Christianity Heading Towards Extinction in Iraq
One of the oldest Christian communities in the world faces the threat of extinction. Iraqi Christians have been undergoing a round of persecutions in recent times, leading to many of them leaving the nation. From approximately 1 million Christians in 2003 to only a one-third of that number a decade later does tell a big story. Open Doors minister-at-large Paul Estabrooks explains, “The Christians are being told, ‘We want a Muslim-only nation. We do not want any Christians here.’” More on this story here.
Evangelical Churches in Sri Lanka Fear Ministry’s New Legislation
The Sri Lankan Religious Affairs Ministry “intends to introduce a legislation that enables authorities concerned to take action against anyone distorting the original teachings of the four main religions- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity,” according to a leading daily. Evangelical churches, however, fear that this legislation could impact them negatively as its churches are not recognised by the Religious Affairs Ministry. Thus, they are “liable to labeled as ‘cults’ by those who do not understand the Christian faith and want to prevent activity they deem undesirable or threatening,” stated a persecution ministry’s press release. Excerpts from this link.
Former Homeless Couple Marries With the Help of a Church
Bryan Prejean and Wanda Ware, who met while homeless seven years ago, tied the knot in April at the First Baptist Church. The members of the church helped make their vows possible. The church members donated the dress, makeup, hair, rings, photography and even a honeymoon to Galveston. Prejean, 44, and Ware, 57, met at a care center for the homeless in Houston seven years ago, the Houston Chronicle reported. Read more on this sweet little story here.
Brazilian Missionaries Released From Senegal Prison, Still Faces Legal Challenges
Two Brazilian missionaries who were held in Senegalese prison for five months without a charge were released on bail. But, they continue to face accusations of operating youth programmes without a legal permit. The original accusations were of child trafficking and conspiracy to break the law. The charges of conspiracy, “exploitation of minors and juvenile diversion proved later by the local authorities themselves as unfounded.”
Yet the two missionaries remained in detention, and authorities never appeared before a judge to argue why it would be lawful to keep them locked up.
Read more here.
Christian Tourists in Kashmir Face Violence Over Conversion Claims
Nine British citizens living in Srinagar were attacked by a mob in early April accusing the foreign residents of trying to convert local Muslims to Christianity. In February, a group of Christian tourists – eight Americans and four South Koreans – were similarly attacked by a mob at their Srinagar hotel after conversion accusations were posted on Facebook. This is not the first time that there have been reports of violence against Christians in the Indian state of Kashmir. Click here for more.
Evg. Billy Graham Honoured by North Carolina as Its ‘Favorite Son’
Early April, the general assembly in North Carolina, a state in the USA, honoured evangelist Billy Graham as its ‘favorite son’. Resolutions were passed by the House and Senate to honor Graham, 94, and Ruth, his late wife.
Family members, including son Franklin and daughter Anne Graham Lotz, along with Gov. Pat McCrory watched as the elder Grahams were given their tributes. Click here to read more.
Former Islamist Fundamentalist Converts to Christianity
Kamal Saleem, a former operative of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ converted to Christianity. While his conversion took place sometime last year, recently, he shared his testimony at a church in US. Saleem described a childhood founded in radical Islam to a rapt audience. He was taught that Jews and Christians were his enemies, and that dying for the sake of Allah would guarantee him a place in heaven. The goal behind this was to create one Islamic world, Saleem said. Read more on his incredible story here.
Joel Osteen Falls Prey to an Online Hoax
A recent Internet hoax claimed that Joel Osteen, the pastor of the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, USA, has lost his faith and quitting his church. This fake announcement was made in a webpage posing falsely as Osteen’s official website. However, Joel Osteen and the Lakewood church was quick to call the news a hoax, and issued statements that clarified his stand. Pastor Osteen, in fact, said that such pranks won’t stop him and he’ll continue moving forward. Read more on the story and watch a news report video here.
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