Pakistani Christians Watchful as Sharif Returns to Power
On June 5th the remarkable comeback of Sharif, who was ousted by a military coup in 1999 and spent seven years in exile in Saudi Arabia and Great Britain, culminated in his taking office as prime minister, Pakistan’s top executive position, for a third time. His fundamentalist ties and track record of inaction on blasphemy laws give Christians cause for concern.
Living Like Jesus—In Israel
The Bible says the Jewish people should be a light to the nations. According to Messianic church leader Evan Thomas, this means living as Jesus lived. But the Israeli citizenship application form contains a critical question, “Do you believe in Jesus as the Messiah?” If you answer “yes,” in red letters the form declares you are, “not eligible for citizenship of Israel.” Such was the reality for Judith, a Messianic Jewish American, as she sought citizenship in Israel.
*Drawing from a Syrian Trauma Counseling session
Hanna lives with her husband and two young daughters in Damascus. Working as a teacher, she shares what daily life is like living and working in Syria:
“No one wanted this war to happen. I hear this from Christians, but also from Muslims. Of course everybody wanted a change in the country. I have to be honest and say that the situation wasn’t good before the war. We wanted change, but we didn’t want to become killers. We all want the best for the country.
“But each day I’m nervous, I’m upset, everyone is. The streets are empty. The price of food has doubled. Every moment a bomb can explode, and snipers are everywhere. Yesterday I was in a taxi with my husband when next to us, maybe 5 meters away, a bomb exploded. I still hear my ears whiz. Thank God there was a high wall between us and the bomb, so we’re still alive. Luckily my daughters weren’t with us, so they didn’t have to experience this horrifying situation.
Nationwide Protests Expected in Egypt This Weekend
Planned protests against Egyptian President Morsi and Muslin Brotherhood regime are scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 30th. Meanwhile, the situation has heated up and demonstrations have already begun, indicating that the Sunday event may escalate into violence. The church in Egypt has asked for our prayers against the loss of lives and injuries, that God may prevent evil from reaching Egypt, and for Christians to shine with vibrant love and peace during these uncertain times.
The 'Somalization' of Central African Republic
"Seleka rebels and their chiefs have turned CAR into a wild state, a gangster state, a jungle! Please pray that God will intervene in our country," wrote a co-worker. He added that there is not a single day that citizens are not robbed in what locals are calling the 'Somalization' of the country.
Egyptian Christian Leader Joins Protest, Asks for Prayers
"On Sunday, Egyptians across the nation marched down the streets of villages, towns and cities in massive human blocks, filling up major squares and main streets. The enormous crowds raised the Egyptian flags together with banners demanding President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporting party to leave. I was one of them!" - Egyptian Christian leader
Middle Eastern Christians are experiencing one of the most significant periods in their history, according to religious and political leaders meeting in London last week. Recent regime changes in Egypt and Iran, along with sectarian violence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, present an opportunity for the Christian minority in these countries to speak out, and for international bodies to advocate on their behalf.
On Tuesday, July 16, during the Nigerian Senate debate, Senator Ahmad Sani Yerima, the first Governor to introduce sharia law into Zamfara, a Nigerian State, successfully blocked the removal of a clause from Nigeria's Constitution, which critics say provides a loophole allowing the marriage of under-age girls under sharia law. Human rights activists fear the ramifications for young girls.
Once a guerrilla spy living among Colombian coca growers and using his truck to transport cocaine and political propaganda, Pablo (alias) now transports the gospel message. He shares his testimony of how God spared his life, and in return, he promised to serve Him for the rest of his days.
Booming Churches, Barred Pastors: How U.S. Visa Policies Thwart Hiring Ministers
A 2008 crackdown on religious worker visas has left many immigrant churches in the lurch.
John W. Kennedy
Whatever happens in Congress with immigration reform this year, it won't solve the problems religious workers face in getting R-1 visas. Immigrant pastors and other church workers often are caught in a byzantine system that is inhospitable to evangelicals, even when they have complied with the necessary regulations. Ensuring that a religious worker has enough pay is just one of many issues that can trip up an immigrant who wants to pastor a church.
Read Booming Churches, Barred Pastors: How U.S. Visa Policies Thwart Hiring Ministers...
The church in the far north region of Cameroon has been shaken by a decision of an Evangelical Church elder to renounce Christianity to embrace Islam. Peter, 50, is married and father of eight children. He has served as a church elder for the last 20 years.
ICC’s Rebekah Chapman, reports on how her once peaceful home in Tanzania has been turned into a place of nightmares. Over the past 14 months, there have been over 66 violent incidents of persecution in Tanzania. The violence started when a young Christian boy, egged on by a Muslim friend, urinated on a Quran. Two days later, on October 12, 2012, a large, angry Muslim mob came after the boy to kill him. When the mob learned the boy was being protected by the police, they rioted and burned down three churches.
Over the next few months, horrific attacks were made on the local community; Christians were assaulted, homes were burned down and many were killed. Unfortunately, Tanzania’s government has been useless in preventing attacks and protecting Christians from violence. Given that harsh reality, the future of Tanzania is very bleak and many Christian l...
An Open Doors country coordinator shares about hardships the church deals with, but also about an encouraging training held for young adults in Aleppo, "So many turned out, that it did not fit the church!"