Hindu Man Beats Family, Throws Them on Street for Choosing Christ

A Hindu husband and father in Northern India has beaten his wife and four children who have refused to give up their Christian faith. Now, he is inciting the entire village to persecute his family.

Last week, Ramesh Kumar put an advertisement in a local newspaper warning the community that they should not help his family, who he threw out on the street because he did not want them attending church, British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) reports.

“If you did not stop going to church. I will drive you out from the house and file an [apostasy] case against you all since you have changed your religion,” Kumar said, according to the family’s account.

Kumar stopped providing for his family’s basic needs earlier this year. His oldest son, Neeraj, 23, used his meager income to provide for his mother and three siblings. But in October, Kumar went to his son’s employer and convinced the shop owner to fire his son, cutting the family’s only source of income.

“The disownment of his children by a patriarch has left this family very vulnerable. They have been targeted by a father who is caught up in the religious zeal that has become more commonplace in India since the Modi regime came into power,” said Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Asian Association.

The father has not stopped there. Kumar submitted a complaint with a fabricated story to the local police station in hopes of getting the attention of radical Hindus.

He claimed that his family forcefully took him to church and pressured him to change his religion. He said that when he refused to go they would tie him down and drag him to church.

The family was called into the police station and questioned about the situation on at least three occasions, but officers refuse to believe their side of the story.

They now face pressure from their community to renounce their faith.

“We will not stop going to the Church because we know Jesus is the True God who died for us,” the family told BPCA.

BPCA, local pastors, and other Christians are working to help this family.

A man identified as Pastor Ramesh has helped the family find a rented home and gave them his own gas cylinder, stove, and utensils, but that leaves him without these tools. He has asked other Christians to help but since they are poor they can’t do very much.

“Today I met Sunita and her two children while her two other children were at school, said British Asian Christian Association officer, Pastor Naresh. “When I heard their story their great pain was apparent. They have been abandoned by the community because of their faith and no one [except Pastor Ramesh] is coming forward to help them.”

Source: CBN.com

This Man Smuggles God’s Word into a Place Where Getting Caught with a Bible Is a Death Sentence

WASHINGTON — North Korea is widely known as the most oppressive place on earth for Christians. It’s a place where believers practice their faith in secret. North Koreans cannot even own a Bible or speak the name of Jesus in public.

Possessing a Bible could get you 15 years of hard labor in a prison camp, or worse.

Vernon Brewer, President of World Help, knows that well. He spends his days smuggling Bibles into the hermit kingdom.

Why They Risk Death to Own a Bible

“If they get caught with a Bible, it’s a death sentence. Yet they are willing to risk their lives every day to get God’s word into the hands of a North Korea Christian, that has never even held a Bible. Let alone owned one. That’s how precious it is to them. It is really good news,” Brewer said.

Brewer believes of the some 300,000 Christians there, about 70,000 wither away in brutal prison camps because they were caught practicing their faith.

Brewer and his team just returned from the DMZ, where they worked to share the word of God by smuggling Bibles across the border.

“Much of the work we do to share the gospel, it’s very secret. But I can tell you this: we are distributing Bibles because that is the greatest need. We have a goal to distribute 100,000 Bibles as soon as possible,” Brewer told CBN News.

Smuggled Bibles Change Lives

They’re also smuggling computers that include a Bible college curriculum for training church planters and future pastors.

He says their efforts are changing lives.

CBN News spoke with a 26-year-old defector, Paul.

“I was in the North Korea military in Pyongyang and worked in communications monitoring radio stations. I first heard about God on the radio,” Paul said.

Paul says he discovered there was a God, who had a son, Jesus, who died for his sins. Coincidentally, his family had planned to leave North Korea during that time. So he left with his father, mother, sister, and brother.

They fled to the mountains of China, where they were cold, desperate and hungry.

Eventually other defectors took them to an underground church and for three months, he learned more about Jesus.

Paul says, “Because I was in the military, I knew if I was caught I would be killed. Police did catch us in Laos while trying to make it to Thailand and then to South Korea. We were put in prison for processing, but by God’s grace we were all sent to South Korea.”

Others have not been as fortunate.

We spoke with another man, who had to get out after accidentally revealing to friends that he believed Jesus was his Savior.

He tried and failed many times.

North Koreans Question Their Leader

The man said, “I was beaten, tortured to the point of death, splashed with freezing water. My hands and feet were fitted with a lock because I was known as the man who escaped.”

The defectors say change is taking place because people are starving and questioning their survival in North Korea. They say some also question the actions of their leader, but do so quietly.

One defector said, “People are very unsatisfied with Kim Jong Un. They have nothing. I pray for the people of North Korea.”

Many still have family members across the border suffering under the Kim regime.

God’s Plan for North Korea

Brewer said, “This is all on God’s agenda. This is all part of God’s plan and this is on God’s time, to see North Korea come to Jesus Christ.”

Which is why Brewer and his team remain committed and will continue to pray for change in North Korea.

Click here to help World Help send more Bibles to North Korea.

Source: CBN.com

A Big Win for Grandfather Banned from Reading Bible on Public Sidewalk

The attorneys of a Tennessee grandfather, who say a city law that bans their client from reading the Bible on a public sidewalk without a permit violates his constitutional rights, have received a response from the city of Sweetwater.

“Thank you for your email/letters to the City of Sweetwater, its mayor, recorder and attorney regarding Paul Johnson’s exercise of his first amendment right to freely express his religious beliefs on public ways in Sweetwater, Tennessee,” wrote City Attorney John Cleveland, Sr., in a letter dated last Friday.

“You may accept this letter as your requested written assurance that the City of Sweetwater, Tennessee, will allow Mr. Johnson to peacefully share his religious beliefs in Sweetwater without requiring him to apply for or obtain any permit pursuant to Ordinance 16-110 of the Municipal Code of the City of Sweetwater, Tennessee,” he continued.

First Liberty and the Center for Religious Expression represent Johnson and had sent a letter last week, requesting that the city stop using the ordinance.

The letter ended with a demand that Sweetwater provide “written assurance,” allowing Johnson “to peacefully share his religious beliefs at future events without imposing the unconstitutional permit requirement for ‘demonstrations’ on him.”

Johnson’s attorneys threatened to pursue legal action if the city did not meet a three-week deadline.

“The City appreciates your bringing to its attention the constitutional infirmities in the ordinance identified in your correspondence,” Cleveland continued in the response letter. “We would appreciate any suggestions you might have regarding potential amendments to or replacement of Ordinance 16-110 that would meet your perceived constitutional requirements.”

In an email to CBN News, which included the city’s response letter, First Liberty Deputy General Counsel Jeremy Dys wrote that the letter “indicates significant progress toward a positive resolution.”

City Recorder Jessica Morgan also emailed CBN News a copy of the city’s letter.

“As discussed, The City of Sweetwater appreciates the rights of free speech,” she wrote to CBN News in an email. “We have never banned anyone from reading any book in public on a sidewalk.”

Source: CBN.com

 

Christians Can’t Be Lawyers if Not Pro-Gay? University Fights Discrimination Case at Canada’s Top Court

LANGLEY, British Columbia — A Christian university in Canada is being told not to go ahead with creating a law school because if they do, the graduates won’t be considered real attorneys due to the school’s Christian standards.

Although the case sounds ridiculous to most people, it’s going to Canada’s Supreme Court this week.

With an enrollment of more than 4,000 students, Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia is Canada’s largest and fastest growing Christian college

For 55 years, they’ve been attracting students from all over the world. In 2012, the university decided it was time to add a law school.

But two Canadian law societies objected, arguing that the university’s Christian covenant discriminates against the LGBTQ community and therefore the school’s future law school should be denied accreditation.

University president Bob Khun says those claims are false.

“The reality is, gay students and lesbian students have been coming to Trinity. So suggesting that we’re precluding people from having this experience who self-identify as same-sex attracted or gay or lesbian is just not accurate,” Khun told CBN News.

“Basically, the fight comes down to this — a community covenant that students are required to sign that states they are committed to the person and work of Jesus Christ and that marriage is between one man and one woman,” he explained.

The covenant also asks students to refrain from sexual activity outside of traditional marriage.

Same-sex advocacy groups claim this means LGBTQ persons, including those who are married, can never be their authentic selves while attending TWU. They say no one should be forced to renounce their dignity and self-respect in order to obtain an education.

Attorney Earl Phillips says the case pits religious freedoms against equal rights.

“I think it’s a big important case and it’s really about what kind of society are we going to have in Canada,” said Phillips, the future executive director of the law school.

“I’m hoping that the court will say we have a society here that is open to a lot of different ideas,” he said.

Some Trinity Western students call the charges of discrimination ridiculous, including Muslim student Haya Fadda of Jordan.

Fadda, 24, came to the university specifically for its highly acclaimed linguistics programs. She says she did not face discrimination over her Muslim beliefs, and when they discovered she wasn’t eating the school’s regular chicken, the school took action.

“The second week, they got me Halal chicken and they started cooking me Halal meals, just for me, just for one person…so actually they care for you. They put your needs first,” Fadda told CBN News.

Phillips says the case has implications beyond the Christian community in Canada.

“If we are not allowed to have a law school because of what the community covenant says, I am concerned for everybody, whether they are of the Christian faith or no faith at all, fundamental freedom has been reduced,” he explained.

The school’s slogan this year is “For Such a Time as This,” and many say that’s not a coincidence as the future of the university’s law school and its students are now in the hands of the Canadian Supreme Court.

The case goes to Canada’s top court on November 30.

Trinity Western’s law school was originally set to open in 2016, but that date has since been pushed back to the fall of 2018.

The university fought nearly the same exact case in 2001 when it had to fight for accreditation for its teachers’ college.  The case was argued before the Supreme Court and the school won.

However, the Ontario Court of Appeals said that ruling should not be seen as binding in the high court’s current case, and the Canadian Divisional Court said public attitudes have shifted since that time and should also be taken into account as well.

Source: CBN.com

Is the Middle East Headed for War?

JERUSALEM, Israel – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a stunning admission on Tuesday.  He said Russia had not promised that Iranian and pro-Iranian forces would withdraw from Syria.

Lavrov’s statement followed Sunday’s announcement of a Memorandum of Principles (MoP) signed by Russia, the United States and Jordan. According to a U.S. official, the MoP “enshrine[d] the commitment of the U.S., Russia and Jordan to eliminate the presence of non-Syrian foreign forces.”  Presumably that would include Iranian forces, but Lavrov disagreed. He told reporters, “No one mentioned Iran or pro-Iranian forces, somebody might be tempted to call the entire Syrian Army pro-Iranian, and then what – it should surrender?  In my opinion, it is wishful thinking.”

So why is this important and could this be more one more factor leading the Middle East to a wider war?

While Russia says Iran can remain in Syria, Israel has pledged it won’t tolerate an Iranian military presence close to its border. Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that “Iran is scheming to entrench itself in Syria. They want to create a permanent air, land and sea military presence. We are not going to agree to that. I have said very clearly that Israel will work to stop this, and we must all work together to stop Iran’s aggression and its pursuit of nuclear weapons. If we stand together we will achieve it. But if we have to, we will stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons; it will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel.”

Yet Iran seems determined to “turn Syria into a military base against Israel.”  A recent BBC report showed satellite images of an Iranian base under construction close to Damascus and not far from Israel.

This confrontation involving Iran, Syria and Israel has been brewing. Earlier this year, we reported about Iran’s growing influence in Syria and the danger it poses to the Middle East, Israel and the possibility of war.

Middle East analyst Caroline Glick told CBN News Syria is flooded with Iranian troops.

“The Syrian military is Iranian. Hezbollah is Iranian, of course. Iran is Iranian and they have an unlimited number of troops they can bring in at will and they are bringing to Syria from Afghanistan, from Pakistan,” Glick explained. “It’s basically a bottomless well of personnel that Iran can bring over as cannon fodder for its hegemonic aims in the Middle East.”

Avi Melamed, author of “Inside the Middle East” warned Iran is trying to create a land bridge to Lebanon on the Mediterranean that would post a great danger to Israel.

“Because you have to remember that the Iranian regime vows the elimination of the State of Israel …  [They’re] trying to launch a military front against Israel on the Golan Heights. This could result in a massive eruption because Israel will not stand for that and rightly so,” Melamed said.

It remains to be seen if the Middle East will see one more “massive eruption” soon.

Source: CBN.com

‘The Most Burned Book of All Time’ Gets a Home in DC: Bible Museum President Credits God’s Perfect Timing

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — There’s a new museum in our nation’s capitol that’s been more than 2,000 years in the making. The Museum of the Bible opens to the public Friday and it’s using cutting edge technology to bring the world’s most influential book to life.

Even before guests walk through the doors the museum makes a big impression.

“On both sides of the entrance to the building are 40-foot gates. They weigh 2.5 tons each, they’re bronze cast, it’s the first edition of the Gutenberg Bible of the Book of Genesis,” says Cary Summers, president of the new museum.

Once inside the building, visitors will see a 40-foot piece of glass etched with Psalm 19.

“We believe that it’s time that the best selling book of all time, the most banned book of all time, the most debated book of all time, the most burned book of all time, will have a prominent space within the global museum system and it happens to be in Washington D.C.,” Summers tells CBN News.

It’s in the heart of Washington, D.C. on prime real estate, just off the National Mall and a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol building. It even has its own Metro stop.

In addition to history, technology is on full display at the museum.

Visitors will be handed a tablet that will allow them to customize their visit with the length of their tour, area of interest and level of knowledge about the Bible from a child’s understanding to that of an archaeologist.

“So if you’re standing in front of a case it will tell you 33 seconds and when you exceed the 33 seconds, you can stay there if you want, but if you don’t continue moving you’re not going to be able to complete the tour in your two hours,” Summers says.

Checking out all of the sights and sounds inside the 430,000 square foot building would take nine eight-hour days, so you may want to plan several trips.

“We didn’t know what the world was going to be looking like today or in 2017, but God did and He made the provisions available, made real estate available, made people available and it’s His timing, it’s not ours and we feel incredibly humbled by it because we’re not smart enough to do this, but He is,” Summers says.

The museum takes no specific religious approach to the Bible. That means no particular branch of Christianity of Judaism is promoted. It’s caused some controversy, but Summers says the Bible can speak for itself without any interpretation.

“We say our job is to take the Bible, show it in an interesting setting, don’t add to, don’t take away. Let it stand on its own two feet and God will do with it what he pleases.”

Source: CBN.com

From Mail Room to Missionary Evangelist: Meet Reinhard Bonnke’s Successor

World-renowned German Pentecostal evangelist Reinhard Bonnke preached his farewell crusade in Nigeria over the weekend, and now he passes the leadership torch of his international ministry, Christ for all Nations, to missionary evangelist Daniel Kolenda.

Who is Kolenda? He is the president and CEO of Christ for all Nations, and according to the ministry, “has led more than 17 million people to Christ face-to face through massive open-air evangelistic campaigns in some of the most dangerous, difficult and remote locations on earth.”

“Daniel is a gifted, fifth-generation preacher whose ministry is marked by a powerful evangelistic anointing and incredible miracles after the model of Jesus; preaching, teaching and healing,” according to the ministry’s website.

“The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear — he has even seen the dead raised — but most importantly, the poor have the gospel preached to them,” the website continued.

Bonnke presented Kolenda to those attending the farewell crusade and prayed for his successor, asking them to pray for him as well.

“The Lord specifically told me that He has appointed and anointed Daniel Kolenda as my successor,” Bonnke said, according to TheNewsGuru, an online news outlet in Nigeria.

Kolenda has been under the guidance of Bonnke for around a decade. He graduated from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry in Pensacola.

But according to the Christ for all Nations website, Kolenda’s “greatest education has come from the years of ministry side-by-side with his mentor and spiritual father Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.”

“Daniel Kolenda is an outstanding preacher with a message of salvation. He knows how to throw the net out and he knows how to pull it back in,” Bonnke told Charisma Magazine in 2011. “Many people are coming to salvation as a result of it.”

Charisma reported that Bonnke originally met Kolenda when he served as a postal clerk at Christ for all Nations’ headquarters in Orlando, Florida. Kolenda took the job for additional income to provide for his family while serving as a church-plant pastor.

Source: CBN.com