Greg Laurie, pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., interviewed Captain Scotty Smiley as part of worship on Sunday.
Smiley, an army ranger and the Army's first active-duty blind officer, lost his sight due to a suicide bomber attack in Iraq in April of 2005. "Scotty has an amazing story of courage and faith," said Laurie on a blog post Sunday. Laurie also noted the significance of Veterans' Day Sunday.
"It's important that we take the time to remember and honor our more [than] 22 million military veterans. It's because of their selfless service and sacrifice that we live in a free country today," wrote Laurie. more >>
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood majority government continues to debate the phrasing used while drafting its new constitution that will more than likely have Islamic Sharia law as its foundation. A religious persecution watchdog group says the implementation of such a constitution is expected and can only mean deepening trouble for Christians in the country.
"It is hardly a surprise that the Muslim Brotherhood is now pushing Sharia as the law of the land in Egypt," said Jerry Dykstra, director of communications at Open Doors USA. "Strict Islamic law has always been its main agenda for Egypt. President Morsi attempted to disguise this before the election, saying his government would be moderate. Now the true face of extreme Islam is being unveiled to the world. The high hopes of the revolution and overthrow of Mubarak have now been replaced by the reality of another form of extremist government – an Islamist one."
Since last year's removal of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, Islamists have dominated every election and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammed Morsi is the president. However, the Brotherhood is being pressured by ultraconservatives known as Salafis to make sure Sharia is followed nearly to the letter if not entirely. more >>
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a Serbian Orthodox church in Kosovo, urging ethnic Serbs who have left the country to return and help shape the life of Europe's youngest nation.
"The United States is firmly committed to Kosovo's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to seeing the rule of law extend throughout Kosovo," Clinton told reporters. "We oppose any discussion of territory changes or reopening Kosovo's independent status. These matters are not up for discussion. The boundaries of an independent, sovereign Kosovo are clear and set."
Kosovo, which was declared an independent state separate from Serbia in 2008, is still facing many challenges as it is growing as a country. The U.S. is hoping that Kosovo will become a member of the international military organization NATO and help bring stability to the Balkan region, but the young country faces many hurdles. more >>
New documents released as part of the congressional investigation into the Sept. 11 attack on an American embassy in Libya support some claims by the Obama administration while also raising new questions about the lack of security for the embassy personnel.
After the attack, administration officials claimed that the attack was sparked by a demonstration in reaction to an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, explained it this way on five Sept. 15 talk shows. Since then, Republicans have criticized the administration for providing a misleading account of those events, arguing that it was obviously a planned terrorist attack that led to the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
On Friday a National Counterterrorism Center document showing the talking points provided to the administration on Sept. 14 suggests the truth to be somewhere between the administration and Republican positions. The CIA believed at the time that there was limited planning involved in the attack. The attackers were watching the demonstrations in Egypt and the anti-Muslim YouTube video before deciding to attack the embassy that day, according to the talking points provided to administration officials, including Rice. more >>
A number of Jewish organizations pulled out of an interfaith meeting with Protestants on Wednesday after church leaders questioned why the United States was providing military aid to Israel in its conflict with Palestine.
The American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and Conservative and Reform Jewish have all said they will not be attending the annual Christian-Jewish Roundtable, which was planned to take place in New York on Monday, The Associated Press reported.
The Jewish groups explained that their decision was based on several mainline Protestant leaders asking Congress to re-evaluate the military aid it sends to Israel and accusing the Jewish state of human right abuses. more >>
Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) believes that the Obama administration knew within 24 hours after the attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi was a planned terrorist attack. President Obama and other administration officials were claiming the attack was a spontaneous demonstration in response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video for two weeks after the Sept. 11 attack.
"The coordinated attack lasted for hours with al-Qaida associated militia. My belief is that was known by the administration within 24 hours," Graham said in an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation."
Graham argued that the Obama administration promulgated incorrect information about the Benghazi attack because it is "trying to sell a narrative about the Middle East – the wars are receding and al-Qaida's been dismantled." Admitting that it was a terrorist attack, Graham continued, would show that "leading from behind didn't work" and it "undercuts that narrative." more >>