Tag Archives: World News

Conservative Party unveils plan to promote religious liberty abroad

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

From the Montreal Gazette.

Excerpt:

A Conservative government would create a new, special “Office of Religious Freedom,” the party announced in its electoral platform on Friday.

The office would be housed at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and its role would be:

  • To monitor religious freedom around the world;
  • To promote religious freedom as a key objective of Canadian foreign policy;
  • And to advance policies and programs that support religious freedom.

Under the heading, “Defending Religious Freedom,” the Conservatives said they recognize that “respect for religious pluralism is inextricably linked to democratic development.” And that the federal government could and should do more to respond to the plight of those “who suffer merely because of their faith.”

[…]The Conservative platform also includes a pledge to create a national Holocaust memorial in the Ottawa area and to support the establishment of a memorial to the victims of communism.

This is not a surprise, as the Canadian conservatives are famous for taking bold stands to defend the rights of persecuted Christians in places like Egypt.

Excerpt:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in a round table discussion on security with Coptic Christian leaders.

A deadly suicide bombing in Egypt on New Year’s Day claimed the lives of some 21 worshippers.

And nearly 100 people were wounded in the attack as they left a midnight mass at an Alexandria church.

Harper condemned the attacks, saying the international community must stay vigilant against such violence against Coptic Christians.

Harper met with several priests at the Church Of the Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga Thursday.

He says he wants Coptic Christians in Canada to know the country stands behind their right to safely practice their faith.

So, not only is Harper introducing policies that will strengthen families and marriages so that there will be fewer abortions and healthier children, but he is also dedicated to defending the religious liberty of minorities abroad.

 

Government report: US has world’s largest supply of oil, natural gas and coal

Here’s the press release. (H/T Canada Free Press)

Abstract:

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today released an updated government report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) showing America’s combined recoverable oil, natural gas, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. America’s recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined.  And that’s not including America’s immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits.

Details:

Oil

CRS offers a more accurate reflection of America’s substantial oil resources.  While America is often depicted as possessing just 2 or 3 percent of the world’s oil – a figure which narrowly relies on America’s proven reserves of just 28 billion barrels – CRS has compiled US government estimates which show that America, the world’s third-largest oil producer, is endowed with 163 billion barrels of recoverable oil. That’s enough oil to maintain America’s current rates of production and replace imports from the Persian Gulf for more than 50 years.

Natural Gas

Further, CRS notes the 2009 assessment from the Potential Gas Committee, which estimates America’s future supply of natural gas is 2,047 trillion cubic feet (TCF) – an increase of more than 25 percent just since the Committee’s 2006 estimate.  At today’s rate of use, this is enough natural gas to meet American demand for 90 years.

Coal

The report also shows that America is number one in coal resources, accounting for more than 28 percent of the world’s coal. Russia, China, and India are in a distant 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, respectively. In fact, CRS cites America’s recoverable coal reserves to be 262 billion short tons. For perspective, the US consumes just 1.2 billion short tons of coal per year.  And though portions of this resource may not be accessible or economically recoverable today, these estimates could ultimately prove to be conservative.  As CRS states: “…U.S. coal resource estimates do not include some potentially massive deposits of coal that exist in northwestern Alaska.  These currently inaccessible coal deposits have been estimated to be more than 3,200 billion short tons of coal.”

Oil Shale

While several pilot projects are underway to prove oil shale’s future commercial viability, the Green River Formation located within Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah contains the equivalent of 6 trillion barrels of oil.  The Department of Energy estimates that, of this 6 trillion, approximately 1.38 trillion barrels are potentially recoverable.  That’s equivalent to more than five times the conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.

Methane Hydrates

Although not yet commercially feasible, methane hydrates, according to the Department of Energy, possess energy content that is “immense … possibly exceeding the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels.” While estimates vary significantly, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently testified that: “the mean in-place gas hydrate resource for the entire United States is estimated to be 320,000 TCF of gas.” For perspective, if just 3% of this resource can be commercialized in the years ahead, at current rates of consumption, that level of supply would be enough to provide America’s natural gas for more than 400 years.

The press release has lots of informative graphs.

The PDF of the full report is here.

Obama keeps blocking energy production at home, and sending taxpayer money (and jobs) to countries in the Middle East, some of who don’t like us very much. What would possess a president to undermine the national security and economy of his own country that way? Why does he want to raise the cost of living for his fellow citizens and send jobs overseas to the Middle East?

MUST-READ: Why Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world

A very fine article from the normally ultra-liberal Toronto Star. (H/T Jojo)

Excerpt:

Virtually every human rights group and Western government agency that monitors the plight of Christians worldwide arrives at more or less the same conclusion: Between 200 million and 230 million of them face daily threats of murder, beating, imprisonment and torture, and a further 350 to 400 million encounter discrimination in areas such as jobs and housing. A conservative estimate of the number of Christians killed for their faith each year is somewhere around 150,000.

Christians are “the largest single group in the world which is being denied human rights on the basis of their faith,” the World Evangelical Alliance has noted.

In a report to a conference on Christian persecution hosted by the European Parliament last month, the U.S. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life put it this way: while Muslims and Jews worldwide and Baha’is in Iran certainly suffer too, Christians were “harassed” by government factors in 102 countries and by social factors, such as mob rule, in 101 countries.

“Altogether, Christians faced some form of harassment in two-thirds of all countries,” or 133 nations, the report said. Muslims also face “substantial” harassment, the Pew report found, but in fewer countries.

Christians face harassment in more countries “than any other religious group,” a Pew Forum spokesperson told the Star.

Put in sharper focus, “at least” 75 per cent of all religious persecution in the world is directed against Christians, the conference was told.

The euphemistic term “harassment” encompasses vigilante and terrorist attacks against Christians in more than a dozen Muslim countries. In Sudan, an estimated 1.5 million Christians have been murdered by the Islamic Janjaweed militia, including some who were crucified. In Nigeria, 12 states have introduced sharia law. Thousands of Christians were killed in the ensuing violence.

In Saudi Arabia, the only faith permitted by law is Islam. Christians are regularly imprisoned and tortured on trumped-up charges of drinking alcohol, blaspheming or owning religious artifacts.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians are still reeling from a church attack last January in which eight worshippers were killed. “The situation is deteriorating and is very tense,” Sam Fanous, a leader of Toronto’s Coptic community, told the Star from Cairo. He said that after Friday Muslim prayers, streets fill with anti-Coptic protests.

In historically tolerant Indonesia, Islamic militias have bombed churches in majority Christian regions and killed or forcibly converted thousands.

China, meantime, continues to shutter “underground” churches and ship pastors to prison.

Read the whole thing. This is one-stop shopping on the persecution issue, and the sources are unimpeachable. Send it to your friends.