U.S. Pulls At Least $900 Million In Aid To Pakistan

Good.

The United States said on Thursday it was suspending at least $900 million in security assistance to Pakistan until it takes action against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network militant groups.

The U.S. State Department announced the decision, saying it reflected the Trump administration’s frustration that Pakistan has not done more against the two groups that Washington says use sanctuaries in Pakistan to launch attacks in neighboring Afghanistan that have killed U.S., Afghan and other forces

The department declined to say exactly how much aid would be suspended, saying the numbers were still being calculated and included funding from both the State and Defense departments…[estimated to be around $900 Million]

Pakistan has long rejected accusations that it fails to tackle the militants battling the Kabul government and U.S.-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, from sanctuaries on its side of the border.

On Friday, Pakistan criticized what it called “shifting goalposts” and said the U.S. suspension of aid was counter-productive…

Briefing reporters, U.S. officials stressed the suspension did not affect civilian aid to Pakistan and that the money could go through if Islamabad took decisive action against the groups.

“Our hope is that they will see this as a further indication of this administration’s immense frustration with the trajectory of our relationship and that they need to be serious about taking the steps we have asked in order to put it on more solid footing,” a senior State Department official told reporters.

“We’re hoping that Pakistan will see this as an incentive, not a punishment,” he added.

The Trump administration briefed Congress on its decision on Wednesday.  Reuters

Former Muslim Urges Prayer For Iranian People

“For the past 10 years, Iran has experienced a tremendous move of God as we witnessed tens of thousands of Muslims convert to faith in Christ. The Islamic Regime has tried tirelessly to put a stop to this great move of God. They have shut down churches, arrested thousands of believers, imprisoned many of them, and some have even been executed.”   Pastor Reza Safa – Turmoil In Iran

Iranian-American Pastor Reza Safa, a former radical Muslim and founder of the Farsi-language Christian network TBN Nejat Television, has issued an urgent request for Christians around the world to pray for Iran and its people as political unrest rages in the Muslim controlled nation. Since December 28th tens of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets of the northern city of Mashhad and elsewhere to protest political oppression, with at least 20 individuals killed in violence.

Safa, whose TBN affiliate network reaches deep into Iran with the gospel message, noted that the protests mark the second time in less than ten years the people of Iran have risen up against the nation’s oppressive Islamic government, which first gained control with the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979. “For the past 39 years the Islamic regime has done nothing but oppress the people of Iran,” said Safa. “The Iranian people are fed up with the government’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad.”

Iran’s economy is in shambles, with an unemployment rate that Iran’s Interior Ministry estimates may be as high as 60 percent in some areas of the country. Safa said that young people under 30, a demographic that constitutes more than half of Iran’s population, are particularly affected, which has helped to fuel the anger against the government.

“In Iran today the people have virtually no freedom,” said Safa. “Even the way they dress publicly is controlled by the government. So now, for the second time since 2009, the people have taken to the streets in cities across Iran to protest against economic hardship and political repression.”

However, he added, there is a major difference this time around. “Today in Iran the gospel is going forward as never before,” said Safa. “Through outlets like TBN Nejat Television, the message of salvation through Jesus is impacting literally every major population center across the nation — despite aggressive efforts by Iran’s government to stop it. Over the past several years countless thousands of Iranians have come to faith in Christ, so that today the nation of Iran is poised for positive change.”

Safa emphasized the importance of Christians around the world joining together in spirit to pray for the people of Iran at this crucial time. “It is important to think in terms of the Church and salvation of souls when we read historical events and political changes,” he said. “I believe that God is preparing an army of ex-Muslims to evangelize the Islamic world in the days ahead. If this is the time for a political change in Iran, our prayers today need to be that a proper and right government is established in this nation and people loved by God. Will you join me in interceding on behalf of Iran and its people?”  ChristianNewsWire

Online:   Pastor Reza Safa – Turmoil In Iran

The Majority Of Refugees Admitted Into The U.S. Under President Trump Are Christian

This should continue now that the U.S. has pulled out of the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration (the U.S. decides who will be allowed to enter our country, not the U.N)

In a major switch likely driven by his travel ban on several Middle Eastern nations, President Trump has begun flipping former President Obama’s preference of Muslim over Christian refugees.

Since the fiscal year began, 60 percent of new refugees admitted into the United States have been Christian, and just 13 percent Muslim.

It continues a trend started during Trump’s first 11 months in office. According to an analysis from Center for Immigration Studies Senior Researcher Nayla Rush:

Refugees admitted in the first 11 months of the Trump administration were mostly Christian (53.2 percent), while Muslims accounted for 32 percent and Buddhists and Hindus accounted for 9.2 percent. 

The shift follows complaints by Christian groups that the Obama administration had overwhelmingly favored Muslims and ignored the plight of Christians, especially in Muslim nations. WashingtonExaminer

German Study Links Increased Crime Rate To Muslim Migrant Arrivals

The study was in the German state of Lower Saxony and linked increased crime rates to migrant arrivals.

The German state of Lower Saxony witnessed a 10.4 percent increase in crime at the height of the migration crisis, according to a study. The study’s authors said age and reporting practices factored into the connection.

According to the study, which was conducted by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences and paid for by Germany’s Ministry of Family Affairs, police witnessed an increase of 10.4 percent in reported violent crimes in 2015 and 2016. More than 90 percent of the increase (not of total violent crimes) was said to be attributable to migrants.  dw