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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 9:14 pm

Bishop Alan Wilson: Government "should look very carefully" at its response to refugee crisis
The Bishop of Buckingham has told Premier the Church was right to publish its letter to the government urging it to do more on the refugee crisis.
Sun 18 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Bishop of Buckingham has told Premier the Church was right to publish its letter to the government urging it to do more on the refugee crisis.
The Church of England has released a letter, signed by 84 bishops, which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron in September, urging him to make a "meaningful and substantial response to the scale of human suffering we see daily".
Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson told Premier he "didn't know" if publishing the letter would make any difference to government policy, and added it wasn't about bishops but instead "people in need".
He said: "There are all sorts of things we need to be doing to respond properly to this crisis.
"We were offering a challenge but we were also offering encouragement, to know there are networks out there, led by Christians very often, who are willing to help.
[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6288090_daily news 19 october&utm_content=letter&dm_i=16DQ,3QRX6,619BHX,DH4H1,1]READ MORE[/url]

Record number of Bibles given out in 2014
Last year saw the highest number of Bibles ever distributed by Bible Societies around the world. Nearly 34 million Bibles were handed out, a six per cent rise on 2013.
Its 7.6 million full Bibles account for more than half of the total Bible distribution in the Americas, and more than a fifth of last year's global Bible distribution.
It is thought that this was boosted by the many thousands of Scriptures handed out during the FIFA World Cup.
Bible Society Executive Director Dr Rudi Zimmer, said: "Brazilians are football mad, and the World Cup was a wonderful opportunity to share God's Word with the many football fans who were celebrating the tournament."
Cuba was another area that saw an increase in Bibles. Last year 1.5 million Scriptures were distributed there - more than double the total distributed in 2010.
The Bible Society has also reported that more than five times the number of Testaments were distributed in Syria in 2014 than in 2010, before the conflict began.
[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6293319_daily news 20 oct&utm_content=bibles&dm_i=16DQ,3QVYF,619BHX,DHKR1,1]MORE[/url]

Christian campaign group labels government counter-extremism strategy "flawed"
Christian campaign group says government counter-extremism strategy is a "challenge to the freedom of Christians"
Mon 19 Oct 2015
By Hannah Tooley
A Christian campaign group has criticised the government's counter-extremism strategy, labeling it 'flawed'.
The Prime Minister said people convicted of extremism will be banned from working with children.
David Cameron also announced powers to remove passports from 16-17 year-olds who are thought to be at risk of radicalisation.
In a statement in response to David Cameron's speech this morning Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "The government's Counter-Extremism Strategy betrays a dangerous blindness to the Christian basis of 'British values' and a naivety about the nature of Islamic radicalisation.
[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6293319_daily news 20 oct&utm_content=extremism&dm_i=16DQ,3QVYF,619BHX,DHKR1,1]READ MORE[/url]

Prime Minister has "golden opportunity" to defend persecuted Christians during visit of Chinese President
Mon 19 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
A Christian advocacy charity has said David Cameron and George Osborne have a "golden opportunity" to speak up for persecuted Christians in China, as the country's President arrives for a four-day visit.
Andrew Boyd, from Release International, also said that the "world is watching" to see whether Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne would challenge President Xi Jinping on his government's oppression of Christians, which includes their imprisonment and torture, the destruction of thousands of church crosses, and the complete demolishing of some church buildings.
In the case of church crosses, the Chinese government has said it's removed them for safety reasons.
Churches in China must receive state permission to function, leading many of the country's Christians to worship underground.
[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6293319_daily news 20 oct&utm_content=China&dm_i=16DQ,3QVYF,619BHX,DHKR1,1]READ MORE[/url]

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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Oct 2015, 10:45 pm

Church of England slams Government's "increasingly inadequate" response to the refugee crisis
Church of England bishops have accused the Government of an "increasingly inadequate" response to the migrant crisis and called for at least 50,000 Syrian refugees to be taken in over the next five years.
The CoE has released a letter, signed by 84 bishops, which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron in September, urging him to make a "meaningful and substantial response to the scale of human suffering we see daily".

Amid mounting public pressure to strengthen Britain's response to the migrant crisis on Europe's borders, the Government pledged to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.
The bishops write in the letter: "We believe such is this country's great tradition of sanctuary and generosity of spirit that we could feasibly resettle at least 10,000 people a year for the next two years, rising to a minimum of 50,000 in total over the five-year period you foresaw in your announcement.
[url= Christian]READ MORE[/url]

PSat 17 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
It's been reported Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, has been moved to solitary confinement over fears she'll be killed in prison.
Prison officials in the city of Multan, where Mrs Bibi is being held, told AFP: "She could be killed by any inmate or even a prison guard, so we have to be careful."
Another said: "We are concerned for her life."
Asia Bibi has been on Pakistan's death row for five years, after she was accused and convicted of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
She denies the charges, and her sentence has caused international outrage from Christian and human rights groups, including the Vatican.akistani death row Christian Asia Bibi moved to solitary confinement amid concerns for her life
[url= Christian]READ MORE[/url]

Indian pastor shot dead
Sat 17 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
Extremists have murdered an Indian pastor in the eastern state of Jharkhand.
A close family friend told that armed gunmen broke into Chamu Hasda Purty's home in the district of Khunti last Monday and shot him dead.
No arrests have been made so far.
Chamu Hasda Purty, 54, was the pastor of Independent Pentecostal Church.
Jharkhand state has nearly the double national average of Christians, with around 4.5% being believers. The majority of them are from local tribes or the untouchable castes, making them a generally very poor section of society.
The state is completely governed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP Hindu nationalist Party, which has been accused of failing to adequately address hatred and attacks against Christians, and even encouraging them.
[url= Christian]READ MORE[/url]

Christian Conservative MP leads party revolt on Sunday Trading
Sat 17 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
It has been reported that a Christian Conservative MP is leading a revolt against his own government's plans to extend Sunday trading hours.
According to the Daily Telegraph, David Burrowes is one of around 20 Conservative MPs who will break rank and vote against the government on increasing shop opening hours on a Sunday.
Labour has already signalled its opposition to the move, arguing along with trade unions that it will force shopworkers away from their family and religious activities, and deprive them of rest.
The SNP has yet to form an official party line on the issue.
Labour and the SNP, along with the dissident Conservative MPs, would theoretically form a big enough group to defeat the government in a vote on the issue within the next ten days.
[url= Christian]READ MORE[/url]

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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Oct 2015, 9:57 pm

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6282593_Daily news 16 october&utm_content=evans&dm_i=16DQ,3QNOH,619BHX,DGOL2,1]Chris Evans consults Archbishop John Sentamu on "God question"[/url]
TV and radio personality Chris Evans has revealed he's been having meetings with the Archbishop of York as he grapples with the idea of God.
The 49-year-old's struck up a friendship with Dr John Sentamu after the clergyman first contributed to his Radio 2 programme.
In an interview with the Mirror, the One Show presenter explained that he wanted to get to the bottom of what he called the "God question".
"I definitely believe in something because where does it all come from?" he said. "But I don't know what that was and wanted to go and try and find out.

"Just as there is no scientific formula for love... how do I know I love my son? I just know. And faith is the same thing."
Dr John Sentamu has previously appeared on a special edition of Chris Evans' Channel 4 Programe TFI Friday where he blessed the show.
Evans, has revealed his conversations with the Archbishop, ahead of the launch of his new book 'Call the Midlife' in which he attempts to stave off a midlife crisis.

As part of his research he visited a marriage counsellor, Alcohol Anonymous and a sex therapist.
His battle with alcohol has been well documented while he questions whether he's bad at marriage because he's gone through it three times.
But as he battles a potential crisis he says he's "really happy" with life and is more relaxed than he's ever been.

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6282593_Daily news 16 october&utm_content=Israel&dm_i=16DQ,3QNOH,619BHX,DGOL2,1]Israel Bible Society says a "spiritual war" is happening in the Holy Land, amid terror attacks[/url]
Thu 15 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
The Director of the Israel Bible Society has said a "spiritual war" is going on in the country amid continuing terror attacks from Palestinians.

Victor Kalisher was speaking after Israel was forced to deploy hundreds of soldiers across the country to support its police dealing with the incidents.
It also put up concrete barriers in some Arab neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.
The latest attacks including a Palestinian man stabbing a 70-year-old Israeli woman, and another Palestinian man attempting to stab an Israeli policeman.

Both attackers were shot dead by police.
An Israeli has also been accused of committing a revenge stabbing on a Palestinian.
At least eight Israelis have been killed and 31 Palestinians since the beginning of October.
Of those 31, Israeli authorities identified 14 as terrorist attackers, with others being killed in clashes with police.
Palestinians have called the measures "collective punishment" that would make tensions worse.
While relations between Israelis and Palestinians are normally tense because of disputes over land, the latest attacks in October are a result of rumours that religious arrangements governing the holy site known as Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif, which is revered by both Jews and Muslims, were to be changed in favour of Jews.
Victor Kalisher told Premier's News Hour: "I think that it is a spiritual war, it is really evil spirits taking over people, and it is the fruit of many years of hatred and so on that grew up. It is like a volcano, it's there and there and then it erupts.
"If the leaders have the wisdom and the mercy from God to overcome the feelings right now and tell people to calm down this would really help.
"I think we need to pray that the Spirit of the true God will overcome the evil spirits that are trying to get over the hearts of people, this could really help.
"And I think we really need to pray... that God would really watch over our hearts and protect us to be the salt and light because it is a really dangerous situation and we need to be a testimony of love and peace."
Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Victor Kalisher on the News Hour:

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6282593_Daily news 16 october&utm_content=portsmouth&dm_i=16DQ,3QNOH,619BHX,DGOL2,1]Cathedral criticises "mean spirited" council over refugee response[/url]
Thu 15 Oct 2015
By Marcus Jones
Clergy at Portsmouth Cathedral have criticised the City Council, accusing it of being "mean spirited and narrow minded" on the issue of asylum seekers.

They published a statement after hearing councillors had passed a motion to ask the Home Secretary to remove the city as an area which welcome asylum seekers.
'Cluster areas' is the name given to towns and cities which agree to help cut the burden on London when it comes to housing people coming into the UK.
The motion stated: "This council acknowledges the chaotic and dangerous conditions that exist for civilians in Syria and elsewhere.
"It supports efforts by the government to provide aid to those displaced by violence. However it is concerned that any addition to the number of asylum seekers housed in the city will put an undue strain on already stretched local services. It therefore asks the Chief Executive to write to the Home Secretary requesting that Portsmouth be removed from the list of cluster areas."
In response, clergy at the Cathedral said: "[The council's] rejection of asylum seekers is mean spirited and narrow minded.
"The Cathedral has generous hospitality as one of its core values, and we are proud that this trident has always applied to the whole City. "
Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Canon Peter Leonard went further stating: "We're an important maritime place with people passing through.
"We've always been welcoming and open to people in need, particularly asylum seekers, so this flies in the face of that."
Councillors have defended the decision claiming it will ease the pressure on school places, children's services, social care.
When asked by Premier to the Cathedral's comments, the Council refused to comment.
Premier's Antony Bushfield speaking to Canon Peter Leonard:

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6282593_Daily news 16 october&utm_content=Sunday&dm_i=16DQ,3QNOH,619BHX,DGOL2,1]CofE speaks out against Sunday Trading[/url]
Thu 15 Oct 2015
By Hannah Tooley
The Church of England has published its contribution to the debate on Sunday trading hours in the UK.

The Church has always stood against extending Sunday trading hours and says its opposition comes from three main factors: protecting vulnerable members of society, the balance of work and leisure and family time.
The Church of England says it is against proposals to extend Sunday trading hours because:
* We are not persuaded that the claimed economic benefits can be realised.
* We believe that the economies envisaged as a result of longer opening hours will be more than offset by the diseconomies caused by local variations - and that the idea of devolving decision making is either an economic disincentive or a sham.
* We do not believe that the protection for workers who do not wish to work on Sunday is sufficient to protect their need for family and leisure time.
* We are concerned that the minimal protection of smaller shops in the 1994 Act will be lost to the detriment of competition and consumer choice.
* We believe that extended shopping hours will damage community resilience.

The Church says its objection stems from: "our commitment as Christians, and as the national church, to the common good of all the communities of this country.
"We believe that a shared day of leisure for a critical mass of the population is a necessity if people are to be able to work together for the common good and that this will be damaged by further extending shop opening hours."
At present bigger stores are allowed to open for 6 hours on a Sunday, between the hours of 10am and 6pm, and smaller shops do not have any restrictions on their opening times.
The Church has stressed that it is not motivated by its own interest to encourage participation in Sunday activities but wants to build stronger communities and build social cohesion.
It states: "Sunday shopping hours are directly contradictory to the Government's desire to build more resilient local communities and to encourage social capital to take the place of the state in creating good neighbourhoods.
"It runs counter to the whole philosophy of The Big Society which the Prime Minister championed and which the Church of England supports strongly."
Those that want to extend Sunday opening hours say it will hold economic benefits for both the traders and those that work in shops.
However, speaking in April, Tony Ashcroft, from the Keep Sunday Special campaign, told Premier people not have enough disposable income to spend money on a Sunday and that giving people a day for faith and family is important: we "need to recognise the impact on people and find the right balance between the benefit of convenient access to services and the protection both of family life, and also religious observance for those for whom it is important."
The Church of England says that: "the fact that the common day of leisure in Britain is Sunday reflects the Christian heritage of the nation.
"For those who are not Christians, the protection of one day of the week as a time of shared leisure remains important."
The bill, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, was discussed on Wednesday in the House of Commons.

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6282593_Daily news 16 october&utm_content=humanists&dm_i=16DQ,3QNOH,619BHX,DGOL2,1]British Humanist Association President: 'I'm envious of your faith"[/url]
Thu 15 Oct 2015
By Sam Hailes
The President of the British Humanist Association Jim Al-Khalili has said he's "envious" of Christians' faith.

Al-Khalili made the comments during a debate with Christian professor Alister McGrath on Premier Christian Radio's Unbelievable? programme. 
Al-Khalili said, "I'm envious...of Alister. [Faith] gives you meaning. Things fall into place with your faith, whereas for me I'm still grasping and reaching to try and find out. I'm envious of your faith, but I'm nevertheless at peace at not knowing."
The scientist was also critical of fellow atheists who dismiss religious belief out of hand saying: "I've had other atheists say religious faith is just intellectually lazy. I'm not going to fall into that trap."
Al-Khalili, who hosts The Life Scientific on Radio 4 said human beings are "programmed to seek meaning", but "no one knows" whether a higher purpose to the universe exists.
During the debate, titled 'Who invented the universe?", McGrath said there are "multiple understandings" of what "humanism" is.
"Because there are multiple definitions and understandings of what human beings are all about, there must be multiple understandings of humanism as well. [But] 'humanism' is now used to mean an anti-religious viewpoint."
When asked by McGrath if "secular humanism" would be a better word to describe The British Humanist Association, Al-Khalili agreed: "'Secular humanism' is a much more honest description of what the humanist movement currently stands for...just to say humanist is not enough.
Al Khalili, who has been President of the British Humanist Association since 2013, even suggested that the special status given to "humans" in secular humanism may be wrong, saying "the danger is it can be seen as elevating humans above where they are within life on Earth. That somehow we are special. As a scientist I'm aware that humans are evolved apes. Humanism I think somehow elevates us into that category which really shouldn't exist."
Al-Khalili criticised the extremism he's observed from both believers and atheists. "This polarisation into I'm right and you're wrong, we know how much trouble it's getting us into around the world," he said.
Click here to listen to the debate in full. 

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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Oct 2015, 3:24 pm

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6267467_daily news email 12oct&dm_i=16DQ,3QC0B,619BHX,DFHKJ,1]Christian broadcaster targeted by Egyptian government[/url]
Mon 12 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Christian organisation Sat-7, which broadcasts across the Middle East, is said to be facing legal proceedings in Egypt after government intervention.
According to the group Middle East Concern, the broadcaster has been accused of incorrect registration of a TV channel, failure to hold licences for certain editing activities and failure to comply with regulations concerning live streaming of broadcasts on the internet.
Over the weekend, officers from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology's Censorship Department came to the studios to search the property. It's claimed they proceeded to confiscate cameras and other equipment.
Studio director Farid Samir was said to have been taken to the local police station but was later released after local churches intervened.
Lawyers on behalf of Sat-7 refuted all charges and attempted to demonstrate that the Censorship Department's report was incorrect.
The Prosecutor will now determine whether the case should proceed to court. It's expected the decision could take up to two weeks.
Middle East Concern is calling on Christians in the UK to pray for the situation.
In a statement it said: "[Pray that] a. Mr Samir and his family will know the protection of the Father and the presence and peace of Jesus.
"B. Mr Samir, together with other SAT-7 leaders and legal representatives, will know the Spirit's wisdom in all their interactions with the authorities.
"C. the prosecutor will drop this case, and that there would be no further harassment of SAT-7 or other Christian broadcasters in Egypt.
"D. disruption to SAT-7's broadcasting operations will be minimal, and that SAT-7 and other Christian broadcasters will have boldness and wisdom as they proclaim the Christian message and promote peaceful co-existence in the Middle East."

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6267467_daily news email 12oct&utm_content=syria&dm_i=16DQ,3QC0B,619BHX,DFHKJ,1]Kidnapped priest released in Syria[/url]
Mon 12 Oct 2015
By Marcus Jones
A Jesuit priest who was abducted in Syria earlier this year is said to have been freed.
Father Jacques Mourad was taken back in May with local Christians fearing Islamic extremists had captured him.
While reasons for his release are unknown, a source told AFP that he said Mass yesterday for the first time since he was taken.
Fr Jacques has been ministering to Qaryatayn's Syriac Catholic community for the past 12 years.
While over 2,000 Christians lived in the town before the war, none remain with Islamic State taking control of the region.
Speaking at the time of his abduction, his colleague Fr Nawras Sammour told charity Aid to the Church in Need: "We priests are fully aware of the risks we run, but we cannot do otherwise than remain alongside the Syrian people, both Christians and Muslims.
"In many cases we are the only ones they have to turn to.
"When I asked him if he was intending to leave, he told me that he would do so only if forced - otherwise he would remain with his people."
Priest kidnapped in Syria
A Jesuit Priest has been abducted in Syria, according to Aid to the Church in Need.
Priest kidnapped in Syria
Sat 23 May 2015
By Desmond Busteed
 A Jesuit Priest has been abducted in Syria, according to Aid to the Church in Need.
It has been reported that local Christians fear Islamic extremists have abducted Father Jacques Mourad who has not been seen since travelling with a co-worker on Thursday, when two motorcycles drew up alongside his car.
The charity says that for the past 12 years Fr Mourad had been ministering to Qaryatayn's Syriac Catholic community.
Qaryatayn is a small town around 65 miles southwest of Palmyra, which was seized by Islamic State earlier in the week.
Father Nawras Sammour, the director of the Jesuit Refugee Services for the Middle East, told Aid to the Church in Need: "We still have no news of him.
"We only know that he was abducted by four men, undoubtedly belonging to a jihadist group."
He described how Fr Jacques had welcomed refugees from Palmyra who had fled their monastery near the conflict. 
Fr Sammour said: "He has always helped the Syrians and has welcomed a great many Muslims into the monastery of Mar Elias."
He said Fr Jacques continued preaching in the area even though there was a threat from extremists.
Fr Sammour said priests working in the region were aware of the dangers they faced: "We priests are fully aware of the risks we run, but we cannot do otherwise than remain alongside the Syrian people, both Christians and Muslims.
"In many cases we are the only ones they have to turn to."
The director of the Jesuit Refugee Service said: "When I asked him if he was intending to leave, he told me that he would do so only if forced - otherwise he would remain with his people."
About the Author
Desmond Busteed
Desmond works as a multimedia journalist at Premier.

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6267467_daily news email 12oct&dm_i=16DQ,3QC0B,619BHX,DFHKJ,1]World remembers Christian war nurse Edith Cavell 100 years on[/url]
Mon 12 Oct 2015
By Sam Hailes
People around the world have been remembering the Christian and British nurse Edith Cavell, who was killed by a German firing squad 100 years ago today.

Edith Cavell, from Swaddleston in Norfolk, was sentenced to death for helping at least 200 British soldiers escape German-occupied Belgium.
Her last words were: "I die for God and my country."
Ms Cavell's Christian faith impacted her work to such an extent that she indiscriminately helped both Allied and Central forces in the war. 
The vicar's daughter was given a state funeral, with a statue of her erected near Trafalgar Square.
She was once a parishioner at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford, where a wreath has been laid in her honour to mark a century since she was killed.
Revd Canon Andy Salmon, the rector of Sacred Trinity, told Premier: "We know that her Christian faith was incredibly important to her. She was reading The Imitation of Christ in her cell as well as the prayer book.
"One of her famous lines, on the night before she died, she said to the chaplain who came to see her: 'Patriotism is not enough. I must hold no hatred or bitterness towards anyone'.
"We all have important things that we can learn from history, and she is certainly somebody who is an inspiring example to us of someone who puts their Christian faith, her love of fellow human beings, into practical action."

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6269839_Ignite%3A 13%2f10%2f15&utm_content=Klopp&dm_i=16DQ,3QDU7,619BHX,DFPM3,1]Jurgen Klopp - the new Liverpool manager is not hiding his Christian faith[/url]
Oct 2015
Liverpool FC, one of the biggest football clubs in the world has unveiled German Jurgen Klopp as their new manager. 

He is a popular figure in Germany because of his outspoken nature and the success he brought to former club Borussia Dortmund, where he won two league titles and got to the final of the European Champions League.
Car brand Opel has also credited him with turning around its fortunes in the country, saying his role as ambassador helped boost sales of its Insignia model by 35% in 2014.
He has even had pop songs written about him with eccentric media personality Matze Knop releasing a tribute titled 'I Wanna Be Like Jurgen Klopp'.
But what you might not know about him is that he is a committed Christian and is not afraid of making his faith known.
Prior to managing Borussia Dortmund, Klopp was in charge of another German club, Mainz, and after a defeat was known to have been asked by reporters if the 'football god' was against Mainz.
In an article about his faith, he wrote: 'In order to answer this question once and for all: although there is no football God, I believe that there is a God who loves us humans, just as we are, with all our quirks, and that's why I think he also loves football! But we have to score our own goals.'
But his piece for ( gets deeper.
'All of these really likeable guys who I meet week in week out at matches or in some cases even in training, have one thing in common: they have noticed at some stage in their careers that there must be more to life than championship and relegation battles.
'They relate how a relationship with God has changed their perspective.'
In an age in which each successful new manager is praised for his novel 'football philosophy', Klopp is adamant that his faith is more important to him than the game.
In an interview with, he said: 'To be a believer, but not to want to talk about it - I do not know how it would work! If anyone asks me about my faith, I give information. Not because I have claim to be any sort of missionary. But when I look at me and my life - and I take time for that every day - then I feel I am in sensationally good hands.
'And I find it a pity if other people lack this sense of security - although they don't know it, of course, because otherwise they would probably look for it.'
He also relates how he had to grapple with important lifestyle questions even at a young age: 'At about 13, 14 years old, the question arose: Can I actually kick on Sunday morning, even though I was supposed to go to church?
'It can't be that I've got such a love and passion for the sport, only for me to be prevented from training for the sake of one hour of church on Sunday - especially since there is plenty of time in the rest of the week for faith.
'Since then I've realised that the matter is clear for me.'
From today thousands of Liverpool supporters will be putting their faith in Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp, it appears, does not put his faith in himself. 

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6269558_Daily News 14%2f10&utm_content=hopkins&dm_i=16DQ,3QDME,619BHX,DFNOW,1]Katie Hopkins: "I am the new Jesus"[/url]
Tue 13 Oct 2015
By Marcus Jones
Controversial TV personality Katie Hopkins has declared herself the "new Jesus" and says she wants to call her new book the 'Bible of Katie Hopkins'.

Speaking at the Church and Media Conference in London, she told delegates that just as Jesus had followers, she has 600,000 people who follow what she says.
In an easily quotable question and answer session with journalist Torin Douglas, the reality TV star and newspaper columnist said: "I'm Jesus of the outspoken.
"I want to call my book the Bible of Katie Hopkins. Jesus had followers, I have 600,000 followers. There will be Judases, but I welcome Judas into my heart. I am the new Jesus."
Talking about her Christian upbringing, in which she was taken to a Methodist church by her parents, she said: "I went to Sunday school, my mum and dad are Methodist. I find religion to be at the heart of so much conflict. I get angry at religion in the same way people get angry at me."
She also criticised the nuns who taught her at school: "Nuns tied my hand behind my back to make me write left-handed. That's nuns for you if we're going to talk about religion. I'm not sure nuns are nice people."
While responding to the good that churches can do, she hit out at those who run foodbanks stating "if you give away free food people will always take it".
But while expressing her dislike of religion she explained she was hoping for a "free pass" when she dies as her husband is a Catholic.
Defending her right to offer a different narrative to the mainstream on social issues, she said: "I don't think I'm universally hated. I articulate things that people think but don't say. I'm a pioneer in an age of political correctness."
While many criticised the invitation given by the Church and Media Conference, organisers explained their reasons.
Spokesman Andy Walton told Premier: "I'd ask people to look at the Biblical precedence here. I don't think Jesus avoided conversations with controversial people.
"I also think that what we're offering here is a conference examining media for Christians and others who work in the media. What we're not doing is having this as a pastoral event. This isn't a safe space - it's a space to explore the burning issues that are facing Christians who work in the media today.
"We are convinced that for Christians to play a significant role in the media we can't just hide in a holy huddle. We have to actually get involved."
[url=http://the conference also confirmed that no fee was being given to katie hopkins. http// Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6269558_Daily News 14%2f10&utm_content=Haiti&dm_i=16DQ,3QDME,619BHX,DFNOW,1]click HERE[/url]
American female missionary shot dead in Haiti
Tue 13 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
An American female missionary who worked with impoverished children in Haiti has been shot dead.

Roberta Edwards, 55 and from Tennessee, led an orphanage and food centre which helped nearly 200 children.
According to Estes Church in Tennessee, which supported her ministry, Ms Roberts was driving to a petrol station when armed gunmen drove in front of her to stop her car, before opening her car door and shooting her dead.
Police are investigating and are yet to make arrests. The attackers' motive is still unknown.
Estes Church said in a statement: "Our hearts are saddened to report the death of our missionary Roberta Edwards.
"Roberta was a light to those in the community and dedicated to bringing hope to the hopeless.
"She knew that she worked in a dangerous setting, but had committed herself to care for children in Haiti despite these risks. Roberta has received her reward for her dedication to serving the Lord in Haiti.
"She will be missed in Haiti by her children, the community and friends. She will be missed here in the States as an encouragement and inspiration to us all.
"It is our intention to honour her memory by continuing the battle against Satan in Haiti and pressing on in the work of God's kingdom."
About the Author
Aaron James
Aaron works as a multimedia journalist at Premier.

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Post  Admin on Sat 10 Oct 2015, 12:06 am

CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK - Page 11 Christian_News_Timeline_Cover.1.1.1

[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6256920_daily news 9 october&utm_content=twitter&dm_i=16DQ,3Q3VC,619BHX,DEMS2,1]Church joins forces with Twitter to broadcast live services[/url]
Thu 08 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield
Church services will be broadcast live online thanks to a new partnership between the Church of England and social networking website Twitter.

'ChurchLive' will see a range of events shown live on the mobile phone app Periscope, available for free to audiences around the world.
The Church said the broadcasts could be "the first taste of Church for those unfamiliar with church services".
It would act as an introduction to "the best of worship, preaching and prayer".
Revd Arun Arora, Director of Communications for the Archbishops' Council said: "This is a project designed to bring Church of England services from Malton to Miami, Middlesbrough to Milan and Manchester to Mumbai.
"Those who may not make it to church on a Sunday for all sorts of reasons will have the opportunity to be part of a service.
"The ability to join in worship shouldn't be restricted to geographical constraint. We know that Periscope users are a global audience and we expect that there will be as many watching services broadcast via Periscope as are physically present at the services themselves."
It wont be the first time church services have been broadcast on Periscope.
Earlier this year parishioners at St Radegund's Church in Grayingham, in the Diocese of Lincoln, were joined by another 350 people around the world for their regular traditional Sunday service after becoming the first to experiment with the app.
Julia White from Twitter UK, said: "Periscope gives people and communities the opportunity to live broadcast everything from on-the-spot breaking news through to individual reflections. It's great to see the Church of England taking the best of what they have to offer and using Periscope to show it live across the world."
Tallie Proud, Digital Officer for The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England said: "It could be someone too ill to attend, a family who want to 'attend' even when on holiday or someone who just wants to know what the church is like before they make the sometimes scary step of walking into the building for the first time."
The first service is due to take place on Sunday 11th October and features a service with Canon Andrew white, the "Vicar of Baghdad" who will be speaking at The Point, a Fresh Expressions church in West Sussex.
Future services planned include St Martin in the Fields in London and Beverley Minster.

 Vicar finds 400-year-old Bible by accident at church
Thu 08 Oct 2015
By Aaron James
A vicar in Wrexham's found a 400-year-old Bible while he was clearing a cupboard at church.

Revd James Bray of St Giles found the First Edition King James Bible, which is thought to be worth thousands of pounds.
The Bible's believed to be one of only less than 200 still in existence.
It's missing a few pages, but can still be read as the words were printed on low-acid paper.
Mr Bray told the Daily Mail: "We didn't know it was a first edition, but we sent photographs to the National Library of Wales and they confirmed that it was... As far as we know [it] has always been here.
"We're keeping it safe at the moment, but we would like to have somewhere to display 
[url= Christian media&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6256920_daily news 9 october&utm_content=Bible&dm_i=16DQ,3Q3VC,619BHX,DEMS2,1] CLICK HERE[/url]


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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Sep 2015, 6:32 pm

CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK - Page 11 Christian_News_Timeline_Cover.1.1.1
Arizona City Council Approves Proposal to Allow Only Christian Prayers at Meetings
(CN) -- City Council members in Arizona have voted to move forward with a proposal to allow only Christian prayers at city hall meetings.

The Coolidge City Council voted 4-2 on Monday with one member absent to have attorney Dennis Fitzgibbons provide draft language and counsel as to how the concept might be carried out.

'They Need Our Prayers': Statewide Prayer Rallies Held in Louisiana to Ask God to Protect Police
(CN) -- Cities and parishes across Louisiana hosted community prayer rallies on Tuesday to ask God to protect local law enforcement in the wake of a number of fatal police shootings.

The events were the result of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proclamation of Sept. 14 being a statewide day of prayer for Louisiana police. According to reports, 83 officers have been killed in the line of duty just this year, with 10 being in Louisiana.

Documentary Reveals 'Incredible Journey of Discovery' Confirming Biblical Exodus Account
(CN) -- A filmmaker who spent over 10 years investigating the reliability of the biblical Exodus story has concluded that the Bible’s account is in fact historically accurate, and has released an award-winning documentary that sheds light on his new archaeological findings.

Is the Exodus story in the Bible accurate? Many skeptics today dismiss the account as a fanciful myth, but the recently-released documentary “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus” challenges that verdict with historical evidence uncovered during a lengthy investigation.

'Take the Rainbow Back': Mercy Day Aims to Celebrate the Mercy of God on Sinful Man
(CN) -- A Christian evangelist and apologist has established September 13 of each year as “Mercy Day”—a time for Christians to celebrate the mercy of God and to share the gospel by telling others about the meaning of the rainbow.

Sye Ten Bruggencate announced the launch of Mercy Day shortly before midnight as he embarks on a mission to take back the symbolization of the rainbow as outlined by God in Genesis 9:13.

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Post  Admin on Wed 16 Sep 2015, 9:53 pm

Faith leaders "registering" to thwart extremism
Priests, rabbis and Imams as well as other religious leaders will have to join a national register for faith leaders as part of the Home Office's plan to tackle extremism.
Those on the list will be subject to training and security checks.
The controversial proposal, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, was leaked in a draft of the government's counter-extremism strategy.
The document is due out this autumn.
It says it will "require all faiths to maintain a national register of faith leaders" and that the government will "set out the minimum level of training and checks" that faith leaders will have to go through.
Registration will be compulsory for any faith leaders that want to work in the public sector, including universities.
In practice this would cover almost all faith leaders as many people often deal with the public.
A spokesperson from the Catholic Church said that it had not been consulted on the proposals and another anonymous source said the proposals would be "firmly resisted".
Maulana Shah Raza, the Imam who was a founding member of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, a body designed to promote best practice, warned the government "not to meddle in religious affairs or to expand the state's involvement in deciding on religious and theological issues."
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Archbishop Justin Welby warns Cameron refugee policy discriminates against Christians
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has warned David Cameron that his refugee policy is discriminating against Christians in Syria facing persecution.
He is thought to have had a private meeting with the Prime Minister to voice concerns that of the 20,000 refugees the government has allowed in, many Christians will be excluded.
According to The Sunday Telegraph the men met last week.
The government is committed, along with other EU nations, to take in refugees from United Nations camps in Syria and surrounding countries.
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Every faith to undertake "a single act of unity" on anniversary of IS murder, says brother
Sun 13 Sep 2015
By Hannah Tooley
Speaking a year on since the murder of his younger brother, Mike Haines, is urging "every community, every faith, to undertake a single act of unity."
British-born David Haines was killed by Islamic State (IS) a year ago whilst carrying out humanitarian work in Syria.
Writing in the Observer, his brother says since his loss he has "met many new people, from heads of state and religious leaders to community mentors."
On the day of David's death he is asking that all religious communities unite as one: "One simple gesture, one act, one moment - that brings people together."
He added that: "It is vital in ensuring our society is not broken apart by those wishing to cause us harm. "My brother didn't see other nationalities or religions.
"He just saw human beings in need of help to get by or sometimes a lot of help to live another day."
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Persecution forcing Egypt's Christians to quit their country, says UK charity
Wed 16 Sep 2015
By Aaron James
Egyptian Christians are still being attacked and driven out of their homes because of their Christian faith, according to anti-persecution organisation Release International.
"One of the families we met was forced to flee after the father had been brutally gunned down in front of his teenage son. The pretext for the violence? A dispute over shop prices," says Release Chief Executive, Paul Robinson.
"Another man we met was thrown into prison for trying to create a room for his Sunday school, which had been meeting in the open air. He and his children received death threats - and still are - and his father was detained and tortured.
"Despite changes to the constitution, freedom of religion is still way beyond the grasp of many Egyptians - especially in remote areas away from Cairo.
"What we're seeing today is a modern day exodus from Egypt, as Christians are leaving the Middle East in droves. Yet Egypt's Coptic community is still the largest Christian presence in the Middle East. It would be a tragedy if they felt compelled to leave. Release International is calling on Christians everywhere to stand with them this week in prayer," said Robinson.
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Catholic Church urges UK to fast-track refugee applications as Hungary shuts border
Tue 15 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
The Catholic Church in the UK wants the Government to speed up the process of housing 20,000 refugees from Syrian in Britain.
Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, Patrick Lynch, the Church's lead bishop on migration has also urged David Cameron to "extend sanctuary" to others.
It comes a week after the UK said it would resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years.
Britain has been under pressure to take in more people as Europe struggles to deal with a huge influx of refugees, with most fleeing conflict in Syria but large numbers also fleeing violence and poverty in Afghanistan, Eritrea and Kosovo.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 Sep 2015, 6:58 pm

Too many Muslims coming to Europe, says former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey    
Sun 06 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
The former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has said there's "too much Muslim mass immigration" to Europe.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph Lord Carey has said oil-rich Gulf States should be "doing more" to help stem the flow of refugees and migrants from the Middle East.
The former archbishop has also called for British military involvement against Islamic State in Syria, as David Cameron reportedly hopes to persuade Labour MPs to back airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria in a Commons vote next month.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK will take "thousands" more refugees who have fled fighting in Syria and are in UN camps in neighbouring countries.
Mr Cameron has been under pressure in recent days to provide sanctuary for those escaping the long-running Syrian civil war.
"Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream soci

Sun 06 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
The Pope has called for every European parish and religious community to take in one refugee family each, in a gesture of solidarity.
Francis also announced two parishes in the Vatican will offer a home to a family of refugees in the coming days.
The pontiff's announcement was met with applause from the crowd gathered to hear his Sunday address at St. Peter's Square.
It comes after more than 8,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Germany on Saturday with many more expected to follow.
Meanwhile, Chancellor George Osborne has said the UK's international aid budget will be used to help fund the Goernment's promised influx of "thousands more" Syrian refugees.

Mr Osborne said that the money from the UK's £12 billion-a-year aid spending will be diverted to local authorities to help them cover the costs of housing people from the refugee camps bordering Syria.
"The foreign aid budget that we have can provide the support for the first year for these refugees, to help the local councils with things like housing costs. We will deploy the foreign aid budget to help with the costs of these refugees," he said.

Islamic State tax imposed on Christians in Syria
Sun 06 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Islamic State has reportedly imposed a tax on the Christians and non-Muslims in the central Syrian town of Qaryatayn, weeks after destroying an historic monastery in the area.
According to the Observatory of Human Rights I.S. has imposed 13 conditions on the town’s believers, including bans on the possession of weapons and the establishment of churches and monasteries.
The extremist group posted photos on social media showing bulldozers destroying the town's fifth-century Saint Eliane Monastery last month.

UK faith leaders join Archbishop Justin Welby in letter opposing assisted dying bill
Sun 06 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
The heads of British faith groups have written a joint letter to every MP asking them to oppose plans to allow assisted dying.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh leaders want politicians to reject proposals to permit doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally-ill patients.
His predecessor, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey has argued in favour of a change in the law, despite the Church of England's official opposition to it.
The Private Member's Bill proposes legalising assisted suicide be debated on Friday in the House of Commons.
Currently, assisted suicide is illegal under the Suicide Act 1961 and is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
Writing in the Observer newspaper, Most Revd Justin Welby said he and other faith leaders had spoken out because they believe changing the law would have "detrimental effects" on society.

Study finds faith is leading Christians towards organ donation
Mon 07 Sep 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Over two thirds of regular churchgoers in the UK say they would consider becoming on organ donor because of their faith.
A survey by the fleshandblood campaign finds 72.9 percent of churchgoers say that organ donation is, or could be, considered a part of their Christian giving.
In addition, the research reveals that 48 percent say they have already joined the NHS Organ Donor Register, in comparison to 31 percent of the general population as officially recorded by NHS Blood and Transplant.
On average, three people die every day in the UK waiting for an organ transplant, with 6,943 people waiting on the Active Transplant List, 197 of which are under the age of 18, as of 20th August.
The fleshandblood campaign is the first national initiative between the NHS and the UK Church and has seen a 96% increase in the number of local churches talking about organ donation since 2013, with 11 percent of churchgoers having heard organ donation being promoted from the pulpit.
Over the next seven days, as part of National Transplant Week people are being encouraged to join the 'Seven Days to Say Yes I Donate' campaign and talk to family and those close to them about organ donation.

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Post  Admin on Tue 01 Sep 2015, 9:08 pm

Church of England rejects assisted dying calls from former director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer
Sat 29 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
The Church of England has restated its opposition to assisted dying, after fresh calls for it to be legalised from a former chief prosecutor.
Keir Starmer told The Times newspaper people who want to help their terminally-ill loved ones to die should legally be allowed to.
He said people who wanted to end their lives shouldn't have to "traipse off to Switzerland" to do it.
His comments come two weeks before MPs debate potential assisted dying legislation in Parliament, which would allow a terminally ill person with six months or less to live to be prescribed lethal drugs if two doctors agree that the person had a "clear and settled intention to die".
A High Court judge would be able to intervene if necessary.
A Church of England spokeswoman said: "We believe that legalising assisted suicide would have serious consequences for the most vulnerable in our society.

Bishop of Carlisle hits back at former DPP and Labour MP Keir Starmer on assisted dying
The lead bishop on healthcare issues for the Church of England has rejected calls for assisted dying to be made legal.

Pakistani Christian man murdered by in-laws near Lahore, says lawyer
Sat 29 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
A Pakistani man has been murdered because he is a Christian, according to a lawyer representing his family.
Aneeqa Maria, from Christian advocacy group The Voice Society, has said Aleem Masih, 28, and his wife Nadia, 23, were ambushed by the latter's family members on the way to a doctor's appointment in the Youhanabad area of Lahore in July.

National security called in for Argentina baptist church
Sat 29 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
A church in Argentina has been given the highest level of security the country can provide, because of continued attacks against it.
Anti-persecution charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has said the National Gendermarie have been ordered to provide 24-hour protection Pueblo Grande Baptist Church in Tres Rios.
It is believed human and drug traffickers are targeting Pueblo Grande because of its work with trafficked sex workers and drug addicts.

Nuns helping persecuted Christians in Erbil, Kurdistan to get new convent
Sat 29 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
A Catholic charity has provided £180,000 so nuns helping displaced Christians and others in Kurdistan can have a new convent.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), which is part of the Vatican, has given the money to the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the capital Erbil.
The Daughters are providing aid, counselling and education to people who have fled from Islamic State in Iraq.

Pope Francis enters migrant crisis and asks God to stop truck deaths
Pope Francis has urged the international community to work together to tackle the migrant crisis facing Europe.
He invited faithful in St Peter's Square in Rome to pray silently with him for migrants who die "on their terrible journeys".
It comes after 71 badly decomposing bodies were discovered in a lorry on the main Budapest-Vienna highway.
The pontiff noted that Vienna's cardinal was watching in the square, in what appeared to be a direct reference to the tragedy.

Egypt: Report on life of Christians used to convict three journalists of 'broadcasting false news'
Sun 30 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
A report about the life of Christians in Egypt was used by a court to convict three journalists of broadcasting false news, it has emerged.
Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were jailed for three years following an appeal.
The three men were working for Al-Jazeera English following the 2013 military ousting of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi.
At the trial prosecutors used news clips about Christian life in Egypt and about an animal hospital with donkeys and horses, as evidence they broke the law.

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Post  Admin on Sat 29 Aug 2015, 6:34 pm

Evangelicals fear new anti-terror plans could stop them sharing faith
Fri 28 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Four out of five evangelicals think new anti-terror laws being proposed by the government could be restrictive to Christians, according to a study by the Evangelical Alliance (EA).

In May the Prime Minister, David Cameron announced plans to give police the power to limit what he described as the "harmful activities" of an extremist - under new anti-terror legislation.
"Eighty per cent of people surveyed agreed that policies designed to counter extremism may make it harder for Christians to express their faith in public," said Dr Dave Landrum, director of advocacy, EA.
"There are concerns about the government's overreacting to fears about radicalisation and terrorism in a way that might undermine the very freedoms that the government is purporting to protect.
"A similar number believe that freedom of speech needs greater protection in the UK than is presently provided," added Dr Landrum.
According to evangelicals, the Christian faith has played a key role in providing values to British society throughout its history, but this legacy is swiftly eroding.

The survey showed that the vast majority of respondents (93 per cent) agreed Christianity had strongly shaped historic British values, but less than a third (31 per cent) felt it still shaped values today. Fewer than one in five (18 per cent) agreed that Britain is a Christian country.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has said that the government's strategy would include new legislation likely to include powers to take action against individuals or groups who are considered to be espousing extremist views, but denied it would constitute an attack on freedom of speech.
1,700 evangelicals were questioned for the survey.
Listen to Dr Dave Landrum from the Evangelical Alliance speaking to Premier's Des Busteed:

Family hoping Archbishop Desmond Tutu will return home next week
Thu 27 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Archbishop Desmond Tutu could be discharged from hospital at the end of next week, according to his daughter.

Revd Mpho Tutu has said her 83-year-old father has been responding well to a two-week intravenous antibiotic course.
"The family remains concerned, obviously, and keen to see him home to rebuild his strength. We hope that he will be able to return home at the end of next week," Revd Mpho Tutu told reporters in Cape Town.
The South African anti-apartheid activist was admitted to hospital for the second time in a month for treatment of an "inflammation".
Tutu has been fighting prostrate cancer for 18 years and was released from hospital earlier in August after being treated for a recurring infection.
Last week, Revd Mpho said Archbishop Tutu was taking longer to recover every time an illness hits him, but the current infection was unrelated to the cancer.
"The series of treatments that he has had over the years have also had an impact on the elasticity of his body and his ability to come back from an illness."
Tutu retired from public life in 2010 but the Nobel peace laureate has remained outspoken on a range of issues, including gay rights and corruption in South Africa.

Christian sings Matt Redman as he undergoes revolutionary brain op
Thu 27 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
A Christian man has undergone a revolutionary operation to remove a brain tumour, during part of which he was awake and singing a Matt Redman song.

Medics used lasers to diagnose abnormal tissue on Reuben Hill, 22, so the operation was much less invasive than traditional procedures.
During the operation, which affects tissue very close to the part of the brain that controls speech, Mr Reuben was woken up and asked to talk and sing.
He sang the hymn 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.
Whilst lying with his brain exposed to doctors he sang: "Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, I'll still be singing when the evening comes."

He was diagnosed with epilepsy and a brain tumour after being found collapsed in his bedroom.
"It was a big surprise. I was a fit, healthy person and in the judo team," he told the BBC.
Doctors have since said the tumour was not cancerous and the operation was a success.
The BBC journalist covering the surgery commented that it was the "moving culmination to a remarkable piece of surgery".

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Post  Admin on Thu 27 Aug 2015, 5:11 pm

 'Cruel Tragedy Without End,' Says Maronite Archbishop
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August 26, 2015|8:30 am
A man carries a girl as they rush away from a site hit by what activists said were airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria August 24, 2015.

Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar from the Syrian capital of Damascus has said that nine people have died and at least 50 have been wounded in mortar attacks on two churches in his neighborhood. Nassar described the ongoing civil war as a "cruel tragedy without end."
"Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable," Nassar told Fides News Agency, lamenting the latest attack on Sunday.
"Of those who died," he added, "At least you will not have to see and live this cruel tragedy without end. You will not see your children, your friends and your neighbors suffer and die in the blind violence and fanatical killing unable to save them or help them without understanding why."

Major Syrian government bombings on areas east of Damascus have killed at least 247 people in the last 10 days, including 50 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said. The airstrikes are part of an effort to push back rebel groups trying to bring down the administration of President Bashar al-Assad, in a civil war that has raged since 2011.
The Civil Defense, a rescue service operating in the region, told Reuters that as many as 1,200 people have been wounded in the airstrikes. The total death toll from the four-year-old civil war stands close to a quarter of a million people, while over 11 million have been driven from their homes.
United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien has expressed his horror at the mass bombings, and said that all sides in the conflict are responsible for the civilian deaths.
"I am absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian life by all parties in this conflict," O'Brien said. "Attacks on civilians are unlawful, unacceptable and must stop."
Christians have suffered greatly in the cross-fire between the government and the rebels, and have also faced extreme persecution at the hands of terror group the Islamic State, which has captured significant territory in the war-torn country.
Jean-Clément Jeanbart, the Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, warned back in June that Christians are slowly disappearing from the region.
"In my country, Syria, Christians are caught in the middle of a civil war and they are enduring the rage of an extremist jihad. And it is unjust for the West to ignore the persecutions these Christian communities are experiencing," Jeanbart said in an article.
"What horrors must ISIS commit before the world will take greater action to stop the murderers?" he asked. "Syrian Christians are in grave danger; we may disappear soon."
Speaking on Sunday's attack on the Maronite churches in Damascus, Nassar noted that survivors have been forced to bury the dead without being able to treat the wounded, since they lack the means and competence to help.
"They sink into silent prayer before the relics of martyrs, the seeds of faith," the Maronite Archbishop said.

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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Aug 2015, 9:26 am

Sir Cliff Richard: "I have a faith and therefore I don't think anything happens by accident"
Thu 20 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
Sir Cliff Richard has been paying tribute to Cilla Black at her funeral while talking about his own personal faith.

Introducing the song at the service at St Mary's Church, Woolton, he said: "I have a faith and therefore I don't think anything happens by accident"
"I don't think the miracle we are as human beings could just be an accident. There has to be something else. I know there is something else.
"I know all of our souls will be united together. Cilla - this is just a hiccup in our relationship.
"We'll see you again and I'm looking forward to that time."
VIDEO (Jesus) Faithful One 

Black died aged 72 earlier this month after falling at her home in Spain.

An inquest into the death of the Blind Date and Surprise Surprise star heard that she died accidentally after falling and hitting her head at her villa on the Costa del Sol.
The funeral was led by Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool Rt Revd Thomas Williams and heard tributes from celebrity friends Paul O'Grady and Jimmy Tarback.
While the shock of her sudden death on August 1 left many still raw, O'Grady had guests in tears of laughter as he regaled them with stories of the fun they got up to during their decades-long friendship.

He told the congregation: "It is so right that she has come home today, because she was a true daughter of London, I mean Liverpool - sorry Cilla - and Scottie Road was never far away...

"She was a great friend. She was full of fun. She was a wonderful woman. She was talented. She was so witty. She adored family. She loved her sons. She loved her grandchildren. She was so proud that she came from Scottie Road."
There was chuckles as he said: "I am just so grateful that she allowed me into her whirlwind of a life and we spend nearly two decades together hellraising - if you pardon the expression."
Finishing his tribute to her, O'Grady said: "I loved her dearly. She was just such a great friend. I do not know what I am going to do really - the light went off a couple of weeks ago and it has not gone back on yet. I am just going to miss her so much.
"Cilla I would just like to say 'thanks for all the fun, thanks for all the laughs - ta-ra girl, I will see you on life's highway'."
Cilla's coffin was carried into the church to the sound of Debussy's Clair de Lune and placed carefully at the front of the aisle.
The congregation then sang the opening hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Sir Cliff Richard described Cilla as "the greatest TV presenter of all time" and praised "all the fabulous things about her".
"I'm not sure what to say because I can't think of Cilla in a past tense," he said.
"Being driven here was a fantastic experience, you forget how much people loved her."
Cilla Black's son Robert Willis

Her son Robert Willis said Cilla was a "wonderful lady who had touched all our lives and brought joy and laughter" to those she knew.
"Her pure enthusiasm, self-belief and wonderful sense of humour made being with her a joy and a pleasure," he added.
He said she was a "trailblazer in the fields of music and television" and "set the bar high and it's still there".
"Those who knew her saw her vulnerability but we loved her all the more for it," Mr Willis continued.
"She treated everyone just as she saw them, no matter their background."
Carol Vorderman and Lorraine Chase

Carol Vorderman described Cilla as a "good friend" and said they "used to have some hairy, scary lunches together".
"Cilla was the woman I looked up to and I thought she was the most professional woman presenter certainly we've ever had," she told BBC after the service.
"As a friend she was always giving me advice about men.
"We just always had a laugh, if you were going out with Cilla what are you going to do - you're going to laugh."
Cilla's hit Anyone Who Had A Heart was played as the congregation received Communion.
Fans and mourners also filled the streets to pay tribute to a young woman who found fame in the halcyon days of British pop in the 1960s and went on to become one of the nation's favourite TV presenters.

Hundreds lined the route of her cortege as it made its way through the streets of Liverpool.
About the Author
Antony Bushfield
Antony works as a multimedia journalist at Premier.

PA Wire
Hundreds expected at church funeral for Cilla
The funeral of singer and TV presenter Cilla Black will take place at a Liverpool church later. MORE CLICK HERE

"God bless her": Cliff's tribute to Cilla Black
Cilla Black was "full of heart" and "always so upbeat", her friend and Christian Sir Cliff Richard has said, after her death was announced.

Archbishop of Wales attacks Government for using fake people to highlight benefit sanctions
Thu 20 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Several leaders from some of the UK's major Christian denominations have launched a scathing attack on the government over its 'astonishing' use of made-up stories to demonstrate the positive impact of benefit sanctions.

The Archbishop of Wales, Most Revd Barry Morgan and the President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Steve Wild have among others, described the campaign by the Department for Work and Pensions as 'deeply disappointing' and called for full review of the benefit sanction system, using real evidence from real people.
"They [the government] did recognise that there had been a lot of complaints and a lot of issues about it. Now, this was promised before the last election and nothing has happened since, so we want to see that review taking place as soon as possible, and looking at real people with real examples," said Canon Carole Wardman, Bishops' adviser to the Church in Wales on Premier's News Hour.
The DWP leaflet featured one welfare claimant, "Sarah", who said she was "really pleased" a cut to her benefits had encouraged her to improve her CV.

Dramatic drop in numbers taking short GCSE Religious Studies
Thu 20 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The number of pupils in England taking GCSE Religious Studies short course has fallen by 67.3% in the past three years, official figures have shown.

Religious Studies 'short' version, covers half the subjects and counts as half a GCSE, but has been removed from Department for Education performance tables.
The National Association of Teachers of RE (NATRE) said that was having a "serious and negative impact" on the number of pupils choosing to take the short course.
GCSEs 2015
- 26.8% drop in RS short course entries
- 5.3% rise in RS full course entries
- 29.6% of entries for full course awarded A or an A*
It said there was an increasing number of schools having no pupils at all taking the subject.
Take up in England of the GCSE RS short course has fallen from 211,269 in 2012 to 68,890 in 2015, a drop of 67.3%.
But the number of teenagers taking the full subject was up by 5.4% to 271,917.
This echoes the increase in A Level entries in England and Wales, which are up 6.5% this year compared with 2014.

Islamic State "wants to get you", Trump tells Pope
Thu 20 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
United States presidential hopeful Donald Trump would tell Pope Francis that Islamic State wants to "get you" if he ever met him.
Trump told an interview he was protestant but had "great respect" for the pontiff and would be keen to meet him during his visit to America next month.
Asked by CNN how he would respond to the Pope's view that capitalism can cause social injustice and climate change he replied: "I'd say, 'Isil [Islamic State] wants to get you'".
He added: "You know that Isis [Islamic State] wants to go in and take over the Vatican... I'm going to have to scare the Pope because it's the only thing.
"The Pope, I hope, can only be scared by God.

Islamic State bulldoze biblical Christian monastery in Syria
Islamic State militants have demolished an ancient Christian monastery and biblical church in central Syria.
The extremist group posted photos on social media showing bulldozers destroying the Saint Eliane Monastery on Friday near the town of Qaryatain, which IS captured in early August.

A Christian clergyman in Damascus said that IS militants also wrecked a church inside the monastery that dates back to the first Christian centuries. The priest said the monastery included an Assyrian Catholic church.
"The church itself is built on the spot where [Saint Eliane's] father, who was a Roman officer some 1500 years ago, tried to force his son to renounce his Christian faith," said Christian Middle East commentator Dr Harry Hagopian on Premier's News Hour.
"His son refused so he was killed, and on the spot where he was killed was built this monastery some fifteen, sixteen hundred years ago which is known as Saint Eliane," he added.
Mr Hagopian also said he had heard reports that IS militants had opened up the tomb inside the monastery before they destroyed the building.
 "They've also gone in there and taken out the body of the saint from the sarcoagus from the tomb in order to completely destroy the monastery and any relevance it has to the Christian faith." said Hagopian.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria's conflict, also reported the destruction of the monastery.

Since capturing parts of Syria and Iraq, IS fighters have destroyed mosques, churches and archaeological sites.
On Tuesday the Islamic State group beheaded the 82-year-old retired chief archaeologist of Palmyra, after he refused to leave the ancient city.

Khaled al-Assaad was murdered execution-style on Tuesday afternoon in Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for well-preserved Greco-Roman ruins
Assaad was a leading expert on the ancient history of the city, which grew from a caravan oasis first mentioned in the second millennium BC
Palmyra was seized from government forces in May, fuelling fears the IS jihadists might destroy its priceless heritage as it had done in other parts of Syria and Iraq.

Listen to Middle East commentator Harry Hagopian speaking to Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour:

More than 'regrets' needed by Labour over Iraq, says Christian anti-war campaigner as Jeremy Corbyn plans to say sorry
Fri 21 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Jeremy Corbyn has said if he is elected Labour leader he'll apologise on behalf of the party for taking Britain into war in Iraq.
The unlikely frontrunner said if he wins the contest he will issue a formal apology on behalf of Labour which led the country into the 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent conflict under Tony Blair.
Mr Corbyn, who fiercely opposed the war at the time, said Mr Blair had taken Britain into the conflict "on the basis of deception" and that his decision to support then-US president George W Bush in a joint invasion had cost Labour millions of voters.
In a statement to the Guardian, Mr Corbyn said: "It is past time that Labour apologised to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause. Under our Labour, we will make this apology."
"If a major country like ours does something which is really out of order, then it's more than regrets, it should be an apology and I think that is what Corbyn has done. I think it's quite a positive thing to do," Bruce Kent, Christian peace campaigner and vice-president of the Movement for the Abolition of War said on Premier's News Hour.

 Listen to Bruce Kent, Christian peace campaigner and vice-president of the Movement for the Abolition of War speaking to Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour:

Christians join multi faith service for Bangkok terror bomb dead
Fri 21 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
Prayers have been said at the site of the Bangkok terror attack as police continue to hunt the group responsible for Monday's bomb.
Doves were released into the sky at the shrine, after a multi-religious prayer ceremony attended by Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Muslim representatives.
Government officials and diplomats laid floral bouquets at the shrine, an open-air Hindu temple popular with Chinese tourists.

Pastors flee Sudan
Fri 21 Aug 2015
By Marcus Jones
Two church leaders from South Sudan who've been facing accusations of waging war against the state in neighbouring Sudan have fled the country.

Pastor Michael Yat (49) and Pastor Peter Yen Reith (36) had been banned from leaving the country despite their release after they were imprisoned in the capital Khartoum.
The ban was revoked on Thursday but according to charity Middle East Concern (MEC), the National Intelligence and Security Service appealed the decision delaying their escape.
However it's reported that as the process dragged on, the pastors sought other ways of leaving the country. MEC says they succeeded in departing Sudan yesterday, travelling first to their home country and then onwards from there.
The charity's calling on Christians to pray for the pastors that they and their families "know the Lord's clear guidance and provision. That there will be no repercussions for others arising out of the pastors' departure from Sudan. For the lawyer, who is facing charges in a related case. That church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord's wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them. That all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him."
The pastors,from the Presbyterian Evangelical Church, had been accused of undermining the constitutional system of the Sudanese Penal Code; waging war against the state; disclosure and receipt of official information or documents; arousing feelings of discontent among regular forces; breach of public peace; and offences relating to insulting religious beliefs.

Study reveals NHS staff 'lack knowledge' on trafficked patients
Fri 21 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Around one in eight NHS hospital staff has treated victims of people trafficking, according to new research by King's College London.
The study published in the online journal BMJ Open questioned almost 800 NHS staff, with few saying they felt adequately prepared to respond appropriately, with maternity services most likely to be presented with trafficked individuals.
Over half said they lacked the confidence to make appropriate referrals, with referrals for men vexing the most staff (71%).
Campaigners say that men are often overlooked because they don't realise they have been trafficked into the UK.

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Post  Admin on Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:00 pm

Husband of Anne Graham Lotz dies aged 78
Danny Lotz, the son-in-law of evangelist Billy Graham, has died at the age of 78.
He was taken to intensive care after being found unresponsive in his pool at the family home in North Carolina on Monday but never recovered.
Mr Lotz, a dentist by trade, had been significantly ill for years. He suffered from type 1 diabetes, heart disease which required five stents in his arteries, and renal failure which required five hours of dialysis a week.
Danny Lotz and his wife Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham an internationally recognised Christian speaker, had been married for 49 years.
She announced at Premier's Woman to Woman conference last year, where she was speaking, that she would no longer be engaging in public ministry so she could take care of her husband.
Tens of thousands of people have showed their gratitude and respect for Danny Lotz on social media.
He planted several churches and started and led various Bible studies.

Christians clash over politicians' report calling for drugs to be decriminalised
Wed 19 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
An influential group of MPs and peers have called for drug use to be decriminalised, because they say it's a human right.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform report has claimed a new global approach on drugs is needed, including the testing of legal cannabis markets.
The report claims that blanket bans and the so-called "war on drugs" have failed, and points to similar decriminalisation for possession policies in Europe, particularly Portugal.
"You will never get rid of drugs; human beings have always taken mind altering substances. They always will. We have to accept we need a safer policy, we cannot eliminate the use of drugs and the key message I think that we all have to accept," said co-author Baroness Molly Meacher, a Quaker, who also co-chairs the APPG on drugs reform on Premier's News Hour.
The report says the right to a private and family life could be used to back decriminalising possession or the purchase of small quantities of drugs.
But critics argue that decriminalisation would result in the proliferation of drugs use across society, similar to alcohol and tobacco.
"The evidence from alcohol and tobacco, which are legal drugs; and this, is turning the argument around, is that drug use would become more prevalent and more widespread if they were decriminalised" said Marilyn Watson from Christian anti-drugs charity, Hope UK to Premier.
Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, has criticised the committee's decision to link human rights laws to decriminalising drugs for personal use.
"This is a novel approach as far as decriminalisation is concerned. One exemption, even though minor, could open the floodgates. Human rights legislation is not designed to be used in this way."
A Home Office spokesman said: "This government has no intention of decriminalising or legalising drugs."
Listen to the News Hour debate between Baroness Molly Meacher and Hope UK's Marilyn Watson here:

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Post  Admin on Tue 18 Aug 2015, 6:15 pm

Images of missing Syrian Christian women abducted by Islamic State appear online
Sun 16 Aug 2015
By Desmond Busteed
Images of what are believed to be three Assyrian Christian women abducted by Islamic State in February have surfaced online.
The 'leaked' images shared on social media show the women hold pieces of paper on which their names and a date - July 27, 2015 - are written.

It is feared this means they will be sold to IS fighters if their families or charities do not pay ransom for their release, although no figure appears on the signs they hold.
A source at The Assyrian Federation of Sweden told MailOnline: "The names resemble the family names of people in a nearby village - Tel Jazire - so it is possible that these women could be from Assyrian villages but we cannot confirm that the women's surnames resemble those of families who lived in the region, although they cannot completely verify they are Christians. These names are names you find in Assyrian villages."
On Tuesday, ISIS released 22 of more than 220 Christians who were abducted from several Assyrian farming communities it raided in Iraq's north-eastern Hassakeh province, Syria, earlier this year.
Last week, IS militants kidnapped 230 Christians and Muslims in Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 60 of them are thought to be Christian and could face the prospect of a life of slavery.
Meanwhile, Syrian government warplanes have attacked a busy market in a rebel-held suburb of the capital Damascus, killing at least 67 people and wounding more than 200.
The attack is one of the deadliest incidents involving government air strikes since the crisis began nearly five years ago.
Syrian government air raids on rebel-held areas throughout the country have killed thousands over the past few years.
The air raids on the market in Douma occurred during rush hour when people were out shopping on the first working day of the week in Syria, the activists said.
Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said four missiles were fired at the market, killing 70 and wounding more than 200. He said the death toll is expected to rise because many of the wounded are in critical condition.
The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said the air raids killed 67 and wounded 200, adding that rescue workers are digging through the rubble in search of survivors.
"The situation is catastrophic," a Douma-based activist called Mazen al-Shami said, adding clinics in the area are full and many of the wounded are being rushed in civilian cars to other medical facilities since ambulances are overwhelmed.
Al-Shami said mosque loudspeakers are issuing calls for residents to donate all types of blood, and hundreds of people were in the busy market when the first missile struck the area, inflicting heavy casualties.
Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed more than 250,000 people and wounded at least a million.

Manchester councillor: Street preachers shouldn't talk about morality
A Manchester City Councillor says he wants to put an end to loud street preachers and those who talk about morality in the city centre.
A Manchester City Councillor says he wants to put an end to loud street preachers and those who talk about morality in the city centre.

Pat Karney, who oversees the city centre, wants to crack down on those who are seen as a 'nuisance' to shoppers. These also include noisy musicians and those who illegally sell items on the street.
Manchester City Council
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, he said: "Preachers do have a right to be out on the streets but I do not think it right if they are talking about morality.

"Some talk about race or sexual orientation and that is not proper at all.
"They also sometimes appear in large groups making lots of noise, or have very loud PA systems.
"They're perfectly entitled to talk about the Jesus and the word of God, but not to make anyone feel insecure or threatened."
His comments have been questioned by the Christian Institute. It has written a letter to Councillor Kearney asking him to clarify what he means. A spokesman said: "We are still no clearer about whether restrictions will be applied to street preachers in Manchester and remain concerned about potential police action.
"Councillor Karney has not provided any legal grounds for this crackdown, and runs the risk of legal action being taken if the free speech rights of street preachers are interfered with."

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Post  Admin on Sat 15 Aug 2015, 9:59 am

Islamic State releases 22 captured Christians
Wed 12 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
A group of Christians has been released by Islamic State more than six months since they were kidnapped by the militants.

Dozens of Assyrian Christians were abducted from villages in north-eastern Syria in February.
The head of a Syrian Assyrian group in Sweden confirmed the release to Reuters and said all of the freed captives were elderly men and women.
In total 22 were released but it's thought they continue to hold more than 150 Christians taken at the same time.
More than 200 Christians were captured by the group when it overran the Hasaka region.
The head of a Syrian Assyrian group in Sweden, Afram Yakoub, told Reuters: "Some have health issues, so we believe they released them because of health issues and because they are old.
"The release is a small sign of hope. It gives us some hope that someday those remaining will be released."
It's not known is a ransom was paid.
Syrian priest Revd Nadim Nassar told Premier's News Hour it wasn't a sign the terrorists were becoming more compassionate.
"What compassion?," he questioned. "After beheading thousands of people? So because they released 20 Christians it means they are showing compassion?"
He added: "It could be a political deal, an economic deal so that they released them and they got money from the other hand.
"I don't see any compassion, I see monsters leashing their evil in my country."
Revd Nadim Nassar speaking to Antony Bushfield on Premier's News Hour:

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Post  Admin on Tue 11 Aug 2015, 2:35 pm

Concern increases for captured Syrian Christians
There are increasing fears for the safety of around 60 Christians kidnapped by Islamic State in Syria on Friday.
The believers were captured from the central town of Qaryatain, when IS militants seized the area.
Their whereabouts or wellbeing is still unknown and there has been no demands from the jihadists.
Around 230 residents were taken in total, all accused of working with the Syrian regime.
It's thought the majority were Sunni Muslim.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria-based activist Bebars al-Talawy said they have no information where the militants took the residents after overrunning the heavily populated town.

Catholic bishop "deeply concerned" with migrant situation
Sat 08 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
The Catholic Bishop for Migrants has said he is "deeply concerned" with the migrant crisis in Calais.
Rt Revd Patrick Lynch's comments come just days after he praised the Home Secretary Theresa May and the French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve for what he called their "commitment" to helping genuine asylum seekers.
They also come on the day Eurotunnel operators threatened to sue the government for 200 million pounds if the route is closed overnight, because of the loss money it will incur.

Pope thanks Jordan for welcoming persecuted Christians
Sat 08 Aug 2015
By Aaron James
Pope Francis has thanked Jordan for bringing displaced Christians and other refugees from Iraq into its country, a year since the exodus began.
It was this time last year that at least hundreds of thousands of Christians began fleeing from Islamic State in Iraq to neighbouring countries.
It's thought Islamic State has forced 2.5 million people in all to leave their homes in Iraq, since it increased military action in the country last year.
Jordan and Lebanon have taken in significant numbers of Christian and other refugees.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Pope Francis said: "Many times I have wanted to give voice to the atrocious, inhumane and inexplicable persecution of those who in many parts of the world – and especially among Christians - are victims of fanaticism and intolerance - often under the eyes and silence of all.
"They are the martyrs of today, humiliated and discriminated against because of their fidelity to the Gospel.

Extending Sunday trading will have "dramatic effect on family life"
Sun 09 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Church of England has said government proposals to extend the trading hours of large stores on Sundays would have a "dramatic effect on family life".
In an open letter to the Sunday Telegraph the Church joins forces with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw) and small businesses to reject the plans.
The government said it would write to the Church of England urging it to support proposals to relax Sunday trading laws restricting the opening hours of large stores.
Currently shops in England and Wales with over 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft) floorspace are limited to opening for six hours on Sundays.
Ministers want to give councils the choice on their own local laws which they say would be worth up to £1.4 billion a year to the economy while ensuring high streets remain the "heartbeat of our communities".

Bishop reported to police for anti-gay comments
Sun 09 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
A gay rights group in Switzerland has made a complaint to police after a bishop in the country appeared to suggest homosexuals should be punished with death.
Rt Revd Vitus Huonder, the Catholic bishop of Chur, quoted a passage from the Bible which said homosexuals should be punished by death at an event.
At the 'Joy in Faith' forum in the German city of Fulda, he quoted two verses from the book of Leviticus, including Leviticus 20:13.
He told the gathered: "Both of these passages alone suffice to clarify unambiguously the church's position on homosexuality".
The bishop has since released a statement saying it "wasn't my intention" to suggest gay people should be killed.

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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Aug 2015, 8:21 pm

Pastor who said Islam was Satanic says his prosecution is a "waste of money"
James McConnell from Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast is appearing before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday. He's accused of offensive comments under the 2003 Communications Act.
Wed 05 Aug 2015
By Marcus Jones
A Northern Irish pastor who branded Islam "satanic" says the prosecution over his comments is a waste of public money.
James McConnell from Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast was due before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday, but the case has been postponed until September. He's accused of offensive comments under the 2003 Communications Act.
His case came to light last year after he said, in a sermon "a new evil had arisen" and "there are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain.
"Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell," he said.
After the sermon was posted online, a number of complaints were made, which led to an apology from Mr McConnell.
The prosecution came after he refused to accept a lesser punishment which meant the case would not have gone to court.
Speaking ahead of his court appearence, he said: "I think it is a waste of money. A waste of thousands."
"I am not nervous in the least. I am not even afraid if they put me in prison. I will go for the sake of the Gospel."
Large crowds of Christian supporters are also expected to protest at the Laganside court complex on Thursday.
Mr McConnell's church attracts weekly crowds of 3,500 and large crowds are expected to protest outside the Laganside court complex on Thursday.
While he has apologised for any distress, he's described the legal action as an attack on freedom of expression.

"It is a battle of free speech," he said. "If I am put in jail people will immediately respond and say 'this is not right, this is terrible, this is evil'. And I think the jurisprudence of this land will be in big trouble.
"If I am successful, I will just praise God and get on my way and still preach the Gospel."
Mr McConnell, who is paying his own legal fees, has sent out a message to Muslims across the country.
"I am no racist, sure I have (former) Muslims in my congregation," he said. "I have all sorts of people in my congregation. I have never been a racist. I have never hated anybody in my life. I wouldn't know how to hate anybody."
He later added: "To every ordinary Muslim out there, I want to say to them that I love them, that I pray for them and if they are in need or in any bother, I am there for them. They are welcome to my church and welcome to hear God's word."
The Public Prosecution Service says it was right that this ended in the courts.
A spokeswoman said: "After the evidential test for prosecution was met, it was concluded that public interest would be best served by affording the individual the option of disposal by means of a diversionary informed warning. However, the defendant turned down this option, leaving no choice but to refer the matter for prosecution.
"We consider that this matter is now most properly left to the courts to decide."

Government pleads with Church to back Sunday trading
The government is to write to the Church of England urging bishops not to oppose plans to relax Sunday trading laws restricting the opening hours of large stores.
Wed 05 Aug 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The government is to write to the Church of England urging bishops not to oppose plans to relax Sunday trading laws restricting the opening hours of large stores.
Currently shops in England and Wales with over 280 sq m (3,000 sq ft) floorspace are limited to opening for six hours on Sundays.
Ministers want to give councils the choice on their own local laws which they say would be worth up to £1.4 billion a year to the economy while ensuring high streets remain the "heartbeat of our communities".
Under the plans, set out in a Government consultation paper, authorities would have the discretion to decide whether to apply the new conditions throughout the whole of their area or limit them to specific zones where they want to encourage business.
Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Communities minister Brandon Lewis said: "This Government is determined to devolve powers previously held in Whitehall to local people.
"We have already taken a range of measures to boost the Great British high street and now we are giving local areas another tool to encourage shoppers to the town centre and get shops to grow and thrive."

Hillsong reiterates stance on homosexuality and gay marriage
Wed 05 Aug 2015
By Marcus Jones
Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong Church has rejected reports which suggest the church group has softened its stance on homosexuality.
He was responding to a blog which suggested its church in New York had an openly gay couple leading the choir. The post by Geoffrey Grider on stated: "When it comes to the topic of same-sex marriage, however, their official position is shrouded in half-answers and obfuscation.
"But one thing is quite clear: they allow an openly and unrepentantly gay couple to lead their choir."
The post was shared (at the time of writing) almost 70,000 times.
In a statement released on Brian Houston's website, he said: "I wish to correct reports that Hillsong church has "an openly gay couple directing a choir" at our New York City campus. Hillsong's position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture.
"As I have stated previously, I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject. Several months ago when one of our choir directors made an unexpected public statement regarding his engagement to a man who sometimes sang in the choir, it was a complete surprise to us as well. It is my understanding that they have not been involved in an active leadership or ministry role since.

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 7:31 pm

[url=http://muslihttp//,3KFSX,619BHX,CSVQN,1m schools accused of anti-Christian chanting in assemblies]Some Muslim schools "include anti-Christian chanting in assemblies" which is being ignored by the schools watchdog, it has been claimed.[/url]
Muslim schools accused of anti-Christian chanting in assemblies
Thu 30 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
Some Muslim schools "include anti-Christian chanting in assemblies" which is being ignored by the schools watchdog, it has been claimed.

The Christian Institute has said Ofsted and the Department for Education are not taking proper action to deal with some Islamic schools accused of bullying Christian pupils.
In a letter to Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary and a Christian, the Institute's director Colin Hart said "inadequate attention" had been given to the way Christian pupils were being taught.
He said it was "striking" that several official reports outlining examples of Muslim "intolerance" to Christians had gone ignored by Ofsted.
"You will see they include anti-Christian chanting in assemblies, GCSE pupils who opted to learn Christianity being left to teach themselves, and Christians being called 'ignorant' or 'liars' by teachers," he wrote.
It was "disturbing" that there had been a "complete lack of any specific plans of action to tackle anti-Christian intolerance", he added.
Mr Hart also accused the school's inspector of being part of the problem and said its methods for detecting bullying against Christians were "clearly inadequate".
"Ofsted may be part of the problem", he said.
"Whilst guidance from your department says there is no obligation on schools to promote gay marriage, there have been Ofsted inspections in several parts of the country where Ofsted inspectors have implied, via questioning of pupils, that they ought to accept gay marriage there have been Ofsted inspections in several parts of the country where Ofsted inspectors have implied, via questioning of pupils, that they ought to accept gay marriage.
"We are aware of several cases of this approach being taken with primary age pupils, some as young as six."
In a statement, Ofsted said: "Ofsted deplores bullying in all its forms. We expect schools to promote British values including mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
"However, it is nonsense to suggest that an Ofsted inspector would expect a school to have taught six year old pupils about same sex marriage."
A DfE spokesman said: "Bullying of any kind is unacceptable and all schools should take an active role in tackling it. We expect all schools to actively promote fundamental British values, which include mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
"Ofsted plays a key part in ensuring this takes place.
"Heads, teachers, governors and trustees are working tirelessly to resolve deep seated issues at these Birmingham schools which developed over a long period of time."

Christian mother-of-three kidnapped in Pakistan
Thu 30 Jul 2015
By Aaron James
An anti-persecution charity says a Christian mother-of-three in Pakistan has been kidnapped and forced into an Islamic marriage.
The British Pakistani Christian Association says Fouzia Sadiq was abducted from a field, where she and her family work as bonded labourers, by her landlord Muhammad Nazir a week ago.
The charity says they are effectively modern day slaves, being paid very little for their work and forced to live in sub-standard conditions.
It's claimed when Fouzia Sadiq's family visited the landlord's house to find out where she was, Muhammad Nazir's brother threatened them with violence and told them he had married her after she allegedly converted to Islam, and that she would not be coming back.
Fouzia is yet to return. After initially refusing, police have officially logged the incident. A Muslim lawyer is working on behalf of Fouzia for her release, because Christian lawyers allowed to stand in Sharia courts, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association.

More than 50 priests defrocked for abuse since 2001
Thu 30 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Catholic Church has said it defrocked 55 priests for clerical sex abuse since 2001.
In new figures released today the Church said they had been removed from the priesthood after new rules were put in place to protect children and vulnerable adults.
The CHurch said in addition it has received many more complaints about sexual misconduct by members of the clergy.
Officials said there had been a number of cases involving child abuse images where the victims could not be found, meaning the actual number of victims was hard to know.
The number of "covenants of care" orders, withdrawing people from ministering and severely restricting what they could do in the Church, increased from 384 at the end of 2013 to 462 at the end of 2014.
The official report highlighted 79 allegations of abuse against children during the last year involving 97 different forms of abuse against 118 victims, abused by 83 suspects.
Acting chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission Christopher Pearson said: "This report highlights in full the work of the Commission and this announcement is just a snapshot of some of that work and findings over the last year.
"We are moving towards a much more consistent and sensitive approach in response to the victims and survivors of abuse."

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 7:22 pm

Not Dead Yet: How two Anglican churches came back to life
By: Justin Brierley | Jul 2015
The statistics tell us that St Peter's Brighton and St Swithun's Bournemouth should be carpet warehouses or gastropubs by now. Justin Brierley finds out why they are welcoming hundreds of parishioners through their doors again

'Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated'. So said writer Mark Twain after a 19th century newspaper mistakenly published his obituary.
The same could be said of the dear old Church of England. Some parts of the press just seem to be awaiting its inevitable demise after a long, drawn out illness. After all, the buildings are empty, the vicars are demoralised and normal people prefer to go to M&S on a Sunday now, don't they?
But, despite the tide of assumed decline, there are plenty of stories bucking the stereotype. When I recently spoke to Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) leader Nicky Gumbel about his strategy for the revitalisation of CofE churches, he described a 'hidden revival' taking place.
That revival isn't so hidden in the case of some of the churches who are now bursting at the seams after HTB planted into historic Anglican church buildings on the verge of closure
Here, in the words of their vicars, are two stories to remind us that there's life in the Church of England yet:
Rev Archie Coates, vicar of St Peter’s, Brighton, describes how a team from HTB rescued the city’s ‘unofficial cathedral’ in 2005. They now welcome over 1000 people into the church for weekend worship services.
'St Peter’s is one of Brighton’s iconic buildings, so when it was due to close there was a huge public outcry and 6,500 people signed the petition to keep it open.
The building is incredible, but it’s also a nightmare because it’s crumbling. I remember giving sermons wearing hard hats. We didn’t have any heating for four winters, so people used to come to church in a hat carrying a hot-water bottle.
I think this is a visual aid for the wider work. The local churches all said that when the building looks like it’s closed and dying on its feet, that sends out the message to Brighton that that’s what God is like as well. But equally if you could do the opposite – open it up, fix it up – then that would send out the message: ‘Wow, the Church is alive and God is on the move.’
When we began, we were about 30, including children: our family and about three other families. If you’re going to attract other people to come, there needs to be a certain group for them to come into, and it’s quite hard to do that with less than 30. Also, in terms of establishing a DNA, if you’ve got people with you who already carry that from where you’ve planted from (in our case HTB), that really helps when others come in.
Now, as it’s grown, it has become more systematised, but at the heart I think it was: ‘Archie and Sam and their kids are going to go and live by the sea and see what we can do, and you’re welcome to join us.’'
Rev Tim Matthews, vicar of St Swithun’s in Bournemouth, whose HTB team planted into the empty church in September 2014, has seen rapid growth with over 500 now in regular attendance.
'Eleven adults and four children came down here last summer and we partnered with a small number of local people: one or two churches in Bournemouth. We didn’t go asking other churches, the people in their churches came to us and said: ‘We feel the Lord prompting us to get involved in this.’
As a general rule we don’t want anyone to leave the churches that they’re already in. I think it’s important to make clear that there’s only one Church in Bournemouth: Jesus has only got one Church.
In terms of the growth, there have been a lot of unchurched and de-churched people coming, and that’s primarily through Alpha and Sunday services, and people simply inviting their friends. I think the other big factor is new people moving to Bournemouth. We were told not to bother with student ministry because students don’t turn up to anything, but it’s been quite the contrary.
We are now nearing capacity and so we will have to plant new services. Over the period where it was all planned, we talked to a lot of people and there was a lot of prayer. I was convinced something exciting was going to happen, but the pace of it has outstripped that expectation.
My team joke with me when I say, ‘I really would rather less people were coming.’ They say: ‘You must be the only church planter in the country who wants less people!’ But it’s true, because actually there are a lot of problems that come with fast growth. But I think that’s what God’s doing, because the future for Bournemouth demands a lot of new experiments. There’s a huge work to be done here.'

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 3:58 pm

Mugged pensioner Alan Barnes moves after "calling from God"
Wed 29 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
Disabled pensioner and committed Christian, Alan Barnes, who was mugged in Gateshead is moving home after a "calling from God".

The 67-year-old six-stone OAP was knocked to the floor outside his old home in Gateshead by a mugger, breaking his collar bone in January.
Following the attack an online fund set up for him reached £330,000 within days allowing him to buy a new home.
Now he has announced plans to move to Shetland and work for the Church.
He said: "I am a Christian and I am open to the Holy Spirit.
"I have had a calling from God to move to the Shetlands."
He added that he would have liked to have been a church minister had he not been partially sighted.
His role will not to try to make people go to church, but to talk to them about his faith, he said.
The pensioner added that he had never been to Shetland before, but that is where God is calling him to.
Mr Barnes is pictured above with Katie Cutler, the woman who started the campaign to raise money for him.

Syrian priest still missing after two years
Wed 29 Jul 2015
By Marcus Jones
Two years have now passed since the disappearance of Fr Paolo Dall'Oglio.

The Jesuit priest was kidnapped by Islamic State militants on 29 July 2013 in Raqqa.
On the anniversary of his disappearance, a friend of his Fr Fadi Daou has told Premier he still holds a hope that he is still alive but believes he has probably been killed.
Fr Fadi, who runs the interfaith organisation Adyan Foundation, said: "We don't have other information from that time, for two years now.
"We know that ISIS are crazy men and it is totally possible that they have killed him.
Father Paulo was a controversial figure in Syria because of his humanitarian work. He was expelled from the country the year before his kidnapping for helping victims of President Bashar al-Assad's military crackdown.
His disappearance came after two bishops were kidnapped on the Turkish border. Their whereabouts are also unknown.
Fr Fadi's calling on Christians to keep the men, and others who've gone missing, in their prayers.
"We have the bishops of Allepo and also peace builders, Christians and Muslims who have disappeared in Syria," he said
"We have to, every day, pray and hope that they are safe.
Pope Francis made an appeal last week for the international community to do more to secure the release of the clergymen. Hetold crowds in St Peter's Square he wanted "a renewed commitment" from Syrian and international authorities, "so these brothers of ours can regain their freedom soon".
A call to not forget the men has also been made by Nigel Baker, the UK ambassador to the Vatican. Writing on his blog, he said: "It is right that we do not forget. And we should continue to use every opportunity to call for the release of the kidnapped, alongside all others of any faith held captive in Syria because of who they are, what they believe and what they do.
"It is their example of dedication to the other, not that of the extremists, which will build the new Syria from the ashes of the old."
The UK Government has also called for the release of Fr Paolo. Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood tweeted that all people imprisoned for their faith or belief should be released.

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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:59 pm

CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK - Page 11 Christian_News_Timeline_Cover.1.1.1
Young Nepalese Boy Slain in Human Sacrifice Ritual
July 28, 2015 | Filed under: Life & Society,Top Stories,World | By: Editor 
Photo Credit: Abhishek Dutta/Wikipedia
(CNN) — A Nepalese man has confessed to the murder of a young boy after saying a local priest advised him that a human sacrifice would heal his ailing son, local police said.

The body of 10-year-old Jivan Kohar was found on July 24 on the outskirts of Kudiya village in southwest Nepal. The child had gone missing three days earlier.
Police superintendent Nal Prasad Upadhyaya, who headed the investigation, told CNN on Monday that Kodai Harijan admitted committing the gruesome crime with his relatives after consulting the priest. In some cultures, priests are believed to have magical or spiritual powers to cure the sick.
According to testimony given to police, Harijan and his relatives found the child playing with friends in the village and lured him away by giving him a pack of biscuits and promising him 50 rupees (49 cents).
Continue reading this story >

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Post  Admin on Mon 27 Jul 2015, 5:46 pm

CHRISTIAN NEWS NETWORK - Page 11 Christian_News_Timeline_Cover.1.1.1
Baphomet Statue Unveiled in Detroit to Shouts of ‘Hail Satan,’ Satanist Men Kissing
July 27, 2015 | Filed under: Life & Society,Top Stories | By: Heather Clark 
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SatanDETROIT — At least 100 people attended the unveiling of a Satanic statue depicting Baphomet being flanked by children on Saturday—a statue that was originally intended to be placed at the Oklahoma state capitol and now may be the subject of an effort to erect it next to a Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas.
As previously reported, the New York-based Satanic Temple had scheduled the unveiling for July 25th in Detroit, Michigan. The group says that it chose Detroit because it has a “good community” of followers, with over 200 members, billing the event as “a night of chaos, noise, and debauchery.”
“Come dance with the Devil and experience history in the making,” its invitation read.
But a group of pastors decided to rally against the event, and also contacted the owner of the event venue, Bert’s Warehouse, to request that the Baphomet unveiling be canceled. Owner Bert Dearing told the Associated Press that when he realized who had booked the event and what his facility would be used for, he gave the Satanic Temple their money back.
Additionally, due to opposition, the Satanic Temple moved the event to secret venue in the city and ticketed attendance to keep opponents out. On Saturday, some attendees wore black or donned devil’s horns as they stood outside waiting to enter a warehouse in downtown Detroit.
However, according to reports, once attendees entered the building, they were sent to a second location—just to throw off opponents as to the event’s whereabouts.
But some still found the venue and protested against the event as they drove by. Online video also captured the unveiling, which took place at approximately 11:30 p.m. Attendees shouted “Hail Satan” as two shirtless men pulled off the cloth that covered the Baphomet and then embraced and kissed each other in front of the statue.
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In the meantime, approximately 50 people stood outside of the original venue, Bert’s Warehouse, to pray against Satanism in Detroit.

“We’re fighting for the soul of America. We’re fighting for the soul of the City of Detroit,” David Bullock, pastor of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Highland Park, told those gathered. “The last thing we should do in Detroit is have a welcome party for the Devil.”
“Satan has no place in this city, or any other city,” James Bluford of Rochester Hills likewise prayed out as attendees joined together to pray as the event took place.
As previously reported, the Satanic Temple had raised funds in 2013 to have the statue created in its effort to make a statement about the Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma state capitol, and sought to have the Baphomet monument placed next to the Ten Commandments display.
It issued a news release about its intentions following the filing of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which asserted that the presence of the Ten Commandments display on government property violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The Satanic Temple said that it offered to to donate a statue of Baphomet to be placed near the Ten Commandments display in order to “appease the ACLU’s concerns.”
“The statue will serve as a beacon calling for compassion and empathy among all living creatures,” spokesperson Lucien Greaves explained in his application to the Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission. “The statue will also have a functional purpose as a chair where people of all ages may sit on the lap of Satan for inspiration and contemplation.”
Last May, it was announced that the statue was nearing completion, which features the goat-headed figure Baphomet making the sign for the occult as he sits upon a throne with a pentagram overhead. Children fixate their eyes upon him on both sides.
In September, Seventh District Court Judge Thomas Prince concluded that the Ten Commandments monument serves a historical purpose and is not solely the presentment of a religious message as it sits on a plot of land that contains 51 other expressive monuments.
But the case was then appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which ruled last month that the monument violates the state Constitution’s prohibition on using government property to support a religion. The case is now on appeal.
Although the Oklahoma decision consequently resulted in the group nixing its plans to place the monument next to the Ten Commandments display, the Satanic Temple now says that it will seek to erect the monument adjacent to a similar Decalogue display in Arkansas.
The Satanic Temple asserts that they are neither Devil worshipers or atheists.
“We consider ourselves non-theistic Satanists,” Detroit spokesperson Jex Blackmore told the Metro Times. “Just as much as we get people who think that we’re into the biblical concept of Satan, we get people who think that we’re just posing as Satanists, and not truly Satanists or whatever you would say. Non-theistic Satanism is part of modern Satanism.”

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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jul 2015, 10:22 am

Christian charity backs calls to ban smacking
Fri 24 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Christian charity Family Matters Institute has told Premier it would support a change in the law to make smacking children at home illegal.

CEO Chris Muwanguzi said he backed a called from the United Nations to ban hitting children in all circumstances.
The UN Human Rights Committee has published a wide-ranging assessment of legal and cultural issues in the UK.
It raised concerns that corporal punishment is not fully outlawed.
"The State party should take practical steps, including through legislative measures where appropriate, to put an end to corporal punishment in all settings, including the home, throughout (the) United Kingdom," it said.
"It should encourage non-violent forms of discipline as alternatives to corporal punishment, and conduct public information campaigns to raise awareness about its harmful effects."
Currently parents are not explicitly banned from striking their children. The law allows for "reasonable chastisement" to control a child's behaviour, but parents can be prosecuted if their actions result in injuries such as bruises, cuts or scratches.
Mr Muwanguzi said: "Some children, yes there's an issue, parents struggle, but it's not necessarily important to go straight to smacking".
He said there were ten steps parents should go through before considering smacking.
"Time out is one of them, there's something called 1,2,3 magic, where you talk to you child about taking away something is good that they like.
"Some children are bored and they choose to get into aggressive behaviour and so are we letting them out often? Are we taking them to the park? Are we giving them other things to get involved in?"
A Government spokeswoman said: "Our policy on smacking is clear. We do not condone violence towards children.
"However, we do not wish to criminalise parents for issuing a mild smack."
Chris Muwanguzi speaking to Antony Bushfield on Premier's News Hour:

Why I've used busking to share the love of Jesus
By: Peter Nevland | Jul 2015
On National Busking Day, Peter Nevland shares lessons from a busk-off with an atheist.

"I don't need no God…" Thom, "The World Poet", shouted.
I smiled, standing on a street corner in Austin, Texas on a sweaty summer night. 
I’d been busking in the hope of drawing people closer to Jesus. But I'd just lost my voice! Now my atheist poet friend, Thom was helping me out by anti-evangelizing.  “Perfect,” I thought, smiling more.
I chugged a water bottle and downed pizza, my vocal capabilities revived. Once Thom's poem concluded, I launched into "Funk Infection", another of my "Spoken Groove" pieces. It starts with scatting. Then comes lots of funky white boy dancing. Pretty soon people were clapping their hands with the chorus, blissfully shouting "get down with the funky sound!" The second verse happened to compare King David's dance moves to James Brown's...
Thom seized on the reference and fired off an anti-Bible rant for his next piece. 
On we went, trading poems into the night. Me, the Christian. He, the atheist. I never preached. I just offered stories of hope and silly comedy. He denounced all religion at every opportunity.
We finished. The crowd applauded. Several thanked me. One man asked how I felt hearing howitzers launched at God.
"Shoot, I'm so glad he saved me when my voice went out," I grinned.
"Yeah, but didn't you want to shoot something back?"
"Didn't need to. Joy is way more attractive than invective. When they're side by side, it's easy to see the difference.” 
"I like that," he smiled.
"Besides," I continued.  "If Jesus really is the Truth, I don't have to worry about proving it. That's all on Him."
He grinned wider. We talked more. No conversion. But a big dose of love received, instead of rejected.
It’s sad seeing truth hurled like stones at passersby
Before Thom left, I hugged him, thanking him for performing, and rescuing me. He encouraged me back, loving my daring to perform poetry on the street corner with no stage or promotion. That was more than a decade ago. We're still friends. 

So often Christians reduce their busking to street preaching, or an obvious evangelistic message. It’s sad seeing truth hurled like stones at passersby. What about the truth that God meets us with mercy in our most broken state? What about the Messiah having ‘more joy than all His companions?’ What about the time when He washed the disciples feet, just because they were dirty? 
See for yourself. I challenge you to find the people in the Bible that Jesus preached angrily at. I see way more compassion than correction. The only people who got the fire were religious leaders who thought they were more right than anyone else. 
I've busked on the streets of Austin, New York City, Edinburgh, lots of English streets...  I’ve prayed for witches, agnostics, atheists and Christians (backslidden, nominal and passionate). I may have been mocked for my crazy, funky white boy dancing. But I’ve never been mocked for loving Jesus.
Real busking is entertainment that people like. And everyone loves being served and encouraged, whether they believe they need a God, or not.
Peter Nevland is a poet and performer

Channel Four, John Humphreys and the new thought police
By: David Robertson | Jul 2015
Recent interviews with Tim Farron demonstrate how 'intolerant, authoritarian and anti-Christian' British society is becoming, says David Robertson

Did you hear that amazing interview that John Humphreys did on the Today programme? The one where he badgered Nick Clegg, the former Liberal Democrat leader, about the impact his atheism would have on his decision-making? 
No…you missed it?
Well, what about the extraordinary interview with the former Lib Dem leader on Channel 4 where he was challenged repeatedly about his personal moral views and the fact that he had boasted of having 'no more than 30 notches' on his bed?
You missed that one as well? 
Well so did all of us. Because they don’t exist. No reporter or news programme would ask questions based on such premises. Except when it comes to the crazy idea that a self-describing Evangelical Christian could actually become a leader of a mainstream political party. Then all the gloves are off.
Last week, Channel Four News presenter Cathy Newman asked the new Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, three times whether he thought gay sex was a sin.  John Humphreys on the Today programme also repeatedly badgered the leader on whether he asks God for advice when making big decisions.  
What’s wrong with these approaches? Aren't journalists just doing their job in asking the questions their audiences want answered? 
Lets begin with Mr Humphreys. He was asking, as he well knew, a loaded question. Media commentators, comedians and politicians are all too aware of George Bush’s alleged faux pas claiming that God told him to invade Iraq and Alastair Campbell’s terse response when asked if Tony Blair and George Bush prayed together - ‘we don’t do God’.
Asking Tim Farron whether he asked God for advice was a not so subtle way of mocking his faith. The question would have been more honestly phrased, 'are you a religious nutter who speaks to an invisible man in the sky, rather than rely on the common sense and knowledge that all really intelligent [ie non-religious] people have?’
The problem is that John Humphreys never asks other politicians about how their beliefs affect their decision-making.
Why should it be considered disturbing that a Christian prays for wisdom and guidance to God? Is it not more disturbing that an atheist politician thinks that all wisdom lies within themselves, so they do not need any outside guidance?
And what about asking about your views about sin? 
In the context of modern society it is of course the ultimate sin, the blasphemy against the Holy State, to even question whether any sexual activity, but especially homosexuality, can be considered sinful.
The question was not asked to elicit information. It was asked to accuse and mock. If you have doubts that this was the intention, just have a glance into the murky world of the new atheist/secularist websites where this particular interview has been posted repeatedly, together with the subsequent ignorant and arrogant mocking comments.
What these interviews demonstrate is how intolerant, authoritarian and anti-Christian our society is becoming – at least at its elite levels. 
The danger is that Christian politicians and leaders will be pressured into compromise, and that the mockery narrative will be the background against which many ordinary Christians live their lives.
We need the church to pray for those who are in authority, recognising them as the servants of God. We need Christian leaders who will be prophetic, proclaiming and living the Word of God in a culture that despises it. Only then will we see the world turned upside down!  

Verdict date set for Sudanese pastors
Fri 24 Jul 2015
By Aaron James
A Christian advocacy charity has said two South Sudanese facing the death penalty in Sudan will receive a judge's verdict on August 5th.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide also confirmed that the defence team for Revd Yat Michael and Revd Peter Reith has given the judge a final closing written statement. It challenged the prosecution's evidence, and asked the court to uphold the right to a free trial, which is in the Sudanese constitution.
It also highlighted the fact the pastors were both held without being allowed to communicate to others, something which should not normally happen, the confiscation of their laptops and electronic devices, and the way in which the prosecution built up its case against the pastors.
The Sudanese state has charged Revd Yat Michael and Revd Peter Reith with at least six offences, including undermining the Sudanese constitution and espionage. Both crimes can carry the death penalty.
The two pastors deny all the charges against them, and have been detained since Dcember 2014 and January 2015 respectively.
They were moved to a maximum security prison in June, and denied access to their lawyers and family despite appealing numerous times.
Andy Dipper, Chief Operating Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, said: "We renew our calls for the unwarranted and extreme charges against Revd Yat Michael and Revd Peter Reith to be dropped and for them to be released unconditionally and without further delay.
"That Sudan continues to prosecute these men, and without even allowing them free access to their legal team, makes a mockery of the judicial process and is a clear violation of fair trial principles, as articulated in Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Sudan is a party.
"In addition, the ongoing denial of family visits compounds the mental and emotional distress of the men and their families.
"We urge the African Union and the wider international community, to challenge Sudan on its treatment of the pastors and its failure to protect and promote freedom of religion or belief and the right to a fair trial."

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Post  Admin on Fri 24 Jul 2015, 11:39 am

Vicar 'on the run' after being convicted of theft
Thu 23 Jul 2015
By Marcus Jones
A man hunt has been launched for a former vicar from Barnsley who disappeared from court after he was found guilty of stealing £24,000 in church fees.
Revd Simon Reynolds, 50, worked at All Saint's church in Darton but now lives in Surrey.
He was convicted of four offences by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court earlier but didn't return for the verdict.
South Yorkshire Police said: "A warrant has been issued for his arrest and officers are now actively searching for Reynolds."
Sheffield Crown Court was told that he should have given the money to the diocese and the parochial church council.

Secularists challenged to start own foodbank after Christian only job ad complaint
Thu 23 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
The Free Church of Scotland Moderator has said the Scottish Secularist Society should set up its own foodbank after it complained about a 'Christian only' job advert for the Trussell Trust.
Dundee Foodbank, which is affiliated to the Christian charity, said the position was only available to "a committed Christian and church member".
Revd David Robertson described the SSS' complaint as "petty and vindictive".
He said: "If the Scottish Secular Society object to Christians running food banks they are perfectly free to start one of their own.
"But this of course they refuse to do preferring instead to go to the media and complain.
"This seems to be the pattern - Christians set up a trust to feed the poor in accordance with what our faith instructs us to do, and the militant secularists attack the Christians for daring to express our faith in this practical way.
"It is petty and vindictive and indicates precisely the difference between the Christian churches, who act upon their faith, and the secular faith, which spends all its time attacking others."

Church leaders face 'significant strain' on marriages
Fri 24 Jul 2015
By Antony Bushfield
More than half of church leaders say their role places a 'significant strain' on their marriages, according to a new survey.
The report, based on the responses of 200 vicars, pastors, ministers and leaders from across the UK, found 65% had problems in their relationship caused by the job.
Oasis UK, which carried out the research, said it exposed the enormous pressures faced by church leaders, the extent to which they are overworked, and how many are regularly subjected to verbal abuse from members of their congregation.
According to the research, 71% of church leaders find their role either 'quite stressful' or 'very stressful'.
Sixty-four percent feel incredibly pushed for time and struggle to get everything done, a figure that rises to 73% amongst female respondents.
Church leaders also fear that their congregations are almost oblivious to their struggles, with 43% reporting that their church members have little or no understanding of the pressures they are under.
But despite the stress and pressures, 52% described their ministry as 'very rewarding' with a further 34% thinking it 'quite rewarding.'
Church leaders estimate that on average 62% of the feedback they receive from the congregation is positive and encouraging, compared to just 38% that is negative or critical.

83% of Christian teenagers think sex is for marriage
Fri 24 Jul 2015
By Aaron James
The vast majority of churchgoing young people hold onto the traditional Christian value that sex should be saved for marriage.

Despite general attitudes suggesting teenagers are becoming more sexualised, eight out of ten churchgoers hold the belief.
New research published by Premier Youthwork Magazine also found a more liberal stance on homosexuality, with only 36% believing it to be a sin.

Writing in this month's edition Rachel Gardner, founder of the Romance Academy, expressed her suprise in the findings on sex. She said: "Let's not pass over how radical this is.
"We're hearing how peer-on-peer sexual violence is more widespread that we think and being a teen virgin denotes that something is profoundly wrong with you.
"So to say that you think sex is best understood and expressed in marriage, and then to try and live out the implications of this is to go against the tsunami of peer opinion and affirmation; it just doesn't easily happen, unless young people involved have a grabbed a greater vision than the one on offer."

Bishop of London: "The Christian voice in cyber space is too often absent"
Thu 23 Jul 2015
By Marcus Jones
The Bishop of London has told supporters of Premier that the Christian message needs to find a louder voice on the internet and on social media.
Rt Revd Richard Chartres was speaking to the more than 2,000 specially invited guests at St Paul's Cathedral who were celebating Premier Christian Radio's 20th anniversary.
He explained how, often the Christian voice in Britain seems faint and does not always reflect contemporary reality.
"The Christian voice in cyber space is too often absent, leaving far too much room for shrill and judgemental voices," he said.
"It's a cliché to say, but true, that the young are communicating in a different way and the allocation of Christian effort and resources reflects a communications culture of a previous age."
Broadcast live on Premier Christian Radio and via a webcast, the Bishop went on to say that Christianity is not in decline worldwide or in London but that it sometimes seemed to lack confidence.
"Change is indeed possible and Premier has led the way in imagining new ways, appropriate to our time, of singing the Lord's song in the spirit of the word made flesh."
The Bishop of London was joined at the event by the Riding Lights Theatre Company, worship leader Graham Kendrick and the All Souls Orchastra.

Listen to Bishop Richard's sermon here:

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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jul 2015, 8:26 pm

What? Evangelicals Come Against Franklin Graham's Views on Islam
Franklin Graham is receiving pushback for the comments he made about Muslim immigrants. (YouTube)
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After five members of our military were killed in cold blood—and two others wounded—on our own soil in an act of domestic terrorism in Chattanooga, evangelist Franklin Graham dared to say what many in America were thinking:
"We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim who comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized—and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad," Graham said.
"During World War II, we didn't allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we've got to put a stop to this and close the floodgates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them."
The elder Graham stayed out of politics, but the once-prodigal son is known for his bold commentary. Some of his fellow evangelicals are up in arms over these comments from Billy Graham's son.
"Harsh" and "unhelpful" were the words Carl Medearis, an international expert in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations, used to describe Graham's words.
Meanwhile, Helen Lee, associate editor at InterVarsity Press, had one question for him: "This is Christian witness?" Lee's colleague, vice president and director of Campus Engagement for InterVarsity USA Greg Jao, said he "strongly" rejects Graham's idea.
And Brian Zahnd, an author and pastor of Word Life Church, said Graham's remarks were nothing short of "xenophobia." Even Chick-fil-A's general manager for leadership development, Tim Sweetman, came against Graham, saying his remarks were "despicable" and the opposite of Christian love and American freedom.
"Franklin Graham said really awful things about Muslims," Lynne Hybels, of Willow Creek Community Church, tweeted. "If he knew the Muslim men and women I know, he would never say such things."
Yet, many Americans are likely to agree with Graham. Americans view Islam as a threat to their own nation's religious liberty almost as strongly as they consider it a danger to religious freedom internationally, new research shows.
Although most persecution occurs overseas, 39 percent of American adults say Islam threatens religious freedom in the United States—almost as many as the 40 percent who see Islam as a global threat, a survey by Nashville-based LifeWay Research finds.
"Most recent headlines regarding Islam don't paint a picture of religious freedom—so we should not be surprised by the strong minority that considers Islam a threat to religious freedom," said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research.
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