Category Archives: Persecution

Rachel Scott

Listen to a commentary on why we should never forget her.


The Point: Leave the Little Sisters Alone




Leave those poor nuns alone. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

It was a big win for religious liberty when the Trump administration rolled back the infamous HHS mandate, which would have required religious groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide insurance covering contraceptives and abortifacients.

No doubt the Little Sisters rejoiced and felt they could start concentrating on their ministry instead of lawsuits. But that would only be in a sane world. The attorneys general of California and Pennsylvania are suing to strip the Little Sisters of that exemption. The hearing is, in fact, today.

The Becket Fund, which represents the Little Sisters, calls the move “political grandstanding.” I’d call it anti-Christian ideological tyranny.

Mother Lorraine Marie Maguire of the Little Sisters had this to say: “We just want to be able to continue our religious mission of caring for the elderly poor as we have for 175 years. We pray these state governments would leave us alone and let us do our work in peace.”

Let’s all pray the same thing for them today.



Little Sisters of the Poor Are Returning to Court

  • Rachel del Guidice | The Daily Signal | November 21, 2017

Fire Chief Fired for expressing his faith on his own time

While many people are gearing up for Supreme Court arguments over the rights of a religious baker, a case involving the rights of a religious fire chief also remains up in the air.

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran says he was fired for his Christian faith and beliefs. The case began in 2014 after Cochran self-published a men’s devotional book he had written on his personal time. While the book does mention biblical sexual morality, attorney Kevin Theriot of Alliance Defending Freedom says it was only a brief mention in the 162-page book.

“We had a hearing on whether or not the court would go ahead and decide the case without a trial or that the case would proceed to trial – it’s called a summary judgment,” says Theriot about the November 17 hearing before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.


“[At that] hearing both sides presented arguments as to why they think that they should succeed – and what we argued, on behalf of Chief Cochran, is that the city has conceded that they considered the content of the speech and his book about his religious beliefs when they suspended him without pay and when they fired him; and because of that, that violated his constitutional rights.”

Atlanta argues that it is an inclusive city and an inclusive employer. But according to Theriot, Atlanta’s definition of inclusiveness means excluding those that disagree with the city.

“Not only did the mayor say but several of his staff [also] said Look, these were offensive to us and therefore we got rid of him,” he explains. “That clearly violates the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

A decision by the judge in Cochran v. City of Atlanta is expected in December or early next year.

( Read more here. )

It’s getting cold up north for us Godly souls



It’s getting cold up north. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

Yes, climate change is real—at least in Canada. But I’m not talking about the weather. I mean the increasingly hostile climate for Canadian Christians.

This week the Canadian Supreme Court will hear a case involving Trinity Western University, a Christian school in British Columbia. Trinity wants to open a law school, but two Canadian law societies will refuse to accredit it. Trinity Western obliges students to uphold marriage between a man and a woman and to refrain from sex outside marriage.

The law associations say that’s anti-LGBT discrimination. Obviously, the Court’s ruling will have huge implications for Christians up north.

Then there’s this. A couple in Alberta have been turned down as prospective adoptive parents. Why? They’re Christians who believe in Christian sexual morality. Not only did Alberta’s Child and Family Services turn them away, but Catholic Social Services withdrew their recommendation of the couple. Insane. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Canada. And beware… these Canadian cold fronts could be moving south.


  • Wendy Griffith | CBN News | November 20, 2017

BreakPoint: Communism’s Failed Promise


This week marked a century since one of the darkest chapters in human history began, and a truly evil worldview was put into practice.

One hundred years ago, Bolshevik revolutionaries stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd, the seat of the Provisional Government of Russia. They also seized post offices, train stations, and telegraphs in the dead of night. When the people of Russia’s capital city awoke, they were in what Rhodes Scholar David Satter described as “a different universe.”

That universe was a communist one. Vladimir Lenin’s so-called “October Revolution,” which took place in November on the Gregorian calendar, sought to establish the first-ever Marxist state. After a lengthy civil war, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics emerged, marking one of the greatest setbacks Western Civilization has suffered since the fall of Rome. Communism would eventually rule one-third of the planet, condemning one-and-a-half billion people to lives under brutal, totalitarian governments, and leaving behind a trail of over 100 million corpses.

So many people died because, as Satter explains in The Wall Street Journal, the communist worldview sees the state as supreme, replacing God, Himself. It’s infallible, it transcends morality, and it demands absolute loyalty from its citizens.

Karl Marx taught that only such a state, acting for its people, could break the chains of economic oppression and private property, creating a “new man.” This type of person, depicted in Soviet propaganda posters with bulging muscles and steely eyes, would work willingly for the common good, seek only to advance the interests of his comrades, and usher in a worker’s paradise.

The communist ideal was nothing short of a godless eschatology—a Heaven on earth.

What we got instead was hell on earth. Through political purges, forced population transfers, manmade famines, gulags, and a so-called “Great Leap Forward,” dictators like Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot presided over some of the worst mass murders in human history, all directly motivated by the desire to bring about that communist paradise.

It wasn’t until Christmas 1991 that the darkness which had fallen on Russia in 1917 began to lift. The Soviet sickle and hammer descended over the Kremlin for the last time, quietly announcing the end of what President Reagan had dubbed the “evil empire.”

But for millions of people the world over, this godless worldview remained and remains a political reality. China’s forced abortions, Cuba’s political repression, and North Korea’s persecution of Christians are just some of the atrocities that have continued in communist countries since the fall of the Soviet Union.

And here in the United States, communist ideology enjoys a kind of immortality in our universities, where many professors openly identify as Marxists, and students sport those ever-popular Che Guevara t-shirts.

One recent survey by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that half of millennials would rather live in a socialist or communist country than in a capitalist democracy. More than 20 percent have a favorable view of Marx, and thirteen percent think of Joseph Stalin as a “hero.”

The only good news is that 71 percent of those surveyed couldn’t identify the correct definition of communism. They don’t understand what they’re praising.

As we look back on the aftermath of that October revolution, we should commit ourselves to teaching our kids, our friends, and whoever else will listen where communism belongs: squarely in the dustbin of history.

Perhaps the best way to commemorate communism’s 100thbirthday is to pray that we can fully and finally bury this evil worldview in our lifetimes.


Communism’s Failed Promise: Heaven on Earth Without God

As Eric has urged, educate your family and friends on the failed utopian promises of communism, as well as the results of its worldview on humankind. And continue to pray that the scourge of communism will end on the earth.




100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead

  • David Satter | Wall Street Journal | November 6, 2017

The Point: What Constitution?


It’s time for a civics refresh. For the Colson Center, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

A new study by the Annenberg Public Policy Center finds that Americans are woefully misinformed about basic constitutional provisions. More than half believe that illegal immigrants have absolutely no rights under the Constitution.

Three-quarters of Americans can’t name all three branches of government. And perhaps worst of all, over a third can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment, including freedom of speech, press, or religion.

This doesn’t bode well for public education, which began as a means of producing well-informed citizens. But Christians should be the first to insist on good civic education, because we stand to lose so much freedom.

In his book, “A Free People’s Suicide,” Os Guinness shows how modern views of freedom are incompatible with the views of the American founders, and argues that “the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans.”

He also sketches a plan for good civic education—a plan to implement if our Republic is to last.




Americans Are Poorly Informed About Basic Constitutional Provisions

  • Annenberg Public Policy Center | University of Pennsylvania | September 12, 2017

Witnessing for Christ: through the eyes of a persecuted pastor in Sudan

(The following news report comes from Mission Network News. You can read the the story here. )






BreakPoint: Prayer Shaming and the Church Shooting Choosing Policy over God




Prayer, it seems, is no longer a politically acceptable response to tragedy. Instead, we’re being told to put our trust in something else.

As I record this, just days after the horrific massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a massacre which claimed 26 lives and wounded 20 others, authorities continue to piece together the motives of the young male who perpetrated this act of terror. Apparently, it was a revenge shooting at the church his mother-in-law attended, though she was not there on that Sunday morning.

The victims ranged in age from a baby in utero to 77 years, and included more than one family that lost multiple members and the pastor’s 14 year-old daughter. Most of the victims were, according to reports, children.

As happens at every mass shooting, there are those committed to superimposing their own narratives on the tragic events. In fact, some, as happens at every mass shooting, have found a way to even implicate Christians.

This time that way is what Emma Green of the Atlantic Monthly dubbed, after the San Bernadino shooting, “prayer shaming.” This refers to comments in both social and conventional media that criticize those who say that their thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

The epitome of “prayer shaming” was a front page story in the New York Daily News after the San Bernadino shooting, which read “God Isn’t Fixing This,” and called talk of prayer “meaningless platitudes.” As Rod Dreher rightly commented then, these kinds of statements “reveal a total lack of understanding of what religious people believe, and why.”

They also reveal the extent to which, as my “BreakPoint This Week” co-host Ed Stetzer often has put it, Christians have lost “home-field advantage” that we may have had in the culture.

Until last week, saying that you were praying for someone was seen an act of kindness, even if the other person didn’t believe in the efficacy of prayer. For example, the late atheist Christopher Hitchens thanked the people who were praying for him after he was diagnosed with the cancer that would ultimately take his life, and Richard Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion,” criticized British theaters for refusing to run a Church of England ad about the Lord’s Prayer. He said, “If anybody is ‘offended’ by something so trivial as a prayer, they deserve to be offended.”

While I would never call prayer “trivial,” I can’t help but notice how two of the leading public atheists of recent memory were more gracious about prayer than many American activists who want us to “do something.”

Of course, what they assume in the process is that 1) we know what that “something to do” is, and 2), that this “something” will actually solve the problem.

And it’s precisely here that the technocratic worldview of many activists and critics is revealed for what it is. Their faith, while not in prayer, is in something else. Namely, that all human problems and challenges, such as climate change, gun violence, and even terrorism, are problems that can be solved if only we apply the right techniques, which these days are almost always political steps: i.e., passing the right laws or public policies.

In this worldview, the world and all of its complexities can be reduced to mathematical models, and can thus be controlled by our best ideas and efforts. All of our problems, the logic continues, can be, if not eliminated, at least ameliorated.

But it’s a worldview that consistently fails. In the run-up to the financial crisis of 2008, Wall Street honestly believed it had mathematically solved the problem of risk. But it hadn’t. And there’s no reason to believe that the “something” the critics of prayer are advocating will reduce, much less stop, the kind of carnage we continue to see across our nation.

As the psalmist put it, nations continue to rage and people continue to plot in vain, but it’s the Lord alone, that can “make us dwell in safety.” So Christian, keep praying.



Prayer Shaming and the Church Shooting: Choosing Policy over God

Join with the Body of Christ as we continue to pray for individuals and families, for our nation and our world. We place our trust in God, and put into practice what the psalmist wrote when he entreated the Lord, “Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry!” Psalm 88:2


Prayer Shaming: The View From Jesusland

  • Rod Dreher | The American Conservative | December 3, 2015
The Power of Prayer: And the Prayer of Power

  • R. A. Torrey | Zondervan Publishing Company
The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer

  • Andrew Murray | Bethany House Publishers

Letter writing campaign encourages persecuted believers from North Korea

North Korea (MNN) — With the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church approaching this Sunday, November 5th, there is an obvious focus on praying for persecuted believers. But there’s something else you can do as well to encourage them: write a letter.

Each year, the Orange Letter Campaign with Uncharted Ministries focuses on a specific group of believers suffering for their faith to send letters to – and these letters are from fellow Christians around the world.

Two years ago, they sent encouraging letters from believers to the widows of the Egyptian men who were martyred on the beach in Libya by ISIS. In fact, the Orange Letter Campaign was so named in honor of these men for the orange jumpsuits they all wore as they were led to their deaths for their faith in Christ.

Then in 2016, Orange Letter Campaign’s letters went to Syrian Christian leaders on the frontlines. The past few years, they’ve been able to send around 2,000-3,000 letters, and this year they’re hoping for even more!

This year, the letters will be going to persecuted North Korean believers who defected out of the country. Tom Doyle, author of “Standing in the Fire” and with e3 Partners, explains, “This year, we felt like our focus should be North Korea. We have a partnership with Voice of the Martyrs Korea and we know this that there is at least 100,000 believers in North Korea, which is phenomenal when you think about that it is the worst country in the globe to live as a believer…. There are at least 100,000 believers, but 30,000 of them are in prison.”

North Korea has been at the top of Open Doors’ World Watch List for 14 years in a row as the country with the harshest persecution of Christians.

“So we’re writing letters to North Korean defectors, new believers that have come out of North Korea that we’ll meet with and encourage them. Also, Voice of the Martyrs and our new ministry, Uncharted, will be broadcasting into North Korea by radio to read some of the letters to believers there that have radios that hide at night and listen to Christian broadcasts coming out of South Korea.”


If you’d like to write a letter of encouragement to a North Korean Christian, you can send your letter in an email to Or you submit your letter through 8thirty8’s Facebook page here!

( More ) 

100th anniversary of the Bolshevik communist revolution in Russia


October 2017 marked a very important anniversary, the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik communist revolution in Russia that led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The 20th century represents, as one major historian has named, “the century of megadeath”; and at the center of that “megadeath” is the great lie…

Read More »