This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to the Christian Post, Radical Muslims have put up posters in the city of Karachi in Pakistan, offering a reward for any Muslim who kills a Christian activist, the father of three who fled to an undisclosed location in Thailand, according to a report. Faraz Pervaiz, who was known for speaking out for minority Christians after a mob looted and destroyed at least 116 houses and two churches in Pakistan’s Lahore city in 2013, fled to Thailand after videos, caricatures and statements by him and his father went viral on social media in 2014, according to the U.S.-based persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern. As a result, Pakistan’s Tahreek-e-Labbaik political party released a bounty of $62,000 in 2015, which was increased to $124,000 the following year, UCA News reported. A radical Pakistani Muslim also released a video calling on every Muslim to find Pervaiz and his family in Thailand and kill him. Now posters offering a reward of about $62,800 to kill Pervaiz have appeared in Karachi in Pakistan, according to UCA News, which explained that after the 2013 violence in Lahore, Pervaiz led protests that “challenged both the politics and theology of Islam, [he] presented his interpretations of the Quran and criticized the Prophet, Muhammad.” The Pakistani government filed a criminal blasphemy case against Pervaiz in 2017.
According to Mission Network News, After a two-day meeting, Christian and Muslim leaders in Sudan signed an agreement promoting peace and religious freedom. It’s the first of its kind and a significant step forward. “If we look [casually] at this agreement, we say, ‘Well, that’s nice, these leaders have agreed on religious freedom.’ But, when you look at it in the context of what has happened in Sudan over the last several months, it is yet another step in the right direction,” Voice of the Martyrs’ Todd Nettleton explains. Islamic dictator Omar al-Bashir ruled Sudan with an iron fist for 30 years. Coup leaders overthrew Bashir last April, and the Sudanese people have taken impressive strides toward freedom ever since. For decades, police used Sudan’s apostasy law to severely persecute Christians. Transitional authorities threw out that law this summer. “There is an openness now because of that apostasy law being overturned. It is not such a dangerous conversation for a Muslim to be curious about Christianity, to be curious about the person of Jesus Christ,” Nettleton says. “To have laws that apply equally to people of all faiths – those are very real and very dramatic changes.”
According to Christian Post, Islamic extremists believed to be affiliated with Boko Haram reportedly killed several Christians, including a pastor, and kidnapped several others in an attack carried out in Nigeria’s conflict-ridden northeast earlier this week. According to The Associated Press, the insurgents killed at least 12 people in the attack on the Takulashi village near Chibok in Borno state on Sunday morning. The militants are also said to have abducted nine women and young girls. Sources who spoke with Morning Star News, a nonprofit news organization that covers global Christian persecution, reported that all 12 people killed in the incident were Christians. One of the deceased victims was the pastor of a church belonging to the Church of Christ in Nations denomination. “They also burned down houses and looted food items from our houses,” area resident Ishaku Musa told the outlet. “At the end of the shootings and looting, which lasted about two hours, 12 of our people in the community were killed, three women were kidnapped and also four children were abducted by the Boko Haram attackers.” Musa explained that the gunmen arrived in the village in six gun-trucks and three other heavy-duty vehicles. The militants reportedly fired their weapons indiscriminately. Residents in the area are accusing the original Boko Haram faction, led by Abubakar Shekau, of carrying out the attack.
According to Mission Network News, A container of Bibles and used books arrived in Albania, providing Christians with access to the Word of God and other faith-based books and resources. Mission Cry partners with a ministry in Amsterdam who approached them about sending resources to Albania, and Jason Woolford says they jumped at the chance. “[The ministry] has a missionary in Albania that was able to clear a container, so we donated over a half a million dollars’ worth of free Bibles and Christian books along with an entire pallet of our Mission Cry New Testament Bible and discipleship program,” he says. “It’s being distributed as we speak.” A small percentage of the population in the country is Christian, so Mission Cry and their partner hope these materials can bless those who don’t know Jesus and believers alike. “We’re hoping to reach those that are not believers, but also give the Word of God to people who can’t afford it,” Woolford says.
According to Christian Post, To provide winter relief supplies to hundreds of civilians displaced by ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over disputed territories, the evangelical humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse has sent its DC-8 aircraft packed with more than 11 tons of relief supplies. Since fighting broke out on Sept. 27 over the long-disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, thousands have fled the Caucasus mountains to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, where Samaritan’s Purse will deliver critically needed warm clothing, the Christian charity said. “Our team is bringing more than 11 tons of winter clothes and blankets, enough for 500 families in need. The boots, coats, gloves, socks, and thermal underwear included in the shipment will be especially welcome now that temperatures are consistently dipping into the 30s,” it said. “The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is heartbreaking,” Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, said. “Families are caught in the crossfire of a brutal war, and thousands have been forced to flee. Samaritan’s Purse is bringing critical relief to people in need — reminding hurting families that they are not alone and that God loves them.”
According to to Mission Network News, The underground church is alive and growing in Iran. Take the remarkable story of Marzieh and her husband, who started a house church with some of their friends. It all started with a trip to Sweden. A friend invited Marzieh’s husband to church, and he became a Christian soon after. When he returned, the family noticed the change. He shared Christ with them and showed them Mohabat TV, a Christian channel run by Heart4Iran. Marzieh and their two children became Christians soon after. Mike Ansari, President of Heart4Iran and Director of Operations for Mohabat TV, says, “This couple started an underground church, knowing the risks, because they love Jesus so much that they couldn’t be silent. They witnessed to their friends and neighbors, and a friendship group got started in their home. With the help of the Mohabat TV Response Team, it developed into a church.” Many churches in Iran use Mohabat TV and other media ministries for training, discipleship, and virtual church. This allows Iranian believers to grow in their faith from safe places.
According to Christian Post, Government agents in India have reportedly raided the offices of Believers Eastern Church and its leader, Bishop K.P. Yohannan, in the Kerala state over accusations that the church network accepted illegal foreign donations and evaded taxes. However, the church’s United States-based partner ministry also headed by Yohannan, Gospel for Asia, has refuted reports alleging unlawful behavior, calling them “thinly sourced and unsubstantiated.” The Hindu reports that India’s Income Tax Department on Thursday raided the offices of Thiruvalla-based Believers Eastern Church, an evangelical denomination planted by the U.S.-based Gospel for Asia in 1993 and now claims nearly 4 million members across 16 countries. According to the report, the operation began in the morning and continued through the evening. Additionally, other raids were said to have been carried out at the offices and residences of other people associated with the denomination. In addition to the church network’s headquarters, authorities were also said to have raided a medical college hospital operated by the denomination as well as the home of Yohannan. According to The Hindu, government officials seized the equivalent of over $77,000 from the trunk of a car parked at the church’s headquarters as well as financial documents. Unnamed authorities were quoted as telling the outlet that further details of the case would be shared at a later time.
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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.