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Inform-PeopIeCrisis

A PeopIe in Crisis

When the United Nations declared a famine in two regions of Somalia, Christian ministries went into action to relieve the suffering. But from geographic obstacles to terrorist groups blocking incoming aid, dangers thwart getting food and water to starving men, women and children in Africa’s eastern horn. In Somalia, the victims number about 3.7 million.

Youth With A Mission (YWAM) associates in east Africa report from the area that the crisis is worse in some locations. In parts of Kenya, drought victims number more than 4 million. Many of them are unreached tribal people, and 80 percent of the victims are women and children.

“What can we do as Christians who love our neighbors?” YWAM’s Amir Ibrahim asks. “I am reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan—that the person who shows an act of mercy is the real and true neighbor. Our acts of practical assistance will open doors in this region.” read more

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Timing the Spirit

Have worship services gotten too long for contemporary attention spans?

One London church leader is trying to persuade fellow clergy that today’s worship services are excessively long.

How long would you estimate your attention span to be? Ten minutes? A half hour? Ninety minutes? It is safe to say that the length of one’s attention span would ultimately depend on the topic or issue at hand. What if the topic was your Creator—the lover of your soul? read more

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Celebrating 100 Years of Ministry in Vietnam

The Evangelical Church of Vietnam (also known as Tin Lanh) is celebrating 100 years of ministry in the communist country. Today there are 1.2 million believers in Vietnam, most of them part of the group. However, of the 71 people groups in Vietnam, 52 still include less than 2 percent who follow Jesus. About 40 million people in North Vietnam do not know Christ. “[The Vietnam believers] want to be a force for Jesus,” says Missionary Alliance President Gary Benedict. “They are a sleeping giant in the cause of missions.” read more

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What’s in a Name?

Why Campus Crusade for Christ will be known as Cru in the U.S. starting in 2012

Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. is changing its name to Cru. The new name will be adopted in early 2012. The U.S. ministry hopes the new name will overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.

“From the beginning, Bill [Bright] was open to changing our name. He never felt it was set in stone,” says Vonette Bright, who co-founded Campus Crusade for Christ with her husband. “In fact, he actually considered changing the name 20 or 25 years ago. 

“We want to remove any obstacle to people hearing about the most important person who ever lived: 
Jesus Christ.”

The name, selected from a pool of 1,600 potential names, has a track record within Campus Crusade for Christ. Since the mid-1990s it has been used locally on the majority of their campus ministries in the U.S..

“This decision has been saturated with prayer,” says Steve Douglass, president of Campus Crusade for Christ. “We only want what God wants for us. And while we are excited about this name, we are even more excited about our renewed commitment to our mission. We believe this new name will position us to connect better with the next generation.” read more

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Prayers For Jerusalem

Mark Rutland is adding his leadership support to the 2011 Day of Prayer

Mark Rutland, the president of Oral Roberts University and a best-selling author, has joined the Day of Prayer. The event is observed on the first Sunday of every October. This global grassroots prayer movement, led by Robert Stearns and Jack Hayford, calls Christians to unite in prayer across denominational, cultural and political differences on Sunday, Oct. 2.

Prayers will ask for God’s peace, blessing and provision on Jerusalem and its people. Last year, churches in more than 175 nations—including seven predominantly Muslim countries—participated in this multinational and religiously diverse prayer initiative, and prayer resources were translated into some 23 languages.

“Prayer for peace anywhere is blessed,” Rutland says. “Prayer for Jerusalem anytime is blessed. Prayer for the peace of Jerusalem is the perfect match.” read more

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‘Chrislam’ Rising

The movement to blend Christianity with Islam is spreading rapidly in the U.S. 

Communities across the nation are taking Christianity and Islam—two diametrically opposed theologies—and working to blend them together.

“Chrislam, as the name suggests, is a growing movement wherein some Christians are seeking to find common ground with Muslims,” explains theologian Bill Muehlenberg of the doctrine that began in Nigeria in the 1980s. “Indeed, it actually seeks to combine Christianity with Islam. ”

Chrislam has gained significant momentum since the seed was planted nearly three decades ago. Earlier this year Christian communities in Dallas, Chicago, Washington and other cities placed Qurans in church pews—right alongside Bibles—and preached about the Prophet Muhammad. read more

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Battling Babylon

Benny Perez in a ‘war’ to save his church campus

Benny Perez isn’t wrestling against flesh and blood—but he is wrestling. The pastor of The Church of South Las Vegas, a 4,000-member charismatic megachurch in Henderson, Nev., is battling a Babylonian system to save his campus from foreclosure.

“This is a spiritual battle,” he says. “The enemy loves to stop churches by using money. We are one building away from feeding and clothing more people, reaching more youth and children, and helping more prostitutes. This is not about a bank. It is a principality and a power.” read more

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The Muslim Mission

Barnabas Aid is working against trends such as the Insider Movement to convert Muslims to Christ

Barnabas Aid is on a mission to bring hope and relief to the persecuted church—but the group also has a massive outreach to Muslims. The international ministry has more than 400 full-time missionaries and pastors in Islamic countries. It distributed nearly 1 million tracts last year and funded TV and radio broadcasts that evangelize the Muslim world. Barnabas Aid also supports new church construction and income-generating projects that sustain converts when they lose everything for following Christ.

“We are seeing considerable growth of the church in the Muslim world. The Lord is doing a remarkable thing,” says Patrick Sookhdeo, international director for Barnabas Aid, who himself converted from Islam in the 1970s. “The numbers are not as some have been reporting about many millions of Muslims each year turning to Christ. Still, Muslims are turning to Christ in an unprecedented way.” read more

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The Future of Faith-Based Films

Hollywood or the Heartland: Which will bring us tomorrow’s Christian movies?

As Christian films become more popular, will the temptation to partner with Hollywood studios lead to a compromised message? Or will churches and other independents continue to make their own films—the kind intended to improve the culture more than the bottom line?

At issue is a scenario not unlike the early days in contemporary Christian music. Then, artists made records for independent labels and emphasized ministry, playing at churches and coffee houses for offerings or a chance to sell records. But some people argue that as the genre became popular and corporations bought many of the labels, the message was diluted to appease radio and shareholders. read more

Inform-FreedomReigns

Freedom Reigns in South Sudan

South Sudan officially raised its flag on July 9, finally declaring the independence it sought for more than 50 years. The new nation was birthed after decades of civil war with the north that saw about 2 million people killed. “The church played a bigger role in helping the suffering people of South Sudan than anyone will ever know,” Bishop Arkangel Wani Lami told a Samaritan’s Purse blog.

“Though it was a time of great persecution for us, the church was the voice for the voiceless ... hope for the hopeless. Pastors risked their lives to feed the people and bring the sick to hospitals. The church risked everything to be a light for Christ during the war. Nobody saw but God.”

South Sudan has made rapid progress on the international front despite armed rebellions at home. The U.S. and Britain have recognized the nation. Israel was among the first to establish diplomatic ties. Yet many are waiting to see whether Christians and Muslims can live together peacefully in Africa’s 54th nation. read more

FCC Kills Controversial Fairness Doctrine

The Fairness Doctrine is dead, and few conservatives will shed a tear. The Federal Communications Commission on Monday official removed the controversial doctrine from the Code of Federal Regulations.

"The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The rule enabled the FCC to compel broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints on controversial issues that the government decided to be of public importance. The Fairness doctrine was first put on the books in 1949, and later eliminated in 1987. But there was a push by liberals to give new life to the old rule. read more

Virginia Earthquake Rattles D.C., New York

New York is shaking—and it’s not just Wall Street. In what some may view as a sign of the end times, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, rocking the Northeast U.S. No injuries have been reported.

DID YOU FEEL THE QUAKE? SEND IN AN EYEWITNESS REPORT TO CHARISMA NEWS.

The earthquake hit Washington, D.C., forcing the Pentagon to evacuate, before rolling over Manhattan and causing skyscrapers to sway in the sky. Even the White House felt the shaking. CNN reports that traders on the New York Stock Exchange felt the shaking and nonetheless shouted “Keep trading!”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was half a mile deep. But the shaking reached southward to Chapel Hill, N.C. The center of the quake was near Louisa, Va., south of Washington and northwest of Richmond.

Developing... read more

VIDEO: Atheist's Prayer Answered

God tells us through His Word in Ephesians, that we have been chosen and predestined according to His plan and His will. God chose Sal Goodman and in doing so kept pursuing him despite Goodman's agnostic beliefs. Watch today's daily interest video to get a glimpse into the power of prayer and the power of our determined Father.

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Signs of the Times: Ezekiel’s Prophecies Set to Unfold?


A fisherman walks under Palestinian and Turkish flags at a memorial site in memory of nine Turkish activists who were killed in a deadly raid by the Israeli army on a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip last year, in the port of Gaza City. (AP Images/Adel Hana)

Last year an international crisis exploded when Israel stopped a flotilla of ships from breaking its naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The incident left Israel feeling more isolated, but some Jews saw the pages of Scripture coming alive through the crisis.

When Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-owned flagship, Mavi Mamara, leading the flotilla, things quickly turned deadly. Pro-Palestinian activists attacked the soldiers, who then defended themselves. Nine activists died in the melee. read more

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Rock the Lakes Event Inspires Hundreds

Hundreds of men and women—and boys and girls—made decisions for Jesus Sunday night at Rock the Lakes. The family-friendly evening attracted people of all ages, some 10,000 strong, for music from Canton Jones, The Charlie Daniels Band and Michael W. Smith, and a message of hope from Franklin Graham.

On the final night of Rock the Lakes in Milwaukee, the past and present converged in a way that only God could ordain. Diane from Kenosha, Wisc., came to Veterans Park clutching her copy of Billy Graham’s autobiography, Just As I Am, believing that his son, Franklin, would sign the book for her.

When she was younger, Graham played a huge part in influencing Diane’s faith. But a series of difficulties shook that foundation. Her son suffered brain damage after a drug overdose and she also struggled with substance abuse. read more

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English Camps Open Door to Gospel in China


Young professionals relax in a bar in Beijing, China. (AP Images/Dima Gavrysh)

Teaching English is a big business in China. According to figures reported in state media, the English-teaching industry was worth 15 billion yuan.

As China emerges as a business giant in the global economy, senior business leaders are required to have fluency in English in order to communicate.

As a result, Erik Burklin with China Partner says: "Many young people, especially teenagers, really want to learn English. One of the motivations for them, of course, is to get wealthy, to get a better job. Many have a dream to someday travel overseas." read more

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Anti-Christian Attackers Target Mission Churches

Anti-Christian attackers are targeting mission church buildings. One Gospel for Asia-supported missionary suffered an attack on his church building, and another missionary saw his church building destroyed this summer.

The first incident occurred on June 25. When pastor Chandan Dutta showed up to lead worship the next day, he noticed that all the windows in the church were destroyed. The door was also damaged where the vandals attempted to break in.

Chandan reported the incident to the local police, but they have yet to identify the culprits. read more

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T.D. Jakes Says Zachery Tims ‘Unhappy’ Before Death

More than 5,000 people attended the Saturday funeral of Zachery Tims, the Orlando, Fla.-area megachurch pastor found dead in a New York City hotel room on Aug. 12.

Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder of The Potter’s House, a 30,000-member church in Dallas, offered a eulogy for Tims. Although the media was not allowed inside, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Jakes talked about how unhappy Tims was.

“I thought I was the only one who knew how unhappy Zach was, how broken he was, how afraid he was if anybody was to see any flaw in him,” Jakes said. “He tried hard to heal himself, to fix himself … I don't know what happened in that room in New York, but I can only hope that as Zach was dying, Dr. Tims stood up.”

Jakes was referring to the two sides of Tims: Zach, an imperfect man, and Dr. Tims, a caring spiritual leader who helped imperfect people.

"Zach had a way of acting like he was your kid," Jakes said. "He would come into your house and go straight for the refrigerator. You couldn't say anything, because he'd bust that big old grin on you." read more

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US Hiker Sentence Offers Insight Islamic End Time Prophecy


U.S. hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal attend their trial at the Tehran Revolutionary Court, Iran. (AP Images/Press TV)

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison on charges of espionage over the weekend. Terms like “mockery of justice” are floating around, but radical Islam watchers are not surprised.

“The conduct of this trial has quite simply made a mockery of justice. There does not appear to be any substance to the allegations that Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are spies,” says Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director.

“The way this case has been handled from the outset strongly suggests that they are being held as a bargaining chip to allow Iran to obtain unspecified concessions from the U.S. government,” Smart continued.

Indeed, no evidence to suggest the men were conducting espionage is known to have been presented in court. The two men, who deny the charges, are planning to appeal the sentence in 20 days, according to their lawyer, Massoud Shafi'e. The men have already spent two years in Tehran’s Evin Prison. During that time, they have seen their family only once. read more

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Legislators Find Roe v. Wade Loophole

AP Images/Rogelio V. Solis

In what appears to be a loophole in the famous Roe v. Wade decision that paved the way for legal abortions, Congresswoman Sandy Adams has co-sponsored a bill that would legislatively end the nation’s policy of unlimited abortion-on-demand.

Dubbed the Life at Conception Act, 105 members of the U.S. Congress co-sponsored the pro-life legislation.

The bill aims to leverage the fact that the Supreme Court never actually declared abortion itself to be a constitutional right. In its 1973 abortion decision, the Supreme Court invented a policy that effectively stops any regulation of abortion during the full nine months of pregnancy. read more

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