LISTEN: Persecuted Sudanese Christians Remain Skeptical About Future (09.14.19)

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According to Christian Headlines, The appointment of a Christian woman to the council overseeing the transition to civilian rule in Sudan is a hopeful sign, but some persecution-weary Christians are less than optimistic about prospects for improved religious rights. Raja Nicola Eissa Abdel-Masih, a Coptic Christian who long served as a judge in Sudan’s Ministry of Justice, was one of six civilians appointed to the 11-member Sovereignty Council on Aug. 21. But Christians who have seen increased persecution from former President Omar al-Bashir’s Islamist campaign of the last seven years question whether Abdel-Masih and the new government can counter an entrenched Islamist mindset. The Rev. Yahia Nalu of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) said Abdel-Masih’s appointment is a positive symbol, but that it remains to be seen whether the council, with six civilians and five military members, can bring equality. “Sudan’s case has to do with equality and the rule of law – rights have to be based on citizenship and nothing else,” Pastor Nalu told Morning Star News. Abdel-Masih has said her appointment will enhance religious coexistence in Sudan. But the Rev. Kwa Shamaal (also transliterated Kuwa Shamaal) of the Sudanese Church of Christ, jailed for nearly two years between 2015 and 2017, is among those who believe her appointment does not necessarily mean discrimination, false charges and confiscation of church properties will end in Sudan. “Although there is a new government formed, that does not mean Christians will be free from persecution in Sudan,” Pastor Kwa said.

According to Daily Mail, A mother with six children of her own has spent the past five years preparing 100 lunches every day for the youngsters in her poverty-stricken Missouri neighborhood. Champale Anderson, 48, sets up at table outside her St. Louis home every day at 2.30pm so the children have something to eat as soon as they get off their school bus. She fills up 100 brown paper bags with PB&J sandwiches, cookies, fruit and juice. Her specialty is peanut butter and jelly. ‘I don’t just put on the peanut butter and then the jelly,’ she said. ‘I mix it up with love and they love those sandwiches.’ Anderson, who works in healthcare and has six children of her own, has been making food for the children in her neighborhood for five years. She said she started the program, which she calls Champ’s Tear Drops, after she spotted children near a gas station begging for money and noticed that the youngsters coming to her home were always hungry. Anderson said she has an open-door policy at her home, which means the children can stop by before or after school if they are hungry. Anderson said her dream is to travel to other neighborhoods and provide food for children there as well. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Anderson buy food to give to the children. It has already raised more than $39,000 since it was set up last month.

According to Boston Globe, The Rev. Michael E. Haynes, who rose from Depression-era Roxbury to become a towering figure in Boston’s black community and beyond as the longtime pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church, died on Thursday. He was 92. The Rev. Haynes was perhaps best known for his friendship with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the early 1950s, when the Rev. Haynes was a youth pastor at Twelfth Baptist and King preached there while pursuing his doctorate at Boston University. Over the years, he would drive King around Boston when he would return to the city, and he helped arrange for King to speak to a joint session of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1965. But it was through his own work, as a youth counselor, preacher, state representative, and Parole Board member, that the Rev. Haynes made his deepest imprint, shaping and guiding generations of young people struggling to overcome poverty and racial discrimination. Those he mentored, many through a high school club known as “The Exquisites,” went on to become prominent figures in the church, and in higher education, politics, journalism, and medicine. “A great and mighty tree has fallen in the city of Boston,” said the Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, associate pastor of Twelfth Baptist Church. “Dr. Haynes was a seminal figure who shaped the history not only of Roxbury and African-Americans in Boston, but the city of Boston. Really, his influence reached throughout the world.”

According to Vox, Actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced on Friday to 14 days in federal prison for her role in a college admissions conspiracy. In that conspiracy, 34 wealthy and mostly white parents of college-age children are alleged to have paid thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars, to inflate their children’s credentials during the college application season. Huffman was the first parent to receive a judgment. The case shed light on the advantages that those with great financial resources have during the college admissions process, and on the fine line between acceptable upper-hands available to some — such as the ability to hire private tutors, access to internships, and legacy admissions — and outright fraud. It has also brought renewed attention to cases in which disadvantaged people, primarily poor parents of color, have faced strong punishment for educational fraud, placing a harsh spotlight on racial and economic discrepancies within American education.

According to NBC News, A tropical depression that morphed late Friday into Tropical Storm Humberto was nearing the hurricane-ravaged Bahamas early Saturday, the National Hurricane Center said. It was two weeks ago Sunday that Hurricane Dorian, at Category 5 force, made landfall in the Bahamas and then spun in place for days, killing more than 50. As the island nation continues to dig out from that calamity, it had to prepare for what could another.

According to Christian Post, Reality star Kim Kardashian West was a guest on “The View” Thursday where she spoke about her husband’s religious beliefs and revealed that he sometimes hosts pop-up churches around the country through his music ministry, Sunday Service. “Kanye started this to really heal himself and it was a really personal thing, and it was just friends and family,” Kardashian West told host Sunny Hostin who asked about the Sunday Service events. “He has had an amazing evolution of being born again and being saved by Christ. People always ask, ‘What are you worshiping?’ It is a Christian service, like a musical ministry. They talk about Jesus and God,” she said. When asked if preachers are included, the new prison reform activist said “sometimes.” She also emphasized that her husband does not have a nonprofit status to make his Sunday Service an official church but said what he’s doing, “is for God and it’s a Christian church.”

According to Christian Post, Grammy Award-winning artist Chance the Rapper, whose real name is Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, was a guest on NBC’s “Ellen DeGeneres Show” where he declared that Jesus has inspired him to be a more generous person. The famous emcee from Chicago has been on the promotional circuit giving radio and TV interviews and during Wednesday’s episode of “Ellen,” DeGeneres asked why it’s important for him to give back to the community. “My understanding of a lot of stuff is based on Jesus. Jesus teaches to care for your neighbor and care for people that aren’t necessarily your blood, but still a part of your body because we’re all humans,” he said. “That’s an impactful thing that I understood more as I got older,” he said. Aside from his music, Chance is known for his philanthropy in the Chicago Public Schools system. In 2015, the rapper and some of his peers helped raise $100,000 for Chicago schools through the Get Schooled Program. Last summer, he wrote a $1 million check to his city’s Public School Foundation to help support the arts in the school system.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks for listening and may God bless your day!