Displaying items by tag: Politics
Sir Keir Starmer apologised for the ‘hurt’ caused by his visit to Jesus House of All Nations after the church was criticised for holding traditional biblical views on homosexuality. He praised the church for opening its premises as a vaccination centre, then later tweeted it was a ‘mistake’ to visit the church, and that he was ‘not aware’ of their views on gay rights. The church was criticised for being anti-LGBT and supporting conversion therapy, but it does not engage in conversion therapy. Pastor Agu, the church pastor, said they provide appropriate pastoral support, including prayer, to all their members, whatever life situations they find themselves in: ‘This is consistent with the fundamentals of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and the government's current position. Over the past 48 hours, in the courtroom of social media, we have felt prosecuted, judged, and sentenced unfairly.’ He said he is very concerned for the thousands of churches and millions of Christians who hold a traditional biblical understanding of marriage and sexuality.
No party leader has enough support to form a governing majority, so Israel’s president has handed the job to Benjamin Netanyahu amid his corruption trial. If there is another election, a definite possibility, we are looking at another five to six months in which the current government is still running the nation. Lord, do not allow this government to miss anything it needs to do during this time: yet do not allow them to touch anything that is to be reserved for the next government. We remember Your promise, ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will advise you with My eye upon you.’ (Psalm 32:8). Thank You that Mr Netanyahu is still Israel's prime minister in all the world's chaos at this time. Strengthen him for as long as You have ordained him to lead Your nation. Psalm 75:7 says that You are the Judge; You put down one and exalt another.
Lebanon has failed again to form a new government. President Michel Aoun wants help from other countries to overcome the deadlock. There is economic despair as political instability drives the currency down. As the currency dips further, the minimum wage sinks below that of third-world countries. It is unbelievable how little people are earning now. They are stuck in a vicious circle, with no end in sight. Each time the currency loses value, prices go up, and people can buy fewer daily essentials. A bottle of milk was 3,000 Lebanese lira, now it’s 8,000. But that same bottle of milk bought with US dollars is less than 50 cents. It becomes ¼ of the price for people with dollars, but the poor people pay over double the price. As the crisis worsens, people have nowhere to put their hope, so they are starting to put their hope in Christ.
In recent years, Algeria, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, among others, have distributed hundreds of millions of euros to finance the spread of Islam in Europe. On March 9, the Danish Parliament voted 79 to 7 to approve a new law banning foreign governments from financing mosques in Denmark. The measure is aimed at preventing Muslim countries from promoting Islamic extremism in Danish mosques and prayer facilities. Denmark joins a growing list of European countries including Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Switzerland - which have taken varying degrees of action to prevent foreign governments from financing the construction and upkeep of mosques on their territories. Denmark's legislation, sponsored by the ministry of foreign affairs, came into force on 15 March.
Myanmar protesters burned down and looted Chinese-owned businesses in Yangon. When China's embassy asked the junta to restore order, they obliged and killed scores of demonstrators. The anti-China riots add a fresh international dimension to Myanmar's political crisis. The protesters are angry at China's thinly veiled support for Myanmar’s junta. This backlash is a big test for Beijing, a rising global power and regional heavyweight. Many believe China will not look the other way while its interests in Myanmar literally go up in flames. China has always wanted a piece of Myanmar’s earth metals and waterways. Beijing wants the generals to restart long-shelved plans for a controversial hydropower dam to generate electricity for China, which locals fear will damage the environment and force thousands to relocate. China also needs Myanmar to continue building a natural gas pipeline which will give them access to the Indian Ocean, where China is competing for maritime supremacy with India.
The following is from Prayer Canopy over Europe: ‘Pray for more Christians to serve the world of politics as advocates and lobbyists in a holistic way. In the past British lobbyists have been the backbone of the profession in Brussels and highly sought after. Pray that Brexit will not diminish the Christian voice in Brussels, but that Christians from other countries will step into the breach. Please pray for Christian politicians to see clearly when their Christian calling needs them to depart from their party line, and for God to send them people to give godly unbiased counsel and to pray for them. Pray that they may be given the strength to resist the temptations which come to those who have an onerous and influential job to do whilst living a private lonely existence away from home and family.
Egypt will now allow Muslims to build Christian churches as paid labourers. In the past, Muslims have often seen this kind of work as taboo. The pronouncement allows them to help build any of the 44 churches now under construction around Egypt. They can also join the work on 16 historic Coptic churches now being restored. Tom Doyle of Uncharted Ministries says, ‘This is a big step. This is the government saying, “We are giving our okay for this”. And that’s another good sign. So we are thankful for that, and pray that there will be better relations between Muslims and Christians. We know as Muslims become exposed to the Gospel and see the joy of the Lord in believers, it is attractive to them. They want to know more. Saudi Arabia is the heart of Arab Islam. But Egypt is the brains of Arab Islam.’
Former president Donald Trump returned to the spotlight at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. He stated, ‘The Republican Party is going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party.’ He focused much of his speech on criticising the first few weeks of President Biden's administration, making it clear he wants a leading role in the GOP in future. With the 2022 midterms just around the corner, he wants Democrats defeated, also each GOP lawmaker who voted for his impeachment.
Many are saying Holyrood faces a ‘crisis of credibility’ over its inquiry into the handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond, now that his written evidence submitted to the inquiry has been redacted at the request of the Crown Office. In another development, MSPs on the inquiry committee have asked the Crown Office to hand over all correspondence between Peter Murrell, chief executive officer of the SNP and Ms Sturgeon's husband; Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeon's chief of staff; Sue Ruddick, chief operating officer for the SNP; and Ian McCann, SNP compliance officer. Mr Salmond claims the documents being requested will show he was the victim of a high-level plot. Ms Sturgeon, who has emphatically denied there was any such plotting against her former boss, is scheduled to appear before MSPs next week. She described suggestions that the Crown Office's intervention was politically influenced as ‘downright wrong’.
Following last week’s intercessions for our Christians in Parliament as they meet up virtually to read the Bible and offer pastoral support, pray for God to anoint them as they walk alongside other people in difficult circumstances and for new opportunities to give one-to-one support. Our Christian MPs also hope to run a course exploring the Christian faith soon; please pray that those who would benefit from such a course would be able to find the right time to meet. Also, plans are being made for this year's National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. Please pray for God to give the organisers wisdom as they work out what will be feasible given the ongoing Covid restrictions. Pray that whatever format the event takes, it will be an encouragement for all who attend and a vehicle for strengthening relationships between church leaders and their local MPs.