• Treehaven Group
  • Treehaven Building
    Treehaven, South Africa
  • Ray
  • Corrymeela

African Children’s Choir Founder Calls for Miracle Prayers to end Pandemic

African Children’s Choir Founder Calls for Miracle Prayers to end Pandemic

Written by Peter Wooding

Vancouver, Canada (ANS) – Christian pioneer Ray Barnett is calling on believers across the globe to pray for a miracle to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Ray Barnett with the African Children’s Choir

While growing up in Coleraine in Northern Ireland Ray, now aged 83, says he first experienced the power of prayer not long after he became a Christian and believes that we can see continued breakthroughs today:

“The day after I accepted Christ I tried to share my testimony in public for the first time, but I fainted.  But I knew that with God nothing was impossible if you only believe; and I took that literally.”

Founder of the African Children’s Choir and the ministry Friends in the West Ray, who now lives in Vancouver, Canada added:

“So, I then prayed that all my friends would become Christians.  Six months later they had all accepted Christ. That’s where I began to know that prayer works.

“And that’s why I believe so much today in prayer. And as far as the pandemic today the scripture that is so relevant for today is:

“II Chronicles 7:14 – If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray then will I hear from heaven and heal their land.”

“I believe Christians around the world can either gather together or pray individually for a miracle of God to heal not only what we call our land in the UK or Canada or America but the whole world needs healing right now.”

Ray concluded by sharing the example of how the African Children’s Choir that was birthed in prayer has brought healing to the land across the world over the past 36 years:

“Back then through a series of miracles the first choir came to Canada in September 1984 and it’s been touring the world ever since. They’ve been touring nonstop and the children are grown up and they are doctors they’re lawyers they’re teachers they’re pastors.

“These children are a source of joy and they are ministering in all kinds of places not only in Africa but all over the world and they have amazing testimonies of God’s miracles not only for them but generally in the villages where they come from all around.  Their presence in the choir has changed the lives of people in their villages. And it’s been a thing that God ordained.

“There are miracles like this happening all over the place and that’s what we need to continue to pray for that this virus will be completely prevented from spreading.

“But I think the most important thing is the call of God to the church for us to humble ourselves and pray and then the Lord will heal the land. II Chronicles 7:14 is a very strong scripture and I want to see it get out there in whatever languages we can because this is God’s time.”

You can listen to the full interview with Ray Barnett here.To find out more about Ray Barnett go to: www.friendsinthewest.com

Source: ASSIST News

Peter Wooding

Peter Wooding is Senior Editor at Assist News Service and an award-winning radio, TV, and print journalist. Peter has worked as news editor at UCB Radio in the UK, and has reported from countries around the world including Israel, India, Russia, Serbia, South Sudan, Ukraine and Mozambique. Continuing his father Dan’s legacy, Peter now leads the global expansion of ANS. He is also the London Bureau Chief for the Global News Alliance, Media and PR Officer for Leading The Way UK and UK Director for Mercy Projects. Peter lives in North Wales, UK, with his wife, Sharon, and their three daughters, Sarah, Anna and Abigail.

Vietnamese Christians excluded from official COVID aid

Witney, England (ANS) – Partners of the charity Open Doors, are reporting that Christian families in Northern Vietnam are being passed over in the distribution of food and medicine.

Christians in Vietnam hold the cross high as they face persecution

The charity says a number of families from a district of northern Vietnam reported being turned down point blank when they asked for food. In total 107 individuals in total including the elderly and children were denied the goods by local authorities.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is c75601cf4b798b9bb038a5b73c93d358.jpg
Christians in Vietnam hold the cross high as they face persecution

“You are Christians and your God will take care of your family! The government is not responsible for your families!”

“These families are poor,” says Chau*, one of the partner-workers in Vietnam, who has worked to offer assistance in lieu of official aid. “When they learned that the government’s support is coming to their district, they were so happy but only to find out that they were not on the list because they are Christians.”

Although Vietnam has already lifted its nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on April 23 and some Vietnamese have already begun to go back to their normal lives, the government and several charitable organizations are still providing countrywide support – especially to those on low incomes or who have lost their jobs during the lockdown.

The families that reported being denied this aid, work and live near the Chinese border. Due to COVID-19’s pandemic’s effect on the country’s economy, their work has stopped. They strive to provide food for their families, and they eke out what little they have day-by-day.

The latest report, appears to be the tip of a much larger iceberg, of aid discrimination, not only in Vietnam, but around the world, where Christians are a minority.

  •  In north-eastern Nigeria, the minority Christian community report getting much smaller aid packages from the state, than their Muslim counterparts.
  • In India, Christians report being left at the back of the queue for aid with others of the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ caste.
  • In another unnamed Asian nation, partners of Open Doors risk prison for delivering food to Christians in remote areas of the country.

“It’s a story that we’ve heard again and again, since the start of the pandemic,” says Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland.

“Some lives are considered unworthy of saving, because of their decision to stand by their faith. Make no mistake: the crisis is being used as a weapon against Christians. We’re seen discrimination against Christians in ration distribution, denying Christian health workers access to protective clothing, and opening mosques but keeping churches closed.”

Open Doors, working through local partners, is currently in touch with these families and is arranging to provide food packs and other urgent needs for these families. For many Christians, intervening like this is a risky activity.

“If Christians ignore COVID-19 restrictions, in order to stop their brothers and sisters from starving, they can also alert the authorities of their existence as a community. And that will mean serious persecution for them in months and years to come – it’s a terrible dilemma.”

*Name changed for security reasons.

Source: ASSIST News ServiceToggle panel: All In One SEO Pack

Death Tolls Mounts in Nigeria ‘Jihad’

By ANS Editor

Orpington, England (ANS) – A new report from Nigeria claims the latest attacks by Fulani militants have killed 620 Christians in the first five months of 2020, according to a Release International press release.

The charity goes on to says that a recent attack on a Baptist village killed 17, including an entire family.

Mass grave at Gonan Rogo, Nigeria, where Fulani militants killed 17 villagers

A report, by the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (ISCLRL), follows an attack on the Christian village of Gonan Rogo, which claimed 17 lives, including a father, mother and their three young children.

The report supports claims by partners of UK-based Release International that the attacks are growing and have the characteristics of an undeclared jihad against Christians.

The ISCLRL, an NGO, claims 32,000 Christians have been killed by Islamist militants since 2009. The United Nation puts the figure killed in the conflict in northern Nigeria at 27,000.

And Release partner, the Stefanos Foundation estimates 30,000 have died in the continuing violence.

Mark Lipdo of Stefanos says: ‘Attackers have claimed more than 30,000 lives. We are seeing a systematic strategy that enforces what the ethnic minorities believe is a jihad. Christians in northern Nigeria are being annihilated. It is heading towards a genocide.’

Stefanos Foundation has been providing relief aid to attack victims for more than a decade, and works with Release to provide trauma counselling.

One of the latest attacks was against the Baptist village of Gonan Rogo in Kaduna State. Release International claims armed Fulani militants waited until around midnight on May 12 until the villagers were asleep then set upon them with guns and knives.

Children were among the victims of Fulani militants.

The dead included Jonathan Yakubu, along with his wife and all their children, aged 6, 9 and 15.

The militia also killed a six-month-old baby in the raid. Miraculously, a three-month-old baby survived, after a bullet passed through her mother’s heart and penetrated the baby’s skull.

According to Release’s sister organisation Voice of the Martyrs (USA), the attack on Gonan Rogo was part of a wave of 13 assaults by Fulani militants on villages in Kaduna and Plateau states.

‘The Nigerian government is at best ineffective, at worst reluctant, to prevent these attacks,’ says Release CEO Paul Robinson. ‘Christians in Nigeria have faced an onslaught by Boko Haram terrorists. Now they are having to endure even more deadly attacks by armed Fulani militants. How many more Christian villagers have to die before Nigeria’s military and police take effective action?

‘Observers fear the world is simply standing by and watching as this violence unfolds in the most populous nation in Africa. Our message to Nigeria and the international community is intervene and stop this now – before it is too late.’

The latest report by the ISCLRL claims Fulani militants (whom they describe as jihadists) have killed three times as many Nigerians as Boko Haram since the start of 2020. They say they have also burnt dozens of churches and Christian teaching centres.

Through its international network of missions, Release International is active in some 25 countries around the world, supporting pastors, Christian prisoners and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles, and working for justice.

Source: ASSIST News Service

Wuhan pastor arrested while preaching on Zoom

A pastor from Wuhan, China, has been detained as he preached to a Christian conference that was being broadcast on video chat platform, Zoom. Preacher Luo from Nanjing Road Church was speaking at the “Proclaim Jesus Gospel Gathering”  when police snatched the minister. He was released after four and a half hours of interrogation. 

According to a report by International Christian Concern (ICC), Luo used the time in police custody to witness about how Christians had been serving people in the city during the pandemic. The police were said to have been amazed by the good works of the faith community. 

Luo said: “I rebuke them, calling them out that they are not minding business that they should be minding. Christians disregarded their own lives to do good things, yet the police treat them as the bad guys, this is unreasonable.

“I also told them a few times in all seriousness, I will only live for Christ, I will not argue on other matters. However, I will never change [my persistence] about evangelism.” The police released him a short time later. 

At the end of January, when Wuhan was in a state of complete lockdown, ICC reported on a video which showed Christians distributing face masks and Gospel pamphlets to passersby on the streets. While believers would usually be arrested for such an open show of faith, during the height of the coronavirus outbreak, with police occupied with other matters, public shows of Christian kindness began to flourish. 

Source: Premier

At least 20 Christians killed in four-day Fulani militant spree in 16 Nigerian villages

At least 20 Christians were killed and several injured in four days of murderous Fulani militant attacks on 16 mainly-Christian villages in Nigeria’s Middle Belt.

Since January, 107 people were killed, 49 injured and 66 men, women and girls kidnapped in 63 attacks on mainly-Christian villages in the Kajuru area. At least 20,000 were displaced

Several people are also reported missing following the attacks that took place from 18 to 21 May in the Kajuru Local Government Area, Kaduna State. 

Awema Maisamari, national president of the Adara Development Association, said, “There were daily attacks and destruction from Monday to Thursday in the remote settlements of Magunguna, Idazo, Ungwan Galadima, Ungwan Guza, Etissi, Ungwan Ma’aji, Ungwan Dantata, Ungwan Araha 1 and 2, Ungwan Goshi, Ungwan Shaban, Ungwan Jibo, Ungwan Maijama’a, Ungwan Sako, Ungwan Maidoki and Ungwan Masaba … all satellite settlements of Kallah, Libere and Gefe towns.”

Mr Maisamari reported that, since January 2020, 107 Christians were killed in 63 attacks on Kajuru communities. Forty-nine people were injured, at least 66 men, women and girls were kidnapped and 111 houses were burnt. The raids have destroyed 32 villages since January, displacing 20,000 people, with attacks at their most severe in the past two weeks, as the Covid-19 lockdown continues.

“Killings, maiming, burning, looting and kidnapping have continued unabated from village to village,” Mr Maisamari said. “Our brutalised, dehumanised, terrified and traumatised community members are reeling in pain, ever wondering why this contrived anarchy is still being condoned by the powers that be,” he added. 

On 12 May, at least eight Nigerian Christians were killed when large numbers of gunmen stormed three villages in the Kajura Local Government Area, less than 24 hours after 17 Christians were murdered in a similar attack in the region. The number of attacks in Nigeria’s Middle Belt has soared during the Covid-19 lockdown as the extremists have exploited the fact that the authorities diverted security resources to combatting the virus.

Christians from the Adara tribe, one of the largest ethnic groups in Kaduna state, in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, have suffered kidnapping, robbery and murderous attacks mainly by militants from the Muslim-majority Hausa-Fulani in recent years. At least 12,480 Adara, who are about two-thirds Christian and about 7% Muslim, had already been forced to flee their homes because of the violence before these most recent attacks occurred.

Source: Barnabas Fund

China Forcing Christian Teachers to Renounce Their Faith so Students Are Properly Indoctrinated in Communism

By Steve Warren

In the Chinese government’s continuing effort to crush Christianity inside its borders, teachers are now being told to renounce their faith or face the consequences.

Bitter Winter reports this movement began in the communist country soon after President Xi Jinping underscored at a national education conference that the fundamental task for education is to train builders and successors of socialism. Since Xi’s speech almost two years ago, the pressure on teachers to indoctrinate students has been building. 

One example is a kindergarten teacher, a member of the state-run Catholic Church, who told the website she was afraid to go to church because of the mounting pressure she was receiving from the school’s administration. She told Bitter Winter that she has been constantly threatened to give up her faith for the last seven months. She said she has received criticism from her superiors, which includes comments like, “some teachers continue to hold religious beliefs while the Communist Party feeds them.”

“The state’s control over ideology is becoming stricter and stricter, particularly in the field of education,” the teacher said. “If teachers hold religious beliefs, not only follow the Communist Party, this becomes a political problem for the government.”

The teacher’s principal also warned her that funding from the government could also be withdrawn from the county if government officials learned about her faith. The funding is given as part of a Spiritual Civilization Award which is given to communities that are designated as “civilized,” i.e., economically developed and free of religion. 

“I learned that another county had all of its civilization awards revoked because an inspection team discovered two primary school students singing Christian hymns,” the teacher told Bitter Winter

“Teachers are required to indoctrinate children with patriotic ideology, make them believe and praise the Party,” she continued. “Moreover, schools have assigned special personnel to monitor and report on religious teachers and students. They were told to give up their faith, and some have been designated as key targets of surveillance, the authorities fearing that they will develop ‘counterrevolutionary influence,’ collude with foreign forces, and cause chaos.”

Source: CBN News