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Satanic 'Black Mass' at Oklahoma Civic Center Met With Hundreds of Christian Protesters

Christian Post - Church & Ministry - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 8:30am
The highly anticipated Satanic "black mass" that was held Sunday night at an Oklahoma City civic center drew exponentially more protesters than actual attendees but the service continued as scheduled despite efforts from some protesters to disrupt the event.
Categories: Christian Post

ISIS advances in Syria

Mission Network News - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:00am

Before/After battle map of the Jobar District.
(Image credit @Karim Faour via Syrian Perspective Facebook page)

Syria (MNN) -- ISIS advances over the weekend are putting Syria back into the international spotlight. According to BBC News, ISIS advances that began a week ago brought terrorists within six miles of Kobane, a Kurdish town in northern Syria, on Sunday. ISIS advances last week resulted in another 60 Syrian villages falling to the renowned black flag. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Kurdish forces withdrew and 39 villages fell to ISIS on Friday alone. Between 130,000 and 200,000 Syrian refugees fled from Kobane into Turkey as ISIS militants approached their community. Most Syrian Kurds crossed the border when Turkey created an opening stretching 19 miles; however, by Monday, Syria's neighbor had closed all but two border posts. Turkey already houses over 1.5 million Syrian refugees. This weekend's influx, the biggest since Syria's conflict began 3 1/2 years ago, added thousands more. According to CNN, the recent release of 49 Turkish hostages--captured when ISIS took over Mosul this summer--has freed up Turkey to join an international coalition to combat ISIS. However, underlying tensions between Turkey and Kurdistan are being inflamed by the sudden addition of Syrian Kurdish refugees. Christian Aid Mission, your link to indigenous missions, has been partnering with indigenous ministries in the Middle East to provide physical and spiritual assistance to refugees since the start of Syria's crisis.

(Photo credit Christian Aid)

With financial support from Christian Aid, local believers are providing food, blankets, clothing, milk for children, and shelter to needy refugee families. They are also praying with refugees and listening to their heartbreaking stories, as well as sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. The need is immense and Christian Aid’s network of indigenous ministries in adjoining countries, as well as within Syria itself, is poised to respond with more emergency relief. They are pleading for Christians around the world to assist them through prayers and financial support. Help missionaries share God's love with Syrian refugees here. Will you pray for indigenous missionaries in Turkey as they care for even more Syrian refugees? Pray for peace in Syria and in its neighboring countries, and for comfort to those who have been traumatized by their experiences. Pray that the love of Jesus as demonstrated by Christian workers will open doors to share the Gospel with refugee families. Ask the Lord to encourage Syrian believers and provide reassurance that they have not been forgotten. More Middle East stories here.
Categories: Christian Post

Moeller named Biblica CEO

Mission Network News - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:00am

Carl Moeller named Biblica CEO.

USA (MNN) -- Biblica announced Monday that its Board of Directors, by unanimous vote, has appointed Dr. Carl A. Moeller as its Chief Executive Officer, effective October 14, 2014. Since 2000, Dr. Moeller served three years as a pastor at Saddleback Church, then nine years as president and CEO for Open Doors, USA, before founding Sequoia Global Resources in 2012. He will replace Doug Lockhart, who announced last March that he would transition from his role as Biblica’s CEO by early 2015. As president of Open Doors, Dr. Moeller helped awaken churches in the West to the ongoing persecution of Christians in other parts of the world. During his time with Sequoia Global Resources, he helped cultivate philanthropic partnerships to address some of the most intractable global needs, including poverty, autism, education, and more. He has worked in more than 75 countries around the world and is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Free Church. "Throughout our search, we have been careful to seek God’s wisdom and direction as we make this important selection. We feel confident that Carl is the right person to lead Biblica into our next season of ministry," said Rob Gluskin, chair of Biblica's Board of Directors. "His unique combination of global experience, organizational leadership, and ministry-mindedness is exactly what we need as we help millions of people around the world connect more deeply with the Scriptures." "I am grateful that Carl answered the call to become the next leader of Biblica," said outgoing CEO Doug Lockhart. “Biblica is an amazing ministry, and I believe God will continue to bless its work under Carl’s leadership." Mission Network News caught up with Moeller after the announcement was made. He talked about how his experience with Open Doors has prepared him for his work at Biblica, "knowing brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer--even lose their lives to obtain a copy of God's Word. So to work with an organization that serves the persecuted church, providing Bibles resources for more than 100 million people around the world, is a perfect fit." What's the commonality? "Biblica is a natural partner with organizations like Open Doors who serve persecuted Christians, because we're able to let them focus on the things that they do best, while we focus on the things that we do best, which is the Bible and getting a readable translation of God's Word into people's hands and into their hearts." Moeller says while Americans can get Bibles, there's a problem in the USA. "Are we getting the Bible into our hearts? Are we reading it well? And are we engaging with it? I believe this is another call on Biblica. We must make that challenge as well, not just taking Bibles across the globe." Dr. Moeller will assume the role of CEO on October 14, 2014. "Biblica has been doing Kingdom work for over 200 years: providing Bibles for those who don’t have any and helping those who do to experience them more deeply," he said. "I am so thrilled to be joining this incredible global ministry." Moeller will helm a global leadership team consisting of Scott Bolinder, Executive Vice President; Bob Dinolfo, Chief Financial Officer; Ken Norwood, Vice President of Philanthropy and Major Relations; Munengi Mulandi, Area Executive Director for Africa; Stephen Cave, Area Executive Director for Europe; Esteban Fernandez, Area Executive Director for Latin America; and Richard Loh, Area Executive Director for East Asia Pacific.
Categories: Christian Post

Pakistan: vulnerability for Christians

Mission Network News - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

Pakistan (MNN/VOM) -- In Pakistan, believers marked the one-year anniversary of the All Saints Church bombing in Peshawar. On 22 September 2013, two suicide bombers attacked, killing 98 people. Over 150 were injured. Though regarded as the worst attack on a church in the country's history, Christians and other religious minorities remain vulnerable, despite government efforts to quell extremist persecution. At the same time, the country's blasphemy laws remain firmly in place. The message this sends to the Christian community is, "You don't matter." Blasphemy laws are often wielded as a weapon against Christians, placing the burden of proof on the accused, rather than on the accuser. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the Voice of the Martyrs USA, says abuse of the law is rampant. "If you have a property dispute, if you have some kind of a relational dispute, you can simply accuse somebody of blasphemy and they get locked up for years even if there's no evidence, even if there's no case against them." The figurehead for that issue is Asia Bibi. In June 2009, she was involved in an argument with a group of Muslim women with whom she had been harvesting berries after the other women became angry at her for drinking the same water as they drank. One of the women accused her of blasphemy, and Asia was arrested and imprisoned. Nettleton says, "When that kind of a conversation can lead to five years in prison, you can imagine that any Christian thinks twice about sharing their faith. They think twice about sharing Jesus with their Muslim neighbors and co-workers and friends." Asia was convicted in 2009 of blasphemy against the prophet Mohamed, sentenced to death, but appealed immediately. Nettleton says, "That appeal was a couple of years ago, and she's been waiting ever since for the High Court to hear her appeal. We've had six times now where they've announced a hearing and said, Yes, we're going to have a hearing,' and they have delayed for some reason or another."

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs USA)

According to the Voice of the Martyrs, last week's court hearing was postponed again, but this time reportedly at the request of her husband, Ashiq Masih. "The judge has said that this going to be the last time. The hearing is now scheduled for October 16. Basically the judge has said, 'We are going to have that hearing one way or another.'" Nettleton goes on to say that even if things go Bibi's way in the appeal, it's still not over. "Even if the court dismisses the charges and she walks out of the courtroom a free woman, she's not a safe woman at that point. There have been threats against her. What we hope for is justice and that will mean that she's set free. But then, at that point, she becomes a marked woman on the outside of prison."

(Photo courtesy Voice of the Martyrs)

A demand for change would go deep, says Nettleton. "Really, the injustice of the blasphemy laws is something that needs to be addressed by the Pakistani government, and it's something that so far they haven't addressed in the main due to the pressure from radicals in Pakistan who don't want the laws to change." Please continue to pray for Asia Bibi, as well as for her husband, Ashiq, and their daughters. "Pray for justice. We pray for a fair hearing. We pray for the judges to rule fairly and correctly. And I think we need to pray for the safety in the process. The judges in her case have been threatened." For the Church at large in Pakistan, "Pray for encouragement, that they won't be overcome by fear, but that they can march boldly forward and can be bold witnesses for Christ in spite of the risk that that entails." You can also voice your support for Asia's release by signing the online petition at www.CallForMercy.com and by writing letters to her in prison at www.PrisonerAlert.com.
Categories: Christian Post

A 5k someone runs for you

Mission Network News - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo courtesy of MCFBO Sweden Facebook)

Kenya (MNN) -- What keeps you from signing up for a 5k? Is it because you're not in running shape? Are you too busy? Or do you just hate running? Well, these are not excuses anymore! Madeleine School, a ministry partner of Orphan Outreach, is hosting a 5k tomorrow in Kenya. And here's the best part: you sign up, but somebody else runs. But this is more than a race. It is an effort to transform the lives of an entire community. Background of Orphan Outreach partnership Tiffany Taylor of Orphan Outreach says, "When Orphan Outreach was looking for partners in Kenya, we came across the Madeleine School which is in the Bungoma region. We were just so moved by what the locals were trying to do there by educating these children who are truly some of the most vulnerable children in really desperate need." According to Orphan Outreach, 71% of the population of 40 million people live below the poverty line. 1.2 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and many more die because of Malaria. Children, especially girls, have little chance of being educated. Madeleine School was started in 2006. The school is located in a farming district in western Kenya and serves around 130 children. Many of the children who attend Madeleine School come from poor families with lots of kids. Often they are orphans living with relatives. It isn't an easy life. Madeleine School provides these children with a meal every day on top of their education. The work done at the school is run by nationals of a local church. Taylor explains this is a key element when choosing partners. "We really want to come alongside nationals in all the countries where we serve because those nationals understand the culture of their country and the needs. And we partner with Christian ministries whose goal is to bring the Gospel to the children." Orphan Outreach assists with these efforts and also provides an agricultural program and monthly sponsorships for the children. Right now they also have a medical ministry team in Kenya. Some of the team will be running the "Run for Life" 5k. The bibs cost $15, a low price compared to many races in the United States. This 5k provides money for the school to continue operation and for the Kenyans running in it. Orphan Outreach is excited to be a part of this race because it is a good way to reach out to the community and raise awareness about Madeleine School. Those hosting the race are overjoyed by the amount of participants. They are over their limit of 200 printed bibs. But don't worry! You can still buy a bib to be worn at next year's event, and the money will still help. For more information on the event, visit the Orphan Outreach Facebook page here. "It's really been a blessing to have this race as a unique way to make a difference for the school," Taylor says. Why should you get involved? "We feel really strongly that God has called everyone to make a difference in His world for widows and orphans and their need. And this is a perfect example of a project where we are reaching out to children that are very vulnerable," Taylor explains. She says providing education for these children is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in their region. If you would like to support Orphan Outreach by sponsoring a child, click here. In the meantime, pray for their mission team serving in Kenya right now. Pray for them to bring the hope of the Gospel into their everyday conversations and interactions with the people of that community. Pray for the school to flourish, and for the staff to remain steadfast. Read more stories about Orphan Outreach here.
Categories: Christian Post

Wars and rumors of wars

Mission Network News - Tue, 09/23/2014 - 5:00am

(Photo credit U.S. Dept. of Defense)

Iraq (MNN) -- According to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Europe is edging closer to war. Blair warns that airstrikes won't be enough to stop Islamic State terrorists and says "boots on the ground" may be necessary. Meanwhile, Iraqi seminary students helped by Open Doors USA are fighting a battle of their own. War on ISIS? On Sunday, Blair spoke with CNN about British involvement in the fight against ISIS.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

"It's now very obvious--from Syria, from Libya, from everything that's happening in the world--that this problem isn't going away," Blair told CNN's Candy Crowley. "You certainly need to fight groups like ISIS on the ground. It is possible that those people who are there locally and who have the most immediate interest in fighting ISIS can carry on the ground offensive against them…. But I think there will undoubtedly be, over time, a need to hit ISIS not simply through an aerial campaign, but also on the ground. "And the question will be, 'Can those people--if they're supported locally--do that job, or will we have to supplement that?" Spiritual warfare On-the-ground in Iraq, ministry workers are waging war of a different kind. A few months before ISIS began its campaign of terror in Iraq, Martin* and Daniel* took an online pastoral course offered by Open Doors. Practical application would soon follow in the form of ISIS invasion. ISIS took Martin and Daniel's village over the summer when its Kurdish defenders took flight. The seminary students also ran for their lives and are taking refuge in Kurdish city. With help from the Lord and their brothers and sisters in Christ, these pastors-in-training are making the most of their situation. "Everything that I've learned at school and in the pastoral course I can now use to serve these people," says Martin about the refugee families he shepherds. Open Doors sends relief aid to Martin's church. and Martin helps deliver it to his fellow refugees.

(Photo credit Open Doors)

As they care for spiritual and physical needs of ISIS refugees, Gospel workers like Martin and Daniel often feel abandoned. But letters of encouragement, prayers, and support from the worldwide Church help these believers find a second wind. "When I read the words of encouragement, I wanted to cry," said Daniel. "When you're in such a situation, you think that the world has forgotten about us. But now I see that our brothers and sisters are thinking about us and praying for us." Send words of encouragement to a persecuted Christian here.
Categories: Christian Post

Transformation amid war

Mission Network News - Mon, 09/22/2014 - 5:00am

Rebel in northern CAR.
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Central African Republic (MNN) -- Anyone informed about the situation in Central African Republic most likely associates the country with war, violence, starvation. These words are so different from "transformation." Yet, The JESUS Film Project (JFP) is seeing transformation among the Sango-speaking people, due to the Sango "JESUS" film. A group was recently baptized, and six churches have been planted so far. "The people were so hungry for the teaching found in Walking With Jesus: after the fifth episode finished, they asked to watch the series again!" the ministry reports. According to the Joshua Project, there are approximately 442,000 Sango people in CAR, and 49% are evangelical believers. They have many Scripture resources available to them in their heart language, including the JESUS film.

(Photo credit JFP)

Pray for the Gospel to continue to heal CAR through the JESUS film. JFP distributes the film JESUS, a two-hour docudrama about the life of Christ based on the Gospel of Luke. The film has been seen in every country of the world and translated into hundreds of languages since its initial release in 1979. As a result, more than 200 million people have indicated decisions to accept Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. The JESUS Film Project is a ministry of Cru, an interdenominational Christian evangelism and discipleship ministry committed to giving people everywhere the opportunity to know and experience God's love and plan for their lives. Learn more about their work by visiting JFP's Web site.
Categories: Christian Post