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Libya: Kidnapped Christians could have been taken by IS

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Libya Christian News

A priest in Libya has said he thinks a group with links to Islamic State could be responsible for the kidnapping of at least 13 Christians in the north of the country.

It had initially been thought 20 Egyptian believers were taken in the city of Sirte in the early hours of Saturday morning but state media has revised the number down.

Armed gunmen stormed a housing complex and separated the Muslims and let them go free before handcuffing and driving away with the Christians.

Fr. Philemon Attia, a priest of the Mar Girgis church in Beni Suef, said his nephew was among the men taken.

“One of our relatives who is still in Libya and lives in the same housing building called us today and told us about the abduction my nephew and twelve others,” he told International Christian Concern.

“At dawn some armed, masked men stormed the housing building and broke the doors of their rooms and abducted them at gunpoint.”

Fr. Philemon said he had been told a group with links to Islamic State may be behind the kidnappings.

IS has been persecuting tens of thousands of Christians as it takes over large parts of Iraq and Syria trying to create a caliphate that is ruled by strict Muslim law.

The priest said many of the Christians at the housing complex “stayed in their housing building for more than 25 days like captives and they couldn’t go out of their rooms because they heard that the area where they were living was controlled by the Islamic State group.

“They believed their lives would be in danger if they went out. Every time I called him he was asking me to pray for them,” he added.

The kidnappings come just five days after seven Coptic Christians were abducted at a check point as they tried to return to their home country of Egypt.

 

Source : Premier Christian News

Pope Francis announces 20 new Cardinals

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Pope announces new cardinals

Pope Francis has appointed 15 new cardinals from countries around the world.

Ethiopia, Myanmar, Tonga have all been given new cardinals by the Holy Father with the new intake coming from 14 countries on every continent.

The only English speaking clergyman to be promoted is from New Zealand.

Msgr. John Atcherley Dew, Archbishop of Wellington, will take up his place with the others on February 14 at a Consistory in the Vatican.

The Holy See says the new appointments shows the “inseparable bond between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world.”

The new cardinals are:

Mons. Dominique Mamberti , Titular Archbishop of Sagona, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Mons. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente , Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal).
Mons. Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, CM, Archbishop of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
Msgr. John Atcherley Dew , Archbishop of Wellington (New Zealand).
Mons. Edoardo Menichelli , Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo (Italy).
Mons. Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon , Archbishop of Hanoi (Vietnam).
Msgr. Alberto Suárez Inda , Archbishop of Morelia (Mexico).
Mons. Charles Maung Bo, SDB, Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar).
Msgr. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij , Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand).
Mons. Francesco Montenegro , Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy).
Mons. Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, SDB, Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay).
Mons. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez , Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain).
Mons. José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan , OAR, Bishop David (Panama).
Mons. Arlindo Gomes Furtado , Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde Archipelago).
Mons. Soane Patita Paini Mafi , Bishop of Tonga (Tonga Islands).

 

Pope Francis said: “We pray for the new Cardinals so, renewing their love for Christ, are witnesses of his Gospel in the city of Rome and the world, and with their experience more intensely pastoral support me in my apostolic service.”

His choice could cause controversy because of his focus on the Church around the world and outside of the traditional Western countries.

Austen Ivereigh is the Director of Catholic Voices and author of a biography on Pope Frances.

He told Premier it was an expect announcement.

“It was quite clear from last year’s set of appointments that he intended to increase the representation in the College of Cardinals from those places in the world that have many Catholics but haven’t traditionally had many cardinals.

“He is correcting the current imbalance which is in favour too much of Europe and the developed countries.

“He has gone for the radical option of increasing the representation of the poor.

“There’s a particular emphasis on Asia, this is one of Pope Francis’ great tasks as Pope, to open up Asia.

“I think this is a very Francis set of appointments.”

 

Content by Premier Christian News

Passion 2015 Conference

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Passion 2015 Conference Opens to 20,000 Students in Atlanta; Giglio Emphasizes Finished Work of Christ
(Photo : Passion Conferences | 268generation.com)

Christian Post reports – Over 20,000 university students and leaders from around the world converged in downtown Atlanta Friday evening to kick off the Passion 2015 conference, the first of three, 3-day gatherings hosted by Passion this year focused on making Jesus famous while benefitting local communities and impacting the world.

Attendees at this first Passion 2015 gathering represent twenty-two nations and over 1,000 different universities. The majority of conference participants are students and young professionals ages 18-25, along with pastors and church leaders attending with their groups. In addition, over 1,000 volunteers – referred to as “Door Holders” – are assisting with various logistical needs throughout the conference.

The opening session featured a message from Louie Giglio, founder of the Passion movement and pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta. He focused on Jesus Christ’s final word on the cross, “Tetelestai,” which means “It is finished” in the Greek language. In his dynamic style, Giglio expounded on the meaning of this word and explained the Biblical belief that when Jesus died, He died so all mankind could have eternal life.

“We’re beginning where Christ ended because His last word is our first,” said Giglio. “His last expression on earth makes possible all of our expressions on earth. We’re going to the end of His life to find the beginning of ours—the end of His word to find the beginning of our words.”

Giglio emphasized that the Gospel message is not simply one of forgiveness of sins, but also a call to surrender because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. “We live in a ‘me’ and ‘my’ generation, but we are the Jesus generation united for His fame,” he said. “We rally around the life and death of Jesus. We pray tonight that we will receive the Gospel and relinquish our lives in total surrender.”

Friday evening also included a time of worship through music led by members of The Passion Band including Chris Tomlin, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, and Brett Younker.

In addition to messages from Giglio this weekend, conference attendees will hear from several notable speakers including Francis Chan, John Piper, Christine Caine, and Judah Smith. Guests Lecrae, Matt Chandler, Carl Lentz, and Ben Stuart will also participate in this gathering.

The intersection of worship and justice is a familiar theme at Passion Conferences, and in recent years students have given over $7 million to provide awareness, prevention, rescue and restoration to fight modern-day slavery. Each year conference attendees are also asked to donate towels and socks – two of the most needed items at homeless shelters. “He [God] wants the people of this city to feel lifted by a gathering of this size,” said Brad Jones, Passion City Church’s Pastor of Community, during Friday’s session. Atlanta’s City of Refuge homeless ministry will receive the items donated during this gathering.  … Read More 

Christians Needs to Stop Asking ‘What If’ and Start Asking ‘What Now’ about Gay Marriage

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Like a tsunami, so-called gay marriage has swept aside just about every obstacle in its path, creating a very different cultural landscape than even seemed possible a few decades ago—or even a few years ago! According to David Von Drehle in Time magazine, the swift embrace of same-sex marriage is nothing short of a “seismic shift” of American culture, one “as rapid and unpredictable as any turn in public opinion.”
And that, folks, might still be an understatement.
In 1996, just 27 percent of Americans supported so-called same-sex “marriage.” It was the same year that President Bill Clinton signed the bi-partisan Defense of Marriage Act, which defined, for the federal government, marriage as only between a man and woman.
In 2013 however, the Supreme Court struck down part of DOMA and public approval for same-sex marriage had jumped to 53 percent, including 73 percent of 18-29 year-olds. Today, 19 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage, with federal and state courts are constantly striking down state laws banning same-sex marriage it seems every day.
This big change is a big deal. It was the eminent sociologist David Popenoe who said that no civilization ever survived after its family life deteriorated. But if you don’t believe him, listen to G.K. Chesterton, and I quote: “This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.”
What does this mean for America, and for the church? A lot of people are understandably pessimistic. Recently a pastor looked me in the eye and said, “John, it’s all over; we’ve lost.”
And I thought, “Well, wait a minute—is a loss on a political and cultural level the loss of the Kingdom of God? What’s this ‘it’ that’s over, and who are the ‘we’ who have lost?
Look, even if same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land tomorrow, and it just may, we Christians still have to wake up, go to church, run our businesses and ministries, schools and churches. This is not a time to throw up our hands and retreat. Given all of this cultural change, of course, the question has changed, from “What if?” to “What now?” So what we need is some kind of framework in which to move forward.
And that’s why Christian apologist Sean McDowell and I are releasing what we think is a very important new book, called “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.” It takes a very careful look at the new cultural landscape and helps all of us to move forward—not in fear, but in faith.
First, we wanted to help Christians understand the issue biblically, but not just using a proof-text from Leviticus or Romans.
Our model is Jesus, who when asked specifically about the Mosaic law on marriage, went back to the very beginning—to Genesis. Jesus thought that God’s created intent was even more important than the law itself. We’ve got to understand this design—especially with the recent spate of so-called “Christian” books attempting to justify same-sex marriage.
But Sean and I also look at the issue culturally. Same-sex marriage isn’t the start of the problem; it’s the fruit of a long-going sexual revolution.
The ground that has shifted is not just moral ground; it’s worldview ground. We’re not just seeing a moral slide toward more and more sexual immorality; we’ve undergone a complete shift in the way we understand the human person.
Our book will help you understand this shift; but just thinking alone isn’t enough. So in the second half of the book, we describe what we can do, practically and immediately when this issue comes our way. It’s kind of a “how now shall we live” on this issue, and we’ll talk about it more tomorrow on BreakPoint. So please tune in. And come to BreakPoint.org to order your copy of our new book, “Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage.”
(This commentary originally aired July 24, 2014)

 

BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

 

Original Content by Christian News Headlines

Billy Graham Named One of World’s Most Admired Men for 58th Time

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Billy Graham Explains Where God is when Terrorism Occurs
Billy Graham was named the number four “Most Admired Man” in the world in 2014, according to a U.S. polling agency Gallup.
The Christian Post reports this is the 58th time Graham was made the Top 10 list.
According to the poll, two percent of poll participants named him as their first or second choice when asked, “What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world do you admire most.”
The poll included results from 805 adults.
This year, Graham shares the spot with former President George W. Bush.
Graham has never been ranked the number one most admired man in the world. He, however, was ranked second every year from 1969 to 1974. He has had the most appearances on the list than any other person living or dead.
Barack Obama topped the list. He has ranked number one for the past seven years. Pope Francis was second on the list.
Ben Carson and Stephen Hawking shared the number five spot.
Original content by Christian News Headlines

Iranian Aid Convoys Poised to Deliver Aid to Iraqi Christian Communities

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Photo: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Iranian aid convoys are poised to deliver supplies to Christian communities in Iraq which have been affected by the ethnic cleansing policies of Islamic State, according to Iranian Christian parliamentarian Yonatan Betkolia.

Betkolia, who represents the ancient Assyrian and Chaldean communities in Iran, had appealed to the Iranian Red Crescent for aid. The organisation agreed to supply 10,000 blankets and 300 floor coverings for the refugees, and convoys are waiting for permission from the Iraqi government in Baghdad to enter the country.

They will also deliver good, tents, clothing and medical supplies to Christians who have found refuge in the Kurdistan region, having been driven from their homes.

Betkolia told Mehr News that Iran had been sending food and blankets since the onset of Islamic State forces, saying: “A great number of Iranian officials residing in Erbil have had many meetings with Iraqi Christians in order to assess the areas for helping the displaced.”

Iranian humanitarian aid was aimed at helping refugees take shelter in safe areas, he said.

According to the Fides news agency, the Iranian ambassador to Jordan, Mojtaba Ferdowsjpour, had visited the Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan of the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Maroun Lahham, before Christmas.

Ferdowsjpour told him that “the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to assist the Christians of Iraq and Syria in order to alleviate their suffering and their sorrows”. Lahham told Fides: “Iran has undoubtedly taken a crucial role in the Middle East.

It is in permanent contact with the Holy See, with which it shares very important dialogues. We hope that the contribution of Iran has a positive effect in the search for solutions to crises that affect the people of Iraq and Syria.”

Source and Original Content by CT

Happy New Year From The Christian Mail

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From All of Us at The Christian Mail,
Rejoice Forevermore,
Pray Without Ceasing,
In Everything Give Thanks,
For This is the Will of God In Christ Concerning You.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015

Rccg Lekki Presents: Breakforth Into 2015

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RCCG Place Of Enlargement,Lekki Presents their End Of Year Cross Over Service Tagged ‘Breakforth Into 2015″

New Year’s Eve Service with Brother Copeland

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Eagles Mountain International Church Presents Her Annual New Year,s Eve Service with Kenneth Copeland. The special celebratory service is basically to usher in the new year and hear what God has to say about 2015!
Special Guest Minister will be Kenneth Copeland.
Children and youth services will be provided

Details of the Service are as follows:

Date: Wednesday, December 31

Time: 7:15pm

Location: Eagle Mountain International Church
14355 Morris Dido Rd
Newark, TX 76071

Contact Information: Brittney Jester
817-252-2943
BJester@emic.org

Nigerian Prophet Makes Shocking Predictions About 2015

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Foremost Prophet, Primate Theophilus Oluwasaanu Olabayo, is the Pastor and founder, of Evangelical Church of Yahweh, located at Mende Village, Maryland, Lagos State, he is one of Nigeria’s respected prophets whose prophesies has shaken the high and mighty in the country.

In this interview he reveals his predictions for the New Year.

He predicts, that the 2015 presidential election may not hold and if the election holds at all, it may be stalemated. He also predicts that if elections hold, that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will win the governorship election in Lagos State while the All Progressives Congress (APC) will retain Rivers, Ogun and Oyo states. Primate Olabayo also called for prayers against political assassinations in the New Year.

Excerpts:
As the New Year approaches, can you reveal what have been revealed to you particularly as the nation prepares for another general elections ?

You see, in this country, many people do not want to hear the truth. To start with, God has revealed to me that there may not be elections next year because in 2015, we are going to witness one of the worst political assassinations in Nigeria. God further informed me that the South West geo-political zone should be very careful so that the region would not be thrown into another era of wild, wild west because I saw political assassinations everywhere. I also saw some people in masks who were killing people everywhere. Specifically, between now and January, the country will witness one of the worst eras of bloodshed in its history. And if at all there will be elections next year in Nigeria, the seat of the president is not vacant.

Can you tell us what you mean by saying that the seat of the president is not vacant

God has revealed to me that if at all there is going to be presidential election, it will be inconclusive just like (the June 12,) that we had during the time of the late Chief MKO Abiola who flew the flag of the Social Democratic Party under the military administration of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida…Read More

Source and Original Content by Naij.com

Newsweek Article : An Attack on the Bible and Christians

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Photo: Charisma News

Newsweek is launching the New Year with an old school attack on the Bible and Christians. It was just the sort of holiday hit piece that we’ve come to expect from these anti-Christian pinheads.

I imagine the Yuletide season must bring about near celebrations in the hallways of Newsweek as writers giddily try to find new ways to defile the followers of Christ.

This year’s winner was Kurt Eichenwald—and he certainly spun quite a yarn—one truly worthy to be published in a magazine. Mr. Eichenwald is known around literary circles as a man of words—and he certainly used most of them in his verbose essay.

“The Bible—So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” was the title of his treatise—of such import that editors demanded it grace the cover of the magazine.

At first glance, I thought Mr. Eichenwald’s essay was a failed attempt at satire. However, by the end of the first paragraph, I realized it was meant to be a scholarly work. By the end of the second paragraph I was overcome by the fumes from this steaming pile of stink.

Newsweek’s 16-page diatribe portrays Evangelical Christians as homophobic, right-wing fundamentalist hypocrites who believe an unbelievable Bible. And just in case the reader misses the writer’s subtle nuance, the essay was illustrated with images of snake handlers, Pat Robertson and the Westboro Baptist Church.

That’s because in the minds of Newsweek’s esteemed editors, most evangelical Christians spend their weekends dancing with snakes and picketing gay nightclubs. Merry Christmas, America.

“They wave their Bibles at passersby, screaming their condemnation of homosexuals,” Eichenwald wrote. “They fall on their knees, worshipping at the base of granite monuments to the Ten Commandments while demanding prayer in school. They appeal to God to save America from their political opponents, mostly Democrats. They gather in football stadiums by the thousands to pray for the country’s salvation…Read More

Source and Original Content by Charisma News

Apple Awarded Patent for Communicating Stylus That Writes on Variety of Surfaces

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Apple has been granted a new stylus patent by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday.
The awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,922,530 (via Apple Insider) describes a ‘communicating stylus’ that can write on variety of surfaces, including paper, whiteboards, capacitive touchscreens and more, courtesy its interchangeable nibs.

The patent for the Apple ‘communicating stylus’ also describes the ability to capture handwriting of the user very precisely, because of its onboard 3D motion sensors which can detect the movement in the air, on tablet or at a wall.

Apart from 3D motion sensors, the Apple stylus uses wireless communication hardware and onboard storage to transfer handwritten notes and drawings onto the display of a digital device.

The USPTO patent abstract for Apple’s ‘Communicating stylus’ reads, “A stylus for writing on any type of surface, such as piece of paper or a whiteboard and subsequently displaying the written images or text in display of digital computing device. The stylus may likewise be moved in three-dimensional space and corresponding images displayed on a display of a computing device.

The stylus tracks its different positions while a user is writing or drawing and then either stores the data to be uploaded later or transmits the data simultaneously to a computing device. The computing device then displays the images and text drawn on the surface. The computing device may be located anywhere, as long as it is able to communicate with the stylus, and be able to display the written text or images.”

Notably, the Apple’s stylus patent was filed in January 2010. Now, that it has been granted by the USPTO five years later, the rumours of an upcoming 12-inch iPad with a stylus will certainly takeover.

apple_stylus_patent_image_uspto

apple_stylus_patent_image_2_uspto

Source and Original Content by Ndtv

UAE Bans ‘Exodus’ Movie for Portraying God as a Child

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The United Arab Emirates became on Tuesday the latest Muslim nation to ban the “Exodus: Gods and Kings” movie for what Islamic critics say is a series of historical mistakes, including depicting God as a child. The criticism from the Muslim world has partly echoed concerns voiced by Christian reviewers.

“The film shows Moses not as a prophet but as just a preacher of peace,” said Juma Obaid al-Leem, UAE’s National Media Council director of media content tracking. He told AFP that the film, starring Christian Bale as Moses, contradicts the holy books.

“We do not allow the distortion of religions. … When it comes to religious and historical movies, we care about having a correct narrative and avoiding hurting the feelings of others,” Leem added.

Among the historical mistakes Islamic critics have pointed out is that God is depicted in the film as a young boy who sometimes speaks to Moses.

Egypt and Morocco also banned the movie from theatres last week for similar reasons, with Egypt’s censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy arguing that it “contains historical fallacies.”

Director Ridley Scott’s representation of Moses’ story, the biblical figure highly revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, has come under fire by Christian groups as well, such as entertainment-review website Faith Driven Consumer.

The website wrote in its review of the movie that “all sorts of liberties are taken with the biblical text to propel the story and the supernatural events surrounding the plagues and parting of the Red Sea are largely portrayed as coincidental or are given naturalistic explanations.”

Faith Driven Consumer, which asked Christians to boycott the movie, pointed out that God is never portrayed as “a sovereign God of magnificent and overwhelming glory,” but as a “somewhat dirty young boy who chats with Moses while serving tea.”

In the Muslim world, representations of biblical figures in movies are forbidden, and Islamic nations have banned other Hollywood movies for such reasons before. Darren Aronofsky’s epic “Noah” was banned in several Arab countries in March, including the UAE, for depicting Noah and several other Genesis figures on screen.

Leem insisted, however, that the UAE very rarely bans films, and most movies receive approval for release.

“It is normal if we express reservations about one movie out of 1,000,” he said.

“Exodus: Gods and Kings” received mixed reviews from secular critics, and was given a B- score by moviegoers on opening night, as reported by the Cinemascore website.

It has earned $52 million in the U.S. and $148 million in total worldwide based on a $140 million production budget since its release domestically on Dec. 12.

Source and Original Content by CP

Movie ‘Unbroken’ Exceeds Expectations at Box Office

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Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken” blew away industry estimates during its opening over the Christmas weekend, earning an astounding $47.3 million.

The World War II epic is Jolie’s second directorial effort starring Jack O’Connell as Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic athlete who went on to become a soldier and survived 47 days adrift at sea and two years at a POW camp.

“Unbroken” beat out other new releases at the box office this weekend including “The Gambler” and “Into the Woods.” However, the film did not topple the newly released “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” which earned $41.4 million over the holiday weekend.

“At this time of year stories about faith and how strong the human spirit is do huge numbers,” Jeff Bock, an analyst for Exhibitor Relations, said of “Unbroken,” according to Variety.

“Unbroken” is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s book of the same name, and the film reveals Zamperini’s grit and determination through epic challenges. The movie grossed more than any other film in U.S. theaters on Christmas Day, earning $15.6 million. The number ranks “Unbroken” the third highest-grossing film ever on Christmas Day, behind only “Sherlock Holmes” and “Les Miserables.”

“It’s an inspirational film that played to all the quadrants,” Universal Studio’s distribution chief Nikki Rocco explained to Variety. “The studio did an incredible marketing job telling the story of this hero.”

Also in theaters during the four-day Christmas weekend was “The Imitation Game,” the story of British math genius Alan Turing who, like Zamperini, was also an Olympic runner. The film, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch, also outperformed at the box office, earning $3.1 million in its third week in theaters.

Both “Unbroken” and “The Imitation Game” are creating Oscars buzz, and the ladder has already grabbed five Golden Globes nominations. As for reviews, “Unbroken” has a 51 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes while “The Imitation Game” is very well-liked at 89 percent. Watch the trailer for both films below.

Watch the Trailer:

Source and Original Content by CP

$20,000 Stolen From a New York Church During Service

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The staff and congregation at the Church of the Magdalene in New York’s Pocantico Hills are stunned following the Christmas day robbery of $20,000 in offerings.

Rev. Joseph Dietz told the Journal News “I was shocked and our parishioners were shocked. We’ve never had anything like this happen here.”

According to Mount Pleasant police, the thief struck during the church’s Christmas morning mass. The person reportedly pried open a back door, broke in into the church office and stole the money from a desk drawer. The $20,000 was collected from attendees of its two Christmas Eve mass.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Paul Oliva told the Christian Post the church depends on the holidays for part of its income. Other news reports state the money taken would have covered one-fifth of the church’s annual operating budget.

According to the parish website, the church services nearly 400 families from more than 15 towns and villages in Wetchester County. Although Dietz’s said his church has never experienced a crime of this manner, Chief Oliva said he has seen incidents of money being taken from churches during his 26-year career and noted that many area houses of worship are taking extra precautions to prevent theft.

Though astonished by the burglary, Dietz said members continue to give and in some cases are writing new checks after canceling the stolen ones. “People are responding and it’s very gratifying to see,” he said of church’s generosity.

As for the thief, Dietz expressed a desire to meet with the person, noting that it is “sad” that someone would chose to exhibit such behavior on a day set aside for faith and family.

Oliva said he could not comment on whether or not the police department has any suspects for the crime. However he said he is working closely the clergy to get to the bottom of it. Oliva alsod expressed optimism that the case would be solved soon. “What happens in the dark, comes out in the light,” he said of the crime.

Source and Original Content by CP

Pastor Shoots Assailant in Gun Battle

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A Florida church was the scene of a gun battle between the pastor and a former employee.
Pastor Terry Howell, minister of Living Water Fellowship in Osceola County, met with Benjamin Parangan, a maintenance worker at the church, at around 8 am on Tuesday to terminate his employment there.

However, the disgruntled Parangan pulled out a gun and fired several shots at Howell, who had also gone armed to the meeting and returned fire, badly wounding his assailant.

Parangan is believed to be in a stable condition in hospital and will be charged with aggravated assault with intent to kill. Pastor Howell’s actions will be treated as shooting in self-defence.

Living Water Church issued a statement saying: “We are in full support of the on-going Osceola County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the traumatic incident that occurred at our church this morning. We will continue to cooperate with the investigators in every way that we can. Until the investigation is complete, we will not be making any public statements.

Thank you for understanding. The members of our church will continue to pray for all those involved in this morning’s incident. We would ask all who read this release to do the same…Read More

Source and Original Content by CT

SCOAN Pastor, TB Joshua Set To Host Families Of Building Collapse Victims

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Latest reports informed that the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet TB Joshua will host a New Year’s memorial service for the families of those killed in a building collapse at his Lagos mega church.

According to Vanguard newspaper report online, the spokesman of SCOAN, Patrick Iwelumor, informed that no fewer than 44 South Africans have arrived Lagos to attend the ceremony.

It would be recalled that about 116 people were reported to have lost their lives in the Synagogue guest house that collapsed in September in Ikotun area of Lagos.

About 81 South Africans reportedly died in the disaster.

TB Joshua “is going to lead the service to commiserate and offer spiritual support,” said SCOAN spokesman Patrick Iwelumor.
“As the chief mourner, there is a need for (Joshua) to connect with these people,” he added.

Joshua is one Nigeria’s most influential and wealthiest pastors whose followers include prominent politicians and business leaders across Africa and around the world.

The Lagos state coroner is carrying out an inquest into the causes of the guest house collapse within the church’s compound.
While Experts have said that the structure was unsound and lacked proper permits, followers of Joshua have insisted the building came down as a result of foul play to destroy the powerful religious leader.

Among the theories advanced by Joshua loyalists is that a plane flying in the area at the time of the collapse dropped an explosive device on the building.

It would be recalled that an expert called by SCOAN lawyers, Beidomu Iguniwei, has testified that the collapse could have been caused by an “infrasonic weapon,” although there appears to be no credible evidence to support that claim.
Testimony at the inquest has dismissed sabotage as a cause, including evidence from aviation officials who said that the air force plane in question was on a routine training mission and had in fact landed before the building collapsed.

Source and Original Content by Naij.com

Fellowship of Christian Athletes Celebrates 60 Years

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Sixty years ago, a young basketball coach wondered why athletes endorsed products like shaving cream and cigarettes, but not a Christian lifestyle. That insight became the backbone for one of the largest organizations in the world that seeks to serve athletes and coaches, all while bringing glory to Jesus Christ.

Now, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) is celebrating six decades of touching lives—one heart at a time.

“To look back over 60 years and realize the athletes and coaches who have been shaped by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is remarkable,” said Les Steckel, FCA President and CEO. “We are so thankful for all who have helped FCA grow to where it is today and have encouraged young athletes to lead lives that are dedicated to Christ, both on and off the playing field. Athletics offers continual opportunity either to portray Christ or to elevate the world’s standards.

By choosing to honor Christ, players and coaches impact not only their own teams but also all who interact with them, look up to them and even oppose them on the playing fields.”

That young basketball coach with a vision was Don McClanen, who founded the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 1954. But for seven years before that, he prayed about what the organization would look like and whom it would serve. He joined forces with the other FCA “Founding Fathers”—Dr. Louis H. Evans, Dr. Roe Johnston and Branch Rickey, among others—who made FCA come to life.

Evans had encouraged McClanen to write to other athletic greats who were also strong in their faith—greats like football stars Doak Walker and Otto Graham; baseball players Carl Erskine, Robin Roberts and Alvin Dark; Olympians Bob Mathias and Bob Richards; coaching and front office legends Amos Alonzo Stagg, Bud Wilkinson and Clarence “Biggie” Munn; and even broadcasters Tom Harmon and Red Barber.

In all, 19 letters were mailed, each carefully laying out McClanen’s God-given desire for what would become FCA…Read More

Source and Original Content by BCN

Papuan Natives Celebrate for Receiving the Bible in Their own Language

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An exciting celebration took place earlier this month, one that called for a feast of over 200 pigs with song and dance and presents.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) reports that the Hupla translation of the Bible is now complete, and they recently distributed copies to the Hupla people in Papua, Indonesia.

Mike Brown of MAF says, “We’re here to celebrate the finishing of the complete Bible in the Hupla language. So this is it! This is exciting stuff for us. We’ve been partnering with the missionaries that have been working to translate this thing for years and years and years. So it’s just great to be able to come and join them in the celebration.”

This project has been in the works since 1980, though MAF has been involved in the community even before then.

And if it wasn’t enough to distribute newly-printed Bibles, there were 29 baptism as well.

David Holsten of MAF says, “This is a party! This is a day of celebration. And, man, it’s fun to be a part of that.”

He explains that the Hupla have had the New Testament for a while now: “What really makes this dedication today unique is that it completes the story: it’s the Old Testament. I get excited thinking about what it’s going to be like for them to see God’s story of salvation that begins in Genesis…Read More

Watch the Celebration:

Source and Original Content by BCN

Two Iranian Pastors Regain Freedom

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An appeals court in Iran has thrown out the convictions of three pastors accused of committing crimes against national security, according to the Christian News Network.

The church leaders had been sentenced to six years in prison for “creating a network to overthrow the system.”

Two of the men, Abdolreza Ali-Haghnejad and Reza Rabbani, have been released. The third, Pastor Benham Irani, still has two years remaining on an earlier sentence.

Irani leads a 300-member church in Karaj and was detained in 2006 for holding a Bible study.

He was convicted of action against the state and sentenced to five years in prison. An additional charge added more time to his sentence.

International Christian Concern rejoiced after learning that the men had been vindicated…Read More

Source and Original Content by BCNN1

“The Bible Challenge”, Over 500,000 Resolve to Read God’s Word In 2015

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It’s the way to exercise your spiritual muscles.

Fox News is reporting that people have chosen to read the entire bible in one year as a New Year’s resolution. The practice is growing quickly. The movement was started by Marek Zabriskie in 2011. Zabriskie urged the Episcopal congregation to read the bible from cover to cover in one year. The movement now has over 500,000 participants from over 2,500 churches in 40 countries taking what Zabriskie calls “The Bible Challenge.”

Zabriskie gives us practical applications for this. The second United States President, John Adams, read the entire bible every year. Adams studied scripture on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, in a time when he was in the process of helping to shape and form a nation. According to Zabriskie, the bible reading gave Adams the ability to do so.

Dwight D. Eisenhower and family read the bible daily, taking turns reading passages. Jimmy Carter read his bible daily, as well as taught Sunday school class for over 40 years. Zabriskie considers the bible a launching point for self-improvement and stepping stone for helping others.

Zabriskie gives many different reasons for making this a New Year’s resolution. For example, the bible is the best-selling book of all time, you’ll find new things everyday, it teaches that other people will have different interpretations, showing us to be more tolerant. Zabriskie’s treaty essentially tells us that reading the bible will make us better, stronger people, not just Christians…Read More

Source and Original Content by BCNN1

Poverty, Church’s Biggest Enemy in Zimbabwe

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Father Felix Tachiona Mukaro is disappointed in his country’s politicians, as many Zimbabweans are, saying they are more concerned with power than the peoples’ poverty.

“All they care about is influence and power, not the country itself or the fact that the economy is in shambles and people don’t know how they are supposed to make it through the day,” he said in a recent interview with international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Fr. Mukaro was ordained in 2007, and now works as a development expert in the Diocese of Chinhoyi, in the north of the country. He is confronted with daily evidence of the country’s political stagnation and the ongoing fight to succeed Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country with an iron fist.

“While administering pastoral care we clearly see just how deeply the majority of the people are suffering,” the priest said.

Millions have in the meantime left Zimbabwe, resettling in neighboring Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and South Africa or starting new lives in the United States or Europe. People no longer trust the local currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, so those who can afford to, use the US dollar, the Euro, British pound or South African rand.

Many Zimbabweans who live abroad send money back home. However, “not everyone is so fortunate as to have family living abroad who can help,” Father Mukaro stressed.

“Many don’t even have a dollar a day in order to survive. And when priests speak out about the widespread injustice, they are threatened or even physically attacked,” he added.

Zimbabwe’s economic malaise is particularly palpable in the Chinhoyi diocese, which covers a vast, predominantly rural territory: mines have been closed, and farms that were once thriving have been expropriated and taken over by supporters of the governing party. Most of the land lies fallow. The priest does not expect rapid political change – he believes any real transformation must be preceded by a change in mentality. He puts great stock in the arduous, day-to-day pastoral work carried out by 48 priests in the 19 parishes of the diocese.

However, the local Church has scant resources. Distances are enormous and reliable means of transportation, such as cars, are often not available.

“Our diocese is dependent on aid” from Catholic agencies abroad, he said; “our priests really are destitute – they have no way to make a living.” And the people themselves cannot help the Church, because they are scrambling for basic necessities themselves.

The diocese is grateful support from abroad. It ensures the livelihood of its priests and thus the continuation of pastoral care in rural areas. Fr. Mukaro concluded: “Our work is based solely on the Gospel and we defend its values. If we were to accept contributions from politicians, this would undermine our pastoral care because we would then have to defend their actions.”

Source and Original Content by CNA

A FLY GIRL- Travel Tales of an Exotic British Airways Cabin Crew by Amanda Epe

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“British Airways standards have dropped, they take anyone these days”, working hard to be the best and to be where people of your color thinks it’s impossible is not part of the fight Amanda Epe the author of A FLY GIRL fought while working with the British Airways as a cabin crew but it was a major battle she had to face to get acceptance from family, friends and with the rest of the world.

As I read through the story of Amanda, I saw somebody who will never take NO for an answer, somebody who has a vision and determined to achieve what her mind has been set on. The book is not what she read somewhere, it’s about challenges she faced while working in an environment that people of her color are not more.

Amanda said “Rejection after rejection, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and tried again; such was my pillar of faith and strength. My family saw faith in me, but ultimately I had faith in myself and it paid off.” She showed courage for what she believed in, no matter what you want to achieve, the possibility of it coming into reality starts from you.

One of the reasons why I love Amanda’s story in the book “A FLY GIRL”, is because it shows that no matter who you are or where you are coming from you can achieve whatever you set your mind at. Her goal was not just to be part of British Airways Cabin Crew but it was to be the best, some people might have just remain or be okay with that but not Amanda, she is a fly girl that has BIG DREAMS.

Reading the book “A FLY GIRL” is like going on a trip with Amanda, I love the New York tour with her from the book. We went to Queens together and one of my dream place Brooklyn, Wow!! I love that city and the statue of liberty with the good food were the high point for me is also the night life in New York is next to nothing.

The book, A FLY GIRL is a book that will take you out from where you are to where you want to be and anything you can see with your mind eyes, in no time it will come to reality in your life. The author used her creative writing to make this possible, you will not miss the little details of any place you visit with her from her book.

I went to other places in U.S.A, like Los Angles and we had a tour guide in Beverly Hills, that place is amazing. The interesting thing about the book A FLY GIRL is the exposure, information and excitement that will make you believe in what you have and your dream, whatever might be that your dream that you and people around you think is impossible will remain like that if you don’t change your mind set toward it.

This book has made me believe more in my dream, whoever you are read this book, let Amanda Epe pour her passion into you from A FLY GIRL. I have to say this here before I read the book, I told Amanda that ladies will be motivated by the book but after I finished reading it, I am telling everybody who has a dead dream to read this book.

If you are tired of holding on to that your talent because nothing good is coming out from it, please read this book and you will see one million reasons why you should not let it go and if people don’t believe in your dream, read this book and you will not need them to believe in you because you will get all what you will need to stand out.

To get an ebook of ‘A Fly Girl’ log on to www.amazon.com Or Call 08033741088 to get the paper back.

Source and Original Content by Tolubooks.com

‘Cross of Christ’ Video Billboard Set Up In Times Square

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The apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis is hoping that, in addition to millions of people witnessing the famous ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, multitudes will also see its video billboard displayed nearby with a cross and reminder to Americans of the “religious freedoms they enjoy.”

“I am thrilled that the Cross of Christ will be seen in the most-watched place in the world on this day,” Ken Ham, AiG president, stated.

AiG officials said that whether people in the U.S. hold to the worldviews of Christianity, atheism, Judaism, and other belief systems, religious freedom must be defended.

The digital video board will air for seven minutes per hour each day, Dec. 30 through Jan. 1, 2015, including during the final minutes of 2014. AiG says about 3 million impressions will be totaled at Times Square over the three days.

“Millions of TV viewers watching the ball drop on Wednesday evening — signaling the start of the New Year — may also be seeing the new video,” AiG states.

The video board is located above the CNN sign on Broadway, between 46th and 47th Streets in Duffy Square. It has been posted to take advantage of a massive crowd in downtown New York City on Wednesday evening, as well as a huge global audience watching the ball drop on TV…Read More

Source and Original Content by BCNN1

iPhone 6 the Most Popular Gadget of 2014

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If there’s one word that could describe Apple’s 2014, it’s “big.” Not only did the company release its larger iPhone 6 and massive iPhone 6 Plus, the latter of which has been a sales behemoth, but it also debuted two new iPads and unveiled its much-anticipated Apple Watch.

It was the iPhone 6, though, that got all the love, as the smartphone took the top spot among most searched-for gadgets on Yahoo in 2014. And with its larger screen, slimmer design, and improved camera, the iPhone 6 is easily the best iPhone Apple has ever made.

Readers didn’t search as much for the iPhone 6 Plus, but that doesn’t mean the handset didn’t generate interest. On the contrary, the 6 Plus, Apple’s largest smartphone to date, received plenty of attention for its much-reported propensity to bend and deform in owners’ pockets.

In truth, Apple said it received just nine reports of bent iPhone 6 Pluses. Videos did surface of iPhone 6 Pluses being bent, but those were done deliberately. Unless there is some cabal of iPhone 6 Plus users who have banded together to keep complaints about 6 Pluses out of the spotlight, it’s safe to say the kerfuffle was nothing more than hype…Read More

Source and Original Content by YahooNews

Father of 20th Century Messianic Judaism Passes on

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Victor Smadja was born in French Colonial Tunisia in 1931. At the young age of 16 he lost his father who was taken out of Tunisia and murdered in the Holocaust. Around that same time a brother from England introduced him to the Old and New Testament in French.

After studying and reading the Bible for two years he came to the conclusion that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah. Besides three older sisters in the Lord and his future wife Suzy whom he would meet later in his life, Victor was the only Messianic believing Jew in Tunisia among a sea of Muslims, Jews and Roman Catholics.

After many discussions with Rabbis, Victor decided to immigrate to Israel with the goal of learning Hebrew and to see if Yeshua was really the Jewish Messiah from the Hebrew Perspective.

After returning to Tunisia for a period, Victor and his new wife Suzy moved to Israel in 1956. His vision was to introduce Yeshua the Messiah to the Jewish people. Victor was one of the early Israeli Messianic pioneers who led Israeli believers for many years, even the years when Israeli Messianics numbered only a few dozen. He was persecuted for his faith but remained steadfast in his service bearing much fruit to the glory of God.

Victor was a visionary that worked toward the future and fought for the purity, strengthening and self-sufficiency of the Messianic community in Israel.

For many years, Victor led the young-adult conferences and it was he who established them as essential to the lives many. He also oversaw many children and youth summer camps, led by Warren and Linda Graham, establishing patterns of operation that still exist today… Read More

Source and Original Content by Charisma News

Muslims Murder One Year Old Christian Infant And Mother

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Muslims in Nigeria, all members of the Islamic Fulani tribe, took a one year old Christian infant and his mother, and butchered both of them horrifically. As one reports:

In Kaduna state on the same day, five Christians were killed and 15 houses destroyed in an early morning attack on the predominantly Christian village of Angwan Dauda, about 10 kilometers (six miles) from Fadan Karshi – apparently in retaliation for soldiers shooting a Muslim herdsman to death after he stabbed a soldier trying to arrest him for attacking a Christian farmer.

Among the victims was a 1-year-old boy and his mother, a Christian resident of the community who identified himself only as Bulus told Morning Star News by phone. The father of the baby was killed earlier in an ambush on Dec. 15 by the same Muslim Fulani herdsmen, he said.

“Five Christians have been killed, and these Muslim Fulani cattlemen have been attacking our villages since April this year,” Bulus said, adding that several houses were also destroyed.

Mike Sanga, another Christian resident of Angwan Dauda, told Morning Star News that Fulani herdsmen were working in concert with Islamists in attacks on Christian communities in the area.

“The Fulani herdsmen are always working together with Muslim terrorist gunmen,” he said. “Whenever they invade a Christian community, they kill and burn houses at will and go unchallenged. That is precisely how they attacked our village.”

The attack comes after similar attacks by Fulani herdsmen in Fadan Karshi, Angwan Ganye, and Karshi Daji towns.

Source and Original Content by Shoebat.com

Thousands Turn to Christ in Burkina Faso

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Evangelist Andrew Palau joins 800 churches for Christmas outreach, the first major gathering in the nation since civil uprising last month.

Just weeks after a period of widespread political unrest due to the Burkinabe uprising, tens of thousands of people gathered in the heart of Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou for Love Burkina Faso, a collaborative effort between international evangelist Andrew Palau and hundreds of Christian churches to foster hope in the African nation.

Events took place throughout the city Dec. 15-21, and included 28 outreaches for business and government leaders, women, students, and prisoners. The culmination, a two-day evangelistic festival in the heart of the city, included activities for children with evangelist Doug Horley, demonstrations from professional BMX and FMX athletes Vic Murphy and John Andrus, performances from regional, West African artists—including Simon Kologo, Ella Kinda, and Emmanuel Bouaffo—and a clear evangelistic message from Palau.

Throughout both days of the festival, people could be seen marveling at the BMX and FMX athletes as they performed high-flying stunts, and leaning over the railing to get a better view of the various festival performers. After Palau’s message each night, thousands of hands were raised into the air across the crowd indicating thousands of people making decisions for Christ. One thousand five hundred trained counselors were available to help each decision maker further understand the decision they were making.

By the time the festival was over, more than 14,522 decisions for Christ were reported. Some 6,838 of those decisions were recorded during the two-day festival, with an additional 7,684 reported through the 28 other outreach events during the week. Each decision maker, as well as thousands more, received a free copy of the gospel of John, provided by ministry partner Bibles for the World.

“This really is a great victory and one that will remain a special legacy,” Luis Palau Association Director of Festivals Tim Innes said. “For Burkina Faso, the best days are ahead. It’s been an honor for us to serve with the leaders in this season…Read More

Source and Original Content by Charisma News

U.S. Calls for Release of Pastor Saeed Abedini

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The United States called on Tuesday for the release of U.S. citizens held in Iran, but denied a report that Washington had proposed a prisoner exchange for a former U.S. Marine.

A lawyer for Amir Hekmati, an Iranian-American former U.S. Marine jailed in Tehran, was quoted in a report earlier on Tuesday on Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency as saying that the United States had sought his release through a prisoner swap.

“Those reports are not accurate,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told a regular news briefing in Washington.

“The U.S. government has not proposed a prisoner exchange for Mr. Hekmati. It’s not true. We do, however, call on the Iranian government to release Amir Hekmati immediately, as well as detained U.S. citizens Saeed Abedini and Jason Rezaian, and to assist us in locating Robert Levinson.”

Hekmati was arrested in August 2011, his family says, and convicted of spying for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a charge his relatives and the U.S. government deny.

Iranian-American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison last year for undermining national security by setting up home-based Christian churches in his native country from 2000 to 2005.

Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American who holds dual citizenship and had been the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, was charged this month after being detained for more than four months.

Robert Levinson, a private detective and ex-FBI agent, disappeared during a trip to an Iranian island in 2007. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in December last year that there were no traces of Levinson in Iran and that he was not being imprisoned in the country.

Source and Original Content by Charisma News

Cardinal Criticises Forced Conversions to Hinduism

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The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India has criticised forced conversions of Christians to Hinduism.

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, said that he was gravely concerned that “conversion events are being held under the label of ‘homecoming’”.

He urged Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to intervene to address concerns surrounding “forcible conversions” across India, citing reports of such actions in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Kerala states.

Some Hindu leaders have said that India is a Hindu nation and the “reconversions” are simply reclaiming people who originally were Hindu. Some have called for a ban on conversions, since they say Indians should be Hindus.

Mohan Bhagwat, head of the National Volunteer Corps, known as the ideological fountainhead of Hindu nationalism, said: “Those who strayed were lured away. They were looted from us. When the thief is being caught and my property has been recovered, when I am taking back my own property, what is new in it?”

Reports surfaced on December 9 that 57 migrant Muslim families were “reconverted” under the watchful eyes of members of a Hindu fundamentalist group in Uttar Pradesh. Other reports referred to ghar vapasi, or reconversion, of Christians by Hindu fundamentalist groups in December.

Source and Original Content by Catholic Herald

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