PODCAST: ‘A thousand more Christians were killed for their faith in 2021 than in 2020′(ICH 01.26.22)

This is the International Christian Herald podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to Christianity Today, A thousand more Christians were killed for their faith last year than the year before. A thousand more Christians were detained. Six hundred more churches were attacked or closed. And Afghanistan is the new No. 1, according to the 2022 World Watch List (WWL), the latest annual accounting from Open Doors of the top 50 countries where it is most dangerous and difficult to be a Christian. “This year’s findings indicate seismic changes in the persecution landscape,” said David Curry, president of Open Doors USA. Since Open Doors began its tally in 1992, North Korea has led the ranking. But since Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taliban last August, Afghan believers have had to leave their country or relocate internally. Many lost everything they had, notes the report, while house churches were closed in their wake. “Before the Taliban, it was not great, but it was good,” said one evacuated Afghan, requesting anonymity in hopes that he may one day return. “[Now] Christians are living in fear, in secret, totally underground.”

According to the Independent, Former Pope Benedict XVI failed to act in four child abuse cases when he was archbishop of Munich, according to an investigation in Germany. A report by law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl (WSW) accused Benedict of “misconduct” in not acting on information he allegedly received during his tenure as archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982. During this time, a priest named Peter Hullermann was transferred from the city of Essen to Munich after it was alleged that he had abused children. After receiving psychotherapy, he was allowed to work with young people again. “In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Ratzinger, can be accused of misconduct,” Martin Pusch, who co-wrote the report, said. Benedict, 94, whose name is Joseph Ratzinger, has denied the accusations. The ex-Pope submitted an 82-page statement to WSW, the German media said. His spokesperson told the Bild tabloid that he “takes the fates of the abuse victims very much to heart” and is fully “in favour of the publication of the Munich report”. In a statement that did not mention the former pope, the Vatican said it would evaluate the full report and examine its details. “In reiterating a sense of shame and remorse for the abuse of minors by clergy, the Holy See assures its closeness to all victims and confirms the path it has taken to protect the little ones and guarantee them a safe environment,” spokesman Matteo Bruni said. The WSW report also faulted the current archbishop, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, in two cases. This comes a year after Pope Francis rejected his ally’s offer to resign over the Catholic Church’s “catastrophic” handling of sexual abuse cases.

According to Mission Network News, Like a farmer tilling the ground before planting seeds, the Lord is breaking up spiritual strongholds in the Middle East and North Africa. “The Holy Spirit is working in North Africa, particularly Morocco. I can’t testify to exactly what’s going on [for security purposes],” Denise Godwin of International Media Ministries says. There are no church buildings in Morocco, and Islamic oppression has dominated the country for more than a thousand years. But that landscape is slowly changing as Moroccans encounter the Gospel online and connect with the underground Church. “Often, these (highly) persecuted areas also have very high growth in the Church,” Godwin says. International Media Ministries uses both short- and long-form video to bring people closer to Christ. More about that here. “We’ve been excited to record three pieces now for Morocco,” Godwin says. “One of those, we’re still praying in two more actors to finish doing the piece.”

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!

out today.

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