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Netanyahu Urges Ambassadors to Oppose Unilateral Palestinian Move at U.N.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday urged 19 visiting diplomats to oppose a drive by the Palestinians to win unilateral recognition of statehood at the United Nations without negotiating a peace agreement with Israel.

The delegation of 18 Washington-based ambassadors from four continents and one other senior diplomat met Netanyahu on day two of a five-day fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank organized by The Israel Project.

“I am going to ask you not to support this resolution,” Netanyahu told the group. He said the resolution, which Palestinian leaders are expected to bring to the United Nations General Assembly next month, could seriously damage the peace process and make future negotiations much more difficult.

The Response

30,000 Unite In Fasting, Prayer at The Response

AP Images/David J. Phillip

Despite protestors who traveled across Texas to picket what they viewed as a hate-based event—and despite the Unitarian church offering its alternative to the controversial event less than four miles away—more than 30,000 saints gathered in Houston’s Reliant Stadium on Saturday for The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis prayer.

And with no distance in the spirit, many more viewed the service streaming live and prayed along with Texas Governor Rick Perry, IHOP’s Luis and Jill Cataldo, Somebody Cares America’s Doug Stringer, Skyline Weslyan Church Senior Pastor Jim Garlow and other charismatic leaders.

Now, this body of believers is waiting on God’s response to the repentance, weeping, mourning, worshipping and fervent prayer.


Voodoo Priest Finds Christ in Haiti

Recently we told you about a grassroots effort to dedicate Haiti to Christ. According to those who participated, God moved.

Pastor Robert Ulysse, a minister in the northwest region of Haiti, says they prayed each day at a different crossroad in the region.

According to Ulysse, "After we closed the seventh crossroad event on Saturday, a Voodoo priest named Solivert Josep, came forward with his wife. They both declared that they wanted to renounce their Voodoo practices in favor of the 'Living God.' We filled three pickup trucks with Christians and drove to the Joseph's home to remove and burn their Voodoo articles."


Gossip Free Campaign Focuses on Social Networking

AP Images

While many know the negative impact gossip can have, few have stood up and tried to do something about it. Starting Monday, pastor Kevin Hester is challenging people around the world to go “Gossip Free” for eight days.

Hester, pastor at the Sanctuary Baptist Church in Watervliet, Mich., originally started the initiative on Aug. 8, 2008. This year the focus is on social networking—the source of a lot of hurtful gossip, especially for young people.

“There is no doubt that this issue is deeply impacting our young people and I am sure it is having a measurable impact on adults in family settings and in the work place as well,” Hester wrote Charisma News in an email.

Robert P. Evans

Evangelist Robert P. Evans Dies at 93

Photo courtesy of Wheaton College

At 10 p.m. on July 28, at his home in Shell Point Retirement Community, Ft. Myers, Fla., Robert Philip Evans died at the age of 93. Just hours before, his daughter, Alyce, read to him passages from Angels, God's Secret Agents, a book written by Billy Graham, where he describes how the angels would soon come and carry him away in their arms to be with his heavenly Father.

Longtime friend and colleague Billy Graham said of Evans, "Our close friendship goes way back to our days at Wheaton, and I am grateful for all our meetings throughout Europe that Bob organized. He was one of the greatest Christians I ever knew."

Born in Baltimore on Feb. 21, 1918, Evans grew up in the jungles of Cameroon, West Africa, where his father, Roland Evans, served for decades with his wife as one of the great pioneer missionaries of his time. Evans graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois, in 1939, where he met and married Jeanette Gruner. After completing his studies at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), Philadelphia, Evans joined the Navy as a chaplain and traveled with U.S. combat troops in North Africa, Italy and France.


Bible prison

Jailed Missionary Leads Inmates to Christ

People in one South Asian village accused Dhevan Das of forcefully converting people to Christianity—a serious allegation, which landed him in jail. But he didn't sit in his cell grieving about the situation. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to share God's love with his fellow inmates.

The Charges against Him
The accusations came after a believer in his church expressed interest in attending a Bible college. Pastor Dhevan was helping her enroll in the college when villagers began accusing him of forcing her to become a Christian.

He was arrested July 28 and formally charged with forced conversion. Initially, the police were going to release him on bail until a group of 30–40 people gathered in front of the police station shouting, "Do not release him! He is destroying our religion." They also filed a complaint against Dhevan.

India violence against Christians

Muslim Extremists Threaten to Burn Christian Women

AP Images/Manish Swarup

Four months after a recent convert to Christianity from Islam in eastern India’s West Bengal state was stripped and beaten, about 50 Muslim extremists yesterday disrupted a prayer meeting held in her home, threatening to burn it down if she did not return to Islam, area Christians said.

The extremists warned Selina Bibi of Motijil village in Murshidabad district that if she did not return to Islam, then she must either leave the area or see her house burned down. At her baptism at Believers Church four kilometers from her home on March 29, a large crowd of Muslim extremists disrupted the service, said a pastor identified only as Bashir.

“I pleaded with them to let me at least finish the worship service before they attack us,” he told Compass.


The Response Prayer Rally Draws Huge Response

After plenty of persecution—and even legal challenges—tens of thousands are gathering this morning for worship at Houston's Reliance Stadium for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's The Response: a call to prayer for a nation in crisis prayer.

"Not yet 10 a.m. and well over 20,000 already worshipping at the Response! We officially start at 10. PTL!!" Doug Stringer, founder of Somebody Cares America and a Response leader, posted to his Facebook friends.

You can watch the event streaming live at The Response.


The Home Depot Boycott Gains Momentum

AP Images/John Raoux

The do-it-yourself hardware superstore is facing heat from a pro-family group for its displays of homosexual activism.

The American Family Association (AFA) requested several times that The Home Depot remain neutral in the homosexual debate, and announced a boycott last month.

“Rather than remain neutral in the culture war, The Home Depot has chosen to sponsor and participate in numerous gay pride parades and festivals,” AFA's website states. “Most grievous is The Home Depot's deliberately exposing small children to lascivious displays of sexual conduct by homosexuals and cross-dressers, which are a common occurrence at these events.”

Pawlenty and Santorum

Pawlenty, Santorum Join Social Conservative Groups' Bus Tour

2012 presidential hopefuls Tim Pawlenty, left, and Rick Santorum cross campaign paths and shake hands on April 15 in Concord, N.H. (AP Images/Jim Cole)

Republican presidential candidates former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) are set to participate in a “Values Voter Bus Tour” next week, which will lead up to the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13.

“The Values Bus Tour will speak to the views held by millions of American voters who want to make sure that issues impacting the family and the broader culture are understood and addressed by each of the candidates,” Family Research Council President Tony Perkins says. “The race is clearly wide open. Values voters will be closely watching next week's events as they determine which of the candidates are willing to do what it takes once elected to restore fiscal sanity, protect marriage, safeguard religious liberty and protect the rights of the unborn.”

The Family Research Council, the National Organization for Marriage and the Susan B. Anthony List have organized the four-day tour, which will pass through 47 of Iowa's 99 counties with events in 22 cities.

OpEd: Charisma Meets the Digital Age

When I felt led to start a small church magazine, I barely knew what God had in store. That magazine released 36 years ago today, so I thought it was appropriate to reflect on what's happened, and more importantly what is on the verge of happening as we move boldly into the digital world.

Many of you know Charisma started at a megachurch in central Florida. I was working full time as a newspaper reporter then. My, how the media world has changed! The staff found this in the archives: a black-and-white photo of me holding a copy of The Rock, a youth newspaper that I published before Charisma. They had me hold an iPad to show the contrast. Back then I could have never imagined today's iPad! Yet I dreamed that maybe somehow we'd reach a million people. Do you know how many trees you'd have to cut down to print that many magazines?


Christian Accused of ‘Blasphemy’ in Pakistan Granted Rare Bail

In a rare move in Pakistan, a lower court in Punjab Province on Tuesday released on bail a young Christian man accused of blaspheming Islam.

The Magisterial Court of Chichawatni, Sahiwal district, granted bail to Babar Masih, who suffers from a psychiatric disorder that causes him to shout in fits of rage for as long as an hour without knowing what he is doing or saying. In the face of Islamic extremist threats, generally lower courts in Pakistan do not dare grant bail or acquit a Christian accused of blasphemy, leaving such decisions for higher court judges who enjoy greater security measures.

 The complainant in the case, Zeeshan Arshad, states in the First Information Report (FIR) that Masih was “addressing the stars and calling names of Muslim sages and holy personages” when he made the alleged remarks blaspheming Islam. The FIR itself states that Masih never intended to hurt Arshad’s religious feelings, and that no sane person would draw the ire of area residents by talking in this way.

VIDEO: Comical Faith

God has a way to get His message across to believers and nonbelievers alike. Sometimes that way is through laughter. Watch today's daily interest video to get a taste of God's sense of humor.

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New Film 'Warrior' to Inspire Forgiveness

Gavin O'Connor, director of the acclaimed Olympic hockey movie Miracle, returns to tell a story unveiling the Christian principles of healing and forgiveness in his second sports-related film, Warrior.

O'Connor takes viewers into the world of mixed martial arts and portrays the notion of fighting in both a physical and spiritual manner. Christian leaders who viewed early screenings of the film have seen a family overcome the devastation of alcoholism on screen and have walked away with powerful testaments.

"I just saw Warrior and it was epic," says Shawn Bolz, senior pastor of Expression 58 Church in Los Angeles. "Even though MMA fighting provides the backdrop, the true battle is the fight for forgiveness and the movie is a strong testament to the power of the family in that fight. I thoroughly recommend this movie; it is one of the best I have ever seen."

Sudan Map

Kidnapped Christian Girl in Sudan Escapes, Traumatized

Hiba Abdelfadil Anglo, 16, has escaped from a gang of Muslims who kidnapped her last year, but it may be a long time before she recovers from the trauma.

As she told Compass how the kidnappers beat, raped and tried to force her to convert from Christianity to Islam, she broke into tears for nearly half an hour.

“They did many bad things to me,” she said, tears streaming down her eyes.


Air Force Suspends Christian-Themed Ethics Training Program

The Air Force has suspended a course that was taught by chaplains for more than 20 years because the material included Bible passages.

The course, called “Christian Just War Theory” was taught by chaplains at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and used Scripture from both the Old and New Testaments to show missile launch officers that it can be moral to go to war.

Bible App Tears Down Obstacles, Makes Scriptures Accessible

The Bible has been translated into hundreds of languages across the globe, but obstacles hinder accessibility. Can people afford the Scriptures? Is the Word allowed in every nation? Can people there even read it?

Faith Comes By Hearing is obliterating these obstacles, and all with one quick click.

"Now, for the first time in history, you have one application that can singly distribute the Scriptures in all the languages of the world—spoken by at least five billion people," says Troy Carl, Faith Comes By Hearing's national director. "We're very, very excited about the accessibility of the Word of God to anybody, anywhere, at any time."


Hobby Lobby Donates Land to California Megachurch

Hobby Lobby is no longer known for its retail of arts and crafts alone. The $3 billion a year company now has its name connected to Saddleback Church led by Pastor Rick Warren. Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby has donated a 170-acre ranch in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., to the megachurch.

“Rick Warren, his staff and the church's congregation have contributed to the Lord's work on this property and we couldn't be more excited to donate this property to them,” said David Green, Hobby Lobby founder and CEO.

computers and children

ACLU Demands School District Remove LGBT Web Filter

AP Images/Coshocton Tribune, Dante Smith

The American Civil Liberties Union has demanded a Georgia school district to deactivate its Web filter that currently blocks student access to websites in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender category.

The Alliance Defense Fund sent a letter Friday urging Gwinnett County Public Schools to reject the ACLU's insistence, explaining that the district is well within its legal rights to keep the filter in place, especially since deactivating the filter would expose students to sites with sexually explicit content.

“School districts shouldn’t be bullied into exposing students to sexually explicit materials,” says ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman. “This latest scare tactic—under the facade of illegal censorship—is just another act of intimidation designed to forward the ACLU’s radical sexual agenda for children.”

Stuart Lawley

Morality in Media Calls for Federal Involvement in XXX Porn Domain

Stuart Lawley, chief executive of ICM Registry, Inc. (AP Images/J. Pat Carter)

News that the first hard-core porn company is now in business on the XXX domain caused Morality in Media Tuesday to call for an investigation of ICM Registry, the company behind the XXX domain, for possible violations of federal laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core obscene Internet pornography.

“Title 18 United States Code Sections 1462 and 1465 prohibit distribution of hard-core, obscene Internet pornography. Yet, isn't that the purpose of the XXX domain?” asked Patrick A. Trueman, president of Morality in Media and former chief of the U.S. Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division in Washington, D.C.

“Further, Title 18 U.S. C. Section 2 prohibits aiding and abetting a federal crime and title 18 U.S.C. 371 prohibits a conspiracy to commit a federal crime. The U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder should review the activities of ICM Registry in relation to these federal  criminal laws immediately,” said Trueman.

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