AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – INTERNATIONAL NEWS 17th FEBRUARY 2014
- ANTI SEMITISM RISES AS NEO-NAZIS HIJACK ‘EUROMAIDEN’ IN UKRAINE
- SIX WAYS MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPING THE CHURCH IN AMERICA
- SATANISTS DEMAND EQUAL TIME WITH JESUS AS ANTICHRIST SPIRITS RISE
- BELGIAN SENATE PASSES BILL PERMITTING DOCTORS TO EUTHANIZE CHILDREN
- DEVASTATING START TO NEW YEAR FOR CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA
PLANNED PARENTHOOD RECEIVES M$540 FROM TAXPAYERS AND PERFORMS 327,166 ABORTIONS IN 2012
ANTI SEMITISM RISES AS NEO-NAZIS HIJACK ‘EUROMAIDEN’ IN UKRAINE
Situated on the north shore of the Black Sea, Ukraine is a geographically strategic state. The north-west is predominantly Ukrainian-speaking, pro-Europe, and Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic. The south-east is predominantly Russian-speaking, pro-Russia and Russian Orthodox. So while Ukraine is highly strategic, it is also extremely delicate. Protests erupted in Kiev in November 2013, after the government of Viktor Yanukovich chose not to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union in preference to closer economic ties with Russia. Initially the protests, which quickly became known as “Euromaiden” — were focused on the protestors’ desire to be more European and less under the influence of Russia.
When the government introduced anti-protest laws in January the protests turned violent and strongly anti-government, with elements declaring their intention to fight until they achieve regime change in Kiev. [NOTE: the anti-protest laws have since been repealed.] President Yanukovich does not face a political threat, as his Party of Regions has a comfortable majority in parliament. However, the situation on the streets has turned very ugly indeed, with many warning that Ukraine could be lurching towards civil war. Despite the clear and present danger, Germany and the U.S. have publically thrown their support behind the anti-government protestors.
Ukraine could tear itself apart with the north-west coming under Europe, and the south-east coming under Russia, and a massive and bloody war for Crimea. The mood of the protestors changed in early December when Ukraine’s three main opposition parties — Fatherland, UDAR and Svoboda — began to take control of Euromaiden. Svoboda (Freedom) is a neo-Nazi, ultra-nationalist, anti-Semitic party. According to Svoboda, a nation is a community bound by blood and spirit. Therefore, only those belonging to the traditional Ukrainian [blood] nation may be members. Svoboda supports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and deems atheists and former Communist party members ineligible for party membership.
President of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee (UJC) and member of the parliament of Ukraine, Oleksandr Feldman warns: “Ever since the breakthrough success of Svoboda in the 2010 elections, leaders of Fatherland and UDAR repeatedly have declined entreaties from myself and many other supporters of democracy in Ukraine to break their electoral alliance with Svoboda, apparently seeing the party and its leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, as essential partners in the coalition to topple President Viktor Yanukovych.” Elements of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also see Svoboda as an essential ally against all things Russian.
According to Feldman, Svoboda is fanning the flames of anti-Semitism inKiev. He describes a skit that was performed on the main stage at Euromaidenon New Year’s Eve. “The lead role,” says Feldman, “was played by a Svoboda parliamentarian named Bogdan Benyuk, who donned black garb and sidelocks to play a stereotypical Orthodox Jewish wheeler-dealer character called Zhyd (Kike).” Feldman explains that Zhyd — established as a banker, stock broker and loan shark — represents the stereotypical “Jewish oligarch”. He sings,”East and West belong to me; our people are everywhere.”
According to Feldman the skit drew parallels between the birth of Jesus and contemporary Ukrainian politics, linking Yanukovych with King Herod and establishing the Jews as powerful, greedy, self-interested and treacherous.The next day 15,000 opposition members marched in a Svoboda-sponsored torchlight parade “down Central Kiev’s Kreshatik Boulevard in commemoration of the 105th anniversary of the birth of World War II-era nationalist leader Stepan Bandera, an ally of Nazi Germany whose followers participated in massacres of Ukrainian Jews. Marchers carried red and black nationalist banners and shouted nationalist slogans as they cheered Tyahnybok and expressed their undying love for Bandera.”
Jewish leaders have expressed concern over the prominent role being played by the Svoboda party, noting that its leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, supports European integration primarily because he is opposed to being controlled by “Russian-Jewish mafia”. According to the Ukraine Jewish Committee’s (UJC’s) Director, Eduard Dolinsky, the slogan, “Glory to the nation, death to its enemies,” is being popularised once again despite the fact that this slogan was once used by nationalist insurgents known for killing Jews. Dolinsky believes that while some protestors would have no idea about the background of the slogan, some certainly do, “especially the leaders of the opposition.”
It must not be forgotten that Ukraine has history. In what has become known as a “Holocaust by bullets”, some 1.7 million Jews were shot in Ukraine during WWII under supervision of the Nazis. As Deidre Berger, the head of the American Jewish Committee in Berlin told a recent conference in Krakow, Poland, “more Jews were killed by shooting in Ukraine than murdered in Auschwitz in the crematoria.” On 28 Jan, Christians 4 Israel (C4I) issued an urgent call for prayer and support, noting that there is “great fear in the Jewish community”. An 84-year old survivor of the Holocaust expressed his fears to Koen Carlier (C4I leader in Ukraine), “This is not going to end well,” he said.
Source: Religious Liberty Monitoring
SIX WAYS MILLENNIALS ARE SHAPING THE CHURCH IN AMERICA
Every new generation influences society in profound ways. Every new generation also affects churches in America. The Millennial generation is no different. Those adults and youth born between 1980 and 2000 are large in number, nearly 80 million. They are the largest generation in America, and they will continue to shape much of what takes place in our nation. They are also setting the tone for American churches today. I have written about Millennials extensively, so I thought it might be helpful for me to share some key ways this generation is already shaping the church. Here are six of the most profound shifts. How are Millennials impacting your church?
1. There are fewer of them in church than previous generations. By our estimates, only 15 percent of the Millennials are Christians. No more than 20 percent of them are attending church once a month or more.
2. The Millennials’ desire for relationships are affecting the churches they choose to attend. They will only go to churches where they can easily connect with others. Unlike the Boomers, they refuse to be worship-only attendees. They desire to be in more relational settings. Churches with healthy groups will be very attractive to Millennials.
3. This generation is doctrinally serious. At least the Christians among the Millennials care deeply about doctrine. More and more Millennial Christians will be in churches that are deeper in doctrine both from the preaching and within the groups of the church.
4. The Millennials are intensely community focused. They are more likely to be in a church where the leadership and the congregation care about and are involved in the community they serve. They are refusing to be a part of a church that acts largely in isolation.
5. This generation is already affecting the size of the worship gathering. Worship centres will be smaller. The Millennials are at the forefront of this facility revolution. They will eschew large worship services for more informal and smaller gatherings.
6. The Millennials will check the facts of church life. When the preacher states a historical fact, many Millennials will check its historical accuracy on their smartphone within seconds. They will look at church budgets with an eye for missional impact. This generation is somewhat of a doubting generation, and they have the resources to check anything said or offered by churches.
Source: Thom S Rainer, President of LifeWay Christian Resources
SATANISTS DEMAND EQUAL TIME WITH JESUS AS ANTICHRIST SPIRITS RISE
A disturbing sign is emerging of how hard antichrist spirits are working to push Jesus out of our minds. Oklahoma recently decided to allow a Ten Commandments monument on the state Capitol’s lawn. This is the type of thing that typically puts radical atheist activists up in arms, with billboards and lawsuits aimed at removing any reminder of God and His Son from the public square. But the atheists haven’t launched an attack-at least not yet. Instead, other antichrist spirits are rising up, demanding equal time to celebrate their religions. Indeed, Satanists and Hindus want Oklahoma to erect statues for their false gods.
A Satanist group has petitioned to have its monument, with an interactive display for children, put up alongside the Ten Commandments. And a Hindu organization has applied to have a monkey god statue placed on the Capitol grounds. Socially conservative Christian groups fought for years to have the Ten Commandments displayed at the statehouse, and the monument went up in 2012. Oklahoma City lawyer David Slane put it rightly when he said the legislature essentially opened a Pandora’s box. As it turns out, if the state refuses to allow Satanists, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists – and God knows who else – to erect monuments on the property, they are violating the Equal Protection Clause.
It is ironic how Satan is using legalism to push his antichrist agenda in Oklahoma’s government, but it’s more strategic than ironic. Oklahoma’s governing officials argue that they live in a largely Christian state with values and ideals that differ from Satanists. And that’s just why the antichrist spirits are circling. You won’t find antichrist spirits where Christ isn’t being preached, as the goal of the antichrist spirit is to replace Jesus, not merely have a statue next to His. The antichrist spiritis rapidly rising in this hour, and you can expect to see more manifestations in the months and years ahead.
Before the Antichrist, Satan, comes on the scene, we will see more and more antichrist spirits rising to push Jesus out of the mainstream. Like John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming, these demonic forerunners are voices preparing the way for Satan himself with deceiving agendas that target the confused, hurt and lost. Indeed, the antichrist agenda will become bolder, and it will grow darker in the days ahead. But despite the doom and gloom, Jesus is still Lord. Our job is to let our light shine, speak the truth of the gospel in love, and keep our eyes on Jesus, so that we can rescue people from the kingdom of darkness and escape the prophesied great falling away among the saints.
Source: Intercessors for America
BELGIAN SENATE PASSES BILL PERMITTING DOCTORS TO EUTHANIZE CHILDREN
In 50-17 vote, the Belgian Senate approved a bill that would allow euthanasia for children. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for final approval before being sent to the King to be signed into law. Most political observers are predicting the passage of the bill. Currently the law in Belgium allows euthanasia requests for those over 18 and of sound mind, although it is acknowledged that these restrictions are widely ignored. The bill allows euthanasia, with parental consent, for children experiencing intolerable physical pain and who are suffering from a terminal medical condition.
Since legalization of euthanasia in 2002, Belgium has seen a nearly 500 percent increase in deaths by euthanasia. Various studies have found that patients in hospitals are increasingly being killed without their consent or the consent of their families. Tom Mortier, an anti-euthanasia advocate and lecturer in chemistry at Leuven University College in Leuven, Belgium, whose own mother was euthanized by one of the nation’s foremost doctors, called today’s vote “insanity.” He pointed to research showing the growing abuses of euthanasia in the country. “You can’t be a little bit in favour of euthanasia,” he said. “Then, you are lost… you will open Pandora’s Box and this is what is happening in Belgium.”
In 2010, research published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that 32 percent of euthanasia deaths in the Flemish region of Belgium are done without an explicit request. A second study by the CMAJ the same year found that nearly 45 percent of euthanasia deaths involving nurses in Belgium were without a specific request. Research published the same year by the British Medical Journal also found that only 52.8 percent of all euthanasia deaths were officially reported, as is required by the law. According to some reports, there are increasing cases of elderly Belgians who are afraid to be hospitalized over the potential that they may be euthanized.
Source: LifeSite News
DEVASTATING START TO NEW YEAR FOR CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIA
It has been a devastating start to the year for Christians in Northern Nigeria, with a pastor being shot and 26 people, most of them parishioners, killed in an attack on a church in two separate incidents in recent weeks. The unnamed pastor was killed on 31 January, in an attack on a church in Adamawa state. This is despite 10 local people trying to hold back the attackers, who then killed and stole a number of livestock before fleeing. In a separate incident on 26 January, BBC reports that the Bishop of Yola, Mamza Dami Stephen described how locals in Waga Chakawa village, Adamawa state were “living in fear” after insurgents arrived toward the end of the church service to “slaughter” worshippers.
The group locked the church doors and killed those trying to escape, before setting off bombs, burning houses in the village and taking hostages in a siege that lasted for four hours. “There is no protection,” the bishop said.”We cannot predict where and when they are going to attack. People can’t sleep with their eyes closed.” In the past 12 months 612 Nigerian Christians have been killed with hundreds of cases of physical aggression recorded and nearly 300 churches destroyed. President Goodluck Jonathan spoke about the security challenges of recent attacks saying they were part of a “quite challenging period for our traditional rulers, religious leaders and opinion leaders.”
* for President Goodluck Jonathan and his leaders in Nigeria to be able to put strongholds in place which lead to the return of peace and security in Nigeria, particularly in the north of the country.
* for all Christians in regions of Nigeria currently under threat from terrorist groups. Pray for their safety and their spiritual strength
* for a wave of revelation to sweep terrorist group Boko Haram and other insurgents, and that they will come to know Jesus is Lord.
Source: Open Doors
PLANNED PARENTHOOD RECEIVES M$540 FROM TAXPAYERS AND PERFORMS 327,166 ABORTIONS IN 2012
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) performed 327,166 abortions in 2012 while collecting more than half-a-billion dollars from U.S. taxpayers, according to its most recent annual report. The numbers represent a modest decrease from 2011 levels, when Planned Parenthood performed a record-setting 333,964 abortions and collected $542.4 million, or 45.2percent of its total revenue, from government funding. “In 2012, abortions made up 93.8 percent of Planned Parenthood’s pregnancy services, while prenatal care and adoption referrals accounted for only 5.6 percent and 0.6 percent (2,197).” For every adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 149 abortions.”
“Planned Parenthood reported a total of three million clients in 2012, meaning that 11 percent of all Planned Parenthood clients received an abortion,” it stated. The figures are significant, as PPFA continues to maintain that “abortion services” represent only three percent of its overall functions, a number that it arrives at by separating abortion out from a bundle of other services that a client may receive at the same time as undergoing the abortion. In addition to direct abortions, Planned Parenthood distributed 1,590,133 “emergency contraception” kits, which can work as an abortifacient
Source: Intercessors for America