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Spiritual Persecution In Nigeria 'Has Gotten Worse': Assist Teams – The Pill Catholic Newspaper



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Advocates: ‘No logical foundation’ for U.S. State Division’s Stance 
PROSPECT HEIGHTS — The Biden Management’s declare that it has a company grip on diplomatic family members with Nigeria is baffling, say Brooklyn-based teams frightened about escalating Christian persecution within the West African country.
The advocates level to violence towards Nigerian Christians from militant Islamists, equivalent to the gang Boko Haram, and marauding herdsmen who pillage Christian-owned farms and communities.
They expressed confusion over the new removing of Nigeria from the State Division’s checklist of nations referred to as the sector’s worst violators of spiritual freedom. A country in this checklist is regarded as a “Nation of Specific Fear” (CPC), as Nigeria used to be designated in 2020 by means of the Trump Management.
However, in mid-November, Secretary of State Antony Blinken launched an up to date CPC checklist without a point out of Nigeria, prompting dismay amongst individuals who assert that violence towards Christians has worsened there over the last 12 months.
“We’re baffled,” stated Ed Clancy, outreach director for Brooklyn-based Assist to the Church in Want-U.S. “Via each unmarried measure, Nigeria has gotten worse.”
Father Cosmas Nzeabalu is coordinator of the Nigerian Apostolate for the Diocese of Brooklyn, which is house to 1000’s of West African Catholics and Christians. He stated the unchecked waft of weapons to terrorists and herdsmen has fueled the violence towards Christians.
“Spiritual intolerance has culminated into such a lot killing,” stated Father Nzeabalu, parochial vicar at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Springfield Gardens, Queens.
“And,” he added, “as a result of folks have were given get entry to to weapons, they have got moved from a spiritual disaster simplest to a prime stage of kidnapping, the place people who find themselves shifting across the streets are abducted for ransom.”
“After cautious evaluation, the Secretary has assessed that Nigeria does no longer meet the prison threshold for persevered designation beneath the World Spiritual Freedom Act,” a State Division spokesman wrote in a observation to The Pill.
“We proceed to have authentic considerations concerning the state of spiritual freedom in Nigeria, which might be smartly documented in the once a year IRF (World Spiritual Freedom) File, and we will be able to proceed to press the federal government to deal with those.”
International locations that did make Blinken’s CPC checklist in 2021 integrated Burma, the Other people’s Republic of China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Whilst Nigeria didn’t make the CPC checklist, Blinken did tag Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa amongst “Entities of Specific Fear.” Those are the State Division’s designations for “non-state actors” identified for serious violations of spiritual freedom.
The U.S. Fee on World Spiritual Freedom advises the State Division on CPC designations. Its contributors stated they had been appalled by means of the omission.
“USCIRF is particularly displeased with the removing of Nigeria from its CPC designation, the place it used to be rightfully positioned final 12 months,” stated Nadine Maenza, the USCIRF’s chair.
Maenza famous that the State Division’s personal IRF record incorporates sufficient details on Nigeria to warrant its go back to the CPC checklist.
“We urge the State Division to rethink,” she stated.
Consistent with the World Spiritual Freedom Act, the Secretary of State announces CPC designations beneath authority delegated by means of the President.
A CPC is a country to blame of serious spiritual freedom violations, together with torture, extended imprisonment, abductions, or denials of existence, liberty, and protection. International locations at the checklist are matter to U.S. financial sanctions.
Clancy and Father Nzeabalu stated that the Nigerian govt led by means of President Muhammadu Buhari merits CPC standing as it has carried out little to stop the violence. Thus, Clancy added, Blinken’s stance on Nigeria has “no logical foundation.”
“I’ve searched low and high,” he stated on Jan. 4. “They haven’t given us rational proof — an particular reason why announcing that within the final 12 months, issues have got higher. Not anything.”
ACN information reviews that about 3,300 Nigerian Christians died for his or her religion each and every 12 months from 2011 thru 2021. However an estimated 3,500 folks additionally died right through the primary seven months of 2021 on my own, Clancy stated.
“One thing like 1,100 faculties within the northwest of Nigeria are necessarily closed or restricted within the time that they’re open, as a result of worry,” he added.
Clancy famous that Christ the King Primary Seminary within the state of Kaduna, additionally in northwest Nigeria, used to be attacked by means of bandits in October, in spite of the posting of armed guards.
“Seminarians had been taken captive,” he stated. The State Division, Clancy stated, concludes that the violence doesn’t “upward push to the prison definition as described within the 1998 World Spiritual Freedom Act.”
“Ok,” he added, “so, then, what does?” The CPC checklist used to be launched round the similar time Blinken used to be making his first diplomatic commute to Africa, which integrated a prevent in Nigeria.
The dept’s spokesman advised The Pill that Blinken, “emphasised to President Buhari that advancing human rights — together with spiritual freedom coverage — stays a basis of U.S. pursuits in Nigeria.”
He added, “Key spiritual freedom considerations come with the arrest and detention of people for blasphemy or an identical fees, creeping implementation of Sharia within the nation’s northern states, abuses and discrimination towards Shia, and screw ups by means of the federal government to deal with societal violence, together with assaults on clergy and puts of worship.”
Father Nzeabalu stated he believes the Biden Management acknowledges that Nigeria has nice affect at the African continent, whilst additionally controlling huge herbal assets, like oil. Due to this fact, he stated, Blinken’s consult with used to be most likely intended to assuage the Buhari govt.
“I believe he went strictly according to American pursuits and to not maintain what the issue with Nigeria is,” he stated.
Father Nzeabalu famous that Nigeria’s nationwide elections are set for 2023, and he was hoping its honorable leaders would advertise a “non-tribal” candidate who would no longer desire one team over others, but additionally paintings for shared protection and prosperity.
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The Pill is the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, serving Brooklyn and Queens since 1908.
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother




The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God




The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement




The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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