Prayer News | Where Christians Pray Through the News

Glorifying God in 2018


Welcome to 2018.

I hope each reader of this website grows closer to God this year and spends more time praying for a lost world that needs Jesus. It is my prayer that you will redeem the time in 2018.

Prayer List

* Pray for God to help you to be focused on His mission and to not get distracted by the things of this world.
* Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel and God’s love with your neighbors, co-workers, friends, acquaintances and family members.
* Pray for discernment in the Church as deception continues to harm the body of Christ.
* Pray for Christians to be filled with boldness that are persecuted for their faith.

Unreached People of the Day



Saturday: Rabari in India
Sunday: Bederia in Sudan

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

  • Senators, Trump address pro-life supporters
    Two United States senators -- James Lankford of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska -- urged those attending Evangelicals for Life Thursday (Jan. 18) to practice honest, loving persuasion in the effort to defend human dignity.
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 8:23pm -
  • 3rd Virgin Islands crusade to continue imparting hope
    Devastation and suffering among Hurricane Irma and Maria survivors in the U.S. Virgin Islands was palpable to Florida Baptist Jeffery Singletary, who led a mission trip to the islands months before the storms. The "Feeding the Five Thousand" crusades he organized in response have fed thousands and led hundreds to Christ.
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 8:06pm -
  • EDITORIAL: Nuestra Seguridad en Cristo (Juan 10:28-30)
    Me encanta leer estos tres versos del evangelio de Juan. Aquí encuentro, por medio de la Palabra de Dios, seguridad de mí vida eterna. ...
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 6:50pm -
  • Moore: Salvation, not just winning, pro-life goal
    The goal of evangelical pro-life efforts is greater than winning, Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore said in the opening address of Evangelicals for Life Thursday (Jan. 18).
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 6:20pm -
  • Flu outbreak prompts churches to take precautions
    A "warm wave" instead of a handshake is among the ways churches are combatting the spread of the flu. Churches also are placing sanitizers in their worship and children's facilities and asking those who have been exposed to the flu to temporarily stay away
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 5:32pm -

Berean Research

  • newWhy Dr. Michael Brown Has No Credibility
    In 2016, Anthony Wade came down hard on Christian apologist Michael Brown for showing a stunning lack of discernment over the years. In light of  the company he keeps (see the wolves he associates with here), should we have any confidence in Dr. Brown at all? Should someone who knowingly runs with ravenous wolves be […]The post Why Dr. Michael Brown Has No Credibility appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 6 hours ago 20 Jan 18, 4:49pm -
  • A Move of the Holy Spirit & Christian Emotionalists
    Christians who depend on signs and wonders, such as gold dust falling from the ceiling, personal prophecies and other visible signs, are seeking a golden calf of experience over faith says Elizabeth Prata of The End Time.  It is Prata’s belief that believers who seek after signs are dishonoring the Holy Spirit and robbing Him […]The post A Move of the Holy Spirit & Christian Emotionalists appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 4 days ago 16 Jan 18, 3:04pm -
  • Seven Reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 Isn’t the Crazy Aunt We Hide in the Closet when Company Comes Over
    Bible study author, speaker and blogger Michelle Lesley queries: “Are we more afraid of the wrath of woman than the wrath of God?” According to Lesley, although they may not realize it, for a large number of professing Christians the answer is, sadly, yes. It is evident that many believers fear man (what other people think […]The post Seven Reasons 1 Timothy 2:12 Isn’t the Crazy Aunt We Hide in the Closet when Company Comes Over appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 5 days ago 15 Jan 18, 4:49pm -
  • Fill in the blank; abortion billboards call evil good
    In God’s Word, He warns us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20) Our children are being raised in an era where this evil is blasting them right in the face. Soon […]The post Fill in the blank; abortion billboards call evil good appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 5 days ago 15 Jan 18, 3:54pm -
  • The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
    Those involved in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) continually blaspheme the Holy Spirit. This is a grave sin, brethren. Sadly, people involved in this movement refuse to receive correction, even when it is coming from highly regarded Bible scholars. A complete misunderstanding of the function and activity of the Holy Spirit in the life of […]The post The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit appeared first on Berean Research.
    - 8 days ago 12 Jan 18, 4:42pm -

Christian Headlines

Christian Post

Christianity Today

  • In Defense of Pro-Life ‘Hypocrisy’
    Analogies between abortion and other “life issues” are shakier than we sometimes suppose.Spend enough time arguing against abortion, and you’re certain to deal with accusations of hypocrisy and inconsistency. If you were really pro-life, critics say, there are other, outside-the-womb causes you would champion just as ardently.In a 2004 interview with PBS host Bill Moyers, Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun and social activist, gave voice to this common complaint. “I do not believe,” she said, “that just because you’re opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”Does the pro-life movement have too narrow a focus? Recent Republican efforts to reform our health care laws have vaulted this question back into the spotlight. Opponents ripped the Republicans’ plans as depriving our most vulnerable citizens of health insurance coverage. And they wondered why pro-life conservatives in Congress would neglect going to bat for low-income women—those at greatest risk, in their desperation, of making an appointment with Planned Parenthood.Both friends and foes are always urging pro-lifers to update their list of priorities. A genuine ally of unborn life, they might say, should also oppose the death penalty. Or lobby for restrictions on gun ownership. Or protest America’s wars. Or fight cutbacks to government programs. Or demand action on climate change. Some even lump campaigns against smoking ...Continue reading...
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  • The Year Science Took Over the Pro-Life Movement
    Even the technology touted at 2018’s March for Life can divide the cause when it comes to abortion policy.The March for Life has taken place each January in Washington for 45 years, rallying Christian organizations, Republican politicians, and thousands of demonstrators dedicated to a timeless message about the sanctity of life and the need to protect the unborn.The annual event has always evoked spiritual and political arguments. But this year’s also looked to science and technology to bolster the cause.President Donald Trump, who spoke to the march by video from the White House, announced that Monday’s Roe v. Wade anniversary would be declared National Sanctity of Life Day (as Republican presidents before him have done).“Science continues to support and build the case for life,” his proclamation states, referencing the advent of more detailed sonograms and the new possibilities for procedures done in utero as important medical advances for the pro-life cause.“Today, citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy,” Trump wrote.Following his remarks, the first-ever offered by video from a sitting president, House Speaker Paul Ryan shouted to a cheering crowd at the National Mall.“Why is the pro-life movement on the rise? Because truth is on our side,” the Catholic lawmaker said. “Life begins at conception. Science is on our side!”Bolstered by a young generation of pro-life millennials and new developments in prenatal treatment, advocates see themselves in a better position than ever to change minds on abortion. The Atlantic details this trend in an article out Friday that asks, “Does the pro-life movement have science on its side?”Science came ...Continue reading...
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  • Overreach Is the Part of Obama’s Legacy That Trump Should Undo. And He Is.
    HHS Announces New Conscience and Religious Freedom DivisionToday, the Trump adminstration rolled back some Obama adminstration rules and changed how the government would approach religious and conscience objections.The Washinton Post reported:The document released describes an approach to conscience and religious protections that is significantly broader than current regulations. The number of entities that would be covered by the new rule is massive — as many as 745,000 hospitals, dentists offices, pharmacies, ambulance services and others — and the steps any entity must take to show it is in compliance is increased.The Obama OverreachThe Obama administration, as many of us know, was seen as less-than-accommodating to individuals and groups with deeply-held religious convictions when those conflicted with new politics and laws. Instead of expanding opportunities for conscience-based objections, the Obama administration approach was one that stifled thoughtful conversation and prevented compromise. And, most importantly, they did not make appropriate accommodations for religious beliefs—picking unnecessary fights with groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor.Rather than seeking to find reasonable accommodation for sincerely held religious belief, the Obama administration consistently overreached with unhelpful mandates and more.In response, a host of religious leaders—from Rick Warren to President Obama’s own former staffer Michael Wear—composed a letter in 2014 asking President Obama to rethink his practices. They affirmed the need to protect human dignity and advocate for just policies. They agreed that ridding our nation of discrimination was, in fact, a noble endeavor. Nevertheless, they asked that “an extension of protection for one ...Continue reading...
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  • It’s Official: Trump Turns HHS from Pro-Life Antagonist to Advocate
    Department of Health and Human Services reverses Obama-era policies on Planned Parenthood funding.The Trump administration continued to move toward pro-life policies and against Planned Parenthood with further guidance issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).The department has rescinded an Obama administration memo warning states against blocking Medicaid funding for providers that offered abortion. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) now consider that 2016 letter to have overstepped federal regulations; they have restored their position to allow states to regulate their programs within reasonable standards.While federal funds cannot be used for abortions, Planned Parenthood reports that half of its patients use Medicaid to cover other services like birth control.“Reinstating the pre-2016 standards frees up states to once again decide for themselves what reasonable standards they use to protect Medicaid programs and their beneficiaries,” said Charmaine Yoest, assistant HHS secretary for public affairs and former Americans United for Life president, according to The Hill.“This is part of the Trump administration’s effort to roll back regulations the Obama administration put out to radically favor abortion.”Last year, President Donald Trump signed a law that reversed an Obama-era policy barring states from withholding Title X funds for abortion clinics, and reinstated a ban on federal funding for organizations performing abortions abroad.The Hill reported that Friday’s move further demonstrates the administration’s support for state efforts to ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid programs, as Southern Baptists and other pro-life Christians have hoped for years. A Justice Department request in 2017 led abortion opponents to believe the ...Continue reading...
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  • Are Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Women Any Closer to Finding Common Ground?
    A year after the first Women’s March, politics continue to splinter the women’s movement.Last year’s record-setting Women’s March—filling Washington D.C. and hundreds of other cities with streams of pink hats and feminist placards—launched an important discussion about the place of pro-life and conservative women in the movement, after multiple women’s groups opposing abortion were barred from officially participating.But a lot has changed in the year since President Donald Trump took office, particularly when it comes to women’s issues. In 2017, America saw women across industries, faith groups, and political persuasions speak out in an unprecedented way against the ongoing endemic of sexual harassment.The issue proved sadly universal; the #MeToo movement prompted stories from “liberal” Hollywood to conservative Fox News, from “secular” Silicon Valley to Christian congregations, with the launch of #ChurchToo and #SilenceIsNotSpiritual hashtags.The shared concern over abuse at the hands of men in power, now discussed with more openness and urgency, seems to have the potential to bring women together. But ahead of this upcoming Women’s March, the event maintains many of the political divides Americans have come to expect between women.Though marches will still take place in Washington, New York, and at 250 other local affiliates, the main demonstration is being held Sunday in Las Vegas, marketed as a get-out-the-vote rally for women in swing states, with the tagline “Power to the Polls.” Adding to the political tension is that it falls on the very same weekend as the annual March for Life in Washington—the country’s largest demonstration against abortion and increasingly a destination for evangelical groups.While public ...Continue reading...
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Forum 18 News Service

  • Kazakhstan: Six await trial; cancer sufferer not freed
    Three of six Muslims arrested in October 2017 have had pre-trial detention extended for two more months. All six face up to two years' imprisonment if convicted of involvement in missionary movement Tabligh Jamaat. A second United Nations body has called for Jehovah's Witness prisoner of conscience, cancer-sufferer Teymur Akhmedov to be freed.
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  • Russia: Property sell-offs, alternative service denials follow Jehovah's Witness ban
    Following the Supreme Court ban on all Jehovah's Witness activity - in force since July - Regional Justice Ministry branches are preparing to sell off their confiscated property. Military call-up offices have denied several army conscripts the option of alternative civilian service. Jehovah's Witnesses experience increased law enforcement harassment, plus vandalism and violence.
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  • Azerbaijan: Four state agencies raid religious communities
    Alongside police, secret police and State Committee for Work with Religious Organisations, a growing role in raids on religious communities and prosecutions seems to be played by Religious Affairs Commissions attached to local administrations. Fines of three months' average wages often follow raids.
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  • Azerbaijan: Fines follow police raids on worship
    Azerbaijan continues to raid religious communities meeting without state permission, and large fines are normally then imposed. After one such raid an Aliabad Baptist has been told he must pay a fine of over three months average salary by the end of 2017.
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  • Uzbekistan: No books allowed, Bible ordered destroyed
    Uzbekistan still searches homes and fines people for meeting and having religious literature, claiming in one case to look for a gun. After one person admitted to reading Christian books at home, their home was raided and Bible confiscated. Elsewhere, a Bible was destroyed.
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Get Religion

  • newWhy should clergy (and journalists) pay serious attention to 'Oprah America,' and its pope?
    In 1990, I began the process of moving from being a full-time journalist to being a full-time teacher and part-time journalist. The first place I taught was in Denver Seminary, serving as a specialist on religious themes in mass media.In my main apologetics class, I tried to get seminarians to explore places in popular culture in which ordinary Americans encountered religious questions and themes. For example, I required students to watch "The Simpsons." I was also very high on the CBS series "Northern Exposure." And, of course, I asked them to pay close attention to Oprah Winfrey.Why? Well, that's a question linked to this week's "Crossroads" podcast, in which host Todd Wilken and I discussed that fascinating media storm that followed Winfrey's sermon at the Golden Globes, with plenty of liberal activists and journalists suggesting that she should run for president. Click here to tune that in. Also, this was the subject of my column this week for the Universal syndicate.But why -- in the early 1990s -- did I want future pastors, youth ministers, counselors and others to pay serious attention to Oprah? Years later, I was interviewed about my work at Denver Seminary by the journal Homiletics. Here is a key piece of that piece, which was called, "We're Taking Communion at the Mall." MATTINGLY: We live in Oprah America. The dominate dialogue of our culture is feeling, emotion, and experience. HOMILETICS: I taught a class once in which the name Gloria Steinem came up. No one, including the women, knew whom I was talking about. When I asked them what feminist voices they were listening to, they didn't reference Wolf, Faludi, or Mackinnon. They said, "Oprah." MATTINGLY: You know what? I think Orpah is a feminist and she's an amazingly doctrinaire feminist on issues of gender feminism and certainly on issues of the sexual revolution. What's so funny is that you've got millions and millions of women who think of themselves as conservatives, but also think of Oprah as their buddy. She's consistently liberal, especially on moral and cultural issues. She's managed to communicate warmly to the average American woman without conveying how truly radical some of her views are. She's the essence of the victim culture: the woman as victim. That's not what feminism was supposed to be. But I think most people would agree that that's a piece of what modern feminism has become: You're a victim. Get mad, get angry, get even. HOMILETICS: Do you really think it would be wise for a pastor to get in the pulpit and start attacking Oprah or Martha Stewart? MATTINGLY: I would certainly quote Oprah.So what is "Oprah America" and why is it so important?
    - 5 hours ago 20 Jan 18, 5:33pm -
  • Pre-weekend think piece: A brief history of why March for Life news causes so much heat
    It's March for Life day and, during a rather busy teaching day here in New York City, I have been trying to pay attention to some of the live-streams of coverage from Washington, D.C.So far, I have not seen any edgy websites or cable shows manage to get "president," "prostitute" and "pro-lifers" into the same headline or info graphic, but I won't be shocked if that happens.President Donald Trump's speech to the marchers -- via video hook-up -- pretty much guaranteed this year's event would get more mainstream ink than it has in the past. As always, politics is worth more coverage than piety or poignant personal stories (the kind told, year after year, by the "I regret my abortion" activists).Nevertheless, the March for Life remains what it has been for decades -- the Olympics for researchers studying media-bias issues (click here for a collection of GetReligion posts on this topic). I think it would be helpful to pause and look at the history of that, as we await some of the headlines and trends from this year.During my early 1980s graduate work at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, I looked at quite a few of the articles and photo-analysis studies that already existed contrasting mainstream media coverage of these giant anti-abortion rallies and other Washington events on other topics.Then, in 1990, everything changed.That was when the late, great media-beat reporter David Shaw of The Los Angeles Times wrote his ambitious series on media-bias issues tied to abortion. Ever since, any significant discussion of March for Life news coverage has included some kind of reference to this story: " 'Rally for Life' coverage evokes an editor's anger." The overture is long, but essential: The Washington Post is "institutionally 'pro-choice,' " the Post's ombudsman, Richard Harwood, wrote. ... "Any reader of the paper's editorials and home-grown columnists is aware of that." But "close textual analysis probably would reveal that, all things considered, our news coverage has favored the 'pro-choice' side," too, Harwood conceded.
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 10:00pm -
  • Friday Five: Livin' On A Prayer, Emanuel AME juror, deranged parents, Arkansas shooting and more
    Confession time: I chose one of this week's Friday Five because it gave me an excuse to post the video of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer."See if you can guess which one.Woah, we're halfway thereWoah, livin' on a prayerTake my hand, we'll make it I swearWoah, livin' on a prayer …But enough of that. Let's dive right into the Friday Five:1. Religion story of the week: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes profiled the jury foreman in last year's trial of Dylann Roof, the gunman sentenced to death in the Emanuel AME Church massacre in Charleston, S.C.In a post this week, I described Hawes' story in The Post and Courier as "an amazing narrative piece.""Jennifer Hawes is AMAZING. The end," the jury foreman, Gerald Truesdale, commented in response to my post. 
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 5:22pm -
  • Why is Foreign Policy magazine grumpy about U.S. aid going to Christians in Iraq?
    With ISIS more-or-less cleared out of Iraq and Syria, money for rebuilding efforts is coming into the region amidst some debate as to where that money should land.Why anyone would oppose money going to the Christians, Yazidis and others is a mystery, as it’s clear they suffered the brunt of the brutal ISIS occupation of broad swaths of eastern Syria and western Iraq. In the previous administration, Secretary of State John Kerry used the term "genocide" to describe what happened to Christians, Yazidis, Shiite Muslims and other religious minorities. Christians were so decimated, their religion has been said to be going “extinct” in Iraq.But Foreign Policy magazine sees any U.S. aid going to Christians and others as a bad thing. Here, it says: The Trump administration has decided to steer humanitarian aid funding to Christian and other minority communities in Iraq, against the advice of some officials at the State Department and others at the United Nations, who initially feared the move could backfire. The administration, prompted in part by Vice President Mike Pence’s strong links to Christian advocacy groups, recently clashed with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) over how to spend aid funds in Iraq, insisting more resources be channeled to Christian communities and other minority groups in the Nineveh Plains. The administration rejected UNDP’s assessment -- and that of some officials at the State Department -- that the aid should be focused on more populated areas around the war-damaged city of Mosul. … Since Donald Trump entered office a year ago, the issue has gotten high-level attention. Vice President Pence has spoken frequently about the importance of direct U.S. support for religious minorities in the Middle East, and current USAID Administrator Mark Green -- long an advocate for minority communities -- has made these efforts a centerpiece of his tenure.What it comes down to, the article adds, is about $55 million in funds. But Washington’s preference toward Christians, it argues, could undercut other diplomatic efforts. The move raised eyebrows throughout the aid community. “Taking $55 million and putting it into an area where there’s no chance that the Islamic State is going to come back doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” the Western official said. With stabilization funding -- designed to address the potential resurgence of the Islamic State -- “what you want to do is focus on the areas where they might come back,” the official told FP.But who says ISIS couldn’t return to the Christian and Yezidi areas? Are there no voices on the other side to debate some of these conclusions?
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 2:00pm -
  • WPost reports on pastor 'lighting into' Trump with Pence on front row, but basic question unanswered
    These days, it's often difficult to tell what's supposed to be real news and what's simply clickbait and/or aggregation.That's the case this week with a quasi-news story from The Washington Post that makes no attempt to hide its tabloid-esque approach.I'm talking about a piece that ran with this not-so-subtle cry for page views: Watch a pastor light into President Trump — with Vice President Pence sitting in the front pewUm, OK.By the way, I realize this is the second GetReligion post today related to Mike Pence. If you missed the first one (written by Godbeat legend Richard Ostling and focused on media coverage of the VP's faith), it's insightful and definitely worth your time.But back to my musings: My frustration lies with the fact that the Post goes for the easy clickbait but fails to answer a basic question. More on that in a moment.First, though, the Post's lede (which provides a few details before the paper goes into aggregation mode):
    - 2 days ago 18 Jan 18, 10:55pm -

Mission Network News

  • Somalia sees bloodiest terror attack in country’s history
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/somalia-sees-bloodiest-terror-attack-countrys-history/Somalia (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.
    - 96 days ago 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • Emergency medical flight gets conjoined twin infants to life-saving surgery
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/emergency-medical-flight-gets-conjoined-twin-infants-life-saving-surgery/DRC (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.
    - 96 days ago 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • Christmas short-term mission opportunities!
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/christmas-short-term-mission-opportunities/Int'l (MNN) -- Short-term mission trip opportunities this ChristmasThe post Christmas short-term mission opportunities! appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 96 days ago 17 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • The faces and stories behind World Food Day
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/faces-stories-behind-world-food-day/International (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.
    - 97 days ago 16 Oct 17, 4:00am -
  • State elections draw near in India, spark anti-Christian sentiment
    https://www.mnnonline.org/news/state-elections-draw-near-india-spark-anti-christian-sentiment/India (MNN) -- Christians are being watched closely The post State elections draw near in India, spark anti-Christian sentiment appeared first on Mission Network News.
    - 97 days ago 16 Oct 17, 4:00am -

PE News

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 StoriesNate Saint Memorial School: End of an EraVOM Radio: "When We Say Yes to God"Missions: "Safety Is Not Our Primary Goal" 
    - 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 StoriesBeing a True Vessel for God's UseMissionary Pilot Shares The Rest of the Auca Martyrs' StoryVOM Radio in Central Asia 
    - 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 AsiaAfter Arrest, "I Was Terrified"Openness in Pakistan? 
    - 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 UseMissionary Pilot Shares The Rest of the Auca Martyrs' StoryAfter Arrest, "I Was Terrified" 
    - 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"Missions: "Safety Is Not Our Primary Goal" 
    - 27 Apr 17, 8:14pm -

Religion News Service

Today's Creation Moment

  • Why Do We Get New Species?
    We know that Noah did not have to fit two of every species of animal on the Ark. The Ark sheltered two of every kind of land and flying vertebrate, not two of every species. For example, modern species like lions and tigers would have developed from the pair from the cat family that were on the Ark. Over time, different species of cats have developed from this pair.read more
    - 2 days ago 19 Jan 18, 6:00am -
  • Frankincense
    As a child, I was told that frankincense had been brought to Europe by the Frankish people – ancestors of the modern French. This turned out not to be the case. Instead, the prefix frank refers to this incense being of particular high quality or purity.read more
    - 3 days ago 18 Jan 18, 6:00am -
  • James Ussher’s Legacy
    The years between 1639 and 1651 were times of great turbulence in the British Isles as a series of deadly conflicts were played out. James Ussher was right in the middle of these events, being born, as he was, in Dublin in 1581. In a previous Creation Moment, we related Ussher’s precocious childhood, that led to his famous calculation of the date of creation as 4004 BC.read more
    - 4 days ago 17 Jan 18, 6:00am -
  • James Ussher’s Education
    James Ussher is famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view, for his work on creation. It was Ussher who calculated that the Earth was created at 6 pm on the evening before October 23rd 4004 BC. Because of his exactness in choosing this date, he has been criticized and held up for ridicule in recent years.read more
    - 5 days ago 16 Jan 18, 6:00am -
  • Good Old CO2
    Carbon dioxide is a wonderful gas. It occurs in the atmosphere at an average concentration of 404 parts per million by volume (ppm). Plants need carbon dioxide to grow. This is the principle source from which plants derive the carbon compounds that they require. Green plants use chlorophyll to catalyze a reaction between carbon dioxide and water vapor that produces sugars and also some free oxygen.read more
    - 6 days ago 15 Jan 18, 6:00am -

United Methodist News Service

World Magazine

  • newAmericans, Canadians abducted in Nigeria freed
    After a massive manhunt, Nigerian police rescued Friday night two Americans and two Canadians kidnapped in Kaduna state earlier this week. Police said the four foreigners are in good condition. “No ransom was paid. It was the efforts of the police through the directives of the inspector general of police that led to their release,” state police commissioner Agyole Abeh said. Authorities arrested one person and are close to apprehending the remaining suspects, according to Abeh. The Americans and Canadians, who have not been publicly identified, are now in the capital city of Abuja, Kaduna state police spokesman Mukhtar Aliyu said. “They are in good condition but due to trauma they have to undergo medical observation,” he said. Gunmen ambushed the foreigners Tuesday as they traveled from Kafanchan in Kaduna state to Abuja. The attackers killed two police escorts in the gun battle.Image: Category: InternationalArticle Title: Americans, Canadians abducted in Nigeria freedKeywords: InternationalNigeriaAuthor: Mickey McLean
    - 6 hours ago 20 Jan 18, 4:02pm -
  • newCongress misses shutdown deadline
    Senate Republicans late Friday night failed to muster enough votes from both sides of the aisle to pass four-week budget extension, missing a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government. The House, which passed the measure Thursday night, and Senate scheduled a weekend session to begin considering an alternative short-term fix. Almost immediately, the blame game began. “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement, referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children and our country’s ability to serve all Americans.” President Donald Trump tweeted early Saturday morning that Democrats “could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead,” making the case that Americans need to elect more Republicans to the Senate in November. Schumer, who met with the president Friday afternoon to negotiate a deal, pinned the blame on Trump. “It’s almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown,” Schumer said from the Senate floor shortly after the vote, “and now we’ll have one.” Congress will consider a three-week version of the spending bill Saturday, as a shutdown will not affect most Americans until the beginning of the work week.Image: Category: CongressArticle Title: Congress misses shutdown deadlineKeywords: CongressGovernmentPoliticsAuthor: Mickey McLean
    - 8 hours ago 20 Jan 18, 2:53pm -
  • Toward a better 2018
    Toward a better 2018AbortionThe March for Life celebrates a landmark year and renewed purposePro-LifeEvan WiltTens of thousands of pro-life supporters descended on the nation’s capital Friday for the 45th annual March for Life—hoping positive rhetoric leads to action to protect the unborn.This year’s march marked the first time a sitting president has addressed the event live. President Donald Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, delivered an uplifting message via a live-streamed video from the Rose Garden touting the administration’s commitment to restrict abortion and protect the consciences of those who don’t want to participate in the practice. A year ago, pro-life groups anticipated a historic season to advance pro-life policies with a friendly White House and a Congress sympathetic to their cause. Twelve months later, many agenda items remain on the to-do list, but that hasn’t soured expectations for 2018.“The March for Life is a movement born out of love,” Trump said. “We are with you all the way."Peg Howson, from Massachusetts, cheered as she watched Trump deliver his prepared remarks. She was a junior in high school when she attended the first march in 1974: “It was much smaller back then,” Howson said with a laugh.That first March for Life started as a small demonstration to protest the Roe v. Wade decision and has grown into the largest annual pro-life event in the world.Howson gushed about the progression of the pro-life movement and continues to be excited about its future. She pointed to the collection of young people surrounding her.At just 9 years old, Kevin Judge is a three-year veteran of the march. Julio Ramirez, a 15-year-old high-school student from New Jersey, joined the march for the first time. University of Tennessee sophomore Rachel White skipped out of Friday classes to attend.White told me she doesn’t follow the political back-and-forth on the abortion debate but comes to the march for inspiration: “It’s super exciting to be here with all these people who feel the same way about the preservation of life.”Tom Trykowski from Virginia started coming to the march 15 years ago. Now 73, Trykowski limps while attempting to keep up with the hundreds of school and church groups: “It seems like there are more young people here every year,” he said.Pence spoke onstage at the event in 2017 and declared life was “winning” again in America. He delivered a similar line this time, but advocates point out significant work still lies ahead.Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins met with Pence on Thursday with dozens of college students. Hawkins told me Pence promised her Congress would vote to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. But he could not commit to a timetable with Congress still lacking the needed votes.The House has enough pro-life lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood and pass other legislation to curb the number of abortions, but that’s not the case in the Senate. Without 60 pro-life votes in the upper chamber, pro-abortion lawmakers can filibuster bills to weaken the abortion industry.“The Senate is really a legislative straightjacket,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told me.The House passed a bill Friday to protect children born alive during abortion procedures, but it’s doubtful the Senate will ever take up the bill. And legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of gestation—a ban more than 15 legislatures have already approved at the state level—passed the House in October, but has stalled ever since.Advocates lament the state of stalled pieces of pro-life legislation but remain positive for the future.For many march attendees, the Trump administration has brought hope for 2018 and years to come—a sharp turnaround from the previous White House.“I was pro-life even before I even knew what it meant,” Maureen Trettel from Boston claimed. She now volunteers in a crisis pregnancy center and said simply having a White House that acknowledges the pro-life movement makes all the difference to raise awareness: “The majority of this country is pro-life, and they just need to see more of the truth to shut down abortion.”Bill Peters is the pastor of Unified Baptist Church in San Bernardino, Calif. He traveled with his wife Candy to the march for the first time this year, and Trump was a large motivation for the trip.Peters told me many of his evangelical friends turned their backs on Trump because of the president’s brash style and colored past, but he’s remained supportive for one reason: “The proof is in what he does and not the sometimes awkward words that he uses.”AbortionFeaturesEditor's Notes: NotesUpdated byChangedCreated WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Pro-life activists participate in a rally at the National Mall prior to the 2018 March for Life January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. Activists gathered in the nation's capital for the annual event to protest the anniversary of the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in 1973. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)rachelfbeatty01/19/2018 - 17:0001/19/2018 - 17:00
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 10:00pm -
  • Supreme Court takes on Trump’s travel ban
    The Supreme Court agreed Friday to hear the challenge to President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking travel and immigration from six Muslim-majority nations. The justices will hear arguments in April and issue a ruling by late June. This is the second time the high court has agreed to hear a challenge to Trump’s so-called travel ban. The president’s first executive order expired before the scheduled oral arguments but he quickly issued another one. Last month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the second version of the order also violated federal immigration law. The Supreme Court subsequently struck down a temporary injunction against the second ban, allowing it to go into effect while the legal challenges played out. The contested policy applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Plaintiffs did not challenge the ban against travelers from North Korea and some Venezuelan government officials and their families.Image: Category: Supreme CourtArticle Title: Supreme Court takes on Trump’s travel banKeywords: Supreme CourtWhite HouseImmigrationForeign PolicyNational SecurityAuthor: Leigh Jones
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 8:15pm -
  • All the lonely people
    All the lonely peopleRelationshipsChurchesGreat BritainAs the British government creates a Ministry of Loneliness, opportunities abound for faithful churches to respond to people’s deepest needsGrief & SufferingJamie DeanAs the U.S. government hurtles toward a possible government shutdown over disagreements about immigration and fiscal spending, the British government announced this week they would attack another perplexing problem: loneliness.A 2017 study found more than nine million people in Britain reported they often or always feel lonely. (That’s nearly 15 percent of the population of the United Kingdom, and it’s more than the entire population of London.)Prime Minister Theresa May’s response: She appointed a minister of loneliness. The prime minister said the appointee would lead a government coalition to study loneliness and suggest strategies to combat it.While the numbers aren’t terribly surprising, some of the specifics are heartbreaking: Government research found that 200,000 older people in Britain had not had a conversation with a friend or relative in a month.There’s something deeply tragic about these statistics, and something deeply sad in looking to the government as first responders—especially when there’s already an obvious ministry of loneliness: the Christian church.The church is the institution best equipped to enter into the lives of the lonely, and care for needs that extend to both body and soul.Indeed, the church is the institution best equipped to enter into the lives of the lonely, and care for needs that extend to both body and soul.Sadly, many Brits (and other Europeans) have abandoned the church in droves in recent decades. Nearly half of people in the United Kingdom said they had “no religion,” according to a survey by the National Centre for Social Research. Among those ages 18 to 25, the number was 71 percent.The survey found 15 percent of the British population identified as Anglican, a drop of 50 percent over the last two decades. The Church of England reported in 2016 that only 1.4 percent of the population of England now attends services on a Sunday morning.(It’s important to note that a church’s faithfulness to the Scriptures is key to its ability to offer faithful Christian ministry, and the Church of England has weakened mightily in this area. For example, the church has been taking steps toward affirming same-sex marriage—a debate set to continue this year.)When it comes to evangelicals, Operation World estimates evangelicals comprise 2.5 percent of the population in Europe, though as WORLD senior editor Mindy Belz reported last year, immigrant populations are bringing new life to Protestant churches.The bad news of loneliness and languishing among many in Britain brings a great opportunity for faithful Christian churches: What group is better suited to find ways to enter into the dying life of a heavily secularized culture?The same is true in the United States. Though more Americans may attend church on Sundays, cultural decay is a saddening reality here as well, and it shows up in our own frightening statistics: The suicide rate in America has reached its highest level in 30 years. Meanwhile, the number of suicidal teenagers hospitalized has doubled in the last decade.It seems like a terrible irony: In the most connected society in human history, we’re also perhaps among the loneliest.That reality brings to mind a quote from the The Social Network—the film about the creation of Facebook. Justin Timberlake, playing Facebook co-founder Sean Parker, gleefully predicts: “We’ve lived on farms, then we lived on cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!”It was a nearly prophetic prediction, with sad consequences. While social media has been used for much good, it’s also consigned many people to living their lives online, even when they’re in public. (When I visited the Lincoln Memorial recently, crowds were lining up to take selfies with Lincoln’s towering statue. One man stood off to the side reading the Gettysburg Address.)Now Sean Parker is among a handful of Silicon Valley voices worried that social media is breaking down our social interactions—and perhaps our brains. One disturbing stat among many: Last year, YouTube celebrated that people around the world were watching a billion hours of the site’s content everyday.For Christians, the opportunity is ripe: Look for ways to reach the isolated, and also be ready to receive them if they show up on Sunday. (And be aware they’re showing up among your own members.)It can be as simple as hospitality: Do visitors get an invitation to lunch at someone’s house after church? Do any of the nursing homes near your congregation get attention from your members? How often do you simply talk to your neighbors? Ryder Church A shared meal at a church picnic. Rosaria Butterfield—an author and speaker who has shared her story of repenting from unbelief and a life of homosexuality—told the Gospel Coalition that Christian hospitality was an important part of her conversion: “I fell in love with Jesus and His church because of the way Christians could stand, weep, walk, and be gracious with me.”It makes sense, and it hearkens to a principle in the New Testament book of James: Pure and undefiled religion is to visit widows and orphans in their distress. It’s not just about writing a check or volunteering once a quarter. The command is much more thoroughgoing: Visit lonely people.Visiting requires physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy, and it demands consistent involvement in the lives of others. It’s not easy, and it’s usually unseen by outsiders, but it’s a reflection of a Messiah who visited a lonely and sinful world to sacrifice himself for a family that would last forever. RelationshipsWhirled Views
    - 1 day ago 19 Jan 18, 8:14pm -

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 -