This is the International Christian Herald podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to International Christian Concern, Fulani militants attacked Nigeria’s Chinke community of Kwall District on Thursday night, May 5, killing at least eight Christians and wounding several others. A picture from the scene shows two deceased victims, each appearing to be under five years of age, lying side by side. A representative for International Christian Concern (ICC) is currently at the hospital with a two-year-old gunshot wound survivor whose mother was killed in the attack. “The attackers are Fulani militants with AK-47 rifles,” another survivor of the attack told ICC. “They shouted, ‘Allah Akbar’ [Allah is the greatest] and shot randomly.” Prior to the attack, a community member with intel into the situation issued a security alert, warning: “Plans are underway to strike Rigwe people any time from now… They have gone as far as Lokoja axis to go and mobilize for support of attackers… They concluded the arrangement yesterday in a meeting at the bushes of Zangon Kataf to attack the earmarked places. They are waiting for the Lokoja mercenaries to arrive anytime, then they will strike.” “After attacking Miango and Kwall areas, they plan to proceed to Kagoro areas for the continuation of the mayhem,” the alert continued. “All this is in their program of sending our people away from our lands so that they can expand their grazing areas, then occupy the lands. They are doing this in the camouflage of [avenging] their people… Pray so that the God of Elijah, Jehoshaphat, and Hezekiah comes to fight for us. As God dealt with the proud kings of the times of these prophets and kings, pray without ceasing so that God will frustrate and defeat the enemies in all their plans of expansionism. We are in the hands of God and will not depend on any arms.”
According to the Associated Press, A 90-year-old Roman Catholic cardinal, a singer and at least two others have been arrested in Hong Kong on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces to endanger China’s national security, in an action widely condemned as a further sign of Beijing’s erosion of rights in the city. The arrests further expand a blanket crackdown on all forms of dissent in the city that appears increasingly vindictive in prosecuting actions performed prior to the enactment of the national security law. The crackdown is penetrating further into the city’s long-respected economic, religious and educational institutions, along with non-governmental organizations, many of which have closed down their Hong Kong operations. A police statement said arrests were made Wednesday against two men and two women between the ages of 45 and 90 who were trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, which provided legal aid to people who took part in 2019 pro-democracy protests that were quashed by security forces. Zen, the retired archbishop of Hong Kong, is a fierce critic of China and has been blistering in his condemnation of the Vatican’s 2018 agreement with Beijing over bishop nominations, which he has said was a sellout of underground Christians in China. The Vatican spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said the Holy See “learned with concern the news of the arrest of Cardinal Zen and is following the evolution of the situation with extreme attention.” Zen’s arrest marks “the darkest day to date in the Chinese Communist Party’s incremental destruction of the vitality of Hong Kong and is likely to provoke a reconsideration by the Vatican of its several-year long diplomatic engagement with Beijing over the ordination of bishops,” said Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of Notre Dame, who helped welcome Zen to the U.S. school in 2019. The arrests were also condemned by U.S. politicians, with Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, saying it showed the ruling Communist Party and its leader Xi Jinping were “afraid of truth-tellers and labels them threats to national security.”
According to Religion News Service, It is unusual for a world Muslim leader visiting the United States to request to meet with local Christian leaders. But King Abdullah II of Jordan has his responsibilities: The Hashemite king, whose lineage goes back to the Prophet Muhammad, is also the custodian of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem, via a religious trust known as the Waqf Council. On Monday (May 9) in New York, the king met with a group representing American Catholics and several mainline and African American Protestant denominations, as well as Armenian and Greek Orthodox Christians, to discuss a host of issues — from taxation to the renovation of Christ’s tomb and the Chapel of the Ascension at the Mount of Olives. He also met with affiliates of some evangelical Christian groups that have been seeking full recognition in Jordan. But the meeting with Christian leaders was primarily aimed at paving the way for crucial discussions in Washington later this week about mounting tensions at Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which is the third holiest site in Islam and includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The 35-acre mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, constitutes some of the most contested real estate in the world. Its ownership and visitation rights are governed by a centuries-old dictate known as the Status Quo Agreement. In recent years radical Jewish nationalists have been demanding a right for Jews to pray in groups on the grounds of the mosque, in violation of both the Status Quo Agreement and a 2014 promise by then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respect its parameters. Israeli officials say they are committed to the agreement, but since October 2000, when they removed the Waqf’s guard from the mosque compound’s Moghrabi Gate, the Israeli authorities have allowed whomever they choose to enter. Groups of Jews have become increasingly bold about not only praying but holding ceremonies on the plaza outside the mosque. Reconfirming the status quo in Jerusalem will require some hard diplomacy and a lot of goodwill. The latter seemed to be the point of the king’s meeting in New York with church leaders.
According to CBN, Washington D.C.’s Museum of the Bible welcomed His Excellency President Akufo-Addo of Ghana as the guest of honor and a keynote speaker Thursday, coinciding with the observance of the National Day of Prayer (NDOP). The Museum’s Africa Lecture recognizes individuals on the continent who embrace biblical principles in their careers. “I am a Christian in politics who is unashamed of asserting my faith,” said President Akufo-Addo. “It is my Christian faith that has animated my vision to move Ghana to a situation beyond aid by putting our country on the road to self-reliance, sustained progress, and prosperity. The Museum of the Bible celebrates the most enduring book of all time, and it is my honor to speak at the inaugural Africa Lecture.” National Day of Prayer President Kathy Branzell welcomed attendees to the event with an opening prayer, saying, “today we are joining millions of voices who together on this special day are exalting the Lord.” Guests included foreign ambassadors and diplomatic staff from many African nations, along with American and African business and religious leaders, policymakers and many others. “President Akufo-Addo could have done many things when he ascended to the presidency, but he chose to prioritize the construction within his nation of a museum to honor the impact of the Bible on the formation of his nation,” noted Steve Green, chairman of Museum of the Bible. “He is a world leader, from another continent, here today to remind us what we should cherish during our own National Day of Prayer,” Green added. NDOP is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
According to the Daily Mail, A priest accused of deliberately running over a suspected robber after officiating a wedding in the southeastern Brazilian state of São Paulo is under investigation. Father Gustavo Trindade, 37, launched his vehicle into the thief, Angelo dos Santos, 40, who had allegedly stolen three hooded sweatshirts and a t-shirt from the São Sebastião Church’s parish house in the municipality of Santa Cruz Rio do Rio Pardo on Saturday. A security camera captured the priest speeding down the street in a white sedan before jumping the sidewalk and ploughing into the thief and building. He subsequently reversed back into the avenue and sped away. Dos Santos was arrested and taken to a nearby hospital, where he remained hospitalized until Monday. Father Trindade was on the run until Wednesday when he appeared before the Santa Cruz Rio do Rio Pardo courthouse accompanied by two lawyers. Judge Pedro de Castro rejected a Civil Police request to hold the priest in pre-trial detention, arguing that he was not a flight risk.
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!