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  • ivanildotrindade 3:52 pm on April 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , christians suffering, fire in thailand, hill tribe people, mae surin camp, minorities in thailand, refugee camp fire, suspicious fire, thai-burma border   

    Questions About the Mae Surin Camp Fire 

    Refugee fire 5
    You may have heard the news. It’s already over a week old now and in the age of fast short news cycles, this is an eternity. But there is an angle to the story about the fire at the refugee camp in the Thai-Burma border that has not been explored. Most of the people living in that camp are Christians of different denominations and stripes. The evangelicals have been there for the last 10 years, having been reached by some indigenous pastors who are Karen.

    Refugee fire 4The Karen are a minority group in the northern part of Thailand. They, along with many of the so-called “hill tribe” people, are often despised and discarded. They are called “monkeys,” among other terrible names. Many of them do not have proper Thai I.D. cards and thus are not even considered citizens of Thailand. Without proper papers, they can’t work, go to school or get medical cards. They are displaced people, literally without a country.

    Refugee fire 1The Thai government does not officially recognize these refugee camps so that makes it a little more difficult to help these people. So when the Christians say that they have reasons to suspect that the fire was intentional, I tend to believe them. But, of course, the cause of the fire is still under investigation so we have to wait, but the fact that the police chief who raised questions about the investigation has been removed from his post raises even more questions…

    The good news is that there are at least three relief organizations inside the remains of the camp now. The bad news is that a lot of the Christians, for one reason or another, are not receiving much help at this point.

    I have two friends who have been inside the camp in the last week or so. One is Jay Milbrandt. I have written about him here in connection to his book Go and Do. Jay works for Pepperdine University and he happens to be in Thailand right now. He wrote recently about his trip to the refugee camp here. Please read his article. It is very informative.

    Refugee fire 3My other friend is Karen. She is the one who supplied me with the pictures, which she took during her last trip to the camp. She works with an organization inside Thailand which helps rescue orphan children. She has made two trips to the refugee camp. She has a special permission to get in because of her connection to some of the officials in charge. She is heading up an effort to bring relief to the Christians. In fact, in a couple of hours she will be heading back to the camp for a third time, with four pick up trucks loaded with supplies. She says that her people need everything, from pots and pans to shoes to Bibles to food. Let me know if you would like to help. I will have more information soon. Please e-mail me at ivanildoctrindade@gmail.com.

    Like I said, this is old news already, but I beg you not to let it leave your mind too quickly. These people are suffering. They deserve a break and most of us who live in this part of the world are able to do something to help. Please find an organization with a good track record, especially if you know the people who are running it, and help. There are multitudes of way you can help now. Don’t wait too long. Soon this will be so ancient no one will remember.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

  • ivanildotrindade 10:10 pm on April 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abuja, Allah, , christians suffering, cowardly journalism, , Islamism, moderate islam, , radical islamists, real muslims, religious cleansing, Santo Daime, true islam, violent islam   

    Radical Islamists use Soda Cans to Killl Christians in Nigeria 

    I came home from church yesterday and watched some basketball games with my son. Sitting on a comfortable leather chair I felt thirsty and did something I had not done in quite a long time — I drank two cans of soda. I napped, read, wrote and shaved my head. Soda will do that to you! Later, I looked at the two empty cans on the table next to the couch and thought about how futile my attempt at killing my thirst was. The only thing I got was a caffeine-induced restless night.

    But a little earlier half a world away soda cans were being used for a different purpose, to kill a different thirst and spread a different kind of poison. Bearing the signature of Boko Haram, an attack on Christians worshiping at a university in the northern Nigeria city of Kano killed at least 16 people and left several more severely injured. The Christian group was composed primarily of young university students, who gather at the university every Sunday to pray and worship.

    The lunatics who killed them used soda cans filled with small explosives to create diversion and as the people started to flee, they were cowardly gunned down by men who had arrived on motorcycles, carried their heinous acts, and like angels of death, quickly disappered into the crowds, maybe to a “house of worship” nearby, where they could have been greeted by some evil masterminds who commended them for a job well done in the service of Allah — and gave them a bonus for going low-tech with the soda can solution.

    Before you judge me too harshly, I am not here condemning all Muslims — only those who use their religion to perpetrate violent against people of other religions. I am not saying Muslims are evil — only those who believe that innocent people must die simply for not being Muslims. I am not blaming Islam — only the brand of Islam that is intent on bringing chaos as a means to achieve a form of “religious cleansing” somewhere in the world, a goal that has been clearly expressed by the murderers of Boko Haram, the same group that claimed responsibility for bombings in the southern Capital city of Abuja last December, killing 44 people, and killed 180 people in January in the same city of Kano, their deadliest attack to date. And the body count keeps mounting.

    I am not going to sit here and try to pretend that the Church has not had blood on its hands in centuries past. I am not going to stick my head in the sand and deny that some individual Christians have behaved horribly at times. But we are no longer in the middle ages, the Crusades are over, the wars against the Moors of Spain are a subject for the history books. It’t time we step into the modern world.

    I am going to say it loud and clear since the western media’s cowardly coverage of the events in Nigeria will not: thank God, there are only a handful of religiously motivated wars in the world today, but whenever you find one, you can almost always bet (and win) that it is perpetrated by radically insane Muslim groups against religious minorities, usually Christians.

    There are no systemic efforts on the part of Christians to try to eliminate Santo Daime believers in Brazil, for example. In India the cases of radical Hindus burning Christians, though tragic, are few and far between. The war in Israel, no doubt with religious overtones, is more about land than religion. Buddhists are not persecuting anyone and atheists can care less what people believe (except they don’t want to hear the word “Christmas” around the Christmas holidays — a war I can live with). Radically violent Islamists, on the other hand, persist on killing at will, and will continue to do so, if we remain silent.

    I don’t know about you, but if I were a devout Muslim, I would be asking this question:  What is it about Islam that seem to offer comfort for people who believe they are advancing the cause of Allah when they commit these acts?

    Furthermore, where are the voices of those who don’t believe these people represent true Islam? And why are we so afraid to report these stories with the emphasis they deserve? Imagine if this kind of massacre was happening anywhere in the world against Jews or Muslims, would the media react differently?

    My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones yesterday and I am crying out to God to right this terrible wrong.

    And finally: Why not just let sodas do what they do best — killing softly?

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

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