Multiple sources have confirmed that about 25 to 30 Christian college students were massacred at a university in northeastern Nigeria this past week, causing Christians to pray for a “change of heart” among the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram to put a stop to the continued violence. While there is speculation as to the motive of the massacre, sources close to the human rights watchdog Open Doors USA confirm that the massacre was performed by Boko Haram. Emily Fuentes, the communications and public relations coordinator for Open Doors who recently visited Nigeria and spoke to Christian leaders about Boko Haram, told The Christian Post that believers around the world can agree that prayer is the “only thing that will change the people of Boko Haram.” “There are people who are turning to Christ who used to be in the Boko Haram, and God is changing their hearts,” Fuentes told CP. “A lot of Christians believe that God will change these peoples’ hearts,” she added. The killings reportedly occurred when masked gunmen went door-to-door in the off-campus housing section of Federal Polytechnic College in Mubi, a city in the remote Adamawa State in northeastern Nigeria. Open Doors USA sources confirmed that the gunmen separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat. “Open Doors is calling on Christians in the West to bear this horrific burden with our brothers and sisters in Mubi and Adamawa state,” Open Doors USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra said in a press release e-mailed to The Christian Post. “Nigeria is becoming a killing field,” he added. Fuentes told CP that according to a local Nigerian police chief, Monday night’s killing were performed by Boko Haram as an act of reprisal after 156 Boko Haram members were arrested in Mubi in late September. Fuentes told CP over the phone interview that the goal of the terror group, which has reportedly overtaken 13 of Nigeria’s northern states, is to make the country a completely Islamic nation and rid it of all western influence. “In these [Nigerian] states to be a Christian is of grave danger,” Fuentes said, adding that killing Christians is “Boko Haram’s way of wiping out western influence.” Fuentes confirmed that in Mobi, where the massacre took place, there has been some form of violent attack on Christians nearly every day since November 2011. Fuentes shared the testimonials involving a change of heart by two Boko Haram members. In one testimonial, a former Boko Haram member found the Gospel of Jesus Christ and converted. He now serves as a witness to other Boko Haram members, and although he receives threats to his life daily, he has managed to stay alive. Other Boko Haram members, according to Fuentes, have not converted to Christianity but have seen the “goodness of the Christian religion” and now warn Christians before there is an attack. In light of the recent attack, Open Doors USA requested that all Christians pray for the families of the deceased students, who have been “thrown into mourning” and are reportedly in “indescribably pain right now.” “Please pray for the parents, families and friends of the innocent victim of this slaughter. Pray that they will receive the comfort only our Lord can give. Pray that justice will prevail. Pray that Christians will not retaliate,” Open Doors said. Boko Haram has yet to openly claim responsibility for the massacre.
- Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) believes that the Obama administration knew within 24 hours after the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi was a planned terrorist attack, reports The Christian Post. President Obama and other administration officials were claiming the attack was a spontaneous demonstration in response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video for two weeks after the Sept. 11 attack. “The coordinated attack lasted for hours with al-Qaida associated militia. My belief is that was known by the administration within 24 hours,” Graham said in an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation. Graham argued that the Obama administration promulgated incorrect information about the Benghazi attack because it is “trying to sell a narrative about the Middle East—the wars are receding and al-Qaida’s been dismantled.” Admitting that it was a terrorist attack, Graham continued, would show that “leading from behind didn’t work” and it “undercuts that narrative.” The Obama administration “never believed the media would investigate, Congress was out of session and this caught up with them,” Graham said. “I think they’ve been misleading us, but it finally caught up with them.” “Well that is a very serious charge you just leveled, Senator,” host Bob Schieffer responded. “Are you saying the administration deliberately misled the American people to make it look as if terrorism is not as much of a threat as apparently it is?” “Either they are misleading the American people or they are incredibly incompetent,” Graham answered. “There was no way, with anybody looking at all, that you could believe, five days after the attack, it was based on a riot that never occurred. There was no riot at all. So, to say that, you’re either very incompetent or you’re misleading.”
- Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin (R) is running a new campaign ad stemming from a report that Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was enriched from federal low-income housing contracts that she approved while in office. As onenewsnow.com reported, Associated Press recently revealed that McCaskill’s financial reports show her husband, Joseph Shepard, personally earned between $400,000 and $2.6 million from his businesses that received almost $40 million in federal payments from 2007 through 2011. McCaskill voted for some of the bills that funded the federal housing and agriculture departments, which provide housing subsidies. Republican challenger Akin released a new ad related to the story: “Ever wonder why Claire McCaskill called the stimulus bill wildly successful? The stimulus that didn’t create jobs, but cost us billions,” the ad poses. “Now we know the stimulus made McCaskill rich—more than $1 million paid to partnerships owned by McCaskill’s family. While she gives us excuses, just remember this: McCaskill said, ‘There was a group of us who went through the bill line by line.’ Claire McCaskill was getting rich off us line by line.” Perry Akin, the candidate’s son and campaign manager, says his father is being overwhelmingly outspent by McCaskill. “Claire raised a record in the last quarter because she has a lot of money coming in from a lot of liberal groups across the country,” he explained. “So, fundraising is a big deal.”
- An official transcript sent to LifeSiteNews by the Ontario government confirms that Dalton McGuinty’s Education Minister told media last Wednesday that Catholic schools should not be teaching that abortion is wrong because it is a violation of the government’s newly enacted anti-bullying bill. In comments largely ignored or buried by Canada’s mainstream media, Minister Laurel Broten told a press conference at Queen’s Park that Catholic teaching on abortion is “misogyny.” Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office has forwarded queries about Broten’s remarks to her office. “We do not allow and we’re very clear with the passage of Bill 13 that Catholic teachings cannot be taught in our schools that violates human rights and which brings a lack of acceptance to participation in schools,” she said when asked if it’s okay for the schools to encourage pro-life rallies. Asked if Premier McGuinty supports the Minister’s stance, his office directed LifeSiteNews to Broten’s office. Since LifeSiteNews first published the shocking comments, they have ignited a firestorm of criticism from pro-life and faith leaders in both Canada and the U.S. and across denominational lines. Dr. Margaret Somerville, the founding director of McGill University’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, called it an “appalling” violation of religious freedom. “If Bill 13 were interpreted in the way the Minister suggests, in my opinion, it would be unconstitutional as offending freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and free speech, as well as contrary to parents’ obligations and rights with respect to their children, and so on,” she told LifeSiteNews. Faye Sonier, legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said the claim that Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life is a form of bullying “would leave someone with even a rudimentary understanding of law reeling.” Steve Phelan, communications director for the Virginia-based Human Life International, called it “a case of radical, secular leftists trying to take away the most basic rights of those with whom they disagree.”
- Liberty Alliance has issued a communique stating that “our brave men and women in uniform are being disenfranchised, but no one is talking about it!” Federal law requires states to mail absentee ballots to overseas and military voters a minimum of 45 days before the election. This year the deadline was Sept. 22. More than two weeks later, “we’re learning that municipalities in many states, like Michigan, Mississippi, Wisconsin and Vermont, failed to comply with this law by either sending the ballots late or not sending them at all. The Department of Justice is considering taking action, but consideration isn’t good enough! States that failed to mail their absentee ballots by the September 22 deadline must be required to extend the deadline for military voters to return their ballots. The roughly 350,000 U.S. troops currently deployed to at least 130 countries deserve to have their voices heard on November 6, so the Heroes Vote Initiative is DEMANDING answers and action. We’re prepared to bring this issue to court if the Department of Justice and the Pentagon do not act to immediately remedy the situation by extending deadlines in the delinquent states. These new revelations are the latest in a long list of voting wrongs suffered by our military members. For over a month, we have sounded the alarm bell over the record low participation rates by military voters. Yet, the Pentagon keeps saying that military voting is ‘the best that it has ever been.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth. The reality is that absentee ballot requests are the lowest we’ve seen in the last decade. There’s really no way to spin the numbers. We need to make military voting the highest priority. The men and women who risk their lives to defend our freedoms—including our right to vote in free and fair elections—deserve a say in who becomes their Commander in Chief.”
- More than a dozen Republican members of Congress hope to file a friend-of-the-court brief in Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.’s lawsuit that challenges the federal government’s requirement that health insurance cover the morning-after pill, reports bighealthreport.com. The group submitted a request Thursday to file briefs in support of Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit. The Oklahoma City–based arts and crafts chain says a provision in the health care reform law that requires the coverage of birth control violates the company founders’ deeply held Christian beliefs.
- Praised by colleagues as smart, friendly, and passionate about the law, Teresa Wagner was a leading candidate when two jobs came open to teach writing at the University of Iowa law school. An alumnus, she was already working part-time at its writing center and received positive reviews from students and a key committee. But after she interviewed with the faculty in 2007, one job went to someone without teaching experience and the other wasn’t filled. She was passed over for other jobs in the coming years. She now says she was blackballed because of her legal work against abortion rights and will take her complaint to a jury this week in a case that is being closely watched in higher education because of longstanding allegations of political bias at left-leaning law schools, reports newsmax.com. Conservatives have maintained for years that they are passed over for jobs and promotions at law schools because of their views, but formal challenges have been rare, in part because of the difficulty of proving discrimination. Wagner’s case is considered the first of its kind. “This will put a spotlight on a terrible injustice that is being perpetrated throughout American higher education,” said Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, who says he routinely hears from rejected conservative professors. “What makes Teresa Wagner’s case so extraordinary is she came up with the documentary evidence of what was really going on.” But some scholars worry that challenges like Wagner’s could force law schools to begin openly considering the political views of job applicants, opening the way for more lawsuits and court interference in hiring. At a federal trial that was to start Monday in Davenport, Wagner will argue that the law school faculty blocked her appointment because she had opposed abortion rights, gay marriage and euthanasia while working as a lawyer for the Family Research Council and the National Right to Life Committee in Washington.
- Two law professors, including one who served in the Bush Justice Department, have published a paper charging that President Obama violated the Constitution with his directive to law enforcement not to deport illegal aliens. In the paper titled, “The Obama Administration, the Dream Act and the Take Care Clause,” authors Robert Delahunty of the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and John Yoo, a law professor at University of California at Berkeley and former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general, blast Obama’s moratorium on deporting certain illegal immigrants. The professors dismissed the idea that the decision on whether to deport illegal immigrants who are arrested for minor infractions is a matter of prosecutorial discretion. “It’s the duties of the president. He must always uphold the law,” said John Yoo, Berkeley law professor and former State Department attorney. “If there’s one case and it’s left to the prosecutor, well that’s fine, but what Obama did was take a million cases and leave it up to prosecutorial discretion,” Yoo told foxnews.com. “The only reason it’s under [Department of Homeland Security Secretary] Janet Napolitano’s discretion is because Obama had made his decision. If she’s doing it under her own, she would have to be fired.”
- Businesses are warning that they will have to lay off employees if President Obama wins November’s elections. A Florida timeshare mogul known as the “King of Versailles” has sent his employees an e-mail saying he may be forced to reduce the number of workers in his company if President Obama is re-elected. myfoxorlando.com reports David Siegel, the billionaire president and CEO of Orlando-based Westgate Resorts, told his employees that though his company has so far been able to survive during the harsh economic conditions, he does not believe it will be able to do so if President Obama wins a second term. “If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” he says in the e-mail, which he gave to MyFoxOrlando.com. “Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.” Siegel explains that he believes the current administration and the media are pitting employer against employee. “They want you to believe that we live in a class system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer,” he said. “They label us the ‘1%’ and imply that we are somehow immune to the challenges that face our country. This could not be further from the truth.” Siegel argues he earned his success through hard work, pouring what he made back into his business. Despite this, he says he feels the costs of running a business are becoming “out of control.” “We are being taxed to death, and the government thinks we don’t pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes,” he said. “I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes.”
- In a re-election to another six-year term, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez defeated Henrique Capriles by a 10 percent point margin in the presidential election, notes worthynews.com. The win marks Chavez’s fourth presidential election victory since 1998. It also means more of the same leftist-leaning policies. Some of these have earned Venezuela a dubious reputation. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Watch List includes Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia, and Venezuela. Venezuela has been on USCIRF’s Watch List since 2009. According to the USCIRF, “The Watch List provides advance warning of negative trends that could develop into severe violations of religious freedom, thereby providing policymakers with the opportunity to engage early and increasing the likelihood of preventing or diminishing the violations.” In that report, investigators found continued violations of freedom of religion. These included government failure to hold accountable those behind attacks on religious leaders and houses of worship, virulent rhetoric from President Hugo Chavez, government officials, state media, and pro-Chavez media directed episodically against the certain faith-based communities. Since President Chavez first came to office in 1998, there has been a steady increase of government rhetoric, and in some cases government actions, against the faith-based groups thought to have ties with the West. Greg Musselman, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs Canada, says it’s not likely things will change in the direction of more freedom. “Chavez, being close with the Castro (Cuban regime), would have similar kinds of policies against the Church, which would be having more control over the church. And if they didn’t go along with the policies of the government, or if they were in any way seen even preaching the Gospel—which will conflict with an ideology like Hugo Chavez, that could cause problems for the Church.”