Saturday, 21 April 2018

Syrian state TV claims rebels are set to quit enclave near Damascus

Syrian state TV said on Saturday that rebels had agreed to surrender an enclave northeast of Damascus and go to opposition areas at the border with Turkey, a withdrawal that would clinch another victory for President Bashar al-Assad.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels in the eastern Qalamoun pocket of territory northeast of Damascus.

Smoke rises from Yarmouk Palestinian camp in Damascus.
Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, is seeking to recover control of the last few rebel enclaves near Damascus, building on momentum from the defeat of the insurgency in the eastern Ghouta, the last major opposition stronghold near the capital.

The eastern Qalamoun area is 40 km (25 miles) from Damascus and includes several towns an expanse of mountainous territory.

The Single Solution to Destroy a Stronghold Once and for All


Admittedly, I'm a sucker for a nice lawn. I like the grass to be thick and green, borders to be edged and no weeds in between. The edges are easy, but the weeds can seem impossible to control. As many of us know, without the proper care, these often-unsightly nuisances can eventually take over. And they have a penchant for coming back, over and over again. Cutting them down, or even casually plucking them out is only a temporarily solution. To fully remove a weed, you have to get to its root.

The Root of Strongholds

The struggles and strongholds in our lives are much like weeds. They come in all kinds of appearances. Some initially look nice and flowery, others, however, are ugly and prickly. Whatever their appearance, they are all enemies and aim to choke out everything healthy. Their removal is the same, too. Only casually dealing with a stronghold might mask its symptoms for a time, but it will come back with a vengeance if the root isn't destroyed.

As I discuss in my book, Activating the Power of God's Word, the root of a stronghold is often a lie planted somewhere in the past. As the lie grows, a "means of relief" eventually presents itself, which can include money, fame, substances or even unhealthy relationships. Finally, after falling to these pressures, guilt and shame then kick in, accompanied by more lies, which eventually lead back to the old, familiar crutch. And on and on the cycle goes.

Chicago church leaders unite to oppose massive tax threat to religious groups


Religious leaders in Chicago are fighting to end a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that would impose upwards of $1 billion in taxes for churches around the nation.

The lawsuit, Gaylor v. Mnuchin, was filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The case aims to end the parsonage allowance, a federal tax provision used by religious establishments such as churches, mosques, and synagogues, which offers a housing allowance to help religious leaders live in the communities they serve.

Friday, 20 April 2018

How a new Utah law is promoting marriage prep classes


Utah is encouraging its citizens to better prepare for marriage by discounting the cost of marriage licenses for couples who complete marriage preparation classes.
  
The law, signed March 20 by Utah Governor Gary Herbert, will discount marriage licenses by $20 for couples who complete at least three hours of premarital counseling or six hours of premarital classes at least 14 days before applying for a marriage license. These services may be provided by either religious or secular organizations.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Lisa Bevere: The Battle of the Sexes Can Be Solved With Dominion, Not Domination

Lisa Bevere says men and women don't have to fight or be at odds with one another. She says both sexes are currently fighting to dominate the other—when what the Bible prescribes is actually dominion. Find out what she means in this video.

Why We Must Stop the Left's War on America

Those of us who oppose the radical left's agenda too often respond by attacking singular issues, without regard for the greater battle being waged. If there's one consistent beat to which the radical left marches, it is the demonization of Western civilization.

Non-leftists have failed to produce an antidote to this far more poisonous message. Schools have been brainwashing impressionable minds for decades yet, suddenly, we're shocked at the lack of knowledge our young people have about this nation, its founding, its laws and the tremendous strides it has made for humanity.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Watch for Symptoms of These 10 Types of Damaged Souls

One of the things Jesus did was take all emotional upheaval and wounds in your place. His unfailing love and perfect work empowers your freedom. You must not and cannot get trapped in condemnation and self-righteousness. Having a strong understanding of God's grace and goodness will empower your recovery.

Part of maturing in the new nature is accessing new ways of thinking. The Word of God becomes the road map to proper thinking and therefore opens the gateways to kingdom living. Once you think differently, you live differently. Renewing the mind is not a single-step process but a journey of continual change, growth and renewal.

Here is a list of 10 types of damaged souls, their symptoms and Scripture passages to renew your mind and put you on the path toward proper thinking.
  1. Conflicted soul: Unable to make rational decisions, tossed to and fro, highly unstable and overly emotional

Syrian patriarchs condemn 'unjust aggression' of Friday allied airstrikes, ask for prayers


The airstrikes carried out by the United States, the United Kingdom and France against Syria on Friday constituted “unjust” and “brutal” aggression, the patriarchs of the major Christian Churches in Syria have said in a joint statement.

President Donald Trump ordered the airstrikes along with the U.K. and France in a joint show of military force following the suspected use of chemical warfare by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. A total of 105 missiles targeted chemical weapons facilities in the country late Friday night.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Millions to be without electricity by 2030, report warns


Double the population of the USA and the UK will be without electricity by 2030 unless governments invest more in renewable energy, a new report is warning.

'Faster progress is needed,' the report by Christian charity Tearfund stresses, as it calls for three-quarters of energy investment to be made in renewable sources.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Archbishop Fisher: Priests will suffer punishment before breaking confessional seal

Amid attacks on the seal of confession in Australia, Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney has said priests will suffer punishment before betraying their sacred obligations.

Confession “is threatened today both by neglect and attack. But priests, we know, will suffer punishment, even martyrdom, rather than break the seal of Confession,” Archbishop Fisher said April 1 during his homily for Easter Sunday at St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney.

“For Confession is a privileged encounter between penitent and God; here the Christian enters the silence and secrecy of the Tomb, to be re-Eastered; and no earthly authority may enter there.”

BREAKING: Ted Cruz grills Facebook’s Zuckerberg for censoring conservatives

During Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the United States Senate on Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz grilled the Facebook founder about the social media giant’s alleged pattern of discrimination against conservative voices.

Cruz began by asking whether Facebook considers itself a neutral forum, to which Zuckerberg said Facebook views itself as “a platform for all ideas." Cruz followed up by noting that online services are not held liable for their content so long as they are a “neutral public forum.”

He then asked again whether Facebook considers itself a neutral public forum, or if it engages in political speech.
Zuckerberg answered that Facebook’s “goal” was “certainly not to engage in political speech.” Pressing further, Cruz told him that “a great many Americans” were “deeply concerned” that Facebook was engaged in a “pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship."


He cited several examples of Facebook suppressing conservative views from its trending news stories, such as stories on the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, and others. He also highlighted Facebook shutting down a Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day page, blocking more than two dozen Catholic pages, and classifying conservative video bloggers Diamond and Silk as “unsafe for the community.”

Monday, 9 April 2018

Babies Born After IVF Treatments May Have Greater Heart Disease Risk


Children who are born with the use of intensive IVF treatment could have a greater risk of developing heart disease later in life compared to those conceived naturally, according to scientists who will make presentations at a U.K.-based group's conference this week.

The issue will be discussed at the annual conference of ISMAAR, which promotes education, training and research into mild approaches in assisted reproduction, to be held Thursday and Friday in London, Daily Mail reported, quoting the group's president, Prof. Geeta Nargund.

Fertility clinics administer high doses of powerful drugs to stimulate egg production, which could cause higher blood pressure and stiffness and thickness of arteries, according to some scientists.
The United Kingdom has about 66,000 IVF children, many of whom are suspected to be born through the "high stimulation" approach.

Syria 'chemical weapons' attack: Christian charity 'deeply alarmed' as West's response comes under spotlight

The West's response to atrocities in Syria came under the spotlight on Monday as horrific images purported to show a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town on Saturday.

If the death toll is confirmed it would be the worst chemical attack in Syria since more than 80 died in Khan Sheikhoun in early April last year.

Jaish al-Islam, the last remaining rebel group in Eastern Ghouta, has agreed to leave its base in Douma for an opposition-held area in northern Syria, after the chemical attack killed dozens of civilians.
US President Donald Trump warned there would be a 'big price to pay' for the attack in Douma, in the Eastern Ghouta region, near the capital Damascus, branding Syria's President Bashar al-Assad an 'animal'.

Pakistani doctor whose selfie with Pope Francis went viral is to become a priest

A Pakistani Christian doctor whose selfie with Pope Francis went viral is to train to be a priest.

Daniel Bashir, a 26-year-old medicin Karachi, told AFP that he took the selfie with the pope during a youth conference at the Vatican last month.


He presented Francis with an ajrak shawl, a traditional garment from Sindh province, and the two posed for the picture in which the pontiff can be seen with the gift draped around his shoulders and grinning broadly.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

US, Mexican bishops oppose Trump's plan to send National Guard to border


Bishops in both the US and Mexico have criticized the Trump administration’s plan to send National Guard troops to the southern border of the United States.

“The new measures on the border US-MX. Once again a senseless action and a disgrace on the administration,” tweeted Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio April 5.

“These measures manifest repression, [sic] fear, a perception that everyone is an enemy, and a very clear message: we don’t care about anybody else. This is not the American Spirit.”

Friday, 6 April 2018

Frustrated parents to pull kids out of school for a day as part of grassroots ‘sex ed sit out’


A grassroots movement of frustrated public school parents who want to end the sexualization of their children during class time has turned their frustration to action with a “Sex Ed Sit Out” protest on April 23.

The protest, launched by a few moms on social media who were troubled by the graphic nature of current sex education resources in schools, has grown into a global movement with protests being held in multiple U.S. cities and also Australia and the UK.

Parents are demanding to know why their children are being taught how to have anal and oral sex, masturbate one another, and question one’s gender. Caryl Ayala, a former public school teacher and organizer of the Austin, Texas, protest, said, “We are uniting with parents across the globe to demand that our rights as parents be respected regarding the teaching of sexuality and sexual orientation. Hands off our kids!”

#Hellgate: Cardinal Burke accuses Pope Francis of 'increasing confusion' over Church teaching


One of Pope Francis' most high-profile critics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, has accused him of 'increasing the confusion' in the Catholic Church following the pope's reported denial of the existence of hell.

Speaking yesterday to the Italian Catholic news agency La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana in an interview translated for Lifesite News, Burke labelled the Vatican response to the furore following the report atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari 'highly inadequate'. It had said the pope was misquoted.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Christians Outraged as China Pulls Bibles From Bookstores to Comply With 'Values of Socialism'


The Chinese government has reportedly banned the sale of Bibles at online bookstores across the country to comply with a "white paper" that is dictating compliance with the "core values of socialism."

Australia's ABC News reported on Wednesday that copies of the Gospels have been disappearing from online retailers following the release of the "China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief" document.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Telltale Marks of an Abusive Church Leader


In all settings, both secular and religious, charismatic and non-charismatic, leaders can be abusive, taking advantage of their people and using them for all kinds of fleshly purposes, from financial gain to sex to control. But we charismatics can be especially prone to abusive leadership. After all, we do believe in "the anointing," and we don't want to "touch God's anointed," to sin against the man of God who is backed by the Spirit of God. And so abusive leaders can more easily take advantage of us.

In Psalm 105:15, God says, "Do not touch not My anointed ones, and do no harm to My prophets." Have you ever heard a pastor quote this verse, threatening you with divine judgment if you dared to differ with his authority? Has a self-proclaimed prophet warned you of the dire consequences of rejecting his words, using this very text? In reality, the verse has little (or nothing) to do with church leadership.

Irish policy aimed at Catholic schools raises fears of discrimination


A proposed policy in Ireland that would ban Catholic schools from prioritizing Catholic students on wait lists is being criticized as discriminatory, since it would not apply to other religious schools.

Faith in Our Schools, a newly-formed Irish group, says the proposal “openly discriminates against the conscience and educational rights of Catholic parents” and the “religious, autonomy, and associational rights of Catholic faith schools,” according to the Irish Times.

In Ireland, the Catholic Church runs more than 90 percent of schools, which also receive government funds.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

'YouTube Is Fighting God': Christian News Source Banned From Video Platform


TruNews was notified Monday morning by YouTube's cybercensors that the Christian news service was permanently banned from posting content on the social media site. The social media tech giant terminated TruNews' account.

YouTube slapped TruNews with "three strikes" based on newscasts recorded and posted online more than four years ago. One of the TruNews episodes that also offended YouTube's censors was Rick Wiles' 2017 movie review of The Promise: The Truth About the Armenian Genocide.

TruNews founder and anchorman Wiles blasted YouTube's censors as the "new Nazi tech tyrants."

4 Christians Shot Dead in Easter Monday Terrorist Attack


Four members of a Christian family who were visiting family in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, were shot dead on Easter Monday. One of the victims was a woman. One young Christian girl was also injured in the attack and has been admitted to the intensive care unit of Civil Hospital Quetta as she fights for her life.

The attack happened at around 7 p.m. (3 p.m. GMT) when two men on a motorbike opened fire on a rickshaw containing the Christian revelers on Shah Zaman Road. The deceased family were all going out for a meal with other family members and had only traveled to Quetta to share Easter with them.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Church of England to consider 'animal baptism'

The Church of England is poised to consider the baptism of animals for the first time, it was announced yesterday Easter Sunday.

The ruling General Synod, which is next scheduled to meet in July, will consider an advisory report compiled by a panel of bishops and others entitled All of God's Creation.

Synod members will be asked to consider the implications of introducing a liturgy for pets 'in the light of an emerging consensus about the value of the environment and an increasing consciousness of animal sentience and awareness', the report says.


Speaking at a press conference to highlight the report's main findings, Rt Revd James Graham, the committee chair, said: 'The kingdom of God is about renewing all of creation, including the created order. It would be possible, therefore, to envisage a situation where dogs and cats and other pets could be ceremonially sprinkled with water to symbolise their full inclusion in the renewal of all things.'

Pope Francis says hell doesn't exist – but I know he's wrong

Hell does not exist, Pope Francis has been quoted as saying. If he did say this or something like it, perhaps as part of his wider mission to refashion the Catholic Church as more merciful than perhaps it has seemed in the past, there might be another way to interpret it, one more relatable to the direct experience of ordinary people out there.

The experience of people such as myself , people who have battled and (mostly) conquered some pretty serious and rooted personality flaws over many decades, is that hell does indeed exist. I'll leave questions around the afterlife to the theologians. For quotidian toilers such as me, it definitely exists in the here and now. And one message of Easter, the redemption of the Resurrection, is that it can be conquered, defeated, overcome – in the here and now.

Easter is a message of triumph over hell.
What the pope said was radical because hell and heaven have been, and are, seen as future consequences for our present actions. You will go to hell for this – but only when you die. It doesn't take me to point out how this can be abused by the unscrupulous to justify sin without apparent consequence, how it can be abused by authority, by parents, organisations both religious and secular.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

'Opportunities for conversion' - the liturgies of Holy Week

Any priest will tell you that Easter Sunday Mass is one of the most highly attended of the year, alongside Christmas Mass and, at least in the United States, Mass on Ash Wednesday. But Easter Sunday Mass, while popular, is not the only important or beautiful liturgy celebrated during the days of Holy Week and the Easter Triduum.

In fact, the liturgies of Holy Week are designed to foster in Catholics an intimate and historical connection to the Church, and to death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Timothy O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, gave CNA insight into the symbolism and foundations to the Chrism Mass, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Tenebrae, Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, and Easter Vigil.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

How to get holy during Holy Week

As Catholics around the world are buying Easter candy and dyeing boiled eggs, two priests have offered suggestions for getting the most out of Holy Week.

 “The most important, I believe, is to take advantage of the opportunities of prayer, especially attending each of the Triduum liturgies,” said Fr. Gary Benz of the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D.

“I’m not sure if a lot of Catholics have ever attended all three liturgies – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday Vigil – and experienced the whole paschal mystery in the passion, death and resurrection,” Fr. Benz told CNA.

James Goll: Satan Fights Dirty—How You Can Prepare


You have to run over the devil before he runs over you. You are standing on a battlefield (perhaps a different one than you were last year at this time). You may be standing in the middle of an army or you may be standing all alone. Are you just going to stand there, waiting to see what will happen? Or are you going to do something that will allow you to get and keep the upper hand?

Monday, 26 March 2018

Pope Francis Defrocks 9 Monks for Illegal Exorcisms, Following 'Prophetess' Who Heard 'Voice of God'

Pope Francis has defrocked nine monks of a monastery in Ukraine for performing exorcism prayers without authorization and for spreading messages from a nun who claimed God had spoken directly to her, according to reports.

The nine, who were from St. Theodore Studite's Monastery in the village of Kolodiivka in Ternopil region, refused to be corrected and "did not accept the admonitions of the Church authorities and refused to listen to them … (and) continued to violate the rules of the monks," the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said in a statement, according to The Daily Mail.

Pope sends prayers for victims of attack in France, fire in Russia


On Monday Pope Francis sent his prayers and condolences for victims of an alleged terrorist attack in southern France, and for those affected by a fire inside a shopping mall in Russia which has killed at least 64 people.

A fire broke out on the top floor of the Winter Cherry shopping and entertainment complex in Kemerovo, Russia on Sunday afternoon, engulfing the building and collapsing the roofs of two cinemas, Russia’s Investigative Committee stated.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

This Sunday, where will the millions of palms come from?


With the arrival of Palm Sunday, Catholics across the globe will soon be handed leaves as they walk into church. Some might fold them into elaborate little crosses. Kids will poke each other with them. But it's safe to say most won't know where they came from.

The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem the week before his passion and crucifixion. The Gospels attest that as Jesus entered the city, crowds lay down palm branches and cloaks as he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.

For centuries, Christians have commemorated the feast day that begins Holy Week by waving branches of either palm or another local tree, as well as with liturgical processions and other celebrations.

In the U.S. alone, nearly 18,000 Catholic parishes will celebrate Palm Sunday by blessing and distributing palm branches to the faithful. That makes millions of palm leaves each year – and that doesn’t include all of the Protestant churches that observe the tradition.

Youth say they want a Church that's transparent, up-to-date


At the end of a week-long meeting held at the Vatican, young people from around the world have urged the Church to be more authentic, modern and creative in the way it interacts with young people, and in addressing controversial contemporary issues.

“We want to say, especially to the hierarchy of the Church, that they should be a transparent, welcoming, honest, inviting, communicative, accessible, joyful and interactive community,” the youth delegates said in the final document of this week's pre-synod meeting in Rome.

“A credible Church,” they said, “is one which is not afraid to allow itself be seen as vulnerable.”

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Pope Francis' Holy Thursday Mass will be at a prison


Continuing his custom of saying Holy Thursday Mass outside a sacred place, Pope Francis this year will visit one of Rome’s most well-known prisons, the Regina Coeli, located in the historic Trastevere neighborhood.

The Pope will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper March 29. During the ceremony he will wash the feet of 12 inmates. He will also meet with prisoners and visit sick inmates in the prison’s infirmary.

The female nuclear physicist who created a fertility app


Meet Elina Berglund: a nuclear physicist who will be known as the woman who developed the first natural cycle fertility app to have been internationally certified as an effective means of avoiding pregnancy.

“It feels incredibly exciting that there is now an approved alternative to conventional pregnancy prevention methods, and that it’s possible to replace medication with technology,” Berglund told Business Insider.

The app, called Natural Cycles, was founded in Switzerland by Elina Berglund and her husband Raoul Scherwizl. They created the app as a way to go “beyond contraception,” and to “get to know your body and unique cycles,” according to their website.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

4 Tips to Aim Your Sword at the Enemy

Let me share with you some of the characteristics of men that I have seen who have their sword facing the enemy, alert like Gideon's men at the water (Judg. 7).

1) Commit to Be Clean

A man aiming his sword will one day in his life make a commitment to be clean. While speaking at singles and youth conferences, I often have young men and women come to the altar to commit their sexuality to Christ.

The Bible says, "For as [a man] thinketh (yes, I like the word thinketh) in his heart so is he" (Proverbs 23:7a, KJV). As a psychologist, I know we are today the sum of our commitments and the discipline to keep them. As a man, if I commit to something, I will attract the people and things I need to fulfill that commitment.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Free Speech Endangered If Twitter, Facebook and Google Continue Censorship, Conservative Leaders Warn


Marjorie Dannenfelser, Tony Perkins, Todd Starnes, Larry Elder, and Dennis Prager participate in a panel session on online censorship at Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters' (NRB) International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 2, 2018.
Leading tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter are censoring the online posts of Christians and conservatives — and if this trend continues, it won't be long before free speech in America is gone, conservative leaders have warned.

During a session on public policy and online censorship at Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters' (NRB) International Christian Media Convention, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn shared how, last year, Twitter blocked a campaign video in which she discussed her efforts to stop Planned Parenthood's "sale of baby body parts."

US bishops voice support for First Amendment Defense Act


The U.S. bishops have voiced their strong support for a bill protecting individuals and institutions from discrimination by the federal government based on their beliefs about marriage, regardless of what those beliefs are.

"We welcome and applaud the recent reintroduction of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA),” wrote Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville and Bishop James Conley of Lincoln in a March 14 statement. Archbishop Kurtz chairs the US bishops' Committee for Religious Liberty, while Bishop Conley is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

St Louis program trains priests in business, finances

While the intellectual formation of pastors is dominated by philosophy and theology, their pastoral duties also require something beyond the intellectual and spiritual aspects – a business component.

The Pastoral Leadership Institute has developed a curriculum to train priests in business and an administration skills, enabling pastors to better understand the financial properties of a parish.

Monday, 12 March 2018

7 Sure Signs You're in a 'Christian' Cultish Church

Are you in a Christian cult? A cult-like church? Is your church leadership manipulating and controlling you?

It's hard to believe these things happen—but they do. And many times you feel like you must be crazy or that the enemy is just making false accusations. I came out of a cultish church.

I'm offering you seven signs and personal examples of Christian cults and cult-like churches.


Want more on this topic? This book really helped me understand what I was dealing with and brought a lot of healing. Check it out heregoo.gl/MxswDA

Friday, 9 March 2018

Why We Must Win the Trust Battle

What is it that draws people to you? Dr. Steve Greene offers advice to Christian marketers on how to win consumers' trust and leave people with the answers they seek. Don't miss it.

Behar Reportedly Apologizes for Pence Remark, Some Not Buying It

Disney CEO Bob Iger
 A host of ABC News' The View, Joy Behar, has reportedly apologized for comments she made against Vice President Mike Pence's Christian faith.

Los Angeles Times reporter Daniel Miller tweeted Thursday that during a shareholders meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger "says Joy Behar apologized for things she has said about Christians and the Trump administration. Iger agrees that was appropriate."

Entertainment reporter Joe Flint of The Wall Street Journal tweeted Thursday, "Disney CEO Bob Iger says he took exception with Joy Behar's remarks about Christianity and VP Mike Pence. Says Behar apologized to Pence."

Thursday, 8 March 2018

6 Pastors Arrested in Rwanda for Planning to Defy Gov't Ban on 'Unclean' Churches

Rwandan police have arrested six Christian pastors on grounds that they are planning to defy a recent order that closed more than 700 churches that allegedly don't meet safety and cleanliness standards.

AFP reports that authorities in the African country announced Tuesday that they had arrested six "masterminds" plotting to defy the government's  shutdown of 714 churches and one mosque that were deemed unsafe, unclean and noisey in the capital city of Kigali.

The government accuses the religious leaders, all Pentecostals, of holding meetings where they discussed resistance of the order, which was issued last week.

Pentecostals worship at a church in Nigeria.
"After the suspension of churches that did not meet required standards, some church leaders began illegal meetings intended to defy and obstruct the directive," Rwanda National Police spokesperson Theos Badege told the international news agency. "Police began investigations to find the masterminds behind this illegal act."

Five Pakistan Christians attacked by mob while building a church wall

Five Christians were attacked by a mob of 20 as they tried to build a wall around their church in Pakistan on Sunday, according to the persecution website World Watch Monitor.

'Our church elder, George Masih, who is 70, was overseeing masons and labourers who were constructing the wall. We were praying [inside the church] when we heard shouting and yelling, and, when we rushed outside, we saw about 20 men, armed with clubs and axes, [who] were beating Masih and others,' said the pastor of the Pakistan Gospel Assemblies church in Yousufwala village, on the outskirts of the Punjabi city of Sahiwal.

George Masih (left) and his son Babar were taken to hospital after the attack.
The dispute is thought to centre around the use of the land, which was originally set apart for communal purposes though the pastor said they had obtained permission to build the church on the land three years ago.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Male escort outs 40 gay priests and seminarians in dossier sent to Vatican

A 1,200-page dossier compiled by a male escort identifying 40 priests and seminarians engaged in homosexual activity in Italy has been sent to the Vatican by the archdiocese of Naples.

In a statement on the diocesan website and reported by AP, Cardinal Cresenzio Sepe stressed that none of the identified priests worked in Naples, but said he forwarded the file to the Vatican because 'there remains the gravity of the cases for which those who have erred must pay the price, and be helped to repent for the harm done'.


The dossier, which contains WhatsApp chats and other evidence, was compiled by a gay escort, Francesco Mangiacapra. He has told Italian media that he outed the priests because he could no longer stand their hypocrisy.

Teach primary school children about money, says archbishop's charity

Primary school pupils should be taught how to manage money, according to a charity founded by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Just Finance Foundation, which provides training teachers and helps school savings clubs, said in a joint response with the Church of England to a Department for Education consultation that learning where money comes from, when to spend and how to save is vital to children's ability to navigate adult life.


It said teaching financial skills should be be a mandatory part of personal, social, health, and economic education (PSHE) in primary schools and warned that a 'strong focus on sex and relationships education' could squeeze out other important areas of the subject.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Vatican releases slap down document rebuking modern-day heresies

The Vatican has issued a major document slapping down what it sees as modern day heresies.

Placuit Deo, or 'Pleasing to God,' is the first major anti-heresy document for 18 years after the controversial Dominus Iesus was published in 2000.


The four-page letter released on Thursday largely steers clear of the controversies that haunted its predecessor, which was accused of having an air of superiority towards other religions, particularly in its claim that non-Christians 'objectively speaking ... are in a gravely deficient situation' with regard to salvation.

Nigerian bishops map out ways to promote 'culture of life'

Amid ongoing violence and attacks against human dignity in Nigeria, the Catholic bishops of the country released a pastoral communique promoting a culture of life within the Church and nation.
  
“As the Church prepares to mark the golden jubilee of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Humanae Vitae, we call on families to embrace and cultivate the culture of life, a culture marked by faith and solidarity,” read the statement released together by the bishops.

“In recognition of our divine mandate, may we remind all of the sacredness and inviolability of human life. No person, authority or institution has the right to terminate human life,” they continued.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Popular Christian Singer Declares Freedom From Satan's Attacks

Worship leader Kristian Stanfill says he was once held captive by the enemy and shame—but God freed him from all that. His song "Whole Heart" performed live at Passion 2018, is an ode to finding identity in Christ. Watch the official music video.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

More churches closed down in Algeria amid growing pressure on Christians

Two more churches have been closed down by local authorities in Algeria's north-western city of Oran amid growing pressure on Christians in the north African country, according to World Watch Monitor (WWM).

The two churches – L'Oratoire [The Oratory] in Oran's city centre, and a village church in Layayda (about 40km from Oran) – were sealed off by police on Tuesday this week, WWM reported.

According to the police notification, the churches did not have state approval. WWM said that the decision is not the first of its kind in Oran.

Under Algerian law all faiths are allowed to practise if they meet certain conditions, but proselytising is illegal.

The closures come after growing concerns about heightened government pressure on churches and Christians in Algeria, with the World Evangelical Alliance's (WEA) Religious Liberty Commission this week calling on authorities there to ensure religious freedom for people of all faiths.

What's in it for men? The benefits of getting married


While the phrase “ball and chain” is still sometimes tossed around by those who view marriage as a burden, a recent study shows that men who tie the knot reap a plethora of benefits.

“Indeed, the benefits of marriage for men are substantial by every conceivable measure, including money, a better sex life, and significantly better physical and mental health,” noted a recent study released by the Institute for Family Studies.

“There’s no doubt that marriage requires sacrifices… but it turns out that these sacrifices pay for themselves and more.”

Friday, 23 February 2018

What's the point of fasting, anyway?


God commanded it, Jesus practiced it, Church Fathers have preached the importance of it – fasting is a powerful and fundamental part of the Christian life.

But for many Catholics today, it's more of an afterthought: something we grudgingly do on Good Friday, perhaps on Ash Wednesday if we remember it. Would we fast more, especially during Lent, if we understood how helpful it is for our lives?

The answer to this, say both saints of the past and experts today, is a resounding “yes.”

“Let us take for our standard and for our example those that have run the race, and have won,” said Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo, founding executive director of the Institute of Catholic Culture and a deacon at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Mclean, Va., of the saints.

“And...those that have run the race and won have been men and women of prayer and fasting.”

So what, in essence, is fasting?

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Pope Francis makes historic retreat by accepting Nigerian Bishop's resignation

Pope Francis made a historic climb-down on Monday as he accepted the resignation of a Nigerian bishop who had long been rejected by his diocesan priests but had been vocally backed by the pontiff.

Francis had warned priests in Nigeria's southern Ahiara diocese that they could lose their jobs if they did not accept Monsignor Peter Ebere Okpaleke as their bishop, according to Associated Press. The priests were given 30 days to confirm their obedience to the appointment, and the pope told rebellious priests to write a letter of apology to Okpaleke. Though 200 priests backed Okpaleke, several others did not, the Vatican said yesterday.


Okpaleke was appointed as bishop of Ahiara, in the Mbaise region, by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, but had been opposed by local priests who rejected the leadership of a bishop who hailed from Anambra region, outside of Mbaise. The opposition was such that Okpaleke had to be installed as bishop outside the diocese.

Monday, 19 February 2018

James Goll: 15 Essential Keys for Dream Interpretation


Walking in dream language and tapping into the mind and heart of God can be an exciting and exhilarating journey. But understanding and interpreting the revelation He gives in dreams can often be a complex and even confusing process.

These 15 keys will help you to simplify the process of dream interpretation:

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Palestine asks Vatican to defend Jerusalem’s status quo

Ryadh al Maliki
The Palestinian Foreign Affairs minister, Ryadh al Maliki, met officials of the Vatican Secretariat of State Feb. 16, asking the Holy See to amplify its voice defending the status quo in Jerusalem.

“It is important to understand that the situation of Jerusalem also deals with Christians,” the minister told CNA after the meeting, during a short briefing with journalists in the State of Palestine’s recently opened embassy to the Holy See.

“We would like the Holy See lead a conference of Christians in the Middle East, in order to make their voice stronger.”

Chronic shortage in Religious Education teachers could fuel prejudice


Religious Education is facing a chronic shortage in teachers prompting warnings of an increase in prejudice and stereotyping because pupils will grow up with knowing about other faiths.

The Department for Education is failing to recruit enough religious studies teachers, the Religious Education Council (REC) said, after government statistics revealed it was one of the worst subject for attracting new teachers.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Lust and Being in This World but Not of It


The concept of being in the world but not of it has been interpreted in different ways. There are those who believe that you need to physically move away from society and put yourself in a monastery or some other isolated place in order not to be of this world. I don't believe that this is biblical even though some people may temporarily go to an isolated place for prayer.

The biblical alternative is found in 2 Peter 1:4, which speaks of "having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Lust is what makes us participants in the corrupting influences of the world. Lust is a form of desire, which makes us believe that our happiness or contentment depends upon acquiring a certain thing. It could be a person or any material object. The world presents us with many false promises of happiness. Our primary source of peace and contentment should be from God.

Florida school shooting: America must 'call on the Lord' after 17 killed in deadly attack

At least 17 people are dead in yet another horrific school shooting in the US after a teenage gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida, with an AR-15 assault rifle.

The suspect has been named as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former pupil who was expelled from the school. It is the 18th school shooting incident in 2018 alone and the deadliest since 26 people were killed at Sandy Hook school in 2012.

Emergency services attend to one of the victims outside the school. Another 12 were shot inside the school building.

Three were shot dead outside the school when the attack began at 14.30 local time (19.30GMT) before the attacker went inside the building and killed another 12, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters. Another two later died in hospital. Some victims are still being identified and three people remain in a critical condition while three others are in stable condition.