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China: 'Missing pastor's wife held in secret prison'

Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi (left) at the Hudson Institute in 2006. (Photo: ChinaAid) Posted at ChinaAid : (Chengdu, Sichuan—Dec. 13, 2018) The wife of a Chinese pastor is being secretly held in an undisclosed prison after authorities took her and around 100 others from her church into custody. Jiang Rong, who is married to Early Rain Covenant Church Pastor Wang Yi, was taken away Sunday night along with her husband and has not been seen since. More than 100 of their congregation members were also swept up in the raids, and people from the church are still being brought to the police station. Some have reported suffering violent abuse at the hands of the police. Jiang has been placed under “residential surveillance at a designated location,” a type of imprisonment that involves being held in a secret prison. Authorities pinned her with an “inciting subversion of state power” charge. According to Chinese law, Jiang may be held in secret detention for up to s

US Christian teacher fired for not using preferred pronouns

Posted at The Christian Institute: A Christian schoolteacher has been fired from his position at West Point High School, Virginia, after he refused to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Peter Vlaming, a French teacher, said that using male pronouns for a female student identifying as ‘male’ violated his conscience. Despite offering to use the student’s name the school board dismissed him on the grounds of discrimination. Compelled speech Mr Vlaming stressed that he was not intending to be offensive or discriminatory saying: “I’m happy to avoid female pronouns not to offend because I’m not here to provoke”. “I can’t refer to a female as a male, and a male as a female in good conscience and faith”. Read more here. 

Over 578 kids sexually abused at US children's camps; victim describes being molested by counselor

By Stoyan Zaimov - Posted at the Christian Post : More than 578 children have been victims of sexual abuse at children's camps in the U.S. over the past 55 years, according to a new report. A news segment on " CBS This Morning ” reported that 21 cases surfaced this year, though victims’ advocates fear many other children haven't reported the abuse they suffered. One mother in Texas who wasn’t named allowed her son to speak with a psychologist about the molestation he suffered at the hands of a camp counselor in 2009. "After you took a shower, you'd put on your towel, and he didn't want you to wear underwear under it," the boy said, adding that the alleged incident happened at Camp La Junta.  "He would check all the kids, but under their towel," he added. "He wouldn't look under there. He'd just stick his hand up." The boy’s mother said she knew something was wrong when he returned home. Read more here. See

China: 'More Than 100 Sichuan House Church Members Arrested'

Posted at International Christian Concern : 12/10/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that more than 100 members and leaders of Autumn Rain Covenant Church in China’s Sichuan province have been arrested. The arrests took place on December 9 after local authorities raided the homes of many church members. According to a statement from the church, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, the police raided and surrounded the church, arresting a church staff member. Around 9:00 p.m., members’ WeChat accounts and cellphone group discussions were blocked, while the church’s telephone line was also shut down. In the meantime, the police ambushed dozens of homes, arresting numerous church members and leaders, including Pastor Wang Yi and his wife. Some were forced to sign a document stating that they will no longer attend the house church. A member requesting anonymity told Associated French Press , “Most church member

The Remedy for a World Gone Toxic

Posted at Reformation Scotland : It’s the Word of the Year – “toxic”. Every year Oxford Dictionaries choose a word or expression to reflect the passing year in language. Their data shows that people used the term to describe a broad range of situations. Things like workplaces, schools, relationships, cultures, and stress. It’s commonly used about political debate and rhetoric, of course. “Reviewing this year in language, we repeatedly encountered the word ‘toxic’ being used to describe an increasing set of conditions that we’re all facing…‘toxic’ seems to reflect a growing sense of how extreme, and at times radioactive, we feel aspects of modern life have become”. Why is this and what is the remedy? Toxic is defined as “poisonous” and this is the origin of the word. In the Bible it’s often used to describe sin and its effects. In particular tongue operated by sin is untameable and “an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8; Psalm 140:3; Psalm 58:4). Poisonous effects ar

Be of Good Courage

By Ann Kroeker - Posted at Faith Online : Faith Online Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in December 2016. “Please pray for my safety.” It’s a common prayer request in my circles. If I’m honest, it’s a common prayer request of mine. Last summer one of my kids traveled overseas, so I asked my friends to pray for her safety. When my youngest daughter moved to an urban campus that regularly sends text alerts of nearby robberies, assaults, and carjackings, I asked my small group to pray for her safety. When I ask for safety, am I not trusting God? Or am I just a fearful person who needs to grow more brave and bold? Some people lean toward safety and self-protection while others are by nature thrill-seekers, adventurers. Do people more naturally drawn to thrills find it easier to choose a courageous path for the kingdom of God? What about those who shrink from danger or fear it? Are they crippled spiritually if they tend to minimize risk in their lives? The

How Your Child's Life Can Derail through Media and Friends

Screenshot of YouTube's front page as of August 29, 2017 - Wikipedia By Linda Harvey - Posted at Mission America: A 13-year-old girl spends hours watching poison on YouTube. The dream of every parent? Hardly. But many parents don’t see the unfolding tragedy until it’s too late. It’s true that educational videos can be helpful and many families deeply appreciate those that guide kids through algebra, the geography of Africa or conversational Spanish. But there’s another kind of online education, one producing horrific outcomes, including early (sometimes deviant) sexual activity. Other results are reflected in abortion statistics, criminal cases—and in honest obituaries. At tender ages, our children are taught, via video, to proudly engage in masturbation or to accept abortion ( Netflix show Big Mouth ). Planned Parenthood features an outrageous YouTube where teens advocate sexual activity to their peers , and in another, they’ll learn the pleasure and “safety” of sa

Colombia: Pastors facing death threats, assassination attempts by extortionists, kidnappers

Source: Christian Post By Stoyan Zaimov - Posted at the Christian Post : A watchdog group that monitors Christian persecution worldwide reports that large numbers of church leaders in Colombia are being subjected to death threats, and many pastors have already been assassinated. Christian Solidarity Worldwide revealed in a report last week that as much as 12.6 percent of all religious leaders in Bogotá have received death threats. The threats are mostly coming from illegal armed groups that carry out extortion and kidnappings, meaning that leftist guerrilla groups, right-wing neo-paramilitary groups and other criminal entities are behind the attacks. One pastor, Martínez Pérez of Nueva Filadelfia Church, was assassinated  on Sept. 16 outside his home in Antioquia, forcing his wife and five adult children to flee the village in fear. Read more here.

Whom Do You Serve? Sphere Sovereignty and the need for limits on power

Image Source: Reformed Perspective By Andre Schutten - Posted at Reformed Perspective: Children are often told to obey many different folks. Listen to your mom and dad. Listen to the policeman. Listen to your teacher. Listen to the pastor. Adults too are encouraged to obey various authority figures. Which raises a question: what happens when demands of the State and demands of other authorities clash? Whom do we obey? The Dutch philosopher, theologian and prime minister Abraham Kuyper developed a system of thought to assist in understanding the authority structures in the world. The system is called “sphere sovereignty” and it helps answer the question, “Who do we obey when various demands on us and our behavior clash?” GOD OVER ALL Kuyper argued and demonstrated from the Bible that God has created in society a number of different institutions or spheres, each with their own respective roles and responsibilities. Three of the most important institutions created by God are: the

The FAQs: Chinese Scientist Claims First Gene-Edited Babies

He Jiankui - Wikipedia By Joe Carter - Posted at The Gospel Coalition : What just happened? In 2015 a team of Chinese scientists sparked a worldwide ethical debate when they used a technique to “edit” the genomes of human embryos. Although the embryos were never implanted and brought to term, the experiments led to concerns the technique would soon be used to create babies with edited-genes. This week a Chinese researcher announced he had done just that. He Jiankui (pronounced HEH JEE’-an-qway, with the surname first) reports that he altered a gene in a set of twins who were born this month. Seven couples seeking in-vitro fertilization (IVF) allowed He to edit a gene in embryos before implantation. The gene was edited with the intention of preventing HIV from entering the child’s cells, increasing their ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. So far, two of the children that had a gene edited have been born. How did He Jiankui alter