Young people in Iran converting to Christianity in their droves despite Islamic indoctrination

Young people in Iran converting to Christianity in their droves despite Islamic indoctrination

Christian women attend a church service in Tehran, Iran.Reuters The massive rise of Christianity in Iran, especially among youths, continues despite the Islamic government’s efforts to suppress the faith. Even Islamic leaders admitted that more and more young people are choosing to follow Christ. According to Mohabat News, which reports on the persecution and state of Christianity in Iran, the “exponential rate” of Christian growth has been a factor for the last couple of decades. Now even leading Islamic seminary officials, such as Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi, have pointed to “accurate reports indicating that the youth are becoming Christians in Qom and attending house churches.” Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has also been raising alarm over the number of Iranian youths becoming Christians, and has blamed “foreign influence” for the conversions....Read more
How these brave Iraqi women are sewing signs of hope from a mark of terror

How these brave Iraqi women are sewing signs of hope from a mark of terror

Bible Society A group of brave Iraqi women living in Jordan have taken what was a mark of terror, and are literally using it to sew new signs of hope.  When Islamic State began identifying Christians by the Arabic ‘n’ letter – which stands for Nazarene – there did not seem much to celebrate. The Christians targeted in this way faced a literal life-or-death decision – convert to Islam, pay tax or be murdered.  But now the ‘n’ symbol has a new purpose, the Bible Society reports. Iraqi women in Jordan are earning their living by embroidering bookmarks with the letter, pronounced ‘noon’. Unable to find any other work because they are Iraqi not Jordanian, they are then able to sell the bookmarks and earn a small amount to help feed themselves and their refugee families.  The Bible Society reports that when IS captured...Read more
Barcelona terror attack: Are we becoming desensitised to barbarity?

Barcelona terror attack: Are we becoming desensitised to barbarity?

It’s only a matter of months since 84 people were killed in Nice.Reuters Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the banality of evil’ has itself become so well-worn it’s easy to miss the powerful point she was making. The German-American philosopher, who became an American citizen, famously sat through the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann. In the book that she wrote about the experience, ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’ the subtitle was  ‘A Report on the Banality of Evil.’ In this totemic work, Arendt described how Eichmann and many other Nazis weren’t uniquely evil. Instead she says, ‘The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.’ The banality of evil is not only a concept that helps us think about its perpetrators. It also helps us to think about the effect of evil events on...Read more
White evangelicals are being criticised on race – but Billy Graham showed the way

White evangelicals are being criticised on race – but Billy Graham showed the way

The response of some – by no means all – white evangelicals to the events in Charlottesville has been curiously tone-deaf. None of them approves of white supremacists, but there’s been an attempt to draw equivalences between that and the opposing far-left fringe that has compromised some of their critical statements. Evangelicalism in the US has always been on the front line of debates about race, because of its strength in the South – and sometimes it has been on the wrong side of that line. But one of the world’s greatest evangelists showed how it was possible to overcome the prejudices and assumptions of early upbringing. Billy Graham’s was a powerful voice denouncing racism.BGEA Billy Graham’s record in opposing racism, at a time when it was far more blatant, is a shining example to follow. In Grant Wacker’s biography, America’s...Read more
It’s worse than you think: Four things Christians get wrong about ‘sin’

It’s worse than you think: Four things Christians get wrong about ‘sin’

A recent survey by LifeWay Research probed American views on ‘sin’. But sin, a theological concept at the heart of Christianity, can be tragically misunderstood both in and outside the Church. ‘Sin’ can be though of as purely individual, legalistic, or just not a big deal. But its more like a dark valley or looming storm – far bigger than we thought.Pexels Earlier this year then-Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, a Christian, was plagued by a question I’m sure he learned to dread: ‘Is gay *** a sin?’ His responses, initially failing to provide the simple ‘no’ that people presumably wanted, dogged the General Election campaign. Farron would later suggest they showed the impossibility of being a committed Christian in mainstream politics. But that wider debate aside, there was a sense that the word ‘sin’ was...Read more

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