Jewish pilgrims turned back from Ukrainian border

Ukraine (MNN) — At least 1,000 Hasidic Jews have turned back to Israel after being stuck between the border of Ukraine and Belarus. They camped out by the border for several days, hoping the Ukrainian authorities would relent and let them in. Ukraine, however, sent extra border police to make sure no one crossed.

Each year, Hasidic Jewish pilgrims visit the Ukrainian grave of a well-known Rabbi that revived Hasidic Judaism in the late 1700s, Nachman of Breslov. Due to differing COVID-19 restrictions, Belarus let them through, but Ukraine did not. Israel also asked that pilgrims not be allowed into Ukraine, concerned they could catch and spread COVID-19.

Jewish History in Ukraine
Eric Mock of Slavic Gospel Association says,“Ukraine is not one of the first countries that you would consider as being the home of a large Jewish population, but it’s actually home to the third-largest Jewish population in Europe, and the fifth-largest in the world. There’s a history in Ukraine that goes bac..

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The power of entire Muslim families coming to faith in Jesus

Iraq (MNN) — To be born into a Muslim family in Iraq is to be Muslim. Stepping out of that structure can lead to denouncement, persecution, and even death. That’s why Christians from Muslim backgrounds often hide their faith from family and friends.

However, Frontiers USA shared an encouraging story with us about one former Muslim father in Iraq who recently became a Christian. This man got to do something not many Christian fathers get to do: baptize his own son.

An Outward Ripple of Faith
(Photo courtesy of Frontiers USA)

Uday came from a devout Muslim family, part of the 98 percent of Iraqis who are Muslim. Two decades ago, Uday encountered a missionary who shared the Gospel with him. This began Uday’s journey to Christ. When he met a worker from Frontiers USA, the two began studying the Bible together, and Uday’s faith began to flourish.

Frontiers President Bob Blincoe says, “He went home every day after the Bible study and shared it with his son…. That’s an amazing thing when ..

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All Saints Church bombing anniversary stirs painful memories

Pakistan (MNN) — This week, Pakistani believers commemorate a dark day in history. Seven years ago, two Taliban terrorists blew themselves up outside the All Saints Church as people left a worship service. The blast killed 100 believers and injured hundreds more.

“The wounds of losing three family members are still fresh for me. It is impossible to forget that bloody day that turned my life forever into sorrow,” one survivor told International Christian Concern.

The All Saints Church bombing was the single deadliest attack on Pakistan’s Christian community. “It was kind of unprecedented at that time,” TWR President Lauren Libby says.

“Since then, there’s been even more persecution for believers in Pakistan. But you know what? God is still moving in this country.”

Gospel work in Pakistan
Pakistan has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations and one of the highest rates of Christian persecution. More about persecution in Pakistan here.

(Photo courtesy of Voice of the Martyrs US..

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Engaging Islam Institute presents Christianity as a Middle Eastern religion

Lebanon (MNN) — How can Western Christians understand the Muslim world, especially in the Middle East? Pierre Houssney of Horizons International says the Engaging Islam Institute tackles this barrier by presenting Christianity from a Middle Eastern cultural perspective.

Houssney says, “People have this underlying assumption that Christianity is a Western religion, that we’re trying to translate it culturally or contextualize it into the Middle East. But a lot of the time, we get feedback from our students saying we helped them to understand that Christianity is actually a Middle Eastern movement, that Jesus was a Middle Easterner.”

“We’re actually helping re-invite these Western Christians back to where Christianity came from in the Middle East.”

Taking notes during a recent Engaging Islam Institute event. (Photo courtesy of Horizons International on Facebook)

The audience for this course? Anyone in the Church who wants to study the Middle East and Islam. According to Houssney, “Th..

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New intelligence says Boko Haram stepping up child recruitment

North Africa (MNN) — New intelligence from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) says Boko Haram is increasing child recruitment.

Boko Haram operates across Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. The radical Muslim terrorist group often uses children for military shields, suicide bombings, sexual slavery, and other horrific purposes.

The MNJTF is a regional military alliance defending against Boko Haram insurgents. Colonel Timothy Antiga, a spokesman for the MNJTF, told VOA News,“Boko Haram terrorists themselves further confirmed the atrocious acts when they posted pictures of children dressed in military fatigues and holding assault rifles in a video released during a celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.”

Boko Haram
(Photo courtesy of Think Defence via Flickr: https://rb.gy/cpvmlt)

Younger children don’t fully comprehend what they are doing, but some of the kids manipulated by Boko Haram are in their early teens.

When these young teens strap on explosive vests, they m..

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Dear Mr. Pompeo: please hold India accountable for its oppression

India (MNN) — Fourteen U.S. senators recently endorsed a letter calling on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to add India to the State Department’s Country of Particular Concern (CPC) list.

In a document signed by ten Republican and four Democratic senators, the Coalition to Stop Genocide in India asks Pompeo to hold India accountable for “systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations, as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA),” Indicanews reports.

(Graphic courtesy of U.S. State Department via Facebook)

If Secretary Pompeo chooses not to make the CPC designation, CSGI urges him to explain his reasoning to Congress:

“There is strong bipartisan Congressional support for holding India accountable for its escalating violence against its principal minorities, the Muslims and Christians. The U.S. Government must designate India a CPC.”

“What they’re trying to do is shine a light on the persecution that’s taking place in India,” says Todd Nettleton..

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Four ways to celebrate International Week of the Deaf

USA (MNN) — It’s day two in the International Week of the Deaf, an annual celebration of Deaf culture, accomplishments, and sign languages.

(Graphic courtesy of World Federation of the Deaf)

Each of the seven days has a specific focus, and IWD aims to raise Deaf awareness and advocacy among the wider hearing community. Read past IWD stories here.

There are approximately 70 million Deaf people worldwide who use more than 350 unique sign languages. Until this summer, no sign language a complete Bible. Today, U.S. Deaf believers rejoice as the first to have all of God’s Word within reach. Watch the ASLV Bible here.

“There has been a tremendous and exciting reaction from the U.S. Deaf Christian community,” Deaf Missions President Chad Entinger says via email. Earlier this month, the first-ever ASLV Bible “went live” on Deaf Missions’ app after 38 years of labor.

“Doing sign language Bible translation with video drafts takes longer than text or printed drafts,” Entinger explains.

“Our..

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Kenyan girls at risk for teen pregnancy and FGM due to Coronavirus

Kenya (MNN) – The current Coronavirus pandemic has stretched its arms worldwide, and young girls in Kenya are greatly feeling it’s affects. With the closings of schools, many girls have become desperate for ways to get access to necessary items.

“There are things that a girl child cannot go without,” Tumaini, a board member with FMI in Kenya, says. “Number one is what we call sanitary towels. And so, those girls who cannot get them will try and get them at all cost. And so, men will take advantage of them.”

Courtesy of Sean Lee on Unsplash

For many girls, school was a safety net from becoming child brides, female circumcision, and rape. While female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in Kenya, many families have used the lockdown as an opportunity to continue the practice in rural areas. Schools were also a place where girls were able to receive sanitary napkins and food.

“During school times, the government will provide them at a time, but since schools have been closed down, the..

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Muslim herdsmen ramp up attacks on Christian farmers in Nigeria

Nigeria (MNN) — A Nigerian leader says the threat of COVID-19 pales in comparison to the violence of Muslims against Christians in the northern and central parts of the country. This was reported to the UK parliament shortly after COVID-19 reached Nigeria, and the violence has only worsened since then. The report finds thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

Ed Weaver of Spoken Worldwide says this persecution doesn’t just come from armies like ISIS. “The Muslim herdsmen believe that all cattle are theirs, that God gave them all the cattle on the planet. If you’ve got herds of cattle, and you’re not Fulani, then they have a God-given right to take those back. They’re saying, ‘No, this isn’t stealing. We’re just taking back what is rightfully ours, God-given.’”

This picture shows a pastor from Northern Ghana using orality methods to teach the story of Lazarus from the Gospel of John. Pastor Naomi cannot read or write, yet she proclaims the Gospel. (Pho..

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Three tips for sharing your faith

International (JFP) — It’s difficult to share your faith when you don’t feel prepared. In a multigenerational survey on evangelism conducted by Jesus Film Project with more than 1,600 Christians, one out of every 10 people said they felt unequipped to share their faith.

Prayer and Scripture reading are valuable practices for helping you get better at sharing your faith. But if you feel like you should be better prepared to tell others about Christ, Jesus Film Project has put together these three ways to equip yourself to evangelize.

Become a good listener

(Photo courtesy of Lilibeth Bustos Linares via Unsplash)

We often assume that preparing to share is about lining up the right arguments. But you might read several good evangelism and apologetics books and not be any better prepared to talk to others about Jesus. Why? Because a lot of the time, the arguments we prepare for aren’t aligned with the questions people have.

You feel the most prepared to share your faith when you can ..

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