"Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" has sparked controversy due to the religion of its villain – a Russian Orthodox Christian terrorist with ties to 9/11 who aims to blow up Wall Street. Christian reviewers, however, say they are not insulted by this fact, arguing that "there are bigger fish to fry."
"This is not religious terrorism, it's coming from the Soviet Union," Gary Black Jr., chair of Advanced Studies at Azusa Pacific University, told The Christian Post in an interview on Friday. Black argued that, far from insulting Russian Orthodox Christianity, the film ironically praises it. "It's demonstrating the true values of Orthodox Christianity – the best place to hide and not to be seen as a terrorist is a church." The film is not about wacky Christian terrorists but about Russian spies who think the best place to hide is a church. In one scene, an undercover "family" is activated by the priest preaching on Lamentations 2:2.
"If you want to talk about anti-Christian content in the movie Jack Ryan, talk about the six misuses of Jesus' name as if it were a swear word," Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus on the Family's movie review department "Plugged In," told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. Waliszewski argued that "there's nothing more insensitive that a director can do than misuse the name above every name." more >>
Evangelical Christians should pay more attention to their persecuted Middle Eastern counterparts, argued Russell Moore, the President of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday.
"We're trying to call our churches… to care about this: to talk about in sermons, to pray about on Sunday mornings and to start focusing our attention on it," Moore told host Joe Scarborough.
He also suggested that people turn to the back pages of their Bible where often, historical maps are displayed, and say, "Iraq. That's not just a national security issue, that's where Abraham was from. And Syria, that's the road to Damascus, that's the Apostle Paul." Moore added, "That's our story and history. This ought to matter." more >>
Reacting to imprisoned Christian missionary Kenneth Bae's recent press conference in North Korea where he seemingly admitted guilt to a serious crime, Bae's sister expressed pain and asked for mercy for his release. She also urged President Barack Obama to do all he can to secure his return back home in America.
"To the leaders of DPRK, we understand that Kenneth has been convicted of crimes under DPRK laws. Our family sincerely apologizes on Kenneth's behalf. Kenneth has also acknowledged his crimes and has apologized," Terri Chung wrote in a message posted on Tuesday on FreeKenNow.com.
"He has now served 15 months of his sentence, but faces chronic health problems. We humbly ask for your mercy to release my brother," she added. more >>
NEW YORK – The World Evangelical Alliance called for the protection of Syria's minority Christian population ahead of the major Geneva II conference on Wednesday, which is set to discuss solutions to the ongoing Syrian crisis.
"The reality is that this is just part of the process. They are not going to get everything accomplished in these two days, so we need to measure our expectations," said Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the WEA, in an interview with The Christian Post on Tuesday. "At minimum we are looking for a cessation in the armed conflict, that people will stop dying, that they can come to an agreement that they can stop the killings."
The conference, which is sponsored by the U.N. along with Russia and the U.S., is hoping to bring together for talks a delegation representing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and representatives of some of the opposition forces looking to topple his administration. The civil war in Syria, which has been going on since 2011, has killed over 100,000 people and displaced over 9.3 million, according to U.N. estimates. more >>
A Central African Republic priest has opened his church as a shelter to Muslims fleeing the anti-balaka (anti-machete) Christian militias terrorizing his community.
"I am not going to let anyone hurt the people inside my church, it doesn't matter whether they are Christians or Muslims," Xavier Fagba, who leads a church in Boali, a city northwest of the capital Bangui, told FRANCE 24.
At the service on Sunday, Fagba told his congregation to make their Muslim counterparts feel comfortable and greet one another with a "kiss of peace." more >>
Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.
According to the recently released 2014 World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, Syria is the third worst nation in the world in which to be Christian, Iraq is fourth, Afghanistan fifth, and Libya 13th. All four countries receive the strongest designation, "extreme persecution" (other designations are "severe," "moderate," and "sparse" persecution).
Aside from being so closely and harshly ranked, these four nations have something else in common: heavy U.S. involvement. Three-Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya-were "liberated" thanks to U.S. forces, while in the fourth, Syria, the U.S. is actively sponsoring "freedom fighters" against the regime, many of whom would be better labeled "terrorists." more >>