In June and July of 2013, Tahrir Square became a place where history was made. This Cairo, Egypt landmark housed the largest outpouring of protest against the radical Jihadist agenda in the Middle East, with estimates of over 20 million people protesting the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. The loss of power for the Muslim Brotherhood brought repercussions to Egyptian Christians, both Coptic and evangelical, as the Brotherhood sought to both appeal for support among Islamic radicals, and punish Christians for speaking out against the brutality of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hundreds of churches were burned to the ground, homes and businesses were attacked and many Christians lost their lives.
As CEO of Open Doors USA, I have the privilege of regularly interacting with heroes of the faith, people who have suffered great persecution. I often meet people who have lost their entire families, businesses and homes, simply because they choose to be followers of Jesus. I was in Tahrir Square last January when Egyptians voted to adopt the new constitution and chart a path away from the rule of Islamic Jihadists. I watched as the Brotherhood demonstrated with violence, desperately trying to hold on to their death-grip of power over Egyptians. And I watched as Christians were targeted for brutality.
But just days ago, I returned again from Egypt. What I saw this time was a Church that has grown strong in spite of the horrendous difficulties that it faces. I saw Christians, both Coptic and evangelical, who have come to understand they must seek a common path together in faith. These are important first steps. What I saw was the first steps in the rebuilding of an Egyptian Christian Church focused on the saving grace of Jesus. more >>
The World Health Organization announced on Wednesday that in West Africa, more than 5,160 people have died from the largest Ebola outbreak in history, with a total of 14,098 reported cases. A separate Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has meanwhile killed 49 people.
"There is some evidence that case incidence is no longer increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but steep increases persist in Sierra Leone," the health agency said.
"A mixed picture emerges at the district level. Transmission is consistently high in Conakry and Macenta in Guinea; Montserrado in Liberia; and in the western and northern areas of Sierra Leone. Declines in incidence continue in Lofa in Liberia; and Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone. Cases and deaths continue to be under-reported in this outbreak." more >>
A baby elephant survived a lion attack at the Normar Carr Safaris Chinzomboa Camp in Zambia recently, and the entire ordeal was documented on film. The baby lion was somehow able to fend off 14 lions before being reunited with its herd.
The baby elephant that survived the lion attack had been separated from its herd while close to a creek. Soon, what looked like an entire pride of lions tried to bring him down.
Journalist Jesse Nash, Long Island University Art Professor Dan Christoffel, naturalist Steve Baker and Australian TV host Nina Karnikowski were on safari when they spotted the elephant and began recording. more >>
Uganda is preparing to introduce new anti-homosexuality legislation that will punish the promotion of unnatural acts, a government minister revealed. Gay activists are calling the proposed law even more draconian than the one that was annulled in August and condemned by human rights groups, because it imposed prison sentences for aggravated homosexuality, and having sex with a minor while HIV positive.
BBC News reported on Monday that the minister, who wasn't named, explained that although the proposed law will not explicitly refer to homosexuality, it will rely on a penal code that punishes "unnatural acts" with life sentences.
Same-sex relations in Uganda are illegal, but in 2013 there were significant attempts to pass a bill that punished repeated gay acts with the death penalty. more >>
Churches and other places of worship in Sierra Leone are some of the last public places relatively safe from the Ebola virus where people can gather, according to a new report. The infection rates in the West African country have meanwhile continued to rise, hitting record levels.
"We will overcome Ebola through the blood of Christ, with His help, and with prayer," pastor Olatunji Oseni told his congregation on Sunday at Winners Chapel megachurch in the Freetown, AFP reported.
Although most public gatherings in Sierra Leone, including sports games, concerts, schools and movies, are deemed off limits due to the Ebola threat, believers are still going to churches or mosques. According to the CIA World Factbook, 10 percent of the country's population are Christians, while another 60 percent are Muslims. more >>
A suicide bomber has killed at least 48 students in an explosion at a high school assembly in the northeastern Nigerian city of Potiskum on Monday. Terror group Boko Haram is suspected to be behind the attack, police have said.
"We were waiting for the principal to address us, around 7:30 a.m., when we heard a deafening sound and I was blown off my feet, people started screaming and running, I saw blood all over my body," said 17-year-old student Musa Ibrahim Yahaya, who is being treated in hospital for head wounds, according to The Associated Press.
The bomber was apparently dressed in a school uniform when he carried out the attack during the assembly, where close to 2,000 students had gathered. Potiskum's general hospital reported that another 79 students are being treated for injuries. more >>