Monday, October 3, 2011
CHILDREN IN CONFLICT – THE SITUATIONS
Hundreds of thousands of children in conflict situations around the world are still:
- consequentially or deliberately killed in war
- recruited or abducted as soldiers
- victims of landmines
- forced to witness violence and killing
- orphaned by violence
- Children in war zones have been deliberately killed or maimed by parties to conflict, often in extremely brutal ways.
- refugees and displaced persons
CHILDREN IN CONFLICT – GLOBAL STATISTICS
- More than 300,000 children around the world are being used in war as soldiers.
- During the last decade, 2 million children have been killed as deliberate targets of war or because they have been forced to fight.
- Nearly half of the 3.6 million people killed in war since 1990 have been children.
- Another 6 million children have been permanently disabled or seriously injured.
- Millions of children suffer from malnutrition, disease, and sexual violence.
- More than half of an estimated 20 million refugees and displaced persons around the world today are children.
- Currently, an estimated 7.7 million people under UNHCR's care are children below the age of 18.
- Almost 20 million war-affected children have been forced from their homes, and have no schools and no communities to offer support to them and their families.
- Females of all ages are particular targets for brutality.
- Entire families and communities of one ethnic group are targeted and systematically killed - genocide.
- 10 million children psychologically traumatized
CHILD SOLDIERS – GLOBAL STATISTICS
- More than 300,000 children under the age of 18 around the world have been coerced or induced to take up arms as child soldiers.
- Most soldiers under 15 are to be found in non-governmental military organizations.
- Most child soldiers under 18 have been recruited into Governmental armed forces.
- The youngest child soldiers are about 7 years old.
- Over 50 countries currently recruit children under age 18 into their armed forces.
- Even girls are not spared. In case studies from El Salvador, Ethiopia and Uganda, it was found that reportedly a third of child soldiers were girls.
CHILD SOLDIERS’ JOB
- They wield assault rifles, machetes, or rocket propelled grenades on the front lines.
- Others are used in "combat support" roles as
- mine clearers
- sex slaves.
REASONS FOR CHILDREN BECOMING CHILD SOLDIERS
- Hunger and poverty drives parents to offer children for service
- Children volunteer to guarantee regular meals, clothing or medical attention.
- Some children become soldiers to protect themselves or their families in the face of violence and chaos around them
- Others, particularly adolescents, are lured by ideology.
- Children also identify with social causes, religious _expression, self-determination, national liberation or the pursuit of political freedom.
- Recruiting children by force is not uncommon - Armed groups take children as they pass through villages.
- Some groups have specifically recruited orphans and nurtured their loyalty.
REASONS FOR CHILDREN BEING CHOSEN AS CHILD SOLDIERS
- Children are impressionable and can be manipulated easily into becoming ruthless and unquestioning tools of war.
- Child soldiers committed some of the worst atrocities in Sierra Leone. Proliferation of lightweight weapons- requiring no physical prowess or technical expertise to manipulate- has made it possible for very young children to bear and use arms.
Key Facts about Children and Landmines
- Mines kill and mutilate 8,000 - 10,000 children each year.
- Children form 25% of those treated for landmine injuries in Red Cross units in the Afghan and Cambodian conflicts, and 75% of the mine related injuries in a hospital in northern Somalia.
- Children are often under represented in hospitals that treat landmine injuries - many simply do not survive a landmine blast because of their size. Some are killed outright or die of sheet agony. They may not survive the huge losses of blood which result from landmine injuries.
- A child who survives a mine blast is likely to be seriously injured and permanently disabled. They may lose one or both legs or arms and suffer horrific injuries to their abdomen and genitals. Shrapnel may cause blindness and disfigure their face.
- Cambodia has twice as many landmines as children (7 million landmines)
- Handicap International estimates that a child may have to wait up to 10 years before having a prosthetic limb fitted.
- Child amputees might not be able to attend school or may be too ashamed to leave their home.
- Children are particularly at risk because of their curiosity - they like to pick up and play with new objects and can mistake a landmine for a toy or harmless object. In Northern Iraq for example, some children use landmines to make go-carts.
- Some antipersonnel mines, such as airborne butterfly mines, are specifically designed to attract children.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
POVERTY – GLOBAL STATISTICS
- Half the world -- nearly 3 billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day.
- 20% of the population in the developed nations, consume 86% of the world’s goods
CHILDREN IN POVERTY – GLOBAL STATISTICS
- Number of children in the world = 2.2 billion
- Number in poverty = 1 billion (every second child)
- 30,000 children die EACH DAY due to poverty.
- 210,000 children die EACH WEEK due to poverty.
- 11 million children under age 5 die EACH YEAR due to poverty.
And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death
Among the 1.9 billion children in the developing nations:
- 640 million children do not have adequate shelter (1 in 3)
- 500 million children have no access to sanitation (1 in 4)
- 400 million children do not have access to safe water (1 in 5)
- 270 million children have no access to health care services (1 in 7)
Global priorities in spending in
Basic education for everyone in the world 6 $U.S. Billions
Cosmetics in the United States 8 $U.S. Billions
Water and sanitation for everyone in the world 9 $U.S. Billions
Ice cream in Europe 11 $U.S. Billions
Reproductive health for all women in the world 12 $U.S. Billions
Perfumes in Europe and the United States 12 $U.S. Billions
Basic health and nutrition for everyone in the world 13 $U.S. Billions
Pet foods in Europe and the United States 17 $U.S. Billions
Business entertainment in Japan 35 $U.S. Billions
Cigarettes in Europe 50 $U.S. Billions
Alcoholic drinks in Europe 105 $U.S. Billions
Narcotics drugs in the world 400 $U.S. Billions
Military spending in the world 780 $U.S. Billions
Monday, September 19, 2011
STREET KIDS – THE DEFINITION
UNICEF has defined three types of street children: Street-Living, Street-Working, Street-Family.
- Street Living Children: children who ran away from their families and live alone on the streets and work in the streets and markets of cities selling or begging and sleep in the streets, lacking any contact with their families
- Street Working Children: children who spend most of their time on the streets, fending for themselves, but returning home on a regular basis.
- Children from Street Families: children who live on the streets with their families.
STREET KIDS – THE REALITY
The phenomenon of street children is global, alarming and escalating. No country and virtually no city anywhere in the world today is without the presence of street children. It is a problem of both developed and developing countries, but is more prevalent in the poor nations of Latin America, Asia and Africa. Poverty, family disintegration due to health or death, neglect, abuse or abandonment, and social unrest are all common triggers for a child's life on the streets.
Murder, consistent abuse and inhumane treatment are the “norm” for these children, whose ages range from six to 18. They often resort to petty theft and prostitution for survival. They are extremely vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS.
An estimated 90% of them are addicted to inhalants such as shoe glue and paint thinner, which cause kidney failure, irreversible brain damage and, in some cases, death
STREET KIDS - Worldwide
At least 100 million children worldwide are believed to live at least part of the time on the streets. . . These street children are first and foremost working children. (UNICEF, 29 March 1994)
STREET KIDS – AROUND THE WORLD
Children now make up half of the population of Africa. Many in urban areas are reduced to living on the streets, surviving through begging, theft and violence. (FEBA Radio Publication)
There are 10,000 street girls living in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (World Vision International, 1993)
Belgium has 4,000 homeless children (in the charge of homeless parents). (Council of Europe)
In BOLIVIA there are 1,500 to 2,000 children living and sleeping in the streets. (Bolivian Government, Census Figures, 1992)
Homeless children in Brazil number around 12 million. (Action International Ministries)Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia has about 5,000 to 10,000 street children. (World Vision International, 1993)
It is estimated that there are at least 40 million street children in Latin America. Many are victims of abuse, sometimes murder, by police, other authorities and individuals who are supposed to protect them. (Casa Alianza Organization)
5,000 to 9,000 children live on the streets of Bogota, Colombia. (Action International Ministries)
France has about 10,000 street children. (Council of Europe)
Ireland has 500 to 1,000 street children. (Council of Europe)
Mexico City has 1,900,000 underprivileged and street children. 240,000 of these are abandoned children. (Action International Ministries)
In the central area of Mexico City there are 11,172 street children. 1,020 live in the street and 10,152 work there. (City of Mexico/Fideicomiso, Report, 1991)
Street children in the Netherlands number some 7,000. (Council of Europe)
Up to 10,000 street and underprivileged children die in Lima, Peru every year. (Kids Alive Ministry)Philippines
There are 50,000 to 70,000 street children in Manila. (Action International Ministries)
There are an estimated 1,200,000 street children in the Philippines. (Report of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (1991) from Jubilee Action, 1992)
It is estimated that there are 1.5 million street children working as pickpockets, beggars, drug traffickers and prostitutes. (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT))
A survey funded by the European Union found around 1,500 children living on the streets of Bucharest. More than 50% were aged between 12 and 15 and 83% of them were boys. Almost 40% had been on the streets for three or more years and 30% were permanently stoned on solvents, while another 25% used them occasionally. ("The Independent", 8 July 1996)
In MOSCOW 5,000 children and young people are abandoned on the streets every year. (BBC1 News, 12 October 1994)
There are 6,000 to 7,000 street children in Istanbul, Turkey. (Council of Europe)
According to a 'Crisis' report half of the beggars on our streets spent their childhood in care and a quarter slept on the streets before they were 16. ("IDEA" Magazine of the Evangelical Alliance, January 1995)
Nearly 100,000 young people go missing in Britain each year. (The Children's Society, "Young runaways", 1989)
Vast numbers of children in the United Kingdom run away from home and 156,000 young people are homeless in Britain every year. (according to Shelter)
United States of America
In the United States there is a crisis situation and Federal Government revealed that there are about 500,000 under-age runaways and 'throw-aways'. ("New York Times", 5 February 1990)
Thursday, September 8, 2011
* Muslims refuse to believe Jesus was crucified out of their deep reverence for Him.
* Islam sees God in terms of purity and absolute power
* Idea of God suffering and dying is completely incomprehensible
* The All Powerful divine nature cannot endure such crushing defeat
THE CRUCIFIXION AND THE QURAN
* Sura 4:157,158 – They say, “Because of (Jews) saying.” We killed the Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, Allah’s messenger” they killed him not nor crucified him but shubbiha lahum (it appeared so to them). And those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof except pursuit of a conjecture; they killed him not for certain. But Allah raised him up to himself, Allah is mighty, wise.”
* Shabih or ‘look alike’ in the Qur’an
Ø This false teaching was widespread among Christian heretics
Ø Basilides, the Gnostic, claimed that Simon of Cyrene consented to be crucified in Jesus’ place, so God cast on him the likeness of Jesus.
Ø Docetists said that Jesus was not crucified at all but only appeared so to the Jews. Docetic is derived from a Greek verb which means ‘to seem’ or ‘to appear’.
Ø In AD 276 Mani, the Persian self proclaimed prophet said ‘the one who was crucified was the son of the widow of Nain.’
* In 380 AD, the Council of Constantinople commissioned Bishop Gregory of Nyssa to visit churches in Arabia and Jerusalem where such disturbances had broken out.
THE MEANING OF Sura 4:157,158
* V.157 Jews boasted “we killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary.”
* This verse does not deny the historicity of the crucifixion.
* “They killed him not nor crucified him” may be interpreted in different ways
Ø Jews did not crucify Jesus but the Romans did
Ø Jews were not the true agents of the crucifixion because Jesus freely and voluntarily gave Himself up to be crucified (John 10:18)
Ø Attempt to kill Jesus was ineffective because He rose from the dead on the third day.
Ø Disagreement about the crucifixion is an Islamic problem, not a Christian one
Ø V157 says “Those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof, they have no knowledge thereof….” - Christians are not among those who disagree concerning the crucifixion
Ø They were never in doubt of it.
Ø They do not pursue conjecture.
Ø Muslims disagree and are in doubt. It is they who have no knowledge thereof
THE RESPONSE TO THIS HERESY
* Jesus did not need a double – because Christ never avoided the crucifixion, He came in the first place for the redemption of man.
* Jesus was All Powerful but chose not to defend Himself. Defending Himself would have defeated His purpose of dying for the sins of the world.
* There is a reliable, historical, evidence for the crucifixion of Christ – gospel accounts and Roman records.
* The eyewitnesses can be trusted, they were present at the event, they would have known an impostor.
* The wrong man would have resisted execution
* It was none other than Jesus Christ who was crucified.
* Since the Quran does not explain how the killing of Jesus took place, the Injil becomes the sole natural and original source of information on this subject
* Sura 3:55 – Allah said, “O Jesus I am inni mutawaffika causing you to die and causing you to ascend to me and I am cleansing you of those who disbelieve and I am setting those who follow you above those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me you will all return and I shall judge between you as to that in which you used to differ.
Mutawaffika – translated
Ø gathering you
Ø “I end your term” (on earth so I do not leave you to your enemies, the Jews to kill you)
Ø “cause you to die” – this is the interpretation of Ibn Abbas, Mohammad’s cousin, known as the Expositor of the Quran. It is also the interpretation of Ibn Ishaq, Mohammad’s biographer. This meaning is also supported in the Hadith.
* Sura 19:33 “Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die and the day I shall be raised alive.” Is a clear Quranic confession and prophecy from the mouth of Jesus that He became incarnate, died, and was raised from the dead
Ø Many Muslim scholars interpret “the day I die” as referring to the death of Jesus after his second coming but in Sura 19:15, the Quran uses the same expression for John the Baptist – so peace be upon him, on the day he was born and on the day of his death and on the day he is raised to life.
Ø Out of over 6,000 Quranic verses, there is not one single verse that simply says that Jesus did not die on the cross or that Jesus was not crucified.
Ø There is a principle of the Quran – 3 verses must say the same thing – but in the Quran, not so regarding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
Early Muslim commentators who were contemporaries of Mohammad are supposed to have made these statements regarding Jesus’ death and resurrection:
1. Wahab bin Mumbah – “Jesus died three hours after he was crucified then Allah raised him”
2. Ibn Hisham – “Jesus died three days after he was crucified”
3. Salma bin Muttalib – “Jesus died after four days”
4. Zumer bin Khattad – “Jesus died after one hour”
All these agree he died, difference was only in time.
But the Muslim commentators after 12th century, said that the above mentioned commentaries are not authentic
BIBLICAL PROOFS OF CRUCIFIXION
* Psalm 22 written 1000 years before Christ.
* Isa 53 written 700 years before Christ
Delivering Jesus to His enemies for 30 pieces of silver
* Zach 11:12 – the fulfilment of this is in Matt 26:14
Buying of the Potter’s field
* Zach 11:13 – fulfilment in Matt 27:3-8
Mocking Jesus then crucifying Him
* Psalm 22:16-18 – fulfilment in Matt 27:39-42
Giving Him vinegar to drink
* Psalm 69:21 – fulfilment in John 19:28
Soldiers dividing His clothes by lot
* Psalm 22:18 – fulfilment in John 19:23,24
His bones not being broken
* Psalm 34:20 – fulfilment in John 19:32
Being pierced by a spear
* Zach 12:10 – fulfilment in John 19:34
Dying with the wicked but being honoured also
* Isa 53:9 – fulfilment in Matt 27:57-60
JESUS HIMSELF WITNESSED TO THE CRUCIFIXION
Jesus knew that the cross was coming upon Him and He prepared His followers well in advance.
Matt 16:21 Matt 17:22,23 Matt 26:1-2 Mark 8:31 Mark 9:31 Mark 10:32-34
Luke 9:22 John 3:13-14 John 12:24-32
JEWISH CONTEMPORARIES WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION
Acts 2:23 Acts 3:14-15 Acts 8:4
Jews would have denied these charges if they were not true.
SACRAMENTS WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION
Rom 6:3-5 Matt 26:26-28
THE SEVEN STATEMENTS ON THE CROSS WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION
A shabih would never be able to utter such things while in the throes of a painful death
THE EMPTY TOMB AND RESURRECTION WITNESS TO THE CRUCIFIXION
Acts 2:22-36 I Cor 15:3-8, 14,15
MEDICAL PROOF OF THE CRUCIFIXION
PSYCHOLOGICAL PROOF OF THE CRUCIFIXION
No group would proudly publicise the shameful death of its leader unless:
- the event really happened
- it led to something helpful and beneficial
Paul takes pride in the cross – Gal 6:14
The cross has been adopted as a symbol of Christianity
NON CHRISTIAN PROOFS OF CRUCIFIXION
Many pagan historians testified to the historicity of the crucifixion:
* Cornelius Tacitus AD 55-120 – He wrote The Annals – mentions how Nero fastened the guilt (burnt Rome) on Christians mentioning Christ suffered extreme penalty in the reign of Tiberius and at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
* Thallus AD 52 – reported darkness covered the land during the crucifixion.
* Julius AD 221 – explained the darkness saying, “It was not because of an eclipse of the sun.” he writes, “the darkness could not take place at the time of the full moon and it was at the season of the Pascal full moon that Jesus was crucified.
* Josephus AD 66 – a Jew born a few years after crucifixion writes mentioning the crucifixion and resurrection
* Lucien AD 100 – outstanding Greek historian writes “the Christians worship a man to this day – one who was crucified”
* Pontius Pilate mentions in Acts of Pontius Pilate that “the crucifixion of Jesus was confirmed”
* Celsius AD 140 – an Epicurean philosopher and enemy of Christ. He recorded the fact of the crucifixion in his book The True Discourse.
WHY DO MUSLIMS REFUSE THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST
* Muslims think that sin does not hurt, disturb or sadden God.
* Muslims think forgiveness and the offering of paradise are God’s decisions – His Will.- So no need for the atoning death of Christ
WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE
- Human nature is sinful.
§ Quran acknowledges the depravity of the human soul
§ Sura 2:35-38, Sura 7:19-26 - Quran confirms man’s fall in the garden of Eden
§ Sura 2:36 and Sura 7:24 – state consequences of Adam’s sin on his descendants
:Sura 11:9 – Man is despairing, ungrateful
Sura 12:53 – Man is prone to evil Isaiah 53:6
Sura 14:34 – Man is a wrongdoer
Sura 3:193 – Muslims pray for forgiveness and atonement of sins
This is why every Muslim prays “forgive us our sins and atone (kafar, cover) for us our evil deeds and take our souls in death in the company of the righteous” Sura 3:193.
How can this petition be granted? – tells us why Jesus had to die:
- Good deeds do not save
§ Sura 2:271, Sura 5:12,45,89, Sura 29:7 - Quran teaches that good deeds annul evil ones
§ Eph 2:8,9, Titus 3:3-7 - Bible takes different view –teaches that it is by grace that we are saved and all our good deeds are like filthy rags.
- We need a ransom
§ Heb 9:22 - without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
§ Gen 3:21. God Himself initiated this
§ Entire OT-- sacrifices continue
§ John 1:29, I Cor 5:7.– all these were symbols of the one true sacrifice of Christ
§ Sura 37:107 -The Quran accepts the concept of ransom when it speaks about redeeming Abraham’s son with a great sacrifice –. They celebrate Id-al-Ada (Feast of Sacrifice). This commemorates the redemption of Abraham’s son.
- God’s justice and mercy must be reconciled.
§ Sura 3:56 - Quran teaches that God is just –. A just God will never overlook sin.
§ Sura 6:54. - Quran also teaches that God is merciful
§ Isa 53:4-6 – Jesus allowed both justice and mercy to be satisfied. Quran does not mention about reconciling these two contradictory attitudes in our lives.