persecution

Saul No More

Transfiguration,
Illuminating evil’s path:
The Light of the Son;
Led blindly, yet in full faith –
Saul no more, now apostle Paul

written in response to today’s prompt at The Daily Post, and inspired by Paul’s conversion as described in Acts 9

BBC News: Are Christian converts seeking asylum getting a raw deal?

Are Christian converts seeking asylum getting a raw deal?

‘Asylum claims from people who have converted to Christianity are being rejected because officials are testing them on Bible trivia.
A report says the Home Office is ignoring its own guidelines on how to assess cases, meaning that genuinely persecuted Christians are being let down.’
(Dominic Casciani reports)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-36430880

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34268332

Sir Nicholas Winton – “The British Schindler”

A memorial service has been held today for Sir Nicholas Winton, who rescued hundreds of children from the Holocaust in the months before World War Two.

Some 28 of those he saved as children were among 400 people who attended the event at London’s Guildhall, along with Czech, Slovak and UK government representatives.

Sir Nicholas organised the “Kindertransport” in which 669 mostly Jewish children came to Britain by train from Czechoslovakia in 1939.

He died on 1 July last year, aged 106.

Faith Unlocked

Please read and watch – I defy you to not shed a tear.

Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE is a British humanitarian who organised the rescue of 669, mostly Jewish, children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. The UK press has dubbed him the “British Schindler”. On 28 October 2014 he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion, by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

Nicholas Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London, a son of German Jewish parents who had moved to London two years earlier. The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptised.

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Sir Nicholas Winton – “The British Schindler”

Please read and watch – I defy you to not shed a tear.

Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE is a British humanitarian who organised the rescue of 669, mostly Jewish, children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the Second World War, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Winton found homes for the children and arranged for their safe passage to Britain. The UK press has dubbed him the “British Schindler”. On 28 October 2014 he was awarded the highest honour of the Czech Republic, the Order of the White Lion, by Czech President Miloš Zeman.

Nicholas Winton was born on 19 May 1909 in Hampstead, London, a son of German Jewish parents who had moved to London two years earlier. The family name was Wertheim, but they changed it to Winton in an effort at integration. They also converted to Christianity, and Winton was baptised.

In 1923, Winton entered Stowe School, which had just opened. He left without graduating, attending night school while volunteering at the Midland Bank. He then went to Hamburg, where he worked at Behrens Bank, followed by Wasserman Bank in Berlin. In 1931, he moved to France and worked for the Banque Nationale de Crédit in Paris. He also earned a banking qualification in France. Returning to London, he became a broker at the London Stock Exchange. Though a stockbroker, Winton was also “an ardent socialist who became close to Labour Party luminaries Aneurin Bevan, Jennie Lee and Tom Driberg.” Through another socialist friend, Martin Blake, Winton became part of a left-wing circle opposed to appeasement and concerned about the dangers posed by the Nazis.

Shortly before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help Martin Blake, who was in Prague as an associate of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia, and had called Winton to ask him to assist in Jewish welfare work. Winton single-handedly established an organisation to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square. In November 1938, following the Kristallnacht in Nazi-ruled Germany, the House of Commons approved a measure to allow the entry into Britain of refugees younger than 17, provided they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited for their eventual return to their own country.

An important obstacle was getting official permission to cross into the Netherlands, as the children were destined to embark on the ferry at Hook of Holland. After the Kristallnacht in November 1938, the Dutch government officially closed its borders to any Jewish refugees. The border guards, marechaussee, searched for them and returned any found to Germany, despite the horrors of Kristallnacht being well known: from the border, the synagogue in Aachen could be seen burning just 3 miles away.

Winton succeeded, thanks to the guarantees he had obtained from Britain. After the first train, crossing the Netherlands went smoothly. A Dutch woman, Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer saved another 1000 Jewish children, mostly from Vienna and Berlin via the Hook, though it is not known whether she and Winton ever met. In 2012, a statue was erected on the quay at the Hook to commemorate all who had saved Jewish children.

Winton found homes in Britain for 669 children, many of whose parents would perish in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Winton’s mother worked with him to place the children in homes and later hostels. Throughout the summer, Winton placed advertisements seeking families to accept them. The last group of 250, scheduled to leave Prague on 1 September 1939, did not reach safety. Hitler had invaded Poland and the Second World War had begun.

Winton kept quiet about his humanitarian exploits for many years, until his wife Grete found a detailed scrapbook in their attic in 1988. It contained lists of the children, including their parents’ names, and the names and addresses of the families that took them in. By sending letters to these addresses, 80 of “Winton’s children” were found in Britain. The world found out about his work in 1988 during an episode of the BBC television programme That’s Life! when he was invited as a member of the audience. At one point Winton’s scrapbook was shown, and his achievements were explained. The host of the programme, Esther Rantzen, asked whether any in the audience owed their lives to Winton, and, if so, to stand – more than two dozen people surrounding Winton rose and applauded.

As do I.

He Knew they Would

My enemy’s enemy,
May become my ally,
But be warned, not my friend;

The Enemy has only enemies,
Some are used as allies,
But he has no friends.

If you follow Jesus,
The world will hate you;
Just as it first hated Him,

They reject Him, they deny Him,
For rebellion is our nature;
And they hate Him without reason,
As He knew and said they would.

If you belong to Jesus, friend,
Opposition awaits, just as He said;
Opposition becomes hatred,
Just as they first hated Him;
Persecution follows surely,
Surely as they persecuted Him,
As surely as
He knew that they would.

Know then friends,
Just as he has promised,
Just as he has warned us
In His word,
If you follow Him,
As He commands you,
As it did to Him,
So the world will do to you.

– inspired by John 15:18-25

Quotes on Persecution

“Of course it’s dangerous. But it’s a lot more dangerous for all of us if we don’t do it. Even in a conquering army there are casualties. Safety is not the issue when we look at the Great Commission. The purpose of the church cannot be to survive, or even to thrive, but to serve.”
― Brother Andrew, Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“Christianity is anything but safe. Jesus made clear that trouble and persecution stood in the future for His followers.”
― Dillon Burroughs, Thirst No More: A One-Year Devotional Journey

“It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and good people who have learned the great secret of life. They have found a joy and wisdom which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians. . . and I am one of them.”
― Cyprian of Carthage

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

“No innocence can shield a man from the calumnies of the wicked. […] As a shadow follows its substance, so envy pursues goodness. It is only at the tree laden with fruit that men throw stones. If we would live without being slandered we must wait until we get to heaven. Let us be very heedful not to believe the flying rumors which are always harassing gracious men. If there are no believers in lies, there will be but a dull market in falsehood, and good men’s characters will be safe. Ill will never spoke well. Sinners have an ill will to saints; therefore, be sure that they will not speak well of them.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon

“If you are going to walk with Jesus Christ, you are going to be opposed…. In our days, to be a true Christian is really to become a scandal.”
― George Whitefield, The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield, M.A…: Containing All His Sermons and Tracts Which Have Been Already Published: With a Select Collection

“It shouldn’t be difficult, then, to make the transposition at this point into the early Christian vision of Jesus and the Spirit and the way in which the material world is both celebrated and renewed through their work. The Jewish basis for the early Christian patterns of belief and behavior is clear. It is important that God’s people are embodied, because God made this world and has no intention of abandoning it. The material of creation is a vessel made to be filled with God’s new life and glory, even though the transformation may involve suffering, persecution, and martyrdom.”
― N.T. Wright, The Case for the Psalms: why they are essential

“I tremble because of the sufferings of those persecuted in different lands. I tremble thinking about the eternal destiny of their torturers. I tremble for Western Christians who don’t help their persecuted brethren. In the depth of my heart, I would like to keep the beauty of my own vineyard and not be involved in such a huge fight. I would like so much to be somewhere in quietness and rest. But it is not possible… The quietness and rest for which I long would be an escape from reality and dangerous for my soul… The West sleeps and must be awakened to see the plight of the captive nations.”
― Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

“Jesus warned, however, that this life of servanthood is not lived without cost. He said, “The servant is not greater than his Lord” (John 13:16) and, if the persecuted and hated Him, we can expect no better treatment.
In 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul wrote, ” All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persectution,” so this is also the cost we as servants must be willing to pay.
This is so difficult for us to accept in our world of man-pleasing, “I’m OK, you’re OK” Christianity. No one wants to be disliked, hated or misunderstood—especially by family, friends and loved ones. But this of often exactly the price to be paid by anyone seriously wanting to follow Jesus into a life of servanthood.”
― K.P. Yohannan, The Road to Reality: Coming Home to Jesus from the Unreal World