Prayer fuel: News from around the world


Prayer FuelHere are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the December 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.

North Korea: investigation

A UN report has called in late October for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The report concluded that ‘a number of long-standing and ongoing patterns of systematic and widespread violations [meet] the high threshold required for crimes against humanity in international law’ and that these crimes ‘clearly merit a criminal investigation’. The report found that ‘grave human rights violations and crimes against humanity are ingrained in the institutional framework’ of North Korea. Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Thailand: wise proverbs

A new multi-media project has been launched in Thailand, it was reported in mid-October.
The Proverbs Project from Voice of Peace is designed to introduce modern, educated Buddhists in Thailand to the gospel. It consists of a book with 52 chapters, 52 radio and television programmes, a correspondence course, social and mobile media. In Thailand proverbs are used for teaching children and youth so it is therefore ideal as an entry point for presenting the gospel to the Thai people. Fellowship of European Broadcasters (FEB)

USA: ironic equality

It was reported in late October that Christian groups at California State University have been stripped of recognition because they refused to sign a policy which would require them to open their membership and leadership to all students, including non-Christians.
Groups that do not sign the new policy lose free access to meeting rooms, are barred from student fairs and cannot receive funding from student associations. The move has been heavily criticised by members of a nationwide campus ministry. The Christian Institute

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Prayer fuel: News from around the world


Prayer Fuel(view original article here)

Here are a handful of news-bites from around the world included in the November 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.

Columbia: conscience

The Colombian Constitutional Court upheld the right to conscientious objection, freedom of worship and religious freedom on September 16 in the case of Jhonatan David Vargas Becerra, who was forcibly inducted into the military in March 2013 and later arrested and imprisoned on charges of going absent without leave.
His right to object to military service should have been respected from the outset as he had made a verbal declaration of his status in 2013. The court has given the National Army 48 hours to free him. Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Germany: taboo broken

Laws prohibiting incest between siblings in Germany should be removed, according to a top government committee which said, in early October, it is ‘not appropriate for a criminal law to preserve a social taboo’.
‘The fundamental right of adult siblings to sexual self-determination is to be weighed more heavily than the abstract idea of protection of the family’, stated the German Ethics Council. Incest remains illegal in the UK and in most European countries. The Christian Institute

Nepal: free to convert?

The Prime Minister of Nepal, Sushil Koirala, has committed to guaranteeing religious freedom in the forthcoming constitution, a pledge included in his message to Muslims and people of other faiths on the occasion of the Muslim festival of Bakra Eid on October 6.
An anti-conversion clause for the new constitution had been proposed, and there were also calls by prominent political leaders in the last few months for a constitutional ban on all conversions from one religion to another. Christian Solidarity Worldwide

USA: chicken out

Chick-fil-A, a fast food chain, has, in September, been banned from donating meals to a high school fundraising event in California because of its support for biblical marriage.
The school’s principal, Val Wyatt, banned the donation, saying: ‘With their political stance on gay rights and because the students of Ventura High School and their parents would be at the event, I didn’t want them on campus’. Christian Concern

For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, visit us online or subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Prayer fuel: News from around the world


Prayer FuelHere 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.

 

For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, subscribe to en for monthly updates.

Prayer fuel: News from around the world


Prayer FuelHere 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.
Religion Today

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.

Prayer fuel: News from the UK and around the world


Prayer Fuel

(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

 

Safe abortions?
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.

Prayer fuel: News from around the world


Prayer Fuel

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

Barnabas Fund

 

Palestine: stabbing

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.

Barnabas Fund

 

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.

Prayer fuel: News from the UK and around the world


Prayer FuelHere 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.

WEST by Northwest

WEST teamed up with the North West Partnership in April so that students will be able to study together for the Graduate Diploma and Masters-level degree programmes at the centre in Liverpool.

Jonathan Stephen, principal of WEST, said: ‘This is a highly significant development for WEST, as we continue to fulfil our commitment to “bringing the academy into missional church”’. WEST

Less protected

Christians are afforded less protection for their beliefs by the state compared to those who practise other religions, suggests a late April survey.

Of the 2000 people surveyed exclusively for The Telegraph, nearly half thought British believers had less protection. This figure rises to 62% among those who identify as non-practising Christians. The poll also reveals that 56% see Britain as a Christian country.
The Christian Institute

NI: rejecting SSM

The Northern Ireland Assembly rejected gay marriage by an outright majority for the third time on April 29.

Assembly members voted 51 to 43 against redefining marriage at Stormont. Pro-traditional marriage campaigners say those pushing for a change should ‘take the hint’. The private member’s motion in support of same sex marriage was tabled by six members from the Alliance, Sinn Fein and the Green parties, and called on the Minister of Finance and Personnel to introduce gay marriage legislation.
The Christian Institute

Australia: Christian

The April elected Premier of New South Wales, Liberal MP Mike Baird, is reported to be a committed Christian.

Baird, 46, was elected unopposed. He attends an Anglican church in his electorate of Manly (a beachside suburb of Sydney). Bruce Clark, senior minister at St Matthew’s on the Corso, said that Baird is a strongly committed Christian man.

Fellowship of European Broadcasters / Eternity Newspaper

Google: 0 results

Google has bowed to pressure from American ‘pro-choice’ group NARAL by agreeing to ban advertisements for crisis pregnancy centres that educate women on the alternative options to abortion, it was reported in early May.

NARAL campaigned extensively to force Google to remove advertisements for pro-life pregnancy services after complaining that the adverts appeared 79% of the time when users entered the search terms ‘abortion clinics’. Christian Concern

USA: illegal meetings?

Fairfax County, Virginia, has proposed a new law that some believe will outlaw Bible studies held in a home, it was reported in early May.

The law violates the First Amendment right of freedom to assemble in that it states ‘regular gatherings of 50 people or more cannot meet more than three times in 40 days’. One person is concerned that the law is punishing the many for the actions of the few, as noise orders could be given and cars towed away if they violated laws, which is preferable to making a law that stops lawful meetings. Christian Headlines

For more news and prayer fuel from around the world, subscribe to EN for monthly updates.