Churches and faith-based organizations immediately responded to the West Virginia chemical spill by gathering drinkable water and other basic needs by the truckloads soon after bottled water became a commodity and a state of emergency was declared last week.
Relief efforts began to pour in to the state on Friday, a day after over 7,000 gallons of the chemical known as 4-methylcyclohexane methanol was discovered in the Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., leaving more than 300,000 people in Charleston and various surrounding counties without clean water.
"Our disaster response team departed Friday with initial shipments…these included four semis [trucks] and a box truck carrying almost 200,000 pounds of bottled water and other beverages and more than 8,500 pounds of paper products, plus two of Matthew 25's disaster relief vehicles," stated Matthew 25 Ministries, an Ohio-based international aid and disaster relief organization, on their website. more >>
An international Christian organization says it will distribute 60,000 blankets to the homeless and needy across the U.S. in January alone.
Gleaning for the World (GFTW), a Virginia-based humanitarian aid organization, is sending the blankets to 10 different states to be given to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food banks and homeless communities.
Ron Davidson, founder and president of GFTW, estimates that about 90 percent of the groups that distribute the blankets at a local level are churches. Not only do churches have the volunteers and facilities needed to hand out supplies, he told CP, but they can also use their humanitarian efforts as an opportunity to share the gospel message. more >>
WASHINGTON – Nine out of the ten countries ranked the most oppressive for Christians to live in were due to Islamic extremism, according to Open Doors' annual World Watch List, which was released Wednesday.
With the exception of North Korea – ranked No. 1 for the 12th year in a row – every other country on the top 10 list had as its source of persecution, Islamic extremism. North Korea's persecution of Christians was due to communist oppression and dictatorial paranoia, explained Open Doors in its 2014 World Watch List. According to the report, the countries with the most extreme persecution besides North Korea are: Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen, respectively.
Open Doors announced the rankings for its 2014 World Watch List, which documented the 50 nations least tolerant of their Christian population, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Christian persecution watchdog group's methodology involved measuring the level of Christian freedom found in five spheres of life: private, family, community, national, and church. A sixth sphere regarding degree of violence also factors in to the rankings. more >>
Global engagement advocate Lynne Hybels, wife of megachurch pastor Bill Hybels, is partnering with a nationwide team of social media experts to provide shoes and other supplies to as many of the millions of Syrian refugees displaced because of a bloody civil war in their country as possible.
"All of this work is done in the name and Spirit of Jesus," says Lynne Hybels, who is partnering with Think Eternity Ministries to leverage her personal connections to Middle Eastern ministry leaders — directing 100 percent of the donations to local ministries providing aid, according to organizers.
"The local people providing these services to both Christians and Muslims are heroes, but they have to be unsung heroes," Hybels said. "The more we give, the more we can show the love of Christ to Syrian Christians and Muslims who are suffering. A hundred percent of donations will go straight to the people who need it." more >>
A charity founded by the heirs of the major retail chain Walmart stand by their organization's support for a lobbying group that advocates for private school vouchers.
The Walton Family Foundation stands by its support for the Alliance for School Choice, an organization that lobbies for the advancement of alternatives to public school education.
Marc Sternberg, director of the foundation's systemic K-12 education reform focus area, told The Christian Post about the "motivation to invest in school choice." more >>
A New York City academic institution that gained headlines 10 years ago for being the first LGBT-centered public school has been struggling to maintain enrollment expectations.
Harvey Milk High School of Manhattan, a small transfer school that became a fully accredited public school in 2003, was expected upon its opening to enroll 100 students. more >>