In this issue, William Murray reports from Israel, Jordan, and the Syrian border / Conditions in the Middle East are worsening for Christians / Bethlehem, under Palestinian Authority rule, sees Christian poopulation shrink from 85% to less than 20% / Fighting intensifies in Syria, and Christians flee to Jordan / Medical clinics and food distribution warehouse overwhelmed by refugees in Jordan / In the US, ad campaign continues to inform Americans about Obama’s war on religious freedom
OBAMA, ISRAEL AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM – For the past several days I have been in the Middle East, with my first stop being in Israel. My conversations with people while here have reinforced my resolve to run the newspaper ads in the United States which reveal Barak Obama’s attacks on religious freedom.
For three decades I have been assisting Christian ministries in Israel, in that part of the country which the Western media refers to as the “West Bank.” By the “West Bank” the establishment press and Western diplomats mean the western bank of the Jordan River, inferring that the entire area belongs to Jordan, not Israel. In the minds of the Western establishment, Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is just a part of the “West Bank.”
During the beginning of the presidency of George W. Bush, there was great hope among the Christians of Bethlehem that their lives would improve. The Jews of Israel also hoped for a better friendship with the United States. In reality the best George W. Bush ever did was to maintain the status quo in this area of the world and the lives of Christians worsened, not only in Bethlehem and other areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, but in the entire Middle East.
Now, with Barack Hussein Obama as president, the situation for believers here in the Middle East is even worse. Obama offers no hope of peace for the Middle East, and he offers no hope for religious freedom in the Islamic areas of the world. Rather than “religious freedom,” Obama uses the phrase “freedom of worship” which is the same phrase used by Islamic tyrants. Freedom of worship and freedom of religion are not the same thing.
For instance, our “ally” Pakistan claims to have “freedom of worship,” yet Christians are often jailed and even executed in Pakistan for “blasphemy” against Islam. The penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity is death. Handing out Christian literature or speaking publicly about being a Christian can land a person in jail. In Obama’s view if people can go inside their church building and pray, that satisfies his definition of “freedom of worship.”
To Barack Obama, freedom of conscience is apparently not a part of “freedom of worship.” This is why he believes Christian doctors can be forced to perform abortions and the Catholic Church can be forced to pass out birth control pills, and Christian military chaplains can be forced to condone same-sex marriages. Yet they still have “freedom of worship.”
This hypocritical stance on religious freedom by Obama, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the liberal elite is clearly seen in their attitude toward Jewish “settlements” in Israel.
In Israel I stayed in an apartment in Ariel, a city made up largely of French and Russian Jewish immigrants. Ariel has tall apartment buildings, beautiful single family homes, large supermarkets and a university. As far as Barack Obama is concerned the city is a “settlement” and should be torn down and all the people forced to move. Ariel is also the home of more than two hundred Holocaust survivors, and Obama wants them expelled as well.
When Bethlehem was turned over to the Palestinian Authority by President Bill Clinton it was totally cleansed of Jews, and since then has mostly been cleansed of Christians as well. In the early 1980’s as I was building ministry relationships in Bethlehem, the city was 85% Christian. It is now by most estimates not even 20% Christian. There is “freedom of worship” in Bethlehem, but no freedom of religion. And while Muslims may live openly and freely practice their religion in any part of Israel, not a single Jew may even enter Bethlehem.
American socialists such as Barack Obama see Bethlehem as an Arab city and have no regrets about the Christians being driven out. Many of the Christians remaining in Bethlehem suffer from “Stockholm syndrome.” They now sympathize with their oppressors hoping that this will somehow relieve their misery. Christian women cannot walk down the street alone in Bethlehem without fear of being cursed and spat on. The Bethlehem Bible College, supported by dollars coming from the United States, blames the Jews for the oppression suffered under Muslims. The Holy Land Trust and many other larger Christian organizations have become anti-Israel in hopes of getting favor from the likes of Barack Obama and the European Union.
In Israel itself the Jews and Christians currently have a fatalistic view of Israel’s relationship with the United States. Most Jews I have talked to here do not believe that Barack Obama would assist in the defense of Israel if the tiny nation was attacked. And, Israel is incredibly vulnerable. Yet Barack Obama is demanding that Israel surrender land adjacent to the main airport. Obama wants Palestinian control so close to Israel’s largest airport that it could be hit by small arms fire.
If Israel did not have nuclear warheads as a deterrent, the Muslim nations surrounding it (who have been sold modern American weapons) could destroy it. The United States has armed repressive Muslim monarchies such as Saudi Arabia with our most dangerous aircraft, drones, tanks and guns. In exchange for oil, we have given the most regressive and repressive nations in the world modern military firepower.
While here I met with Pastor Steven Khoury. His church is in the Arab sector called East Jerusalem, a part of Jerusalem which Barack Obama wants turned over to the Palestinians for their capital. Within 24 hours of appearing on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, Khoury’s congregation was ordered out of their rented building by a Muslim landlord once it was known the property was being used as a church. Pastor Khoury’s church is made up of Arab Christians,
His father, who is pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church, has been shot twice. Steven himself was beaten unconscious in Bethlehem as a teenager by grown men, simply because he was identified as a Christian. His uncle was murdered by Muslims.
The response from our government to these constant attacks on Christians in Muslim controlled areas is to give the Muslim leadership more money. Pakistan jails and kills Christians constantly for “blasphemy” and we continue to give that nation billions of dollars. We give the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions while Christians are repressed there. We arm Saudi Arabia to the teeth, although Christians caught with Bibles in that nation will be publicly whipped and jailed. Some Filipino workers who are Catholic have simply disappeared.
Without religious freedom there is no real freedom. The mind set of Barack Obama on religious freedom seems about the same as that in the mind of a Saudi monarch and that surely has nothing to do with freedom.
OBAMA AD RUNNING IN NORTH CAROLINA –Since the last Chairman’s Report our newspaper ads exposing Barack Obama as the most dangerous president ever to religious freedom have continued to run in Florida, and we have run our first ad in the Carolinas. We were forced to temporarily skip a few important Florida newspapers with larger circulations which we hope to get back to soon. Those include:
The Ledger – Winter Haven; Florida Today – Titusville, Melbourne; Bradenton Herald – Bradenton; Charlotte Sun – Arcadia, Wauchula.
The four very important newspapers above have larger circulations and we did not as yet have enough available funds for them. In the Carolinas we will run the Obama ads in the Western areas first where many social conservatives live who need to know what a threat Barack Hussein Obama is to the religious freedom they hold so dear. Many of these folks are Pentecostal, a group that Obama will continue to target in the future.
Ads are appearing in these newspapers
5/13 Panama City News Herald – Panama City, FL
5/16 Washington County News – Chipley, FL
5/16 Holmes County Times Advertiser – Bonifay, FL
5/20 St. Augustine Record – St. Augustine, FL
5/23 Monticello News – Monticello, FL
5/25 Perry News Herald – Perry, FL
5/25 Enterprise Recorder – Madison, FL
5/30 Suwannee Democrat – Live Oak, FL
5/30 Dixie County Advocate – Cross City, FL
5/31 Gilchrist County Journal – Gilchrist, FL
5/31 Sumter County Times – Webster / Bushnell, FL
6/17 Herald-Tribune – Sarasota, Punta Gorda, FL
6/17 Stuart News – Stuart, FL
6/31 Winter Haven News Chief, Winter Haven, FL
7/3 Alliance Times-Herald, Alliance NE
(Ad in Nebraska was placed by a supporter)
7/11 Daily News – Palatka, FL
7/16 Daytona Beach News – Daytona Beach, FL
7/18 Black Mountain News – Black Mountain, NC
Plus: Washington Times National Weekly
Please note that the first ad placed directly by a supporter of the Religious Freedom Coalition appeared in a Nebraska newspaper on July 3rd. If you live in a smaller community where there is little political commentary, you may be able to place the ad for some nominal cost. You may even have a small weekly newspaper in your area that we are not aware of, in which you can place one of the Obama ads. We can even help reformat the ad for your local newspaper if you will pay for the cost of the ad space.
To help place the ad, simply print off a copy from www.savingreligiousfreedom.org and give it to the ad department of your local newspaper. They can probably format the ad right then and there to a quarter, third or half page ad and give you the cost. If the newspaper needs us to format the ad they can call our Washington office at 202.543.0300.
While we have begun by focusing on some important states where congressmen can have influence on Barack Obama because of the election, this message needs to be delivered to newspapers in all fifty states.
We have momentum and now is not the time to back off. In June we were only able to run ads in three newspapers, but we now have funding to triple that number in July!
Even while I am in Jordan and Syria I will be continuing to work on this project. The American people deserve to know the threat to religious freedom represented by Barack Obama!
On Friday, May 15, Marie Kahla, a Syrian Christian, prepared to leave for class at her university. But her father, Josef, refused to let her go alone because of the recent burning of homes, shootings and killings in and around their village. He insisted that he accompany her.
Neither of them arrived at the school. A bomb blast destroyed their car, and both father and daughter were killed. The destruction was so great that Marie and Josef could be identified only by the license plate of the car.
Theirs was only one of the many Syrian Christian families shattered by Muslim violence.
There are pictures that I have seen on this journey, ones that show what children looked like after the monsters were finished with them. Photos like that cannot be put in this letter; no one should have to defile their eyes with such sights.
The fighting has almost stopped in Iraq and Christians seem safer there, but only because thousands of al-Qaeda fighters are moving from Iraq into Syria. The radical Muslims understand all too well that the leaders of the European Union and the United States are stupid enough to assist them in overturning the secular government in Syria. Already the United States and the European Union have installed Islamist governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Many of the commanders of the “rebel” forces in Libya bragged about having killed Americans in Afghanistan. Now they are in Syria, and once again being aided by the USA and the EU.
Thousands of Christians from Syria are beginning to pour into Jordan, a small nation with only one major city. Jordan was the transit point for Iraqi Christians as they fled to Syria to start new lives in a secular nation. Now they are fleeing back to Jordan, but this time will have nowhere else to go.
The medical clinic we support in Amman, Jordan is overwhelmed. I have been to the clinic this week and could not even get in the door to deliver supplies because of the crowds waiting for medical help. I had to return after closing time to bring in the bulk antibiotics and other supplies.
The food warehouse we supply is empty. I watched as the last few bags of rice and beans were loaded into a van just yesterday. Without our help the Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria must go to the United Nations “High Commissioner of Refugees” and beg the Muslim employees there for help. They will stand in line with the Muslims that hate and repress them.
The time has come for Christians in the West to stand up and actually help their brothers and sisters in Christ who face death daily in the Muslim majority nations. You can help. Please donate to the work of the Religious Freedom Coalition today.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave, NW #900 , Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990