Dr. Michael Youssef and his son Jonathan ministered God's love to a church of Iranian refugees on the second day of the Leading The Way Revival in Indonesia in one of the world's largest Muslim nations on Friday, with 300 people reportedly answering a call to commit to Jesus Christ at the event.
The refugees fled their oppressive government and wound up in Indonesia as a half-way point between free nations such as America and Australia, according to a press release.
They are currently in limbo and awaiting paperwork between the U.N. and Indonesian government, which can take up to three years, putting some in dire situations. more >>
Hobby Lobby's case for exemption from a part of the Affordable Care Act that requires religious employers to cover Plan B and Ella One emergency contraceptives that can cause early abortion was argued in court on Thursday.
An eight-judge panel (one judge was absent) in the 10th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo., granted the Oklahoma City-based arts-and-crafts chain a full court hearing, which Hobby Lobby's attorneys' believe is significant because a full-court hearing is rarely granted. "It's a very rare step, because the nine-judge panel hears the most significant cases," said Lori Windham, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, who's one of six attorneys working on behalf of Hobby Lobby.
Kyle Duncan, general counsel for The Becket Fund, argued the case Thursday for the Green family, who own Hobby Lobby and the Christian bookstore Mardel, in Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, and the government was represented by the Justice Department. Each side had 30 minutes to present their arguments to the court. more >>
The fact that inspirational Christian speaker Nick Vujicic could speak about God at all before a soccer stadium full of people in Vietnam, a communist country highly restrictive of religion, on Thursday was considered a miracle by one of the Vietnamese organizers of the event.
Nguyen Dat An, who helped organize Vujicic's visit, said he was surprised the state broadcaster didn't cut off the speech altogether after Vujicic's comments about his faith.
"This was a miracle in Vietnam," An told the Associated Press. "God is the general director of this event." more >>
Chinese Christians are speaking out against new government regulation passed earlier this year requiring a government body to select and approve all Roman Catholic bishops, which goes in direct opposition to the Vatican's wishes.
"The revision is a regression as it blocks the normalization of Church life in China," Anthony Lam Sui-ki, a senior researcher at Hong Kong diocese's Holy Spirit Study Center said, according to UCA News. "But it also reminds Vatican-approved bishops to be brave and not to be frightened by the authorities."
The regulation means that a Chinese-run religious bureau must select and approve all bishops before they can legally serve in the communist country. The Vatican has said on numerous occasions that it is against such a law, since bishops are usually appointed by the Roman Catholic Church alone. more >>
A Christian legal group described the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee's decision on Thursday to change its longstanding membership policy and allow Scouts to be of any "sexual orientation or preference" as a rejection of its freedom to promote values that the group has held for the last century.
"Sadly, the Boy Scouts Executive National Council's decision disregards not only the nearly 19,000 Americans who signed a petition urging BSA to 'uphold the values that have defined the organization for over 100 years,' but also the millions of Americans who have supported the program," stated Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel David Cortman shortly after the decision.
"Those promoting the agenda to change what the Boy Scouts have always been won't rest until there is complete acceptance of any sexual preference for both leaders and members. With its decision today, BSA has rejected its freedom to promote and practice the values that have served to shape our nation's boys into leaders for the last century," Cortman said. more >>
Imprisoned U.S. Pastor Saeed Abedini has managed to get out a letter to his hundreds of thousands of supporters around the world through his wife, Naghmeh, in which he praised the unity Christians in various denominations have shown in praying for his release.
"I heard that the persecution, my arrest and imprisonment has united churches from different denominations, from different cities and countries, that would never come together because of their differences. That the churches have united together in prayer to put one request (my freedom) on one day (Pentecost) before God," the pastor said in a letter.
"You don't know how happy I was in the Lord and rejoiced knowing that in my chains the body of Christ has chained together and is brought to action and prayer." more >>