Indonesian authorities in Bogor, West Java, have banned three churches from holding religious activities. According to UCANews the Methodist Church Indonesia, Huria Batak Protestant Church and a house used by Catholics for catechism classes were ordered to close their doors. Local authorities said they could not guarantee the safety of the communities.
Hunger and thirst often prevent members of Kamakowa Baptist Church in Kimusu, Kenya from attending worship, pastor Tom Ogalo Ngoya told Baptist Press in an appeal for aid to the country where drought is a national disaster, Christian Telegraph reports.
"It's [disheartening] to watch your children beg for water and food," Ngoya emailed BP after Kenya's government declared the drought a national disaster in February. Members of the congregation "are often not in the church due to lack of food and water for them to drink and for the animals. Children are malnourished due to lack of food to eat. Adults are helpless because they cannot feed their family."
Turkey has broken its silence on the Andrew Brunson case. Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, has been imprisoned in Turkey since October 7th on charges of terrorist connections. But, so far, no evidence has been presented except for an anonymous witness. The Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim stated earlier this month that the country may be willing to speed up Brunson's trial, Christian Telegraph reports acording to Mission Network News.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (ANS -- March 21, 2017) -- At the macroscopic level, the heavens declare the glory of God, the psalmist declares. But at the microscopic level, the same glorious handiworks of a Creator are displayed in wondrous ways.
Bryan at microphone“The molecular machines that are working inside each of our bodies at this moment scream of a designer,” Brian Johnson, one of the founders of South Dakota Apologetics, told writer and apologist Sean McDowell recently.
An Indian church remains shut, six weeks after a mob of angry Hindus halted a Sunday service and forced the pastor to close the church. He says the local government has sided with the mob.
The church is in Dalli Rajhara, a mining city in the central state of Chhattisgarh, which is governed by the Hindu nationalist BJP.
"We have been running from pillar to post to get justice and the church reopened," Arun Pannalal, president of the Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, told World Watch Monitor. "The police have not yet even registered a case about the attack - against even women and children, during worship, despite meetings with the various government officials, and public protests."
A Mexican church leader has provided fresh insight into the ways in which Christians in Latin America come under pressure in areas controlled by drug cartels.
The pastor, who wished to remain anonymous, told World Watch Monitor about the "tax" churches can be charged to be allowed to remain open.
"Charging this 'tax' to pastors and churches is now a common occurrence," he said. "The cartels are very well organised and they can follow your every move. One cannot go anywhere alone; protection is needed all the time.
MADISON, N.J., March 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - The United States' commitment to religious liberty is being tested and hostility toward traditional moral beliefs is on the rise, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told a group of Catholic lawyers Wednesday night.
Justice Alito repeated the words he had written in his own dissent in the Obergefell case legalizing homosexual "marriage," telling the group that he suspected the decision would be used to "vilify those who disagree and treat them as bigots."
LONDON, UK (ANS - March 17, 2017) -- During a recent Parliamentary reception in London, an ambitious project to build an iconic national prayer landmark in the UK took its next step forward as the shortlist of five concept designs were unveiled.
In September 2016, The Wall of Answered Prayer, working with the Royal Institute of British Architects, launched a global competition to obtain concept designs for this colossal structure of a million bricks. 134 entries from 24 countries were received and following two judging panels, the entries were whittled down to four as well as a public vote winner.
"Alarmist" has become the newest label given to conservative Christians who raise concerns about the current trajectory of the culture in general or churches in particular. Like other labels — fundamentalist, theocrat, reconstructionist — the word itself is now used as a slur, and once deployed, the user feels no need to justify the accuracy of their claim.
"Widows often suffer great loneliness. After I lost Elias I feared that loneliness very much".
Three years on from husband Elias' death, Mary Lunyamila Meshack recalls how her life changed forever the night he stood guard during an overnight service at their church in Mwanza, on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Elias was 35, a youth worker in northern Tanzania in 2013 (see WWM report below).
A pastor in northern France has described her church's ministry to Middle Eastern migrants in a nearby camp as "the mission field coming to you".
The church's leader, Pastor Lydie Granger, said that among the estimated 1,400 migrants living in the camp outside Dunkirk were around 40 Iranians who had already converted to Christianity, and others who had become Christians since attending her church.
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM (ANS -- (March 14, 2017) -- Born with bent feet, at two-years-old, Mai could not even stand. Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City had been unable to help the baby.
Working area at Vietnam hospitalDespairing over her condition, the parents decided to receive prayer from a Christian pastor, along with five other Hmong pastors who were attending a training, according to a report by Christian Aid Mission (CAM).
Four "field ministers" carry the Gospel's hope and redemption to fellow inmates at a Texas prison facility, equipped with training from Southwestern Seminary, Christian Telegraph reports according to Baptist Press.
"I've been in prison before," Michael Rios humbly reflects. "I came in when I was very young. I had the right ideas, I had the right intents: get out, get married, have a life."
Dressed in a white prison uniform, Rios speaks slowly but directly, his tattooed hands slowly gesturing to accentuate his words. He has been in prison longer than some of his fellow inmates have even been alive. Though Rios had the "right intents," bad choices kept him locked up, and he is now serving a life sentence.
A wave of anti-Semitism that has drawn responses from government leaders and Jewish groups presents what the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship's president calls a "powerful opportunity" for Christians to share the love of Christ with Jewish neighbors, Christian Telegraph reports according to Baptist Press.
Organizations focused on Jewish evangelism "are getting together," SBMF president Ric Worshill told Baptist Press, "and they're trying to find ways to encourage the local church and the local communities to actually let the Jewish people know that [anti-Semitic] conduct is not accepted."
By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
ORLANDO, FL (ANS -- March 13, 2017) -- Hot on the heels of news that the Jesus Film Project® is closing the gap on the number of people groups yet to be reached with the Gospel, The JESUS Film is being hailed as one of the most effective evangelistic tools available.
A new Jesus Film Project® study reveals the film "JESUS" -- along with other titles provided by the ministry -- have been proven as some of the most powerful tools available in the evangelical world in effectively spreading the Gospel.
ORLANDO, FL (ANS - March 10, 2017) -- Christian communicators from across the nation and around the world gathered February 27-March 2 for Proclaim 17, the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Participants heard from key ministry leaders, media mavens, and leading voices in society, while also networking and checking out new resources, services, organizations, and upcoming faith-friendly films, of which there were many.
Dozens of Christians were arrested for worshiping at underground house churches across the autonomous Chinese region of Xinjiang during crackdowns on Christianity that occurred around the Lunar New Year holiday in late January, a leading persecution watchdog has reported.
Franklin Graham says God has put a calling on his heart.
The evangelist is following the Lord's lead as he prepares to hold more prayer rallies across the U.S. in 2017, following last year's successful 50-state Decision America Tour.
Starting in May, Franklin Graham will kick off this year's tour with four stops in Tennessee. The Decision America Tennessee Tour will take the Gospel from the banks of the Mississippi River to the Great Smoky Mountains. Stops include Chattanooga, Clarksville, Jackson, and Memphis.
Ever walked so long your feet grew tired and weary? Or held something so heavy your arms started to shake?
Think about the relief you felt when you finally got to rest and the weight was taken away.
Hope is a lot like that. It's freeing having God with you.
Christians who are criticizing government action against churches are facing pressure from Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services, Christian Telegraph reports according to Catholic News Agency.
"They told me not to talk about the demolition of churches or the two church leaders who are in jail," Rev. Mubarak Hamad, chairman of Sudan's Council of Churches, told Radio Tamazuj, a broadcaster in Sudan and South Sudan.
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill urged the Church to release youth from social networks, Christian Telegraph reports according to the Christian Megaportal invictory.com.
"More and more people are attached to the Church, but unfortunately this can not be said about the youth. And though youth movements and organizations are very actively developing in our country, a very large number of young people are trapped in social networks. All the information that falls through their networks to their consciousness, and more importantly all about Christ, about the truth of God, noone talks about sin and the meaning of human life,"said the patriarch on Saturday, March 4.
NEWPORT BEACH, CA (ANS - March 9, 2017) -- There is no way to cover the life and times of Doug Coe adequately. Now that he has passed on to be with Jesus, many will add their stories to the collection. This article is an attempt to express my relatively brief (over three decades) and intense experience and friendship with Doug Coe, a uniquely anointed man of God.
ALBUQUERUQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - March 9, 2017) -- According to Dr. Joseph Holden, President of Veritas Evangelical Seminary (VES), "It's been a long time coming." The "it's" in his sentence is the fact that VES will open a teaching campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico beginning in Fall 2017.
Holden states, "Our team in Albuquerque, which includes noted archeologist Dr. Steven Collins, met with the accreditation agency TRACS this past year. After the site visit, Albuquerque was approved as one of our teaching locations."
They say any press is good press.
And Friday night in Vancouver, Canada, that old adage rang true yet again as more than 12,000 people crammed inside the Rogers Arena for the opening night of the Greater Vancouver Festival of Hope with Franklin Graham.
In the weeks leading up to the event, a modest number of pastors protested by signing a letter determined to keep Franklin Graham and the true message of hope out of their city.
But God had other plans.
Christian bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein took their religious liberty fight to court March 2 after they were penalized for refusing business for a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony, Christian Telegraph reports according to Baptist Press.
First Liberty Institute defended the Kleins before a three-judge panel in the Oregon Court of Appeals, promoting the couple's constitutional rights to religious freedom, free speech and due process in a court session webcast online.
MIDDLE EAST (ANS – March 6, 2017) -- Hameedullah* works as a church leader in a country known for intense persecution of Christians.
Former Muslims worshiping the Lord use“When he was young, he lived illegally as a refugee in a Muslim country that didn’t want him or his religion, whose people are always looking out for non-Islamic activity. He even faced scrutiny from members of his own family, some of whom became radicalized and were recruited into terrorist networks,” said WorldWatch Monitor in a recent story.
COSTA MESA, CA (ANS - March 5, 2017) -- Ruth Freed Armstrong entered Heaven on Sunday morning, February 19, 2017, at 93 years of age. Ruth was a brilliant woman of charm and grace, with several college degrees, including a Master's Degree in Education from Columbia University. Her counsel and encouragement to ROCK of Africa Mission will be greatly missed.