It’s Friday, December 20th, A.D. 2019. This is The Worldview in 5 Minutes heard at www.TheWorldview.com. I’m Adam McManus.
By Jonathan Clark
Christians endure persecution worldwide leading up to Christmas
Christians around the world are greeted with increased persecution during the Christmas season.
In just a week this month, Christians in India experienced over six religious attacks, leading to 10 arrests, 25 Christian families without water, and several churches, including one with 600 members, were shut down.
In Indonesia’s West Sumatra province, officials banned worship services and Christmas celebrations in two locations, a ban that has been in place since 1985.
Also, authorities in Iran continued their practice of arresting Christians leading up to Christmas, starting last week. Last year, the government arrested 114 Christians during the first week of December alone.
Jesus said in John 15:20, “‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”
Send encouragement letter to imprisoned Cuban Christian homeschooling couple
In a related story, Pastor Ramón Rigal and his wife Adya are behind bars this Christmas season as prisoners of conscience for homeschooling their children in Cuba, reports the Home School Legal Defense Association.
7 million acres burn after New South Wales greenlights abortion
In October, Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales overturned a century-old law by decriminalizing the murder of unborn babies, becoming the last jurisdiction to do so in the country.
Since that time, New South Wales has declared two states of emergency, one in November and one this week, in the face of over 100 wildfires in the province encroaching on Sydney.
Wildfires have burned seven million acres of land, destroyed 800 homes, and killed six people across the country over the past few months. Plus, Australia had its hottest day on record this week in the middle of years of drought.
Solomon prayed in 1 Kings 8:35-36, “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, then hear in Heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants . . . that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk.”
Court of Appeals: Obamacare mandate unconstitutional
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the Obamacare individual mandate is unconstitutional.
The ruling sent the case back to a lower court on whether the rest of the law is also unconstitutional, but the case may end up in the Supreme Court next year.
The individual mandate would require most people to buy insurance, insurance that could fund abortions with taxpayer money or premiums.
President Trump asked for prayer prior to impeachment
On Wednesday, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.
Before the vote, Trump took to Twitter to ask for prayer.
Despite the proceedings, or perhaps because of them, Trump leads Democratic candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren in a national poll conducted by USA TODAY/Suffolk University last week.
Pelosi refuses to send Articles of Impeachment to Senate
Now that President Trump has been impeached, the next step is the Senate trial. If the president is convicted by two-thirds of the Senate, then he’s removed from office. However, that’s next to impossible since virtually every Republican has stood by the president.
Nonetheless, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to send Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the formal Articles of Impeachment. She offered no timeline, saying she wanted to see the Senate’s plan for a “fair trial,” effectively holding the articles over McConnell’s and Trump’s heads.
PELOSI: “We have legislation approved by the rules committee that will enable us to decide how we will send over the Articles of Impeachment. We cannot name managers until we see what the process is on the Senate side. And I would hope that that will be soon. So far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us. So, hopefully it will be fairer.
REPORTER: “What do you consider a fair trial?”
PELOSI: “Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial. This is what I don’t consider a fair trial. That Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his “cues” — in quotes — from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House Counsel’s Office.”
Senate set to confirm 13 more conservative judges
While impeachment fires rage, the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to confirm 13 more of President Trump’s conservative judicial nominees to federal district court positions.
That will bring Trump’s district court nominations to 133, one-fifth of all district court judges; he has also appointed over a quarter of judges to the federal courts of appeals as well as two Supreme Court justices.
Deadly winter storms
Powerful winter storms across the Midwest, Deep South, and New England this week have left 15 people dead with dozens of tornadoes leaving considerable damage.
One tornado in Alexandria, Louisiana destroyed Hope Baptist School where 18 students had been studying. In God’s providence, just 10 minutes before the tornado hit, teachers took the children to the church next door where they hid under the pews for safety.
A GoFundMe page for the church says, “Everyone walked away, no injuries reported, but the Church and the school are at a total loss . . . We are trusting that God is bigger than our need and that He will keep His promise and stay close to the ones who draw close to Him.”
Matthew 10:29-30 asks, “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
And that’s The Worldview in 5 Minutes on this Friday, December 20th in the year of our Lord 2019. Subscribe by iTunes or email to our unique Christian newscast at www.TheWorldview.com. Or get the Generations app through Google Play or The App Store. I’m Adam McManus (adam@TheWorldview.com). Seize the day for Jesus Christ.