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 >>
Edmund Burke famously said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."
This could not be more relevant to the debate raging over the Iran nuclear deal.
On Oct. 21, 1994, President Bill Clinton announced a deal with North Korea aimed at ending its pursuit of a nuclear weapon. "This is a good deal for the United States," Clinton said. "North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program. South Korea and our other allies will be better protected. The entire world will be safer as we slow the spread of nuclear weapons." more >>
America's largest pro-Israel advocacy group, Christians United for Israel, has launched its own lobbying arm that is already working to persuade Democrats in Congress to vote against the Obama administration's' proposed nuclear agreement with Iran in order to get enough votes to override a possible veto.
CUFI, a 9-year-old national grassroots movement that has over 2.2 million members focused on driving American support for Israel, announced at is 2015 Washington, D.C. summit that it has rolled out a 501(c)(4) political lobbying entity called CUFI Action Fund. more >>
A controversy is brewing over the proposed construction of a Muslim cemetery, mosque and training center in my town of Farmersville, Texas. Many local residents have expressed opposition to the project and have called upon our city government to block the construction of the facility. The relevant meetings took place while I was out of town, so I do not have first-hand knowledge of the situation.
However, I understand from others that some of those who have voiced their opposition have been Christians. And perhaps there are many more Christians who aren't sure what position to take. As a pastor, I have something to say to the members of my church and the Christians in the area regarding how Jesus expects us to respond to the religious nature of this controversy. When Christians say that the city of Farmersville should block the construction of an Islamic facility in our town, we're saying a lot more than we think we are saying.
1. We are saying that we have very little confidence in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. more >>
Christian mother of five children, Asia Bibi had her death sentence temporarily suspended by Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday, as an appeals case against her conviction of blasphemy begins.
"The execution of Asia Bibi has been suspended and will remain suspended until the decision of this appeal," lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said, according to Reuters.
Bibi, who has been held in prison for six years now, was originally sentenced to death in 2010 for offending the Islamic faith. She had been accused by a group of Muslim women to have committed an act of blasphemy when she drank from the same water supply as them. more >>