Editorial: I just did not have the courage to view the video of the execution of the heroes of faith by ISIS. But I had moist eyes reading about how they were uttering the name of Jesus even as they were being beheaded. There was also an amazing report about a former jihadi ISIS terrorist converting to Christianity. I believe these are all signs of things to come. Persecutions and revivals will take place simultaneously! Pray, not just for those persecuted around the world, but also take a moment to pray for ourselves to be able to stand firm in our faith, that God may give us much grace and strength if we have to face situations like some of our brethren around the world are facing!
Egyptian Christians Were Calling for Jesus During Execution by ISIS in Libya
A number of the 21 Egyptian Christians who were recently shown being beheaded in a horrific video by Islamic State militants in Libya were reportedly whispering the name of Jesus as their heads were being hacked off their bodies. “In the moment of their barbaric execution,” Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza explained, some of the Christians were mouthing the words “Lord, Jesus Christ.” “The name of Jesus was the last word on their lips,” said Mina. Read the full story of this heroic act of this martyrs of faith here.
ISIS Terrorist Coverts to Christianity
An ISIS jihadist has recently converted to Christianity after being left for dead near the Eastern border of Syria where he was finally rescued by Christian missionaries from the region. The man, that has miraculously survived multiple gunshot wounds after an altercation between ISIS and Syrian Army forces, was rescued by members of the Saint Dominican Catholic Presbytery of Ayyash hours after the conflict had erupted. Read the entire report here!
Assyrian Christians Kidnapped by ISIS
Islamic State militants have abducted as many as 90 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning several small villages in northeast Syria. The extremist fighters swept through the Assyrian villages nestled along the banks of the Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province. Sky News reported that control of the region is split between ISIS and opposing Kurdish fighters. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria, reported that 90 people have been abducted. From this report.
Meanwhile, a Young Iraqi Girl Who Lost Everything Says She Forgives ISIS
A young Iraqi Christian girl is among those who have lost everything at the hands of brutal Islamic State militants. Now living with her family in a half-built mall in Northern Iraq, the child recently had a stunning reaction when a reporter asked how she would retaliate against the terrorists, if given a chance. “I won’t do anything to them,” the child, named Myriam, told SAT-7, an Arabic-language TV network. “I will only ask God to forgive them.” Read the complete story and watch the video on this link.
And a Mother Forgives an ISIS for Killing Her Son
American journalist James Foley was beheaded in Syria last August by ISIS militant ‘Jihadi John,’ now identified as Mohammed Emwazi. Foley’s mother Diane has now told the Times that she has forgiven her son’s killer. Read the full story here.
Churches Destroyed, But Bible Survives
About 45 Christians churches in Niger were burnt down by rampaging mobs as part of protests over the cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad that were published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. While this incident happened in mid-January, no main-stream media chose to cover these acts of violence. Many pastors and believers were rendered homeless in these attacks and their properties charred! Yet, one Bible remained intact in these attacks and is now with Franklin Graham. Read the report here.
300 Armed Men Attack Christian Boys’ School in Pakistan
Close to 300 students armed with iron bars and sticks attacked a Christian boys’ school in northern Pakistan, reportedly in retaliation to French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo’s controversial drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The attack left four Christians injured. The attack occurred on Panel High School in the city of Bannu, in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The students apparently were able to jump over the outer walls of the school and open the gates before attacking the Christians. Excerpts from this link!
Christian Bakers Face Bankruptcy for Refusing to Make Cake for Gay Wedding
A court in Oregon, USA ruled that Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein, discriminated in 2013 when they declined to provide a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because it would have violated their Christian beliefs against same-sex marriage.
The judge’s ruling paves the way for a March 10 hearing at which the Christian business owners could be ordered to pay $200,000 in fines and damages that could lead them to bankruptcy. More of this story on this link.
Follow-up: Saeed Abedini Worshipping and Experiencing the Presence of God in Prison
“Saeed’s father was able to see Saeed in prison today (behind a glass window). It was a wonderful time of fellowship and Saeed got to hear of all of your prayers and words of encouragement that you had shared. Nothing encourages him more than to know that you are all praying for him and that he is not forgotten,” Abedini wrote on her Facebook page. Abedini says the amazing part of the visit was that Saeed and his father started praying, worshipping and sharing from God’s Word together. Even though the guards were there watching, she says they didn’t seem to want to end the visit. Excerpts from this link.
Follow-up: Church Moves Into Former Strip Club
The Bethany Community Church has given the old Sugars strip club a makeover, turning it into a wholesome location where anyone can relax with a cup of coffee, meet with friends and grab a bite to eat. The church last year made the decision to lease the old building, which was a popular strip club that went up for auction when its owner, adult entertainment mogul Frank Colacurcio Sr. went to prison. News Digest had covered this report in its July 2014 edition. Click here for the rest of the story.
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