A Protestant pastor was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Vietnam Monday for leading a house church, unregistered as an official church with state officials, state media reported. The incident reportedly left Christians fearful that similar acts of persecution could become more common in the Communist state.
A court in central Vietnam claimed that Nguyen Cong Chinh, 43, was inciting division between the government and its citizens, state-controlled media reported Tuesday. Chinh was convicted of authoring and disseminating documents with distorted information that slandered authorities, of collaborating with "reactionary groups" and inciting ethnic minorities to commit wrongdoing, according to The Associated Press.
Human Rights Watch indicated that the arrest was part of the state's religious persecution policy. more >>
There are churches in the United States that are hundreds of years old. Many of them have rich traditions and have seen hundreds if not thousands of people come to know Jesus Christ through their ministries. Yet there is a special crop of people – the church planters – who feel called not to preach from pulpits in front of well-established congregations, but to create churches of their own.
I serve as the campus pastor at a small church plant in Barberton, Ohio. My early Christian life was spent in an established, traditional church, leaving me unprepared for the heartaches and joys of being part of a brand new church.
People need Jesus – that's for sure – but how does a person build a congregation from the ground up? Who are these people who are brave enough – and perhaps naïve enough – to go into a town and create a church from scratch? more >>
The idea of more than 200,000 former Muslims coming to faith in Sub-Saharan Africa within a few short years is mind-boggling. But entire mosques in Sub-Saharan Africa coming to faith? That news is even harder to wrap one's mind around, but it is in fact what is happening according to reports from a former church planter among Muslims in West Africa.
In the new book Miraculous Movements, Jerry Trousdale, now director of International Ministries for CityTeam International, records amazing and inspiring stories of faith among Muslim communities in Africa. The author opens up a new world to Western readers, taking them into the heart of the "miraculous movement" of God in Africa that is transforming the hearts of Muslims. more >>
There are currently more than 45,000 Southern Baptist churches across the United States. Most of those churches, however, are concentrated in the South, with fewer churches located in states like New York and New Jersey.
In an effort to remind people of the importance of church planting, especially in under-reached and under-served areas like the Northeast and West, the Southern Baptist Convention Home Mission Board – currently the North American Mission Board – created Start-a-Church Sunday.
Placed on the SBC calendar in 1991 as part of the Convention's Bold Mission Thrust initiative, a multi-pronged emphasis on evangelism, missions and church planting, Start-a-Church Sunday continues to remain on the calendar today as an annual reminder to churches of the importance of starting new churches. more >>
Over 6,000 new churches were planted among Muslims in 18 different countries in Africa over the last seven years. And hundreds of former sheikhs and imams have become followers of Jesus Christ over that period. In just a few years, 45 different "unreached" Muslim-majority people groups in Africa now have access to God's word, with more than 3,000 news churches planted among them.
These awe-inspiring statistics, mix with heart-warming narratives about former Muslims, flow out naturally as one talks to Jerry Trousdale, a former church planter among Muslims in West Africa and now head of a disciple-making movement among Muslim people groups.
Trousdale, author of the new book Miraculous Movements (Thomas Nelson, 2012) and director of International Ministries for CityTeam International, spoke with The Christian Post last week about the group's successful but counterintuitive disciple-making strategy, why disappointment made him leave missions for a period, and how he thinks being a pastor is even harder than being a missionary. more >>
Many Christians think that they can't serve the Kingdom of God at work, but that's not true, says a North Carolina megachurch pastor.
J.D. Greear, founder of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. – which has a goal of planting 1,000 churches by the year 2040 – just finished a 2-part series about Christians and the workplace on the "Between The Times" blog.
Greear said that many Christians today believe that working for God is done by volunteering at church or attending small group, and that it is separate from their workplace. Work isn't always viewed as a way to serve God, he observes, but "a necessity that must be endured to put bread on the table." more >>