AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
THE OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO ALLOW STAFF TO TAKE ANNUAL LEAVE. THIS IS AN ABRIDGED VERSION PREPARED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE OF THE STAFF ON THAT LEAVE. FULL VERSIONS OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS WILL RECOMMENCE ON MONDAY 17th JUNE 2013.
- DANGER AS SECTARIAN WAR LOOMS IN IRAQ
- PENTAGON BACKS DOWN ON THREATS TO COURT-MARTIAL CHRISTIAN SOLIDERS WHO SHARE THEIR FAITH
- TRIBAL PRIEST COMES TO CHRIST AND FREES HIS SEX SLAVES
DANGER AS SECTARIAN WAR LOOMS IN IRAQ
The last US troops left Iraq on Sunday morning 18 December 2011. As soon as the US vacated Iraq, al-Qaeda in Iraq got to work, regrouping and rebuilding. It also developed a potent fighting force inside Syria: theAl-Nusrah Front which is currently leading the rebel forces in the battle for Syria. On Tuesday 23 April at 5 am the Shi’ite dominated Iraqi security forces raided a Sunni protest camp in the northern city of al-Hawijah in Kirkuk province. More than 50 Sunni protesters were killed, dozens wounded and around 400 arrested in the al-Hawijah raid. Predictably this has compounded Sunni anger.
In Ramadi, the capital of Sunni Anbar Province, Sunnis rioted, attacking Iraqi military vehicles and personnel. The regime responded by resorting to extreme military violence, including the use of attack helicopters. By Friday 26 April at least 215 people (mostly Sunni civilians) were dead, with hundreds more wounded. Al-Maliki claims the protests are part of a foreign-backed conspiracy. Enraged by the massacre, Sunni tribes across central Iraq are joining forces and arming to fight the Shi’ite-dominated government. Meanwhile, it appears the Kurds are exploiting the chaos to make a move on the oil-fields of Kirkuk.
Kurdish troops have been deployed to Kirkuk, claiming they are simply filling a security vacuum. However, Baghdad sees this move as a ‘dangerous development’ in violation of agreements. The coming war will pit Sunnis vs Shi’ites; Kurds vs Turks vs Arabs; federalists vs centralists; nationalists vs international jihadis; anti-government vs pro-government forces and alliances; Iran vs Saudi Arabia; international jihadis vs everyone else; and probably more. It will be just as in Syria, but possibly worse! Underneath it all, the region’s indigenous, long-suffering, besieged, remnant Christians will be victims of every contest, targeted by all forces.
PLEASE PRAY THAT
* God will be powerfully at work amidst the chaos, advancing his purpose and glory. That He will bring down all that is false and destroy all repressive systems so that God alone will be exalted.
* the Lord will comfort, encourage and sustain his faithful ones, covering them with his hand, gathering them in his arms, fighting for them, supplying their needs and fuelling their faith.
* God will awaken the Church throughout the world to the reality of the looming genocide of some of the world’s most ancient Christian communities, from Antioch to Ninevah – our spiritual heritage.
Source: by Elizabeth Kendal, Religious Liberty Monitoring
PENTAGON BACKS DOWN ON THREATS TO COURT-MARTIAL CHRISTIAN SOLIDERS WHO SHARE THEIR FAITH
Following an uproar caused by their threat to Court Martial military personnel for sharing their faith with other soldiers, the Pentagon has backed down on that position and now says soldiers are free to proselytize,as long as they don’t harass others. “Service members can share their faith,” clarified Navy Lieutenant Commander Nate Christensen in a statement,”but must not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others of any faith or no faith to one’s beliefs.” The earlier statement said “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defence.”
The first statement followed a news report of Pentagon officials meeting with anti-Christian extremist Mikey Weinstein to develop court-martial procedures to punish Christians in the military who express or share their faith. Weinstein is the head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation,and says Christians – including chaplains – sharing the gospel of Jesus Christin the military are guilty of treason, and of committing an act of spiritual rape as serious a crime as sexual assault. He also asserted that Christians sharing their faith in the military are enemies of the Constitution.
Forbidding those in uniform to share their faith could have effectively abolished the position of chaplain in the military. The duties of a Chaplain are to teach their faith and minister to the spiritual needs of troops who come to them for counsel, instruction or comfort. To stop military personnel from sharing their faith, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends,could have resulted in prosecution. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could have given spiritual counselling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
The back-down by the Pentagon came after the Family Research Council launched a petition in Washington, D.C., which collected over 30,000 signatures, calling on Secretary Hagel to stop working with Weinstein and his anti-Christian organization to develop military policy regarding religious faith.
Source: Charisma News Service
TRIBAL PRIEST COMES TO CHRIST AND FREES HIS SEX SLAVES
Sex slavery is rampant among tribal religions in Ghana. One of the ways this occurs is when young girls are given to tribal priests as payment for sins. They become sex slaves of the priests. Recently 55 slaves of the head “Thunder god” priest were released by him after he came to faith in Christ. The priest then urged all 63 other priests who were under him to follow Christ, too. Many of the liberated slaves have also turned to Christ. But the road ahead is long. Liberation is an event, but rehabilitation is a process. Some of the girls are doing vocational training and counselling and will continue to be discipled by Christian missionaries in Ghana.
Source: Intercessors Network