This is Whyte House Report podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Christian Headlines, A 14-year-old Christian boy in eastern India is fighting for his life a month after suspected Hindu extremists threw flammable liquid on him and set him on fire, sources said. “He is very, very critical,” said Dr. K.N. Tiwari of the burn unit of Appolo Burn Hospital in Patna, Bihar state. “His survival chances are low.” On Aug. 11 three unidentified men on a motorbike threw the liquid on Nitish Kumar as he was returning home to Bihar state’s Kamta Nagar village, Gaya District, from his early morning routine of purchasing fresh vegetables. Drenched, Nitish initially thought they had mischievously thrown water on him, he said. “But soon my skin began to burn,” Nitish told Morning Star News, in agony. “The burning sensation increased with every passing second. I dropped the basket and ran towards my house [750 meters away] screaming and howling.” The motorbike did not stop, and in his pain he had no way of trying to see its license plate, he said. The fire burned 65 percent of his body, with 15 percent deep burns, said Sushma Sharma, a hospital volunteer treating Kumar. Pastor Rajkumar Bharati, also known as Began Mochi, head of the church the Kumar family attends in Kurwa, said the fire burned him in back from neck to knees and in front from his lower chest, stomach and groin down to his knees, along with the back of both hands. “There is only one treatment for his condition, and that is skin grafting, but there is not enough skin left on his body to be used except for a socks-length portion on one of his feet and some portion of his chest,” Tiwari said. “The little amount of skin left cannot cover the entire area of his body that is burnt.” Nitish’s low hemoglobin levels also make skin grafts too risky, he said. Nitish loses much blood with the changing of his dressing every other day, a nurse said, and Sanjeet noted that as a result Nitish receives a blood transfusion nearly every three days.
According to Mission Network News, Leaked security footage shows ruthless mistreatment and deplorable conditions in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison. In one clip, guards drag an emaciated man through the parking lot and up two flights of stairs. Later, guards take turns beating a prisoner. “Somebody hacked in and got the footage. It shows us how brutal the prison authorities are actually treating the prisoners,” says Peter*, a Christian worker in the Middle East. Ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, are the main victims of these crimes, Article18 reports. Former prisoners tell aid organizations and advocates that physical and psychological torture are common in Evin Prison. “[The video’s release] encourages us to pray more effectively for the Christian prisoners who are in Evin Prison. I would hope the [abuse] will stop, but I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Peter says. “Torture is a way of getting information from the prisoners. It also puts fear into the hearts of the men and women who are in jail.” Nonetheless, hope remains. “One of the [world’s] fastest-growing churches is in Iran. During COVID, we saw the numbers jump almost tenfold,” Peter says. “Various ministries were averaging 300 salvations a month. Then, all of a sudden in April last year, it jumped to 1,000 a month.” Pray the Lord will strengthen and encourage Christian prisoners in Evin Prison. Pray they will find supernatural peace that can only come from Him. Pray God will make Himself tangibly known to persecuted Iranian believers.
According to Mission Network News, The Taliban will allow women to learn in classrooms, but not alongside men. They have also told most women to stay home from their jobs, at least for the time being. The Taliban wants to create a society in line with a strict interpretation of Islam. Many Afghans are fleeing this harsh new reality in their country. World Missionary Press has translated the Gospel of John into Dari, the most widely spoken language in Afghanistan. Helen Williams says, “We have already two major outreaches, one asking for 25,000. They are sending them overseas. They have communities in Europe particularly, and in parts of the Middle East, where the Afghans will be resettled, or at least coming through.” Local churches in these places and in the U.S. will distribute copies of John among refugees communities. This is a new field for World Missionary Press, Williams says. “We didn’t even have anything in the Dari language until after 9/11. When all of a sudden we had opportunities, we were able to get the material printed.” “The believers in Europe are sensing all of these people that are coming to them and reaching out. And being able to have literature in any language that they come across through World Missionary Press is just an enormous blessing, They get it free, and we send it to them where they are.”
According to Christian Headlines, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, the founder of the world’s largest megachurch, passed away on Tuesday morning. He was 85. According to a press release by his church, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Cho had been receiving medical treatment at the time of his death because of a brain hemorrhage he suffered in 2020. Cho was born to a Buddhist family in 1936 and grew up during the Korean War. When Cho was 17 years old, he converted to Christianity after doctors told him that he was going to die from a severe case of tuberculosis. According to Cho, God healed him of the disease in a “miraculous” recovery. “I will never forget God’s blessing and grace over my life, through which He chose me to be His Servant when I was just an insignificant child with lung disease, and He saved me by His grace through the atonement of the Cross of Jesus Christ, so that through prayer I might receive wisdom and preach by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wherever He placed me,” Cho wrote in a statement published on his church’s website. In February of this year, Cho’s wife, Kim Sung Hae, passed away. The Chos are survived by their three sons.
According to Mission Network News, Aid continues pouring into Haiti after last month’s earthquake. The earthquake killed and injured thousands, damaging roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Many roads remain unpassable, weeks after the quake. Haiti was already dealing with an economic slump and high food prices before the earthquake. The recent assassination of the Haitian president added further instability. All the food is going to the disaster zone in the southern part of the country. For Haiti with Love works in northern areas near Cap Haitien. Eva DeHart says, “[Our staff] has expressed feedback from people who say, ‘It just isn’t fair that all of the food aid is going down there when the people of the North are still starving.'” Dehart says many aid organizations that had been helping people in the north have moved south as well. “They’ve packed their bags and gone down south to help down there. They have turned their backs on the people that they had been helping. It has become a Deja vu. It’s a replay of 2010.”
According to Christian Headlines, Muslims in an area of Lahore, Pakistan on Monday (Sept. 6) fired high-powered weapons at the homes of Christians, wounding a pregnant woman and at least three other people, sources said. A wounded Christian resident in the Shamsabad locality of Lahore’s Sherakot area, Asif Masih, said he heard shouts followed by bursts of gunfire from fully automatic assault rifles after he returned home from work that afternoon. “When I was telling my kids to get inside, I saw a group of heavily armed men firing indiscriminately at a church located on the street,” Masih told Morning Star News. “They then trained their weapons on the homes of neighboring Christians and fired volleys of bullets at them.” Many people called the police emergency helpline after the shooting started at 2:30 p.m., but officers did not arrive until 8 p.m., he said, adding that local police have been lax in prosecuting the suspects as they were influential people. Masih was one of the complainants in the case against the gunmen. Registered the day after the attack, the FIR states that it arose out of a dispute between a Christian, Asghar Masih, and Dogar. Asif Masih denied the police version, saying officers were trying to protect the suspects. “Ask them why Dogar and his accomplices opened fire on the homes of Christians and injured innocent people like us if they had just a personal dispute with an individual?” he said. “The police have been protecting the accused since day one because they are Muslims, and we are poor Christians.”
According to Mission Network News, Some churches in Lebanon can’t even turn on the lights or run fans to combat the heat. The government has stopped supplying much electricity to the country. David with Cry Out Now says this stems from extreme fuel shortages. “It’s also meant that there have been times when churches have not been able to meet because people don’t have enough fuel to drive their car or to get public transport to get to church. Just yesterday, I had a drive that would take me up the mountain. It takes me about an hour and a half to get there. But the cost is that today, I have to spend many, many hours looking for fuel to fill up my car.” This whole situation has changed Cry Out Now’s ministry. David says, “It’s forced us into a situation where we’ve had to give more responsibility to people who are newer believers. And obviously, that comes with challenges. But at the same time, it’s been a good opportunity, because people have then been able to step out in ministry that maybe they’ve not had a chance to do before.” The power shortages also mean Lebanese Christians are losing access to the internet. David says, “When COVID-19 really started to become significantly impactful, churches were able to show things online. They held Zoom meetings or used Facebook Live. They had ways of being able to show the service to people that were not able to make it. But that’s becoming difficult because you don’t even have the internet or the electricity to be able to stream those kinds of things.”
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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.