Thousands of Christians clashed with police and rioted on the streets in Lahore, Pakistan, on Monday, following suicide bombing attacks that killed 17 people in two churches on Sunday. Reports have said that two men suspected to have aided the attackers were beaten to death and burned in the riots.
The Associated Press reported that Christians, who make up only 2 percent of Pakistan's population, clashed with police forces, blocked the highway and ransacked bus terminals, demanding the government start taking serious action to protect the persecuted minority.
At least 14 people have been killed and nearly 80 others were injured in two church bombings carried out by a Pakistani Taliban splinter group on Sunday in the Christian neighborhood of Youhanabad, Lahore. The Catholic faithful are marking a "day of prayer for the innocent lives of the martyrs" on Monday to honor the victims.
Reuters reported that the death toll might've been higher, if it wasn't for the quick actions of a security guard who attempted to prevent one of the suicide bombers from entering one of the churches.
"I was sitting at a shop near the church when a blast jolted the area. I rushed toward the spot and saw the security guard scuffle with a man who was trying to enter the church. After failing, he blew himself up," said witness Amir Masih. more >>
I'm all for generous giving, and I'm all for taking care of ministers of the gospel, but I will not be sending Creflo Dollar $300 to help him buy a $65 million jet for his ministry. The very thought of it is obscene.
On a manipulative video now removed from his website, the narrator explains how Pastor Dollar's ministry is touching people worldwide and how the old private jet they've been using for years has become unusable, also explaining how it is actually dangerous to fly.
Now, we are told, in order to travel around the world, he needs a new jet, and not just any yet. It is a top of the line jet that is being coveted by billionaires who are on a waiting list to purchase one. more >>
The last few weeks have seen a lot of commentary on pastors leading the same-sex "affirmation movement." Church leaders like the infamous unorthodox author and speaker Rob Bell, evangelicals Stan Mitchell of Gracepointe Church in Franklin, Tennessee, and Danny Cortez of New Heart Community Church of La Mirada, California are just a few of the movement's leading affirmation pastors.
So when a pastor takes a public stand to say, "I have a deep pastoral concern that Christians and churches are flinching all across our culture" it makes us ooh and aah a bit in wonder and admiration. This was the reaction to Dr. David' Platt's keynote address at the annual National Religious Broadcaster's Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee last week. What should be the norm for Christian leadership is increasingly becoming the exception.
Platt, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention's International Mission Board and author of the books Radical and A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture, began his address by pointing out the hypocrisy of Christians who advocate for less controversial social issues while avoiding others like life, morality and marriage altogether. "We are passionate against poverty and slavery, injustice that we should stand against, but issues that don't bring us into conflict with culture around us. Yet on issues like abortion or so-called same-sex marriage, issues that are much more contentious in the culture around us, instead of being passionate, we are strangely passive." more >>
The new CNN documentary series, "Finding Jesus: Faith Fact Forgery," has brought many common Christian beliefs into question, including the earthly family of Jesus Christ.
In an interview with CNN, Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest who's featured in the documentary, comments on a 2002 archaeological find that's said to be a 2,000 year old ossuary, or bone box that includes an Aramaic inscription that reads: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus."
This artifact, which could be archaeological proof of Jesus' existence, relates to the debate between some Catholics and Protestants over whether Mary gave birth to other children besides Jesus. While Catholic theology teaches that Jesus was Mary's only child, other Christian denominations believe that she also gave birth to a son named James. more >>
As public outrage grew Friday over an appeal from popular televangelist and founder of World Changers Church International, Creflo Dollar, to raise $65 million from 200,000 people to purchase a luxury Gulfstream G650 airplane, his ministry confirmed Friday that he's now traveling "commercial," but still needs the new airplane to transport thousands of pounds of food and his staff around the world.
The Christian Post first reported on Dollar's online appeal called "Project G650" Thursday where it was highlighted that the ministry's current carrier is too old and battered to continue flying after a recent accident. It further noted that Creflo Dollar Ministries claims that it needs the $65 million aircraft to continue spreading the love of Jesus around the world.
"Due to this recent incident coupled with the 31 years the airplane has been in service, we believe it is time to replace this aircraft so that our pastors and staff can continue to safely and swiftly share the Good News of the Gospel worldwide. Believe it or not, there are still millions of people on this planet who have never heard of Jesus Christ and know nothing of His greatness. Our hearts desire to see precious lives changed and snatched out of darkness and thrust into His marvelous light! We need your help to continue reaching a lost and dying world for the Lord Jesus Christ," noted Dollar's appeal before requesting supporters of the ministry to sow a $300 seed into the airplane fund. more >>