Copts Were Sitting Ducks After Egyptian Guards Left

Copts Were Sitting Ducks After Egyptian Guards Left

Ann Kane

Updated reports on the car bomb that killed Christians in Alexandria, Egypt during New Year’s Eve Mass are revealing “Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast, Say Eyewitnesses,” by Mary Abdelmassih for AINA, January 2:
From Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) via Jihad Watch:
According to eyewitnesses, a green Skoda car pull up outside the church shortly after midnight. Two men got out , one of them talked shortly on his mobile phone, and the explosion occurred almost immediately after they left the scene. On the back of the Skoda was a sticker with the words “the rest is coming” (video of car explosion and Muslims shouting “Allah Akbar”).
To clear his security forces of negligence, the Minister of Interior said that the blast was an “individual” case, caused by a single suicide terrorist detonating his vest, and has nothing to do with an exploding car. The governor of Alexandria claimed the attack as being aimed at Muslims and Christians alike.
Why were only four policemen left to guard a congregation of 2000 when tensions were already high among Muslim extremists targeting Christians? Why did the Minister of the Interior downplay the catastrophe? Why would Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak call for unity among both Copts and Muslims, but not make sure security forces stayed in place for the Mass?
Read more of Ann Kane’s insights on

Page Printed from: at January 02, 2011 – 11:55:20 AM CST

Suspected suicide bomber kills 21 at Egypt church

Suspected suicide bomber kills 21 at Egypt church

By Mona Salem, AFPJanuary 1, 2011
Egyptians transport the body of a Christian worshipper from the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church to an ambulance following an overnight car bomb attack on the church in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on January 1, 2011 which killed at least 21, hitting Egypt's Christian community, the biggest in the Middle East.

Egyptians transport the body of a Christian worshipper from the Al-Qiddissine (The Saints) church to an ambulance following an overnight car bomb attack on the church in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria on January 1, 2011 which killed at least 21, hitting Egypt’s Christian community, the biggest in the Middle East.

Photograph by: MOHAMMED ABED, Getty Images

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — Egypt officials said a suicide bomber killed 21 people and wounded 79 others outside a Coptic church on Saturday, in an attack the country’s president said was the work of “foreign hands.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but al-Qaida has called for punishment of Egypt’s Copts over claims that two priests’ wives who had converted to Islam were being held by the church against their will.

The bombing in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria sparked anger among Christians, who clashed with police and shouted slogans against the regime of the aging president, as well as condemnation from Western governments.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon called the attack “deplorable” in a statement Saturday.

“Our hearts and sympathies are with the families and friends of the victims,” he said.

“We fully support the call by Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak to close ranks and confront the terrorists who were behind this deplorable attack. We urge Egyptians of all faiths to work together to end sectarian violence.”

An official with the Egyptian health ministry said 21 people were killed and 79 wounded, and the country’s interior ministry said eight of those hurt were Muslims.

A witness had told private channel On-TV that in a car park outside the Al-Qiddissin (The Saints) church shortly after midnight, he saw two men get out and the explosion happen almost immediately afterwards.

But the interior ministry ruled out the hypothesis of a car bomb, saying it was “probable that the bomb . . . was carried by a suicide bomber who died among the crowd.”

The device was packed with pieces of metal to cause the maximum harm, the ministry added.

And the circumstances of the explosion, “given the methods that currently prevail in terrorist activities at the global and regional level, clearly indicate” that the bombing was “planned and carried out by foreign elements.”

Mubarak echoed that, saying the bombing bore the hallmark “of foreign hands.”

In televised remarks, he referred to it as something that “is alien to us,” and pledged to “cut off the head of the snake, confront terrorism and defeat it.”

Egypt has been the target of repeated attacks against foreign tourists in recent years, most notably bombings on resorts in the south Sinai and a hostage bloodbath in Luxor in 1997 that killed more than 60 people.

Pope Benedict XVI urged world leaders to defend Christians against abuse and intolerance, while U.S. President Barack Obama denounced an “outrageous” bombing.

“I once again launch a pressing appeal not to give in to discouragement and resignation,” said the pontiff.

“The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshippers, and have no respect for human life and dignity. They must be brought to justice for this barbaric and heinous act,” Obama said.

The European Union “unreservedly” condemned the bombing. “There cannot be any justification for this attack,” the EU’s foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said.

Refaa al-Tahtawi, spokesman for Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s main seat of learning, appealed for calm, as did a senior Coptic official.

In the day after the bombing, growing numbers of Christians were continuing to vent their anger.

By mid-afternoon, hundreds of youths in small groups in the neighbourhood of the church were showering rocks and bottles on police, who responded with tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

“O Mubarak, the heart of the Copts is on fire,” they shouted as they darted in and out of side-streets to heckle police.

Others unfurled their fury at the “cowardly terrorists” and chanted: “The blood of the Copts is not cheap.”

One demonstrator brandished a large cross, with bloody remnants of victims’ clothing attached.

At least 5,000 people took part late Saturday in funerals for the victims at a monastery outside Alexandria, where crowds of mourners shouted slogans and refused to accept official condolences.

“No, no, no,” the crowd shouted as a church official tried to read out condolences from Mubarak.

In Alexandria, the Church said in a statement that the attack “constituted a dangerous escalation in sectarian incidents against the Copts.”

The attack comes two months after gunmen stormed a Baghdad cathedral in an operation that left 44 worshippers, two priests and seven security force personnel dead.

That was claimed by al-Qaida’s Iraq affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, which said its purpose was to force the release of the two women in Egypt.

“All Christian centres, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for the mujahedeen (holy warriors) wherever they can reach them,” the group said.

“Let these idolaters, and at their forefront, the hallucinating tyrant of the Vatican, know that the killing sword will not be lifted from the necks of their followers until they declare their innocence from what the dog of the Egyptian church is doing,” the ISI said.

After those threats, protection around Coptic places of worship was discreetly stepped up, with Mubarak saying he was committed to protecting the Christians “faced with the forces of terrorism and extremism.”

The Copts, who account for up to 10 per cent of Egypt’s 80 million population and often complain of discrimination, have been the target of repeated sectarian attacks.

With files from Postmedia News

A Christmas Carol From Paul

A Christmas Carol From Paul

By David R. Stokes

Christmas is more than a day in December — it is a season.  Reminders of this are all around us — the weather, the gatherings, the music on the radio.  It is not unusual for savvy media outlets to saturate their formats with all things Yuletide for a few weeks at the end of the year.  It puts us “in the mood” — not to mention puts money in their accounts.
What’s your favorite Christmas song?  Some like to hear about chestnuts roasting on an open fire — others love to think about bells jingling.  Yet others tear up (with good reason) thinking about a Holy Night so long ago.  They may even want to fall on their knees.
A case can be made that the greatest Christmas song ever written is one with no familiar music.  The tune is no longer available to us.  But the lyrics — ah, those lyrics — well, they’re actually inspired.  As the Apostle Paul was writing to young Pastor Timothy about everything from order in the church to the dangers of greed, he gave us an easily overlooked but enduring Christmas nugget.
It may be not be a toe-tapper like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus — but it completely captures the essence of Christmas.  That essence is incarnation.  This means that God became one of us so that He could reach those of us willing to surrender to Him.
As the Apostle winds up a series of thoughts about the church and those who serve and lead, he pauses to reflect on a larger issue.  Strategies and structure are not ends in themselves.  They are secondary to powerful ideas.  While he may have felt the need to give Timothy some practical advice about how to do his important job, he never lost sight of the why in all of it — nor should we.  There can be many controversies in life — macro and micro.  All of them require attention.  Some of them require systems and structure.  No doubt, this was something with which Timothy wrestled.  Therefore, his wise mentor, Paul, offered his advice. 
Things that tend to polarize people often have little to with objective truth.  Instead, subjective experience is allowed to play too large a role in our lives and passions.  When this happens, Paul’s writings suggest that we need to stop and sing.  And we should sing something very specific — the most beautiful of all Christmas carols — though it is highly unlikely that we’ll hear the words blended with any seasonal music. 
We are not told the style of music, nor are we told the instrument or instruments used to express it (if any).  We are given just the words.  They are inspired — and they have endured.  They are ancient words, yet ever new. 
The first Christmas Carol is introduced in scripture this way: “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great…” (I Timothy 3:16 NIV).
Communities of faith throughout history have wrestled with many things.  But Paul reminds us all these centuries later that there are some no-brainers for the faithful.  First and foremost is that most powerful of all ideas is that God has come to the earth — the Word has been made flesh. 
So, this season, let us reach back for one of the forgotten “oldies” — a first-century worship favorite.  They likely sang it in places like Ephesus, Thyatira, and Philippi.  There were no ornate cathedrals or padded pews, no multimedia presentations to tantalize the eyes — just words, powerful and profound.  Go ahead and make up your own music — but don’t mess with the words.  They are from God.  They are a Christmas gift from the one who gave us the reason for the season. 
And, one…two…three…
“He appeared in a body,
Was vindicated by the Spirit,
Was seen by angels,
Was preached among the nations,
Was believed on in the world,
Was taken up in glory.” 
 – I Timothy 3:16 (New International Version)
Merry Christmas!
David R. Stokes is a minister, author, columnist, and broadcaster.  His new book, The Shooting Salvationist (foreword by Bob Schieffer), will be released by Random House in July of 2011.

Page Printed from: at December 25, 2010 – 10:48:19 AM CST

Who He Is

Who He Is

By Vasko Kohlmayer

Some two thousand years ago, the man whose birthday we celebrate during this season was walking with his disciples through a region which is today known as the Golan Heights.  As they were making their way through those hilly parts, Jesus turned to his companions and asked, “Who do people say that I am?”

The disciples told him that many ideas circulated as to his identity: “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
Things have not changed much in the intervening two millennia.  Today, as then, people hold many notions about who Jesus was.  Some say that he was a great moral teacher, others that he was a bold social reformer.  Still others claim that he was a wise man or a charismatic leader.  If you asked ten different people, it is quite possible that you would get ten different answers.
To get at the truth, we can do no better than to go to the ultimate source and authority on Jesus’s life.  None of the statements below is a conjecture or a fanciful invention; they all come straight from the Word.
What follows is the Jesus of the Bible.
He was from the beginning.  He was with God, and He is God.  He is the firstborn over creation, and in Him the fullness of God dwells.
All things were created by Him and for Him.  He laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of His hands.  Without Him, nothing was made that has been made.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  He upholds the universe by the word of His power.  It is through Him that we exist.  He is the mystery of God, Who created all things by Jesus Christ.
In the fullness of time, God sent Him to be the Savior of the world.  He came to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
He was made flesh and dwelt among people.  Full of grace and truth, He was the image of the invisible God and the exact representation of His being.
Born in the likeness of man, He took upon Himself the form of a servant.  He became poor so that we may become rich.
The radiance of God’s glory, He walked in love and compassion.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.
Meek and gentle, He was treated harshly, yet He did not protest.  Despised and forsaken, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Though He was tempted as we are, He did not sin.
He came to deliver those who through fear of death were all their lives subject to bondage.  He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even the death of the cross.  He assumed human form to mediate between God and men.
He was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities.  He bore our trespasses in His body and washed our sins with His own blood.
He was made a curse so that we could be made right with God.  He was raised for our justification.  It is by His wounds that we are healed.  It is He who brings us back to God.
Manifested in the flesh, He was justified in the spirit.  Having been buried, He was raised on the third day.  He ascended on high and led captivity captive.
To those who receive Him He gave the right to become children of God.  Whoever calls upon His name shall be saved, and whoever believes in Him has eternal life.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name by which men may be saved.  He is the way, and the truth, and the life.
This is how God showed His love for us: He sent His one and only Son that we might live through him.  For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  He guides the meek and teaches them His ways.  Exalted of God, in Him is the mystery of godliness.
He will judge the living and the dead, and every knee shall bow down before Him.  He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and expose the motives of men’s hearts.  He will gather the wheat into his garner and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.
But to those who thirst, He shall give from the spring of the water of life, for He is full of unfailing love and faithfulness.  He who believes in Him shall live.
He is the bright morning star.  Crowned with glory and honor, He holds all authority in heaven and on earth.  It is through Him that God brings everything back to Himself.  It is through Him that God speaks to us.
The first begotten of the dead, He is the heir of all things.  He is the light, and the darkness has not overcome him.  He is the prince of peace and the bread of life.  His love surpasses all knowledge.  He is the life of men.
His throne will last forever, and His days will never end.  Righteousness is the scepter of His kingdom.
He is the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
He fills everything in every way.  He is the Almighty One.
He who has ears, let him hear.  Let those who are wise understand, for these things have been written that we may believe and, by believing, have life in His name.

Page Printed from: at December 25, 2010 – 10:41:45 AM CST

Each Christmas Gets Better

Each Christmas Gets Better

December 23rd, 2010

Tom Purcell,

I still wish I hadn’t peeked in the attic that year.

It was Christmas 1972 and I was 10. It was the first year when I no longer believed in Santa Claus.

Until that point, Christmas had been a magical time for me.

A few weeks after Thanksgiving, I would join with my father to pick out our tree. He’d wear his rattiest coat and work his mastery on the helpless Christmas-tree guy to knock the price down two or three bucks.

Soon, my father and I would have our giant platform in place and the tree perfectly positioned. We’d string the lights — thick old bulbs that burned fingers when touched — and head to the attic to bring down boxes of Christmas decorations.

My sisters would be called and our whole family would decorate the tree. As our stack of scratchy old Christmas records would play — as Mitch Miller, Bing Crosby and the Chipmunks would sing — our mother would make special note of old ornaments handed down from family members long gone and my sisters would show me how to hang the tinsel expertly, one strand at a time.

The sun soon would go down and the light of our Christmas-tree bulbs reflecting off the tinsel would transform our living room into a kaleidoscope — a brilliant glow of colors dancing on the walls and ceiling.

My mother, a master at building up suspense, would talk about the days ahead — church, family and the gifts Santa might bring.

We would have the sense that a real event was about to happen. And it was….

Read more.

Faith is the Source of America’s Greatness

Faith is the Source of America’s Greatness

December 10th, 2010

Floyd and Mary Beth Brow,

“America  is great  because she is good.”  Those famous  words by Alexis de  Tocqueville  still hold true as they did when he  spoke them centuries  ago.   In the  holiday season, we see repeated  demonstrations of this  goodness.  De  Tocqueville also noted, “The  Americans combine the  notions of religion  and liberty so intimately in  their minds, that it  is impossible to make  them conceive of one without  the other.”

And moreover he said, “Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”

In   the 40 years since 1970, secular humanism has assaulted the  fabric of   this faith. The American Civil Liberties Union and various   associations  of atheists and Marxist-leaning intellectuals have   attempted to  disconnect America from God. They have failed….

Read more.

One Minute Sermon!!!

Not only is this clever and good…it’s has a great message

Youv’e got to listen fast to her.  She is very good and make sure your sound is on – then forward to all your friends.


This is really good , Please watch this.

One Minute Sermon!!!


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