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Monthly archives: May, 2016

‘March for Jesus’ 2016: Brazil’s Christians Celebrate Freedom in Christ in ‘World’s Largest Christian Event’

By ALLAN I. VARQUEZ

Brazil’s ‘March for Jesus’ gathered Hundreds of thousands of evangelical Christians who took the streets of Sao Paolo, turning it into the “largest Christian event in the world.”

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Christians in Brazil celebrate their freedom in Christ in the annual March for Jesus Brazil. Reuters

The Reborn in Christ Church spearheaded Friday’s event that gathered double the attendance than that of last year. The crowd followed trucks fitted with speakers as the procession extended more than three miles across Sao Paulo with an ending point in downtown, where musicians played worship music until late night.

“It’s an event for the family, the biggest manifestation of faith,” Bishop Fernanda Hernandes Rasmussen said.

“This is a celebration for having the freedom to show our faith, and living with joy because of Christ salvation in us,” he added.

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Thousands of Evangelical Christians joined the ‘March for Jesus’ Reuters

The first ‘March for Jesus’ took place in 1987 in London. Other countries followed suit making it a global Christian event.

Brazil is predominantly Catholic. But with each passing year, the Evangelical Christians have grown into an increasingly powerful political force. Many pastors have been working in remote areas and in slums, gaining influence that the government does not have.

Police failed to give an estimate of Friday’s crowd, but organizers said the total number of participants exceeded 350,000, the number of last year’s participants.

Brazil’s President Michel Temer is a Christian, who have been enjoying support from evangelical groups. In exchange, he took two evangelical pastors to his cabinet- one for the trade the other for labor.

“A lot of Brazilians outside of major cities are fairly conservative morally, and the evangelical agenda resonates with them,” said Andrew Chesnut, a Latin American expert and professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.

 

Source:  Gospel Herald



Islamic State: Killings of civilians rises in Falluja, says UN

An increasing number of men and older boys are being killed in the besieged Iraqi city of Falluja for refusing to fight for so-called Islamic State (IS), the UN has warned.

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Only a few hundred of the thousands trapped in Fallujah have reportedly escaped as the city faces dire conditions

Government forces are currently trying to recapture the city from IS, one of its two remaining Iraqi strongholds.

About 50,000 civilians are trapped and supplies are so low there are reports people have starved to death.

Those that have been able to flee have described dire conditions inside.

“We have dramatic reports of the increase of the number of executions of men and older boys, refusing to fight on behalf of Isil,” said Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, using an alternative acronym for IS.

“Other reports say a number of people attempting to depart have been executed, or whipped. One man’s leg was amputated reportedly.”

With routes out of the city cut off and IS preventing people from leaving, the UN says only about 800 people have escaped in recent days.
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The Norwegian Refugee Council, who spoke to some of the families who fled, said the situation there was “critical”.

“It’s imperative that the warring parties give the thousands of women, men and children a safe exit now, and allow aid to reach the most vulnerable,” the NRC’s Country Director in Iraq, Nasr Muflahi, said.

Falluja fell to IS in 2014, a key moment in its rise that saw it declare a caliphate across swathes of Iraq and Syria.

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Mohammed and his family fled Falluja on Sunday, walking through the desert to a refugee camp. This is what he told the NRC.

The Iraqi government, backed by US air power, launched its offensive to retake Falluja earlier this week, and is reportedly battling the militants in surrounding villages.

“Hunger was our main motive to flee, as well as the constant fear of Isis (Islamic State).

“Last time we ate rice was four months ago, but we were not the worst off. Others have had no food for much longer.

“For the past months we fed on dried dates. It was rotting, stale dates that we could find, so we had to dry it in the sun to remove the bad smell before eating it.

“We got our drinking water directly from the river. But only those families with men who have bicycles have this privilege to fetch the river water. It’s considered better than the water from the agricultural network.

“Those channels are salty, dirty and they found animal carcasses floating in them. It’s used for cleaning and bathing, but those without men and bicycles end up drinking it too.”

 

Source: BBC News



Syria children “will soon die because of aid delivery obstacles” (Podcast 1’21”)

Please pray for the children in Syria who are facing a critical food shortage. Pray that ways will be found to get supplies to them

 

Children are so malnourished in Syria that they will soon be dying because of aid delivery problems, the UN said on Thursday.

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Al-Riad shelter, Aleppo, Syria, February 2015. File Photo: OCHA/Josephine Guerrero

Humanitarian aid coordinator co-chair Jan Egeland issued the warning amid ongoing obstacles getting overland food convoys into besieged and hard-to-reach areas.

This is despite agreements secured with government and opposition forces in the wartorn country to help more than one million people this month.

Here’s Dianne Penn.

The target of delivering aid to one million people in Syria in May is in peril; that’s the message from Jan Egeland, humanitarian aid coordinator, speaking at the UN in Geneva on Thursday.

Of the 18 areas besieged by the government and opposition forces in the wartorn country, Egeland said the situation is worst in Darayya, Moadamyia and Al-Waer.

“Even in areas where we had full approval from the government there has been infinite problems in reaching the places …Children are so malnourished in these place that they will be dying in these places if we are not able to reach them.

Also in Geneva, UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said that the option of using airdrops to deliver supplies has still not been ruled out.

These would require the assent of the Syrian government, but “logic would say” that it would be granted, de Mistura said, as it had already agreed elsewhere in Syria.

He was referring to besieged Deir-ez Zour in the east, where 110,000 people have received 700 tonnes of aid – enough food for a month.

On the subject of the UN-led peace talks, the Syria Envoy said that he intended to discuss the “best option” on their resumption with the Security Council in New York later on Thursday.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21”



Nigerian nurse describes sheltering 50 people fleeing Boko Haram (Podcast: 2’23”)

A retired nurse from Nigeria has been describing how she gave shelter to 50 people who were fleeing the Boko Haram terrorist group.

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Aishatu Margima at the World Humanitarian Summit. Photo: UN/Fabrice Robinet

The fifty displaced people ended up staying for seven months and were fed and looked after by 59-year old Aishatu Margima in Adamawa state, in the north-east of the country.

Ms Margima told her story to Fabrice Robinet at the World Humanitarian Summit which took place in Turkey this week.

She explained what happened to the people who were fleeing Boko Haram.

Duration: 2’23”



Christian school in Aleppo hit by missile

By Antony Bushfield

One person is dead and two are seriously injured after a missile hit a Christian school in Aleppo, Syria.

The weapon fell on Terra Santa Middle School on Saturday evening whilst a number of people, including many elderly, were inside.

It’s thought people had come to the school to seek refuge from the bombing of forces loyal to President Al-Assad.

The school had been considered a safe place that would not be targeted because of its religious links.

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Classes were run by Franciscan monks who had opened up some classrooms as a make shift refuge centre.

The missile shot through the wall as people gathered in a hall.

School principal Br. Firas Lutfi said: “The explosion was extremely violent, and it was strongly felt.

“Apparently there is a no longer one place in Aleppo that is 100 percent safe.”

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Source: Premier Media