The Nineteenth year anniversary of a horrible tragedy just went by: a 51-day standoff at a religious cult compound in Waco, Texas. On April 19th, 1993, fire started at the Branch Davidian site near Waco, as federal agents raided the building. At least 76 followers of cult leader David Koresh died in the fire, including Koresh himself.
Four federal agents were also killed. The disaster followed weeks of confrontations between Branch Davidians and agents with the F-B-I.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has refused to label Syrian President Bashar al Assad a war criminal, reflecting the reluctance of the Obama Administration to make that accusation. Meanwhile…..the wives of the British and German ambassadors to the U.N. are trying a different approach to stop the violence in Syria, a week into a UN brokered ceasefire. They've released a four-minute video on YouTube that is meant to pressure Syria's first lady, Asma al-Assad. The video asks her to quote "stop your husband" and "stop being a bystander."
Syria has been engulfed in violence from a government crackdown on protesters calling for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
The Canadian government has announced it is shutting down the Kingston maximum-security penitentiary. The medium-security Leclerc Institution in Laval, Que is also on the chopping block. The move saves 120-million a year. Inmates will be moved to other federal institutions across the country.
Holocaust Remembrance Day was celebrated this week .The anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising was marked and Israel's main commemoration takes place at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem. Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres were present there and spoke.
A commission has been set up by Turkish Parliament with the task of writing Turkey's 6th constitution. Christians in that country are hoping that the new constitution will guarantee the same rights for them as for Muslims. A group of Christians have been invited by the commission to present their views on the new constitution, along with representatives of other minority groups.
Recognized as the most gender neutral country in the world by the World Economic Forum, Sweden has upped the ante. The country has introduced a new word that refers to both boys and girl. The word is "hen". It will be used in public schools where Sweden's first gender neutral children's book was published. It tells the story of Kivi, a child who wants a dog for "hen's" birthday. Other gender neutral drives include: The Swedish Bowling Association is planning to merge male and female bowling tournaments so that competitions are more gender-neutral; Swedish businesses pushing this idea of genderless children which includes a clothing company that removed the "boys" and "girls" sections from its store.
Ministry leaders are seeing a major problem among youth groups, and it's identified as an emphasis on behavior modification over the Gospel. In a series featured on The Gospel Coalition website, several ministers discussed their concerns with how youths were being taught in the church with messages to them out of trouble. Cameron Cole, director of youth ministries at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Atlanta called it moralism over the gospel…. to protect students from self-destruction. But he believes it does the reverse, that is: it inflames rebellion. He prefers a focus on the Gospel of salvation and the understanding of Christianity as one of relationships rather than a cultural religion.