A few weeks ago, my wife, Kim, and I visited a nonprofit conservancy in our state that houses approximately 20 species of exotic animals. The Conservators Center provides guided tours that allow you to view these animals as close as 5 feet away. To observe a binturong (bearcat) up close, to hear wolves howl and lions call to one another, to look a magnificent White Tiger in the eye, are experiences never to be forgotten.
While our guide was educating us about lions, he coaxed a lioness over to us with a treat so we could get a better view. The trouble was he failed to notice a sign placed on the enclosure instructing staff not to feed any of the beasts that day because they were undergoing a medical treatment. Realizing his mistake at the last minute, he withdrew the treat, while also leaving the bucket full of tasty morsels in front of the lioness, but beyond her reach.
Well, she was visibly irritated by the predicament. It was a sweltering summer's day, and the lioness had already made a considerable effort to travel the penned area with no reward to show for it. When a lady who was a part of our tour tried to comfort the lioness with sweet baby-talk, the now testy big cat was having none of it. To everyone's surprise, she lunged at the woman and gave a ferocious roar. Of course, none of us were ever in any danger. Still, if something like that happens in my presence again, I hope I'm wearing an incontinence diaper to be on the safe side. more >>
Persecuted Christians in India have been given hope for justice concerning the 2008 massacre in Orissa, where close to 100 Christians were killed in a riot, after the government revealed earlier this month that it will reopen 315 cases of violence.
Fides News Agency reported on Thursday that the Supreme Court of India has ordered the government of Orissa state to review all cases that were reported to the police at the time, but were not adequately investigated.
The violence on Aug. 25, 2008, against Christians in Kandhamal sparked by Hindu radicals who accused Christians of converting other Hindus to their religion, led to the destruction of 5,600 homes, along with 300 churches and other places of worship. more >>
The American Center for Law and Justice and other groups are calling on Christians to raise up their voices to support Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five whose death sentence appeal will be heard by Pakistan's Supreme Court in October.
Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010 on allegations of blasphemy after two co-workers accused her of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court set a date in October for her final appeal hearing to determine whether she will be executed or not.
The ACLJ is urging Christians to sign a petition, which has over 417,000 signatures as of Thursday morning, describing Bibi's case as the "ultimate human rights violation," and calls for her release. more >>
Conservative author and radio personality Glenn Beck will speak at the multi-day American Gospel Celebration headed by Pastor John Hagee in Louisville, Kentucky, next month.
Beck's involvement in the three-day event was announced on Monday, with Hagee commending Beck for his widely syndicated social commentary.
"Beck stands on the front lines of key issues facing America today and speaks boldly about the value of faith and freedom," said Hagee, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. "I can think of no one more fitting to join us as we celebrate these two foundational pillars of our nation at the American Gospel Celebration and as we honor those who have sacrificed for us." more >>
Update: Aug. 26 1:40 p.m. ET: "Christian Solidarity Worldwide is aware of commentary regarding our report on the situation of the Assemblies of God denomination in Cuba. Our information has been verified and we stand by our report that 1,400 AoG churches were earmarked for confiscation in 2015, 100 of which are under threat of demolition; and that the process of confiscating these churches' properties has continued, although none have yet been seized by the government. CSW stands with all religious groups in Cuba who are facing freedom of religion or belief violations."
The Assemblies of God World Missions says reports that close to 1,400 of its churches in Cuba are being seized by the government are not true.
"We're grateful for the concern expressed by some of our ministers who have contacted our national offices about this inaccurate story," said AG General Superintendent George O. Wood in a statement. more >>
A mob of radical Muslims vandalized multiple churches in northern Nigeria and beat a Christian student nearly to death after he was accused of insulting the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
International Christian Concern reports that the attacks revolved around an argument at Abdu Gusau Polytechnic in Talata-Mafara, Zamfara State, between a Christian and a Muslim student on Sunday.
The Christian was accused of blasphemy by other Nigerian students and was severely beaten by the angry mob. His life was saved by a fellow Christian and a compassionate Muslim who helped carry the victim to the hospital. more >>