In a wildly unorthodox demonstration of how humans can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and eat just about anything to feed their bodies, a South African pastor made members of his church eat grass. A video of him commanding a demon out of a woman's stomach might also give you the chills.
According to a report in African Spotlight, Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries had his followers eating grass after explaining in a sermon that Jesus had many other disciples other than the 12 listed in the traditional Bible who were doing new things which were considered unconventional at the time as well.
"There were many disciples and you don't know others. Let God show you as they were deliberately not revealed in the Bible because God wanted someone to do them, new things. Nathanael was a disciple yet there is no book of Nathanael, what about the miracles, signs and wonders, what about how they them who were not mentioned, taught," said the pastor. more >>
Christian pastors and priests have been providing shelter and saving lives as a deadly ethnic conflict rages on in South Sudan.
"What these people have done deserves to be told publicly to strongly emphasize the role that churches can play in shaping the future of our country," South Sudanese priest Fr. Mark Oper Omolm shared with Agenzia Fides, the news agency of the Vatican, as he detailed several accounts of Roman Catholic priests and Protestant pastors risking their lives to save civilians.
In one such account, Evangelical Pastor Abraham Makuac saved several Nuer people following fighting in the capital, Juba. He opened his house and church to protect civilians, despite having lost his own brother who was brutally killed in the fighting. more >>
Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour, paid a historic visit to Coptic pope Tawadros II on Sunday, the first such meeting in 40 years. While the meeting was aimed at reassuring Christians that the new government will be better than the Muslim Brotherhood, a watchdog group has warned that it remains to be seen whether this move will benefit Christians, or if it will lead to new attacks instead.
"This visit could be seen as a positive or negative. Of course, under former Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, Christians were even more singled out and persecuted," Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra told The Christian Post in an email on Monday.
The watchdog group has closely monitored the attacks Christians in Egypt suffered this past year following the fall of Morsi, when Islamist groups attacked and burned down Christian churches, schools, orphanages and bookstores. Open Doors even asked for emergency support of $430,000 in August following news that followers of Christ were also being murdered. more >>
An online magazine published late last week an account of an African pastor who drowned on a beach before his congregation while trying to walk on water like the Bible says Jesus did before his own disciples. However, the "news report," which has gone viral, appears to be a persistent Internet hoax.
The story published Dec. 28 by MJ Celebrity Magazine that has been shared and liked on Facebook about 100,000 times, involves the same 35-year-old minister, Pastor Franck Kabele, whose apparent death was first reported on in 2006 by the Glasgow Daily Record's website.
While the original URL for the report was no longer active, a columnist for the Daily Record, as the Scottish publication is now called, did note in his 2006 year-end review of humorous news reports: "A priest drowns in West Africa after trying to demonstrate how Jesus walked on water! Could have been even more tragic, I suppose. At least 5,000 of his mates didn't starve to death." more >>
A prominent judge in Egypt has called on the government to ensure the equitable treatment of Copts in the country.
Judge Amir Ramzi has insisted Egyptian government needs to criminalize discrimination, as well as allow conversions from Islam to Christianity. He also called for the return of guidance sessions for those wishing to convert. Ramzi denounced the kidnapping of Copts and asking for ransom from their relatives, a phenomenon that has significantly increased recently.
"There may be a few extremist judges, and others belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood within the judiciary, or even who share the same ideologies. Thus, the Supreme Judicial Council has begun to take action against judges who declared their loyalty to the Brotherhood, viewing this as an official declaration of non-neutrality," Ramzi told Mideast Christian News. more >>
In what is being described as "new levels of viciousness," UNICEF, the UN agency for children, says children are now being attacked in the fighting between Muslim Seleka rebels and Christian militias in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has left 1,000 dead and displaced an estimated 400,000 this month alone.
In a report in The Guardian, UNICEF confirmed that since early December, at least two children have been beheaded and another mutilated in the violence in Bangui, the country's capital.
"We are witnessing unprecedented levels of violence against children. More and more children are being recruited into armed groups, and they are also being directly targeted in atrocious revenge attacks," Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF representative in CAR, noted in the report. "Targeted attacks against children are a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and must stop immediately. Concrete action is needed now to prevent violence against children." more >>