Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the October 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.
China: lost appeal
Chinese Pastor Zhang Shaojie, sentenced to 12 years in prison and ﬁned 100,000 RMB (approximately £9,400) for fraud and ‘gathering a crowd to disturb public order’, lost his appeal on August 21.
The appeal hearing took place without the knowledge or presence of the pastor’s lawyers. The original detention of the pastor and several others took place without formal documentation, and lawyers were repeatedly denied access to their clients. Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Iran: ISIS in prison threats
Christian prisoner Farshid Fathi was moved with no known reason from Evin prison (Tehran) to Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj on August 19 and has found himself threatened by other prisoners who are members of ISIS.
He is detained in an open cell with hardened criminals and drug addicts and in this tense atmosphere he has asked for prayers for his safety. Due to the more aggressive nature of this prison, a guard is constantly present in the cell to try to prevent the inmates from attacking each other. Elam Ministries
USA: Navy Bibles unbanned
Bibles, which had been removed from US Navy rooms following complaints from an atheist group, have been returned, it was reported in early September.
A review is taking place with regard to the placement of religious materials, and so the Bibles have been returned pending an outcome to this review.
Fellowship of European Broadcasters (FEB), Christian Post.
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(view online version here)
Here are a handful of news-bites from around the UK included in the October issue of en. May these spur us on to pray for our country and issues we all are facing.
Dawkins (partial) apology
Professor Richard Dawkins apologised in late August for tweeting that it would be immoral for a mother to continue with a pregnancy if she knew that the foetus had Down’s syndrome.
However, Dawkins still asserted that abortion was the correct choice based on his own morality, which is to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, as he believes it is immoral from the child’s perspective not to abort the baby. Right to Life Charitable Trust
An ‘aggressive form of secularism’ is pushing faith out of the public square, the former Attorney General warned in late August.
Dominic Grieve said there is a ‘sanitisation’ of religion from the workplace, which will lead to people being ‘excluded’ from society and that ‘recognising people’s right to manifest their faith and express it is very important’. In April, a survey of 2,000 people suggested that Christians are afforded less protection for their beliefs by the state compared to those who practise other religions. The Christian Institute
Children raised in marital homes are better behaved than those brought up by unmarried parents, according to major research funded by the Department for Education reported in mid-September.
The study of around 3,000 children aged three to 16 found that those with married parents showed lower levels of anti-social attitudes and hyperactivity. They were also more confident, kind and responsible, according to the research from the University of Oxford and the University of London. The Christian Institute
For more news and prayer fuel from around the UK, subscribe to en for monthly updates.
Here are a handful of news-bites from 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.
China: Canadian arrests
A Canadian pastor and his wife, who have lived in China since 1984, have been detained in China under accusations of theft of intelligence, it was reported in early August.
Specifically, Kevin and Julia Dawn Garratt are suspected of ‘collecting and stealing intelligence materials related to Chinese military targets and important Chinese national defence scientific research programmes, and engaging in activities that endanger China’s national security’. They were arrested in the border city of Dandong. Simeon, their eldest son, said that the allegations are false and their Christian faith and close proximity to the missionary community are likely to be the cause of the arrest.
Pakistan: radio work
FEBA’s partners in Pakistan are now using medium wave to reach one particular language group, it was reported in July.
Until recently broadcasts were only transmitted on short wave in a remote rural area of Pakistan. To make programmes widely accessible, FEBA’s partners have begun transmitting on medium wave, reaching many more people.
Fellowship of European Broadcasters (FEB)
Russia: church wins
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in early August ruled against Russia in a freedom of religion case, in which a Pentecostal centre in Chuvashia, liquidated for alleged violations of educational, ﬁre and sanitary regulations, won its case.
Liquidation as a registered religious organisation is not a complete ban, but makes it difficult to do much more than privately meet for worship and to study texts. Forum18
For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, visit our website of subscribe to EN for monthly updates.
Here are a handful of news-bites from around the UK included in the September issue of EN. May these spur us on to pray for our country and issues we all are facing.
Proposals to allow three-parent babies will be pushed forward by the government, despite more than 60% of people opposing the plans in a consultation, it was announced on July 22, as the responses to a 12-week government consultation were released.
Figures showed that, of 1,857 responses, 1,152 opposed the idea of three-parent babies, while 700 ‘expressed general support’. The remainder did not come down on either side. The Christian Institute
New for the Cornish
Cornwall now has the Bible online, it was reported in late July.
The New Testament and Psalms are available in Cornish as a downloadable app. Translators say it makes the Bible ‘really accessible’ for people, who can now get it on their smartphones. There are an estimated 500 fluent Cornish speakers and a further 3-4,000 who can hold a conversation in Cornish. Bible Society’s Newswatch
The Evangelical Alliance’s complaint about an offensive advertisement by the gambling organisation Sporting Index, which was published in June by City AM newspaper, was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in August.
The ruling, published on August 6 on their website, found that the June 10 advertisement, in which the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil was digitally altered, breached three sections of their code. The image of the statue was graphically altered and shown to be holding a bottle of booze in the right hand with the left arm around a bikini-clad model over the caption: ‘There’s a more exciting side to Brazil’. Evangelical Alliance
For more news and prayer fuel from around the UK, visit our website or subscribe to EN for monthly updates.
(view original UK articles and WORLD articles here)
Here are a handful of news-bites from around the UK and around the world included in the August 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.
Yes to life
In late June, the UK’s highest court dismissed an appeal to allow doctors to assist in suicides.
The case involved the family of Tony Nicklinson – who died in 2012 and could only communicate by blinking and nodding – and Paul Lamb, who is paralysed, and another man who wanted to travel abroad to die in a Dignitas clinic. Judges ruled 7-2 to reject their appeal, with Lord Sumption noting that legalising assisted suicide ‘would be followed by its progressive normalisation, among the very old or very ill’.
The Christian Institute
Disciplined by church?
It was announced at the end of June that the ﬁrst Church of England clergyman to enter a same sex marriage has been told he can no longer conduct services.
Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced father of five, and his partner Laurence Cunnington had a same sex wedding ceremony in April against official Church of England guidance. Canon Pemberton can no longer officiate at services in the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham, but he continues to be a chaplain to hospitals in Lincoln.
The Christian Institute/Christian Concern
In response to a written parliamentary question in June, it was revealed that the number of women who have died within one month following a legal abortion has risen from just one woman in 1985, to 20 women in 2006-08.
Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP stated that the cause of death recorded on death certificates for women who died after an abortion is not reviewed by the Department of Health.
Right to Life Charitable Trust
(Editor – the abortion rate only rose from around 12 per thousand women in 1985 to around 17 in 2006-08. House of Commons Library.)
Canada: pronoun chaos
Teachers should replace he or she, him or her and his or hers with new pronouns xe, xem and xyr to refer to children who believe they are transsexual, according to school rules passed in Vancouver in late June.
The new words were sanctioned to be used as alternatives to regular pronouns if required by pupils. Training is also being backed for teachers to develop a ‘gay-friendly’ curriculum, and states that children ‘have the right to dress in a manner consistent with their gender identity or gender expression’.
The Christian Institute
N.Korea: tourists charged
North Korea is preparing to try two American tourists on charges of ‘perpetrating hostile acts’ against the country – one apparently because a Bible was left behind in his hotel room – it was reported in June.
North Korean state media said that one of the men entered the country in April with a tourist visa but tore it up at the airport, declaring that he wanted to seek asylum.
Bible Society’s Newswatch
USA: abortion bankrolled
The world’s fourth richest person, Warren Buffett, ploughed $1.23 billion into abortion groups over 11 years, it was reported in July.
The Media Research Center (MRC), which analysed tax returns for Buffett’s foundation, labelled him the ‘king of abortion’. Neither Buffett, nor the foundation at the centre of the controversy, have commented on the revelations. The money given ‘is enough to pay for the abortions of more than 2.7 million babies’.
The Christian Institute
For more news and prayer fuel from the UK and around the world visit our website or subscribe for monthly updates.
Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the July 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.
Pakistan: call to protect
Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution calling on the government to take steps to protect the worship places of the country’s religious minorities, it was reported in May.
The motion urges the deployment of special security personnel at sites located in ‘areas at risk of terrorist attacks’. Though non-binding, the resolution has symbolic significance as a statement of intent to protect Christians and other minorities, who are regularly targeted by Islamic extremists in Pakistan
A Christian man was stabbed and around eight others injured in an attack on a church near Bethlehem in May.
Muslims interrupted a church service in the village of El-Khader in the West Bank, turning violent when they were asked to leave. They started throwing stones at the building, causing damage including broken windows. The incident comes amid increased attacks on churches in Israel; 14 have been reported in the past year, several of them in late Spring. Threats have also been made against senior church leaders.
USA: prayer permitted
In early May, the US Supreme Court backed a town council’s freedom to pray at the beginning of its meetings after two local residents complained.
Judge Anthony Kennedy said the prayers do not exclude those with no religious faith and that judges should not rule on the content of prayer because it could lead to lawmakers censoring chaplains’ messages in order to make them ‘acceptable for the public square’.
The Christian Institute
For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, go to our website or subscribe to EN for monthly updates.