This is the International Christian Herald podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Morning Star News, Muslim Fulani herdsmen on Friday (July 24) killed a church pastor, a 5-year-old boy and eight other Christians in attacks in north-central Nigeria, sources said. The boy, Joel Cephas, and the Rev. Shamah Kuyet Ishaya of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) in Zikpak were killed in attacks on predominantly Christian areas in and around Kafanchan, Jema’a County, in southern Kaduna state, between 8 p.m. and midnight, sources said. The assailants wounded 11 other Christians and burned at least three homes.
According to the Christian Post, Radical Muslims in eastern Uganda beat and drowned a 25-year-old pastor and a 22-year-old church member in retaliation for preaching the Gospel to local Muslims. Pastor Peter Kyakulaga of Church of Christ and parishioner Tuule Mumbya were murdered in a lake in Lugonyola village in the Gadumire Sub-County of Kaliro District, the U.S.-based Morning Star News reported this week. The murders occurred on the night of June 22, but reports of the crimes only came out of the East African country this week. The day before the murders, hardline Muslims warned the pastor and his church members to stop evangelizing in the area.
According to the Daily Mail, The leader of a megachurch in Mexico has been charged with child rape and human trafficking in California, almost four months after an appeals court tossed out previous allegations due to prosecution errors. Naasón Joaquín García, who bills himself as the apostle of La Luz del Mundo, was charged with three dozen felony counts. Also charged were Susana Medina Oaxaca and Alondra Ocampo. Prosecutors argue the three committed sex crimes and produced child pornography involving five women and girls who were members of the church, which is based in Guadalajara, Mexico. The alleged crimes took place in Los Angeles County between 2015 and 2018.
According to Morning Star News, Militants aligned with the Islamic State in Nigeria have executed five aid workers, declaring in a video posted online that the killings were meant as a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity.” A video surfaced last Wednesday showing the men kneeling while blindfolded and then shot from behind by AK-47-wielding masked militants in the West African country’s terror-ridden Borno state. The execution is said to have taken place two Sundays ago. The abduction and killing of the men have since been claimed by the Islamic State in West Africa Province, an offshoot group of the deadly terrorist group Boko Haram. According to the SITE Intelligence Group, ISWAP claimed responsibility through its digital newspaper, al-Naba.
According to the Christian Post, There’s been about a 285% increase in the number of “anti-Christian incidents” reported in France over the last decade-plus, according to the head of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. As six French churches have caught fire in the last year and a half, including the major Cathedral in Nantes last week, government data indicates a stark increase in the number of alleged attacks and acts of vandalism committed against houses of worship since 2008. “The French government reported 275, what they call, anti-Christian acts [in 2008],” OIDACE Executive Director Ellen Fantini told The Christian Post Monday. “So that is anything from targeting a church in some way with vandalism or a public Christian statue, it could be a Christian cemetery or it could be actual assaults against French Christians with an anti-Christian bias.”
According to Anglican News Service, The Anglican Church of Burundi, in collaboration with the United Nations’ children’s organisation UNICEF, have conducted an intensive training course for youth in peace building and social cohesion. Thousands of young people in Kibago, Mabanda, Nyanza Lac and Rumonge are running social activities to deepen social cohesion between members of their communities. The training was intended to help young people address issues related to social instability, such as poverty and unemployment. During the training sessions, held once a week, young people engaged in discussions about how they could tackle the issues in their communities. The young people also initiated income-generating activities in order to help them address issues of poverty and have been given loans to help get them started. For example, one group of young girls in Nyana-lac have invested in growing rice. The Anglican Church of Burundi ha said that the training has been especially important at this time in Burundi as they are heading into elections. It is among several initiatives being undertaken by the Church to encourage people to approach the election process responsibly and engage in peace building with their communities before, during and after the elections.
According to the Christian Post, A 14-year-old Christian girl who was abducted at gunpoint during the COVID-19 lockdown and forced to convert to Islam has been allowed by a court to leave her captor’s home and stay at a women’s shelter until her case is heard by the Lahore High Court next week. The family of Catholic teenager Maira Shahbaz, 14, has been fighting for her freedom ever since she was abducted in April by three Muslim men. One of her captors, Mohamad Nakash, a married man who forced her to live with him, is accused of presenting a false marriage certificate to a lower court that said Maira was 19 years old and they had wed in October 2019. The document not only fails to provide proof of consent from Nakash’s first wife, with whom he has two children, but the Muslim cleric whose name is listed on the certificate has denied involvement in the sham marriage. A court ruling that initially sanctioned the marriage was overturned, and hearings have bet scheduled to hear the case after police registered a formal complaint against Nakash and his two alleged accomplices accused of participating in the abduction.
In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “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 so much for listening and may God bless your day!