Where have all the Christians gone? South Sudan, the world’s newest nation was formerly part of Sudan. It gained its independence five years ago. Hopes were high for this Christian nation, but civil war between the largest ethnic tribe, the Dinka, and the second largest one, the Nuer dominated the country for two years. A fragile peace agreement was signed August 2015 by President Kiir, a Dinka, and rebel leader and Vice-President Machar, a Nuer. Its agreement has never been implemented. What has resulted is continued barbaric assaults on the civilians by Machar’s rebels and Kiir’s soldiers. The weapons of war used by both sides are murder, gang rapes of women, castration of young boys, burning alive of women and children.
What happened to “Pray for your enemies?” What happened to “Turn the other cheek?” What happened to “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds”(The Bible, James 2:18). The unwillingness of these two leaders to work together for their starving destitute nation is the antithesis of brotherly love. South Sudan desperately needs international donors. However, its instability and apparent inability to function as a government means no help. The U.S. has asked for an additional 4,000 U.N. peacekeepers to join the already 12,000 that are in the country to help stabilize the nation. President Kiir has been reluctant to have more peacekeepers. Meanwhile the people face drought, starvation, and the constant threat of annihilation.
Please pray for:
* Christian Believers to claim the truth that He who is in them is greater than Satan, that is in the world. May they lift their voices to God in heaven and ask for salvation of their enemies.
* both President Kiir and Vice-President Machar who claim to be Christians and friends. Ask God to send a strong spirit of conviction upon each man to repent of his sins against each other and the people of South Sudan.
* great conviction to fall upon individual leaders, soldiers and rebels guilty of terrible atrocities against innocent civilians, leading them to repentance. Pray too for the protection of the innocent people of South Sudan who are caught in an ungodly crossfire by their leaders’ lusts for power.
North Korea is flexing its muscles again. This time the threat is the annual joint military drills of South Korea and the United States. Each year, these exercises make North Korea nervous. This year’s response was firing a ballistic missile from a submarine off its east coast that travelled 300 miles landing in the Sea of Japan. North Korea sees these drills as preparation of an invasion, prompting them to use a “pre-emptive nuclear strike” in retaliation. The firing of a ballistic or nuclear missile is in defiance of the UN ban of such weapons. Last month the U.S. and South Korea agreed to deploy a missile defence system to counter threats from North Korea. Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s president, has grown increasingly paranoid over the cooperation of the three regional powers, China, Japan, and South Korea.
They have urged North Korea “to exercise self-restraint regarding its provocative action.” The recent defection of Thae Yong-ho, deputy ambassador to the UK has contributed to Kim Jong Un’s angst. The huge military budget of the country keeps most of its citizens in abject poverty, with starvation a major issue. Those who are able to escape this oppressive regime risk retaliation against family and friends left behind. The nation of North Korea is number 1 on the 2016 Open Doors World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world.
Please pray for:
* Kim Jong Un to listen to the wise counsel of those close to him as they urge restraint against “perceived” threats
* a “Daniel” to rise to prominence in Kim Jong Un’s council who will gain the respect of the young leader and be able to give godly advice
* Christian Believers in North Korea to experience divine healing, dreams and visions that will strengthen their faith and witness to others of Jesus their Saviour. Pray too for freedom for North Koreans from the repressive regime that controls the people through threats, imprisonment, and persecution.
100,000 CHILEANS PROTEST ABORTION LAW AND DEMAND RETURN TO CHRISTIAN VALUES
In a rejection of the government’s push towards “legal abortion,” Chileans from all walks of life recently gathered in Santiago for a “Celebrate Life” rally. Evangelical Christians, Catholics and others, denounced the legislative push by President Bachelet and other parliamentarians which calls for legalizing abortion of children conceived in rape, or who are deemed to have a medical condition incompatible with life, or where the mother’s life is in danger. Many at the rally were particularly concerned with members of the Christian Democratic Party who are supporting the pro-abortion legislation. “It is a mockery that members of a party that calls itself ‘Christian’ dare to legalize the killing of the innocent,” Carmen Croxatto of Chile’s Pro-Life Network said.
Senator Carolina Goic, president of the Christian Democratic Party and chair of the Senate Heath Committee, is ready to push the legislation to the next step. “She needs to work to defeat this legislation, not approve it” said Croxatto. Pro-life leaders have declared that any candidate who supports this legislation will not get their vote. “We do not want to follow the other countries of the world which have abandoned the protection of the weakest members of the human family said Elizabeth Bunster of Chile es Vida.” Chile has had no legal abortion for decades and is an example for the world, not only for its exemplary legal protection of mother and child, but also for its very low maternal mortality rate.
IRELAND ABORTION FIGHT MAY BE THE FIRST STEP AGAINST CATHOLIC COUNTRIES
Wealthy abortion backers could use Ireland as a model to change pro-life laws in other Catholic countries, a leaked three-year plan for Open Society Foundations suggests. “With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places,” the document says. It also cites support for pro-abortion efforts in other parts of Latin America and Europe. The document particularly targets constitutional protections for the right-to-life from conception. The New York-based Open Society Foundations’ proposed 2016-2019 strategy for its Women’s Rights Program appears to be among the documents published by the website DCLeaks.com.
The website claims the documents are from the globally influential foundations begun by billionaire financier George Soros. One of the program’s themes is enabling access to legal abortion, including repealing Ireland’s Eighth Amendment to its constitution. The amendment, passed by voters in 1983, acknowledges “the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.” The Open Society Foundations’ apparent strategy is to fund the Abortion Rights Campaign, Amnesty International Ireland, and the Irish Family Planning Association “to work on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman.”
The first of the Chibok schoolgirls to be rescued after being kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 has revealed that her time in captivity only strengthened her faith and expressed confidence that God will one day deliver her classmates, as well. Amina Ali and her four-month-old baby were rescued in May by soldiers and a civilian vigilante group, more than two years after she and over 200 others were taken by the Islamist militants from a school in northeast Nigeria. During a recent interview with Reuters, the young woman revealed that many of her classmates, who are being held in Sambisa forest, were starved and resorted to eating raw maize, and that some had died in captivity, suffered broken legs or gone deaf after being too close to explosions.
“I think about them a lot – I would tell them to be hopeful and prayerful,” Ali said. “In the same way God rescued me, He will also rescue them.” Despite living in bleak circumstances, she revealed that her faith in God prevented her from being frightened of the militants during her time in captivity: “I am not scared of Boko Haram—they are not my God,” Ali said. The young woman’s mother echoed her daughter’s sentiments, telling the outlet she had observed a positive change in Ali since her rescue, as she now slept much more peacefully than she had ever done before being kidnapped.
JORDAN’S PRINCE HASSAN CONDEMNS ISIS ATTACKS ON CHRISTIANS
Prince Hassan of Jordan says that Christians, Jews and Muslims must come together to combat the “apocalyptic vision” of the Islamic State. “Christianity has been part of the essential fabric of the Middle East for two thousand years. Far from being a Western import as some, incredibly, now seem to suggest, it was born here and exported as a gift to the rest of the world. Christian communities have been intrinsic to the development of Arab culture and civilization,” Prince Hassan wrote in a column along with Dr. Ed Kessler, director of the Woolf Institute. “This central role in our region and civilization is why it is abhorrent to us, as a Muslim and a Jew, to see Christianity and Christians under such savage assault across our region.”
The column in the Telegraph notes that ISIS has not just targeted Christians, but has also gone after Muslims and Jews all “in the name of their God.” “Helping to end this dangerous slide towards hatred, self-destruction and fratricidal conflict is the main challenge for all of us involved in interfaith dialogue. This requires us to step up our efforts to increase understanding that what unites the three great faiths of our region is far greater than any differences. We must stress, too, that respect for the past and learning from it does not require us to live there.” Jordan is home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees who fled ISIS after the start of the civil war.