CHILDREN BEHEADED, MOTHERS RAPED, FATHERS HUNG IN CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE IN IRAQ
It is with a heavy-heart, grieved spirit, and a sick stomach that we must report the most evil, horrific acts carried out yet by ISIS troops in Iraq against Christians. In an interview, Chaldean-American leader and California businessman, Mark Arabo, said, “Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst… Children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung. Right now, three thousand Christians are in Iraq fleeing to neighbouring cities.” The interviewer was shocked at Arabo’s pronouncement. “You’re startling me with the severity of what you’re describing,” he said. “You said they are-beheading children?!”
Arabo confirmed his statement saying, “They are systematically beheading children. And mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for generations. There’s actually a park in Mosul where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick… These are crimes against humanity. They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of.” France has offered Iraqi Christians asylum and Arabo has called on the international community to follow their lead. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY.
From Baghdad Canon Andrew White, known as “The Bishop of Baghdad,” has made public his concern that the global events, including the Israeli-Gaza conflict, are causing people to forget about the horrors in Iraq and the great needs that exist there. In a note to the Catholic News Service, White wrote, “The Islamic State simply said we can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza. In reality, that is true. Iraq seems like old news,yet things just get worse and worse here. It is as if Hell has broken out here and nobody cares. Pray for our perseverance,” he added, “that we and our people will not give up the spiritual fight before us.”
Dr. White, in his blog to his supporters, also wrote of the horrific conditions now facing Christians in Iraq: We are so grateful for the immense response there has been to the urgent needs of the Christians in the North of Iraq. The scenes we are seeing here are the most awful I have ever seen. A family of 8 all shot through the face laying in a pool of blood with their Bible open on the couch. They would not convert, it cost them their life.This is Iraq today. The only hope and consolation is that all these dear people are now all with Yeshua in Glory.
* for Christians and others who have fled Mosul and other areas of Iraq and Syria; pray that they reach their destinations safely and are welcomed with understanding.
* spiritual strength for remaining Christians in Iraq to trust God’s plan for their nation; pray that they preach the Gospel in the midst of the persecution.
* for the ISIS terrorists and their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to encounter the risen Christ and repent of their crimes against humanity.
PRAY FOR THE CONTAINMENT OF THE EBOLA VIRUS EPIDEMIC
First detected in Guinea, the Ebola outbreak has surged across borders to invade neighbouring countries, quickly outstripping fragile health systems and forcing health officials to fight the battle on many fronts. Past outbreaks have been more localized, but the current one has spread extensively over a vast region. The stepped-up effort is long overdue, according to some analysts. They say the initial response was inadequate on both the national and international level and allowed the disease to mushroom into an international threat. The viral illness has exacted a terrible toll, killing 729 people, including top physicians in Liberia and Sierra Leone, nations that already faced an acute shortage of doctors.
The outbreak has also sickened two American aid workers, who have been repatriated back to the United States for treatment. “The whole thing has been very incompetently handled,” said Lansana Gberie, a historian from Sierra Leone. “If the government had quarantined this area” where the outbreak started, in the remote northeast, “they could have contained it. Instead they opened a treatment centre in Kenema, a major population centre.” On Politico SL, a widely followed website in Sierra Leone, a journalist, Umaru Fofana, has written recently that “the country seems leaderless in the fight.” Now that cases have spread so widely, controlling the outbreak will be more costly and difficult.
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Communicative Diseases Centre, warned that the worsening outbreak could take at least three to six months to bring under control, “even in a best-case scenario.” Hostility and violence directed at health workers are making the job harder, he said.” Please pray for God’s wisdom and direction for researchers in finding a cure and vaccine for this deadly disease. The World Health Organization (WHO)said that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now an “international public health emergency” which will require “an extraordinary response to stop its spread.”
Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO chief, said it’s a “clear call for international solidarity,” although not every country would experience an Ebola case first-hand. “Countries affected to date simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity on their own,” added Dr.Chan. “I urge the international community to provide this support on the most urgent basis possible.” The report stated that this Ebola outbreak started in March, in Guinea and then spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia. There is also a “suspected cluster” of Ebola cases in Nigeria. Currently there is no vaccine, and treatments are yet unlicensed and experimental.
1 for the quick containment and eradication of the Ebola epidemic as well as for good medical treatment and hopefully healing for those who have contracted it.
2. that government authorities and medical personnel will be given wisdom to do what is necessary to protect vulnerable populations in West Africa and to keep the virus from spreading to other nations.
CHILDREN THE HELPLESS VICTIMS OF THE ISRAELI/GAZA CONFLICT
The conflict between Israel and Gaza has escalated into a full-scale war. When the rocket attacks from Gaza started most observers felt that it would be over in less than a week. Israel responded with air, land, and most recently ground assaults against rocket sites. All agreed cease-fires have been broken. Israel claims it will not withdraw from Gaza until all of its extensive tunnels are destroyed. Sirens go off all day and night in Israel, giving residents 60 seconds to get to a shelter. Residents of both sides are traumatized, especially the children. Palestinians, struggling in impoverished conditions, find themselves without vital resources. Israeli mothers grab their babies when sirens sound and run to shelters.
Thousands of young children on both sides of the border are living in a constant state of fear. Psychologist Yotam Dagan, the International Cooperation Director of Natal, an Israeli nongovernmental organization, treats victims of trauma related to war and terror. He says, “It’s not justan Israeli problem and it’s not just a Palestinian problem – children are children everywhere. Psychological trauma is like an invisible bullet that goes through your soul and your mind.”
Let’s Pray For:
* Healing and comfort for those suffering in both Israel and Gaza
* Wise counsel for leaders on both sides of the conflict to negotiate a lasting peace process
* The Holy Spirit to minister supernaturally to the traumatized children and bring relief and restful sleep to them.
INDIAN PRIME MINISTER TAKES A STRONG STANCE AGAINST VIOLENCE TOWARDS WOMEN
Dr. K. P. Yohannan, missionary-statesman and advocate for the poor and destitute in South Asia, is encouraged by newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments and commitment to addressing incidents of mistreatment of women and girls in his country. Several recent incidents in India involving the rape and murder of young girls have brought the issue to international attention. Modi, in an address to Parliament, said,”Governments will have to work strictly against this, else our own souls will not forgive us,” according to The Guardian newspaper. Modi also told lawmakers to “stop politicizing rape” and that “respect for women, their security -should be the priority for all 1.2 billion people.”
“I am immensely grateful how the prime minister has responded to recent events and called the nation and government officials to do what they can to bring about change,” said Yohannan. “We mourn for the lives of these innocent girls, but are encouraged by the stand the government is taking. “The violence in India, reflects a much broader and deeper issue regarding the mistreatment of women globally, particularly as a result of patriarchal views that are often deeply entrenched in cultural attitudes. The government response to the violence in India demonstrates a shift in how the world is responding to these types of incidents, and how commitment to addressing the underlying causes is growing.
Many of the victims in India are Dalits-members of lower castes. They are often mistreated by the upper castes, which reflects a global disposition on behalf of the powerful to abuse those who are vulnerable. In many countries, this mistreatment extends to numerous other areas, including how widows are treated, limited educational and career training opportunities women and girls are offered, and entrapment that can easily lead to slave labour and human trafficking. As attitudes change many women currently caught in the cycle of mistreatment will begin to find hope, restoration and healing.
ABORTIONS IN NEW ZEALAND DECLINE FOR THE SIXTH YEAR IN A ROW
New Zealand’s abortion rate is continuing to trend downward, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand. The number of reported induced abortions in the country was 14,073 in 2013. This is down from 14,745 in 2012. The general abortion rate of 15.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years is the lowest since 1994, when it was 15.3 per 1,000. Abortion numbers peaked in 2003, when 18,511 were reported. The numbers have been declining for six consecutive years. All pro-life groups in New Zealand are welcoming the news, while lamenting the fact that just over 14,000 unborn children lost their lives.
Voice for Life President Bernard Moran said that he feels “a sense of great sadness for the more than 14,000 human beings who were denied social justice and their fundamental human right to life last year in NZ.” There are many theories behind the declining abortion rate. Family First NZ said in a statement that they believe the abortion rate will continue to drop as more people learn about prenatal development. “The ‘bunch of cells’ argument that has driven the right-to-abortion argument is now just ‘flat earth science’. As the average person has learnt more about the biology of prenatal development, they have become more ‘pro-life,'” said Marina Young, spokesperson for Family First NZ and founder of the Buttons Project.
President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order soon that will expand protections for federal lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers. “In the USA, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense,” he said at the Democratic National Committee’s annual LGBT gala in New York City. The new order will bar federal contractors from discriminating against anyone based on sexual orientation and gender identity. “Sometimes you guys were a little impatient and I had to say, ‘Will you just settle down for a second? We’ve got this.’ But because of your help, we’ve been able to do more to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community than any administration in history,” Obama said.
The executive order has been drafted and awaits his signature. It’s unclear when Obama will sign it and if there will be a religious exemption. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, has asked the White House to include those exemptions. Religious leaders warn if there’s no exemption, some Christian and Jewish charities may be forced to violate their faith or withdraw from federal contracts. At the gala, the President also urged those in attendance to put pressure on Congress to pass legislation that would extend protections further to the LGBT community. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed in the Senate, has stalled in the House. The ENDA is a broader measure than the President’s order that includes religious exemption.