This is the International Christian Herald podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Baptist Press, At least 49 people were killed and 27 others kidnapped in attacks on Christian communities in southern Kaduna, Nigeria, early this week, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reported. While Fulani militia are blamed for the Sept. 26-27 attacks, many Fulani herdsmen live peaceably alongside Christians and other Muslims and are not involved in the ongoing violence, said Khataza Gondwe, CSW advocacy director and team leader for Africa and the Middle East. “It’s Fulani militia because they are an irregular, armed faction, trained, that are attacking in a very organized and orchestrated manner,” she said. “There’s a distinction between the Fulani settlers that the people have known for many years, and these people who are coming in to attack. “That’s why we use that distinction, Fulani militia, so we identify them as the armed faction, as opposed to the rest of the Fulani people who are peaceably living side by side with them, in many instances, or just going about their ordinary business.” In the deadliest among the latest attacks, militia killed 40 people and injured eight others in a “well-coordinated attack” on the Madamai and Abun communities Sept. 26 around 6 p.m. local time, a Catholic priest who witnessed the attack told authorities. A “significant number” of attackers first killed people known to coordinate security for the community and their families before murdering other victims and burning down 20 homes, CSW reported. Another Catholic priest, Cosmos Michael Magaji of St. Thomas Quasi Parish in Mallagum, listed the names of 33 Catholic victims murdered. The next day, Sept. 27, militia killed at least one person, injured an untold number of people and kidnapped 27 others in the Gabachuwa community of the Kachia local government area. The murder victim and most of those abducted were members of the Evangelical Church Winning All, sources told CSW. In a second Sept. 27 attack, militia killed eight people, injured six and burned several homes in an attack on Kacecere village in the Zangon Kataf local government area of southern Kaduna.
According to the Associated Press, An estimated 330,000 children were victims of sex abuse within France’s Catholic Church over the past 70 years, according to a report released Tuesday that represents the country’s first major accounting of the worldwide phenomenon. The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests and other people involved in the church — wrongdoing that Catholic authorities covered up over decades in a “systemic manner,” according to the president of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Sauvé. The head of the French bishops’ conference asked for forgiveness from the victims, about 80% of whom were boys, according to the report. The bishops are meeting Tuesday to discuss next steps. The independent commission urged the church to take strong action, denouncing “faults” and “silence.” It also called on the Catholic Church to help compensate the victims, notably in cases that are too old to prosecute via the courts. “The consequences are very serious,” Sauvé said. “About 60% of men and women who were sexually abused encounter major problems in their emotional or sexual life.” “We consider the church has a debt towards victims,” he added. The 2,500-page document was issued as the Catholic Church in France, like in other countries, seeks to face up to shameful secrets that were long covered up. Victims welcomed the report as long overdue. Francois Devaux, head of the victims’ group La Parole Libérée (The Liberated Word), said it was “a turning point in our history.” He denounced the coverups that permitted “mass crimes for decades.” “But even worse, there was a betrayal: betrayal of trust, betrayal of morality, betrayal of children, betrayal of innocence,” he said, calling on the church for compensation.
According to Daily Mail, A Christian nurse will today tell an employment tribunal that she was bullied out of her job for wearing a cross around her neck at work. NHS theatre practitioner Mary Onuoha says she faced a campaign by bosses at Croydon University Hospital to make her remove the gold symbol. She had been a staff member for 18 years and had worn the piece of jewellery for 40 years to mark her deep Christian faith. But from 2015, she claims a succession of managers told her to remove the item from around her neck or the matter would face ‘escalation.’ She claims patient safety was risked in an operating theatre to discipline her and her head of department even said he would have to call security if she wore it in a clinical area. Mrs Onuoha was told her small gold cross was a health and safety risk and ‘must not be visible’.
According to Christian Headlines, Hillsong founder and pastor Brian Houston will fight a charge that he illegally concealed his father’s alleged child abuse, a court has heard. The 67-year-old did not appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court when his matter was mentioned before a registrar for the first time on Tuesday morning. His lawyer told the court Houston would be pleading not guilty to the crime of concealing a serious indictable offence of another person. The case will next be before the court on November 23. Houston stands accused of concealing a serious indictable offence allegedly committed by his father. Police will say that Frank Houston indecently assaulted a male in 1970. Court documents allege that between 1999 and his father’s death in 2004, Brian Houston believed his father had committed the crime. Police will argue that he knew information that could help secure the prosecution of his father and failed to bring it to the attention of police.
According to the Daily Mail, A Church of England vicar has gone on trial accused of historical sexual assaults against two young girls in the 1970s when she was a teenager. Veronica Green, 58, has been charged with five counts of indecency with a child and one charge of indecent assault relating to alleged incidents against two girls who were aged between six and 11 at the time. She denies the charges and is currently on trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. Green, the reverend for Marbury, Tushingham and Whitewell in Cheshire, was suspended by the Diocese of Chester in January 2020 after the allegations were reported to the police, the jury was told. The court heard that on another occasion Green had told one of the girls to perform a sex act on her. One of the victims reported the alleged abuse to police in January 2020. When police spoke to the second child – now an adult – she alleged she too had been abused by Green, the court heard.
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!