AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER
1 IN 5 JEWISH MILLENNIALS BELIEVE JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD
In a culture of changing spiritual beliefs, a surprising number of young American Jews, more than one in five, said they believe Jesus is the Son of God. A Barna Group survey of Jewish millennials (born between 1984 and 1999) recently released found that 21 percent believe Jesus was “God in human form who lived among people in the first century” and 28 percent “see Him as a rabbi or spiritual leader, but not God.” Forty-two percent said they celebrate Christmas. A majority of those surveyed believe one can be a part of other faiths and still be Jewish, and one-third of Jewish millennials feel “God desires a personal relationship with us.”
The survey was commissioned by the evangelistic group Jews for Jesus, but the Barna Group, noted for a number of in-depth surveys on American religious belief, claims it is “solely responsible for data collection, analysis and writing of the report.” According to the report titled: Jewish Millennials: The Beliefs and Behaviours Shaping Young Jews in America, the group is much more likely to consider themselves as “spiritual” and have more interest in faith and spirituality than other generations. Some of the results surprised Ari Kelman, who was interviewed for the report and teaches Jewish studies at Stanford University.
Kelman was quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying, “These don’t look like Jews I recognize.” He added, “I was not willing to just write them off entirely. Maybe these are Jews we’ve never seen before. We know religion is changing, we know parameters of identity are changing, so why would we expect different generations to look exactly the same?” Kelman acknowledged the credentials of the Barna Group. “They are good social scientists with skin in the game, he said. “Most people who fund research on American Jews also come with an agenda, but the Barna Group don’t cook the books.”
Susan Perlman, director of communications for Jews for Jesus, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) the survey was “very hopeful, from our perspective.” “This is a generation that is spiritual, that is willing to engage in the subject of whether or not Jesus might be the Messiah. All we can ask for is an open mind to engage with the Bible, engage with the culture and look at the possibilities,” Perlman said.
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AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.SAYS THE U.N.SPENDS HALF ITS TIME ON ISRAEL
Following the United States’ withdrawal from one United Nations body last month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that unless the Human Rights Council (UNHRC) reforms its Israel-bashing ways, the US will leave it as well. Among the US’s demanded reforms is the removal of Item 7, a permanent agenda point requiring discussion of Israel’s actions in Judea and Samaria at every single UNHRC session. Item 7 is essentially a built-in forum for criticizing Israel. The US also wants restrictions against major human rights abusers joining the council, Haley said, pointing to the recent addition of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The Human Rights Council will either adopt these reforms, or the United States will leave,” declared Haley. Speaking at the annual Washington conference of the Israeli American Council, Haley was enthusiastically received by a community which increasingly sees her as the rehabilitator of Israel at the U.N. She said that the US would never again repeat the “betrayal” of the Obama administration, which during its last days in power abandoned Israel by allowing an anti-settlement resolution at the Security Council to pass. Slamming the UN for unfairly focusing on Israel, Haley called its obsession “ridiculous.” “It seems the rough breakdown at the UN is half the time on Israel and half the time on the other 192 countries.”
Though Israel quickly followed suit when the US withdrew from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last month, the Jewish state, much vilified by various bodies within the international community, “remains committed to what can seem like a very lonely fight” for diplomatic influence and respect in the UN, praised Haley. She added, “I’m here to let the world know that Israel is not alone.” However, she continued, she is “cautiously optimistic” that the US is “chipping away at the anti-Israel culture” she found in the UN.
Source: Breaking Israel News
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PRAYER BEHIND GUATEMALA’S DECISION TO MOVE ITS EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM
On Christmas Eve, the Central American country of Guatemala became only the second nation apart from the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Christian faith of top government leaders made the difference. Guatemala’s decision to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem happened after much prayer. The country has had a long-term relationship with the state of Israel. Moments after Guatemala’s president received the Friends of Zion Award, CBN News sat down with Vice President Cabrera to discuss his government’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Many Christians in America believe the embassy announcement is long overdue and even prophetic, and he agrees.
“Yes, we do share that idea, that prophesy is coming to pass and we are pleased that Guatemala is contributing to having that happen and we hope that it will soon be a reality,” Cabrera said. He said he prayed about the Jerusalem decision with his family. “This was key to us making the decision to express our Christ likeness and to express our faith. We did pray. It was something that we meditated on and that we later on shared with President Jimmy Morales,” he said. Mike Evans, the man behind the Friends of Zion Award is rallying nations to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Evans says prayer has played a big role in the process.
“Oh, 100 percent it happened through the power of prayer. This didn’t begin in the president’s office. This began in the churches. The churches rallied in Guatemala, they started interceding and touching Heaven regarding this,” Evans said. He went on to explain, “The churches are very, very powerful in Guatemala. They are big, they are organized, they are Believers and they are very, very pro-Israel. So, they united and that wave of faith and intercession came right up to the president’s office, and the foreign minister’s and the vice president’s office and they said ‘yes.'”
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ISRAEL PUBLISHERS LIST OF GROUPS BANNED FROM THEIR COUNTRY
Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry has published a list of 20 groups affiliated with the Boycott of, Divestment from, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement that will be barred from entering the country. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan referred to the list’s publication as “another step in our work to thwart anti-Israel boycott organizations. The state of Israel will actively prevent such groups from spreading their falsehoods and odious methods from within the country,” he said. The list’s publication comes after the Israeli Knesset last year passed legislation that denies entry visas to known BDS activists.
The list, which includes BDS groups from the U.S., Europe, South America and South Africa, will be enforced in March. The U.S.-based groups on the list are the American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), Students for Justice in Palestine and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. “Israel’s decision to specifically ban JVP is disconcerting but not surprising,” tweeted JVP. The publication of the Israeli government’s blacklist comes after the government approved some $75 million to combat BDS. Some of the funding will be used to create a not-for-profit organization comprised of Israeli government officials and foreign donors.
Source: Intercessors for America
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