Displaying items by tag: Religion
Nigel and Sally Rowe took legal action against the Department for Education after they and their six-year-old son were labelled ‘transphobic’ by a CofE primary school for refusing to ‘believe’ in transgender-affirming policies. The Rowes had raised concerns after two boys aged six were allowed to come to school identifying as girls. The school said it did not ‘require formal medical / psychological assessment and reporting when a pupil seeks to be treated as transgendered’ and was working with Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust (TPHT). TPHT has now been shut down over safety concerns for thousands of children who have been referred there. The Government has settled the case after the Rowes won High Court permission for a judicial review of government transgender policies. They believe that ‘a child of primary school age does not have the mental ability to work out what it is to be transgender.’
Recently King Charles assured faith leaders from various religions that he would work to protect the space for faith. He stated his duty was ‘to protect the diversity of our country by protecting the space for faith and its practice through religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs to which our hearts and minds direct us’. As a member of the Church of England, his beliefs had love at their heart, so he would respect those who follow other spiritual paths, as well as those who seek to live in accordance with secular ideals. His mother, at her coronation, swore to do her utmost to maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, doing all in her power to maintain the Protestant reformed religion and maintain and preserve the settlement of the Church of England, and its doctrine, worship, discipline and government, as established by English law: see
Each zone in Nigeria has unique challenges and opportunities. Christian persecution increases, especially in the north. Some Muslim groups have killed thousands and destroyed hundreds, possibly thousands, of churches. Persecution unites Christians, driving them to the Lord in prayer. It also threatens the core of society and statehood. Pray for restoration and recovery for those who suffer from loss, or rape. Pray for forgiveness and freedom from a spirit of revenge. Pray that believers respond in the most Christ-like way possible, and for enemies of Christ to become His followers. In the south oil industries have polluted pristine agricultural land but only an elite (corrupt) few have benefited. Pentecostal churches are growing: may God give them sacrificial concern for the less privileged in the less-reached areas. Muslim missionary activity has intensified to win ethnic religions and backsliding Christians. Pray for cross-cultural outreach and true conversion of youth.
76-year-old President Daniel Ortega describes priests as ‘killers’ and ‘coup plotters’. He accuses the clergy of working on behalf of ‘American imperialism’. He said, ‘In the church everything is imposed. It’s a perfect dictatorship. If they are to be democratic, let Catholics vote for the pope, for cardinals, for bishops.’ The church has been under increasing government pressure since Ortega accused it of backing the protests against his government in 2018. A crackdown against demonstrators killed hundreds. Pope Francis recently insisted on the importance of ‘never stopping dialogue’ with Nicaragua. God has brought many people to Himself amidst the nation’s suffering. Numbershave increased through saturation evangelism, and local church outreaches. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes have led many to question life and eternity. War, conflict, and political struggles have turned many towards compassionate Christians and hope in Christ. Evangelicals have grown from 2% in 1960 to 30% today, and growth continues.
The High Court has been told that Christian Concern was blocked from holding a conference at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge because its values were ‘not compatible with the values of the college’. Christian Concern has accused the college of refusing permission because it believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and has alleged discrimination, which the college denies. The case arose after a Christian Concern representative tried to book conference facilities for 100 people on behalf of Wilberforce Academy - an initiative for young, professional Christians. Andrea Williams commented, ‘Anyone who knows what we teach and stand for can see that our “general beliefs” are simply Christianity. The widespread silence of the Church on moral issues for decades has allowed activists to paint mainstream Christian beliefs as beyond the pale. We must return to speaking the truth with courage and rebuild Christian institutions - exactly what we do each year through the Wilberforce Academy.’
The European Evangelical Alliance prayer network has a prayer request from Nazareth Hospital , which began 160 years ago as a Christian medical mission. It has grown from a five-bed clinic to the town’s main trauma and acute care hospital, employing 800 staff from all faiths in the region. Their Christian witness, mission and faith is important; their reach is felt across staff and the annual 250,000 patients. Talks with Israel’s government to find a solution to the funding crisis have been unsuccessful, and many hospital departments have had to close. Despite all their efforts they believe the Lord wants this ministry to continue. They say, ‘Please join us in urgent prayer for the hospital, that a solution will be found for our finances, that we will be able to pay our staff what they are owed, that the hospital will reopen, and that our Christian witness will continue for the next 160 years in Nazareth, or until the Lord returns.’
‘Those who believed Peter were baptised and added to the church - about 3,000 in all’ (Acts 2:41). This passage reminds us that the early Church grew rapidly during a time of persecution. It is happening again in Laos. Small house churches are scattered throughout the country, and believers in Laos face continual persecution. Converts to Christianity are considered betrayers to their community’s Buddhist-Animist traditions. Unregistered house churches are illegal. Communist authorities intensely monitor Christians. Yet, there is reason for hope. While only 2.5% of the 7.4 million population are evangelical, the yearly growth rate of the Church is 6.8%. Most of the house churches in Laos are led by faithful but untrained leaders, but this is not a limitation for a sovereign God. Pray protection over house church leaders who are targets of persecution; pray for believers to safely proclaim the Gospel to their neighbours and persevere with grace.
A young man who accepted Jesus in 2018 was arrested by militias and detained several times during recent years. They tried to force him to recant his faith. There is no rule of law; there are no official law-enforcement agencies. Libya has no law against apostasy, so converts are tried for treason. However, a court based its decision on a law enacted by the elected legislative body between 2012 and 2014 ,which states that an apostate from Islam must be executed if they do not recant. That law and others were cancelled by the current Tobruk-based parliament, elected in 2014. However, as part of a continuing power struggle, the Tripoli supreme court declared the Tobruk-based parliament illegal, allowing courts freedom to still apply the cancelled laws. The accused did not have legal representation during the proceedings.
A North African country of 37 million people, Morocco has enjoyed a degree of stability and peace. The King takes the lead in politics and religious affairs. He is attempting to spread wealth beyond the main cities, and to open a limited space for political discussion. Positive change is slowed by corruption, political repression, and unemployment. Young people and rural dwellers show their frustration in sporadic protests. Morocco is 99% Muslim. Christians number a couple of thousand, each one born into a hostile environment. Few Moroccans have heard the gospel; many have come across slanderous reports about the Church. Christian workers have been expelled. It is hard to gather Christians together for fellowship and discipleship. Pray for the King, and for fresh hope for the people of Morocco. Praise God for Morocco’s Church, for expatriate believers, and for the internet and satellite TV which are lifelines for Moroccan Christians and seekers.
Livno is a small town in western Bosnia, an hour-and-a-half from the coastal city of Split, Croatia. Pray for spiritual seekers in Livno. Recently, a worker connected with two potential believers through a social media ministry and started reading the Bible with them. They were excited and wanted to read more until their Catholic priest told them to throw out the ‘Protestant’ Bibles, which they did. Pray that the priest will encourage these seekers to read God's Word from a ‘Catholic’ Bible, and that God will continue to draw them to Himself and to reveal Himself, no matter what version they read. Pray that the worker who was reading with them will be encouraged to continue to walk this journey alongside them. Pray that, ultimately, they will know Jesus and be joined with others in the body of Christ.