This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Mission Network News, Twin terror attacks struck the southern Philippines this week, killing at least 15 and injuring more than 75. The attacks are believed to have been suicide bombings. Joe Handley of Asian Access explains the situation. “In the southern parts of the Philippines, there are these terrorist groups, influenced by what is now the Islamic State. [They] have been influencing that part of the country, really with a kind of Islamic front, attacking the southern islands.” Handley says these terrorist groups have ties to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and pursue the same radical agenda. Handley says Filipino pastors are eager to share the hope of Christ with people during a frightening time. Many in the Philippines are more open to the Gospel right now, especially Muslims who witness the violence of radical Islamist groups with horror. “Those that are more moderate Muslims tend to start questioning their faith. ‘Does my God really support this kind of thing?’” Ask God to bring peace to the Philippines. Pray the government would be able to protect their people from attack and pray the Church would shine the light of Christ into a dark situation.
According to Assist News Service, The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) is sending crisis-trained chaplains to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where the area is in turmoil with violent protests surrounding the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday. “As the unrest continues, we were invited by local church leadership in Kenosha to have our chaplains there to minister to the community,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “We are praying that in such a tragic situation that God will use our chaplains to bring the peace and comfort that we know only comes through Christ.” Blake was shot multiple times by a police officer after officers responded to a domestic incident. Protests began shortly after the shooting and turned deadly Tuesday evening when two people were killed and one other person was injured. The RRT sent chaplains to Minneapolis, Charlotte and Greensboro in June in response to protests after George Floyd was killed by a police officer. Chaplains also provided ministry in Charlotte for protests during the Republican National Convention and during the Pray on MLK event in August.
According to Mission Network News, The American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” This is especially true for worship in the Church. The Body of Christ spans across borders. Even when we can’t speak one another’s language, worshipping the Lord together demonstrates our unity. That’s why Global Disciples is placing a new emphasis on worship in their discipleship training. Tim Singer*, Global Disciples’ new worship specialist says, “Our goal is to raise up regional worship leaders, give them more training, and help them discover how they can train others within their own unique cultural context. “So in other words, we’re not going to bring the songs we sing here in America with us. Instead, [we] teach them to write their own songs, use their own cultural resources, use the instruments that they have, and encourage them to have their own unique expression of worship. That’s where the beauty is.” But most of all, Singer says they are encouraging worship leaders “to find that sincerity, that authentic expression that leads us into the presence of God.”
According to Christian Post, Family members of a teenage Bosnian girl will face abuse charges after they were accused of beating the child and shaving her head when she admitted to having a relationship with a Christian man. Prosecutors are charging the parents, uncle and aunt of the teenage girl after they were accused of assaulting her last Monday in their apartment in the eastern city of Besancon, according to Agence France-Presse. The act was condemned on Twitter by French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who wrote on Twitter that he was “deeply shocked by the act of torture” and claimed the child was beaten and shaved because she “loved a Christian.” “This barbarism calls for the most severe sanctions,” Darmanin wrote, according to an English translation of the tweet. As first reported by the French newspaper L’Est Républicain, the 17-year-old girl had fallen in love with a 20-year-old man of Serbian origin. While she is of Muslim faith, he is a Christian. “The two families knew each other and [their relationship] was not a problem,” Deputy Prosecutor Margaret Parietti told AFP. “But when they started talking about marriage, the girl’s parents told her: ‘We are Muslims, you cannot marry a Christian.’” The child reportedly suffered a broken rib and bruises all over her body. She also lost her hair. In France, head shavings were used to shame women accused of having relationships with Nazi occupiers after World War II. Parietti said the girl’s parents and her aunt and uncle were detained and will be tried for violating a law banning “violence against minors.” All four were released under judicial control. However, they are banned from contacting the girl who is now under protection.
According to Mission Network News, Coronavirus has been seemingly slow to rise in India, but now – well into the global pandemic – India’s coronavirus numbers are gaining traction. India currently has over 3.2 million coronavirus cases – the third-highest globally. And for daily new cases, they’re at the top of the chart. If India maintains this trajectory, they could soon overtake Brazil for second place overall. Mission India works with local Christians to run Children’s Bible Clubs, Church Planter Training, and Adult Literacy Classes. In light of the pandemic, they are also distributing Relief Kits to provide physical and spiritual hope. “The majority of workers in India are day laborers meaning if they can’t go to work that day, they don’t have money to go buy food for that day to eat or support their kid and have clean water and access to essential items for hygiene,” Mission India’s Erik Morsehead says. “So because of that, these Relief Kits are a much-needed tool to help these families get by as — like the rest of the world — India tries to grapple and get out of this global pandemic.” Recently, Mission India’s partners even distributed Relief Kits to 100 orphans and child laborers.
According to Assist News Service, Some of the most intense persecution against Christians in China in decades is happening now. According to China Aid, it may be the most opposition the church has faced since the cultural revolution in the 1960s. Speaking in an interview with Greg Musselman of The Voice of the Martyrs Canada China Aid’s Bob Fu highlights how even the state run churches are coming under attack. “The government-sanctioned churches some pastors were even sentenced to 17 years imprisonment for simply refusing to take down the cross from the rooftops of the church buildings. Hundreds of thousands of the church crosses were forcefully taken down, burned, destroyed or some even totally levelled with bombs, dynamite by the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of President Xi.” “The worst thing happened during the ruthless raid was some of the Christian parents were being beaten up even in front of the infant children as you saw from the video. A mother was beaten up right in front of her infant baby. The baby was crying out helplessly. And then you have one brother who was beaten so severely several of his ribs were event broken and he had to be sent to the hospital for surgery.” Fu concluded by sharing that despite this intense persecution the church in China continues to grow at a remarkable rate. “The number of Chinese Christians now has reached 130 million, so that’s 10% of China’s population. By 2030 the number is expected to reach 224 million particularly if the persecution intensifies. So China is destined to become the world’s largest Christian nation. Only God can do that.”
According to Mission Network News, France issued the warning after an August 9 terror attack that left six French aid workers and two locals dead. Five days later, the French Prime Minister likened the violence to a 2015 terrorist attack in Paris that killed more than 100 people. Many Nigeriens view the travel advisory as an exaggeration and betrayal. “[France is] basically saying, ‘Niger is a difficult country. You can’t go to Niger.’ That’s the message,” Djadi summarizes. “That’s why the Nigeriens are shocked by this warning coming from France, which is a key ally in the fight against Islamist insurgency in Niger and the rest of the Sahara. Christians form a tiny minority, but the Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion so [there is] a clear separation between political power and religion.” While some believers from a Muslim background face oppression from their family, Nigerien Christians have a fair amount of freedom in the wider society. Thanks to stability and security throughout most of Niger, Djadi says Christians can live out the Gospel as the Lord directs. Pray for continued stability and ministry opportunities. “Churches and Christians are very active in social activities; providing education, providing relief. Without security, it’s very difficult – if not impossible – to do [this ministry].”
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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 on the cross for your sins, 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 you.