Christian Kurds, Voice of the Martyrs, #ChurchToo, Paula White-Cain, Keith Getty
Christian Kurds Stay Put. More than 150,000 people have been displaced in Syria since the Kurdish region there was attacked by Turkey on Oct. 9, but Open Doors President David Curry said most Christians there remain committed to staying. He told Religion News Service they “are staying to try to be salt and light and love in this community. So that kind of courage is the thing that sticks out to me.” At least 21 civilians have been killed, according to the Kurdish Red Crescent. Christian aid groups, including Samaritan’s Purse, are working in the region and have said they plan to stay, too. Ben Irwin, spokesman for an organization called Preemptive Love that has been providing aid to the region, told Religion News Service, “We’re not going anywhere.”
Release Pastor Raymond. Voice of the Martyrs is sponsoring a petition drive to secure the release of a pastor kidnapped in Malaysia more than two years ago. On Feb. 13, 2017, Pastor Raymond Koh was kidnapped. Neither he nor his car have been found. A nearby security camera suggests that he may have been kidnapped by a secret police unit of the Malaysian government. According to Voice of the Martyrs’ todd Nettleton, VOM is attempting “to press for an explanation from Malaysia’s government as to what happened. You can sign the petition here: www.ReleaseRaymond.com. You can read MinistryWatch’s report on VOM here.
#ChurchToo Scandal Continues. The attorney general for Colorado, Phil Weiser, released a report this week detailing allegations of sex abuse in Colorado. According to an account in Religion News Service, 43 Roman Catholic priests abused at least 166 children over the course of 70 years. The more than 250-page report went public on Wednesday. Weiser described the scope of the abuse “unimaginable.” Perhaps the most troubling part of the report: At least “97 of the victims were sexually abused “after the Colorado Dioceses were on notice that the priests were child sex abusers.”
Christian Ministry Comes To Rescue. A Rapid Response Team (RRT) from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association deployed to Dallas, Texas, following severe storms and a damaging tornado Sunday night. Multiple tornadoes were reported. The biggest storm had winds of 140 mph and touched down near Love Field Airport. It was on the ground for nearly 40 minutes, destroying homes and leaving at least 55,000 people without power. “Although we thank God that there was no loss of life from this tornado, we are saddened that many people’s lives have been significantly impacted by the destruction left in its wake,” said Josh Holland, assistant director of the RRT. “We are praying for each family affected and our chaplains are blessed to be able to share the comfort and love of Jesus Christ to those who have lost so much.” To read MinistryWatch’s report on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, click here.
Something Fishy. Paula White-Cain has a new book out, called Something Greater. But the way she has been promoting it has drawn scrutiny from the media and others. According to a report in Christianity Today, “there has been concern in evangelical circles recently over how some of President Trump’s key evangelical allies—including Robert Jeffress, Jack Graham, and Franklin Graham—promoted Paula White-Cain’s new book.” CT’s account called their support “surprising” because of White-Cain’s prominence in the prosperity gospel movement. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, have classified White-Cain as a “charlatan” and “heretic.”
Tidings of Comfort and Joy. Keith and Kristyn Getty’s new Christmas album releases today. We don’t normally mention album releases in this column, but Getty deserves special mention as one of the few contemporary Christian artists working today who has been outspoken in his support for rich theology in the church. He also hasn’t shied away from tough issues. He was recently outspoken in his support for life when his native Northern Ireland lifted its protections for unborn children.