Religious persecution is a global phenomena: Egypt kills ‘Islamic State’ murdering persecutors


ICC persecution map

COGwriter

We continue to see increases in persecution towards those claiming some version of Christianity as their faith around the world.

Today, November 4, has been declared the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church by some Protestants.

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for killing Egyptians of the Coptic faith on Friday. The Egyptian government responded:

4 November 2018

Nineteen Islamist militants accused of carrying out a deadly attack on Christians in Egypt have been killed by police, the interior ministry says.

They died in a shoot-out after police pursued “fugitive terrorist elements” into the desert area west of Minya province, the statement said.

Seven Coptic Christians were killed in an attack on two buses near a monastery in Minya on Friday.

The Islamic State (IS) group has said it carried out the attack.

It was the latest in a series of attacks by extremists on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46090104

November 4, 2018

Egypt said Sunday it has killed 19 militants suspected of being connected with the jihadists who killed seven Coptic Christians Friday who were traveling to a remote monastery in central Minya province.

The Interior Ministry said the militants were killed in a shootout in the desert west of Minya province. It did not say when the firefight took place.

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Christians, but has not provided any evidence.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s 100 million people. They have long complained of discrimination. https://www.voanews.com/a/egypt-kills-19-militants-suspected-in-christian-attack-/4643852.html

Of course, it is not just the Islamic State or other such groups. There have been issues with many governments, though Turkey (see Protestant Pastor Andrew Brunson released and now in USA) and Pakistan (see https://www.dw.com/en/asia-bibis-husband-ashiq-masih-appeals-to-us-president-donald-trump-for-asylum/a-46149151) recently released Protestants that they had jailed for their faith.

(As far as some of the type of persecutions Christians face in countries like the USA, see the article USA makes ICC’s ‘Hall of Shame’ list of nations regressing in religious freedom.)

Religious persecution is terrible, but was prophesied for Christians (John 15:20; see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Will it end?

Yes (cf. Revelation 21:4).

Let’s however consider history.

Real as well as false Christians were subject to persecution under the old Roman Empire.

After claiming to see a militaristic cross in the sky, Roman Emperor Constantine decided to change that. In 313 A.D., Constantine issued the Edict of Milan which began as follows:

When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I Licinius Augustus fortunately met near Mediolanurn [Milan], and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought -, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred;

This brought an end to official persecution.

In the future, we should expect to see deals between the Europeans and Muslims (cf. Daniel 11:27; Psalm 83:2-8). These deals will likely reduce persecution of professors of Christ. Later, we would expect to see a tendency to reduce certain types of persecution in non-Muslim lands in Asia, such as India and North Korea (cf. Revelation 13:4,8).

But will that end all persecution?

No. Plus more intense persecution will be coming.

Let’s now again look at history and Emperor Constantine.

While Christians officially were not suppose to be persecuted after the Edict of Milan, many of the Greco-Romans did not care for those that practiced original Christianity. In 325 A.D., Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicea and attempted to force a non-biblical date for the observance of Passover.

While Greco-Romans accepted this, those in the Church of God did not.

This non-acceptance by those that held to the biblical date upset the Greco-Romans as well as Emperor Constantine.

Instead of trying to get along and be tolerant, around 332 Emperor Constantine decided to issue what is known as the Edict Against the Heretics:

Victor Constantinus, Maximus Augustus, to the heretics. “Understand now, by this present statute, ye Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulians, ye who are called Cataphrygians, and all ye who devise and support heresies by means of your private assemblies, with what a tissue of falsehood and vanity, with what destructive and venomous errors, your doctrines are inseparably interwoven; so that through you the healthy soul is stricken with disease, and the living becomes the prey of everlasting death. Ye haters and enemies of truth and life, in league with destruction! All your counsels are opposed to the truth, but familiar with deeds of baseness; full of absurdities and fictions: and by these ye frame falsehoods, oppress the innocent, and withhold the light from them that believe. Ever trespassing under the mask of godliness, ye fill all things with defilement: ye pierce the pure and guileless conscience with deadly wounds, while ye withdraw, one may almost say, the very light of day from the eyes of men. But why should I particularize, when to speak of your criminality as it deserves demands more time and leisure than I can give? For so long and unmeasured is the catalogue of your offenses, so hateful and altogether atrocious are they, that a single day would not suffice to recount them all. And, indeed, it is well to turn one’s ears and eyes from such a subject, lest by a description of each particular evil, the pure sincerity and freshness of one’s own faith be impaired. Why then do I still bear with such abounding evil; especially since this protracted clemency is the cause that some who were sound are become tainted with this pestilent disease? Why not at once strike, as it were, at the root of so great a mischief by a public manifestation of displeasure? (Chapter LXIV.—Constantine’s Edict against the Heretics. This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College).

“Forasmuch, then, as it is no longer possible to bear with your pernicious errors, we give warning by this present statute that none of you henceforth presume to assemble yourselves together. We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all the houses in which you are accustomed to hold your assemblies: and our care in this respect extends so far as to forbid the holding of your superstitious and senseless meetings, not in public merely, but in any private house or place whatsoever. Let those of you, therefore, who are desirous of embracing the true and pure religion, take the far better course of entering the catholic Church, and uniting with it in holy fellowship, whereby you will be enabled to arrive at the knowledge of the truth. In any case, the delusions of your perverted understandings must entirely cease to mingle with and mar the felicity of our present times: I mean the impious and wretched double-mindedness of heretics and schismatics. For it is an object worthy of that prosperity which we enjoy through the favor of God, to endeavor to bring back those who in time past were living in the hope of future blessing, from all irregularity and error to the right path, from darkness to light, from vanity to truth, from death to salvation. And in order that this remedy may be applied with effectual power, we have commanded, as before said, that you be positively deprived of every gathering point for your superstitious meetings, I mean all the houses of prayer, if such be worthy of the name, which belong to 540 heretics, and that these be made over without delay to the catholic Church; that any other places be confiscated to the public service, and no facility whatever be left for any future gathering; in order that from this day forward none of your unlawful assemblies may presume to appear in any public or private place. Let this edict be made public.” (Chapter LXV.—Constantine’s Edict against the Heretics. This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College).

Some of those referred to as Paulians (Paulicians) and Cataphrygians were part of the true Church of God; thus they would have rejected Sunday and other doctrines that Emperor Constantine endorsed. And like some other persecutions, the Edict included those truly in the Church of God and those not in the true church. Herod, when he tried to kill Jesus, persecuted an entire nation, killed many babies, but Jesus’ family fled the persecution and He survived. Constantine’s tactics seem similar.

Christianity under Constantine becomes a form of imperial Roman culture. One Christian denomination is favored with his patronage. They get tax breaks. They get big, beautiful Bible codices copied at public expense. They can use the imperial post for free. They ask Constantine to kick out the leaders of the other Christian denominations in town. So the people who get the worst treatment after Constantine becomes a patron of this one church are other Christians. More Christians are persecuted after the conversion of Constantine than before, because they’re targeted by one particular branch of the church (Hulme, David. Interviews Paula Fredriksen Paul and Paula. Vision magazine, Fall 2005).

Of course, no branch of the actual true church would be persecuting–it was an apostate branch that Constantine favored that did so.

Constantine also prohibited literature:

Thus were the lurking-places of the heretics broken up by the emperor’s command, and the savage beasts they harbored (I mean the chief authors of their impious doctrines) driven to flight. Of those whom they had deceived, some, intimidated by the emperor’s threats, disguising their real sentiments, crept secretly into the Church. For since the law directed that search should be made for their books, those of them who practiced evil and forbidden arts were detected, and these were ready to secure their own safety by dissimulation of every kind. Others, however, there were, who voluntarily and with real sincerity embraced a better hope. Meantime the prelates of the several churches continued to make strict inquiry, utterly rejecting those who attempted an entrance under the specious disguise of false pretenses, while those who came with sincerity of purpose were proved for a time, and after sufficient trial numbered with the congregation. Such was the treatment of those who stood charged with rank heresy: those, however, who maintained no impious doctrine, but had been separated from the one body through the influence of schismatic advisers, were received without difficulty or delay. Accordingly, numbers thus revisited, as it were, their own country after an absence in a foreign land, and acknowledged the Church as a mother from whom they had wandered long, and to whom they now returned with joy and gladness. Thus the members of the entire body became united, and compacted in one harmonious whole; and the one catholic Church, at unity with itself, shone with full luster, while no heretical or schismatic body anywhere continued to exist. And the credit of having achieved this mighty work our Heaven-protected emperor alone, of all who had gone before him, was able to attribute to himself. (Chapter LXVI.—Constantine’s Edict against the Heretics. This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College).

We are now seeing governments like Canada prohibiting the use of certain scriptures in certain settings because they do not want certain biblical doctrines taught. Large internet companies have also directly and indirectly censored or reduced access to materials supporting biblical positions. So, do not think that what happened in the fourth century is merely irrelevant ancient history. Aspects of history have a tendency to repeat.

In 364 A.D. the Council of Laodicea declared:

CANON XXIX. CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ (THE COMPLETE CANONS OF THE SYNOD OF LAODICEA IN PHRYGIA PACATIANA).

Laodicea was in Asia Minor and thus this would have basically been an Eastern Orthodox persecution against those who wished to keep the biblical Sabbath.

The Rome Emperor Constantine apparently liked unclean food so much that he persecuted those who would not eat it. Here is a report from a source with Middle East ties:

Constantine called a gathering of Christian monks with a view to the formulation of obligatory religious beliefs…However, some of them disagreed with this text…There was a scission and the symbol of faith which had been formulated was not regarded as valid.

Thereupon, three hundred and eighteen men gathered in Nicaea and formulated a symbol of faith, which was accepted and made obligatory by Constantine. People who dissented from it were killed and professions of faith differing from it suppressed.

In this way people who professed the religion of Christ came to do all that is reprehensible; they worshipped the cross, observed the Roman religious rites and ate pork. Those who did not eat it were killed (Pines S. The Jewish Christians of the Early Centuries of Christianity according to a New Source. Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Volume II, No.13; 1966. Jerusalem, pp. 31-32)

Here is a report from a Roman Catholic scholar about matters in Jerusalem:

That there existed strife between the different branches of the faithful can easily be gathered from the expression of the anonymous pilgrim of Bordeaux in 333, who says that the three basilicas were erected by the gentile Christians “at the command of Constantine”, that is by force, and from the late account of Eutychius (PG 111,1012-1013) that, just at this time, the faithful while they were leaving the church on Easter day, were forced to eat pork under the pain of death. We know how the Judaeo-Christians refused this in order not to transgress the Mosaic law to which they held there were bound (Bagatti, Bellarmino. Translated by Eugene Hoade. The Church from the Circumcision. Nihil obstat: Marcus Adinolfi, 13 Maii 1970. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari, 14 Junii 1970. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970. Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 1971, pp. 13-14).

True Christians would not eat biblically unclean meat (see The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats), yet Constantine decided it was acceptable to kill people who followed what the Bible says. He tried many ways to persecute those not following his faith, which I have called Constantinian Christianity: a Babylonians mix of religions that professes Christ, but will not live according to the Bible.

As it turns out Constantine’s declarations did not stop everyone from properly observing Passover or keeping other Christian practices. So, a later Roman Emperor decreed the death penalty related to proper Passover observance:

Edicts of Theodosius against the heretics, A.D. 380-394…Theodosius…decreed that…by the death of the offender; and the same capital punishment was inflicted on the Audians, or Quartodecimans, who should dare to perpetrate the atrocious crime of celebrating on an improper day the festival…

The theory of persecution was established by Theodosius, whose justice and piety have been applauded by the saints (Gibbon E. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume III, Chapter XXVII. ca. 1776-1788).

Is killing those that followed the example of Jesus and John to observe the Passover on the 14th instead of Sunday a sign of a true Christian leader or a sign of a supporter of antichrist?

How could any true saint applaud Theodosius for killing people who followed Jesus’, Johns’, Polycarps’, etc. example of observing Passover on the biblical date?

On the night of His final Passover, Jesus declared:

the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. (John 16:2).

And those who followed the Emperor Theodosius fulfilled that prophecy–they killed people for keeping Passover the same night that Jesus did. Those who will associate the final Imperial leader are apparently prophesied to do the same thing (Daniel 7:25).

Why is this relevant now?

Because more persecution of the truly faithful will come again.

Persecution of Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Jews, and Protestants in the Islamic nations has gone up since the so-called 2011 Arab Spring. This is wrong and should be denounced.

Yet, similar to what happened in the fourth century, we will eventually see a massive lessening of persecution against many of them (those who will tend to eventually unify and support the coming European Beast of Revelation 13).

Yet, after imperial power is in place, the Bible says that persecution against the faithful will take place (Daniel 7:25; 11:29-25). Persecution will again come against those that will not accept the religion that a power in Europe will endorse:

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:7-10)

So, the Beast will persecute the saints, true Christians.

Furthermore, not worshiping the Beast will be a cause of persecution for anyone-Christian or not:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18).

Persecution is a fact of history. It has happened before and we should be prepared for the fact that it will happen again.

During the time of the final persecutions, the Bible records:

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12).

The good news is that Jesus will come and the Beast power will be eliminated:

11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:11-14)

1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1-8)

But have no doubts about it, even though the Babylonian European Beast power will eventually be destroyed, more persecution of true Christians is coming.

A listing of Church of God doctrines Christians were persecuted for in the past and are expected to be persecuted for in the future is included in the article Persecutions by Church and State.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
What is the Synagogue of Satan? David Pack falsely claims these are leaders in what he considers to be “splinter” COGs. What is the truth about this?
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he? Here is a link to a related sermon: Marcion: The first Protestant reformer?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White. Here is a link to a prophetic video Six Financial Steps Leading to 666?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.



Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.