The Persecuted Church in AMERICA

 

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From Communism to Chicago—Churches Under Fire

 

Sep 2, 2020

What happens when an American City threatens to seize and destroy an immigrant church simply for opening its doors? Read on to learn the insane lengths a mid-western governor and mayor took to try to punish our client’s church. -Mat

Pastor Cristian Ionescu knows exactly what it is like to be persecuted for his faith. He grew up in Communist Romania where Christians were financially destroyed, their property seized, their bodies beaten and jailed, or worse for even sharing a Bible, let alone preaching the Gospel.

Pastor Cristian Ionescu never dreamed he would face similar persecution in America…

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News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960


The Voice of the Martyrs

Susan’s Costly Choice

Susan Ithungu

When Susan Ithungu placed her trust in Christ at age 13, her father was so furious that he beat her and locked her in a room for six months. If her brother hadn’t secretly given her food and water, she would have died. Eventually, neighbors became concerned and told police, who rescued her from the home.

Susan was unable to walk or talk. “Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 45 pounds,” said a local pastor who visited her in the hospital after her rescue.

Susan required extensive medical care and repeated surgeries. VOM provided help with hospital expenses as well as living expenses for her and her caretaker. After recuperating, Susan began to attend school at one of the few institutions equipped for her special needs, and VOM helped make necessary adaptations to her room.

The six months Susan spent locked away left her with long-term medical needs. And VOM has continued to stand with Susan and help provide the care she needs. According to her doctor, Susan will have her last surgery when she turns 21.

Now 20 years old, Susan places her hope firmly in Christ and is grateful for the help she has received from the global body of Christ:

“My life has been a challenge to me since I accepted Christ in my life. It has given me so many lessons about Christianity. With all I have gone through, nothing can take me away from Christ. Through pain and moments in hospital, I have seen the love of God through the caring people like you who have prayed for me, supported me financially and offered time to be with me.”
For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 
International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians
This year’s International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP), Sunday, Nov. 1, is fast approaching. Be among the first to watch The Voice of the Martyrs’ new IDOP video, Janette: Central African Republic.
Free IDOP Resources

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960

 


 

BreakPoint Daily

Break the Silence, Stop the Slaughter in Nigeria


 

The Voice of the Martyrs

A Prayer for Our Indian Brothers and Sisters 

When we don’t know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26–27). But we also have God’s Word to help guide us in prayer. Using Scripture as a guide, join us in prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters in India, who are increasingly targeted by Hindu nationalists.

Join us in asking God

  • to provide shelter, food, education, opportunities to fellowship, places to worship and a daily wage (Philippians 4:19)
  • heal the divisions between friends, neighbors and brothers that still fester from the 2008 riots in Kandhamal (James 3:16–17)
  • provide for widows and orphans, and help them know Jesus’ comforting presence; meet them in their loneliness through His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
  • strengthen the faith of those who have given up or wandered away; provide Bibles, good teaching and sound leaders for those who are searching (Hebrews 13:9)
  • restore family relationships weakened by distance and time (Romans 15:13)
  • create a longing in the hearts of many in the region to know the transformative power of God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:19)
  • rekindle the desire for worship and prayer in the lives of Christians there (Psalm 107)
  • remind our brothers and sisters of their value in His eyes, despite what society tells them (Hebrews 12:2)
  • turn what the enemy intends for evil into good for God’s glory (Genesis 50:20)
For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 

 

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Jihadi militants take 100s hostage in north-east Nigeria raid on Christian community

Pastor and wife flee Iran after final appeal against 15-year combined prison sentence fails

Erdogan orders second historic Turkish Christian church building to be turned into a mosque

Nigerian Christians say “our lives matter” in protest against Fulani militant killings outside London High Commission

 

 

No Christianity, No “Human Rights”

…The only secure basis for human rights, of course, is the Christian belief that humans are created in the image of God…

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: No Christianity, No “Human Rights”

human rights

JOHN STONESTREET WITH ROBERTO RIVERA

In July, the U.S. State Department’s “Commission on Unalienable Rights” released a draft report that attempted to provide a grounding for our country’s commitment to human rights. Fundamental among those rights, the report declared, are freedom of religion and the right to private property.

The Commission sought comments from the public, and they’ve gotten them. While the part about property rights garnered little response, the insistence on religious liberty has sparked a firestorm of protest, including from a “group of academic and religious leaders.”…

READ MORE

 

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

The Voice of the Martyrs

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : iCommitToPary.com on the VOM website:

Islamist Attacks Continue

Turkish Attacks Displace Christians in Kurdistan

New Believer Disinherited by Family

Twelve Arrested in Coordinated Raids

More than 600 Christians Now Imprisoned in Eritrea

Load More Prayers


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Angry scenes in Punjab after Pakistani Christian man arrested for “blasphemy”

Pakistani court returns kidnapped Christian girl, 14, to Muslim man who forced her into marriage

Ex-senior banker claims Nigerian government “unwilling and unable” to protect Christian farming communities

Landslide victory of Buddhist nationalists in Sri Lanka opens door for anti-conversion bill


BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: The Ongoing and Intensifying Persecution of Christians in India

 

Daily Devotional – Self Exam

2 Cor. 13 - Test Yourself

2 Corinthians 13:5

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT:

I know very few people who are big fans of going to the doctors or dentist. Something about being examined having someone invade your body with probes and mind numbing questions just does not excite me or most folks I know.

Our text comes after Paul’s “Thorn in the Flesh” story in Chapter 12 and seems to be in response to the Corinthians being quite willing to point out errors in others but not necessarily in themselves (v.1-4). 


BREAKDOWN:

Examine yourselves, – No medical specialist needed here, we are to do a self-evaluation.

whether ye be in the faith; – to determine our right standing with God. That is are we really in the Faith and living the Faith. 

prove your own selves. – Do are lives prove to ourselves (and those around us) that we are committed to the Kingdom of Christ? Or are you a CPC, Couch Potato Christian?

Know ye not your own selves, – Do you recognize the traits (Fruits of the Spirit) of a Christian in yourself?

how that Jesus Christ is in you, – Do you see Christ in you? 

except ye be reprobates? – Or have you failed the test; a fake and counterfeit Christian in name only?


 APPLICATION: 

There are two key takeaways here; one is needing to look inward (self examination) and the second is Know ye not your own selves, actioning your faith. Paul is reminding us as James later does that Faith without works is dead or using Paul’s analogy No Fruit no Real Faith.  

 

In U.S., smaller share of adults identify as Christians, while religious 'nones' have grown

While on a continuing decline over the past 12 years, the number of U.S. adults who describe themselves as “CHRISTIAN” is still at 65% as of 2019. 

The question I have continually posed is simple: If this number were true why has this overwhelming majority not examined themselves and spoken out on issues of today?

I believe that answer is simple the number is false, far to many calling them self “Christian” are in fact reprobates and the minority who are true believers are shamefully to scared to speak out. 

We need to pray

Pray that all “Christians” will examine themselves, that they will get involved in issues like Abortion, LGBT, Religious Liberty, 1st Amendment and other issues being used to suppress Christianity and the Church today. 

 


OTHER RESOURCES:
Assurance of Salvation
Joel Beeke
Paul commands us, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Cor. 13:5). It is a responsibility of great importance for the people of God to be assured that there is a true and saving work of grace in them, so as to distinguish them from hypocrites. There are certain signs of grace by which a man may discern what he is. In this series, Joel Beeke discusses assurance by utilizing Anthony Burgess’ (d. 1664) masterpiece, Spiritual Refining: Or a Treatise of Grace and Assurance. Read more of part one at Meet the Puritans on reformation21.org.

PASTORS: Denounce Government Overreach Now To Preserve Freedom Tomorrow

Note to Fellow Pastors:
Denounce Government Overreach Now To Preserve Freedom Tomorrow

Pulpit Complacency Threatens Religious Liberty

Leading conservative Christian voices are calling on Americans to recognize and resist the overreach of elected officials who oppress God-given and constitutionally protected rights by imposing restrictions on businesses, schools, homes and even churches.
 
American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net) President Sam Rohrer invited fellow pastor and author Matthew J. Trewhella, author of “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate,” onto the “Stand in the Gap Today” radio show to sound an alarm and to inspire pastors and parishioners to resist tyranny God’s way.
 
Interviewing Trewhella, Rohrer identified complacent citizens as one of the greatest accomplices of totalitarian dictatorship.
 
“You know, the greatest allies of tyranny are citizens, pastors and government officials who refuse to confront lawlessness and aggressive immorality in a Biblical and historical way,” Rohrer explained.

“We’ll either define the problem of tyranny and resist it God’s way and therefore defend freedom, or we’ll embrace tyranny by choosing to work the system to our own selfish advantage.”

Continue reading…

Supreme Court Affirms Religious Institutions Are Allowed to Be Religious

BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: Supreme Court Affirms Religious Institutions Are Allowed to Be Religious

nuns

JOHN STONESTREET WITH ROBERTO RIVERA

In a somewhat dizzying (but which will prove, I think, pivotal) few weeks at the Supreme Court, religious freedom has taken center stage. In two significant decisions yesterday, the Court protected our First Amendment’s First Freedom.

The first case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, was the third time a group of nuns visited the nation’s highest court, and the latest installment in their nearly 10-year-battle against the HHS Contraceptive Mandate. In 2017, a regulation issued by the Trump administration exempted the Little Sisters and any employers “with sincerely held moral convictions opposed to . . . some or all contraceptive or sterilization methods,” from the Obamacare mandate which required them to provide and pay for the coverage…

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In The News

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From Riots to Repentance

They were the biggest gatherings, by far, but in Washington, D.C., where one reporter said it “felt as if the entire city had emptied into downtown,” the atmosphere felt different. Calmer. Despite the steady stream of crowds outside the White House, there were some signs of summer nights from simpler times. By dusk, there were ice cream trucks and little children playing on the grass. Strollers were parked outside restaurants where families were eating under umbrellas. In some places, people held hands and danced to street musicians — a far cry from the sounds of sirens and shattered glass the weekend before…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Born-Alive Abortion Survivors: Just the Facts

On the 46th memorial of Roe v. Wade, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Reproductive Health Act which repealed legal protections for infants who survive abortion. The celebration of this law in New York City, followed by comments by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam which seemed to endorse infanticide has launched the question of born-alive abortion survivors into the conscience of America.

Congress and state legislatures across the country have responded to these radical positions by putting forth legislation to protect infants who survive abortion. However, Democrat politicians have blocked efforts in Congress and in state legislatures to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Chinese Churches Can Reopen… If They Preach Party Doctrine

While coronavirus restrictions may be lifting for state-approved churches in China, many find themselves facing an even more dangerous situation — being told what to teach by an officially atheist authoritarian regime.

Catholic churches in the Chinese province of Zhejiang have been told by the state-affiliated Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association that Mass may resume this month provided churches preach “patriotism.” This instruction is deeply problematic. To the Chinese Communist Party, “patriotism” means pledging your loyalty to the Party, which is increasingly hostile to religion under the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

Dr. Mohler on the Riots, the Church, and America’s Greatest Threat

Dr. Albert Mohler couldn’t have predicted when he started his book that the title would be so tragically appropriate. The storm is most certainly here — in the unrest of one man’s death and the uncertainty from 110,000 more. Most people, Dr. Mohler insists, have no idea about the deepest challenge we face. What is it — and what can we do about it? Find out in his interview on “Washington…

CONTINUED AT: SOURCE

U.N. Won’t Send COVID-19 Funds to Pro-Life Nation Unless it Legalizes Abortions

(Life News) The United Nations is using coronavirus aid to pressure Ecuador to legalize the killing of unborn babies in abortions, pro-life leaders in the country said this month.

The Catholic News Agency reports the country’s Ministry of Foreign Relations and Human Mobility recently asked for $46.4 million in aid from the UN Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19.

Within that funding package, however, is a goal to “maintain continuity of maternal, neonatal and children’s health and other sexual and reproductive health services during the pandemic,” including abortions, according to the report.

Continued at Source: U.N. Won’t Send COVID-19 Funds to Pro-Life Nation Unless it Legalizes Abortions