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All articles in category News

News

June 2019
News > Conferences

Male and female roles considered at Free Church (Continuing) conference

A good number of folk gathered in brilliant sunshine for the annual Spring Conference of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing), which was held at Culloden-Balloch Baptist Church, Inverness, earlier this year. The speaker was Mr Nigel Kenny, Scotland Officer for the Christian Institute. His topic was the role of male and female in our society. The Rev. Harry Woods, from Beauly, ably chaired the gathering, leading worship before both the morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning session, Mr Kenny addressed the gathering on the role of male and female in society.  He dealt effectively in showing how far removed our society has become...

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News

June 2019
News > Church news

Christian Prison Resourcing open day held

Christian Prison Resourcing (CPR) enjoyed an informative and inspirational Open Day at Elmstead Baptist Church, Chiselhurst, on Saturday 13 April. The day began with training for CPR chaplains and associates, led by senior men in the prison service: James Ridge, the chaplain general; Bob Wilson, the faith adviser to the Free Churches; and Phil Chadder, chaplaincy training and development officer. They delivered challenging, interactive training based around 1 Thessalonians considering: prayer, signs of growth, working in an alien environment, and understanding the theology, all targeted at those working ‘inside’. This was greatly appreciated by the CPR Associates. After lunch, slightly more than 100 supporters of...

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News

June 2019
News > Conferences

Translation update from Trinitarian Bible Society

An annual deputation meeting of the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS) has been held at the Presbyterian Reformed Church, Stockton-on-Tees. Several evangelical denominations were represented and Dr David Allen spoke for the TBS. We began with a heart-warming exposition of Ephesians 3:20 (‘Now to him who is able…’). It was wonderful to be reminded of the richness of God shown in Christ; our heavenly Father not only grants what we need, but also ‘abundantly above all that we ask or think’. We were then reminded of the thousands of languages still without a Bible translation. This situation demands prayer and petition before God. We were exhorted...

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News

June 2019
News > Conferences

‘Not man’s wisdom that saves’ says Mark Stocker at Birmingham Conference 2019

Ebenezer Chapel in Old Hill, Birmingham hosted this year’s Birmingham conference. Approximately 90 people gathered in March to hear Timothy Nelson (Ballynahinch), Mark Stocker (Southampton) and Tom Yates (Devizes). The conference is arranged by the committee behind the Christian Worship hymnbook. Pastor John Thackway provided us with a history of this hymnbook and its associated ministries: the conference, the young people’s summer camps and a new January retreat. Mr Nelson spoke on godly leadership: its importance and character of servanthood, acknowledgement of divine sovereignty and readiness to suffer. Mr Nelson called on us to pray for leaders to be raised up and to carefully watch...

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News

June 2019
News > Conferences

Banner of Truth youth conference attended by 300

Held over the first weekend in April, this year’s Banner of Truth conference took place at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre in Staffordshire. It was heartening to see 300 people, aged 16 to 30, in attendance; the number has been increasing year on year. The conference is intended to encourage young Christians and equip them to become the next generation of faithful church members and leaders. The conference comprised seven addresses and a question-and-answer (Q&A) session. I have always benefited from the faithful ministry of God’s Word by the speakers selected for the conference. Robert McCollum, minister of Newtonwards Reformed Presbyterian Church, gave a...

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News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Global rugby stars under siege

Polynesian Christian rugby players have spoken out against the draconian manner in which Australian rugby star Israel Folau has been treated over an Instagram post. Mr Folau – an international player with 73 caps – looks set to be kicked out of the sport by Australia’s rugby authorities after posting an Instagram image which was claimed to be homophobic. His code of conduct hearing was held in May in Sydney. Following this, other rugby players have come under pressure. Ireland and Connacht centre Bundee Aki was forced to apologise for mistakenly ‘liking’ the post and for any ‘confusion or offence’. Similarly, Fiji-born Wallabies player Samu...

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News

June 2019
News > International

Kenya: Bible translation pledge

The Deputy President of Kenya, Dr William Ruto, has pledged that the government of Kenya will stand shoulder to shoulder with Bible translators ‘until every citizen of this country will read the Word of God in their mother tongue’. This promise came during a speech he gave in April, in Kilifi, to celebrate the dedication of a full Bible in Giryama, part of Wycliffe’s translation work. The event was attended by over 2,500 people, including church leaders, government officials, Bible Translation and Literacy (BTL) Kenya workers and partners (including people serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators), and Giryama community members. Dr Ruto was the chief guest...

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News

June 2019
News > Persecution

Canada: Asia Bibi reunited with family

Pakistani woman Asia Bibi who was imprisoned for nine years on baseless charges of insulting the prophet Mohammed, has finally been freed to join her family in Canada. Asia Bibi had first been arrested on the false charges of blasphemy in 2009 after sharing a cup of water with Muslim farmworkers, who called her unclean. In 2010 the Pakistani court sentenced her to death, prompting global outrage and calls for a change to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. She was not executed but was kept in prison in appalling conditions as international pressure mounted for her release. Although she had been acquitted by the Pakistan Supreme Court...

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News

June 2019
News > International

India: Decisive victory for religious freedom

A pastor of a small Indian village in Madhya Pradesh was acquitted of the charges held against him under disputed anti-conversion laws, according to religious liberty group ADF International. In 2016, Pastor Balu, his wife, his son, and members of his congregation were violently attacked, later detained by the police and falsely accused of forcing conversions to Christianity. The landmark ruling marks an important victory against India’s anti-conversion laws, which increasingly threaten the fundamental rights of religious minorities. ‘The acquittal of Pastor Balu and his family is a vital step towards the protection of religious freedom and the right to freely live out one’s faith,’...

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News

June 2019
News > International

Sri Lanka: Churches rebuild after Easter bombings

Churches and Christian communities have begun to rebuild after the devastating Easter weekend attacks by Muslim extremists, which saw 253 killed and more than 500 hospitalised. The Islamic State terror group said it had carried out the attacks, with some social media posts claiming this was done in retaliation for the much-publicised Mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year, which sparked mass coverage in Western news. The attackers in Sri Lanka targeted three churches which were packed out for Easter, and three hotels, killing many Sri Lankans and 42 foreign nationals in the bombing attacks. One of the churches targeted was Zion Evangelical...

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News

June 2019
News > International

Yemen: Christians in desperate need

Yemen’s tiny Christian population is in desperate need as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the country. According to various news reports, the Saudi Arabian military intervention in Yemen, which has been ongoing since 2015, has created a ‘staggering’ scale of suffering engulfing Muslims and Christians alike. Data from Tearfund suggests there are 24 million people needing humanitarian assistance in the country – approximately 80 per cent of the population – and 15.9 million people wake up hungry each day because of the food shortages. In its latest newsletter, Tearfund has warned, ‘large-scale outbreaks of cholera are persisting. According to the World Health Organisation, 30 per...

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News

June 2019
News > International

US: Indiana ushers in pro-life laws

The governor of the US state of Indiana has signed two new pro-life bills into law, protecting the lives of the unborn and the conscience rights of medics. The first piece of legislation bans the use of ‘dilation and evacuation’ (D&E) abortions, which are the most common form of abortion between 13 and 24 weeks in the womb. Nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants will also now be able to refuse to participate in abortions or dispense abortifacient drugs if it violates their conscience, thanks to the second new law. This extends the conscience protection rights beyond doctors and other workers who were already covered. Mike...

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