This is the International Christian Herald podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Christian Headlines, Fulani herdsmen killed 36 Christians in multiple attacks in Kaduna state, Nigeria this month with impunity, while a church leader complained that authorities arrested only Christians for defending themselves. The attacks from Aug. 4 to Saturday (Aug. 28) on villages in Zangon Kataf, Kaura and Chikun counties took the lives of 17 Christians in Doh (Mado) village, five in Madamai, eight in Buruku and Udawa, three in Machun and three in Goran Gida, residents said. The attack on Machun village, Zangon Kataf County, on Thursday (Aug. 26) took place at 7 p.m., said area resident Judith David in a text message to Morning Star News. “Fulani herdsmen have killed three of our Christians, and five other Christians were also injured,” she said. “It rained at the time the herdsmen invaded our village. We all had already gone to houses to sleep when the herdsmen attacked the village, forcing us to flee into the bush in the rain.” Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna state commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, confirmed the killings in a press statement.
According to RNS, More than 340 million people around the world suffer persecution for practicing their Christian faith – making it the largest persecuted religious group. In solidarity with them, and to help raise awareness, the 2nd annual March for the Martyrs will take place in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25, 2021. It’s the first time the March, hosted by For the Martyrs, will be held in our nation’s capital. “We all see what’s going on in Afghanistan right now. Christians are being hunted down and killed. This is happening in so many other nations across the world, and so few people are talking about it. That’s why we’ve chosen to move the March for the Martyrs to Washington, D.C.,” said Gia Chacon, president of For the Martyrs. “More than 1000 participants, dressed in red, will march for and with all Christian denominations and people of good will,” added Chacon. “I believe we can all unite around this cause – with one voice – as the body of Christ in the United States advocating for our persecuted brothers and sisters.” The March will begin with a rally on the National Mall. From there, participants will follow a route up the National Mall, past the White House and end with the Night for the Martyrs at the JW Marriott Hotel. There, participants will hear testimonials from persecuted Christians and those who advocate for them.
According to CBN, Indonesian police arrested a Muslim cleric Thursday and charged him with blasphemy for allegedly insulting Christians. Muhammad Yahya Waloni, a former Protestant who became a Muslim in 2006 and later an imam, was detained while at his home in the national capital of Jakarta, Union of Catholic Asian News reports. He is accused of calling the Bible “fictitious and false” in one of his sermons. Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rusdi Hartono said Waloni was charged with blasphemy and hate speech based on a complaint that was filed in April. When asked why it took four months to arrest Waloni, Hartono remarked that the investigation needed time to pursue and that it’s ongoing. His arrest comes just three days after a Muslim, who had converted to Christianity, was arrested over allegations that he had insulted Islam.
According to RNS, Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was arraigned Friday morning in Massachusetts, where the defrocked prelate faces criminal charges of sexually abusing a 16-year-old child in 1974. McCarrick, 91, appeared briefly in court in Dedham on Friday (Sept. 3) to hear allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused the child of a family friend, including during the sacrament of confession at a wedding that took place at Wellesley College. The alleged victim has also accused McCarrick of molesting him on family trips and at various hotels in the state. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was ordered to stay away from the alleged victim and people under the age of 18. McCarrick was berated by abuse survivors and demonstrators as he approached the courtroom in a walker, according to The Washington Post. They shouted: “Shame on you! Prince of the church!” The once prominent cleric — a liberal who was seen as a powerbroker when he served as the Catholic archbishop of Washington — was charged with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, making him the first U.S. cardinal criminally charged for such crimes. Each carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to Reuters, Armed men kidnapped 73 children from a school in the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara in the latest mass abduction in the region, police said in a statement on Wednesday. Police said a large number of armed bandits invaded the Government Day Secondary School in the village of Kaya in rural Zamfara state at 11:22 am local time (1022 GMT). “The command … has deployed search and rescue team that was mandated to work in synergy with the military to ensure the safe rescue of the abducted students,” Zamfara police spokesman Mohammed Shehu said in the statement. Armed gangs seeking ransoms have kidnapped more than 1,100 pupils in more than a dozen attacks on schools or colleges across northwest Nigeria since December 2020, adopting a tactic first used by Islamist insurgents in the northeastern part of the West African nation. Zamfara’s government ordered all statewideschools to close to prevent further attacks, Ibrahim Dosara, the state’s information commissioner, told Reuters by telephone. Police said they had also increased security around Kaya to prevent further attacks on the community. A staff member at the school told Reuters by phone that the school had more than 500 children enrolled. Zamfara is among four states in northwest Nigeria that have taken measures to try to curb the security crisis. They have banned the sale of fuel in jerry cans and the transport of firewood by truck in hope of disrupting gangs who travel by motorbike and camp out in forests.
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!