Dear Friends,

The news coming out from Iraq should really break our hearts. According to an eye-witness, ISIS has resorted to beheading of young innocent children there. Elsewhere in Africa, Boko Haram’s attacks are killing hundreds of innocent civilians, most of them Christians. Meanwhile, we do have some positive developments in Gaza with Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas agreeing to an indefinite ceasefire. As children of God, we do have many reasons to pray though. Continue praying for the situation in Iraq and Africa, not just in terms of persecutions, but also as the threat of Ebola looms large.

ISIS Systematically Beheading Christian Children: Eyewitness

Iraq_mosulNational spokesman for Iraqi Christians and Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo said the “evil” being carried out by ISIS militants in Iraq now includes shocking beheadings of children. “They are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for a generation. There’s actually a park in Mosul that they’ve actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick,” Arabo told CNN early in August. Click here to read this horrifying story. Here’s the link to Arabo’s interview with CNN.

Iranian Pastor Charged With ‘Enmity Against God’

An Iranian pastor has been charged with waging war against God or ‘Moharebeh’ – a crime punishable by death. Pastor Matthias Haghnejad was arrested at his home by Iranian security forces on the morning of July 5 along with two friends, Mohammad Roghangir and Suroush Saraie. Several Bibles were confiscated from the pastor’s house during the arrest, along with pamphlets and a personal computer. Excerpts from this link.

Boko Haram Strikes in Africa, Again

CameroonIslamic extremists group Boko Haram continued its attack on Christians as they used IEDs and petrol bombs to destroy at least five churches in Nigeria. While no one died in these attacks, Boko Haram ravaged the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza in another attack killing at least 100. The group has also started targeting Christians outside Nigeria too. In another set of attacks in Cameroon, at least 25 people were killed, including a pastor. In one attack in the town of Kolofata, the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister and her maid were kidnapped, raising fears that the area has become a new battle-field for Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram, while in the second attack, Pastor Jean Marcel Kesvere of the Lutheran Brethren Church of Cameroon, was kidnapped and killed. Click here for more.

Meriam Ibrahim Arrives in USA

Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death after she refused to recant her Christian faith, has arrived safely in New Hampshire, USA. Reports suggested that she is ready to begin her new life. Meriam, her husband and the couple’s two children arrived towards the end of July at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, where they were greeted by a throng of supporters from the city’s Sudanese community. For more, click this link.

US Tourist in North Korea Arrested for Leaving Bible in a Restaurant Toilet

A North Korean soldier looks south through a pair of binoculars on the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas in PajuNorth Korean authorities arrested U.S. tourist Jeffrey Fowle three months ago for leaving a copy of the Bible with his contact information and pictures under a bin in the toilet at a restaurant during his 10-day visit to that country. Fowle, a 56-year-old from Miamisburg, Ohio, who used to attend church back home, left a bilingual English-Korean Bible in a restaurant, Chongjin Seamen’s Club, in the North Korean city of Chongjin just before he and his fellow travelers were about to leave. The arrest came to light only recently, as Fowle is awaiting trial. There are at least 100,000 Christians in that nation’s harsh prison camps, where prisoners face torture, forced labor and possible execution, Christian groups say. Excerpts from this link.

Recovered from Ebola, US Missionary Kent Brantly Discharged

nancywritebol_ebolaAn American doctor treated for Ebola, Kent Brantly, was discharged from Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital Thursday (Aug. 21). Another American aid worker, Nancy Writebol, was discharged Tuesday (Aug. 19). “God saved my life,” said Brantly, looking gaunt, at a press conference Thursday, at which the room applauded his appearance. He thanked his medical team and the millions of people around the world praying for his recovery. “Please do not stop praying for the people of West Africa.” Excerpts from this link.

And here’s an interesting one:

Pastor Couple’s #ShareACoke baby Announcement Goes Viral

Pastor Patrick McGillicuddy and his wife Whitney’s announcement of a baby couple of weeks ago went viral. Inspired by Coca-Cola’s personalized #ShareACoke cans, the couple cracked open can after can of Diet Coke in what has been dubbed the ‘best baby announcement ever’ featured on Good Morning America, E!, the Huffington Post, and across the web; and seen by more than 4 million people.

Click here to read more on this interesting story and also view the viral video.