AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – INTERNATIONAL NEWS 5TH AUGUST 2013

  • DEATHS FROM OVERDOSING AMONGS WOMEN IN AMERICA SPIKES
  • YEAR LONG PRAYER INITIATIVE FOR AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN
  • REPORT BASED ON BBC PROGRAMMING REVEALS ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS IN REPORTING
  • EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS TARGETED BY MORSI SUPPORTERS
  • CHURCH OF ENGLAND SYNOD OFFERS APOLOGY TO ABUSE VICTIMS
  • PEACE PRIZE GIVEN TO JEW AND ARAB WHO WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE LIVES
  • FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR FALLOUT HERO DIES OF CANCER
  • NEW AMERICAN POLL INDICATES SHIFT FROM PRO-ABORTION TO PRO-LIFE
     

DEATHS FROM OVERDOSING AMONGS WOMEN IN AMERICA SPIKES

Overdose deaths in the U.S. are rising fastest among middle-aged women, and their drug of choice is usually prescription painkillers, the government has reported.  “Mothers, wives, sisters and daughters are dying at rates that we have never seen before,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which compiled the data. The problem is one of the few health issues the CDC is working on that are clearly getting worse, he added. For many decades, the overwhelming majority of U.S. overdose deaths were men killed by heroin or cocaine. But by 2010, 40% were women who took prescription painkillers. 

Skyrocketing female overdose death rates are closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers. The new report highlights how the death trend has been more dramatic among women. The CDC found that the number and rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths among females increased about fivefold between 1999 to 2010. Among men, such deaths rose about 3 1/2 times. Overall, more men still die from overdoses of painkillers and other drugs; there were about 23,000 such deaths in 2010, compared with about 15,300 for women.

Men tend to take more risks with drugs than women, and often are more prone to the kind of workplace injuries that lead to their being prescribed painkillers in the first place, experts say. But the gap has been narrowing dramatically. Studies suggest that women are more likely to have chronic pain, to be prescribed higher doses, and to use pain drugs longer than men. Some research suggests women may be more likely than men to try and get painkillers from several physicians. But many doctors may not recognize these facts, said John Eadie, director of a Brandeis University program that tracks prescription-drug monitoring efforts across the United States. 

The report highlights the need for “a mindset change” by doctors, who have traditionally thought of drug abuse as a men’s problem, he said. That means doctors should consider the possibility of addiction in female patients, think of alternative treatments for chronic pain, and consult state drug monitoring programs to find out if a patient has a worrisome history with painkillers. The CDC report focuses on prescription opioids like Vicodin and OxyContin and their generic forms, methadone, and a powerful newer drug called Opana, or oxymorphone. 

“These are dangerous medications and they should be reserved for situations like severe cancer pain,” Frieden said. He added that there has not been a comparable increase in documented pain conditions in the U.S. public that would explain the boom in painkiller prescriptions in the last 10 or 15years. Some experts said the increase in prescriptions can be traced to pharmaceutical marketing campaigns. CDC researchers reviewed death certificates, which are sometimes incomplete. Specific drugs were not identified in every death. In others, a combination of drugs was involved, such as painkillers taken with tranquilizers. 

CDC officials think more than 70% of the overdose deaths were unintentional. One striking finding: The greatest increases in drug overdose deaths were in women ages 45 through 64. In 2010, overdose deaths in this group of middle-aged women added up to about 7,400 – or nearly half the female total, according to CDC statistics. It’s an age group in which more women are dealing with chronic pain and seeking help for it, some experts suggested. Many of these women probably were introduced to painkillers through a doctor’s prescriptions for real pain, such as persistent aches in the lowerback or other parts of the body.

Please pray:

*  for restraint in the push for stronger drugs and the relentless marketing by drug companies directly to the public to seek more answers to pain and stress through mixing prescriptions.

*  for a rise in the number of compassionate physicians who will treat the whole person rather than provide an endless chain of drug prescriptions.

*  with faith and in hope for a rapid spread of the gospel in a nihilistic society so as to lower the number of men and women whose lives of turmoil, stress, sadness, regret, and pain motivate them to feel the need for relief through increased medication.

Source: Intercessors for America

 

YEAR LONG PRAYER INITIATIVE FOR AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN

AFGHANISTAN

During the past month suicide bombings and other attacks by the Taliban have continued to kill many Afghans. There is also the possibility of direct peace talks with the Taliban by the United States.

Please pray:

* for the dissolving of the Taliban which is an extremist group of Islamists       whose aim is to take over Afghanistan and bring it under their retrogressive and barbarous ideology.

*  for the Afghan government and army who are now taking over the main military operations against the Taliban from the tens of thousands of the 48 nation-coalition forces that have fought this battle for 12 years and are due to begin the process of withdrawing. Pray that the Afghans would be wise, effective and united in their fight to defend the nation from the Taliban threat.

*  that through any direct peace talks that may take place between the Taliban and the United States that these talks will result in the Taliban giving up their intention of overthrowing the Afghan government and taking over the nation.

PAKISTAN

Inspite of all the difficulties that Christians experience in Pakistan The National Prayer Network of Pakistan (NPNP) in collaboration with Local Churches and Ministries was able to arrange eight events to celebrate the recent Global Day of Prayer this year. Four events were held for adults and four events for children were also held.  There has subsequently been some backlash against the Christians since then with threats against and beatings of believers, misunderstanding and upset among them, and some confusion. Some want to be preeminent rather than coming together in humility and unity to bolster the prayer movement. All tend to suffer from fear, worrying that the Muslim radicals will target them for harm.

Please pray:

*  that the prayer movement in Pakistan will be greatly encouraged and strengthened, with a strong desire to come together and continue the spiritual battle for their threatened homeland. Pray that youth and children will arise to pray and let adults encourage them and make way for them to emerge.

*  for Prime Minister Sharif of Pakistan. Pray that he will do what is right in the eyes of the Lord for his people and not compromise and make deals with the Taliban. Pray for him and his administration to be delivered from corruption and occult bondage through the influence of spirit mediums that operate openly in that country.

*  that leaders of radical Islamic groups in the country will be stopped. Even those who are captured often seem to operate just as effectively from jail where people are free to visit them. They particularly appear to be targeting Shiites and Christians. Pray their influence will be dealt with by the Lord and cut off completely.

Source: International Prayer Council

 

REPORT BASED ON BBC PROGRAMMING REVEALS ANTI-CHRISTIAN BIAS IN REPORTING

The BBC thinks Christians who disagree with same-sex marriage are”throwbacks who are damaging the church,” according to one of its presenters. Roger Bolton also said if the BBC interviews a Christian who objects to abortion on religious grounds, “they are treated as though they are just a bit barmy.” Bolton was taking part in an official BBC Trust review of the breadth of opinion in the broadcaster’s output on various issues, including religion. In an official report published by the Trust, Bolton said BBC journalists tend to see the same-sex marriage debate “in the context of equal rights.”

Bolton and others interviewed for the report “felt that conservatives on these subjects tend to be treated by interviewers as throwbacks who are damaging the Church and dragging it back into the past.” The report stated,”The corporation seems to some to be self-evidently sympathetic to the idea of same-sex marriage.” It noted that Christians frequently complain the BBC tiptoes around the sensitivities of Islam but happily mocks Christianity. During Holy Week, the BBC broadcast a show about Christianity and comedy, promoting it with a press release that asked, “Is Christianity a Joke?”

The BBC Trust report asked, “Would a programme entitled ‘Is Islam a Joke?’ find its way into the schedules?” And members of all religions complained that BBC journalists had “a very low level of basic knowledge about their faiths.” The report said, “It seems reasonable that any journalist employed by the BBC should be expected to have a basic knowledge of the main and larger minority religions, their beliefs and hierarchies.” Audience research conducted for the report found that evangelicals think “the BBC is  actively non-religious or secular in its attitude.” They think the broadcaster should “treat religious views with respect, and with more patience.”

Source: The Christian Institute

 

EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANS TARGETED BY MORSI SUPPORTERS

Hard-line Muslims in Egypt angry over President Morsi’s removal from power have attacked churches and Christian property. The murder of a church leader in Northern Sinai is also being linked to reprisal attacks by Morsi’s supporters, amid growing civil unrest. Reports of attacks on Christians began to surface just hours after the Egyptian army announced that it had removed from office the Muslim Brotherhood-backed premier and his cabinet. Morsi’s supporters and other hard-line Muslims have made public threats against Christians, accusing them of complicity with the military and ‘secularists’ in Morsi’s downfall.

Morsi supporters have attacked Al Eslah Church and St George’s Church in Delgia village, as well as Christian properties in the area. One minister narrowly escaped with his life when rioters set light to his church: Muslim neighbours hid him from the mob. Other Christian targets were attacked in Qena and Marsa Matrouh and Naga Hassan village, west of Luxor. There rioting resulted in the death of four Christians and the destruction of dozens of homes. Police reportedly asked Christians in the village to leave their homes until peace was restored.  Police also warned church leaders in Cairo to lookout for cars with certain number plates, amid warnings of car bombs.

Please pray:

*  that God will protect and sustain His people in Egypt, amid mounting unrest. Pray that they will know the reality of His peace.

*  for an end to the violence engulfing Egypt.

*  that a political solution can be found to help the nation steer its way back to peace.

Source: Release International

 

CHURCH OF ENGLAND SYNOD OFFERS APOLOGY TO ABUSE VICTIMS

The General Synod has apologised for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people, and vulnerable adults from physical and sexual abuse, and to listen properly to those abused. The apology however has been labelled as potentially “meaningless” by a group of abuse survivors. Members of the Synod voted unanimously in favour of a motion endorsing the “unreserved” apology written by the Archbishops, and inviting the Business Committee to draft legislation toughening up the Church’s safeguarding procedures.

Before introducing the motion, the Bishop of Southwell the Rt Rev Paul Butler who co-chairs the Safeguarding Liaison Group, read out a statement from the Stop Church Child Abuse Group some of whose members were present. The statement criticised the Church for not permitting survivors to “speak for themselves” and for failing to consult survivors on the motion. It suggested that an apology made “without the costly engagement of reaching out to the victims” was “meaningless”. It questioned whether the apology was the “first step to something more” or “a game. to present a Church responsive to its past failings. until the next time.”

Source: Anglican Communion News Service

 

PEACE PRIZE GIVEN TO JEW AND ARAB WHO WORK TOGETHER TO SAVE LIVES

The U.S. Embassy and the International Education Institute have awarded the Victor Goldberg Prize for Peace in the Middle East to “United Hatzalah” President Eli Bir and Alian Murad, a Palestinian Arab, who have worked together to break down barriers between their two peoples. The Victor Goldberg prize is awarded annually to two people, one Jewish and the other Arab, who work together to promote peace. Murad managers the eastern Jerusalem sector of United Hatzalah. The two men received the award for establishing the eastern Jerusalem sector of United Hatzalah, which is a rescue service that provides life-saving support to all regardless of religion or race.

Upon receiving the prize, Bir and Murad stated: “Saving lives knows no borders. We do not differentiate based on religion or race. This is not a slogan, it is a way of life.”  United Hatzalah has about 2,000 volunteers around the country who have normal jobs, but are ready to a moment’s notice to provide emergency medical care as first responders, providing life-saving first aid until an ambulance can arrive at the scene. The prize committee explained that the establishment of a United Hatzalah branch in eastern Jerusalem and the training of new Jewish and Arab volunteers to work the local neighbourhoods had provided a much-needed solution for first aid in the area. 

Source: Israel Today

 

FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR FALLOUT HERO DIES OF CANCER

Masao Yoshida, the man in charge of Japan’s stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the wake of the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has died at 58 from oesophageal cancer. Yoshida was called a “hero” for his actions during the disaster that helped curtail the spread of nuclear fallout. Yoshida-one of the “Fukushima 50”- risked his life to do so, even disobeying orders by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), to stop pumping cooling seawater into the overheating reactors. The “Fukushima 50” were the 50 engineers and workers who stayed on at the plant, braving potentially lethal amounts of radiation, in an attempt to restore the damaged cooling system.

At first reprimanded by the company for his disobedience, Yoshida’s decision helped to lessen the damage of the meltdown, and later they praised Yoshida for his resolve. In fact, Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan tweeted about Yoshida saying, “I bow in respect for his leadership and decision making.” Yoshida stayed at the disabled nuclear facility for nearly nine months, heading up the disaster response. In a December, 2011 statement after Yoshida stepped down from his post as plant head of Fukushima due to illness, Tepco President Naomi Hirose said, “We deeply appreciate his contribution and the way he handled the accident.”

Source: Travelujah Newsletter

 

NEW AMERICAN POLL INDICATES SHIFT FROM PRO-ABORTION TO PRO-LIFE

According to a new Rasmussen poll there has been a significant shift that narrows the gap between those who consider themselves to be pro-abortion or “pro-choice” – 46% and those who say they are pro-life – 43%, which is the highest outcome of pro-lifers from this particular poll to date. A recent Gallup poll found more Americans to be pro-life – 48%, than pro-choice – 45%. The same Gallup poll discovered another interesting statistic; those who work in American media outlets are “overwhelmingly in favour of abortion’s legality,” which explains why reporting of such polls as these is not undertaken by the secular media.

Source: The Weekly Standard