28th May, 2014

SECOND WOMAN IN JAIL FOR ALLEGED "APOSTASY" IN SUDAN AS MERIAM IBRAHIM GIVES BIRTH IN PRISON

As Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, sentenced to death for leaving Islam, gave birth early yesterday morning in prison, another Christian woman in Sudan has been jailed for “apostasy,” sources said.
      Ibrahim’s second child was born at about 3:30am in the Health Center Clinic of Omdurman Federal Prison for Women, her husband Daniel Wani told Morning Star News.
“She gave birth to a baby girl,” said Wani. “Her name is Maya.”

     Ibrahim, 27, says she was born to a Muslim father who disappeared when she was six, and that she was raised by her Ethiopan Orthodox Christian mother; she was considered a Muslim by birth and was sentenced on 15th May for leaving Islam, though she says she was raised a Christian and never practiced Islam.

     Morning Star News reports... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Rev Dr Gordon Moyes given 'Lifetime Achievement Award' for services to Christian media... |  more... |

 

• Pakistan: Group frees Christian slaves from brick kiln... |  more... |

 

• Sudan: WCC head calls on Sudanese president to prevent sentence of flogging and execution given to Christian woman accused of adultery and apostasy... |  more... |

 

• Thailand: UN calls for prompt return to civilian government following military coup... |  more... |

 

• Uganda:  Churches warned of 'Al Shabab' threat... |  more... |

 

• Uzbekistan: Mourning Christians banned from state cemeteries... |  more... |

 

• Iran: Pastor beaten and forcibly moved from hospital to prison... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Bombs explode in mainly Christian area of Jos following earlier bombing in Kano... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Suicide bombing hits Christian pocket of Kano plus update on kidnapped girls... |  more... |

 

21st May, 2014

UP TO 50,000 CHILDREN UNDER FIVE AT RISK OF DEATH IN SOUTH SUDAN

The conflict in South Sudan has had a "devastating" impact on the fledgling country's children with up to 50,000 at risk of dying by the end of the year without rapid intervention, says a new World Vision International report.

     Issued earlier this week ahead of a donor conference in Europe, the report - Sounding the Alarm: The desperate plight of children in South Sudan - says that half of the more than 1.3 million who have been forced to flee their homes due to violence are children with tens of thousands of them among the 85,000 people still sheltering in UN compounds.

     DAVID ADAMS reports on the findings of a new World Vision International report on South Sudan... |  more... |

 

• Balkans: Dozens die in flooding; Christian aid workers respond... |  more... |

 

• World: Governments increasingly recognising potential dangers posed by 'killer robots', say anti-weapons campaigners... |  more... |

 

• US: Bible that landed on the moon sells for $US75,000... |  more... |

 

• Sudan: Judge confirms death sentence, whipping, for pregnant Christian woman... |  more... |

 

• Sudan: Pregnant Christian mother facing death following conviction for adultery and apostasy... |  more... |

 

• Australia: YWAM Medical Ships look to purchase new vessel for PNG mission... |  more... |

 

• Algeria: Christians should promote friendship with Muslims, says papal envoy... |  more... |

 

• Mexico: Authorities threaten to cut water supplies to evangelicals... |  more... |

 

• Iran: Christian musician; house church official detained... |  more... |

 

Updated 15th May, 2014

"CONTINUE PRAYING FERVENTLY" UNTIL KIDNAPPED NIGERIAN SCHOOLGIRLS ARE RELEASED, EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION URGES

The World Evangelical Alliance has urged Christians around the world to continue praying for the more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls who are being held captive by Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

     Urging people to continue praying, Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general of the WEA, said it was outrageous a militant group used such "inhumane tactics as a means to cause fear and insecurity among people in their attempt to exercise their political will".

     DAVID ADAMS reports on the latest developments in the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria... |  more... |

 

• Pakistan: Asia Bibi appeal trial date set for fourth time... |  more... |

 

• India: International day of prayer to be held ahead of closing of national elections... |  more... |

 

• Australia: ACL expresses concern over recommendation to decouple foreign aid from gross national income benchmark... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Rental affordability for people on lowest incomes "almost zero", report finds... |  more... |

 

• US: Rwandan president celebrates 10 year partnership with Rick Warren's church... |  more... |

 

• Armenia: Church leaders call for recognition of Armenian Genocide... |  more... |

 

• Bhutan: Pastors released on bail... |  more... |

 

• China: Thousands of Christians protect church from authorities... |  more... |

 

NIGERIA'S KIDNAPPED TEENS FEARED TO BE ABROAD

Sources say that some of the 230 school girls abducted from Nigeria’s north-eastern town of Chibok more than two weeks ago have been transferred to neighboring Cameroon and Chad.

     Some villagers near the Nigeria-Cameroon border indicate that they have seen girls on board buses heading to Cameroon. Other reports given to the BBC say a ‘bridegroom’ of a girl has been spotted: a bride price of 2000 Naira ($US12.50) has been quoted. A local source in Cameroon told World Watch Monitor he confirms similar reports.

     Hundreds of people, mostly women, marched to the National Assembly in Abuja; the capital of Nigeria.

     ILLIA DJADI, of the World Watch Monitor, reports... |  more... |

 

• Australia: ACL calls for refugee intake to be increased in response to Syrian crisis... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Islamic extremists abduct high school girls in Christian town... |  more... |

 

• Bhutan: Two pastors jailed without charges... |  more... |

 

• Cameroon: Canadian nun and two priests abducted... |  more... |

 

PEOPLE IN SYDNEY AND BRISBANE MOST BIBLICALLY ENGAGED IN AUSTRALIA, RESEARCH FINDS

Sydneysiders and Brisbanites are Australia’s most Biblically engaged people, according to an analysis of online visits to the world’s largest Christian website, Biblegateway.com.

Data released by McCrindle Research shows that people living in Sydney and Brisbane visited Biblegateway.com more than those in other cities, recording 2.67 and 2.54 page views per resident respectively while those in Adelaide were next, recording 1.62 page views.

     Yet while Melbourne was well down the list, coming in at sixth with 1.52 page views per resident, it was the location of the two suburbs with the highest engagement on the website.

     DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

 

• Hungary: European court condemns church law... |  more... |

 

• World: World Vision report calls on G20 leaders to help end child labor... |  more... |

 

• Syria: Dutch priest killed: Islamic militants suspected... |  more... |

 

CHRISTIANS AMONG THOUSANDS PROTESTING AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT'S ASYLUM SEEKER POLICIES

Christians from across denominations were among the thousands who marched in Australian capital cities yesterday in protest at the Federal Government's policy on asylum seekers.

     The protests, which took place in cities including Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth on Palm Sunday, came as Christian leaders spoke out about the policies.

In a statement released on Friday, Anglican archbishops from across the country called for more humane treatment of refugees, in particular children.

     DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

 

• Somalia: Prayer urged after Somali militants behead two Christians... |  more... |

 

• Iran: Christian prisoner protests harsh treatment with hunger strike... |  more... |

 

ArmsWORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES WELCOMES MOVE TOWARD INTRODUCTION OF FIRST ARMS TRADE TREATY

The World Council of Churches has welcomed moves towards the introduction of the world's first Arms Trade Treaty after 18 countries - including five of the world's leading arms exporters - this week ratified the treaty at the UN.

     The move brings to 31 the total number of countries which have now ratified the treaty, more than half of the 50 needed to bring it into force.

     Rev De Olav Fyske Tveit said it was "especially important" that five of the world's 10 top arms exporters - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - had ratified the treaty but added that more governments needed to do so, in particular mentioning the US and Russia - the two largest arms exporters - and China.

      DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE FILM FESTIVAL KICKS OFF IN SYDNEY

Australia's only social justice-themed film festival kicks off in Sydney today with films tackling issues ranging from slavery to racial injustice and gun-related violence.

Now in its second year, The Big Picture Film Festival was founded by Uniting Church minister Rev Bill Crews and has retired judge Michael Kirby, author Tom Keneally, journalist Chris Bath and critic David Stratton among its "ambassadors".

This year's films include 11 Australian premieres, among them Belle, which tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle - the illegitimate daughter of an English admiral - and the challenges she faced in 18th century England.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

AUSTRALIA'S "ADDICTION TO FOSSIL FUELS" NO LONGER MORALLY JUSTIFIED, SAY RELIGIOUS LEADERS

Representatives of Christian churches were among religious leaders who this week called for Australia to do its "fair share" to address climate change, saying that the country's "addiction" to fossil fuels is "no longer morally justified".

In an open letter, the leaders declared climate change a "moral issue" and said that "to seek maximum individual or national advantage in the face of global warming is to increase the costs to those least advantaged in the human family as well as today's young people."

"Australia's addiction to fossil fuels, both for domestic consumption and export earnings, is no longer morally justified and must be wound back as soon as possible," they wrote.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

• Syria: New US-based Syriac Patriarch says says he'll return to Syria... |  more... |

 

• WCC expresses "deep worry" over mass trial resulting in death sentences in Egypt...  |  more... |

 

• Syria: 3,000 Christians flee Armenian village as Islamist rebels take control... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Churches offer condolences over the death of Syrian patriarch... |  more... |

 

• Kenya: Militants attack church; four killed... |  more... |

 

• Laos: Christian converts told to leave faith or face expulsion... |  more... |

 

• Democratic Republic of Congo: Humanitarian crisis looming as fighting continues, says UK-based Christian Aid... |  more... |

 

• Pakistan: Asia Bibi's appeal hearing postponed... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Attacks kill more than 150... |  more... |

 

• Worldwide: Anglicans and Catholics join with Australian mining magnate Andrew Forrest in a bid to rid the world of slavery by 2020... |  more... |

 

• Australia: NSW churches call on premier to guarantee public holidays... |  more... |

 

• Turkey: Less than half of monastery land returned... |  more... |

 

CHRISTIANS ACROSS THE NATION TAKE PART IN NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING

About 1000 people attended the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra yesterday as part of the National Day of Prayer and Fasting while hundreds of churches around the country also paused to mark the day.

Matt Prater, chairman of the day, says he was aware some churches had  replaced their Sunday service with a prayer event while others had included in within a service.

"There's lots of different ways people did it," he says.

Prayer at the national event in Canberra - which attracted Christians from across Australia and spanned a variety of denominations - covered everything from revival in Australia to Godly marriages, sexual purity, an end to abortion and the breaking of the drought in parts of Australia.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

ASIA BIBI'S APPEAL AGAINST BLASPHEMY DEATH SENTENCE TO FINALLY BE HEARD IN PAKISTAN COURT

The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) has told the ASSIST News Service that the appeal in the long awaited blasphemy case of Asia Bibi is due to be heard soon.

Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian mother-of-five, was accused of blasphemy by a co-worker and has been languishing in prison since 2009.

Four years after she was convicted and sentence to death, her appeal is due be heard by a double bench at the Lahore High Court on 17th March.

DAN WOODING, of ASSIST News Service, reports... |  more... |

• Sri Lanka: Growing hate campaign against Christians, says Release International... |  more... |

 

• Syria: Rebels release Greek Orthodox nuns... |  more... |

 

• Sweden: Woman denied work as a midwife for refusing to perform abortions... |  more... |


• Tanzania: Churches targeted in bomb attacks in Zanzibar... |  more... |

 

• US: Ads for new Noah film to carry "explanatory message"... |  more... |

 

• North Korea: Australian missionary released... |  more... |

 

• Malaysia: World Council of Churches expresses support for Malaysian churches in fighting ban on use of the word 'Allah'... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Boko Haram kills dozens of boys in school raid... |  more... |

 

• Sudan: Church building destroyed as part of "anti-Christian campaign"... |  more... |

 

• Syria: Security Council resolution demanding access for aid to Syrians welcomed by humanitarian organisations... |  more... |

 

• North Korea: Australian missionary detained... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Manus Island violence represents a "failure of Australian Government policy", says Refugee Council... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Militants kill 100 Christian villagers.. |  more... |

 

• China: A dozen Beijing house church Christians detained... |  more... |

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES CONDEMNS USE OF DRONES

The World Council of Churches has issued a statement condemning the use of drones, saying they pose "serious threats to humanity" and set a "dangerous precedent" in international relations.

The statement - which was issued on 12th February by the WCC's executive committee - urges the international community to oppose "unlawful practices and policies" around drones and mentions in particular "US drone strikes in Pakistan".

It urges the US Government to ensure justice for "victims of unlawful drone strikes" and to give compensation to the families of civilians killed or injured.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CHURCH LEADERS AGAIN CALL FOR AID

Church leaders in the Central African Republic have reiterated their opposition to the ongoing violence in the country and demanded more troops on the ground.
A declaration was signed by four prominent Church leaders, after a gathering of 170 Protestant and Catholic leaders on 4th February in Bangui, noting that the violence has continued despite the recent regime change.

The signatories included Rev Nicolas Guérékoyamé-Gbangou, President of the Evangelical Alliance, and Catholic Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalaigna, President of the Episcopal Conference.

The World Watch Monitor reports... |  more... |

 

• Morocco: Court overturns prison sentence for evangelist... |  more... |

 

• Kenya: Pastor killed as riots hit Mombasa... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Boko Haram members come to Christ... |  more... |

 

• Algeria: Christian refused burial in a public cemetery... |  more... |

 

• Egypt: Priest claims church attack was Muslim Brotherhood 'revenge'... |  more... |

 

• World: 250 million primary school age children can't read, says new report... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: 100 killed in church attack and violence... |  more... |

 

• Tanzania: Muslim extremists attack visiting preacher on Zanzibar Island... |  more... |

 

• Australia: NSW churches welcomes government crackdown on alcohol and drug-fuelled violence... |  more... |

 

• Vietnam: Christian Solidarity Worldwide backs calls for the end of torture in Vietnam... |  more... |

 

• World: Half world's wealth goes to richest 85, says Oxfam report... |  more... |

 

POPE'S HARLEY TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER FOR CHARITY

16th January, 2014

One of two Harley-Davidson motorcycles given as a gift to Pope Francis will be auctioned for charity next month.

The 1585cc Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide was presented to the Pope to mark the iconic US company's 110th anniversary in June last year. He subsequently donated the bike to charity and it will now be auctioned on 6th February with all proceeds going to Caritas Roma.

They will use the funds to renovate the Don Luigi di Liegro hostel and soup kitchen located at Rome's Termini railway station. The hostel, which opened 30 years ago, provides food and accommodation to more than 1,000 people a day.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF MARTIAN DISCOVERIES - WITH A SELFIE

30th January, 2014

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, landed on Mars 10 years ago this month, on 25th January, 2004.

Originally tasked with a three month mission, 10 years on the rover is still exploring the red planet 38.7 kilometres from the site where it landed.

In celebration of its anniversary, the rover sent this selfie back to earth. It was taken from 3rd to 6th January using the rover's panoramic camera (Pancam). The mast on which the camera is mounted cannot be seen in the picture although its shadow can.

DAVID ADAMS reports... |  more... |

• Australia: World Vision urges government to increase aid for Syrian crisis... |  more... |

 

• Russia: Kalashnikov regretted rifle invention, says letter... |  more... |

 

• Sri Lanka: Churches attacked and vandalised... |  more... |

 

• Israel: Ex-Prime Minister Sharon dies at 85... |  more... |

  

• UK: Christian peacemakers flag concerns over Kitchener coin release... |  more... |  

 

• Cameroon: Boko Haram frees French priest... |  more... | 

 

• Iran: Crackdown on Farsi-speaking Christians... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Militants kill a dozen Christians in country's north... |  more... |

 

• Vatican City: Pope welcomes people and protestors at Christmas... |  more... |

 

• Iraq: Church and market blasts kill dozens... |  more... |

 

• Hungary: Government investigates evangelicals; US concerned... |  more... |

 

• South Sudan: UN calls for end an end to violence after reports hundreds have been killed in coup attempt... |  more... |

 

• Turkey: Foreign evangelist blacklisted without explanation... |  more... |

 

CHRISTMAS DAY TV SPECIAL LOOKS AT FAITH IN AN "AGE OF REASON"

13th December, 2013

Christian Television Australia's Christmas special is a modern day retelling of the Christmas story which confronts the issue of faith in an "age of reason".

A Wise Man? tells the story of how the fictitious astrophysics professor and Nobel Prize winner Abe Collins discovers a new star or comet. When he and his colleagues decide to plot its course, they make a startling discovery.

"The program draws on skepticism from within the scientific community, who would consider themselves the champions of wisdom and knowledge, in the face of supernatural events," says CTA.

DAVID ADAMS... | more...|

SOLDIERS JOIN SLAUGHTER OF CHRISTIANS IN NIGERIAN VILLAGE, SURVIVORS SAY

10th January, 2013

Survivors of Monday’s slaughter of 33 Christians in a village in Nigeria’s Plateau state said Special Task Force (STF) soldiers stationed to protect them turned their weapons on those fleeing the attack.
Speaking from her hospital bed with bullet wounds in her legs, 25-year-old Antele Alamba told Morning Star News that hundreds of Muslim Fulani herdsmen armed with guns and machetes attacked Shonong village in Riyom Local Government Area without provocation, burning homes and butchering women and children.

Morning Star News reports on the latest massacre of Christians in Nigeria... | more...|

• UK: Call for international lenders to cancel Philippines' debt in wake of Typhoon Haiyan... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Groups opposing same-sex marriage welcome High Court decision overturning ACT law... |  more... |

 

• Central African Republic: Reports suggest almost 1,000 killed in latest violence in capital of Bangui... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Australian Christian Lobby "disappointed" at likely repeal of "modest" Gillard gambling reforms... |  more... |

 

• Vietnam: Christians fear more repression under new constitution... |  more... |

 

• Egypt: Noted convert arrested; likely tortured... |  more... |

 

• Syria: Twelve nuns abducted as rebels recapture Maaloula... |  more... |

 

• US: Pioneering televangelist Paul Crouch - founder of the world's largest Christian TV network - dies at age 79... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Islamic extremists kill dozens of Christians... |  more... |

 

• Israel: Authorities order deportation of Jews for Jesus worker... .... |  more... |

 

• Central African Republic: UN consensus builds to send force.... |  more... |

 

• Worldwide: At least two million women and girls trafficked into prostitution and slavery each year, says UN agency... |  more... |

 

• Australia: ACL "disappointed" at passing of abortion decriminalisation bill in Tasmania... |  more... |

DALITS UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT AT WCC's 10TH ASSEMBLY

8th November, 2013

The plight of India's 200 million Dalits - and in particular Dalit women - has come under the spotlight at the World Council of Churches' 10th Assembly held in Busan, South Korea, this week.

Among the displays at an exhibition accompanying the assembly is one from the National Council of Churches in India which highlights discrimination against Dalits - who comprise 17 per cent of India's population. People visiting the booth are invited to discuss the issue of caste while Rev Sunil Raj Phillip, executive secretary of the NCCI Commission on Dalits, draws a caricature of them.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

SEND A CHRISTMAS CARD TO YOUR MP AND ENCOURAGE ACTION ON GLOBAL POVERTY

19th November, 2013

Australians are being encouraged to send a Christmas card to their MP as part of a joint campaign of Micah Challenge and Make Poverty History.

John Beckett, national coordinator of Micah Challenge Australia, is encouraging people to send a card to their local federal MP and ask them for a "generous and effective contribution to ending extreme global poverty" and express their concern over the $4.5 billion  which will be cut from Australia's foreign aid budget over the next four years.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

 

• Sudan: Religious freedom advocate flees...  |  more... |

 

• Worldwide: Urgent action needed on toilets to meet Millennium Development Goals, says World Toilet Day report...  |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Church welcomes US designation of Boko Haram as foreign terrorist organisation... |  more... |

 

Australia: Parliamentary report fails to make the case to decriminalise abortion in Tasmania, says ACL... |  more... |

 

• Mexico: Officials accused of jailing and torturing four Christians, says rights group... |  more... |

 

• Pakistan: Christian lawyer survives assassination attempt... |  more... |

 

• UK: More than 80,000 children homeless at Christmas, says new report... |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Christians mourn dozens killed in stampede... |  more... |

 

• Iran: Authorities release Christian after court overturns 10 year sentence... |  more... |

 

• Vietnam: Authorities jail Catholic protestors... |  more... |

 

• Worldwide: Churches chief highlights continuing support for Middle East, North Africa region... |  more... |

LEONARDO DA VINCI'S 'LAST SUPPER' RECREATED AT 'THE BIBLE' DVD LAUNCH

23rd October, 2013

High profile Christians took part in a public re-enactment of Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper in Sydney on Wednesday morning to mark the DVD release of the acclaimed TV series, The Bible.

Morning commuters were treated to the lifesize creation which had appeared overnight in First Fleet Park in The Rocks.

Barry Southgate, X Factor finalist, and Tim Dunlop, of The Kyle and Jackie O Show, shared the role of Jesus while rugby league stars James and Paul Stevens played the sons of Zebedee, James and John. Other roles were played by professional 'human statues'.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

A CALL TO ACTION ON THE PLIGHT OF ORPHANS AROUND THE WORLD

30th October, 2013

Orphan Sunday will be marked in more than 50 countries this weekend as a global campaign to highlight the plight of orphans continues to gain momentum.

Organised by the Christian Alliance for Orphans - a coalition of 150 orphan-related organisations, the day was first held in Zambia 11 years ago and has since grown to become a worldwide event.

And the need is clear. According to organisers, there are now more orphans in the world than at any other time in history. Thanks to AIDS and ongoing conflict, it's estimated that more than 10 per cent of Africa's population are orphaned children.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

 

• Iran: Christians jailed for 'house church' attendance...  |  more... |

 

• US: Christian leaders call for direct dialogue with Cuba...  |  more... |

 

• Korea: Christian activists pray and fast to protest nuclear dangers...  |  more... |

 

• Egypt: Government condemns church attack in which four died...  |  more... |

 

• Australia: Salvos release $500,000 to aid bushfire relief and recovery, call for more donations...  |  more... |

 

• Worldwide: Almost 30 million living in slavery today, new data shows...  |  more... |

 

• Australia: Australian Baptists support action to challenge proposed same-sex marriage law in ACT... |  more... |

 

• World: Churches call for the "human dignity" of migrants to be upheld... |  more... |

 

• India: Millions affected by deadly cyclone... |  more... |

 

• Europe: European Parliament calls for the release of US pastor, Saeed Abedini, imprisoned in Iran... |  more... |

 

• North Korea: North Korea Freedom Coalition launches petition to stop China's forced repatriation of North Korean refugees... |  more... |

 

• Vietnam: Religious leaders petition for release of young prisoners of conscience... |  more... |

 

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCHED TO PROVIDE FAST ACCESS TO SUICIDE PREVENTION AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN AUSTRALIA

10th October, 2013

A new website offering fast access to suicide prevention, crisis support and mental health services across Australia has been unveiled by the Wesley Mission on World Mental Health Day.

Developed with funding from the federal Department of Health, Wesley LifeForce Service Finder website enables people to access contact numbers of key support services via their computer or mobile device.

Rev Dr Keith Garner, CEO of Wesley Mission, says the new website will "save lives".

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

DATA RELEASED ON WORLD FOOD DAY SHOWS 842 MILLION "CHRONICALLY UNDERNOURISHED"

17th October, 2013

As many as 842 million people remain "chronically undernourished", according to new figures released to mark the annual World Food Day held on Wednesday.

The data also shows that in addition, there are two billion people who lack the vitamins and minerals needed to live healthy lives. Poor nutrition also means about 1.4 billion people are overweight, with about one-third obese and at risk of health problems like coronary heart disease and diabetes.

The news has sparked calls for the implementation of better food systems.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• Kenya: Salvation Army church torched; four killed...  |  more... |

 

• Bangladesh: Christians told to close church; convert to Islam...  |  more... |

 

• US: Pastor Chuck Smith home with Jesus...  |  more... |

 

• Syria: Missing Italian priest "still alive" says church leader...  |  more... |

 

• Nigeria: Escalating attacks include massacre at agricultural college... |  more... |

 

• US: House of Reps calls for Middle East religious rights envoy... |  more... |

 

• Iran: Pastor told to 'repent' or remain in prison... |  more... |

 

• US: Nearly 22,000 churches have registered to participate in My Hope America with Billy Graham... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Micah Challenge flags concern over AusAID changes... |  more... |

 

• Eritrea: Call for "targeted sanctions" on government officials as journalists and politicians remain in detention... |  more... |

 

• Tanzania: Suspected Islamic extremists throw acid on priest in Zanzibar... |  more... |

 

• Burma: Suu Kyi warns US and EU of being "over-optimistic"... |  more... |

 

CHRISTIAN FAMILY KILLED AND ARCHBISHOP KIDNAPPED IN LATEST OUTBREAK OF VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA

13th September, 2013

Nigerian authorities are investigating the killings of Christian family members by Muslim fighters and the kidnapping of Nigeria's second-highest ranking Anglican leader, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey.

The latest wave of anti-Christian attacks began on Sunday, 1st September, when suspected Muslim ethnic Fulani herdsmen shot five members of a Christian family to death, including a seven-year-old boy, and killed another Christian in Kungte village, in Plateau State, local Christians said.

A report from BosNewsLife... | more...|

CHURCHES JOIN INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN CALLING FOR ACTION ON "CLIMATE REFUGEES"

26th September, 2013

The World Council of Churches has joined an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of climate refugees around the world.

The 'Postcards from the Frontline'

campaign, launched by the Environmental Justice Foundation in collaboration with virtual to real postcard app creator Bypost this week, is calling for action to help the millions of people forced from their homes due to weather-related events.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• Vietnam: Police crush protests against Catholics' imprisonment... |  more... |

 

• Morocco: Swift trial of Moroccan Christian at odds with 'moderate Morocco'... |  more... |

 

• Australia: Planned foreign aid cuts "unworthy of a civilised nation", says Catholic Social Justice Council...  |  more... |

 

• Australia: Issue of same-sex marriage should go to referendum, says Australian Christian Lobby...  |  more... |

 

• Philippines: Pastor among hostages held by Muslim rebels; eight killed...  |  more... |

 

• Pakistan: Campaign launched to free mother on death row for 'drinking water'...  |  more... |

 

• Australia: Tony Abbott elected prime minister in strong coalition federal election win...  |  more... |

 

• Australia: NSW churches urge voters to consider "moral implications" of policies ahead of tomorrow's vote...  |  more... |

 

• UPDATED - Australia: Christian groups react with dismay to Coalition announcement it will cut foreign aid...  |  more... |

 

Cameroon: Dozens of 'noisy' churches silenced...  | more...|

 

Nigeria: Five Christians killed in roadside ambush near Jos...  | more...|

 

Iran: Pastor's prison term upheld amid crackdown on Christians...  | more...|

 

Australia: Bible Society hosts 2013 federal election guide...  | more...|

CALL FOR AID WORKERS TO BE PROTECTED IN CONFLICT ZONES AS NUMBERS KILLED CLIMBS

21st August, 2013

It's only August but already this year more aid workers have been killed in the line of duty than for the whole of 2012.

Seventy-six humanitarian workers have died so far this year compared to 65 last year.

World Vision, who have seen two staff members killed in Sudan this year, used the marking of World Humanitarian Day on Monday to call for humanitarian workers to be given safe access in "violent hotspots" around the world.

Anthea Spinks, head of humanitarian and emergency affairs at World Vision Australia, said aid workers often carried out their jobs in dangerous conditions but needed to have guaranteed safe access to take food, water, shelter and medical assistance to those who need it.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

THOUSANDS GATHER ON MANLY BEACH TO PUT GLOBAL POVERTY ON ELECTION AGENDA

31st August, 2013

Thousands of people formed the giant words 'Halve Poverty 2015' on Manly Beach in Sydney today in a message directed at Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

The event was coordinated by Seaforth Baptist Church as part of Micah Challenge's Finish the Race campaign. The campaign is pushing for politicians - including Mr Abbott who is the member for Warringah, a federal electorate which includes Manly Beach - to do all they can to ensure Australia remains committed to helping the world achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

Worldwide: MAF launches digital app for sharing the Gospel and more...  | more...|

 

• Australia: ACL launches new iPhone app; confirms Prime Minister and Opposition Leader will deliver messages at Make It Count... | more...|

 

• Bangladesh: Churches to launch global campaign pushing for better rights for Bangladeshi garment workers... | more...|

 

• Australia: Eastern Orthodox church leaders call on Australia to "stand up for democracy, freedom of religion and human rights" in the Middle East... | more...|

 

• Peru: CSW calls for justice on 10th anniversary of Truth and Reconciliation Report... | more...|

 

• Iran: Evangelist sentenced to prison and exile... | more...|

 

• Somalia: Islamic extremists abduct Christian mother... | more...|

 

• Pakistan: Imam acquitted of desecrating Koran; framing Christian girl for 'blasphemy'... | more...|

 

• Syria: Gunmen kill 11, mostly Christians...  | more...|

 

• Nigeria: Weekend attacks in north claim at least 50 lives...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Christian Television Australia announces plans to crowdsource funds for Christmas special...  | more...|

 

• North Korea: Jailed US missionary moved to hospital; health deteriorating...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Anglican mothers' agency deplores "inhumane treatment" of asylum seekers...  | more...|

 

• Egypt: Coptic Christian girl shot dead...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Bushfire survivor's account named Australian Christian Book of the Year...  | more...|

AUSTRALIANS JOIN 40 DAYS OF PRAYER FOR A "BILLION SOULS"

1st August, 2013

The organisers of Australia's National Day of Prayer and Fasting have called on Christians across the country to join with Christians around the world in 40 days of prayer and fasting.

Under the banner of the Billion Souls Revival Prayer Call, Christians will be fasting and praying for 40 days from 6th August through until what they are calling an "International Day of Prayer, Fasting and Repentance" on Sunday, 14th September, the day on which Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, is held.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

CUTTING HAIR FOR THE HOMELESS

8th August, 2013

A new Guinness world record for the number of haircuts conducted in eight hours was set on Monday in an event designed to raise awareness of the homeless.

Sixteen hairdressers from Just Cuts salons around Australia were flown to Sydney where they managed to trim the hair of 409 people within the time limit, breaking the existing world record by 50.

The world record attempt took place in Martin Place between 9am and 5pm was adjudicated by Schwarzkopf professional stylists. Under the criteria set by Guinness, those having their hair cut had to have at least eight centimetres of hair at the start of each cut.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|


• Iran: Christian sentenced to 10 years jail for "evangelical activities", say activists...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Australian Christian Lobby convenes panel discussion ahead of federal election...  | more...|

 

• China: House church leader Samuel Lamb dies...  | more...|

 

• Vietnam: Catholics reportedly injured in crackdown on those praying for "resolution of land disputes"...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Mercy Ships CEO Gary Regazzoli announces retirement...  | more...|

 

• Nigeria: Churches bombed in Kano, killing 45 people, church leaders say...  | more...|

 

• US: Rick Warren preaches at Saddleback for first time since son's death...  | more...|

 

• Spain: Churches head expresses condolences after train disaster...  | more...|

 

• Eritrea: Christian students punished for their faith...  | more...|

 

• UPDATED (with more reaction) Australia: Asylum seeker policy "morally bankrupt", says Baptist association...  | more...|

 

• UK: It's a boy! Royal Family celebrates heir's birth...  | more...|

 

• UK: Widow of church organist forgives husband's killers...  | more...|

CYCLISTS HEAD OFF ON 7,231 KM RIDE TO RAISE MONEY FOR BIBLE PROJECTS

4th July, 2013

A group of cyclists have set off on a marathon ride of more than 7,000 kilometres as part of the Bible Society's Bike for Bibles initiative.

The group, which left Broome in Western Australia on 30th June, is spending nine weeks on the road as they cycle 7,321 kilometres to their final stop in Sydney. Named 'The Australia Big Ride', it's all part of an effort to raise funds for Bible Society projects around the world

Twenty-two of the cyclists will ride the entire distance while an additional 40 will do segments of the ride. The riders come from a variety of backgrounds.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

UN DECLARES 19TH NOVEMBER WORLD TOILET DAY

28th July, 2013

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 19th November World Toilet Day in a resolution passed last week.

In a statement Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, said that despite progress made as part of the effort to reach the Millennium Development Goals, one-in-three people still do not have access to a basic toilet.

"Almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases," he noted. "Poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses estimated at $US260 billion annually in developing countries."

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• Iran: Eight members of the Church of Iran sentenced to jail for acting "against national security"...  | more...|

 

• Kazakhstan: Evangelical pastor facing abuse In prison, Christians warn...  | more...|

 

• Europe: Churches adopt new constitution at turbulent assembly in Hungary... | more...|

 

• South America: Reports of Indians killed... | more...|

 

• UK: Coptic Christians hold three days of prayer for an end to Egypt violence... | more...|

 

• Mission: OM ship Logos Hope celebrates three millionth visitor... | more...|

 

•  Iran: Authorities release pastor of largest Pentecostal church; congregation remains closed... | more...|

 

•  Australia: Greater weight should be given to vulnerable minorities in refugee intake, says Australian Christian Lobby... | more...|

 

• Syria: Militants behead Catholic priest and two others... | more...|

 

• Burma: CSW condemns killing of two Kachin civilians despite agreement to end hostilities... | more...|

 

Pakistan: Court throws out blasphemy charge against pastor... | more...|

 

• Australia: Eight Australians cycling 700 km in Papua New Guinea to raise funds for new domestic violence shelter... | more...|

 

FOUR NEW CHURCHES PLANTED IN FIJI IN THE WAKE OF OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD

26th June, 2013

Four new churches have been founded in Fiji in the wake of a discipleship program run by Samaritan's Purse.

The four churches have been established on the island of Vanua Levu in the aftermath of The Greatest Journey - a discipleship program which follows on from a community's involvement with Operation Christmas Child, a program in which children in need receive shoe-box gifts which have been put together by people in countries like Australia.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• Iraq: Gunmen open fire on Assyrian church in Baghdad, wounding two... | more...|

NUMBER OF PEOPLE FORCIBLY DISPLACED REACHES AN 18 YEAR HIGH, SAYS UNHCR REPORT

20th June, 2013

More people were displaced from their homes as at the end of last year than at any time since 1994 - with one person being displaced from their home every 4.1 seconds, according to the UNHCR's latest Global Trends report.

The report, issued on Wednesday - the day before mark World Refugee Day, shows that there were more than 45.2 million people displaced from their homes at the end of 2012 compared with 42.5 million at the same time the previous year.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

 

• Somalia: Militants execute Christian convert... | more...|

 

• India: More than 1,000 dead in floods - reports... | more...|

 

• Nigeria: Thousands flee as Nigerian militants kill Christians... | more...|

 

• Iran: Six Christian converts convicted... | more...|

 

• Kenya: Call for Nubian community to be given "equal rights and opportunities"... | more...|

 

• International: Remembering the plight of the world's widows on 23rd June... | more...|

 

• US congressmen demand Romania return church properties and end "persecution"... | more...|

 

• Kenya: Evangelical pastors injured in church attack... | more...|

 

• Australia: Tim Costello to chair Australian committee aimed at helping engage world leaders on civil society issues... | more...|

 

• Egypt: Teacher sentenced for 'defaming' Islam... | more...|

 

• Egypt: President Morsi approves construction of new church... | more...|

CHILDREN OF TWO PARENT FAMILIES HAVE AN EDUCATIONAL ADVANTAGE, SAYS GLOBAL STUDY

17th May, 2013

Children of two parent families have an educational advantage, according to the findings of a global study.

Dr Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and co-author of the inaugural 2013 World Family Map Report, said the study showed that in "the vast majority of the developed world, children are more likely to thrive academically when they have two parents in the home".

This includes Australia, where he said children from two parent homes "are more likely to excel in reading, and to avoid being held back in school, compared to children raised in single parent families".

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

CHRISTIANS URGED TO MARK WORLD REFUGEE SUNDAY THIS MONTH

5th June, 2013

Churches around the world have been asked to observe World Refugee Sunday later this month, setting it aside as a day to remember and pray for those who are "persecuted and oppressed around the world".

The World Evangelical Alliance and the Refugee Highway Partnership - a global network of Christians committed to welcoming and serving refugees - have joined in calling for Christians to take part in the day which is held on either the 16th or 23rd of June - the Sundays to either side of World Refugee Day on 20th June.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• China: Rash of church closures evidence of plan to end unregistered congregations, CAA says...  | more...|

 

• Morocco: Deported Christians fight to be reunited with orphans... | more...|

 

• China: Authorities sentence house Christians to long prison terms... | more...|

 

• Asia: Human rights group condemns forcible return of nine refugees to North Korea... | more...|

 

• Europe: Court rejects appeal of dismissed British Christians... | more...|

 

• Iran: Largest Farsi-speaking Pentecostal church closed; pastors detained... | more...|

 

• China: Former house church leader denied medical treatment after suffering stroke in prison, writes daughter... | more...|

 

• US: Pastor Rick Warren issues warning about 'fake' Facebook pages... | more...|

 

• Syria: Christians concerned over fate of two kidnapped bishops... | more...|

 

• Iran: Pastor arrested amid reports church may be forced to close... | more...|

 

• US: Chaplains minister in the wake of devastating Oklahoma tornado... | more...|

 

• Australia: Ban display of live odds and betting advertising during game broadcasts, says ACL... | more...|

3rd May, 2013

AMERICAN PASTOR SAEED ABEDINI PUT IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN IRAN AS CONCERNS OVER HIS HEALTH INCREASE

American Pastor Saeed Abedini - imprisoned in Iran's Evin Prison - has reportedly been put into solitary confinement according to family members.

According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), family members in Iran have confirmed that Mr Abedini, along with nine other prisoners, has been placed in solitary confinement amid concerns over his deteriorating health.

The ACLJ said that in addition to the severe internal bleeding caused by "months of beatings and torture" which have subsequently been untreated, Mr Abedini is now also facing issues with his kidneys.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

OVERSEAS AID CAMPAIGNERS REACT WITH DISMAY TO GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO DELAY LIFTING FOREIGN AID

UPDATE 13th May, 2013

Humanitarian organisations have reacted with dismay to Foreign Minister Bob Carr's announcement today that the Federal Government would be delaying raising foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income.

Mr Carr made the surprise announcement this morning - a day before the Federal Budget - that the Government would be delaying raising foreign aid to 0.5 per cent until 2017-18, a year later than had previously been announced. It comes in the wake of a similar delay announced as part of last year's Federal Budget.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• India: Authorities detain two more suspects over killing of Australian missionary and sons almost 14 years ago... | more...|

 

• Australia: Seventh World Congress of Families opens in Sydney... | more...|

 

• Nigeria: Curfew enforced in wake of violence... | more...|

 

• Australia: NSW churches call on politicians to vote against euthanasia bill... | more...|

 

• Germany: Prominent Lutheran warns of the dangers for democracy of arbitary justice... | more...|

 

• Tanzania: Explosion kills, injures worshippers at inaugural mass... | more...|

 

• Mali: Shelters set up for Christian converts... | more...|

 

• Syria: Call for Christians to pray on 11th May... | more...|

 

• Australia: Australian and New Zealand prayer leaders join in prayer for US... | more...|

 

• Morocco: Concerns over proposal to make apostasy punishable by death... | more...|

 

• Australia: Lyle Shelton named new MD at Australian Christian Lobby as Jim Wallace moves to new role... | more...|

 

• Syria: Confusion over fate of two archbishops kidnapped at gunpoint... | more...|

10th April, 2013

GLOBAL EXECUTION RATES REMAIN IN LONG-TERM DECLINE DESPITE SOME WORRYING TRENDS, SAYS AMNESTY

Death penalty rates around the world continued a downward trend last year, according to new research from Amnesty International, despite a resumption of executions in a number of countries and soaring rates in others.

Amnesty found that 21 countries carried out the death penalty in 2012 - the same number as the previous year but well down on the 2003 figure of 28.

At least 682 executions were carried out, two more than in 2011, while at least 1,722 newly imposed death sentences in 58 countries could be confirmed.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

Updated 7am, 18th April, 2013

GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING GOSPEL SINGER GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA DIES AT AGE 104

Gospel singer and songwriter George Beverly Shea, long known for his singing at Billy Graham's evangelistic crusades, has died in the US at the age of 104.

Mr Shea first sang for Graham on the Chicago radio hymn program, 'Songs in the Night', in 1943 and has since performed on every continent and in every US state.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

Update: 21st April, 2013

GEORGE BEVERLY SHEA TO BE LAID TO REST AT PUBLIC FUNERAL SERVICE TODAY

Singer/songwriter George Beverly Shea will be laid to rest in North Carolina at 3pm local time on Sunday.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• China: Aid rushed to Sichuan Province after earthquake kills almost 200... | more...|

 

• North Korea: Worldwide awareness day for refugees... | more...|

 

• Pakistan: President urged to release jailed Christians... | more...|

 

• Australia: Australian Christian Lobby "disappointed" at Tasmanian abortion vote... | more...|

 

• US: Christians urged to pray for those affected by Boston Marathon bombing... | more...|

 

• Egypt: Four Coptic Christians arrested in wake of St Mark's Cathedral attack... | more...|

 

• Australia: Coptic Christians to protest over attacks in Egypt... | more...|

 

• Laos: Three pastors released from prison...  | more...|

 

• US: Saddleback congregation mourns loss of Rick Warren's son Matthew...  | more...|

 

• Asia: Highlands Christians attacked in Vietnam; church leader killed...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Christian Television Australia's Easter special to look at forgiveness...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Baptist World Aid Australia to increase focus on preparing vulnerable communities for disasters...  | more...|

 

• Africa: Christian neighbourhood bombed in Nigerian city of Kano; 25 killed...  | more...|

 

20th March, 2013

SURVEY REVEALS "ENTRENCHED" LEVEL OF DISADVANTAGE AMONG INNER SYDNEY'S HOMELESS, SAYS EXODUS FOUNDATION

A survey of Sydney's inner city homeless and needy who use The Exodus Foundation's mobile food van has found that almost two-thirds had been visiting the van for more than 12 months.

The survey - conducted by the foundation in conjunction with Macquarie University - involved 77 of those using the van and was conducted over a six night period. Almost 90 per cent of those surveyed were male with 75 per cent aged 31 or older.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

4th April, 2013

FIRST ARMS TRADE TREATY WELCOMED BY GLOBAL CHURCH BODIES

Global church bodies have welcomed the world's first arms trade treaty as an important step forward following news of its passing at the UN in New York this week.

The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was adopted by the UN on 2nd April after 154 countries voted in favour, three - Iran, Syria and North Korea - against and 23 abstained.

The treaty - which UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described as an "historic diplomatic achievement" - puts in place common binding standards to be applied by UN member states to all international weapons transfers.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

• Middle East: Iranian authorities free three Church of Iran members...  | more...|

 

• Africa: First Council of Churches formed in Egypt...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Arms trade treaty negotiations a chance to reduce armed violence, says Act for Peace...  | more...|

 

• Americas: Jim Mellado appointed new president of Compassion International...  | more...|

 

• Americas: Cuba's Ladies in White commended for their courage..  | more...|

 

• Europe: Papal conclave meets this week to elect pontiff...  | more...|

 

• Africa: New patriarch for Ethiopian church...  | more...|

 

• Global: Run around the world - and raise money for missions...  | more...|

 

• Asia: Hindu militants crack down on evangelical meetings in India; pastors detained...  | more...|

 

• Australia: Australian Christian Lobby welcomes proposal to remove Medicare funding for sex-selection abortions...  | more...|

 

• Middle East: Concerns over deteriorating health of imprisoned Iranian pastor...  | more...|

 

• UN: Religious freedom advocates to call for action from international community...  | more...|

 

PICTURE: UNHCR/N Daoud

8th March, 2013

SYRIAN REFUGEES NOW NUMBER MORE THAN A MILLION

The number of refugees who have fled Syria due to the ongoing civil war now number more than a million, according to the UNHCR.

The UN refugee agency says that more than 400,000 Syrians have become refugees since 1st January alone - a figure which shows a dramatic increase in the number now fleeing the country.

Around half of the refugees are children and the majority of these are aged under 11. While most of the refugees have fled to countries including Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, they were increasingly also fleeing to North Africa and Europe.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|

13th March, 2013

89-YEAR-OLD COMPASSION VOLUNTEER NAMED 'VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR'

An 89-year-old volunteer for child development and advocacy organisation Compassion Australia was named the Fundraising Institute of Australia's 'Volunteer of the Year' at a ceremony in Sydney on Friday.

DAVID ADAMS reports... | more...|