A celebration of the risen Lord stood boldly in the nation’s capital Sunday as over 7,000 Christians gathered at the Lincoln Memorial at sunrise.
The service, organized by Capital Church in nearby Vienna, Virginia, began at 6:30 a.m. and latest an hour and a half. Worship was lead by Newsboys lead singer Michael Tait plus a choir, orchestra and band.
“Washington, D.C. is arguably the one most influential cities in the world and I do believe it is important in the heart of the most influential city of the world to declare on Easter morning our faith in the risen Lord,” Capital Church Pastor Amos Dodge told The Christian Post. “I think it is important to reclaim some of our own spiritual heritage and we do that from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and declare our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again.”
Dodge’s sermon focused on the fact that Christianity is the only religion in the world where their God is not dead.
“Christianity is unique in that we know that Muhammad may have said some wonderful things and done some wonderful things, but he is in a tomb. Confucius was noted for wise sayings but nobody has heard from him in a long, long time,” Dodge declared. “When you compare the claims of Jesus Christ to all the religions in the world, no other religion has a risen savior, the one who came back from the dead.”
“You can trust a man who died for you,” Dodge continued. “Jesus died for us and then came back from the grave.”
The Easter Sunrise Service at the Lincoln Memorial began in 1979. Pastor Dodge had been walking past the Lincoln reflecting pool during a spring day and God gave him the vision of the service. The first service had 150 people in attendance.
This year, the service welcomed Christians from all 50 states.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has invited the other 49 U.S. governors to attend the national prayer gathering he is holding in Baton Rouge Saturday.
The letter states that America is in need and that it’s time for the governors to come together for an “apolitical” gathering to worship. Jindal says it’s time for America’s leaders and worshippers to call on “our great Creator to intervene on behalf of our people and nation.”
“There will only be one name lifted up that day — Jesus,” Jindal wrote. “There will be no politicians giving speeches and no preachers pontificating.”
Jindal focused the letter’s call on 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Jindal has called in previous videos and letters for Americans to turn back to God, repent and ask Him to guide the leaders of this nation. Jindal hosted a similar event in 2011 that was attended by Florida Governor Rick Scott and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
Two Palestinian terrorists attacked a synagogue during morning prayers and left death and destruction in their wake.
Four people are confirmed dead and at eight others injured when the Muslim terrorists charged into the synagogue with meat cleavers and at least one gun Tuesday morning. The terrorists then died in a gun battle with police after their attack on innocent civilians.
The Muslim terrorists were identified as cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal.
Three of the dead held joint U.S.-Israeli citizenship. The fourth held dual British-Israeli citizenship.
“The gentleman I tended to first still had his tefillin on. There were also women there who didn’t know where their husbands were, and others who didn’t know where their father was. Those were most likely the ones killed. It was very hard to deal with, very upsetting,” a first responder told Haaretz newspaper.
“I looked up and saw someone shooting people at point-blank range. Then someone came in with what looked like a butcher’s knife and he went wild,” Yosef Posternak, who was in the synagogue praying when the attack started, told Israel Radio. “I saw people lying on the floor, blood everywhere. People were trying to fight with [the attackers] but they didn’t have much of a chance.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry quickly condemned the attack.
“Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue,” a visibly upset Kerry told reporters. “They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Israel would “respond harshly” to the attack.
A Muslim worship service being held at the National Cathedral was interrupted by a Christian protester offended by the Christian church being used for worship by those who deny the divinity of Christ.
“Jesus Christ died on that cross over there!” Christine Weick yelled after the announcements at the start of the service. “He is the reason why we are to worship only him. Jesus Christ is our lord and savior!”
Weick continued to yell her objections as she was being removed from the church.
“We have built, and allowed you here in mosques across this country. Why can’t you worship in your mosque, and leave our churches alone?”
The National Cathedral’s website said “Leaders believe offering Muslim prayers at the Christian cathedral shows more than hospitality. It demonstrates an appreciation of one another’s prayer traditions and is a powerful symbolic gesture toward a deeper relationship between the two Abrahamic traditions.”
One of the Cathedral’s officials has previously said she believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
An Islamic worship service is scheduled at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for the first time in American history.
The national cathedral has been historically an Episcopalian site. Interfaith events have been hosted at the cathedral but there has never been an event where Christians are not part of the event until now.
“Leaders believe offering Muslim prayers at the Christian cathedral shows more than hospitality,” representatives for the National Cathedral wrote in a press release about the matter. “It demonstrates an appreciation of one another’s prayer traditions and is a powerful symbolic gesture toward a deeper relationship between the two Abrahamic traditions.”
“This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations,” added South African Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool. “This needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith.”
Leaders at the national cathedral have been criticized over the last few years as moving away from Christian teachings and working to oppose teachings of the Bible.
At least seven Christians are in jail after Laotian officials raided the home where they were having worship.
The Christians were meeting for lunch and worship at the home of Pastor Sompong Supatto when the chief of Boukham Village and security officials stormed the building. The pastor was placed in handcuffs and leg stocks.
They were charged with violating an order from local officials for Christians to stop gathering for worship.
The Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom confirmed the arrest and said the local authorities simply said they don’t want Christians to gather for worship.
“The HRWLRF urges the Lao government to respect the right of the Lao people to religious freedom and the accompanying rights as guaranteed in the Lao constitution and the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Laos in 2009, upholding the individual’s right to adopt a religion/belief of choice as well as the right to manifest that religion/belief in a corporate worship (Article 18),” a HRWLRF spokesman wrote. “Any form of coercion impairing the freedom to have and manifest one’s religion/belief of choice is condemned in the Covenant.”
This is the latest in a series of attacks on Christian freedom in the village. On June 24, a pastor and four others were arrested on murder charges after a sick woman they prayed over later died.
It’s been a rough road, this journey I’ve been on with treatment for Hepatitis C. There were days that I lay at home in bed, unable to get up and do the simplest things of life. There was just no strength at all for anything.
During this time of treatment, I often took solace in worshipping God with music. While I enjoy many different genres of Christian music, I found the old hymns to be particularly comforting. There is something about a spiritual song that bypasses our humanity and goes directly through to the spirit. This kind of music pulls from the deepest parts of us to connect to the God we love and worship. Continue reading