A German pastor is reportedly being persecuted by fellow pastors for preaching boldly about Jesus Christ and “refusing to bend a knee to political correctness.”
Pastor Olaf Latzel preaches at the historic St. Martini Church in Bremen, where the church’s former pastor, Joachim Neander, wrote the great hymn, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” in 1679, CBN New reports.
Latzel’s sermons are known to be direct and bold and would cut no corners when attacking other religions, which could sound mean to some, according to the report.
“I’m only preaching the Gospel in a clear way,” Latzel said. “I think it is my duty to do this preaching in this way for our Lord.”
He claimed that much of Germany today “is covered by profound spiritual darkness,” as are most Western nations.
The chief battle in the German church today, according to him, is over who God is.
Some Christian pastors have reportedly said “Allah and Jesus Christ, the Christian God, is the same god.”
“But if you ask a Muslim, ‘Does your god have a son?’ he would say no!” he continued. “Our (Christian) God has a son; his name is Jesus Christ. So, they are not the same.”
“If you speak out loud and clearly about the truth of the Bible, that there’s only one way to heaven and this way is Jesus Christ, there is only one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and there is no other god beside Him, then you have a problem,” he said.
CBN reported that the Bremen pastor has been attacked in the media, investigated by the local government, and even denounced by fellow pastors over what he sees as a spirit of compromise that seems to have swallowed Germany and the German state church.
At least 70 German pastors reportedly gathered in Bremen this year to denounce Latzel behind a banner celebrating “diversity.”
The public prosecutor investigated him for hate speech and then cleared him. The Bremen parliament even passed a resolution against him, the first time a German pastor was condemned by a German parliament since World War II, said the report.
But instead of backing down, Latzel said the attacks reassure him that he is in a “war” between Christ and the devil.
“This is one sign that you are on the right way in your preaching, when you get problems. If you preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and everyone is clapping his hand, then you have a problem.”
He also admitted that while he has been receiving numerous praises through his email for his sermons, he does not want to get a big head.
“I am nothing. I am only a sinner. I am only a tool for Jesus Christ. And when Jesus can use this tool, give any honour to Jesus Christ. I am nothing.”
The pastor who comes from a family with a long military tradition, said he is now paying the price to see Germany’s spiritual revival.
He also lamented that 80 percent of pastors in Germany’s state church have not been reborn, which makes it a “great problem” as they reportedly make their own doctrine.
Textbooks in Pakistan’s public schools have become more antagonistic toward Christians and other religious minorities in the past five years, a new report says.
“The trend toward a more biased curriculum towards religious minorities is accelerating,” it says. “These grossly generalized and stereotypical portrayals of religious minority communities signal that they are untrustworthy, religiously inferior, and ideologically scheming and intolerant.”
The report, scheduled to be released 12 April in Washington, D.C., is sponsored by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an advisory body to the U.S. Congress and state department. By law, the commission’s assessments of religious freedom in other countries are required to figure in to American diplomatic relations around the globe. Click here to download the report.
Why it’s important
1. Textbooks are an expression of national policy. According to the report: “School textbooks represent the political perspectives and national ideologies of whole educational and government systems. As such, school textbooks are one of the most important indicators of official and popular perspectives of the cultural and political communities they depict both in words and images.”
2. The textbooks “continue to violate the constitutional rights of religious minorities by integrating Islamic ideology into most subjects and to promote a national Islamic identity at the expense of Hindu, Christian, and Sikh children.”
About the study
It was conducted for USCIRF by the Peace and Education Foundation, a Pakistan-based non-governmental organization. It claims to have “trained more than 11,000 religious actors in Pakistan, including madrasah teachers and faculty, mosque imams, and interfaith leaders.”
The researchers started by consulting a 2011 USCIRF review of textbook bias. From that review, the researchers took 25 examples of religious bias, and examined 78 current textbooks to see if they had changed. The books are used in grades 5-10 in four Pakistan provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Together, those four encompass 95 percent of Pakistan’s population. Pakistan has more than 260,000 schools where more than 1.5 million teachers have contact with 41 million students.
What it found
16 of the biased elements had been removed
9 remained, either in their 2011 form or changed in ways that did not remove the bias
70 new examples of religious bias in 24 textbooks
Pockets of improvement were found in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Why? Researchers said they had been able to meet directly with the Punjab governor, and with education ministers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
More than eight of every 10 new examples of bias were found in Balochistan and Sindh.
Removed by 2016
“Anti-Islamic forces are always trying to finish the Islamic domination of the world. This can cause danger for the very existence of Islam. Today, the defense of Pakistan and Islam is very much needed.”
Grade 5, Punjab
A 2011 example that was changed but without removing bias
2011: “Christian Missionaries took full advantage of the British occupation of Asia and, under their patronage, started converting people of different religions to Christianity.”
2016: “The influence of Christian pastors had increased immensely and they were openly preaching their religion aided by their rule. They freely visited the cities and villages, organized gatherings to describe the qualities of Christianity and degraded other religions.”
Grade 8, Sindh
Added since 2011
“After getting rid of the proscribed and ignorant rule of the Church, Europeans progressed in the fields of knowledge/education, political acceptance and in arts and crafts.”
Grade 6, Punjab
Heavy emphasis on pre-partition period. A major thrust of Pakistan’s public-school curriculum is “the desire to teach a sense of patriotism and nationalism and instruct students about the rationale for creating Pakistan,” the report said. The result is a focus on the “alleged animosities Hindus have of Muslims and tensions between Muslims and the British (and Christian) colonial power in pre-partition India.”
Islam is key to Pakistani identity. “Students are taught a version of history that promotes a national Islamic identity of Pakistan and often describes conflicts with India in religious terms,” the report said.
Overemphasis of military war heroes, “educating Pakistanis in the most superficial way.”
Suspicious of Christians. “Christians also are portrayed as untrustworthy missionaries, and as aligned with British oppressors who were colonizers and continue to conspire against Muslims.”
In sum: Pakistan’s curriculum “places religious minority students in a precarious status of either inherently flawed Pakistani citizens at best, or foreigners and enemies of the state at worst. If the theme is carried further, religious minority students are not only outsiders, but also dangerous contaminants to the Islamic national identity by virtue of their non-Muslim faith.”
“The public school system is still fundamentally intolerant of religious minorities and Christian children are taught that ‘Christians learned tolerance and kind-heartedness from Muslims.’ This represents a public shaming of religious minority children that begins at a very young age, focusing on their religious and cultural identity and their communities’ past history.”
“Constitutional guarantees provided to all Pakistanis of religious freedom should be reflected in textbooks’ contents.
“Negative indoctrination must end and impartial content for better critical learning should be adopted.
“The curriculum should inculcate a sense of constructive patriotism rather than a sense of fear.
“Overemphasis on Islam as being the ‘only correct’ faith must be eliminated from the textbooks. “Historical omissions and misrepresentations of different events must be eliminated to avoid controversial historiography, and diverse viewpoints should be included.”
April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the Armenian genocide that took place under Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire, during and after WWI. Out of an approximate population of two million, some 1.5 million Armenians died. If early 20th century Turkey had the apparatuses and technology to execute in mass—such as 1940s Germany’s gas chambers—the entire Armenian population may well have been annihilated. Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.
Indeed, evidence has been overwhelming. U.S. Senate Resolution 359 from 1920 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.” In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganiandescribed being raped and thrown into a harem (which agrees with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross, spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs.
What do Americans know of the Armenian Genocide? To be sure, some American high school textbooks acknowledge it. However, one of the primary causes for it—perhaps the fundamental cause—is completely unacknowledged: religion. The genocide is always articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that deems valid only those factors that are intelligible from a modern, secular, Western point of view, such as identity politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. As can be imagined, such an approach does little more than project Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations of different eras, thus anachronizing history.
War, of course, is another factor that clouds the true face of the Armenian genocide. Because these atrocities occurred during WWI, so the argument goes, they are ultimately a reflection of just that—war, in all its chaos and destruction, and nothing more. Yet Winston Churchill, who described the massacres as an “administrative holocaust,” correctly observed that “The opportunity [WWI] presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race.” Even Adolf Hitler had pointed out that “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.”
It is the same today throughout the Muslim world, wherever there is war: after the U.S. toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the nation’s Christian minority were first to be targeted for systematic persecution resulting in more than half of Iraq’s indigenous Christian population fleeing their homeland. Now that war has come to Syria—with the U.S. supporting the jihadis and terrorists—the Christians there are on the run for their lives.
There is no denying that religion—or in this context, the age-old specter of Muslim persecution of Christian minorities—was fundamental to the Armenian Genocide. Even the most cited factor, ethnic identity conflict, while legitimate, must be understood in light of the fact that, historically, religion—creed—accounted more for a person’s identity than language or heritage. This is daily demonstrated throughout the Islamic world today, where Muslim governments and Muslim mobs persecute Christian minorities—minorities who share the same ethnicity, language, and culture, who are indistinguishable from the majority, except, of course, for being non-Muslims.
If Christians are thus being singled out today—in our modern, globalized, “humanitarian” age—are we to suppose that they weren’t singled out a century ago by Turks?
Similarly, often forgotten is the fact that non-Armenians under Turkish hegemony, Assyrians and Greeks for example, were also targeted for cleansing. The only thing that distinguished Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks from Turks was that they were all Christian. As one Armenian studies professor asks, “If it [the Armenian Genocide] was a feud between Turks and Armenians, what explains the genocide carried out by Turkey against the Christian Assyrians at the same time?”
Today, as Turkey continues moving back to reclaiming its Islamic heritage, so too has Christian persecution returned. If Turks taunted their crucified Armenian victims by saying things like “Now let your Christ come and help you,” just last January, an 85-year-old Christian Armenian woman was repeatedly stabbed to death in her apartment, and a crucifix carved onto her naked corpse. Another elderly Armenian woman was punched in the head and, after collapsing to the floor, repeatedly kicked by a masked man. According to the report, “the attack marks the fifth in the past two months against elderly Armenian women,” one of whom lost an eye. Elsewhere, pastors of church congregations with as little as 20 people are targeted for killing and spat upon in the streets. A 12-year-old Christian boy was beaten by his teacher and harassed by students for wearing a cross around his neck, and three Christians were “satanically tortured” before having their throats slit for publishing Bibles.
Outside of Turkey, what is happening to the Christians of today from one end of the Muslim world to the other is a reflection of what happened to the Armenian Christians of yesterday. We can learn about the past by looking at the present. From Indonesia in the east to Morocco in the west, from Central Asia in the north, to sub-Sahara Africa—that is, throughout the entire Islamic world—Muslims are, to varying degrees, persecuting, killing, raping, enslaving, torturing and dislocating Christians. See my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for a comprehensive account of one of the greatest—yet, like the Armenian Genocide, little known—atrocities of our times.
Here is one relevant example to help appreciate the patterns and parallels: in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, Muslims, led by the Islamic organization, Boko Haram (“Western Education is Forbidden”) are waging a bloody jihad on the Christian minorities in their midst. These two groups—black Nigerian Muslims and black Nigerian Christians—are identical in all ways except, of course, for being Muslims and Christians. And what is Boko Haram’s objective in all this carnage? To cleanse northern Nigeria of all Christians—a goal rather reminiscent of Ottoman policies of cleansing Turkey of all Christians, whether Armenian, Assyrian, or Greek.
How does one explain this similar pattern of Christian persecution—this desire to be cleansed of Christians—in lands so different from one another as Nigeria and Turkey, lands which share neither race, language, nor culture, which share only Islam? Meanwhile, the modern Islamic world’s response to the persecution of Christians is identical to Turkey’s response to the Armenian Genocide: Denial.
Finally, to understand how the historic Armenian Genocide is representative of the modern day plight of Christians under Islam, one need only read the following words written in 1918 by President Theodore Roosevelt—but read “Armenian” as “Christian” and “Turkish” as “Islamic”:
the Armenian [Christian] massacre was the greatest crime of the war, and the failure to act against Turkey [the Islamic world] is to condone it… the failure to deal radically with the Turkish [Islamic] horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense.
Indeed, if we “fail to deal radically” with the “horror” currently being visited upon millions of Christians around the Islamic world—which in some areas has reached genocidal proportions—we “condone it” and had better cease talking “mischievous nonsense” of a utopian world of peace and tolerance.
Put differently, silence is always the ally of those who would commit genocide. In 1915, Adolf Hitler rationalized his genocidal plans, which he implemented some three decades later, when he rhetorically asked: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
And who speaks today of the annihilation of Christians under Islam?
Tim Tebow is known for his commitment to Christian values, and he is in the news once again for staying true to his convictions.
Tebow’s girlfriend, 2012 Miss U.S.A. Olivia Culpo, reportedly broke up with him because he is staying true to his commitment not to have sex until marriage.
The couple had been dating for a few months, and sources report that Tebow was very enamored with Culpo.
“[Tebow] was really into her, he was sending her love letters and cute notes and professing his love for her,” QPolitical.com reports.
“She had to break up with him because she just couldn’t handle it. He still hits her up, but she just can’t deal with the sex thing. He’s pretty adamant about it, I guess.”
Usmagazine.com reports that Tebow and Culpo met at church through mutual friends. Us also reports that, although many sources say the reason for the breakup was Tebow’s commitment to abstinence, timing likely played a role as well.
Before dating Tebow, Culpo had just come out of a long-term relationship with singer Nick Jonas, and it is speculated that she was not ready to start a new relationship with Tebow.
Note: Although I’ve never personally spoken to Tim Tebow or heard his testimony in Jesus Christ, if these actions are true, it is a wonderful testimony for this day and age that Christian boys can look to in order to become Christian men.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1Corinthians 6:9-11)