WASHINGTON – Last year saw the highest level of persecution of Christians the world has seen since the fall of the Soviet Union, according to a report by a Christian persecution watchdog group released Wednesday.
Open Doors USA highlighted that in the 24 years that Open Doors has been tracking numbers on global persecution, 2014 was the most violent year of Christian persecution and was far worse than the year before.
"Perhaps most chilling is the fact that all the factors, all of the issues that made this a violent year for Christian persecution are still in place," said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors, at the press conference. more >>
A number of atheist organizations have joined together to release a series of billboards throughout the Gulf Coast this week, presenting messages that tell people that they are not alone if they don't believe in God, and that people can be good "without a god."
The billboards went up across the states of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, The United Coalition of Reason said in a press release. The campaign marks the formal launch of the Gulf Coast Coalition of Reason, which represents the alliance of 16 nontheistic groups.
"The point of our national awareness effort is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," said Dr. Jason Heap, national coordinator of UnitedCoR. more >>
As we enter this new year, I offer some prayerful reflections on trends that we could see developing in the months ahead, not as a prophet but as an observer seeking to follow in the footsteps of the ancient sons of Issachar, who "understood the meaning of the times to know what Israel ought to do" (1 Chron 12:32; my translation of the Hebrew).
While it is possible that I am simply projecting what I am seeing in my own work and ministry, I am hopeful that these represent larger trends in the nation in general and the believing Church in particular. Time, of course, will tell.
1) The gay revolution will continue to overplay its hand. As those who were once bullied now bully others, this will produce an increasing backlash, as seen with the "Houston Five" last year. And as gay activists win more and more battles in the courts and the society, that will actually work against them, as their goals will continue to become more and more extreme. (I address this at length in a book scheduled for publication later this year.) more >>
One of the secular left's latest windmills at which to tilt is America's fanciful "rape culture." There is a universal ethos of violence against women, as they imagine it, that stems from a millennia-old global patriarchy chiefly derived from religion in general and Judeo-Christianity in particular (another of their pet nemeses).
Paradoxically, these "progressive" Don Quixotes actually believe in said "rape culture," something that, outside of Islam, does not exist, while they disbelieve in their Creator, Christ Jesus, who both did and does exist. Exhibit A, of course, is the now-debunked UVA fraternity gang-rape hoax concocted in the disturbed minds of Rolling Stone reporter and radical feminist Sabrina Rubin Erdely, along with some love-struck, not-really-gang-raped coed.
Salon.com's Valerie Tarico is in the same camp. She is the anti-Christian gift that keeps on giving. She hates Christ. She hates men. And she hates the women who love them. more >>
A national atheist organization is demanding that the chancellor of Troy University in Alabama apologize for sending a 98-second video to students that says Democracy works in America not because of government enforcement or because people believe they're accountable to society, but because they know they're "accountable to God."
"Atheists are overwhelmingly ethical and upstanding people. It is not true that religion is necessary to keep people from becoming criminals," wrote Americans Atheists' President David Silverman in an open letter sent to Jack Hawkins Jr. on New Year's Eve. "In fact, in the United States, in states with the highest percentages of atheists, the murder rate is lower than average. In the most-religious states, the murder rate is higher than average."
Silverman, who disagrees with the opinions shared in Hawkins' email and video that was sent to staff and students, has called for the chancellor to give "a public apology to the student, and other atheists whom you have disparaged with the video you included in your email." more >>
For someone who wants to rail on those who supposedly don't do their research and who claims to set forth a message of no judgment, the author of Newsweek's current cover story might want to preach to himself first.
All throughout the article is a clear message of judgment towards Christians – who, apparently "scream," "wave their Bibles," and "worship at the base of granite monuments to the Ten Commandments." We, according to the author who would like to teach us a thing or two about the Bible (which he apparently understands despite his lack of cited sources or quoted experts), are "frauds," "hypocrites," and "cafeteria Christians."
And while the point is well taken that each Christian would do well to study the Bible for themselves - indeed, the Bereans are praised in Scripture for searching out God's Word for themselves and not relying only on one teacher – the mockery and misrepresentation that occurs in the article is simply not acceptable as a mainstream news story. more >>