who was the victim of one of the most horrible incidents of racial prejudice and a broken justice system in United States History

Why are Christians Persecuted in the Church

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One World By Gregg L Greer, Editor for One World
Recently When Dylann Roof (pictured, below) allegedly opened fire at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina it was an act of terror of the kind that happens all too often in black houses of worship. Roof has been charged with shooting and killing nine people, including senior pastor of the church and South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.
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The article that follows explores the history of persecution of the early church, some of the reasons behind it, and two important questions that we must raise with Christian responses to persecution: the glorification of persecution in the church, and why would anyone what to hurt Christians?

In the first few centuries of Christianity

 
In the first few centuries of Christianity, the church endured regular (though not constant) persecution at the hands of Roman authorities. This experience, is so deeply rooted in legacy of the church that it resulted in the multiple stories of martyrs and apologists, that today we know these stories as The Gospel, which is the foundation that Christians base their core beliefs on-in addition to having other significant historical and theological consequences for the developing our faith.
 

Level, amount and  Persecutions

According to historical record-The total number of Christians martyred in the early church is unknown. Although some early writers speak of “great “modern scholars tend to believe the actual number is not so great as is sometimes imagined. Out of the 54 emperors who ruled between 30 and 311 AD, only about a dozen went out of their way to persecute Christians.

Early_persecution_of_christian by Nero
Early_persecution_of_christian by Nero

It has been calculated that between the first persecution under Nero in 64 to the Edict of Milan in 313, Christians experienced 129 years of persecution and 120 years of toleration and peace.

The Roman persecutions were generally sporadic, localized, and dependent on the political climate and disposition of each emperor. Moreover, imperial decrees against Christians were often directed against church property, the Scriptures, or clergy only. It has been estimated that more Christians have been martyred in the last 50 years than in the church’s first 300 years.

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Why is the Christian Church Persecuted

If we look at history we would see- In order to understand the distrust of Christianity, one can review and understand the Early Roman view of religion. For the Romans, religion was first and foremost a social activity that promoted unity and loyalty to the state – a religious attitude the Romans called pietas, or piety.

Marcus Tullius Cicero  (January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC)
Marcus Tullius Cicero (January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC)

Cicero (pictured, right) wrote that “if piety in the Roman sense were to disappear, social unity and justice would perish along with it.”

The truth is at its core, the church is one giant social network. It exists as an intricate, but totally connected community. Even more important, many Christians believe that God is working within this network himself. Devotion to Jesus has been a large part of the African-American experience. The black church has been and continues to be a powerful force in the African-American community.

In the United States, Christians reacted to slavery in a substantially different way. While there was vocal Christian protest against the slave trade and much of the abolitionist movement was spear-headed by Christian people, there were also many Christians who defended slavery. The issue of slavery grew more divisive, and eventually most of the major Protestant denominations divided over the issue. This actually set the stage for the Civil War.

Another major example of Christian Persecution was The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing (below) was an act of white supremacist terrorism that occurred at the African-American 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday, September 15, 1963, when four members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a minimum of 15 sticks of dynamite attached to a timing device beneath the front steps of the church.

The family of Carol Robertson, a 14-year-old African American girl killed in a church bombing, attend graveside services for her, Sept. 17, 1963, Birmingham, Ala. Seated left to right: Carol Robertsons sister Dianne and parents, Mr. Alvin Robertson Sr. and Mrs. Alpha Robertson. The others are unidentified. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)
The family of Carol Robertson, a 14-year-old African American girl killed in a church bombing, attend graveside services for her, Sept. 17, 1963, Birmingham, Ala. Seated left to right: Carol Robertsons sister Dianne and parents, Mr. Alvin Robertson Sr. and Mrs. Alpha Robertson. The others are unidentified. (AP Photo/Horace Cort)

Described by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as “one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity,” the explosion at the church killed four girls and injured 22 others.

What can we do in an effort of prevention

 With structural racism the global issues are deep rooted worldwide. While the issues seem to become more pronounced everyday making this tragedy about religion instead of race allows many others  to avoid discussions about how their positions vis a vis race and government tend to reenforce rather than dismantle the structural racism still present in our society today. On a more social, practical level, Christians are distrusted by extreme mist organizations in part because of the nature of their worship. 

Emmanuel AME Church Charleston, SC
Emmanuel AME Church
Charleston, SC

 In any case, it is sad that such experiences ever occur, because the church is an indispensable part of the believer’s life. Not only does it provide a place to worship, serve and learn about God, but it is also a community where believers can practice love toward their brethren as the Bible requires; “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

 These tools extend fellowship beyond the church walls and stretch it around the world are needed as They help us fulfill Jesus’ command to Peter, which still echoes for us today: “Put out into deep water” (Luke 5:4). GLG

https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-1-World/132992030077890
https://www.facebook.com/pages/One-1-World/132992030077890

Activist Prepares for Hunger Strike to Combat Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings in California

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By Gregg L Greer, Editor for One World

On May 13, 2014 A California Professor James Cosner will go on a hunger strike “to his death,” according to Cosner and Organizers (CAMPAIGN 4 JUSTICE) as a method of civil disobedience against the State of California in a battle for cause. Cosner’s desire is to bring national attention to the growing stream of violent deaths of many mostly young men (citizens)-the reason given-is the incredibly tragic way many have died (resulting at hands of Police) or better know as “Police Brutality.

Jame.3 (PS)

Although he (Cosner) has not fallen victim to directly to Police Brutality, Cosner though his long-term Social Activism has dedicated his life to the rescinding of unethical social and economic aspects of the Criminal Justice policies in California and abroad. Additionally, Cosner has had dealings with law enforcement, which is not unusual and usually “Power for the Course,” as most advocates consider civil disobedience to be a very successful method of fighting Injustice.

 

March-against-police-brutality-in-Anaheim
March-against-police-brutality-in-Anaheim

In California,  use of deadly force by police shootings continue to disturb communities. The “Hardest,” demographic base hit are low-income communities and communities of color. Many citizens recognize that no force is exceedingly more explosive and leads to tragedy, more than Police Brutality caused deadly force. Activist believe the multiple cases that most go under  Federal Justice Department scrutiny and investigation concerns are records of police wrongdoing addressed over the last several years, also any inquiries to the United States Attorneys and in addition to The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Activist believe the investigations, must include any/all Police Brutality cases handled solely by local police departments.

 

David Silva-murdered-by-police in Bakersfield, CA

 

Cosner’s objection, while timely, is not without merit- to date there are a growing list of examples – one in particular, in Bakersfield California, a 911 caller claimed a, “guy” had been viciously battered to death on one road by eight police officers. The man, who died that evening, was father of four, David Sal Silva, 33. Two eyewitnesses claimed to have recorded videos of the beating on their cell phones, but local police seized the phones.

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Other Major California Cases

 

Kenneth Harding Jr. was gunned down in the Bay Area streets by San Francisco Police for allegedly failing to pay a $2.00 transit fare. More info https://www.facebook.com/groups/433149643404154/
Kenneth Harding Jr. was gunned down in the Bay Area streets by San Francisco Police for allegedly failing to pay a $2.00 transit fare

It has been two years since Kenneth Harding Jr. was gunned down in the Bay Area streets by San Francisco Police for allegedly failing to pay a $2.00 transit fare. Police later claimed that Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, allegedly shot himself to death during an exchange of gunfire with police as he ran away from two officers who attempted to arrest him for alleged fare avoidance.

Oscar Grat Foundation, includes other families of victims murdered by "Police Brutality."  http://www.oscargrantfoundation.com/
Oscar Grant Foundation, includes other families of victims murdered by “Police Brutality.”
http://www.oscargrantfoundation.com/

 

With the particular example of Oscar Grant, Officer Johannes Mehserle claimed he mixed his service revolver for his taser. However, for what reason? Would the officer taser Grant in the first place? Grant continued to be restrained, also as he was circled by police officers and lying face-down in cuffs on the Oakland rapid transit platform. Many who know of the incident still question, under which? assumption did Mehserle think of the necessity to use any force at all? Officer Mehserle was eventually convicted in criminal court of involuntary manslaughter but completed less than two years in prison.

Rarely do methods of civil defiance draw the same level of public awareness as a hunger strike. This method has been used around world over to galvanize public support, unite a movement, and draw awareness to issues that under other conditions might go overlooked. What is completely reliant is how long the striker can continue to go without his or her most essential instincts, hunger strikes do not require posters or conference halls or television cameras. It is a method of dissent available to practically anyone, anywhere in the world.

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Here is a brief history of more well known-Hunger Strikes. While Cosner has not made himself a comparison to anyone else- Cosner’s Actions are inline in comparison and also in the thoughts and views of many great leaders, examples include;

mahatma gandhi biography

1. Mohandas Gandhi
An influence for many non-violent peace demonstrations, Gandhi conducted a twenty-one day fast against British control in February 1943. A Separate fast in 1948 concluded after five days, with Muslims, Sikhs, and Hindus declaring they would work toward Gandhi’s concept of comprehensive national solidarity.

cEASER cHavez

2. Cesar Chavez
The Latino-American labor movement leader used hunger strikes on various occasions while agitating for farm workers. In 1968, Chavez began a 25-day fast to obtain recognition for the union he helped co-found, the United Farm Workers.

 

 bobby_sands_33. Bobby Sands
An Irish nationalist died 66 days into a hunger strike in 1981, and likewise Nine hunger strikers died after Sands after necessitating that many Irish Republican Army members were made political prisoners by the British during the unrest. The 27-year-old Sands dropped 60 pounds before he died.

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Statement from James Cosner

On May 13th, whether I am one or many, I will not eat as a form of spiritual and political protest until either I return to my ancestors or until the government meets the following demands:

First: Free Leonard Peltier, Move 9/8, Mumia Abu Jamal, Ramsey Muniz, and Rocky Boice immediately!

2nd: Fire immediately and level 1st degree murder charges against the following officers:

Gregory Sur and company for killing Mark Garcia, retry Johannes Mehserly for killing Oscar Grant, John Moody for killing Ernest Duenez, Miguel Masso for killing Allen Blueford, Steve Gilley for killing Michael Nida, Manuel Ramos for killing Kelly Thomas, Richard Hastings, Mikeal Ali, and Mathew Lopez for killing Kenneth Harding, Dan Hurtado, Ray Drabek, and Mike Brannigan for killing Martin Angel Hernandez, John Nesbitt, Gregory Dunn, and Erick Azarvand for killing James Rivera, Dominique Perez and Keith Sandy for killing James Boyed, and ?? for killing Everado Toress.

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no-justice

As landscape gets denser, more complex, the public outcry from inside California is growing louder, there will be more groups willing to come forward and engage the public, and the ability to undertake collective action. In the political arena, as the protests and demonstrations are increased Cosner and his group of “Freedom Fighters,” can only hope that their coordinated public effort with bring much-needed change.

I am committed to a particular course of action because I believe it to be true, my truth, and if I am wrong then I will take responsibility for being wrong. But, I do not believe that I am wrong.
We do wish for all the Creator’s children to mature, to grow up, to take responsibility, to find integrity, to secure intelligence, and achieve lasting wisdom.

James Cosner, Peace!

For More Information on James Cosner and the CAMPAIGN 4 JUSTICE visit:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1463153727251897/admins/?order=default

Related  Articles

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/david-silva-cell-phone-video-bakersfield-police-beating_n_3314957.html

http://presstv.com/detail/2013/01/22/284918/activists-in-california-protest-police-brutality/

One World

Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Pastor, Writer and Social Activist. Gregg  L. Greer as the Editor of One World, and One World Today internet journals. you can reach him at one1worldtoday@gmail.com.

 

Florida leaders Prepare to fight “Break TheGrip of Shame”-Stand Your Ground Must Go!

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By Gregg L.Greer, One World, Editor

Renisha-Mcbride-Funeral murder using Stand Your Ground as a defense
Renisha Mcbride’s  Funeral
Her murderer using Stand Your Ground as a defense

On Tuesday April 8, 2014 at 9:30 am hundreds are expected at the State Capitol to rally in question of a law that senselessly expands the concept of self-defense and sows dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods.

Last year, the Tampa Bay Times  analyzed 134 fatal Florida cases in which the Stand Your Ground defense was raised or played a role.  Out of the 134, 19 percent of the cases involved the deaths of children or teens. Another 14 involved victims were 20 or 21, and another 8 teens were injured in nonfatal cases.  It seems as though these Stand Your Ground laws aren’t doing anything to deter  violence, but encouraging it and adding to the murder rate.

Break The Grip of Shame Rally-Tuesday April 8, 2014
Break The Grip of Shame Rally-Tuesday April 8, 2014 9:30 am

Break The Grip of Shame Rally-Tuesday April 8, 2014 9:30 am

Stand Your Ground is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation ever known in America since organized “lynching.” If you maintain “stand your ground” as the reason you shot at and killed someone, whatever happens to you can depend less on the merits of the case than on who you are, and in whatever state your case is decided.” said Reverend  Gregg Greer a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference-Rally Lead Organizer-We want everyone to STAND WITH US!

 

Starting April 8, 2014 9:30am State Capital at (WALLER PARK) 500 Duval Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-Across from the Supreme Court

  Florida must “Break the Grip of Shame.” !!!

For more information on the Break the Grip of Shame Rally! Freedom First International, and the effort to stop “Stand Your Ground”  email-freedom1stsclc.gg@gmail.com or call (855) 612-7771 and leave a message.

                All event information and  can be found on  https://www.facebook.com/events/712321675457991/ 

                         For More information you may email One World editorial at One1worldtoday@gmail.com

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One World Gregg L. Greer a Public Speaker, Minister, and Social Activist. Gregg Greer as the Editor of One World, and One World Today internet journals. you can reach him at one1worldtoday@gmail.com