10 boys, however less than 35% of those cases are reported. Researchers estimate that 1015 percent of children living on the streets in the United States are trafficked for sexual purposes according to the National Institute of Justice in their report Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: What Do We Know and What Do We Do About It?.

And that question, What do we do about it? must be considered, both on an individual level and a state/federal government level. Legislatively speaking, both the federal government and many state governments have passed laws criminalizing human trafficking, and providing for its punishment (see figure 1 below). However, we are finding that this is not enough. Shared Hope International states:

Victims of domestic minor sex trafficking are frequently processed as juvenile delinquents or adult prostitutes. Prostituted juveniles are trained by their trafficker/pimp to lie to authorities and are provided with excellent fraudulent identification resulting in their registration in the arrest records as an adult… Due to the unique trauma bonding that occurs between a victim and her trafficker, these children often run from juvenile facilities right back to the person that exploited them.

The National Institute of Justice says it is estimated that 96 to 98 percent of victims are in need of basic amenities for survival: food, housing, transportation, etc. In response to this many states have introduced legislative initiatives to promote awareness and support to those brutalized by sex trafficking. The figures below will give you an idea of the state of sex trafficking laws in the states.

For a detailed explanation of each state law check out the Fact Sheet on State Anti-Trafficking Laws from US PACT [Policy Advocacy to Combat Trafficking] a program of the Center for Women Policy Studies.

For assistance or to report a sex trafficking case contact the National Human Trafficking Resource Center national hotline at: 1-888-3737-888 or go to the Polaris Project website.

To view a detailed US Department of State summary on human trafficking in the US and other countries click here.

New Video: Stop Sex Trafficking Where It Starts

by Carrie Russell

March 22, 2011

How can we stop sex trafficking where it starts? Pat Trueman, CEO of Morality in Media and Founder of PornHarms.com, joins Tony Perkins, President of FRC, to talk about what leads to Sex Trafficking, and how we can take steps to confront the problem at its origin.

You can view the entire webcast by clicking here.

Sex Trafficking in America: from The Boulevard to Planned Parenthood

by FRC Media Office

March 15, 2011

A special live video webcast hosted by Family Research Council brought together leading experts to shed light on a growing problem that affects every corner of our nation — from neighborhoods, playgrounds, and malls to the local Planned Parenthood clinic. During the webcast, learn what actions you can take to help restore these victims, and stop those who prey on them.

Webcast participants:

  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • J. Robert (Bob) Flores, former Administrator of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJD)
  • Lila Rose, President, Live Action
  • Pat Trueman, CEO, Morality in Media and Founder, PornHarms.com
  • Samantha Vardeman, Senior Director, Shared Hope International
  • Tina Frundt, Founder and Executive Director, Courtney’s House
  • Lisa Thompson, Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking at The Salvation Army

Planned Parenthood Prayer Vigil

by Carrie Russell

February 17, 2011

On Valentines Day 2011 pro life advocates united across the country to pray for victims of sex trafficking. The vigil was organized as a response to the recent release of videos connecting two very dark industries: abortion and sex trafficking.

From Washington DC to Orange County, CA, people took time from work to ask God to bring hope and healing and light into the lives of the victims of this most heinous crime.

Abortion and sex-trafficking are sinister and they rob people of their inherent dignity. But God is about truth, life, light, beauty, freedom and recognizing the dignity of the human person. He is all powerful and He hears our prayers, especially where groups are united. Lets join together to continue to pray that God will bring light and healing into even these darkest of situations.

A Twisted Philanthropy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

June 15, 2010

Joan Hinton was not a household name, but her work on the Manhattan project was historic. After earning her Ph.D. in physics in only two years, she was hand-picked to become a researcher on one of America’s most stunning technological achievements - the development and production of an atomic bomb.

Then she had an attack of conscience. In her obituary in today’s New York Times, she is quoted as telling National Public Radio, I did not want to spend my life figuring out how to kill people … I wanted to figure out how to let people have a better life, not a worse life.

So, she became a philanthropist who devoted her life to finding the cure to diseases. Well, not quite: Dr. Hinton moved to China and became a devoted Maoist Communist. I’m not making this up.

According to the Times, “For the past 40 years, she worked on a dairy farm and an agricultural station outside Beijing, tending a herd of about 200 cows.”

Did she regret her choice? Not in the least. The Times goes on to quote an interview she gave in 2008 to The Weekend Australian: “It would have been terrific if Mao had lived … Of course I was 100 percent behind everything that happened in the Cultural Revolution it was a terrific experience.”

Just how “terrific?” Minimally one million people died during the Cultural Revolution due to persecution by the infamous Red Guards. Religious persecution was intense, and the families of “running dogs” (Chinese whose devotion to Communism was deemed insufficient) were brutalized; there are even reports of the cannibalism of young children by some Red Guards.

In total, roughly 30 million Chinese (possibly as many as 70 million) died under Mao’s reign from enforced starvation or outright murder.

Through it all, American born Dr. Hinton remained a devotee of Chairman Mao. In an interview with NBC News in 2004, journalist Catherine Rampell wrote that “Hinton gushes fervent praise for the Cultural Revolution, Maos mass mobilization of Chinese youth to criticize party officials, intellectuals and bourgeois values, from 1966 to 1976.” Dr. Hinton even used archaic and ludicrous Maoist language to denounce the “renegades” and “capitalist roaders” - code terms for freedom-lovers who would not fully bend the knee to Beijing’s dictators.

Dr. Hinton now faces the Judge of all the earth, not the beatific images of Mao Zedong with which she festooned her apartment. How sad. How very sad.

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