The crackdown on churches in China is ramping up again.
Chinese police in Wenzhou forcibly removed the cross from the top of a local church building. The members of the church gathered around the fallen cross, weeping and praying for the men who conducted the removal.
The congregants had tried to protect the cross atop Longgang Huai En Church but hundreds of police descended on the building and overwhelmed the church members. The government said the cross on top violated the city’s ordinance on the height of buildings within the city.
The government workers did make an unusual step in allowing the church members to keep the cross inside their building.
The Chinese government is cracking down on churches in Wenzhou, called the “Jerusalem of China” by local Christians because of the revival of faith in the city. The International Chrsitian Concern says that the government has not only encouraged local officials to remove crosses from buildings but are offering political promotions to those who succeed in shutting down churches.
The Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has made another deadly attack on a Christian church in Nigeria.
The terrorists bombed Saint Charles Catholic Church in Kano, Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 5 people and wounding 8 others. The bombing happened shortly after the ending of Sunday mass as the crowd was beginning to leave the building. Police estimate the weapon was an IED thrown from across the road.
The attack was one of two attempted in Kano on Sunday. A woman wearing a homicide bomb vest was surrounded and isolated by police, detonating her device where she could not cause damage. Five officers were slightly wounded when she detonated the device.
In a surprising show of support to the Christian community of Kano, Muslim officials cancelled the city’s celebrating of the Eid festival marking the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan.
Government officials say that Boko Haram has started receiving weapons and training from other al-Qaeda related groups like Al-Shabab in Somalia.
A small country church in Carthage, Missouri wanted to honor veterans and soldiers during their Vacation Bible School. The military banned troops from going to the event.
Paramedics, police and firefighters in the community showed up Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to talk to the kids, teach them some basics of their jobs and receive thanks for their efforts to make the community better.
On Thursday, when the National Guard was supposed to show up, no one was there.
The military told the National Guard troops they were banned from the event and if they showed up at all on the grounds of the church they could face discipline. The military said that just the presence of the troops or any National Guard asset meant they were sponsoring the Baptist religion.”
The military officers were more concerned about someone who is not a Christian being offended by the troops appearing at the church than they were about any Christians who might be upset at being told they weren’t worth visiting.
The Missouri National Guard reportedly tried to do all they could to attend the event but it was at the federal level where the ban on associating with Christians was ordered.
National Guard troops were furious at the Defense Department’s actions.
“We had a lot of disappointed kiddos because of the National Guard being unwilling to allow a Humvee and a few soldiers to spend an hour at a Baptist Church,” a Guardsman said. “It makes we wonder what I’m actually fighting for.”
Things are really happening fast in our world and we find ourselves racing toward the Second Coming of Jesus at lightning speeds. People are really looking for a “now” word and they often look to us. That’s why I want to say that there is no more important word than the one the follows: The Church must come together as a family who love each other and pray and support each other because things are going to get real crazy, very soon.
There are many people who know Jim and me because we are public figures, and more and more of them are becoming closer to us as we experience the signs of Revelation. I have had people write in and tell us that we are their “family” and I have to tell you, that really touches my heart and we feel the same way. Continue reading →
An apparent Satanist is burning Bibles on the lands of various churches near Mesa, Arizona.
Police say that the suspect has burned Bibles on six different occasions since May. The Bibles are usually ripped apart before they’re burned and so far there’s been no evidence left behind for police to use in their investigation.
Officials say the incidents are “bias crimes” and that at one of the churches, the arsonist scrawled “Hail Satan” on the church’s gates.
The first burned Bible was found on Mother’s Day at Mesa Baptist Church.
“Mother’s Day morning we were opening up our double doors and as we came out we walked right up on a burned Bible,” Pastor Mark Rice told KSAZ-TV, thinking at first it was a prank. “When it happened [again] a week later, we knew it was intentional.”
The pastor said the “Hail Satan” message was carved into the church gates with a nail or knife in letters three inches high.
Pastor Rice said he hopes that the situation doesn’t turn any more violent or destructive than it has been already.
A New York City church is offering to pay for the flights to have Meriam Ibrahim and her family leave Sudan along with providing them food and shelter.
Pastor William Devlin of Manhattan Bible Church traveled to Sudan and met with the Foreign Minister. The pastor says that he asked the Minister to intervene to allow the family to leave the country with him.
“The Devlin family has offered to bring this family back to the USA from Khartoum and have them live with us. I have been interviewed by the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. and I have also met for three hours with the U.S. Ambassador to Sudan here in Khartoum – and his senior staff,” Devlin said in an email to The Christian Post on Sunday. “I, along with another brother in the Lord, were able to go to the Safe House where this persecuted family is currently living in Khartoum and minister to them for over an hour.”
The family is reportedly in good health despite the Sudanese government’s continued actions in keeping Ibrahim from leaving the country. The family is still waiting for the results of an ultrasound to see if newborn Maya will be able to walk after complications with her birth.
A group of Islamic extremists attacked two major Christian villages leaving at least 30 people dead in one attack and two men burned alive in the second.
The Morning Star News of Kenya reported that the Islamists attacked Covenant Church near Hindi after the close of a Bible study. Two men hid inside the building while the rest of the Christians fled the attack and were burned alive when the Islamists torched the building.
Less than 48 hours earlier, the same group of Islamists attacked near Gamba and Hindi, killing all they found after telling Muslims and non-Christians to leave the area or convert to Islam. One of the dead with a 12-year-old boy from a Christian primary school and other man who was executed point blank, put in a pool of his blood and then had a Bible jammed into his back.
One witness said the attackers bound their victims before killing them.
“I was removed with my daughter from the house while the attackers tied my husband to the bedside before setting the house on fire,” a survivor told Morning Star News. “The attackers…targeted non-Muslims, whom they tied with ropes before slitting their throats.”
The government confirmed most of the dead had their hands bound behind their backs and had their throats slit.
One of the students killed had a small blackboard placed next to the body that read “Kick Christians out [of] coast.”
(Note: This is an update of a story we brought you in January.)
Pastor Bayless Conley, almost killed in a boating accident in January, made a successful return to the pulpit.
The pastor sent a message on Twitter that read “Well, I did it. Preached 1st time since the accident. Thanks be to God, I had enough vocal strength to get through the entire message.”
Conley had returned to the church in a supervisory role earlier but Sunday marked the first time he attempted to deliver a sermon since the near-fatal accident.
Conley was riding in a boat at the end of January that collided head-on with cliffs on the north side of Catalina Island off the Southern California coast. Conley suffered severe head and neck trauma including serious wounds to his throat. He was in critical condition for weeks from the accident.
Doctors said that Conley would need 18 months of healing and rehab before he could return to the pulpit. Instead, it took 6 months.
Staff at Cottonwood Church said that Conley had some trouble pronouncing certain words but that everyone in attendance could understand the message.
A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that China and Russia are the top countries in the world for destruction of churches by government organizations.
Pew collected information on “demolition of houses of worship, and the seizure of religious groups’ property and government raids of houses of worship that result in property damage.”
China, which has been conducting very high profile crackdowns on Christian congregations in their country, only has 5 percent of the population calling themselves Christians according to the CIA World Factbook. Russia shows 15-20% of the population as Russian Orthodox and only 2% as just Christian.
The two nations were joined in third by Tajikistan, a 90 percent Muslim country, as having more than 100 documented cases of churches being destroyed by government groups.
The next tier (from 10 to 99 incidents) included Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan and Indonesia.
The only two nations in the Americas that were on the list of 10 or more churches destroyed was Cuba and Venezuela.
An Alabama megachurch has opened up a facility made of a bowling alley and six giant interconnected domes to the public as a community outreach.
Faith Chapel Christian Center near Birmingham, Alabama has opened the center they call “The Bridge” to the public after opening it last year for the 6,400 members of the church.
The church says the delay came in getting staff in place for the entire facility, which beyond the bowling alley has basketball courts, fitness center, banquet hall and more.
Pastor Michael D. Moore says the goal of “The Bridge” is to “bridge people from the world to the kingdom.”
“People may not want to come to a church, but they’ll come to a bowling alley,” he told the Christian Post. “People have needs other than spiritual needs. There’s a need for safe, clean, uplifting, family-oriented entertainment.”
Moore founded the church with his wife, his mother and a friend in 1981.