By Kevin Swanson
The suffering of the Nigerian church
Nigerian Christians continue to face extreme persecution, murders, and exile in large numbers. Sadly, the mainstream news media has been largely silent on the tragedy. Increasingly, these Christians are victimized by Boko Haram, the radical Islamic group, and Muslim Fulani herdsmen.
To keep this as a major prayer item for our Christian brothers and sisters around the world, The Worldview interviewed our contact in Nigeria, Pastor Aniekan Ekpo of Southern Nigeria.
Listen to his heart.
EKPO: “Nigeria is the most suffering African country populace in the world. It’s a very strategic country. That if Christianity were to have a free hand in Nigeria, the whole of Africa and the world would benefit. It would probably compete with America and South Korea in sending out missionaries. But it is that the enemies of the Gospel have known this.”
Stay tuned for a Worldview Special Report from Nigeria immediately following today’s newscast to hear an impassioned plea that we not forget the sufferings of the Nigerian church.
China appoints hardliner to oversee Hong Kong
China has appointed a hardliner to oversee Hong Kong for the Communist state, reports International Christian Concern.
Xia Bailing will serve as the Director of the Communist Party’s Director of the Hong Kong office. Xia was the driving force behind the persecution of Christians in the Zhejiang district, destroying churches and removing 1,000 crosses from church buildings back in 2015.
Pastors and religious leaders in Hong Kong and China see this as a further move toward removing religious freedoms in Hong Kong.
Boys, pretending to be girls, beat biological girls in track
The transgender rage has created a sad befuddlement for public high school sports in the U.S. Three female high school athletes from the state of Connecticut, with the legal assistance of Alliance Defending Freedom, submitted a federal lawsuit last week, hoping to stop boys from competing in their sports.
The suit argues that boys — pretending to be girls — have a “physical advantage” in girls’ athletic events. Two boys took first and second place in the state championship in the 55-meter state competition for girls track in 2019, which otherwise would have been secured by the plaintiffs in the case.
Attorney Christiana Holcomb said, “Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities. Having separate boys’ and girls’ sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition.”
Coronavirus: China shuts schools, interest in homeschooling peaks
The coronavirus in China has resulted in some unexpected changes for Christian families in China.
The Financial Times noted that all primary schools, secondary schools and universities in China have been shut down at least through mid-February.
And interest from China in the Generations Home School Summit in March has picked up. A Chinese mom informed us that “all Chinese students now have to stay at home and learn online.”
Economists predict a worldwide recession
Economists are bracing for a worldwide recession, with Japan posting its fasting economic shrink in almost six years during the December quarter.
A Reuters poll of economists concludes that China’s economic growth will slow this year to the lowest since the 2008 recession — due in large part to the coronavirus scare. However, loan defaults hit record levels last year in China.
Business Insider: American big business is unstable
While U.S. unemployment numbers are still low, Business Insider points out that big business is more unstable than ever.
Corporate debt has hit record levels as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product and “50% of the investment-grade corporate bond market is rated BBB by credit-rating agencies.” That’s up from 35% just before the 2008 recession.
And worst of all, the increased corporate debt is being put to unproductive uses, corporate payouts to investors, stock buy-back, and mergers and acquisitions. The Harvard Business Review points out that in 2018, “the S&P 500 Index did a combined $806 billion in [stock] buybacks, about $200 billion more than the previous record set in 2007.”
Professor: Christians “are crippling their children’s minds”
And finally, retired Colorado Senator Kevin Lundberg posted a portion of a disturbing 6-minute speech, provided by a Colorado University professor River Wood at the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee last week.
Wood argued against parental rights, called the Bible a “fairy tale” and God “a cosmic dictator.”
Listen to his rant.
WOOD: “It’s bad enough that religious fundamentalists are crippling their children’s minds with nonsense that I have to fix when they get to college. But they further demand the right to impose their religious thinking on everyone else around them. I think it’s reasonable to demand that these people first prove the existence of their God before they push what it claims it wants on the rest of us.”
Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”
Sadly, the parental rights bill was subsequently killed.
And that’s The Worldview in 5 Minutes on this Tuesday, February 18th in the year of our Lord 2020. 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.
Nigerian Pastor: Muslim persecution is building the church
Time now for a Worldview Special Report by Emily Swanson. I’m Adam McManus.
By Emily Swanson
The war between Satan and the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has been going on since the Garden of Eden.
Nigerian Christians, who have witnessed Satan’s war strategies first-hand, are praying for respite and deliverance since facing severe persecution which began in 2009.
Pastor Aniekan Ekpo of Nigeria told The Worldview that the Muslim militants want to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state.
EKPO: “Since the inception of this government, we learned that they came with the understanding that they would have to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. And so from that time until 2015, everything that the government does, all the programs of the government, is to let down Christianity and to destroy it. So starting from the men who took up the high position in government, the President will only choose those from the Muslim religion, his advisors, minister of education, taking care of the economy of the nation and so on.”
Pastor Ekpo said that they have heard that Muslim leaders are even responsible for supporting Boko Haram behind the scenes.
EKPO: “And you see things changing. The Christians are being undermined. Even in their business, they have no rights. In fact, in this new year, the government is imposing a lot of tariffs on everything you do so as they get the money to fund Boko Haram. We are at least told that it is our government that is sponsoring the Boko Haram. We are being told that when the Nigerian Army is being trained, the recruitment is from all of Nigeria, but they pick most of the people in the north. And then maybe tomorrow will be the commissioning day, the day when men from the north will be missing in the camp. And what are they to become? They are to become Boko Haram, well trained. And so they kill the Nigerian army. They invade villages and destroy things.”
Pastor Ekpo gave a real-life example of the devastation they continue to wreak on innocent civilians in northern Nigeria.
EKPO: “In fact, last month, CAN, Christian Association of Nigeria, because of what has been happening early this year, one of our CAN chairmen in Taraba State, in Chikawa, was captured on the 10th of January. The negotiation was going on for his release, and they demanded 15 million Naira to be paid. As the negotiation was going on, the man was killed. They made him dig his grave, and then he stood in the grave. They asked him to become a Muslim and then he refused. So, they cut him to pieces.
“Another young man was captured as well, a student, going to university, was captured. He was asked to reject Christianity. He refused. A boy was given a rifle to shoot him. And then four seminarians from the Bible were captured and destroyed in different places.”
These stories make our hearts cry out to the Lord with the Psalmist in Psalm 13:3-6.
“Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, ‘I have prevailed over him,’ lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Yet Pastor Ekpo marveled at how God has used the persecution that men mean for evil for the growth of the faith of the church in Nigeria.
EKPO: “It has helped us, both Christians in the south and in the north, to preach the Gospel in a right way, not to go to the gospel of prosperity and no suffering and so on. We are also encouraged that the people there refuse to deny their faith. That’s a very good encouragement to us. This man that was killed; the wife came out and said, ‘I thank God that my husband did not deny the faith, that he was willing to die. We are encouraged that the church is still going on stronger, that many people are turning to become Christians. Some of the Muslims are turning to becoming Christians, seeing that the Christian faith is genuine.”
Pastor Ekpo said that the Christians are only becoming more grounded in the faith.
Remember the words that Jesus Christ said to us in John 15:20. ‘Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours.’”
EKPO: “Both Christians and Muslims, who have become Christians, are seeing the way ahead, that God will help them and God will stand by them. We are also making a contribution to our brothers and sisters in the refugee camps to encourage them to stand firm and to stand fast for Christ.”
Keep fervently praying for the church in Nigeria, that God would bring down the evil one and give the brothers and sisters continued faith and strength in taking up the whole armor of God to stand firm in the faith.
1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
This has been another Worldview Special Report. I’m Adam McManus.