A Christian missionary who has been serving with her husband in Central Africa for the past 25 years tells of her experiences working to empower women and children victimized by militants in the conflict-ravaged Democratic Republic of Congo.
Congo, home to an estimated 77.4 million people, has been wracked almost since its declaration as a republic in 1960 by civil war, and later ethnic conflicts and a refugee crises. Subsequent peace deals and an eventual democratic election have done very little to redeem the 5.8 million lives lost to violence and reassure the additional millions living in displacement. Roaming militia forces, vying to control pockets of the country as well as its many natural resources, remain the bane of any attempts to stabilize the Christian-majority nation.
A particular kind of violence, perpetrated mostly upon Congo's female population by roaming militias (from Rwanda, Uganda, or elsewhere) and even by members of the national army, have earned the Central African country the deplorable distinction of being the "rape capital of the world," as well as the worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the United Nations. more >>
More than 12,000 bags of cookies along with a note and voucher for free hot meals at a local eatery were given to residents and workers on Christmas Eve near the four locations of the New Jersey-based Liquid Church. The gift bags were distributed by more than 5,000 people who attended one of 12 services at the church in what was called a "spiritual flash mob."
"It's exciting to see the enthusiasm to go out and share God's love after each service," said Liquid Church Pastor Tim Lucas. "And we just heard from some police officers in Times Square sharing that they just received a bag from a Liquid Church family. It made their day to know that they matter, especially on a day like today. Now that's what we call putting our faith into action."
Those who attended Christmas Eve services at Liquid Church throughout the day were given the bags of cookies and vouchers with instructions from Lucas to "fan out" and show God's love after the services. more >>
Christmas is a time often associated with trees, Santa Claus, mangers, family gatherings, television specials, and the opening of presents. But according to a very successful technological Christian ministry, the season for giving may also be the season for Bible reading.
Bobby Gruenewald, the pastor who was the mastermind behind the YouVersion Bible App, told The Christian Post that during December the rate of Bible App usage increases.
"Our data gives us insight into people's interaction with the Bible around the world: installs of the app, chapters read, bookmarks and highlights created, verses shared, and more," said Gruenewald. more >>
A German author who recently traveled to the Middle East has declared that the Islamic State terrorist organization is "more dangerous than people realize."
Juergen Todenhoefer, an author and former politician who's been a critic of American foreign policy, recently went into territory held by ISIS to investigate the militant group.
Editor's note: This article is tied to a report on Yazidi immigrant Murad Ismael and NYC Pastor William Devlin's humanitarian trip to Erbil, Iraq. Read that report here: US Pastor Who Supported Meriam Ibrahim in Sudan Heads to Iraq With Yazidi Activist; Says Christians Can Pray, Give Money But Should Put Their Bodies on the Line. Also, read Ismael's account of the atrocities unfolding in Iraq under the Islamic State here: US Yazidi Returning to Iraq Amid ISIS Persecution Calls for People of All Faiths to Act.
NEW YORK — A New York City pastor traveling with a U.S. Yazidi leader to offer humanitarian assistance to religious minorities targeted by the Islamic State in Iraq believes Christians in America should do more to encourage believers living in some of the world's most persecuted countries.
The Rev. William Devlin, co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in the Bronx borough of New York City and a former politician, is as much of an activist as he is a missionary. When the City of New York banned churches and other religious groups in 2011 from renting public schools for worship gatherings, Devlin embarked on a 42-day fast, was arrested in an act of civil disobedience, and publicly confronted then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg during an interfaith breakfast about the city's decision (which the current mayor has vowed to reverse). more >>
The Islamic State has been selling artifacts from churches and other cultural centers in the nation of Iraq to fund their organization, says a British publication.
ISIS is taking antiquities, including those worth millions of dollars, from the Middle Eastern country and selling them to prospective Western buyers, according to Oliver Moody of The Times.
"Willy Bruggeman, a former deputy director of Europol who is now president of the Belgian federal police council, said that some of the artefacts had almost certainly been sold illegally to buyers in the UK, although none had yet been traced to Britain," reported Moody on Wednesday. more >>