NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – A moral and religious population is necessary for free markets and democratic institutions to work well, best-selling author Eric Metaxas told The Christian Post after speaking at The Conservative Political Action Conference.
"The free market and democracy by themselves, unmoored by a religious population or a moral population, are nothing," Metaxas said Friday. "The free hand of the market will provide cheaper, better pornography and drugs, if that's what the population wants."
"To have a robust free market is compromised if we are mired in debt, and to have a robust free market of ideas is compromised if religious freedom is threatened – they're really both sides of the same thing, different kinds of liberty that are inextricably intertwined," he added. more >>
Supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un, who reportedly ordered the execution of 33 people for contact with a South Korean missionary, was elected to the highest legislative body of his country with unanimous support of the electorate. He was the only one on the ballot and no one voted against him, according to state media.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Kim Jong Un won unanimous approval from his district which also had 100 percent voter turnout.
"This is an expression of all the service personnel and people's absolute support and profound trust in supreme leader Kim Jong Un as they single-mindedly remain loyal to him," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said. more >>
Christians are being urged by persecution watchdog group Open Doors to pray for the 33 people who are facing the death penalty in North Korea reportedly for their connection with a South Korean missionary.
"We need to bathe the country of North Korea in prayer," said Open Doors USA President/CEO David Curry in a statement Monday. "North Korea has been the No. 1 persecutor of Christians on the Open Doors World Watch List for 12 years in a row. And for good reasons. Usually when persecution increases in a country, the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ is rapidly spreading. Join me in prayer today."
South Korean papers reported last week that Kim Jong Un has ordered the deaths of 33 people found to have received money for building 500 underground churches from South Korean missionary Kim Jung Wook. Engaging in secret religious activities is a crime punishable by arrest and even public execution in the Pacific nation. more >>
Two Christian pastors in the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan are being held in a detention center in a southern district for over three days while area believers are being summoned repeatedly by police, said sources inside the nation that doesn't officially recognize the Christian minority.
The pastors, identified only as Lobzang and Tandin, were picked up by police Thursday afternoon while they were holding a prayer service to dedicate a place of worship in the Khapdani village in Dorokha gewog (cluster of villages) of Samtse district, a source from the area told The Christian Post.
About 30 believers, including women and children, were also taken to the area police post for the recording of their statements, the source added. The two pastors were later moved to the Samtse Detention Center, while the others were allowed to return. more >>
A Sharia law court in northern Nigeria ordered four men to be whipped after they were found guilty of homosexuality this week.
The court forced each of the four men, who ranged in age from 22 to 28, to lie on the floor of the room and receive 15 lashes from horsewhips, Dorothy Aken'Ova, the Executive Director of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network, told France 24. They were also fined $125, which could cause future problems for them, as if they are not able to come up the funds they could be forced to spend a year in prison.
"The court session was kept secret from the public and the judgment given and executed before the news filtered into the city," court clerk Abdul Mohammed confirmed. more >>
John Short, the 75-year-old Christian missionary who was recently freed from imprisonment in North Korea, said remembering Bible scriptures helped him through his "grueling" 13-day investigation by government authorities.
"There were two-hour sessions each morning, which were repeated again in the afternoons," Short, originally from South Australia, told the Australian Associated Press, adding that he was also kept under 24-hour guard watch for the duration of his imprisonment.
The 75-year-old Christian missionary, who has resided in Hong Kong since 1964, told the news agency that the interrogations were especially difficult because he is an avid walker, and being forced to sit in an enclosed room all day really took a toll on his physical health. "This I found to be most painful physically as an active senior person," he said. "I missed my freedom to walk very much." more >>