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Christian

Son of Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Plotting Terror Attacks After His Father Alerts FBI

By Heather Clark BOSTON, Mass. — The son of a Boston police officer has pleaded guilty to plotting terror attacks on locations such as college cafeterias in the name of the barbaric Islamic group ISIS. The father had alerted the FBI of his son’s concerning support of the terror group three years ago. Alexander Ciccolo, 25, who also went by the name Ali Al Amriki, pleaded guilty… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Illinois High School Prohibits Valedictorian From Mentioning Jesus in Graduation Speech

By Heather Clark SCIOTA, Ill. — Officials at an Illinois high school recently prohibited a valedictorian from speaking about Jesus in his graduation speech. Student Sam Blackledge, 18, told the Todd Starnes Radio Show that he was called to the principal’s office at West Prairie High School last week where it was outlined by school and district officials that he needed to take… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Christians in Nepal Suspect Hindu Extremists in Sudden Attacks on Churches

By Morning Star News NEW DELHI (Morning Star News) – Christians in Nepal are alarmed after this month’s sudden series of arson and bomb attacks on four church buildings, and church leaders suspect authorities are lax in investigating. At the same time, six Christians were arrested for evangelizing while suspected Hindu extremists launched attacks on three church buildings and… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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California ‘Pastor’ Resigns Over ‘Vile’ Profanity-Laced Tweets Expressing Frustration With City

By Heather Clark Photo Credit: ABC7 News Screenshot PALO ALTO, Calif. — A California “pastor” has resigned over controversial tweets in which he used profanity and other strong language to express frustration with the City of Palo Alto. The tweets were characterized as “vile” by the city’s vice mayor, who said that he would think twice before sending children to an event at the… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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20 Cuban Pastors and Spouses Killed in Plane Crash

By Morgan Lee Nazarene officials say ‘God is still in control’ after regional leaders die on the way home from Havana retreat. A group of Cuban church leaders died in a plane crash Friday on the way home from a denominational retreat in Havana. The ten married couples, co-pastors from Holguín in East Cuba, had spent three days at a Nazarene seminary in the island’s capital. They sang and prayed together on the bus back to Jose Marti International Airport to catch their return flight, Cuba Church of the Nazarene President Leonel López told Nazarene Communications Network (NCN) News. But they never made it back home. The 20 pastors were among more than 100 people killed when their Boeing 737 airplane crashed shortly after takeoff from Havana around noon on Friday. Just three survivors remain. It’s the deadliest aviation accident in Cuba in three decades. “In this moment of anguish and pain, we ask for your prayers and help to be able to get through this situation together,” said López. Among the casualties were the district president, secretary, and treasurer for Nazarene Missions International, NCN News confirmed. The Nazarene victims leave behind eight children between the ages of 8 and 17, and several of the …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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In Shadow of Death, Palestinian Christians and Messianic Jews Seek Reconciliation

By Jayson Casper Local body of Christ heartbroken by Jerusalem embassy move and Gaza border violence. Hanna Maher’s wife is nine months pregnant, due any day now, with only four hours of daily electricity. Her two older boys scurry about in the dark, kept ignorant by parents about the dead at the border. But it is hard to be ignorant in Gaza. A Norwegian charity estimates 56 percent of children in the Palestinian territory suffer from traumatic nightmares. Suicide, rarely seen culturally, is a growing concern. Maher, an Egyptian-born Baptist pastor, says some at the border see death as the best option. Two million people are squeezed into a coastal strip roughly the size of Philadelphia. Exit is severely restricted on one side by Israel. The waiting list into Egypt is 40,000 names long. Unemployment is over 40 percent. Clean drinking water is hard to come by. And on May 14, as tens of thousands massed near a chain link fence demonstrating for their “Right to Return,” Israeli snipers picked off dozens. “Monday was a hard day. But at least it is quiet now,” Maher said. “It has been bad for years. But conditions now are the worst I have seen.” Maher went to Gaza in 2011, and married his …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Foster Parents Sue City of Philadelphia for Suspending Partnership With Faith-Based Foster Agency

By Heather Clark Photo Credit: Becket Law Firm PHILADELPHIA — Several foster parents have filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for suspending its partnership with Catholic Social Services because the organization’s religious convictions prohibit it from placing children in same-sex households. “he City’s actions are creating a severe human cost,” the lawsuit… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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One-on-One with Karl Vaters on ‘Small Church Essentials’

By Ed Stetzer Instead of striving for church growth, I encourage churches and pastors to work on increasing their capacity for effective ministry. Ed: How did you come to write Small Church Essentials? Karl: Small churches are, by far, the most common expression of the gathered body of Christ. But they are highly undervalued and grossly under-resourced. I know because I’ve been pastoring in small churches for most of my ministry, including the small church I’ve been at for the last 25 years. Despite the fact that we’re a healthy, vibrant, worshipping, missional church in very populated area, we’ve remained small. That so-called ‘failure’ caused so much frustration and discouragement that I almost left the pastoral ministry. Then, a friend and counselor encouraged me to find ways of measuring church effectiveness beyond the numbers. That led me to write my first book, The Grasshopper Myth. As I’ve continued to study, write, speak, and have conversations with thousands of fellow small church pastors, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of how to do effective ministry within a small church context. The lessons from those interactions and my own experiences are the heartbeat of Small Church Essentials. Ed: Why do you think it is so common for people to equate the size …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Evangelical Church Confirms 20 Members Died in Cuba Plane Crash

By Editor (Evangelical Focus) — Ten pastors and wives of an evangelical church died in the tragic plane crash near La Habana (Cuba) on Friday 18 May. The Boeing 737 plane of the company Aerolíneas Damojh crashed minutes after taking off from the San José airport, in La Habana. The destination of the flight was Holguin, a city 800 kilometres from Cuba’s capital. Only… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Doctor Who Slipped Abortion Drug Into Girlfriend’s Tea to Spend Three Years in Prison

By Heather Clark ARLINGTON, Va. — A Virginia doctor who spiked his pregnant girlfriend’s tea with an abortion drug will spend three years in prison, being sentenced to 20 years in prison with 17 of those years suspended. According to reports, Brook Fiske, 37, asked the court to be merciful to her former boyfriend, Sikander Imran, 32. She told reporters last year that when she… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Nigerian Pastor Finds Home in U.S. After Boko Haram Attack

By Editor Photo Credit: AK Rockefeller HOLLAND, Mich. (Holland Sentinel) — David-Olonade Segun’s story began long before the fire, but that day—the day his father was killed by terrorists—would set the course for a new chapter in his life. David-Olonade, who goes by the name David, and his wife, both of southwest Nigeria, had begun a ministry in the northern… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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20 Attorneys General Sign Brief Supporting Planned Parenthood’s Lawsuit Against HHS Over New Funding Criteria

By Heather Clark Photo Credit: Charlotte Cooper 20 attorneys general have signed an amicus brief supporting Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for altering its Title X funding criteria to prefer groups that promote abstinence and work with faith-based entities. They claim that the new standards will negatively affect the… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Kansas Governor Signs Bill Protecting Religious Convictions of Foster, Adoption Agencies

By Heather Clark TOPEKA, Kan. — The Republican governor of Kansas has signed a bill into law that protects the convictions of religious foster care and adoption agencies, in that the government is prohibited from punishing such organizations for declining to place children in certain households when doing so would violate the tenants of their faith. “The actions taken in this… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Sentence Upheld for Pastor in Algeria Stopped for Carrying Christian Literature

By Morning Star News TIZI-OUZOU, Algeria (Morning Star News) – A case that began with police in Algeria stopping a Christian suspected of carrying Bibles in his car ended yesterday with a large fine for the church leader. A judge in Tiaret, 600 kilometers (372 miles) southwest of Algiers, on Wednesday (May 16) denied pastor Nouredine Belabed’s appeal of a sentence of a… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Trump’s Plan to Defund Planned Parenthood Cheers Pro-Life Advocates

By Kate Shellnutt Administration prepares to propose Title X funding cuts for abortion providers. Pro-life evangelicals are celebrating another move by the Trump administration to cut federal funding for abortion. According to reports, the White House is expected to announce new regulations prohibiting Planned Parenthood and other entities that make abortion referrals from receiving grant money through Title X, the government’s quarter-billion-dollar family planning program. Already, Title X funds cannot be used for abortion itself. But Planned Parenthood still receives more than $50 million every year to cover birth control and other services for low-income and uninsured patients. Under the new policy, clinics could not accept the money at all if they perform or recommend abortions. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called the proposal “a responsible and commendable step toward our goal of totally separating taxpayer funds from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry.” The Title X program—which now supports about 4 million patients and 4,000 providers—dates back to 1970. Previously, President Ronald Reagan had put a similar rule in place to restrict the funds from being used to back abortion. The Trump administration’s restriction, drafted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is currently being …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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God Hates Gun Violence

By Mark Galli We American Christians have a biblical call to reduce firearm deaths in our land. Violence enters the human story from nearly the beginning: “While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him” (Gen. 4:8). The Genesis narrative notes that violence soon becomes endemic. In a mere two chapters, we read, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence” (Gen. 6:11). And “God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’ ” (Gen. 6:13). God hates violence. We see that especially in the prophets. Ezekiel: “He said to me, ‘Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger?’ ” (8:17). Hosea: “Ephraim feeds on the wind; he pursues the east wind all day and multiplies lies and violence” (12:1). Obadiah: “Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever” (v. …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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9 Killed in Texas High School Shooting; Explosive Devices Found

By Editor SANTA FE, Texas (Click 2 Houston) — Nine people were killed Friday in a shooting at Santa Fe High School, according to NBC News, and police are investigating explosive devices found at the scene and nearby. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said a majority of those that were killed in the shooting were students. He said that the two people who were taken into… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Miracle Girl Thought to Be 99.8 Percent Brain Dead After Car Accident Takes First Steps Unassisted

By Heather Clark GOLD COAST — An Australian”miracle girl” who was stated to be 99.8 percent brain dead recently defied the odds and happily took her first steps without assistance. Mackinlee Anderson, 6, had been involved in a multiple vehicle accident in New South Wales last September, which took the life of her grandmother and injured her mother and brother. Anderson… …read more Source:: Christian News Network       ...
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Dorothy Sayers Did Not Want to Be a Prophet

By Crystal Downing Nevertheless, the saucy British writer made the pious vociferously angry. Between 1941 and 1944, C. S. Lewis gave a series of BBC radio talks, eventually published as Mere Christianity, that are the stuff of legend. Less well known today is a series of BBC broadcasts during the same era written by Dorothy L. Sayers: a retelling of the gospel message that Lewis himself valued highly. Ironically, numerous evangelicals who relished Lewis’s BBC work as well-seasoned intellectual food wanted to spew Sayers’s broadcasts out of their mouths. While Lewis was lionized, Sayers received an anonymous postcard calling her a “nasty old sour-puss.” Lewis was elevated to the cover of Time, whereas some in England actually accused Sayers of causing the fall of Singapore during World War II. Sayers’s BBC broadcasts, in fact, incited one of the biggest religious controversies in England since Henry VIII broke with Rome. Prophetically challenging the signs of her times, Sayers made the pious vociferously angry. Perhaps this reflects the kind of prophet she was: the kind who never wanted to become one in the first place. Though a lifelong Anglican, Sayers had little interest in promoting a religious agenda. During her college years, she requested cigarettes more than spiritual advice …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is Not a Ministry Guide

By Susan Mettes The infamous pyramid was never an accurate description of how people act, let alone a guide to discipleship. You may have been told once or twice: “People can’t hear the gospel if they’re hungry.” I’ve read it dozens of times in statements from pastors in the United States. But where, exactly, does the idea come from? Many pastors depend on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to decide how churches should minister—even though it’s been debunked. The hierarchy of needs is a theory of human motivation, proposed in 1943 by psychologist Abraham Maslow, that says human beings have layers of needs: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization, in that order. When people start to feel a certain need—say, the need for satisfaction in their jobs—it is because the lower layers of needs have been satisfied. Maslow put physiological needs at the bottom of his hierarchy, indicating that needs like air, water, food, sex, sleep, shelter, and clothing must be met before any other felt needs can arise and be addressed. I learned about pastors’ dependence on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs while analyzing data collected by the Seed Company, on behalf of Barna Group. On a survey, senior pastors had written individual responses to explain …read more Source:: Christianity Today       ...
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