Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach

June 29, 2011 at 10:40 am | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design is called Freedom to Preach.

The design is meant to remind others of the truth of the state of affairs in our nation. While there are many who would like nothing more than to see Christians silenced, the fact remains that the freedom to preach the gospel of Christ is protected by the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Continue Reading Design of the Week – Freedom to Preach…

Persecution Friday: Nepal

April 8, 2011 at 9:11 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Nepal: Evangelism Ban?

As Nepal continues its transition from a monarchal Hindu Kingdom to a democratic secular state, Christians are becoming concerned that the country’s new constitution may limit or even ban evangelism.

The draft proposal includes a seemingly liberal religious freedom clause that states, “Every person shall have the freedom to profess, practice or preserve his or her own religion in accordance with his or her faith, or to refrain from any religion.” However, an explanatory note adds that while every person has the freedom to “convert on his or her will … no person shall be entitled to … convert a person from one religion to another.” Christians fear that the explanatory note could be used as a means of restricting evangelism.

The potential ban on evangelism seems to have raised no concerns among parliament members; the religious freedom provision is listed under “Areas of Agreement” on the Centre for Constitutional Dialogue website. Several parliament members told Compass Direct News that they were unaware of the religious freedom provision’s implications. One member of the Nepali Congress political party said, “Perhaps the words, ‘force, inducement and coercion’ should be inserted to prevent only unlawful conversions.”

Under terms of the Interim Constitution that has been in place since 2007, the new constitution is to take effect this year by May 28. A Constituent Assembly is now condensing drafts from 11 parliamentary committees into a final draft constitution, negotiating with the committees to create a document that represents the many interests of the vying political parties.

Nepal was a Hindu nation until 2006, when the Maoists, a communist popular movement, helped push the king from power and establish a democracy. Currently, three leading political parties, the Maoists, the Unified Marxist Leninists and the Nepali Congress, control the government through a majority.

Persecution Fridays: Cuba

March 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Cuba: Persecution Increases

Pastors and Christian leaders in Cuba are reporting a shift in how the government treats Christians. The government appears to have moved away from higher profile forms of oppression, such as threatening to shut down or destroy churches, and is now focusing pressure on church leaders, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW).

Church leaders both within and outside of the Cuban Council of Churches (CCC) report receiving frequent visits from state security agents and Cuban Communist Party (CCP) officials. The CCC is an umbrella organization representing Protestant churches. These visits and meetings seem to have the intent of intimidating church leaders and making them aware they are under close surveillance.

In October 2010, Pastor Homero Carbonell decided to resign as leader of La Trinidad First Baptist Church in Santa Clara after prolonged government pressure and threats, according to CSW. He hoped giving up his leadership position would alleviate some of the demands on the congregation, but nothing has changed.

Pastor Carbonell, a respected high-level denominational leader, denounced the government persecution in an open letter, according to CSW. He wrote that spurious accusations against him, including allegations that he is associated with the counterrevolution, brought a series of penalties to his church. The pastor also described how the Religious Affairs Office has treated the church over the past three years. In one meeting with the Religious Affairs Office, officials told Pastor Carbonell to “behave himself.”

CSW reports that the government’s attention on Pastor Carbonell and his church may have been prompted by the church’s refusal to expel family members of political prisoners and members of human rights or pro-democracy groups.

Religious groups in Cuba are under the authority of the Religious Affairs Office of the CCP’s Central Committee, rather than a government body. Church leaders have complained for years about difficulties dealing with the Religious Affairs Office, especially with regard to permission for church repair or construction. Many of VOM’s partners in Cuba have faced conflict with authorities while building or repairing churches. Some get around requirements by constructing structures with roofs but no walls.

Bibles and Christian literature may be imported into the country only through the Cuban Council of Churches, which, according to CSW, represents a minority of churches. This limitation has led to a severe shortage of religious materials in Cuba. VOM friends help bring Bibles and other materials into the country through other channels and also sponsor a clandestine printing press for Christian literature.

Newslinks 01/09/11

January 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

Passion to 22,000 Students: Be Free, Fully Alive in Jesus
People want to be here. That’s the sense you get when you come to the Passion 2011 conference that opened Saturday, New Year’s Day, with 22,000 students.

Beth Moore: Control Your Mind, Focus on ‘One Thing’

 

American Churches Begin 2011 with Prayer, Fasting

 

Atheists Declare Religions as ‘Scams’ in New Ad

 

Global Church Body Condemns ‘Vicious Attack’ in Egypt

 

Islamic Extremists Protest Efforts to Change Blasphemy Laws and Free Christian

Louie Giglio Surprises Passion Crowd with Haitian Family
Attendees of the Passion conference on Sunday heard about a family that survived the Haiti earthquake that destroyed their home and killed two family members. What the crowd did not expect was to see them walk out on stage. Continue Reading Newslinks 01/09/11…

How did we get here?

July 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Have you ever had a moment to stop and look at your life? Have you ever stopped, examined your life and where you are, and wondered: How did I get here? I’ve done that a few times and it’s always been eye-opening. I never seem to have been where I thought I was. Sometimes I was further along than I thought and other times I wasn’t as far along as I expected. As I looked back on the path that I trod to get where I was, when I began studying where I walked, I could easily see the things that had gotten me off track. Things like disobedience, willful blindness, and sin led me off of the narrow path and out into the weeds. Because of my lack of diligence or awareness I had to work harder to get back on the path. I had to push through painful thorns and cut through the vines of worldliness that were trying to hold me down and choke me out. Through God’s grace alone, I am here. I’m cut up, bruised, and worn out, but I’m here. As I was pondering these things, I couldn’t help but wonder if the body of Christ has ever done this. I can think of one time when I would say this happened, but other than that, I don’t think that something like this has ever taken place. I wonder why? Does the church not see where it is? Do they not care where they are going? Or are they afraid of what they’ll find? Regardless of the reason, I think that the church would benefit from taking a little time to look at where it is in the face of the state of the world. Continue Reading How did we get here?…

America’s Answer

April 19, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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As we watch the federal government grow to an unheard of size, taking liberties and freedoms with it, we keep hearing talk about answers. The president says that his plans are the answers for America’s problems. He tells us as often as possible how great his plans are and how lucky we are to have him as our president. The problem is that the math doesn’t add up when you look at the numbers and just about everything that the president has said to the American people has been a lie. He has broken almost every promise and took steps to make things extremely worse for not only us but future generations of Americans as well. Our grandchildren will have no idea what America used to be like (unless they have an honest history teacher) unless we stop this progression.
 
But, if the president’s plans aren’t the answer than what is? Many talk about cutting taxes and reducing spending. Those will both work economically, but they aren’t the answer to restoring the moral fabric of the country. Personally, I will be surprised if the Republicans do any better than the Democrats when they get the majority again. They seem to be Democrat lite to me… The answer to our country’s problems doesn’t lie in economic plans or government programs. It doesn’t fall on the president, Congress, or big business to fix our situations (they all proven many times over that they are too incompetent to do this anyway). America’s answer lies in One person. God. Continue Reading America’s Answer…

There is still hope!

March 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I am an American. I am proud of my country and the rich history of Christian heritage that I have as a United States citizen. Today, I am reminded of many things. Yesterday, against the will of the majority of Americans, the House of Representatives of the US Congress passed a bill that will completely overhaul the health care system in America. They claim that it is proof that the federal government still works for the people. They claim that it is a “victory for the American people”. All of this after months of arm-twisting, inside deals to bully government officials into voting for this monstrosity. Add to this the misrepresentation of every proceeding and what the bill actually says. This bill will add to our debt and completely destroy the American ideal. We will slowly become more like other countries who have been trying to make socialized medicine work for years and failing miserably. From a political standpoint, there is still hope that the bill can be killed through reconciliation. Outside of that, there is hope that my state and many others will enact legislation that will exempt those states from unconstitutional federal laws under the power given to the states in the ninth and tenth amendments. But that’s not the hope that I’m talking about. Continue Reading There is still hope!…

Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10

February 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

U.S. Baptists arrested in Haitian orphan incident
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital Sunday after trying to take 33 children out of Haiti.

A GOP bow to the Tea Party movement?
The Republican National Committee has adopted a rule that will prod GOP leaders to provide financial support to only those candidates who support the party’s platform.

Fortuneteller sues, claims discrimination
A Virginia fortuneteller is suing to overturn a Chesterfield County ordinance, saying it discriminates against her beliefs.

Muslim parents reject deal with Christian daughter
The Muslim parents of an Ohio girl who ran away from home claiming she feared harm for becoming Christian have rejected a deal meant to resolve the conflict.

U.S. Attorney Reviews Call for Probe of SEIU Activities with White House, Congress
(CNSNews.com)
– Federal prosecutors are reviewing a request for an investigation into whether Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), violated the Lobbying Disclosure Act with his frequent visits to the White House and with members of Congress in 2009. Americans for Tax Reform has written to acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia asking for a probe.

SEC Ruling Requires Companies to Tell Shareholders If Climate Laws Are Bad for Business
(CNSNews.com)
– A new SEC ruling by would require corporations to inform their shareholders about the business risks and potential impacts of climate change legislation, environmental regulation, and international climate treaties. The ruling marks the first time the SEC has required companies to make such information available to shareholders, and one fiscal conservative told CNSNews.com the ruling will benefit investors.

Congressional Salaries Should Not Go Up Until Federal Spending Is Under Control, Hatch Says
(CNSNews.com)
– While the Congressional Budget Office reported last week a projected $6 trillion total in new national debt over the next 10 years, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told CNSNews.com that lawmakers’ salaries should not go up until Congress does a “really good job of getting budgetary spending under control.” Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks – 02/14/10…


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