Prayer fuel: News from the UK and around the world

Here are a handful of news-bites from around the UK and around the world included in the June issue of EN. May these encourage us as well as spur us on to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world facing severe persecution.

New CEO at LCM
London City Mission has appointed Graham Miller as its new Chief Executive, it was announced in early May.
He succeeds the Rev. Dr. John Nicholls, who served in the post from 2004 until his retirement this year. Currently working in East Asia, Graham has extensive experience of leadership in a variety of business and charity settings in the UK, Europe, and East Asia. He is a qualified management accountant, and theologically trained at both Cornhill and Oak Hill. London City Mission

The Bible on 5
Channel Five has bought the rights to The Bible TV series, it was reported in April.
The show was made by Mark Burnett, previously better known for shows such as reality hit Survivor and The Voice. It will be shown in the autumn. Bible Society’s Newswatch (Guardian)

Insult me!
A free speech reform to the public order law cleared Parliament and achieved Royal Assent on April 25.
The word ‘insulting’ has been deleted from Section 5 of the Public Order Act, still leaving police with power to deal with ‘abusive’ and ‘threatening’ conduct. Supporters of the reform say ‘insulting’ was wide open to misinterpretation, and it had led to many unjust incidents of police interfering in free speech. The Christian Institute

India: ambushed
Pastor Udayachal was on his way to a prayer meeting on April 10 when a man asked him to come to his village.
Pastor Udayachal had been to his village a couple of days earlier to hand out Gospel tracts and pray for the sick. When he arrived at the man’s home, there was a group of seven or eight young people. They showed him a piece of Gospel literature and asked if he had distributed it. As soon as he said yes, the group beat him so severely that he was not able to walk properly. At time of going to press, Pastor Udayachal remains in severe pain and is still unable to walk properly. Gospel for Asia

Morocco: fatwa
The Supreme Ulema Council in Morocco, a body of Islamic scholars headed by King Mohammed VI, published a fatwa in late April declaring that Muslims who renounce their faith ‘should be condemned to death’.
Christians are concerned that the edict, which has sparked controversy in the country, will be used to ‘harass’ and ‘harm’ the church if approved. Religion Today

USA: seeking
One of the victims in the Boston Marathon bombings in April was a young student from China, studying at Boston University.
While in Boston she had made friends with those at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a group that runs international student ministry in the USA, and had been investigating Christianity. Information about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the bombing suspects, is also coming to light. Tsarnaev had apparently said: ‘I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them’. Friends International

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