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OpEd: What We Must Learn From the Zachery Tims Tragedy

God has something sobering to say to us through the death of this popular preacher.

Zachery Tims’ story had a great beginning. As a young man he met Jesus and was saved from a life of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Riva, moved from Baltimore to Orlando, Fla., in 1996 to launch a church that aimed to restore families and pull teens out of trouble. New Destiny Christian Center grew fast, mostly because of Tims’ passionate preaching. He was soon a regular on Christian television.

But things unraveled in 2009 when Tims was caught carrying on a yearlong affair with a stripper he met in France. He admitted to an “indiscretion” and got a few weeks of counseling, but he didn’t take serious time off for rehabilitation. Riva divorced him for his infidelity. The billboards that once featured photos of the happy couple were changed. By 2011 the roadside ads featured a shot of Tims by himself, with this slogan: “A Family Church Meeting Family Needs.” read more

Nepal Churches Live Under Constant Threat


AP Images/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Defying pouring rain and flooded streets, over two dozen people have gathered faithfully at the Putalisadak Church in the heart of capital city Kathmandu for the regular Thursday evening Bible study class, bringing a smile of satisfaction on the face of Pastor Dev Kumar Chetri.

The smile fades, however, when he talks about the problems that Nepal’s second-oldest church has faced due to government discrimination. Hundreds of other churches scattered through the former Hindu kingdom have faced the same problem. read more

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Christian Worshippers Brutally Beaten in Vietnam

A violent attack against indigenous minority Christians in the central highlands of Vietnam has left 16 men and women severely injured and one man still under arrest; his welfare remains unknown to date, according to a report from International Christian Concern.

To be sure, the systematic persecution of Degar Montagnard Christians continues, with this brutal attack as proof of the regime’s purposeful policing, harassment, and aggressive oppression of this indigenous people and minority religious group.

On July 7, at approximately 8 p.m., Vietnamese security forces and police descended upon a worship service in the village of Buon Kret Krot (H’Ra commune, Mang Yang district, Plei Ku city, in Gai Lai province), and began kicking and beating the attendees. Security forces threatened the villagers, stating: If anyone worships like this way, we will return to arrest you all and put you in prison for five years.” read more

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OpEd: Is Religious Tolerance America's New God?

On June 26,  the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. was the latest church to be used for the promotion of syncretism—the attempted union of different religions. The idea was that “Christian” ministers, Jewish Rabbis, and Muslim Imams would co-lead a service in “Christian” churches around America using a multi-faith liturgy.

Sadly, 70 other churches across America signed on to do the same thing. The event was organized by a group called Faith Shared. It comes as no shock that the service was designed to promote “religious tolerance.” This is indeed a major step forward in promoting what I believe to be America’s new god of tolerance. read more

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Zachery Tims: Forget About the Past

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in Charisma magazine in June 2007. In the article Pastor Zachery Tims, who died on Aug. 12 in a New York City hotel room, exhorted Christians to pursue God's destiny for their lives. The article is characteristic of Tims' charismatic teaching that helped him build a megachurch with 8,000 members in Orlando, Fla.

Where you're going in life is more important than where you've been.

When you're driving a car, do you ever pay attention to how big the windshield is compared to the rearview mirror? Why do you think the rearview mirror is smaller? It's because where you're going is more important than where you've been. read more

Muslim Mobs Burn Pentecostal Church Meeting Place


AP Images/Slamet Riyadi

Suspected Islamists were behind the burning of three homes used as churches on Sumatra Island’s Riau Province this month, though a political motive may also have played a role, Christian leaders said.

Muslim mobs burned the meeting places of a Batak Karo Protestant Church (GBKP) congregation and a Pentecostal Church in Indonesia (GPDI) group on Aug. 1, and that of a Methodist Church of Indonesia on Aug. 2, all in Kuantan Singingi district.

Provincial GBKP leader Sahat Tarigan reportedly said about 100 people on motorcycles arrived at the home at 11 p.m. on Aug. 1, throwing stones, threatening church members with knives and ultimately pouring gasoline and setting it on fire. A number of church members were inside painting at the time of the attack, but there were no casualties, Tarigan told Radio 68H News Agency. read more

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Believer's Burial Wishes Enrage Villagers

When Krishna Maya Pariyar died last week, her fellow believers tried to carry out her wish to be buried on her own land. But this caused major problems for the people in Krishna's village.

They adhere to their traditional religion, which mandates cremation as the only proper ritual. The people in this village were upset that Krishna had turned her back on their traditional gods to worship Jesus, in both her life and in her death.

The people believed that if they could cremate, rather than bury Krishna, she would once again receive favor from her gods. So they confronted the Christians who were planning Krishna's burial. read more

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Anne Graham Lotz Calls for a Wake-Up 10 Years After 9/11


Photo Courtesy AnGeL Ministries

Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy and Ruth Graham, fervently believes the signs of Jesus’ return are being fulfilled and He will return during this generation.

In her book Expecting to See Jesus: A Wake-Up Call for God’s People, released in August, Lotz details the signs of Jesus’ return and the implications that He could return at any moment. She wants America to realize that Sept. 11 was a wake-up call from God, that as a country we have pushed him out of our government and schools, and it’s time to repent and invite him back.

“The signs that Jesus gave and the headlines in the news are coming together in a dramatically sobering way,” says Lotz, president and CEO of AnGeL Ministries, a nonprofit organization that undergirds her efforts to draw people into a  life-changing relationship with God through his Word. “I have held the conviction with intense focus since I was in my early 20s that if I live out my natural lifetime, I will live to see the physical return of Jesus to earth!” read more

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Bloody Week in Iraq Raises Religicide Concerns


AP Images/Emad Matti

Although no one claimed the bloodiest day this year for Iraq, the attacks this week bore the hallmark of Al-Qaida.

Suicide bombers, car bombs and roadside explosives hit more than a dozen Iraqi cities and towns. The explosions killed roughly 70 people. Homes, business and houses of worship were targeted.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says the group behind the Monday assault was sending a message.

"When you talk about more than 40 attacks coordinated all across the entire country, you're talking about: 'We're still here and we can make a lot of trouble.' I think the other message that they're sending is: 'You should be very afraid,'" he said.

As U.S. troops draw down and leave Iraq, the Christians there have a very real concern. Nettleton explains that they're wondering if the government can respond to the threats against them. Believers are asking, "Who will protect us? Who will make sure that our churches are not bombed, that our people are not attacked and killed?" read more

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Blind Man's 9/11 Story Hits NYT Best-Sellers List

The remarkable story of a blind man and the guide dog that led him and dozens of others to safety just moments before the World Trade Center crumbled nearly 10 years ago, has become an instant best-seller. Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero will make its debut on the vaunted New York Times Best-Seller List in its first week of release.

Co-authored by Susy Flory, readers follow Michael Hingson and his yellow Labrador Retriever, Roselle, in a firsthand, moment-by-moment account of not only what it was like to be inside the World Trade Center when Tower One was struck, but of each painstaking step between the 78th floor and survival on the streets below moments before tower collapsed just yards away.

"On one level, this is a book about the events of 9/11, but it is so much more than that," said Brian Hampton, Senior Vice President and Publisher at Nashville-based Thomas Nelson Publishers. "It's a beautiful story of trust and courage, an exploration of the unique bond between humans and animals. It leaves the reader inspired and full of hope. I believe that's why it has impacted people so quickly and powerfully and why they are telling their friends about it." read more

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