NEW YORK – New York City stands as one of the richest and most glamorous metropolitans in the world, but it is also a city where people walk by tens of thousands of homeless people each night without offering or even knowing how to offer a helping hand. A joint campaign by some of the city's top charity organizations, stretching throughout the month of February, is seeking to address that problem, and offer new hope to the many hurting and needy people.
"'Don't Walk By' changed my life," said Katrina Monta, Executive Assistant to the President at New York City Relief, one of the participating groups, at the Feb. 2 outreach event in Downtown Manhattan, attended by The Christian Post. Monta was a volunteer at "Don't Walk By" back in 2010, and through that she ended up coordinating the event for The Bowery Mission in 2011, eventually leading to her involvement with New York City Relief.
"It was an eye opening experience because I got to do everything that Jesus was asking me to do as a Christian, which is kind of stoop down and learn how to love the outcast and live out my faith together as the Church. As a New Yorker, you are confronted with it every day – riding the trains, walking down the streets – and a lot of people don't know how to deal with that – it's an internal conflict," the executive assistant explained of the homeless problem in the city. more >>
College campuses in the U.S. are not generally considered bastions for Bible literacy or interest, say officials from the Christian organization InterVarsity. However, in light of a recent Barna Group study released about the most and least Bible-minded cities in the nation, InterVarsity optimistically points to thousands of Bible studies "breaking out across the country," following commitments made at its student missions conference (Urbana 12) at the end of December in St. Louis.
"In a week when the Barna organization has highlighted the most Bible-Minded and least Bible-Minded cities in the U.S., and classes have resumed on college campuses across the country, it's exciting to know that thousands of college students are leading many of their friends into new relationships with God through Bible study," said InterVarsity Evangelism Director Terry Erickson.
In the Barna findings, Knoxville, Tenn., was named number one on the "Most Bible-Minded Cities" list, while Providence, R.I. and New Bedford, Mass. shared the number one spot for "Least Bible-Minded Cities" out of 96 cities. more >>
A linguistic professor in England has launched a new effort to try and record the ancient Aramaic language that Jesus Christ and his disciples were believed to have used more than 2,000 years ago, before it becomes extinct.
Professor Geoffrey Khan of the University of Cambridge told Smithsonian Magazine that only a handful of communities scattered in the Middle East still speak Aramaic, which is tied to both Hebrew and Arabic. It was a key language in Israel between 539 B.C. and 70 A.D. and so is likely to have been spoken by Christ. Back at that time, it was used by Christians, Jews, Mandeans, Manicheans, Muslims, Samaritans, Zoroastrians and pagans.
Khan's mission is to find the last remaining native Aramaic speakers and record how they use the language. more >>
Despite his previous disdain for running long distances, a Chicago-area pastor is planning to run approximately the equivalent distance of a marathon per day from the U.S. West Coast to East Coast in order to provide a community of 30,000 people in Kenya a lifelong supply of clean water.
Steve Spear, who served as a regional campus pastor for Willow Creek Community Church, will begin the running phase of his fundraising effort on April 8th. He plans to take five months to run the 3,000 miles. After a 15-year career at Willow Creek (founded by Bill Hybels), Spear left his position earlier this year to devote time to the project that is endorsed by the Christian relief organization World Vision as a partner.
"My wife and I had supported World Vision financially so I just felt like I didn't need to run a marathon to do it. I just had put a bunch of blockades to not do it," he told The Christian Post. "I finally got to the point where I really felt like I was being led by God to surrender myself to the inconveniences that I was associating with training for and running a marathon." more >>
Although an incident in which dissident Eritrean soldiers seized the country's information ministry earlier this week is now being downplayed as not a coup attempt, a heightened tension between political and faith groups remains. The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors says that at least 10 leaders of churches banned by the government have been arrested.
"The arrest of 10 church leaders in Eritrea could be the start of another wave of systematic persecution in this unpredictable, tiny country bordering the Red Sea," says Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra. "The Muslim and Christian population is almost split 50-50. But President Isaias Afewerkie has targeted independent Christians over the last decade. A government official once declared there are three enemies which need to be eradicated – HIV/AIDS, the regime in Ethiopia and independent Christians."
Over the past year, Open Doors reported that 31 Christians have died in prison camps. more >>
Editor's Note: This is the first part of a series examining different aspects of Bible translation, inspired by the recent controversy surrounding Wycliffe Bible Translators and its translation for a Muslim context. While The Christian Post series will not be focusing exclusively on the Wycliffe controversy, the topics in the series are related to the situation and are helpful to understanding the complicated nature of Bible translation.
It's business as usual for the Wycliffe Bible Translators, one of the world's biggest Bible translation companies, while its policies continue to be reviewed by an independent panel, prompted by controversy beginning last year over translations that some termed more "Muslim friendly" and less accurate.
"This last year there's been controversy over what's called 'divine familial' terms – how 'Son,' 'Son of God,' and how Father are translated, particularly in Muslim context," Wycliffe USA Chief Operations Officer Russ Hersman told The Christian Post. "The translations that our folks have been involved in had been translating for meaning so in the vast majority of cases the common word in that language for son or for father is what's used and it works just fine." more >>