Study Claims Most Christian Men Regularly View Pornography

A new survey from Proven Men Ministries claims that 77 percent of Christian men between the ages of 18 and 30 look at pornography at least monthly. The study was conducted by Barna Group and sampled 388 self-identified Christian men. 

 According to the study, 36 percent of men view pornography daily and another 32 percent admit to being addicted to pornography. For middle-aged Christian men, the survey found that 77 percent look at pornography while at work and 64 percent are looking at pornography at least monthly.

Married men also reported that 55 percent look at pornography monthly and 35 percent of married men had an extramarital sexual affair. “These statistics knock the wind right out of you. They also confirm what we already know; that there definitely is a problem with pornography and affairs among Christian men and that they are starving for the church to step forward with solutions,” according to Joel Hesch, who sponsored the survey and is the founder of the biblically based Proven Men Ministries. 

 He adds: “The purpose of the survey was not to point fingers, but to get a better grasp on the scope of the problem in light of ready access to pornography in this Internet era.

Ukraine: Christians Threatened with Firing Squads, Pastors Held Hostage

Reports are surfacing that rebels are threatening churches, interrupting services and even holding pastors hostage in eastern Ukraine.

According to reports, rebels broke a ceasefire and attacked Donetsk airport this week. Thursday, a Red Cross aid worker was killed by shelling in Donetsk. Last week, a Seventh Day Adventist minister was abducted during a church service by pro-Russian gunmen.

The Institute for Religious Freedom, which is based in Kiev, has reported several incidents of religious persecution that happened over the summer, including the capture of four men from Transfiguration Evangelical Church in Donetsk. One man escaped and said the others had been tortured and shot to death.

 Other churches have reported that their buildings have been looted and taken over by pro-Russian forces.”They ordered us to take the furniture and get out, insisting that these churches are sects and they will be destroyed. The people in the building were threatened with a firing squad if they made a fuss about the incident,” pastor Segiv Kosiak told IRF about the taking of the Word of Life Evangelical Church.

Travelodge of England Removes Bibles from Hotel Rooms

Travelodge of England has become the first hotel chain to remove Bibles from its guest rooms, a move that has sparked concern from Christians. According to Travelodge, the decision was made in 2007 in an effort to make the hotel more accessible to a diverse group of travelers.

“This decision was based on customer research and the fact that we live in a multicultural society. Therefore in order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge’s 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel,” the company said in a statement.

But the Daily Mail reports that one Travelodge in Battersea did not even supply a Bible at the reception desk. When one hotel guest requested to borrow a copy, the desk attendant suggested that the guest use the hotel’s free internet to read it online. The branch manager later confirmed that the hotel Bibles had not been replaced since the branch was refurbished last year.

The Church of England expressed its regret for the situation saying, “[It is] both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word ‘diversity.’”

Travelodge maintains that it has not received any customer complaints regarding the decision.

christianheadlines.com, Publication date: August 18, 2014

For the First Time in 2,000 Years, Mosul Is Devoid of Christians

Iraq’s Christians are begging the world for help. Is anybody listening?

Since capturing the country’s second-largest city of Mosul in early June, the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, has ordered Christians to convert to Islam, pay taxes levied on non-Muslims, or die. The extremist Sunni group is also persecuting and murdering Turkmen and Shabaks, both Muslim religious minorities.

Human-rights lawyer Nina Shea described the horror in Mosul to me: “(The Islamic State) took the Christians’ houses, took the cars they were driving to leave. They took all their money. One old woman had her life savings of $40,000, and she said, ‘Can I please have $100?’, and they said no. They took wedding rings off fingers, chopping off fingers if they couldn’t get the ring off.”

“We now have 5,000 destitute, homeless people with no future,” Shea said. “This is a crime against humanity.”

For the first time in 2,000 years, Mosul is devoid of Christians.

“This is ancient Nineveh we are talking about,” Shea explained. “They took down all the crosses. They blew up the tomb of the prophet Jonah. An orthodox cathedral has been turned into a mosque. … They are uprooting every vestige of Christianity.” University of Mosul professor Mahmoud Al ‘Asali, a Muslim, bravely spoke out against the Islamic State’s purging of Christians and was executed.

Lebanon-based Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younnan, who heads the Syrian Catholic Church, called the crisis “religious cleansing” in an interview.

“I want to tell American Christians to stand up, wake up and no longer be a silent majority. American-elected representatives need to stand up for their principles on which the U.S. has been founded: the defense of religious freedom … and respect for human rights.”

Mosul’s Christians have fled to Kurdistan, which is providing refuge. Going back to Mosul is not an option: The Islamic State has given their houses and businesses away. There is nothing to go back to even if the Islamic State left.

Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf has taken to the House floor three times in the past week to plead for action from the U.S. and world community.

Wolf told me, “The Kurds have done a good job, but they are bearing the burden. President Obama should thank and encourage the Kurds for protecting the Christians. He also needs to provide (humanitarian aid), including funds for water and food.”

Though many Iraq War boosters have claimed that keeping U.S. troops there would have avoided this atrocity, Shea pointed out that a million Christians left Iraq in the decade before the Islamic State’s purge campaign. The U.S. invasion “did not benefit the Christians at all. Back in 2007, jihadists moved into Baghdad’s Christian Dora neighborhood and did just what they are doing in Mosul now. We had 100,000 troops on the ground and we pushed them out, but the Christians never got back their property.”

Patriarch Younan concurred, telling me, “Christians used to live (peacefully) and get educated. But since the invasion in 2003, there is…no safety.”

Christianity Outlawed in Central Indian Villages

Several villages in central India have outlawed the open practice of Christianity—a move of questionable legality yet one that worries church leaders who say it already has encouraged anti-Christian violence.

“The situation is becoming worse. The anti-Christian propaganda is becoming stronger,” Arun Pannalal, president of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum, told World Watch Monitor on Tuesday. Chhattisgarh is one of India’s 29 states, in the heart of the country.

Pannalal said the village of Belar, in Chhattisgarh’s southeast district of Bastar, convened a Gram Sabha, or village assembly, on July 6 and passed a resolution banning all non-Hindu religious activities.

The Belar assembly, Pannalal said, was an echo to Gram Sabha of representatives from about a dozen villages held May 10 in Sirsiguda village, also in Bastar district. There, the delegates passed a resolution banning the outward practice of non-Hindu faiths.

“To stop the forced conversion by some outsider religious campaigners and to prevent them from using derogatory language against Hindu deities and customs, the Sirsiguda Gram Sabha bans religious activities such as prayers, meetings and propaganda of all non-Hindu religions,” said the text of the resolution. It contains no provisions for penalties.

“These meetings are held under the Chhattisgarh Panchayati Raj Act,” or Village Council System Act, Pannalal said. He said the councils erroneously believe the act provides a legitimate legal foundation upon which to ban minority religious practice.

“Hindu fundamentalists are using this provision to take the people for a ride to enforce their agenda,” he said. “Their strategy is to use the influential gram sabhas to adopt such controversial resolutions to mislead the locals to believe that banning non-Hindus is well within the law.”

The Times of India, a national English-language daily newspaper, on July 9 quoted a claim by Suresh Yadav, the Bastar district president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, that more than 50 villages have adopted similar resolutions.

The Rev. Aneesh Andrews, Methodist district superintend for the region, told World Watch Monitor that after the resolutions are passed, poor Christian families in some villages have been denied government rations of staples such as wheat, rice and sugar, and access to village water sources such as tube wells and common ponds.

“In some places, the passing of the resolution has been followed by attacks on pastors and pulling down of village churches,” Andrews said.

“It is not just passing of a resolution,” he said. “This is a ploy to harass Christians.”

Following the adoption of the multi-village resolution at the Sirsiguda village, 10 Christians—including three pastors—were assaulted by Hindu fundamentalists, according to a report by the Salt Foundation, an Indian religious-freedom organization.

Christians in the villages “were not given access to (rations) due to their religious practices and for not giving donations to the village’s Hindu temple, as reported by our area coordinator,” the foundation report said. “Without the ration cards, they were not able to receive any food from the government ration shop and if they went and bought food from (shops in) the city it would be exorbitantly expensive. This made them raise a concern.”

In two villages, Gadiya and Parapur, Christians have been ordered to leave town “or suffer the consequences,” according to the Rev. Vijayesh Lal, national director of the Religious Liberty Commission for the Evangelical Fellowship of India. The threats, Lal said, have been made by groups containing members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist organization.

“If timely protection and intervention is not provided, there is an apprehension of anti-minority violence,” Lal said in a July 15 letter to Chhattisgarh Chief Secretary Vivek Dhand. Lal also conveyed reports of a Christian man in Kue Mari village who had been ordered to pay a fine. He did, and yet his house was burned down, Lal said.

“Today he is living under a plastic sheet with his family that includes three children and his elderly parents. I humbly request you to please intervene in his situation and provide him some relief and protection,” Lal wrote to Dhand.

The resolutions popping up in Chhattisgarh are the first of their kind, according to Rolf Zeegers, an analyst for Open Doors International, a charity that provides aid to Christians who live under pressure because of their faith.

“Christian leaders fear that the ban will increase suspicion and distrust in the community, generating disharmony and hate that could have disastrous consequences for non-Hindus,” Christians and Muslims alike, Zeegers wrote in a recent Open Doors report.

“Following the ban and the attack on a church being the latest in a string of violent incidents, Christian leaders affirmed that Chhattisgarh is becoming a cauldron of hate mongering against non-Hindus,” he said.

Chhattisgarh law already requires residents to obtain government permission before they can change religions, placing the state among the handful in India with laws restricting conversion. The anti-conversion laws, held up as a tool to defend individuals from being forced to convert against their will, are regarded by religious-freedom advocates as a tool that instead is used to drive minorities into the corners of society. And Chhattisgarh, governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, is particularly fertile political ground for anti-minority abuse, church leaders fear.

“The situation could get worse. We have to be vigilant,” said Purna Sagar Nag, bishop of the Chhattisgarh diocese of the Church of North India. “Right now, it is confined to [Bastar] district; it may spread to other areas.”

“We are planning to take it up with the higher government officials to ensure that this stopped at the earliest,” he said.

The head of Bastar’s district administration, Ankit Anand, dismissed the village resolutions as “legally null and void” documents that aren’t enforced by government agencies.

Legality aside, the chief concern among church leaders is the potential the resolutions have to encourage a climate of impunity toward religious minorities.

Catholic Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi has urged authorities to intervene and stop the ban on non-Hindu missionaries in Bastar district. In a statement released to the press, Couto said a ban “violates constitutional rights of freedom of faith, and the freedom of movement, expression” and will have “serious impact on the secular ethos of India, and damages its international reputation.”

“Though it could be considered as just another ban on Christian missionaries at the behest of fundamentalist groups and bigoted political functionaries, who are now greatly encouraged, it is a grave assault on the fundamental rights of individuals and peoples’ groups,” he said.

Allowing the bans to stand, the archbishop said, would encourage extremist religious organizations to wage hate campaigns against Christians, which in turn give rise to organized violence.

Last Christian Forced Out of Mosul after 2,000 Years

Christians have inhabited Mosul for over 2,000 years, but the last Christian fled the Iraqi city on Saturday around noon. ISIS militants had demanded that all Christians leave Mosul, convert to Islam or be killed. The ultimatum prompted thousands of people to leave the city; 500,000 have been forced to flee since ISIS gained control of the city on June 10.

Former Mosul residents said that militants forced themselves into homes, stole anything they saw and threatened to kill families inside. The Muslims who remain in the city are now being controlled under strict Sharia law; many Muslims are trying to escape now as well.

 Iraqi Christians are asking for protection from ISIS militants in Ninevah province. Many citizens fear that the insurgent group will continue to attack and are calling on the international community for help.

Massive Attack on Five Churches, Boko Haram Burnt Five Churches, Over 100 Worshipers Killed During Sunday Service.

Five churches, including COCIN, EYN and Deeper Life Bible Church, in Kwada village about 10 kilometres from Chibok town, were on Sunday attacked by Boko Haram insurgents.

The attackers, according to report from locals in Chibok, targeted the time when worshipers were ready for the Sunday Service.

“They killed and burnt houses after attacking worshipers in five churches in Kwada; after that, they advanced to Kautikari, less than 8 kilometres to Chibok town, whey they equally killed people and destroyed properties.

“I’m not sure security agencies have gone to rescue the villagers, but I learnt that the insurgents are still in pursuit of the remaining villagers”, Mallam Yahi told DailyPost.

It was gathered that residents of Chibok town have also fled their homes, following the news of the attacks in Kwada and Kautikari.

DailyPost recalls that few weeks ago, there
was panic in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, following a letter purportedly written to them by the sect members.

A top local government official in Chibok town, who did not want his name in print revealed this to newsmen in Maiduguri the Borno State capital on Sunday.

According to him, when they met the police with the letter, they were assured of maximum protection.

He, however, said the police were also complaining of fuel for their vehicle.

He said the local government had also assured the security operatives that they were going to buy fuel for them.

He said, “whenever Boko Haram members tell you that they are coming, they never fail to come. Our fears now is that we don’t know when and how they are going to come.

“We are calling for prayers as well as on government to provide us with adequate security in Chibok”.

On the ongoing attacks in the area, it was gathered that a police officer, Peter Maina was called out during Sunday service in Church in Maiduguri, to be informed that his brother was killed at Kwada.

Meanwhile, the Chibok Community in Maiduguri broke into a session of prayer on Sunday after receiving the news of ongoing attacks on the two villages.

The worst places on Earth for Christians

WASHINGTON – Somewhere around the world, another Christian is martyred, on average, every three hours, according to a new report that probably not surprisingly identifies nations where radical Islamists are abundant as the worst locations on Earth for Christians to be. 

The new World Watch List research team for Open Doors International said the majority of the cases in which Christians are killed over their faith happen in Nigeria, Syria and the Central African Republic.

“The alarming increase of violence against Christians in Nigeria over the past months highlights the lack of religious freedom they have and the daily dangers they face from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and other violent Islamic organizations,” David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, said.

Organization CEO David Curry added, “Going to school, attending church or identifying yourself as a Christian is a very brave decision in Nigeria. It is turning into a bloodbath. Christians in the West must stand in the gap with our prayers and support.”

The report looks at the nations where there is the most violence, up to and including murder, against Christians.

It is based on attacks between Nov. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014, and lists Nigeria, Syria, Egypt, Central African Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia, India, Kenya and Iraq, in that order.

Observers might be surprised to find North Korea, the 2014 World Watch List’s No. 1 worst persecutor of Christians, absent from the Top 10 Violence List.

“When it comes to counting the numbers of Christians martyred, it is impossible to get an accurate number for North Korea,” said Jan Vermeer, Open Doors field worker for North Korea. “This is not because there are no Christians being killed for their faith. It is a fact that thousands of Christians are starved, abused and tortured in North Korea’s extensive prison system. But due to an inability to derive sufficiently accurate figures about the reasons for killing Christians in this most secretive society, North Korea is excluded from the total number of killings.”

In all countries where Christians are persecuted, researchers recorded 3,641 churches and Christian properties destroyed and 13,120 other forms of violence against Christians such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests and forced marriages.

Playing God, UK Will Offer Sex-Change Drug to 9-Year-Olds

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is planning to offer sex-change treatment to children as young as 9, using a controversial drug that will block the onset of puberty.

Known as hypothalamic blockers, the drugs prevent the development of sexual organs so that less surgery is needed if the patient decides to change sex after reaching adolescence.

The treatment, aimed at youngsters who claim they feel trapped in the wrong body, has come under severe criticism, with Conservative MP Andrew Percy accusing the clinic offering the drug of “playing God.”

Percy says, “I think many people will be horrified at the thought of a 9-year-old being provided with a drug that effectively stops them developing and maturing naturally.”

Speaking on LBC Radio, Christian Concern’s Andrew Marsh highlighted his reservations, saying, “It’s tragic that children, perhaps as young as 9, are going to be confronted with a choice to take the first step on a journey that could have huge consequences on their lives. It is deeply irresponsible that children as young as 9 are at risk of ideologically driven experiments.”

Police Investigate Church After Poster Warning About Hell

6/2/2014 

Police have investigated a Baptist church over a poster which suggested non-believers would burn in Hell.

A 20-year-old passer-by complained the sign did not tally with the message “love thy neighbour.”

The poster read: “If you think there is no God, you better be right” with a picture of burning flames below the words.

Pastor John Rose of Attleborough Baptist Church in Norfolk, said the poster was an attempt to get people to engage with the Christian message and he regretted that it had been interpreted as inciting hatred.

A police spokesman said national guidance required them to investigate the complaint that the poster was offensive and the matter had been recorded as a “hate incident.” After talking to the police the poster was taken down.