Displaying items by tag: Religion
Police are appealing for information after 39-year-old Hatun Tash suffered a knife attack at Speakers' Corner in London on 25 July. The former Muslim, now a Christian speaker, was treated by the ambulance service then taken to a central London hospital. See Meanwhile Christian street preacher Joshua Sutcliff who was fined and prosecuted for evangelising in London on Good Friday 2020 was acquitted recently, but another judge upheld a Covid fine against Christian preacher Andrew Sathiyavan, who was out for the same reasons the same weekend. The Christian Legal Centre were pleased that Joshua was acquitted but are concerned that prosecution came this far. ‘We are seeing a lot of inconsistencies from the police and the judiciary in these cases. Christians have been easy targets during the pandemic while other groups gathering in significant numbers have not been targeted by the police.’
Tatjana Schoenmaker set a new record in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke, and she is using her success to point others to God. After breaking another record in the preliminary rounds for the 100-metre breaststroke, she ended up claiming the silver medal. In all her competitions in Tokyo, Tatjana has worn under her green South Africa swim cap another cap proclaiming her faith with a blue Jesus fish and the phrase ‘Soli Deo Gloria,’ meaning ‘Glory to God alone,’ printed on the side of it. She has used her platform to discuss her Christian faith before the Olympics began in an Instagram post, ‘Father God, may Your will be done, may Your peace fill us up, may we praise You no matter what the outcome, may we be empowered by Your strength to give our all and may we forever be in awe of Your goodness!’ she wrote. ‘Thank You for bringing us to this very moment.’
A new wave of Christian persecution began after two Muslim men were arrested and charged under the new anti-conversion law. Hindu nationalists, including BJP members, claimed they had been involved in forceful conversion of 1,000 people. Using the arrests as an opportunity for political gain, BJP politicians publicly warned against illegal conversions of Hindus to non-Hindu faiths. Since then, International Christian Concern has documented at least thirty Christians in Uttar Pradesh being attacked by radical Hindu nationalists. In each of these incidents, perpetrators justified their attacks by falsely accusing their Christian victims of engaging in fraudulent conversions. ‘This is a grave situation for Christians in the state,’ a church leader, requesting anonymity, said. ‘There is zero response from the Yogi administration, which empowers the attackers to do more. The attacks are perpetrated by the hardcore Hindutva activists who are supported by politicians.’
Over the next ten years CfaN will train, equip, and launch 20,000 evangelists for mass evangelism all over the world. This August, instead of recruiting thousands, they want just a limited number of students. Instead of training for two years, it will be an intensive three-month programme. Those accepted as one of these pioneer evangelists will be trained by Daniel Kolenda personally, along with the whole CfaN team and other world-renowned evangelists at its headquarters in Orlando, Florida.The bootcamp will not be for the faint of heart; this three-month intensive training includes rigorous components of study and service and is a fast track to the field. It culminates with a three-week initiation in Africa that will put everything learned in the classroom to test. Students who graduate will have access to preach the gospel in Africa alongside a Gospel Crusade team.
The Church of England will hold an unprecedented ‘act of repentance’ service for the medieval expulsion of Jews in 1290 and other anti-Semitic acts. The move comes as the 800th anniversary approaches of the 1222 Oxford Synod, which introduced notorious anti-Semitic laws, including forcing Jews to wear clothing to distinguish them from Christians. Despite the CofE not existing in the 13th century (Henry VIII created it much later), Justin Welby’s office said it is exploring the idea of such a service, in conjunction with the Council of Christians and Jews, as well as the potential for a liturgical resource that might be offered to local churches to model an appropriate symbolic repentance. David Rich of Community Security Trust labelled the apology a case of ‘better late than never. The historic trauma of medieval English antisemitism can never be erased, and its legacy survives today with rising anti-Semitism’.
Many churches will be running a wide range of school holiday clubs throughout the summer months. Pray for the themed weeks to inspire children as they discover their Father in Heaven’s love and the friend that they have in Jesus. May the new songs that they learn be sung at home with their families and friends. Pray for God to give His strength and stamina to the many adults who will be guiding the children through various craft activities, sports and games, presenting interactive mime and drama, storytelling, singing and dancing, messy play and much more. May they find many opportunities to introduce their groups to Christ in each session. Pray for the clubs aimed at children who would normally receive free school meals. Pray for the evening clubs and café clubs aimed at older children to be fun and safe for all. May every Christian holiday club be used by God to open avenues between churches and communities.
An ongoing anti-Christian campaign in Canada has resulted in churches being attacked and burnt down. Those responsible include far-left terrorists with a Marxist ideology whose sole purpose is to strike fear in Canadians for practising their faith. Most of the churches burnt and defaced serve indigenous Christians. ‘Burning down churches is not in solidarity with us indigenous people. We do not destroy people's places of worship,’ said Jenn Allan-Riley, assistant Pentecostal minister at Living Waters Church. Seventeen of the 45 buildings, across six provinces and the Northwest Territories, have suffered fire damage or been completely burned to the ground. The terrorism began following discoveries of unmarked graves of indigenous children on the sites of Catholic boarding schools. Terrorists also targeted non-Catholic churches. Calgary’s House of Prayer Alliance Church was torched, leaving 230 Vietnamese refugees with nowhere to meet. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the terrorism.
Financial data released by the Church of England shows that each bishop costs almost £120,000 a year, in addition to receiving £46,000 per year as a stipend. ‘As a member of General Synod for over a decade I have questioned the cost of bishops’ lavish lifestyles and opulence at the top while parishes up and down the country struggle to meet their bills, and even close their door,’ said Sam Margrave, a lay member of General Synod and a former local councilor, in a written statement submitted before last weekend’s synod meeting. The CofE spends, on average, £70,800 on the ongoing maintenance of each bishop’s house; 26 bishops live in houses that have more than six bedrooms.
Society has been shaken over the past year, revealing that we need wise leaders in the church and in the public arena more than ever before. The Evangelical Alliance is inviting Christians working in the arts, media, academia, business, education, civil society, politics, healthcare and all other sectors to enrol in their Public Leaders Course. A public leader is a Christian who is intentional about bringing their faith to their leadership wherever God has placed them. The ‘public’ element means they are open about their Christianity and their leadership role is not internal to the church. The ‘leadership’ refers to where they have influence: workplace, local community, online, a social group. We can pray for filmmakers, writers, entrepreneurs, educators, health workers, civil servants, lawyers and all in the secular workplace to hear God’s call on their lives to live out their faith and draw others into God’s kingdom.
As all eyes turn to Tokyo for the Olympics and Paralympics, Japanese Christians are inviting the global Church to unite for one million hours of prayer for the spiritual transformation of their nation. An international prayer movement (Japan1Million) is led by the Japan international Sports Partnership and the Japan Evangelical Missionary Association. Their partnership is driven by a vision to see the Church in Japan grow to ten million people by 2024. Working towards that vision, they had hoped to reach a million Japanese people during their Olympic outreach year. Covid closed those doors, but one door remained open; the door to prayer. With less than 1% of its population of 126 million attending church, the Japanese are the world’s second largest unreached people group. Most people in Japan have not been to church, read the Bible or encountered any Christians. Committed prayer is needed for a significant spiritual breakthrough.