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 September 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.

And the winner is…
An Emmy-nominated mini series from the US called The Bible is due to air on Channel 5 soon, it was reported in August.
The ten-hour series has been a phenomenal success in America, seen by more than 95 million viewers. The Emmy awards will take place on September 22, where it will compete against five other programmes. The trailer for the series can be seen at Bible Society’s Newswatch

Premier Christian Radio is launching a 24/7 national Christian helpline called ‘Premier Lifeline’, a confidential telephone helpline offering support and prayer from a Christian perspective.
They are recruiting volunteers, providing training and upgrading their systems to be more effective. Contact: peter.kerridge@pre Fellowship of European Broadcasters (FEB)

Plymouth prayerless
Local Labour leaders in Plymouth have removed prayers from the beginning of council meetings, as ‘part of the process of modernisation’.
Prayers will be 15 minutes before the meeting officially starts at 2 o’clock. A local Conservative councillor strongly criticised the move, slamming ‘the thoughtless rush for change’. The Christian Institute


Egypt: children pray
In a country rocked by change and division, some 1,400 8-14-year-old Egyptian children gathered in July to worship and ask God to change them to be the salt and light for Jesus in their communities.
The first ever One Thing Kids festival was held at the desert oasis of Wadi El Natroun from July 16-18 and televised live by Christian broadcaster SAT-7.

India: restrictive
The legislative assembly of Madhya Pradesh state on July 10 passed a more restrictive version of its existing anti-conversion law, effectively overturning the religious freedom guaranteed under India’s constitution.
The bill, yet to be signed off by the governor, requires anyone wanting to change their religion to first seek official permission and obliges religious leaders to report conversions, and mandates a three-year jail sentence for failing to do so. That rises to four years in the case of a minor, a woman or a Dalit (untouchable). Seven Indian states have already passed anti-conversion laws, as a result of pressure from Hindu nationalists. Release International

Vietnam: pressured
A young couple in Vietnam who accepted Christ in June have been beaten and threatened by officials, it was reported in July.
Local authorities hit the wife on the face with a stick and threatened to take the couple’s land and home if they refuse to renounce Christianity and return to Buddhism. They are afraid that they will lose their land and have no way of supporting their family. The couple, who survive through subsistence farming, have three boys aged 10, 12 and 14. Their pastor is trying to help, but lives 15 miles away in another village. Religion Today


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