Top 5 Worst Countries With Blasphemy Laws: All Are Islamic Nations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Top 5 Worst Countries With Blasphemy Laws Ranked by USCIRF, One Christian Nation Listed at No. 7

(PHOTO: REUTERS/FAYAZ AZIZ)Protesters gather to condemn the killing of university student Mashal Khan, after he was accused of blasphemy, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan, on April 20, 2017.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued a report on blasphemy laws around the world, with the top five worst-scoring nations all seeking to protect Islam.

“In all five of the worst-scoring countries (Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Qatar), the blasphemy laws aim to protect the state religion of Islam in a way that impermissibly discriminates among different groups,” a press release from the organization stated on Wednesday.

The major report found that 71 of the world’s 195 countries have blasphemy laws, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and death.

USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark said that religious freedom should protect people’s rights to express their thoughts and beliefs, even those that others may find blasphemous.

“Advocates for blasphemy laws may argue that they are needed in order to protect religious freedom, but these laws do no such thing. Blasphemy laws are wrong in principle, and they often invite abuse and lead to assaults, murders, and mob attacks. Wherever they exist, they should be repealed,” Mark insisted.

Christians and other religious minorities have been targeted by such blasphemy laws in Pakistan where they’re punished any time an accusation of having insulted the Islamic faith is lobbed against them.

In June, a Pakistani Christian father was arrested on charges of blasphemy after he asked a Muslim man to pay for a bicycle that he had repaired the week before, but was then accused by the same man of insulting Islam.

Islamic hardliners have also taken justice into their own hands. In one instance in November 2014, a Christian couple was burned to death by a mob after they were accused of having desecrated the Quran, a claim that turned out to be false.

Iran, which persecutes Christians, Baha’is, and other minorities, has threatened to execute anyone who’s accused of insulting the Islamic faith.

The Iranian government has been particularly concerned about the rise of Christianity in the country, especially among youths. This has led to Islamic seminary officials calling on the government to “stop the spread” of the faith.

Though the majority of high-ranking countries beyond the top five focused on defending Islamic sensibilities, Italy and its blasphemy laws protecting the Roman Catholic Church also scored a high ranking, coming in at number seven.

Article 403 of Italy’s criminal code reads:

“Anyone who insults the State religion in public by offending those who profess it shall be subject to a prison sentence of up to two years. Anyone who insults the State religion by insulting a minister of the Catholic Church shall be subject to a prison sentence of one to three years.”

USCIRF noted in its report that most of the blasphemy laws that it studied were “vaguely worded,” and failed to specify intent as part of the violation. It added that a majority of blasphemy laws are embedded in the criminal codes of countries, with 86 percent of nations with such laws threatening imprisonment for offenders.

“Though implementation varies, countries from Switzerland to Sudan persist in outlawing expression of views deemed ‘blasphemous,'” Mark added.

“Some countries, including Canada, have such laws but do not actively enforce them. We call upon those countries to set an example for the others and repeal their blasphemy laws. And we call upon all countries to repeal any such laws and to free those detained or convicted for blasphemy.”

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12 people killed when tree falls at Catholic festival in Portugal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

12 people killed when tree falls at Catholic festival in Portugal

Twelve people were killed when a tree fell on August 15, 2017, in Madeira, Portugal.

Story highlights

  • The tree was a 200-year-old oak, local media report
  • A little girl was among those killed, the regional health chief said

(CNN) Twelve people were killed and 50 others injured when an enormous tree fell Tuesday in Madeira, Portugal, officials said.

The tree came down during an important Catholic celebration on the island, regional Health Secretary Pedro Ramos said in a televised news conference.
The dead and injured had gathered to honor Our Lady of the Mountain at a church in a village near the island’s main city of Funchal, Ramos said. Tuesday marked the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when Catholics celebrate the assumption of the body Jesus Christ’s mother into heaven. It is one of six Catholic holy days of obligation.

People help the injured after a falling tree killed 12 people on August 15, 2017, in Madeira, Portugal.

Massive tree crashes down

Video from the scene shows a massive tree crashing down as a panicked crowd screams and flees. The tree was a 200-year-old oak, local media reported.
A little girl was among those killed, Ramos said, adding that seven of the injured were in serious condition, with three people expected to require surgery. Three foreign nationals — one each from France, Germany and Hungary — were are among the injured, he said.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was expected to arrive Tuesday on the island, said the president of the regional government, Miguel Albuquerque.
Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa offered his condolences on Twitter.
Madeira, a popular tourist destination dubbed the “pearl of the Atlantic,” is the largest of several Portuguese islands in the North Atlantic.

(Courtesy/Poem) Just Sitting In Morristown Tennessee

Just Sitting In Morristown Tennessee 

 

Two years wasted here in Gatorville U.S.A.

Poor paying work, then my health went away

Low wages, a safety net I could never get made

Can’t work while you’re ill, so the job went away

States broke, no help at all for white single males

Gotta move on when you can’t pay your own way

 

 

Put your thumb in the air, hope for the best and pray

Can’t stay if you can’t work, here they’ll throw you in jail

Can’t go south, only the jail cells name would change

Lose all you’ve worked for if your health fails you here

Thumb pointing north, hopefully I’ll find a friendlier place to live

 

 

Caught a ride through the Tomahawk let out up in Choo-Choo Tennessee

Now walking north thumb in the air headed toward the Cavalier State

Families roots up in the Blue Ridge, about five days walk from here

Two day’s of walking toward K-town, feet, back, and chest are on fire

Back roads you gotta walk, blue light specials ruin your day if you don’t

 

 

Now in a place called Morristown, another step I just can not walk

Parked my back against a pole that say’s Cumberland and Main

Pulled out my harmonica, trying to take my mind off of the pain

People here seem friendly, several gathering round to hear me play

Wasn’t long before the police came doubted was for the music to hear

 

 

Figured if I was lucky they would just tell me to get up and go away

Shocked the life right out of me when they asked if I had a place to stay

They got me lined up with a shelter, with a bag of groceries along the way

They checked, no warrants, just a man down on his health and luck

Treated me like a man, told me that here is a place I’m welcome to stay

 

 

This town has lots of true Christian folks, they’re not just one in name

If they know that you’re trying, they will help you when you’re down

They helped get me a furnished room where now my head I can lay

Now have some food in the cabinets and some extra clothes on the bed

Central Services, a Church and Goodwill helped, kindness on display

 

 

Within two days I had a job, now in a Bluegrass Band five nights a week I play

On Sundays I play piano at the Church, giving back a helping hand I give my way

No comparisons to how I was treated when my health went out in the Sun Shine State

I’m not to far from Dollywood, beautiful Smokey’s just to the south so pleasing to see

Here even when you’re down and out, if your willing to get off your butt they will help

Some of the finest Christian people you could ever meet, here in Morristown Tennessee

1,300 Jews Get To Visit The Temple Mount: To Honor The 2 Jewish Temples That Once Stood There

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Breaking records, over 1,300 Jews on Tuesday visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem for the Tisha B’av fast commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples that once stood at the site.

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Despite fasting, 1,043 people braved the heat and went up to the Mount during the morning visiting hours, while hundreds more waited in line to visit the holy site.

The site reopened to Jewish visitors in the afternoon. By 5 p.m., almost 1,300 non-Muslim visitors had toured the site.

Hebrew media reports said the number was unprecedented since Israel captured the OId City in 1967.

In light of recent tensions surrounding the site, the Jewish visitors were required to leave their identity cards with police before passing through metal detectors at the Mughrabi Gate, the only gate to the compound through which non-Muslims may enter.

Because of the large number of people seeking to go up to the compound, visitors were escorted around the site in larger groups than usual, Israel Radio reported.

מאות יהודים עלו להר הבית בבוקר צום תשעה באב, ורבים ממתינים בתורים ארוכים. בשל העומס הסיורים מתקיימים בקבוצות גדולות מהנהוג @Roi_Yanovsky

Police said that six people were ejected from the Temple Mount for violating the site’s rules for non-Muslim visitors, which include a prohibition on prayer, while four people were arrested after a scuffle broke out between three Jews and a Muslim man as one of the groups was leaving the compound through the Chain Gate.

500 יהודים שכבר עלו להר הבית הבוקר

In addition to the extra security measures at the Mughrabi Gate, large numbers of police were deployed throughout the Old City ahead of the expected arrival of tens of thousands of worshipers to the Western Wall throughout the day.

Police said cars would be prohibited from entering the Old City beginning at 5 p.m., except those belonging to Old City residents.

On Monday night, thousands of Jews attended prayers at the Western Wall to observe the start of Tisha B’Av, days after violence shook the city.

Prayer leaders read aloud from the Book of Lamentations, believed by Jews to be the biblical prophet Jeremiah’s account of the destruction of the First Temple by invading Babylonians in 586 BCE.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall of the Second Temple, built on the site of the First and destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

The wall is at the foot of the Temple Mount compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, which houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the gilded Dome of the Rock shrine in the heart of the Old City. The compound is the third-holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site for Jews.

Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both temples, as well as several other disasters in Jewish history.

Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City during the annual Tisha B'Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples, on July 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Jewish men pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City during the annual Tisha B’Av fast day commemorating the destruction of the Jewish temples, on July 31, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The event comes after relative calm returned to Jerusalem following almost two weeks of Palestinian protests over security measures at the Temple Mount, installed after a July 14 terror attack in which three Israeli Arabs shot dead two Israeli policemen with weapons they had smuggled into the compound.

Muslim worshipers had refused to enter the Temple Mount until the security installations at entrances to the site were removed, while Palestinian protesters staged near-daily protests in and around East Jerusalem and the West Bank, some of which turned violent.

The clashes left five Palestinians dead. A week after the Temple Mount terror attack, a Palestinian terrorist broke into a home in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three members of a single family to death while they were having Shabbat dinner. In a Facebook post hours before his murderous spree, the terrorist cited the events surrounding the Temple Mount as a main motivator.

The crisis was contained last week when Israeli authorities removed the newly installed measures, including metal detectors, following heavy pressure from Jordan, the custodian of the Temple Mount, and the Palestinians.

Border Police officers stand guard as Jewish men pray during the Tisha B'Av fast at a gate leading to the Old City of Jerusalem's Temple Mount compound on July 31, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Border Police officers stand guard as Jewish men pray during the Tisha B’Av fast at a gate leading to the Old City of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount compound on July 31, 2017. (AFP/Menahem Kahana)

The site has frequently been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Under a decades-old agreement enforced by Israel, only Muslims are allowed to pray inside the compound, although non-Muslims are allowed to visit.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Philosophy/Poem) I Saw An Angel Of The Lord And Lived

I Saw An Angel Of The Lord And Lived

 

This poem is derived from a writing of King David of Israel about one of his sins in regards to the counting of the people of Israel even though God told him not to do it. This Scripture is found in 1 Chronicles 21: 15-27.

 

O my Lord my God what evil I have done in your sight

You told me not to number, but yet I ordered it done

Nine plus months my Generals did gather the count

One point one million ready to draw the sword

Not counting the women and children they do guard

 

 

The message from God, an arrow through my soul

Three choices, to heavy for any one man to bare

Three days of pestilence upon God’s holy land

Seven years of famine upon the King and the land

Or, flee for three months before those that want my head

O Lord how greatly I Your servant have sinned

 

 

The pestilence I have chosen upon your people and land

My sin, caused the death of seventy thousand valiant men

O’ Lord You have opened my eyes, my ego You have crushed

The Lord’s Angel now I see, my fright now deep into my bones

Lord thank you for staying the hand of Your Angel

Thank you Lord for sparing Your Holy City, Jerusalem

 

 

For fifty shekels of silver, Oman’s threshing floor I did buy

Offering to you Lord, sweet fragrances to your Throne on high

Thank you Lord for staying Your Angel’s wrath from our head

By the gift of Your great mercy O Lord I’ll not disobey again

My eyes have seen one of Your Holy Angels my sweet Lord

By Your mercy O Lord, I and Your people You allowed us to live

The Wall Of Shame

The Wall Of Shame

Why do we build, to keep out

Was not Berlin’s built to keep in

The Great Wall of China can be seen from space

Decide what is real, do you live a sanctified life

Your reflection in the world’s looking glass

Does it show but one face or do you have many

Division from the south, but not from the north

Do you not see your two faces shining

 

What do you think your wall will facilitate

The poor of the south are humans just like you

Hungry, tired, and scared, they come to your gates

Looking for a safe place to build, and work and pray

We build a higher wall, we tell them they have to wait

From terrorist and drugs, you say your wall will defend

You wall out your brother, your neighbor, your friends

 

How is it you can be so cold yet say you’re a Christian

Do you not know, nor see, nor care, people are starving

By your actions you do offend the Lord Himself

Do you not think that a terrorist or a drug King Pin

Can enter your haven from the cold frozen north

Do not speak to me of family values ye hypocrite

As children and mothers die of hunger and guns

At the foot of this wall, this barrier you create

Walk Toward The Light That Is Jesus

Walk the Line The Lord has given

Lord please guide me with Your Light

That my foot doth tread upon Your Rock

Please keep my toes from out the mud

Please keep the sheets clean upon my bed

When I go out deep in the night

Please keep a lit lantern in my hand

With my old eyes I stumble and fall

There’s many a bruise upon my head

Though I try to walk a path

That’s straight, dry, and lit

To every side I still do slip and fall

Sometimes I wait to pray till after I’m bit

Many a time, backwards I have fallen

Our Lord’s hand keeping me from the pit

Why is a straight line so hard to walk

Lit by The bright Light that can not be hid

Do not step to the right nor the left, my friend

Though short skirts, cocaine, and money may thrill

This same combination can be lethal to life and limb

Making ones mind like the grain beneath the wheel

Walk straight your path with lantern in hand

Walk a straight path toward the Light on the Mount

The light that is The Son Of Man!

Quiet Night

 

Quiet Night

Doth one tremble in the day

Anxiety ripping through one’s flesh and bone

Trembling for what the night’s darkness holds

Do we stumble and fall while in the light

So afraid of what the night will show

Turn not thy foot from the door as night doth set

If we step into the dark of night

Doth the shimmering light still guide our step

As it fades ever dimmer beneath the streets

Do we fear that which we do not know

Do we stumble upon that which we cannot see

Do the stars shine does the moon give it’s glow

O child of man so foolish are we

Bed down in your castle

Where candles and lanterns abound

Walk in the light while it still can be found

Keep your door closed to the darkness

The viper awaits, no sound did it make

Attached to your shin your death it awaits

Six feet closer to Hell in the darkness you wait

You chose to walk in the darkness of this world

Now the lake of your new Master awaits

Can you smell the sulfur as Your Soul He takes

In Your Beginning: That You Do Not Understand

 

How is it that you know nothing

How is it that you see nothing

How is it that you do not understand

O’ man, how is it that you’re deaf to my words

You send machines to the planets

But you do not understand

That it is by My hand, and My love

That you are, and that you have

A place on which to stand

 

Lend me your ears now my children

Daughters, Sons, now open your eyes

I will show you now once again plainly

Some things which you have missed

Through ignorance, and worldly deceit

My truth to you has been disguised

Cloaked, by He whom I cast out, with burning eyes

 

In the beginning, as it has been written

There were two creations of mankind

The Gentiles first I planted in all the lands

Yet they were in My eyes A couple absent links

Above the Monkeys, Dogs, and the Swine

They populated the Earth as they were told to do

Then A Royal Bloodline In My Garden I planted

 

I watched sometimes in amusement

But most times in horror

At all the scenes before my eyes unfolded

Through the years your tribes did blend

Through time you looked more like Us

Than the places in which you began

 

I planted My Garden between Urmia and Nod

There I breathed life into the First Earthly Man of God

From his side a mate, to share these pleasures

The rivers flowed peacefully for this Royal Blood Line We gave them

Red Eyes slithered into My Garden We had given to them

Deceived the woman, then she her man

Their eyes now open to their sins, then I did clothe them

I cast My children out into the world of the Heathen Gentiles

Two beginnings, Two Peoples, amazing you cannot understand

 

Open your eyes so you can see it

Blood of My Lamb spilled

For your Souls to be redeemed

Soon I will come to see you

But, will you wish to see Me

If you’re as blind to the end

As you are to your beginning

After My Trumpet sounds, your pleas

Will not be worth one of your pennies

The Last Prayer

Last prayer
When were you said for me
Last prayer, not of just our own
But when will be the last prayer
That any of our loved ones
Utter up to God
For the likes of you and me
Our loved ones, who have gone on
To the quiet stillness
Waiting, the trumpets song to hear
What were the last prayers
That our loved ones prayed
For now only God Himself knows
Given to thee, being given to love
Given the chance to pray
Do we do it, even once a day
When was the last time
We could, we should, we didn’t
O when will that last time be
How I hope that tonight
I bow my head for prayer
If I only but knew Lord
That this would be my last prayer
Just thirty seconds left to breathe
What would we deem important enough
Upon this somber occasion to say to Thee