Pray for Afghanistan

Hi Friends,

This is the first of a weekly email blog encouraging Christians to pray for the Holy Spirit to move in the Muslim majority countries in the world.

Please partner with me to pray once a day for a week for each country that comes into your inbox. Each week there will be a new country to pray for. PLEASE pass these on to others that you think would like to join the prayer network. The more that pray the more God will move. If your friends email me back at  PICTURE@setfreeseminars.com I can add them to the list. These blogs will also be posted on my website so a global audience can join our prayers.

Today I will explain what is happening in Afghanistan.

THE AFGHANISTAN CHURCH IS GROWING FASTH

1. History

Some Jews from western Afghanistan were present at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:9). They were from the Parthian Empire, so the Gospel probably arrived in Afghanistan a few months after that day. Church tradition says that both Bartholomew and Thomas went there to evangelise. The historian Bardaison, writing in 196AD speaks of Christians throughout Parthia. By 250AD there were nine city-based bishops in Afghanistan. In 1282AD Ahmed Teduker assumed the throne and began the country’s switch to Islam.

2. Today

With 37 million people, Afghanistan is now a desperately poor and suffering country with an average income of 1% of the USA. Almost 60% of people are under 20 years of age and life expectancy is only 44 years. However, a new generation is now growing up without the repression of the Taliban and they long for freedom and opportunity. Over 4 million refugees have now returned even though the Taliban still controls some 13% of the country in what is basically a political stalemate. Only 15% of the country is connected to the internet, but 50% have mobile phones.

The form of Islam practiced here is severe and repressive, especially for women. Stiff punishments apply for anyone converting away from Islam as well as rejection from family. However God is moving in an unprecedented way as you will see from the list below. This is because wherever Islam has become violent and repressive in recent years there seems to be a sudden growth in those coming to Christ.

3. Evangelism Highlights

Here are some of the amazing stories coming out of Afghanistan:

  1. The government now warns that “Christianity has obtained a special place not only among youth, but also among various layers in society”.
  2. A Farsi news service reported recently that high ranking members of society are becoming Christians
  3. House churches are multiplying.
  4. Thousands of Afghans who fled to Iran and Europe (start reading half way down this link to see what amazing things are happening in Germany) have become Christians. The Iranian church embraced the Afghans while Iranians as a whole hated their presence.
  5. Last, and most importantly, Isik Abla Ministries report that they had 182,000 thousand active Facebook followers in Kabul alone at the end of 2017. That’s nearly 4% of all internet users in the country actively taking in Christian teaching. Something BIG is happening!

Prayer Points

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few (Luke 10:2)

Pray for more harvest workers in Afghanistan

Pray for continued growth of the internet church

Pray for brave house church leaders

Pray for divine visions, dreams and healings to continue

Pray for those suffering from physical, emotional and spiritual persecution and trauma

Pray against Satan’s legions. Bind them and loose the captives.

Pray for young people to pour into the Kingdom

Pray for Afghanistan to become a Christian country once again by 2100 AD!

Next week: Algeria

Kevin Davis

This Is Why Children’s Rights Matter

I just read this from the Them Before Us website. It goes to the heart of why we need a Children’s Rights Day, not just a Children’s Day tomorrow, the 20th November…

My parents married at 18 years of age because of my impending arrival. My mother and I—along with my brother, who came along 15 months later—lived with my maternal grandparents for the first few years of my life. My dad was in the US Air Force and stationed far away, so they decided that my mom staying at home with her parents was the best thing for our family. Those years were quiet and peaceful and filled with security. All that changed when we moved out after my dad’s discharge. Thereafter, the home of my early years was filled with violent verbal altercation, along with alcohol and drug abuse

My parents regularly had get-togethers at our home where their group of friends would pass joints or a bong around our living room, while my brother and I were there in the room, watching and smelling everything. To me, this was entirely normal, so much so that, one day, when I was seven, I was showing the neigbor boy the drug paraphernalia in our car, calmly defining each item and what it was used for. This conversation was cut short by my mom calling me into the house. The moment I was inside, she yanked me by the arm and hissed at me that I was NEVER to talk to anyone about such things ever again. She went on to say that, if I did, she and my dad would be taken to jail. This was the first moment I realized that what my parents were doing was illegal, and my mom was forcibly enlisting me as a partner in her lies to the world, using my fear of losing my family as a motivator. And it worked, because, as imperfect as our family was, the possibility of losing it terrified me. I had visions of being taken to foster care and never seeing my parents, brother, grandparents, or cousins again. Looking back, as an adult, I realize that my grandparents would have stepped in and taken us, but then, as a first grader, I believed that I had to lie to protect my family, to keep us together, to protect myself from being taken from the only home I believed I had.

So I became a gate keeper for my parents’ secrets. When my grandma—who took me to church, who had me at her home when my mom was at work—would come into our home, I would yell, as I ran in before her, “Gram is coming in.” I was an adult before she told me that she knew why I was doing that, so all the things she wasn’t supposed to see could be put away. And I told no one about the fights I regularly overheard—the screaming and cursing and crashing of thrown items, while I lay in my bed, crying, cowering under the covers, and praying for it to stop. One of those altercations between my parents broke my mother’s finger. My brother and I saw it the next morning, swollen and bruised. She never spoke of it. We never discussed any of those fights, just pretended they had not happened, despite her tear-stained face and my dad’s absence. She lied to my grandparents about the cause of that broken finger, as she lied about almost everything else.

But the revelation of the biggest lie came to me when I was 14 years old. While driving me home, my grandpa told me, in halting verbal bursts, that the father in my house was not really my dad. He spoke of wanting to tell me from the start, despite my mom’s objections, of the identity of a man whom I vaguely recalled as an old friend of my mom’s from high school. I remembered meeting him on occasion. I knew he had sent me birthday gifts over the years, but would never send presents to my brother. I had always felt the odd nature of that, as I knew that something was wrong about my having brown eyes when neither of the parents in my home did. Later, I would even remember asking my mom about my parentage, when I found my birth certificate and asked questions about the wedding that occurred only one month before I was born. I asked my mom then if she knew my dad was MY dad. Her horrified response actually made me feel guilty for even asking, as if I had affronted her and implied things about her virtue or honor. And now I knew that I HAD known, somehow, all along. Because the main emotion I felt in this loss of the only dad I had ever known was relief, relief because I had never loved him as I thought I should, as I knew in my heart that he did not treat me as the treasured daughter I longed to be. I had always wondered why. And now I knew.

This information was confirmed through tears by my mom that evening, as her long, convoluted story poured out. And in that moment, I felt sorry for her, really saw her as the victim of fate and circumstance, somehow. I loved her, and I wanted to believe, still, that her motives were pure. Yet, as I would learn over the coming years, even in this confession, my mom was deceiving me and everyone else around her. She chose to keep my real father’s identity secret from me, to forcibly push him from my life while she married another man and passed him off as my dad. While she did tell her husband that I was not his, she told other lies to ensnare him— that she was raped, that my dad did not want to marry her. The reality was that my dad was broken over her defection, her refusal to marry him, over the loss of his daughter. He spent years in emotional upheaval before he finally found healing in Christ. And in the next dozen years, I was left to piece together my identity, not really knowing who I was. On the surface I looked fine, excelling in high school and college. But, I felt lost, unsure, vulnerable, and insecure. I was a victim of sexual abuse during this period. And I vacillated between believing this oft-told lie of my mother’s had no impact on my daily life to making questionable choices that I now know came from a deep insecurity about who I was and whether I really mattered or had any value.

Even with my grandfather nearby throughout my childhood to love me and provide fatherly affection, I always felt a deep sense of inadequacy as a young woman. And learning the “why” did not alter that; I still felt un-moored and broken in a fundamental way. And I was angry, very angry. I was 25 and newly married before I realized the depth of my anger. It was directed at my mom, of course, but also at the father I did not have as a child. And I wrote to him, scathing letters of accusation at his seeming abandonment of me to my mother’s devices. He was married and the father of two young boys at the time. And the letters he wrote me were grace itself, explaining to me how very much he wanted me, about the poor counsel he had received—telling him that there was no point in fighting when another man was listed on my birth certificate. He knew now, of course, that he had been wrong to accede to my mom’s demands. And he described pulling one of his young sons up onto his lap as he was reading my letter, and telling him about this little girl who did not have a daddy’s lap for comfort when she was small. That was the beginning of a reconcilation with him, but it took years before I felt comfortable enough to reach out in a tangible way. I felt awkward and reserved with this man who had helped to create me, and I did not know how to remedy that.

Today, I am a mom of three teenagers; I have been married for almost 22 years, to a husband who has helped teach me that I can trust again. And I can say with absolute certainty that a vital component of my healing, of God’s restoration of my identity, has been establishing a relationship with my biological father. I have found unlimited common ground and shared traits with this man who did not raise me, and God has spoken to me so clearly that this bond matters, that He designed it for a mighty purpose. He is healing my heart on many levels through this found tie with my father. And watching my husband father our own children has been part of that healing, too. I cannot adequately describe the particular joy I feel when I witness moments of joy and fun between my husband and our only daughter. I see in them what I missed, but that hole in my heart is filling up daily now.

It is another story, though, in regard to my mom. She has recently lost her husband of 46 years. His passing brought all of her addiction issues to a head, and she almost died from a drug overdose, combined with a heart attack and stroke, in the days following his death. While she is sober now, I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to trust her. She broke me in a fundemental way that I believe she still does not understand. And in every interaction with her, my guard is up, protecting myself from further hurt. I often tell my 13-year-old daughter how much I value our closeness, because I have never been truly close to my own mom. Though God has given me surrogates in my late grandmother and a beloved aunt, I have felt robbed of both parents through much of my life. God is healing that hurt in regard to my dad, but I do not know if I will ever feel close to my mom on this earth. She has told me many times that she thought she was doing what was best at the time, despite so many in her family imploring her to tell me the truth. I have made little headway in getting past her excuses for the lies, getting her to see that her paramount job as my mother was to put my needs ahead of her own. And now, as a mother myself, I cannot comprehend the choice she made to put herself and her desires over my right to know my own father. She lied to keep me to herself and to keep the world she had built intact. In the end, though, her lies exploded that world, and I have found my family and belonging in the man she kept from me for years.

International Children’s (Rights) Day: 20th November

Here are a few reasons why International Children’s Day should be a cry for children’s rights (statistics are American but would be in the ballpark for most western countries):

  1. 90% of homeless children are fatherless.
  2. 70-85% of prison inmates grew up without a father.
  3. Over 60% of teenagers who commit suicide have absent fathers
  4. 70% of high school drop-outs come from fatherless homes
  5. 70% of pregnant teenagers come from fatherless homes.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, here is a link to a research article on the clear economic benefit of two parent families in terms of education, economic well-being and crime, not just for the individual family concerned but for entire nations.

Lets start fighting for a child’s right to a safe and loving biological family. Fewer and fewer people are sticking up for kids. The effect on nations, either way, is pronounced.

Kevin Davis

 

Was Mecca in Arabia?

I am in the process of finishing off an essay about the history of Mecca. To give you a heads up here is a draft version of the conclusion…

CONCLUSION

Islamic traditional history claims Mecca was the centre of a flourishing trade network that was dominated by the Quraysh tribe. It also claims that it was also a major pilgrimage site housing a famous pagan temple. It says a Meccan man called Muhammad came from that tribe and began a new religion. As you can now see, all these claims lack substantiating evidence. I will conclude with a line by line description of what the evidence actually says about Mecca:

Mecca is missing from all historical records until 741AD. It is missing from maps, trade notes, ancient histories, religious inscriptions and records and imperial records.

The Qur’an goes to great lengths to avoid talking about geography. Mecca is not mentioned in the book. However there are two vague references to Bakkah/Makkah. Neither gives any clues as to its location.

It is only the Hadiths, written 200 years later, that say Bakkah/Makkah is the modern Mecca. The Hadiths cannot be trusted as a historical source of material on Mecca and Muhammad. They clearly mythologised the past.

It is a full 200 years after the alleged events that Islamic traditional histories started to describe a prophet Muhammad as coming from a tribe called the Quraysh and growing up in the thriving trading and pilgrimage site called Mecca.

The Qur’an says Mecca is located where Abraham lived, near the place where the Romans were defeated and where Lots wife was turned to stone. All these sites are in Palestine.

The many references to agriculture flourishing around Mecca are false. The climate is too dry. Agriculture did flourish in Palestine.

All other geographical references in the Qur’an, Midian, Ad and Thamud, refer to peoples and places near Palestine.

The number one pre-Arab Empire era pilgrimage site for the Arabs was located at Abraham’s tree of Mamre, in Palestine, not at Mecca.

Until the 8th century all mosques faced Nabataea’s Petra in lower Jordan or somewhere near it. None faced Mecca. The direction changed during the early 8th Century only. The Qur’an even admits to a change of direction.

The Arabic language originated with the Nabataeans, not deep in the Arabian Peninsula, so did Arab international trade, which features significantly in the stories of Islam’s origin.

The Nabataeans worshipped meteorites at sacred cubes called a Ka’ba. This pagan religious practice has been replicated in Mecca.

Mecca could never have been a trading centre as it was not on the coast in an era when land transport had ceased five centuries before.

Pliny’s Mochorbre is definitely not today’s Mecca as it is on the south coast of Arabia.

Ptolemy’s Makoraba is not todays Mecca as the longitude and latitude references are incorrect, he places it near a river and the root consonants of the two words are different.

Mecca is missing from the maps of Periplus, Procopius and from all the Romans records. In addition, no Arab historians of the 7th Century mention Mecca or the Quraysh tribe.

There is no record of any spice trade coming out of Arabia in the centuries leading up to Islam’s birth. It died hundreds of years earlier. Therefore all Islamic references to it are a myth.

There is no record of any pilgrimage site at Mecca before the 8th Century. Mecca is missing from all pilgrimage lists. In addition pilgrimage sites were seasonal, not permanent, and no trading was allowed at these sites.

No Muslim leadership ever based itself at Mecca. Cities of significance were Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad.

It was only in 691AD that we first hear of Mecca as an alternative site for the House of God under the reign of Abd al-Malik. His theology, as evidenced on the Dome of the Rock inscription, was still solidly Christian but Arian in doctrine.

Arian Christian theology became the cornerstone of orthodox Islamic theology.

The rapidly expanding Arab Empire needed an Arab prophet, an Arab sacred book and an Arab holy city to justify its Arabian-centric political existence and to create differentiation from the empires and religions surrounding it.

Kevin Davis

Please Sign Up to Join P.I.C.T.U.R.E.

Hi Faithful Readers,

After some thought I have decided to start a weekly prayer newsletter for anyone who wants to join with me in praying for the Holy Spirit to move in the Islamic world. The rational for this newsletter is as follows:

Matthew 9:37-38: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

The greatest harvest of souls from the Muslim world is just beginning. This century will witness entire Muslim communities and even countries coming to Jesus. Our Lord has as much compassion for them as he does for all humans, so I want to encourage you to join me in praying fro the coming harvest.

Each week I will send out to you information and research on what God is doing in a particular Islamic country, with prayer points specific to that situation. If you join the newsletter please join me in praying a few minutes each day for that country. We cant go there, and if we did we couldn’t preach, but the Holy Spirit has ways and means of reaching souls if we just pray. That’s why Jesus said what he said in Matthew Nine.

I have called the newsletter PICTURE, which stands for Praying (for) Islamic Countries That Unacceptably Restrict Evangelism. On the right of the setfreeseminars.com home page you will see the sign up section. Just punch in your email address and we are off and running.

God bless

Kevin Davis

What Ancient Historians Said About Mecca

There are two pieces of evidence that Islamic historians cling to regarding their claim that Mecca existed in Pre-Islamic times. The first is a quote from the ancient Greek geographer Pliny who charted the coastline of Arabia. In his book, Natural History, he mentions in Book VI a place in Arabia called Mochorbae. This would put Mecca’s existence back to early in the first Century. The second is Ptolemy’s longitude and latitude coordinates for a place in Arabia called Makoraba. Unfortunately many Western scholars lazily accept the Muslim claims that these two towns are the Qur’anic Makkah and therefore Mecca. Now let’s examine these claims.

In Natural History Book 6, Pliny specifically says Mochorbae is a Port on the coast, not an inland town as Mecca is. He also says the towns of Homma and Attana are the most frequented in that area. They are therefore the centre of trade in the 1st Century, not Mochorbre. He then says Mochorbae lies just up the coast from the islands of Etaxalos and Inchobrichae, the Cadaei tribe and the Eblythaean Mountains. This puts Mochorbre nowhere near modern day Mecca as Homma (Ommana) was in the Persian Gulf and the latter references were in Yemen on the South Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. You can see a guide to Pliny’s locations on the map below Pliny’s Mochorbae is nowhere near today’s Mecca.

 

A hundred years later Ptolomy, the inventor of the concepts of longitude and latitude, gave the world longitude and latitude coordinates for a place called Makoraba. It is shown on this map of his coordinates, just right of the fork in the major river. It is a vaguely similar name and located in a vaguely similar place. However, it is not modern Mecca for the following reasons:

First, it should be noted that at the time of Ptolomy the Arab language did not exist as we know it so two towns starting with M but with very different names some 500 years apart in different languages could be a coincidence. To illustrate: Arab words all start with a three consonant root. Patricia Crone,an international expert in Semitic languages, says the three letter root krb from which Makoraba is derived is completely different from the root mkk from which the Qur’an’s Makkah is derived. Second, Ptolomy locates it right where Medina is today, (which was called Yathrib in ancient times), some 400 kilometres away to the north. Nothing exists in the location of Modern Mecca that resembles its name. Third, Ptolomy never visited most of the places he created coordinates for. He relied on local traders for information. Fourth, as expected Ptolomy was very accurate for locations in the Roman and Greek worlds but became less accurate as he gave descriptions of places further afield. Fifth, Ptolomy also Hellenised a lot of the names he used for his lists. Sixth, Ptolemy was very accurate with latitude, but very inaccurate with longitude. Seventh, if Ptolemy’s map is accurate, Macoraba does not match any known trade route or pilgrimage site.

Finally and most importantly, the only river (wadi) on the map, called the Betius River on the map above, must by necessity correspond with an existing wadi today. Cities come and go but rivers do not. The only Wadi of significance on the coast, Wadi Mawr, is actually 500km south of Modern Mecca. If you rejig Ptolemy’s very loose longitude coordinates to match known rivers, then most towns are suddenly located accurately and Macorba becomes Al-Mahabishah, which is not that dis-similar in pronunciation. You can find an excellent extended article by Dan Gibson on the above list of points at this link. I have reproduced his corrected Ptolemy map below.

Ptolemy’s corrected coordinates                     Ptolemy’s Original coordinates

 

To add weight to the argument that Ptolemy was not describing the Qur’anic Makkah, I have reproduced below a First Century Roman trade map according to the Periplus Maris Erythraei, confirming the non-existence of any trading towns anywhere near the vicinity of Mecca. If Mecca was a real trading city in the era of Ptolemy it would be on this map.

Procopius (d.565) was the leading historian of the 6th Century. He does not mention Mecca in any of his writings, which is strange if it was a significant commercial centre and the link in trade between India and Europe. In fact no non-Muslim historians mention Mecca in the 6th or 7th Centuries.

It gets worse: No Arab historian of the same era mentions Mecca either! There are no surviving Muslim records of trade via Mecca before the 8th Century. This silence extends to any mention of the Quraysh tribe, prominent traders from Mecca and from whom Muhammad is supposed to have come from. All this in an era when there were extensive writings about the South Arabs the Ethiopians and the Adulis, who occupied the coast opposite modern Mecca. Crone says this silence extends to all records in “Greek, Latin, Syriac, Aramaic, Coptic or any other literature composed outside Arabia before the Arab conquests” (Meccan Trade p. 134).

The ancients have spoken, and they do not mention Mecca anywhere.

Kevin Davis

The story of Abdul

When the wall of a castle was breached in Medieval times, the first soldiers through were cut down in high numbers. Great reward was promised to those who survived. Inside Islam today we are seeing many breaches of the hard and satanic theological wall that traps those held within. Here is one such story of many I am reading taken from the probe.org website:

In a South Asian country, Abdul, a teenager, was expelled from his Islamic school for asking too many questions about the Koran. Because of Islamic law, he was held as a captive by his family and condemned to death upon coming of age. Secretly freed by his mother, he fled from his home. A chance encounter with a Christian missionary as he walked a country road dramatically changed his life. The missionary showed such love and concern that Abdul had to touch him to assure himself that this was a man and not an angel. Abdul gave his life to Christ and was baptized. Abdul was one of a handful of converts from Islam witnessed by this missionary over a period of thirty years.

Banished from his home, Abdul spent several years studying and growing in his faith in another part of the country. Led by God to return to his village, Abdul took up residence in the home of a childhood friend as he was still banished by his family. After a few months of studying the Koran and the Bible, his friend was ready to be baptized. When his family learned about it, they rounded up the villagers, took Abdul to the local soccer field and proceeded to beat him. Left for dead, his friend came to his aid and Abdul survived. When Abdul baptized his friend, he prayed “Thank you, God for my friend. Yesterday, I was the only believer in this village. Today there are two. Tomorrow, there can be two hundred if it is your will.”

Within a few years, all 1,800 people in Abdul’s village became Christians including those who left him for dead. These new believers were discipled and more villages were touched. Since that time, over 500,000 Muslim background believers have joined in following Jesus Christ. This unprecedented response also resulted in the murder of Abdul’s friend by Islamic radicals. Their willingness to act, entering the breach with no regard for their own lives, was a central part of this wonderful awakening.

Introducing China’s Massive Social Control System

Ive been reading about China’s new totally integrated control system for some time now and below is the best summary I have found so far. It is very disturbing and is already being practiced by Google, Facebook and Twitter on a smaller scale.

It is reprinted from Mercatornet. Here is the link to the original article.

“Imagine East Germany on steroids and you have the People’s Republic of China today.

Instead of legions of citizen informants spying on their colleagues and family, advanced information aggregation technology does it for you, logging your every move—from the superficial to the deeply personal. The data is then plugged into a psychometric scoring system that impacts your credit, job prospects, and every other measurable aspect of your value and potential as a member of society.

China’s social credit scheme may appear bizarre and abstract to those far away, but it’s very much real. The mandatory program started in 2014 and is being implemented for millions currently. It will be fully operational by 2020 and is being run through a patchwork of municipal government authorities and private technology companies contracted to the government.

Westerners might comment “surely, it can’t happen here?”, but the truth is a lot more disquieting.

The Chinese scoring system

As recently reported, “under the social credit scheme, points are lost and gained based on readings from a sophisticated network of 200 million surveillance cameras—a figure set to triple in eighteen months.” Various factors affect the social credit scores, including what those you associate with do and say.

If your relative criticizes the government, your score goes down. If the government considers your behavior to be satisfactory, your score goes up, eventually resulting in exclusive advantages such as travel, airfare, dating site advantages, loan access, discounts on bills, improved job prospects, and priority on university applications.

You can sink fast and become a low-ranking citizen, too: “jaywalking, late payments on bills or taxes, buying too much alcohol or speaking out against the government, each cost citizens points.” Penalties are also levied for playing video games too much, posting “fake news” (Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg just applauded), overspending on unnecessary purchases and drinking too much.

Ironically, posting too much on social media can also cost you serious points.

If you fall too low in your ranking you can be barred from air and train travel, have your social media accounts shut down, have your internet specifically targeted to slow down your connection speed, have your kids excluded from applying to private and prestigious schools, and be shut out of various elite occupations such as working in major banks, government jobs, and jobs requiring government approval (which in China is a lot of jobs).

Public naming and shaming is another punishment: you’ll be on a blacklist as well, in case any employers or associates started getting too easygoing about the system. What if your job involves holding the powerful accountable? Chinese journalist Liu Hu found out the hard way after his reporting turned up government corruption (surprise, surprise).

His social rating plummeted, and he was arrested, jailed, and fined. His social media accounts were nixed, and he now can’t travel by train or plane. Employers are hesitant to go near him.

The Western third-party system

The West recently had to contend with the intersection of free speech and private corporate technology monopolies with the banning of Alex Jones from YouTube, Twitter, PayPal, and many other platforms, ostensibly for breaking the respective services’ terms of service.

Voices on the Right and non-mainstream Left have been shown the door and hounded by social media giants. Some conservatives have defended the bans under the reasoning that private companies can do what they wish (at least it is not the government). What started as a small patter of censorship with the ouster of Brendan Eich from Mozilla, for example, for donating in support of upholding traditional-marriage via Proposition 8 in California, has now become open technological monopolization of acceptable speech.

But, to be fair, the Western corporate censorship and technological control grid is still child’s play compared to that being rolled out in China.

While Edward Snowden certainly demonstrated the global extent of the US surveillance state, the American elite have not yet openly implemented anything on the level of the Chinese social scoring system. Instead, Americans are leaving the steady encroachment on rights to come from the private sphere and the deluded tech bros of Silicon Valley—for now.

Technological-extremists like Sean Parker of Facebook who brag about how they will become “immortal overlords” by way of transhumanism will serve nicely as the useful fools of the hubris and increasing control of technology over our lives.

However, in China those running the social credit system don’t need to focus on self-aggrandizement since they are encoding the system of social control with ironclad algorithms that will last far beyond human lifetimes. The Chinese system is being built on an existing history of authoritarian oppression that has already sunk deeply into acceptance in popular consciousness.

In China you have an out-of-control technocracy buoyed by billions from its unfair global trade strategy and currency manipulation implementing a system for full domestic control. The implications are staggering. Think of it as beta-testing for the world government.

When the warm and fuzzy feelings fade and the velvet glove comes off, it’s likely there’s an iron fist underneath and there’s a good chance it likes squashing anyone who steps out of line without much fanfare or media coverage at all.

China’s “Iron Fist”

Many Muslims in China are already experiencing China’s “iron fist” as unexplained disappearances increase and being a practicing Muslim becomes a life-threatening scenario treated as a dangerous mental illness by China’s government.

Recent reports state that up to one million Uyghur Muslims in internment camps are physically and psychologically tortured, forced to denounce and disobey their religion, compelled to sing Communist propaganda songs for hours per day, and rewarded or punished based on compliance.

Young Uyghur women are also being forced to marry non-Muslim Chinese men, as the state seeks inroads to usurp and control any avenues of familial, cultural, and religious power outside its current domain.

The highest level of faith in Islam is called ihsan. It entails not just “believing” in God and His sovereignty, but having absolutely no doubt whatsoever that God sees everything you do and will judge you one day. The modern technocratic control grid spearheaded by China is a complete and brazen inversion of this theological concept.

Instead of considering how God will see your actions and words, you must first consider how an all-powerful state technological control grid will see your actions and words. Even the outwardly religious citizen must first consider how their friendships, beliefs, and actions will be run through a computer system to determine their future societal salvation or damnation.

China already exerts autocratic control over who can lead different religious denominations and what ideologies are acceptable.

Christianity in China doesn’t get a free pass, either, with the government taking bold moves to establish greater control of Catholic and Protestants in the country who number around 60 million citizens. Some reports also say some Chinese churches have been getting Crosses burned and shut down. The Chinese government has also taken further steps by banning online sales of the Bible and calling for “the development of a Chinese-style Christian theology.”

Christians would do well to consider the words of 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glassdarkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” This verse, among many others, promises that God knows us fully, and we will one day understand the extent to which this is true and significant for everything we do. This Scripture orients the believer to a life that considers our deeds and words in the context of a divine knowledge of our essence and potential that surpasses our own limited, temporal understanding.

China’s social system in America

The Luciferian magnates of Silicon Valley and Beijing want to know us better than we know ourselves in every respect. They don’t want this power for our own ennoblement or guidance. They want this control in order to fully hamstring us as we run out our days trapped on their giant hamster wheel of economic and social exploitation. Amazon knows what you’ll buy before you do and starts shipping it ahead of time in some cases, known as “anticipatory shipping.”

Do they just do this as cutting-edge business practice? Perhaps, but such a technological ability of predictive psychometrics is powerful beyond belief, particularly in the hands of gargantuan centrally-planned modern states. This is not about feelings or squishy concepts of human rights: this is about who controls the future and what they will work towards in that future.

China is leading the way to an inverted future of totalitarian technocracy full of entitled atheist social engineers running technology systems with borderline supernatural powers. Instead of a moral code based on divine guidance, people will be placed in a cosmic re-education camp and base everything from their social life to their job on what surveillance Skynet wants them to.

Is it really so hard to imagine a future public face of the US spy grid that metes out social scores and compliance ratings to citizen users via a network of smart technology? A system that uses psychometrics and surveillance to analyse and “correct” consumers’ political and religious behaviors is well within the realm of possibility down the road.

These days it seems like powerful forces are trying to make the paranoia of Alex Jones look like muted understatement.

China’s system is the current apex of social engineering elites who want to play God, or the Devil, and are far from joking around about doing exactly that. Those who value freedom of conscience and faith need to realize that the Orwellian Chinese system is not cartoonish hype: it’s a real system coming soon to a country near you unless citizens become passionate advocates of the freedoms ostensibly upheld in Western political philosophy and the US Constitution.

The ink will eventually fade into nothing if it continues to become just words, whether that erasure comes from dictatorial state infringement or out of control technology monopolies. The road to Hell is paved with Google logos and the Communist Chinese flag

Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist who writes on culture, religion and politics. You can find him on Twitter@paulrbrian or visit his website at www.paulrbrian.com. Republished with permission from The Public Discourse.”

Afghanistan: A nation where Christ’s Church is Growing!

I don’t often reprint an article in full that I have recently read. But I think you will enjoy this one. Half way through you will see the word IsikAbla. Isik was raised a Muslim and married a Muslim in Turkey. Both experiences were abusive. She fled this abuse and arrived in America only to start life over again. She became a Christian and started a TV-internet-social Media ministry to Muslim countries that now reaches millions. She has six million followers on Facebook. So the figures she quotes, though astounding, are accurate.

Enjoy

Kevin

“A country with 48,000 mosques and not one church building; ranked #3 (behind North Korea and Somalia) on Open Door’s World Watch List of countries where Christian persecution is most severe, is listed by Operation World as the country with the second fastest church growth in the world. That country is Afghanistan.

Not to diminish this fact, but one reason the growth rate appears high is because the evangelical population is so small to begin with. Still, this trend is confirmed by all of our ministry partners working with Afghans both inside and outside the country. There is, without a doubt, a significant, identifiable work of God, such as never before, taking place among Afghans today.

Like in the days of the Apostles where Paul, who was zealous for the Law and guilty of killing and imprisoning Christians was shown grace and had a miraculous conversion where the Lord appeared to him, the same God is at work in Afghanistan. There are mullahs who have come to Christ through supernatural means who have hundreds of followers. Some former Taliban members who have found forgiveness and new life in Christ are staring death in the face and sharing the Lord with other Taliban fighters and leaders.

One surprising statistic surfaced from IsikAbla’s TV, Internet, and social media ministry at the end of 2017. The #1 city worldwide for her Facebook engagements (reactions, comments, and shares) was Kabul, Afghanistan with 182,781. Kabul also ranked #2 in the list of top cities for Facebook followers (behind Cairo) with 315,840.

This figure is even more suggestive of the hunger for the truth among Afghans in that social media users account for only 9% of Afghanistan’s 34 million people, and that access and use of the Internet reaches only about 12% of the population. Eighty percent of users are 18-30 years old.*

Work among Afghan refugees

Our ministry partners also report a significant openness and response to the gospel among Afghan refugees in Iran and Turkey. In an article from Relief Web dated Feb. 7, 2018, it was reported that:

“Four decades of conflict in Afghanistan has led to massive displacement of Afghans across the surrounding sub-region. Iran alone has received around three million Afghan refugees. Close to one million of these have been registered by the government and are thus, afforded protection and are eligible for assistance. However up to two million remain un-documented and therefore have neither formal legal status nor access to assistance. Up to 800,000 of these undocumented refugees are considered to be extremely vulnerable.”

Typically, Iranians are highly educated; Afghans are not. Many Iranians look down on Afghans and treat them badly. But in today’s Persian-speaking church inside Iran you not only see many Afghans coming to Christ, but incredibly, serving alongside Iranians.

Iranian Christians have sought out these Afghan refugees to care for them. The reason they are coming to Christ, as one Afghan put it, is because “Iranians never cared for us, but you (Iranians) have loved us. That is what attracted us to Christ.”

About 70% of the Afghan population speak and understand Afghan Persian (Dari). Thus Iranian believers have also been instrumental in exposing Afghans to modern day, understandable translations of the Scripture that has been a great help in evangelism and discipleship.

Extraordinary results are being seen in Turkey as well, where Iranian refugees have reached out to the Afghan refugees. Some Afghan converts are now pastoring churches and leading many to Christ. One couple alone has led more than 100 people to Christ. Another influence in the move of God inside Afghanistan has been that many of these refugee converts are communicating with their relatives and friends at home. They tell them that they are following the wrong God, then lead them to Christ and disciple them from outside the country.

Major factors influencing the this move of God among Afghans

  1. Prayer

For decades there have been Christians and groups from around the world praying for Afghanistan. Finally, we are seeing the stony ground being cleared so that there is soft soil where the seeds of the Word of God are being planted in people’s hearts. Fruit is beginning to be seen.

Still, many Afghan converts are fearful and lead dangerous lives. Converts must be careful about sharing their faith to avoid persecution by the Islamists, the police, and even their own family members and neighbors. In the village areas where conversion to Christianity is more noticeable and brings shame to families, converts suffer more persecution than in Kabul or the bigger cities. Continue to pray that the breakthroughs we are seeing increase until a full harvest is reaped.

  1. The Blood of Martyrs

Prior to 9/11/2001 many Afghans–tired of war and conflict and fearful of the Taliban who came into power in 1996–fled the country. After 9/11 when the American forces came in and the Taliban were routed and defeated, many Afghans returned with hope and optimism for their country. People believed they had a chance for a new future after decades of war and fighting.

Along with those returning came expats, including a number of Christian missionaries. This started in 2002. A number of Christians came in under the umbrella of various aid and medical groups until 2007-2008 when their numbers began to dwindle. By 2014 most had stopped coming.

Many lives had been lost. A conservative estimate is that around 30-40 missionaries, as well as Afghan converts, were martyred. But an indigenous work, springing from the blood of those martyrs began, and is now spreading.

  1. Fear, War, and Insecurity

Afghanistan has been a war-torn country for decades that has reduced it to ruin and privation. It has survived under the influence and control of many outside powers, including the British, the Soviet Union, and more recently, Western powers. Though the Taliban (which at one time controlled 90% of the country) were beaten back by U.S. and coalition forces, they, along with ISIS continue to be menacing and threatening forces–killing and terrorizing (sometimes innocent children) just to incite fear, subjugation and compliance. Muslims killing other Muslims has also been a factor contributing to the crumbling respect for Islam and the growing openness to alternative beliefs, such as Christianity.

  1. Unemployment

With 40% unemployment, youth and young families see little hope for a future in Afghanistan. Many young men resort to fighting for the Taliban or ISIS just to collect a paycheck. But the depression and despair living in a poor society with little opportunity has made Afghans more open to the good news of a God who loves them, has a purpose for their lives, and can give them hope.

Pray: for this indigenous work of God taking place among the Afghan people.

Pray: Let’s rejoice in the growth of His church and pray for the new believers to be protected, to grow in maturity, and to be effective in outreach to others.

Pray: Also, join our brothers and sisters in Christ in praying for His peace for their war-torn land.

http://www.operationworld.org/country/afgh/owtext.html

Islam’s Linguistic Roots Essay is Finished!!!!

Hi friends,

Just letting you know that after three months of intensive research and writing I have now completed and uploaded the final version of a new Essay called Islam’s Linguistic Roots.

I thought it would top out at 2-3,000 words but there was so much to write about that it ballooned out to just under 10,000 words. Sorry!

The essay covers the following topics and is drawn from some of the best published essays by the world’s leading linguists.

  1. The evolution of Arabic.
  2. The structure of Arabic writing
  3. The impact and significance of foreign loan words in the Qur’an
  4. The evolution of Arabic’s diacritical aids
  5. The theory of pre-Islamic poetry as the source of the Arabic language
  6. The existence of pre-Islamic rhythmic hymns in the Qur’an.

Here is the link if you want to go straight to it:

Kevin

Islam’s Linguistic Roots