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10 people killed, churches burned in Niger

Mission Network News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am

Evangelical church in Niger torched
by Islamic radicals. (Photo by Danette Childs)

Niger (MNN) -- Picture this: You go to church one Sunday. You worship God, hear an inspiring message, pray, talk to friends and then you leave, hoping to return the following week. Unfortunately, when you return, your church has been burned to the ground by protesters. That's exactly what happened to 61 churches in Niger over the weekend, says missionary Neal Childs who's working there. "Last week, churches all across the nation went on without any idea that churches would be burned." Childs works with churches in the region. "Four of our churches were attacked. Three [they] actually got in and did great damage. Two of our pastors' homes were also burned. A Bible school was also burned." Childs says the attacks happened simultaneously in Niamey. It appears police and other security officers were overwhelmed and couldn't control it.

Despite the hot fire, this Bible wasn't completely burned. (Photo by Danette Childs)

How has this affected the church?  "The church is strong in Niger, and it's growing. And we believe that as a result of the persecution, it's going to grow even more. All this senseless attack will only be turned around for the growth of the church." The good news: not one Christian was killed in the attacks. Childs says rioters and police officers suffered the casualties. President of Open Doors David Curry says protesters in predominately Muslim Niger violently reacted to the Charlie Hebdo comics in France. "What they're doing is lashing out at what they consider to be as their prime enemies--or someone they see is aligned with the West--and attacking churches. It's caused quite a bit of destruction." Niger isn't even listed on the Open Doors Word Watch List of nations responsible for persecution against Christians. But, Curry says, "Christians are always a target in many of these countries." Curry says the last 12 months were the most violent against Christians in modern history. Will it spread? "It's going to continue to spread in Nigeria, Chad, in some of these countries where Boko Haram and al-Shabaab and the like are present in Africa. So yes, it will continue to spread. There's no doubt in my mind about that." Open Doors helps in situations like this. "We help rebuild churches that have been destroyed because we don't want that to be their victory. A lot of times we help with trauma counseling. Those are the kinds of things that Open Doors is doing, and you can be a part of." Support Open Doors USA work here.  You can listen to David Curry's complete interview here.
Categories: Mission Network News

Hewa killings planned in Papua New Guinea

Mission Network News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am

Visiting a Hewa village on a previous occasion.
(Photo and caption courtesy of New Tribes Mission).

PNG (MNN) -- Papua New Guinea is a mixed bag of reactions when it comes to sharing the Gospel. Some people respond with joy and excitement and are eager to hear more about Jesus. Others cling to their old religions and reject the life-giving news. New Tribes Mission witnesses many exciting things going on in PNG. This past week, for instance, they were able to present the newly-translated New Testament to the WAXE people after many years of building relationships with the group. However, they also experience hard hearts and the devastation that brings to entire tribes of people. Jonathan Kopf, a missionary with NTM, met with Hewa tribal leaders over the weekend to beg for the lives of four women and their families. NTM's David Abbot reports: In response to a measles outbreak in August 2014, Hewa village leaders called for a “court” meeting to decide which women were causing the deaths. As a result, it was decided that four Hewa women were responsible. Now, men are planning to kill these four women, their children, and their grandchildren. The Hewa have an ancestral practice of killing women and children who they suspect are possessed with evil spirits. During this recent “court,” a “head witch” was asked to join the village leaders to decide which women were causing the deaths. The village leaders have heard God’s Word in the past but have chosen to reject it and continue their ancestral practices. As of now, there's no report on how the meeting went, but you can still pray. The major concern is that the Hewa have not shown any interest in the Gospel, so common ground for discussion will be hard for the missionaries to find. For there to be any change in these practices, it will have to start at the heart. Pray that God will soften the hearts of the Hewa and that they would embrace Jesus as their Lord. Pray for the safety of these women and for the eradication of witchcraft in the land. Pray also for wisdom for Jonathan Kopf and his team as they continue reaching out to the Hewa.

This is Susana and her husband; he was killed shortly after the photo was taken. Susana is one of the four women facing a death sentence.

Categories: Mission Network News

Jesus Revealed by Jason Nelson

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am
Worship leader, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and soulful contemporary singer/songwriter Jason Nelson burst onto the scene in 2005 with his independent albums, I Shall Live, Brand New Day, and Place of Worship in 2008. As his ongoing ascent to the forefront of Gospel music continued, Jason penned the title track "Thirsty" for Marvin Sapp's #1 album release of the same name. In 2012 Jason signed with Verity/RCA Inspiration and released Shifting The Atmosphere, which debuted at #3 on the Gospel Album chart and featured two Top 5 Gospel Radio hits, the title track Shifting The Atmosphere and Nothing Without You. His major[...]
Categories: Christian Music News

North Point Music: Beginnings by North Point Music

New Release Tuesday - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:00am
North Point Music continues its tradition of creating accessible, innovative worship music with the label's latest project, North Point Music: Beginnings. The double disc, available Jan. 20, 2015, showcases the best worship offerings from popular North Point Music albums and artists. Produced by two-time GRAMMY Award-winning producer Nathan Nockels (Matt Redman, Laura Story, Passion) and Steve Fee, Beginnings comprises 21 total tracks. The compilation is North Point Music's first, designed to bring together fan favorites from both past and present. Disc one, titled "Then," highlights music from previous North Point Music live releases, including North Point Live, North Point Live: Awake,[...]
Categories: Christian Music News