Christian churches in Niger are facing a lack of resources and difficult conditions in rebuilding six months after the wave of angry Islamist attacks destroyed at least 70 houses of worship in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
"Since these incidents, it is as if life had stopped," said Rev. Jacques Kangindé, leader of the Baptist "Roundabout" church in Niamey. "The church has become a source of curiosity for passers-by and a hide-out for idlers. Unfortunately our current church finances don't allow us to begin the reconstruction."
A new anti-hate speech law that aims to combat terrorism and protect over 200 nationalities as well as Christians, was issued in the United Arab Emirates this week in a bid to send a message to radical groups such as Islamic State that the Arab country stands for peace.
The muslim majority Gulf State is one of the only countries left in the Arab world that is tolerant of other faiths and allows Christians to worship freely without fear of persecution or threats of violence. Pastor Glann Fernandez of Bethel church in Dubai believes the law is good as it protects everyone. "This new law will act as a deterrant toward any religious intolerance."
The country's rulers are keen to promote an environment of tolerance and acceptance following recent IS terrorist attacks on Shiite mosques close by in Kuwait. The government introduced the law to "thwart any attempt to sow seeds of division in the UAE's cohesive and diverse society," says Attorney-General of Abu Dhabi, Ali Mohammed Al Balushi. more >>
A 24-year-old self-styled South African prophet who allegedly commanded a snake to turn into chocolate, then had his parishioners feast on the reptile as a show of their faith in God's power, was arrested for animal cruelty over the weekend.
Photos posted to the Facebook page of End Times Disciples Ministries in Soshanguve, South Africa, led by the controversial young prophet Penuel Mnguni, show several of his congregants being fed what appear to be snakes as others look on with squeamish expressions.
Accompanying the photos was a message quoting Scripture and testifying of the alleged conversion of the snake into chocolate. more >>
Christian Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson insists he has no regrets after publicly announcing his decision to follow God and refrain from sexual intercourse with his singer girlfriend Ciara Harris.
Wilson, 26, took to the stage at The Rock Church in San Diego, California on July 5 where he revealed that God told him to lead Ciara in abstaining from sexual activity until marriage. The announcement was received with some harsh criticism, like CBS Chicago sports radio host Dan Bernstein from the show "Boers & Bernstein" implying that Wilson could be a homosexual or ESPN journalist Bomani Jones questioning the QB's honesty.
After KIRO radio personality Rachel Belle questioned Wilson about his endorsement deal with Austrian bread company Eat The Ball Tuesday, she asked if he regretted sharing so much of his personal life with the world. more >>
Earlier this month, the New England Conference of United Methodists, a group of 600 churches spanning six states, approved a resolution calling for an end to the nation's war on drugs. They believe the love of Christ constrains us to do so.
In part the resolution reads, "In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right."
According to the Christian Post, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a nonprofit organization apparently based in Medford, Massachusetts, worked alongside the Methodists Conference to get the resolution passed. more >>
A Baptist pastor in Tennessee whose young congregation is focused on evangelizing the state's growing Islamic community has stated that the great obstacle to evangelizing Muslims is the American Church's apathy on the matter.
Raouf Ghattas, founder and pastor of the Arabic Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, has sought to evangelize among the city's growing Muslim population.
"Many are apathetic, afraid, or just not sure how to approach a Muslim in witness. We work to train churches and individuals in how to reach out to Muslims, but they still have to be the ones to be active," said Ghattas to The Christian Post on Friday. more >>