Violence spreads in Ukraine and Venezuela
Continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and Venezuela, as both nations endure increasing violence and protests over their governments. Venezuela has threatened to expel CNN reporters for their coverage of the revolts. While in Ukraine, churches have literally become sanctuaries.
As the death toll climbed from Ukraine’s bloodiest day in two decades of independence, the wounded sought refuge on Wednesday beneath the bell tower of a sympathetic Kiev church.
Volunteers sorted through medical supplies — iodine, gauze, bandages — brought in bags and boxes by anxious residents of the capital. Doctors tended to the wounded on beds in a side-building of the monastery complex, while people hurried through the main doors clutching bottled water, bread, ham and processed cheese.
North Korea arrests another missionary
Already holding American Kenneth Bae, North Korea detained another Christian missionary — a 75-year-old Australian.
Source: Christianity Today
During a visit to North Korea’s capital city Pyongyang on Wednesday, John Short was taken into custody, according to The New York Times. He had religious materials with him that had been translated into Korean.
“He won’t be intimidated by the communists,” his wife, Karen Short, told Reuters. Her husband even read his Bible in front of government guides on his first trip there. “I’m not upset, we’re Christian missionaries, and we have tremendous support for what we do.”
Proposed Kenyan law worries pastors
While Christians in Nigeria faced Islamic terrorists who left 115 people dead and more than 1,500 buildings razed, pastors in Kenya protested a new tax law that could charge them for preaching outside of their church building.
The church leaders then walked to Governor Nderitu Gachagua’s office demanding to have a meeting with him. The priests said the levies will derail their calling as churches are not business entities. Rev Charles Muchiri, representing more than 1,200 churches said a levy of Sh10,000 [more than $115] per day for hosting crusades is too high for the church.
Muchiri said the churches are not against taxes as it is the only way a county can develop but the growth should not be at the expense of the gospel. “The services rendered by the church to the people are free and such a high tax will greatly affect the spreading of the gospel,” Muchiri said.
Pentecostal denominations heal racial rift
In 1917, the Assemblies of God refused to send Alexander Howard, a black Pentecostal from Chicago, as a missionary because of his race. Because of his exclusion, Howard helped form the United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God. Recently, that all changed.
Source: Christianity Today
It also remained separate from the AG, which grew to become the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination, for nearly 100 years—until now.
Recent efforts have resulted in a new partnership between the two organizations, beginning four years ago when Thomas Barclay of the UPCAG reached out to George O. Wood, general superintendent of the AG, after feeling “stirred to connect the two fellowships and mend the divide,” according to a joint announcement.
Lecrae’s path mirrors broader evangelical relationship with culture
Source: Huffington Post
“And so, what I’ve just wanted to do is do that, which has been a little more difficult for me because I did start off very explicitly. That’s what Christians know me for,” he said. Lecrae’s first albums emphasized spelling out his beliefs more than making the best music possible. “So when I venture outside of that now, it’s almost as if I’m punting everything that I believe because I’m not as explicit.”
And so it is with modern evangelical Christianity; Almost by necessity, because it is no longer the majority view, evangelicalism has become more sophisticated in its understanding of the way faith interacts with the world outside the walls of church. Yet at the same time, it is still grappling with a loud minority who are the offspring of decades of bifurcated thinking.