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OpenHeaven.com Forum : TOP NEWS - Worldwide Kingdom/Revival NEWS
Subject Topic: News From British Isles, Ireland, Europe and Worldwide Post Reply Post New Topic
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Posted: 07/06/2012 at 3:26pm | IP Logged Quote News Room

News From British Isles, Ireland, Europe and Worldwide

British Isles and Ireland Prayer News and Guidelines - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Secret documents expose gay marriage law

Secret documents that have hidden the truth behind the recent changes in the marriage laws, have been exposed by the Daily Mail. Schools could be required to teach children about gay marriage, Government documents reveal. Officials at the Home Office and the Department for Education concede that teachers may be under a legal obligation to inform children about same-sex marriage once it has passed into law. Under the Education Act 1996, pupils must learn about the nature of marriage and its importance for family life in sex education classes. Officials and ministers knew there was an issue, but said nothing to the public. The secret Government emails came to light following a Freedom of Information request. They show that Government officials were worried about how the media (and therefore the public) would react if it became known that redefining marriage would affect school lessons.

Pray:

that the truth would be exposed and those responsible would not continue to hide or distort the truth. (Ps.25:5)

More:

Christian group goes to court over cancelled marriage conference

Christian Concern is taking the Law Society and a government-owned conference centre to court after they cancelled the group's marriage conference. The conference was organised by Christian Concern and the World Congress of Families to debate the nature and role of marriage in light of the Government's consultation on legalising same-sex marriage. The Law Society cancelled Christian Concern's conference booking on the grounds that it breached their equalities policy. The group then booked the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, opposite the Houses of Parliament. However, the booking was cancelled by the conference centre the day before the conference was due to start on 23 May. At the time, Christian Concern sought an emergency injunction overnight but as no lawyers from the Treasury Solicitors Office were available, the injunction was unable to proceed. Despite the last-minute cancellation at the QEII Centre, the conference was able to go ahead as scheduled after an alternative venue was found.

Pray:

that moves by organisations to hold back discussions on marriage be thwarted. (Heb.13:4)

More:

Online porn linked to sex crimes rises in Scotland

Internet pornography, and young children sending each other sexual images online, have both been partly blamed for an increase in sexual offences in Scotland. Responding to recent figures, one group warned that children are easily getting hold of ‘extreme pornography’, while parents were also urged to get a grasp of what their children are seeing online. Sandy Brindley, from Rape Crisis Scotland, told The Herald newspaper: ‘There seems to be more young people committing sexual offences and this could be linked to the accessibility of extreme pornography.’ Gillian Wade, head of the National Sexual Crimes Unit, partly blamed the ‘unlimited access to the internet and social networking sites’ for the rise. ‘Parents need to be aware this can affect all young people from all walks of life, across all classes. It’s no good to sit back and think that your child isn’t involved.’

Pray:

for our young people that they will not be lured into pornography. Also pray for much tighter control of the availability of such material on the Internet. (1Jn.2:16)

More:

London Paralympics involve churches

The London Paralympics run from 29 August to 9 September. British Churches are organizing celebrations and activities for these Games but critics are wondering whether churches will be inspired to improve their own facilities for the disabled. ‘There’s a sharp contrast between the facilities provided for this event and those available in most churches. Between 10 and 18% of people are disabled but we don’t see that number in our congregations,’ said Tim Wood of Through the Roof. In spite of years of campaigning and changes to legislation that in theory require public buildings to have accommodations such as wheelchair ramps and designated parking spaces, more than half the churches in the UK still lack such features. ‘St. Paul spoke about people running in a race to win medals that don't last. Our churches offer something so much more. I hope the legacy of the Paralympics is that we welcome many more disabled people into our faith communities.’

Pray:

for the inclusion of all individuals, even those with mental, physical or emotional disability in our faith communities.

More:

Christians back call for banking code of conduct

The Association of Christian Financial Advisers (ACFA) has come out in support of calls for a mandatory code of conduct for the banking industry. The ACFA said it wants to see ethics put back at the centre of banking and a return to the founding Quaker principles of ‘honesty, integrity and plain dealing’. Arwyn Bailey, of the ACFA, welcomed the accountability shown in Mr Diamond's resignation. ‘In falling on his sword and resigning Bob Diamond has done the honourable and probably inevitable thing. The pressure must have been intolerable, for both him and his family,’ he said. Barclays chairman Marcus Agius, who announced his resignation one day before, will now become full-time chairman and oversee the process to appoint Mr Diamond's successor. ‘Without question Mr Diamond is the man who carries the can, but given such pressure for him to resign, who would be willing to step into his shoes?’

Pray:

for much higher standards of moral integrity in international banking and commerce. (De.8:18)

More:

Engineers urgently needed to keep ship ministry sailing

Having welcomed over three million visitors on board, Operation Mobilisation’s Logos Hope ship is in urgent need of a chief engineer to continue in ministry. Short-term chief engineers have filled the role on a temporary basis over recent months, but more consistent leadership is needed to oversee the operation of vessel systems and maintenance work. 'The combination of technical ability and marine qualification – together with leadership skills and a passion to serve God is indeed rare – but we are trusting God to call such people,' said OM Ships Crewing Director Mark Dimond. Launched in 2009, Logos Hope has welcomed one million people on board every year across five continents. The Christian crew have made Bibles, academic texts, children’s novels and much more available in dozens of countries, as well as completing numerous practical projects in needy communities as an expression of God’s love. More information about Logos Hope and the urgent engineering vacancies can be found at http://www.omships.org/engineers.

Pray:

for God to raise up a Christian engineer who will serve aboard the ship for an extended period of time. (1Pe.4:10-11)

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Keep faithful & carry on

The Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, has urged Methodists to focus on what it means to be a 'discipleship movement shaped for mission.' This is a continuation of the direction of travel set by Dr Atkins in his 2011 report to the Methodist Conference, which was very warmly received by the Church. Dr Atkins presented his 2012 report to the Annual Conference, meeting in Plymouth. In the report, he encouraged Methodists to 'keep faithful and carry on,' and spoke of the need for a culture shift in the Church. ‘The crucial thing is not to permit our commitment to discipleship and mission to falter,’ said Dr Atkins. He encouraged Methodists to look to the future with confidence, saying ‘We must look to the future to live properly in the present, and we believe in the future because of what God has done in the past and continues to do now, here, among us.’

Pray:

for growth in the Methodist Church and that all Christians will heed Dr Atkins’ message to 'keep faithful and carry on'. (2Ti.4:7)

More:

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European Prayer News and Guidelines - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Spread of 'baby boxes' in Europe alarms United Nations

The United Nations is increasingly concerned at the spread in Europe of ‘baby boxes’ where infants can be secretly abandoned by parents, warning that the practice ‘contravenes the right of the child to be known and cared for by his or her parents’, the Guardian has learned. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, which reports on how well governments respect and protect children's human rights, is alarmed at the prevalence of the hatches – usually outside a hospital – which allow unwanted newborns to be left in boxes with an alarm or bell to summon a carer. Almost 200 hatches have been installed across the continent in the past decade in nations as diverse as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Latvia. Since 2000, more than 400 children have been abandoned in the hatches, with faith groups and right-wing politicians spearheading the revival in the controversial practice.

Pray:

that this controversial practice of ‘baby boxes’ would be curtailed and ultimately stopped. (Pr.21:21)

More:

Anti-fraud chief: Countries under-report EU funds scams

The European Union's anti-fraud body recovered a record 691 million euro last year, it said on Tuesday, but expressed concern that public bodies were getting more reluctant to tip it off for fear of damaging national reputations. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) - which monitors the use of EU funds and investigates wrongdoing within EU institutions - saw an increase in private tip-offs thanks to a new internet notification system, it said in its 2011 annual report. But information from EU institutions and member states was becoming more scarce, said OLAF's director-general. ‘This decrease in information from public authorities worries us,’ Giovanni Kessler told reporters. Many of the larger fraud cases concern EU Structural Funds, which pay for regional infrastructure projects and are overseen by member states. One such investigation, into the financing of road works in Italy, yielded 389 million euro in recovered EU funds last year.

Pray:

against any actions leading to deceit and lies within our leaders. (Ps.32:2)

More:

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Worldwide Prayer News and Guidelines - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

Nigeria: Government tactics and Muslim converts

President Goodluck Jonathan fired his defence minister and national security adviser, saying the government needs new tactics to counter Boko Haram. Since 2001 when Sharia Law was established in Northern Nigeria 13,750+ Christians have been killed. Since last December 300+ churches have been destroyed. Five million Christians in Northern Nigeria live under severe persecution with Islamic groups regularly issuing ultimatums to Christian communities to leave the area or die. Christians suffer attacks which are pre-planned and well-coordinated. There are many attempts to force Christians to convert to Islam under the threat of death. Many have courageously died as martyrs rather than deny Christ. However - many Muslims, both persecutors and those appalled by the behaviour of Jihadists have been won to Christ in recent years. Muslims complain that Christian Evangelism has become a big threat. See: http://frontline-org-za.win03.glodns.net/articles/TheChurchU nderAttackNigeria.htm

Pray:

for God to show President Jonathan and Nigeria’s leaders the way forward and for many more Muslims to come to know the only way to salvation. (2 Thes. 3:1-2)

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Global: Ramadan 2012

Some time ago Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ wrote. ‘We are experiencing an amazing phenomenon. Moslems are having dreams and visions confirming the reality of Christ’. The month of Ramadan runs from July 20th to August 18th and followers fast from food and water during daylight hours believing it’s a holy opportunity to draw closer to God through obedience rules. Many mosques have extended prayer times. Seekers cry out to God for revelation, and at the same time many Christians pray for Muslims to encounter Jesus. Reports are multiplying of Muslims converting to Christianity through dreams during Ramadan and at other times. A survey of 600 ex-Muslim believers showed 42% of Africans came to Christ through visions, dreams, angelic appearances and hearing God's voice. One-fourth of the world’s Muslim population live in the Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. (457 million) For encouraging stories of Muslims experiencing supernatural encounters with Jesus Christ click the more button.

Pray:

for dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, for Muslims to have opportunities to hear Christian broadcasts, access Christian websites and come into contact with Christians at this time. (Ac.2:14-21)

More:

Vietnam: Patriotic Front

A group of thugs linked to the Vietnam Patriotic Front, activated by local authorities, who pay each thug up to 25 dollars for their actions, targeted believers in a house of prayer celebrating Sunday Mass on July 1st. The mob brutally injured dozens of people and is the latest in a series of persecution incidents targeting Christian communities in the area since last November. In response the parishioners have protested outside the offices of the district Con Cuong People's Committee, asking the local party secretary to put an end to violations and respect the principle of freedom of religious profession. But leaders continue to ignore these requests and allocate police to harass the faithful. In recent weeks the traffic control officers have closed access to churches, making it increasingly difficult to participate in mass and services. The faithful expect a strong and resolute stance from the Bishop of Vinh, in defence of religious freedom.

Pray:

for the church in Vietnam to be strengthened, protected and encouraged to continue to peacefully speak out for the religious freedom laws of the country. (Mat.16:18)

More:

Maldives: No religious freedom

Maldives is no 6. on Open Doors World Watch List of countries that persecute Christians, and the top item on the Maldives list of border control’s prohibited items is ‘religious materials offensive to Islam’. Every citizen has to be Muslim and the government views itself as the protector and defender of Islam. Churches are forbidden, evangelism is banned and believers hide their faith from their families. Last October a foreign Christian teacher was deported after police found a Bible in his house. Yet there are underground pastors in this beautiful holiday destination. They have incredible drive, stamina, and they can survive and grow in any environment, bringing life wherever they go. Please pray for the few indigenous Christians to have courage amidst the secrecy. Many young people seek education outside the islands. Pray that they would have the opportunity to hear the gospel. Maldivian society contends with huge social problems of drug and alcohol abuse, marriage breakdown and child abuse. Pray that people will discover God’s forgiveness.

Pray:

for God to protect, encourage and anoint the underground pastors to bring about change in the islands. (Is.2:1-3)

More:

Kenya: Faith leaders condemn church attacks

Kenyan Christian and Muslim leaders condemned attacks on two churches on 1 July in Garissa that left 17 people dead and 66 injured. Our Lady of Consolata Catholic Church and the evangelical Garissa African Inland Church were attacked simultaneously by masked gunmen. Troops often muster in Garissa for operations against al-Shabab insurgents in neighbouring Somalia, leading to speculation that the attacks were launched by the group or its allies. Rev Peter Karanja said, ‘We are deeply saddened Kenyans who were worshipping God were mercilessly murdered by criminals who hid their faces because they could not face up to their dastardly acts'. Police said the assailants want people to feel that Christians and Muslims are fighting. Cardinal John Njue said the Roman Catholic Church believed the country was not at a time of religious war. Muslim leaders said, ‘Any God-fearing person will not celebrate the death of innocent people who gather for the purpose of worship or any other course.’

Pray:

against those instigating sectarian violence, and that the Kenyan constitution affirming freedom of religion would be maintained. (Ps.45:4)

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Egypt: Christian comments

The following is from an Egyptian Christian’s blog after Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election. ‘Watching all the celebrations and fireworks many are asking, is hope and peace still possible for the Egyptian church? Can we put hope in the shallow speech that Morsi gave after his election? – a speech with strong Islamic accent, with language indicating he’s the new ‘Khailef’ (head of Muslim state). Can we count on the political wisdom of Morsi and his administration to unify Egyptians from different ideologies, backgrounds and beliefs? How soon will we Christians see, live and suffer the consequences of having a Muslim Brotherhood president? Neither I nor any other Christian in Egypt can answer these questions. There are too many uncertainties. But the one great assurance remains - we love and follow a mighty loving God who has the ultimate authority to put presidents and kings in positions of authority or take them out. This Father is MY Father and He promised never to leave us or forsake us.’

Pray:

for Egyptian Christians to be able to work and live unhindered under God's protection, for Almighty God to govern those now placed in authority over Egypt. (1Tim.2:1-3)

More:

USA: Same-sex marriage

The Coalition of African-American Pastors demanded on Monday that President Obama meet with the group to address his stance on same-sex marriage. So far the White House has refused to acknowledge the group's request but leaders say they plan to ‘turn up the heat’ by asking black Christians to sit on the political side-lines for the time being. ‘We have requested a meeting with President Obama and until he meets with us, we are going to ask black Christians to withhold their support until he personally hears our concerns,’ said the Rev Bill Owens. ‘More than anything, this is an issue of biblical principles and President Obama is carrying our nation down a dangerous road. Many African-Americans were once proud of our president but now many are ashamed of his actions. We can't compete with the Hollywood folks who are raising the big bucks for the president. But it was black folks who rallied around him in 2008’

Pray:

that President Obama will hear God's voice spoken through the tens of thousands of black American Christians of many denominations. (Heb.13:7)

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Praise Reports - CLICK to return to Top of Bulletin

China: Government invites Christian marriage course

Remarkable news from China is that Alpha’s Marriage Course has been approved for distribution and use throughout the country. The news came as Marriage Course founders Nicky and Sila Lee were invited to China to run a two-day marriage conference in Beijing. Nearly half the delegates were government employees involved in selecting and training foster parents for projects across China. The vision to use The Marriage Course to train foster parents has created an extraordinary opportunity for The Marriage Course and Marriage Preparation Course to be used in China. National and local governments are interested in using the courses to strengthen marriage and family life across the country. There are currently over 1.8 million divorces each year in China.

Praise:

God for this opportunity and pray that it will lead to a wider acceptance of Christian marriage principles. (Ps.48:10)

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UK: New online library for evangelism

A new online library has been launched for people interested in evangelism and new forms of church, which will provide them with free access to research papers and theses. The website, SCOLER (The Sheffield Centre Online Library of Evangelism Research) is a joint initiative between the Church Army’s team of researchers at The Sheffield Centre and the Churches Group for Evangelisation. The purpose of the library is to make deeper thinking around evangelism and new forms of church available to people who want to study further, and to demonstrate this level of learning to the wider church. Each thesis, at either MA or PhD level, has its own webpage giving details of who wrote it, which college validated it, the full abstract and a free PDF to download.

Praise:

God for this initiative and pray that this tool will increase and equip the saints for evangelism. (Eph.4:12)

More

Source: Tony Taylor and Prayer Alert Team editor@prayer-alert.net
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