Displaying items by tag: danger
After a coroner ruled the death of toddler Awaab Ishak was caused by exposure to mould at his home, housing secretary Michael Gove said that tens of thousands of homes are ‘not in the state they should be in’. The government has now stripped the housing association involved, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), of £1m in expected funding. Mr Gove said, ‘We are not giving money to organisations that are operating incompetently.’ Two-year-old Awaab died from a respiratory condition caused by the social housing he was living in. His family repeatedly raised concerns about mould with RBH, but no action was taken. Mr Gove said the Government ‘should have moved faster’ to improve things for social housing tenants in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. Legislation in 2023 would give additional powers to housing authorities and ensure the voices of tenants were ‘heard more clearly’.
In 2017 Fulani militants seized a Christian mother’s land and burned down her house, forcing her and her family to move closer to the city for safety. Loss of their farmland forced the family of seven into deep poverty, living and sleeping in one room. On 8 August Fulani militants attempted to rape her 16-year-old daughter while they were out walking. A missionary visited the family after the attack and the mother said, ‘They told us to stop, then they beat me as I tried to stop them from raping my daughter.’ She showed the deep gash in her arm she received from the militants, and said God used her to protect her daughter from public disgrace and shame, which is how victims of rape are viewed in their society. ‘I have nothing to say but thank God. Please tell Christians to pray for us. Pray that we will return to our village one day. Life is too expensive in the city.’
On 23 April WHO reported an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A patient aged 31 began experiencing symptoms on 5 April. He was sick for over a week before going to a local health facility. On 21 April he was admitted to an Ebola treatment centre but died that day. Recognising the symptoms, health workers submitted samples to test for Ebola. Now there are investigations to determine the source of the outbreak. The disease has had a two-week head start and medics are playing catch-up. The positive news is that the health authorities have more experience than anyone else in the world at controlling Ebola outbreaks quickly. By 27 April everyone had been inoculated in the province’s capital city, and over 230 Ebola contacts had been identified and monitored. Three vaccination teams will soon reach those at highest risk. See
Christians are the majority of Mexico’s total population, but they are targeted by unlawful gangs for speaking out against criminal operations and violence. Cartels violently try to silence them. In rural indigenous communities, anyone turning away from traditional religious beliefs faces rejection and punishment in the form of fines, imprisonment, and forced displacement. Non-discrimination laws mean that any links between Christian faith and politics are placed under very strict legal scrutiny. In areas controlled by criminals or drug cartels, young Christian men are exposed to forced enrolment. Those who do not accept it face threats, potential abduction, and even death. Families are bribed and intimidated to force their children to obey the gangs. Church leaders are victims of blackmail because they have access to church funds. Mexico also has the highest rate of human trafficking in the world. Women are easy targets.
On 10 February Boris Johnson met the head of the NATO defence alliance in Brussels and then travelled to Poland in support of NATO allies. He warned that the Ukraine-Russia crisis is at its ‘most dangerous moment’ and that war would be an ‘absolute disaster’. Russia is still massing troops on its neighbour's borders and in Belarus. In Moscow Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, said that continued ‘aggression’ will lead to ‘severe consequences’, but at the same news conference her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov accused the West of ‘hysteria’. Moscow wants the West to rule out Ukraine ever joining NATO - but Boris Johnson said that every European democracy must retain that right. Johnson warned that the possibility of an invasion ‘remains grim.’
Heavy snowstorms have blasted northwest Syria since 18 January. On the 23rd a child froze to death in a refugee camp. By 5 February thousands of displaced residents in 72 camps had frozen water systems and collapsed shelters from blankets of snow, and there are no medical services. Pray for medical supplies, thermal blankets, tarpaulin sheeting, etc. to reach the camps on treacherously slippery, frozen roadways. On 9 February teams began building dirt mounds around the camps to prevent flooding now that it is raining and the snow melting. Nearly 3 million displaced people are living in tents and temporary shelters. Heavy rainfall damaged over 190 displacement sites, destroying and damaging over 10,000 tents. Pray for the freezing families, particularly the children and elderly. Pray for aid agencies distributing food, heaters and clothing while facing severe weather conditions.
Christians in Afghanistan are on the precipice of disaster. Women and children fear the utter brutality of Taliban rule. They are hiding in their homes for fear of what the Taliban will do to them. The Taliban have taken over Afghanistan in a catastrophe of epic proportions. The west is abandoning Afghan Christians, helpless women and children, and U.S. citizens. The Taliban are going door to door looking for Christians to kill and unmarried women to take captive. There are fears of the same genocidal persecution Christians suffered in Iraq and Syria. The American Centre for Law and Justice is mobilising to defend Christians' lives in Afghanistan. It is submitting reports for UN consideration and filing critical demands of the Biden administration (which will likely lead to a lawsuit). It wants international intervention to prevent needless bloodshed and human rights atrocities before it is too late.
The Canary Islands volcano has blown open two more fissures, and intense activity has worsened, three weeks after the original eruption. The prompt evacuation of more than 6,000 people since the 19 September eruption helped prevent casualties. By 3 October the lava had destroyed or partially destroyed 1,000+ buildings, including homes and farming infrastructure. By 7 October it had destroyed 21 miles of roads and entombed large areas of land, with no indication of lessening.
Many Afghan Christians have fled from cities to remote regions to escape Taliban detection; others are hiding in communities. World Mission’s Greg Kelley learned of a Christian leader caught by the Taliban, who publicly tortured and executed him. Continue to pray for Afghan believers, in hiding and meeting in secret locations. Now, with the borders to neighbouring countries closed, they have nowhere to turn. With winter approaching they face extreme difficulties. It is exceedingly difficult to get aid into Afghanistan to meet their needs. Many want to leave because they are known to the Taliban or other extremists. Ask God to protect them and help mission agencies to arrange for their safe escape. Things are changing dramatically in Afghanistan, and those who suffer the most are the weak and vulnerable. Pray for wise short-term strategies to address the needs of elderly, sick and frail refugees.
A convoy of 100+ Christians, including at least fifteen families, will leave Afghanistan to make a new life in Pakistan. It is not a hospitable country for Christians, but Afghanistan has become much worse with the Taliban in charge. Leaders of house churches have already received threatening letters from the Taliban, warning them that they know where they are and what they are doing. They are ‘on a list.’ The convoy is being led by a pastor who serves ten Afghan house churches. He was a Muslim until his life was turned around when someone shared the Gospel with him. The ages of the people in this convoy range from three months to 70 years. There are no buses, no trains running between Afghanistan and Pakistan: so this convoy will be taking, for lack of a better word, taxis. Ask God to give them strength and ask Him to frustrate the plans of any wanting to stop them.