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293. Christian Pastor to Remain in Iranian Prison

This issue looks at calls to both boycott and support Israel, Obama’s un-Christmas tree, more Muslim influence in the U.S. Army, the latest on Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Iran’s threat to cut off oil supply, and the latest claim that Jesus was a Palestinian.OUR ISRAELI CONNECTION

Mayor of Bethlehem Calls for Boycott of Israel
Jerusalem Prayer Team reports: In his annual Christmas message, Victor Batarseh, the mayor of Bethlehem (which is under Palestinian control), called for a worldwide boycott of Israel. “It is the only way to make peace,” he said. “We call for boycotting Israel culturally, educationally, in sports, economics, and trade.” Israel’s economy is very dependent on trade, and the Palestinians have been working overtime to try to force Israel to give in to their demands by means of economic pressure from the rest of the world.

 ‘Tis the Season for the Church to Support Israel
The Jerusalem Post reports:There is something deeply wrong with Western Christianity today, and it has to do with Israel. It is no wonder the churches in the West are dying out. So long as the Church fails to recognize that its own identity – its genesis and its destiny – are bound up with the restoration of the Jewish people (yes, the literal Israel), we will continue to miss the mark, and we will fail to be relevant. This requires nothing less than a fundamental paradigm shift in the mentality of most Christian leaders. Read more.

IT’S NEWS TO ME

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Pays Homage to Obama-But Not Jesus
CNSNewscom reports: (CNSNews.com) – he 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree’s base that uses the word “Christmas,” or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ. On the north side of the tree–at a height of about 4 feet and easily visible to people standing near it—there is an ornament that says: “I ♥ President Obama.” Read more.
 
More Muslim Infiltration of US Army
Godfather Politics reports: The influence of our Muslim president and his jihadist brotherhood is changing the face of our US military. In the most recent change, the Department of Defense has supposedly given their approval to a measure that allows Muslim ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) to wear traditional headscarves and turbans along with their uniforms.  This was brought on by the involvement of the Council on American Islamic Relations. The action was taken by the DOD in response to a complaint filed on behalf of a Tennessee high school JROTC cadet who was told that she was not allowed to wear her hijab in the homecoming parade.  That is when the Council on American Islamic Relations became involved her case and the complaint made its way to the Pentagon. Read more.

Update on Youcef Nadarkhani
Prisoneralert.com reports: Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor sentenced to death for apostasy, will remain in prison for at least one more year. The presiding judge ordered authorities to keep Youcef in prison, using whatever means necessary to force him to recant his Christian faith and convert to Islam. VOM (Voice of the Martyrs) contacts believe the order’s intent is to keep Youcef in prison for an extended period so that the international Christian community will forget about him. The Iranian courts may then feel free to carry out the death sentence. Please continue to advocate on his behalf so authorities will know he is NOT forgotten.

Iran Threatens to Cut off World’s Oil Supply
The Israel Project reports: Iran is threatening to obstruct shipping if stronger sanctions are put into place to block the Islamic Republic’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The warning was issued as Iran conducts a 10-day military exercise in the strategically-critical waters of the Gulf. Iran’s Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that his country would block the vital Strait of Hormuz if proposed sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports are imposed. About a third of the world’s shipped crude oil passes through the strategic shipping channel and any shutdown could have devastating repercussions for the global economy. Read more.
 
The U.S. has responded by declaring the Strait will remain open. A spokesman said that closing the Straits “will not be tolerated.” The U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed in the region, anchored by the USS John Stennis aircraft carrier. The possibility of an intentional or even accidental incident that sparks a wider conflict is higher now than it has been in many years…and the people of Israel are most at risk from such a conflict.
 
Jesus was a Palestinian Says PA Prime Minister
Jerusalem Prayer Team reports: As part of the Christmas celebration in Bethlehem this weekend, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a man regarded by the Obama Administration as a moderate and reliable partner for peace) said, “Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate the Palestinian identity of Jesus Christ.” Such claims, which were often made by chief terrorist Yasser Arafat during his life, are part of a calculated strategy by the Palestinians to delegitimize Israel and remove any traces of Jewish history from the Promised Land.

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