Displaying items by tag: USA

Thursday, 13 January 2022 20:23

Ukraine: discussions to defuse tensions

Officials from Russia and the United States have been holding security talks in Geneva, in a week of diplomatic activity to defuse tensions over Ukraine. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov and his delegation have begun face-to-face discussions with Wendy Sherman, the US deputy secretary of state, and her team. Ms Sherman is one of the world's most powerful diplomats, nicknamed the Silver Fox because of her snowy white mane and canny deal-making style. Pray that their meetings will kickstart dialogue between Moscow and Washington, whose relations are at a low point over Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine. The negotiations have been particularly gruelling, say analysts, and Ms Sherman will need all the diplomatic tricks she can muster to avoid a major war in Europe. Sergei Ryabkov brings a list of demands the US officials must agree to, including not expanding NATO forces eastward or allowing Ukraine to join NATO. See also the next article and

Published in Europe
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 20:56

USA: tornadoes

Entire towns in the USA were destroyed by about 30 tornadoes causing widespread devastation on 10 December. Kentucky is a disaster area; Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Illinois are in a state of emergency. One tornado flattened a candle factory with 100+ inside. An Amazon warehouse collapsed causing a ‘mass casualty incident’. Churches and mission groups, including Billy Graham Rapid Response Teams https://lp.billygraham.org/rrt/ chaplains, and mobile ministry centres are there to pray with people. Please pray for God to bind up broken hearts and for many to come to know Jesus - ‘a stronghold to the poor, help to the needy in distress, a shelter from the storm’. Pray for the emergency teams offering resources and temporary housing for the homeless. Pray for the tens of thousands of people without power and water. Pray for 300+ National Guards going door to door, though many don’t have doors any more. Pray for those salvaging homes reduced to rubble

Published in Worldwide
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 20:42

USA: children’s home sues government

A Christian children’s home has filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration, challenging its rule requiring the agency to place children in the homes of unmarried, cohabitating couples, same-sex couples and non-Christian couples. Holston United Methodist Home for Children has operated in Tennessee and Virginia since 1895 and helped over 8,000 children reunite with family or find a new adoptive family through to transition into adulthood. Their core mission is facilitating relationships so children can be ‘raised by families which prepare them to live the fulfilling adult lives that God intended for them.’ The lawsuit argues that by forcing the home to place children with couples that do not share in its Christian statement of faith, the department of health is violating the right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Published in Worldwide

Nigeria regularly sees ongoing massacres of indigenous Christians, and security forces imprison free thinkers for the ‘crime’ of blasphemy. Nevertheless, the USA removed Nigeria from its Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) list. On 2 December Rev John Hayab wrote an article in Nigerian Voice stating, ‘The US’s delisting Nigeria from its CPC list is appalling, as the persecution of Christians is still at its peak. Because Nigeria still has grave problems with religious persecution, this action is like a doctor discharging a patient from hospital even though they are still critically ill. What that signifies is telling the patient to go home and die. The USA was either ill-advised or does not care what happens in Nigeria. It does not comprehend that the current regime wants to impoverish and weaken the Christian community without letting the international community notice it. The Nigerian government employed highly professional lobbyists to convince the US state department to reach its decision.’

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 09 December 2021 20:18

Afghanistan: vulnerable Christian minorities

As the Taliban quickly took over Afghanistan during the late summer of 2021, the world witnessed chaos, panic, and extreme violence. The Afghan Church was in the middle of the storm, facing ever-increasing danger as brutal tyrants took over their country. Persecution.org has raised its voice to urge the United States to safeguard Afghan Christians, who are predominantly composed of Muslim converts. This puts them at risk of death as the Taliban’s interpretation of Sharia law considers converts to be traitors to Islam. It is very possible that the Taliban will return to the violence and brutality that marked their earlier reign over Afghanistan. Already it seems that this could include punishments such as cutting off limbs and severe oppression of women’s rights, access to education  and religious freedom. Persecution.org is inviting people to sign a petition to Joe Biden asking Congress to create ways for these at-risk people to emigrate to America.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 03 December 2021 09:26

World: Omicron and politics

The Omicron variant has spread globally. Leaders hoping lockdowns and travel bans had ended now face disruptions that could affect their economies and popularity. Italy’s PM Mario Draghi has made economic recovery a cornerstone of his leadership, but he is under fire for enforcing some of the strictest vaccine mandates in Europe. His honeymoon period could be derailed if further lockdowns or disruptions send the economy into a nose-dive. Inflation and supply-chain chaos are headaches for America. Uncertainty over Omicron threatens to make things worse after a wobbly economy and a shambolic departure of troops from Afghanistan. Biden’s handling of the pandemic previously inspired voter confidence but has now caused his popularity to drop. It is unlikely that he will take risks that could harm the US economy. China’s president is pursuing an increasingly elusive zero Covid strategy. If Omicron is more transmissible than previous variants, China's leadership could be questioned domestically.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 November 2021 21:05

USA: religious liberty

A leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services reveals America’s plan to undo religious liberty protections and disregard First Amendment rights. The memo states, ‘This action will likely be well received among civil rights and groups advocating separation of church from state. But many will interpret this as the Government abdicating its responsibility for compliance with religious freedom, and will issue strong negative reactions.’ We can pray for the US government to remember the roots of their religious freedom and liberty birthed by the Pilgrims in 1620. The Pilgrims didn't just institute Thanksgiving, celebrated on 25 November this year. They were prepared to die for religious freedom and made the Bible America's guide to life. The self-rule they pioneered eventually shaped America’s government and constitution.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 25 November 2021 20:58

USA: Kyle Rittenhouse and gun rights

Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager cleared of murder during racial unrest, said his case ‘had nothing to do with race’ it was about the right to self-defence. Jurors cleared him of killing two men and wounding a third with a military rifle when he said he had feared for his life. A patriot to some and a vigilante to others, his acquittal divided the US with media commentary dwelling on race, even though Rittenhouse and all three men shot were white. The incident is the story of an American dystopia induced by guns and Pennsylvania’s lawmakers wanting to move closer toward allowing permitless concealed carrying of firearms. See

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 18 November 2021 21:29

Pastor tackled gunman at Sunday service

American pastor Ezekiel Ndikumana said God helped him know what to do, after a man at the front of his church pulled a gun out and pointed it at the congregation. Pastor Ezekiel, who has been hailed a hero, was praying with members of his congregation when the incident happened. He can be seen on camera tackling the gun-wielding man into the aisle. He held him down until police arrived and arrested Dezire Baganda, 26, who also faces over a dozen aggravated assault charges. While Baganda is not a church member, the pastor said he has attended previous services. Congregation member Akimana Charite said, ‘We were so shocked seeing him come in the front and pull out a gun. The whole church was calm; we thank God, if we had started panicking he might have started shooting, but we all stayed calm.’

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 11 November 2021 22:07

Ministry to disabled sees surge in growth

2.25 million disabled Americans should attend church, but don’t. Calvary Community is oriented towards people with ‘special abilities’. Their families drive long distances to get there. As a result, church growth has surged. ‘It just really exploded,’ said Pastor Gina. ‘We have a heart to help. The church understands the value of people with special abilities. ‘They have a straightforward clear understanding of the love of God. They’re not bogged down by noise, politics, or anything that can confuse who God is. Their childlike faith reminds us how simple the love of God can be. They help us understand what it means to serve someone who can’t serve us back.’ The community has 300 volunteers actively seeking and serving people with special abilities. The results speak for themselves. The church now has a database of 700 families with one or more child or adult with special abilities, and they train and help other churches develop special programmes. 

Published in Praise Reports
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