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CAR: Special Criminal Court prosecutor appointed as killing continues

The three top faith leaders of the Central African Republic (CAR), who've won international recognition for efforts to end conflict in their country, have welcomed the appointment of a prosecutor for a Special Criminal Court. CAR has been beset by religious and ethnic conflict between mainly Muslim Séléka rebels and mainly animist "Anti-balaka" (anti-machete) vigilantes since Séléka seized power in a coup in March 2013 which has claimed thousands of lives with hundreds of thousands displaced.

When children become warriors for change

In a remote village in Cambodia, a little boy and his sisters have become warriors for social justice. Their weapon of choice is education, and their impact has proven to be immeasurable, Christian Telegraph reports according to Misson Network News. Kendra Szabo works with Food for the Hungry field staff in the 20 countries they serve, and each week she shares updates from the field to reveal how God is moving to end all forms of human poverty. Her story of Hean Nimol, the 7-year-old advocate with a heart for transformation, shows the power of community in affecting Gospel-centered change.

Connecting for change: The Multi-Faceted aspects of the Orality movement

HOUSTON, TX (ANS - February 20, 2017) -- I first came across the book "Oral Communication of the Scriptures: Insights from African Oral Art," by Herbert Klem, and started hearing about Orality, Oral Cultures and Oral Learners back in the 1980s. It was a seemingly obscure conversation among a few missionaries, mission leaders and cross-cultural scholars at that time. I began reading and researching on the topics, but there was not a lot available in those days. Little did anyone know at that time that it was the beginning of a very significant paradigm shift in the global church and mission movements.

‘It gives the feeling of a schism’: EWTN panel analyzes current ‘disaster’ in the Church

February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) - On Thursday, Raymond Arroyo, canon laywer Father Gerald Murray, and The Catholic Thing's Robert Royal presented a somber analysis of the confusion caused by Amoris Laetitia. Arroyo featured Murray and Royal as guests on his EWTN show The World Over, where the three discussed the "odd" move of the pope's nine advisors pledging their allegiance to him this week. "This highly unusual vote of confidence comes at a serious time, a time of tension at the Vatican as major concerns are being raised about the direction of papal teaching and curial reform," said Arroyo. "I've never seen anything like this sort of a pledge of confidence. I mean, Parliament's done this in England, but I've never seen it done at the Vatican."

Romania: a Nation in Protest, a Church in Prayer

There are a lot of protests hopping onto the international scene, and Romania is no exception. Romania's prime-minister-hopeful, Liviu Dragnea, was accused of stealing money from the government. His party then passed an emergency law just over two weeks ago decriminalizing offenses by government officials involving about $50,000 or less. That's when the protests started, Christian Telegraph reports according to Mission Network News.

Two Iranian Christians end Hunger Strike

IRAN (ANS – February 19, 2017) -- Two imprisoned Iranian Christians have ended their hunger strike after being promised medical care and progress in their case. Two Iranians on hunger strike useAccording to World Watch Monitor, Amin Afshar Naderi and Hadi Asgari, both of whom had reportedly suffered ill health and been refused medical treatment, have been in prison since August last year but have yet to be charged with any crime.

Atheist Says ‘Amen’ to Jesus Christ

Fear and hopelessness were the chief emotions the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team encountered while ministering at an outdoor memorial in Berlin, Germany, just days after the deadly Christmas Market attack in late 2016. Chaplains from Canada, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United States had plenty of opportunity to share the love of Christ by not only talking about the reason for the Christmas season, but also just by answering questions people asked. Be encouraged and praise God for stirring hearts as you read the following two stories:

Turkish Court blocks US Christian’s Deportation

Turkey's Constitutional Court intervened promptly this week to block temporarily the pending deportation and re-entry ban ordered against a US citizen active in Christian ministry in Turkey for the past 17 years. Without the high court's provisional ruling, Canadian-American David Byle would have been the fourth American Christian with long-term residency in Turkey to have been ordered out of the country in the past six months. All four have been charged with posing a "threat to national security", without any explanation.

Charges Reinstated against men Accused of Stripping Elderly Coptic woman in Public

The case against three men accused of publicly stripping naked a 70-year-old woman has been reopened. A month ago today (17 January), charges were dropped against the three men over a reported lack of evidence, despite a public apology from the President and the woman, Soad Thabet, identifying the three men. After the charges were dropped, Mrs Thabet told The Telegraph she felt "let down for a second time".

Ukraine: a three-day School for Christian Media people will be held in Kiev

A conference for Christian media people will be held on March 30 till April 1 in Kiev (Ukraine), Christian Telegraph reports according to the Christian Megaportal invictory.com. For three days, a group of experienced experts and teachers from the United States and Ukraine will conduct intensive training in several areas: TV production, broadcasting, social media, press center work, public relations, and marketing. General lectures and workshops will be held during the conference.

In latest round of meetings, Papal advisors cover court, Bishop selection

Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals met for the 18th time this week to continue discussion on reforming the Roman Curia, focusing on how new bishops are chosen and the streamlining of several offices, including the Vatican tribunals, Christian Telegraph reports according to Catholic News Agency. According to a Feb. 15 Vatican communique, after opening their meetings with a declaration of support for Pope Francis and his reform efforts, the cardinals "have begun to examine the 'Diaconia of Justice,'" and so dedicated a good chunk of this week's meetings to the three Vatican tribunals.

A Missionary SUV Expedition will be held in Russia

The Russian missionary SUV expedition to Rybachy peninsula - the northernmost point of the European part of Russia will be held on July 3-10, Christian Telegraph reports according to the Christian Megaportal invictory.com.

Iraqi Christian couple despair at sight of house IS Destroyed

Hathem and Almas are hoping to be among the first people to return to Karamles, a now-deserted town in the Nineveh Plains of northern Iraq. "This is our town, where I always lived. I would like to sleep here every day," says Hathem, who fled with his wife to Erbil when Islamic State (IS) invaded Karamles as part of its August 2014 offensive. But the Christian couple's hopes are unrealistic. Although liberated from IS occupation in October 2016, a walk through the town shows why no-one has yet returned. There are four reasons:

Iraqi Christian Refugees Protest against UNHCR Resettlement Delays

Dozens of Iraqi Christians in Lebanon protested in central Beirut this week, demanding the UN to grant them quicker resettlement abroad. Between 150 and 200 demonstrators gathered outside a UN building, carrying placards that read: "the future of our children is wasted" and "our only demand is to [go] to countries that respect humans," among others.

Evangelicals and the Environment

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS - February 15, 2017) -- I don't know about you, but I get fired up when I watch a Bill McKibben documentary such as Do The Math, as I just did on LINK TV. For those not familiar with Mr. McKibben a quick word is in store. As author, educator, and activist, McKibben is a prominent voice in the environmental movement, co-founding 350.org, an organization dedicated to monitor the environmental and climate change activities around the world. It just so happens that Mr. McKibben is a Christian, writing for the publication Sojourners (where I was first introduced to him). He's written several bestselling books and travels the world on behalf of causes that are important to the sustainability of Earth.

Pastor in Discrimination Case will receive $225,000

A Georgia pastor fired from his government job over sermons alleged to be discriminatory will instead receive a $225,000 settlement from the state based on his own discrimination lawsuit, Christian Telegraph reports according to Baptist Press. In 2014 the State of Georgia's Department of Public Health hired Eric Walsh, a lay minister, to serve as a district health director. Walsh accepted the offer but not long thereafter state officials requested samples of Walsh's sermons and searched online for others. Days later Walsh received a voice message from the officials requesting to speak with him about the position. Unintentionally, Walsh later noted, he learned of his firing when the callers mistakenly thought the call had ended and could be heard laughing and using phrases such as "you're out" on the voicemail.

Every step of the way: how the Church Supports Marriages

It's Valentine's Day, and in countries across the world, people are focused on love and marriage. But for the Catholic Church, the celebration of - and support for - marriage is not limited to one day, but all year round, Christian Telegraph reports according to Catholic News Agency. "Marriage is not private," explained Rev. Richard Kramer, Director of Family Life and Pastoral Resource Development for the Archdiocese of Washington. "It's personal, but it's not private."

Jesus Film Project to Announce 1,500TH Translation of "Jesus" film at NRB Convention

ORLANDO, FL (ANS, Feb. 13, 2017) - In an exciting development, Jesus Film Project® will announce the language group representing its 1,500th translation of "JESUS," -- the most watched film in history according to The Guinness Book of World Records -- and provide an update on the impact of the film at this year's National Religious Broadcasters Convention, 'Proclaim 17', in Orlando, FL, Feb. 27- March 2.

Why You Need a Relationship More Than a Religion

As a Southern California corporate executive for the fastest growing fitness company in the world in the mid-1990s, I had the opportunity to experience the devastating effects of life in the fast lane without rules or boundaries. As a result, I often went with the flow of society and focused on everything that the world had to offer. Throughout my 20s, I continued to run from God, searching for identity and truth in everything but His Word. By age 28, I had climbed the corporate ladder. Money and success became my gods and ultimately controlled my life. I was driven but for the wrong reasons. I felt a sense of purpose but it often left me empty. I was passionate but for the wrong things.

31 Days of Compassion: Eternal Healing for Women

January was Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and The JESUS Film Project promoted their 31 Days of Compassion to collect Magdalena discipleship packs for compassion ministries to women. Now, they're extending the 31 Days of Compassion through the end of February. The compassion ministries they're partnering with include outreaches to trafficking victims, pregnancy centers, and women's prisons, Christian Telegraph reports according to Mission Network News.

Pakistani Christians ‘attacked’ as land dispute escalates

More than 200 men, some armed with sticks, suddenly gathered on Wednesday morning (8 Feb) beside the Alba Presbyterian Church in Sankhatra, 115km north of Lahore, intent on building a boundary wall. "Children were going to school and men were leaving for work when this large number stormed into the area and started construction," said Asher Moon, 38, the church's pastor. "Some of our men and women tried to intervene but they were called names and men armed with sticks beat them." Sankhatra is part of Narowal District, where Presbyterian missionaries from the US city of Philadelphia journeyed in 1855 to begin a mission that would spread the message of Christianity across Punjab, which had only come under British rule in 1849.

Indonesian Church closed for years told: you can reopen if Mosque allowed on your land

An Indonesian church closed for years by order of the local mayor has been told it can reopen if a mosque is also allowed on its premises. The GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor, 60km south of Jakarta, had resorted to holding open-air services outside the Presidential palace in Jakarta in protest. The church was sealed and padlocked by order of the mayor of Bogor and the city government. The mayor claimed that the previous sub-village head had falsified community signatures and that the church brought trouble with local Muslim neighbours. Later he said that the church should not be built on a street with an Islamic name.

Chaplains Deploying to New Orleans After Devastating Tornadoes Sweep Area

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team has deployed crisis-trained chaplains to the New Orleans area after devastating tornadoes tore through the area on Tuesday. Reports indicate as many as four tornadoes touched down in Southeastern Louisiana, injuring people, causing widespread property damage and rendering many without electricity. Tornado watches continued throughout the day in large parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, including Hattiesburg, where a team of Rapid Response Team chaplains have been offering emotional and spiritual care.