News of Interest to Bible Believers
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On Sunday, the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, delivered his first sermon since his 9-year-old daughter was killed in a mass school shooting in March.
Among attacks on church buildings and mosques in Sudan after fighting broke out within the Sudanese military last month, a priest and other Christians were reportedly shot and injured in at least one assault with apparent anti-Christian motives.
Three Christian school guidance counselors in Massachusetts have been placed on leave after a school newspaper used anonymous sources to accuse the counselors of engaging in so-called “conversion therapy” and not using the chosen pronouns of trans-identified students.
How an American school teacher spread God's love in King Leopold's Congo.At the turn of the 20th century, the Congo Free State was one of the hardest places to be a human. For several decades, Belgian soldiers and business owners brutalized thousands of Congolese locals. They pursued rubber profits at whatever cost, taking the lives of men, women, and children who were forced to serve the whims of King Leopold.During this time, an American missionary, Maria Fearing, ran Pantops Home for Girls, one of the region’s few places of sanctuary. Using her own salary and donations from her supporters, Fearing created a place in Luebo, Congo, where several dozen girls received a comprehensive education and heard about Christianity for the first time. Fearing’s students nicknamed her Mama wa Mputu (“mother from far away”) to show their love and appreciation.As a young child growing up enslaved on an Alabama plantation, Fearing had no idea that the God who created her would liberate her from physical and spiritual slavery, or that she would one day travel across seas to the shores of Africa, carrying that message of freedom and new life to those who lived on the same continent as her ancestors.The “homeland”In 1836, Mary Fearing gave birth to a baby girl that she and her husband Jesse named Maria (Ma-rye-ah). The Fearing’s lived outside of Gainesville, Alabama, and their daughter arrived just shy of thirty years before legal emancipation and the obliteration of the chattel slave system. Historians know little of Maria’s childhood and her family life while she was enslaved, but it’s believed that she had faith in Christ at an early age, as Four Presbyterian Pioneers in Congo and Maria Fearing, A Mother to African Girls both note.Her family shared Scripture, ...Continue reading...
A new documentary follows the lives of 10 of the men responsible for horrific attacks on the Kandhamal church.“Christ is indeed alive at the ground zero of the worst [Christian] persecution in Indian history.”That’s journalist and documentarian Anto Akkara’s takeaway after 15 years of telling the stories of a Christian community in the eastern state of Odisha (formerly Orissa), India, systemically ravaged by Hindu mobs in 2007 and 2008.Over these two years, extremists took the lives of 100 Christians, burned down 6,500 houses, and burned down or vandalized nearly 400 churches and places of worship. More than 40 women were raped and sexually assaulted, and the violence disrupted school for 12,000 children for years. (Previously, Kandhamal Christians had been subject to sporadic terror, though nothing at this level.)Starting in 2008, Akkara has made 34 trips to the rural Kandhamal region, where he has filmed four documentaries focused on how this violence has impacted the victims’ lives. For his latest release, The Right Hand of God over Kandhamal, Akkara uncovers the fates of 10 assailants who attacked the Christian community and concludes there has been some sort of “divine retribution” at work. Eight have died, including two by suicide, one in a car crash, and one from paralysis. Another lost his ability to speak. Beyond those whose stories he investigates, there are even more that he says regret their actions and have “embraced the faith they once tried to banish from Kandhamal.”Akkara recently spoke with CT’s South Asia correspondent Surinder Kaur about his surprising conversations with the assailants, the ways his reporting changed how he sees God, and the courage and boldness of the Christians who lost everything.Continue reading...
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