Scripture of the Day

Psalms 31
3. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
4. Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5. Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Scripture of the Day

Psalm 30
8. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.
9. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?
10. Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.
11. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
12. To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

UPDATE: Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Overturn Asia’s Acquittal

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Pakistan’s Supreme Court has upheld its decision to acquit Pakistani Christian mother Asia Bibi—clearing the way for the 47-year-old woman to now leave her home country where she spent eight years in a prison on death row.

On October 31, 2018, the Court overturned Asia’s 2010 blasphemy conviction and death sentence. Outraged by the acquittal, Islamic extremists filed a petition to challenge the court’s decision and staged violent protests, calling for her death.

“Based on merit, this hardliner’s petition is dismissed,” Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said in court on Tuesday.

Asia—also known as Asia Noreen—was unable to leave Pakistan while an appeal request was pending. In November under protective custody, she left the women’s prison and was flown to Islamabad to an undisclosed location for her safety, authorities said.

She is now free to leave her home country.

Pray for Asia’s continued protection and safety, her family and others around her as she makes her way out of Pakistan and to her family.

Pray for Asia’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook, who sought refuge in The Netherlands after the violence erupted in Pakistan in November, returned to Pakistan to defend Asia. Because he returned, he loses his asylum status. Pray for his protection.

Pray for peace in Pakistan. Ask God to intervene against plans for any violent protests and attacks on Christians and churches.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

REP. ILHAN OMAR DEFENDS ANTI-SEMITIC HATE GROUP WHICH CALLS FOR DEATH OF GAYS

Read it here

Rep. Ilhan Omar just can’t help herself.

After apologizing for claiming that Jews have hypnotized the world, she decided to jump on the Covington Catholic disaster with the worst possible hot take, by defending the black nationalist group involved in the confrontation.

Rep. Omar claimed that the students “were taunting 5 Black men”. The actual video shows that the Black Israelite hate group, a racist and anti-Semitic movement, was doing the taunting.

The men, belonging to a group called the Black Israelites, were actually the ones harassing the group of teenagers. The men shouted the students were “crackers,” “faggots,” and “pedophiles.”

It was also not just the white students that received the ire from the Black Israelites, but also an African-American student. They called him the n-word and warned him that his white friends were going to steal his organs.

Caitlin Flanagan at The Atlantic also has a good writeup.

It seems that the Black Hebrew Israelites had come to the Lincoln Memorial with the express intention of verbally confronting the Native Americans, some of whom had already begun to gather as the video begins, many of them in Native dress. The Black Hebrew Israelites’ leader begins shouting at them: “Before you started worshipping totem poles, you was worshipping the true and living God. Before you became an idol worshipper, you was worshipping the true and living God. This is the reason why this land was taken away from you! Because you worship everything except the most high. You worship every creation except the creator—and that’s what we are here to tell you to do.”

We Will Teach You a Lesson

Read it here.

Scripture of the Day

A Psalm of David.

1. Unto thee will I cry, O LORD my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
2. Hear the voice of my supplications, when I cry unto thee, when I lift up my hands toward thy holy oracle.
3. Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.
4. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
5. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
6. Blessed be the LORD, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
7. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
8. The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.
9. Save thy people, and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Matamoros strike threatens to shut down North American auto industry

21 January 2019

Read it here.

The strike by 70,000 auto parts workers in Matamoros, Mexico is beginning to affect production at US automobile assembly plants, raising the possibility that auto production across North America could be brought to a standstill.

US workers are reporting to the World Socialist Web Site that management is slowing production at General Motors and Ford assembly plants as a result of the strike. Production at Ford’s assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan will stop this week due to a shortage of parts caused by the walkout.

By courageously withholding their labor, the workers at 50 auto parts plants that have been struck in Matamoros, just south of Brownsville, Texas, could bring a major sector of the world economy to its knees.

The strike demonstrates the objective unity and class common interests of US, Canadian and Mexican workers. It is the answer of the working class to Donald Trump’s racist threat to build a wall between the US and Mexico and the nationalist poison spread by the United Auto Workers and Unifor unions to make American and Canadian autoworkers think that their enemies are their Mexican brothers and sisters, not the auto bosses and the capitalist profit system.

Matamoros workers are beginning to recognize their social strength. Yesterday, thousands of workers marched from their plants to the city plaza, chanting “Bourgeoisie, get out!” The strikers have issued a social media appeal for “all Mexican workers” to join them in a national general strike, which they are calling “A Day Without Workers.”

A section of yesterday’s mass demonstration marched behind the banner, “The union and company kill the working class.” Striking workers report that “everyone has read” the coverage on the World Socialist Web Site.


“The union and the company kill the working class”

There are indications the strike may spread. On Friday, the parts company Aptiv fired hundreds of workers in the border city of Reynosa for engaging in partial strikes demanding a 100 percent wage increase. The firings provoked outrage among the workers.

The eyes of a million maquiladora workers near the US-Mexico border—accounting for nearly two-thirds of Mexican exports—are on the struggle in Matamoros.

The strike shows that the international interconnectivity of the auto industry is a source of profound strength for workers everywhere. While the companies have used globalization to facilitate the hyper-exploitation of workers all over the world, the Matamoros strike demonstrates that workers at each center of production have the power to disrupt the whole machine of global for-profit production.

Tens of thousands of workers around the world are following the World Socialist Web Site’s coverage of the strike, and growing numbers are sending messages of support:

• A GM worker in Oshawa, Canada said: “The companies are trying to exploit all of these workers across the border. I’m sick of it! Canada, USA and Mexico do not deserve this. We are going to follow exactly what the Mexican workers are doing. Our union isn’t doing too much for us. You need to fight this fight, you need to win it. Keep your heads up.”

• A Romanian worker at Autoliv—one of the companies being struck in Mexico—told the WSWS: “The conditions in Mexico are an outrage. In Romania it is no good either. We work 12 hours for 20 euros a day. The unions are the same in Romania as in Mexico. They are little bosses. In Mexico and Romania we must get better, decent conditions.”

• A GM Silao worker in Guanajuato, Mexico agreed: “We have to do something similar here in Silao. This union is not worth anything.”

• An auto parts worker in Detroit, Michigan said: “I take heart that you are reaching across these illusory national borders to your working class brothers and sisters north of you and saying ‘an injury to one is an injury to all.’ We must stand together as a united global force. We will not let US-based companies hurt Mexican workers in the name of capitalism. You are our fellow workers, you just happen to live in a different country.”

Socialism Rising: Plurality of Dems want US to move toward socialism

Read it here.
A plurality of Democrats think it would be a “good thing” for the U.S. to move toward socialism, according to a Fox News pollreleased Thursday — the latest sign of the Democratic Party’s lurch to the left.
The poll asked voters if it would be a “good thing or a bad thing for the United States to move away from capitalism and more toward socialism.” Forty percent of Democrats said it would be a good thing, while only 34 percent said it would be a bad thing.

Among all voters polled, 54 percent said a move toward socialism would be bad, with only 24 percent saying it would be good. Republicans were more united against the shift, with 80 percent saying socialism would be a bad move, and eight percent saying it would be good.

The poll also found that voters prefer increasing spending on domestic programs over cutting taxes and reducing spending, and their preferred way to finance that spending is by taxing the wealthy.

Other polls have shown a similar move left from not only Democrats, but Americans in general.

Back in 2010, 68 percent of young people, 18-29 years old, said they approved of capitalism, while 51 percent said they approved of socialism, according to Gallup. Fast-forward to August 2018, and that same age group backs socialism over capitalism, 51 percent to 45 percent.

BREAKING: Two Bombs Kill Many at Church in Philippines

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Local officials report that 20 people have been killed and dozens more were injured in two bombings that took place in at a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Philippines. The BBC reports the first blast took place during a church service on Jolo island, where Islamic militants are active. The second device was detonated in a parking lot as soldiers responded to the first blast.

The attack comes days after the people voted for and passed a referendum for autonomy, which aims to bring an end to the decades of violence between separatists and the national army. However, this was not passed in Sulu province where Jolo is located.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Please pray for comfort for the bereaved families.

Pray that no further violence occurs and that the Lord will disable the evil plans of those who are responsible for this incident.

Pray for alertness, wisdom and strength for the Philippine government forces responding to this tragedy.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Learn more at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org/PrayerApp

BREAKING: Two Bombs Kill Many at Church in Philippines + +

Local officials report that 20 people have been killed and dozens more were injured in two bombings that took place in at a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Philippines. The BBC reports the first blast took place during a church service on Jolo island, where Islamic militants are active. The second device was detonated in a parking lot as soldiers responded to the first blast.

The attack comes days after the people voted for and passed a referendum for autonomy, which aims to bring an end to the decades of violence between separatists and the national army. However, this was not passed in Sulu province where Jolo is located.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Please pray for comfort for the bereaved families.

Pray that no further violence occurs and that the Lord will disable the evil plans of those who are responsible for this incident.

Pray for alertness, wisdom and strength for the Philippine government forces responding to this tragedy.

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

Chinese Christians Forced to Make Choice Between Welfare Benefits or Belief

01/18/2019 China (International Christian Concern) – Chinese Christians in poor health who depend on the government’s welfare benefits are forced to choose between their belief or social benefits.

According to Bitter Winter magazine, several elderly Christians in Henan province were approached by local officials, asking them to remove religious items in their homes and hang up the portraits of President Xi Jinping or Chairman Mao Zedong in order for them to continue to receive welfare benefits.

Their rationale is that it’s the state that fills your pocket, not God, so the praise and worship belongs to the Party and its leaders.

A 60-year-old ill woman Song Lanyin, who relies on the minimum living subsidy provided by the government to survive, refused to take down decorations showing her Christian belief in her home as demanded by the visiting deputy mayor and the other officials. They then took it upon themselves to destroy all of the Christian symbols in her home, including a work of calligraphy with the words “God loves the world” and “Immanuel” written on it.

Yanjin County’s Wu Fengying also experienced similar harassment last August. Local government officials discovered and photographed Wu attending church gatherings, and warned her not to believe in God or else have her minimum living subsidy revoked.

Zhao Shun, on the other hand, had his house intruded by a village party secretary. He ripped a religious couplet off the door while Zhao was not present. Zhao was also threatened that his benefits will be revoked if he fails to remove religious symbols at his house. When Zhao confronted him later, on how Chinese constitution guarantees freedom of belief, the village party secretary replied that only fools believe in this provision.

Read it here.

Turkey Rejects Attempt to Investigate Dink Murder

01/24/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – According to the Turkish Minute, a parliamentary motion to investigate the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist, has been rejected. Dink was assassinated by an ultranationalist youth and the authorities have not revealed the murderer’s identity.

Prior to his death, Dink reported receiving a number of threats from ultranationalists for describing the killing of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as a genocide. Dink himself was an Armenian. Human rights groups have repeatedly noted worrying irregularities in the subsequent murder investigation, including deleted or missing evidence and police officials misinforming the court.

While the Armenian Genocide predates the modern Republic of Turkey, it remains a highly sensitive topic within the country. Turkey is divided into several ethnic-religious identities. Culturally, to be considered truly Turkish then one must be Muslim. Armenians, in addition to having a different ethnicity, are Christian. Many Armenians continue to report regular harassment and discrimination in Turkish society.

Read it here.