The culture war may be lost and religious liberty might not be that far behind, according to a new survey from LifeWay Research.
Seventy percent of senior pastors at Protestant churches say religious liberty is on the decline in the United States and 59 percent of Christians believe they are losing the culture war. Eleven percent considers that war already lost.
The survey results are staggering– indicating grave concerns about the moral direction of the nation from both the pulpit and the pew. more >>
Political columnist Kirsten Powers has earned the respect of the Evangelical community. The story of her conversion was an unambiguous home run. She's also responsible for helping raise attention about the atrocity of the Kermit Gosnell case.
She's a sharp, intellectually honest thinker who does a good job of keeping conservative evangelicals on their toes. I don't know Kirsten well, but in October, I was honored to moderate a panel with her and other leading thinkers on the subject of religious liberty.
Her most recent column, though, doesn't fit with her commendable work on international religious freedom. Conflating theological categories, her column missed the concern that Evangelicals have over the creeping hostility to religious liberty, particularly in the context of gay rights. more >>
A new video of the twelve Christian nuns kidnapped in Syria recently appeared. In it, the nuns are taped sitting in a room and being questioned by an unseen man, presumably a member of the kidnappers. He asks them how they are, if they've been mistreated, etc.
They respond that they are being treated fine, that they very much look forward to being returned to their convent, that they heartily thank the world for its concern, and that they continually pray that God grant peace to all nations.
Their words say one thing, their expressions and demeanor another. Put differently, as female captives of Islamic jihadis, what else could they say but what they were told to say? Even if one of them dared to say the "wrong thing," it naturally would have been edited out. Who knows how many takes it took to get the video-which includes a bizarre clip of the nuns having a snowball fight with their abductors-just right? more >>
The North Korean government has arrested an Australian Christian missionary for handing out Gospel tracts, with the family of the 75-year-old man fearing he could face up to 15 years in prison.
"My husband does what he believes is what God wants him to do," Karen Short said of her husband, John, who was arrested at his Pyongyang hotel on Sunday, according to Australian news site ABC.
"Without sounding strange, that's him, he's a man of faith. We're faith missionaries and he believed that we should care and not just talk but do something." more >>
A federal appeals court heard arguments Tuesday over an Indiana church's plan to display multiple, 6-foot tall crosses along their city's riverfront for a charity fundraiser.
West Side Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., appealed a lower court ban that ruled the crosses would convey an unconstitutional endorsement of religion by the city while arguing that the display is a freedom of speech issue.
"No one should single out a faith-based group for censorship. The Constitution protects and does not prohibit religious expression in the public square," said Bryan Beauman, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement. "A public display, approved in the same way as other types of displays, cannot be excluded simply because it is in the shape of a cross." more >>
With reports of extreme persecution and human rights abuses in North Korea, including a recent 400 page report by the U.N. exposing "unspeakable atrocities," Christians are wondering whether God has abandoned the country.
"Is God at work in North Korea? Because we don't see it," some have told Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group. The organization has listed North Korea as the most oppressive country in the world for Christians on its World Watch List for the past 12 years in a row now, and despite constant prayers for change, the situation only seems to be getting worse.
The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on human rights in the DPRK said in its extensive report on Monday, which is to be formally presented to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 17, that "the gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world." more >>