Friday, January 13th, in the year of our Lord 2017
By Kevin Swanson
Open Doors USA Releases List of Most Dangerous Places for Christians
Open Doors USA released their 2017 World Watch List (https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/) which ranks the top 50 most dangerous countries for Christians to live. The group noted that 2016 was the worst year of persecution on record with a shocking 215 million Christians experiencing high levels of persecution for their faith. Worse yet, over 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016, according to a report from the Center for Study of Global Christianity. That’s one death every six minutes.
The top 10 worst offenders were North Korea, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Eritrea.
The World View spoke with Kristin Wright of Open Doors who explained how they document the problem.
“Open Doors examines the degree of freedom that a Christian has to live out their faith in five spheres of life – that would include family, private life, community, national, and church. Plus, we add in a sixth category – the degree of violence that Christians face. Points are given for each incident of persecution that happens.”
Not surprisingly, Islamic extremism is a major driver of persecution in 35 of the 50 countries which threaten Christians. Despite how dire things look, Wright has hope.
“Open Doors is urging the Trump Administration to take this issue very seriously. There is a role of the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom within the U.S. State Department. The person who is in this role is effectively leaving on January 20th unless action is taken to allow him to stay past that date. That’s a very practical recommendation that Open Doors is urging the Trump Administration to take action on.
“Under the Obama Administration, the role of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom was actually left vacant for 27 months. We want to make absolutely certain that this administration takes this issue seriously and doesn’t allow for the vacancy to last that long. We want to make sure that someone is appointed and that they are appointed within the first 100 days of the new administration.”
Wright explained to The World View that Open Doors strives to help our brothers and sisters in Christ holistically.
“We’re not just looking to need practical needs, although those are very important, but we’re also addressing spiritual needs, emotional needs, psychological needs. Trauma counseling has become a huge part of Open Doors’ work in countries like Syria and Iraq and in surrounding countries.”
Nominee for Defense Secretary Won’t Oppose Women’s Serving in Combat
Trump’s nomination for Defense Secretary, James Mattis, told the Senate Committee considering Cabinet appointees, he has “no plans to oppose women serving in any aspect of our military.” And, when asked about homosexuals in the military, he said, “I don’t care who people go to bed with.” Plus, Mattis spoke out for a stronger military, a stronger NATO, and a stronger military presence in the Baltics as a deterrent to Russia. He said, “Moscow raises grave concerns on several fronts.”
Nominee for CIA Director Declares Jesus Christ as Savior
Congressman Mike Pompeo also attended confirmation hearings for his nomination as CIA Director where he spoke emphatically against torture of prisoners by waterboarding. Pompeo is a pro-life, evangelical Christian who says, “Jesus Christ is our Savior, and the only solution for our world.”
Families of Dylann Roof’s Victims Express Forgiveness
The South Carolina church shooter, Dylan Roof, received final admonitions from the victims’ families before he was officially sentenced to death. One father of a victim told him, “Your Creator is coming for you.”
Rose Simmons, daughter of the pastor killed in the attack told Roof, “I grieve for you because your heart refuses to recognize and yield to this great power of forgiveness. . . I pray that one day when you meet Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, He will also extend to you His hand.” A number of the victims’ family members offered their forgiveness during the sentencing.
The message to Roof is the message for all of us, “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
TSA Confiscated Record Number of Guns This Past Year
The Transportation Security Administration has confiscated a record number of guns from Americans in 2016 – a total of 3,391 guns. That’s up 28% from 2015 and five times the confiscations they recorded for the year 2005.
Three Missionaries Held Captive by Islamic Terrorists
At least three missionaries are still being held captive by Islamic terror groups.
Jeff Woodke was kidnapped from his home in Niger, Africa back in October. And, according to World Magazine, a Swiss missionary, Beatrice Stockly, was kidnapped in Mali a year ago and is still in captivity. The al-Qaeda group holding the woman released a video recently in which Stockly is seen greeting her family and confirming that she is in good health. Plus, an Australian medical missionary named Ken Elliot is still in captivity, although his wife Jocelyn has been released.
George Soros Comes Out the Loser in November Election
The Big Loser in the November election was the liberal financier George Soros! The Wall Street Journal reports that Soros lost $1 billion on his bets in the stock market after the election. He spent $7 million on the Pro-Hillary Priorities USA Action PAC over the last two years. He’s down $1 billion, but his net worth still tops $25 billion according to Forbes Magazine.
Four-Year-Old Girl Has Read One Thousand Books
There’s a four-year-old girl in Georgia who has read 1,000 books on her own!
Daliyah Marie Arana has been reading since she was two, and she hasn’t stopped yet. The Gainesville Times online story includes a video of the little tyke reading a college-level tome.
Storms in California Relieve Drought
In God’s providential mercies, the latest storms over California have relieved drought conditions in at least 40% of the state. State water reservoirs have filled up, according to reports from the Associated Press.
Matthew 5:45 says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you. . . that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
And that’s the World View in Five Minutes.