Prayer News | Where Christians Pray Through the News

Prayer List: Mass Starvation Killing Hundreds of Venezuelan Children

Venezuelan selling food in 2012, before the oil prices dropped and the economy failed.

In a heartbreaking news article, The New York Times reports that in 2018 almost 400 Venezuelan children died from starvation at nine public hospitals following emergency room visits.

Dr. Livia Machado told The Times, “Never in my life had I seen so many hungry children.” Dr. Milagros Hernández describes the tragic conditions of her patients, “Children arrive with the same weight and height of a newborn.

Prayer List

* Pray for Venezuela’s starving citizens to receive the food and nutrients they need for physical health.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort the parents and siblings of children grieving the loss of family members.
* Pray for the physical, emotional and spiritual health of parents, doctors, nurses and other care givers struggling at this time.
* Pray for Venezuela’s political leaders to change their destructive economic policies or be replaced by politicians that will pursue policies that would rebuild the economy.

Unreached People of the Day

Thursday: Magh in Myanmar
Friday: Arab, Jordanian in Canada

Operation World Prayer Focus

Thursday: Global Hot Spots
Friday: The Church Worldwide

Birthday Prayer Lists

Have you prayed for the salvation of all your friends? Why not turn your Facebook friend list into a prayer list? It shouldn't take long to pray for each friend on their birthday.

Some Christians also pray for entertainers, politicians and media personalities on their birthday.

Religious News Websites

Baptist Press

  • EDITORIAL: Lo que tiene el Cristiano
    Muchas veces tenemos tanto que en realidad no apreciamos al máximo las cosas importantes que Dios nos ha dado a nosotros. Hoy yo me levanté porque Dios me regaló un día más de vida. Judas nos dice, en esta corta epístola, que Dios nos ha dado a nosotros "la fe."
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 8:14pm -
  • MLK taught as 'Christian hero' at SBC seminaries
    At Southern Baptist Convention seminaries, Martin Luther King is taught as a model for ministry, not merely a "black hero."
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 7:55pm -
  • Baptist dishwasher's $21.5M victory honors Sabbath
    A hotel dishwasher awarded $21.5 million in her court battle to honor the Sabbath is a faithful member of Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church in Miami, pastor Keny Felix told Baptist Press today (Jan. 18).
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 7:51pm -
  • Apologetics conf. speakers underscore 'truth in love'
    Apologetics experts from across the nation took the stage at Defend '19, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Jan. 7-11 apologetics conference to nurture "winsome ambassadors for Christ who share the truth in love in the power of God's Spirit."
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 7:46pm -
  • Abortion defunding bill fails in Senate
    The effort to remove the federal government from the abortion business failed Thursday (Jan. 17) in the U.S. Senate.
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 3:52pm -

Berean Research

  • Holding on.
    Discernment Ministry. What do you think of when you hear or read that term? Does your nose wrinkle a little? Does your upper lip curl in disgust? A lot of good, solid, caring, sheep-loving discerning writers are being told not to quit their day jobs due to the actions of a few. Whether those actions […]The post Holding on. appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 9 Oct 18, 2:21am -
  • Why we “Mark and Avoid”
    There is a growing trend to dismiss the Bible in a world that says, “you can’t believe a book that’s a couple thousand years old,” as Rob Bell has done. Bell recently made these statements and said that the Church is very close to embracing gay marriage. If you haven’t boldly marked false teachers, people […]The post Why we “Mark and Avoid” appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 5 Oct 18, 7:37pm -
  • Liberation-Not For Everybody
    Youth Testify, a new program launched by Advocates for Youth and the National Network of Abortion Funds is “helping young people advocate for their reproductive rights and reframe the narrative around abortion.” Reframe the narrative? According to Peter Jones, re-framing means that “not a word of warning will be given to young women about the death knell that will forever […]The post Liberation-Not For Everybody appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 2 Oct 18, 4:11pm -
  • Andy Stanley: “Most Former Christians Still Have a Crush on Jesus”
    Megachurch leader Andy Stanley has made some interesting statements over the past few years. Most notably are his statements distancing himself from the authority of Scripture. Easy to mark and avoid a teacher like this, right? Actually, not so easy. Stanley’s many marketable brands include curricula for children, teens, adults, couples…and many well-meaning church staff […]The post Andy Stanley: “Most Former Christians Still Have a Crush on Jesus” appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 26 Sep 18, 10:36am -
  • Downplaying the Devil in NAR
    Should you pray for God’s protection from being deceived and then stop worrying about being deceived by the devil? Likewise, once you pray for protection should you then let your guard down, not worry about your need for protection, and embrace all–and I mean all–manifestations of the miraculous? Holly Pivec explains why putting aside spiritual discernment […]The post Downplaying the Devil in NAR appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 25 Sep 18, 4:14pm -

Christian Headlines

Christian Post

Christianity Today

  • Can We Handle the Truth About Racism and the Church?
    Before racial reconciliation can happen, says Jemar Tisby, American believers need to reckon honestly with the sins of the past.At the climax of the 1992 classic A Few Good Men, Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) famously screams, “You can’t handle the truth!” Responding to questions from Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) about a military cover-up, he confirms his role in the scandal but maintains that the public would rather not know the ugly and gory details of his job. In The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby (president of the black Christian collective The Witness) adopts the posture of Lt. Kaffee, demanding that American Christians learn and teach the hard truth about the church’s complicity in racial injustice.For far too long, some in the church have assumed the defiant pose of Col. Jessup. Because this history is so painful to remember, many believers would rather bury it. Others, confronted with the church’s inadequate response, shift attention to a multiracial cast of heroic figures—like William Wilberforce, Francis Grimke, or Martin Luther King Jr.—whose contributions paint the church in a better light.Of course, as Tisby points out, that these exemplars were small in number and greatly abused by fellow Christians for speaking against racial bigotry. And admirable as they are, they can’t be allowed to obscure the underlying truth: Many white Christians actively participated in racism, and many more sat idly by as it infected every inch of American life. Brutal racial injustice would not have persisted as long as it did, Tisby writes, without “the relative silence, if not outright support, of one of the most significant institutions in America—the Christian church.”The Path of Least ResistanceThe Color of Compromise corrects the record by surveying key points in American ...Continue reading...
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  • Clean Water or the Gospel?
    The answer is both.Today, there are 844 million people around the world without access to clean water; 2.5 billion do not use a toilet to manage their waste. And 3.4 billion people are unreached with the gospel.The intersection of all three of these is predominately rural villages dominated by animism and other folk religions. What should be our priority as Christians? Provide communities with access to clean water and improved health, or proclaim the transforming truth of the gospel?As the leader of a Christian water organization, I’ve struggled with this dilemma for years. I firmly believe that we must serve the whole person (body and soul), and I also believe that Christ must be central to all our efforts. If we solely preach the gospel, we ignore their basic physical needs. If we only give them water, teach about hygiene, and build toilets at schools, we feel like we’ve neglected the Christian nature of our work.How can we meaningfully address people’s physical needs while fulfilling the Great Commission? Here are some guiding principles we have found helpful:First, clarify our categories.I don’t believe drilling a well, installing a pump, and teaching people to wash their hands fulfills the Great Commission. It is important work worthy of our support. It can drastically improve people’s lives. However, by itself, it isn’t what Christ commissions the church to do.I also don’t believe preaching the gospel while ignoring the crisis and hurt people are experiencing is consistent with biblical ethics. Jesus makes it clear that we have a responsibility to help the person who has been attacked by robbers and left for dead (Luke 10:25-37). To simply walk past is not consistent with the teaching of Jesus ...Continue reading...
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  • How to Lead Well as a Church Planting Leader
    Three tips from my own experience as a church planting leader.Many frequently joke about the turnover rate in church planting leadership. It seems that whenever I’m at a conference or church event, someone new will come up and say, “Hey, Ed. I’m the new leader of church planting at [insert denomination name].”To be fair, this issue happens across denominations—it’s not just certain ones in certain parts of the country. It happens at the district, network, and denominational levels.Church planting requires a certain set of skills—organization, initiative, patience, and passion, just to name a few. These skills are especially required for a church planting leader. To last long term in this capacity without burnout requires some forethought and consideration. Here are some thoughts on how to lead well in this positionFirst, dedicate yourself to being an advocate.As a leader of church planting, it’s important to remember that you are not actually a church planter; the roles are different. You aren’t the official doer of all things church planting—you are, by definition, the one who helps organize and oversee the work being done by church planters out on the field.Church planting leaders who enter into the territory of their church planters in a micromanaging sort of way ultimately undermine their own authority at one time or another. Simply put, if you find yourself frequently saying to the church planters you oversee, “this is what you should do” or “this is how I did it” and “this is how I’m going to do it,” know that this approach is unhelpful in the long term.For many who work under the leadership of a denomination, your advocacy has to be directed upwards. It’s your job to work ...Continue reading...
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  • Asia Rising: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Follow Jesus
    China’s church raids drew headlines, but 26 countries—including India—treated Christians worse in 2018.Christian persecution has worsened in the most populous countries in the world, China and India, putting millions more believers at risk for their faith.The two Asian nations moved up on Open Doors’s annual ranking of the 50 countries where it’s hardest to be a Christian. India entered the World Watch List’s top 10 for the first time, due to a growing Hindu nationalist threat stirring anti-Christian sentiments. Meanwhile China, where the Communist government continues closing major congregations and detaining Christian leaders, climbed from No. 43rd to No. 27 on the list.Researchers calculate that 1 in 3 Asian Christians now experience high levels of persecution for their faith.Year after year, Open Doors has reported on the decline of religious freedom for Christians worldwide—measuring persecution through government restrictions, social pressures, and outright violence.“In the north and Middle Belt of Nigeria … at least 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith—almost double the number of a year ago (an estimated 2,000)—with villages completely abandoned by Christians forced to flee, as their armed attackers then move in to settle, with impunity,” wrote World Watch Monitor in its analysis of the list. The news service noted that “of the 4,136 deaths for Christian faith that the List reports, Nigeria alone accounts for about 90% (3,731).”Overall, 1 in 6 African Christians now experience high levels of persecution for their faith, according to Open Doors researchers.The latest World Watch List indicates that religious freedom restrictions have also become more widespread, affecting 1 in 9 Christians worldwide. An estimated 245 million Christians in the ...Continue reading...
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  • Your Plan B Is Still God’s Plan A
    What a failed church plant taught me about divine purpose and provision.In 2015, my husband and I moved from rural Pennsylvania and left a church we loved to do something risky—plant a new church in suburban Texas. Our vision for the church was to welcome people with disabilities. We see special-needs families as an unreached people group, since so many don’t attend church on a regular basis.Before Lee and I even started our ministry, we partnered with a nearby congregation, got involved in the community, and did outreach events to meet special-needs families. But when it came time to start our church with a weekly Bible study, only a few families had committed to coming with us.Most weeks we had nine adults, four kids under ten years old (three with special needs), and nine older kids (four with special needs). We loved being together, but we weren’t a self-sustaining church body. My husband worked two jobs in addition to church planting, and I worked three part-time jobs from home. After two years of funding from our supporting church, the local association of churches, and our state denomination, we had to close Journey Church and relinquish our dream.Very few of us are living our Plan A scenario, whether in our professional or personal lives. Years before our failed church plant, my husband and I heard a psychologist utter words we never wanted to hear: “We believe your son has autism.” In 1977, my parents’ future was upended, too, when they were told that my newborn sister had Down syndrome. All of us sooner or later experience hardships that irrevocably shape our lives.Although each story is different, Scripture offers us the same enduring truth: Every detour involves God’s presence, purpose, and redeeming power. In other words, our Plan B is still ...Continue reading...
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Forum 18 News Service

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Courts' book-destroying "barbarism" continues
    A Judge ordered destroyed 85 Islamic booklets seized from an individual for offering them for sale without state permission, telling Forum 18 he "doesn't need" them. Another court ordered "Bible Stories" destroyed. "Sad", "ABSURD" and "not in accord with international standards" are some responses to these destruction orders.
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  • CRIMEA: "Anti-missionary" prosecutions double in 2018
    Compared to the first year they were implemented, punishments in Russian-occupied Crimea for ill-defined "missionary activity" doubled in 2018. Of 23 prosecutions for sharing faith or holding worship at unapproved venues, 19 ended in punishment. Also, 17 cases were brought for communities not using their full legal name.
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  • AZERBAIJAN: Six years already, nearly six months more
    Rearrested days before a six year jail term for protesting against a ban on schoolgirls wearing headscarves ended, Telman Shiraliyev was sentenced to an additional nearly six month term. "The trial was short and took place without a lawyer as his family is too poor to afford one," human rights defender Elshan Hasanov told Forum 18.
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  • TAJIKISTAN: Killed prisoners denied Muslim funerals
    Around 50 prisoners killed in suppressing a Khujand Labour Camp riot were denied religious funerals. Officials banned washing of bodies or any Islamic prayers. Sugd Police Deputy Head claimed statements that families were not allowed to bury their dead according to Muslim rites were untrue. "Whoever says that is lying!"
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  • TAJIKISTAN: Arrest not pardon follows "repentance"
    Secret police arrested Mukhtadi Abdulkodyrov for being a Salafi Muslim, two days after his return to Tajikistan from Saudi Arabia. He had written a letter of "repentance". Police opened a criminal case against Jehovah's Witness Mujibahon Isanova for complaining about a teacher's bullying of her eight-year-old son.
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Get Religion

  • newReligion-beat veteran draws blood while dissecting Penn grand-jury report on clerical abuse
    Last weekend was complicated for me, in large part because I needed to get from East Tennessee to New York City for the first half of my Journalism Foundations seminar at The King’s College. Throw in some interesting weather and Sunday was a long day.So what’s the point? Well, the weekend think piece that I was planning was never posted. In this case, that really matters because this Commonweal piece was an important one, featuring a byline — a New York Times scribe from my era on the religion-beat — that offered instant credibility. And the journalism hook was strong, strong, strong — leading to a Religion News Service column from Father Thomas Reese about the massive Commonweal essay.So let’s start with the RNS summary: “Grossly misleading, irresponsible, inaccurate, and unjust” is how former New York Times religion reporter Peter Steinfels describes last August’s Pennsylvania grand jury report in its sweeping accusation that Catholic bishops refused to protect children from sexual abuse. The report from a grand jury impaneled by the Pennsylvania attorney general to investigate child sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses has revived the furor over the abuse scandal, causing the  resignation of the archbishop of Washington, D.C., and inspiring similar investigations in other states. Steinfels argues that it is an oversimplification to assert, as does the report, that “all” victims “were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect abusers and their institutions above all.” Writing in the Catholic journal Commonweal, Steinfels acknowledges the horror of clerical abuse and the terrible damage done to children, but he complains that no distinctions have been made in the grand jury report from diocese to diocese, or from one bishop’s tenure to another. All are tarred with the same brush.Here’s a crucial theme: Steinfels noted that the report — which created a tsunami of ink in American media — failed to note the small number of abuse cases that were reported as having taken place AFTER the 2002 Dallas Charter, by clergy who are still in active ministries. The Dallas document radically changed how Catholic officials have dealt with abuse claims — at least those against priests.The Commonweal piece is massive and it’s hard to know what sections to highlight. Journalists (assignment editors included, hopefully) are just going to have to dig in and read it all.
    - 9 hours ago 20 Jan 19, 7:00pm -
  • Why was Karen Pence's Christian school choice worthy of all those Eye of Sauron headlines?
    Let’s play a headline-writing game, inspired by the fact that one of the world’s most important newsrooms — BBC — wrote a blunt headline about You. Know. What.Yes, this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in) takes another look at the great scandal of the week — that the wife of Vice President Mike Pence returned to her old job teaching at an evangelical Protestant school. This is the kind of small-o orthodox school that has a doctrinal code for teachers, staffers, parents and students that defends ancient Christian teachings that sex outside of marriage is a sin. We’re talking premarital sex, adultery (Hello Donald Trump), cohabitation, sexual harassment, same-sex behavior (not orientation), the whole works.Thus, the BBC headline: “Vice-president's wife Karen Pence to teach at anti-LGBT school.”Now, that BBC report didn’t make the common error of saying that this policy “bans” gay students, parents, teachers, etc. There are, after all, gays and lesbians, as well as people seeking treatment for gender dysphoria, who accept traditional Christian teachings on these subjects. There are some careful wordings here: Second Lady Karen Pence, the wife of the US vice-president, will return to teaching art at a school that requires employees to oppose LGBT lifestyles. The school in Springfield, Virginia, bars teachers from engaging in or condoning "homosexual or lesbian sexual activity" and "transgender identity". … "I understand that the term 'marriage' has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman," the document states.My question is this: For the journalists that wrote this headline, what does “anti-LGBT” mean?If that term is accurate in this case, would it have been accurate for BBC to have used this headline: “Vice-president's wife to teach at anti-LGBT school for Christian bigots”? Is the judgment the same?Now that I think about it, in many news reports it certainly appeared that editors assumed that banning homosexual behavior is the same thing as banning LGBT people. If that is accurate, then why not write a headline that says, “Vice-president's wife to teach at school that bans gays”?Then again, looking at the content of the school policies, journalists could have used this headline: “Vice-president's wife to teach at school that defends Christian orthodoxy.” OK, but that doesn’t get the sex angle in there. So, let’s try this: “Vice-president's wife to teach at school that opposes sex outside of marriage.” That’s accurate. Right?
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 19, 4:00pm -
  • This year's March for Life media question: How hard is it to tell 1,000 people from 100,000?
    Another year, another mini-storm linked to media coverage of the March for Life in Washington, D.C.As always, the controversial issue is how to describe the size of the crowd. That’s been a hot-button topic inside the DC Beltway for several decades now (think Million Man March debates) Authorities at United States Park Police tend to turn and run (metaphorically speaking) when journalists approach to ask for crowd estimates.March For Life organizers have long claimed — with some interesting photo evidence — that the size of this annual event tends to get played down in the media.That is, if elite print and television newsrooms bother to cover the march at all. For more background, see this GetReligion post from 2018: “A brief history of why March for Life news causes so much heat.” And click here for the classic Los Angeles Times series by the late David Shaw focusing on media-bias issues linked to mainstream coverage of abortion.So, what about 2019? Writing mid-afternoon, from here in New York City, let me note one bad snippet of coverage, care of USA Today, and then point to several interesting issues in a much more substantial story at The Washington Post.I received a head’s up about the lede on an early version of the USA Today story about the march. Alas, no one took a screen shot and it appears that the wording has since change. However, several sources reported the same wording to me, with no chance for cooperation between these people. Here’s a comment from the Gateway Pundit blog: USA Today, the first result when you search for the march in Google News, began their story by saying, “more than a thousand anti-abortion activists, including many young people bundled up against the cold weather gripping the nation’s capital, gathered at a stage on the National Mall Friday for their annual march in the long-contentious debate over abortion.”Wait. “More than a thousand?” During a bad year — extreme weather is rather common in mid-January Washington — the March for Life crowd tops 100,000. Last year, a digital-image analysis company put the crowd at 200,000-plus. During one Barack Obama-era march, activists sent me materials — comparing images of various DC crowds — that showed a march of 500,000-plus (some claims went as high as 650,000).
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 10:00pm -
  • Friday Five: March for Life, Protestant prodigals, dementia and faith, Tiffany Rivers' child No. 9
    It’s another busy week in the world of religion reporting. Once again, I’m having trouble keeping up with all the headlines.Today is the March for Life, and the Washington Post’s Julie Zauzmer had an interesting preview piece, exploring how political polarization is leading some to view the anti-abortion gathering as a Republican event.Meanwhile, The Tennessean’s Holly Meyer offered insightful coverage of a Lifeway Research survey. Gannett flagship USA Today picked up the story. The key finding: Large numbers of young adults who frequently attended Protestant worship services in high school are dropping out of church. And with those headlines, we’re just getting started.Look dive into the Friday Five:1. Religion story of the week: Religion News Service published an important, compelling three-part series on dementia and religion by national reporter Adelle M. Banks.You really need to check it out.Also, read my GetReligion commentary on the project.
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 6:00pm -
  • The Intercept: The mix of hijabs and high fashion do Muslims no favor
    In this age of bare-bones journalism, a number of private investigative websites have sprung up to report on news that’s important to their owners. One is The Intercept, an online news site dedicated to “adversarial journalism” and funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.Such sites tackle education, politics, the environment and more — but surprisingly not religion, even though huge percentages of Americans are involved in some kind of faith. Recently, The Intercept made its religion debut with a piece on Islamic fashion and its relation to capitalism.Its main point was that although the hijab and the flowing robes of the Saudi abaya may be glamorized on the world’s catwalks, actual women who wear them are vilified. NIKE RELEASED ITS first sports hijab last December, heralded with sleek, black-and-white photographs of accomplished Muslim athletes wearing the Pro Hijab emblazoned with the iconic swoosh. The same month, TSA pulled 14 women who wear hijab out of a security check line at Newark Airport; they were then patted down, searched, and detained for two hours. From February to March, Gucci, Versace, and other luxury brands at autumn/winter fashion week dressed mostly white models in hijab-like headscarves. Around that time, two women filed a civil rights lawsuit against New York City related to an incident in which the NYPD forced them to remove their hijabs for mugshots. Gap, a clothing brand known for its all-American ethos, featured a young girl in a hijab smiling broadly in its back-to-school ads this past summer. Meanwhile, children were forced to leave a public pool in Delaware; they were told that their hijabs could clog the filtration system. Muslim women and Muslim fashion currently have unprecedented visibility in American consumer culture. Yet women who cover are among the most visible targets for curtailed civil liberties, violence, and discrimination in the anti-Muslim climate intensified by Donald Trump’s presidency.Then comes an utterly clueless paragraph. By selling modest clothing or spotlighting a hijabi in an ad campaign, the U.S. clothing industry is beckoning Muslim women to be its latest consumer niche. In order to tap into the multibillion-dollar potential of the U.S. Muslim consumer market, large retailers have positioned themselves as socially conscious havens for Muslims, operating on a profit motive rather than a moral imperative.Now when has Gucci, Prada, Nike, Gap or all the other brands out there ever had a moral imperative?
    - 3 days ago 18 Jan 19, 3:00pm -

Mission Network News

  • Somalia sees bloodiest terror attack in country’s history (MNN) -- Over 300 people were killed in Somalia's bloodiest attackThe post Somalia sees bloodiest terror attack in country’s history appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • Emergency medical flight gets conjoined twin infants to life-saving surgery (MNN/MAF) -- Conjoined twins saved through ministry’s medical flightThe post Emergency medical flight gets conjoined twin infants to life-saving surgery appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • Christmas short-term mission opportunities!'l (MNN) -- Short-term mission trip opportunities this ChristmasThe post Christmas short-term mission opportunities! appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • The faces and stories behind World Food Day (MNN) -- On World Food Day, ministry spotlighting long-term solutionsThe post The faces and stories behind World Food Day appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 16 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • State elections draw near in India, spark anti-Christian sentiment (MNN) -- Christians are being watched closely The post State elections draw near in India, spark anti-Christian sentiment appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 16 Oct 17, 4:00am -

PE News

  • Reaching Romania, Reaching Europe
    Raegan Glugosh's ministry efforts in Romania through Hagar Home and addressing the root causes of child abandonment, helped prepare her to lead when millions of traumatized refugees began to pour into Europe.
    - 3 days ago 18 Jan 19, 1:00pm -
  • Taking the Community’s Pulse
    Small town church grows by helping to meet local needs.
    - 3 days ago 18 Jan 19, 10:00am -
  • Influencing the Nation’s Capital
    Overflow City Church reaches internationals in Washington, D.C.
    - 4 days ago 17 Jan 19, 2:30pm -
  • This Week in AG History -- Jan. 19, 1935
    Missionary Victor Plymire buried his wife and son, victims of small pox, on a mountainside in China, but God used that sacrifice to give new life to a Chinese church decades later.
    - 4 days ago 17 Jan 19, 1:00pm -
  • Even the Winds Obey Him
    Connie McQuin shows no fear twirling around in an F4 tornado.
    - 5 days ago 16 Jan 19, 7:00am -

Persecution Blog

  • Missionary Pilot Shares The Rest of the Auca Martyrs' Story
    Growing up the home of missionary parents in Ecuador, Gene Jordan has always known the story of five men—Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian—who gave their lives in the jungle to reach an isolated Indian...      Related StoriesVOM Radio: "When We Say Yes to God"Nate Saint Memorial School: End of an Era"Holy, Holy, Holy" in a Sudanese Prison 
    - 24 Jul 17, 4:06pm -
  • After Arrest, "I Was Terrified"
    “Dr. Andrew” is working to share the gospel in the Middle East, but he hasn’t always had a heart to share Christ’s love with Muslims. Growing up in a nominal Christian family, Andrew was harassed by Muslims his whole life....      Related Stories"Holy, Holy, Holy" in a Sudanese PrisonPetr Jasek: God Opened the Prison DoorMiddle East Christians "Standing in the Fire" 
    - 27 Jun 17, 10:07pm -
  • Being a True Vessel for God's Use
    “Brother Matthew” is a pastor and church planter in South Asia, working among Muslims to share the gospel. After threats against his life and an attack on his brother, he was encouraged by family members to leave his country. He...      Related StoriesVOM Radio in Central Asia"Holy, Holy, Holy" in a Sudanese PrisonAfter Arrest, "I Was Terrified" 
    - 7 Jun 17, 4:56pm -
  • VOM Radio in Central Asia
    "Tanya" is a Christian worker in Central Asia, living and ministering in a country where she must always be cautious about what she says openly and who she says it around. Listen to hear how Christians in the former Soviet...      Related StoriesBeing a True Vessel for God's Use"Holy, Holy, Holy" in a Sudanese PrisonPetr Jasek: God Opened the Prison Door 
    - 9 May 17, 7:17pm -
  • Nate Saint Memorial School: End of an Era
    The end of an era comes next month. In August 1985, I clutched my mom’s hand and squeaked my rubber flip-flopped way down the gravel path from the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) “base” to the cinderblock Nate Saint Memorial school....      Related StoriesMissionary Pilot Shares The Rest of the Auca Martyrs' StoryVOM Radio: "When We Say Yes to God" 
    - 27 Apr 17, 8:14pm -

Religion News Service

  • Catholic school apologizes after clip emerges of students mocking Native Americans
    WASHINGTON (RNS) — 'They're just responding to a president that is giving license to racists and bigots who have no place in our society,' a Native American activist said.The post Catholic school apologizes after clip emerges of students mocking Native Americans appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 19, 11:56pm -
  • Photos of the Week
    (RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes celebrations from the Kumbh Mela festival in India, animal blessings for the feast of Saint Anthony, and more.The post Photos of the Week appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 2 days ago 19 Jan 19, 1:16am -
  • At March for Life, crowd cheers for anti-abortion gains — and Trump
    WASHINGTON (RNS) — Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise appearance at the event, striding on stage with his wife, Karen.The post At March for Life, crowd cheers for anti-abortion gains — and Trump appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 11:30pm -
  • Michael Muhammad Knight wants to introduce you to Islam’s prophet — 40 times
    (RNS) — In his latest book, Michael Muhammad Knight seeks a more fluid biography of the Holy Prophet of Islam — beyond modern constructions.The post Michael Muhammad Knight wants to introduce you to Islam’s prophet — 40 times appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 9:50pm -
  • Greeks bridle at historic deal to split Orthodox church from state
    ATHENS, Greece (RNS) — Next month, the country's parliament is expected to vote on an agreement to make the Greek state neutral toward religion, ending the primacy of Greek Orthodoxy in the country’s constitution.The post Greeks bridle at historic deal to split Orthodox church from state appeared first on Religion News Service.
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 19, 9:12pm -

Today's Creation Moment

    United Methodist News Service

    World Magazine

    • Trump offers ‘Dreamers’ deal to end shutdown
      President Donald Trump on Saturday offered Democrats a deal to protect young illegal immigrants in exchange for funding a border wall and ending the partial government shutdown. Speaking from the White House, Trump said he was “here today to break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward,” but Democratic leaders quickly dismissed his proposal as a “non-starter.” In advance of the president’s remarks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the expected plan “a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable.”Trump said the deal had support from rank-and-file Democrats and that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would bring up the proposal for a vote this week. In exchange for $5.7 billion for border security, the president said he would extend protections for so-called “Dreamers”—young people brought to the country illegally as children—as well as those with temporary protected status after fleeing countries affected by natural disasters or violence.Administration officials said the protections would apply only to those illegal immigrants in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and he would extend temporary protected status only for those who currently have it and have been in the United States since 2011. That means people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Haiti who had their status revoked since Trump took office would get a reprieve. Trump also clarified that the border wall he wants would not be a concrete structure “from sea to shining sea,” but rather “steel barriers in high-priority locations.”Image: Category: White HouseArticle Title: Trump offers ‘Dreamers’ deal to end shutdownKeywords: PoliticsWhite HouseImmigrationCongressBudgetAuthor: Lynde Langdon
      - 1 day ago 19 Jan 19, 10:25pm -
    • Beleaguered Women’s March draws a crowd
      Hampered by winter weather, the government shutdown, and organizational strife, the annual Women’s March drew a smaller but still sizable crowd Saturday in Washington, D.C. Anger toward President Donald Trump fueled the first march on the day after his inauguration in 2017, but the event has grown to include a variety of causes such as environmentalism, abortion advocacy, immigration reform, and race relations.Organizers originally planned to gather on the National Mall but decided to relocate because of a forecast for severe winter weather combined with the lack of snow removal services during the government shutdown. An estimated 100,000 protesters packed several blocks around Freedom Plaza, just east of the White House, for the daylong rally in cold temperatures. The march itself took about an hour and only moved about four blocks west along Pennsylvania Avenue past the Trump International Hotel before looping back to Freedom Plaza. Parallel marches took place in dozens of cities across the country, too.The march suffered this year from dwindling sponsorship and accusations of anti-Semitism and financial mismanagement by its leaders. Groups such as the Democratic National Committee and the NAACP quietly distanced themselves from the event, though Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union maintained their support.Image: Category: PoliticsArticle Title: Beleaguered Women’s March draws a crowdKeywords: WashingtonProtestNewsworthyPoliticsAuthor: Lynde Langdon
      - 1 day ago 19 Jan 19, 9:46pm -
    • Mueller disputes BuzzFeed report
      Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office issued a rare statement late Friday saying that a report by BuzzFeed News accusing President Donald Trump of directing his lawyer to lie to Congress contained inaccuracies. BuzzFeed claimed to have information from two anonymous sources inside the Mueller investigation who said former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen lied to Congress because the president asked him to. Cohen has admitted giving false testimony about a real estate deal in Moscow that Trump continued to be involved in during his campaign.“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller. The statement did not cite any specific errors in the article. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Saturday the organization stood by its report and asked the special counsel to “make clear what he’s disputing.”After the special counsel issued the statement, Trump tweeted, “A very sad day for journalism, but a great day for our Country!”Image: Category: White HouseArticle Title: Mueller disputes BuzzFeed reportKeywords: PoliticsWhite HouseCampaign 2016CongressMediaAuthor: Lynde Langdon
      - 1 day ago 19 Jan 19, 4:17pm -
    • Former Chicago officer gets almost seven years for teen’s shooting
      UPDATE: A judge has sentenced former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke to nearly seven years in prison in the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke’s attorney, Dan Herbert, said Van Dyke was happy with the sentence that Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan handed down Friday. Special prosecutor Joseph McMahon, who oversaw the case against Van Dyke, said he believed the sentence of six years and nine months was fair, but the Rev. Martin Hunter, McDonald’s great uncle, called the prison time insufficient. Van Dyke could be released with credit for good behavior after serving half of the length of the punishment, lawyers said.OUR EARLIER REPORT (1:18 p.m.): A sentencing hearing is underway Friday for a former Chicago police officer convicted of murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. In October, a jury found Jason Van Dyke guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery in the 2014 shooting.Video footage released 13 months after the incident sparked protests and led to charges of conspiracy against three other officers who were at the scene of the shooting. Cook County Judge Domenica Stephenson on Thursday acquitted ex-Officer Joseph Walsh, Officer Thomas Gaffney, and Detective David March of conspiring to cover up the shooting on Van Dyke’s behalf. A report attributed to Walsh said McDonald continued to move and was holding a knife after Van Dyke’s initial shots knocked him to the ground, which indicated that he continued to pose a threat to the officer, a scene not captured in the video. Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times. Stephenson, in her ruling, agreed with the report, an argument that jurors who convicted Van Dyke didn’t accept.“To say that these men are not guilty is to say that Jason Van Dyke is not guilty. … It is a sad day for America,” said the Rev. Martin Hunter, McDonald’s great uncle.Van Dyke, his wife, teenage daughter, and other family members were set to testify before another Cook County judge, Vincent Gaughan, at Friday’s sentencing hearing.Image: Category: Family & SocietyArticle Title: Former Chicago officer gets almost seven years for teen’s shootingKeywords: PoliceCrimeChicagoCourtsPrisonRaceRace IssuesAuthor: Alyssa JacksonLynde Langdon
      - 2 days ago 19 Jan 19, 1:21am -
    • March for Life emphasizes science and truth
      WASHINGTON—Pro-life is pro-science, speakers at the 46th annual March for Life proclaimed to a crowd of thousands Friday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Activists and lawmakers shared how science shaped their pro-life stances and encouraged participants to demand protection for the unborn. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., said the “science is clear that life begins at conception.” He also announced that he and others had founded a pro-life caucus in the Senate.Pro-life activist Lila Rose, the founder of Live Action, credited developments in medical technology with changing hearts and minds about abortion. “We’ve learned so much in the last 30-40 years from ultrasounds and developments in medical technology to actually peek inside the womb. … That is really compelling,” Rose told me backstage at the rally.The event also featured a pre-recorded message of encouragement from President Donald Trump and live speeches from conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, and pro-life lawmakers, including Reps. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and Chris Smith, R-N.J.After the rally, demonstrators marched to the Supreme Court, where justices decided on Jan. 22, 1973, that abortion should be legal until the point in a pregnancy that the baby could live outside the womb. The March for Life began exactly one year later and has continued every year since.Image: Category: Pro-LifeArticle Title: March for Life emphasizes science and truthKeywords: AbortionWashingtonSupreme CourtWhite HouseLifeAuthor: Harvest Prude
      - 2 days ago 19 Jan 19, 12:46am -

    World Watch Monitor

    • Sunni Arabs ‘helped drive out’ Mid-East Christians
      Amid the push by Iraqi government forces to retake Mosul from Islamic State (IS), some former inhabitants of Christian villages in the Nineveh Plains and northern Syria are refusing to go back because they believe their former Sunni Muslim neighbours were complicit in driving them out, says Middle East analyst and former journalist, Patrick Cockburn, in News Deeply. Christians returning to Nineveh believe Sunni Arab villagers were complicit in “taking their houses, killing and raping people,” he says.Cockburn adds that, in Syrian towns occupied by IS, Christians believe their Sunni Arab neighbours were similarly cooperating with IS and that returning Christians might drive Sunnis out in turn. There’s a “real, very high level of friction and hostility on the ground, which I think is going to be extraordinarily difficult to reverse”, he says.“A longer-term and very dangerous shift in both Iraq and Syria is that communities in general can’t live together any longer.”In November Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana, a priest in the Assyrian Church of the East and head of CAPNI (Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq), said that defeating IS won’t guarantee Christians’ return. “What are the guarantees that it will not happen again?” he asked, noting that Iraqi Christians had been targeted not only since IS’s sudden appearance in 2014 but since the US-led invasion in 2003, after which he said the fabric of Iraq “was broken”.In the decades before IS, more than a million Christians left Iraq, which had turned increasingly hostile towards them, the minority population felt.
      - 13 Mar 17, 1:01pm -
    • ‘Freedom of religion or belief must be protected’
      Countries around the world are urged to act now to promote and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief by a UN expert.The Special Rapporteur, Ahmed Shaheed, made his appeal at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, as he set out his priorities for the mandate of freedom of religion or belief, which he took up last November.Mr. Shaheed expressed concern about a rise in the number of incidents of violence - for religiousreasons - by extremist groups, vigilante mobs and others.“State and non-State actors, alike, continue to impose restrictions, or limitations, and engage in targeted harassment, intimidation of, or discrimination against religious minorities, unrecognised religious communities and dissidents, who are often confronted with threats to their freedom, safety and security,” he said.“I am particularly alarmed by continuing reports of mass atrocities and violence that threaten the very existence of religious minority communities, including some groups that have existed for over two millennia.”Mr. Shaheed pointed to a number of mechanisms for the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of religion or belief that have already been developed, and for which consensus among states already exists. He said his agenda for the next three years would be focused on the implementation of these state obligations.The Special Rapporteur stressed that policies adopted to enhance the capacity of security forces to combat terrorism by limiting fundamental rights (such as freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly) often have dire consequences for the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief.He welcomed efforts to promote that right at national and international levels by governments, parliamentarians, national human rights institutions, human rights and faith-based organisations, and educational institutions.
      - 10 Mar 17, 6:39pm -
    • Iraq urged to allow UN investigation into genocide
      International human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has called upon the Iraqi government to allow a UN investigation into the treatment of Yazidis by the so-called Islamic State (IS), reports Reuters.A year ago, the UK Parliament joined US Secretary of State John Kerry, the US House of Representatives, the EU Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in describing the actions of IS (or Da’esh) as genocide. In June last year, UN experts reported that IS militants seek to destroy the Yazidi group, whose beliefs combine elements of several ancient Middle Eastern religions, through murder, sexual slavery, gang rape, torture and humiliation that amounts to genocide.Some religious leaders and other sources, including Vienna-based legal counsel Ewelina Ochab, believe that the campaign of genocide also extends to Christians. Prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, there were 1.4 million Christians in the country. Today there are thought to be fewer than 200,000. World Watch Monitor reported in May last year that Christianity “could disappear” from Iraq and Syria withinfive years, according to Catholic sources. Britain is drafting a UN Security Council resolution to establish an investigation, but Clooney said the Iraqi government needs to send a letter formally requesting the inquiry before the council can vote.Clooney, who represents Yazidi victims of IS, told reporters, “We do want to see an investigation take place with the cooperation of the Iraqi authorities, but ultimately if that support is not forthcoming in terms of real action, then the UN has to think of other ways in which to achieve accountability.”Since 2014, when IS took control of parts of Iraq, Yazidis and Christians have been under severe, and often violent, pressure with many Christians being given four options: to leave, convert to Islam, pay the jiyza (tax), or be killed. A report last October highlighted this accelerated targeting of “disproportionately suffering” Middle East Christians.
      - 10 Mar 17, 1:08pm -
    • Iranian mother and son Christian converts arrested
      An Iranian mother and son who converted to Christianity have been arrested in the north-western province of West Azerbaijan. Anousheh Reza-Bakhsh (known as Veronika) and her son Soheil (known as Augustine) were arrested on 20 February at their home in Urmia, the provincial capital. Mohabat News reports that it is the first known arrest of Christians in the city since 2008. Urmia, with nearly 700,000 inhabitants, is famous for housing the Cathedral of St. Mary the Mother of God, whose origin dates back to the 16th Century. Middle East Concern (MEC) reports that the mother and son, who had become Catholics, were baptised in Istanbul in August last year, after which they returned home and “continued to read and learn about the Christian faith”. Christian material was reportedly found at their home, as Augustine, reported to be a psychology student, had been “a keen follower of online Christian theological training programmes and Christian satellite TV channels”, according to MEC. There has been no further update on their whereabouts or safety, though they are believed to have been taken to an intelligence office of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. They are both reported to have health issues. Iran, which is no. 8 on the 2017 Open Doors World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian, continues to monitor and persecute Christians across the country. Often, detainees are subject to psychological and physical harm by the authorities. Iranian and European human rights and religious rights organisations have urged the international community to use new opportunities for trade with Iran since the nuclear agreement to hold the government there to account over its treatment of Christian converts.
      - 9 Mar 17, 3:23pm -
    • Pope: ‘Persecutors don’t care about denominations’
      Pope Francis has urged all Christians to pray for fellow believers who are persecuted for their faith, saying that “those who persecute them make no distinction between the religious communities to which they belong”.“How many people are being persecuted because of their faith, forced to abandon their homes, their places of worship, their lands, their loved ones!” Francis says in the video that shows three representatives of different denominations: Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox – standing as if in a police line-up accused of a crime. “They are persecuted and killed because they are Christians,” the Pope continues, adding, “I ask you, how many of you pray for persecuted Christians?”The one-minute video, which also includes images of broken religious statues and a burnt-out church, is the latest to be produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network and contains his prayer intention for March: the support of persecuted Christians through prayers and material aid from all the Churches.Francis has spoken frequently about an “ecumenism of the blood” to emphasise that persecution is affecting many parts of the Church and should be met with ecumenical solidarity.
      - 8 Mar 17, 2:31pm -