Nigeria 2
Christian Persecution

Open Doors demands action on behalf of persecuted Christians in Nigeria

 

Have you ever been to an open-air church service? Not those of the balmy British summerness where the vicar sets up a pulpit on the village green and children frolic in the duck pond while the ladies arrange the strawberries. But the sort where your church has been demolished, windows smashed, altar desecrated and many in the fellowship hacked to pieces by Islamists. The sort of open-air church service where you have no choice but weep in the dirt and croak your praises to God beneath the blaze of a stained glass sky.

On 13th April, the international ministry Open Doors, which was founded by Brother Andrew to support persecuted Christians worldwide, welcomed over 50 parliamentarians to the launch of their report Crushed but not Defeated: The Impact of Persistent Violence on the Church in Northern Nigeria. You can read a summary of the event on the Open Doors website. The situation remains grave: Islamists are abducting children at gunpoint; kidnapping women, forcing them to convert to Islam and then marry; slaughtering thousands of Christians and torching their churches.

The Rev’d Samuel Dali, President of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, says: “We want the Church worldwide to recognise that this is not just our problem. It is the problem of the whole body of Christ… Dozens of our churches have already been completely razed down and many pastors killed while others have fled along with their members. If the situation does not stop, there is a real danger of eliminating churches in north-eastern Nigeria.”

Indigenous Christian communities are being cleansed from their historic lands. Christians are deprived of clean water, healthcare and education. Several Nigerian states are planning to give this land to the very Hausa-Fulani Muslim herdsmen who are doing the cleansing. Many Christians have taken to dressing like Muslims to avoid being hanged (or worse). The temptation, of course, is to defend, fight, retaliate and hate. Damaris Atsen, whose husband was murdered by Islamists, says: “I have forgiven and God will help me to love everybody. It is not easy, but it is God that will give us the grace to love.”

In her closing speech, Zoe Smith, Open Doors Head of Advocacy, made four recommendations to the UK Government on behalf of the persecuted Christians of Nigeria:

First, Minister Dudderidge stated last month that religious freedom is protected in the Nigerian Constitution. Yet despite this it is violated in many parts of northern Nigeria. Therefore we ask that the UK urge the Nigerian government and northern state governments to ensure that equality before the law and the rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion are implemented and guaranteed, and that all existing laws and regulations which restrict the rights and equality of citizens are repealed or brought in line with Nigeria’s international legal obligations.

Second, we ask that the UK urge the government of Nigeria to conduct an in-depth investigation into the atrocities committed against civilians in northern Nigeria, paying particular attention to the vulnerabilities faced by Christians, and to bring perpetrators of violence against Christians and others to justice. If this fails, we ask that the UK call upon the UN Human Rights Council to mandate a Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in northern Nigeria.

Third, an impressive amount of UK aid has been provided for Nigerian refugees and IDPs. However, we urge for an increased provision of international humanitarian aid to IDPs and refugees; for the UK to both support and urge the Nigerian government to increase the provision of aid to all persons affected, regardless of ethno-religious affiliation; and particularly to ensure that aid urgently reaches communities in the Nigerian states of Plateau, southern Kaduna, Nasarawa, Taraba and Benue, affected by Fulani Herdsmen attacks.

Finally, we urge the UK to increase their existing work in monitoring and assisting the federal and state governments of Nigeria in the swift reconstruction of schools in north-eastern Nigeria, and to ensure that Islamic Religious Education is not considered compulsory for non-Muslims in Northern states but that sufficient Christian Religious Education is offered for Christian children in those schools.

Will the UK Government hear? If they hear, will they listen? If they listen, will they act? Or will they simply nod piously over a cup of tea and give the usual FCO assurances that they are doing all they can, which isn’t very much at all. And why are our bishops and other clergy, along with many MPs, peers and seemingly the entire mainstream (even ‘right-wing’) media, all crying about 3,000 children from Syria who are “stranded” in the relative safety of mainland Europe, while many more thousands of Nigerian children are being summarily abducted, raped and hacked to pieces with no hope of escape to anywhere at all?

  • len

    Thank you for posting this article your Grace.Christians in Nigeria are suffering terribly at the hands of their Muslim persecutors.The UK Government needs to do all in its power to influence the authorities in Nigeria to protect its citizens from what can only be described as genocide.

  • Anton

    We have relatives of some of these persecuted Christians in our congregation and we pray regularly for the church in Nigeria. But, based on their experience, it seems much harder for genuinely persecuted Christians to claim asylum here than economic migrants from a Middle Eastern culture that is antipathetic to ours. This is a sorry disgrace.

    The church is not bricks and mortar but living stones, and if it keeps faith in northern Nigeria then the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Someday it will be our turn.

    • pobjoy

      The phrase ‘gates of Hades’ referred to the power of spiritual death to condemn; Jesus here specifically referred to his perfect atonement, to which the word ‘Christ’, just used of him, referred. This statement in no way acts as a guarantee of the church in this existence.

      • Anton

        I don’t agree. “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Hades (Hebrew Sheol) was the abode of the dead. The gates of the abode of the dead means death. This is clearly a reference to the fact that the world will do its utmost to kill off the (true) church, but will never succeed – as we see. The only question is just how fine geographically does the promise apply – true in every congregation that keeps faith? Or true of the church within a region? A nation? A continent? Certainly a nation, I’d say.

        • pobjoy

          the gates of Hades shall not prevail

          This referred to the accusations of Satan. The gates of cities were places where the plots of the powerful were made. So Paul was able to write:

          ‘There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.’
          Ro 8:1-3

          • Anton

            The gates of a place are what you pass through to enter that place. The gates of Hades are therefore a reference to bodily death, which you undergo to enter Hades/Sheol.

          • pobjoy

            The gates of a place are what you pass through to enter that place.

            Indeed; literal gates are passive. One does not expect gates to overcome you; but that is the sense that Jesus used of these gates, because Satan, the Accuser, is silenced by those who plead ‘the blood of the Lamb’. From Genesis to Revelation, physical death is never the primary concern of the Bible. When Paul wrote that he had been set free ‘from the law of sin and death’, it did not mean that his body would not die.

          • Anton

            But it does not have gates in any literal sense, so the language is figurative; and in that case it is questionable whether the distinction between active and passive gates which you have drawn is meaningful.

          • pobjoy

            the language is figurative

            That is so obvious that it is strange that it was thought worth mentioning.

          • Anton

            Because you took it more literally at one point and more figuratively at another, to support your interpretation, which I am questioning.

          • pobjoy

            Not true.

          • Anton

            I’m not going to repeat where and how; let readers examine this thread and decide for themselves.

          • pobjoy

            I’m not going to repeat where and how

            I don’t recall you saying here and how even once. 🙂 Readers may indeed judge for themselves the four hours elapsed between a non-personal post, and a post of baseless, non sequitur ad hom.

          • Anton

            We may agree that readers should decide for themselves; I can see above what I’m saying I won’t repeat – but I can’t see any “ad hom” insult of mine directed toward you; please tell me where.

            What can be inferred from the timing of posts given that we all have other things going on in our lives?

          • grutchyngfysch

            I always read it in the sense that it is the Christian who is active and assailing the gates by their witness so that the captives held in death can be liberated. Hell is on the defensive against the supernaturally empowered Church of Jesus Christ

          • Anton

            How can the dead be liberated? With the possible exception of the antediluvian generation (according to St Peter), one’s ultimate fate at judgement is settled at one’s bodily death.

          • grutchyngfysch

            The spiritually dead. Those held in bondage to sin.

          • pobjoy

            At least that takes account of the active verb that Jesus used. But ‘the city gate’ was metaphor for ‘power’, and the better translation, if dynamic equivalence is allowed, is ‘the power of Hades will not overcome it’. That is, the power (of Satan) to condemn the guilty conscience when this life is over will not be able to condemn, for those whose faith is in Christ.

          • grutchyngfysch

            See my comment below to Anton – I think both of you can be correct given that the statement is deliberately a play on words and concepts. But just to be clear (as I know we Christians get a bit wary of “multiple meanings) I don’t mean that any interpretation is possible – I just mean that there are a number of interpretations which are all supported by Scripture, and which, to my eye, do not contradict each other.

          • pobjoy

            If multiple interpretations are permissible, none can be necessarily applied in support of a particular view.

            The principle applied since the Reformation is that of hermeneutics, and there is no support for a continuing church in the Bible. On the other hand, the notion of the victory of Jesus overcoming ‘death’ as a figure of condemnation of the eternal soul pervades the whole Bible, from early Genesis to the end of Revelation. There really isn’t any contest here.

          • grutchyngfysch

            There can be a wavelength of interpretations outside of which there is insufficient support, but within which interpretations mutually complement each other. The test is (a) that no interpretation contradicts Scripture in any other place; (b) that each interpretation is mutually consistent with the others (so as not to introduce secondary inconsistency). In that sense, I can (and should) understand Christ as speaking about His own triumph – but I do not detract from (and I would argue, actually accentuate) that interpretation if I point out that the Body of Christ will share, by Christ’s and not its own virtue, in Christ’s victory over the World.

          • pobjoy

            There can be a wavelength of interpretations

            Whatever that is. 🙂 If there are interpretations, plural, then
            not one of them can be necessarily, conscientiously applied in support of a particular view.

            End of discussion.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Whatever that is.

            A range of possibilities that is finite rather than infinite, and therefore constrainable to certain criteria. Providing they meet with those criteria, any one of them can be used to support a view – the critical part comes in understanding and being able to explain why a given interpretation can qualify or why it conflicts with another part of Scripture.

          • pobjoy

            That’s not an apt application of the word ‘wavelength’; ask a physicist. A wavelength is a unique identifier, and that is precisely what is lacking here.

            If there are interpretations, plural, then not one of them can be necessarily, conscientiously applied in support of a particular view.

            End of discussion.

          • grutchyngfysch

            Jesus used language to talk about one thing whilst talking about another: you therefore have layered meaning which is not indefinite but which is plural. If you have ever sought to explain Scripture as being typological, or simultaneously about a situation to hand and a situation to come, you have also employed this plural but definite way of speaking. When we speak about things which are spiritual (that is, perceiving the unseen) language has to be capable of holding meanings in a structured way that reflects multiple possible understandings. That’s what metaphors do – the language “holds” meaning beyond the natural meaning of the words used – it’s what analogies and parables achieve secondarily: to present primary truth as a secondary function of the language used.

            When Jesus criticised the traditions of the Pharisees, they had often taken the most literal construction – that is they had seen the form of the language but not the spiritual meaning, so that in their teachings they were like whitewashed tombs: outwardly conforming with the expected structure but inwardly emptied of all but death. At the same time – there is not an abandonment of the literal structure, which remains important: Jesus doesn’t teach that the Sabbath is made for Man in order to demonstrate that the Sabbath is unimportant, for instance. In the same way, the stories and images that Scripture uses are important in themselves, not just wrapping to tear through. I believe that there is a reason why the Holy Spirit chose to give the Word in the manner and language that He did. That’s why we have to be careful of introducing contradictions when we read and speak about Scripture, and always willing to test what we say against Scripture.

            But what you’ve not done is to show that any of the interpretations being discussed are actually contradictory. You’ve simply asserted that there is only a single possible interpretation of the figurative language under discussion. This is an extra-Scriptural hermeneutic is it not?

            The New Testament liberally quotes the Old – but not always in the same context as the quote appears originally. For example: Matthew quotes Hosea regarding Jesus’ sheltering in Egypt – but we can plainly see that Hosea’s original use alludes to Israel’s exodus (Matt 2:15; Hos 11:1). If we hold to your principle, Matthew must be in error: because he has abandoned the primary interpretation of Hosea’s language (that is, a reference to the exodus) to make a secondary interpretation that it is foreshadowing of the Messiah’s sojourn into Egypt.

            For Matthew to be correct, there must be more than one possible interpretation of that passage in the Book of Hosea – that the figurative language (“my son”) can mean both an event in history (the exodus) or an allusion/foreshadowing of an event to come (the flight to Egypt). If we deny the former, the source material in Hosea no longer makes sense, if we deny the latter, Matthew makes no sense and should not – to use your words, be using the quote ‘in support of a particular view’. If we accept both interpretations, we can see that there is nothing indefinite about either, there is nothing in which they contradict one another, and Scripture is revealed to be able to speak about more than one thing simultaneously with the same language.

          • pobjoy

            Jesus used language to talk about one thing whilst talking about another

            In that case, his words are not worth attention. Along with any who think that they are!

          • grutchyngfysch

            How would you describe parables? Or poetic imagery? Or statements like “render unto Caesar”?

            Honestly, I know you’re being flippant to respond to me, but if your hermeneutic genuinely leads you to a place where you think what you’ve written, I’d caution you to reject it.

          • pobjoy

            I’d caution you

            Like Satan.

          • grutchyngfysch

            To my knowledge, Satan has not been in the business of encouraging taking Jesus’ words seriously. As I said, I know it’s flippancy against me, but even so, it’s an unworthy flippancy if it results in talking about denying Jesus’ teaching.

  • Busy Mum

    …”The sort of open-air church service where you have no choice but weep in the dirt and croak your praises to God beneath the blaze of a stained glass sky.”

    Just like the Covenanters, the Waldenses, the Huguenots….

    • Anton

      and the Lollards, who were English moreover.

      • Busy Mum

        Absolutely – I should not have left them out – at least nobody can accuse me of being a self-interested Little Englander!

        • Old Nick

          Also, though seldom noticed, those loyal to the Established Church during the tyranny of Cromwell.

          • Busy Mum

            ‘Loyal to the Established Church’ or closet Papists?

          • Old Nick

            Loyal to the Established Church – Catholic and Reformed. Closet Papists (to use your term) do not retire into glades in the woods (as did for instance John Newte, Rector of the Tidcombe Portion of Tiverton Devon) or into private houses (as did John Fell and his friends in Oxford) in order to perform Divine Service from the Book of Common Prayer, they keep massing priests in, well, closets. But then Puritans of all ages are generally unable to recognise anyone but themselves as ‘real Christians’.

          • Busy Mum

            It is the RCC that has a history of taking upon itself to decide who are ‘real Christians’; ironically, it was the ‘real Christians’ who could see most clearly the threats of excommunication and heresy for what they were…… Cromwell was no more a tyrant than the Stuarts who went before him, and was far less of a tyrant than the Stuarts who followed him.

          • Old Nick

            Because Charles II and Clarendon righted the wrongs done by the chaotic and brutal Commonwealth

          • Busy Mum

            By brutally killing the Scottish Covenanters who had stayed loyal to the Stuarts throughout the Protectorate?

          • Old Nick

            The Covenanters’ loyalty to the Crown was sold entirely on their own terms, as Montrose discovered. And I see precious little evidence of loyalty to the Crown among those cuckoos intruded into English parishes during the Commonwealth whose ejection at the Restoration was so tiresomely chronicled by Calamy.

          • Busy Mum

            …and the Covenanters discovered that Montrose was an ambitious turncoat, whose loyalty to their cause ran only skindeep.

            Think we’ll have to leave this for another day….we could go on for ever! It’s ultimately a Protestant v RC fight for the soul of the CofE; always was, always will be…and the RCC has almost won, and knows it.

          • Old Nick

            Montrose was a gentleman – well a nobleman. Argyll was vile. And the Church of England is Catholic and Reformed – or was until it started to ‘ordain’ women.

          • Old Nick

            Insuper, your church history is wrong. One of the ways the Great Church (the one started by Jesus, as illustrated by the Apostolic Succession described by Irenaeus of Lyons in the 2nd century) recognised heresy was precisely that its adherents took some name other than Christian – such as Marcionite, Sabellian, Manichee – rather than simply being the Christian Church believing quod omnibus, quod semper, quod ubique….. This was not the only touchstone, of course; some questions required real thoughtful argument (I commend to you Rowan Williams’s book on Arius). But the big argument with the Donatists was precisely that they wished the Church to be a Museum of Saints rather than a School for Sinners, and I have seen this spirit in action in the English countryside in the past couple of years, where a Puritanical parson wrote a long piece in the parish magazine telling people not to come to church at Christmas unless they were real Calvinists. He also did not attend the village fêtes, held to support of the Church financially, thereby missing an opportunity unrivalled in most other parishes to meet and greet most of his flock (he would of course think of them as potential converts). He did not last long – and of course the living is being ‘punished’ with an interregnum.

  • pobjoy

    altar desecrated

    Impossible.

  • PessimisticPurple

    No great mystery here. The “stranded” children are not Christian, the murdered ones are. Therefore (by secular liberal lights) we should worry about the stranded ones and privately rejoice there are fewer Christians about (because, as you know, Christianity is the cause of all the trouble in the world).

  • chiefofsinners

    Welcome to a world where moral relativism reigns. ‘Your suffering is not equivalent to my suffering.’
    Those blind guides, those hypocrites who strain out the Syrian gnat but swallow the Nigerian Christian camel, them you have with you always.

  • Findaráto

    Nigeria is a sovereign state and we can only intervene in its internal affairs if 1) its government backed by a majority of its people ask us to, or 2) the situation in the country threatens our national security.

    Has the Nigerian government asked us to intervene? If it has, I’m not aware of that fact. And does conflict between warring tribes threaten our national security? It might if the Muslim north is sheltering terrorists who plan to attack us. But after assessing the level of threat, our government has made an informed judgment to concentrate limited resources elsewhere. They know better than we do where the chief threat resides. If they don’t then we’re wasting an awful lot of money on intelligence services.

    Christians here may bleat about atrocities being committed against Nigerian Christians, but it is not the role of our government to protect Christians in other parts of the world. It can and should register its displeasure at any and all human rights abuses. But Christians are not a special case and merit no more effort being made on their behalf than any other minority.

    The government doesn’t send troops into Jamaica every time a gay person is beaten to death by an angry mob. So why should it intervene in Nigeria when Christians are attacked? Why do Christians deserve special consideration? I thought the idea was that you’re supposed to suffer for your faith.

    All talk and no action, eh? Typical…

    • It’s all about you, isn’t it. Linus?

      Jack recalls you supporting the rape and murder of young Christian children by Islamists because this would stop them developing into possible homophobic adults.

      Take your hatred and bitterness elsewhere.

      • CliveM

        In fairness he was worried that if left alone, they might beat him up.

        • Is it Jack, or are his posts becoming more and more hate filled?

          • CliveM

            I’m getting a sense of desperation in them. A scrabbling for effect. To generate a response, he needs to be evermore outrageous. It’s the flaw about simply attacking, it becomes boring and people move on.

          • Pubcrawler

            Familiar pattern…

          • The Explorer

            No, it isn’t Jack. They are. The attacks on the women of the TGIM team marked a transition point, I think. Since then, attacks on His Grace, the Queen and Mrs Proudie have hit a new level of intensity.

          • Uncle Brian

            Mrs Proudie’s elevation to the peerage, in the form of His Grace’s official recognition of her literary talent, pushed poor Linus over the edge. Envy can have that effect on some people.

          • chiefofsinners

            Linus has himself been elevated to the queerage.

          • Pubcrawler

            Chaps. We are all of one accord, it would appear. Let’s not give him the satisfaction of getting us distracted any further from the tenor of the post. The dire circumstances of our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria should be the focus of our attention.

          • Findaráto

            The old harridan Proudie’s talent is a very good fit for this blog. Small, narrow-minded and so derivative it borders on plagiarism.

            There is no-one better suited to the outlook and prejudices of most of those who comment here. The more so because her frequent blunders and anachronisms go completely unnoticed by just about everyone. Except me. The whole “meds” incident, for example. OH! MY! GAHD!

            Like, this Proudie biatch is so toadily bogus. There, I wrote that last sentence in what I suspect is her native dialect, although on reflection, I wonder if she isn’t more Bethnall Green than Burbank. In which case the Americanisms must stem from the 110′ screen and Skybox that dominate both her “front room” and her otherwise empty life.

            In any case, her game is up. Slumdwellers and/or trailer trash from your imaginary God knows where can never pass themselves off as county. Blood will out and hers is all over the floor. Coo’ innit bright red and common as muck, guvnor?

          • The Explorer

            As for anachronisms, if Mrs Proudie were totally in role she would be unable to communicate with us because in her day computers and the Internet did not exist.

            For that matter you. as Findarato, could not communicate with us either.

          • Findaráto

            Don’t confuse a screen name with a full-blown literary character.

            Proudie witters on endlessly about her bishop and Mr Slope. She pretends to be Mrs Proudie, therefore she is bound by Trollope’s vision of the woman.

            No Victorian bishop’s wife ever came from Bethnall Green. Or Burbank. Trollope must be spinning in his grave.

          • The Explorer

            You have first of all guessed the origins of the person behind Mrs Proudie, and then passed off your (probably totally erroneous) guesswork as fact.

            The part you played in the demise here of TGI Monday has gone to your head. The next target is Mrs Proudie. (emotionally tougher than TGIM Ros). Then the Cranmer Blog. Then the monarchy. Then, most loathed of all, Christianity itself.

          • CliveM

            Mrs Proudie is a woman, that is enough of a provocation for Linus.

            Hmmm, a mysoginist, who likes to make jokes about the disabled, now who else does that remind me of…………………

          • The Explorer

            Magnolia has really got him going in the past.

          • CliveM

            Haven’t heard from Magnolia for a while either.

          • The Explorer

            I recall seeing a recent post by her. But Blowers has been silent for a significant time.

          • I doubt they cared much for what Findarato had to say. The negative responses from Christians was probably harder to bear.

          • You just don’t get comedic parody, do you? Then again, you are a cultural mongrel so what can we expect? Or is that you are a thicko?

          • Findaráto

            Poor dear Front Room, you know I’m a Monty Python fan, so my appreciation of comedic parody is beyond question.

            The fake Mrs Proudie produces neither comedy nor parody, but rather a faintly embarrassing mélange of pantomime dame and Benny Hill. She doesn’t even have the originality to invent her own persona. She plunders another author’s work and in the process demeans his talent by trampling all over it with her own mediocrity.

            Still, her work is a good fit for this blog. It blends in well with the fake archbishop’s overblown flights of literary fancy. Indeed there are moments when one can’t distinguish between the two.

            Hmmm, perhaps Proudie is just an alter alter ego. In which case, are we dealing with a British version of Caitlyn Jenner? A conservative transgender Uncle Tom (or Aunt Jemima)? Where does the fake archbishop/Proudie pee? In Trump Tower?

          • Such jealousy. Why not come back next as a woman yourself?
            Still waiting for an answer to my question, Linus.

          • Findaráto

            Linus doesn’t post here, Front Room. So if you’re expecting him to answer your questions, I suspect you have a long wait ahead of you. Probably longer than you have.

            What is the life expectancy of a geriatric fantasist of extremely modest origin whose health care falls to the charge of the British taxpayer?

            However long it may be, I suspect that rat-infested NHS pauper hospitals will have finished you off long before Linus posts here again.

            Who knows? Perhaps he’s waiting for news of your demise before gracing us with his presence again. Or does he even exist? I’ve looked through this blog and never once seen a post with his name on it.

            Just to be on the safe side however, you’d better redouble your efforts to goad him into responding to you. If he doesn’t, you’ll clearly die a disappointed man. And if the myths and legends you claim to believe in are actually true and you end up in the eighth circle of Hell along with all the other unrepentant liars and bearers of false witness, are you sure he won’t be there, bucket of sea salt in hand, ready to rub it into your wounds and increase your pain and suffering ten-fold?

            If Linus really is one of Satan’s minions, you’d better get to church as quickly as your Zimmer frame permits and confess all. Hurry! Time is short.

          • Wriggle, wriggle, wriggle ….
            Are you denying you once posted here as Linus and have used a number of other identities since?

            You knowingly falsely accused Happy Jack of lying. What does that make you?

          • Findaráto

            I neither deny nor confirm your accusation. I think it far more amusing to force you to decide for yourself.

            You clearly think I am Linus, but where’s your proof? That my posts (apparently) sound just like his? So go on then, produce some of his posts and let’s compare them to mine.

            What, you can’t? So how can you prove this putative similarity between my words and his?

            You can’t. So your case is without merit. All you have been able to prove is that you hate me, you hate Linus, and as I’m here and Linus appears not be, you want to frame me for some kind of rule breaking, one assumes in an attempt to get me banned from this blog. But I’ve broken no rules that I’m aware of. If you think I have, let’s see your evidence.

            If you had any evidence, you would have presented it long ago. That being the case, what are you except a fantasist and a grudge-bearer who simply wants to silence voices he does not approve of?

            Poor Front Room, how you must writhe in impotent rage at your inability to get me banned. A world in which you do not have the power to act unilaterally according to your own prejudiced opinion is quite intolerable to you, isn’t it?

            Take heart, there can be no anger, rage or frustration in oblivion. Just an eternity of utter nothingness. Blessed relief I should think, after a life spent in anger, hatred and condemnation of others. Not long now, eh? I bet you’re counting the days.

          • It’s a simple question:

            Have you ever posted here as Linus and used a number of other identities since?
            To not answer reveals you to be a coward as well as a liar.

          • Findaráto

            Another unsupported claim from usual suspect.

            To refrain from answering your questions certainly seems to piss you off. Which is the best reason I can think of for continuing to keep my counsel.

          • Linus, it was a question. Dim wit.

            And your refusal to answer is a vain attempt to preserve whatever image you imagine you might have on here. You are known as a liar and a coward.

          • Findaráto

            You clearly want to paint me as a liar and coward, you mean. And very Christian behaviour it is too. Not the theoretical kind of Christian behaviour promoted by the Church but practiced by nobody. Rather real, genuine Christian aggression, bigotry, dishonesty, hypocrisy and (attempted) manipulation.

            For anyone who may be following these exchanges and wondering what happened to all the fruits of the Spirit that a pious Catholic like Front Room should be showing, let this be a lesson to you. They exist only on paper. It’s one of the great hoaxes perpetrated by this manipulative and dangerous religion. Making people believe that fairy stories will turn them into living saints, when even the most cursory examination of how they actually behave shows them to be just as angry, vicious and prone to violence as any non-Christian.

            Front Room is a prime example. The very picture of a Christian fraud. He talks of God and love in one breath, and in the very next he insults, demeans and tries to manipulate anyone who will not bow down to him as the ultimate arbiter of God’s will. What purer expression of narcissistic and hypocritical evil could there be? And his Church is full of people just like him. They’re all there to tell each other and everyone else what to do, why they’re better Christians than anyone else and how God will punish those who refuse to obey them. This is real Christianity. On display right here on this thread for everyone to see.

          • You accused Jack of lying knowing this was untrue. He called you up on this. It is not unchristian to do so.

            You are a fraud, a coward and a liar, Linus. And people don’t follow your exchanges on here. We’re all tired of you, your ego and your bile.

          • CliveM

            I would add the word ‘bored’ to your last sentence.

          • Findaráto

            I accused Front Room of lying knowing this to be the indisputable truth. Front Room is an habitual and casual liar who uses untruths and distortions to cast aspersions on the character of those he wants to dominate and destroy. That’s his concept of “faith”: to crush all opposition and force it to bow down before his fake idol of a god, which is really just him in a very weak disguise.

            Unfortunately for Front Room, he has neither the force of character nor the charisma to achieve his goal. How many has he evangelised into the cult of Front Room? Does a membership of one define his sect as a religion? Or does he see the god worshipped by the Catholic Church as a mere reflection of his glorious self, which lets him claim a billion followers? That sounds about right in terms of his megalomania. God is Front Room and must be obeyed!

            That’s right, when they kneel in church, they’re kneeling to you, aren’t they Front Room? You’ll go to your grave believing that, but never openly admitting it. That is your true religion. The only wonder of it is that you continue to pay lip service to the Cross when the symbol of your faith should really be the looking glass. To be gazed into for hours on end as you admire your own perfection…

          • Once again, you write about yourself. So transparent. You are a liar and a coward. There’s no more to be said. Now, be gone.

          • Uncle Brian

            Of all the seven deadly sins, envy is surely the ugliest to behold.

          • CliveM

            But surely one of the most revealing.

          • Ah, Linus, you’re back.

            After your accusation that Jack was bearing false witness, he asked you: “Are you denying you once posted here as Linus and have used a number of other identities since?”

            Did you knowingly falsely accuse Happy Jack of lying?

          • He certainly has *issues* with women (jealousy and rage) and graves attention from men in authority.

      • Findaráto

        Jack recalls what his twisted mind seized upon as a means of defaming someone who apparently used to post here.

        Careful though. Bearing false witness is a sin against your imaginary god. If you don’t watch your step you’ll end up in imaginary hell. Oooh, those imaginary flames are hot!

        • Are you denying you once posted here as Linus and have used a number of other identities since?

        • Ivan M

          Your hysterical response gives you away everytime Linus.

    • Anton

      our government has made an informed judgment to concentrate limited resources elsewhere. They know better than we do where the chief threat resides.

      If only, Finders, if only! Our governments are letting the chief threat into Europe, in millions, and gays and Christians will be prominent among the victims.

      • The Explorer

        Seeing what tribalism can do abroad, Europe’s rulers seem iintent on creating a tribal situation in Europe. Gays and Jews in Sweden and Holland are experiencing the consequences already.

        • Anton

          Wasn’t there a plan to send our soldiers out there to help deal with it?

          • The Explorer

            Catching it accidentally as a result of humanitarian aid is another matter.

          • Anton

            Who knows what was in the minds of those who thought that one up?

    • len

      Christians take no action?.

      herightscoop.com/iraqi-christians-rise-up-and-form-100000-man-christian-army-to-fight-against-isis-hordes/

    • len

      Poor Linus.Really mean that.The human soul was never created to take ‘hate’ on board and when it does’ hate’ eats away at the soul like a corrosive acid.And when hate has done its work it will have consumed all of the personality .Love , compassion, respect for others will all have gone and all will be left is hate filling the soul.One in this position is truly to be pitied.

      • Findaráto

        Pious reflections used as weapons to try to wound an opponent always end up backfiring and hurting those who wield them more than their intended target.

        The Christian who seeks to destroy his opponent’s reputation has failed in his duty to his own faith. Turn the other cheek? Love your enemy? These are Christian precepts you clearly don’t even try to adhere to.

        As your imaginary Christ said about the Pharisees … for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward (although that’s debatable), but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

        This is the kind of faith that pervades this blog. Sneering condemnations from those who, if they were true Christians, would comport themselves very differently. I have no faith and am therefore at liberty to say what I please and to whom. You are bound by a different set of rules, for which you cannot blame me. If you have to blame someone, blame your God. It is he who commands you to fight your battles with both hands tied behind your back. The fact that you refuse to obey him and then criticise me for doing the same shows the depths of hypocrisy to which you have sunk. The whitewash is peeling off the sepulchres and the exterior smells almost as foul as the stinking mess inside.

        • len

          A Christian is supposed to have a high regard for the truth. ‘Turning the other cheek’ has nothing to do with being aware of the cause of another’s aggression towards Christians and Christianity.In fact Christians are called to be ‘salt ‘and’ light’.Salt preserves decay but also smarts somewhat in wounds?.Light can hurt the eyes especially to those who prefer to hide their deeds in the darkness.
          The fact that you say ‘I can do as I like’ completely blows out of the water any pretence that atheists have towards any sort of moral code without a Christian foundation…

          So I will continue to be’ salt’ and ‘light ‘even if there are those who prefer to hide in the darkness and protest against the Light.
          Other Cheek turned …

  • Shadrach Fire

    Britain has a long history of association with Nigeria and the large number of Christians there has something to do with that. In the past there has been many opportunities for the Gospel to spread abroad. I had the privileged of being a good friend of Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa. He had churches across Nigeria with 60 million members. Out of that work many other ministries sprangup. One of those is a Bible college, shelter and training center run by good friends in Jos. Part of the North. They have had more than casual persecution, members have been murdered. They are very positive that only a peaceful and Gospel led approach should be maintained. Many Muslims respond to their kindness and convert. They could certainly do with more funding but they accept that which comes their way.
    This country should provide help and support to the legacy that we left in that country and yes, Christians are special and we need to stand up for them.

    • IanCad

      A humbling post Shadrach. The Gospel writ large.

    • Anton

      Do you know the Stefanos Foundation?

  • Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere that are being attacked need to learn to fight their enemies for themselves, they must learn self preservation, either that or move out to another part of Africa. We can’t fight everyone’s battles for them, neither can we take in the world’s persecuted. It’s harsh but it’s life.

    • len

      If Christians in Nigeria are to fight they will need weapons and training who is going to give them that as Nigeria is a relatively poor country ?. Obama is an isolationist and the UK and Europe don’`t want to know about Christians being persecuted only about Muslims.

      • They need to be more creative and resourceful in defending themselves.

        • CliveM

          That idiot Samaritan, should have just kept walking on the other shouldn’t he Marie? Tsk, in the face of bombs and guns and 21st Century weaponry, just can’t beat a bit of ‘creativity’.

          • Ivan M

            There is a case to be made that Christians have to arm themselves and fight. If they are seen as soft targets this merely encourages further aggression.

          • Shadrach Fire

            It is true that Jesus asked his disciples how many swords they had as they went to Gethsemane. Never quite understood that since he was not happy at the Captains ear being cut off.

          • Ivan M

            The swords were for the self-defense of his followers. Ordinary people wielding swords would not have been of much use against Roman soldiers. Jesus Christ Himself had already made up His Mind to drink of the cup. He had no violent intentions.

          • CliveM

            There is an argument I agree. But if they don’t have the kit or skills, then they need support either to acquire them, or be given protection from lawful authority.

          • Ivan M

            Unfortunately the Christians seem not to have sufficient numbers of violent young men who can trade blow for blow. But this can change . I recall that the Sri Lankan Tamils were a peacable lot in the 70s, before they spawned the Tamil Tigers who were dreaded for some decades.

          • No not necessarily. The obvious goal for these ISIS barbarians and other factions of violent muslims there as anywhere is to gain the land off the Christians. Neither side is short of manpower as Nigeria has a population of over 182 million people, about half Christian and half sunni muslim.
            There are plenty of cheap good second hand weapons floating around that they could have and maybe some of our army can go over to teach the congregations and the newly formed militias how to use them after Church.

    • Old Nick

      I am sure they would be delighted if you went out there and showed them how do this, from the profound resources of your obviously considerable wisdom.

      • No, they’d have me doing the fighting for them and that would be no good at all.

        • Old Nick

          I am sure a person of your lofty attainments could do the fighting and everything else (e.g. move an entire population from its homeland to ‘another part of Africa’) with one hand tied behind your back.

          • They just need a bit of ingenuity with some good planning and the will to do it. There are over 91 million Christians in Nigeria mainly in the mid belt region, south, and south west. The North is sunni muslim as is the gov in the north. You’d think the Christians could establish a Christian gov for the mid and south and build a border wall across the country with check points to keep out the enemy. They have bricks, stones and manpower to do this. For a long term peace the only way is to have proper borders. Similar to India.

          • Old Nick

            Think how much better it would be if they had you to show them the way.

          • If I was 20 years younger and fit I would.

          • big

            Marie 1797 i love you

  • chiefofsinners

    As Gerry Adams meant to say…
    Watching Django Unchained. A Ballymurphy Nigerian.

    • len

      I think the Inspector mentioned on one of his last posts here that he was ill?. Hope he’s ok and its not just his computer again?.

      • The Explorer

        Hope it IS just his computer again.

        • CliveM

          Ye it would be nice if he could get in touch just to reassure.

      • IanCad

        That is a concern; over three weeks since his last comment. Much longer than that for Ernst.

        • Uncle Brian

          It’s been a very long time indeed since I last spotted a comment by Blofeld. Has he really been here as recently as three weeks ago? I’m glad to hear it!

          Hello, Blowers, are you there ?????????

          • IanCad

            UB,
            I’m afraid I’ve confused you. My last sentence can be taken two ways – “Much longer than that for Ernst” as in he has been absent for longer than Ernst – or – “Much longer than that for Ernst” meaning Ernst’s absence is longer than his.
            Clarity before context. My apologies

          • Uncle Brian

            Okay, Ian, I’ve got it now — which means we need to be extremely concerned about Blofeld the Great.

          • It is worrying. His last post was 7 months ago.

          • len

            Blowers hasn`t been here for ages.

  • The Explorer

    There was talk a couple of years ago about withholding British aid from African countries with anti-LGBT laws.

    So if we link aid to acceptable attitudes, I suppose we could withhold aid from Nigeria unless it does something to sort out its Muslim persecution of Christians. Although why we should be giving aid in the first place to a country rich enough to develop a space programme is beyond me.

    • Anton

      Or any other. Charity is a private matter.

  • IanCad

    When a problem arises which requires our religious leaders to ask for guns and ammo, it is mighty helpful when another issue comes along that merely demands the opening of a door.