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VIDEO: Did Prayer Save Boy Who Drowned at Sea?

A youth group's trip to the beach turned into one frightening Friday afternoon. A strong riptide pulled Dale Osterander out to sea, where the young boy later drowned, but the church community back on shore prayed during the 20-minute wait for rescuers. Watch today's daily interest video to see how kneeling on the sand brought forth the Holy Spirit. read more


Muslim Radicals Kill 10 Christians in Nigeria

Victims of post-election violence at a hospital in Kaduna, Nigeria, in April. Muslim rioters burned homes, churches and police stations after Nigeria's Christian president beat out his closest Muslim opponent. (AP Images/Sunday Alamba)

International Christian Concern has learned that members of a radical Islamic group, Boko Haram, killed at least ten Christians in Maiduguri, Nigeria over the past two months in what a Christian leader is calling a “silent killing” of Christians.

In an interview with ICC, an anonymous local church leader explained: “Boko Haram is seeking to eliminate Christianity because they want Islamic (Sharia) law. They don’t want to see anything Christian in the northern states [of Nigeria]. That is why churches are being persecuted and Muslims who don’t follow the [hardline teachings of] Boko Haram are also persecuted.”

Boko Haram is close to achieving its goal of eliminating Christianity from Maiduguri. Most of the Christians have fled the city in fear of further attacks by the Islamists. Of the churches that remain, some have felt compelled to suspend their services to protect their congregations. read more


Illinois Megachurch Denies Anti-Gay Stance After Starbucks CEO Cancels

Starbucks CEO pulled out of megachurch event.

An "anti-gay" church controversy that’s been brewing has finally become frothy.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has canceled his speech at an influential megachurch in Illinois. The decision comes as a response to a petition that cast anti-gay aspersions on the congregation. At the same time, a Christian group that opposes homosexuality is also picketing the church.

The petition accused Willow Creek Community Church of “anti-gay persecution” based on its past association with Exodus International, a Christian ministry that works to help gays and lesbians leave homosexuality. Meanwhile, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality is upset because Willow Creek, an evangelical church in South Barrington, Ill., broke ties with Exodus in 2009. read more

Tottenham Riots

London Riots Spark Prayer Unity Movement

AP Images/Rex Features
Roiling balls of angry flames throb from gutted buildings and shops in north London. Rioting young people with faces masked by dark cloth wrappings clash with London riot police. Charred frames of metal that were once cars litter the streets.

Violent London riots have been raging since the police shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan on Aug. 4. Police were attempting to arrest him in Tottenham, a city with a familiar history of riots.

Following Duggan's death, his friends and family gathered for a peaceful protest at the Tottenham police station. But things did not stay peaceful after 300 people joined the protest and violence quickly erupted. read more


OpEd: How Christians Should Respond to Debt Crisis

By the time many of you receive this, Congress may have found a solution to the current debt-ceiling crisis. The immediate danger may be averted—temporarily.

The real issue, however, isn't the budget, the debt ceiling or anything else, as much as it is a philosophical battle over the direction of the country. This is the root of the intransigence and increasing bitterness exhibited by both parties.

People defend philosophies more vehemently than they do money. It's like defending one's religion as one side against the other claims to be the only source of truth. And make no mistake, politics and political ideology have the force of religion in America. read more

Father Tortures Teenage Daughter for Leaving Islam

A 14-year-old girl in western Uganda is still unable to walk 10 months after her father tortured her for leaving Islam and putting her faith in Christ, according to area Christians.

Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese district, has been hospitalized at Kagando Hospital since October 2010 after neighbors with police help rescued her from her father, Beya Baluku. He was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released, sources said.

Susan and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father after he divorced their mother. In March 2010 an evangelist from Bwera Full Gospel Church spoke at Susan’s school, and she decided to trust Christ for her salvation. read more


Americans Urge Appeals Court to Defund Planned Parenthood

AP Images

In an effort to prevent states' rights from being curtailed by partisan interests, members of Congress and thousands of Americans are speaking out on Planned Parenthood funding.

The American Center for Law and Justice is urging a federal appeals court—on behalf of 41 members of Congress and more than 25,000 Americans—to uphold an Indiana law prohibiting federal funding of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.

"Planned Parenthood receives more than $350 million a year in taxpayer funds. Indiana's decision to no longer use federal money to fund the nation's largest abortion provider is not only a constitutionally sound decision, but one we hope is implemented in other states across the country," says Jay Sekulow, ACLJ chief counsel. "Indiana and other states have the constitutional authority to determine how they spend federal funds." read more


Terrorists Exit, Allow Famine Relief in Mogadishu

AP Images/Santiago Leon

The United Nation Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says the number of Somalis arriving in northeastern Kenya continues to grow, with thousands more arriving each week.

The stream of refugees is the most obvious sign of drought conditions in Somalia. Numbers provided by UN show that almost half of Somalia's population, 3.7 million people, is affected by the current crisis. The Horn of Africa famine could claim an entire generation by the time it's over. Worse, al Shabaab—a militant rebel group—was standing in between the starving people and the food brought in by the international community. read more

VIDEO: Mike Bickle, God's Greatest Want

Why did God create in Genesis 1? Why did Jesus redeem and give His life? Mike Bickle says the answer lies in the commandment that moves our heart the greatest. Engage with Bickle's teaching as you watch this video excerpt from Saturday's event, The Response.

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K-Love Radio Raises $2 Million for Rwanda

AP Images/Brennan Linsley

Amid fears of an economic crisis, listeners of national Christian radio stations K-Love and Air1 donated nearly $2 million in a daylong campaign to provide Compassion’s Water of Life safe water systems to those living in extreme poverty in Rwanda.

K-Love and Air1 focused on the immense need for safe water in Rwanda where 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. More than one-third of the population is without improved drinking water sources and nearly half are without improved sanitation facilities.

“The money raised will provide over 35,000 Compassion children and their families with safe drinking water for the rest of their lives,” says Mark Hanlon, Compassion’s senior vice president for US operations. read more


Making Disciples, One Click at a Time

Based on John 3:16, uses videos, testimonies and a simple gospel presentation to explain how a person can be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

Although Sue was too depressed to leave her apartment, she mustered enough energy one day to go online and search for encouragement. She found a page that helped her see other people struggle with depression and that Christ could heal the hurt in her heart.

Across the ocean, Emad, who lives in a country where Christianity is not embraced, searched for topics about eternity after his mother passed away. He stumbled on a page explaining how Jesus is the only way to heaven, and how to begin a relationship with Him. read more

OpEd: Thoughts on What We Could Never Pay, What We Will Always Owe

Let’s talk about debt.

Of course the recent struggles in Washington sorely tempt me to opine on the egregious spectacle we have just endured. However, our status as a non-profit ministry (and hopefully some common sense) limits any political comment. But one obvious fact can be safely asserted: debt has consequences.

Let’s look at our spiritual debt, our financial debt and our love debt.

What we owe (and what we don’t owe) spiritually. We could never have satisfied the debt and depth of our bankruptcy before God. The just “wages” for our sin was death and severance from God and His glory (see Rom. 3:23; 6:23). But “when we were helpless ... Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). This is the liberating good news of the gospel. Our debt of sin has been paid with Christ’s atoning blood. Jesus cried out on the cross, “It is finished!” (Jn. 19:30). His literal statement in the original language was, “Paid in full!” The debt of all our sins is fully, forever canceled! read more


Dave Ramsey Responds to Dow Jones Dips

So much for stabilizing the markets with a Federal Reserve promise to keep interest rates low. Europe’s debt problems are sending a ripple effect through U.S. stock markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial average declined 519 points, or 4.6 percent, on Wednesday. The dip marks the third time in the last five trading days that the Dow has lost more than 500 points. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq dropped 101 points, or 4.1 percent, and the S&P 500 is down 51 points, or 4.4 percent.

But now is no time to panic. So says Dave Ramsey, a nationally syndicated radio show host discussing personal finance topics. Ramsey has launched what he calls “The Great Recovery,” a grassroots movement spread by people who are tired of looking to Washington for answers. read more


Muslims Murder Christian in Upper Egypt

AP Images

A Coptic Christian was killed and several others were injured in Upper Egypt after Muslims on Sunday attacked a predominantly Christian village following an argument between a Muslim and Christian.

The attack at Nazlet Faragallah village in Minya, 218 kilometers south of Cairo, lasted until Monday morning, Christians said. The attackers raided an unknown number of homes owned by Christian villagers and set eight on fire, area residents said.

The assailants killed Maher Nassif, 46, a civil servant and livestock farmer, when he tried to defend his home. The men burst into Nassif’s house, shot him in the head and slit his throat while his teenage son watched from under a bed where he was hiding, Christian villagers said. The men looted the home and stole Nassif’s livestock as his son escaped into the night, according to villagers who spoke with the boy. read more


Crystal Cathedral Creditor Forces Sale

AP Images: Orange County Register, Ana Venegas

The Crystal Cathedral’s creditors aren’t backing down. The creditors have made it clear that the megachurch property will be sold whether or not the Schuller family agrees, according to United Press International.

The California church was believing God for a $50 million fundraising miracle, but creditors filed a plan in federal bankruptcy court in Santa Ana, Calif., on Tuesday calling for the sale.

Creditors want at least $50 million, The Orange County Register reported. The plan would reportedly allow the Schullers to lease the 3,000-seat building from the buyer. read more


Four Texas Abortionists Busted for Violations

AP Images

Four Texas abortionists associated with the Whole Women's Health abortion chain are facing disciplinary action based on complaints filed by Operation Rescue.

The Texas Medical Board notified Operation Rescue President Troy Newman that William Watkins West Jr., Robert E. Hanson Jr., Pedro J. Kowalyszyn and Sherwood C. Lynn will appear before an Informal Settlement Conference/Show Compliance hearing on Oct. 28 to determine what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken against them.

They join five other Texas abortionists who are also facing disciplinary action based on Operation Rescue complaints. read more


MAF Battling Deadly Epidemics in DRC

As cholera and measles sicken thousands in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mission Aviation Fellowship is providing desperately needed flight services to assist medical agencies in their efforts to combat these deadly diseases.

A measles epidemic has threatened the DRC for the past nine months. MAF, a faith-based relief organization that brings aid to needy people in remote areas of the world, has been flying medical workers and supplies into the areas most affected. read more


Does Education Influence Religious Beliefs?

It's pretty much a given that the more educated someone becomes, the more likely they are to question their religious beliefs, stop going to church and even abandon their faith entirely.

Or is it?

A new University of Nebraska-Lincoln study challenges that age-old notion with findings that show education actually has a positive effect on Americans' churchgoing habits, their devotional practices, their emphasis on religion in daily life and their support for religious leaders to weigh in on the issues of the day. read more


Advocates Help Send Kids to School

Years ago one ministry was working hard to help pick up the pieces of the Soviet Union by delivering aid to the many who were receiving only 10 percent of the income they had received in the past. As the ministry struggled to meet the numerous needs of those around them, their leader had a thought: Why can't we mobilize people to come and bring humanitarian aid with them?

Eventually this ministry became the Global Aid Network (GAiN). And out of that one thought came GAiN's Advocates program.

"[GAiN advocates] come on as official representatives of GAiN wherever they happen to live," says Tom Miller, who works in Volunteer Opportunities at GAiN. "That saves the ministry massive amounts of money and provides the opportunity for many people to be involved in international ministry right where they are." read more

OpEd: China Will Not Crackdown on Forced Abortions

China has vowed to crackdown on "sex-selective abortions" to close the gender gap, according to an AP report on Tuesday. Don't hold your breath.

A BBC News article, "China acts to protect baby girls," reported the same vow in 2004. Zhao Baige, then deputy director (and now vice minister) of China's National Population and Family Planning Commission, vowed seven years ago: "Illegal sex determination and sex-selective abortion must be strictly banned ... China has set the goal of lowering the sex ratio to a normal level by 2010."

The result? In 2004 there were 117 boys born for every 100 girls born. In 2011—a year after China had vowed to bring sex ratios to a normal level—there are now 119 boys born for every 100 girls born. The gender gap has not closed, but widened. read more

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