As Christian persecution across the globe reaches levels never before seen, churches throughout the U.S. will devote time during Sunday worship services to pray for victims by taking part in "Stand With the Persecuted Sunday."
Eight prominent religious liberty organizations — Open Doors USA, the Institute on Religion & Democracy, The Voice of the Martyrs, In Defense of Christians, Christian Solidarity Worldwide USA, International Christian Concern, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative and the Family Research Council — are calling on over 40,000 American churches to designate a small portion of their services this weekend to pray for those around the globe that have been persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Besides prayer, the initiative also calls on churches to show a brief video highlighting the plight of Christians across the world, distribute a special bulletin insert, participate in practical ministries and promote policy and legislation designed to protect the persecuted. more >>
At the end of February I sat in the back of a classroom high in the mountains of rural Honduras and watched as an instructor gave a math lesson to a group of nine year-olds in Spanish. The most remarkable part of this experience wasn't my unfamiliarity with the native language or that a 6'3 NFL offensive lineman was sitting in the back of an elementary classroom in Latin America, but the fact that the class was being led by a nine year-old boy named Kevin.
Kevin is part of a peer-to-peer tutoring program called Agua Blanca at a World Vision funded school in San Juan, Honduras where children take control of their own learning process.
An important part of that process is making sure that children have clean water and healthy nutritious food so they can focus on learning the building blocks that will help lift themselves and their communities out of poverty. more >>
More than three-quarters of Christians in states where there is little to no regulation of payday lending believe that predatory lending is a "sin," according to a LifeWay Research survey released Wednesday afternoon.
Predatory loans, money loaned at outrageously high interest rates regardless of the person's ability to pay back the loan and interest, has ruined many lives and families across the United States and Christian leaders are calling on state lawmakers to step in and create regulations like interest rate caps so more families aren't victimized.
According to LifeWay's research, as many as 77 percent of self-identified Christians believe "it is a sin to loan someone money in a way that the lender gains by harming the borrower financially." more >>
U2 lead singer Bono testified before Congress on Tuesday in favor of a multibillion-dollar plan to provide help for refugees around the world, and at the same time, counter the rising tide of extremism.
"When aid is structured properly, with a focus on fighting poverty and improving governance, it could just be the best bulwark we have against the extremism of our age," Bono said at the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, according to Reuters.
The outspoken anti-poverty activist, who co-founded the international advocacy group ONE, has also started petitions and led campaigns to raise awareness of the plight of millions of people struggling under the weight of war and persecution — not only in Syria, but also in South Sudan, Somalia, and elsewhere. more >>
A district court in Michigan dismissed a lawsuit against one of the largest Catholic hospital organizations in the country that would have forced them to perform abortions.
United States District Court Judge Gershwin A. Drain of the Eastern District of Michigan granted Trinity Health Corporation's motion to dismiss a lawsuit leveled by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
In his 13-page Monday decision, Judge Drain argued that the ACLU and the plaintiffs it represented lacked the standing to sue Trinity Health over its policy of not performing emergency abortions. more >>
Pope Francis has announced that later in April he will visit the Greek island of Lesbos, which some have described as a "warzone," in order to highlight his love and support for refugees fleeing war and persecution.
"It's very clear that the pope recognizes that there is a significant emergency going on," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, according to Reuters.
"Just as he went to Lampedusa, which was then the front line of the Mediterranean route, now that there is this difficult, dramatic situation on the Aegean front, he naturally wants to be present to show a sense of solidarity and responsibility." more >>