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All articles in category News

August 2018
Articles > News > Persecution

Growing threat to Christians across Africa

Christians in Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali are suffering increased attacks from Fulani Islamists, amidst global concerns over Islamist consolidation in northern Africa. Violence has escalated across those parts of Africa where Christians have contact with Fulani herdsmen. The Fulani are Muslim and, though living alongside Christians for years, hardcore Islamist teachings have led to an escalation in terrorism and deadly attacks by their extremists against Christian-background farming communities. The religious differences have exacerbated long-standing tensions between the nomadic herdsmen and farmers. In June this year, a cycle of attacks and counter-attacks in the middle belt of Nigeria saw 215 lives claimed on both sides,...

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August 2018
News > Mission

Mission – New app to help Africa’s pastors

African Pastors Fellowship (APF) has launched a mobile phone app in East Africa. The eVitabu app puts a mobile library of theological resources into the hands of rural pastors for the first time. The app, which is installed on solar-powered Android devices, will help support pastors’ ministries, with large church networks across East Africa, potentially impacting the Christian journey of over half a million people. It is estimated that more than three million churches in the developing world are led by people with little or no qualifications for that responsibility. In Africa, it is reckoned that as many as 90 per cent of pastors have never received even...

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August 2018
News > Education

Education – PRTS takes over Masters course

The Pastors Academy at London Seminary has handed over its Masters in Theology (ThM) to be run by the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS), which is based in North America. From January 2019, the partnership with Westminster Theological Seminary, which currently runs the ThM, will end. In a statement, London Seminary commented: ‘We are sad our formal partnership with Westminster is drawing to a close, and are very grateful for all Westminster and so many of its faculty have selflessly given to this work in the UK over the years. But we are thrilled to have found such dynamic new partners at PRTS’. In the...

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August 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: UK – Pastor Song update

The governor of a different prison has been asked to investigate the case of Pastor Song, the former Brixton prison chaplain who claims he was ousted according to a hard-line Islamist agenda. Evangelical Times has previously reported that, in August 2017, he was expelled from the prison by a new senior chaplain who is a Muslim. This is despite an unblemished record of volunteering at the prison, without any complaints, and despite testimonials from other staff and inmates who have been helped by Pastor Song. Other individuals and groups have come forward fearfully, under request for anonymity, claiming they too have been pushed out by...

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August 2018
News > International

International: Tibet – Tibetan Evangelical Alliance

The ‘Reaching Himalayas Centre’, a mission dedicated to reaching Tibetans, has formed a Tibetan Evangelical Alliance. A recent newsletter from a pastor in Tibet spoke of the ‘tough time’ faced by Tibetan pastors and single believers trying to go it alone in some of the world’s most isolated communities. The pastor said: ‘Tibetan pastors and single believers have a tough time due to persecution and conversions. Some of our pastors are tortured and [have been] imprisoned for ten years for working in Tibet and the border area’. To help and encourage pastors, leaders and believers in Tibet, the Reaching Himalayas Centre has founded the Tibetan...

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August 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Prayer breakfast in Parliament

More than 170 MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May, cabinet members, peers, ambassadors and church leaders, gathered for a special prayer breakfast. Held in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, on 19 June, the 2018 National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast was addressed by Rev. Dr Tim Keller, who spoke on the topic ‘What can Christianity offer our society in the 21st century’. He urged Christians not to lose their saltiness, referencing Matthew 5:13. He said, ‘Christians, you’re only going to be of benefit to society if you stay different, if you don’t become like the society: self-actualising; if you stay self-sacrificers and self-givers’. Dr Keller...

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July 2018
News > Society

Royal wedding sermon was lively but empty

The energetic sermon preached at the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan drew praise from many in the secular elite, but strong criticism from others. Bishop Michael Curry spoke on the subject of ‘love’. The style of the American was very lively, more so than one would normally expect at a stiff British royal occasion. Many evangelicals saw through the outward display of passion and noted the lack of any real gospel substance to the message. Alarmingly though, some evangelicals thought it was wonderful. Rev. Curry hails from Chicago and has actively campaigned on a number of liberal issues. He has defended the Episcopalian church’s...

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July 2018
News > International

LETTER FROM AMERICA: The US military chaplaincy

As Christians live hemmed in on every side by the world and its cultural agendas, we know we are in a battle. Paul stated that we do not fight against flesh and blood, but ‘against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:12). There are, however, those in the military who face both cosmic spiritual powers and ‘flesh and blood’ enemies. By God’s providence, chaplains have served the American military since the onset of the Revolutionary War and are currently serving our armed forces, counselling and pastoring them...

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July 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Teachers’ freedom threatened

The freedom of teachers to disagree with same-sex marriage is under threat in schools, with draft government guidance threatening to shut down debate and block pupils from hearing an alternative view. A consultation on the guidance closed on 5th June 2018. The draft guidance says that a school will not meet requirements if its PSHE curriculum ‘suggests that same-sex marriages or civil partnerships should not be recognised as being lawful unions under civil law’.  The Christian Institute warns that this wording will inevitably restrict disagreement with same-sex marriage in schools. Teachers will not want to put their school at risk of being failed. Ofsted has...

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July 2018
News > Politics

Politics – Sharia review implementation

Baroness Caroline Cox has challenged the government to respond urgently to the findings of the independent review of the application of sharia law in England and Wales, published in February 2018, according to Christian Concern. The review stated that ‘no one disputed that sharia councils engage in practices which are discriminatory to women’.  Baroness Cox questioned the government’s response in the House of Lords, saying: ‘One Muslim lady told me, ‘I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this, and it’s worse here than in the country from which I came’. Therefore, I ask the minister whether Her Majesty’s Government will...

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July 2018
News > Persecution

Persecution: Myanmar – Kachin Christians escape

Two thousand Kachin Christians, who were trapped in the jungle in northern Myanmar following attacks by the Myanmar (Burmese) army in April, have now reached safety, travelling on foot and by elephant. Barnabas Fund reports that although they are now free and safe, many are still in desperate need and thousands have taken shelter in churches. There is also the threat of further attacks by the military. Contacts say: ‘Please continue to pray for the Kachin. The Burmese army have sent more troops to other Kachin areas, and we are expecting a new flood of attacks and refugees soon when the rainy season starts.’ The...

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July 2018
News > International

International: Mali – Harvest failure

Christians and others in Mali are in desperate need of food, due to a lack of rain in the crop-growing areas of landlocked Mali last season and subsequent harvest failure in a country where subsistence farming dominates the economy. According to Barnabas Fund, crop failure in this vast and landlocked country on the edge of the Sahara Desert meant the usual price drop for cereals in November-December did not happen, and by February families were abandoning their fields to try to save their lives. As they migrated to the cities, the price of cereals spiralled dramatically. Churches are being beseeched but they too have no...

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