History provides ample evidence of ways in which the local church provides continuity, encouragement and support of family life and societal freedoms. It also reveals what happens when churches close: societal structures erode, crime escalates, and freedoms evaporate.
Throughout Europe, tens of thousands of churches have been torn down, sold and repurposed due to an 80-90 percent drop in attendance. Non-attendance is indicative of negative population growth and sub-replacement fertility rates. And negative population growth is indicative of empty pulpits.
Heterosexual marriage and procreation cannot be forced. But both are the natural heartfelt response to hearing the Gospel. And if there is no one preaching, teaching, or encouraging the development of family and community life, both will cease to exist. more >>
Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year's Day, 2015, and in connection to Prophet Muhammad's upcoming birthday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.
Among other things, Sisi said that the "corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years" are "antagonizing the entire world"; that it is not "possible that 1.6 billion people [reference to the world's Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live"; and that Egypt (or the Islamic world in its entirety) "is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands."
The relevant excerpt from Sisi's speech follows (translation by Michele Antaki): more >>
The U.S. Special Forces two attempts to rescue hostages held by Islamic State terrorists in Syria were thwarted on Thursday night.
American military operatives abandoned the mission to free a Jordanian fighter pilot held hostage by ISIS after heavy fire resulting in one helicopter coming down, according to the Daily Mail. Both coalition forces and militants clashed over the pilot who was taken captive by Islamist terrorist last week during a mission in Syria.
Early Friday morning, fighter jets heavily bombed the area surrounding the house where the pilot, Moaz Safi Yousef al-Kassasbeh, is reportedly being held, reported Turkey's Anadolou news service. Two U.S. military helicopters were intended to rescue to pilot, but heavy fire prevented the helicopters from safely entering the area. more >>
The Islamic State has released a new guide informing mothers within the caliphate how they should properly raise their babies to be fully prepared to fight in the Muslim extremist jihad.
The publication, called "Sister's Role in Jihad," surfaced online and is designed to encourage mothers to begin training their children at an infant age to take on a radical mindset in order for the kids to be prepared for battle when they reach the appropriate age to join ISIS' fighting ranks, the Daily Mail reports.
The publication, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute in a report they are conducting on the indoctrination of children, asserts that the most important job for women in the ISIS caliphate is indoctrinating their children into Muslim extremism "while they are babies." more >>
As the new year is already upon us, The Christian Post would like to offer a brief look back at the major issues and events of 2014.
Pastors in Houston were almost forced to hand over all their sermons that touched on the topic of homosexuality, a major U.S. megachurch became nonexistent, Christians around the world saw a rise in attacks especially with the rise of terrorist group ISIS, and fear spread around the world as the Ebola virus spread rapidly in West Africa. Below is the full top ten list.
1. Liberal Intolerance: 'Duck Dynasty,' Mozilla, Benham Brothers and Houston Mayor Subpoena Scandal more >>
Muslim attempts at "reformation" continue to be limited to words not actions. A few days ago, efforts to set a minimum age for marriage in Saudi Arabia "received a blow after the Grand Mufti said there was nothing wrong with girls below 15 getting married."
Two years earlier, the justice ministry began pushing for setting a minimum age in the Arabian kingdom. According to Gulf News, "It submitted an integrated study on the negative psychological and social effects of underage marriages to religious scholars and requested a fatwa that sets a minimum age."
However, the ulema—the "religious scholar," the learned ones of Islamic law—responded by totally ignoring the request. Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, its Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, shrugged the whole matter off by saying "There is currently no intention to discuss the issue." In other words, case closed. more >>