Following all of the natural disasters that have afflicted America in recent weeks, Intercessors for America conducted a survey of their members asking the question “Is God speaking to us through natural disasters”. More than 1000 Intercessors took part in the survey. Here are the results:
Is God speaking to us through hurricanes, fires, and flooding?
No 5.1 %
For those who believe God is speaking to America, here is what the Intercessors believe God is saying:
We as a nation need to repent 67.0%
He is coming soon 10.1%
A great revival is coming soon 6.6%
Too late—this is your judgment 0.5%
How are you responding to natural disasters?
Lord, wake up your Church! 35.0%
Lord, may we hear your voice! 26.6%
All answers apply 19.5%
Lord, have compassion 8.2%
Lord, come quickly! 4.4%
Why Lord? 0.4%
Here are some of the Scriptures that God put on the hearts of the Intercessors as they were praying:
CATHOLIC CHARITY RESPONDS TO ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS IN BANGLADESH
Catholic aid charity Caritas Bangladesh is working to provide emergency aid to Rohingya refugees. About 240,000 children have fled Burma’s Rakhine state into neighbouring Bangladesh over the last three weeks, according to a UN agency. The figure, amounting to about 60 per cent of an estimated 391,000 Rohingya refugees, includes about 36,000 children under a year old, said Unicef spokeswoman Marixie Mercado. She added that the children’s agency also estimates about 52,000 pregnant women. Caritas Bangladesh’s relief efforts are being supported by UK Catholic aid charity CAFOD which said “food, clean water and sanitation, and medical and health services are urgently needed”. Tom Delamere, CAFOD’s Programme Officer for Bangladesh, said: “The situation for the refugees in Bangladesh is truly concerning.”
“Reports we have received from the UN and from our partner, Caritas Bangladesh, show the desperate need faced by thousands of people. Those that have made it into Bangladesh are living in extremely poor conditions, they are hungry, weak and sick. Many refugees are sleeping in the open air and in desperate need of food and water. Others are in makeshift refugee camps along the side of the road, or wherever they can find space.” Caritas Bangladesh hopes to help more than 14,000 vulnerable families. A Rohingya insurgent group attacked police posts in Rakhine on August 25, and the Burmese military responded with “clearance operations”. Fleeing Rohingya say security forces shot indiscriminately, burned their homes and threatened them with death. The government says hundreds died, mostly Rohingya, and that 176 out of 471 Rohingya villages have been abandoned.
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres described the violence against Rohingya as “ethnic cleansing”, and Amnesty International said it has evidence of an “orchestrated campaign of systematic burnings” by Burmese security forces targeting dozens of Rohingya villages over the last three weeks. With refugee camps overflowing and hundreds of thousands of Rohingya struggling to find shelter, food and other essential services, aid workers say they are deeply worried by the continuing influx of people by land and water.
500,000 U.S.PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS TO BRING THEIR BIBLES TO SCHOOL
About 500,000 public school students from all 50 states are expected to join Focus on the Family’s Bring Your Bible to School movement on Thursday, Oct. 5, participating in the fourth annual student-led religious freedom event. Many Christian students feel there’s an unspoken pressure to stay silent about their faith. Others report overt efforts to silence them from presenting their Bible-based viewpoints in class discussions or assignments. Yet, the First Amendment recognizes the rights of students to talk about their faith and read their Bibles outside of classroom time. “Over the years we’ve heard from many kids and teens who want to meaningfully engage in conversations with peers to share their perspective on important issues,” said Focus on the Family President Jim Daly.
“The good news is, they can. The Constitution recognizes students’ rights to share their Biblical viewpoints in a way that doesn’t disturb instruction time, and to exercise their faith at school. ‘Bring Your Bible to School Day’ celebrates these rights and gives Christian students a chance to share a bit about their faith, which is an important part of who they are.” “Bring Your Bible to School Day” has grown since it first started in 2014 with 8,000 students to an estimated 356,000 students last year. It’s also garnered the attention of Christian influencers like the award-winning band Newsboys and Sadie Robertson of Duck Dynasty. Alliance Defending Freedom is again offering students free legal representation if their rights are violated at school.
North Carolina voters in Charlotte, North Carolina, have taken one step to send the message that they don’t want men in women’s private facilities, but there’s one more major step to go. In February 2016, Mayor Jennifer Roberts ramrodded a city ordinance giving transgendered individuals the right to use either restroom in city businesses, which prompted state lawmakers to respond by passing a bill to overturn it. In last week’s primary election, Roberts was defeated in her bid for re-election. Tammy Fitzgerald of the North Carolina Values Coalition is pleased with the election outcome. “We think it sends a clear message to the Human Rights Campaign and other groups,” she explains, “that would target big cities like Charlotte to bring in radical ordinances to protect sexual orientation and gender identity, and elevate those categories above everyone else.”
Council member Kenny Smith, who is pro-life and voted twice against the Charlotte transgender ordinance, won the Republican primary. Mayor Roberts was defeated for the Democratic nod by Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles, whose win over Roberts was called a stunning defeat by The Charlotte Observer. Lyles defeated Roberts 46-36 percent. However, Lyles’s voting record is nearly identical to that of Roberts. Fitzgerald pressed the crucial need for Charlotte residents with traditional values to show up for the general election on November 7 to prevent citizens from facing another liberal mayor, one who sees the rights of gender-confused people as superior to the rights of others.
TOP EUROPEAN COURT RULES AGAINST GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE IN CHURCH AFFAIRS
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has reaffirmed the right for churches in Europe to regulate their own affairs. It was ruling on a case in Hungary in which a pastor was sacked by his church. In 2005, Karoly Nagy was removed from his post by an ecclesiastical court. He appealed but it was dismissed. He then took the case to the Hungarian Supreme Court which said it had no right to overrule the church’s legal system. Mr Nagy asked the ECHR to force the state courts to intervene. However the ECHR also ruled against him. The case heard evidence from the religious freedom charity ADF International which argued the state has no place interfering in the relationship between a church and its leaders. Welcoming the ruling, Paul Coleman, Deputy Director of ADF International, said: “We intervened in this case to highlight the principle of church autonomy in handling internal disciplinary matters.”
“International law and especially the European Convention on Human Rights protects this fundamental freedom. The state shall have no role in meddling with the internal governance of religious institutions. “This Grand Chamber judgment has confirmed the principle of church autonomy by dismissing a claim by a former pastor that he was entitled to use the state courts against a church when he was unhappy with the decisions of the internal ecclesiastical courts. This decision is welcome as it reinforces the rights of religious believers in all 47 member states of the Council of Europe to manage their own affairs without unwarranted external interference.”
MOST PEOPLE WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHURCH OF ENGLAND NEVER READ THE BIBLE
Most people who call themselves Church of England Christians never read the Bible. That is one of the findings of a survey commissioned by the Church of England to help revamp its evangelism efforts. Figures show that 60 per cent of self-declared followers of the Church admit they never read the Bible. Meanwhile, 36 per cent say they never attend church and one in three says they never pray. The figures from ComRes survey show that many who claim to be Christian do not actually take part in many of the activities normally associated with the faith. While 51 per cent of those who took part in the survey said they were Christians, only six per cent of those polled read the Bible, prayed and attended church at least once a week. Those who said they were followers of the Church of England were the least observant.
Rachel Jordan, the Church’s national mission and evangelism adviser said the survey has given the Church a real sense of the scale of the task ahead. She said: “What we were trying to work out is what our team is and who is really with us. Then you can see more of the scale of the task. “We can see that a lot of people have an affiliation to us but they don’t put anything in practice so we are going to work hard to relate to them.” Jordan also told Premier the Church wants to work out how to connect with non-Christians. She added: “The good news is that of those who were not Christian, 67 per cent of them knows one of us who are an active Christian. So that gives us a chance to actually influence them.”