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Week Ending February 11, 2005
Religious Freedom Coalition
February 11, 2005 4:18PM EST





Normally this update deals with the President and Congress first and then with international affairs, however, recent events in the Holy Land and this organization's involvement in that area of the world need to be highlighted this week.

For the last four years as thousands of Israelis and Palestinians died in the Intifada declared by Yassar Arafat, the European solution was one of appeasing terrorism. European leaders, led by Jacques Chirac, told the Israelis to give the extremist Muslim terrorists what they wanted and surely the homicide bombings would stop. However, what Arafat wanted was for every Jew in Israel to be dead, something the Europeans just did not really understand. President George W. Bush, on the other hand, told the Europeans that terror must stop if the Palestinians were to get anything at all. Arafat is now dead and the new president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, at least seems to want to make a deal with Israel. A cease fire has been declared by Israel and the PA although terrorist groups such as Hamas, as of yesterday were still firing rockets at Israeli civilians, to be exact 38 rockets in less than 24 hours. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has invited Mr. Abbas to his ranch for dinner. President George W. Bush, much to the dismay of the European leaders, was right. Holding tough against terror, not appeasing terrorists, has begun what appears to be a real peace process.


The cease fire and other agreements between Sharon and Abbas have opened the way in Palestinian areas of the West Bank for the Religious Freedom Coalition to expand its work. Currently the RFC funds Christian schools in the West Bank, including kindergartens, a K through 12 boarding school and even Vacation Bible Schools ! Every single month the RFC sends funds to the Christians in the West Bank. We also support evangelists in the West Bank, one of whom operates out of Jerusalem and another out of the Jewish settlement of Ariel deep inside Samaria. Ariel is surrounded by Muslim Arab villages and many have been won to Christ. The evangelistic outreach in Ariel has the support of the Jewish mayor of that city who understands that being surrounded by Christian Arabs is far better than being surrounded by Muslim Arabs. The cease fire and the removal of many Israeli military checkpoints will allow further evangelism in many more areas of the West Bank. Now is the time to increase our activities and to increase our funding in this area of the world. There is an opening, much like the opening we had in Russia in the early 1990's, and it must be taken advantage of before the window closes.


In April I will personally travel to the West Bank to inspect schools and other mission areas where the Religious Freedom Coalition has spent money. I do this every year . I will also meet with several of the Christian men who are still under death warrant from the PA and who are in hiding in Israel and whose families face persecution in the West Bank. While there I will try to speak with Prime Minister Abbas and plead with him to have the death warrants removed from these good men whose only crime was to convert from Islam to Christianity and then tell others about Jesus. Many of the families of these men live in real poverty in their absence. We have tried to fund the families as best we can by various means including the "Peace Soap" project of which I am sure you are aware. For more than two years now we have been selling handmade olive oil soap made by the families of these men in Samaria. As a result of the soap and other funding projects we have sent literally tens of thousands of dollars to persecuted families and Christian schools in the West Bank.

The need is so great that no amount would be too much to take on our April mission trip, not even a million dollars. Being realistic, I am praying to be able to have $100,000 above our expenses to give to various families, ministries and schools while our team is there. There are special needs I can mention that perhaps you can help with. One of our Palestinian Christian evangelists desperately needs a new laptop computer. He has been unable to communicate with us by e-mail for weeks and the shop where he took his old computer for repair advised him it was beyond repair. Funds are also needed for basic transportation needs. Some of our Palestinian evangelists have to travel by bus or on foot. A really cheap used car that actually works would still cost thousands of dollars just as one would here in the United States. The need is real, there are tens of thousands of Christian Palestinian families in the West Bank who need help. The United Nations passes them by to hand out our tax dollars to Islamic institutions that many times are extremists who use the funds to attack Israel.


Contributions to our West Bank (Samaria) projects can be made either by mail or online using a secure server. To contribute to this project by mail please send a check to:

Religious Freedom Coalition, PO Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013

Be sure to note on your check that the funds are for our April Holy Land Mission. You can also give funds online at:


Above I mentioned our "Peace Soap" project which benefits Christian families in Samaria (the West Bank). The soap, which is actually handmade out of olive oil is once again available from our Internet store at . Please understand that the soap is actually made in Samaria by the families of Christian Palestinians who have been forced to flee to Israel. The soap is sent to the men in hiding in Israel by taxi and then they send it to us. This sounds like an expensive process and it is, but the soap is well worth it. There is nothing made anywhere in the world like it and we receive many testimonies from people telling us how it has helped their complexions. There are entire Internet sites devoted to selling olive oil soap commercially with prices ranging up to three times our price of $4.99 a bar. One site sells olive oil soap from the Islamic nation of Jordan for $12.00 a bar! To learn more about this handmade olive oil soap  click here or on the image.

CHINA'S TORTURED CHRISTIANS China SarahA.JPG While the Religious Freedom Coalition has a larger presence in the Holy Land it does not mean that we ignore persecution of Christians in other parts of the world. This past week RFC executive Director Peggy Birchfield and I had lunch with Christians who had been imprisoned and tortured in China because of their faith in Jesus Christ. One young woman at our luncheon meeting, Liu Xianzhi (Sarah), had been repeatedly raped and sexually humiliated by prison guards, something that they reserve for the Christian female prisoners. She was tortured until she confessed that her pastor had "raped" her, so the communist authorities in China had a reason to jail and torture him for an even longer period of time. (Photo at left: Peggy Birchfield and torture victim Liu Xianzhi.) Also present at our luncheon were the son and daughter of a well known pastor who has recently been jailed for "insulting the state." Arrest warrants have been issued for his children as well, since the communists frequently punish the entire family of each jailed Christian pastor. The Religious Freedom Coalition continues to work with the Christian victims of religious persecution in China, but because of the situation there we cannot build the presence and pressure authorities as we can in the Holy Land. Unlike the Palestinian Authority, the Chinese communists have the support not only of our government, but of every major American corporation. Chrysler, Ford and GM all build cars in China and if the parts come from slave labor camps everyone sort of looks the other way. Once you meet the victims, however, it is hard to buy a Chinese made shirt at Walmart ever again.


Last year we brought Swedish law makers to the United States to point out the plight of Pastor Ake Green who was convicted and sent to jail for the "hate crime" of preaching that homosexuality is a sin. As a result of that visit and other efforts there has been worldwide press coverage of the persecution of this elderly pastor who was sentenced to jail because he accurately interpreted the Biblical view of homosexuality. The pressure on Sweden to undo this mockery of free speech has been great and this week an appeals court in Sweden ruled against the government saying that the hate crime laws were not intended to "stop discussion" on the issue of homosexuality. This is a major turn around in Europe which for the past decade has been headed for intolerant secularism that promoted censorship of religion. This is also a blow to those who promote "hate crimes" laws in the United States. (Read Fox News story)


Next week we will return to our normal format of reporting on major activities in Congress important to social conservatives. Soon we expect to see introduction of a new religious freedom initiative from Congressman Frank Wolfe that will target the repression in China I have mentioned above. There will also be some new pro-life legislation introduced in the next few weeks.

FREE SHIPPING ENDS proprietary Internet store at has offered free shipping on all purchases of $20.00 or more for many years. Unfortunately, because of rising shipping and other costs this is no longer possible. At noon on Monday, February 7, 2005 our system was changed to have progressive shipping and handling charges like most other Internet stores. The prices of items that are not very heavy, such as ties, have been reduced in price to reflect the fact that shipping is no longer free. Some of our more popular patriotic ties are now just $17.95! Buy a patriotic tie for President's Day!   To see our full selection of patriotic ties click here .


You are invited to forward copies of this Legislative Update to your friends. Please tell them it is issued weekly free of charge and that we do not share our e-mail lists with any other organizations. In 2005 we are praying to top the 100,000 subscribers mark and you can help. If this e-mail was forwarded to you please subscribe at .

William J. Murray, Chairman

Religious Freedom Coalition, P.O. Box 77511, Washington, DC 20013. Phone: (202) 543-0300

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Religious Freedom Coalition * Copyright - 2005

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